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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)

There used to be a lot more choice when it came to the best cameras under £200 but sadly, everything is going up in price at the moment and a lot of items are out of stock. However, there are some great instant film cameras, hybrid cameras and even a digital bridge camera for you to choose from while we wait for budget cameras to come back down in price.

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 (opens in new tab) 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.)

Best camera under $200: Instax Mini 11

(Image credit: Gavin Stoker/Digital Camera World)
Choose from a beautiful pastel shade or keep it simple with black with the Instax Mini 11

Specifications

Type: Instant film
Film type: Instax mini
Image Size: 54×86mm
Viewfinder: Yes
Lens: 60mm
Flash: Yes
Exposure modes: No
Self timer: No
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Inexpensive
+
Film costs less than Polaroid
+
Fun to use

Reasons to avoid

-
A little bulky
-
Images can be hit and miss

We've been a little cheeky including the latest Instax camera in our best cameras under £100 list but honestly, the price seems to fluctuate so much depending on where you buy it from we thought we'd leave it in. 

The Instax Mini 11 looks like every version before it only Fujifilm has decided to remove the exposure dial in place of automatic exposure. You can view how many shots you have left on the back of the camera and film cartridges are easy to replace, all you need to do is match up the yellow dots. When you first load a new film cartridge, you'll need to fire off one shot to get rid of the plastic film cover and then you're good to go. The film prints almost instantaneously and develops in just 90 seconds. I love the aesthetic of Fujifilm Instax, it's hard to recreate in an app and for weddings and festivals they're perfect for creating tangible keepsakes. 

Read more: Instax Mini 11 review (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Chris George/Digital Camera World)
(opens in new tab)

2. Fujifilm Instax Square SQ1

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

Specifications

Type: Compact
Sensor: 1/2.3-inch
Megapixels: 18.2MP
Screen: 2.7-inch 461k
Viewfinder: None
Lens type: 10x zoom
Max burst speed: 10fps
Max video resolution: 1080p
User level: Beginner
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: Fujifilm Instax mini LiPlay

(Image credit: Matthew Richards)

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 (opens in new tab) guide. 

(Image credit: Future)
A new Polaroid camera for a new decade, designed for the now

Specifications

Type: Instant camera
Film type: Polaroid 600 & Polaroid i-Type
Image size: 108x88mm
Lens: Lens 1: 94.96mm / Lens 2: 102.35
Minimum shooting distance: 60cm
Flash: Built-in
Self-timer: Yes
Viewfinder: Optical
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Dual-lens autofocus system
+
Great image quality

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive per shot
-
Inconsistent outdoors

The Polaroid Now is a welcome arrival to the Polaroid product line, and a worthy addition to the increasingly crowded instant camera world. It boasts superior image quality to the OneStep2, thanks to its dual-lens autofocus system and improved flash, though it lacks the additional features (such as Bluetooth connectivity and remote trigger) found in the slightly pricier OneStep+. For pure point-and-shoot simplicity, though, the Polaroid Now is hard to beat – and while the Instax Mini 11 (opens in new tab) does have it beaten on price, we definitely prefer the full-size square prints that Polaroid delivers. And much as we love the Instax line, when you're shooting old school instant film there's nothing quite like the tactility of holding a big, boxy Polaroid. If you don't need the extra bells and whistles of the OneStep+, the Polaroid Now is sure to wow.

best camera under £100: Kodak PIXPRO FZ53

(Image credit: Kodak)

5. Kodak PIXPRO FZ53

Larger-than-average prints from this chunky Instant

Specifications

Type: Compact
Sensor size: 1/2.3-inch
Resolution : 16.15MP
Viewfinder: None
Lens: 28-140mm
Flash: Built in
Zoom: 5x Optical 6x Digital
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Pocket-sized
+
Easy to use

Reasons to avoid

-
No viewfinder
-
Can't see the screen in bright sunlight

This no-nonsense, pocket-sized point-and-shoot is perfect for beginners or anyone looking for a phone camera upgrade. It features a 16.15-megapixel 1/2.3-inch sensor so you won't be able to print your images very big but they're still perfect for sharing on social media. It has a zoom range equivalent to 28-140mm on a full-frame camera and a 6x digital zoom if you need to get that little bit closer. One of the downsides is it doesn't come with a viewfinder and the screen is hard to see on a sunny day but otherwise, it's a great buy for the price. 

Best camera under $200: Kodak PIXPRO AZ401

(Image credit: Kodak )

6. Kodak PIXPRO AZ401

An easy-to-use digital camera with built-in zoom makes it perfect for beginners

Specifications

Type: Bridge camera
Sensor size: 1/2.3-inch
Resolution : 16.15MP
Viewfinder: None
Lens: 24-960mm
Flash: Built in
Zoom: 40x Optical 4x Digital
User level: Beginner

Reasons to buy

+
Massive zoom

Reasons to avoid

-
Takes AA batteries
-
No viewfinder

The Kodak PIZPRO AZ401 is a fantastic entry-level camera that is easy to use and very affordable. It has several handy features you might not expect on such a budget camera such as detection settings for face, smile, blink, cat and dog, it has a built-in 180° panorama mode and it can shoot video up to 720p which might not sound like much but it's fine for sharing on social media. 

Unfortunately it can't shoot Raw photos so if you're looking for a camera than might last you past being a beginner you might want to look for something that can shoot in Raw. It has a massive zoom and while it might not be the clearest image when you're zoomed right in at least the option to do so is there. It would be a great but of kit to take on holiday as it's small and light weight but has a built-in flash and a zoom that'll allow you to take photos of things far in the distance. 

Read more:
Best cameras under $100 (opens in new tab)
Best cameras under $500 (opens in new tab)
Best burner phones (opens in new tab)
Best budget action cameras (opens in new tab)
Best cameras for kids (opens in new tab)

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