There’s a growing number of mirrorless cameras on the market, especially in the sub $1,000 price range, which makes choosing the right camera somewhat challenging. This is why we decided to create this guide and hopefully help you pick the best mirrorless camera for your needs.
Some of these cameras are better for photographers while others may be more suited for videographers. Of course, some of them are great for both applications. Without further ado, we present you with our list of best mirrorless cameras under $1,000 for 2017. We’ll be updating the list as the year goes by, so make sure to check back later in the year.
Sony A6300 – Best Mirrorless Camera for Photos and Videos
Sony released some pretty amazing cameras in the last few years, forcing the entire industry to up their game. When it was released in early 2016, Sony A6300 was considered the best APS-C mirrorless camera under $1,000. It’s big brother, Sony A6500, has even better features, but it is almost 50% more expensive. A6300 is not only an affordable choice, but we believe it may be the best option for most photographers and videographers looking for a camera in this price range.
The camera has an excellent 24MP APS-C sensor that provides great image quality and very goodISO performance, considering this isn’t a full frame camera. It has great autofocus, with one of the best subject tracking systems out there. Like we previously mentioned, Sony A6300 is also great for videographers since it records 4K video at 24 or 30 fps, as well as 1080p at up to 120 fps! No other interchangeable lens mirrorless camera in this price range has these features.
Keep in mind that A6300 has it quirks as well. It writes files to SD cards relatively slowly compared to most modern cameras (make sure to check our guide to best SD cards for Sony A6300), it has clunky menus, and sometimes it overheats while recording 4K for extended periods of time.
Panasonic G85/G80 – Mirrorless Camera With 5-Axis Stabilization and 4K
Panasonic G85, also called G80 in Europe, is a slightly bigger and more featured-packed version of Panasonic G7 (we’ll talk more about this camera in a bit). What makes the G85 so special is the fact that it features 5-axis image sensor stabilization, a feature that is usually reserved for more expensive mirrorless cameras. This feature is very useful because it allows you to take better handled photos and videos.
Panasonic G85 has a 16MP micro 4/3 sensor with no anti-aliasing filter, which helps the camera take sharper images. The autofocus system is decent, but nowhere near the one found on Sony A6300. The camera records excellent 4K video at up to 30fps, as well as 1080p at up to 60 fps. Overall, Panasonic G85 is a great camera for enthusiast photographers and videographers and would make the perfect first mirrorless camera.
Panasonic G7 – Cheap Mirrorless Camera for 4K Video
Panasonic G7 shares the same sensor with G85, however, this camera lacks image stabilization. This is the biggest difference between these two cameras, the second being the fact that G7’s sensor has an anti-aliasing filter, which means it takes slightly worse photos (less sharp) than G85. Other than that, these two cameras share a lot of the same features.
The most attractive thing about this camera is definitely its price, which makes the Panasonic G7 the cheapest 4K mirrorless camera, and we would definitely suggest it to any aspiring videographer.
Sony A6000 – Best-Selling Mirrorless Camera Ever
There’s a reason why Sony A6000 is the best selling mirrorless camera to date. It carries a very small price tag for the number of features it has. Sony A6000 has a 24MP APS-C sensor that is not as good as the one found on it’s younger brother, A6300, but it still produces some amazing photos. Autofocus is decent and for stills shooters this is one of the best options, especially considering you can grab this camera for as low as $400 if you’re luicky.
Sony A6000’s video features are good, but nothing to write home about. The camera shoots 1080p at up to 60fps, and the quality is decent, but if you plan on shooting a lot of video, then a 4K camera like Panasonic G7 or Sony A6300 make more sense.
Canon EOS M5 – Canon’s First Solid Mirrorless Camera
The M5 appears to be Canon’s first serious attempt at mirrorless cameras. It features a 24MP APS-C sensor that delivers some great photos. If we had to pick one standout feature of Canon M5, it would be its incredibly fast and smooth Dual Pixel autofocus system, which works great for both photos and videos. Unfortunately, the camera’s video features are average at best and are only good enough for casual shooters. This camera is a good option for people who already own some Canon lenses and those looking for a solid and reliable mirrorless cameras for stills photography. For most people, however, there are much better options for less money.
Fuji X-T10 – Good Mirrorless Camera for Photographers
Although Fuji X-T10 was released in 2015, it is still one of the best mirrorless camera under $1000 for photos and will continue to be, probably until Fuji decides to release X-T20. It is aimed at aspiring photographers and hobbyists who want great image quality in a compact body. It sports a 16MP APS-C sensor, solid autofocus, and decent low-light performance. Of course, like most Fuji cameras, X-T10 offers its users the ability to shoot using different Fuji film simulations, which look amazing and are one of the main reasons people are buying Fuji cameras. Keep in mind that although this camera shoots 1080p video, it is far from impressive and people who plan on shooting a lot of videos should stay away from the X-T10.
If you’re looking for a complete package, a mirrorless camera that takes good photos and videos, our top choice would be the Sony A6300, followed by the Panasonic G85. If you’re a videographer who needs a budget 4K video camera, than definitely go with the G7. The rest of the cameras on our list are great picks for photographers and people who shoot casual videos and don’t need 4K. Hopefully our article aided you in choosing the best mirrorless camera under $1,000 for your needs.