Best mirrorless cameras for video: The best mirrorless camera for 2023: top picks for every budget

Sony A7 IV review: the new hybrid king

TechRadar Verdict

The Sony A7 IV is the best hybrid mirrorless camera you can buy right now. A truly modern all-rounder that largely justifies its price tag, it packs class-leading autofocus, impressive image quality and powerful video features into one versatile body. Dedicated street or sports photographers should look elsewhere, and it isn’t the fastest shooter in its class. But for everyone else, the A7 IV is a rock-solid all-rounder with few glaring weaknesses. It might be the only camera you ever need.

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Pros
  • +

    Impressive new 33MP sensor

  • +

    Class-leading autofocus

  • +

    Vari-angle screen

  • +

    Powerful video features

Cons
  • Price hike from A7 III

  • 4K/60p video is heavily cropped

  • Rivals offer faster burst shooting

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We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Two-minute review

The Sony A7 IV is the best mirrorless all-rounder you can buy right now. It isn’t as powerful as the Sony A1, as fast as the Canon EOS R6, or as affordable as the Fujifilm X-T4, but it does offer a brilliant blend of photographic power and video versatility. By effectively combining two cameras in one, it’s the best example so far of the hybrid convenience that modern mirrorless cameras can offer.

Three years on from the classic A7 III, the A7 IV brings improvements across the board, including a new 33MP sensor, Bionz XR processor and significantly upgraded video skills. 

Its autofocus system may have now been trumped by the AI-powered tracking of the Sony A7R V, but it still offers some of the best AF skills we’ve seen outside of professional sports cameras. Whether you’re shooting photos or video, the Sony A7 IV does an unerringly good job of sticking to your chosen subject and, in the case of people and animals, locking focus onto their eyes.

With a cropped 4K/60p mode and rolling shutter issues, it isn’t quite the perfect video camera. But with support for 10-bit video, no recording limits and new tricks like focus breathing compensation, it does offer more than enough quality and flexibility for photographers who are increasingly looking to shoot an equivalent amount of video.

(Image credit: Future)

  • Sony A7 IV (Black) at Amazon for $2,498

As always with all-rounder cameras, there are some small compromises on the A7 IV. Its outright image quality isn’t actually a big jump up from the Sony A7 III, with the extra detail from that resolution boost somewhat counter-balanced by some understandable noise at higher ISOs. This means that you may well want to look out for discounts on the A7 III in the Black Friday camera deals, as well as E-mount lenses in the Black Friday deals.

The A7 IV’s battery life, in-body image stabilization and burst shooting speeds are also merely average rather than class-leading. This also isn’t exactly a discreet camera for travel or street shooting either, nor a light one for long landscape hikes. If that’s important to you, we’d recommend checking out APS-C cameras like the Fujifilm X-T4 (and imminent Fujifilm X-T5).

Sony A7 IV specs

Sensor: 33MP full-frame
AF points: 759-point hybrid phase/contrast-detect
Video: 4K/30p, or 4K/60p with Super35 crop
Viewfinder: 3.69 million-dot Quad VGA EVF
Memory cards: 1x CFexpress Type A/SD UHS-II, 1x SD UHS-II
LCD: 3-inch fully articulating touchscreen, 1.04m dots
Max burst: 10fps, up to 828 raw+JPEG (with CFexpress Type A card)
Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Size: 131.3 x 96.4 x 79.8mm
Weight: 658g (with card and battery)

And then there’s the price tag. At $2,499 / £2,400 / AU$$4,299 (body only), it’s moved into another bracket compared to the entry-level A7 III. For those who are new to full-frame cameras, it’s arguably overkill when you consider the existence of the Nikon Z5 ($1,699 / £1,719 / AU$3,099) and Panasonic Lumix S5 ($1,999 / £1,799 / AU$3,199). That spare change could buy you a very nice lens to support your preferred style of photography or video.

But if you do shoot a fairly balanced mix of photos and video, and need a powerful hybrid camera that’ll last you for years, then the Sony A7 IV should be right at the top of your shopping list. 

With Sony’s latest G Master lenses on hand to make the most of that 33MP resolution, it offers pro-level quality that just about gives it the edge over the Canon EOS R5 and Canon EOS R6, even if those cameras do offer superior burst-shooting speeds. It’s undoubtedly one of the best cameras for photography, and a fine choice for video, too. Read on for our full Sony A7 IV review.

Sony A7 IV release date and price

  • Available to buy now for $2,499 / £2,400 / AU$$4,299
  • A price jump from the Sony A7 III
  • Similar price to the Canon EOS R6

The Sony A7 IV went on sale in December 2021 for $2,499 / £2,400 / AU$$4,299. Early stock levels were quite low, but at the time of writing those issues have now eased and the camera is widely available.

The A7 IV’s price is a hike of around 20%-30% over the Sony A7 III, depending on which region you’re in – this pushes the A7 IV away from its ‘entry-level’ full-frame heritage, though it remains a more affordable all-rounder than the Sony A1 and new high-resolution Sony A7R V.

(Image credit: Future)

This premium may lead many photographers and videographers to think twice before hitting the ‘buy’ button, particularly as lower-powered but impressive alternatives like the Nikon Z5 are less than half the price.

But when you consider the A7 IV’s across-the-board upgrades, and its impressive hybrid power, that price tag isn’t too excessive compared to the competition. Its closest rival is the Canon EOS R6 ($2,499 / £2,499 / AU$4,499), which is lower-resolution at 20MP, but offers faster 20fps burst speeds. 

  • Modern 3.69-million dot electronic viewfinder
  • Useful vari-angle touchscreen with Sony’s latest UI
  • Takes CFexpress Type A cards, which are rarer than Type B

The Sony A7 IV might look like a clone of its predecessor, but there are quite a few subtle upgrades that collectively make it a much more enjoyable camera to use.

On the top you’ll find an improved electronic viewfinder (EVF) with a 3.69-million dot resolution and 120fps refresh rate. While this is now fairly standard at this price – you’ll find an almost identical viewfinder on the Canon EOS R6 – it is a much-needed upgrade and performs particularly well when you’re trying to track moving subjects.

(Image credit: Future)

Below the EVF there’s a new vari-angle touchscreen. This can swivel around to face the direction you’re shooting in, which is a big bonus for solo video shooters. Photographers may prefer the more old-school tilt-screen found on the Sony A1, though. 

Delve into the menus on this screen and you’ll find they also have Sony’s latest UI, first seen on the Sony A7S III. These are a major improvement on the labyrinthine menus seen on older Sony Alpha cameras and respond to touch.

In the hand, the A7 IV’s grip feels more substantial than its predecessor, but otherwise it’ll be comfortably familiar to anyone who’s used an Alpha camera before. Beneath the mode dial, there’s a new ring that lets you flick between stills, movies and ‘S&Q’ mode (for recording slow-mo footage and timelapses). There’s also a new dedicated red ‘record’ button for shooting video and a lockable exposure compensation dial.

Image 1 of 3

(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)

Elsewhere, everything is where you’d expect to find it, with a nicely-balanced joystick for choosing AF points, a pronounced AF-On button for back-button focusing, and a rear scroll wheel that has a useful resistance to stop you from accidentally changing your shutter speed.

One additional bonus on top of the A7 IV is Sony’s Multi-Interface hotshoe. This means you can plug in external microphones like Sony’s ECM-B1M and ECM-W2BT without needing any extra cables or a power source. It’s another big string to the A7 IV’s video-shooting bow, compared to its predecessor.

But the news is slightly more mixed when it comes to the A7 IV’s card slots. Unlike the Sony A7 III, it does now have a CFexpress Type A slot. These newer cards give you write speeds of up to 700MB/s, which effectively gives you an unlimited buffer during continuously shooting. 

