Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $500 Review

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Samsung NX3000

Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $500

Mirrorless cameras under $500 are affordable, entry-level options for newbie photographers who want to buy a camera with interchangeable lenses. Different than point and shoot cameras which don’t have removable lenses, mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras give you the opportunity to try different lenses – like wide-angle, zoom, macro or portrait – for different scenarios.

Here’s a short list of the best selling mirrorless cameras to choose from today.

Sony A5000

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Sony A5000

Wifi Enabled | 20 Megapixel | APS-C CMOS Sensor| ISO up to 16000 | 3″ LCD | 3.5 frames per second shooting | Weight .5 lb | 420 Photos Per Battery Charge | Built In Flash | May Overheat when in Video Mode | Read Reviews | Sony A5000 Lens Options


 

 

Olympus OM-D E-M10

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Olympus OM-D E-M10

Wifi Enabled | 16.1 Megapixel | CMOS Sensor | ISO up to 25600 | 3″ LCD | 8 frames per second shooting | Weight .87 lb | 320 Photos Per Battery Charge | Image Stabilization | NO Flash | Excellent for Video | Read Reviews | Read CRG Review

Sony A3000

Sony A3000 best cheap entry level mirrorless camera, best mirrorless camera for beginners

Sony A3000

NOT Wifi Enabled | 20.1 Megapixel | Exmor APS-C sensor| ISO up to 16000 | 3″ LCD | 3.5 frames per second shooting | Weight .91 lb | 470 Photos Per Battery Charge | Image Stabilization | Built In Flash | Excellent for Video | Read Reviews | Read CRG Review | Read Digitalcamerabaghq.com Review | Sony A3000 Lens Options


 

Samsung NX3000

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Samsung NX3000

Wifi Enabled | 20.3 Megapixel | APS-C CMOS Sensor | ISO up to 25600 | 3.3″ LCD | 5 frames per second shooting | Weight 1.41 lb | 370 Photos Per Battery Charge | NO Flash | Good for Short Videos | Read Reviews


 

Olympus E-PL7 PEN

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Olympus E-PL7 PEN Flash Not Included

Wifi Enabled | 16 Megapixel | Micro Four Thirds CMOS Sensor | ISO up to 25600 | 3″ LCD | 8 frames per second shooting | Weight .75 lb | 350 Photos Per Battery Charge | Image Stabilization | NO Flash | Excellent for Video | Read Reviews


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Why Buy a Mirrorless Camera Under $500:

If you are looking for a new camera and can’t decide whether or not you should buy a mirrorless camera, we highly recommend an affordable mirrorless camera under $500.

When you buy a mirrorless camera in the $500 range, you can generally take it right out of the box and start taking photos, shooting videos for Youtube, uploading to social media, and sharing your images with friends and family.

Most mirrorless cameras under $500 have excellent video and imaging qualities, often rivaling the more expensive options.

Why can camera companies make entry level cameras so awesome and affordable?

The internal technical components of cameras have advanced so far in recent years due to competition and consumer expectations.

People expect to be able to take professional quality looking digital photos even if they don’t know how the technical aspects work.

With social media sites being so pervasive people want cameras that are easy to use and have amazing visual quality.

For a company to stay competitive and interesting to consumers, companies have to offer a technically excellent feature set at entry level price points.

Who Should Buy an Inexpensive Mirrorless Camera:

Newbies:

If you are new to photography, an inexpensive mirrorless camera under $500 will give you room to grow as your photography skills develop. You will be able to buy lenses to meet your photographic vision – portrait, macro, landscape and wildlife as well as architecture are all areas you can branch out into by purchasing a lens to meet your needs.

 

Students:

If you are a student on a fairly limited budget a mirrorless camera is a good choice for you. You can upgrade to new lenses as needed.

 

Business Owners:

Entry level mirrorless cameras are also excellent choices for new business owners who want to share their products on Instagram, Youtube, Tumblr and more.

You don’t need to purchase an expensive DSLR to get the best product shots or on location images. Pick up an affordable and cheap mirrorles camera – expense it – and start promoting your business.

 

Realtors:

Realtors always need clear, clean and sharp photos of their properties. A mirrorless camera with WIFI and built in creative filters are excellent choices for realtors. Also, be sure to get a wide angle lens to capture the property from all angles inside and out.

