Are you ready to upgrade from your beginner camera to a high performing mid range model? You can really improve your image quality and photography skill with a better camera which is exactly what you will find here.
[The Main Museum is supported by readers like you. Some links are affiliate links and we earn a small commission when you make a purchase at no additional cost to you. As always, all recommendations are based on performance and value for you]
How to Choose the Best Mid-Range Camera for Your Needs
If you’re looking for the perfect mid-range camera, there is good news. You simply no longer have to spend thousands of dollars on a camera just to get one that produces clear photographs and is easy to use. Digital cameras are what most people use nowadays because you can delete the ones you don’t like before printing them out on high-quality photo paper if you need to do so.
Choosing a mid-range camera starts with knowing the three main types of cameras used today, which include:
All three have advantages and disadvantages, but before you memorize these things, you should first consider exactly what you’re looking for when researching cameras.
For instance, ask yourself some questions such as, how often will I be using the camera? What types of photographs will I be taking most of the time? Do I need the camera to be portable?
As a general rule, a DSLR camera is great for people who intend to take pictures once a week or more often, need high-quality indoor pictures, or if you’d like to add fancier lenses at some point. If you just need a camera to take vacation photos, you might as well save your money and buy a less expensive point-and-shoot camera or even a mirrorless one.
DSLR cameras may be a bit more expensive than the other types of cameras, but they also allow for more control over your photographs and therefore allow you to change many of the settings so that you get a more perfect picture in the end. With point-and-shoot cameras, a lot of the settings can’t be changed so you simply get what you get.
On the other hand, if you have kids that you love taking pictures of, a point-and-shoot camera might be perfect because you won’t have to stop and change all types of settings before using it, which you won’t want to do anyway because kids can do cute things at the spur of the moment. With point-and-shoot cameras, you can snap a picture quickly then move onto something else.
Mirrorless cameras have internal structures that are completely different from other types of cameras. They don’t have shutters or a light-bouncing mirror structure and therefore the quality isn’t as good as the DSLR cameras. Nevertheless, they are quiet, fast, and still take good pictures overall. They are also called mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras, or MILCs.
How Much Does A Mid Range Camera Cost?
Cameras range from around $100 to several thousand dollars, but most top-notch cameras can be purchased for under $1,000 – some under $500. Average prices for the cameras mentioned above are as follows:
- DSLR cameras: these average $500 but can be as high as $1,200 or more for a professional one.
- Point-and-shoot cameras: most are in the $200 to $400 range.
- MILCs: most range from $300 to $400, although professional ones can cost up to $4,000.
Once you determine your budget and the type of camera you need, the rest of the process is fairly simple. You’ll also want to take two other aspects into consideration. First of all, you should always go with a brand that is reputable and is known for producing reliable, high-quality cameras that are built to last. Second, you’ll want to consider how easy the camera is to use, because some cameras can be a lot more difficult to use than others.
Because of these things, it is always a good idea to check out a camera in person instead of buying one sight-unseen over the Internet. You’ll need to put your hands on the camera and work it a little so that you can prepare yourself for using it in real life. This is the only way to ensure you end up buying something you’ll love.
Best Mid Range Camera Picks
If you’re curious about some of the best mid-range cameras on the market today, consider the following cameras as you’re doing your research.
Panasonic Lumix G9 Digital Camera
The Lumix G9 is a mirrorless digital camera that offers perks such as 20.3 megapixels, a 3-inch LCD for convenience, and a rugged splash proof and freezeproof design that allows you to use it in numerous situations without worry. This means you can take this camera with you anywhere you go – even out in the field – and it will still provide you with the versatility and dependability that you need to get great pictures.
- Lots of high-tech features for great pictures every time.
- Comes with ports that allow you to listen to headphones as you snap pictures.
- Provides you with professional photographs and videos.
- A bit pricy for some people at around $1,200.
- Complaints about poor-quality image sensor.
