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Best Mirrorless Camera Under $1000 (Top 11 around $1000!)

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Last Update: November 16, 2022

The latest full frame mirrorless cameras like the Sony a1 have blown DSLRs out of the water. But what’s the best mirrorless camera under $1000 (or around $1000)? Can you get the same performance at such a low price point?

Our list gives you the best options in this price range when writing this. We looked at camera resolution, burst rate, autofocus, video performance, and other features. Our top choice is the Fujifilm X-S10. But what will work best for you?

Image
77%
Fujifilm X-S10
DSLR-style APS-C camera with great burst rate and 4K video.
from $999.95
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To choose the right type of camera for your budget, you need to consider what you want from your photography.

Do you need a camera to take pictures at parties or on holiday? Or do you want something to help you become an enthusiast or even a professional?

Basic Buying Guide for Budget Mirrorless Cameras

Your choice is between full frame, APS-C, and Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras:

  • Full frame cameras such as the Canon EOS RP are generally larger and heavier. But they give you better low-light performance. And they provide background bokeh for both stills and video. They often have more megapixels, but not necessarily.
  • APS-C models such as the Fujifilm X-S10 are more compact and portable. This is especially true when you consider the size and weight of your lenses. But you sacrifice image quality. And you might have to replace all your glass if you decide to upgrade to a full frame camera at a later date.
  • Micro Four Thirds cameras have the smallest sensors of the bunch. One example is the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV. But Olympus and Panasonic do offer some good options with plenty of features.
Flat lay image of Fuji X-S10 - our best mirrorless camera under 00
Ⓒ Li Yan (Unsplash.com)

A cheap and cheerful APS-C or Micro Four Thirds model is fine for casual use. Some features available on the Sony a1 or Nikon Z9 have also trickled down as far as these cameras.

But if you decide to take up photography seriously? You may regret it. You’ll need to trade your whole kit for a full frame system. It’s up to you…

What are the Best Mirrorless Cameras Under or Around $1000?

Let’s quickly look at the best mirrorless cameras for less than $1000, before we delve into each model in more detail.

Our Top Choice
Fujifilm X-S10
Camera
  • Stunning image quality
  • Good ergonomics
  • 5-axis in-body stabilization
  • 30 fps with crop or 20 fps without
  • 4K Ultra HD with good dynamic range
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
from $999.95
Best APS-C
Fujifilm X-T30 II
Camera
  • Affordable
  • High-quality images
  • Fast 30 fps with 1.25x crop
  • Small and light
  • Stylish retro, black-and-silver look
from $849.00
Best Micro Four Thirds
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
Camera
  • Compact and Lightweight Body
  • Built-in 5-axis Image Stabilization
  • Built-in Flash
  • Extensive Lens Options
from $599.99
Best Full Frame
Canon EOS RP
Camera
  • Affordable full frame mirrorless option
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Nice 4K video performance
  • Built-in macro stacking and time-lapse
  • Convenient Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
from $999.00
Best Sony Choice
Sony a7 II
Camera
  • Excellent built-in image stabilization
  • Fast, responsive AF with subject tracking
  • Low-noise at high ISO settings
  • Weather sealed and dust-resistant
  • Handy Wi-Fi connectivity
from $898.00
Best Panasonic Choice
Panasonic Lumix G9
Camera
  • High Res mode for detailed images of static subjects
  • Lots of custom button options and touchscreen functionality
  • An LCD screen on the top plate
  • Easy Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Durable, weather-sealed body
  • Excellent 4K / 60p Ultra HD video
from $997.99
Highly Recommended
Panasonic Lumix G95 (G90)
Camera
  • 5-axis sensor-sift image stabilization
  • Fully articulating touchscreen LCD
  • Sharp 4K video and photos
  • Unlimited recording time
  • Weather-sealed camera body
from $797.99
Best for Streaming
Canon EOS M50 Mark II
Camera
  • Strong sensor resolution
  • 4K and Full HD video options
  • Time-lapse recording
  • External mic port
  • Webcam functionality
from $599.00
Best Nikon Choice
Nikon Z50
Camera
  • A more affordable mirrorless option
  • Nice to handle and use
  • Relatively lightweight and not too bulky
  • Solid 4K video performance
from $1,246.95
Best Burst Mode
Canon EOS M6 Mark II
Camera
  • Powerful 32.5 MP APS-C sensor
  • Rapid 30 fps burst mode
  • Uncropped 4K video with full AF
  • Compact and lightweight body
  • Accurate AF with face and eye detection
from $849.00
Most Affordable Canon
Canon EOS M200
Camera
  • Compact and lightweight body
  • Smooth 4K video recording
  • Vari-angle touchscreen
  • Fast and reliable autofocus
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for easy sharing
from $449.00