But CFexpress Type A cards are also rarer and pricier than the Type B cards favored by Nikon, Canon and Panasonic, so you’ll have to weigh up whether you really need them. Speedy UHS-II SD cards may well be enough for you, and A7 IV’s second card slot does only support SD cards.

Sony A7 IV review: features and autofocus

The Sony A7 IV isn’t quite the game-changer that its predecessor was for full-frame mirrorless cameras, but its upgrades bring it close to the Canon EOS R6 – which means it’s a fine choice for everyone from wildlife shooters to wedding photographers.

The key to these performance boosts is the Bionz XR processor, which is the same as the one in the Sony A1. Unlike the Sony A1, the Sony A7 IV doesn’t have a stacked sensor, so it can’t quite unlock the same burst-shooting performance. But the two obvious improvements this processor brings are Sony’s latest autofocus smarts, and a much-improved buffer depth when burst-shooting.

Because the Sony A7 IV has now jumped up to a 33MP resolution, its top burst-shooting speed (10fps) is actually the same as the A7 III. If you want to shoot lossless raw files, this falls to only 5fps or 6fps. This makes it significantly slower than the Canon EOS R6, which can hit top speeds of 20fps when you use its electronic shutter. But the A7 IV’s autofocus speeds and buffer do a lot to compensate for this.

(Image credit: Future)

We tested its burst shooting skills with a UHS-II card and the buffer is more generous than most people will need. When shooting JPEGs, the A7 IV consistently hit speeds of 9fps for over a minute. It also managed the same speeds with raw files for the first eight seconds, dropping down to a still-decent 6-7fps after eight seconds. In both cases, it was heading towards Sony’s claimed 828 shots (for CFExpress cards) before our memory card filled up.

In all likelihood, you won’t need to shoot continuously for that long, because the A7 IV’s autofocus skills ensure a very good hit-rate. It has Sony’s latest AF system, which means you get Eye AF for humans, animals and birds, in both stills and video. This is a big upgrade from the A7 III and is the most reliable AF system you’ll find in any camera, even if the Canon EOS R6 isn’t too far behind. It sticks to subjects like glue, even with distracting foregrounds.

(Image credit: Future)

The A7 IV is clearly a very capable stills camera, but what about video? It makes even bigger leaps here. For filmmakers who like to color-grade their videos, the jump to 10-bit 4:2:2 color sampling (from 8-bit on the A7 III) is a big one. The maximum video bit-rate has also jumped from 100Mbps to 600Mbps, and you can shoot 4K/30p video using the full width of the sensor.

Perhaps the only slight disappointment is that the A7 IV’s 4K/60p mode is only available with a ‘Super 35’ crop (which is similar in size to an APS-C sensor). Naturally, Sony wants video shooters to upgrade to cameras like the Sony A7S III, but that might still be a slight disappointment to those who were hoping for a completely uncompromising hybrid camera.

To sweeten the video deal, Sony has included a host of other bonuses on the A7 IV, including a ‘Focus Map’ (similar to focus peaking, only it uses colored blocks to show you what’s in focus) and the popular S-Cinetone picture profile, which mimics the look of Sony’s cinema cameras. Like all great hybrid cameras, the Sony A7 IV is just as comfortable shooting videos as it is stills.

Sony A7 IV review: performance

  • Generous buffer for burst shooting
  • Moderate burst-shooting speeds of 10fps (compressed raw)
  • Battery rating of 520 shots (CIPA rating)

As we discovered in the features section above, the Sony A7 IV isn’t a true speed demon when it comes to burst shooting. Sony’s decision to boost its resolution to 33MP has effectively cancelled out any power gains of its new processor, which means its offers the same 10fps top speed as the A7 III (and that’s with compressed raw files).

Still, while the Canon EOS R6 is likely a better choice if you spend a lot of time holding down the shutter and shooting speeding objects, the A7 IV is still more than good enough for wildlife shooting. 

It’s also worth factoring in the benefits of its class-leading autofocus system and deep buffer – when a camera so consistently nails focus, you don’t necessarily need to rattle off frames at 20fps to capture a moment. Thanks to a firmware update in September 2022, you can also now choose ‘S’ and ‘M’ file sizes (in addition to ‘L’) when shooting lossless compress raw files.

Sony A7 IV with FE 135mm f/1.8 GM, 1/400s at f/4.5, ISO 160 (Image credit: Future)

Other areas where the Sony A7 IV achieves ‘good enough’ status are in-body image stabilization (IBIS) and battery life. Its Active Stabilization mode, which adds a steadying electronic hand to its mechanical IBIS, is certainly decent and helpful for handheld shooting or vlogging. We managed to go down to shutter speeds of around 1/20s, before our micro-jitters started obscuring fine details.

That’s by no means class-leading, though, and it certainly won’t replace either a tripod or a gimbal if you want clean shots or smooth video in challenging conditions. Sony’s Active Stabilization mode also incurs a crop of around 15%, creating a much narrower field of view. A good alternative is applying stabilization in post-production using Sony’s Catalyst Browse software, which uses the camera’s gyroscopic data to smooth out your footage.

(Image credit: Future)

This works particularly well for more challenging scenarios like walk-and-talk vlogging, and can also help suppress one of the Sony A7 IV’s other weaknesses: rolling shutter. Because the camera lacks a stacked sensor, its read-out speeds aren’t as fast as the Sony A1’s – which means quick panning motions can lead to warped verticals in video or stills, if you’re using the electronic shutter (like in our sample video below). This is unlikely to be a huge issue for most shooters, though.

Battery life is, again, solid rather than spectacular. The official CIPA rating is 520 shots per charge (when using the electronic viewfinder). While that’s actually a 15% drop from the Sony A7 III, we found that estimate to be a little conservative and it can shoot 4K video for around two hours. In our tests, it managed to shoot 4K/60p for two hours and 20 minutes with no overheating, and a few minutes longer in 4K/24p mode before the battery died.

Sony A7 IV review: image and video quality

  • Image quality isn’t a dramatic step up from Sony A7 III
  • Excellent oversampled 4K/30p video quality with 10-bit 4:2:2 option
  • S-Log 3 and S-Cinetone profiles for video editors

If you’d hoped the Sony A7 IV’s new 33MP sensor might dramatically improve its image quality from the A7 III, you may be disappointed. 

That extra resolution is handy for those who like to regularly crop into their photos, but in general the A7 IV’s improvements are geared more towards versatility rather than absolute image quality.

See the full-size image (Image credit: Future)

More megapixels means smaller photosites on the A7 IV’s sensor, so Sony has used image processing to help in areas like low-light performance. 

As you’d hope, it produces clean results low ISOs, but noise becomes fairly prevalent from ISO 6400 upwards. That’s understandable for a relatively high-megapixel sensor, but it’s fair to say that the Sony A7 IV leans more towards capturing detail than being a low-light monster.

Image 1 of 10

Sony A7 IV with FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM, 1/250s at f/3.5, ISO 8000 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM, 1/320s at f/4.6, ISO 100 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 135mm f/1.8 GM, 1/800s at f/2.8, ISO 100 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 135mm f/1.8 GM, 1/640s at f/4, ISO 320 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM, 1/250s at f/4, ISO 320 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM, 1/800s at f/3.2, ISO 100 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 135mm f/1. 8 GM, 1/500s at f/5, ISO 1600 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM, 1/250s at f/4, ISO 250 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM, 1/30s at f/4.5, ISO 400 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 135mm f/1.8 GM, 1/640s at f/4, ISO 200 (Image credit: Future)

Still, the impressive dynamic range gives you plenty of leeway when it comes to boosting shadows in raw files, even if this can reveal some noise in gloomier scenes. And we also found the straight out-of-camera JPEGs to have pleasing, true-to-life colors and nicely-rendered skin tones.

