There are lots of cheap cameras around, but a bargain camera is more than just cheap. A bargain camera is one that has all the features you want at an attractive price. And there are some great examples around at the moment, especially if you’re prepared to step back from the latest models.
If we were looking to buy a camera this Black Friday, these are the ones we’d be looking for deals on.
The 24.3Mp APS-C format Fujifilm X-T2 goes right to the top of the list. It’s recently been superseded by the Fujifilm X-T3, but it’s still a great camera. It has the same durable build quality as the X-T3, it’s weather-proof and it has the traditional exposure controls that so many of us love.
Fujifilm’s fabulous Film Simulation modes are available, including the popular Acros mode for monochrome photography. The autofocus system isn’t quite up to the standard of the X-T3’s, but it’s very responsive and suitable for shooting sport.
It’s still available new, but there are also lots of secondhand bargains to be had now some photographers are upgrading to the X-T3. It’s definitely one to look out for this Black Friday.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
The 16Mp Olympus OM-D E-M10 II is a cracking little camera. But don’t be fooled by its small size, it offers a tremendous amount of control and a great range of features. It’s a perfect go-anywhere camera with the M. Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ lens because it’s small enough to fit in a handbag or a coat pocket. And if you carry it on your shoulder, you’ll hardly notice it’s there.
As it’s a Micro Four Thirds camera, the OM-D E-M10 II is compatible with an extensive range of lenses. It has the PASM exposure modes that enthusiasts want as well as a collection of beginner-friendly automatic shooting options. There’s also a 1,440,000-dot electronic viewfinder and a 3-inch 1,037,000-dot tilting LCD touch-screen.
We also love Live Composite mode for shooting fireworks, traffic trails and painting with light. And of course, there’s Wi-Fi connectivity built-in so you can control the camera remotely or share images quickly via your phone.
As the Olympus OM-D E-M10 III is now on sale, this is another camera that’s available new or second-hand. You get a lot for your money.
The Sony A6000 is one of the best-selling cameras of recent times. It’s easy to see why when you look at its specification. For a start, it has a 24.3Mp APS-C format CMOS sensor, a hybrid AF system with 179 phase detection points and 25 contrast detection points, a 1,440,000-dot viewfinder and a tilting 3-inch 921k-dot screen.
That AF system doesn’t just impress with its number of points, it’s fast and accurate with Eye AF helping to get portrait shots sharp. In addition, the A6000 can shoot at up to 11fps so you shouldn’t miss any action.
Sony has a good reputation for producing cameras with a solid video specification and the A6000 performs well, but the maximum resolution is Full HD rather than 4K.
Canon EOS 77D
The Canon EOS 77D was the replacement for the hugely popular Canon 760D (aka Canon EOS T6s). However, it shares a lot of its specifications with the higher-level Canon 80D. Its 24Mp APS-C format CMOS sensor, however, is newer and is paired with the Digic 7 processing engine. This means the 77D actually produces slightly better quality images than the 80D.
When the viewfinder is in use, there’s a 45-point AF system that’s sensitive down to -3EV that can get fast-moving subjects sharp while shooting at 6fps. In live view mode, images are composed on the 3.2-inch 1,040,000-dot Clear View LCD II which is touch-sensitive and mounted on a vari-angle hinge. There’s also a 49-point Dual Pixel CMOS AF system which helps keep video subjects sharp.
Video resolution tops out at Full HD (1920 x 1080) at up to 60p.
There’s also Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth connectivity built-in and the Bluetooth os ‘always on’ to browse images on a smartphone without having to touch the camera.
Panasonic Lumix GX9
Panasonic’s Lumix GX9 is a small 20.3Mp Micro Four Thirds camera with a neat trick or two. For example, its electronic viewfinder tilts to make it more comfortable to use when shooting at low angles. In addition, there’s a tilting touch-screen and a collection of well-thought controls to enable fast setting changes.
It also has Panasonic’s 4K Photo mode which uses video technology to make capturing stills of split-second moments easy. It means you’ll never miss the action.
Panasonic introduced ‘Power Save LVF’ with the GX9. This boosts the standard battery life from 260 shots to a much more impressive 900 shots. That’s useful on a long trip.
It all adds up to make the GX9 a very nice street or travel photography camera.