The Ultimate Guide to Mirrorless Cameras and Lenses

October 9, 2019

By Greg Scoblete

Mirrorless Cameras

Editor’s Choice: Olympus OM-D E-M1X  

The 20-megapixel OM-D E-M1X carries many of the features of the E-M1 Mark II, but sports a built-in vertical battery grip and two batteries. You’ll enjoy a battery life of 870 shots, per CIPA standards. Thanks to the grip, the E-M1X has a duplicated set of controls for shooting with the camera both horizontally or vertically, with the ability to lock certain controls in a given shooting position so you don’t accidentally trigger them. The other notable enhancement is to image stabilization. The E-M1X can deliver up to 7.5 stops of shake reduction.

Price: $2,999

Canon EOS RP

The RP realizes the potential of a mirrorless system to be ultra-compact (smaller than Canon’s own Rebel T7i) while still delivering a full-frame, 26-megapixel CMOS sensor with a native ISO range of 100 to 25,600 (expandable from ISO 50 to 102,400). There are 4,779 manually selectable phase detect AF points covering 88 percent of the frame horizontally and 100 percent of the frame vertically. AF is sensitive to -5EV when using f/1.2 lenses. The RP incorporates Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF and eye detect autofocusing. 

Price: $1,299

Leica M-E

Leica’s least expensive digital rangefinder to date, the M-E uses a 24-megapixel CMOS sensor with a top native ISO of 6400. It has a 2GB buffer memory for saving burst shots. It also supports video recording at 1080p with a dedicated video recording button, a first for the M series. The body is dust and weather resistant.

Price: $3,995

Fujifilm X-T30

The X-T30 uses Fujifilm’s fourth generation, 26-megapixel APS-C-sized X-Trans CMOS 4 image sensor for improved image quality and ISO performance. A new processor gives it twice the autofocusing speed of its predecessor and a lower base ISO of 160. You can hit 30 fps in continuous shooting (with a 1.5x crop) when using the e-shutter. Switch to a mechanical shutter and the camera slows to 8 fps for up to 90 JPEGs. There’s 4K/30p video recording with the option to output a 10-bit, 4:2:2 signal from the HDMI port.

Price: $899

Panasonic G95

The camera boasts a 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor with no low-pass filter and a native ISO of 200 to 25,600 (expandable to ISO 100). The G95 uses Panasonic’s five-axis Dual Image Stabilizer system that pairs in-camera stabilization with optically stabilized Panasonic lenses to deliver five stops of shake reduction. You’ll hit burst rates of 9 fps with focus fixed on the first frame or up to 6 fps with tracking engaged for up to 600 JPEG or 30 RAW images.

Price: $1,200

Sony a6400

Sony says the a6400 boasts the fastest autofocus acquisition in the world at .02 seconds. With Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Tracking you can tap AI-based object recognition to detect and process eye data in real time for improved performance. Beyond speedy AF, the a6400 sports a 24-megapixel image sensor with a top native ISO of 32,000 (expandable to 102,400). It’s capable of shooting at 11 fps with AF/AE tracking using a mechanical shutter or up to 8 fps with an electronic shutter.

Price: $899 

Panasonic S1/R  

Panasonic’s potent pair of full-frame mirrorless cameras use the Leica L mount and offer in-body, five-axis image stabilization good for five stops of shake reduction. The cameras can burst at 6 fps with AF/AE tracking or at 9 fps with focus fixed on the first frame. Both are capable of focusing down to -6EV. As in similar Panasonic models, there are 6K and 4K Photo Modes to take one-second bursts of video and extract a still image (18 megapixels for 6K and 8 megapixels for 4K). The S1 sports a 24-megapixel sensor and supports 4K/60p video recording internally with no crop and full pixel readout. The S1R (pictured) delivers a higher resolution, 47.3-megapixel sensor with no low-pass filter.

Price: $2,499 (S1), $3,699 (S1R)

Panasonic Lumix S1H

The forthcoming Lumix S1H will, according to Panasonic, be the first camera capable of recording 6K-resolution video at 24p (in the 3:2 aspect ratio). It will also be able to record 5.9K video at 30p in the 16:9 aspect ratio and, perhaps most importantly, it will record 10-bit DCI 4K at up to 60p, in camera. The camera will also support an anamorphic mode plus a 4:3 aspect ratio and a V-Log/V-Gamut profile with a dynamic range of 14+ stops, delivering results similar to the company’s VariCam and GH5/S cameras.

Price: $3,998

Sigma fp

According to Sigma, the fp will be the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame mirrorless camera in the world. The fp features a 24-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS sensor with no low-pass filter and it’s a Bayer sensor, not the Foveon sensors found in past Sigma cameras. It can record 4K/30p or full HD up to 120p. It can also output a 4K 12-bit Cinema DNG Raw signal to either an Atomos Inferno or Blackmagic Video Assist 4K external recorder. 