Image 1 of 12

Sony A7 IV with FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM, 1/800s at f/3.2, ISO 320 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 135mm f/1.8 GM, 1/1000s at f/3.5, ISO 100 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 135mm f/1.8 GM, 1/400s at f/2.2, ISO 200 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 135mm f/1.8 GM, 1/1000s at f/4, ISO 500 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM, 1/320s at f/2.8, ISO 1250 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 135mm f/1. 8 GM, 1/250s at f/2, ISO 200 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 135mm f/1.8 GM, 1/400s at f/4, ISO 100 (Image credit: Future)Thanks to the stabilization, you can comfortably handhold shots down to 1/20s or 1/10s (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM, 1/320s at f/2.8, ISO 5000 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 12-24mm f/2.8 GM, 1/320 at f/4.5, ISO 12800 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 135mm f/1.8 GM, 1/100s at f/4.5, ISO 125 (Image credit: Future)Sony A7 IV with FE 135mm f/1.8 GM, 1/800s at f/3.2, ISO 100 (Image credit: Future)

The bigger step up from the Sony A7 III, though, is undoubtedly the A7 IV’s video quality. Because it oversamples its 4K/30p video from the sensor’s 7K resolution, you get an impressively sharp, noise-free image even up to ISO 12800. The ability to shoot 4K in 10-bit 4:2:2 also gives color graders much more flexibility than on the Sony A7 III.

To really squeeze the best video quality out of the Sony A7S III, you’ll want to shoot in the flat S-Log3 profile, as that provides the most dynamic range. But a quicker alternative is the S-Cinetone profile, which comes with much of the saturation and contrast baked in. It’s worth familiarizing yourself with the quirks of these two profiles, as both have different dual native ISOs – for S-Log3 they’re at ISO 800 and ISO 3200, while the ones for S-Cinetone are much lower at ISO 125 and ISO 500.

This gives the Sony A7 IV a lot of flexibility and depth for different shooting situations, marking it out as a true hybrid camera that’s pretty much the equal of the Sony A7S III if you don’t need high frame-rate modes. But if you’re relatively new to video, the excellent autofocus means it’s also easy to shoot some excellent video without delving into any color grading, like the sample clips above.

Image 1 of 13

(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)

The A7 IV’s in-body image stabilization (IBIS), which now claims up to 5. 5-stops of compensation, also lets you shoot with shutter speeds as low as 1/10sec and still get pretty sharp results. This is also a potential bonus for those who regularly use polarizing filters, because it allows you to handhold the camera rather than reach for the tripod. 

Should I buy the Sony A7 IV?

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if…

You need an all-rounder for stills and video
There are better specialist cameras out there, but as an all-rounder the A7 IV is the best mirrorless camera you can buy. If you tend a shoot a balanced mix of portraits, weddings, wildlife and video, then you’ll really appreciate its versatility, features and lens choices.

You’re upgrading from a full-frame DSLR
The latest mirrorless cameras have now evolved to an extent that they’re now a big upgrade from most DSLRs. The A7 IV is a great example, thanks to its class-leading autofocus, hugely impressive video skills and modern shooting experience. If you’ve been patiently waiting the make the leap, now is the time.

Your Sony A7 III is starting to feel its age
It’s quite rare for new cameras to make significantly leaps over their predecessors these days, given how mature camera tech is. But the A7 IV is a big upgrade on the A7 III in almost every respect, including resolution, autofocus, usability and video. It comes with a price premium, but one that will be justified for most people. 

Don’t buy it if…

You need something discreet for travel or street shoots
The A7 IV is undeniably powerful, but its sizable grip and 658g weight mean it’s also a fairly big lump compared to other mirrorless cameras. If you mainly shoot travel or street photography, you’ll likely be better off with something smaller like the Fujifilm X-S10 or Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV.

You mostly shoot sports and action
While the Sony A7 IV is by no means a slow coach, there are better cameras out there for pro sports performance. Sony’s own A9 II and A1 offer far superior burst performance, while the Canon EOS R6 can hit 20fps with similar autofocus performance to the A7 IV for a similar price.

Value is your main priority
As tempting as the Sony A7 IV is, it is also likely overkill for many amateur photographers. If you don’t shoot much video, or tend to specialize in one particular style, then you’ll get more bang for your buck with a more specialist camera and an extra lens or two with the money saved.

Also consider

If our Sony A7 IV review has you wondering about alternatives, here are three rivals to consider.

Canon EOS R6
With a similar price to the Sony A7 IV, the EOS R6 is its closest rival. The main difference between the two is burst shooting speeds, with the EOS R6 hitting speedy 20fps top speeds. That said, the A7 IV offers a 33MP resolution that’s better for cropping than the 20MP EOS R6.

Fujifilm X-T4
If you need a smaller and more affordable alternative to the A7 IV, then the Fujifilm X-T4 is a fine choice. It has a smaller 26MP APS-C sensor, but offers similar features with a fully-articulating touchscreen, image stabilization and speedy 15fps burst shooting. Its autofocus isn’t quite up to Sony’s level, though.

Nikon Z5
If you have your heart set on a full-frame camera but can’t quite justify the Sony A7 IV, then the Nikon Z5 is an excellent alternative. Its 4.5fps burst-shooting speeds and cropped video aren’t in the A7 IV’s class, but it offers a comfortable grip, solid build, image stabilization and fine image quality.

  • Check out our guide to the world’s best cameras for photography

First reviewed: March 2022

Sony A7 IV: Price Comparison

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Mark is TechRadar’s Senior news editor. Having worked in tech journalism for a ludicrous 17 years, Mark is now attempting to break the world record for the number of camera bags hoarded by one person. He was previously Cameras Editor at Trusted Reviews, Acting editor on Stuff.tv, as well as Features editor and Reviews editor on Stuff magazine. As a freelancer, he’s contributed to titles including The Sunday Times, FourFourTwo and Arena. And in a former life, he also won The Daily Telegraph’s Young Sportswriter of the Year. But that was before he discovered the strange joys of getting up at 4am for a photo shoot in London’s Square Mile. 

Nikon Z6 II review | TechRadar

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Can Nikon improve on one of our favorite mirrorless cameras?

(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

Nikon has taken one of our favorite mirrorless cameras and addressed its main weaknesses. While it might not be class-leading in key areas, it’s the Z6 II’s strong performance across the board that makes it such a compelling choice.

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Pros
  • +

    Excellent image quality

  • +

    Polished handling

  • +

    5-axis IS system

  • +

    14fps burst shooting

  • +

    Best-in-class build quality

Why you can trust TechRadar
We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Two-minute review

The Nikon Z6 II is the follow-up to the company’s first full-frame mirrorless camera, the Z6. Now over three years old, the Nikon Z6 is the former holder of our best mirrorless camera crown. But there’s still room for improvement, and with the Z6 II Nikon has opted to retain the core spec and design of the Z6, while addressing its weaknesses. 

To that end, pretty much all the main features of the Z6 II are inherited from the Z6. This includes the excellent full-frame 24.5MP BSI CMOS sensor, which delivers images with excellent levels of detail, plenty of dynamic range and a very good high-ISO noise performance.  

Compared to one of the Z6 II’s closest rivals, the 20.1MP Canon EOS R6, the extra pixels here give you that bit more flexibility when it comes to framing and cropping, whereas the EOS R6 has a slight edge at higher sensitivities. Comparing the Z6 II to its other close rival, the Sony Alpha A7 III, there’s really not much between them when it comes to results.

(Image credit: Future)

While the sensor remains the same, Nikon has equipped the Z6 II with a second EXPEED 6 image processor. This brings a number of performance improvements, most notably an increase in burst shooting speed, from a maximum of 12fps to 14fps. That’s faster than the Alpha A7 III, and a match for the EOS R6 (although the R6 can shoot at 20fps using its electronic shutter). 

