Advances in camera technology and the broad appeal and popularity of digital cameras has lead to the availability of a wide range of high specification and functional cameras at considerably lower prices. With some 675 digital cameras to choose from, and over 150 models of digital cameras under £100 you could be spoilt for choice but also a bit bewildered and overwhelmed with so many camera models to filter through – In this camera guide we’ve picked out 9 of the best and most stylish compact digital cameras available under £100.
Panasonic Lumix FP3 Digital Camera
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3 is a fashionable compact camera with an ample 14 Megapixel resolution and a 4x optical zoom LUMIX DC VARIO lens with folded optics technology that allows for a futuristic, flat design. A sharp and detailed 3-inch LCD touchscreen on the back allows you to tap on any part of the view that you want to focus on and also includes face detection that can focus on multiple faces in a photo.
The FP3 features Panasonic’s MEGA O.I.S (Optical Image Stabilization) technology which helps suppress blurry images caused by shaky hands and works while recording video too. There are 23 scene modes to select from, including Sunset and Fireworks Display mode in addition to standard modes like Portrait and Scenery, while an Intelligent Auto mode will automatically select the optimum settings for your pictures without any manual work on your part, which is handy and convenient for camera enthusiasts who just like to point-and-shoot.
One small drawback is that the video mode doesn’t allow you to zoom using the optical lens while recording, however, the video mode does record crisp HD video (1,280 x 720 pixels at 30 fps in Motion JPEG Format).
You can buy the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP3 for £99.99 in a choice of bold colours: red, blue and violet – there is also a black version but it costs considerably more (currently £142.89).
Canon PowerShot A495 Digital Camera
A 10 Megapixel lightweight compact camera from Canon that is a great buy at £70 (approx) in a choice of 3 colours: Red, Silver and Blue. The Canon PowerShot A495 has a 2.5 inch LCD preview screen and offers 3.3x optical zoom and features a Smart Auto mode and face detection. Videos are recorded in 30fps VGA quality. The Canon PowerShot A495 is a simple camera that performs well and offers good value for money.
Canon PowerShot A480 Digital Camera
The PowerShot A480 is a 10 Megapixel compact camera by Canon, features a 3.3x optical zoom and includes 11 scene modes and face detection. The manual controls are somewhat limited but as a point and shoot camera the Canon PowerShot A480 offers great picture quality & value for a reasonable £59.99 in a choice of Silver, Black and Blue – and even a Red model (although it costs nearly double at £118.99).
Casio Exilim EX-Z330 Digital Camera
The Casio Exilim EX-Z330 is an ultra-slim, lightweight compact camera featuring a 12 Megapixel resolution and 3x optical zoom. A 2.7 inch LCD includes face recognition and there is a high quality built-in flash which allows you to adjust the flash level. The Casio Z330 allows you to shoot pictures in a variety of aspect ratios, including 3:2, 4:3 and 16:9 image formats. There’s HD video recording (720p) and the Z330 also includes a YouTube Capture Mode function.
Buy the Casio Exilim EX-Z330 in Silver or Black, with prices starting from £94.99.
FujiFilm FinePix JX200 Digital Camera
The FujiFilm FinePix JX200 is a light and portable point-and-shoot camera offering 12 Megapixels and a reasonable 5x optical zoom which is generous for a slim camera of this size (23mm thick) – helping you to get closer to distant subjects without degrading the picture quality. The JX200 has a 28mm wide angle lens which means that you can fit more of the scene into your pictures without having to stand as far back. This FujiFilm camera offers face detection, 15 scene modes and an adjustable ISO level setting up to 3200 which makes the camera more sensitive to low-light conditions.
There is HD video recording capability and although you can zoom in using the lens while recording, it mutes the sound recording while doing so, which is a slight downside.
A notable feature of the JX200 is the Panorama Shooting Mode which captures 3 consecutive photos and stitches them together to create one wide panoramic photo.
The FujiFilm FinePix JX200 is available to buy for between £81 to £89 in a choice of Black, Silver and Pink.
