10 Best Cheap Cameras: Must-Have Options For a Good Start

By Tati Taylor 4 days ago, Cameras & Lenses

Top-rated cheap cameras for beginners.

top 3 cheap cameras

Talking about the best cheap camera, different people imagine such a device in a different way. Some photographers think about a camera that can be upgraded for their future adventures, while others are shopping within a tight budget and have to put up with several compromises when it comes to specs.

On average, high-quality cameras can cost about $500. However, if you can’t afford to pay that sum, examine the market in more detail as there are decent options with a $100 price tag. They can completely satisfy the needs of beginner photographers.

Top 10 Best Cheap Cameras

  1. Canon EOS Rebel T100 / 4000D - The best cheap camera
  2. OLYMPUS OM-D E-M10 Mark IV - Small size
  3. AKASO Brave 4 Pro - Cheap action camera
  4. Pentax K-70 - WLAN and rotatable display
  5. Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 - Great optical zoom
  6. Panasonic LUMIX ZS100 - Stylish
  7. AKASO Brave 7 - For extreme shooting
  8. Canon EOS RP - Compact & lightweight
  9. Kodak PixPro FZ43 - Bright display
  10. Fujifilm Instax Wide 300 - Works very fast

I picked these cameras focusing on their affordable price. The list contains cameras under $100, as well as those priced for 400, and 500 dollars. You will see such types of devices as entry level DSLRs, mirrorless cameras for beginners and point and shoot cameras.

1. Canon EOS Rebel T100/4000D – Our Choice

The best cheap camera
canon eos rebel t100 4000d cheap camera

Type: DSLR | Resolution: 18 MP | Screen type: LCD | Optical Zoom: 3x | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 3 fps

  • ✚ Remarkable image quality
  • ✚ Rather wide shutter speed range
  • ✚ Precisely tracks moving faces
  • ✚ Best bang for the buck
  • Made of plastic and looks bulky

Beginner photographers shopping for cheap photography cameras should study this device. This is a DSLR camera that brags about an accurate focus regardless of shooting conditions. If you like taking images in scarce lighting, you’ll definitely appreciate its capability to keep graininess low even at high ISO levels. The image quality is on point and all colors in photos are lifelike. The only thing that can cause doubts is a plastic construction without weather protection.

This Canon camera can’t interest users with such frills as 4K recording and FHD shooting options, but this isn’t strange judging by the price. In fact, it is advertised as a photography camera, with AF doing wonders when capturing stills. The device will accurately track subjects and can even focus on faces.

Recommended lens:

Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM

This is one of the most popular standard lenses among photographers. It provides a soft blur and thanks to the wide aperture you get a narrow depth of field. The developers have taken care to minimize glare and ghosting.

photo by canon eos rebel t100 4000d


Small size
olympus om d e m10 mark iv cheap camera

Type: Mirrorless | Resolution: 20 MP | Screen type: LCD | Optical Zoom: 10x | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10 fps

  • ✚ Upgraded 20MP sensor
  • ✚ Stylish body
  • ✚ High-accuracy C-AF
  • ✚ Flip-down screen
  • Doesn’t have a mic port
  • Plastic body

Featuring an upgraded 20MP sensor, it also boasts improved image stabilization features. The device comes with a flip-down monitor that can be tilted in any direction. In addition, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV has other advantages. It allows you to shoot the 4K footage, which makes it perfect for novice users. The Mark IV also stands out for its stylish design.

This budget camera has several shooting modes and supports a range of image processing algorithms. You can use it with different Micro Four Thirds lenses.

Recommended lens:

Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f1.8

A remarkable lens for the best inexpensive camera. It is suitable for photographers taking portraits. Its wide aperture makes this lens perfect for recreating the most amazing ideas. The design and construction of the lens allow you to enjoy a comfortable shooting process.

photo by olympus om d em10 mark iv

3. AKASO Brave 4 Pro

Cheap action camera
akaso brave 4 pro cheap camera

Type: Action | Resolution: 20 MP | Screen type: Touch Screen Advanced EIS | Optical Zoom: 5x | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 60 fps

  • ✚ Fantastic image stabilization
  • ✚ Excellent zooming
  • ✚ Suitable for underwater recording
  • ✚ 4K video shooting supported
  • Waterproof case could be better

AKASO Brave 4 Pro is a great action camera that supports 4K and 1080p recording. It has a small size and is fitted with a protective case. Thus, you can use it for shooting in rainy weather and even submerge under water down to 131 ft/40m. However, don’t confuse this model with waterproof cameras. Only if you put it inside a case, it is protected from outer influence.

