5 Best Cameras under $500: Digital, Mirrorless & DSLR Cameras

Are you in need of a new digital camera under $500?

If yes, then this guide will help you in choosing the best one.

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Since I’m a keen camera person, I have good knowledge about cameras available under the budget you’re looking for.

In this list, we have also included DLSRs, Mirrorless & Point & Shoot cameras available in the price range.

Hence, without further adieu let us get started.

Top 5 best cameras under $500

#5: Canon Power Shot G 16

If you are looking for the best compact camera under $500, then do check out the Canon Power Shot G 16.

The device comes with a 12.1 MP sensor offering 5X Optical Zoom and has an aperture of f/2.8.

The Canon Power Shot G 16 houses the latest DIGIC 6 Image processor from Canon, which does a lot of processing work for your pictures and videos.

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It improves the light sensitivity, hence images taken in low-lighting conditions come with less noise, giving brighter and sharper images.

This camera comes with built-in Wi-Fi, and the good thing is whether you are using an Android, iOS or a Windows Smartphone, the Canon camera app is available for all of them.

The camera also fits as one of the best travel cameras as it lets you take around 360 snaps on a single charge.

This Point & Shoot camera comes with multiple built-in modes, using which an amateur, can take some brilliant shots.

Some of the built-in modes are Underwater, Smart Shutter, Soft Focus, Poster Effect, Super Slow Motion Movie, etc.

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It has a feature called EOS- like Dial Setting, which allows controlling various setting manually, this is certainly an awesome feature, especially for those who like set everything manually or wants to do experiment with various settings.

Using the Canon G 16, not only you can shoot full HD 1080p videos, but you can also shoot slow motion videos without degrading the quality.

It can be configured into 29 different languages other than English.[Check full review]

Key specs:

  • Brand: Canon
  • Model: Power Shot G 16
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi
  • Megapixel: 12.1 MP
  • Weight: 0.78 pounds
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#4: Sony NEX-5TL

If you are someone who likes to try something new, then I’ll recommend you to go with the modern Mirrorless cameras, comparing to the DLSR and some of the point & shoot cameras.

The Mirrorless cameras are a new breed of digital cameras and have gained quite mainstream attention. Hence at no 4, we have Sony NEX-5TL.

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The NEX-5TL comes with a 16 MP APS-C sensor that offers DLSR like quality images.

Apart from portable and lightweight, it is very compact and can easily fit in your pocket.

The NEX-5TL comes with Fast Hybrid Auto Focus system made using the combination of two technologies that allows faster focusing on moving objects so taking clear & precise photos of moving objects becomes much easier.

This device includes a built-in Play Memory camera application, which gives the user the freedom to shoot slow motion, cinematic videos, etc. In addition to that, you can download application according to your needs by the push of a button.

The NEX-5TL features a 3-inch LCD screen, which can flip out up to 180-degrees angle, so if you are fond of taking selfies, then you are going to love this device.

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Video recording can be shot FULL HD at 60 fps and cinematic at 24 fps.

It is suitable for traveling; with a single charge, 330 snaps can be taken. Transferring photos can be done easily with Wi-Fi and NFC.

Using various effects, photos can be edited in few minutes. Sony E-mount lenses designed for NEX series for better quality. [Read more]

Key specs:

  • Brand: Sony
  • Model: NEX-5TL
  • Megapixel: 16 MP
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC
  • Weight: 0.61 pounds
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#3: Canon EOS Rebel SL1 

Nowadays, everyone wants to have a DSLR, which is lightweight and compact, whether the user may be a newbie or professional photographer, and that’s exactly what Canon has done with the EOS Rebel SL1.

The EOS Rebel SL1 sports an 18.1 MP APS-C sensor, along with the camera; you get an 18-55 STM lens.

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Canon has used their DIGIC 5 image processor, which does a tremendous job of enhancing the images and it makes sure that images taken in poor lighting conditions comes less noisy & blurry.

The DIGIC 5 processor has been made advanced that in some low-lighting conditions, you may don’t need to use the flash for getting brighter images.

