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Best Digital Cameras Under a $300 Budget

Save Money With Good Digital Cameras

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If your digital camera budget approaches $300, you're going to be pleased with your options. The best digital cameras for under $300 typically remain in the category of beginner-level, point and shoot models, but they carry plenty of resolution, large LCDs, interesting styles, and extremely thin camera bodies. With a budget of around $300, you'll have a lot of choices regarding your next camera. Here are the best digital cameras under $300, listed in alphabetical order.

1. Canon EOS M DIL

Canon

It's been four years since the first mirrorless camera appeared in the market, and Canon was the final holdout among the major DSLR manufacturers to not add a DIL camera to its lineup.

That's no longer the case.

Canon's first DIL camera, the EOS M, now is available for sale. The Canon EOS M DIL is available primarily in black or white camera bodies, although two other models (silver or red) are available in some locations in the world. This camera includes a EF-M lens mount.

The M offers an 18MP image sensor, 1080p video recording, and a high-resolution touch screen LCD. Nikon introduced its first DIL camera last year with the J1, and now Canon has joined the mix. DIL cameras continue to grow in popularity, and having Canon on board will only enhance this type of camera technology.

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2. Canon PowerShot D20

Canon
Canon has broken away from its traditional PowerShot look with its recently released tough camera, the PowerShot D20.

The D20 has some strong waterproof features, including the ability to work in up to 33 feet of water depth. It also can survive a fall up to 5 feet, and it can work in temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. You'll appreciate the underwater macro mode in the D20.

The photography features found in the PowerShot D20 aren't too bad, either, with 12.1MP of resolution in a CMOS image sensor, full 1080p video capabilities, a 3.0-inch LCD, and a 5X optical zoom lens.

The D20 is available in blue, yellow, orange, or silver camera bodies with black, curved trim, depending on your location in the world.

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3. Canon PowerShot SX230 HS

Canon

Finding a good-looking, compact camera with a large zoom lens isn't always easy, but Canon's recently announced PowerShot SX230 HS camera looks to fit in this area of the market.

With the SX230, you'll find a 14X optical zoom lens, a 3-inch LCD, full 1080p video capabilities, and a 12.1MP CMOS image sensor. Additionally, the PowerShot SX230 is part of Canon's "high sensitivity" system (HS), which aims to improve low light performance. The TIPA award-winning SX230 also has a popup flash unit. It's available in black, red, or blue.

4. Fujifilm FinePix S8400

Fujifilm

With an ultra zoom camera, a viewfinder is a great option to have. Fujifilm has paired a long zoom lens with a viewfinder in its now available FinePix S8400W camera.

The S8400W has a 44X optical zoom lens, full 1080/60i HD video capabilities, a 3.0-inch LCD screen, a 1-second start-up time, and 16MP of resolution. Fujifilm claims the S8400W can shoot macro photos from as close as 0.39 inches.

The FinePix S8400W, which runs from four AA batteries, is available in black.

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5. Nikon Coolpix S9500

Nikon

Small ultra zoom cameras are growing in popularity, and Nikon's latest contribution to this market is the Coolpix S9500.

The S9500 offers a 22X optical zoom lens as well as an impressive 18.1MP CMOS image sensor. This thin Coolpix model includes an impressive 3.0-inch OLED display screen and full 1080p HD video recording options. You'll also find built-in GPS and WiFi features with this camera.

6. Nikon J1 DIL

Nikon

Nikon's recently announced new DIL camera system, the Nikon 1, now is available for sale, beginning with the Nikon J1 camera.

This camera, which is available in a red, pink, silver, or black camera body and interchangeable lens combinations, showcases many desirable features in a small camera body.

The Nikon J1 makes use of a 10.1 megapixel CMOS image sensor, a fast 73-point autofocus system, 10 frames per second shooting speed, 1080p HD video, and a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD screen.

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7. Nikon J2 DIL

Nikon

The Nikon 1 system of DIL cameras was introduced with quite a bit of fanfare and a strong advertising campaign last year. This year, the latest model in this DIL system, the Nikon J2, might not have the same amount of fanfare, but it's going to be another popular option for those looking for a lot of photography power, coupled with a stylish camera design.

The J2 has 10.1 megapixels of resolution, but don't let that number confuse you. This camera uses a CMOS image sensor that's larger than the sensors found in point and shoot cameras, allowing it to create better image quality with fewer megapixels.

The J2 can shoot videos at full 1080p HD, and it offers a high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD for framing photos. It's available in six body colors: white, black, silver, dark red, pink, and orange. If you liked the look of the J1, the J2 has a similar look with a few extra features, making it well worth considering.

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8. Olympus PEN E-PL3 DIL

Olympus

The Olympus PEN E-PL3 digital interchangeable lens camera attempts to bring advanced photography options into a camera body more similar to a point and shoot model.

The E-PL3, which sometimes is called the PEN Lite, includes a tiltable 3-inch LCD, which is handy for shooting odd-angle photos. It offers 12.3 megapixels of resolution with a CMOS image sensor, and it can shoot at up to five frames per second. The PEN Lite will be available in a variety of body colors, depending on where it's sold in the world.

9. Olympus SZ-30MR

Olympus

Advanced digital cameras have been popular in 2011, and Olympus has come up with one of the most interesting models with its SZ-30MR.

The Olympus SZ-30MR includes a 16MP CMOS image sensor, which reduces noise in low-light photos. You'll find a 24X optical zoom lens, a 3.0-inch LCD screen, and a camera body that measures only 1.6 inches in thickness. Most impressively, the SZ-30MR can record 1080p HD video and 16MP still photos at the same time. 

10. Sony Cyber-shot WX300

Sony

Camera manufacturers in 2013 have emphasized mid-range cameras that are pretty thin, yet offer a large number of nice features and a good optical zoom lens.

One of the better models you're going to find on the market right now is the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX300, which includes some really nice features in a camera that measures about 1.17 inches in thickness. The Sony WX300 has a 20X optical zoom lens, a 3.0-inch LCD, 18.2 of resolution, full 1080p HD video, and built-in Wi-Fi. Sony also claims the WX300 offers a very impressive battery life of up to 500 photos per charge.

Look for the Cyber-shot WX300 in red, black, or white camera bodies.

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