Mirrorless cameras challenge the status quo of the DSLR beasts.
At A Glance: Our Top 5 Mirrorless Cameras for Video
- Sony a7S II WINNER
- Panasonic GH5 YOUTUBE WORKHORSE
- Canon EOS M50 VLOGGING
- Panasonic GX85 Under $600
- Sony alpha a6000 Best Seller
They challenge the idea that a small camera can’t offer professional video features or be as powerful as a bulky DSLR.
Recent trends in the video cameras industry suggests that more and more videographers and vloggers are opting for a mirrorless camera over the typical DSLRs.
Let’s find out below, and then walk you through the 5 best mirrorless cameras for video on the market.
Upper Hand of Mirrorless Cameras
One of the best things about mirrorless cameras is that they come with DSLR-like capabilities without the bulkiness of DSLR video cameras.
They can capture videos in 4K quality, and now many of them even have the kind of advanced features matched only by high-end DSLRs.
However, something that gives mirrorless cameras quite an edge over their DSLR counterparts is that there’s no optical viewfinder.
When recording a video in a DSLR, the optical viewfinder has to be moved out of the way, and you instead have to use the rear LCD or go with an external display.
Top 5 Best Mirrorless Cameras for Video
Cameras are ranked from most expensive to cheapest.
But, each of them is the best video mirrorless camera in the price range they are.
|Sony a7S II|
|4K Ultra HD||Check Price|
|4K Ultra HD||Check Price|
|Canon EOS M50|
|Sony alpha a6000|
For example, GH5 is best option for under $2000 and Canon EOS M50 is best option for under $700.
If you’re after the most versatile video camera on the market that can produce amazing video content, then this is the mirrorless video camera you’re looking for (it’s also #1 vlogging camera in our opinion).
Although it’s priced considerably cheaper than some of the more high-end mirrorless cameras on the market, it manages to bring just as much functionality and features to the table.
One of its most highlighting features is its ability to record perfectly clean and crisp videos even in low light.
- Incredible In Low Light: If you have ever used some other similar camera before primarily for recording videos, you know how challenging it can be to make it “work” in low light conditions.As the Sony a7S II has absolutely no trouble shooting just as high quality videos in low light conditions (even when there’s a significant amount of noise) as it does during the day or in bright light conditions.
- 4K Ultra HD: It also supports 4K recording right in body, which is crucial for professional videography.You would easily be able to crop your videos the way you want, and even if you convert your videos to the standard 1080p quality, they would still look much sharper than the videos recorded directly in 1080p quality.
- Image Stabilization: If you used to have trouble shooting quality videos when standing still, the a7S II would have you covered with its in-body stabilization.It greatly improves the quality of videos you can take when standing still, besides being tremendously useful when taking images as well.
- Frame Rates: It’s also surprising that the a7S II lets you shoot videos at very high frame rates at this price point.
- Insane Value For The Money: Furthermore, the videos it records have pretty much no grading at all, which is again something hard to come by in this price range.Boasting an interchangeable lens and a full-frame sensor, the a7S II easily gives some of its much more expensive competitors a run for their money.
- Customization: It’s also one of the few cameras that let you customize pretty much everything; ranging from changing most settings to installing new apps on the camera, there’s nothing you wouldn’t be able to do on this beast.
- Microphone: The same goes for the internal microphone that the a7S II comes with; it’s really good so you should be fine with it, but it’s always recommended to get a separate mic.
- Body: The ergonomic design of the a7S II doesn’t leave anything to be desired as well.It’s compact yet very durable, and to our surprise, manages to sport 3 physical dials that are for the shutter, aperture and ISO.
The a7S II’s compact size makes it very portable, without compromising on the durability at all.
The battery life isn’t the best you can get, but it’s decent and shouldn’t turn out to be much of a problem even when traveling.
- Camera Type: Mirrorless
- Internal 4K quality recording
- Superior in-body image stabilization features
- Can record videos at high frame rates
- Full-frame sensor
- Compact and lightweight
- No Flip Screen
- Battery Life not the best
- Settings are hard to get used to
Why I Like It
- Superior Image Stabilization
- 4K recording backed by impressive FPS rates and the internal 4:2:2 10-bit performance
- Absolutely no loss of details, even when watching the videos in slow motion
- Complete Camera (has everything you need for YouTube)
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First thing first, there’s a reason the Panasonic GH5 has managed to get almost universally positive reviews.
This is actually something pretty rare with professional cameras, as customers do expect a lot at these prices and aren’t pleased easily.
But how can one not be pleased with this video powerhouse, especially given its surprisingly modest price tag of under $2000 (by professional video cameras’ standards, that is).
As a customer says in their review, the GH5 gives cameras that are four times more expensive a run for their money.
And they are right on the money with their assessment here.
- Video Quality: The GH5 comes packed with 4K video performance, with the 4K internal recording being at an impressive at 60p.
