The high price of modern cameras can put people off photography. When you see the eye-watering price tags on the high-end digital cameras, you might think photography isn’t the hobby for you.
But photography is for everyone. And that includes everyone from professionals to people with the tightest budgets for buying cameras. Times are tough, and we’re all feeling the squeeze. But you can still find an affordable camera to get you started in photography.
We’ve compiled a list to help you find the best camera under $200. We’ve got digital cameras, film cameras, and actions cameras. We’ll help you find a budget-friendly camera no matter what you’re looking for.
[Note: ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here.]
What Types of Camera Can You Buy for 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, but 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.
The Best Cameras Under $200
Now we’ll show you the best cameras we’ve found for under $200. There are digital cameras for photographers of all ages. We’ve got film cameras for people who want to try something traditional. And we’ve even got budget action cameras for the adventurous types.
The Sony DSC-W810 is an excellent compact digital camera. It’s small enough to put in your pocket, inexpensive, and produces excellent photos. It’s easy to use, and any family member can have fun with it. It works as an entry-level camera for young photographers. And it delivers for people who want fantastic pictures with family and friends.
The camera houses a 1-inch image sensor. That might sound small, but it still packs a punch regarding image quality. You get an image resolution of 20.1 MP, equal to many entry-level DSLR cameras. The photos have fabulous color rendition and wonderful detail. The images are sharp, clear, and vibrant.
The Sony DSC-W810 is equipped with a fixed lens with 6x optical zoom. Its magnification takes you to the heart of the action. And it’s an optical zoom, so you don’t lose any quality when shooting at greater distances.
This compact camera also gives you video capabilities. You can shoot HD (720p) movies to upload to social media or share with family. You’re limited to short clips, so you can’t create any epic long-form videos. But it’s a fun feature youngsters and adults can enjoy.
Other great features include the SteadyShot, which provides image stabilization. It reduces
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 160 isn’t the latest model in the Canon PowerShot line. But it remains a fantastic compact camera option for people looking for a budget-friendly digital camera. It’s a slim and sleek point-and-shoot camera, so you can slip it into your pocket on holidays and days out. It also gives you wonderful pictures you’ll be proud to share online.
The sensor gives you an image resolution of 20 MP. That’s impressive for a digital camera of this size. And you won’t be disappointed with the image quality when you see the results. You can print and enlarge them for printed photos or cards to send to loved ones. The quality is a significant jump from most smartphone cameras.
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 160 also has excellent video options. You can shoot HD (720p) footage that’s clear and vibrant. This level of video quality will look dated on platforms like YouTube. But you can still capture magic moments with friends and family. And the quality holds up when viewed on a smartphone screen.
This compact camera has a fixed optical zoom lens. The optical quality is excellent, and you’ll experience little lens distortion. It gives you an 8x magnification level. That’s a focal length of 28-224 mm. The ELPH 160 lacks image stabilization, so the frame can get shaky at full zoom.
There are plenty of shooting modes to choose from. They’re preset modes designed to capture fabulous images in any situation. You have an excellent variety to choose from. But you never lose the point-and-shoot simplicity that gives the PowerShot ELPH 160 its broad appeal.
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.
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.
The Fuji FinePix XP130 is a fantastic waterproof digital camera. It’s tough and rugged. And it’s an inexpensive digital camera that’s perfect for adventurous photographers. The FinePix XP130 is an older model of this Fuji line. But it still performs well as a compact underwater camera.
The FinePix XP130 was designed for a life of adventure. It’s stronger and more durable than most digital cameras, especially in this price range. It’s waterproof down to 65 feet (20 m), allowing you to snap terrific underwater shots. And it’s also dust, shock, and freeze-proof.
Inside the tough outer case, you have a 16.4 MP image sensor. That resolution is starting to look dated against newer models. But it still produces high-quality images that action lovers will enjoy. You also have sensor-shift image stabilization that maintains quality when things get bumpy. It reduces
The video specs are another strong point for this digital camera. You have Full HD video mode, including underwater filming. And you can shoot at 320 fps for super-slow-motion video recordings.
This camera is equipped with a Fujinon zoom lens. Fujinon sets a high standard for lenses, and this one gives you 5x magnification. And that’s an optical zoom, so you don’t lose quality when you zoom in. The camera also has a bright and detailed LCD screen. And there’s built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. It’s one of the best digital cameras for action and adventure.
Nikon is one of the biggest names in photography, famed for its high-quality DSLR cameras. But they also have a fantastic range of point-and-shoot cameras. And the Nikon Coolpix S9300 is a brilliant digital camera at a bargain price. It’s not the latest model. But it has all the features you need to have fun taking pictures with family and friends.
The Nikon Coolpix S9300 is a compact camera. But its image sensor still delivers when it comes to image quality. The 16 MP resolution isn’t groundbreaking. But it’s a Nikon CMOS sensor, so you get photos with intricate details and bright colors.
The fixed Nikkor zoom lens sets the Nikon CoolPix S9300 apart from other digital cameras at this level. It gives you an impressive 18x level of magnification. That changes the possibilities of your photography, getting you to the heart of the action without moving a muscle.
The video features also outperform other digital cameras under $200. You can record videos at Full HD quality (1080p). It records with stereo sound and continuous autofocus, so your subject always stays sharp. And there are in-camera special effects for fun movie editing. There’s also a continuous shooting mode that shoots at 7 fps.
Additional features include Easy Panorama mode, the simplest way to create stunning panorama images. The internal GPS is ideal for travel bloggers, allowing them to track their whereabouts and geotag their photos. And the high-resolution LCD screen gives you bright renditions so you can view your photos and videos right after you shoot them.
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 24 mm, 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
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.
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, which is the price of the film. It’s easy to shoot through a roll. And the cost of buying film can build over time.
The Superior Tek 4K Digital Camera might not have the brand recognition of other compact cameras on this list. But this digital camera is worth your consideration. It has excellent photo and video specs and is aimed directly at vloggers. But it doesn’t break the bank. It gives you everything you need in a small and affordable package.
The 4K video recording is excellent. It shoots at 30 fps for super-smooth footage during both video recording and livestreaming. The high-resolution footage is bright and clear, and the colors are vibrant and natural. And the rotating LDC screen makes selfies and vlogs even easier. It’s a must-have feature for vloggers.
The image quality is just as impressive when it comes to taking photos. The image sensor has a staggering 48 MP resolution. That’s a big number for any digital camera. And the photos look fantastic. They’ll blow your social media competitors out of the water.
The camera gives you a 16x digital zoom. That magnification is impressive. But there is some deterioration in image quality when fully zoomed in, unlike an optical zoom. And the autofocus isn’t supported at high magnifications.
The Superior Tek camera has plenty of other features vloggers and content creators will love. You have time-lapse shooting modes. There are different video shooting speeds, so you can create fabulous slow-motion videos. And there’s Wi-Fi connectivity for easy transfer and online sharing. It’s an excellent compact camera for vloggers on a budget.
The Kodak PixPro WPZ2 is another 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 for 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 close 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.
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 still find the best camera under $200 that produces excellent photos and videos.
There are digital compact cameras that have everything a casual photo shooter needs. Models like the Sony DSC-W180 and the Canon PowerShot ELPH 160 are pocket-sized but still produce where it matters. And you have waterproof cameras from Fuji and Kodak. Then there are the instant cameras from Polaroid and Fujifilm that give you a different photography experience.
$200 is a tight budget when looking for a camera. 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.
Check out our Photography for Beginners course to get professional-looking photos out of your entry-level camera!