DSLRs take great pictures, we all know that. But they also take a lot of money out of your wallet. And the lenses (bought separately) even add to the cost.
Best Mirrorless Camera under $300 – Quick Pick
If you’re in a hurry, here are our two favorite mirrorless cameras under $300 in this review.
- Fujifilm X-E1 16.3 MP Compact System Digital Camera – Editor’s Choice for 2018 (best Value for the Money)
- Sony NEX-3N Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera – (ISO 16000 sensitivity, advanced noise reduction, Anti-Motion Blur mode, Face Detection/Smile Shutter)
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A few years ago, it would have been almost impossible to find the best mirrorless cameras for less than $500, let alone $300. However, the passage of time and the advancement in technology have improved the quality in the digital world.
These cameras are great and will let you take DSLR quality pictures at a moderately reasonable price.
But be careful though, most cheap mirrorless does not come with viewfinders at all. So be careful while you are looking for cameras with lower prices.
So if your budget is under the $300 category, it’s all about trying to strike the best balance possible. The most important specs here are probably megapixels, zoom range, video recording capabilities, connectivity options and ISO range.
It’s hard to find the perfect match for every shopper’s needs, but this guide will help you sift through all the details to find the right camera for you. These best mirrorless cameras have been ranked based on their handling, performance, operability, functionality, size, simplicity and value for money.
If you are willing to pay a couple of hundred bucks extra for better operability and functionality then you can take a look at the best mirrorless cameras under $500. Or if you need better mirrorless camera experience, be sure to check the best mirrorless cameras under $600 and $1000.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Mirrorless Camera Under $300 in 2018
- 10 Best Mirrorless Camera Under $300 Reviews in 2018
- 1. Fujifilm X-E1 16.3 MP Compact System Digital Camera
- 2. Sony NEX-6 Mirrorless Digital Camera
- 3. Sony NEX-3N Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
- 4. Sony NEX-5TL/S Mirrorless Digital Camera- Perfect for Travel Blogging
- 5. Sony NEX-5N 16.1 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera
- 6. Samsung NX300 20.3MP CMOS Smart WiFi Mirrorless Digital Camera
- 7. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 12 MP Micro 4/3 Mirrorless Digital Camera
- 8. Nikon 1 V2 14.2 MP HD Digital Camera
- 9. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX Mirrorless Digital Camera
- 10. YI M1 4K 20 MP Mirrorless Digital Camera – Great for traveling
- How to Choose the Best Mirrorless Camera Under $300?
- The Best Pick
10 Best Mirrorless Camera Under $300 in 2018
10 Best Mirrorless Camera Under $300 Reviews in 2018
The compact X-E1 is engineered to deliver extraordinary image quality. It starts with FUJIFILM’s proprietary 16.3 APS-C X-Trans 2/3-Inch CMOS sensor whose unique pixel array is designed to deliver unsurpassed image resolution and colour accuracy. It comes with everything you need in one compact, beautiful camera system.
Equipped with a large APS-C size sensor the resolving and descriptive power of the Fujinon lens can be maximized thereby enabling high resolution over the entire screen. The X-E1’s sensor adopts the same high-performance 16M X-Trans CMOS featuring an originally developed colour filter array with a highly random pixel arrangement, its X-Trans CMOS sensor eliminates the need for an optical low-pass filter.
You can now shoot Full HD movies at 24fps, the same frame rate used for cinema films. You can take full advantage of the combination of X-E1’s large sensor and bright XF lenses to capture movies with a large and beautiful defocused “broken” background. Connect stereo microphones (commercially sold) to the microphone connector to record audio with enhanced clarity and presence
Featuring a large APS-C sensor and with the elimination of an optical low-pass filter, Fujifilm’s X-Trans CMOS takes advantage of its high-sensitivity performance to deliver a standard range up to ISO 6400. No matter when or where the shutter opportunity arises, you can depend on its high-sensitivity image quality to defeat blur caused by camera shake or subject motion.
By combining the best “OLED electronic viewfinder” in its class with FUJIFILM’s original optical technology the X-E1 offers a bright, wide field of vision of which its entirety can be seen at a glance.
The Fujifilm X-E1 also comes with a built-in flash, Quick Response, Recording High-Definition (HD) Movies, Bracketing, AF Assist Lamp for Low-Light Scenes, Manual Focusing Methods, AE Bracketing, ISO Bracketing, Film Simulations Bracketing, Dynamic Range Bracketing, In-camera RAW Converter, Multiple Exposure, 0.05-sec Shutter Time Lag, Continuous Shooting (Burst Mode), Panoramas and many more!
