Finding a good camera nowadays is not hard. Finding cheap models isn’t hard either. But finding a decent model for less than 150 dollars is a different story. If you have in mind the obvious limitations of this price, with a bit of patience you can find recent cameras that, despite being far from the best you can get, deserve a chance. Here are the best 10 models you can get for less than 150 dollars.
Nikon Coolpix S3500
This is one of the most popular compact cameras, and for a reason. It costs around 100 dollars. The picture quality is not exceptional, but the stabilized 7x zoom (with a 26-millimeter angle), the 20-megapixel resolution (a bit excessive, we all agree) and its design are noteworthy. It has five colors, Silver, Orange, Purple, Red and Decorative Pink. The Coolpix S3500 is a simple and very effective camera that offers the best results when you apply filters to the pictures.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1
Presented earlier this year, the Lumix XS1 is one of the smallest cameras con the market. Possibly the most beautifully-designed of this list, its simple specs (16 megapixels and a 25-125-millimeter stabilized zoom) and price (115 dollars) make it the perfect gift. It’s worth noting it uses micro SD cards.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H200
Affordable, big and good-looking: The Cyber-shot H200 isn’t just much bigger than most compact cameras, it also features a 26x zoom (24-633 millimeters) and costs around 150 dollars. It also features a simple yet efficient manual mode. It has no electronic viewfinder, uses batteries and its 20 megapixels are nothing special, but the zoom makes it worth it.
Canon IXUS 132
An IXUS for less than 150 dollars? That’s right. To be honest, we weren’t expecting an 8x zoom –with a shorter angle than the rest, by the way-. Its 16-megapixel CCD is common for the price –maybe a bit better- and the price-performance ratio is very good. The IXUS 132 feels solid and reliable from the start. If you’re willing to spend a bit more, you can get the IXUS 135, which also features Wi-Fi connectivity.
Samsung isn’t exactly known for offering surprisingly cheap devices, this is nothing new. Maybe that’s why the WB250F is the most complete of the list, as well as the most expensive. It has everything, from Wi-Fi connectivity and manual controls to even a touch screen. It also features an 18x zoom (24-432 millimeters), a 14-megapixel CMOS and Full HD video recording. It costs 150 Euros, so asking for more would be a crime.
The Ricoh HZ15 is the less known among the cameras on the list, mainly because the Japanese company is known for their high-end cameras. This camera features a 16x zoom (24-360 millimeters) and an affordable price (about 200 dollars). Not too sophisticated and more plastic in its designed than we’d like it to have, it offers a very decent image quality, even compared with the rest of the cameras.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX80
We’re getting close to the 150-dollars limit with the Cyber-shot WX80, a camera with a less powerful zoom (8x, 25-200 millimeters) but a great 16-megapixel CMOS capable of 10 FPS burst modes and Full HD video recording. It also offers Wi-Fi connectivity, a feature you can skip –and save money- by getting the WX60, identical in every way except for this.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ3
To face the increasing popularity of mobile phones cameras, more cameras feature a powerful zoom. The Lumix SZ3 is a good example. For a Little more than 149 dollars, you can get this camera with a 10x zoom equivalent to 25-250 millimeters. Along with the 16-megapixel sensor, this makes it an affordable yet very good camera.
Fujifilm FinePix T500
Something that would’ve been impossible a few years ago: a compact camera with a 12x zoom (24-288 millimeters) for little more than 100 dollars. The FinePix T500, while not being the best design-wise –the plastic feel is impossible not to notice-, this 16-megapixel model deserves a place in this list. The video recording button is located in the right spot to be pressed by accident when you want to turn the camera on or off, by the way.
Excellent price and performance and with a beautiful design, the Olympus VH-520 not only combines a great design with a 26-260-millimeter zoom, but also offers Full HD video recording and excellent burst modes. Its 14-megapixel CMOS (more than enough) is almost the least important aspect among the excellent features of this camera. The zoom control, however, is as elegant as uncomfortable.