Holiday Gift Guide: Mirrorless

Mirrorless cameras are compact, lightweight and continue to close the performance gap with DSLRs. In fact, many mirrorless models now outperform entry and mid-level DSLRs. Here are some of the newest mirrorless cameras to consider for holiday gifts.

Canon EOS M5

Canon’s APS-C mirrorless system, EOS M, took a big step forward with the new EOS M5, which is capable of recording up to 7 frames per second (or 9 fps with focus locked) at the full resolution of its 24.2MP APC-C sensor. It features Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF which provides sensor-based phase-detection autofocus, a technology also found in Canon’s recent DSLRs like the flagship EOS-1D X Mark II. The EOS M5 is the first M system camera with a built-in eye-level EVF, a feature that greatly enhances a camera’s usability in bright outdoor environments. Another interesting development is the addition of Combination IS image stabilization in-camera, which provides 5-axis stabilization when shooting video, and can augment the benefits of lens-based IS systems. List price: $979 (body only).

Fujifilm X-T2

Fujifilm’s X-T2 is a 24-megapixel APS-C model featuring a magnesium alloy body that's ready for temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit and weather-sealed at 63 points. It includes a new autofocus system with 325 AF points, 91 of which are Zone focusing points that can be activated in groups to assist subject tracking. The camera also offers 4K video capture and built-in WiFi for remote control. An optional VPB-XT2 Vertical Power Booster Grip increases the camera’s max capture rate to 11 fps. List price: $1,599 (body only).

Fujifilm X-Pro2

The dust and splash proof Fujifilm X-Pro2 has been updated with a new 24.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS III sensor and a new processor for exceptional performance including quick AF and start-up speed. An innovative Advanced Hybrid Multi Viewfinder lets you quickly switch between optical and electronic viewing. Dual SD memory card slots, a 3-inch LCD, full HD video and new monochrome and grain effects are only a few of the features that make this camera worth checking out. List price: $1,700 (body only).

Fujifilm X-A3

The Fujifilm X-A3 is an entry-level APS-C sensor model offering 24.2-megapixel resolution in a compact, lightweight design with retro styling. Though there’s no eye-level viewfinder, the 3-inch LCD does slide and tilt up to 180 degrees and offers touchscreen functionality for camera controls like focus and zooming. Continuous shooting at up to 6 fps is possible, as is Full HD 1080 video. Built-in WiFi allows you to control the camera remotely. The camera is offered in a kit with the XC16-50mmF3.5-5.6 OIS II lens, which offers a minimum focusing distance of approximately 2.75 inches for close-up photography. List price: $599 (including lens).

Hasselblad X1D

Though the sensor is nearly 67 percent larger than a full-frame 35mm sensor, the 50-megapixel Hasselblad X1D is comparable in size to (or even smaller than) a typical full-frame DSLR. It’s the world’s first mirrorless medium format camera, and will appeal to landscape photographers who want the benefits of digital medium format in a more compact system. The X1D is lightweight at 1.6 pounds, with dimensions of 5.9×3.9×2.8 (WxHxD) inches. It can capture RAW, TIFF and JPEG image formats, as well as HD video, with an ISO range of 100 to 25,600, and includes dual SD card slots for storage. The X1D also features a 3-inch, touchscreen LCD, WiFi and GPS. List price: $8,995 (body only).

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is an incredibly fast camera, capable of capturing 20.4MP images at 15 fps with its mechanical shutter, 18 fps with its electronic shutter and continuous AF or up to a remarkable 60 fps with its electronic shutter with AF and AE locked. Paired with a telephoto lens like the M.Zuiko 300mm f4.0 IS PRO (600mm equivalent), you have a formidable system for wildlife photography. The camera also features an advanced Olympus Dual FAST AF system that will automatically select on-chip phase detection AF, contrast detection AF or employ both systems simultaneously. The OM-D E-M1 Mark II is also weatherproofed and capable of shooting in temperatures down to 14-degrees Fahrenheit. List price: $1,099 (body only).

Olympus PEN-F

Based on the original PEN-F, the world’s first half-frame SLR released by Olympus in 1963, the new digital PEN-F is well equipped, with manual controls, customizable dials and buttons, and 5-axis image stabilization. Measuring a mere 4.9x2.8x1.5 inches, the 20-megapixel camera is very compact. Although not weatherproof like Olympus’ OM-D E-M5, the PEN-F is solidly constructed and, in addition to its high-resolution OLED EVF, the camera is equipped with an articulated LCD to more easily capture off-angle shots. List price: $1,199 (body only).

Panasonic LUMIX G85

The LUMIX G85 is well-suited for outdoor photography with its splash and dust proof design. It features 5-axis Dual I.S. image stabilization and the ability to capture images at the full 16MP resolution of the sensor at up to 9 fps with focus locked, or 6 fps with continuous AF. If you need even faster continuous shooting, the camera also offers the ability to capture 8-megapixel still images from 4K video at 30 fps, a feature Panasonic calls “4K Photo”. List price: $899 (body only).

Sony a7R II

Sony’s full-frame a7 redefined expectations for mirrorless cameras, and the series continues to push the boundaries of the segment with the a7R II. Its 42.4-megapixel, back-illuminated sensor with no low-pass filter currently sits atop DxOMark.com’s sensor ratings, with an overall score of 98, besting top-tier mirrorless and professional DSLRs alike. The a7R II includes Sony’s 5-axis SteadyShot image stabilization for up to 4.5 stops of compensation, and can capture 4K video with stereo sound via the built-in mic or with an optional external mic. The camera also offers a Silent Shooting mode that uses an electronic shutter for noiseless image capture and no sharpness-compromising vibration. List price: $3,199 (body only).

Sony a6500

Sony’s a6500 claims the world’s fastest AF in an APS-C interchangeable-lens camera, with a 425-point focal plane system that’s able to acquire focus in as little as 0.05 seconds, and AF tracking for both stills and 4K video. It can capture stills at up to 11 fps with AE and AF tracking for up to 307 images in continuous shooting. In addition to its 3-inch, adjustable-angle touchscreen LCD, the a6500 also offers an OLED eye-level viewfinder, and 5-axis image stabilization built-in that can provide up to five stops of correction when shooting handheld. List price: $1,399 (body only).

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