Best mirrorless camera 2023

If you’re shopping for a mirrorless camera, you’ve come to the right place! Mirrorless cameras 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, metering and white balance, they also have the potential to track, focus and evaluate subjects right into the corners while also exploiting face and eye-detection, sometimes even for animal subjects. 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, Canon 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 bodies only. Canon has RF for APS-C or full-frame, as well as the older and now discontinued EF-M mount for APS-C. 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

New mirrorless cameras start around the $500 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. If your budget is lower than $500, look for a second hand model or an entry-level DSLR instead.

Some of the best deals are on Canon’s older EOS-M system which may now be discontinued, but still represents a compelling option if you know what you’re getting into. There’s unlikely to be any new bodies or lenses produced for the system, but existing models may be good enough, and remember Sigma not only made a handful of prime lenses in the EF-M mount, but you can also adapt any old Canon EF DSLR lens.

With those caveats in place, consider the entry-level Canon EOS M200 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 M200 review for more details.


If your budget can stretch a little higher, it’s well worth considering 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 – a great all-rounder that’s ideal for vlogging and YouTube videos, although think of its video quality as being 1080 only as its 4k mode is too cropped to be useful; see my Canon EOS M50 review for more details. Note the more recent Mark II version is a very mild update, so go for whichever is cheapest.


Above: Look for discounts on Canon’s EOS M50 or the later Mark II version, but compare closely with the newer R100 and R50.

Also keep an eye on the Panasonic Lumix G100, an older model that’s enjoying substantial discounting, and which gives you access to the wide selection of Micro Four Thirds lenses available. See my Panasonic Lumix G100 review for more details.

In terms of newer models, Canon’s entry-level model in their EOS R system is the R100. It may have a fixed screen and the video is best thought of as 1080 only, but it does have a viewfinder, takes 24 Megapixel photos with decent autofocus and has access to Canon’s latest RF lens system. It’s basic, but if you can’t stretch to the R50, it remains a good budget option. See my Canon EOS R100 review for more details.

Best Mid-range mirrorless cameras

The mid-range category, starting at around $700 for a body without a lens, is where things start to get more interesting as they normally include tougher bodies with a larger and more detailed viewfinder, faster shooting, better quality movies, more controls and improved connectivity including microphone inputs and sometimes headphone outputs which can greatly improve your audio quality for movies. Interestingly, the actual still photo quality may not be significantly improved over budget models though.

The first model to mention is the Sony A6100, sporting a 24 Megapixel APSC sensor, 4k video, 11fps shooting, viewfinder and tilting touchscreen. If you like Sony but your focus is on vlogging, consider the ZV-E10 instead.


For around the same price as the Sony A6100, you could alternatively get the Canon EOS R50, which for me is the best of Canon’s budget cameras and a worthwhile step-up over the R100. The R50 gives you 24 Megapixel photos with good autofocus, a built-in viewfinder, fully-articulated touchscreen, microphone input and more. See my Canon EOS R50 review for more details.

Also keep an eye open for deals on the discontinued Canon EOS M6 II  which offers uncropped 4k video with decent autofocus, albeit with an optional removable viewfinder and a screen that only tilts vertically. See my Canon EOS M6 II review for more details.

Spend a little more and you could get the Nikon Z50, with 21 Megapixel photos, built-in viewfinder, tilting screen, decent autofocus and access to Nikon’s Z lenses. With a budget still in three figures, you could alternatively get the Fujifilm X-T30 II or Fujifilm X-S10, which may be older models, but still deliver great-looking photos and respectable video, along with having access to an excellent selection of lenses. The X-T30 gives you their classic vintage styling, while the X-S10 goes for a more modern approach with the benefit of built-in stabilisation.


Above: Fujifilm’s X-T30 II is a compact but powerful camera that’s ideal to start building a system. Also consider the X-S10 which trades the retro styling and slimmest body for built-in stabilisation and a flip screen.

Canon’s EOS R10 is another good option around this price point, with a 24 Megapixel APS-C sensor, great autofocus, side-hinged flip-screen, mic input and built-in stabilisation, but compare closely with the EOS R50 which for me is the sweetspot in Canon’s budget line-up.

