Best Camera Under 500

Best Camera Under 500

Are you looking for the best camera under 500 dollars with good camera characteristic and nice image quality? I’ve tested 13 mirrorless, compact, and DSLR cameras in this price range from different camera brands to help you choose a good and budget-friendly camera body.

best camera under 500

What Is the Best Camera Under 500?

Most people are sure that a really good camera has a very high price. Actually, it is not so. You can purchase the best cameras under 500 that show high-quality results. The reasons for it are quite clear.

best cameras under 500

First of all, the digital photography technologies develop rapidly and the features integrated into more expensive cameras are now present in basic models. Secondly, camera brands often offer to buy older photo equipment at a lower cost, so you can easily become the owner of a powerful DSLR camera at a very reasonable price.

Best Camera Under 500 in 2019

Read more about these 13 best cameras under 500 dollars for beginning photographers and enthusiasts.


1. Nikon D3500

Nikon dslr under 500 View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Top image quality
  • Compact design
  • Rapid autofocus speed
  • Automatic photo transfer via Bluetooth
  • A close position to the subject allows control of depth of field
Cons-
  • No touch support in fixed LCD
  • The absence of mic input
 

Are you seeking the best DSLR under 500 dollars? Then pay attention to the Nikon D3500. This compact DSLR camera combines top-quality results and fantastic characteristics. Everyone can easily use it for taking wonderful shots in good and low light.

This model has a large DX-format matrix with a resolution of 24.2 million pixels. It means photographers will be able to shoot and record videos in Full HD format with high details even in low light. This, as well as the capabilities of NIKKOR lenses, allows you to create beautiful portraits with a blurred background.

Recommended camera lens:

Nikon 35mm f/1.8G DX

This is a DX-format matrix. The lens has a tiny and lightweight fix, which allows you to take astonishing shots with your hands in any lighting conditions. The lens is perfect for portraits in the studio, outside and receiving nice bokeh.

Nikon 

best camera under 500 photo Photo by Nikon D3500

2. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

Olympus OM-D E-M10 best camera under 500 View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Integrated Wi-Fi
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • Swivel touch monitor
  • Built-in electronic viewfinder of high quality
  • Hot shoe connector for external flash
Cons-
  • The absence of 4K video recording
  • Too-complicated menu settings
  • Noise from image stabilization system
 

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is known as a ‘Micro Four Thirds’ camera (MFT). It has a tiny image sensor but this fact surely doesn’t prevent it from being the best mirrorless camera under 500 dollars. The 16MP sensor is widely used in all Olympus mirrorless cameras. It provides users with great RAW and JPEG photo quality.

This camera model also has fantastic autofocus with eye and face detection. This feature is a brilliant advantage for taking portraits, in particular, if you are a beginner. In addition, you can take photos without even raising the camera to your eye. This function is very convenient, especially when you’re photographing kids.

Recommended camera lens:

Panasonic 12-35mm f/2,8 ASPH

This is the perfect choice both for beginners and professionals. It is possible to focus on plenty of scenes. Choose this lens for shooting landscapes, studio portraits or any other type of photography.

Olympus camera shot Photo by Olympus GF OM-D E-M10 Mark II
  • If you’re ready to drop more money on your camera, I recommend you read about the best cameras for photography that are demanded today and used by experts all over the world. Find out what is the best cheap camera for professional photography.

3. Panasonic Lumix FZ82

Panasonic Lumix FZ82 View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Decent color rendering and photo quality
  • Powerful 12x zoom
  • Excellent optical stabilizer
  • Capacious battery
Cons-
  • Small matrix size 
  • Max sensitivity is ISO 3200
  • You can only use the original battery
 

Are you tired of looking for the best cameras under $500? Then test the Panasonic Lumix FZ82. It is a perfect choice for beginners which still offers a wide range of opportunities. This bridge camera has a powerful lens covering a focal length range of 20–1200 mm, equivalent to 35 mm. This camera will please you with an excellent optical zoom as well.

You will be able to control shooting modes thanks to manual settings for video and photography. Don’t worry about the 18.1MP High-Sensitivity MOS sensor as it can be used even in low-light conditions. Finally, this camera will meet the requirements of the shooter who is fond of travelling. It is absolutely unnecessary to carry additional optics for focal lengths.

panasonic lumix fz82 photography Photo by Panasonic Lumix FZ82
  • If you want a cheap camera, I recommend you read about the best digital cameras under 200 dollars that you can use for amateur or travel photography.

