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Best Compact Cameras Under $500 – Buying Guide

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Years of compact camera domination has long gone. Smartphones and other camera types have emerged and rule over the picture taking industry today. But the fight is still not over. To find out more, check out this compacts under $500 that you’ll surely hate to miss.

Compact cameras have been one of the in-demand cameras two decades ago. But with the rise of digital age and smartphones with built-in cameras, people have shifted their interest to all in one smartphone that has multiple uses as compared to compact cameras who are only used for picture taking.

But despite things, most people do not know that compact cameras capture better picture quality than smartphones. Unlike smartphones who has multiple functions, compact cameras main goal is producing high quality and clear images imitating the realistic views and sceneries. Also, these compact cameras have multiple features that enhance the quality of pictures through different modes, filters, and upgraded zooms that one could not see on smartphones.

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That is why camera manufacturers have been conquering the camera industry now through the rise of portable and quality producing pictures compact cameras. It is a perfect camera for your getaways, travels, and trips. That is why some people prefer this type of camera for picture taking because of its convenience. If you are really curious and interested, here are some of the best compact cameras under $500 that is currently available in the market.

1. Sony RX100 II

$598.00
12 new
28 used from $329.92
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Last updated on November 20, 2017 1:11 am

Let’s capture every perfect detail of sunsets and getaways through this compact camera! It employs a 20.9 MP 1” type Exmor R CMOS sensor and 28-100mm equivalent F/1.8-4.9 lens that makes every photo experience only an inch closer to reality. This amazing compact camera shoots multiple formatted 1080 60p/24p HD video including MPEG and AVHCD that has a 3x optical zoom to maximize your boundaries through video recording. It has a 3.0 LED Display that is readily shifted to multiple angles wherever the best quality could be achieved.This includes an attached shoe to help on making sure the point and shoot camera are tightly grip during picture taking. It has additional 1 inch 20.2 MP Exmor R sensor to take quality photos during night time.

VERDICT

If you are looking for quality photos and videos, then this compact camera is perfect and suit your tastes. It consists of 20.9 MP sensor and quite an acceptable lens size that captures good quality images. This also records movie-like quality videos that have multiple formats. Though, this compact camera under $500 lacks some features like electronic viewfinder for which most of its competitors have. Additionally, this point and shoot camera are somewhat expensive as compared to similar products with the same features. But nonetheless, this compact camera is still worth a shot on using.

PROS CONS
High-quality image Limited Zoom
1080 60p/24p HD video No Electronic Viewfinder
Multi-angled LED Display No touchscreen
Contains Hot Shoe
Built-in Wifi with NTC
Steady-Shot image stabilization
Huge 1-inch sensor
Portable
Impressive design

 

2. PowerShot G9 X Mark II

$429.00
$529.99
19 new from $429.00
7 used from $399.00
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Last updated on November 20, 2017 1:11 am

Living a life with beauty in video and pictures. This compact camera will take you to another leap into photography through its large CMOS 1.0 inch 20.1 MP sensor that produces high-quality pictures. It contains a DIGIC 7 Image Processor that speeds up startup time and improves camera processing preventing delay and lags. It records Full HD Resolution videos that maximize experience on video shooting. It has 8.2 fps continuous shooting that keeps you track even the fastest moments of your life. This contains multiple picture styles and presets for variation and sophistication of picture taking.

VERDICT:

We aim for quality pictures. This point and shoot camera could take your photos to high-quality through its large 1-inch sensor that some compact cameras don’t have. But the most interesting part of this compact camera is that it is small and pocket-sized as a contrast to those with large sensors that are prettily bulky. Aside from that, it has touch screen features so if you’re a fan of it then this camera will be for your convenience. It also records amazing videos which are helpful to those who have interest in videos. Though, this compact camera zooms into limited pixel size which is really discouraging considering the vast competition on compact cameras. It has also no electronic viewfinder.

But despite that, this compact camera is still recommended for everyone to try for its portability and the high quality of pictures it reproduces.

PROS CONS
High-Quality Images Limited zoom range
Full HD videos No electronic viewfinder
Large 1.0-inch sensor
Touch Screen panel
Ultra-slim camera
Continuous shooting
Simple to use
Built-in Wifi with NTC

 

3. Fujifilm X30

Last updated on November 20, 2017 1:11 am

Created for the convenience of picture taking experience, this compact camera is built with a large 12 MP 2/3-inch X-TransTM CMOS II sensor that gives high-quality realistic photos. In addition, this consist of a real-time viewfinder with a display lag time of unbelievably just 0.005 seconds. It has a 4x Manual Optical Zoom that ensures a high resolution of photos. It allows a 12 fps continuous shooting that allows capturing of fast track images and videos. It has a tilting 3.0 inch LCD Display that could be viewed from multiple angles. It consists of an improved battery performance and built-in WiFi with NTC.

