When someone tells me that photography is all about skill, I do agree. But hey, a buff in specifications of a compact or point and shoot camera doesn’t hurt. That’s what people get by spending $200 on a device. Yes, it’s not an SLR or a DSLR, but it’s not an “Entry-Level Digital Camera” as well.
So, what do you get by paying $100 more? This is what we’re exploring in this article of mine. I’ll be handing out my recommendations of the best point and shoot cameras under $200 as a list as well.
Hopefully, by the end of the article, you’ll end up with a number of suggestions and well-documented short reviews of products to pick from. Without further ado, let’s dive into the article.
TL;DR – Our Top 3 Picks
First up, let’s get on with the list. As promised, I’ll be exploring the benefits of handpicked compact cameras that won’t hurt our wallet and the overall performance of the cameras themselves.
The Canon Powershot ELPH 360 HS is a rare and unique combination of versatility, power, and performance that is portable enough to fit in your pocket. This tiny wonder lets you capture images with flexibility, comfort, and ease.
Zoom in and get a closer look at your subject with a 12X optical zoom combined with an efficient image stabilizer and get shots that wow the viewers.
An impressive zoom capacity is all well and good, but you might be more intrigued about the quality of the image that a camera can offer. The Powershot ELPH 360 doesn’t fail to impress in this section either. As it puts together a CMOS sensor, a DIGIC 4+ image processor and a megapixel count of 20.2 to deliver jaw-dropping quality keeping the price range in mind.
Many digital cameras out there offer a lot of astonishing features but at the end of the day overlook one crucial fact and that is the comfort of the users themselves. But this compact "Point and Shoot" camera is different.
Canon ensures the user-friendliness of its customers by making the body of the camera so compact that you can actually carry it in your pocket.
People can plan their vacations in tropical countries and take this device with them for an adventurous ride. The Powershot ELPH 360 is sturdy and resistant to the basic climate adversities. It can operate just fine within the temperatures of 0-40 degrees Celsius and 10-90 percent humidity is no issue at all.
The intelligent IS and image stabilizer makes sure that the images remain sharp with minimum blur even in shaky circumstances. Thinking of hiking this season? This little device will take all the photos for you and make it into a memorable trip.
Having a competent image stabilizer means kids and the elderly can operate this thing as well.
Now let me introduce you to something a bit more fun. The entirely new Hybrid auto feature lets you record an extra four seconds of video before you capture an image.
Then it combines each clip automatically to add a visual recap of the day! Which means you won’t miss a single moment of what you are going to capture.
Video and image compilation just got more fun with the story highlight feature that lets you create a mini highlight reel by adding music and effects! Tell your story your own way with your own custom settings that give you more liberty.
Wired connectivity is made more advanced with the Mini-B USB port and type D HDMI that allowed me to easily connect my camera to Canon SELPHY, PIXMA Photo Printers & PictBridge compatible printers, and a whole new list of compatible devices.
When we think of a budget all-rounder of a digital camera, these are definitely the features that we might find worth looking into. Overall, the Powershot ELPH 360 is no small contender.
Don’t at me for including Canon products back to back on the list. Canon Powershot ELPH 190 deserved a place here because of the price vs. performance curve. Canon has indeed come a long way in the road to developing budget compact cameras that are very much capable to outshine the competition.
This little pocket-sized camera right here is a revised improvement of the ELPH 180. Let’s see how much more this camera actually offers!
To every photographer, both simple and sophisticated, the zoom feature is very essential. And the ELPH 190 has upped its game by increasing to 10x optical zoom from 8x, giving you a clearer view of your subject with better efficiency and flexibility.
Aside from the optical zoom you get an additional feature of 4x digital zoom. Two cats in the bag for anyone who is a fan of dual zoom options.
As for the DIGI 4+ Image processor and an impressive 20 MP digital camera, it hasn’t changed a lot nor has the 720p video capacity. But the dimensions have improved along with the ergonomics of the camera with the measurements of (W x H x D) 3.75 x 2.24 x 0.93 in. / 95.3 x 56.8 x 23.6mm.
All the basic features aside, you get a "Scene Mode" option. This lets you navigate through the Fish Eye effect, Toy Camera effect and monochrome to capture your photos from different perspectives.
Not to mention, this camera is operation friendly and handles temperatures up to 32-104°F / 0-40°C and the operating humidity levels are 10-90%.
Don’t know how to go through all the sophisticated settings?
Well, you don’t have to with the new and improved “Smart Auto” feature. You also get the handy “Help” button that assists you by giving out the simple details of each setting.
Now let’s talk about the intelligent IS that really puts the cherry on top to this seemingly perfect compact camera. Whether you want to shoot in low lights or don’t have a tripod at hand, this will definitely help you out.
Even if you happen to have shaky hands, the Digital IS helps you reduce the camera shake and departure from the subject.
Concerned about the file transferring hassle that you might have to go through each time? Wash away your worries with the built-in Wi-Fi that comes with this amazing device. Wireless file transferring ease is going to be right at your fingertips.
