10 Best Point And Shoot Cameras | March 2017

We spent 30 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. If your photography ambitions have graduated from selfies taken on your smartphone, but you are not quite ready for the cost or technicalities of a DSLR yet, take a look at our selection of point and shoot cameras. They will help you capture your favorite moments in stunning image quality with ease, utilizing an array of high-tech features. Skip to the best point and shoot camera on Amazon.
10 Best Point And Shoot Cameras | March 2017


Overall Rank: 10
Best Mid-Range
★★★
Overall Rank: 2
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 3
Best Inexpensive
★★★★
10
You've seen 360-degree video on Facebook and YouTube, and now you can make your own with the Ricoh Theta SC 360. Spherical video technology is now affordable to the masses, and you can be the first to impress your friends with it by picking up this easy to use camera.
9
Waterproof, freeze-proof, crush-proof, shockproof — the Olympus TG-870 is the standard in unbreakable cameras for adventurers. However, it's far more than virtually indestructible, it has GPS for social sharing, an ultra-wide angle lens, and flip monitor for selfies.
8
The affordable and super easy to use Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 is simple, simple, simple. That's just what many of us want: amazing pictures, quality video, and no extraneous features we don't need. Throw in a low price and this becomes a no-brainer.
7
For the more advanced camera user, there is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS60 which is built with a Leica lens optimized for travel photography. So if you can't quit the traditional viewfinder and advanced menus, but you need modern 4K video, this is exactly what you want.
  • high optical zoom in a small body
  • as light as a cell phone
  • recording video drains battery fast
Brand Panasonic
Model DMC-ZS60K
Weight 1.1 pounds
6
If you want professional photos without having to know how to operate a professional camera, then you need the Sony DSCHX90V. It's currently the smallest and lightest camera with 30x optical zoom and delivers stunning image quality in any lighting with ease.
  • retractable oled viewfinder
  • wi-fi and nfc support
  • upward rotating lcd for selfies
Brand Sony
Model DSCHX90V/B
Weight 16 ounces
5
At an extremely attractive price, the Nikon Coolpix S33 provides full HD video and a wide-angle zoom lens. With oversized buttons, easy menus, and shockproof casing the camera becomes an obvious option for children or anybody who wants to keep it simple.
  • waterproof for scuba or poolside fun
  • affordable hd video recording
  • does not come with a memory card
Brand Nikon
Model 26495
Weight 12.8 ounces
4
For the ultimate zoom, you have to check out the Canon PowerShot SX540, which sports an amazing 50x optical and 4x digital without the need to buy a lens or deal with any complications. It also features easy to use controls, options, built-in video creation, and Wi-Fi.
  • remote shooting from your cell phone
  • usb 3 for fast file transfers
  • auto creates video with effects
Brand Canon
Model 1067C001
Weight 2 pounds
3
The Sony DSCW800/B is the essential value digital camera that will take 720p video and 20 megapixel photos without any effort. The camera ships with "Easy Mode" for quick shots that include blur reduction, rapid auto focus, and image stabilization.
  • charges with standard usb cables
  • fits in the smallest of pockets
  • ultra high quality sony image sensor
Brand Sony
Model DSCW800/B
Weight 6.4 ounces
2
The expensive, but powerful, Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II will take your breath away if you are upgrading from a phone or older digital camera. Professional photographers call it the DSLR replacement, but it has been designed for anybody who wants the absolute best.
  • new digic 7 image processor
  • incredibly smooth 60 fps hd video
  • syncs pictures to your smartphone
Brand Canon
Model 1066C001
Weight 1.5 pounds
1
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS is such a good camera that even Amazon can't seem to keep it in stock. At a mid-range price, there is no other option that even competes with its features, ease of use, and ability to take amazing photos with what seems like zero effort.
  • game changing image stabilizer
  • extremely high resolution sensor
  • massive lcd viewfinder
Brand Canon
Model 1075C001
Weight 1.5 pounds

Yes, They're Better Than Your Cell Phone

I've been a photographer for a great while now, and I've shot professionally for the better part of the last 5 years. I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that photographers love to turn their noses up at point and shoot cameras because most photographers believe that their gear will save them. They invest in tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gear in the hopes that the right combination will elevate their photography to new, unprecedented heights.

