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12 Best Compact Cameras Under $500 2021 – Reviews, FAQS & Guide
After a tiring day, you surely don’t want to spend hours searching for the best compact camera under $500 that perfectly fits your requirements. Here we have collected the best compact cameras under $500 but keep in mind your requirements and preferences before choosing one.
New photographers assume that only expensive cameras capture great pictures. The main reason for this thinking is the previous price tags of cameras, some of which gave results nearly the same as a mobile phone. But, it is not the case anymore. You can easily find a good working camera for under $500 only.
There are a number of cameras available out there at very low prices, but we want you to choose the best camera for you yet at a considerably low price. The only reason for an increase in cost will be the lens.
Each camera in the mentioned list has been selected while keeping in mind features, systems, affordability and usability. We have made sure that all the cameras recommended have an excellent build and image quality.
12 BEST COMPACT CAMERAS UNDER $500
The list mentioned include cameras for beginners as well as professional photographers. This list is selected at the time being, however, the prices may fluctuate as time passes. We recommend you check our articles for the latest updates.
- Image sensor size: APS-C
- Aperture: f/8
- Resolution: 24.2MP
- AF system: 49 point
- Weight: 320g
- Dimensions: 108.2×67.1×25.1mm
As we are considering the price we must not forget the quality of the camera imaging. The Canon EOS M100 has been ranking in the best cameras under 500 dollars for a long time now. The features under discussion will let you know why?
Autofocus: The Canon lens offers you quick autofocus and the reason behind it is the dual pixel. We cannot ignore the excellent autofocus and gas response of this camera at all.
Accuracy: We observe a very accurate activity including focusing on Canon EOS M100 as we do from any other Canon camera. Overall, the performance of this Canon compact camera is very impressive and accurate.
Sharpness: Canon EOS M100 will capture amazing pictures for you. Yet there is a dull sharpness effect. This can, however, be observed that in some situations the image sharpness will be the same as a 12-megapixel camera.
Weight and size: An impressive feature of this camera is the extremely lightweight and colour quality combined with ease of using this camera. Although the weight of the Canon M100 is 320g, it does not compromise the quality.
At the same time, it is very small and compact making it even easier for beginners to use and carry.
Image and build quality: The use of ASP-C sensor and Digic-7 image processor in Canon M100 deliver excellent quality of pictures in a large variety of situations.
Moreover, their Canon camera is compatible with a number of lenses. It is very smooth and easy to use.
- There is no electronic viewfinder
- It does not make a 4k video
- Image sensor size: APS-C
- Aperture: f/3.5-5.6
- Resolution: 24MP
- ISO range: 100-25600
- AF system: 11 point
- Weight: 415g
- Dimensions: 124×87×69.5mm
You are looking for a compact camera under $500 then why not consider it the best. Nikon D3500 is not only a dslr compact camera but it also gives great effect and features.
Autofocus: No offence, but this Nikon camera is actually DSLR. It has very fast and rapid autofocus. The top quality results will impress you.
Accuracy: The high-resolution pixels enable the camera to capture high-quality images in both light and dark conditions.
It will not be inappropriate to say that the perfect resolution range gives extraordinary results in low light situations. The pictures captured are perfect because the camera is highly accurate.
Sharpness: It is the ISO range that makes it possible for this camera to focus and zoom all the details in a frame. The sharpness is due to the same effect.
Weight and size: One of the main features due to which people buy a compact camera is its weight and size. The same size fits everywhere.
Both the weight and size are very low for this compact camera as well. It weighs approximately 415 grams.
Image and build quality: The high resolution, rapid focusing and ISO produce intensely amazing pictures. The image quality is enhanced to a higher level.
The quality of construction is also very good. Its dimensions are 124×87×69.5mm making it small and easy to carry all-around with you.
- It does not have a touch screen
- Image sensor size: 1/ 2.3 inch
- Aperture: 3.3-6.4
- Resolution: 16MP
- ISO range: 100-6400
- Weight: 193g
- Dimensions: 105×59×28mm
Under $500 you will see many cameras out there, however, they are all not perfect. This list of compact cameras contains one of the Panasonic cameras that we recommend to you.
