5 Awesome Cameras You Can Buy for Under $100

Having multiple cameras as a photographer is always a good idea as it gives you security and versatility. The good news is you can easily add an extra camera to your arsenal for less than $100.

Only a foolish photographer goes out with just one camera in their camera bag. If the worst was to happen and your camera died during a commercial shoot you'd be in big trouble. That's why it's always good practice to have at least one backup body with you. In an ideal world, it would be nice if that second camera was the same as your main body, but unfortunately, many people's budgets just won't stretch that far. The good news is there are plenty of great cameras out there that don't cost the earth and will produce really good pictures for you too.

Enter stage left, Adam Harig of FoxTailWhipz who has made an insightful video showcasing five cameras that can all be bought for less than $100 and could easily become your next backup camera. The likes of Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, and Lumix are all featured in this video with both the Canon Rebel XT and the Nikon D80 being notable bodies you may already be familiar with. There is one small catch with all these cameras which is that they are second-hand and have been around for several years already. For example, the Nikon D80 was first released back in 2006. Please do try to not let that detail put you off as many of these bodies are built really well and are still more than capable of producing great images.

The video goes into detail explaining all the features of each camera and Harig provides a good selection of example images to help illustrate the sort of pictures you can expect to make with them. The fact all the cameras featured will accommodate interchangeable lenses is good news for those who already own a few lenses. Just be sure to check everything you have is compatible or that an adaptor ring exists before you make any purchases.

The video ends with Harig ranking the cameras in order of his preference which I think he does very fairly. I won't spoil the end of the video but I will give you a clue and say one of the Nikons takes the crown. For the sort of amounts you can pick these cameras up, it wouldn't cost the earth to buy a few and give them a whirl.

What do you make of these older cameras? Any of you still shooting with them? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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Jacques Cornell's picture

The backup for my a7RIII is...another a7RIII. They're getting cheaper every day.

Tom Reichner's picture


One caveat is that it can be difficult to get support, parts, service, and software compatibility for older models. Also, old electronics often start to glitch out on a regular basis, and the only sure remedy is often a new motherboard. I speak from experience as I have used several DSLRs that are over 10 years old, and using this old tech does lead to a set of frequent problems.


Mike Shwarts's picture

True. But if you are careful in your gear choice and you look for bargains, you can probably buy a replacement for less than shipping, service and parts. Assuming, as you said, parts and service are available.

Mike Shwarts's picture

I should add that this might be a good way to start if you use a phone for photos. A friend's stepdaughter got a Canon Rebel kit for Christmas a few years ago. As far as I know, she has given up on it, or rarely uses it. A phone is always with you for many people, and far easier to carry on an everyday basis.

Tom Reichner's picture

That's a really great point, especially when we're way down in the $100 range.

Adam Palmer's picture

I think you can even go full frame for $100 if you don't mind an ugly camera. Canon original 5d. Loved that camera.

Jeff B's picture

It really is shocking to look at the current used prices of some of the cameras I purchased new. Every one is still perfectly capable. I would be mildly concerned about finding compatible proprietary batteries and old style memory cards to work with some of them though.