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Cheap Digital Cameras

Take top quality photos for less

Updated 5 Dec 2014

Having a saturated digital camera market should work in your favour as a consumer. However, with the huge variety of models and specs available it is easy to feel swamped by choice. We’ve put together a neat little guide to help you pick out a camera which is right for you for under £60.

What's right for you?

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.

Do you need extras like face recognition, wifi capability, the highest megapixels or the ability to record? Or, do you need a basic point and shoot?

And ask yourself: "Do I really need a camera?" You may have a mobile phone that can take pictures just as well, so there would be little point in buying a digital camera.

As always, when buying big ticket items, always make sure you've done a full budget, your own research and have considered Martin's Money Mantras

Quick tips

  • To help you make a more informed decision on which digital camera is best for you and how to get a better deal, we have picked out a few key things to consider.
  • Megapixels

    First things first, let's dispel the megapixel myth. More megapixels doesn’t mean better photos. A megapixel rating tells you how many pixels there are in a photo. The more megapixels the more visual noise which will affect your photos, so if your camera has more megapixels than its sensor is big enough to deal with, you could find your images less crisp and clear. Not only that, it will take up more memory on your camera by storing larger images than you need.

    Even the cheapest digital cameras will have enough megapixels for the vast majority of non-professional users. Most TVs, computer monitors and devices have about 2MP. Even the new 4K TVs only have 8MP, so if you’re planning on showing your photos off on your TV, an 8MP camera would be more than sufficient.


    When it comes to specification having neat little additions such as image stabilisation can be useful for ensuring a good photo. Another popular feature with digital cameras is having wifi connectivity, allowing you to share photos online in an instant. However, it's important not to pay extra for flashy extra features you may not ever use.


    Ergonomics and build quality can’t be underestimated. If you invest in a piece of technology, you want it to last. Having a camera which is comfortable to hold with solid casing and buttons is important for ensuring it stands the test of time.


    Don’t judge a camera on appearance alone. If you buy a less popular colour you could get a real bargain. The less popular colour cameras tend to end up in the sale, while the camera itself might look different, the technology is all the same.

    Memory cards

    Invest in a memory card and case. Paying a little extra for a large memory card could save you a pretty penny when compared to running out of storage on a cheaper card and having to upgrade at a later date. It's also wise to invest in a sturdy case to protect your camera when it is out of warranty (and before as well).

    Best value products we've seen

    We've done our research and come up with some top cameras offering value for money, all for under £60. Of course, deals and prices change every day, so do your own research before purchasing.

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Full DOs and DONT's

Best budget camera under £20

Nowadays it's possible to buy a simple and straightforward digital camera for as little as £20. Here's our top pick digital camera:

Fujifilm FinePix AX510

Simple digital camera with 10 megapixels

Vivitar Vivicam X022* - £19.99 in-store

This Vivitar Vivicam X022 is aimed at those who want to keep their photography simple. It takes photos without any fuss, and is only £19.99 in-store at Argos* (click and collect for free or get it delivered for £3.95 extra).

This model has a 10 megapixel sensor and 4x digital zoom. There's also a video capture feature, which records high-definition clips. As well as blue, the camera is available in pink*, purple* and white*at the same price.

Stats box
  • Megapixels: 10 megapixels
  • Digital zoom: 4x
  • Screen: 1.8 inches
  • Dimensions: 5.8cm x 9.6cm x 2.7cm
  • Battery: Requires 3 x AAA batteries
  • Video capability:720p HD video

Best cameras under £40

Up your budget a bit and it's possible to get more megapixels and a few more bells 'n' whistles - here are our top picks under £40.

Samsung ES9

16 megapixels, 4x zoom and rechargeable battery

Polaroid IS426* - £39.99 in store

This Polaroid camera is currently reduced to £39.99 in store at Argos* (click and collect for free or get it delivered for £3.95 extra). It's also available in red*, pink* and purple* at the same price.

It has a decent spec with 16 megapixels, a 4x optical zoom and image stabilisation. This camera comes with a rechargeable battery which can be cost effective over a long period of time and is also more environmentally friendly.

Stats box
  • Megapixels: 16 megapixels
  • Optical zoom: 4x
  • Screen: 2.4 inches
  • Dimensions: 5.6cm x 9.8 cm x 2.4cm
  • Battery: 1 rechargeable battery included
  • Video capability:720p HD video

Nikon Coolpix L25

16 megapixels plus motion detection feature

Nikon Coolpix L29* - £39.99 in store or delivered

This Nikon Coolpix camera is currently reduced to £39.99 in store at Currys* (delivery is free or collect in stores). It's also available in red* at the same price. You can pick this up at Argos for the same price in purple* and silver*.

It has good reviews with 16 megapixels and a 5x optical zoom, so you don't have to worry about a loss of quality on close-up shots. It has motion detection for fast moving subjects 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.

Stats box
  • Megapixels: 16 megapixels
  • Optical zoom: 5x
  • Screen: 2.7 inches
  • Dimensions: 9.7cm x 2.9cm x 5.9cm
  • Battery: Requires 2 x AA batteries
  • Video capability:720p HD video

Best camera under £60

If you're willing to shell out more than £50 picture quality and the number of features on offer will improve again. Here's our top pick budget camera under £60:

Samsung ES9

Top pick for under £60

Sony Cybershot W800* - £59.95 delivered

As an alternative, for a few quid more, the Sony Cybershot W800 is £59.95 online at John Lewis* (delivery is free or click and collect from John Lewis or Waitrose). It also comes with a full two-year guarantee from John Lewis which is something to bear in mind as you are spending a little more. Also available in black*.

In addition to 20 megapixels, a 5x optical zoom and image stabilisation, this camera also offers the ability to take panoramic shots and apply effects to your photographs.

Stats box
  • Megapixels: 20 megapixels
  • Optical zoom: 5x
  • Screen: 2.7 inches
  • Dimensions: 5.5cm x 10cm x 2cm
  • Battery:1 rechargeable battery included
  • Video capability:720p HD video

WARNING! Please think very carefully before buying one of these

Jargon busters

Buying a new digital camera can be a daunting experience with all the different technical terms thrown around. If you thought stablisers were just something you had on your bike when you were a kid, we have explained the key terms below.

Jargon Explanation
Megapixel A megapixel is one million pixels - the smallest controllable element of a picture represented on the screen. 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 physical zoom of the camera, this extension of the lenses means there is less degradation of the image. (Wikipedia)
Digital zoom This is different from optical zoom and is the amount you can zoom into an image after it has been taken. The more you zoom and crop the image on your camera, the more the quality reduces. It is often better to crop using photo editing software. (Wikipedia)
Image sensor This is one of the most important parts of a digital camera. This ultimately determines how much light it uses to form an image. To put it simply, the larger the sensor the better the image. (Wikipedia)
Image stabiliser This helps to reduce any blurring in pictures and is especially good for people with shaky hands. This can greatly help with photo clarity and is often included as standard on cameras. (Wikipedia)
SD/SDHC/XD memory cards These are memory cards which can be inserted into your digital camera to store your photos on. They come in varying sizes and the type will often be dictated by what model camera you have. Memory Card Guide.

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