The Best System Cameras 2020: Mirrorless Test Winner From Stiftung Warentest

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The Best System Cameras 2020: Mirrorless Test Winner From Stiftung Warentest
The Best System Cameras 2020: Mirrorless Test Winner From Stiftung Warentest

Video: The Best System Cameras 2020: Mirrorless Test Winner From Stiftung Warentest

Video: The Best System Cameras 2020: Mirrorless Test Winner From Stiftung Warentest
Video: The best mirrorless cameras of 2021 and how to pick one 2023, September
  • System camera test winner at Stiftung Warentest
  • System camera with top price-performance ratio
  • The small and cheap system camera
  • More questions and answers about buying a system camera

The best system cameras 2020: test winner at a glance

placement product price offer
Stiftung Warentest winner Nikon Z6 approx.2,000 euros Z6 + lens at Calumet
Price-performance tip Fujifilm X-T30 approx.1,220 euros X-T30 + lens at Otto
System camera - small and cheap Canon EOS M200 approx. 450 euros M200 + lens at Otto

System cameras: bestseller on Amazon

System camera test winner at Stiftung Warentest: Nikon Z6


There are mirrorless system cameras in the top league. Sony is a pioneer here, but the manufacturer is now head-to-head for Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon and Panasonic. Advantage for the user: If you already feel at home with one of these manufacturers, you can choose the top model of its manufacturer. The prices are around 3,000 euros, for first-class lenses you can add more than 2,000 euros.

The winner of the Stiftung Warentest in the current system camera leaderboard (as of June 2020) is a comparatively inexpensive top model, the Nikon Z6. GIGA had also tested the Nikon Z6 and was very impressed. The manufacturer may not have fulfilled all wishes, but many. The system camera offers a robust housing, many functions and the most important thing: excellent image quality. The full-frame sensor has 24 megapixels. So it convinces even in dark situations. At Stiftung Warentest, the Z6 performed even better in image quality than the more expensive sister model Z7 with 45 megapixels. But the calculation is simple: more pixels means smaller pixels. However, larger pixels score in poor lighting conditions. The Z7 comes with an overall grade of 1.5, the test winner Z6 with a grade of 1.4.(Surprisingly, there are no other “very well” tested system cameras in the current list of product testers.)

With the Nikon Z6 you get a great system camera. Fortunately, the street price has already dropped. Here is the complete set with standard lens and XQD memory card:

Nikon Z6 + NIKKOR Z 24-70 mm 1: 4 S + 64GB XQD
Nikon Z6 + NIKKOR Z 24-70 mm 1: 4 S + 64GB XQD

Nikon Z6 + NIKKOR Z 24-70 mm 1: 4 S + 64GB XQD

Now from € 2,199.81 at Amazon Similar offer at Mediamarkt Price can now be higher. Price from 2020-27-07 01:03 a.m.


  • Excellent picture quality
  • Top quality in all respects (see test)
  • Very good system accessories available


  • 4K video recording only at 30 FPS
  • No built-in flash

If you can spend a little more, consider whether you want the faster and better Nikon Z lens. Here is a comparison:


Start photo gallery (23 photos)

Value for money system camera: Fujifilm X-T30


This is where fans of the retro look get their money's worth: The design of the Fujifilm X-T30 is reminiscent of long-gone analog film times. For example, the photographer benefits from a dial for the exposure time. The system camera is above all a cheaper alternative to the test winner, the body without a lens is less than 1,000 euros.

For this you get a well-equipped system camera (including WiFi connection). An APS-C sensor with 26 megapixels is integrated, which according to Stiftung Warentest takes good pictures even in low light. Disadvantage: Compared to the Nikon Z6, the video performance is significantly lower despite the 4K resolution. But if you don't mainly film, you can consider this chic system camera. Overall grade: 1.9.

The housing is available in three different colors. The kit at a good price-performance ratio contains a very bright standard zoom:

FUJIFILM X-T30 with lens XF 18-55mm F 2.8-4 R
FUJIFILM X-T30 with lens XF 18-55mm F 2.8-4 R

FUJIFILM X-T30 with lens XF 18-55mm F 2.8-4 R

Now from € 1,168.28 at Otto Similar offer at Mediamarkt Price can now be higher. Price from 2020-27-07 1:25 a.m.


  • Very good picture quality
  • Good equipment


Average video quality

Small system camera, good and cheap: Canon EOS M200


The Canon EOS M200 doesn't have much in common with the Nikon Z6, it almost looks like a compact camera. If you can do without the viewfinder and how many amateur photographers prefer to look at the display anyway, you get a small but good system camera with this product: At Stiftung Warentest, the M200 tops the list of viewfinder-free system cameras with an overall rating of 2.0.

The Canon EOS M200 has an APS-C sensor - in the size that is also used in many SLR cameras. This means that the M200 can score against many competing cameras that offer a similar housing size. In addition to 4K video recordings and 120 frames per second at 1080p, it impresses with many extras, including WLAN, auto focus with eye recognition and a foldable touchscreen display.

