Best mirrorless cameras in 2022

Best mirrorless cameras
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The best mirrorless cameras are able to keep up with you no matter the shooting environment. Despite being around for a some time, mirrorless cameras are proving ever-popular with new and veteran photographers alike. Unlike SLR and DSLR cameras, mirrorless cameras lack a mirror and a viewfinder prism. Instead, they rely upon a small screen in the viewfinder. The reduction in hardware means mirrorless cameras are lighter and more compact, making them easier to carry around.

The best mirrorless cameras offer sharper images with higher resolution, a wider dynamic range, as well as other features that usually surpass the abilities of DSLR cameras. However, not all mirrorless cameras are the same and as such, you'll see a wide range in price too — from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand. 

With Black Friday coming on November 25 and some retailers hosting early deals, that wide range in price could have an even cheaper starting point. So, if you're looking to snap up one of the best mirrorless cameras on the market, now could be the best time to bag a bargain. 

Furthermore, you will have to choose between Micro Four Thirds, APS-C, and full-frame sensors. Different numbers of compatible lenses are available for each camera, so picking out the best mirrorless camera for you may be more challenging than you expect. That's why we've put together this handy guide.

For astrophotography, the best mirrorless cameras aren't your only option. For astrophotographers who want camera equipment that will maximize detail in the stars check out the best cameras for astrophotography and consider the best lenses for astrophotography


Best mirrorless cameras in 2022

Why you can trust Space Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The Canon EOS R5 from above

(Image credit: Jacob Little)
The best mirrorless overall The EOS R5 is a mirrorless powerhouse with huge stills specs and uncropped 8K RAW video

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame, 45MP
Lens mount: RF (EF/EF-s with adapter)
ISO range: 100-51,200 (50-102,400 expanded)
Video: DCI 8K RAW 30p
Weight without lens: 650g
Memory card slots: CFexpress x 1 and SD UHS-II x 1

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite expensive
-
Reported overheating problems shooting 8K 

Advanced and professional users who require excellent image quality for both stills and video will find the Canon EOS R5 well suited. The R5 captures 45MP stills that can easily be cropped and video footage that shoots uncropped 8K RAW at 30fps. Its performance in low light is solid thanks to the -6EV autofocusing detection range. This camera can practically see in the dark. There's low image noise across the ISO sensitivity range thanks to the custom-designed DIGIC X image processor.

The R5 also comes with better dynamic range thanks to the improved Auto Lighting Optimizer (ALO) and Highlight Tone Priority + technology. This makes it easier for those newer to image processing to get clearer contrasted images of dark subjects. Also, due to the wider diameter and closer flange range of the RF mount in the EOS R5, it can take advantage of improved optical designs with sharper results and smaller form factor lenses, making it more portable.

The R5 can use its 5-axis stabilization up to a whopping eight stops, even on lenses without image stabilization because of the in-body image stabilization (IBIS) technology. This IBIS technology works well when shooting video although it doesn't quite perform as well as expected when capturing 8K RAW footage.

During our review of the Canon EOS R5 we found the autofocus system to be one of the fastest we have used and we think the tracking must be best in class as it was spot on.


Nikon Z9 on a wooden table in front of a window

(Image credit: Andy Hartup)
Best mirrorless camera ever made and one of the top performing cameras ever made

Specifications

Sensor: 45.7MP, stacked full-frame
Lens mount: Nikon Z mount
ISO range: 64-256,000 (expandable up to 32-102,400)
Video: 8K 60FPS, 4K 120FPS
Weight without lens: 1340g
Memory card slots: CFexpress type B or XQD card

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic battery life
+
Excellent build quality
+
Unrivaled burst shooting speed

Reasons to avoid

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

We recently carried out a Nikon Z9 review, and to say we were impressed is a huge understatement. The only reason it didn't quite get five stars is that its somehow just too good for astrophotographers, it is overkill, and there is no need to spend this type of cash if astro is what you're going to be shooting the most.

That said, if you're into landscapes, portraits, and wildlife photography, with some astro on the side (of course) then this is the camera that puts the competition to shame.

It is simply one of the best Nikon units you can buy if you have around $5500 at your disposal. It is fully weather-sealed and incredibly rugged. Nikon claims it will continue to operate at -10 degrees Celsius, although we didn't test this during our review.

The battery life is exceptional, even when we were shooting with it in the cold for 3-4 hours, including lots of long exposures and regularly changing settings, we only used 20% of the fully charged battery. That is impressive.

The autofocus is very fast, even in low light, giving you the best opportunity to capture fleeting moments at special occasions such as weddings, or at sporting events.


