5 Best Cheap Digital Cameras

If you are shopping for a new digital camera and price is of the utmost concern then this list is for you. The cameras on this list all cost around or less than $100.

Although shoppers should be aware that smart phones have decimated the offerings of low priced cameras since most smart phones take photos of better or equal quality than the digital cameras in this price range. For as little as $50-$100 more you can get a better compact, waterproof, or high-zoom camera.

These cheaper models will not perform as well as more expensive models, but for the most part the image quality is surprisingly good considering the price of each unit. Where the image quality tends to suffer is in low light situations or at longer distances. They also are all very small and compact and can easily fit in a pocket. Also buyers need to be aware that none of these options include a memory card for storage, some may or may not include an USB cable, and some are powered by either AA or AAA batteries.

Below we review the top 5 best cheap digital cameras.



We selected the $120 Nikon COOLPIX L32 as the best cheap digital camera. At time of writing it was also the best selling digital camera on Amazon with a 3.9 star average rating. The L32 provides decent photos thanks to a 20 MP 1/2.3″ sensor and a 5x wide angle zoom lens.

The Nikon COOLPIX L32 has 720/30p HD movie capture that is of average quality at best, and poor in dimly lit areas. It is powered by 2 AA batteries, so you might want rechargeable ones.

Overall we would recommend the Nikon COOLPIX L32 for those of you looking for a cheap camera, but just remember that the quality of pictures at best will be on par with most smart phones.


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W800

The best camera under $100 is the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W800 which sells for about $90. This small, compact model combines a 5x optical zoom with a 20 MP 1/2.3″ sensor which struggles in low light conditions, but will do just fine for casual shooting outside.

The DSC-W800 is capable of 720p HD video which is of average quality. Some users have complained that the image stabilization is not as good as more expensive units and thus get more blurry photos.

Overall the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W800 is a good choice for those buyers who want a digital camera that costs under $100; just be aware you are buying a budget model, so don’t expect it to excel at taking photos.



One of the best-selling digital cameras on Amazon is the 106.95 Nikon Coolpix S33. We have seen it for sale for as cheap as $99 and at that price the Coolpix S33 would rank as the best waterproof camera under $100. It is waterproof up to 32 feet deep, shockproof up to 5 feet, and freezeproof down to 14° F.

The photo quality is decent, but far from excellent or even very good. It has a 13.2 MP CMOS sensor and 3x NIKKOR zoom lens. It captures 1080 30p HD video which is actually pretty nice compared to other models in this price range.

Since it is a budget waterproof camera, it is lacking some features that other models have like Wi-Fi and GPS. Also its image stabilizer is poor and its start-up time and overall performance is slow.

We would recommend the Nikon Coolpix S33 if you are looking for the cheapest waterproof digital camera or to give to a child to use on vacation or other outdoor adventures.


Kodak PIXPRO Friendly Zoom FZ53

At $90 the Kodak PIXPRO Friendly Zoom FZ53 is another affordable digital camera. The FZ53 has a 16 MP sensor and a 5x optical zoom lens which takes pictures of mediocre quality which often turn out grainy looking when zoomed in or enlarged. In good lighting and with little zoom photos do turn out better, however.

The advantages of the Kodak FZ53 are that it is small and compact, it is very simple to use, has a 28mm wide angle, and has a battery pack that can be recharged with a mini USB. It can also take 720p HD video.

Overall the Kodak PIXPRO Friendly Zoom FZ53 is a decent budget option, but we feel it is just a slight notch below the other cameras on this list.


Vivitar ViviCam S124

The cheapest digital camera to make our list is the Vivitar ViviCam S124 which sells for around $50. It has a 16 MP sensor and a 4x digital zoom – not optical. The exact specs on many features of the S124 are not even published, so obviously this is not a camera to brag about. The quality of pictures are poor to average at best, but not a total fail.

The highlight of this model is the 2.4″ swivel preview screen which lets you see yourself while taking a selfie. Buyers should be aware it is powered by 3 AAA batteries which are not included.

Overall we really would not recommend the Vivitar ViviCam S124. The only situation we might make an exception is if you are getting this camera for a young person (under 13) who wants to take some photos and does not have their own smart phone which would be more capable.

Best Cheap Digital Cameras Comparison Chart

Model Rating Price Optical
MegaPixels Max Aperture Shutter Speed Weight
Dimensions (in)
Nikon COOLPIX L32 8.1 $119.95 5 20 f 3.2-6.5 4 – 1/2000 5.8 3.8 x 2.4 x 1.1
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W800 8.0 $89.99 5 20 f 3.2-6.4 2 – 1/1500 4.4 3.81 x 2.19 x 0.82
Nikon COOLPIX S33 8.0 $106.95 3 13 f 3.3-5.9 4 – 1/2000 6.3 4.3 x 2.6 x 1.5
Kodak PIXPRO Friendly Zoom FZ53 7.9 $89.99 5 16 f 3.9-6.3 4 – 1/2000 3.7 3.60 x 2.23 x 0.90
Vivitar ViviCam S124 6.5 $49.99 0 16 ? ? ? ?

You Might Also Be Interested In