Cameras cheap but good: The best cheap cameras in 2023

Sony A6000 review | Digital Camera World

Digital Camera World Verdict

Old as it is, the Sony A6000 shows that many of the most important things we look for in a camera haven’t changed. Its 24-megapixel sensor is as competitive today as it was when this camera was launched. Its 11fps burst mode is rarely bettered, even now, and while Sony has steadily improved the AF system in its later A6000-series cameras, the A6000 is already very good – perhaps as good as most of us need. You don’t get 4K video, though, and the design and displays are now looking a bit dated. Worse, the A6000, once a bargain, has been creeping up in price. It used to be old and cheap… now, it’s just looking old


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For a long, long time the Sony A6000 has been one of our favorite beginner cameras and a real bargain buy for those who don’t need 4K video. However, while the qualities of the A6000 haven’t changed, its pricing has. Sony’s policy has long been to keep older models on sale at steadily falling prices, and for a while this made the A6000 an irresistible budget buy. But prices now look as if they are creeping up, which means either that Sony has realized this camera is better than it thought, or it’s nearing the end of its marketable lifespan.

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The Sony A6000 was launched way back in 2014, which is an age ago in camera terms. Is it still competitive in today’s market – especially when it has been succeeded by no fewer than five newer models in the same product line? 

  • Sony Alpha 6000 (Black OLED) at Amazon for $799.99

• Read our Sony A6000 vs A6100 vs A6300 vs A6400 vs A6500 vs A6600 article for the full comparison – it’s like a dynasty, not a camera range!

The answer is a qualified yes. The Sony A6000 remains one of the best Sony cameras, as well as one of the best mirrorless cameras, thanks to its still-great performance and sheer value for money. While its specs have certainly aged, they’re still plenty enough for most stills photographers.

Small and sleek, the A6000 features a 24.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor. Upon launch it competed with midrange cameras, though today its low price point makes it an option for those seeking an entry-level body. However, while we consider it one of the best cameras for beginners because of its price, it’s actually far more powerful than these.

While it lacks the 4K video and clever AF of the latest models, the Sony A6000 remains a powerful performer. Let’s take a closer look at what it can do…

We’ve pictured the Sony A6000 with the Zeiss 16-70mm f/4 lens, but the A6000 will usually be bundled with the smaller, cheaper (and, alas, inferior) Sony 16-50mm power zoom ‘pancake’ lens. (Image credit: Digital Camera World)


Model number: ILCE-6000
24.3 million APS-C (23.5 x 15.6mm) CMOS sensor
Focal length conversion: 1. 5x
Viewfinder: Electronic viewfinder, 0.39 inches, 1,440,000 dots
Video: 1080p
ISO range: 100 to 25,600
Autofocus points: 179 phase detection points, 25 contrast detect points
Max burst rate: 11fps
Screen: 3-inch, 921k-dot tilting LCD
Shutter speeds: 1/4000-30sec plus Bulb
Weight: 344g (with battery and memory card)
Dimensions: 120 x 66.9 x 45.1mm
Power: NP-FW50 rechargeable lithium-ion battery

The A6000 has a ‘wide’ 3-inch screen which means, annoyingly, that the left and right edges have black strips where regular 3:2 ratio still images don’t fill the full width. (Image credit: Digital Camera World)

Key features

The A6000 is equipped with a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, which was state of the art when this camera was launched back in 2014 and only a couple of APS-C cameras improve on this even now. The image sensor has 179 phase-detection autofocus points, and there are also 25 contrast-detection points for the hybrid AF system. 

At the time of launch, Sony claimed that the camera had the fastest AF in the world among cameras with an APS-C sized sensor. And while a few cameras have without doubt improved on this since then, it still feels extremely responsive, even by today’s standards.

On the back of the A6000 is a tilting LCD screen, which is joined by an electronic viewfinder: the same 0.39-inch, 1.4-million dot device found on the first edition RX10 premium bridge camera. Reflecting the broader trend, the A6000 comes complete with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC.

As its standard kit lens choice, the A6000 comes with a 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 power zoom – a lens still bundled with modern equivalents, like the Sony ZV-E10 vlogging camera. You can also buy the A6000 body only, giving yourself the freedom to choose from the large range of different E-mount lenses now available. The Sony E 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 has a much longer zoom range and performs better than the average superzoom lens.

The rear screen does tilt up and down, which is useful, but it’s not touch-sensitive and it doesn’t flip forwards for selfies or vlogging. (Image credit: Digital Camera World)

Build and handling

Those who appreciate lots of dials and buttons will enjoy the A6000. It has plenty of controls available, and, like other Sony cameras, pretty much all of them are customisable to help you adjust the camera to suit the way you take photos.

The grip of the A6000 is ever so slightly pronounced, making it quite easy to hold, though with a larger lens like the Sony 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 it starts to feel slightly front-heavy. There’s also a nice texture covering the camera. On top of the camera are two dials: one for controlling the shooting mode (such as automatic, semi-automatic or manual), and another for altering the shutter speed or aperture, depending on the mode you’re shooting in.