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Raise your photography to the next level with the Sony NEX-6, a remarkably compact mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera loaded with amazing camera features. You will experience that special sense of quality and performance that is a signature of DSLRs and you have a camera well equipped to take you on a unique photographic journey.
The Sony NEX-6L/B Mirrorless Digital Camera is built with a 16.1 MP APS-C size HD image sensor that is the same sensor format that Sony builds into the full-sized DSLRs. With 13 times the area of the typical point-and-shoot image sensor, this one will deliver you an exceptional combination of high resolution, high sensitivity and gorgeous, blurred backgrounds.
Sony’s advanced Fast Hybrid AF has a Phase detection autofocus for the quick response that is ideal when tracking fast-moving subjects and contrast-detection autofocus for added precision. You can now take photos and videos with ease.
Also, the tracking Focus continuously tracks a user-designated subject and is now more effective at tracking people.
The Sony NEX-6L/B is also packed with other features like the Manual Focus Assist, Face Detection technology, Smile Shutter technology, Dynamic Range Optimizer, PhotoTV HD compatibility, Dual Format Media Card Slot all will make you a great photographer!
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Get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements with the Sony NEX-3N/B Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera. With the large 16.1-megapixel APS-C sensor size and Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS technology, the camera will let you take gorgeous, high-resolution photos even in low light.
Equipped with a BIONZ image processor, the Exmor sensor has an adaptive noise reduction technology that makes the NEX-3N offer a wide range of sensitivity from ISO 100 to ISO 16000. This will let you capture beautiful pictures at challenging lighting conditions without using the built-in flash.
The camera also features a large 3.0″ LCD screen that has a resolution of 460,800 dots and tilts 180° up and 13° down. Capture Full HD 1080i video at 60fps and 1080p video at 24fps.
A new zoom lever on the body of the camera allows for effortless one-handed operation and smooth zooming even when shooting self-portraits, bringing compact camera convenience to the realm of interchangeable-lens models
The camera also has an Intelligent AF system and manual focus capability. Auto Object Framing fills the frame with your subject by automatically recognizing the scene and cropping accordingly.
Using the Photo Creativity feature, you’ll enjoy easy access to Picture Effect settings and controls for Background Defocus, Brightness, Color and Vividness.
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The Sony NEX-5T Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera is a powerful, pocketable digital camera that is great for capturing incredible pictures almost anywhere.
With a 16.1 MP APS-C size HD image sensor, the NEX-5TL will deliver you an exceptional combination of high resolution, high sensitivity and gorgeous, blurred backgrounds. It is the same sensor format that Sony builds into the full-sized α DSLRs.
Sony’s advanced Fast Hybrid delivers optimal Auto Focus for fast, precise focusing in any scene, whether capturing stills or HD video. The Phase detection autofocus will help you get a quick response that is ideal when tracking fast-moving subjects and contrast-detection autofocus for added precision.
The NEX-5T is equipped with a tilt-able LCD screen that flips up 180-degrees without sacrificing the compactness for which the 5-series is renowned for. This makes taking great self-portraits incredibly easy. You can now precisely compose shots, choose to include people or objects in the frame for more satisfying results. This feature is also very useful for video blogging.
The Sony NEX-5TL is also equipped with a bunch of other features!
Picture Effect mode, Auto Object Framing, ISO 25600 sensitivity with advanced noise reduction, Face Detection/ Registration technology, Dynamic Range Optimize, Photo Creativity Touch interface and Multi-interface terminal.
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The performance of a DSLR, in about half the size and weight. The NEX-5N is the interchangeable lens camera that fits in your pocket. Enjoy Full HD 1080/60p or 24p movies, astounding low-light pictures, continuous shooting up to 10 fps, incredible panorama shots, and 3.0-inch tiltable Live View touch screen LCD.
Capture the decisive moment in sports and get the ideal baby photo. Up to 10 fps continuous shooting at full 16.1 MP resolution. Standard continuous shooting speeds vary based upon shooting conditions and memory card speeds.
You get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements. The APS-C sensor size and Sony Exmor APS HD CMOS technology let the camera operate with no penalty in low-light sensitivity or sensor noise letting you achieve high-resolution images and videos.
The brain of the camera is a refined version of Sony’s BIONZ image processor. Its chroma noise reduction delivers high-resolution, low-noise photos even at ISO 25600 sensitivity. Also enables fast processing of up to 10 fps continuous shooting of data-intensive 16.1-megapixel images, 2D/3D Sweep Panorama modes and 6 image layering lets you take the best pictures under any light conditions.
