Digital cameras under 100 dollars used to be of very cheap quality, with limited features and mediocre design. Nowadays, however, you can make that same hundred dollars stretch further as advances in technology have rendered the distinctions between “budget” cameras and high-end cameras more and more indistinct. Thus, digital SLR cameras under 100 dollars are now a catalog staple of many retailers, even professional camera shops catering to people who work in photography for a living. A wide variation exists in the quality of these cameras, however, so the wise consumer is advised to exercise due diligence and seek out trusted reviews before purchase.
Digital cameras under 100 dollars were once something of a novelty, but no longer. The best among them offer capabilities once found only on more expensive cameras just a few years ago. Many are even available with optical zoom, up to 4X, an unheard-of feature for budget cameras until now. Among the list of previously high-end abilities now encountered on these cameras are video motion, removable storage, and even rudimentary image manipulation built in – with special effects!
But as previously noted, a wide variation does exist, and it is often helpful to try one out yourself before committing money to a purchase. Of course, these are just “basic cameras” and are not meant to do too much more than take a picture under normal conditions, so your expectations should be realistic. And let’s not forget the primary purpose of these budget cameras – to be lightweight and ultra-portable!
It’s an unfortunate consequence of our numbers-obsessed modern world that we sometimes forget the forest for the trees. Those metric-minded can easily lose sight of one of the most important objectives in choosing an inexpensive camera under a hundred bucks. The overwhelming vast majority of casual photographers do not need the kinds of fine controls that professionals demand. Why not keep costs down by providing all that’s actually needed – that would actually be used?
Hence the budget compact camera, small, lightweight, and inexpensive with just enough advanced electronics on board to let you know it’s the 21st Century! Let’s face it: most of us do not need high shutter speeds for recording poses in front of some famous landmark or other on our vacations. We don’t need night vision (does anyone outside a combat zone, really?), and we don’t even need different filters or lenses. Most of us, in short, do not “compose” our shots so much as simply take them.