Best Mirrorless Cameras Under 500 (Review) In 2020

The best mirrorless cameras under 500 listed below have been selected by Demystifying Digital because of their movie features, ISO sensitivity, and customer rating.

So, are you an aspiring photographer or just an amateur?

Many people think about their budget before buying the first camera. And there are lots of important factors to consider.

Even among cheap cameras, it’s hard to find the best mirrorless camera under 500. But it’s real and we will help you.

Not sure where to start? Read on for our top picks for the best mirrorless cameras under $500 in 2020.

The Best Mirrorless Camera Under 500

Therefore, you might find it hard to choose only the best mirrorless camera under 500 dollars from the crowded market, and this is where we come into play. Demystifying Digital has reviewed the top 2 best mirrorless cameras under 500 on the market today and has given you a buyer’s guide to help you out. Here they are:

1. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III Best Mirrorless Camera Under 500

Looking for the best mirrorless camera under 400? Try the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III.

Olympus is deservedly proud of the appearance of its cameras – the company’s designers are very talented in combining retro-style and modernity in them. Only Fujifilm X-T10 can compete in design with the OM-D E-M10 Mark II. Of course, the build quality of the metal case is great.

The most important feature of the camera is the five-axis optical stabilizer, the same as in the flagship OM-D E-M1.

There is an HDR mode that includes many settings. Using the RAW format in it is impossible, but there is a shooting mode HDR without gluing with the ability to record individual frames in a format without compression.

Burst speed is 8.5 frames per second, which is 0.5 frames per second better than its predecessor, and with manual focusing the camera stably produces exactly 8.5 frames per second, moreover, regardless of whether noise reduction is activated or vignetting correction – while in many other cameras, noise reduction affects both the speed and the duration of burst shooting at the highest possible speed.

It has a built-in flash. Yes, it is low-power (the leading number is only 5.8 at ISO 100), but nevertheless, it is, unlike the same Fujifilm X-T10 or Panasonic DMC-GM5. Recall that the Sony a6000 has a slightly higher guide number (6 at ISO 100), and the complete on-camera flash is even weaker – 5 at ISO 100.

The following operating modes are available in the settings: fill, fill with red-eye reduction, slow sync and slow sync with red-eye reduction, and rear-curtain sync.

Video shooting has always not been Olympus’ greatest strength. Even in the best mirrorless camera under 500, nothing has changed. All exposure modes (P / A / S / M) are supported, and parameters can be controlled directly during video recording. However, changing the settings is impossible with the usual control dials – only with the help of virtual keys, and in two modes (fast and slow scrolling of values). In the same way, sensitivity (limited to ISO 6400), sound level and zoom are controlled.

On the one hand, it’s a pity that there is no disc management, but on the other hand, do not forget that unlike other best mirrorless cameras under $500 there is no way to connect an external microphone, so loud clicks of discs would be recorded on the soundtrack. Also, virtual key control minimizes rocking and wobbling. Activation of software suppression of wind noise is available, and there are 3 levels of function activity.

Autofocus works in single-frame mode (one-time operation), in continuous mode, as well as in tracking mode – and it works very correctly and unobtrusively, without slipping the desired position. But not too fast when compared with class leaders.

Separately, it is worth noting the function of creating photos during video recording in this best mirrorless camera under 500. Two parallel shooting modes are available, and in both modes there are no restrictions on the number of shots: in the first case, when you press the shutter button, the camera simply interrupts the video, creates a picture with full permission and resumes recording the clip; in the second, photography is done without interrupting the video, but only with an aspect ratio of 16: 9 and a resolution of 3200 × 1800 pixels, and the video must be recorded in MOV format. The speed of sequential shooting here depends solely on the speed of the memory card.

The camera is essentially an evolutionary continuation of the E-M10 without sharp breakthroughs. Yes, there is a new excellent viewfinder, there is support for 1080 / 60p video and a slightly more capacious battery. The main bonus is, of course, the five-axis stabilizer, which gives a wide space for shooting in low light at slow shutter speeds.

