Best Camera Under 500 for 2018: Expert's Reviews (Updated)
People often send us emails about their dilemma while choosing the best camera under 500.
We know this is a very tough decision to make. Because different cameras have different features and you can't get all your required features within a single camera.
But after reading this article you'll be completely stress free because we've already done deep researches on different dslr camera prices and models.
In that case, only a less expensive camera can give you the comfort of tension free rough using. That’s why we are suggesting you to purchase the best DSLR under 500 dollar which also called as entry-level digital SLR.
We believe, you're gonna have your answer within next few minutes!
Comparison of Top 5 Best Camera Under 500
100 - 3200
100 - 12800
100 - 25600
100 - 6400
In terms of our photography experience, we've listed 7 top rated DSLR cameras under 500 dollars for you in 2018. We know there are lots more other top level digital cameras in the market.
But these cameras are being chosen in terms of their price, quality, ease of learning etc. factors. So that anyone who wants to start learning digital photography basics can handle very easily only by spending a little penny.
Detail Overview of The Top Dslr Cameras
As the quality of photo also depends on the lens we’ll suggest you to use a good quality prime lens with this 24.1 megapixel camera. Since, the camera is already high configured, so a good lens will help you to crop the image to high value and then create a new composition with the same image.
In terms of file size, a photo is generally 25-30 megabytes standard. The camera has the only single SD card slot. So it’s better choosing 16, 32 or 64 GB SD card.
And don’t use low-speed SD cards for saving a little money because the quality of taken photos is depended on the memory speed also.
This best affordable camera is compatible with WLAN Adaptor WU-1a to transmit images from the camera to Apple or Android or tablet with remote shooting control.
The auto-focus is 39 point AF with nine cross-type senses which has an awesome performance & this is really a big update of this model from the previous nikon cameras.
And actually, this can be considered as a great feature of this camera. So, if you wanna grab a best dslr camera under 500 then you may choose that one easily!
2. Canon Eos Rebel T6 (With 18-55 Kit Lens)
For entry level digital slr photography, especially for the beginners who just upgraded themselves from mobile photography to DSLR can have a look on Canon EOS Rebel T6 review.
Though many people will recommend Canon 700D or Nikon D5600 for beginners, this model deserves a look before starting your photography career. With a relatively low price, you can get tons of beginner level features if you choose this one.
Before proceeding to pros & con we would like to feature the following features:
- The camera has Digic 4+ image processor & being combined with the 18 megapixel image sensor it works incredibly fine.
- It has both Wi-Fi & NFC capabilities those have increased it connectivity than other similar models.
- The model is especially designed for beginners. So, if you want to go a long way in photography step by step then you must choose this one.
- You can transfer of data to other devices such as computers and smartphones.
Finally, you are going to get flash sync port, top LCD display and other beginner level features those will introduce with the basic techniques of photography.
3. Nikon D3400 with 16-55 mm VR Lens- Best Budget DSLR for Kickstart
There are tons of reasons for writing a positive Nikon 3400 review. For instance, it has lightweight body, user-friendly design, easiest control feature, cool connectivity options and so on. And according to the opinion of photography experts:
“For an absolute beginner, Nikon D3400 is one of the best digital camera under 500 which is also a great releases of Nikon. And if you compare this model to other models or brands, then in terms of reasonable budget and features, you’ll see Nikon D3400 is the best camera for under 500 in 2018.”
Before going to the features & benefits below, you need to know a notable change in this model. And that is two mode dialer functions: Guide & Effects. And using the guide mode you can learn step by step assistance in your photography journey with Nikon D3400.
Additionally, the ‘Effects’ mode will help you to get creative during capturing your moments. Another thing you need to know is the lens performance with the body, which is better than similar type cameras.
So, now let’s dive into the features, benefits, pros & cons of Nikon D3400.
Some Features and Benefits:
So, finally maybe you are thinking why we are putting an above 500 USD camera model within best DSLR camera for money sections. But in terms of features and benefits this one is really cool.
Additionally, there are lots of certified refurbished and used cameras online those you can check also. These cameras are being sold under 500 USD. So, if you can’t raise your budget above 500 USD, then go for a used product. But still you will have the best affordable camera.
4. Nikon D3300 with 18-55 VP Lens and 24.2 MP- Best Cheap DSLR Camera
This is an all-rounder nikon camera for entry level photographer. You can take limitless photos in different environments by this camera.
