Investing in the best camera under £100 is a cost-effective way to learn the basics of photography, and can also be a good choice for getting kids into snapping pictures. After all, if a camera is going to get accidentally dropped or lost, you'd probably rather it wasn't an expensive one!
We've put together a guide of what we think are the best cameras available for £100 or less right now. They aren't going to have cutting-edge features or massive megapixel counts, but all of the cameras on our list are reliable, capable, and will do the basics that you need of them. You'll find cameras from Canon, Nikon, Sony, Fujifilm and more on this list of our top ten picks, so you can be confident you'll be getting a name you trust.
Bear in mind that if you pick an instant film camera, refilling it will represent an ongoing cost, and not all digital cameras come with memory cards, so double-check that as well.
The prices of cameras are always changing, so while we've done our best to ensure that we include cameras available for £100 or less, some of them may creep over the line from time to time. Keep checking back though, as our tool pulls in all the latest deals, so you can be sure you're always getting the best price on each model!
The Instax Mini 11 looks like every version before it only Fujifilm has decided to remove the exposure dial in place of automatic exposure. You can view how many shots you have left on the back of the camera and film cartridges are easy to replace, all you need to do is match up the yellow dots. When you first load a new film cartridge, you'll need to fire off one shot to get rid of the plastic film cover and then you're good to go. The film prints almost instantaneously and develops in just 90 seconds. I love the aesthetic of Fujifilm Instax, it's hard to recreate in an app and for weddings and festivals they're perfect for creating tangible keepsakes.
Read more: Instax Mini 11 review
Polaroid's smallest camera yet is hard not to love. We've been a little cheeky leaving it in as it does go slightly over the £100 budget but we think it's worth the stretch. It's designed that you can even wear it around your neck should you want to add a funky accessory to your outfit. The square, polaroid prints are smaller than those you would get out of the Polaroid OneStep 2 but that only adds to its cuteness factor. In bright sunlight it does have the tendency to overexpose and considering how expensive a pack of 8 film is, you don't want to be wasting shots. One of the features we loved was its ability to create double exposure images - something the Instax range of cameras can't do. It's a fun, quirky little camera that is fun to use for both young and old making it one of the best cameras for kids. We've been a little cheeky including it in our list, but the price does seem to fluctuate plus it's a great bit of kit that's definitely worth the £9 extra.
Planning an action and adventure holiday but don't have a big budget for an action camera? The AKASO EK7000 Pro would be a great choice, it offers plenty of fun features and is one of our favorite budget action cameras. You might be surprised to find out it's capable of shooting 4K video, it can take 16-megapixel photos and it has a two-inch touch screen. It has a fixed wide-angle lens which is perfect for getting a lot of background in, electronic image stabilization will help your video to look smooth and with its waterproof housing, it can go down to depths of 131 feet. If that hasn't you, it even as a time-lapse special effect so this is well worth considering.
This quirky little camera from Ilford is perfect for anyone who is just thinking about getting into film photography. It's reimagined version of a popular camera from the 90s - the Sprite 35 - which was the go-to model at the time. This 35mm camera is the only full-frame camera on the list, it features a 31mm f/9 fixed lens, has a built-in flash and a viewfinder. It's certainly a step up from a disposable camera plus it's better for the planet as you don't need a new one every time. If you're someone who likes to shoot film but doesn't want to commit to anything more advanced, this is ideal for beginners. It looks great, is small enough to keep in your pocket and super lightweight at just 122g.
The Kodak M35 is a fun alternative to a normal disposable. Not only does it look a lot funkier than other cheap film cameras, but it might also save you money in the long run. While the cost of the best 35mm film does seem to be rising, at least with a reusable camera you're creating less waste for the planet. It has a built-in flash so you can snap away even in the dark and a manual wind/rewind feature. Use either black and white or colored film and capture your favorite memories.
A left-field choice for those wanting a camera for under £100 is to go 35mm - as there are a number of film cameras available at budget prices - and in fact many of the best Lomography cameras can be bought for well under £100. But they don't get much more left-field than the Konstructor... which you build yourself out of the plastic bits contained in this kit. It is a great project for those who want to live the analog life - and a great present for a patient teenager. Remember though, the film costs extra.
Since Fujifilm Instax cameras made instant film photography super popular again, we've seen so many new instant cameras on the market. This 2-in-1 instant camera and printer by Kodak uses its patented Kodak 4Pass technology which transfers colors with a heat process that makes them long-lasting and accurate and prints are covered in a coating that helps protect them from fingerprints, water and sun bleaching. It has a small screen on the back so you can review your images and can also connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth so you can transfer images directly. Like with all instant film and film cameras, film is an ongoing cost but at under £10 for 30 shots the Kodak cartridges are pretty good value.
While the Polaroid Wave might not be able to capture the coral reef in all its glory it is perfect for using among friends whether you're at the beach or on a kayaking trip. It has an 18MP sensor, 4x optical zoom and a LCD screen so you can preview the photos you've taken. It required a micro SD card and it can be charged via USB. It would also be a great camera for kids as it floats in water and isn't too expensive.
How we test cameras
Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.
We test cameras both in real-world shooting scenarios and in carefully controlled lab conditions. Our lab tests measure resolution, dynamic range and signal to noise ratio. Resolution is measured using ISO resolution charts, dynamic range is measured using DxO Analyzer test equipment and DxO Analyzer is also used for noise analysis across the camera's ISO range. We use both real-world testing and lab results to inform our comments in buying guides.
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