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Best Digital Camera Under 500$ to buy in June 2021

MacinSearch's reviewers and experts has collected 5,106 objective reviews from many customers and with a little help from our editor, we have ranked 16 Best Digital Camera Under 500$ that you may be fancy. You will see some major brands such as: KODAK, Sony, Digital Zone, Ritz Camera, Olympus, Canon, Minolta, Accessory Zone, REXING, Panasonic.

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Last update on 2021-06-23 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API

3 ratings


Capturing moments has been people’s needs for thousands of years. In the ancient ages, people used to draw on stone, then on paper, to put what they enjoyed to the “archive”. When the camera was invented, people saw a potential in taking photos of themselves and their family and put it in their pockets. Nowadays, with the evolution of digital cameras, taking photos and videos is easier than ever. In this article, we’ll introduce the best digital camera under $500, and how to choose the best of them online. Let's learn about the best digital cameras under $500 now to find the option that best suits your needs!

Buying Guides:

1. The resolution of the camera

The resolution is the first thing to consider in terms of digital cameras. Although higher resolutions don’t make a more premium camera, a high resolution is a must for premium cameras. This is the list of the most popular resolutions for the best digital camera under 500 out there:

  • 10MP or below: 4K resolution requires a little more than 8 megapixels, which means 10MP is way over enough to produce a 4K image. However, things are not that easy. In fact, 10MP is only good for HD photos, and when it comes to 4K, 10MP rarely gets the work done as expected. This type of camera is suitable for entry-level people.

  • 10MP to 20MP: This is actually the most popular type of camera resolution. It features enough pixel dots to produce 4K images, sometimes 4K videos, which is acceptable to most purposes, including posting to the Internet, editing, or even printing.

  • 20MP to 40MP: The most popular resolution for professionals. Professionals need to capture details, zoom them in and edit the images for best shots. Shots taken by camera with this resolution can be broadcasted on TVs and wide screens.

  • 40MP and above: Mostly used for filming TV high-quality content, in dark places or for stunning scenes with lots of details. These resolutions usually cost you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars just for the camera itself.

To conclude the section, we want to state one more time that the resolution is not the most important thing when it comes to cameras, but it is the first thing you need to know.

2. Zooming

Zooming is another high-end feature that all camera lovers wish to have on their cameras. Zooming capability allows photographers to take closer shots at objects, scenes, and almost anything without having to move closer to it.

The feature is extremely useful when you need to take a photo of something sitting on a high position, in the middle of the lake, or across the building. The photos can be done by getting a boat or climbing over a very high ladder, but they don’t seem promising. 

There are two types of zoom, and here are they:

  • Digital zoom: Digital zooming resizes the digital image to fit in a bigger size. Due to the lack of information, when you zoom in too much, the image would definitely break. Brands are marketing for the AI image enhancing capabilities. However, it’s not near what people say about it.

  • Optical zoom: It offers a zoomer that works exactly like a scope. The details are preserved. The images are stunning. Everything is just exactly like you moving closer to the object and taking the shot.

What’s obvious is the optical zoom featured cameras should always be more expensive than cameras with only digital zoom. For 99.9% of cameras, digital zoom is available as an essential feature.

3. The image size

The image size is the aspect ratio between the height and the width of the image. At first, the value doesn’t seem so important, but if you’re the guy who likes portrait takes or panorama takes, you would need to know about this. The list of the most popular image sizes is as below:

  • 1 : 1.2

  • 1 : 1.7

  • 1 : 1.8

  • 1 : 2.3

  • 1 : 2.7

  • 1 : 3.2

  • 2 : 3

4. The image type supported

Let me put this into perspective for you to see: a 4K image features 3840 x 2160 pixels, which is roughly 8 million pixels at the same time. One 4K image requires at least 24 megabytes of memory to be allocated. That sounds strange to you, I know, because images you usually see are just only 1 or 2 megabytes. In this section, we’ll introduce the image types and please take a look:

  • Raw images: Raw images feature the exact values measured by the sensor without any kind of compression or reducing techniques. Raw images take up lots of space, even more than 24 megabytes to a 4K image. Therefore, people have been trying to reduce the size of the images by using one of the following types.

  • Lossless compressed images: This type of image is based on the raw images compressed. The raw data will go through many processes of transformation and compression to produce a much bigger image size, at about 500 kilobytes for a 4K image.

  • Lossy compressed images: The most popular type of this category is the JPG. JPG has been popular even since the beginning of the Internet boom, in the purpose of transferring images via the Internet. Lossy compression techniques try to find the unnecessary details, which are removable or invisible to humans’ eyes and then remove them to save space.

5. Additional features

In the evolution of cameras, new features are being added everyday. Below is the list of additional features for your cameras, and we’ll keep adding over time:

  • HDR integration: Instead of 8-bit color representation, HDR uses 10 bits for more color depth, color accuracy and color tones.

  • Wi-Fi or Bluetooth: This is to get your images out of the camera. Instead of taking out the SD card or plugging the camera into the computer, you can easily connect it to your phone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Direct to get the image. Be noted that it might drain the battery more than usual.

  • Additional screen or rotatable screen: Extremely useful when you have to take a selfie or a video filming yourself without help from other people.

The Best Digital Camera Under 500$ Reviews in 2021

1. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II Compact Digital Camera

Standing on top of the list, the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II Compact Digital Camera portrays itself as one of the best digital cameras under 500. It comes with a one-inch sensor, with the resolution of 20.1 Megapixel. The resolution type is CMOS high-sensitivity made by the brand itself - Canon. 

The camera comes with two color variants, Black and Silver, for both the modern look and wild west look. The images taken by the sensor then will be processed by the Digic 7 image processor made by Camera, thus, the camera supports lots of shooting mode, among which, we have flagship features such as Portrait mode, Portrait Start, Nightscape, Time-Lapse. 

