Expert Reviews on the Best Products, Software and Services
Category:Best Mirrorless Camera
To determine the best mirrorless camera on the market today, we started by eliminating models with less than 16MP. Anything less and a printed photo of more than about 36-inches wide will look pixelated. Next, we only considered mirrorless cameras with excellent image quality – choosing cameras that depicted minimal noise even at ISO 2000 and above, which lends itself to low light performance. We then went a step further, and sought cameras with snappy startup performance and a minimal shutter lag of 200 milliseconds or less. While not a prerequisite, extra credit was given to any mirrorless cameras that included 4K video at 24 and 30 fps, an articulating rear screen, an electronic viewfinder and in body image stabilization.
Thanks to its outstanding image quality and versatility as shown in our extensive real world testing, the Sony A7 III Camera is our top choice for best mirrorless camera. It offers a full frame sensor with outstanding low light performance, a wide range of available Sony FE mount lenses and it even has good battery life.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Sony A7 III is ranked among the top full frame cameras for image quality, with 14 stops of dynamic range and very little noise even at ISO values of 4000 and up, outperforming even some medium format cameras with five figure price tags.
Great for night shooting, able to make usable images even from ISO 4000
Great video quality with 4K ultra HD at 24 & 30 fps
Fastest, most accurate autofocus of any mirrorless camera we’ve tested
Lack of a dedicated physical ISO button
Doesn’t come with an external battery charger (only a USB charger is included).
For photographers, the award winning Sony A7 III offers one of the best autofocus systems on any mirrorless camera, with an almost ridiculous 693 phase-detection points and 425 contrast detection points. It also shoots up to 10 fps, on a par with much heavier and more expensive prosumer DSLRs. The Sony A7 III stands out even more for videographers, since it’s capable of recording 4K video using the whole full frame sensor rather than a crop as with most DSLRs.
Plus, the A7 III’s video autofocus is also among the best we’ve seen. Add in useful filmmaking features like Sony’s editor-friendly log footage options, and the A7 III becomes a compelling mirrorless camera for amateurs and enthusiasts as well as a budget-saving choice for pros.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Panasonic G7 shoots crisp, good quality 4K video with minimal “rolling shutter.” It is easy to use if you’re used to shooting on a DSLR, includes an external mic jack for audio, and thanks to its MFT lens mount it can adapt a wide variety of lenses.
Works with a large variety of lenses, new and vintage
Smaller sensor than some comparably priced mirrorless cameras
Somewhat limited usable ISO range for low light
Only 16MP max resolution for stills
The Panasonic Lumix G7 is our top pick among Micro Four Thirds sensor digital mirrorless cameras. It mixes high level functionality with ease of use and affordability. This series of cameras has long been a favorite for aspiring and student filmmakers, and for good reason.
As a bonus, the G7 can be adapted to work with old “C–mount” broadcast and television lenses, some of which can give you amazing quality for very little money. With the smaller sensor, you also get more zoom range out of physically smaller lenses. It features a built-in stereo mic for audio recording as well as a mic jack for external audio input. However, for low light situations, the G7 gets a little noisy at ISO values above 2500, so it requires a fast aperture lens, f1.4 or greater, if you want to shoot in twilight or less-brightly lit indoor settings.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The Z6 fits Nikon’s award winning 24.5 Mpix full frame sensor in a lightweight yet rugged mirrorless camera, letting Nikon shooters continue using their legacy Nikon lenses while moving to the convenience of the smaller, lighter mirrorless camera body.
Fast frame rate for burst shooting
Good low light performance
Great selection of Nikon lenses available
Controls may be counterintuitive if you’re coming from a DSLR
Z mount requires an adapter for most lenses
Autofocus not as speedy as Nikon DSLRs, though comparable to others on this list
Our top pick for best mirrorless camera for Nikon users is the Z6, a full frame 35mm equivalent mirrorless camera designed around the relatively new Z mount lens architecture. The Nikon Z6 is really fast, shooting up to 12 fps, autofocuses well and offers image quality similar to Nikon’s FX format DSLRs, thanks to using basically the same world class 24.5 Mpix backside illuminated sensor.
The Z6 is made of magnesium alloy and features weather sealing which Nikon claims is comparable to that found in the very rugged D750 and D700 semi-pro DSLRs. When it comes to video, the Z6 is capable, with 4k at 24p, HD at 60p for slow motion, and even a 6k time lapse mode, it’s not as easy to use as some of the more established mirrorless camera systems for videography.
WHY WE LIKE IT: Despite being fully pocket-able, especially with the very compact 14-42mm kit lens or an even slimmer “pancake” prime lens, the E-M10 delivers crisp, high quality images and excellent color reproduction.
Smaller footprint than an iPhone (4.5 x 3.6 inches)
Good dynamic range & color depth
Wide variety of high quality lenses available
No 4K video– though the updated (and pricier) E-M10 Mark III does include this feature
Battery life somewhat limited (320 shots per charge)
Not the best for very dark scenes
One of the first mirrorless cameras to gain a wide following among enthusiast and semi-pro photographers, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 is a micro four thirds camera that stands out for its cool, vintage aesthetic and its amazingly compact size.
It shoots up to 8.5 fps and includes in-body 5-axis image stabilization. Still a favorite for serious photographers wanting something easy to travel with, the OM-D E-M10 Mark II is beginning to show its age when it comes to video functionality, lacking the ability to record UHD 4k MP4s.
No built-in hotshoe to mount a flash or other accessories
The Canon M100 is a super compact mirrorless camera that uses a Canon APS-C sensor and EOS-M lens mount. It also offers handy Wi Fi connectivity and lets you share images straight from the camera using Canon’s well-designed and easy-to-use app. While the M100 lacks a hotshoe, it does include a pop-up flash that can be set to go off with a wireless external flash if needed.
WHY WE LIKE IT: At a price point lower than most mobile phones and “point and shoot” digital cameras, the YI M1 offers real usability, a quality sensor and interchangeable lens capability.
20 MP Sony sensor
Highly versatile MFT lens mount
Fewer manual controls than some rivals
No dedicated viewfinder
No built-in flash
The YI M1 is our pick for the best budget mirrorless camera . It includes an excellent Sony-made 20-megapixel micro four thirds sensor and the much-loved MFT lens mount system, letting you use a wide variety of new and vintage glass from Olympus, Panasonic, Sony and more. It even shoots 4K video at 30fps.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The vintage-styled Fujifilm XT-100 is one of the best mirrorless cameras for those looking for a “film-like” aesthetic.
High resolution sensor with unique color rendering
4K video available
Built-in flash and electronic viewfinder
Somewhat harder to find lenses
Can be slower to shoot and buffer multiple images
Some shutter lag
Fujifilm has always been a unique choice geared toward artistic and enthusiast photographers. The company is famous for its 35mm film, and in fact still makes film cameras, after all. The XT-100 uses a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor and offers a variety of “film simulation” modes designed to process color like classic Fuji film stock. This sensor skips the traditional, grid-like Bayer array of red, green and blue photo sites in favor of a more randomized pattern, claimed to more accurately capture colors with less is more.
