Have you ever got frustrated with big mirrorless or DSLR camera just because of the sheer size and weight of it? Well, you are not alone.
In my early days of photography, I always wished for a camera that fits in my pocket easily and is just as powerful. Back then it was a far cry to even think of something like that. But now it has become a reality.
Manufacturers are forced to put more advanced features in their point-and-shoot camera models thanks to the ever-improving smartphone cameras.
This has made life for us quick snappers a breeze. We now have the power to take DSLR quality photos at the palms of our hand.
However, finding what fits your needs the “Best,” can be a bit tricky. Especially considering how every company claims that it produces the best compact and lightweight cameras. That’s where this little article of mine comes into play.
In this article or guide (whatever you decide to call it), I’ll give you 10 point and shoot cameras that I believe are the best in the market as of current research. Let’s take a deeper dive into the world of point-and-shoot camera, shall we?
Before we jump straight into the review section, I’d like to discuss a few digital camera terms. Knowing these terms are essential in understanding the quality of a camera. Please keep in mind this section is dedicated to the beginners. If you are a pro at photography and have decent knowledge about camera jargons, feel free to skip.
This perhaps is the most common term in the world of photography. In baby language, aperture dictates the size of the opening in the lens. For instance, think of the lens as a window. In the real world, larger or wider the window, the more light can come through it and vice versa.
The unit of aperture is measured in F-stops. F-stops or focal length and aperture are inversely proportional. Meaning the bigger F-stops implies less light. For instance, f/1.8 is wide angle and lets in more light than a lens with an f/2.2 aperture.
In general, you want a balance between everything. More light doesn’t always ensure sharp and crisp image quality.
Bokes is an effect that is caused by the out of focus lights. Nowadays, you can find portrait mode in almost every smartphone camera. Some of them do via software and some via hardware.
For compact cameras, this neat little effect is created via the lens itself. Basically, what it does is, focuses on the subject only and blurs out the rest of the image. This is achieved when the foreground is focused but the background is out of focus.
This is also something to be really careful about in the world of photography. Aspect ratio is simply the ratio of height and width. An aspect ratio of 4:3 means the height of the image is 4/3 times bigger than the width.
Aspect ratio also dictates different sizes for the images. For instance, an aspect ratio of 4:7 would imply the image is a bit wider. Similarly, the aspect ratio of 4:4 would give you a square sized image.
Have you ever felt the need to take more than one photo at a time? This is where burst mode comes in.
Burst mode enables you to take continuous snaps of something without doing anything. Your camera does everything for you. This comes really handy in wildlife photography (or any other type of photography that requires instantaneous snap) as you only get one chance to capture the best moment.
Exposure of an image implies how dark or light the image is. Every time you click the shutter button the camera sensor is exposed to light and a photo is created. This is where the exposure originates from. If your photo is darker then it was underexposed.
On the other hand, if it captured too much light, it was overexposed. Exposure of an image depends on various factors like shutter speed, ISO, aperture etc. Exposure can be controlled via tweaking these variables.
For the sake of simplicity and beginner-friendliness, I’ll stop here. If you want a more in-depth analysis of other camera terms like ISO, white balance, focus, viewfinder, hot shoe etc... Feel free to let me know in the comment section below.
Sony RX100 VII
Megapixels: 20.1 MP
Megapixels: 26 MP
Canon G5X Mark II
Megapixels: 20.1 MP
BEST FOR VLOGGING
Megapixels: 20.1 MP
Canon G7X Mark III
Megapixels: 20.1 MP
For this review piece, I’ve compiled a list of 10 point and shoot digital cameras that I believe are the best. Keep in mind all of them were chosen based on the features and capabilities they have (and also a grain of my personal opinion).
There you go, the aforementioned are the top rated compact digital cameras that we will take a look at. Without any further ado, let’s get right into it.
1. Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII
Sensor: 1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm) | Megapixels: 20.1 MP | Lens: 24-200mm, ƒ/2.8-4.5 | Display: 3.0 inch, 921k dots | Viewfinder: EVF | Wi-Fi: Yes | Flip/Tilt Screen: Yes | Touch Screen: Yes | Maximum continuous shooting: 20fps | 4K Video: Yes | Weight (inc. batteries): 302g | Battery Life: Approx. 260 shots
The Sony RX100 VII is a camera that can be trusted for its consistent performance and durability. The super lightweight 302-gram beast can deliver a consistent performance no matter what condition you use it in. The size of this camera also plays an important role in making it the compact thing that it is.
It has a ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* Lens, which consists of 15 elements in 12 groups (8 aspheric elements including AA lens). The ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* Lens is known for its effectiveness in reducing "Ghost & Flare" as named by Carl Zeiss, the inventor of the technology.
Basically, it has a coating that blocks out the reflections on the lens surface.
The lens provides a maximum aperture of F2.8 (W)-4.5(T). This, along with the sensor’s maximum number of active pixels that is 20.1 Megapixels works actively in producing high-quality, bright and sharp pictures, and enabling the creation of sensitive and precise images.
It is believed that you can never capture on camera what you can actually see or imagine. But you can only get as close to it as your device allows you. Also, this camera is determined to literally bring you closer to your target with its 8.0x optical zoom and a focal length of as wide as F2.8 (W)-4.5 (T).
