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The best cheap camera deals in 2022: we pick the best camera bargains right now

Included in this guide:

cheap camera deals

The best cheap cameras never started out cheap! Typically, they are cameras that are 2 years older or more but offer features and performance that are still very good even by today's standards. The good news for camera buyers is that the longer a camera has been out, the cheaper it gets!

The best cheap camera deals aren't only at the lower and of the market, and there are cameras here for experts and enthusiasts too. In this guide we've concentrated on DSLR and mirrorless cameras – you might say 'proper' cameras. There are cheaper alternatives than this, such as the best point and shoot cameras, the best instant cameras and the best cameras under $100/£100.

We've arranged this list of cheap cameras more or less in price order, with the cheapest first. Of course, you get what you pay for, so the camera you need might be half way down this list or even at the bottom – because the one thing all these cameras have in common is value, whether they are aimed at novices, enthusiasts or experts.

The best cheap camera deals in 2022

(Image credit: Canon)

1. Canon EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D

The cheapest interchangeable lens camera you can get right now

Specifications
Type: DSLR
Sensor: APS-C CMOS
Megapixels: 24.1MP
Lens mount: Canon EF-S
Screen: 3in fixed, 921K dots
Continuous shooting speed: 3fps
Max video resolution: 1080p
User level: Beginner
Reasons to buy
+
Inexpensive
+
Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-
No 4K video
-
Fixed rear screen

We'll come right out and say it. The Canon Rebel T7 (EOS 2000D in some territories) is not a bad camera to get started with, but it is pretty basic. It has a fixed rear screen and only shoots full HD video, and it doesn't come with Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF for faster focusing in live view. It does have a 24-megapixel sensor to match the resolution of our favorite low-cost DSLR, the Nikon D3500, but it can't match the Nikon's 5fps continuous shooting or the Nikon's space-saving retracting kit lens. However, for anyone wanting to get started with a proper camera at the lowest possible price, it's a perfectly competent camera at a rock bottom price.

(Image credit: Olympus)

This mini-DSLR-style mirrorless camera is a low-cost gem

Specifications
Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Micro Four Thirds
Megapixels: 16.1MP
Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
Screen: 3in tilting, touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots
Max burst speed: 8.6fps
Max video resolution: 4K
User level: Beginner/Intermediate
Reasons to buy
+
4K video recording
+
Excellent size, design and handling
Reasons to avoid
-
Only 16 megapixels
-
Superseded by the E-M10 Mark IV

The dinky Olympus OM-D E-M10 has long been one of our favorite entry-level cameras. Its small enough to fit in a pocket, especially with the 14-32mm 'EZ' kit lens, but the controls never feel cramped and the features buried in this camera go far beyond 'beginner' photography. This Mark III version has 4K video but still the older 16MP sensor. The new OM-D E-M10 Mark IV model has the latest 20MP sensor. However, this does mean that the Mark III, while you can still get it, is on sale at really good discounts. If you can't get the Mark III, the Mark IV is still good value but it is more expensive.

Read more: Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III review

(Image credit: Sony)

The evergreen A6000 packs in some high-end features at a low-end price

Specifications
Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24.3MP
Lens mount: Sony E-mount
Screen: 3in tilting, 921,600 dots
Viewfinder: Electronic, 0.39-inch, 1,440,000 dots
Max burst speed: 11fps
Max video resolution: Full HD (1080p)
User level: Enthusiast
Reasons to buy
+
Superb AF system
+
Sound image quality
Reasons to avoid
-
Video not 4K
-
No weather sealing

For a time, this was our absolute favorite low-price mirrorless camera. Now several years old, the A6000 is a once top-end camera that's just got cheaper and cheaper. Later A6000-series models beat it for video and autofocus features, but for regular stills photography the A6000 is just as good at a fraction of the price. However, prices have crept up in the last couple of yearrs, so either Sony has realised this camera is better that it thought it was (bah!), or it's being lined up for some big, big discounts. Either way, the A6000 still deserves its place in our list of the best cheap cameras.

