The Best Point & Shoot Cameras under $200 in 2018
The last one year saw a new bunch of cameras being introduced by all the major brands. A handful of them have been in the entry level segment around $200 or less.
At under $200 it is safe to say that this is the most economy range of digital cameras that you could lay your hands on. But even at this price the optical lens quality, the sensor size and most importantly, the zoom range, is going to far outweigh even the best smartphone cameras in the business.
Thus, if you love clicking pictures but can't stand the bulk of a DSLR, or the complications that come from having to process RAW, then a point & shoot camera is what you need.
The Best Compact Cameras under $200
- Canon ELPH 360 HS at $209.00 | Start Rating: (182 Reviews)
- Nikon Coolpix L340 at $228.99 | Start Rating: (165 Reviews)
- Nikon Coolpix W100 at $136.95 | Start Rating: (55 Reviews)
- Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 at $110.99 | Start Rating: (276 Reviews)
- Sony DSCW830 at from $110.00| Start Rating: (926 Reviews)
- Fujifilm FinePix XP120 at | Start Rating: ()
- GoPro Hero Session at from $188.99 | Start Rating: (860 Reviews)
- Kodak PixPro FZ53 at $72.95 | Start Rating: (164 Reviews)
- 20.2 megapixel 1/2.3″ CMOS Sensor
- DIGIC 4+ image processor
- 12x optical zoom (equivalent to 25 – 300mm on a 35mm format)
- 3″ LCD display with a resolution of 461k-dots
- Full HD videos with maximum 30 fps
- Image stabilization
- Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC
- 2 fps continuous shooting speed
The Canon ELPH 360 HS replaces the older ELPH 350 HS that we reviewed last year. The ELPH 360's price dropped a shade this year and it now qualifies to be in this list and therefore replace the older camera. For all practical purposes, though, these two cameras are identical.
So you continue to shoot with the same 20.2 megapixel 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor and a maximum ISO sensitivity of 3200. I wouldn’t recommend pushing the ISO too much though because the small sensor struggles in low light conditions producing a lot of noise.
Also, this is an all-round camera (within its limits), shooting decent stills (in good light) and crisp full HD videos at a frame rate of 30 fps. It has an intelligent Image Stabilization system.
A continuous shooting speed of 7.2 fps would give you a decent burst of stills to choose from when shooting fast action or sports photos. One of the best point and shoot camera under $200.
- 12x Optical Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer helps you capture images with flexibility and ease
- Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC allows for easy sharing and transferring of images and videos
- 20.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor combines with the DIGIC 4+ Image Processor to help deliver stunning image quality even in low light
- 1080p HD video capabilities
- Large 3.0-inch LCD enables easy viewing even from a wide angle.Country of origin is china
- 20.2 megapixel 1/2.3″ CCD sensor
- EXPEED C2 image processor
- 28x zoom (equivalent to 22.5 – 630mm on 35mm format)
- 3″ TFT LCD screen with a with a resolution of 460k dots
- 720p HD videos at 30fps
- Maximum ISO limit of 1600
The Nikon Coolpix L340 is a super-zoom bridge camera. These systems are basically, built around small sensors but yet they have the form factor that mimics a DSLR camera. The biggest USP of these cameras are the extremely long optical zoom range.
Also, if you love long zooms you cannot simply ignore the Coolpix L340. At this budget it is hard to find another superzoom camera like this one. It is powered by a small 1/2.3″ sensor. Yes it shoots only 720p HD videos, but then video shooting is not its forte.
Still Imaging Capabilities
Still imaging capabilities include a built-in vibration reduction technology that comes in handy when shooting at extreme focal lengths as well as in low light conditions. The Coolpix L340 is powered by an EXPEED C2 image processing engine. It promises a better, cleaner image as a result. In any ways the Coolpix L340 can shoot at a maximum ISO of 1600 only and with the small sensor, it struggles in really low light conditions.
