BUYER'S GUIDE / The Best Mirrorless Cameras
Mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras
The 6 best digital cameras of the moment: the best all-rounder, the best-value digital camera, the best budget option, the best choice if money is no object.
Let's not beat about the bush; Panasonic's Lumix G7 is nearly the perfect interchangeable-lens camera for the majority of users. It's well-built, fairly compact and light, very fast, takes beautiful photos, is gifted in video (4K/UHD!), offers great customizability... It's hard to think of any flaws! All we'd say is that, because Panasonic was so keen that its G7 should do everything well, it perhaps offers a few too many options... Not much of a criticism, really!
The Alpha 7S was a bit of a gamble, but Sony's radical choices paid off. By dropping the resolution to 12 Mpx, Sony was able to produce a professional camera that's fast, silent and appropriate in all situations. It's an exploit, one that will win over lovers of photography in all lighting conditions.
All while staying true to the 1 J series, Nikon has rescued the product line by doing a complete about-face with the 1 J5. Everything is better than before: the handling, the speed, the performance, the ease-of-use and the picture quality. This camera is a technological success, one that gives it excellent value-for-money.
The Samsung NX3000 is a cute little camera that's easy to use, offers great picture quality and has one of the best battery lives of any camera of its kind. It has everything it needs to become your family's pet camera and knock the Sony Alpha 5000 off its pedestal. It's just too bad there's no built-in flash or zoom controls on the body. If you're trying to decide between Samsung's battery life and image quality and Sony's ease-of-use, either way you can't go wrong. You might as well go with whichever is cheapest at your local retailer.
The Fujifilm X-T1 is an excellent camera. It boasts first-rate picture quality with improved general responsiveness, a slightly reworked set of controls, and a viewfinder that's surprisingly pleasant and comfortable for an EVF. When mirrorless hybrids get this good, it's safe to say that the interchangeable lens compact market has matured, offering credible and serious alternatives to DSLRs. The Fuji X-T1 is living proof of that!
More than a mere evolution, the E-M5 II is more like a culmination. With its 1980s SLR design, pivotable touchscreen, 5-axis stabilisation, excellent electronic viewfinder, epic resolution (provided everything stays very still!) and responsive autofocus, this camera is perfect for demanding photographers looking for a compact hybrid.