This is a rundown of all the current brand-name digital camera and mini camcorder deals. Remember that if you get one, you'll also need to set a few quid aside for an SD memory card as well.
Need help with jargon? Check out the basic digital camera glossary.
With so many different digital cameras on the market, before buying one you should consider image quality, performance, ergonomics, features, and above all, how much you're willing to pay for it.
Think about the kind of pictures you'll be taking, whether family snapshots or something more elaborate, and decide if you're willing to sacrifice the ability to fiddle with settings manually for a cheaper camera. Most cameras in the low price range will make your decisions for you, but spend a bit more and you can get features which will really help take high-quality photos.
And ask yourself: "Do I really need a camera or camcorder?" You may have a mobile phone that can take pictures or record videos just as well, so there would be little point in buying a camera.
Full DOs and DON'Ts
Whether it's a retailer or restaurateur, airline or air-conditioner seller, computer shop or car rental company, there are always two main risks. Either it's a dodgy company, or it's a legit company that has financial problems and goes bust.
The aim of these tips is to help you minimise the risks.
Quite simply, its customers are immediately transformed into creditors. This hits hardest if you've ordered goods or tickets from them, and not had delivery, as then you become one of a line of people trying to get your money back out of the company's assets, and you usually get back much less than you paid in.
Even if you've had delivery, if the company you bought from goes under and there's a problem with the goods, it can mean you've no comeback.
While MoneySavingExpert.com endeavours to check deals are valid, we don't check companies ' finances. Even huge names like MFI and Woolies have folded, so it's very important you use the right strategies to stay protected where possible.
Pay by credit card for something over £100, and Section 75 laws supercharge your consumer rights.
Unlike debit cards, cheques or cash, pay in full or part (even just £1) on a credit card and by law the lender's jointly liable with the retailer.
This means you have exactly the same rights with the card company as you do with the retailer. So if it goes bust, you can simply take your complaints there instead and get money back if there's no delivery.
Yet it's important you ALWAYS REPAY IN FULL each month, so there's no interest cost. See the full Section 75 guide.
Section 75 doesn't apply to purchases under £100, but there's still an option which can help. It isn't a legal protection, just Visa, Mastercard and Amex's rules, but it's a good back-up.
Spend on a Visa, Mastercard or Amex credit card or any debit or charge card. If the goods don't appear, you can try to ask your bank/card provider to reclaim the cash from the seller's bank, so long as you complain within 120 days of realising there’s a problem. See the Chargeback guide for full details.
Bogus websites are often set up to cash in on popular products like Ugg boots and Tiffany necklaces, so be wary if it's an unfamiliar site. And don't think that because it appears on a reputable search engine, that makes it a reputable site - always check.
Most folk know to look for a security padlock on the bottom right of a website, but that doesn't mean the site's legit, just that payment's secure.
To find out who registered the site and when, search the Whois database. Reputable firms should also appear on the Companies House site, the UK Government's official companies register. Be very wary of businesses with just a PO Box or email address.
Study the site's worldwide web ranking on Alexa. Anything in the top 100,000 means it's reasonably big and a good, though not foolproof indication of legitimacy. Do a quick Google search for other shoppers' experiences.
Crucially, ensure your security's up-to-date - free software can be downloaded to your computer in about five minutes. Full details in the Free Antivirus Software guide.
Many people are surprised to learn you've MORE rights buying online (or by telephone/catalogue) due to the Distance Selling Regulations.
These give you a legal right to send most goods back within seven days for a full refund (including outward delivery costs), even if there's no fault. You'll usually need to pay for the return delivery. Read Consumer Rights for a full guide.
However, of course, this is balanced by the fact ordering online automatically means there's a time gap between ordering and delivering - when the company has your money. So if it goes bust during that time, the distance selling rights don't help.
Ultimately, there is always a risk that a company can go bust. If the above routes don't apply, then you have to make a decision about whether you're willing to take the risk of parting with your cash.
Don't be scared of this. Every day we all make transactions based on trust, and this is part of that, but do balance up the amount you're spending against the risk. Don't give large amounts of money to a company you're not sure about.
This Fujifilm FinePix AX510 is aimed at those who want to keep their photography simple. It takes decent photos without any fuss, and is only £45 in-store at Argos* (or get it delivered for £3.95 extra).
Fujifilm's range of simple "point and shoot" FinePix cameras are perfect for digital camera novices, as the automatic scene selection modes mean you don't need to be David Bailey to get great pictures.
