Point-and-Shoot cameras supply a superb introduction to images and in addition present an choice for smartphone shooters who’re beginning to search for extra from their pictures. These cameras are available quite a lot of sizes starting from not a lot greater than a smartphone as much as fashions that appear to be miniature digital single reflex cameras (DSLRs) or mirrorless cameras however are nonetheless sufficiently small to slot in a bag or small backpack.
The distinguishing function of a point-and-shoot digital camera is that it doesn’t have interchangeable lenses. Nevertheless, the built-in lens is of top of the range and often gives a variety of focal lengths. They earn their designation with automated focus and publicity modes that ship persistently good outcomes, leaving the photographer with nothing extra to do than goal the digital camera and press the button.
That being stated, you also needs to observe that point-and-shoot cameras can even present the complete vary of guide management provided by DSLRs or mirrorless fashions. These are the so-called “bridge” fashions, which means that they supply a transition between the straightforward point-and-shoots and the fully-featured DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
You might also see “super-zoom” cameras. These have an prolonged telephoto vary (an enormous “X” quantity), giving the identical long-range view as big lenses on a DSLR. Tremendous-zooms might or might not have the superior controls of a bridge digital camera.
Many good decisions can be found within the sub-$300 vary. We’ll offer you a purchaser’s information and some choose fashions in your consideration.
Best Options for a sub-$300 point-and-shoot digital camera
The digital camera you select will finally rely in your preferences and capturing necessities. A dad or mum, grandparent, or traveler might nicely choose a compact, pocket-sized mannequin that’s all the time useful and prepared for these memorable moments. The pictures shall be nice for sharing on a display or in small prints with family members and associates.
However, somebody who’s on the lookout for the standard to succeed in a wider viewers and probably make bigger prints might favor the efficiency and outcomes from a bridge mannequin.
What follows is an inventory of digital camera options to search for in a point-and-shoot digital camera. For fashions underneath $300, you could not discover all of those attributes however search for as many as you possibly can and contemplate which options you want most for the capturing you need to do.
Measurement/weight and portability: If in case you have robust wants or preferences for the dimensions and weight of the digital camera, this spec will typically decide the vary of different decisions out there to you.
Megapixels: One of many first belongings you’ll see within the advertising hype is the megapixel (MP) rely. We’re nicely past the times of low-megapixel cameras with marginal high quality. Immediately’s cameras all pack sufficient decision for anybody’s primary wants.
The upper MP cameras typically skimp on different options. So, for instance, when you see a 16 MP mannequin with all the different options you need and a 20 MP mannequin that lacks a few of these options, you’ll in all probability be well-served by the 16 MP mannequin.
One benefit to think about for extra megapixels is that you could crop a bit extra into a photograph, getting some enlargement of the picture, with much less lack of picture high quality.
Sensor Measurement: That is the bodily measurement of the sensor, not the megapixel rely. A bigger sensor means bigger pixels with higher picture high quality, particularly in low mild.
Bigger sensors additionally ship higher dynamic vary, which means that they seize a wider vary of shadows to highlights in a single body. We’ve in all probability all seen the basic picture of somebody subsequent to a window the place both the individual or the scene within the window is uncovered appropriately, however not each.
A bigger sensor will get you higher outcomes, however it’s nonetheless easy to exceed its functionality right here. Sensor sizes vary within the following designations, from smallest to largest:
• APS-C (barely smaller on Canon than on Nikon)
Lens vary: One other huge hype in advertising is the zoom vary, or X quantity, of the lens. This pertains to how a lot you’ll be able to zoom into far-away topics and get a big picture. That is nice for chook and sports activities images, however not wanted a lot for teenagers and pets.
One factor to think about is that at excessive zoom ranges, the movement brought on by jittery hand-holding is magnified and excessive shutter speeds are wanted. Watch out for this when capturing proper after you down a double latte!
Picture stabilization: This helps with the issue above of shaky palms, however it doesn’t get rid of the issue. Nearly all point-and-shoot cameras in the present day have picture stabilization, and this must be vital merchandise in your listing of options.
ISO vary: The ISO setting enhances the digital camera’s capability to take footage in low mild, and permits for quicker shutter speeds in regular mild. Growing the ISO to realize these benefits does include a trade-off.
