The Best Cheap Compact Camera

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If you want to buy a decent and basic point-and-shoot at an affordable price, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 350 HS (the IXUS 275 HS outside of the US) is the camera you should get. After 32 hours of research looking at 24 different models and doing some real-world shooting with the best of them, we’ve found that the 350 HS is simple to use and capable of delivering sharper photos with more vibrant colors and cleaner images in low light than the competition. Canon has now released its successor, the PowerShot ELPH 360 HS, but the cameras are virtually identical in features and performance. We recommend either camera equally, so keep an eye on pricing and just buy whichever one is cheaper.

Last Updated: January 18, 2017
We didn’t see the typical launches of beginner point-and-shoot models at the CES trade show this year, and our current picks have limited availability. We’re in the process of updating this guide, but in the meantime we're confident in making a temporary recommendation of the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS, the follow-up to our current top pick.
Expand Most Recent Updates
March 1, 2016: We’ve tested the PowerShot ELPH 360 HS, Canon’s successor to our top pick, the PowerShot ELPH 350 HS. The two are virtually identical in features and performance, so keep an eye on pricing and just buy whichever one is cheaper.
January 5, 2016: Canon announced updates to its beginner point-and-shoot cameras at this year’s CES trade show. The PowerShot 360HS is the successor to our top pick and from the few details we’ve seen so far it’s a very minor upgrade. Once production models are released and reviewers get their hands on them we’ll see if the newer model offers enough to supplant our current pick. We've dismissed two other models—the PowerShot 190 IS and PowerShot 180—in the Competition section.
June 16, 2015: After 30 hours of research and testing, we’ve chosen the Canon PowerShot 350 HS to replace our previous, now-discontinued main pick, the Canon PowerShot 340 HS. If the 350 HS is unavailable, we also like the Nikon Coolpix S6900. Or if you want an even cheaper option, we recommend the 21x zoom Samsung WB350F.
April 29, 2015: With the Canon 340 HS discontinued, its successor Canon 350 HS is a worthy followup and will be our new pick. It's pocket-sized, easy to use, and takes better photos in low light than other super affordable cameras. It you're limited to spending around the $200 mark and don't want to use a smartphone, it's the way to go. We're not quite done with all of our testing, so we're setting this to wait status for now. Look for an updated guide in a few weeks.
January 20, 2015: Canon has announced a product advisory for our pick, alongside a handful of other point-and-shoots, to repair some problems some of them were having with their batteries. If your 340 HS battery is reading as dead even when it isn’t, or the camera is powering off randomly when in use, check the advisory to see if you’re eligible for a free inspection or replacement from Canon directly. Contact the company at or 1-800-OK-CANON.
January 5, 2015: CES is when we always see a bunch of low-end point-and-shoot cameras pop up. 2015 has proven no exception with both Panasonic and Canon unveiling budget-oriented options. Panasonic has the SZ10, which will cost $200. Unfortunately, it’s hampered by a CCD sensor, which isn’t exactly a good thing. It has a 12x lens, Wi-Fi connectivity, and can shoot 16-megapixel images. Canon is offering the ELPH 170 IS and ELPH 160. The $120 160 model only has an 8x zoom and no stabilization, so you can probably skip that. The 170 IS has a 20-megapixel sensor, 20x zoom, and will go for $150 new. Both cameras will shoot 720p video, which isn’t that great—and lends credence to our usual plan of buying a higher-end model from last year when it drops in price.
May 15, 2014: Due to battery life issues with our last pick, the Canon 330 HS, we went back to the drawing board and found that the new Canon 340 HS is the best cheap point-and-shoot you can get your hands on right now.
April 24, 2014: The Canon 330 HS is getting really hard to find, so we're setting this guide to wait status while we research a new pick. If you're desperate for a new, inexpensive point-and-shoot right now you can always pick up the increasingly affordable Samsung WB250F, one of our alternative picks. The price is around $120 right now, which is about half of what it originally debuted at.
April 22, 2014: There's a very long Canon forum thread regarding battery issues with our step-up pick, the SX280. Many customers have complained that the battery life indicator is dropping very fast (sometimes in a matter of minutes) when shooting in video mode. We're going to keep an eye on this to see if Canon resolves the issue, and in the meantime hunt around for another step-up pick.
February 20, 2014: Canon has warned customers that some 330HS units may indicate low battery or turn off even when fully charged because of "insufficient contact between the camera’s battery terminal and the battery." The company is offering free inspections and repairs to affected customers. In the meantime, we're waiting to see reviews of the new Canon 340HS, set to arrive in March.

