Even though i am not a huge fan of budget camera gear, there are a lot of amazing models out there under the 300 dollar price range. Out of the 17 cameras i tested, my favorite one was the Canon PowerShot SX620, because it had everything you might want in a camera. On the other hand, if you want to get one for traveling, then the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 is hard to beat. We will talk about each of the cameras in detail, and i will try help you decide which one to get.
Point-and-shoot cameras are great because they aren’t very expensive, and they deliver amazing image quality. Some of the best point and shoot cameras can be just as light as a phone while also being more versatile, and have a better resolution and image quality. They are great for travels and they can be your favorite travel companion.
There are plenty of types of points and shoot cameras for example if you want a camera for beach days and hiking there are some great tough and rough choices.
Something else that these cameras offer is the large zoom. A regular point and shoot camera can have a zoom range of 3-5x, which is pretty great.
Since they use small sensors, they are cheaper than other types of cameras like DSLRs. We reviewed the 5 best point and shoot cameras under $300 and have included cameras that are great for traveling and for everyday usage, make sure to choose the one that fits you best.
The Top 5 Best Point And Shoot Cameras Under $300
5. Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS60K
This camera is capable of some very good image quality with a nice dynamic range of 10.6 EVs and a color of 19.3 bits. It has a nice 18.1 MP resolution, and it has achieved a sports low-light ISO score of 109 ISO.
This camera also has a very nice built quality, and a great design. It can deliver some nice photos and has plenty of more great features that you should take a look at.
When it comes to design, I can say that this camera has a very clean and nice look. It is a very compact camera and it can fit anywhere you put it. It also has a 3-inch capacitive touch screen which allows you to tap the exact item you want to set focus on which is great, but unfortunately, the LCD doesn’t tilt.
It has a 0.2-inch electronic viewfinder which allows you to review and preview your photos. It has a very nice zoom and it is a dependable camera for general photography when it comes to good lighting.
It has plenty of more great features, and the picture quality on this one is just amazing. Thanks to Panasonic’s special brand of AF which is called Depth to Defocus, the autofocus of this camera is so fast. It’s worth mentioning that i also tested this camera on low light conditions, and i was surprised. This camera managed to exceed my expectations and perform remarkably in low light conditions.
It has many more great features such as Wi-Fi, can record 4k video and many more that you should check out and see if this is the camera you were looking for.
4. Sony DSCWX220
One of the best point and shoot cameras under $300 right now is the Sony Cyber-shot DSCWX220, an ultraportable pocket-shooter, with Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system providing you with a sharp shot through the light and zoom range.
Sony is known for its top-notch image stabilization systems, and it looks like they did a great job with the image stabilization on this camera too.
With a justifiable price, it is a really good choice. It has plenty of more great features that everyone who is looking for a great point and shoot camera should check out. It has Wi-Fi, which lets you transfer photos easily. Nowadays, most cameras have Wi-Fi though, so it’s not a big surprise or something worth praising. In fact, cameras without Wi-Fi are hard to find today!
The Cyber-shot is very tiny and it can fit into any jeans pockets with ease. Even though it is pretty slim and tiny it has a 10x optical zoom, pretty impressive for its size. There is no thumb rest or grip on the front of the camera, due to its lightweight you can easily get a secure grip.
Despite it being very inexpensive, people expect it to take average photos. On the contrary, the Sony DSCWX220 provides very good image quality, and is a top performer in low light situations. It packs an 18.2-megapixel sensor that resolves a good amount of detail and also it delivers very vibrant and bright colors.
The 10x optical zoom is pretty good actually and Sony’s optical image stabilization does a good job, providing a steady shot. There is a general belief that the smaller the camera, the lower the quality of the photos will be. It may be true, but the Sony DSCWX220 does an amazing job for its category, with good detail, vibrant colors and low noise levels.
If you need a camera to be compact while also not losing performance then the Sony DSCWX220 is a fine option for you.
3. Fujifilm FinePix XP140
Moving on, we have a nice tough camera that has a nice image quality and many more great features. If you want a camera that is built like a rock and that is very durable, you must take a look at the Fujifilm FinePix XP140.
This one is a pocket-sized camera that offers 20 pixels from its 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor as opposed to this Fujifilm’s more modest 16.4 MP from its backlit chip. It is waterproof and drop-proof which is amazing for adventures like hiking swimming and more. It has a LCD screen which works well also.
It has a very cool looking design with a very solid build quality. It is waterproof down to 25m/82ft and shockproof from 1.8m/5.9ft. This camera features an internally stacked zoom mechanism which ensures that the lens at no point protrudes from the body and it is positioned at the top right of the camera. On this one, you get 5x optical zoom, and the widest setting is a 28mm, progressing to 140mm.
