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With technological advancement and rising demand, many camera giants are regularly introducing new 4K cameras. These Ultra resolution cameras have always been recognized for higher-end users, but with time they’re getting cheaper. If you are searching for the best 4K camera under 500 for you, take a deep breath as you are just in the right place.
With 4K resolution, you can enjoy UHD images and videos to make you feel like you are in the pictures or videos. The high-quality resolution comes with great possibilities. If you are a vlogger or YouTuber; or takes a lot of video footage, a high-resolution camera will boost your content massively.
Well, there are lots of cameras you may find under 500 bucks. This article will help you find the best ones that’ll meet your need and you’ll learn what to consider before buying a 4k camera.
Our Recommended Top 5 4k Camera Under 500 at a Glance:
- Best Camcorder: SEREE 4k Camcorder Video Camera
- Best Action Camera: GoPro HERO8
- Best Compact Camera: Sony DSC-HX99
- Best Mirrorless Camera: Canon EOS M50
- Best Digital Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ300
Why Do You Need Shooting Videos With 4K Cameras?
First thing first, 4K is referred to as the 4K resolution, which is basically of 3840×2160 pixels with a total number of 8.3 million pixels. It offers four times sharper and clearer image quality than that of 1080p HD and nine times than that of 720p HD offers. That means you need to set up nine 720p cameras, each concentrating on different sections to get a detailed image as a single 4K camera can!
Apart from shooting the most detailed image, 4K contents are compatible with projecting on more substantial screens without losing details. But what would happen when your 4K contents are broadcasted on HD or standard definition?
When you have a large source image and cropping it for HD size, the image will be the most vibrant and clearest HD image possible. When sized to regular HD (1080p), an ultra-HD image can hold more details than any high-end HD camera can produce.
Imagine you are watching an old TV series made for standard resolution on your HD TV. Already seems boring, right? Well, if you can’t upgrade standards with time, your content won’t get expected views. Today, HD contents are ruling, but 4K is the future. If you want to hold your viewers in the future as well, 4K should be the only choice.
In addition to the best resolution, 4K gives you better control over images in post-production. Better stabilization, extra zoom, and reduced noise are also significant advantages. In short, shooting with a 4K camera will make your tasks seem effortless.
If you are convinced already and looking for a cheaper one, we’re here to help you choose the best pick according to your preference.
Top 5 Best 4K Camera Under 500 – The Review
1. BEST DIGITAL CAMERA – Panasonic Lumix FZ300
If your device cannot reach to capture airplanes or the moon’s crates, you probably need a superzoom camera. Panasonic Lumix FZ300 is the best superzoom you can get in 2021.
This camera records 4K videos up to 30 fps and offers a best-in-class 24x zoom (25-600mm) lens. With this much zoom, the camera is ideal for wildlife and travel photography.
The autofocus is blazing quick, and burst shooting mode can make your action moments more amazing. The camera comes with a high-resolution electronic viewfinder with a touchscreen display that can be tilted to take selfies.
With Panasonic’s DFD autofocus technology, the subjects are brought to focus in a quick time. Also, continuous focus stability is improved while shooting video.
5-axis HYBRID optical image stabilizer plus helps to reduce the blurring effect, which isn’t compatible with 4K recording. You will get crispy images even in low light conditions with a 12.1 MP MOS sensor associated with small aperture settings.
The FZ300 can be remotely controlled via Wi-Fi from your smartphones. The camera can shoot images in RAW format and also process them inside the camera. You will be stunned with its macro photography with a minimum focusing distance of 1cm.
The camera is an excellent value for money with versatile features. However, the camera accessories can make you pay more than 500, but it should be within your range if you stick to the camera alone.
- Impressive EVF
- Great zooming capability
- 12 fps burst shooting
- Faster autofocus performance
- Bulky body
- Excessive noise reduction in lower ISOs
2. BEST MIRRORLESS – Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Video Creator Kit
If you search for an easy using mirrorless camera that offers excellent image quality with a sound autofocus system, Canon EOS M50 might be a great choice.
M50 comes with a smaller 24.1 MP APS-C sensor that ensures decent image quality and keeps the camera compact, unlike DSLRs. The camera has a sensitivity range of ISO100-25,600 that can be expanded up to 51,200.
You can shoot videos in 4K up to 24 fps with the camera and 4K time-lapse footage. But unfortunately, while shooting footage in 4K, 1.6x of the sensor’s whole breadth is cropped.
Canon provides improved Dual Pixel CMOS AF that features a wide autofocus area. With DIGIC 8 image processor and interchangeable lens options, the camera delivers incredible colors, more details, and a stunning dynamic range.
There’s also advanced subject tracking and Eye detection AF that can lock on to the main subject’s eyes. So, your portraits with this camera will be just on top.