You can now record Full HD 1920×1080 video in a variety of frame rates from 60p for super smooth action to 24p for a more cinematic feel. The NEX-5N utilizes the AVCHD codec, the industry standard for high-quality HD video capture, as well as the MP4 codec for easy upload to the web due to it’s smaller file size.
The Sony NEX-5N is equipped with other additional features like Tiltable 3.0″ Touch LCD, Object Tracking AF via Touch LCD, 0.02 sec release time lag, Optional XGA OLED viewfinder, 11 Picture Effect modes, Peaking AF display, 25-point Auto Focus, HDMI output and has a stamina battery power for up to 430 shots!
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The Samsung NX300 Smart Compact System Camera combines performance, connectivity, and convenience in a small package that lets you take your video and photography to a new level. The camera’s 20.3-megapixel sensor captures incredible colour rendition and detail, while an interchangeable lens mount offers versatility
The NX300 also features 3D technology for both still shots and video and built-in Wi-Fi, making it easy for you to get the shots you want and share them with all your friends.
An advanced 20.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor is at the heart of the Samsung NX300, capturing lifelike colours and beautiful images with the highest resolution in its class. The NX300’s hybrid autofocus system includes phase detection AF and contrast AF for fast and accurate autofocusing.
Combining a shutter speed of 1/6,000 and exceptionally short shutter lag, the system allows you to take sharp, in-focus shots quickly. You can now take excellent pictures with ease. The camera has an ISO range from 100 to 25,600, so you’ll be able to take great photos in different lighting situations.
The NX300 also has 1080p Full HD movie recording capabilities. Use the bundled 18-55mm lens for a cinematic experience, or choose from a wide range of lenses (sold separately) to get the scene you want. The CMOS sensor gives you precise autofocus even as you’re shooting, so you can shoot with confidence.
On the back of the camera is a brilliant, 3.31-inch AMOLED tilt display that flips up 90 degrees and down 45 degrees. You’ll have no problems framing and capturing your images, no matter if they’re low-angle or high-angle.
The Samsung NX300 Wi-Fi also comes with multiple other features. From 3D Photos and Videos to Wi-Fi Connectivity for Easy Sharing, the NX300 has it all.
The package includes an NX300 Smart Compact System Camera, an 18-55mm OIS lens, a SEF-8A flash, a BP1130 battery, a micro USB cable, a USB charger, a camera strap, and an Adobe Lightroom v4 DVD.
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The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GF3 realizes all the features you want from a bulky DSLR interchangeable lens camera, only it accomplishes this in an ultra compact point-and-shoot camera body about as wide and tall as a typical smart phone yet is lightweight and simple to master. This remarkable reduction in size and weight is thanks to advancements in new mirror-free camera technology, and large DSLR format sensors that are more compatible with a new class of compact Micro Four Thirds System lenses.
This new class of Compact System Cameras offers a weight and compactness not seen in traditional DSLRs, yielding greater portability and creative control. The DMC-GF3’s image quality comes from a large DSLR-sized 12.1-megapixel sensor and newly advanced image processing technologies.
The DMC-GF3 provides a traditional DSLR-like experience without the need for complicated external mode dials, yet provides intuitive and quick access to common modes like Program, Shutter and Aperture Priority, Manual via a touch-enabled LCD that operates much like a smartphone. The DMC-GF3 provides a dedicated video button that can be used to switch to video capture quickly without changing modes.
At the heart of the DMC-GF3’s simplified functionality is a large 3.0-inch LCD that allows for intuitive touch control of menus and most shooting, focusing, playback and effects controls. Menus can be customized using simple drag-and-drop actions like those on most touch-enabled smartphones.
This allows for a custom user interface, giving Quick Menu access to functions that can be tailored to any user’s expertise level. Using the touch-screen operation, a user can lock onto a subject, enabling AF Tracking in both still and video modes. When you’re ready to shoot, the subject will be in focus and ready to capture.
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The Nikon 1 V2, it has the exceptional speed and performance of the Nikon 1 system, plus pro-style enhancements for greater creativity, flexibility, comfort and control. For passionate shooters who want more control of their photos, Nikon 1 V2 delivers great performance at high affordability all in a very compact size.
The V2 comes equipped with the Nikon 1 Mount Image Sensor that has a 14.2 MP CMOS Sensor that let you take flawless photos and videos effortlessly. You can shoot up to 4608 x 3072 with the regular Video Mode and up to 1920 x 1080/60i with the full HD Video.
