Since I was young, I’ve always had an interest in photos and videos. I believe that each picture has a story to tell. This is why it did not come as a surprise to my friends and family when I decided to take photography more seriously and transform it into more than just a hobby or a pass-time activity and have gained a great deal of experience in the field especially while using various point and shoot cameras.
There are various aspects that make a good photo. These could include the angle at which the photo was taken (for example the aerial view) and the distance from which the photo was taken.
Above all, the camera is of the most importance. Being part of a digital generation has brought a whole new revolution on what a camera can do. Cameras come in better packages whereby you can do more than just take a picture. With a good camera, you can capture the emotion, the feeling of the moment. You can capture not only the photo but also the story behind it. This is what pushed me on a quest to find the best point and shoot camera under $300. But first….
Important features to consider before getting a good Point and Shoot Camera under $300
When shopping for a good point and shoot camera, there are several features which you need to prioritize. These include the following:
· Image Stabilization
When taking a picture, it is common to take a series of blurry photos. This mainly results from the movements of the photographer’s hands when capturing the photo. Some photographers use a tripod stand to compensate for this movement. However, this beats logic as to why you have a light-weight easily portable point and shoot camera. Therefore, always consider a camera with both optical and digital image stabilization.
· Optical Zoom
Most cameras come with many zoom options such as digital zoom and intelligent zoom. However, all this doesn’t matter if there is no optical zoom. This is because optical zoom provides real zooming by moving the lens away from the sensor and it does not affect the quality of the sensor.
· Large Sensor
Gone are the days when the quality of the photo was fully determined by the number of megapixels. When shopping for a point and shoot camera, first look at the megapixels then pick the one with a larger sensor.
· High ISO
The higher it is, the more sensitive the sensor.
· Lens Focal Length
Choose a short focal length for outdoor photos and a long focal length for close-up pictures.
Best point and shoot cameras under $300
Canon PowerShot SX720 Digital Point and Shoot Camera
This point and shoot camera is just a little over $300 but it has earned its place at the top of this chart. It has a large 3.0-inch LCD that allows you to take cool photos even at wide angles. You can also take 1080p Full HD videos using this camera at 60pixels and stereo sound. If you ever need to share your pictures and videos with your friends and family, it won’t be a stress because this camera comes with a Wi-Fi and NFC (Near-Field Communication). It also comes with a strong 40x Optical Zoom with Intelligent Image Stabilization (IS) to help you optimize your image stabilization, especially for the objects that are virtually shake-free.
If you are an avid traveller and would like to capture all those special moments with your family and friends, this is the camera for you. It is best used for group shots and outdoor photography. It also comes with a powerful 20.3 MP CMOS sensor that has DIGIC 6 image processor. This gives it the ability to deliver stunning photos even under dim light conditions.
Aiming to go for a camping trip? Take the Canon PowerShot SX720 with you and capture those special moments at the bonfire.
- Powerful 40x Optical Zoom with Intelligent IS helps optimize image stabilization for virtually shake-free images.
- Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC allows for easy sharing and transferring of images and videos.
Nikon Coolpix L340 Point and Shoot Camera
If you are looking to venture into photography, the Nikon Coolpix L340 is a great starting point. This is because it gives you great resolution on a low budget. It comes with a 20.2 MP that allows you to take bright and clear photos as well as HD videos. It also comes with a variety of zoom options such as the 28x Optical Zoom and 56x Dynamic Fine Zooms. It is light weight and provides the option of image stabilization. This camera comes with strap, alkaline batteries, the lens cover and a USB cord. You can easily take great photos even under dim lighting.
The Nikon CoolPix L340 provides very little color distortion around the edges and has a fairly quick focus speed. It is also compatible with standard SD memory cards. Apart from alkaline batteries, it also accepts lithium and Nikon rechargeable batteries which are also available as accessories. When you feel like a picture alone won’t do, feel free to record your videos in HD since the inbuilt microphone will capture clear sound. You can then connect the camera to your preferred TV screen and view the photos and video with your friends and family. With Nikon CoolPix L340, all you have to do is point, shoot and amaze.
- 28x optical zoom, 56x Dynamic Fine Zooms
- 20.2-MP CCD sensor for bright, sharp photos and HD videos
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Canon Power Shot SX540HS Point and Shoot Camera
The Canon Power Shot SX540HS point and shoot camera comes with a strong 50x Optical Zoom and an Optical image stabilizer to ensure an outstanding optical performance. The 20.3 MP CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 6 image processor allows you to deliver stunning photos even under low light. The Wi-Fi and NFC are built-in to allow you to share your photos and videos. It also has a large 3.0-inch LCD for easy viewing even at a wide angle. It has the Zoom Framing Assist feature that allows fast and accurate subject recognition. Moreover, the Hybrid Auto option allows you to record up to 4 seconds of video before taking shots. It then compiles the short clips and photos to provide a recap of the daily activities.
The Canon Power Shot SX540HS also comes with a special feature called the Story Highlights. This allows you to showcase a series of pictures or videos from a certain day or event with music playing in the background (how cool is that!). This feature is very useful especially for special occasions when you want to tell a story. For example, during a wedding, you can use it to showcase pictures of your first date, the trip to Hawaii or the beach and other sweet moments. If your aim is to capture the emotion and create memories, then the Canon Power Shot SX540HS should be your companion.