2. Fujifilm X-T100 Mirrorless Camera Under 500

The FUJIFILM X-T100 mirrorless camera is the newest and youngest in a series of models that have the external features of SLR cameras and are made in retro design. Younger models are always the most affordable, so something must be sacrificed for the sake of cheapening. Although in the X-T100 you can find the features of a more advanced model X-T20, and even X-T2, still it has much more in common with the X-A5. Here we have the same matrix with a standard pixel structure and a Bayer filter, an autofocus system, the same serial shooting, and video shooting capabilities, and the presence of a Bluetooth module.

True, her case is plastic, only the top panel is aluminum, with an anodized coating of dark silver, gold or black. Thus, the buyer can choose from three options for external design.

Also, the screen rotates 180 degrees to the left – in a position convenient for selfie shooting and video blogging. However, it can still deviate up and down. And this is an important advantage of the X-T100 over numerous competitors.

The electronic viewfinder has a resolution of 2.36 million points, is equipped with a wheel for diopter correction, has a View Mode button to activate the auto-switch between viewing on the LCD screen or through the viewfinder.

It uses a 1260 mAh NP-W126S battery (the same as the X-A3, X-A5, and X-T20). Its charge lasts on average 430 frames or 90-100 minutes of video shooting (depending on model). This is a high figure in this class.

The easiest for beginners in the device is the fully-automatic Advanced SR AUTO (SR + on the mode dial) shooting mode. In it, the photographer does not have to think about the settings: the electronics will select them on their own, recognizing the type of scene being shot. But she also tries to recognize the horizon, highlighting large objects or find faces in the frame, sometimes spending considerable time on this, especially in low light conditions.

In Blend Mode Adv. (Advanced Filter) contains effects that can be applied during shooting to both photos and videos. They are switched by the left steering wheel.

In the “Panorama” mode, the camera takes a series of frames, immediately gluing them into the resulting photo with a wide viewing angle.

Note that in automatic mode and scene programs, you can shoot only in JPEG, and the RAW format is not available. The indicated modes, as well as automatic, work quite correctly, and there is no need to resort to using the “raw” format.

When shooting in creative modes P, A, S, and M, the FUJIFILM X-T100 camera also behaves quite predictably, and for complex situations, it offers a recording of images in RAW format.

Experienced photographers will like the features of the automatic ISO adjustment function of this best mirrorless camera under 500. The menu not only sets the maximum and minimum photosensitivity values but also the maximum shutter speed. Also, for the “Auto-ISO” function, there are three configurable presets, each of which stores combinations of the above parameters.

None of the FUJIFILM mirrorless cameras can do without a set of presets that simulate the color reproduction of previously popular film company.

The X-T100 offers the following presets: PROVIA / STANDARD, VELVIA / VIVID, ASTIA / SOFT, CLASSIC CHROME, PRO Neg Hi, PRO Neg. Std, Sepia, as well as five monochromes, presets. All of them can be used for both photo and video shooting.

The X-T100 also has a 4K Burst mode, in which the burst speed is 15 frames per second, and the selected images from the captured series are saved in 4K resolution (3240 × 2160 pixels). It’s simple: when shooting in this mode, a 4K video with a frequency of 15 frames is recorded on the memory card, from which you can then select the desired frames.

In 4K mode, Burst automatically activates the electronic shutter, when used during the shooting of dynamic scenes, the Rolling Shutter effect may appear.

3. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Camera Under 500

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is not an ordinary cosmetic update, but rather a seriously redesigned camera for a number of reasons. For starters, it has a modified design with control, and a new stabilizer (the same as on older models), and the ability to use an electronic shutter, and many more little things. 

The camera, which was the best choice for a photographer who is ready to take an important step into the world of serious photography has become even better and in some ways even dramatic. The screen is the same, which spans three inches, a resolution of 1037000 pixels, and folding capabilities. 

A classic Olympus solution, where a similar screen is placed on all the older models of the company, the display is very bright, and has rich (with some excess) colors. In Live View mode, the shooting parameters i.e. the grid, histogram, and virtual horizon are displayed on the screen (in the form of two scales reflecting not only horizontal, but also vertical camera deviation). 