Also look out for bargain deals on the Panasonic Lumix G9, an older camera which may have a much smaller 20 Megapixel Four Thirds sensor, but still 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 one of the cheapest cameras to offer 4k 60p, making it a tempting choice for film-makers who can’t stretch to the GH series, or who like having the greater photo capabilities. See my Lumix G9 review for more details.

Just about squeezing into three figures is the OM System OM-5, an updated version of the classic Olympus OMD-EM5 III which was one of my favourite cameras to use. It looks great, is feature-packed, and has access to the huge selection of Micro Four Thirds lenses. If you’re happy with this format, it’s well worth a look.

Best high-end mirrorless cameras

Spend over $1000 on a body and 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. Built-in stabilisation becomes more common, video features become better too with less cropped footage and higher frame rates. You can also expect more detailed viewfinders and twin card slots on many models, and also begin to see older models with larger full-frame sensors, discounted to clear stocks.

Speaking of which, the two most affordable full-frame bodies kicking-off this category are the Sony A7 II and Panasonic Lumix S5, both older models but with great quality photos and video coupled with built-in stabilisation, making them good enough for many of us and of course providing access to full-frame lens systems.

At the upper-end of the cropped APS-C market you’ll find options from Sony, Canon and of course Fujifilm. The Sony A6700 is their flagship APSC model, sporting 26 Megapixel photos, 4k 120 video, built-in stabilisation and fantastic autofocus which all make it an action and wildlife dream, whether you’re shooting photo or video. See my Sony A6700 review for more details.


For around the same price as the A6700, consider the Canon EOS R7, again their flagship camera with an APSC sensor. The R7 is aimed at sports and wildlife with 32 Megapixel photos, dual slots, fast bursts, built-in stabilisation, great autofocus and video. It’s a solid contender if you desire a high-end experience but don’t want or need full-frame; indeed the crop imposed by APSC often makes it preferable for distant sports and wildlife. See my Canon EOS R7 review for more details.

canon-eos-r7-header-1 fujifilm-x-t5-hero-2

Above: Fujifilm’s X-T5 combines retro aesthetic with cutting-edge technology.

Arguably the best-featured camera with an APS-C sensor is the Fujifilm X-T5, which takes the already desirable X-T3 but adds the 40 Megapixel sensor with built-in stabilisation and larger battery from the X-H2, but packs it into the vintage-styled body many Fujifilm owners love. It may be priced uncomfortably close to the cheaper full-framers out there, but provides a higher-end feature-set that would cost considerably more on bodies with bigger sensors, coupled with a design aesthetic that will win many over. See my Fujifilm X-T5 review for more details. If you want all the bells and whistles from Fujifilm, consider the flagship X-H2 or X-H2S.

As you approach a body price of $2000, the full-frame market really opens-up. Arguably the most capable full-framer without breaking the bank is the Panasonic Lumix S5 II which packs 24 Megapixel photos, 6k open gate video, great autofocus, built-in stabilisation, and also has arguably the best ‘affordable’ kit zoom of any in this category with the 20-60mm. In fact the L-mount is a major selling point of the Lumix S bodies, giving them access not just to Panasonic’s own lenses, but Sigma’s growing range of excellent mirrorless lenses at decent prices. See my Lumix S5 II review for more details.

Also look out for deals on the now-replaced Sony A7 III, the previous winner in this category, packing 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 no longer the newest model around which has resulted in discounts maintaining its desirability; see my Sony A7 III review for more details. Note if you have an existing collection of Nikon F-mount lenses though, you will prefer the Nikon Z6 II which, for roughly the same money, 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.

The two big players at around the $2000 to $2500 mark are the Canon EOS R6 II and Sony A7 IV, both offering pretty much everything anyone could ask for without becoming too specialist or pricey. The EOS R6 II delivers a lot of bang for the buck too, over-shadowed by the more expensive R5 but becoming one of the more compelling models in the series. The R6 II gives you built-in stabilisation, a flip screen, fast bursts, great autofocus, good controls, uncropped 4k video up to 60p and low noise images. See my Canon EOS R6 II review for more details.


Above: Canon’s EOS R6 II offers a compelling combination of features.

