Point-and-shoot cameras are equipped with several useful features for capturing outstanding stills and videos in high resolution. Although everything is done in the camera’s auto mode, the results look nice in the end. So, if you don’t like to go deep into the numerous camera settings of a mirrorless or a DSLR camera, a point-and shoot camera is a very suitable option.
Looking for the best point-and-shoot cameras under $500 that are easy-to-use, portable, lightweight, and offer some really nice shooting characteristics? We recommend you pick one from the following list of the best compact cameras.
Generally speaking, the cameras in this list offer state-of-the-art features and selfie-friendly LCDs. While you may not find the physical controls or customization options of a mirrorless or DSLR camera, these compacts offer 4K video capture and certainly fit the bill for those seeking a point-and-shoot experience with impressive image quality.
2. Sony HX99
The Sony HX99 features a sleek design and is loaded with wonderful features. For instance, it includes an Eye-AF that allows you to capture some incredible stills while Sony’s new sophisticated AF ensures you won’t miss any priceless shots.
By tweaking the ring on the lens you can unlock your full potential and adjust your preferred settings whether it’s an appropriate zoom reach, shutter speed, or other settings you need to get creative.
This camera boasts a whopping 18.2MP along with a BIONZ X imaging engine that delivers premium-quality images. The sensor is an Exmor R design that further enhances your photography experience.
On top of that, you can customize the menu with 30 different options. The camera is equipped with an electronic viewfinder and a three-inch tilt-angle touchscreen. Focusing is super-fast and the continuous shooting speed remains at 10 fps. You can also shoot 4K at up to 30 fps and 1080p goes as high as 60 fps.
The Panasonic LUMIX LX10 is a newly-released point-and-shoot camera that took the market by storm. While it looks smaller in size than most of the other compacts, it certainly is one of the most powerful point-and-shoot cameras under $500 you can find on the market.
It incorporates a one-inch 20.1MP sensor that can deliver beautiful stills. Besides, it can also shoot good-quality 4K videos at up to 30 fps. Moreover, the autofocus system of the camera performs incredibly well and is the star of the show. Another key feature is the wide-angle lens with a bright f/1.4 aperture rating.
On the downside, the LX10 lacks the viewfinder and you may find it a little tricky to hold the camera as it doesn’t have a proper grip, either. At 260 shots, battery life is decent. Overall, the Panasonic LUMIX LX10 is an outstanding point-and-shoot camera.
The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is another capable point-and-shoot camera on our list which is pocket-friendly, can record 4K videos, and has a built-in Wi-Fi functionality for transferring your images. But the most exciting feature is its zoom range of 24-960mm, which is quite impressive given the smaller size of the camera.
This camera makes use of a 20.3MP CMOS sensor and the latest DIGIC VIII image processor that produces outstanding results. Furthermore, you get a 4K time-lapse feature and a continuous shooting speed of 10 fps. All in all, the Canon SX740 is a solid performer and packs some serious punch.
If the zoom capability of the SX740 HS isn’t something that impresses you a lot, you can opt to go for the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II (our top choice) for a similar price range. The G9 X Mark II has a relatively bigger sensor, better low-light performance, and more features.
To find out more, read our full review of the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS.
5. Olympus Tough TG-6 (Budget Winner)
The Olympus Tough TG-6 is a sleek point-and-shoot camera that can handle a variety of adventures. It uses a 12MP CMOS sensor and a TruePic VIII image processor to produce excellent images. Low-light performance is also good and it can shoot at an incredible rate of 20 fps.
The camera is equipped with a 4x optical zoom lens that has a maximum aperture of f/2 and a zoom range of 25-100mm. It allows you to capture 4K at 30 fps and 1080p at 120 fps. Keep in mind that TG-6 has been designed mainly for outdoor activities and offers extra protection. It’s dustproof, freezeproof, and waterproof down to 50 feet.
Moreover, you get an effective image stabilization system and a lot of other sensors you need for your outdoor adventures. The Action Track Sensors, for example, make use of GPS and a thermometer to assign location, temperature values, and other data to the images.
Need a tough camera for your outdoor adventures? Read our review of the Olympus Tough TG-6 to get the full rundown.
Picking the Best Point-and-Shoot Cameras Under $500
You may find a lot of models when looking for the best point-and-shoot cameras under $500. While they might not be as powerful as the DSLRs, some of them are equipped with DSLR-like features such as a sturdy build and a viewfinder. Sometimes they even come with a large optical zoom lens that DSLRs lack.
So in this roundup, we have presented some of the best point and shoot cameras under $500 for the people who prefer an easy-to-use, fixed lens camera with a lot of fun features over an interchangeable lens DSLR.