How to Pick the Best Mirrorless Camera For You

Mirrorless
Mirrorless by Zhao !, on Flickr

Given the incredibly amount of products on the internet – more of which is being released all the time – it has become fairly complex to make a choice when looking for the best mirrorless camera. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that a lot of sales representatives won’t even know what the best is if you decide to ask them. In truth, a lot of the options are actually fairly adequate overall once you hit a certain price range. You get what you pay for, after all. Technology has advanced to the point that “bad images” are becoming an increasing rarity.

To help sort out the best mirrorless camera to buy, you need to ask yourself what you need. When simply breaking down, it can lead to a myriad of questions that will help make the choice even clearer. Once you’ve done that, you can feel much more prepared when staring down the vast options in front of you. In the following, we’ll detail all you need to get started:

Questions You Should Ask

  • What will the camera be used for? Do you need it for vacation photos, family parties, sports games, or maybe shots of a personal collection you own?
  • What budget are you working with? This is very important, as it keeps you from making reckless impulse decisions.
  • Are you looking for a cheap mirrorless camera?
  • Or a the Best Mirrorless Camera for uner $1000?
  • What sort of functionality are you looking for, and how much effort can you put into learning how to use them?
  • Will the camera be just for you, or something your family also has access to?
  • How will you be using it? Is it important that it can be mounted or do you want to merely go handheld?
  • How big does the camera need to be?
  • How big a screen do you want?
  • Do you want a Viewfinder?

A good sales representative will have these sort of questions already in their back pocket when discussing any particular product with you. If you go in with the answers already worked out, you’re going to have the advantage. The more educated you already are on the matter, the easier it will be for them to give you genuine help and not just try to push one of the lower quality (or needlessly expensive) models off onto you.

The Best Mirrorless Camera Lenses

Sonnar T* FE 55mm F1.8 ZA - Sony A7R
Photo by Luke Ma on Flickr

Given the current state of the economy, products like cameras are now being made in a lot of different price ranges, shapes, sizes, and even aesthetic variants such as color. Don’t be distracted; the lenses are what you really need to focus on with a mirrorless camera. Seek out one of these:

These have individual pros and cons of course, but their relative image quality tends to be comparable. Incredibly trained eyes are really the only ones able to see such differences. For general to advanced use, any of the systems above should serve you well. All of those manufacturers carry good quality lenses, flashes, and other accessories that work well with the corresponding system as well.

Ergonomics And Feel

Camera manufacturers all have their own unique approach to ergonomics and aesthetics. For example,Fujifilm and Olympus seem to cater to simple shapes with a retro feel. Then you have the likes of Sony and Panasonic that keep everything as contemporary as possible with lots of sleek curves. Nikon and Samsung on the other hand keep things a bit bare bones, catering to the “point and shoot” method of shooting. There are some exceptions here and there but if you really take a close look you’ll likely see those trends over and over again. Figure out which body type you feel would be best for your hands. Ask a sales representative if you can get some hands-on time with the products that interest you to be on the safe side.

Focusing

Panasonic, Sony, Olympus, Samsung, and Nikon have the fastest and highest quality auto focus abilities, if that matters to you. Capturing moments at sports games or at home while children or pets play are much easier with a fast focusing camera. It’s for the best to look up reviews for a solid understanding of how well a model focuses. Example shots from the manufacturer may be altered. Filter them by “3 stars” to get a balanced opinion.

Image quality

This is the most important aspect of any camera, of course. This is a big point of contention, but the medium to high end priced models from the manufacturers above will likely serve you well. Sony and Fujifilm are great for outputting incredibly quality that lends itself to post-processing and image editing. Olympus will give you good JPEGS that you don’t have to worry much about. They all have their strengths. If you can find a model that fits your budget and maybe even has a cool feature or two (i.e. shooting high speed video, time lapse, or long exposure) then you are sure to have quite a good time with your camera overall.

the beloved Gina, Taipei - Sony A7r
by Luke Ma, on Flickr
the beloved Gina - Sony A7R
by Luke Ma, on Flickr

Conclusion

No matter what you are looking for, an affordable mirrorless camera kit, a mid-level mirrorless camera, the best mirrorless camera under $1000, or a Professional level Mirrorless Camera make sure you check out our individual reviews before you decide to make your purchase! Also, don’t forget to grab your our free DSLR Beginners Guide!! And yes a lot of the content is applicable to your Mirrorless Camera too!!