11 Best Budget Mirrorless Cameras

1. Fujifilm X-S10

Best Mirrorless Camera Under $1000

from $999.95
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Image
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Camera Type
Camera type Mirrorless BYMirrorless
Megapixels
The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
23 MP
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
APS C 1APS-C
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
23.5 x 15.6 mm
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
20 fps
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
425
Pros
  • Stunning image quality
  • Good ergonomics
  • 5-axis in-body stabilization
  • 30 fps with crop or 20 fps without
  • 4K Ultra HD with good dynamic range
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
Cons
  • Subject tracking is not good enough for sports or action shots
  • Few custom buttons
  • Small viewfinder
  • Only one UHS-I memory card slot
  • Poor 325-shot battery using the LCD

The Fujifilm X-S10 is an entry-level APS-C mirrorless camera. It has a DSLR-style body with a pop-up flash and a large grip.

It has a mode dial that’s different than other X-series models. This replaces the retro shutter speed and exposure compensation dials. It also has 5-axis In-body image stabilization (IBIS), which is rare in this price range!

The sensor provides enough megapixels. It has excellent image quality in both stills and videos. And the camera can shoot the following:

  • Up to 30 fps (frames per second) with a crop
  • 20 fps with the electronic shutter
  • 8 fps with the mechanical shutter

But the autofocus is a bit of a let-down for sports and wildlife photographers. This is due to poor tracking. It does not compare well to other competing cameras.

The resolution and magnification of the OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) are rather low. But you can always use the fully articulated touch screen.

Video Quality and Features

The X-S10 is good for run-and-gun video shooting with no overheating problems. It’s capable of cinema-quality 4K DCI and Ultra HD video. But there’s a 30-minute recording limit.

If you want slow motion, you must drop down to Full HD. You get access to the 240 fps option. You also get a few useful formats.

There is 8-bit 4:2:0 internal recording, F-Log, and 10-bit 4:2:2 external recording. The latter two help you get more dynamic range, color control, and quality in your video edits

It’s also possible to shoot in the company’s popular Eterna color profile. It’s one of Fujifilm’s many easy-to-use Film Simulation modes.

Finally, there’s a standard 3.5 mm microphone port. But you do have to use a USB adaptor to attach headphones.

We have a full comparison of the Fujifilm X-S10 s Sony a6400 for those who like to geek out on specs!

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from $999.95
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2. Fujifilm X-T30 II

Best APS-C Budget Mirrorless Camera

from $849.00
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Image
Badge
Camera Type
Camera type Mirrorless BYMirrorless
Megapixels
The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
26 MP
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
APS C 1APS-C
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
23.5 x 15.6 mm
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
30 fps
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
425
Pros
  • Affordable
  • High-quality images
  • Fast 30 fps with 1.25x crop
  • Small and light
  • Stylish retro, black-and-silver look
Cons
  • No in-body stabilization
  • Poor ergonomics with longer lenses
  • Q button awkwardly positioned
  • Rear screen is not fully articulated

The Fujifilm X-T30 II has a classic film camera look. It is an updated version of the X-T30. It has a higher-resolution LCD and more RAM. The latter means an improvement in buffer depth of 33% at 8 fps and 100% at 5 fps.

