Best Digital Cameras Under $500 in 2021 List
- Best Overall: Nikon D3400 Camera Under 500
- Best Rated:Canon EOS Rebel T6 Camera Under 500
- Best Value:Nikon D5300 Digital Camera Under 500
- Best Under 300: Nikon D3300 Camera Under 500
- Best Sony RX100 Digital Camera 2021
- Best Canon EOS Rebel T5-Best Camera
Best Digital cameras under $500 in 2021-If you want to buy the best cameras under $500 in 2021, you have come to the right place. For your better help we have decided to create a great list of top 10 best cameras under $500 which will help you to find the best quality cameras under $500 or $600.
A $500 dollar is great budget to buy a camera for your .So with $500 or Less you can buy a quality camera from our great list of best camera under $500. Also with $500 you can get a DSLR camera , a Mirrorless Camera,Point and Shoot Camera.Below are our best pick for the best camera under $500 from leading brands like Nikon, Canon, Sony, and Olympus. Check Out Our Comparison Table comparison table and Buying Guide to get your best one. Our Next Review-Best cameras under $500 2021.
There are plenty of cheap cameras available in 2020,suggested below best cameras under 500 which are excellent budget and value and all for less than $500 to buy in.
GO TO YOUR BEST CHOICE:
- Best Dslr Camera Under $500
- Best Mirrorless Camera Under $500
- Best Point & Shoot Camera Under $500
- Best Compact Camera Under $500
- Best Camera Under 500- Comparison
10 Best Digital Camera Under 500 Reviews-2021
The Nikon D3400 Digital SLR Camera has a 24.2MP sensor that captures pictures with amazing clarity. The 100-25600 ISO sensitivity is perfect for low-light shooting and fast moving subjects. Record family movies or dramatic films thanks to the 1080p Full HD capabilities. Use built-in bluetooth to pair your camera with your smartphone for easy sharing. Additional features: no optical low-pass filter, 3.0″ LCD, 11-point AF system, 5 fps continuous shooting, plus more! This outfit includes the AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens.
This is a fantastic starter DSLR camera for someone just getting into the hobby. On recommendation, I also purchased a fixed 35mm lens to use with it, and I have had great results. The Bluetooth connectivity is very finicky and wonky, but it is nice if you are willing to spend the extra effort getting it reconnected when you need to transfer some shots.
This Nikon D3400 camera works amazing! You honestly wouldn’t know that it’s refurbished either. I would definitely buy if you’re thinking about getting a camera while wanting to save a little money. It comes with a battery, a charger for the battery, the lense, the camera and a camera strap. It doesn’t come with an SD card but you could easily order one on amazon or go to Walmart to get one for cheap too! Good buy!B Read Full Review…
The Canon T6 18MP CMOS DIGIC 4+ Image Processor Wi-Fi & NFC Wireless Connectivity 3.0 fps Continuous Shooting 9-Point AF System EOS Full HD Video Enhanced Creative Filters
The camera with the quality your photos deserve, the EOS Rebel T6 can be ideal for smartphone or digital point-and-shoot camera users looking to step up their imaging game. It’s equipped with an 18.0 Megapixel CMOS image sensor and the DIGIC 4+ Image Processor for highly detailed, vibrant photos and videos even in low light. Whether you’re out on an adventure hike or snapping candids of your friends during a late night out, the EOS Rebel T6 can help you take photos you’ll want to show off. Built-in Wi-Fi* and NFC** connectivity make it easy to get your favorite pictures up on select social media sites for your friends, family and the world to see. If you’re new to DSLRs, Scene Intelligent Auto mode can conveniently and automatically adjust the camera’s settings to suit your subject. Easy to use and simple to share with, the EOS Rebel T6 delivers high image quality that’s sure to catch the audience’s eye.Read Full Review…
The EOS Rebel T6 camera has an 18.0 Megapixel CMOS sensor that captures images with outstanding clarity and tonal range, and can offer enough resolution for big enlargements or crops – your photos can be printed and framed without having to worry about reducing the image quality. This sensor is APS-C size for an effective 1.6x field of view (compared to 35mm format) and features many advanced Canon technologies that maximize each pixel’s light gathering, helping to ensure images are captured beautifully and brilliantly.
