Digital Camera Holiday Gift Guide - Sub $150 Cameras

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Once again, you are likely faced with deciding what digital camera you should buy for your family and friends for gifts during the 2014 holiday season.  Each year becomes more and more complicated, as camera companies increase their feature sets and change models multiple times a year. In the end, however, consumers win, since increased competition has dramatically lowered prices and improved overall picture quality. As in prior years, this guide will help you sort through the chaos that is the digital photography industry, highlighting some of the best choices for cameras in various price ranges. While it is still generally true that more money will get a nicer camera, even spending under $150 can get you high quality digital camera takes excellent images. Your needs, such as touch screens, HD video, facial recognition or image stabilization, will determine the right amount you need to spend.  

Take a look at the first part of our 2014 Holiday gift guide, the sub $150 digital camera range.  Our following recommendations are based on quality, features and the best value available on the digital camera marketplace for less than 150 dollars.

Canon PowerShot 135

Top Pick:
Canon PowerShot ELPH 135
(Preview)

Canon's most affordable point-and-shoot, the PowerShot ELPH 135 features a 16.0-megapixel CCD image sensor, DIGIC 4+ image processor, 8x optical zoom lens, 720p HD video recording, and a 3.0-inch LCD display.

As a family-friendly camera designed for novices, the ELPH 135 also includes Smart AUTO Mode, which selects optimal settings for current shooting conditions; ECO Mode, which dims (or turns off the LCD) to reduce battery consumption; and a Help Button, which helps newer users learn more about their camera's functions, settings, and features. Pick this up if you want the most affordable and colorful Canon point-and-shoot on the market.

Click on a color below to see the best prices for the Canon ELPH 135.

Canon PowerShot ELPH 135 Purple Canon PowerShot ELPH 135 silver
Canon PowerShot ELPH 135 red Canon PowerShot ELPH 135 black

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Samsung Galazy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5
(Full Review)

Samsung's flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5, is an incredibly powerful and useful device. Sporting a 2.5GHz quad-core processor, 16-Megapixel main camera, 2-Megapixel front-facing camera, GPS, WiFi with NFC and a 5.1-Inch full 1080p HD touch screen, this phone's rival most others that you will find on the market. Samsung designed the phone to survive most everyday situations as well, giving it a waterproof seal around the back case and charging port that allow in to survive under water up to 3ft. for up to 30 minutes. This is great for the numerous situations in which a phone has wound up ruined from water damage. They have even loaded the phone with just about every type of sensor you can think of to assure that it can do anything you want, including a fingerprint scanner for increased security. And the best part, with a new two-year contract with Verizon or Sprint, the 16GB version of this smartphone costs less than $80. Even better? Sign up with AT&T and (at the time of writing this guide) the S5 is FREE. Pick this up if you're looking for a camera that does more than just take pictures.

Click on the colors below to see
the best prices on the Samsung Galaxy S5.

Samsung Galaxy S5 black 16GB Verizon Samsung Galaxy S5 white 16GB Verizon
Verizon
Samsung Galaxy S5 black 16GB AT&T Samsung Galaxy S5 white 16GB AT&T
AT&T
Samsung Galaxy S5 black 16GB Sprint Samsung Galaxy S5 white 16GB Sprint
Sprint

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Sony Cyber-Shot DSCW810 silver

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W810
(Preview)

The Sony DSC-W810, an extremely budget-friendly point-and-shoot digicam Sony says is so great in low light shooting conditions, they decided to give it a "Party Mode." No kidding. In Party Mode, the W810 "automatically adjusts sensitivity, exposure, and color in low light social situations to get great party shots with minimal effort." If that weren't enough, its advanced flash "boosts the camera's overall sensitivity and effectively extending flash range to make far-away subjects appear brighter." As for more conventional specifications, the W810 boasts a 20.1MP CCD image sensor capable of recording 720p HD videos, which is made even easier thanks to the dedicated movie button so you don't have to waste time searching menus or actively swapping modes. Lastly, the WX810 features a 6x optical zoom lens with F/3.5-6.5 maximum apertures. Pick this up if you're looking for an extremely easy-to-use, thin camera at a reasonable price, you don't need advanced photography features, and average performance will suit your needs.

Click below to see the best price for the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W810.

Sony Cyber-Shot DSCW810 silver