Smartphone camera modules have become incredibly impressive over the last few years, but for serious professional (and even for hobbyist) photography, the sharpest smartphone camera still won’t hold a candle to a proper mirrorless or DSLR camera. High-quality handheld cameras are usually not what you would consider budget-friendly, however — the best ones from the biggest industry names such as Sony, Canon, Panasonic, Olympus, and Nikon are often much, much pricier than the latest premium flagship smartphones — so amateur and pro photographers alike would do well to perform some research before buying and then to take advantage of whatever cheap camera deals and bundle offers that can be found online.
The big 2020 spring sales are just around the corner, but online retailers are already running plenty of photography deals and bundle offers as we come out of winter. We’ll be rounding them all up right here, so read on to see our up-to-date list of the best cheap camera deals on DSLRs, mirrorless models, point-and-shoots, and lens packages that you can score right now. You can’t get by with only a camera, of course; you’ll also need some add-ons including interchangeable lenses (depending on what type of camera you have), storage cards, carrying cases, tripods, and other odds and ends, so we’ve also made sure to throw in a handful of deals on accessories along with these cheap cameras so you can start your photography journey properly and save even more.
Today’s best cheap camera deals
- — $77 ($13 off)
- — $134 ($36 off)
- — $298 ($101 off)
- — $449 ($251 off)
- — $498 ($302 off)
- — $799 ($101 off)
- — $998 ($641 off)
Today’s best cheap DSLR camera deals
- — $288 (was $360)
- — $459
- — $799 (was $900)
- — $349 (was $699)
- — $897
- — $125
Modern DSLR cameras cover perhaps the widest range of features, capabilities, and — naturally — price points. Entry-level models can be had for around $300 or even less if you buy refurbished, while high-end professional-grade units run well north of $2,000 (and much more on top of that once you consider the different zoom lenses that are available, something that is easily a complete topic all its own). Serious hobbyists and professionals have long favored these cameras, which feature a reflexing mirror (“DSLR” stands for “digital single-lens reflex”) that reflects the image of what you’re pointing at directly into the optical viewfinder.
This mirror then simply flips out of the way to reveal the imaging sensor when you shoot, giving you an accurate and immediate photograph of your subject without the lag that mirrorless and point-and-shoot camera sensors experience. The digital single-lens reflex imaging system also requires very little power, meaning your camera’s battery can last a long time before needing to be recharged or swapped out (which is a boon if you’re carrying it around all day).
DSLRs are not as dominant as they once were due to the growing popularity of mirrorless cameras, but this is still generally the first place aspiring photographers should start looking when they’re in the market for their first “real” camera — and with great entry-level options and ongoing camera deals, there’s never been a better time than now to shop for one.
Today’s best cheap mirrorless camera deals
- — $498 (was $800)
- — $449 (was $700)
- — $498 (was $1,397)
- — $599 (was $799)
- — $998 (was $1,639)
At first glance, mirrorless cameras look much like their DSLR counterparts, and they are used for much the same purpose — that is, taking clear, super-detailed, professional-quality photographs. What sets them apart is their imaging system (among other details). Simply put, mirrorless cameras lack the reflexing mirror found inside DSLRs, hence their name, although they still boast many of the same features and functions, such as the ability to use interchangeable zoom lenses.
Mirrorless cameras are newer than DSLRs and have greatly increased in popularity in recent years. Instead of using a reflex mirror that covers the image sensor until the picture is taken, a mirrorless camera has its sensor exposed to light (and thus it “sees” your subject) at all times. This lack of an internal reflex apparatus means that
Today’s best cheap point-and-shoot camera deals
- — $210 (was $250)
- — $134 (was $169)
- — $109 (was $119)
- — $298 (was $399)
- — $77 (was $90)
A point-and-shoot camera is probably what most people think of when they hear “digital camera.” These units are typically more compact and pocket-friendly than larger DSLR and mirrorless cameras. They’re ideal for times when your smartphone camera won’t cut it but you don’t want to be lugging a bulky DSLR around (and that’s not even mentioning extras like lens attachments which only add to your load), making them great for vacations, family get-togethers, and other occasions where you’ll be taking a bunch of pictures but photography itself isn’t your primary aim.
Point-and-shoot cameras are also typically cheaper than professional-grade models (although the best ones with more advanced features can definitely be pricey), so they are a good option for people who want better photos but aren’t interested in pursuing photography as a serious hobby or career.
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