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 is a great started DSLR, I’ve owned it for about a year and only have two complaints. First of all I wish the screen would flip out. It does not flip out or move at all but If you’re fine with a fixed screen this is in my opinion is a great entry level DSLR. The only other problem I have with this camera is that there is no microphone jack. I bought the “videomic go” from Rode without thinking about it and when I went to put it on my camera I was super disappointed that there wasn’t a mic jack. Other than those two minor inconveniences I love this camera!
I am brand spanking new to photography and DSLR cameras. Thanks to a few hours at the University of YouTube, I think I have the hang of it. So my review is partial, but from the perspective of a total novice to photography and something other than a point and shoot camera.B
- 24MP DX-format CMOS sensor with no optical low-pass filter
- 39-point AF system with 3D tracking and 3D matrix metering II
- 5 frames per second continuous shooting
- ISO 100 – 12800 (Expandable to 25600)
- 3.2″ Vari-angle LCD with 1,037,000 dots
- 1080 (60p, 30p, 24p) and 720 (60p, 50p) HD video (H.264/MPEG-4)
- Built-in Wi-Fi (for sharing and remote camera control) and GPS
The Nikon D5300 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens is designed to awaken your creative passion. The sharpness, clarity and richness of colors in the D5300’s photos and Full HD videos is nothing short of astounding.Find exciting new perspectives with an ultra-high resolution Vari-angle display that swivels to nearly any position. Capture your vision in lifelike brilliance with an exceptional 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor, then share it instantly with the optional WU-1a Wireless Adapter. Unleash the artist within.Shooting photos and videos is about more than capturing memories. A great camera brings your creative vision to life with striking clarity.
The D5300’s extra-large ultra-high resolution Vari-angle LCD swivels 180° so you can shoot from exciting new angles. Hold the camera overhead for great shots over a crowd. Hold the camera down low for a fun face-to-face perspective of your pet. And create some of your best selfies yet—frame a stunning new profile pic, then upload it right to web, thanks to Wi-Fi connectivity!*
The Nikon D5300 is exactly that type of camera—an exceptional HD-SLR designed to draw exciting new perspectives out of everyone who shoots it. Optimized for creativity, streamlined for flexibility, it’ll awaken your passion and inspire some of the most spectacular photos and videos you’ve ever captured.Features: 24.2MP DX CMOS Sensor EXPEED 4 Image Processing Engine 3.2″ 1,037k-Dot Vari-Angle LCD Monitor 39-Point Multi-CAM 4800DX AF SensorFull HD Video with Full-Time Servo AF Expandable ISO from 100-25600 5fps Continuous Shooting Rate Scene Recognition System Compatible with WU-1a Wireless Adapter Vari-angle Display, Built-in HDR, Special Effects and FiltersCreativity and flexibility were considered in every aspect of the D5300.Go To Top
It has a 1,037,000-dot Vari-angle display that lets you shoot from just about any position—hold the camera overhead for a view above a crowd, at ground level for an interesting close-up of a flower, or just enjoy easier video recording and self portraits. For shots that have both very dark and very bright areas, D5300 includes built-in HDR (high-dynamic range). It takes two shots at different exposures and blends them into one amazing image. And an exciting collection of built-in effects and filters opens new possibilities for expression: isolate a single color, explore black & white, posterize, miniaturize—the creative techniques pros spend years mastering are now conveniently at your.B Read Full Review…
Life is full of surprising, joyful moments—moments worth remembering. The D3300 makes it fun and easy to preserve those moments in the lifelike beauty they deserve: stunning 24.2-megapixel photos and 1080p Full HD videos with tack-sharp details, vibrant colors and softly blurred backgrounds. With its included zoom lens, the new ultra-compact AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II, the D3300 is a small and light HDSLR and easy to use, too. Like sharing photos? The D3300 photos can appear instantly on your compatible smartphone or tablet for easy sharing with the optional WU-1a Wireless Adapter*! Whether you’re creating high-resolution panoramas, adding artistic special effects or recording HD video with sound, the D3300 will bring you endless joy, excitement and memories—just like the special moments of your life.
After being into photography in my earlier years (this was before digital cameras were a thing), I decided to get back into. I decided on the D3300 as it wasn’t terribly expensive got good reviews for being a very good beginner’s DSLR. I actually chose the D3300 over the newer D3400 and Canon Rebel T6 as it had a microphone jack, which could be important going forward, a better flash, which can be helpful, and electronic sensor cleaner which probably isn’t a big deal. The Canon had an older sensor and worse continuous shooting speed ( I moonlight as a pro-wrestling photographer on occasion). Anyway. I’m very pleased with the camera, it’s lived up to all my expectations. Sometimes I do wish I had spent the extra money for the D5300 or Canon Rebel SL2 for their movable LCD screens , but for my needs as hobbyist, the D3300 is great. Battery life is better than the specs suggest. I’m able to shoot well over 600 shots (without the flash) and the battery still is over half charge.