In making our pick, we looked at models from Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony before choosing the PowerShot ELPH 350 HS. With this model, you can take a good photo without having to fiddle with manual controls (great for outings with friends or for kids’ birthday parties). It’s small enough to slip into a jeans pocket, yet it has buttons large enough for adult fingers. It captures video in full HD. The camera’s 12x zoom lets you get close to the action, and with its built-in Wi-Fi, you can sync photos to your phone, tablet, or laptop.

Canon PowerShot ELPH 350 HS
This budget-priced camera is compact and simple to use, and it delivers better-looking photos than its rivals. The newer 360 HS is identical, so buy whichever model is cheaper.
Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS
This budget-priced camera is compact and simple to use, and it delivers better-looking photos than its rivals. The older 350 HS is identical, so buy whichever model is cheaper.

The main difference between the 350 HS and the newer 360 HS is the choice of color, with the newer model being available in purple. Canon typically sells new and preceding generations of cameras simultaneously, but we’re already seeing limited availability for the 350 HS. If you can find one, great. If not, you should feel equally comfortable buying the 360 HS.

Also Great
Nikon Coolpix S6900
This camera is more prone to blurry photos in low light than our main pick but has a tilting touchscreen, a built-in stand for hands-free selfies, and a faster burst mode.

If our main pick and its newer variant are both unavailable, we also like the Nikon Coolpix S6900. It suffers in low light since the camera stubbornly chooses slow shutter speeds, which can lead to blurry photos (the main reason it isn’t our top pick). But the S6900 does have a tilting and touch-sensitive rear screen and a faster high-resolution burst speed than our main pick. It also comes with a clever built-in stand that lets you prop the camera up in portrait-shooting position on a flat surface, which is great for taking selfies without having your arm in the picture.

Also Great
Samsung WB350F
Image quality at higher ISO settings is poor even by cheap-camera standards, but if you need to get closer to the action, this Samsung has a 21x zoom and a battery that lasts 60 percent longer than the one in our top pick.

If you’re willing to carry a slightly bulkier camera and sacrifice a bit of image quality for much greater zoom range, the Samsung WB350F is solid. Its 21x zoom range is bigger than that of any other camera in this class, its battery lasts 60 percent longer than the one in our main pick, and it has a wealth of wireless connectivity options.

Table of contents

Why you should trust me

I’ve been covering cameras and photo gear here at The Wirecutter since 2013, and I’ve worked as a professional photographer and digital-imaging consultant for almost 15 years. I’m on the faculty of New York City’s International Center of Photography, and I lead photography workshops around the country.

canon PowerShot 350 iPhone compact cheap camera

In searching for the best cheap compact camera, we narrowed down our choices to the Canon PowerShot ELPH 350 HS and the Nikon Coolpix S6900, which we called in for some side-by-side testing.

In seeking out the best cheap compact camera, I spent hours poring over manufacturer spec sheets, reading reviews from authoritative sources, and taking both our top pick and our runner-up out for some real-world shooting in and around New York City.

Who should buy this

The low-end point-and-shoot market has been all but destroyed by smartphones, but for some people, a dedicated camera still makes sense. The major advantage of a stand-alone camera is that it has a zoom lens, which makes a world of difference when you can’t get physically close to your subject.

Cheap cameras like this also have the advantage of being extremely simple to use (perfect for your technophobic family members). And their low price means that if the camera is lost or damaged, it’s a lot less painful, making these models great first-camera choices for kids and teens.

zoom lens outdoor photography

The sensors in compact cameras have limited dynamic range, which means that very bright objects, such as the sunlit portions of the flower petals you see here, will appear as pure white with no detail.

The best of today’s smartphones take photos that are better, particularly in low light, than what you get from sub-$200 point-and-shoots.

You’ll notice I haven’t listed image quality as a benefit. The best of today’s smartphones take photos that are better, particularly in low light, than what you get from sub-$200 point-and-shoots. If the lack of a zoom lens doesn’t hamper your smartphone shooting, you have no burning reason to use a budget-priced compact camera instead. You’d be much better off saving your money for something that provides a more substantial benefit, such as the picks in our midrange point-and-shoot guide.

