Best mirrorless camera 2021/2022

10 best choices for photography and video

Are you searching for the best mirrorless camera you can buy? We’re here to help. Every camera in this guide has been rigorously tested to make sure it deserves its spot in our pick of the top mirrorless cameras for photos, video, travel or everyday shooting.

It’s been an incredible year for mirrorless cameras. We have seen the arrival of both professional trailblazers (like the Sony A1) and more affordable, retro charmers like the Nikon Z fc. You’ll find both of those cameras in our guide below. Alongside modern hybrid classics like the Canon EOS R5 and video workhorses like the Sony A7S III.

What’s the best mirrorless camera in 2021? It’s difficult to pick out just one. However, we think the Fujifilm X-T4 remains the best all-round choice for most people. It isn’t a full-frame camera, but its slightly smaller APS-C sensor produces excellent photos and video. And there are other benefits to that sensor size, including compact lenses and speedy burst shooting.

Here is our choice:

1. Fujifilm X-T4

A superb all-rounder that’s as capable as it is desirable

Looking for a mirrorless camera that’s equally comfortable shooting both great stills and 4K video? Few cameras do this better than the Fujifilm X-T4. The best APS-C camera so far, it offers a great blend of great build quality, a fun shooting experience, and class-leading image quality. We were already fans of the Fujifilm X-T3, which remains on sale is still worth considering if you mainly shoot stills.

Sensor size: APS-C

Resolution: 26.1MP

Viewfinder: 3,690K dots

Monitor: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,620K dots

Autofocus: 425-point AF

Maximum continuous shooting rate: 15fps (30fps electronic shutter)

Movies: 4K at 60p

User level: Intermediate/expert

+IBIS for stills and video

+Superb build quality

+Improved battery life

-No built-in headphone jack

The X-T4 takes the series to new heights thanks to the inclusion of in-body image stabilization (IBIS), a new battery, and a new, quieter shutter. We’d have liked a slightly deeper grip and the IBIS system isn’t quite up to Olympus standards, but it’s a big bonus for both shooting both stills and video, and it tops off a brilliant all-rounder that now has an excellent range of lenses. 


2. Canon EOS R6

Pricey, but Canon’s best mirrorless camera for most people

If you own a Canon DSLR and have been waiting to make the move to mirrorless, the EOS R6 is the camera for you. It’s also a very worthy upgrade from Canon’s early mirrorless launches like the EOS R, too. One of the main reasons is the EOS R6’s class-leading autofocus – there’s no other camera in this class that can match its Dual Pixel CMOS AF II system, which brings excellent subject detection (including animals) and tracking. 

Sensor size: Full-frame

Resolution: 20.1MP

Viewfinder: 3,690K dots

Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1,620K dots

Autofocus: 6,072-point AF

Maximum continuous shooting rate: 12fps (mechanical shutter), 20fps (electronic)

Movies: 4K at 60p

User level: Professional

+Superb autofocus

+Impressive IBIS system

+Dual card slots

-Pretty expensive

-Video recording limits

It’s a big improvement on Canon’s original mirrorless models across the board too, with impressive in-body image stabilization (IBIS), speedy 12fps burst shooting using the mechanical shutter and decent 4K/60p video skills too. The R6’s recording limits and rolling shutter issues mean it’s more of a stills camera than a video workhorse, but as long as that 20MP resolution is enough for you, it’s definitely one of the best cameras ever made for photographers.


3. Nikon Z6 II

A modest update on the Z6, but still a great choice for photographers

For a long time, the full-frame Nikon Z6 reigned as our number one camera. This successor remains an excellent performer, particularly those looking to move from Nikon DSLRs, but the Z6 II’s modest updates mean it’s fallen slightly behind the very best mirrorless cameras. It still comes highly recommended, though, largely thanks to its consistency in most areas, with the addition of a second EXPEED 6 processor bringing a range of performance improvements that include a new 14fps burst shooting speed. 

Sensor size: Full-frame

Resolution: 24.5MP

Viewfinder: 3,690K dots

Monitor: 3.2-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 2,100K dots

Autofocus: 273-point hybrid AF

Maximum continuous shooting rate: 14fps

Movies: 4K at 30p

User level: Intermediate/expert

+Excellent image quality

+Great handling

-Not the most advanced AF

-Screen isn’t vari-angle

Autofocus also gets a boost over the Nikon Z6, particularly with animal eye/face detection, and the Z6 II adds a much-needed UHS-II SD card slot alongside the existing XQD/CFexpress slot. Video lags slightly behind its rivals, with a 4K/60p mode not coming until February 2021. But with a tried-and-tested 24MP full-frame BSI CMOS sensor, which delivers very good high ISO performance, and the best handling you can find on a mirrorless camera, it fully deserves its place at the top table for photographers.   


