I think that you could get a nice Nikon FM2N and a nice Nikkor wide angle and still have change left from that $500. Or a Yashica FX-3 with a Zeiss T* 28mm lens. Or one of many good compact AF cameras, see the current thread on them in this forum. http://www.apug.org/forums/forum52/9...arge-lens.html
Have you considered a scale-focus camera? The Olympus XA4 will be as unobtrusive as anything you will find.