If you don’t want to carry anything heavy or fuss about complicated settings, a point-and-shoot camera is a great piece of equipment. Most of them come with a built-in flash, so you can take them wherever you go. It will immediately improve the image quality compared to shooting with a smartphone, but you won’t need any expensive lenses to use it.
Choosing the right point-and-shoot camera can be challenging with so many models on the market. Consider how advanced you need it to be, what features you can live without, and how much you are willing to pay. It’s likely that cheaper cameras won’t be able to shoot in RAW or have much smaller sensors. However, if you’re willing to splurge, you can get some serious equipment for an affordable price. Whether you’re looking for an upgrade from your smartphone for holidays, day trips, or special occasions, we’ve compiled a list to fit any budget and need.
The best point-and-shoot camera will still cost you a lot less than the best DSLR or mirrorless camera, plus you don’t have to buy additional lenses or flashes. Professional photographers often carry both a point-and-shoot camera and their main camera with them at all times when a photo opportunity arises.
On our list of cameras, we have a mix of older and newer models because some of them are simply unbeatable, such as the Panasonic ZS80/TZ90(opens in new tab). A camera’s choice depends on what you want to photograph and how much time you want to spend processing your photos after using some of the best photo editing software available.
To make navigating the guide easier we’ve split it into three sections:
Cheap and simple: A point-and-shoot camera offers better image quality and greater zoom capabilities than your smartphone. Although they don’t have some of the more advanced features of more expensive models, they are affordable and will do the job.
Waterproof: Waterproof cameras are a great option whether you’re an outdoorsy person or not because they’re more robust and can be used near water and in the rain without any problems. Due to their rugged design, they are great for beach holidays, poolside, or taking on adventures.
Longer zooms: Point-and-shoot cameras with smaller sensors often have longer zoom ranges, which is one of their advantages. The zoom range on most basic cameras is 3-5x, but some of the more expensive models can zoom up to 30x. Taking these larger zoom ranges on holiday can be useful for photographing distant objects.
Better quality: Cameras with larger sensors perform better in low light, have wider apertures (down to f/2.8), and sometimes can shoot in raw format – helpful if you shot an image that wasn’t properly exposed. Generally, more advanced cameras are more expensive, but the features are often worth it.
You may wonder why you should bother investing in a point-and-shoot when today’s best camera phones(opens in new tab) produce such good quality images, but trust us, there is a huge difference in image quality. There are usually bigger sensors in point and shoot cameras than in smartphones, even the smallest ones. There will also be better features, such as a built-in flash and a longer zoom range, compared to a phone flash.
Our guide to the best compact cameras has more advanced and more expensive models if you’re looking for really high-end point-and-shoot cameras. If you want a camera that is a step up from your phone camera and won’t cost you much, scroll below to see what we think are the best point and shoots.
Best Compact point and shoot camera in 2022
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These are the best cameras to buy if you don’t want to spend a fortune and just want something straightforward and versatile.
1. Olympus Tough TG-6
The Olympus Tough TG-6 is the kind of camera that does exactly what it says on the box. Despite its small 1/2.3-inch sensor, it produced good image quality and is capable of recording 4K video. The lens has a 25-100mm focal range with an aperture of f/2 at its wide end and f/4.9 at its maximum zoom.
This camera comes with some interesting features that really come to life in clear water, such as macro and microscope modes that allow you to see up close and personal.
In addition to being able to capture RAW stills and shoot at up to 20 frames per second, this camera can also take quite a beating, so it is perfect for families with small children. It’s a superb travel camera that comes with excellent waterproofing – perfect for adventurous (or clumsy) types.
2. Nikon Coolpix W300
Its water and drop-proof construction makes it ideal for placing in the hands of kids who want to take pictures. Those with butterfingered big kids, as well as those who wish to take photos outside without risking their smartphones or larger cameras, will love this Nikon Coolpix W300. As a means of capturing shots that we might otherwise not attempt, it provides excellent image quality.
3. Fujifilm XP140
You can pretty much throw anything at the Fujifilm FinePix XP140. It can survive 25m underwater, dropped from heights of 1.8m or used in sub-zero temperatures. This camera won’t let you down. It’s tough, and it’s really easy to use, not to mention it produces high-quality images no matter what the lighting conditions are. It is also capable of shooting UHD 4K and can be operated even under difficult conditions.
If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, you can still take nice pictures. Although there is no Raw option or manual mode, if you’re a bit more serious about photography, this might not be the camera for you (check out the Olympus TG-6 instead). However, if you just want a camera that you won’t break, won’t get water damage, and can take some pretty pictures, the Fujifilm XP140 is ideal.