4. Fujifilm X-S10

The best mid-range mirrorless camera you can buy

By shoehorning several highlights from the excellent X-T4 – including IBIS – into a cheaper, more compact body, Fujifilm has created arguably the best mid-range mirrorless cameras for beginners and hobbyists. The Fujifilm X-S10 packs stacks of shooting power into a small shell that handles well. Its chunky grip and simplified dials ape the accessibility of classic DSLRs, while the charm of its retro styling speaks for itself. 

Sensor size: CMOS

Resolution: 26.1MP

Viewfinder: 2.36m dots

Monitor: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1.04m dots

Autofocus: 425-point AF

Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps (mechanical)

Movies: 4K/30p

User level: Beginner/Intermediate

+IBIS in a small shell

+Strong video specs

-No weather-proofing

-A few control quirks

The proven APS-C sensor and X-Processor 4 combo makes the X-S10 a true all-rounder, as comfortable shooting outstanding stills as it is capturing quality 4K footage. Its only real weakness is autofocus performance: AF is still impressive in most situations, but subject-tracking isn’t as advanced as the systems seen on cameras like the Sony A6600. While it might not be the first choice for action snappers, the X-S10’s IBIS system is a boon for handheld shooters. Provided you can do without weatherproofing, the X-S10 is superb mid-range mirrorless camera.


5. Canon EOS R5

The best stills camera Canon has ever made

Canon really pulled out all the stops with the EOS R5. Lightweight yet substantial in the hand, it’s the company’s best mirrorless camera to date. High-resolution, full-frame and driven by the powerful Digic X processor, it’s an exceptional tool for stills photographers. Next-gen Dual Pixel autofocus is outstanding, offering impressively accurate tracking and mind-blowing animal detection. Image quality is similarly superlative, producing remarkable results even in low light, with minimal noise even as high as ISO 4000. Add 20fps continuous shooting with the electronic shutter and you’ve got a pro-level mirrorless camera that’s as comfortable in the studio as it is on the street. 

Sensor size: Full-frame

Resolution: 45MP

Viewfinder: 5,760K dots

Monitor: 3.15-inch articulating touchscreen, 2,100K dots

Autofocus: 5940-point Dual Pixel AF

Maximum continuous shooting rate: 20fps

Movies: 8K at 30p

User level: Intermediate

+Very versatile for stills

+Incredible autofocus

-Not cheap

-Limits on video recording

Its battery life can’t rival a DSLR, but a good four hours of intensive shooting is possible on a single charge. Its video specs are also staggering for a camera of this size, capturing 8K at up to 30fps or 4K at up to 120fps, and recent firmware upgrades have only boosted its appeal for videographers. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that heat restrictions do limit recording times, while ‘cool down’ periods can be lengthy. Making the most of that performance will also require investment in costly CFexpress cards – though if you can afford the R5’s top-end price tag, perhaps that won’t be an issue.


6. Nikon Z7 II

A modest upgrade, but an excellent choice for Nikon fans

Although a fairly subtle evolution of the original Z7, it’s arguable that Nikon didn’t need to make too many changes to its impressive top-line mirrorless full-frame camera. A major criticism has been addressed by the adding of a secondary memory card slot for the Mark II version, while an additional processor helps to boost its all-round performance. 

Sensor size: Full-frame

Resolution: 45.7M

PViewfinder: 3,690K dots

Monitor: 3.2-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1020K dots

Autofocus: 493-point AF

Maximum continuous shooting rate: 10fps

Movies: 4K at 60p

User level: Intermediate/expert

+Great handling 

+High-resolution sensor

+Excellent viewfinder 

-Screen only tilts 

-Not the best for action

You now get 4K/60p video recording, plus 10fps shooting and a buffer that clears more quickly. The Nikon Z system is also growing at rapid pace, with several lenses and accessories available, making it a much more attractive overall ecosystem than when the original Z7 launched. That’s not to say this camera is perfect – for those who shoot action, there are better options out there, but for Nikon fans in particularly, the Z7 II is a very strong choice. 


7. Nikon Z fc

A modern classic that’s ideal for travel snapping

The Nikon Z fc is a gloriously retro take on the Nikon Z50, the camera giant’s other crop-sensor mirrorless camera. It packs the same specs as the Z50 into a body that’s inspired by the Nikon FM2 from the early 1980s – and the combination is a triumph for casual shooters who want a fun camera for travel and everyday shooting.

