Mirrorless cameras are an excellent choice for many photographers and videographers. Unlike traditional DSLRs, they tend to be smaller and lighter, with fast autofocus systems and quick continuous shooting speeds. There are also plenty of options to suit different budgets, whether you're buying new or used. The good news is that most modern mirrorless cameras, even entry-level models, are versatile enough for a wide range of photography and video work. With so many models on the market, you're sure to find something that suits your needs without breaking the bank.
We've bought and tested over 100 cameras in our lab, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the best mirrorless cameras under $1,000. If you're looking for something even more affordable, 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'd prefer a point-and-shoot camera with a fixed lens, check out our recommendations for the best compact cameras.
The Canon EOS R10 is one of the best mirrorless cameras you can get for under $1,000. Though it's on the pricier end, with a kit lens tipping the cost over $1,000, it's also one of the most well-rounded cameras you can get at this price point. With an excellent autofocus system, quick burst shooting, and a great APS-C sensor, it's fit for a wide range of photography styles. Its video features are nothing to sneeze at, either, with 4k 60p recording (albeit with a significant crop) and internal 10-bit capture for those who need it. Plus, it has great ergonomics and an intuitive user interface.
That said, lens options are still pretty limited for Canon's RF-mount. And, unlike the Fujifilm X-S10, it doesn't have in-body image stabilization (IBIS), which can help you get clear photos at slower shutter speeds or record more stable handheld video. The X-S10 is one of the few cameras at this price point to feature IBIS, so it's a great alternative if you need it, with the bonus of having a more established lens lineup. Still, the Canon has a significantly more reliable autofocus system and slightly better video specs, making it our top pick.
If you want your pick of the litter when it comes to lenses, the Sony α6400 is the best mirrorless option under $1,000. Sony's E-mount has one of the most well-established lens ecosystems, offering a wide array of both native and cheaper third-party options to suit different budgets. The camera itself may have been superseded by the significantly improved Sony α6700, but there's still life to the α6400 yet, especially if you don't need more advanced video features like 10-bit 4:2:2 recording.
The camera is portable and well-built, and its AF system is still one of the best of its class, providing snappy autofocusing for faster subjects. That said, the camera's ergonomics and user interface aren't very intuitive. If that's important to you, the Nikon Z 50 is a good alternative at this price point. The Z-mount lens ecosystem has been slow-growing, so there aren't nearly as many lenses available, but with more and more third-party options in the mix, you'll still have some excellent glass to choose from.
On top of being one of the best budget cameras we've tested, the Canon EOS R50 is also a fantastic choice for those just getting started in photography or content creation. The simple controls and intuitive auto-shooting modes take much of the guesswork out of photography for those who don't know their way around a camera yet. It's super portable, too, which will have you wanting to take it everywhere. Image quality is also great for its class, and it uses Canon's highly reliable Dual Pixel Autofocus.
Lens options are still somewhat limited for Canon's RF-mount, though. So, if you're looking for something with a more established lens lineup, a Micro Four Thirds (M4/3) camera like the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a great alternative. It also makes for a more portable overall kit since M4/3 lenses are generally more compact. That said, its autofocus system isn't nearly as effective as the Canon.
If you need something more portable, the Fujifilm X-T30 II is a great APS-C option that you can find for under $1,000 without a lens. It uses the same sensor as the Fujifilm X-S10, so image and video quality are similar. The big difference is the design of its body. Though it sacrifices a roomier handgrip, the X-T30 II is remarkably portable for an interchangeable lens camera, making it a great option for travel or street photography.
Unlike the X-S10, this model also has more manual control dials, making it easy to adjust your settings on the fly, though they can take some getting used to. Beyond that, the camera captures excellent image quality straight out of the camera, has a nice tilting screen for waist-level shooting, and even boasts some decent video specs if you like to record some video on the side.
You don't need to spend a 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 under $1,000 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 that makes it easy to monitor yourself while shooting. It also has specialized autofocus modes for vlogging, like 'Product Showcase', which automatically prioritizes objects held up in the frame without you having to cover your face. Add that all up, and you've got one of the most capable vlogging cams at this price point.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have IBIS, and its e-stabilization feature isn't the most effective. However, you can still pair the ZV-E10 with optically stabilized lenses for smoother footage. It's also quite portable for on-the-go vlogging. Ultimately, this is one of the best options for aspiring content creators who don't want to spend a fortune on a video camera.
Before the Canon EOS RP rolled out, you would have been hard-pressed to find a brand-new full-frame camera for under $1,000. At just under $1,000 for the body, it's one of the cheapest full-frame cameras on the market. Of course, just like the Canon EOS R10 above, you'll have to stretch your budget to buy lenses, but it's still a great entryway into full-frame photography for those who can't afford a higher-end camera body.
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 a disappointingly short battery life. Unlike pricier alternatives like the Nikon Z 5, it doesn't have built-in stabilization and only shoots heavily cropped 4k video, so it isn't the best choice for hybrid or video shooters. Still, the boost in low-light capability and the ability to use full-frame lenses might be worth the trade-off for portrait and landscape photographers.
Jan 16, 2024: Replaced the Fujifilm X-S10 with the Canon EOS R10 as the top pick. Replaced the Nikon Z 50 with the Sony α6400 and renamed it to 'Best Mirrorless Camera Under $1,000 For Lens Selection'.
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 U.S.).
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.