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With a list of specs like those found on the Sony H300, you’d expect it to cost upwards of $250. But this nifty little shooter can be found for around $150 — a steal by any measure. It features a 20.1-megapixel Super HAD CCD sensor, which should deliver quality images in most lighting conditions. The 35x optical zoom offers even more possibilities, and the Optical SteadyShot Image stabilization ensures those images won’t be compromised by blur.
Fans of DSLRs will find a familiar feel in the body, which is enhanced by the electronic viewfinder and three-inch LCD. It also features a slew of shooting modes, options, and filters, including a 360-degree Sweep Panorama mode, and a Party Mode that automatically adjusts ISO, exposure, and saturation to compensate for difficult lighting situations. When it comes to the $150 price range, you really can’t do much better than this.
The Sony W830 seems to pack as much power and versatility as one could in a sub-$150 package. It includes a highly impressive (for the price range) 20.1-megapixel Zeiss lens with 8x zoom lens. It features Optical Steady Shot image stabilization, 720p HD video recording, a 360-degree panorama shooting mode, face detection, and smile shutter technology, as well as a 2.7-inch photo LCD.
It’s also extremely compact and lightweight, weighing just over a quarter-pound. Some of these features you could take or leave, but what you’re really aiming for is that 20.1-megapixel sensor, which is sure to beat any smartphone camera you put it up against. And did we mention it costs less than $100? You can also upgrade to one of the accessory kits, which are still only about $130.
Instax cameras have become sort of the industry standard for instant, printable photos ... both for their nostalgia-inducing homage to Polaroid originals, and for the simple fact that they just work well.
The Mini 90 series steps up the core nine models with a spec rundown including automatic brightness detection, an open-bulb, long exposure mode for awesome light trail pics, a macro mode that lets you photograph subjects as close as 30-60 cm, and even a super-fast shutter mode for capturing pets, children or other slippery, quick-moving subjects. The retro design of the Classic version also pays homage to classic Fujifilm cameras of the past.
This camera may be inexpensive, but it has a rugged body that remains waterproof submerged up to 33 feet in water, freezeproof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit and even shockproof if dropped from a height of six feet or less. This model also features SnapBridge —Nikon's photography app — which, connected to via Wi-Fi, NFC, or Bluetooth, provides all kinds of cool features including instant image transfer and geolocation tagging.
When it comes to picture quality, the W100 sports a 13.1MP 1/3.1" CMOS sensor with a sensitivity of up to ISO 1600 so you can get great pictures even if the lighting isn’t ideal. It also boasts a NIKKOR 3x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 30-90mm), which produces sharp images in a range of situations and environments.
It’s hard to find a digital camera for under $150 that also packs in a professional zoom option (we’re betting that’s why you’re on this little article here). This camera employs a 42x optical zoom, so you won’t need to rely on digital or post-production zooming — though if you do, the 16 MP sensor will give you more headroom for tightening up.
The 24mm wide-angle lens makes sure you get everything in the shot for those travel landscape shots. There are some flashier features, including face detection that works for humans and pets, as well as a smile/blink detection feature to make sure you never have to retake the picture a thousand times. There’s even internal touchup capabilities built right into the device, as well as a panoramic mode for those "wow" photos.
Our writers spent 40 hours researching and testing the most popular cameras under $150 on the market. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.
Optical zoom - If you’re purchasing a point-and-shoot camera, then that means you won’t be able to swap out lenses if you need a good zoom. If you’re planning on taking pictures from afar, make sure that the camera you choose has a nice zoom lens. Digital zoom can make your image blurry, so looking at the optical zoom, in particular, is important.
Video recording - Many point-and-shoot cameras also have the ability to record video. While you might not want to rely on it as a primary video camera, the feature can be really nice if you want to record video on the go. If this is something you care about, make sure the camera you pick has decent video quality.
Picture quality - Megapixels aren’t the only determinant of the quality of the images your camera will capture (the image sensor matters as well), but it’s an important spec to look at. Aim for the maximum number of megapixels within your budget.