Are you looking for the best digital camera under $300?
Then you’ve come to the right place. We gathered the top 10 digital cameras, which are just under $300 and reviewed them. See for yourself the strengths and weaknesses of each camera, and make the best decisions.
Top Digital Camera Under $300
Everyone wants to get their hands on a digital camera nowadays. Digital cameras have replaced the traditional ones, trumping them in both quality and efficiency. These cameras normally use an image processor and a sensor.
Cameras nowadays come in all shapes and sizes, and thus prices as well. If you want a camera under $300, then get ready for some fantastic specs. Most cameras in this range have an image resolution between 16 and 20 MP. And most shoot videos at 720p or 1080p.
You’ll find that most use two types of sensors: CCD and CMOS. Each has its benefits and drawbacks. The best part about cameras in this price range is that most of them come in a bundle. So you’ll be getting a tripod and a memory card, among other things.
So, let’s dig right into our product list to see which options are available.
Canon’s PowerShot line always goes over the top. This particular model features a 50x optical zoom and 24 gigabytes of storage. The overall capacity of the PowerShot SX530 is something to look for. It’s a great model that can capture FHD videos with almost zero camera shake.
The first thing you will notice is the incredible 50x optical zoom. This is an exceptional range for any digital camera largely facilitated by the 461,000 dots screen resolution.
The high resolution means you get sharper images at wider zooms. But even with that, at the 50x zoom level, the clarity would be a bit compromised.
Aside from that, this camera has an image resolution of 16 MP and uses the CMOS sensor. CMOS sensors are highly sensitive and are great for getting the right amount of image exposure. And the image stabilization system not only makes stills better, but shooting becomes a breeze too. Each video is shot at 1080p FHD and can be stored on the complementary memory cards.
Speaking of compliments, this product is essentially a bundle. It includes a tripod, a camera case, a lens cleaning kit, and 24 GB in memory cards.
Here’s another PowerShot model. This camera features even more accessories and better image quality. However, the video resolution and optical zoom are a bit lower than the previous PowerShot. But they are definitely worth the price. The PowerShot SX420 features a resolution of 20 MP and video shooting in 720p HD.
To start with, this PowerShot has better image resolution, at 20 MP. Normally, 16 MP is the standard for other cameras in this range, including other PowerShots. So the images you get have the best clarity and provide for a better digital zoom experience.
However, the optical zoom limit is 42x. This is still pretty impressive compared to other brands, but not among other PowerShots. Even at 42x, the image quality stays quite stable.
Along with that, the video quality is 720p, which is only complemented by the electronic IS. However, what sets this PowerShot aside is that it uses a CCD sensor with a DIGIC 4 processor.
CCD sensors are better than CMOS sensors at both noise reduction and low-light performance. And the SX420 features more accessories, including a 64GB memory card and a tripod.
The Panasonic Point-and-Shoot camera comes in a great value deal. This camera has the most versatile feature set, with an 18.1 MP resolution and a 60x optical zoom. Furthermore, it’s a great video camera, shooting at an incredible 4K resolution. The Panasonic Lumix is a great all-rounder for people on a budget.
First things first, this camera has an 18.1 MP still resolution and a 4K video resolution. This is by far the highest video resolution we have seen. And given the price, it’s almost too good to believe. This, along with the other features, creates the most valuable deal at the lowest price.
The Panasonic Lumix features a MOS sensor along with a 60x optical zoom. A MOS sensor is similar to a CMOS, except it gives more pixel density.
That being said, they tend to consume more power. However, the sensor is great at rendering low-light settings. The aperture can be changed from f2.8 to f5.9. This gives you more control over the exposure and increases night-time performance.
Moreover, the Lumix FZ80 also features USB charging along with Wi-Fi connectivity. This makes transferring photos to your devices easier.
The Nikon Coolpix B500 is one exceptional camera body. For one thing, no other Coolpix has such a unique feature set. This camera includes a 40x optical zoom and an 80x dynamic zoom. Along with the weather-resistant LCD screen, this camera features a Nikkor Telephoto lens.
Starting with the design, the camera has the most ergonomic body. It sits snugly in the palm of your hand and weighs no more than 5 pounds. The color of the body is metallic red, and that of the lens case is dark grey.
The resolution of the images is 16 MP and 1080p for videos. This, paired with the optical zoom, gives a better shooting experience. However, the image stabilization system can certainly be more improved.
To top that, this camera features Bluetooth and Wifi connectivity. Get rid of the hassle of USB cables. Wireless connectivity makes transfers faster and less cluttered.
This package includes a 12-inch tripod stand and support. It also features a 16 GB SDHC card and even a lens cleaning pen. It uses four 2100 mAh batteries, giving it longer battery life.
This Nikon Coolpix B500 is different from the others in that it’s a single camera. The package features no accessories, but it’s still worth the price. This is for people who have a lower budget and don’t want to spend on accessories. Here you can see the sheer beauty of the Coolpix B500.