How we picked

If you’re looking to buy a digital camera for about $200, it’s mostly a matter of separating the wheat from the chaff. And you’ll find a lot of chaff. For years, camera makers have pumped out what feels like dozens of near-identical models that get bargain-binned almost immediately and are generally worthless. They’ve slowed down the pace of late, since fewer people are buying these cheap cameras, but you still have a lot to wade through.

Ideally, what you want is a camera that debuted at a higher cost a little while back and has since come down. A $250 camera that now goes for $150 will generally be much better than one that started at $150 and now sells for even less. What’s the downside of spending less? These bargain-bin cameras often have older technology sensors, glacially slow burst speeds, and no Full HD video capabilities.

As for specs, it’s more a matter of sizing up what the competition has and going a bit better. Specifically: How long is the zoom? Does the lens have a larger maximum aperture? (More about aperture in a bit.) Does it have Wi-Fi? GPS? A touchscreen? Can it shoot images quickly, or is it limited to less than one frame per second? Full HD 1080p video recording is also a must in this day and age.

You should also keep in mind several factors that you can’t judge from the box. Does the camera produce sharp, detailed images? Does it keep noise (those horrible speckles and smears that appear at high ISO settings) at a manageable level? Does it focus quickly and have a minimal delay between your pressing the shutter button and its taking the photo? Finding a good balance between features and performance at this price can be tricky, but typically you’ll encounter at least a handful of cameras in any given year that fit the bill, even if they aren’t fantastic.

We spent dozens of hours looking at more than 20 widely available sub-$200 cameras. We quickly dismissed a great number of them due to specs that just didn’t measure up to those of some of the more competent alternatives. Cameras with CCD sensors, in particular, are best avoided, as they’re usually limited to just 720p video, have slow shooting rates of around one frame per second, and generally don’t go beyond an ISO of 1600. With these limitations in mind, we removed the vast majority of the cheap cameras. We also eliminated cameras that had lower-resolution 230,000-dot screens, because 460,000-dot screens allow for sharper images on playback. We also cut any cameras that didn’t feature optical image stabilization (which helps you take steadier images), as well as those with poor user reviews on Amazon.

Our pick

Canon PowerShot ELPH 350 HS
This budget-priced camera is compact and simple to use, and it delivers better-looking photos than its rivals. The newer 360 HS is identical, so buy whichever model is cheaper.

For most people looking for an affordable, basically decent camera, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 350 HS is the way to go. It takes sharp, brightly colored photos with minimal effort and produces cleaner low-light images than the competition. While Canon’s DSLRs get all the attention, the company has long been a go-to brand for basic, affordable low-end cameras. If you want a solid option on the cheap, you can trust a Canon to be good for whatever price you paid for it. That hasn’t really changed over the years, and the 350 HS offers much of what you might expect in this class of camera. It covers the basics, and its flaws are more forgivable than much of the competition’s.

Canon has updated the camera with the release of the PowerShot ELPH 360 HS, which is identical to the 350 HS apart from the color selection. Since we expect Canon to sell both models simultaneously, we suggest buying whichever one is cheaper.

You can just turn this thing on, and most of the time it’ll take a good photo.

The best thing about the 350 HS is its image quality. It produces crisp images with vibrant colors and keeps image noise to a manageable level up to about ISO 800 (even ISO 3200 is acceptable if you’re only going to post photos to Facebook). And Canon’s engineers have wisely set exposure parameters to prioritize faster shutter speeds in low light to avoid camera shake and blurry photos. Simply put, you can just turn this thing on, and most of the time it’ll take a good photo. Startup time, from when you hit the power button to when you take a shot, is brisk at just over one second.

Canon 350 HS outdoor photography

The Canon 350 HS produces reasonably accurate colors when shooting outdoor scenes.

Canon also has one of the best user interfaces around for simple cameras like this.

The 350 HS is small enough that you can slide it into a pocket without any trouble. At about 1 inch thick, it will probably stand out a little in skinny jeans, but in roomier pants and coat pockets, it’ll do just fine, and it’s so light (5.2 ounces, or 147 grams) that you’ll barely notice it in a backpack or purse. Canon also has one of the best user interfaces around for simple cameras like this: It’s clear, easy to read, and generally straightforward in a way that’s incredibly handy for people who don’t want to scratch their heads over what tiny little menu options do. We also like that the buttons are large enough for adult fingers to press, unlike other compact cameras (such as the Sony DSC-WX220), which seem to require use of a fingernail to reach their recessed buttons.

Canon 350 HS iphone 6 thin camera

The Canon 350 HS is nowhere near as thin as an iPhone, but it is still compact enough to slide into a loose-fitting pants pocket.

