2015 Roundup: Interchangeable Lens Cameras $500-800

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

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The $500-$800 category (based on US MSRP) features quite a few strong offerings, some of which should gratify first-time camera buyers with easy-to-use interfaces and point-and-shot style functionality. Others are aimed more at seasoned-enthusiasts, offering direct directions controls and high-end features.

At this price point, all of the cameras use either Four Thirds or larger APS-C-sized sensors and all of the cameras can shoot Raw. And while a larger sensor can mingy the potential for better image quality and more control over depth of field, the difference in size between APS-C and Four Thirds is not prodigious. As such, the vast majority of cameras here have what we would consider to be very good image quality.

You’ll also notice that this kind contains both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Most of the mirrorless cameras at the price level offer built-in electronic viewfinders, but not all. If you’re likely to be bud in bright light on a regular basis (or you prefer that way of working) we’d recommend that you consider either a mirrorless camera with either a high-resolution EVF, or a DSLR with an optical viewfinder.

Autofocus portrayal is another major differentiator in this product class. While all of the cameras camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or in this roundup acquire focus quickly and accurately in good turn on, only a few can successfully use continuous autofocus to stay with a moving subject. And even fewer can lock focus on a subject and stay with that bound by as it moves through the X, Y and Z (depth) axes. This is important for shooting erratically moving subjects, like newborns, running kids, or birds in airliner. Another considerable differentiator is something seemingly simple: face detection. And yet none of the DSLRs in this roundup are capable of it in viewfinder shooting. Although they put forward face-detect AF in live view, actual performance is nowhere near what the better mirrorless cameras in this class comfortably offer.

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Furthermore, all of the cameras in this excerpt are reasonably small in size (compared to pricier ILC’s), but the number and arrangement of control points, grip size, build quality and weight all vary utterly a bit. As do the inclusion of features like like 4K video capture, Wi-Fi and image stabilization.

So as you, the potential buyer, work your way through our list under, consider which of these traits and features are most important for your dream camera. You might not find a perfect match here at this figure point, but chances are, you’ll find something pretty darn close.

  • Nikon D3300
  • Pentax K-S2
  • Canon EOS Rebel SL1
  • Canon EOS Rebel T6i
  • Canon EOS M3
  • Sony Alpha a6000
  • Samsung NX500
  • Olympus OM-D E-M10 II
  • Fujifilm X-E2
  • Fujifilm X-T10
  • Panasonic Lumix GM5
  • Pasnonic Lumix G7


About the author

Gina Stephens

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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