Best Mirrorless Cameras for Beginners 2017

mirrorless camera for beginners 2017, best mirrorless camera, best mirrorless camera under 500You’re looking for a new mirrorless camera, and for beginner photographers, mirrorless cameras are the wave of the future. You can start a photography hobby, take great photos for an ecommerce site, use a new mirrlorless camera for video blogging, or start a photography career with a mirrorless camera. The best mirrorless cameras for beginners will let you grow your skills and make amazing photos or videos right out of the box.

The best mirrorless cameras for beginners are not relegated to one brand. Almost every camera brand makes a quality mirrorless option at an affordable price and with similar features. Generally, they all have a sizable sensor, built in features that make sharing photos easy, and a range of lenses that satisfy your photographic creativity.

Benefits of a Mirrorless Camera

Mirrorless cameras have grown into a distinct category with many advantages over traditional DSLRs. A major benefit is the size of a mirrorless camera. Their light weight makes them great cameras to carry around all day.

Whether you are traveling or working as a wedding photographer, a light weight camera is a bonus.

Entry-level mirrorless cameras are very affordable, and they are similar to your smart phone when it comes to photo-sharing, social media uploading, and video making. They work well on a selfie-stick, too.

Mirrorless cameras are easy to use because they are similar to what you already know – wifi enabled, selfie taking, social media sharing, built in filters almost like Instagram and an LCD screen to view photos while getting the shot.

Should YOU buy a Mirrorless Camera?

For new photographers who want to grow their skills without moving too far away from their smart phone, buying a mirrorless camera is a good investment. Mirrorless cameras under $700 with features you’ll enjoy are the focus of our list, so enjoy learning more about each and finding the best mirrorless camera to meet your photographic aspirations.

Our #1 recommendation for the Best Mirrorless Cameras for Beginners is the Fuji X-A3and our runner up is the Sony A6000.

To learn more about Mirrorless Cameras vs DSLR Cameras, read our article on the major differences here.


Our list of the 13 Best Mirrorless Cameras for Beginners:


Panasonic GF7 – Mirrorless Camera for Beginners

Panasonic GF7 Best Mirrorless Camera for Beginners

The Lumix DMC-GF7 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH lens is a high-resolution 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds inter-changeable lens camera. This mirrorless camera produces clear, low-noise photos up to ISO 25,600 and videos up to ISO 3,200. It’s great for recording 1080p movies and sharing them on Youtube, Facebook or your favorite social media platform.

Pair the Lumix DMC-GF7 camera with a smartphone or tablet and upload to social media with an easy to use app. Selfies are easy to take with automatic shutter modes that let you capture natural-looking self-portraits and group shots with family and friends.

Overall, if you are looking for a fun and easy to use mirrorless camera and want to share a lot of your photos on social media, this is a good beginner mirrorless camera that gives you the options you’ll enjoy. Post your best pics online without having to hook your camera up to your laptop. The camera comes with a lens or you can purchase more lenses later on as your skills grow. If you want a solid yet affordable mirrorless camera for beginners, the Panasonic Lumix is a solid purchase.  Check Price on Amazon

Nikon 1 J5 – Mirrorless Camera for Beginners
Nikon 1 J5 best mirrorless camera for beginners

The Nikon 1 J5 Mirrorless camera has a 180° tilting touch screen that makes seeing the photos and videos you want to take from almost any angle easy. Like almost all mirrorless cameras, it comes with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC for sharing photos to social media or with friends easy. The Nikon 1 J5 has cutting-edge auto-focus system which use 105 phase-detect AF points to instantly identify and focus on your subject.

This is an excellent mirrorless camera for blogging or video blogging.

By holding the shutter button down, you can take 20 tack-sharp, full-resolution photos per second. Put the camera in sports mode to optimize the Nikon 1 J5 for sports action. Switch easily between portrarit and sports mode to take great images of the action or the players pre-game. The Nikon 1 J5’s back-side illuminated (BSI) CX-format CMOS image sensor lets in more light than a CMOS sensor which lets you take photos in low-light situations.

Get rich colors, smooth tones and razor-sharp details in movie mode. This is a good beginner mirrorless camera if you want fast photos of sports and excellent movies. Overall, if you are going to buy a beginner mirrorless camera to take images of your kids on the go or your friends skateboarding this is a great choice.

Check Price on B&H | Check Price on Amazon

Fuji X-M1 – Mirrorless Camera for Beginners

Fuji X-M1 mirrorless camera, best mirrorless camera for beginners

The Fuji X-M1 is a gorgeous camera with features and image quality to die for. The large APS-C sensor creates images with amazing background blur, also called Bokeh. Bokeh is that artistic looking blur that professional photographers achieve in their images that makes you wonder how they did that. It’s often seen in wedding photos, portraits, images of flowers close up (but not macro) where the background has a soft blur and lets the image you want to focus on really pop.

