Are you looking for a nice mirrorless camera, but don’t want to spend a fortune? It may be easier said than done, but that said, there are still some great cameras for decent prices. This is what we will try to do — help you find the best mirrorless camera under $1,000. We want to help you find a great camera for an even better price.
Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $1,000: Reviews
Here we have a selection of mirrorless cameras that all come in under the $1,000 mark. Let’s keep in mind that $1,000 is still a lot of cash, and for this kind of money, you can indeed get a top-quality mirrorless camera. Let’s take a look at what $1,000 or less gets you in the world of mirrorless cameras.
1. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera
This model from Olympus comes in at just around $500. It’s not overly pricey, which is of course a benefit, but it’s not a cheap camera either. For a solid $500, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera can produce some truly stunning results.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera features a 2.3 million dot OLED viewfinder, an electronic viewfinder with up to 0.62x magnification. It may not have the most magnification of all cameras, but good enough for most needs and definitely suitable considering the price. The viewfinder is large, producing a bright and clear viewing image, and it is very easy to locate your subject through it. The 16 MP sensor produces some truly stunning results, not to mention that this camera can shoot high-speed videos in 4K quality.
Of course, the Mark II also comes with a high quality and high resolution LCD screen designed to allow you to see and playback with ease. Moreover, the really impressive part is that the screen is touchscreen, and it features a touch auto focus feature, so you can get the camera to automatically focus in on a specific area simply by tapping the screen. It’s a really cool feature.
Moreover, the auto focus feature on the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera is very fast and it can continuously shoot at 8.5 shots per second, which, for the reasonable price this camera comes at, is more than what we would usually expect. Even fast-moving subjects will come out crisp and clear thanks to the high-speed and high-quality auto focus. The reason why the auto focus is so good is because it combines 81 contrast detection points with 37 phase detection points.
A really cool feature as well is the silent shutter mode, which eliminates all shutter noise, so you can take pictures in places where you need to be super quiet, such as for discreet shooting. You may also enjoy how the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera has built in Wi-Fi connectivity, and it comes with a free Wi-Fi share app for your phone or tablet, so you can quickly and easily transfer images.
To ensure that your images are as sharp and clear as possible at all times, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera also comes with 5 axis image stabilization to eliminate shake and therefore decrease or totally eliminate blurriness.
The other thing that stands out about the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera is how small and lightweight it is. This is one of the more convenient mirrorless cameras for travel thanks to its compact and lightweight nature. Moreover ,it comes with a user friendly interface and an ergonomic design which makes it easy to hold and maneuver, and you could probably even operate it with a single hand.
- Great high-speed shooting
- Amazing video quality
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- 5 axis image stabilization
- Lightweight and compact
- Ergonomic design with an easy to navigate interface
- Amazing auto focus capabilities
- Touch screen auto focus
- Includes an electronic OLED viewfinder
- Nice high-res screen
- ISO range could be better
- Battery life is not the best
2. Sony a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera
Here we are pushing the price to the limit, as you can expect to spend around $800 after taxes. It’s not the most affordable camera on our list today; however, what is worth noting is that the quality of this Sony Mirrorless Digital Camera is up there with the best of them, not to mention that this is a complete bundle that also includes a carrying case, a memory card, and 2 fairly high-quality lenses.
Just to start off, let’s first cover the extras which the Sony Mirrorless Digital Camera comes with. First off, you get a 32 GB memory card, which if you did not know, is quite large. Also included is a soft carrying case, which not only makes it easier to travel with this camera, but also helps protect it. Finally, when you purchase the Sony Mirrorless Digital Camera, you also get a 15-50 mm lens and a 55-210 mm lens.
Now, getting to the Sony Mirrorless Digital Camera itself, it comes with a 24 MP APS-C sensor, which you might recognize as being very high-quality. The resolution, image quality, clarity, colors, and color contrast are all top-notch with this mirrorless camera. Something else that stands out is how it has excellent light sensitivity, which is in part thanks to the sensor, and also the ISO range. The ISO range on the Sony Mirrorless Digital Camera is 100-25,600, which means that it does have excellent low-light sensitivity for those awesome low-light and nighttime shots.
The Exmor CMOS sensor combined with the BIONZ X processor not only allows for very high-quality images with excellent light sensitivity, but it also happens very fast, as this is one of the fastest processors available for a mirrorless camera at this price point. When it comes down to it, the high-powered processor allows for very clear and realistic looking images with accurate color and tonal gradation reproduction, all combined with low or no noise.
