Point-and-shoot cameras, or compact cameras, are getting better and better every year. If you don’t want to put forth the extra effort to get some great quality images, there is a wealth of choices for you to get one of the best point-and-shoot cameras. These cameras that once people derided as beginner photography tools now pack some extraordinary features and can meet variety of photography needs.
A compact camera comes with a lens permanently attached to it, so you just need to pick it up and it’s ready to shoot. The best ones come with a large full-frame sensor, great video functionality, and excellent low light performance.
Generally, a point-and-shoot camera performs better than others if it features a one–inch APS-C and full-frame sensor or one with a fixed focal length lens. However, these features have significant impact on the price of the camera.
As you know, there are a range of compact cameras available on the market, and it can be a daunting task to get the one that supports the user’s specific needs. Therefore, we have decided to list some of the best point-and-shoot cameras available to help you narrow down your choices.
1. Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 IV (Overall Winner)
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV is currently the best point-and-shoot camera on the market. It features a 20.1-megapixel one-inch imaging sensor and a 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens that delivers some premium quality images.
A three-inch tilting screen and a high-quality pop-up viewfinder with a 2.36-million dot resolution give you a great photography experience. The camera offers 4K video and HD recording options (960 frames per second for slow-motion output) and is capable of shooting at a rate of 60 frames per second for critical captures. It enables you to connect to other smart devices with its various connectivity options like Wi-Fi and NFC.
Although Sony’s RX100 IV is not the cheapest option, it truly is a solid performer for the money and deserves to be on top of the list.
Panasonic’s Lumix ZS100 packs a 20.1-megapixel one-inch sensor with a 10x optical zoom lens, which offers an amazing image and video quality that other superzoom point-and-shoot cameras are unable to deliver. It has a 25-250mm f/2.8-5.9 lens, a three-inch fixed touchscreen, and an EVF with 1.16-million dots resolution.
Panasonic’s trademark 4K modes such as burst shooting at up to 30 frames per second and Post Focus are some great additions to this camera. Post Focus allows you to reselect the focus point after capturing the image.
The Lumix ZS100 now has a successor, the ZS200 but that doesn’t mean that ZS100 lacks in quality; it is still a great performer. Some other necessary features that the Lumix ZS100 offers are the Wi-Fi connectivity, a great quality 4k video, and the ability to shoot in RAW.
When it comes to lenses, Leica has been doing an incredible job so far; it’s something the company is known for. They have also introduced some top-notch cameras offering impressive build quality, unique designs, and outstanding image quality.
The only bad thing that you may notice about Leica’s cameras is the huge price factor and perhaps it’s the only thing that will stop you from getting the Leica Q (Typ 116). Otherwise, this camera should be on top of your list.
Leica’s Q (Typ 116) features a 24.2-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, a 28mm f/1.7 lens, and a contrast-detect autofocus system. It brings along a fixed three-inch touchscreen, a superb EVF with 3.68-million dots resolution, and built-in Wi-Fi.
This super-expensive compact camera produces outstanding stills; however, the fixed focal length 28mm f/1.7 lens may prove limiting for some users who may need a zoom. The camera allows you to record 1080p videos at 60fps.
The Nikon Coolpix P1000 features a 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch sensor and a 24-3000mm f/2.8-8.0 lens with a long focal range of 24-3000mm. This whopping 3000mm equivalent focal length allows you to capture subjects at long distances and pick out the details. The camera has a 3.2-inch tilting LCD (not a touchscreen) and a high resolution electronic viewfinder. It can shoot at a maximum rate of seven frames per second.
The Nikon has equipped the P1000 with some impressive technology and features essential for superzoom. These include Dual Detect VR (vibration reduction) which helps reduce the vibration and compensates for camera shake.
Olympus has specifically designed its Tough TG-6 compact camera for adventure lovers. It is waterproof up to 15m, crushproof up to 100kgf, shockproof to 2.1m, dustproof, and freezeproof down to -10°C. It also comes with anti-fog protection, so you don’t need to take extra care of your camera if you are going out for an adventure as it offers some great protection for its equipment inside.
Olympus’s Tough TG-6 features a small 12-megapixel 1/2.3-inch sensor and a 25-100mm f/2 lens which produces terrific images and 4K video; however, the camera struggles in low light conditions. Its three-inch screen is fixed and the electronic viewfinder has 1.04-million dots resolution. Its maximum burst speed is 20 frames per second.
The Tough TG-6 packs some interesting features such as a Variable Macro System, which allows you to shoot close-ups at distances between 30 cm and one cm. It has another important feature called OI.Share (Olympus Image Share) which can be used to instantly import photos from the camera to your smartphone more conveniently via the built-in Wi-Fi. It also helps you take control of the camera remotely.
For underwater shooting experience, the camera has various underwater modes. The TG-6 also offers GPS, Compass, and Location functions that can help you get the exact location of your photos.
Choosing Point-and-Shoot Cameras
In the past, manufacturers had designed compact cameras with small sensors but today things have changed entirely and these cameras are being equipped with powerful sensors. Consequently, the image quality, these sensors are producing, has been significantly improved over the best smartphones and some high-end compact cameras even rival DSLRs or mirrorless cameras.
In the list above, some of the best point-and-shoot cameras are discussed that are equipped with large sensors and high-tech features. You can choose any of them considering your budget and needs.