Which camera should I buy?

The truth about this class is that all of these cameras take perfectly good pictures in good light, with overall low light (high ISO) image quality scaling with sensor size (bigger is better). In low light, you can expect the APS-C cameras to outperform the 1" cameras, which in turn will outperform the Pentax Q-S1 with its smaller 1/1.7"-type sensor. Every camera and/or lens that comes as a part of the kit in this roundup has some form of image stabilization, which will help your low light photography.

You'll want to consider other differentiators that set these cameras apart as well: hybrid AF systems promise faster AF, faster burst rates are better for capturing that decisive moment, Wi-Fi gives you more connectivity, and accessory ports give you more versatility. And don't forget handling preferences - you very well may find some of these cameras more pleasant to use, and easier to grow into, than others. Do keep in mind that that if you don't plan on ever swapping the (kit) lens on these cameras, or making large prints, you may find the differences between these cameras to be, well, not exactly earth-shattering.

Best entry-level mirrorless camera: Fujifilm X-M1

The Fujifilm X-M1 remains our top pick in this category for the second year in a row. JPEG image quality is excellent, with very little noise, until the highest sensitivities. It offers users a great body to grow into, functioning well on full-auto mode, as well as when set to manual modes. External controls are plentiful and the inclusion of Wi-Fi and a quality kit lens make this camera a great option for photographers of a variety of skill levels.

Best mirrorless camera for fast action: Nikon 1 J4

Nikon 1 J4

20 fps burst with continuous AF. 20 fps burst with continuous AF. Oh, we said that twice? That's because despite the quirks of the Nikon 1 J4, nothing comes close to matching its fast burst rate and its excellent hybrid autofocus system (it's the only camera in this roundup with phase-detection AF sensors that can understand subject distance for faster focus). This is the ideal soccer mom/dad camera to shoot pictures of your babies, kids, or pets (if you can tolerate a lower burst rate and more camera for a bit more money, do consider the very capable Sony a6000).

Best budget mirrorless camera: Sony a3000

The Sony a3000 is a peculiar camera. It looks like a DSLR, but contains no mirror. It feels cheap, has a low-budget EVF and LCD, but tucks an impressive and capable 20.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor right in the middle of all that plastic. It is by far the most budget-friendly camera in this roundup, but also has one of the largest sensors. If you can get past its ergonomic downfalls, you’ll still be getting a lot of camera for your buck.