The very best cameras don’t always have to cost great sums. In fact, if you know what you’re looking for and you’re happy to forgo the latest tech and shiniest features, you can grab yourself an excellent option for less than what you may expect to pay.
How is this possible? Keeping an eye on deals is one option, but asking yourself what you actually need is well worth doing too. After all, today’s cameras are typically specified to a standard higher than the average person’s needs. Newer models may sometimes have a handful of nice-to-have advantages, but slightly older models are often just as good for the everyday photographer – and they’re often much cheaper.
We’ve done all the hard work of screening and examining the current crop of cameras to discover where the bargains are. Therefore, whether you merely fancy a little camera to slide into your pocket for every day make use of or something a bit more powerful for even more demanding subjects, continue reading.
10 Best Cheap Cameras 2020: Budget Cameras
1. Canon EOS Rebel T7: Best DSLR general
With the prior EOS Rebel T6 now in camera heaven, the EOS Rebel T7 (referred to as the EOS 2000D beyond your US) steps in its spot to provide first-time users with limited funds with a simple but sound DSLR option. The 24.1MP sensor gets the same resolution as much pricer cameras, as the 3in LCD can be the same size as those on many a lot more advanced models. Wi-Fi permits fuss-free image-posting out to the wider globe, while Total HD video is also on hand when you need it. There’s also a cheaper EOS 4000D variant in some territories, but the EOS Rebel T7 gives you a more advanced sensor, a much better and larger LCD and a sturdy metal lens mount, which makes it a much more powerful model.
2. Nikon D3500: best all-rounder
The impressively compact D3500 is Nikon’s most recent entry-level DSLRs, and the company has gone to great lengths to make it as user-friendly as possible for the newbie photographer. The menu interface is great on the eye and the Guide Mode walks you through important shooting options in a way everyone can understand, while the ergonomically designed body is definitely far closer to the pricier D5xxx series than earlier models, with a nice deep grip and an excellent physical control setup. At 1,550 shots per charge, battery life is also considerably higher than we normally find on such a camera while Bluetooth lets you send images to your phone without any fuss. OK, so you’ll have to make do without 4K video, and that LCD screen stays in place at all times, but there’s more to love here than there is to moan about.
3. Canon EOS Rebel SL2: Great first-time DSLR
Canon recently updated the EOS Rebel SL2 (known as the EOS 200D outside the US) with the Rebel SL3, but its continuing presence on the market is great for the bargain hunter after a solid first-time DSLR. You can use it with an exhaustive selection of Canon lenses and the impressive Dual Pixel CMOS AF system kicks into play when using live view and during videos, providing you the soft and fast concentrate as you’d expect on a mirrorless or small camera. The 9-stage AF system with all the viewfinder is a bit more basic in comparison, but that shouldn’t prevent you taking great pictures. If you’re grabbing it with the default 18-55mm kit zoom lens, ensure that lens has Picture Stabilizer (I.S.) written on it – some cheaper options don’t and the small saving you make getting this non-IS lens isn’t really worth it.
4. Nikon D5300: Great if you want to get more creative
If you feel you may quickly outgrow the D3500 above, or you’re lucky enough have a little more cash to play with, the D5300 is where you should turn your attention. While both have a 24MP sensor, here you get a 39-point AF system, a larger LCD that flips out and can be turned to face the front and built-in Wi-Fi, in addition to a microphone port for better audio recording and even an integrated GPS system. So, if you’re on your travels, or you want to get creative and shoot from awkward positions, the D5300 may be an improved choice. It’s a shame it can’t match the D3500’s 1550-shot battery life, but no additional DSLR in this cost bracket can at the moment either.
5. Canon EOS Rebel T7i: Greatest advanced beginner DSLR
Similar to the D5300, the EOS Rebel T7i (referred to as the EOS 800D beyond your US) can be an entry-level camera that provides you, even more, to play with and an excellent performance following to the more fundamental DSLR offerings upon this list. As the model arrived before 4K video began to become regular on such digital cameras, there’s a great selection of physical settings, a flip-out LCD that responds to contact and Canon’s superb Dual Pixel CMOS AF program for fluid concentrate in live look at and during video documenting. So when you’re using the viewfinder to shoot pictures, you get yourself a comprehensive 45-stage AF program, with each point being cross-type for extra sensitivity.
6. Canon EOS M100: Best mirrorless camera overall
This is one of the cheapest mirrorless cameras around, but there are good reasons to consider it over Canon’s more established DSLRs. It’s small, light and comes with a very compact 15-45mm lens as standard, while the flip-up touchscreen is great for selfies. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF system provides speedy focus while Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth also let you get connected to a smart device as simply as possible. The only thing you might want to think twice about is the lens selection, which isn’t too great next to those from rival cameras. But if you don’t plan on building up a whole program and you simply need a couple of lenses to provide you with some flexibility, it continues to be a sound option.
7. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II: Many stylish
The OM-D E-M10 Tag II is another exemplary case of a mirrorless camera that may no longer be the newest in the series, but that still packs a punch – and its handsome looks don’t hurt it either. With image stabilization built into it, you don’t have to worry about having this in the lens, and as an associate of the very most mature mirrorless program around, lens choices are plentiful. Its little size makes it well suited for travels and vacations, while its tilting touch screen makes the light function of concentrating on subjects from all sorts of angles. Set it with a little zoom lens and you’ve got yourself a camera that’s a lot more powerful than it may look like to the attention, although the 2x crop aspect from the sensor implies that it’s great once you need extra reach, probably for wildlife, character or sports.
8. Panasonic Lumix GX85: Pocket powerhouse
Panasonic has made a habit of packing lots of tech into its G-series mirrorless bodies and delivering them at very competitive cost points, and the Lumix GX85 (referred to as the Lumix GX80 beyond your US) exemplifies this perfectly. How many other mirrorless cameras provide 4K video, a high-resolution digital viewfinder, sensor-structured stabilization and a tilting touch screen this cheaply? This all implies that it’s still relevant 3 years since its discharge, although the grip is actually a little even more ergonomic and the ones want to use much longer lenses might want a far more significant body. Still, you obtain plenty of Micro Four Thirds lenses to pick from, and as an additional bonus, you can certainly get it right into a coating pocket with the default 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA O.I.S. zoom lens.
9. Sony Alpha A5100: Best discount mirrorless camera
The A5100 could be almost five years old and at the bottom of Sony’s impressive mirrorless camera portfolio, but don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s no longer a great choice. Its 24.3MP sensor, 6fps burst shooting mode and Full HD video options are still the kinds of features we see on entry-level models released today, while the hybrid AF system is usually something many cheap mirrorless cameras don’t even have. The E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS default kit lens is also a very compact pancake-style zoom, which means you can take this anywhere. It might not have the very latest tech on board, but there are good reasons Sony has kept this camera going this long.
10. Olympus PEN E-PL9: Best for the fashion conscious
The PEN E-PL9 stands out for its attractive design, but it isn’t just a looker – it’s pretty advanced on the inside too. The 16MP sensor isn’t quite the newest or the most advanced, but the fact that it’s stabilized gives the camera an advantage over rival bodies from the off as you don’t need to worry about this being in the lens. It also records 4K videos, which we don’t usually see on mirrorless models at this price point, and has a display that flips all the way around to face the front for selfies. It’s also compatible with many compact Micro Four Thirds lenses so that you can pack a few different alternatives without the whole package weighing you down. It’s an impression on the pricer aspect, nonetheless, it does deliver a good bit over a few of the various other mirrorless cameras upon this list.