You also get a much better tracking performance—as you do with the X-T4. Compared to the X-S10, you get more resolution on the LCD screen. But it’s not fully articulated.

Both cameras can shoot at 8 fps with the mechanical shutter. But as mentioned, the X-T30 II now has a deeper buffer.

The lack of in-body image stabilization matters because many Fujifilm lenses aren’t stabilized. That means it needs to happen in-camera.

Video Quality and Features

For video, the X-T30 II lags behind the X-S10 due to overheating problems. You get 1080p / 240p for slow-motion clips. But the footage is quite soft.

Eterna Bleach Bypass and Classic Neg are now on the list of film simulation modes. They are unique, high-contrast looks.

You also get F-Log Assist to show color grading on the back of the camera. This helps the video not look so “washed-out.”

Finally, the old-style 2.5 mm microphone jack needs an adaptor to fit 3.5 mm inputs. Plus, you need a USB adaptor for headphones.

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from $849.00
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3. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

Best MFT Budget Mirrorless Camera

from $599.00
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Image
Badge
Camera Type
Camera type Mirrorless BYMirrorless
Megapixels
The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
20 MP
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Micro Four Thirds 4 3 1Micro Four Thirds
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
13 x 17.4 mm
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
15 fps
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
121
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Very beginner-friendly
  • Excellent image quality
  • Built-in image stabilization for video and low light
  • Endless list of compatible lenses
  • Excellent 4K video features
Cons
  • Small sensor
  • AF has slow continuous shooting
  • Contrast-detection AF system is slower than phase-detection systems
  • No microphone and headphone jacks
  • Plastic body and isn't weather sealed

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is the latest update to the E-M10. It’s a compact and lightweight Micro Four Thirds camera. The smaller sensor means you take a hit to image quality. But the Mark IV does come with handy image stabilization for low-light shooting and video.

The continuous shooting speed and buffer are excellent. The camera only accepts slower SD UHS-II cards. But you don’t need the extra speed of XQD or CFexpress cards. That’s because Micro Four Thirds sensors produce smaller file sizes.

Otherwise, the camera is feature-packed. There’s an Auto mode with 28 different scene modes. Plus, there are several creative filters. You can also shoot 4K videos up to 30p. To produce slow-motion clips, you must drop them down to HD (1280 x 720).

Battery life is decent, and you can charge using a USB cable. It also has a selfie-friendly rear screen. This has dedicated controls for touch-enabled operation. But there are few options for customization, and the menus are a bit complicated.

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from $599.00
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4. Canon EOS RP

Best Full Frame Budget Mirrorless Camera

from $999.00
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Image
Badge
Camera Type
Camera type Mirrorless BYMirrorless
Megapixels
The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
26 MP
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full frame 2Full Frame
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
24 x 35.9 mm
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
5 fps
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
4,779
Pros
  • Affordable full frame mirrorless option
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Nice 4K video performance
  • Built-in macro stacking and time-lapse
  • Convenient Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
Cons
  • 5 fps max burst is slow compared to competitors
  • Relatively poor 250-shot battery life
  • Doesn't function while charging
  • 4K video is cropped 1.6x

The Canon EOS RP is the cheapest full frame mirrorless camera on the market. And it’s one of the smallest and lightest. The full frame sensor brings a shallower depth of field. This is good for portraits and wildlife.

It’s intended as an entry-level camera. And JPEG quality is pleasing. But the RAW images are quite noisy, especially in the shadows. There’s also only a limited range of affordable native RF-mount lenses to go with it. So you may have to buy an EF adaptor.

It has a DIGIC 8 processor and Dual Pixel AF system. They provide excellent autofocus with Pupil Detection. The focus points cover 88% of the frame laterally and 100% vertically. But the frame rate is quite low. It drops by 1 fps when you use continuous autofocus.

The EVF has a standard resolution. But the touch screen has less than half the number of dots. But it is fully articulated. This is handy for vlogging and selfies.

You get Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections. But there’s only one slower SD UHS-II memory card slot. The USB-C port only offers USB 2.0 transfer speeds. And the battery life is short.