This model has an impressive 14MP sensor and 5x optical zoom. There's also a video capture feature, which records high-definition clips. As well as blue, the camera is available in silver*, purple*, black* and red* at the same price. The camera gets good reviews from techy magazines and users, and Argos says there is plenty of stock.
What do you get? Megapixels: 14MP
Optical zoom: 5x
Storage: SD/SDHC memory card
Battery: Requires 2 x AA batteries
This Nikon Coolpix camera has an RRP of £99.99, but has been around the £50 mark for the last six months. It's currently reduced to £39.99 in-store at Argos* (or get it delivered for £3.95 extra). It's also available in black*, silver* and white* at the same price in Argos.
It has a decent spec, good reviews, and is the cheapest deal we found overall.
It has a 5x optical zoom, so you don't have to worry about a loss of quality on close-up shots, and the scene auto select feature means the camera settings will automatically adjust to take the best pictures, no matter where you are or what you're doing.
Argos says stock is in the thousands, but once it's gone, it's gone, as this is an end-of-line product.
What do you get? Megapixels: 10MP
Optical zoom: 5x
Storage: SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards
Battery: Requires 2 x AA batteries
As an alternative, for a few quid more, the Samsung ES9 is £45 online at Asda* plus £2.95 for delivery. It has a pretty decent spec for such a budget camera, and reviews are all really good.
The ES9 has an advanced "digital image stabilisation" feature, which helps when you have poor conditions. So if you've low lighting, an object that's moving or far away, or just a case of plain old shaky hands, your photos will still come out sharp and clear.
On the downside, the screen is only 2.4in, so looking back on your pictures may be easier on your PC screen.
Asda has said stock is low, so go quick if you want one.
What do you get? Megapixels: 12.2MP Optical zoom: 4x Screen: 2.4in Storage: SD/SDHC or Compact Flash memory card Battery: 2 x AA batteries (included)
If you want to record videos on the go, but don't want to lug about a fancy camcorder, the new breed of pocket-sized models could be the answer. They're hardly broadcast quality but they pack a decent punch for their money.
Most digital cameras have recording features, so consider whether you need a separate camcorder. If you're only going to make the occasional small movie, a digital camera may be fine, but if you want to make longer movies, because most digital cameras don't allow you to zoom while shooting video, a camcorder may be better.
If you're looking for something cheap to take on holiday, you can't go wrong with the Kodak Playfull Pocket Camcorder from the Argos eBay outlet* for just £42.98 delivered.
Videos are high-definition, and reviews are positive, saying the camcorder is small and light enough to carry around, meaning you're more likely to have it with you ready to capture the action as it happens.
You can also take photos, and there's a 5MP digital zoom.
Don't forget to budget for a memory card though, as the internal memory is only enough for a few minutes of video. Buying a 4GB SD card (for around £4), for example, will store approximately one hour of video at VGA quality.
What do you get? Optical zoom: No Screen: 1.5in Storage: SD/SDHC memory card Battery: Rechargeable Li-ion battery included
Megapixel: A megapixel is one million pixels, which is often used to describe the number of image sensor elements in a digital camera. The higher the resolution, the more megapixels (ie, a resolution of 2048x1536 = 3,145,728, or 3.1 megapixels). (Wikipedia)
Optical zoom: This is the level of actual zoom the camera offers by using moving lenses, meaning there's no degradation of the image, just magnification. (Wikipedia)
Digital zoom: Simply zooms into the image after it's been taken, meaning the more you zoom in, the more the quality degrades. It's not really worth considering when choosing a camera. Better cropping can be achieved using photo editing software. (Wikipedia)
Image sensor: This is the bit of the camera that converts an image into an electrical signal. Two main types exist: CCD and CMOS, and there's often little to choose between them. (Wikipedia)
Image stabiliser: The image stabiliser is what keeps pictures blur-free, even if you've shaky hands. As such, it's a very important part of the camera, and shouldn't be skimped on. (Wikipedia)
SD/SDHC card: A roughly postage stamp-sized flash memory card used to store your photos. Various sizes are available, and those over 2GB are called 'SDHC', where the HC stands for High Capacity. It's important to check the maximum size your camera will take before buying these cards; get one that's too big and it won't work. (Wikipedia)
XD picture card: Like SD cards, except this time made by Olympus and Fujifilm. Since XD cards are in far shorter supply than SDs, prices are higher, but thankfully modern Fujifilm and Olympus cameras tend to take both types anyway, so you can plump for cheaper SDs. (Wikipedia)
This site is about getting the best deals, but always spending within your means so do, so remember the MoneySaving mantras
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