If it’s not that easy to find a really good camera under $100, things get a little easier if you are willing to spend a little bit more. Researching for the perfect camera can take forever, and it’s difficult to be sure you are making the right choice when you don’t really know what factors to consider. To make your life easier, I have created this guide with the 6 best cameras under 200 dollars for 2018.

In this price range, compact cameras dominate, along with larger point & shoot cameras with a mini-DSLR feel, typically offering an impressive optical zoom. The advantage of this design is a good hand grip, useful in low light situation when you need to hold the camera steady to avoid blurry pictures. I actually really like this type of cameras and used to own one. But as you will see below it is a compact camera that won the top pick tag, because even if its zoom is less impressive, it offers a wider range of features for a comparable price.

Another thing I wanted to mention before we dive in, we are here talking about cameras costing less than 200 dollars. It’s quite cheap for a camera. It is important to keep this in mind when you compare the specifications and features of the cameras – don’t have unrealistic expectations! A $200 point & shoot camera will never catch up with the quality of a DSLR or a mirrorless camera costing more than twice that price.

Anyway, let’s now see what are the 6 best cameras that you can get for less than 200 dollars in 2018!

The 6 Best Cameras Under 200 Dollars for 2018

Sony DSC-WX220 Digital CameraOur Top Pick

The Sony DSC-WX220 is a lightweight and compact camera that is really packed with features and functionalities.

A first feature worth mentioning is the full HD 1080p video quality, not that common in that price range. Other than that, the 18 MP sensor coupled with the BIONZ X image processor offers a good image quality and the 10x zoom enables taking great pictures in various situations.

The Sweep Panorama mode can create a panoramic image up to 360°, and the 10 frames-per-second continuous shooting is great to capture fast moving objects of take sports pictures for example. NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity are available to easily remote control the camera with a smartphone.

Some users have reported this camera to be a little fragile in the long run, and the image quality starts suffering in really low light. That said, for this price, I think this camera still is one of your best options given all the functionality you have access to, and it’s my top pick!

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 87 x 3.62 x 2.05 in / 2.2 x 9.2 x 5.2 cm
  • Weight: 4.32 oz / 122 g
  • Resolution: 18.2 MP
  • Zoom: 10x optical
  • Screen: 3” fixed LCD
  • Video: Full HD 1080p

Pros

  • Good image resolution
  • SteadyShot image stabilization
  • Nice 10x zoom
  • Good variety of modes and features
  • Good full HD video recording
  • Wireless connectivity
  • 10 fps continuous shooting

Cons

  • Noisy images in difficult lighting conditions
  • Durability is questionable

Sony DSC-W830 Digital Camera

At just over $100, this highly affordable, no-frills camera takes decent images with a high resolution 20 MP sensor and a good quality Zeiss lens.

It offers quite a few modes and features, such as live panorama stitching, burst continuous shooting and various scene modes. Its ISO sensibility is pretty good for a camera of this range, up to 3200. Along with Sony’s SteadyShot image stabilization, they reduce the risk of blurry images in low light.

The video mode is comparable to other similar cameras with a quality up to 720p HD.

For the price, this camera is not bad, not incredible; it just simply does the job.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 2 in / 9.4 x 2.3 x 5.1 cm
  • Weight: 4.3 oz / 122 g
  • Resolution: 20.1 MP
  • Zoom: 8x optical, 32x digital
  • Screen: 2.7” fixed LCD
  • Video: 720p HD

Pros

  • Good image resolution
  • SteadyShot image stabilization
  • Good variety of modes and features
  • ISO sensibility up to 3200

Cons

  • Image quality not always as good as expected
  • Image processing can feel a bit long

Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 Digital Camera

Taking over the ELPH 180, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 has attractive specifications making it a good option for a camera under $200. The combination of the 20 MP sensor and the DIGIC 4+ Image Processor results in good photo quality as you can expect from a brand like Canon.

A variety of scene modes and camera effects, along with a nice 10x optical zoom, allow you to get creative and obtain good shots in most situations. The image stabilization is “intelligent” and adapts to how you are using the camera.

