Best mirrorless camera 2020

If you’re shopping for a mirrorless camera, you’ve come to the right place! Mirrorless is the most exciting development in cameras since the birth of digital photography, and on this page I’ll highlight my favourite models! Mirrorless cameras can pack the quality, control and flexibility of a DSLR with their large sensors, exposure adjustment and interchangeable lenses, but by dispensing with the mirror, have the potential to be smaller, lighter, quieter and faster. Since they use their main imaging sensor for focusing, they also have the potential to track and focus subjects right into the corners while also exploiting face and sometimes even eye-detection. With 100% electronic composition, you’ll also be able to use a viewfinder for everything you’d see on the screen, including playing images, assisting focus, previewing effects, white balance and colour adjustments, as well as filming and playing movies, and even navigating menus – all much easier in bright conditions than using the screen, not to mention more comfortable for those who are longer-sighted.

The best mirrorless cameras have also banished performance issues of early models and now boast viewfinders with large, detailed images, not to mention focusing and burst shooting capabilities that most DSLRs can only dream of. Compared to a DSLR there’s inevitably greater power consumption, so batteries won’t last as long, but the latest models are certainly catching-up. For me, mirrorless cameras are more compelling than DSLRs in almost every category and price-point, and I personally made the switch ten years ago when Panasonic and Olympus launched Micro Four Thirds, later supplementing my collection with Fujifilm and Sony gear. Here are my recommendations!




Mirrorless systems

Like DSLRs, most manufacturers have developed their own mirrorless system with a lens mount that’s not compatible with rival systems. There’s Sony’s e-mount which is designed for APS-C or full-frame bodies. There’s Fujifilm’s X-mount, designed for APS-C sensors. Canon has EF-M for APS-C bodies and RF for full-frame. Nikon has the Z-mount for APS-C or full-frame bodies.

The exceptions are two alliances: Micro Four Thirds and L-mount. The former employs a Four thirds sensor that’s a little smaller than APS-C and was co-developed by Panasonic and Olympus who share the same mount, allowing them to use each other’s lenses, as well as third party models designed for the system. The second alliance is L-mount, based on Leica’s full-frame system, but now partnered with Panasonic and Sigma who have both released full-frame bodies and lenses, all of which are compatible with each other. I’ll be recommending a mix of all formats in each category.

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Best budget mirrorless cameras

Mirrorless cameras start around the $400 price, for which you’ll get a camera with an APS-C or Four Thirds sensor, a basic kit zoom lens and manual control; most will also have wifi to connect to your phone, but at this price you won’t generally get a viewfinder, so you’ll be composing with your screen only. One of the cheapest budget mirrorless cameras worth having is the Canon EOS M100 which sports a 24 Megapixel APS-C sensor, confident focusing, Wifi and a tilting touchscreen which can tilt-up to face you – not only is it a solid all-rounder, but it’s also an ideal entry-point for vlogging; see my Canon EOS M100 review for more details. Note the EOS M100 was replaced by the mildly-updated Canon EOS M200 in late 2019, but with only minor benefits I’d go for the M100 if it’s still available and at a cheaper price. The M200 will replace it over time though, so if stocks run-dry on the M100 I can recommend the M200 instead. See my Canon EOS M200 review for more details.

Canon EOS M100 Hero

Above: The Canon EOS M100 is my favourite budget mirrorless camera, but do check deals on rivals and keep an eye on the newer and slightly updated M200. Once stocks run dry on the M100, the M200 will be the one to go for.


Priced a little higher is the Panasonic Lumix GX80 / GX85 which may have a slightly smaller and lower resolution 16 Megapixel Four thirds sensor and focusing that’s less confident for action, but it’s the cheapest camera with 4k video (and Panasonic’s clever 4k Photo modes) as well having built-in image stabilisation that works with any lens – plus the Micro Four Thirds lens mount has access to a wide range of lenses; see my Panasonic Lumix GX80 / GX85 review for more details.

Priced a little higher still is the Fujifilm X-T100 which packs a 24 Megapixel APS-C sensor with good autofocus, a touchscreen which angles-out to face you, as well as being one of the cheapest models you’ll find with a built-in viewfinder and a microphone input (albeit one which will need an adapter plug for most microphones). As a Fujifilm X camera, you’ll also enjoy their lovely photo processing as well as access to a wide selection of native lenses; see my Fujifilm X-T100 review for more details!

