This year we’ve finally seen the return of affordable mirrorless cameras – and that trend is set to continue, according to fresh speculation. Hot on the heels of the Canon EOS R10 and EOS R7 are rumors about new beginner-friendly models from Nikon and Sony, plus another from Canon.
All three rumored cameras are expected to have APS-C sensors. While the recent Fujifilm X-H2S show that this doesn’t necessarily guarantee a lower price tag, the rumored specs of these incoming models suggest they’ll be at the more affordable end of the spectrum.
The strongest rumors, via Nikon Rumors (opens in new tab), are that a Nikon Z30 could be “announced soon, possibly in June” – so pretty imminently. This camera has been tipped to be an APS-C successor to the Nikon Z50, which came out back in 2019, and is expected to have a higher-resolution sensor than the 24MP one in that camera.
Considering that the Z50 arrived for $850 / £849 (around AU$1,500) body-only, the Z30 should be an affordable new route into Nikon’s mirrorless Z-series system – that’s assuming the Z30 doesn’t add pricey features like in-body image stabilization or 8K video, although Nikon Rumors claims that upgrades like this are “not happening”.
Fresh rumors from Sony Alpha Rumors (opens in new tab), meanwhile suggest that Sony is also planning to announce “an entry-mid level APS-C model for vloggers”. According to the site, this won’t be the higher-end, mini Sony A1 model that many are hoping for, but instead the perfect partner for the three APS-C lenses that Sony announced recently. The new camera doesn’t yet have a name, but it’s likely to be part of Sony’s ZV range, which includes the Sony ZV-1 and Sony ZV-E10 (opens in new tab).
Although the Canon EOS R10 is pretty affordable at $979 / £899 / AU$1,499, there are also (slightly less compelling) rumors that Canon is preparing a cheaper model to sit below that one. Canon Watch (opens in new tab) and Canon Rumors (opens in new tab) have both suggested that a Canon EOS R100 is en route, though possibly not until early 2023.
The rumors suggest that the camera could come with a 24.2MP APS-C sensor, 14fps continuous shooting speeds and the ability to shoot 4K/30p 8-bit video, although these are more of a wishlist than a leak from an insider. Still, this would make it a possible successor to Canon’s ‘Rebel’ DSLRs and mirrorless models like the popular Canon EOS M50 Mark II, which uses the older EOS M-mount.
So, after what’s been a fallow period for entry-level mirrorless cameras it looks like we’re finally going to see some affordable options from the likes of Nikon, Sony and Canon – and that’s good news for our pockets.
Analysis: The welcome return of affordable cameras
Just a few months ago, we highlighted the huge hole that existed in the middle of the mirrorless camera market. This was partly down to factors like the global chip shortage and post-pandemic supply chain issues, but also because the camera giants had mainly focused on making shiny professional flagships.
Fortunately for our long-suffering bank balances, this situation is now rapidly improving. We recently saw the arrival of the Canon EOS R10 (and pricier EOS R7), and it seems these will soon be followed by new entry-level options from Nikon and Sony.
The Nikon Z30 and Sony’s ZV camera won’t exactly be cheap point-and-shoot models – that category of camera has been made all but extinct by the best camera phones – but they should be relatively affordable ways to buy into their manufacturers’ respective APS-C systems.
In the case of Sony’s E-Mount, that system includes some equally affordable lenses, including the trio of vlogging-friendly primes (the 10-20mm f/4 PZ, 15mm f/1.4, and 11mm f/1.8) that arrived recently. Canon and Sony, however, have a little more work to do to make sure their new affordable APS-C cameras are backed up by some equally affordable glass.
These rumored cameras also represent a renaissance for the APS-C sensor format, which is smaller than full-frame but has recently been at the heart of more powerful (and pricey) models like the Fujifilm X-H2S.
With Micro Four Thirds also making a comeback in the form of the OM System OM-1 and Panasonic Lumix GH6, we’re seeing some refreshing variety return to the world of mirrorless cameras – now all we need is for the supply chain issues to ease so that we can fully enjoy them all.