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Top 10 Mirrorless Cameras 2016

Mirrorless cameras are designed to have the advantage of smaller length, lighter weight, and lower price than SLRs, and frame using what the sensor sees rather than the usage of optical views. If you're a budding or professional photographer, one of the models on our list can be just what you're looking for.

Sony a7R II Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera, Body Only (Black) (ILCE7RM2/B)Olympus PEN E-PL8 Black Body OnlyFujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only)Sony a7S II ILCE7SM2/B 12.2 MP E-mount Camera with Full-Frame Sensor, BlackOlympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Camera Body Only, 20.4 mega pixel with 3-Inch LCD, BlackSony Alpha a6500 Mirrorless Digital Camera w/ 2.95Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Digital Camera (Black) - Body onlyPanasonic LUMIX DMC-GX8KBODY DSLM Mirrorless 4K Camera Body Only, Dual Image Stabilization (Black)Fujifilm X-Pro2 Body Professional Mirrorless Camera (Black)Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G85KBODY 4K Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera, Body Only, 16 Megapixels (Black)

Through With The Looking Glass

On a traditional single-lens reflex camera, or SLR, 'reflex' refers to the action of a small mirror in the camera body that sits behind the back element of the lens. That mirror reflects the light coming through the lens up into another series of mirrors, or, in more expensive cameras, into a complicated prism of glass called a pentaprism. Either way the light travels, it ends up in the eyepiece at the back of the camera through which you frame your image.

With that mirror in the way, however, it'd be impossible for the light coming through the lens to reach the film or the digital sensor (D-SLR indicates a digital version of the SLR design). Thus, all SLRs have a mechanism the reflexively pulls the mirror up and out of the way in a fraction of a second, just in time for the shutter to open and expose the sensor to light.

The problem with a reflexive mirror is that its movement creates vibrations in the camera, vibrations that decrease sharpness in your images. The reflex mechanism also necessitates that the camera is a certain depth to accommodate it, making your system bulkier and heavier.

The great challenge in designing a pro-level mirrorless camera was in the viewfinder. That mirror or pentaprism pathway was excellent at maintaining brightness and conveying real-time framing of the scene before you without any lag. Early mirrorless viewfinders were always a step behind the action, making the cameras useless in sports, events, and other fast-paced shooting environments.

In the past few years, however, viewfinder technology has skyrocketed, mainly due to advances in smaller OLED displays. Now, not only do you get the full benefit of a sharp, bright OLED viewfinder that conveys info in real time, but you also can use that viewfinder to give you actual exposure feedback, so the brightness and contrast of the image you see are just what you'll get in your picture.

Altogether, these cameras result in a fast, informative shooting experience with no unnecessary vibration. What's more, some companies have utilized the room saved by the removal of the mirror to install on-sensor image stabilization that can correct for up to five axes of vibration, essentially doubling down on the original benefit of getting rid of the mirror.

Since mirrorless cameras are, in many ways, children of a marriage between early digital point-and-shoots and professional D-SLRs, some of their manufacturers have decided to make their camera bodies without any viewfinders, putting their focus on the quality of the viewing screen at the back of the camera body, while offering optional viewfinders for purchase.

A Good Time To Rethink Brands


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There was a time in the dying art of film photography, and even in digital photography, when Nikon and Canon were the only significant players. In today's market, however, brand means less than ever.

Years ago, photographers found themselves locked into systems by the lenses they'd bought. They might own a $3,000 camera body, but they'd also own about $15,000 in lenses, so jumping ship was almost never an option. There are mirrorless systems on the market that work with all the old lenses, but most of them require adapters, and the use of giant lenses kind of flies in the face of one of the major advantages of mirrorless systems, which is that they're smaller.

If you've been shooting or a while, either in film or digital, and you're looking to make the jump to mirrorless, the chances are you're doing it to save on that size, to travel lighter than you otherwise could. You probably have a bevy of nice lenses that you don't want to just lose, or take a beating on in their resale.