Canon stuffs an impressive 12x zoom inside this tiny package. Just a few years back, hitting the 10x-zoom mark would have meant building a much thicker camera, but the 350 HS manages to give you a close look at distant objects in a remarkably tiny body. There’s no such thing as a free lunch, however: One side effect of a long zoom is that the lens doesn’t let in a whole lot of light, which becomes a big problem when the sun starts to set. If you’re shooting indoors or at night, the 350 HS will have to take a longer exposure than a more expensive and bulkier camera like the Canon PowerShot G16 in order to create an image that’s appropriately bright—which means you can get some fuzzy photos due to motion blur. This is especially true when you’re zoomed in all the way.

The 350 HS isn’t for people who want manual controls—but to be honest, neither are most other sub-$200 compact cameras. If you’re a beginner trying to take a photo at a child’s birthday party with a dozen 8-year-olds running around excitedly, you don’t want to be fiddling with manual settings and miss the shot.

Using an iPhone 6, the whole process took us less than two minutes.

Wi-Fi connectivity has now become standard on cameras in this price range. The Canon PowerShot ELPH 350 HS can connect directly to your computer, or you can use Canon’s free CameraConnect app to create a link between your camera and a mobile device for wireless image transfer and even remote camera control. Setup is simple, even for technophobes: You just download the app, press the camera’s Wi-Fi button, and connect your phone or tablet to the network name displayed on the camera’s rear screen. Using an iPhone 6, the whole process took us less than two minutes. From the phone, you can browse all of the images stored on the camera’s SD card and select which ones to copy over. You can also zoom the 350 HS’s lens and trigger its shutter button from your phone.

Who else likes our pick

Professional reviews of sub-$200 compact cameras are few and far between these days. We found just three from trusted sources. At Steve’s Digicams, Josh Fate writes that the 350 HS is a “versatile point-n-shoot camera” and “loaded with great features that are incredibly simple to use.” Amy Davies, writing for Photography Blog, describes it as “a fuss-free camera which delivers some nice results.” She acknowledges that while “there’s not much here to elevate [the 350 HS] above a very good smartphone … you do have an optical zoom which makes it a bit more flexible when you’re on holiday.” And Joshua Waller at ePhotozine gives it good marks for “pleasing images thanks to bright saturated colours and good exposure straight from the camera.”

We found the highest number of user reviews on Best Buy’s site, where feedback from more than 180 customers currently results in a score of 4.4 out of five stars for the 350 HS. And at the moment, 47 percent of Amazon customers weighing in have given this model five stars.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 350 HS, like any camera at this pricing tier, has some shortcomings. That isn’t to say it’s a bad camera, but you do have to accept a series of trade-offs for something that’s priced this cheaply.

One obvious compromise is short battery life. The 350 HS is rated to shoot just 185 photographs on a full charge. That’s substantially fewer than what you can get from a more full-featured compact camera such as one of our midrange point-and-shoot picks. If you plan on using the 350 HS while traveling, for example, you’ll need to carry a spare battery in order to get through a full day of shooting. And, of course, you’ll have to remember to charge the battery at the end of each day.

wide zoom Canon 350 HS

With the Canon 350 HS at its widest zoom setting, I was able to get most of the building’s facade in the shot without tilting the camera up.

If you’re looking to catch the action at your kids’ weekend games, know that you’re limited to a maximum burst speed of 2.6 frames per second, which is pretty slow even by budget-camera standards. It has a high-speed burst mode that shoots at 7 fps, but using that mode produces images at just half the normal resolution.

The 350 HS features a 12x zoom lens with an aperture that varies depending on how zoomed in you are. Aperture, which describes how much light a lens lets in, is measured in f-stops such as f/4 or f/8. Counterintuitively, a smaller number means that the camera receives more light, so f/4 lets in more light than f/8. More light means you can shoot in darker conditions using a faster shutter speed that avoids blurry photos.

At its widest angle of view, the lens on the 350 HS has a maximum aperture of f/3.6. An aperture of this size lets in a decent amount of light. The problem is that when you zoom in all the way, the lens’s aperture drops all the way to f/7.0. Very little light comes in at this aperture, which for practical purposes means that to get sharp photos you want to zoom in only when it’s bright outside. In comparison, the Samsung WB350F (more on this model later) manages a 21x zoom with the aperture dropping to only f/5.9 when the lens is at its maximum zoom. That’s more magnification and more light.

