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Nowadays, a lot of people are asking what the best DSLR cameras under $500 are because almost everyone needs a digital camera that goes within a budget. Despite how famous smartphone cameras have become, DSLR cameras still hold a place in the heart of every photography enthusiast.
Let’s all face it. Smartphone technology has significantly improved in the last few years, allowing you to take astonishing photos. But smartphone cameras still fail to deliver the same detail and vibrancy that a DSLR can.
More often than not, smartphones struggle shooting in low light scenes. They also fail in freezing motion shots at times, which makes DSLR cameras still preferable.
Smartphones do not have adjustable shutter speed, face detection, or noise reduction too. Without these settings, modifying and improving the quality of your photos is harder.
Regardless if you are looking for the best camera under $500 for your next trip, or you just want one for everyday use, here are some of the best options out there.
Best DSLR Cameras Under $500 #1: Canon EOS Rebel T6
- 180 Megapixel CMOS (APS C) image sensor and high performance DIGIC 4+ Image Processor for excellent...
- ISO 100 6400 (expandable to H: 12800) for shooting from bright light to low light compatible with...
- Built in Wi Fi and NFC connectivity provide easy sharing to compatible smart devices, select social...
- 9 point AF system (including one center cross type AF point) and AI Servo AF provide impressive...
- Use the EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software (Mac and Windows) to turn your compatible Canon camera into...
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 is one of the best budget-friendly cameras for point-and-shoot users. It offers an 18 megapixel CMOS sensor and Canon’s DIGIC 4+ image processor, which delivers highly-quality and colorful images.
It also comes with a wide ISO 100-6400 sensitivity range, allowing you to shoot astonishing photos in different lighting situations. With it, capturing detailed and natural-looking photos and videos has never been this easy and convenient.
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 boasts a nine-point AF system with a center cross-type AF point as well. This is very helpful in capturing highly-focused photos, both in both portrait and landscape orientations.
In addition, its AI Servo AF also makes the camera’s focusing capacity more reliable. The camera can do a continuous Shooting Rate of up to 3 fps too.
At the back of the camera is a 3.0” 920k-Dot LCD Monitor. It also offers Wi-Fi with NFC that you can use to share your photos and videos easily.
Aside from having a faster processor than its predecessor, the Rebel T5 also comes with the Canon EOS Rebel T6.
All in all, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 is a good camera that can be used for first-time ILC users and smartphone upgraders.
Best DSLR Cameras Under $500 #2: Nikon D3500
- A DSLR that's as easy to use as a point and shoot camera
- Compact, comfortable design that's great for travel and special events
- Image sensor that's 15x larger than those used in typical smartphones for sharper, clearer pictures
- Works with Nikon snap bridge app for sharing photos with a compatible smartphone or tablet
- 1080p full hd videos with monaural sound at the touch of a button
Coming from a reputable name in the camera industry, the Nikon D3500 is equipped with a 24.2 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor to give you stunning, attention-worthy photos and videos. Compared to Nikon D3400, the Nikon D3500 is relatively cheaper, lighter, and has longer battery life.
Featuring a Guide Mode, this camera will give you everything you need to capture photos in different situations. Basically, the guide mode will tell the camera the kind of scene you are trying to shoot. It will teach you the basics of photography, as well.
The camera’s life is longer by 30%, which allows you to shoot up to 1550 images. Unlike other DSLR cameras out there, the Nikon D3500 is compact and lightweight. This makes the camera more convenient to bring anywhere with you.
Its menu system is not complicated too. Besides, the camera’s back buttons and dials are strategically located so that you can easily access them when needed.
As for the camera’s image quality, the Nikon D3500 can shoot beautiful images at ISO 100-25600. The camera’s Continuous Shooting Rate is up to 5 fps, while it can record Full HD videos at 60 fps.
Nikon D3500 has a 3.0” 921k-Dot LCD Monitor. Unluckily, the monitor is not a touchscreen, and the ace-detection AF only works in Live View mode.
Best DSLR Cameras Under $500 #3: Canon EOS Rebel T7
- 24 1 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor with is 100–6400 (H: 12800)
- Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC technology
- 9-Point AF system and AI Servo AF
- Optical Viewfinder with approx 95% viewing coverage
- Use the EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software (Mac and Windows) to turn your compatible Canon camera into...
