Join ePHOTOzine, the friendliest photography community.
Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more for free!
The mirrorless camera market, or compact system camera as most people now call it, is certainly interesting, providing DSLR sized sensors, in compact styled cameras, with a much more rapid refresh cycle, which has seen a number of new cameras introduced each year. Here we highlight the best of the bunch, starting with Number 1:
1. Panasonic Lumix GH2 - (Joint 1st) - High quality camera designed to look like a Digital SLR, with a more compact size and excellent handling. Lots of external controls. 5fps shooting, ultra fast focusing, popular for video use with Full HD recording. The Penasonic Lumix GH2 is available for £1039 with 14-140mm lens.
2. Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 - (Joint 1st) - Compact, stylish, high quality images, high speed focusing, swivel screen, mode dial, 5.5fps shooting. The Olympus PEN Lite E-PL3 is available for £510 with kit lens.
3. Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1 (Joint 1st) - Even more compact and stylish with high quality images, high speed focusing, and 5.5fps shooting. The Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1 is available for £445 with kit lens.
4. Olympus PEN E-P3 (Joint 2nd) - Premium built, tough metal bodied camera with high quality touch screen, high speed focusing, and the ability to change the grip on the camera (officially!). The high price may put some people off, and 3fps continuous shooting is looking a little slow compared to some of these other mirrorless cameras. The Olympus PEN E-P3 is available for £775 with kit lens.
5. Panasonic Lumix G3 (Joint 2nd) - The Panasonic Lumix G3 is a compact SLR styled camera with a 16 megapixel sensor, and high resolution 1.44million dot electronic viewfinder and 3 inch swivel touch screen. The Panasonic Lumix G3 is available for £488 with kit lens.
6. Sony NEX-5 - (3rd) The NEX-5 has an ultra compact metal body, and full HD video recording, and despite being replaced by the new NEX-5N, the NEX-5 is still worth considering, as it offers excellent value for money, available for £389 with kit lens.
7. Samsung NX11 (joint 4th) - 14mp, with sharp images and good image quality, slightly higher noise than expected considering the APS-C sensor, but the bargain price (around £389 with kit lens) and DSLR styling would be good for anyone looking for an outdoor camera.
8. Panasonic Lumix GF2 (joint 4th) - Compact, somewhere in between a GF3 and a GF1, the GF2 still features a flash hot-shoe, built in flash, and manual control. The Panasonic Lumix GF2 is available for £380 with kit lens.
9. Sony NEX-C3 (joint 4th) - The Sony NEX-C3 is the latest entry level NEX system, featuring a plastic body and 720p video. The APS-C sized sensor is 16mp. The Sony NEX-C3 is available for £406 with kit lens makes it one of the cheapest new Sony NEX cameras available.
10. Panasonic Lumix GF3 (5th) - Compact Panasonic - smallest Micro Four Thirds camera with built in flash, and one of the cheapest Panasonic Lumix G cameras available, priced at £459 with kit lens.
11. Pentax Q (6th) - The smallest sensor of any mirrorless camera, it uses a compact camera sensor, which means it doesn't benefit from the large sensors featured in the other cameras, although it does benefit from small lenses. The price is quite high at £599 with kit lens.
Don't forget to pick up a bag for it to protect it - have a look at our complete guide to bags. If you want a memory card for your camera, have a look at our complete guide to memory cards.
Read our updated Top 10 Best Mirrorless Compact System Cameras.