Cameras on flagship smartphones are getting better with each passing generation. Both devices have their own purposes. Smartphone cameras are good for clicking selfies, food photography, and similar casual shots, whereas digital cameras are aimed at professional photography.
When it comes to clicking pictures that leave an impression, smartphone cameras still have a long way to go. There are some advantages of digital cameras, which prove that they have a clear edge over the mobile camera lenses. Here are a few of them:
- Better Zoom Capacity: Digital cameras come with optical zoom. Smartphone manufacturers can’t provide optical zoom in their phones without making them bulky.
- Low Light Photography: Digital cameras can handle low light situations well. The large lens present on digital cameras let you take good low light photographs. On the other hand, smartphones have a way of dealing with low light conditions, but the post-processing that they carry out isn’t enough to beat the pictures taken by a digital camera.
- Long Battery Life: Smartphones with even an enormous battery don’t get you through the whole day. If you do a lot of photo and videography, your smartphone is bound to run out of juice quickly. Digital cameras come with good battery life and a swappable battery, making them a good choice for long usage times.
- Better Manual Control: Digital cameras let you adjust a variety of settings when taking pictures. Not in a way DSLRs do, but surely more than what we get to see in smartphones.
It is true that digital cameras, especially the budget action cameras, are having a hard time keeping up with smartphones. Still, the good thing about the competition is that we, as consumers, get many more benefits in both of them.
In this article, we will review 6 of the best digital cameras available in India under 15000 Rupees. For 15K INR, you should be looking forward to getting a camera with at least 16MP resolution, 12-15X optical zoom, a battery that lets you take around 150 shots, and a warranty of 2 years or more.
- Best Cameras Under 15000 (INR) in 2021
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Cameras Under 15000 (INR) in 2021
But before we begin, let’s first have a look at the 3 of the most popular types of digital cameras:
1. Point and Shoot Cameras: These cameras are for casual users. Perfect for capturing good photographs without worrying much about the settings. There aren’t many settings that you can adjust here, but that is often seen as an advantage because it makes these cameras easy to use.
2. DSLR Cameras: The best digital cameras for professionals. DSLR cameras let you take complete control over your photos. Everything from the shutter speed, aperture, focal length, exposure to the lens itself is adjustable. You’ll need some time to get used to DSLR cameras.
3. Mirrorless Cameras: These cameras have emerged as an alternative to DSLRs. The mirrorless cameras are less bulkier than the DSLRs. Professionals use both the DSLR and mirrorless cameras for photography.
With this in mind, let’s hunt for your photography companion!
1. Best Overall: Canon PowerShot SX430
The Canon PowerShot SX430 is a budget camera that comes with a 45X optical zoom. There aren’t many cameras that boast of this feature. The device has a large lens that can take some breath-taking pictures. The camera comes with a carrying bag and a 16 GB SD card which makes it a great deal for casual users.
The body is built entirely out of plastic but still feels solid in hand. The grip present on the right-hand side of the camera is slightly small. So anyone with big hands will not find it comfortable to use. However, thanks to the small size, you can use the SX430 with one hand.
The highlight of the SX430 is its 45X optical zoom. No other digital camera in this price range offers this. The picture quality is surprisingly good. However, you should note that you don’t have an option to manually adjust the focus or shutter speed here. Getting the perfect bokeh effect on macro and portrait shot gets a bit tricky. The low light performance of the device is a bit off.
The 3-inch screen on the camera is good for previewing images and videos that you capture from the device. The device comes with an 800 mAh swappable battery so that you can plug in another one when the first one is down. It also comes with a 16GB memory card. You can shoot videos in 720p resolution only which is a disappointment.
The device comes with a 2-year warranty. You have to shell out another 650 INR for an extended 1-year warranty. As far as the after-sales service is concerned, you know you are going to get great service when you are purchasing a device from a company like Canon. The device is most suitable for people who are looking for an inexpensive camera with a high optical zoom. Stay away from the SX430 if you plan to make videos or vlogs.
- 45X optical zoom
- Great overall picture quality
- Battery life is good; the battery can be swapped
- Good build quality
- WiFi, NFC support
- Shoots videos in 720p
- Canon mobile app is plagued by issues
- No manual focus or shutter speed
2. Best Runner Up: Sony DSC-H300/BC
The Sony DSC-H300/BC is a rather old point and shoot digital camera which comes from our all-time favourite camera brand, Sony. The device looks like a DSLR but is completely different. In the sub 15000 INR segment, it is a direct competitor to the Canon Powershot SX 430HS.
