Find the best point and shoot cameras under $300 in our reviews, then read on for a helpful camera shopping guide for beginners. The advantage of a point and shoot camera is right there in the name. A point-and-shoot camera allows you to get the shots you need without much technical expertise. And not only are they easier to use than more complex models, but they tend to be less expensive as well.
You’d be hard pressed to find decent mirrorless or DSLR cameras under 300 bucks, but a cheap point and shoot camera can provide you with great functionality without costing you a fortune. That makes them great social media cameras and solid choices for people just looking for an easy way to capture memories. We’ve highlighted 14 models in 2020. Each of them is a contender for best point and shoot camera under 300 dollars.
Quick Look: 14 Best Point and Shoot Cameras Under $300
- Best Overall: Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera
- Canon PowerShot SX420 IS Digital Camera
- Best Value: Sony DSCW800/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera
- PANASONIC LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera
- Canon PowerShot SX720 HS
- GoPro HERO7 Silver Action Camera
- Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 Digital Camera
- Fujifilm FinePix XP140 Waterproof Digital Camera
- Canon PowerShot SX620 Digital Camera
- Panasonic Lumix ZS50 Camera
- Canon PowerShot SX530 HS Digital Camera
- Sony DSCW830 Digital Camera
- Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 Digital Camera
- Sony DSCWX350 Digital Camera
1. Best Overall: Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera
The Coolpix B500 by Nikon is proof that point and click cameras can be serious gadgets. The most prominent feature is the inclusion of a 40X optical zoom lens with 80X dynamic zoom for when you want to get up close and personal with your subjects.
But this digital camera under 300 dollars also offers the full breadth of wireless connectivity options for easy social media sharing and cloud storage. Video is offered in clear and crisp Full HD, and a number of different shooting options mean that you have a pretty versatile range of opportunities for capture the perfect shot.
2. Canon PowerShot SX420 IS Digital Camera
Less than $300 gets you an entire kit of photography gear suitable for hobbyists and professionals. But even without the additional gear, the Powershot SX420 is a good point and shoot camera well worth the price. As a "bridge" camera, it offers more impressive photo and video capture for less cost and complexity than a DSLR.
The powerful optical zoom is complemented by very good internal stabilization features so you can take complex shots without compromising your quality or having to make use of a tripod. And while it's not the most compact point and shoot camera around, it's still small enough to work effectively as a travel camera.
3. Best Value: Sony DSCW800/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera
Consumers on a more tightly restrained budget may want to check out the DSCW800/B point and shoot digital camera. It offers video and still resolution comparable to many of its higher priced competitors for under $100. And while that means sacrificing the powerful zoom capabilities and the denser feature set of something like the Coolpix B500, it's a preferable choice for someone who needs a simple point and shoot that doesn't sacrifice the quality of their shots.
The Super HAD CCD sensor provides vibrant looking shots, and this point and shoot film camera shoots in full 720p resolution for crisp high res video.
4. PANASONIC LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera
The Lumix FZ80 by Panasonic is another bridge camera worth your time. This digital point and shoot camera may offer a slightly lower megapixel density than some of our other models, but the discrepancy is minor, and it's more than made up by the FZ80's ability to shoot in true 4K.
But the real standout here is the fact that this point and shoot camera under 300 bucks can shoot at magnification levels of 60. The small size of the sensor makes this a great choice if you're looking for a low light point and shoot camera that doesn't become overwhelmed by noise.
5. Canon PowerShot SX720 HS
The SX720 builds off of the core fundamentals of the SX420, packing more features into a smaller frame while retaining what makes that version of the PowerShot so great. If you aren't interested in the accessories that come with our features version of the SX420, this model is definitely the route to go.
It sports a much wider ISO range so you can use this point and shoot camera with viewfinder more easily in low light settings, and that's accompanied by a significantly bulked up continuous shooting mode. It also ups the video resolution while maintaining the same great zoom and stabilization features.
