Unique features in a modern compact camera (compared to smartphone cameras) are having an optical zoom lens, superior focus, multiple modes, and working well in low-lighting. I’ve reviewed the best compact cameras under $300.
Enough with the smartphone photos that look great when they’re itty-bitty, but when you have to blow them up and their quality is so diminished you wouldn’t want to hang them on your wall.
Reviews: Top 7 Best Compact Cameras under $300 in 2019
Granted, it’s the end of summer and you need to take great shots of your kids. Maybe 7 years from now the kids will wonder; where are my photos?
Make sure you won’t have to say that they were on my smartphone, I put them on Facebook….but they still don’t look so good. You want something that will truly preserve their memories. Let’s get started!
1. Canon PowerShot SX720 HS (Black) – Our Top Pick
PowerShot SX740 HS beat the longtime popular Canon SX710 HS as the best compact cameras under $300 – which qualifies as the best budget compact camera. It has an image-stabilization that’s in-body and it’s powered by a Li-Ion battery (1250 mAh).
On wireless connectivity, this compact camera has built-in NFC and Wi-Fi. SX740 HS’s display is a 3-inches LCD that comes with 922,000 dots to offer vivid and sharp images. It weighs only 270 grams and its size is 4.3 x 2.5 x 1.4 inches – a truly compact feature-rich budget camera.
The macro mode for this compact camera allows you to capture small crawling animals or objects even at 5 cm. It comes in Black and Red color versions for the same low-cost price – yet shooting crispy images and video.
It has the CMOS sensor (20.3 megapixels) – 1/2.3” plus its DIGIC 6 image processor to give you excellent image and video quality (Full-HD 1080p), great deep-shadow working and improved dynamic range.
It has a 35mm built-in lens to allow about 24 to 960-millimeter focal length. With f/3.3 to f/6.9 aperture range – it offers an optical zoom of 40x. But, the small sensor won’t be great for filming in low-light areas.
2. Nikon COOLPIX A900 (Silver) Digital Camera
Next up is the Nikon Coolpix A900 that features a 1/2.3 inches 20-megapixel sensor (BSI CMOS sensor) with 3.4 – 6.9 aperture, and has a 35 times optical zoom lens. Also, it also shoots UHD 4K videos at a maximum of 30 frames per second and 1080p with up to 60 frames per second.
It looks classical and has an old-school build – but it’s all plastic and not metal. It has great zoom excellent portability and versatility. Luckily, this camera allows you to have fully-manual exposure control.
Coolpix A900 comes with a built-in fixed lens that has a 24 to 840m focal length range. Therefore, it allows an optical zoom of about 35 times. It allows an f/3.4 to f/6.9 maximum lens aperture for wide-end/ long-end respectively. Further, suppression of chromatic aberrations, the unit has the element called the ED (extra-low dispersion).
The macro mode of Coolpix A900’s enables it to focus on 50cm maximum for wide mode shooting. However, in the telephoto mode, it’ll provide great shooting at 2 meters minimum. In addition, it has a 3-inch LCD screen (particularly 921 k-dots) that will tilt easily for better shooting experience.
3. Fujifilm FinePix XP130 Waterproof Digital Camera
This Fujifilm FinePix XP130 is a compact (and waterproof) point-and-shoot camera that has a rugged design succeeding the FinePix XP120. It comes compact and nice with packaging having a picture taken by the Fujifilm FinePix XP130. It has a micro USB cord, USB cord, and a rechargeable battery.
You’ll get an enhanced wireless connection that’ll allow the camera to link the Fujifilm camera’s remote app. Thus, with the app, it’s easy to connect to your camera via Bluetooth Low Energy technology – where you can remotely use the camera using the app.
It has a 16. 4 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor (with 5 time’s optical zoom) and a 3-inches display. Interestingly, this camera is also waterproof, freezeproof (10 degrees Centigrade or 14 degrees Fahrenheit) and with an easy to use internal software.
Considerations When Choosing Compact Cameras?
Below are the features to look for in your compact camera, particularly when shopping online or don’t have the chance to test drive the camera first. But, the alternative is visiting your local store and trying out different compact cameras to check if you can land some gold.
Big Aperture – First thing first, make sure you get a bigger sensor aperture to prevent loss of light.
Control – What controls does the compact camera provide you – may be high shutter speed, aperture, ISO just like in the DSLR?
RAW images – Does the compact camera allow you to shoot RAW images. This is definitely a very critical feature in advanced photography.
Lightweight and portable – Ensure that the compact camera is lightweight and highly portable. In addition, consider if you’ll require additional features to allow aspects such as underwater photography.