Amature photographer here. This is my first DSLR camera and I did literally days of research. I was on the road for work for two months and had little else to do in the hotel room at night! After days of watching Youtube videos and reviews. Reading comparisons between Nikon and Cannon. Comparing various models and mirrorless cameras etc. I just never found a bad review about this camera. It had better reviews and a better price than its updated sister camera the 3400. Obviously for a pro photographer this might not cut it but for someone new to the hobby this has everything you need and more.B Read Full Review…
Megapixels: 18 megapixel
The Canon EOS Rebel T5 SLR camera with the EF-S 18-55mm IS II standard zoom lens is perfect for families, budding photo enthusiasts and first-time SLR users alike. EOS Rebel T5 makes it easy to capture movies and photos that are nothing short of dazzling. It features a powerful 18 megapixel CMOS image sensor and DIGIC 4 image processor for easy recording of HD video and high-resolution photos and has a huge 3-inch LCD screen for Live View recording and review. With a 63-zone, dual-layer metering system, an expanded ISO range for outstanding operation in less-than-perfect light, shooting modes like Scene Intelligent Auto to take the guesswork out of complex shots plus creative options like Basic+ function and Creative Auto, the EOS Rebel T5 is ready for anything. With a helpful Feature Guide, rugged, lightweight construction and proven Canon design, the EOS Rebel T5 makes EOS SLR photography faster and easier than ever!
The Rebel line of Canons has produced some incredible cameras such as the T3. These are considered “budget” or beginner DSLR’s but in actuality, they are packed with features and unless you are a pro, you won’t need much more in a DSLR. They also have the ability to take video.
There is a T5 and a T5i and it’s not easy to tell what the differences are. CAREFUL! They are not the same, and the T5 is less expensive, though certainly a GREAT “entry level” DSLR. (Digital single lens reflex–a camera you can change lenses to add a telephoto or a wide angle lens like the pros do.)
The MAIN difference between the two is in the screen resolution: 460,000 dots for the T5 vs 1,040,000 dots in the T5i. That’s a big difference. If you do a lot of video, the T5i would be better. You can blow up your pictures on the screen much larger.
Another screen difference: the T5i swivel screen is better for video (swings out like a video camera.) The touch screen makes manual settings a breeze. The T5 has a fixed screen like the T3.
The T5 is lighter (480g or 0.94lbs vs 580g or 1.27lbs)
Doing a lot of low-light work? The ISO range of the T5i is larger: T5 100 – 12,800 vs T5i 100 – 25,600
The T5 has about 100 shots MORE of battery life than the T5i.
If you are shooting a lot of video with a DSLR, you’ll probably want the T5i. If you are shooting a lot of low-light, you may also want the T5i. If you want a very light camera, with more battery life and to save some money, the T5 is excellent. If you don’t do video AT ALL, the T3 is cheaper still, and has more battery life and is an ounce lighter. The video resolution on the T5 is better than the T3 and there is an auto-contrast detection.B Read Full Review…
Best Mirrorless Camera Under 500
Megapixels: 24 mp
The α6000 is a super compact Mirrorless camera that’s about half the size and weight of a typical DSLR, yet it has the same size APS-C image sensor as most DSLRs. The interchangeable lenses and E-mount system make the α6000 more versatile than almost any other camera on the market.
Get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements thanks to the newly developed 24.3 megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor. It’s higher resolution than most DSLRs and adopts the same gapless on-chip lens structure as the α7R for ultimate image quality and light sensitivity.
