Best Digital Camera Under $200

Kyle Schurman Profile image

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Updated July 13, 2022

Finding a solid digital camera under $200 can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. Either the options don’t have the best features or they’re just plain bad quality. Because of this, we at GadgetReview decided to research the most popular cameras online and find the best for you. After our online research – which factored in customer sentiment, as well – we purchased the top 10 cameras under $200 to test them out. We took them out with us on hikes and kept them around the office, testing out features like image quality, image stabilization, Wi-Fi connectivity, and more. If you follow our guide, you’ll have full HD pictures to document your next vacation before you know it.

This testing led us to find the best digital camera under $200 for 2019: the Canon PowerShot ELPH 190. This camera offers a slim profile, high MP resolution, and built-in Wi-Fi. Keep reading to learn more about the ELPH 190 and the 2 other options we found to be the best cameras under $200.

Best Rated Digital Cameras Under $200 Compared

 Canon PowerShot ELPH 180Sony DSCH300BNikon Coolpix A10
Canon PowerShot ELPH 190Sony DSCH300/BNikon Coolpix A10
Ranking#1 – Editor’s Pick#2 – Best Zoom Camera#3 – Best Budget Camera
Amazon Rating4andhalf-stars4stars-new3.5stars-2105
Image Sensor1/2.3-inch1/2.3-inch1/2.3-inch
Resolution20.0 MP16.0 MP16.1 MP
Optical Zoom Lens10X20X5X
Movie RecordingHD 720p, 30 fpsHD 720p, 30 fpsHD 720p, 30 fps
Flash Unitgreen-check-markgreen-check-markgreen-check-mark
Display Screen5.0 inches3.0 inches2.7 inches
Touch Screen Displayred-x-iconred-x-iconred-x-icon
Wireless Connectivitygreen-check-markred-x-iconred-x-icon
Price$149.00$177.90$86.95
Buy NowBuy NowBuy Now

#1 Pick Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 (Editor’s Choice)

Canon PowerShot ELPH 180
The Canon PowerShot ELPH’s slim profile and 8X optical zoom make it a great camera for under $200.

Retail Price: $149 | Optical Zoom: 8X | Resolution: 20.0 MP | Read Full Review: Canon PowerShot ELPH 190

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Great value with desirable features in a thin camera body.

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 is a slightly older camera that’s not a great Canon DSLR device, and has dropped a little bit in price point since its introduction, making it a nice value now. Canons CMOS sensors will have your pictures coming out high quality every time. You don’t have to be a pro to use this camera, just point and shoot. But, make it even more exciting with a high-quality Canon lens for video shots.

Samsung includes an 8X optical zoom lens and built-in WiFi with this model, which are great to find at this price point. This model is a pretty fast performer, offering the ability to capture six photos in less than 1 second, which is a strong performance for a $200 camera. The built-in flash is bright and performs well in low light, allowing you to capture good photos even when there isn’t great lighting available, which is rare to find in the best point-and-shoot camera 2019. This camera will also give you the option to shoot HD video without breaking the bank.

Related: See also the best point and shoot under 500.

And you’ll really appreciate the massive 5-inch display, which makes the ELPH 190 very easy to use.

View on Amazon – $149

3 Things to Avoid in a Camera Under $200

  • Poor Build Quality: Some inexpensive cameras have a cheap design and build quality, leaving them susceptible to breaking if they’re ever dropped. A camera that has a poor build quality may feel too light as you hold it. The battery compartment door hinge may feel flimsy too. Plus, they probably won’t make the best vlogging cameras.
  • Digital Zoom Measurement: Many manufacturers of inexpensive cameras may tout the digital zoom capability of their models, but digital zoom causes a loss of image quality in exchange for the zoom. Only pay attention to the optical zoom measurement.
  • Battery Life: Many sub-$200 cameras don’t have a very big battery, and they’ll only be able to shoot 150 or so photos per charge. Look through the camera’s specifications for a battery life estimate, keeping in mind using WiFi will quickly drain the camera battery versus just shooting photos.

Key Indicators of a Great Camera Under $200

The best cameras under $200 contain a few key features.

