Buying guide for best cameras under $500 ...

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Whether you're looking for a compact camera with image quality exceeding that of your smartphone or just want something to sit alongside your more expensive gear, there are some impressive products that won't bust your wallet.

The cameras in this buying guide are light and portable, and several feature selfie-friendly LCDs. Generally speaking, you won't find a lot of direct controls or a lot of customizability, and 4K video is rare, but for those seeking a point-and-shoot experience with better image quality, these cameras fit the bill.

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