When looking for the best full frame mirrorless camera, you need to consider a number of things. Our detailed guide to the best full frame mirrorless cameras will answer your questions and give you some camera suggestions to make your buying decision more straightforward.
Mirrorless cameras are an alternative to traditional lens technology, with all digital capture electronics rather than a conventional viewfinder. The image is portrayed on an electronic viewfinder, after being refracted through a traditional glass lens.
Mirrorless cameras tend to be better for video production, however fewer lenses are available and the viewfinder generally isn’t as good – for example, there’s normally no auto-focus sensors or pentaprism, because these are all replaced with the single image sensor. Mirrorless cameras are usually lighter and more compact because of this.
We’re going to cover a number of top full frame mirrorless cameras in this article. We’ll get into the details of each camera, as well as cover the pros and cons of each. In addition, we’ll mention any specific projects that a certain camera is great for.
Best Full Frame Mirrorless Camera on the Market
We have selected a range of mirrorless cameras with a variety of different price levels. We should also note that we’ve chosen mostly prosumer cameras for this article, as opposed to the more professional level cameras (covered in another article).
Canon have a reputation for great lens quality and progressive picture quality as you move towards professional EOS range. The M6 is no exception, with a high quality solid metal and highly durable plastic build, this is a professional quality 24-megapixel camera.
Features like object tracking, additional lenses and HD performance make this camera a highly fun and excellent quality tool for a lot of your filmmaking (and photography) needs. As an added feature you can even record HD 60 fps videos, which is great for all the media heads out there!
I have had a similar prosumer camera and the HD video function is great for family BBQs or suddenly when you need a camcorder and you have your camera to hand. This isn’t a professional level camera for pro video production work, by any stretch of the imagination, though.
The Dual Pixel technology for the CMOS sensor adds an extra level of smoothness when recording HD 1080p videos.
The digital image viewer on the back of the camera is large and accurate also. The camera feels sturdy and the buttons responsive. This is a solid prosumer offering which is built to last and the viewer is touch activated which is really useful.
Canon cameras have been a favourite of mine, and many other professional and yet again, the camera build quality and lens performance proves why. With good expansion and all optical zoom, built in Wi-Fi and high-quality image sensor make this camera a high recommendation for an affordable, entry-level camera.
This camera stands out, it looks sleek and modern. I really like the design and the adjustable large rear viewfinder. This model takes image of 16-megapixel quality and also has advanced feature options, including excellent macro (7cm close shots) features.
The X-A10 is at the top end of the Fujifilm mirrorless camera range. The integrated pop up lens and manual focus give this a retro futurist, other-worldly feel and again the build quality is very good.
Like with any piece of camera equipment, your choice boils down to your personal preferences. However, with optical zoom, good battery life and weighing just 500 grams, there isn’t much difference between the X-A10 and the M series Canon.
The Canon has a greater MP capture ability. But, for a couple hundred bucks more expensive, you’d expect that. And if you’re just using this for prosumer use, it isn’t really a consideration. Like the M6, this isn’t a camera for professional video production work.
Occasionally, the buttons can have a slight flimsy effect and the unit doesn’t have an SD card provided. However, the image quality is great, with optical stabilization, quiet operation and accurate focus.
This isn’t quite as smooth operating as the Canon, but not by much. And at almost half the price, this remains a solid price point for a still a highly capable camera.
Extra lenses are available and it features very easy to use camera operation, so definitely worth a look.
High quality build and solid features are the main selling point of this mirrorless camera. This is closer to the Canon M6 than the Fuji X-A10 in robust feel, but also in price point.
The Alpha 6300 offers a nice 25-megapixel image quality, with cutting edge autofocus technology. It’s quiet and like the Canon feels professional, with a sensor speed of up to 120fps, which is great for those action shots.
The Alpha 6300 is made from a magnesium alloy, so will not damage or rust easily. So expect this camera to last a long time if it’s the one you choose to purchase. And if you’re after a compact professional grade mirrorless camera, with very high quality Exmor image sensor, why not?
The OLED display size is high quality, an optional lens mount is useful and the optical viewer again is quite futurist in style, which seems sleek and up to date.
The Alpha 6300 has BIONZ high speed image processing, 425 phase detections, again good for detail and action. All demonstrate Sony’s commitment to professional quality image capture.
4K Video recording is on offer here and again touch controls for accurate and effective use. The features, like the other models, offer compact mirrorless image capture, with enhanced image processing and DSLR quality in a compact design. This gives you a lot more freedom and greater shot opportunity.
This model and the M6 are top level cameras for prosumer purposes and useful in fairly demanding environments.
Whilst not as high quality as the Alpha 6300, this mirrorless 20MP Zeiss Lens digital camera is certainly worth a look. It’s still equipped with the great Exmor R sensor, solid build and x3.6 optical zoom, all in an aesthetic compact and high image quality camera.
In fact, this camera is so compact, the 3 inch LCD display on the back looks gigantic, when compared with the proportions of the rest of the camera. It has a x14 digital zoom, great focal length and Wi-fi options.
Being a compact, it’s not the most versatile. However, for this price point, it’s a fairly solid advanced camera and it’s difficult not to like it. Highly recommended!