The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is an entry-level DSLR that has a 24MP sensor, which allows you to capture photos with stunning details and vibrant colors.
It also comes with ISO 100-6400 range that can be expanded up to ISO 12800. This allows you to capture well-balanced photos, even in poor lighting conditions.
Canon EOS Rebel T7 is also equipped with DIGIC 4+ processor, which makes the camera faster and more responsive. The camera also boasts a nine-point autofocus system with a cross-type point, allowing you to capture highly-focused shots with sharp details.
The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is also equipped with a 3.0” 920k-Dot LCD Monitor, giving you a wider screen view. It has a built-in Wi-Fi with NFC connection for easy sharing, especially when you are on the go.
Furthermore, its video resolution is at 1080/30p, which is already good enough. Just keep in mind that limited to single-point AF. The thing is, you can unlock the manual exposures when recording videos.
Finally, the Canon EOS Rebel T7 measures 4.0 by 5.1 by 3.1 inches (HWD) and weighs 1.1 pounds without a lens. It has a black finishing with an integrated pop-up flash, a comfortable handgrip, and a hot shoe located at the optical viewfinder’s top.
Best DSLR Cameras Under $500 #4: Nikon D5600
- 24.2MP DX format CMOS sensor
- Ex peed 4 image processor; approx.; 0.82 x (50 millimeter f/1.4 lens at infinity, 1.0 meter (1))
- 3.2 inches 1.037 meter dot VARI angle touchscreen. Max video clip length: 1920 x 1080: 29 minutes,...
- Full hd 1080p video recording at 60 fps. Bluetooth version 4.1
- Snap bridge Bluetooth and Wi-Fi with NFC
Nikon D5600 is the newest of Nikon’s upper entry-level DSLR cameras. The camera is jam-packed with a lot of powerful features, including built-in Wi-Fi and GPS.
It also comes with longer battery life, allowing you to capture more shots.
But the real upgrade is the addition of Nikon’s SnapBridge. Nikon SnapBridge allows you to automatically sync photos to your phone while shooting. It also gives you a remote live view and even enables you to shoot photos remotely.
The camera helps you create beautiful photos and videos in different lighting situations. Thanks to its EXPEED image processor and excellent autofocus system.
Furthermore, the Nikon D5600 has an ISO range of ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 6400 in Night Landscape mode. It also comes with a built-in HDR (High Dynamic Range) that you can use when capturing images with a broad dynamic range.
Behind the camera is a 3.2” 1.07m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen Display, which is relatively larger than other DSLR screens. Its vari-angle screen makes the camera more flexible.
The camera’s new AF-P 18-55mm lens makes its Live View performance superb. Although it is not perfect yet, it actually does an excellent job in speed and responsiveness.
Best DSLR Cameras Under $500 #5: Nikon D3400
- Snap Bridge Bluetooth Connectivity
- 24.2mp dx format CMOS sensor
- Expeed 4 image processor
- No optical low pass filter. Bluetooth specification version 4.1. Wi-Fi functionality eye fi...
- Native ISO 100 25600; 5 fps shooting. Compatibility information: c firmware v. 1.10 and later (...
Nikon D3400 is a small and lightweight entry-level DSLR that allows you to capture beautiful shots easily. It comes with a 24.3MP sensor and high-tech image processor, delivering stunning images in RAW and JPEG formats.
With its high megapixels, the camera allows you to ‘crop’ your photos, giving you a zoomed-in, high-quality photo. The camera even allows you to make your photos a bit larger to make them perfect for displaying.
Nikon D3400 has a five fps continuous shooting. With this, keeping up with fast-moving objects is possible. The camera has a decent autofocus system too.
Furthermore, Nikon D3400 is the perfect camera that a beginner can have, with its ‘guide mode.’ The guide mode teaches you how to shoot in different lighting situations.
Another notable feature of the camera is its long battery life. To be specific, the camera can capture up to 1,200 shots per charge. This is twice higher than other DSLR cameras can do.
The camera has 11 AF points too. You can also take advantage of not using the flash even in a low light scene with its ISO range of 100 – 25,600.
