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The Best Cameras Under $100

Updated on August 20, 2014

Looking for the Most Affordable Digital Camera?

So you want a new

digital camera but you don't want to spend big. In fact, you don't want to spend more than $100. Well, this page can help you find the best cameras under $100.

If you want a new camera, versus used or refurbished, there are a few models out there that perform well as long as your photographic needs are basic. This page will try to guide you in finding one, we'll give you tips for the features that you want to look for to assure your satisfaction. Affordable digital cameras aren't a "bargain" if they don't perform well after all. If you want a digital camera with more features than $100 will buy, your other option is to consider a refurbished camera. These have been serviced to repair any malfunction and should function like new.

The pricing on the cameras we discuss here will fluctuate from time to time and thus they may sell for slightly over $100 at any given time.

Choosing Cameras Under $100: Image Quality

Affordable cameras really aren't that hard to come by; however, you need to assure they can do the job to your satisfaction.

Cameras under $100 aren't going to offer the same quality and controls that cameras over $300 offer. However, they can still be quite good for the average, casual user and can be very easy to use.

Two basic things to examine that reflect image quality are the camera's lens and the sensor type, size, and number. Most of the point and shoot cameras that are less expensive will have one sensor, a small one. Shoppers can compare of course. A 1/2.5" sensor is a good minimum. Consumers can also look at the megapixel rating. Generally a 5 megapixel camera is quite sufficient for sharing images online and for producing good prints that are 4x6, 5x7 or 9x10. Larger prints generally require 6 megapixels or more. It's important to know that more megapixels don't always mean better images. If the sensor is very small, then 16 megapixels likely won't produce a better photo than say an 8 or 10 megapixel camera if all else is equal.

Larger sensors and cameras with more than one sensor as well as higher quality lenses can produce better looking photographs but this comes with an increased price tag.

Choosing Cameras Under $100: Memory

Memory

Memory or storage is important with a digital camera so that you don't have to stop shooting every few photos just to download your photos. Most cameras have at least 16MB of internal storage and then offer a card slot for additional memory.

SD card slots are by far the most common. They may offer 2 or 4 GB of memory or more. As you might suspect a card with a higher capacity will cost more. For most purposes a 2GB card is suffient for most people.

You can learn more about how many pictures you can take with a given memory card by visiting Digital Camera Memory.

Choosing Cameras Under $100: Features

There are a number of features to consider if you want the best camera under $100 or for any price for that matter.

Image Stabilization:

Any form of stabilization can help reduce blurriness due to unintentional camera movement when the photographer isn't able to stabilize the camera. For instance, if your hands shake. Optical (mechanical) stabilization is preferrable to digital (electronic) stabilization but again, it's more expensive. Certainly a tripod can help assure a steady camera, but most of use don't find them convenient to use in most circumstances.

Zoom:

Zoom allows you to take an up close shot despite being physically further away from a subject. Optical zoom is superior in quality, but digital zoom can be useful without degrading image quality in smaller print sizes (4x6).

Shooting and scene modes:

Many point and shoot cameras give automated controls to users that help adjust exposure, shutter speed, and/or white balance to capture better shots despite changes in lighting and more challenging situations. If you would rather that the camera do this for you, look to see if the camera you are considering offers a variety of scene modes to help you out. Certainly, for the easiest operation a Smart Auto or Intelligent Auto Mode is good as it allows the camera to choose the correct settings without the photographer having to figure it all out.

If you want to be able to get up close shots of insects, flowers, and so forth, then a macro mode is very useful. If you tend to shoot a lot of pictures indoors, in the evening, and in other low light situations, then a night mode can be important. Look for scene and shooting modes that will coincide with the types of shots you will be taking.

Self-timer:

Many casual photographers have situations in which they want to be in the shot. A self timer can allow you to do this.

Built in flash with red eye reduction:

One of the most common complaints when using a flash is that subjects end up with red eyes. This feature helps to reduce this effect.

Manual Controls:

For those who want to learn more or have more experience, manual controls are important. The ability to turn off the flash at a minimum is critical.

Built in Technologies

There are a number of common technologies the newer digital cameras offer which can improve the quality of your photos. Face detection allows the camera to identify faces and assure they get the right exposure and focus. Motion detection helps to keep things in focus despite small movements. There are various technologies like these that are particularly useful for those who like simplicity.

An affordable camera lacking in many of these features probably won't meet your needs.