The picture might be noisier or extra grainy at greater ISO settings. Verify evaluations on this function if low mild images (nighttime, for instance) or quick shutter speeds are necessary to you.
Display: The options to think about listed here are the dimensions and brightness of the display. You’ll make your preliminary selections about your photographs based mostly on this view, so bigger/brighter is often higher. If measurement and portability are necessary to you, you will want to go together with a smaller display.
One other display function to search for is swivel. This is probably not widespread on the sub-$300 fashions however might be an enormous consideration for those who love to do ground-level or above-head views.
Publicity controls: Most individuals are interested in point-and-shoots for his or her capacity to get nice photographs with no fuss overexposure. On this case, search for cameras with all kinds of publicity presets.
Nevertheless, for extra skilled photographers preferring the power for extra artistic choices, some fashions additionally function guide, aperture precedence and shutter precedence modes.
Additionally, search for publicity compensation and management of the ISO setting. Even some cameras with solely publicity presets will present these technique of tweaking the outcomes from the digital camera.
Autofocus efficiency and burst velocity: Level-and-shoot- cameras are usually not recognized for quick autofocus or the power to fireside many photographs off in a single second. If sports activities, fowl, or different action-based images is necessary to you, take a look at this spec rigorously to find out if the digital camera will suit your wants.
Video: Nearly all cameras bought at present can report video. You need to have the ability to discover a mannequin that may shoot full HD (1080p). Additionally make certain that the digital camera data in a standard, widely-used format reminiscent of mp4, and never a lesser-known or proprietary format.
Battery sort and life: Does the digital camera want a proprietary battery or can it use generally obtainable AA or AAA? About what number of photographs or minutes of video are you able to get on a fully-charged battery? The necessity to carry additional batteries will issue into the portability of the digital camera.
Connectivity: Wifi connectivity is now a normal with most cameras. New on the scene is near-field connectivity (NFC) which simplifies connecting the digital camera to different units. All it takes is actually a contact of a suitably-equipped smartphone or pill. The primary connection would require some safety checks.
Different options: listed here are another options chances are you’ll search for in your point-and-shoot digital camera. Once more, these will not be widespread within the beneath $300 vary.
• Face detection
• Panoramic capturing
• HDR capturing
• distant management from smartphone or pill (often by way of a separate app)
Advisable Level-and-shoot Cameras Under $300
We will cowl first a couple of issues that each one 5 of those cameras share in widespread.
All of them have Three-inch LCD screens.
Every mannequin options WiFi connectivity and management with a separately-available app for a smartphone or pill, in addition to HDMI and USB ports to hook up with computer systems and TVs.
Though publicity modes differ among the many cameras, all of them present publicity compensation as much as two stops lighter or darker in 1/Three-stop increments.
The sensor measurement for all of those cameras is identical at half.Three.
Canon Powershot SX530
First up is the Canon Powershot SX530. This digital camera tops a lot of the primary specs in comparison with the opposite 4 fashions. It presents an enormous tremendous zoom vary and guide or semi-automatic controls for intermediate photographers who need extra management over publicity, making it a sensible choice for a bridge digital camera for these photographers. There’s little or no to not like about this one, besides maybe the shortage of a swivel display.
Measurement/weight and portability: The SX530 is analogous in form to an interchangeable-lens digital camera however smaller, measuring Four.7 x Three.2 x Three.6 inches and weighing 15 ounces with battery and card put in. It makes use of a proprietary battery that’s rated for 210 photographs per cost, or 290 if the digital camera is in ECO mode.
Imaging: This can be a 16-megapixel digital camera with 4608 x 3456 pixel pictures, most shutter velocity 1/2000 sec, and capable of shoot as much as 10 frames per second. You’ll be able to select to shoot in 1:1, Three;2, Four;Three, and 16:9 facet ratios.
There are 17 publicity modes to cowl nearly any state of affairs, and you may select automated software of as much as 5 in-camera filters. This digital camera additionally gives guide, aperture-priority, and shutter-priority publicity controls for the intermediate or superior photographer. The ISO goes as much as 3200 usually with an optionally available 6400 low mild setting.
There are eight picture stabilization modes: regular, panning, macro, and tripod for stills or dynamic wide-angle, powered telephoto, macro, and tripod for video.
