By Etha Mathilde
Updated June 29, 2018
Best Cameras to Buy 2018

The best balance available is key when it comes to shopping for digital cameras in the sub-$300 category. Consequently, most people want the best possible specs including zoom range and megapixels at the lowest possible price point.

The perfect match for you will be able to provide the ISO range and connectivity options you need. Some customers may also want something suitable for decent video recording, so that you can capture important events and memories. In this list, you'll surely be able to find the right camera to suit the needs of every shopper.

Product
Image
NameWeightMegapixelsZoom FeaturesColor OptionsWarranty 
Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera (Black)Nikon COOLPIX B5001.2lbs16MP40x Optical, 80x DynamicBlack, red1 YearBuy on Amazon
Canon Powershot SX530 HS 16.0 MP Digital Camera with 50x Optical Zoom and 1080p Full HD Video Bundle with Commander 32GB High Speed Memory Card + Card Reader + Deluxe Case + Commander Starter KitCanon PowerShot SX53015.7Oz16MP50x OpticalBlack90 DaysBuy on Amazon
Canon PowerShot SX420 Digital Camera w/42x Optical Zoom - Wi-Fi & NFC Enabled (Black)Canon PowerShot SX420.72lbs20MP42x OpticalRed, black1 YearBuy on Amazon
Panasonic DMC-ZS40K Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD (Black)Panasonic DMC-ZS40K.53lbs18.1MP30x OpticalBlack/Silver1 YearBuy on Amazon
Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Compact Rugged Waterproof Digital Camera - SkyblueFujiFilm FinePix XP12015.2Oz16.4MP5x OpticalYellow, green, blue, white and silver.N/aBuy on Amazon
Bonna 21 mega pixels HD Digital Camera - Digital video camera - Students cameras - Students Camcorder - Handheld Sized Digital Camcorder Indoor Outdoor for Adult /Seniors / Kids (silver)Bonna 219.6Oz21MP8x DigitalWhiteN/aBuy on Amazon
Nikon COOLPIX W100 13.2 MP Point & Shoot Digital Camera, WhiteNikon COOLPIX W1001.15lbs13.2MP3x Optical, 6x DynamicSilver, blueN/aBuy on Amazon
Nikon COOLPIX L32 Digital Camera with 5x Wide-Angle NIKKOR Zoom LensNikon COOLPIX L325.76Oz20.1MP5x Optical zoomRed1 YearBuy on Amazon

One of the most important aspects to weigh when looking for the right camera is the Megapixel options available on the device. Some may also want a good idea of the kind of zoom they'll be able to get, which can make filming from afar much easier. Finally, the weight and color options can help you to personalize your device based on your style and how much weight you're willing to carry.

This is an ideal option for those who are looking for an effective balance of features including ISO range, megapixels, connectivity, zoom range and video capabilities. On top of that, the Nikon COOLPIX B500 comes at a price that is an absolute steal. Due to that balance, it's the perfect choice for those who want something with a full-range of features.

For those who want to be able to take pictures from far away, the impressive 40x digital (dynamic) zoom range is able to meet your needs. A zoom function like that allows for the range to essentially double as a result. This Nikon also provides you with a NIKKOR f/3.0-6.5mm ED lens in combination with a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor.

Furthermore, you'll have access to 30fps video recording, ensuring that you get 1080p full HD results that are enjoyable to share with friends and family. In addition, the COOLPIX B500 offers a wide variety of connectivity options including NFC, WiFi and Bluetooth, allowing you to easily fire off your pictures for quick and easy sharing. With those kinds of options, you'll easily be able to send photos to family or to your mobile device.

The Nikon COOLPIX B500 also includes a tilting LCD screen, which is a healthy three inches in size so that you can see what you're doing clearly. Furthermore, you'll be able to get 7.4fps as well as an ISO of 6400, which is great for your continuous shooting mode. Overall, this is a great option for those in search of a versatile camera at a fantastic price point. Consequently, it's ideal for just about any shooting situation!

While many find this camera to be a very useful device, some can have trouble with the door to the battery compartment being difficult to open and close.

Pros
  • Takes great pictures.
  • Excellent battery life.
  • Highly user-friendly.
Cons
  • In some cases the camera can cease working without explanation.
  • Replacing batteries can be more difficult than necessary.

For those who are looking for a reliable, durable camera that takes excellent pictures, this is an ideal option.

When you're shopping for a great zoom camera while on a tighter budget, it can often be a good idea to look into a certified refurbished camera. One such example is the Canon PowerShot SX530. This camera offers 16-megapixels for great pictures as well as outstanding zoom capabilities, providing you with a well-rounded camera overall.

As far as the zoom goes, the Canon PowerShot SX5305 is able to provide a 4x digital zoom as well as a 24-1200mm (50x) optical zoom, making it an ideal option for far-away shots. In addition, it offers intelligent image stabilization and a high-sensitivity CMOS sensor to make stunning shots easy to achieve. Furthermore, viewing photos on this device will be easy, due to the three-inch LCD screen.

