10 Best Camera under $500 (Worth Buying This Year?)

Choosing a camera is not always an easy task. There are so many options and it can be difficult to figure out which one will fit your needs the best. In this article, we will talk about some of the best cameras currently on the market for under $500.

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Buyers Guide – Best Camera under $500


1. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera with 14-42mm EZ Lens (Silver) US ONLY
  • Builtin 5Axis image stabilization for sharper images
  • 2.3 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.62X magnification
  • Silent mode (disables all shutter sounds)
  • 8.5 frames per second burst shooting;AF system type high speed image AF (contrast detection / on chip phase difference detection)

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is compact but comfortable to use a camera with an articulating, touch display. 

It offers superb EVF resolution, professional look, and handling as well as excellent low light performance on par with the much larger pro DSLRs thanks to its powerful 5-axis body stabilization system that maximizes sharpness in every frame. 

The fast 8.6 frames per second continuous shooting speed coupled with the accurate tracking of 225 focus points allows you to create stunning sequences and shoot moving subjects like never before!

More of your every day than a high-end model worthy of Hollywood’s finest productions: this lightweight little gem features all the basics like flash sync up to 1/320s (compare that to most other cameras at about a quarter of that), battery life is pretty good for a mirrorless camera, and weather sealing. 

The only thing it’s lacking is more robust in-camera features like WiFi connectivity or touchscreen control – if you’re looking to get serious with your photography this might not be the right choice.

Pros:

  • It’s adaptable and highly customizable.
  • Most of the buttons are adaptable.
  • High-resolution pictures.
  • Provide excellent performance.
  • It has a Tilt display with a touch-screen.

Cons:

  • 4K timelapse with 5fps playback.
  • Tracking and focusing are continuously accurate.

2. Nikon D3400

Sale
Nikon D3400 w/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (Black)
  • Snap Bridge Bluetooth Connectivity
  • 24.2mp dx format CMOS sensor
  • Expeed 4 image processor
  • No optical low pass filter. Bluetooth specification version 4.1. Wi-Fi functionality eye fi compatible

The Nikon D3400 is an excellent camera for both beginners and pros alike. 

It has a 24MP sensor with high ISO performance, giving you clear shots in any environment.

Speed is key on the D3400, making 5.1 FPS continuous shooting possible. A user-friendly layout makes it easy to get going, and the wide-ratio 3inch LCD display provides sharp detail that’s easy to see, perfect for closeups or into hard-to-reach places! 

The only drawback: There isn’t a microphone input (but there are other ways around it). 

Buying your new camera with lenses? No problem! This model comes with an 18mm – 55mm lens so you can capture images from afar without sacrificing quality.

Pros:

  • The body is tiny and light.
  • Extremely long battery life
  • It performs well in single-shot AF..

Cons:

  • Limited options for connectivity

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3. Panasonic Lumix FZ82

Sale
Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera, 18.1 Megapixel Video Camera, 60X Zoom DC VARIO 20-1200mm Lens, F2.8-5.9 Aperture, Power O.I.S. Stabilization, Touch Enabled 3-Inch LCD, Wi-Fi, DC-FZ80K (Black)
  • Point and Shoot Long Zoom Camera: 18.1 megapixel MOS sensor plus 60X zooms DC Vario lens (20 1220 millimeter and Power O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) captures...
  • High Resolution View Finder and LCD Display: High resolution 1,170K dot view finder and rear touch enabled 3 inch LCD Display (1040 dots) are clear even in bright...
  • 4K video Capture: 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160) with three unique 4K ultra HD video pause and save 4K photo modes extracts individual high resolution...
  • Low Light Performance: Low light capture lets you enjoy photography during your nightlife again with impressive results; Note: Refer to user manual PDF attached...

The Panasonic Lumix FZ82 is a small, powerful, and versatile camera that’s as comfortable exploring your backyard as it is in the face of wildlife. 

