Cameras have continuously evolved from what was previously camera obscuras to the modern-day digital cameras. In fact, the history of the camera dates further back than the introduction of photography. George Eastman pioneered the use of photographic film in 1885. And his first Kodak camera was offered for sale in 1888.
Photography encompasses capturing a particular raw moment, revisiting it, and leaving to your imagination the context of that instance alive. Photography also offers you an opportunity to capture trivial details that will tell a story to someone who might not have been present at the time. So, as a photographer, your core job remains to capture the emotion and context of the moment. And show the gestures as they are.
So, why are cameras becoming more available? Firstly, as cameras become more advanced, features that were only reserved for the high-end cameras are now available in the more basic models. Also, camera makers are keeping the previous high-end models on sale at reasonable prices. So, if you don’t mind a model that’s a few years old, you can get a superior one at an affordable price.
And with a budget of $300, you’ll be surprised by the wide selection of top-quality digital cameras available on the market. The choice of which one you go for solely depends on your needs and objectives. One thing you can be sure of though; all cameras I have reviewed in this guide are standout products in their respective categories.
So, without further introductions, let’s see which is the best digital camera under 300 dollars!
- 1 Reviews of the Best Digital Camera Under 300 in 2020
- 1.1 Best DSLR under 300 Dollars: Canon PowerShot SX530
- 1.2 Best Point and Shoot Camera under 300 Dollars: Canon PowerShot ELPH 190
- 1.3 Also Worth Mentioning #1: Nikon COOLPIX B500
- 1.4 Also Worth Mentioning #2: Canon PowerShot SX720
- 1.5 Also Worth Mentioning #3: Panasonic Lumix FZ80
- 1.6 Also Worth Mentioning #4: Canon PowerShot SX420
- 1.7 Also Worth Mentioning #5: Sony DSCWX350
- 1.8 Also Worth Mentioning #6: Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom
- 2 Useful Tips When Buying A Camera
- 3 Conclusions
Reviews of the Best Digital Camera Under 300 in 2020
Best DSLR under 300 Dollars: Canon PowerShot SX530
Wireless Connectivity. The PowerShot SX530 comes with built-in Wi-Fi technology which makes the transfer of photos and videos seamless. Through the Canon Camera Connect app2, you can connect the camera with other compatible devices, upload the photos and videos directly. You can even shoot remotely. The Camera offers one-touch access through the Image Sync Function, from which you can transfer files wirelessly, view, and download them on a compatible smartphone.
50x Optical Zoom. The Camera’s 50x zoom strikes a balance between image resolution and camera size. It gives you total control of the resolution allowing you to capture all the details that make your photography stand out. The secure grip of the camera also makes handheld shooting easy and fun.
Intelligent IS examines the camera’s movements and remedies shaking depending on the situation for accurate images. There are four preset modes for still shooting; Normal IS, Tripod, Panning IS, and Macro IS. When doing video recording, the system offers Macro IS, Active Tripod IS, Powered IS, or Dynamic IS.
16.0 MP1 CMOS Sensor. The SX530 has a 16.0 Megapixel sensor that delivers fantastic imaging performance and improved high ISO capture with reduced noise. Even in low light, the renowned Canon DIGIC 4+ image processor delivers brilliant image quality and supports advanced functions. The Electronic Dynamic IS avoids blurriness and enhances clear and sharp shots regardless of the zoom length.
Full HD. With a touch of the movie button, you can capture a high definition video throughout the camera’s zoom range. This impressive digital camera captures notably smooth and lifelike full HD video at 30p. You can also record in MP4 format for an easy online sharing experience.
Why Canon PowerShot SX530 is the best digital camera under $300…?
This lightweight DSLR is not only easy to carry around, but it also boasts of the best features you can find in a digital camera in this price range. Other than its convenience, tremendous zooming capacity, and high-sensitivity camera sensor, the SX530 delivers the following;
- Wireless connectivity
- Seamless compatibility with station CS100
- Creative shot modes
- High-speed AF
- Hybrid Auto
- Zoom Framing Assist
- Great battery life
Best Point and Shoot Camera under 300 Dollars: Canon PowerShot ELPH 190
Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 is the perfect combination of tough and light. The camera is very portable which makes it a must-have for travelers. And despite its pocket-friendly price, the ELPH still feels like a premium product in your hands.
Furthermore, this compact camera has a standard set of options with the control buttons located on the top (power, zoom, and shutter button) and rear side (play, video record, menu, and Wi-Fi button). And even with all the features, the camera doesn’t feel cluttered. So, be ready to capture unforgettable moments with this amazing camera.