Autofocus: Surprisingly, the ZS25 offers you very quick autofocus and fast shooting. Also, the Auto Mode will allow you to pose and shoot while the camera itself sets all the necessary adjustments.
Accuracy: The high accuracy of Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS25 can be detected from yeh fact that there are several modes in the camera.
You can set the mood according to the situation (day, night, sunset etc). This camera works perfectly and all the functions are highly accurate.
Sharpness: The pictures that you will get as a result of this camera will be great however, you can set the sharpness. There are effects that this camera offers you (soft focus) through which you will be able to get the photos you want.
Weight and size: As far as weight is concerned, Panasonic Lumix is the lightest of all the compact cameras listed. Discussing the weight, let me tell you the weight of this beautiful camera is 193g. Weight has a direct effect on size.
Image and build quality: The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS25 compact camera comes with high-quality construction. You will not see any compromise on any of the features.
Image quality, on the other hand, is also impressive. You can set any mood you prefer in the camera; some moods like night portraits are also available in it.
- There is no autofocus face determination in this camera
- There is no viewfinder in this camera
- Image sensor size: 6.17×4.55mm
- Aperture: f/3.5-6.4
- Resolution: 4896×3672
- ISO range: 80-12800
- Weight: 242g
- Dimensions: 102×58.1×35.5mm
Compact cameras are pretty cool. Sony DSC-HX99 is one of the compact cameras under consideration in this list.
Autofocus: The quick imaging of Sony DSC-HX99 is due to the effect of autofocus. An object can be automatically focused very quickly and captured.
Accuracy: The camera is purely accurate in all aspects. The autofocus is fast and accurate as well. You will observe images and videos with clearly notable accuracy.
Sharpness: Nonetheless, the images of this camera will prove to be sharp enough. However, after a certain rise in some features, you may see a smooth effect as well.
Weight and size: As with all the compact cameras, Sony DSC-HX99 also is very lightweight which results in ease to carry it around. It weighs 242 grams.
The size of this compact camera is of course small but that also means that it fits easily anywhere.
Image and build quality: The colour coordination, resolution and magnification of all the pictures and videos made through this camera will impress you.
Under 500 dollars, this is a lot of features packed in a small and easy to carry package.
- The autofocus needs improvement
- Photography in low light is not as good
- Image sensor size: 1 inch
- Aperture: f/2.8
- Resolution: 20MP
- ISO range: 64-12800
- Weight: 240g
- Dimensions: 22×36×77.5mm
If you have only 500 dollars to spend then you must ignore all the new versions of this compact camera in our list of 12 best compact cameras under $500.
Autofocus: The speed of the autofocus system of Sony is unparalleled. The fastest speed to autofocus can be experienced through the new versions of the Sony RX100. Although it is an older version, it is still a good option for you at a very low price.
Accuracy: Back in 2012 it was Sony that released its RX100 camera with a 1″ sensor for the first time. The accuracy level is very high for this Sony camera.
Sharpness: Considering sharpness, Sony RX100 delivers good quality images that focus purely on your centre object. However, after a certain aperture, you may see a little softness effect. Yet it is a great deal at this price.
Weight and size: All the compact cameras you will see in this article are very light in weight and small in size.
For instance, consider this Sony RX100 camera, it weighs 240g. The size is also small.
Image and build quality: Sony RX has a very clear image and high resolution. All the spots are presented very clearly, magnified and resolved.
The construction quality is also impressive for this camera. Not a single feature is compromised.
- It has a short battery life
- Fixed autofocus can lag
- Image sensor size: ASP-C
- Aperture: f/6
- Resolution: 24.1MP
- ISO range: 100-6400
- AF system: 9 point
- Weight: 475g
- Dimensions: 129×101.3×77.6mm
No doubt Canon EOS Rebel T7 is an ideal dslr which is why we have added it to this list of 12 best compact cameras under $500. This is a camera for beginners not only because it is affordable but also because it gives you very good image quality.
