Best Mirrorless Camera under 500

10 Best Mirrorless Cameras under $500 In 2022

It was once a dream to get a decent mirrorless camera without costing a fortune but no longer. You can now buy a mirrorless model that is not only cheap but also packs a lot of advanced features and functions. You can choose from countless cameras that was not possible just a few years ago. But, it also makes the decision a little more cumbersome for you. That is why we have compiled a list containing the best mirrorless camera under $500 and some other terrific models

Keep in mind that these are older models because the latest mirrorless cameras would cost you thousands of dollars. However, they are fully equipped to meet most of your photography requirements, especially if you are a newcomer. Similarly, they would fall well within your budget. We recommend buying one of these cameras to see if you have any aptitude for photography. You can switch to more advanced cameras once you gain some experience and earn some money.

Top Mirrorless Cameras under 500 Dollars

The cameras on our list deliver excellent performance both in terms of image and video. Some of them even have 4K video capability that is rare to find in this price range.

ImageModel NameResolutionBurst RateCheck Price
Sony a5100
Sony a5100


24MP


6fps


Check Price
Samsung NX1000
Samsung NX1000


20MP


8fps


Check Price
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III


16MP


9fps


Check Price
Sony RX100 II
Sony RX100 II


20.2MP


3fps


Check Price
Fujifilm X-T00
Fujifilm X-T00


24.2MP


6fps


Check Price
Canon EOS M100
Canon EOS M100


24.2MP


6fps


Check Price
Panasonic Lumix GX85
Panasonic Lumix GX85


16MP


10fps


Check Price
Olympus OM-D E-M10
Canon EF 16-34mm f/4L IS


16MP


8fps


Check Price
Fujifilm X-A5
Fujifilm X-A5


24.2MP


6fps


Check Price
Olympus Pen E-PL8
Olympus Pen E-PL8


16MP


8.5fps


Check Price

So, let us start with our first camera.

1.    Sony a5100: Best Mirrorless Camera under 500 Dollars

best mirrorless camera under $500

Sony a5100 would cost around $550 but it is a brilliant investment if you can stretch your budget. It is still an affordable mirrorless camera that offers a significant step up in technology compared to DSLR cameras.

Sony a5100 comes with 24 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor to produce detailed, punchy, and bright images both in RAW and JPEG format. Therefore, it also allows you to print enlargements at 300dpi at approximately 20 x13.3 inches.

The camera also has a 179-point autofocus system and 6fps continuous shooting speed. As a result, it can capture even the tiniest movements of our subjects. The autofocus also covers 92% of the screen, allowing you to move the autofocus point wherever you want. Alternatively, it can focus the subject automatically for you.

Sony Alpha a5100 has no viewfinder. However, it features a 180° tiltable 3-inch touchscreen for beautiful selfies and videos.

Unlike DSLR cameras in this price category, Sony a5100 records smooth and high-quality videos. The autofocus performs exceptionally well in video mode. Similarly, the phase detection autofocus tracks the subject’s face throughout the screen with eerie precision.

The camera has customizable buttons for almost everything, a big characteristic of every Sony camera. You can control aperture, ISO, shooting models, and exposure control using the control wheel next to the screen.

It is a breeze to share your photos using the built-in WiFi and NFC. The Sony Play Memories App also enables you to control the camera remotely.

Finally, the Sony a5100 is worth every penny. It is a great mirrorless camera if you are looking for better quality and superior results. Similarly, it can become a great travel camera because of its size.

Product Test Results

Here are results of the tests conducted on this camera.

Great beginner camera for vlogging. Pictures are okay with this camera, or maybe you just have to play with the settings.

Sample images taken with Sony a5100.

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Pros
  • Built-in WiFi and NFC
  • Smooth and high quality videos
  • Brilliant autofocus
  • 179-point autofocus system
  • 3-inch tilting touchscreen
  • 24 megapixels CMOS sensor
  • Excellent image quality
Cons
  • Heats up after 30 minutes of use
  • No viewfinder

2.    Samsung NX1000: Best Affordable Mirrorless Camera

best mirrorless camera under $500

Samsung is known for making home appliances and of course PlayStations. However, it also manufactures terrific cameras such as the Samsung NX1000 mirrorless camera. The compact and lightweight camera comes with a 20 megapixels CMOS sensor. Its size makes it an ideal camera for travel and outdoors.

