2017 Roundup: Interchangeable Lens Cameras around $500

Written by Gina Stephens

Latest updated: May 12, 2017

Entry-level interchangeable lens cameras have never been so affordable or more capable. There are plenty of choices around the $500 effect that will take better pictures than most cameras ever made.

They don’t always have the very latest sensors or the stiff build quality of their more expensive midrange siblings – and their controls tend to err on the side of simple, rather than extensive – but they keep an eye on to be excellent value and comparatively easy to use.

All of these cameras – both mirrored and mirrorless – produce good image quality, offer respectable engagement and can record Full HD video. The majority have Wi-Fi to make it easier to share images to a smartphone. Many of them are targeted toward beginners, with ‘helper’ systems that point out the best settings to use for various shooting situations.

Those unfamiliar with DSLR and mirrorless cameras may be wondering what drops and disadvantages each brings to the table. DSLRs are larger cameras camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or, with a more ‘traditional’ shape and control layout, as well as an optical viewfinder. While they’re artistic for shooting stills, they’re not as well suited to video capture, and focusing using live view tends to be sluggish. Mirrorless cameras are typically slighter and are very capable video shooters, and live view focusing is much faster than most DSLRs. Two negatives about mirrorless cameras are that battery spirit isn’t nearly as good as a DSLR and – especially true in this class – they often lack a viewfinder.

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Let’s take a look at several entry-level ILCs, with US MSRPs in the $500 part, kit lens included:

  • Canon EOS M10
  • Canon EOS Rebel T6
  • Fujifilm X-A3
  • Fujifilm X-A10
  • Nikon 1 J5
  • Nikon D3400
  • Olympus PEN E-PL8
  • Sony Alpha a5100
  • YI M1


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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