The Canon PowerShot SX5305 also includes the ability to record at 30 frames per second, allowing you to get 1080p HD videos with ease. You'll also be able to send your photos to tablets and smartphones with no trouble thanks to the NFC and WiFi connectivity. With that kind of easy sharing, this camera truly holds its own against more expensive models out there as a result.

Overall, a refurbished unit like this one can really be worthwhile for customers on a budget. It's a high-quality camera, with a lot of great reviews both for refurbished units and other options. You'll also get a great 90 day warranty, allowing you to return or replace the unit in that time if you need to.

There can be some rare cases where customers find that this camera can cease working without explanation.

Pros
  • Easy to use.
  • Plenty of zoom power.
  • Great for wildlife pictures.
Cons
  • Can cease working without reason.
  • Memory card can sometimes be missing.

If you're looking for something with excellent zoom power at a lower cost, this is a fantastic option.

Within the sub-$300 price range for the best superzoom cameras, the Canon PowerShot SX420 is a top choice. This device allows you to enjoy a full spectrum of specs that fit into the mid-range category, including the use of a point-and-shoot form factor due to the fixed lens. In addition, you'll have access to a wide-angle lens that allows for 24-1008mm, or 42x optical zoom.

While some of these features may not be the most impressive for the superzoom category overall, the price tag the SX420 comes at is a factor worth weighing in. It also offers some quality specs, such as high-speed autofocus (AF), easy sharing due to NFC and WiFi connectivity options and Canon's DIGIC 4+ image processor. Due to all of this, you'll be able to enjoy easy and quick shooting with a decent amount of value for your money.

Furthermore, there is a downfall to note with this outstanding little shooter, in that it's only able to afer 720p for shooting video. That said, the SX420 is still able to provide a fantastic 20-megapixel and Smart AUTO function that allows for the device to find the proper settings and automatically select them. Due to that, it's really a great option for those looking for something reliable within the realm of sub-$300 superzooms.

Overall, when you want the perfect device for capturing photos in a wide variety of shooting situations, the SX420 is an ideal way to go.

Though most users really enjoy the use they get out of this camera, they can find that the lens may get stuck at times, resulting in it needed to be replaced or sent in to be fixed.

Pros
  • Allows for high quality pictures.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Comes at a great price.
Cons
  • Lens can sometimes get stuck.
  • Some customers find the picture quality isn’t ideal.

For those who are going to need something with a lot of zooming power, this option is worth checking out.

The Panasonic DMC-ZS40K is a slim, lightweight option that you'll easily be able to slip into just about any pocket. This is a camera with a lot of versatility and power, making it an excellent choice for a go-to option. It can be compared to the Nikon B500, but with a less oddly-shaped or bulky design.

Furthermore, the DMC-ZS40K is a simple shooter with s retractable lens. It's also a camera that is very small and light, weighing in at only about half of a pound. Many find that it provides the appearance of a higher end camera, but with a much lower price point.

That said, the hardware on this device is a little cheaper than the more expensive options out there, but that's not to say that it's low-quality. Consequently, the DMC-ZS40K includes some excellent features such as GPS, a Leica 30x Zoom Lens with a capability of zooming 24-720mm and an EVF (eye level viewfinder). In addition, this camera makes it easy to share your photos through the use of NFC and WiFi.

There's no denying that there is a lot of impressive functionality built into this device. As a result of the powerful 30x optical zoom and 18.1-megapixel sensor, there's no question as to why it's a top pick. Furthermore, the DMC-ZS40K is a fantastic point-and-shoot option that makes framing shots easy, as well as geo-tagging to make your captures easy to share with mobile devices.

Due to the control ring, price and high level of versatility, this option is one of the best in the category of sub-$300 cameras. Between this and the B500, it's largely up to the form factor you prefer as to which is the right option.

In some cases, users can find that the charging cable may cease working, keeping the camera from getting the power it needs.

Pros
  • Lightweight.
  • Offers fantastic zoom.
  • User-friendly.
Cons
  • Getting it fixed can be expensive.
  • Can stop charging.

This is a great option for those who aren't quite as thrilled with the B500.

The most important thing to note about the Fujifilm FinePix XP120 is the durable design. This digital camera is dustproof, freezeproof down to a temperature of 14-degrees, shockproof up to 5.8 feet and waterproof down to a level of about 65 feet. Aside from that, it's a device designed with a neat, savvy look.

In addition, the Fujifilm FinePix XP120 is able to achieve 60 frames per second when it comes to video capture, allowing you to achieve 1080p HD with no trouble at all. You'll also get a great CMOS sensor capable of 16.4MP BSI, which allows it to work perfectly in darker settings. In addition, you'll be able to enjoy great optical zoom abilities thanks to the Fujinon 5x wide angle lens (28-140mm).

Furthermore, the Fujifilm FinePix XP120 offers Wi-Fi sharing built into the device, allowing you to transfer photos quickly and easily. You won't even need a manual hookup in order to share pictures instantly over your Wi-Fi network. Because of that, sharing will be a piece of cake!