4. Panasonic Lumix G7

Panasonic Lumix bridge camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Enhanced low-light performance
  • 3.5mm microphone input jack
  • Brilliant video performance
  • Swivel LCD monitor
  • Solid and scratch-proof
Cons-
  • Has plastic build
 

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 can boast of the presence of a vari-angle touchscreen, a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, and a 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor. The model is the best 4K camera under 1000 dollars and it works really great. Finally, this nice device has decent operability of the touchscreen and a perfectly handy electronic viewfinder. So don’t think twice and choose the Panasonic Lumix G7 if your budget is not very big but you want good videos. It will be a worthy investment.

Recommended camera lens:

Panasonic Lumix GX Vario 35-100mm f/2.8

The lens has f/2.8 brightness across the whole zoom range. It also features great autofocus for capturing video or fast-paced images. It will manage live sporting event video recording as well.

Panasonic Lumix compact camera shot Photo by Panasonic Lumix G7
  • Want to get sharp portraits with charming background bokeh? Read more about the best cameras for portraits and lenses that are recommended for professional usage.

5. Canon Rebel SL2/200D

Canon best camera under 500 View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Vari-angle touchscreen
  • A wide range of modes
  • Fantastic image quality
  • Long-exposure shots are brilliant
  • Small and lightweight
Cons-
  • Only 9 AF points for viewfinder shooting
 

Regardless of the small size of this camera under 500, it can really impress you. The SL2 lets users take high-quality photos with astonishing color reproduction and a resolution of 24.2 megapixels. Such characteristics mean you can easily create nice photos for your family album, Instagram, Facebook, prints of large format, and online galleries.

This DSLR camera has a DIGIC 7 processor so even poor lighting conditions will not prevent you from taking good images. It is a perfect choice for beginners and travelers that you can buy at a reasonable price.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon 17-40mm f/4L

This is very popular among customers due to a wide-angle zoom and top quality. The achieved contrast and colors will please you for sure.

Canon camera under 500 shot Photo by Canon Rebel SL2/200D
  • If you are a fan of the Canon camera brand and want a cheap DSLR or point & shoot camera, read more about all the cheap Canon cameras you can buy nowadays.

6. Sony RX100

Sony RX100 dslr under 500 View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Fantastic photo quality
  • Full manual controls
  • Nice outdoor and low-light visibility
  • Supports RAW files
  • A compact body with smart controls
Cons-
  • Weak battery life
 

Sony has managed to put such a large matrix into this compact case. The Sony RX100 has a good lens, plenty of software features, and a fast processor. These characteristics allow you to achieve a brilliant photo and video quality that is hard to imagine in a cheap device.

The is definitely a best travel camera under $500 because of its easy manual settings, support of RAW files, and rapid Carl Zeiss lens. The camera is also often referred to as the best camera for video under 500 but only during the daytime. Choose this model and it won’t let you down for sure.

Sony RX100 camera under 500 image Photo by Sony RX100

7. Nikon Coolpix B500

best nikon dslr cameras under $1000 View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Fantastic photo quality
  • Long battery life
  • Huge zoom
Cons-
  • The absence of a viewfinder
  • AA batteries
 

The Nikon Coolpix B500 may be called the best point and shoot camera under 300 dollars without exaggeration. Photographers who appreciate a compact design and don’t want to carry heavy photo gear should pay attention to this model. It has a 40x optical zoom lens and 80x dynamic zoom along with a three-inch tilting LCD that will help you find new, interesting angles. Moreover, this camera features such necessary options as NFC technology, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which will help transfer photos to a PC or your smartphone.

Nikon dslr cameras under 500 shot Photo by Nikon Coolpix B500
  • If you are looking for the best camera under 500 dollars for your child, check out this list of 15 best cameras for kids that are user-friendly and show nice results.

8. GoPro Hero 7

GoPro dslr cameras under 500 View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • 4K video format
  • Timewarp videos
  • Live streaming
  • Great video stabilization
  • Water-resistant body
Cons-
  • Runs hot when recording 4K video
  • Short battery life
 

GoPro HERO7 is a perfect camera for underwater video recording. Its set of features allows you to record top-rank underwater videos as well as take great travel pictures. Due to the hyper-smooth video stabilizer, this is the best camera for video under 500 dollars, demonstrating clear and smooth results.

It can record 8x slow-motion and time warp videos. Moreover, live streaming is one of the main advantages that YouTube bloggers love the most. In other words, having the GoPro HERO7 you may instantly share your extreme experiences with your followers. I should also note that great durability distinguishes this device from other cameras under 500 dollars.

