The Best Mirrorless Cameras under $1000 (2022)

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This article will be looking at the best mirrorless cameras in the $500-1000 price range.

There are many great cameras in this range. However, to simplify things a bit, I narrowed it down to five mirrorless cameras that stand out amongst their peers, focusing on their video capabilities.

Of course, the perfect camera for you depends on your shooting conditions and the type of filmmaker you are. In the list below, there are cameras to suit a variety of needs and budgets.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at the top five best mirrorless cameras under $1000 on the market today and help you find the right camera!

1. Canon EOS M50

First on our list is the Canon EOS M50. On the lower end of our price range, the Canon EOS M50 is a great choice for entry-level filmmakers looking to up their game without spending too much.

This camera has a 24.1-megapixel APS-C sensor and a maximum recording resolution of 4K at 24 frames per second. This is great if you look for the great color science found in Canon Cameras but still want 4K video.

Another strength of this camera is Canon’s Dual-Pixel autofocus. For a camera in this price range, finding better autofocus technology will be difficult. If you are a filmmaker who relies on autofocus, this should be on your radar.

The Canon EOS M50 also has in-body stabilization. This is hugely beneficial for any filmmaker that tend to work handheld.

And the fully articulating screen makes this is a great camera for filmmakers and the vlogger on the go who can’t be bogged down by a full rig.

Unfortunately, the Canon EOS M50 does have some weaknesses. A frustrating detail is the EF-M lens mount. Finding lenses for this mount without an adapter is very limited.

Another weakness with this camera is the performance in low-light conditions. Though it has an ISO range of 100-25600, with an extended range to 51200, it struggles in darker conditions, so you will need to pay good attention to your lighting conditions. In these low light conditions, the autofocus is also less reliable.

All said and done, the Canon EOS M50 is a great camera. It has a small form factor, great autofocus, 4K video, and the ability to attach an external microphone.

ProsCons
4K Video
Stabilization
Great Color
Dual Pixel Autofocus
Articulating Screen
EF-M Lens Mount
Low Light

Check the current price on Adorama.

2. Sony Alpha a6100

Next on our list is the Sony Alpha a6100. For filmmakers on a budget and people familiar with mirrorless cameras, the Sony Alpha series should be familiar and with good reason. These cameras have a lot to offer while remaining affordable.

The Sony a6100 features a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor. It has a maximum video resolution of 4K at 24/30 frames per second. It also has excellent autofocus capabilities.

Unfortunately, the 4K video with the a6100 can be compromised. If you are moving the camera while shooting, a very noticeable jello/warping effect can become present. Therefore it is important to keep the camera locked down.

The a6100 also lacks the Sony picture profiles such as S-Log and the Cine picture profiles found in their higher-end cameras. If you are looking to achieve a certain grade, this may be an issue.

Overall, the Sony Alpha a6100 is a great camera for filmmakers looking to get into mirrorless cameras.

If you intend to shoot with Sony cameras down the line or already have Sony glass, this is a mirrorless camera to consider.

ProsCons
4K Video
Focus Peaking
Autofocus
Jello-y 4K
No Picture Profiles

Check the current price on Adorama.

3. Pentax KP

If you’re looking for something a little different, the Pentax KP may be the right camera for you. Although Canon and Sony tend to dominate the mirrorless/DSLR markets, some great cameras such as the Pentax KP stand out.

The Pentax KP features a 24.3-megapixel APS-C sensor. It has 5-axis in-body stabilization and a max recording resolution of 1080p with a max frame rate of 60 frames per second. Though there is no traditional 4K video, interval shooting allows you to record time-lapses in 4K.

This mirrorless camera is also weather-sealed, which is a huge plus for any filmmakers that shoot in outdoor or uncontrolled situations. Combining the image stabilization with WiFi connectivity and being weather/dust sealed makes the Pentax KP a great choice for filmmakers who shoot in more adverse conditions.

What’s more, is that the Pentax KP has an extensive usable ISO range. All these factors make it a great camera to take outside of a studio setting.