Lens: This can be a longer superzoom at 50x, which is the equal of a 1200mm focal size on a full-frame DSLR. The lens has a most aperture of f/Three.Four and options high-speed autofocus together with zoom framing at longer focal lengths to maintain the topic correctly framed. The lens can focus right down to a distance of Zero.Four inches.
Video: The SX530 data full HD 1080p video at 30fps within the mp4 format. The utmost clip size is 29 minutes with 1 hour potential at decrease video high quality settings.
Different: Along with WiFi, this digital camera gives NFC for connection to suitable units. There’s an elective join station out there for straightforward switch of pictures to a pc. The digital camera contains a hybrid recording mode the place a brief video is recorded previous to a nonetheless picture. These brief movies are later mechanically assembled right into a spotlight reel for the photograph shoot.
- Highly effective 50x Optical Zoom allows you to seize the small print that make your images stand out
- Outfitted with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC to make wi-fi sharing of pictures between suitable units straightforward and handy
- Absolutely suitable with Canon’s photograph and video storage system: the Canon Join Station CS100
- 16.Zero Megapixel Excessive-Sensitivity CMOS sensor delivers state-of-the-art imaging efficiency
- Full HD video at 30p for notably clean and lifelike high quality
Nikon Coolpix B500
Subsequent, we’ll think about the Nikon Coolpix B500. It’s virtually a contender for bridge digital camera standing however lacks superior controls for publicity. Nevertheless, that is good for many who need a super-zoom however don’t need to fuss with settings an excessive amount of. This mannequin is a standout among the many 5 fashions in that it provides a tilting display to make low- or high- angle views simpler and extra snug to perform. It provides general stability and flexibility regardless of a scarcity of superior options.
Measurement/weight and portability: That is one other digital camera that appears like a small DSLR, weighing in at 19.08 ounces with batteries and card and measuring Four.5 x Three.1 x Three.7 inches. That is the heaviest of the 5 fashions thought-about right here. It makes use of 4 AA batteries and may get 600 photographs on one set.
Imaging: The 16-megapixel sensor data photographs measuring 4608 x 3456 pixels in a Four:Three facet ratio. It has a quick 1/4000 second shutter and may shoot at 7.Four frames per second. The sensor is backside-illuminated, giving higher efficiency in low mild conditions. The ISO goes as much as 6400, including to the low-light capabilities of this digital camera.
There isn’t any guide or semi-automatic management of publicity with the B500. Nevertheless, the 17 publicity modes will cowl virtually any capturing state of affairs you discover. You possibly can select to mechanically apply as much as 5 of the in-camera particular results filters.
The digital camera options 4 axis picture stabilization (Nikon calls this vibration discount) in nonetheless and video modes. At longer focal lengths, a further hybrid anti-shake mode kicks in to assist compensate for the upper magnification of motion.
Lens: The NIKKOR ED lens gives a superzoom vary of 40x, for a full-frame DSLR equal of 900mm. The utmost aperture is f/Three, and it could possibly focus right down to a distance of Zero.Four inches.
Video: The B500 data video in HD high quality, 1080p at 30 frames per second or 1080i at 60 fps. 1080i is usually used on devoted video camcorders. The utmost clip size is 29 minutes, and the films are within the easily-used mp4 format.
Different: That is the one digital camera of the 5 fashions to supply Bluetooth connectivity in addition to WiFi and NFC. This may increasingly assist with older units that should not have NFC functionality.
Panasonic Lumix ZS50
The Panasonic Lumix ZS50 provides many bridge digital camera choices in a compact measurement. It’s the solely digital camera amongst our 5 candidates to supply RAW picture seize. This feature supplies extra latitude in capturing a larger dynamic vary in a scene however does additionally require processing on a pc earlier than sharing the picture. Typically, this digital camera is a case the place fewer megapixels could also be offset by the presence of superior publicity choices or moveable measurement.
Measurement/weight and portability: This compact mannequin measures Four.Four x 2.5 x 1.Four inches and weighs Eight.57 ounces. It makes use of a proprietary battery that will get 350 photographs on a full cost.