How We Decided
We understand that mirrorless cameras span an enormous range, from casual and travel use, to backup or even go-to camera bodies for professional photographers and filmmakers. We wanted to include a few top rated mirrorless cameras in the semi-pro, enthusiast and budget categories, and we conducted extensive research on our top picks as well as some real world, hands-on testing in the field.
We looked at image quality in terms of dynamic range, ISO range and color depth, limiting our choices to mirrorless cameras with at least 16 Megapixels for still images. We included models with at least 1080p HD video capability and with at least a 50mm-equivalent, 105mm-equivalent and 28mm equivalent lens available.
For the semi-pro cameras we wanted to find models with at least 12 stops of dynamic range, capable of shooting 10 frames per second or more, and recording 4k footage using the whole 35-mm equivalent sensor. This gives our top picks of mirrorless full frame cameras, the Sony A7 III and Nikon Z6, performance comparable to the range of semi-pro DSLRs like the Nikon D810 and Canon 5D Mk IV. We also looked at durability– the Z6 and A7 III are both made mostly of metal and have weather sealing–and value for the money.
For APS-C and micro four thirds mirrorless cameras, we wanted to highlight models that had a standout feature as well as excellent value. We looked for wifi connectivity or Bluetooth capability, a 3” or larger screen, and compact overall dimensions. We selected models with minimal lag, less than 5 second start-up times, at least a dozen autofocus points and at least 16 Megapixels of still resolution. We also noted the video format, as many of these mirrorless cameras can shoot 4k. We took into account lens availability as well. Finally, as battery life is sometimes a weakness of mirrorless cameras, we looked for cameras with batteries rated for at least 300 shots per charge.
Best Mirrorless Camera Buyer’s Guide
One of the Most Important Features in a Mirrorless Camera
When buying a digital camera first thing to note, whether you’re looking at compact, mirrorless cameras or DSLR models, is the sensor size. That determines roughly what the camera’s image quality is going to be like (bigger is usually better in this case) as well as its field of view and depth of field. Bigger sensors mean shallower depth of field for a given aperture number, letting you achieve artistic “bokeh” effects with blurred backgrounds.On the other hand, if you want to get more zoom range out of smaller glass, you may want a smaller sensor. This is because smaller sensors have a “crop” factor–they give you a smaller field of view but it’s more zoomed-in. For portable interchangeable lens cameras, the largest sensors commonly used are the confusingly-named “medium format” size, followed by “full frame” or 35mm equivalent– this is what most professional digital cameras, DSLR and mirrorless alike, employ. An APS-C or “crop” sensor is a little more than half the area of a full-frame, and a “micro four thirds” sensor is in turn a little smaller than an APS-C. The four thirds sensor is similar in size to traditional 16mm film, meaning digital mirrorless cameras with MFT sensors can often be adapted to use lenses from 16mm cinema cameras.
Most mirrorless cameras offer advanced features like image stabilization, multi-point autofocus and at least some kind of wireless sharing. If you’re traveling with the camera and want to be able to upload on the go, this is a big help. We’ve looked into the wifi and Bluetooth features on the Sony A7 III and rival cameras to see which ones are easiest to use. Another consideration with mirrorless cameras is lens availability. While Nikon, Sony, Olympus and Fujifilm systems all have great lenses, you may have a preference, or already own some “glass” from one or another.
If you’re looking for an entry-level camera with an electronic viewfinder evf, the X100 Fujifilm is a great choice. The X T100 Fujifilm X-series camera has a 24 MP APS C CMOS sensor, high ISO range of 100-51200, and comes with Fuji’s X trans sensor. The XT100 features 4K video quality and many shooting modes to get the perfect shot. It made our best mirrorless camera list.
The Fujifilm X-T100 is the company’s cheapest camera with an electronic viewfinder. This mirrorless camera offers 6 fps continuous shooting, a 24MP APS C CMOS sensor, and can be enhanced with a power zoom lens. The XT100 sits between the entry level XA5 and the X T20 in the X Series range.
24 MP APS C Sensor
Great image quality
ISO range of 100-51200
Lenses can be harder to find
Not all ISOs capture RAW
Our Fujifilm X T100 review has found it to have excellent performance. The X trans sensor ensures quality, even in low light conditions. Just like other Fujifilm cameras, it has a shutter speed of 1/32000 – 30 sec, a 24 MP C sensor, and a 91-point autofocus system. You can easily attach a power zoom lens with the x mount attachment, and connect to other devices using wi-fi and Bluetooth. This Fujifilm X Series camera is a worthy rival to the sony a7 iii.
It’s refreshing that the X-T100 comes in a range of colors like dark silver, black, and champagne gold. In terms of design, this camera has a very classic look to it but with a chunkier mode dial and other buttons. One of the hints that this isn’t an old camera it the 3-way tilting 3-inch LCD touchscreen. It can flip and tilt to the side to give extra viewing angles. The camera weighs just 20.6-ounces with dimensions of 4.8 x 3.3 x 1.9-inches. If you want to shoot at night, check out the Panasonic Lumix g7.
The Fujifilm X-T100 Camera comes at an affordable price but still has great video capture and image capture. Like other mirrorless cameras it comes with a kit lens that can easily be swapped out for something more powerful. The standout features of this camera are the electronic viewfinder and the large 3-inch LCD screen. The X-T100 comes in a sturdy retro design with three different colors available. When you compare the price to the features, the X-T100 offers good value, just like the Nikon z6.
Fujifilm X-T100 Camera Wrap Up
The X-T100 comes in a compact yet durable package that’s affordable. It can shoot images at 24 MP and record videos at 4K. It also has an electronic viewfinder and a tiltable LCD touchscreen. It may be slower than some of its rivals, but it still has enough features to justify its price.
Panasonic cameras are well built and offer great features at competitive pricing. The Lumix G9 is a micro four thirds camera that delivers 4K 60fps video recording, high dynamic range, burst shooting mode, and fast autofocus. The camera delivers excellent photos despite the smaller sensor, which makes it the best mirrorless camera that’s affordable and great for beginners.
The Panasonic Lumix G9 offers excellent image quality and video features. It is lightweight despite its larger body and comes with a smaller micro four thirds sensor. The High resolution mode allows for 80-megapixel RAW files that have a lot of details and clarity. The G9 also comes with in-body image stabilization.
20.3-megapixel Micro four thirds sensor
4k 60 frames per second video recording
5-axis dual in-body stabilization
The Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 features a 20.3-megapixel micro four thirds sensor that offers up to 80-megapixel RAW images in high-resolution mode. The image sensor doesn’t use a low pass filter, which leads to sharper images with better dynamic range. It offers continuous AF, continuous shooting, high ISO range, several photo modes, and can record 4K videos at 60 or 30 frames per second. The burst mode is fast and works in either 4K or 6K photo mode. However, the Sony a7 III is a better camera for images.
