Digital Cameras Under £300

If you have up to £300 to spend on a digital camera then you have a wide range of cameras to choose from. Once you step above the £200 mark you start to get access to top class picture quality as well as a wide range of features.

At this level digital cameras are aimed at people who see photography as a hobby. There are cameras with extreme length lenses as well advanced manual controls. Features such as GPS tagging - so that you know where you were in the world when you took a picture - are available on a small number of models.

You also have access to the best touch screen controlled models. All cameras are likely to offer High Definition movie recording and some will additionally offer the ability to record sound in stereo.

Panasonic DMC G3

Panasonic DMC G3

Type: Compact System Camera

16 Megapixels

Guide Price: £203.18

The Lumix DMC G3 has a 3 inch LCD screen that pulls out away from the body and also twists around. The screen is touch sensitive allowing some settings to be changed via touching the screen. It has manual exposure controls, a viewfinder and images can be stored in RAW mode. There is a High Definition movie mode. Stereo sound can be recorded to accompany your movie clips.

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Pentax Optio WG-1

Pentax Optio WG-1

Type: Waterproof

14 Megapixels 5x Zoom

Guide Price: £209.10

You can use the Optio WG-1 in water to depths of 10m. You will also be able to continue to take pictures in temperatures down to -10 degrees centigrade. This camera is also shockproof to 1.5m and crushproof to 100kg. In addition there is a 2.7 inch LCD screen for composing your photos and a High Definition movie mode. To help light subjects in macro mode Pentax have added five small lights around the lens.

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Nikon D3100

Nikon D3100

Type: Digital SLR

14 Megapixels

Guide Price: £219.99

The D3100 is an ideal starter Digital SLR. It is relatively small and lightweight and has a guide mode to help you get the most out of the D3100. Features include 12 megapixels and a 3 inch LCD screen. There is a range of manual exposure controls and you can record High Definition movies. It is available in kit form with a wide angle lens.

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Olympus E-P2

Olympus E-P2

Type: Compact System Camera

12 Megapixels

Guide Price: £219.99

The E-P2 has a 3 inch LCD screen, manual exposure modes, a 3 frames per second burst mode and can shoot High Definition movies. It can also capture photos in RAW, has an 11 point Auto Focus system and has a maximum ISO setting of 6400.

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Olympus TG-820

Olympus TG-820

Type: Waterproof

12 Megapixels 5x Zoom

Guide Price: £219.99 Rating: 83/100

The Olympus TG-820 is one of the most robust digital cameras you will find. It can withstand depths of 10m, is shockproof to falls of 2m and can work in temperatures as low as -10 degrees centigrade. In addition it is also crushproof to weights of 100kg. There is a 3 inch LCD screen, image stabilisation and a Full 1080p High Definition movie mode. Olympus have also included the ability to produce 3D still photos and battery charging via a USB port.

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Olympus SP-720UZ

Olympus SP-720UZ

Type: Super Zoom

14 Megapixels 26x Zoom

Guide Price: £220.00

Aside from its obvious ability to zoom in on distant subjects the SP-720UZ is able to squeeze in wide scenes and can focus from 1cm away from your subject in macro mode. There is a burst mode that can reel off up to 6 shots at a rate of 5 frames per second. You can shoot High Definition movies and there is a 3D still photo feature. The LCD screen is 3 inches in size.

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Sony DSC HX20V

Sony DSC HX20V

Type: Extra Zoom

18 Megapixels 20x Zoom

Guide Price: £227.11 Rating: 85/100

The Cybershot DSC HX20V packs in plenty of features. These include GPS, High Definition Movies, Image Stabilisation for stills and movies and a 3 inch LCD screen. Other features worth a mention are a burst mode that can capture up to 10 frames per second and a mode for throwing the background out of focus to accentuate your main subject. The LCD screen is 3 inches in size and the camera is capable of focusing from 1cm away from your subject in macro mode.

