Photography is famously an expensive hobby, but as the years roll by, there are more and more cameras become available at excellent prices.
It would be easy to look at a camera that is available for under $500 and assume that it is not going to match up to the standards of other, more expensive cameras, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth.
One of the main reasons for this is the constant evolution and growth of cameras in general. With more and more companies getting involved and releasing increasingly advanced and stronger cameras, things that were once considered to be a luxury, like 4K recording and Wi-Fi, are now quickly becoming the norm.
The constant shifts in the market also mean that cameras tend to drop in price quicker than ever before, and you can now find yourself some top-quality cameras available for a good price.
These are 10 of the best mirrorless cameras that are currently available for $500 or less.
If you are looking for an excellent beginner DSLR and you are on a restricted budget, then the Nikon D3500 is definitely one of the stand-out options. The camera clocks in at under $500, and you are even likely to have some money left over to splash on a few accessories as well.
The Nikon D3500 is not just one of the best starter DSLR cameras on the internet; it is also one of the best Nikon cameras available on the web as well, which is another testament to the quality of this camera.
The Nikon D3500 boasts an impressive 24-megapixel sensor and a fast-focusing AF-P 18-55mm kit lens. The lens also usefully retracts, meaning you can pack it away without it taking up too much space and with no need to worry about causing damage to the lens or the rest of the camera either.
When it comes to performance and quality for money, there are very few cameras on the market that are in the same league as the Nikon D3500.
Canon is another big name in the camera industry that has been working on creating a good range of affordable and high performing DLSR cameras in recent years.
One of their stand-outs has been the Canon EOS 4000D. The camera is an upgrade for the Canon EOS 2000D, which is another excellent low-cost DLSR camera.
From the outside looking in, the Canon EOS 4000D may not be much more than a standard DLSR camera, but that is also the beauty of it. As well as an excellent lens and 18MP camera, it is incredibly easy to use and is ideal if you are just entering the world of photography and want an affordable camera that is going to deliver consistently high-quality results.
The Canon EOS 4000D is the perfect camera for those looking to start out who are on a bit of a tighter budget.
Panasonic has an excellent selection of affordable mirrorless cameras at their disposal, but few are as practical and as affordable as the Lumix GX80.
This diminutive little beauty is not just excellent for beginners either; it also boasts a wide array of features that you would only expect to find on the higher end of the company’s price scale. This includes 5-axis image stabilization, Light Speed AF, Post Focus, and 4K ultra-high definition for both video and rapid-fire photos. These features all help to make this one of the best value mirrorless cameras available on the market today.
The camera is also incredibly small and lightweight, making it incredibly convenient to carry around and use in all sorts of different environments and situations. The stabilization features also ensure that the pictures are of consistently high quality, and the camera also has excellent focusing features.
Sony is one of the top names in the electronics industry, and they have a wide range of top-quality cameras available. If, however, you are looking for something that is under $500 that is also going to deliver the best performance, then the Sony Alpha a6000 is an excellent choice.
The Sony Alpha a6000 is a 24-megapixel camera that not only takes top quality photos but is also incredibly practical and lightweight, making it perfect for lots of different photo situations. It also an excellent electronic viewfinder as well as an excellent focus that really helps get the best out of your photos.
The phone can also link up with your smartphone, which can be particularly handy when you are trying to take more hands-free photos. It also has a tiltable screen, which also helps in these situations.
While this phone may have been around for some time, it is still one of the best budget mirrorless cameras available on the market and boasts many awesome features that were arguably ahead of their time.
Thanks to cameras like GoPro, action cameras have become all the rage in the photography world, and while a lot of them are on the pricier end of the spectrum, the DJI Osmo Action is an excellent alternative for those on a budget.
The camera is much more affordable than a GoPro, but that isn’t reflected in its quality and performance. The camera is capable of capturing stunning 4K videos, and it has an exceptional stabilizing system that really aids its performance. Needless to say, the camera is also incredibly small, which makes it ideal for traveling.