Sensor size: APS-C CMOS

Resolution: 20.9MP

Viewfinder: 0.39-inch EVF, 2.36 million dots

Monitor: 3.2-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1.04 million dots

Autofocus: 209-point AF

Maximum continuous shooting rate: 11fps

Movies: 4K (UHD) at 30fps

User level: Intermediate/expert

+Stunning design

+Handy vari-angle touchscreen

+Good value

Lack of native lenses

-No UHS-II card support

It might lack a weather-proof build and the large grip seen on the Nikon Z50, but the Z fc is a delight to shoot with and packs competitive specs, including a 20.9MP sensor, the ability to shoot 4K/30p video, continuous AF tracking for people and animals, plus a handy vari-angle touch screen. The only downside? A lack of native lenses. If a wide range of APS-C lenses is important to you, then Fujifilm’s X-series is a good alternative – but otherwise, the Nikon Z fc is a glorious mix of old and new.


8. Sony A7R IV

A dream for landscape shooters

Sony’s A7R line of cameras has been all about resolution, and the A7R IV delivers a lot more of it than ever before. Its class-leading 61MP delivers an excellent level of detail, augmented by the impressive Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode. An update to the autofocus system has made it faster and smarter, with face- and eye-detect AF working amazingly well – but with Sony at the helm, there was no doubt about that. 

Sensor size: Full-frame

Resolution: 61MP

Viewfinder: 5,760K dots

Monitor: 3-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 21,400K dots

Autofocus: 567 PDAF + 425 CDAF

Maximum continuous shooting rate: 1fps

Movies: 4K at 30p

User level: Expert

+Improved ergonomics

+Fast, intelligent AF

+Well-behaved metering system

+Brilliant viewfinder

-Rolling shutter noticeable in videos

-No in-camera RAW processing

-No motion correction in Pixel Shift mode

The camera body is now even more sturdy and better equipped to handle the worst of the elements while out on field, while the deeper grip makes it comfortable to use over long periods of time. Although the addition of top plate command dial makes the mode dial a little harder to access. And while the A7R series wasn’t designed with videographers in mind, video quality here is excellent, even if rolling shutter effect is an issue.


9. Sony A6100

A brilliant beginner pick that’s perfect for point-and-shooters

The Sony A6000 remains a popular mirrorless camera for beginners, but five years after its launch the A6100 brings its skills up to date in a familiar but more capable package. Borrowing an APS-C sensor from Sony’s premium mirrorless cameras, the A6100 also deploys the flagship A6600’s autofocus system to deliver outstanding continuous tracking capability that’s rapid and reliable for both stills and video. 

Sensor size: APS-C CMOS

Resolution: 24.2MP

Viewfinder: 0.39-inch EVF, 1.44 million dots

Monitor: 2.95-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 921,600 dots

Autofocus: 425-point hybrid AF

Maximum continuous shooting rate: 11fps

Movies: 4K at 30fps

User level: Beginner

+Excellent tracking autofocus

+Compact yet feature-packed

Takes time to understand capabilities

-Relatively low-res LCD and EVF

Image quality is as expected, with good detail and decent colors (though a neutral profile would be welcome), while battery life is solid and the tilting screen is now touch-sensitive – albeit with limited functionality. Not everything has changed, mind: the LCD and EVF both remain relatively low-res and maximum burst is still 11fps, while buffering performance can sometimes stumble. So it’s not perfect and unlocking its full potential can take time, but the A6100 is certainly a top mirrorless all-rounder that should follow in the footsteps of its best-selling forebear.


10. Fujifilm X-T200

One of the best mirrorless cameras for beginners

A fine choice for anyone moving up from smartphone shooting, the Fujifilm X-T200 combines a large, sharp 3.5in touchscreen with a lovely design that feels much nicer in the hands than its predecessor. It’s a big step up from its X-T100 predecessor in most ways, including autofocus. And unlike the Fujifilm X-A7, the X-T200 also crucially has a built-in viewfinder for framing your shots.

Sensor size: APS-C CMOS

Resolution: 24.2MP

Viewfinder: EVF OLED, 2,360,000 dots

Monitor: 3.5-inch fully articulating touchscreen, 2,780,000 dots

Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps

Movies: 4K

User level: Beginner

+Superb color and dynamic range

+Sharp 3.5-inch touchscreen

+Lightweight, retro design

-Limited buffer depth

-No subject-tracking in video

The only real downside compared to pricier models in this list is that the X-T200’s subject-tracking can be a little hit-and-miss during burst shooting and isn’t available in video mode. But it otherwise offers excellent value and is a great alternative to rivals like the Sony A6100 (see above) and Canon EOS M50 Mark II.

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