M50 comes with 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen LCD and built-in EVF with a 2.36 million dot resolution. The camera also excels in connectivity as you can connect the camera with smartphones via NFC to transfer files and control via Wi-Fi. Files can also be transferred automatically to the compatible device if you install the Image Transfer Utility 2 app.
Canon EOS M50 comes with the average battery life that is rated as 235 shots after fully charged. This is an entry-level mirrorless camera that lacks flagship performance. Still, if you want to start vlogging or shooting, M50 is the best 4K mirrorless camera under 500 with great subject tracking features.
However, the camera accessories can make you pay more than 500, but it should be within your range if you stick to the camera body alone.
- Excellent low light performance
- Decent autofocus system
- Easy to operate
- Best touchscreen interface in this range
- No panorama
- Average battery life
3. BEST COMPACT CAMERA – Sony DSC-HX99 4k Compact Camera
If you travel very often and like to vlog a lot, Sony DSC-HX99 is the best 4k travel camera under $500. The compact camera with a massive zoom delivers high-quality images and outstanding performance.
You can shoot videos in 4K with full pixel readout and no pixel binning. It can also shoot high frame rate HD videos up to 120 fps for producing super slow motion during editing.
With 18.2 MP Exmor R CMOS sensor, the camera delivers excellent image quality with delicate textures and details. A range of ISO80-6400 will let you capture beautiful low light images. Raw shooting is also available in this model.
There is a 3-inch touchscreen LCD with a resolution of 921k dots that can be tilted 180˚; so that you can take group selfies. The Eye AF feature activates automatically to detect and focus on the subject’s eye even under odd conditions. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) uses the LCD as a touchpad AF to shift focus easily.
Sony HX99 is capable of shooting at ten fps continuously up to 155 shots. It enables you to keep the best of them and delete the others. The camera is equipped with in-built Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC. NFC ensures a quick connection with smartphones, Wi-Fi to control the camera remotely.
You can charge the camera with USB using a micro USB socket. The battery is supposed to provide you 370 shots or more with a full charge. You may keep a spare battery with you when going outside for a whole day. Overall, Sony DSC HX99 is an ideal device to travel with featuring amazing capturing functions.
- 30x optical zoom
- Pop-up EVF
- Tilting touch screen
- Raw support
- MicroSD slot
- Poor noise handling
- Unattractive flare
4. BEST CAMCORDER – SEREE 4k Camcorder Video Camera
If you are looking for a handy 4K vlogging camera, SEREE 4K Camcorder should be the ideal one. The camera is equipped with 4K 30 fps video resolution and 48 MP image resolution. With an easy and flexible control system, amazing low light image quality and battery life, this camera excels in every aspect.
The images and videos are incredible with 18x digital zoom. The camera comes with a 270˚ rotating 3 inch HD touch screen that helps you take photos from different angles with built-in stabilization. Open face detection function easily traces your face and shows frames on the screen.
The 4K camera offers a 360˚ wirelessly connected 2.4G remote control to control it, staying within 20 meters. The remote uses 2 AAA batteries. The camcorder also has an IR night vision light to record at night. You have to turn on the feature to observe small animals at night or shooting in the evening. However, the IR image is black and white.
SEREE provides improved microphone than its previous models that adopt X-Y stereo sound pickup technology. With a built-in low cut filter switch, it reduces environmental interference and low-frequency noise effectively. The users find the sound to be clear and stable.
The camera is enabled with function to reduce effect or shock so that the blurring effect will be reduced due to any camera shock. The video recording pause function allows you to pause within the recording and start right from there without starting a new file.
The camera comes with two batteries with the packaging, and each of them provides a 1.5-hour service after being fully charged. The camcorder supports charging while recording that allows you to record for a long time without any interruption.
You can connect the camera to a PC with a USB cable and make it work as a webcam. Similarly, you may enjoy the recordings on TV by connecting with an HDMI cable.
The major drawback the camera has is the absence of autofocus function. However, professional filmmakers don’t use it often as the camera’s closest person isn’t always the subject for a storyline.
Is this the best 4K Camcorder?
4K resolution is not only the prime factor for the best 4k video camera under 500. It needs to have better stabilization for the excellent quality image, remotely controlled, excellent low light performance, and good battery backup. SEREE 4K camcorder excels in every aspect effectively that comes to you under 500.
- 360˚ remote control
- Slow motion
- Charging while recording
- Includes two batteries
- No autofocus function
- No SD card included
5. BEST ACTION CAMERA – GoPro HERO8 Black
When you talk about the action camera, the name GoPro comes automatically. This action cam giant has brought its latest GoPro Hero 8 on the market, which brings updated features than its predecessors.
