If you want to elevate your photography, you're probably going to want to put aside your phone and purchase an actual camera. But if you don't want to spend a fortune, then you've come to the right place. Here, we've rounded up the best deals on a selection of cameras, with many affordable options for several different types of camera. Whether you want something you can fit in your pocket for taking on the go or a DSLR, you can rest assured that you're getting a great price.
1. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
Small, powerful and beautifully designed
Sensor size: Micro Four Thirds | Resolution: 16.1MP | Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360,000 dots | Monitor: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8.6fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner/Intermediate
The jewel-like E-M10 Mark III is styled like a DSLR, with a viewfinder mounted on the top, but this camera is so small it scarcely takes up more space than mirrorless cameras with no viewfinder at all. It has a Micro Four Thirds sensor a little smaller than the APS-C sensors used by rival makers, and 16 megapixels rather than the usual 24, but the smaller sensor means smaller, faster-focusing lenses, and you’re not likely to notice the difference in megapixels in real-world shooting. What you will notice is this camera’s great build quality and finish, its responsiveness, its excellent built in Art Filters and the rather clever shooting options in its Advanced Photo mode. Olympus offers a good range of lenses, too.
Read our in-depth Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
2. Nikon D3400
The best entry-level DSLR out there is great value
Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C CMOS, 24.2MP | Lens mount: Nikon F | Screen: 3-inch, 921,000K dots | Viewfinder: Yes, optical | Continuous shooting: 5fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner
If you're looking for your first DSLR, then Nikon's D3400 is hard to beat when it comes to price. It might not have the most comprehensive specification, but simply put, the D3400 ticks a lot of boxes for first time users. The large 24MP APS-C sensor delivers great images that are rich in detail, it's easy to use thanks to the useful onboard Guide Mode, has an impressive battery life and is backed-up by an impressive array of lenses and accessories. A great DSLR that also happens to be great value.
Read our in-depth Nikon D3400 review
3. Panasonic Lumix ZS50 / Lumix TZ70
Great all-round compact camera
Type: Compact | Sensor: 1/2.3-inch, 12.1MP | Lens: 24-720mm, f/3.3-6.4 | Monitor: 3-inch, 1,040K dots | Viewfinder: EVF | Continuous shooting: 10fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner/intermediate
Panasonic's ZS / TZ series of compacts has long dominated the compact travel zoom market, and that's still the case with the ZS50 (known as the TZ70 outside the US). While it may be eclipsed by its larger-sensor siblings, the ZS100 / TZ100 and ZS200 / TZ200, the ZS50 / TZ70 has the advantage of packing a huge 30x zoom into a pocket-sized body. There's even space for a (modest) electronic viewfinder, ideal for when the lighting makes it tricky to compose or review shots on the rear screen. You can use the camera like an advanced point-and-shoot compact, simply leaving it in auto for the camera to take care of settings, or you can shoot high-quality raw files, and make your own decisions about aperture and shutter speed.
4. Canon EOS Rebel T6 / EOS 1300D
Perhaps the cheapest DSLR available today
Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C CMOS, 18MP | Lens mount: Canon EF-S | Screen: 3-inch, 920,000K dots | Viewfinder: Yes, optical | Continuous shooting: 3fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner
The EOS Rebel T6 (known as the EOS 1300D outside the US) is one of Canon's most affordable DSLRs in its line-up and while it doesn't share the same latest tech as newer models, it's still a great a solid choice for first time users. The 18MP sensor is starting to show its age a little, while the AF in live view is a bit on the slow side, but when you consider you're getting a DSLR for the price of an average compact, then it doesn't look too bad at all. It's actually better than the newer EOS 4000D as well.
5. Nikon D5300
A good buy
Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C CMOS, 24.2MP | Lens mount: Nikon DX | Screen: 3.2-inch articulating, 1,037,000 dots | Viewfinder: Yes, optical | Continuous shooting speed: 5fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner/enthusiast
The D5300 was around for little more than a year before the D5500 technically replaced it, which has in turn been replaced by the D5600. It shares the same 24.2MP sensor with an identical maximum ISO25,600 sensitivity as the D5500, whilst the D5300's EXPEED 4 image processor and 39-point autofocus system have also been carried over to its replacement. Whilst the D5300 doesn't sport fancy touchscreen control, you do get GPS instead. The D5300's 600-shot battery life has since been beaten by the D5500, but it'll still outlast a Canon EOS Rebel T6i / 750D. All in all, it may not be the latest entry-level DSLR, but the D5300 is still a smart buy.
