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.
Colorful inexpensive cameras have been a staple of Canon PowerShot cameras for quite a few years, and the PowerShot ELPH 100 HS camera follows that formula. The ELPH 100 is part of Canon's new "HS System," short for high sensitivity. Canon designed its HS cameras to work well in low light.
For a camera in its price range, the ELPH 100 includes some nice features, including a 3-inch LCD screen and full 1080p video capabilities. You'll find a 12.1MP CMOS image sensor with the ELPH 100, further improving low light performance. It would be nice if the ELPH 100 had a larger optical zoom lens than 4X, though.
Canon is offering the ELPH 100 in five body colors -- blue, gray, pink, orange, and silver.
The latest entry-level ELPH camera from Canon, the ELPH 115 IS, isn't going to amaze you with its feature list, but it's a solid little camera now available for right around the $150 price point.
The PowerShot ELPH 115 IS has a 16MP image sensor, an 8X optical zoom lens, a 2.7-inch LCD, and 720p HD video capture.
The ELPH 115 is available in black, blue, pink, or silver camera bodies. This camera also features what Canon is called an ECO mode, through which the camera employs power savings whenever appropriate, extending its battery life.
The recently announced Canon PowerShot ELPH 130 IS camera is an entry-level, sub-$150 option that has some very nice features compared to others in that price point.
Canon, which introduced the PowerShot ELPH 130 at CES 2013, has included 16MP of resolution, an 8X optical zoom lens, a 3-inch LCD screen, Wi-Fi capabilities, and a full 1080p HD video recording option.
It's very difficult to find a Wi-Fi camera in this price range, especially one with a high-quality LCD screen. These features make up for some slight drawbacks, especially in the size of the control buttons on the back of the ELPH 130.
Canon's ELPH family of cameras have shown themselves to be pretty strong point-and-shoot models, providing a good mix of style and substance.
The recently released Canon PowerShot ELPH 320 HS stays in that mold.
The ELPH 320 HS has 16.1MP of resolution on a high-quality CMOS image sensor, Wi-Fi capabilities, full 1080p HD video, and a 5X optical zoom lens. Even more impressively, the 320 HS has a 3.2-inch touch screen LCD.
Look for the ELPH 320 HS to be available in blue, pink, black, or silver camera bodies.
The sharp-edged design of the Canon PowerShot ELPH 520 HS gives it an interesting look for a point and shoot camera. And it has some good photographic features to match its cool design.
The ELPH 520 HS includes a 12X optical zoom lens, which Canon claims makes the 520 HS the world's thinnest 12X zoom camera. The ELPH 520 HS measures 0.76 inches in thickness.
In addition, the ELPH 520 HS uses a 10.1MP CMOS image sensor, which should improve low light photography results. It has a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD and full HD video capabilities. The ELPH 520 HS is available in blue, red, silver, and black camera bodies, depending on your location in the world.
Fujifilm has excelled for quite a few years at building slim cameras with large zoom lenses. The latest camera in this category, the Fujifilm FinePix F750EXR, is another very strong model.
The F750EXR has 16 megapixels of resolution, a 3.0-inch LCD, and can shoot video at full HD.
However, the star feature in the F750EXR likely is its 20X optical zoom lens, which is impressive in a camera that measures only 1.4 inches in thickness. The F750EXR is available in red, black, or silver camera bodies.
The inexpensive L28 has a 20.1 megapixel image sensor, a 5X optical zoom lens, and a 3.0-inch LCD screen. Keep in mind that the Coolpix L28 still has a small 1/2.3-inch image sensor, which means that the 20MP of resolution won't be able to give you the image quality you'd get with a larger image sensor that has less resolution.
The easy-to-use Coolpix L28 is a fully automatic camera that runs from AA batteries. You'll find the Coolpix L28 in red, black, or silver camera bodies. It may be the least expensive 20MP-plus camera on the market.
Nikon has paired style with a powerful zoom lens in the Coolpix S9100 point and shoot camera.
You'll find a 12.1-megapixel CMOS image sensor with the S9100. In addition, this camera carries an 18X optical zoom lens, which is a feature rarely found in a camera measuring only 1.4 inches in thickness. The S9100's 3.0-inch high-resolution LCD screen is impressive, and this camera can shoot full 1080p HD video.
Nikon is offering the S9100 in three colors -- black, silver, or pink/red -- although a gold-colored S9100 is available in some parts of the world.
At only 0.69 inches in thickness, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 is one of the thinnest cameras on the market, and it has also fallen to a very interesting price point.
The XS1 is a very basic camera, offering a 5X optical zoom lens, 16.1MP of resolution, a 2.7-inch LCD screen, and 720p HD video recording capabilities.
However, with such a thin and inexpensive camera, Panasonic can be forgiven for including below average features. The Lumix XS1 is available in black, red, or white camera bodies, all with black trim.
10. 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.
11. Samsung WB150F
If you've ever wanted to add a remote control option to your point and shoot camera, Samsung may have just the option for you.
The Samsung WB150F gives you the option of using your cell phone to remotely control the camera from as far away as about 30 feet. It doesn't work with every smartphone, so be sure that your model is compatible before buying the WB150F.
In addition, the WB150F has an 18X optical zoom lens, 14.2 megapixels of resolution, WiFi capabilities, 720p HD video, and a 3.0-inch LCD screen.