The Best Travel Cameras Under $500

It is challenging to choose the Best Travel Cameras Under $500 with all the choices available today. Do not worry; I’ve done all the hard work for you to come up with this shortlist for the Best travel cameras under $500. Great photos, easy to use, and lightweight! As a professional travel photographer, I know a lot about cameras and which camera is best to travel. At the end of this article, you know precisely which travel camera is perfect for you!

Best Travel Cameras Under $500 List

Nikon D3500

  • Type: DSLR
  • Sensor: APS-C CMOS
  • Megapixels: 24.2MP
  • Lens mount: Nikon DX
  • Screen: 3in fixed, 921K dots
  • Continuous shooting speed: 5fps
  • Max video resolution: 1080p
  • User level: Beginner/enthusiast

This is not only the latest DSLR and one for the Best travel cameras 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.

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Pros:

  • Very beginner-friendly
  • Speedy AF-P kit lens
  • Great image quality

Cons:

  • Fixed rear screen
Last update was on: July 9, 2020 3:02 pm
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Canon EOS Rebel SL2/EOS 200D

best travel cameras under $500

  • Type: DSLR
  • Megapixels: 24.2MP
  • Lens mount: Canon EF-S
  • Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,040,000K dots
  • Viewfinder: Yes, optical
  • Continuous shooting: 5fps
  • Max Video Resolution: Full HD (1080p)
  • User level: Beginner

The EOS Rebel SL2, also known as the EOS 200D, is not Canon’s most recent DSLR, but that means the prices have had time to drop, so it out-specifies the newer EOS 2000D but matches the price. You get Canon’s excellent Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, delivering mirrorless autofocus performance in live view and effective adherence in movies, as well as the latest DIGIC 7 processing engine and the full Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth triplet with wireless connectivity options. 5 fps burst recording is decent, and the option to connect a microphone increases the Full HD video capabilities, while compatibility with Canon Lens lenses of decades improves the attraction. Overall, the EOS Rebel SL2 is one for the Best travel cameras under 500 dollars.

Pros:

  • Tiny, light body
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF works great

Cons:

  • No 4K video
  • Simple 9-point AF
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Nikon D5300

  • Type: DSLR
  • Sensor: APS-C CMOS
  • Megapixels: 24.2MP
  • Lens mount: Nikon DX
  • Screen: 3.2-inch articulating, 1,037,000 dots
  • Continuous shooting speed: 5fps
  • Max video resolution: 1080p
  • User level: Beginner/enthusiast

The D5300 appears as a fairly conventional entry-level DSLR but offers a handful of features that are normally not used on other models of this type. These include a generously sized 3.2-inch LCD screen, a 39-point AF system, and even a GPS, the latter making it particularly strong for traveling photographers. Nikon also chose to remove the anti-aliasing filter from the camera’s 24.2MP APS-C sensor, which gives it an advantage over the details it can capture over competing for 24MP bodies. The only real disadvantage is that it does not offer a touchscreen, but you still get a very versatile camera that delivers great results. It is outdated by the latest Nikon D5600, but do not worry about it – the D5300 still is one for the Best travel cameras under $500.

Pros:

  • No low-pass filter means great detail
  • Larger-than-usual screen

Cons:

  • The screen isn’t touched sensitive
  • Some banding in high-ISO shots
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Sony A68

best travel cameras under $500

  • Type: SLT
  • Sensor: APS-C
  • Megapixels: 24.2MP
  • Screen: 2.7in, 461k dots
  • Viewfinder: Electronic
  • Continuous shooting speed: 8fps
  • Max video resolution: Full HD
  • User level: Beginner

Very much a camera by Marmite, but one that certainly deserves a wink in our list of best travel cameras under $500. With the less conventional SLT construction, the camera can offer 79 phase-detection points, which is significantly more than DSLR type cameras on the same level. Add to that with 8 fps burst images with focus tracking and Sony’s 4D Focus technology, and what you have is a camera that is much better suited to shooting than many others. With the further advantage of a tilting screen and an OLED viewfinder, the camera is demonstrably more flexible when you shoot in low light or at unusual angles than the average DSLR. However, the screen is not The Best of its kind, and the future of the SLT system is not entirely bright now that Sony is focusing its attention on the will of the A6000.

