The 10 Best Point And Shoot Cameras

Updated December 10, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

10 Best Point And Shoot Cameras
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 40 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 technical difficulty of an interchangeable lens system, take a look at our selection of point and shoot cameras. They will help you capture your favorite moments in stunning image quality, utilizing an array of high-tech features. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best point and shoot camera on Amazon.

10. Canon PowerShot Elph 190

The affordable and easy-to-use Canon PowerShot Elph 190 is as simple as it gets. It won't wow you with its image quality or its low-light capabilities, but if you want to capture some valuable photos with a little better resolution than your phone offers, this can do it.
  • multiple color options
  • very small size
  • poor video at only 720p
Brand Canon
Model 1090C001
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IV

If you need something that comes with some serious built-in zoom capabilities, but isn't a complicated DSLR, the Sony Cyber‑Shot RX10 IV is the best out there. Its Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens can take you from 24-600mm with an ƒ/4 maximum aperture when fully extended.
  • phase-detection autofocus
  • one-inch sensor
  • very large build
Brand Sony
Model DSCRX10M4
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

8. Leica Sofort Instant

If you like the idea of instant photography, but you've been disappointed by the quality of the images those devices produce, you'll appreciate the higher-caliber optics built into the Leica Sofort Instant. It accepts Fuji's Instax film.
  • manual focus system
  • two-year warranty
  • flash is tough to get right
Brand Leica
Model 19101
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. Olympus Tough TG-5

If you need a unit that can withstand the rigors of travel, you'll be pleased to find that the Olympus Tough TG-5 is waterproof up to 50 feet, crush-proof under as many as 220 pounds, and shockproof from heights over a meter.
  • anti-fog lens keeps images clear
  • continuous shooting at 20 fps
  • sensor is very small
Brand Olympus
Model V104190RU000
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Ricoh GR II

The Ricoh GR II boasts a 28mm lens with a fast ƒ/2.8 aperture that provides exceptionally sharp images. Its lack of a zoom function may frustrate you if you plan to take it to a sporting event, but for indoor or landscape photography it's excellent.
  • good noise reduction
  • comfortable grip
  • lcd does not move
Brand Ricoh
Model GR II
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

The Digic 7 image processor built into the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is designed to provide fast, in-camera JPEG rendering and increased clarity in your pictures, even when taken in lighting conditions that are less than ideal.
  • responsive capacitive touchscreen
  • nine-blade lens diaphragm
  • short battery life
Brand Canon
Model 1066C001
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Leica Q 24.2 35mm

The Leica Q 24.2 35mm is a rare animal in the compact market due to its full-frame sensor, a feature that is usually reserved for much larger devices. It may take some of the best pictures of anything in its class, but you'll certainly pay for the privilege.
  • summilux 28mm lens
  • aluminum and magnesium alloy body
  • lag-free electronic viewfinder
Brand Leica
Model 19000
Weight 5.3 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

3. Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 V

From a series that took the industry by storm when it arrived on the scene, the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 V offers unparalleled image processing in a package that includes a retractable OLED viewfinder and a spring-loaded flash.
  • articulating screen for selfies
  • capable of shooting 4k video
  • one-inch sensor
Brand Sony
Model DSC-RX100M5
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

2. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

Among the many impressive features of the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II, its large, 3-inch touchscreen interface might be its most alluring. The unit's Wi-Fi capabilities allow you to easily upload and share your photos right after you take them.
  • shoots video at 1080p
  • 3x optical zoom
  • weighs just over seven ounces
Brand Canon
Model 1718C001
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Fuji X100 F

The Fuji X100 F features a 24.3 MP APS-C sensor, which makes it capable of rendering professional quality images previously reserved for the likes of much larger DSLRs. Its vintage styling and simple menus provide an intuitive interface for old and new photographers alike.
  • fixed 35mm-equivalent lens
  • iso and exposure compensation dials
  • hybrid digital viewfinder
Brand Fujifilm
Model X100F - Silver
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

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 five 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. Many are 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 or 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 carrying 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 are only a few among them that have a sensor and lens combination capable of taking professional-level photographs.

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 3x2 feet without much complaint about quality, early digital cameras could barely produce a simple 4x6-inch 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 on December 10, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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