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Canon Powershot D20

Canon Powershot D20

Type: Waterproof

12 Megapixels 5x Zoom

Guide Price: £227.99

The Powershot D20 is waterproof to depths of 10m, shockproof to drops of 1.5m, freezeproof to temperatures as low as – 10 degrees centigrade and dustproof. It has a 3 inch LCD screen and can record both High Definition and slow motion movies. It has GPS tracking and in macro mode can focus from 1cm away from your subject.

Nikon Coolpix S100

Nikon Coolpix S100

Type: Ultra Compact

16 Megapixels 5x Zoom

Guide Price: £228.74 Rating: 83/100

The Coolpix S100 is a touch control LCD screen. The LCD screen is an impressive 3.5 inches in size. Other features include the ability to shoot High Definition movies and to produce 3D still images. Image stabilisation is available to reduce picture blur. The Coolpix S100 is available in red, gold, black and purple. This camera is ultra slim and has a sliding lens cover.

Panasonic DMC LX7

Panasonic DMC LX7

Type: Advanced Compact

10 Megapixels 3.8x Zoom

Guide Price: £229.00

The Lumix DMC LX7 is a small, but very powerful digital camera. A wide range of options have been packed into the compact body. These include manual exposure controls (Fully Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority), a f/1.4 maximum aperture, a 1cm macro mode and a burst mode that can capture a small number of shots at up to 11 frames per second. Full High Definition Movies can be recorded with stereo sound. High speed videos can also be made for slow motion replay.

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Olympus E-PL1

Olympus E-PL1

Type: Compact System Camera

12 Megapixels

Guide Price: £229.99

The E-PL1 has a 2.7 inch LCD screen, an 11 point auto focus mode and can fire off shots at a rate of 3 frames per second in burst mode. You can capture images in RAW and shoot High Definition movies. Olympus have made four different coloured versions available. These are gold, silver, black and red.

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Fuji FinePix X-S1

Fuji FinePix X-S1

Type: Super Zoom

12 Megapixels 26x Zoom

Guide Price: £229.99

The Finepix X-S1 is an advanced super zoom digital camera. The 26x zoom lens also has wide angle capabilities. Key features include High Definition movies with stereo sound, image stabilisation, a tilting 3 inch LCD screen and an electronic viewfinder. For close up work the Finepix X-S1 is able to focus from 1cm away from your subject.

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Nikon Coolpix AW100

Nikon Coolpix AW100

Type: Waterproof

16 Megapixels 5x Zoom

Guide Price: £232.49 Rating: 82/100

The Coolpix AW100 is waterproof to depths of 10m, shockproof to drops of 1.5m and freezeproof to temperatures as low as 14 degrees centigrade. Features include GPS tracking, an electronic compass and a world wide map. Aside from the robust and tracking features the Coolpix AW100 operates as a simple point and shoot digital camera. It has a macro mode that can focus from 1cm away from the subject. It is also capable of shooting Full High Definition movies.

Nikon Coolpix P310

Nikon Coolpix P310

Type: Advanced Compact

16 Megapixels 4.2x Zoom

Guide Price: £239.95 Rating: 83/100

The Coolpix P310 is a high quality compact camera. The key feature is the f/1.8 aperture. This makes the Coolpix P310 a good choice for lowlight photography. Other features include Full High Definition movies, image stabilisation and a 3 inch LCD screen with a much higher resolution than you find on a typical digital camera. In macro mode the camera is capable of focusing from 2cm away from your subject. There are also a set of manual exposure controls.

Sony DSC TX20

Sony DSC TX20

Type: Waterproof

16 Megapixels 4x Zoom

Guide Price: £239.99

The Cybershot DSC TX20 has a wide range of features packed in. These include a 3 inch touch controlled LCD screen and the ability to shoot Full High Definition Movies. It is also waterproof to 5m and shockproof against small drops. For close up shots it is able to focus from 1cm away from your subject. It also has a skin softening mode for more flattering portraits.