Sony always likes to include lots of customisation options on its cameras, and the A6000 includes programmable C1 and C2 buttons on the body. (Image credit: Digital Camera World)

Setting the autofocus point on this camera is a task that would be speedier with a touchscreen, but it’s not too bad if you set the right custom buttons. To make things quicker, set Focus Area to Flexible Spot. From here, you simply need to press the button in the centre of the scrolling dial on the back of the camera to bring up the focus point selection option. You can then use the directional keys to move around the screen. It’s worth noting that this is the default option for the central button when Flexible Spot is selected: if you’ve got it set to anything else, it won’t work in the same way.

Although it’s not a touchscreen, the screen tilts, which is useful for shooting from some awkward angles, or for shielding the screen from glare. It’s also a ‘wide’ screen, so in the regular 3:2 aspect ratio for stills, it doesn’t use the full screen width, which makes the screen feel quite small and cramped. It’s also not very scratch-resistant – ours has picked up a few scrapes and digs over the years we’ve had it. The viewfinder is bright and clear except in broad daylight, when it’s too easily lost in the glare.

The Sony A6000 has a built in electronic viewfinder, where many of its rivals still don’t. And it’s not one of those annoying pop-up ‘finders you get on the RX100 series cameras, either. (Image credit: Digital Camera World)

The 1.44m-dot EVF has a low resolution by today’s standards but it does the job pretty well – and it’s especially good to get a viewfinder on an APS-C mirrorless camera at this price.

What you don’t get with this camera is a front-facing screen or 4K video (it’s restricted to full HD), but this reflects the marketplace when this camera was launched. For stills photographers, though, it’s got pretty much everything you might need, even now. Its 11fps continuous shooting speed is especially impressive.

Constantly improving video capabilities have been the main driving force behind the A6000-series cameras. If you don’t need video, the A6000 isn’t really so far behind the rest. The image processing may be better today, and the autofocus more sophisticated, but the design, handling and sensor itself have hardly changed.

If it’s video you want, though, you’ll be far better off with the new Sony ZV-E10 or the A6000’s replacement, the A6100. Both are more expensive than the A6000, but the prices are getting closer and these are much more modern video shooters.


Sony has produced some of the most interesting compact system cameras currently on the market, many of them in the A6000 series that the A6000 started off. Even by current standards, the A6000 is a great performer. Its images are very sharp, with beautifully saturated colours. You can experiment with how JPEGs look straight from the camera by adjusting Creative Styles – a number of which are available as pre-stored settings.

The Sony A6000 is still capable of extremely good results, even by today’s standards. AF technologies and video may have moved on, but the A6000’s still image quality is still right up there with the best of its rivals. (Image credit: Amy Davies/Digital Camera World)

The A6000’s image quality is very good. Its raw files have plenty of tonal range and respond well to selective adjustments. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

There’s a wide range of Sony E mount lenses to choose from, and not just from Sony. This was shot on the rather remarkable Laowa 9mm F2.8 ultra-wide prime. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

High ISO noise control, or the lack of it, is where the A6000 shows its age. JPEGs start to look noisy from ISO 1600 upwards, and you need a pretty good raw processor (this was edited in Capture One) to maintain a good balance of noise and detail beyond that. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

Colors are generally rich, vibrant and natural looking, though the A6000’s auto white balance can occasionally drift off in unexpected directions. (Image credit: Rod Lawton)

Detail is rendered very well by the A6000. Generally, image smoothing only starts to become problematic for normal printing sizes in shots taken at around ISO 3,200 upwards. Examining images at 100% from around ISO 1,600 upwards, you will find areas of the image that have a painterly effect, but the overall effect is good. High ISO quality is one area, admittedly, where the A6000 starts to fall behind the latest cameras.

The camera’s metering system does a good job with exposure, although it sometimes struggles in high-contrast situations, when you’ll need to dial in some exposure compensation. Similarly, the automatic white balance system is a good performer, although it can be slightly confused by some artificial light sources.

In good light, autofocusing speeds are very quick, dropping as the light levels drop, but only struggling to lock on at all in very dark conditions. 

The 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens is a good all-rounder to get started with, but what you gain in compactness you lose in image quality, and if you want to see the best this camera can deliver then you’ll probably want to replace it with something better (we really rate the long-zoom Sony 18-135mm f/3. 5-5.6. 

Battery life isn’t bad for a mirrorless camera, but it’s still worth buying a spare battery if you travel or go on longer outings.

Lab tests

We compared the Sony A6000’s lab test results with three key rivals that are also a couple of years old, but have aged similarly well. We chose the Canon EOS M50, which also has a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor and a viewfinder, as does the under-rated Fujifilm X-T100 (now replaced by the X-T200, not shown below). We also chose the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II as one of the A6000’s contemporaries. Now, we would probably choose the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV, a highly capable camera for both stills and video that does make the A6000 look a little tired and old now.

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)


Despite its age, the A6000 still delivers the best resolution (just) of all its closest rivals. For the record, it matches the best resolution we achieved from the 32.5MP Canon EOS 90D. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II also does well up to ISO 800, but then its resolution starts to fall away (due to its smaller sensor).

