If one of your photography-loving relatives has made it clear that a mirrorless camera is on their Christmas list this year, you may well want to check out the current top five most-gifted mirrorless cameras on Amazon. There is no secret as to why the camera listed here are selling so well as gifts – they have all received significant discounts from the original price, and tend to be models that sell quite well even outside of the peak holiday season.
Another characteristic these cameras share is that they are low to mid-range mirrorless cameras meant for amateurs and enthusiasts. This makes sense as it is uncommon for someone with little photography experience to gift expensive gear to a professional. It is more likely that the opposite would happen – a professional would choose a mid-range camera to give to a family member with less experience. This is why you won’t see any expensive high-end models in this selection.
On that note, let’s take a look at the most-gifted mirrorless cameras as of Black Friday 2013!
1. Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5
Surprise, surprise! This camera has topped the best-seller and most-gifted list for quite some time now. Though we’ve never tried the G5, it is part of the wonderful Lumix line, of which we’ve tried the GH3 and GX7. It comes with a 16MP Live MOS sensor, AVCHD Full HD video, a free-angle touch LCD and speedy contrast AF. If you are into video and hybrid photography, we can highly recommend all cameras in the mid to high-end Lumix line-up, as the image quality for video is exceptional.
2. Sony NEX-3N
The NEX-3N is a bargain if you consider the number of features Sony has been able to squeeze inside. Upon its release earlier on this year, it was the smallest and lightest interchangeable lens camera on the market. Indeed, the only bulky part of the camera is the lens you decide to attach to it. It comes with Full HD video functions, a 16MP APS sensor, a flip-up LCD screen, built-in flash, zoom toggle and more. As I’ve mentioned before, this camera was great fun to use during our hike in the Alps last summer!
3. Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6
I’ll admit that I did not expect to see the GF6 on the most-gifted list but here it is, most likely due to recent Black Friday discounts. It is an extremely compact mirrorless with a 16MP Live MOS sensor, Wifi and NFC capabilities, a 180 degree tilt-touch screen, many creative filters, and Full HD video recording. It is definitely more pocketable than the G5 and has most of the same features.
4. Olympus Pen E-PL5
The Pen E-PL5 is another surprise entry on this list. (I would have expected to see the highly-discounted E-P3 in its place!) The features of this great little camera include a 16MP Live MOS sensor (the same as that on the OM-D E-M5), TruePic IV Image Processor, a responsive touch screen, 8 fps continuous shooting, speedy AF with face and eye detection, just to name a few. As anyone who reads our website knows, Mat and I are both big fans of Olympus cameras, though we’d personally shell out extra for the 5-axis stabilisation of the Pen E-P5. That said, as affordable options go, you can’t get much better than the E-PL5.
5. Sony NEX-6
The NEX-6 is one of the most popular mirrorless cameras around. It’s a mid-range mirrorless that wants to play like a pro, which is also why it is the most costly of the five mentioned here. It comes with a 16MP APS-C sensor, 10 fps shooting, Full HD video, fast hybrid AF, a bright OLED viewfinder with 100% coverage, an ISO-standard hotshoe, and Wifi for sharing online. I’d only suggest this camera as a gift if the person on the receiving end is really enthusiastic about photography and has owned other mirrorless cameras/DSLRs previously.
If I were to choose any one of these five cameras as a gift for an amateur photographer, I think I’d go for the Sony NEX-3N. It is cheap, gives you the option to change lenses, provides excellent image quality even in low light, has a top-notch video function, and is light and easy to carry around.