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Nov 02

Best beginner mirrorless cameras for those on a budget

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Looking for a budget camera and wondering what options are available? Well, here we will talk you through some of the cheapest cameras that pack a punch!

At the height of modern innovation, every hand held device and smartphone is now equipped with a built in camera, so you may ask why a separate gadget is worth buying. It seems that standalone cameras are not the photographic dinosaurs some people think, for they have found a way to evolve alongside their technological rivals and often provide a professional finish that smart cams just can’t obtain. Some, like the polaroid and instant film cameras have had a major revamp and a few models now even sport the ever important, ‘selfie’ functions!


Considerations Choosing Budget Cameras

There are several serious considerations before you buy a camera. As a beginner to photography you’ll want to be sure that you’re spending money on something you actually need. 



How the Lens and certain modes function is extremely important, we understand that getting used to using your camera may take more than a few minutes but you don’t want something that is going to overwhelm you or possibly include settings that you don’t even use but paid for the luxury of having!

Be aware of how and where you intend to use the camera most and then look at specifics that will compliment these requirements.



Not only will you want to ensure that you can connect with other tech, although with most items having built-in wifi it is much less of a concern, but you will need to make sure that any accessories or equipment you intend to use can be connected with your latest purchase.

Make sure that the additional or replacement lenses you choose have been marked as compatible with the model you choose to avoid any disappointment 



Even if you have just started your photography journey you’ll know what the stronger the resolution the better quality image your shot will generate. That doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank for great picture quality but consider what sort of picture you want to take will certainly make your choice easier.


What is a mirrorless camera and how much does one usually cost?

In layman’s terms ‘mirrorless’ obviously means that the camera does not contain a mirror but specifically it refers to a reflex mirror and optical viewfinder, such as you would find in a conventional digital single lens camera.

Instead it cleverly captures imagery using an interchangeable lens and displaying what the electronic viewfinder can see on the digital screen. Other titles for this category of camera are DSLM, (Digital single lens mirrorless), EVIL, (electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens) and MICL, (mirrorless interchangeable lens camera).

Mirrorless cameras have been designed to be more compact and are therefore much easier to slip in a pocket or bag, although we do advise still getting a case for safety if it isn’t already included.

Price tags can vary from $50 – $5,000 depending on the brands, models and functionality of your choice, but don’t worry! We’ve collected and consolidated the best advice to help you pick the perfect camera for you and your photography needs, without upsetting your finances.


Which is the most affordable?

Cheapest on the market is the cute instax mini 9 from Fujifilm, a compact instant film camera from $50 in Walmart instantly pop this to the top of the affordable list but it has limited use. 

For just over $100 there are two amazing options, Canon PowerShot Elph 180 or Nikon Coolpix A300. These are rated very high by beginners, for beginners as they are both easy to use and produce good images, not to mention being great for those on the go. However, these affordable choices are better for social photography as opposed to landscape or environmental photography.

The Powershot Elph 180 has been built with a 20 – megapixel sensor producing high quality shots will be a breeze. You can even check out your pictures on the LCD viewing screen so you won’t have to wait for a black room, or your PC, to see the results. 

Coolpix A300, again with 20 pixels, provides a vivid and detailed picture quality. It also comes in a range of fun colors for a personal touch.


Canon vs Nikon 

Personally, I prefer Nikon for the range of features in such compact equipment, but this is due to me being more familiar with their cameras. 

Having been founded in Japan in 1917, Nikon can boast being one of the longest running companies to have manufacturing cameras and they are major contenders in the digital market now, including their range of mirrorless cameras.

Canon also has a long history dating back to 1937, so it’s hard to argue that they are renowned in the industry and certainly know what they are doing when it comes to creating an amazing camera.

However, as we must pick, for a beginner to photograph Nikon certainly has the more affordable range with quick and simple accessibility to setting options. Canon in contrast, has the more optimum features if you are willing to pay for it as the cheapest camera doesn’t come below $250..


Which is the best?

Strong competitors to both Canon and the Nikon range are popular brands such as Fujifilm, Sony and Olympus – these giants in the market know what they are doing and have amazing track records in the industry. 

With this in mind, it’s not really about who is the best overall but which product is the best for you and your intended use with the camera. Take into consideration, not just what you are willing to spend but why you want the camera to do certain things, such as if you want to be able to resonate a particular essence of the shot as opposed to capturing a broad backdrop.

As a beginner it is advised that you buy simpler versions for under $250, before moving onto more complex models. And perhaps, if you know that you will want to upgrade fairly soon, looking into second hand options would be more suitable. However, in that case you will not get customer care or a warranty included, as you would from a trusted retailer.

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