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8 Best Cameras Under $200 (Top Picks 2023!)

Last updated: September 21, 2023 - 16 min read
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If you’re looking for a great camera that doesn’t cost a fortune, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a list to help you find a great camera under 200 dollars.

These are all cameras that either do things your phone doesn’t or go somewhere your phone can’t. Our top pick combines affordability, a waterproof body, and ease of use.

Our Top 3 Choices for The Best Camera Under $200
Kodak Pixpro WPZ2
Kodak Pixpro WPZ2
Kodak Pixpro WPZ2
Paper Shoot Camera
Paper Shoot Camera
Paper Shoot Camera
Akaso V50X
Akaso V50X
Akaso V50X

The Best Camera Under 200

We’ve found cameras that shoot underwater. And some print your photos instantly. Or they might have the sort of zoom your smartphone could only dream of. But before we look in detail at our recommendations, here’s a summary of what we’ve selected.

Our Top Pick
Kodak Pixpro WPZ2
Kodak Pixpro WPZ2
Kodak Pixpro WPZ2
  • Waterproof to 50 feet (15 m)
  • Full HD video
  • Robust construction
  • Impressive zoom range
Best Novelty Camera
Paper Shoot Camera
Paper Shoot Camera
Paper Shoot Camera
  • Truly unique design
  • 16 MP sensor
  • Very slim and lightweight
  • Point and shoot simplicity
Best Action Camera
Akaso V50X
Akaso V50X
Akaso V50X
  • Waterproof to 98 feet ( 30 m)
  • 20 MP sensor
  • Excellent image staibilization
  • 4K video
Best Old-School Instant Camera
Polaroid Originals Now I-Type
Polaroid Originals Now I-Type
Polaroid Originals Now I-Type
  • Simply point and shoot
  • Built-in flash
  • Good-size prints for an instant camera
  • Iconic design
Best-Equipped Camera
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W800/B
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W800/B
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W800/B
  • 20 MP sensor
  • Slim, pocketable design
  • Excellent image stabilization
  • Optical zoom
Best Bridge Camera
Kodak Pixpro AZ421
Kodak Pixpro AZ421
Kodak Pixpro AZ421
  • Incredible 42 x optical zoom
  • Wide 24mm focal length
  • Built-in flash
  • Face detection
Best Instant for Younger Kids
Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 (Sky Blue)
Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 (Sky Blue)
Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 (Sky Blue)
  • Distinctive chunky styling
  • Handy wallet-sized instant photos
  • Simple point-and-shoot performance
  • Built-in flash
Best of Both Worlds
Kodak Printomatic Instant Print Camera
Kodak Printomatic Instant Print Camera
Kodak Printomatic Instant Print Camera
  • Instant prints and digital storage
  • Fun design and color options
  • Water-resistant instant photos
  • Built-in flash

The Best Cameras Under $200

Now it’s time to dive in and look at each of our choices in a bit more detail. Let’s start with our top pick.

1. Kodak PixPro WPZ2

Kodak Pixpro WPZ2
Brand
Brand
Kodak
Camera Type
Camera Type
Action
Film or Digital
Film or Digital
Digital
Special Features
Special Features
Waterproof to 50 feet (15 m)
Best For
Best For
Taking photos in places where you wouldn't want to risk an expensive camera or phone

The Kodak PixPro WPZ2 is a bargain if you like waterproof cameras. It’s rugged enough for a life of adventure. And it has everything compact cameras need to please young photographers. You get excellent photos and videos. And it’s one of the best underwater cameras under $200.

The strength and durability are the main selling points of this compact camera. It’s shockproof, dustproof, and waterproof to a depth of 50 feet (15 m). While it does struggle for light at deeper depths, you can capture stunning underwater photos closer to the surface.

The Kodak Pixpro WPZ2 is armed with a 16 MP sensor. You can expect consistent photos with fantastic detail and wonderful color rendering. It works well for nature and wildlife photography, keeping colors natural and vibrant.