The Panasonic G9 is part of the Lumix cameras and uses a durable magnesium alloy body that is both splash and freeze proof up to -10 degrees. It has weather seals on all joint dials and buttons. The camera also comes with 5-axis dual image stabilization that works with the lenses. It has a nice battery grip, a comfortable shutter button, and an electronic viewfinder. It also gets dual SD card slots, external mic input, headphone jack, and a full size HDMI port. This camera is definitely much better than the older Panasonic Lumix G7.
The G9 Panasonic is complete value for money, especially when compared to cameras like the Lumix GH5, Olympus OM-D e-M10 Mark II, the new Leica cameras, and others. It features an LCD screen that can be tilted and swung out, and a tiny LCD status display at the top to show important information such as shutter speed, focal length, etc. The electronic viewfinder is also excellent and works well with the electronic shutter. The camera offers continuous autofocus that’s faster than the Lumix G7. If you’re looking for something better, try the Nikon Z6.
Panasonic Lumix G9 Review Wrap Up
Most mirrorless cameras feature an APS-C or full frame sensor, but the Lumix G9 gets a micro four thirds sensor. It still offers excellent image reproduction, 4k 60fps video recording, and up to 80-megapixel high resolution RAW files. It also works with Olympus lenses, which makes it a great buy. However, Panasonic needs to work on the menu system, which is slow and confusing.
The X-T4 Fujifilm APS-C camera comes with several new features that merge to deliver excellent colour, dynamic range and image quality. It is one of the best Fujifilm cameras with APS-C sensor, and is also the best mirrorless camera for anyone looking to upgrade their Fujifilm X-T3. One of the best features of this camera is the image stabilization.
This Fujifilm camera has a new shutter that offers up to 15fps continuous shooting when in mechanical shutter mode. It can record 4k 60 frames per second video and features the ETERNA Bleach Bypass film simulation mode that offers a great look. The battery life has been greatly improved as well.
Great colour and 26.1-megapixel APS-C sensor
5-axis in-body image stabilization IBIS
Mechanical shutter with 15fps frame rates
Non-tiltable LCD screen
The Fujifilm X-T4 comes with a 26.1-megapixel APS-C sensor and offers highly effective 5-axis in-body image stabilization. The image quality from this camera is the best among mirrorless cameras. It features a new film simulation called Bleach Bypass, which improves the colours on images and videos. The new camera features a 15fps mechanical shutter, as well as an electronic shutter, that offer good shutter speed. It can record 4K videos at 60fps and full HD at 120fps. Want more features? Try the Sony A7 III instead.
The X-T4 also has a great design that uses high quality materials and weighs less than other mirrorless cameras. The camera is water resistant and splash proof, which makes it ready for the outdoors. It also has an ergonomic grip that improves stability when used with one hand. The large capacity new battery improves the battery life greatly, especially with the economy mode enabled. It gets dual memory card slots, and a swing-out 3.0-inch LCD touch display, as well as an electronic viewfinder. Also check out the Panasonic Lumix G7, which has a similar design.
The Fujifilm X-T4 is excellent value for money thanks to the abundance of features. First time users will find this easy to use thanks to the LCD touch screen and dials for all kinds of settings. The video quality is also great, and you can shoot with 10-bit internal Log capture as well. Users will also love the improved battery life, dual SD card slots, and the 15fps mechanical shutter. The camera uses the Fujifilm X Mount, which works with plenty of lenses. The Nikon Z6 is another camera that’s great value for money, but slightly more expensive.
Fujifilm X-T4 Wrap Up
This is the best camera for beginners or first time mirrorless camera users. The X-T4 from Fujifilm has a durable body, 5-axis image stabilization, and the 26.1-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor produces excellent images as well as video content. It also gets a 15fps mechanical shutter, which is great in a mirrorless camera. Although the LCD touch display only offers swing out tilt option, it’s not really a dealbreaker.
The Sony Alpha a6100 mirrorless camera features an APS-C image sensor with features such as real-time AF tracking, 4K video recording, and Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC sharing. This entry-level camera could be the best mirrorless camera for those who want something basic with good features. If you’re looking for a camera that an get the best in action shots, check out how the Joby Action Jib gives you high flying shots on the cheap.
The Sony Alpha a6100 has a compact and rugged design with features such as real-time tracking autofocus, 11fps continuous burst mode, good battery life, and continuous autofocus tracking. The image quality is excellent and you also get a good ISO range.
Fast autofocus system with real-time Eye AF
24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
11fps continuous shooting
The 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor is a great addition for this entry-level mirrorless camera from Sony. It produces images with lifelike skin tones and natural colour. Like the Sony a6600, this too features a powerful AF system with real-time Eye AF for human as well as animals. It has 425 phase and contrast AF points and an ISO range of up to 51,200. The camera also gets fast and accurate subject tracking that most APS-C cameras lack. The Sony a7 III is a much better mirrorless camera and offers professional level performance.
The a6100 Sony APS-C mirrorless camera features a similar design as the original a6000 as well as the Sony a6400. It gets a flexible rear mounted 3.0-inch LCD touch monitor that allows for better framing. Like most mirrorless cameras, the Sony a6100 gets an electronic OLED viewfinder that’s adequate enough. The touch display supports Af drag and drop and has an easy to use menu system. You also get external mic input, memory card slots, and a Sony E mount system. Another great mirrorless camera to try is the Panasonic Lumix G7.
The Sony a6000 series includes some really good mirrorless cameras. The a6100 may not be the best camera out there, but it certainly is affordable and has enough features for beginners. It offers better features compared to the Canon EOS range or mirrorless cameras. The camera also comes with a zoom lens, which is something uncommon at this price range. It also offers 11 frames per second continuous shooting with AF and AE tracking. If you’ve got more to spend, then you could get the Nikon Z6 instead.
Sony a6100 Review Wrap Up
The Sony a6100 is an outstanding entry-level mirrorless camera thanks to features such as real-time eye AF and fast autofocus, the 24.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, and 11fps continuous shooting. The electronic viewfinder may not be the best in the range, but the a6100 is an excellent camera overall, especially with the kit lens available at the price.
This mirrorless camera from Canon has their lightest and most compact camera body. The CMOS image sensor is a full frame unit and supports 4K video recording at 30 frames per second. The AF system offers high speed focusing even in low-light conditions. It is the best mirrorless camera for beginners and intermediate photographers.
The Canon EOS RP full-frame mirrorless camera offers great dynamic range, image quality, high ISO, good low light performance, fast shutter speed, and manual focus. The in-body stabilization and dual pixel CMOS autofocus are great inclusions as well. This full-frame camera is also available as body only. If you’re looking for a camera that can catch your best action shots, you should also read our review of the Joby action Jib gives you high flying shots on the cheap.
