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Some really cheap digital cameras are not even worth the $8 price tag, but keep looking and you might find a good cheap compact digital camera for $4. Here is an overview of four super-cheap digital cameras. They are listed by Amazon price low to high.
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Zina 300K Mini Digital Keychain Camera: $3.99
The good: For $4, Hong Kong's Zina can fit a still and video camera and 8MB of memory into a package smaller than a credit card. The camera can take 99 low-resolution photos or 17 seconds of silent video.
The bad: It has no digital viewfinder, so the photos are a mystery until you return to your computer. It also is incompatible with Windows Vista (but aren't most PC users incompatible with Windows Vista?).
The ugly: Some users complain the camera does not work at all, but it costs less than lunch at McDonalds and you have a free keychain complete with an attached silver conversation piece.
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Vupoint 3-in-1 Keychain Digital Camera: $7.99
The good: The blue camera has a few more curves than the Zina, and an extra 8MB of memory.
The bad: Everything else about the camera is actually a step down from the Zina for double the price, an outrageous $8.
The Ugly: Pictures are blurry and they will all be erased when the AAA battery dies, which sometimes happens very fast, according to some users.
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Coby 1.5-inch Digital Photo Keychain: $11.93
The good: Another $4 gets you a 1.5-inch LCD viewfinder. Not bad for a camera three inches wide. It also comes with software that is compatible with most Mac and Windows operating systems.
The bad: The rechargeable battery lasts longer than the cheaper models, but not by much.
The ugly: Photo quality is still really low, and it is also prone to sudden and unexpected death.
To buy the Coby Digital Photo Keychain, click here.
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Cobra Mini Digital Camera with Keychain: $24.95
The good: The camera can store up to 200 images.
The bad: Picture quality seems a little higher than the cheaper models, but the difference is marginal.
The ugly: The camera is basically an overpriced knockoff of the $8 Vupoint - for three times the price. It only has 8 MB of memory and, like the Vupoint, only shoots at 0.3 megapixels.
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The bottom line
If you're getting a keychain toy, go really cheap and get the $4 Zina. If you really want to splurge, fork out $12 for the Coby with its LCD screen.