Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Tag Archives: mirrorless cameras

The 10 best mirrorless cameras in 2017

For people who want the control of a DSLR but not the size or the weight there are mirrorless or compact system cameras CSC. These have interchangeable lenses and the same sorts of control that a DSLR will have but not the optical viewing system. If there is a viewfinder it will be a EVF type (electronic viewfinder) so this is like a small monitor that you look at through the viewfinder. Some don’t have this at all and you are required to use the monitor on that back to compose your images as you might on a compact camera. I would generally avoid these. This type of camera tends to be more expensive than traditional DSLR and the lenses are expensive too.

I see many of these cameras in class and find I am constantly irritated by the necessity to hide all the controls you want at your fingertips in menus that you have to access on screen. The tradeoff of in size and weight for a decent photographic experience is not one I would choose but I understand why people do

Tech Radar has a very useful review of the CSC cameras available and has ranked these as the best of 2017


Best CSC Cameras 2017

Once upon a time, keen photographers bought a DSLR – it was the established order of things. But the mirror mechanism of a DSLR is complex and noisy and adds to the weight of the camera, and that’s where the mirrorless camera, or compact system camera comes in. They keep the big sensors and interchangeable lenses of DSLR cameras but ditch the mirror to produce a smaller, lighter and simpler camera.

In fact, there are still pros and cons to both designs. If you want to find out more, read this: Mirrorless vs DSLR cameras: 10 key differences.  Some mirrorless cameras have a compact, rectangular body, some are styled like DSLRs with a ‘pentaprism’ on the top – though this houses an electronic viewfinder rather than the optical viewfinder you get with a DSLR.

Be aware, too, that cheaper mirrorless cameras don’t come with viewfinders at all – instead, you compose the photo on the rear screen, just as you do with a compact camera or a smartphone. (If you’re still not sure what kind of camera you need, read our easy to follow guide: What camera should I buy?)

No two photographers are exactly the same – we’re all looking for slightly different things, so we’ve ranked the 10 best compact system cameras you can buy right now based not just on specs, handling and performance, but size, simplicity and value for money too.

New Canon Mirrorless Camera M5

There is a general move towards mirrorless cameras, these usually offer similar quality to full DSLR cameras but because they do not have optical viewfinders are much smaller and lighter. Sometimes they are referred to as CSC or compact system cameras although these often are more like compact cameras but with interchangeable lenses. The new Canon EOS M5 looks like a small DSLR, has interchangeable lenses and an EVF (electronic viewfinder). I have to say that the early EVFs left me cold, well worse I hated them. They looked like poor quality tv screens but the newer versions are so much better. This new camera will be competition for the Sony A7 range of which there are many different models, confusingly so.  The Sony is well established now and consider a serious camera so the new Canon M5 will have to offer more in some way.

Canon EOS M5

Techradar has a review of this new camera and says good things, but as yet there is no direct comparison review with the Sony



Here is a chart that lists the specs

  • APS-C CMOS sensor, 24.2MP
  • ISO100-25,600
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • 7fps burst shooting
  • 1080p video
  • 3.2-inch touchscreen, 1,620,000 dots
  • £1049 / $979 (body only) – AUS$ price to be confirmed

In conclusion

Those issues aside, the EOS M5 looks like Canon might have finally come good with a mirrorless camera. With the arrival of Dual Pixel CMOS AF, autofocus appears to be a huge improvement over previous models. Factor in the inclusion of a built-in EVF and touchscreen interface, along with a well thought out set of controls, and the EOS M5 looks like it could be a good option for experienced users. Whether that’s enough now that other brands have established themselves in the mirrorless camera sector remains to be seen.

Go here for the Techradar review

and here for the DPReview on the Canon EOSM5