The Nikon B500 has always been highly acclaimed for its intense image output. The camera features a backlit CMOS sensor. CMOS sensors are the best for rendering photos in high light.
However, in lower light, even indoors, the noise can be quite troublesome, which is why the Nikon B500 was made for outdoor photography.
But that doesn’t mean it only features a wide-angle lens. Sure enough, the B500 features a Telephoto mode for taking amazing portraits.
For landscapes, the 40x optical zoom will set you off on a whole other adventure. And to view it all, the B500 features a widescreen of 3 inches. The ISO can be adjusted up to 6400, giving you a more dynamic exposure range. Still, low-light performance is very low on this camera.
We know what you’re thinking: another Nikon Coolpix B500? But the difference here isn’t in the features. It’s in the bundle. Although more expensive than the previous bundles, this package includes more accessories. And it stays within the $300 range. Overall, this B500 deal is the best for your budget.
If you’re talking about the camera, then there isn’t anything different. It features the same 16MP resolution with a 40x optical zoom. And the videos are still 1080p. However, the package comes with 19 different accessories, each with its own purpose.
Let’s start off with the camera supports. This package features a tripod as well as a monopod. So you can choose whichever support you are comfortable with.
Aside from that, you also get a full lens cleaning kit. This includes things like a lens cleaning solution, microfiber cloth, and a cleaning pen. Furthermore, to increase the connectivity, you also get an HDMI to Micro-HDMI converter.
Along with that, you get a camera strap and a camera case, along with a 32 GB SDHC card. This product also features four 2950 mAh batteries, which give a longer battery life.
Here’s another PowerShot model. This one is completely different from the others, as it’s a lower-profile camera. It features high resolution, wireless connectivity, and a whole lot of customization. You’ll find that the futuristic design isn’t just for display. The PowerShot SX620 really has something to show.
Starting off with the specs, the SX620 has an image resolution of 20.2 MP. It uses a CMOS sensor paired with a DIGIC 4+ processor. This gives the best images for outdoor photography. All videos are shoot at 1080p FHD with the best IS technology.
To top that, the maximum aperture is f/3.2 for Wide and f/6.6 for Telephoto mode. The shutter speed is 1/2000th of a second for all modes. And the camera itself has a 25x optical zoom. Compared to the others in the price range, it’s not all that high.
But for portraits and some landscapes, the zoom is just perfect. Still, the manufacturers could’ve included a higher zoom level.
The ISO can be toggled from between 80 to up to 3200. So indoor performance should be better. But the CMOS sensor tends to create noise in indoor photos.
Fujifilm is no exception when it comes to digital cameras. While their cameras may not be as famed, the ones who don’t try them are missing out.
This FinePix model has all you need in a standard camera, with only the best Fujinon lens. And the 250-shoot life of the battery is sure to pique your interests.
To start off with, the Fujifilm FinePix S8600 has a resolution of 16 MP. This camera uses the CCD sensor, which is astronomically better than the CMOS variant. CCD sensors mean that the camera has an excellent low-light performance.
And photos taken indoors are smoother and more refined. This can be easily tested out for yourself once you get the camera.
Adding to that, the FinePix shoots videos in 720p FHD at 30 fps. This is a pretty standard video shooting resolution, so it isn’t anything special. But it is quite what you’d expect in a camera of its range. Plus, the IS with the FinePix is better than other brands.
Coming onto the lens, the FinePix S8600 uses a special Fujinon Lens. This lens features a 36x optical zoom, which makes it the best for landscapes. However, if the zoom was just a tad bit higher, it could compare to the others on our list.
Compact and bridge cameras are suggested for those on a tighter budget. Most on our list are either compact or bridge cameras. Compact cameras have lesser customization as compared to their bridge counterparts.
DSLR and mirrorless cameras are more professional and thus cost more too. These are best for professional wedding photo shoots and modeling. But for a simple road trip, investing in a DSLR may not be the most economical idea.
What features are important in a digital camera?
The sensor. Most digital cameras use two types of sensors: CCD and CMOS. CCD is better for low-light and indoor shoots. Whereas, CMOS is better at outdoor photography in the sun.
Apart from that, you need to consider the zoom level as well, even for portraits. The more you seem, the shakier and blurrier the image gets. So Image Stabilization (IS) and resolution are very important.
What should I know before buying a digital camera?
That in most cases, you get what you pay for. There’s a reason why DSLRs are so expensive. They have a more valuable feature set and can be tweaked to the user’s needs.
A compact or bridge camera does not have those features. And the lower your budget goes, the lower the feature set. That doesn’t mean you can’t get good features in your budget, but they won’t be the best.
Top Pick and Summary
Of the 10 products we reviewed, the Canon PowerShot SX420 resonated with us the most. This was due to the high-quality CCD sensor and the high optical zoom level. These made it a great contender for both indoor and outdoor photography. It’s truly a versatile model.