The camera only weighs 645 grams with the lens attached, which means that bringing it with you anywhere is quite easy.
Best DSLR Cameras Under $500 #6: Sony a5100
- Ultra-fast auto focus with 179 AF points and 6Fps
- Capture life in high resolution with 24MP APS-C sensor.Lens compatibility Sony E-mount lenses
- Instant sharing via smartphone with Wi-Fi and NFC1
- Record Full HD 1080/24/60P video3 up to 50MB/s. Compatible OS - Windows Vista SP2-6, Windows 7 SP1,...
- Contains- Rechargeable Battery (NP-FW50) AC Charger (AC-UB10) Lens cap Shoulder strap Micro USB...
Sony has a lot of DSLR cameras in stores that are under $500, and one of them is the Sony a5100. The Sony a5100 is an entry-level and budget-friendly camera that is once considered the best 4k camera under 500 on different websites.
This is because Sony a5100’s photo and video quality are definitely better than those of a point-and-shoot.
Much more than that, the camera features 179 AF points and six fps, which is borrowed from much more expensive cameras. This gives it a speedy autofocus performance, which is perfect when shooting fast-moving objects.
The camera sports a 24.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor with its AF points covering 92% of the frame. This means that you can quickly move the AF point to where exactly you want to focus. If not, you can have the camera do the job for you.
But, the Sony a5100 only has a 3” touchscreen. You can flip the screen up to 180 degrees, which is great when taking selfies or vlogging.
When it comes to its video recording capacity, the Sony a5100 actually works well. The camera’s phase-detection AF points can track your face around the screen perfectly.
Finally, the camera makes it possible to capture photos in JPEGs and RAWs at 24 MP. With this, you can print images up to 300 DPI.
Best DSLR Cameras Under $500 #7: Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark I
- 16 MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor with 3-axis sensor shift image stabilization
- Up to 8 FPS continuous shooting
- ISO 200-25600
- 1080/30 fps HD video (H.264/Motion JPEG)
- Tiltable 3 inch touchscreen LCD with 1,037,000 dots
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark I is another best DSLR for video under 500, which is also known as a ‘micro-four-thirds’ camera (MFT). This is because the camera has a slightly smaller sensor than an APS-C sensor.
The camera delivers excellent image quality without sacrificing portability. It offers what the latest technologies have, all crammed into a compact body with beautiful ergonomics.
Despite its relatively low price, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark I has the latest image processor and 5-axis image stabilization. This feature is actually typically found in high-end cameras only.
With such features, the camera allows you to use slower shutter speeds and lower ISOs, even in low light situations.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark I has one of the smallest sensors, but it will never bring you down when it comes to image quality. Its 16MP sensor delivers very good JPEG and RAW image quality.
Also, its autofocus is incredibly responsive and accurate. What is even more impressive is that with just a simple touch of the subject on the rear LCD, the camera will automatically focus and shoot in a split-second.
Best DSLR Cameras Under $500 #8: Canon EOS M100
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Phase detection
- 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS C) Sensor
- Built in Wi Fi, NFC and Bluetooth
- Intuitive Touchscreen, 3.0 inch Tilt type LCD
- AF Points:Up to 49 points (Maximum)
Released in 2017, the Canon EOS M100 is a pocket-size mirrorless DSLR camera that is a hugely popular camera for all photography levels.
The camera comes with a 24MP APS-C sensor and Dual Pixel autofocus system, which is actually borrowed from higher-end Canon cameras. This makes the Canon EOS M100 one of the best DSLR cameras under $500 today.
The Dual Pixel autofocus system’s advantage is that it makes tracking the subject faster and more accurate.
Canon EOS M100 also features 180 degrees tilting touchscreen, giving you more flexibility to explore while shooting.
It sports a ‘rack focus’ feature too, which can be used when shooting videos. The rack focus features make it possible to drag your finger across the touchscreen to move from one subject to another.
This is an advanced feature that is not usually found in a compact camera, more so with such a low price.
When it comes to image quality, Canon EOS M100 produces nothing but beautiful-colored and well-balanced photos. Canon indeed knows how to play the game with this camera.
