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7 Best Budget Cameras You Can Buy in 2022 (Top Picks!)

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Finding the best budget camera is a challenge. The best cheap cameras all have unique strengths and weaknesses. But which one is right for you? That depends! There is no best affordable camera for everyone.

But you’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled a list of the top seven good but cheap cameras—DSLR, compact, and mirrorless cameras. Keep reading to find the best inexpensive camera for you!

Spain landscape shot on Sony Alpha A6000
Shot on the Sony Alpha a6000 in Spain. © Sampson De Nike

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What Are the Best Cheap Cameras to Buy?

Let’s dive in and discover which is the best low-budget camera? We’ll see how they compare, how they differ, and more!

7. Canon EOS Rebel T7

The Canon’s Rebel T7 is an excellent choice for people who like the look and feel of classic cameras. It’s the perfect budget DSLR for beginners.

Product photo of Canon EOS Rebel T7, one of the best budget cameras

  • Award: Best Cheap DSLR Camera
  • Camera Type: DSLR
  • Megapixels: 24.1MP
  • Sensor TypeAPS-C
  • Sensor Size: 22.3×14.9mm
  • Frame Rate: 3fps
  • Autofocus (AF) Points: 9
  • Video: 1080p/30p
  • Battery Life: 600 shots

Sensor and Image Quality

The Canon EOS Rebel T7 features a 24.1MP APS-C CMOS Sensor. It’s an upgraded sensor with the highest image resolution in Canon’s Rebel lineup of entry-level DSLR cameras. The previous model, the Canon Rebel EOS T6, only has 18MP.

The new sensor, paired with a DIGIC 4+ image processor, delivers good images with a max resolution of 6000x4000px. Regardless of shooting JPEGs or RAW files, you can expect edge-to-edge sharpness with little to no distortion. Additionally, the Rebel T7 boasts the beloved rich and vivid colors found in all Canon cameras.

With no built-in image stabilization and a max ISO of 6400, one area it’s not great is shooting in low-light conditions, like sunsets. You can only expect grain-free, low-light images up to ISO 1600. Higher than that, unwanted noise may start to appear in your photos.

Furthermore, the Canon Rebel T7 has a high dynamic range of just over nine. It’s good but not great and gives you some wiggle room when editing RAW images. But overall, this camera is better for photographers who shoot JPEGs.

Focusing and Burst Mode

Autofocus may be the biggest drawback of the Canon EOS Rebel T7. Whereas most new budget cameras have over 100 AF points, it only has nine. Since most people shoot exclusively in autofocus, Canon’s decision not to upgrade the AF system is a real head-scratcher.

It takes approximately 0.1 seconds to find focus with direct sunlight. But that falls to 0.6 seconds if there is less light. While these numbers are slower than average, they are fine if you plan to shoot portraits or non-moving subjects.

What’s even stranger is the lack of autofocus capabilities when recording video. Autofocus can usually set focus before filming, but with the Rebel T7, you must make all focus adjustments manually once rolling.

On a positive note, subject tracking is available in AI Servo mode (Canon’s continuous AF). So is continuous shooting. The three-frame-per-second burst mode is by no means lightning-fast. But it gets the job done for slower-moving subjects.

Video Features

The Canon Rebel T7 can’t capture 4K footage but has three distinct video formats—1080p Full HD, 720p HD, and 480p SD. The 1080p Full HD video can be shot at 24fps or 30fps, while you can shoot 720p video at 60fps. A good option for creating a slow-motion video is shooting at 60fps and slowing it down in post-production.

Shooting handheld movies is strongly discouraged because there is no in-body image stabilization (IBIS). Unless there is no other option, you will always want to use a tripod or gimbal. They help remove camera shake and generate much smoother movies.

One cool video feature is the Video Snapshot mode. It captures short video clips of up to eight seconds, and the camera automatically merges them to create a highlight video. Another extraordinary trait—you can edit your movies directly on the camera in playback mode. You can’t do everything, but basic adjustments like trimming are possible.