The tiltable 3.0” (921k dots) Xtra Fine LCD Display makes it easy to photograph over crowds or low to capture pets eye to eye by swinging up approx. 90° and down approx. 45°. Easily scroll through menus and preview life thanks to WhiteMagic technology that dramatically increases visibility in bright daylight. The large display delivers brilliant-quality still images and movies while enabling easy focusing operation.B REVIEWS SONY ALPHA
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is a surprisingly sophisticated camera that’s a joy to use. Whether you’re a novice just snapping shots of your everyday life or a photo enthusiast looking to maximize your creativity, the E-M10 Mark II delivers with a compact profile, intuitively placed controls, and an advanced 5-axis image stabilization system that ensures perfection with every shot! REVIEWS
- Built-in 5-Axis image stabilization for sharper images
- 2.3 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.62X magnification
- Silent mode (disables all shutter sounds)
- 8.5 frames per second burst shooting.Sequential shooting speed 8 fps [H] mode 3.5 fps [L] mode mechanical shutter
- Fast touch auto focus from camera or phone B
Let the new EOS M100 camera stimulate your photographic creativity with helpful features including a touch screen and Dual Pixel CMOS AF for rapid and precise autofocusing. Additionally, the LCD can tilt up to 180-degrees to provide creative angles including selfies, and offers Self Portrait Mode and a Creative Assist feature for guidance and impressive results.EOS M100 REVIEW
I’m a professional photographer and have worked with everything from a Canon film camera to the Nikon D4, my main camera now is the canon 70D. I bought this camera to travel with and take pictures of the kids. I know most people will say just use your phone, but I don’t like the quality of the print when it comes from a cell phone. This camera has all the same features of my 70D in a smaller, more compact size. Many of you asked who is this camera for in 2017.. I would say it’s for the people who want the quality of a DSLR in a small, easier to travel with size. This camera is great for the travelers or the moms. It’s fast, and easy to use. I am one that always has my camera in manual mode, but I have found even in the auto setting this camera gets it right. It also has a creative assist function where you can play with setting, find one you like, and save it for future use.Go To Top
The Sony RX100 was the first camera to put a 1″ sensor into a camera you can slip into your back pocket. Whilst a 1″ sensor is smaller than an MFT and APS-C sensor, it still offers imaging performance that’s unrivalled amongst other compact cameras.
Check the latest price of the Sony RX100, as last time I checked, it was the cheapest 1″ sensor compact camera on the market. This makes it a great option if you’ve only got $500 to spend, but still want a camera with you at all times (that’s much better than your smartphone).
The 20.2MP sensor coupled with the 28-100mm f/1.8-4.9 zoom lens (3.6x zoom) is all you’ll ever need for most situations.
JPEG and RAW image quality is great, and much better than you’d typically expect from a pocketable camera of this size. The lack of dynamic range is consistent with its 1″ sensor size, but the Sony RX100 does a good job at nailing exposure and white balance, so there’s not much need for post production.BGo To Top
Family vacations, parties and special moments–the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS camera is ready for it all. Its fantastically versatile 40x optical zoom means you can capture close-up portraits of your family, landmarks in the the distance and virtually everything in between. While youre away, keep those at home updated on your travels by sharing your shots with the PowerShot SX720 HSs built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity. Your memories are precious, so whether youre snapping a picture of the sunset, capturing fun outings with friends or shooting a home movie to treasure for a lifetime, the 20.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 6 image processor combine to bring you stunning images and spectacular 1080p Full HD video.
With the PowerShot SX720 HS camera in hand, you’ll be impressed at the zooming capabilities of this slim, compact digital camera. The amazing 40x Optical Zoom lens is newly designed, packing high zoom power into a slim design to get you down on the field, high atop a skyscraper, deep into a landscape and much more. The camera’s advanced technology helps ensure that images and videos are captured in outstanding quality, with Intelligent IS that chooses the stabilization method that matches the shooting conditions, so images are virtually shake-free in a wide variety of situations.
This is a superb camera. I grew tired of always having to lug around one of my DSLRs anytime I went out so I started looking at a few Point and Shoot options. I decided to buy the Canon Powershot 720 HS after reading some of the reviews on Amazon, and I am extremely satisfied with my purchase. The camera is compact and elegant and feels wonderful in your hand. It is a fully manual camera that allows you to set the ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, which is exactly what I was looking for in a Point and Shoot. The camera has a 40X zoom lens, but do not try to zoom out too far without mounting the camera on a tripod or stabilizing it another way. The image quality is excellent, and if you don’t tell anyone the images came from a Point and Shoot, they’d easily think they came from a mid-range DSLR with a good lens.BGo To Top
The Power Shot G9 x mark II camera combines an ultra-slim design with high-performing features for incredible image quality and easy portability.
