Best Point and Shoot Camera Under $500

If you’re looking for a good point and shoot camera under $500, you’ve definitely come to the right place!

What’s not to love about a compact digital camera that you can take anywhere, and just point at your scene or subject and take the perfect photo with one click of a button.

Point and shoot cameras are great for beginners, but even experienced photographers can appreciate the beauty and simplicity of a point and shoot camera.

Quick Navigation

There are some really great compact cameras out there for the taking, and we’ve come up with our Top 5 which we’ll look at below, and if you need some help with your decision, we have a buying guide for you, filling you in on what options you have in a point and shoot camera so you can make up your own mind.

In a hurry? This is our winner!

Our rating:
Nikon COOLPIX B500 16MP 40x Optical Zoom Digital Camera w/Wi-Fi - Plum (Renewed) + 16GB SDHC Accessory Bundle
781 Reviews
Nikon COOLPIX B500 16MP 40x Optical Zoom Digital Camera w/Wi-Fi - Plum (Renewed) + 16GB SDHC Accessory Bundle
  • This Certified Refurbished product is refurbished to factory specifications, it shows limited or no wear
  • Includes all original accessories plus a 90 day warranty
  • Nikon COOLPIX B500 16MP 40x Optical Zoom Digital Camera w/ Wi-Fi (Plum)
  • In The BOX INCLUDES: COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera | Four LR6/L40 AA Alkaline Batteries | UC-E16 USB Cable | AN-CP21 Strap | LC-CP31 Lens Cap | Includes 90-Day Nikon USA Warranty
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: Ultra SDHC 16GB UHS Class 10 Memory Card | Deluxe Camera Case | 4x 2950mah Rechargeable AA Batteries w/ AA Charger | Corel PaintShop Pro X9 Digital Download | 12-inch Rubberized Spider Tripod, Large (Red) | LCD/Lens Cleaning Pen | Hi-Speed SDHC Memory Card Reader | Trifold Memory Card Wallet | Lens Cap Keeper | 3pcs Lens Cleaning Kit | Beach Camera Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

Best Point and Shoot Camera Under 500 – Comparison Table

Best Point and Shoot Camera Under 500 – Reviews

Our Pick
Nikon COOLPIX B500 16MP 40x Optical Zoom Digital Camera w/Wi-Fi - Plum (Renewed) + 16GB SDHC Accessory Bundle
Our rating:

This is not just a great camera, it’s a whole digital photography kit, inclusive not just of carrying and cleaning equipment as you may have come to expect, but also cool digital photography software, Corel PaintShop Pro X9 Digital Download, and a 16 GB SDHC memory card, and a tripod, and rechargeable AA batteries.

It will give you images of a 16 megapixel resolution, which is great.

It has an optical zoom feature of up to a good 40 times, which is extendable to 80x dynamic fine zoom, thanks to it’s powerful lens that covers from wide-angle 22.5 mm to through to super-telephoto 900 mm angles of view.

One thing we really like about it is it’s Target finding AF technology. Just aim your camera at the intended subject, and whether the subject is at the centre of frame as those off-centre and it will instantly predict where focus should be acquired.

We also love the color options – the plum is simply gorgeous, and the red looks easy to spot too!

Another great feature is it’s SnapBridge technology which allows you to sync shots to your smart device while you shoot, and share Nikon-quality images on social media in an instant.

You can take video on it, with a 1080 pixel full High Definition resolution.

It has a nice tiltable 3 inch wide LCD viewfinder and preview screen with a 5 level brightness adjustment function and has an anti reflection and anti fingerprint coating.

Rather than having image stabilization, the manufacturer refers to it’s vibration reduction, which effectively does the same thing, effectively combating camera shake by reducing blur.

It has 3 different camera modes on it’s dial including auto, scene and sports.

Pros
  • Bundle includes Corel PaintShop Pro X9, a 16 GB SDHC memory card, a tripod, and rechargeable AA batteries
  • 16 megapixel resolution
  • Great optical zoom, 40 times, which is extendable
  • Target finding AF technology
  • SnapBridge technology to connect to smartphone or tablet
  • You can make high quality videos
  • Easy to read 3 inch wide LCD viewfinder and preview screen
  • Vibration reduction
Cons
  • The SDHC card included is only 16 GB, but you can always buy more

Canon PowerShot SX420 IS Digital Camera (Black) with 20MP, 42x Optical Zoom, 720p HD Video & Built-In Wi-Fi + 64GB Card + Reader + Grip + Spare Battery and Charger + Tripod + Complete Accessory Bundle
Our rating:

This isn’t just a point and shoot camera, this is a complete deluxe digital camera kit.

You get a fantastic digital point and shoot camera, and all in with the price, you get a compatible gripster tripod, so you can get in front of the camera, an SDXC memory card, for you to store tons of high quality photos, a spare battery which is always handy, and all the things you need to carry, clean, and protect the camera.