Choosing Cameras Under $100: Sharing Photos

The images stored on a digital camera are generally downloaded to a computer, printed, and/or shared online.

Shoppers need to be sure they understand how they will transfer their photos to a computer. A USB 2.0 or firewire connection is faster but both the camera and your computer must have the appropriate connections and the camera must be compatible with your operating system. Most budget cameras under $100 won't offer wireless transfer abilities.

Many modern computers offer memory card slots that allow for transferring photos directly from the card. Some printers have a memory card slot as well, but if you don't have this it is possible to obtain a memory card reader to transfer pictures.

To print photos at home, a compatible printer is needed but for those who prefer, various stores and kiosks can do this work as well.

The key point is that buyers need to be sure they know what they want to do with their photos and assure they have the connections and compatible devices they need.

Panasonic Lumix DMC FH6

Panasonic Lumix FH6 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom (Silver)
Panasonic Lumix FH6 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom (Silver)

The Panasonic Lumix DMC S3 is a very affordable digital camera. It's slim and lightweight, allowing users to slide it in a shirt pocket to take anywhere. It offers a 14.1 megapixel sensor, and a 28mm wide angle lens with 4x optical image stabilized zoom, and a 2.7" LCD screen. This camera can also record 720p HD video at 30 fps.

This basic camera has an SD card slot for memory expansion and 70 MB of internal memory. Other photographic features include motion, shake, scene, and face detection to assure your subjects look their best in any lighting situation and remain in focus. There are a variety of shooting modes including nigh scene and night portrait for low light situations and a macro mode for get those close up shots among many others.

 

Lumix DMC FH6 Review

Sony DSC W710 Overview

Other Options

Perhaps what you're finding as far as new models isn't meeting your expectations. Another option as mentioned above, is to look for refurbished cameras or perhaps used. Refurbished cameras can be purchased many places. eBay and Amazon certainly have some and even the makers typically offer them. You can search by brand or by a specific model... for instance "refurbished canon digital camera" or by store...for instance, "Amazon refurbished cameras".

These cameras should be restored to meet factory specifications and yet will be priced lower so that you get more camera for your money.

Photo Credits

Introduction: Egan Snow.

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    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 8 years ago

      Excellent focused (pun intended :) lens!

    • JonitasKalimpo profile image

      JonitasKalimpo 8 years ago

      What lens this one!!! i should have seen this lens before these year vacations.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great Job!

      I'd recommend the Kodak EasyShare! I've got the CX6200, which is a step up from the one offered here, but Kodak's cameras are reliable and have easy to add software to your computer. Now, all I do is take some pics, open up a little spot on the camera to stick the usb cord into it, turn it on, and the computer does the rest! COOL!

    • profile image

      GrowWear 8 years ago

      Great lens! Wonderful resource! Next camera purchase will definitely be through your lenses and recommendation. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I think you would want to buy the cannon or the kodak because it has a lot of times zoom in and its really good looking.The kodak easy share is easy to get a software to your computer.I also like cannon because its kind of the kodak a little but it has good lenses and easy to get a software for your computer and the panasonic is cool too.It has a darkness and brightness buttons to make it bright or dark.

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 8 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Great values to be found here! 5*s

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I've had bad experiences with the Kodak desktop software. It slows down your computer a LOT, and frequently brings up annoying messages. They might have fixed this in new versions, but I still recommend Google Picasa (picasa.google.com) and an SD card reader.

    • greenerme profile image

      greenerme 8 years ago

      I have the Panasonic Lumix, I highly recommend it! It's a great lens...and this lens is great, too!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great information. I'm thinking of getting a different camera. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to afford one that takes great pictures where we could count the hairs on a bee's legs. Wow!

      A person could make some money with a high end camera. ~ I'll be looking for the low end though. ~ A Great lens!

      Susie

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is exactly what i have been scouring the web for for.Precisely what i need to know. ya know?.Thank you so much i intend to take full advantage of this!. My days of searching are over!

    • profile image

      electronicdeals91 7 years ago

      Our favorite digital cameras are from Sony and Nikon, however you're presenting some really affordable alternatives here. Nice work!

    • Laniann profile image

      Laniann 7 years ago

      Nice to see some great cameras that can be purchased for under $100. Good presentation. 5*s

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 7 years ago

      Exactly what I needed! It is pretty difficult to find the perfect camera . By perfect, I mean having good quality and an affordable price tag. But thanks to this lens, I have many options. I have already shared this lens to my family & friends and they too were ecstatic.