The extra processor has also allowed Nikon to improve on the 273-point AF system that’s in the Z6. As well as general performance improvements and the ability to focus in darker conditions, human and animal eye/face detection are now available in Wide area AF mode. It’s a solid system that’s great for general photography, although if you’re going to be shooting lots of action (or portraits), then the focusing systems in both the EOS R6 and A7 III have the edge here.

(Image credit: Future)

  • Nikon Z 6II (Black) at Amazon for $1,996.95

The Z6 had a strong set of video specs, including the ability to shoot oversampled 4K for footage with plenty of detail. For the Z6 II, Nikon has tweaked the video capabilities to enable 4K capture up to 60p, although this won’t be available until around February 2021 via a firmware update. The Z6 II also gains a number of output options that include the capture of 10-bit HLG HDR footage to an external recorder. For these reasons, we think the Z6 II is one of the best video cameras you can buy right now.

With the Z6 II using the same design as the Z6, there are few surprises when it comes to build quality and handling. The magnesium alloy body parts, weather sealing and comfy grip make the Z6 II feel more durable than rivals, while Nikon has managed to squeeze in a UHS-II SD card slot alongside the XQD/CFexpress card slot, resolving one of the key weaknesses of the Z6.  

There’s no getting around the fact that the updates found in the Z6 II are modest at best; however, while existing Z6 owners shouldn’t be tempted to upgrade, if you’re looking for a quality full-frame mirrorless camera you’re not going to go far wrong with the Nikon Z6 II. It’s undoubtedly one of the best cameras for photography. 

While rivals might outclass it in some areas, the Z6 II has consistency on its side, performing strongly across the board. If you can live without the upgrades though, do check out the Z6 – it’s still on sale for now, and the money you’ll save over a Z6 II will go a long way towards a new lens. 

Nikon Z6 II release date and price

  • The Nikon Z6 II launched on October 14, 2020
  • It costs $2,600 / £2,549 / AU$4,399 with the 24-70mm f/4 lens
  • You can also buy the Nikon Z6 II body-only

The Nikon Z6 II was announced in October alongside the Z7 II, and is available to buy now.

Like the Z6, the Z6 II can be purchased with the excellent Nikon 24-70mm f/4 S standard zoom for $2,600 / £2,549 / AU$4,399. If you’re looking to upgrade or invest in a second body you can buy the Z6 II body-only for $2,000 / £1,999 / AU$3,399, while those looking to pair the Z6 II with their F-mount DSLR lenses can add the FTZ lens adapter for around $150 / £150 / AU$250.

(Image credit: Future)

The Nikon Z6 II will naturally be compared to Sony’s Alpha A7 III, while the arrival of the Canon EOS R6 means many will also see that camera as a key rival. The A7 III is almost three years old now, but it still packs a serious punch and will cost you in the region of $2,880 / £2,650 / AU$4,640 with Sony’s 24-105mm f/4 G, which is a little more versatile than Nikon’s kit lens. 

The EOS R6 is also priced a bit higher than the Z6 II at $2,799.99 / £2,849 / AU$4,799, although this comes bundled with the relatively slow and variable-aperture 24-105mm f/4-7.1 lens, which isn’t quite a match for the lenses paired with the Z6 II or A7 III.  

  • Design is virtually identical to the Z6
  • Now features a second card slot
  • Tilt-angle display not perfect for video

The Nikon Z6 II arrives just over two years since the Z6 launched, and Nikon has opted to keep the new camera’s design virtually identical to that of its predecessor. 

While this might seem unimaginative on Nikon’s part (and also a way to save some R&D costs), the decision to use the same body is no bad thing – the Z6 is one of the best-handling mirrorless cameras out there, with controls falling easily to hand and key settings quick to access. The joystick (officially known as the sub-selector) is also weighted nicely, while all this is complemented by a large and comfy hand grip and well-defined thumb rest. 

Simply put, the Z6 II is one of the most pleasant mirrorless cameras to shoot with.

(Image credit: Future)

Sticking with the same design does, however, mean the Z6 II uses the same tilt-angle display as the Z6. This shouldn’t be too much of an issue if you’re predominantly shooting stills, but those shooting video (and self-shooters in particular) might be disappointed not to see a fully articulating vari-angle display worked into the design of the Z6 II. 

That gripe aside, the Z6 II feels really durable, with magnesium alloy top, front and back covers, and the same excellent level of weather sealing as Nikon’s pro-spec DSLR, the D850.

(Image credit: Future)

Not everything has stayed the same though. One thing that compromised the Z6 was its single XQD card slot. While this is a media format that can be incredibly reliable, XQD cards are significantly more expensive than even the best SD cards. 

Nikon listened to complaints about this, and on the Z6 II it’s managed to squeeze in a second UHS-II SD card slot to accompany the XQD/CFexpress slot. The addition of the SD slot makes the camera more accessible to more users, while those upgrading from the Z6, or who already use the XQD format, will be able to use their existing cards.  

There are benefits when it comes to shooting too, with the extra slot providing options for simultaneous backup, overflow storage or recording JPEGs while the XQD/CFexpress slot takes care of raw files. 

Features

  • Full-frame 24MP BSI CMOS sensor
  • 3.69 million-dot electronic viewfinder
  • 4K video recording up to 60p

For the Z6 II, Nikon has opted to stick with the same full-frame 24.5MP BSI CMOS sensor that’s in the Nikon Z6. This enables a native ISO range that runs from ISO100 to 51,200, and which can be expanded to ISO50-204,800. 

While the Z6 II keeps the same sensor, Nikon has managed to squeeze in a second EXPEED 6 processor. This delivers a number of improvements, the most notable of which is an increase in burst shooting speed to an impressive 14fps, up from an already quick 12fps on the Z6.

The Z6 II also uses the same 273-point AF system as the Z6, though there have been some improvements here too. Overall performance has been improved, while human or animal eye/face detection is now available in the Wide-Area AF modes, rather than just the Auto-Area mode. Focusing in low light should also be better, as the Z6 II can focus in light levels as low as -4.5EV (improving on -3.5EV of the Z6), while a low-light AF mode sees the Z6 II able to achieve focus at an incredible -6EV.

(Image credit: Future)

The Z6 already had some impressive video credentials, and the Z6 II improves on these further. As well as using the full width of the sensor to capture 4K footage at up to 30p, the Z6 II is also able to shoot 4K60p. 

A little caveat here though: there will be a 1.5x crop when shooting at this rate, and the upgrade won’t be available until around February 2021 via a firmware update. The Z6 II will also be able to continue shooting when connected via USB-C for recharging, which wasn’t possible with the original Z6. 

Other key features remain the same though, including the excellent 3. 69 million-dot electronic viewfinder (EVF) and 5-stop in-body image stabilization (IBIS) system. 

Performance

  • Fast burst shooting speed
  • Very capable AF performance
  • Better battery life than the Z6

While the Nikon Z6 II can shoot at 14fps, the details are in the small print – at this maximum rate, you’re limited to 12-bit raw files and a single AF-point. 

If you want a little more dynamic range in your files, and want to take advantage of the Z6 II’s tracking AF, this drops to a still very good 12fps – that’s faster than the Alpha A7 III’s 10fps, and a match for the EOS R6’s 12fps (though the R6 can shoot at up to 20fps using its electronic shutter). The buffer should be more than enough for most scenarios as well, with the Z6 II able to handle 124 12-bit raw files or 200 JPEGs at its highest frame rate. 

The Z6 II’s 273-point AF system has 90% coverage across the frame, which is good in isolation, although it’s left trailing the 693-point system in the Alpha A7 III and the class-leading 6,072-point AF system in the EOS R6.