Wireless connectivity is also pretty good with NFC and Wi-Fi, enabling you to share your pictures or control the camera remotely via the Camera Connect App.

The video recording is quite standard for this price range, 720p HD at 25 fps. At about $160, the PowerShot ELPH 190 offers a good range of possibilities to shoot good-looking and creative pictures.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 8 x 0.9 x 2.2 in / 9.7 x 2.3 x 5.6 cm
  • Weight: 4.9 oz / 139 g
  • Resolution: 20 MP
  • Zoom: 10x optical
  • Screen: 2.7” fixed LCD
  • Video: 720p HD at 25 fps

Pros

  • Good image resolution
  • Intelligent image stabilization
  • Good scene and creative modes
  • DIGIC 4+ Image Processor
  • Wireless connectivity
  • 10x optical zoom

Cons

  • The Wi-Fi is a little troublesome to set up

Sony DSC-H300 Digital Camera

Designed to look and feel like a mini DSLR, the Sony DSCH300 is not as compact as others but it is also one level up. The most obvious feature is its amazing 35x optical zoom that makes this camera truly versatile.

Other features that we can expect from a Sony camera are present, such as the SteadyShot image stabilization system, overall great image quality and high resolution from the 20 MP Super HAD CCD sensor.

I personally like this type of cameras and bought one from Sony before switching to DSLR. The fact of having this ergonomic grip on the side, similar to those on DSLRs, really helps holding the camera tight and avoiding camera shake, for sharper images. The camera is powered by 2 AA batteries (the use or rechargeable batteries is also possible).

If you are looking for an easy-to-carry camera that can take great pictures without too much hassle but still something different from a classic small compact cameras, the Sony DSHC300 is a great choice.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 81 x 5.1 x 3.74 in / 12.2 x 12.9 x 9.5 cm
  • Weight: 1.2 lbs / 544 g
  • Resolution: 20.1 MP
  • Zoom: 35x optical
  • Screen: 3” fixed LCD
  • Video: 720p HD at 30 fps

Pros

  • Mini-DSLR look & feel
  • Great image quality & resolution
  • SteadyShot image stabilization
  • Great 35x optical zoom
  • Good number of creative modes

Cons

  • The batteries can get drained much faster if you play with the zoom a lot
  • No Wi-Fi

Kodak PIXPRO AZ401BK Point & Shoot Digital Camera

An amazing 40x optical zoom on a budget: that could summarize the Kodak AZ401. Very similar to the Sony DSCH300 reviewed above but slightly smaller, the Kodak shares the same DSLR-like design and the pricing is about the same, around $160.

The image resolution is pretty good at 16 MP (image quality is good overall but not mind blowing), and the 24 mm wide angle lens is much welcome for landscape photography. An Optical Image Stabilization is also present to reduce the effects of camera shake in challenging lighting conditions.

A panorama function is also available, as well as 720p video recording. The video quality is not too bad but not impressive. The camera is powered by 4 AA batteries.

I would consider this camera slightly inferior to the Sony DSC-H300 in terms of image and video quality, but still a good option is having the biggest zoom possible is a priority for you.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 3 x 4.5 x 3.2 in / 8.4 x 11.4 x 8.1 cm
  • Weight: 1 lb / 454 g
  • Resolution: 16 MP
  • Zoom: 40x optical
  • Screen: 3” fixed LCD
  • Video: 720p HD

Pros

  • Mini-DSLR look & feel
  • 40x optical zoom
  • 24 mm wide angle lens

Cons

  • Image & video quality not impressive
  • Quite short battery life
  • Image stabilization becomes much less effective as you zoom far
  • Panorama function limited to 180°

Nikon COOLPIX L32 Digital Camera

The Nikon Coolpix L32 can be summarized as good quality, very simple and easy-to-use compact camera. It doesn’t offer any spectacular feature and the 5x zoom feels a little short compared with other cameras of this price range.

But it is built with quality materials and good optics, and the image quality is fine. If you are looking for a basic camera you can rely on, you should check this one out. The Electronic Vibration Reduction system helps get non-blurry images in difficult light conditions.

It is easy to transfer pictures through a cable but we can regret there is no wireless connectivity. It runs on 2 AA batteries that you can replace with rechargeable one if you wish.

