If you haven't shopped for a point and shoot digital camera lately, you're in for a surprise. You don't have to spend a lot of money find good digital cameras. The best budget digital cameras offer a nice mix of style, features, and value. They aren't typically going to offer top-of-the-line features, but most beginner photographers don't need them. Here are the best budget digital cameras for under $150, listed in alphabetical order.
Beginning photographers will find a top-end, 16MP of resolution with the Canon PowerShot A2400 camera, but some of its other features are only average or a bit below average.
With the A2400, which Canon recently announced, you'll find a 5X optical zoom lens, a 2.7-inch LCD screen, and 720p HD video. All of these features are a bit lacking, at least when compared to other new 2012 models.
However, considering the A2400's low price, some beginning photographers can deal with average features. The A2400, which is available in light blue, pink, silver, and black, also measures just 0.84 inches in thickness, which is great.
Canon's "A" series PowerShot digital cameras typically try to hit a sub-$200 price point with a series of average photography features. The latest PowerShot, the A3400 IS, does offer one high-end feature -- a 3.0-inch touch-screen LCD. You can select all of the camera's settings and shoot images using the touch screen.
You'll also find 16MP of resolution, a 5X optical zoom, and a 720p video mode with the A3400 IS.
The A3400 IS is one of the least expensive touch screen cameras around. It's also available in an uncommon color, gold, as well as red, silver, or black camera bodies.
Kodak's EasyShare M580 digital camera provides amazing image quality for a point and shoot camera in the sub-$200 price range. With 14.0 megapixels of resolution and an 8X optical zoom lens, the EasyShare M580 has some impressive features for its price range. Living up to its "EasyShare" name, Kodak has given the EasyShare M580 plenty of photo-management features, making it easy to sort photos before uploading. The M580's response times are a serious drawback, but, overall, this camera compares favorably to similarly priced models.
Although the photographic features found in the Nikon Coolpix S30 aren't quite as powerful as many new point and shoot digital cameras, the S30 offers one thing that many common models do not -- waterproof capabilities.
The Coolpix S30 is waterproof up to 10 feet of water depth. It's available in pink, white, or blue camera bodies. If you shop around, you may even find the S30 for less than $100, which is pretty impressive for a camera with waterproof capabilities.
The S30 can shoot at resolutions up to 10.1 megapixels with a 3X optical zoom lens and with a 2.7-inch LCD. You can shoot video at up to 720p HD quality.
I've always like the DualView camera design from Samsung, starting with the first model a few years ago, as it simplifies self portraits while allowing quite a bit of fun photography options.
The latest DualView, the DV300F, adds WiFi capabilities to the camera that has LCD screens on the front (1.5 inches) and back (3.0 inches) of the model.
In addition, the DV300F has 16.1 megapixels of resolution, a 5X optical zoom lens, and 720p HD video. The DV300F is a low-priced camera and is a really nice and fun option for beginners.
A couple of years ago, a slim, stylish camera, such as the Samsung PL200, would be just that -- slim and stylish -- without many desirable photography features.
However, times have changed.
The PL200 measures just 0.82 inches in thickness, it has a nice-looking curved body, and it's available in red, silver, and black. Samsung included plenty of nice photography features in the PL200, too, though. The PL200 has a 7X optical zoom lens, can shoot 720p HD video, and features dual IS technology. It also has a 3.0-inch LCD, and Samsung cameras typically offer high-quality LCD screens.
Few cameras in this price range offer such a large zoom lens. The PL210 also offers some slight wide angle capabilities, with a focal range of 27mm-270mm.
In addition, the Samsung PL210 has a 3.0-inch LCD screen, 14.2 megapixels of resolution, and 720p HD video capabilities. It also is a thin camera, measuring only 0.78 inches in thickness, and it's available in silver or black.
8. Samsung ST80
The ST80 includes 14.2 megapixels of resolution, a 3X optical zoom lens, a 3.0-inch touch screen LCD, and a 720p HD video option.
The WiFi capabilities in the ST80 are the best features of this camera, though. The camera's software allows you to wirelessly send photos to e-mail addresses stored inside the camera, as well as upload images and videos to Facebook, YouTube, and other social networking sites. You'll find the Samsung ST80 in black, blue, red, or silver.
The WB210, which carries a 12X optical zoom lens, measures only 0.88 inches in thickness. You'll also find some strong wide angle capabilities with the WB210, including a 21mm wide angle setting. Few point and shoot cameras offer such a good wide angle option.
This model is available in black or silver camera bodies.
If you commonly experience problems with motion blur and camera shake ruining your still images and videos, Sony hopes its recently released Cyber-shot DSC-H70 digital camera can help you fix those issues.
The H70 -- which is currently available in black, blue, red, or silver -- features two special modes to help with camera shake and motion blur. In addition, the Cyber-shot H70 offers a 10X optical zoom lens, 720p HD video capabilities, and a sweep panorama mode.
The first thing you'll notice about the Sony Cyber-shot T90 digital camera is that it doesn't look like any other sub-$300 camera. The front panel of the T90 is almost all a solid color (black, light blue, pink, bronze, or silver), only marked by a small 4X optical zoom lens in the corner that does not extend beyond the camera body. It is an ultra compact model and measures only 0.59 inches in thickness. With 12.1 megapixels of resolution, it can create very large prints. Finally, the T90's 3.0-inch, touch-screen LCD is a great feature.
Despite being a slightly older unit, this camera is definitely one of the coolest models out there in this price range, and it made my list of the best cameras of 2009.
The Cyber-shot WX9 includes a CMOS image sensor, which improves the camera's low-light performance. And, as I found in my WX9 review, this camera does a nice job in low light, with or without the flash.
Sony included limited wide angle capabilities in the WX9's 5X optical zoom lens. This camera can shoot 16.2MP still images and 1080i HD video. Look for the WX9 to be available in black, red, and silver.