Mirrorless Camera Best Mirrorless Cameras of 2015

What are Mirrorless Cameras and What You Need To Know

‘Mirrorless’ camera is an unfortunate term because it describes the device by what it does not have: the moving mirror found in each DSLR (digital single-lens reflex). These cameras (more precisely known as mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras) retain one interesting feature of DSLR: the interchangeable lens mount. By removing the mirror, but retaining the interchangeable lens, these cameras offer a cheaper, more compact package with shooting flexibility and image quality that can compete with their old DSLR uncles.

In this kind of cameras, light goes through the lens and straight onto the image sensor, that records a preview of the image to show on the back screen. However, Some versions also provide another screen inside an electronic viewfinder (EVF) which you can put your eye on.

Mirrorless Cameras vs. DSLR: Which One Is Better for You?

When you become seriously interested in photography, you will face a choice: Do you choose a DSLR or a mirrorless camera? You will get excellent photos with either, but each one has its pros and cons.

Here is a comparaision betwenn both technologies to help you make up your mind!

Size and Weight

DSLR camera bodies are relatively larger, since they have to fit in the prism and mirror. The body of a Nikon D5300 for example, is 3 inches deep and with a 18-55mm kit lens, this camera weighs around 1 lb, 2 oz.

A mirrorless camera body on the other hand can be smaller, with less complicated construction. A Sony a6000 (see our review further in this article) has a body of only 1.9 inches deep and weighs only a pound and has a 16-50mm kit lens.

– The Winner in this case: Mirrorless Cameras

Autofocus Speed

DSLR cameras once had advantage here. The mirror system guides light into devoted auto-focus detectors using a very fast technology called the phase detection, measuring the convergence of 2 beams of light. However, this advantage is disappearing, since the inclusion of phase-detection pixels to the image-sensor on higher end mirrorless cameras. These cameras use both phase and contrast detection to improve their auto-focus. The Sony a6000, for example, has 179 phase-detection points on the image sensor, whereas the Nikon D5300 has only 39 in its distinct AF detector. However, many mirrorless cameras have just the contrast-detection AF. If you are buying a mirrorless model which has fast auto-focus, verify that the camera manufacturer points out phase-detection or hybrid auto-focus.

The perfect mirrorless cameras match DSLR camesras for their fast auto-focus.

– The Winner in this case: Draw

Previewing Images

With a DSLR camera, the optic viewfinder displays precisely what the camera will capture. With a mirrorless camera, you will get a preview on-screen, and often through an EVF.

When you are photographing outdoors in good light, the preview in the mirrorless camera’s EVF looks close to the definitive image. But in other conditions such as with fast moving objects or in a low light, the camera will have to make some adjustments in order to show a live preview.

DSLR cameras can simulate a mirrorless one by raising their mirror to display a real-time preview of the image. Many DSLRs are bery slow to focus in this condition, however, because they are not provided with the hybrid on-chip phase detection detectors and need to use reduced contrast recognition to focus.

– The winner in this case: DSLR

Image Stabilization 

Shaky hands create blurry pictures, and the impact is amplified according to your zoom. Both mirrorless and DSLR cameras provide image-stabilization functions: detectors calculate camera movement, allowing the camera to slightly shift either parts of the lens or the image detector in the opposite direction to the vibration. Some mirrorless cameras shift both the lens and the detector in a coordinated pattern.

The bottomline is: image stabilization technologies are similar in both camera versions.

– The winner in this case: Draw

Image Quality

Both sorts of camera can shoot HD pictures, with comparable resolutions and levels of graininess, called noise. Initially, mirrorless cameras’ smaller image detectors implied lower quality, since they could not capture as much light. That’s no longer true. Camera companies have discovered how to better reduce noise by producing more sensitive chips. Moreover, many mirrorless camera manufacturers, including Sony and Samsung, now use the exact same APS-C detectors found in most DSLRs. Sony lately presented its A7 series of cameras, which incorporate the even larger full-frame detector type found in the top pro DSLRs.

– The winner in this case: Draw

Video Quality

Considering their on-chip focus detectors, higher end mirrorless cameras are usually better at shooting video. DSLR cameras can’t use phase-detection with their mirror up when recording a video, so they need to use the slow, less accurate, contrast recognition focus technique. This results in the common blury look in the center of the video as the camera begins searching for the right focus.

