Suggestions for a good camera (DSLR/Mirrorless) under $300?

Created by Anominal on Oct. 12, 2013, 12:37 p.m.
  • My friend is looking to get a camera before January. (Says my pics on Facebook made her want to get one. =P)

    But she has a smaller budget than I did. Are there good DSLR/Mirrorless cameras to get under $300? Or let's say $400-450 so I can give her options to save up a bit more if it's justified.

    Well... she said DSLR or waterproof camera. I'm guessing there are some waterproof cameras that are in this range.

    I'm trying to get more info out of her about what her priorities are for photography. DSLR or waterproof sounds like two totally different categories to me.

  • I believe the Canon EOS-M is going for $350 with two lenses right now. It's near the end of it's life and it's not certain that the refreshed model will ever make it over here BUT with the EF adapter you can use any Canon lens on it. Also while it got a lot of harsh (but justified) reviews when it first came out almost all of the problems have been sorted out with firmware updates.

  • Oh I saw that earlier today. I was just browsing canonpricewatch and saw a post saying that a deal for the EOS-M two lenses and a flash for $399 sold out in less than 13 hours. (500 units).

    That's good to hear that most of its issues have been resolved. I actually haven't read too much about it. I'll have that linked to notify me for next time.

  • You'll be better off looking at the second hand market.

    For $300 you could pretty easily pick up a Canon EOS 30D/40D with a 50mm f/1.8 which would be a great starter.

    Not sure about prices for you but for me in Australia, on private trading forums 40Ds sell for around $200-$250AUD.

  • @Anominal: You should probably avoid the EOS-M, seems to be full of problems including focusing issues (both in accuracy and speed) even after the big update.

    But i agree with stenchlord, Second hand is the way to go for DSLR ebay is full of them and from my exp (least in the UK) i haven't had an issue. OR ask around friends, i bet more than a few have a DSLR that they'd like to get rid of or would lend out for the trip.

    To my knowledge there's no such thing as a waterproof DSLR (you'd need a case to take it say underwater, and those that are weather sealed are quite expensive. so your waterproof option would be a compact. Don't know much about them but here's the wirecutters recommendation.


  • @Anominal: You know you might try looking just for camera bodys, and picking up a cheap or used lens to start with for her. Since lens that accompany bodys are generally considerably inflated in price IMO, If you where to find a body in the price range you wanted and either pick up a used lens or a fixed focal length consumer lens to start with. That would save a considerable amount of money on a new or used body purchase.

    As for water proof cameras, Generally the inexspensive ones are all point and shoot cameras. They do make weather protection bags for SLR's that are not super expensive, but they are somewhat of a pain in the butt and are not suited for submersion or anything really much beyond keeping rain off your camera, not to mention the front lens plates lack decent optical quality in most situations. Serious under water camera housings tend to cost in the 1-2k range. However they are neutrally boyant.

    I would guess for something that is inexpensive and water proof to possibly look at some of gopro's offerings i am not sure if they offer snapshot capabilities but they housings are waterproof and they are fairly cheap to pickup.