Many photographers may find that mirrorless cameras are a terrific option. They often have smaller and lighter body sizes than conventional DSLRs, quick and accurate focusing mechanisms and high continuous shooting rates. On a tight budget, you don’t have to forgo quality while looking for a mirrorless camera. With so many models available, you may pick one that meets your demands while remaining within your budget.
Understanding that performance might change depending on your chosen lens is crucial. The depth of field, focusing, and stabilization capabilities of a picture are all influenced by the lens since it changes the quantity of light the camera lets in. Additionally, lenses might increase the weight of your camera, which may affect how portable it is. To maintain consistency, this post will concentrate on cameras that sell for less than $1,000 with their kit lens included. We currently test our cameras with their standard kit lens.
We examined more than 70 cameras, and the best variable lens mirrorless cameras under $1,000 are listed here.
Best Mirrorless Camera Under $1,000
The Sony 6400 is the finest mirrorless camera we’ve reviewed, costing less than $1,000. This APS-C model’s relatively small and light design makes it simple to tuck into a bag and carry it wherever you go. It includes a screen that can tilt and flip up to allow you to photograph from various angles or capture selfies, and it feels sturdy and easy to use. Depending on your budget, there are a few different kit lens choices that you may purchase.
Its 24.2-megapixel sensor produces stunning images with outstanding dynamic range. Additionally, it has outstanding RAW noise management capabilities, allowing you to increase the sensor’s ISO sensitivity while shooting in low light without significantly reducing quality. It includes an outstanding autofocus mechanism, much like many Sony models, that can rapidly and dependably follow moving things to keep them focused, whether you’re capturing pictures or recording 4k or FHD video.
Nevertheless, the camera’s optical stabilization must be used since it lacks in-body image stabilization and performs poorly in 4K when using the kit lens. Although it has a variety of FHD frame rates, its possibilities for 4k frame rates are likewise restricted. Overall, this mirrorless camera is one of the finest in this price range since it has strong video functions, a very small form, and a well-rounded design.
Check out the Sony 6100 if you want to save money on a comparable camera. It features a rangefinder-style body, a textured handgrip, and a tilting screen; much like the Sony 6400, it’s not weather-sealed and has a lower-resolution viewfinder. Despite this, it is somewhat less expensive and provides almost comparable performance in most instances. Higher ISO settings for low light provide great picture quality with strong noise management capabilities. It also boasts a fantastic focusing technology that follows moving objects in pictures and movies swiftly and accurately. It gives the same frame rate settings and comparable video quality if you like shooting video. But it also lacks in-body image stabilization and performs poorly in terms of minimizing camera shaking in 4K.
If you want a weather-sealed body and a higher-resolution EVF, get the 6400; otherwise, choose the 6100 if you want to save a little money but don’t mind giving up those two features.
The Nikon Z 50 is the best entry-level mirrorless camera we’ve reviewed for around $1,000. This entry-level crop-sensor device has a solid grip that fits most hand sizes, tactile controls that are simple to change, and it feels well-built and pleasant to use. Its menu structure is simple and includes a tutorial mode to lead novice users through the menu’s basic settings and functionalities. Its touchscreen can tilt outward or flip-up to face you for selfies or vlogging, but it doesn’t have a completely articulating screen.
Its visual quality is superb all over. Even with higher ISO settings, pictures are wonderfully crisp and have a strong dynamic range. Due to its excellent noise-handling abilities, it is suitable for using moderate and high ISO settings to capture pictures in darker lighting. Although recording in 4K results in a tiny cut, its video features are strong, and its low light video quality is unsatisfactory. Nevertheless, it produces excellent 4K video quality in better lighting, and in either resolution, its autofocus technology dependably and rapidly follows moving objects.
Unfortunately, while shooting pictures, the focus is a little less reliable. Additionally, it lacks in-body image stabilization. The optical stabilization of the Nikkor Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR kit lens and its electronic stabilization function perform a fantastic job of reducing camera shaking. Overall, this is one of the top digital cameras for beginners that we’ve evaluated.
The Panasonic LUMIX G100 is the finest mirrorless camera we’ve tested for vlogging and costs less than $1,000. With a Micro Four Thirds sensor, it is a small, lightweight camera created with vloggers in mind. It does this by having a dedicated video recording button, a fully articulated touchscreen, and a textured grip. If you don’t have an external microphone, it features a built-in microphone with audio tracking that you may use to isolate sounds from any direction.