The variable frames rates for video are at 60 fps and for FHD, up to 180 fps.
The 4K recording performance being coupled with the internal 4:2:2 10-bit means that there will be no banding that’s commonly associated with the 8-bit performance.
- Focus Peaking: Then you would also have focus peaking, which is again something we wouldn’t really expect at this price point, especially with the kind of technical features the GH5 brings to the table.
This feature would make taking amazing videos a breeze as it would allow you to change the focus without having to worry about the video quality taking a hit, when shooting at f1.4 to f0.95.
- Details Retained: You would be surprised at how the video manages to not lose any details when it has many fast-moving subjects.
- Slow Motion: The same goes for the slow down footage feature, which allows you to watch your videos in slow motion.
However, even in slow motion, you would notice no loss of details, which is really quite impressive at this price point.
- Battery: The Panasonic GH5 is fairly compact as well, and comes with a great battery life.
Its long battery life, slow motion feature and superior image stabilization makes it a great choice for anyone into action or travel videos.
- Ease of Use: And while the technical features are great, there’s also the fact that the GH5 offers the kind of user experience matched by few mirrorless cameras.
There are custom buttons that will make the user experience so much custom-tailored to your needs and preferences.
A customer that films weddings and action sports mentioned in their review how impressed they were with the Dual I.S. 2.0 image stabilization, as it means that the videos have absolutely no shakiness, which is often super hard to achieve when shooting action videos with a camera they didn’t spend at least 5 grands on.
They also added that while the image stabilization and slow motion feature is why they got this camera, they actually ended up getting so much more.
On the downside, the low light performance isn’t exactly stunning, although it’s considerably better than with the Panasonic GH4.
- Camera Type: Mirrorless
- Huge amount of customization and other useful features like focus peaking and slow motion footage
- Great image stabilization ensures that there will be no shaky videos
- Very good battery life
- The low light performance isn’t the best you can get
- Small sensor
Why I Like It
- Dual pixel auto focus that would help vloggers record extremely high quality videos easily
- Vari-angle LCD, mic input and the slow motion video mode would be very useful for vloggers
- Clear video quality combined with ease of use, M50 is great for beginners
- Under $700!
As a particular customer mentioned in their review, the Canon EOS M50 is secretly one of the best mirrorless camera on the market.
It packs a lot of tech in a surprisingly small body, while also being very lightweight and having interchangeable lens.
It supports 4K recording but it’s a bit disappointing that when shooting in 4K, the video is cropped to 1.6. This makes the 4K recording not as impressive as it would otherwise be in this price range. It’s also a great camera for live streaming.
With that out of the way, you would love pretty much everything else about the M50.
- Auto Focus: One of its most highlighting features is the dual pixel auto focus, which is one of the best autofocus systems you may have ever come across.
It allows the M50 to cover as much as 80% of the autofocus area, which is certainly something going to come in handy for vloggers.
- Video Quality: While the 4K recording has a major flaw that we mentioned above, the kind of 1080p recording the M50 offers would be just perfect for most vloggers and videographers.
It records 1080p at a rate of up to 60fps – and coupled with the OLED electronic viewfinder – you can expect a stunning video quality all the same.
- Flip Screen: There’s also the fully articulated LCD, which would turn out to be extremely useful for vloggers and videographers in general.
- Mic Jack: You also have a mic input, meaning that the audio quality wouldn’t be a problem, which is quite a rarity for vlogging or video cameras at this price point.
- Slow Motion: The 120fps slow motion video mode is also very impressive and vloggers or videographers that shoot different types of videos would be glad to have such a feature.
The touchscreen is also very responsive, and the camera is overall pretty easy to use.
- Camera Type: Mirrorless
- 24.1 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
- Flip Screen
- DIGIC 8 Image Processor
- Very responsive touchscreen that makes it very easy to set the autofocus
- The OLED electronic viewfinder is better than anything you will find in this price range
- The 4K recording is very limited in the sense that the 4K videos are cropped
- The lens options are fairly limited
- The battery life isn’t the best you can get
Why I Like It
- Great video quality; very less shakiness even when shooting on the go without any equipment
- Very fast, shooting 4K videos at 100 Mb/s
- Compact, Lightweight and Portable
- Combination of 4K Video and 5-axis stabilizer is as good as it can get at this price point
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The Panasonic Lumix GX85 is a feature-packed camera at an unbelievable price.
It’s probably as fast a 4K mirrorless camera for video as it can get at this price point.
To talk some numbers, the GX85 records 4K videos at an impressive 100 Mb/s. And to your surprise, there’s no time limit for the recordings. You will be able to record till as long as your card or battery allows.
That being said, if you only want to shoot at 1080P or a lower quality, just switch to AVCHD and you will need not worry about any time limits.