Video makers will get excited about the Full HD video recording. It gives you the opportunity to create fabulous underwater videos. You can make fun holiday videos in the pool for social media. Or you can create underwater nature videos for your travel blog.

The Kodak Pixpro WPZ2 has a 4x optical zoom lens. This level of magnification is a huge benefit if you’re taking wildlife photos. You can get close-up shots without scaring the animals away. The LCD screen is bright and detailed. And you have Wi-Fi connectivity that makes sharing images and videos easy.

2. Paper Shoot

Paper Shoot Camera
Brand
Brand
Paper Shoot
Camera Type
Camera Type
Instant
Film or Digital
Film or Digital
Digital
Special Features
Special Features
Unique design
Best For
Best For
Simple point-and-shoot photos

“Unique” is often thrown around quite casually. But the Paper Shoot really is unique. It’s a camera you assemble yourself when it arrives. And it is literally made from paper. It is a curious and somewhat charming blend of tech and simplicity. It has a 16 MP sensor, but no screen. So that adds some of the analog anxiety to your digital snapping.

Apart from that, it is a stripped-to-the-bone digital camera. There’s a fixed focus and fixed focal length lens. There are four filter modes—Normal, Black and White, Sepia, and Blue. Strictly speaking, that’s three filters. The images are designed to look like pictures from a point-and-shoot film camera. So there are no crisp hi-res images here. But it does exactly what it claims.

And if video is your thing, you can grab ten-second-long 1080p movies. Everything is automatic, but it does have one nice trick. It’s able to take time-lapse movies.

This is the opposite of the homogenous grey cameras that dominate the market. There are roughly 20 different designs you can choose from. All of them will make your camera a talking point. It’s a fun, carefree way to take your photos.

3. Akaso V50 Pro

Akaso V50X
Brand
Brand
Akaso
Camera Type
Camera Type
Action Camera
Film or Digital
Film or Digital
Digital
Special Features
Special Features
Waterproof
Best For
Best For
Capturing the action whatever the conditions

The Akaso V50 Pro is the best budget action camera you can find. It might not have the branding of a GoPro. But it produces amazing action photos and videos for under $200. It’s reliable and robust and the results are stunning. And they’re even more stunning when you see the price tag.

The Akaso V50 Pro is a waterproof camera. It can shoot stills and videos underwater down to 98 feet (30 m). And the Diving Mode filters red light so you can see more at greater depths. You don’t need any additional camera filters for underwater action.

The image sensor has a resolution of 20 MP for superb image quality. The photos are razor-sharp with bright and vivid colors. The quality of the fixed wide-angle lens boosts the visual standard of the images. And the electronic image stabilization keeps the action looking crisp by reducing camera shake and motion blur.

Adventurous content creators will love the 4K video. There aren’t many cameras below $200 that give you 4K video quality. But the Akaso V50 Pro allows you to create stunning underwater videos for vlogs or social media. And the camera also supports external microphones for sound recording. Not many waterproof cameras give you this level of creative control.

The LCD screen is only 2 inches, so it can be fiddly for larger fingers. But it’s bright and gives you a high-quality live view of what you’re shooting. You also get burst mode and time-lapse mode. And there’s Wi-Fi connectivity to make sharing online even easier. There’s also a helmet clamp for unique POV action.

4. Polaroid Now I-Type

Polaroid Originals Now I-Type
Brand
Brand
Polaroid Originals
Camera Type
Camera Type
Instant Camera
Film or Digital
Film or Digital
Film
Special Features
Special Features
Instant photos
Best For
Best For
Parties and weddings when you want that instant retro image

Polaroid is the biggest name in instant film cameras. They’ve been leading the market for decades. And not much has changed in that regard. Polaroid cameras are fun and exciting. They’re the perfect gateway into film photography. And there’s no waiting around for development. Teens will love a Polaroid camera, but they’re fun for the whole family.

Polaroid cameras strip photography back to its simplest form. You load the film, point the camera, and shoot. Then the camera prints the photo. And after a bit of photo shaking, you have your instant image. And this simplicity comes in the form of a sleek and stylish point-and-shoot camera.

