Best Digital Cameras Under $200
Now, more than ever, pictures represent a way of expressing ourselves. While many of us tend to post photos on social media networks on a daily routine, some resort to photography blogging. Either way, it is safe to say that nowadays, photography is a necessity for our daily lives.
But, how did this happen, you may ask. Well, the answer is simple. Human beings tend to find happiness in pictures. Almost anyone has this hidden pleasure to immortalize certain moments or places. In fact, some people even turn this passion into a job.
Facebook and Instagram are the biggest confirmations we need. Just think of how many photos you upload to your profile and you will understand why we say that photography is so important for us today.
With this new trend, the biggest camera manufacturers were almost forced to come up with something new. That’s how digital cameras came out. This industry is growing continuously, new camera models being launched monthly.
What is the Top Digital Camera for Under $200?
We know that today, a high-quality digital camera may cost you a little fortune, but still, we managed to find some affordable models that can give you the satisfaction of a quality picture. Therefore, you won’t have to use your mobile phone camera anymore. These are the best digital cameras under $200 that will not disappoint you.
We kick off this list with what we believe it is the best choice if your budget is limited and photography is your casual passion. With no more than $185, the Samsung WB 1100F merges the ergonomic feel of a classic DSLR with the point and shoot compactness.
This digital camera prides itself on an amazing 35X Optical Super Long Zoom. This means that if you are in the last stands at a football match and you take a picture of a football player, you can zoom in enough to see his face in detail. This camera can get you in the front row view in just a few seconds.
It also records HD videos with a resolution of 1280 x 720 using its 16 megapixels.
Samsung WB 1100F also has built-in Wi-Fi/NFC with Tag&Go. Programs such as Photo Beam give you the opportunity to easily share photos to any compatible smartphones. Moreover, you can save your photos to your smartphone or smart TV as you shoot them with AutoShare.
With Remote Viewfinder, you can even control your camera using your smartphone. In other words, your digital camera will be connected to any smart devices you own. This way, you will have the possibility to effortlessly post photos to any social networks you please.
The zoom control function is built into the body of the lens, so you can simply rotate the zoom ring while holding the speed control key to get the best out of the 35x optical zoom. Therefore, you will be able to zoom in without having to move your camera away from your eye. This feature is handy if you want to capture spontaneous actions.
In addition, if you are not really a professional photographer, this camera has a smart auto mode for you. We know that all the digital smart cameras nowadays have this, but with this model, you can actually feel the help from the camera.
The Smart Auto analyses the shooting environment and chooses what scene mode fits in order to deliver the best photo for you. This may be the best “smart auto” of any camera under 200$.
Why do we recommend it?
The reasons are countless, but the main ones are:
- It has an amazing 35x optical zoom that gives you the opportunity to take amazing long-distance shots
- It records HD videos
- It lets you share your photos fast and easy
This camera also features a 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor but has a 5x optical zoom, less than the previous model in this list. Anyway, that’s because this is a compact digital camera, and not a DSLR.
The camera also includes Wi-Fi remote shooting and optical image stabilization. It also has many advanced filters and interval timer shooting, a feature that its predecessor didn’t have.
Fujifilm Finepix XP80 is a resistant camera. It’s waterproof and can resist up to 15 meters underwater. So, if you are passionate about scuba diving and want to take some photos of your adventures, then this is the camera you should buy.
In addition, it is freeze-proof at -10 degrees Celsius and doesn’t break if dropped from 1.75 meters. So, this camera is a Hercules in comparison to others and that’s why it is on this list.
Moreover, if you are into vlogging, this model can be a great choice because it shoots in full HD at 1080P. Of course, you can do that even underwater, so imagine the possibilities.
Why do we recommend it?
- Great image stabilization
- Face detection focus
- Amazing resistance to shocks
- It costs about $160
This is a camera similar to the first one on this list. The Canon PowerShot SX410 is, therefore, larger than a compact camera. Also, with no less than 20.0 megapixels, this is really a beast.
It runs on a Canon DIGIC 4+ Image Processor that makes the camera take detailed pictures with fast processing. It also has an economy mode, that conserves the energy in order to let you shoot photos without thinking about battery levels.
The optical zoom is also quite unique, reaching up to 40x zoom in. With this amazing zoom range, the focus has to be good too, because if it’s not, then the quality will suffer. Canon delivers in this area, as well, with great autofocus options that include live view, face recognition, contrast detector and more.
Unfortunately, this camera doesn’t record in 1080p HD, but with all the other features, this shouldn’t be a fatal letdown, because this product really gets the better of 720p video recording.