The PowerShot G9 X Mark II camera features a large 1.0-inch, 20.1 Megapixel1 CMOS sensor that helps capture high-quality images and videos. Its wide dynamic range helps ensure both bright and dark parts are fully captured, like the shadowy side of a building on a bright sunny day, or streetlights on a dark night. 20.1 Megapixels1 provide high-resolution photos for printing, viewing and additional flexibility during editing.
The PowerShot G9 X Mark II camera has a versatile zoom lens with a flexible optical zoom range, helping you capture wide shots like a big party scene or a gorgeous canyon, or zoom in for a wonderful close-up. The bright aperture goes as large as f/2.0, creating beautiful background blur to make your subject pop and helping you take clear photos in low light, often without a flash. Combined with Intelligent IS, it helps to ensure sharp and virtually shake-free images in many shooting situations.
The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is the updated version of Canon’s G9 X “entry level” premium compact camera. I was looking for a small camera to take along with me when I did not want to lug around a DSLR camera and lenses. After much research, I settled on the PowerShot G9 X Mark II and so far, I am very pleased with the results.B Go To Top
Best DSLR Cameras under $500– Buying Guide
How to Choose The Best Camera Under 500
Choosing the Right Type of dslr Camera
What’s most important to you when it comes to taking pictures? Maybe it’s an easy-to-use camera you can slip into your pocket for candid shots of your kids. Or maybe getting the perfect photo of a sunset or dew-covered rose is worth carrying around a more advanced camera. The best place to start figuring out what you need is to ask the right questions.
What type of photos do you want to take?
Family and friends
Need a camera for a family reunion or a weekend trip with friends? A high-quality point-and-shoot is small enough to fit in a purse or large pocket and even lets you capture short videos.
Extreme sports and underwater photos
If you’re an outdoor adventurer, you need a camera rugged enough to keep up with your lifestyle. Action cameras let you wear the camera or mount it on your equipment for in-your-face video footage. Waterproof cameras can easily handle accidental splashes or wet weather, and some are submersible for use while snorkeling or swimming. Shockproof cameras are designed to withstand jarring bumps and drops, and freezeproof cameras work well even in extremely cold conditions.
- Action cameras
- Waterproof cameras
A long-range zoom will come in handy here, giving you the flexibility to take pictures up close or at a distance with a single lens.
Exceptional image quality
You’ll get the sharpest photos with a mirrorless camera or DSLR camera. You’ll also get the chance to improve your photography skills with interchangeable lenses, precise manual focusing and better results in low-light settings.
What kind of camera are you willing to carry around?
If you love the appeal of a DSLR camera but can’t see yourself carrying it around all day on a sightseeing trip, you might be better off with a smaller, lighter camera. When image quality matters more than size, however, a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a larger sensor and more features is worth the extra weight.
Even if you already own a DSLR camera or plan to purchase one, there may be times when it makes sense to have a point-and-shoot camera as well. Different types of cameras work best in different situations. While a smartphone is convenient for spontaneous shots, a point-and-shoot gives you better quality for all-day events, and a DSLR gives you even higher quality for when it matters most.
Smartphones vs. digital cameras
With the rapid advances of camera technology in smartphones, you may be wondering, “Why do I even need a digital camera at all?” Good question. Smartphones offer respectable quality when it comes to capturing spur-of-the-moment photos and videos, but they often fall short when it comes to image quality. A digital camera features a much larger image sensor than the tiny sensors available in phones. A bigger sensor produces clearer, more vibrant photos than a smaller sensor, even if the number of megapixels is the same. Digital cameras shoot better in low light or when you need to zoom in on your subject, along with featuring more versatility and settings options, longer battery life, better flash, a larger lens and a larger maximum storage capacity.
While a smartphone is convenient for when you don’t have your camera handy, using a digital camera will give you better quality photos that you’ll treasure for years to come.
Available in a wide range of models, from basic to true professional-grade, point-and-shoot cameras aren’t just for novices. From rugged cameras for adventure seekers to premium models that offer impressive performance in an ultracompact package, there’s a point-and-shoot camera to fit almost any need.
General use cameras
Slim, lightweight and pocket-friendly, these cameras offer a step up in image quality compared to most smartphones. Optical zoom lets you capture more detailed close-up photos, and faster shutter speed reduces blur on action shots. The larger image sensor and lens of a point-and-shoot also capture better photos in low light. Some of these cameras offer built-in Wi-Fi for easy sharing.