High processing speed. The PowerShot’s high processing speed is essential in incorporating as much detail to the subject without affecting the quality of the shot. The 2.7inch rear display has approximately 230,400 dots that offer clarity to the subject. And support recording of a Full HD 720p video at 25 frames per second. The camera also has an intelligent stabilization feature that allows you to take crisp pictures of a moving subject.
Impeccable photo quality. The ELPH 190 is an outdoor darling thanks to its 20MP sensor that guarantees you wonderful shots. In outdoor settings, I was able to capture some amazing images. And I must admit it exceeded my expectations. And while the image quality was affected when I tried to shoot indoors, the flash did the magic for me. Also, this camera uses optical image stabilization which produces amazing images. Especially when you’re on the move.
Also Worth Mentioning #1: Nikon COOLPIX B500
Super TelePhoto Power. With the 40x optical zoom, the B500 guarantees you excellent shots from a safe distance. A further Dynamic Fine Zoom effectively doubles the reach for a whopping 80x zoom without affecting clarity. And with Vibration Reduction (VR), you can be sure of steady shots that will be captured by the 16 megapixel CMOS sensor.
3-inch Display. The COOLPIX B500’s tilting display gives you a first-hand view of your subject which is a great thing to have. Especially when your target is not stationary. The rear display also allows you to find and try different shooting angles for high-quality images. The high-resolution display also makes every shot and video look amazing while simplifying the reviewing and sharing of content.
Simple set up and Operation. This camera is one of the easiest to use – just turn it on, point, and shoot. For newbies, turn on the Easy Auto Mode which makes it easy to capture the perfect shot. The Easy Auto mode also optimizes the settings and allows you to have fun while you shoot.
Enhanced Compatibility. Unlock new capabilities with the SnapBridge Nikon app on your smartphone or tablet. The camera also has built-in Wi-Fi technology, NFC, and Bluetooth capabilities. This means you’ll have uninterrupted connections between the app and the camera. Allowing you to transfer and download the shots on your phone. The compatibility also makes editing the photos and uploading them to your social media sites extra easy.
The package comes with a 12-inch Tripod, SanDisk SDHC 16GB Memory Card, a Camera Case, Rechargeable AA Batteries with a charger, Hi-speed Memory Card Reader, Memory Card Wallet, 3pcs Lens Cleaning Kit, lens cleaning pen, and a cleaning cloth.
Also Worth Mentioning #2: Canon PowerShot SX720
Impeccable Design. With a very sleek design (just 1.4 inches thick), you’ll be surprised to learn that this amazing piece houses a 40x optical zoom lens. The model also features a slightly raised right side to enhance the grip while shooting. Especially at maximum zoom. And while the buttons are just like what you’d expect from a Canon, the SX720 features a handy mode dial that I found to be helpful. Also, the camera has a 3 inch LCD screen for easier reviewing and sharing of content.
Great Performance. This point and shoot camera offers an automatic shooting experience for newbies, as well as a full manual control option, for those who wish to learn more about photography. This camera also has a fast autofocus which does away with shutter lag. This way you can’t miss important shots even when the camera takes a bit longer to respond to your shutter button press.
Another important thing to note about the SX720 is its incredible burst mode speed which allows you to capture images at a speed of 6 frames per second. This feature comes in handy, especially when your subject is moving.
Image Quality. The PowerShot SX720 has 20 megapixels of resolution which makes it possible to deliver perfect images,. Especially in an outdoor setting. However, the 1/2.3-inch image sensor is a restraining factor to this camera. As it limits it from delivering to the best of its ability.
Shooting in low light settings can be a challenge because of the small image sensor which doesn’t allow for capturing of as much detail and light. Also, the camera’s maximum ISO is 3200, which is pretty low.
And though this camera has some flaws, don’t write it off – it creates some brilliant images to share online. If you’re looking for a digital camera to capture images for small prints, the SX720 will meet your needs.
Also Worth Mentioning #3: Panasonic Lumix FZ80
60x Long Zoom. The Panasonic Lumix FZ80’s lens promises a full range 60x long zoom which makes it easy to capture high-quality images from far. Regardless of your photography situation, this versatile piece will deliver– whether it’s a portrait, a large group photo, continuous shooting, or a wildlife shot. The FZ80 also uses optical image stabilization to reduce camera shake and allow for perfect hand-held shots even at slower shutter speeds.
The FZ80 comes with Wi-Fi technology that not only allows you to connect with your phone to simplify file transfer. But also allows you to control the camera with your smartphone. Download the Panasonic Image App which is available for Android and iOS devices, and seamlessly copy photos from the camera to the phone for easy editing and sharing. The Camera also has an HDMI and USB ports for content transfer and in-camera charging respectively.
