Dave's Picks

Budget

Most Popular Budget Cameras

Camera Name Res Lens Avg. Price
Sony Alpha ILCE-A6000 digital camera image Sony Alpha ILCE-A6000 24.3 3.13x $781.50
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Sony Alpha ILCE-A3000 digital camera image Sony Alpha ILCE-A3000 20.1 3.06x $390.99
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Olympus PEN E-PM2 digital camera image Olympus PEN E-PM2 16.1 3.00x $499.99
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Sony Alpha NEX-3N digital camera image Sony Alpha NEX-3N 16.1 3.13x $382.64
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Pentax X-5 digital camera image Pentax X-5 16.0 26.00x $273.37
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Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS digital camera image Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS 10.1 12.00x $188.00
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Editor's Choice Res Lens Avg. Price
image of Canon EOS M digital camera Canon EOS M 18.0 3.10x $379.99
A bargain mirrorless camera for Canon DSLR owners and beginners Thanks to a recent firmware update that improves its autofocusing speed, the 18-megapixel, APS-C-sensored Canon EOS M is a much better mirrorless camera now than it was when announced a year ago. Today, it's also much cheaper and stands as a relative bargain to its close cousins, the Rebel T4i and T5i DSLRs, delivering similar (good!) image quality in a much more compact package. The EOS M also possesses some serious video skills, including the ability to record Full HD (1080p) movies and to change aperture, shutter speed and more while filming in manual mode. Though it has its flaws, the camera could be a good investment for Canon DSLR owners wanting a smaller second body -- and who can mount their existing lenses using an accessory adapter -- as well as for beginners wanting to step up from a point-and-shoot. Read our in-depth Canon EOS M review to find out if this mirrorless model is right for you! (minimize)

image of Olympus PEN E-PM2 digital camera Olympus PEN E-PM2 16.1 3.00x $499.99
Surprisingly sophisticated step up from point-and-shoot cameras Like its big brother -- the PEN E-PL5 -- the Olympus E-PM2 captures stunning, detailed images, thanks to the 16-megapixel sensor it borrows from the top-rated Olympus E-M5. However, the E-PM2 is smaller, lighter and less expensive than the E-PL5, and it relies primarily on touchscreen controls that make it an ideal option for photographers transitioning from point-and-shoots into a compact, interchangeable-lens camera system. The lack of a physical Mode dial and dedicated settings buttons may be a turn off to some enthusiasts, however, the PEN E-PM2 still offers an impressive variety of advanced photographic capabilities that surpasses what some higher-end DSLRs and CSCs can offer. Though a little lacking in action AF and video recording performance, the Olympus E-PM2 mainly overcomes its limitations by delivering fantastic image quality at such an affordable price. Read our in-depth Olympus E-PM2 review for more details, or buy one here. (minimize)

image of Pentax X-5 digital camera Pentax X-5 16.0 26.00x $206.95
Entry-level, versatile superzoom makes taking pictures fun and easy Boasting a 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and a 26x optical zoom lens, the Pentax X-5 offers family, travel and beginning photographers a serious-looking, but ultimately easy-to-use camera that can capture good photos at a long distance. The camera features a ton of preset modes and automated functions that make picture taking fun and simple. And the X-5's 22-580mm equivalent range can bring the action up nice and close. Though it may look and feel like a DSLR, the X-5 is clearly not geared for enthusiasts wanting advanced photographic capabilities or DSLR-like image quality. While the X-5 delivers crisp, detailed images in good light -- most likely where casual photographers would use it most -- it doesn't fare as well at higher ISOs and when shooting in dim or overcast conditions. It's also a slow camera to operate, especially for candid work. Still, at its price point and with its point-and-shoot lineage, the Pentax X-5 does a lot of things right, and ranks as one of the best entry-level superzoom models we've tested. Click here for our full Pentax X-5 review or go buy one now. (minimize)

Other Top Choices Res Lens Avg. Price
image of Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS digital camera Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS 10.1 12.00x $188.00
The long-zoom "everywhere" camera just got smaller
Iconic and capable at the same time, the PowerShot 520 HS represents quite an evolution in Canon's classic ELPH design. Duplicating the same diminutive shape and size as its spiritual predecessors, the Canon 520 offers a 12x zoom ranging from 28-336mm with optical image stabilization. Its 3-inch LCD has a higher resolution of 461K-dots, and its simple control set and intelligent exposure modes make getting good stills and videos easy. Click here for our review of the Canon 520 HS! (minimize)

image of Sony Alpha ILCE-A3000 digital camera Sony Alpha ILCE-A3000 20.1 3.06x $390.99
The staggeringly-affordable Sony A3000 takes the interchangeable-lens camera back to basics, with only the features you really need
Some cameras are all about cramming in features; the Sony A3000 doesn't play that game. It's been pared down to the basics -- you get precisely what you need, and little more. But while rivals in its pricetag skimp on the basics with plastic lens mounts and years-old designs, Sony plays its own game, making an affordable camera that you'd actually want to own. But that's not to say that there are no compromises in the A3000. Read our in-depth Sony A3000 review, and find out whether Sony's hit the perfect balance between features and cost! (minimize)

image of Sony Alpha ILCE-A6000 digital camera Sony Alpha ILCE-A6000 24.3 3.13x $781.50
The Sony A6000 is affordable, fast, and takes really great pictures. Could this be the ultimate all-rounder camera?
Not only does this high-res speed demon cram in plenty of desirable features, the Sony A6000 also shaves a couple of hundred dollars off its predecessor's price. That's the recipe for greatness, so it's no surprise this has been one of our most popular reviews in recent memory -- and now, it's finished! So what was our final verdict on this affordable, swift-shooting camera, and is it time you bought one for yourself? Read our in-depth Sony A6000 review, and see what we thought! (minimize)

image of Sony Alpha NEX-3N digital camera Sony Alpha NEX-3N 16.1 3.13x $382.64
Easy-to-use compact system camera gives beginners a terrific bang for their buck, and great images to boot
For photographers looking to step-up from a point-and-shoot to an interchangeable lens system camera, the Sony NEX-3N does it as seamlessly as any entry-level model we've ever tested. It employs a simple but effective user interface, and even places a zoom lever right on the camera body. What's more, the NEX-3N takes great photos that rival those from higher-end mirrorless cameras, and even some DSLRs, thanks to its relatively large APS-C-sized sensor. While experienced photographers may focus on the camera's limitations, and might only consider it as a compact backup, beginning shooters will love how easy the NEX-3N is to use, how fun and fast it is to shoot with, and how much bang for the buck it delivers. Read our in-depth Sony NEX-3N review for more details or go buy one now! (minimize)

 
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