Canon EOS R6 with vari-angle touchscreen deployed

(Image credit: Jason Parnell-Brookes)
Great low-light autofocus and an impressive ISO range make this ideal for astro

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame, 20MP
Lens mount: RF (EF/EF-s with adapter)
ISO range: 100-51,200 (50- 204,800 expanded)
Video: 4K UHD 60p
Weight without lens: 598g
Memory card slots: SD UHS-II x 2

Reasons to buy

+
 Better low light AF than R5 
+
 Generous ISO range 

Reasons to avoid

-
 Only 4K cropped video 
-
 Limited to 20MP stills  

The Canon EOS R6 is essentially the R5's little brother so there is naturally a drop in both image quality and price. However, despite a lower image resolution (20.1MP compared to the R5's 45MP) and less detailed electronic viewfinder, it performs better when being used for astrophotography. 

It can autofocus down to -6.5EV which is 0.5EV lower than the R5. Having a maximum ISO sensitivity twice as high as the R5, it is more suited to shooting videos of the aurora and other night sky subjects. It's also smaller, lighter, and cheaper than the R5 and the lower photosite count (pixels) means it should be less prone to image noise. 


Sony A7 III review: image shows Sony A7 III camera outside

(Image credit: Lauren Scott)
An all-round performer good at both stills and video capture, though now superseded by the A7 IV

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame, 24.2MP
Lens mount: E-mount
ISO range: 100-51200 (expanded to ISO 50-204800)
Video: 4K UHD 30p
Weight without lens: 650g
Memory card slots: SD UHS-II x 2

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent performance for the price
+
Long battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Unfriendly menu interface
-
Tilting rather than vari-angle screen

The key to the A7III's uniqueness lies in its Exmor R image processor which is back-illuminated for improved light collecting ability. This, plus Detail Reproduction and Area-specific Noise Reduction technologies help to maintain clear, noise-free shots even at high ISO values — ideal for astro where ISOs are inherently cranked up high.

It has a 15-stop dynamic range so bright highlights and deep shadows can be rendered equally capably across the frame. A maximum ISO of 51200 (or 204800 for stills) and the integrated Hybrid-Log Gamma picture profile make the camera ideal for night sky shooting for HDR video processing.


Fujifilm X-T4 camera review: image of Fuji X-T4

(Image credit: Diana Jarvis)
One of the best mirrorless cameras for low light autofocusing in a compact size

Specifications

Sensor: APS-C, 26.1MP
Lens mount: X-mount
ISO range: 160-12800 (extended 80-51200)
Video: DCI 4K 30p
Weight without lens: 526g
Memory card slots: SD UHS-II x 2

Reasons to buy

+
 Huge 6.5 stops of in-body image stabilization 
+
 Vari-angle touchscreen 

Reasons to avoid

-
 APS-C crop sensor 
-
 Lack of headphone jack 

Though an APS-C camera, the X-T4 hits hard with its specs such as uncropped 4K video at 30fps, 26.1MP stills capture, and a nicely detailed electronic viewfinder for more straightforward composition. It's also lightweight and highly affordable, considering the specs, which makes this the ideal camera for those that want lots of features in a small form factor but without the hefty price tag.

The impressive -7EV autofocus range means this camera is top quality when autofocusing in the dark. In our Fujifilm X-T4 review, we were impressed with the insanely high ISO capabilities and thus the camera's low-light performance, making it an excellent choice for astrophotography. However, as with all camera AF range specs, the performance does depend on the lens attached (in this case the XF50mm f/1.0).


Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV camera on a table outside

(Image credit: Jacob Little)
Unbelievable performance for a Micro Four Thirds camera

Specifications

Sensor: Micro Four Thirds, 20MP
Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
ISO range: 200-6400 (extended 64-25600)
Video: 4K UHD 30p
Weight without lens: 383g
Memory card slots: SD, SDHC (UHS-I / II), SDXC (UHS-I / II

Reasons to buy

+
 Incredibly lightweight and portable 
+
 AF system is fast and reliable 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not much room for progression
-
Plastic feel doesn't feel premium
-
Isn't weather sealed 

A Micro Four Thirds image sensor means less surface area to capture light. Despite this, Olympus has managed to pack a lot into this stylish little camera that fits in your pocket. We have replaced 'version three' of this model with this, version four, thanks to some good upgrades including an improved sensor, quicker autofocus and generally a more refined package.