- 28x optical zoom, 56x Dynamic Fine Zooms
- 20.2-MP CCD sensor for bright, sharp photos and HD videos
- Frame coverage: Approx. 99% horizontal and vertical (compared to actual picture)
- HD 720p videos with sound bring your memories to life
- Includes: LR6/L40 (AA-size) alkaline batteries (x4) , Lens Cap LC-CP25 (with cord), USB Cable UC-E16, Camera Strap
- Effective 13.2 megapixels
- Zoom lens with an effective focal length of 30 – 90mm on 35mm focal length parameter
- Small compact diminure weighing just 177 grams
- Rugged construction
- Waterproof up to 33′
- Freeze proof up to 14 ˚ F
- Shockproof for a fall from up to 6′
- SnapBridge with Wi-Fi
- NFC and Bluetooth connectivity
The Nikon Coolpix W100 could very well be the best point and shoot camera under $200, if the deciding parameter was only all weather capability. The Coolpix W100 is a fantastic camera at this budget. If you love taking images and want to take your camera practically everywhere you go, the Coolpix W100 is a camera that you can look into.
As already detailed above, the Coolpix W100 is freeze proof up to a temperature of 14 ˚ F. It is shockproof from a fall from up to 6′ and waterproof up to a depth of 33′ under water. The camera is dustproof as well. Together, all that means you can practically use this little piece of wonder in all weather and in every situation.
Small CMOS Sensor
Being a point and shoot camera, the Coolpix W100 has a small 1/3.1″ CMOS sensor. Slightly smaller than the standard 1/2.3″ CMOS sensors that powers traditional small compact cameras. A tiny 3x optical zoom lens with a 35mm format equivalent focal length range of 30 – 90mm is fitted with the camera body. Needless to say, zooming isn’t the main forte of the camera.
Low light performance is acceptable. This is at best a camera for special purposes. It has decent video performance as well. You get full HD recording at 30 fps. The back of the camera is dominated by a 2.7″ 230K – dot LCD screen.
Also, a built-in 2-stop ND filter comes in handy when shooting at wide aperture in broad daylight. Built-in connectivity features allow fast transfer of images between the camera and compatible devices.
- Nikon COOLPIX W100 (White)
- Beautiful pictures are easy to take on land or in the sea. Waterproof down to a depth of 33 feet, shockproof from a 5.9 feet drop, freezeproof down to a temperature of 14°F.
- Stay connected with Nikon's SnapBridge app on a compatible smartphone or tablet and unlock exciting new capabilities with the COOLPIX W100. Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth low energy (BLE) maintain a connection between the app and your camera
- 13.2 MP CMOS image sensor and genuine NIKKOR 3x optical zoom glass lens/6x Dynamic Fine Zoom
- Dimensions (WxHxD) : Approx.109.5, x67.0, x38.0mm (4.4, x2.7, x1.5in.), (excluding projections)
- 20 megapixel 1/2.3″ CCD sensor
- DIGIC 4+ image processing engine
- 8x optical zoom that translates to 28mm to 224mm on a 35mm format
- 720p HD video recording (25p)
- Digital image stabilization system
- Host of special effects for the smartphone styled user.
A slightly dated camera because this has been replaced by the ELPH 190. But, the ELPH 180 remains a fantastic camera, especially at the price that you can have it for. At that price you get a 20 megapixel 1/2.3″ CCD sensor and DIGIC 4+ image processor. The 8x optical zoom ensures that the camera reaches out to a focal length of 28mm to 224mm (on 35mm format equivalent). There is no optical image stabilization, just digital image stabilization.
Small camera means small real estate. It is emphasized by the fact that the back of the camera has a 2.7″ 230k-dot LCD monitor. Video capabilities on the PowerShot ELPH 180 is limited to 720p HD and a maximum of 25 fps.
In addition, the camera has a humble 2.2 fps continuous shooting speed. Nothing out of the ordinary. Maximum ISO capability of the camera is 1600 only.
One of the major advantages of traditional smartphone systems is the huge number of artistic filters that you get. This is hard to beat with traditional digital camera. Except for smaller compact cameras like the Coolpix ELPH 180. This camera comes with a host of built-in effects such as – Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Fisheye and so on. Apart from that the system comes with a bunch of scene modes that should allow you to tackle most shooting situations.
