Best mirrorless cameras in 2024: Canon, Nikon, Sony and more

There are dozens of options on the market when it comes to finding one of the best mirrorless cameras. They're also a considerable investment, which can make the choice daunting, especially if you're a beginner in the world of photography. 

This guide sheds light on the most important factors to consider when choosing your next camera. For a start, should you opt for a more traditional DSLR camera, or do you need a mirrorless model? The difference lies in the fact that a mirrorless camera doesn't contain a mirror (or prism), and they have an electronic screen instead of an optical viewfinder. As a result, mirrorless cameras tend to be faster, lighter and more compact than SLR or DSLRs.

You'll find three main types of sensors in mirrorless cameras — full-frame, where there is no image cropping, APS-C (also known as crop sensor) and Micro Four Thirds, both of which produce a cropped image. Although full-frame cameras tend to be the largest and most capable, they can also be expensive, and cropped images are sufficient for most general users. 

Our expert reviewers are photographers themselves, and they have tested the best mirrorless cameras to give you their honest opinions. We make sure to note the best bits of each camera, who it is best suited for, and some bits we liked less.  

If you're not sure whether a mirrorless camera is for you, have a look at our general guide to the best cameras for photos and videos to see the other options. Or, if you're looking for a camera for the best cameras for astrophotography, have a look at our guides to the best lenses for astrophotography and the best tripods to step up your sky photography.

The quick list

Below we've summarized our top picks of the best mirrorless cameras, including their main specs, features and whom they might be best suited for. If you need more in-depth information, click on the 'read more below' buttons to read full reviews.

Kimberley Lane author image
Kimberley Lane

Kimberley Lane is a landscape & seascape photographer living in South Wales. Originally using photography as a way to cope with health issues, she aims to portray a feeling of calm and peace through her images. Her work has been featured in a number of national photography magazines.

The best mirrorless cameras we recommend in 2024

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Best overall

The best camera overall: Our top pick on the market

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full-frame
Lens mount: Nikon Z
ISO Range: 64-25,600 (expandable to 102,400)
Viewfinder size/resolution: 3.2-inches, 3.69m-dot
Video capability: 8K 60p 12-bit
Weight: 2.01 lb (910g) inc. battery
Size: 5.6 x 4.7 x 3.3-inches (144 x 118.5 x 83 mm)
Memory card type: Single SD UHS-II and single CFexpress/XQD card

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent low light performance
+
Incredible FPS burst speed
+
Extremely detailed images

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive
-
Overkill for many casual shooters
-
Much bigger than its predecessor
Buy it if:

You can afford it: This is a big investment but it's worth it if you'll be in the industry for years to come.

You shoot stills and video: This camera is just as impressive at both of these tasks 

Don't buy it if:

You don't see yourself in the photography game long term: This is a very expensive camera and overkill for most casual shooters.

You're looking or something lightweight and portable: This model is significantly heavier and bigger than its predecessor. It looks and feels like a professional camera.

The bottom line:

🔎 Nikon Z8: Professionals need to look no further — if you combined all the best parts of the flagship Nikon Z9 and the best DSLR in the world, the Nikon D850, you'd be left with this heavy-hitter; the Nikon Z8. ★★★★★

If you're an amateur on a budget, look away now: the Nikon Z8 isn't for you. Sorry. But if you're a professional who earns their living from photography, or have plenty of money to spend on your hobbies, mirrorless cameras don't really come better than this. If we had to sum up the Nikon Z8, we'd say it takes all the best bits of the fantastic Nikon D850 DSLR and Nikon's flagship Nikon Z9 and mixes them all together.

Design: This is a seriously great looking and feeling camera that manages to be sturdy and strong at the same time. It feels great in your hands with enough grip to suit even the largest palms. We love the controls and found their placement to feel natural and well thought out. It's on the large side for a mirrorless camera, but the Nikon Z8 still manages to be smaller than some, meaning it's light enough to hold for long periods of time.

Performance: Even after extensive testing, we weren't able to find anything that the Nikon Z8 couldn't handle. We found it delivered excellent results, both for stills and video. This beast of a camera is an excellent companion for anything from wedding shoots to landscape, portraits and sporting events. 

