Despite the widespread availability of camera-packing smart devices, there is still a place of handheld cameras in today’s world. Practical in nature and very easy to use, cameras aren’t just for shutterbugs or tourists. Not only can a camera take high-quality photographs that most smartphones simply aren’t capable of but it can do so with the stability and reliability no other devices can. Then again, this is precisely what cameras have traditionally been built for.
When it comes to modern cameras, you have to bear in mind that the price tag doesn’t always reflect the quality of a device, nor does it tell you much about its capabilities. In fact, you are just as likely to find a decent camera in the low-end part of the price spectrum as you are to find a mediocre one towards the high end. To ensure that you’re getting the right quality, you need to first figure out what the market has in store. To help you in that regard, we put together a list of the ten best cameras under $200 the market has to offer right now.
Best Cameras Under $200 – Reviews
10Bonna HD Digital Camera
Available in two stylish metallic colors to pick from, the Bonna HD Digital Camera is the ideal image capturing and video recording device you need. Crafted with the ability to work as a webcam, for voice recording, video playback and more, this camera features a 2.7 inch TFT LCD display screen that provides you with instant visibility of what you are about to capture. Fairly sensitive as far as its sensor goes, it boasts a 21 MP image resolution and a 720P HD resolution for video recording. The camera also comes equipped with an 8X digital zoom, anti-shake, self-timer, continue shot, face detection, smile capture, and other exciting features. Powered by a 550mAH Li-ion rechargeable battery, it provides you with 60 minutes of runtime on a single charge.
9Vmotal Mini Digital Camera
Equipped with a 3-inch TFT LCD display screen, the Vmotal Mini Digital Camera provides you with clear visibility of everything you film instantly. Crafted with multiple great functions including anti-shake, self-timer, face detection, continue shot, smile capture panorama and more, it produces high-end, sharp quality pictures. The image stabilization feature helps reduce blur that could be caused by shaking, giving you ultra-sharp, clear images. Including an inbuilt flash, the camera is designed to take 12 MP images and 720P HD videos. Constructed with durable materials, it is light in weight and compact in size, making it easy to carry around and ideal for traveling. Thanks to its 800mAh rechargeable battery, it allows up to 80 minutes of clicking time with each charge.
8Fujifilm 600019756 FinePix XP120 Wi-Fi Digital Camera
Thanks to its 16.4 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, this Wi-Fi Digital Camera from Fujifilm features the unique ability to capture crisp, high-quality images in low light areas. The camera is designed to automatically adjust its settings with its 10 fps high speed to give you continuous shots. Unlike others of its kind, it comes equipped with the latest Cinemograph mode which captures still images along with moving elements, producing a distinct contrast with the rest of the image. Light in weight, durable, and compact in size, the camera features inbuilt Wi-Fi connectivity and comes with a 3 inch 920k Dot LCD display. It is also resistant to water up to 65 feet deep and shockproof up to 5.8 feet.
7Nikon COOLPIX A10
The Nikon COOLPIX A10 is a premium quality gadget that features a 16.1MP CCD image sensor which produces exceptional images and 720P HD videos. Equipped with a 5X optical zoom, it comes packing a 2.7 inch large LCD QVGA display screen that is both bright and clear. Great for outdoor images, this digital camera is light in weight compact in size and can be carried in your handbag or pocket. As a power source, the camera accepts lithium batteries, rechargeable batteries, and alkaline batteries.
6Nikon COOLPIX S9900 Digital Camera
Known for its high quality, durability, and exceptional performance, the Nikon COOLPIX S9900 Digital Camera is a user-friendly device that can be considered among the best of its kind. Equipped with a 30x optical zoom telephoto lens, it features vibration reduction if the camera shakes while clicking images. It also comes with a 60x Dynamic Fine Zoom that works as an enhanced option to help double your visibility and reach. The camera is also equipped with a 3 inch 921,000-dot Vari-Angle LCD display screen that swivels. Thanks to its unique Wi-Fi and NFC modes, it allows you to share images and videos instantly.
5Kodak PIXPRO Friendly Zoom FZ53-BK 16MP Digital Camera
The Kodak PIXPRO Friendly Zoom FZ53-BK 16MP Digital Camera is a high end, user-friendly device that is designed to capture high quality, crisp, images, and video. Designed with a 5X optical zoom, the camera comes with a 28mm wide angle lens and a variety of shooting modes. Sleek, modern and stylish, this camera features a 2.7 inch LCD screen that provides you with clear visibility of what you capture. Capable of no less than 16MP image resolution, it is capable of 720p HD video, a feature that can be activated with a single touch.
4AbergBest 21 MP Rechargeable HD Digital Camera
The AbergBest 21 Mega Pixels Rechargeable HD Digital Camera is a versatile, high-quality gadget designed to capture still images, record videos, and voice. Interestingly enough, the device can also be used as a webcam if needed. Featuring a 2.7 inch TFT LCD display screen, it comes equipped with a 21MP resolution that produces exceptional, crystal clear images and an HD 720P resolution for recording videos. The camera is powered by a 550mAh lithium-ion battery that can be recharged when required, giving you up to 60 minutes of runtime with each charge. Other features include face detection, a self-timer, continue shot, anti-shake, smile capture, digital zoom and more.