Imaging: At 12-megapixels, the ZS50 has the bottom megapixel rely among the many 5 fashions thought-about right here. Panasonic, together with different producers of micro Four/Three sensor cameras, makes use of MOS sensors, a variation of the CMOS utilized by most different cameras, that probably provides larger high quality and fewer energy consumption. The picture is recorded at 4000 x 3000 pixels in 1:1, Three;2, Four;Three, or 16:9 facet ratios. The utmost ISO is 6400.
The ZS50 can seize ten frames per second with single shot autofocus or 6 fps whereas utilizing steady autofocus. The utmost shutter velocity is 1/2000 second.
To make sure the sharpest potential photographs, the digital camera is provided with a 5-axis picture stabilization system in each nonetheless and video capturing modes. As well as, a degree shot perform detects horizontals within the picture and retains them degree within the shot.
Along with the RAW captures which will attraction to extra superior photographers, the ZS50 additionally provides guide, aperture precedence, and shutter precedence publicity modes. For many who choose easier settings, there are a whopping 33 preset publicity modes to select from.
Lens: The Leica DC Vario-ELMAR lens supplies 30x tremendous zoom functionality with a f/Three.Three most aperture. Along with high-speed autofocus, the lens additionally has full guide focus. A management ring surrounding the lens improves entry to widespread controls and settings. The shut focus, at 1.18 inches, shouldn’t be fairly as shut as the opposite fashions.
Video: The ZS50 data full HD 1080p video at 30 or 60 fps. The mp4 format is accessible, and clips may be as much as 40 minutes in different codecs.
Different: There’s an digital viewfinder along with the LCD display. The ZS50 gives the choices to shoot in time-lapse mode or to report sluggish movement video. NFC is accessible together with WiFi for additional connectivity choices.
- LUMIX 30X Journey Zoom Camera with Eye Viewfinder
- Enhanced low-light sensitivity for improved sharpness even with no flash
- Constructed-in eye viewfinder eliminates outside glare on sunny days
- Clever Zoom 60x
- Lens:12 parts in 9 teams
Canon Powershot ELPH 360 HS
The Canon Powershot ELPH 360 HS is the finances compact selection in our lineup. It presents a number of easy controls for many who really need to “point-and-shoot” and a pocket measurement that goes all over the place with you.
Measurement/weight and portability: At 5.18 ounces, that is the lightest digital camera amongst our 5 decisions. The size are a modern Three.94 x 2.28 x Zero.91 inches. The proprietary battery will get 180 photographs on a full cost, lowest amongst our 5 decisions, however will get a extra respectable 265 photographs if the digital camera is in ECO mode. The attainable want for an additional battery (by no means a nasty concept, actually) might diminish the portability and finances elements for this digital camera.
Imaging: The ELPH 360 wins the megapixel prize amongst our 5 cameras with a 20-megapixel sensor. It captures as much as 7.2 frames per second with a most shutter velocity of 1/2000 second. Photographs are recorded in 1:1, Three:2, Four:Three, or 16:9 facet ratio at a decision of 5184×3888 pixels.
There are 19 publicity modes to cowl the conditions you’re more likely to encounter however no guide publicity choices. Additionally, the digital camera can apply artistic lighting results in every of those modes. Like its cousin the SX530, this digital camera could make a video spotlight reel of a photograph shoo by recording a brief video clip earlier than every nonetheless and later amassing them into one film. The utmost ISO is 3200.
The ELPH 360 has 4 modes of picture stabilization, regular, panning, macro, and tripod, for each nonetheless and video capturing.
Lens: At 12x, this isn’t a really lengthy zoom however nonetheless has the complete body DSLR equal of 300mm, which is an inexpensive telephoto vary. The lens opens to a most of f/Three.6. It does supply guide focus, however on this class of digital camera guide focus is just not steady and troublesome to put exactly the place desired. The lens can focus as shut as Zero.Four inches.
Video: The ELPH 360 data video in 1080p at 30 frames per second within the mp4 format. The utmost clip size is 29 minutes.
Different: Connectivity choices embrace the extra versatile NFC together with the usual WiFi capabilities. Here’s a bonus suggestion: In case you like this digital camera however want it had a much bigger zoom, take a look at the Canon Powershot SX620. For a bit of extra money, however nonetheless, nicely underneath $300, you’ll be able to double the zoom to 25x.