Astrophotographers in particular may be impressed with the night vision mode this camera boasts. This feature displays red pixels to assist in maintaining your night vision. This camera's ability to handle noise is also a great advantage when shooting in low light conditions. 

Videographers will greatly appreciate the N-Log, ProRes and Raw HQ formats they can to shoot in with this camera.

Functionality: Our only real complaint? Its screen doesn't fully articulate, which can make shooting at certain angles a little awkward. But there's little else to complain about here: As we established in our Nikon Z8 review, it's simply the best camera body on the market right now. Nothing else comes close — it's in a league of its own.

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Nikon Z8
AttributesNotes
DesignOutstanding build quality, but it's big and heavy.
PerformanceStarlight mode enables autofocus detection down to an unheard of -9EV.
FunctionalityNight vision mode for astrophotographers.

Best Sony

Best for full-frame resolution: This powerhouse features groundbreaking AI-based autofocus to never miss a shot and incredible full-frame resolution

Specifications

Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: 61MP, Full frame
Lens mount: E mount
ISO Range: 100 - 3200 (expanded 50 - 102,400)
Viewfinder size/resolution: 3.2-inch / 9.44M dot
Video capability: 8K/25p video recording
Weight: 1.59 lbs / 723 g including battery
Size: 5.16 x 3.82 x 3.23-inch / 131 x 97 x 82 mm
Memory card type: Dual UHS-II SD/CFexpress Type A slots

Reasons to buy

+
AI-based autofocus system is on a new level
+
One of the best LCD screens we've seen
+
Stunning high-resolution images

Reasons to avoid

-
Files are huge — your computer will need to be able to process them
-
High ISO images are noisy
Buy it if:

You shoot portraits or weddings: The new AI-based autofocus system is on another level and makes shooting people easier than ever.

You shoot multiple styles: This camera excels at most photographic styles and video, so if you like to shoot many different subjects then this could be the camera for you.

Don't buy it if:

 You mainly shoot astro: We noted that due to so many megapixels, the images were very noisy. Fine for occasional astro with AI denoise in post-processing, but there are better options for astro.

The bottom line:

🔎 Sony A7R V: The Sony A7R V builds on the power of its predecessor with its higher resolution EVF and LCD screen, more stops of image stabilization and a new AI autofocus unit, but the massive 61MP sensor provides too much noise for astrophotography. ★★★★½

Design: The Sony A7R IV was already, in our minds, one of the best mirrorless cameras at the time of its release, so we weren't sure whether the A7R V could be any better. 

While its design isn't too different from its predecessor, the A7R V is nothing short of fantastic, and it boasts a few notable improvements. It has an incredible 4-axis, multi-angle LCD screen which displays great detail thanks to its 2,095M dots. Astrophotographers in particular will appreciate this articulated screen, which allows you to achieve any angle you want.

Performance: In our review of the Sony A7R V, we noted how impressed we were with the autofocus. It's a huge improvement over the A7R IV — which already had very good autofocus. This time around, though, it's incredible. Thanks to the use of an AI system, it can recognize human movements, poses and body parts and uses its internal technology to predict how the subject might move. It's also excellent at tracking subjects like animals, insects and vehicles. 

Functionality: There are eight stops of image stabilization built into the Sony A7R V, which is seriously impressive. In our Sony A7R V review, we could shoot handheld at ISO 100 at 1/3 seconds, with our image coming out nice and sharp. That's seriously impressive.

The Sony A7R V is certainly an investment, but for the amount of tech you get, we think it's worth every cent and will last for years. If you shoot multiple disciplines, we think you'll love this camera.

However, we've had mixed results when it comes to astrophotography. We had to bump the ISO up in order to shoot at the stars, which resulted in a fair bit of noise — not altogether unexpected with a 61MP sensor. It's not unusable as an astro camera, and if you've got some image editing software, you can clean images up nicely. But it's something to bear in mind as post-processing could take you a lot longer than you're used to.

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Sony A7R V
AttributesNotes
DesignMost versatile LCD screen yet.
PerformanceSony's autofocus just keeps getting better thanks to the new AI system.
FunctionalityEight stops image stabilization proves great for low light.

