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The best cheap camera deals in 2021: we pick the best camera bargains right now

cheap camera deals

The best cheap camera deals didn't always start out cheap! Some cameras are made cheap, but some become cheap over time. When a model has been on the market for a couple of years or more, the prices start to tumble, and cameras that may have been out of your reach before can suddenly become affordable!

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. So it's not just about shopping for the cheapest and best point and shoot camera. There are big savings to be made on much more advanced cameras too. You might be surprised at the price of the cheapest full frame cameras, as you can get some of the best camera deals on higher end kit as well.

The fact is, even cameras a few years old are still pretty advanced and more than a match for many brand new entry level cameras. Even though it looks as if camera technology is racing ahead at breakneck speed, this is mostly at the higher end of he market, and further down the price scale things move a little more slowly. Some of the best DSLRs and best mirrorless cameras are surprisingly affordable cameras which have actually been out for a while, making them some of the best cheap camera deals around. 

The best cheap camera deals in 2021

Cheap mirrorless camera deals

(Image credit: Olympus)

1. Olympus OM-D E-M10 III

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-Only 16 megapixels-Superseded by the E-M10 Mark IV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 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.

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

(Image credit: Fujifilm)

2. Fujifilm X-T200

It's a clean, neat and affordable DSLR-style mirrorless camera

Specifications
Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24.2MP
Lens mount: Fujifilm X
Screen: 3in articulating touchscreen, 2,760k dots
Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360k dots
Max continuous shooting speed: 8fps
Max video resolution: 4K
User level: Intermediate
Reasons to buy
+4K video+Lightweight, ergonomic design+Brilliant 3.5-inch rear screen
Reasons to avoid
-Not cheap everywhere-Sensor CMOS, not X-Trans

The Fujifilm X-T200 is not exactly an expensive camera that has come down in price. In fact, it's a camera that we think was priced very fairly in the first place, and still looks good value today. It's a terrific camera for beginners and smartphone upgraders, with a big flip-out 3.5-inch touchscreen, a built-in viewfinder and 4K video. The exterior controls are simple and unthreatening, but they disguise a camera that's actually quite advanced. It's definitely worth following the pricing on this one, because in the past it has been very keen indeed and we hope one day it will be again!

Read more: Fujifilm X-T200 review

(Image credit: Sony)

3. Sony A6000

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 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 since this time last year, 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, watch this space!

Read more: Sony A6000 review

(Image credit: Panasonic)

4. Panasonic Lumix GX85 / GX80

If size is key, this tiny mirrorless camera and its kit lens 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) can be adapted to the needs of any user, from the beginner that just wants to rely on the leave-it-to-the-camera Intelligent Auto option, to the photographer that wants complete control over all exposure settings like shutter speed and aperture. You also get 4K video recording capability and Panasonic's speed DFD (Depth From Defocus) autofocus system. 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. So what's the catch? It uses Panasonic's older 16MP sensor rather than the lates 20MP version, but that's only a 4MP difference and given what else this camera can do – and at this price – we wouldn't worry about it. Make sure you get it with the retracting 12-32mm 'pancake' lens – this combination is not a whole lot bigger than a compact point and shoot camera.

Read more: These are the best mirrorless cameras right now

(Image credit: Canon)

5. Canon EOS M50/Mark II

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 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 review

(Image credit: Sony)

6. Sony A7 Mark II

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 getting harder to find 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. Amazing.