 

Video Bloggers:

Video bloggers (like Casey Neistat) are the perfect candidates for mirrorless cameras. The most important thing(s) to have in a mirrorless camera for video bloggers is image stabilization, low light capabilities = high ISO, a nice wide angle prime lens (fixed, not zoom) such as a pancake lens and the ability to record sound well.

Excellent mirrorless cameras  for video bloggers not listed here are: Canon EOS M3 with a Canon E-FM 22mm F2 Lens.

 

Gift Givers:

Inexpensive mirrorless cameras are also excellent presents. Check out the Sony A3000. It can be purchased on sale for under $300 a lot of the time.

If you want to get your kid a graduation gift or help the budding photographer in your life gain more skills – or if you just want to try something new but not too expensive – mirrorless cameras (such as the Samsung NX30) under $500 are perfect.

 


Learn how to be a better photographer with these tips from Borrowlenses


What to Look for in an Affordable Mirrorless Camera:

Wifi and NFC:

Most mirrorless cameras under $500 will have Wifi and NFC so you can transfer photos off your camera easily without having to plug it into your computer (except Sony A3000).

 

Flip up Screen for Selfies and Group Photos:

Most but not all entry level cameras have screens that flip up or even fully around. This makes taking selfies and photos on vacation easier. It’s also good for video blogging so you can see how you look while filming. No use in buying a camera that you can’t see yourself on or waste time creating videos only to find out that you are cut off or out of the view.

 

Sensor:

If you can buy a camera with an APS-C sensor you’ll be very happy. APS-C sensors are generally found on dslrs and will let you shoot almost professional looking quality photos – at least technically. The composition is up to you!

 

Low Light Lens: 

You’ll want to make sure that you get a good entry level pancake lens with a low fstop as your first lens purchase – aside from the lens that comes with your camera.  (A kit lens is the lens that comes with the camera when you purchase it – generally a zoomable lens that will handle most situations from portraits to landscape – but not always great in low light.)

If you are not familiar with these terms, basically a pancake lens is a second lens you can pick up that is not very long, generally it is fixed and not zoomable, and not the kit lens.

A pancake lens usually has a low fstop – around 1.4 to 2. A low fstop will let you take better photos in low light situations without having to use the flash. The way to remember whether it’s a good lens for low light is to think “the smaller the number the bigger the opening” that lets in light.

More light in = better photos in low light shooting. A pancake lens is an add on – most cameras don’t come with a pancake kit lens – and it’s a wonderful lens for travel, portraits, close-ups and landscapes. It’s an all around excellent lens choice for new photographers.

See Samsung 30mm f/2.0 Lens for NX Cameras for reviews and user comments about the capabilities of a good low light pancake lens to understand why they are awesome.


Flash/ISO:

Some of the entry level mirrorless cameras under $500 do not have a built in flash. This is generally not that big of a problem because most cameras are excellent in low light due to the sensitivity of the sensor and the high ISO. A higher ISO allows more light into the camera when there isn’t a lot of light.

If you shoot in auto mode your camera will adjust and compensate for the lighting well enough to give you good photos – especially when traveling or taking photos at night in a city. If you know you will be taking a lot of photos at night or indoors (like an auditorium) get a camera with a high ISO – generally above 16000.

If the camera you like doesn’t have a built in flash, the brand will sell an add-on flash that fits into the “hot shoe” on the top of the camera. These will generally be small enough to keep on the camera when traveling and be inconspicuous.


Updates:

We’ve compiled a short list of the Best Selling Mirrorless Cameras Under $500 from the current Amazon Best Sellers List as of July 1, 2016. This list is based upon the Top 40 Best Selling Cameras.

We will keep this list updated monthly as mirrorless cameras move into and out of the Top 40 each month. And, when we write up a full review, we’ll link to it for you to learn more.


Cameras Reviewed:

Sony A5000  Olympus OM-D E-M10  Sony A3000

Samsung NX3000   Olympus E-PL7 PEN


Notes:

While entry level mirrorless cameras are user friendly and easy to use from the get-go, we recommend reading the manual to see how the WIFI, ISO, Shooting Modes, Manual Modes and Video work before you head out to take photos.

Just like with your cell phone, the cameras will all be easy to use – and extremely user friendly. Learning your cameras features and shooting modes thoroughly will only make you a better photographer, and a happy camper. 🙂

 

References:
DP Review  Imaging Resource  VloggerPro 

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