26.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor
Dual pixel CMOS AF
4K video recording
Large lenses and battery life
The full-frame image sensor on the EOS RP body offers 26.2-megapixel resolution and takes crips and detailed images. It is paired with the DIGIC 8 image processor found in Canon DSLR cameras. Compared to other mirrorless models, the EOS RP Canon full frame camera supports 4K video and in-built stabilization. It offers a great autofocus system, including Eye AF, and AF mode selection. Like most Canon cameras, you still get full HD recording and easy access to any shooting mode you want. For better performance, you should probably get the Sony a7 III.
The RP Canon EOS is one of the lightest full-frame cameras out there. Mirrorless cameras are usually compact in size and this one is too, making it easy to carry around. It uses an RF mount, which makes it compatible with all the RF lenses out there. The camera gets an electronic viewfinder and a mode dial for much better control when shooting. It comes with a 3.0-inch vari-angle LCD touch screen with 1.04 million dots, and a Canon RF 24-105mm F4-7.1 lens. The Panasonic Lumix G7 does offer a slightly better design though.
When compared to other mirrorless cameras such as the Nikon Z and the Sony a7 III, the Canon EOS RP offers much better value for money. It is not only more affordable, but it also offers a more versatile lens mount system. Even though the feature list isn’t as long, the camera can shoot great images thanks to its fast autofocus system with multiple AF points. It can even produce good RAW image data that’s useful in post editing. However, the Nikon Z6 is definitely a better choice for professionals.
Canon EOS RP Review Wrap Up
To wrap up the Canon EOS RP review, we want to focus on its best features. These include, the 26.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, the dual pixel CMOS autofocus, and the ability to record in 4K resolution. The RF lens mount does require large lenses, and the battery life of the camera isn’t that great, but those are small drawbacks for the price.
The Panasonic S1R is probably the best mirrorless camera for 4k 60fps video recording and low-light performance. It has a high-resolution CMOS sensor that offers great image quality, high ISO, burst shooting, and Pixel Shifting. This full-frame mirrorless camera also comes with an in-body image stabilization system.
The Panasonic Lumix S1R is an excellent low-light performer and a great full-frame camera for video recording. It can record high resolution 4k videos at 60 fps with good dynamic range and white balance. The camera body features image stabilization and great build quality that protects it from the elements.
47.3-megapixel 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor
In-body image stabilization
Triaxial tilt rear monitor
The Lumix S1R features a 47.3-megapixel high res image sensor, which is backed by the Venus Engine. The high resolution mode can take eight continuous images and deliver 187-megapixel equivalent RAW files. The AF system gives you access to nine AF modes that delivers great performance even in low-light. The Lumix DC-S1R lets you capture 4K videos in 60fps and delivers high speeds of up to 180fps in full HD mode. This camera is better than the Sony a7 III in terms of video recording as most full-frame mirrorless cameras don’t offer 4k 60 fps.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R design is similar to the Nikon Z and Sony a7R range of cameras, but it does have some unique differentiating features. The camera uses a magnesium alloy die-cast frame with seals to protect it against the elements. It gets a triaxial rear tilt 3.2-inch LCD touch display, an electronic OLED viewfinder, easy access buttons for photo mode, and a Status LCD. The S1R also gets dual SD card slots and an L lens mount system. The Panasonic Lumix G7 is another great alternative to the Panasonic S1.
The large sensor size delivers great low-light performance, 4K video recording at 60fps, and several other useful features. The image quality is also great, and it’s like having two cameras with you at all times. It offers a good ISO range with a max sensitivity of IS 25600, which is again great for low-light shooting. Even compared to Sony a7R IV, this camera Panasonic made is better value for money. It is also a better deal if you’re considering purchasing the Nikon Z6.
Panasonic Lumix S1R Wrap Up
The S1R review is all positive thanks to the incredible features and build quality that Panasonic has packed into the compact camera body. The in-body image stabilization, triaxial tilt LCD display, and the 47.3-megapixel CMOS sensor make it a great buy. The only gripe with this mirrorless camera is its battery life, which could’ve been better.
Sony makes some great mirrorless cameras and the a7R IV is certainly one of them. It offers some amazing features such as in-body 5-axis stabilization, fast af system, high ISO, 10 frames per second continuous shooting, and a high-resolution full-frame sensor. The new camera also has an improved ergonomic grip, which makes it the best mirrorless camera for professionals.
The Sony Alpha a7R IV offers a good ergonomic design that makes it easy to use with a single hand. It features a great electronic viewfinder that offers a realistic view of what you’re looking at. This mirrorless camera offers top notch image quality with good dynamic range, and also gets 5-axis in-body image stabilization.
61-megapixel full-frame 35mm image sensor
10fps high speed continuous shooting
In-body 5-axis image stabilization
No 4k 60fps video recording
The Sony a7R IV is a full-frame mirrorless camera that features a medium format 61-megapixel 35-mm image sensor with a fast autofocus system. The images taken with the camera offer a lot more detail than the previous a7R III camera. The autofocus performance is improved as well, and gets AF tracking features with real-time eye AF. It has 567 phase detection AF points for great accuracy. This full-frame camera has an ISO range between 50 and 102400, and can take good images even in low-light. The Sony a7 III is still a good camera though, and a great alternative.
One of the best things about the Sony a7R mark IV is the new and improved ergonomic grip. This makes it easier to use the camera with a single hand if you need to. The camera also features high quality weather seals to keep it safe in the rain or other extreme weather conditions. The a7R IV offers an OLED electronic viewfinder and a tilt-ready 3.0-inch LCD touch display. It also features in-body 5-axis image stabilization for blur-free capture. It also gets dual SD card slots. You could also give the Panasonic Lumix G7 a try.
The Sony a7R III is definitely one of the best Sony Alpha cameras that offers an all around package with features like eye AF, Pixel Shift, Digital Audio, and more. The 61-megapixel sensor offers up to 10 frames per second continuous shooting and 14 bit raw files output. Even though the body is expensive, it becomes a great purchase when you get a lens like the Sony 16-35 mm f 2.8. This digital camera is definitely better than the Mark III and a great contender for the Nikon Z6.
Sony Alpha A7R IV Wrap Up
The Mark IV Sony a7R is a great improvement over the previous model with features such as in-body 5-axis stabilization, great eye tracking autofocus, and 10fps continuous shooting. The 61-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor offers high detail and colour reproduction, similar to other Sony cameras. Although it can shoot 4K videos with ease, it would’ve been great to have a 60fps option.
The A7 III is getting some good competition for the title of best mirrorless camera from the Nikon Z6. The Z6 new mirrorless camera offers high burst shooting, 4K video recording, 35.9×23.9 sensor size for optimal image quality, great autofocus performance and hand grips to make the camera comfortable to hold.
