Taking one of the best point-and-shoot cameras makes a lot of sense for a creative person. Photography and video are a great complement to a skill set, and if you’re promoting your work on social media or elsewhere, being able to take professional-looking pictures with an affordable camera that fits in your pocket is a real asset. What makes a camera a great camera? Well, for starters, it’s a camera with the lens attached to the front, unlike DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, which allow you to change lenses freely. This has advantages in terms of convenience, portability, and cost while having some disadvantages in terms of versatility.
Best Point-And-Shoot Cameras
If you’re not looking to be too conspicuous (a semi-intentional play on words) and just want something that works, a point-and-shoot camera is definitely the right choice for you. There are no hidden extras; you’ll be ready to shoot as soon as you open the box.
1. Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II
A good point-and-shoot camera should be easy to use, versatile and pocketable. The Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II ticks all these boxes and even some. Its 24-105 mm zoom offers the user an extremely generous zoom range to play with, while its 20MP 1-inch sensor produces images of exceptional quality, especially in RAW mode, which is handy because you can also take burst photos in RAW mode at an impressive 30 frames per second, which is enough to freeze even the fastest moments.
What else? Well, there’s 4K video, a tilting touch screen, and Canon has even found room for a small electronic viewfinder, for those who prefer to compose images this way. The only real drawback is that all this technology weighs heavily on the battery, which is CIPA rated for about 230 shots before it needs to be recharged, so it’s advisable to take a spare battery with you. Overall, this is one of the best point-and-shoot cameras.
2. Canon Powershot Elph 180
The Elph 180 is the predecessor of the Elph 190 and costs less, but has a shorter 8x zoom lens, no Wi-Fi, and no optical image stabilization. You still get a pretty good camera that takes 20 MP pictures and 720p video, and a digital image stabilization system that compensates for small hand movements. The pictures taken with the Elph 180 have attractive colors and good detail. But like most cheap cameras, the images suffer at night; they become grainy and faded. Overall, this is one of the best point-and-shoot cameras.
3. Fujifilm XP140
Submerge it 25m underwater, drop it onto rocks at a height of 1.8m, or bring it to below freezing temperatures; the Fujifilm FinePix XP140 can handle virtually anything you throw at it. Even regardless of its rugged construction, it’s a camera that can deliver high-quality images in a variety of lighting conditions, and even shoot UHD 4K video (albeit at an average frame rate of 15p). It’s extremely easy to shoot and use, with useful scene recognition modes to make the most of different situations, although it should be noted that it lacks manual modes and RAW capability, which could start to frustrate the most serious photographer. If this is your case, you might want to take a look at Olympus Tough’s TG-6.
4. Olympus Tough TG-6
If you really need a tough camera, the Tough TG lives up to its name. It may have a small 1/2.3-inch sensor, but it produces good quality images at all zoom settings of its 25-100mm equivalent lens, as well as high-quality 4K video. It also has many great extra features such as Macro and Microscope modes that bring you closer to your subjects than ever before, and technically-minded photographers will appreciate professional-level features such as RAW support and high-speed burst capture at 20 frames per second.
Still, the fact that this camera can take a kick at the can means it’s ideal for families because even the clumsiest of little ones would have a hard time breaking it. A great travel camera for everyone, the latest Tough TG from Olympus is the best camera for photographers who like a little more adventure. Overall, this is one of the best point-and-shoot cameras.
5. Panasonic Lumix ZS70
Reasonably priced but rich in features, the Lumix TZ90 compact camera from Panasonic has a smaller sensor but a 30x zoom with a more generous range than the 10x or 15x zooms of the more expensive Lumix TZ100 and TZ200 models. The effective focal length range of 24 to 720 mm of the Leica lens takes you from generously wide-angle coverage to extreme super-television, while fully retracting into the camera for easy storage. And despite its slender dimensions, it comes equipped with an electronic viewfinder and a tilt-back touch screen that can be rotated 180 degrees for essential travel! Overall, this is one of the best point-and-shoot cameras.
6. Canon PowerShot SX740 HS
It may be a bit small, but the 20.3MP Canon PowerShot SX740 HS has a lens range that exceeds what most professionals can achieve with their DSLRs, offering a focal length range equivalent to a huge 24-960mm in 35mm terms. It’s also very useful to have an LCD screen that can be tilted to face the front, and thus the subject in question. Not surprisingly, we also have a multitude of user-friendly shooting modes available, although the camera still offers a lot of control for when you need to intervene, with the usual PASM suspects being selectable via the mode selector.
You also have the option of shooting 4K movies (if you can make do with Full HD, the previous Canon PowerShot SX730 HS can be found slightly cheaper). However, the autofocus performance is very good, as is the image quality. Overall, it’s one of the best point-and-shoot cameras with a lot of punch.
7. Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10
There are currently two “LX” devices in Panasonic’s premium range of compact cameras. Both are very attractive propositions; the LX100 Mark II combines a Micro Four Thirds format image sensor with a Leica zoom lens. For the price-performance ratio, however, we prefer the Panasonic Lumix LX10. This camera has a smaller 1.0 image sensor and a Leica Summilux zoom lens with an “effective” focal length range of 24-72 mm, in terms of full-frame. The camera is wonderfully compact, but it has some very powerful features, including light speed AF, hybrid stabilization, and 4K definition for video and still images at 30 frames per second. Overall, this is one of the best point-and-shoot cameras.
8. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is a rather sophisticated camera, thanks to its rather minimalist but traditional appearance and its simplified controls, which have the advantage of keeping the body in a state of grace. Despite this, it’s something of a beast under the hood, with a 1-inch sensor combined with an equivalent 28-84mm wide-angle lens, whose maximum wide-angle aperture is a respectable f/2.
There’s no viewfinder, but the 3-inch LCD screen at the rear also reacts to touch, once again ensuring that physical controls can be kept to a minimum. All in all, it’s a well-designed and well-specified compact camera that can produce images far superior to those of a cell phone – and it’s quite nice to look at and use. Overall, this is one of the best point-and-shoot cameras.
9. Fujifilm XF10
The XF10 is one of the easiest to carry cameras in the Fujifilm range. It is designed to be tossed into a bag or pocket and go on an adventure, weighing only 280g. It is designed to make it easy to produce some of Fujifilm’s legendary JPEGs directly from the camera, with the full range of film simulation modes for a very stylish look.
There’s a catch. It’s small, it’s pocketed and it has a large APS-C sensor to produce great images – but that was only possible because it has a 28mm wide-angle lens with a fixed focal length rather than a zoom lens. Some users have complained about problems with autofocus speed and accuracy. It is therefore a camera to be used with a little care, and not only for instantaneous shooting. Overall, this is one of the best point-and-shoot cameras.
10. Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI
Although the RX100 VI costs more than most camera buyers are willing to accept, we couldn’t include it here for the simple reason that this series represents just about the best the world of compact cameras has to offer. As its name suggests, the VI is the sixth iteration of a series that Sony has been perfecting for many years, offering an exceptional blend of image quality and portability. Although the VI has since been replaced by the VII, we believe this model offers an exceptional balance of power and value for money.
Super-smooth 4K images and dynamic burst shooting – it’s all there, and there are many additional features that many of the cameras on this list do not offer, such as the electronic quick-release viewfinder. And it’s all housed in a camera small enough to fit in a pocket – provided you don’t mind some of the controls, it’s a godsend for travel photography and videography. Overall, this is one of the best point-and-shoot cameras.