The optical zoom works for both stills and videos, but still it also has an option for activating digital zoom for both the purposes as well. And I must admit, even though I’m not a fan of the digital zoom (more like a hater), this one is surprisingly better than most other digital zooms.
The 7.5 cm display with a touch panel is also adjustable up to 180 degrees up and 90 degrees down. The touchscreen technology allows you to use the panel for settings, controls, and focus point adjustments.
Do you like having your fun with light like I do? You know, fooling around with the shutter speed and the exposure settings a bit to create long exposure shots of stars, comets, or just speeding vehicles that do not go gentle into that good night? Then this camera will be the perfect tool for you.
It’s got a shutter speed range of 1/4000 to 30 Seconds on default and a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 102400. The electronic shutter allows continuous shooting or shooting in burst mode with a range of 1/8—1/32000. Although the ISO sensitivity needs to be lower than ISO 3200 if you want to set the shutter speed to lower than ¼ sec.
It also has a wide range of shooting modes. I mean, seriously. This is reason enough for me to put this onto my list of best image quality point-and-shoot cameras.
AUTO (Intelligent Auto/Superior Auto), Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Speed Priority, Manual Exposure, MR (Memory Recall), Movie Mode (Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Speed Priority, (Manual Exposure), Manual Exposure), Panorama, Scene Selection...You name it, it has it.
You can also go school-girly with it and add filers to your shots from the cameras wide array of Picture Effects that include Toy camera, Pop Color, Posterization, Retro Photo, Richtone Monochrome, and so on. Similar effects are available for video as well. That takes away a lot of hassle from post-production, doesn’t it?
You can also add your own personalized picture profiles to it that you can use to quickly post-process your shots while you’re in a hurry. You can copy these profiles and add to any still you like, and also reset it if you change your mind.
2. Fujifilm X100V
Sensor: APS-C (23.6 x 15.6 mm) | Megapixels: 26 MP | Lens: 35mm, ƒ/2.0 | Display: 3.0 inch, 1,620k dots | Viewfinder: Hybrid / LCD | Wi-Fi: Yes | Flip/Tilt Screen: Yes | Touch Screen: Yes | Maximum continuous shooting: 11fps | 4K Video: Yes | Weight (inc. batteries): 478g | Battery Life: Approx. 420 shots
Fujifilm is a brand much-adored by photographers for their well-built cameras. Fuji cameras are sturdy and durable on one hand, packed with features and on the other. The X100V is no exception in this regard.
First things first, the camera features an APS-C-format 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor. It’s got a back-illuminated design that is crafted for smooth tonal rendering. The wide native sensitivity range of ISO 160-12800 ensures an improved performance in low-light.
The makers of this camera got rid of an optical low-pass filter so that the quality and sharpness of the camera increases to a noticeable degree. Instead, it utilizes a randomized pixel array that impacts the image quality and sharpness to a great extent.
The X-Trans sensor of the camera includes an expanded face-detection autofocus system that has a wide array of 425 selectable points. This is pretty much enough to cover the entire focus area.
When it comes to speed, the AF system delivers faster than most other cameras with an increased level of accuracy in focusing performance even in lighting conditions as low as -5 EV.
To compliment the versatile imaging and focusing capabilities of this camera, there’s also an updated X-Processor 4. This processor has a quad-core CPU that delivers a faster, more responsive performance throughout the entire system of the camera.
The durable body can be made weather-resistant as well if you pair it with the optional AR-X100 Adapter Ring and the optional protection ring for weather sealing. It only weighs around 478g even if you add the weight of the battery and the memory stick.
Along with compactness, the little beast also promises minimal weight (in camera standards).
Apart from the build, the design of this camera is phenomenal. It has a 3.0” 1.62m-dot LCD touchscreen which also tilts. The touchscreen gives you the comfort of intuitive operation and playback, while the tilting design gives you that extra freedom to shoot from any angle no matter how high or low.
If you’re thinking whether the design affects the accessibility to the camera’s controls, then let me tell you that it does, but in a good way. The design features a set of locking dials and levers on the top plate of the camera that make exposure control and shutter speed adjustment super quick and easy.
Along with the shutter speed dial, there’s also the ISO control dial that will allow you to confirm the sensitivity setting without having to turn the device on.
The exposure compensation dial makes room for adjusting +/- 3 EV in 1/3 steps. The dial also includes a C position that can afford an expanded +/- 5 EV range when working with the command dials.
There is a push function integrated in the front and rear dials that makes working with the settings selection menu much easier. Added with the benefits of the push function is the joystick in the rear. It allows the intuitive selecting and switching between AF points. The joystick also lets you navigate across the menu and control playback settings.
There is a little surprise. The X100V comes with integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity. At this point, you might’ve already assumed where I’m getting at. Yep, you’ve guessed it right.
The Bluetooth and the Wi-Fi connectivity allow you to share and export images from this camera to other mobile devices. Not just that, if you download the in-house app developed by Fujifilm onto your device, you’ll be able to control your camera remotely using your mobile device.
3. Canon PowerShot G5X II
Sensor: 1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm) | Megapixels: 20 MP | Lens: 24–120mm, ƒ/1.8-2.8 | Display: 3.0 inch, 1,040k dots | Viewfinder: EVF | Wi-Fi: Yes | Flip/Tilt Screen: Yes | Touch Screen: Yes | Maximum continuous shooting: 30fps | 4K Video: Yes | Weight (inc. batteries): 340g | Battery Life: Approx. 230 shots
A close competitor of Fujifilm in making pocket cameras is Canon. And this tiny little monster by Canon weighs only 340g even with the battery and the memory card included.