But the only problem is that not all of this can be combined  to see the histogram, and the horizon at the same time on the screen for example is impossible. As a camcorder, the E-M10 Mark II is closer to the E-M5 Mark II thanks to its predecessor. Full HD video is written with a frequency of 60, 50, 30, 25, 24 frames per second with progressive scan and a bitrate of 50 Mbps and all All-Intra mode with a bitrate of 77 Mbps. There is Slow Motion video at 120 frames per second.

In terms of bitrate and frequency range, they are very decent indicators. There is a timecode, art filters, branded effects “echo” and “multi-echo” are available. But the camera does not have a microphone input and headphone output, which automatically deprives it of professional use. But for amateur video, its capabilities especially in combination with an amazing stabilizer are enough with the head unless you are a fan of 4k video.

The camera has a built-in Wi-Fi module that allows you to quickly transfer the taken pictures and use your smartphone or tablet as a remote control. The smartphone/tablet is connected by reading the QR code, without a username and password.

4. Sony a5100 Mirrorless Camera Under 500

When it comes to compact mirrorless cameras, virtually no one can compete with Sony. The Sony Alpha camera line is considered the cutting edge of modern technology, and the new Sony Alpha 5100 is no exception, because it is equipped with a 24.3-megapixel APS-C HD sensor, a Bionz-X processor, and a 179-point hybrid autofocus system.

This best mirrorless camera under $500 is capable of recording Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) video at up to 60 frames per second. A very nice addition is the ability to record with XAVC S encoding, which we already mentioned in one of our past reviews. The same opportunity by the way is present in the compact mirrorless Sony Alpha 7S, which, I recall costs more than $2500.

Image detailing is at the same level that you expect from full-fledged APS-C DSLRs, but with one caveat; the ISO settings should be set to a minimum. If you set the ISO values ​​higher, the number of parts is rapidly decreasing, so those who are very interested in this item should stick to low ISO settings.

The resulting images can be transferred between the camera and your smartphone or tablet via the built-in Wi-Fi module. You can use NFC technology for a quick connection, and here everything is done at the highest level such as pairing a camera with a mobile device occurs almost instantly, which was to be expected from a company that was one of the first to introduce this technology into its consumer electronics.

Perhaps the only drawback is the lack of a port for connecting an external microphone, but professionals are often used to recording audio separately, so for someone this will not be a problem at all.

5. Canon EOS M100 Mirrorless Camera Under 500

The new camera replaces the Canon EOS M10. What changed? First of all, the novelty received a modern image sensor with 24.2 million effective pixels. This promises improved detail, and excellent image quality in low light conditions. The new sensor is assisted by the DIGIC 7 processor, which provides higher performance of the device and the quality of photos and videos.

This best mirrorless camera under $500 is equipped with Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, so focusing promises to be fast and accurate in both photo and video shooting. But when recording video, it’s also smooth. Among the improved indicators, serial shooting at a speed of 6.1 frames per second (against 4.6 frames per second from its predecessor) tops the list. 

This best mirrorless camera under $500 allows you to capture the right moment, even if the subject is in motion. Another important advantage of the Canon EOS M100 is the availability of wide wireless capabilities, which will be described in more detail below. The novelty is equipped with an inclined display that can be rotated 180° to the position for taking a selfie.

The display is touch, and it’s convenient, so you can focus in the right place on the frame with one touch of the screen, just like on smartphones. However, the touch screen in the case of the EOS M100 is not just an additional “trick”, but an important feature. After all, there are not so many physical controls,  buttons and disks on the case, and most of the parameters are configured precisely through the touch interface.

By the number and location of controls, the Canon EOS M100 is more like a compact camera. On the back panel next to the display, there is a familiar navigation pad and three additional buttons that even a novice will not get confused with.

6. Panasonic Lumix G7 Mirrorless Camera Under 500

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 is another mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses from Panasonic. This is one of the most interesting devices offered by this manufacturer, and perhaps even the most interesting in the photographic market today.

This camera is the “heir” of the popular mirrorless model DMC-G6. The series itself is an interesting offer for advanced users, and also for photography enthusiasts who are looking for a camera with advanced features compared to conventional compact ones.