With various improvements from the previous version, the overall design and awesome features do make the ELPH 190 an intriguing choice for those who want to buy a new compact camera for some intense budget photography.
Trust me when I say this, water and cameras don’t have very good chemistry. I have lost one of my favorite cameras just because of an unwanted splash of water. Luckily this won't happen with the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS30.
The Lumix DMC-TS30 is made for those who prefer an active lifestyle and aren’t afraid to dive deep. This camera is waterproof up to 8 meters. If you are an adventurer, then I guarantee that this is one of the best point at shoot cameras available out there.
This one heck of a tough device is well protected by design against shock, dust and freezing too. Let it be -10 Degree Celsius temps or a drop from up to 5 feet, this camera can handle it all.
Not only the solid build quality is impressive, but the mega O.I.S camera lens gives clarity and beauty to the pictures you take, even if you have shaky hands. Yes, as usual, kids and the elderly can use this minibeast to their hearts’ content.
Photos aren’t the only things Panasonic Lumix DMC TX30 is good at. This camera can record 720p HD MP4 videos with ease. The motion picture button lets you alter between both modes without any issues whatsoever. The red color reproduction of the advanced compensates for the red tones.
Bluntly speaking, this feature is priceless to have!
The Lumix DMC-TS30 has got your back when it comes to emergency storage needs as well. Yes, it gave me a 220 Mb backup when I ran out of external memory. You will definitely find it useful as well. This internal memory can store about 34 images! Not bad right?
Time-lapse features to even a torchlight, this camera has checked all the boxes of a memorable experience in underwater diving. There are some additional modes of the camera that include Sports, Snow, and Beach and Snorkeling.
The torchlight can be useful in illuminating dark tents even when the camera features are turned off.
I should also warn you that the camera is capable of underwater shooting. But it’s for a limited amount of time. Give or take 60 minutes. Other than that, this wonderful little device exceeds all expectations at its price range and is definitely a good buy.
As a diver of the deep blue, I am quite surprised by how much I got from the Fuji FinePix XP140. The first thing to check when you are out to buy an underwater camera is how many feet under the water surface can the camera go? And the XP140 surprised me and went far beyond my expectations.
Imagine surviving 82 feet of water thanks to the waterproof hardware within only 200 USD!
Just being able to handle depth is not enough an underwater photographer has to measure the efficiency of the camera and the image quality as well. So, without further delay let's dive in once again to the details.
The camera has an extremely refined light-capturing capacity as the deep blue can actually get dark at times. You will be awed by how fast the shutter speed of this camera actually is.
Not only that, this thing has the amazing shock-absorbing capacity, 5.9 feet to be exact. So, it should remain unharmed by normal drops from the hand.
The optical sensor resolution is 16 Megapixels. And there is an in-built viewfinder technology that is fixed to the LCD. The display screen is 3 inch and it is quite enough to take a good look at the subject you are about to capture.
I understand that people struggle with blurry, out of focus photos underwater. Not to mention, many of us have shaky hands as well. Thankfully, the image stabilizer is there to support motion adversities that most underwater photographers face.
Ever heard of a camera taking photos for you?
The smile Shutter feature does exactly that. Trust in the camera because it is programmed to help you not miss a valuable shot. Underwater adventures are incomplete without high res videos that awe the surface dwellers.
You can capture the under-water world with 15 frames per second in 4K / Ultra HD! the camera will offer quality that is hard to resist and the rest depends on the diver’s photography skills.
File-sharing can be done without getting entangled by wires because the XP140 comes with Bluetooth support. You can transfer files to smartphones and tablets with an improved pairing option.
We might prefer Wi-Fi or NFC support at this point but I was still satisfied with what it delivered below the $200 threshold.
I personally am quite impressed with all that this camera has already offered. But wait, it even gives you a 5x optical zoom that works underwater just in case a perfect shot is just a bit beyond your reach!
All these factors make the FujiFilm Finepix XP140 definitely one of the best underwater compact cameras out there when you consider the price you have to pay for it.
If you are into compact yet stylish digital cameras with the superb build quality and want to pick something up from the new arrivals, the Nikon COOLPIX W150 is definitely worth looking into.
The main factor about the camera that makes it a real bang for the buck is the amazing advancement it has made both in the software and hardware arena. Especially with the considerably low price point!
The amazing ergonomic design that gave me a firm grip on the camera along with the simplicity of operation impressed me and surpassed my expectations to quite some extent. The thing that this camera has brought new to the scene is the Bluetooth feature which can constantly transfer images to your smartphone as you keep shooting!
The camera is not the fastest shooter out there, but it definitely gets the job done. This camera is waterproof, bounce proof, and freeze proof as well.
I would recommend this camera for indoor photo sessions and overall casual use. This might not be your cup of tea if you are planning to conquer and capture the wild outdoors as well. Lack of the image stabilization feature doesn’t allow the W150 to capture shots in adverse situations.
I covered the main attractions of the camera that make it popular in its own league. But wait, there’s more!