Price: TBD

Sony a7R IV

Sony’s newest full-frame mirrorless uses a new back-illuminated CMOS sensor that can deliver 15 stops of dynamic range and a top native ISO of 32,000 (expandable to 102,400 or 50). Among the many firsts in the camera is the use of Real-time AF in video, a super high-res viewfinder and a multi-shot mode to create a 240-megapixel image. It can burst at 10 fps with AF tracking and has built-in image stabilization good for 5.5 stops of shake reduction.

Price: $3,500

Mirrorless Lenses

Editor’s Choice: Canon RF 85mm f/1.2 L USM  

This lens uses Canon’s Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics to suppress chromatic aberration. It also features Air Sphere Coating to minimize flare and ghosting. The lens is capable of focusing on objects as close as 2.79 feet with a maximum magnification of 0.12x. There are nine aperture blades. Like prior RF lenses, this one also features a programmable control ring that can be set to adjust exposure compensation, ISO, shutter speed or aperture. As far as durability, the lens is dust and weather resistant with a Fluorine coating. 

Price: $2,699

Fujifilm Fujinon XF16-80mmF4 R OIS WR

With a constant aperture throughout its focal range, Fujifilm’s XF16-80mm is capable of focusing on objects as close as 14 inches. At just 3.5 inches long, it’s an ultra-compact zoom covering a 24-122mm-equivalent focal length. Built-in image stabilization delivers six stops of image correction and can automatically detect when your camera is on a tripod and adjust performance accordingly. It sports a weather-resistant build and has nine aperture blades that stop down to f/22.

Price: $800


Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3

With a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 24-400mm, the ED 12-200mm features a dust- and splash-proof exterior. There are seven aperture blades that stop down to f/22. The lens can focus on objects as close as 22cm on the wide end with a magnification of .1x. At the tele end, you’ll enjoy close focusing up to .7m with a maximum magnification of 0.23x. Additional features include an MSC (Movie and Still Compatible) inner focusing mechanism and ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) coating to reduce flare and ghosting.

Price: $900


Nikon NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.8 S

The newest member of the Z-mount family of lenses for Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless system, the Z 85mm boasts nine rounded aperture blades to bring the bokeh. There’s Nano Crystal Coat to reduce flare and ghosting and a Multi-Focus System to deliver speedy autofocusing with fewer aberrations. You can stop the lens down to f/16 and focus on objects as close as 2.62 feet.

Price: $796.95


Tokina FiRIN 100mm F/2.8 FE Macro

This portrait-friendly Sony E-mount lens is a true, 1:1 macro lens with multi-coatings to reduce optical impairments like flare and ghosting. Its nine-blade aperture stops down to f/32 and the lens can focus on objects as close as 11.8 inches. Thanks to its electronic contacts, the 100mm supports a variety of Sony capabilities, such as Direct Manual Focus, focus peaking, focus enlargement and five-axis image stabilization. 

Price: $599  

Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD (A046)

Designed for Sony E-mount cameras, the 17-28mm has a tiny filter diameter of 67mm and measures in at a compact 3.9 inches. It can focus on objects as close as 7.5 inches and has a moisture-resistant build. The lens supports the full range of Sony autofocusing features, including Fast Hybrid AF and Eye AF. Autofocus is driven by a Rapid eXtra silent stepping Drive (RXD) for fast and quiet performance. 

Price: $899

Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm F4 O.I.S.

Designed for Panasonic’s new full-frame L-mount cameras, the 70-200mm features a weather-resistant build and a focus clutch mechanism to quickly switch between auto and manual focusing. The optical image stabilization delivers up to six stops of shake reduction when paired with a Lumix full-frame camera. There are nine aperture blades and a double focus system that combines a linear motor and stepping motor to support a high-frequency sensor drive at 480 fps. 

Price: $1,700

Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/2 Zero-D

According to Venus, the Laowa 15mm f/2 Zero-D is currently the widest f/2 rectilinear native lens for full-frame mirrorless cameras. It features an optical design that minimizes optical distortions and a flat front element so you can attach 72mm filters. Both Canon R and Nikon Z mount versions will support close focusing to 6 inches with a magnification of 1:4. Both versions will also be manual focus only.

Price: $849 

Sony FE 35mm f/1.8

Sony’s latest prime lens offers a minimum focusing distance of .22m with a magnification of .24x. There are nine aperture blades that stop down to f/22. You’ll find a customizable focus hold button and a focus mode switch on the dust- and moisture-resistant body. Autofocusing is driven by a linear motor and the lens weighs 9.9 ounces.

Price: $750

Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN A

Available for Sony E-mount or for L-mount mirrorless bodies, the 35mm features 11 rounded aperture blades and a de-clickable aperture for smooth exposure transitions during filmmaking. The lens has a full-time manual focus function and is compatible with lens aberration corrections on compatible camera bodies. The lens stops down to f/16 and can focus on objects as close as 11.8 inches. 

Price: $1,499

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