Most budget cameras aren’t great for fast action photography, but an exception is the Sony A6000 which may now be several generations old, but can handle sports, action or simply active kids and pets better than anything else for the money – and it also sports a 24 Megapixel APS-C sensor and a viewfinder. Look out for good discounts, especially now it’s been officially replaced by the Sony A6100.


Best Mid-range mirrorless cameras

The mid-range category, starting at around $700, is where things start to get more interesting as they normally include a viewfinder and a microphone input which can greatly improve your audio quality for movies. One of my favourite mid-range mirrorless cameras is the Canon EOS M50 which packs a 24 Megapixel APS-C sensor with great autofocus, a fully-articulated touchscreen, built-in viewfinder, Wifi and microphone input into a very compact body – again a great all-rounder that’s ideal for vlogging, although think of its video as being 1080 only as its 4k mode is too cropped to be useful; see my Canon EOS M50 review for more details. Also keep an eye on the more recent Canon EOS M6 II which offers uncropped 4k video with decent autofocus, albeit with a removable viewfinder and a screen that only tilts vertically.


Above: Canon’s EOS M50 is still one of the best mid-range mirrorless cameras around.


Priced a little higher is the Fujifilm X-T30, a classy-looking retro-styled model with a 26 Megapixel APS-C sensor, excellent autofocus, a built-in viewfinder and Wifi; there’s also a mic input although you’ll need an adapter for it to work with popular models. There’s no built-in stabilisation, the screen won’t flip to face you, but you do get Fujifilm’s lovely photo processing, most of the video and AF capabilities of the flagship X-T3, as well as access to the best selection of native APS-C lenses – it’s a great choice for someone who wants to start building a serious system without breaking the bank; see my Fujifilm X-T30 review for more details, and also keep an eye for discounts on the earlier Fujifilm X-T20; see my Fujifilm X-T20 review for more details.

For much the same price as the X-T30, you could alternatively get the Sony A6400 with a 24 Megapixel APS-C sensor. The body is essentially the same as the earlier A6300, so sadly there’s still no built-in stabilisation, but finally the screen can angle up by 180 degrees to face you for vlogging or selfies. Video shooters will also appreciate the unlimited recording time, as the A6400 is one of the few models to allow clips longer than half an hour even in 4k. The A6400 features Sony’s latest autofocus tech including the best face and eye-detection around, coupled with fast continuous shooting. There’s also a mic input, although if you mount it on the hotshoe, you’ll block the flip-up screen. Check out my Sony A6400 review for more details. If you don’t need the weather-sealed body or picture profiles for grading video and can put up with a lower resolution viewfinder, you can also save a bit of cash and go for the newer Sony A6100 instead, which is otherwise identical.

Also consider the Panasonic Lumix G90 / G95, sporting a 20 Megapixel Four Thirds sensor with great stabilisation, a fully-articulated screen, viewfinder and 4k video with unlimited recording, but do compare prices closely with the often discounted Lumix G9 in the next category. See my Panasonic Lumix G90 / G95 review for more details.


Above: Fujifilm’s X-T30 is a compact but powerful camera that’s ideal to start building a system


Best high-end mirrorless cameras

Beyond $1000 you’ve entered the high-end category where cameras with Four Thirds or APS-C sensors become tougher and faster, targeting sports and action, or at least very active kids and pets. Video features become better too with less cropped footage and higher frame rates. You can also expect twin card slots on many models, and also begin to see older models with larger full-frame sensors, discounted to clear stocks – indeed if you desire full-frame but can’t afford the latest models, keep an eye on the often-discounted, but still very respectable, Sony A7 II. There’s also the Canon EOS RP, essentially a full-frame version of the EOS M50 with the 6D Mark II’s sensor – a good option for existing Canon owners looking to go full-frame or mirrorless, but only sporting a single card slot and cropped 4k; see my Canon EOS RP review for more details.

