“Photography is part skill part gear.” – Me
Trust me, in the hands of a skilled photographer, a moderate device works wonders. Regardless of what reputed camera brands and ads tell people, they don’t need a fancy camera at hand to be the best photographer they can be. Instead, they need gear that they can operate.
With the right skill, you don’t need to spend thousands on a camera to get the best deal out there. People don’t need a DSLR or a fancy mirrorless camera to capture the beauty of nature or people.
There are numerous digital cameras that come with the exact same features as the upper echelon of photography gear. One can get the best point and shoot camera under $500 if he/she puts his/her mind to it.
Don’t believe me? Just see the list I conjured up in this article. Just to add an extra layer of comfort, I’ve documented my experiences with them and gave you my cheat sheet (AKA Buying Guide) describing how I found these things. Read on!
- 9 Best Point and Shoot Cameras That Cost Less Than $500 without Compromising Quality
- Buying A Point and Shoot Camera will Become Easier with These Tips and Tricks
- My Last Two Cents
9 Best Point and Shoot Cameras That Cost Less Than $500 without Compromising Quality
Last update on 2020-08-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Yes, like every other article of this type, there’s a list ensuing this typical section. As always, I’ve researched my way through numerous products and stumbled upon these candidates. Yes, I used some of the products as you’ll see when I document my experiences with them. Let’s get to it.
Whether you prefer to go manual or just go out there and keep shooting in auto mode, this compact camera will not disappoint you. It has been one of my favorite cameras of all time and I recommend it to all my fellow photographers with a vote of confidence.
So, you might take my word for it, or you can dive into the features that won’t fail to amaze. Within 500 dollars this camera can do wonders for both a professional user and a first-timer.
Now the most special thing about this camera is the DIGIC VII processor which allows faster film processing and that means super-fast photography in both JPEG and RAW format.
Happy with features till now?
Well just wait for it, things are going to get a lot more fun because this camera has better and faster autofocus system that the previous versions. The "Point and Shoot" gig just gets a whole lot more interesting as this device offers a lot of new creative settings that promise higher quality images.
Subject tracking, auto shooting, and image stabilization are way more advanced than what you would expect from a camera at this price range. On top of it all, it promises a far better battery life. You might be thinking of Bluetooth, built-in Wi-Fi, and NFC, and guess what! You already got them.
The quality of photos and compactness does compensate for the limited lens range. But this little itchy feeling is nothing compared to all the goodness of quality and efficiency this baby offers.
If you have this camera you won’t miss out on the basic stuff either as even the normal features are enhanced accordingly. 3x optical zoom and a 12x digital zoom gets you closer and beyond the edge. The maximum aperture being F/2 at 28mm and F4.9 at 84mm makes the deal quite reasonable.
There is no viewfinder, but you can adjust the ring around the lens barrel to go through your preferred settings. Even though you can’t take amazing pictures of the bright lunar sky, I would say that the sky is never the limit.
Canon has a promising record of producing amazing cameras and this one is no exception. The next time you go to the digital market, this compact camera would be worth looking into.
You might not be a fan of Sony cameras just like me, but there is a high possibility of you becoming one after getting your hands on the new Cyber-shot DSC-HX99. It’s jam-packed with awesome features that come with a sleek design that is guaranteed to impress both the owner and his peers.
Are you a fan of taking portraits?
Or, maybe you just like to click pictures for your friend’s social media profile. Whichever the case is, this camera has an Eye-AF feature that will let you capture eye-catching photographs, literally!
Missing a shot means losing a work of art. Sony makes it easier with a new intelligent AF feature that ensures minimal waste of lens motion. Which means it will help you catch even the most fleeting and crucial moments. Why lose priceless shots when the camera can focus on what you want all on its own?
Unlock your potential and go pro by changing your camera settings on the fly by just tweaking the lens mounting ring. Whether it be a preferred zooming length, appropriate shutter speed or any other creative control you want will be right on top of your fingertips.
The ‘My Menu’ will never be the same again as you have a much more diverse way to customize things with 30 various options. The screen is high res 3.0-inch type and has a tilting feature.
The touch focus on the screen makes it far more interesting for users who want to take matters in their own hands with ease. This smart LCD screen can also operate the shutter. The electronic viewfinder is linked with the touchpad to make focus shifting smoother than ever.
As far as speed is concerned, this device is ultra-fast when it comes to focusing on still photos. 0.09 seconds to be exact! Continuous shooting will become lightning fast with this camera as well. It can capture 10 fps4 for up to 155 shots.