The Polaroid Now I-Type uses a dual-lens system, allowing you to compose the perfect shot each time. The camera decides which lens is best for the conditions, giving you more freedom to shoot. And there’s a built-in autofocus system that keeps your instant images looking sharp. The built-in flash is another excellent feature for night photography.

One problem with old Polaroid models was the lack of a film counter. You didn’t know how many shots you had left on a roll of film. But the Now I-Type has a digital counter that keeps you in the loop.

Polaroid is the leading brand in instant photography. But models like the Polaroid Now I-Type remain under $200. You can also buy them in bundles that include film. But the film is the main problem when it comes to your budget. A pack of film isn’t terribly expensive, but the cost of buying them does add up over time.

5. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W800/B

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W800/B
Brand
Brand
Sony
Camera Type
Camera Type
Compact
Film or Digital
Film or Digital
Digital
Special Features
Special Features
20 MP photos
Best For
Best For
Slipping in your pocket and taking everywhere

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W800/B is an extremely portable camera offering 20 MP photos and video up to 720p. The case is slim and strong, and the lens retracts into the body and is automatically covered by a protective cap. So you can feel comfortable slipping it into a pocket or bag.

The 20 MP photos are impressive from such a small camera. And you also get a 5x optical zoom. This is something you’ll struggle to find on a smartphone. The 720p video is not as good as we expect from cameras and phones today, but we have to remember the price tag of this camera.

Still and video images will benefit from Sony’s Steadyshot technology. And you’ll appreciate the usefulness of some of the program modes and perhaps especially the panorama mode. You can even do a 360-degree shot!

This camera really is a remarkable value for money. And it produces pictures way better than you might expect. For travel photography, especially, you might feel more comfortable being seen with this camera than with a super-expensive smartphone. This is a super all-around camera.

6. Kodak PixPro AZ421

Kodak Pixpro AZ421
Brand
Brand
Kodak
Camera Type
Camera Type
Bridge
Film or Digital
Film or Digital
Digital
Special Features
Special Features
42x optical zoom
Best For
Best For
Introducing the joy of photography at a budget price

The Kodak PixPro AZ421 is one of the best digital cameras for beginners, especially if you’re on a tight budget. It’s ideal for young teens and tweens, with everything a young amateur photographer could want. It’s a bridge camera, combining the simplicity of a point-and-shoot camera and the features of a DSLR.

The image resolution is 16 MP. That won’t steal many headlines in the photography press. But it’s more than enough to feed the enthusiasm of a young photographer. The autofocus system is fast and reliable. And it has face detection technology, ideal for practicing portraits. The built-in flash is also great for shooting at night.

The optical zoom lens steals the show for the Kodak PixPro AZ421. It gives you an optical zoom of 42x, which is incredible magnification. It starts with a focal length of 24mm, giving you a fantastic wide-angle view. Then you can zoom for miles, capturing sports events and animals in the wild.

Things can get shaky when things are magnified by 42x. But the optical image stabilizer reduces camera shake, keeping your images sharp throughout the zoom range. The HD video is an added bonus for multimedia enthusiasts. It’s not groundbreaking, but it allows you to create good-quality videos.

The battery life is excellent, meaning you can shoot for hours without needing to recharge. The 3-inch screen is bright and detailed for pleasant photo viewing. The Kodak Pixpro AZ421 is an affordable entry-level digital camera for aspiring young photographers.

7. Fujifilm Instax Mini 11

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 (Sky Blue)
Brand
Brand
Fujifilm
Camera Type
Camera Type
Instant
Film or Digital
Film or Digital
Film
Special Features
Special Features
Instant wallet-sized photos
Best For
Best For
Having fun and sharing instant memories

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 is one of the most popular instant film cameras around. They’re fun compact cameras that give you instant photos. The camera has point-and-shoot simplicity, making them easy to use. And teens, tweens, and young adults will have instant fun with the Instax Mini 11.