For around the same price as the RP you could get the Panasonic Lumix G9, which may have a smaller 20 Megapixel Four Thirds sensor, but manages to deliver decent quality at all but the highest sensitivities. The continuous focusing isn’t quite as confident as its rivals, but it sports a bunch of modes which can capture action before you fully depress the shutter, not to mention a fully-articulated screen, built-in stabilisation, twin card slots, an enormous viewfinder image and 4k up to 60p, now in 10-bit internal thanks to a firmware update – indeed it’s the cheapest camera to offer 4k 60p, making it a tempting choice for film-makers who can’t stretch to the GH5, or who like having the greater photo capabilities. See my Lumix G9 review for more details.



Above: Panasonic’s Lumix G9 is a powerful option for stills and video – the cheapest with 4k 60p


Spending two to three hundred more opens-up more options including the Olympus OMD EM5 III which brings confident autofocus to a compact but ergonomic body that also features fantastic built-in stabilisation, a fully-articulated touchscreen, weatherproof body and a raft of cunning image processing and long exposure modes. Sure, the sensor remains smaller than APSC, but it remains a very well-featured and attractive camera overall. See my Olympus OMD EM5 III review for more details.

If your focus is pro video, consider the Panasonic Lumix GH5, costing a little more than the G9, but delivering more professional movie capabilities to high-end film-makers. It’s arguably the best pro video camera at its price point, although the G9’s firmware updates make it good enough for most. At around the same price is the Olympus OMD EM1 II, another camera with a 20 Megapixel Four Thirds sensor and fully-articulated screen, but this time with more confident autofocusing for sports and wildlife. While the video isn’t quite as good as the Panasonics at this price, the EM1 II still captures very respectable footage and also has the best built-in stabilisation around.

Another model to consider is the Sony A6600, the latest flagship in the company’s APSC series, which takes the great autofocus, burst shooting and movie capabilities of the A6400, but adds built-in stabilisation, a much longer life battery, headphone jack and eye detection in movies. The stabilisation may not be as effective as the Micro Four Thirds bodies in this category and there’s only one card slot, but the bigger battery gives the A6600 the longest lifespan of its rivals.

Also in a similar price range is the Fujifilm X-T3, another compact and retro-styled body with an APS-C sensor and Fujifilm’s renowned image processing, but this time coupled with the company’s best autofocusing and video capabilities yet, including confident focus across the entire frame and 4k up to 60p, as well as a high res viewfinder, a screen that angles sideways as well as vertically, twin card slots and a headphone jack. Also consider the Fujifilm X-T30 if you fancy most of the X-T3’s photo, movie and autofocusing capabilities in a smaller, lighter and cheaper body – see my mid-range category above.


Above: Fujifilm’s X-T3 combines retro aesthetic with cutting-edge technology.


Next it’s a leap to the $2000 mark which opens-up the full-frame market. By far the strongest camera at this price point is the Sony A7 III, which packs a 24 Megapixel full-frame sensor with excellent autofocus, built-in stabilisation, fast burst shooting, great quality 4k video, eye-detection, twin card slots, decent battery life and a tilting touchscreen. It’s simply unbeatable at this price, and Sony’s range of full-frame lenses keeps getting broader; see my Sony A7 III review for more details. Note if you have an existing collection of Nikon F-mount lenses, you may prefer the Nikon Z6 which, for roughly the same money or a little less, also has a 24 Megapixel full-frame sensor, decent 4k (now with support for 10-bit) and built-in stabilisation. Firmware updates from Nikon are steadily improving its Z-series to become a serious rival to Sony, and they’ll focus adapted Nikon DSLR lenses better too.


Above: Sony’s A7 III is arguably the best camera, mirrorless or otherwise, at the $2000 price point


Also in the same price bracket there’s the Canon EOS R, this time with a 30 Megapixel full-frame sensor and the only model in its peer group with a fully-articulated touchscreen. Sadly the 4k video is heavily cropped and there’s also some unusual controls you’ll love or hate, but like the Nikon Z cameras, it does a sterling job autofocusing older DSLR lenses. So if you have an existing collection of EF lenses and want the best autofocus from them, then the EOS R is your best bet (although bear in mind EF lenses also adapt quite successfully to Sony bodies too). See my Canon EOS R review for more details.

