Buying Guide: Best cameras under $500

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

Various top picks: Pocketable enthusiast | Enthusiast long zooms

Last updated: November 21, 2017

Whether you’re looking for a compact camera camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or with image blue blood exceeding that of your smartphone or just want something to sit alongside your more expensive gear, there are some impressive goods that won’t bust your wallet.

The cameras in this buying guide are light and portable, and several feature selfie-friendly LCDs. Generally make a plea for, you won’t find a lot of direct controls or a lot of customizability, and 4K video is rare, but for those seeking a point-and-shoot experience with better image quality, these cameras fit the pecker.

Our pick: Canon EOS M100

Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or a newcomer, there’s something to like about the M100. It’s very lightweight and compact, but contains some tough components from previous Canon cameras like a 24MP APS-C sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus. A flip-up touchscreen makes limiting a focus point easy, and Dual Pixel will ably keep up with moving subjects.

The M100 lacks 4K video capture and is radiation on direct controls, so enthusiasts looking for multiple dials may find its single command dial frustrating to use. All told, it’s the M100’s portability and just moorland good image quality that makes it a solid choice for a wide range of photographers.

If you’re not convinced by our recommendation, take a look at all of the cameras we considered in the tip below, and read on for a detailed look at how they stack up.

  • Winner: Canon EOS M100
  • Canon EOS Rebel T6
  • Fujifilm X-A3
  • Fujifilm X-A10
  • Nikon 1 J5
  • Nikon D3400
  • Olympus PEN E-PL8
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX850
  • Sony Alpha a5100
  • Sony Alpha a6000
  • YI M1


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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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