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

Signal to noise ratio

As we mention in the review, high ISO image noise is not the Sony A6000’s strong point. Noise is not really a problem at lower ISOs, even though it scores below the others in our lab tests, but at higher ISO settings you’ll need to work harder with your software’s noise reduction options. The other three cameras – including the Olympus – are noticeably better in this respect.

(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

Dynamic range

The Sony keeps up well with the Fujifilm X-T100 and Canon EOS M50, though its dynamic range starts to fall away from ISO onwards. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II doesn’t start off as well as the rest, but offers surprisingly good dynamic range further up the ISO scale.

Overall, we can characterise the Sony A6000 as offering very good all-round performance, especially resolution, at low ISO settings up to ISO 400-800, but at higher ISO settings its performance drops off more markedly than its rivals’.


(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

Can a camera launched back in 2014 and superseded by no fewer than five new models still be competitive? It’s true that the A6000’s specs now look distinctly old hat compared to what’s come along since, but only in a couple of key areas. Newer cameras have 4K video, which won’t bother you if you don’t shoot video, and more advanced AF systems – but for most of us, the A6000’s AF is plenty good enough. It was advanced for its time and still holds up now.

The key with the Sony A6000 is its price. Sony has kept it on sale year after year, and at steadily falling prices. If you want a low-cost mirrorless camera that’s way better than its price suggests it should be, get the A6000. We hope Sony carries on making it for years to come!

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Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW’s Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography.  He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at

19+ Best Cheap Cameras for Photography (Beginner Friendly Options)

People say that photography is an expensive hobby. And, for the most part, it’s true. There is a never-ending amount lenses, accessories, more expensive cameras and photography software to buy.

However, if you want to get into photography, I wouldn’t feel discouraged by the expensive options out there. In fact, the most expensive cameras aren’t necessarily better. Instead, they offer features that can marginally improve picture quality, or the photography experience.

There certainly is a notion of diminishing returns when it comes to camera features. You probably won’t need the highest amount of dynamic range, video features, weather-proofing and high shutter FPS speeds if you’re a beginner.

Keep in mind that these days, almost all cameras that you buy will take “great photos.” I mean that.

It’s hard to find a camera that shoots less than 20 megapixels. If you compare this fact with even the cameras of five years ago, it was not the case. Your decision should primarily be based on a combination of price, features, size and ease of use.

I put my threshold of affordable cameras at $1,000. If you want to save even more money getting a camera as a beginner-level photographer, consider looking for used or refurbished options.

Let’s check out the best budget cameras that money can buy, in this list of ideas!


Canon has a great selection of cameras, with the beginner in mind. They have an even better selection of cameras toward the high end, as well. When you progress with your photography, you can start to learn about which features are important to you, as a photographer.

You should be able to find all of the features you need through Canon’s extensive line of cameras. Here are a few best ideas.

Canon EOS Rebel T7

The Rebel is the most popular beginner camera that you can start with. It is a DSLR, so it’s not quite a point-and-shoot. It is a great camera to use because it is both affordable and versatile.

The Canon Rebel T7 was announced in 2018 and typically retails for right under $500. Becca started shooting with the Rebel T3 back in 2011 and had incredible luck with taking high-quality photos, editing them with basic edits and impressing all her friends in only a few months.

  • Optical viewfinder
  • Great image quality
  • Very affordable for a DSLR
  • Fixed viewfinder
  • No LCD touch display
  • Slow continuous shooting

This camera is great for taking pictures of family or bringing it on a trip somewhere. Don’t expect to take burst photos, like an object in motion, or sports. The low frame rate in the continuous shooting more will likely make you miss your shot.

What I will say is that the Rebel by Canon is a sure bet if you want your first DSLR and you’re overwhelmed with options. It is hard to go wrong with the Canon Rebel and you can start learning immediately with some photography videos on YouTube.

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Helpful Tip

Interested in becoming a travel photographer? Read this guide to the steps of becoming a travel photographer for some of my ideas.

Canon EOS Rebel SL3

The SL3 was released in May 2019. It’s very lightweight, with a movable screen. It is a DSLR, and DSLR cameras can only be so small and so light without sacrificing quality or functionality. The battery life is great, which is true for most DSLR cameras!

  • Great beginner mode
  • 4k video recording
  • Can take 1,070 photos on a single battery charge
  • Low amount of autofocus points
  • On-body controls aren’t very ergonomic
  • Low continuous shooting mode

If you’re looking for a great DSLR camera that won’t cost a fortune, the SL3 might be a good option for you. It has a few more features than the T7 (above) that may be useful to you.

Helpful Tip

Think about investing in good lenses and helpful camera accessories, too, because lenses, for example, will last much longer than a camera body.

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Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

Released back in 2019, the G7 X Mark II is still very capable of taking beautiful photos. It is very small and lightweight. It has its own lens, so you don’t need to worry about buying any lenses.

The lens on this camera has an aperture range of f/1.8 to 2.8 and a focal range of 24-100mm. You can take wide-angle and somewhat telephoto photos, all with a decent f-stop range. Cool!

  • Big tilting touch screen.
  • Super fast 20 fps shooting and 30 fps Raw Burst Mode
  • Lightweight and small enough to fit in a jacket pocket.
  • Performance in RAW mode is slow.
  • Battery life is a little lackluster.
  • The focus mode can be inconsistent.

