$500 camera kit challenge... best budget gear to get you started in photography

$500 camera kit challenge... best budget gear to get you started in photography
(Image credit: Future)

Photography has the potential to be a ruinously expensive hobby, but it doesn't have to be. If you're starting out from nothing (or more realistically, moving up from your trusty camera phone), it's perfectly possible to get a complete camera kit that can maximize your creativity and last you for years, all for $500/£500.

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

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Ben Andrews

Ben is the Imaging Labs manager, responsible for all the testing on Digital Camera World and across the entire photography portfolio at Future. Whether he's in the lab testing the sharpness of new lenses, the resolution of the latest image sensors, the zoom range of monster bridge cameras or even the latest camera phones, Ben is our go-to guy for technical insight. He's also the team's man-at-arms when it comes to camera bags, filters, memory cards, and all manner of camera accessories – his lab is a bit like the Batcave of photography! With years of experience trialling and testing kit, he's a human encyclopedia of benchmarks when it comes to recommending the best buys.