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Canon IXUS 510 HS

Canon IXUS 510 HS

Type: Ultra Compact

10 Megapixels 12x Zoom

Guide Price: £240.00 Rating: 86/100

The IXUS 510 HS has a large sized 3.2 inch LCD screen. The screen is touch controlled. Other features include Wi-Fi for transmitting pictures to other devices such as smartphones. The IXUS 510 HS can record stereo sound to go with your High Definition movies. Slow motion movies can be recorded too. Image stabilisation is available for both still photos and movies.

Sony DSC HX10V

Sony DSC HX10V

Type: Extra Zoom

18 Megapixels 16x Zoom

Guide Price: £244.98

The Cybershot DSC HX10V has Full High Definition Movies, GPS, a 3 inch LCD screen and a good quality G series lens. Other features include Image Stabilisation for still shots and movies, a macro mode that can focus from 5cm away from your subject and a 3D photo mode. There is a high speed burst mode that can capture shots at up to 10 frames per second, plus a feature that can defocus backgrounds to make your subject stand out more. There is an inbuilt guide and an Easy Shooting mode.

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Panasonic DMC FT3

Panasonic DMC FT3

Type: Waterproof

12 Megapixels 4.6x Zoom

Guide Price: £249.99

The Lumix DMC FT3 is a robust digital camera. It is waterproof to depths of 12m, freezeproof down to temperatures of -10 degrees centigrade, shockproof to drops of 2m and dustproof too. Features also include a compass, GPS positioning, a barometer and an altimeter. It can also shoot High Definition movies.

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Panasonic DMC FS45

Panasonic DMC FS45

Type: Simple and Easy

16 Megapixels 5x Zoom

Guide Price: £249.99 Rating: 82/100

The Lumix DMC FS45 has a couple of features that mark it out as a step up on more basic digital cameras. These include a 3 inch LCD screen, image stabilisation and the ability to shoot High Definition movies. There is also a shooting mode for producing square photos for when you would like your shots to look a little different.

Panasonic DMC G5

Panasonic DMC G5

Type: Compact System Camera

16 Megapixels

Guide Price: £255.00

The Lumix DMC G5 is one of the most advanced Compact System Cameras. It has a range of manual controls including Fully Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority. You can store images in RAW mode. You can select the auto focus point by touch through the 3 inch LCD screen. An electronic viewfinder is available too. You can shoot High Definition Movies with stereo sound.

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Panasonic DMC FZ48

Panasonic DMC FZ48

Type: Super Zoom

12 Megapixels 24x Zoom

Guide Price: £257.67 Rating: 87/100

If you are looking for lens power the Lumix DMC FZ48 has a 24x zoom lens. The lens also has wide angle capabilities and image stabilisation. If you need even more zoom you can opt to decrease the number of megapixels you are shooting at in return for extra zoom up to 46.9x. Other features include a set of manual exposure controls and manual focusing. In addition to the 3 inch LCD screen there is also a viewfinder available for composing images. There is a special mode for shooting 3D still images. You can also record Full High Definition movies with stereo sound.

Olympus SZ-31MR

Olympus SZ-31MR

Type: Super Zoom

16 Megapixels 24x Zoom

Guide Price: £259.90 Rating: 81/100

The SZ-31MR has a wide angle lens, a 3 inch LCD screen and a macro mode that can focus from 3cm away from your subject for close up photography. Other features include being able to shoot High Definition movies, image stabilisation and a special mode for creating panoramic shots. You can attach the camera to a USB port when the battery needs charging.

Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200

Type: Digital SLR

24 Megapixels

Guide Price: £265.00

The D3200 is an entry level Digital SLR. As well as the high number of megapixels for a camera at this level it has an 11 point auto focus system and can fire off bursts of shots at up to 4 frames per second. One of the big attractions for someone stepping up to a Digital SLR for the first time is the comprehensive Guide Mode. The D3200 can also capture Full High Definition Movies.