Some mirrorless cameras, for example the Samsung NX1 and Panasonic GH4, can record 4K or Ultra HD videos with 4 times the quality of HD footage. This technology is most likely to trickle down to low-priced mirrorless brands. Presently no DSLR cameras can shoot a 4K or Utra HD video.

– The winner in this case: Mirrorless


Both cameras can shoot at extremely fast speeds and capture a burst of images rapidly. Mirrorless cameras are winning, though: The absence of a flapping mirror can make it quicker to shoot image after another. For instance, the Sony a6000 can capture 11 frames every second (fps), while the Nikon D5300 can merely do 5 fps. There are few faster DSLRs however. The latest Canon 7D Mark II can shoot at 10 fps, but it is expensive ($1800 for the body only). The majority of mirrorless cameras use a mechanical shutter, producing greater results. But they also provide the option to use an electronic shutter to obtain increased shutter speeds and shoot noiselessly.

– The winner in this case: Mirrorless

Image and Video Playback

Both cameras can show images on their screens or through an HDMI output. Lots of mirrorless and DSLR models now include Wi-Fi to send images to smart-phones for online to be posted online.

– The winner in this case: Draw

Battery Life

Generally speaking, DSLR cameras have extended battery life, since they can shoot without having to use an electronic viewfinder or an LCD screen, both of which consume loads of power. The CIPA standard battery life score for the Nikon D5300 is around 600 shots; compared to the Sony a6000 at only 360. Nevertheless, all mirrorless and DSLR cameras include removable batteries, so you can always carry a spare.

– The winner in this case: DSLR

Lenses and Accessories

Buying a DSLR camera gives you access to a variety of lenses ranging from inexpensive and acceptable to expert and extremely expensive. On the other hand, most mirrorless cameras come with just a limited range of lenses provided by the manufacturer, although the selection is gradually growing.

The trademarked mirrorless systems from producers such as Sony, Samsung and Pentax have the smallest selection of lenses, since these companies have just freshly introduced mirrorless cameras. For exmaple, Sony provides 17 E-mount lenses, whereas Nikon has hundreds accessible for its DSLR cameras. Mirrorless cameras using the Micro Four Thirds detector format come with the largest selection mainly because they’ve been around for so long now and are produced by many companies. Panasonic and Olympus built cameras and lenses. However, Tamron, Sigma and other companies also create Micro Four Thirds lenses.

– The winner in this case: DSLR


Both mirrorless and DSLR models provide a good level of protection, like the Olympus OM-D EM-1 thePentax K50 DSLR. Both have metal bodies and are identified as waterproof, which means that they can resist water. Nikon 1 AW1 mirrorless camera takes it even further: It is waterproof to a significant depth of 50 feet.

– The winner in this case: Draw

Best Mirrorless Cameras In 2015

Mirrorless cameras began as a simple product searching for a purpose, but eventually they have become a unique category with many advantages over DSLR cameras as shown in the previous chapter.

In this chapter, we will try to briefly review 5 of the best mirrorless cameras available in the market today:

Sony Alpha a6000

Sony Alpha a6000The a6000 is a perfect compromise between mobility and power. Its auto-focus is comparable to a DSLR’s, and it shoots faster than DSLRs which usually cost up to several times more: a blistering 11 fps with constant auto-focus and metering. Although Electronic viewfinders are a disadvantage on lots of mirrorless models, the a6000’s OLED eye-piece is vivid and crystal-clear, and does not suffer the stuttering you will occasionally find on EVFs using lower refresh rates.

The a6000 glows in low light, and has the ability to shoot clean photos up to ISO 1600 sensitivity and available shots in extremely dim conditions up to ISO 12,800. Atop of that, this camera can shoots full-HD videos at up to 60 fps, plus 24 fps for a cinema-look. Videos display depth, color and buttery smooth motion performance, despite low light.

– Main Features:

  • Megapixels: 24.3
  • Screen: LCD, 3 inch
  • Battery Life: 360 shots
  • Integrated Flash: Yes
  • ISO: 100 – 25,600
  • Shooting Speed: 11 fps
  • Weight: 12 ounces
  • Body Size: 4.8×2.9×1.9 inches
  • Viewfinder: OLED


Samsung NX1

Samsung NX1Although it looks pretty much like a DSLR, the NX1’s mirrorless layout provides it with some specific advantages, most particularly, the capability to capture up to 15 fps, with constant auto-focus and auto-exposure. That blows away what most expensive DSLRs can do. Additionally, the NX1’s mainstream size APS-C detector is the largest back illuminated sensor (BIS), which considerably improves low-light efficiency. If Samsung extends its range of top-quality lenses, this NX1 would become a great alternative even for professionals.

