The camera market is very saturated now and there are millions of cameras out there, from different manufacturers delivering different qualities and features. Then again not all of us want large cameras with tons of confusing features and whatnot. You may need a small camera that will replace your smartphone camera and will be extremely easy to use. If you fit into that description than you need a compact point-and-shoot model.
Also, you don’t need to spend much to get a camera like this. For that reason, I have decided to write this guide, for the best point-and-shoot cameras under $300. I can comfortably say that even at this price range you can get a great experience, with some amazing easy to use features and perfect performance.
We are going to take a look at the best options in the market at the top picks section, which are hand-picked models based on their performance, features, ease of use, and value for the price. We will also see what is a point-and-shoot camera and what makes a good one for the under $300 market. Now without further ado, let’s take a closer look.
The Top 5 Best Point & Shoot Cameras Under $300
5. Kodak PIXPRO FZ53
We are going to kick off this list with a super affordable model that will deliver you excellent performance, the Kodak PIXPRO FZ53. This is really pocket-sized and it delivers a great performance, with its nice sensor, adequate zoom and so much more. For the price, you can afford to have this camera just for fun.
The Kodak PIXPRO FZ53 has a good zoom lens with a 5x ratio, which is of the 28-140mm f/3.9-6.3 equivalent in full-frame format. The Kodak PIXPRO FZ53 is based around the 16MP sensor which delivers plenty of clarity and detail. I should also mention that it comes in three different colors, red, blue, and black.
4. Fujifilm FinePix XP140
Moving on with our list we have a pretty interesting camera here, coming in from Fujifilm, the FinePix XP140. This camera is a pretty interesting camera that is quite cute, comes at a super affordable price, delivers great images, and is pretty durable. What more can you expect from a camera that cheap, but Fujifilm knows how to spoil its customers.
The most impressive thing about the Fujifilm FinePix XP140, in my opinion, is its amazing design. It comes at some interesting eye-catching colors such as the bright yellow or the sky blue that is recognizable. The lens protrudes from the camera a little and it has some good buttons and dials that are quite comfortable overall. Overall I can say that this camera can be used even underwater.
I should also mention that it can go down to 25 meters underwater, it is shockproof and it is freezeproof down to -10 degrees. It is based around a 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch backside-illuminated CMOS sensor that delivers some clear images. The focal length is 28-140mm of the 35mm equivalent and it delivers a great performance overall.
3. Sony DSCWX350
Coming up next on our list we have a great point and shoot camera coming in from Sony, the DSCWX350. This camera definitely is one of the best ones in the Cybershot line up, a series I am a big fan of, especially in the high-end range. This one delivers great battery life, superb modes, and nice image quality under the $300 price.
The Sony DSCWX350 is quite good looking despite being a budge based model. It is sleek and refined, I can define it as an elegant camera. It is pretty light as well as it weighs about 4.83=ounces in total and measures 3.78×2.16×1-inches in total. On the front of the camera, you will find a flash as well which is pretty good overall and on the back, you have a nice display.
This camera comes available in both black and white and the 3-inch display has a 460K dot resolution. One of my favorite things about this camera is its 20x Sony G lens that which combines perfectly with the 18-megapixel sensor. On top of all that the Optical SteadyShot feature that is present in almost any Sony model is here as well to save the day.
2. Canon PowerShot ELPH 360
The runner up on this list is the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 which is one hell of a compact point-and-shoot camera. Based on the reports this is one of the best cameras in its range for low light performance, and to be honest I am not surprised, because Canon has always delivered a perfect performance overall.
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 looks pretty basic overall, with no-frills compact point and shoot camera. It is very basic and is extremely easy to use with its clean design and intuitive controls. I can confirm that you can really slide the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 in your jean pockets as it measures just 0.9-inches in thickness.
Despite being such a thin camera this one has a powerful 12x optical zoom that is perfect for a lot of scenarios. On top of that, it has a 3-inch LCD on the back which has an adequate 461 K dot resolution. It is based around the 20MP CMOS sensor with the DIGIC 4+ image processing engine to deliver a great performance. Definitely, a must consider.
1. Canon PowerShot SX620
On top of the list, we have another model from Canon, the PowerShot SX620. This camera is out of the box one of the greatest ones out there, it is pocket-sized and has some features that will impress even the most nitpicky photographers, and will be a great addition to everyone out there.
This camera is pretty small and it won’t take more space than your smartphone in your pocket as it measures about 3.81×2.24×1.10-inches in total. It has a good plastic grip that makes it quite ergonomic and it has a nice 3-inch display on the back that is pretty impressive. On top of all this, it has a good pop up flash that really illuminates the scene.
The Canon PowerShot SX620 is packed with a 20.2 megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor that is pretty good for delivering detailed photographs of your trips and journeys. It has the DIGIC 4 image processor that delivers some impressive colors and captures plenty of detail overall The lens has plenty of range as well at 25x zoom and a focal range of 25 to 625mm in the 35mm equivalent.
What is a Point & Shoot Camera?
Point and shoot cameras 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 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 point and shoot cameras have pretty large sensors, optical zoom lenses, mechanical apertures, and the image quality 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 Point & Shoot Cameras Under $300
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.
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 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.
As you have seen, shopping for the best point and shoot cameras under $300 is not very hard, but it has some fine points you should be careful about. If you stick with the plan you will definitely get yourself a great point and shoot camera under the $300 price. I want to also remind you about the top picks section to get a great idea about what you can expect and maybe choose from there as well. Have fun with your new camera.