Truth is, the world of point and shoots is really slowing down as of lately. People who prefer using a point and shoot have been steadily moving towards smartphones. If you’re looking for the best point and shoot cameras under 300 bucks, you’re going to find not a lot has changed as far as tech goes as you read through our list.
The industry just hasn’t seen very few compact cameras getting released. At least not in the lower segment of the market at price points in the range of $100 to $500.
That being said, there are still people who still enjoy shooting with budget-friendly point and shoots and, hey, guess what?
They deserve to shoot with the best point and shoot cameras under 300 bucks.
Thus, we decided to whip together a list of our favorite choices. Here they are:
The Best Point And Shoot Cameras under $300 in 2019
- Canon PowerShot SX720 HS
- Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
- Canon PowerShot SX530 HS
- Nikon Coolpix B500
- Sony Cyber-shot DSC – WX350
- Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50
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The PowerShot SX720 HS is one of our favorite compact cameras that also fits the budget constraints.
The camera is available on Amazon and retails at just a hair under $300. You can opt for either the Red or the Black versions.
This camera is powered by a 1/2.3” CMOS sensor with a resolution of 20.3 effective megapixels. Paired with it is a DIGIC 6 image processor.
It comes with a built-in lens that gives a focal length of 24 – 960mm. That translates into a 40x optical zoom.
The aperture range of the camera is f/3.3 – f/6.9. But do consider the smallness of the sensor when you read the specs.
Small sensors such as these are not so great when shooting in low light situations.
Just like all compact camera systems, the PowerShot SX720 HS lens comes with a macro mode which works at a minimum working distance of just 5 cm.
Finally, the PowerShot SX720 HS has a useful video mode which shoots full HD videos at a frame rate of 60/30 fps with crisp audio recorded via the built-in mic.
The other features include a 3” rear LCD screen with a resolution of 922,000 dots, built-in Wi-Fi and a pop-up flash. Power comes from a 1250 mAh Li-Ion battery.
- Powerful 40x Optical Zoom with Intelligent IS helps optimize image stabilization for virtually shake free images
- Built in WiFi and NFC allows for easy sharing and transferring of images and videos
- 20.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor with DIGIC 6 Image Processor helps deliver stunning image quality even in low light
- Capture spectacular 1080p Full HD video at 60p with stereo sound
- Large 3.0 inch LCD (approx. 922,000 dots) allows easy viewing even from a wide angle
We also include the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS in this discussion. It replaced the older SX610 HS. The form factor and the design remains similar. Though the new model is slightly smaller than the previous model.
The PowerShot SX620 HS is powered by a 1/2.3” BSI CMOS sensor with an effective resolution of 20.2 megapixels.
Nothing out of the ordinary here.
It’s paired with the DIGIC 4+ image processor. The sensor and the processor combination is what makes up Canon’s HS system. This is basically a way to capture low noise imagery in low light situations.
This is one of the best point and shoot cameras under $300 for low-light shooting.
It also helps in the quality of the imagery in bright light.
Compared with the older SX610 HS the SX620 HS has a slightly longer lens. That’s the only major difference between the otherwise identical features as the predecessor.
The SX620 HS has a 35mm format equivalent focal length coverage of 25-625mm. The maximum aperture of the lens is f/3.2 in wide-angle and f/6.6 in telephoto mode.
The lens features optical image stabilization. Optical image stabilization is helpful because it helps to get a more stabilized shot when working at the lens’ longest focal length.
Just like most other compact cameras in the business, the SX620 HS comes with macro mode on its lens. The closest working distance is 1 cm. Very impressive!
The SX620 HS shoots decent enough videos. The camera has full HD support and captures at a maximum of 30 fps.
What we don’t like is the monaural sound recording–meaning no stereo sound– which is a bit of a deal-breaker.
An interesting feature of the camera is the Hybrid Auto Mode. This mode has come down from the previous SX610 HS. This mode is like a built-in daily record of sorts. Every time you press the shutter with this mode on it will record between 2 – 4 seconds of video before the actual still is captured.
At the end of the day, all the images and videos are then compiled together to form a digest-type video. It is a very cool feature of the camera.
The other features of the camera include a 3” LCD screen (no touch functionalities) with a resolution of 922,000 pixels, built-in Wi-Fi, and a built-in pop-up flash.
- Powerful 25x Optical Zoom with Intelligent IS helps optimize image stabilization for virtually shake free images
- Built in Wi Fi* and NFC** allows for easy sharing and transferring of images and videos. Maximum f/number : f/3.2 f/6.6....
- 20.2 Megapixel*** CMOS sensor with DIGIC 4+ Image Processor helps deliver stunning image quality even in low light. Auto...
- Capture spectacular 1080p Full HD video. Focusing Range : 1 centimeter (0.4 Inches) infinity (W), 1.0 meter (3.3feet)...