The good news is that there are a couple of companies specializing in cross-platform adapters, meaning you can buy a camera off our list based on its technical specs without worrying about which lenses will or will not work with it.

You may be new to photography, however, and you want to start small without throwing a lot of money into moribund platforms. That's smart. You're lucky in that you have such a wide field of options, but that abundance can easily become confusing. Before investing in any camera system, you should know what you plan to shoot.

If you want to do street photography, taking clandestine pictures of unsuspecting people, you should aim for the smallest camera on our list that has a silent shutter. That way, you can take shot after shot without ever alerting your subject to your presence.

Event and sports photographers will want to put an emphasis on burst rate (maximum number of shots a camera can take in a second) and auto-focus speed. Nature and portrait photographers will want to know that there's an excellent selection of lenses for the system. Ten years ago, that would have sent photographers either to Nikon or Canon, but in the mirrorless market it's Fuji and Olympus who currently boast the best glass.

A Range Of Possibilities


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While most people think of Sony, Panasonic, and Olympus when they think of the early pioneers of mirrorless, interchangeable-lens camera systems, it was a company known much more for printing pictures than for taking them that was first to the party.

In 2004, Epson created a digital rangefinder camera that utilized Leica's M-mount lenses. The 6.1-megapixel marvel, called the RD-1, was modeled after the Voigtlander Bessa 35, which was a film camera released in the late 1990s, and it came out costing consumers a hefty $3,000.

Now, I know a rangefinder is a mirrorless system, to begin with, so making a digital rangefinder with interchangeable lenses is kind of a shortcut toward mirrorlesses, since there was no mirror to replace. But the idea of a digital camera with interchangeable lenses and no mirror was a total novelty, and the big brands we now associate with the mirrorless revolution all took notice, leading toward the relatively young, extraordinarily exciting products that continue to evolve.


#10.Panasonic LUMIX DMC-G85KBODY 4K Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera, Body Only, 16 Megapixels (Black)


The Panasonic LUMIX G85 offers over 27 LUMIX compact lens options built on the next-generation interchangeable lens camera standard (Micro Four Thirds) pioneered by Panasonic. Its “mirrorless” design enables a lighter, more compact camera body that includes cutting-edge video, audio, creative controls, wireless, intelligent-focusing, gyro sensor control in body image stabilization and exposure technologies not possible with traditional DSLRs. And with the exclusive LUMIX 4K Ultra HD video pause and export as a 4K PHOTO mode, you’ll never again miss that one shot that perfectly captures a scene.


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#9.Fujifilm X-Pro2 Body Professional Mirrorless Camera (Black)


The FUJIFILM X-Pro2 takes X-Series camera performance to new heights. The new 24MP X-Trans CMOS III image sensor and high-performance X Processor Pro image processing engine dramatically improve image quality. The Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder is capable of instantly switching between optical and electronic viewfinders. Fast focal plane shutter and intelligent Hybrid Phase detection take performance a step further. Plus, there are a new weather resistant rugged body and dual SD memory card slots to fulfill the wishes of every pro photographer. By combining these features with the ultra-high image quality of FUJINON X-Mount lenses and FUJIFILM's renowned color reproduction technology, the X-Pro2 delivers the best ever results from an X-series camera.


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#8.Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GX8KBODY DSLM Mirrorless 4K Camera Body Only, Dual Image Stabilization (Black)


Reading some of negative reviews I can only assume these people know little or nothing about cameras or photography, one review says image quality is, I suspect that's down to the user, not the camera,this takes superb pictures and is feature packed camera the menu is easy to navigate if you know it all means which is user knowledge not the camera, the image stabilisation a great feature when using Olympus lenses. This is the best Panasonic camera to date.


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#7.Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Digital Camera (Black) - Body only


The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is a surprisingly sophisticated camera that's a joy to use. Whether you're a novice just snapping shots of your everyday life or a photo enthusiast looking to maximize your creativity, the E-M10 Mark II delivers with a compact profile, intuitively placed controls, and an advanced 5-axis image stabilization system that ensures perfection with every shot!


