The Best Digital Cameras (for Under $500)

Capturing life’s most precious moments  – or simply creating a means to recall what you’ll inevitably later forget – doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here’s how to shoot everything from bachelor party to wedding to post-divorce retreat (once those bachelor party shots have surfaced): The best digital cameras for under $500.

Canon EOS Rebel XS
If you’re new to digital-SLR, look no further: with an automatic lighting optimizer and multiple autofocus modes, this compact camera will help your photos look a little less incompetent husband and a little more Yousuf Karsh. Just a little, though. $449.

Sony Alpha Nex-3
If you’re not ready to leap into DSLR, the Nex-3 is a competitive alternative, boasting a precise auto-HDR film mode, panoramic photo stitching and an ultra-high resolution LCD display shooting at 14.2 megapixels. $499.

Fuji F3DW3
Two dimensions is so 2010. Shoot stills and video in 10.1-megapixel 3D with 3x optical zoom, view on its three-dimensional 3.5” LCD display, and in full on your futuristic 3D television. Feeling retro? It’ll shoot 2D, too. $499.

Nikon CoolPix S8100
Bring your vacation on the beach back into focus with the affordable S8100’s 12 megapixel shooting and 10x digital zoom, in-camera editing of HD video and four-way vibration reduction. $269.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35
Rounding out the list is the solid FZ35. It just works: compact size, beautiful 10.1-megapixel photos, on-the-fly HD power, optical zoom and a balanced combination of automated and manual functions for seasoned vets and inept beginners alike. $389.

Image courtesy of LucKyL.


2 thoughts on “The Best Digital Cameras (for Under $500)”

  1. Some great suggestions were mentioned and I would like to add one, as well as make a comment.

    The new Fuji Finepix HS20 EXR is an excellent choice for this list.

    Speaking of this post – I have to admit that I was shocked at how poor quality of a photo you used in the header (of the camera) to represent a column about cameras. Overexposed, too much shadow, poor composition… stick to words in your reporting.

  2. This is a good starting list, however I’d be sure to mention som ef the Nikon SLRS. THe cool pi xis a nice point and shoot but some of their entry DSLR cams are right up there with the Canon Rebel. I think your price estimate on the rebel is alittle low.

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