When you’re looking for a digital camera that’s a solid step up from your smartphone, the best point and shoot cameras are the only way to go. They provide users with a device that’s easy to use, and many newer models have flagship features normally found on pro-level cameras or pricey DSLRs.
How to Find the Best Point and Shoot Camera
Point and Shoot cameras are a dime-a-dozen these days, so you don’t have to look hard to find one. Choosing the right one to suit your needs and fit your budget is a bit different, however, which is where our buying guide comes into play.
As you’d expect, the number of megapixels matter although not as much as you might think. A 21MP camera with a large sensor can outperform a camera with more megapixels and a smaller sensor – especially in conditions with low light. If you’d like to learn more sensors, you may want to give this a look.
Ease of Use
If you’re shopping for a point and shoot camera, there’s a strong chance you want a digital device that’s easy to use. Well, many cameras in this class are simple, but some of the pro-level models confound beginners.
When ease of use is high on your list, look for a camera with plenty of “automatic” features and modes. That includes cameras with a built-in flash and one or more viewfinders. You can even find cameras with traditional controls if you’re making the switch from 35mm to your first digital camera.
EVF and LCD
All of the point and click cameras on our list have an LCD display on the back which lets you see the action as you would on a smartphone or slate. While the resolution of that panel is essential, articulation is critical as well. If you want the best, you’ll want a camera with a fully articulated touchscreen display… not one with a fixed unresponsive panel.
An electronic viewfinder or EVF is another thing to have high on your list. It’s the “eyepiece” on a traditional camera, but can be optical or digital on point and click cameras. It’s usually the latter and most, but not all cameras will have an EVF to go along with the LCD.
Snapping a photograph isn’t hard, but taking a good one can be tricky. That’s where a camera with a great image stabilization system comes in handy. Anti-shake tech comes in many forms, but an in-body 5-axis system is ideal and something you can find on a wide range of devices. At a minimum, you will want a camera with OIS, which stands for optical image stabilization.
Whether you live on Facebook or prefer Instagram, we live in a connected age. One benefit of point and click cameras are the sharing features something that’s rather common in this range. Bluetooth is a lock although you’ll want to consider the version if you’re looking at an older model. Each new version improves connectivity, so you don’t want to be stuck with 4.0 when Bluetooth 4.2 is an option.
If you want GPS, you’re going to have to pay a pretty penny or just up to a DLSR or action cam, but Wi-Fi is another common feature in the connectivity department. As for NFC, that’s typically found on high-end cameras but is certainly an option.
It doesn’t matter if you prefer Sony’s cameras or are buying your first Pentax, it’s all for naught if your battery dies at a critical moment. Sure, you’ll get a warning before the gauge hits zero but how many shots you can take on per charge varies across the board. It also means you need to consider picking up extra batteries along with the charging methods.
Rechargeable batteries are a consumer’s best friend and can save the day when your camera dies. The ability to swap out cells on the fly is ideal, but so is built-in charging. Depending on your budget, that’s a feature that could be out of reach although one you’ll find on some mid-range point and shoot cameras.
Other Things to Consider…
While those are the main areas we feel are important when looking for the best point and shoot camera, there are a few other areas you’ll want to keep in mind.
Do you plan on shooting a lot of videos? Well, be sure to check out the external jacks. They aren’t much use if you’re taking portraits or selfies, but an external microphone can make a huge difference for aspiring videographers.
Connectivity options and memory card slots are two more areas to keep in mind. Every camera on our list will have a measure of connectivity, but GPS and NFC are usually reserved for high-end models. Wi-Fi is somewhat standard along with Bluetooth. Slots vary across the board although you’ll want the USH-II is what you’ll want to shoot for when you want the best.
Best Point and Shoot Cameras You Can Find
Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III
The Best Point and Shoot Camera on a Budget
The PowerShot G7 X Mark III is yet another video-focused compact camera, and since we’re living in the day and age of vlogging, this comes hardly as a surprise. However, unlike other cameras presented in today’s article, this one is quite affordable, yet it’s still perfectly capable of 4K video recording, and has exceptional capabilities in low lighting conditions.
