Are you hoping to master the art of photography? Or maybe you just want to upgrade to a better camera? In both cases, one of the best options available for you on the market is mirrorless cameras! These cameras are perfect for casual photography, as well as for beginners. Unlike compact or smartphone cameras, these are equipped with larger sensors, have wider functionality, and, in general, perform better! They also come with interchangeable lenses, which gives you more space for creativity!
Why not choose a DSLR camera instead? There are a few reasons for that. First and foremost, mirrorless models have less complex settings and are simple in handling. Thus, even a person, who is not really into photography, can easily use it. Besides, they are smaller, lighter, and make less noise. Finally, they are much cheaper than professional DSLRs!
Are you struggling with making a choice? If yes, you have come to the right place! We have tested numerous models from the budget segment to create a complete list of the best mirrorless cameras for beginners!
Pros And Cons Of Budget Cameras And Who Should Opt For Those?
Speaking of the advantages of budget mirrorless cameras, the first and main thing that pops up in mind is price. Although nowadays the market is full of various models, most often, cameras come at a quite high price tag. Thus, not everyone can afford it, and not every person would want to spend lots of money on such a device. Obviously, if you are not willing to spend too much cash, you can probably survive without a camera. Modern smartphones are usually equipped with decent cameras that should satisfy the needs of a regular user. However, those may satisfy you, but they won’t provide an excellent quality as a real professional camera would. Another alternative is to opt for something cheaper like a compact camera, but, again, those fall behind mirrorless cameras in terms of quality. So, what to do if you want to take outstanding photos but don’t feel like spending too much on a camera? In this case, models from the budget segment would become a perfect solution!
What about the cons? Of course, cheaper models have a few drawbacks compared to more expensive ones. As a rule, those are lacking functionality and come with weaker technical characteristics. In most cases, they would still make high-quality images, but some other features may suffer. For example, such models often have worse battery life, the quality of video recording would probably be much lower, they are not as durable due to cheaper materials, and they are not equipped with special professional features. Are these disadvantages really significant? Not really or, better say – it all depends on your needs! If you feel like you can survive without a few extra features, you should be satisfied with a budget camera.
Who should choose a budget model? We believe that these are perfect for beginners! If you are planning to make a living by photography, you have to start somewhere. In this situation, spending a few thousand on your first camera would be at least unwise. Cheaper models may lack features, but this also means that they lack complicated settings, which makes them super simple in use. Therefore, such a camera would be a perfect pick for people who are just trying their hand at photography – it will be a great opportunity to gain some experience and basic skills before you move on to a more professional level!
Top Picks For Photographers On A Budget
Panasonic Lumix GX80 / GX85
Among all models we’ve tested, Lumix GX80 / GX85 offered by Panasonic is the best budget mirrorless camera of all! It provides perfect value for money. At a reasonable price tag, you get a full range of features, decent quality, and even support for 4K videos! It also comes with both in-lens and in-body stabilization. All these benefits, with relevantly insignificant cons, make this model equally affordable and powerful!
- 5-axis dual IS
- Equipped with an EVF
- Post Focus mode
- 4K support
- 16MP is okay but not too good
- Lacks style
Technical specs: This model boasts of the 16MP resolution, Micro Four Thirds sensor, and high-end electronic viewfinder. It is also equipped with a tilting touchscreen that has a resolution of 1,040,000 dots. In addition, 4K support and 8gps shooting rate make it a perfect entry-level camera.
Canon EOS M100
This model is the cheapest one among mirrorless cameras presented by this brand and, in addition, it is the most inexpensive in our list as well! However, it seems like a low price didn’t influence the quality of this product. It is simple and yet powerful. It does have a few drawbacks. For example, its simplicity in use is explained by the lack of external controls, so its functionality is limited.
- Lowest price
- Full HD
- Selfie-friendly flip screen
- Responsive touchscreen
- Not many external controls
Technical specs: EOS M100 is equipped with an APS-C sensor and has a resolution of 24.2MP. It doesn’t have a viewfinder but comes with a flip touchscreen. In terms of video recording, it supports Full HD format, which is good for beginners. Its shooting rate is 6.1fps.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
This model has a higher price tag compared to our previous options. However, at this price, you get a great mix of style, power, functionality, and compactness, so it is worth it! Its design is almost identical to classic DSLR, which makes it look more professional. However, it is much quieter, smaller, and weighs less. In addition, this model stands out thanks to its high responsiveness and excellent quality of the build. Add to this a relatively big range of lenses available and advanced features, and you get a perfect affordable mirrorless camera!
- Excellent IS
- Stylish design
- Wide range of lenses
- Build quality
- Only 16MP
Technical specs: This product features a Micro Four Thirds sensor with a resolution of 16.1MP. It is additionally equipped with an electronic viewfinder and flip touchscreen. 8.6fps is its max shooting rate. Support for 4K videos is one more benefit of this model.
Sony Alpha A5100
It seems like this model was designed specifically for novice photographers. It is simpler than many other cameras in this list and, at the same time, it has impressive technical specs for its small size. Despite its age, this model can easily compete with the newer ones in terms of quality and characteristics. Unfortunately, it doesn’t feature an EVF, but that’s not too big of a problem as long as it performs that good!
- Good AF system
- Flip screen
- Simple in control
- No viewfinder
Technical specs: Alpha A5100 doesn’t have a viewfinder but offers power and excellent quality thanks to its APS-C sensor and 24.3MP resolution. It has a monitor that flips and support Full HD for video recording. A decent camera for beginners!
Canon EOS M50
In fact, this is our least cheap option on the list. However, if you are ready to go a bit over $500, this will be a perfect option! One of its main highlights is a superb viewfinder, which makes shooting a real pleasure. Besides, it has good functionality and some advanced features like 4K recording and others. This model will be excellent for beginners and intermediate level photographers.
- Great viewfinder
- 4K support
- Excellent quality of shots
- Hard to crop on 4K videos
- A bit above the minimum price range
Technical specs: This model has a resolution of 24.1MP and APS-C sensor. It is equipped with an excellent EVF and vari-angle screen. It does support 4K recording and has the highest max shooting rate among options in this list – 10fps.