Canon’s PowerShot camera line is for beginner photographers who want a good quality camera but don’t want to worry about interchangeable lenses. The size is the biggest selling point for me, to be honest.

This camera is able to perform in ways in which most smartphones can’t. You’ll get high-quality photos that are more than printable, at all reasonable sizes. You can capture photos quickly with a fast frame-per-second capture.

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Canon EOS RP

Coming in at right under $1,000 for the body alone, you’ll find the Canon EOS RP. It’s a full-frame mirrorless camera joining Canon’s mirrorless family.

The mirrorless cameras are typically much smaller and lighter than DSLR cameras. They are mirrorless because, well, they have no mirror. The sensor can be found right behind the lens and the way in which images are captured is slightly different.

You won’t have to sacrifice quality, because mirrorless cameras are capable of taking amazing photos and videos.

  • Fully-articulated touch screen
  • 4k video
  • Great autofocus and tracking
  • Low battery life: You can expect about 250 shots per charge. There are a few power-saving moves you can explore.
  • One SD slot: For most people, this is okay. The more high-end photos have a second card slot that you can dedicate to video, or for backing up your photos.
  • No GPS. This is only important if you like to save location data to your photos.

Over all, the Canon EOS RP is a great choice if you want to break into mirrorless photography!

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Canon EOS M50 Mark II

The M50 Mark II is a compact mirrorless camera from Canon. This camera is great for a lot of different beginners. Where it stands out is in its ability to easily shoot vertical video, livestream to YouTube and act as a computer web cam.

A lot of newer cameras are able to handle more modern video and streaming capabilities. However, the M50 Mark II is really affordable and small. This could be your dedicated streaming or webcam camera while you still have other cameras in the Canon lineup.

  • Great autofocus and face tracking.
  • Small, lightweight and still ergonomic. Plus, it has a touchscreen interface.
  • Good quality JPG and RAW image files.
  • No headphone slot for video.
  • 1.5x on 4k footage.
  • EF-M lens mount system.

Overall, the M50 Mark II is a great camera for the technology-minded person. If you’re into photo and video, then this could be a great option for you as a beginner. If you’re only into photo or video, this camera will work great handling both.

Canon has a few different types of lens mounts. You’ll find EF-M, EF-S and RF. There is nothing wrong with any of the mounts, and you can interchange lenses with different types of bodies using an adapter.

The only consideration between the lens mounts is if you have multiple cameras for which you want to swap lenses. I added the EF-M as a con in this situation, because I would expect this camera to be used more as a secondary body, because of its streaming and webcam capabilities.

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Canon EOS M200

The Canon EOS M200 is packed with features. You’ll be able to take great high quality photos at 24.1MP.

This camera is really exciting because of its flexibility and ability to provide excellent photos and videos. Let’s jump right into the pros and cons.

  • High-Quality Images: The Canon EOS M200 comes with a 24.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC 8 image processor. You’ll benefit from high-resolution stills, a wide sensitivity range and minimized noise.
  • Versatile Video Capabilities: The camera offers UHD 4K video and in-camera 4K timelapses.
  • Advanced Autofocus System: The Dual Pixel CMOS AF uses phase-detection autofocus for quick, accurate and smooth performance. This is ideal for tracking moving subjects and ensuring sharpness in your portraits.
  • Limited Battery Life: The included LP-E12 battery only provides approximately 315 shots per charge with normal settings, which might not be enough for extended shooting sessions.
  • Slow Lens Included: The included EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens may be slow for low-light conditions and has limited zoom range.
  • Limited High-Speed Continuous Shooting: The continuous shooting rate is 6.1 fps, which might be slow for capturing fast action scenes compared to some other models.
  • No In-Built Viewfinder: The camera lacks an in-built viewfinder, which might be a downside for some photographers who prefer to frame their shots using a viewfinder.

This is your camera if you want this many great features to play with, at a lower price tag. You can expect great photos, especially if you’re shooting in JPG mode. It’s an added bonus that you can also use this camera as a webcam.

For the hobbyist or beginner, you’ll be more than happy with the Canon EOS M200.

Canon EOS M200

Make sure to check this out and see if it’s for you!

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Sony is the brand that I have the most experience with. I’ve been shooting with Sony cameras since 2016. Before Sony, I was shooting with Nikon.

I like Sony cameras because they are reliable and smart. I’ve never really had any issues while taking photos (or videos). Over the last few years, I’ve taken over 200,000 photos with all of my cameras!

Sony cameras are also known for their abilities to let you take awesome photos at night.

Sony RX100 III

The RX100 line of Sony cameras is the equivalent to the PowerShot line of Canon cameras. These cameras are small, have their own lens systems and are full of features.

The RX models frequently get updated, but often the older models are good for most beginners and hobbyists who don’t need the latest and greatest.

And, buying an older model helps keep your price down, while still getting you a great camera to use.

Because this is a compact camera, Sony added a few tricks to save some space. The viewfinder is a popup viewfinder. You’ll probably end up using the rear screen, though. Or, at least I did, while I was testing this camera. There is also a secondary control knob attached to the front of the lens.