What also stands out about the Sony Mirrorless Digital Camera is that it features the world’s fastest auto focus, as it can focus in on a subject in about 0.06 seconds, which is lighting fast. This is thanks to the 179 point phase detection sensor included in this model. Thanks to this lighting fast auto focus, the Sony Mirrorless Digital Camera can shoot at a whopping 11 shots per second, and they’ll all be high-quality shots. This camera can also shoot full HD 1080P videos. Let’s not forget that this camera also has a very high-quality OLED viewfinder built into it.
The Sony Mirrorless Digital Camera features a 7.5 cm TFT monitor that is easy to see and can be seen clearly even in sunlight. You may also like the fairly lightweight and compact design of this model, making it quite portable, plus it also has a really ergonomic handle combined with an intuitive layout for ease of use. The other standout feature of the Sony Mirrorless Digital Camera is how it has Wi-Fi connectivity so you can easily connect it to your phone or tablet for image and video sharing.
- Great monitor
- Very high resolution images
- Excellent low light performance
- Very fast and accurate auto focus
- High speed continuous shooting
- High quality video
- Fairly compact and lightweight
- Wi-Fi enabled
- Ergonomic handle
- Intuitive interface
- Comes with a memory card, carrying case, and 2 lenses
- Battery life is not very good
- Included carrying case is not of a very high quality
3. Canon EOS M100 Mirrorless Camera
Here we have one of the most affordable mirrorless cameras on our list today, one that comes in at under $400. Now, the Canon EOS M100 Mirrorless Camera may not be the most expensive option around, but this does not mean that it doesn’t produce good results.
It might be comparably inexpensive, but it does have great resolution and overall image quality. It’s just missing some features that you might find in a much pricier camera. Let’s not forget that the Canon EOS M100 Mirrorless Camera comes with a 15-45 mm lens, and you can also upgrade the package to receive an additional 55-200 mm lens.
Something we want to say right off the bat is that if you are looking for portability in your mirrorless camera, the Canon EOS M100 Mirrorless Camera is a prime option to go with. This model comes in at just over 0.6 pounds with dimensions of 1.4 x 4.3 x 2.6 inches, making it one of the smallest, most compact, and most lightweight options you can find out there. It’s definitely a convenient camera for travel.
Considering the very low price of the Canon EOS M100 Mirrorless Camera, it is very impressive that it comes with a 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS C) Sensor. The fact of the matter is that the resolution, image quality, contrast are quite top-notch with this camera, better than we would expect for the price it comes at.
What’s also nice about the Canon EOS M100 Mirrorless Camera is how it comes with an intuitive 3-inch LCD tilt touchscreen; the screen here has good image quality, it’s very responsive, it can tilt and flip for your convenience, and you can control it via touch as well. It is also worth mentioning that this camera features Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth connectivity so you can easily share images and videos with your devices.
The Canon EOS M100 Mirrorless Camera also features a dual pixel CMOS auto focus feature, which works well enough, but is not the best in the world, as it has only 49 auto focus points, so while it does work, it’s not the fastest. However, a big bonus is that the touchscreen allows you to touch the screen on a specific part to automatically focus in on that exact area. This camera can also shoot full HD 1080P video.
- Very high resolution
- High-quality images with great color clarity
- Can shoot full HD video
- Has auto focus and touchscreen autofocus
- High quality touchscreen
- Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth connectivity
- Nice tilt/flip LCD screen
- Very lightweight and compact
- Super portable
- Great price
- ISO range is not great
- Battery life is not amazing
- Auto focus is not as fast as it could be
4. Canon EOS M6 Mark II Mirrorless Digital Compact Camera
Switching gears once again, the Canon EOS M6 Mark II Mirrorless Digital Compact Camera gets very close to our top price point of $1,000, and something we need to mention is that this is the base model that comes with the body only, but no lens — you will pay extra for the lens. Yes, this is a pricy camera, but that said, it’s also one of the highest quality options on our list today, if not the very highest. This thing comes loaded with high-grade functions, specs, and more.
One of the best and biggest features you get with the Canon EOS M6 Mark II Mirrorless Digital Compact Camera is the whopping 32.5 MP image resolution. The 32.5 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor is about as good as it gets, especially at this price point. Simply put, the resolution, clarity, color, contrast, and everything in between are all top notch, much better than could be expected for this price.