VERDICT:

Though this compact camera has the most amazing features and it has the strength and builds to survive on a long run, it still insufficient to match up with its other competitors including those with large sensors that produce high-quality photos. But nonetheless, this point and shoot camera are still good for your photo adventures since it’s small and portable. Though it’s beyond what other compact cameras have when it comes to quality photos, this point, and shoot camera has still acceptable features and enough to be used on your travels might as well on your day to day activities.

PROS CONS
Quality photos Smaller sensor
Multi-angled LCD Display No touchscreen
Built-in Wifi with NTC Optical zoom is limited
Durable build
12 fps continuous shooting

 

4. Olympus Tough TG-5

$449.00
27 new from $399.00
7 used from $436.00
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Last updated on November 20, 2017 1:11 am

Live life without limits. This point and shoot camera will extend one’s photo capturing horizons into multiple adventures into seas, mountains, caves and any place into this world because this camera is waterproof, dustproof, freezeproof, and crushproof. It is equipped with a 12 MP Hi-Speed Image Sensor and F2.0 high-speed lens that captures photos efficiently even in low light conditions. It records Ultra HD 4K videos making every travel to be memorable the way it should be. It has GPS action track that is used especially to find locations. Also, this comes with a wifi connectivity for easy transfer of photos and videos.

VERDICT:

Everybody loves to go for an adventure. We always want to capture every moment when we are on beaches, mountains, or anywhere we are. This compact camera is a perfect travel companion when making trips. You don’t need to get worried about carrying this because it’s portable and pocket-sized. This is also resistant to different weather conditions and even easily used during night time. This also includes GPS keeping you track whenever you are on a trip to an unknown or faraway place. Though this quite expensive, it’s worth on investing because of its potential uses especially most smartphones now cannot record underwater.

PROS CONS
Water, dust, freeze, and shock resistant No Touchscreen
High-quality photos No Built-in Electronic Viewfinder
Enables GPS
Built-in WiFi
Ultra HD 4K videos

 

5. Nikon 1 J5

$496.95
5 new from $496.95
11 used from $313.51
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Last updated on November 20, 2017 1:11 am

A unique design point and shoot camera that exemplifies portability, image quality, and speed. This compact camera captures high-quality photos at 20.8 megapixels resolution with backside illuminated CMOS sensor that could take amazing photos even in low light conditions. This uses a breakthrough technology of 105-phase detect AF points to immediately detect the focus when you are taking a picture. It’s touch LED display screen could be shifted to various angles the way users would like to. It is highly compatible with many smartphones and tablets enabling to transfer images and photos through a WiFi connection.

VERDICT:

A mirrorless and a retro compact camera that you’ll surely love looking at. The design is exceptional and it’s highly portable to anywhere you want. Also, this reproduces quality photos having a 20.8 MP resolution for which is quite satisfying. Additionally, this is a fast-paced camera promising its users to not experienced lags and delays when using it. Though this camera is a bit expensive and its features are most commonly found in another camera brands, the J series of Nikon is still worth to try.

PROS CONS
Quality photos No built-in electronic viewfinder
Records videos
Multi-angle LED Display
Built-in WiFi
Improve auto-focus technology
Touch Screen
Lightweight and portable
Excellent build and design

 

6. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ300

$497.99
$597.99
13 new from $494.99
30 used from $396.76
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Last updated on November 20, 2017 1:11 am

This versatile compact camera is empowered with a new 4K technology that keeps photos and videos high quality as it should be. This has 12.1 MP MOS sensor making your photos real-like and produce even good quality photos when expose to low lighting conditions. This has an ultra-high 24x optical zoom that brings far things closer and within the screen bounds. 4K video records full HD videos at various formats adapting to people’s different needs. It contains a high-speed autofocusing technology and 5 axis correction to avoid blurred and shaky photos that prevent every photo to allude exceptionality. It has a water and dust resistant design enjoying and capturing every adventure without restrictions.

VERDICT

This compact camera under $500 has a lot of features that makes it recommended for purchase. First, it has a very high zooming capability. We all love every zoom feature. That is why this compact camera maximizes its reach to its far limits through this feature. Also, the 4K technology gives emphasis to the high-quality video and images that it captures. It is also water and dust proof making it viable for utilization to anywhere whether beaches or just to any ordinary day. Also, it has more features that keep your photo processing fast and easy as it should be. Though this camera is a bit expensive, risking with all the mentioned features is definitely worth for money to spare.

PROS CONS
24x optical zoom No external hot shoe
High-quality image No headphones
4K video capture
Weather resistant
WiFi enable
Improve autofocus
Built-in viewfinder

 

7. COOLPIX B700

$446.95
$499.95
22 new from $446.72
19 used from $339.90
amazon.com
Free shipping
Last updated on November 20, 2017 1:11 am

A DSLR like design compact camera that captures exquisite life-like photos and videos. It gets closer to every screen because of its 60x very high optical zoom and 120x dynamic fine zoom incorporated to its powerful lens. It uses 20.2 MP backside illuminated CMOS sensor on getting the finest capture of photos. It shoots 4K videos that could be used in multiple formats with a stereo sound and the microphone to complete the whole movie-like experience. This compact camera supports RAW format enhancing every photo’s quality, privacy, and security. There is no adjusting because this includes a 3.0 inch LED display tilted upon multiple viewed angles.

