Having the right camera can make all the difference in the digital age – after all, it was once said that a picture is simply a moment of frozen time.
A camera can allow us to document the highlights of a life, and can allow you to capture the world around you, which is why it’s so important that you have a good one.
It can be a little harder to come by good lower end cameras these days as smartphones with rather impressive cameras become more and more popular, but the professional and advanced point and shoot camera market is thriving more so now than ever.
It’s easy to get a good, compact camera that has a decently sized sensor with more connectivity options, more megapixels and more features these days.
With there being so many of these incredible cameras on the market, it can be hard to narrow down your selection for what to buy. Whether you’re just starting out on your photography journey or whether you’re a professional that wants to get a more compact camera option, we’ve got you covered.
Read on to find out about some of our best picks for point and shoot cameras.
In a hurry? This is our winner!
Best Point and Shoot Camera – Comparison Table
Best Point and Shoot Camera – Reviews
Best Point and Shoot Camera – Buyers Guide
So now that you’ve seen our picks for the best point and shoot cameras, what went into our decision, and what things do you need to consider when looking for a point and shoot camera? Here are some things to keep in mind.
Categories of Point and Shoot Cameras
As smartphone cameras are on the rise and are constantly getting better and better in quality, the majority of camera manufacturers are redirecting their energies onto making cameras for professionals or enthusiasts.
The majority of these cameras tend to have quite large 1 inch image sensors, they have very fast lenses and they usually come with a lot of different useful features such as tilting LCD screens and 4K video.
Usually mid range point and shoot cameras have a lot of great features but they tend to have a slightly less impressive image sensor size, most of them being about ⅔ inch.
If you don’t intend to make your images bigger or if you want to have features like a large zoom without spending thousands on a professional camera, a mid range option is a good balance between a good performance and an affordable price.
There are a lot less of these cameras on the market lately, which is crazy considering how many people would have them on their holiday abroad years ago! It’s not really practical these days to have both a smartphone and a portable camera as they do fairly similar things.
Most cameras on smartphones are very good these days, especially in portrait mode. It’s probably best to go with a mid range or enthusiast model in this case, unless you don’t have a smartphone or you don’t want to take your smartphone skiing or backpacking, for example.
Point and shoot cameras tend to have a lens attached rather than lenses that are interchangeable such as you would find on mirrorless cameras or DSLRs. They usually have a decent level of versatility as far as zoom is concerned.
Recently, there’s been a trend for superzoom cameras which has a long zoom range all the way up to 1000mm or maybe even more. Smartphones aren’t that great with zoom, and so a camera can be far more beneficial in this regard.
The main issue with superzoom cameras is that they’re usually a little bulkier and heavier than your average point and shoot camera and they usually have smaller image sensors. With that being said, they’re perfect for things like sporting events, school plays, travel and wildlife cameras and they’re pretty fun to use!
Before you make a decision on what camera you want to buy, you should try to consider first of all the kinds of photos that you tend to take with it. Different types of photography will require different amounts of zoom, so you should only get a superzoom camera if you plan on zooming in very far on a fairly regular basis.
While most marketing would have you believe that it’s the megapixels that determine the quality of your image, honestly it’s more down to the sensor size. The bigger your sensor, the better the image will be.
For the most part, an entry level and the odd mid range point and shoot camera will have a ½.3 inch CMOS image sensor. The more you spend on the camera then the more likely you are to get a larger sensor. For the most part high end point and shoot cameras tend to have either 1 inch or 1/1.7 inch CMOS sensor. On occasion you may find a camera with an APS-C image sensor but this isn’t common.
Photographs usually have dozens of megapixels, so for example if you see that your camera has 20 megapixels what it means is that the photograph will consist of 20 million tiny little dots that make up the image. As we’ve previously mentioned, these numbers can lead you astray. Just because a camera has more megapixels it doesn’t mean that camera will give you better images necessarily.
If your camera has a better sensor, more ISO sensitivity and it has a much better lens then you may expect a better photo from this camera than you would with a camera that simply has more megapixels.
With that being said, you shouldn’t ignore megapixels either. You should first look at the size of the sensors, and then follow that with assessing the megapixels. From there you can assess how the numbers align with the competition. As a rule if you pay more for a camera you’re going to get a larger sensor and more megapixels.
Performance in Low Light
One of the big differences between a cheaper point and shoot and a more high end one is the performance you get in the low light from the lens and the camera. When you’re looking for a lens, you need to look at the number of maximum apertures.
This is shown in f stops, and this can go from f/1.4 to f/22 and sometimes even higher than this. If the number is lower then it will let more light into it as the lens is wider. The majority of mid range and budget cameras will have a rating of roughly f/2 to f/3.5.
When you’re looking at the performance of the camera as a whole in low light then you’re looking for its ISO sensitivity, which is mostly referred to just as ISO.The higher the ISO number is on the camera then the more sensitivity your camera has to light, and you’re also less likely to get any graininess on the image as you would get on a smartphone or cheap camera.
Video is pretty popular when it comes to priorities for camera hunters. Today, you’re pretty likely to see Full HD 1080P cameras (1910 x 1080 pixels) and this is true even of point and shoot cameras. You may find the occasional budget version that will only shoot 720p (1280 x 720 pixels) but they’re not all that common. With more professional cameras you can even find 4K video (4096 x 3072 pixels).
As far as the overall quality of the video is concerned, there’s a lot more that goes into it than simply the resolution. For example, you should be looking at the autofocus quality, the ISO sensitivity, image sensor size and any additional features such as image stabilization.
All of these things impact the quality of your video. If you are looking at getting into creating video, it’s worth considering playing around with a lot of different movie speeds, and you can only really find this with some of the more expensive point and shoot cameras.
Another feature you may see that’s talked about a lot is the ‘dedicated movie button.’ Essentially this is designed to make your life easier, so you don’t have to spend ages searching through the camera menu with either the buttons of the touchscreen to find the movie maker, instead you can just press one button on the outside of the camera and you can instantly record your video.
This is just one way that camera manufacturers compete with smartphones that simplify the video recording process.
Manually plugging in your camera to your desktop takes a long time, and for the most part is an unnecessary waste of time. Built in WiFi can help to make life a lot easier by being able to easily upload and transfer photos onto your device or onto social media in an instant.
The vast majority of LCD screens tend to measure at around 3 inches in size, and usually the level of resolution you get is determined by the price that you pay. On some of the more expensive models you may find a tilting screen and sometimes even touch screen compatibility.
This feature may be a matter of personal preference, but it is good to have a brighter and higher resolution screen when you’re in rougher conditions for your shoot.
Last Updated on 2020-08-04 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates