Best Budget Cameras 2021 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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Quick Overview: Our Top 10 Picks for Budget Cameras

OUR TOP PICKptsntbl-table__imageCanon EOS Rebel T6
  • 58mm high definition wide angle lens
  • 2 x telephoto lenses
  • Full HD 1080p videos at 30 fps
ptsntbl-table__imageSony RX100 III
  • Provides a great image quality
  • Large and capable sensor
  • 30 inch tilting TFT LCD screen
ptsntbl-table__imagePanasonic Lumix Fz300 Long Zoom
  • Amazing zoom range
  • Impressive f/2.8 maximum aperture
  • High resolution electronic viewfinder
ptsntbl-table__imageNikon D3500
  • APS-C sensor
  • Excellent battery life
  • 1080p full HD videos
ptsntbl-table__imagePanasonic Lumix ZS50
  • Impressive zoom range
  • Built-in electronic viewfinder
  • Affordable price
ptsntbl-table__imageCanon EOS Rebel
  • 24.2MP sensor
  • DIGIC 7 image processor
  • 3 inch vari-angle touchscreen display
ptsntbl-table__imageSony Alpha A6000 Mirrorless
  • 24.3 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 25 contrast detection points
  • Hybrid auto-focusing system
ptsntbl-table__imageNikon D5300
  • APS-C CMOS sensor of 24.2MP
  • 3.2 inch vari-angle screen
  • Full HD 1080p videos
ptsntbl-table__imageSony A7S II
  • Full-frame sensor (35.8 x 23.9mm)
  • 24MP Exmor CMOS
  • 2.4 million electronic viewfinder
ptsntbl-table__imageOlympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
  • Brilliant image stabilization system
  • Burst shooting at 8.5 fps
  • 2.3 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder

Are you interested in buying the best camera and are confused whether to buy a point-and-shoot camera or stick to a DSLR? This guide will help you through the whole process if you are a beginner. Today a lot of hybrid cameras are ruling the market and are also referred to as mirrorless cameras. A point-and-shoot camera is one of them. It offers a large image sensor, plus you can change it’s lenses like an expensive DSLR’s.

In this guide we will be briefing you with some important information about the best budget cameras, including factors to consider before buying one, as well as the types of cameras available today- mostly focusing on hybrid cameras. In the end we will be listing some of the best affordable cameras for photography available online.


Types Of Budget Cameras

This section will help you get detailed information about the different types of cameras available and their functions. After learning about all the types you will be able to choose a category that serves your purpose. This will make the short-listing process easier for you.


Digital Single Reflex Camera (DSLR) is certainly one of the most popular types of cameras used by both professionals and photography enthusiasts. It is a mixture of a single reflex camera with a digital imaging sensor. They are most suitable for making future upgrades as they come with a detachable lens, so you can change the lenses according to your requirements.

If you are into wildlife photography, a telephoto lens will work best. And if you’re into landscape photography, a wide-angle lens will be better. Through the camera’s optical viewfinder, you can get a direct view of what you are aiming at. They are further divided into two types; full frame and half frame. The two most famous DSLR brands are Nikon and Canon; both are Japanese manufacturers who have been ruling the industry for decades.

Other brands include Fuji, Pentax, Sony, and Sigma. These brands also offer good quality products at an affordable price. You may choose a brand according to your budget, as DSLRs by Canon and Nikon are a bit more expensive.

DSLRs are mostly popular because of the various lens options they offer. Many new and advanced models allow you to record videos and a few can even record 4K videos. They allow you to record pictures in RAW format and you can later edit them using Photoshop or any other software.

2. Mirrorless Cameras

When an optical viewfinder is detached from a DSLR camera, it is called a mirrorless camera. This reduction lessens the total weight of the camera. The image which falls on the camera sensor can be observed on the viewfinder. Thus, mirrorless cameras weigh light and are a lot easier to handle.

Mirrorless cameras are available in both full-frame and crop-frame bodies. One of the best full-frame mirrorless cameras available in the market today is the Sony A7RIII.

Nikon as well as Sony also offer mirrorless camera bodies and also with a removable lens feature. For now, the variety of lenses for mirrorless cameras is low because they are relatively new in the market. Renowned brands like Nikon and Canon offer adaptors to mount the lenses used on DSLRs onto the mirrorless cameras. Similar to DSLR cameras, these also allow you to click pictures in RAW format.

