If you’re getting into photography you’ll want a decent camera that delivers great value for its price. But what is the best mirrorless camera under 500 dollars?
Thankfully, nowadays you don’t have to pay thousands of dollars to get a good camera.
In fact, quality cameras at a decent price are more competitive now than at any other time. Mirrorless cameras are a good choice. They don’t cost much and give you great picture quality. They can also record video and some of them can reach 4K video quality.
So, if you want to get a Mirrorless camera under 500 stick around. In this guide, I’m going to tell you what you need to consider before buying a mirrorless camera.
I’m also going to list a number of these cameras and specify what each one can and cannot do. This way you’ll know exactly what camera will meet your needs.
Best Mirrorless Camera Under 500 Dollars – The Cameras
Let’s jump into this list with the Sony A6000.
This compactly designed camera is a great choice for beginners. It can take photos at an astounding 24.3MP which is more than you usually get with cameras in this tier. It also films full HD 1080p video which is good news to filmmakers.
The Sony Alpha A6000 also features a nice 3-inch tilting LCD screen. Most cameras of this price range don’t usually come with this feature. You can also change lenses if you want to get creative with your shots.
Admittedly though, the settings could prove to be overwhelming for novice photographers.
However, if you take the time to experiment and learn the ins and outs of the controls, it could be a rewarding experience for your photography skills.
With its sleek retro design, the Fujifilm X-T100 offers plenty of superb features for first-time users.
For one, you can take pictures at 24.2MP. It is always nice being able to take pictures at a high resolution. It also shoots video in 4K.
However, it only does so at 15fps which is no good. So if 4K is what you’re looking for in a mirrorless camera, then look somewhere.
For everyone else, though there’s a lot to admire about this camera. For starters, It is very simple to use since it’s targeting novice photographers.
So, if you’re intimidated by the controls on something like the Alpha A6000, this one does a better job of easing you into professional photography.
It does offer more options than basic cameras though, so you can get more out of it if you know what you’re doing.
This beautiful camera is a prime choice for those who want a compact camera with great features. It takes pictures at a nice 20.2MP, which is still great for awesome and highly detailed pictures.
It can also record video at 1080p so you got nothing to worry about there. This particular camera is nice for shooting in low light situations.
This is thanks to a backlit sensor that Sony added to this module. You also get a pretty good viewfinder and Wi-FI connectivity. There are no touchscreen options, however.
Still, it comes at a very reasonable price and this means it’s accessible to most budget levels.
For what is essentially the best compact camera on the market, that’s a pretty great value. If you get this one, you bet you won’t regret it.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 feels like it’s almost a DSLR camera. While it only shoots pictures at 16MP, it can shoot video at 4K in 30fps which is impressive.
It also features a fully rotating LCD screen which is a wonderful addition. It is, of course, compatible with multiple types of lenses.
Don’t let the controls on this one scare you, though. They are more complicated than they actually are. There’s even an auto mode for absolute beginners. So, if you worry about getting the settings right, you can just pick the auto mode and get going.
There’s also an auto-transfer mode. It sends your pictures and video straight to your tablet. It’s a nice touch that ensures you won’t lose any footage. All in all, The Lumix DMC-G7 is a great camera at a competitive price.
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 II takes all the features of its expensive counterparts and mashes them into one wonderful mirrorless camera.
For starters, it’s greatly priced. It comes with a 16MP image quality that, while seems low compared to some others on this list, is nonetheless capable of giving out great looking pictures.
It shoots 1080p video and has built-in WI-FI for ease of handling and transferring images and videos. It also has an amazing feature, the 5-axis stabilization that ensures your pictures are free of any unwanted shakiness.
The menus are a little overwhelming on this one, though. So you might want to take some time to get used to them. It’s also a little uncomfortable for some photographers.
It is suggested to get the optional grip to make it easier to handle. That will cost a bit more, so keep that in mind. All that said, this is still a great choice.
Body type: Compact
Max resolution: 5472 x 3648
Effective pixels: 20 megapixels
Articulated LCD: Fixed
Screen size: 3″
Format: MPEG-4, H.264
Storage types: SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB: USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Weight (inc. batteries): 206 g (0.45 lb / 7.27 oz)
Dimensions: 98 x 58 x 31 mm (3.86 x 2.28 x 1.22″)
This is yet another good option for those who want a compact camera design. The Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II is a perfect beginner camera.
Canon built it with this in mind. For one they equipped the camera with a touchscreen interface to make the transition from smartphone to professional camera easy for beginners.
It shoots at 20MP which ensures that you’ll get high-resolution pictures. It doesn’t have a 4K video, but 1080p is still good for the asking price. On top of that, you get image stabilization just like Olympus’s offering.
The battery life on this one isn’t great, however. Also, unlike the other cameras on this list, it doesn’t have tilting LCD. instead, the screen is fixed.
If these things outweigh the pros of this camera you might want to look at Sony’s offering instead. On the other hand, if you like what this one offers you won’t be disappointed once you get it.
What You Need to Consider
You don’t want to look for AC adapters during a shoot or while you’re away in the wilderness, etc.
Make sure the camera you buy is compatible with USB and save yourself the headache. Most cameras offer it, nowadays. But just to be safe, make sure it’s there.
Mirrorless cameras have short battery life and you don’t want to change batteries every couple of hours.
Make sure your camera has a decent battery life before buying. You can check reviews of each camera to make sure you’re not getting the short straw.
Read the specification and find out what type of SD cards your camera is compatible with. Don’t go for a camera that uses a rare brand of SD cards. Always go for the most common type.
You don’t want to order them from around the world and wait 40 days of shipping. That’s just a pain.
Every camera specifies what adapter ring it has and what type of lenses it’s compatible with. You’ll need to look into that. It’ll suck your budget dry if you have to get different lenses for each camera you own.
Unless you’re really dedicated to a certain brand and don’t mind the exclusivity. But if you change the camera to something incompatible you’ll be stuck with a bunch of expensive magnifying glass.
You’ll really want this one. Trust me, once you try a camera that is readily equipped with a stabilizer you won’t want to go back to a camera with none.
DSLRs have the biggest sensor sizes, thus they are bigger and bulkier than a mirrorless camera. Point and shoot cameras have the smallest sensor sizes. Mirrorless is somewhere in-between.
The problem is those small sensors perform worse in low light situations. Conventional wisdom is the bigger your sensor, the better the performance will be. So read well on the specs of the camera before you buy it.
Best Mirrorless Camera Under 500 Dollars – In Conclusion
All in all, there are a lot of great Mirrorless cameras out there. The market is highly competitive.
Several manufacturers release these cameras with great features at competitive prices. Before you buy, don’t forget the things I listed that you should consider first.
Make sure you have USB charging, a common SD card format, third party lenses support, decent battery life, and image stabilizer.
Do your research well and see what fits you. Each of these cameras is a great fit for a certain type of photographer. You just have to see which one ticks all your boxes. Good luck!