Ricoh GR III Digital Compact Camera
This is a compact AKA “point and shoot” 28 mm f/2.8 digital camera that offers a touchscreen LCD to make setting up the camera a lot easier and faster. Priced at around $900, it offers an ultra-wide-angle lens with a special sensor that allows for crystal-clear photographs regardless of what you’re shooting. The USB connection means you can easily attach it to many of your electronic devices, and it even offers the ability to record high-quality movies and videos if you like.
- Fast, very responsive auto-focus function.
- Lightweight and ultra-compact.
- Provides a lot of value for the price.
- Complaints about the auto-focus not being good enough.
- Complaints about problems downloading some of the pictures.
Pentax KP Weatherproof DSLR Camera
Available in both black and silver, the Pentax KP DSLR camera offers a 5-axis shake-reduction system that allows you to take excellent photographs even if you’re not a professional. The image sensor moves in single pixel increments so that you get high-resolution results every time, and the 3-inch vertical-tilt LCD monitor means both high- and low-angle shooting is a breeze. The $700 price is for the body only, which means you can enjoy a variety of high-quality lenses from then on.
- Comes with built-in Wi-Fi.
- Sturdy camera that is both dust-proof and weather-resistant.
- High-tech features at a reasonable price.
- Complaints about it being difficult to use without a battery grip.
- Complaints about a finicky Wi-Fi link.
Sony Alpha a6400 Compact Mirrorless Camera
Complete with real-time eye auto-focus, the Sony Alpha mirrorless camera offers crisp, clear colors thanks to the 11FPS continuous shooting feature, and the weight of roughly 14 ounces means you can take it anywhere with ease. It is super fast and accurate and even offers multiple movie functions if this is what you wish to do with the camera. Furthermore, at a price of under $1,000, you can enjoy professional results without paying a lot of money for it.
- Crisp, clear colors in every picture.
- Reasonably priced and affordable.
- Lightweight and easy to transport.
- Complaints about the SD slot’s location making it difficult to use with a tripod.
- Complaints about its overall quality.
Fujifilm X-T30 Mirrorless Digital Camera
With accurate auto-focus tracking and face detection, the Fujifilm X-T30 camera is perfect for those times when you need to snap clear pictures of a moving target. In fact, both image and video effects have been greatly improved and upgraded with this camera, and you can even record 4K videos at 30 frames per second or create slow-motion effects by capturing 120 frames per second at 1080p. This is the perfect camera for people who have to take excellent pictures in unreliable situations.
- A total of 58 pre-set settings to guarantee a great photo.
- Very intuitive, easy-to-use design with comfortable controls.
- Provides a lot of value for the money.
- Complaints about the camera being too small.
- Complaints about the photos being low quality.
All of these are fine cameras that are perfect for both beginners and more experienced photographers, but the one that gets the highest marks overall is the Ricoh GR III Digital Compact Camera. Why? First of all, it is super easy to use and is therefore perfect for beginners, yet more advanced photographers can still take advantage of its many high-tech features, which include a wide-angle lens, a touchscreen LCD display screen, and a very fast and responsive auto-focus feature.
In addition to all of this, you get the capability to connect it to numerous mobile devices, including both Windows and Mac devices, which means you can instantly see how your photographs look before you begin sharing them with others. You get full-HD movie recording capability and a menu that is easy to understand and easy to use. In other words, the Ricoh GR III is a high-tech camera that you can enjoy without a high-tech price tag that costs you thousands of dollars.
Speaking of price, the $900 price is a steal once you consider everything that you get in return. Smart but easy to use, lightweight and easy to transport wherever you go, you can use this responsive, fast-acting camera to take pictures whether you’re inside or outside, taking close-ups or photographing a great view, and regardless of what you’re shooting. This is one camera that will never disappoint because in the end, it is a high-quality and dependable camera that you can use for all sorts of subjects and events and which you can purchase without breaking the bank.