3. Point-and-Shoot Cameras

These cameras are light in weight and very compact. Thus, they work well for people who travel a lot and need something portable. For example, these are ideal to click pictures on a vacation with family or friends. So, if you want the best budget camera for recording small gatherings or clicking pictures at family events and not for professional photography, then this type is the best for you.

You need to know that they come with a fixed lens so you won’t be able to get the telephoto reach. But it does come with a variable focal length and is a great camera for documentation purposes. The pictures are recorded in JPEG format and these cameras employ AA batteries. Some models use custom batteries. So if you want the best cheap camera that easily fits in your bag or your jacket’s pocket then this lightweight camera will work wonders for you.

4. Bridge Cameras

As the name suggests, bridge cameras come somewhere between point-and-shoot and DSLRs. They come with a fixed lens like in point-and-shoot cameras and they also cover the telephoto focal range.

These cameras are great for those who are into wildlife or sports photography and the best part is that they do not cost much. They work as a great substitute to DSLRs or mirrorless cameras. They allow you to click pictures in RAW format and are easier to carry around because they don’t weigh much.

5. Medium Format Cameras

Earlier medium format cameras employed 120mm films. Today, the film is replaced by digital camera sensors which are equal to the film’s size. A few brands still manufacture these cameras. However, they are quite big and pricey.

This is a great choice for photographers working in the fashion industry as they deliver great quality images with high noise performance. Fuji, Pentax, and Hasselblad are a few popular brands that produce medium format cameras. The only con is that they are heavier than the standard DSLR cameras. However, this is because they come with a huge camera sensor, which is great for your images at the end of the day.

6. Film Cameras

Earlier when manufacturers started producing cameras, the film was used to record images, and then it got replaced by digital camera sensors as well as memory cards. The ISO of the picture comes as the film features and you need to replace the film rolls according to ISO needs. The aperture and shutter speed can be controlled by the cameras. Now, this type of camera is not produced by brands that much because other types have taken over.

7. Polaroid Cameras

These are also known as instant cameras as you can print photos just after clicking it. The brand which first introduced this type was Polaroid Corporation and hence the name ‘Polaroid cameras’.

Earlier, these cameras used films, but due to advancements in technology, films got replaced by paper prints. Today, a lot of different brands manufacture Polaroid cameras and there are many different models available. Two popular instant camera brands today are Kodak and Fujifilm.

These are a few types of cameras that are available on the market today. Now that you have a clear idea about all the types and their specific functions, you will be able to narrow down the types which serve your purpose. The next section of our guide reviews some of the best affordable cameras available online.

This section of our guide will further help you in short-listing models which suit your purpose. We have tried to cover various models with different price ranges. Below you will find some great options if you are on a budget.

Top 15 Best Budget Cameras 2021

1. Canon EOS Rebel T6 

Canon EOS Rebel T6 Best Budget CamerasThe first model on our list of best affordable cameras for photography is by Canon which comes with a warranty and an accessory kit. This camera comes with a 58mm high definition wide-angle lens and 2 x telephoto lenses. It is equipped with a 16GB SDHC 10 flash memory card. The whole kit includes an ultraviolet UV protector filter, memory card wallet, LCD screen protectors, tripod, lens cap holder, and a 3 piece cleaning kit. You can record full HD 1080p videos at 30 fps.

Other features include a built-in Wi-Fi system, NFC scene intelligent auto mode, and other creative auto modes.


2. Sony RX100 III

Sony RX100 IIISony has just launched the latest camera in its RX100 range and that is the Sony Cyber-shot RX100VI. This camera has advanced features but it is quite costly.

The previous model RX100 III is a much more affordable option that is available on Amazon at lower prices. This product may not offer the latest features but it still provides a great image quality that doesn’t hurt the pockets.
It comes with a large and capable sensor and a high-end finish. It does not offer a touchscreen but the 1.0-inch sensor delivers brilliant amounts of details and sustains high image quality. It has a broad and fast range of zoom lens which make this model a convenient traveling camera.

Other features include; a built-in pop-up viewfinder, a 30-inch tilting TFT LCD screen, steady-shot image stabilization, rear control dial, customizable front control, NFC for sharing photos, built-in Wi-Fi for instantly uploading pictures online, and remote camera control.