The maximum sensitivity now goes up to ISO 12800. Also, the Fujifilm FinePix XP140’s 17 strong advanced filters include a brand new Rich & Fine and Monochrome modes which are amazing.
I should also mention that the menu on this camera is a little bit old fashioned but it does a great job, and the button placement is great. It has many more great features and delivers a pretty great images.
One thing i didn’t like about this camera is its performance in low light. I tried taking a few pictures but the outcome wasn’t that good. If you plan to take photos at night or in low light conditions with this camera, then you shouldn’t get this one.
If you are looking for a simple compact camera that is tough, you should check out the Fujifilm FinePix XP140 and see if it is the one for you.
2. Canon PowerShot ELPH 180
Another great digital camera is the Canon Powershot ELPH 180. This one is focused on delivering high-quality images for a very budget-friendly price. This canon Powershot model has plenty of great features, and something that I love the most about this camera is that if you want to get a bit more from the battery, you can enable the ELPH 180’s eco mode to preserve and improve battery life.
The lens has a maximum aperture range of f/3.2 to f/6.9, and overall it does a pretty great job.
The Canon Powershot ELPH180 is pretty easy to use with Smart Auto mode, and it automatically selects the optimal camera settings for your subject which is amazing.
You can also record video in MOV files to capturing JPEG stills. The videos on this one are recorded at 720p resolution at 25 frames per second which is good enough.
It is available in both red and silver. The sensor of this camera does not include any sort of mechanical image stabilization. However, it is truly one of the best point and shoot cameras under $300. This one has many more great features that you should check out.
The Canon Powershot ELPH has a DIGIC 4+ image processor with ISO 1600, optical image stabilization, eco mode, smart auto. You should also know that the 2.7 inch 230K dot rear LCD monitor is amazing for composing imagery, navigating the menu or reviewing photos and more.
Overall it is a great camera that offers amazing image quality, has a great design and also has many more features. It is one of the best, and you should check out the Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 and see if it is the best one for you.
1. Nikon COOLPIX B500
One of the best point-and-shoot cameras in the market right now is the Nikon COOLPIX B500. This digital camera is an amazing camera that comes at a very affordable price and provides amazing experience.
The Nikon Coolpix B500 has a very cool design and something else that you should know about this camera is the SnapBridge technology feature. This feature allows you to send images to your smartphone via Bluetooth which is great.
The Nikon COOLPIX B500 is a mid-sized camera with a nice built quality. It weighs around 1.19 lbs and it is a comfortable fit in your hands. The handgrip is pretty chunky and it feels secure in the hand, thanks to the textured part that covers only the handgrip.
Also, The Nikon Coolpix B500 camera has a tilting 921k-dot TFT LCD screen and thanks to the 4608 x 3456 p resolution it delivers amazing image quality. For the price, i think it has a great LCD screen which competes head-to-head with cameras in higher categories.
It has a 16.0 BSI-CMOS sensor, and the lens has a 40x optical zoom range which extends from a super-wide 22.5mm to 90mm. To be honest, 40x zoom is impressive considering the price.
It’s capable of recording Full HD 1080p videos. Not many cameras are capable of recording in Full HD in this price range, so a huge thumbs up goes to nikon for that!
It has nice autofocus and its modes are, face priority, target finding, manual AF selection, center, and subject-tracking AF options. It has a nice shutter speed at 1/1500, but you should know that you can get 1/14000 if you use the continuous high-speed shooting mode. It is powered by AA batteries and has great battery life. Also, it has built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth.
It is one of the best point-and-shoot cameras which can record in full HD. It has plenty of great features, you just have to make sure that you check this one out before making your final decision.
What is a Point & Shoot Camera?
They are pretty simple like their name implies. They are specifically designed to be super easy to use. You just turn on your camera, point to a subject, and click the shutter button. They are quite compact overall and are either fully automatic or mostly automatic. While they might have some manual modes they are designed for users that don’t want to mess with settings.
Most of them have optical zoom lenses that are great, but then again you might find models with fixed focal lengths. However, the most important thing about these is that the lens is not removable or interchangeable. That is what makes these cameras good for some and bad for some users. Here you don’t have a space to grow, so if you are serious about photography, these are not the best cameras to use. While the popularity of these cameras has fallen in the last few years, due to smartphone cameras being a little too advanced, I think that you can’t really replace a camera with a smartphone.