The ultra-compact AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II Nikon D3300 1532 body is small & easily portable. Besides, you can capture your moment in 24.2 mega-pixels and take motion graphics with its 1080p video mode.
The D3300 received a Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) award in the category "Best Digital SLR Entry Level".
It contains 3 inch LCD with 921,000 dots, 1 AF points with 3D tracking, ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600) which has made it quite good to handle.
In addition, you can share all your captured photos & taken videos to your smartphone or tablet instantly using the WU – 1a wireless adapter. It’ll make your photos easier to share with your friends through social media, email or Bluetooth sharing.
The camera supports almost all the common and advanced mode of photography. As a result, you can take a simple shot to advanced panorama by this device.
If you want to take a photo where your object will be clear and the background blurred or if you want to capture some wedding moments or for travel and nightlife photography you’ll feel no difficulties using this camera.
Besides, you can switch between Nikon 3300 1532 to 1533 within a small price gap. You can also try Nikon 3300 1533, which is also the best affordable dslr camera.
5. Nikon D3100 with 18-55 mm VR Lens - The Best Digital Camera Under 400
This is an awesome digital slr camera under budget . By this cheap price, the camera will give you a better portability & higher ergonomics.
This model has some stylish features like:
1) It has a rubber pad behind the body so that your fingers feel comfort during dialing.
2) Turning on and off is very quick in this camera.
3) In addition, the camera has standard TV’s HDMI input, mini USB, and a proprietary GPS Mount.
Now about the flash performance. Flash performance is really very good in terms of price & other near models. The flash is smart enough to detect the environment & your photos will not be burned or blurred due to flash.
The default 18-55 lens is as usual & has the options of auto-focus, vibration reduction But if you want to invest some more money, then you can go for a prime lens which is recommended but not mandatory. The default lens works fine.
For your information, in this price, you'll get an 18-55mm VR lens by default. In addition, If you love to have a tele-zoom lens, we will suggest you to pick a 55-200mm Non-VR lens. To avail this opportunity, you have to extend your budget a little bit. But still you'll have the best digital camera under 400 along with a couple of lenses!
6. Canon EOS Rebel T5 Review - one of the best video cameras under 500
In this model canon added almost every option of its T3 model. So the camera looks new, but actually, it’s an upgrade version of canon T3. By its 18 megapixel camera with digit four 4 image processor you can take 1080. You can take up to 3 burst photos a second & in case of 1080p videos you can take 24 to 30 frames a second. For your information, this is considerable as the best video camera under 500.
Another thing you must remember, megapixels are just a part of digital camera specification and the quality of the image doesn’t depend entirely on it.
Rather physical size of the sensor plays the vital role where the larger size sensor gives the clearer & sharper photos.
Canon EOS Rebel T 05 model is another best dslr camera under 500 which contains an aps-c size sensor which ensures six to eight times larger photos than the same megapixel point & shoot camera.
Canon EOS Rebel T5
As a result, the camera is more color accurate & beautiful and also very easy to print on large size paper. Besides, the default lens gives very good performance & the glass quality of the total camera is admirable as well.
7. Canon Rebel T5 Review (Refurbished) - Best dslr Camera Under 500
If you've already liked Canon Rebel T5, but you don't have enough money to purchase one for you then I'll suggest you to purchase a refurbished version of same product. You may become confused about the performance in this case. I was also confused for one of my camera models.
But after purchasing the refurbished one I got good performance. Yah! sometimes it performed a little slow. But overall I am happy and my suggestion will be for the refurbished one for saving your penny. I think, you can consider it as the best camera under 500 as well.
Things Before Buying a Digital SLR Camera - 5 Must Read Tips for Beginners
In the above discussion, we've analyzed traits of 7 best DSLR cameras under 500. But before buying any types and brands of cameras, there are some common tips and tricks to check common parameters. It'll help you not only for getting started to understand a camera but also for switching between the models and upgrading the current models for better photography. Now, let's stroll into the factors.
Size of Sensor
This is the most important feature of a DSLR camera, though most of the time photographers look for megapixels only. But before buying an camera, you must know there is a image sensor inside every camera which records your capture & then sends it to your memory card. The bigger the viewfinder is, the better the photo quality will be.