It allows you to click pictures in JPEG format and you can continuously shoot up to 10fps. The only con is that it takes a few hours to charge, the total charging time is about 230 minutes. Nevertheless, it’s a great camera by a renowned brand, available at an affordable price.


3. Panasonic Lumix Fz300 Long Zoom

Panasonic Lumix Fz300 Long ZoomPanasonic is also a renowned brand that manufactures electronic products and gadgets; it has also been manufacturing cameras for a couple of years.

Lumix FZ300 was launched in 2015 and now it is available at a reasonable price, as the cost has come down since its launch. It offers an amazing zoom range, between 25 to 600mm, so you can cover distant objects and fill the frame. As it is a bridge camera, the zoom range is quite good.

Other than that, it also offers an impressive f/2.8 maximum aperture, which helps when you are shooting at the longer end of the zoom range as well as when you isolate the subject.

It is splash-resistant and comes with a high-resolution electronic viewfinder. Other features include; built-in Wi-Fi, an image stabilization system, and a vari-angle touchscreen. Overall it’s the best affordable camera for a photography enthusiast.


4. Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500This model is by another popular Japanese brand called Nikon. Nikon’s D3500 retains some of the features of D3400 but is priced less. Because of its affordable price it has gained popularity and offers all the features of a professional camera. It comes with an APS-C sensor and an excellent battery life of 1550 frames per charge.

It offers a better grip and is lighter than the D3400. As it is a point-and-shoot camera, it is quite compact and easy to carry. So you can cover all your travel accounts and special events with this camera. The image sensor is 15 times larger than those used in high-tech smartphones to deliver sharper pictures. It allows you to record 1080p full HD videos and uses Bluetooth version 4.1. To share photos with a smartphone, laptop, or tablet, one can use Nikon’s snapbridge app.

It is targeted at cost-conscious consumers who have a low budget but want to have fun and experiment in their photography journey. We highly recommend this for beginners as it is easy to handle, delivers good performance, offers high image quality, and is portable. It is for sure one of the best affordable cameras for photography.


5. Panasonic Lumix ZS50

Panasonic Lumix ZS50It is not the latest model in the ZS or TZ range by Panasonic, but it’s worth a look because of its amazing features and affordable price. In this model, the brand experimented and reduced the number of megapixels to 12MP to reduce noise levels as fewer pixels are formed on the sensor. This also delivers better image quality. Earlier models like Lumix ZS40 or TZ60 come with 18MP, so this is a remarkable change.

Another key feature of this model is its impressive zoom range, which is between 27 to 720mm. Thus making it suitable to shoot a varying range of subjects. It comes with a built-in electronic viewfinder which makes composition smooth in bright colors. It also flaunts a 3-inch display at the back but it is not touch-sensitive. It comes with auto-control features for easy handling, thus we recommend it for beginners.

You can also manually control some of the settings because it has a handy control wheel near the lens. It offers a 300-shot battery life, but an extra battery may come in handy if you plan on leaving the charger at home on long trips.


6. Canon EOS Rebel

Canon EOS RebelThis is another model belonging to Canon’s EOS Rebel range. It comes with a 24.2MP sensor and boasts the brand’s advanced DIGIC 7 image processor. The processor claims to handle 14 times more details than the earlier DIGIC 6. This leads to a big change in AF performance and also helps in facilitating the camera’s range of ISO100 to 25,600. This exceeds Rebel SL1’s ISO range of 12,800 by more than double.

It comes with a 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen display with extremely high resolution (about 1,040,000 dots). The optical viewfinder only covers 95% view, which is the standard among DSLRs belonging to this price range. The only con is that sometimes due to 95% coverage, you may observe that unwelcome bits creep into the edges of the frame when you are reviewing your images.

It is also equipped with the brand’s latest graphical user interface, which is specially made to help beginners handle the camera with ease and learn its various shooting modes.

You can turn off this feature by going to the menu and replace it with Canon’s standard interface which is usually used by professionals. It doesn’t allow you to capture 4k videos, but you can record videos at up to 60p. It is an ideal buy for those who are into wildlife photography or like to capture scenic beauty.


7. Sony Alpha A6000 Mirrorless

Sony Alpha A6000 MirrorlessSony’s A6000 is another best budget camera and its design is quite similar to the A7. It comes with a specially made 24.3 MP APS-C CMOS sensor. Similar to A7, the sensor on this one too comes with a gapless on-chip design, which helps in increasing the collection of light.