Launching alongside the Z6/Z7 for the first time are three lenses in Nikon’s new S-Line. You’ll like Nikon’s new full-frame camera because it improves on everything that made the Nikon D750 so loved and even gives its older brother, the Z7, a run for its money in terms of performance and design.
Great image quality across ISO ranges
Easy and comfortable to hold camera body
In-Camera image stabilization
No shooting video raw
Only average battery life
XQD card slot instead of SD card slot
Nikon uses the touchscreen much better than the Sony A7 III by allowing you to go over the menu and setting instead of just choosing focus points, which is nice. The Z6 Nikon has a 24.5MP back-illuminated CMOS full-frame sensor. This image sensor thus offers excellent image quality even in high ISO performance. The Z6 offers 4K video quality, but you will need to send your camera to a service centre for a paid upgrade to your video camera for raw video shooting.
The Z6 has a 273-point autofocus system (where the Nikon Z7 has a 493-point system) and AF Mode has a choice of Auto-Area, Wide-Area, and Single-Point options. The Z6 also has a continuous AF mode where a focusing mode allows you to select additional AF points on top of the active one. The camera body is nice to hold thanks to the hand grips on either side. If portability is your deciding factor in a camera, consider the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II. F-mount lenses on the Z6 are possible via the FTZ adapter. To change settings you hold down the desired button and use the mode dial to make the change.
Battery life on the Z6 Nikon is 310 shots, burst rate is 12fps, and while Nikon DSLR lenses have image stabilization, (think of a camera like the Canon Eos R) the new Z mirrorless camera invokes an in-camera system. The Nikon Z has only one XQD card slot instead of two SD card slots like other mirrorless cameras and focusing drops slightly in low light. The Panasonic Lumix G7 can offer you the traditional SD card slot if you really need it.
Nikon Z6 Wrap Up
As far as full-frame mirrorless cameras are concerned the Nikon Z cameras are top notch. Like the Nikon D750, this new camera looks to be gaining as much love. Nikon has come a long way since the Nikon F and the Z series cameras are continuing in Nikon’s high-performance tradition.
Fixed lens digital cameras sometimes don’t excite photographers, as they have a stigma of including basic features and boring designs. As my Canon PowerShot G7 X review shows though, this model is anything but your average fixed lens camera … other than in its look. But is it the best digital camera?
Summary: Advanced fixed lens camera that creates high quality images, while providing desirable add-on features like WiFi, a touch screen LCD, a tiltable LCD, and a fast image processor
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Easy to use camera with image capture that can compete with some entry level DSLRs.
The PowerShot G7 X has a full range of control options, ranging from fully automatic to full manual control, which allows this camera to work well for photographers with a variety of experience levels. A mode dial on the top of the camera provides access to the many shooting modes, which is handy.
One of the most impressive features of the Canon PowerShot G7 X is its ability to work fast. The G7 X can record up to 6.5 JPEG photos per second in burst mode, which is faster than some DSLR cameras, such as our Canon Rebel T6i DSLR review shows. The G7 X includes a DIGIC 6 image processor, which provides better performance levels than most fixed lens cameras too.
As shown in our digital camera buying guide, a fixed lens camera is one where the lens is embedded into the camera body. With a DSLR camera or a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, you can swap out the lens to provide different features. Sometimes, a fixed lens camera is called a point and shoot camera.
A fixed lens camera typically is going to offer a zoom range in the lens, which means you can shoot at a range of focal lengths, as explained in our article: What is a digital camera? The optical zoom range is one area where the Canon G7 X disappoints a bit, offering only a 4.2X optical zoom lens, which is below average in today’s market. But the lens has a maximum aperture setting of f/1.8, which is well above average for a fixed lens model, making the G7 X strong for portrait photography where you want the subject sharply focused but the background blurred.
Canon provided a 31-point autofocus system for the PowerShot G7 X, which allows the camera to work fast and accurately in terms of achieving a sharp focus. You also could choose to use the manual focus option Canon provides, but it involves awkward spinning a small dial and watching an on-screen graph. The autofocus works well enough that you won’t need manual focus very often.
Because the Canon PowerShot G7 X does not have a viewfinder (and no option for adding one, because it doesn’t have a hot shoe), it needs a high quality LCD screen to help you frame the scene. The G7 X has a rotating LCD that can swing 180 degrees vertically, allowing for selfies. It does not rotate horizontally. The LCD measures 3.0 inches diagonally, and it offers touch capabilities.
Admittedly, the G7 X has a boxy, all black, perhaps even boring design. But the look of the Canon PowerShot G7 X camera doesn’t do this model justice. It has a fast image processor, a 1-inch image sensor, and plenty of desirable features that will excite intermediate photographers looking for a strong performing alternate to the best DSLR cameras for beginners and explains why it made our list of best digital cameras for 2018.
The battery capacity for the PowerShot G7 X is a bit of a disappointment, as you’ll only be able to capture about 200 shots per charge … and that’s under perfect shooting conditions. The G7 X does include a separate battery charger, so you could choose to purchase a second battery and charge one while shooting photos with the other.
Canon provided built-in WiFi and NFC wireless communication options with the G7 X, which provides an ability to share photos as soon as you shoot them. Unfortunately, battery life is poor with this model, and making use of either wireless connectivity option will drain the battery even more quickly.
Canon provided a 1-inch image sensor with 20.2 megapixels with the PowerShot G7 X, which yields far above average image quality versus other fixed lens cameras. It can’t quite match the images you can record with a DSLR camera, but it blows away most fixed lens cameras, especially sub-$200 cameras and smartphone cameras.
You can shoot in either the RAW image format or JPEG (or both at the same time) with this camera, which will appeal to more experienced photographers. Only those photographers looking to perform image editing work after shooting photos will receive much benefit from shooting in RAW, though.
When considering the Canon PowerShot G7 X low light performance, you’ll find that the unit’s popup flash gives you well exposed photos. You cannot add an external flash unit, because of the lack of a hot shoe as mentioned earlier.
If you choose to shoot without using the flash in low light, you can increase the G7 X’s ISO setting up to 12,800, which is a good performance for a compact camera. Noise won’t really start to become noticeable in your photos until you increase the ISO setting to 6400, which again is well above average low light performance.
When compared to the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 III, the PowerShot G7 X is a very similar camera. Both models have a 1-inch image sensor, both feature an f/1.8 lens, and both can record in the RAW image format. The G7 X’s optical zoom lens has a little larger range than the Sony RX100 III.
Newer models include the Powershot G7 X Mark II, and the Powershot G7 X Mark III. The G7 X was introduced to the market in September 2014, and the G7 X Mark II was launched in February 2016. There is a 17-month difference between the G7 X and the G7 X Mark II. Similarly to the G7, the G7 X Mark II has a 24-100 mm F1.8-2.8 Zoom Lens and features an ISO setting of 123 – 12,800.