If you buy a 50mm fixed lens, you’ll take your photography from amateur to professional in a flash. Feature wise, the back panel dials and buttons are arranged on the right of the LCD so you can easily access them with your fingertips. The X-Trans CMOS sensor reproduces scenes with resolution and clarity almost as good as a larger sensored mirrorless or dslr camera.

Review your photos and videos and share them quickly with a built-in WIFI button. Playback and select the photos you want to transfer then press the Wi-Fi button on top of the camera which will send photos to your smartphone or tablet. The Fuji X-M1 is a solid camera with a ton of artistic potential – but that’s up to you! If you are looking for a very cool, incredibly wonderful mirrorless camera, you can’t go wrong with the Fuji X-M1. Check Price on Amazon

Olympus E-PL7  – Mirrorless Camera for Beginners

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The Olympus PEN has everything you’ll want in a mirrorless camera. It’s small enough to carry everywhere, but it packs a punch when you take photos. The image quality is similar to the Fuji as far as creativity goes, and the 16MP CMOS sensor captures beautiful images. There is a bit of noise in low-light situations, but for most beginner photographers this isn’t an issue.

It’s a cool looking vintage styled mirrorless camera that comes with modern features like the built-in Wi-Fi which can be used with Olympus’ OI.Share app. You can edit photos and post your shots instantly from within the camera without hooking your camera up to your laptop. Creative tools like built in art filters, photo story layouts, and built-in HDR mode make this the perfect mirrorless camera for artistic photographers. Check Price on Amazon

See the Trek Flipside Best Mirrorless Camera Bag for Hiking

Sony A5100 – Mirrorless Camera for Beginners

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This is one of 2 Sony mirrorless cameras for beginners on our list. With ultra-fast auto-focusing, 179 AF points and 6 fps of continuous shooting, you’ll never miss important moments in life – like your kid scoring the game winning goal.

The Sony A5100 has a 24.3 megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor which rivals entry level DSLRs. The sensor size is 22.3 x 14.9mm. Get a lot of detail even in low light situations with the Exmor CMOS sensor and BIONZ X processor and with an ISO range from 100 – 25000. Instantly share photos to your smart phone with NFC or built in Wifi capabilities, and take up to 400 photos on one battery charge. This is a good mirrorless camera for beginners at an affordable price. Read our review of the Sony A5100  | Check Price on Amazon

Canon EOS M10 – Mirrorless Camera for Beginners

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The Canon EOS M10 comes with an 18.0 Megapixel CMOS APS-C sensor. The ISO range is from 100-12800 and can expand to 25600. It’s great in low light situations.

It’s built-in DIGIC 6 Image Processor can help you capture stunning photos and videos in challenging lighting situations. Read our review of the Canon EOS M10 | Check Price on Amazon

Fujifilm X-A3  – Mirrorless Camera for Beginners

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The Fujifilm X-A3 Mirrorless Camera is an artistic photographers dream come true. This mirrorless camera is one of the best mirrorless cameras for beginners and advanced photographers. The Fuji X-A3 has all the creative options you’ll want to make stunning photos.

The X-A3 has a total of ten advanced filters including toy camera, dynamic tone, pop color, soft focus, high key, low key, fisheye and partial color. You’ll also get eleven film simulation modes that create true to life film like photos. Not only is the Fuji X-A3 a bad ass camera, it has a vintage retro design combined with a rear touchscreen Auto Focus, Touch to Shoot and Touch Zoom that functions similarly to your smart phone.

This is one of the best mirrorless cameras you can buy for under $700 and it’s an excellent choice if you are looking for a mirrorless camera for wedding photography.

The tiltable/flip up screen lets you check your self before taking photos in front of the camera. Or if you want to take creative photos of images close up, you can get as close as 7cm from an object to take beautiful macro photos.

When you want to print photos, send photos directly to the Instax printer on the spot. All the cameras on this list have amazing features for beginner mirrorless cameras, but the Fuji brand goes above and beyond when it comes to the best beginner mirrorless cameras for 2017. Fuji gives you more than you thought you needed and will let you explore your creative side beyond the rest. Check Price on B&HCheck Price on Amazon

Olympus E-M10 II – Mirrorless Camera for Beginners

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A lot of the entry level mirrorless cameras have a vintage camera look… and that’s pretty sweet for a camera which has no mirror like the old school film cameras. What makes mirrorless cameras so impressive is their ability to exceed anything your vintage camera ever dreamed of doing.

This is an excellent overall choice if you want an entry level mirrorless camera that shoots like a Pro!

Of all the mirrorless cameras on this list, the Olympus E-M10 Mark II gets some of the best reviews from professional photographers who have added a mirrorless option to their shot kit. With 5-Axis Image Stabilization and easy to access controls along with a metal make-up, this camera will help you make memories every day in every situation you find yourself in. Read Reviews on B&H and Check Price on Amazon

Panasonic Lumix GX85 – Mirrorless Camera for Beginners

best mirrorless camera for beginners 2017

Do you like video? The Panasonic Lumix GX85 shoots 4K video, and if you aren’t sure what that is, it’s better quality than most televisions or Youtube videos display. Why buy a camera with 4K video? Because everything will be in 4K in the next year or two. You’ll be ahead of the curve with this mirrorless camera.