Read our in-depth Nikon D5300 review
6. Sony Alpha A6000
A high-spec camera at a low-spec price
Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 24.3MP | Viewfinder: EVF, 1,440,000 dots | Monitor: 3-inch tilting, 921,600 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 11fps | Movies: Full HD | User level: Intermediate
Don’t let the price fool you. The A6000 costs the same as other entry-level mirrorless cameras, but it’s advanced and powerful and has only dropped to this price through being on the market since 2014! Despite this, its specs still look good today, including a 24 million pixel sensor, a fast hybrid 179-point autofocus system and continuous shooting at 11 frames per second. Its age shows in other areas, though; it only shoots full HD video not 4K, and the screen isn’t touch sensitive. And while it’s cheap enough, the A6000’s high-end features make it a little advanced for beginners.
Read our in-depth Sony Alpha A6000 review
7. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
A pocket powerhouse
Sensor: 1-inch, 20.1MP | Lens: 28-84mm, f/2-4.9 | Monitor: 3.0-inch touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: No | Continuous shooting: 8.2fps | Movie: 1080p | User level: Beginner/Intermediate
While there's now a decent selection of premium 1-inch sensor compact cameras to choose from, the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II sets itself apart thanks to its dinky proportions and streamlined controls. The highly pocketable dimensions do mean there are sacrifices to be made, with the PowerShot G9 X Mark II featuring a relatively short focal length zoom lens. However, if you're looking for a neat compact camera that can produce vastly superior images to your smartphone, and has decent connectivity options and simple-to-use controls, the PowerShot G9 X Mark II is an excellent choice.
Read our in-depth Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II review
8. Panasonic Lumix LX10 / LX15
A top 1-inch compact pick
Sensor: 1-inch type, 20.1MP | Lens: 24-72mm, f/1.4-2.8 | Monitor: 3.0-inch touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: No | Continuous shooting: 6fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner/intermediate
Panasonic's muscled it's way into the growing premium 1-inch compact sector with the brilliant Lumix LX10 (known as the LX15 outside the US), and is the perfect balance of performance, features and price. First, the bad news - there's no built-in EVF and the smooth finish doesn't offer the best handgrip, but the 24-72mm lens is one of the fastest around with a maximum aperture of f/1.4. Add to that some polished handling with dual control rings and a touchscreen, snappy AF and 4K video capture, and you have one of the best compact cameras around.
9. Canon EOS Rebel T7i / 800D
Canon's best entry-level DSLR
Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Resolution: 24.2MP | Lens: Canon EF-S | Viewfinder: Optical | Monitor: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 6fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner
One of the best entry-level DSLRs out there, the EOS Rebel T7i (known as the EOS 800D outside) is an update to the EOS Rebel T6i / 750D. The resolution stays the same, but it's a new design with an improved high ISO performance. The autofocus also gets a boost over the older model, now with a 45-point arrangement that's backed up by excellent live view AF system that's as quick as mirrorless rivals, while the newly designed graphical interface will certainly make this camera even more appealing to new users. The absence of 4K video and the quality of the exterior materials disappoint, but despite this the EOS Rebel T7i / 800D is a great entry into the world of DSLR photography.
10. Sony Cyber-shot WX220
Pocket performer with a 10x optical zoom
Type: Compact | Sensor: 1/2.3-inch, 18.2MP | Lens: 25-250mm, f/3.3-5.9 | Monitor: 2.7-inch, 460K dots | Viewfinder: No | Continuous shooting: 1.5fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner
If you're wanting a compact camera that can do a better job than your smartphone the Cyber-shot WX220 ticks a lot of boxes, especially when you consider the extra flexibility offered by the 10x optical zoom, running from 25-250mm. Images are bright and punchy, with decent detail – ideal for sharing online or printing at typical sizes – while it's nice to see Wi-Fi connectivity included as well. The 2.7-inch screen is a little on the small side, but that does help to keep the dimensions of the camera to a pocket-friendly size. The WX220 may not have lots of bells and whistles, but what it does do, it does well.
Read our in-depth Sony Cyber-shot WX220 review