Best Camera for beginners under $500
Starting with photography should not break the bank. Sometimes, a $500 camera is already perfect for beginners.
Choosing a camera can be intimidating since there are a lot of options to choose from. The price can also be overwhelming since others would recommend models that are $1000.
That said, if you want to start your photography journey, you are in luck. Here are the best cameras under $500 for beginners. These cameras have their own pros and cons so choose depending on your needs.
Let's get started.
Canon EOS Rebel T7 - Best Camera Under $500
Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras are still the best beginner option due to various reasons such as lens selection, ergonomics, features, and price. The Canon EOS Rebel T7, or EOS 2000D in some countries, is a feature-packed option under $500.
The Rebel series has long been the entry-level lineup of Canon and until now, it does not disappoint.
This camera has a 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and features a 9-point autofocus system. It can also record full HD videos - perfect for those who want to venture into videography as well. Burst mode is its weakness though since it only has a 3 fps burst mode.
One of the best reasons why the Canon Rebel T7 is worth considering is the lens selection.
The Canon EF-S mount has been around for several years now. It means that there are hundreds of lenses to choose from. Whether it is for portrait or street photography, there are brand new and used lenses available.
The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is available for $399 and it already comes with the Canon EF-S 18-55 kit lens.
Sony ZV-1F - Best Vlogging Camera Under $500
If you are looking for a vlogging camera, then the Sony ZV-1F is the best choice. It is small and sleek but it can deliver top-notch image quality.
This camera uses the BIONZ X image processor and it comes with a 20-megapixel Exmor RS BSI CMOS sensor. It has a smaller sensor than other cameras but it does not matter since the images produced are excellent.
This is not a DSLR or Mirrorless camera. The Zeiss 20mm f/2-8 lens is fixed. This means you have limited zoom options.
As mentioned earlier, this camera is best for vlogging. It can shoot UHD 4K30p footages that are sharp and clear. It also has a 3-inch flip-out screen for those talking head videos.
Despite being a video-centric camera, this camera can still take excellent photos and if you want to upload it immediately, the smartphone connection feature has you covered.
This camera is available for $498. Just a little shy of our $500 budget.
Panasonic Lumix G7 - Best Mirrorless Camera Under $500
The Panasonic Lumix G7 is the best micro 4/3 camera you can buy for under $500. It is already 8 years old yet, it can still compete with modern cameras released in the past three years.
It features a 16 MP Live MOS sensor and a Venus Engine 9 image processor that work together to deliver high-quality images with excellent color reproduction.
Like the Canon EOS Rebel T7, the camera's micro four-thirds system also allows for a wide range of interchangeable lenses, making it a versatile option for various shooting situations. You may even opt for secondhand lenses to make the most of your money.
The Lumix G7 also boasts a 2.36m-dot OLED viewfinder and a 3.0" 1.04m-dot free-angle touchscreen that provide clear and easy-to-use interfaces for both taking photos and recording videos.
The G7 also has a maximum shooting speed of up to 8 fps with autofocus and an ISO range of up to 25600, allowing you to capture clear photos even in low-light situations. However, do take note that the smaller sensor might affect low-light image quality.
It can shoot 4K UHD video at 30/24 fps, making it an excellent choice for videographers who are just starting out.
You may buy the Lumix G7 for around $500 and it already comes with a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II MEGA O.I.S. lens.
Canon EOS Rebel T100 - Best Entry-Level Camera Under $500
The Canon EOS Rebel T100 is an excellent entry-level camera that provides great value for money.
With an 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor, the T100 delivers high-quality images with excellent detail and color reproduction. It can shoot Full HD 30p and HD 60p video, making it a great option for those who want to create video content as well.
The camera features a 9-point autofocus system with a center cross-type point that ensures sharp focus on your subject, even in low-light conditions.
It also has a continuous shooting speed of 3 fps, which allows you to capture fast-moving subjects with ease.
The T100 also features a 2.7" 230k-dot LCD monitor and an optical pentamirror viewfinder that provide clear and easy-to-use interfaces for both taking photos and recording videos.
The Canon EOS Rebel T100 has an ISO range of 100-6400, which can be expanded up to 12800, making it an excellent option for shooting in low-light situations.
It also has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, which allows you to easily transfer your photos and videos to your smartphone or tablet for easy sharing.
The camera is available for around $380 and it comes with the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 III lens.
Sony A6000 - Best Used Camera Under $500
While the Sony A6000 is an older model and is already discontinued, it still packs a punch with its impressive specs and features. It came out around 9 years ago and if you can get one in mint condition, then that is a good buy.
With a 24.3MP APS-C Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor, the A6000 is capable of producing sharp, high-quality images.
The camera also has a Tru-Finder 1.44m-Dot OLED EVF and a 3.0" 921k-Dot Xtra Fine Tilting LCD that makes it easy to frame your shots from various angles.
The A6000 can shoot full HD 1080p XAVC S video at 24/60 fps, making it a great option for videographers on a budget. However, the Sony A6000 does not have a microphone jack and the screen does not fully articulate – this limits its usage for interested vloggers.
It also has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC, which allows you to easily transfer your photos and videos to your smartphone or tablet.
The camera's fast hybrid autofocus system with 179 phase-detection points makes it easy to capture sharp and accurate shots, even in challenging lighting conditions. This is the camera’s main selling point making it one of the best cameras of its time.
The A6000 also has a multi-interface shoe and built-in flash, which gives you more flexibility when it comes to lighting your shots.
Is buying a used camera under $500 worth it?
Buying a used camera can be a great way to save money, especially when you are on a budget. However, there are certain risks and factors to consider when buying a used camera.
Firstly, it's important to make sure you are purchasing from a reputable seller. Buying from a reputable dealer, or a well-known online marketplace can help reduce the risk of buying a faulty or stolen camera.
Additionally, it's important to thoroughly inspect the camera and check for any damages or issues that may impact its performance.
Secondly, keep in mind that a used camera may not come with a warranty or guarantee. This means that if the camera breaks or malfunctions after purchase, you may be on your own in terms of repair costs.
Despite these potential risks, there are many benefits to buying a used camera under $500. You can often find high-quality cameras that were previously outside of your budget, and you may also have more options to choose from.
Moreover, if you do your research and buy from a reputable seller, you can get a great deal on a camera that will serve you well for years to come.
In summary, buying a used camera for under $500 can be a great way to save money, but it's important to take the necessary precautions and consider the potential risks before making a purchase.
Those are the best cameras under $500. Hopefully this article can help you find your perfect camera match.
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