I won’t be exaggerating if I say that the PowerShot G5X II can take on any other point and shoot cameras and even cellphones in terms of mobility. Making it one of the top point-and-shoot cameras within this range.
The frosted black exterior adds up to the camera’s aesthetics while making sure that it doesn’t slip from the hands. The ergonomic design with a handle-shaped thumb rest on one side makes it easier to grip, adding to the convenience of carrying it around.
Apart from the body’s ergonomics, I was really impressed by the positioning of the dials and rings that are incorporated on the camera’s body for settings and controls. They are positioned in such a way that makes them easily accessible yet not easily exposed to accidental touches.
Along with physical control rings and dials, there’s also an additional exposure compensation dial incorporated. Together, they give you direct control over the wide array of settings and modes that the camera offers.
Something else about the camera impressed me a lot. It has in-camera battery charging enabled. You can literally charge it like a cellphone using a USB cable with anything starting from a power bank to a car battery. No hassle of taking out the battery and finding an adapter every time you need to charge it.
This camera is synonymous to convenience. The popup viewfinder makes sure that you have a clear eye-level view from all shooting angles. The viewfinder also features a 2.36m-dot resolution so that you get sharp and crisp preview of whatever you are shooting.
Even after providing you with all these privileges, the viewfinder retracts without bothering the camera’s sleek design when the camera’s not in use.
Despite adding a super-efficient viewfinder, Canon went one step ahead and added a 3.0” 1.04m-dot rear touchscreen that opens up new windows for monitoring and reviewing the imagery.
The touchscreen also works as a panel for Touch & Drag AF controls that makes selecting focus points super easy.
The sensor of this camera is a large 20.1MP 1” stacked CMOS one. This, along with the DIGIC 8 image processor makes shooting in-motion objects in high speed possible with surprisingly low noise and aberration.
You get quick focusing speed as high as up to 20-fps continuous shooting, a 30-fps Raw Burst mode, UHD 4K30p, and Full HD 120p video recording...*gasps for breath*. All of this in a single package, thanks to its amazing pairing of the stacked sensor design and the DIGIC 8 processor.
If you’re a vlogger or a videographer, you have to capture motion with as much accuracy as you capture photos. This is where the 5x optical zoom lens comes in handy. The versatile lens covers a wide-angle focal length range that’s equivalent to 24-120mm short telephoto.
The lens also features an f/1.8-2.8 maximum aperture with image stabilization that allows you to shoot in handheld mode even under poorly or highly-lit conditions.
Also, as a bonus, the high aperture count grants you an even greater control over depth of field when working with selective focus points. Bear in mind, the greater the aperture for you, the faster the lens would be when you open up the lens.
Remember how I called this thing an equivalent to cellphones for photography? Well, it is. This camera has a built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity that gives you the freedom to share and export photos and videos directly with mobile devices without having to transfer it to a computer first. Cool, isn’t it?
4. Sony ZV-1
Sensor: 1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm) | Megapixels: 20.1 MP | Lens: 24-70mm, ƒ/1.8-2.8 | Display: 3.0 inch, 922k dots | Viewfinder: None | Wi-Fi: Yes | Flip/Tilt Screen: No | Touch Screen: Yes | Maximum continuous shooting: 24fps | 4K Video: Yes | Weight (inc. batteries): 294g | Battery Life: Approx. 260 shots
It would be blasphemous to talk about best point-and-shoot cameras and not mention Sony. The brand has been making all sorts of cameras since the very beginning of their journey, and they didn’t back off when point-and-shoot cameras emerged. The ZV-1 is a solid proof of how good the brand is with point-and-shoot cameras.
The first thing that you’d notice when you take the camera in your hand is its weight. Or should I say the lack of it. Weighing only about 294 grams, the thing is literally feather light along with being compact. Even its size is exceptionally pocket-friendly. You don’t need an extra pouch to carry it.
The compact and lightweight design of the camera ensures that you get the optimum portability and ease of single-handed operation while you’re on the go.
The easily accessible large REC button with quick recognition makes shooting with one hand all the more efficient and effortless for you. The front tally lamp works as an indicator for when a recording is taking place.
There is a touchscreen mirror on the rear that flips open with just the pry of a finger, letting you take selfies or film yourself in a much more natural and intuitive manner. The touchscreen mirror can be closed in the same way without any effort.
Since the screen flips out from the side, the top is redesigned to incorporate a directional 3-capsule microphone. The microphone is specifically designed for forward-directional audio recording.
To add more comfort to your experience, the makers of this bad boy installed a dedicated wind screen for mic so that your recordings are crystal clear and noiseless.
There is also an additional 3.5mm microphone port that you can use to mount any lavalier or shotgun mic of your choice in case you’re not completely satisfied with the sound quality that the built-in microphone produces. There is also a multi-interface shoe for accessory compatibility.
The versatile integrated ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* lens is capable of shooting in a wide range of situations and conditions. Even though it is a small pocket camera, the lens surprisingly retains a bright f/1.8-2.8 maximum aperture range allowing you to work easily in low-lit conditions.