The camera with largest sensor size is called the full frame camera. The size of full frame sensor is 35mm * 24 mm which makes the photo clear & sharp. But full frame cameras are comparatively costly. That's why most of the beginner level camera designed with crop sensors those are smaller in size and cheaper in price.
The basic feature is, of course the size because of better portability. But technically your camera body is capable of doing many operations.
In case of modes, maximum cameras have action, night, travel, landscape or sports photography features. Alongside with a photographer, if you are a traveler or a mountain biking enthusiast then you need a camera with a suitable body with sufficient protection.
Again, some cameras have more features like panorama, auto scene intelligence, auto face detection, built-in guide etc.
Besides, LCD display has many factors to consider. Some LCDs are fine to your camera & some are swivel. Swivel leverages self recording through your camera. In addition, some LCD displays are highly reflective. These displays perform lower in high sunlight & give your eyes comfort during night photo shoot. By the way, for night photoshoot, if you are looking for a budget friendly camera you should do some research to pick the best digital camera under 500.
Technically megapixels are the dots those compose your photo. It means if you make your photos smaller, the dots will be nearer & the photo will look more clear. Again if you zoom your photo, the bigger the photo will be the distance between the dots will be that higher.
Now if your camera has lower megapixels then your photo will be blur & cluttered in the big display. So in a nutshell megapixel determines the sharpness of your photo. This is the main factor & may be the only factor why you need a good megapixel camera.
But there are some myths in the market that the greater the megapixel, the better the camera is. This is a misleading concept because the quality depends mainly on the size of the image sensor.
And keep remember in most of the digital SLR camera, the given megapixels are more than enough. But if you are a big pro in photo industry and want to mount your photos on billboard then megapixels may be a big factor to consider. Otherwise, don't mess a lot with it.
Almost every beginner and mid level cameras contain a packaged lens which is called the kit lens. The most common lens is 18-55 mm.
Besides, some models offer 50 mm prime lens and even some models offer telephoto lens also. But as a beginner we suggest you to be happy with an 18-55 mm kit lens. It is enough for basic and basic plus level photography.
After purchasing your camera you can later change your lens. The most common, after 18-55 mm lens is 18-135 mm lens by which you can enlarge your range to more distance.
In that case, you can do another work. If you have some extra cash in your pocket then replace the 18-55 mm to an 18 - 135 mm lens. As a result, you can do the same work of 18 - 55 mm and the rest distance is your bonus.
The most common video resolutions are 720p, 1080p in HD and 480p in non-HD camera. It's true these ratings defines your video quality.
But you must also research on the frame rate before choosing your camera. For example, suppose one of your chosen cameras can capture 1080p videos. But it can't take more than 30 frames per seconds. In that case, your video will be nice for landscape photo. But for sports photos, where your objects move faster, these FPS will fail you.
So, if you are sports videographer & purchase a 1080p cam with a lower fps then you can't fulfill your criteria. Again if you just want to take landscape photo then you don't even look for a 30 fps camera. In that case 24 fps is more than enough for making you happier.
How Much to Pay for Your First Camera?
It actually depends on your future plan. Many people look for the best camera under 500 or 400 dollars. Because some people wants a camera just for personal use.
Some people wants to be better in photography though they are armature photographers. And the rest others want to be real professional. So, before buying a new camera you first need to ask yourself what are your future plans on photography.
If you are a family guy, wants to take snaps of your special personal & family events then go for a basic camera which is not more than 100 dollar. But if you are an amateur photographer and you’ve planned to take landscapes, wildlife snaps, travel moments to rich your personal photography portfolio then increase your budget to 200 dollars & purchase mirrorless camera. Even, if your budget is a bit higher but less than 500 then for a digital slr then you can have the market's best dslr camera under 400 as well!
Finally, if you are really passionate about photography & want to know all about DSLR camera functions, want to do something big, something more professional we’ll recommend you to purchase a DSLR cam. But in that case, if you’ve budget limits then I’ll recommend you to find the best digital SLR camera for under 500 dollars for starting initially.
Hope, you have already chosen a camera from the above list which are basically best camera for beginners. So as a beginner you may be interested in know more details about camera. So, in the next part of the article we will be discussing the definition of the various cameras and the common function of the dslr camera.
