So you’ve decided to invest in a digital point and shoot camera. The good news is, you won’t run out of options. Unfortunately, the good news is also the bad news. However, if you’re on a budget, like under $200, it somewhat reduces your options just a wee bit. Now what are the things to consider when buying a budget point and shoot camera?
The best cheap point and shoot camera does not scrimp on low light performance.
Check out the camera’s ISO rating. The ISO measures the camera’s ability to collect light. The higher this figure is, the greater the light gathering capability of the camera. A camera that has an ISO 100 rating is able to collect light with a single-second exposure and of the same quantity as a camera with ISO 200 rating at a half-second exposure. A model with a higher ISO setting enables the capture of non-blurry photos even in low light situations. Although nearly every compact camera comes with an integrated flash, there are some photography situations where it’s not necessary. Since professional lighting has a much larger surface area compared to a flash unit, it would be more sensible to simply let the camera work on the shadows instead of being the only illumination source for a scene.
Do bear in mind that noise increases with higher ISO settings, and with excessive noise, you get blotchy, poor quality grainy images. Choose models that keep noise at under 1.5 percent at ISO 800, which enables the use of a lower-powered flash to capture sharp photos while eliminating the washed-out appearance.
The best point and shoot digital camera under 200 in 2017 does not scrimp on image stabilization and other essential features.
Some photographers have unsteady or shaky hands. This is why optical image stabilization is needed in your camera. Using a tripod defeats the purpose of getting a point-and-shoot camera for portability and light weight. Optical image stabilization is available in all but a few cheap models.
Consider sensor size, not the number of megapixels. Most cameras now boast from 10 to over 16 Mp, so megapixel count is no longer a principal requirement. Besides, only few photographers need prints that large to crowd that huge number of megapixels anyway. A more vital element is sensor size. If you crowd too many megapixels on a small image sensor, your low-light shooting performance suffers, along with the color gradations and the ability to produce a shallow depth of field. Some models boast a larger image sensor, somewhere between the 1 and 1.7-inch range, making them suitable for professional use.
The best point and shoot digital camera under 200 reviews 2017 give top ratings to models with good lens focal length and easy use.
Although zoom range is often used by camera manufacturers as a primary selling point for their products, it is seldom indicative of the unit’s overall capability. It is the focal length range, generally expressed as a 35mm equivalent value, that determines the field of view the camera is capable of covering. Thus, even if you have two cameras with the same magnification lenses, their shooting capabilities can differ, such as in the telephoto reach and ability to shoot in tight spaces. For tight space shooting, a lens focal range of about 28mm is a good starting point. While cheaper models start at around 35mm, this figure won’t be any use for taking snapshots of multiple people in a small frame.
A tiny model may lack a long zoom lens along with other advanced features and hard-to-manipulate controls. Look for models with a tilting or swiveling LCD, built-in WiFi or NFC, a rugged design for outdoor use, and a long lens focal length as well. A rear LCD should make it easy to compose and review photos or videos.
There are plenty of options on the market for point-and-shoot cameras under $200. The buying guide above will hopefully facilitate your decision-making process. We have also featured the best products below for even more shopping assistance.
Top point & shoot digital cameras under $200 in 2017
Nikon COOLPIX S33
If you want genuine value for money, this bundled deal should be high on your list. Included in this package is the Nikon COOLPIX S33 plus a 32GB memory card from Lexar Professional, giving you storage for all those precious photos you’ll be taking. The great-looking camera can go with you anywhere, from the pool to the beach and on to your skiing adventures.
The camera is freezeproof down to 14°F, shockproof to 5 feet and waterproof to depths of 33 feet, so it stays dependable and powerful throughout your outdoor endeavors. The 13.2MP CMOS Image Sensor delivers outstanding image quality and powers through low light shooting. Packed with sensitivity up to ISO 1600, the CMOS image sensor also enables continuous shooting at 4.7fps for up to 11 frames of 13.2-megapixel images plus Full HD 1080p video at 30fps.
The NIKKOR 3x Optical Zoom Lens ensures you get the shot you want, with its 30-90mm equivalent to the 35mm format. The lens works well with the 6X Dynamic Fine Zoom function for doubling the focal length effectively.
The Electronic VR system minimizes the effects of camera shake to effectively prevent blurry photos. The 4x digital zoom option provides an effective focal length of 360mm, for crisp and clear images. The bundled card offers high-speed Class 10 performance while leveraging UHS-I technology for up to 633X read transfer speed.Buy from Amazon.com for ($149.95)
Kodak PIXPRO Friendly Zoom FZ43-BK
The FZ43 Friendly Zoom belongs to Kodak’s exclusive line of PIXPRO digital cameras. Compact and intuitive, this model is also a delight to use. Offering effortless functionality, it can go with you anywhere. Powered by double-A batteries, it lets you tell your story using crisp and clear images. Make movies using the one-touch video recording capability.
Thanks to the 27mm wide-angle lens, this model lets you get everybody into the shot, so you won’t have to stand back further to compose a large group shot. There’s plenty of space to work with to get all your friends in the frame. The 2.7-inch LCD screen simplifies editing and menu navigation. It ensures that every photo comes out great because you can see the shot ahead of time. The bright screen enables you to simply point, frame and shoot, easily and conveniently.
This camera comes with red-eye removal and face detection, so your shots look professional and free of unwanted elements.
It can record videos in high definition 720p for incredible clarity, while the 4X Optical Zoom and 16 megapixel lens deliver unbelievable videos every time. You can tell stories in motion and capture all the details that really matter, so nothing is ever missed or left out.Buy from Amazon.com for ($65)
The pocket-sized Sony DSCW830 delivers Sweep Panorama shooting up to a full 360 degrees, enabling you to capture an entire landscape and pack it all in a single shot. The Optical SteadyShot image stabilization combats camera shake while reducing the appearance of noise in photos, resulting in crisp, clear images without the blur, flares or ghosting.
The 4.5-36mm Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens delivers an impressive 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 25-200mm, ensuring wide-angle coverage to telephoto viewing perspectives, along with an aperture range of f/3.3-6.3. Files can be recorded to MS Duo as well as SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, for versatility plus convenience.
This model can be configured with composite HD and SD outputs along with a USB 2.0 port. Outfitted with a 2.7-inch 230k-dot Clear Photo LCD monitor, this camera delivers realistic and sharp hues to make it effortless to compose your shots, view images and read menus even under bright sunlight.
Operating on a 3.6V, 630mAh NP-BN lithium-ion battery, this camera is also equipped with a powerful 20.1MP Super HAD CCD image sensor and BIONZ processor to ensure still photos with superb resolution, as well as HD 1280×720 video recording at 30fps. The 8X optical zoom simplifies closeups of your subject.Click to see the price on Amazon!