Purchasing a functional, precision, and durable point-and-shoot camera for under $200 by no means involves limiting yourself to only “cheaper quality” cameras. In fact, most ‘point and shoot’ cameras frequently fall right around this price-line, which, means there’s plenty of well-reputed brands, high performing optical zoom, and high-resolution video-recording cameras available in this price bracket.
The truth is, a lot of consumers – especially those that are new to digital cameras – will assume that Megapixels means everything, but, this is actually far from the truth. Other, very important variables or characteristics to look for when purchasing any digital camera is overall durability, functionality, performance, and photo quality.
Also see: Best DSLR cameras for beginners
There are also, typically, many other features to keep in mind, such as extra lenses included, filters, frames per second, and, even the durability of battery life or how much power the camera uses and can preserve.
So, if you’re looking to learn more about the Top 5 Digital Cameras Under $200, and want to know what to look for, read on!
Things to consider when purchasing a $200 or less Digital Camera
- Features: Keep in mind, when purchasing a point-and-shoot on a budget, that there should be multiple features, such as auto-focus, sensors that are used to capture images, videos, and technology designed to improve image quality and lighting when transferred to your PC or printed out.
- Capabilities: When shopping for a digital camera for less than $200, try to consider what types of environments or lighting you will be using your camera in, such as low-lighting, flash capabilities, whether or not it has the capability of capturing ‘motion shots’, or if its specifically designed to capture faster moving elements, such as a camera capacity of up to 10fps (frames per second) – as seen with the Sony DSCWX220, and powered with an 18.2MP camera.
- Type: Other, important variables to consider should be based on the ways which you intend to use your digital camera, and, whether a simple, or basic “point and shoot” camera makes the most sense.
- Wi-Fi: You’re going to also notice – and should take note of how each of these added features – especially Wi-Fi capabilities – impact the battery power, and how they do, whether or not it preserves or drains the power more quickly is especially significant.
- Quality of lens: Other variables and terms to keep in mind are “chromatic aberration” also known as “color fringing” or “purple fringing”, which is an optical error that occurs when the lens is either unable to bring all of the wavelengths of colors into your focal plane, or, when the wavelengths of colors are being picked up at different positions within the focal plane. This issue is typically most common in high-contrast settings.
- Battery: Finally, consider how many batteries your digital camera will require, and, what the projected amount of shots is per charge and recharge.
For many, how much your digital camera will weigh is also very important, but, have no fear, as there are plenty of ‘point and shoot’ cameras, as well as those capable of recording high definition videos, and more, all for under $200.
A Few Things to Avoid
- Don’t go with less reputed brands: One thing to avoid is settling on one specific digital camera simply based on a single specification or feature. That is, because typically (especially in a $200 or less price range), no camera will be able to perfect or offer the highest quality of each technology or design – such as durability, sensors, or for example the newest versus an older model. It’s also always smart to stick to trusted brand names you know, and that have been around for a while – such as Sony, Nikon, Canon, etc.
- For example, try to study and understand the differences between an interchangeable-lens camera (ILCs) and fixed lens cameras. An ILC, for example, will allow you to change or upgrade lenses over time – such as for lower light performance or a higher quality and performance lens.
- You can also adjust the narrowness or make images wider with an ILC. While on the other hand, swapping lenses can be a pain for some – especially those with less experience – a dSLR (or “fixed-lens”) camera also tends to be more compact, provide a greater zoom range ( which is included in the original price), and the included kit lenses are often more varied and useful.
- Other things to avoid are point-and-shoot cameras that are advertised on the premise of having the “best zooming” functionality or performance. As, in reality, zooming will often reduce optical quality, and, is in fact not necessarily the most important feature when considering other, various tools, micro sensor technology, or advanced options for adjusting photos to meet the necessary angles required – or vibrations and movement during use.
Here are the best point and shoot digital cameras under $200
1. Sony DSCWX220/B 18.2 MP Digital Camera
The Sony DSCWX220/B 18.2 MP Digital Camera with a 2.7-Inch LCD is our top pick because it outperforms competing digital cameras in low-light environments, thanks to its R CMOS sensor technology.
This Sony Digital Camera also has a very specific, 20x Clear Image digital zoom feature that is competitive against other “Clear Image” or zooming features, as it uses processor technology to actually compare patterns found in adjacent pixels and will then create new pixels to match those patterns. This feature means higher-quality images when zooming, and less distorted or lost pixels in the process.
These features make the Sony DSCWX220/B 18.2 MP Digital Camera a top pick for the best digital cameras under $200 because it’s not only a great zooming feature to capture imagery from a faraway distance, but, also for zooming into an (macro) object up-close with very high resolution images and the “static” and “noise” other point and shoot cameras might create which otherwise distorts images, break up the resolution, and negatively impacts the overall quality of photos.
The Sony DSCWX220/B 18.2 MP Digital Camera is also a great choice because it effectively utilizes Wi-Fi technology, is easy to setup, and can transfer hundreds of images or more per minute directly to your computer.