The sensor flaunts 179 autofocus points, and all of them are used for phase detection. It also has 25 contrast-detection points used for the camera’s hybrid auto-focusing system. The camera is equipped with the quickest AF in the world; it shares AF settings similar to those of A7, like Eye AF, lock-on AF, and AF area settings. It comes with the brand’s latest processor; the Bionz X which is also found in A7.

This processor is said to be 3 times faster than the previous generation processors. This processor also facilitates an increased sensitivity speed of ISO 25600. It is equipped with a tiltable LCD screen on its back and an electronic viewfinder which is about 0.39 inches (also found in the RX10 bridge camera).


8. Nikon D5300 

Nikon D5300 24.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mmThis model from Nikon’s D5 range employs a sensor without a low-pass filter. It offers the potential to capture sharper images and cover more details (but it may lead to patterning). It is equipped with an APS-C CMOS sensor of 24.2MP and a 3.2-inch vari-angle screen with a high resolution of 1,037,000 dots. You can record full HD 1080p videos using this DSLR.

It is a great camera for those who want to record videos at sporting events or small family gatherings as it falls within the budget and still offers all the features of a professional camera.

Nikon’s earlier model called the D5200 shares similar specifications, but D5300 introduces a few new changes including the new sensor. For example, it is equipped with a brand new EXPEED 4 processing engine. This processing engine has helped in improving image quality and has affected noise control at the highest sensitivity settings.


9. Sony A7S II 

Sony A7S II The brand has introduced a new update to the evergreen A7 and launched the new Alpha A7 II. A few of you may feel that there are not many differences in both the models but the brand has certainly added more features. It does share the same full-frame sensor (35.8 x 23.9mm) and 24MP Exmor CMOS device as launched in A7.

What makes it the best value camera is the fact that it is the brand’s first full-frame compact system camera which features in-body image stabilization. By this, we mean that the sensor can turn for accidental camera movements at the time of exposure. It also comes with 2.4 million electronic viewfinders. These features sure make this camera more attractive to new buyers than the older one.

The image stabilization modifies and corrects both X and Y axis movements. It also regulates pitch, roll, and yaw for still as well as movie recording. When a Sony lens is attached to the camera’s body, both the systems work together well to deliver optimal performance.

Those who use older lenses or third-party lenses will not be able to communicate with the camera, but they can sure manually input the focal length to try the in-camera stabilization system.

The brand’s A7 series employs Sony’s E-mount, simply put this means that these full-frame cameras are acceptable of both APS-C format and full-frame E-mount lenses. But when APS-C lenses are used, the image size decreases. You can use Alpha mount optics for Sony’s DSLRs as well as SLT cameras using an adaptor. May new adaptors are available on the market, which allows you to use lenses by Canon and Nikon.


10. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IIThis best inexpensive camera by Olympus and the brand has recently launched its upgraded version known as the OM-D E-M10 Mark III. However, for those on a budget, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is a great buy. It is a mirrorless camera that features a great electronic viewfinder, a brilliant image stabilization system, and burst shooting at 8.5 fps.

The built-in 5-Axis image stabilization delivers sharper images and its 2.3 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder aids in magnification. You can turn on its silent mode and it will disable all shutter sounds. It doesn’t feature one of the latest sensors as well as 4k video recording, nevertheless, it is worth a look because of its price range.


11. Canon PowerShot SX730

Canon PowerShot SX730This model by Canon is equipped with a 2.3 inch CMOS sensor with 20.3 Megapixels and a 24 to 960mm f/3.3-6.9 zoom lens. It also features a 3.0-inch tilting screen with a resolution of 922,000 dots.

The size of the sensor used in this camera is actually the smallest in comparison to the size of the sensor in other such models. But due to its black-illuminated architecture, it is efficiently able to imprison more light than other models featuring standard designs.

The Megapixels it offers are similar to the earlier SX720 HS model. This camera is equipped with the brand’s DIGIC 6 processing engine, which is not the latest but works pretty well.

Many aberrations can form due to such big lenses and Canon counters them by using components like aspherical profiles, as well as extra-low dispersive properties. It helps to maintain sharpness while shooting at longer focal lengths and in dim light using a lens-based, 3-stop IS system. A 5-Axis advanced dynamic IS is used when shooting videos in low light.