The ISO range is between 100 and 1600 at this model. So, in terms of lighting management, this camera is suitable for all conditions.
Its screen consists of a 3-inch LCD that has a resolution of 230,000 dots. This means that your images will be presented amazingly.
Why do we recommend it?
- Big 40x optical zoom
- Lithium-Ion battery cell
- It features 20.0 megapixels
This camera is quite new, being produced in 2018. It comes with a great resistance to shocks just like the Fujifilm Finepix XP80. From its name though, we can figure out the fact that this camera is a holiday camera. It is meant for people who like going to the beach.
This camera is waterproof for up to 9.75 meters underwater, drop-proof for 1.5 meters and it resists to freezing temperatures just as the Fujifilm product.
The digital zoom for this product is only 4x but it manages to surprise us even so. Compared to the other products on this list, the COOLPIX S33 only has 13.2 megapixels, but this doesn’t mean that its photos look bad. In fact, this camera is perfect for underwater photography and doesn’t disappoint its users.
The camera comes in a package that includes a rechargeable battery, a USB cable, an AC adapter, a strap and a cleaning brush. The cleaning brush is meant to be used in order to get the sand out of the seams of your camera.
So, if you are the adventurous type and like shooting photos in nature, or at the beach, then this is the camera for you.
Why do we recommend it?
- Best fit for exploration
- Good quality photos
- Waterproof and resistant to shocks
I know what you think. “Nikon again?”. Well, yes, Nikon strikes again with this amazing COOLPIX L830 model that delights you with superb photos and HD videos.
This camera delivers with its NIKKOR Glass ED Lens with a 34x optical zoom, and a doubled Dynamic Fine Zoom, which is more than enough for a casual user. You can practically get the best close-ups of your favorite singers during a concert, for example.
Its display is an LCD of 921,000 that makes it very easy for you to monitor your shots. Also, due to its quality, it is great for reviewing and sharing your photos or videos.
If you are bored of the auto mode, there are 18 scene modes that wait for you to try them out. This includes the classics such as “sunset, portrait, beach etc.” but it also comes with new creative scene modes that you will have to discover.
A new characteristic is that of Hybrid Vibration Reduction, which means that this camera’s photos won’t get blurry if you shake it. This really makes the difference when it comes to long zoom photos.
It has 16 MP and records at 1080p Full HD in exceptional quality. In addition, this camera contains a built-in mic that records audio in high-quality stereo so that your videos will look and sound perfect.
The autofocus of Nikon COOLPIX L830 manages to focus exactly on the subject, unlike other products.
The picture quality and color of this camera are pure gold, daytime, and nighttime, delighting its users with its simplicity combined with professionalism.
So, at an affordable price, Nikon COOLPIX L830 has everything you need to satisfy your passion. It’s great for weekend shooters and it’s an amazing way to get you into photography.
Why do we recommend it?
- Full HD 1080p with optical zoom and stereo sound
- Very good value at an affordable price
- Great colors and picture quality
This camera looks quite futuristic, but let’s not judge it by its cover. Like the name says, this is an instant film camera that can surprise with its quality. It focuses automatically on its subject and the flash, contrast, and shutter speed are great enough to make any picture look phenomenal.
Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film comes with a lot of interesting modes, such as bulb mode or double exposure. The latter is a mode that lets you print two photos on a single film sheet.
The bulb mode lets you create prolonged exposure shot. This is a good innovation because you can make use of it in order to create beautiful effects on photos. The quality of a shooting star photo will be far better now.
The camera also has an optional macro mode that lets you shoot amazing close-ups. It works between 30-60 cm and is amazing for photos of flowers, for example.
Another great mode is called “kids mode”. The main objective of this mode is to make your photo steady even if the camera moves. This way, your photos will never get blurry. Just imagine how beautiful and amazing your shots of a football match can be. This mode is recommended for live sports and animals.
The camera also comes with a rechargeable battery. Its reviews are good, and people love it because it feels like a retro camera.
Why do we recommend it?
- Six great shooting modes
- Instant film camera with a retro vibe
- Great focus and shutter speed
This is another successful Canon product. It features a DIGIC 4+ image processor combined with 20.2 megapixels that offer fast processing and top image quality.
This PowerShot model may be the best digital camera if you are a beginner because it has anything it needs to deliver a great photography experience. It provides high-resolution photos and HD video recording at 1920 x 1080. The optical zoom is 12x and the autofocus works splendidly.
We all know how frustrating it can be for a photographer to shoot a photo and find out later that it is blurred. However, there is no need for frustration with this digital camera because this product has its zoom optically stabilized, so your pictures will never be blurry.