In addition, this best mirrorless camera under $500 may interest filmmakers with advanced recording modes, including 4K resolution. Therefore, it can be considered a slightly cheaper analogue of the flagship Lumix GH4. The equipment is very fast, and the electronic shutter fires at a speed of 1/16000 sec. 

In the mechanical shutter mode, the camera can take 8 images per second, and with the electronic shutter and 4K burst mode, the camera produces 30 shots per second. In addition, such a series can be supported for half an hour. The device is a fairly innovative combination in video and photo mode.

This camera is equipped with a rotary and touch screen, as well as a digital OLED viewfinder. There is also a flash, an external flash and a Wi-Fi module. There are manual and semi-automatic modes, recording RAW files and creative filters. This best mirrorless camera under $500 is equipped with a 3-inch swivel touch screen that offers a resolution of 1.04 million pixels. 

The screen displays bright and clear images that offer a preview, and the coverage is 100%. There are no complaints and everything works clearly. The biggest advantage of the touch screen is the ability to focus by touching a point on the frame. In addition, the screen gives access to menus and function panels.

7. Panasonic Lumix GX85 Mirrorless Camera Under 500

If the Panasonic Lumix GX85 is an upgrade of any mirrorless cameras under $500, which is currently presented in the catalog of mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lenses of this company, then only the G7 models even though this model is still relevant, and has not been executed also years.

Although the sensor still has a resolution of 16 megapixels in contrast to the new 20.3 megapixel sensor, which is in the GX8 model, it still belongs in the new version of the 4:3 standard sensor, which already comes without a spectrum protection filter.

In this mirrorless cameras under $500, it is used to slightly blur the edges of the image, thereby eliminating a number of unnatural color effects (moiré and color distortion) that usually appear in photographs. However, you sacrifice sharpness. To compensate for this, the new version of the Venus branded image processor, which is included in the GX85 has built-in moiré reduction technology.

This best mirrorless camera under $500 uses hybrid stabilization and a combination of a 5-axis matrix shift (which the company calls BIS, which stands for “body image stabilizer”), and optical stabilization in case a supporting lens is attached (a principle similar to a system Olympus Sync IS). This is definitely a useful option.

Although, unlike how it is implemented in Olympus cameras, Panasonic lenses with optical image stabilization will be able to support this option by updating the firmware. Panasonic announces that its new lightweight carbon fiber electromagnetic shutter mechanism, which replaces springs in electronics attenuates shutter shock by about 10%. In practice, this should mean sharper photos at a slower shutter speed. In this camera, Panasonic introduces a password less connection between the camera and your mobile device.

8. Fujifilm X-M1 Mirrorless Camera Under 500

The first thing that catches your eye when you get acquainted with the Fujifilm X-M1 camera is the lack of an electronic viewfinder, and more compact dimensions, where the body has decreased by about a centimeter in length and height, and the camera has become lighter by 20 grams. But the thickness according to the passport increased by 1 millimeter, and there is an explanation for this.

If in the X-E1 model, the LCD screen was rigidly built-in, then the Fujifilm X-M1 would increase to 3 inches diagonally and become mobile or rather – folding (120 degrees up and 80 – down). Its resolution has doubled compared to the same model (from 460 to 920 thousand points).

The Fujifilm X-M1 like the X-E1 has a 16-megapixel X-Trans CMOS sensor without a low-pass filter. Recall that the arrangement of filters in a traditional matrix is ​​such that their structure is repeated in increments of 2 pixels. In the Fujifilm proprietary matrix, the regularity is increased to 6 pixels, and this allows you to get clearer and more natural pictures, as well as reduces the effect of digital noise on the picture.

The new EXR Processor II processor began to process information taken from the matrix twice as fast as the predecessor EXR Pro. This made it possible to effectively eliminate during software processing the consequences of such an undesirable optical phenomenon in lenses as diffraction (loss of sharpness with a very closed aperture).