Something else that stands out about the Canon EOS M6 Mark II Mirrorless Digital Compact Camera, as stated right in its name, is that it is compact. This camera comes in at 1.9 x 4.7 x 2.8 inches and weighs just over 1 pound. It’s one of the lightest, most compact, and most portable cameras in its class, making it ideal for traveling and more.
This camera comes with a DIGIC 8 image processor for incredibly fast processing power, which results in amazing picture clarity and quality, amazing color and contrast, great tonal gradation, and more. Moreover, what is also impressive is how the Canon EOS M6 Mark II comes with an amazingly fast auto focus feature which can focus in on any subject in a mere fraction of a second.
Speaking of image quality, the Canon EOS M6 Mark II Mirrorless Digital Compact Camera also performs extremely well in low-light conditions. The ISO range is 100-25,600, which is very good and helps to produce amazingly clear shots even in the lowest light conditions. The ISO on this camera is also expandable too.
On that same note, this camera is so fast that it can shoot at up to 14 shots per second in the continuous shooting mode, and the image quality is amazing, even when shooting so fast. Here you get eye detection AF and dual Pixel CMOS AF. The eye detection auto focus is one of the coolest features, as it can focus in on people’s eyes and keep track of them this way. It even has 5,481 manually selectable AF positions, plus you can touch and drag the auto focus on the screen as well.
The Canon EOS M6 Mark II is able to shoot video in 4K Ultra-high definition with resolution of 2160P, which is very good. What also stands out is how this mirrorless camera comes with a 2.36 million dot ultra-high resolution electronic viewfinder, for a bit of an old-school feel on an otherwise advanced and modern camera. Let’s not forget that this camera also comes with a 3-inch high resolution screen for easy viewing.
- Amazing resolution – 32.5 MP
- Super-fast and high quality processor
- Excellent ISO for low light conditions
- 14 FPS continuous shooting
- Multiple auto focus modes/features
- 3-inch LCD screen
- Eye tracking capabilities
- Small, compact, lightweight, and portable
- Great video quality
- Quite expensive
- Base model does not include a lens
- Very limited battery life
5. Sony NEX-5RK/S 16.1 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera
We thought we would round off the list with what is by far the most reasonably priced mirrorless camera on the list today. This is a very affordable mirrorless camera that comes in a compact package. It may not be the most expensive camera out there, but it still manages to come with a few top-notch features and it does produce some stunning results, nonetheless.
Perhaps the biggest standout feature of the Sony NEX-5RK/S 16.1 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera is its convenience. First off, this camera weighs just over half a pound, with dimensions of 4.37 x 1.54 x 2.32 inches. It’s more than compact and lightweight enough for portability and easy storage.
Moreover, it also comes with a textured handle which is also ergonomically designed, so you can hold this camera easily and securely. There is also the fact that the Sony NEX-5RK/S 16.1 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera is designed for single-handed use, plus the layout and the controls are very intuitive. At the end of the day, all of these features make this particular mirrorless camera an excellent choice for anybody looking for ease of use and convenience.
In terms of the quality, the Sony NEX-5RK/S 16.1 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera comes with a 16 MP APS-C sensor. Sure, there are better sensors than this, and with more megapixels. However, 16 MP is still quite good and quite honestly more than we would ever expect for a camera that comes at such a low price; for the low price point, the image clarity, resolution, colors, and contrast are all amazing.
Next, the ISO range of this camera is 100-25,600, which is also more than we’d expect for this very low price. The fact of the matter is that this camera performs exceptionally well in low light conditions. What you might like is how the Sony NEX-5RK/S 16.1 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera also comes with quite advanced auto focus features; it comes with enhanced tracking focus, manual focus assist, a peaking auto focus display, and it even comes with face detection technology.
It’s not the No. 1 fastest auto focus in the world, but it is more than fast enough for basic needs and definitely fast enough considering the minimal price tag. Technically speaking, the auto focus is of the hybrid variety, and it is fast enough to continuously shoot up to 10 frames per second.
You may also like how the Sony NEX-5RK/S 16.1 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera comes with the ability to shoot smooth HD movies in 60P at full HD 1920×1090 resolution. Let’s keep in mind that this camera is compatible with Sony E-mount lenses. There is also the fact that it comes with a 180-degree tilt 3.0 inch LCD touch screen for ease of use, plus the screen looks quite nice too. Let’s not forget that this camera can connect to your devices via Wi-Fi.
