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Cheap Digital Cameras - Five under $50

Updated on February 8, 2008

Before you buy a digital camera, figure out what you want to use it for. You can find decent quality cameras without spending a lot of money, but you need to buy something that will cater to your needs.

If you are looking for a cheap camera, I suggest you consider the following five cameras. They are all under $50, but each has unique qualifications that may make one more valuable to you than the rest. Remember that while something may seem inexpensive due to a low price, it may cost you more in the long run if you have to replace it because it is low quality or doesn't do what you need it to do.

I suggest these cameras for first-time buyers and beginning photographers. In fact, these five cameras are perfect for kids. You probably won't take award winning photos with any of them, but they will work fine for quick shots you can share in a small photo album or online.

QuickClix 3185 Front View
QuickClix 3185 Front View
QuickClix 3185 Back View
QuickClix 3185 Back View

Argus QuickClix 3185:

With 3.2 MP resolution, this camera is capable of producing quality pictures for email, internet, and 4"x6" prints. WIth a steady hand and quality photographic skills, you could get a decent 8"x10" print as well. However, I only recommend it for you if you plan on using it mostly to produce images for internet and email use.

This camera offers a small viewing screen and a view finder, so you can choose which one to use. If you tend to take shaky pictures, you might find using the view finder is beneficial. The camera uses AAA batteries, which are included. It also comes with a USB cable, instruction booklet, and a software disk. However, it does not have a lot of storage space, only holding about 10 shots, so I suggest you buy a memory card with it.

The Argus QC 3185 details:

  • 3.2 mp (Image quality: internet use, 4"x6" prints, and some 8"x10" prints)
  • AVI Movie File Format, but does not record sound
  • LCD Monitor is 1.1"
  • Shutter speed has a short delay
  • 10 second self-timer
  • AAA batteries
  • Flash

Price: The list price is $49.99, but you can find it used for less.

QC-2185 Front View
QC-2185 Front View
QC-2185 Front & Back View
QC-2185 Front & Back View

Argus QuickClix-2185

Another Argus? That's right. Argus has released inexpensive digital cameras with LCD screens, which makes them more desirable to many people. This camera offers less options than the 3185, but is a good buy as long as what it offers meets your needs. In addition to the LCD screen, this camera also has a view finder.

With 2 MP resolution, this camera will definitely provide great pictures for use on the internet and through email. If you take clear, steady shots, you can probably create some quality 4"x6" prints also. I do not suggest you purchase this camera if you plan on using it for bigger prints.

Like the Argus QC 3185, the 2185 runs on 3 AAA batteries. The camera comes with a USB cable, wrist strap, instruction manual, and computer software. This camera does not offer a much internal memory, so I suggest you buy an inexpensive memory card to use with it. You might want to invest in rechargable batteries as well.

The Argus QC 2185 details:

  • 2 mp (image quality: internet use, some 4"x6" prints)
  • AVE Movie File Format
  • LCD Screen is 1.1"
  • Shutter speed has short delay
  • 10 second self-timer
  • AAA batteries
  • Flash

Price: The list price is $39.99, but you can find it for less when you shop for deals.

Innovage Outdoor Sports Mini Digital Camera
Innovage Outdoor Sports Mini Digital Camera
Innovage Outdoor Sports Mini Digital Camera with Accessories
Innovage Outdoor Sports Mini Digital Camera with Accessories

Innovage Outdoor Sports Mini Digital Camera

A key-chain digital camera? This camera is so small and light weight that you can easily carry it around for anytime use. The Innovage Outdoor Sports Mini Digital Camera is a 3-in-1 camera with the capability to take still shots, short video, and act as a web cam.

It uses 1 AAA battery, which comes with the camera. It also comes with a carrying case, USB cable, and a software CD. Remember the name of this camera: Innovage Outdoor Sports Mini Digital Camera--the best pictures will be those taken outside. It does not have a high resolution, so it really is only good for pictures you will use on the internet or through email.