Read more: Sony A6000 review

Nikon's cheapest DSLR delivers brilliant results on a budget

Specifications
Type: DSLR
Sensor: APS-C CMOS
Megapixels: 24.2MP
Lens mount: Nikon DX
Screen: 3in fixed, 921K dots
Continuous shooting speed: 5fps
Max video resolution: 1080p
User level: Beginner/enthusiast
Reasons to buy
+
Great image quality
+
Neat retracting kit lens
+
Beginner friendly
Reasons to avoid
-
Fixed screen not touch-sensitive

The entry-level model in Nikon's DSLR range is small and light, yet comfortable to grip. It's an entry-level model but it has a 24.2MP sensor as good as those in cameras at twice the price, and it offers a very good 5fps continuous shooting speed for a beginners camera. The Guide mode will help beginners get started and understand the basic principles, and the D3500 has all the manual controls you need to learn about photography as you improve your skills. The lowest prices include a non-VR kit lens but we'd recommend paying that little bit extra for the VR version of the 18-55mm standard zoom. On paper, the D3500 looks no better than the Canon Rebel T7/2000D, but we like the Nikon a lot more.

Read more: The best Nikon lenses right now| Nikon D3500 review | Nikon D3500 vs D3400

(Image credit: Canon)

The mirrorless EOS M50 is compact, well equipped and affordable!

Specifications
Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: APS-C size
Megapixels: 24.1MP
Screen type: 3.2in vari-angle touchscreen LCD, 1.04million dots
Viewfinder: EVF, 2,36million dots
Maximum continuous shooting speed: 7fps
Max video resolution: 4K
User level: Beginner
Reasons to buy
+
Vari-angle touchscreen
+
Built-in electronic viewfinder
Reasons to avoid
-
Limited lens range
-
4K video limitations

With the mirrorless EOS M50, though, we think Canon hit the sweet spot. This camera is easy to use for beginners but has a built-in electronic viewfinder. The EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM kit lens has a retracting mechanism to make the camera smaller to carry around when it's not in use, and there is a small but handy selection of other EOS M lenses you can use with this camera. If travel is your thing and a couple of lenses is all you need, the EOS M50 is great, and because it's now been out for a little while, the prices are starting to fall. There is a new Canon EOS M50 Mark II on sale now, but the differences are so minor it's hard to know why Canon bothered!

Read more: Canon EOS M50 Mark II review

(Image credit: Canon)

This is the best beginner DSLR around for those with a little more cash

Specifications
Type: DSLR
Sensor: APS-C
Lens mount: Canon EF-S
Screen: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots
Max burst speed: 5fps
Max video resolution: 4K UHD at 25p
Reasons to buy
+
A lightweight, intuitive DSLR
+
Superb Live View shooting
Reasons to avoid
-
Larger than mirrorless rivals
-
Relatively few AF points

This isn't the cheapest DSLR you can buy by any means, but very often it's worth paying a little extra money to get a much better range of features – and this is the perfect example. The EOS Rebel SL3 (aka EOS 250D) has Canon’s top-of-the range APS-C sensor with 24.1MP of resolution and brilliant Live View shooting, thanks to a fully-articulating touchscreen display and Canon's fast Dual Pixel CMOS AF autofocus. In fact, we’d actually say this is one of the only DSLRs where composing shots with the screen is downright preferable to using the viewfinder. Canon also packs in 4K video and Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, wrapped up in the smallest DSLR body you'll ever see. It's not the cheapest DSLR you can get, but we think if you take all its features into account, it is actually the best value.

Read more: Canon EOS SL3 / Canon EOS 250D review

(Image credit: Panasonic)

7. Panasonic Lumix GX85 / GX80

If size is key, this tiny mirrorless camera and its twin-lens kit are perfect

Specifications
Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Micro Four Thirds
Megapixels: 16MP
Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
Screen: 3in tilting, touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots
Max burst speed: 8fps
Max video resolution: 4K
User level: Beginner
Reasons to buy
+
4K video recording
+
Electronic viewfinder
Reasons to avoid
-
Only 16 megapixels
-
Restricted tilt-screen range

The diminutive GX85 (GX80 in some territories) has an older 16MP Micro Four thirds sensor, but still takes top-quality images and can also shoot 4K video. The built-in electronic viewfinder (amazing in a mirrorless camera at this price) makes it a great option for using in harsh sunlight or darker conditions, while the tilting screen makes it easy to shoot from ground level. Together with Panasonic's tiny Micro Four Thirds lenses, this makes it perfect for travelling or holidays. These days it looks like you can only get this great little camera in a twin-lens kit which also includes the compact Panasonic 45-150mm telephoto. It's a great combination at a great price, but being a twin lens kit it does push the price up.

