As cameras have evolved over the years, three main categories have emerged among digital cameras.
Point and shoot cameras are typically the most affordable and compact type of camera. They also offer the most basic features which are usually more geared towards beginner users.
In this article, we discuss the 4 best point and shoot cameras in 2018. Within each section, we give a brief overview of the product we selected and explain why that product is one of the best available. Towards the end of the article, we offer our final thoughts on point and shoot cameras.
How We Choose Our Ratings
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How We Choose Our Ratings
In order to select the 6 products you see below, we scavenged the market for point and shoot cameras, analyzing a combination of affordability, usability, brand reputation, durability, and feature set.
We also examined many customer reviews, making sure to only select products that have been highly lauded by users. If a product that we were researching had more than half of its reviews as negative, then we no longer considered that product for this list.
Canon IXUS 185 – Best Point and Shoot Camera
This point and shoot camera features a 1/2.3-inch sized sensor that can support photography up to 20MP.
The lens that is included on this camera is a 28-224mm lens with an aperture range of f/3.2 – f/6.9. Users can take advantage of an 8x optical zoom as well as an ISO range of 100-1600.
Furthermore, this camera uses a 2.7-inch LCD screen for navigation.
This camera also supports video recording up to 720P.
Anyone on a budget will be especially attracted to the affordable price on this camera. If you are only interested in turning on your camera, pointing at the subject, and pressing the shutter speed, then this camera would be ideal for you.
Users have the option of adjusting some creative settings on the camera when it’s in Program mode. However, most users will use this camera in Auto mode, allowing the camera to determine the ideal settings for you. This would be perfect if you are taking many pictures and don’t have time to tinker with settings.
Furthermore, the 20MP sensor featured on this Canon camera is unparalleled at this price range. This technology allows users to blow up pictures without sacrificing significant image quality.
When you think about it, this camera is so cheap that you could print off a large picture of some photograph you took and sell the print for more than the camera. In this sense, if you’re trying to start a photography business on a strict budget, then Canon’s IXUS 185 would be perfect for you.
Canon has been tinkering with this camera for almost 15 years now, and each iteration seems to get smaller and more efficient. By buying this camera, you get a product that has benefited from years of refinement and development. That translates to a durable product that won’t let you down when the perfect photo opportunity arises.
Panasonic Lumix ZS70K – Best Point and Shoot Camera
The Lumix ZS70K from Panasonic is available in a black or silver color and can be purchased for $$ on Amazon.
This camera features a 20.3MP sensor as well as a Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens. This lens allows for a 30x zoom.
This camera also features an electronic view finder that allows users to preview the image they are taking. This would be ideal for taking photographs in sunny conditions when the 3-inch LCD screen is blinded by light.
This LCD screen is considered a 180-degree flip-front display, meaning it can be pointed at the subject if necessary.
This is one of the best point and shoot cameras available because of its ability to record QFHD (Quad Full High Definition). This is roughly the same level of quality as 4K resolution, making this point and shoot camera one of the most advanced video recording devices on the market.
Many vloggers purchase this camera due to its flip-front display, as this technology makes it easier to film yourself. Combine this with the QFHD recording quality and you have yourself a powerful, pocket-sized camera that is perfect for taking selfies.
Unlike cheaper point and shoot cameras, the Panasonic Lumix SZ70L offers more control over its settings. For example, customers can use the control ring near the base of the camera lens to control the cameras aperture, shutter speed, zoom, and focus.
Some point and shoot cameras allow you to control these settings but require that you navigate to the setting using the display screen. This can be inefficient if you need to adjust a setting on the go and it could lead to a missed photo opportunity.
You don’t have to worry about missing shots with this Panasonic camera, as the control ring is convenient and easy to manipulate.
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI – Best Point and Shoot Camera
Sony’s Cyber-shot RX100 VI was released midway through 2018, making this one of the newest cameras on this list. It can be purchased for $$$ on Amazon.
The RX100 VI is a wise product that benefits from the developments of its predecessors, as Sony has been tinkering with the RX100 lineup for many years now. This translates to an ultra-refined product with many features for camera aficionados to enjoy.
This camera has a 1-inch CMOS sensor capable of capturing photographs up to 20MP. This camera also has an aperture range of f2.8 – f4.5.
Sony advertises that this point and shoot camera has the world’s fastest hybrid autofocus system, as it can automatically focus in 0.03 seconds.
Hybrid autofocus systems integrate contrast detection and phase detection technologies, giving customers the best of both worlds. This results in a camera that can autofocus both quickly and accurately even in low light settings.
The RX1000 VI also features a 24-200mm lens which allows for 8x zoom. This is a ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T zoom lens. Zeiss is known for its high-quality glass that translates to stunning images, making this point and shoot camera desirable for professional photographers who don’t want to sacrifice lens quality.