The optical design of this lens incorporates a series of specialized elements that work actively to reduce aberrations and distortions. It also makes focusing more accurate by isolating subject matter using shallow depth of field techniques.
Point & shoot cameras often lose their charm after a while of use. That’s because the users tend to notice chromatic aberrations and distractions especially around the edges of the focus area. This camera makes a contrast to this stereotype thanks to its ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* lens.
The most annoying thing a photographer faces while shooting in unevenly-lit conditions is lens glare and reflections ruining their frames. Keeping this in mind, the makers of this camera have introduced the ZEISS T* anti-reflective coating that actively suppresses reflections and glare providing you with an improved contrast and color fidelity.
To add more accuracy to your shots in handheld mode under low-light conditions, there is the Optical SteadyShot image stabilization that will minimize the blurriness caused by camera shake while shooting in handheld mode. The SteadyShot image stabilization also works its wonders with videos, even when you shoot handheld while walking.
The mighty 20.1MP 1” Exmor RS CMOS sensor of this camera is capable of delivering outstanding image quality within any ISO range between 100-12800, while maintaining an incredibly fast performance speed.
5. Canon PowerShot G7X III
Sensor: 1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm) | Megapixels: 20 MP | Lens: 24–100mm, ƒ/1.8-2.8 | Display: 3.0 inch, 1,040k dots | Viewfinder: None | Wi-Fi: Yes | Flip/Tilt Screen: Yes | Touch Screen: No | Maximum continuous shooting: 30fps | 4K Video: Yes | Weight (inc. batteries): 304g | Battery Life: Approx. 235 shots
Another addition to the array of point-and-shoot cameras by Canon is the PowerShot G7X Mark III. It features a large 20.1MP 1” stacked CMOS sensor that allows you to shoot in high-speed with almost zero noise. There’s also the DIGIC 8 image processor making the job even easier for you.
Powered with these two technologies, the little Speedy Gonzales gives you the supreme capability of focusing real fast (up to 20 fps) on any subject with sharp precision whether it’s steady or in-motion. The stacked sensor design also allows you to shoot videos in UHD 4K30p with Full HD 120p quality.
Speaking of video recording, this camera has a unique video feature. It supports vertical video recording along with live streaming through YouTube. To use this feature, you’ll need to have a Canon iMAGE GATEWAY account. The account will enable you to vlog and stream directly from your camera if you have a Wi-Fi connection.
Which brings us to the next feature of this camera; the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. It permits you to transfer photos to any mobile device or computer wirelessly.
You don’t need a cable or anything. Just click photos or shoot videos, and send them in directly for editing and post-processing to your laptop or mobile device.
The built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity also lets you control the camera remotely with your mobile device if you have the Canon Camera Connect app installed.
The connectivity further makes room for you to use an external microphone via the clean HDMI output enhancing the recording quality to a noticeable amount.
Build and design-wise, this camera is pretty much like any other point & shoot camera. I mean, it has a decent build and weighs only about 304 grams including the battery and the memory card. The exterior has a frosted matte finish with a grip on one side for easy handling. The design is pretty basic in my opinion.
The design and the positioning of the dials and controls of this camera are pretty similar to that of the G5X II. The intuitive touch design allows you to Touch and Drag the autofocus controls and adjust it as you please. Although this one has an additional 180° upward tilting design for vlogging and taking selfies.
There are a few changes here and there. For example, this model has silver metallic borders around the top and surrounding the lens, giving it a fancier look. This model is also slightly lighter in comparison with the previous one.
The battery life of this camera is also almost the same as the G5X II. It supports charging from any battery or power bank via a USB cable. Although the same problem of having an inadequate battery duration persists with this model as well.
You might need to keep a few extra batteries in hand when you’re out for a long day of outdoor shooting.
Like the previous model, the G5X III also has a built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity that lets you share and export files to mobile devices wirelessly and control the camera remotely via the Canon Camera Connect app.
The stacked sensor design and the DIGIC 8 processor allow super-fast focusing. The fast-maximum aperture adds more dimensions (literally) to your focus points by affording a greater control over depth of field while working with selective focus.
6. PANASONIC LUMIX ZS200
Sensor: 1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm) | Megapixels: 20.1 MP | Lens: 24–360mm, ƒ/3.3–6.4 | Display: 3.0 inch, 1,240k dots | Viewfinder: EVF | Wi-Fi: Yes | Flip/Tilt Screen: No | Touch Screen: Yes | Maximum continuous shooting: 10fps | 4K Video: Yes | Weight (inc. batteries): 340g | Battery Life: Approx. 370 shots
I’m someone who is always on the move. While traveling I like to snap quick photos as a journal of my journey. This camera was a perfect fit for me. So, if you are looking for the best point-and-shoot camera for traveling (with a big zoom and large sensor), the LUMIX ZS200 might be the one you should go for.
As it comes with 15X zoom, it was just perfect for my wildlife adventures. I managed to snap some of the best bird photos I’ve ever taken. And I believe 15X zoom is way more than one could ever need.
One positive side about this camera is that photos still contain a decent amount of details, even when fully zoomed in (thanks to the 20.1 MP sensor).
It comes with a large 20.1 MP 1-inch sensor. We all know how good large sensors are for great color accuracy and overall brightness. This one is no different either. Photos and videos produced by this compact and lightweight camera are as good as it gets.