With a 60x zoom range paired with blazing fast autofocus speeds and 10fps Raw capture capabilities, you’ll be ready to freeze any shot- no matter how unpredictable! 

Zoom into the tiniest web of life at high resolution or follow swirling snowflakes through crisp blue air before they flutter away on an icy breeze. 

Everything about this compact powerhouse has been designed for creative freedom and brilliant performance: from its 30 fps 4K Photo mode to its eye-catching touchscreen LCD so there’s plenty to explore from every angle. 

Photography never felt like playing again; it feels like creating.

Pros:

  • The camera’s optical zoom is very powerful.
  • The lens is stabilized using advanced image stabilization technology.

Cons:

  • There is no built-in eye sensor for the EVF.

4. Canon Rebel SL2/200D

Sale
Canon EOS Rebel SL2 Digital SLR Camera Body - WiFi Enabled
  • 242 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) Sensor
  • Fast & Accurate Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Phase-detection
  • Vary-angle Touch Screen, 30-inch LCD
  • Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth Technology

The Rebel SL2/200D is compact and loaded with features. 

It has a knack for athletic subjects, once again setting it apart from its contemporaries and cementing this model as the go-to option if you’re looking for an affordable yet powerful camera to cover every kind of shooting situation.

A quality built-in flash settings guide makes navigating this camera both easy and fun, giving novices plenty of guidance on how to improve their skill set before needing external 3rd party software. 

This beauty can also be charged via any USB port allowing anywhere charging. 

The Canon Digital Rebel SL2/200D blends refined design with updated capabilities so newcomers coming from DSLRs half its price can get started right away–making memories last just that much longer.

Pros:

  • It has a Vari-Angle touchscreen display.
  • A new 18-55mm STM lens has been added.
  • It has a 24MP APS-C image sensor.

Cons:

  • 1080p is the maximum resolution for video.

5. Canon Power Shot G9 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II Compact Digital Camera w/ 1 Inch Sensor and 3inch LCD - Wi-Fi, NFC, & Bluetooth Enabled (Silver)
  • 1.0 Inch, 20.1 Megapixel High sensitivity CMOS sensor
  • Digic 7 image processor. Compatible with iOS versions 8.4,9.3 and 10.2 and Android smartphone and tablet versions 4.1,4.2,4.3,4.4,5.0,5.1,6.0,7.0,7.1
  • Ultra slim, lightweight and pocket size camera
  • Features: Touch screen panel (capacitive type)

The Canon Power Shot G9 X Mark II is a compact DSLR that packs a punch, both in the photo and video quality. 

It has an outstanding autofocus system, so beginner photographers can feel confident working with it as their first camera. 

However, skilled pros will enjoy all the extra features the camera offers like the Dual Pixel AF system which ensures everything you shoot looks great while also adding smooth bokeh to your portrait shots! 

The touch screen LCD makes navigating this beautiful model simple for everyone and helps make sure novice users get just what they want out of their images. 

You’ll love how detailed your raw files are after shooting thanks to exquisite Canon optics, and even more, if you have access to Lightroom Mobile and its new AI capabilities!

Pros:

  • A Crisp lens is used.
  • There is a 1-inch sensor for capturing images.
  • 8.1fps image capture.
  • It has a touch LCD display.
  • The camera’s lens has a neutral density filter built in.

Cons:

  • Pricey.
  • When zoomed, the aperture is restricted.

6. Nikon D5300

Nikon D5300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS Body Only (Black)
  • 24MP DX format CMOS sensor with no optical low pass filter
  • 39 point AF system with 3D tracking and 3D matrix metering II
  • 5 frames per second continuous shooting
  • ISO 100 12800 (Expandable to 25600)

The Nikon D5300 is perfect for the budding photographer with an eye for detail. 

With a higher viewfinder magnification than its predecessor, vibrant colors, and excellent dynamic range (in RAW), this camera will allow you to create memories worth living in. 

Images are adjustable after the fact with in-camera CA correction and optional distortion correction. No need to send your hard work off to be fixed by someone else! 