Another great aspect of thise camera is that ability to take pictures remotely right from your smartphone. Due to the Fujifilm Camera Remote application, operation from your handheld device will be easy. Measuring at a mere 5.5x2.1x.5.7 inches and weighing only about a pound, the Fujifilm FinePix XP120 will also be easy to take just about anywhere you go.

If you decide to try out this option, it's a good idea to look it over and test it out as soon as you get it because in some cases it can arrive broken.

Pros
  • Great for underwater photos.
  • Takes clear images.
  • Highly durable.
Cons
  • SD card can sometimes be missing from the order.
  • May arrive in damaged condition.

This camera is an ideal option if you're looking to be able to take picture in or near the water without having to worry about your device being damaged.

For beginner photographers, the Bonna 21 is a perfect choice. It includes some great features such as a 550mAH lithium-ion battery that is easily rechargeable, smile and face detection as well as an anti-shaking feature. Furthermore, the 21-megapixel capabilities makes it an ideal HD camera.

In addition, the Bonna 21 is a lightweight, compact device weighing in at only 9.6 ounces as well as a measurement of 6x6x2.5-inches. While the 720p HD resolution is the maximum available for this device, it is able to support a decent amount of external memory, allowing you to expand up to 64GB through an SD card. Consequently, this camera is an ideal option for beginner users, as it allows them to upgrade easily as they grow more competant in their picture-taking endeavors.

Furthermore, the display included on this device is a 2.7-inch TFT LCD, making it very easy for beginners to use. In addition, the Bonna 21 offers a number of great modes such as a self-timer, continuous shot and 8x digital zoom. It also offers many integrated features that allow for easy printing, photo editing and sharing of pictures through e-mail.

Overall, the Bonna 21 is an ideal option for those in search of a beginner-friendly affordable camera. To top it all off, the device also includes a one-month guarantee that promises your money back if you aren't happy with it.

While many really enjoy using this camera, some can find that images may be blurry and that the build quality might be on the cheap side.

Pros
  • Highly budget-friendly.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Great for younger users.
Cons
  • Some customers may find the quality to be cheap.
  • Images may be consistently blurry.

This camera is an ideal option for those who need something reliable on a tight budget.

The Nikon COOLPIX W100 is an option that comes at a great price point, providing you with many great features to keep your use worry-free. Some of the appeal of this camera is that it can be tossed into an ocean, lake or pool without too much worry for the safety of the device. It's quite hard to find something better at a price this low as a result of its durability.

When you purchase the W100, there are a few great aspects you can expect, including being shockproof from 5.9 feet up, waterproof down to 33 feet and freezeproof down to about 14 degrees. This is all due to the weather-proofing included in the basic design, which makes it great for taking on vacation. For the best possible waterproof handling, it's also made with large buttons that are easy to press.

Furthermore, you'll have access to video recording in 1080p, full HD as well as a CMOS sensor that works at a decent 13.2 megapixels. The intuitive interface also includes a NIKKOR glass zoom lens that allows you to get a wide angle as well as a zoom of up to 3x.

Overall, the W100 is an ideal option when you want something simple, durable and family-friendly. While the specs may seem somewhat basic, it's definitely a perfect option for those hunting for a waterproof camera. If you want to go the extra mile, there are likely some great waterproof accessories that you can find to really keep the camera safe.

Though this is generally considered to be a great camera for underwater use, condensation in the lens can become a problem.

Pros
  • User-friendly.
  • Good for underwater use.
  • Highly durable.
Cons
  • Condensation can become a problem.
  • Included software isn’t preferred by all users.

If you're looking for a waterproof option that is budget-friendly, this is an ideal option.

For those seeking something in the category of sub-$120 cameras, the Nikon COOLPIX L32 is a fantastic point-and-shoot option. This is a compact, affordable option with a capable overall package. It also offers a great image quality for the price point.

Due to the lower price, there are some concessions that have to be made with the COOLPIX L32 in the way of next-gen features. While it may be somewhat sparse, this camera is still a highly capable budget pick. It also includes an impressive CCD sensor, which is capable of 20.1-megapixels.

Furthermore, the L32 is an option that includes video recording in 720p HD as well as a NIKKOR zoom lens that offers wide-angle and the ability to zoom up to 5x. These specs, as well as added option like multiple shooting modes and a smart portrait feature also allow it to be worth a little more money when compared to some other budget options out there. Though they do require you to pay a little extra, there are few downsides with a camera like this.

In addition, those who are familiar with Nokia devices can find this to be a great point-and-shoot model that allows them to easily stay within the brand family. That's fantastic for those who want to maintain a budget while sticking to their brand preference. Due to a suite of wonderful specs and an aesthetically pleasing design, this camera is definitely worth a look!

Some users can find that the picture quality from this camera isn't quite what they had in mind.

Pros
  • Easy to use.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Uses easy-to-obtain batteries.
Cons
  • USB cord can be missing from order.
  • Picture quality may not be up to the standards of all users.

This is another ideal option for those who are searching for the perfect budget-friendly camera.

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