Best Cameras under 800 dollars

So you are looking for the best bang for your buck with a maximum of 800 dollars? Don’t spend days and weeks researching, here all the work has been done for you! Here you will learn what factors to consider to choose the camera that is best adapted to your needs, and you will be able to check out what I consider to be the 7 best cameras under 800 dollars you can find today.

You have the choice between DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and even a great little point & shoot camera. My top pick is a DSLR, but you are more than welcome to explore these other options. It’s true that I have been a DSLR guy for quite some time now, but my girlfriend has an Olympus mirrorless camera and I must admit that I am quite impressed by its performance too. I feel it’s too bad to have this relatively large budget and only get a point & shoot, but if it’s what you need, go for it!

Without further ado, let’s now see what are the best cameras under 800 dollars for 2018!

 

The 7 Best Cameras Under 800 Dollars for 2018

Pentax K-70 DSLR CameraOur Top Pick

The Pentax K-70 is really close to what could be an ideal camera. Its weather-sealed body is a really great asset when traveling in harsh environments. My poor DSLR that is not weather-sealed really struggles with the humidity of the jungle, for example. If you are into travel / landscape / wildlife photography, it is not a feature to overlook!

The “kit lens” is a very versatile 18-135 mm which is a true improvement compared with the 18-55 mm often included with Canon DSLRs for example.

Image quality is great with a 24 MP resolution, and pictures are very sharp with the help of the built-in Shake Reduction system. Low light performance is also excellent, with a stratospheric 102,400 maximum ISO sensibility.

The connectivity options are a little limited; only Wi-Fi is available and limited in functionality.

Battery life could be better but the batteries charge fast.

The screen rotates in all directions and is able to display red light to preserve night vision, with is great if you are doing astrophotography.

As for video, the Pentax K-70 captures full HD footage, but is also able to shoot 4K images with an intervalometer function, in order to create 4K time lapses.

This camera offers tremendous value for $800, it is definitely my top pick.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: DSLR (APS-C)
  • Dimensions: 4.9 x 2.9 x 3.7 in / 12.4 x 7.4 x 9.4 cm
  • Weight: 2 lbs / 907 g
  • Resolution: 24.2 MP
  • ISO: 100-102,400
  • Video: Full HD & 4K time lapse

Pros

  • Weather-sealed
  • Good image quality
  • Versatile kit lens
  • Amazing ISO performance
  • Articulated screen with night vision mode
  • 4K time lapses
  • Shake Reduction system
  • Fantastic value for money

Cons

  • No true 4K video
  • Connectivity is limited
  • Battery life is not impressive

Nikon D5300 Digital SLR Camera

The Nikon D5300 is a great DSLR camera for beginners.  With its 24 megapixel sensor and the EXPEED 4 Image Processor, images look beautiful – and that’s also an effect of the high quality Nikkor lenses that equip this camera.

I really recommend getting either the 18-140 mm lens or the 18-55 m + 55-300 m lens bundle for maximum versatility.

Most features you can expect from a modern camera are present, such as a rotatable screen, built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, a good autofocus system with 39 points. Low light performance is also good, and the ISO sensibility is satisfying, up to 25600 in expanded mode.

Video is also fine in Full HD, but no 4K. Continuous shooting up to 5 frames per second is possible, but the autofocus can sometimes struggle.

Generally, it’s a very good entry-level DSLR that is able to take stunning images and very good value for money.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: DSLR (APS-C)
  • Dimensions: 2.99 x 4.92 x 3.86 in / 7.6 x 12.5 x 9.8 cm
  • Weight: 1.06 lbs / 480 g
  • Resolution: 24.2 MP
  • ISO: 100-25600
  • Video: 1080p Full HD

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Good image quality
  • Good ISO sensibility
  • Wi-Fi & GPS
  • Articulated large 3.2” screen
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • The Autofocus can sometimes struggle in challenging conditions
  • The GPS can sometimes be difficult to connect
  • No 4K video

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR Camera

The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 / EOS 200D is probably the best entry-level DSLR you can buy that costs less than 700 dollars.  High performance is on the menu with the recent, high speed DIGIC 7 image processor, and will allow you to shoot beautiful images with a 24 MP resolution.