The Canon EOS M200 is therefore not only suitable for hobby photographers, but as a compact second camera even for photographers with higher ambitions. And it is also cheap:

Canon EOS M200 system camera with 15-45mm lens
Canon EOS M200 system camera with 15-45mm lens

Canon EOS M200 system camera with 15-45mm lens

Now from € 469.00 at Otto Similar offer at Amazon Price can now be higher. Price from 2020-27-07 1:27 a.m.


  • Very good overall package
  • Compact and light


  • Not a seeker
  • Flat housing (without handle)

System cameras in the test: So it was tested

In the test on GIGA, we gave the Nikon Z6 part marks for image quality, features, handling and practice. The focus was on the impressions that a photographer gains when using the camera.

The Stiftung Warentest carried out their comparison under standardized conditions. The assessment is composed of the following sub-grades, which were weighted in the overall grade:

  • Image (40%)
  • Manual Settings Image (10%)
  • Video (10%)
  • Viewfinder and monitor (10%)
  • Handling (30%)

In the most important sub-rating “image”, recordings were compared as JPEG files. In addition to this eye test, the testers also checked image stabilization, resolution, color rendering and the flash light. If the camera did poorly in a single discipline, this could lead to a downgrading of the overall grade (devaluation).

Buying a system camera: questions that should still be asked

In the following a few background information for beginners who want to buy a system camera:

What is a system camera?

We have already spoken a lot about system cameras, but the definition is still pending. A system camera is a camera within a system, which means that individual components can be replaced. Specifically, it is lenses that you put on a camera body. When buying, you have to make sure that the respective lenses are made for the camera system. Amazon often offers the option of checking compatibility on the lens pages. An external flash must also be designed for the respective system.

Strictly speaking, SLR cameras are also system cameras. The term system camera has become common as a demarcation from mirrorless cameras to SLR cameras. The cameras listed above do not have a mirror to redirect the image to the viewfinder. The photographer gets an electronic picture and / or can use the display.

Should I choose a single lens reflex or compact camera?

An overview of similarities and differences between the different categories can be found in the buying advice: compact camera, system camera or reflex camera?

Maybe the mobile phone is enough for me to take pictures?

Cell phones are now taking very good pictures - at least in good light. With software, the manufacturers get a lot out of the small sensors. If you only publish the pictures on Instagram, the quality is enough. If you want to hang it on the wall as a poster, you will at least see the limits of the smartphone sensor with a trained eye.

System cameras are distinguished from smartphones:

  • sharper images
  • less noise
  • better bokeh
  • better long exposure
  • interchangeable lenses

For the vacation trip like the family party I recommend a reasonable camera.

Also interesting:

  • The best compact cameras
  • The best SLR cameras

Does a cheap system camera make sense?

You can save on the camera, you should paddle on the lens - I do not want to sign this guiding principle! This may have been useful in analogue times, since the lens and film had a great influence on the image quality. With digital cameras, however, the image sensor is also one of the most important quality features. You will not only see the purchase of a bad camera on every photo, you will also regret it.

With a sensor size of APS-C and full format, you can hardly go wrong with the popular camera brands, no matter which model you take (clear: some are better, some are worse …). The sensor of the Micro Four Thirds cameras is significantly smaller, but there are cameras of good quality here too.

Do I need an expensive lens?

Some of the included lenses are not bad and a good compromise for everyday life. Some of the included lenses are no fun at all, because the image quality is poor and / or the light intensity is low. However, a lens does not necessarily have to be expensive. Fixed focal lengths (i.e. without zoom) and / or lenses from other manufacturers such as Sigma, Tamron or Tokina can be an attractive alternative. Important: The lens must be manufactured for the body's camera system. For the start, a beginner can start with a lens provided until you are clear about what you value.

Which memory card do I need?

The above Nikon uses the fast and expensive XQD 2.0 cards. Most cameras, on the other hand, rely on SD cards. High speeds of the storage medium are particularly important if you produce large file sizes in a short time, for example filming in 4K resolution or taking RAW images in series. A slow memory card can slow down the process or even cancel it. There are good memory cards, even with 128 GB of memory, for less than 40 euros.

Buy SanDisk memory card from Amazon


Start photo gallery (14 photos)

  • SD card FAQ: What should you know?
  • SD cards: test winner and price-performance tips

What else do I have to consider when buying a system camera?

If you want to dig deeper into camera research yourself, consider: What do I want to use the camera for? (Those who take sports photos are more likely to focus on fast autofocus than those who only do landscape photography.) What else is important to me about the camera? And last but not least: how much do I want to spend? The key features include:

  • Design, size and weight
  • Operation (touchscreen? With / without viewfinder?)
  • picture quality
  • Autofocus
  • Other speed

System cameras: bestseller on Amazon

Last but not least, you should consider the system: Are there lenses in the price ranges that I want to have now or later? What about other accessories? Because when you buy a kit, you also choose the system. Once you have two or three lenses, you usually stay with the same manufacturer when buying a new camera.

Sebastian Trepesch
Sebastian Trepesch

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