The NX1 records stunning videos in both Ultra HD format as well as the somewhat larger 4K format applied in professional cinema. However the new H.265 format NX1 uses is confusing to use. That will actually improve as H.265 gets more support in online video and software sites.

– Main Features:

  • Megapixels: 28.2
  • Screen: OLED, 3 inch
  • Battery Life: 500 shots
  • Integrated Flash: No
  • ISO: 100 – 51200
  • Shooting Speed: 15 fps
  • Weight: 19 oz
  • Body Size: 5.5x4x2.6 inches
  • Viewfinder: OLED

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mirrorless Camera

Olympus OM-D E-M5 MII

With even smartphones recording 1080p videos and up to 60 fps, Olympus had to improve the video quality it provides. It definitely did, with an astonishing five-axis image stabilization system in its M5 MII which enables you to capture steady videos even as you walk around, something unimaginable so far. The video also features depth and appealing color, with one of the top auto white balance abilities you have ever seen to avoid the standard orange look during indoor filming. All of these virtues assist the M5 MII evenly very well for still-photo capturing, too. Its water resistance means you can film under almost any condition. Furthermore, the M5 MII’s really small size and light weight, combined with a nice range of lenses, make it the a very valuable mirrorless camera on the market.

– Main Features:

  • Megapixels: 16.1
  • Screen: LCD, 3 inch
  • Battery Life: 310 shots
  • ISO: 100-25,600
  • Integrated Flash: No
  • Shooting Speed: 10 fps
  • Weight: 16 oz
  • Body Size: 4.9×3.3×1.8 inches
  • Viewfinder: LCD

Fujifilm X-A2 Mirrorless Camera

Fujifilm X-A2

Fujifilm wishes to win the competition with its 16.3 megapixel X-A2. Along with a 3 inch LCD screen which flips up and slides out for convenient selfie shooting, this camera is a dream come true. Once the monitor is turned up, the X-A2 instantly initiates selfie mode, which activates face detect or a new eye-detection mode for greater focus and begins a timer trigger. Delivered with a Fujinon XC16-50mm II, F3.5 5.6 OIS lens, this X-A2 should be flexible enough to shoot portraits or landscapes likewise.




Samsung NX500 Mirrorless CameraSamsung NX500

With the NX500, you will get leading efficiency for half the worth. Samsung took the image processor and detector from the 28.2 megapixel NX1, and packed them into another body comparable to the mid-size NX300. You will also get a 16-50mm power zoom which Samsung calls one of its top lenses , the same attractive flip-up, 3-inch AMOLED screen from the NX300M camera, and the possibility to film full-HD videos at 60fps or 4K-videos at 30fps. With its integrated NFC and Wi-Fi, this NX500 can pair with an Android or iOS device to share images on-the-go or to use the other screen for a distant view. And as the NX500 weighs less than a pound (with no lens), there will never be many reasons for coming back with just cellphone photos, even on very long, exhausting trips.

– Main Features:

  • Megapixels: 28.2
  • Screen: AMOLED, 3 inch
  • Battery Life: N/A
  • Integrated Flash: No
  • ISO: 100 – 25600
  • Shooting Speed: 9 fps
  • Weight: 11.84 oz
  • Body Size: 4.7×2.5×1.64
  • Viewfinder: No

The Bottom Line

Mirrorless cameras have the benefit of generally being lighter, smaller, faster and much better for video shooting; but that goes with the cost of less lenses and accessories. DSLR cameras, on the other hand, have the advantage of a wide range of lenses and an optical viewfinder which is more effective in low light, however; they’re bigger and more complex.

Mirrorless cameras are better suited for a newbie to a semi-serious photographer who needs to carry a camera everyday. A serious or professional photographer who wants to access a wider variety of lenses and other equipments would be better off with DSLRs. One feature where theses two different technologies meet is image quality. Both mirrorless and DSLR cameras can shoot outstanding photos.