During our review of the Olympus OM-DE E-M10 Mark IV we liked the well-sculpted and ergonomic right-hand grip which let us operate the chunky camera controls one-handed. The flip-down, 3-inch, responsive touch screen makes it easy to compose shots aimed at unusual angles. It even flips down 180 degrees for V-Logs and selfies. One thing we do miss is weatherproofing, so it can't be used in poor weather conditions, and you have to be mindful of dust ingress.

20MP stills compete with full-frame mirrorless cameras in terms of image resolution and it can even shoot 4K UHD 30p video. Though the ISO range (200-6400) is more limited than other cameras in this roundup although usually, most astro shooters will want to keep ISO as low as possible to avoid image noise which means 6400 (or 25600 expanded) is more than ample.


The Sony A1 sat one a work surface

(Image credit: Kimberley Lane)
A world-leading mirrorless camera full of insane specs but with a world-leading price to match

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame, 50MP
Lens mount: Sony E-mount
ISO range: 100-32000 (expanded 50-102400)
Video: 8K 30p
Weight without lens: 737g
Memory card slots: SD UHS-II and CFexpress x 2

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly detailed EVF 
+
Jaw-droppingly detailed stills and video 
+
Incredibly accurate eye af and tracking

Reasons to avoid

-
Astronomical price 
-
One for advanced/professional users 

If you were looking to buy a camera to rule them all, this might be your dream camera, although, as we discussed in our hands-on Sony A1 review, it comes with a huge price tag, so it is likely restricted to professional photographers. A massive 50.1MP stills resolution matched by 8K 30p video, a class-leading electronic viewfinder and in-body image stabilization of 5.5 stops means you'll effortlessly capture every star in the sky. The menu system is one of the best we've seen from Sony.

It has incredible specs and is ideal for astro work. The expandable ISO range up to 102400 allows for some stunning astrophotographs. 15 stops of dynamic range mean those pinpoints of bright, starry light are captured just as easily as the darkest patches of clear skies.

Another neat feature is lossless compressed files. Lossless compressed is practically the same image quality as uncompressed raw files, but the camera finds intelligent ways to get rid of some unnecessary information, thus making the file size about half that of an uncompressed raw file — your storage system and computer processor will thank you for this. 


A photo of the Nikon Z6 II placed on a table

(Image credit: Jacob Little)
The latest in the Z6 mirrorless range with a host of new and improved features

Specifications

Sensor: BSI-CMOS 24.5MP
Lens mount: Z-mount
ISO range: 100-51200 (expanded 50-204800)
Video: 4K 60p
Weight without lens: 1.5lbs/675g
Memory card slots: 1x CFexpress/XQD, 1x UHS-II SD

Reasons to buy

+
A good all-rounder
+
Small but welcome improvements over the Z6.

Reasons to avoid

-
Improvements could have been made even better
-
Plenty of competition

Although almost aesthetically identical to the aforementioned Nikon Z6, the Nikon Z6 II is a small, but welcome enhancement. As we discussed in our Nikon Z6 II review we wouldn't advise upgrading from one to the other if you already own the Z6 as the differences aren't big enough to warrant the change.

Some practical updates include a CF Express compatible second memory card slot, enhancing the capacity and speed of file writing. It also features a dual image processor and the burst rate has been increased from (an already impressive) 12FPS to 14FPS. The autofocus is also noticeably snappier and has a better range of shutter speeds, something handy for astrophotographers and creative photographers. 

Videographers will like the introduction of 60FPS at 4K video shooting, provided they don't mind a little extra weight.

The Nikon Z6 II is cheaper than its direct rival, the Canon EOS R6 and so would be a good choice for intermediate and professional shooters looking to move over to mirrorless.


front view of the sony a7r iv

(Image credit: Kimberley Lane)
The world's unrivaled highest resolution full frame mirrorless camera

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame, 60MP
Lens mount: E-mount
ISO range: 100-32000 (expanded 50-102400)
Video: 4K UHD 30p
Weight without lens: 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 
-
 Only 4K crop video 

If it's unparalleled detail you want to capture, then pay attention to this record-breaking Sony mirrorless camera. The image sensor in the A7R IV is capable of capturing huge 61MP stills images which at the time of writing is the highest resolution stills in a full-frame camera. Strangely, this doesn't transfer to video with it limited to 4K UHD 30p maximum footage capture, but that's still good enough for most shooters.

We tested the capabilities of this camera in our hands-on Sony A7R IV review, and we were wowed with autofocus which performed faultlessly, including the eye-detection. Even when we tested this functionality using a black cat as our subject, where many cameras wouldn't even recognize that there was a face in the frame, it tracked its eyes flawlessly, impressive.