Image 1 of 3

(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)

Those predominantly shooting people (or pets) might favor the systems in the Z6 II’s rivals, as they’re a bit more sophisticated when it comes to eye and face tracking, but the Z6 II still does a very good job here, locking quickly and accurately on to the subjects we tested it on. 

It’s a similar story if you’re tracking subjects – use the Z6 II in isolation and you’ll be very impressed with the speed of acquisition, but it’s not quite a match for the EOS R6 (which uses pretty much the same AF system as the flagship Canon EOS-1D X Mark III). 

The built-in 5-stop image stabilization system in the Z6 II is a consistent performer. Again, it’s not quite as impressive as the EOS R6’s 8-stop system (which is lens-dependent), but you can happily shoot at super-slow shutter speeds and come away with sharp, shake-free images. 

Another key area Nikon has addressed with the Z6 II is the battery. The Z6 could only achieve an official figure of 310 shots (though it performs better in real-world scenarios), and the Z6 II gets an improved EN-EL15c battery that’s rated for 410 shots using the LCD and 340 with the viewfinder. This is a welcome improvement, although here again the Z6 II still lags behind rivals like the EOS R6 and Alpha A7 III. 

Image and video quality

  • Same image quality as Z6
  • Excellent sharpness and detail
  • Good high-ISO performance

As we’ve mentioned, the Z6 II uses exactly the same sensor as the Z6 – and that’s good news, as results from the Z6 were pretty much class-leading. 

The full-frame 24.5MP BSI sensor in the Z6 II delivers excellent levels of detail. If you need to regularly print above A3 you might be swayed by the 45.7MP sensor in the Z7 II (or the D850), but the resolution on offer here should satisfy most shooters.

Image 1 of 7

(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)(Image credit: Future)

Thanks in part to the back-illuminated technology in the Z6 II’s sensor (which is missing from the lower-priced Z5), it performs well across the sensitivity range, delivering great results at higher ISOs, although if you’re shooting JPEGs it’s worth bearing in mind that the default noise reduction can be a bit heavy at higher ISOs, which can result in the unnecessary loss of detail.  

Dynamic range is also very good if you’re shooting in raw, with plenty of flexibility in post to recover detail in the shadows and pull back highlights. 

A quick note on lenses to conclude – the 24-70mm f/4 is a solid choice that performs very well, but since its launch more than two years ago Nikon’s S-series lens range has expanded significantly, and includes some excellent f/1.8 primes and f/2.8 zooms. 

Should I buy the Nikon Z6 II?

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if…

You’re looking to upgrade
If you feel like you’ve outgrown your current Nikon DSLR (or Z50 for that matter), the Z6 II is a great upgrade. There’s certainly enough of a jump in features and performance to make it worthwhile, while the FTZ adapter makes it easy to use your existing lenses. Add in the excellent image quality and you’re onto a winner.

You’re looking for a versatile and lightweight travel camera
With a rugged build, plenty of advanced features and a sensor that can cope extremely well with a range of lighting conditions, the Z6 II is a great option for travel. Partner it with a couple of primes or Nikon’s 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR superzoom and you’ve got an excellent setup for travel or walkabout shooting. 

You’re looking for something to complement your Nikon DSLR
If you’ve got a full-frame Nikon DSLR such as the D850, the Z6 II is a sound choice for a second body. Not only does it give you a chance to try out a mirrorless camera if you haven’t already, it brings a different set of tools to your kitbag, including improved video capabilities over a DSLR. You’ll be able to happily use it alongside your DSLR with your existing lenses, and the Z6 II is perfect for those times when you want to travel light. 

Don’t buy it if…

You want to upgrade from the Z6
There’s no question that the Z6 II is an improvement on the Z6, but unless you’re desperate for a second card slot or want to shoot faster bursts, it’s not worth upgrading. Nikon has been good at issuing firmware updates for the Z6, especially when it comes to autofocus, so if you’ve got money to burn, get some new glass.  

You’re not going to have much left for lenses
Nikon has done a solid job of turning out a series of S-line lenses for its new full-frame system in the last couple of years, but with the exception of the 24-50mm f/4-6.3, the most affordable lens for the Z6 II is the 50mm f/1.8 at around $500 / £500. This may not be an issue if you’ve already got some F-mount lenses you’re bringing over with your DSLR, but it could be a bit limiting if you’re new to the system.

You’ve got a load of F-mount lenses
If you’re tempted to switch to mirrorless and already have a stack of F-mount FX lenses for your DSLR, you might be better off looking at Nikon’s excellent D780. Combining the best bits of a DSLR and a mirrorless camera (it uses some of the tech found in the Z6), the D780 is one of the best DSLRs you can buy, and an excellent partner for your F-mount lenses. 

  • These are the best cameras for photography you can buy right now

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Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK’s biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.

TOP 10 Best Mirrorless Cameras of 2023

We’ve rounded up the best mirrorless cameras and cameras right now in terms of features, performance and value for money.

The best single person mirrorless camera means the best performance on the market. For someone else, this might mean the best mirrorless camera to get started. Other users will be looking for the best combination of features for the least amount of money! Our rating covers all aspects – it’s not just about the “best” camera, but also about the best value and the best price.

03/24/2023 Update

New models of mirrorless cameras have been added to the rating.

There are several things to consider when choosing a mirrorless camera. Do you want to take photos, videos, or both? Almost all cameras in our list can shoot 4K video, but some have in-body stabilization for smoother footage, professional “magazine” color grading modes, and higher frame rates or capture quality. If video is a priority, you should also check out our rankings of the best vlogging cameras, the best 4K video cameras, and the best movie cameras.

What resolution do you need to take pictures? It sounds tempting that the higher the resolution, the better, but it adds to the cost. A 20MP Micro-Four-Thirds camera can have all the resolution you need even for large shots that can be hung on a wall, and a 40MP+ full-frame camera can be very good, but both cameras and lenses are much more expensive – and you end up with a rather heavy kit.

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Sensor size is actually a key decision when choosing the best mirrorless camera for your needs. Here’s a brief description of the main sizes available:

Micro Four Thirds is the smallest sensor format, but the image quality is remarkably close to that of large APS-C cameras—and these cameras are compact, powerful, and affordable.

The APS-C cameras strike a good balance between quality and price, while their sensor is about twice the size of Micro Four Thirds cameras. Canon has just launched the brand-new EOS R10 and EOS R7 APS-C format mirrorless cameras.

Full-frame mirrorless cameras have sensors the same size as 35mm film negatives and about twice the size of APS-C. This provides better quality, but they are also larger and more expensive. However, the Nikon Z5 and Panasonic Lumix S5 are really good options at a very good price.

medium format cameras have even larger sensors than full frame cameras, but we don’t include them in this rating.

Now that that’s all out of the way, let’s move on to the best mirrorless cameras you can buy right now!

1

Fujifilm X-h3

Fujifilm’s best camera for image quality, video quality and price

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Type: Mirrorless Camera
9001 8 Sensor: APS-C X-Trans 5 HR BSIM
megapixels: 40
Object mount: Fujifilm XV
Vidoscuro: 5.76 million points OLED
Map Map: 1 x Cfexpress Type B, 1x SD UHS-II

18 Screen: touch screen with a variable viewing angle, 1.62 million points
The maximum speed of continuous shooting: 20 frames per second
Maximum permission of the video: 8k
User level: Expert

Pros

  • 40 MP stills
  • 8K video with long recording time
  • 15/20 fps continuous shooting

Cons

  • Cooling fan is an add-on
  • X-h3S is faster

The Fujifilm X-h3 camera is a very attractive option, especially at its price. Its 40 megapixel sensor is the highest among APS-C cameras and is second only to some full-frame cameras. In addition, the camera supports video recording with a resolution of 8K and has a 5-axis IBIS system. The design and controls of the Fujifilm X-h3 are identical to the X-h3S and X-h2.