Read more: Sony A7 Mark II review

(Image credit: Nikon)

7. Nikon Z 6

Nikon's 24MP full frame mirrorless camera is affordable and powerful

Specifications
Type: Mirrorless
Sensor: Full frame CMOS, 35.9x23.9mm
Megapixels: 24.2MP
Lens Mount: Nikon Z
Autofocus: 273-point phase detection AF
Screen type: 3.2-inch LCD, tilting, 2,100K-dot resolution
Max burst speed: 12fps
Movies: 4K UHD
User level: Enthusiast
Reasons to buy
+Full frame 4K video+In-body stabilisation
Reasons to avoid
-Unimpressive 310 image battery life-Buffer capacity is average

For those existing Nikon DSLR and lens owners wanting to jump aboard its new mirrorless system, or utilize it alongside that very same DSLR, the Nikon Z6 currently offers good value – though there are other choices. The Z6 has since been replaced by the Nikon Z6 II, which is a more powerful camera but not worlds apart from the original – so while the Z6 remains on sale, it could prove usefully cheaper. However, we also have to talk about the Nikon Z5, its entry level full frame mirrorless camera, which is at or around the same price point and is a very good camera in its own right.

• Read more: Nikon Z6 review

Cheap DSLR deals

8. Nikon D3500

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 looks a lot like the previous Nikon D3400 before it, but subtle design tweaks have produced improved on a winning formula to produce a camera that's 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.

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

Best cheap camera deals: Canon EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D

(Image credit: Canon)

9. Canon EOS Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D

Canon's low-cost DSLR has a 24MP sensor but cuts back elsewhere

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

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.

(Image credit: Nikon)

10. Nikon D5600

A more advanced DSLR than the 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, we recommend getting it with Nikon's retracting AF-P 18-55mm VR kit lens.

Read more: Nikon D5600 review

(Image credit: Canon)

11. Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D

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: Canon)

12. Canon EOS Rebel T7i / EOS 800D

A pretty capable DSLR at this level, but not cheap by today's standards

Specifications
Type: DSLR
Sensor: APS-C
Megapixels: 24.2MP
Lens mount: Canon EF-S
Screen: 3in Vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000k dots
Viewfinder: Optical
Max burst speed: 6fps
Movies: 1080p
User level: Beginner
Reasons to buy
+45 cross-type AF points+Full HD video to 60p
Reasons to avoid
-Faster fps on some CSCs-Video not 4K quality

Canon has always been great at making feature-packed, entry-level DSLRs and the EOS 800D keeps up this tradition. Also known as the EOS Rebel T7i, the EOS 800D is built around a 24.2MP APS-C sensor that’s paired with Canon’s latest DIGIC 7 processor. The autofocus system features 45 cross-type AF points, plus Dual Pixel CMOS AF for live view and video. For 4K video, though, you need to look at the Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D. Other features include built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth, which let you pair the camera with a smart device and quickly transfer images, while the 3in touch-sensitive LCD has a Vari-angle design – great for selfies and vloggers. Like many entry-level cameras, the EOS 800D doesn't quite stretch to offering weather sealing, but the battery is a strong point, with its 600 shots per charge meaning you should be good for a whole day's shooting.

Read more: Canon EOS 800D review

(Image credit: Canon)

13. Canon EOS 6D Mark II

A 26MP full-frame sensor inside a weather-resistant body

Specifications
Type: DSLR
Sensor: Full Frame
Megapixels: 26.2MP
Lens mount: Canon EF
Screen: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000K dots
Viewfinder: Optical
Max burst speed: 6.5fps
Movies: 1080p
User level: Enthusiast
Reasons to buy
+Superb handling+Fast autofocus
Reasons to avoid
-Image quality only slightly better-No 4k video

Canon's original EOS 6D was a hit for a number of good reasons, and the EOS 6D Mark II successor arrives with a fresh 26.2MP full-frame sensor with Canon’s clever Dual Pixel CMOS AF system incorporated into its design. A 45-point AF system replaces the dated 11-point AF system of the EOS 6D, while a flip-out touchscreen, a 6.5fps burst-shooting mode and better video specs round off the model’s highlights. Autofocus is snappy when you're using the camera conventionally, and if you switch to live view it's fast enough to make you think you're using a mirrorless camera. DSLRs have traditionally struggled here, so Canon deserves a lot of credit for closing the gap. We reckon this is a great camera for those looking to step up from an APS-C body. Scroll down for more details on the specs and to get the best Canon EOS 6D Mark II prices.