The A7R IV performs very well in low light, making it a great option for astrophotography, but be mindful that the ISO range tops out at about 32000. Still, you won't get a bigger or more detailed image of the galaxies elsewhere, than you can with the A7R IV.


Nikon Z7 II on a tripod with a lens attached

(Image credit: Jason Parnell-Brookes)
A brilliant all rounder and great for astro, the reasonably priced Z7 II competes with the most expensive models

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame, 45.7MP
Lens mount: Z-mount (F-mount with adapter)
ISO range: 64-25600 (expanded <64-102400)
Video: 4K UHD 60p
Weight without lens: 615g
Memory card slots: Multi slot SD UHS-II, CFexpress, XQD x 2

Reasons to buy

+
 Great all-round performance 
+
 Sturdy construction and weather sealed 
+
 Multi slot memory card port 

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the best at anything 
-
LCD screen is tilt-only

The Nikon Z7 II turned things up a notch from the Z7 with better image processing and more advanced compatibility. Released in 2020, it provides extremely sharp 45MP stills and high-quality, smooth 4K UHD 60p video.

Shooting for longer periods is possible thanks to more efficient energy consumption. Its sturdy magnesium alloy body and complete weather sealing mean it can be exposed to all kinds of weather without worry. Paired with the razor-sharp Z series lenses, it's priced mainly at serious and professional shooters.

In our Nikon Z7 II review, we noted that it feels like a mini Nikon DSLR, with similar button placement, controls and command dials, so it should feel familiar if you're making the switch between the two. 

We were particularly impressed with its low light capabilities and how good it was when shooting astro. Although the screen is tilt-only, we didn't mind, as it means all of the buttons are still at a fingertips reach in the dark, so no need for headlamps or torches which may damage your night vision. Its superb handling of image noise really stood out too, and we found noise to be almost unnoticeable until we'd pushed it up to ISO2500.


Nikon Z5 on a tripod in front of a blue background

(Image credit: Jason Parnell-Brookes)
A compact entry-level full frame mirrorless camera with a good set of features

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame, 24.3MP
Lens mount: Z-mount (F-mount with adapter)
ISO range: 100-51200 (expanded 50-102400)
Video: 4K UHD 30p
Weight without lens: 590g
Memory card slots: SD UHS-II x 2

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable full-frame mirrorless 
+
Excellent ISO range 

Reasons to avoid

-
Too middle-ground for some 
-
Cropped 4K feels dated 

Full-frame cameras are notoriously expensive and often perceived as the reserve of advanced and professional photographers. This is why beginners and those still learning the ropes of photography tend to opt for APS-C crop sensors. However, due to its affordability, the Nikon Z5 is probably the world's most accessible full-frame mirrorless camera. During our Nikon Z5 review we thought that it is a very capable camera for anyone who wants to leap to a full-frame or mirrorless system but doesn't want to break the bank, apart from those who will be mainly shooting action, wildlife or sports.

The Z5's features aren't class-leading. Cropped 4K video is a little dated now for full-frame cameras. The viewfinder matches the resolution of the Z7 II but is outperformed by many competitors. Although the stills top out at 24.3MP, this isn't a show stopper as for low light shooting and astrophotography, lower resolution full-frame sensors tend to produce less unwanted image noise.


A photo of the Fujifilm XT-30's compact body

(Image credit: Tantse Walter)
The tiny Fujifilm X-T30 II is a great generalist camera at an affordable price

Specifications

Sensor: APS-C 26MP
Lens mount: Fujifilm X-mount
ISO range: 160-12800 (expanded 80-51200)
Video: 4K DCI/UHD at 30p, 25p, 24p
Weight without lens: 383g
Memory card slots: 1 x SD / SDHC / SDXC

Reasons to buy

+
Very light and compact
+
Excellent connectivity
+
Fast auto-focus

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life isn't great
-
Tilt rather than articulated screen
-
Menu takes a bit of getting used to

In our review of the Fujifilm X-T30 II, we found this stylish little camera to be an excellent option for taking everyday snaps, capturing fast action with the 20FPS electronic shutter, taking traveling, or capturing landscapes with exceptional color richness and detail. Thanks to intelligent shooting, you can achieve fantastic results straight out of the box just by using the AUTO mode. It sits at an affordable price point when set alongside comparable models.

The file transfer between the XT-30 II and a smartphone or tablet couldn't be more straightforward. It takes two clicks on the Fujifilm Camera Remote App. You can also control the camera's exposure settings and shutter using your phone, this could be handy if you're trying to get a candid photo of birds and other wildlife without disturbing them or for making sure everyone is in shot in a family photo without having to run back and forth.