Digital Camera: An Overview
At today’s world beginner looks for digital photography basics and lots of photography for beginner type tutorials are ruling over the internet. If we look at the photography history then we'll see that before decades, analog cameras were very popular among the people. As far as I remember the only mention-able feature of analog cameras was its portability which had made it the number one choice of people.
But as the time changes, the requirements of people also increases. People started looking for more options like upgrade machine, control over photography, unlimited film option etc. And that’s how the era of using digital camera started where you can use a removable memory card instead of film, interchange lenses & so on. And now a day digital camera totally outdated the analog cameras.
Types of Digital Cameras
For your ease of understanding first I am going to discuss about the types & then I’ll note some lessons of basic photography. Hope you’ll enjoy.
1. Point and Shoot Cameras
The very first type we are going to discuss is the point and shoot cameras. They are pretty cheap to afford and compact. These are mainly not for professionals. Instead, they are for teenagers that are supposed to get out with friends and get some snapshots. Also, if you want to go out for a family vacation and capture some priceless moments, this type of cameras will be good fit.
Advantage: The portability of these cameras is higher than DLSR because of their smaller sizes. Even you can keep your camera into or pocket or small bag. Besides, it is cheap & handy for personal use.
Disadvantage: For professional photographers, this camera doesn’t contain a single option as there is no options for changing lens & limitless manual exposure.
2. Mirrorless Compact Cameras
These cameras are also known as compact system cameras. They are a little heavier than point & shoot cameras and lighter than DSLR. In addition, both auto & manual photography and interchangeable lens options are available like DSLR.
Advantage: It is a lighter device with almost every function of a basic DSLR camera. Price is comparatively lower & parts are also easily available.
Disadvantage: It doesn’t have optical view finder like DSLR & also for higher level professional photography this camera is under qualified.
3. Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) Cameras
From amateur to serious photographers DSLR camera is very popular since 90th decade because it is very easy to understand dslr cameras mechanism. In addition you can take photos not only by automatic mood as an amateur, but also there are options of changing aperture, shutter priority and modes of programs for professionals.
As you can change the lens, you’ve control over the range & distance of your photo. As the lens is interchangeable you can use both 18mm lens to take wide angel photograph and 200mm lens to take closer photographs of any small creature.
Advantage: The interchangeability of lenses has made DSLR easily upgradable. That means if you want a smaller of bigger lens you can easily remove the default one & set new one. In a similar manner if you want to upgrade your body you can just leave the old body & set your old lenses to new body. Besides, using the manual mode of photography you can take 100% control over your capture any time.
Disadvantage: The body weight is little high & you’ve to maintain it carefully especially in case of maintaining lens you’ve to be more careful. Otherwise fungus will attack the lens which is a little expensive to repair
Technical Facts for Beginner You Like to Learn
As a beginner or new dslr user you could learn some technical issues of dslr camera. In fact today or tomorrow you have know the things to operate your camera. So, we have tried to give some insights so that you won't be so blind when you will have your first camera in hand.
It determines how bright or dark your photo will look after taking it. To understand the exposure let me give you an example. Suppose you have got a glass & you want to fill it by rainwater. Now when the rain comes you just put the glass under the sky and after a while, you took it back.
So, you will see water inside the glass. The glass may be totally full or not and the amount of water depends on 3 factors: the area size of the glass top through which the water entered, the duration of raindrops and how much water the glass was able to process.
In photography if you imagine the glass as a camera and the water as light then the light particle fallen into the camera will be its exposure where width, time & quantity will be compared to the aperture, shutter speed & ISO those control the overall exposure of a photo.
Film Speed (ISO)
This trait determines how sensitive the camera to incoming light. It also correlates the 1:1 relationship with exposure value. Normally higher ISO value increases the noise of the image. That’s why it is adjusted as much as it is necessary after setting up aperture & shutter speed of the camera. For compact point & shoot cameras acceptable shutter speed is around 50–200 and for digital SLR cameras, the acceptance value is 50-800 or higher. Common ISO values are normally 100, 200, 400 & 800 which is recommended for beginners.
It defines how long the camera will permit the light to enter into the sensor. You can also explain it by the concept of ‘exposure time’ where shorter exposure time means the faster shutter speed. This sensitivity is very important for a proper exposure.
The value of common shutter speeds is 1, ½, ¼, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30. 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500 and 1/1000. If you double or halve the value of shutter speed, the value of Ev will increase or decrease by 1.