VERDICT:

This point and shoot camera are perfect if you are looking for a camera that has a powerful optical and dynamic fine zoom. It also produces great quality of photos with it’s 20.2 MP sensor. Also, it records high-quality videos excellently with stereo sound and microphone. But although, there are some features that this camera does not have like built-in electronic viewfinder to make it excellent. Though there are a lot of camera products available, there are rare compact cameras who exhibit a very high optical zoom. This is absolutely perfect for those who love to zoom out photos through their adventures, trips, and destinations.

PROS CONS
Ultra-high zoom No touchscreen
High-quality photos No built-in viewfinder
4K Full HD videos with stereo sound and microphone
Built-in Electronic Viewfinder
Multi-angled LED display
RAW format
Bluetooth sharing

 

8. PowerShot SX730 HS

$399.00
$399.99
19 new from $399.00
11 used from $313.50
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Free shipping
Last updated on November 20, 2017 1:11 am

Capture every moment and memories through this compact camera. It is highly specialized because of its ultra-powerful 40x optical zoom that keeps every little thing closer within your reach. It consists of a 20.3 MP CMOS sensor that allows on capturing the best photos making it real-like than one could imagine. It shoots high quality 1080p Full HD videos to multiple formats upholding variation and flexibility to different circumstances. It contains a fast DGI6 processor making every shutter and click without corresponding delays and lags. It has a 3.0 inch LED display that could be tilted at different viewing angles.

VERDICT

The main feature of this camera product is its optical zoom. Nonetheless, all the other features are definitely available to any compact camera. It gives quality photos and videos though that most people look for on any camera. It is also fast and very handy that you could bring it anywhere without worrying yourselves to where will you keep it. Overall, it’s a must buy if you are a major fan of zooming.

PROS CONS
High optical zoom No touchscreen
High-quality photos No built-in electronic viewfinder
Full HD Videos No raw shooting
Fast Camera Process
Multi-angled LED display
Portable and Lightweight
Robust build quality
Built-in Wifi connectivity

 

9. Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70

$397.99
$449.99
15 new from $397.99
20 used from $333.58
amazon.com
Free shipping
Last updated on November 20, 2017 1:11 am

Take in control with travels. This sleek compact camera will keep every adventure at its best with 20.3 Megapixel sensor and 30x Leica DC VARIO-ELMAR Lens (24-720mm) giving the best quality photos. A 4K QFHD video recording (3840×2160) that helps on reliving every travel experience. It incorporates a Live View Finder that automatically shutters when the eye is kept on the camera for easy and fast shooting. It contains a built-in WiFi that allows easy sharing of photos and videos to various devices and gadgets.

VERDICT:

Optical zooms are one of the things that a user will look when buying a new camera apart from its image quality. Thus, this compact camera has this super zoom feature that meets up to that criteria. Apart from that, it induces quality photos and videos. Plus, this product is pocket-sized and lightweight being conducive to traveling and even on day to day picture taking.

But looking at its competitors, there are a lot of camera brands that offer the same features on which is also much cheaper than this point and shoot camera. Though still, this camera is not that bad. You would enjoy your travels and activities definitely upon using this camera.

PROS CONS
High Zoom range Small Viewfinder
Quality photos Slow startup
Built in wifi
Excellent video recording
Lightweight and portable

 

10. Sony HX400V

$398.00
$449.99
16 new from $398.00
21 used from $299.91
amazon.com
Free shipping
Last updated on November 20, 2017 1:11 am

Keep every shot precise, fast, and beautiful. This compact camera brings the best and high-quality photos through its 20.4MP Exmor R CMOS Sensor that is still retraceable at even low lights. It shoots smooth Full HD 1080p videos at multiple resolutions providing cinematographic experience to every video. It employs a powerful 50x optical and 100x clear image zoom capability that keeps far images closer within reach. Clear image zooms allow the image to be crystal clear upon cropping it out. It employs safe and easy WiFi connectivity to tablets and smartphones.

VERDICT:

This compact camera under $500 comes with a super zoom that makes your every capture well-detailed and specific as what it is needed. This camera also reproduces quality photos and videos that are even clear at low and sensitive lights. It is also GPS and Wifi enabled bringing convenience upon communication and transfer of images and videos to other people. But the manufacturer should have included other features like RAW shooting to make it ideal and competitive among other brands since this is somehow expensive.

PROS CONS
High Optical and Clear Image Zoom No touchscreen
High-quality photos No RAW shooting
Full HD videos
Built-in Wifi with NTC
GPS enabled
Improved image stabilization
Motion shot video
Built-in viewfinder