For steadier images, the EOS Rebel SL1 comes with a viewfinder. It has Hybrid CMOS Auto Focus system, which includes the combination of Phase & Contrast detection.

The EOS Rebel SL1 comes with a Scene Intelligent Auto Mode; hence impressive pictures can be captured without adjusting settings.

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Canon has made some improvement in UI; as a result, the device comes with an advanced effect mode and background mode, which lets the users be more creative and intuitive.

In addition to that, a user can simulate these effects in the live view and can split it into two different screens to check out the effect of mode.

It can be easily fit with all the Lenses available in the EF & EF-S series. [Full review]

Key specs:

  • Brand: Canon
  • Model: EOS Rebel SL1
  • Megapixel: 18.1 MP
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi
  • Weight: 0.9 pounds
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#2: Nikon 1 J5

The Nikon 1 J5 is widely popular because of its Autofocusing& shooting speed, and it features a 20.8 MP sensor and comes with 10-30 mm PD-Zoom lens.

This small & compact size digital camera can hold its own against some of the top DSLR available in this price segment. The layout of the J5 gives it a classic feel making it very eye catchy.

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Nikon has used the CX-format sensor, due to which J5 can capture awesome images even in harsh lighting conditions with great detailing and color accuracy, for reducing extra noises you can way up to ISO 12,800.

5A image processing used in the J5 makes sure that color reproduction is accurate; it checks the color toning, detailing, and sharpness of the images.

By using Sports mode, you can quickly focus on fast-moving objects, which does all the work for you.

To configure every setting manually all you have to do this set up the manual mode and you are good to go.

The LCD screen present at the back can be tilted up to 180 degrees, which makes it easy to shoot from any angle, and is helpful while taking selfies.

You can shoot 1920 x 1080p videos at 60 fps, plus capture cinematic clips by just changing the mode.

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When it comes to connectivity, the J5 has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC for sharing images & videos with your Smartphone or tablet on the go. [Read more]

“If you are looking for the best digital camera under $500 that can offer a DSLR-like experience but is not bulky and heavy then please do check out the Nikon 1 J5.”

Key specs:

  • Brand: Nikon
  • Model: J5
  • Megapixel: 20.8 MP
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, NFC
  • Weight: 0.51 pounds
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#1: Nikon D3300

If you want to buy the best digital camera under $500, then the Nikon D3300 should be your pick, the price of the D3300 was quite high, but after releasing the D3400 in the market, Nikon has slashed the price of the D3300.

The Nikon D3300 comes with a 24.2 MP rear facing camera along with 18-55 mm VR II Zoom lens. The 24.2 MP features a CMOS DX-format sensor, which is regarded the best in its class.

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With the 24.2 MP sensors equipped with Zoom lens, you can take some spectacular photos in both day & night. It weighs around 0.9 pounds and has a compact size.

The EXPEED 4 processing system is responsible for shooting high-speed images at 5 fps, which is incredible. Apart from that, it does a lot of work for you when you try to shoot images or videos in low-lighting conditions; and one of them is noise reduction.

Images taken from this device give a life-like feel, courtesy of the rich detailing, color adjustments done by the D3300’s processing system.

Videos can be shot at full HD resolution of 1080p; now you can shoot video at 60 fps, however, if you want to, you can shoot cinematic videos at 30, 25 or 24 frames per second. Click here for full review.

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"With a single charge, you can easily take up to around 600 photos. As far as connectivity is concerned, the Nikon D3300 comes with built-in Wi-Fi hence sharing photos with your loved ones can be done without any hassle."

Key specs:

  • Brand: Nikon
  • Model: D3300
  • Megapixel: 24.2 MP
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi
  • Weight: 0.9 pounds
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Conclusion

We hope you found this post helpful & informative. After reading this post, you’ll probably have clear ideas about which are the best digital cameras you can buy under $500.

Anyways, if you liked this post, then please do consider sharing it on social media platforms like Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, Twitter, Stumbleupon, Reddit, etc.

Nevertheless, if you still have any query, then please feel free to let us know by dropping your doubt in the comment section below, I would be glad to help you out.

And if you are someone, who is already using one of these cameras, then please let us know of your experience have been so far.

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