Overall, it is a nice little camera for those who like it simple and reliable.

 Quick Specifications

  • Dimensions: 14 x 3.74 x 2.36 in / 2.9 x 7.6 x 5.1 cm
  • Weight: 5.76 oz / 163.3 g
  • Resolution: 20 MP
  • Zoom: 5x optical
  • Screen: 3” fixed LCD
  • Video: 720p HD

Pros

  • Good image resolution
  • Good quality NIKKOR wide-angle lens
  • Convenient video recording button
  • Good build quality
  • The menu is easy to navigate
  • Electronic Vibration Reduction for image stabilization

Cons

  • The 5x zoom is quite average
  • No wireless connectivity

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are The Factors to Consider When Choosing my Camera?

The first advice I can give you is to think of how you will use the camera. Do you need it to be as small as possible? Will you make full use of a big zoom? Is video quality super important or secondary? Will you be all the time in Auto or will you happily explore all the modes and functions?  Knowing that not everything will be perfect, give priority to the functionality you will use the most.

It may sound obvious but I know how easy it is to get caught in a race for the largest number of options and functions and features. Not everything will be useful to you.

For less than $200, you don’t have access to the absolute best quality but you can still find very decent cameras you can rely on.

Image & Video quality: This is of course the number one factor to consider. After all, gadget features are cool but only if the image quality is satisfying. The sensor size doesn’t have much importance because you are not buying a $200 camera to get a professional result, and whether your image is 16 megapixels or 24 megapixels doesn’t make much difference.

Image Stabilization: Each brand has developed its own image stabilization system, with comparable results. If you think that just having an image stabilization will miraculously save you from blurred images no matter what, you will be disappointed! When the light gets too low, the camera needs the longer exposure to get a clear image and the stabilization will only work to some extent.

That said, it is still a good feature to have because every stabilization is good to take, and when it’s getting just a little bit dark, this system alone can save your picture.

Wireless connectivity: Personally it is not something that I really use, but if you enjoy sharing your images on social media for example, make sure that the camera has some kind of connectivity – Wi-Fi and/or NFC.

Features & Functionality: Take a look at the different modes the camera offers. Apart from a general Auto mode, it should offer various scene modes such as landscape, portrait… Those help the camera get the right settings to shoot a good picture. Other interesting modes are sometimes present, like the panorama mode working like on your smartphone. It can be a nice addition if it’s something you like using.

Shoul I Look at The Optical Zoom or The Digital Zoom?

The optical zoom is what matters. I wouldn’t even care if the camera allows a 100x digital zoom if the optical zoom is lame.

The optical zoom magnifies the picture and keeps the resolution and image quality intact. It is obtained by modifying the focal length of the lens.

The digital zoom, as its name suggests, is digital and does not come from lens movement. It is an artificial zoom obtained by cropping the image, and as a result reducing its resolution and quality.

Why Don’t You Clearly Show Prices on This Page?

Since prices can vary at any given moment, it would be close to impossible to keep them up to date on this page. That’s why I prefer to give you a link enabling you to check the price for the camera you like the most. At least, you already know that all cameras on this page cost less than $200!

How Did You Choose Your Top Pick?

My top pick is the camera that, in my opinion, offers the best quality and the best features for a justified pricing.

I have to admit that I hesitated between the Sony DSC-H300 and the Sony DSC-WX220. I really like the bigger DSC-H300 with its great optical zoom, but I think that overall the DSC-WX220 is superior in terms of functionality even if the zoom is more modest (but still good!).

Final Thoughts

Of course, for under 200 dollars we can’t except an exceptional piece of technology, but I think you found great little cameras on this page that will probably fulfill your needs.

The choice between a compact camera and a bigger “mini-DSLR” type of camera is of course up to you, you have all the information you need to make a wise choice according to the use you will make of your camera.

In any case, I hope this guide will help you make your decision and find the digital camera of your dreams!

Disclosure: Exploration Junkie is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

If you purchase an item on Amazon through the affiliate links in this page, this website will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps us keeping this site ad-free, and it helps you say thank you if our content is useful to you 🙂


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