Best Bargain Cameras

With a flurry of new cameras arriving earlier in the year and with more expected to arrive in the not too distant future, there’s no better time to pick up a great camera at a great price. Here we reveal eight of the most tempting online deals

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 camera bargain hunt
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 camera bargain hunt Panasonic TZ40 camera bargain hunt Olympus E-PL5 camera bargain hunt Nikon D7000 camera bargain hunt Nikon D3100 camera bargain hunt Fujifilm XP-200 camera bargain hunt Fujifilm X-E1 camera bargain hunt Canon EOS 6D camera bargain hunt

If there's one thing all photographer's love it's a bargain, or making a significant saving when buying or upgrading to a new camera or lens.

Whether it's a saving of just a few pounds or hundreds of pounds, paying less than the recommended retail price helps to make our purchase feel better justified and rewarding.

With a host of new models launched at the start of the year, and the promise of more to come at this year's Photokina trade show, now is as good a time as any to bag a bargain. 

Here are eight of the best current camera bargains on the market.

Fujifilm FinePix XP-200

Fujifilm FinePix XP-200

£169

Although the limelight on Fujifilm's XP-200 has somewhat been overshadowed by the more recent release of the XP-70 in the manufacturers lineup, it's an excellent compact choice for anyone who lives for the outdoors and wants a tough camera capable of surviving the harshest of conditions.

Starting out with a recommended retail price (RRP) that was just shy of £225, its dropped by more than £56 since its launch in March 2013 and is one of the best specified tough compacts you can buy for the money today.

Waterproof to 15m, shockproof from up to 2m and freezeproof to -10degrees, it features a 16MP 1/2.3in CMOS sensor with its 5x optical zoom providing a focal length that's equivalent to 28-140mm.

What's more, not only is one of the best looking tough compacts around, it's available in yellow, red, blue or black and features Wi-fi for instant wireless transfer to smartphones and tablets. 

Key Specs

Sensor: 16MP CMOS (1/2.3in)
Lens: 5x (28-140mm)
Display: 3in, 920k-dot
ISO range: 100-6400
Burst Mode: 10fps
Dimensions: 116x71x30mm
Weight: 232g

Panasonic Lumix TZ40

Panasonic Lumix TZ40

£149

Trawling the internet for best buys, one of the best deals we found was for Panasonic's travel compact - the TZ40. Available through Currys for a staggering £149, the camera initially started out with a price tag of £329.

Since its successor arrived in the form of the Panasonic Lumix TZ60, we've seen its price drop by a staggering £180 in less than 18 months and for anyone after a long zoom compact to record their memories on their travels it's a no brainer.

It might not feature an electronic viewfinder or Raw support like the TZ60, but its big zoom (equivalent to 24-480mm) is ideal for squeezing a lot in the frame or picking out details in the far distance. Add to this its 3in, 920k-dot touchscreen, quick start up time and wireless capabilities and you get a huge amount of camera for the money.

It's also picked up its fair share of accolades for being the best travel compact on the market.

Key Specs

Sensor: 18.1MP CMOS (1/2.3in)
Lens: 20x (24-480mm)
Display: 3in, 920k-dot
ISO range: 100-6400
Burst Mode: 10fps
Dimensions: 108.3x58.9x27.7mm
Weight: 172g

Nikon D3100

Nikon D3100 with 18-55mm

£293

Since the D3100 was announced in 2010, its been superseded by both the D3200 and the more recent D3300. The result of two replacement models in Nikon's entry-level DSLR lineup has dropped the price significantly, so much so it's now £287 cheaper with the 18-55mm kit lens than when we reviewed it four years ago.

The best kit price available was found through WEX Photographic for £293, with the best body only price (£229) available through T4 cameras in Swindon. Although no longer a spring chicken in Nikon's DSLR lineup, it remains a great starter camera for any novice to a DSLR who's working to a strict budget.

Its 14.2MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor delivers respectable image quality and full HD video is available too. Though its sensor and screen resolution is no match for Nikon's current entry-level DSLRs, newcomers to it from a compact camera will be able to unleash their potential and see the benefits.

Key Specs

Sensor: 14.2MP CMOS (APS-C)
Lens: Kit lens (18-55mm)
Display: 3in, 230k-dot
ISO range: 100-12800
Burst Mode: 3fps
Dimensions: 124x96x75mm
Weight: 455g

Fujifilm X-E1

Fujifilm X-E1 (body only)

£299

Fujifilm's X-E1 is an excellent example of where a huge saving can be made if you're in the market for a retro-styled CSC. Back at the time of its launch in the latter part of 2012 the X-E1 cost £749 body only, but with its replacement model - the X-E2 - now being the centre of attention, it's lowered the price of the X-E1 by a whopping £450 in less than two years.

At time of writing, all X-E1's going for £299 were in black with the best prices being offered by Wex Photographic and Currys. For the two-tone silver and black finish, the cheapest retailers were Jessops and Clifton cameras who were selling it for £349.