Beyond here we hit the $3000-plus mark with full-frame models like the Sony A7r IV and Nikon Z7 which both capture stills with over 40 Megapixel resolution, plus are packed with other features I’ve detailed in my reviews – see my Sony A7r IV review and Nikon Z7 review for more details. Like the A7 III and Z6 below them, the A7r IV will out-perform, or at least out-feature, the Z7, but owners of existing Nikon DSLR lenses will prefer the Z7 for better compatibility with F-mount lenses via an adapter. Also consider the older Sony A7r III which is often discounted now the Mark IV is available.


Above: Sony’s A7r IV is one of the best high-end mirrorless cameras.


If you’re building a new full-frame mirrorless system, you should also consider the Panasonic Lumix S1R, one of the first bodies from the L-mount alliance with Leica and Sigma. It sports a tough body with great stabilisation, excellent video and arguably the most professional overall feature-set of its rivals; it’s also become a lot more compelling now that Sigma is releasing L-mount lenses. Find out more in my Panasonic Lumix S1R review.

Finally a very respectful nod to the Sony A9 which may be priced above all the models above, but out-performs professional sports DSLRs costing comfortably more. If you want a glimpse of the future with a camera that shoots silently at up to 20fps with supremely confident autofocus, zero viewfinder blackout and minimal distortion from the electronic shutter, the A9 is the camera for you. See my Sony A9 review for more details. Note the original A9 has been updated with the A9 II which improves connectivity and workflow for pro shooters, but I’m picking the A9 here as it does more than most people need and is beginning to enjoy discounts. Sports and wildlife shooters who are willing to sacrifice full-frame quality for a smaller format with lighter lenses may also enjoy the Olympus OMD E-M1X, a tough and fast body that handles very well; see my Olympus OMD E-M1X review for more details.

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Best Mirrorless Camera

Sony A7r IV review

The A7r Mark IV is an impressive body, with its new 61 Megapixel sensor leap-frogging its high-res rivals to date and overall speed and handling that could easily tempt D850 owners. Here’s a camera that has the potential to deliver portraits, landscapes and architectural images that approach medium format quality, while also having the speed and croppability for distant sports and wildlife. I also appreciated Sony’s body tweaks, from the roomier grip and larger buttons to the dual UHS-II slots and higher resolution viewfinder. I’m still frustrated by the woefully underused touchscreen and disappointed there’s no 4k at 60p nor any video in 10 bit - features presumably reserved for an almost mythical A7s upgrade - but the new digital microphone interface and improved autofocus remain valuable upgrades for video shooters, while the over-sampled 4k footage in the Super 35 mode certainly looks very good. Overall the A7r IV is an evolutionary upgrade over its predecessor, but it’s surprising how much a boost in resolution and autofocus performance has broadened the flexibility and appeal of this model in Sony’s lineup, again allowing it to tempt detail fanatics whether their subjects are static or in fast motion. Recommended, although if 42 Megapixels are enough for you, look for bargains on the earlier A7r III.

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Fujifilm XT30 review

The Fujifilm X-T30 follows a tried-and-trusted recipe now on its third generation, delivering the same sensor, processing and autofocus of the flagship X-T3 in a smaller, lighter and much more affordable body. As such it becomes the second body to feature Fujifilm’s latest 26 Megapixel / APSC / X-Trans IV sensor with 100% phase-detect autofocus coverage and electronic bursts up to 30fps with optional pre-burst capture too. It may lack the X-T3's weather-proofing, twin card slots, larger and higher resolution viewfinder, 4k up to 60p and screen that angles sideways as well as vertically, but it boasts a popup flash absent from the flagship, and now includes an AF joystick too. Compared to rivals, it lacks built-in stabilisation, 4k movie clips longer than ten minutes, a standard 3.5mm mic input (instead continuing to force you to adapt the 2.5mm jack), and a card slot that can exploit UHS-II card speeds. But as a general-purpose body, the X-T30 remains a great choice, not just against new rivals but also as an upgrade for the earlier X-T20 and even the X-T2.

