You’re heading out to the city or on a weekend getaway and you want to take a fully capable camera without having to worry about it getting knocked around or the weight of a full rig. That’s where our guide comes in the for the best digital cameras under $500. The cameras in this list have all the features of their bigger brothers in a smaller package. Our guide includes all the categories you would expect including DSLRs, Mirrorless cameras, and point-and-shoot cameras. First up are the DSLRs. Yup believe it or not there are some nice DSLRs out there with some great features for under $500 bucks.
Best DSLR Cameras Under $500
Just because these DSLR cameras are inexpensive, it doesn’t mean they can handle the jobs of their bigger counterparts. For the most part, you’re looking at APS-C sensors with 18 megapixels and above. If these cameras are lacking anywhere it’s in the ISO. Though respectable, these guys aren’t going to be in the same category as more expensive cameras like the Sony A7 series.
Nikon D5300 DSLR Camera
Offering exceptional image quality for all levels of photographer, opt for the Nikon D5300 DSLR Camera ($470). It features a 24MP DX-format CMOS sensor with no optical low pass filter and a 39-point AF system with 3D tracking and 3D matrix metering. Capable of shooting at 5 frames per second during continuous shooting, it’s ISO functionality ranges from 100 – 12800 with the option to expand up to 25600. It can shoot at 1080P or 720P with HD video recording and both Raw and Raw+ JPEG shooting. Built-in Wi-Fi allows for instant sharing as well as remote camera control with GPS tracking. No matter your skill level, this Nikon camera is an economical addition to your kit.
Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera
Stick to your budget when you invest in the Nikon d3400 DSLR Camera($496). This digital SLR camera features a 24MP DX-format CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter. A 39-point AF system features 3D tracking and 3D matrix metering II with the capability to record at 5 frames per second during continuous shooting. The ISO settings can be altered between 100 – 12800 with the option to expand even more up to 25600. A 3.2 cari-angle LCD features 1,037,000 dots and the camera is fully functional to record in both 1080P and 720P. Build in Wi-Fi and GPS allow images and videos to be shared instantly while also allowing for remote camera operation. This compact camera has been designed to come on every single one of your adventures so you don’t miss a moment.
Nikon d3300 DSLR Camera
The Nikon d3300 DSLR Camera ($396) is a highly functional and economical option for the budding photographer. It has an ultra-compact design that benefits from a zoom lens and a 24.2 MP CMOS DX-format sensor. It can effectively shoot continuously at 5 frames per second with 11 AF points and 3D tracking. The ISO capabilities expand from 100 all the way up to 12800 with the option to extend even further to 25600. A 3 inch LC features 921,000 dots while the Wifi connectivity allows you to connect to your smartphone or other compatible devices. Capture all those cherished moments and keep them locked away safely with this functional camera.
Canon Rebel T6 DSLR Camera
Developed by a leading and well-trusted band, opt for the Canon Rebel T6 DSLR Camera ($360). A low-cost option for any photographer, it benefits from an 18.0 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor and DIGIC 4+ Image Processor. Able to capture video in full HD 1080P, it has a 9-point autofocus system with center cross-type point – ideal for those still learning. The ISO capabilities can be extended from 100 up to 6400 with the option to expand further to 12800 if required. Build in Wifi allows the camera to connect to your smartphone or device to enable quick sharing or remote camera use. For high-quality photos and exceptional performance, this economical camera option promises to become a firm favorite in your kit collection.
Canon Rebel T5 DSLR Camera
When seeking an economic camera option, the Canon Rebel T5 DSLR Camera ($370) has a wealth of technology included within. The 18 megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensory with DIGIC 4 image processor produces crisp and clear images every time. It is supplied as standard with an EF-S 18-55mm IS II standard zoom lens to help improve the composition of your photos. A 3 inch LC TFT color liquid-crystal monitor allows for instant viewing and sharing with additional creative filters available on hand. This powerful camera also captures 1080P full HD videos that can be captured either with or without the flash. An exceptional option for any photographer, this compact camera has all the functionalities you’ll need to take outstanding photos.
Mirrorless Cameras Under $500
The under $500 Mirrorless Camera category is probably my favorites. These are compact cameras, that shoot great video, and have pretty good ISO. Most allow you to capture full HD video at 60 fps, but if you want 4K video you’ll have to bump up to more of an enthusiast camera.