You can shoot 4K video with this camera at 24p. But it has quite a large 1.7x crop, and the quality is poor. There’s also no IBIS, and you get noticeable rolling shutter. Plus, there aren’t many exposure tools. But you do get HDMI, headphone, and microphone ports.

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from $999.00
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5. Sony a7 II

Best Sony Mirrorless Camera Under $1000

from $898.00
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Image
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Camera Type
Camera type Mirrorless BYMirrorless
Megapixels
The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
24.3 MP
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full frame 2Full Frame
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
23.9 x 35.8 mm
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
5 fps
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
117
Pros
  • Excellent built-in image stabilization
  • Fast, responsive AF with subject tracking
  • Low-noise at high ISO settings
  • Weather sealed and dust-resistant
  • Handy Wi-Fi connectivity
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Slow 5 fps burst mode
  • A bit heavy for a mirrorless
  • Disappointing battery life
  • No 4K video recording, only Full HD

Sony introduced the a7 II in November 2014. And they replaced the A7 II with the Mark III and then the Mark IV. But this is the best version you can buy for close to $1000!

You can’t shoot 4K video. And the body is a bit heavy. But the full frame sensor and IBIS system mean it’s still a competitive product. You can also choose from a vast range of FE, E, and A-mount Sony lenses (with an adaptor).

Image resolution and dynamic range are excellent. But there are problems with RAW compression.

It has a hybrid autofocus system with 25 contrast-detect and 117 phase-detect points. But subject tracking in continuous AF doesn’t always work. The burst rate is also low.

The a7 II has a magnesium alloy body with plenty of customization options. But, it’s hard to get at the control dials. And there’s no silent shooting mode. The EVF is bright and detailed, but the magnification is only 0.71x, and the eye sensor is too sensitive.

The LCD doesn’t have particularly high resolution. And it tilts rather than being fully articulated. Plus, It’s not touch-enabled. And you can’t easily zoom in to 100% during image playback.

Video performance is limited, despite image stabilization. The highest resolution is 1920 x 1080 at 60p. This is with bit rates up to 50 Mbps. But you do get built-in microphone and headphone jacks. And you can save clips in MPEG-4, AVCHD, and XAVC S formats.

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from $898.00
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6. Panasonic Lumix DC-G9

Best Panasonic Mirrorless Camera Under $1000

from $997.99
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Image
Badge
Camera Type
Camera type Mirrorless BYMirrorless
Megapixels
The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
20 MP
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Micro Four Thirds 4 3 1Micro Four Thirds
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
17.3 x 13 mm
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
20 fps
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
225
Pros
  • High Res mode for detailed images of static subjects
  • Lots of custom button options and touchscreen functionality
  • An LCD screen on the top plate
  • Easy Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Durable, weather-sealed body
  • Excellent 4K / 60p Ultra HD video
Cons
  • Contrast-detection autofocus wobbles in electronic viewfinder
  • Unresponsive AF joystick can't make diagonal movements
  • Your nose can accidentally activate the touchpad AF
  • Rolling shutter effects visible at 20 fps

The Lumix DC-G9 is Panasonic’s high-end still camera. It has a Micro Four Thirds sensor, a fast frame rate, and a deep buffer. It has Dual IS 2 image stabilization (see YouTube video). And it has good customization options.

There’s also a special, sensor-shift High-Resolution mode to produce 80 MP images. This is useful for large-scale photo printing. The MOS sensor has no anti-aliasing filter. This helps preserve detail but with a greater risk of moiré effects.

The 225-point autofocus system uses contrast detection. This is usually a little slow and hit-and-miss. But it has Panasonic’s Depth From Defocus (DFD) technology. This means great Face Detect AF and Tracking AF offer a high 90%+ hit rate.

You can shoot at 20 fps with continuous AF using the electronic shutter (for around 50 frames). Or you can do the same at 9 fps with the mechanical shutter (for more than 600 frames). The only problem is the slight rolling shutter at 20 fps.