“Using a 16MP Live MOS sensor, the GX85 is capable of capturing clear, high-resolution stills as well as UHD 4K video. The sensor’s design omits an optical low-pass filter in order to achieve a high degree of sharpness and resolution, and its design also affords a sensitivity range from ISO 200-25600 to suit working in a variety of lighting conditions. Additionally, fast shooting performance is also afforded, with the ability to shoot at up to 40 fps with an electronic shutter function, 30 fps at 8MP using the 4K Photo Modes, 10 fps with AF-S and an electronic shutter, or 8 fps using a mechanical shutter with AF-S.” – See more Specs from B&H

This is one of the more advanced mirrorless cameras for beginners on our list, and the price is a little higher. But, you get 5 axis image stabilization, which is again, a nice feature for a camera with this higher level video capability. Connect to Wifi, share videos and photos easily, use the tilting screen to get a better view of the shot from awkward angles, and make some amazing memories.

Check Price on Amazon

Sony A6000 – Mirrorless Camera for Beginners

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“I love the Sony a6000 because its sensor is a 24 mega pixel APS-C CMOS sensor that makes some really amazing photos. (See photos my using the Kit Lens) Its ISO capabilites are 100-25600 that is expandable up to 51200. And, even as you need to use a higher ISO you won’t get as much noise as you would using an entry-level DSLR. It records Full HD video at 24 and 60p. Perfect for low light recording, action videos, movies and stills.

The auto-focus gives you super fast continuous shooting when you need to take photos of movement – get 11 frames per second continuous shooting with the auto-focus tracking with the 179-point phase-detection AF sensor. When dealing with a moving subject the a6000’s excellent moving-subject tracking performance ensures that you capture the shot during still or video photography.

The Sony a6000 is perfect for anyone who needs superb performance but doesn’t want to break the bank.

Are you an amateur photographer wanting something small but highly capable of taking great shots? Or an amateur sports photographer wanting to take pics of your kid’s team at sporting events? If so, this is the perfect camera for you.

What you get: Image stabilization to keep your shots clear. 3-inch tilting LCD with 921,000 dots and OLED electronic viewfinder (one of the best mirrorless cameras with viewfinder) with 100% coverage and 1.4 million dots. The Sony a6000 comes with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. It’s compatible with an array of Sony E Mount Lenses, and a hot-shoe mount on top makes recording sound easier.

Reasons to buy this mirrorless option? You’ll get great photos on a feature rich camera that’s just a little bit more expensive than the a5100. The a6000 has comprehensive video controls with exceptional continuous autofocus performance. For one of the best mirrorless cameras under 1000, you can’t go wrong with the Sony a6000. To see photos using the Sony a6000 go to for images tagged Sony a6000.” Review from Sony A6000 or Get Specs from B&H

Samsung NX3000 – Mirrorless Camera for Beginners

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Beginners and experts will get high-quality shots right out of the box with presets in Smart Mode with the Samsung NX3000. Or use the i-Function to control and adjust features such as white balance, aperture, shutter speed, exposure, and ISO range if you like to have more control over your settings.

Share images easily with Wifi or NFC without using cables, a flip screen lets you take great selfies, turn on your smart phone to control your camera remotely while it sits on a tripod so that you can be the photographer and be in the picture.

The video capabilities are similar to most mirrorless cameras and shoot 1080p video with 30 frames per second for brilliant and sharp video. A  20.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor captures lifelike colors and beautiful images with high resolution in low light situations. The NX3000 has an ISO range from 100 to 25,600 which, again, is great for low light. Catch a lot of detail and all the action with a fast shutter speed of 1/4,000 and 5 frames per second. Check Price on Amazon

Sony a5000 – Mirrorless Camera for Beginners

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The Sony A5000 is a great entry level mirrorless camera. It has all the same features you want in mirrorless camera for beginners. The 20.1MP Sony A5000 is a versatile entry level Sony mirrorless camera for entry level and pro camera users.  It has a 180°-tilting screen that lets you see the shots as you take them. Ultimately, this is one of the best affordable mirrorless cameras on the market & a best seller at B&H. If you are an entry level photographer, you can’t go wrong with the Sony A5000. Learn more from B&H or Buy Now on Amazon

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7  – Mirrorless Camera for Beginners

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This Panasonic Lumix has 4K video for amazing movie making capabilities. You’ll get a camera that is the perfect mix of performance, price and size combined with an exceptional feature set. if you goal is to be a video blogger, this is a great camera for video blogs. Read Reviews and Check Price on Amazon

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We recommend that you read all the feedback on Amazon for each camera before buying. The best beginner mirrorless camera for 2017 and for you is definitely on this list.

References:  The Wirecutter  Tom’s Guide   Digital Camera Bag HQ  B&H

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