10 Enthusiast Mirrorless Cameras on a Mission

10 Enthusiast Mirrorless Cameras on a Mission

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Enthusiasts are photographers on a mission. They’re dedicated to creative expression, visual communication as well as creating images and videos that stand the test of time. Perhaps that’s why today’s enthusiasts gravitate toward higher-end mirrorless cameras with pro-level features rather than middle-tier models. Indeed, of the 10 enthusiast mirrorless cameras here, seven fall into the $1,800–$2,500 range; two are in the $2,999–$3,500 range; and only one is priced below $1,000.

Another clear trend is that enthusiasts now demand advanced multimedia and pro-caliber video capability; that’s because they want to maximize their creative potential. Subsequently, at least six of the cameras we cover are optimized for video applications and marketed as such.

Moreover, most capture 4K UHD and/or 4K DCI video at 30 or 60 frames per sec. They also provide Log Gamma output and HLG, enabling an extended tonal range. What’s more, one of the interchangeable-lens cameras (ILCs) we look at has special features clearly aimed at vloggers.

In addition, as expected, tech specs like framing rates; LCD and EVF (electronic viewfinders) resolution; AF (autofocus) speed and accuracy; as well as ISO sensitivity ranges, etc., were upgraded over the last few years. However, it’s noteworthy that high-end video capability now trumps even the sensor’s megapixel rating in some cases.

Finally, today’s enthusiasts are open to a variety of formats. They may opt for full-frame, APS-C or Micro Four Thirds (MFT) mirrorless systems. Furthermore, a camera’s form factor, ergonomics and compactness are often the deciding factors. All the cameras below are outstanding choices for enthusiasts. We hope this selection inspires you to recommend other cameras in this category, so you can best serve this pivotal, and profitable, demographic.

Enthusiast Mirrorless Cameras on a Mission

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH6

This ILC tenders impressive performance in an elegantly compact body. The new flagship of Panasonic’s GH-series Micro Four Thirds line leads with an upgraded 25.2MP Live MOS MFT sensor sans low-pass filter. It integrates with an advanced Venus Engine image processor to enable 4K DCI 60p 4:4:2 10-bit unlimited video recording. It also records 5.7K 30p video in Apple ProRes 422 HQ to a CFexpress Type B card; 4:2:0 10-bit, 4K 120p (5x slow motion) to an SD card; and FHD 300p VFR (variable frame rate).

In addition, photographers can shoot 100MP stills handheld. They can also capture 14-fps (AFS) bursts with a mechanical shutter and 75 fps with an electronic shutter.

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Panasonic Lumix GH6

The GH6 achieves proper exposures over an impressive 13+ stop range. Moreover, in-body sensor-shift image stabilization works with the IS in Panasonic lenses to achieve a 7.5-stop advantage in minimizing the effects of shake. Autofocus processing speed was also tripled, enhancing the speed of the 315-zone contrast-detection, depth-from-defocus (DFD) AF system, as well as improving AF tracking. The system includes a focus limiter, manual-focus assist, zone AF, face priority in multi-metering, as well as a joystick for convenient control.

Other features include dynamic range boost mode for footage shot at up to 60p; 3D noise reduction (video); a free-angle 3-inch, 1.8M-dot LCD; a 3.7M-dot OLED live viewfinder with 0.76x magnification; anamorphic capability enabling 5.8K 30p 4:2:0 10-bit and 4.4K 60p 10-bit video; super-slow motion in high frame rate (HFR) for capturing 1080p 240p video; Cinelike Gamma presets; Wi-Fi 5GHz; Bluetooth 5.0; and ISO settings of 50–25,600 (photos) and ISO 50–12,800 (video). All this is built into an ergonomic, weatherproof, freezeproof body. $2,199.99*.

Nikon Z 7II

Nikon’s brilliant, high-res full-frame ILC is touted as an immersive masterpiece—and it is. It’s built around a 45.7MP FX-format BSI (backside-illuminated) CMOS sensor that omits the low-pass filter. It’s coupled to advanced dual Expeed 6 image processors to deliver impressively upgraded speed and performance. The camera records 4K UHD video at 60 fps and captures an enhanced dynamic range in both stills and video. In addition, it records externally in 10-bit using N-Log or HLG (HDR) and outputs via HDMI.

What’s more, its sensitivity settings from ISO 64–25,600 extend from ISO 32 to ISO 102.400. The ILC also has a respectable full-res burst rate of up to 10 fps. Other impressive features include a 493-point phase-detection AF System that now supports eye-detection AF for humans and animals in wide-area AF modes and during video recording. Plus, it focuses swiftly in low light, down to -4.5 EV. The Z 7II also has built-in 5-axis VR (vibrations reduction) image stabilization to minimize the effects of handheld camera shake.