Autofocus: This camera contains a phase-detection autofocus system that will prove to be very quick. Stationary objects can be captured very smoothly through Canon EOS T7.
Accuracy: Accuracy is something important for photographic cameras. The sensor installed in Canon rebel T7 takes it to a higher level when it comes to focusing on details.
Moreover, the highly accurate autofocus and other features make it the best option for you.
Sharpness: With the APS-C image sensor, Canon EOS Rebel T7 will offer you a good sharpness however as the aperture goes narrower the sharpness is effective.
Moreover, softness is observed. A point will arrive when you will be able to see a clear difference in the images of your camera.
Weight and size: We assure you that this camera will never give you a tough time carrying around with you. The low weight and small size make it very easy to travel around with this Canon T7.
It weighs 475g in small compact packaging. The beautiful images of dslr quality will compel you to consider it.
Image and build quality: Both the image and build quality are amazing. Keeping in mind the image quality of a dslr we did not forget the construction of the Rebel T7 at all.
- You will not observe 4k video
- Touch function is absent
- Image sensor size: 1 inch
- Aperture: 3.3
- Resolution: 20.1MP
- ISO range: 12800
- AF system: 31 point
- Weight: 206g
- Dimensions: 98×58×31mm
There is no reason for us to not include this stylish Canon G9X Mark II in this list of the 12 best compact cameras under $500. It creates beautiful JPEGs, the stylish and trendy look of this camera attracts people.
Autofocus: Canon claims that the autofocus of Canon G9X Mark II has been upgraded. And you will observe that the focus will remain on one subject.
Accuracy: Furthermore, the camera is very accurate. You can take a quick look at the autofocus. As you move here and there in the picture frame, it does not defocus the subject and remains determined.
Sharpness: With the autofocus system and sensors Canon G9X Mark II works as good as it should. You will get the sharpest image around 50mm or equivalent.
Weight and size: Another feature of the compact camera is its weight which is 206g. The overall size of the Canon G9X is comparatively small.
The low weight and small size is so easy to carry and capture your lovely moments in a dslr camera.
Image and build quality: Some cameras have a really good image quality but lack the building one. This is not the case with Canon G9X Mark II at all.
Because Canon has very well maintained both the image and build quality at the same time.
- No.of physics controls lag
- It does not offer 4k video
- Image sensor size: 1 inch
- Aperture: f/2.8
- Resolution: 20MP
- ISO range: 125-12800
- AF system: 31 point
- Weight: 318g
- Dimensions: 105×61×42mm
It is an updated version of G7X. It offers a lot to you such as IOS range from 125-12800 and the latest image processor.
Autofocus: Canon Powershot G7X Mark II has a fast responding autofocus system. It proves to be one of the smallest and compact digital cameras that we must have included in the list.
Accuracy: Nonetheless, Canon features an impressive accuracy level in its cameras and G7X Mark II is no exception. The autofocus is purely accurate and it makes sure to capture fast-moving objects very clearly.
Sharpness: There is a dual-sensor in Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II which enables it to reduce all the blurred effects to a minimum caused due to the immediate movement of the camera.
In JPEGs, the sharpness and noise reduction is managed to a higher level.
Weight and size: As you must have noticed, the small size of all the compact cameras mentioned in the list G7X MARK II is no exception. It weighs 318g which is very light to carry.
Alongside the weight, the size of this camera is also relatively small. However, the quality is not compromised at any point.
Image and build quality: CanonPowerShot G7X Mark II will provide you not only with amazing quality of images but also with the great build quality.
Canon has done a great job of maximizing the battery life of this camera. The build quality is also an impressive feature.
