The Price is Right

It's time to play a little game. 

Hello audience. Can you guess the price of each mirrorless camera currently available new without going over what the sticker at the dealer says? 

Then come on down!

It's time to play The Mirrorless Price is Right!

Okay, you don't have to really guess. I'm going to fill you in (using current B&H prices as I write this; there are very few active Instant Rebates at the moment, so it's a good time to play the game). I'll be rounding the numbers as best I can. I also can't guarantee that some prices won't have changed by the time you read this, as all the camera companies are micromanaging their inventories right now. 

Still, we're in a pretty calm pricing period right now, and there are no holiday promotions in sight.

First up, let's look at the full frame mirrorless scene:

bythom ffprices

I've made the body-only prices in bold as they're more direct apples-to-apples in comparison. For kit prices, I've used the least expensive body+lens kit each maker lists at the moment; you can find more expensive kits for many of these cameras.

Things that strike me in the above table are:

  • Canon has a widely-spaced spread in body pricing. 
  • Nikon somehow fits five bodies into a tighter US$1700 spread centered around the Z6 II.
  • Panasonic seems to be reducing their lineup (the S1 is technically available, but at a strangely high price; rumors are it is out of production).
  • Sony's using older-generation bodies to look like they have entry units to compete against Canon and Nikon. Because of this multi-generation thing, Sony also appears to have the most bodies available (11; and surprisingly, Nikon is second with 5, for the same reason).

What full frame models would I really consider buying today (i.e. recommend)? 

  • Canon R5, R6; really nice cameras (ignore the nay sayers)
  • Nikon Z5, Z6 (barely), Z6 II, Z7, Z7 iI; a totally solid lineup in the middle of the market
  • Panasonic S1H, S5; both really good cameras that get overlooked a lot
  • Sony A7 III, A7C, A7R IIIa (barely), A7R IVa, A7S III, A9, A9 II, and A1; current generation bodies are all varying degrees of good, plus the older A9 is still a very viable camera for certain tasks (action)

I'd pass on the Canon R and RP, the Panasonic S1 and S1R, and the Sony A7 II and A7R II. These cameras are showing some age or seem to be going out of production.

Now let's turn to crop sensor cameras. The table looks a more cluttered, and with more competitors:

bythom csprices

Things that strike me here are:

  • Canon is cramped into the low end with few (4) choices.
  • Fujifilm is trending higher price now with the X-TA# and X-T### models out of the picture. 
  • Nikon is targeting higher than Canon, but also currently has few (2) choices.
  • Olympus (now OMDS) has a pretty nice and broad range of choices (7) if you count the previous generation bodies left on sale.
  • Panasonic has a broader line (9) than most give them credit for, but realistically, in terms of sales volume, it's the G9 or GH that get the most attention.
  • Sony's lineup has narrowed (4) from the NEX days. The newest of those cameras are now two years old, the oldest is seven!

What crop sensor cameras would I consider buying these days (i.e. recommend)?

  • I like the Canon M6 II. Solid camera with a top sensor, bit pricey with the EVF, while the native lens selection is poor.
  • Fujifilm's lineup confuses me a bit. I like the X-S10 and X-T4, not so much the others. Lenses are solid in the 10-200mm lens range, a bit weak beyond that.
  • Nikon's lineup is fledgling, but people underestimate that Z50: it's a really good camera and competitive at its price point. Somewhat like Canon, the appropriate lens lineup is not great.
  • With Olympus, I really like the E-M10 IV, plus the E-M1 II/III. The former coupled with the smaller lenses and primes, the latter with the f/2.8 and f/4 PRO zooms. Nothing terribly wrong with the rest, but the three cameras I mention are Olympus' most competitive bodies. And lenses? m4/3 has you covered.
  • If you're into video, you already know how good the GH5's are. The rest of you? The G9 is probably your camera. Again, m4/3 has the lens side covered.
  • Nothing wrong with any of the Sony bodies, but the A6100 is the value proposition here, with the A6400 being my second choice. Lens choice is probably third in the crop sensor world (m4/3 is first, Fujifilm second). Crop sensor doesn't get the love at Sony that full frame does.

I'd pass on the low-end Canon's, the other Fujifilm bodies, the Olympus E-PL10 and older E-M10 models. and I think the Sony A6600 is too much money for too little beyond the A6400.

Finally, you probably want to see the whole enchilada put together (including Fujifilm's MF entries):

bythom allpricing

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