There’s a huge misconception that professional photographers only use DSLR cameras. There are numerous professional photographers around the world that use a mirrorless camera just fine. Mirrorless cameras are getting more popular each day for an obvious reason – compactness. The great thing about mirrorless cameras is that they come in a smaller size, yet can still produce the same results as full-frame DSLRs.
What is a Mirrorless Camera?
We talked about this in our previous articles but for those who are lazy to read them, here’s an explanation. Mirrorless cameras are invented by Panasonic in 2008 and since then, this technology became the staple of photography. Unlike DSLRs, mirrorless cameras come with the mirror inside the camera removed. This mirror is used to bounce light from the lens to the optical viewfinder in DSLR.
On the contrary, mirrorless cameras come with an electronic viewfinder which is essentially a display, similar to the smartphones. If you see a camera that doesn’t have an optical viewfinder, it may be a mirrorless camera.
Buying a professional mirrorless camera is definitely a step in the right direction. While many photographers use DSLRs for their photo sessions, some photographers prefer the smaller size of mirrorless cameras. The truth be told, DSLRs are sometimes very heavy to carry around, whereas mirrorless cameras often come in a much smaller size. If you want to have all the advantages of DSLRs and don’t want to carry around a juggernaut of a camera, going mirrorless is a viable option.
Do you want a mirrorless camera that is as good as a DSLR camera? Look no further than Nikon Z7, this camera is an undisputed king of mirrorless cameras. This juggernaut comes with a whopping 45.7MP sensor that produces razor-sharp photos in all conditions. A full-frame camera like this one often comes with quality autofocus, with no exception here. The 435-point autofocus system grants stable and reliable autofocus at all times. To make things better, there’s an amazing viewfinder here.
The electronic viewfinder on this camera comes in a form of 3.2-inch tilt-angle touchscreen. While packing astonishing 2,100K dots, we would also like to see vari-angle possibilities. Unfortunately, to no avail. For users worried about the video quality, Nikon Z7 can capture the almighty 4K at 30 fps, for that cinematic experience. And if you want to capture some moving shots, the maximum continuous shooting speed of 9fps will make sure that you quench your thirst for premium performance.
When it comes to the full-frame mirrorless cameras, Sony has its own roster. This time, Sony Alpa A7R III gets the second spot on our list. Quite frankly, there are some unusual letdowns that prevent this one from being at the first spot, but let’s begin with the good stuff first. For example, a 42.2MP sensor, which is an absolute beast! Sony Alpha A7R III comes with jaw-dropping autofocus that packs 399 points and can easily track the object that you’ve focused on. This allows for a very good picture and video quality.
Speaking of video quality, 4K video recording is here, albeit at 30fps. 60fps would be great at this price, but hey, 30fps is still nice. Once again, we have a tilt-angle touchscreen, which isn’t completely a touchscreen since it has limited control. The highlight of this camera is its maximum continuous shooting speed of 10fps at full 42.2MP resolution.
Sony Alpha A7R III is a great buy, considering its amazing performance. Still, the battery life is lackluster and is the main letdown of this camera.
Get ready for the most expensive mirrorless camera on our list – Fujifilm GFX 50S. It comes with a huge 51.4MP sensor that comes in a medium format. The camera is able to produce one of the best images we’ve ever seen. The autofocus is very accurate and is able to focus on the subject in no time. But, the real downside of this autofocus system is that it’s a bit slow. Actually, it’s VERY slow, especially for the price. Since this is a huge sensor, you’d expect 4K video recording…well, not so fast. We’re stuck with 1080p, unfortunately.
On the brighter side, the video quality is really good but the main focus of Fujifilm is photography. In that regard, we have 3.69 million dots that viewfinder packs and as such, this is a very good electronic viewfinder for the price. We would like to see an OLED viewfinder, but that’s not going to happen here. Fujifilm GFX 50S is a camera that’s best used for landscapes, still-life, and other static subjects. Pairing it with a telephoto lens is going to extend its capabilities a bit more but with a continuous shooting speed of 3fps, it’s not going to blow you away when it comes to moving subjects. After all, Fujifilm GFX 50S is a great camera for static shots.
Nikon Z6 is a bit downgraded version of its stronger brother Z7 but a great mirrorless camera nonetheless. With its 24.5MP sensor, it’s not going to reinvent the wheel and surely won’t bring anything new to the table. But, the overall performance and photo/video quality that this sensor produces is one of the best out there. The sensor is able to handle high ISO settings with ease, allowing you to shoot in both poor and great lighting conditions.
Since it’s a full-frame mirrorless camera, there isn’t any cropping. Instead, you’ll get a full-fledged 4K UHD video recording at 30fps. And let me tell you something – it’s gorgeous! Thanks to the 5-stop shake compensation and amazing autofocus system, this camera is a choice of many professional photographers out there. Needless to say, that burst mode is excellent, with its 12fps of maximum continuous shooting speed. But, in all the good stuff, here’s some bad stuff. The battery is weak, packing around 310 shots per charge. Such a weak battery for such a beastly camera – such a pity!
If you don’t use your camera too much, the battery will probably last you a long time. For those who use their camera full-time, a spare camera is almost obligatory.
Sony A9 is a prime example of a camera that knows how to please a professional photographer. Despite having a minuscule 24.2MP sensor, this one really kicks ass in terms of video and photo quality. Since it’s a full-frame mirrorless camera, you get to enjoy every benefit that comes with it. Sony A9 now packs an amazing electronic viewfinder and autofocus that brings all the best things about the camera at the front. We’re talking about a 693-point phase-detect autofocus system that doesn’t come with a 100% coverage. To be precise, it’s 93%, which is still forgivable, given the power of it.