Body and Handling

The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is incredibly light and compact for a DSLR camera. It weighs only 475g (battery included) and measures 129x101x78mm. Its portability is without a doubt one of its most attractive features.

The body is built from plastic and has a textured rubber grip for extra comfort and control. Even though it’s plastic, it feels well made and is reasonably durable. There is no weather-sealing, though. You would have to keep it away from rain and dust.

Handling is a strong point of this camera. The layout of the buttons and dials is straightforward and perfect for beginners. You can quickly change the most-used settings by pressing a button or going to the Q menu. And if you do need to enter the main menu, they are color-coded and easy to navigate.

Lastly, it uses the standard Canon EF lens mount. You have access to some of the best and most popular budget lenses ever made!

6. Sony Alpha a6000

First released in 2014, the Alpha a600 is Sony’s longest-running camera and the most sold mirrorless camera ever. It’s a great first camera to learn on.

product photo of Sony Alpha A6000, one of the best budget cameras

  • Award: Best Cheap Camera for Beginners
  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Megapixels: 24.3MP
  • Sensor Type: APS-C
  • Sensor Size: 23.5×15.6mm
  • Frame Rate: 11fps
  • Autofocus (AF) Points: 179
  • Video: 1080p/60p
  • Battery Life: 325 shots

Sensor and Image Quality

The Sony Alpha a6000 has a 24.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor. It’s the same sensor found in the older Sony Alpha a5100 and the newer, more advanced Sony Alpha a6500. In addition, it houses a speedy BIONZ X image processor.

With 24.3MP, the pixel count is identical to professional cameras like the Sony Alpha a7 III. The max resolution is 6000x4000px, and the excellent image quality is quite impressive for such a small and cheap camera.

One common complaint is the image colors. Sony colors, in general, tend to be flatter and more muted than other camera brands. One quick fix I discovered shooting with my a6000 is shooting JPEGs with the creative style setting switched to “Vivid.” Alternatively, you can edit your photos with software like Adobe Lightroom.

Two features the camera excels in are ISO performance and dynamic range. There are three high ISO noise reduction settings, and I consistently get noise-free test images up to ISO 3200. Lastly, it has a generous 12 stops of dynamic range.

Focusing and Burst Mode

Sony mirrorless cameras are generally considered the kings of autofocus. It’s one of the strong points of the Sony a6000. It uses a hybrid AF system featuring 179 phase-detection points and 25 contrast-detection points.

There are three main autofocus modes—Single-AF, Continuous-AF, and Auto-AF. Moreover, there are lock-on and face-detection modes. Both have little trouble recognizing subjects and tracking them even when they are on the move.

The a6000 also excels with its continuous shooting speed. It has three distinct burst speeds—2.5, 6, and 11fps. The latter is one of the best numbers on an entry-level camera. It makes it a good option for action and sports photography.

Video Features

While it can’t shoot in 4K, the video capabilities of the Sony a6000 are still impressive. It boasts 1080p Full HD video at 24, 30, and 60fps. Additionally, you have complete control of the footage, thanks to its long list of video features.

One of the best features—you can adjust exposure settings during filming. That means you can change the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO even when the camera is rolling. While I don’t suggest doing this if you are a beginner, it is a big plus once you have more experience.

Manual focus and autofocus both work during video recording. Continuous AF does a surprisingly good job maintaining focus for moving subjects. It does exceptionally well when lock-on AF is activated.

The two most significant weaknesses regarding video are the lack of in-body image stabilization and audio. There is no microphone port. And the in-camera microphone isn’t exceptionally sensitive.

Body and Handling

The first thing you notice about the camera body of the a6000 is how compact it is. It is literally pocket-sized. It measures 120x67x45mm and weighs 344g (battery included).

It may feel awkward for people when switching over from DSLRs or for people with larger hands at first. But you may grow to love how small it is after a while. I know I did. It’s a perfect everyday camera to carry wherever you go.