Nikon Coolpix L22 Digital Camera
The Coolpix L22 is a 12 Megapixel point-and-shoot compact camera by Nikon, available for a reasonably low price of £64 – featuring a large 3-inch LCD screen and 3.6x optical zoom.
Manual control options are somewhat limited with no priority modes for aperture or shutter speed, and ISO levels are handled automatically. There is a slight delay of over 4 seconds between shooting one picture and the next which can be a disadvantage if shooting a series of photos of a moving subject, however the Coolpix L22 does have a continuous shooting mode, which will shoot up to 5 pictures, with one shot captured every second. Images are taken starting from a limited lens wide angle of 37mm which means you may have to stand further back than usual to fit more scenery and objects into the picture, if you are taking a photo of a large group of people for example. Videos are recorded in standard definition quality (zoom is unavailable while recording).
However, despite some of these limitations, the Coolpix L22 does represent value from Nikon – a trusted photography brand and offers good picture quality and decent all around performance even in low light conditions. There’s face detection and 16 scene modes, including Smile mode and Blink Warning which can help you shoot the perfect portrait, with smiling faces and open eyes.
The Nikon Coolpix L22 runs on standard AA batteries and is available to buy in Silver, Black and Red for about £64 – making it an affordable and compact point and shoot camera choice.
Nikon Coolpix S3000 Digital Camera
The Nikon Coolpix S3000 is a simple but stylish and sleek slimline and lightweight pocket sized camera measuring 19mm thick, with a 12 Megapixel sensor and 4x optical zoom, with built in flash and red eye reduction. The Coolpix S3000 boasts a 27mm ultra wide angle lens, which allows you to capture a wider view of the scene into each shot. There’s 16 scene modes to choose from, face detection and a selectable ISO level upto 3200 for extra sensitivity in low light scenes. Videos are recorded in standard definition however, but there is a 2.7 inch lcd preview screen and the Nikon Coolpix S3000 is available to buy in a range of 7 flashy colours: Red, Green, Blue, Orange, Silver, Black and Purple – currently priced at £89.37.
Samsung PL80 Digital Camera
The Samsung PL80 is a trendy and slim point-and-shoot camera offering 12 Megapixels and 5x optical zoom with a 2.7 inch LCD screen. A Smart Auto picture mode will automatically select from 15 different scene modes to get the optimum picture settings for your photos. The PL80 from Samsung has a 28mm wide angle lens that lets you capture wider views and deeper perspectives in each shot. The Samsung PL80 has face detection and a high sensitivity ISO 3200 level setting (ISO 3200 up to 3M).
Buy the Samsung PL80 digital camera in a choice of 3 colours: with a current price range between £90.63 for the Black model, and £99 for the Red and Purple versions.
Pentax Optio H90 Digital Camera
The Pentax Optio H90 has a functional and distinguished 2-tone colour contrast design that makes it stand out among the compact digital cameras range. Featuring a 12 Megapixels sensor combined with a 5x optical zoom and an ultra wide angle 28mm lens. The Pentax H90 has a 2.7 inch lcd preview screen and includes face recognition and 19 scene modes with pre-defined camera settings which are optimum for shooting photos in specific scenes, such as a candlelit environment or a fireworks display show – there’s also a Smile Capture mode and Blink Detection function to help you capture perfect portraits. The Optio H90 has a high sensitivity ISO Rating 80 to 6400, and although the optical zoom setting can’t be adjusted while recording in movie mode, however it does allow for 720p high definition video recording (1280×720 pixels, 30 fps).
A Panoramic Stitching feature enables users to shoot 3 separate photos which are then combined together to create one wide perspective panoramic photo view.
Overall the Pentax Optio H90 is a simple but trendy and good value buy which includes some features and specifications typically found in cameras with a higher price range.
Buy the Pentax Optio H90 Digital Camera in 3 colour contrast variations:
Current retail price for the Pentax H90 is £79 which makes it an excellent best buy in the smart digital compact camera range.
Additional Views of the Pentax H90
Dignified design with straight lines and round control buttons.
2.7″ LCD Screen & Nearby Menu Button Functions