The camera body is made from dust- and weather-sealed magnesium alloy. The EVF has decent resolution and magnification. And the touch screen is fully articulated. You also get a miniature LCD on the top plate. This is rare for mirrorless cameras!

Battery life is limited. But you get dual UHS-II card slots. These can support V-rated (Video Speed Class) SD cards for extra performance.

You can shoot 4K / 60p Ultra HD video. And there are several 4K and 6K Photo modes with in-camera focus stacking. But you don’t get all the video options available on the DC-GH5.

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from $997.99
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7. Panasonic Lumix DC-G95

Highly Recommended Mirrorless Camera Under $1000

from $797.99
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Image
Badge
Camera Type
Camera type Mirrorless BYMirrorless
Megapixels
The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
20 MP
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Micro Four Thirds 4 3 1Micro Four Thirds
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
17.3 x 13 mm
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
9 fps
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
49
Pros
  • 5-axis sensor-sift image stabilization
  • Fully articulating touchscreen LCD
  • Sharp 4K video and photos
  • Unlimited recording time
  • Weather-sealed camera body
Cons
  • Large for a Micro Four Thirds camera
  • 4K recording applies a 1.25x crop
  • No autofocus during high frame-rate video capture
  • Occasional rolling shutter issues in 4K
  • It doesn’t include a standalone charger

The Panasonic Lumix DC-G95 is a mid-range mirrorless camera. It has a Micro Four Thirds sensor and is designed to be a hybrid shooter. The flip-out touch screen and customization options are nice to see. But the cropped video lets it down slightly.

The image quality is very good. But it doesn’t do as well as other APS-C cameras at high ISOs. The autofocus system offers decent subject tracking. But it’s not quite as good as on the Sony a6400. The headline frame rate is high enough. But it does fall by 3 fps if you shoot using continuous autofocus.

You also get Live View Composite for combining several long-exposure images. And 5-axis image stabilization is nice to see. There’s one storage slot for SD UHS-II cards. But battery life is very short. And you don’t get an external battery charger.

Video Quality and Features

The camera can shoot unlimited video at 4K / 30p and 24p with minimal rolling shutter. But a heavy crop makes it hard to produce wide-angle footage.

You get profiles such as 8-bit V-Log L gamma. This is meant to maximize your video’s dynamic range. And there is L. Monochrome D. This is a nice high-contrast black and white mode.

There’s also a high-definition 4K Photo mode. This has auto marking and sequence composition (as on the DC-G9). And the built-in mic and headphone ports are handy.

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from $797.99
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8. Canon EOS M50 Mark II

Best Budget Mirrorless Camera for Streaming

from $599.00
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Image
Badge
Camera Type
Camera type Mirrorless BYMirrorless
Megapixels
The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
24 MP
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
APS C 1APS-C
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
14.9 x 22.3 mm
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
10 fps
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
143
Pros
  • Strong sensor resolution
  • 4K and Full HD video options
  • Time-lapse recording
  • External mic port
  • Webcam functionality
Cons
  • 4K video is cropped
  • No environmental sealing
  • No sensor-shift image stabilization
  • Disappointing battery life

The Canon EOS M50 Mark II (or EOS Kiss M2) is an APS-C mirrorless camera. It has a lightweight and compact body. But it doesn’t offer many improvements to the original EOS M50. Yet you get excellent autofocus, a decent frame rate, and the ability to live stream.

Image quality is good both for RAW files and JPEGs. And the Dual Pixel AF system is one of the best on the market. It provides face tracking and eye detection for both stills and video.

Like many Canon cameras, the EOS M50 Mark II has a fully articulated touch screen. You also get a bright EVF that’s perfectly usable in bright sunlight.

The camera is easy to use apart from the rather fiddly rear controls). And a full Auto mode is a solid option. But the silent electronic shutter only works in fully automatic Scene mode.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections let you transfer images directly to your smartphone. But battery life is fairly short.