The Nikon D5300 also features fast download speeds that make transferring image files easy as pie ‍‍‍without damaging pixels or dpi levels. 

In addition, it also has a feature that automatically corrects common errors such as red-eye on instant capture from live view, perfectly clicking your shots before you’ve even had a chance to preview them.

Pros:

  • Long battery life is an added bonus.
  • GPS is built-in.
  • Excellent range of brightness.

Cons:

  • With 14-bit RAW files, Burst mode slows down, with shallow buffer depths.

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7. Canon EOS Rebel T6 (EOS 1300D)

Sale
Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera Kit with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens (Black)
  • 180 Megapixel CMOS (APS C) image sensor and high performance DIGIC 4 plus Image Processor for excellent speed and quality
  • ISO 100 6400 (expandable to H: 12800) for shooting from bright light to low light compatible with eye Fi cards Multimedia cards (MMC) cannot be used
  • Built in Wi Fi and NFC connectivity provide easy sharing to compatible smart devices, select social media sites and the Canon Connect Station CS100 device
  • 9 point AF system (including one center cross type AF point) and AI Servo AF provide impressive autofocus performance with accurate results AF Assist Beam Effective...

With the EOS Rebel T6, Canon is making sharing your photos easier than ever before. 

It has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC to connect the camera with smart devices and social networks. 

The sensor may not be as high quality as other models but these technical limitations are offset by its lightweight body that will make for easy travel trips, and it’s also a great entry model into photography because of the layout of its simple controls. 

Its 18MP sensor is average but can provide satisfying results when in low-light situations, so if you enjoy taking pictures at concerts or art shows, the Rebel T6 may be worth checking out!

Pros:

  • The quality of photos and videos is considerably superior to that of a point-and-shoot camera.
  • Capture support is also supported.
  • Wi-Fi and near-field communication (NFC) are available.

Cons:

  • For a family camera, the focus lag is acceptable.

8. Sony A5100

Sony a5100 16-50mm Interchangeable Lens Camera with 3-Inch Flip Up LCD (Black)
  • Ultra-fast auto focus with 179 AF points and 6Fps
  • Capture life in high resolution with 24MP APS-C sensor.Lens compatibility Sony E-mount lenses
  • Instant sharing via smartphone with Wi-Fi and NFC1
  • Record Full HD 1080/24/60P video3 up to 50MB/s. Compatible OS - Windows Vista SP2-6, Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Mac OS X (v10.7-v10.9)

The Sony A5100 is the most affordable of all the full-frame mirrorless cameras. 

It’s also lightweight, Wi-Fi and NFC enabled, super fast and impressive AF to be quicker in capturing life’s moments to staggering high ISO performance so those nighttime shots are clear—even when it’s dark outside. 

The newly updated sensor assures superb quality images with natural, accurate colors thanks to Extra Fine 24MP resolution, while 3D & face detection works flawlessly for perfect selfie pics (of you or your friends!). 

Has no viewfinder but has a tilting screen that flips down to refresh your mind during lunch breaks from work.

Pros:

  • The capable of recording stunning video.
  • Tough body.
  • Good image quality and focusing speeds

Cons:

  • There is no microphone socket.

9. Nikon D5200

Nikon D5200 24.1 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera Body Only (Black)
  • 24MP DX-format CMOS sensor
  • 39-point (9 cross type) dynamic area AF system with 3D tracking
  • Up to 5 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 1080p 30FPS HD video (1080p, 60i) with full-time contrast-detect AF

The Nikon D5200 is a camera designed for photographers who are serious about their filmmaking but not necessarily committed to DSLRs. 

It’s loaded with features and has excellent photo and video quality while being easy to use on even your first outing.

Featuring a tiltable LCD screen and compact size, it’s shaped like an SLR but without the need for bulk or weight. 

However, in typical Nikon fashion, you’re going to pay dearly for such convenience – particularly when getting accessories that should have been included with this bargain price point camera kit. 