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Nikon Z 7II

In addition, it provides a 0.8x, 3.7M-dot dot-matrix EVF; a 3.2-inch, 2.1M-dot, tilting touchscreen LCD; as well as a top panel dot-matrix OLED display. The stylish Z 7II also has memory card slots for SD UHS-II and CFexpress Type B/XQD cards; and an 8K time-lapse mode. With always-on SnapBridge, it supports built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. A robust, weather-sealed body with a magnesium alloy chassis houses all this tech. $2,999.95.

Sony Alpha 7S III

Here’s a top choice for serious shooters requiring a high-res, full-frame mirrorless camera optimized for pro-level video applications. The Sony Alpha 7S III scores with a high-performance 12.1MP, BSI full-frame Exmor R CMOS sensor mated to a Bionz XR processor. It’s a combo that delivers faster performance, enhanced noise reduction as well as a wider dynamic range of 15+ stops.

Consequently, the camera features 4K UHD video at up to 120 fps; internal 10-bit 4:2:2 color sampling; greatly reduced rolling shutter effects;16-bit RAW output via a full-size HDMI port; plus flexible variable frame rate selections. In addition, it does away with recording time limits and incorporates HLG (hybrid log gamma) and S-Cinetone for direct HDR production, as well as S-Log2/S-Log3 Gamma profiles for advanced HDR production with editing.

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Sony Alpha 7S III

The camera’s hybrid AF system delivers improved AF performance via 759 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection points. They provide intelligent subject tracking and real-time eye AF to maintain critical focus on fast-moving subjects. Further, 5-axis SteadyShot InSide sensor-shift IS offers a 5.5-stop advantage during handheld shooting.

Also notable is the ILC’s 10-fps, full-res burst for up to 1,000 RAW frames with either its mechanical or electronic shutter, as well as expanded ISO settings of 40 to 409,600. Its sleek body incorporates an impressively realistic 9.4M-dot OLED EVF and a rear 3-inch, 1.4M-dot vari-articulating touchscreen LCD that provides a front-facing position for vlogging and selfies.

Other features are in-body Wi-Fi 2.4/5GHz and Bluetooth connectivity; dual card slots for CFexpress Type A or SD cards; a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C port; USB PD support; and a micro-USB port. The camera has a magnesium alloy chassis and comprehensive weather sealing. $3,499.99.

Canon EOS R6

This advanced, broad-spectrum Canon camera is aimed at sophisticated enthusiasts, especially those focused on upgrading their videos. It incorporates a 20.1MP, full-frame CMOS sensor and a high-performance Digic X processor. They enable full-res bursts at 12 fps (up to 20 fps when using the ultraquiet electronic shutter) as well as 4K 60p and FHD 120p 10-bit internal video capture. Both can be recorded at 4:2:2 10-bit Canon Log (H.265) or HDR PQ (H.265).

The ILC also boasts a wide range of sensitivity settings from ISO 100 to ISO 204,800. Moreover, the EOS R6 employs Dual Pixel CMOS AF II technology using 1,053 selectable phase-detection AF points that cover the entire field of view. And using deep learning, it constantly improves subject tracking and AF speed. This also allows clean video recording via the HDMI port. In addition, the camera focuses in light as dim as -6.5 EV—an EOS mirrorless first.

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Canon EOS R6

What’s more, a 0.5-inch, 3.7M-dot EVF with a 120-fps refresh rate is complemented by a 3-inch, 1.6M-dot, vari-angle touchscreen LCD to facilitate vlogging and high- and low-angle shooting.

Content creators will also appreciate the camera’s use of Canon Log and HDR-PQ support for greater color and dynamic range control while shooting video. It also provides 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization for 8 stops of shake correction that works in conjunction with the in-lens IS systems in Canon RF and adapted EF lenses. Other features include dual SD UHS-II memory card slots; integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity; and a durable weather-sealed body. $2,499.99.

Sigma fp L

Sigma’s fabulous upgrade of the groundbreaking Sigma fp boasts an array of enhanced functions that fans of the unique ultracompact, modular full framer were seeking. It does, however, retain its L mount and distinctive minimalist form factor.

For starters, the tiny mirrorless ILC incorporates an ultrahigh-res 61-megapixel full-frame BSI Bayer CMOS sensor (up from 24.6MP) with a low-pass filter. It also has a high-sensitivity (down to -5 EV), hybrid phase- and contrast-detection AF system with 49 contrast-detection and 42 selectable points.