There is one control dial on the camera’s top and a four-way dial on the back. In addition, there are seven customizable buttons to help increase individual workflow. While the primary menus can be overwhelming, the customizable function (Fn) menu is excellent to store your most-used settings.

Lastly, it uses the Sony E-Mount lens system. When the a6000 first came out, there weren’t many lens options. But Sony has done a fantastic job building up the lineup in the last few years.

5. Panasonic Lumix ZS100

The Lumix ZS100 is the best budget point-and-shoot camera on the market. It’s ideal for travelers, hikers, and anyone who wants an ultra-lightweight camera.

product photo of Panasonic Lumix ZS100, one of the best budget cameras

  • Award: Best Budget Camera for Traveling
  • Camera Type: Compact
  • Megapixels: 20MP
  • Sensor Type: 1″ CMOS
  • Sensor Size: 13.2×8.8mm
  • Frame Rate: 10fps
  • Autofocus (AF) Points: 49
  • Video: 4K/30p
  • Battery Life: 260 shots

Sensor and Image Quality

The Panasonic Lumix ZS100 is a compact, superzoom camera featuring a 20MP, one-inch BSI CMOS sensor. The sensor is four times bigger than most competing travel zoom cameras! But Panasonic managed to fit it inside the same tiny body.

It has a maximum image resolution of 5472x3648px and four different image ratio options (1:1, 4:3, 3:2, and 16:9). Furthermore, it couples the powerful sensor with Panasonic’s famous Venus Engine image processor. The pair works hand in hand to produce colorful and attractive photos.

Even more impressive, the large sensor helps eliminate noise. It blows the competition out of the water for low-light performance. The ISO range is 125-12800 and is noise-free up to ISO 3200.

An exciting new feature is the Post Focus mode. It records a short video clip and allows you to play it back and save 8MP still images. It won’t capture award-winning photos. But it’s helpful in some situations, like shooting macro shots.

Focusing and Burst Mode

The Panasonic Lumix ZS100 carries over the same stellar Depth from Defocus (DFD) autofocus system as the Panasonic FZ1000. It has 49 focus points and uses the DFD technology to constantly scan what’s in the frame and eliminate lag and focus hunting.

Autofocus single, continuous autofocus, and manual focus modes are all available. When shooting in Continuous-AF, face-detection, and eye-detection can also be activated. I find this particularly handy when photographing portraits.

Bursts can be shot at up to 10fps while using Single-AF. When using Continuous-AF or the live view (both of which I highly recommend), that number falls to 6fps. If you don’t mind ditching some resolution, it can shoot 5MP stills at 40fps using the electronic shutter.

I want to highlight one other cool feature—you can use the touchpad to control focus. When looking through the built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF), you can tap or drag your thumb on the rear screen to select a focus point.

Video Features

Hybrid shooters will be blown away by the video potential of the Panasonic Lumix ZS100. With 4K Ultra HD at 30fps and 1080p Full HD at up to 60fps, it’s arguably the best budget compact camera for video on the planet!

You can capture video in any shooting mode. But you have limited controls unless you are in the Movie mode. Some features only available in Movie mode are precision exposure adjustments, high-speed video, and Snap Movie Mode.

Snap Movie mode films two- to eight-second clips that you can add together in the camera to create longer videos. You can also apply specific effects to the clips, like fading in or out and pulling focus.

Moreover, five-axis optical image stabilization is available when filming. It reduces unwanted camera shake and creates smoother videos. The only thing missing from making this the perfect point-and-shoot camera for vloggers and YouTubers is an articulating screen.

Body and Handling

As a compact zoom camera, the Panasonic Lumix ZS100 is the smallest and lightest camera on this list. It weighs 312g (battery included), and its dimensions are 111x65x44 mm. And since it isn’t an interchangeable lens camera, you don’t have to worry about lugging around additional heavy lenses.

The built-in lens has a super-versatile equivalent focal length of 25-250mm. That’s an optical zoom of 10x. Also, it has a maximum aperture of f/2.8-5.9. Portrait and street photographers will love the beautiful bokeh effect created by shooting with a shallow depth of field.