12. Sony A7 Full-Frame

Sony A7 Full-FrameThe Sony A7 features an exciting new sensor as well as a brand new processing system. The processor it is equipped with is the Bionz X processor, which is three times faster than its predecessors. It flaunts a very quick auto-focusing speed due to its latest AF algorithm. It also features a new auto-focusing system which comes with 117 phase-detection and 25 contrast-detection points.

Its auto-focusing system is very sensitive (almost down to OEV) which means that the camera delivers great performance even in low light conditions. This model employs the E-mount but it is not very suitable for full-frame cameras.

However, if you use the latest one, the camera will automatically shift to APS-C mode (you have the option to turn it off). To maximize the versatility of the camera, a new range of lenses has been launched, which includes zoom lenses, prime optics, etc.

It is available at Amazon and you can buy the whole kit which comes with a 28 to 70mm FE (full-frame E-mount) lens. A converter is available in the market to mount A-mount full-frame optics that you may already have at your place. You can even use Konica Minolta lenses as they are also compatible. You can also buy third-party adaptors for lenses from brands like Canon and Nikon.


13. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ70 16.1 Mp Digital Camera With 60x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom And 3-inch Lcd (Black)This camera is targeted at photography enthusiasts who are into bird and flower photography. This model allows you to shoot in RAW format. It also gives you the freedom for full manual control with other semi-automatic modes like aperture priority, shutter priority, etc. It also offers digital features like retro, dynamic monochrome, expressive, panoramic, etc.

It offers an appealing aperture of f/2.8 which outweighs the capabilities of other similar brand models. It features an intelligent zoom and resolution to maximize the 60x zoom even further and stretch it to 120x.

You can even buy a separate tele conversion lens to increase the optics of the lens up to 120x. It also features a 3 inch LCD screen on the back with almost 460k dots. The screen is not touch-sensitive but it features an electronic viewfinder, which is about 0.2 inches and 202k dots.

You can record full HD videos in 60i, 50i, and 25p. It also comes with a hot-shoe to enable the addition of accessories like outer flashguns (an in-built flashgun is already included). What makes it one of the best cheap cameras for photography is its affordable price, currently listed at less than $250.

We especially recommend this camera for beginners as it is cheaper, easy to handle, open to future upgrades if you want to make any, and offers a variety of extra features. This is aimed at those photographers who like to travel a lot and require more flexibility as it is easy to carry and less expensive.


14. Panasonic Lumix Lx100

Panasonic Lumix Lx100The second last model on our list of the top 15 best budget cameras is another model belonging to the Panasonic Lumix range. This model comes in a very pleasing and durable retro design. It allows you to make 4k videos at up to 11 fps, features quick auto-focus, and promises a high image quality. It works well even under low light conditions and is equipped with a built-in electronic viewfinder to help you frame your shots.

The rear LCD it features is not a touch screen, plus it does not feature a built-in flash. However, it is equipped with a sharp 12.8MP sensor that delivers crisp bright images. It is very compact and thus, is a great buy for those looking for quality as well as portability. It also features an f/1.7 lens with a 3.1x optical zoom.


15. Olympus Tough Tg-5

Olympus Tough Tg-5The last one on our list of best budget cameras for the year 2020 is a water-proof camera by Olympus. It is waterproof up to 50 feet and is a compact point-and-shoot camera. It features a 4x optical zoom lens (24 to 100mm) and has a wide aperture (f/2.0). It allows you to click high-quality images and record amazing videos at a 4k resolution.

It also allows you to click pictures in RAW format, so you can click pictures in dark underwater areas and edit them in post-production. To assist you further, it also features various underwater modes.

Using its flash you can adjust the level of illumination which is not a common feature observed in point-and-shoot cameras. It can manage up to 220 pounds of pressure, 7 footfalls, and temperatures up to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Additional features include; a Wi-Fi system to assist sharing, GPS, and an electronic compass.


Important Factors To Consider Before Buying The Best Budget Camera

It’s not surprising that both amateurs and professionals love to use hybrid cameras for various purposes. But before you yourself get tempted to buy one, there are some crucial factors you need to keep in mind before you make a final decision. Factors such as how many megapixels you need, budget, different lenses, etc need to be thought through before you head to the store.

1. How Do You Plan On Using Your Camera?

This is the most important factor to think of even before considering and forming your budget. The answer to this will help determine your requirements from a camera.

