Five Point and Shoots for Less than $200
Some of the best compact digital cameras sit right around that $200 mark, and manufacturers know that this price is a marketing sweet spot. The result is a super saturated lineup of what seems like an endless list of point and shoot cameras. We’ve weeded through it and come up with a list of the top five best digital cameras for less than $200, each one suited for a unique purpose.
Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS
The SD1400 is a very small, cute looking camera at great price with plenty of features, though it’s nearly identical to the SD940 IS of 2009. Like the SD940, it has a decent wide-angle lens with 4x optical zoom and 2.7-inch LCD display; however, it does have an improved image sensor at 14MP. It’s shooting modes are pretty basic, just Auto, Movie, and Semi-Manual (with some scene presets and shutter settings). HD video, at 720p, is on par with other cameras in this price range. In all, it’s a well rounded camera at a great price. The Nikon Coolpix S6100 is a very similar camera you can consider as well.
Nikon Coolpix S80
If you’ve seen the commercials, you’ll know that Ashton loves his Nikons, and the S80 is perfectly suited for his exciting lifestyle. It has a bag full of great features that make taking a perfect picture in any setting as pressing down the shutter. It too has a capable 720p HD movie mode which, while finicky at times, yields quality movies. Throw in a quality lens (albeit small) with 5x optical zoom and convenient OLED touch screen and you’ve got the S80.
The WB600 is a bit of a unique contender. Not only does it offer some impressive photo quality for a sub-$200 camera, but it also has a whopping 15x optical zoom, something even the Nikon Coolpix S8000 can’t come close to topping. The 12MP image sensor can miss some of the finer details and its HD video mode could use a little help; however, that magnificent lens really makes up for it, making it an excellent value for the money.
Casio Exilim EX-H15
The Exilim EX-H15 is a popular camera, similar to the Coolpix S80 in that it offers several simple shooting modes to make taking quality photos simple. It also features a larger lens with 10x optical zoom. Its shooting modes aren’t quite adaptive as the S80 (suffering slightly in low light conditions), but makes up for it with additional shooting modes and stupendous battery life (really, it manages two to three times more shots on a single charge than all of these other cameras).
Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR
Fujifilm’s EXR line represents a new level of quality in the Fujifilm product line. With a 10x optical zoom, the F80EXR is off to a great start, granted it doesn’t have all of the advanced shoot modes you’d find in the S80 or EX-H15 and its 1.6-inch LCD display is pretty tiny. Where the F80EXR really shines is in low-light situations, greatly outperforming the others. It also manages fairly decent performance in most every other shooting circumstance.