Sony Alpha a5100 Mirrorless Camera
The Sony Alpha a5100 Mirrorless Camera ($448) is a lightweight and low-cost option for your photography kit. It features a 3 flip-up LCD screen which allows you to analyze the view before taking the photo. Ultra-fast autofocusing, it is capable of capturing 24.3MP of detail even in low light conditions with 179 AF points and 6 frames per second. The camera can also record at full HD 1080P, 24P or 60P and up to 50MB per second. Wifi connectivity allows you to instantly share your photos and videos to your smartphone or another device in seconds. This handheld camera slips easily into any bag and promises to become an essential travel companion in no time.
Canon Eos M10 Mirrorless Camera
For lightweight and compact function, the Canon Eos M10 Mirrorless Camera ($450) will quickly become essential to your resources. It features an 18.0MP CMOS APS-C sensor with ISO capabilities between 100 – 12800. Combined with the DIGIC 6 Image Processor, it helps to capture photos and videos in exceptional detail. The Hybrid CMOS AF II ensures speedy autofocus with maximum continuous shooting speeds of up to 4.6 fps. The intuitive 3-inch touchscreen can be angled up to 180-degrees upwards – perfect for shooting at unusual angles. The camera is also capable of recording full HD 1920×1080 movies at 24P and 30P in MP4 format. An exceptional addition to the most comprehensive of kits and one that will become much used in no time.
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Camera
With it’s compact and handheld design, the Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Camera ($98) is suitable for all skill levels of photographer. It features a 3 tilting LC screen which is fully compatible with all Sony E Mount lenses. The 24 MP APS-C CMOS sensor has IOS capabilities between 100 – 25600 and a focus sensitivity range between EV 0 – EV 20. Able to capture up to 11 FPS during continuous shooting, the built-in Wi-Fi functionality is compatible with both IOS and Windows to ease of use. For video the a6000 allows you to capture full HD at 60fps. The OLED electronic viewfinder offers 100% coverage with 14 million dots while the camera is able to carry a range of different memory cards. A practical and economical option for your tools, this Sony Alpha camera will help you to capture those cherished memories.
Point-And-Shoot Cameras Under $500
If you just want to be able to whip it out and take your shot. Our point-and-shoot category is where you should be looking. These cameras are the smallest on our list, attached lenses, and some great features.
Sony RX100/B Point-And-Shoot Camera
Easy to use and highly functional, the Sony RX100/B Point-And-Shoot Camera ($448) is an exceptional addition to your existing photography kit. Capturing images at 20.2MP in detail, it features an Exmor CMOS sensor with a F/18-49 lens and an expandable IOS between 80 – 25,600. The 3 LCD screen has 12 million dots to allow for accurate reviewing while the steady-shot image stabilization ensures every photo is as crisp as possible. It has been inbuilt with burst mode up to approximately 10 frames per second with a bright F18 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens. It can capture full HD video at 1080/60P with both manual control and dual record. Durable enough for everyday use, this lightweight camera is sure to become a staple in your arsenal.
Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II Point-And-Shoot Camera
The Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II Point-And-Shoot Camera ($449) is designed for easy use by all skill levels and should definitely be considered for your next purchase. The ultra-slim design features a 1.0-inch, 20.1 megapixel CMOS sensor powered by the DIGIC 7 Image Processor. It weighs in at just 7.3 ounces with a high-quality image sensor and bright f/20 lens. The fast shutter speed reduces the risk of blurred final images while varied focusing options allow you to create all kinds of images with a few clocks. It fits easily into pockets or bags and is capable of holding memory cards up to 64GB in size. The camera also has Wifi and Bluetooth capabilities for instant sharing. Discover effective and highly functional photography with the click of a button with this lightweight camera option.
Canon Powershot SX720 HS Point-And-Shoot Camera
With its powerful design, the Canon Powershot SX720 HS Point-And-Shoot Camera ($275) offers everything you need to get started with photography. A powerful 40x optical zoom combines with intelligent IS to ensure less blur and image stabilization. 23.0 megapixels from the CMOS sensor combines with DIGIC 6 Image Processor to create sharp images even at low light. You are able to record at 1080P full HD at 60p with stereo sound while the large 3 LCD screen allows you to capture photos at unusual angles. In addition, built-in Wifi compatibility means you can instantly share footage with friends and family. Make sure you never miss the chance to capture those moments that mean the most with this compact handheld camera.