Now that there are less than two months until Christmas, we are sure that many of you have a few photo devices on your wishlists. The diversity of cameras, lenses, not to mention photo accessories, can be overwhelming, but we are here to give you a few insights into the best CSC (compact system camera) offer on the market. If you are looking for DSLResque features and advanced controls in a smaller, lighter pack, then a mirorless camera is your best choice.
What Is the Best Mirrorless Camera of the Year?
“The best mirrorless camera” is too broad a definition. That is why we will give our vote of trust to several super performative mirrorless cameras in various categories, from entry level to advanced. Curious what our selection criteria is? Besides general specs that credit products’ performance and image quality, we’ll put an emphasis on handling, design, and price/performance ratio. Enjoy!
Best Mirrorless Camera for Professionals: Samsung NX1
TIPA Awards Endorsement for Best CSC Professional in 2015
Samsung NX1 awes users with its cutting-edge technology and performance. This CSC sports a high resolution of 28.2 MP, an APS-C CMOS sensor, the DRIMe processor that allows for 4k video recording, and a 3-inch 1036-K-dot touchscreen monitor.
- Resolution: 28.2 Megapixels.
- Native ISO Range: 100-25,600 (extendable to 51,200).
- Shooting Speed: 15 frames per second.
- it has a hybrid AF system,
- features wireless smart technology,
- is unbeatable for image quality in its class,
- excels at both still photography and video recording;
- great for action and events photography due to its fast continuous shooting.
- the noise performance is not great at high ISO levels.
- the H.265 video format needs conversion when using certain editing programs.
Best Mirrorless Camera for Advanced Use: Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GM5
TIPA Awards Endorsement for Best CSC Advanced in 2015
Best Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera: Sony A7 II
Ideal for pros that are looking for a more compact yet advanced device, the Sony A7 II is a DSLResque full frame mirrorless camera that sports a wide array of top-notch features.
- Resolution: 24.3 Megapixels.
- Native ISO Range: 100-25,600 (extendable to 51,200 + low extension to ISO 50).
- Shooting Speed: 5 frames per second.
- the only full-frame CSC with a built-in image stabilization technology,
- sports a 24 million pixels full-frame sensor for splendid imagery,
- easy to handle DSLR-like body.
- it does not have a touchscreen function on its monitor.
- low noise performance at high ISO values.
Best Mirrorless Camera for Video: Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Micro Four Thirds Camera
TIPA Awards Endorsement for Best CSC Expert in 2015
Videographers out there will love the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II for its touchscreen LCD monitor, fast autofocus, and advanced image stabilization technology. Also, this CSC is our favorite for the “best mirrorless camera with viewfinder” category (you will see why below).
- Resolution: 16.1 Megapixels.
- ISO Range: 100-25,600.
- Shooting Speed: 10 frames per second.
- has sturdy, freeze-prof and dustproof magnesium alloy body,
- sports a 1.16M RGB dots interactive electronic viewfinder (100% coverage),
- designed with a 3-inch, vari-angle 1,037 K-dot touchscreen monitor,
- high-performance autofocus system,
- works well in low-light conditions due to its TruePic VII image processor that reduces noise while increasing speed,
- has excellent video options,
- comes with built-in WiFi connectivity.
- its sensor resolution is a bit disappointing as compared to its peers.
- control buttons that feel bumpy.
Price: $1,299 – 1,699 for a Camera + Lens Bundle (Olympus 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 II Lens)
For more info, check out our extensive Olympus OM-D E-M5 II review.
Best Entry Level Mirrorless Camera: Sony a5100
TIPA Awards Endorsement for Best CSC Entry Level in 2015
As voted by TIPA editors, Sony a5100 is the best mirrorless camera for beginners. To get ladies attention now, there is a white version of the camera too. Professionals might consider its functions and design a bit simplistic, but photographic newcomers will find it a very capable photo device.
- Resolution: 24 Megapixels
- ISO Range: 100-25,600.
- Shooting Speed: 6 frames per second
- super compact even for a compact camera,
- excellent autofocus: AF tracking, and a 179-point phase detection AF sensor,
- great video options from Full HD in cinematic 24p, 60p and 60i to Blu-Ray quality AVCHD,
- built-in WiFi connectivity for instant sharing,
- it is very affordable for a mirrorless camera,
- compatible with both Sony a E-mount and A-mount lenses.
- it has no viewfinder.
- it has only one control dial to set aperture, shutter speed, etc.
Price: $530 – 700
Best Design Mirrorless Camera: Leica T (typ 701)
TIPA Awards for Best Design in 2015
Glossy and slim, the Leica T typ 701 mirrorless camera left us in awe. Its minimalist, top-shelf design will surely appeal to the more narcissistic photographers.
- Resolution: 16.5 Megapixels
- ISO Range: 100-12,500
- Shooting Speed: 5 frames per second
- the aluminum body made of a single block and hand-polished for 45 minutes,
- impressive 3.7” touchscreen LCD,
- built-in GPS technology,
- comes with a free Leica App T that allows to control the camera and share photos via smartphone or tablet.
- Leica devices are quite pricey and are compatible with even costlier lenses. A prime lens (23mm f/2.0) costs around $1,950, while a zoom one (18-56mm f/3.5-5.6) is priced at $1,750.
Price: $1,630 – 1,850
For more info on this spectacularly designed mirrorless camera, check out our Leica T full review.
Alternative: it was hard for us to decide between the Leica T (typ 701) model and the midrange mirrorless interchangeable lens camera Fujifilm X-A2. We decided to include the latter as well for its beautiful old-school leather-ish design. Plus, as it comes at a considerably lower price (around $500 with lens kit).
Best-Buy Mirrorless Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC- G7
Looking for the best budget mirrorless camera? Our top pick for this category is part of Panasonic’s popular G-series. The Panasonic G7 is certainly the best combo of quality features and value. It is a great choice for casual photographers and family travels.
- Resolution: 16 Megapixels
- ISO Range: 100-25,600
- Shooting Speed: 8 frames per second
- excellent performance and image quality,
- customizable function buttons that increase its usability,
- electronic viewfinder,
- 4k video capability.
- its plasticky build makes many users overlook the potential of this camera.
So, what is your favorite “best mirrorless camera” of the year? As we wanted to point out, there is one for every budget and level of experience.
If you enjoyed our list or have further questions, feel free to drop a line in the comment box below. We’d love to hear from you! Cheers and happy shopping!