best budget point and shoot camera

Best Point-And-Shoot Cameras

Point-and-shoot cameras can be tremendously appealing to novice photographers and experienced users looking for a portable backup to their dedicated mirrorless or DSLR camera. Their compact size and built-in lenses make them well-suited for taking photos in busy environments, but their dedicated controls, typically larger image sensors, and fast autofocus systems make them more versatile for this kind of use than most smartphone cameras.

We’ve tested over 70 cameras, and below you’ll find our recommendations for the best point-and-shoot cameras to buy. These picks were selected not only based on their overall performance but also their feature set and price. You can also check our recommendations for the best compact cameras, the best mirrorless cameras for travel, and the best cameras for beginners.

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  1. Best Point-And-Shoot Camera: Fujifilm X100VFujifilm X100VSEE PRICEAmazon.com7.7Travel Photography 8.1Landscape Photography 7.4Sport & Wildlife Photography 7.1Vlogging 7.8Studio Video 5.0Action Video Body Type  CompactMirrorless  YesSensor Size  APS-CTested Lens  Built-In LensThe best point-and-shoot camera that we’ve tested is the Fujifilm X100V. This premium compact camera features a large APS-C sensor for excellent image quality and a built-in lens with a 35mm full-frame equivalent focal length suitable for a wide range of photography. While it’s not the most compact camera on this list, it’s still portable enough to slip into a small bag or coat pocket, and it’s partially weather-sealed, with full weather-sealing when you buy a lens adapter and filter at additional cost.The standout feature of this camera is its unique hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder. The camera has a sleek retro-inspired rangefinder design, so the viewfinder is offset from the body, and with the flick of a switch, it toggles between an OVF with relevant information overlaid in the viewfinder and an EVF that lets you preview exposure settings and color profiles. The camera delivers amazing image quality and impressively little noise at higher ISO levels, even when shooting in RAW. It also has a robust autofocus system that does a good job tracking moving subjects.That said, it doesn’t have any image stabilization feature, which may make it harder to take clear photos when shooting handheld at slower shutter speeds. Its controls may also take novice users some getting used to. The camera’s battery life also leaves a little to be desired, particularly when shooting high-resolution video for longer periods, which may also cause some overheating. Still, its high-quality construction and rich set of features make this one of the best street photography cameras we’ve tested.See our review
  2. Best Point-And-Shoot Camera For Travel: Sony RX100 VIISony RX100 VIISEE PRICEBestBuy.com7.7Travel Photography 8.0Landscape Photography 7.8Sport & Wildlife Photography 7.8Vlogging 7.1Studio Video 5.6Action Video Body Type  CompactMirrorless  YesSensor Size  1-inchTested Lens  Built-In LensIf you’re looking for a pocketable travel camera, consider the Sony RX100 VII. It can easily fit into a small bag or a coat pocket, and it’s got a bright, tilting screen to help you shoot from different angles or take selfies. If you prefer to shoot through a viewfinder, it also has a pop-up EVF, though it’s very small.The camera’s built-in zoom lens has a fairly long focal length, ranging from 24 to 200mm (full-frame equivalent), so you can zoom in on farther subjects. It can shoot at a remarkably fast 20 fps in its high-speed burst mode, so you can easily capture fast-moving subjects and busy street scenes. It has a fantastic autofocus system as well, with face and eye detection and reliable subject tracking. It takes excellent JPEG images right out of the box, with a lot of dynamic range and mostly accurate colors.Unfortunately, like many compact cameras, it suffers from poor battery life and overheating issues. Thankfully, though, it supports USB charging, and you can keep using it while it charges, which is handy if you’ve got a portable battery pack. Its menu system is also hard to navigate because of its limited touch controls. Despite its flaws, this is still an excellent little pocket camera with a versatile set of features and unmatched portability.See our review
  3. Best Point-And-Shoot Camera For Vlogging: Sony ZV-1Sony ZV-1SEE PRICEBestBuy.com7.5Travel Photography 7.9Landscape Photography 7.2Sport & Wildlife Photography 8.6Vlogging 7.2Studio Video 5.9Action Video Body Type  CompactMirrorless  YesSensor Size  1-inchTested Lens  Built-In LensThe best point-and-shoot camera that we’ve tested for vlogging is the Sony ZV-1. It’s a great entry point for new vloggers looking for something small and compact. It comes loaded with vlogging features, including a detachable windscreen for its built-in microphone to reduce wind noise, as well as a fully articulated screen that you can flip around to face you.It’s incredibly lightweight and portable but still feels comfortable to use, thanks to its handgrip bump and thumb rest. It has a fantastic autofocus system for video, along with specialized focus modes, like ‘Product Showcase’, which automatically shifts focus to an object held up within the frame. It also features a dedicated ‘Background Defocus’ button that quickly switches between a shallow and wide depth of field. It shoots in 4k at up to 30 fps, though with a slight crop, and in 1080p at up to 120 fps, giving you a range of frame rates to choose from to suit your needs.That said, its battery performance is disappointing. It tends to overheat and shut down frequently when recording continuously in 4k. Battery life, however, can vary with different settings and usage habits. The camera is capped at a five-minute recording time limit in 4k, but you can record for much longer in 1080p. All in all, if you need something compact for vlogging, this is one of the best vlogging cameras that we’ve tested for most people.See our review