Its weak spot though is that it has an ISO range of 100-1600 so your photos will not be very clear during nighttime, but during daytime, it will do just fine.
Why do we recommend it?
- Great camera for a beginner
- No blurred photos due to its amazing camera stabilizer
- Beautiful interface
This is one of the most appealing digital cameras on this list and that’s why we will talk a bit more about it. Since it is a Polaroid, it can print your pictures right away and this is a great advantage.
The Polaroid Snap Touch can be considered the middle ground between old and new and that’s because it is an evolved version of the old original Snap, which was just an instant camera without any features or modes.
Judging by its looks, the Snap Touch resembles with its predecessor, sharing the same iconic Polaroid colorful rainbow. There is a variety of fun colors that you can choose for this camera such as pink, red, blue, purple or black. So, if you are into retro and classic photo cameras, then this may be your choice.
Technically speaking, this camera is not something to wonder about, but it’s still decent. It has a sensor of no more than 13 megapixels, but its recording features are quite interesting. This camera records at full 1080p HD.
A great thing about this camera is that after you take a photo, you can actually edit it by adding tons of filers, emojis, texts and other effects. After that, you can instantly print it.
The interface consists of an LCD at a size of 3.5 inches, but the menu looks painfully outdated. It’s very minimalistic, but we guess that was its purpose because it had to match with the retro looks. However, it could’ve been better, because we are past 2000’s by almost 20 years now. A plus is that you can connect your smartphone to it with an app or simply by Bluetooth.
The printing technology used is quite cool because it is ink free. Unlike a classic printer, the Polaroid Snap Touch prints your images on an adhesive backed paper instantly without using ink or toner that can decrease the quality of the picture.
Each photo is printed instantly, the photo leaving the camera in about 15 seconds at most. The results are amazing, without any loss of detail. If you don’t want your camera to print all your photos the second you take them, you can easily set it to do that when you want to.
However, it is worth mentioning the fact that you will need to buy packs of prints from time to time if you choose this camera.
In addition, if you download Polaroid’s companion app, you will be able to print every picture from your phone, straight out of the camera.
Why do we recommend it?
- Retro look and feeling
- Quality instant print
- It records FullHD videos
The Nikon Coolpix S7000 is quite old, being introduced back in February 2015, but it can still be considered a modern digital camera. It features 16 megapixels point and shoot combined with a 20x optical zoom that offers amazing close-ups for its affordable price.
Moreover, if you want to reach a very far shot, you can even double the zoom with the technology of dynamic fine zoom.
The product has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC support that gives you the opportunity to connect your smart devices to the camera. It also records in full HD.
The scene mode is quite interesting in this Nikon, including 18 unique settings. One of them is the macro mode, which delivers extreme close-ups due to it amazing short focus range at only 1 cm.
In terms of design, it looks exactly like a normal digital camera, with an on/off button, a shutter release and a mode dial situated on top. It’s extremely easy to use.
When it comes to the battery life, we can say that it is pretty decent, lasting around 180 photos until it goes into economic mode. Although this is quite an old camera, Nikon still produces new versions today. A 2018 version will give you new features, such as sharing your photos with friends.
The camera comes along with a Lithium-Ion battery, a USB cable, a strap and an AC adaptor for the charger.
Why do we recommend it?
- Good battery life
- It is easy to use
- It features an amazing macro mode
The last, but not least, camera on this list is an ultra-compact device that doesn’t disappoint. It has an 18.2 megapixels Exmor R CMOS sensor capable of a maximum ISO3200 standard sensitivity and a BIONZ processing engine that enhances the level of detail of your photos.
The sensor manages to deal with low light conditions and combined with the processor, they provide high-resolution images. Sony Cyber-Shot’s optical zoom is only 10x, with its dynamic zoom doubled, which is quite low, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily bad.
This product focuses mainly on video recording. It records videos on full HD extremely smooth at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 60 frames per second with stereo sound. It also has Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can transfer photos to other smart devices. You can even use your smartphone as a remote to control the camera.
Sony Cyber-Shot is a perfect pocket camera, due to its small size of only 8.6 x 7.1 x 5.1 inches, so you can take it with you everywhere you go. So, if you want a small camera, but you still look for performance, then this device might be the one for you.
Nailing all the essentials, this camera is capable of delivering a great experience and can be a good start for a beginner that has just discovered a passion for photography.
Why do we recommend it?
- Smooth full HD video recording
- Tiny and perfect
- It features a powerful processor
Why Should You Buy a Digital Camera?
Since we presented so many digital cameras, I believe it is fair to talk about why you should buy this kind of device. After all, your smartphone already has an integrated camera, right?
Well, it’s true, it does have a camera, but what if you want to shoot some professional photos? Or, what if you developed a passion for photography and realized that your smartphone can’t keep up with your desires?
In this case, you need a digital camera. It doesn’t matter if it’s a compact camera, it will still help you get better photo and video materials than a smartphone. So, if you are passionate about photography or if you are a blogger/vlogger, then a digital camera is a must for you.
- Is My Smartphone’s Camera Good Enough?
We all know that smartphone cameras literally changed our lives. It’s very easy to pull your phone out of your pocket and capture or record a funny moment, or a favorite band in concert, or even your pet doing a trick you taught it to. Everyone can do that now, it’s easy and super-fast.
As time goes by, smartphones become more and more sophisticated and their cameras evolve too, but can they really replace a digital camera? We personally believe they don’t and these are the reasons why:
- Better quality: A digital point and shoot camera will always deliver a better-quality photo because it is made for this purpose. No matter how many megapixels a smartphone camera has, a digital camera with even fewer megapixels will take a better picture. This happens mainly because of the better processing, optical/dynamic zoom and the bigger resolution that a digital camera generally has, compared to a mobile phone one.
- Superior zoom: Smartphone cameras offer digital zoom, while digital cameras have optical zoom. The optical zoom is the zoom that produces close-ups and long-range shots with high resolution and without endangering the quality of the image. Digital zoom, on the other hand, is the enlargement of the image, cropping out the edges that finally result in reducing the image resolution and quality.
The ability to control your zoom is an invaluable tool for your photography experience. Almost all the digital cameras have at least 3x optical zoom, whereas the best ones go as high as 30x offering you huge creative control over your photo.
Many cameras also have a sensor stabilizer that is meant to reduce the effect of blur if the camera is shaken or when you are filming a fast-moving action such as a race, for example. The digital stabilizers in smartphones reduce the quality of the picture.
- Better manual control: Although you can control your ISO, white balance and exposure in a smartphone camera, digital compact cameras let you experiment in more detail with action shots and depth of field. If you like to play with these little details, then a digital camera is your best bet.
- Storage: While a smartphone can have a large storage space, it doesn’t use it only for photos. You don’t use your smartphone only for photos, you also download different apps, play games or store music on it. Where do you think all these things go? In your phone storage. It’s true that you can buy a memory card for additional storage, but this can also be filled with various other files. But then there are digital cameras. A dedicated camera usually can hold thousands of photos because it doesn’t have countless apps installed on it.
- Longer battery life: Battery life is a problem that any smartphone owner faces, and it is normal because smartphones run with an operating system that normally uses the battery intensively. A digital camera, on the other hand, usually has its battery life counted by the number of photos you take. So, it’s ok to say that it can have a longer battery life.
- Better price: The digital camera’s prices have dropped drastically over the last few years, while smartphones are more and more expensive. Although a phone can do plenty of other things, if you are a photographer at heart, you will get more satisfaction with less money if you buy a dedicated camera.
So, to answer the question, only you know if the smartphone camera is good enough for you. If you are more into photography and want to experiment with different modes, seeking to develop your photography skills, then you should understand that a smartphone camera can’t really help you.
Still, if you are the kind of person who only wants to take pictures and share them on a social network, then maybe a smartphone is your best choice. However, you should not expect great quality photos from a cheap smartphone. On the other hand, a cheap camera can surprise you.
Is There Such a Thing as the Best Digital Camera Brand?
This really is a question without an answer. A lot of people today are fans of certain brands and tend to buy almost everything that brand produces without even questioning if the product is really worth buying.
The truth is that every manufacturer produces at least a few excellent cameras, so we cannot say that only one of them holds the crown.
The things that should answer this question for you are your personal preferences and your budget. If you know what you are looking for in photography, then the answer should come by itself. Buying the best camera is about knowing what you search for.
Since there is no best digital camera brand, we will give you a list of some of the most known producers that are out there right now:
A thing that is worth mentioning though, is that Canon, Sony, and Nikon are market leaders when it comes to digital cameras. So, maybe this helps you decide.
What Type of Camera Should You Buy?
This question is maybe the most complicated, but also the most interesting, because both point and shoot digital cameras and DSLRs have pros and cons.
Before going straight to the confrontation, we will first have to destroy a myth: megapixels are not everything. I know many of you have this common misconception that the more megapixels your cameras have, the better and bigger the quality of the photos will be. Well, believe us when we say that this is false.