The best thing about the camera is the easily accessible controls. All the settings and buttons are conveniently located. It features a touchscreen with icons and an easy-to-understand menu as well.

The ultra-high-speed autofocus captures the fleeting moments quite precisely. The AF can give the more expensive cameras a run for their money. Similarly, the continuous shooting speed of 8fps captures fast-moving objects clearly without any hassle.

It is also very easy to shoot from various angles and positions thanks to the lightweight body. You can use an optional 18-200mm lens for a truly cinematic experience. Keep in mind that the camera shoots in full HD 1080P only.

Samsung NX1000 allows you to transfer photos to a smartphone or computer while shooting. You can upload them on Facebook or as well as print or email them wirelessly.

NX1000 has superb panoramic capabilities. You need only the push of a button to catch every detail on the horizon. Similarly, you can also create 3D panoramic shots.

The ISO performance of the camera is a little weird though. Sometimes, you just get a black screen with no details. Similarly, the screen is not of the highest quality.

Product Test Results

Here are results of the tests conducted on this camera.

The quality of the photos is great. The only drawback is the battery is draining fast.

Pros
  • Very cheap camera
  • Easily accessible controls
  • Ergonomic body
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Very fast autofocus
  • 8fps burst rate
  • Beautiful 1080P videos
  • Excellent wireless function
  • Panoramic capabilities
Cons
  • Poor ISO performance
  • Pretty bad screen

3.    Olympus OM-D EM10 Mark III: Best Mirrorless Camera for Video under 500

best mirrorless camera under $500

Available for just $429, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III can claim the title of the best mirrorless camera under $500 for its amazing set of features. For example, it has 4K at 30fps videos and 4K time-lapse capabilities. On top of that, it also records 1080P videos at a whopping 120fps.

The camera features 16 megapixels Live CMOS sensor and TruePic VIII image processor to produce crystal, clear, sharp, and extremely detailed images. The sensor can capture different color tones, shadows, and highlights with the utmost ease.

The highlight of the camera is the 121-point autofocus system. The superfast autofocus can detect lines both horizontally and vertically with great precision. The touch AF 1 step up shutter release and 3-inch tilting LCD monitor further enhance the image quality.

Another brilliant feature of the camera is the 5-axis in-body image stabilization that automatically compensates for every moment. As a result, the videos and handheld images are razor sharp even in low light.

The battery life is 320 shots per charge that extends to 750 shots in the sleep mode.

In short, Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III is an affordable mirrorless camera offering excellent features, beautiful design, and matchless performance in the price range.

Product Test Results

Here are results of the tests conducted on this camera.

This was my first time playing with micro 4/3, it was a lot of fun and very light weight. Definitely not my style but a great camera i prefer my big canon DSLR.

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Pros
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization
  • Good ISO performance for the price
  • 4K video and 4K time lapse
  • Decent popup flash
  • 121-point autofocus
  • 3-inch tilting touchscreen
  • Long battery life
  • Brilliant image quality
Cons
  • No microphone input for video

4.    Sony RX100 II: Among Cheapest Mirrorless Cameras under $500

best mirrorless camera under $500

You may consider Sony RX100 II an old camera as it was released way back in 2013 but you cannot be more wrong. It still offers some cool and useful features, especially for beginners and casual photographers.

To begin with, it has a big 1” 20.2 Exmore R CMOS sensor. Similarly, the continuous shooting speed of 10fps is one of the highest in this category. The ISO 160-12800 (expandable to 25600) means it also gives its best in low light conditions.

The 3-inch Xtra Fine monitor displays scenes with extreme details even in the bright sunlight.

The camera has a customizable front control ring and rear control dial. The steady-shot image stabilization results in sharp and detailed images. The formats it supports are RAW, JPEG and RAW+JPEG.

The built-in WiFi and NFC ensure remote camera control and easy sharing of files. It also accommodates system accessories conveniently thanks to the Smart Accessory Shoe.

Product Test Results

Here are results of the tests conducted on this camera.