      Rated 5* Hope you could visit my lenses and become a fan of my fb page . Thanks again

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 7 years ago from Canada

      I've been thinking about getting a new digital camera, so I'll return again!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 7 years ago from Canada

      Great idea to present affordable digital camera reviews.

    • profile image

      phob99 7 years ago

      have more product in your store. I will come again when ready.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 7 years ago from Concord VA

      Thanks for these ideas! I'm looking for digital camera for my 16 year old grandson...so don't want a real expensive one.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      You certainly provide a public service to consumers with your knowledgeable lenses. Thank you.

    • BrianRS profile image

      Brian Stephens 7 years ago from France

      Nice review work, adding the videos is a great idea.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @Faye Rutledge: Great news, I'm glad he likes it and that this paged helped.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Excellent article, very informative!

      AGS Direct - Music, Magazines, Books and Electronics

    • profile image

      designdd 6 years ago

      thanks for Cool digital camera

      but i love digital slr camera

    • SmartDad LM profile image

      SmartDad LM 6 years ago

      Great lens here and the under $100 is a real bonus. I am a massive fan of the Casio Exilim (EX) range, Just love how it's truly a point and click that takes great shots, even my 6yrold and 9yr old love them ad are regularly taking pic's of all sorts ;)

    • profile image

      steamtown 6 years ago

      Thanks for all of the great information on cameras!! And thanks for you comments on my rails-to-trails lens. I can use one of these inexpensive cameras while I'm biking on the trails.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Helpful information on selecting a camera and available cameras under $100. Ringing my Squid Angel bell with a blessing.

    • profile image

      RebeccaE 6 years ago

      thanks for this lens, it has made my search a lot easier...

    • profile image

      ssomu007 6 years ago

      I just doubt about quality of camera under 100$. Can u explain more based on quality?

    • RuthCoffee profile image
      Author

      RuthCoffee 6 years ago

      @ssomu007: It really depends on your needs. A $100 digital camera definitely will not compete with a $300, $400, $500 camera. Not in any instance. However, if you just take pictures of family and friends, some of the better $100 cameras may be just fine. I have a Canon A590IS that I got for $98, (it typically costs more) It takes nice shots, especially macro images. Often, it is the "photographer" that makes the biggest difference in how images turn out. I would suggest to focus your attention on the best lens and best sensor you can find for your price range and don't worry much about megapixels.

    • TimothyAdam LM profile image

      TimothyAdam LM 6 years ago

      Thanks for all the camera ideas!

    • jia6bei6 lm profile image

      jia6bei6 lm 6 years ago

      Nice one

    • javr profile image

      javr 6 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      These low priced cameras are sure getting a lot of features now. They are generally all great for Internet photos that you can post on lenses, add to Facebook or share on Flickr. I have a Canon Powershot that I take with me everywhere.

    • Joyfulmusic90 profile image

      Joyfulmusic90 6 years ago

      Cool! You have just helped me greatly in my search for a new camera. Thanks! : )

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 6 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      Interesting to see..years ago I remember when I bought my first digital camera..cost me way more than 100 and it was something like 2 (maybe 3 I don't remember) pixels! How fast technology goes

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 6 years ago

      This is a great lens! Good starter cameras

    • QuirkySue profile image

      QuirkySue 6 years ago

      I'm amazed at the quality and features of such cheap cameras. My first was a 2MP Fuji and it cost over $400! Perfect for a first or amateur snapshot type photographer that won't break the bank.

    • VanDykeJewelry LM profile image

      VanDykeJewelry LM 6 years ago

      Could you tell me which camera is the fastest when taking shots without flash? Preferably one that takes AA batteries. Thanks for the lens.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Thank yu, thank you for htis informatio. I'll be returning to this lens later this year when I am ready to buy my new camerea.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This lens is so helpful for anyone who has budget $100 or less for their favorite camera. Nice guide and information. Five under $100 cameras lovers stars for you .. dear, lovely mulberry :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This lens is so helpful for anyone who has budget $100 or less for their favorite camera. Nice guide and information. Five under $100 cameras lovers stars for you .. dear, lovely mulberry :)

    • chrisqw profile image

      chrisqw 6 years ago

      Very helpful lens for the camera beginner (me).

      Many thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wow! Thank you for your information.