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  • AF system particularly advanced
  • 8fps burst shooting

Cons:

  • LCD isn’t the biggest
  • Average built quality
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Panasonic Lumix GX80/85

  • Type: mirrorless
  • Sensor: Four Thirds
  • Megapixels: 16.0MP
  • Screen: 3.0-inch, 1,040k tilt touch
  • Viewfinder: Electronic, 2,765k
  • Lens: Micro Four Thirds
  • Continuous shooting speed: 8fps (40fps elec shutter)
  • Max video resolution: 4k
  • User level: Intermediate

Unbelievable value for money, with or without its sharp little 12-32 mm kit zoom lens, the Panasonic Lumix GX80/G85 combines a range of high-tech features in its compact build design. It is one for the Best travel cameras under 500 dollars. These include 5-axis image stabilization, Light Speed AF, Post Focus, and 4K ultra-high definition for both video and rapid-fire photos, as seen in Panasonic’s top cameras. There is also a high-resolution electronic viewfinder built into the back of the camera, along with a tiltable touchscreen. If you want a camera that is large in terms of functions and performance, but with a small structure and a low price tag, this is a great price-quality ratio that you have money left over.

Pros:

  • Very compact body
  • Built-in electronic viewfinder
  • Great value for money

Cons:

  • MFT sensor only 16MP
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Sony A6000

best travel cameras under $500

  • Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor size: APS-C
  • Megapixels: 24.3MP
  • Viewfinder: EVF
  • Screen: 3-inch tilting screen, 921,600 dots
  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: 11fps
  • Maximum video resolution: 1080p
  • User level: Beginner/enthusiast

The excellent A6300 and A6500 from Sony may not have a budget, but the A6000 is a very capable and one for the Best travel cameras under $500. The company claims that it is the selling mirrorless camera so far. While it may be missing the 4K video option from its older siblings, you get enough features you would never expect on a comparably priced digital SLR camera. These include a mammoth 179 phase-detect AF points that make tracking the subject a child’s play along with burst recordings at 11 fps. That combination alone should make the camera attractive for sports and action photographers, while the tiltable LCD screen, a 2.36 million pixel OLED viewfinder, built-in Wi-Fi, and NFC only sweeten the deal even further.

Pros:

  • Great image quality
  • Excellent EVF

Cons:

  • The display isn’t touched sensitive
  • Setting AF point somewhat awkward
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Olympus OM-D E-M10 II

  • Type: Mirrorless
  • Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds
  • Megapixels: 16.1MP
  • Lens: Micro Four Thirds
  • Screen: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1,370,000 dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF
  • Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8.5fps
  • Max Video Resolution: 1080p
  • User level: Beginner/enthusiast

The digital revival of the analog OM line by Olympus is hugely popular with enthusiastic photographers. With the OM-D E-M10 II, the company has delivered those with a smaller budget with a solid input for the series. What is surprising is how much the model has in common with the older OM-D E-M5 II. Both, for example, 16MP sports sensors, TruePic VII processors, 2.36 million point electronic viewers, and five-axis image stabilization systems. Of course, not everything is the same, but if you consider the huge price difference between the two, the OM-D E-M10 II becomes the better value for money model with some margin. Overall, this is one for the Best travel cameras under $500.

