Best Mirrorless Cameras for Beginner Photographers 2017

Long gone are the days when aspiring photographers had to walk around with a bulky DSLR and large lenses. If you want to step up your photography game, going with a mirrorless camera is your best option right now. There are many reasons — mirrorless cameras are smaller than DSLRs, lighter, and in most cases — come with more features. As far as prices go, most cameras on our list range from $500 to $800. Join us, as we take a look at some of the best mirrorless cameras for beginners.

Sony A6000

Even three years after its release, Sony A6000 remains one of the best mirrorless cameras for beginner photographers. The camera features an older version of the 24MP sensor found in its younger brothers, the A6300 and A6500. Despite that, the camera is capable of producing some beautiful photographs.

sony a6000 best beginner mirrorless cameras 2017

When you purchase a Sony A6000, you also have a decent choice of APS-C lenses, but you can mount basically any FE lens (meant for Sony’s line of full-frame mirrorless cameras) on it as well. If you choose to go with FE lenses, you can later on make an easy transition to Sony’s full-frame cameras, which is definitely a plus. The A6000 has great autofocus abilities and takes pretty decent 1080p video as well, at up to 60 fps.

Sony A6000 Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Very compact for a camera with an APS-C sensor
  • Amazing AF performance

Sony A6000 Cons

  • A bit sluggish startup
  • Internal flash has somewhat narrow coverage

Check price and buy Sony A6000 on Amazon

Panasonic GX85

Panasonic GX85 (also known as GX80 in some regions) is the smaller brother of the company’s flagship camera aimed at photographers — the GX8. It may not come with the same 20MP sensor as GX8, but its 16MP Micro Four Thirds sensor is more than good enough for beginner photographers.

panasonic gx85 best beginner camera

One of the main features of this camera is the in-body image stabilization, which will help you reduce movement-induced blur, resulting in sharper photos. Sensor stabilization is very useful because only certain lenses have optical stabilization.

If you occasionally shoot video as well, you’ll be happy to hear that Panasonic GX85 records 4K video. This camera is quite compact and autofocus is pretty fast and accurate in most cases. All things considered, this is a very well-rounded camera.

Panasonic GX85 Pros

  • In body image stabilization works great
  • Touchscreen
  • 4K video recording

Panasonic GX85 Cons

  • Uses older 16MP sensor
  • Ergonomics are not that great

Check price and buy Panasonic GX85 on Amazon

Canon EOS M6

If you’re loyal to Canon, but want to get into mirrorless cameras, EOS M6 is the perfect choice for you. It packs quite a bit of features in a small body, including the company’s latest DIGIC 7 image processor, excellent dual-pixel autofocus and a 3-inch touchscreen.

canon eos m6 mirrorless camera for beginners

Unlike the more expensive EOS M5, it doesn’t feature an electronic viewfinder, but this shouldn’t be that big of a concern to beginner photographers. All things considered, the quality of photographs that come out of this camera is comparable to Canon’s 80D DSLR, which is not only much bigger, but more expensive as well.

Canon EOS M6 Pros

  • Canons dual-pixel autofocus is amazing
  • Touchscreen

Canon EOS M6 Cons

  • No built-in electronic viewfinder

Check price and buy Canon EOS M6 on Amazon

Fuji X-T20

The X-T20 is the newest camera on this list, and it is arguably the best one as well. However, it is also the priciest of the bunch. Fuji X-T20 sports the exact same sensor as it’s big brother (the X-T2), which costs upwards of $1,500 and this makes it truly unique. It is capable of shooting gorgeous photos using one of famous Fuji film simulations that so many people love and enjoy using.

fuji x-t20

The camera also offers great autofocus abilities and features a very good touchscreen. On top of being a great camera for photographers, the X-T20 also shoots beautiful 4K video. Although this camera is targeted more towards enthusiast photographers than beginners, we suggest you consider buying it, especially if money is no object.

Fuji X-T20 Pros

  • Uses Fuji’s latest 24MP sensor found in cameras twice its price
  • You get access to Fuji’s highly praised film simulations
  • Touchscreen
  • 4K video recording

Fuji X-T20 Cons

  • A bit pricey

Check price and buy Fuji X-T20 on Amazon

Olympus E-M10 Mark II

Olympus recently released their new flagship camera E-M1 II, which packs incredible features. Unfortunately, it also has a $2,000 price tag, and not a lot of beginners are willing to spend this much money on a camera. Thankfully, its little brother, the E-M10 II, goes for a much more wallet-friendly price.

olympus em10 mark ii

Much like the GX85, Olympus E-M10 II has 5-axis in body image stabilization, which enables you to shoot sharper, blur-free images, even with lenses that don’t have optical stabilization of their own. It also offers burst shooting at up to 8.5 frames per second, which makes this a great camera if you want to capture your kid playing sports, for example. Overall, the E-M10 II is a really good option for the price.

Olympus E-M10 II Pros

  • In body image stabilization is one of the best in its class
  • Touchscreen

Olympus E-M10 II Cons

  • Uses older 16MP sensor

Check price and buy Olympus E-M10 Mark II on Amazon

Fuji X-A3

The X-A3 uses a different 24MP sensor than the one found on its higher end cameras, however, it is still capable of taking pretty good photos. Fuji’s entry-level mirrorless camera has solid autofocus with 49 detection points, but keep in mind that it lacks phase detection found on most of Fujifilm’s more expensive cameras, which means the camera will be a bit slower to focus on your subject. This is nothing to be worried about, especially when you’re a beginner.

fuji x-a3

Fuji X-A3 comes with most of Fuji’s gorgeous film simulations like Classic Chrome and Velvia, but lacks the new ACROS simulation found on more expensive models. The camera features a 3-inch touchscreen that can be flipped upwards, which is great news for people who love taking selfies.

The X-A3 also records 1080p video at up to 60p, but X-A3 is definitely targeted more towards photographers. The camera is available in three colors — silver, brown and pink, and it comes bundled with the 16-50mm F3.5-F5.6 OIS II lens.

Fuji X-A3 Pros

  • Compact size
  • You get access to some of Fuji’s film simulations
  • Articulating screen

Fuji X-A3 Cons

  • Doesn’t use the latest Fuji sensor
  • No built-in electronic viewfinder

Check price and buy Fuji X-A3 on Amazon

Conclusion

There are plenty of options when it comes to mirrorless cameras for beginners, and we hope our article helped you figure out which one suits your needs the best. We’re certain that you won’t make a mistake by buying either one of these cameras.

Quick Overview of Best Beginner Mirrorless Cameras

CAMERA SEE PRICE
Sony A6000
Panasonic GX85
Canon EOS M6
Fuji X-T20
Olympus E-M10 Mark II
Fuji X-A3

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