The mirrorless compact system camera (CSC) lets you change lenses, as well as most of them using DSLR sized sensors with DSLR image quality in a much more compact camera. With a rapid refresh cycle, there are a number of new cameras introduced each year, with many offering innovative new features. Here we highlight the best entry level Compact System Cameras under £500/$665.
Click the camera names to read our full reviews of these cameras to see how they have scored, as well as the pros and cons of each model. To check the latest prices, you can click the green “Check Latest Price” buttons.
Here we highlight the best of the bunch, starting with Number 1:
1. Panasonic Lumix GX80
The 16 megapixel Panasonic Lumix GX80 offers 4K video recording, 5-axis image stabilisation sensor, a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF), a 3inch tilting screen and built-in Wi-Fi. There is an ISO range of ISO100 to ISO25600, 8fps continuous shooting, and 4K Photo which offers 30fps continuous shooting. The Panasonic Lumix GX80 uses Micro Four Thirds lenses.
2. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
The 16 megapixel Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is the entry level Olympus OM-D model, yet features the same 16-megapixel sensor as the E-M5 Mark II, as well as 5-axis image stabilisation, and built-in Wi-Fi, at a competitive price. There is a large, high-resolution electronic viewfinder (2.36m dots), ISO100 to ISO25600, 8.5fps continuous shooting and built-in Wi-Fi. Although the camera is not weather-sealed, it does have a tilting touch-screen, and uses Micro Four Thirds lenses.
3. Olympus PEN Lite E-PL8
The 16 megapixel Olympus PEN E-PL8 features a tilting 3inch selfie screen, 3-axis in-camera image stabilisation, and records FullHD video. The ISO range is ISO100 to ISO25600, and the camera features built in Wi-Fi, 8.5fps continuous shooting, and a metal camera body. The E-PL8 uses Micro Four Thirds lenses. It’s also worth looking at the previous version, while it’s still available, the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL7.
4. Sony Alpha A6000
The 24 megapixel Sony Alpha A6000 offers high speed shooting, at 11fps with continuous AF, a 3inch tilting screen, a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF), ISO100 to ISO25600, and offers built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. The camera uses Sony E-mount lenses.
5. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
The 16 megapixel Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III is the third entry level Olympus OM-D model, and features the same 16-megapixel sensor as the E-M5 Mark II, as well as 5-axis image stabilisation, built-in Wi-Fi, and 4K video recording at a competitive price. There is a large high-resolution electronic viewfinder (2.36m dots), ISO100 to ISO25600, 8.6fps continuous shooting and is designed to be easier to use. Although the camera is not weather-sealed, it does have a tilting touch-screen, and uses Micro Four Thirds lenses.
6. Fujifilm X-A2
The 16 megapixel Fujifilm X-A2 shoots at 5.6fps in continuous mode, and there is a tilting 3inch selfie screen, ISO100 to ISO25600, built in Wi-Fi, Flash and a flash hot-shoe. The Fujifilm X-A2 uses Fujifilm X-Mount lenses.
7. Sony Alpha A5100
The 24 megapixel Sony Alpha A5100 offers an APS-C CMOS sensor, a 3inch tilting selfie touch-screen, ISO100 to ISO25600, 6fps continuous shooting, built in pop-up flash, plus built in Wi-Fi and NFC. The A5100 uses Sony E-Mount lenses.
8. Panasonic Lumix GX800
Panasonic’s entry-level Lumix GX800 sits at the bottom of the Lumix GX range, replacing the GF7, with a new design and styling. The camera features a 16-megapixel sensor, 4K photo and video, a 3inch tilting touch-screen and built-in pop-up flash. The camera looks better than the GF7 it replaces, with a better feel in the hand as well. The Panasonic Lumix GX800 is available for £499/$664 with 12-32mm kit lens, making it good value for money as one of the cheapest 4K capable mirrorless cameras. For those who on a tight budget, the GX800 offers a lot of features, fast performance, and excellent image quality, all for less than £500/$665.
It’s also worth looking at the previous version, while it’s still available, the Panasonic Lumix GF7.
9. Nikon 1 J5
The 20 megapixel Nikon 1 J5 offers 20fps continuous shooting with AF, 4K video (at 15fps), built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, ISO160 to ISO12800, a pop-up flash, and a 180degree tilting touch-screen all squeezed into a compact metal body. The J5 uses Nikon 1 mount lenses.
10. Canon EOS M3
The 24 megapixel Canon EOS M3 has a tilting selfie touch-screen, 4.2fps continuous shooting, ISO100 to ISO25600, Wi-Fi and NFC, built in pop-up flash. The Canon EOS M3 uses the Canon EOS EF-M lens mount.