However, the Mark II’s ISO setting is increasable up to 25,600. Plus, the Mark II offers 8.0 fps continuous shooting. Alternatively, the even newer G7X Mark III has a built-in tiltable touchscreen, Live Youtube streaming support, and vertical video capture option. Plus, the G7 Mark III offers 4K/30p and 1080/60p video recording, Wi-Fi + Bluetooth wireless connectivity and USB 3.1 (with USB-C connector) for data transfer and charging.
The Canon PowerShot G7 X camera has a few features that some intermediate and advanced photographers might consider gimmicks, such as an LCD screen that can rotate 180 degrees for selfies. But deep down, this is a strong performing digital camera that will appeal to beginner and intermediate photographers. Its price point is a little high versus the other models on the best point and shoot digital camera list, but it’s an easy to use model that provides high levels of performance and image quality.
The M1 mirrorless digital camera from Yi is a micro four thirds system camera, which means that it will work with over 50 lenses that support the MFT lens mount. The affordable price and the features make it the best mirrorless camera for beginners. It also offers both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity for easy and fast transfers or sharing.
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Why We Like It – Yi M1 Camera Review
The YI M1 camera is an affordable entry into the world of mirrorless cameras. It features a Sony IMX269 image sensor that enables 20-megapixel still images and 4K video recording at 30 frames per second. It also comes with a 3-inch LCD display and Bluetooth as well as Wi-Fi connectivity
Sony IMX269 sensor
3-inch LCD display
4K video recording
Digital image stabilization only works in HD video
The Yi M1 mirrorless camera features a 20.2-megapixel Sony CMOS image sensor that can produce 20-megapixel still images and record 4k videos at 30fps. The M1 mirrorless camera offers a maximum ISO of 25600 and an 81-point contrast detection auto-focus system. It has a 5ps continuous shutter speed and can deliver RAW files with a resolution of 5184 x 3888 pixels. The camera gets in-body digital image stabilization and supports manual focus with the prime lens via the 3-inch LCD touch display. However, it is nothing when compared to the Sony A7 III.
The Yi mirrorless camera has a simple and minimalistic design that has won the 2017 Red Dot Design award. It uses a thermoplastic elastomer material for the body, while featuring a scratch resistant top. There aren’t a lot of buttons on the camera, apart from the control dial and the mode dial. A 3-inch LCD touch screen sits behind and controls most of the camera. It features a tripod screw mount at the bottom, and a third button for turning the camera on/off. The Panasonic Lumix G7 is another minimal camera that offers a lot more.
The Yi M1 is a mirrorless camera that’s great for beginners. It can shoot up to 4K videos at 30fps in the standard video mode, but can also shoot Full HD videos at 60fps. The video quality is good enough for amatuer users and so is the image quality. It can shoot images in low light, but don’t expect a lot from the auto mode. The Yi technology, micro four thirds mount, and the included kit lens, make it a great buy. Of course, for more money, you can get the Nikon Z6 that is much better value.
Yi M1 Camera Review Wrap Up
This Yi M1 review should tell you that for the price, this is a great mirrorless camera, especially with the two lenses. The Yi camera features a Sony IMX269 sensor, a 3-inch LCD display, and can shoot 4K videos at 30fps. Although the image stabilisation only works in HD videos, the camera does come with a zoom lens that has a focal length of 12-40mm F3.5-5.6.
The Fujifilm GFX 50R is a powerful medium format mirrorless camera that costs much less than other full-frame mirrorless cameras, but offers similar or better performance. The larger sensor results in highly detailed and sharp images even in low light. This is the best mirrorless camera to feature a compact design as well as rugged features.
The GFX 50R Fujifilm full frame camera offers great image quality thanks to the 51.4-megapixel medium format sensor. It gets an electronic viewfinder, a 3.2-inch LCD touch display, and dual card slots. This medium format camera also features a rugged body that offers both dust and water resistance.
51.4-megapixel CMOS image sensor
Compact design with dust and water resistance
Fast contrast detection autofocus system and shutter speed
Lenses are expensive
The GFX 50R features a 51.4-megapixel medium-format sensor that’s paired with the X-Processor Pro image processing engine from Fujifilm. The camera offers a low ISO sensitivity of 100 and 14-stops of dynamic range when used with GF lenses. The X-Processor Pro engine enables in-camera RAW files conversion, high ISO, fast startup, accurate contrast AF, and several Film Simulations. It does focus slower than some DSLRs, but for a medium format camera, it’s fast enough. You could also try out the Sony A7 III if you need faster focusing.
Like most medium format cameras, the Fujifilm GFX 50R features a compact body and a rangefinder style design. The shell is made using magnesium alloy and features weather seals on the inside to make it dust and water resistant. The lightweight camera weighs 775g and uses aluminium operation dials, including the shutter speed dial. Fujifilm has also paid a lot of attention to the feel and sound of clicking in the shutter button. Another good alternative is the Panasonic Lumix G7, which also has a compact design.
The Fujifilm 50R is one of the best value for money medium format cameras out there. The high-resolution CMOS sensor offers exceptional image quality in a compact design. The camera is well built and provides protection against the elements. It features an electronic viewfinder that offers 100 percent coverage, and a flip-out 3.2-inch LCD display. It gets dual card slots that support UHS II cards and features G mount for lenses. The Nikon Z6 is a more affordable mirrorless camera that you can try out as well.
Fujifilm GFX 50R Review Wrap Up
The Fujifilm GFX 50R is pretty much the best compact mirrorless camera to have for your travels. This camera offers fast contrast detection autofocus, good shutter speed control, and has both dust and water resistance. The 51.4-megapixel CMOS medium-format sensor delivers superb-quality images with high dynamic range, details, and colours. The lenses are quite expensive though, but offer top-notch quality and various focal length options.
Sony is a well known brand that makes some of the best mirrorless cameras available today. The A9 Sony is part of the Sony Alpha range and gets some amazing features for advanced users. If you’re looking for a full-frame mirrorless camera that is compact as well as powerful, then this is the best mirrorless camera for you.
The Sony A9 is a full-frame mirrorless camera that features a stacked CMOS sensor with integrated memory. It delivers continuous shooting of up to 20 frames per second, and has 693 Phase Detection af points. The A9 gets a flip-out LCD touch display and an electronic viewfinder.
Silent electronic shutter
24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor
Fast and accurate autofocus system
Lack of full touch screen support
The Sony A9 camera features a 24.2-megapixel 35mm full-frame stacked CMOS sensor that’s paired with the BIONZ X processing engine. It offers high speed continuous silent shooting of up to 20 frames per second with AE/AF tracking. The camera has a maximum shutter speed of 1/32000, which is ideal for sports photographers and can be used in professional sports. It gets a Quad VGA OLED tru-finder that has a 120fps frame rate and even has eye AF. You could also try the Sony A7 III, which offers similar performance.
