What is the best camera under $600?

The $600 range opens you up to a much broader range of cameras. If you’re ready for an upgrade from a point and shoot, or you’ve got a bit of money to spend, $600 gets you into the entry level DSLRs and entry to mid level interchangeable lens cameras.

Since we’ve got a bit more to choose from in this range, here are my top picks.

Interchangeable Lens cameras (Non-DSLR)

Sony NEX-5R

Pros:
Great platform
More lenses coming soon
Adapters to almost any lens system
Good low light performance
Good video performance
Cons:
With out adapters currently only 2 lens choices 18-55 and 16 mm, no flash.
Overall: I personally own this camera along with the 16mm lens. I love it, it’s a great little camera. Small compact, and does what I need it to do most of the time

Currently $598 on Amazon, but at the Sony store $599 and you get a lens and carry case! ( Check this deal out here! )

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3KK

Pros:
Low cost, built in flash, small size, good collection of lenses
Cons:
No Expansion slots ( hot shoe ), lower quality construction.
Overall: Great little camera, great price, and lots of lenses to ready for you to use. Also built in flash should let you take decent pictures in con hall ways.

Currently under $400 on Amazon

DSLR

Nikon D3200

Pros:
Great starter DSLR. 24.2 Megapixels! Lightweight. Decent kit lens.
Cons:
Could have better low light performance.
Overall: I’ve owned the previous version of this camera ( D3100 ), and it’s a great place to start. If you’re considering a DSLR this is what you need, and it will teach you everything you need to learn.

Currently $597 on Amazon

Canon EOS Rebel T3i

Pros:
Video.
Cons:
Cheap plastic feel.
Overall: I’ve also owned the previous generation of this camera ( Canon t2i ) and this is a solid camera just like the D3200.

Currently $599 on Amazon

Conclusions

If I were to pick a camera from this list, I’d take the Sony NEX-5R. No doubt about it. I love the camera to death and it does it’s job well.

If you were to ask me to pick a DSLR I would pick the Nikon D3200 . The main reason is because I’ve held it and used it. I know it’s layout and I like it. Before you even consider plunking down some money for any of these cameras, go into a camera store and hold the camera, figure out how to use it!

I really cannot emphasize this enough, just pick one up and use it for a few minutes. If the controls aren’t intuitive to you, you’re really going to struggle to learn to use it. Also, if it’s not comfortable to hold for a few minutes in a store, do you expect your self to be able to use for hours at a time, when you’re at a con?

Finally, for those considering a DSLR I’d watch these videos first. If you’ve had your picture taken, you’ll be able to relate to these videos. I’m not saying that a DSLR isn’t a great platform, I’m just saying that it’s not for everyone.

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