Many inferior point and shoot cameras are capable devices but are compromised by a cheap lens. You don’t have to worry about that with the RX100 VI.
Furthermore, this camera can record video in 4k and even has a super slow-motion mode that allows you to record up to 960 FPS (frames per second).
This new version of the RX100 is also significant for finally incorporating a tiltable LCD monitor. This monitor can be tilted 180 degrees upward and 90 degrees downward, making the camera versatile when recording in diverse conditions.
For example, many customers take advantage of this tiltable monitor when filming in a large crowd, as the tiltable monitor allows them to hold the camera above their head while still previewing the photograph or video they are taking.
Olympus TG-5 – Best Point and Shoot Camera
The Olympus TG-5 is available in either a black or red color and can be purchased on Amazon for $$.
This is a 12MP camera with a focal length of 4.5mm – 18mm. This translates to a 4x zoom. This camera also features a f/2 lens with anti-fog dual pane glass. This type of glass allows the camera to take pictures even in the most rugged of conditions.
Furthermore, this lens is considered blazing-fast, making it ideal for shooting action shots or recording videos of moving subjects. Since the aperture is so large on this camera, users can capture shots in low-light settings without getting significant blur and noise.
The most distinguishing feature of this camera is that its waterproof up to 50 feet. Furthermore, its shockproof up to 7 feet, crushproof up to 220 pounds, freezeproof up to 14 degrees Fahrenheit, and dustproof. This makes it ideal for travelers who are often exposed to rugged conditions, as these users don’t have to worry about losing access to their camera simply because they dropped it or exposed it to inclement weather.
Additionally, many families will appreciate the durability of the Olympus TG-5, as it can withstand harsh treatment by even the most careless child. This means you can avoid purchasing those exorbitant warranties that somehow never cover the damage that inevitably occurs. Instead, you can rely on Olympus’ advanced technology to protect the camera in any setting.
Beyond the ability to shoot 4K video, many customers love this camera because it’s multifunctional. It has a built-in compass, a temperature sensor, and a manometer that is used to measure altitude and water depth. Furthermore, this camera has built in GPS that allows you record the longitude and latitude of each shot you take.
If you are interested in filming your experience underwater, then this camera would certainly be ideal for you. Many people purchase this camera before going on vacation, as it dovetails perfectly with a snorkeling or scuba-diving excursion.
Buyer’s Guide – Best Point and Shoot Camera
When constructing this list, we tried to select a wide range of cameras that would appeal to many different demographics.
If you are on a strict budget, then the Canon IXUS 185 is a no-brainer. For less than $, you get a 20MP sensor as well as the capability of recording 720p HD video. That’s a combination that few other point and shoot cameras can offer at the $ price point.
If you want the most rugged point and shoot camera possible, then the Olympus TG-5 is also a no-brainer.
If price is not a factor, then the Sony RX100 VI will give you the best quality images and videos of any point and shoot camera on this list. Whether you’re an amateur photographer or a professional videographer, this camera from Sony has something for everyone.
Really, the only drawback of the RX100 VI is its cost. At just under $1200, this camera is quite an investment.
Yet, many customers think this price is warranted by the longevity of the product. The cameras in the RX100 lineup have traditionally been very reliable and durable, rarely breaking down or malfunctioning in any way. We anticipate the newest RX100 VI offering the same level of dependability, allowing you to actually save money in the long term. When considering the cost of this camera over a 7-year period, for example, it really only costs about $ per year.
Still, if the RX100 is too expensive for you but the Canon IXUS 185 is too cheap, then the Lumix ZS70K from Panasonic is more moderately priced while still offering creative control, the ability to record in 4k, and a flip-front monitor.
Our Final Thoughts on The Future of Point and Shoot Cameras
We think point and shoot cameras have come a long way since their humble origins.
What’s great about point and shoot cameras is that they make photography and videography more accessible to everyone. They do this by offering advanced AF systems that lead to stunning photos regardless of your technical expertise.
Furthermore, when compared to DSLR and mirrorless cameras, point and shoot cameras are much more affordable. This is true even when considering the most expensive point and shoots on the market, as even these are cheaper than many DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Additionally, you don’t have to buy interchangeable lenses for point and shoot cameras, which keeps their costs even lower over time.
This affordability only adds to the accessibility of these cameras, as many amateur artists don’t have much money to spend on equipment.
We think point and shoot cameras will continue to be popular in the future, though these devices will get much smaller and more efficient than they are now. Eventually, we think point and shoot cameras will just be inserted into our eyeballs, allowing us to record everything that we see at an unbelievable resolution.