- • Faster and more versatile than a camera phone
- • Ultracompact models are the slimmest, lightest available
- • Built-in Wi-Fi, available on some models, makes it easy to share photos and videos on the go
- • Casual social events and everyday photos
- • Beginners and casual photographers
- • People who already own a camera but need something lighter and smaller for all-day trips and events
If you need a camera tough enough to survive your next snorkeling trip or rock climbing expedition, invest in a waterproof or shockproof camera. With a solid, weatherproof exterior that can keep moisture out or even be submersed in several feet of water, waterproof cameras are safe to use in almost any weather or environment. Plus, they’re just as at home at the beach or in the backyard as they are in more extreme environments.
If you need a camera that can withstand shock from drops or freezing temperatures, invest in a shockproof or freezeproof camera. Although the toughness and durability of these cameras makes for a slight increase in size and weight, the payoff is a camera you can take almost anywhere, without worrying about accidental damage.
For the best all-terrain protection, get a camera that boasts all three of these features together – waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof. A camera this rugged will be tough enough for almost any adventure.
- • Waterproof, shockproof and/or freezeproof cameras thrive in almost any environment
- • Often include built-in GPS, depth meter and compass
- • Simple and easy to use while on the go
- • Large buttons and controls for easy use with gloves or underwater
- • Outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers
- • Vacations at the beach or water park
Without enough natural light entering the lens, the pictures you take indoors or outside at dawn or dusk can appear grainy and dark. That’s when you need a low-light camera with a larger image sensor (or high ISO sensitivity) to capture more light. As a bonus, the larger pixel size will also give you better pictures in bright light and any other setting.
Getting crisp, clear images in low-light settings is not about how many megapixels are crammed into the sensor but about the size of each pixel. A larger pixel size can capture more light. So can a larger maximum aperture. The larger the maximum aperture (i.e., the lower the f-stop number), the easier it will be to take high-quality photos in low-light settings without a flash.
- • Allows you to take pictures indoors or in low light without a flash
- • Captures crisp, clear images with less noise
- • Larger pixel size captures more natural light
- • Larger maximum aperture makes the camera even more sensitive in low light
- • Indoor photos
- • Photos at dawn or dusk and on overcast days
If you want to get close to the action or zoom in on distant subjects while traveling, a long-zoom camera gives you the flexibility you need for shots at almost any distance. Long-zoom cameras feature at least 10x or greater optical zoom, with some models featuring 20x or greater optical zoom. The longer the zoom range, the closer you can zoom in on details from far away. For example, a camera with 10x optical zoom might allow you to frame the silhouette of an old barn from a distant hillside, while a camera with 30x optical zoom would allow you to frame the weather vane on the barn’s roof.
Long-zoom cameras sometimes include an electronic viewfinder (EVF) for easier shooting outdoors, where bright light can obscure the LCD screen. The electronic viewfinder also enables precise framing of the exact shot you want to capture and reduces blurring as a result of holding the camera close to your body as you peer through the viewfinder. Holding the camera away from your body increases camera shake, especially at longer zoom ranges. Look for a camera with image stabilization to further reduce blurring when taking pictures with the zoom extended.
- • Allows you to zoom in close when you can’t physically get closer
- • Often includes an electronic viewfinder for outdoor shooting, stability and precision
- • Larger, more secure grip
- • Fast shooting speed and quick response for action shots
- • Travel, sports and wildlife
- • Everyday versatility in a single camera
Point-and-shoot cameras span a wide range of options, from basic entry level to high-end models. Premium models offer the best of the best when it comes to point-and-shoot, including sharper lens quality, more durable construction and advanced features. Even though they may look the same as a basic model, the technology and features packed inside are what set these cameras apart.
A larger aperture allows for excellent low-light performance, and, with a faster shooting speed and quick autofocus, you can capture an image at the exact moment you want. Besides the auto modes available on all point-and-shoot cameras, some premium models also come with a manual control option, which allows you to shoot creatively with fewer limitations. You may also be able to shoot in RAW format for advanced editing.