- Powerful 50x Optical Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer for outstanding optical performance
- 20.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor with DIGIC 6 Image Processor helps deliver stunning image quality even in low light
Sony DSCH300/B Digital Point and Shoot Camera
The Sony DSCH300/B camera gives you a strong 35x optical zoom. It also has a 20.1MP upper HAD sensor to help you take more detailed photos. It provides you with the option of image stabilization and a 3-inch screen to help you take pictures even at a wide angle. It also comes with a 2x digital zoom feature and an LCD viewfinder. However, it does not include an external memory but it is lightweight thus making it easily portable. With the Sony DSCH300/B digital camera, you can minimize blur with its Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization.
If you are looking for a pocket-friendly point and shoot camera, the Sony DSCH3 is a good option since. Although it may not have “shiny decorations” in terms of its abilities, I still think that it is worth trying out. If you are looking for something simple but practical and useful for your regular photography needs, then this point and shoot camera is worth a try. In fact, you might be amazed by the clarity and high-quality photos that you will be taking with it and the bonus point is that you don’t have to break the bank to get yourself one!
- Get everything up close with powerful 35x Optical Zoom
- Operating temperature:-10 ~ +40℃ (operation) / -20 ~ +60℃ (storage).201MP Super HAD CCD sensor for beautifully detailed images
Canon PowerShot SX420 IS Point and Shoot Digital Camera
The Canon PowerShot X420 IS has an outstanding optical performance due to its 42x Optical Zoom that also provides Optical Image Stabilization. You get the best point and shoot camera that comes with 20.0 MP sensor with DIGIC 4+ image processor to help you deliver stunning and high-quality photos. The 3-inch LCD screen enables you to take pictures even at wide angles. The Wi-Fi and NFC allow you to easily share your photos and videos. It also helps you capture 720p HD videos with clear sound. It is also easy to carry around due to its lightweight.
One thing that makes the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS stand out is the Smart AUTO feature that helps you get the right camera settings for pre-determined shooting situations. For example, if you had set it to night mode, it will provide you with the right camera settings that best suits a night scene. It is a good option for outdoor activities with friends and family. Therefore, it is practical for group shots and other wide angle shots. If you are an extrovert and would like to capture great views at the beach or at the theme park, take the Canon PowerShot SX420 IS with you.
- Powerful 42x Optical Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer for outstanding optical performance
- Aspect Ratio : 16:9 / 3:2 / 4:3 / 1:1. Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC allows for easy sharing and transferring of images and videos.
Nikon CoolPix B500 Digital Point and Shoot Camera
The Nikon CoolPix B500 Digital Camera brings you a stunning 40x optical zoom and 80x digital zoom to ensure that you get powerful optical performance. What you get with this is a 3-inch 921k-dot tilting LCD screen to enable you to take amazing photos at different angles. Another fun feature of this camera is that it can be controlled remotely via a smartphone or tablet. It also comes with a 16MP 1 / 2.3” BSI CMOS sensor. It has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC to enable sharing of photos and videos. The ISO 6400, 7.4 FPS enables continuous shooting.
One thing that makes the Nikon CoolPix B500 Digital Camera stand out is its multiple zoom options. As discussed earlier, when shopping for a good point and shoot camera, it is advisable to consider one with the best optical zoom. However, if you get one with both the optical zoom and digital zoom features, and it costs less than $300, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t go ahead and buy it.
Moreover, it goes out of its way to provide you with 18 scene modes and the LCD display can tilt and make it easy to compose your shots and also keep track of your video recording. You can also use this feature to find new shooting angles.
- 16MP 1/2.3" BSI CMOS Sensor
- NIKKOR f/3.0-6.5mm ED Lens
Olympus TG-870 Point and Shoot Camera
The Olympus TG-870 comes with a 21mm angle lens that is ultra wide and 5x optical zoom. With this, you get the best point and shoot camera with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS to enable sharing of photos and videos. It also has a super macro mode, 13 art filters and live composite.
Okay, if you are an outgoing person who likes to travel a lot, go camping, mountain climbing, hiking or other fun activities without having to worry about ruining your camera, then the Olympus TG-870 is just right for you. It is waterproof up to 50 feet, shockproof up to 7 feet, crushproof up to 220 pounds force, and freezeproof up to 14F. To get such a camera for such a price is just unbelievable. This camera allows you to take incredible photos while having fun and not having to worry about it. It is also lightweight and this makes it easier to carry around during trips and other fun adventures.
- Waterproof to 50 feet (15 meters), Shockproof to 7 feet (2.1 meters), Crushproof to 220 pounds force, Freeze proof to 14 degrees F (-10C)
- 21mm Ultra-Wide Angle Lens, 5X optical zoom
Recommended: Best DSLR Camera Under 500
Buying a point and shoot camera doesn’t have to be a big deal anymore. As long as you know what exactly you are looking for, it is possible to get the best point and shoot camera under $300. The ones discussed above are high-quality and practical point and shoot cameras for someone working within a small budget. They have most (if not all) of the features that you should look for in a point and shoot camera. The kind of photos you are aiming for will help you determine the kind of focal length you will need for your camera.
A shorter focal length helps you zoom out and capture a larger picture. It is applicable for outdoor photos like sporting activities, tall buildings, group shots and such type of photos. A longer focal length helps you zoom in and take pictures of objects at close range. It helps you focus on a particular part of a photo and it is not really recommended for pictures such as group shots. It is best for taking photos of individual objects such as flowers, pets and such even from a distance. Even for a newbie in photography, you can never go wrong with any of these spectacular point-and-shoot cameras under $300.