A lot of people are into photography nowadays. You can find thousands of pages on Instagram of people photos taken with their smartphones. It’s impressive what those devices can do nowadays.
They’ve become so popular that most people prefer to use a smartphone over a camera. With that, spread the wrong idea that cameras are expensive and that you are better off using your phone and saving your money.
That’s a widely spread misconception. Camera manufacturers are aware of the dangerous competition that is smartphones. Thus, they began making fairly low priced entry-level cameras for those who want to get into photography using a real camera.
Best Cameras Under 300 Dollars – Introduction
Nowadays you can get a camera for as low as 300 dollars or less. Let’s be realistic for a moment, though.
You won’t be getting one on the same level as a DSLR camera, which are the high-tech expensive cameras that professionals use. Even if you can afford it, chances are, you won’t be able to use it to its full potential.
They usually have to be manually adjusted to get the best results for each situation.
Instead, what you want is a simple digital camera. Perfect for your regular photography activities. They don’t cost much and are fun to use. Let’s be honest here, it’s cooler and more fun to use a camera over a phone.
In this guide, I’ll list the best cameras you can get for 300 or less. I’ll also tell you what to look for and avoid when buying your first camera. By the end of this guide, you’ll hopefully have a solid grasp on what you need to get and what you need to stay away from.
This is perhaps the one that encapsulates it all. If you want a first camera that packs all the best features, this is the one.
The camera shoots pictures at 20.3MP with a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor which gives some jaw-dropping images. The camera also films video in full HD 1080p. So in terms of performance, you really get nothing but the best with this one.
The Canon Powershot SX720 HS also packs plenty of features beyond its great performance. It has a 40x optical zoom lens. So if you want a camera with a great zoom that doesn’t drop in quality this is a great choice.
Moreover, you get built-in WI-FI which is important for file transfer. Trust me, you don’t want Bluetooth or, god forbid, cable transfer.
In terms of design, the camera has a wonderfully compact and sleek design. It is also remarkably light which means you can put it in your pocket. It’s very easy to handle and use as well.
The buttons and controls are streamlined and easy to comprehend. This is overall, my best recommendation if you just generally want a good first camera.
This one is for the adventurous photographers out there. If you are looking for durability at a budget, this is the camera for you.
First, you get image quality at 16MP with a decently sized sensor. On top of that, it records video at 4K which is something you don’t see often in this price range. This one is a big catch for those who want to film their travel vlogs.
Fujifilm FinePix XP140 packs big guns when it comes to durability. It is waterproof up to 82 feet underwater.
You can drop it from 5.9 feet and it’ll still function (I don’t recommend you do that underground). It also functions in +14 F degrees. This is one very tough camera. If you travel and need a durable one, this is what you need.
In terms of design, I love the color selections. Bright green and black are great colors for practical purposes.
The color is so hard to miss in case you drop your camera underwater or in the snow, etc. It comes packed with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (if that matters to you). It’s also easy to use and grips nicely in your hand.
You can easily use the camera with one hand. If you’re a risk-taking traveler who visits exotic places and needs a durable camera on the go, look no further.
If what you really care about is zoom. Say you’re a sports or wildlife photographer and need the best zoom function for a budget.
The best option seems to be the Nikon Coolpix B500. For a very reasonable price, it features 40x optical zoom and 80x digital zoom which is staggering.
The camera shoots images at a modest 16MP which is good enough. It also films videos at a reliable 1080p resolution. So if you want to pair good image quality with impeccable zoom, this is it.
In terms of connectivity, the camera offers SnapBridge. A service that pairs the camera with your smartphone and sends pictures to it as you take them. It is a handy feature and something exclusive to Nikon cameras.
If that’s not your thing, don’t worry. The camera still has built-in WI-FI. It also has a tilting screen which is impressive. You don’t usually get that with cameras in this price range.
While this camera isn’t compact, instead, it is a mid-sized bridge camera. It’s a little bulky but not terribly designed or built at all.
On the contrary, the grip is nice and comfortable. It makes the camera feel secure in your hand.
You just won’t be shooting with one hand or putting this one in your pocket. If you pick this one, get yourself a camera bag and get rolling.
This beautiful little camera is perfect for those who are looking for a cool vintage feature. It shoots pictures at 3.6MP. It can take a maximum of 50 pictures at a time. That is unless you add an SD card.
The camera has a cool polaroid camera design. The reason why this beautiful camera costs 279 is that it has an instant, built-in printer.
If you take a picture you can instantly print it and put it in your wallet, hang it on the fridge or add it to your photo album. This is the main feature of this camera.
If you don’t care about having a standard camera and instead just want a cool camera that prints photos like those polaroid cameras from old movies, Fujifilm got you covered.
This one really wakes up the geek inside you. It feels nice to handle despite its bulky design. It has a built-in printer inside it, after all.
It is super simple to use. Way more streamlined than previous items on this guide. You get a couple of shooting modes, a timer, and a few other simple controls.
Be wary of film cost though. You need to buy a pack of film which has 10 pictures. So, if you want something cool to take pictures with, this is it.
What to Expect
While you shouldn’t expect the level of features you get from a DSLR, it’s reasonable to expect a number of cool features on a 300 dollar camera.
This is more important than the MP count. The sensor size is what really counts when it comes to image quality.
The bigger the sensor size is, the better the quality of the picture is. I recommend you find the camera with the biggest sensor size in this category.
While it’s true that cameras have a great zoom, it still depends on the price range. Cheaper cameras won’t have superzoom.
Also, keep in mind that the bigger the zoom the bigger the size of the camera. In this price range, a bigger zoom will more than usual mean that the resolution will be lower.
If you pick a compact camera, it’ll be easy to carry and use. You can put it in your pocket.
If you get a heavier camera with a zoom lens and other features you might need extra accessories to carry it around. A camera bag is more than likely necessary in this case.
It totally depends on what you use your camera for. If you take pictures indoors or in public places like parks, stations, etc… you don’t need to worry much about this.
If you go outdoors to the wilderness, for example, you need to consider a camera with weather protection.
Best Cameras Under 300 Dollars – Wrapping Up
If you want a budget camera for any use you can find it on the market. These are some of the best I could find. Choose the one that best fits your needs. Even if the selections don’t whet your appetite, that’s okay.
Just keep in mind the things I listed that you need to have in your digital camera. If a camera doesn’t have them, it’s simply not worth it. So, do your research and know what specs each camera you’re eyeing has.
I hope this guide on the best cameras under 300 dollars has been helpful and insightful. If you want a camera, there’s nothing to stop you. This is the best time to get one. Good luck!