Being a mirrorless camera, the Sony A9 has a compact camera body that’s easy to use with one hand. It has both a mechanical shutter, and an electronic shutter with a total 693 phase detection points for fast and accurate focusing. The camera gets an electronic viewfinder at the top and a 3.0-inch LCD touch display at the back, which has a flip-out design. The A9 uses Sony’s E-mount Lens system that supports lenses like the E 16-55 mm F2.8 G. It also gets dual SD card slots, and is a worthy competitor for the Panasonic Lumix G7.
This Sony mirrorless camera offers superb image quality and can record 4K videos with high dynamic range, ISO performance, and detail. The AF system that features dual focus mode makes this a great camera for all kinds of use cases. The dual SD card slots make it easy to separate RAW files from JPEG. The camera also offers FTP background transfer, a simple menu system that’s easy for first time users, and better than cameras such as the Nikon D5 and some Canon EOS products. The Nikon Z6 is a great alternative though.
Sony A9 Review Wrap Up
Sony cameras are usually well equipped and well-built, and that’s what this A9 review encapsulated. It’s got an excellent image sensor, fast and accurate autofocus system, and the super useful 20fps continuous and silent electronic shutter. Although it does lack full touch screen support for commands, the Sony A9 is definitely a great buy.
Panasonic cameras have great build quality and include several useful features. The Lumix DMC-GX85 has a 16-megapixel micro four thirds CMOS image sensor. This provides excellent image quality and 4k video recording capabilities to the compact camera. It is the best mirrorless camera for those who love to record videos.
The Panasonic GX80, also known as the Lumix GX85 in several regions, is a powerful micro four thirds camera. It is great for shooting videos up to 4k resolution and has in-body 5-axis image stabilization. The video quality is excellent, and the camera is lightweight, which makes it easy to carry around.
5-axis in body image stabilization
4k video recording
Lightweight and compact
No external mic input
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 uses a 16-megapixel micro four thirds sensor without a low pass filter, which results in highly detailed images and low noise videos. The micro four thirds CMOS sensor is paired with the Venus engine for improved performance even in low light. The 5-axis dual in-body stabilization ensures that all the photos and videos are blur free. The post focus mode lets you select the focus point after the image is taken. An even more powerful mirrorless camera would be the Sony A7 III.
The Panasonic GX80 GX85, both share a similar design and are only differentiated by the model number. The camera features a compact and lightweight rugged design with an ergonomic grip. It features thumbwheel dials to control the shutter speed and a button to select the required photo mode. The GX85 also gets a 0.2-inch electronic live viewfinder and a 3.0-inch tilt enabled LCD touch display at the back. Other control and navigation buttons are also available on the body. You can also try the Panasonic Lumix G7, which is a good alternative.
The Lumix GX80 mirrorless camera can shoot 4k videos at up to 30 frames per second with full dual-image stabilization. It comes with two great kit lens options that include a 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 lens, and a 45-150mm F4.0-5.6 lens. The lens camera offers two axis stabilization, whereas the body features a three-axis stabilization. This camera is complete value for money and is an excellent choice for beginners and for those who love to shoot videos. Another good choice is the Nikon Z6 Mirrorless Camera, which offers several more features.
Panasonic Lumix GX80 Wrap Up
The Panasonic Lumix GX80, or Lumix GX85, is a powerful mirrorless camera featuring a 16-megapixel micro four thirds sensor. The 5-axis dual in-body image stabilization and 4k video recording are some of its best features. It is also lightweight and compact, which makes it easy to carry anywhere. It does, however, lack a mic input, which could be a dealbreaker for some.
Do you want the best digital camera? Photographers who choose a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera (ILC) do so in large part because they want image quality that approaches that of a DSLR but in a smaller camera body. And if you’re looking for one of the smallest mirrorless ILCs on the market, my Nikon 1 J5 review shows a model that doesn’t let its small size get in the way of producing high quality images. If you’re not sure what kind of camera you should buy, take a look at our guide on the mirrorless camera vs point and shoot.
Summary: Above average image quality found in a very small mirrorless ILC that also offers a tiltable, touch screen LCD and numerous movie recording options.
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: A large assortment of features packed into a compact 1-inch sensor camera.
A thin camera body highlights the Nikon 1 J5, which measures about 1.3 inches in depth without the lens attached. If you’re looking for an interchangeable lens camera, but you don’t want the size and heft of a DSLR, the Nikon 1 J5 digital camera offers a DSLR alternative.
One potential drawback to the small size of the J5 is the problem I had, which was inadvertently pressing buttons almost every time I tried to pick up the J5. There just isn’t much space for your fingers to hold the camera without touching buttons or the LCD, leaving fingerprints.
When the LCD is clean, it has a sharp display that contains more than 1 million pixels of resolution. It’s important to have a sharp LCD, as it serves as the camera’s only way to frame the scene. The J5 has no built-in viewfinder, and there’s no way to add one later. You can tilt the J5’s LCD up to 180 degrees, which will allow for selfies or odd angle photos.
Another great aspect of the Nikon 1 J5’s LCD is that it’s touch enabled, allowing you to easily make changes to the mirrorless camera’s settings by just touching icons. Having a touch screen on a camera is great for less experienced photographers, who likely already are familiar with operating a smartphone touch screen.
The Nikon 1 J5 vs Sony A6000 comparison shows why the J5 is offered at a lower price. The Sony A6000 has more resolution and a larger image sensor than the Nikon 1 J5, but the J5 contains more features aimed at less experienced photographers, such as the previously mentioned touch screen LCD. Specifically, the Nikon J5 has a sensor size of 13.2 x 8.8mm and ISO sensitivity of 160-12800 with an Auto ISO function.
What holds the Nikon 1 J5 back from being a perfect option are some awkward design choices and performance issues. The J5’s button placement makes it too easy to press the wrong button at the wrong time, leading to errors. And some of the camera’s burst modes are frustrating to use. Still, few cameras provide a 1-inch image sensor in such a small camera body, which makes the Nikon 1 J5 a best compact digital camera for 2018 choice.
Nikon included a 1-inch image sensor with the J5, which is quite a bit larger than what you’d find in a point and shoot camera, but not as large as what’s typically found in a digital SLR camera. The 1-inch image sensor contains 20.8 megapixels of resolution, which is near the top of the list for a mirrorless ILC.
But one aspect of the J5’s image quality that I found frustrating was the slightly softness in images I experienced while testing the 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens. You may want to consider immediately upgrading to a better lens with this model to ensure the J5’s true image quality capabilities are on display. For certain NIKKOR lenses, you will need to purchase a lens mount FT-1 adapter to pair with the camera body before attaching the lens.
The Nikon 1 J5 price varies quite a bit based on the lens kit you choose for it. So make sure that you can fit a higher quality lens into your camera budget before you settle on the J5.
You do have the option of recording still images in full manual control mode, full automatic mode, and everything in between. You can also take sharp HDR (high dynamic range) images.This makes the Nikon 1 J5 a camera that works well for less experienced photographers, who can use the camera in fully automatic mode at first. As they learn more about photography down the road, they can move to the J5’s manual control modes.
