Sure, we all have cameras in our pockets thanks to the technology of smart phones. But there’s just something about having a point and shoot that makes casual photography more enjoyable. A dedicated point and shoot camera can help you produce better quality pictures and give you an exclusive device that stores your best memories for easy and problem-free management, storage, and sharing.
The only issue people have with cameras – especially those for casual use – is the cost. Why would you spend on a separate camera if your mobile phone probably already has one anyway? The truth is that point and shoots don’t have to be expensive, and here we prove just that with a guide on finding the best point and shoot camera under $200.
A Buyer’s Guide to Budget-Friendly Point-And-Shoots
You’d be surprised just how expensive some point and shoot cameras can be. At prices just a few dollars shy of a thousand, some of these choices can seem very impractical despite giving you near professional camera functionality.
Despite this, there are some pretty good choices on the market that don’t have to set you back too much. Find the best point and shoot camera under $200 and stay within budget by taking time to answer these questions.
- How Do You Plan to Use It? The first question you need to ask yourself is how you plan to use your new point and shoot. This will dictate a lot of what you should look for, and will ultimately point you towards the right direction at the store.
For instance, some buyers want to be able to use their point and shoot cameras for sharing pictures right after they’re taken. In this case, a WiFi enabled device should be your first choice. Others who want to be able to use the device exclusively for taking pictures for the sake of keeping memories may not need the connectivity feature.
If you want to be able to use your new point and shoot for your outdoor adventures and travels, a more robust action or lifestyle camera should be right up your alley.
- Where Will You Use It? Do you find yourself more commonly taking pictures indoors or are you more of an outdoor casual photographer? This should play a role in your decision because it tells you the ISO rating you should choose.
Higher ISO cameras can take pictures in very low light settings, and even capture movement with clarity. Lower ISO cameras can be cheaper, but are more suitable for settings where there’s ample lighting and minimal movement.
- What Features Are Essential to You? Point and shoot cameras almost always have some sort of gimmick or special feature that sets them apart from other choices. Some of these can be essential for comfortable and problem-free use, while others will simply end up confusing users.
For instance, many Fujifilm digital point and shoots have built-in filters and photo editing software that you can use to edit your pictures straight from the camera. There are other brands that have perfected the vari-angle display, allowing you to take selfies without guesswork.
While many of these features may seem unnecessary in the grand scheme of casual photography, they can make it a lot easier for you to do what you want to do with your device. So consider the features you’re getting out of your point and shoot and weigh whether or not you’ll use them or ignore them in the long run.
Top 5 Best Point and Shoot Cameras Under $200
1. Canon PowerShot SX600 Digital Camera
The Canon PowerShot SX600 HS Digital Camera takes the top spot as the best point and shoot camera under $200 for several good reasons. With a price tag that’s just a few dollars shy of the 200 dollar mark, this camera delivers superior ease of use, picture quality, and versatility that make it the perfect everyday photography companion.
The device features a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor, 18x optical zoom, a 3 inch TFT-color LCD display, and 1080p full HD video capture capacity that allows users to leverage the device for a variety of purposes and situations.
It comes with built-in WiFi connectivity making it easy to transfer and manage files wirelessly, and it also features a one-touch mobile device connection button that allows you to sync your camera to your smartphone for added functionality.
- Excellent zooming capacity
- Impressive image quality
- Easier to get stable and well-focused images
- Full HD video capture for all occasions
- Artistic, creative shot features
- Easy to use
- Can be blurry when used while moving
2. Sony DSCH300/B Digital Camera
The Sony DSCH300/B Digital Camera is a point and shoot camera that comes close to mirrorless cameras. For that reason, it’s a great pick for buyers who want high quality, near-professional outcomes sans the hefty price tag that may come with mirrorless or DSLR devices.
The camera features a 20.1 megapixel CMOS sensor, superior image stabilization, and a powerful 35x optical zoom that gives users more options in a variety of settings. The camera also has built in effects and presets that make it easier to produce images in different styles and aesthetics.
At just a few dollars under 200, the Sony DSCH300/B Digital Camera is a major steal, offering you superior results and satisfaction in a powerful yet affordable package.