The slow and noisy kit lens will be replaced no doubt by one of Nikon’s new series of professional-grade DX lenses, which are available at both online retailers and local retail stores.

Pros:

  • It provides superior picture quality with little noise.
  • 5fps continuous shooting.
  • At least accept a 1080p HDMI video connection.

Cons:

  • The battery life will be shorter.

10. Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500 DX-Format DSLR Two Lens Kit with AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR & AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED, Black
  • A DSLR that's as easy to use as a point and shoot camera
  • Compact, comfortable design that's great for travel and special events
  • Image sensor that's 15x larger than those used in typical smartphones for sharper, clearer pictures
  • Works with Nikon snap bridge app for sharing photos with a compatible smartphone or tablet

The Nikon D3500 is a great option for beginners and those looking to step up from point-and-shoot cameras. 

Namely, it’s built with quality optics in order to deliver clean sharp images of your landscape or family pictures. 

It has an APS-C sensor so you can shoot great portraits without the heaviness and bulk that comes with full-frame sensors! 

Plus, this camera gives you everything you need to produce high-quality prints right out of the box; just edit them using its modest list of features like Creative Effects and Peaking MODE. 

And thanks to a speedy start-up time (0.2 seconds), burst speed (5 fps), decent single-shot AF performance, speedy cycle times, good JPEG buffer size (+100 frames), and high-resolution, touchscreen LCD display (for image previews), you’ll be able to take photos of that precious moment with ease.

Pros:

  • Its class has some of the best picture quality available.
  • For APS-C, the D3500 offers excellent high ISO accuracy.
  • JPEG is by far the most common image format.
  • Single-shot AF speeds are quick.
  • Shutter lag is quite modest.

Cons:

  • There is no dedicated ISO button.
  • No 4K video.

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FAQs Over the Internet

What is the best mirrorless camera under $500?

One of the best options is the Sony A6000 Mirrorless Camera. The camera has a 24.3 MP Exmor APS-sensor capturing gorgeous images whether you’re shooting still life or shooting a video to share with friends and family on YouTube. It features an advanced Fast Hybrid Autofocus system, meaning you don’t have to worry about missed opportunities from delayed focus lock-on. It also features Wi-Fi for enjoying instant phone and computer-based image sharing, as well as remote camera control over Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile app for iOS/Android tablets and smartphones. And it boasts enhanced time-lapse with Sweep Panorama Mode and Interval Shooting; adjustable ISO up to 6400; multiple exposure settings; 8% center-weighted metering; and more.

What camera has the best image quality?

The best camera would be the Nikon D500, Canon Rebel T7i, or Sony Alpha A6300.

Picking a camera isn’t easy since cameras have vastly different characteristics and purposes. One of the most important factors is what type of pictures you’re planning to take. Some people want to shoot action shots while others prefer more artistic photos with a lot of colors. The reality is that any camera will take beautiful images as long as they are used correctly, so it’s always better to think about what type of picture you are trying to capture before making your purchase decision.

Which compact camera has the best sensor?

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV has a 1-inch sensor with a sensitivity of up to ISO12800.

The RX100 IV features uncompressed HDMI high definition video output and also supports 4K shooting. Further for those who like using manual settings, it is one of the smallest cameras to have a built-in RAW processor on its image processor–Sony’s famed “Bionz X”. One unique feature is that when you shoot an action sequence with constant movements such as sports or wildlife, it automatically takes multiple shots without the viewer needing to do so by hand–perfect for surfing users!

Conclusion

You might be surprised to know that you can get a great camera for less than 500 dollars. With the best camera under $500, you’ll have a quality device in your hands without breaking the bank. 

We recommend checking out these 10 cameras and see which one suits your needs.

 If there is still some hesitation about whether or not this is worth it, take into consideration all of the amazing photos and videos you’ll have at hand with any of these 10 models!

So, Comment below, What are your thoughts on our list? Which camera do you think should come first place as “best”? Why? And as always thanks a lot for reading!

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