It was as good as I hoped for. A great pocket camera with a large sensor. Good in all light conditions, a lot of options and features, already making it my preferred travel camera.

Pros
  • 3-inch Xtra Fine monitor
  • Customizable control ring
  • Rear control dial
  • Built-in image stabilization
  • Very cheap camera
  • Expandable ISO
  • 10fps continuous shooting speed
Cons
  • The interface can be complex for a beginner

5.    Fujifilm X-T00: One of the Best Mirrorless Camera 2021

best mirrorless camera under $500

Fujifilm X-T00 is the least expensive mirrorless camera by the industry giant. However, it delivers functionality and style and some superb images for you.

What separates X-T00 from other affordable mirrorless cameras is the DSLR style viewfinder. Similarly, it features a 24.2 megapixels sensor and a 3-inch tilting touchscreen for better framing of your subjects. The body is easier and more comfortable to hold because it seems like a mini DSLR.

The camera can shoot both in Full HD 1080P at 60/50/24p and 4K at 15p.

The effective focal range of the powerful zoom lens is 23-69mm. It is a very versatile lens that excels in all kinds of scenarios.

Another highlight is the advanced SR AUTO mode which picks the most suitable camera settings and focuses after analyzing each scene. Similarly, it has the same 91-point autofocus system as the more advanced X series cameras by Fujifilm.

The Fujifilm X-T00 has a wide range of features, making it the best mirrorless camera under $500 for people who want to learn and experiment with photography.

Product Test Results

Here are results of the tests conducted on this camera.

I was finally able to replace my e-x2 by Fujifilm after a lightning storm fried it. This camera is amazing, clear sharp pictures, fairly easy to use and best of all my old lenses work!

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Pros
  • Powerful zoom lens
  • Effective focal range of 23-69mm
  • Advanced SR AUTO mode
  • 91-point face detection autofocus
  • 4K video mode
  • Long battery life
  • 3-inch tilting touchscreen
Cons
  • Prone to overexposure

6.    Canon EOS M100: Best Camera under 500 Dollars for Beginners

best mirrorless camera under $500

Canon EOS M100 is another lightweight and compact mirrorless alternative to DSLR cinemas. Available for $369, it offers some pretty advanced and likable features. For example, it delivers clear and sharp details by combining a 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, DIGIC 7 image processor, and Canon optics. The images have vibrant colors and minimal noise as well.

Moving on, the camera has a very fast Dual Pixel CMOS AF, touch AF that is easy to use, and a wide autofocus area. It quickly obtains focus using smart AF tracking and a wide focus area. Similarly, you can touch any part of the touchscreen to focus on that area of the image.

The camera can also receive GPS coordinates of your phone using Bluetooth. Similarly, the built-in WiFi and NFC help you easily share the files and operate the camera remotely.

The 3-inch tilting LCD enables you to adjust settings with a tap and easily see what you are going to capture. It offers incredible selfies and creative angles by tilting up to 180°. Self Portrait mode beautifully blurs the background to enhance your selfies as well.

Finally, you can expand your creative options by using interchangeable lenses from EF-S, EF, and EF-M series.

All in all, Canon EOS M100 is the best mirrorless camera under $500 for people who want to transit from a smartphone to a proper camera.

Product Test Results

Here are results of the tests conducted on this camera.

My son loves this camera. It has a lot of great features and the size makes it easy to carry with you without the bulk. It would be nice if it had a view finder for sunny days.

Sample images taken with Canon EOS M100.

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Pros
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Built-in WiFi, NFC, and Bluetooth
  • 3-inch tilting touchscreen
  • Fast Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus
  • Easy to use touch AF
  • DIGIC 7 image processor
  • 24.2 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • Vibrant colors and details
  • Brilliant image quality
Cons
  • No viewfinder
  • Poor ergonomics
  • Some shutter noise

7.    Panasonic Lumix GX85: Best Value Mirrorless Camera

You would love Panasonic Lumix GX85 if you have already used Lumix G80. The former is the little brother of the latter with similar features and design but in a smaller form factor. The small size makes it an excellent and very capable travel camera.