A few noteworthy features that improve its ergonomics are a three-inch LCD touchscreen, a dedicated Movie-mode button, and solid battery life. On the downside, the camera’s biggest letdown is the built-in electronic viewfinder. It’s small, somewhat awkward to look through, and has a resolution of only 1.17 million pixels.

4. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

The Olympus OM-D is a beautiful and compact mirrorless camera with a retro look. It’s an excellent first camera for those looking to upgrade from smartphone photography.

product photo of Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV, one of the best budget cameras

  • Award: Best Budget Camera for Night Photography
  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Megapixels: 20MP
  • Sensor TypeMicro Four Thirds
  • Sensor Size: 17.4×13 mm
  • Frame Rate: 15fps
  • Autofocus (AF) Points: 121
  • Video: 4K/30p
  • Battery Life: 360 shots

Sensor and Image Quality

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV has a new 20MP Micro Four Thirds sensor at its core. Micro Four Thirds (MFT) sensors are slightly smaller than APS-C sensors, measuring 17.4x13mm. They are the go-to choice of Olympus and Panasonic crop sensor cameras.

Another essential thing to keep in mind about MFT sensors is that they apply a 2x crop factor to images. For example, shooting on the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV with the 14-42mm kit lens has an equivalent focal length of 28-84mm.

While its RAW files retain more detail, JPEG resolution is equally impressive. I recommend sticking with the smaller JPEG files for personal use and social media.

Since the sensor is small, you might expect poor low-light performance. But low-light shooting is a strength due to five-axis stabilization that adds 4.5 stops of exposure. On top of that, it has a dynamic range of 12.5 with a TruePic VIII image processor.

Focusing and Burst

The E-M10 Mark IV uses 121 point contrast-detection autofocus. It’s an outdated system slower than hybrid phase-detection autofocus. While it works well for static and slow-moving subjects, it’s not great for sports or action photography.

There was a big issue with the previous model, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III. It would lock focus onto the wrong subject or the background in continuous AF. Luckily, the engineers at Olympus updated the AF algorithm, significantly reducing this problem.

Face and eye-detection AF have also improved. It now recognizes faces such as profiles looking away from the camera. If there is a crowded background, it still struggles to consistently lock on and track subjects.

At first, the max frame rate of 15fps sounds stellar. But the numbers aren’t great upon closer examination. As soon as autofocus is activated, the speed tumbles down to a below-average 5fps.

Video Features

With high-quality 4K/30p video and built-in stabilization, the E-M10 Mark IV is a terrific little video camera. The colors look natural and bright. Plus, the footage is usable straight from the camera.

Also, shooting handheld videos is possible thanks to in-body image stabilization. The results are even smoother when paired with a stabilized lens like the Panasonic 42.5mm f/1.7 prime lens.

Another premium video feature is recording slow-motion movies directly in the camera. The mode uses 720p/120p video settings and plays it back at 30fps. That gives it a playback speed 4x slower than real life.

Additionally, it features a tilting screen which is excellent for vloggers. My biggest complaint is the lack of microphone and headphone jacks.

Body and Handling

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV manages to be both stylish and user-friendly simultaneously. It measures 122x84x49mm, weighs 383g (battery included), and has an attractive silver and black retro design.

The first things that jump out are the two control dials on top of the camera. Because crop sensor cameras are more compact, most only include one dial. I love having two! In my experience, it makes adjusting the exposure settings far quicker.

The rest of the buttons are well placed. You can control the camera using only one hand. Also, there are three customizable buttons on the back of the camera. Overall, the design and handling are two of the biggest strengths of this Olympus OM-D E camera.

Lastly, it uses the Micro Four Thirds lens mount system. All MFT lenses are the same, meaning tons of compatible lenses are available from Olympus, Panasonic, and third parties.