6. GoPro HERO7 Silver Action Camera
If you're looking for an action camera, there's no name that's as well known and well respected as GoPro. And it's a trust that's well earned. The HERO7 is a rugged point and shoot camera that can take a beating, and while it might not be ideally suited for more general use, it has features that are catered towards the needs of sports enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers.
This is a waterproof point and shoot camera with image stabilization built with high intensity situations in mind, and it can be completely controlled by your voice. Integrated social media features ensure it's easy to upload your videos and stills.
7. Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 Digital Camera
In need of a great point and shoot camera for travel? The PowerShot ELPH is worth your attention. It's a camera slim and compact enough to fit comfortably in your pocket, but it still manages to offer some high resolution results despite its petite profile. And it offers features that are surprising to find in such a slim model: particularly zoom functionality with a max magnification of 12X.
The LCD screen is also crisper and cleaner than you might expect from such a tiny and inexpensive model, and the Intelligent IS system automatically determines the right image stabilization mode for your situation.
8. Fujifilm FinePix XP140 Waterproof Digital Camera
The sporty design of the FinePix makes its intentions pretty clear. It's a rugged and waterproof camera that can survive just about anything, but it's more built for point and click stills than the more video-centric GoPro. A respectably broad ISO range makes this a versatile camera that can work in just about any lighting setting, while the Smile Shutter setting lets you capture pictures in the moment without having to worry about the delay of a shutter. In addition to all that, this is a 4K point and shoot camera that can provide top shelf video at 15 frames per second.
9. Canon PowerShot SX620 Digital Camera
The PowerShot SX620 is largely comparable to its SX720 sibling. Both of them are top point and shoot cameras, but a few distinctions from the SX620 make it worth your attention. It's significantly lighter than the higher priced model, and the extended battery life allows you to get a decent amount of more shots in on a single charge.
It also sports a smaller max aperture in both telephoto and wide angle modes, so you can capture shots with less delay. In exchange, it comes with a lower max shutter speed and decreased burst shooting rate. Apart from that, the two models are virtually indistinguishable.
10. Panasonic Lumix ZS50 Camera
The Lumix Z250 is the quintessential all-around bridge camera. It may not do anything exceptionally new, and it may not look like anything special on the surface, but it gets all the fundamentals right and manages to offer exceptional across the board performance for right around $300.
The exceptional zoom range is complimented by a 5-axis image stabilization system, and stereo microphones only magnify the value of this model as a point and shoot camera for video. For those who really like to mess with photo editing, the ability to shoot RAW stills is included, and there's even face detection focusing for inexperienced users.
11. Canon PowerShot SX530 HS Digital Camera
Yet another PowerShot earns a spot on our list. The SX530 comes bundled with a number of accessories like the SX420 while offering specs pretty close to the SX620. Trading down to this model means giving up a bit of resolution when shooting stills, NFC connectivity, and some speed for continuous shooting, but it offers some distinct advantages as well.
Notably, the SX530 excels when shooting at long ranges. There's a longer reach for the length of the telescoping lens, and its max aperture also allows for quicker shooting at distances. More importantly, it offers double the zoom length and a longer flash coverage.
12. Sony DSCW830 Digital Camera
Sony's DSC830 and the previously reviewed DSC800 are so similar that you have to dig deep to find any notable distinctions between them, but if you're a few nice features and a relatively significant price discrepancy makes them both worthy of analysis. Built off the same basic frame, the price increase of the DSC830 gives you one major thing worth paying attention to: an increase in zoom magnification from 5X to 8X.
The other notable distinctions here are welcomed but fairly minor, including a slightly longer lens focal length, modestly smaller weight, and faster shutter speed. But if you're going to pick up the DSC830, you should be doing so because you demand a more meaningful zoom.
13. Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 Digital Camera
If you're searching for a decent starter camera and aren't in need of a whole lot of special features, the Canon ELPH 180 can suit your needs. It strips a lot out of the mid-range 360 model, but it manages to clock in at about $150 with some nice accessories included.
The fundamentals are the same here, but it takes a knock to both video and still resolution and a number of features like focus modes and continuous shooting. But it's lightweight, simple to use, and offers a long battery life that makes it a great choice for novices just starting off.