The Innovage Outdoor Sports Mini Digital Camera details:

  • View finder, but no LCD Screen
  • Short video function
  • 16 MB memory (stores up to 246 photos)

  • Web cam feature (connects to your PC)

Price: The list price is $49.99, but you can find it for much less (even as low as $10).

Aiptek PCM13 PenCam
Aiptek PCM13 PenCam
Aiptek PCM13 PenCam in Stand
Aiptek PCM13 PenCam in Stand

Aiptek PCM13 PenCam

This small camera easily fits into the palm of your hand or hangs easily (and lightly) around your neck. It takes still photos, video, and acts as a web cam.

What is the draw to this camera? It is so small that you will get to feel like James Bond when you tote this tiny camera around.

With only 1.3 MP resolution, the Aiptek PCM13 PenCam won't take print-quality pictures, but will provide internet and email quality photos. The camera uses 2 AAA batteries, which are included with it. The camera also comes with lanyard, batteries, computer software, USB cable, and computer mount.

The Aiptek PCM13 PenCam details:

  • 1.3 MP (internet and email quality photos)
  • AVI Movie File Format
  • 60 second Power Saving Auto-Off Feature
  • 10 second self-timer
  • 16 MB internal memory (up to 160 photos)

Price: List price is $39.99, but you can find it for less.

Intova 1.3MP Snap Sights Camera
Intova 1.3MP Snap Sights Camera
Underwater shot with this camera
Underwater shot with this camera

Intova 1.3MP Snap Sights

The Intova Snap Sights Camera is waterproof, making it an inexpensive camera to take along on your underwater trips. It is also perfect for a kayak or canoe trip because you won't have to worry about it getting wet.

With only a 1.3 MP resolution, you will only create internet-quality images, so this isn't for you if you want prints. This inexpensive camera is great for the beginning digital photographer. Personally, I would purchase this for a teenager going on a trip who wants to take quick shots. This camera will capture memories of the trip, but you won't have to worry about losing an expensive camera.

The Intova 1.3MP Snap Sights Camera details:

  • Waterproof housing
  • Flash

  • Video recording
  • Batteries & USB cable included
  • No User's Manual

Price: List price is $39.99, but you can find it for less.

Why buy cheap cameras?

I don't often encourage people to buy products that aren't quality enough to last a long time (years and years). Sometimes, it is worth it in the long run to shell out a bit more money now to save spending later. With this said, there are situations and circumstances in life when it is better to buy something that is cheap.

For example, if you are trying to learn about digital photography, it may be a good idea to start with an inexpensive camera. Or, if your young children constantly want to take pictures with your $400 camera, you should get them a cheap one to use (and you know kids take great, abstract shots). If you are going on a trip, like hiking, kayaking, or scuba diving, and want to take pictures, but not spend a lot of money, one of these inexpensive cameras is the perfect choice. If they get broken or lost, it isn't the end of the world because you did not spend a ton of money on them. Plus, you can reuse them, so they don't create as much waste as disposable cameras.

Some other things you will want to keep in mind when purchasing a cheap camera:

  • Rechargable batteries. Most cheap cameras use disposable batteries, but you can save money and resources by buying rechargable batteries and a charger.
  • Battery life. Think about how long your camera will be juiced up and usable with the amount of batteries you use. If your camera takes one AAA battery, chances are that the battery will need to be replaced much sooner than if your camera uses three AAA batteries.
  • Memory. Always check to see how many pictures your camera can hold. I'll never forget the time I was at a wedding and my camera ran out of memory! Memory cards do not cost much, and are worth the security they will give you.
  • Instruction booklets. That's right, read them! I know, I know...who wants to read something boring like that? But, it may pay off in the end. Learn about your camera so you won't be surprised later when you are using it and something unexpected happens.
  • Warranties. If your cheap camera comes with a warranty, register it. It might end up paying off.

Remember that you will get what you pay for. Have fun, take pictures, and say cheese!