It doesn't have the best battery life, rated at 380 shots, but the batteries are tiny and light, so adding a few spares to your kit bag for a full day of shooting is not a problem. 


Nikon Z6 camera and lens on a wooden table

(Image credit: Andy Hartup)
One of Nikon’s earliest mirrorless cameras actually outperforms many other mirrorless for astro

Specifications

Sensor: Full frame, 24.5MP
Lens mount: Z-mount (F-mount with FTZ adapter)
ISO range: 100-51200 (expanded 50-204800)
Video: 4K UHD 30p
Weight without lens: 585g
Memory card slots: SD UHS-II x 1 and CFexpress/XQD x 1

Reasons to buy

+
 Massive ISO range for age 
+
 Low image noise 

Reasons to avoid

-
 Photo resolution isn’t huge 
-
 Cropped 4K video 

The Z6 is one of two of Nikon's earliest attempts at mirrorless cameras and boy did they get it right, it is an extremely capable camera. It's the lower resolution version of its bigger-bodied, and more expensive, sibling (the Nikon Z7 (opens in new tab)) but reaps the rewards in terms of low image noise, especially when shooting at its high ISO sensitivities. That is why we included it in our best cameras for astrophotography guide after reviewing the Nikon Z6, and it also features in our best cameras guide.

Though cropped, the 4K UHD 30p video was impressive at its release date in 2018 and is still not to be sniffed at today. It gives fine detail, has a fast refresh rate and the autofocus is fast. 

If you're serious about astrophotography, landscapes, or even portraits, then the Z6 is the ideal mirrorless. What it lacks in sensor size and burst shooting, it certainly makes up for in image stabilization, ISO capabilities, and pure handling feel.


How we test the best mirrorless cameras

To guarantee you're getting honest, up-to-date recommendations on the best cameras to buy here at Space.com, we make sure to review every camera thoroughly to test each product fully. Each camera is reviewed based on many aspects, from its construction and design, to how well it functions as an optical instrument and its performance in the field.

Each camera is carefully tested by our expert staff or knowledgeable freelance contributors who know their subject areas in depth. This ensures fair reviewing is backed by personal, hands-on experience with each camera and is judged based on its price point, class and destined use. For example, comparing a 60MP full-frame mirrorless camera to a sleek little crop-sensor DSLR wouldn’t be appropriate, though each camera might be the best product in its class.

We look at how easy each camera is to operate, whether it contains the latest up-to-date imaging technology, whether the cameras can shoot high-quality stills photos and high-resolution video, and also suggest if a particular camera would benefit from any additional kit to give you the best viewing experience possible.

With complete editorial independence, Space.com are here to ensure you get the best buying advice on cameras, whether you should purchase an instrument or not, making our buying guides and reviews reliable and transparent.

Best mirrorless cameras: What to look for

Despite our top 13 models of mirrorless cameras highlighting a choice of options to suit different needs, there are still a few key aspects to consider before deciding which camera to go for. Decide whether stills photography will be the primary use or if movie-making is more critical as some models favor one discipline over the other. If the answer is that you will use both equally, look to get a model that produces high-resolution stills and movie footage, preferably uncropped video too for maximum flexibility.

A hugely important consideration when buying a mirrorless system is how many compatible lenses are available so you're not restricted when you further your photography and want versatility in your kit bag. A good range of wide-angles, zooms, primes, telephotos, macros, and other specialist lenses maximize the potential and keep the interest of those who like to experiment in multiple disciplines. For example, users who like to shoot wildlife, landscapes, astrophotography, sports, portraits, and macro subjects might want to consider a mirrorless camera with a broader selection of lenses available to complement it.

The most decisive factor in buying the best mirrorless cameras for most people is undoubtedly price. Looking at an older model, you will typically get a lower price but miss out on newer technology, like improved image stabilization and more detailed viewfinders. However, newer models aimed at professionals will have features that outshine ones for beginner and intermediate photographers - but will also cost much more. It is important to weigh up your budget and what features you will need for your style of photography and the subjects you will be shooting in the long run.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Jason Parnell-Brookes
Channel Editor

Jason Parnell-Brookes is an award-winning photographer, educator and writer based in the UK. He won the Gold Prize award in the Nikon Photo Contest 2018/19 beating over 90,000 other entrants and was named Digital Photographer of the Year in 2014. Jason is a Masters graduate and has a wealth of academic and real-world experience in a variety of photographic disciplines from astrophotography and wildlife to fashion and portraiture. Now the Channel Editor for Cameras and Skywatching at Space.com his speciality is in low light optics and camera systems.

With contributions from