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Best camera under £100: low cost cameras that still do a pretty good job

Best camera under £100: Polaroid Go
(Image credit: James Artaius)

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 (opens in new tab), 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!

best camera under £100: Polaroid Go Instant Mini Camera

(Image credit: Polaroid)

1. Polaroid Go Instant Mini Camera

The world's tiniest, cutest, analog instant camera

Specifications

Type: Instant
Film type: Color go film
Image size: 2.122-inch
Minimum shooting distance: 35cm
Viewfinder: Optical
Lens: 34mm full-frame equivalent
Flash: Built in, automatic
Exposure modes: Auto, Bulb
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Small and compact
+
Double exposure mode

Reasons to avoid

-
Cost of film is rising
-

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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab). 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.

(Image credit: Akaso)
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2. AKASO EK7000 Pro

If you're after a GoPro but don't have the funds this is probably the best budget option

Specifications

Weight: 61g
Waterproof: Yes, to 40 metres
4K video: At 25fps
1080p video: At 60fps
Stills resolution: 16 megapixels
Battery life: Up to 90 minute per charge

Reasons to buy

+
Fully waterproof
+
4K video capture, 
+
Remote operation 

Reasons to avoid

-
No zoom

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. 

Best camera under £100: ILFORD Sprite 35-II Film Camera

(Image credit: Ilford)

3. ILFORD Sprite 35-II Film Camera

If you're thinking about buying a film camera but don't want to spend loads this Ilford option is perfect

Specifications

Type: 35mm film
Sensor Size: Full-frame
Viewfinder: Yes
Lens: 31mm fixed
Flash: Built-in
Zoom: No
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable film camera
+
Easy to use
+
Takes 3x AAA batteries

Reasons to avoid

-
Ongoing film costs
-
Cheap, plastic case

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.

best cameras under £100: Kodak M35

(Image credit: Kodak)

4. Kodak M35

Available in 8 vibrant colors, this Kodak camera looks great and offers a great alternative to a disposable camera

Specifications

Type: 35mm film
Sensor: 35mm
Screen: None
Viewfinder: Yes
Lens type: 31mm f/10
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Fun colors
+
East to use
+
Less wasteful than disposables

Reasons to avoid

-
Can't zoom

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.

(Image credit: Lomography)
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A retro film camera that comes in kit form

Specifications

Type: 35mm film camera
Film format: 35mm
Lens: 50mm f/10
Viewfinder: Waist level screen
User modes: Manual
User level: Enthusiast

Reasons to buy

+
A camera that you build yourself
+
Relive the analog dream by shooting film

Reasons to avoid

-
Film and processing costs extra
-
You have to build it yourself!

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 (opens in new tab) 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. 

How we test cameras

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.

Read more:
The best cameras under £200 (opens in new tab)
The best camera under £500 (opens in new tab)
The best 
camera for kids (opens in new tab)
The best beginner cameras (opens in new tab) 
The best point-and-shoot cameras (opens in new tab)
The best waterproof cameras (opens in new tab)
The best compact cameras (opens in new tab)
Best budget action cameras under $100 (opens in new tab)

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Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.