Meanwhile the Sony A7 IV may be classified as the entry-level model in Sony’s A7 lineup, but like its predecessors, will more than satisfy the majority of photographers, videographers and hybrid shooters. The Mark IV boosts the resolution to 33 Megapixels without compromising noise levels, enhances an already excellent autofocus system, sports 10 bit, 4k at 50 or 60p (albeit with a 1.5x crop), a flip screen, improved stabilisation and the ability to record clips longer than 30mins without overheating. It’ll even work as a standard USB webcam. The top burst speed of 10fps reduces to 8 when shooting RAW or even 6fps depending on compression and there’s still no focus bracketing or bulb timers, but it remains one of the most feature-packed and capable cameras at this price. See my Sony A7 IV review for more details.


Above: Sony’s A7 IV is one of the most capable cameras at its price point, but compare with the Canon R6 II and watch for deals on the A7 III.

Beyond here we hit the $3000-plus mark with full-frame models like the Canon EOS R5, Sony A7r V and Nikon Z8 which all capture high resolution stills, fast bursts and great quality video, plus are packed with other features I’ve detailed in my reviews – see my Canon EOS R5 review and Sony A7r V review for more details. All are extremely powerful cameras.


Above: Sony’s A7R V is one of the best high-end mirrorless cameras if you desire very high resolution photos.

Finally at the very top-end of the market are the Canon EOS R3 and Sony Alpha 1, the former aimed at pro sports and the latter aimed at pretty much anything you care to throw at it. They’re the most expensive full-frame mirrorless cameras to date, but extremely capable, especially the Alpha 1 which combines high res photo and video with pro-sports level burst speeds. See my Canon EOS R3 review and Sony Alpha 1 review for more details. PS – if you’re a sports or wildlife shooter who can’t stretch to either of these flagship models, consider the Sony A9 II or if you want the fastest speed of all, invest in the latest Sony A9 III.

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Best Mirrorless Camera

Canon EOS R50 review

The Canon EOS R50 will delight anyone looking for a compact and affordable camera with the flexibility of interchangeable lenses. It’s small but comfortable in your hands, packs excellent photo and video quality with decent autofocus, a flip screen, viewfinder, a mic input, fast albeit short bursts, and plenty of creative and guided control. Beginners and students will love it, but the R50 will equally appeal to anyone who enjoys smaller cameras, perhaps for travel or as a casual companion to a bigger model. The tiny body and position in Canon’s range sadly rules out IBIS, and it’s not surprising to find a smaller battery, single card slot, and a modest buffer especially for RAW. If you’re not bothered about adopting Canon’s latest system and simply want the most affordable EOS, consider the older EOS M50 which may lack usable 4k video, but squeezes in at a lower price point and with a wider kit zoom. Then there’s DSLRs like the EOS 200D, 250D, or 2000D. But if you’re looking for the most affordable entry to Canon’s EOS R system, the R50 has you covered, packing respectable quality and features into one of the cutest bodies around. In fact I think the looks might sway it for me over the slightly more advanced R10.

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Canon EOS R6 Mark II review

The EOS R6 Mark II addresses a number of issues with the original model to become one of the most powerful all-round cameras in its peer group. Most notably it now shoots much faster than the Sony A7 IV, sports broader and more confident subject recognition in my tests, while its ability to film uncropped, oversampled 4k video up to 60p is a key advantage, and unlike the original R6, it never overheated in my tests. Plus you’re getting focus bracketing and stacking in-camera, Bulb timers, multiple exposures and slightly better stabilisation. Of all the upgrades, Auto subject detection is arguably the most useful in day-to-day use, figuring out if you’re pointing the camera at people, birds, animals or vehicles with a high success rate. Meanwhile the A7 IV fights back with higher resolution files and the ability to use a huge array of third party lenses including models from Sigma and Tamron. Then there’s the Lumix S5 II which sports a pixel-shift mode, a wealth of pro-level video-centric features, third-party lens support from Sigma, and a significant price saving too. Indeed body price and choice of native lenses are the main issues facing the R6 II. Ultimately the R6 II, A7 IV and S5 II are all excellent cameras most of us would be delighted to own. Choosing one involves weighing up body price, lens availability and drilling-down to specific features you may or may not need. If your budget will stretch and you’re happy to use Canon’s own lenses, I can Highly Recommend the R6 II as an all-rounder, and especially for anyone photographing sports or wildlife, but if you’re not wedded to the company, do compare it closely to rivals.