It’s a 20 megapixel camera, so it’s far better than the standard 7.2 MP you’d want for your 8×10 prints. More importantly, it has a really good image sensor, coming in at 1.2.3”.

The zoom is great on it too, an expansive 42 times zoom, which ranges from wide-angle to super telephoto perspectives – so there’s no shortage of shot options for you.

It has built in wifi and NFC (more on NFC in our buying guide) so you can hook up your images straight to your devices and you don’t have to rely solely on the SDXC card provided.

It has a nice big LCD preview screen, 3 inches wide, so you can decide straight away if you want to do a retake.

It features intelligent image stabilization which is great for low lighting or a shaky grip, and it works both on stills and in your video shooting.

Pros
  • Comes as a whole kit, including tripod and SDXC card
  • 20 megapixels image resolution
  • Large sensor, 1.2.3.”
  • 42 times optical zoom
  • Built in wifi and NFC
  • 3 inch wide LCD preview screen
  • Image stabilization
  • Video recording
  • Smart AUTO and Scene Modes
Cons
  • No facial recognition
  • Zoom is optical rather than digital (if you see that as a con)

Panasonic Lumix FZ80 4K Digital Camera, 18.1 Megapixel Video Camera, 60X Zoom DC VARIO 20-1200mm Lens, F2.8-5.9 Aperture, Power O.I.S. Stabilization, Touch Enabled 3-Inch LCD, Wi-Fi, DC-FZ80K (Black)
Our rating:

There are not one but 2 stand out features on this camera!

The first is that it offers 4K ultra High Definition video capture capabilities. The video is filmed at 30 frames per second to capture that perfect split second moment.

You can pause and save 4K photo extracts from the video ready for print.

The other knock out feature is it’s long zoom, which comes in at a staggering 60 times, all thanks to it’s vario optical lens. Just look at the photos on the Amazon link to see what we mean – it has to be seen to be believed!

It gives you an 18.1 megapixel image for nice and crisp images.

It also uses an MOS sensor, so it’s great in low light – the results are impressive.

Rather than use an SD card slot for storing your images, it’s USB and wifi connectable, which is far more convenient. You can charge it via USB too.

It’s 3 inch large LCD preview display screen doubles as a high resolution viewfinder, and is nice and clear even in bright sunlight.

We also love it’s “post focus” feature, which allows you to set your desired focus points after the photo has been taken.

It features image stabilization too.

Pros
  • 4K ultra High Definition video capture
  • 60 x optical zoom
  • 18.1 megapixels and MOS sensor for high quality images
  • USB and wifi connectable
  • 3 inch large LCD preview display screen
  • “post focus” feature
  • Image stabilization
Cons
  • With so many fancy features, it can take time to get used to making the most of them all

Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera, Black
Our rating:

If you’re looking for a camera that you can take to the beach, the pool, or the lake, then this is the camera for you! It’s not just water resistant, it’s waterproof – you can even take photos underwater!

It has 5 underwater shooting modes, including underwater microscope, and 3 different underwater white balance modes.

And that’s not all – it’s also dust proof, shock proof, crush proof, freeze proof, and anti fog (and breathe).

It also boasts the ability to capture full High Definition 4K video, taking 120 frames per second.

It has a high resolution lens, with a back illuminated CMOS Image Sensor. It’s 12 megapixels altogether, more than adequate for 8×10 prints.

It has a zoom of up to 4 times, which is quite modest, but the other features more than make up for it. In microscopic control mode though, you get a display magnification of 44 times.

It also has a large LCD viewfinder and preview screen.

You can shoot intricately detailed macro images, with 4 macro shooting modes.

It only weighs about half a pound and you can take it absolutely anywhere, and map where you are with it’s GPS tracking – it really is a camera for the adventurous!

Pros
  • Take it on any adventure, even underwater
  • Captures full High Definition 4K video at 120 fps
  • Super durable
  • High image resolution of 12 megapixels
  • Great zoom facility
  • Very lightweight
  • Back illuminated CMOS Image Sensor
  • Large LCD viewfinder and preview screen
  • Loads of compatible accessories available on Amazon
Cons
  • The lens cover has to be bought separately (but the camera and lens cover total cost will still come in your $500 budget)

Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70K, 20.3 Megapixel, 4K Digital Camera, Touch Enabled 3-Inch 180 Degree Flip-front Display, 30X LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR Lens, WiFi (Black)
Our rating:

Here’s another great camera from Panasonic.

It’s standout feature is hands down it’s 180 degree tiltable preview screen – perfect for those all important selfies! At 30 frames per second you’ll get an impeccable high quality resolution image.

It’s wifi enabled too, so you can get those selfies up on social media in no time!