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#6.Sony Alpha a6500 Mirrorless Digital Camera w/ 2.95" LCD (Body Only)


24.2 MP Exmor CMOS sensor with world’s fastest AF speed (0.05 sec.) and the highest number of phase detection AF point (425). In-camera 5-axis optical image stabilization for every lens and enhanced AF features including intuitive and immediate touchscreen AF operation. 4K movie recording and pro video features including 2.4x oversampling with full pixel readout and no pixel binning, S-Log3/S-Log2, S-Gamut and gamma assist and more.


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#5.Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II Camera Body Only, 20.4 mega pixel with 3-Inch LCD, Black


The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is an advanced system of innovative technology and features designed to forever change your photography: up to 18 frames per second sequential shooting with precision C-AF Tracking, 121 Cross-Type On-Chip Phase Detection AF points, up to 5.5 shutter speed steps of compensation with powerful in-body image stabilization, plus a 50MP High-Res Shot Mode. It’s all enclosed in a lightweight magnesium alloy weatherproof body. Paired with the superior resolution of Olympus M.Zuiko PRO lenses, the E-M1 Mark II will deliver brilliant imagery that’s coveted by professionals everywhere.


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#4.Sony a7S II ILCE7SM2/B 12.2 MP E-mount Camera with Full-Frame Sensor, Black


The α7S II has evolved in both Stills and Movies adding internal 4K video recording, 5-axis image stabilization and High-speed AF with enhanced accuracy - while maintaining its legendary low-light/ low noise capability for an extraordinary high sensitivity of up to ISO 409,6002. Additional updates include; S-Gamut. Cine/S-Log Picture Profiles and 120P Full HD 1920x1080 high-frame rate video for 5x slow motion. An evolution of a low-light legend is here!


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#3.Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only)


The FUJIFILM X-T2 is the ultimate mirrorless digital camera. The X-T2 is a splash-resistant premium interchangeable lens camera with a large OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF). The X-T2 houses the latest generation 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III with an APS-C sensor with no low-pass filter, boasting the highest performance in the history of X Series. The new X-T2 produces crisp image resolution comparable to that of cameras equipped with larger sensors and higher pixel counts, all in a more compact and classically-designed body. And for the first time, the new FUJIFILM X-T2 now supports 4K video recording that can use each available Film Simulation mode, including ACROS, to easily produce premium-quality footage that is as unique as the photographer behind the viewfinder.


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#2.Olympus PEN E-PL8 Black Body Only


A Camera As Stunning As The Photos It Takes
It’s what happens when you bring together sophisticated style with advanced camera technology. The ultra-portable Olympus E-PL8 is the newest member of the award-winning PEN family of interchangeable lens cameras. It’s easy to use and packed with smart features that help anyone shoot high-quality images. Convenient extras like touch screen operation and an 180° tilt LCD monitor make the E-PL8 easy to use anywhere.
Distinctively Stylish and Compact
One word sums up the E-PL8’s design: premium. It features rich leather grain, a brushed aluminum finish, and textured knobs that give it a warm, luxurious feel. Rounded corners add to the sleek lines and help it to feel natural and comfortable when you hold it. But what’s really impressive is the compact design. It’s small, light and fits in any small bag. You’ll barely notice it’s there.


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#1.Sony a7R II Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera, Body Only (Black) (ILCE7RM2/B)


Long time Canon user here. Pretty old school lover of the optical viewfinder and non-believer of mirrorless until this beast had surfaced.
My experience does not include the use of Sony/Zeiss since I only have Canon glass to use with my Metabones adapter but the AF on this combination has been fast and accurate so far with the Canon 24-70mm 2.8 Mark II.

Dynamic range is a huge improvement over the Canon systems, along with the AF system. This thing just doesn't know when to stop. The resolution is just ridiculous and is giving my Mac Pro 3.7ghz Quad Core, 32gb ram, 2gb AMD FirePro a run for performance. Luckily I upgraded my computer not too long ago because my old Mac Pro probably would have died.


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