2019 is here, and we're looking at the best cameras available for under 500 pounds in the UK. With a wide choice of cameras available, we've highlighted a few that are a cut above the rest - from well-reviewed entry-level DSLRs through to travel compacts that will make for the perfect holiday camera.
We’ve included a handy specification comparison table at the bottom of the page.
If you’re looking for better quality photograph than your phone can offer, without investing thousands in pro kit, then this selection will help you on your way. For those starting their photographic journey we’ve included options with interchangeable lenses – perfect for adding further lenses down the line.
Both the DSLRs and mirrorless options we’ve listed offer convenient shooting modes to guide you whatever the conditions, but also offer manual modes for complete control.
The compact cameras we’ve chosen will fit in your pocket and help you capture amazing holiday shots – and if you’re the adventurous type, the GoPro Hero 7 will amaze with its ability to capture smooth 4K video from the most unlikely of places.
The Canon 2000D with 18-55mm IS lens is the perfect way to start your photographic journey, offering incredible value for money. The image stabilised lens is a fantastic all-rounder, allowing you to shoot in low light conditions, reducing motion blur. Canon’s Scene Intelligent Auto mode lends a helping hand in tricky conditions, and you can produce high-definition video footage – a great way to start learning video!
With WiFi connectivity, you’ll have your images on your phone before you know it, and of course being a Canon there is no shortage of second-hand lenses available. Ideal should you wish to expand your photography repertoire.
Find Out More £399
Similar to the Canon, this DSLR and lens combination is the perfect way to take your photography to the next level. It handles beautifully and also works well in low light conditions – with an ISO range of 200-25,600.
It can shoot at 5fps (frames per second) so freeze-framing moving subjects such as children or pets will be a breeze. The SnapBridge app allows you to connect your camera to your phone. As with the Canon, there are plenty of options to grab a used Nikon lens further down the line.
Find Out More £499
A compact travel camera that exudes class – as reflected in the Zeiss 24-70mm f/1.8–2.8 lens (3x optical zoom).
The RX100 series is a popular travel compact camera that offers premium image quality. The Mark III is our choice in the under £500 bracket – the latest version, with bells and whistles is priced at £1149. Remarkably the mark I is still going strong, available for £299, so this camera has a strong pedigree.
With a fold-out screen making it perfect for selfies, the quality of the lens combined with Sony's sensor means that you can get high quality everyday snaps from a small, sleek camera that will fit in your pocket.
Find Out More £499
The TZ90 features all of the spec that makes a compact compact camera desirable – high quality sensor and resolution, a 3” flip up screen (great for snapping from unusual viewpoints or in bright sunshine), USB charging (convenient while travelling) and HD video that will let you create super slow motions thanks to it’s capacity to shoot at 120P.
4K photos allow you to record video clips and select 8MP stills afterwards – allowing you to choose the exact moment to turn into an image. No more group shots with one person pulling an awkward face!
But the real kicker here lies with the lens on the front – with an incredible 24-720mm focal range – that’s a 10x optical zoom – you'll be able to see snap those distant subjects.
Find Out More £399
Perfect if you love adventures, sports and the great outdoors. The Go Pro Hero 7 is the latest and most advanced yet, offering incredibly smooth video footage thanks to its Hypersmooth Video Stabilisation.
The Hero 7 is rugged and waterproof, and with a whole host of accessories (over 30 available!), it is the go-to camera if you want to take it to extreme locations – from skydiving to scuba diving, it’ll capture amazing footage for you.
Read our review.
Find Out More £379
So far we’ve kept our price points to under £500 inclusive of lenses, but if you can stretch that budget a little bit further you will start to notice some big benefits. We’ve included these cameras as they offer great value for more – and during the sales they can be found for closer to the £500 mark.
Both of these mirrorless offerings from Canon and Olympus are great stepping points if you are looking to take your photography to the next level.
The Olympus shoots at a fast 8.6 fps, has in-built stabilisation and has advanced low light performance (top ISO of 25,600). With an incredible 121 focus points it is responsive, and it will record 4K video at 30fpsas well as stylish. The kit lens included does the job nicely, and of course you can look to add further lenses to your kitbag further down the line.
Find Out More £629
Released at the beginning of 2018, this camera offers excellent value for money and is jam packed with modern features, noticeably lightening fast AF that you’ll be thankful for, whatever the situation. It also benefits from a DIGIC 8 Processor, ensuring optimum image quality and plenty of power to process it all.
The Canon EOS M50 is a favourite with those looking to blog, thanks to its 4K movie capacity, fold-out screen and convenient WiFi connectivity options.
Find Out More £599
Canon EOS 2000D & 18-55mm lens
|DSLR - Digital Single Lens Reflex
|Nikon D3500 & 18-55mm lens
DSLR - Digital Single Lens Reflex
|Sony RX100 MK III
GoPro HERO 7 Black
|Olympus OM-D E-M10 MK III & 14-42mm lens
Canon EOS M50 & 15-45mm lens
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By Ashley Laurence on 02/01/2019