One of the most significant developments in digital photography has been the introduction of mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. By removing the mirror and optical viewfinder, manufacturers are able to make their cameras smaller, without compromising ergonomics, performance and, in most cases, image quality.

Over the past year we’ve seen more growth in the consumer/mid-level mirrorless category than nearly any other camera class. These cameras are a step up from their entry-level counterparts and generally sell for between $500 and $1000 body only, or between $600 and $1100 with a kit lens. The following cameras are included in this roundup:

Since the range in pricing is so great, we believe there are two groups of people who may be considering cameras in this class. One group wants a more compact, secondary camera in addition to their DSLR, something that still offers ample controls. The other is the photographer for whom this will be their only camera - someone who wants DSLR image quality and control without the additional size or weight.

On the following pages you'll get a quick summary of each camera, and what we liked (or didn't like) about them.