4K Video Capture. Just like all new Panasonic Cameras, the FZ80 uses the MP4 file format to capture HD videos up to a resolution of 3840×2160 pixels. The MP4 format is much easier to share as compared to other formats. However, for compatibility with camcorder videos, this DSLR camera also allows you to record a Full HD video (1920×1080) in AVCHD format.
Additionally, the camera records 4K videos with 30fps. And you can choose between a manual recording set up and preset standard exposure modes.
Low-light Performance. Gone are the days when you couldn’t shoot indoors or in low-light settings. This Camera allows you to enjoy pristine nightlife shots without compromising the image quality.
Also Worth Mentioning #4: Canon PowerShot SX420
Image Quality. The SX420’s 20 megapixels sensor delivers impressive images in different settings. And while the Camera’s 1/2.3 image sensor limits the effectiveness of the superb lens, you can still get decent shots. The high resolution makes it possible to maintain superb image quality even when making large prints.
The camera uses the DIGIC4+ Image Processor to power advanced functions by accelerating the processing speeds, enhancing responsive performance, and improving the image quality. The image processor also shortens the processing time, reduces the noise, and enhances details in the images even at low-light settings.
Capture 720 HD Video. The PowerShot SX420 makes it seamless to record highly detailed 720p HD video at 25 frames per second with clear sound. And for a digital camera in this price range, being able to deliver HD video without noise distortions is impressive. The Camera’s Auto Intelligent selects the ideal settings depending on the shooting situation.
The camera has a built-in Wi-Fi technology that simplifies how you save and share your images with your friends and family. You can also connect the camera with a compatible smartphone or tablet using the Canon Camera Connect app which is available for both Android and iOS users.
The camera’s built-in NFC technology also allows for one-touch connectivity with a compatible smartphone. Just touch the NFC icon on the camera, and the mobile app will launch automatically allowing you to share your content quickly.
42x Optical Zoom. The SX420’s impressive lens promises a full-range 42x optical zoom. Coupled with the 20 megapixels’ sensor, you can capture high-quality shots complete with brilliant color. Regardless of what you are capturing, you can be sure that you’ll be impressed by the results.
Also Worth Mentioning #5: Sony DSCWX350
20x Optical/40x Zoom Lens. This Camera’s amazing G lens allows you to get extra close with the 20x optical zoom plus 40x Clear Image digital zoom. And unlike most cameras in this price range that use electronic cropping which is associated with blurred images, the DSCWZ350’s Clear Image Zoom recreates new pixels to match those found in adjacent patterns, resulting in more realistic and higher-quality images. The 40x Clear Image Zoom doubles the optical zoom for clearer photos.
Whether you are shooting a video or taking still images, the new BIONZ X processor guarantees you nothing but the best quality. Coupled with the Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization that uses Intelligent IS to detect movement and remedy camera shake, you can expect sharp image quality with reduced noise. This perfect combination also guarantees you minimal blur even when the camera is zoomed in.
Simple Connectivity. The DSCWZ350 comes with a built-in Wi-Fi technology that makes it easy to save and share images on your favorite social media sites. With a compatible smartphone, you can transfer files from the camera to your phone for easier editing and storage. Your compatible smartphone or tablet can also be used as a remote control for the camera.
The Camera is also NFC enabled which allows for one-touch connectivity with compatible smartphones or tablets. Simply press the one-touch button on your camera, and the mobile app will launch automatically. If you don’t have the mobile app on your mobile device, just click the button on the camera and you’ll be automatically redirected to the download tab. Just like the Wi-Fi, the one-touch function allows for easy transfer and sharing of content.
Incredible Panorama mode. Unlike most cameras in this price range, the Sony DSCWX350 allows you to break the norm which has been the conventional wide-angle lens and capture more amazing shots with the Sweep Panorama mode. Just press the shutter button and move the camera in a straight line to the desired direction. The Camera shoots at high speeds and stitches the images together at the end to make an incredible panoramic image. This mode is available up to 360° full circle making wide landscape captures as easy as 123.
Also Worth Mentioning #6: Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom
Wide-Angle Lens. Unlike most of the digital cameras in this price range, the Kodak Astro features a 24 mm angle lens which is pretty flappy. Not only does the wide lens make it easy to capture landscape photos. But they also allow you to get high-quality shots at a wider angle. The Camera has a bigger view, which is a good thing for photographers who often have to take multiple photos with smaller views. So, if you’re looking for a Camera to take magnificent photos that can be used for large prints, the AZ652 is right here.
