The best cheap cameras in 2024: top budget buys

Canon EOS R100 camera is one of the best cheap cameras for beginners
(Image credit: James Artaius)

The best cheap camera is the one that balances the features you need with a price you can afford. There are plenty of low-cost cameras on the market, but they won’t always give you good image quality, design, and performance at the same time. In this guide, I’ll recommend cameras that balance specs and good value – with different options for different uses. 

Some of my picks like the Olympus OM-D E-M10 IV are a few years old, and originally sold for a lot more than they do in 2024. They’re cheaper because their tech is slightly dated, but they still make fantastic buys. While this guide naturally includes some of the best cameras for beginners, I haven’t just picked low-end cameras. The Canon EOS RP is a fantastic full-frame mirrorless model for enthusiasts, while the Sony A6100 is ideal for travel.

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Lauren Scott

Lauren is a writer, reviewer, and photographer who has spent ten years playing with affordable cameras. As the former Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and Deputy Editor of our sister publication, Digital Camera Magazine, she knows exactly what makes a cheap camera good – beyond the low price tag.

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Lauren Scott
Freelance contributor/former Managing Editor

Lauren is a writer, reviewer, and photographer with ten years of experience in the camera industry. She's the former Managing Editor of Digital Camera World, and previously served as Editor of Digital Photographer magazine, Technique editor for PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, and Deputy Editor of our sister publication, Digital Camera Magazine. An experienced journalist and freelance photographer, Lauren also has bylines at Tech Radar,, Canon Europe, PCGamesN, T3, Stuff, and British Airways' in-flight magazine (among others). When she's not testing gear for DCW, she's probably in the kitchen testing yet another new curry recipe or walking in the Cotswolds with her Flat-coated Retriever.

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