When shooting in brighter lighting, it provides excellent video quality and has a “Self Shot” mode that turns on automatically when you turn the screen to face you. When in this mode, the audio and face tracking is on, a three-second recording start timer is enabled, and the Fn tab of the camera’s menu offers access to several filters and vlog-specific settings. Its autofocus mechanism supports both face and eye recognition, and although it’s less accurate at following moving people, it does a wonderful job detecting moving objects in films.
However, battery performance might vary with various settings and use patterns. Thus the camera’s battery life is rather unsatisfactory. It has a reasonably long battery life while continually recording video. Still, it only has a short battery life when taking images, and you can’t use it while it’s being charged through USB. However, this camera is a wonderful option for vlogging on a budget due to its mobility and helpful vlogging capabilities.
We advise the Canon EOS M50 Mark II for people on a limited budget. Since it’s one of the most affordable mirrorless cameras available, vloggers and those purchasing their first camera often choose it. It boasts a bright, fully flexible touchscreen and a very accessible menu interface to assist you in photographing from various angles or capturing selfies.
With its 24.1-megapixel APS-C sensor, the camera produces high-quality images straight out of the box. Additionally, it has a respectable noise management capacity, allowing you to shoot in somewhat darker circumstances without adding a lot of noise. Its effective focusing technology tracks moving objects well. Despite having a short picture buffer, it can shoot at a burst shooting speed of 9 fps. However, once you fill it full, it empty quickly.
Unfortunately, its 4k video functions are restricted for individuals interested in capturing both video and still images. With a substantial 1.5x reduction, it can only capture 4k video at 24 frames per second, and its autofocus technology struggles to keep moving objects in focus at this quality. Its autofocus is also significantly more dependable and can capture 1080p video at greater frame rates without cropping. Overall, this camera provides a ton of value for the money if you’re looking for basic stills or a 1080p video camera.
Consider the Canon EOS M200 if you want something more portable. The form factor is where this camera and the Canon EOS M50 Mark II diverge the most. Although it lacks a handgrip and a viewfinder, its tiny size and portability make it an excellent alternative for anyone who desires a smaller camera with the flexibility to swap out and utilize various lenses. If you want to save even more money, it’s also somewhat less expensive. Though you can still rotate the screen up to face you if necessary, it doesn’t have a completely articulated screen. Although the two cameras utilize the same sensor and perform quite similarly in picture and video quality, they have different ergonomics and cannot capture 1080p/24 fps or 4k video.
If you prefer a camera with a handgrip and viewfinder, choose the M50 Mark II; but, if portability is your first concern, the M200 is a decent substitute.
Canon EOS RP: Thanks to its bigger sensor and adaptable performance, the Canon EOS RP is a full-frame mirrorless camera. However, it costs more than $1,000 to buy it with the lens kit.
Nikon Z FC: The Nikon Z FC is designed to look like a classic SLR camera but is equipped with modern digital camera technologies, such as a fully articulated touchscreen, an electronic viewfinder, and a high-resolution sensor. It costs more than $1,000 with the kit lens, however. Regarding video performance, it is also not as adaptable as the Sony a6400.
Fujifilm X-T200: The Fujifilm X-T200 is an exceptional APS-C mirrorless camera that produces crisp, detailed, and mostly noise-free images. Its camera focusing technology, however, performs poorly, making it unsuitable for shooting images of moving objects.
Fujifilm X-T30: The original Fujifilm X-T30 is now a fantastic deal thanks to the arrival of the Fujifilm X-T30 II. With Fujifilm’s JPEG processing and colour science, this relatively small APS-C camera produces high-quality photos and videos even in dim lighting. It could be difficult to locate it with a kit lens, however.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mk IV is a Micro Four Thirds camera that provides excellent value. In addition to being portable and lightweight, M43 lenses are often more compact and less expensive than bigger sensor camera systems. Its autofocus, however, has trouble following moving faces.
According to the demands of the majority of people, we have included our top picks for mirrorless cameras under $1,000 in the suggestions above. We consider the cost, customer reviews, and accessibility (no cameras that are difficult to find or almost out of stock in the US).
Here is a list of our reviews for interchangeable-lens mirrorless cameras for under $1,000 if you want to make your own decision. Avoid getting sucked into the details. There isn’t a single camera that is perfect. Your preferences, shooting style, and personal tastes will be more important in making your choice.