If you were to scroll through the gallery in my smartphone you’d find 1000+ nature pictures and only a couple of selfies. As unorthodox that might seem for a 25-year-old girl, I find nature to be far more impressive than any other human being – including me!
My Instagram feed is no different – it’s either nature photography or cat pictures. Truthfully, my phone’s camera can’t quite capture the beauty of untouched nature and wildlife I mostly like to take picture of. So, I’ve decided to up my game and purchase a camera.
When I first started looking for a solid camera, I feared that I may be forced to stick to my phone as the prices are far higher than my humble budget. Thankfully, I’m stubborn enough to search beyond the first Google page, so I discovered tons of cameras that I can afford.
If you’re also on the lookout for the best point and shoot camera under $100, continue reading as I share my findings with you!
1. Kansing Waterproof Point and Shoot Camera
Even though I have a case of aquaphobia and water tends to give me anxiety, I seem to have gotten over this irrational fear of mine thanks to waterproof cameras. As it turns out, love of photography triumphs fear of water! If you’re into underwater photography, then you have to consider this small, portable camera from Kansing.
This incredible 48MP camera gives detailed, high-resolution photos and motion pictures. The fixed lens on the camera has an f/2. aperture. Moreover, it delivers 2.7K video resolution, which is not nearly as good as 4K, but hey, it’s more than enough considering the price.
A feature that selfie enthusiasts will greatly enjoy is the dual-screen. The camera is equipped with 2.7” rear screen and 1.8” front screen so you wouldn’t be out of focus when taking selfies. You can optionally buy a tripod to take even better pictures.
You can go as deep as 10-feet underwater and the camera will work as a charm. I’ve tested this feature on a recent camping trip near the lake and I’ve taken some vivid pictures of fishes hiding behind rocks. As I’m still not completely over my fear of water, my arms tend to shake when I’m underwater, so the anti-shake feature saved the day. The quality of the pictures surpassed my expectations! When in dark or dim environments, you can turn on the flash.
The camera comes with battery, adapter, USB cable, wrist strap, a drawstring pouch, and of course, a user manual. To use the camera while it chargers, you’ll need to buy a power bank separately. Unfortunately, it comes with limited memory, but it supports a micro SD card up to 128GB.
- Dual screens
- Anti-shake featureFlash
- Possible errors when reading and writing to the memory card
2. AbergBest HD Digital Camera
Another point and shoot camera that won’t let you down is the AlbergBest HD digital camera. The camera is extremely easy to use and as such is recommended for amateurs, the elderly, and even children. Be noted that it does not have all the bells and whistles as more expensive cameras, but it is perfect for someone who is not that much tech savvy.
It comes with a 21MP sensor for good capture, and it doesn’t have any moving parts. Since the lens is fixed, it doesn’t have an optical zoom, but rather only an 8x digital zoom. I didn’t expect to see present scenes like auto, night portrait or scenery, portrait, sports, beach, party, or high-sensitivity considering its low price tag, but I surely don’t mind them!
Moreover, the camera is packed with additional features like smile capture, continuous shot, face detection, self-timer, and my favorite – anti-shake. As far as technical sides are concerned, it has an exposure compensation, white balance, ISO, and sharpness controls.
Judged on its video capabilities, the AbergBest HD digital camera is not exactly the best. It records up to 1280 x 720p HD which is mediocre at best. On the bright side, it comes with a built-in flash available only in the Distant Focus mode. You can preset the focus to Close Focus and Macro mode too which do not support flash.
To preview the photos and videos you can rely on the LCD display, but as the camera does not have speakers, you won’t be able to play the sound on videos. To transfer photos and videos from the camera to computer, you’ll get an USB cable. Once you transfer your videos to a computer you’ll also be able to play it with voice.