  • 3-stop ND filter
  • Big sensor, considering the camera’s size
  • Excellent attached lens
  • The battery isn’t as strong as newer camera models.
  • The technology in the camera may quickly fall behind.
  • Potentially poor shooting experience, due to its size.

With this camera, you’ll really enjoy the picture quality and its ability to slide into an oversized pocket while you walk around and explore during travel. Or, if you want a dedicated camera to casually capture some family portraits, you’re covered too.

And by the way, I started using this tool called Narrative and it has been great to help cull large amount of portraits!

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Sony a6000

The Sony a6000 is a staple of the Alpha line of Sony cameras. It’s really starting to show its age, but it still holds up as a powerful photography camera.

Because it’s one of the oldest cameras on this list, I recommend searching around and trying to find a used or refurbished deal. Most local photography stores should carry this used model.

I used to own this camera, and I really enjoyed using it. It falls in the APS-C line of Sony cameras. This basically means that the sensor crops in on the image before saving the image file. Full-frame cameras use the full size of the sensor.

This cropping is why the focal length sometimes doesn’t always match the lens. For example, I have a 55mm Sony FE (full-frame) lens. When I attach it to an a6000, the focal length is closer to an 85mm lens than to a 50mm lens.

This camera is for you if you are looking to move into the Sony camera system and you want to experiment with a great mirrorless camera.

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Helpful Tip

Looking to clean that mirrorless sensor? Bookmark this tip before you run into one of the most common beginner things to avoid! Here’s how to clean the sensor on your mirrorless camera.

Sony a6100

DPReview said it best, where, “The Sony a6100 is a 24MP APS-C mirrorless camera, aimed squarely at beginners and people who want attractive photos but don’t necessarily think of themselves as photographers.”

It’s sort of the modern version of the classic a6000. If I were getting into photography and looking for my first mirrorless camera, the Sony a6100 would likely be my first choice. The price is right, the quality is great and it has enough features to do most of what I would need it to do.

Let’s jump right into some of the pros and cons.

  • Amazing autofocus.
  • Good battery life for a mirrorless camera.
  • Great photo quality.
  • Hard-to-use menu. This is true for all of Sony’s cameras.
  • I can’t think of anything else!

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Sony a6400

The Sony a6400 uses the foundation from the a6100 and adds more features and capabilities. The body is pretty much the same and the lens system is identical.

The major differences are what is on the inside.

The autofocus is amazing, and with the a6400, you’ve unlocked real-time tracking. I use this feature on my full-frame Sony camera and I couldn’t shoot without it.

With the Sony a6400, you get some great video features and fast frame-per-second performance. It’s an all-around great camera that allows you to take beautiful photos and videos.

  • Autofocus. Autofocus. Autofocus. (🪲🧃).
  • Virtually no record limit when shooting video. And, 4k video.
  • Good battery life.
  • Customizable menu system.
  • No in-body image stabilization.
  • Only 1 SD card slot. You’d expect a camera with this amount of features to have 2.

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Helpful Tip

Hey, are you ready to look at lenses? Check out our expert list of these E-Mount lenses for Sony cameras.


It’s always a pleasure to shoot with Fujifilm cameras. The shooting experience is unique and unmatched by any other camera brand.

All of Fujifilm’s cameras (well, all X-mount cameras) share the same-sized lens, so you can use the same lens throughout the entire Fujifilm camera body ecosystem. This is useful if you choose to upgrade your camera body: you won’t have to ditch any of the lenses that you’ve acquired.

With most of Fujifilm’s cameras, you can expect a high level of quality and consistency. When evaluating the differences, I always look for stand-out features that will help improve the photography experience.

The primary benefit, for me, is Fujifilm’s picture profile settings. You can shoot in RAW + JPG and stylize your JPGs with ease. I would hardly need to edit my RAW files once I dialed in a picture profile that I liked.

Fujifilm X-E4

The Fujifilm X-E4 is a rangefinder style camera. It’s fairly lightweight. It’s pretty much a giant rectangle (but in a good way).

From experience, Fujifilm cameras have a harder time getting the autofocus right (or, at least this is something I noticed when comparing the difference with my Sony cameras).

With the X-E4, you can expect the same level of autofocus with the flagship X-T4. So basically, for a much cheaper price, you’re getting some of Fujifilm’s top-of-the-line features.

The ergonomics can be a little rough with this particular model of camera. There isn’t a deep grip that you’d find on other camera models.

If you’re into the vintage rangefinder style of cameras, the X-E4 could be your best bet!

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Fujifilm X-T30 II

I am a big fan of the Fujifilm X-T30 II. I used to own the first version, the X-T30, and I really enjoyed my time shooting with it.

Most reviews claim that it is too small, but I never really had any issues with the size. In fact, the size was great because it fit into smaller bags like this one, and didn’t take up a lot of space.

With the X-T30, you get the classic photography control dials that Fujifilm cameras are famous for. It’s nice being able to quickly change your settings without having to hunt through a menu.

Overall, the quality-to-price ratio is amazing. You’re getting a great value camera by choosing the Fujifilm X-T30 II.

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Ricoh is a unique camera brand with a limited amount of options to sample from. You can see here by all of their product offerings. The Ricoh GR line of cameras are sleek and minimalist. They make great budget-friendly cameras because of the quality and affordability.