The 350 HS has a fixed screen that doesn’t rotate or tilt. On bright days when the sun is behind you, seeing the screen can be difficult; you’ll have to shade it with your free hand if possible. Our runner-up pick, the Nikon Coolpix S6900, does have a tilting screen that you can angle away from the sun, but as a result it’s a slightly thicker camera.

The Canon 350 HS also lacks a touchscreen. While a touchscreen isn’t everyone’s cup of tea—some of our readers prefer physical buttons—you’ll find no faster way to change an autofocus point manually than by tapping the screen. In the WB350F, Samsung provides a solution for everyone by offering both buttons and a touchscreen, so it’s a shame Canon hasn’t followed suit.

Touchscreen and hands-free selfies

Also Great
Nikon Coolpix S6900
This camera is more prone to blurry photos in low light than our main pick but has a tilting touchscreen, a built-in stand for hands-free selfies, and a faster burst mode.

If our top pick and the newer version from Canon are temporarily out of stock, we think the Nikon Coolpix S6900 makes a great alternative. But its propensity to choose slow shutter speeds in low light, often producing unusably blurry images, means it isn’t as suitable as the Canon 350 HS for photographing people and pets indoors, and this is the main reason it fails to claim our top spot.

It also comes with a neat built-in stand that lets you prop the camera up in a stable portrait-shooting position.

It has a lot in its favor, though. It offers a tilting and touch-sensitive rear screen for both easier use in direct sunlight and a faster method of setting the autofocus point. Its fast full-resolution burst mode of 9 fps means you’re more likely to capture the perfect moment when shooting moving subjects. It also comes with a neat built-in stand that lets you prop the camera up in a stable portrait-shooting position. And you get a screen that tilts up to face forward and a shutter button on the front of the camera, perfect for taking selfies.

rear stand Nikon S6900

The Nikon S6900 has a fold-out rear stand that lets you take hands-free selfies.

One tip to save you some frustration: The first thing you’ll want to do when setting up this camera is to disable its Touch Shutter feature. On by default, this feature allows the camera to take a photo every time you touch the screen. Leave it on, and you’ll end up with shots of the inside of your bag as you’re handling the camera.

Like our main pick, the Nikon S6900 has a 12x zoom, offers built-in Wi-Fi support, and records 1080p video. Its battery life is only a shade better than that of the Canon 350 HS, rated at 190 shots per charge.

Shooting indoors or outside in low light is where the S6900 falls short of our top pick. Inexpensive point-and-shoot cameras typically don’t offer much in the way of exposure controls, so it’s important that the camera chooses appropriate shutter speeds on its own. Nikon’s engineers have opted for an auto setting that chooses a lower ISO and slower shutter speed. Using a low ISO helps keep image noise at a minimum; the big problem, however, is that in low-light situations, a slow shutter speed leads to blurry photos due to camera shake, subject movement, or both. We’d much rather have a noisy image that’s sharp rather than one that blurriness completely ruins.

Shooting with the Canon 350 HS and the Nikon S6900 side by side, we discovered that the Nikon consistently chose shutter speeds a full stop slower than our main pick. You can see the results in the example below.

long exposure Canon 350 HS

Shooting indoors with the lens zoomed in all the way leads to longer exposure times. Here the Canon 350 HS chose ISO 1600 and a ½-second exposure. The image isn’t tack sharp, but is usable in a pinch thanks to built-in image stabilization.

Nikon S6900 camera shake image stablization

For the same scene, the Nikon S6900 chose ISO 800, which meant an exposure time that was twice as long as the one the Canon used. No amount of image stabilization can correct camera shake during a 1-second exposure time.

More zoom in a bigger package

The Samsung WB350F, which debuted back in January 2014, is now selling for as little as $165, so it’s a solid option if you’re itching for something with a longer zoom. The camera is a bit bulkier than both our top pick and our runner-up, its startup time is uncommonly slow, and every review we read complained of poor image quality in even moderately low light, with Digital Camera Review writing that “noise becomes a problem with this camera at sensitivities higher than ISO 400.”

Also Great
Samsung WB350F
Image quality at higher ISO settings is poor even by cheap-camera standards, but if you need to get closer to the action, this Samsung has a 21x zoom and a battery that lasts 60 percent longer than the one in our top pick.