If you don't already own any Fujifilm XF lenses you will want to factor in buying a lens. Our recommended choice would be the excellent 18-55mm XF f/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens - available for £399 through Mathers of Lancashire.

Key Specs

Sensor: 16.3 CMOS (APS-C)
Lens: N/A
Display: 2.8in, 460k-dot
ISO range: 100-25600
Burst Mode: 6fps
Dimensions: 129x75x38mm
Weight: 350g

Olympus E-PL5

Olympus E-PL5 with 14-42mm

£319 with 14-42mm lens

The Olympus E-PL5 joined the manufacturers Pen Lite range of CSCs towards the end of 2012 and in the two years since its launch it's a model that's dropped £280 in price - and that's with the 14-42mm kit lens included!

With a numbers of retailers selling it at £319, including WEX Photographic, Jessops, ABC Digital Cameras and Park Cameras, it's a great buy for a DSLR photographer looking for something a little less cumbersome and more lightweight.

Capable of producing detailed images while keeping noise to a minimum, its 16.1MP sensor performs very well. In terms of shooting features it offers all those you would get with an enthusiast DSLR, though it does lack built-in Wi-fi connectivity.

For your money you'll receive a well-built CSC in return that's straightforward to use and looks great in black or silver. For those after a more clinical look, it can also be picked up for £319 in white with a silver lens. 

Key Specs

Sensor: 16.1 CMOS (Micro Four Thirds)
Lens: 14-42mm
Display: 3in, 460k-dot
ISO range: 200-25600
Burst Mode: 8fps
Dimensions: 110.5x63.7x38.2mm
Weight: 325g

Sony RX100

Sony CyberShot RX100

£309

The original RX100 caused quite a stir at the time of its launch, with its 1in 20MP sensor and fast Zeiss f/1.8 lens making it stand out from all other pocket compacts on the market.

When it was brought to the shelves just over two years ago it cost a rather hefty £549, but this has dropped by around £100 each year to today's best price of £359, which can be made cheaper still by taking Sony up on their current £50 cash back promotion that's available until the 31st August.

The introduction of the RX100 II and RX100 III have played their part in reducing the price and although the newer models come with a more impressive specification, such as a flip out screen in the case of the RX100 II and a pop up EVF in the case of the RX100 III, the original RX100 remains a superb pocket-size compact capable of delivering exceptional image quality.

Pick it up for £309 and it's a steal!

Key Specs

Sensor: 20.2MP CMOS (1in)
Lens: 28-100mm
Display: 3in, 1228k-dot
ISO range: 100-25600
Burst Mode: 10fps
Dimensions: 102x59x36mm
Weight: 213g

Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000

£539 (body only)

Whether you're a Nikon user looking to upgrade from an entry-level model, a first-time DSLR buyer looking for a great deal or a Nikon user after a second-body to use as a backup, the Nikon D7000 makes a great case for itself.

Unveiled to the world four years ago, it started out with a body only price of £1100, which has since dropped by £561 to a best price of £539 - available from retailer Bristol Cameras. The drop in price is partly down to the launch of the newer D7100, which boasts a higher resolution sensor, more focus points and larger screen among other benefits.

That said, the D7000 remains an excellent APS-C DSLR with an impressive build quality, excellent handling and fast burst rate. The omission of the anti-aliasing filter also exhibits certain crispness when it's used with Nikon's pro-spec glass.

Throw in the 18-105mm kit lens and it'll take the price up to, a still very respectable, £619.

Key Specs

Sensor: 16.2MP CMOS (APS-C)
Lens: N/A
Display: 3in, 920k-dot
ISO range: 100-25600
Burst Mode: 6fps
Dimensions: 132x105x77mm
Weight: 780g

Canon EOS 6D

Canon EOS 6D

£1229 (body only)

Full frame DSLRs are notorious for their steep asking prices, but the recent price drop of the Canon EOS 6D makes it a very attractive proposition when you consider it can be picked up online for a very reasonable £1299 from Digital Depot and Mathers of Lancahire retailers.

Add to this the £150 saving you can make through Canon's current Summer Cashback promotion (available until the 13th August) and it's possible to pick up an EOS 6D for £1149 - a saving of £650 off its launch price and for a camera that's barely two years old.

As well as being a tempting option for Canon APS-C DSLR owners who might be looking to upgrade to full frame, the 6D would be an excellent backup body for professionals or semi-pros that may already be using the Canon EOS 1DX or Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

Add Canon's versatile 24-105mm lens to the purchase and it'll take the price up closer to £1899.

Key Specs

Sensor: 20.2MP CMOS (APS-C)
Lens: N/A
Display: 3in, 1040k-dot
ISO range: 50-102400
Burst Mode: 4.5fps
Dimensions: 145x111x71mm
Weight: 680g