Not the Newest, But Great! Seven Mirrorless Cameras You Should Get Now

fujifilm x series
Just because a mirrorless camera is old doesn’t mean it’s bad.

Fact: in the past decade or so, no one has really been making a bad camera. So, even though new cameras keep coming out, the older ones are still pretty great. They may not have the latest features, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t take great photos with them. Just look at the work that won at the World Press Photo Awards 2020. Not all of them are new cameras, but they’re still able to shoot great pictures with a competent photographer behind them. So we went into our Reviews Index to search for some old cameras that are still wonderful. Here’s what we found.

Sony a7r III

The Sony a7r III probably provides all that most working photojournalists and photographers need. There are more than enough megapixels, excellent autofocus, fantastic video output, a reliable build quality that has survived years of abuse in our hands, and a selection of beautiful lenses.

In our review we state:

“In addition to the Animal Eye AF algorithm, it’s nice to know that, when it comes to shooting portraits, the Sony a7r III doesn’t require a two step process anymore for eye acquisition.”

Buy Now: Amazon

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Fujifilm X-H1

camera market

The Fujifilm X-H1 didn’t impress us out of the box. But, after firmware updates, price drops, and the vertical grip for it became free, it grew into one of the most affordable powerhouse cameras Fujifilm has. If you’re a multimedia shooter, then the Fujifilm X-H1 and its robust build quality with image-stabilized sensor are worth a look. I still use mine.

In our review we state:

“Is there noise? Indeed there is. Does it look bad? Not really when you’re looking at it on a screen. I’m not sure I would print images with really high contrast at 17×22 and at ISO 6400, but it’s more than good enough for the web, which is where I think most of you will be sending your images. Overall though, ISO 6400 and even 12,800 are very clean.”

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Sony a7

portrait lenses

As one of the oldest cameras on this list, the Sony a7 was one of the original Full-Frame Mirrorless cameras. We’re recommending the Sony a7 because the sensor output still continues to amaze us. This is from an era where Sony was all about lots of saturation and contrast. So if you shoot landscapes, that’s what you’ll get. More importantly, it’s got this awesome but loud shutter that’s pretty satisfying to listen to.

In our review we state:

“Among other aspects of its design, the A7’s claim to fame is its image quality. Granted, it sports two-thirds of the A7R’s MP, but for what it’s worth, the A7 provides a stellar amount of detail and gorgeous colors. Should the image be off a bit, you can do a solid amount of recovery in Lightroom, and the A7 works even at higher ISOs that most wouldn’t touch.”

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Olympus Pen F

compact cameras Olympus Pen F

The Olympus Pen F could have well been the nearly perfect Olympus camera. If the camera were weather-sealed, it would have won all the awards the photo industry had. But its other strengths still make it shine. Most notably is the ability to fine-tune the art filters like the black and white grainy film options. Don’t forget just how fantastic Olympus’ ergonomics are too.

In our review we state:

“The color JPEG output is very good, but it can’t hold a candle to the black and white output. Having a film look like Ilford Delta 400 is pretty much my dream. Then you can add the according amounts of grain. These are the most film-like JPEGs I’ve ever seen.”

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Leica M9

The Leica M9 had an extraordinary sensor. The CCD sensor was made by Kodak and gives off the look of slide film each and every time. It’s a look you can’t get anywhere else in the industry. Of course, this is if you have a version that doesn’t have a corroded sensor. Even so, Leica will replace it for you today. It’s got a few problems, but the M9 is still a reliable camera.

In our review we state:

“…the way the Leica renders image noise is more organic looking and so they can be made into much better looking black and white photos without the need for adding more image noise in Photoshop.”

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Fujifilm X Pro 1

The first interchangeable X series camera still captures the hearts of many a photographer. With the hybrid viewfinder and a sensor that truly delivers images that look like film, you can’t get anything like this on the market anymore. It still continues to receive small firmware updates.

In our review we state:

“When I shot film more often (and it was around), I was addicted to Astia. It was a wonderful film for photographing people. Now, the only way I can possibly shoot it is through digital means via their film simulation setting. As sad as that is, it does give me a bit of a smile.”

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Panasonic GX8

The Panasonic GX8 feels excellent in the hands. If you’re a lover of vintage lenses, we recommend that you grab this camera and adapt your lenses to it. The sensor and the overall ergonomics will create an enjoyable experience for nearly every photographer.

In our review we state:

“Overall, absolutely any job a person needs to get done can easily be accomplished with the Panasonic GX8–seriously any job. But, only a true creative will really take the fullest advantage of what this camera’s imaging sensor is capable of.”

Buy Now: Amazon

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Samsung NX1

We know Samsung no longer makes cameras. But, towards the end of their run, we have to admit that they really started to become good. The battery life, lens quality, autofocus, and build quality were all amongst some of the best. If the company had held out and kept it up, they would have probably been holding their own with Sony at this point. Better yet, if they had bought Pentax or Schneider (two former partners of theirs), they would have had even more reasons to stay in the industry.

In our review we state:

“Full-frame enthusiasts won’t find anything they want here because Samsung has yet to enter the full-frame game. The NX1, however, is one of those cameras that can stand very close to a full-frame camera and perform just as well, if not better in some cases.”

Buy Now: Amazon

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