Digital Camera Holiday Gift Guide - $150 - $250 Cameras

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In part 1 of our 2013 digital camera holiday gift guide, we looked at a series of sub $150 cameras that currently offer the best value for bargain camera shoppers seeking high quality and excellent features for their next gift. In part 2, we will dive into the best cameras in the $150 to $250 price range. These cameras feature higher levels of optical zoom, greater megapixels, larger LCD screens, and some with CMOS image sensors and Full HD video recording. This lineup of digital cameras are still mostly targeted at the point & shoot crowd, but for those seeking a higher level of quality and control in taking excellent photos.  

So take a look at the second part of our 2013 Holiday gift guide, the $150 to $250 digital camera range. Our following recommendations are based on quality, features and the best value available on the digital camera marketplace between $150 to $250 dollars.

 

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H200

Top Pick:
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H200
(Full Review)

The Sony Cyber Shot H200 is the most affordable of the "H" line, which features all of their high zoom models. The H200 sports a 26x optical zoom lens and a 52x smart zoom capability. Assisting with this large lens is Sony's Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system, because even on a bright day it can be nearly impossible to hold the camera still enough without it. Also featured on the camera is a 20.1-Megapixel imaging sensor, Sweep Panorama and Intelligent Auto shooting modes, 720p HD video capture, and the capability to run on any "AA" type batteries. The combination of these features leaves you with a compact camera with incredible versatility that is easy enough for anyone to use. With a dSLR-style body, only much smaller, it is very comfortable to hold and very easy to handle and operate. Having the zoom control for the massive zoom lens coupled around the shutter release allows you to zoom and shoot with just one hand, and no matter what position you are in, you will be able to composite and capture an image. The camera does not have a viewfinder at all, so all of your framing has to be completed using the 3.0-inch, 460-000 dot Clear Photo LCD screen. With its 5 levels of adjustable brightness, you will have no problems seeing it in just about any lighting condition. Pick this up if you are looking for an easy to use super-zoom camera at a very low price. You will get what you pay for with this camera, as it lacks in quality and performance.

Click below to see the best price on the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H200.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H200 black

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Canon PowerShot SX280 HS red flash up

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS
(Full Review)

Canon's PowerShot SX280 is one of the most versatile of the compact point-n-shoot models in the PowerShot lineup. Sporting a 20x optical zoom lens, 12.1-Megapixel HS CMOS imaging sensor and the new DIGIC VI processor, its power and image quality are just as impressive. It has shooting modes for everyone in the family, no matter how much photography experience. The Live shooting mode even allows people without a lot of photography experience to make adjustments on the fly and really push their creativity. Built-in Wi-Fi allows for easy uploading to social media sites as well as connecting to a smartphone or tablet using Canon's Camerawindow App. GPS, Full 1080p HD video capture, and a 3-inch LCD round out the other major features found on this compact powerhouse. Featuring the Canon HS system, a combination of the High Sensitivity CMOS imaging sensor and the DGIIC VI processor which work in unison to provide outstanding image quality with lower noise levels, faster burst and continuous shooting modes and increased AF speeds over the previous PowerShot models. This allows the camera to do a better job tracking a subject with the AF Tracking option as well as allowing for better quality prints from your higher ISO images like ISO 6400. All this power also assists in shooting the Movie Digest clips, which record a small video using the Intelligent IS and Smart Auto shooting mode to capture smooth, steady movies every time you capture a still image. Pick this up if you are looking for a powerful and versatile digicam that will satisfy any level photographer. This camera is also perfect for quick sharing and gives you more features and shooting modes than you will know what to do with.

Click on a color below to see the best prices for the Canon SX280 HS.

Canon Power-Shot SX280 HS black Canon Power-Shot SX280 HS red

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Olympus TG-630 iHS blue

Olympus TG-630 iHS
(Full Review)

