The 6 Best Digital Cameras to Buy in 2016 for Under $150

Save money with good, inexpensive digital cameras

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. With that said, here are the best budget digital cameras for under $150.

1
Best Overall: Sony DSC-H300

Sony DSC-H300
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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° 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.

2
Best Value: Sony DSCW830

Sony DSCW830
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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° 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.

3
Best Instant Camera: Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera

Polaroid Snap Instant Digital Camera
Courtesy of Amazon.com

Some may find instant cameras to be a bit gimmicky. It’s true that they’re more party trick than photographic essential, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with them. The Polaroid Snap Instant is the best instant camera in this price range because, in addition to having the ability to instantly print your photos, it is digital. That means you have the option of saving your images for digital distribution. The embedded ZINK Instant Printer prints out full-color 2x3-inch photos in less than a minute. The 10-megapixel camera is nothing to write home about, but it’s the novelty you’re after with this fun little shooter. It’s small, lightweight and comes in four colors: black, blue, red and white.

4
Best Waterproof: Fujifilm FinePix XP80

Fujifilm FinePix XP80
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Waterproof cameras are increasingly about more than just “waterproofness.” These things can handle a huge range of adverse environmental conditions, and they’re not even that expensive. The Fujifilm FinePix XP80 is without a doubt the best all-weather camera you can get for the $150 price point. It’s waterproof down to 50 feet, freeze-proof down to 14°F, and shock-proof (drop-proof) at heights of up to 5.8 feet. The 16.2 megapixel CMOS sensor with 5x optical zoom is rather middling for the category, but still sure to provide high quality images in a variety of lighting conditions. It also shoots Full HD (1080p) video at the touch of a button, and features remote shooting and wireless image transfer through WiFi compatibility. In all, the Fujifilm XP80 is a fairly versatile camera that will work well in tough, watery conditions—but, of course, you can use it as a go-to camera as well.

5
Best Zoom: Fujifilm FinePix S8600

Fujifilm FinePix S8600
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Zoom power is something that camera makers have been beefing up in recent years like an arms race. While optical zoom certainly can add a wealth of power and versatility to your shots, there comes a point where the telephoto range gets a bit excessive. The Fujifilm FinePix S8600 hits the sweet spot with a 36x optical zoom lens. You really don’t need much more than that, especially for the sub-$150 price range. In addition to the high-powered zoom lens, the S8600 features a 16-megapixel sensor, optical image stabilization, TTL contrast detection, single and continuous autofocus and 720p HD video recording. The whole thing fits into a DSLR-inspired design that can be found for around $150. Certified refurbished editions can be found for less than $110. You may have little need for such a powerful zoom, but you can rest assured this shooter offers some powerful imaging capabilities beyond the telephoto realm.

6
Best Starter Kit: Canon PowerShot ELPH 160

As far as point-and-shoots go, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 160 is a perfectly adequate shooter with plenty of specs to meet most shooting needs. It’s not going to revolutionize your imaging capabilities, but it will deliver some solid shots worth storing in that hard drive or cloud storage account. When you add in a slew of useful accessories, the appeal jumps up significantly. The camera itself features a 20-megapixel CCD sensor with an 8x optical zoom. But this package from Imaging World includes a few more nifty gadgets: a camera case, tabletop tripod, screen protector, card reader and memory card wallet. It also comes with a 16 GB SDHC memory card, which can be upgraded to a 32 GB card for an extra $5, which is more than worthwhile.

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