Intriguing videos are always better with higher resolutions. And yes! I am referring to 4k! You can even go “Slow Motion” as this wonderful compact cam record up to 120 fps. The Exmor R CMOS sensor makes the photography experience with this camera even more awesome.
On top of it, all the BIONZ X image processing technology ensures superior quality images. The whopping 18.2 megapixels put some extra sprinkle on the deal that is already too sweet to handle!
Tired of huge and heavy DSLR cameras? Want to try out something handier and compact-sized without losing much of the quality of your images? Well then, this awesome new device from Canon won’t just brighten up your day, but make your shots easier as well.
Let me properly introduce you to the new canon Power shot SX740 HS. This compact pocket-sized camera is loaded with cutting edge features that won’t fail to amaze and will prove to be a worthy friend in your photographic journey. Now let’s dive into what this camera has to offer.
Take a closer look at the world in more detail. This superb little camera has a 40x zoom capacity. This will help you get literally up close and personal to your target with each click. And if you are looking for high-quality video shooting as well, this baby will allow you to go as high as 4k resolution.
If stubbing images with fascinating details are what you are looking for, then you are reading the right product review. This is one of the top point and shoot cameras under $500 you can hope to find. The 20.3-megapixel camera comes with an image sensor that has high stabilizing capacity will ensure great and faster shots.
The SX740 is not heavy. The DIGIC 8 image processor is nothing to take lightly. If the autofocus system is locked then you can shoot up to 10.0 fps.
Still not impressed?
Well, you will be! The 4k videos you can be recorded with slow motion and time-lapse features as well.
Tired with slow Bluetooth image transferring of your old camera? Have no fear because the high-speed Wi-Fi transfer is here. Plus, the LCD has a 3-inch tilt feature. With an inbuilt frame cropping feature, you can edit your images from the screen without additional software.
Don’t take my word for it, check this fine product for yourself. The stylish look of the device will definitely impress the users.
But, as we all know, looks aren’t everything, the features are the main priority. And trust me, this camera has all the bases covered.
The Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS80S is the new rising star of the compact camera market and supposedly on the wish list of your next camera purchase. Easy to carry and features that attract are the main strengths of this camera.
So, let’s take a quick overview of the best features of this camera that make it stand out from the rest. Panasonic takes pride in its 30x optical zoom feature that lets photographers get a closer look at the world of possibilities.
The new live viewfinder is nothing of less importance who seek digital assistance from their camera.
The large scale 4k photo shooting and videography option make this camera even more appealing to those who aspire big. Into 4k panorama or just simple selfies? This compact wonder has got your back with a 3-inch tilt screen.
Panasonic has a wider vision of things because they have inserted a 24 mm ultra-wide-angle and the fascinating 30x telephoto LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens.
Virtually any subject will be within your grasp with the versatile zoom range that this camera offers. Shaky hands and motion blur issues will be a thing of the past with the help of the POWER O.I.S that is pre-installed in this device.
If this thing doesn’t deserve to be on my list of best point and shoot cameras under 500 dollars, I don’t know what does!
20.3 MP camera capacity and ultra-fast burst shooting at 10 fps (AFS) / 5 fps (AFC) make fast-paced shooting possible even when the subject is in motion. You won’t miss out on Bluetooth or Wi-Fi features as these are very demanding features of any camera in modern times.
A fan of the viewfinder feature? Then the checklist just got another stroke because this camera has it all. As you might have noticed, this camera has all the features that matter and more. The classic look combined with an awesome compact body makes this one hard to leave behind in the retail store.
Based on my experience, this one is a gem in the budget-friendly range of cameras out there. It is worth checking out even if you have other preferences. Every shot I took with this camera had me on my edge as I was impressed each time by both the hardware elegance and superior features.
It’s hard to imagine that a brand would offer this many quality products within budget. Yet, to my surprise, Nikon COOLPIX A1000 did! That too, under 500 dollars.
For example, you get the camera (duh) and a 32GB super secure Transcend Memory Card with the package. A spare battery tag along among other things included in the package.
Don’t worry! I’ll be covering each of the accessory and its benefits.
The memory card is a “Class 10” product. These things are fun! I don’t have to worry about my card going bad anytime soon. Also, using it is as easy as pie. One needs to insert this thing in place and then start using it like crazy. This transcend card allows people to shoot pictures and transfer data super-fast.
How fast you ask? Well, I could move large image files in a jiffy. This card allowed me to transfer data at the rate of 95Mb per second. I didn’t even need outside help. The package includes a card reader too!
The memory card reader functions as a converter as well. People can transform their photos into various supported formats without any inconvenience.
