How much does an inexpensive digital camera cost?

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About two weeks ago I posted a little poll asking people to submit and vote on ideas of products that they would like to see me review. So far the results have shown that 59 people are interested in having me review an inexpensive digital camera that can be carried in your back pocket. My question is: What do you all consider inexpensive? Less than $300? $200? $100? Let me know your thoughts.

14 thoughts on “How much does an inexpensive digital camera cost?”

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  2. Hey Julie…That DEPENDS on what results you are expecting out of the camera. Someone that takes LOTS of pictures with the intent of capturing ‘quality’ images would be inclined to spend a bit more than the person that wants to take pictures of, say….”that dog with a puffy tail” (my obscure ‘nod’ to Homer S….or is it H. Simpson)…

    ANYways…personally, I’d be inclined to take the ‘best’ cellphone camera and go a couple of ‘steps’ above that benchmark. Assuming that everyone who has a mobile, has a camera included therein … then the purpose of purchase would be to capture higher quality images than a camera phone would allow.

    A.K.A.: $300-


    [Edited at August 05, 2008 10:53:43 AM.]

    [Edited at August 05, 2008 10:54:14 AM.]

  3. $100… I figure inexpensive means lower price with reasonable quality.
    I’m not a photgrapher. I would rather participate and enjoy the event, or view than spend all that time looking/watching it through a viewfinder, or that silly little LCD.

    I have one i keep in my bag in my vehicle (where i keep all my junk so it’s not just loose in the truck) for those ‘Oh I wish I had a camera’ moments.
    It’s better than any cell phone camera… I won’t be taking portraits with it, but it does a very good job on a good quality unexpected snapshot.
    snapshot being the key word.
    In the old film days I had less than 5 pictures I had made into 8x10s. the other thousands are just standard sized photos, and most are never looked at more than a couple of times.

    Some picture is better than no picture.

    Compare the viewing of old 8mm home movies and home videos… it’s so inexpensive now we have a lot of slag no one cares much about… 3 minutes of Christmas morning from 1965 is a lot more viewable than 90 minutes…

  4. Gordon:

    Here’s a question for you… You say you keep a camera in your gear bag for those times when you ‘wish you had a camera’. What kind of camera is it? One with rechargeable batteries? If so, I would think that it would be probable that if it is something that doesn’t get used often, then it would have dead batteries.

    Personally, I wouldn’t carry a regular digital camera around in my back pocket all the time, because I have a camera built into whatever mobile phone I happen to be carrying around at the moment. And since it’s part of my phone, I won’t have to deal with a dead battery issue. The issue I will have to deal with is the crappy image quality though ;o)

    Someone emailed me to say that I should review a $300, $200 and $100 priced camera. Since I’ll be purchasing these cameras out of my own pocket, I don’t think I’ll be going that route :o) I think I’m going to take the middle of the road approach and find something around the $150-$200 price point. Stay tuned…

  5. In my experience, I’d say $179 is inexpensive (today) for a pocketable digicam with usable image quality.

    I would expect only throwaway quality at ~$100, and would start assuming good quality once you hit ~$250.

  6. Christopher Spera


    I think you hit the price point on the head. Most people will consider the $150-$200 range discretionary and affordable. Any higher than that, and you have to budget for the purchase (in some way).

    Like you, I carry a phone with a camera. The iPhone has a 2MP camera. The Tilt has a 3MP camera. I bought my daughter a 8MP Kodak camera for $139 at Wally World. I think it was originally $179 and was on sale. Its a good camera, and uses the Kodak software (which my wife really likes); so it was easy to hook my daughter into that photo library as well.

    Just my 2 cents…

  7. Julie,
    Just a quick note to add my 2 penneth. I’ve just gone from a casio camera (8MP) compact to a panasonic lumix FZ18 (8MP as well but bulky). The panasonic quality is far superior, and I’ve looked back on my old photo’s from casio compact, and my previous camera (a 3MP fuji f700), and the fu

    1) Megapixels are almosy useless in assessing camera quality.
    2) Perhaps a high quality camera from 2-3 years ago (better optics but fewer megapixels) is a good option as a compact ‘spare’ camera (e.g. from ebay)
    3) It’s probably worth spending as much as you can on your main ‘events’ camera because if and when you do spend a few more quid (or dollars) on a decent camera, you’ll look back at the old photos and feel a bit of regret that they don’t look as good as they could – I know I do

    [Edited at August 06, 2008 10:21:33 AM.]

  8. I have a few cameras in mind around the $150-175 price range. I’m not going to tell you all what they are though… it will be a surprise :o)
    I’m going to order tomorrow.

  9. I retract my previous statement and say inexpensive means $150 or less. I think you should be able to get a decent digital camera for that amount of money.

    I know that Nikon and Canon make models in that range, and in some cases below that range.

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