Read more: These are the best mirrorless cameras right now

(Image credit: Nikon)

A more advanced DSLR than the Nikon D3500, with a vari-angle screen

Specifications
Type: DSLR
Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24.2MP
Lens mount: Nikon F (DX)
Screen: 3.2in vari-angle touchscreen, 1,037,000 dots
Max burst speed: 5fps
Max video resolution: 1080p (Full HD)
User level: Beginner
Reasons to buy
+
Advanced AF system
+
Performs well at high ISOs
+
Vari-angle screen
Reasons to avoid
-
SnapBridge not great

The D5600 is more expensive than other DSLRs in this list, but it's a very good camera that was once sold at much higher prices. The 39-point AF system offers more focus points than other cheap DSLRs and the 3.2in vari-angle touchscreen display on the back is bigger than most. The live view autofocus isn’t as accomplished as on the Canon Rebel SL3 or any of the compact system cameras here (particularly for video), but the overall performance is still excellent, and lens options are plentiful. We probably wouldn't choose it for video, but as a versatile, high-quality compact DSLR it's a really good buy these days. We especially like it for travel, because of its size, and we recommend getting it with Nikon's retracting AF-P 18-55mm VR kit lens.

Read more: Nikon D5600 review

(Image credit: Canon)

Full frame cameras don't come much cheaper, or cuter, than this

Specifications
Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full frame CMOS
Megapixels: 26.2MP
Monitor: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040k dots
Continuous shooting speed: 5fps
Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36 million dots
Max video resolution: 4K UHD
User level: Enthusiast
Reasons to buy
+
Size, weight and low cost
+
Fully articulating screen
Reasons to avoid
-
1.6x crop and no Dual Pixel AF in 4K
-
Weak battery life

The EOS RP was Canon's second full frame mirrorless camera, and it's smaller, lighter and a lot cheaper than all of the others. It's designed to be a compact, affordable and easy to use entry point into Canon's full frame mirrorless system, and it succeeds brilliantly. Its small dimensions mean it can sometimes feel overbalanced by larger lenses, though, and the 4K video mode comes with some caveats – the image frame is cropped by a factor of 1.6 and you can't use Canon's speedy Dual Pixel CMOS AF system unless you drop the resolution to full HD. On the upside, the pictures are clear and sharp, the vari-angle touchscreen display is a real advantage for both stills and video, and the inclusion of an EF lens adaptor means you can use existing Canon DSLR lenses alongside the new but growing RF lens system. At $1,000/£1,000 or more you wouldn't say it was 'cheap' in the general run of things, but for a full frame camera its price is practically miraculous.

Read more: Canon EOS RP review

(Image credit: Sony)

This Sony full frame mirrorless camera might be old, but it's also cheap!

Specifications
Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full frame
Megapixels: 24.3MP
Lens mount: Sony FE
Screen: 3in tiltable, 1,229K dots
Viewfinder: Electronic
Max burst speed: 5fps
Max video resolution: 1080p
User level: Enthusiast
Reasons to buy
+
In-body image stabilisation
+
Good image quality
+
Amazing price
Reasons to avoid
-
Weak battery life
-
No 4K video

For a while the cheapest full frame camera IN THE WORLD was the original Sony A7. That's almost impossible to find new now, but its place has been taken by the A7 Mark II. The chief difference between them is that the Mark II version has in-body stabilisation, but for many users that alone will be enough to justify the higher price. We say higher, but the A7 II, now costs no more than a good APS-C mirrorless camera. Prices for this camera can go up and down very quickly, though, and can vary a lot by territory. It's a sale-time favorite for all retailers, so keep your eyes open!

Read more: Sony A7 Mark II review

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Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio, with decades of experience with cameras of all kinds. Previously he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more.