Best hybrid

The EOS R5 is a mirrorless powerhouse with huge stills specs and uncropped 8K RAW video

Specifications

Sensor: 45MP, Full-frame
Lens mount: RF (EF/EF-s with adapter)
ISO range: 100-51,200 (expanded 50-102,400)
Video: 8K DCI RAW 30p
Weight without lens: 1.43 lb (650g)
Memory card slots: CFexpress / SD UHS-II

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent low-light autofocusing 
+
Eight stops of image stabilization 

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite expensive
-
Reported overheating problems shooting 8K 
Buy it if

✅ You want good autofocus: this camera has excellent AF even in low light.

✅ You want great image stabilization: the R5 has eight stops of it. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're on a budget: this camera is on the expensive side and is mostly a camera reserved for pros, so if you're on a budget you might want to consider other options.

❌ You shoot video a lot: there are reported overheating problems when shooting 8K video.

The bottom line

🔎 The Canon EOS R5 is a great choice for semi-pro photographers looking to upgrade to a camera for life. ★★★★½

Design: The Canon EOS R5 has a bulky appearance, but once it's in your hands it feels rather lightweight — particularly compared to Canon's older DSLRs. If you're used to shooting on one of those, then, you'll certainly notice the drop in size and weight here. 

The RF mount of the R5 also boasts improved optical design which means lenses can have a smaller form factor — a huge benefit for photographers who like to travel around with multiple lenses on their person. 

Performance: In our review of the Canon EOS R5, we called it a first-class professional camera. This is a solid choice for pro photographers, and almost certainly overkill for most enthusiasts. Whether you're shooting video or stills, the R5 will deliver spectacular results: Stills can up up to 45MP while videos can be up to 8K at 30p — although you should bear in mind that there have been some reports of units overheating while shooting 8K video. 

This camera is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to shooting in low-light conditions. Its -6EV autofocus detection range works so flawlessly that it can practically see in the dark. Coupled with the custom (and excellent) DIGIC X processor, images have very little visible noise, which makes it a great choice for astrophotographers. 

Functionality: During our Canon EOS R5 review, we found the tracking spot on and found the R5 had one of the fastest autofocus systems we've used. However, we did find that over the course of a day, the battery life struggled to keep up with the camera's specs.

We loved the 5-axis in-body image stabilization in the R5, making handheld shots sharper than they'd otherwise be. Our only complaint is that it doesn't seem quite as effective when you're shooting video at 8K RAW.

The Canon EOS R5 has built-in technology which enhances the dynamic range of every photo you take. Its Auto Lighting Optimizer and Highlight Tone Priority tech do an excellent job of creating bright and contrast-ful images, and we found them particularly useful for users who might not be as experienced with image processing. Basically, the camera does most of the hard work for you.

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Canon EOS R5
AttributesNotes
DesignA heavy, sturdier design than some other mirrorless cameras.
PerformanceExceptional low light performance.
FunctionalityBattery life is slightly compromised.

Best value

The A7R gives incredible detail and features a fantastic autofocusing system

Specifications

Sensor: 60MP, full frame
Lens mount: E-mount
ISO range: 100-32,000 (expanded 50-102,400)
Video: 4K UHD 30p
Weight without lens: 1.47 lb (665g)
Memory card slots: SD UHS-II x 2

Reasons to buy

+
 Incredible stills resolution 
+
 Brilliant autofocusing system 

Reasons to avoid

-
 Limited ISO range considering price 
-
 No 8K video recording
Buy it if

✅ You want to shoot the sharpest images: the stills resolution is incredible.

✅ You want great features: It has incredible functionality and is very much typical of what you'd expect from Sony.

You're a pro: As this camera is so expensive, it's really only reserved for pros who make money from photography.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want to shoot video: there is no 8K video recording, which is disappointing for a camera this expensive.

❌ You want the biggest ISO range: for the price, 100-32,000 is limited.

You want the best autofocus: While we thought the autofocus was good, those who want the most intelligent autofocus should opt for the newer model — the Sony A7R V.

