Photography Reviews

Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $1000 – Fujifilm vs. Sony vs. Panasonic vs. Olympus

Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $1000
Written by Izak Van Heerden

A few years ago, DSLR cameras were the answer to any photographer’s dreams; super cool to carry and with high quality pictures, it couldn’t get any better.

But turns out it did.

Welcome to the new age of digital photography, courtesy of Mirrorless Cameras (CSC). In 2008, Panasonic launched the first Mirrorless camera, the one of its kind, the Lumix G1. Unlike their archaic counterparts, Mirrorless cameras allowed for interchangeable lenses without the complex internal mirror feature. Hence, they are lighter, simpler and packed with more resolution than you can imagine.

Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $1000 Lens

Some of the most popular features of mirrorless cameras, besides their weight, are:

  • Range of lenses
  • Electronic viewfinders
  • Sensor based autofocus
  • Higher frame rates (up to 60fps!)
  • 4k video shooting

Giants like Nikon and Cannon don’t compare to the amazing list we’ve got for you; though they’re giants, companies like Panasonic, Sony, Olympus and Fujifilm are here to steal the show with their brilliant cameras and super affordable price tags – they are the best mirrorless cameras under $1,000!


With one of these new age cameras, your photography and video game is going to set a new benchmark!

Sony a7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Digital Camera with 28-70mm Lens

A full frame camera for under $1000, Sony’s a7 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera is portable and lightweight, giving it a definite edge over cameras with smaller sensors.

Advantages of Full Frame

  • A larger sensor catches more light, better in low light scenes
  • Larger sensor makes for larger pixels, and at higher ISO you get less noise
  • Improved depth of field
  • Better dynamic range

It’s got 24.3 MP of rich detail, true-to-life 2.4 million dot OLED viewfinder, Wi-Fi sharing, and an expandable show system.

Sony markets it as the “full-frame performance you ever wanted in a compact size that will change your perspective entirely”.

[Also Read: Best Low Light Cameras]

It’s equipped with a new sensor and a processing engine, which is three times faster than the previous models. Its built-in algorithm boasts of rapid autofocus speeds and the hybrid auto focusing-system shows off 117 phase-detection points and 25 contrast detecting points! It’s a great buy for beginners or recreational photographers looking to produce high quality digital media, and for under a $1000, a steal.

Fujifilm X-T30 Mirrorless Digital Camera

The Fujifilm X-T30 Mirrorless Camera is a slimmed down version of the mighty X-T3. It still has the same 26.1 Mp X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor but with an improved hybrid autofocus system with 425 detection points to produce stunning media. The D Pad from older models has been replaced with a more sensible joystick, but unfortunately the 4K video comes down to 30FPS, which is still decent for smooth video.

The edge that Fujifilm cameras have over competitors are the custom dials like setting Aperture, Shutter  or Focus. The X-T30 is no different and offers a great customizable shooting experience.

Although lacking in body-stabilization and a Q button, it’s still a hot favorite, especially amongst beginners in photography! In fact, Fujifilm has dubbed the X-T30 as their “Little Giant”!

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

The Panasonic Lumix LX100 II is by the same parent company that created the first mirrorless camera of its kind.

It’s compact, classically styled and boasts of a 17 MP multi-aspect sensor that can switch frame ratios from 4:3 to 16:9 to frame perfect shots without changing focal lengths. Users can choose between 49 point tracking area, custom focus areas, pinpoint focus, and face/eye detection features that result in great portraits shot from a 24-75mm range.

Absolutely stunning and exciting, the mirrorless camera comes with a 3-inch touch screen to make adjustments and includes 4k video shooting and monochrome options to stylize media. With gorgeous true-to-life daylight shooting, it’s one of the best mirrorless cameras under $1,000 to invest in.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 II

Known for its flash work, lightweight and 4k video resolution, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 II is a great camera for novices looking to pursue their passion for photography and videography. The built-in flash and image stabilization produce high grade images, and the 1/16000th of second fast shutter speed makes this camera parallel to its expensive competition.

The Micro Four Thirds lens comes with 98 native lenses and myriad third party choices, and the electronic SLR-style viewfinder has full coverage – meaning you can frame your image on the LCD screen using easy touch.

The 121 focus points can be selected and adjusted on the screen as per preference, and the camera is quickly becoming a favorite amongst urban photographers.

The Verdict

For under a $1,000, the list brings you the best value for money, quality and digital experience. The mirrorless cameras are easy to use and super compact to carry around, with the Olympus and Fujifilm models barely weighing even a pound!

Although the Panasonic model has been criticized for short battery life, it makes up for it by the quality of media it produces. The Olympus and Fujifilm models, on the other hand, lack image stabilization and environmental sealing – but for cameras that are priced so low and provide quality media, who’s going to argue?

The fullframe Sony and the newly released X-T30 (that is so close in features to the awesome X-T3) lead the pack, making it difficult for us to pick a winner.

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Izak Van Heerden
Izak has witnessed a couple of decades worth of changing tech. He hopes to make it a couple more until his conscience can be copied to a cyborg body.

About the author

Izak Van Heerden

Izak has witnessed a couple of decades worth of changing tech. He hopes to make it a couple more until his conscience can be copied to a cyborg body.

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