Top 5: Budget Compact Digital Cameras for less than £100
- Thu, 20 Sep 2012
Top 5 Budget Compact Cameras for under £100
There are plenty of budget compact cameras on the market, many of which cost under £100. Naturally enough, cameras at this end of the market aren't going to come laden with features. That said all of the best compact cameras for under £100 should still be capable of delivering cracking pictures and, of course, for less than a hundred notes it's kind of hard to complain if your camera doesn't have built-in GPS and Wi-Fi.
Given the choice on offer choosing the best compact camera for under £100 might seem like a daunting task, and there are many questions you'll want to ask yourself: which manufacturer would you prefer, what features do you really want, perhaps even what colours can you get it in? With that in mind, we've compiled a list of our top 5 cheap compact cameras for under £100 for those on a budget. All of the cameras on our list were readily available at the time of writing and cost less than £100. Read on to find out what our top five budget compact digital cameras costing less than £100 are. In ascending price order:
You might be forgiven for assuming that a £50 compact probably doesn't have much to offer, but in the case of the Canon PowerShot A800 that's not the case. Ok, so it's admittedly a bit basic and doesn't offer a particularly rich feature set, but it's still perfectly capable of taking a decent snap for the money - in favourable light at least.
Wedge-shaped in appearance, the A800 is built around a 1.2.3in CCD sensor that offers 10MP of effective resolution. On the front you'll find a 3.3x optical zoom that offers the 35mm focal range equivalent of 37-122mm. It has to be said that 37mm isn't particularly wide (most compacts ‘start' at 24 or 28mm) and this may impair your ability to take group portraits from close range. At just 2.5in and 115k-dots the LCD screen is pretty small and fuzzy.
Those two niggles aside the PowerShot A800 remains a super simple camera to use, with just a smattering of basic buttons. Thanks to Canon's own Smart Auto exposure mode image quality isn't bad at all either, with pleasing punchy colour. While it does struggle with high-contrast scenes for fifty quid it ain't a bad little camera at all.
During the past 10-12 months Nikon has flooded the compact market with what seems like an endless number of new models in order to increase its market presence at all price points. While the Coolpix S6150 sits at the budget end of things it offers an especially impressive feature set for the money, including touch-screen controls and a 7x optical zoom.
The S6150 is built around a 16MP CCD sensor and Nikon's own EXPEED C2 image processor. On the front you'll find a 7x optical zoom that offers the 35mm focal range equivalent of 28-196mm, which is pretty impressive for a sub-£100 compact. The S6150's zoom further benefits from Nikon's own lens-based anti-shake technology to help keep you images sharp at slower shutter speeds and longer focal lengths. Adding to the general impression of quality is the 3in, 460k-dot LCD monitor - it's unusual to see screen resolutions much above 230k-dots at this price, so Nikon scores especially highly here.
Physical buttons are few and far between with the S6150's well-implemented touch-screen controls giving you plenty of control over the camera's core settings. Image quality is pretty decent too, with the S6150 producing pleasingly sharp images. Without doubt, the S6150 is a solid little performer for the money.
The Fujifilm Z110 is proof that sub-£100 compacts don't have to look like uninspiring boxes. Hailing from Fuji's style-driven ‘Z' range of compact digital cameras, the Z110 is housed inside a metallic body and blends good looks with practical features. For example, not only does the sliding front cover protect the lens, it also acts as the main on/off switch - simply slide it open to power up the camera and start shooting and then slide it shut when you're done.
Employing a 14MP CCD sensor at its heart, the Z110 also gets a 5x optical zoom that offers the 35mm focal range equivalent of 28-140mm. Autofocus options are a little more advanced than is usually the case on a sub-£100 compact with the Z110 offering both single and continuous AF alongside a number of Face Detection options. On the back you'll find a 2.7in monitor with a resolution of 230k-dots.
The Z110 produces relatively good results when used in SR Auto mode, although the rear LCD does display recorded images a little warmer than they actually are. In addition to its stills abilities the Z110 can also shoot 720p HD video, albeit with sound recorded in mono.
The LS465 is unashamedly aimed at young, fashionable snappers about town looking for an easy-to-use compact. Stylistically, the big selling point with the LS465 is that it comes supplied with a set of 12 removable front covers that easily snap into place. This essentially allows you to accessorise the camera to suit either your personality or perhaps even to colour co-ordinate with your wardrobe.
Thankfully there's more to the LS465 that its outer appearance, however, and internally it's not a bad little camera. At its heart the LS465 employs a 16MP CCD sensor, while offering a standard sensitivity range of ISO 64-1600, expandable (but best avoided) up to ISO 6400. In addition to still images, the LS465 can also record 720p HD movies.
While the diminutive proportions of the LS465 are sure to appeal so some one thing to bear in mind is that its oblong dimensions mean the rear LCD monitor is a 3:2 aspect screen, rather than the more standard 4:3 one. The upshot of this is that you can expect thick black borders down each side, when shooting stills in the native 4:3 aspect. This small niggle aside, the LS465 is a great little compact.
If your budget stretches all the way to £100 then, in our view, the compact camera that's most worth hunting out is the Samsung MV800. At the time of its launch a year ago the MV800 retailed for the best part of £250. Since then, however, there's been a pretty dramatic fall in its price; if you hunt around online you should be able to pick one up for a penny shy of £100.
Built around a 16.1MP CCD sensor the MV800 comes with a standard sensitivity range of ISO 100-3200. The front of the camera is fitted with a Schneider-KREUZNACH branded 5x optical zoom that offers the 35mm focal range equivalent of 26-130mm, while on the back the 3in, 288k-dot LCD screen can be flipped up by 180 degrees to make light work of self-portraits.
The big selling point of the MV800 is its usability and generous range of built-in imaging tools. Thanks to the touch-screen functionality and smartphone-like user interface, using the MV800 is a bit like using a smartphone. Even the built-in digital effects filters, magic frames and so on are arranged like ‘app' tiles on the menu screens - and there are plenty of them to play around with too. All in all the MV800 is a really fun little camera and, at £100, a bit of a steal.Read the Samsung MV800 review
Other What Digital Camera links:
Looking for budget DSLR cameras? Why not take a look at our budget DSLR camera best buys and see what takes your fancy...