Sony RX100 20.2 MP Premium Compact Digital Camera w/1-inch sensor, 28-100mm ZEISS zoom lens, 3” LCD
- Approximately 20.1 megapixels , Exmor CMOS Sensor, 28-100mm equivalent F/18-49 lens, ISO 125-6400…
- Operating temperature:Approx. 0°C to 40°C (32F° to 104F°).1080p video, Steady-Shot image…
- Burst Mode (shots)-Approx10 fps,(VGA) Moving Image Size -640×480 30fps Approx3Mbps. Flash range:ISO…
- Bright F18 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens with 36x zoom, Full HD 1080/60p video with manual control…
- Dimension: 1016 mm x 581 mm x 359 mm, Weight: 213g (75 oz)
A new contender with 4K image quality, 30fps HD video options, high ISO support and strong lens range, the YI M1 looks impressive on paper.
Built in Wi-fi, IMX269 image sensor and superb high-grade build and 20 megapixel image quality all make this camera attractive. And with the chance to compete with the likes of Sony, Canon and other top camera makers, the YI M1 has pulled out all the stops to become a real contender here.
I like the fact that this has Micro Four Thirds lens options for dedicated use, something that expands your lens selection and helps to really develop your style through experimentation. There are, after all, an awful lot of cheap micro four thirds lenses available on places like eBay.
The M1 comes with a 12-40mm lens and has a battery life of between 8-9 hours. The mic for video is extremely high quality and the 4K image quality is superior, especially compared to the image quality of other cameras mentioned here.
Semi-assisted image processing allows for advanced processor assistance features, but also the option to fine tune the manual control of your shooting (through manual lens adjustment).
It weighs just over 1kg, making it heavier than other models discussed here, but a positive here is that this just adds to the quality of the design and professional feel compared to the others.
I like the build, design and support with extra lens. For a relatively unknown manufacturer, though, the price point is a little steep. But in a world where you get what you pay for, this hardware certainly delivers.
What makes a good mirrorless camera? It’s not that different from DSLR cameras and remembering the technology is newer, the design will be less developed and certain features will be priced at a premium.
Due to consumer confidence system specifications orientate around the digital image sensor, promoting the simplicity and quality of the mirrorless camera. And the price point will get lower with these prosumer cameras as the technology develops and gets more commonly used.
Stabilization generally is in two forms, Lens or IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization). Models like Canon or Nikon (VR or vibration reduction) are focused on Lens Stabilization, whilst Sony and Pentax have worked on the IBIS, or in body method.
Lens stabilization methods prove more effective in low level light situations. However, IBIS works with all lenses because the feature is not part of the lens itself, so more flexible as a whole. This means lenses are cheaper with IBIS, less fragile and quieter.
Lens stabilisation produces especially good results with super telephoto (or long range) lenses, where the focal distance demands a good stabilization method.
Focal Length Multiplier
The focal length multiplier, or crop factor, is essentially the size of the frame. Based on the hardware of the various camera technology, it controls detailed camera adjustments for framing the image captured by the sensor.
The 35mm is the diagonal frame of the actual image. Crop factor allows us to compare different camera hardware and the flexibility of the image sensor within the camera’s hardware.
Common focal length multiplier ranges from x1.5 to x6 magnified adjustment. This is heavily controlled by the quality of the image sensor and the model’s technological ability.
Sometimes you see higher factors. This is usually a little white lie, where camera performance mixed both digital and optical processing to enhance the multiplier, with varied results.
This is why it’s always important to physically test camera performance before purchase and research well.
Each mirrorless camera is different. However, there is usually an autofocus system (or similar) that refines your adjustments to the image quality post camera processing for the best image quality possible.
Contrast and focus are values altered here by either yourself or, in some models, completely processor controlled.
Auto focus systems use a combination of IR (Infrared) / ultrasonic to measure distance and focus the shot. This is common for the majority of cameras and is processor controlled for when you just want everything to be done for you by the camera. This makes sense with prosumer models, but as you take the step up to more pro camera options, you’ll want more manual control of the image.
Passive assist uses IR, but is less accurate and usually with focus controls to allow the operator fine adjustment options over the final quality of the shot.
Sensor size and type
The sensor’s ability varies greatly from model to model, with the technology highly guarded and developed in house by most manufacturers.
The larger more detailed the sensor, the more flexible the focal length / cropping ability of the image (real time). Full frame is industry standard 35mm. This is dictated by the quality of the sensor and in general the size and price of the camera.
The CMOS sensors usually vary slightly between manufacturer. Canon has APS-C, Sigma has a APS-H. Nikon also has a APS-C, but with a slightly larger frame size.
Sensors are usually 2cm x 2cm approx. However, it is important to realise their quality is directly related to the image picture quality, especially in mirrorless cameras.
There are other factors like dynamic range and dark noise, etc. However, these are topics for further research. The more expensive CMOS sensors work better in low light levels.
Best Full Frame Mirrorless Camera – Thoughts and summary
The standard quality of shots from all these mirrorless cameras are very good! If you’re on a budget, look at the Fuji X-A10 or the newer YI M1.
There are slight tradeoffs with build and megapixel ability. However, the shot quality is there due to the high quality image sensors, being very similar across the spectrum.
A lot of people always recommend Canon cameras and it’s true once you get used to the build and high-grade image quality, people find it difficult to accept others.
However, it’s not difficult to pull off professional level shots with all of these models, so if price is a factor then go for those that are at the more reasonable price points.
As always, it’s important to consider the type of uses and projects that you’ll require any video equipment for before you purchase. As we’ve mentioned throughout, we’ve covered prosumer level cameras here (as opposed to the pro level mirrorless cameras covered in another post).
We hope this article on the best full frame mirrorless camera offerings on the market has been instructive for you. Did we miss out your favorite mirrorless camera? Let us know in the comments below.
You Should Try:
Published at Thu, 02 Aug 2018 12:16:48 +0000