Good as your smartphone is, a special camera will generally make better pictures. However, it does not have to be complicated. Here we look at the best cameras for beginners under $500 that aim to make it easy to take better pictures without having to learn f-values and shutter speeds. We also bring a camera that offers more advanced controls for those who want to go beyond the base. So, let’s have a look at the best cameras for beginners under $500 in our comparison table, and then we’ll discuss them one-by-one.
Most of us are used to smartphones as our go-to cameras for everyday photos and videos. Award-winning photos and even entire films are made with an iPhone. Nevertheless, a special camera is still indispensable, especially for outdoor photography, landscapes, nature, and macro shooting.
If you are new to photography and are looking for your first camera, our list of best cameras for beginners Under $500 will surely help you to pick the best one for you.
List of the best cameras for beginners under $500
This is not only the latest DSLR and one of the best cameras for beginners under $500 for beginners on the market, but it also comes within our top budget, so you have money left over for accessories. The Nikon D3500 is a redesigned and redesigned version of the D3400, with a 24-megapixel sensor and a fast-focusing AF-P 18-55 mm kit lens with a retraction mechanism, so that it takes up less space if you carry it in the vicinity of. The cheapest deal includes a non-VR lens, but we recommend paying a little extra for the VR version.
Canon EOS M200
Canon’s EOS M200 is a low-profile camera that delivers excellent image quality and still just fits in your pocket. The range of Canon and Sigma EF-M lenses is not very varied, but there are good options available for most users. The controls are well thought out and the touchscreen interface is refined and responsive. For a camera that costs around $500 (with lens), you get great value for your money with the M200. Overall, this is one of the best cameras for beginners under $500.
Canon EOS Rebel T7
The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is an entry-level DSLR, intended for first-time ILC users and smartphone upgraders. It’s a slight update to the T6, with an upgrade to a 24-megapixel sensor, but otherwise includes the same internal components and hardware specifications as the T6. The camera offers Wi-Fi with NFC, making it easier to share photos on the go. First time ILC Those who want to learn and control camera settings can use a rear function button for quick access to shooting parameters, but advanced users may find the minimal physical controls limiting.
The rear screen cannot be tilted and does not offer touch controls, as other models in this class do.Those who want to learn and master camera settings can use a rear function button for quick access to shooting parameters, but advanced users may find the minimal physical controls limiting. The rear screen cannot be tilted and does not offer touch controls, as other models in this class do. Overall, this is one of the best cameras for beginners under $500.
Olympus PEN E-PL10
The Olympus PEN E-PL10 is an entry-level mirrorless camera that uses the Micro Fours Thirds lens mount. The camera features a 16-megapixel Four Thirds sensor, 3-axis in-camera image stabilization and UHD 4K video recording. The viewfinder-shaped E-PL10 is lightweight, but well-built for its price. The camera’s 3″ touchscreen folds down 180 degrees and has additional features for taking selfies.
The E-PL10’s on-screen interface is user-friendly, but doesn’t teach you how to use more advanced features. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are built-in, but it’s not the most reliable system we’ve ever used. The camera’s autofocus is generally fast and accurate. The camera detects faces quickly, although it sometimes loses track of them. The E-PL10 can track moving subjects – just not very well. The focus also tends to “wobble” occasionally. Battery life is above average, but you cannot charge the battery via the USB connection. Overall, this is one of the best cameras for beginners under $500.
Canon EOS Rebel T6
Canon and Nikon offer great value for money with their DSLRs under $500 – they know that if they can get new consumers to their brand at a reasonable price, they will usually have them for life. Before you read on, let me just say that if you can find the above Nikons in stock, I think you should consider them before this Canon. The Nikon D5300 in particular offers much better value for money and is one of the best cameras for beginners under $500.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is a so-called “micro-four-thirds” camera (MFT). This refers to the size of the sensor, which is slightly smaller than an APS-C sensor. The size of the sensor largely determines the size of the lens, and the MFT format is designed to provide great image quality without sacrificing portability. With the EM-10 Mark II, you get a lot of the latest technology crammed into a compact body that still retains that pleasant DSLR-like ergonomics.
It features the latest image processor, 5-axis image stabilization, 8.5 fps, a tilting LCD touchscreen, industry-leading autofocus performance and much more. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is the only camera in this list with image stabilization – a feature normally found on much more expensive camera bodies that allows you to hold the camera in low light, allowing you to use slower shutter speeds and lower ISO values (for a cleaner image).
Despite the fact that the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II has the smallest image sensor of all the cameras mentioned here, this camera can certainly compete in terms of image quality. It also offers value for money, although you’ll notice that the price is actually just over $500 because a lens is included – buying the body alone is of course cheaper. Overall, this is one of the best cameras for beginners under $500.
Canon EOS M100
It has been a long time coming for Canon to release a mirrorless camera, but in 2017 it finally arrived with the pocket-sized Canon EOS M100. While it was not the DSLR-beating Canon mirrorless camera many were hoping for, the Canon EOS M100 represented a step in the right direction and has been a hugely popular camera for all levels of photographers.
The advanced technology of the 24 Megapixel APS-C sensor and the Dual Pixel autofocus system are borrowed from cameras much higher up in the Canon range, meaning that the Canon EOS M100 is one of the best cameras available for a dollar this year. The Dual Pixel autofocus provides fast and accurate subject tracking, and combined with the responsive, 180-degree tilting touchscreen, this compact mirrorless camera is really quite fun to use.
Videographers will appreciate the ability to “rack focus” by simply dragging a finger across the touchscreen from one subject to another. You don’t normally see this advanced feature on a compact camera, let alone a mirrorless camera that costs less than $500. Overall, this is one of the best cameras for beginners under $500.
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is currently available as a bundle, with a number of useful gadgets. It’s slightly over our $500 budget, but it’s such an excellent bargain that I had to include it. The 24-100mm lens, with an aperture range of f/1.8 – 2.8, is based on an impressive 1″ sensor of 20.2 megapixels. Such a “fast” aperture allows you to shoot in low light without flash, without resorting to higher ISO values that can produce a noisy image.
The ISO performance of the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is actually good for a sensor of this size, but shooting at lower ISO values is always beneficial. Overall, this is one of the best cameras for beginners under $500.