- Large 3.0 inch (approximately 922,000 dots) LCD allows easy viewing even from a wide angle. Battery life: Approx. 295 shots,...
The PowerShot SX530 HS has one of the best lenses of all the compact cameras on our list.
Those who prefer a long lens, I mean a really long lens, the PowerShot SX530 HS has a 1200mm (35mm format equivalent) lens. Though it is not the usual ‘compact’ form that you would find elsewhere, this is a very powerful camera.
Let’s find out more about its features.
Powering the SX530 HS is a 16 megapixel 1/2.3” HS CMOS sensor. Paired with it is a DIGIC 4+ image processing engine.
The lens is the standout feature of the camera. We definitely took this into consideration as we were making our list of the best point and shoot cameras under $300.
It has a focal length range of 24 – 1200mm. And if that incredible optical zoom isn’t enough there’s an additional 4x digital zoom.
However, I’m personally not a big fan of digital zoom and hardly ever use it. Digital zooms tend to become pixelated quickly.
Image stabilization is a must-have for a camera with such an incredible focal length and the SX530 HS has Intelligent IS Image Stabilization (optical).
In the wide macro mode, the camera can shoot from a minimum focusing distance of 1 cm.
The SX530 HS shoots Full HD videos at a frame rate of 30 fps. The movies are encoded in AVC / H.264 and the format of movies is web-ready MP4.
The other features of the camera include built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, a 3” 461-k dots LCD monitor. It also has a pop-up flash that’s positioned slightly better than most other built-in flashes that we have seen.
The SX530 HS has a similar feature to the SX620 HS. The SX530 HS would take a small video clip (2 seconds) when you press down the shutter button to take a still.
At the end of the day, all these still images and 2-second videos will be compiled together to form one video file. This functionality is known as the hybrid automatic mode.
- Powerful 50x Optical Zoom lets you capture the details that make your photography stand out
- Equipped with built-in Wi Fi and NFC to make wireless sharing of photos between compatible devices easy and convenient
- Fully compatible with Canon's photo and video storage device: the Canon Connect Station CS100. Focal Length 4.3(W) 215.0(T)...
- 16.0 Megapixel High Sensitivity CMOS sensor delivers state of the art imaging performance
- Full HD video at 30p for notably smooth and lifelike quality
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The Nikon Coolpix B500 was one of our top choices the last time. Now with a price tag that’s come down significantly, the camera remains as relevant as ever.
The most striking thing about this ‘bridge camera’ is its 40x super optical zoom.
The B500 is powered by a 1/2.3” BSI CMOS sensor with 16 effective megapixel resolution. The sensor is BSI technology equipped and that means acceptable shots in low light.
Truly, the 40x optical zoom is what makes this camera irresistible. It gives this camera an equivalent focal range of 22.5 – 900mm. That’s phenomenal.
And now that this model is a couple of years old, the B500 is priced right.
The maximum aperture range of the camera is f/3 – 6.5. There are three ED elements in the construction of the lens. This suggests the lens won’t suffer too much from chromatic aberrations.
Vibration reduction is built-in which ensures that the camera is able to prevent small hand movements from blurring the images.
The camera can shoot macro photos (in wide macro mode) at a minimum working distance of 1 cm.
The B500 is capable of shooting full HD videos at a maximum of 30 fps. Video mode comes with a 4-axis hybrid image stabilization mechanism which ensures you can capture stabilized videos even when the camera is hand-held.
The B500 has an array of connectivity options. It has NFC for faster pairing and comes with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. It has a 3” LCD screen with a resolution of 921,000k dots resolution. There is a built-in pop-up flash as well.
- 16MP 1/2.3 inches BSI CMOS Sensor
- NIKKOR f/3.0 6.5 millimeter ED Lens
- 22.5 900 millimeter (35 millimeter Equivalent)
- 40x Optical Zoom Lens, 80x Dynamic Zoom
- 3 inches 921k Dot Tilting LCD.Highest ISO Sensitivity:6400
The Sony Cyber-shot WX350 is a slightly dated camera. But it’s still going strong. Thanks to the higher resolution sensor and the fact that the sensor is paired with Sony’s BIONZ X image processing engine.
BIONZ X is an excellent image processor for producing suppressed noise performance in low light imagery.
The sensor inside the DSC is an 18.2 megapixel 1/2.3” BSI CMOS unit. The sensor is capable of producing large fine JPEGs (4896 x 3672 pixels) and full HD videos at 60 fps.
The built-in lens on the DSC WX350 has a 35mm focal length range of 25-500mm which is basically 20x of optical zoom. The maximum aperture range of the camera is f/3.5 – 6.5. The lens features Optical SteadyShot image stabilization.
There is a macro mode, though it’s not as effective as some of the cameras that we have discussed here. The minimum focusing distance is about 6 feet in telephoto mode and 4.88 cm in wide mode.