Video Quality and Features

Video performance is compromised. It has poor autofocus performance. And there’s a 1.5x crop when shooting 4K / 24p. Full HD footage at 1080p is also quite soft.

You only get a microphone jack rather than microphone and headphone ports. And video drains the battery quite quickly. But you do get a couple of nice extra features.

If you download the Canon EOS Webcam Utility, you can use the M50 as a webcam. You can also live stream directly to YouTube if you have at least 1000 subscribers. But that number may change.

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from $599.00
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9. Nikon Z50

Best Nikon Budget Mirrorless Camera

from $1,246.95
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Image
Badge
Camera Type
Camera type Mirrorless BYMirrorless
Megapixels
The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
21 MP
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
APS C 1APS-C
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
23.5 x 15.7 mm
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
11 fps
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
209
Pros
  • A more affordable mirrorless option
  • Nice to handle and use
  • Relatively lightweight and not too bulky
  • Solid 4K video performance
Cons
  • 20.8 MP sensor resolution is lower than many close competitors
  • Poor battery life
  • Only 1 memory card slot
  • Limited compatible lenses (at present)

Nikon designed the Z50 to be an entry-level APS-C mirrorless camera. You can access “tool tips” by pressing the question mark (?) button. But it still offers attractive features such as a decent burst rate and 4K video.

The camera itself doesn’t have image stabilization. But Nikon has brought out two compatible lenses with vibration reduction:

But the lack of in-body image stabilization is a disadvantage if you don’t have VR lenses. You can also mount other lenses using the FTZ adaptor. But the lack of native lenses is a limitation.

Image quality is good, with a wide dynamic range. And the burst rate using the viewfinder is higher than on Nikon’s flagship D850! But the autofocus system is rather hard to use. AF Tracking tends to drift away from the subject. And you can’t use touch focus while using the EVF.

The ergonomics are good. Controls are well placed and easy to use. And there are plenty of customization options. The rear touch screen tilts up and down rather than being fully articulated. But it does tilt down by the full 180 degrees.

It only has one slot for a slower SD UHS-I card. And battery life is pretty short. But USB charging is good to have. You also get fairly straightforward Wi-Fi image transfer. But the Snapbridge app is not the most reliable!

Video quality is excellent at 4K / 30p. And it’s easy to switch between stills and video. You can also choose which settings to keep and which to change.

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from $1,246.95
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10. Canon EOS M6 Mark II

Best Burst Mode for a Budget Mirrorless

from $849.00
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Camera Type
Camera type Mirrorless BYMirrorless
Megapixels
The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
33 MP
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
APS C 1APS-C
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
14.9 x 22.3 mm
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
14 fps
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
143
Pros
  • Powerful 32.5 MP APS-C sensor
  • Rapid 30 fps burst mode
  • Uncropped 4K video with full AF
  • Compact and lightweight body
  • Accurate AF with face and eye detection
Cons
  • No in-body image stabilization
  • Limited screen articulation
  • No built-in viewfinder
  • Limited native lens selection

The Canon EOS M6 Mark II is an advanced APS-C mirrorless camera. It’s targeted at enthusiasts. And it marks a major upgrade on the original EOS M6.

It has a 30 fps RAW burst mode, uncropped 4K video, and a selfie-friendly touch screen. The latter tilts up through 180 degrees. You also have a choice of kit lenses (with EVF):

RAW and JPEG image quality are excellent. It has good noise performance and a wide dynamic range. And there’s minimal rolling shutter. You also get a high frame rate plus an exceptionally fast burst mode.

It has the usual Dual Pixel AF autofocus system. This integrates tracking and Eye AF. And it is easy to use and effective.

But there are some problems. The AF Tracking focus point does sometimes drift off the subject. Eye detection only works at short distances. And it tends to front-focus on eyelashes rather than the eye itself.

Like most Canon cameras, the ergonomics are generally good. The only exception is the optional electronic viewfinder. Not everyone will like it. It also means you must choose between having a flash gun or an EVF!