The fact that Nikon A1000 features a lens that zooms for up to 35X capacity won the bid for me. With this level of magnification, one doesn’t have to stay too close to the object, person or animal he’s taking photos of.
Hey, it serves well when you’re into wildlife photography and want to avoid dangerous beasts at times.
Just stand back, zoom in, and let Nikon A1000 do its thing. Want to focus on a specific object? This feature allows people to get intimate with their subjects without disturbing Mother Nature too much.
Nikon made it happen thanks to the NIKKOR lens that this camera has. I found the lens very effective when experimenting with various photo modes. You get to use NIKON A1000 in areas with low light. Switch between photo and video effortlessly.
Many of us don’t have steady hands while taking photos and recording videos. Don’t worry, It’s natural when you’re getting into photography at first. The Coolpix A1000 will give you steady images and videos at command. The tiny camera records 4K videos in Ultra HD. That’s some serious power the lens boasts!
People will love the EN-EL12 battery as it grants an extended life to the camera. The battery is powerful in itself, but you have a spare one at your disposal as I mentioned earlier. Thanks to these two, I’m never out of shooting power. Yes, even in areas where I can’t recharge the camera batteries for hours.
Whenever the batteries need charging, there’s a “Multi-Voltage” charger at hand to juice them up. The batteries will be up to speed within an hour or an hour and a half. It’s easy to plug the charger in a wall outlet. Being multi-voltage allows the charger to resist sudden voltage spikes.
What I like about Nikon is that the brand doesn’t leave people high and dry when it comes to the maintenance of their products. Nikon Coolpix A1000 features a nifty 5-piece cleaning kit.
You’ll have lens cleaning liquid, cotton swabs, lens cloth, tissues, and a blower brush to help you free your device from dirt.
Get clarity both in an upfront view and all around with the new Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX400V. Personally, I’m quite impressed by this camera’s zoom feature enabled by the ZEISS Lens and the fabulous panorama recording feature.
Users can get smart and go pro with the features that make this camera spark in the dark amongst other every day compact cameras. The 20.4MP Exmor R CMOS Sensor gives you a better vision in low light areas that let you explore the nocturnal world far better than before.
The lock on AF feature doesn’t let you miss your subject even under hard to handle situations. If you are not a camera enthusiast, you can just enable easy mode. This has helped me a lot as it made the menu far simpler when I just felt like pointing and shooting without making things too precise.
If you are looking for some fun, Sony has added a built-in picture effect setting that gives a bit more edgy and specialized look to your shots. If you are looking for a different sort of experience other than your everyday photography, this will not fail to amaze.
The amazing battery life of this camera had allowed me to capture over 300 photos before it ran dry. You must be wondering about the total duration of the videos, right? From my experience, I had no trouble shooting approximately 55 minutes. And let’s give a high-five to that!
The 50x optical zoom isn’t just a gimmick, it is one of the highest zoom capacities I have seen so far. Yes, that’s including every camera on my list today. This camera has both built-in Wi-Fi and NFC that makes file transferring and connectivity a lot smoother and faster.
If this was already not enough, then the motion shot feature will fill the void of your video recording needs as this enables you to study the form and pathways of the subject, resulting in magnificent and crystal-clear videos.
Okay, the main dish is done, now for the dessert!
This awesome little technological masterpiece supports camera apps that add a whole new dimension to the user experience. Plus, the GPS Log lets you keep track of your photographic journey that shows on Google Earth.
All these facts and features make this device one of the highest-ranking devices in the list of the ideal point and shoot cameras under 500 USD.
It’s a bummer when you find your camera drenched in water while taking pictures, right? Olympus TG-6’s got you covered. This little wonder product is waterproof. As it turns out, people can submerge it in water for up to 50 feet. In other words, 15 meters. The camera will still turn out to be okay.
But why would you need a point and shoot camera to be waterproof? That’s because, Olympus can take the game underwater and snap awesome pictures beneath the sea. You have as many as 5 “Underwater Shooting Modes” for God’s sake. It’s time to go wild with this camera. That too, under 500 dollars.
Convenient? You bet it is!
Not to mention, the camera is dustproof as well. This thing can function all right while covered with 7 feet of dust. My guess is it will go into a time capsule and still come out okay after several years.
Why do I say that? Olympus TG-6 is shockproof, freeze-proof, crashproof, and fog proof to a certain degree. It makes me wonder if Mother Nature can damage this human-made wonder product at all!
One thing good about Olympus TG-6 is the fact that it gets close to its subject. I’ve seen people come up with incredible images while just being 1cm away from their target. What makes it possible you say?