With an ISO sensitivity of 160 – 6400 you can take beautiful pictures even in challenging low light conditions. This will let you take stunning high-resolution photos.
The 3.0-inch TFT LCD gives you a clear view of your pictures even before you take it. You can easily adjust, focus and access other modes with this convenient screen.
Or you can even use the highly functional 0.47-inch TFT LCD Electronic with Eye Sensor that lets you capture picture-perfect memories with ease.
With a built-in flash i-TTL GN 6.3/20.7, the Dust Reduction System and the Image sensor cleaning LCD Monitor, this camera is durable and low-maintenance. It is easy to operate, handle and use. Witness a camera experience like never before with the Nikon 1 V2.
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The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 features a mirrorless lineup of high image quality and stunning performance in both response and function.
The LUMIX G Micro System realizes high-quality photo images with real-to-life details through excellent resolution, image rendering and colour reproduction. You can take full advantage of the 16.0-megapixel Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine, with which you can shoot images at low-lit situations. At a maximum of 12800 high ISO sensitivity, this setting will give you stunningly clear images with highly sharp resolution.
The DMC-GX1 will let you record 1920 x 1080 full-HD video with stereo sound in AVCHD format which is superior in both compression efficiency and friendliness with AV equipment for playback. The Advanced AF system including practical full-time AF and tracking AF is available in video recording so you can enjoy high-quality video recording with maximum ease.
The Precision Contrast AF system of LUMIX G Micro System gains even higher speed realizing approx. 0.09 second of Light Speed AF. Available in silver and black, the DMC-GX1 offers luxurious comfort in shooting experience with a stunning performance and a host of functions, to be a great partner that is always in your sight, in your mind.
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The YI M1 Mirrorless Digital Camera is a mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera that offers a superb image quality. Equipped with a Sony IMX 269 image sensor, it supports 4k/30fps video recording, 20MP still images and raw photos.
Lightweight to be easily carried around, it is great for travel.
The YI M1 is compact and stylish. Elaborately designed, the sleek body features only two physical buttons and the 3″ LCD touchscreen allows for simple operations.
It features a seamless Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity with a simple app interface. This offers you the power and features of a professional camera with the ease and connectivity of a smartphone.
This offers a stable connection so you can connect and instantly share your photos to your social media. Also, you can achieve full and fast sharing and have full control over your Phone. The Firmware upgrade can be easily operated via the mobile app.
YI M1 offers the ultimate image and video quality capturing 20 megapixel still images and stunning 4K video at 30 frames per second. The camera features the latest Sony IMX 269 Image Sensor, which supports ISO up to 25,600, as well as 20-megapixel images.
YI M1 also offers two lens options – include a 12-40mm F3.5-5.6 and 42.5mm F1.8. The camera also includes an MFT mount system which is compatible with more than 50 interchangeable lenses.
From beginners to professionals, photographers can capture and share stunning video and images. With special ‘Master Guide’ feature, users can access photography templates, composition guidelines and step-by-step instructions, to shoot like a professional.
The package includes a YI Digital Camera, a YI 12-40mm F3.5-5.6 Lens, a Micro USB Cable, a Power Adapter, Battery, a Neck Strap, a Lens Cap and an instruction manual.
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How to Choose the Best Mirrorless Camera Under $300?
With so many models from top brands coming out every month, I know how difficult it can be to pick out a new camera. Whether this is your first camera, or you are replacing your old one, cameras aren’t something you can buy every month.
They are a long-term investment. Which is why you must pick yours carefully.
You must keep in mind as to what you require a camera for.
If it is just to satisfy your hobby, you can opt for the cheaper ones, since they will give you pictures good enough for your collection and also to upload on social media.
But if you need it for professional reasons, the expensive cameras are pricey for a reason. They offer higher resolution and better picture quality that can be introspected for your photography.
So, depending on what you need it for, purchase it according to the price. If you are willing to pay a couple of hundred bucks extra for better operability and functionality then you can take a look at the best mirrorless cameras under $500. Or if you need better mirrorless camera experience, be sure to check the best mirrorless cameras under $600 and $1000.
The Best Pick
Of all the best mirrorless cameras under $300, there’s no denying that the Fujifilm X-E1 is my favourite. With all the amazing functions and features, it has to offer, this camera is the most suitable one for me.
With a 16MP APS-C CMOS sensor and a built-in OLED viewfinder, I can take the perfect images and 1080/60p HD videos anytime, anywhere. The high ISO sensitivity lets me take them even under the most challenging light conditions.
What can I say?
I absolutely love this camera, and I hope you have found the best one for you too.