8 best mirrorless cameras 2017 for mirror-free picture taking

If you're looking for the best mirrorless camera, we're here to help

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If you're looking for a new camera you've come to the right place, because we have collected the very best mirrorless cameras here.

We think the ultimate mirrorless camera you can get is the Olympus PEN-F,  combining design cues from Olympus' classic half-frame film cameras with seriously up-to-date technology. 

But before we dive right in to our best mirrorless camera list, let's have a look at what to look out for in a new camera...

How to choose a mirrorless camera that's right for you

First, what actually are mirrorless cameras, or compact system cameras (CSC, for short)? They're an alternative to bulky DSLRs, which still allow you to change the lens and enjoy the benefits of a large sensor.

Compact system cameras come in three main styles: beginners' basics, DSLR-replacements, and retro revivals.

Basic models don't have viewfinders but they do come with everything else you need, including interchangeable lenses and full manual-exposure controls so that you can develop your camera skills later. DSLR replacements are like slimmed-down versions of real DSLRs; the only difference is that you get an electronic viewfinder rather than the optical sort. Retro revivals hark back to an earlier era of classic rangefinder-style cameras with rectangular bodies, viewfinders in the corner rather than on top, and smartly finished external controls.

With their market still expanding, mirrorless cameras have come on a lot in the past year. The latest must-haves include 4K-video capture with the ability to extract an 8 megapixel still. Increasingly, we also get flip-up screens to satiate the selfie shooter, and Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity to share shots with smartphone or tablet.

What hasn't changed much is sensor size, however. Offerings are still split between – in ascending order of physical size – one inch, Four Thirds (of an inch), APS-C, and Full Frame sensors. The rule of thumb is that physically larger sensors are capable of taking better the pictures.

The 9 best mirrorless cameras you can buy today

Here we've listed all of the best compact system cameras you can buy right now!

1. Olympus PEN-F

Stylish retro shooter which packs the latest tech

Specifications
Sensor size: Four Thirds
Resolution: 20MP
Viewfinder: 2.36M OLED
Continuous shooting: 20FPS
Video: 1080p
Stabilisation: 5-axis in-body
Reasons to buy
+Great image quality+Stylish compact body
Reasons to avoid
-Video not great-Expensive
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Olympus is unashamedly targeting the style-conscious with the PEN-F, which combines design cues from its classic half-frame film cameras with seriously up-to-date technology. It looks beautiful and packs a brand new 20MP sensor, exquisite external controls, and an excellent EVF.

2. Fujifilm X-Pro2

Don't let those retro looks fool you, this is a truely modern camera

Specifications
Sensor size: APS-C
Resolution: 24MP
Viewfinder: Hybrid 2.36M TFT
Continuous shooting: 8FPS
Video: 1080p
Stabilisation: OIS in-lens
Reasons to buy
+Great image quality+External controls
Reasons to avoid
-Lens range not extensive-So-so video
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The X-Pro2 is a chunky, classic rangefinder-style camera with a unique hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder. It takes the same X-mount lenses as the X-A2 and X-T10, but throws in a brand-new and super-sharp 24MP X-Trans sensor. It's unlike any DSLR, and it's absolutely brilliant.

3. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF7

Excellent image quality from a tiny body

Specifications
Sensor size: Four Thirds
Resolution: 16MP
Viewfinder: N/A
Continuous shooting: 40FPS
Video: 1080p
Stabilisation: OIS in-lens
Reasons to buy
+It's tiny+Fast
Reasons to avoid
-No ISO button-Short battery
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This tiny beginner orientated system camera packs the large Four Thirds sensor and Venus engine as found in the numerically similar GX7 premium model. Panasonic has bowed to the 'selfie' craze here, by including a 180-degree tilting monitor, along with two new self-portrait enabling features in Face Shutter and Buddy Shutter. It also has a new Wi-Fi button, and lightning quick autofocus response, in conjunction with supplied 12-32mm lens. The GF7 feels like Panasonic is making even its entry level CSC's into serious contenders.

4. Nikon 1 J5

Small sensor, but faster than the speed of light

Specifications
Sensor size: 1-inch
Resolution: 20MP
Viewfinder: N/A
Continuous shooting: 60FPS
Video: 4K (15fps)
Stabilisation: N/A
Reasons to buy
+It's pocketable+Very fast
Reasons to avoid
-4K video limited-Small sensor
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The Nikon 1 has the smallest sensor, but the image quality is still good and it's the smallest and most pocketable of them all. It comes with high-speed tech that enables 20fps continuous stills shooting, and it also has a tilting touchscreen display.

5. Fujifilm X-A2

Fujifilm's most affordable CSC

Specifications
Sensor size: APS-C
Resolution: 16MP
Viewfinder: N/A
Continuous shooting: 5.6FPS
Video: 1080p
Stabilisation: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Film simulation+Looks great
Reasons to avoid
-No Wi-Fi-Low MP count
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Fujifilms's cheapest X-mount camera doesn't come with its top X-Trans sensor or a viewfinder, but the regular 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor is still a good performer, and the X-A2 delivers style and control that belie its budget price tag. It also comes in black and silver, but we love this tan version.

6. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4

The best mirrorless camera for videographers

Specifications
Sensor size: Four Thirds
Resolution: 16MP
Viewfinder: 2.36M OLED
Continuous shooting: 4.2FPS
Video: 4K
Stabilisation: OIS in-lens
Reasons to buy
+Professional-grade video+All-rounder
Reasons to avoid
-Ugly-'Only' 16MP
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Panasonic's GH4 is renowned for its professional-grade video quality - making it a top choice for videographers around the world. It'll record in resolutions up to 4K at 30 fps, with the ability to grab 8-megapixel stills from a frame of video, in-camera. Broadening its appeal the GH4 also offers both Wi-Fi and NFC, an OLED viewfinder, great image quality, and weather proofing. This is a very adept all rounder.

7. Canon EOS M3

A mirrorless camera from the biggest name in photography

Specifications
Sensor size: APS-C
Resolution: 24MP
Viewfinder: N/A
Continuous shooting: 4.2FPS
Video: 1080p
Stabilisation: OIS in-lens
Reasons to buy
+Ergonomic+Good image quality
Reasons to avoid
-Limited lens selection-Slow
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Being the biggest camera manufacturer on the planet you'd expect Canon's CSC offering to be pretty competent. This miniature EOS has a large 24MP APS-C sensor, and excellent flexible touchscreen that tilts upwards by 180° and down by 45°. Keeping with the times there's Wi-Fi and NFC.

8. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

The perfect mirrorless camera for enthusiasts

Specifications
Sensor size: Four Thirds
Resolution: 16MP
Viewfinder: 2.36M LCD
Continuous shooting: 10FPS
Video: 1080p
Stabilisation: 5-axis in-body
Reasons to buy
+Amazing OIS+Excellent build and design
Reasons to avoid
-No 4K-Low-light can't match DSLR
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The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II may be the perfect enthusiast camera. The body is fully weather resistant, and the Mark II also introduces a new shutter mechanism, a swivelling touchscreen, and a new 40-megapixel high-resolution shot mode. Carried over is the amazing five-axis in-body stabilisation, and the amazing line-up of Micro Four Thirds lenses. All of that, in the gorgeous body which strikes a perfect balance between retro and modern.

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