It controls the area through which light passes. It is measured by its f-stop value which is counter-intuitive. That means minimum f-stop value will ensure maximum light. The aperture range varies from camera to camera where digital slr cameras have an average range of f/1.4 to f/32. In case of point and shoot cameras, the average limit is around f/2.8 to f/8.0.
Lighting is very important in photography as illumination is the main theory for capturing the moments. Lighting directly affects the mode and color of the photo. For example, If you shoot an object which is opposite to the light then the light will directly fall into the object & your photo will be clearer.
Now if you take the photo in summer the photo will be a little reddish, yellow or orange color.
If you take the snap in a cool environment the photo will be bluish.
If you try to keep your object in the same side of the light your photo will burn if the camera is not configured especially for that. Again for example, if you want to take your photo during sunset keeping the sun behind you then photographers must keep you to the same side of the light. In that case you have to set your exposure expertly.
Camera Shooting Mode
The basic modes of digital camera are Programmed Automatic, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority and Manual. In digital camera they are marked by P, A, S & M. In canon cameras these modes are marked as P, Av, Tv, and M. You have to dial the round button to set the modes.
In program automatic mode the camera measures the light passes through the lens and then chooses the aperture and shutter speed automatically depends on it. In shutter priority mode you’ve to set the shutter manually & the camera will adjust the aperture the right aperture for you. In aperture priority mode you’ve to set your aperture manually & the camera will adjust the shutter speed. In manual mode, you’ve to adjust both aperture & shutter speed manually which means to take the total control over the camera you’ve to switch the mode to manual.
Actually, the term itself defines the actual concept. Composition means the total ambiance of the photo. For example, if you want to capture a street photo you need to focus on making a set where every object is suitable for the street. If you want to take a wedding photo you need to compose fully wedding environment. In short, this is composition. But it depends on lens, device and definitely on the artistic view of the photographer.
Depth of Field
If you’ve two objects to capture & one of them need to be focused than the others, then you need to apply the depth of field technique. You might see many photos where an object is very clear to see, but the background & surroundings are blur or not that much clear like the main object. These photos are composed of using depth of field. Aperture and focusing distance play the key role to decide how big the confusion circle will be. Larger apertures (smaller F-stop number) and closer focusing distances produce a shallower depth of field.
The Rule of Third
This is a very well-known rule of photography. The rule is simple. You have to draw two parallel vertical lines & two parallel horizontal line in your viewfinder. It’ll create 9 same sized square box. From your viewfinder, you can see the lines and then take four parts of the line. By this, you can get the main part of your photos which will make your photo more balanced and free of noises. Researchers say for a person’s picture keep his/her eyes on the point of the rule of third and then take the snap. It’ll give life to the person in that picture.
Photo framing is a composition technique where you can block one of two objects of your image somehow in such a way that the main object becomes more visible which generates more attention to the viewer. For movies, wedding photography and for other multi-object photos framing is very important.
Filling the Frame
There is an important saying regarding the fact of filling the frame. It says- If your picture is n not good enough, you are not close enough to the subject. So, filling the frame is important. If you can’t get to get close to the subject, you should be using a longer lens instead Also, this fact of filling the frame refers to the primary subject, not the extraneous objects.
Photography is not an ancient hobby as the camera is a modern invention. But within a very short period, it has become one of the demands of humankind. You've got a party in your house, you are on a voyage, today is a very special day, in your wedding & almost in every occasion of the life we love to take photos. As a result, this industry has emerged very quickly.
You can also be a part of this emerging industry within a few simple steps. Photography is not hard to lean, you just need to choose a top digital slr Camera under $500 & have the patience for one or two months. If you can possess these things, just practice one or two months. We guarantee your photos will amaze people. And to make your journey of photography smoother & help you to go towards more professional photography beyond the best dslr camera under 500 dollars, we've written this article for you. Hope this guide will make your photography journey easier.
So in a nutshell, the core message of the above discussion is, you can choose any of our recommended cameras in terms of your necessity and budget. And after a few months when you'll have a good expertise on digital photography basics, then try to purchase new a lens, accessories and other camera kits to add your photos some extra value. After 1 - 1.5 years look for a new advance level camera those will be compatible with all the kits & accessories for at least after 5 years of your camera purchase. That's all.
Happy Photography !!