- • Best overall point-and-shoot performance in a small, simple package
- • Great for fast-action and low-light shots
- • Often includes built-in Wi-Fi and/or GPS
- • Full manual control available on many models
- • Expandability options for external flashes, lens adapters and other accessories
- • Enthusiasts
- • Users who want to manually adjust settings for creative control
Shop premium cameras
- Maybe you’re a daredevil who likes to skydive, or you’re a skier who loves the double black diamond runs. And maybe you’re disappointed by the quality of your fast-action shots, or your camera equipment has suffered over the years because of your high-adrenaline lifestyle. If so, action cameras are made for you. They’re rugged enough to withstand the elements and advanced enough to provide stunning, high-resolution photos and videos. Just clip the camera to your clothes or mount it to your helmet or equipment for up-close footage that’s immersed in the action. Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to upload photos and videos directly to your tablet or smartphone for instant sharing. It’s never been easier to capture and relive all your adventures.
If you’re asking, “What is a mirrorless camera?” you’re not alone. It’s a fairly new type of camera that many people are just learning about. The mirrorless camera, formerly known as a compact system camera, is a hybrid between full-function DSLR cameras and convenient point-and-shoot cameras. Mirrorless cameras are typically smaller and lighter than most DSLRs, since they omit the optical viewfinder and mirror box, but they have a broader array of features and functions than point-and-shoot cameras, such as faster autofocus and shooting speed. A big difference between a mirrorless camera and a point-and-shoot is the interchangeable lens. Like with a DSLR camera, this feature gives you the ability to change lenses based on the type of photos you want to take. With a mirrorless camera, you’ll get both the premium image quality and interchangeable lens system of a DSLR plus the compact camera body of a point-and-shoot all in one convenient package.
- Features image quality comparable to a DSLR but in a smaller, lighter package
- Often better and faster than a point-and-shoot
- Ability to change lenses for almost any type of shot
- Premium-quality images with a camera that’s lighter and more compact than a DSLR
- Fast-action shots of kids, pets and sports
- Mirrorless cameras
- Mirrorless camera lenses
A DSLR camera, or digital single lens reflex camera, is the clear choice if you want to take your photography to a higher level.
Let’s dispel the myth that DSLR cameras are for the pros, or those who have the ability to invest huge chunks of time into a photography hobby. It’s just not true. The great news is that you don’t need to be a professional photographer to use a DSLR. The technology has evolved to the point that just about anyone can pick up a DSLR camera and start shooting significantly better photos – today.
The big benefit of a DSLR is its versatility. A DSLR camera is a must-have for the pro who wants complete manual control. But it’s also a great option for casual photographers looking to improve their photography skills and even parents who want a fast-acting, autofocusing, don’t-want-to-miss-that-shot camera to capture their kid’s big moments. The ability to choose from a wide variety of lenses is also a major benefit to owning a DSLR camera.
Although there’s a lot to learn about DSLR cameras, there’s no need to be intimidated. Our DSLR Buying Guide will help you understand the basics and explore which DSLR camera is right for you.
- Premium image quality and versatility
- Fast lens means you get your shot
- Ability to change lenses for almost any type of shot
- Enthusiasts and professionals
- Casual photographers who want the best image quality, speed and versatility
- Anyone who prefers shooting with an optical viewfinder
One major benefit of owning a mirrorless camera or DSLR is the ability to switch lenses in order to get the exact shot you want. The type of lens attached to your camera is what allows you to capture a wide variety of creative images, including detailed photos of subjects as tiny as a bumblebee or wide-angle shots of a sweeping landscape.
Zoom lenses allow you to capture subjects up close or at a distance by changing the focal length. The longer the focal length, the farther you will be able to zoom in on your subject. Prime lenses, on the other hand, are fixed at a specific focal length, but they typically produce sharper images and perform better in low-light settings.
To learn more about lenses, take a look at our Lens Buying Guide.
- DSLR camera lenses
- Mirrorless camera lenses
Now that you have a better understanding of the types of cameras available and how you might use them, let’s take a closer look at the technology inside these cameras. Although it’s helpful to understand how things like megapixels, sensors, aperture and zoom work together, keep in mind that most cameras have fully automatic modes, including autofocus. So even if you’re new to photography, you can start taking frame-worthy photos right away, without knowing all the ins and outs of how it happens.
Megapixels or image sensors: Which is more important?
If you’re confused about what the “right” number of megapixels might be for your needs, you’re not alone. It used to be a common thought that more megapixels equaled better photos. But that’s not the whole story. Cramming too many megapixels onto the sensor makes for tinier pixels, which can’t capture light as easily. The result is noisy (or grainy) photos. Bottom line? Rely more on the size of the camera sensor to determine image quality than on the number of megapixels.
