Cameras have changed. While they used to simply be seen as being a device for taking still photographs, they’ve increasingly become powerful multimedia machines that allow users to capture video and audio, too. As if to prove the point, take a look at this collection of current mirrorless models that we’ve rounded from the leading manufacturers. If you’re thinking about switching or upgrading to a model that will prove to be a great all-rounder, start your search with these versatile hybrids.
A recent addition to the Fujifilm X Series, the X-T4 has both the looks and the feature set to drag you away from your cumbersome DSLR kit. No other manufacturer blends retro styling with modern technology quite so effortlessly, with the X-T4’s dials and switches providing quick access to many key functions. The APS-C sized X-Trans sensor has always been very capable for stills, but now this 26.1-megapixel version has matching video specs with 4K at 60P and Full HD at 240P available, plus a 5-axis image stabilisation system to help combat shake.
It’s an equally powerful still image machine that focuses in just 0.02 secs and works in light as low as -6EV. Images can be captured at up to 30 frames per second in the cropped Sports mode, but you can also shoot at 15fps in normal mode.
Panasonic Lumix GH5
The GH5 certainly can’t claim to be the newest kid on the block, but it still offers a great deal to the hybrid shooter with a broad specification giving plenty for both stills and video capture.
A 20.3-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor sits at the heart of the GH5 and delivers impressive results, plus there’s a 5-axis image stabilisation system to reduce shake on stills and movies, 4K video at up to 60P (with 10-bit internal recording) and a fast, accurate autofocusing system that captures nine frames a second with continuous AF; switch to single shot AF and you’ll get 12fps. Handling is good, too. The chunky body can take the knocks with its weather resistant construction, plus it features a detailed 3,680K dot electronic viewfinder and a vari-angle LCD for framing versatility.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 MkIII
Like the Panasonic, the E-M5 MkIII is based around a 20-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, but unlike the GH5, the Olympus really drives home the size and weight benefits of the mirrorless system. The body, for example, weighs just 414g, plus when you consider that lenses are also smaller and lighter due to the marginally smaller sensor, it’s easy to put together a body and two lens outfit that tips the scales at less than 1kg.
But don’t think that the E-M5 MkIII’s lack of size means it lacks features and functionality, far from it. There’s a built in image stabiliser, continuous shooting at up to 30 frames-per-second (10 with AF between each shot), impressive autofocusing, 4K at 30P and Full HD at 120P, plus a High Res shot mode that produces a 50 megapixel file through sensor shift technology.
The A6500 represents a design departure from the models we’ve covered so far. While the three previous cameras all feature a central, DSLR-style viewfinder, the Sony goes for a rangefinder style design with an offset finder. Not every user will like this design, but it certainly promotes better interaction with subjects and makes the touchscreen LCD easier to use with the camera to your eye.
As expected from Sony, this camera has a wealth of features all of which are built around the 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor. Video can be captured in 4K at 30P or Full HD at 120P, plus the built in image stabilisation system should ensure that video footage and still images are as shake free as possible. There’s also a fast and accurate autofocusing system that has 425 user selectable focusing points and a robust body that’s also dust and moisture resistant.
Nikon Z 50
Nikon has three models in its impressive Z series of mirrorless cameras, but while the Z 6 and Z 7 both feature full-frame sensors, the Z 50 has an APS-C sized light catcher, which makes it a more affordable model and in better company with the other suggestions here.
The 20.9-megapixel resolution may not be the biggest available for the price, but the Nikon still has much to offer, not least compatibility with Nikon F mount lenses via the optional FTZ adapter; handy if you’re an existing Nikon DSLR user. Like the Sony, video on the Z 50 can be captured in 4K at 30P or Full HD at 120P, plus it shoots at up to 11 frames per second with AF in between each shot. There’s no in-body image stabilisation, but many Nikon lenses feature vibration reduction technology, including the 16-50mm kit lens that is typically supplied with the Z 50.
Canon EOS M6 MkII
If you’re looking for a versatile model to carry with you wherever you go, your search could begin and end here as the Canon certainly offers a potent concoction of features and light weight. At just 408g it’s skinnier even than the Olympus, which is even more impressive when you consider that it has a 32.5-megapixel APS-C sensor. The payoff? There’s no viewfinder, so you either have to compose using the tilting rear LCD or buy one of two optional electronic viewfinders.
Video functionality is on a par with other models here, providing 4K at 30P and Full HD at 120P, plus there’s WiFi for simple file sharing, shooting at up to 14 frames-per-second with AF tracking and an impressive 5481 focusing points. The M6 MkII also features an EF-M mount, but EF and EF-S lenses can be added with the EF-EOS M adapter.