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The best camera under $200 in 2022: cheap cameras with a bit more power

best camera under $200
(Image credit: Fujifilm Instax)

If you're looking for the best camera under $200 you've never been more spoilt for choice. Long gone are the days where getting a camera for less than $200 was a pipedream, now you can find digital cameras, instant film cameras and even tough, waterproof cameras available at this price point.

One of the reasons camera prices drop so much is that as new models are released, the older ones get cheaper. Manufacturers often won't discontinue a line straight away, especially if it was really popular which means there's an opportunity to grab yourself a bargain.

If you're looking for an even cheaper camera, we've also got a guide on the best camera under $100 and you'll be surprised by how many there are on the list. For now though, we're looking at the slightly more advanced instant film cameras that include different shooting modes and compact cameras that offer great image quality and a few very useful features. 

Most of the cameras below don't feature the most up-to-date technology and have smallish sensors but that doesn't mean they can't still take good photos. On the plus side, they're all pretty compact (except for perhaps the Polaroid OneStep+ but it's such a nice design we can allow it.)

In this list, we reckon we've got the perfect cameras for anyone who's shopping with a budget of less than $200. There are models from all the leading camera manufacturers, including Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm, and Sony. There's also a 2-in1 camera from Fujifilm that doubles up as a printer so you're definitely getting your money's worth. 

This list includes a mix of new models available at a low price point, as well as older cameras that have since been superseded by upgraded models, and therefore can be picked up for a bargain price. No matter what category a camera falls into, you can be sure that it comes with our ironclad recommendation. There's nothing on this list that isn't worth anyone's time. 

Everything here should be available for less than $200, though prices do fluctuate from time to time. So, let’s take a look at our favorite cameras in this price bracket. 

(Image credit: Fujifilm)

1. Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1

This fun instant film camera comes in three colours and prints larger, square photos than other Instax cameras

Specifications

Type: Instant
Film type: Fujifilm instax square
Image size: 6.2cm x 6.2cm
LCD: No
Viewfinder: Optical
Lens type: 65.75mm f/12.6
Max burst speed: N/a
Max video resolution: None
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Fun instant prints
+
Improved exposure accuracy

Reasons to avoid

-
Ongoing film cost
-
No self-timer

Instant film cameras are always a hit at parties, and the Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1 is a fine example available at a great price. With a click of the shutter button, it'll create 6.2cm square prints that look fantastic, with punchy colours and less of the tendency towards overexposure that has plagued previous Instax cameras. 

The thing to remember about instant film is that it is of course an ongoing cost, so while you're paying $120 or so for the camera, you'll have to keep buying refills every time you run out. Also, this is a very basic point-and-shoot model, which is arguably all you need in an instant camera, though some users may lament the lack of basic quality-of-life features like a self-timer. Still, for the price this is loads of fun, and a wonderfully inexpensive way to make physical images that last.

best camera under $200: sony cyber-shot dsc-w800

(Image credit: Sony)

2. Sony Cyber-Shot DSC W800

If you're after a camera just to take stills this compact Sony features a 10x digital zoom

Specifications

Type: Compact
Sensor: 1/2.3-inch
Megapixels: 20.1MP
Screen: 2.7-inch 230k dots
Viewfinder: None
Lens type: 5x optical zoom, 10x digital zoom
Max video resolution: 720p
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Shutter Smile technology
+
Small and lightweight
+
Creative shooting modes

Reasons to avoid

-
No viewfinder
-
Doesn't record HD video

Coming in way under budget you'll even have leftover funds to invest in a case for the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W800. This pocket-sized, lightweight camera benefits from a 20.1MP sensor and features Sony's SteadyShot image stabilization technology so you can achieve sharp photos and videos when shooting in active mode. It features a Zeiss lens capable of 5x optical zoom or 10x digital zoom which is equivalent to a 26 - 130mm, full-frame lens. Sony's Smile Shutter technology means that it'll capture a smile as it happens - simply press the Smile Shutter button and let the camera do the work. If you want to get a little bit creative with your pictures and videos, there are different modes to choose from such as selective color, black and white and panorama. 

best camera under $200: Fujifilm Instax Hybrid Mini LiPlay Instant Camera

(Image credit: Fujifilm)

3. Fujifilm Instax Hybrid Mini LiPlay Instant Camera

This hybrid Instax takes photos, prints them from your phone and is perfectly pocket-sized

Specifications

Type: Instant
Film type: Fujifilm instax mini
Image size: 5.4 cm × 8.6 cm
LCD: Yes
Viewfinder: Optical
Lens type: 28mm
Max burst speed: N/a
Max video resolution: None
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
2-in-1 printer and camera
+
Can edit images on a phone
+
Rechargeable