Pros:

  • Excellent EVF
  • Excellent image stabilization

Cons:

  • Screen not vari-angle
  • Limiting custom options
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Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III

best travel cameras under $500

  • Type: Compact
  • Sensor: 1in type
  • Megapixels: 20.1MP
  • Lens: 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8
  • Screen: 3in tilting screen, 1.228million dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF
  • Max burst speed: 5fps
  • Max video resolution: Full HD (1080p)
  • User level: Enthusiast

The original Cyber-shot RX100 was a milestone version, with its large 1in sensor, masses of functionality, and a small body that lifts the standard for a compact that you can still stick in your pocket. This third iteration has a 20.1-megapixel sensor, and a fast f/1.8-2.8 3x zoom lens that corresponds to 24-70 mm in full-frame terms. It even picks up in a pop-up electronic viewfinder. Sony recently announced the RX100 VI, which has a long zoom range but a much larger price tag, so we think the RX100 III is still one for the Best travel cameras under $500.

Pros:

  • Excellent sensor
  • Tiny body

Cons:

  • Some handling issues
  • Maximum aperture at 100mm
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Panasonic Lumix LX100

  • Type: Compact
  • Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds
  • Megapixels: 12.8MP
  • Lens:24-75mm, f/1.7-2.8
  • Screen: 3.0-inch, 921,000 dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF
  • Continuous shooting: 11fps
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K
  • User level: Intermediate/expert

While the most enthusiastic compact cameras are fortunate enough to have a 1-in-1 sensor, the Panasonic LX100 fills a larger Micro Four-Thirds sensor in an enclosure that is only slightly larger than the average enthusiast compact and is one for the Best travel cameras under $500. This is the only compact camera with such a sensor, and this helps him to provide excellent image quality. You may find the focus range of the 24-75 mm lens a bit limiting, but with a maximum aperture of f/1.7-2.8, it is nice and clear. Add to that 4K video, an integrated viewfinder, and Wi-Fi with NFC, and it still matches recent offers.

Pros:

  • Excellent feature set
  • Huge sensor for a compact

Cons:

  • Limited focal range
  • Big for a compact
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Panasonic Lumix TZ100/ZS100

best travel cameras under $500

  • Type: Compact
  • Sensor: 1-inch type CMOS
  • Megapixels: 20.1MP
  • Lens: 25-250mm f/2.8-5.9
  • Viewfinder: EVF
  • Screen: 3.0-inch, 1,040,000 dots
  • Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10fps
  • Max Video Resolution: 4K
  • User level: Beginner/enthusiast

Pocketable compact cameras with 1in sensors are desirable for the quality of their images, but they rarely offer lenses of more than 100 mm. The only exception to this is the Lumix TZ100 from Panasonic, which works with its 20 MP 1in sensor with a surprisingly long 25-250 mm f/2.8-5.9 optic. Admittedly, to accommodate this, it is a bit larger than the average compact, and not everything clear at its telephoto end, but if size and telephoto are your priorities, you will be hard-pressed to find something more suitable. And that is only the beginning; with a small electronic viewfinder, 4K video recording, raw recordings, and a five-axis OIS system to keep images sharp and videos stable, it needs masses, apart from the specifications of the headline. Overall, this is one for the Best travel cameras under 500 dollars.

Pros:

  • Unique proposition
  • The inclusion of 4K video

Cons:

  • The viewfinder is very small
  • Narrow max telephoto aperture

Conclusion

Travel photography is not an exclusive art. Good travel photographs are not made by fancy technology or advanced functions, but by people with a vision. The most important thing you can have is an eye for the life-like and a sense of excitement. Everyone – and I mean, everyone – can be a travel photographer. Our list of Best Travel Cameras Under $500 shows you the 10 for the Best worthy options that you must consider for a budget travel camera.

Best Travel Cameras Under $500 Comparison Table

Travel Cameras Under $500
Camera NameMegapixelsMax Video Resolution
Nikon D350024.2MP1080p
Canon EOS Rebel SL2/EOS 200D24.2MP1080p
Nikon D530024.2MP1080p
Sony A6824.2MP1080p
Panasonic Lumix GX80/8516.0MP4K
Sony A600024.3MP1080p
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II16.1MP1080p
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III20.1MP1080p
Panasonic Lumix LX10012.8MP4K
Panasonic Lumix TZ100/ZS10020.2MP4K

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