The device comes with a good quality carrying bag. Some standard accessories like the lens guard, charger, and extra set of batteries are provided in the box. The build quality of this device is undoubtedly among the best we have seen on a budget point and shoot camera. The controls are easy to use, and even a newbie can get used to the camera real quick.
The DSC-H300/BC E32 captures some really crisp images. The device performs well in natural as well as artificially lit areas. The auto mode is best for most people while the manual mode gives you better control of the camera. The device lets you capture 30 FPS videos at 720p, which is a deal-breaker.
A charger and 4x rechargeable AA batteries (total 1000 mAh) are provided in the box. The device can capture panorama shots, but they don’t turn out to be any good. The device was released back in 2013, and that’s why the WiFi and NFC support is missing.
Just like almost every other camera in this price segment, Sony’s budget offering comes with a standard 2-year warranty. If you are looking for a point and shoot camera that lets you tweak around the settings a little bit, then this is a good option. The device offers really nice picture quality and zoom for the price it comes at.
- Uses common AA batteries
- Easy to use
- Gives you good manual controls
- Good build quality
- 720p 30 FPS video recording
- No WiFi and NFC support
3. Best Value for Money: Canon IXUS 285 HS
The Canon IXUS 285 HS is a 20.2 MP WiFi camera which has a 12x optical zoom. The specs on paper do seem very nice for a digital camera below 15000 INR segment but is this the device that checks all the boxes? Let’s find out.
The device has a small form factor of a point and shoots digital camera that we are all familiar with. It comes with a plastic build but still looks very good. It has a 3-inch screen that is vivid and lets you instantly preview the images you capture. The overall experience of using the device is very good.
The camera performs well in daylight shots but struggles in low light. It has a focal distance of 10 mm which means that you can take some really good macro shots with this device. Another good thing about the IXUS 285 HS is that it supports Full HD video recording. The camera takes a while to focus when you are zoomed in.
Even if you manage the screen brightness and don’t keep recording videos all the time, the small 500 mAh battery will not be sufficient for a whole day. You can always get a second battery if you want to use it for a longer period. We have seen users complaining about battery charging times.
The device comes with a 2-year warranty. At the price this device comes at, there are quite a handful of options. It is tough to say which one is the best, but one thing is sure that this one doesn’t stand out very much in any particular area. If you really need that 12X zoom in a small form factor and 1080p recording capability, then you should get the IXUS 285 HS.
- Small form factor
- Full HD video recording
- 12X zoom
- The battery can be swapped
- No manual controls
- Canon mobile app is a pain to use
- Poor battery life
4. Best for Daylight Shots: Sony DSC-WX220/B
When it comes to the picture quality, you know you are going to get the best when you are choosing Sony. The Sony DSC-WX220/B is a camera that sells for around 12,000 INR and has some really good features but does the budget digital camera live up to the company’s reputation?
Controls on the DSC-WX220/P are minimal. They are designed well and are easy to use. With the Cybershot series, Sony always goes with a combination of plastic and metal build. The metallic finish on the front side looks gorgeous. It looks pleasing to the eyes.
The camera is a beast when it comes to capturing pictures in daylight, but as you increase the ISO beyond 200, the images start to look noisy. The low light images taken by keeping ISO over 200 turns out to be worse than the ones taken by the phones. It can record videos in Full HD 50 FPS and has a good mic which is great for beginners of video production out there.
The device comes with ample amounts of juice. With the 700 mAh battery, you can easily use the camera for taking 200 shots. Make sure you don’t keep the WiFi on as that would drain the battery quickly. You can connect the camera with your 4K TV and watch images on the large screen.
Sony is a well-known brand. The after-sales service of the company is good. The device itself comes with a 2-year warranty. If you are on a tight budget and if Full HD video recording is something that is a must for you, then this is the best camera for less than 15K INR you can buy right now.
- 1080p 50 FPS video recording
- Performs well in daylight
- Decent battery life
- WiFi, NFC for transferring files
- Connects to 4K displays
- Poor low light performance
- Slightly overpriced
5. Best Budget Camera: Canon IXUS 190
The Canon IXUS 190 doesn’t look very appealing at first glance but has some really good features. The camera is capable of taking some very good pictures if handled properly. There are a lot of things that we didn’t like about the device which we are going to discuss in this review.
The first thing that you will notice when holding the IXUS 190 is its glossy front. The glossy plastic body of the device makes it look cheap. The device does not feel very good to hold. The controls on this one aren’t very user friendly. The buttons are not placed properly, and the missing mode selection dial is a clear sign of a step taken by Canon to cut the cost.
For a sub 10,000 INR camera, the device has acceptable picture quality. It has a 10x optical zoom. The same is seen in most of the budget cameras. You will notice a slight background blur if you zoom in on your subject while shooting. Since this is not a DSLR, we can not expect it to have a large amount of background blur. The IXUS 190 can record 720p videos.
