Digital Camera Holiday Gift Guide - Sub $150 Cameras
2012 Holiday Gift Guide TOC
Once again, you are likely faced with deciding what digital camera you should buy for your family and friends for gifts during the 2012 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 2012 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.
Top Pick: Samsung DV300F
The Samsung DV300F features a 16.0-Megapixel, 1/2.3" CCD, a 5x optical zoom lens (a 35mm equivalent of 25-125mm), a 3.0" rear facing LCD viewing screen, a 1.5" front facing LCD screen, and Wi-Fi connectivity. That smaller, front facing screen has a couple new features to help self portraits, including a visual Self Timer as well as a Child Mode, which "displays an animation to keep little ones focused." Available in Black, Silver/Blue, or Silver/Red, pick this up if you are looking for an affordable compact camera for self-portraits with friends and family, that is simple to use without any complicated settings.
Click on a color below to see the best price on the Samsung DV300F
Canon PowerShot A3400 IS
The Canon PowerShot A3400 IS delivers good performance and high image quality for the price. This basic camera is not extremely fast nor does it offer loads of fancy features. But with a 16-megapixel CCD, 5x optical zoom, 720p HD video recording, 3.0-inch LCD touch screen and Smart AUTO, it delivers the goods for most everyday shooting needs. Its dedicated Help button is well-tailored to beginners, as are the touch screen functions. As long as you don't expect the touch screen to perform as elegantly as that on a smart phone, you'll enjoy the convenience of accessing some features with the tap of a fingertip. Available in black, gold, red, or silver, pick this up if you value picture and performance at every price point.
Click on a color below to see the best price on the Canon A3400 IS
Nikon Coolpix S3300
Affordable and super slim don't often go together in the same product or sentence, but let the new Nikon Coolpix S3300 change your mind about that. This is the most affordable model in the "Slim" S-series and it has a lot of nice Automatic features to help even the least camera-comfortable person capture memories that will last a lifetime. Features include a 16-megapixel CCD image sensor, 6x wide angle optical zoom NIKKOR glass lens (25-156mm), 720p HD video recording, 19 scene modes, and optical vibration reduction. Available in pink, black, purple, red, or silver, pick this up if you are looking for a camera that seems as stylish on the outside as the photographs it captures.
Click on a color below to see the best price on the Nikon S3300
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W650
The Sony Cyber-shot W650 is an affordable ultra-compact digicam for anyone looking for a quality camera without having every bell and whistle. Sporting a 16-Megapixel Super HAD CCD Sensor, BIONZ image processor, 5x optical Carl Zeiss lens with optical Steady Shot Image Stabilization, 720p HD video capture and Sony's Sweep Panorama shooting mode, you would expect this to be a pricy digicam. This great set of features is accompanied by high image quality and average performance for an entry-level camera. Available in Silver, Black, or Red, pick this up because, at this price point, you can't go wrong if you are looking for an everyday camera on a strict budget.
Click on a color below to see the best price on the Sony DSC-W650