The camera has automatic exposure settings. It uses a light meter to evaluate the environment and sets the aperture and shutter speed accordingly. It gives you excellent photos every time. And the built-in flash allows you to take portraits at night.

The Fujifilm Instax Mini 11 has a built-in selfie mode and mirror. It’s activated when you pull the front end of the lens. You can create unique selfies to share with friends and family instantly. And you don’t need any additional attachments.

This instant camera has an ergonomic design with a hand grip that makes it easy for anyone to hold. Teens will love it. But children as young as 8 or 9 will be able to enjoy instant photography with the Instax Mini 11.

The camera is well under $200. The Fujifilm Instax Mini is an affordable alternative to Polaroid cameras. But both instant camera brands have the same problem—the price of the film. It’s easy to shoot through a roll. And the cost of buying film can build over time.

8. Kodak Printomatic Instant Camera

Kodak Printomatic Instant Print Camera
Brand
Brand
Kodak
Camera Type
Camera Type
Instant
Film or Digital
Film or Digital
Film and Digital
Special Features
Special Features
Instant photos and digital storage
Best For
Best For
Taking quick photos to share and to keep

Another camera that stands out from the crowd is the Kodak Printomatic Instant Print Camera. It comes in a range of bright colors, although black is available if you’re feeling more conservative.

It’s fully automatic and will turn on the flash if there’s not enough light. It produces 2 x 3″ (5 x 7.5 cm) prints. And you don’t have to wait for one photo to print before taking the next. The sensor is only 5 MP, but the prints are small, so it’s not really an issue.

And besides, the idea of this camera is fun and a picture to print and keep immediately. Your phone will take a better one for you to upload to your social media. But it also keeps a digital copy of the photos on a microSD card, so you can have the best of both worlds. The photo prints are durable, water resistant, tear resistant, and smudge free, so they should last well. Even better, they all have a self-adhesive backing to make it easy to stick them in your journal or scrapbook.

The internal battery recharges via USB, and one charge should be good for 25 prints. The obvious point is that of all the thousands of photos on your phone, you’re more likely to keep and return to the few dozen you’ve taken with a camera like the Kodak Printomatic.

Choosing a Camera Under $200

$200 might seem like an arbitrary price cap, but it serves as an interesting filter when looking for cameras. Beginner cameras tend to be on the cheaper side of the camera cost scale. But they can still cost anywhere from $100 to $800. And you have to wade through pages of specs and features to find the one you want.

By narrowing the search to the best camera under $200, we appeal to a more specific demographic. And it’s more than people just looking to save on cameras. These people are looking for a simple camera. They want to have fun taking pictures with a minimalistic approach to the technology.

A $200 budget does limit your camera options. But you can find plenty of excellent cameras in that price bracket. There are digital compact cameras. They fit in your pocket and produce images that still outperform smartphone cameras. And there are instant cameras that give a fun and unique photography experience.

The list of best cameras under $200 gives us cameras with a broad appeal. Many of the cameras are ideal for children. It could be their first digital camera. And teens will have plenty of fun with instant film cameras.

Many of the cameras on the list are perfect for beginners. But they’re also excellent choices for people who want to take pictures without the fuss, complications, and price of more complex camera models. Many people just want to take photos of their friends and family. And these sub-$200 cameras will satisfy that need.

Conclusion

Finding good cameras under $200 isn’t impossible. You have to temper your expectations when working within this price range. You won’t find a Sony A1 for under $200. But you can find cameras for all members of the family. You have cameras for family holidays. There are cameras for the kids. And you also have cameras under $200 to keep teenagers entertained.

Unless you really want an instant print, we think you can’t go far wrong with this robust versatile camera from Kodak.

Our Top 3 Choices for The Best Camera Under $200
Kodak Pixpro WPZ2
Kodak Pixpro WPZ2
Kodak Pixpro WPZ2
Paper Shoot Camera
Paper Shoot Camera
Paper Shoot Camera
Akaso V50X
Akaso V50X
Akaso V50X