Not only does it have a staggering 20.3 megapixel resolution, but it has a 30 times optical zoom, you can get right up close to your image and record every detail.

We also love its Post Focus function. After you’ve taken a photo, preview it on the touch enabled LCD screen, touch the part of the photo you want to sharpen, and hey presto – it’s done!

It also provides 4K video capture, which gives 4 times the resolution of full High Definition.

It has great image stabilization that will compensate for movement in 5 different directions.

It’s great in low light too, thanks to it’s high sensitivity MOS sensor, so you can still get super high quality images in dimly lit places.

It has a AC/USB travel charging port.

Pros
  • 180 degree tiltable screen – perfect for perfecting your selfies
  • Built in wifi
  • 20.3 megapixels
  • 30 times optical zoom
  • Post focus function, change the sharpness of an image in one area
  • 4K video
  • Great image stabilization
  • Great in low light
Cons
  • Relatively small preview screen
  • Recordings are in MP4 not JPEG

Best Point and Shoot Camera Under 500 – Buyers Guide

Megapixel Count

The number of megapixels, is a measure of the resolution of an image that can be taken by camera. A megapixel means one million pixels. As a general rule, the higher the number of megapixels that a camera can do, the better the resolution of the final image.

The general rule for high quality sharp prints is 300 pixels per inch, and for a high quality 8×10 inch print you’d want 7.2 megapixels.

However, this is not the main contributing factor to the camera’s image quality. If you use a worse camera and worse lenses with more Megapixels, you will have worse quality pixels.

Sensor size

Sensor size is the main key to getting a good quality photo, since it directly affects the clarity of your photos. A large sensor size can make a huge difference in low light situations.
However if a powerful zoom is more important to you than low light function, a camera with a smaller sensor may suit you better.

Zoom

A main advantage of a dedicated camera over a smartphone is that they often feature a zoom lens and/or a larger sensor.

You can get cameras that use digital zoom, cameras that use optical zoom, or some models even feature both types. Cameras with optical zoom tend to be more bulky, so if it’s a compact camera you’re looking for, you might prefer one with digital zoom instead.

Digital zoom gives you a greater range of magnification but there’s a drawback – the quality of the photo is compromised.

So there’s no one answer to the digital/optical question, you have to weigh up what you prefer or compromise with a hybrid.

LCD Preview screen

For most photographers these days, a preview screen is a must. It lets you see at an instance whether you need to do a retake. We recommend cameras with a large high quality LCD screen, ideally with a 3 inch display to make a good assessment of the photo.

A higher quality LCD preview screen provides better color and has better visibility in bright light.

Camera modes

One thing we love about point and shoot cameras is the automatic exposure settings, it really simplifies the job and speeds things up. The camera recognizes the scene so to speak and shoots accordingly.

It works by setting the aperture and shutter speed, based on the external lighting conditions for the photo.

Battery life

Most point and shoot cameras these days come with lithium ion batteries, which generally have a long life, better yet they’re usually rechargeable too.

Alternatively you can invest in a camera that takes AA batteries which are very easy to replace, or again you could use rechargeable ones.

Connectivity

Most digital cameras these days have an SD or SDHC or SDXC card slot. An SD card can have a storage capacity of up to 4 GB, while a SDHC card storage goes up to 32 GB. An SDXC card meanwhile has a storage capacity of a staggering 2 Terabytes – that’s a total of 2000 GB!

If you’re relying on one of these cards to connect your photos to another device, you must ensure that it’s compatible first.

Alternatively, if your camera is wifi enabled, you can connect your photos to a device, like a laptop or tablet, over the wifi. Built in wifi has become a more common feature in point and shoot cameras in recent years. This is great for uploading onto social media apps.

Point and shoot cameras in this price range can also feature Near Field Communication (NFC), which is kind of like bluetooth except that the devices need to be within 4 centimeters of each other.

Facial recognition

Many point and shoot cameras these days offer facial recognition. Basically the camera detects a face, and locks the focus and exposure most appropriate for the image. Not all cameras in this price range have this capability, but there are many that do, and it's a very useful feature.

Image Stabilization

Here’s another great feature you can often find in point and shoot cameras in this price range. In low light cameras often use a slower shutter speed to get a better exposure, but these can leave a blurred effect on your image. That’s where image stabilization offers a solution.

There are two types of image stabilization, optical and digital. Optical image stabilization works by adjusting the lens to compensate for movement. At the same time the position of the sensor can be adjusted to compensate for a slightly shaky grip on the camera.

Digital image stabilization on the other hand, attempts to correct the blurring after the image is shot.

Video recording

Video recording is another camera feature you can get in this price range, and taking a video is often a really good way of capturing a moment rather than just taking a photo, especially at children’s birthdays or shows.

Last Updated on 2020-10-20 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates

Scroll to Top