Here’s the deal: if you’re looking for a pocket-friendly rectangular compact camera with strong video capabilities and amazing value for money, the PowerShot G7 X Mark III may be the answer to your prayers. The only serious downside of this camera is the lack of a viewfinder, but if that’s not a deal-breaker for you, you should seriously consider it for your next binge-shopping session.
Seriously now, for way less than $1000 you’ll get image stabilization, a 24-100mm (equivalent) f/2.8-1.8 lens and high-quality AF. To compensate for the viewfinder, or lack thereof, the Mark III comes with a flip-up LCD display, and retro physical control dials. There’s also a new 20.1MP, 1-inch sensor, plus a state-of-the-art DIGIC 8 processing engine which allow for capturing images at 30fps via Raw Burst shooting mode.
The EOS-like interface is a joy to use, the body is nicely sculpted and it’s incredibly ergonomic, and the USB-C port allows you to recharge the battery and to transfer files at high speed; by the way, the battery allows you to take up to 265 shots on a single charge.
- Speedy operation
- Fast AF
- Excellent UI
- Live-Streaming capable
- Mic input
- 4K video recording
- No viewfinder
Sony RX100 VII
A Camera that Has It All
If you are looking for a practical and powerful point and shoot camera, with plenty of features and excellent quality of produced videos and photos, Sony RX100 VII is the device for you.
It is equipped with the amazing 20MP Exmor RS Stacked BSI-CMOS sensor, 9-72mm f/2.8-4.5 (24-200mm equivalent) Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens and highly efficient autofocus, that is, thanks to its fast performance (0.02 sec) and human/animal eye AF function, a great tool for motion, face and even eye-tracking. Because of such quality features inside, it is no surprise that the produced photos are of the finest quality, very sharp, detailed and with excellent white balance.
The quality of captured video is also undeniable. It can be recorded in 4K (HDR) at 30fps rate and 1080p at a 120fps rate and will please even the most demanding users, which can also be said for action movie fans that will be delighted with its high-speed video capturing feature that offers video recording at up to 1000fps rate.
Moreover, Sony RX100 VII allows for continuous shooting at the superb 90fps (20fps with autofocus and auto-exposure) and comes with plenty of features that include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, NFC, USB charging and a lot more.
Overall, Sony RX100 VII is almost a perfect device and definitely one of the best point and shoot cameras available, with almost no downsides, except for its high price.
- Amazing performance
- High-speed video capturing (up to 1000fps)
- Great autofocus
- Quiet operations
- Easy use
- A bit expensive
- Problematic menus
The Best Point and Shoot Camera for Street Photography
It’s black, compact, looks retro, and, after all’s said and done, it’s a “point and shoot” thing. There’s nothing fancy about the Fujifilm X100V, the epitome of simplicity and ergonomic design. Yet, under its unassuming skin, you’ll discover one Hell of a camera, a very special toy which may very well be the best of its kind.
What do we mean by this? Even if we live in the age of the ubiquitous smartphone, i.e. decent photo/video capability on-demand, the X100V is proof that if you want more, well, everything is possible. So, what is it? A relatively expensive premium compact camera, with excellent genes, a bigger than life APS-C sensor, a fixed 23mm f/2 lens and a rather unique hybrid rangefinder.
So, if you think you’ve got what it takes to become the next internet sensation (read vlogger/street snapper), the X100V would make for the sensible choice. You’ll definitely love the tilting touchscreen, the magnesium alloy frame/aluminum plated body, which looks and feels like a million bucks, and the fact that this tiny camera shoots videos and pics just as well as it feels in your hand.
Another cool thing about this Fujifilm camera is that it comes with physical controls/features that do not compromise its size or its looks, and by that we refer to the tilting touchscreen, which is great for street photography, as it allows you to “point and shoot” from the hip.
- Premium build quality
- Minimalistic design
- Unique hybrid viewfinder
- Shoots 4K video
- Improved AF and sensor
- Sharp lens
- Lacks optical stabilization
Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II
A Lot of Power in a Small Pack
Although a small size usually presents a limiting factor, Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II proves that in certain iterations that can actually be an advantage. In other words, Canon has taken the best of both worlds and as a result, produced one of the best point-and-shoot cameras for the money and overall, a very powerful photography tool.
Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II comes with 20.1-megapixel one-inch type CMOS sensor, 24-120mm f/1.8-2.8 (5x optical zoom) lens and numerous additional features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB Type-C port, Pop-up electronic viewfinder and a lot more.