The bottom line

🔎 The Sony A7R IV is one of the highest resolution full-frame cameras on the market, and has an incredibly impressive autofocus system. ★★★★½

Design: For a full-frame camera, the Sony A7R IV is relatively compact and lightweight, while still maintaining a substantial grip which makes it comfortable and easy to hold. It's also easy to tell when the large buttons have been pressed and the AF joystick is large and tactile, meaning that this camera is eminently usable while wearing gloves, which will be an important consideration for astrophotographers. 

Performance: This camera's monster 61MP sensor is still one of the highest resolutions available on the general market, and it produces staggering image quality, alongside 4K video. In theory it can shoot up to 10 continuous frames per second, but you can run into buffer problems when using burst shooting with such large image files, so it might not be the best choice for sports photographers. However, you do have the option of transforming the A7R IV into a 26MP APS-C camera with a 1.5x crop factor, which allows you to shoot bursts for much longer and makes it compatible with APS-C lenses.

Functionality: Perhaps the standout feature of the Sony A7R IV is its world-class autofocus system, which has been trained to recognize eyes and faces. During our review of the Sony A7R IV review, we were impressed by the fact it was able to tell when someone was wearing sunglasses and switched from eye to face tracking to get the best shot. This great functionality extends even to animals, so it's a great choice for pet and wildlife photographers. 

Astrophotographers will also be pleased to know the camera performs brillliantly in low light too, reaching speeds of up to ISO 6400. 

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Sony A7R IV
AttributesNotes
DesignSuperb build quality.
PerformanceBright, sharp and colorful images.
FunctionalityHigh megapixel sensor means more image noise.

Best pro camera

Best pro camera: This is likely one of the best-performing cameras ever made

Specifications

Sensor: 45.7MP, Stacked full-frame
Lens mount: Z mount
ISO range: 64-256,000 (expanded 32-102,400)
Video: 8K UHD 60p, 4K UHD 120p
Weight without lens: 2.95 lb (1340g)
Memory card slots: CFexpress type B or XQD card

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive battery life
+
Excellent build quality
+
Incredible burst shooting speed

Reasons to avoid

-
On the heavy side
-
We'd have liked an articulating screen
Buy it if

✅ You're on the go a lot: this camera has impressive battery life, even in temperatures down to -10-degrees celsius / 14-degrees Fahrenheit.

✅ You want a sturdy camera: the build quality on the Z9 is excellent and can withstand years of use.

✅ You shoot sports photography: this camera has very impressive burst speed — it can do 30, 60 and 120FPS in JPEG, and 20FPS in RAW.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You need a lightweight camera: this one is on the heavy side compared to some of its competitors.

❌ You want an articulated screen: the screen on this camera is tilt-only.

The bottom line

🔎 The Nikon Z9 is a brilliant astro camera and a monster for stills and video, but it has a high price. ★★★★½

Design: The Nikon Z9 is an absolute powerhouse, and its ergonomics reflect its strong performance. It's definitely not lightweight or compact compared to many of its competitors — it is rugged and fully weather-sealed, so you can use it in just about any weather conditions. 

According to Nikon, it can withstand temperatures of minus 10 degrees Celsius, and while we were unfortunately unable to test that claim, we did spend extended periods of time shooting in the cold. We were thoroughly impressed by the fact that we had only drained 20% of the battery after three or four hours of shooting long exposures and adjusting settings extensively. 

Performance: We were seriously impressed with this camera, and we go into great detail as to why in our Nikon Z9 review. It's particularly great at astrophotography and we managed to get some stunning shots of the moon and the night sky at large. We particularly loved the monster battery life of the Z9, which allowed us to keep shooting for hours without worry.

Perhaps the only reason we didn't quite score it five stars (instead, a still-very-impressive 4.5) is that its price point is overkill if astrophotography is your main discipline. It does a stellar job, sure, but you really don't need to spend this much if you aren't going to use the camera much elsewhere.

Functionality:  No matter what you're taking pictures of — be it people, events, the night sky or landscapes — you'll get outstanding results with the Nikon Z9. The only reason it's not at the top of our list is the fact it's a professional camera with a very heavy price tag, putting it out of the reach of many. If you can afford it, though, you won't be disappointed.

Even if you're shooting in low light conditions, you'll find the Nikon Z9's autofocus to be outstanding. If you're a wedding photographer you'll appreciate the ability to capture those fleeting moments a