In the spirit of the £100 Challenge, we wanted to find the best cameras that you can buy for under a ton and come up with some pretty amazing bargains that pack a pixel punch and deliver a knock-out snaps.
If you’re on a tight budget and looking for the best camera around then you’ll be looking at a point-and-shoot, my friend. No DSLR here, just simple zoom and go. But what these cameras lack in cutting-edge tech they make up for in practicality and ease-of-use. Here is our pick of the top 5.
Kodak EasyShare Sport C123 The EasyShare Sport is one of the sturdiest water resistant cameras around on a budget. It works up to 3m underwater (any deeper and it might start to leak) which should be enough for use at the pool or a lighyt of light snorkelling. The 12 megapixel camera takes AA batteries, which we quite like as it means you don’t have to rely on a charger when on holiday. At a little over £50, it’s the cheapest of the pack here, making us happy snappers.
Nikon Coolpix S3100 This pocket-sized camera has recently had a price drop down below the £100 mark, we’ve seen it at a few places for as little as £80, making it a real bargain. 14 megapixel sensor, x optical zoom with wide angle lens and High ISO for better shooting in low light. The S3100 also has a few nice extras like vibration reduction and subject tracking autofocus.
Sony DSC-W530 A bit of a cheat, this, as the RRP of the DSC-W530 is £109, although we found one on online for about £90. However much you pay, the DSC-W530 is a solid camera with a brilliant Carl Zeiss lens for crystal clear optical zoom.
The 14 megapixel sensor takes wonderfully detailed pictures and the built-in software offers multiple preset s as well as a clever panorama mode that lets you sweep the camera across a scene, letting the camera sort out a usable wide-angle picture.
Canon PowerShot A495 A very easy to use, compact camera that still packs a 10 megapixel sensor and a 3.3x optical zoom lens. The camera boasts face detection and autofocus as well as flexible light balance adjustment that will produce natural colours even under poor or very bright light. We’ve found it online for shades less than £60, which is a bargain waiting to be snapped up.
Pentax Optio H90 We love the retro look of this camera and the feature set is nothing to be sniffed at either, especially for around the £85 mark. A 5x optical zoom lens complements a 12 megapixel sensor for good quality images and you can take HD-quality video with it too.
Software-wise, the H90 has Pentax’s own image processing to ensure good colour reproduction, face detection for up to 32 faces in a scene (auto-adjusting settings accordingly to keep everyone at the right exposure levels) and a brilliant ‘smile detector’ that will activate the shutter the moment the camera sees your subject smile – perfect for snapping small children.