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Digital Camera Cost

How Much Does a Digital Camera Cost?

low costLow: $30-$100average costMedium: $100-$600high costHigh: $500-$3,000+
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While most cell phones incorporate the ability to snap photos, a dedicated digital camera offers more features and improved resolution. Digital cameras range from compact point-and-shoot units to serious SLR (single lens reflex)-style cameras with interchangeable lenses and professional-level controls. Most digital cameras also offer the ability to record video clips, although for serious video recording see How Much Do Camcorders Cost. Selecting the ideal digital camera depends a lot on the type of photography it will be used for.

Typical costs:

  • An entry-level digital camera costs from about $30 to $100. Expect a compact, easy to use device with built-in flash, minimal manual controls and with a resolution limited to about 5 megapixels (pixels are the smallest "picture elements" that make up a digital image). A low-budget camera will likely feature a digital zoom that enlarges the pixels to mimic the effect of a longer focal length lens. An example of this type of introductory digital camera is the Vivitar ViviCam 5018, which offers 5.1MP resolution and an 8x digital zoom (the focal length varies by eight times). The street price is about $50-$80.
  • A midrange digital camera designed for point-and-shoot simplicity but offering higher quality optics will cost from $100 to $300. Expect a resolution of 8 to 12 megapixels and an optical zoom. The Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS[1] , for example, retails for about $170-$200 and offers a resolution of 10MP (megapixels), a 3x optical zoom and an optical stabilizer to reduce the effects of camera shake. This camera also offers the ability to snap 16:9 widescreen format images (those that match the dimensions of a widescreen TV).
  • Polaroid, pioneers of the instant film camera, now manufacture a digital camera with an integrated printer capable of delivering 2x3-inch color images in under a minute. The Polaroid PoGo[2] is the first portable instant digital camera and costs about $200. The camera offers a 5MP resolution and includes 10 sheets of Polaroid photo paper.
  • Advanced amateur photographers or business users will require a digital camera that offers more exposure controls and a more powerful zoom. A business use digital camera costs from $300 to $600 or more and should offer a minimum of 10MP resolution and a fixed zoom lens that doesn't retract into the camera's body. An example of this type of digital camera is the Canon PowerShot G10[3] that retails for about $470-$500. The G10 offers manual overrides for greater creative control and a hot shoe to accommodate an external flash unit. It also boasts 14.7MP resolution and a 5x optical zoom.
  • DSLR or Digital SLR (single lens reflex) cameras are aimed at serious photographers and the camera bodies and interchangeable lenses are often sold separately. Those who already own 35mm SLR lenses may want to look for a compatible DSLR body. To ensure that the lenses behave the same as they did with a 35mm SLR, look for digital SLR with a full-frame sensor. A semi-pro DSLR camera costs from about $500 to $3,000 or more, including a single lens. For more information about the cost of lenses see How Much Do Camera Lenses Cost. A DSLR offers all the features and creative control of a traditional 35mm SLR but the ease and convenience of the digital format. Expect a DSLR to offer a selection of lenses with different focal lengths, from wide angle to telephoto, as well as features such as multiple frames per second shooting, ideal for capturing fast moving subjects. A good example of a DSLR is the Nikon D60, a 10.2MP camera that, equipped with an AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm lens, costs about $600-$650.
Related articles: Film Camera, Camera Lens, Photo Printing, Digital Frame, MP3 Player

What should be included:
  • Digital cameras come with some internal memory, up to 60 MB or more.
  • Cameras should come with at least one battery and a charger.
  • Many cameras also come with some basic photo album software for retrieving, viewing and archiving photographs, as well as possibly cropping and compressing them.
Additional costs:
  • A camera bag or pouch will protect a camera; these cost from about $10 to $500.
  • Tripods cost from less than $10 to several hundred dollars for professional grade equipment.
  • Extra memory may be required, depending on the number of pictures users plan to take. Additional memory cards can cost $30 to $100 depending on the format and capacity. A high-end card will store hundreds or even thousands of photographs. Be sure to purchase the right kind of memory card (SD, MemoryPro, etc.).
  • While most cameras come with basic software, advanced photo editing software ranges from about $75 to over $900.
  • Prints from digital stills can be made from a suitably equipped home printer (see: How Much Does an Inkjet Printer Cost) or by ordering from a photo center at a local drugstore such as Walgreens[4] . Prints start at about 10 to 20 cents each.
  • Online retailers such as Amazon[5] sell brand-name digital SLR cameras in discounted outfits that include the camera body, a lens and accessories such as a tripod, camera bag and/or cleaning equipment. The price of these kits represent a discount over buying the items separately but make sure every piece in the outfit is required.
  • B&H Photo Video[6] offers discounts for Federal, educator and student buyers.
Shopping for a digital camera:
  • CNet [7] offers a buying guide for digital cameras.
  • Find competitive prices online at sites such as B&H Photo Video[8] then look for comparable or discounted prices at local electronics retailers such as Ritz Camera[9] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Great Camera Prices
Amount: $219.00
Posted by: Jason M. in Brockton, MA.Posted: January 29th, 2011 12:01AM
Brand: NikonModel: S8100
Megapixels: 12Store:
I saved $100 when I found this seller through and they proved the be very reliable. I got the camera 2 days sooner than expected. This is a great camera for the money and it was rated very highly by Consumer Reports. It takes beautiful HD movies as well as high quality photos. It will handle up to a 32gb SDHC card.
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My Camera
Amount: $135.00
Posted by: Jamie Smith in Powder Springs, GA.Posted: June 29th, 2009 11:06AM
Brand: SamsungModel: 102
Megapixels: 10.2Store: Wal-Mart
I got this camera at a 200 dollar discount and it was worth every penny. I would definitly recomend this camera.
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Canon SD890IS
Amount: $285.00
Posted by: Anon Y. Mous in New York, NY.Posted: August 22nd, 2008 04:08PM
Brand: CanonModel: SD890IS
Megapixels: 10Store: Amazon
I originally paid $337. But, with Amazon's 30-day price guarantee and some diligence, I got about 5 refunds to bring the price down to $285.
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Amount: $100.00
Posted by: joyce in waynesburg, PA.Posted: January 25th, 2008 07:01PM
Brand: polaroidModel: 3392k5
Megapixels: 1600x1200Store:
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where I get my cameras
Amount: $245.00
Posted by: LouieL in San Jose, CA.Posted: September 4th, 2007 01:09PM
Brand: CanonModel: SD750
Megapixels: 7.1Store: ButterflyPhoto
I have gotten my previous digital camera and miniDV camcorder through ButterflyPhoto. They usually have one of the lowest, if not, the lowest price when I plug in my information on

I'm generally happy with them, but I just got a message on my phone from one of the customer service agents -- I imagine it's someone who wants to sell me extra memory cards or battery packs, which did happen the last time, when I bought my camcorder.
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