Mirrorless cameras can be a great choice for many photographers and videographers. Unlike traditional DSLRs, they tend to be smaller and lighter, with fast and precise autofocus systems and high continuous shooting speeds. Even if you're shopping for a mirrorless camera on a budget, you don't have to sacrifice quality. The good news is that most modern mirrorless cameras, even entry-level models, are still highly capable cameras that you can grow with as your skills expand. With so many models on the market, you're sure to find something that suits your needs without breaking the bank.
We'v bought and tested over 75 cameras, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best mirrorless cameras under $1,000. If you're looking for something even more affordable, you can also take a look at the best cameras under $500. Or, if you're looking specifically for more beginner-friendly models, try our picks for the best mirrorless cameras for beginners. If you think you'd prefer a more portable camera with a fixed lens, you should also check out our recommendations for the best compact cameras.
While there are some great camera bodies that you can find for under $1,000 (see the Fujifilm X-S10 below, for one), if you want a camera and a lens all for under a grand, the Nikon Z 50 is one of the best options you can get. This entry-level crop-sensor model feels well-built and super comfortable, with a generous handgrip and well-placed physical controls.
It's built around a 20MP sensor, which performs admirably in low light, especially with noise. Video quality is great, and it has a solid autofocus system. The similarly-priced Sony a6400 might have a slightly better AF system, but the colors and handling on the Nikon, plus the much more intuitive menu system, make it our top all-around pick for most users.
If you can stretch your budget a little, the Fujifilm X-S10 is one of the best APS-C cameras. While you can get the camera body for just under $1,000, getting additional lenses will cost you more. But if the price is right for you, this camera is one of the best cameras you can get for under $1,000. Unlike many cameras in this price range, it features in-body image stabilization (IBIS) to get smoother handheld shots. It also has simple controls and a fully articulated screen that comes in handy for video work or vlogging.
It's also an excellent photography camera thanks to its tried-and-true 26MP sensor and Fuji's well-loved color science. You also get several film simulation profiles to play around with for pleasing photos straight out of the camera. Unfortunately, it isn't weather-sealed like the Nikon Z 50 above, but that's a small price to pay, and it's still a very well-constructed camera that feels great in the hand.
If you're after full-frame image quality, you'd be hard-pressed to find a brand new full-frame camera for under $1,000—that is, before the Canon EOS RP rolled out. At just under $1,000 for the body, it's one of the most affordable full-frame options. Of course, just like the Fujifilm X-S10 above, you'll have to stretch your budget if you don't already have lenses for it; however, it's still amazing to have such an affordable entryway into full-frame photography (outside of getting a camera secondhand, of course).
There's a lot to love about the RP, from its relatively portable size to its accessible controls and user interface. There is a trade-off, though. Build quality leaves a little to be desired, and it has disappointingly short battery life. It also doesn't have built-in stabilization like the X-S10 and only shoots heavily cropped 4k video. But, to some, the boost in low-light capability and the ability to use full-frame lenses might be worth the trade-off in these other areas.
You don't need to spend a small fortune to get a great vlogging camera, especially with the slew of affordable mirrorless options designed specifically for vlogging. Among those, the best we've tested is the Sony ZV-E10. It's lightweight and portable, and though it doesn't have a viewfinder, it does have a vari-angle screen so you can easily monitor yourself while shooting. Add in specialized autofocus modes, like 'Product Showcase', which allows product vloggers to hold up objects in the frame without having to cover their faces, and this is one of the most capable vlogging cams on the market.
While it doesn't have IBIS like pricier models like the Fujifilm X-S10, you can still pair it with optically stabilized lenses to get a smoother image. Plus, its portability is hard to beat for on-the-go vlogging. For most aspiring content creators, this camera will be more than enough to start creating amazing videos and vlogs.
For those on a tighter budget, we recommend the Canon EOS M50 Mark II. It's one of the most affordable mirrorless cameras you can buy, making it a popular choice among vloggers and those just starting with photography. It's super portable and has simple controls and an intuitive menu system, and a bright, fully articulated touchscreen to help you shoot from different angles or take selfies. Inside is a high-res APS-C sensor and a great autofocus system, making this a versatile little camera.
Unfortunately, for those interested in shooting video, it's a lot better suited to shooting in 1080p than 4k. While it has 4k video capability, it can record in 4k with a heavy crop, which affects its AF performance. Still, if you're looking for an entry-level stills or 1080p video camera, this one offers a ton of value for its price.
Sep 28, 2022: Restructured article and adjusted picks based on user needs and current market conditions.
Jan 21, 2022: Added the Canon EOS M50 Mark II as 'Best Budget Mirrorless Camera' with the Canon EOS M200 as 'More Portable Alternative'. Added the Fujifilm X-T30 and the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV to Notable Mentions.
Nov 22, 2021: Checked picks for accuracy and availability; no change to recommendations.
Sep 27, 2021: Added the Panasonic LUMIX G100 as 'Best Mirrorless Vlogging Camera Under $1,000' and added the Nikon Z fc and Fujifilm X-E4 to Notable Mentions.
Jul 30, 2021: Replaced the Canon EOS M50 with the Nikon Z 50. Added the Canon EOS M50 and the Fujifilm X-T30 to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best mirrorless cameras under $1,000 for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability (no cameras that are difficult to find or almost out of stock in the US).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our reviews for interchangeable-lens mirrorless cameras under $1,000. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There is no single perfect camera. Personal taste, preference, and shooting habits will matter more in your selection.