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Panasonic Lumix S5 II review

The Lumix S5 Mark II is arguably the best value new full-frame camera around at the time of making this review, packing a wealth of features while comfortably undercutting key rivals on price. The long-awaited inclusion of phase-detect autofocus transforms both photo and video, eliminating the distracting pulsing which haunted earlier Lumix cameras. While the core features and specs are roughly similar to its rivals, drilling-down reveals unique benefits to each: Canon’s R6 II enjoyed the best subject detection in my tests, allows uncropped 4k up to 60p, in-camera focus stacking, multiple exposures, a bulb timer, pre-capture mode, 1080 180p slow motion, and the fastest mechanical burst speed of 12fps. Sony’s A7 IV has the highest resolution on a single frame, support for a faster memory card and access to a wealth of lenses including Tamron’s which aren’t yet available for L or RF mount. Meanwhile the S5 II boasts a high-res pixel shift mode, focus bracketing with a mechanical shutter that allows flash, open-gate 6k video, waveform and vector displays, anamorphic modes, real-time LUT previews, and potentially longer recording times under hotter conditions thanks to a built-in fan. And don’t forget Sigma’s growing series of excellent DG DN lenses is available for both e and L-mounts, giving Sony and Panasonic access to affordable third-party lenses that Canon owners can currently only dream of. Oh, and there’s that $500 or pound saving over the R6 II and A7 IV. In fact it still undercuts their body prices when sold in a twin lens kit with the 20-60 and 50 1.8. Of course both Canon and Sony still sell their previous versions at prices closer to the S5 II, but their feature-sets aren’t as complete. If you’re mostly shooting action or wildlife I’d say it’s worth spending the extra on the R6 II, but as an all-round hybrid camera for a general mix of photo and video, the Lumix S5 II is simply hard to beat at the price and comes Highly Recommended.

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Sony A7R V review

The Alpha 7R V may share the same 61 Megapixel sensor as the R IV A and as such the same pure resolving power, but this remains uncontested by rivals and the R V now couples it with a raft of upgrades. The R V inherits the industry-leading viewfinder of the Alpha 1 along with dual-format card slots, white balance sensor and refined controls of recent models, plus it can now record 8k video too, albeit cropped and only available at 24 or 25p. In the new-to-Sony camp are a screen that can both vertically tilt and flip-out, Pixel Shift composites which successfully address portions in motion, Bulb Timer and Focus Bracketing for macro work, but the major new feature is the AI autofocus system. This genuinely improves recognition and tracking of a wide variety of subjects over the earlier R IV A, although in my own tests it wasn’t much different to the best of its rivals. Indeed action and wildlife shooters will still feel held back by modest burst speeds and sensor readout, making stacked models like the Alpha 1 or a more desirable overall for action. The older R IV A is also a bargain right now, matching the detail of the V and saving you a grand. But by becoming more practical for long exposures, macro photography and pixel-shift composites, the R V broadens its appeal, while also giving you the flexibility of a tilt and flip screen, the joy of the most detailed viewfinder around, the bonus of 8k video and Sony’s most cunning AF system to date. I can definitely recommend it, but whether it's worth the extra thousand? Only you can say.

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Fujifilm XT5 review

The Fujifilm X-T5 packs the 40 Megapixel sensor and built-in stabilisation from the flagship X-H2 into a slightly smaller and lighter version of the X-T4 with the screen articulation of the X-T3. Impressively it’s only 18g heavier than the X-T3 while sporting the bigger battery and IBIS unit both lacking from that model. As such it’s literally the camera many of the Fuji-faithful have been waiting for, with a feature-set and design-aesthetic cherry-picked for photographers, without getting bogged down by the technical demands of videographers or action shooters. Fujifilm’s message is clear: if you want their top performance, especially for bursts and video, along with accessories including a battery grip, then spend $300 more on the X-H2 and forgo the retro chic. If you simply want the X-H2’s pure photo quality in a slightly smaller and lighter body with the classic X-T exposure dials, and a screen that tilts rather than flips, then the X-T5 is the camera for you. If however you want the full X-H2 performance in an X-T body with an optional grip, you’re out of luck. Ultimately the X-T may remain high-end, but is no longer the flagship that has to please everyone in terms of performance and features. I feel Fujifilm has made sensible choices on what to include and what to miss out. As such the X-T5 is the perfect upgrade for owners of the X-T1, 2 and 3, not to mention a compelling entry for those new to the system. I loved shooting with it, and guess what, it’s not bad at video either.

