Best mirrorless camera for video

Camera & Photo

Using a mirrorless camera to capture video gives you access to higher-quality footage and features not available on smartphones or webcams.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

Which mirrorless camera for video is best?

If you are looking to record videos, livestream or vlog over the internet, you will likely want to achieve the highest picture quality possible. To do so, you’ll need to ditch the smartphones and webcams in favor of a mirrorless camera.

Because they are on the cutting edge of video technology, mirrorless cameras provide a wealth of features, 4K quality and the ability to customize the look and feel of their output. The Fujifilm X-S10 Mirrorless Digital Camera allows you to capture stunning footage. The compact build, rugged exterior and multiple lens options ensure that this camera will keep you creating high-quality content for years to come.

What to know before you buy a mirrorless camera for video

What is a mirrorless camera?

A mirrorless camera doesn’t have the mirror that’s present in traditional DSLR models in exchange for a smaller digital imaging sensor. Mirrorless cameras combine the photo sharpness and customizability found in DSLR cameras with the size and simplicity of a point-and-shoot model.

What kind of videos will you be making?

Do you plan on making action videos outdoors? Do you plan to vlog with your camera pointed directly at you? Will your camera be a travel companion, or will it remain safely mounted to a tripod in your home office or studio? Consider how you will use your camera and what kind of content you hope to create.

Audio considerations

If you are looking to capture the best audio possible, you should invest in a microphone aside from the one built into your camera. While these mics are acceptable, you will have more professional results if you purchase a separate, high-quality microphone.

What to look for in a quality mirrorless camera for video

Size and weight

Mirrorless cameras are generally smaller and lighter than traditional DSLR models. However, if you are going to be holding your camera frequently or plan to travel with it extensively, you will want to seek out one that is as small and light as possible.

Battery life

A downside to mirrorless cameras is their short battery life. This is because they do not include a viewfinder, which requires you to make extensive use of their LCD display. Unless you plan to keep your camera plugged in and stationary for vlogging, select a model with the longest battery life you can find.

Autofocus

Mirrorless cameras can include a variety of autofocus options. Some feature facial detection while others allow you to select a point on the screen to keep in focus. Depending on your intended use for the camera, autofocus can be a very convenient tool. It can also be turned off for those who prefer manual control over their focus.

Lens compatibility

The ability to swap out lenses to achieve different looks or to accommodate for different lighting conditions is a hallmark of the DSLR camera. Thankfully, this feature has carried over into the world of mirrorless cameras with more lenses becoming more regularly available. If you already have a collection of lenses, select a mirrorless camera that will allow you to continue to use them. You may require an adapter to do so.

LCD screen

All mirrorless cameras will include a screen on the back that displays menu information and shows you what you are pointing at. However, if you are planning to vlog or take a video of yourself, you will want to select a model that allows you to flip the screen around so it faces the front of the camera where you can see it.

Image stabilization

Select a camera with advanced image stabilization features. This will allow you to achieve smoother video while shooting handheld or while in motion. 

How much you can expect to spend on a mirrorless camera for video

Mirrorless cameras can cost as little as $500 to well over $3,000. Many are sold in kits that include lenses, carrying cases and memory cards. Make sure that you’re only paying for what you actually need, as these costs can quickly add up.

Mirrorless camera for video FAQ

Can I use the lenses from my old DSLR on my new mirrorless camera?

A. Possibly. Compatibility is not universal, although many manufacturers sell adapters that allow you to extend the life of your old lenses by fitting them to your new camera.

Are GoPros mirrorless cameras?

A. Technically yes, being that they don’t include an internal mirror. However, you will not see these cameras listed as “mirrorless.” The lack of changeable lenses and their prioritization of action video over still photography puts them in a class of their own.

Are mirrorless cameras waterproof?

A. No. Mirrorless cameras are not designed for use in extreme conditions, as they follow in the footsteps of the DSLR models that came before them. They can be fragile and require care during use.

Are mirrorless cameras made for video?

A. Not specifically. Mirrorless cameras are designed for superior still photography. However, the technology that allows them to achieve this is also applicable to video, which makes them very popular among photographers and vloggers alike.

What’s the best mirrorless camera for video to buy?

Top mirrorless camera for video

Fujifilm X-S10 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Fujifilm X-S10 Mirrorless Digital Camera

What you need to know: Excellent video stabilization makes this camera the best for videography and vlogging.

What you’ll love: 4K video, the latest in image stabilization technology and a heavy-duty, professional build quality make this camera stand out from the pack. Its positionable LCD screen is ideal for vloggers.

What you should consider: On the expensive side, especially once you add a lens.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top mirrorless camera for video for the money

PANASONIC LUMIX GX85

PANASONIC LUMIX GX85

What you need to know: This compact model from Panasonic is great for beginners and videographers on the move.

What you’ll love: In spite of its low price, this camera shoots excellent 4K video and is perfect for traveling and quick video projects.

What you should consider: This camera model’s age is beginning to show, and its small lenses and lack of professional features may not satisfy experienced users.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Canon EOS R5 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera with 8K Video

Canon EOS R5 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera with 8K Video

What you need to know: For the professional videographer, this mirrorless camera from Canon checks all the boxes, and then some.

What you’ll love: Featuring best-in-class features from Canon, this high-end mirrorless camera captures stunning 8K video. With an advanced onboard processor, this model can detect eyes, facial features and more to ensure that every shot looks its best.

What you should consider: At its high price range, this camera is marketed towards professionals who are looking for the absolute best in image and video quality.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.