This camera has few other tricks up its sleeve as well. There are a bunch of different modes for different scenarios. This gives you so much creative control over everything.
Scene modes and filter modes allow you to have finer control over things. Aperture and shutter priority modes give you all the traditional options as well.
This one is one of the few cameras in this list that can shoot native 4K videos at 30 FPS. This is great for those who plan on creating a career of off YouTube. With this, you don’t need to break your bank to set up your studio.
It also comes with a Wi-fi module. With this, you can easily transfer your photos to your mobile or tab and send them to others via email (or whatever app suits you best).
It also gives you the ability to snap photos while you are away from the camera via remote control (using your cellphone). Again, this is just perfect for wildlife photography stuff.
You know what’s even more amazing? The in-camera editing option.
With this, you can now edit photos right from the camera and get the final product without ever having to edit it on a PC. Although the options are very limited as of now, I believe this is still a great start.
The battery of this camera is also great. With a full charge, I was able to use it for an entire day (around 350 photos were taken). However, as the battery is charged while it’s inside the camera, an extra battery might be a wise choice in the long run.
7. Leica Q2
Sensor: Full frame (36 x 24 mm) | Megapixels: 47 MP | Lens: Fixed 28mm, ƒ/1.7 | Display: 3.0 inch, 1,040k dots | Viewfinder: EVF | Wi-Fi: Yes | Flip/Tilt Screen: No | Touch Screen: Yes | Maximum continuous shooting: 20fps | 4K Video: Yes | Weight (inc. batteries): 718g | Battery Life: Approx. 370 shots
Leica is a brand that only those who are truly passionate about photography dare to afford. To be very honest, when I first found out that they made a professional point-and-shoot, I could not believe it because Leica only makes cameras that are meant for serious business.
So, I knew at that instance they were not fooling around. Let me elaborate why I’m saying so.
The reason behind the popularity of the Q-series is the incorporation of a fixed Summilux 28mm f/1.7 wide-angle prime lens. Yes, a prime lens in a point-and-shoot camera. That’s how serious these guys are. The prime lens also has three aspherical elements for minimizing distortion and spherical aberrations.
Not just that, the camera has a fast f/1.7 maximum aperture that allows you to shoot in low-light without worrying about noise. The aperture also offers a greater control over depth of field, something you rarely get with point and shoot cameras.
At this point, I bet you’re pretty impressed. But wait for it, there’s more. This versatile little beast has a dedicated macro focusing position. Yep, you read that right. Macro. You can literally shoot subjects as close as 6.7” away in this mode. I wasn’t joking when I said it’s more than just a point-and-shoot camera.
The problem we all face while zooming in to a subject especially in handheld mode is that the slightest maneuver of your arm can cause the sensor to shake so much that the entire image gets blurry.
On the Q-2, that’s taken care of by the optical image stabilization. It literally cushions out all the accidental shake and bumps for a clearer, sharper image.
Not just clarity and accuracy, this thing also offers outstanding speed. The mechanical shutter can afford flash speeds up to 1/500 sec. And on top of that, the lens also features a 49mm filter thread diameter that allows you to attach additional filters.
Despite all the funky features and functions, the camera is surprisingly easy to operate. It follows the footsteps of the M10 and CL-series cameras, emphasizing on a simpler interface that consists of a single-stage on/Off button, a thumb-wheel dial that incorporates a programmable button, and a push-button for diopter adjustment.
In terms of size, weight, design, and dimensions, Leica is pretty distinctive from other brands. And they didn’t shy away from giving this camera a classic Leica look as well. The Q-2 weighs a hefty 718g, just like most other Leica cameras. But size and dimension-wise the makers compensated for the weight.
It follows the typical compact camera design but with an additional thumb grip on the shutter side. This along with the frosted exterior will ensure that the camera is easy to hold.
The magnesium alloy body doesn’t slip off from your hand even if it’s sweaty. The exterior is also dust and moisture sealed (IP52-rated) so you can use it in harsh environmental conditions.
The Q-2 incorporates a high-resolution 47.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor that teams up with the updated Maestro II image processor to ensure a more flexible image creation.
It also makes room for a smooth color and tonal rendering. The broad 13-stop dynamic range along with the ISO 50-50000 range actively minimizes noise under low-light conditions.
Unlike many other point-and-shoot cameras, the Q-2 features both a unique viewfinder and a monitor. The high-resolution 3.68MP (1280 x 960) OLED electronic viewfinder makes a clear and realistic eye-level viewing possible.
On the other hand, the rear 3.0” 1.04m-dot LCD touchscreen monitor allows intuitive navigation and playback and touchscreen focus. No wonder it’s one of the best full frame high quality point-and-shoot cameras on this list.
8. Olympus Stylus Tough TG-6
Sensor: 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm) | Megapixels: 12 MP | Lens: 25-100mm ƒ/2.0-4.9 | Display: 3.0 inch, 1,040k dots | Viewfinder: None | Wi-Fi: Yes | Flip/Tilt Screen: No | Touch Screen: No | Maximum continuous shooting: 20fps | 4K Video: Yes | Weight (inc. batteries): 253g | Battery Life: Approx. 340 shots
Bamboozled already seeing so many professional compact size point-and-shoot cameras? Don’t worry; I’ve got a handful of stuff for complete beginners as well. A good example of a basic small point-and-shoot camera to begin with is the Olympus Tough TG-6. It’s one of the most commonly used ones out there, and for good reason.