Read more: Canon EOS 6D Mark II review

(Image credit: Nikon)

14. Nikon D750

It's superseded by the newer D780, but that makes it cheaper!

Specifications
Type: DSLR
Sensor: Full Frame
Megapixels: 24.3MP
Lens mount: Nikon FX
Screen: 3.2in tilting, 1,229K dots
Viewfinder: Optical
Max burst speed: 6.5fps
Movies: 1080p
User level: Enthusiast
Reasons to buy
+Value for money+Tilting screen+All-round image quality
Reasons to avoid
-1080 video not 4K-No on-sensor phase detect AF

The Nikon D750 was launched as the company's second-cheapest full frame DSLR and had, for the first time in a full frame Nikon, a tilting screen. Over time, its all round image quality, solid, likeable handling and steadily eroding prices have made it progressively more appealing. It's not as technically advanced as the newer Nikon D780, but if you can do without 4K video and fast live view autofocus, the D750 gives very little away to its replacement.

Read more: Nikon D750 review | Nikon D750 vs Nikon D850

Cheap compact camera deals

(Image credit: Panasonic)

15. Panasonic Lumix TZ90 / ZS70

A brilliant but affordable travel camera with a generous zoom

Specifications
Type: Compact
Sensor: 1/2.3-type
Megapixels: 20.3MP
Screen: 3.0-inch, 1,040k tilt touch
Viewfinder: Electronic, 1,166k
Lens: 24-720mm f/3.3-6.4 (effective)
Continuous shooting speed: 10fps (4k 30fps)
Max video resolution: 4k
User level: Intermediate
Reasons to buy
+Typically big ‘TZ’ zoom range+Smart selfie mode
Reasons to avoid
-Relatively small 1/2.3-type image sensor-Small grip area

Sensibly priced but rich in features, the Panasonic Lumix TZ90 compact camera has a smaller sensor but a 30x zoom lens with a more generous range than the 10x or 15x zooms in the pricier Lumix TZ100 and TZ200 models. The effective 24-720mm focal length range of the Leica lens takes you all the way from generously wide-angle coverage to extreme super-telephoto, while fully retracting into the camera for pocketable stowage. And despite its super-slimline dimensions, there’s an electronic viewfinder as well as a tilting touchscreen around the back that can go through a full 180 degrees for those essential travel selfies!

(Image credit: Canon)

16. Canon PowerShot SX620 HS

Big zoom range, small camera & small price - what's not to like?!

Specifications
Type: Superzoom compact
Sensor: 1/2.3in
Megapixels: 20.2MP
Lens: 25-625mm f/3.2-6.6
Screen: 3in fixed LCD, 922k dots
Viewfinder: N/A
Max burst speed: 2.5fps
Max video resolution: Full HD
User level: Beginner
Reasons to buy
+Massive zoom range+Easily portable size+Wi-Fi & NFC image sharing
Reasons to avoid
-No touchscreen or EVF-LCD fixed in place-Slow burst shooting speed

Want a compact camera that still offers a huge zoom range, so you can capture far-off subjects on your travels? This well-priced Canon point-and-shoot camera is an ideal choice. It'll easily slip into a jacket or jeans' pocket, but with 25x optical zoom on tap, you can shoot everything from wide-angle interiors or group shots, through to distant animals or athletes. Optical image stabilization helps ensure you always get sharp shots, even when zoomed in to the max, while 1080p Full HD video recording is also available for capturing action in detail. Add Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity for easy image sharing to a phone or tablet and the SX620 HS is unquestionably brilliant value for money and a great camera for travel.