14. Sony DSCWX350 Digital Camera
This take on the Cybershot brand is what's known as a "travelzoom" camera. It's small enough to fit comfortably in your pocket but comes with a zoom capable of rivaling some seriously professional and full sized alternatives. The 20X optical lens offers double that when transitioning to Zoom G mode, and the inclusion of Optical SteadyShot perfectly counteracts any shakiness that would come from zooming at those levels.
The continuous shooting range is also one of the better options on our list, allowing you to capture bursts of 10 frames per second. Add in the ability to shoot stills in 4K and you're left with an incredibly powerful camera in an itty-bitty body.
Point and Shoot Camera Under $300 Buyer’s Guide
Is a point and click camera what you need? And if so, what’s the right model for you? We’re here to help you put our point and shoot camera reviews into better perspective.
Do You Really Need a Point and Shoot Camera?
Point and shoot cameras undoubtedly occupy an awkward spot in the current market. DSLR and mirrorless cameras are the undisputed champs for professional photographers, and that’s not going to change anytime soon. But the cameras in smartphones are becoming so sophisticated that they can rival many point and shoot options. Many newer models can even shoot video in 4K.
The advantage point and shoots offer over your camera phone is their specialization. Phones with high-end cameras still tend to be expensive, but you can get a portable point and shoot model with a diverse variety of features for a fraction of the comparable price you’d pay for a similarly featured phone. There are a number of categories point and shoot models tend to fall under.
- Action cameras like the GoPro HERO7 emphasize durability above all else. They’re going to offer pretty intense levels of waterproofing and shock-proofing. And since they’re intended to be used in less than ideal conditions, you’ll want to look for a model that offers a decent ISO range so you can shoot comfortably in low light settings.
- Bridge cameras refer to cameras that “bridge” the gap between point and click and traditional DSLR or mirrorless models. They tend to press right up against our price ceiling, but they also tend to offer the most important features of a DSLR camera for a cheaper price.
- Social media cameras should include in-depth connectivity options. The best social media cameras will allow you to upload photos and videos directly to your social media accounts or at least do so through a dedicated phone app. They often include remote control functions through the app as well. They allow you to get decent photos and videos to your followers immediately without having to worry about the resolution or battery life of your cellphone.
- Superzooms place the highest emphasis on zooming functionality. They refer to cameras with an optical zoom level of 18X or more, and often there’s a significant amount of crossover between superzooms and other varieties of camera. They need quality image stabilization to accommodate the higher zoom levels.
How Important Are Megapixels?
They’re important but not as important as some manufacturers may make them out to be. Megapixels used to be the be all and end all of camera quality, but as the standards have become higher, megapixel count has become largely irrelevant to all but the most discerning photographers. All of our cameras offer at least 10 megapixels, and that should be enough to print high-quality photos in all but the largest sizes.
The difference between a picture shot with a 15 megapixel and a 10 megapixel camera will be more or less negligible to most viewers. But if you’re looking to transition into professional or semi-professional work, you may want to consider getting a point and click camera with a higher resolution.
What Other Features Are Important?
There are a number of features that probably won’t be the core decision in purchasing a camera, but they may help you distinguish between closely priced and specced models. Here are the important things to look for.
- GPS can provide you with location and timestamps, useful for outdoor photographers and vacationers
- If you find yourself taking selfies regularly, you may want to look for a camera with a self-timer for capturing the perfect shots.
- Auto modes. Most cameras come with auto functions for both video and stills. These help you pick the right ISO, aperture, and shutter speed for your setting. They’re a great assistive tool for new photographers, but the auto options offered can vary from model to model.
- Viewfinders are a great way for capturing shots and zeroing in on autofocus points. The larger the better, and tilting touch screens can be significantly more convenient than fixed alternatives.
Point and shoot cameras may be less prominent than they once were, but they’re far from irrelevant. In many ways, they offer the best middle ground between camera phones and professional models. We hope you find what you’re looking for, but if you decide you want something a bit more heavy duty, be sure to check out our guide to the best DSLR cameras of 2020.