It’s got a super lightweight body weighing only 253 grams. Not just that, its size is also efficiently handy and loyal to the sole purpose of being called a ‘compact’ camera. Along with the flashy red exterior and handy ergonomics, this camera is a beast disguised as a beauty.
The TG-6 has got ‘Tough’ in its name and let me assure you, they meant it when they named it. It’s designed to withstand literally all sorts of conditions, starting from extreme weather conditions to accidental drops and scratches.
I mean seriously, it’s waterproof, freezeproof, shockproof, dustproof, crushproof, probably even bulletproof (just kidding); cameras are meant to be shot with, not shot at). On top of that, the lens is sealed with a double-pane glass making it ideal for using in foggy and condensed outdoor environments.
Just because the camera is designed to be exposed directly to freezing and burning conditions, doesn’t mean you are too. Keeping the obvious constructional fragility of the human anatomy in mind, the camera has been configured to permit direct operation while wearing any kind of gloves.
It has a huge zoom lever, accessory lock button, and convenient dial control that you can use with ease even if you have big hands.
The lens covers wide-angle telephoto focal lengths while the 4x optical zoom brings your subjects efficiently closer to you. The lens covers a 25-100mm equivalent range that should be adequate for regular portrait or landscape shots. It also has a bright f/2 maximum aperture which will make shooting at night a delight.
In addition, the optical image stabilization is there to make sure you get crisp and clear images even if your hands shake while you’re shooting, whether it’s out of fatigue or cold, or from the bumps of a moving vehicle. You can even shoot videos on it while walking without having to worry about aberrations.
The TG-6 utilizes a 12MP BSI CMOS sensor along with a TruePic VIII image processor. Together, they offer a speed and sensitivity for both photo and videos.
The BSI design of the sensor affords cleaner image quality at higher sensitivities, while the ISO 12800 makes it an ideal tool for shooting under low-light conditions.
The double-pane cover glass of the sensor also has an anti-reflective coating that prevents flare and ghosting when you’re shooting in too bright conditions While the processor helps to reduce noise and expand the dynamic range, you won’t have to worry about the image output.
In addition to that, the processor also avails a 20-fps continuous shooting rate in raw mode. And when it comes to shooting videos, it does so in 4K30p with a high-speed (up to 120 fps) Full HD 1080p quality. Ideal for travel bloggers and vloggers.
Let me blow your mind a bit. When I said this camera is waterproof, you probably thought it can endure light drizzle and accidental splashes, right? Well, you’re in for a treat. The TG-6 not only can shoot underwater, but it also has a bunch of different modes including the Underwater Wide, Underwater Macro, Underwater HDR, Underwater Snapshot, and Underwater Microscope for that.
9. Ricoh GR III
Sensor: APS-C (23.6 x 15.6 mm) | Megapixels: 24 MP | Lens: Fixed 28mm, ƒ/2.8 | Display: 3.0 inch, 1,037k dots | Viewfinder: None | Wi-Fi: Yes | Flip/Tilt Screen: No | Touch Screen: Yes | Maximum continuous shooting: 9fps | 4K Video: No | Weight (inc. batteries): 257g | Battery Life: Approx. 200 shots
The looks of this camera attracted me at first glance. It’s got a metallic body coated with a matte leatherette finish, giving the entire thing a classy look. A stealthy and sturdy tool ideal for outdoor photography in all weather conditions.
The body of this camera is literally rather light, weighing just about 257g including battery and dedicated SD card. And the size? It’s barely as big as your smartphone, only being a teensy bit thicker. Suits perfectly with handheld mode while you’re on the run.
A futuristic addition to the design of the camera is the touchscreen display. You don’t have to peep in through the tiny viewfinder anymore to see what you’re shooting. The display also replaces all the confusing knobs and dials by making them appear virtually.
Another treat for you is the performance of the sensor. Even though it’s a compact camera, the Ricoh GR III has got a stabilized 24MP APS-C sensor. This is especially useful because the lens of the camera is only 18.3mm. The sensor compensates for it with great efficiency.
Accompanying the touchscreen is the super-easy user-friendly interface. Even a complete noob can use this camera with confidence. Hold on, that’s not all. There is also the nine-blade F2.8 rounded aperture making sure that you get a sharp image with an awesome autofocus every time.
The 18.3mm lens may not look like much, but it does deliver a solid macro performance with subjects as close as 10cm WITHOUT the macro mode activated. After activating the mode, it can go as far as 6cm. You won’t miss a single detail regardless of how tiny it is.
If you’re a videographer, then you’ll get some extra special treatment from this camera. There’s a dedicated video button on the side of it. You can just switch to video mode or switch back to shooting stills at any moment without having to lose precious moments toggling the settings.
Curious about the video quality? It delivers a solid 1080p at 60FPS. Not just that, you can customize this button to activate any function of your choice by going through the settings menu if you’re not that much of a video person.
In street photography where compact cameras are mostly used, light plays a huge role. And by that I don’t mean just the lighting conditions, but also the source of the light can become a great element for decorating your shots. Yes, I’m talking about bokeh. The art of aesthetically blurring the light source out.
To give you the best of bokeh, this bad boy has a snap focus feature that gives you the power to push the background farther away from your subject increasing the distance between them. This will blur out all the light sources in the background adding more dynamics to your shots creating a beautiful bokeh.