The battery on the IXUS 190 will let you take roughly 200 shots with the camera. It is a 600 mAh Li-ion battery. It comes with a camera pouch, charger, batteries, cables, and some standard accessories that you find with every digital camera. Nothing special here. Just the usual stuff.
The camera comes with a 2-year warranty from Canon. You can expect the device to last for a longer period. If you are in for an absolutely entry-level camera with a little optical zoom, this one is the right choice. For anything else, we recommend you to spend a little more and get a better digital camera.
- Low cost
- Decent picture quality
- Cheap glossy plastic body
- Controls are not user friendly
6. Cheapest Option: Sony Cybershot DSC W830
The most budget-friendly digital camera on this list comes from Sony. The Cybershot DSC W830 comes with some decent specs for the price it sells at. Not a great choice if you are going to use it regularly, but the device definitely comes in handy if you are planning to take it to weekend getaways.
The camera has a 2.8-inch display. It comes with a handful of accessories like a battery, charger, and wrist strap, but one thing that is missing in the box is the memory card. To keep the price under 8,000 INR, Sony has decided not to include a memory card with the device. The overall look and feel of the device is satisfactory.
The 20.1 MP Carl Zeiss lens on the camera performs well outdoors. Just like every other camera on this list, the low light shots come out to be noisy. The device can record videos in 720p 30 FPS. Coming to the inbuilt flash, it’s very weak.
The 600 mAh battery on the camera can easily last you for a day on regular usage. You can purchase a backup battery, but that will set you back another 1,000 INR or so. Talking about the special features, the device can take panorama shots.
This camera too comes with a 2-year warranty. If you already own a good smartphone, you shouldn’t really consider buying a sub 10,000 INR digital camera. Unless you are on a tight budget and you really need that 8X zoom, there is no particular reason why you should get this one.
- 20.1 MP sensor on an entry-level digital camera
- Good battery life
- Well built device
- The 2.8-inch display feels small
- Flash is weak
- Need to pay extra for SD card
Frequently Asked Questions
The answer depends on the size of the picture that you are going to print/view. For most people, even a 10 MP camera would be good enough. A 10 MP picture has a resolution of 3648 x 2736 which is more than what we have in 4K. Only the higher megapixel count is not enough to comment on the picture quality of a camera.
A lot of smartphones and digital cameras come with digital zoom. What this does is simply crop the image and make it appear bigger. This causes a loss in picture quality. On the other hand, optical zoom brings true magnification to the scene. The camera lenses actually adjust their focal lengths to give you a clear zoomed in picture. 100X digital zoom on cameras is a smart marketing tactic.
The tiny digital cameras do not support external lenses. If you want to change the lens, you should go for a DSLR.
If you are purchasing a digital camera, here are the recommended accessories that you should get ASAP: A Memory card, Battery, and Carrying Case. Apart from these things, it is always a good idea to purchase a spare battery and a tripod.
Not to intimidate you with the jargon, but if you want to get the bokeh effect, you need a fast lens with f/2.8 aperture or better which is not found on budget digital cameras. The best you can do is increase the optical zoom and focus on your subject to get a slight background blur. You can also achieve the bokeh effect by blurring the background with the editing apps.
There are three reasons why the pictures taken by professionals look better. Here they are: 1) They spend ample time editing pictures. After tweaking the saturation, contrast, etc. filters are applied. 2) Professionals use different lenses for different scenarios. 3) They know the best settings for every situation. They never go for auto mode.
It’s natural to have second thoughts before getting a digital camera these days. There is a clear line between casual photography and professional photography. Smartphones have completely taken over the market of casual photography, and the DSLRs have always been the choice of professionals. In such a scenario, it is difficult to understand where exactly do the budget cameras fit in.
Unless portability is an issue and you can not extend your budget beyond 15,000 INR, you should get a DSLR camera. You can purchase new lenses and other accessories for your DSLR as you need them, which is not possible in the case of digital cameras.
Without any doubt, both the Canon Powershot SX430 and the Sony Cybershot DSC-H300/BC E32 are excellent cameras and offer 45X and 35X optical zoom respectively. They can be a good option for someone who is fond of taking pictures of birds, sports, monuments, landscapes, etc. Smartphone cameras don’t have optical zoom, which makes them unsuitable for such situations.
The digital cameras that come with 10X-15X optical zoom are good too but saving some extra money and getting a digital camera with better optics and zoom is recommended even if you are just starting out. Sooner or later, you will feel the need for adjusting the settings, which is not possible with the low-cost digital cameras.