The camera is initially designed to be pocket-sized, which means it can be fit into everywhere, your backpack for instance. Autofocus is obviously available with two modes: One shot AF and Servo AF Manual Focus. Finally, the camera features the fast capture feature and Bluetooth 4.1 for you to communicate and transfer images to your phone. The camera has a 3-inch LCD, comes with or without a 64GB memory card.

  • 20MP CMO high-sensitivity Canon sensor.

  • Digit 7 image processor + Bluetooth.

  • Lots of capturing mode + fast capture.

  • One short AF + Servo AF.

  • 3-inch LCD and 1 inch sensor.

2. Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ901

Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ901 comes from the respected brand Kodak with the highlighted support for 90x Optical Zoom, which is incredible. The sensor is of the CMOS type, featuring the resolution of 20 megapixels with the ability to capture images up to 5 frames per second, which means it can produce 5 images with the same quality in one single second. 

The camera is equipped with a 3-inch articulating or rotatable LCD. Additional features include 360 degree panorama, JPEG and RAW format supported, Wi-Fi connection and remote control from your iOS or Android device.

  • 90x Optical Zoom.

  • CMOs 20MP.

  • 5fps shooting mode.

  • Articulating 3-inch LCD screen.

  • Wi-Fi connection, remote mobile phone control.

  • JPEG + RAW format.

3. Sony Cyber-Shot HX80 Compact Digital Camera

Sony Cyber-Shot HX80 Compact Digital Camera defines itself as a unique member of Sony family with the capability of 30x Optical Zoom. The sensor is made by Exmor, to be the type of CMOS and 18.2MP resolution. The image processor is called the BIONZ X image processing engine. 

The camera produces the undoubtedly image quality that is signature to Sony. The camera uses the micro USB Type-B to charge. In the box, we have a lot of things included, including an AC Adapter and a USB cable, a wrist trap, the manual, the case, extra battery pack, an SD card, and even some screen protectors and cleaners.

  • Sony camera, ZEISS optics, Exmor sensor.

  • BIONZ X image processing engine.

  • 30x Optical zoom.

4. Sony DSC-HX99 Compact Digital

Sony DSC-HX99 Compact Digital, by the name, is designed to be a modern camera with a compact black look. It uses the ZEISS Vario-Sonna T* 24-720mm High Magnification Zoom and High Image quality lens. Paired with the BIONZ X image processing engine, it can shoot stunning 4K videos without any blurring or loss of color. 

Features included are Eye AutoFocus, which automatically detects the eyes and focuses on it, EVF, control ring and Touch screen focus. Yes, it has a touch to focus screen. On the outside, it offers a 180 Tiltable LCD and is compatible with ZEISS mounting tripod. To conclude, if you’re looking for a camera for shooting videos, for example, Youtube, it is probably your best choice.

  • ZEISS Vario-Sonna T* 24-720 lens.

  • 4K videos.

  • Eye focus + control ring + touch-to-focus screen.

  • 180-degree tiltable LCD.


5. Nikon Coolpix B500 Digital Camera

The budget choice of ours today is the Nikon Coolpix B500 Digital Camera. The Nikon Coolpix B500 features a 16 megapixel 1/2.3 inches CMO sensor with a built-in flashlight. It features a f/3.0 focal length in the 6.5 millimeter ED lens. The zooming section is optical with the ability of 40x zoom and 80x of digital zoom combined. The ISO sensitivity can reach the sky-high value of 6400. 

The camera features Bluetooth Low Energy technology, Wi-Fi and NFC technology. To sum up, this camera is not bad for a budget choice of the best digital camera under $500

  • One of the best digital camera under 500

  • Wi-Fi + NFC + BLE

  • f/3.0

  • 16MP CMOS sensor

  • 40x optical zoom + 80x dynamic zoom


1. How do I set up my camera?

To set up your camera when you receive it, follow these steps:

  • Put in any batteries if they’re not pre-installed.

  • Put in the additional lens if you want.

  • Open up the LCD display.

  • Turn the camera on and set to the mode you want.

Be noted that all the instructions can be found in the camera’s manual, so be sure to refer to it for guides.

2. Is higher resolution better than lower resolution?

Absolutely no. If you compare two sensors with the same specifications made by the same manufacturer, the higher resolution is better than the lower resolution. However, the resolution doesn’t decide the quality of the camera and the image; instead the quality depends on the sensor maker, sensor ISO sensitivity value, sensor shutter speed and the ability of burst shots.

3. How do I maintain a good battery life for my camera?

To maintain a good battery life, there are do’s and don’ts.

Do’s are:

  • Charge and use your camera regularly.

  • Use the right kind of battery.

  • Turn off the camera if not needed.

Don’ts are:

  • Don’t let it come it contact with liquid.

  • Don’t charge your camera overnight.

  • Do not let the battery level fall too low or rise too high for a long time.

4. What is digital zoom and optical zoom?

Digital zoom simply zooms in pixels digitally, which means absolutely no more information is added to the increased in size image. Optical zoom, on the other hands, works like a scope to literally move your lens closer to the object. Therefore, optical zoom is obviously more premium

5. What does the f/1.7 or f/11 mean?

The f/1.7 or f/11 are the focal length of the capturing camera. To put it plainly for you, the lower the focal length is, the brighter the images, but the blurrer they are.

Final Thoughts:

Here are our final picks for the best digital camera under 500$.

These are the best digital cameras under $500. I hope that this guide is helpful to you when choosing the camera for your work. See you in the next recommendations and be sure to check out other reviews as well. Don't forget to share with me the best digital camera under $500 that you like!

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