- 8x Optical Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer helps you capture images with flexibility and ease
- 20.0 Megapixel CCD sensor combines with the DIGIC 4+ Image Processor to help deliver stunning image quality
- 720p HD video capabilities.Focusing Range:Normal: 2.0 in. - infinity (W), 4.3 ft. (1.3m) - infinity (T)
- Smart AUTO intelligently selects the proper settings based on predefined shooting situations
- Digital IS helps reduce the effect of camera shake and subject movement
- 20.1 megapixel 1/2.3″ Super HAD CCD sensor
- Built-in lens with a focal length range of 25 – 200mm (35mm format equivalent)
- 720p HD video capability at 30 fps
- BIONZ image processor
- ISO 80 – 3200 range
- Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
The Sony DSCW830 is a point and shoot camera available for a price tag under $200. This is a compact point & shoot system with a variable focal length lens built-in. At the heart of the Sony DSCW830 is a 20.1 megapixel 1/2.3″ HAD CCD sensor. BIONZ image processor assists in better low light capability and faster image processing.
Also, HAD stands for Hole-Accumulation Diode which as per Sony Corporation should be able to have a lot more light retaining capacity by introducing a lens on top of the sensor for higher sensitivity. This technology is also known as on-chip micro-lens. Sony is one of the first companies that adopted this technology. The Sony DSCW830 has this technology in it.
Build In Lens
The compact camera comes with a built-in lens. On 35mm format that would be the equivalent of a 25 – 200mm lens. The aperture range of the lens is f/3.3 – 6.3. The best thing about the lens is that it has optical image stabilization. A feature of the OSS is its dual vertical and horizontal correction which allows you to shoot stabilized videos even when walking or even running.
The ISO range on the camera is 80 – 3200. Despite the Super HAD sensor and the BIONZ image processor, this is not a camera that should be pushed too far when shooting in low light conditions.
The back of the camera is dominated by a 2.7″ 230k clear photo LCD monitor. At just 2.7k display resolution the LCD is small and less than optimum to say the least. Other features include a video capability that is only 720p HD resolution (30 fps) and an in-camera editing option that allows you to correct basic things like teeth whitening, skin tone adjustment and texture adjustment.
- 20.1 Megapixel Plus 8x Zoom
- Optical Steady Shot image Stabilization with 2-way Active Mode
- 720p MP4 HD Movie Mode ; This product is compatible with Final Cut Pro X and iMovie.
- Panorama Shooting: 360 Sweep Panorama; Minimum Illumination: Auto: 22.0 lux Shutter Speed 1/30
- Picture Effect: Still images: Toy camera, Pop Color, Partial Color, Soft High-key, Panoramas: Pop Color, Partial Color, Soft High-key, Movies: Toy camera, Pop Color, Partial Color, Soft High-key
- 16.4 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor
- 5x optical zoom (28 140mm)
- All-weather camera, shockproof, waterproof, freezeproof and dustproof
- Full HD video capabilities (60 fps)
- 10 fps continuous shooting speed
The FujiFilm FinePix XP120 is a waterproof and all weather point & shoot camera. One of the best point and shoot camera under $200 you can get. The FujiFilm FinePix XP120 has a 16.4 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor. BSI stands for Back Side Illumination. These sensors are designed with the wiring on the sensor at the bottom rather than on the same surface as the pixel. This frees up more space for the pixels to capture light. That in turn produces less noise when shooting in low light situations.
Built In Lens
The built-in lens has a focal length range of 28 – 140mm (35mm format equivalent). The best part of the camera is its all-weather capabilities. The FinePix XP120 is waterproof (20 meters), shockproof, freeze proof (14 to 104 ˚ F operating temperature) and dustproof. It basically means you can take this little baby anywhere you want to.
In addition, the FinePix XP120 is a capable video camera. It can shoot full HD videos at a frame rate of 60 fps. No stereo sound recording though. Only monaural. Still shooting has a 10 fps burst rate (for a maximum of 10 frames only at full resolution). The back of the camera is dominated by a 3″ LCD screen of a resolution of 920,000 dots. This camera is a serious contender for the position of the best point and shoot camera under $200.