As for the video recording, Sony A9 is once again, at the professional level. The maximum video resolution is 4K UHD at 30fps. The video quality is exceptional and thanks to the maximum continuous shooting speed of 20fps, you’ll be able to capture some stunning imagery with moving subjects. The image stabilization is also here but it can be improved with a corresponding lens. Speaking of lenses, Sony A9 doesn’t offer as much lense as its competition.
15 stop dynamic range, 14 bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 204,800. Compatible with Sony E mount lenses. Can be connected via Bluetooth with smartphones featuring (as of the date of release)- Android (Android 5.0 or later, Bluetooth 4.0 or later), iOS (Bluetooth 4.0 or later)
Up to 10fps Silent or Mechanical Shutter with AE/AF tracking. Battery Life (Still Images): Approx. 610 shots (Viewfinder) / approx. 710 shots (LCD monitor), Battery Life (Movie, continuous recording): Approx. 200 min (Viewfinder) / Approx. 210 min (LCD monitor)
693 phase detection / 425 contrast AF points w/ 93 percent image coverage. Focus Sensor: Exmor R CMOS sensor
If Sony Alpha A7R III sounds good to you, then Sony Alpha A7 III will sound even better! This professional mirrorless camera represents a great value for the money. Despite having an abysmal 24.2MP sensor, the image quality turns out pretty good. Don’t get me wrong – 24.2MP isn’t small by any means. To compensate for that, Sony implemented a new sophisticated autofocus system that perfectly complements the overall image quality and performance. It even comes with an OLED viewfinder, which is always a nice addition.
Speaking of this OLED viewfinder, this is one of the nices viewfinders at the moment. Packing 2,359,296 dots, it’s razor-sharp and has some nice colors. The video resolution goes all the way to 4K UHD, with a possibility of 24 or 30 frames per second. As for the continuous shooting speed, we have 10fps, which is considered a standard for this price point. However, the burst mode isn’t as reliable as we’ve come to expect and lack of megapixels isn’t great too. But, if you don’t care about enormous photo resolution, Sony Alpha A7 III is still a great buy.
Despite manufacturing some of the greatest DSLRs, Canon has its fair share of amazing mirrorless cameras. This time, it’s Canon EOS R. First of all, there is a full-frame CMOS 30.3MP sensor. It’s a much bigger sensor than it usually is at this price point. And to be honest, the image quality produced by it is really good. Not to mention its amazing EVF viewfinder that comes with 3,69 millions of pixels, granting sharpness that’s rarely seen. And the viewfinder has 100% coverage, meaning that there’s no cropping, so you get to see everything.
The autofocus system is a well-known dual-pixel system that works fairly well. For those who like to shoot videos, the great news is that you can shoot them in 4K at 30 (29.97) fps. The bad news is that there isn’t an in-body image stabilization. The 4K video is also cropped, and the maximum continuous shooting speed is 8fps. With all these downsides, Canon EOS R can’t achieve a higher spot on our list.
Professional photo and video performance 20 3-Megapixel (Plus 80-megapixel high-resolution Jpeg/raw in-camera image) micro Four Thirds sensor with no low pass filter to confidently capture sharp images with a high Dynamic Range and artifact-free performance
Rugged splash/freeze proof design Durable magnesium alloy body withstands heavy use out in the field and is freeze proof down to -10-degrees splash/dustproof construction with weather sealing on every joint dial and button
Class-leading dual image stabilization 5-axis Dual image stabilization corrects all lenses including classic lenses not equipped with O I S to eliminate Blur and nearly eliminate body and lens shake in both photo and 4K video recording
We’ve already mentioned Panasonic Lumix G9 in our article about mid-range mirrorless cameras. But, we haven’t mentioned that this beautiful camera belongs to the upper mid-range market, which is very close to the professional market. Lumix G9 comes with a smaller 20.3MP sensor that’s accompanied with some features that make it worth our mention. First of all, there’s an amazing 6.5-stop image stabilization that completely removes any kind of shakiness out of your videos. The 225-point autofocus system works flawless, with the ability to track the subject you’ve focused on.
However, the star of the show is the continuous shooting speed which comes at 60fps. Have you seen a camera that can do that? In practice, it looks and performs even better than on the paper! Since we have a nice set of premium features, it would be a shame to exclude 4K video recording. As such, this camera can shoot 4K videos at 60fps, in an unparalleled quality at this price. The camera, however, doesn’t handle high ISO settings very well and we wish that ISO range is a bit broader. The battery life is also average, if not a bit below.
It’s one of the best professional and semi-professional mirrorless cameras for the given price. If you ask me, it’s definitely worth a buy!
Many people think that having a more expensive camera can result in better results. While it’s true, it’s also true that photography skills drastically influence the results. A professional photographer will surely benefit from a high-end mirrorless or DSLR camera but amateur photographers don’t need to give that much money on a camera.
That being said, the list we gave you is for those who are confident in their photography skills and want something that will push the limit a bit further. For top-of-the-line photographers, a professional camera is simply a must.
To put things into perspective, we listed the cameras that we are sure of. Every camera on this list has its own purposes and while some are great for photographers, others are great for videographers. It’s important to carefully read our article before making a purchase, and it’s also great to read some reviews on the internet.
You don’t need to waste a ton of cash to get a quality mirrorless camera. Thanks to their popularity, these cameras can be afforded easily and you don’t have to spend a fortune. Given the fact that they support interchangeable lenses, mirrorless cameras are slowly making their way to professional photography and are definitely here to stay.
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