The camera offers all the features that a beginner or even intermediate photographer needs. For example, it features a 16 megapixel Live MOS Micro Four Thirds sensor. The sensor combines with Venus Engine 9 processor to create beautiful and detailed images.

You can also record in Full HD at 60fps and 4K at 30fps. Some of the other notable features are USB charging, a 3” tilting touchscreen, and built-in WiFi. Similarly, it has Post Focus, dual control dials, built-in flash, 4K Live Crop, stop motion animation and HDR features.

The 49-point contrast-detect focusing system is even better than Panasonic Lumix G7. The single-point focusing is incredibly fast as well. 10fps continuous shooting speed is hard to find in affordable cameras.

Panasonic GX85 is also the first Panasonic camera to abandon the low pass filter. Therefore, it has better resolving power and superior image quality.

The camera is an excellent choice for handheld shooting because of the redesigned shutter with reduced vibrations.

All in all, GX85 is a small and minimalist camera with a rangefinder style body. It has a functional design and superb performance to match.

Product Test Results

Here are results of the tests conducted on this camera.

Not a beginners camera like t was suggested. More professional. I spent hours on YouTube trying to learn basic features of the camera.

Pros
  • No low pass filter
  • Superior image quality
  • Built-in image stabilization
  • 4K video mode
  • 10fps continuous shooting speed
  • 3” tilting touchscreen
  • 49-point contrast-detect autofocus
  • Small and lightweight
Cons
  • Low battery life

8.    Olympus OM-D E-M10: Best Intermediate Camera under $500

Olympus OM-D E-M10 is a fantastic mirrorless camera that offers all the benefits of more expensive models at a very low price.

The 16 megapixels sensors may seem archaic for professionals but it is sufficient for novices. In fact, it can still deliver crisp and sharp images with superior quality.

The built-in Wi-Fi makes handling this camera wirelessly quite an easy task. Similarly, it has a wonderful built-in flash compatible with the Olympus Wireless RC Flash system.

Perhaps the best feature of the camera is the 3-axis sensor-shift image stabilization. It is rare for such a cheap camera to have any kind of image stabilization. The camera has 8fps continuous shooting speed as well.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 excels in low light conditions due to ISO 200-25600. It can shoot 1080P videos at 30fps. The 3-inch tiltable touchscreen means you can see exactly what you are capturing. Besides the touchscreen, the electronic viewfinder with 100% coverage is also a boon for photographers.

Finally, the camera supports both RAW and JPEG formats and has slots for SD/SDHC and SDXC memory cards

The only problem with the camera is the extremely difficult interface that is not very user-friendly.

Once again, Olympus OM-D E-M10 is an ideal option for people who want a great camera but don’t have the budget for expensive mirrorless cameras.

Product Test Results

Here are results of the tests conducted on this camera.

It works well I have used it numerous times I like it for shooting from a aircraft.

Pros
  • Excellent low light performance
  • 3-inch tiltable touchscreen
  • Electronic viewfinder with 100% coverage
  • 8fps continuous shooting speed
  • 1080P video at 30fps
  • 3-axis image stabilization
  • Built-in WiFi and Flash
Cons
  • The user interface is very difficult to understand

9.      Fujifilm X-A5: Best Camera under $500

Fujifilm X-A5 is an entry-level camera catering to the needs of beginners. Similarly, it is also an ideal option for vloggers and other people looking to upgrade from a smartphone and have better image quality.

The camera has some advanced features despite being a cheap device. It comes with a 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, wireless connectivity, and a 180° flip touchscreen.

The sensor combines with the X-Processor Pro Image Processor to produce high-quality images with clear details and sharpness.

The 91-point autofocus system has face detection features for accurate and quick focusing of the subjects. Similarly, the 6fps continuous shooting speed is quite reasonable considering its price.

Fujifilm X-A5 also allows you to record in full HD 1080P and 4K at 60fps and 15fps respectively.

The camera also has excellent battery life with 100 minutes of vlogging and 450 shots per charge. Some of the other features of the camera include a 4K timelapse, a microphone input, built-in flash, control dials, Selfie mode, USB charging, Multi focus, and Portrait Enhancer.

It also has Fujifilm’s acclaimed film simulation mode with stock images from classic movies to emulate.