Although the lens lacks manual focus, the camera makes up for it with a much larger frame area. The 28mm focal length literally works as a large canvas making you the next Picasso of photography.
The battery performance of this camera is only a little above satisfactory. But the makers of it have compensated for it with in-camera charging. Although the battery performance varies slightly depending on usage conditions, but still I’d say it could’ve been better.
10. Canon PowerShot G9 X II
Sensor: 1″ (13.2 x 8.8 mm) | Megapixels: 20 MP | Lens: 28–84mm, ƒ/2-4.9 | Display: 3.0 inch, 1,040k dots | Viewfinder: None | Wi-Fi: Yes | Flip/Tilt Screen: No | Touch Screen: Yes | Maximum continuous shooting: 8fps | 4K Video: No | Weight (inc. batteries): 206g | Battery Life: Approx. 235 shots
When they say ‘compact’, it generally means everything stacked up efficiently into one body that you can carry around with you at all places. The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is a fine specimen of that.
It’s literally pocket-sized and the shape is also ideal for carrying it around in your pocket. And the weight? Just about 206 grams! This is something I love in my contenders for the best small and lightweight point-and-shoot cameras.
Equipped with the Canon HS SYSTEM, this camera offers an expanded sensitivity range thanks to its large 20.1MP 1” High-Sensitivity BSI CMOS sensor and DIGIC 7 image processor. It supports up to ISO 12800 that reduces image noise when shooting under poorly lit conditions.
The sensor and the processor also enable the camera to have a fast shutter speed that apart from reducing blur additionally avails quick performance throughout the camera system. The result is an 8.2 fps continuous shooting rate and quick autofocus with subject tracking.
Not just for photography, this camera is equally solid when it comes to shooting videos as well. For a start, it offers a full HD 1080p video recording at 60 fps, with the large sensor contributing to the rich image quality making each shot well-suited to printing and sharing.
It’s got a versatile 3x optical zoom that coves a wide-angle to portrait-length that is equivalent to a 28-84mm focal length range. It also boasts of an f/2-4.9 maximum aperture with Intelligent IS and Dual Sensing IS image stabilization technologies.
The union of these two ensures a better handheld shooting experience even under poorly lit conditions. The Dynamic IS can be used for stabilizing videos and minimize the appearance of shake when recording while walking.
Not just in low-light, the there is also a three-stop neutral density filter that makes shooting with large apertures in bright light much more fun. You can even engage the ND filter manually or set it to auto so the camera can employ it by itself when necessary.
If you like adding a little dramatic effect to your videos, there are Time-Lapse Movie functions for you that let you record a series of stills over a set time period, and later it automatically merges the stills into a video so that you get a seamless playback.
Speaking of effects, it also has in-camera raw conversion that lets you apply a range of creative adjustments to your raw files. You can adjust the lighting using the Auto Light Optimizer and even add different filters to your shots with Picture Style adjustments. Then you can export them directly from the camera as ready-to-use JPEGs.
Even though time and tide are known for not stopping for anyone, it’s the photographer’s job to freeze the moments and create memories that last forever. But to do that, you’ll need a fast shooting speed. And that’s where this camera comes in handy.
To make this feature even more useful, the improved object tracking performance detects what you’re capturing automatically, and ensures that they stay clear and in focus in every single shot you take, regardless of whether what you’re shooting is static or in motion.
The camera also offers a handful of fancy shooting modes and effects for decorating your photos such as Auto, Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Fine Detail, Neutral, Faithful, Monochrome, and three User Defined settings.
How to Choose the Best Point and Shoot Cameras Out There?
So, you’ve read the review and you want to know based on what I chose these cameras? Or perhaps you want to buy one yourself but don’t know which one to choose. That’s where this guide comes in. If you follow this guide you are more likely to land a killer camera than not.
So, without any further ado, let’s get in.
Pay Attention to the Size of the Sensor
This is perhaps the most important factor of any camera. The sensor of a camera is directly equivalent to old day films. This is where all the magic happens. The size of a sensor dictates how good the photos taken will be. Typically, the bigger the sensor the better it is.
Before 2012, small sized sensors were much popular as people mainly bought point-and-shoot cameras as a hobby piece.
However, as compact cameras are getting better and better day by day big sensors are now more popular. Currently, the industry standard for a sensor is 1-inch. Anything less than that is considered subpar.
Check with the Aperture Rating
Aperture is equally important as the sensor size. As mentioned earlier, the aperture is basically the size of the hole inside the lens. Through this hole, the light comes in. Aperture is actually denoted like FX.X. where X implies numeric values.
Here, F is the focal length of the lens. Focal length is disproportional to the aperture. That means small F values imply a bigger aperture. Bigger aperture means more light and vice versa. Ideally, you’d want something that is right in between.
Almost every camera mentioned in this review had a variable aperture. So, if you choose one of those, you are all set to go.
Build Quality is Super Important
Point-and-shoot cameras are one of the most abused pieces of tech you can find. You carry them in your pocket without any protection. So, naturally, they are prone to breakage. That’s why you should buy a camera that has strong build quality.
Image Stabilization is Crucial as Well
Have you ever felt the output of your camera is a bit off? It is always blurry and videos have way too much shakiness? Especially, when the video was shot zoomed in? Well, you are not alone. The main culprit is the lack of image stabilization.