The status bar on the top of the X-h3 is great and makes it possible to forego exposure and ISO discs. The Fujifilm X-h3 may be a bit slower than the X-h3S, but it’s still a fast camera with fast, accurate autofocus. Compared to the X-h3S, it offers higher resolution but slightly slower burst speed, making it ideal for most genres except action.

2

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

Easy to learn for beginners, but packed with powerful features

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Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Micro Four Thirds
Megapixels: 20.3
Lens mount: MFT
Screen: 3-inch 180-degree touchscreen, 1037k dots
Viewfinder: EVF, 2360k dots
Maximum frame rate: 8. 7 fps
Maximum video resolution: 4K UHD
User Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Pros

  • Latest 20MP Sensor
  • 5-Axis In-body Stabilization
  • 9009 4

    Cons

    • MFT sensor smaller than APS-C

    The new version of the Mark IV E-M10 series is an improved and more powerful camera that also retains the attractive design of its Mark III predecessor. It features a 20MP sensor, advanced in-body image stabilization, and a flip-out screen that can be tilted. In addition, it retains the ability to shoot video in 4K.

    This camera is ideal for those who are looking for an entry level but also need powerful features. Despite its quality and features, the Mark IV is one of the most affordable mirrorless models on the market. We have always been fans of the E-M10 series and are very happy that the Mark IV has received an upgrade to the 20MP Olympus sensor.

    3

    Fujifilm X-h3S

    This is Fujifilm’s most powerful X-mount camera and the price reflects this

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    Type: Mirrorless camera
    Sensor: APS-C X-Trans 5 CMOS
    Megapixels: 26.1
    Lens mount: Fujifilm X
    Screen: 9 0019 3-inch articulated touchscreen, 1.62M dots
    Viewfinder: EVF, 5.76m dots
    Maximum continuous shooting speed: 40fps
    Maximum video resolution: 6K
    9001 8 User Level:
    Expert/Professional

    Pros

    • 40 fps continuous shooting
    • 6K/4K 120p video
    • In-body stabilization

    Cons

    • Price reflects features

    The new Fujifilm X-h3S camera is the flagship model in the Fujifilm X-mount line. It outperforms its predecessor X-T4 in a number of ways, with a powerful professional body and controls, a status bar on top of the camera, and a fifth-generation sensor with 4 times the speed of the previous model.

    The X-h3S can shoot at 40fps without screen dimming, and record 6K or 4K video at up to 120p resolution. Inside the camera, there is image stabilization, a flip-out vario-angle screen, and a 5.76 million-dot electronic viewfinder.

    However, this camera is not for everyone as it is designed for professional photographers and videographers. Its high cost is due to the presence of many functions that are needed only for professional work.

    The X-h3S is the best professional APS-C camera at the moment, but we expect the 40-megapixel X-h3 to arrive later this year.

    4

    Nikon Z9

    Possibly the best camera Nikon has ever made

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    Type: SLR
    Sep Full frame
    Megapixels: 45.7 MP
    Autofocus: 493-point hybrid phase/contrast detector
    Screen: 3-inch 1.04M-dot bi-directional tilt touchscreen
    Maximum Continuous Shooting: 20fps
    Video: 8K
    User Level: Professional

    Pros

    • 8K 60p video resolution
    • 120 fps continuous shooting
    • Deep learning AF

    Cons

    • Screen not fully articulated

    Despite the delay in releasing the highest-end professional mirrorless camera, Nikon proved the Z9 was worth the wait. It’s a real beast in videography and comes out on top ahead of the rival Canon EOS R3.

    This camera can record 8K 60p or 8K 30p video for up to 2 hours. The elimination of the mechanical shutter allows the Z9 to shoot continuously at 120 frames per second and achieve a maximum shutter speed of 1/32,000, making it ideal for shooting sports and wildlife.

    Using Deep Learning AF, the camera can recognize nine types of objects, including human eyes, faces, heads and upper bodies, animal eyes and bodies, and cars, planes, trains, and motorcycles. Although the number of AF points (493) on the Z9 is the same as on the Nikon Z7 II, it seems like a lot until you realize that the Canon EOS R3 has 4,779 points. But the Z9 costs a bit less than the Sony A1 and Canon EOS R3 and has a lot of extra features.

    5

    Sony A1

    Makes everything brilliant, including emptying your wallet Sensor: full frame
    Megapixels: 50.1 nA
    Lens mount: Sony FE
    Screen: 3-inch tilting 1. 44M dots
    View Detector: 9.44M dot electronic
    Maximum burst speed: 30fps
    Maximum Video Resolution: 8K
    User Level: Professional

    Pros

    • 50 MP Resolution
    • 8K Video 900 87
    • Burst 30 fps

    Cons

    • Stratospheric price!

    The Sony A1 is Sony’s flagship product. This is a technological breakthrough that is able to do everything that other cameras have not been able to do before – speed, resolution and video capabilities. While the A1 outperforms specialized sports and camcorders at their own game, its high price remains a major hurdle.

    The camera is only attractive to photographers who want everything it can do, not just one or two of its features. With the A1, Sony almost destroyed two of its other cameras: the A9 Mark II, an amazing sports camera that falls short of the A1, and the A7S Mark III, which has excellent 4K video capabilities but pales in comparison to the A1’s 8K capabilities.

    6

    Panasonic Lumix S5

    Great for photos and even better for videos

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    Type: Mirrorless
    Sensor: Full Frame CMOS
    Megapixels: 24.2 MP
    Lens mount: L-mount
    Screen: 3-inch 1.84M-dot vari-angle touchscreen
    Burst speed: 7fps (mechanical shutter), 6K photo mode (18MP@30fps)
    Viewfinder: electronic viewfinder , 2.36 M dots
    Maximum video resolution: 4K/60p
    User Level: Enthusiast

    Pros

    • Lightweight and compact
    • Extremely good video
    • 9 0006 Ultra-wide 20-60mm kit lens

    Cons

    • Contrast AF only

    Panasonic’s Lumix S1 and S1R cameras are impressive and powerful, but they are quite large. With this in mind, the company has released a lighter variant, the Lumix S5, which provides almost the same capabilities as the 24-megapixel Lumix S1, but with a body that weighs 300 grams less.

    In addition, the Lumix S5 is the spiritual successor of the GH video-specialist lineup, offering the best video performance in its class. Shooting in 4K/60p 10-Bit 4:2:0 video and a dynamic range that can only be matched by the Sony A7S III makes this camera unbeatable. The camera is also optimized for beautiful colors and has a 6K Photo mode for burst shooting at 30 frames per second, which is a great feature for photo enthusiasts. The Lumix S5 is one of the best hybrid full frame cameras on the market at an affordable price.

    7

    Fujifilm X-S10

    The best combination of features, performance and price APS-C
    Megapixels: 26.1 MP
    Lens mount: Fujifilm X
    Screen: 1.04M-dot 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen 900 54 Viewfinder: EVF, 2360K dots
    Maximum continuous shooting speed: 30/8fps
    Maximum Video Resolution: 4K
    User Level: Intermediate/Expert

    Pros

    • Small size and great build quality
    • 9 0085 Vari-angle touchscreen

    • In-body image stabilization

    Cons

    • Conventional mode dial external exposure controls, as on the higher models of the X-series. However, we can’t say anything negative about it, as the build quality and controls at first glance indicate that this is not a “hobbyist” camera. For Fujifilm fans, switching to a regular mode dial can be a disappointment.