Connectivity is also good with built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth. It doesn’t have a built-in GPS but the pictures can get geotagged from your smartphone’s GPS once it is connected to the camera.

Another very nice feature is a rotatable touch screen, making it a breeze to navigate the menus and take pictures.

The autofocus system is not the most incredible out there with only 9 points, but it is enough for most uses. The continuous shooting mode performs well with 5 frames per second, enabling you to perfectly capture fast-moving scenes.

Overall, the Rebel SL2 is a really great opportunity to get into DSLR photography with solid performance and affordable price. Without the Pentax K-70, it would be my top pick.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: DSLR (APS-C)
  • Dimensions: 8 x 2.7 x 3.6 in / 12.2 x 6.9 x 9.1 cm
  • Weight: 1lb / 454 g
  • Resolution: 24.2 MP
  • ISO: 100-51200
  • Video: 1080p 60p Full HD

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Beautiful image quality
  • Good image processor
  • Articulated touch screen
  • Good connectivity
  • Continuous shooting up to 5 fps
  • Very good ISO performance
  • Port for external microphone
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Only 9 autofocus points
  • No 4K video
  • No built-in GPS (but tagging via smartphone is possible)

Olympus E-PL7 16MP Mirrorless Digital Camera

Olympus has been doing a great job with mirrorless cameras lately and the E-PL7 is yet another proof of this. The big advantage of this camera is, like most mirrorless cameras, its portability. It’s a great camera for travel.

It offers great performance with its high quality TruPic VII image processor, resulting in good speed and good image quality. The 16 MP image resolution is smaller than many other cameras in this price range, but enough for most uses.

Continuous shooting coupled with a good autofocus system is also quite impressive with 8 frames per second, perfect for fast-moving objects.

Mirrorless camera lenses are interchangeable just like DSLR lenses, and the Olympus E-PL7 is compatible with no less than 15 different lenses.

If you are looking for an option that is both compact and high quality, that’s a winner!

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: Mirrorless Camera
  • Dimensions: 5 x 4.53 x 2.64 in / 3.1 x 11.5 x 6.7 cm
  • Weight: 0.79 lb / 358 g
  • Resolution: 16 MP
  • ISO: 100-25600
  • Video: 1080p Full HD

Pros

  • Very lightweight & compact
  • Good image quality
  • Great 81-point autofocus & image processor
  • Wi-Fi & image share app
  • 3-axis image stabilization
  • 180° articulated touch screen
  • Good range of compatible lenses

Cons

  • Only 16 MP
  • No 4K video
  • No built-in flash

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III Mirrorless Digital Camera

The Olympus OM-D line is an acclaimed series of mirrorless cameras, and the E-M10 Mark III is following the trend.

The TruPic VIII processor offers the best speed and image quality, even if the image resolution is “only” 16 megapixels. An advanced 5-axis image stabilization is built in the camera, and ensures sharp images even in challenging light situations.

High performance video capability catches the attention with Ultra HD 4K capture.

The E-M10 Mark III features a good articulated touch screen that can be used to focus your pictures – fun and intuitive.

Various photo modes and creative filters are at your disposal to get pretty pictures without much hassle, but advanced modes are also present if you prefer to play with camera settings.

This is a cool little bundle including the camera, a 14-42 mm lens, a 16GB SD Card and an Olympus camera bag. If you are looking for a high quality, highly portable mirrorless camera with the best value for money, I think you’ve found it.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: Mirrorless Camera
  • Dimensions: 8 x 2.9 x 3.3 in/ 12.2 x 7.4 x 8.4 cm
  • Weight: 1 lb / 454 g
  • Resolution: 16 MP
  • ISO: 100-25600
  • Video: UHD 4K

Pros

  • Lightweight & compact
  • Good image quality
  • UHD 4K video
  • Built-in flash
  • Wi-Fi & image share app
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • Articulated touch screen
  • Good range of compatible lenses
  • Comes with a memory card and a camera bag

Cons

  • Only 16 MP
  • The image quality suffers above ISO 1600

Panasonic Lumix G7 Mirrorless Camera

The Panasonic Lumix G7 is another great option when it comes to mirrorless cameras under $800.

Videographers love its remarkable video performances, with beautiful 4K capture, as well as the 4K burst feature with 30 images per second, to not miss that perfect shot.