We add that the processor does not struggle with this type of distortion at an abstract level, but takes into account the optical properties of each of the branded lenses. This best mirrorless camera under $500 is capable of recording 4k video and Full HD at 30 frames/sec. 

Even in low light conditions, it produces excellent image quality in terms of color rendering and digital noise. If there are contrasting and not too moving objects in the frame, it also copes with focusing.

9. Canon EOS M3 Mirrorless Camera Under 500

The Canon EOS M3 may surprise DSL owners with its size. Even compared to the tiny Canon EOS 100D, the new product is much more compact. And if you think that size is not important, then just try to take the camera with you every day for a week. I think with a DSLR you may not be able to carry it for a long time. 

The functionality of the camera was not affected by miniaturization like its predecessor the Canon EOS M, and the entire line of amateur and semi-professional DSLRs. The Canon EOS M3 has a large APS-C image sensor with a crop factor of 1.6, which allows you to get a photo with a beautifully blurred background, as well as shoot in low light conditions. The resolution of the matrix compared to the cameras of the previous generation increased from 18 to 24 megapixels.

The strength of any of the mirrorless cameras under $500 is the ability to use interchangeable lenses. With the Canon EOS M3, you can shoot both on EF-M lenses specially created for it, and on lenses installed through an adapter from Canon EOS SLR cameras. 

The large touch screen has now become tilted. You can lower it down at an angle of 45 degrees, and turn it upside down by 180 degrees. The image on the screen also flips, which is especially true when shooting a selfie. This camera is generally best suited for simple amateur photography. 

Even if you do not know anything about parameters such as shutter speed and aperture, you can easily shoot in automatic mode with scene recognition technology. The camera itself will determine which plot you are photographing and make the necessary settings. Finally, like all modern innovations, the Canon EOS M has a built-in Wi-Fi module with NFC function, which makes it possible to quickly exchange images between the camera and mobile devices, as well as remotely control the camera using a smartphone or tablet.

10. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II Mirrorless Camera Under 500

The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II promises high performance in a compact format. The electronic heart of this camera is a 1-inch matrix with a resolution of 20 megapixels, which is as popular in the segment of creative cameras as Justin Bieber among teenagers. This is not surprising, since there is an opportunity to get excellent image quality, with a pocket weight of 206 grams.

In addition, there is a 3x zoom that provides flexibility of operation, as well as modern tools such as a WLAN module and a touch display. It sounds good, but somehow it all reminds me too much of the previous model. Connoisseurs of this model range are immediately struck by 2 things. 

First off is Bluetooth, which in addition to WLAN and NFC for wireless data transfer and remote control, the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II gets the opportunity to establish another type of permanent connection with a smartphone or tablet. However, although it greatly facilitates communication with smart devices, it also makes it possible to add GPS information to the EXIF ​​data of a photograph, but it also has a serious negative effect on the battery life.

Other improvements are manifested solely upon closer examination. For example, the speed of work. The current Digic 7 processor allows not only to cut the pause between taking two photos in half but also reduces the power-on time by about one second. Considering the power consumption level of the camera, we recommend that you turn off the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II, and pause with a wait of 1.4 seconds until the device is ready to take the first shot.

In the future, you may be pleased with the pace of burst shooting at 8 frames per second, which even for a sports photoshoot means a good buffer. 38 pictures in JPEG format and 21 pictures in RAW format per series respectively, which is a decent duration for a camera of this class.

Conclusion

Best mirrorless camera under 500

I hope we helped you choose the best mirrorless camera under 500.

Your opinion is very important to us. To make us even better, please answer the question: Is maximum continuous shooting rate important for you when choosing a camera? Is resolution (effective pixels) important to you?

You can leave an answer below. We will also be interested in any of your feedback and suggestions.


DemystifyingDigital Team

High-quality content can only be written by experts in the field. The DemystifyingDigital team consists of just such people. Our specializations range from cameras to smartwatches. We are constantly following the latest developments in technology. Each of us has a desire to grow our knowledge in order to provide only the best information to our readers. The world of gadgets is wide, and to cover the many types of technology we are constantly recruiting professionals to join our team. Thus, we increase our expertise and make our work even better.

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