- Shoots full HD videos 1080p at 60 fps
- Shoots 1440p videos at 30p (4:3 aspect ratio)
- 120 fps 720p video recording
- Waterproof up to a depth of 33′
- GoPro app for remote control of the camera (SmartRemote)
- Photo burst mode and time-lapse options
- Dual mic system
- Loop recording
This is an action camera that you cannot simply ignore at this price point. Being an action camera its main forte is shooting high octane video clips of anything and everything and in any situation.
With OEM made mounts you can mount the Hero Session to your helmet, to the dashboard of your car, to your skateboard and even your arm and let it silently make POV videos while you do what you do best.
Speaking of mounting options, the Hero Session works in a number of avatars including as a car dash cam. There is a looping feature on the camera that works like standard car dash cams. The camera will continuously keep recording, after erasing the oldest clips and then write over it.
Many Shooting Options
The camera comes with a number of shooting options. It is predominantly a video camera. The video mode on the camera is capable of making full HD (1080p) videos at 60 fps and 1440p videos at a frame rate of 30 fps as an aspect ratio of 4:3. In an ultra slow-mo more the GoPro Hero Session can shoot at 120 fps frame rate by in 720p HD only. There is also a still shooting mode that captures 8 megapixel stills.
Also, this all-weather camera can survive a lot of abuse and pretty much anything that Mother Nature can throw at it. Finally, the GoPro Hero Session comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and with it the ability to transfer images to compatible devices. The same connectivity options allow remote control of the camera using a compatible smartphone or tablet. The Hero Session is also a prime candidate for the best point and shoot camera under $200.
- Easy one-button control press the button once to power on the camera and begin capturing video or photo's automatically
- Designed to withstand extreme environments and conditions, hero session is waterproof to 33' (10m), no housing needed
- Additional GoPro hero session features + benefits below on item page, hero session camera supports up to 128 GB
- 15 megapixel 1/2.3″ CCD sensor
- 5x optical zoom (equivalent to 28 – 140mm on 35mm format)
- 7″ 230k-dots LCD display
- 720p HD recording at 30 fps
- ISO range of 80 – 1600
- Built-in flash
- Battery can be charged in-camera
The 16.15 megapixel resolution on the 1/2.3″ CCD sensor produces decent image detail. This is a small sensor, however, and so shouldn’t keep too high expectations out of it. The native ISO range on the camera is between 80 – 1600.
The Kodak PixPro FZ53 has decent video capabilities. There is no full HD video shooting option though. The camera shoots only 720p HD videos at a frame rate of 30 fps. There is no viewfinder on the Kodak PixPro FZ53. Optical or otherwise. The LCD screen at the back of the camera is the sole window for composing and reviewing images. The resolution of the 2.7″ LCD screen is only 230k-dots.
Great Optical Zoom
The stand out feature has to be the 5x optical zoom. This is what makes it a better bet compared to a smartphone camera. You can't have that zoom with smartphone systems. The 5x optical zoom translates into a focal length range of 28 – 140mm (on a 35mm format).
Additional features of the camera include a built-in pop-up flash and battery that can be charged while it is inside the camera. There is also a digital image stabilization. Not a great fan of digital image stabilization though.
- 5X Optical Zoom
- 28mm Wide Angle
- 16 Megapixels
- 2.7" LCD Screen. Li-ion battery
- 720p HD Video
10 Photography Beginner Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
Wanderlust at heart and a shutterbug who loves to document his travels via his lenses; his two passions compliment each other perfectly.
He has been writing for over 7 years now, which unsurprisingly, revolve mostly around his two favorite pursuits.
Latest posts by Rajib (see all)
- Leica Releases Two New Lenses – 75mm and 90mm f/2 ASPH - January 17, 2018
- Yongnuo YN 14mm f/2.8 Lens - January 15, 2018
- How to Make Great Videos (with DSLRs or Mirrorless Cameras) - January 13, 2018