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    • peanutroaster profile image


      7 years ago from New England

      Good review of digital cameras some might be a good option for kids.

    • profile image

      longder kiuyter 

      8 years ago

      this thing is so cool i got the spy cam is asweesom

    • profile image

      Nikon Coolpix Reviews 

      8 years ago

      Are these used cameras? Otherwise I never thought any company will produce such cheap cameras these days.

    • profile image

      kid digital cameras 

      8 years ago

      So, what camera do you suggest for my 5 years son? I was thinking of fisher price or vtech but the price are much more expensive.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i use my camera for videos that i will send to afv cause we funny!

    • pisethz profile image


      8 years ago

      & I like digital camera for taking picture

    • pisethz profile image


      8 years ago

      It cheap but more to discover

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      thanks for this! it was very helpful.

    • aaramire profile image


      9 years ago

      I would stay away from disposable battery cameras >< or like you said purchase rechargeable batteries. like most people I associate price with quality. same with brand. I'm trying to break out of that habit though. ditto on buying cheap cameras for the kids (or for people that tend to break/lose things)

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I can definitely see the benefit of buying one of these cheap cameras for your kids, or for use in a place where electronic devices are easily damaged like at sea.

      Although, most modren mobile phones come with decent cameras these days and I'd prefer to use one of those personally.

    • darntoothysam profile image


      9 years ago from Burnsville, MN

      I don't like cheap cameras, but you're right; why buy something for $100 or more that your kid is just going to break? Give me a SUPER CHEAP hunk of plastic and let them go at it!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      seems interesting i have check out this cameras in the amazon and the features are great like what you wrote on your article but i guess i have to searh if these stuffs are availlable here in our country

    • maham profile image


      11 years ago

      like it

    • seamus profile image


      11 years ago

      I like your hubs -- this one, the scarf instructions and the valentines for kids. It's like you read my mind about what I want to know about! Off I go to Digital Photo 101. =)

    • cgull8m profile image


      11 years ago from North Carolina

      I like the water proof camera, glad the prices have become cheaper, three years ago I bought an Olympus camera cost a fortune with lenses. Most of the digital cameras do a commendable job, in the end we just use the basic features, so these cameras will be useful for travel and portability.

    • Whitney05 profile image


      11 years ago from Georgia

      Ah! Those are so cute!! I wish mine was under $50. It was still rather cheap in comparison to those out there on the market today ($200 with media card and case). But, I'm a Sony fan myself, so I don't think I'll find one of those under $50 yet. Maybe in a few years.

    • babybrownfox profile image


      11 years ago

      Yeah you're right..even the expensive once sometimes don't last long.Thanks..

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      11 years ago from Seattle

      Thanks for the info Raven!

    • Raven King profile image

      Raven King 

      11 years ago from Cabin Fever

      Wow, this is a true quality hub. I have always wondered about the aiptek.

      I bought a Vivitar keychain camera for $10 it works well with my Windows Vista pc but it EATS batteries. You must use new batteries every time you use it. The Vivitar makes 4 second movies.

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      11 years ago from Seattle

      Isabella, the spy cam definitely looked neat to me too.

    • Isabella Snow profile image

      Isabella Snow 

      11 years ago

      I like the pen one, it looks like a spy cam!

    • Stacie Naczelnik profile imageAUTHOR

      Stacie Naczelnik 

      11 years ago from Seattle

      babybrownfox: While you can spend a lot of money on something low quality...don't expect to spend a small amount of money on a high quality camera that will last years and years.

      Lissie: the waterproof camera appeals to me too. If you don't spend a ton of money, you won't worry as much about damage on those sporting trips. Picasa is fabulous!

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      11 years ago from New Zealand

      I like the idea of a cheap waterproof camera - that's a good option for water sports, kayaking trips etc. I use Picasa too - its a brilliant tool and the best price - free!

    • babybrownfox profile image


      11 years ago

      Do you think..the cheaper, the low quality? I mean how long it would last?

      Thanks for the info..


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