The camera is also equipped with a selfie-friendly rotating screen, Creative Filters, interchangeable camera ‘jackets,’ and skin smoothing/background blurring feature, which makes the camera perfect for taking social media photos.
In addition, built-in Wi-Fi is also available to make sharing photos and videos easier and more convenient.
Best DSLR Cameras Under $500 #9: Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
- The advanced video capabilities of the PowerShot G7 X Mark II camera can capture moments in the...
- Features a large 1.0 inch, 20.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor that helps capture high quality images and...
- An aperture value of f/1.8 at the wide angle and f/2.8 when fully zoomed to a factor of 4.2x (24 100...
- High resolution, 3.0 inches LCD monitor that tilts up 180 degrees and down 45 degrees is ideal for...
- Built in WiFi for on the go convenience and the ability to easily post your images to select social...
Featuring an impressive 20.2MP 1″ sensor, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is actually sold as a bundle with some useful gadgets.
It offers an aperture range of f/1.8 – 2.8, allowing you to shoot without a flash in low light, without using a higher ISO. A higher ISO may bring about a noisy image.
But shooting in a higher ISO is not a problem too. This is because cleaning up the noise from any image shot at high ISO is easy with the camera’s amount of data in the RAW files.
The fast aperture range of the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II can produce blurry backgrounds, separating the foreground subject.
When the lens is zoomed in, the aperture changes from f/1.8 at the lens’s widest point to f/2.8 too.
On the physical side, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II’s buttons and knobs are very accessible when setting the camera manually. If not, the camera also comes with an ‘Auto” feature.
Furthermore, the camera’s new processor offers an improved face detection feature. This gives you snappier shots. Its AF allows you to capture fast-moving objects with accuracy too.
And while the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II does not have a viewfinder, a tilting LCD touchscreen. The tilting LCD touchscreen is fast, responsive, and is very easy to operate.
Best DSLR Cameras Under $500 #10: Sony RX100
- Approximately 20.1 megapixels , Exmor CMOS Sensor, 28-100mm equivalent F/18-49 lens, ISO 125-6400...
- Operating temperature:Approx. 0°C to 40°C (32F° to 104F°).1080p video, Steady-Shot image...
- Burst Mode (shots)-Approx10 fps,(VGA) Moving Image Size -640x480 30fps Approx3Mbps. Flash range:ISO...
- Bright F18 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens with 36x zoom, Full HD 1080/60p video with manual control...
- Dimension: 1016 mm x 581 mm x 359 mm, Weight: 213g (75 oz). Exposure Compensation: +/- 3.0 EV, 1/3...
Released in 2012, the Sony RX100 is still considered one of the best 4k camera under 500. The Sony RX100 is actually the first camera that only has a 1-inch sensor.
Even though the camera has a relatively smaller sensor in size, the Sony RX100 still offers better imaging performance than other compact cameras.
The camera comes with a 20.2MP sensor coupled with the 28-100mm f/1.8-4.9 zoom lens, which helps you capture stunning shots even in low light.
It also offers an aperture of f/1.8, which makes it possible to capture candid shots in low light without using the flash. Shooting a photo with a blurred background is possible too if you are close enough with the subject.
Despite its simplicity, the Sony RX100 is also equipped with a useful AUTO mode, full manual controls, and improved face recognition.
The Sony RX100 produces JPEG and RAW images. Unluckily, it doesn’t come with a dynamic range.
While a $500 budget may not be able to get you a decent camera before, thankfully, technological advancement has made DSLR cameras more affordable. With it, it is now possible for photographers to have a powerful camera at a relatively affordable price.
Looking at it, it’s amazing how the photography world has changed. From expensive cameras that anyone can hardly afford, DSLR cameras have become more affordable to anyone in just a few years.
Which type of camera is best?
Each type of camera has its own set of advantages. To be more specific, mirrorless cameras are the latest option, which means that they are equipped with the latest technologies.
On the other hand, DSLRs are known due to how reliable they are. They are also more ergonomic and have longer battery life.
Finally, compact cameras are loved exactly as they are – compact.
What is a good cheap camera for beginners?
For beginners, we recommend the Nikon D3400. This is because of its very useful “beginner mode” that helps you learn more about photography. Its Auto mode is also a great start before learning all the manual settings.
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