Moreover, the camera’s optional companion is Sigma’s EVF-11 electronic viewfinder. The EVF employs a 0.5-inch, 3.7M-dot OLED panel for eye-level viewing at 0.83x magnification. The EVF also tilts upward 90° for low-angle shooting and incorporates its own USB-C port and a 3.5mm headphone port for audio monitoring.

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Sigma fp L

The fp L’s advanced sensor can capture high-res DNG/RAW and JPEG stills in 14 bit. In addition, it records 4K UHD video at 30p and 4K DCI 24p output if recording externally. Moreover, it records 8-bit CinemaDNG files to an SD card and outputs 12-bit CinemaDNG over USB-C or 12-bit RAW over HDMI.

Other key features are a 3.1-inch, 2.1M-dot LCD; a crop zoom function that allows up to a 5x crop; a maximum full-res burst rate of up to 10 fps; and a card slot that accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS II) cards. The fp L’s diecast, weather-resistant body measures only 4.4×2.8×1.8 inches and weighs a mere 15.1 ounces (with battery and card). $2,499 body only; $2,999 with EVF-11.

OM System OM-1

This ILC is named in honor of the iconic Olympus OM-1 35mm SLR that debuted 50 years ago. Indeed, the MFT flagship from OM Digital Solutions has styling cues linking it with the past. However, it offers thoroughly modern features.

Its 20MP stacked BSI Live MOS sensor combines with a TruePic X processor that’s three times faster than before. This enables 10-fps, full-res framing rates—120 fps without AF/AE using its electronic shutter. It records 4K DCI/UHD 60p 10-bit video with 4:2:0 sampling and Full HD at up to 240 fps. RAW 12-bit 4:4:4 data outputs via Micro HDMI. Other video features are HLG picture mode for in-camera HDR and OM-Log Gamma for postproduction color grading.

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OM System OM-1

The ILC provides extended ISO settings of 80–102,400. Plus, its Cross Quad Pixel Phase-Detection AF technology splits each pixel into four sub-pixels for improved performance in tricky light; 1,053 points cover the sensor and perform at 120 fps. The camera achieves 50-fps, blackout-free AF/AE tracking at 20.4MP, and AI detection AF uses deep learning.

Notable is 5-axis in-body IS that provides a 7-stop advantage in minimizing camera shake effects—8 stops with IS-enabled lenses. Further, with processing time reduced, handheld high-res shot mode takes five seconds to create 50MP images. The camera also retains tripod high-res shot for 80MP images.

Other features are live ND that simulates a 6-stop ND 64 filter; live composite; light painting; focus stacking; a 5.8M-dot OLED EVF; a vari-angle 3-inch, 1.6M-dot touch LCD; and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth. Its magnesium alloy body with IP53 dust/splashproof protection is freezeproof to 14°F. $2,199.99.

Nikon Z 6II

With a compact, ergonomic form factor, the Nikon Z 6II employs a 24.5MP FX-format (full-frame) BSI CMOS sensor and dual Expeed 6 processors. Consequently, the ILC delivers a 14-fps, full-res continuous framing rate with single-point AF and 12 fps in other AF modes thanks to its increased buffer depth. It also provides sensitivity settings of ISO 100–51,200 that extend from ISO 50 to 204,800.

Multimedia features include 4K UHD 30p and Full HD video recording at up to 120p; external 10-bit HDMI output; and HLG (HDR) support. Firmware version 1.10 enables 4K recording at 60 and 50 fps as well as RAW video output to Blackmagic Design Video Assist external recorders. The current version of the Z 6II allows it to output ProRes RAW footage to compatible Atomos external recorders for greater color grading flexibility.

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Nikon Z 6II

The camera also uses in-body, 5-axis, sensor-shift vibration reduction IS that dramatically reduces the appearance of camera shake. Its 273-point phase-detection AF system focuses in low light down to -4.5 EV. And it includes eye-detection and animal detection AF.

Additional features are a 0.8x, 0.5-inch, 3.7M-dot OLED EVF; a 3.2-inch, 2.1M-dot, tilting touch LCD; SnapBridge with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity; separate slots for CFexpress Type B/XQD and SD/SDHC/SDXC UHS-II cards; and a USB Type-C port for charging or remote power supply. The Z 6II boasts a robust magnesium alloy chassis as well as a dust- and weather-resistant body. $1,999.95.