The build quality is good without being exceptional, and the image quality is very satisfying even if only 16 megapixels in resolution. The camera also features an advanced autofocus technology that can keep in focus fast-moving subjects, for both photo and video.

The rotatable touch screen is a nice touch, and the electronic viewfinder really brings a lot of comfort when it’s difficult to see what’s on the screen in full sun.

Overall this is a good little camera that is great for travel and vlogging.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: Mirrorless Camera
  • Dimensions: 3.03 x 4.92 x 3.39 in / 7.7 x 12.5 x 8.6 cm
  • Weight: 0.9 lb / 408 g
  • Resolution: 16 MP
  • ISO: 100-25600
  • Video: UHD 4K

Pros

  • Lightweight & compact
  • Good image quality
  • UHD 4K video
  • 4K photo burst
  • Good ISO range
  • Autofocus with DFD Technology
  • Wi-Fi & phone app
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • Articulated touch screen

Cons

  • Only 16 MP
  • No built-in image stabilization

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II Digital Camera

If you don’t feel like getting a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, here is a good quality Point & Shoot camera that gives outstanding results.

Its compact size and might weight are obvious advantages, so are its 20 MP resolution and the recent DIGIC 7 Image Processor that give excellent image quality, even in low light.

This camera doesn’t function with interchangeable lenses, but it comes with a very bright lens opening up to f/1.4 in wide angle and f/2.8 fully zoomed – This is a very big asset in low light to reduce shutter speed and get sharp hand-held images. The ISO range is very good as well, expandable to 25600. The only real limitation of this lens is the optical zoom, only 4.2x.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t shoot 4K but Full HD video at 60 fps which is already pretty good.

Wi-Fi and NFC can connect your camera to your phone, with a dedicated app.  As for the screen, it is a convenient touch screen that can tilt 180° up and 45° down.

Ideal for travel, the PowerShot G7 Mark II is a solid option if your preference goes to such compact point and shoot cameras.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: Point & Shoot Camera
  • Dimensions: 4 x 1.65 x 4.15 in / 6.1 x 4.2 x 10.5 cm
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs / 635 g
  • Resolution: 20 MP
  • ISO: 100-25600
  • Video: 1080p Full HD at 60fps

Pros

  • Lightweight & compact
  • Good image quality
  • Very bright lens
  • Good ISO range
  • Wi-Fi & phone app
  • Tilt touch screen

Cons

  • No 4K video
  • Small zoom

Frequently Asked Questions

What Factors Should I Consider to Choose my Camera?

The 7 cameras presented on this page are quite different, and are not aimed at the same market segments. Before choosing a specific camera, it would be good to know if you would prefer a DSLR, a Mirrorless Camera or a Point & Shoot Camera. If you are still clueless about this point, don’t worry! You can read more information about these different types of cameras below.

As far as the camera features and specifications are concerned, here are some factors to take in consideration to make your choice:

Image quality: For this price range, you shouldn’t worry too much about it – All cameras on this page offer a great image quality and a good resolution. The image processors are generally of a good quality and recent, for good speed and image quality performance, even in low light.

Video quality: This criterion really depends on what you will use the camera for. To make it simple, there is the club of cameras still doing only Full HD video, and the club of those doing Ultra HD 4K video. If you are a vlogger or intend to use the video function a lot, maybe having 4K video resolution should be a priority for you.

That said, for most uses, Full HD is already very good, and bear in mind that 4K video uses up a lot of space on your memory card and a lot of juice in your batteries. If 4K is not crucial for you, then Full HD might just be enough.

Low light performance: This has always caused a lot of frustration for beginner photographers. When it’s getting dark, they point their camera at something, press the shutter button: it’s blurred. This happens because all other settings being equal, the camera needs more exposure time to shoot in a darker environment than it does in a brighter environment. It needs more time to gather all the light it needs to give you a properly exposed image. But during that time, the camera moves and vibrates in your hands, causing all the blur.

A great thing about DSLRs and mirrorless cameras is that you can always buy brighter lenses down the road if you need; but for point & shoot cameras the lens needs to be bright enough because you can’t change it! What I call a bright lens is a lens that can be open really wide, to let a lot of light in. This way, the camera needs much less exposure time to gather the necessary light.

