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. Read more about these best cameras under 500 for beginning photographers.
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. 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.
Price: about $420
Are you seeking the best DSLR under 500? Then pay attention to 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.
It is a DX-format matrix. The lens has a tiny and lightweight fix, which allows taking astonishing shots with hands in any lighting conditions. The lens is perfect for portraits in the studio, outside and receiving nice bokeh.
Photo by Nikon D3500
Price: about $500
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is known as ‘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. 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. It is a brilliant advantage for taking portraits, in particular, if you are a beginner. In addition to it, you can take photos without even raising the camera to the eye. Agree that this function is very convenient especially when you shoot kids.
It is a 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.
Photo by Olympus GF OM-D E-M10 Mark II
Price: about $400
Are you tired of looking for the best cameras under $500? Then test 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 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.
Photo by Panasonic Lumix FZ82
Price: about $490
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 which works really great here. Finally, this nice device has decent operability of the touchscreen and perfectly handy electronic viewfinder. So don’t think twice and choose Panasonic Lumix G7 if your budget is not very big but you want good videos. It will be a worthy investment.
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.
Photo by Panasonic Lumix G7
Price: about $500
Regardless of the small size of this camera under 500, it can really impress you. 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, 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.
It is very popular among customers due to a wide-angle zoom and top quality. Achieved contrast and colors will please you for sure.
Photo by Canon Rebel SL2/200D
Price: about $450
Sony Co. managed to put such a large matrix into this compact case. Sony RX100 has a good lens, plenty of software features and a fast processor. These characteristics allow achieving a brilliant photo and video quality that is hard to imagine in a cheap device.
The is definitely one of the best travel camera under $500 that has easy manual settings, supports RAW files, and has a 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.
Photo by Sony RX100
Price: about $250
Nikon Coolpix B500 may be called the best point and shoot camera under 300 without exaggeration. Photographers, who appreciate a compact design and don’t want to carry a heavy photo gear, should pay attention to this model. It has a 40x optical zoom lens and 80x dynamic zoom along with three-inch tilting LCD, which 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.
Photo by Nikon Coolpix B500
Price: about $400
GoPro HERO7 is a perfect camera for underwater video recording. Its set of features allows recording top-rank underwater videos as well as taking great travel pictures. Due to the hyper smooth video stabilizer, this is the best camera for video under 500, demonstrating clear and smooth results.
It can record 8x slow-motion and time warp videos. Moreover, Live Streaming belongs to its main advantages that YouTube bloggers love the most. In other words, having GoPro HERO7 you may instantly share your extreme experience with your followers. I should claim that great durability distinguishes this device from other cameras under 500.
Its water-resistant body guarantees effective work at a depth up to 33ft (10m). A touch screen and voice control are the features that are really helpful for intrepid explorers making it the best travel camera under 500. Finally, due to its intuitive menu, the camera is really user-friendly.
Photo by GoPro Hero 7
Price: about $450
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 more qualitative and costly Canon models. So, 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 benefits making this portable DSLR body really pleasant to use. Ability to ‘rack focus’ dragging a finger across the touchscreen is a nice bonus for people who are going to record video with this camera.
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.
Photo by Canon EOS M100
Price: about $320
Due to its 18.0 Megapixel CMOS image sensor and DIGIC 4+ Image Processor, Canon EOS Rebel T6 belongs to my list of best cameras under 500. It records qualitative videos and photographs even in the dark environment. 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, Canon EOS Rebel T6 demonstrates great results and is targeted at the contemporary demands of beginning photographers.
The main advantage that distinguishes this lens among other I reviewed here is the convenience. It is 23 mm-long and freely fits into the pocket. Moreover, it offers a nice sharpness in the center.
Photo by Canon EOS Rebel T6
Price: about $400
Shooters will be impressed with how Panasonic handles autofocus taking bright and sharp pictures. It is the best compact camera under 500 with a 2.8 aperture across all areas of the spectrum for shooting in the building. A fixed Leica lens is great. Moreover, Lumix FZ300 has a weather resistant body that is awesome for travel photography.
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 publishes in Instagram.
Photo by Panasonic Lumix FZ300
Price: about $350
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 among the ones I review above.
Although 9 fps continuous shooting mode enables to take only 3 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.
Photo by Panasonic Lumix FZ72
Price: about $430
Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is an ‘entry-level’ version of 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 the pocket.
The 3” 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 Mark II with a smartphone or tablet to control it remotely. Finally, Wi-Fi offers unlimited possibilities for sharing your content on the web.
Photo by Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
|Nikon D3500OUR CHOICE||VIEW PRICE|
|Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IIBEST MIRRORLESS||VIEW PRICE|
|Panasonic Lumix FZ82BEST BRIDGE CAMERA||VIEW PRICE|
|Panasonic Lumix G7BEST 4K||VIEW PRICE|
|Canon Rebel SL2/ 200D FOR BEGINNERS||VIEW PRICE|
|Sony RX100FOR PROFESSIONALS||VIEW PRICE|
|Nikon Coolpix B500BUDGET||VIEW PRICE|
|GoPro Hero 7 FOR VIDEO||VIEW PRICE|
|Canon EOS M100||VIEW PRICE|
|Canon EOS Rebel T6||VIEW PRICE|
|Panasonic Lumix FZ300||VIEW PRICE|
|Panasonic Lumix FZ72||VIEW PRICE|
|Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II||VIEW PRICE|
Owning $500, you may get a mirrorless beginner camera, the best entry-level DSLR, or the latest compact one. In general, the choice primarily depends on your demands and goals, therefore, I have prepared the list of key features that are to be considered while buying the best camera under 500.
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.
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 to catch the desired moment if your gadget can take more frames per second.
As a rule, many point and shoot cameras offer auto modes for various environments. It saves photographer’s time and helps use background effectively.
If you shoot moving objects and do not use a tripod, such parameter as ISO is very important for you. It measures the light your sensor can catch. So, picking the best camera under 500, mind the ISO range. The higher ISO your camera has, the better the shutter speed is.
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.
Viewfinder builds a frame as well as handles the sharpness and focus. Shutter speed, light sensitivity, exposure compensation are also displayed. I suppose that a viewfinder is definitely among the advantages that are offered by these cameras.
Moreover, the best camera under 500 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.
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.