- Good zooming power
- Simple and intuitive controls
- Easy image stabilization
- Ergonomic and facilitates a good grip
- Face Detection and Smiling Shutter for focused shots
- No viewfinder
- No external flash unit connection
- Slow capture speed
3. Canon PowerShot SX620 Digital Camera
The Canon PowerShot SX620 Digital Camera is the prototypical point and shoot camera workhorse that embodies straightforward use and functionality. The device features 25x optical zoom capabilities, a 20.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, and 1080p full HD video recording capacity. All of these combined make it possible for even the most inexperienced amateurs to produce share-worthy images with minimal effort.
While it is a very practical and reasonable choice for a lot of buyers who want a reliable and efficient everyday photography tool, the image stabilization isn’t as great as it could be. So if you plan to use your camera for action shots and moving targets, it may not be the best pick.
- Simple to transport
- Excellent optical zoom
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
- Efficient video capability
- Reasonably priced
- No separate viewfinder
- Limited performance in action shots
- Lacks articulated screen
4. Sony DSC-W830/B 20.1 MP Camera
Sony’s DSC-W830 is a compact camera with 8x optical zoom and a 20.1-megapixel CCD sensor. As you can see, its zooming capacity is one of its strongest features. With it, you can take wide-angle and zoomed-in images, depending on your preference.
The DSC-W830 continues to impress with its 25mm wide-angle lens and 20.0MP high-resolution sensor. With this model, you don’t need to worry about not getting the coverage you need for your shots. Image stabilization and face detection focusing are among its other fantastic features.
Despite having room for batteries and a memory card, the camera weighs just 120 grams. For this reason, you will find that it is lightweight and travel-ready. A 210-shot battery life rating is typical for a tiny camera. Despite this, the charging is a breeze, thanks to the included USB cable.
The Optical SteadyShot image stabilization counters camera shake for clear shots. This feature helps you shoot a whole landscape in a single shot. It is also ideal for those who love shooting human subjects.
Those who are into vlogging loves how this camera takes care of everything. Focus, exposure, and white balance are all aided by its face detection technology. You might not be happy with its controls, though. First, this camera has small buttons. Second, it lacks a touchscreen display.
- Perfect for all occasions
- Compact and travel-ready design
- Affordable camera
- Excellent optical image stabilization
- Inadequate video resolution
- No wireless connectivity
5. Nikon Coolpix L340 20.2 MP Camera
For excellent photo and video quality, you will never go wrong with Nikon’s Coolpix L340. It boasts a 20.2-megapixel CCD sensor that delivers sharp and vibrant results. However, there can be a lot of noise when you use it in very low-light situations.
When it comes to zoom range, this model does not disappoint. It has the combined prowess of a 28x digital zoom and a 56x dynamic zoom. The Dynamic Fine Zoom is an upgraded digital zoom capability that effectively doubles your reach. You can extend the range to 56x when you need an even greater reach.
Plus, it is equipped with Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) technology, which helps ensure your shots stay focused. You can use the camera both for photography and videography and expect impressive results. Some may consider its settings more favorable for photos, but its scene options for videos also let you modify your shooting approach.
To help you find your photography style, you’ll like that this camera has 16 distinct scene modes. With it, you can play around and switch from one scene to another, depending on your preference. Alternatively, you can make use of the Scene Auto Selector to get the job done for you.
The Nikon Coolpix L340 doesn’t have many buttons, making it ideal for individuals new to the scene. For instance, it has a dedicated button for video so that you can easily switch from photography to videography in a second.
You can review your shots via the camera’s three-inch LCD screen. While it doesn’t have touchscreen capabilities, its size and brightness more than make up for it. What’s more, its ergonomic build means you can hold the camera comfortably and securely in your hands. The buttons are also positioned exactly where you want them to make it easy to operate.
- Good for beginners and pros
- Reasonably priced
- Ergonomic and easy to use
- Delivers stability
- Suitable for all occasions
- Needs ample lighting for optimal shots
With too many options available, it can be challenging to find the best point and shoot cameras under 200 dollars. For us, though, we liked Sony DSCH300/B Digital Camera the most for its easy navigation, versatility, and ergonomic body.
If you don’t need that much zoom range, though, you can go for Canon PowerShot SX600 HS 16MP Camera instead. Those who enjoy documenting their travels will like that it weighs just 120 grams. Even better, a full charge allows you to take at least 210 shots. With this in your hand, you’d be able to record videos and take photos of all your adventures.