GoPro 8 comes with in-built loops at the bottom that can be folded in and out. Previous models were needed to attach to plastic frames, but this model doesn’t require any. So, this results in a much convenient pocketable action camera.
You can record videos in 4K up to 60 fps, including at 100 Mbps bitrate. It will also shoot 240 fps for 1080p for super slow motion shots. The waterproof (Up to 33 ft.) camera enables you to capture images at 12 MP with improved HDR. The camera also features four digital lenses to offer a range of shooting options.
GoPro 8 excels with HyperSmooth 2.0 function, which is an update of GoPro 7’s and a prime reason to buy this model. The feature offers you three levels of stabilization – On, High, & Boost. You will get the widest views or boost to the smoothest video you have ever recorded.
TimeWrap 2.0 is also improved, which benefits from the super smooth stabilization of HyperSmooth 2.0 to record time-lapse videos while moving through an activity. It allows you to go back o real-time in the middle of shooting a time-lapse.
There’s a side door to change the batteries faster. The new thicker front lens is claimed to be 2x impact-resistant than previous models. But the lens is no longer replaceable, unlike previous ones, which is a drawback of this model.
Another cool feature is you can go live on social media at 1080p while recording stabilized video with HyperSmooth 2.0 via the GoPro app.
GoPro 8 brings Black Mods for vloggers and pro-filmmakers that are sold separately. Media Mod provides higher quality shotgun-mic performance and lets you attach Light Mod and Display Mod to your capture game.
With the crazy stabilizing functions and video quality, GoPro 8 is the 4k action camera under 500 you will get in 2021.
- Voice Controlled
- HyperSmooth 2.0
- Water, dust, shockproof
- No removable lens
- The body gets hot frequently
How to Choose the Best 4k Camera for You?
There are lots of 4K cameras in the market. You need to choose the best 4K camera under 500 for you. Before that, you need to know some essential features that your 4K camera should have.
Frames Per Second
When shooting in 4K, you need to think of the camera’s frames per second (fps). Usually, budget cameras come with 24/30 fps, but GoPro 8 in our list can record 4K at 60 fps. Professional filmmakers may use higher fps with lower resolution or higher resolution with fewer fps. It depends entirely on how you will be going to use the camera.
This is an important feature to have by a 4K camera to produce clear and sharp images even if you move slightly while capturing.
Optical image stabilization helps reducing blurring by shifting the subjects with the lens. Electronic image stabilization captures less blurry images in exchange with reduced image quality, widely used in action cameras like GoPro Hero 8.
Keep in mind that 4K contents will consume more space. So, look for the camera with microSD slots as camera memory will not be enough to store all of your content.
Cameras with interchangeable lens usually allow you to shoot in RAW. Most of the cameras store the image in JPEG mode, which is used everywhere. The problem is JPEG mode reduces full information of the lenses. RAW, on the other hand, keeps the full details without throwing away that helps an editor in post-production editing with the images.
Type of Camera
There are many kinds of 4K cameras available, as we have described above. You need to conclude what you are going to do with a 4K camera. If you do Vlogging or shooting, then an action camera or camcorder is preferable for you. However, if you are just a regular user and want a 4K compatible camera, then mirrorless or compact cameras should be your choice.
You should look for cameras with higher sensitivity as they automatically fix many of your tasks to make your life easy. For example, remote-controlled cameras can be used by smartphones using even touching the camera. The camera should have an LCD screen to preview your capture.
It’s a bonus and great advantage if your 4K camera under 500 is waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof. For action cameras, it’s an automatic feature as you will do lots of adventure with the camera. Other types of cameras should also possess the features to provide you much flexibility.
Most of the cameras nowadays comes with Wi-Fi feature that allows connecting with smartphones. Sometimes, you can go to live while recording. You can share your works with your friends and family.
Most of the Wi-Fi compatible cameras use apps to connect with your phone. Research those that what they can offer you. Some apps will only allow you to view your works, and some will enable editing those and share afterward. You already know which one to buy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the best camera for under 500 dollars?
Ans: There are many types of cameras, such as point & shoot, mirrorless, compact, and DSLR. Each of the cameras provides specific benefits to its users. Depending on your needs, you can research to find out the best camera under 500 dollars.
What is a good cheap camera for beginners?
Ans: This is also dependent on your need and budget. For example, GoPro Hero 7 might be a great choice as a good cheap camera if you are into vlogging. SEREE 4k Camcorder can be a smart choice if you want to shoot.
The demand and use of 4K cameras are rising with time. Though 1080p is still dominating with contents, within the near future, they will be replaced by the 4K. So, when you are going to buy a camera, why not 4K? In this article, we tried to cover the best 4K camera under 500 for you. We hope it will help you to find your desired one within your budget.