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Sony A6400 review

Sony’s A6400 is a solid mid-range mirrorless camera with an APSC sensor delivering good quality 24 Megapixel photos and 4k video. Improvements to the autofocus system mean it’ll track and stay focused on subjects more successfully than any camera at its price point whether you’re shooting stills or filming video, and fast burst speeds mean it’s also better-suited to action than most rivals too. The screen can finally flip-up by 180 degrees to face you for vlogging, and the rare ability to keep filming beyond half an hour makes it ideal for interviews and events. Frustratingly if you fit a microphone to the hotshoe, you’ll block the screen, but you could always use a bracket or a cabled microphone instead, and while there’s no headphone jack or dual card slots, that’s normal at this price. I’d have liked to see a better battery, but you can at least power the camera over USB which is useful for long videos or time-lapses which have also been reinstated after the loss of downloadable apps. Arguably the biggest downside is the lack of built-in stabilisation which remains exclusive to the A6500 in Sony’s APSC range - annoying since it’s long been standard across Sony’s full-frame line. If you do need IBIS, perhaps for unstabilised primes, then the A6500 is still tempting even at a higher price, but I personally prefer the A6400 for its improved focusing, longer recordings and selfie-screen even with the hotshoe limitations. Since the previous A6500 followed the A6300 by only 8 months though, It does beg the question whether there’ll be a stabilised version of the A6400 in the future, although presumably at a premium you may not be willing to pay. Plus if you don’t need the A6400’s upgrades, look out for discounted A6300s, and if you don’t need 4k or fast bursts, Canon’s EOS M50 remains a great option for vloggers with a side-hinged screen and lower price. But personally speaking, the A6400 fits very well with my style of filming and lack of IBIS aside, it’s a strong camera at the price point I’m happy to recommend.

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Fujifilm XT3 review

Fujifilm’s X-T3 is a highly satisfying mirrorless camera and my favourite model in the X-series. It may look a lot like the earlier X-T2, but Fujifilm’s latest 26 Megapixel X-Trans IV sensor brings big improvements to autofocus (now across the entire frame), burst speed (up to 11fps mechanical or 30fps electronic), and especially to video (4k up to 60p with 10-bit internal recording). Indeed the X-T3 becomes the best APSC camera for video to date and will confidently take on the Sony A6300 / A6500 for action shooting too. On the downside there’s no built-in stabilisation, fairly average battery life, and skewing restricts the usefulness of the electronic shutter modes; vloggers will also wish it had a screen that flipped forward. That said I still personally feel the X-T series strikes the perfect balance of size, style and usability, and while I miss IBIS and would prefer a bigger battery, I wouldn’t want them if they made the body any larger. Again it’s all very personal, but I find the X-T series one of the most satisfying to shoot with: attractively-styled, tactile controls, small enough to never leave at home, and crucially delivering images (and now also video files) that look great out-of-camera, requiring little or no post-processing. If you won’t exploit the improvements to autofocus, burst speed or video, then the previous X-T2 remains a tempting option if you can find one at a lower price, but for me the X-T3 becomes one of my favourite all-round cameras and one that easily takes-on full-frame rivals; Highly Recommended.

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Canon EOS M50 review

The Canon EOS M50 is an upper entry-level mirrorless camera with a 24 Megapixel APSC sensor, confident autofocus (for stills and 1080p video), small but crisp OLED viewfinder, excellent wireless, and becomes Canon's first mirrorless with 4k video, a fully-articulated touch-screen, eye detection and silent shooting options. Sadly the 4k is of limited use, employing a severe crop and only working with less confident contrast-based autofocus. I'm also frustrated there's no USB charging, especially since the battery is fairly weak. But these aside, the EOS M50 remains a highly compelling model with a compact but comfortable body, effective touchscreen, industry-leading wireless, confident focusing for 1080p video, and great colours out-of-camera. Indeed the M50 may be pitched as an upper entry-level model, but I reckon it's Canon's most compelling mirrorless to date. Coupled with a hotshoe and microphone input, the M50 will be as popular with vloggers as it is with those looking for an upgrade from smartphone photography. Recommended.

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Sony A7 III review

The Sony Alpha A7 III is a highly versatile and feature-packed camera that redefines what we can expect from a full-frame body at this price point. It delivers crisp and satisfying images from its 24 Megapixel full-frame sensor, captures good-looking 4k video in either full-frame or cropped APSC modes, handles itself confidently for action with 10fps bursts and phase-detect autofocus across almost the entire sensor, while also being ideal for events with excellent face and eye detection as well as the chance to shoot in genuine silence. Pros shooting one-off occasions will appreciate the security of twin SD card slots, studio shooters will enjoy the high speed tethering and USB power, while travellers and social photographers will love the Wifi and seamless location tagging over Bluetooth. Oh and as a third generation Sony A7 model, the A7 III also enjoys the better controls and bigger battery of the A7r III which essentially banishes previous concerns over mirrorless. For anyone desiring full-frame, the A7 III could be all the camera you need and also the model to tempt many DSLR owners into switching.