Shooting movies with the J5 is great, because you have a lot of options for determining resolution and setting other features. You can record 4K resolution movies, full HD, slow motion, fast motion, jump cut, and time-lapse movies. Keep your videos steady with the continuous AF feature and Electronic Vibration Reduction technology. However, you are limited to 15 frames per second when shooting 4K movies. Nikon’s EXPEED 5A image processing technology is another great feature that brings out the colors, tones, and fine details in your photos and HD videos.
I have to conclude by mentioning a few performance quirks with the J5. When shooting photos using the popup flash unit, you’ll have to have some patience, as it can take the flash several seconds to recharge if you use it a few times in succession. And while the J5’s burst modes are fast, you are limited to 20 frames at a time. You’ll then have to wait 20 seconds or more until the camera buffer clears before you can fully record the 20 frames in burst mode again.
The Nikon 1 J5 is one of the best mirrorless camera options, in large part because it has several great features for those who are new to interchangeable lens cameras, such as a 180 degree tilt to the LCD screen for selfies, a touch screen capability on the LCD, and built-in WiFi and NFC connectivity. These are features often found with beginner level cameras, rather than interchangeable lens cameras. But the J5 also offers full manual control modes, which means this Nikon mirrorless model will work well for you as your photographic skills improve.
Just make sure you understand that the small 10-30mm kit lens included in some Nikon 1 J5 configurations may have softness in photos, meaning you might need to upgrade to a better lens quickly to receive the best performance from this model. The Nikon 1 J5 compares favorably versus many other inexpensive mirrorless cameras, but to find the sharpest image quality, you may want to read our Nikon D810 DSLR review.
Those seeking compact cameras typically think they have to sacrifice a big optical zoom lens in this type of camera, because it’s difficult to squeeze the big zoom lens into a tiny camera body. You may believe you need a huge camera to find the zoom lens you need. But my Canon PowerShot SX710 HS review reveals a model that gives you a very good optical zoom measurement of 30X, while fitting easily in a pocket at 1.37 inches in thickness. But does it rate as the best digital camera?
The Canon PowerShot SX710 is an upgrade to the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS, providing one significant advancement from the older model by offering 20.3 megapixels of resolution versus the 16.1 megapixels found with the SX700. Otherwise, the SX710 and SX700 are nearly identical cameras, though as of this posting you won’t find the older model at a significant discount.
WHY THIS IS A TOP PICK: Helpful to have large zoom lens in thin camera body
Summary: The Canon SX710 is a compact camera that provides an impressive 30X optical zoom lens, but that has a lot of similarities to its predecessor.
The best feature of the PowerShot SX710 HS is its 30X optical zoom lens. As explained in our article — what is a digital camera — an optical zoom lens provides both wide angle and telephoto capabilities, giving this type of camera plenty of versatility.
I liked the placement and size of the control buttons on the back of PowerShot SX710. Sometimes, the best point and shoot cameras from Canon have poor button designs, but the SX710 managed to avoid this common problem.
The LCD screen on the SX710 measures 3.0 inches diagonally, which is an average size in today’s market. The screen offers a sharp display with 922,000 pixels of resolution. Unfortunately, this model’s LCD screen does not offer any touch screen capabilities, which can help beginners learn to use their cameras more quickly.
And while the Canon PowerShot SX710 HS is a model aimed at beginning photographers, it does have a few manual control features that you can use, which allows you to adjust shutter speed and aperture however you prefer.
The SX710’s autofocus system works fast and is accurate most of the time, which is a strong feature in a camera in this price range. When shooting without the flash, the camera works quickly, requiring less than 1 second after recording an image to be ready for the next one. The PowerShot SX710 HS slows considerably when you use the flash though, requiring nearly 5 seconds to recover between shots. The 30x zoom lens specifically has a 35mm focal length range of 25-750mm as well. There’s also this helpful zoom feature on the SX710 HS Canon Powershot that serves as a framing assist by zooming out initially, frames your shot, then zooms automatically in again.
When comparing the Canon SX710 HS to the Nikon Coolpix S9900, you’ll find that both cameras offer a 30X optical zoom lens. The S9900 has a tiltable LCD screen, and it’s disappointing that the SX710 doesn’t offer this feature. But the Canon SX710 lens can reach a wider aperture at f/3.2 versus the S9900, and it offers a manual focus option, which can be helpful when shooting in tricky photographic scenes.
It would have been nice if Canon had given the PowerShot SX710 a larger image sensor. Measuring at just a 1/2.3-inch image sensor, the Canon SX710 can’t achieve an image quality equal to that of models with larger image sensors in physical size, such as the best DSLR camera for beginners options.
Versus other cameras with a 1/2.3-inch image sensor though, the Canon PowerShot SX710 HS camera’s 20.3 megapixels of resolution allows it to outperform many of them in terms of image quality. Combine the 20 megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS Sensor with the Digic 6 Image Processor, and you get crisp, beautiful photos.
Low Light Performance and Movie Mode
Low light image quality is a bit of a mixed bag with the SX710. When you’re using the camera’s popup flash unit, you’ll end up with results that are better that most other compact cameras when they’re using a flash. The light from the SX710’s flash evenly covers a wide area, preventing hot spots and overexposed areas.
But when you try to shoot a low light scene without using the flash, by increasing the ISO setting instead, you’ll notice some noise (represented by stray pixels) in your images. The Canon SX710 is limited to a maximum ISO setting of 3200, which is low compared to more advanced cameras.
Movie quality is good with this camera, as you can shoot full HD video at a frame rate of up to 60 fps. Canon also gave the SX710 a dedicated movie recording button to simplify the process of recording video.
When compared to the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50, the HS Canon Powershot SX710’s image quality doesn’t quite measure up, as the Lumix ZS50 can record images in both the JPEG and RAW image format, while the Canon model is limited to JPEG. The ZS50 is also a better performer in terms of its low light image quality when you aren’t using the flash. The Canon SX710 is the better camera in terms of resolution (20.3 MP to 12.1 MP in the ZS50) and in its maximum telephoto lens setting (750mm to 720mm in the ZS50).
Battery lifespan is a disappointment with the Canon SX710, as you’ll be limited to around 230 shots per charge under perfect conditions. Realistically, the battery life is less than 200 shots in most situations. And if you choose to use the built-in WiFi or NFC features of this camera, you’re going to drain the battery much more quickly, leaving you wishing you had a second battery handy.
The Canon PowerShot SX710 HS camera has a nice collection of features, highlighted by a large optical zoom lens in a thin camera body, which makes it one of the best compact digital camera options. It’d be nice if this model had a larger image sensor in physical size, but the SX710’s strong performance with the flash versus other compact cameras with the same size of image sensor gives the SX710 an advantage. Those who already own last year’s SX700 model really don’t have any reason to upgrade to the SX710, but for others seeking a compact camera with a large zoom lens, this model is well worth considering.