      But with excellent finishes, build quality, controls and the inclusion of in-body stabilization, the camera becomes very attractive in this price range. The combination of performance, quality and value that the Fujifilm X-S10 delivers may be the best APS-C mirrorless camera on the market today. It also has a vari-angle rear screen, which makes this new camera even more attractive and priced higher than the previous favorite.

      8

      Nikon Z fc

      Inexpensive camera with great retro style APS-C CMOS
      Megapixels: 20.9 MP
      Screen: 3.2-inch tilting 1.04M dots
      Continuous shooting speed: 11fps
      900 18 Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36M dots
      Maximum video resolution: 4K UHD @ 30p
      User Level: Beginner/Enthusiast

      Pros

      • Looks Great
      • Dial Controls
      • 90 094

        Cons

        • The Z50 is cheaper
        • Multiple Z-mount DX lenses

        Without a doubt, the Nikon Z fc is one of the most stylish mirrorless cameras available today. It has a retro style with dial controls and is designed to be enjoyable to use. Inside the camera, almost everything is the same as in the Nikon Z50, including the APS-C sensor, processor and specifications.

        There is no built-in flash and the price is higher than the Z50, so if you don’t care about aesthetics then Nikon’s other DX format camera would be a better choice. However, if you are a fan of the best retro cameras, then Nikon Z fc will appeal to you. The only serious drawback is that only two Nikon Z DX lenses are supplied in the kit. However, if you only need a complete lens, then this is not a problem.

        9

        Nikon Z5

        Inexpensive mirrorless full frame camera

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        Type: Mirrorless
        Sensor: Full Frame CMOS
        Megapixels: 24.3MP
        Lens mount: Nikon Z
        Screen: 3.2″ 1040k-dot swivel touch screen
        Continuous shooting speed: 4. 5 fps
        Viewfinder: electronic viewfinder , 3690k dots, 100% coverage, 0.8x magnification
        Maximum video resolution: 4K UHD @ 30p
        User Level: Enthusiast

        Pros

        • Good price for full frame
        • Two card slots

        Cons

        • Only 4.5fps
        • 4K cropped video

        Nikon has introduced a new model of mirrorless camera – Nikon Z5, which is an affordable alternative for those who want to go full frame shooting. The stylish camera features dual card slots and 4K UHD video.

        Despite burst speeds of less than 4.5 frames per second, the Nikon Z5 has some professional features such as full sealing, five-step image stabilization and an impressive electronic viewfinder. The big plus is its attractive price, which is much lower than the Nikon Z6 II, and a neat retractable lens. It will be an excellent choice for those who are just starting their journey into the world of full-frame cameras.

        10

        Panasonic Lumix G100

        Compact, portable and inexpensive MFT camera Micro Four Thirds
        Megapixels: 20.3
        Lens mount: MFT
        Screen: 3-inch vari-angle, 1840K dots
        Viewfinder: 90 019 EVF, 3.69M dots
        Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10fps
        Maximum Video Resolution: 4K UHD
        User Level: Beginner/Enthusiast

        Pros

        • Quality Video & Photo 9008 7
        • Audio recording capabilities
        • Bright EVF and hinged LCD

        Cons

        • No in-body stabilization
        • No headphone jack and USB-C

        In our ranking there is a camera that is not only one of the most affordable, but also one of the best for beginners, bloggers and travel enthusiasts. The Lumix G100 is aimed at vloggers and content creators who find videos as important as photos (and in some cases even more).

        With its convenient button layout, this camera allows you to instantly capture high-quality videos and photos. Even those who are not technical shooting gurus can achieve great results with the Lumix G100. Just like the right camera, the Lumix G100’s ergonomics are very comfortable, giving it a competitive advantage in an already oversaturated market.

        This is an excellent camera if your focus is on vlogging more than regular photography, and it brings a number of advantages over the GX80/85 in terms of both quality and video capability.

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        The best mirrorless cameras for video shooting | Articles | Photo, video, optics

        Twenty years ago, movies (and all sorts of small forms such as clips or advertisements) were filmed on a “big black camera” weighing 10 kilos and costing 10 million. Today, small but powerful mirrorless cameras are more often used for shooting video. Read about the best cameras for shooting video in this material.

        Since cameras have been able to shoot decent video, they have been used to shoot commercial videos, commercials, TV series and movies. Due to the large matrix, they allow you to get a beautiful “cine” picture with a beautifully blurred background and low noise. At the same time, the camera is much cheaper than specialized film cameras.

        Fuji X-T4 mirrorless camera with cine lens, compendium and external recorder / Photo: fujifilm-x.com

        Mirrorless models with interchangeable lenses are the best choice for video shooting. There are universal models that shoot both photos and videos equally well, and there are specialized models that focus on video shooting.

        To shoot video with high quality and without unnecessary problems, the camera must have a number of functions:

        • 4K shooting. Today, the standard for video shooting is 4K resolution – that is, about 4000 pixels along the long side of the image. Shooting in 4K is also good because it allows you to have a technical margin in case the final video is used in FHD (Full HD,1920×1080). In this case, the video can be cropped and stabilized without loss of quality;
        • microphone input. The microphone built into the camera is hardly enough for professional tasks. It is better to have a separate input, into which you can connect a directional microphone, a radio buttonhole receiver or even an on-camera mixer with 2 microphone inputs;
        • headphone jack. If you were writing a two-hour interview, it would be sad to come home and find that there was no sound for half of the shooting, because the batteries in the microphone were dead. It is better to hear immediately when shooting that everything is in order with the sound, there are no interference, cod and wind noise. For filming where it is important to control the sound quality, it is better to choose a camera with a headphone output;
        • stabilizer. Camera-shift stabilizer built into the camera allows you to shoot handheld and get a smooth image without shaking;
        • extended dynamic range. In order to get well-developed details in both highlights and shadows in the final video, image profiles with extended dynamic range are used. This can be a flat profile (such as Nikon Flat), a logarithmic profile (such as Sony S-Log3), or HDR video in HLG format;

        Logarithmic profile (left) preserves details in highlights and shadows, but requires subsequent color grading / Photo: sony.com

        • easy-to-edit codecs. By default, almost any modern camera shoots video with the H.264 codec, 4:2:0 color sampling and 8 bits per channel color depth. This is great if you need to save space on your memory card and immediately upload the footage to the Internet. But if the video is intended for editing and color correction, problems may arise. But just because of the compression, even a powerful computer will start to slow down if you put a video in the H.264 codec into the video editor and start working with it. This is due to the fact that you have to decompress the video back. Therefore, more suitable codecs are used for editing – for example, Apple ProRes.

        You can, of course, convert everything captured on your computer, and only then get to work. But you can save time if the camera can immediately shoot in ProRes. In addition, for color correction it is important to preserve smooth color transitions without posterization. For this, it would be good to have at least 10 bits per channel and 4:2:2 color sampling (even better – 12 bits and 4:4:4).

        The number of bits is responsible for the number of shades that the video can store and output during color correction. The same story as with RAW and JPEG for photos: RAW stores more information, which allows for more variable processing. So here. Color sampling is also responsible for the amount of hue that can be extracted from a video during color grading. The larger the last digit, the more color margin;

        • Focus peaking and zebra. On the small screen of a mirrorless camera, it’s hard to know if everything is in order with the exposure and where exactly the focus is. Therefore, a good camera will help you understand if everything is in order with your video. Focus peaking will highlight what is currently in focus with a bright color. And in order to avoid overexposure, it is worth turning on the “zebra”, and a hint in the form of hatching will appear in too bright areas;

        The cameras in this section are designed specifically for shooting video. Usually, in such cameras, the photo capabilities are either severely curtailed or ordinary, but in this case the cost of the camera increases significantly.

        Sony Alpha 7S III

        The entire Sony 7S line of cameras is designed primarily for shooting video, and the Sony Alpha 7S III is the latest model in this line.