Overall, this digital camera remains at the top of our list because it produces the sharpest pictures and videos, and is the leading ‘point and shoot’ camera for this price range of less than $200. It is also a great digital camera for dimly lit places or environments, and, great for using in small crawlspaces, attics, and more – this is especially useful for professionals that need to take high-quality images in different properties, locations, or conditions.
Many customers also found this digital camera great for outdoor adventures, hiking, backpacking, cycling, and road-trips!
So, if you’re looking for an all-around digital camera solution and unsure what the best camera is on the market (and for less than $200), then purchasing a Sony DSCWX220/B 18.2 MP Digital Camera is the perfect place to start.
2. Nikon Coolpix L340 20.2 MP Digital Camera
The Nikon Coolpix L340 20.2 MP Digital Camera has a powerful 28x Optical Zoom, and with a sensor that specializes in low-light photos and videos, this is a must have. The ISO 80 to 400 also produces very usable photos and has a great, very consistent resolution at 20.2 MP (megapixels).
There are also a lot of functions included with this point-and-shoot, which means when taking photos in environments with varying amounts of light, this is the premium choice for maximizing photo efficiency and clarity. Also, this camera is proficient and capable of taking shots mid-flight with decent quality, and, does perform relatively well at night considering the price paid.
And, for a non-DSLR digital camera, this is definitely a popular pick among both beginner, as well as novice photographers looking for a second camera to take on the go. Customers also found the Nikon Coolpix L340 20.2 MP Digital Camera ‘aesthetically pleasing’, and would compare its appearance to much more expensive digital cameras.
Customers were also very pleased with not only how compact this digital camera is, but, that it also captures colors in a very vibrant, and consistent way that easily topples most smartphones. It’s also a top pick for taking “macro” or super up-close photos -which is a major plus for hobbyists and those exploring the outdoors with their camera.
The Nikon Coolpix L340 20.2 MP Digital Camera is easy to use, and, exceeds customers’ expectations, easily making this our second best top pick for digital cameras under $200.
3. Canon PowerShot SX610 HS
The Canon 0111C001 PowerShot SX610 HS is a nice, Wi-Fi-enabled digital camera that is both slim and sleek – and easy to take on the go. It includes an “Intelligent IS”, which makes it easier for you to take steady, clear, and consistent photos – including in low-light conditions.
This Canon Digital Camera also has a Macro (Hybrid) IS, which corrects blur, and ensures higher quality video shooting – even while on the move! Ensuring precision zoom lengths, and with a (shake-free) Auto Zoom feature customers are able to take more stable, consistently focused high-quality photos.
It also includes a High-Sensitivity CMOS Sensor, which is quite useful when in combination with its 20.2 MP capabilities.
- Image Stabilization
- Light Weight – 1.1lbs
- Optical Zoom 18X
- Screen Size 3″
- ‘Fixed’ LCD Viewfinder
4. Sony DSCW830/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera
The Sony DSCW830/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera is great for recording videos, and, even producing quality images for prints up to A3+ or 13×19″ in size. You can also crop your photos on the device – while not sacrificing quality in the resolution of each image.
Also, the Sony Active Mode feature is nice to take movies with while you run or walk, and, also has 2-way Active Mode to correct for both vertical and horizontal footage. Finally, at 30fps (frames per second), with a 1280-720 HD movie mode, producing 720p MP4 movies is a breeze!
There are also a lot of picture and beauty effects options, which is an added bonus, making this an overall desirable, and meaningful digital camera for under $200.
- Light weight – 4.32oz
- Optical Zoom – 4x
- Image Stabilization Feature – Yes
- Screen Size – 2.7″
- Wi-Fi – No
- Extra Zoom – No
5. Nikon Coolpix S7000 16 MP Digital Camera
The Nikon Coolpix S7000 16 MP Digital Camera with 20x Optical Image is a nice choice for those looking to get a great digital camera for producing (HD) videos with stereo sound – 1080/60i video capabilities.
With the “Scene Mode” function, you can enjoy up to 18 different modes for taking pictures in various environments, light or dark, at the Beach, or even Snow – so there’s a lot of fun to be had with this camera!
The Nikon Coolpix S7000 16 MP Digital Camera also includes a “Target Finding AF” technology which means more receptive auto-focusing on the objects you actually want to capture, not just the closest elements to the camera lens!
The Verdict: Which Digital Camera Under $200 is Best FOR YOU?
Ultimately, if you’re looking to maximize on quality, performance, get a “clearer” image, and combine the best technology with a brand you can trust, then, the Sony DSCWX220/B 18.2 MP Digital Camera is the perfect choice, and, at under $200 you just can’t beat it!
You really cannot match or compare its various functions for producing high quality images when zooming in on objects with a high-resolution quality, as, competing cameras simply just don’t come close to maintaining this level of quality and color – at least without ‘distortion’ or sacrificing pixels, color vibrancy, or chromatic aberration.
The Nikon Coolpix L340 20.2 MP Digital Camera is also a great product, perfect for zooming in on images with precision and taking “macro” photos.
Each of these digital cameras listed have received substantial positive feedback from customers, are from trusted brands like Sony and Nikon, and, are a great bet for anyone that’s either just getting into photography, or, looking to discover which type of camera works best for their ‘style’ of snapping photos.