Olympus (see the parallels) blessed it with a POWERFUL lens. This thing can magnify things up to 44 times their normal size. Combine that with four different macro shooting modes. These modes allow people to experiment with their surroundings and come up with vivid images and videos.
The product features F2.0 lens, the source behind its power. If lens is the eye, a competent processor is its brain. Together these two help TG-6 in taking High Res. Photos and ultra-HD videos. Yes, you can shoot videos in 4K resolution as well without skipping a beat. Don’t worry about colors and details at all.
If you ask me, shooting videos at 120fps has never been easier with this device. Just make sure you have a memory card that stores everything you do with it.
This is a beginner-friendly camera as well. Experimenting with 3 white-balance modes, programs, and aperture settings is easy as pie.
If you fall short, there’s a detailed manual in place to get you over the hurdle. People can have the camera -only package or order it with a travel bag and a strap. Talk about having all bases covered!
You might be thinking, “Sony again?” Well, what can I say? World-class brands have more than one option for their customers when they are on a mission to make you “Be Moved.” They have indeed done it again with the Cyber-shot DSC-WX500. "How," you ask? Let’s get into it then.
Before the features and benefits begin to unfold, why not explore the whole package that offers a multitude of goodies? All of the accessories that come with this device are both handy and impressive. The 32GB memory card and the extra NP-BX1 battery would prove to be a valuable ally of yours.
Hey… they even threw in a case, a mini tripod, and a card reader as well.
The protection for the gear that they threw in is also provided. A memory card case and screen protector along with the cleaning kit will do you wonders. Have insecurities regarding your image data?
The kit has got you covered with the Image recall software that can recover data with ease!
Not impressed with just the accessories? I don’t expect you to be. Let’s get into the camera review part of things straight away.
The ZEISS 30X optical zoom lens challenges the limits of endless possibilities and aspires to go even further. The high precision optics are capable of capturing sharp images with impressive clarity as it has 24mm to 720mm range.
Plus, the tilting LCD screen goes 180 degrees this time to help you get a clearer view of your own self! The Exmor R CMOS sensor with 18.2 effective megapixels allowed me to take some pictures with breathtaking details that never failed to amaze.
If you are worried about the exterior or the aesthetic values of the camera, you won’t be disappointed. The look of the camera is modern and the sleek classy look will definitely wow both the user and the surrounding. A work of art that can capture masterpieces! And I mean no exaggeration.
Still, have some queries about this device? I suggest you read the manual for assistance. The in-depth details about the product will give you full knowhow of using the camera along with how far you can draw out the performance and how much you can expand your limits.
Illuminate your work with the new Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10. We have gone through a whole arsenal of point and shoot cameras that are unique in their own way. And this baby is no exception. Just like its peers, it delivers high-quality images with superfast features that amaze the user and spectators alike.
The Lumix DMC-LX10 boasts on its lightning-fast autofocus capacity enabled by DFD (Depth from defocus) which measures distance locks the focus for 60fps burst AFC that can be increased to 10fps.
If you are not happy with full HD then Ultra HD will fill your appetite as the camera is capable of 4k shooting as well. 4k video and photography are awesome, especially when you can do it on the go.
One can extract an image from his/her 4K videos as the 30fps video capturing capable camera is more than competent in providing this luxury.
Instant shooting means immediate action. Which means users can take pictures now and focus later! And yes, I mean it! The post focus feature enables you to focus on a single point or several areas at once. This allows you to dive in and explore deeper depths of your creative liberty.
Users can access several shutter speeds, focus and zoom settings instantly while shooting with the lens mounted control ring. This little ring allows people to take full control of their craft transcending further from the limitation of time.
The rather large 3-inch touch screen LCD can move straight upwards to allow you to take captivating selfies of you and your friends without sacrificing control or quality. Yes, I’m talking about a whole 180-degree tilt! This is bound to turn some heads your way, literally!
The bright composition, aperture, and bracketing focus settings are meant for advanced users who are not content with things as they are. Tweaking these settings can make photos stand apart by a long shot as they are guaranteed to deliver more vibrant and realistic photos.
This might be the last product but as you have already seen, it certainly is not the least. And this camera is one of the best devices that Panasonic has to offer. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a compact camera that is worth their buck.
Buying A Point and Shoot Camera will Become Easier with These Tips and Tricks
I have laid out all the features and specifications of the 9 most obvious choices a buyer might want to consider when he or she wants to buy a "Point and Shoot" camera within a limited budget.
