Best Cameras Under $300

Steve's Digicams Best Camera Gift Guides
Best Cameras Under $300
You might not be able to get the most powerful camera with a budget of $300 and under, but there are great cameras out there that are both economical and functional, some of them even having features like Wi-Fi connectivity and weather sealing. While you can't expect mind-blowing features, these are the cameras casual shooters would want when they don't want to spend money and time on high-performing gear and are just looking for something with which to record their kids' school events, family vacations, and important life moments.

Whether you're seeking instant gratification, a good diving compact, or an all-around travel camera, we've got what you need on this list... and you'll hardly even make a dent in your holiday budget.
Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS.jpg
Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS

Sensor size: 1/2.3-inch | Resolution: 20.2MP | Viewfinder: none | Display: 3.0" LCD (460K dots) | Max Burst Shooting: 7.2fps | Video Recording: 1080/30p

PROS: Built-in Wi-Fi, Fast performance

CONS: No 4K video, Poor battery life

Folks who are in need of an inexpensive camera will find a great deal in this compact Canon that squeezes in a fairly high resolution in a small body, not to mention a fast continuous shooting mode to capture those unforgettable moments flawlessly as well as a 12x optical zoom and macro shooting for much needed close-ups. And even though the battery life isn't that good at less than 200 shots per full charge, it features several shooting modes so you can get a little creative with your shots.

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Fujifilm FinePix XP130.jpg
Fujifilm FinePix XP130

Sensor size: 1/2.3-inch | Resolution: 16.4MP | Viewfinder: none | Display: 3.0" LCD (920K dots) | Max Burst Shooting: 10fps | Video Recording: 1080/60p

PROS: Rugged, Built-in Wi-Fi

CONS: No 4K video, No tilt screen

Adventure photographers who want to travel light will appreciate this rugged compact that's shockproof, freeze-proof, dust-proof, and waterproof down to 20 meters, and that has a decent battery life of 240 shots at full charge. The resolution might not be as impressive, but with a face and eye detection feature, a 5x optical zoom, and shooting modes that mimic advanced techniques like interval and time-lapse shooting, you still have a winner.


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Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 Hybrid Instant Camera.jpg
Fujifilm Instax Square SQ10 Hybrid Instant Camera 

Sensor size: 1/4-inch | Resolution: 4MP | Viewfinder: none | Display: 3.0" LCD (460K dots) | Max Burst Shooting: none | Video Recording: none

PROS: Image effects, Easy to use

CONS: Poor battery life, Expensive film

Despite Instagram's evolution from square to portrait, square format instant cameras are still on-trend with the analog crowd. With this instant camera by Fuji, you have the best of both worlds: getting your analog fix--in square format no less--and satisfying your digital need at the same time, giving you the option to save and print anytime. Other cool features include double exposure, bulb, and macro shooting capabilities, a microSD/microSDHC slot, and filter options for vintage looks.

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Nikon COOLPIX W100.jpg
Nikon COOLPIX W100 

Sensor size: 1/3.1-inch | Resolution: 13.2MP | Viewfinder: none | Display: 2.7" LCD (230K dots) | Max Burst Shooting: 4.7fps | Video Recording: 1080/30p

PROS: Waterproof to 33 feet, VR image stabilization

CONS: Low resolution at 13MP, Low res LCD

While there are cheaper options out there with a faster performance and a higher resolution, this Nikon CoolPix has a few aces up its sleeve. To start, we love its sleek design and color options, not to mention its plethora of scene modes and several in-camera editing options, a few of which are meant for underwater shots. It's tough too, able to survive a 5.9-foot fall, and the battery is pretty good with 220 shots when fully charged.


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Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350.jpg
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350 

Sensor size: 1/2.3-inch | Resolution: 18.2MP | Viewfinder: none | Display: 2.7" LCD (460K dots) | Max Burst Shooting: 10fps | Video Recording: 1080/60p

PROS: Great battery life, ISO 3200 expandable

CONS: No 4K, Slow power up

When Sony does it, you're pretty much guaranteed excellent images with great detail and fast processing power, and that's what this sleek, fits-in-your-pocket compact offers. Limitations like no viewfinder and no 4K capabilities are offset by 10fps continuous shooting, an impressive battery life of 470 shots at full charge, and a menu of picture effects and shooting modes like the 360 Sweep Panorama, perfect for those who've been bitten by the travel bug.

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