The sensor is the technology that actually uses the light brought into the camera to create your image. The sensor can be just as important as the number of megapixels when it comes to image quality. In fact, when you’re looking at a camera sensor, bigger is better. This is why a camera phone with a large number of megapixels may produce inferior photos compared to a digital camera with fewer megapixels.
What to look for
- • All cameras carried at Best Buy have enough megapixels for normal use
- • Someone who needs to print larger images or do a significant amount of cropping and enlarging will want a camera featuring 20 or more megapixels
- • Remember when comparing cameras, a bigger image sensor is better
The sharpness and detail of an image depends heavily on the quality of the lens. A fast lens (with a large aperture or low f-stop number) captures more light, which improves the camera’s performance in low-light settings. A larger aperture also allows you to focus on a small portion of the scene and blur the background for a soft, stylish effect.
The ability to shoot high-quality videos is one of the bonuses of owning a digital camera. When a single shot won’t fully capture the moment, switching to video mode allows you to record memories you’ll treasure forever, such as your baby’s first steps or your daughter’s graduation. For the highest quality videos, choose a camera with 1080p HD recording for crisp, detailed videos with a professional feel. You’ll also want to look for a camera with video-specific autofocus technology, which ensures that your subject always stays in focus, even while panning or shooting fast-action videos.
Because of the larger image sensor compared to a smartphone camera, most digital cameras shoot higher quality videos, especially in low light, with DSLR cameras boasting the highest video quality.
LCDs and viewfinders
It used to be that you could only frame the shot by peering with one eye through a viewfinder; however, today’s digital cameras feature an LCD screen that allows you to frame the shot by looking at what’s on the screen. Some cameras feature both a viewfinder and an LCD screen, while some only include the LCD.
A higher resolution LCD screen displays the image in sharper detail. Touch screens allow you to change settings and navigate menus on your camera using touch rather than pushing buttons. For shooting videos or capturing images at odd angles, an articulated LCD screen comes in handy. These screens rotate so that you can see what you’re shooting even if you’re holding the camera above your head or crouching low for an artistic angle.
Since shooting in bright sunlight can make it difficult to see what’s on the LCD screen, some cameras also feature an electronic viewfinder that allows you to frame the shot by holding the camera up to your eye. This also helps stabilize the camera and reduce camera shake when the zoom is extended for long-distance shots.
Wi-Fi and GPS
One of the best parts of taking photos is sharing them with people we love. Built-in Wi-Fi allows you to upload photos to your smartphone or tablet for easy wireless sharing, and some cameras even allow you to post pictures and videos directly from your camera to Facebook, YouTube and other sites. GPS technology tracks the exact location where each photo was taken, allowing you to create a visual map of places you’ve traveled. And if you’re concerned about privacy, you can always disable the GPS tracking.
Wi-Fi and GPS capability are available on a wide range of point-and-shoot cameras, as well as some DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Some include both Wi-Fi and GPS technology – both features are especially popular with travelers, or anyone who likes to shoot and share on the go.
- Point-and-shoot Wi-Fi cameras
- Mirrorless Cameras with Wi-Fi
- DSLR Wi-Fi cameras
A wide range of features is available that can help you take better shots with less effort, such as burst mode, scene selection and smile shutter. As technology advances and cameras become smarter, it’s easier than ever for anyone to take professional-looking photos. Here are just a few of the special features available on many digital cameras.
Wish you could capture the entire landscape in one seamless photo? Panorama mode allows you to take several pictures and then stitch them together into a single shot – a feature used most often for sightseeing and nature photography.
Instead of leaving it up to your camera to determine the correct settings for the photo you want to capture, you can select a scene mode such as portrait, landscape, beach, sports or night mode. Your camera will automatically adjust the settings based on the mode you select. You can also choose creative modes, such as black and white or sepia, for an artistic look and feel to your photos.
How does your camera know where to focus, with so many subjects in the background? Face detection ensures that if you’re taking pictures of people, the camera will autofocus on the subjects’ faces rather than on objects behind and in front of them. Most cameras with face detection are able to focus on multiple faces at once for better group shots on the first take.
HDR (High Dynamic Range)
Not sure how to choose the right exposure and settings on your camera? Cameras with an HDR function can take multiple pictures of a single scene – all at different exposures. Then the camera chooses the best parts of each photo and combines them into one great shot. This is especially helpful for high-contrast scenes, such as when you’re struggling to get just the right exposure for both a bright sky and a dark landscape.