Cameras, especially high-quality options, can be extremely expensive. However, just because you can pay a lot for a premium device, doesn’t mean you have to. There are many solid budget options if you know where to look.
The following sections will cover some of the best affordable point and shoot cameras on the market. Each one falls under $300 and does so without sacrificing or cutting out top-end features. If you want to take great photos at a low price, there’s no better way.
- If you’re someone who loves features, the Canon Powershot SX530 is the camera for you. This model shoots full HD video, has wireless sharing, comes with creative shot mode, and utilizes 50x optical zoom.
- The Sony DSCWX350 is a well-rounded camera outfitted with a stellar lens, 4K image quality, and Sweep Panorama mode. The perfect option for people who want crisp, high-resolution videos in every type of light.
- Few budget cameras are as easy to use as the Nikon COOLPIX B500. This model is made for people new to the photography world, thanks to its simple interface and full smartphone compatibility.
Who Should Get This?
These cameras are for people who want to take great pictures without spending too much money. Shooting on a budget is never easy, but it is doable if you know where to look. Every camera in this guide helps you save some cash without losing out on quality.
If you’re more serious about photography, or if you’re someone who needs expensive equipment to capture premium video, these cameras are probably not for you. More advanced photographers will likely need a more expensive option.
Best Point and Shoot Camera Under $300: What to Consider?
The first trait to consider when breaking down a new camera is its resolution. You want your device to take quality pictures under a range of different conditions. Remember, just because a picture looks good in bright light or one type of environment does not mean it will hold up when conditions shift. Get a model that does well in both bright and low light.
One of the best features of a point and shoot camera is that it’s portable. However, bringing your camera outside does come with certain risks. To mitigate those risks, you want a sturdy device that won’t break when dropped or exposed to the elements. There are many tough cameras on the market, many of which are drop, shock, water, or crush-proof. If you’re going to shoot outside, you want one such model.
Cameras have come a long way. Though they once only had a few modes, the newer models can do quite a bit. Automatic modes make tricky shots much easier, wireless connectivity increases functionality, while touchscreens make a camera much easier to use. Always pay attention to what you want out of your device and then get features that best further those traits.
Best Point and Shoot Camera Under $300: Our Picks
The Canon Powershot SX530 is a strong camera that comes in at a great price. This model doesn’t only shoot full HD video at 30p, it also quickly and easily shares photos between different devices. This comes with top-of-the-line wireless connectivity, which makes it the best choice for people who need to constantly move or upload their photos and videos to different places. It is also compatible with the Canon Connect Station CS100.
Another reason to pick this product is that it shoots well in low-light situations. The lens is fantastic and holds up in a wide range of different environments. On top of that, it also comes with a comfortable grip and Zoom Framing Assist. That is then complemented by Creative Shot Mode, a feature that helps bring an artistic flair to your shots.
What We Like:
- 50x optical zoom
- Built-in WiFi
- 16 Megapixel high sensitivity CMOS sensor
- Full HD video
- Comfortable, ergonomic grip
- Zoom framing assist
- Solid in low-light environments
- Creative shot mode
What We Don’t Like:
- Not the best for moving subjects
- Long-distance focus could be better
As affordable as it is, the Sony DSCWX350 is a solid camera with a lot of excellent features. The 20x optical/40x clear image zoom G lens is fantastic, while the Lock-On AF ensures your subject always stays in focus. The camera has Motion Shot Video to trace subject movement as well as 4K quality still image output. All of that then works with the simple connectivity to ensure you can easily access your pictures at any time.
This model also comes with two excellent modes: Sweep Panorama and Picture Effect. Sweep gives you the ability to take incredible shots just by sweeping the camera in one direction. In contrast, Picture Effect emphasizes different attributes and livens up your pictures with nine different fun effects.
What We Like:
- Tight, compact shell
- 20x optical zoom lens
- Lock-on keeps subject in focus
- Easily connects to mobile devices
- 4K quality
- Hi-speed USB
- Picture effect enhances versatility
- Sweep panorama mode
- Wrist strap
- Rechargeable battery pack
What We Don’t Like:
- Better for photos than videos
When it comes to excellent functionality and smooth interface, few budget point and shoot cameras can compete with the Nikon COOLPIX B500. While many excellent cameras are packed with features, they can be quite hard to understand. In contrast, the B500 is incredibly easy to use and set up. Anyone can navigate the menus and work the controls, which makes it much easier to work with.
This model has one of the best lenses in its price range (Nikkor f/3.0 6.5 millimeter ED) and comes with both 40x optical and 80x dynamic zoom. On top of that, the 16-megapixel low-light sensor gives you more ways to shoot. It also has full HD 1080p video recording at 30fps and full Bluetooth/WiFi connectivity. Add on the smartphone compatibility and you get the complete package without breaking the bank.
What We Like:
- 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor
- Super telephoto NIKKOR glass lens
- 16-megapixel low-light sensor
- Lens-shift vibration reduction
- Easy to use and control
- 40x optical zoom lens
- Full HD 1080p video
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
What We Don’t Like:
- No separate video mode
- Better outdoors than indoors
Useful Tips and Information
When it comes to taking pictures, getting the right equipment is only the first step. You also need to be able to use it. While pointing and clicking will give you pictures (sometimes great ones) there’s always room for improvement. These tips cover some great photography tricks you should know.
A great camera goes a long way, but you can always improve your photography experience. There is a wide range of accessories on the market, and they all bring something new to the table. Check them out here.
Good cameras don’t have to be expensive. While it’s easy to spend a lot of money on a good point-and-shoot option, the above products show that it’s more than possible to get something great in a lower price range. As long as you know what you want from your camera, the products in this guide will give you excellent results.
Do you have a good budget camera? Are there any brands we missed? Let us know below!
Andreas is a freelance tech writer based in California. He works on a Mac in the office and lives with a PC and many old computer electronics at home. While he is not reading or writing, you’ll probably find him playing online games with friends.