      Motion activated cameras

    • MamaBelle profile image

      Francis Luxford 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Very handy lens. It's great to know you can get decent cameras so cheaply.

    • flutestar123 lm profile image

      flutestar123 lm 6 years ago

      Great lens! I really want to get a digital camera, but with so many choices out there, it can be extremely hard to choose. Which camera brands do you think are the best?

    • profile image

      canonpowershotprice 6 years ago

      Great Lens as expected from you . Tons of info

    • magento-templates profile image

      magento-templates 6 years ago

      Great Article, but too many eBay offers - kinda irritating.

    • UKGhostwriter profile image

      UKGhostwriter 6 years ago

      fantastic resource

    • profile image

      gizmodose 6 years ago

      wow, another great lens by mulberry! Camera newbies would sure love this!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice collection here! loved reading about colorful new cameras.

    • profile image

      Jack-in-the-Box 5 years ago

      Great selection, but I want to know what you think. You are the expert. My son is having a baby at the end of the month and I really need one quick. Can you help me select the best buy for my money???

      Thanks

    • RuthCoffee profile image
      Author

      RuthCoffee 5 years ago

      @Jack-in-the-Box: Personally, I am a Canon fan. The Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS is great but it's $225 or so. If you want something around $100, my niece loves her Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W530, I think it's $119. Refurbished can get you a better camera. I purchased a Canon Powershot A590IS for $99, normally 3x that price and it has worked just fine for 3 years and counting. I will be updating the choices here this week, researching some of the newer options, but that may be too late for you. Don't get dazzled by a bunch of megapixels. Inexpensive compact cameras have tiny sensors and more megapixels won't help image quality.

    • Downloadsoftwar1 profile image

      Downloadsoftwar1 5 years ago

      Cool lens. Thank you for sharing good stuffs

    • profile image

      Jack-in-the-Box 5 years ago

      @RuthCoffee: What do you think about purchasing one at a pawn shop?

    • profile image

      markets 5 years ago

      Another great page. Surely will help people shopping for cameras on a tight budget :)

    • profile image

      AigulErali 5 years ago

      Nice picks for affordable digital cameras. Thanks!

    • Teddi14 LM profile image

      Teddi14 LM 5 years ago

      I so need a new camera. This will help me out for sure.

    • laki2lav profile image

      laki2lav 5 years ago

      i use canon powershot and it's great

    • profile image

      Spikey64 5 years ago

      I am more aware of what to look for now when choosing my next camera. Thanks for the info.

    • profile image

      Spikey64 5 years ago

      I am more aware of what to look for now when choosing my next camera. Thanks for the info.

    • scangirl profile image

      scangirl 5 years ago

      Great lens! Lots of good info.

    • profile image

      grifith 5 years ago

      Thank You for The Great Info

    • profile image

      seosrija 5 years ago

      Wao! What a great collection of cameras. And useful suggestions will definitely help me to find out the best one.

    • LeopoldBlatt profile image

      LeopoldBlatt 5 years ago

      Great review, all I need to know in one place and much better than the awful price comparison sites which never show the entire range of what you want. This is perfect for my needs.

    • GadgetKnowHow profile image

      GadgetKnowHow 5 years ago

      Great reviews, simple and concise information. Thanks for doing the research for us!

    • desa999 lm profile image

      desa999 lm 5 years ago

      thanks for the great reviews. I have an Olympus which I'm very happy with.

    • PCReviews profile image

      PCReviews 5 years ago

      Amazon what you can get for just $100. I bought something similar to the PowerShot 2 years ago for over $200.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I could get a camera under $100. Nice Christmas gift.

    • tonyb65 profile image

      tonyb65 5 years ago

      An informative and interesting lens, thanks

      Tony

    • profile image

      Edutopia 5 years ago

      At under $100 your camera is going to do well at one of the three: picture quality, storage space, or feature set. Pick which one is most important to you and go for it.

    • krakensquid profile image

      krakensquid 5 years ago

      Great list!

    • nigel7725 profile image

      nigel7725 5 years ago

      Thanks for sharing such great information.

    • profile image

      abirshakir 5 years ago

      I love love pictures of a lily flower. It was just few months ago that I took a picture of this lovely flower.

    • Kumar P S profile image

      Kumar P S 4 years ago

      Nice collection ! Thanks for sharing.

    • robertzimmerman2 profile image

      Robert Zimmerman 4 years ago from SE Florida, USA

      Lots of choices, thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks the info is really helpful

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