Ricoh GR III Street Edition

The Ricoh GR III Street Edition is a unique option for someone getting into photography as a beginner. On one hand, the 28mm lens is enough to capture most situations. It’s also nice having a good fixed lens; you don’t have to every worry about changing your lens.

On the other hand, the GR III Street Edition doesn’t have as many features as other cameras on this list do. It’s also not the cheapest option on this list.

Pick this camera if you like to stand out among the photographer crowd!

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Nikon was the first photography brand that I started shooting with, all the way back in 2004. I shot on a variety of film cameras, and I used to develop my own film as well!

When digital photography came out, it was an obvious choice for me to pick a DSLR because I was already familiar with Nikons, and they were fast to adapt.

Nikon D5600

Let’s jump right into who the D5600 is for, and some considerations.

This camera is for anyone new to photography who enjoys the Nikon ecosystem. Nikon has solid DSLR camera options that skew more toward the affordable range.

The Nikon D5600 makes no exception to affordability and has a great ergonomic grip, good autofocus, touch screen abilities and great photo quality.

If video is an important feature to you, I’d suggest looking somewhere else.

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Nikon D7500

You really can’t go wrong with the D7500 if you’re looking to get into photography and hit the ground running. You’ll be coming in at right about $1,000, which puts this camera towards the upper limit of the “affordable” price range for beginners.

You can expect good image quality, good autofocus, 4k video features, subject tracking, fast burst mode and more.

Nikon cameras don’t have the best WiFi transfer systems, and Snapbridge has a lot of room for improvements. While video is an improvement from other lower camera models, you can expect some focus issues and a crop while using 4k.

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Nikon Z50

Nikon was a little late to the mirrorless game. Sony had a huge head start and (in my opinion) Nikon has been trying to catch up.

The Nikon Z50 is one of the first Nikon cameras to try and compete with some of the lower-end mirrorless camera options.

As an entry-level user, you’ll find lots of different creative modes to test and experiment with. There are 20 creative picture modes and a handful of effect modes as well.

The features will be more like the D7500, and will come in at a little cheaper of a price tag. If size, weight and features are important to you, the Z50 could be a good fit for your beginner camera search.

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Everything else

Photography happens in all moments. Sometimes you don’t need a traditional camera to take good pictures. Let’s check out a few other options for beginner-level cameras to consider.

iPhone 13 mini

I have the iPhone 13 mini and I bought it specifically for its cameras. I held onto my iPhone 5 for as long as I could. My next phone with the SE (2nd Generation). This phone was great, except for the camera. The camera was bad.

I decided to upgrade to the iPhone 13 mini because of how good the cameras are. I can have confidence that when I travel, I’ll always have a good camera in my pocket, like when Becca and I take photos in cafes around the world.

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Google Pixel 6

The Pixel 6 is capable of taking great photos. I still use my Pixel 2 when I travel internationally. The camera is good, but it does show its age, especially in lower light. The Pixel 6 is one of the latest phones from the Pixel line up and is a great choice for you if you are an Android user.

With the cameras on the Google Pixel phones, you can take surprisingly impressive photos of scenery, cityscapes, portraits and of course, you can take great photos of food.

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Helpful Tip

If you would like to jump straight into the best cameras for travel photography, check out this list of my favorites.

GoPro Hero 10

The GoPro is for someone who wants a small, durable, affordable and versatile camera. GoPros are not for you if you want to take photos of cities, people and landscapes.

GoPros thrive in adventure, beaches, water and sports; I used mine on a trip to Salento, Colombia. You can use a GoPro everywhere that you wouldn’t feel comfortable bringing a traditional camera.

The Hero 10 is one of the latest models, and, well, this is the 10th GoPro. It’s one of the most refined versions of a GoPro, and the audio and capture stability have improved greatly throughout all of the versions (this is good, because they used to be pretty bad, several years back).

The GoPro Hero 10 is a cool option for photography beginners if you’re an adventurer.

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And these are great, too!

Here’s a quick list of some additional beginner-style cameras that might work for you. Best of luck in your photography journey as you start out!

  • Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV
  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 Digital Camera
  • Ricoh THETA SC2

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Last updated on July 29th, 2023

TOP 9 Best Inexpensive Camcorders in 2023

In this ranking, we’ve rounded up the best inexpensive camcorders, from action cameras to compact and mirrorless models, so you can shoot top-notch video without spending a fortune.

Looking for the best budget camcorder? These are challenging times for everyone in terms of pricing and spending, and if you want to make great video, it’s worth doing your research. There are absolutely great cameras out there that will let you shoot high quality video – you just need to know what they are.

We have divided this rating into sections depending on the camera type. First we deal with action cameras, tiny waterproof models that are great for travel and extreme sports. We then included dedicated camcorders, which are great all-rounders for everyday use.

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After that, we have several compact fixed lens cameras that offer high-quality video functions in a small body. Finally, we’ve included several mirrorless camera options that will provide the best quality and flexibility, but at the highest price point.