So think carefully regarding the usage. For example, some people not only require a camera for its obvious function- which is to click pictures but also to record family events, small gatherings, sporting events, etc.

Usually, parents wish to record their children’s journey from childhood to adolescence, covering baseball games, school plays, dance performances, etc. Then there are those who want to pursue photography as an art form and regularly engage in landscape photography or shooting urban scenes.

All these purposes affect your requirements in choosing the best budget camera. If you need a camera to record events with family or friends, you should opt for a camera that is compact and portable.

If you are interested in outdoor photography and are a regular traveler, you will require something more sturdy which won’t break due to water spills while you’re trekking or bike riding.

If you are interested in photography as an art form, then you will need a camera that provides high-image quality. Everyone has different needs and purposes when it comes to buying the best affordable camera for themselves. You just need to be sure of how you plan on using the camera so that you can make the right decision and be satisfied with your purchase.

2. How Much Do You Want To Spend?

This is the next most important point to consider before you zero in on the other features. There are multiple models available today with varying features and price ranges. A basic best cheap camera starts from $50 and can rise up to thousands of dollars. The kind of features you require will determine the price you will be spending. However, it is good to start forming a budget or a price goal before you start browsing.

If you have no problems with regards to the cost, then you won’t mind spending a couple of dollars. But if your pocket doesn’t allow you to engage in a splurge, it is better to form a fixed budget and stick to it. You will be getting what you pay for; it is as simple as that. So, if you spend more than a thousand dollars, you will get high-quality images and great video quality.

Even the number of features increases as the price shoots up. However, you can also get a great camera for $200 which may fulfill your purpose and be easy on your pocket at the same time. You can expect g different levels of performance at varying costs.

3. The Type Of Camera You Need: DSLR Or A Point-and-Shoot Camera

You must have seen DSLRs being used by professionals and photography enthusiasts. But they can be used for clicking high-quality images on a regular basis even if you’re an amateur. They are very expensive, thus you might have to rethink your budget. Worry not because there are other great options available in the market, including other different types of cameras which have bigger sensors, offer versatile lenses, good processing capabilities, etc.

A point-and-shoot camera is one such type that you may be familiar with. These cameras are compact, include an electronic viewfinder, and come with a retractable lens. They are not only portable but also very much affordable.
There are also other kinds of cameras that fall between the two. For example, cameras with the interchangeable lens also called bridge cameras or EVIL (electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens) cameras. These are as small and compact as the former ones and offer image quality similar to a DSLR.

If you want to have a little bit of everything, then bridge cameras will work well for you. Another important point to remember is that DSLRs offer more control than other cameras and thus are very popular among professionals. If you want manual control over all the settings like if you want a specific effect, go for a DSLR.

Each type covers a different price range and offers different features depending on the cost. There are also point-and-shoots that offer great image quality and certain DSLR models which are portable. You need to focus on what you require to select a single category, create a budget, choose the best value camera, and make a purchase.

4. How Many Megapixels Do You Require?

When many people consider buying a camera, the first thing they look at is the number of megapixels it offers. This is a common assumption that the more megapixels a camera offers, the greater the image quality is. Well, it’s not that simple, as there are other factors that determine image quality.

The number of megapixels lets you know the number of sensor elements available. For example, if you have a 12 MP camera, there are 12 million pixels that will be recorded. So if you have a lot of megapixels on a relatively smaller sensor, the camera would be trying to fit a lot of information into a small space. This, in turn, would lead to image noise and low clarity.

A lot of popular camera manufacturers are trying to solve these issues and coming up with more and more solutions. However, we insist that you keep this in mind before you seal the deal.

5. Which Sensor Will Work Well For You?

A sensor can be understood as the film of the camera. Before DSLRs, cameras employed 35mm film which captured light. Today, some of the best DSLRs are referred to as ‘full frames and have 35mm wide sensors. These let you click some of the highest quality pictures, but are very expensive (over $1000) and large in size.

If you are a professional, have a high budget, and want great quality images, a full-frame DSLR will suit you the best. But the size and cost don’t make them very popular among beginners. Many entry-level and mid-level DSLRs offer APS-C sensor size which falls in the range of 20 to 28mm. This range is quite good for amateur photographers and beginners.