- 12x Optical Zoom with Optical Picture Stabilizer helps you seize pictures with flexibility and ease
- Constructed-in Wi-Fi and NFC permits for straightforward sharing and transferring of photographs and movies. Giant Three.Zero-inch LCD allows straightforward viewing even from a large angle.Max Decision:5184 x 3888
- 1080p HD video capabilities, 20.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor combines with the DIGIC Four+ Picture Processor to assist ship beautiful picture high quality even in low mild
- Hello-Velocity USB (Mini-B), HDMI (Sort D), direct connection to Canon SELPHY, PIXMA Photograph Printers & PictBridge suitable printers, design rule for Camera File system (DCF) compliant, DPOF (Model 1.1) suitable
- Working temperature is Zero to 40 diploma celsius. Working humidity is 10 to 90 %. Zooming shouldn’t be attainable when capturing films Topics look distorted when topics that move in entrance of the digital camera shortly might look distorted. This isn’t a malfunction. Photographs are out of focus, press the shutter button midway to give attention to topics earlier than urgent all of it the best way right down to shoot. Make sure that topics are inside focusing vary. Set af-assist beam to on. Affirm that unneeded features similar to macro are deactivated. Picture stabilization for angular digital camera shake and shift-shake in macro photographs hybrid-is
Fujifilm FinePix XP120
Lastly, we contemplate a rugged, sturdy mannequin, the Fujifilm FinePix XP120. It’s waterproof to 65 ft,
cold-resistant to 14 levels, and shockproof as much as a 5.Eight-foot fall, in addition to being dustproof. It’s also a lower-priced compact selection and fits the all-weather, all-terrain adventurer.
Measurement/weight and portability: This can be a compact mannequin, measuring Four.Three x 2.Eight x 1.1 inches and weighing in at 7.16 ounces. The proprietary battery takes 400 photographs on a full cost.
Imaging: The 16.Four-megapixel sensor is the second amongst our group of 5 to have a backlit sensor, offering higher low-light efficiency. The picture decision is 4608 x 3456 pixels, and it may possibly shoot in 1:1, Three:2, Four:Three, or 16:9 facet ratios.
The XP 120 captures pictures at as much as 10 frames per second and has a most shutter velocity of 1/2000 second. The ISO goes as much as 3200 at full decision with 6400 potential at decrease picture resolutions. A sensor-shift picture stabilization system helps to maintain your pictures sharp.
You’ll discover 13 preset publicity modes on the XP120 together with two for underwater capturing. There are additionally 11 nonetheless filters in addition to 7 for video, including to the artistic prospects with this digital camera. Going even additional, you should use a built-in time-lapse function, take 360-degree panoramas, and make cinematographs, distinctive nonetheless pictures with a shifting component.
Lens: The Fujinon lens has a most aperture of f/Three.9 and focuses as shut as Three.5 inches, not as shut as the opposite fashions in our lineup. The 5x zoom vary is the bottom of those 5 fashions.
Video: You possibly can document full HD 1080p video at 60 frames per second with the XP 120. It additionally offers a wind filter, which is useful for the harsher environments this digital camera can deal with. The video is recorded within the MOV format, which has extensive help however not as a lot as mp4. The utmost clip size is 29 minutes.
Different: That is the one mannequin on our record that has WiFi solely, with no NFC help. Perhaps you wouldn’t need to take one other system out within the circumstances this digital camera can tolerate!
Nobody digital camera can match all attainable wants. We’ve given you right here an inventory of prime decisions to think about after you have selected the options which are most essential to the capturing you need to do. There must be one thing on this record for almost anybody to think about:
• Thinking about motion photographs? The SX530, ZS50, and XP120 all shoot a good ten frames per second.
• Need superior publicity controls? Take a look at the SX530 or ZS50.
• On the lookout for a high-powered zoom? Take a look at the SX530, B500, or ZS50.
• Want a compact mannequin? The ZS50, ELPH 360, and XP120 all match the invoice on this one.
No matter your choice, think about your wants rigorously, select from our record, and get on the market to take pleasure in taking higher pictures!
(perform(d, s, id)
var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s);
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;
js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3”;
(doc, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));