Compact system cameras supertest: Which mirrorless cam should you buy?

There's never been a better time to ditch the bulk of a DSLR and go mirrorless. But which is the best?

Photography has gone through a momentous change in the past decade – and we don’t just mean smartphones transforming every tween with an Instagram account into Rankin.

Just as important is the rise of compact system cameras that, by virtue of removing the bulky mirror used in DSLRs, have made high-end photography possible in an impressively small package.

CSCs squeeze the power and flexibility of a DSLR into a body that's often almost half the size. They're also often at the forefront of new tech developments in photography, from 4K video to touchscreens to clever shooting modes.

The sheer number of CSCs tumbling into an already bulging market each year makes picking a mirrorless camera a confusing prospect, though – which is why we've drawn together four of the leading lights into a winner-takes-all face-off.

The contenders

1. Olympus OM-D E-M1 II

Olympus’ beloved E-M1 gets a sequel, and like any Hollywood blockbuster follow-up it’s gone bigger, better and flashier.

Read the review on page 2

 

2. Fujifilm X-T2

We’ve previously called this “the best camera on the planet”, but that was before any of its competitors here were launched into our orbit.

Read the review on page 3

 

3. Canon EOS M5

The DSLR king’s first really competitive foray into the mirrorless world looks impressive on paper – but has Canon come ten years too late to claim this throne?

Read the review on page 4

 

4. Leica TL

Milled from a block of aluminium and relying on a touchscreen, the sleek Leica TL is as much a design statement as a photo-taking tool.

Read the review on page 5

 

Or jump straight to the final verdict on page 6

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