David Pogue Picks The Best Cameras Under $300

The New York Times' David Pogue wants to let us know that digital cameras costing less than $300 no longer suck. Specifically, the Canon PowerShot A630 earns high praise from Pogue, with the best picture quality out of 11 tested models. The other 10 cameras were no slouches, mind you, but Pogue does have a bone to pick with some of them.

For the record, the 11 cameras that were looked at were the Canon A630, the Casio Exilim Zoom EX-Z700, the Fuji FinePix F30, the HP Photosmart R827, the Kodak EasyShare C875, the Nikon Coolpix S7c, the Olympus Stylus 740, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX3, the Pentax Optio A20, the Samsung Digimax NV3 and the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W100.

The losers—if you can call them that—appear to be the HP Photosmart R827 and the Olympus Styluz 740, as Pogue notes that they take crummy pictures even in optimal light.

On the other hand, the "sleek... metallic gray" Nikon S7c wins plenty of style points with its "chrome accents." It also can tap into Wi-Fi to send pics to your friends on-the-go.

So while Pogue suggests that these cameras are all good in their own right, people on a $300 budget looking for decent photo quality might do well to grab the Canon A630. It all depends on what type of camera you want: a sexy-looking camera that fits in your small shirt pocket, or something a little more substantial but guarantees good shots.

More Camera, More Style, Modest Price [New York Times]