Reasons to avoid

-
Not good in low light
-
Ongoing film costs

Not only can you take photos using the Instax Hybrid Mini LiPlay but it can also print photos from your phone. Small enough to fit in your pocket its compact design makes it perfect for having on you at all times. Featuring an LCD screen and a selfie mirror on the front so you can make sure you're looking your best, Fujifilm really has thought of it all. Connect it to the LiPlay app on your phone so you can edit your photos and add things such as colored frames or apply a filter for a bit of fun. Even though the photos print out onto Instax Mini film, you can also choose to just keep the pictures stored on a micro SD card. Choose from Blush Gold, Elegant Black or Stone White depending on your style and it's time to get snapping. It has a rechargeable battery, a built-in flash and three shortcut buttons so you can save your favorite settings. We haven't had a chance to test one yet, but with all it's nifty features we're sure it will find its way onto our best instant film camera guide. 

(Image credit: Panasonic)

4. Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FT30

If you're off on an adventure, this tough waterproof camera will be able to capture all the action

Specifications

Type: Compact (tough)
Sensor: 1/2.3-inch
Megapixels: 16.1MP
Screen: 2.7-inch 230k
Viewfinder: None
Lens type: 4x zoom
Max burst speed: 1.3fps
Max video resolution: 720p
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Tough and waterproof
+
Available in red, blue, black or orange

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 720p video capture
-
Boxy design

Whether you’re on the beach, up a mountain or in the desert, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT30 should prove ideal. It’s waterproof down to a depth of 8m, freezeproof to -10C, dustproof, and shockproof to withstand being dropped from heights up to 1.5m. In short, it’s as tough as a brick but sadly looks a bit like one as well, with a very boxy design. 

Unlike some ‘tough’ cameras, this one has a zoom lens, which is a nice bonus. Video resolution is a little disappointing but image quality is good and it’s an easy camera to use.

best camera under $200: Polaroid OneStep+

(Image credit: Polaroid)

5. Polaroid OneStep+

A re-imagined Polaroid with modern day features such as Bluetooth shooting

Specifications

Type: Instant camera
Film type: Polaroid 600 & Polaroid i-Type
Image size: 108x88mm
Lens: 103mm/89mm
Minimum shooting distance: 60cm
Focus modes: Macro, Normal and Landscape
Flash: Built-in
Self-timer: Yes
Viewfinder: Optical
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Large, excellent prints
+
Bluetooth-enabled shooting modes

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive per shot
-
Built-in battery only

It was a sad day when Polaroid announced its last factory would close but luckily The Impossible Project stepped in to save the day. Renaming the brand Polaroid Originals, it launched a series of modern Polaroid cameras, the second of which was the OneStep+ (the first was the OneStep 2 - confusing we know). Rather than reinventing the wheel, Polaroid has simply brought the much-loved camera into the 21st. It now features an 89mm portrait lens and has Bluetooth connectivity so you can control the shutter with your phone. There are also several shooting modes you can play around with such as double exposure, light painting and even a noise activate trigger which enables you to control the remote shutter with a clap. This is without a doubt one of the most advanced, instant film cameras you can buy and will make a great addition to any film enthusiast's camera collection. Not to mention, it looks great too. 

(Image credit: Nikon)

6. Nikon Coolpix W150

A waterproof, shockproof compact camera available in a variety of colors and patterns

Specifications

Type: Compact (tough)
Sensor: 1/3.1-inch
Megapixels: 13.2MP
Screen: 2.7-inch 230k
Viewfinder: None
Lens type: 3x zoom
Max burst speed: 4.7fps
Max video resolution: 1080p
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Waterproof, shockproof build
+
Choice of colours

Reasons to avoid

-
Minimal zoom range
-
Small image sensor

We're pushing our luck a little by keeping this one in but prices have fluctuated massively recently and sometimes it does drop below $200. If you can stretch $30 more, this waterproof camera is a top choice for anyone who loves an adventure. The Nikon Coolpix W150 might not be the most sophisticated camera but it takes reasonable pictures and is easy for the whole family to use - even little people will have a hard time breaking it. The 3x zoom isn't much to shout about but for the price it's a pretty decent camera overall. It also comes in a range of different colors and patterns which is an added bonus. 

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Jon spent years at IPC Media writing features, news, reviews and other photography content for publications such as Amateur Photographer and What Digital Camera in both print and digital form. With his additional experience for outlets like Photomonitor, this makes Jon one of our go-to specialists when it comes to all aspects of photography, from cameras and action cameras to lenses and memory cards, flash diffusers and triggers, batteries and memory cards, selfie sticks and gimbals, and much more besides.  


An NCTJ-qualified journalist, he has also contributed to Shortlist, The Skinny, ThreeWeeks Edinburgh, The Guardian, Trusted Reviews, CreativeBLOQ, and probably quite a few others I’ve forgotten.