The Best Cameras Under $300 From Every Manufacturer

This is a work in progress. There are so many choices available.

This is an exciting price point because there are a variety of great cameras available. Cameras with interchangeable lenses will be covered. That includes DSLR and mirrorless cameras.

There will be dedicated lists for:

  • point and shoot cameras under $300
  • video or vlogging cameras under $300
  • best action cameras under $300

My criteria for this list includes the cost of putting a camera kit together. (lens, battery, charger, and memory card)

Replacement batteries and chargers for discontinued cameras can be expensive. Make sure when you are looking for a deal to pay attension to what is included with the camera. Battery model number and memory card requirements will be noted for each camera.

Canon was (and still is) the leader by market share during the span of time when all of the recommended cameras were released. An abundance of models that were former best sellers is why Canon is the best value at the $300 price point.

Lenses also tend to be slightly cheaper than their contemporary Nikon competition. There are also plenty of upgrade options that use the EF-S or EF mounts.

Some downsides of the cameras are that Canon is in the process of disconitinuing the production of DSLRs and lenses for those cameras. That means no more EF-S or EF lenses will be produced.

Keep in mind that Canon produced more than 100 million EF lenses. Third party manufacturers also made lenses for the EF and EF-S mounts. There is no shortage of lenses to choose from at every focal length and price range.

If you are technically savy enough, you can use Magic Lantern to get extra performance out of many Canon models.

Also known as the Canon EOS 750D in Europe and Canon EOS Kiss X8i in Japan.

Year Released 2015
Megapixels 24.2
Sensor APS-C
Video 1080p30
Lens Mount Canon EF, EF-S
Weight 510g
Memory Card SD (SDXC, 2TB Max)
Battery LP-E17
Charger LC-E17

A good deal on a used Canon Rebel T6i will have it come in at just under $300. A fully articulating flip screen is always a welcome addition for video or photography at awkward angles.

✅ Can be used as a webcam (Canon EOS Webcam Utility)

✅ Flip screen

✅ 3.5 mm microphone jack

❌ No USB charging

Known as the Canon EOS 700D in Europe and Canon Kiss X7i in Japan.

Year Released 2013
Megapixels 18.0
Sensor APS-C
Video 1080p30
Lens Mount Canon EF, EF-S
Weight 525g
Memory Card SD (SDXC, 2TB Max)
Battery LP-E8
Charger LC-E8

The replacement model was the Canon EOS Rebel T6i (Canon EOS 750D) above. It should be easier to find under $300, while being a very similar camera.

✅ Can be used as a webcam (Canon EOS Webcam Utility)

✅ Flip screen

❌ No USB charging

See the official Canon EOS Rebel T5i page for features and specs.

Nikon made excellent cameras that are focused on photography. For hybrid use, a mirrorless camera is going to be a better choice as they generally have more video features and better video specs.

Year Released 2012
Megapixels 24.1
Sensor APS-C
Video 1080p30
Lens Mount Nikon F
Weight 505g
Memory Card SD (SDXC, 2TB Max)
Battery EN-EL14
Battery Charger MH-24

✅ Fully articulating screen. ✅ 1080p30 video ✅ 39 AF points

❌ No built-in wireless or GPS ❌ No touch screen

Year Released 2010
Megapixels 16.2
Sensor APS-C
Video 1080p24
Lens Mount Nikon F
Weight 690g
Memory Card SD (SDXC, 2TB Max)
Battery EN-EL15
Battery Charger MH-25

✅ 39-point AF system ✅ Weather-resistant build ✅ 6 FPS continuous shooting

❌ No built-in wireless ❌ 1080p24 video

Year Released
Megapixels
Sensor APS-C
Video 1080p30
Lens Mount Sony E
Weight g
Memory Card SD (SDXC, 2TB Max)
Battery
Battery Charger

Panasonic cameras have aged well. A large number of features were added as they were better able to take advantage of mirrorless technology with the Micro Four Thirds sensor.

Year Released
Megapixels
Sensor APS-C
Video 1080p30
Lens Mount MFT
Weight g
Memory Card SD (SDXC, 2TB Max)
Battery
Battery Charger

At $250 this is a great camera if you can actually find one. It was not marketed heavily and didn’t sell well in North America.

It isn’t worth paying expensive shipping rates to get a copy. Just breaking the $300 barrier, the Panasonic Lumix G7 is a great camera that is widely available.

Year Released
Megapixels
Sensor APS-C
Video 1080p30
Lens Mount MFT
Weight 266g
Memory Card SD (SDXC, 2TB Max)
Battery
Battery Charger

The Panasonic GF7 is a compact mirrorless camera featuring a 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, flip-up selfie screen, and built-in Wi-Fi for easy image sharing.

At 266g, the Panasonic GF7 is one of the lightest cameras on this list.

Year Released
Megapixels
Sensor APS-C
Video 1080p30
Lens Mount MFT
Weight 269g
Memory Card SD (SDXC, 2TB Max)
Battery
Battery Charger

At 269g, the E-PM2 is practically as light as the Panasonic GF7.

Year Released
Megapixels
Sensor APS-C
Video 1080p30
Lens Mount MFT
Weight g
Memory Card SD (SDXC, 2TB Max)
Battery
Battery Charger

The PEN E-PL7 and E-PL6 are entry level cameras. They are small and are “pocketable.”

You’ll likely need to buy the body separately from the lens.

Year Released
Megapixels
Sensor APS-C
Video 1080p30
Lens Mount MFT
Weight g
Memory Card SD (SDXC, 2TB Max)
Battery
Battery Charger

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 is a compact mirrorless camera featuring a 16.1 megapixel Four Thirds sensor, in-body 3-axis image stabilization, and advanced autofocus system.

This camera can be hard to find because there are 4 versions. After the first, they are denoted as Mark II, Mark III, and Mark IV.

Year Released
Megapixels
Sensor APS-C
Video 1080p30
Lens Mount Pentax K
Weight g
Memory Card SD (SDXC, 2TB Max)
Battery
Battery Charger

The Pentax K-S1 DSLR is a compact camera featuring a 20.1 megapixel APS-C sensor, in-body shake reduction, and unique LED indicator lights for camera settings.

Available in blue, white, and black.

Year Released
Megapixels
Sensor APS-C
Video 1080p30
Lens Mount Pentax K
Weight g
Memory Card SD (SDXC, 2TB Max)
Battery
Battery Charger

The Pentax K-50 DSLR is a weather-sealed camera featuring a 16.3 megapixel APS-C sensor, in-body image stabilization, and full HD video recording capabilities.

The bodies come in different colors. Red, white, pink, and black.

No Fuji bodies and lens combos come in under $300. The closest models are the X-A1, X-E1, and X-T1.