Its water-resistant body guarantees effective work at a depth up to 33 feet (10 meters). A touchscreen and voice control are two more features that are really helpful for intrepid explorers, making it the best travel camera under 500 dollars. Finally, due to its intuitive menu, the camera is really user-friendly.

gopro camera under 500 picture Photo by GoPro Hero 7

9. Canon EOS M100

Canon EOS cameras under 500 View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Very portable
  • Quick autofocus
  • Movable touch screen
  • Integrated flash
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth modules
Cons-
  • Lacks EVF or mic input
  • A limited number of original lenses
  • Touch interface is confusing
  • Outdated 1080p video
 

This digital single-lens non-reflex AF/AE camera is modernized with a 24MP APS-C sensor and Dual Pixel autofocus system, which were borrowed from higher-quality and costlier Canon models. So, the Ш may fairly state that the price truly corresponds to the quality.

The Dual Pixel autofocus and 180-degree tilting touchscreen are definitely among the camera’s benefits, making this portable DSLR body really pleasant to use. The ability to ‘rack focus’ by dragging a finger across the touchscreen is a nice bonus for people who are going to record video with this camera.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM

Universal lens for EOS M models that is a perfect option for creative shooters. It has 8.3x optical zoom, STM focusing system, and optical image stabilization equivalent to 4 exposure steps.

Canon cameras under 500 night shot Photo by Canon EOS M100
  • If you are going to take product or food photography for your shop or online galleries, I recommend you read about the best cameras for product photography for an affordable price.

10. Canon EOS Rebel T6

Canon EOS cameras under 500 View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Good image quality
  • Wi-Fi/NFC modules
  • Quick autofocus
  • RAW support
Cons-
  • Short battery life
  • Unmovable screen
 

Due to its 18.0 megapixel CMOS image sensor and DIGIC 4+ image processor, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 belongs to my list of the best cameras under 500. It records high-quality videos and photographs even in dark environments. Moreover, you may instantly share your images on the web through the integrated Wi-Fi and NFC modules.

It has the Scene Intelligent Auto mode, adjusting the gadget to your particular requirements. Thanks to its advancements, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 demonstrates great results and is targeted at the contemporary demands of beginning photographers.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon EF 40mm F/2.8 STM

The main advantage that distinguishes this lens among others I’ve reviewed here is the convenience. It is 23 mm long and freely fits into a pocket. Moreover, it offers a nice sharpness in the center.

Canon camera portrait Photo by Canon EOS Rebel T6

11. Panasonic Lumix FZ300

panasonic lumix compact camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Great grip
  • Amazing zoom range
  • Touchscreen LCD
  • 4K video format
  • Wi-Fi module
Cons-
  • Rather small sensor
  • Restricted angles due to a fixed lens
 

Shooters will be impressed with how Panasonic handles autofocus, taking bright and sharp pictures. It is the best compact camera under 500 dollars with a 2.8 aperture across all areas of the spectrum for shooting indoors. The fixed Leica lens is great. Moreover, Lumix FZ300 has a weather-resistant body that is awesome for travel photography.

An integrated Wi-Fi module allows you to control the gadget remotely with your mobile phone. It is certainly a good point-and-shoot that is fairly convenient while also providing top-rank images. Panasonic Lumix FZ300 is a stylish device with quick response and excellent results. Undoubtedly, it is one of the best variants for those whose photos are published on Instagram.

panasonic lumix compact camera image Photo by Panasonic Lumix FZ300

12. Panasonic Lumix FZ72

panasonic lumix compact camera View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • Great zoom range
  • Great wireless performance
  • Simple and logical controls
  • Hot shoe and a microphone windshield
Cons-
  • Absence of eye sensor on EVF
  • Rather heavy
 

The Panasonic Lumix DMC is a very popular camera choice in this price range. It has the 60x optical zoom lens, 1 cm minimum focusing distance, and HDR shooting mode. Due to its features, it is one of the best cameras under 500 dollars among the ones I review above.

Although the 9 fps continuous shooting mode enables you to take only three shots, you may switch to slower modes to shoot for longer. The sensor is comparatively small, offering an average picture quality, but this drawback may be ignored because it is an ideal compact with a satisfying zoom for such money.

