The 7 Best Digital Cameras Under $200

Thanks to technological advancements, the best cheap digital cameras are as powerful and feature-rich as top digital cameras from a few years ago. You don't have to spend a lot of money find good, inexpensive digital cameras.

Some photographers consider the price point of up to and including $200 to be the perfect sweet spot for someone who's new to photography. Not only will you receive a pretty good value on the $200-and-under camera, but it should have some decent features and capabilities. This is also a great price point for finding slightly older but still strong cameras from 18 to 24 months ago that have now dropped in price as the manufacturer clears out the inventory.

If you're willing to take the risk, you may find some really strong cameras in this price point that are used or refurbished. Of course, a used camera probably won't have a warranty associated with it, so you'll need to have some confidence in the person who is selling the model. Still, if you can get few years' worth of work out of a used camera in this price point, it'll have been worth the investment.

For this list, we're sticking to relatively new cameras. Here are the best cheap digital cameras under $200.

In the sub-$200 category, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better camera than the Nikon CoolPix A10. Allowing for a respectable 5X Optical Zoom with the NIKKOR glass lens, this Sony can clearly capture the detail even from a great distance. With an ergonomic design reminiscent of traditional SLR cameras, the CoolPix A10 sits comfortably in your hands and looks fantastic. Several special features make this camera stand out, like six camera filter types such as Portrait mode and Party Mode, which automatically adjusts the flash to match the available lighting, as well as Picture Effect, which lets you add a creative touch to your photos through edits.

The 2.7-inch LCD display screen makes it easy to compose shots and navigate settings even in direct sunlight. Great for filming short movies, the Nikon CoolPix A10 records at 720p and delivers sharp video quality. While not as customizable as a more expensive model, this camera is guaranteed to capture fine detail and vibrant color, making it perfect for anyone wanting to take their photography to the next level.

Here’s a trip down memory lane. The Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 is just one in a large line of instant cameras produced by Fujilfilm and its competitor Polaroid. What makes the Mini 90 Neo Classic unique is its impressive vintage design. It looks like something from before the digital age.

To be clear, this camera serves a very specific purpose: It shoots and immediately prints images like an old Polaroid. If that’s not something you’re into, turn away now. If it is, buckle in. The Mini 90 can automatically detect the brightness of its surroundings and adjust the flash and shutter speed accordingly—much like a digital camera. Macro mode allows for short distance photography as close as 30-60 cm, and the Kids mode boosts the shutter speed for capturing fast moving objects. Perhaps coolest of all, the Mini 90 has a double exposure mode that captures two images on one film sheet. This allows for a variety of creative options when combined with the macro, light/dark options, timer and flash modes.

There aren’t a lot of starter kits that provide everything a novice photographer needs for less than $200. But this package from Nikon has it all. At the very upper of the under $200 budget, the Nikon COOLPIX L340 20-megapixel camera has a 32GB SDHC memory card and a a 50-inch tripod. It also includes a three-piece cleaning kit for camera and lens, a tri-fold memory card wallet, tabletop tripod, HDMI to Micro-HDMI audio/video cable, USB Card Reader, LCD screen protectors, and a black carrying case. That’s a pretty good deal for just $200. But what about the most important part—the camera?

The Nikon Coolpix L340 is certainly entry-level, but with the 20.2-megapixel sensor, 720p HD video shooting, and an impressive 28x optical zoom telephoto lens, it’s sure to satisfy most novices and intermediates. The lens is fixed but still versatile enough for most shooting needs. If not, it also features a Dynamic Fine Zoom function, which digitally enhances the zoom to an effective range of 56x. Combined with all the goodies in the $200 package, there’s just not a lot of room for buyer’s remorse.

Nikon’s CoolPix W100 is a go-anywhere, do-anything type of camera that is ready to tackle ocean photography right out of the box. Capable of going underwater up to a depth of 33 feet, the Nikon is also shockproof from a drop of 5.9 feet, as well as freezeproof all the way down to a temperature of 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Snapping shots with the W100 underwater is a 13.2-megapixel CMOS image sensor and NIKKOR 3x optical zoom with a 6x dynamic fine zoom. Once you’ve concluded your latest underwater adventure, moving pictures off the W100 is a snap, thanks to Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth connectivity alongside Nikon’s SnapBridge app that’s compatible with both iOS and Android devices. It weighs .82 pounds and the rated battery life allows for a fairly standard 220 shots before requiring a re-charge. If your adventurous side keeps you away from charging for days at a time, a second battery is highly recommended to ensure you can capture every shot 20,000 leagues under the sea.

SJCam’s Legend SJ6 Action Camera is the ideal purchase to make sure you never miss a moment no matter where you are on Earth, no matter the conditions. Featuring gyro stabilization, slow-motion recording, a metal body for durability and an external microphone for increased audio capturing, the SJ6 is an action camera that’s made for being right in the thick of any activity. The camera offers a F/2.5 aperture and a 16-megapixel sensor that captures a wide 166-degree viewing angle. Images and video can be previewed on the two-inch touchscreen, while the .96-inch front display offers quick access to a timer. Beyond photography, the SJ6 captures 1080p video at either 60 or 30fps, as well as 720p video at 120 or 60fps. An external storage card up to 32GB can boost the available memory for keeping captured video on the SJ6 before it’s moved off to another device. The 1000mAh battery offers around 65 minutes of battery life at 60fps and 113 minutes of video capture at 30fps. And the included waterproof case allows the SJ6 to go below water up to 100 feet for 30 minutes.

Canon has a long track record of producing top-notch cameras for any budget or experience level. With the Canon PowerShot ELPH, you get a compact point-and-shoot digital camera that delivers crisp image quality for the amateur photographer at an extremely reasonable price point.

This camera excels at its ease of use. With up to 10X zoom capabilities and an Optical Image Stabilizer, your photos will come out clear with every shot. The Smart AUTO function selects the appropriate settings for any given situation, so that you don’t have to. Once you’ve captured the perfect image, built-in WiFi capabilities allow for quick and easy photo transfers to your device of choice, which makes sharing your favorite pictures a breeze.

The Canon PowerShot ELPH also comes equipped with a few fun settings, such as Fisheye, Toy Camera and Monochrome effects, as well as HD video, so you can get creative with your imagery. Available in black, blue or red and small enough to fit in your pocket, the Canon PowerShot ELPH is the perfect point-and-shoot camera for amateur photographers who want a camera that is highly portable and easy to use without sacrificing quality.

It can be a struggle to find a decent camera that balances image quality with affordability. The Sony DSCW800/B 20.1-megapixel digital camera offers all the basic features that you would need with a point-and-shoot camera for a seriously affordable price. While you would get slightly more features with a more expensive model, the Sony DSCW800/B allows for 5X optical zoom, SteadyShot image stabilization, 360o panoramic capabilities and a 720p HD movie setting for recording high-quality videos. Sony’s simple and compact model makes it perfect for everyday use, and a USB charging port allows you to take this camera on-the-go.

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