As detailed above the camera is capable of recording full HD videos. The maximum frame rate is 60 fps. The maximum clip length is only 29 mins. You can record stereo and mono audio.
The back of the camera is dominated by a 3-inch LCD screen with a resolution of 460,000 dots. We don’t quite like the low res display, but it’s an older model so hard to fault it for this.
This camera still deserves to be named one of the best point and shoot cameras under $300
That said it has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC for faster pairing when you need to transfer images and videos out of the camera to a smartphone or tablet.
- 20x Optical/40x Clear Image Zoom G Lens
- Keep your subject in focus with Lock-On AF
- Simple connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi w/ NFC3
- Motion Shot Video traces subject movement
- 4K quality still image output via HDMI2
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The Panasonic Lumix DC–FZ80 has a high-resolution sensor and a long optical zoom range, and it also has 4K shooting capabilities compared to Full HD offered by most other cameras.
The Lumix DC-FZ80 has an 18.1 megapixel 1/2.3” MOS sensor. The camera is capable of producing both JPEG and RAW images of the size 4896 x 3672 pixels.
This is one of the rare cameras in this segment that has RAW support. 💯
The built-in lens has an optical zoom range of 20mm all the way to 1200mm. That’s a pretty long optical zoom range for any camera. Thanks to the presence of POWER O.I.S. The maximum aperture of the lens is f/2.8 to f/5.9.
There are two macro modes on the camera, wide macro and tele macro:
- In the wide macro mode, the camera is able to focus from a minimum working distance of 1 cm.
- In tele macro mode the camera is able to focus from a minimum working distance of 150 cm.
The Lumix DC-FZ80 is capable of recording 4K (UHD). One of the rare compact cameras under $300 that offer that functionality. That makes the Lumix DC-FZ80 a prime candidate for the title of the best compact camera under $300.
The maximum frame rate is 30 fps. At full HD (1920p) the maximum frame rate is 60 fps.
Maximum clip length is 29 mins and 59 secs. The camera has a built-in mic which will pick up stereo sounds.
Another interesting feature of the camera is the small (1.166m-dots) electronic viewfinder at the back of the camera. The viewfinder gives 100% frame coverage. The rear LCD screen also gives 100% frame coverage and it offers a resolution as good as any other camera on this list. The resolution is 1040k-dots.
An extra stand out feature of the camera is the ‘Post Focus’ option. This allows the camera to adjust focus after the image has been made. This is not the same thing as a light field camera.
Finally, the camera has built-in Wi-Fi. That’s another big reason this camera made our list of the best point and shoot cameras under $300. This allows for the camera to transfer images and videos straight from the camera to your smartphone/computer. Backing up or sharing images is much easier.
- POINT AND SHOOT LONG ZOOM CAMERA: 18.1 megapixel MOS sensor plus 60X zoom DC VARIO lens (20 1220mm) and POWER...
- HIGH RESOLUTION VIEWFINDER AND LCD DISPLAY: High resolution 1,170K dot viewfinder and rear touch enabled 3 inch LCD display...
- 4K VIDEO CAPTURE: 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160), plus exclusive LUMIX 4K PHOTO and 4K Post Focus with...
- LOW LIGHT PERFORMANCE: Low light capture lets you enjoy photography during your nightlife again with impressive results. Note...
- USB CHARGING AND WI FI CONNECTIVITY: Enjoy travel ready technologies like USB charging and Wi Fi connectivity to your mobile...
We include the Panasonic Lumix ZS50 in this list of the best point and shoot cameras under $300.
This is not a new entrant in the compact point and shoot sector. It has been around for a while. But it’s still worth noting.
The ZS50 is powered by a 12.1-megapixel high sensitivity MOS sensor. It’s paired with Panasonic’s Venus Engine image processor.
The camera comes with a fixed zoom lens. best point and shoot cameras under 300The 35mm equivalent optical zoom range is 24-720mm.
Other major features include full HD video at 60 fps, hybrid O.I.S., and built-in Wi-Fi. You also get a maximum continuous shooting speed of 10 fps.
- LUMIX 30X Travel Zoom Camera with Eye Viewfinder
- Enhanced low-light sensitivity for improved sharpness even without a flash
- Built-in eye viewfinder eliminates outdoor glare on sunny days
- Intelligent Zoom 60x
- Lens:12 elements in 9 groups
Choose The Best Point And Shoot Cameras Under $300 Available Today
Although the options for the best point and shoots cameras under 300 dollars are narrowing as the world moves towards smartphone and mirrorless cameras, you still have some really solid choices available to choose from.
Once you’ve established your budget, look for options in that range which are suitable for what you’re going to be shooting.
For example, want to shoot far away objects? Don’t forget to factor in the zoom length. Same goes for shooting close-ups. Many of the cameras we listed today perform exceptionally well as a macro setup.
And, before I sign off, I’d love to invite you to share some shots you’ve taken with your favorite point and shoot camera in the comments below!
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