While they aren't cameras that make headlines, one thing is for certain: entry-level interchangeable lens cameras sell by the truckload. The majority of them are stripped-down versions of their midrange siblings, with things like newer sensors, advanced autofocus systems, customizable controls and 'premium' build quality being left out. That doesn't mean that these aren't capable cameras - quite the contrary, actually.
All of these cameras - both mirrored and mirrorless - produce good image quality, offer respectable performance and can record Full HD video. The majority have Wi-Fi. Many of them are targeted toward beginners, with 'help' systems that point out the best settings to use for various shooting situations.
Those unfamiliar with DSLR and mirrorless cameras may be wondering what advantages and disadvantages each brings to the table. DSLRs are larger cameras, with a more 'traditional' shape and control layout, as well as an optical viewfinder. While they're great for shooting stills, they're not as well suited to video capture, and focusing using live view can be sluggish. Mirrorless cameras are typically smaller and are very capable video shooters, since live view focusing is much faster than most DSLRs. Two negatives about mirrorless cameras are that battery life isn't nearly as good as a DSLR and - especially true in this class - they often lack a viewfinder.
Let's take a look at several entry-level ILCs, with US MSRPs in the $500 region, kit lens included.