If you can live with its limitations, though, the WB350F offers a rather impressive feature set. It has a 21x zoom lens, offers a fast burst rate of 7 frames per second, and includes a large-capacity battery rated to last for 300 shots, nearly 60 percent longer than our top pick. Advanced photographers can shoot in manual exposure mode. You also get a touchscreen as well as external controls if you prefer physical buttons. Jim Fisher at PCMag was impressed with the wealth of Wi-Fi connectivity options, writing, “You can transfer images directly to an iOS or Android device … control the camera remotely … or simply stream a Live View feed to your phone or tablet.” You can also upload photos and movies directly to your Facebook, YouTube, or Dropbox account.

For casual photographers looking for a smartphone alternative, the appeal of the WB350F’s 21x zoom may easily outweigh the less-than-impressive results from shooting at higher ISOs, particularly if you want to share images without pulling out your phone.

What you get by paying more

If you’re willing to spend more cash, you can give yourself a huge image-quality boost by getting a compact camera geared more toward experienced shooters. We cover those step-up models in our guide to the best point-and-shoot camera under $500. Those midtier cameras have significantly larger sensors and lenses that let in much more light across their entire zoom range, which gives you the ability to capture sharp, clean images indoors and at night.

Viewfinders are common on those midrange models as well, so on bright sunny days you won’t be stuck trying to shield the rear screen from glare. Manual controls are easily accessible in the form of external dials, so if you’re a more experienced photographer, you can adjust focus and exposure on the fly. The big payoff lies in the images you’ll get: The dynamic range of the pricier models is much wider than that of our cheap-camera picks, so when you’re shooting outdoor scenes, you can get nice detail in the foreground without the sky blowing out to a ghostly white. You’ll lose some zoom range, as most midrange models offer only 5x zoom or less. In every other respect, though, such cameras are a substantial cut above the $200 models in this guide.

The competition

Although camera makers sell fewer low-end point-and-shoot cameras than they used to, we still encountered plenty of models to wade through when making our selections. For the most part, we limited our research to cameras priced at $200 or less. We made exceptions for just-released models such as the Canon 360 HS, which debuted for a few dollars more, since it doesn’t take long for the inevitable price drops to put such models firmly in the sub-$200 price range.

We nixed the vast majority of cameras in our price range because they still use older CCD sensors with significant drawbacks. Cameras such as the Canon PowerShot ELPH 180, Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 IS, Nikon Coolpix S3700, Panasonic DMC-SZ10, and Samsung WB50F are all limited to 720p video capture and have glacially slow burst rates of 1 frame per second.

The Nikon Coolpix S6800, predecessor to our runner-up pick, is discontinued but still available from some sellers at the moment. But it lacks the newer model’s tilting touchscreen, has even worse battery life, and maddeningly doesn’t automatically rotate shots taken in portrait orientation, an inexcusable shortcoming. The also-discontinued Nikon Coolpix S5300, meanwhile, has only an 8x zoom, which would have been class-leading a few years ago but now feels dated as 12x zooms become the norm.

The Sony DSC-WX220 is perhaps the smallest point-and-shoot camera you can get. But its size savings come at the expense of a smaller 2.7-inch screen (3 inches is standard) and a 10x zoom that’s a bit shorter in reach than the zooms of our top pick and runner-up. For adults with normal to large hands, the camera’s ultra-compact size may make it a bit frustrating to use.

The 350 HS replaced our previous pick, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 HS. This earlier model has very similar specs, with just a slightly lower-resolution sensor (16 megapixels versus 20 megapixels). Supplies have become scarce, though, and as a result the units that remain are now priced as high as, if not higher than, our top pick.

In a previous version of this guide, we recommended the Canon PowerShot S110, which captured cleaner and more detailed images than the 350 HS, as an upgrade pick. Canon has since discontinued the model. Only a few third-party sellers on Amazon have new units in stock, and they’re charging a $100 premium over the camera’s original $300 list price.

(Photos by Amadou Diallo.)

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  1. Josh Fate, Canon PowerShot ELPH 350 HS Review, Steve’s Digicams, July 7, 2015
  2. Amy Davies, Canon IXUS 275 HS Review, Photography Blog, September 22, 2015
  3. Joshua Waller, Canon IXUS 275 HS Review, ePhotozine, October 8, 2015
  4. Mike Tomkins and Roger Slavens, Canon S110 Review, Imaging Resource, March 31, 2013
  5. Howard Creech, Samsung WB350F Review, Digital Camera Review, March 5, 2014
  6. Jim Fisher, Samsung WB350F review, PCMag, February 26, 2014

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