This camera also has a capacious battery and great stabilization. Unfortunately, the frame rates are limited – you can only get 30fps in 4K and 30fps or 60fps in 1080p. Thus, it can’t be called the best cheap camera for recording super slow-motion videos. Anyway, if you want a reliable budget-friendly and intuitive camera, this device will fully satisfy you.

4. Pentax K-70

WLAN and rotatable display
pentax k70 cheap camera

Type: DSLR | Resolution: 24.2 MP | Screen type: LCD | Optical Zoom: 5x | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 6 fps

  • ✚ Amazing image resolution
  • ✚ Watertight design
  • ✚ Photo quality is fantastic
  • ✚ AF with phase detection
  • Short burst modeling shooting
  • Disappointing video mode

Pentax K-70 is one of the best cheap good quality cameras for portrait photography, which allows savoring every moment of a photo session. I believe this is a wonderful device for aspiring photographers learning the ropes of the trade. The camera has a 24MP sensor that makes it possible to get a good shallow depth of field in portraits. Besides, you can experiment with framing and receive very detailed photos.

To feel the entire potential of this camera, you should combine it with a proper lens. Portrait photographers often choose the device when they want to highlight minute details such as jewels, hair, make-up, etc.

The stabilization of the K-70 deserves many complimentary words. So, shooting even at large focal lengths and with increased aperture, you can get images of top quality. The best part is that the camera allows taking clear portraits during nighttime photoshoots.

Recommended lens:

Sigma 50mm F1.4

This lens is setting brand new standards for the Art line with its revised, modernized design and functionality. It will be a perfect match for fashion portraiture, landscapes, street and studio photos.

photo by pentax k-70

Photo by Pentax K-70

5. Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80

Great optical zoom
panasonic lumix dc fz80 cheap camera

Type: Point and shoot | Resolution: 18.1 MP | Screen type: LCD | Optical Zoom: 60x | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10 fps

  • ✚ Fast AF
  • ✚ Ability to take panoramic images
  • ✚ RAW format
  • ✚ The possibility of manual adjustments
  • Huge size
  • Sometimes it takes some time to zoom and focus the frame

Its primary benefit is surely the 60x optical zoom that allows shooting with incredible sharpness, clarity and detail both up-close and far away. In addition, it features an optical image stabilizer that prevents blurring during hand-held shooting. Besides, the DMC-FZ70 has a lens covering the focal length of 20-1200 mm.

The maximum aperture value changes from F/2.8 to F/5.9 as the focal length increases. This device is considered to be the best budget camera because of its high quality of images, different modes and the possibility of entirely manual control.

photo by panasonic lumix dc fz80

6. Panasonic LUMIX ZS100

panasonic lumix zs100 cheap camera

Type: Point and shoot | Resolution: 20.1 MP | Screen type: LCD | Optical Zoom: 10x | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10 fps

  • ✚ Compact size
  • ✚ Good image quality
  • ✚ 4K video
  • ✚ Long battery life
  • The autofocus speed is just middling
  • Rivals with identical zoom are better in low light

Compiling the set of essential photography gear, make sure to include this device. Usually, such cameras are equipped with small matrices, but the ZS100 is an exception to the rule. By making a sensor smaller, manufacturers increase the focal length, and, what is more important, create pocket-friendly cameras. Besides, devices with small sensors are usually very compact. However, larger matrices are at an advantage over their smaller counterparts. They are capable of producing better images in low light conditions and have less noise at high ISOs.

The camera lens has a good aperture. The largest aperture is f/2.8. At maximum zoom, the aperture shrinks down to f/5.9. Thanks to a large sensor, you can beautifully blur the background, especially if you zoom out to the maximum and open the aperture.

photo by panasonic lumix zs100

7. AKASO Brave 7

For extreme shooting
akaso brave 7 cheap camera

Type: Action camera | Resolution: 20 MP | Screen type: Touch Screen EIS | Optical Zoom: 2x | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 240 fps

  • ✚ Affordable price
  • ✚ Waterproof design
  • ✚ Twin-screen design
  • ✚ Decent battery life
  • Not as advanced as high-end action cameras like GoPro
  • Difficult to access charging port when camera is in housing

AKASO Brave 7 is an affordable action camera that's great for producing videos. It comes with dual color screens, which is a cool feature. The front screen is especially handy for vloggers, as it allows you to frame your shot without having to look at the back screen. Plus, it's IPX8 waterproof, so you can take it along on your outdoor adventures without worrying about damaging it.