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Panasonic Lumix G9 review

The Lumix G9 is a confident high-performance camera that's a joy to use. The tough weatherproof body feels great in your hands with excellent controls, there's an enormous viewfinder image, a fully-articulated touchscreen with an excellent user interface, fast autofocus and burst shooting that can track action, very effective built-in stabilisation, and great image and video quality from the 20 Megapixel Four Thirds sensor that rivals 24 Megapixel APSC sensors at all but the highest sensitivities. The composite High Res mode genuinely delivers greater detail with the right subjects, there's charging and power over USB, powerful wireless features tied together by Bluetooth, and Panasonic's cunning 6K and 4K photo modes that make it easy to capture a moment before you push the shutter or adjust the focus after the event. There's little to complain about: you get used to the very sensitive shutter release and visual fluttering during continuous AF, and while the ten minute limit to 4k at 50p or 60p seems mean compared to the GH5, who else even offers 4k at 50p or 60p at this price? Plus you still get half hour clips at 30p. In use you feel there's little the G9 can't handle and it's highly competitive at the $1699 RRP.

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Canon EOS M100 review

Canon's EOS M100 is aimed at those upgrading from phone photography and as such needs to be easy and familiar while delivering better results and providing enough room to grow. It manages all that very well. It's compact enough to slip in your pocket and the simple controls mean anyone can pick it up and start shooting straight away. There's no built-in viewfinder, but the flip-up screen and great wireless connectivity make it almost as easy to shoot and share photos and videos as if you'd shot them on your phone. It has decent range of effects, timelapse movies and confident focusing for stills and video. Beyond that it offers the same 24 Megapixel APSC image quality as the more sophisticated EOS M6, the same fast and accurate Dual-pixel AF, 1080p video, and reasonable 6fps (4fps with Continuous AF) continuous shooting. Recommended for first-time camera buyers, but compare closely with Panasonic's Lumix GX800 / GX850 and Sony's A6000.

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Panasonic Lumix GH5 review

Panasonic's Lumix GH5 is a worthy flagship body, greatly extending the quality and capabilities of the earlier GH4. A more detailed viewfinder, twin SD slots which both support the full speed of UHS-II, effective continuous AF at 9fps, and built-in stabilisation all make it a powerful stills shooter and the improved sensor and image processing delivers the best-looking images from a Lumix body to date. Panasonic's unique 4K Photo modes now operate at twice the speed or at 6K for extracting higher resolution stills from video clips. Unsurprisingly it's the movie modes which really impress with unlimited 4K video internally at 60p or in 10-bit at 30p (or both if you're using an external recorder), and a wealth of features including vectorscope and waveform displays, anamorphic capture, programmable focus transitions, optional XLR inputs and very flat output (especially with the V Log L update), all making it one of the most portable and professional movie solutions for the money. The GH5 is a no-brainer for video pros but also becomes a highly compelling stills camera too - Highly Recommended.

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Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II review

The Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II takes the popular weatherproof Mark I, deepens the grip, adds twin memory card slots and employs the most generous battery of any mirrorless camera. It improves the already amazing stabilisation, adds a minor boost in resolution and offers a cunning composite mode which under the right conditions can increase the resolving power up to 50 Megapixels. The major upgrades though concern video and autofocus. The EM1 Mark II shots great quality 4k and Cinema4k video which work a treat with the stabilisation, while a new embedded AF system can genuinely track moving action at up to 18fps; switch to Single AF and it'll even shoot up to 48 RAWs at 60fps. It all adds up to a supremely confident and capable camera that can capture images where others can't, but you'll really have to need the 4k and or burst capabilities to justify the professional price tag. There's a lot of very compelling rivals for the same or less money. But if you'll exploit the feature-set, the EM1 Mark II becomes one of the most powerful and desirable cameras in its class and justifies its asking price regardless of format.

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