  1. Ease of Use: Many of these devices are great digital cameras for beginners. It’s also this price point likely going to appeal to beginner-level photographers, which means you’re going to want the camera to be easy to use. Most $200 cameras will have plenty of automatic control options, making the photography process simple. But, compare digital camera RAW file formats vs automatic before deciding on one. If you’re fortunate enough to find a camera in this price point with a touch screen display, the camera should be easier to use than some others. Some people may find a little camera easier to use, others may want something with a bit more weight. Consider which option is best for you.
  2. Optical Zoom Lens: Finding a camera for filmmaking on a budget that has a large optical zoom lens can be a challenge. While you may find a 50X optical zoom on a significantly older model that has dropped into this price point, you’re probably going to find new cameras for $200 or less with 10X or 20X optical zoom lenses. In the long run, you’ll be happier with a larger zoom lens in your beginner-level camera than a smaller zoom.
  3. Camera Size and Style: A beginning photographer may be seeking a camera he or she can carry in a pocket or purse. And such a camera may need to have a brightly colored body or some other interesting stylistic feature to be appealing. Fortunately, cameras in the $200 price range often offer plenty of style in a camera that’s typically thin and lightweight. Keep in mind any nice 3D camera in this budget will likely not produce the best photos.

Most Important Camera Under $200 Features

  1. Image Sensor
    • As discussed in our list of the Best Digital Cameras for 2019, image sensor size plays a key role in image quality. Most cameras under $200 have a small 1/2.3-inch image sensor, but if you can find a larger sensor in a camera for this price, you’ll appreciate the improved image quality you’ll receive. If you don’t pay attention to the image sensor of your potential camera, you may be missing out on full HD video.
  2. Resolution
    • The number of megapixels of resolution you can record also plays a role in image quality, although not quite as strong as the image sensor size.
  3. Optical Zoom Lens
    • A thin camera with a big optical zoom lens measurement is a desirable model at this price point.
  4. Movie Recording
    • One of the biggest improvements in low-cost cameras in recent years is high-quality HD movie recording.
  5. Built-in Flash Unit
    • If you’re going to use this cheap camera while out with friends and family, you’ll probably be shooting a lot of night photos, so a good flash unit is needed. A popup flash will perform better than a flash embedded in the corner of the camera body.
  6. Display Screen
    • Because a camera at this price point will be competing with a smartphone camera, a large, high-resolution screen is a must.
  7. Touch Screen Display
    • With beginning photographers, a touch screen display is desirable for making the camera easy to use.
  8. Built-in Wireless Connectivity
    • Finding WiFi and NFC capabilities in a low-cost camera are becoming more common.
  9. Fun Features
    • As cameras in this price point try to compete with smartphone cameras, they need to have fun features, such as bright body colors.

#2 PICK  Sony DSCH300/B – Best Zoom Camera Under $200

Sony DSCH300B
The Sony DSCH300/B has a great 35X optical zoom lens for a sub-$200 camera.

Retail Price: $177.90 | Optical Zoom: 20X | Resolution: 16 MP

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Mid-range zoom lens is great to find in an inexpensive camera.

It’s great to find a 35X optical zoom lens in the thin and inexpensive Sony DSCH300/B. This easy-to-use model even has Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. It would have been nice if Sony had produced the DSCH300/B with touch screen capabilities, but it’s still a really nice model inside the sub-$200 price point.

View on Amazon- $177.90

#3 PICK  Nikon Coolpix A10 – Best Budget Camera Under $200

Nikon Coolpix A10
Those seeking a good budget camera will appreciate the solid features of the Nikon Coolpix A10.

Retail Price: $86.95 | Optical Zoom: 5X | Resolution: 16.1 MP

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Best collection of all-around features in a cheap camera.

Nikon’s line of Coolpix point-and-shoot cameras have always been solid models, providing good features and easy-to-use functionality, and the Coolpix A10 follows along that same vein. The Nikon Coolpix A10 offers a 5X optical zoom lens and 15 different scene modes. This camera won’t offer top-of-the-line features, but it’s a solid under $200 camera option.

View on Amazon – $86.95

Which Camera Under $200 Is Right For You?

If you have $200 or less in the budget for your camera, you have to have the right mindset when it comes to searching for the best digital camera to meet your needs. Don’t plan on receiving top-flight image quality or performance levels in this price range. But what you can find are models with some helpful photographic features that will allow them to greatly outperform smartphone cameras. Image quality is going to be limited at this price point, as most such cameras have a small 1/2.3-inch image sensor. So look for a good optical zoom lens first of all when seeking the best camera under $200. And then look for some fun features that will appeal to a beginning photographer, and you’ll have a nice starter camera.

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