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The Best Digital Cameras Under $500
Looking to upgrade from whatever camera your smartphone has equipped? Are you tired of the limitations of digital zoom? Had enough of that tiny-ass sensor that just can’t compete with the big boys? Or are you in need of a side companion alongside your more professional gear? Then it’s time to check out our list of the best digital cameras under $500.
Covering all the big brands like Canon, Sony, Panasonic, and Olympus, alongside action camera pioneers like DJI and GoPro, Next Luxury is guaranteed to find you the perfect photographic companion for your next selfie session. Whether you need something small and compact, or equipment capable of 4K video and high-resolution image capture, Next Luxury has put together the best of the best when it comes to digital cameras under $500.
1. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
Take it all in. Sitting just under our price guide, this is the Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II. Gorgeous, isn’t she? Whether you go for the all-black or the classic silver with tan accents, this is one sexy-looking camera. But we’re not here to talk aesthetics, we’re here to discuss the incredible quality and functionality of the Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II, and my word is it stunning.
This ultra-slim, ultra-compact digital camera boasts a 20.1-megapixel sensor for capturing true-to-life images in sharp relief with brilliant colors. Capable of capturing a wide dynamic range in a myriad of different lighting conditions, and thanks to the super-fast shutter speed, it’s a somewhat capable sports capture device too.
Plus, with Full HD video capture at 59.94p, you can even record some super-sexy slow-mo vision as well.
2. Sony Alpha A5000
Now be warned. The stock Sony Alpha A5000 doesn’t actually come with a lens. Being the only mirrorless interchangeable lens camera on our list, you can probably guess why it’s our premium pick. BYO Lens.
Unlike most digital cameras under $500, the Sony Alpha A5000 can equip various camera lenses for a range of different photography scenarios. Not just restricted to the stock lens, users can pick and choose their focal length, aperture size, and much much more with their Sony Alpha A5000.
Coupled with its 20.1 Mp Exmor APS HD APS-C CMOS Sensor and BIONZ X Image Processor system capable of continuous shooting at up to 3.5fps and shooting Full HD 1080p video at 60fps, there’s really nothing that compares in terms of quality and functionality on our list. Though we’ve chosen to feature the body only, the freedom of choosing your own lens will unlock the massive world of photographic glassware.
3. Panasonic LUMIX FZ300
Combining the form factor of a traditional DSLR with the simplicity of a point and shoot, the Panasonic LUMIX FZ300 represents the phrase “jack of all trades” perfectly. Capable of shooting 4K video at up to 30fps and capturing high-resolution photos thanks to the 12.1 Megapixel high sensitivity MOS sensor, the Panasonic LUMIX FZ300 is nothing short of dependable.
Though not as compact as other cameras on this list, its rugged camera design makes it splashproof and dustproof, thanks to the tight seals on every joint, dial, and button. Combined with a five Axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilizer system, no matter how rough things get, you’re guaranteed crisp photo and video without the blur. Pick up our Best Value pick and start shooting with the Panasonic LUMIX FZ300.
4. GoPro HERO9
It’s the latest GoPro; what more do you need us to say? It was incredible when it first came out, and every year they introduce a new one, it just keeps getting better and better. The GoPro HERO9 is the most outstanding waterproof action camera on the market.
There’s really no debate here. Capable of recording 5K Ultra HD Video, 20MP photos, 1080p live streaming, and a new, larger rear touch screen for easy framing and intuitive camera control, it was hard not to make this our premium pick.
5. DJI Osmo Action
DJI might be killing it in the drone game, but when it comes to action cameras, they are still playing second fiddle to the fellas over at GoPro. While that might make you think twice when clicking on the DJI Osmo Action, consider the price. At half the cost of our number 4 pick, you’ll receive essentially the same exact features.
4K HDR video capture, a 12MP 1/2.3″ CMOS Sensor, 8x Slow Motion, and dual screens for effortless recording. It’s safe to say the DJI Osmo Action is an affordable alternative to their competitors.
6. Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR
Say hello to the only DSLR on our list. Rocking an 18-55mm lens with a large 24.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor, the Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR is probably the most functional camera on our list.
Boasting fast autofocus, built-in wireless connectivity for instantly sharing photos and video, and a 9-Point AF system and AI Servo AF, it’s a Rebel for keeping your images sharp. Plus, being a DSLR means you can swap out that stock lens for something better down the line to really upgrade your photography.
7. Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera
This is one tough camera guy. Waterproof up to 50 feet, shockproof from up to a 7-foot drop, able to survive a 100kg weight and 14 degrees Fahrenheit / -10 degree Celsius temperatures, as well as having anti-fog and dustproof protection, the Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera is simply unkillable.
And with its high-resolution F2.0 lens, maximum 8x zoom, true pic VIII, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, it’ll take some pretty epic photos too.
8. Canon PowerShot G16
Approaching DSLR performance, the Canon Powershot G16 is the ultimate tool for creative expression. Boasting built-in Wi-Fi for instantly sharing photos you’ve captured using the 12.1 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS Sensor and DIGIC 6 Image Processor.
Coupled with the Canon HS SYSTEM for significantly improved resolution, you can capture photos in a range of different lighting conditions thanks to its ISO range of 80-12800. Plus, with Full HD video capture at 60p, there’s nothing this camera can’t do.
Digital Camera FAQs
DSLR stands for digital single-lens reflex camera and is the term used to describe cameras with interchangeable lenses. Inside the camera body is a mirror that reflects light onto the digital sensor to capture an image.
A mirrorless camera removes the need for a complex system of mirrors by placing the digital sensor directly behind the lens, making these cameras both smaller and lighter.
A megapixel, or a million pixels, refers to the number of pixels in an image and the number of image sensor elements in a digital camera. The higher the number of megapixels, the larger the image size and the more quality included.