When you set a budget to get a new camera you might be unsure what kind you want, or what’s actually available for your money. Here, we set out the different types of camera and some high-scoring examples that are available for around £500 (slightly more money if you’re buying from the USA). If you need some help in choosing the right type of camera for you, have a look at our Camera Buying Guide.
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What kind of camera are you looking for?
I want a DSLR for around £500
I want a bridge camera for around £500
I want a mirrorless camera for around £500
I want an advanced compact camera for around £500
Canon EOS 750D
The Canon EOS 750D (and 760D) update the Canon EOS 700D from two years earlier, with a 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, along with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC.
The Nikon D5300 has a 24.2-megapixel sensor and sports a flip-out screen for extra versatility. It’s compact for a DSLR and has built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. It’s also in black, red or silver. You can get it with an 18-55mm lens and still come in under budget.
Sony Alpha a68
The Sony Alpha 68 has a 24-megapixel sensor and features 4D focus tracking. It has the same focusing system as the a77 II with 79 AF points. It has good colour reproduction and a good battery life to boot.
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
The Lumix FZ1000 was the world’s first compact to feature 4K video recording and also has a 16x zoom lens. With a 20.1 megapixel sensor and Leica optics, it’s a high-spec camera for the money.
Nikon Coolpix P900
The Coolpix P900 has an impressive 89x optical zoom and a 16-megapixel sensor. It can also record full HD 1080p video and is capable of focusing on something less than a centimetre away from the lens. If you don’t want the hassle of changing lenses and want a lot of zoom, this camera is an ideal choice.
Mirrorless (Compact System Cameras)
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
The OM-D E-M10 Mark II is a stylish MFT camera that scored highly in our review. It has a 16-megapixel sensor and features impressive 5-axis image stabilisation. It has a premium build and is great value for the price.
Panasonic Lumix GX80
This 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor camera has 5-axis in camera sensor-based image stabilisation, 4K video recording and a post-focus function. it has a newly developed, quieter shutter unit.
The X-T10 is another stylish mirrorless offering that has a 16 megapixel APS-C X-Trans II CMOS sensor and FullHD video along with 8fps continuous shooting. It also has built-in Wi-Fi allowing remote control and transfer.
The Sony a6000 claimed to have the world’s fastest AF when it was released in 2014. This mirrorless camera has a 24.3-megapixel sensor and is capable of 11 fps continuous shooting.
Panasonic Lumix LX100
The Lumix LX100 has a Micro Four Thirds sensor in an advanced compact body and has a bright f/1.7-2.8 Leica lens. It features Built-in Wi-Fi and an electronic viewfinder.
Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 III
The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III is designed for those that want better landscapes and portraits, and is only 9g heavier than the RX100 Mark II. The Mark III features a 24-70mm equivalent wide-angle lens and a built-in pop-up viewfinder. As well as better auto-focus modes, the camera features a tilting screen that tilts to face you.
Panasonic Lumix TZ100
This advanced camera is designed to give the highest image quality possible while still fitting in your pocket and is a little powerhouse. It has a 10x optical zoom and bright f/2.8 aperture.
Canon Powershot G1X II
The Powershot G1 X Mark II is an advanced compact offering a 1.5 inch CMOS sensor, 5x optical zoom lens and control rings around the lens for easy adjustment of settings.