A camera’s megapixel number is not the main thing to consider in establishing whether a camera is good or bad. The quality of a camera is determined by a lot of other things. There are point and shoot cameras that now have more than 10 megapixels, but their quality level is not nearly as good as a DSLR that has only 7 megapixels. Why is that?
First of all, because of the image sensor that is much bigger in a DSLR than in a point and shoot camera; sometimes it’s even 25 times larger. This means that the pixels on a DSLR are bigger compared to a compact camera. That’s why point and shoot cameras work at a slower ISO level, producing more grainy shots.
Secondly, you must take into consideration the optical zoom, which is usually bigger in a DSLR
Knowing this, let the confrontation begin. Let’s start with point and shoots first:
- Point and shoot digital cameras
A point and shoot digital camera is meant for simple operations. It is also called a compact camera. These are known to be, by far, the best-selling cameras.
- Price – Generally, this kind of cameras are cheaper than DSLRs and therefore more affordable.
- Quiet – The operation of taking a photo is so quiet you may not even notice that you took a shot sometimes.
- Size & Weight – These days, point and shoot cameras can be very slim. There are pocket cameras, such as the Sony Cyber-Shot we talked about earlier. It’s nice to be able to have a camera in your pocket when you go out. It’s best for traveling. vlogging and they can also have a cute design.
- LCD framing – Many of the ordinary users prefer to frame their pictures using the LCD. It’s quite understandable since the compact camera is quite small and can be annoying to put it in front of your eye for framing. Not to mention that many compact cameras don’t have a viewfinder. Moreover, there are cameras that have a flip out screen that lets the user see what he’s shooting from various angles.
- Auto mode – It’s difficult to compare the quality of the shots in compact cameras because they all perform differently. With the auto mode on though, almost all of them have great results. Thinking that people use this mode the most, it’s safe to say that the manufacturers do their best not to disappoint. Therefore, the cameras are very well optimized from the beginning.
- Small ISO range – Compared to a DSLR, the ISO range in compact cameras is way more limited.
- Image quality – Due to their small image sensors, the quality of their photos is lower. Anyway, this thing is slowly changing today, compact cameras being in a continuous evolution.
- Limited manual control – Compact cameras basically rely on modes, not on the real manual controls. So, if you want to edit something, you may find out that you can’t because the setting you are looking for doesn’t really exist.
- Speed – Many compact cameras have lags. This was always their biggest problem. The shutter lag happens when you press the button to take the picture, and the picture is taken a few moments after. Some point and shoot cameras have lag even during startup.
- No viewfinder – Because many users rely on the LCD for framing, many brands started to rely only on their LCDs, eliminating the viewfinder. So, there are very few compact cameras that still have a viewfinder, which is a pity.
A DSLR is a digital camera that combines a digital imaging sensor with a single-lens reflex camera. Its lenses are also removable.
- Image quality – Because of the bigger image sensors that allow larger pixel sizes, the DSLR delivers better image quality than a compact camera.
- Quality optics – The lenses of a DSLR are generally superior to a point and shoot camera because they are larger.
- Zoom – The DSLRs’ adaptability is quite amazing. Their ability to change the lenses is a true treasure for a photographer. A DSLR with a 20x optical zoom can be adapted in so many ways using different accessories that it will make you feel like you have a small treasure in your hand, rather than a digital camera.
- Optical viewfinder – This is a big plus because the DSLR takes the shot focusing on exactly what your eye sees.
- Price – This is maybe the biggest weakness of this kind of digital camera. Even if the body of the camera is affordable, the lenses might cost a little fortune.
- Complexity – If you are not a professional photographer or if you are not into photography, then it might be difficult for you to understand how to use a DSLR. Especially since most of them rely on the manual mode.
- No LCD framing – The only way to frame in many DSLRs is via the optical viewfinder. That’s why they are intended for professionals.
So, in conclusion, if you are into photography, then you should definitely try a DSLR, but if you are a beginner, you may have to start with a compact camera and see how you develop from there.
Photography is a beautiful art, and nowadays, it’s more and more popular. If you want to take this hobby to another level or you have a blog/vlog, then buying a digital camera is the best thing you can do.
Before the purchase, you must know how much you want to spend on it and why you want to buy it. It’s very important to determine if you really need one, in the first place, because if you are just an amateur, then maybe you are happy enough with your smartphone’s camera.
However, if you really want to buy one, you should do your product research to see which digital camera suits your needs. You can start with our recommendations, as we’ve tried our best to include only high-quality devices on this list.