- Excellent price and value for the money
- Super lightweight and compact
- Ergonomic design
- Great movie shooting quality
- Great MPs for the price
- Many auto focus features
- Wi-Fi enabled
- Great ISO for low light conditions
- Nice tilt screen
- Very limited battery life
- Durability is questionable
Mirrorless Camera Buying Guide
Before you go out and buy a mirrorless camera, let’s take a quick look at the main features and specs you need to keep an eye out for.
The first thing you want to determine is what kind of sensor the camera in question has. Now, we aren’t going to get into sensor types, models, and all of that, because quite honestly, unless you are a professional photographer, this is not all that important. However, what you do want to look for is how many megapixels the sensor can muster. Simply put, the more megapixels your cameras has, the better the overall image quality is going to be. For instance, the cameras we have reviewed today have between 12 and 32 megapixels.
Something else to keep an eye out for is the ISO range of the camera. Generally speaking, you will be fine with an ISO range of 100-25,600. This means that the camera is sensitive to light and will perform well in low-light conditions. The wider the ISO range is, the better the camera in question will function in low-light conditions. The minimum ISO range you want to aim for is 200-25,600. The bigger that first number is, the worse the image quality will be in low-light conditions.
Every modern mirrorless camera should come with decent auto focus functions. Auto focus means that the camera will automatically focus on a subject on its own. There are two main types of auto focus: phase detection which older DSLR cameras use, and contrast detection which mirrorless cameras usually come with. However, if you want the best auto focus capabilities possible, look for a mirrorless camera that features a hybrid auto focus, which combines both phase and contrast detection. The best models will also come with features such as face detection, eye tracking, and screen-based touch focus.
Yet another feature you want to look for has to do with continuous shooting. Continuous shooting is when you want to do rapid-fire shots as quickly as possible. Now, with mirrorless cameras, the best ones are going to be those with great auto focus capabilities and a really fast processor, combined with fast shutter speeds. The better all of these components are, the faster the camera will be able to fire-off continuous shots. The slower cameras will do 8 or 10 shots per second and the better ones can go up to 30 shots per second or even higher.
Something else to look for is what kind of viewfinder your mirrorless camera comes with. Most mirrorless cameras are going to come with electronic viewfinders. This is generally considered to be just fine as these viewfinders tend to provide very accurate depictions of what the final image is going to look like.
Something you are going to have to deal with when it comes to mirrorless cameras is that they just don’t have the best battery life. Due to the electronic viewfinders and the energy consuming screens, these cameras just don’t last that long on a single charge. That said, your higher quality mirrorless cameras will have a better battery life. This is something to pay attention to. If you can find a camera where the battery will last for over 300 shots on a single charge, then you are on the right track.
A good display is always a bonus when it comes to mirrorless cameras. Here, you want to look for either an LCD or a TFT screen. If you are looking to spend a limited amount of money, something like a high resolution 3 inch LCD display will do just fine. Of course, camera displays can come in many sizes with varying resolution levels. You can always look for a more modern mirrorless camera that features a touch screen.
Now, the older mirrorless cameras usually don’t come with the highest quality stabilization of all cameras. However, some of the higher-end mirrorless cameras come with what is called 5-axis stabilization. In simplest terms, this helps to reduce shakiness and blurriness. The better the stabilization features, the clearer, crisper, and more blur-free the images will be.
Yet another feature to look out for with mirrorless cameras is wireless connectivity. All modern mirrorless cameras, or at least most of them, come with wireless capabilities. This means that you can use Wi-Fi or sometimes even Bluetooth to connect your camera to your phone or tablet for quick and easy file sharing.
Portability is often considered a big convenience with mirrorless cameras vs DSLR. The fact of the matter is that a mirrorless camera of equal quality is going to be about half the size and half the weight of a standard DSLR camera. This is something which all mirrorless cameras feature, but keep in mind that there are still size and weight differences with these too. So, consider what you want the camera for; if you plan on traveling with it, it’s probably best to go for something compact and lightweight.
To finish off this little buyer’s guide, we just want to say that you get what you pay for, as is the case with more or less any product. If you are willing to spend a bit more, you’ll also get a higher-quality camera.
The bottom line is that there are plenty of really high-quality mirrorless cameras for $1,000 or less. You can spend a lot more if you like, but the fact of the matter is that you don’t have to. Even $500 will get you a really good mirrorless camera with most or even all of the modern features you want and need. Just keep the main purchasing factors before making a choice.