Have you been using your cell phone as your main camera? Are you thinking about buying yourself, or perhaps someone else their first real camera? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to really break out into the world of photography. Technology has improved at such a rapid pace that now, even entry level cameras are more than good enough to capture stunning images. Entry level Mirrorless cameras offer so many features, and are so much more capable than any cellphone. After the break we’ll look at three of the best entry level Mirrorless cameras that are feature rich, can capture stunning images, and cost under $600.
Moving on to your first camera is a big step, and the market is filled with options from many manufacturers so it can be hard to figure out which camera to buy.
The three cameras we have listed below are all excellent performers, and they’re all capable of really turning out some great images. They are also easy to use and will offer a great platform to learn about things like composition and the exposure triangle. In fact some of these Mirrorless cameras are so feature packed you might find that you won’t have to upgrade to another body for quite some time. Lets take a look at three of the best Mirrorless cameras for beginners that are under $600.
Ricoh GR II
If you have been looking for a camera that will enable you forget about taking pics with your cellphone, and that won’t break the bank while still delivering truly incredible results, the Ricoh GR II could be the camera for you. This small, pocket friendly, feature packed camera is great for travel photography, street photography, environmental portraits, and documentary photography. There really is a whole lot to love about this Mirrorless camera.
In our review we said:
“Its compact size, great image quality, fairly reliable autofocus, and fantastic lens make it a must for many photographers. Even better, the JPEG image quality is so good that I’d probably never worry about doing a whole lot of editing to my RAW files.”
The Ricoh GR II features a 16.9mp APS-C sensor which is capable of shooting continuously at four frames per second; which is plentiful. The 18.3mm f2.8 lens is the equivalent of a 28mm lens on a Full Frame camera. The lens on the GR II features seven elements in five groups, and has two aspherical elements which help minimize distortion. The GR II has built in Wi-Fi and NFC, can shoot HD video, has a 3-inch LCD, and can produce roughly 320 shots on a full charge. Build quality is great, and the textured grip and body gives the camera a nice feel in your hands.
The image quality from the Ricoh GR II camera is really something to behold. Images are ridiculously sharp thanks to the great optics. The colors that are rendered are saturated and vibrant. Distortion is kept to a minimum, but what can be found is easily fixed during post processing. The autofocus system is lightning fast, you can shoot up to ISO 6400 and still produce images filled with detail, and the JPEGS are so good you might find yourself just using them all the time instead of shooting RAW.
The Ricoh GR II is a seriously fun camera to use. Thanks to its ease of use you’ll be snapping quality pics in no time. The truly great thing though is that you can head out with this camera in your pocket and focus on just taking pictures; no extra gear to carry around, no switching lenses; you can just focus on being in the moment. If you’re looking for your first camera that is leaps and bounds in front of cellphone cameras, is lightweight, feature packed, and is affordable, the GR II is one the best affordable Mirrorless cameras that shouldn’t be ignored.
Buy now ($459.95): Amazon
Ricoh GR II Image Samples
Pro Tip: One of the best things you can do when you get a new camera is to replace the standard strap that comes in the box. Grab an affordable camera sling. These slings are much more comfortable and they disperse the weight of your gear better which in turn will make you much more comfortable.
The Sony a6000 is another great option when it comes to Mirrorless cameras. This little rangefinder style camera is absolutely bursting at the seams with features. The a6000 offers great performance, outstanding image quality, and gives many the chance to step into the world of photography without having to spend a fortune.
In our review we said:
“The Sony A6000 is a beast of a camera in an itty bitty body. If Dirty Harry wanted to carry a camera around, this is what it would be.”
The a6000 features Sony’s tried and tested 24.3 Megapixel APS-C sensor and is capable of shooting at 11 frames per second in continuous burst mode. The autofocus system one of the fastest you’ll find in any entry level Mirrorless camera. You’ll find 179 autofocus points to choose from and this camera’s ability to track is tremendous. The Sony a6000 has a great electronic viewfinder which makes it easy for new photographers to come to grips with the exposure triangle as you can see exactly what each setting does to your image in real time. You’ll also find a 3-inch tilting LCD screen on the back which makes navigating the menus easy, HD video recording capabilities, and Wi-Fi, and NFC connectivity. The Sony a6000 is also solidly built and will last a long time.
Image quality from the a6000 is really quite fantastic, and low light performance is great too with images up to ISO 6,400 being very usable. JPEGS are great straight out of camera, and the RAW files that are produced offer a lot of versatility when processed in Capture One 12 or Lightroom. The camera has plenty of physical buttons that can be assigned to custom functions. This is great because you can set the camera up exactly how you want it.
Unlike the Ricoh GR II, the a6000 is an interchangeable lens camera. This means you have full access to the entire Sony E mount lens catalog. Because you can pick and choose your focal lengths this camera is suitable for any genre of photography; even sports and nature thanks to the 11 frames per second burst rate.
The Sony a6000 is one of the best Mirrorless cameras for beginners without a doubt. The price to performance ratio is off the charts. The price listed below also includes a 16-50mm lens which makes it even more of a bargain. The a6000 goes down as one of our favorite Mirrorless cameras for first timers.
Buy now ($498): Amazon
Sony A6000 Image Samples
Pro Tip: Any cameras (Mirrorless cameras included) need to be properly cleaned and maintained at all times. Protect your investment and keep it in like new condition by regularly cleaning and servicing it. This basic camera cleaning kit will help you get the job done.
Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk II
Another great option for those looking into buying one of their first Mirrorless cameras is the Olympus OMD EM10 Mk II. For the price this is one of the best Micro Four Thirds Mirrorless cameras you can get your hands on. Not only does it have outstanding autofocusing capabilities in low light, it also features five axis in-body image stabilization, and is capable of delivering wonderful images.
In our review we said:
“The Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk II is honestly a really great camera. It will deliver excellent images in the hands of most folks and its simulated OVF mode is also great for many photographers that otherwise still swear by optical viewfinders.”
The OM-D EM10 Mk II has a 16.1 Megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor that can rattle off shots to the tune of 8.5 frames per second. The autofocus system is simply incredible on this camera, even in low light focusing is insanely fast. There are 81 autofocus points that will help you nail your shots, built in Wi-Fi, a beautiful OLED electronic viewfinder, and a 3-inch tilting LCD. This camera is also capable of shooting HD video, and has a 4K timelapse mode. The 5 axis in-body image stabilization is good for an extra four stops, which means low light shooting becomes even easier.
The Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk II is compatible with all Olympus and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds lenses. The images that can come out of this camera are really nice, and high ISO performance is really good too with images up to ISO 6400 still being very usable. The build quality of this camera is also fantastic. The all metal body, and the retro styling really make this camera stand out. Not only does it look good, it feels great in the hand too.
The inclusion of 5 axis in-body image stabilization makes this a truly great camera for beginners as it can really help you when it comes to low light shooting, and that’s where this camera really shines. It’s also great for those that want to dabble in videography as well. With a great collection of lenses to choose from, an easy to use interface, beautiful retro styling, and great image output, the Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk II is hard to pass up. For the price you’re getting a solid camera and a 14-42mm lens. It’s another excellent choice when it comes to entry level Mirrorless cameras that are under $600.
Buy now ($499): Amazon
Olympus OM-D EM10 Mk II