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Nikon Coolpix S1200pj

Nikon Coolpix S1200pj

Type: Ultra Compact

14 Megapixels 5x Zoom

Guide Price: £266.04

The stand out feature on the Coolpix S1200pj is the built in projector. As well as being able to display photos you have taken with the camera you can connect your iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch® , iPod nano® or iPod® to the Coolpix S1200pj and display images from those sources too. Aside from the projector you get standard point and shoot ease of use, image stabilisation and a 3 inch LCD screen. You can also shoot High Definition movies.

Panasonic DMC GX1

Panasonic DMC GX1

Type: Compact System Camera

16 Megapixels

Guide Price: £266.65

The Lumix DMC GX1 offers manual exposure controls (Fully Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority), Full High Definition movies and the ability to store images in RAW format. There is a 3 inch LCD screen. The screen allows you to change some settings by touch. There is also the option to purchase a viewfinder. This is attached to the Lumix DMC GX1 via a hot shoe.

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Panasonic DMC GF3

Panasonic DMC GF3

Type: Compact System Camera

12 Megapixels

Guide Price: £269.99

The Lumix DMC GF3 is a compact size even for a compact system camera. It has a set of manual exposure controls (Fully Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority) as well as the ability to store images in RAW format. Some settings can be accessed through a touch sensitive LCD screen. The Lumix DMC GF3 is also capable of recording High Definition movies.

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Sony DSC RX100

Sony DSC RX100

Type: Advanced Compact

20 Megapixels 3.6x Zoom

Guide Price: £289.00

The Cybershot DSC RX100 is small, but powerful. It has many of the features you would expect to find on a Digital SLR. The large f/1.8 aperture is one of the main attractions. This size of aperture is ideal for lowlight photography. This camera has a set of manual exposure controls, a 3 inch LCD screen and Image Stabilisation. In burst mode it can shoot at up to 10 frames per second.

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Canon Powershot S100

Canon Powershot S100

Type: Advanced Digital

12 Megapixels 5x Zoom

Guide Price: £290.00 Rating: 88/100

Canon have excelled themselves with the Powershot S100 when it comes to packing features into an extremely compact body. The specification makes very impressive reading, especially when you consider this camera will fit into a good sized pocket.

Features include a large maximum aperture (f2), Full High Definition movies, manual exposure controls, a wide angle lens, GPS picture tagging, a top shooting speed of 9.6 frames per second, RAW capture, image stabilisation for stills and movie footage, a range of different aspect ratios and a high dynamic range mode. It has a 3 inch LCD screen and the flash unit pops up on top of the camera away from the lens. This can help to reduce red eye.

Nikon Coolpix P510

Nikon Coolpix P510

Type: Super Zoom

16 Megapixels 42x Zoom

Guide Price: £297.00 Rating: 84/100

The Coolpix P5100 offers a stunning amount of zoom. There are plenty of other features available too. These include manual exposure controls, manual focusing, a 5 frames per second burst mode, GPS, 360 degree panoramas and 3D photography. You also have access to a macro mode that can focus from 1cm away from your subject and a 3 inch LCD screen that you can tilt away from the camera body. A viewfinder is available too.

Sony DSC HX200V

Sony DSC HX200V

Type: Super Zoom

18 Megapixels 30x Zoom

Guide Price: £299.99

The Cybershot DSC HX200V is one of the most impressive digital cameras when it comes to the range of features on offer. As well as its 30x zoom lens it has a set of manual exposure controls. It can shoot High Definition Movies and you also have the option to take still photos when you are shooting a movie. For composing your shots you have a choice of a 3 inch, tilting LCD screen or an electronic viewfinder. In addition you can create 3D still images, defocus backgrounds and fire off bursts of photos at a rate of 10 frames per second. It also has GPS.

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