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 price spectrum aren't going to come laden with features, however thanks to the technology ‘trickle down' effect you may well find things like built-in Wi-Fi and 1080p Full HD movie recording in some of the better models - neither of which was common on sub-£100 compacts as little as 12 months ago. The best compact cameras for under £100 should also be capable of delivering a decent image for the money.
Given the large range of choice 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 five compact cameras for under £100. All of the cameras on our list were readily available at the time of writing and can be found online for less than £100. Some of them initially cost over £100 but have since come down in price. Read on to find out what our top five budget compact digital cameras costing less than £100 are.
Launched in 2013 the SZ3 is an entry-level compact that's equipped with a 16.1MP Live MOS sensor and a 10x optical zoom that offers the 35mm focal range equivalent of 25-250mm. While shooting modes are all of the fully automatic variety the SZ3 does come with a generous selection of Creative Control digital filter effects, along with some Beauty Retouch filters that are specifically designed to enhance portraits. In addition you also get Panasonic's own Mega OIS image stabilisation technology, along with the ability to capture Creative Panorama ultra-wideangle images and, last but not least 1080p Full HD video. As an all-round package, the SZ3 is very good value.
New for 2014, the Canon IXUS 150 is a budget compact that combines stylish IXUS design with a range of useful shooting features. At its heart the IXUS 150 employs a 16MP sensor that works in tandem with Canon's DIGIC 4+ image processor. The sensor is of the CCD type rather than the CMOS variety, which means it isn't quite as effective in low light. For this reason sensitivity is limited to a maximum setting of ISO 1600. In addition, video recording is limited to 720p HD rather than the more resolute 1080p Full HD. On the front it has a useful 8x optical zoom that offers the 35mm focal range equivalent of 28-224mm, and which further benefits from Canon's own Image Stabilisation technology. Last but not least is a 3-inch LCD display on the back of the camera that, at 460k-dots, is noticeably sharper than the 230k-dot screens commonly found on budget compacts.
Another compact that's new for 2014, the Nikon S32 is a rugged compact that is waterproof to 10m, shockproof to drops of up to 1.5m and sealed against dust and dirt. This makes it an ideal family camera for taking to the beach and handing to the kids. Internally, the S31 is equipped with a 13MP CMOS-type sensor and a 3x optical zoom that offers a focal range of 29-87mm in 35mm terms. In addition, the S31 also gets a range of fun filter effects and 1080p HD Ready movie recording. Not quite so impressive though is the rear LCD display, which at 2.7in and 230k-dots is neither the largest nor the sharpest.
While the Cyber-shot W830 might be a newer model, there's a lot to be said for last year's WX80 model. For starters it gets a 16.2MP Exmor CMOS sensor (as opposed to a CCD type on the newer W830). In addition it also gets built-in Wi-Fi connectivity (lacking on the W830). Elsewhere, other highlights include an 8x optical zoom that offers the 35mm focal range equivalent of 25-200mm and Sony's own SteadyShot image stabilisation technology. Last but not least the WX80 is also capable of recording 1080p Full HD, whereas the newer W830 is limited to 720p capture. All in all, the older model has the newer one trumped in pretty much every department.
Samsung has built a solid reputation for delivering feature-laden compacts and the WB200F is no exception. Despite being a 2014 model that has since been replaced by the WB250F, the WB200F remains a very solid travel compact that's readily available for under £100 online. While the 14.2MP sensor is of the CCD type, the optical zoom extends to an impressive 18x, which equates to 24-432mm in 35mm terms. Furthermore it also benefits from built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and a 3in/460k-dot touch-screen LCD display. Rounding things off is 720p HD movie capture and full manual control.
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