Connectivity won’t be an issue for this camera at all as this little device supports Wi-Fi for faster transferring of files to any compatible device. The 2.7-inch display and a 3x optical zoom make everyday photography a lot more fun.
The 13MP digital camera with an aperture of f3.3-5.9 might not satisfy the needs of a hardcore adventurer but it certainly gets the job well done for family gatherings like picnics and birthdays. Photographing your kids while enjoying their childhood gets better with vivid colors and vibrant details.
You can spend the entire day with the fun shooting modes that this camera has and discover a variety of viewpoints and perspectives for a single photo. You can go a bit below the water level as well. Yes, COOLPIX W150 is waterproof when you want it to be.
The Coolpix W150 has indeed won a tough competition when it came to clarity.
This thing is all in all cute, stylish, and simple in every sense and comes within the range of a price. It’s slightly higher than 150 bucks. Check out this camera if you are looking for something to capture the sweet memories of your family and friends.
With a whopping 20 MP CCD sensor, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W830 brings to the competition a new blend of features that seem to be almost perfect! This camera features a promising 8x optical zoom that is a significant upgrade from older versions. The sensor gives the user optimum image quality that is guaranteed to wow the users.
The 25-mm wide-angle lens lets you get a wider view of things and take shots with variable resolutions. Never miss a smile or a priceless expression of your friends and family with the face detection technology that this camera offers. User-friendly features are given top priority so that photo shooting becomes easy for even novice photographers.
Image stabilization is an awesome feature to have in your digital camera as it makes up for shaky hands and moving subjects. The best part about the DSC-W830 is perhaps the compact size and solid build quality of this camera. It’s small enough to fit into your pocket or purse and is sturdy enough to take moderate pressure as well.
The 2.7-inch LCD screen is just right to go along with the compact size of the camera. The screen has 230k dots and is great for indoor use as it is quite vivid and bright. On the camera, you will find a shutter release and a switch that allows the users to control the zoom feature.
A flash is located on the front of the camera right on the upper side of the lens. The flash might be tiny, but it has a range of 3.2 meters when set with the wide-angle mode. This might not be jaw-dropping, but for the price range, it’s quite impressive. As it is more than capable of brightening up close range subjects.
With the continuous shooting capacity of 1 FPS, it has a consistent speed of 100 accurate shots, providing you are willing to keep on pressing the shutter for that long. The camera can provide 4K images with an ISO sensitivity range of 80 – 3200, making this camera especially good for portrait shots.
I really can’t expect more from a camera that is less than 150 USD. This is even cheaper at that. Good enough for moderate shooting and non-professional photography that is intended for casual use. The sleek design and competent features make this one of the best point and shoot cameras under 200 dollars without a doubt.
What you get by paying more?
By now, you'll probably guess that several variables can clearly be seen within digital cameras that are under $200 in the market. So, let’s point out what we can get more by paying more.
Features aside, we see a noticeable difference in build quality. The cameras that are within or around $100 won’t offer that premium quality that can be found on cameras that cross the 150 USD threshold.
Digital cameras that come close to 200 USD when it comes to price, offer protection against external environmental conditions such as dust, water, and shock. All compact cameras might fit into your pocket but not all of them will last very long if you are a rough user.
Now let’s talk about the features that are absent in digital cameras that can be bought at a lower price point.
Connectivity can be a bit outdated as NFC is still a premium feature that can’t be found around 100 USD. There are exceptions but they can’t be examples, can they? Plus, the viewfinder is absent in cheap point and shoot cameras in most cases.
Lower specs can be a bummer. The lens and sensor quality have a direct impact on image quality. Better sensors, larger pixel count is better found at slightly higher prices. While $200 won’t buy you super high-quality lenses, it’s definitely better than point and shoot cameras under $100 or $150.
I compared the zooming capacity of these devices as well. As it turns out, just for a difference of 50-60 USD you can get two times better optical zoom. It might sound exaggerated but it’s an actual fact. Some of the cheap digital cameras don’t even have optical zoom and that feature is replaced by digital zoom.
Special features like the viewfinder are simply not there in low budget cameras and this little thing is definitely worth spending more (cue: 200 dollars). Underwater adventures require some special red-light functions and waterproof materials that come only with more expensive options.
Durability is better on $200 cameras as well. Up to 7 feet drops can be absorbed by hardy cameras that exceed 150 USD. Various menu options and photo modes can be acquired if you spend more cash on your device. In this case, $200 point and shoot digital cameras are better by a mile than entry-level ones.
My Two Cents at the End
At the end of the day, it all comes down to your personal preference. People can hope for a casual photography experience with cameras at lower price points excluding the bells and whistles.
If you can afford to spend $200 and want some additional functions with a better promise of a premium experience, why not?
My suggestion would be to go for the features that matter to you. If what you are looking for in a camera is absent, don’t buy it. You can only get the best bang for your buck when your needs are fulfilled by a specific set of features that a single camera delivers.
This list of best point and shoot camera under $200 will certainly help you.