I don’t know about you, but it’s literally impossible for me to hold the camera super still while I’m shooting. Unfortunately, the tiny motion created by moving hands can cause blurry photos and jittery videos pretty easily. That’s why having some sort of OIS or EIS is paramount.
Luckily for you, all the cameras mentioned in this list have some form of image stabilizer.
Optical Zoom for Distant Photographs?
This perhaps is one of the main reasons why travelers still choose point and shoot cameras over smartphone cameras. In case you did not know, optical zoom signifies the difference between most zoomed out and in settings.
For an instance, if you optically zoom in on an object at 10X zoom, it will look 10 times bigger than its original size. This comes really handy in wildlife photography and when you are far away from the object.
I’d suggest you find a camera with at least 8-10X optical zoom.
How Good is the Manual Control?
Although most people leave DSLR life because they don’t want to deal with all the complicated settings, it’s still good to have manual control over everything.
Point-and-shoot is great. But every once in a while, you’ll find yourself in a situation where I’d wish for manual control (trust me this happens). That’s why having a backup manual control is a good thing.
Moreover, with manual control, you can do a little bit of processing before you shoot the image. That, in my opinion, is pure convenience.
4K Video Support will be Handy
In 2019 a camera without 4K video recording is not a complete package. Sure, you might have a different use case scenario. But having 4K video recording ability is something you never knew you needed until you actually use it.
Battery Life is Super Important
Battery life is also very much important. You would not want your camera dying on you right before you get the chance to shoot the tiny little bee you’ve grooming for the past 2 hours. Trust me, nothing is more frustrating than this.
That’s why whichever camera you buy, make sure it has enough juice to go full day. Typically, you would not be shooting more than 350 pictures. Just keep that in mind before you make the buying decision.
Extra Features and Peripherals
This is a bit of a luxury in my opinion. But I think you should also consider extra features like Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth, different shooting modes, etc. before you decide on a camera.
Another important factor is peripheral support. Try to avoid cameras that come with a proprietary peripheral set. They are hard to repair/ find in case an emergency occurs. Stick to something that is industry approved and easily repairable.
How Does a Point and Shoot Camera Work?
A point and shoot camera also is known as compact camera is a small and portable device that was designed to make photography available to everyone easily. In baby terms, it is a camera that is just smaller than typical DSLR cameras.
To its core, every point-and-shoot camera follows a principle that is very similar to DSLR. Light comes through the lens and creates an image on the sensor. That is pretty much it.
The only difference is that there is no mirror system to reflect light into an optical viewfinder. Rather point and shoot cameras use full time live view on the LCD screen (although some high end point-and-shoot cameras do have optical viewfinders).
In case you didn’t know, the mirror box is what takes up most of the space of a DSLR. Removing this resulted in a camera that is very compact in nature without sacrificing too much quality.
The biggest obstacle to creating a point and shoot camera that could compete with DSLRs was contrast-detect autofocus. This feature was the prime reason why people were so much into DSLRs.
In the early days, the first few units were no match for DSLRs as they were pretty bad at contrast-detect AF via the LCD viewfinder.
However, with greatly improved sensors and autofocus algorithms, pro point-and-shoot cameras are definitely giving SLRs a very hard competition.
As technology is improving, point and shoot cameras are not that far behind traditional DSLRs. And I believe within a few years they will make DSLRs obsolete (unless DSLR manufacturers do something which is totally out of the world).
Advantages and Tradeoffs of Point-and-Shoot Cameras
Initial failures put aside, the current generation of point-and-shoot cameras are very capable photography tool indeed. The removal of the mirror paved a way for many advantages over DSLRs. Faster shutter speed, reduced size, and weight are some of them.
The main goal of any compact point-and-shoot camera is portability. Nobody likes carrying a bunch of stuff just so that one camera can work properly. That’s why point-and-shoot cameras will always have an edge over DSLRs when it comes to portability. Plus, the reduction in weight is also very convenient.
Perhaps the main disadvantage of any point-and-shoot camera is the EVFs (electric viewfinders). They just aren’t that great. Sure, they are improving day by day, but they aren’t just the real thing.
They introduce image lag in low light and more noise which makes framing a bit harder. Moreover, most point-and-shoot cameras come with EVFs that are far smaller than an optical equivalent.
On the positive side of the spectrum, EVFs give you a "what you see I what you get" feeling. It also gives you a 100% field of view which is virtually impossible in DSLRs.
Another downside to this is the inability to switch lenses. DSLRs allow you to switch lenses whenever you want. On the other hand, you are pretty much stuck with a single lens on a point-and-shoot camera. People want options and this certainly goes against that.
So, there you have it. This brings us to an end to our review of best compact and lightweight cameras. Point-and-shoot cameras have taken the world by a storm in recent years. The main reason behind that is convenience.
Doesn't matter if you are a casual photographer or an expert, once you get the taste of a compact point-and-shoot camera, you’ll never go back. I believe it is high time you guys gave a point-and-shoot camera a chance. Especially, if you are a traveler.
Who knows!? You might end up with the best point-and-shoot camera for travel. Nonetheless, I’d very much like to hear your opinions and suggestions.
So, don’t forget to drop your thoughts in the comment section below. Also, feel free to share the best photo captured by you.
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