11 Of The Best Beginner Cameras Under $500

By Travel Noire


Written by: Ni’Kesia Pannell

Getting the best photos while traveling can sometimes feel impossible. Although smartphones are able to produce high-quality photos almost all of the time, having a good camera to travel with, outside of your phone, is a great investment and can help you achieve the shots that you may not necessarily be able to nab on your smart device.

While some cameras can be extremely pricey — and have probably been your deterrent from previously purchasing — here are a few that can fit into your budget and are great for both beginner and advanced photographers.

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Sony A6000

Though DSLR cameras have been all the rave over the last few years, mirrorless cameras are climbing in popularity every day and the Sony A6000 is one of the top mirrorless cameras to choose from. Both compact and lightweight, this camera shoots 11 frames per second, has WiFi connectivity, performs well in low light, and will produce some pretty high-quality videos and pictures.

Fujifilm X-A3

If the mirrorless camera option is something you want to explore more of, then you’ll want to take a look at the Fujifilm X-A3. Also lightweight and compact, the camera offers enhanced autofocus, HD video recording, the ability to enable remote shooting from your tablet or smartphone device, and has a cool retro design.


More interested in a DSLR camera option? The Nikon D3500 should be on your list to choose from. Weighing in at almost eight pounds, this easy to use camera lets users get clear, sharp photos every time you take a shot. Ideal for travel, this camera has Bluetooth capability and plenty of other benefits that work perfectly for those who are just getting started.

Canon EOS 4000D/Rebel T100

Another DSLR camera that is popular amongst beginners and is great for any budget is the Canon EOS 4000D/Rebel T100. Equipped with all of the great things that you want in a DSLR camera— like an optical image stabilizer, WiFi connectivity, and lightweight to travel with — you’ll want to check this camera out when on the hunt for your next pick.

Olympus E-M10 MARK II

Coming in right under the $500 mark, the Olympus E-M10 Mark II is a top choice for beginners. Weighing a little over one pound, this camera is easy to travel with and delivers awesome photo quality. You also get full HD video, image stabilization, WiFi capability and much more.

Sony RX100

Weighing less than one pound, the Sony RX100 is a heavy-hitter for a cheap price. Ultra slim, with wide range ISO sensitivity, multi-frame noise reduction, sweep panorama mode, manual and autofocus, raw image capture, and more, this camera is a great place to start for anyone looking to have beginner’s luck.

Olympus TG-5

Though you may not think of the Olympus brand when you start searching for your first camera, you want to keep the TG-5 in mind when shopping in the near future. Waterproof up to 50 feet, equipped with an anti-fog lens and freezeproof to 14 degrees, these features are just a few of the best qualities that this camera has.

Canon PowerShot ELPH 180

A true steal and deal, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 is a sleek, slim and compact design that will deliver stunning photos with every shot. Shooting 720p HD videos, Smart AUTO that chooses the appropriate settings for you and 8x magnification, this under $200 camera is a convenient choice for the beginner.

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-T530

Priced at under $200, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-T530 is a great choice to consider for those that need a tough camera. Made for active lifestyles and travelers, this camera is waterproof up to 26 feet, shockproof to five feet, freezeproof to 14 degrees, has an extended built-in memory for when your SD card gets full, has an optical image stabilizer and so much more. A great deal for anyone who wants an effective, yet affordable camera choice.

KODAK PIXPro Astro Zoom AZ421

When you think of a long-lasting, dependable camera brand, Kodak just may be one of the first brands to come to mind. So, giving the Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ421 a bit of consideration for a beginner camera should just feel right. With clear 16 megapixel close-ups, panorama or HD videos, post-editing features, 42x optical zoom, and more, the PIXPRO has a lot to offer.

Canon PowerShot SX420

Just like the PowerShot ELPH 180, the Canon PowerShot SX420 is a great camera for beginners and for a great price, too. Offering up 42x optical zoom and optical image stabilizer, built-in WiFi, HD video, and built-in NFC, it’s no surprise that it’s caught the attention of many beginner photographers.

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