8 Best Value Used Beginner Cameras

If you’re a beginner and willing to buy a used digital camera, the world is your oyster – there are tens of thousands of great deals out there.

But where to start?

First, you have to decide if you want a compact camera, a DSLR, or mirrorless camera. All are good options, and there are hundreds of YouTube videos dedicated to the pros/cons of each.

Here are some of the best deals out there today:

Compact Cameras

  • Sony RX100 Mark III: 20 megapixel 1-inch sensor, great 24-70mm equivalent lens, shoots 1080p 60 fps video, and even has an electronic viewfinder (EVF). A popular backup/weekend camera for pro photographers. $300 used. 
  • Canon G7X Mark II: 20 megapixel 1-inch sensor, great 24-100mm equivalent lens, 1080p 60fps video, but no viewfinder. $400 used. 
  • Panasonic LX-100: 13 megapixel Four Thirds sensor (larger than 1-inch), excellent ergonomics, fast 24-75mm equivalent lens, EVF, shoots 4K 30fps video. $400 used.

Verdict: you can’t go wrong with any of these. I’d take the Sony.

DSLR Cameras

  • Canon T4i (650D): 18 megapixel APS-C sensor, 5 fps continuous shooting, articulated LCD screen, 1080p 30fps video. $200 used (with a kit lens).
  • Nikon D3300: 24 megapixel APS-C sensor, 5 fps continuous, fixed LCD, 1080p 60 fps video. $250 used (with a kit lens).

Verdict: both are great choices to learn photography basics and discover if the hobby is right for you. I’d take the Nikon D3300.

Mirrorless Cameras

  • Olympus E-M10 Mark II: 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, 8 fps continuous, 2.36mp EVF, tilting LCD, 1080p 60 fps video, in-body image stabilization. Cute and compact. $300 used (with the 14-42mm kit lens). 
  • Fujifilm X-T20: 24 megapixel APS-C (X-Trans) sensor, 8 fps continuous, 2.36mp EVF, tilting LCD, 4K 30 fps video. Compact, stylish, easy film simulations. $450 used (body only – you’ll need a lens too)
  • Sony Alpha a6000: 24 megapixel APS-C sensor, 11 fps continuous, EVF, tilting LCD, 1080p 60 fps video. Great autofocus, especially for kids/pets/family. $400 used (often with 16-50mm kit lens). 

Verdict: tough choice, the cameras are very different so make sure to check out review videos on YouTue first. I’d take the X-T20 with a Fuji 18-55mm lens (but that’s the priciest option!)

The ultimate value is in the older DSLRs. Millions of these were manufactured, and most are just collecting dust. As a bonus, you can find amazing used DSLR lenses for cheap now!

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