- Autofocus is not good for mast moving objects
- Soft corners due to distortion
- Image sensor size: 1/ 2.3″
- Aperture: f/3
- Resolution: 720HP
- ISO range: 100-1600
- Weight: 139g
- Dimensions: 95.3×56.8×23.6mm
Canon Powershot ELPH 190 IS is the best compact camera in the range of 500 dollars. The picture quality is very good, yet it is very easy to carry.
Autofocus: Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 IS has very good autofocus; you can use it in full antarctic mode. Its focusing system starts its work in 1.8 seconds. Shortly after 0.1 seconds, the camera locks its focus.
Accuracy: This compact camera has excellent picture quality along with perfect zooming and accuracy. Overall the performance of this Canon Handycam is very well and completely accurate
Sharpness: Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 IS will take great pictures to stay with you for your entire life. Its sharpness is a little bit slow and not that sharp.
But for a compact camera, it is quite good. Sadly, this cam does not support input touch.
Weight and size: Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 has a weight of 139g. It can be carried around very easily without causing loads in your luggage. You can also put this camera in your pocket.
Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 IS is a small camera, alongside the light, you can call it a pocket camera with its very small size
Image and build quality: The image quality is very good for this compact camera. It has a 10x zoom lens which is great for the price of 500 dollars. The screen, however, is small (2.7 inches).
The screen doesn’t support touch input. The images are great if you take continuous photos through this camera
- It gets slow in continuous shooting
- Middling higher IOS performance
- Image sensor: “Exmor R” CMOS
- Aperture: f/3.5, f/8
- Resolution: 25-250MP
- ISO range: 3200
- AF system: Ultra quick
- Weight: 201g
- Dimensions: 1.2×4.13×2.38 inches
This Sony HXV500 V camera literally is a high definition compact Handycam. It has a variety of features that makes it the best.
Autofocus: Sony will prove to be a great camera to capture your special family moments forever, for you. It has an image processor that reduces the noise and increases faster image processing.
Accuracy: Sony HXV500 V will be extremely accurate. The accuracy can be seen in image quality, colour coordination and 4k videos.
Furthermore, the image quality improves even more in dim light.
Sharpness: As with all the compact handy cams, this will also prove to be sharp enough at the centre object. It will offer you a wide length of focus, which may have not been expected.
Weight and size: Song HXV500V is a lightweight compact camera with a very small size. Moreover, the weight of this camera, in particular, is 201g.
Image and build quality: At the same time, the image quality is even more emphasized by image stabilization. The optical SteadyShot enables the camera to make perfectly clear videos and stationary pictures.
On the other hand, let’s not forget the build quality of this amazing Sony HXV500 V compact camera, it is an amazing set with many features including built-in GPS.
- Zooming is not very good for this compact camera
- It has only two apertures
- Sharpness cannot be controlled
- Image sensor size: 16.16×4.5mm
- Aperture:f/3.5, f/6.6
- Resolution: 5152×3864
- ISO range: 100-1600
- AF system: 9 points
- Weight: 232g
- Dimensions: 104.4×69.9 x85.1mm
The Canon Powershot SX420 is overall a very good camera. The good thing about this compact camera is the image stabilization.
Autofocus: It has an excellent 42x zooming capacity. The Canon SX420 is a brilliant camera for recording videos. At the same time, autofocus and zooming offer great flexibility.
Accuracy: Canon SX420 is a great camera for video recording and images as well. The focus on the subject is very sharp and clear.
Accuracy and blurred background make your subject ‘pop’. Overall it’s a Great camera with superb accuracy.
Sharpness: The image stabilizer IOS system is good enough in its job to capture both moving and stationary objects in a perfect frame.
The sharpness at the same time is managed perfectly for both the cases (stationary and moving).
Weight and size: Compact cameras are all light in weight. This list of 12 best compact cameras under $500 have all the cameras under 500g weight. No doubt, Canon PowerShot SX420 weighs less than 500g and that is 232g.
Considering the size, it is small enough to fit in your pocket. It can be carried to all the places that you desire for photography.
Image and build quality: Canon SX420 has a brilliant image quality not only that but it also has an amazing look. Moreover, it is easy to use.