Some more advanced cameras have pretty large sensors, optical zoom lenses, mechanical apertures, and the quality of the photos are pretty much perfect. Some even have some great features that can be used even for professional photographers and videographers. So there is still a place for these cameras as well, and in my journey as a photographer, I have always had one of these in my arsenal.
Features You Should Consider in a Point & Shoot Camera
I always say that buying a camera is an easy task if you know what you are looking for, and if you are not well informed you might face some difficulties that are a bit annoying. So it is better to investigate and be better informed about what the market offers for your price. Since we are checking point and shoot models under the $300, we are halfway there. If you stick with the tips and features below you will get a great camera without a doubt. So let’s get started, shall we?
Sensor and Resolution
The most important thing about any camera is its sensor since this is the most crucial part when it comes to the quality, clarity, detail, and color of your photographs. You have to check out carefully its sensor and what resolution does it offer.
With DSLRs and interchangeable mirror systems, the sensor is important, but you can also swap lenses there to achieve better photographs so it is not an absolute must, but here it is the most important thing.
Check the resolution of the camera and see what it offers. There are different models out there that come at different megapixel counts, that might or might not suit your needs. Anything above 16 megapixels is pretty good in my opinion, but these days you can easily find better and more advanced models without much exploring.
The sensor size is also an important thing to know, but in this price range and this type of camera you cannot expect anything larger than APS-C and even that is quite unattainable at times.
Size and Weight
Like I said earlier most of these cameras are quite compact and lightweight, but still, you need to check out the weight and dimensions of your camera. You will spot some models that weigh as much as 400 grams and I think that is quite excessive for this category.
In terms of dimensions, you have to be careful as well, as point and shoot cameras are also quite often called compact cameras, and are quite pocketable in 95 percent of the cases. It is not something that you will have much difficulty finding, but you still need to be careful about it.
The battery of your camera is also an important factor. I absolutely hate it when I am on a trip and just when I find a thing that I want to photograph my camera won’t turn on and the batteries are drained.
It is the worst-case scenario, and you have to check for models that deliver exceptional battery life, for at least a day’s worth photography which is around 400 shots.
Then again you can invest in some spare batteries, which I very highly recommend, to have more power at your disposal. On top of that spare batteries are quite cheap most of the time and are a worthy investment.
If you plan to record videos in Full HD, then batteries become even more important, because recording Full HD videos will drain your battery pretty quickly.
The zoom of your point and shoot is also an important feature that you should keep an eye on. Zoom on these cameras comes in two types, optical zoom and digital zoom.
Optical zoom is a feature when your camera’s lens doesn’t have a fixed focal length and can be used to zoom in to subjects without decreasing the quality.
On the other hand, digital zoom is a bit of gimmick in my opinion as it essentially crops the image and adjusts the image in the camera itself, the focal length is not changed whatsoever. So if you can choose one or the other, optical zoom cameras are much better compared to digital zoom cameras.
Personally, i would definitely go with an optical zoom camera.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are point and shoot cameras good for?
One of the best features that a point and shoot camera have is longer zooming. Because a regular point and the shot camera can give you a zoom range of 3-5x. which is pretty good. You should also know that high-end cameras offer a larger zoom. There is also quality. Also, another great thing is that they come at a very reasonable price because they use small sensors.
What is the difference between a point and shoot camera and a DSLR?
Some somethings are different, but the main differences are that DSLR has bigger sensors, whereas the point and shoot camera has small sensors and fixed lens. Something else that you should know is that most DSLR cameras have an optical viewfinder, on the other hand, most point and shoot cameras have an electronic viewfinder or are rangefinder type.
Is it worth getting a point and shoot camera?
Absolutely. In my opinion, they are a big yes, because there are great cameras that you can buy at a very low price that has a great image quality. They have larger sensors than a phone camera, and that means that you get a better image quality and more control over depth of field.
Usually, a user, takes pictures with their phone, and if you have a flagship model, you will be happy with what it delivers, but if you want something that has a better picture quality than a smartphone, has optical zoom capabilities and that comes at a reasonable price, you should check out what a point and shoot camera have to offer.
There are plenty of cameras under $300 in the market nowadays, and the best thing about them is that they don’t cost as much as other types of cameras like DSLRs or mirrorless cameras.
Something else that these cameras under $300 offer is the long zoom lens, which is great.
Models that have long zoomed and CMOS sensors usually are more expensive, but that doesn’t mean that a $300 point and shoot camera can’t offer you what you are looking for. There were times when they were just some cheap cameras that didn’t have a great quality.
Nowadays cameras under $300 are getting better and better. Some of the best point and shoot cameras have amazing full-frame sensors and pretty great resolutions. I hope that this list will help you a lot in deciding which one is the best point and shoot camera for you.