Get ready to take on the world with the best mirrorless camera under $500! For anyone who’s been looking to upgrade their photography game with a quality mirrorless camera, this is the article you need to read. Don’t bother spending $1000 on the newest piece of photography equipment. It’s just not necessary! You can revolutionize the way you take photographs with less than $500.
We listed five of the best cameras you can pick up for under $500. These cameras are equipped with all the features necessary in a modern unit. Don’t think for a second that you have to go with some shoddy, second-hand brand. The best brands, like Sony and Canon, offer quality cameras at under $500. Plus, as camera technology continues to improve and prices continue to get more affordable, camera quality also gets better than ever.
Why choose a mirrorless over a DSLR or a digital camera? Simply because a mirrorless camera is perfect for anyone who’s on a budget. These cameras are typically more affordable than a large DSLR and more functional than a small digital camera. They’re the sweet spot when it comes to cameras.
Also, mirrorless cameras are superb for beginner photographers. They’re fun to use, they don’t require any previous experience, and they can be a lot more comfortable than a DSLR. If you want to get confident with taking photographs in a variety of different situations, we recommend choosing an affordable mirrorless camera to start your journey with. And yes, $500 is more than enough to start down the road to becoming a professional photographer.
The Olympus Mark III Mirrorless Camera has the ability to seriously upgrade your performance as a photographer. This is arguably the best option from Olympus at this price range. It offers 4K video resolution, 16 megapixels, a 3” tilting LCD monitor, and 5-axis image stabilization to give you amazing clarity with all your photographs and some of the smoothest video you’ve ever taken with a camera.
And that’s not all! The camera has been designed with everything in mind. It’s super durable, it has an integrated flash, and it has a great automatic mode that chooses the ideal setting to give you the perfect shot. The camera is also small and lightweight, making it one of the best cameras for travel and everyday photography. Plus, the autofocus lets you immediately focus and trip the shutter with a single touch on the tilting screen. For beginners, this is the ultimate mirrorless camera. It’s also compatible with some very affordable lenses.
- Amazing Image Stabilization
- 4K Works Perfectly
- Great Build Quality
- Best Camera for Traveling
- Easy to Transfer Images
- No Mic Input
- ISO Performance Could Be Improved
Canon will never let you down. Their EOS M100 Mirrorless Camera is a perfect example of that. Even though it’s modestly priced and wildly affordable even for those on a strict budget, it operates with all the best features of more expensive cameras. It uses phase detection and has up to 49 autofocus points. There’s an intuitive touchscreen that you can use just like a smartphone to focus and take your photographs, and the LCD even tilts to give you better angles while taking pictures.
It comes with integrated Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC. Another huge bonus is that it allows you to geotag where you’ve taken your photos, which is critical for wildlife photographers who want to return to the same locations over and over again. But the biggest bonus by far is the enormous 24.2MP sensor. That’s far more megapixels than you get with just about any other mirrorless camera in the same price range. This is a fantastic piece of equipment that can take superb photos. It even comes in black or white to suit your style.
- Impressive 24.2MP Sensor
- Intuitive Touchscreen
- Up to 49 AF Points
- Extremely Detailed Photos w/ Great Color
- Geotag + Easy Connectivity
- No Viewfinder
- No Dedicated Audio-In
The G7 is one of those cameras that simply can’t be beaten. In terms of affordability, it doesn’t get much better than this. For under $500, you get a legit mirrorless camera with 4K video capabilities and phenomenal performance for taking snapshots. But again, the big selling point of this camera is the 4K video capture. Not only can you take videos in 4K Ultra HD, but you can extract individual photos in ridiculously high resolution. It also films at 30 frames per second, turning you into not only a great photographer, but a fantastic movie maker as well.
But Panasonic didn’t stop just at 4K. The controls are very intuitive. It’s easy to manipulate the aperture and shutter settings. The ISO adjustments can be made instantaneously. Plus, you can assign your favorite settings to any of the function buttons. And if you still need more convincing, the Panasonic G7 uses a high-resolution, OLED live viewfinder with a touch-enabled 3” tilting and swiveling LCD. It also comes equipped with all the most important ports. It has an external mic port, a remote port, and ports for USB and micro HDMI.