This is also a good camera for photography in extreme conditions as it is well-made and sturdy, giving it a high-quality feel. I really like the one-touch recording feature, as it saves you the hassle of navigating through menus to start and stop recordings. It's super convenient, especially when you're on the move.

akaso brave 7 cheap camera lifestyle

Photo by AKASO Brave 7

8. Canon EOS RP

Small size and weight
canon eos rp cheap camera

Type: Mirrorless | Resolution: 26.2 MP | Screen type: Vari-angle touchscreen | Optical Zoom: 12x | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 5 fps

  • ✚ Portable and lightweight
  • ✚ Large sensor
  • ✚ Wonderful AF
  • ✚ Full-frame model
  • Requires frequent charging

If you are a rookie photographer, who wants a camera with a big sensor but a DSLR camera isn’t an option for you, Canon EOS RP is worth checking out. It has a proprietary Digic 8 processor and reliable AF, so your shooting experience will be enjoyable. With a continuous focus, burst rates can drop to 4f/s but autofocus does an amazing job at locking it on.

Though this Canon camera has a large 26.2MP full-frame sensor, its dimensions are impressively small. Besides, the body is well-made. Similar to EOS R, it has an RF mount. Though the range of native lenses is limited, you can use a bundled adapter to connect existing EF glass options.

canon eos rp cheap camera lifestyle

Photo by Canon EOS RP

9. Kodak PixPro FZ43

Bright display
kodak pixpro fz43 cheap camera

Type: Point and shoot | Resolution: 16 MP | Screen type: LCD | Optical Zoom: 4x | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 11 fps

  • ✚ Good quality at a reasonable price
  • ✚ Lightweight
  • ✚ Easy to use
  • ✚ Color rendition is at the proper level
  • The front side gets dirty quickly
  • Exposure is overstated sometimes
  • Weak flash

If you are looking for a camera at an affordable price and with decent photo quality, then pay attention to this 16-megapixel camera from Kodak. PIXPRO FZ43 doesn’t take up much space and allows you to get great, detailed images that you can share online or in print. The maximum resolution of images is 4608x3456. In addition, you can shoot using a wide range of ISO, from 80 to 1600.

Many photographers call it the best cheap camera for its type of power supply: you simply need two AA batteries. This type of battery is super convenient; you can buy AA batteries anywhere, so the camera is perfect for those who like hiking or traveling on business. You can take photos any time you like and it won’t be difficult to get new batteries.

photo by kodak pixpro fz43

10. Fujifilm Instax Wide 300

Works very fast
fujifilm instax wide 300 cheap camera

Type: Instant | Screen type: Analogue

  • ✚ Interesting process of developing pictures
  • ✚ Manual focus (2 positions)
  • ✚ Wide-format images
  • ✚ Tripod socket
  • Expensive film
  • Doesn’t have Hi-key button

Instax Wide 300 by Fujifilm is a kind of reminder of the times when we pressed the button and looked forward to the moment when we could hold the precious image. This model doesn’t have particularly impressive characteristics; it has a 95mm f/14 lens with two focus areas and is equipped with an optical viewfinder.

Moreover, it has special controls that allow you to adjust the high and low tones of the picture. The camera runs on AA batteries and you cannot charge it through the USB. However, you don’t need anything extra because this camera can take, set, and provide you with finished photos. Having taken pictures, you can place them anywhere you wish: at home, at work or even present them to your friends.

There is nothing bad about its limited potential regarding social networks and the net. By buying this cheap photography camera, you will remember the good world of old photography. That is the value of this model.

photo by fujifilm instax wide 300
canon eos rebel t100 4000d
Canon EOS Rebel T100 / 4000D
  • Excellent photo quality
  • Rather wide shutter speed range
  • Accurately tracks moving faces
olympus om d e m10 mark iv image
  • Upgraded 20MP sensor
  • Stylish body
  • High-speed shooting
akaso brave 4 pro cheap camera
AKASO Brave 4 Pro
  • Waterproof design
  • High video quality
  • Amazing zooming

How to Choose a Good Cheap Camera?

how to choose the best cheap camera

Shopping for a new camera, you may feel confused considering the variety of offers. First of all, you need to define how much you are ready to spend on a camera. The concept of a “cheap camera” is rather vague as some people are OK with buying cameras that cost $500, while others don’t feel like spending more than 200 bucks. I decided to study the niche of affordable cameras in mode detail and listed the key criteria to keep in mind while choosing a device.

