Photos from a $20 Camera

Hello everyone! In today’s post, I tested out a $20 camera to what you can capture at that price point! I used a Vivitar f124 that I had on hand, which can be found between $12 and $20+. Let’s see what this camera can do!

First, I will briefly go through some basic specs! The camera is 14.1 megapixels with 3x digital zoom. Although I can’t find the release hear, I’d assume it is 2012 based on the kind of annoying stamps in the bottom right corner (with the totally wrong date). Now, let’s look at the photos (unedited) from this $20 camera.

Looking at the Photos:

The first photo to look at is of my EOS 250d. As you can see, it seems slightly out of focus with very bland colours. Interestingly, this photo is flat but the overall colours are true to the winter landscape.

This next photo si further out of focus due to the very patchy autofocus. In many ways it is awesome that there is autofocus, but manual focus would really be nice.

After trying the autofocus again, I got a much more sharp photo (rare from the photos that I took using it).

In a slightly shadowy area, the camera boosted everything in shadow, much like old phones (from 2012) would. To the eye, this pavilion was not this bright.

Next, I shot directly into the sun… The camera really struggled and I got this photo with extremely poor dynamic range. It did do a surprising job at not being entirely blown out which I was surprised by.

I took a photo behind this stone wall and this helped the camera get warmer colours, especially with the grass. Obviously, still blown out in the lower part of the sky, but the upper part is again under control.

With this photo, the image is far more blown out. I am interested that in all of the examples, the upper sky has detail despite significant dynamic range/exposure issues.

Now, here is where I am genuinely surprised. After seeing this photo, I was a bit shocked! This had even exposure, nice colours and surprising detail!

I took this photo at a few different angles…

Vivitar f124

I took the photo above on my phone in relatively the same place and to no surprise got a very nice image and a sky that wasn’t blown out! The Vivitar is surprising but the 4a to no surprise does have a nicer photo. For $20 though, this photo of the plant (kale) is nice!

Pixel 4a

Back to the Vivitar, I again am happy with the photo. It is consistently blowing out the sky but the detail is nice with fairly accurate (slightly dull) colours.

Here is a photo with the plant blowing in the breeze, you can see the camera wasn’t as happy and has blur with little fine detail not to mention the left side having blown out sky.

Next, standing further back the image is better exposed in the sky!

Vivitar f124

Here is a similar photo from my Pixel 4a with a better exposure, nicer colours, and brighter shadows:

Pixel 4a

Yet another surprising set of photos. This one of the park service hut and old truck.

This closer photo I like more, despite a more blown out sky. The photo illistrates that the camera does have depth of feild with a blurred background (truck) and in focus foreground (sign).

I took these few photos of this leaf. This first one is out of focus…

I then got the background in focus with a huge colour shift.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the leaf in focus for the life of me! I got this less out of focus photo.

I wanted to note that this nuetral sorta dull colour tone was mostly consistent. I doubt that there is data in the colour but would love to try editing them at some point.

Here are a few final photos!

Well, that was my walk with a $20 camera! Now that we are in 2022 though (ten years later), there are better options even at $20.

In the $20 price range, you are likely better off with a used EOS Rebel or EOS 400d. Although, the EOS Rebel (500d) is probably a better option since it has video recording capabilities. You would likely need a lens and at that price an STM 18-55mm II lens (used) could also be found for about $20. Yes, that is $40 but is likely a better option and optimization of the money.

Let me know what you think about inexpensive cameras, have you ever used a camera like this, and what did you think of the quality? Let me know down in the comments below!

Thanks so much for reading!

-Digital Wonders & Smiles

Published by Digital Wonders and Smiles

I am a photographer, writing a photography blog here on WordPress. I am based in the USA and take photos in my hometown. I also occasionally travel both domestically and internationally and write photoblog posts and make videos about these trips! On my blog, I cover everything from mobile photography to dslr photography to photography techniques for anyone!

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