Fujifilm X-A5 is a small and lightweight camera. However, it still offers all the features, functions, design, and appeal that you expect from a classic Fujifilm camera.

Product Test Results

Here are results of the tests conducted on this camera.

Its a great camera for begginers, it realy exceeded my expectations, the image quality is beautiful and the colors are really bright!

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Pros
  • Small and lightweight
  • Fujifilm’s Film Simulation mode
  • Long battery life
  • 91-point face detection autofocus
  • 6fps continuous shooting speed
  • 4K video and 4k timelapse
  • 24 megapixels sensor
  • USB charging
  • Built-in flash
Cons
  • No viewfinder

10. Olympus Pen E-PL8: Best Camera for 500 Dollars

Olympus Pen E-PL8 boasts a lot of excellent features such as creative and beautiful retro design.

First of all, it has a 16 megapixels Micro Four Thirds Live CMOS sensor coupled with a TruePic VIII image processor. Therefore, you can take captivating close-up images of the tiniest objects possible. Similarly, it also features an M.Zuilo Digital 14-42mm R Standard zoom lens with an effective focal range of 28-84mm.

The camera produces high resolution stills and records Full HD 1080P videos. The continuous shooting speed of 8.5 fps is also quite impressive. In a single burst, it can create 12-16 RAW files.

Pen E-PL8 delivers crisp and sharp images using the fast autofocus system that quickly and accurately focuses the objects.

The 3-axis image stabilization minimizes image shakes and improves the quality of handheld images. You can also control the camera remotely besides easily transferring your files, images, and other data through built-in WiFi and NFC.

Olympus Pen E-PL8 is an affordable camera with some excellent features and functions. We recommend it for beginners and self-enthusiasts.

Product Test Results

Here are results of the tests conducted on this camera.

Great price for a new EP-L8 with kit lens. Still has the added port on the hot shoe for an EVF that is lacking on the EP-L9. Handy little shooter for travel or vlogging.

Sample images taken with Olympus Pen E-PL8.

Pros
  • 16 megapixel Miro Four Thirds sensor
  • Creative retro exterior
  • TruePic VIII image processor
  • Effective focal range of 28-84mm
  • 8.5fps continuous shooting speed
  • Fast and accurate autofocus
  • 3-axis image stabilization
  • Built-in WiFi and NFC
Cons
  • Build quality could be better

How to Buy the Best Mirrorless Camera under $500?

Some of the factors you need to consider while buying a cheap mirrorless camera are as below.

Sensor Size

Mirrorless cameras are smaller than DSLRs because they have smaller sensors. They lie somewhere between DSLR and point-and-shoot cameras. Smaller sensors tend to perform worse in dimly lit places. Therefore, you must pay special attention to the ISO of the camera before making any decision.

Image Stabilization

Image stabilization is essential. A camera with built-in image stabilization is 100 times better than the one which doesn’t have IS. Image stabilization improves the quality of handheld images and minimizes image blurs automatically.

Autofocus

You cannot expect sub-$500 cameras to have lightning-fast autofocus. However, AF performance should be satisfactory at least. Most of the cameras on our list have accurate and fast AF.

Battery Life

The battery life of mirrorless cameras is also relatively short. Therefore, check the battery life of the camera before buying. The best camera for 500 dollars would normally allow approximately 400 shots per charge. Say no to anything less than that.

Third-party Lenses

Different cameras are compatible different with different kinds of lenses depending on their adapter ring. You need to verify whether or not your camera is compatible with different lenses otherwise you need a new camera for every lens you own.

SD Cards

Just like lenses, your camera is compatible with certain types of SD cards. You need to avoid cameras that use unknown or rare brands of SD cards. The most common types of SD cards are microSD, CFexpress, and XDQ.

USB Charging

It is impossible to find AC adapters while you are shooting in the jungle. Therefore, your camera should have a USB charging port. The latest cameras feature a USB port but it is better to make sure.

Final Thoughts

The mirrorless market is getting more and more competitive. There are countless mirrorless cameras on the market to choose from. Almost all the manufacturers are now releasing affordable mirrorless models with some great features. However, don’t forget to consider the factors we have listed when you go shopping for one.

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