If you are a beginning photographer or you simply want to capture the moment with better image quality or greater zoom range than could be delivered by your smartphone, then a point-and-shoot camera is probably what you are looking for.
Point-and-shoot cameras which are also known as compact digital cameras are friendly in many ways because of the automatic settings. You don’t need to be a pro to use these cameras although they could also include features that you could fiddle with to capture greater shots. Further, these cameras are more compact and less expensive than DSLR which makes them a more popular option.
To clinch a sweet deal that would serve your planned applications, you need to check out the camera’s capabilities, especially in terms of product durability, image quality, and zoom. Hence, together with SolidSmack’s camera expert, Evangeline Summers, we have summarized in this article the top 5 point-and-shoot cameras that were tried and tested to help you capture your finest moments.
Best Point & Shoot Cameras Comparison & Rating
1. Panasonic LUMIX ZS100 4K Point-and-Shoot Camera
1-inch MOS sensor, 20.9 Total Megapixels
1.7 x 4.4 x 2.5 inches
Panasonic LUMIX ZS100 is a point-and-shoot camera that offers desirable features that could make traveling a much exciting adventure to experience and record. This allows you to capture great quality images and videos.
“One of the misconceptions that people tend to hold is that a great quality image is just a matter of more megapixels. That is not correct, however. In reality, image quality is influenced by other factors such as the type and the size of sensors. Compared to other compact digital cameras, Panasonic LUMIX ZS100’s 1-inch sensor and 20.1 effective megapixels allows capture of good images even in low light conditions,” Summers said.
As sensors are usually the priciest piece in your camera, larger sensors could naturally bump up their price tag. Given the quality of performance and images and videos it could produce though, this camera is worth the price. Add to that the 4K images and videos and its great zoom capability.
Another interesting feature that I really appreciate in this camera is the post focus. This is a feature you won’t find in many point-and-shoot cameras. LUMIX ZS100 also shares many similar features with Lumix LX10 which is almost at the same price range. However, this product has a greater zoom compared to Lumix LX10’s 3X. Indeed, this is a point-to-shoot camera that could rival DSLR capabilities.
2. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II Digital Camera
20.1 Megapixel*, 1.0-inch CMOS
1.65 x 2.4 x 4.15 inches
For a point-and-shoot camera built with a 20.1 megapixel, 1.0-inch CMOS image sensor, this camera at its price tag, is a great option to consider. It is packed with great features designed to deliver impressive image qualities.
“A 1.0-inch image sensor coupled with more around 20 megapixels is a nice combination that could deliver great image quality. This may not seem very apparent in bright light photography, but in low-light image capture, this delivers better results that would be hard to obtain with smaller sensors,” Summers stated.
Indeed, in terms of image quality, this camera was built to make sure you would not be disappointed. Further, compared to a similar Canon model, G7X offers higher optical zoom at 4.2 compared to G9X’s 3.0X. You would also appreciate that it has very responsive touch controls. Its tiltable screen is just a nice bonus.
3. OLYMPUS Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera
1/2.33 inch CMOS , 12 Megapixels
2.6 x 4.4 x 1.3 inches
If you are hard on your camera, you surely need something more rugged. We therefore suggest that you take a look at OLYMPUS Tough TG-6 which could withstand some beating from the toughest conditions. It is shockproof for up to 7 feet, crushproof for up to 100 kgf, and freezeproof for up to -10℃. This makes it a more compatible buddy to take in your winter expeditions.
“Needless to say, Tough TG-6 is a tough cam. Another thing that makes this camera an interesting option, though is its support for macro photography that could give you a closer glimpse to the details of the tiner world,” Summers said.
Not only does this camera offer 4 macro shooting modes, but it also has 2 accessories. One is the LG-1 LED light guide that could light the subject in spite of the shadow that is being cast by your camera. Another is the FD-1 flash diffuser which is useful to shoot in dark conditions and of moving subjects.