You won’t get all the basic features of the best camcorders when you buy an inexpensive model, so it’s important to focus on what you can get. Here are the key points to pay attention to:

Resolution: video quality measured in pixels. While 4K is great if you can afford it, for those on a budget, Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) is also a great option.

Frame rate: How many frames per second the camera captures when recording video. In budget video, 30p is fine, 60p is good, and 120p and above is good for slow motion footage – good if you can get it, but not necessary.

Zoom range: This can be useful for “run and shoot” video. Camcorders tend to have significant zoom capabilities, while other cameras have less.

Waterproofing: If you are going to take the camera in wet conditions, you need to think about waterproofing. Action cameras and rugged compacts will be your best bet.

So let’s get down to business and find all the best inexpensive camcorders you can buy today.

Compact and rugged

Action cameras


GoPro Hero 8 Black

This affordable GoPro is ideal for travel and sports photography

Type: Action cameras a
Sensor: 1/2.5″
Megapixels: 12 MP
Lens: Fixed wide-angle lens
Screen: 2-inch rear display : yes (with optional media module)
Maximum video resolution: 4K 60p
User level: beginner/enthusiast


  • Excellent stabilization
  • Many mounting options
  • More affordable than newer GoPros


  • No selfie screen
  • Non 16:9 rear screen

This is probably the oldest GoPro that is really worth buying. Available at a discounted price, the GoPro Hero 8 Black was launched into a much more competitive action camera market than previous models, and as such, it comes with some cool features that have propelled it forward.

Hypersmooth 2.0 stabilization was class-leading at the time and still impressive today, making it easy to get smooth FPV footage while cycling, surfing, driving or whatever. With many flexible mounting options, the Hero 8 Black is useful for all kinds of video applications.

Read more – full review GoPro Hero 8 Black


Akaso Brave 7 LE

This best inexpensive action camera is great for vloggers

Type: Action camera
Sensor: 1/2.3″
Megapixels: 20 MP
Lens: Fixed fisheye lens
Screen: 2″ rear screen; 1.5″ front screen
Viewfinder: No
Maximum Video Resolution: 4K 30p
User Level: Beginner/Enthusiast


    900 79 Front and rear screens

    9No 88

    There are many budget action cameras out there, but most of them can be a false economy. Just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s worth it! However, the Akaso Brave 7 LE is an inexpensive action camera that justifies its price. With 4K 30p video (not 60p, but still not bad) it can capture good enough quality footage for most purposes, and it even has what the GoPro Hero 8 Black lacks – a front-facing selfie screen for vloggers.

    The stabilization system, while not the best on the GoPro, does a great job and makes the camera much more comfortable to use handheld. As we wrote in our ranking of the best inexpensive action cameras, this is a “great action camera for all-around use.”

    Classic design



    Sony HDR-CX405

    Reliable, affordable camcorder for everyday videography

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    Type: Camcorder
    Sensor: 1/5.8-type
    Megapixels: 2.29MP
    Lens: 30x optical zoom lens , 26. 8 mm wide-angle lens
    Screen: 2.7-inch flip-up LCD, 230,400 dots
    Viewfinder: No
    Maximum video resolution: Full HD
    User level: 9 0012 Beginner


    • Flexible scaling
    • Lightweight and comfortable
    • Ease of use


      90 079 Noisy low light image

    The camcorder is a no-frills, fuss-free video option for those who you want something simple, and the inexpensive Sony HDR-CX405 fits that bill perfectly. It weighs only 215g with the battery installed, making it easy to operate with one hand.

    The zoom lens is a powerful 30x optical model, and you also have the option to enlarge it with a 60x digital zoom, giving you real shooting flexibility. The Intelligent Auto Mode finds the right settings for you, making it easier to aim and shoot. But its sensor is smaller than other types of cameras, a difference you’ll notice in low light when video gets grainy and noisy.


    Zoom Q8

    Best value camcorder for sound quality

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    Type: Camcorder
    Sensor: 1/3 inch
    900 11 Megapixels:
    Lens: Fixed lens equivalent 16.6 mm with digital zoom
    Screen: 2.7″ LCD flip-out touchscreen
    Viewfinder: No
    Mic port: two XLR/TRS combo inputs
    Maximum Video Resolution: 3M HD (2304 x 1296 pixels) 30p
    User Level: Intermediate to Enthusiast


    • Array of Audio Options
    • USB capable
    • Focused on sound quality


    • Microphones are an extra purchase

    When buying inexpensive camcorders, one of the biggest problems you’re likely to have is getting decent sound, as most don’t have microphone ports, relying instead on basic internal microphones. The Zoom Q8 is a budget camcorder designed with sound in mind, with four audio channels, an interchangeable microphone capsule system, and two external microphone ports.

    It can save audio as uncompressed WAV files and AAC files, so if you want to record a band rehearsal or even a concert, this is a good choice. It can also transfer material via USB. The maximum video resolution is a somewhat unusual 2304 x 1296 pixels, and at 30p it’s good but not great.

