The Best Budget Cameras 2020

Photography is a great way to capture important moments in time, but it is also an art form that can help you to connect with the world around you in new ways. Photography is so much more than just a quick snap to remember a place or a person - a simple moment can become a masterpiece with the right framing and skill.

Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional photographer in the making, buying a cheap digital camera is the best thing you can do if you want to hone your skills and take your photography to the next level.

We all have phones with cameras these days, but if you really want to take photography seriously, you’ll want to invest in a proper camera. Whether you’re looking for a DSLR, a compact, or an action camera, they all come with features and capabilities that a phone just can’t match. With digital photography, you can 

If you’re looking for the best budget camera for your needs, a lot of UK retailers such as Jessops, Clifton Cameras and Amazon offer great prices - and if you’re ordering from outside the EU, you can avoid paying the 20% VAT usually paid by UK residents by making use of our tax-free warehouse, meaning you can pick up a fantastic deal from anywhere in the world.

Below you’ll find some of our top picks for the best budget cameras you can find for under £500, so keep reading for our recommendations.

Best budget DSLR Cameras

Nikon D3500

The Nikon D3500 is one of the best entry-level DSLR cameras out there, boasting an APS-C CMOS 24.2MP sensor, and a great battery life that allows you to take around 1,550 shots between charges. It offers continuous shooting at 5fps, perfect for capturing action shots,  as well as the ability to shoot movies in 1080p.

Whether you’re shooting in the day or at night, the ISO range of 100–25600 means that you can still capture that perfect shot at any time of day in any light conditions, and the autofocus system is razor-sharp.

With the Nikon F lens mount, you can switch out the standard 18-55 lens that comes as standard as your photography skills develop and you add different lenses to your collection. Saving money by buying a cheaper but still powerful body like the D3500 means you can spend that little bit more on lenses.

Where to buy the Nikon D3500

Prices correct as of 17/06/2020

Sony A68

This Sony camera won’t break the bank, but it’s packed with fantastic features that will take your photography to the next level. From its 79 high-density AF points that make focusing on fast-moving subjects a breeze, even in continuous shooting or movie mode, to the 24.2 MP Exmor CMOS image sensor, this camera produces beautiful clear results.

It features a top display panel, as well as a tiltable LCD screen on the back, making it easy and intuitive to use from any angle. The smart viewfinder means you can plan your shots with more accuracy than ever before.

Sony have replaced the traditional moving mirror with a proprietary translucent mirror, which allows for fast shooting and allows this camera to continuously make use of the fantastic AF system.

Where to buy the Sony A68

Prices correct as of 17/06/2020

Best Budget Compact Cameras 

Canon Powershot G5 X

When it comes to compact cameras, the Canon Powershot G5 X is packed full of features to help you take professional-quality photos, and easily share them. The beauty of a compact camera is its portability, but that doesn’t mean you need to compromise on features.

The Powershot G5 X takes beautifully clear photos in any light, due to its 1.0-type 20.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor and fast DIGIC 6 processor. Its intelligent optical image stabiliser means you can capture clear shots even when shooting in low light or holding the camera by hand.

This small but mighty camera allows you the control depth of field, shoot in RAW, and even try your hand at astrophotography.

Where to buy the Canon Powershot G5 X

Prices correct as of 17/06/2020

Fujifilm XF10

The Fujifilm XF10 is a premium compact camera, packing lots of great features into a small and stylish body. Despite being a small camera, it has a large APS-C size sensor, to help capture great photos in any lighting condition. The 18.5mm F2.8 Fujinon lens offers a wide angle, and excellent detail and sharpness, whether you’re shooting a landscape, or a portrait.

This camera can also shoot video in 4K, and has a "Digital Teleconverter" function which means you can take photos with 35mm and 50mm focal length - perfect for those blurred backgrounds that really pull your subject into focus.

It has bluetooth, meaning you can transfer your photos straight to your smartphone to share them, or edit them with apps such as Lightroom on the go. The camera also has its own built-in filters, allowing you to add a bit of artistic flair right within the camera.

Where to buy the Fujifilm XF10

Prices correct as of 17/06/2020

Best Budget Action Camera

GoPro HERO7 Silver

If you want to be able to capture all the action of your next adventure, the GoPro HERO 7 Silver is a fantastic choice. With impressively crisp 4K video, and a rugged exterior that means you can take it anywhere you go without worrying about breaking it if you drop it or want to film underwater, its the perfect companion for any outdoor pursuit you may wish to capture on film.

This camera is waterproof down to 10m, features voice control for hands free photos and vidoes, and you can even share on social media right from the camera itself. The impressively high framerate means you can relive your most epic moments in 2x slow motion, and you can also capture perfect timelapse videos.

The GoPro HERO 7 Silver is packed full of useful features, such as the ability to post from your phone, add GPS activity stickers and more, making it a great choice for sharing your adventures with friends or the world.

Where to buy the GoPro HERO7 Silver 

Prices correct as of 17/06/2020

Ricoh Theta V 360

If you want to capture the whole scene, there’s no better way to do so than with a 360° camera, and the Ricoh Theta V 360 s a great choice if you’re in the market for one. 

It records both incredibly high resolution still photos, and videos in 4K, and even has the option to livestream 360° video to the world. It is lightweight and easy to use, and there are lots of easy ways to share your images and videos including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. 

Where to buy the Ricoh Theta V 360

Prices correct as of 17/06/2020

Ship outside the EU and save 20% tax when buying from UK Camera retailers

Are you shipping to a country outside the EU? If you are, you can save 20% VAT by signing up with forward2me’s tax-free warehouse.

VAT is a tax paid to the UK government on goods bought by residents of the UK, however, it does not need to be paid by residents of countries outside the EU. This is why we have set up our tax-free warehouse in Guernsey, in order to prevent retailers from charging this tax to non-EU residents unnecessarily.

When buying a digital camera, this 20% saving can be a significant amount, so why not sign up today to start saving? If you need any more information on how the forward2me service works, we’ve explained everything in more detail on our ‘how it works’ page.

Other Buying Guides

We hope you’ve found this buying guide helpful. Why not check out some of our other buying guides below?

Want the full lowdown on how to get the best out of your forward2me account? Read our handy guide, which includes lots of great tips on how to maximise your savings! 

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