Yes, they beat a smartphone camera. These models have actually optical zoom, a large image sensor, and a great price.

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If you’ve bought a smartphone in the last few years, you’ve gained a good-to-great camera in your pocket. Yet a stand-alone camera—even a digital camera that expenses less than $300—still has functions that do it worth bringing come your following BBQ or holiday event.

Why? also a compact point-and-shoot will have actually a better lens and a bigger sensor 보다 your phone, an interpretation you get much better raw pictures. “Smartphone photos go through too much processing to acquire that picture looking decent,” states Artur Pietruch, a customer Reports camera-testing expert. “A camera, on the other hand, has a lot much less work to do, so the picture is a lot less noisy.”

Dedicated cameras also have optical zoom, something only a couple of high-end smartphones favor the iphone XS and also the Samsung Galaxy S10 provide. One optical zoom way the lens actually moves glass elements to gain you closer come the action, while smartphone’s digital zoom just enlarges the image without boosting the resolution, creating an blurrier image.

The larger sensor and higher-performance lens in a specialized camera tends to produce better lowlight photos, too, whether it"s from your kid’s piano recital or the vital blowing-out-the-candles moment at a birthday party. And also when shooting in low light, a specialized camera will use a bright xenon flash, freezing the action. Smartphones use a dimmer LED flash.

But most important, if you’re transporting a devoted camera, you’re much more likely to take a moment to create a photograph instead of simply snapping a picture. Having actually the ideal tool renders you feel choose a craftsman.

You can uncover each of the digital cameras detailed here for $300 or less, and they score well in customer Reports testing. Castle don"t have interchangeable lenses, or the high-end glass and sophisticated controls of ours top-scoring cameras. But they are compact, straightforward to use, and also have generosity zooming chops—and the price is right for many casual photographers. (If girlfriend have an ext to spend, we"ve rounded increase the finest cameras under $500, and a buying overview for the best high-end cameras overall.)

Like all commodities Consumer Reports reviews and also rates, us bought this cameras native retailers, the same method you’d purchase them—we don’t accept totally free review samples native manufacturers. If you’re a customer Reports member, you can compare and contrast ratings that the much more than 170 models the cameras we’ve tested.


With the slim, lightweight body and also an superior 40x optical zoom, the PowerShot SX720 HS is a good choice because that snapping pictures of wildlife or a sporting event, while its wide-angle lens is fine suited for shooting vistas or group shots. The image stabilization is top-notch, therefore even completely zoomed-in photos continue to be crisp. And it handles lowlight shooting very well, something countless cameras with a long zoom can struggle with. Friend can find it for simply $250, making the a the majority of camera for no a many money.

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Perfect for slipping into your pocket, the Sony Cyber-shot WX350 is barely more thickness than most cell phones. A stand-out star in this price range for lowlight shooting, the Sony Cyber-shot also has incredibly long battery life. That is 20x optical zoom is impressive, together is that is stellar picture stabilization, an interpretation even totally zoomed-in photos stay crisp. If you"re dead collection on gaining the camera in white, it"ll operation you $445.95 because of the vagaries that Amazon, however the matte black version can be had actually for just $268.