Its colour filter type is the primary colour. The total pixels for this are approximately 20.5m. This Canon compact camera has a large aperture.
- Does not have separate control for manual mode
- MOS sensor: 16MP
- Aperture: f/3.5, f/5.6
- Resolution: 1080p
- ISO range: wide
- AF system: light speed
- Weight: 340g
- Dimensions: 122.45×84.6×71.4mm
No doubt that Panasonic has been on this list once, but we wanted to enable you to reach all the options of compact cameras under $500.
Autofocus: The MOS sensor along with the Venus image processor results in very fast autofocus. Moreover, this autofocus is very fast in dim light as well.
The low-light autofocus allows the camera to focus on the objects even in dim light. Hence, the picture results as even good in low light.
Accuracy: Accuracy is one of the features under discussion for every camera. But for the Panasonic Lumix G Series, it seems to be perfect. You will experience accurate results of your photography through this compact camera.
However, the mirrorless and compact Panasonic camera under discussion have an autofocus speed nearly equal to that of light.
Sharpness: A wide ISO range leads to the sharpness of the images captured in the Panasonic Lumix G Series DMC-G6 compact camera. The sharpness effect in light is great.
But we must not ignore the excellent job of IOS in low light as the sharpness and autofocus of this camera is outstanding in dim light as well.
Weight and size: All the compact cameras under discussion are lightweight and small size and Panasonic Lumix G Series DMC-G6 is no exception. It weighs 340g which is easy to carry.
Image and build quality: Both the image and build quality for this compact camera under discussion are excellent. Neither the image quality nor the build quality is preferred over the other. But both of them are equally important and accurate.
- The build quality in some areas is purely plastic
With the budget of $500 you can get a variety of cameras out there, they may include, mirrorless cameras, basic training level dslr cameras and compact cameras as well. You must know that your selection only depends on your demands.
Therefore, in this section of our article, we have concluded some of the very basic and important features which you must consider before buying a camera.
Sharpness: The sharpness of a lens is something that adds to your pictures a beautiful effect. The sharpness of the focused object makes it clear and resolved.
In the case of buying a camera, it is an important feature to keep in mind. The compact cameras, however, will offer you a good sharpness range under $500.
ISO: In case you are stuck in a situation where you do not have a tripod, the ISO system is your saviour. It actually measures the light that reaches the sensor of your camera.
Keep in mind before buying a compact camera under $500 that the higher the ISO for a camera the faster is the speed of the shutter.
Megapixels: The sensor fit in your compact camera is responsible for the measurement of the amount of information. And thus the number of pixels has a direct effect on this amount.
So, the camera offering more megapixels will as a result produce a more clear image with every point focused.
Video: Do not spend your earned money on a camera offering good video quality. And by this, I mean that many people don’t even use the camera for videography at all.
So spend money on such a product for no reason that will not benefit you in any case.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
In this section of the article, we will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about compact cameras under$500.
What are the limitations of compact cameras?
Photo quality and optical viewfinders are the two basic limitations of compact cameras. Photo quality for some compact cameras can be surprisingly excellent and at the same time may range in the lowest levels. Some compact cameras have a very small or mostly no viewfinder.
What are the advantages of compact cameras?
We observe that new digital compact cameras are easy to use, carry, hold on and shoot. Their small size and lightweight can make a huge difference in your luggage weight.
What is an advanced compact camera?
The advanced compact cameras are designed for enthusiast photographers, it has all the features that you expect from a dslr yet in a very small and precise form.
Do any compact cameras have a viewfinder?
In short, a viewfinder in a compact camera is a great deal, it enables you to shoot in the bright sunlight. Some compact cameras do have a viewfinder.
This was our detailed article on 12 Best Compact Cameras Under $500. We think that the above-mentioned 12 products are the best of all. Let me remind you that we can only recommend you the options, your selection totally and purely depends on your needs and preferences.
However, keep the aforementioned features in your mind while selecting the best compact camera for yourself.
We hope this article was helpful to you.