Gear Reviews

Six super-lightweight cameras

Need to travel light? Here’s six of the lightest interchangeable lens cameras you can buy…

Nobody likes to be weighed down, especially if you are out and about for a whole day of photography. Luckily, camera brands have caught on and there’s now an awesome selection of models you can buy that offer ultra light dimensions. Better still all the cameras in our comparison review feature interchangeable lenses, so you would be restricted in terms of focal length, enabling you to get creative with your photography…

Great for DSLR users: Canon EOS 200D

If you’re the sort of photographer that loves using DSLRs, but just wishes you can find a lighter solution, then the Canon EOS 200D could well be the solution. Also known as the SL2 and the Kiss X9 in different territories, the 200D is the lightest DSLR camera on the market and tips the scales at just 453g (for comparison, the Canon 1DX III weighs almost three times as much at 1440g).

However, despite being small, the 200D still packs a big punch and is built around an APS-C sensor that serves up 24-megapixels of resolution, which would allow users to easily make prints up to A3 in size. A burst rate of 5 frames per second will enable users to capture action photography sequences while compositions can be set up using the optical viewfinder or the 3-inch fully articulating touch-sensitive LCD. Measuring 122 x 93 x 70 mm, the 200D won’t take up much room in your bag but can be paired with Canon’s range of EF/EF-S lenses so you will have plenty of optical choice to select from.

Other features include a decent ISO range of 100-25600, Full HD video recording, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity to share images via a smart device and a decent battery life of 650 shots on a single charge.

Great for sports shooting: Nikon Z 50

The first crop-sensor camera to feature Nikon’s Z-mount, the Z 50 features a 21-megapixel APS-C sensor and is still relatively new, launching in late 2019. Weighing in at just 397g, the Z 50 can take advantage of the cool Z-mount lenses as well as Nikon’s F-mount glass via an adaptor. The Z 50 is particularly well suited to sports and wildlife shooting thanks to the Electronic Viewfinder (EVF), a large 3.2-inch tilting LCD and, perhaps most importantly, a lightning fast burst rate of 11 frames per second, which should be fast enough even for professional action shooters.

Measuring only 127 x 94 x 60 mm, the Z 50 is small and light yet fits comfortably in the hand and is packed with features, such as the capability to shoot 4K video and an advanced autofocus system that offers 209 AF points and cutting edge technology like Nikon’s Real Time Animal Eye AF technology.

Other features include timelapse recording, a high ISO ceiling of 51200 and Bluetooth/Wi-Fi to connect to a smartphone via Nikon’s excellent Snapbridge app so images can be uploaded to the internet on the move.

Great for all round use: Canon M50

If you want an ultra-lightweight camera for everyday use, the Canon M50 should have you covered. Although it isn’t Canon’s flagship model from the mirrorless M range of cameras, many believe the M50 is the best all-rounder and has plenty to offer despite its diminutive size. Built around an APS-C sensor that serves up 24-megapixels so photographers can make big prints. Tipping the scales at 390g and measuring just 116 x 88 x 59 mm, the M50 is perfect for those looking to travel light and is nearly 40g lighter than the flagship M5 model.

Packing a 3-inch vari-angle LCD, the M50 also features a 2360k dot Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) and an ISO range of 100-25600 that can be expanded to 51200.Great for stills and video, the M50 can shoot 4K movies and offers an impressive maximum burst rate of 10 Frames Per Second (FPS).

Video and stills are recorded to a single SD card slot and the M50 can use Canon’s range of M-mount lenses or the more popular EF lenses via an adaptor, affordings users a wide selection of optics to choose from.

Great for lifestyle shooters: Olympus E-PL9

Olympus has a rich pedigree in producing lightweight cameras that are packed with technology and the E-PL9 is one of the best examples. Packing a 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, the E-PL9 weighs just 380g and measures only 117 x 68 x 39 mm, making it perfect for stuffing in a jacket pocket and leaving the camera bag at home.

Despite its small size, the E-PL9 manages to pack an impressive 5-axis IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation) system, which helps keep shots sharp, especially in low light conditions. Favoured by lifestyle shooters and bloggers thanks to the countless Art Filters, and great connectivity features, the E-PL9 allows photographers to get creative in-camera and there is a huge selection of affordable optics to pair with the camera body.

With a great, retro-chic design, the E-PL9 offers advanced features such as Live Composite to make long exposure photography even easier. With a built-in flash to illuminate close range subjects and a maximum burst rate of 8.6 frames per second, the E-PL9 can also shoot 4K movies, making this a brilliant all-rounder that is perfect for content creators.

Great for video shooting: Sony A6100 

While light on the scales, Sony’s A6100 is heavy on features and packs an 24-megapixel APS-C sensor into a body that weighs just 396g yet proves to be an impressive camera for both stills shooting and as a B-camera for movie makers. Quite simply, the Sony has it all, including a maximum burst rate of 11 frames per second, which can be maintained for 77 shots, ensuring fast action sequences can be successfully captured. 

An advanced autofocus system features 425 phase-detection AF points that can lock on to subjects in as little as 0.02-sec, plus Sony’s Real-time Eye AF for humans and animals technology.Photographers can set up compositions using an EVF or a  3-inch touch-sensitive LCD with 921k-dot resolution and a tilting design that tilts upward 180° and downward by 74°.

Along with great stills features, the a6100 boasts impressive video specs. In fact the a6100 can capture ultra high-quality 4K 30p footage with full pixel readout and no pixel binning. Fans of slow motion footage will be pleased to hear the a6100 can shoot 5x slow motion in Full HD or they can get creative with quick motion at up to 60x at Full HD. The a6100 also offers ports for headphones and an external microphone so enhanced audio can be both captured and monitored.

Great for Vlogging: Panasonic G100

The benefits of a lightweight camera are obvious to Vloggers who desire a small and portable body to carry around and film their experience. Panasonic caught onto this and launched the G100 – a dedicated vlogging camera. Built around a 20.3-megapixel Micro Four-Thirds sensor, the G100 is one of the lightest cameras in this comparison, tipping the scales at only 345g and measuring just 116 x 83 x 54 mm. Benefitting from cutting edge microphone technology, the G100 can capture sound from behind or in front of the camera to suit the scene you wish to film. 

Despite the small size, the camera benefits from a 5-axis IBIS (In Body Image Stabilisation) system to keep shots steady and the flip out Vari Angle screen makes Vlogging to camera especially easy. The G100 can film 4K at 30p or Full HD up to 60p and includes cool Vlogging touches such as a red frame around the LCD so the user can see when the camera is recording. Other features include an Electronic Viewfinder with 3,680k dots resolution, along with a native ISO ceiling of 25600 and a maximum burst rate of 10 frames per second.