DSLR vs Mirrorless vs Point-and-Shoot

Opt for DSLR cameras if you treat photography as a serious hobby or as a money-bringing activity. Such cameras usually consist of a body and a lens attached to it. Using a DSLR, you can take high-quality photos with the possibility to print them out in large sizes. Currently, you can find a decent DSLR camera for $500.

If you are looking for the best budget camera with space-saving dimensions, you should examine the range of mirrorless cameras. Usually, they are smaller than DSLRs because of a different internal system, mainly, the absence of light-bouncing mirrors. Another argument in favor of such cameras is their interchangeable lenses, so you can easily change the lens when the shooting conditions require. You need to shell out $300-$400 to get a mirrorless camera.

Photographers with limited funds and poor shooting experience, should definitely favor point-and-shoot cameras. The shooting process, in this case, boils down to pointing a camera at an object, zooming in/out, and pressing the release button. These devices are very easy to use. The focusing and adjusting to lighting conditions are performed automatically. You can spend about $100 on such a model.

How Often You Plan to Use a Camera

Are you going to take images every day? Or you want to grab a camera on your trips to capture the beauty of new cities? In fact, you need to clarify this moment before spending money. If you plan to hone your skills on a regular basis or need a reliable “partner” for frequent photo sessions, get ready to splurge on a more expensive device.

Some people remember about their cameras only on holidays or special events, urging to document special moments. However, beginner and seasoned shooters treat such equipment more seriously and need to invest money in more sophisticated models. They typically prefer DSLRs and mirrorless cameras to point-n-shoot counterparts. Of source, the features integrated into a camera largely affect the quality of your images.

Contexts You'll Use Camera

choosing the best cheap camera

Do you need a camera for indoor shooting in a professional studio? Are you looking for the best affordable camera capable of withstanding stormy weather? Want to purchase a device that can track and capture fast-moving objects? Defining your photography scenarios, you can better understand what camera is an ideal match.

A good rule of thumb is to buy larger cameras with attached lenses for studio shooting, and choose more compact devices for snapping photos on the go.


A projector’s contrast ratio helps you better estimate the difference between the brightest and darkest picture areas. If you want a rich, colorful, and clear image, you need a high contrast ratio. The perfect ratio is about 10000:1 with most industry experts suggesting to never go below 5000:1 if you expect excellent clarity.

The contrast ratio is particularly important for home theater projectors that need to produce deep blacks. However, if you’re choosing from the best projectors under 700 dollars for daytime, then contrast isn’t as important.

Select a Camera Brand

You have probably heard about such camera manufacturers as Nikon, Canon, and Panasonic. They are trusted brands that produce high-end gear. However, sometimes it is needless to buy a super expensive camera. If you take photos several times a year, you can safely rely on a point-and-shoot camera by any brand. To purchase the best cheap camera for photography, you need to conduct a personal survey to figure out what manufacturers create products that can satisfy your demands.

Battery Life

Last but not least is the time your camera can work without recharging. Of course, you need a device that won’t let you down in the most inappropriate moment, e.g., a wedding photo session. Of course, the longer the battery life, the better. This is especially important if you are looking for the best cheap camera for photographing artwork.


  • • Can I get high-quality photos, using a budget-friendly camera?

Definitely, but you need to know what camera settings for portraits and other types of images to use. It is also important to keep tabs on lighting, exposure, and shooting angles. When the shooting stage is over, you should devote enough time to image processing, using professional photo editing software, such as Photoshop or Lightroom.

  • • What is a good MP value for a camera?

There is no clear answer to this question as much depends on how you plan to use your photos. If you want to print images, stick to 12MP value as a minimum. The bigger, the better.

  • • Is it obligatory to buy a high-priced camera to take sharp images?

Simply put, much depends on your skills, while a camera serves just as an instrument to give your ideas a physical/digital form. Of course, sometimes you need a camera of a higher quality, which typically means with a higher price tag, but don’t purchase top-tier devices if you are only starting out. 

  • • 20MP and 36MP – what’s the difference?

You can actually notice the difference only if you print pictures for banners, posters, etc., or scrutinize photos pixel by pixel. If you just look through photos on your laptop or PC, there is hardly any difference.