More importantly, this camera is capable of providing high-quality images, with natural-looking colors and a lot of details. However, its autofocus, although fast, doesn’t show the best results during video recording and action photography and it kind of limits the usage of this camera to the street and still photography.
When talking about video, Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II allows for 4K (30fps) and 1080p (120fps) video recording and provides a solid picture quality, but as mentioned, sports and other fast-moving action aren’t really its thing. Moreover, this camera supports for 8fps continuous shooting when autofocus is on and the very good 20fps without it, and altogether presents a solid device, ideal for point and shoot fans not that impressed by action photography.
- Compact size
- Excellent image quality
- Poor battery
- Troubling autofocus during video recording
Canon PowerShot SX740
If you’re looking for the best DSLR camera, you’ll find a Canon ranked high on any list. The company knows how to make solid compact cameras as well like the SX740. It’s a connected camera with a slew of user-friendly features that produces vibrant home videos and snapshots without breaking the bank.
The Canon SX740 may look like a modern version of your grandmother’s camera, but it’s full of high-tech features. You can hone in on your subject with the 40x optical zoom and lock them in with framing assist. If you prefer taking photos of yourself, you’ll appreciate the large 3” tilting touchscreen which swivels 180-degrees upwards towards the front. It’s also light at only 10.5 ounces and easy to handle with the textured panel on the front.
As for the tech specs, this camera has a 20.3MP CMOS sensor and an ISO range of 100 to 1600. That range could be better but is par for the course in this class. 4K UHD video looks great at 30p and burst shooting is speedy with a rate of 7.4 fps thanks to the Digic 8 chip. The SX740 has a Bluetooth and Wi-Fi although you’re out of luck if you want NFC.
The one drawback of this camera is the fact there is no optical viewfinder which may rule it out for some. That said, if you own a smartphone, you’ll feel right at home and it provides 100% coverage. You can pick up the Canon SX740 in solid Black or Silver with a Brown front grip.
- Dual sensing IS
- 40x zoom
- 3” swiveling display
- 4K video at 30p
- Sweet price point
- No optical viewfinder
- ISO range
- Lack of RAW mode
Solid Point and Shoot Camera
The Sony ZV-1 is a point-and-shoot camera aimed at vloggers, content creators and YouTubers, as it comes with a flip screen and a high-quality microphone for live podcasts and the like. According to many professionals, the ZV-1 is one of the best compact cameras on the market, and it’s also relatively affordable, hence it would make for a nice addition to your photography paraphernalia if you’re looking for a no-nonsense workhorse.
To make a long story short, the Sony ZV-1 is the definition of an all-rounder, boasting a bright lens, retro appearance, state of the art autofocus system and, most importantly, a ton of design tweaks to make your life easier, things like the side flipping screen.
If you’re looking to capture smooth footage while you’re cruising the city, you’ll definitely appreciate the combination between Real-time Eye AF systems and the bright 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens, which are great for shooting professional vlogs with amazing background blur and consistent focus.
There’s also a 3.5 mm mic port included, which means you can connect a high-quality microphone to match your video footage, while the hotshoe allows you to easily mount cool accessories like a LED light or a shotgun microphone.
- Built-in ND filter
- Side-flipping LCD
- Real-time Eye AF
- Bright lens
- Perfect for video
- No USB-C
Ricoh GR III
A Compact Size and Quality Performance in One
If you are looking for a solid digital camera that will provide an excellent image quality, with natural-looking colors and a good level of details, Ricoh GR III is the device for you.
It is lightweight and easy to handle, it comes equipped with a responsive 3″ 1.04M-dot LCD touchscreen, and it has a USB charging function. More importantly, it is fitted with a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, 18.3mm f/2.8 lens (equivalent to 28mm lens), and very fast autofocus with phase detection and 3-axis in-body SR stabilization system that are the main reason for this camera’s excellent image quality.
However, although Ricoh GR III comes with a fast AF feature, its action photography isn’t of the best quality; nevertheless, that is somewhat expected since its intended use is more dedicated to a still than to action image. Also, that partially explains why its video quality is pretty bad and why there is only 1080p (60fps) recording.
Overall, Ricoh GR III isn’t a perfect camera and has its limitations; however, if you are willing to accept it as it is and use it for its main purpose, still photography, you will be delighted with the results.
