There is good news as the optics and quality of what is called “point and shoot” cameras keeps getting better. Zoom capabilities have also improved greatly, so you don’t have to worry about changing lenses.
There are some great cameras out there for $300 and less, but it is usually best to get a name brand that comes with a warranty. Reader reviews are a great way to find the best camera for what you want to do.
Consider the type of photography you want. If you want to take nature photos, or sports photo, the zoom capabilities will be more important. If getting up closer is not as important, higher megapixels and overall photo quality should be the things to consider.
Here are a few of the best sellers out there on Amazon.
Best Waterproof Digital Camera w/WiFi
This camera – Nikon Coolpix AW130 is listed on Amazon and is a great deal. It is waterproof, and you could try underwater photography, but even more important you need not worry about getting caught in the rain – a nightmare for normal digital photography.
It can also handle cold weather. It also has shock resistant qualities, safe to be dropped up to seven feet.
This camera has only a 5x zoom, but it is capable of five shots a second. It takes up to 15 megapixel pictures, so quality is not an issue.
The built in WiFi lets you easily transfer photos to your phone or computer. A very cool feature is the built in GPS mapping and points of interest. This records the precise location where you took the photo for future reference. A points of interest feature shows you other areas nearby that would make good photos.
Nikon has been the Cadillac of cameras for decades, and also has a reputation of quality in the digital world. It also does nice videos.
Readers liked the ease of use, quality of photos an the geo tagging capability. They also liked its rugged quality of construction.
Best Deal for a Digital Camera
This is another camera that ordinarily lists at well over $300, but is under that price now on Amazon. The Sony DSC-HX60V/B takes 20 mega pixel pictures, so you can get great quality as well as the ability to make quality paper pictures as well.
It has a 30x optical zoom, so you can reach out to get closer to objects you want to shoot. Additionally you can take panoramic shots up to 360 degrees, which gives some amazing flexibility without changing lenses.
You can attach a flash, or used the one built in. A microphone may also be added which is useful when doing videos. It also offers full manual control to give a lot of creative options. This camera will also shoot 10 frames per second. Combining the speed with zoom makes this a great sports photography option. Image stabilization is also a plus.
Sony has made inroads in the digital world, and is one of the best digital photography cameras on the market.
Readers like its size and weight. It is easy to handle, but still cranks out really good pictures. It has quality, but its ease of use makes it good for beginners as well.
Top Rated Digital Cameras under $300
Canon is Nikon’s rival and the debate continues, but Canon does often offer a lower price for the same quality. That is true with this camera – Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS that shoots 16.1 mega pixel photos.
It has 5x zoom, but also has a 24mm wide angle lense. You do lose quality with zoom, and this camera is more about quality than anything else.
It still has a lot of nice features, such as an image processor that allows you to edit photos before you download them. It has built in WiFi, which is slowly becoming standard, allowing easy transfer of images.
This is a slim camera that will fit into your pocket easily, which sets it apart from some of the others.
Readers like the slime line and its size. Photo quality and ease of use were also things that stood out to readers.
Best Durable Outdoor Camera
Olympus is another company that was a camera maker first before entering the digital world. This is a tough, waterproof camera. Its rugged construction sets it apart. The Olympus TG 860 is ideal for someone who does not want to worry about dropping the camera, or for outdoors where accidents are more likely..
It shoots 16 mega pixel pictures. It has 5x optical zoom. It offers high speed movie possibilities, as well as time lapse photo and video.
It includes art filters, allowing some extra creativity. It too has built in WiFi and GPS capabilities. A flip monitor and front shutter, allows great selfies and flexibility to shoot from any angle.
On professional level cameras, Canon is the only real rival for Nikon. Like Nikon, a Canon is a camera first. It is still easy to use and has all the electronics, but if your priority is photo quality these are the best brands by reputation.
The differences are slight though, and if ease of use is your priority, you can still get very good photos with other brands that focus on ease of use.