Panasonic Lumix photo Photo by Panasonic Lumix FZ72

13. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II camera under 500 View Prices on Amazon
Pros+
  • High-quality lens providing excellent photos
  • Optical stabilizer
  • Big matrix
  • Great number of manual settings
  • Built-in NFC and Wi-Fi modules
Cons-
  • Poor battery life
  • Little buttons are rather inconvenient
  • No lens cap
 

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is an ‘entry-level’ version of the Canon G9 X. This premium compact camera has a CMOS matrix with 20.1 million MP, taking photographs with 5472x3648 resolution. The size of the camera is also among its advantages. You don’t need a special camera bag since it easily fits into a pocket.

The 3-inch touchscreen is great for daytime shooting even in harsh light. Besides, the screen is comparatively intuitive. Due to the built-in Wi-Fi module, you may synchronize the Mark II with a smartphone or tablet to control it remotely. Finally, Wi-Fi offers unlimited possibilities for sharing your content on the web.

Canon 

Powershot camera picture Photo by Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

13 Best Cameras Under 500

Image Camera Characteristics  
Nikon dslr under 500
Nikon D3500
OUR CHOICE
  • 24MP
  • Full HD 1080p
  • CMOS sensor
Check PRICE
Olympus OM-D E-M10 best camera under 500
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
BEST MIRRORLESS
  • 16 MP
  • Full HD 1080p
  • 4/3 Live MOS Sensor
Check PRICE
Panasonic Lumix FZ82
Panasonic Lumix FZ82
BEST BRIDGE CAMERA
  • 18 MP
  • 4k
  • CMOS sensor
Check PRICE
Panasonic Lumix bridge camera
Panasonic Lumix G7
BEST 4K
  • 16 MP
  • 4k
  • 4/3 Live MOS Sensor
Check PRICE
Canon best camera under 500
Canon Rebel SL2/ 200D
FOR BEGINNERS
  • 24 MP
  • Full HD 1080p
  • CMOS sensor
Check PRICE
Sony RX100 dslr under 500
Sony RX100
FOR PROFESSIONALS
  • 20 MP
  • 4k
  • CMOS sensor
Check PRICE
best nikon dslr cameras under $1000
Nikon Coolpix B500
BUDGET
  • 16 MP
  • Full HD 1080p
  • CMOS sensor
Check PRICE
GoPro dslr cameras under 500
GoPro Hero 7
FOR VIDEO
  • Full HD
  • 4k
Check PRICE
Canon EOS cameras under 500
Canon EOS M100
  • 24 MP
  • 4k
  • CMOS sensor
Check PRICE
Canon EOS cameras under 500
Canon EOS Rebel T6
  • 218 MP
  • Full HD 1080p
  • CMOS sensor
Check PRICE
panasonic lumix compact camera
Panasonic Lumix FZ300
  • 12 MP
  • 4k
  • CMOS sensor
Check PRICE
panasonic lumix compact camera
Panasonic Lumix FZ72
  • 16 MP
  • Full HD 1080p
  • CMOS sensor
Check PRICE
Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II camera under 500
Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
  • 20 MP
  • Full HD 1080p
  • CMOS sensor
Check PRICE

How to Choose Best Camera Under $500

With a budget of $500, you may get a mirrorless beginner camera, the best entry-level DSLR, or the latest compact camera. In general, the choice primarily depends on your demands and goals. Therefore, I have prepared a list of the key features to consider when buying the best camera under 500.

1. Megapixels

The sensor can record a certain amount of information and the number of pixels directly influences this amount. This means that the more megapixels your camera has, the better your images are.

2. Frames Per Second

This particular feature is the number of shots per second. Shooters who are engaged in taking pictures of moving objects are mainly interested in high frame rate. In other words, you will have a better chance of catching the desired moment if your gadget can take more frames per second.

3. Camera Modes

As a rule, many point-and-shoot cameras offer auto modes for various environments. It saves the photographer’s time and helps them to use the background effectively.

4. ISO

If you shoot moving objects and do not use a tripod, the ISO parameter is very important for you. It measures the light your sensor can catch. So, when picking the best camera under 500 dollars, mind the ISO range. The higher ISO your camera has, the better the shutter speed is.

5. Video

To my mind, there is no need to purchase an expensive video camera since it is still unclear whether you will use it at some point.

6. Viewfinder

The viewfinder builds a frame as well as handles the sharpness and focus. Shutter speed, light sensitivity, and exposure compensation are also displayed. I suppose that a viewfinder is definitely among the advantages that are offered by these cameras.

7. Additional Functions

Moreover, the best camera under 500 dollars should feature additional functions. For instance, you may experience the benefits of Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, use different effects and filters, and enjoy convenient touchscreens.


Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments. read more