3PANASONIC LUMIX Waterproof Digital Camera
The PANASONIC LUMIX Waterproof Digital Camera is a quad-proof gadget, uniquely designed for those of you with active lifestyles. Water resistant up to 26 feet, this camera is shockproof and freezeproof for up to 14 degrees F. Equipped with the latest Mega I.O.S lens, it prevents blurring and produces sharp, crystal clear images thanks to its frequency of 4000times/second. It also features MP4 HD recording in 1280 by 720P and includes a 220MB inbuilt storage capacity. Unlike any other underwater camera, it comes with an Advanced Underwater Mode that produces even red tones that are usually lost when capturing underwater images.
2Nikon COOLPIX S33 Waterproof Digital Camera
This is, by all means, a high-end, premium quality image capturing device, one that was designed to produce exceptional images and video in virtually any conditions. Resistant to water up to 32 feet deep, this versatile device is shock resistant for up to 5 feet and freezeproof down to 14 degrees F. Equipped with a 3X wide-angle glass zoom lens, it allows you to click images and record videos effortlessly. The camera also comes with an image resolution of 13.2MP with a CMOS sensor, and a full HD 1080P video resolution with high-quality stereo sound. Designed in a unique yet stylish fashion, the camera features large buttons that make it convenient, along with easy to use menus and settings for good measure.
1Sony DSCW800/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera
Popularly known for their excellent products in the digital world, Sony Cameras are one among the best digital cameras available today. The Sony DSCW800/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera, for instance, is equipped with a great set of high-quality features. Equipped with a HAD CCD 20.1 MP sensor, blink detection, 5 x optical zoom, 360-degree sweep panorama and more, it includes the latest SteadyShot image stabilization that produces blur-free, crisp images. It also comes with an easy mode for clicking quick still images and a 720P HD movie mode for capturing videos.
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What To Look For In A Camera
Regardless of the price tag, you should expect even low-end cameras nowadays to pack a decent motion sensor, a clear display, functional controls, and a reasonable operating resolution. The reason why you should expect that even from inexpensive cameras is because camera technologies have come a long way over the years, to the point that even budget cameras nowadays incorporate features that would have been reserved for top-shelf devices just ten years ago. Then again, you really owe it to yourself to take the time and learn what makes a decent camera and what features to look for when buying one.
- Lens Focal Length – It is very important for a camera to have a decent lens focal length as it determines the range at which you can take relatively clear pictures. Sometimes manufacturers advertise a camera’s zoom range with little to no consideration for the lens focal length. This means that the camera can take reasonably clear close-range pictures while zoomed but fairly poor long-range zoomed pictures. In truth, you will find most pictures to lack focal depth, not just the long-range ones.
- Megapixel Rating – Another thing to always consider when buying a camera of any price is the megapixel clarity of its sensor. This refers to the actual clarity of the pictures it captures, mainly how defined the pictures will be. Usually paired with an equally capable image sensor, a camera’s megapixel rating generally determines the overall quality of the picture. Bear in mind that sometimes, cameras are stacked with unnecessary megapixel bearings, which unfortunately hurts the camera’s low-light image quality. What you want in this regard is a camera that possesses the full sensor package, not just a high megapixel rating.
- Resolution – You also want to pay close attention to the display resolution of your chosen camera as you will be interacting with the interface rather often. For the most part, the desired display has between 2.5 and 3 inches in size, which is the standard for decent cameras. The operating resolution of your camera’s display determines how much information you get at all times and helps you visualize the quality of the picture you are about to take. One thing to remember is that the display resolution is usually measured in dots and that larger values refer to clearer image quality.
- Construction – Although the technical features should be of primary concern, you also need to pay close attention to the build quality of whatever camera you plan on buying. This is particularly useful when buying a camera on a budget, mostly because reputable manufacturers rarely make budget cameras. With enough patience, you are bound to find a tough and sturdy camera in the low-end part of the price spectrum, but you really shouldn’t expect too much from an affordable camera durability-wise. Also, remember that smaller cameras usually incorporate smaller controls, which makes them a bit difficult to operate.
- Image Stabilization – In this day and age, a digital camera should absolutely possess image stabilization technologies. To what exact extent the stabilization performs usually depends on the manufacturer and the exact system being used. One thing is for certain, many high-end smartphones and tablets already boast such a feature so it kind of makes sense to expect it from a digital camera. Even so, you should probably take the time and figure out which models possess such a feature and how well it can be expected to perform.
- HD Video – There is no excuse for any modern camera to not be able to record HD video clips. Although the quality and length of these videos can differ from one model to another, you should really expect most low to mid-range cameras to have HD video recording capabilities. The bare minimum in this regard is 720p, which is quite decent especially for a compact, lightweight camera. On the other hand, you should go for a camera that’s able to record 1080p footage if possible, and not just when it comes to top-range cameras.
- Low-Light Performance – Seeing how you won’t be using your camera in perfectly lit environments at all times, you should probably go for a camera with decent low-light performance. It just so happens that most cameras these days have such capabilities, some better than others. Som manufacturers, for example, try to work around the issue by equipping the camera with a powerful flash. In this respect, cameras set to ISO 100 can capture more detail in a second of exposure than a camera set at ISO 200 if equipped with a decent low-light capture feature.
- Lens – When buying a camera of any kind, perhaps the most important thing to consider is the lens. The lens of a camera determines the capture quality in optimal conditions and the clarity of the overall picture. While it is true that high-end models have much better lenses than budget versions, it doesn’t mean that inexpensive cameras cannot boast a quality build. Seeing how far lens technology has come over the past few years, it certainly shouldn’t surprise anyone that even budget cameras possess decent image capture capabilities. All things considered, the price tag shouldn’t necessarily reflect the overall quality of a camera, not if you do your homework before making a purchase.