- Easy to use
- Packed with additional features
- Preset focus modes
- Supports SD memory card only up to 62GB, but for smoother operation, I’d recommend you opt for 32GB
3. Kodak PIXPRO FZ43 Digital Camera
Who would’ve thought that you can buy a brand name point and shoot camera for just a friction of the price!? Apparently, Kodak really puts their customers first. The Kodak PIXPRO FZ43 digital camera comes in a bundle with other useful gear that you can purchase for less than $100.
Included in this unique bundle are a hi-speed card reader, 16GB SD memory card, sheet protectors, table top tripod, hand-held monopod and gorpo mount, USB cable, wrist strap, lens pen cleaner, a memory card hardcase, two AA batteries, and a black case.
The camera itself comes with a 16.15 MP 1/2.3” CCD sensor which delivers extraordinary results in all kinds of photography niches. Along with a sensitivity range of ISO 80-1600, it produces high-resolution photographs regardless of the conditions. A feature not easily found with cameras at this price range is the friendly zoom. Tired of standing back to capture the whole scenery? Well, with a 27mm wide angle lens, the friendly zoom says you don’t have to!
I came across a very interesting review from a vlogger who said that he used Kodak PIXPRO FZ43 digital camera for his video recordings. With one-touch video recording, it allowed him to grab all the best frames in 720p HD video. To be honest, the video quality is not the best, but it was certainly enough for the vlogger to kickstart his career!
The digital image stabilization is another advantage that you can use to avoid blurriness. For additional illumination in low-light condition, you can rely on the built-in flash. The camera incorporates a rear 2.7” 230k-dot LCD monitor you can use to see your pictures ahead of time and make sure they are going to turn out just as you wanted them.
- Produced by industry leader
- Comes in a bundle
- Suitable for a variety of photography niches
- 27mm wide angle lens
- One-touch video recording
- Clear LCD monitor
- Face, smile, and blink detection functions
- Low video resolution
4. Nikon COOLPIX A10 Digital Camera
Once I discovered that Kodak has a point and shoot camera under $100, there was no stopping me; soon after I discovered the Nikon COOLPIX A10 digital camera which falls within the same price range! However, make sure you’re looking for a Certified Refurbished version, just like I did!
Probably the best thing about this camera – especially if you’re new to photography – is the easy Auto Mode. It automatically selects the best setting for your shot, allowing you to effortlessly snap masterpieces. There are 15 different scene modes such as snow, night portrait, sunset, beach, and more which you can of course, pick manually.
The camera also comes with Smart Portrait System that will take your portraits to the next level. Duo to the Smart Portrait System, you can activate an abundance of features like Face Priority AF, Blink Warning, Skin Softening, and many more.
With its 16.1 MP, and 5x optical zoom NIKKOR glass lens, you can produce some stunning close-ups or take pictures of the whole gang. If you’re into video recordings though, you might want to consider whether 720p HD resolution is enough to cover your needs. On a positive note, the camera comes with a built-in microphone that will capture the sound.
- Affordable (Certified Refurbished)
- Auto Mode
- 15 different scene modes
- Smart Portrait System which unlocks additional features
- High-quality close-ups
- Easy to use
- Built to last
- Video resolution
5. GordVe 2.7” Digital Camera
Compact, portable, and ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, this GordVe digital camera is among the best point and shoot cameras under $100 for beginners. Instead of carrying cumbersome equipment when camping, you can rely on this camera to capture your memories with sharpness and precision.
For such a small camera, it surely offers more than one might expect. For starters, its 18 MP CMOS sensor produces extraordinary pictures, but do know that you can’t expect professional-level results. For better close-ups, the camera comes with a 8x digital zoom. In case you’re taking pictures in low-light conditions, the built-in flash is here to help!
It doesn’t lack the usual features such as anti-shake, face detection, smile capture, continuous shots, and self timer. Moreover, it supports PhoTags Express Software for photo editing, printing, and sharing via email.
Users also get the chance to pick their preferred modes like night portrait, night scenery, scenery, beach, high sensitivity, etc. Of course, you can also choose the Auto mode which will automatically set your camera to the according mode.