17. Canon PowerShot Elph 180 / IXUS 185

This little IXUS has an 8x zoom and bags more style than its price suggests

Specifications
Type: Compact
Sensor: 1/2.3in
Megapixels: 20MP
Lens: 28-224mm f/3.2-6.9
LCD: 2.7in, 230k dots
Maximum continuous shooting speed: 3fps
Max video resolution: 1280x720 (HD)
User level: Beginner
Reasons to buy
+Very easy to use+Slender body
Reasons to avoid
-Small, low-resolution rear LCD-Video not Full HD

Canon has been producing its super-stylish IXUS range of compact cameras for over 20 years (called ELPH in the North America). While each version has become a little slimmer and more refined, they’ve essentially remained stylish point-and-shoot cameras that will readily slip into a pocket and won’t break the bank. What we get here with the Canon IXUS 185 / Elph 180 is very much a beginner’s model, delivering 20MP from a relatively small 1/2.3in sensor. The zoom offers a respectable 8x optical range, starting from a usefully wide setting equivalent to 24mm. There are also some creative digital filter options available if you dig deeper into the menus. You don't get much other fun frills, but for this kind of money the Canon IXUS 185 does pretty much all you would expect. If cheap, compact and simple is what you want, look no further!

(Image credit: Fujifilm)

18. Fujifilm XP140

The XP140 is easy and eye-catching – you won't lose this on the beach!

Specifications
Type: Compact
Sensor: 1/2.3in
Megapixels: 16.4MP
Lens: 28-140mm (equiv) f/3.9-4.9
LCD: 3in, 920k dots
Waterproof: 25m/82ft
Shockproof: 1.8m/5.9ft
Freezeproof: -10ºC/14ºF
Max video resolution: 4K
Reasons to buy
+Everything-proof+Useful zoom lens
Reasons to avoid
-4K tops out at 15p-No manual/RAW shooting

Dunk it 25m underwater, drop it on the rocks from 1.8m in the air or take in into sub-freezing temperatures; the Fujifilm FinePix XP140 can handle practically anything you care to throw at it. Even without factoring in its tough build, this is a capable camera in its own right, delivering high-quality images in a range of lighting conditions, and even managing to shoot UHD 4K video (albeit at a pretty middling 15p frame rate). It's extremely easy to pick up and use, with helpful scene recognition modes to make the most of different situations, though it's worth noting that it lacks manual modes and RAW capability, which might start to frustrate the more serious photographer. However that's not enough to stop this being a bargain buy if you're after a cheap tough camera.

(Image credit: Panasonic)

19. Panasonic FZ1000

With its 1-in sensor and fast superzoom lens, the FZ1000 is a bargain

Specifications
Type: Supzerzoom compact
Sensor: 1in type
Megapixels: 20.1MP
Lens: 25-400mm (equiv.) f/2.8-4
Viewfinder: EVF, 2.36million dots
LCD: 3in vari-angle LCD, 921k dots
Max burst speed: 12fps (50fps in SH mode)
Movies: 4K and Full HD
User level: Enthusiast
Reasons to buy
+Excellent sensor/lens combination+Great 4K video recording
Reasons to avoid
-No touchscreen-Bulky 

It's one of the pricier cameras on this list, but the FZ1000 offers such superb value for money that it simply can't be left out. On top of the very solid foundation of a 20.1MP 1in sensor and a 25-400mm f/2.8-4 Leica-branded optic, Panasonic has gifted the camera with Power O.I.S. image stabilization, Raw file capture, 12fps burst shooting and both Wi-Fi and NFC. Videos are captured in both 4K and Full HD quality, with a 120fps setting in Full HD for slow-motion output, together with advanced options such as zebra patterning and even a 3.5mm mic port, while a 2.36million-dot electronic viewfinder is partnered with a fully-articulated 3in LCD. Panasonic has now released an FZ1000 Mark II, but the original FZ1000 is still on sale and some great deals can be had on this older camera. The new model doesn't add many significant upgrades, so we reckon the original is still the better value for money buy.

More camera buying guides:

Rod Lawton

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.