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Sony A7 IV review

The A7 IV may be classified as the entry-level model in Sony’s full-frame lineup, but like its predecessors, will more than satisfy the majority of photographers, videographers and hybrid shooters. The Mark IV boosts the resolution to 33 Megapixels without compromising noise levels, enhances an already excellent autofocus system, improves the menus and controls, increases the viewfinder resolution and sports a more comfortable grip. There’s also support for new flashguns with greater communications via the multi-interface shoe. The top burst speed remains 10fps, but reduces when shooting RAW to 8 or even 6fps depending on compression and there still no focus bracketing or bulb timers. Meanwhile videographers get 10 bit, 4k at 50 or 60p (albeit with a 1.5x crop), a flip screen, active stabilization, gyro data, some cool focus tools, and the ability to record clips longer than 30mins without overheating. It’ll even work as a standard USB webcam. If you want RAW video, uncropped 4k at 60 or even 120p, less skewing, and faster RAW bursts, then you should weigh-up the features of the Canon R6, Lumix S5 and Lumix GH6 to name but three. But while the A7 IV has a handful of annoyances, the pros overwhelmingly add up to an extremely capable camera. In terms of an all-rounder, the A7 IV becomes the one to beat and comes Highly Recommended.

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Canon EOS R5 review

The EOS R5 is Canon’s best overall camera for stills photography, out-performing and out-featuring pretty much every model its released to date. Pro sports and wildlife specialists may find reasons to prefer the 1Dx III - such as its larger battery, optical viewfinder being preferable in some situations and the bullet-proof build - but for everyone else, the R5 is hard to beat. Crucially it’ll tempt owners of previous high-end DSLRs from the 5D and 7D series, while also delivering a big handling upgrade for early adopters of the EOS R system; if you’re not brand-loyal though, also consider the A7r IV, S1R and Z7 for stills. For videographers, the R5 will be more of a turbulent relationship with the footage from 8k, 4k HQ and 4k 120 looking great, but proving impractical for some due to overheating and cooldown restrictions; indeed if you’re a videographer who wants the camera to keep shooting simply get out of your way, the Sony A7S III or Lumix S1H are better tools. That said, normal 4k up to 30p and 1080 up to 60p on the R5 avoided the issues in my tests and you can always switch down to them when the other modes become unavailable. Just be aware of the limits and that using the camera for anything, even menus or framing, will effectively stop the cooldown. So the R5 will be frustrating for commercial film-makers, potentially workable for hybrid shooters and a triumph for mostly stills photographers. Consider your usage carefully, but if it fits your requirements the EOS R5 becomes the camera the Canon faithful will aspire to, not to mention a worthy flagship in the legendary 5 series.

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Canon EOS M200 review

The Canon EOS M200 is an entry-level mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with a 24 Megapixel APSC sensor, tilting touchscreen and cropped 4k video. Successor to the EOS M100, it inherits the same body with its tilting touchscreen and the same sensor with Dual Pixel CMOS AF for confident focusing whether shooting photos or 1080p video. New to the M200 is the DIGIC 8 processor which brings eye-detection, more AF points and 4k video, although interestingly with the earlier M50’s limitations so 4k is only available in 24p, applies a significant crop and lacks Dual Pixel AF; as such for the best focusing in video and broadest coverage, you’ll be shooting in 1080p. The M200 also inherits two small but useful features from the G7X III: a movie record button on-screen when it’s facing you for vlogging, and support for vertical video in portrait apps like Instagram Stories and IGTV. The M200 represents a mild update over the M100, but enjoys its position as Canon’s smallest, lightest and cheapest mirrorless in the current range. That said, if you don’t need the updates, keep an eye open for discounts on the older EOS M100.

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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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