But if you still want to explore further, here are a few tips you might want to consider while selecting your new camera.
Do Megapixels Define Quality?
Many of us think that if they have a camera with more megapixels, their photos will be of better quality. This is a common misconception many novice photographers have regarding cameras.
To be frank, when you are focusing on quality, the main characteristic you should be focusing on is the size of the sensor. As this thing is responsible for the clarity of your photos.
Usually, well-reputed brands have this issue covered and they install high-quality sensors in their manufactured devices. So, the next time you go for buying a camera, don’t get dazzled by the pixel count, it’s the sensor size that matters.
Zoom Capacity is a Big Deal
Well, let me break it down for you, there are two types of zoom in cameras.
Firstly, there is optical zoom and this is what you should be looking for if you want better zooming. But this feature, as strong as it is, makes the camera rather bulky.
Then comes digital zooming, this also magnifies your subject but at the cost of image quality.
You might be interested to know that, there are a few cameras out there that feature both types of zooming features for your ease of customization. But rest assured that optical zoom is what you are looking for.
The LCD Screen is Your “Third” Eye
You can’t really take photos or adjust the features and settings without getting a proper read on the situation even in the best point-and-shoot cameras under $500, can you? Low-budget cameras need an LCD screen as well. So, yes… the screen and its features are quite important.
When shopping for point and shoot cameras, always look for both quality and touch capacity in your LCD screen. Trust me, it will save you a lot of trouble. But don’t go for less than 3-inch displays. You don’t want your vision to get too small.
If you get the “Tilt” feature on your screen, then things will be a lot more fun. With a 180 degree tilt your Selfie experience will become a whole lot better. This feature is definitely worth a shot.
Shooting modes that suit your needs
There’s a whole bag full of settings that you will find within the menus of the products of your choices. Within them, you will find several shooting modes.
There are a few shooting modes that you would want to adjust and tweak manually.
But things might get a lot easier with the “Auto” settings that will make the camera a lot more time-efficient and in turn, makes the photography experience a lot more premium.
Some modes can be set and changed on the fly with a specific dial or a ring that is usually attached to the lens. So, look for a variety of control functions in the camera that you want to buy. Be mindful of the fact that these control options should be easy to understand and access.
Recharge Factors Play a Crucial Role as Well
Point and Shoot cameras nowadays are well equipped with pre-installed rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. On the usual note, they usually last long and even if they don’t, I repeat, these batteries are rechargeable and they charge fast.
Even with all things considered, a bit of extra juice doesn’t hurt. Look for cameras that have the option for rechargeable AA batteries as well. You can’t always find power outlets, especially when you shoot outdoors. So, this small little option can be quite the lifesaver.
The last thing for charging issues you want to check out is the battery quality and the charge capacity. Usually, these are up to the mark when you are buying from renowned manufacturers. But still, a little bit of checking and double-checking doesn’t really hurt.
NFC is Mandatory
NFC or “Near Field Communication” technology might be new to users who are getting a new camera after ages. This is me ranting about what this thing is and how it works.
NFC enabled devices can detect one another for fast wireless connectivity. And this allows quick file transferring as well. NFC is is a cool addition when you want to transfer your data and, in this case, photos, to other devices that have this feature.
NFC is a must-have in my opinion because technology is indeed moving forward and photography is going along with it. So, to keep pace and stay connected, don’t forget to look for this feature in your next DSLR/Mirrorless/compact camera.
Wi-Fi Connectivity Can be Helpful
Well, Wi-Fi might not be your first choice when it comes to connectivity or file transfer. But one should not underestimate the power of the internet.
The constant connectivity that Wi-Fi offers will allow you to stay in touch with the cloud-based storages, which will deliver your photos in your smartphones sooner than you can imagine. Quick access to your stored images saves you a lot of pain as you don’t have to select and scroll through each photo.
Now let’s not forget about system and firmware updates. I would suggest you check the wireless connectivity features of your compact camera before purchase as this will save you a lot of hassle.
My Last Two Cents
Well, I’ve touched on and elaborated on all the details that are necessary and all the information you might want to know about the best point and shoot cameras you can buy under $500. Each camera is unique in its own way. Chances are, you’ll have one or two favorites from my list that you can buy.
The only question you need an answer to is, “Does the product suit your needs or not?” The buying guide should and would tell you what you need to look for in a product. If the products on my list don’t satisfy your needs, you can always venture out to do your own research.
My advice will be to study the features, all the bells, and whistles a camera can offer. Then find the perfect blend of aspects you would prefer in your device. Good luck! And hope you will be happy with your next purchase.