Last Updated on March 16, 2021
If you are looking for a cheap digital camera you are in the right place. I have reviewed the most popular inexpensive digital camera and after reading this article you will know my recommendations.
[The Main Museum is supported by readers just like you. Some product links on TheMainMuseum are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money at no additional cost to you. As always, we only recommend products we trust.]
Benefits of a Compact and Inexpensive Digital Camera
A top quality digital camera provides excellent point and shoot functionality perfect for the new photographer or even the experienced photographer looking for an easy to use camera that provides great image quality. They also offer helpful features such as automatic modes and built in flash and even face detection.
They offer a low cost means of entering into photography which is particularly great for the young and inexperienced to learn more about photography without paying a ton of money (For recommendations on the best camera for kids read the review). There are many professional photographers who use the following cameras as an awesome backup and lightweight travel camera. They can be taken on adventures you would be afraid to take your expensive rig on.
What You Need to Know About Buying a Cheap Digital Camera
The most important to thing to keep in mind when getting yourself a cheap digital camera is that you will not be able to get the top of line of every photography feature. There are consolations that must be made in order to keep the cost down. That does not mean that you cannot get a great camera, the key is to know what features are most important to you and get the camera from our top rated list that best fits your needs.
Some of the key things to expect in this price range is you will largely have to work with a LCD screen that is smaller than on an expensive camera. They also offer a lower resolution than higher end cameras such as one of the top full frame cameras. That means you will not get perfect image clarity but the models on the list do very well for the price tag.
You may also find that not all cheaper models provide the same auto and manual options. As a matter of fact I recommend all beginner photographers practice manual shooting but with a low cost digital camera you have limited manual options. Some low cost cameras offer some weather proofing, so if you know you may be shooting in wet environments then be sure the camera you select offers moisture protection. There are other features you will find in the top rated picks, so see below for each of the best cheaper digital cameras that made the list.
Sony Cybershot W800
- Quick USB charger
- Features a 5x optical zoom
- Easy automatic mode
- Offers face detection and autofocus
Sony makes excellent cameras for photographers from professionals to complete beginners and the W800 offers a great performance at a very reasonable cost. While it does not have a ton of features, what it does, it does well. It gives you a 5x optical zoom Zeiss lens built right in. It offers autofocus as well a face detection which is a great feature for this price range. It makes taking pictures of friends and family quick and easy. It works best shooting stationary subjects as the autofocus does not lock on to fast moving subjects well. It also has an LCD screen and settings menu for easy operation.
Nikon Coolpix A10
- Features a 16 MP sensor
- Has a 5x optical zoom
- Offers an excellent grip
- Comes with an AA and Li-Ion battery option
This is solid all around digital camera at a good price point. It provides you with a solid Nikkor lens with 5x optical zoom. There are cameras with better image quality on the list but this one won’t disappoint either. It comes compatible with AA batteries or a Li-Ion battery if you purchase one. It is larger than most of the cameras on this list but it offers an excellent grip. This is a solid all around digital camera and it is very low cost.
Kodak Mini Shot
- Can instantly print pictures
- Offers built in Bluetooth technology
- Offers a 10 MP image sensor
- Compact and portable
This small digital camera is very fun to shoot with. It offers a 1.7″ LCD screen perfect for lining up your shots. It also offers both digital images and the ability to instantly print a physical photograph. You can also use your smartphone to operate this camera via Bluetooth. The Kodak photo app allows you to add fun filters directly to your digital images. The physical photos are really cool and are about the size of a business card perfect for collages and giving to friends and family.
- Capable of 4k video capture
- Provides waterproof protection
- Features a touchscreen
- Built in WiFi
This camera is unlike the rest of the point and shoot cameras as it is a low cost action camera ideal for taking video. It is one of the best inexpensive sports video cameras on the market and a great way to get into the hobby without going for a more expensive model like a GoPro. It offers a 2″ touchscreen where you can play video back and adjust settings. It offers great waterproofing for a low cost camera. It takes good quality 4k video and can even take still shots. This is a fun and surprisingly affordable camera.
Canon PowerShot ELPH 180
- Capable of macro shooting
- Features multiple custom scenes
- Has autozoom
- Features an 8x optical zoom
I have given multiple Canon PowerShot cameras as gifts to new photographers and family members over the years. It provides solid and simple performance without too many complicated features to learn. The features it does offer are more advanced than a lot of other options in the same price range. It can handle macro shooting and the auto zoom feature does great at tracking moving subjects. On top of that you get fun features like fish eye mode, monochrome and even toy camera mode. This is a great, fun, inexpensive digital camera.
Kodak PIXPRO FZ53
- Has a 16 MP image sensor
- Features a 6x optical zoom
- Exceptional image quality
- Features smile detection
This Kodak camera is a heck of a value! Do not let the extremely low price fool you into thinking it performs poorly because it is a great little camera. The 16MP resolution provides very good images that are clear and realistic. This camera is also very lightweight making it great for packing and taking on the go. The smile detection helps you take great pictures of your friends and family. The image quality alone makes this camera more than worth the low price tag.
Sony Cybershot W830
- Excellent 20.1 MP sensor
- Features an 8x optical zoom
- Fast autofocus
- Provides high sensitivity
The second Sony to make the best cheap digital camera list is probably my favorite all around low cost model. It is incredibly easy to use making it great for the beginner or younger photographers. It offers a beautiful design that really just looks great. It provides excellent features as well as excellent image quality. It can easily capture video with just the push of a button. That means no tedious menu screens to switch from still shots to video. Speaking of still shots, this camera has an excellent autofocus allowing you to take higher quality images. It also has built in image stabilization which prevents image blue, which you will not find in many models in this price range. One of the most unique features is the part mode. It automatically adjusts flash, color and focus when shooting in challenging lighting conditions. This is an exceptional low cost digital camera.
Bonus: Fujifilm Instax Mini 9
- Low cost instant camera
- Uses AA batteries
- Features a fixed shutter speed
- Has a built in selfie mirror
So this is not a strictly digital camera but I have to add it to the top rated picks. It is extremely fun to shoot with and comes in at a very good price. This instant camera produces great physical photographs that are about the size of a business card. They are perfect remembering fun times with friends and family. It has a built in selfie mirror and four lighting settings. I have given this camera as a gift many times and it is always a hit.