Unfortunately, this camera does not have a 4K video outside of its time-lapse mode. It also has a short battery life, especially when recording video, limiting its portability and useability out in the field.

Depending on your circumstances, the Pentax KP could be a great choice. If you are a more adventurous filmmaker, the Pentax KP could definitely help you get great footage in difficult settings.

ProsCons
In body stabilization
Weather-Sealed
Wifi Connectivity
Low light
No 4K video
Short battery life

Check the current price on Adorama.

4. Sony Alpha a6400

We already looked at the Sony a6100, but now it’s time to discuss the Sony Alpha a6400. This camera is in the same line as the a6100 but has some upgrades that make it a great option if you have a little higher budget.

Like the a6100, the a6400 has a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor. It can also record 4K video at 24/30 frames per second. Unlike the a6100, the Sony a6400 features the Sony S-Log and Cine picture profiles. If you’re looking to apply a grade specifically for these profiles, you can get some really great footage.

The Sony a6400 also has great autofocus with numerous settings to match whatever conditions or shot you’re looking to achieve. Paired with a flip screen, this can be a great option for independent filmmakers, those on the move, and vloggers looking to up their game.

The downsides of this camera rest in its low light performance and battery life. If you’re shooting indoors or in darker conditions, you will have to make sure to light your subjects well. Otherwise, the footage will be quite grainy and not sharp at all. You will also want to get extra batteries, especially when shooting video.

Overall, the Sony Alpha a6400 is a great camera and an upgrade from the a6100. With 4K video, great autofocus, and Sony’s picture profiles, you can certainly achieve a cinematic look with this camera. Just be sure to light your subjects properly!

ProsCons
4K Video
Sony Picture Profiles
Autofocus
Low Light
Battery Life

Check the current price on Adorama.

5. FUJIFILM X-T30

The final camera on our list is the Fujifilm X-T30. This is a great camera for filmmakers looking to get a very cinematic look on a budget.

The FujiFilm X-T30 has a 26.1-megapixel APS-C sensor and can record 4K video at 24/30 frames per second. It also features an excellent autofocus system for filmmakers requiring such.

A big strength of Fujifilm cameras is their color, and the X-T30 is no exception. Shooting in the F-Log profile is supported, even in 4K, and can help you improve your dynamic range and get some great color.

If you’re looking to replicate a traditional film look, Fujifilm has you covered. They offer various film simulations and grain effects, which you can apply in-camera to create some very retro and very vibey footage.

There aren’t a lot of negatives with the X-T30, and this camera has overwhelmingly positive reviews. Some of the smaller issues with this camera reside more with ergonomics. The electronic viewfinder is a bit small, and the buttons are compact. Though by no means the end of the world, some accidental button presses might be inevitable.

Overall, this is a great APS-C camera, and for our price range, it is tough to beat. If you are focusing on great color and a cinematic image, the X-T30 is for you. It has all the features you could want with only minor caveats (such as the Sony autofocus being slightly better).

All said and done; the X-T30 is definitely recommended!

ProsCons
4K Video
Autofocus
Low Light
Color Science
Ergonomics (kind of)

Check the current price on Adorama.

Conclusion

Listed above are five of the best mirrorless cameras on the market under $1000 in 2020. With any of these cameras, you should be able to get some awe-inspiring footage. In the end, it depends on what type of filmmaker you are to pick the best camera.

Do you shoot outdoors? Perhaps the Pentax KP would be best. Are you looking for a small camera with 4K video for vlogging? Then I’d look at the Canon EOS M50. Or, do you want very cinematic footage on a budget? Then you may want to take a look at the Fujifilm X-T30.

Are there any cameras on this list that excite you? Do you already shoot with one of these cameras and have thoughts to share? Let us know in the comment section below what you think!


Cade Taylor is a filmmaker and writer based out of Los Angeles. Originally from Seattle, he continues to work as the Outreach Coordinator for the Bigfoot Script Challenge, where he helps connect up-and-coming writers with industry professionals. When he’s not working on his own projects, helping out with Bigfoot, or covering desks, Cade loves to share what he knows with other filmmakers and promote great content.

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