Coming to handheld footage – which is usually a challenge with most video cameras in this price range – the GX85 turns out to be a winner here as well, thanks to its exceptional IBIS.
While combining IBIS with 4K was believed to be an impossible feat to achieve (especially at this price point), Panasonic managed to pull it off with the GX85.
And that too in a surprisingly compact, lightweight body.
Before you mention overheating issues, let us tell you that there are absolutely none even when shooting continuously for an hour and a half.
If some of you are not a fan of internal codecs, you will be glad to know that this little beauty comes with clean HDMI output as well, allowing you to use external recorders.
These all translate to an excellent video quality and a great, convenient recording experience.
While the videos are not perfect or super smooth, there’s little to no shakiness or blur, which is not bad at all when you’re using such a budget video camera without a stabilizer.
Of course, using a stabilizer or gimbal would improve its video quality even further.
- Camera Type: Mirrorless
- 5-axis stabilizer IBIS
- Comes with HDMI for external recorders
- The electronic viewfinder is disappointingly small
- The audio isn’t bad but a microphone jack would have been great
Let us tell you right off the bat that the Sony Alpha a6000 is not for professionals.
That said, however, it’s certainly a great choice for anyone looking to just get started as a YouTuber.
That’s because it is super compact but comes packed with great features.
It would also make a pretty good camera for new travel vloggers that don’t want to spend a couple grand on their camera just yet, or go for one of those bulky DSLRs.
While the biggest flaw in the a6000 is that it lacks the 4K recording that the Panasonic Lumix GX85 offers, but if you can live with that, you would be pleased with the overall user experience.
You get full 1080P HD recording with clean HDMI output.
But something that makes it much better than it might sound is its surprisingly fast continuous shooting.
The 1080P HD quality, when coupled with the fast continuous shooting, ensures a great video-capturing experience when traveling.
It shoots at 11fps, while allowing you to use the autoexposure and autofocus at the same time.
This kind of video recording functionality is definitely hard to beat in this price range, unless you’re willing to go for one of those Nikon cameras that come with a much poorer resolution and a mere 1-inch sensor.
The APS-C CMOS sensor however is very impressive at this price, and the viewfinder is super functional and responsive as well.
- Camera Type: Mirrorless
- Long Battery Life
- Fast Auto Focus
- 24MP APS-C sensor
- No 4K, but it’s fine because of all the other features it gives at this price point
What You Need to Look for
This might seem obvious, but it really isn’t all that obvious when it actually comes to finding the right camera.
The thing is, you may not be aware of how much money you can save if you stick to getting something that offers what you need, instead of most of the advanced features a mirrorless camera can come with.
For instance, the 4K recording may not be a necessity for many vloggers, and going for a good mirrorless camera that doesn’t offer 4K recording but all the other useful features would cost you far less than something that also supports 4K recording.
The interchangeable lens option is going to be important for videos though, and also the ability to use a variety of lens instead of just a few.
Similarly, if you tend to shoot videos with a lot of fast-moving subjects, the in-body image stabilization (IBIS) can make a great deal of difference to the overall quality of your videos.
Many vloggers and videographers also shoot most of their videos outdoor, especially the ones that shoot travel videos.
For them, the size and weight of the camera would be just as important as any other factor.
However, the bottom line is that you should have a good idea of your needs before choosing a camera in order to avoid overspending.
Another great advantage of going with a mirrorless over a DSLR is lens adaptability.
Mirrorless cameras use interchangeable lenses, and if you don’t know what it is, you will be pleasantly surprised when you actually get to use this feature.
Simply put, you will be able to use different types of lens depending on your needs and preferences, which will make a great deal of difference to your photography.
The thing is, mirrorless cameras have a much shorter flange-focal distance than DSLRs, meaning that you can use a much wider variety of lens with them than with a typical DSLR camera.
And of course, as a mirrorless camera weighs significantly less than the bulky DSLR, it’s also very portable, making it a much better choice for travel vloggers or for those that plan to record videos while on the go.
Summing It Up
As you can see, the mirrorless video cameras we reviewed above are all great cameras (and there are plenty more of great digital cameras we haven’t covered, like Fujifilm and Olympus cameras), but the one you should be picking would depend on your needs, preferences, and of course the budget.
If the budget isn’t a problem for you, then the Sony a7S II is going to be your best bet.
However, if you don’t want to spend that kind of money but still want a professional 4K recording experience and produce great travel videos or videos with a lot of movements without losing any detail, then the Panasonic GH5 makes a lot of sense for you.
For those that are on a very tight budget but still want an uncompromised 4K recording experience, the Canon EOS M50 is what you’re looking for.
And finally, if you want to spend even less and the 4K recording isn’t going to help you to get a lot of views, then you can pick one of the last two options on our list.
Just make sure you’re aware of what exactly your needs are so that you can choose accordingly, and get the best balance of features you can.