Compact, powerful, tough and affordable, the Olympus Stylus TG-630 provides go anywhere convenience with the great image quality you would expect from an Olympus camera. Packed into the watertight housing is a 12-Megapixel Backside Illuminated CMOS imaging sensor and TruePic VI imaging processor, which create Olympus's iHS system. This system provides the camera with outstanding low-light performance and increased image quality. The powerful processor is also responsible for the camera's incredibly easy to use iAuto shooting mode and creative "Art" filters. The internal 5x optical zoom lens is supported by the camera's sensor shift optical image stabilization to assist in keeping your handheld images sharp. The camera also features a 3.0-inch LCD screen, full 1080p HD video capture, HDMI output and a built-in LED Illuminator. The TG-630 is available in 4 stylish colors: Red, Blue, White and Black. The TG-630 is the most affordable model in Olympus's "Tough" lineup. Its internal 5x optical zoom lens, simple controls and rubber gasket lined doors allow the camera to keep waterproof up to 16ft. underwater. Its solid construction also allows it to survive drops from up to 5.5ft, making it perfect for families with small children or anyone that is always on the go. Finally the camera is also capable of working in temperatures as low as 14°F, so it is ready to hit the slopes with you as well. Pick this up if you are looking for an affordable "tough" camera that is great around pools and kids. It is ready for all situations, giving you excellent performance and good image quality.

Click on a color below to see the best prices for the TG-630 iHS.

Olympus TG-630 iHS silver black Olympus TG-630 iHS silver blue
Olympus TG-630 iHS silver red Olympus TG-630 iHS silver white

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Samsung WB250F white

Samsung WB250F
(Full Review)

The Samsung WB250F is a camera that's a lot of fun to use and provides some very interesting advanced features, especially for a camera with an MSRP of $249.99 at launch. Few cameras around the desirable $200 price point can provide great features like a high-resolution touch-screen LCD and built-in Wi-Fi capabilities. Throw in an 18x optical zoom lens, a popup flash unit, and smartly organized menus, all in a stylish looking solid-colored camera body that measures only about 1.25 inches at its thickest point, and there's a lot to like about the WB250F. At first glance it seems like this Samsung model is one of the best point-n-shoot cameras currently available. However there always seems to be a "but" in cases like this, and unfortunately the WB250F has a few issues that fit that billing. Pick this up if you're looking for a really fun, easy-to-use camera that has unexpected features for its price point.

Click on a color below to see the best prices for the Samsung WB250F.

Samsung WB250F Samsung WB250F gun metal
Samsung WB250F red Samsung WB250F white

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Olympus SZ-16 iHS silver Olympus SZ-16 iHS
(Full Review)

Olympus's new Stylus SZ-16 is a compact and feature-full point-n-shoot model that is one of the easiest to use that we have seen. Featuring a 24x optical zoom lens, Olympus's iHS technology, Dual image stabilization, full 1080p HD movie recording and a 3-inch LCD screen; you will not be disappointed with any aspect of the its features. The intelligent auto (iAuto) shooting mode is easy enough for anyone to use, while capturing stunning results. The wide and very versatile lens makes sure that you are prepared for any shooting situation, which is not something that most cameras can claim. It is available in two non-standard colors; silver and white, which guarantees that it will always stand out while you use it. Olympus's iHS system is a combination of their High Sensitivity Backside Illuminated CMOS image sensor and powerful TruePic V image processor. The two combine to provide an increase in image quality by helping to reduce noise. The powerful processor also helps the camera with increased burst shooting and scene selections in iAuto mode. Beauty Fix and the other editing features are also enhanced and enabled by the processor. Pick this up if you are looking for a versatile and affordable digicam that can handle most any shooting situation. Up close to off in the distance, the SZ-16 is up for the challenge.

Click on a color below to see the best prices for the Olympus SZ-16 HS.

Olympus SZ-16 iHS silver Olympus SZ-16 iHS white

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Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX80 Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX80
(Full Review)

The general rule of thumb regarding small and thin cameras is that they typically look good and they fit easily in a pocket, but they usually don't offer the performance levels that you need to shoot great photos. Sony is attempting to put an end to that way of thinking with its Cyber-shot WX80 camera. This model is extremely small and carries a sub-$200 price point, which is what you'd expect to find in a this type of camera. Somewhat unexpectedly though, you will find that the WX80 provides very fast response times, good burst and continuous shot modes, and pretty good image quality in the majority of shooting situations. Versus others in this price point and at this size, the WX80 has above average performance. This Cyber-shot camera has a few problems, including a slightly soft auto focus performance that makes it a little tough to create large prints. Additionally, the WX80 only offers a 2.7-inch LCD screen and an 8x optical zoom lens, both of which are below average features versus other cameras released this year. With such a small camera, some drawbacks are to be expected, but Sony has kept the limitations to a minimum with the Cyber-shot WX80. Pick this up if you need a fast-performing, extremely small camera that carries a pretty low price tag.

Click on a color below to see the best prices for the Sony DSC-WX80.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX80 black Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX80 Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX80 white