While the technical quality of an image is important, I'd say it's not actually the most important thing in a photograph. Image quality takes a back seat to things like lighting, composition, and, if we're talking about documenting our lives here, to nostalgia. That said, we're here to compare these cameras on the basis of the image quality they can provide.

Each of these is a fixed lens digital camera, meaning that the lens it comes with is the only lens you use. They are all zoom lenses, however, so with a simple push or pull of a small tab, the motorized lens elements reorganize themselves, allowing you to zoom in our out in an instant.

The sensors on these cameras range in size, but even the smallest among them is roughly twice the size of the sensor in your cell phone. And it's the combination of these two things–the lenses and the sensors–that make these cameras undeniably superior to your cell phone.

What's In Your Pocket?

It's an old photographer's adage: The best camera in the world is the one that you have on you. Those memories we spoke briefly about above, the moments in our lives that, when captured, elevate a picture above all considerations of image quality, require only that you have a camera to capture them.

With that in mind, the first thing you want to look for in your point and shoot camera is portability. After all, it's competing for carry space with your cell phone, and even if it does take better pictures, you want to make sure you're willing to lug it around with you all over your vacations.

A few of these cameras are close in size to a DSLR with interchangeable lenses, the kind of system that will run you very quickly into the thousands of dollars. These larger cameras will probably require their own bag, or require that you carry them around your neck as you tour a given city or event. Also, because of their size and professional appearance, some event coordinators won't let you into venues with them, for fear of such high quality images being pirated.

The advantages of these cameras, though, are their lenses and sensors. Onto a larger body, these manufacturers have mounted a much larger lens, which, due to its greater light collecting area, performs wonderfully in low light settings. The bigger sensor also translates into better low light performance and more dynamic range. If you don't mind the bulk, and you know you shoot a lot of low light photography, these might be the bodies for you.

If you want something a bit smaller and less complicated, however, there are a few very simple, very inexpensive little point and shoots on our list. These tend to fit pretty comfortably in a pants pocket, so you can sneak them in anywhere, and a couple of them have very powerful zooms built in. Be careful, though, as there is really only one among them that has a sensor and lens combination capable of taking a professional-level photograph, and that's our top-rated point and shoot.

Smaller, Sharper, Faster, Stronger

Taking pictures has long been a complicated process, and incredibly intelligent people throughout history have applied their wits to the task of making photography easier. That camera attached to your telephone is a testament to that effort, but it also highlights a certain balancing act that's gone on since the first photographic images were ever captured. That is the balance between ease and quality.

When early photographers like Louis-Jaques-Mandé Daguerre and Henry Fox Talbot established their own unique development techniques, they did so in the name of discovering the easiest and most efficient way to create the best photograph. Over time, however, development by way of a photographic negative became the standard, and the size of that negative shrank down, allowing photographers reduced exposure times and much easier, more portable photography.

The digital age brought with it yet another increase in ease, but a significant decrease in quality. Where a 35mm negative could produce prints up to roughly 3'x2' without much complaint about quality, early digital cameras could barely produce a simple 4"x6" print with any degree of clarity. The ease had been put in place, and then it was time for the quality to catch up.

Photographic quality has always trickled down from the more expensive sectors of the market. Manufacturers test new methods out among the professionals who can afford the latest and greatest, and, as a result, that technology is usually very complicated and not very portable. Once certain quality elements like better glass for lenses and larger sensors get codified, the task for engineers is to fit the newer, better tech into smaller, easier-to-use packages. The result of those 175 years of development is the list of ten point and shoot cameras you see here.



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Last updated: 03/25/2017 | Authorship Information

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