Street Photography: 8 Great Mirrorless Cameras to Hit the Streets With

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These small, powerful, and compact cameras are perfect for street photography.

Street photography is an incredibly popular and powerful genre of photography. Many think street photography is just about up close and personal candid portraits. It’s so much more than that. Street photography is about capturing and connecting with humanity, and it’s much easier when you use a camera that doesn’t get in the way of doing that. Fortunately, there are some great cameras on the market that can help you excel in this genre. After the break, we will look at eight of our favorite cameras for street photography.

All the Mirrorless cameras listed below are fantastic for street photography. They are all small, unobtrusive, powerful, and easy to use. These cameras will melt into your hands, and they will not get in the way of capturing humanity. If you’re ready to try your hand at street photography, these are the cameras we feel are worth a closer look.

Fujifilm X100V

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Feels good in the hand
  • Focuses quickly but the all wide tracking needs a revamp
  • Beautiful overall
  • We like this new ISO dial
  • So simple to use
  • Image quality is nice so far
  • Built in ND filter option
  • With the right tweaks the autofocus can be very good for street
  • We’re finding autofocus with the OVF to be faster than with the EVF
  • Touchscreen focusing is wonderful in protests

Cons

  • Battery life drains too fast
  • Could use a leatherette grip and not this plastic fantastic stuff
  • The exposure compensation dial needs a lock button
  • A Touchscreen menu is needed
  • Maybe even a few more Fn buttons
  • Viewfinder diopter adjustment doesn’t lock
  • When you set the camera to viewfinder only for shooting and LCD for playback, the menu system works only in the viewfinder.
  • LCD needs to adapt to lighting automatically
  • Autofocus suffers in very low lighting and in zone setting

Buy now: $1,399

Ricoh GR III

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • We’re smitten with the JPEGs and the color profile simulations
  • Snap focus is nice
  • Sharp image quality
  • The small size of the camera
  • Good battery life if you leave the screen off
  • USB charging
  • Touchscreen
  • Image stabilization is nice

Cons

  • We don’t really care for the RAW files
  • Autofocus can be slow
  • No weather sealing is a big problem
  • This camera desperately needed a faster aperture lens
  • Deep menus
  • No pop-up flash
  • Could have used a viewfinder

Buy now: $896.95

Olympus EM10 IV

street photography

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Small size and weight
  • Great image quality (albeit from a now 5-year-old sensor)
  • Excellent ergonomics for its size
  • Lovely retro looks
  • Fun and easy to use One-touch Panoramic and Live Comp modes
  • New autofocus algorithms have made a big impact
  • 5-axis image stabilization works like a charm

Cons

  • Battery life is not great
  • No weather sealing
  • Quite unbalanced when used with larger lenses
  • No touchscreen menus and poor menus overall
  • Still only contrast AF
  • Priced a little on the high side

Buy now: $699

Leica M10-D

street photography

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Quiet shutter
  • A bit of an improvement in battery life
  • Leica Fotos integration is very nice
  • Same great image quality as the Leica M10
  • Looks and feels like a film camera
  • Very low profile

Cons

  • Pricey
  • We really wish that it had a true mechanical shutter

Buy now: $7,503.18

Pro Tip: Most people associate street photography with candid images of people that fill the frame. The truth is, though, that street photography is so much more than that. Street photography is about observing humanity in many different ways and connecting with the world. It’s a hard genre to describe, and it’s not as simple as stepping out on to the street and just spraying and praying. The Street Photographer’s Manual is a great book that describes and gives examples of great street photography. It’s well worth a read if you want to learn more about this genre.

Fujifilm X Pro 3

street photography

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Superia is beautiful (Classic neg)
  • We love the lack of a major screen
  • Autofocus can be fine-tuned for different situations
  • Everyone loves the look of Classic neg
  • You can push the shadows for forever and get details
  • The screen helps you stay focused and aware
  • USB C charging ensures that you can keep using the camera
  • Video features deliver pretty video
  • Arguably, you don’t need to edit the RAW files because the JPEGs let you do so much
  • For street and documentary shooting, the hidden screen will keep you in the zone when shooting
  • Face detection is fantastic when not trying to track erratic movements
  • Acros and clarity enhancements are going to make you fall in love with Fujifilm all over again
  • The Chrome effect for skies is subtle and very nice
  • Autofocus is fantastic for events and most professional work
  • The best camera to embrace high ISO noise on the market
  • Using the OVF will prolong battery life at the expense of slower autofocus
  • Multiple exposure mode is a very welcome addition
  • Very good battery life

Cons

  • Has problems keeping subjects in focus when they’re continuously moving
  • When you need the screen, it’s a bit of an annoyance; like when photographing a portrait subject in motion
  • This camera desperately needed Blackout Free EVF shooting
  • Touchscreen menu navigation should be on this camera
  • Autofocus needs improvements
  • Rated images in-camera aren’t brought into Capture One Pro
  • Enhancing the clarity makes the camera take extra time to render the image
  • The battery life in long term use is about on par with the new Sony Z batteries
  • Shooting from the hip? You may accidentally hit the function button and not the shutter release
  • The exposure dial needs a locking mechanism
  • Multiple Exposure mode saves the final images only as JPEGs

Buy now: $1,799.95

Olympus Pen F

street photography

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • The absolute best and in some ways almost perfect image quality from an Olympus ILC camera yet
  • Handles very much like an old analog camera
  • Feels amazing in the hand for street photography
  • Thumb rest is absolutely fantastic
  • Autofocus performance is more than satisfactory
  • Not too large of a camera body.
  • The knob that lets you shoot in black and white mode us me addicted to not only shooting in black and white but also being very happy with the JPEGs
  • Flippin’ fantastic JPEG output
  • Great EVF
  • The electronic shutter is super nice
  • The most beautiful digital camera made thus far.
  • 80MP High res mode is here

Cons

  • Price point
  • We wish that Olympus put some weather sealing into the camera

Buy now: $999

Leica Q2

street photography

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Good image quality, though arguably better offerings from competitors
  • Weather sealed
  • Feels nice in the hands
  • Beautiful
  • The lens is exceptional

Cons

  • High ISO output is a bit under par
  • The LCD screen is a pretty low-resolution affair
  • Autofocus in very low light isn’t great
  • Could have used a few more function buttons

Buy now: $5,999.95

Sony a6100

street photography

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Small and very light
  • Autofocus system is beyond fast
  • 11 frames per second burst mode and 425 AF points
  • Real-time Eye AF and Animal Eye AF
  • Great tracking capabilities
  • Very Good overall image quality
  • Decent battery life
  • Flip-up screen for selfies
  • The splash screens that tell new photographers what each mode does is a nice touch

Cons

  • The EVF and LCD are very low quality
  • No weather sealing: you’ll be seeing a lot of dust spots
  • The layout of the controls should be simplified
  • The menu system is still convoluted. Simplify, Sony! Simplify
  • You still cannot use the touchscreen to navigate the menus
  • Only 1/4000s max shutter speed
  • The camera desperately needs a shutter speed dial on the grip
  • Just one UHS-1 card slot
  • The camera slows down a lot when writing files to the SD card after a burst
  • A USB 2.0 port. What year is this? Come on Sony
  • No included dedicated charger, just a USB cable and a wall outlet brick that you use to charge the battery while in the camera
  • No image stabilization, but it cannot be expected at this price point (not a con, just pointing out that it’s not there)

Buy now: $744.95