- Fast autofocus
- User-friendly interface
- Quality RAW image
- Compact size
- Not the best video quality
- Poor battery life
Olympus Tough TG-6
Extreme Durability in a Pocket-Sized Edition
Olympus Tough TG-6 is a camera that, before anything else, delivers great durability, presented through its water and dust resistance and ability to withstand a two-meter fall, or up to 100kg of force.
It is supplied with a solid 12MP 1/2.33-inch CMOS sensor and 24-100mm f/2.0-4.9 (4x optical zoom) lens and overall produces photos of good quality, but not as good as you would get with, for instance, Sony RX100 VII.
Although Olympus Tough TG-6 sensor is only 12MP, that can’t be considered for its strict downside since its lower pixel density should deliver an image of lower resolution, as well as lower noise levels, which is certainly beneficial.
Olympus Tough TG-6 comes with an SD card slot, Wi-Fi and GPS function and it is fitted with 3-inch, 1040k-dot LCD screen. Also, it comes with a USB port, practical, manually controllable flash/LED and more importantly, it provides a special underwater mode, ideal for divers and adventure lovers.
This camera supports for 4K video recording at 30fps, 1080p at 120fps, 720p at 240fps and 360p at 480fps rate and allows for the creation of slow-motion videos from such a material, which is very handy for adrenalin junkies or extreme sports lovers who want to show their every move.
All in all, if you are into extremes in any sense of that word and are looking for one of the best point-and-shoot cameras for the money, Olympus Tough TG-6 should be your choice.
- Underwater mode
- Good quality of photos
- Highly durable
- 12MP sensor
- Limited manual controls
Panasonic Lumix ZS80K
A Sleeper Powerhouse!
Time for a budget option, and here it goes: for less than $500 you can buy a Panasonic Lumix ZS80, and that’s quite something compared to our other posh choices so far. For the price of a mid-range smartphone you’ll get a pretty good “point and shoot” dedicated camera, with great build quality, nice design if you’re a hipster and an interesting viewfinder.
However, compared to a smartphone, photo/video quality is from another planet, and the autofocus/face detection system is pretty fast for such an affordable camera. To describe it in a few words, we’d say that the Panasonic Lumix ZS80 is a superzoom point and shoot camera, featuring a top-notch 20.3MP sensor, a lens equivalent to 24-720mm in 35mm terms and 4K video capabilities.
The viewfinder is impressive for the price tag, and has 2.3 million-dot resolution; other specs worth mentioning include 10fps burst shooting, a raw shooting option and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Oh, we almost forgot the 3-inch LCD touch screen, and excellent battery life, rated at up to 380 frames; and before you ask, yes, there’s also USB charging available.
Image quality is pretty good considering the expansive lens and the relatively small sensor, so if you’re shopping for a highly portable point and shoot camera, with huge zoom lens and an attractive price tag, the Panasonic Lumix ZS80 should rank high on your shopping list.
- Superb build quality
- Excellent optics
- 4K video
- Well-designed UI
- Fast AF/Face Detection
- Optical Image Stabilizer
- None really at this price
Fujifilm Instax Mini 90
A Retro Feeling in a Budget Edition
If you are a fan of retro style and Instant film and are looking for an easy and fun way to express your creativity, Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 is a camera for you.
It is affordable, it offers an intuitive interface and straightforward process and comes with plenty of interesting image modes that will deliver a lot of fun moments and an opportunity to capture your everyday situations in a rather uncommon manner. Some of the more interesting modes are certainly long exposure, kid’s mode, party mode, and double exposure that allows you to shot two images in the same film. In other words, a lot of fun is inevitable.
In general, Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 delivers good quality photos, especially indoors, where it produces crisp images with vibrant colors. However, outside isn’t really its ideal field, since every source of brightness, such as sun/snow or even cloud cause the photos to be too exposed.
Overall, Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 is a specific, niche product that offers decent performance and a lot of fun. It is not a masterpiece and has plenty of flaws. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a digital camera with a soul that will offer a completely different user experience, Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 is probably the best budget point and shoot camera you can find.
- Rechargeable battery
- Double exposure
- Good photo quality
- Excellent design
- Not the best performance with bright backgrounds
- No video capture