best mirrorless camera under £500 uk

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Best camera under £500 in 2021

Best camera under £500: Nikon D3500
(Image credit: Nikon)

1. Nikon D3500

Nikon’s newest DSLR is cheap, easy to use and very good

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: DSLRSensor: APS-C CMOSMegapixels: 24.2MPLens mount: Nikon DXScreen: 3in fixed, 921K dotsContinuous shooting speed: 5fpsMax video resolution: 1080pUser level: Beginner/enthusiastTODAY’S BEST DEALSVIEW AT AMAZONView at Amazon

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REASONS TO BUY

+Very beginner friendly+Speedy AF-P kit lens+Great image qualtiy

REASONS TO AVOID

-Fixed rear screen

Not only is this just about the freshest and newest beginner DSLR on the market, it also comes in well under our top budget, leaving you cash left over for accessories. Indeed, we’ve ranked it number one on our best Nikon camera list. The D3500 is a refreshed and redesigned version of the D3400 before it, with a 24-megapixel sensor and a fast-focussing AF-P 18-55mm kit lens with a retracting mechanism so that it takes up less space when you’re carrying it around. The cheapest deal includes a non-VR lens, but we’d recommend paying just a little extra for the VR version.

Read more: Nikon D3500 review

GoPro Hero 10 Black
(Image credit: GoPro)

2. GoPro Hero10 Black

The new flagship action camera with a new processor

SPECIFICATIONS

Weight: 153gWaterproof: 10m5K video: up to 60fps4K video: up to 120fps1080P: up to 240fpsStills resolution: 23MPBattery life: 1-32hrs estimateTODAY’S BEST DEALSVIEW AT AMAZON

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REASONS TO BUY

+Faster user interface+Increased frame rates+Hydrophobic lens coating

REASONS TO AVOID

-Incremental upgrade on Hero9 Black-Bigger than the Hero8 Black and Hero7 Black-Not compatible with older batteries

Welcome to the newest and best GoPro around. It might look a lot like the GoPro Hero 9 but it is a pretty significant upgrade. It features the new G2 processor which makes the interface super responsive, doubles the frame rates and fuels the best image stabilization tech available in action cameras. 

The stand-out feature is its ability to record 5.3K 60p using GoPro’s new HyperSmooth 4.0 video stabilization. It also has the ability to shoot 23-megapixel photos and is has the best low-light performance of any GoPro yet. You can buy a wealth of accessories separately so as well as mounting it on your helmet, you could attach it to your chest, your head or even onto one of the best selfie sticks.

best camera under £500 - Canon EOS 2000D
(Image credit: Canon)

3. Canon EOS 2000D

A flip-out LCD and Dual Pixel CMOS AF make this a great buy

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: DSLRMegapixels: 24.1MPLens mount: Canon EF-SScreen: 3-inch LCD, 920K dotsViewfinder: Yes, opticalContinuous shooting: 3fpsMovies: Full HD (1080p)User level: BeginnerTODAY’S BEST DEALSVIEW AT AMAZONView at Amazon

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REASONS TO BUY

+Tiny, light body+Excellent price

REASONS TO AVOID

-No Dual Pixel CMOS AF-Fxed LCD screen

An impressively specced beginner’s DSLR and one of the long-awaited successors to the entry-level EOS 1000D, the Canon EOS 2000D is a great choice for any stating-out or aspiring photographer looking to try out their first DSLR. It doesn’t do anything particularly flash but does manage everything you need it to: a 9-point autofocus system, 3fps burst shooting, Full HD video, and of course, the EF-S mount that gives the user access to a huge catalogue of fantastic lenses. Friendly to the novice user, but offering room to grow, the EOS 2000D represents a fantastic bargain.

best camera under £500: Panasonic Lumix GX80

4. Panasonic Lumix GX80

A pocket-sized mirrorless camera at a pocket-money price

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: MirrorlessSensor: Micro Four ThirdsMegapixels: 16.0MPScreen: 3.0-inch, 1,040k tilt touchViewfinder: Electronic, 2,765kLens: Micro Four ThirdsContinuous shooting speed: 8fps (40fps elec shutter)Max video resolution: 4kUser level: IntermediateTODAY’S BEST DEALS

VIEW AT AMAZON

REASONS TO BUY

+Very compact body+Built-in electronic viewfinder+Great value for money+Often sold with two zoom lenses for under $500 / £500

