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Holiday Guide: Best Mirrorless Cameras of 2013
by Laura Hicks -  11/12/2013

ILCs are small and highly capable cameras that feature a "mirrorless" viewing and rely on an electronic viewfinder and DSLR-sized sensors to capture and record images. These cameras are great for the more advanced photo enthusiast or pro looking for an always-available camera.

The newest class of digital cameras to the holiday guide is mirrorless compact interchangeable lens cameras. This class of cameras has given the user the flexibility of interchangeable lenses like the DSLR photographers, but the convenience of a smaller size due to a mirrorless design. Whether you are a budding photographer or an amateur shooter, this type of camera is designed for the creative person who loves the flexibility of multiple lenses. Find our top choices for mirrorless cameras in the link below.

If you don't see the perfect camera in the list we've provided, be sure to seek out buying advice in our "What Camera Should I Buy?" discussion forum. Our forum members, moderators, and staff will graciously offer their insight in helping you pick the best camera for you.


#1 Olympus OM-D E-M1


Arriving about a year and a half after its predecessor, the E-M1 packs a powerful punch with a 16.3-megapixel LiveMOS sensor, TruePic VII image processor, 5-axis image stabilization and weather proofing. In fact, the E-M1 has plenty of other great features like no AA filter, 10 frames per second continuous shooting rate, a pretty great EVF, and an awesome LCD screen, too.

Is this high-end mirrorless really worth it? The answer is a resounding yes! The E-M1 features all of the great functionality of the E-M5, but the E-M1 offers better ergonomics and better button placement than its predecessor. But this high end ILC comes at a price. Body only, the camera is $1,400. Want to purchase the E-M5 instead? You are still making a great purchase. The E-M5 still sells for $1,300. It's a great camera that is retaining its value.

Rating Average: 9 out of 10

Read the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review

#2 Samsung NX300


The NX300 is the flagship model of the NX lineup of cameras--and with great reason. The camera has a large 20.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and a new hybrid autofocus (phase and contrast) that proves to be fast and reliable. The NX300 has a 3.3-inch AMOLED tilting touchscreen. It also offers users ISO sensitivities from 100 to 25,600 and a respectable 8.6fps continuous shooting speed. It has a maximum shutter speed of 1/6000th of a second for better action photography. The NX300 can shoot RAW or JPG files and takes SD, SDHC, SDXC, and UHS-1 enabled memory cards.

The camera has an MSRP of $800 and includes either the 18-55mm or 20-50mm lens. However, we were able to find holiday deals for only $570 with the 20-50mm kit lens and the 50-200mm lens. Talk about an amazing deal!

Rating Average: 9 out of 10

Read the Samsung NX300 Review

#3 Fujifilm X-Pro1


Fujifilm created a winner with the X-Pro1. The camera is a mirrorless interchangeable lens system camera with the retro look of a classic rangefinder 35mm. The X-Pro1 features a newly designed 16 megapixel CMOS sensor whose color filter array introduces a higher degree of randomness of its pixel units than a more conventional sensor. The X-Pro1 has a 3-inch LCD, ISO sensitivities of up to 25,600, and a hybrid viewfinder.

Designed for those that value style, quality build, and beautiful form, the Fuji X-Pro 1 does not disappoint. The Fuji X-Pro 1 is available for $1,200, body only.

Rating Average: 9 out of 10

Read the Fujifilm X-Pro1 Review

#4 Sony a7R


Top of the line! Sony's newest ILC is a full frame camera with a 36-megapixel sensor.

I recently spent a week shooting with the a7R in Nashville, Tennessee. The camera is a workhorse and built to withstand heavy use. The camera features the new Bionz X image processor (just like the RX10), fast AF capabilities, full HD 60p video recording, and Wi-Fi /NFC connection. It offers fully customizable controls and functions: 9 customizable buttons and 46 assignable functions. The camera has a 2.4 million dot XGA OLED Tru-Finder and a tiltable 3-inch LCD screen. 

The Sony a7R will be available just in time for the holidays for $2,300 body only. Also available from Sony is the new a7. An ILC with a 24-megapixel full frame sensor. It is available for $1,700, body only.

Rating Average: 8 out of 10 (initial reaction)

Read the Sony a7R Image Gallery

#5 Samsung Galaxy NX


It's a game changer, no doubt about it.

The Samsung Galaxy NX Camera features the same 20.3-megapixel APS-C sensor found in the NX line of cameras. The sensor offers a hybrid autofocus system.  It features a huge 4.8-inch fixed LCD touchscreen, SVGA electronic viewfinder and very similar user interface as what we saw in the Galaxy Camera. The camera is powered by a 1.6 GHz Quad-core processor. It is 3G/4G LTE and Wi-Fi compatible for constant connectivity and sharing of images. It has a maximum shutter speed of 1/6000 of a second and hast 8.6 frames per second continuous shooting speed. The body style is very similar to the NX20 -- giving users a nice sized hand grip.

Rating Average: 8 out of 10 (initial reaction)

Read the Samsung Galaxy Preview or check out the Image Gallery

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