Like all action cameras, there is also a wide range of accessories available to buy for the camera, which will also help improve your experience and open up a whole new range of different photo-taking opportunities.
It also boasts a lot of the same special features that a standard GoPro would offer. It offers waterproofing down to 11 meters and dual screens, which allow you to show what you are filming from different angles. This is the perfect mirrorless camera for under $500 if you are looking to enter the world of vlogging or want to capture some extreme moments.
Olympus’ revival of their old analog cameras has been a runaway hit for the company. Photography enthusiasts everywhere have flooded over to use these retro-looking cameras that feature all of the mod cons of modern digital cameras. Check out any urban city center or park, and you will find lots of teenagers using these cameras to take pictures and capture that perfect retro vibe.
One of the best budget cameras in this range is the Olympus OM-D E-M10 II. Not only does the camera have an awesome aesthetic, but it also boasts 16-megapixel sensors, electronic viewfinders, and an excellent stabilizing system.
The camera also allows you to shoot short videos, which can then be transferred on to a range of different devices thanks to a nice HDMI output, which takes up little room on the camera itself.
The camera produces an excellent quality of the image and is the perfect piece to take with you on your travels. The camera also works as somewhat of a fashion statement and can really help top off a vintage look, if that is what you are going for.
On the whole, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 II is one of the top-performing budget mirrorless cameras across the board.
The Panasonic Lumix TZ100 is yet another fine budget camera from Panasonic. This is a bit of an all-rounder, as not only does it take great photos and is incredibly compact, but it also has an incredibly long lens, which is a selling point in itself. Most cameras for this price would offer a lens size of around 100mm, but the Panasonic Lumix TZ100 offers a lens that is a very generous 250mm.
This is not all the camera has to offer, though; it is also an excellent piece of equipment for recording 4K videos on. The camera’s excellent stabilizing system makes the quality of videos on this camera so much better than its very generous price-tag would suggest. As far as bang for your buck goes, the Panasonic Lumix TZ100 is one of the best on the market.
Canon offers a great range of affordable mirrorless cameras, and the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is one of the best around right now.
The camera has a wide range of special features that make it excellent for beginners, and it is also a very generous price, meaning that this can be the perfect entry point into the world of photography for a lot of people.
The camera is also incredibly easy to use. It has a great touch screen display, which makes it easy for people who are new to cameras and their settings. It also weighs in at around 200 grams, making it an incredibly practical camera for traveling with.
The camera also has a 28-84mm full-frame eq. zoom lens, which also means that it is suitable for a wide range of different types of photography.
The Sony A600 is one of the best bargains available on the market right now. The camera offers excellent quality performance and a range of brilliant features and still clocks in at below $500.
The Sony A600 is the younger brother to the Sony A6300 and Sony A6500. While these two cameras may offer a wide range of incredible features such as 4K recording, the A600 is an exceptional low-price alternative.
The camera has 24.3 megapixels, which ensure that all of your photos are going to be of excellent quality. The camera also has a very impressive 11fps burst shooting mode, which means you can capture some brilliant moving images. This also makes the camera an excellent option for those who want to use it to shoot sports images.
The camera also has a range of other great selling points such as built-in Wi-Fi and NFC and a tilting LCD screen, which further helps it stand out from the crowd.
Another excellent compact and budget camera from the team at Nikon is the Nikon D5300. While from the outside looking in, it may at first appear to be your standard DSLR camera; it actually offers a huge handful of special features and options that your standard DSLR might not.
These features include a very generous 3.2in LCD screen, a 39-point AF system, and a useful GPS system. The GPS system is especially useful if you are a regular traveler and want to take photos and tag the location as a reminder.
It also boasts a nice anti-aliasing filter feature, which helps make the picture considerably clearer that other ones captured on similar 24-megapixel cameras.