For video recordings, the camera is backed up by 720p resolution, but I wouldn’t buy this camera if I was looking to record videos. However, it is good to record some family moments that don’t have to be of high-quality, as it comes with a built-in microphone.
It is powered by a rechargeable 550mAh lithium Ion battery which works for about an hour on a full charge. As far as memory is concerned, it supports external SD card of up to 64GB.
- Compact and portable
- 8x digital zoom
- Abundance of modes
- PhoTags Express Software
- Built-in microphone
- Low video resolution
- Limited memory
- Short battery life
6. Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W800 Digital Camera
The Sony DSC-W800 digital camera is probably your best pick when it comes to your daily needs. Ultra lightweight and small enough to fit in your pocket, it eliminates the need of bulky camera equipment. We already spoke about small and compact cameras, but what sets this camera apart? Well, first and foremost, the name Sony speaks for itself!
Although it comes with an abundance of features, there’s very little learning curve involved. This is mostly due to the fact that it comes with an in-camera guide that helps you navigate through the features according to your needs.
The quality of the pictures is above average for a camera within this price range. Backed up by a powerful 20.1 MP super HAD CCD image sensor, you can easily capture impressive images. To catch the close-up action, Sony offers you the 5x optical zoom, plus 10x Clear Image digital zoom with the professional Sony ZEISS lens.
I can’t emphasize enough how important image stabilization is. Whether you’re a professional or an amateur, you wouldn’t want to end up with blurry photos. That said, Sony DSC-W800 comes with the outstanding SteadyShot stabilization feature.
A feature I absolutely adore is the Sweep Panorama Mode. It helps you reach beyond the traditional wide angle lens, hence allowing you to take some truly breathtaking shots. Similarly to your smartphone, all you need to do is press the shutter button and sweep the camera in the desired direction. The feature is available in wide and up to 360-degree full circle.
Of course, the camera also comes with Picture Effect feature which really makes pictures come to life. These picture effects can be applied to still images (4 modes), panoramic shots (3 modes), and movies (4 modes).
- Great value for the money
- Proven quality
- Strong build
- Easy to use
- 5x optical zoom, 10x digital zoom
- Sweep Panorama mode
- Picture Effect
- Poor low-light performance
- No optical viewfinder
7. Polaroid IEX29-RED Digital Camera
Last, I want to introduce you to a camera that a friend of a friend recommended to me. Note that this is an entry-level camera, so if you’re looking for a more powerful one, take some of the above mentioned models into consideration.
The Polaroid IEX29 camera is extremely popular among teenagers. It’s perfect to take on the go as it is small, compact, and lightweight. I was really confused by the product description as it says it is powered by two AA batteries. However, I learned that it works on a rechargeable battery that can last for couple of hours.
You can capture basically anything with its 18MP photo resolution, and for better close-ups, the camera is enhanced with a 10x optical zoom. As any other camera, it does come with a digital image stabilizer and a built-in flash that makes it easier for you to take pictures in low light. But, I find this camera to work better on daylight.
The Polaroid IEX29 camera supports HD video recording as well. The video quality is pretty decent, but it’s in no way close to Sony’s video resolution. All in all, I’d recommend this camera for “virgin” photographers who’d like to learn the basics of taking photos.
- Attractive design
- Compact and lightweight
- Rechargeable battery
- 10x optical zoom
- Supports video recordings
- Image stabilizer
- Poor video quality
- Mixed customer reviews
These are essentially cameras that offer advanced features that go beyond your phone’s camera settings. Of course, given their low price tag, they may not be powerful enough to compete with Apple’s or Huawei’s latest phone cameras, but it’s still good to have a point and shoot camera nearby as to preserve, for example, your phone’s battery when out camping.
For those who are just starting their journey to becoming photographers, the cameras included in this article are great ground-breakers. After testing all of the above mentioned cameras, I decided to keep the Sony DSC-W800 digital camera. Its features exceed my expectations and it fits right into my budget!