Cameras are still popular Holiday gifts, but in the age of smartphone cameras, the compact point-and-shoot-cameras have a tough stand.
Last week a friend asked me for advice for an everyday point-and-shoot camera. She does not own a smartphone. Her 5 year old pocket camera died and now she needs a replacement. I have not purchased a camera in years, so I had to start looking around on review sites and sales rankings.
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I forget to mention that the new camera should not cost more than $200. Looking at various small pocket cameras, I came away with the feeling that these cameras will not do the trick. Customers complain about complexity, slow shutter, low light issues and poor image quality.
Compact cameras at higher price points do away with this issues, but you would be looking at $400 and more.
I always ended up feeling, she would be better off with an iPhone than with one of these small sub-$200 pocket cameras.
Then I stumbled over these less compact cameras that feature a big zoom lens like the the Nikon CoolPix L840. These cameras are not small by any means, but are easy to handle and make decent photos without complexity. A big optical zoom of 38x, like found in the L840, beats smartphones and small compact cameras.
The Nikon CoolPix L840 sells for $166.95 on Amazon. This low price also makes this camera the bestseller in digital cameras right now on the online retailer. Other choices in this less compact digital under $200 category is the Canon PowerShot SX400, on sale for $145.50 and the Nikon CoolPix L340, on sale for $128.91.
This type of digital camera are my new recommendation for friends that do not have a smartphone camera, but need an everyday point-and-shoot camera that just works and costs less than $200.