REASONS TO AVOID

-MFT sensor only 16MP

Incredible value for money, with or without its smart little 12-32mm kit zoom lens, the Panasonic Lumix GX80 shoehorns a host of high-tech features into its diminutive, compact-style build. The best deals however are for a twin-zoom kit, that offers a 45-150mm telephoto in addition to the 12-35mm standard lens. Standout features include 5-axis image stabilization, Light Speed AF, Post Focus and 4K ultra-high definition for both video and rapid-fire stills, as featured in Panasonic’s top-end cameras. There’s also a high-res electronic viewfinder built into the back of the camera, along with a tilting touchscreen. If you want a camera that goes large on features and performance, but with a small build and price tag, this is amazing value for money that will leave you with cash to spare.

Read more: The best Panasonic camera

best camera under £500: DJI Osmo Action
(Image credit: DJI)

5. DJI Osmo Action

A fantastically featured little action camera for a great price

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Action cameraSensor: 1/2.3-inchMegapixels: 12MPScreen: Dual (front and rear)Viewfinder: NoLens: 148-degree field-of-viewContinuous shooting speed: Not specifiedMax video resolution: 4kUser level: BeginnerTODAY’S BEST DEALS

VIEW AT AMAZONView at AmazonView at AmazonSee all prices (7 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Super-smooth stabilised video+Extensive waterproofing (11m)

REASONS TO AVOID

-Some app issues-Limited burst options

The DJI Osmo Action is an extraordinarily powerful little action camera, capable of producing beautifully smooth 4K footage thanks to its RockSteady stabilization system. Undercutting the latest GoPro HERO cameras on price, it’s a fantastic tool for the money and boasts lots of great features you’d expect from a camera of its class, such as waterproofing down to 11m. Dual LCD screens are also a boon for selfies and vlogging, allowing you to see what you’re shooting from both angles, and it can also shoot video in super slow motion (up to 8x). An all-around winner for a great price.

Read more: DJI Osmo Action review

Best camera under £500: Sony A6000
(Image credit: Sony)

6. Sony A6000

A powerful mirrorless all-rounder that’s now available at silly prices

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: MirrorlessSensor size: APS-CResolution: 24.3MPViewfinder: EVFMonitor: 3-inch tilting screen, 921,600 dotsMaximum continuous shooting rate: 11fpsMaximum video resolution: 1080pUser level: Beginner/enthusiastTODAY’S BEST DEALS

VIEW AT AMAZONView at Amazon

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REASONS TO BUY

+Great image quality+Excellent EVF

REASONS TO AVOID

-Display isn’t touch sensitive-Setting AF point somewhat awkward

Sony’s excellent A6400 and A6600 might be out of budget, but the A6000 is a highly capable alternative. In fact, the company claims it’s its best-selling mirrorless camera to date. While it might lack its elder siblings’ 4K video option, you get plenty of features you’d never expect to see on a similarly priced DSLR. These include a mammoth 179 phase-detect AF points that make subject tracking a doddle, together with 11fps burst shooting. That combination alone should make the camera appeal strongly to sports and action shooters, while the tilting LCD screen, 2.36million-dot OLED viewfinder, built-in Wi-Fi and NFC only sweeten the deal further.

Read more: The best Sony camera

best camera under £500: Panasonic Lumix LX100
(Image credit: Panasonic)

8. Panasonic Lumix LX100

This big-sensor compact handles like a classic film camera

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: CompactSensor size: Micro Four ThirdsResolution: 12.8MPLens: 24-75mm, f/1.7-2.8Monitor: 3.0-inch, 921,000 dotsViewfinder: EVFContinuous shooting: 11fpsMovies: 4KUser level: Intermediate/expertTODAY’S BEST DEALSCHECK AMAZON

REASONS TO BUY

+Excellent feature set+Huge sensor for a compact

REASONS TO AVOID

-Limited focal range-Big for a compact

While most enthusiast compacts are happy enough with a 1in-type sensor, the Panasonic LX100 shoehorns in a larger Micro Four Thirds sensor into a body that’s only slightly larger than the average enthusiast compact. In fact, it’s the only compact camera to have such a sensor, and this helps it to deliver excellent image quality. You might find the focal range of the 24-75mm lens to be a little limiting, but with a maximum aperture of f/1.7-2.8 it’s nice and bright. Add to that 4K video, an integrated viewfinder and Wi-Fi with NFC, and it still stacks up well against more recent offerings. Once again, too, the release of a more expensive successor (the LX100 II) has served to drive the price down and make this extremely capable camera an even more tempting prospect.