    Convenient form factor

    Compact cameras


    Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

    Budget version of the flagship for vloggers

    Type: Compact
    Sensor: 1 inch
    Megapixels: 20.1 MP
    Lens: optical zoom 24-100mm equivalent 9 0051 Screen: 3″ swivel touchscreen, 1040 000 dots
    Viewfinder: None
    Maximum Video Resolution: Full HD 60p
    User Level: Intermediate to Enthusiast


    • 90 080 Pocket sizes 9No 0088

      Canon’s G7 X compact cameras have been a favorite of vloggers and YouTubers for some time now. The latest is the Mark III version – this is the previous version of the Mark II, which can usually be bought cheaper. With the cheaper model, users should be prepared to live without three things – 4K, a microphone port, and live streaming capability.

      If none of that bothers you, this compact is an extremely good buy, shooting great Full HD 60p video and offering real versatility with its optical zoom lens. Having a screen that can point forward is also particularly handy for blogging.


      Olympus Toug-6

      Waterproof chamber with optical zoom

      Type: Strong compact
      Sensor: 1/2.33 inches


      Megapixels: 12 MP
      Lens: optical zoom lens equivalent to 25-100mm
      Screen: 3-inch fixed LCD, 1040,000 dots
      View finder: No
      Maximum video resolution: 4K 30p
      User Level: Beginner to Enthusiast


      • Very Rugged
      • Frame Rate Range
      • 9 0080 Waterproof


      • Small sensor
      • Display not scratch resistant

      Get the ruggedness of a GoPro with lots of other features – The Olympus Tough TG-6 is the best rugged compact affordable camcorder you can buy. It is waterproof up to 15 m, shockproof up to 2.1 m, can withstand weight up to 100 kg and frost-resistant down to -10°C. As you might expect, this requires a simple design that eliminates a microphone port or a hinged screen, but the TG-6 can provide multiple shooting options.

      Its slow-motion performance is particularly good – while the maximum frame rate in 4K is 30fps, in Full HD it’s 120fps, in HD it’s 240fps, and if you hit the lowest resolution it’s a whopping 480 frames. However, you need to keep in mind that the sensor is about the same size as your smartphone, so don’t expect stellar quality in low light.

      Maximum quality

      Mirrorless cameras


      Panasonic Lumix G100

      One of the best cameras for beginner vloggers

      Type: mirrorless
      Sensor: Micro Four Thirds
      9001 1 Megapixels: 20.3
      Lens mount: MFT
      Screen : 3-inch vari-angle, 1,840,000 dots
      Viewfinder: EVF, 3,690,000 dots
      Microphone port: Yes
      Maximum video resolution: 4K UHD
      User Level: Beginner/Enthusiast


      • Small, light, handy
      • Quality video and audio
      • 900 80 Swivel screen


      • Not the cheapest
      • No 4K 60p

      In an effort to attract novice video users to the Micro Four Thirds system, Panasonic launched the Lumix G100, aimed at vloggers. It is lightweight (412g) with the included lens (included) and easy to use thanks to its high quality screen and large viewfinder. Video quality is excellent overall – some may complain about the lack of 4K 60p, but it’s actually more than enough for most purposes.

      In addition, its intelligent three-capsule built-in mic system is one of the best we’ve seen on a camera at this price point, and while you’re better off buying an external mic, this system means you may or may not have one. Having an MFT mount also means you have a wide range of lenses to choose from.


      Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

      Stylish and versatile, this is a vlogger winning camera

      Type: mirrorless
      Sensor: Micro Four Thirds
      Megapixels: 20.3 MP
      Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
      Screen: 3-inch swivel touch screen, 1 037 00 0 dots
      Viewfinder: electronic viewfinder, 2,360,000 dots
      Maximum video resolution: 4K 30p
      User level: Beginner


      • Many lens options
      • Powerful stabilization


      • Inexpensive only among flagships

      Another relatively inexpensive Micro Four Thirds camcorder, convenient for beginners. In addition, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is an extremely stylish camera that has video technology where it counts. It can shoot 4K video at 30p and also comes with Olympus 5-axis stabilization system, which is one of the most effective on the market and makes it very easy to capture smooth handheld videos.

      You also have a flip-out vlogger screen, making it easy to film yourself, and the autofocus on the E-M10 IV is reliably accurate. We’d also like a microphone port, but given that this is a more expensive camera, users on a budget probably won’t spend the extra money on a microphone. It is a capable versatile camcorder.


      Panasonic Lumix G7

      Old but now cheap discounted 4K camcorder

      Type: mirrorless
      Sensor: Micro Four Thirds
      Megapixels: 16
      Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
      Screen: 3-inch vari-angle, 1.04M dots 9005 1 Viewfinder: electronic viewfinder
      Microphone port: Yes
      Maximum video resolution: 4K UHD
      User level: Beginner/Enthusiast


      • 4K video
      • EVF


      • No in-body stabilization
      • Old 16 megapixel sensor

      mirrorless cameras, so she is already several years old, and it shows in her style and characteristics. It’s the perfect choice for mirrorless buyers who prefer a bulky and chunky DSLR-shaped body, plus an electronic viewfinder that’s amazing for a mirrorless camera at this price point. In addition, it allows you to record videos in 4K format.

      The downside is that the G7 was launched before Panasonic started including in-body stabilization in their cameras, so you rely on optical stabilization in the lenses themselves. It also has a relatively old 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, though this isn’t a major downside for a videographer.

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