The next type is the Micro Four Thirds (MFT). This sensor is found both in DSLRs and point-and-shoot cameras. MFT sensors are 18mm wide and don’t capture as much light as formerly mentioned types. They do offer some advantages like they are more compact and light in weight as compared to APS-Cs. They are portable and allow you to click high-quality images.

Below MFT, there are other sensor sizes that vary a little. No standard sensor sizes are there for point-and-shoot cameras which means you’ll have to check the brand’s website to get the exact information on sensor size.

It is very simple- the larger the sensor size, the better the image quality. It is all about how much you want to spend and what kind of best budget camera you want.

6. How Much Zoom Do You Require?

Another important factor to consider after you’ve thought about megapixels and sensor size is the amount of zoom a camera is capable of. Earlier 3x zoom was considered a good amount, but today basic point-and-shoot cameras offer a 10x, 20x, and even more amount of zoom. Now you might be thinking why zoom is important? It is because more zoom is equal to more versatility. If you can get a clear image of a subject at a distance using the zoom, you’ll be able to get better pictures.

DSLRs don’t list any standard zoom factor because you can change the lenses accordingly to get sundry levels of zoom. Many DSLRs come with an 18 to 55mm lens which is considered as the standard. You can buy telephoto lenses with lengths ranging from 200mm to 300mm and beyond. If you feel you will require better zoom features in the future, the best cheap camera with interchangeable lenses will work well for you.

If you want to opt for a point-and-shoot camera, ensure that the zoom measurement is optical zoom. This is way too different from digital zoom which just enlarges the pixels on your image, thereby resulting in a lower-quality image. If you are confused between a camera which offers 10x digital zoom and the other with 10x optical zoom, the latter one will deliver higher quality images and perform better.

7. Will You Be Making Any Upgrades In The Future?

How you plan on using your camera will determine if you’ll be engaging in any future upgrades. For example, if you want the best inexpensive camera to take on trips with family or friends, record small functions or events, you will not need any upgrading in the future. In this case, probably after five or more years, you’ll be happy spending a couple of hundred dollars to buy a new camera.

On the other hand, if you are interested in pursuing photography as a hobby or professionally, you will need to upgrade your camera from time to time. Many beginners now begin with a single lens and a few necessary accessories like a tripod and a camera bag. If you are a photography enthusiast, then after a few months or a year or so, you would want to upgrade your camera instead of replacing it. Replacing obviously costs more and is unnecessary when you can purchase different lenses, external flash, changeable straps, density filters, etc.

A bridge camera allows you to change lenses, thus offering more versatility. DSLRs and bridge cameras will surely cost more than point-and-shoot cameras, but you will end up saving a lot as you can make future upgrades without having to replace your camera with a new one.

8. Manual Controls And The Viewfinder

Both professionals and photography enthusiasts know the importance of manual camera settings. Manual control means you’ll be able to alter your camera settings for exposure, depth of field, shutter speed, etc. This control allows you to get the perfect shot and be satisfied with what you have clicked. More costly cameras allow you to change these settings very quickly and make operating the camera easier. Some cameras allow for manual control but are harder to access.

A lot of hybrid cameras employ electronic viewfinders to show you what you are aiming at. Many models use LCD screens or OLED screens which are thinner. Some models offer 2 viewfinders, for example, Sony’s NEX 7, which offers a 3 inch LCD screen as well as a small OLED viewfinder so you feel like you are using a DSLR. Some models tilt 180 degrees so that you can turn the camera to click self-portraits.

These are a few important factors you need to keep in mind before you buy the best camera for the money. First of all, decide how you plan on using the camera and then form a budget. In the next of our guide, we will be listing a few popular types of cameras available on the market today.

Best Cheap and Affordable Cameras: What’s Your Pick?

We hope this guide has given you a basic idea of the best budget cameras for beginners and now you will be able to short-list a camera that best suits your needs.

You may choose any one model from the ones listed in this guide. However, we recommend you to explore more and do your research by visiting the official sites of some of the popular brands to know what’s trending.

All the best with your purchase!

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Mathew Daly

Mathew Daly

Mathew Daly, is a 32-year old photographer from Boston. Mathew has been intrigued by photography from an early age ever since he was given his first camera. He started wandering his neighbourhood to capture the beauty in the most mundane of things. He curates interesting buyer guides on cameras and helps buyers make an informed choice. 
Mathew Daly

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