4. Nikon Coolpix B600
A 16-megapixel Nikon B600 all-in-one camera offers big zoom power within a relatively compact package. Despite its mini DSLR looks, it may be frill-free and a little light in weight, but the price reflects that to some extent, while the simplicity of operation and handling makes it more accessible. Three years after its original release, this camera offers plenty of visual punch for everyday family photography.
5. Panasonic Lumix ZS70 / TZ90
It has a 30-x zoom, which is equivalent to 24-720mm. Even though it’s five years old, we still think the Panasonic Lumix ZS70/TZ90 is one of the best, most affordable compact cameras available. It has a solid image quality, even when fully zoomed in, and built-in image stabilization helps with camera shake. The combination of a massive zoom, a small body, and WiFi capabilities makes it the perfect companion when traveling.
You can view your images on an LCD screen as well as through a small viewfinder. The 49-point focus system isn’t the most advanced, but it’s fast enough to capture most things in a matter of seconds. Even though it has a 1/2-3-inch sensor, its metering system allows you to balance exposure regardless of location. The image quality is pretty good considering that.
In fact, there is a newer version of this camera, but the zoom isn’t as large and it costs more. If you want a camera with better low light performance, you might want to consider the Panasonic Lumix ZS200/TZ200 due to its larger 1-inch sensor.
6. Canon PowerShot SX740 HS
If you’re looking for a camera with incredible zoom capabilities, then consider the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS, which offers a focal range equivalent to 24 – 960mm on a full-frame. For anyone looking to shoot video, the camera can also film in 4K and with a continuous burst mode of 10 frames per second. It has a 20.3MP 1/2.3-inch sensor and an LCD screen that flips to face the front, perfect for selfies. There’s a slightly cheaper Canon PowerShot SX730 HS if you don’t need 4K video. The image quality and autofocus performance on this camera is pretty good and it’s an excellent camera for the price.
7. Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200
It’s easy to admire the Panasonic Lumix TZ200/TS200 outside of the headline-grabbers of a one-inch sensor and a 15x optical zoom range from a ‘travel zoom’ camera that fits unobtrusively into a jacket pocket or rucksack pouch. With an aluminum build and ergonomic design, it offers a good balance of hands-on control and point-and-shoot accessibility. If we tire of the automatic results, we can play around with its creative filter effects.
8. Panasonic Lumix LX15 / LX10
If you want a point-and-shoot camera that also delivers a visible jump in picture quality from a camera phone, you need one with a larger sensor. One-inch 20-megapixel sensor on the Panasonic LX15, which is sometimes referred to as the LX10 in some territories, does the job very well. Although there is no built-in EVF, some people might not like it, and the smooth finish to the body makes it appear stylish, but it does not make for the firmest grip.
There is, however, a terrific touchscreen, dual control rings, and a very wide aperture range with the 24-72mm lens, making it one of the most versatile lenses around. Overall, this neat little snapper has a near-perfect balance of features, performance, and pricing. It’s small enough for your pocket, easy for beginners, but powerful enough to be a good point-and-shoot camera for serious photographers.
9. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
As a point-and-shoot camera, the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II looks rather sophisticated, thanks to its minimalist yet traditional design and streamlined controls, which keep the body endearingly small. The camera has a 1-inch sensor and a 28-84mm equivalent wide-angle lens, with a maximum aperture at wide-angle of f/2. Despite this, the camera is a beast under the bonnet.
There’s no viewfinder, but the 3-inch LCD on the rear also responds to touch, so physical controls are minimized as much as possible. In summary, this is a well-specced, neat-looking compact camera that produces far better images than a camera phone – and it is rather attractive to use and look at.
10. Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI
For the simple reason that this series represents pretty much the best compact camera on the market, we could not include the RX100 VI here, even though it is more expensive than most point-and-shoot buyers can afford. With an exceptional blend of image quality and portability, Sony’s VI is the sixth iteration in a series that Sony has been developing for many years. Despite the fact that the VI has been superseded by the VII, we believe this model offers outstanding value and power.
This camera has smooth 4K footage as well as dynamic burst shooting, and it’s got plenty of extras that other cameras don’t, like an electronic viewfinder that pops up. The camera is small enough to fit in your pocket – if you don’t mind some of the controls being a little fiddly to use, it’s an excellent choice for travel photography and videography.
If you like the sound of the RX100 VI but are still put off by the cost, then look back at previous models in the RX100 series, as they are all very good, and most of them are still being made today. Additionally, if you have more money to spend, you should definitely consider the Sony RX100 VII(opens in a new tab).