        A small mirrorless camera with great potential / Photo: fotosklad.ru

        Specifications Sony Alpha 7S III:

        • video format: 4K up to 120 fps, FHD up to 240 fps;
        • stabilizer: yes;
        • microphone input: 3.5 mm;
        • headphone output: 3. 5 mm;
        • color profiles: S-Log2, S-Log3, HLG;
        • codecs and color: can write 4:2:2 10bit to memory card, 16bit ProRes Raw to external recorder;
        • shooting aids: focus peaking, focusing magnifier, zebra pattern.

        The camera uses a full-frame sensor with a resolution of only 12 MP. For photography today, this is not enough. But the fewer pixels on the matrix, the larger each of them and the more light enters it. Thanks to this, the Sony Alpha 7S III can produce a decent picture with low noise even at high ISO values. The working range of the camera is ISO 80-102400, and can be extended up to ISO 409600.

        Sony mirrorless can record 4K video at up to 120 frames per second, which means that during editing these frames can be slowed down by 4-5 times. Native Sony microphones can be connected directly to the multifunctional hot shoe with an additional digital interface, while third-party microphones have a standard 3.5 mm jack.

        CFexpress Type A memory cards can record video at 10-bit color depth and 4:2:2 color sampling, and if you connect an external recorder, you can record 16-bit RAW video.

        Very comfortable zebra pattern with adjustable sensitivity. It is important that the lightest areas are not overexposed – set the sensitivity to 95%. Is it important that human faces are properly exposed? Reduce the sensitivity of the “zebra” to 70-75%.

        Need to get a frame without overexposure? Reduce exposure until the streaks disappear / Photo: johnmeephotography.com

        Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H

        Panasonic full-frame mirrorless camera. Similar to its fellow Lumix DC-S1 and DC-S1R, but with more video capabilities.

        An additional video recording button (large red) is visible on the front of the camera / Photo: www.panasonic.com

        Specifications Panasonic Lumix DC-S1H:

        • video format: 6K up to 30 fps, 4K up to 60 fps, FHD up to 120 fps;
        • stabilizer: yes;
        • microphone input: 3.5 mm;
        • headphone output: 3.5 mm;
        • color profiles: V-Log, HLG;
        • codecs and color: can write 4:2:2 10bit to memory card when shooting 4K, 4:2:0 when shooting 6K;
        • shooting aids: focus peaking, focusing magnifier, zebra pattern, vectorscope.

        Mirrorless can write 6K video directly to a memory card, and uses the more common and less expensive SD format. For normal operation, it is better to take cards with a fast UHS-II interface. Prolonged video work causes the camera to become very hot, and to avoid overheating (which can increase noise in the video and even cause the camera to turn off), the Lumix DC-S1H has a built-in fan for forced cooling.

        Despite the presence of ventilation holes, the camera remains protected from dust and splashes. If you need to shoot 50 or 60 fps, the camera will only use the central part of the sensor, and the field of view will become narrower.

        There is a full size HDMI connector. You can connect an external recorder to it, and write 12-bit RAW video to it. The USB type-C port allows you to power the camera while working from a power bank or compatible charger.

        Panasonic Lumix GH6

        Another Panasonic mirrorless camera, this time with a Micro 4/3 sensor.

        The GH series has long been loved by videographers for its wide video capabilities / Photo: panasonic.com

        Panasonic Lumix GH6 specifications:

        • video format: 5.7K up to 30 fps, 4K up to 120 fps, FHD up to 300 fps;
        • stabilizer: yes;
        • microphone input: 3.5 mm;
        • headphone output: 3.5 mm;
        • color profiles: V-Log, HLG;
        • codecs and color: ProRes HQ 4:2:2 in 5.7K and 4K, Apple ProRes RAW 12bit to external recorder.

        The camera is very similar to the previous one, Lumix DC-S1H – there is also a built-in fan to cool the camera, there is also an additional video recording button on the front panel. The camera features a Micro 4/3 format matrix and wider video capabilities compared to the full-frame model.

        New tilt-and-turn screen design allows you to rotate the camera screen without hitting connected cables / Photo: photojoseph.com

        The Panasonic Lumix GH6 mirrorless camera lets you record 5. 7K and 4K video directly to your memory card using the professional Apple ProRes codec. The video bitrate can reach 800 Mb/s. To handle this amount of information, the camera uses CFexpress Type B cards.

        You can also use external media – you can connect an external recorder to the HDMI connector, and an external SSD drive to the USB type C port.

        Producers also took into account the fashion for vertical video. Now you do not need to rotate the video in the editor if you shoot stories on a mirrorless camera. Metadata records information about the position of the camera, and the video will immediately display correctly.

        Open-standard Micro 4/3 mount makes a wide range of Panasonic and third-party lenses available for the camera.

        The cameras in this section are equally well suited for both photography and video content production. They may not be able to shoot video for hours without a break or write 6K, but if you work with both photos and video, it makes sense to take a closer look at the cameras from this section.

        Nikon Z 6 II

        Nikon’s 24-megapixel mirrorless camera is capable of recording 4K and Full HD video, as befits a modern mirrorless camera.

        Nikon Z6 II mirrorless camera with external recorder / Photo: broadcastbeat.com

        Nikon Z 6 II specifications:

        • video format: 4K up to 60 fps, FHD up to 120 fps;
        • stabilizer: yes;
        • microphone input: 3.5 mm;
        • headphone output: 3.5 mm;
        • color profiles: N-Log, HLG, Flat;
        • codecs and color: Apple ProRes RAW 12bit to external recorder.

        Video Nikon Z6 II writes decent, but can not boast of outstanding capabilities. When recording 4K from the entire width of the matrix, the frame rate is limited to 30 fps. If you need 60 fps, the camera uses only the central part of the matrix, turning into a cropped one.

        Only 8-bit 4:2:0 video can be recorded on the memory card, and only Flat is available from color profiles. Advanced features – log profile, 4:2:2 video recording and HDR video in HLG format are only possible when using an external recorder.

        And for this, you will have to take the camera to a service center to update the firmware for an additional fee.

        Fujifilm X-T3

        For fans of retro design and film colors, there are Fuji cameras.

        See the little mirrorless? And it is there / Photo: www.eoshd.com

        Specifications Fujifilm X-T3:

        • video format: 4K up to 60 fps, FHD up to 120 fps;
        • stabilizer: no;
        • microphone input: 3.5 mm;
        • headphone output: 3.5 mm;
        • color profiles: F-Log, Eterna;
        • codecs and color: 10 bits per external recorder.

        Fuji cameras are loved for their interesting color profiles that mimic the colors of actual Fujifilm film. You can also use them when shooting video (including the specially designed Eterna profile with reduced contrast for video shooting).

        Fujifilm X-T3 can shoot 4K video up to 30 fps without crop and up to 60 fps with a small crop of 1.18 and can write 10-bit 4:2:0 video to a memory card. And in addition to the standard photo lenses for the Fuji X mount, there is also a special series of cinema lenses.

        Fujifilm is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of cine optics / Photo: fujifilm.com

        Unfortunately, there is no stabilizer in the camera. So if you want to shoot handheld, use a lens with built-in IS

        If your budget is tight and you want to shoot right now, take a look at the cameras in this section. They may not have sophisticated features and a weatherproof metal case, but they still make good video.

        Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

        The small Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III mirrorless camera is one of the most budget friendly options recommended for beginner video content creators.

        One of the smallest 4K mirrorless cameras / Photo credit: trustedreviews.com

        Specifications OM-D E-M10 Mark III:

        • Video format: 4K up to 30 fps, FHD up to 60 fps;
        • stabilizer: yes;
        • microphone input: no;
        • headphone output: no;
        • color profiles: no dedicated video profiles;
        • codecs and color: standard H.