USB charging is convenient, but you need a high-power charger. Battery life is even shorter than on the Nikon Z50.

You can shoot Ultra HD 4K video at 30p and 25p with no crop. But you don’t get very good detail. And there’s no flat or Log profile. These help videos look less artificial and improve dynamic range in post-processing, respectively.

You also don’t get optical image stabilization. And if you use digital stabilization, that comes at the expense of video quality. Plus, there’s also no headphone jack to let you check your video’s audio.

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11. Canon EOS M200

Most Affordable Canon Mirrorless Camera

from $449.00
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Image
Badge
Camera Type
Camera type Mirrorless BYMirrorless
Megapixels
The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
24 MP
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
APS C 1APS-C
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
14.9 x 22.3 mm
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
6.1 fps
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
143
Pros
  • Compact and lightweight body
  • Smooth 4K video recording
  • Vari-angle touchscreen
  • Fast and reliable autofocus
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for easy sharing
Cons
  • 4K video is cropped
  • No audio jack for mic Input
  • Lack of grip on body for large hands
  • Slow RAW-file processing
  • Limited shooting modes

The Canon EOS M200 is an APS-C mirrorless camera. It replaces the EOS M100. Like the EOS M50 Mark II, it has Dual Pixel AF, decent burst shooting, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections.

The sensor is good enough to get decent image quality. But you must put up with Canon’s lesser C-RAW format rather than proper RAW files. That means some built-in compression comes at the expense of sharpness.

But the burst rate is decent. And Dual Pixel AF offers reliable face and eye detection and tracking. But autofocus does sometimes “hunt.” Micro USB charging is possible. But the battery life is slightly disappointing.

You can shoot 4K video. But you have to put up with a severe, 1.7x crop. It makes wide-angle footage difficult to achieve with the 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 kit lens.

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Our Verdict

When starting out in photography, it’s hard to know what format camera to buy. Full frame, APS-C, or Micro Four Thirds? Given the budget of around $1,000, all the models on this list are around the same price.

And even the crop-sensor models offer lots of features. Fujifilm mirrorless cameras like the X-S10 or X-T30 II are excellent. Olympus and Panasonic offer Micro Four Thirds models packed with features.

Image
77%
Fujifilm X-S10
DSLR-style APS-C camera with great burst rate and 4K video.
from $999.95
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But most enthusiasts and professional photographers use full frame cameras. What’s the point of starting with something you’ll only trade in if you decide you want to take it more seriously?

This is not an easy decision. And you might not know how you’ll feel in six months or a year. But we hope this list will give you the best possible options to choose from.

Back of a Fujifilm X-T30 II mirrorless camera
The LCD screen on the back of our second pick—the Fujifilm X-T30 II

Best Budget Mirrorless Camera FAQs

These are the most common questions for the best mirrorless cameras under or around $1000.

What’s an APS-C Camera?

An APS-C camera is either a DSLR or a mirrorless camera. It uses an APS-C sensor. APS stands for “advanced photo system.” And the sensor measures anywhere from 22.3 x 14.9 mm to 25.1 x 16.7 mm. This compares to 36 x 24 mm for a full frame sensor. So it’s quite a bit smaller.

What’s a Micro Four Thirds Camera?

A Micro Four Thirds (or MFT) camera is another kind of crop-sensor camera. It uses an even smaller sensor, measuring 17.3 x 13 mm. Olympus and Panasonic generally produce the best Micro Four Thirds models.

What Does “crop factor” Mean?

The crop factor compares a particular sensor to a full frame sensor. You work it out by dividing the diagonal length of the full frame sensor (43.3 mm) by the same for the other sensor. Different APS-C cameras have different crop factors. It depends on the size of their sensors.

What are the Crop Factors for Nikon and Canon APS-C Cameras?

The APS-C sensors in Nikon’s APS-C (DX-format) cameras are 24 x 16 mm and have a crop factor of 1.5. But the ones in Canon’s APS-C cameras are only 22.3 x 14.9 mm and have a larger crop factor of 1.6.

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