Compared with similar models, TG-6’s LCD display has 1040k dot resolution while TG-4 and TG5 have 460K dots. This rugged point-and-shoot camera also has a special underwater mode that supports circular fisheye photography. If you want a camera that could tough it out, you better check this out.
4. Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera
1 /2.3 inch MOS, 18.1 Megapixel
4.69 x 5.13 x 3.71 inches
“If you are looking for a point-and-shoot camera with greater zoom range, this is one great option to consider,” Summers expressed while studying the cam.
With 60X optical zoom, along with a great aperture range that is optically stabilized, and a high 18.1 MG sensor packed in a 21.76-ounce camera, this is indeed an impressive camera that would be best for wildlife shooting. Its combination of interesting features allows you to capture interesting and nice images from a safe distance. You could also do bird watching through this camera with much greater ease.
This product offers more megapixels compared to a similar model of LUMIX FZ300 which has 12.1 MP. Further, it has a 60X zoom while the other has 24X. You would also appreciate the 4K video capture of this camera, which audio works well even with the wind. Its 30 fps capability also ensures that you won’t miss a decisive moment when you attempt to capture actions.
5. Sony DSCHX80/B High Zoom Point-and-Shoot Camera
1/2.3" Exmor R CMOS sensor, 8.2 Megapixel
6.25 x 5 x 2.75 inches
If you’re planning for hiking and wildlife photography that requires capturing of images from far distances, you surely would need a camera that could take your subjects closer through its zoom capabilities while delivering nice shots.
“One of the reasons why you should consider this camera would be its great zoom range. Not only does this camera deliver 30X optical zoom, but it also has a digital zoom through its BIONZ X processor that enables the creation of new pixels based on selected patterns for better quality images,” Summers said.
Another feature you would probably like in this point-and-shoot camera is the lock-on AF which allows you to select the subject to be the focal point. This way, the camera will keep your subject in focus in spite of movements. Further, it is designed to reduce blur caused by camera shake when you are recording videos or movies. For its price, this point-and-shoot camera indeed holds impressive capabilities packed in a very compact form.
Best Point-and-Shoot Cameras - Buyer's Guide
We often look at image quality in terms of megapixels. While the number of effective megapixels is nice, we should also be concerned about the image sensors. This determines the size and resolution of the image, as well as its performance in low light. Many point-and-shoot cameras use 1/2.3 inch image sensors. Others however have a larger 1-inch image sensor which could deliver better quality images.
A lot of cameras have really nice and interesting features which correspond to an additional rate. However, the main point why many people opt for a point-and-shoot camera is to capture views and moments in less complex ways. Hence, a great compact digital camera must allow you to capture great images even without professional experience.
Ease of use is important in a point-and-shoot camera. However, you should also look into the features that allow you to tweak the settings and experiment for better image capture for various conditions. These could include aperture, zoom, and shutter speed among others.
We surely want travel or regular moment-capturing buddy that would not let us down after a few uses or exposure to varied conditions. Hence we would like to look at designs that would be more resistant to shock and tough conditions like extreme temperatures.
What use is a great camera if it dies on you the moment you could have captured that decisive moment? Yes, you could always have an extra battery. Nonetheless, it is still a great advantage if the point-and-shoot camera that you will be taking in your travels would last longer to allow you to capture more fun.
Best Point-and-Shoot Cameras - FAQs
Point-and-shoot cameras differ from DSLR in terms of performance speed, image quality, size, and cost. A point-and-shoot camera is easier to use because it takes care of many of the automatic settings. Further, it is more compact and cheaper to use. On the other hand, a DSLR that delivers better photos and allows more creativity requires more skill and cost.
A large sensor could make better quality images. The difference with cameras with smaller sensors might be acceptable in bright lights, but it becomes significant in low-light captures.
Having more megapixels does not automatically mean better image quality because the image quality is affected by other factors such as sensor and pixel sizes.
A smartphone camera offers more portability and better storage. However, a point-and-shoot camera could have larger sensors (which could make better image quality). Further, a camera also allows you to experiment more on your photography by fiddling with settings such as the shutter speed or zoom.