- 4K Video Capture
- Intuitive & User-Friendly Controls
- External Mix Port + Micro HDMI
- Fantastic Viewfinder w/ LCD Display
- Easy to Control Shutter Settings
- Low Megapixel Count
- Limited Manual Controls
The Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera is arguably the best camera on today’s list. Sony doesn’t always make the best equipment, but they do make some of the greatest cameras in the world. The Sony a6000 is a perfect example of their technological prowess when it comes to photography. First, the a6000 is ridiculously small. It’s about half the size and weight of a typical DSLR camera while being even more powerful. It has some of the fastest autofocusing ever, with 179 AF points. This means you’re never going to miss a moment when taking photos of wildlife, your friends and family, or your favorite sporting event.
Everything you capture with this camera is going to be in stunning resolution and impressive detail. You can also enlarge all your images without losing any quality because of the highly advanced 24.3MP Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor. This is the kind of technology you get when only dealing with Sony. The a6000 has better resolution than most standard DSLRs. It’s just that good.
Plus, because this model is a few years old, you can get it at a ridiculously cheap price. There has never been a better time to invest in a Sony mirrorless camera for all your photography needs.
- Superb 24MP APS-C Sensor
- Magnificent ISO Range
- AF w/ 179-Point Focal Plane
- Integrated Wi-Fi & NFC
- OLED Electronic Viewfinder
- Almost Too Lightweight
- Long Charging Time
The final camera for today is the Fujifilm X-T1. It’s one of the more affordable models and one of the cheapest available from Fujifilm. But even though it’s at the bottom of the price scale, that doesn’t mean it can’t take fantastic pictures. It’s an all-around great camera. It takes amazing images, it has an expandable ISO that allows for night photography, and it can record 1080p video. But the biggest draw with the X-T1 is its OLED electric viewfinder. It works better than you might expect for such an affordable camera. It’s one of the best viewfinders to use for people who wear glasses. It’s also extremely large, making it easy for beginners to master taking photographs with a mirrorless camera.
But this isn’t just a camera for beginners. If you’re a professional photographer looking for something lightweight, fun, and affordable to take with you on trips or to keep in your bag while moving around the city, this is the ideal unit for you. It’s portable and replaceable, and it keeps you from having to resort to a point-and-shoot camera for everyday situations. The X-T1 produces amazing images in RAW. It’s great for portraits. It can take amazing photographs of landscapes. And finally, it has a comfortable feel and a traditional look that photography buffs will appreciate.
- Weather Resistant
- 3” Tilting LCD
- OLED Viewfinder w/ 100% Coverage
- Cheapest Fuji Mirrorless Camera
- Amazing Image Quality
- EVF is Outstanding, Especially for Eyeglass Wearers
- Slow Shutter Reaction
- Poor Battery Life
There is a lot to consider when it comes to making your final decision of which mirrorless camera to buy. That’s why we’ve comprised a quick list of all the most important features that you should lookout for when making your purchase.
The first is the lens system. Any mirrorless camera can change lenses, and this makes a lot of difference when switching between one form of photography to another. No matter which camera you buy, make sure it’s fully compatible with a zoom lens, a telephoto lens, a macro lens, a wide-angle lens, and of course a prime lens. You might even consider a mirrorless camera that comes bundled with some quality lenses to save you time and money.
Secondly, it’s all about the sensor. The most popular sensor you can expect to find in a mirrorless camera is an APS-C sensor. When comparing sensors, bigger is usually better. With a bigger sensor, you will have less noise and a better ISO range for taking photographs at night. Always compare the size of the sensor and the ISO range when comparing two cameras.
And finally, the viewfinder is wildly important. The viewfinder is going to be your window to the world while using your camera. 4K video, autofocus, and wireless functionality are all important too. But you definitely want a quality viewfinder with an intuitive menu, a large screen, and clarity. This is really going to help you maximize your potential as a photographer.