best camera under £500: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III
(Image credit: Sony)

9. Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III

Sony’s third-generation RX100 model is a miniature powerhouse

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: CompactSensor: 1in typeMegapixels: 20.1MPLens: 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8Screen: 3in tilting screen, 1.228million dotsViewfinder: EVFMax burst speed: 5fpsMax video resolution: Full HD (1080p)User level: EnthusiastTODAY’S BEST DEALS

VIEW AT AMAZON

REASONS TO BUY

+Excellent sensor+Tiny body

REASONS TO AVOID

-Some handling issues-Maximum aperture at 100mm

The original Cyber-shot RX100 was a landmark release, with its large 1in sensor, masses of functionality and tiny body upping the standard for a compact that you can still get into your pocket. This third iteration has a 20.1-megapixel sensor and a fast f/1.8-2.8 3x zoom lens equivalent to 24-70mm in full frame terms. It even packs in a pop-up electronic viewfinder. Sony has since announced RX100 models up to the VII, many of which offer competitive features like a longer zoom range, but we reckon the RX100 III still hits the sweet spot for power versus price.

Read more: Sony RX100 III vs RX100 IV vs RX100 V vs RX100 VI vs RX100 VII

BEST CAMERA UNDER $500: Panasonic ZS70
(Image credit: Panasonic/Wex)

10. Panasonic Lumix TZ90

The perfect travel camera – a big zoom range in a pocket-sized body

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: CompactSensor: 1/2.3inMegapixels: 20.3MPLens: 24-720mm 3.3-6.4LCD: 3in tilting, 1,04k dotsMaximum continuous shooting speed: 10fpsMax video resolution: 4KUser level: Beginner to intermediateTODAY’S BEST DEALS

VIEW AT AMAZONView at Amazon

REASONS TO BUY

+Effective image stabilisation system+Selfie functionality works very well

REASONS TO AVOID

-Viewfinder is very small-Soft results at wide-angle setting

Panasonic’s long-running TZ series is a great choice for those needing a feature-packed point and shoot camera for travel. Released in 2017, the Panasonic TZ-90/ZS70 still has one of the best zoom lenses available on a compact. It’s wifi ready so you can transfer images on the go, has an impressive 30x zoom (24-720mm full-frame equivalent) and includes RAW shooting. Unlike other point and shoots it has an electronic viewfinder, albeit a small one, but it’s nice to have the option to use one. It has a 49-point autofocus system which is speedy enough, image quality is pretty good and its metering system helps to balance exposure in a variety of scenes. The ZS70 is without a doubt one of the best point and shoot systems for balancing versatility and portability with a low price point.

Best camera under £500: Panasonic Lumix TZ100
(Image credit: Panasonic)

11. Panasonic Lumix TZ100

The TZ100 belies its small size with a huge sensor and all-encompassing optic

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: CompactSensor: 1-inch type CMOSResolution: 20.1MPLens: 25-250mm f/2.8-5.9Viewfinder: EVFMonitor: 3.0-inch, 1,040,000 dotsMaximum continuous shooting speed: 10fpsMovies: 4KUser level: Beginner/enthusiastTODAY’S BEST DEALSVIEW AT AMAZON

View at AmazonView at AmazonSee all prices (5 found)

REASONS TO BUY

+Unique proposition+Inclusion of 4K video

REASONS TO AVOID

-Viewfinder is very small-Narrow max telephoto aperture

If you’re not bothered by having such a big zoom and would prefer better low-light performance, the Panasonic TZ100 would better suit your needs. It’s a compact design considering it’s packing a 1-inch sensor which is surprisingly big considering the camera’s zoom range is 25-250mm, f2.8-5.9. It’s a little bulkier than the TZ90 above but you can definitely still fit it comfortably in a jacket pocket. It features a small electronic viewfinder, 4K video recording, RAW shooting and a five-axis OIS to help keep images sharp and videos stable. Now that the TZ200 has been released, the price of this one has dropped even more – what’s not to love?!

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