  4. ALTERNATIVE WITH LIVESTREAM SUPPORT: CANON POWERSHOT G7 X MARK IIICanon PowerShot G7 X Mark IIISEE PRICEBestBuy.comBody Type  CompactMirrorless  YesSensor Size  1-inchTested Lens  Built-In LensIf you want a vlogging camera with built-in livestream capability, check out the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III. Unlike the Sony ZV-1, it doesn’t have a fully articulated screen, though you can tilt and flip it up to face you for vlogs, and its autofocus system isn’t as reliable. That said, it can shoot 4k video without a crop, and it comes with a built-in livestreaming feature that lets you livestream directly to YouTube over Wi-Fi. It feels comfortable to shoot with, thanks to its small handgrip and highly intuitive menu system. While its overall video quality isn’t as high as the Sony, it does have greater internal recording capability and a longer recording time limit in 4k. It also does a great job of reducing camera handheld shake. However, it doesn’t have a microphone or headphone jack and lacks Bluetooth support, which is disappointing.Get the Sony if you want a compact vlogging camera with better autofocus and a fully articulated screen. If you do a lot of livestreaming, the Canon is worth consideration.See our review
  5. Best Point-And-Shoot Bridge Camera: Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 IIPanasonic LUMIX FZ1000 IISEE PRICEAmazon.com7.3Travel Photography 7.8Landscape Photography 8.0Sport & Wildlife Photography 7.2Vlogging 7.3Studio Video 4.2Action Video Body Type  BridgeMirrorless  YesSensor Size  1-inchTested Lens  Built-In LensWhile it’s not as portable as one of the compact cameras on this list, the Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II is one of the best bridge cameras we’ve tested, combining convenience, versatility, and comfort in a relatively affordable package. Generally speaking, bridge cameras are a good all-in-one solution for general photography and home video thanks to their built-in zoom lenses and relative portability.It has a highly intuitive menu system that makes it easy for anyone to pick it up and start shooting. Its built-in lens has a long zoom range, with a 25-400mm focal length (full-frame equivalent), so you can zoom in on far-away subjects or take wide-angle shots or close-ups. It has a great battery life that’ll last for quite a while, depending on how you use it. It can also shoot at relatively quick 10 fps to capture fast movement, and overall, it takes great images right out of the box, despite having a small sensor.That said, its autofocus system struggles a bit when keeping track of moving subjects, particularly human subjects. If you’re interested in video, this is a serviceable camera when shooting in 1080p, but it can only shoot 4k with a significant 1.45x crop, and its autofocus system performs poorly in 4k. Still, if you’re looking for a solid and affordable camera that feels comfortable to shoot with and has a long zoom lens for a variety of photography styles, this is a great option.See our review
  6. BETTER-BUILT ALTERNATIVE: SONY RX10 IVSony RX10 IVSEE PRICEBestBuy.comBody Type  BridgeMirrorless  YesSensor Size  1-inchTested Lens  Built-In LensWhile we recommend the Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II for most people looking to buy a bridge camera, the Sony RX10 IV is one of the best bridge cameras you can get if money is no object. It has a hefty 24-600mm Zeiss zoom lens, giving you more focal reach, and it’s weather-sealed against moisture and dust, so you have some protection on rainy or windy days. Although it takes a long time to empty its photo buffer once full, the camera can shoot at a remarkably fast 21 fps in its high-speed burst mode to easily capture fast movement. It has a robust autofocus system that can effectively track moving subjects, so it’s a great choice for sports or wildlife photography. It’s also better for video, with more frame rate options and more reliably video autofocus. That said, it’s nearly twice the price of the Panasonic, is significantly bulkier, and has a more convoluted menu system that makes finding more advanced settings a bit of a pain.Get the Panasonic if you want a reasonably-priced bridge camera with a more beginner-friendly menu system, but if you’re looking for the best of the best when it comes to bridge cameras, go with the Sony.See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II: The Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II is a compact camera with great ergonomics and an easy-to-use menu system. That said, image quality is inferior to the Sony RX100 VII, and its autofocus system can occasionally struggle to track moving subjects. See our review
  • Nikon COOLPIX P1000: The Nikon COOLPIX P1000 is a bridge camera with a superzoom lens that offers an incredible full-frame equivalent focal length of 3,000mm, enabling you to capture shots of far-away subjects with ease. However, it’s a very bulky camera and delivers bad overall autofocus performance. See our review
  • Nikon COOLPIX A1000: The Nikon COOLPIX A1000 is a compact camera similar in size to the Panasonic LUMIX ZS80, but its autofocus performance is poor in still photography and video. See our review
  • Panasonic LUMIX LX100 II: The Panasonic LUMIX LX100 II is a compact point-and-shoot with a Micro Four Thirds sensor that’s good for travel, particularly for enthusiasts who like to have a lot of physical controls on their camera. It has better low-light performance than the Sony RX100 VII, but its autofocus system isn’t as effective, and its focal length range is more limited. See our review
  • RICOH GR III: The RICOH GR III is a minimalist point-and-shoot camera with an APS-C sensor comparable to the Fujifilm X100V. While it’s even more portable than the Fujifilm, its autofocus system is considerably less effective, and it’s not well-suited to shooting video since its video capabilities are more bare-bones. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Feb 04, 2022: Reviewed article for accuracy and clarity.
  2. Jan 06, 2022: Removed the Panasonic LUMIX ZS80. Renamed the Fujifilm X100V as ‘Best Point-And-Shoot Camera’ and added the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III as an ‘Alternative With Livestream Support’ to the Sony ZV-1.
  3. Dec 10, 2021: Verified accuracy and availability of picks; no change to recommendations.
  4. Nov 11, 2021: Added Sony RX10 IV as new ‘Better-Built Alternative’ category pick.
  5. Oct 14, 2021: Minor updates to text for clarity and accuracy; no change to recommendations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best point-and-shoot cameras for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability (no cameras that are difficult to find or almost out of stock in the U.S.).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here’s the list of all our reviews for compact, ultracompact, and bridge cameras. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There is no single perfect camera. Personal taste, preference, and shooting habits will matter more in your selection.

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