The 7 Best Digital Cameras for Under $200 in 2019

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Canon PowerShot ELPH 190

Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 IS
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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 Wi-Fi 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.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Sony DSC-W800

Sony DSCW800/B
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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.

Best Budget: Nikon CoolPix A10

Nikon CoolPix A10
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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.

Best Waterproof Point-and-Shoot: Nikon’s CoolPix W100

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.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best waterproof cameras

Best Design: Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera

Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic Instant Film Camera
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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.

Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best instant cameras can help you find what you're looking for.

Best Starter Kit: Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H300 Bundle

When you think of Sony cameras now, your mind probably turns to their wide range of mirrorless options, which makes sense because Sony really has pulled ahead in that segment of the market. But if you’re looking for a solid camera package that won't break the $200 mark, you’ll want to take a look at their DSC-H300 bundle.

First, the camera’s specs: there’s a 20.1MP sensor for a ton of pixels (more than some DSLRs); it’s a fixed lens, but it offers a 35x optical zoom for tons of distance flexibility without digital degradation; plus, it looks and feels like a DSLR so you’ll get used to that functionality before diving into the more intermediate market. This particular bundle is great for starters as it comes with a 16GB SD card for storing your photos, an SD card reader for interfacing with your computer, rechargeable batteries, a holster camera bag, a cleaning kit and even a lens pen.

Best Action Cam: SJCam’s Legend SJ6 Action Camera

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.

Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best action cameras

Tested by

How We Tested

We bought two top-rated digital cameras under $200 that our reviewers tested for seven hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these cameras, from their photo quality to their connectivity. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Digital Camera Under $200

Optical zoom - When searching for a digital camera, take its optical zoom abilities into consideration. While some of the available offerings only provide standard zoom capabilities, others pack powerful superzoom lenses for capturing images at extreme distances.

Connectivity - If you want to upload your favorite photos to Facebook and Instagram quickly, ensure that your chosen camera offers options that allow you to connect your smartphone (like Bluetooth or Wi-Fi).

Video abilities - Not all cameras are excellent at video recording. If you’re looking to capture videos of the kids or your latest vacation, opt for a model that offers a minimum of 1080p HD video. Also, options with stabilized video help remove any shakiness caused by your hand.

Test Results: Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 (Best Overall)


What We Like

  • Great battery life

  • Good-quality photos

  • Connects easily to smartphones

What We Don't Like

  • Unclear instructions

Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 IS
Canon PowerShot ELPH
Canon PowerShot
Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 IS digital camera
Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 IS camera

“The best feature of this camera is its ability to transfer your photos to your phone wirelessly,” raved one of our testers. “The camera has its own signal to connect to your phone directly, so you don’t need to connect it to Wi-Fi for it to work.” Our reviewers were also impressed with its battery life and the quality of its photos. One tester explained: “It performs in low light better than my phone camera, has much better zoom, and takes better-quality video.” The only real downside? Its instructions. “The wireless transfer setup process is not intuitive,” one tester said, “and the step-by-step guide in the print manual wasn't helpful. I had to watch a video to figure it out.”

Check out our other reviews of the best Canon cameras​ available on the market today.

Test Results: Sony DSC-W800 (Runner-Up, Best Overall)


What We Like

  • Super portable

  • Stylish design

  • Durable

What We Don't Like

  • Average photo quality

  • Difficult to focus

Sony DSCW800/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera
Sony DSCW800/B Digital Camera
Sony DSCW800/B Digital Camera
Sony DSCW800/B 20.1 MP Camera
Sony DSCW800/B

While you aren’t going to take the highest-quality photos with this camera, our testers felt it was a good value for what you do get in terms of design and portability at a reasonable price point. “It looks much more expensive than it is,” detailed one of our reviewers. Calling it “surprisingly light,” one of our testers said, “If you're looking for something that can be easily carried around on the go, this would definitely work for that, and may even stand out in that category.” However, one of our reviewers was disappointed by the picture quality, calling the photos it took “generally average shots,” and also thought the auto zoom functioned poorly. One of our testers summed it up, saying, “If you had a phone that took bad photos, though, this could be a good cheap option to increase your photo quality.”