How much the lens can open is indicated by an f number, the smaller the number the wider the aperture. An aperture of f/1.4, f/1.8 or f/2.8 for example, is very good.

Another aspect of the low light performance is the available ISO range. When you have open your lens as much as you can and it’s still not enough, what you can do is increase the ISO. Many cameras offer sky-high ISO sensibilities but the issue with ISO is that it creates a lot of noise and degrades the image. It’s important to get a camera that does a good job at noise management. Recent image processors usually have decent results.

Wireless connectivity: Nowadays, most cameras come with advanced connectivity via Wi-Fi, NFC or Bluetooth. It’s not something I personally use much, but if you do then you should check that the camera has the proper connections you need. One thing i do enjoy a lot though, is the possibility to geotag my images by GPS. Some cameras have a built-in GPS and some don’t, some can connect to your phone and use your phone’s GPS data.

Weather sealing: Still rare at this price range, weather sealing can be a big decision factor if you plan to shoot pictures in harsh environments. You probably noticed that my top pick is the only weather-sealed camera on this page. I have experienced many times cameras acting crazy because of humidity or buttons blocked by grains of sand… even if you take care of your camera it does happen and it’s not great.

DSLR, Mirrorless Cameras, Point & Shoot: What’s The Difference and Which One Should I choose?

It’s clearly not the same experience and the same commitment to get a DSLR versus a simple Point & Shoot camera. There are major differences between them, and are adapted to different photographer profiles. Let’s take a closer look at them:

DSLRs are the highest level of available cameras. They are the biggest and heaviest too, but usually give the best image quality. They work with interchangeable lenses, and there is a huge amount of lenses available, and that’s clearly a strong advantage (even if it also means more $$ to spend in future of course). If you want the best performance and the best versatility no matter how big your camera is, you can go for a DSLR.

Point & Shoot cameras in this price range offer a very satisfying image quality, but I really doubt it can truly match a DSLR’s image. The lens is built in the camera and can’t be change. The limitations of the lens are the definitive limitations of your camera. The only poin and shoot camera on this page has a good quality, very bright lens – but the zoom is really not impressive. And it can’t be improved since you can’t change the lens…

That said, many people buy this kind of point and shoot cameras and are very pleased with them. If you are looking for the most compact and lightweight camera with good overall quality, this type of camera can be for you.

Mirrorless cameras combine the portability of point & shoot cameras, and the advanced settings and performance of DSLRs. They are called mirrorless because… well, they have no mirror. In a DSLR, a mirror is used to project the image captured by the lens into the optical viewfinder. In mirrorless cameras, there is no mirror and most of the time the screen is used to frame the picthures. When a viewfinder is present, it’s an electronic viewfinder.

Just like DSLRs, they work with interchangeable lenses. Mirrorless cameras are getting really good, and many models have a really beautiful image quality. I believe that generally, DSLRs still have the edge but mirrorless cameras are catching up. If you want a good compromise between a compact and lightweight camera for travel but still wish to have access to more advanced features and change lenses as you like, a mirrorless camera can be your best option.

This is very subjective but if you still don’t know what to think and want my personal opinion, I prefer DSLRs even if they are heavier. I like to hold this big solid camera in my hands, and I like the wider range of available lenses.

Why Don’t You Display Prices on This Page?

At the time of writing this page, all cameras listed here cost 800 dollars of less.

I don’t like publishing clear and definitive prices because prices can vary at any moment. It depends on options you choose, it depends on promotions run by the merchants… So instead of risking to display false information, I prefer to provide a link for you to quickly check the price of the camera that catches your fancy.

How Did You Choose Your Top Pick?

My top pick simply is the camera that I consider to provide the best quality, best features and best experience, for a fair price. It is just an indication of my personal opinion, and it’s the reason why I am showing 7 cameras for your consideration instead of just that top pick.

Final Thoughts

For a maximum budget of 800 dollars, you have access to really good cameras. In this price range, you mostly find upper entry-level DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, both advanced and reliable enough to really enjoy the art of photography.

I really hope this guide was valuable to you, and helped you find the best camera under 800 dollars you were looking for.

Disclosure: Exploration Junkie is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

If you purchase an item on Amazon through the affiliate links in this page, this website will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps us keeping this site ad-free, and it helps you say thank you if our content is useful to you 🙂


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