Sony Alpha ZV-E10

Aimed at the expanding ranks of vloggers, the Sony ZV-E10’s specialized feature set offers a sophisticated solution for content creators who want to get beyond a smartphone. A compact E-mount mirrorless ILC, it uses a 24.2MP APS-C-format Exmor CMOS sensor and a high-spec Bionz X processor. The pairing delivers 4K UHD video at up to 30 fps with full pixel readout without pixel binning; Full HD at up to 120p; full-res stills at 11 fps with AF/AE; and 14-bit RAW output for an enhanced tonal scale.

Its native sensitivity settings of ISO 100–32,000 are expandable to ISO 51,200. It also employs a 425-point hybrid AF system that uses phase- and contrast-detection methods, focuses in as little as 0.02 sec and offers real-time eye AF and tracking modes.

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Sony Alpha ZV-E10

Vlogging features include a vari-angle, 3-inch, 921K-dot touchscreen LCD with a side-opening screen optimized for shooting selfies; a top-mounted, directional three-capsule microphone with windscreen; two 3.5mm microphone and headphone ports for audio recording; and a multi-interface shoe that supports a digital audio interface. Specialized shooting modes include product showcase, background defocus, face priority AE and soft skin effect. The ZV-E10 also livestreams and acts as a webcam without an external adapter.

The camera’s customizable color and gamma controls use the same S-Log2 and S-Log3 Gamma curves as high-end Sony Cinema cameras, provide HLG support and yield an effective 14-stop dynamic range. Its lightweight magnesium alloy body includes a built-in grip, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that can connect to the optional GP-VPT2BT wireless shooting grip for efficient remote control. $699.99.

Canon EOS R

Straightforward and sophisticated, this crossover camera pioneered Canon’s mirrorless line with its wide 54mm diameter, short 20mm flange focal distance RF mount. The ILC is adept at a variety of multimedia applications.

It features a 30.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor coupled to Canon’s high-performance Digic 8 processor. The combo achieves native ISOs of 100–40,000 that are extendable from ISO 50 to 102,400. It also results in 8-fps, full-res shooting sequences; and 4K UHD 30p video along with Full HD 60p and 720p 120p recording.

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Canon EOS R

In addition, Canon Log Gamma (C-Log) can extend the effective dynamic range up to 12 stops, while 4K 10-bit HDMI output offers even greater color control. Advanced Dual Pixel AF technology uses 5,655 selectable points, ensuring fast, precise AF. Moreover, movie servo AF enables individual AF parameter adjustments for smooth scene transitions with different subjects. Plus, its sensitivity extends to -6 EV for impressive low-light performance.

The EOS R features a 3.7M-dot OLED EVF, while a large 3.15-inch, 2.1M-dot swiveling LCD touchscreen allows viewing at high and low angles. Moreover, a multifunction bar is customizable for fast access to frequently used settings.

Other features comprise a top-mounted dot-matrix LCD for monitoring key camera functions; a card slot that supports the UHS-II protocol for faster read/write speeds; and a durable magnesium alloy body that’s well sealed against dust, moisture and adverse weather conditions. $1,799.

Panasonic Lumix DC-S5

A hybrid mirrorless camera for content creators, the S5 is Panasonic’s mid-range mirrorless full-frame ILC. Aimed at both emerging and experienced enthusiasts, it delivers an appealing mix of high-end photo and video capabilities. A 24.2MP full-frame CMOS sensor with Dual Native ISO is mated to a high-performance Venus processor. As a result, the camera offers a maximum full-res burst rate of 7 fps with AF-S, 6 fps with AF-C and up to a remarkable 60 fps when using 6K or 4K photo modes!

The L-mount camera has a sensitivity range of ISO 100–51,200, which extends from ISO 50 to 204,800. It also features an impressive dynamic range of 14+ stops and provides an innovative 96MP high-res shot mode. What’s more, the DC-S5 utilizes a 225-zone DFD (depth from defocus) AF system with advanced subject tracking. And a 5-axis sensor-shift IS system achieves a 5-stop anti-shake advantage, which increases when using L-mount lenses with built-in optical IS.

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Panasonic Lumix DC-S5

The mirrorless ILC is capable of full-frame 4K UHD 30p video recording with 4:2:0 10-bit color; 4K 60p using the APS-C picture area; 4K 30p with 8-bit color and no time limit due to a heat-dissipating mechanism; as well as Full HD recording at 180p. With multiple style modes, the ILC provides Dual Native ISO for enhanced color balance when V-Log, HLG or Cinelike D2/V2 are applied.

Other featured include a 2.4M-dot OLED EVF with 60/120-fps refresh rates and a 3-inch, 1.9M-dot, free-angle touchscreen LCD for live view shooting and menu navigation. Also incorporated are dual SD slots (UHS-II/UHS-I compatible) as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. $1,999.99.

*All SRPs are body only

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