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This list of the best ultra-compact cameras under $250 is narrowed down to the digital cameras which have thin and sleek bodies. Some of the best ultra compact camera under 250 dollar price range come from brands like Sony, Canon and Samsung.

Browse All Top Ultra Compact Camera Under $250 »

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Canon PowerShot IXUS 500 HS / ELPH 520 HS Light Field
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX20
Canon IXUS 220 HS / PowerShot ELPH 300 HS
Canon PowerShot ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS
Sony Cybershot DSC-TX1
Canon PowerShot IXUS 500 HS / ELPH 520 HS Light Field Camera
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX20 Light Field Camera
Canon IXUS 220 HS / PowerShot ELPH 300 HS  Digital Camera
Canon PowerShot ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS Digital Camera
Sony Cybershot DSC-TX1 Silver Digital Camera
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Release Date
Feb 2012
Feb 2012
Feb 2011
Aug 2011
Sep 2009
Camera Type
Ultra-Compact,Standard Point and Shoot
Light Field Camera, Ultra-Compact
Ultra-Compact,Standard Point and Shoot
Ultra-Compact,Standard Point and Shoot
Ultra-Compact,Standard Point and Shoot
Optical Zoom
12.0 x
4.0 x
5.0 x
8.0 x
4.0 x
Resolution
10.1 Megapixel
16.2 Megapixel
12.1 Megapixel
12.1 Megapixel
10.2 Megapixel
Image Sensor Type
CMOS
CMOS
CMOS
BSI-CMOS
CMOS
LCD Screen Size
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
2.7 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
Image Sensor Size
6.0 mm
7.7 mm
7.7 mm
7.7 mm

  • The Canon PowerShot Elph 520 HS is a good choice for those already happy with their smartphone's photos and movie clips, but looking for a cute little camera with a long zoom and faster performance.


  • The Canon PowerShot Elph 520 HS packs a 12x zoom lens into a very compact body that's sure to turn heads. But this pretty camera is hampered by a tiny sensor that produces noisy images at middle to high ISO settings.


  • The Canon IXUS 500 HS is a good attempt to marry the classic styling of the IXUS range with a big zoom lens, but the tiny controls, poor battery life, so-so image quality at high ISO speeds and the eye-watering price-tag detract somewhat from its overall appeal.


  • The rugged camera that doesn't look rugged, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX20 is a nice option for people wanting an ultracompact for days by the pool and nights on the town.


  • The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX20 is gorgeous on the outside thanks to a slick and slim design and a sharp rear touch-screen LCD. This rugged pocket camera is waterproof to 16 feet, but its image quality is very disappointing.


  • We can't call the Sony TX20 a plainly bad camera. We scored some fairly attractive shots, particularly when taking advantage of the fast burst mode. Plus, the idea of a moderately rugged camera inside a chic body is a lead that other manufacturers should follow. Yet, what else can we really say about a camera that makes no improvement on its predecessor? The only reason to buy a TX20 is because the TX10 is no longer widely available. It's insulting to the consumer base (bigger numbers are better, right?)


  • In summing up, whilst the Canon IXUS 220 HS is not the most innovative model of recent months to land on our test slab, all things considered it's another Recommended award from the Photographyblog team of testers for anyone looking for an undemanding good value pocket camera that will deliver decent image quality with the minimum of fuss. Exciting it may not be, but at times you just want a camera that does the job of an aide memoire and don't want to spend a fortune to get it.


  • The Canon ELPH 300 HS / IXUS 220 HS is a gorgeous little camera that seems to strike the perfect balance between size, features and ease of use. It's 2mm thinner than the ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS and slightly smaller in the other dimensions, and although that doesn't sound a lot, it makes a world of a difference in your hand, where it nestles snugly and feels rather nice too thanks to an all-over texture coating. This is a camera you really have to feel in your hand to appreciate.


  • - Limited exposure control. 8fps shooting limited to 3MP.
    - The quality of images produced exceeded expectation and go some way to rivalling higher-tech counterparts thanks to its high quality lens, 12.1MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor and Digic4 processer.


  • The Canon PowerShot Elph 310 HS is certainly a recommendable camera. It takes nice photos, it's relatively simple to operate, and it's well priced for what you're getting. Snapshooters looking to improve on the photo quality of their smartphones and actually have an optical zoom without feeling weighed down should check it out.


  • Canon's compact PowerShot Elph 310 HS packs an 8x zoom lens into a body that can slide into your shirt pocket with ease. When you consider its high-res LCD, excellent image quality, and 1080p HD video capture capability you have a camera that earns our Editors' Choice.


  • The Canon IXUS 310 HS' swollen proportions suggest a 16x travel zoom capability might lurk beneath its exterior so it's a slight disappointment to find a 4.4x optical zoom in its place. Whilst this is adequate for everyday snapping, it's therefore left to the rear 3.2-inch, 461k dot LCD to deliver the wow factor.


  • The bottom line: The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX1 is a first-rate ultracompact party companion that excels at snapshots, but those expecting superb photo quality for its price should pass on it.


  • - It's about the size of a mobile phone--but it takes much better pictures--so you might consider leaving your phone behind and taking the DXC-TX1 to that party.
    - In pictures with shadows, image noise was visible.
    - To me, the pics looked like one blur-less image.


  • - In low-light situations (say, a fancy restaurant) the DMC-TX1 does a very good job of picking up detail, but images are still soft and lack sharpness, and you'll see some noise, but not enough to detract from the overall image quality.
    - Small shutter button and fragile zoom switch.
    - I saw no shutter lag.


Top 5 ultra compact camera under $250:

  1. Canon PowerShot IXUS 500 HS / ELPH 520 HS Light Field Camera
  2. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX20 Light Field Camera
  3. Canon IXUS 220 HS / PowerShot ELPH 300 HS Digital Camera
  4. Canon PowerShot ELPH 310 HS / IXUS 230 HS Digital Camera
  5. Sony Cybershot DSC-TX1 Silver Digital Camera