65x Optical Zoom. One of the major problems that photographers face is clarity of the photos when the camera is zoomed in, especially for Cameras in this price range. Taking long-distance shots also calls for steadiness as any form of Camera shake will result in a blurry image. Luckily, the Kodak Astro Zoom AZ652 guarantees high-quality images even with its incredible zoom power. And to any photographer, there’s nothing as good as the assurance that you’ll not lose the original pixels and quality of the photo after the zoom. So, whether you’re in a low-light setting or what you’d call sunlight photography, this Camera will deliver quality shots.
3inch Articulating LCD Screen. The AZ652 comes with a 3 inch LCD screen that simplifies reviewing and sharing of content. With the HD screen, you can view your content as you capture images and videos keeping what you like and deleting what you don’t. This saves you the time that you’d have used to transfer the content to another device just to have a look. Also, the LCD helps you get some different angles for the perfect shooting experience. Whether you want a high-end selfie or an unconventional group photo, this Camera will work out magic for you.
On the Move Capture. With the 5 fps burst shooting, the AZ652 allows you to capture your subject while on the move accurately. This feature allows you to bring your still subject to life as you capture each moment of the action.
Useful Tips When Buying A Camera
Cameras come with a wide range of features to meet your everyday photography needs. Here are some of the useful tips when buying a digital camera;
- Just like any other piece of technology, the digital camera you decide to buy should go in line with the purpose you have for it. Do you want a camera to capture cherished moments during family gatherings? Or do you want one that you will carry along when you go rafting with your friends? If you’re an outgoing person, you’ll need a digital camera that can withstand extreme temperatures, water, dust, and shock.
- Sensor Size. The size of a camera’s sensor determines the image quality. The larger the sensor, the more light and information is gathered by the lens, enhancing better image quality. And while you don’t expect to find cameras with a lens as big as those found in DSLRs in this price range, there is a wide selection of digital cameras with big sensors available on the market.
- Zoom is a great asset to have in your digital camera because it helps you capture great images from a safe distance. For this price range, you can expect to run into models that offer up to 24-1200 mm zoom.
When it comes to the zoom, several factors come into play. For instance, the higher the zoom, the larger the lens, which affects the size of your camera. Zoom also affects image resolution, especially in this price range. So, I’d recommend that you strike a balance between zoom, image resolution, and the camera size when buying your camera.
- Number of Pixels. Often, people are tied between going for a camera with a higher megapixel or one with a bigger lens. From my experience, a camera with a high megapixel count but a small lens produces low-resolution images as compared to a camera with a lower megapixel count and a big lens. So, the size of your lens comes first, followed by the megapixel count.
- Size and Weight. The size of your camera will determine the outreach to all the buttons and the effective management of the device. The weight of the camera, on the other hand, will depend on your experience and purpose of the device. For starters, I’d recommend lightweight cameras that you can carry around wherever you do. And while this may mean a trade-off in image quality, I’m sure it’s wiser to have a small camera that you can travel with. Then a heavy full-size camera that you are inclined to leave at home.
- Focus. This is an amazing facet of great photography because it draws the viewer of the image to the exact spot where you want them to look. Autofocus requires keenness to make sure that you take the shot at the opportune moment. The ideal digital camera should be quick to focus when you change what you are looking at. Otherwise, you’ll keep missing your best shots, every time.
- Image Stabilization. The image stabilization feature reduces shakiness and vibration when shooting, which translates to a clearer shot. Your camera can either have optical image stabilization which means the stabilization mechanism is in the lens. Or digital image stabilization where there’s a software in the camera maintaining the steadiness. Optical image stabilization recommended because it gives you control over your camera.
As we’ve seen, there are important factors you’ll need to consider before making the purchase decision. I have reviewed some of the best digital cameras under 300 dollars for you, carefully showing you the different features that set each one of them apart. This guide will help you pick the ideal digital camera for your needs.
To conclude, having a digital camera is slowly becoming a necessity because of the growing need to capture everyday happenings. Digital Cameras, especially the ones under $300 play the role of the focal length between simple point and shoot Cameras and high-end DSLR Cameras. Being that they are readily available and portable, they are a great addition. Particularly for travelers who move around capturing images and videos of their experience.
I hope this guide sheds light on the important factors to consider when buying a digital camera. Whether you are a photography newbie or an experienced guru, you’ll definitely find something appealing in the cameras that I have personally reviewed for you. All the pieces come with different features and capabilities. And the decision on which one to go for is solely dependent on your needs and purpose for the Camera.
So, go through my list and pick the one that resonates with you the most. Factor in why you need it and of course, your budget. And with each one costing less than $300, I’m sure that won’t be a problem.