3. Canon EOS M50 Mark II

The Canon EOS M50 Mark II is an advanced mirrorless camera ideal for hybrid photographers or videographers. It’s a fan favorite of YouTubers and vloggers.

product photo of Canon EOS M50 Mark II, one of the best budget cameras

  • Award: Best Cheap Digital Camera for Video
  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Megapixels: 24MP
  • Sensor Type: APS-C
  • Sensor Size: 22.3×14.9mm
  • Frame Rate: 10fps
  • AF Points: 143
  • Video: 4K/24p
  • Battery Life: 305 shots

Sensor and Image Quality

The Canon EOS M50 Mark II is a mirrorless camera with a 24MP APS-C CMOS sensor. The sensor measures 22.3×14.9mm and applies the standard Canon crop factor of 1.6x to images and videos.

Along with the sensor, the camera uses a DIGIC 8 image processor to yield sharp and vibrant stills with a maximum resolution of 6000x4000px. JPEGs, in particular, have strong and attractive colors, courtesy of automatic in-camera sharpening.

The ISO range is 100-25600. Even at higher levels, the camera does a good job retaining image detail and reducing noise. You can boost the ISO up to 6400 for social media and online images.

With a fantastic DR of 13.4 stops, RAW files are the way to go if you plan to edit your photos. They store tons of extra information in the highlights and shadows, and you will be able to bring your pictures to life.

Focusing and Burst Mode

The Canon M50 Mark II has solid autofocus performance courtesy of its dual-pixel AF system featuring 143 phase-detection points. The core components of the AF system are the same as the original Canon M50, with the addition of some much-needed upgrades.

The most glaring improvements are visible when using face and eye-detection modes. In Continuous-AF, the camera does a terrific job locating and tracking faces even when subjects are moving and if there is poor lighting.

A real-world example when this is particularly useful is photographing events. Weddings and concerts are two settings where lighting is often insufficient. But you can still get great photos with the M50 Mark II.

Looking at burst shooting, it has a max frame rate of 10fps. If you want to take advantage of autofocus and live view, that number goes down to 7.4fps. One tip for achieving better results when shooting bursts is to use Shutter Priority mode and assign a fast shutter speed (1000+).

Video Features

Even though it has 4K video capabilities, you are better off shooting in 1080p Full HD in most situations. Unfortunately, when recording in 4K, the M50 Mark II applies a heavy crop factor. The one exception is if you have an ultra-wide lens like the Sigma 16mm.

Also, in a bit of an odd decision from Canon, dual-pixel autofocus isn’t available when shooting 4K. You can still use autofocus, but it will only use the contrast-detection focus points and is noticeably slower.

This camera is a fan favorite of YouTubers and vloggers. Thankfully, many of them never want to shoot in 4K due to how much storage it takes up and how it reduces the amount of content they can create.

A few other video features that have made content creators fall in love with the M50 Mark II are its fully articulating LCD touchscreen, a microphone port, and the ability to live stream directly to YouTube.

Body and Handling

Another reason people can’t seem to get enough of the Canon EOS M50 Mark II is how light and portable it is. It weighs 387g (battery included) and has dimensions of 116x88x59mm.

People who have used DSLRs before will appreciate the design. It is essentially a mini DSLR with a similar design and control layout as classic Canon entry-level cameras. But since there is less space on the camera, you may find the buttons feel cramped—especially if you have larger hands.

The overall ergonomics and handling are off the charts. The grip is comfortable and secure to hold. There are numerous customization options to increase productivity and workflow. Furthermore, the touchscreen capabilities and well-thought-out menus are both industry-leading.

Lastly, it uses the Canon E-FM lens mount system. As a newer lens mount, native lenses are a bit limited. But don’t worry! With the help of an adapter like the Canon EF-EOS M lens mount adapter, you can unlock the entire fleet of Canon EF lenses.

2. Sony Alpha a6100

The a6100 is an entry-level camera jam-packed with professional features and the successor to the a6000. It’s a fantastic all-around camera, perfect for family photos, action shots, and travel.

Sony Alpha a6100 product photo

  • Award: Best Budget Camera for Headshots
  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Megapixels: 24MP
  • Sensor Type: APS-C
  • Sensor Size: 23.5×15.6mm
  • Frame Rate: 11fps
  • AF Points: 425
  • Video: 4K/30p
  • Battery Life: 420 shots

Sensor and Image Quality

The Sony Alpha a6100 is the updated version of the a6000. It hit stores in late 2019 and features a new and improved 24.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor. On top of that, it boasts a more powerful BIONZ X image processor and a new LSI chip. Sony claims the trio makes the a6100 1.8x faster than the a6000.

The 14-bit RAW images are of good quality. But JPEGs are where this camera excels. They have good detail retention edge to edge. Plus, the image colors are some of the best from any Sony camera. That’s thanks to a tweak in the algorithm that adds sharpness, saturation, and contrast.

ISO sensitivity has also increased, with a range of 100-32000 (further expandable to 51200 if you go into the menu system). You can shoot noise-free images up to ISO 6400. And if you crank it up to 12800, you still have useable photos.

Two more killer stills features worth mentioning are the 14 stops of dynamic range and the built-in intervalometer that allow the a6100 to capture time-lapses. But for the a6000, you have to buy a separate app to take time-lapses.

Focusing and Burst Mode

I said it earlier, but I will repeat it, Sony is the king of autofocus. The A6100 uses hybrid autofocus technology featuring 425 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection points. It’s lightning-fast and is one of the best AF systems ever created. It compares favorably even with high-end professional cameras like the Sony A7 IV.

Also, I have to mention face and eye-autofocus. The AI and machine learning technology powering them are improved. It has made them faster and more accurate than ever. Better yet, Eye-AF now works with animals as well. Wildlife, bird, and pet photographers are three groups who benefit tremendously from this addition.

The a6100 excels at continuous shooting speed. Its top burst speed is 11fps. And it maintains that number even when using continuous, face- or eye-detection AF. Moreover, a silent shooting option is available up to 8fps. I love to use silent mode when photographing animals and weddings.

Buffer speed is quick, and the camera can take as many as 77 photos in one burst. Remember, you cannot adjust the camera settings inside the main menu during buffering. But you can access the Function (Fn) menu to make quick adjustments.

Video Features

The Sony Alpha a6100 records 4K Ultra HD videos at 24fps and 30 fps. Shooting at 24fps utilizes the entire sensor, while the faster 30fps applies a generous crop factor. You are better off sticking with 24fps unless going for a specific stylistic look.

In addition, with the help of S&Q (slow and quick) mode, it can capture slow-motion and fast-motion footage directly in the camera. Slow-motion videos are played back at either 1/4 or 1/5th speed. On the other hand, fast-motion videos can be sped up and played back at 60x speed.

The body has a microphone jack but no headphone jack. The in-camera microphone gets the job done okay. But for crystal clear audio, it’s better to use an external mike like the Rode VideoMic.

While there is no in-camera stabilization, most native Sony lenses include optical image stabilization. Furthermore, Sony has worked hard to reduce cheap cameras’ rolling shutter and overheating issues.

Body and Handling

The a6100 has a durable plastic construction that is both lightweight and compact. It weighs 396g (battery included) and measures 120x67x59mm.

Sony has slightly expanded the grip when compared to the a6000. It has a rubber coating, giving it a more secure and robust in-hand feel. There are two specific custom buttons (C1, C2). But almost all the buttons are customizable.

Another new feature is the three-inch flip-up LCD monitor. It’s a touchscreen and can be used to assign focus. Unfortunately, like Sony’s other cameras, you still can’t use the touchscreen with the menus.

Lastly, it uses the Sony E-Mount lens system. The standard kit lens is the Sony E 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 optical zoom lens, but my favorite lens to pair with it is the Sony Zeiss 18-70mm f/4 zoom.

1. Fujifilm X-T200

The Fujifilm X-T200 is a superb mid-level camera at a budget-friendly price. It’s the top budget camera on the market and a fantastic choice for photographers, filmmakers, and hybrid shooters.

Fujifilm X-T200 as the best budget camera available

  • Award: Best Cheap Professional Camera
  • Camera Type: Mirrorless
  • Megapixels: 24MP
  • Sensor Type: APS-C
  • Sensor Size: 23.5×15.7mm
  • Frame Rate: 8fps
  • Autofocus (AF) Points: 425
  • Video: 4K/30p
  • Battery Life: 270 shots

Sensor and Image Quality

The Fujifilm X-T200 is an inexpensive mirrorless camera boasting a 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor. It has a similar price tag to the budget cameras above but has many mind-blowing features. It’s the only one I’d classify as a mid-range camera, and many professionals use it as a backup camera system.

Along with the high-resolution sensor, it has a rapid image processor and a Bayer color filter. The Bayer filter makes the colors pop and is a big reason Fuji JPEGs consistently are voted above other brands.

RAW and JPEG files retain extensive detail and remain noise-free up to ISO 12800. The dynamic range is excellent and provides tons of freedom to edit photos in post-production.

Try one of the three popular Dynamic Range modes that increase sharpening if editing isn’t your thing. While another appealing feature is the new “clarity effect.” It boosts contrast and gives an extra glow to your photos when applied.

Focusing and Burst

Fuji has worked hard on its AF technology throughout the years and is now one of the industry leaders. The X-T200 uses a hybrid 425 phase-detection point system that rivals professional cameras like the X-T3 and X-Pro3.

Three AF-Area modes are available—SinglePpoint, Zone, and Wide/Tracking. Tracking during Continuous-AF is a strong point of this camera, even when using eye detection or shooting bursts. With continuous shooting speed, the max frame rate is 8fps. It’s good, but unfortunately, the buffer is slow and makes the camera bog down after only 16 photos.

One final note on autofocus is that it is controllable using the touch-sensitive LCD on the back of the camera. Tapping or dragging your thumb on the screen selects focus points, and there is almost no lag time!

Video Features

As great as the still capabilities are, what elevates the Fuji X-T200 to the top of this list is how it functions as a video camera. First off, its 4K video quality is off the charts. My closest comparison would be the significantly more expensive Sony a6600.

It captures un-cropped 4K footage up to 30fps. That means it uses the entire sensor area and holds up well even when shooting low-light scenes. The only negative of 4K is the 15-minute time limit.

While 1080p is available, the quality is a little soft for my liking. I would only use it for filming slow-motion movies at 120fps. More monumental video features include the fully articulating LCD widescreen, dual microphone, headphone ports, and advanced audio controls.

Body and Handling

I can’t rave enough about the X-T200’s body. It would be the runaway winner if I had to pick one budget camera solely based on looks. It’s elegant, functional, and durable. It weighs 370g (battery included) and measures 121x84x55mm.

The camera body is sturdy and well-built due to its premium metal construction. It’s not technically weather-sealed. But it can withstand harsher conditions than plastic bodies.

On top of that, there are three control dials and four customizable buttons. These make the ergonomics outstanding. Once you figure out what setup works best for you, you can fly through your photoshoots.

Lastly, it uses the Fujifilm X-Mount lens system. Fuji X-Mount interchangeable lenses use premium glass, and a wide selection of focal distances is available. In addition, third parties like Sigma and Rokinon make some terrific compatible lenses.

Conclusion

Cheap good quality cameras are hard to come by… Let’s review a few of our recommendations.

Macro photo shot on Sony Alpha A6000
Macro shot with the Sony Alpha a6000. © Sampson De Nike

I put this list together to help budding photographers and videographers on a tight budget. I wanted them to make an informed and confident purchase of cheap but good cameras. Not everyone wants to spend weeks or months of paychecks on a new camera. Helping you find the best budget camera was important to me…. so good luck with your decision!

Try out our Photography Beginner’s course that’s geared to even the cheapest cameras!

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