The 10 Best Point-and-Shoot Cameras

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Best Overall: Panasonic Lumix ZS200

Panasonic Lumix ZS200
What We Like
  • Seriously impressive 15x optical zoom range

  • 4K video

  • Responsive touch screen is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled 

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

If you’re looking for the overall best point and shoot camera, it’s hard to go wrong with the Panasonic Lumix ZS200. It offers all the features you want, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, a compact and easy to hold size, and a premium Leica DC lens.

When it comes to performance, the ZS200 really shines as well. It offers a 20.1MP sensor, 4K video, 15x zoom, and both a large LCD screen and viewfinder. The resulting images are clear, vibrant, and accurate. Shoot in either RAW or JPEG, giving you more options for post-production editing, and easily transfer your images to your desktop or smartphone using the camera’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. 

The compact size and impressive zoom length make it a top choice for travel photography, but this camera is versatile enough to work well in any shooting environment. Although it’s a higher price point than many other point and shoots, the specs and image quality make it an easy sell and one of the best you’ll come across.

Runner Up, Best Overall: Sony Alpha A6100

Sony Alpha A6100


What We Like
  • Great value mirrorless camera

  • Tilting LCD screen for selfies or video

  • Long battery life

What We Don't Like
  • No in-body stabilization 

  • Menu can take some time to learn

Sony’s Alpha series of mirrorless cameras have been bestsellers since their release, with photographers loving the lightweight frames, high photo quality, and easy photo transfer. The A6100 is no exception, a great value camera that might quickly become your favorite.

With accurate autofocus, a 24.2MP sensor, and 4K video, this camera has a lot more features than we’d expect at this price point. Images are accurate, clear, and capture color and light well, and the camera has subject tracking, precisely using eyes to follow the movement of both people and animals.

The Alpha series cameras are all compatible with Sony’s E-mount lens, a great advantage for those already using the Sony brand. After shooting, use Sony’s simple Imaging Edge Mobile app to wirelessly transfer photos. 

Although we’d like to see in-body stabilization included, since the camera’s autofocus is already great, this can be solved by shooting with a tripod or gimbal. Overall, it’s a great choice that may soon convert you to the Sony family. 

Best Budget: Sony W800

Sony W800


What We Like
  • Sony DSCW800

  • Fantastic value for money

  • Slim design easy to carry around

What We Don't Like
  • No Wi-Fi for photo transfer

  • Only records 720p video

If you’re looking for an affordable but quality camera with little to no learning curve, consider the Sony W800. Its slim, portable size makes it easy to carry around in your pocket or backpack, ensuring you’re always photo-ready. 

With 5MP resolution, 5x optical zoom, and Sony’s SteadyShot Image stabilization, images are clear and impressive, although not to the same standard you’d find in a more high-end camera. However, they are still crisp and vibrant, and users can select to shoot in Easy Mode, taking away the worries of figuring out the camera control menu.

You can also shoot in panorama and capture videos in 720p. As with all of Sony’s cameras, they are built to the highest possible standard, making them popular with experienced pros and amateurs alike. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly camera that you don’t need to think about too much, you can’t go wrong with the Sony W800.

Best Form Factor: Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II Digital Camera


What We Like
  • The sleek, stylish designs wows from a UX perspective

  • Large LCD screen

  • Impressive photo quality

What We Don't Like
  • Low battery life

  • No optical viewfinder

If you’re looking for a camera that takes great photos, but also wows from an aesthetics perspective, don’t go past the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II. The exterior design is both nostalgic and modern, eye-catching but also functional.

Fast image processing, 3x optical zoom, and a 20.1MP sensor means beautiful images with no lag time, and the continuous shooting up to 8.2 frames per second is great for capturing all the action as it happens.

Note that the Mark II doesn’t have a viewfinder, rather, all shots and video are captured from the camera’s LCD screen. While the screen is clear and large, this may be a dealbreaker for camera enthusiasts who prefer traditional ways of shooting. However, if that’s not a problem, you’ll find this camera to be sleek, fun to use, and a great travel companion. 

Best rugged camera: Olympus TG-5

Olympus TG-5


What We Like
  • Waterproof, tough casing can withstand anything you throw at it

  • 4K video and GPS tracking great for capturing the action

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Battery life could be longer

The Olympus TG-5 is seriously tough. Waterproof up to 50 ft, freezeproof to 14 degrees, and tested to withstand serious drops and crushes, this is the perfect camera for outdoor adventures, hikes, or frequent shooting out in the elements.

It was designed with extreme adventure activities in mind and can capture Ultra HD 4K video, shoot up to a lightning-fast 20 frames per second, and has special underwater shooting mode. It shoots well in low light and a 12MP sensor. It even works if you’re wearing thick gloves, a helpful nod to the camera’s all-weather design.

All of these features do result in shorter battery life than we’d like, but that’s unfortunately common with adventure cameras. 

It’s a solid, tough, and high-quality camera that can capture epic photos and videos on your next adventure, whether you’re across the world or just in your own backyard. 

Best Instant Camera: Polaroid Snap

Polaroid Snap


What We Like
  • Fun, stylish instant camera

  • Print not only to paper but save images to a memory card

What We Don't Like
  • No flash

  • Printing paper is expensive

It’s hard to beat the fun of an instant camera, especially at a party or gathering. For one of the best, look no further than the Polaroid Snap. It’s a cute retro camera with a 10MP sensor, and its compact design makes it easy to travel with.

One of the downsides of instant cameras was that every photo taken would automatically print, resulting in a lot of dud photos and wasted print paper. With the Polaroid Snap, you have the clever option of either printing or saving the images to a microSD card, allowing you to send digital snaps to friends and family. If you do want to print, the camera can hold up to 10 pieces of printing paper, 2” x 3" in size. For extra fun, the printing paper has an adhesive back so it can be easily stuck to lockers or the fridge.

The camera doesn’t have a flash, so it works best in bright or natural light. If you’re looking for an affordable and fun retro throwback, the Polaroid Snap is one of the best. 

Best Compact Camera: Sony RX100 VI Cyber-Shot

Sony RX100 VI Cyber-Shot


What We Like
  • Small, compact camera that packs a powerful punch

  • Impressive, clear images with 4K video

  • 8x zoom and 20MP sensor

What We Don't Like
  • High price point

  • Could be too small for some users 

The Sony RX100 VI packs huge performance into a small camera. Sometimes a compact, small camera is just what you want, a travel companion that will fit anywhere and won’t take up valuable space. The specs on this camera really stand out, including a 24-200mm zoom range, 20MP sensor, 4K video, and a useful tilting LCD screen.

The camera’s accuracy and clarity are some of the best you’ll find on a point and shoot, with 315 focus points that ensure your subject is captured in crystal-clear focus, and a massive 24 frames per second continuous shooting speed. 

Unfortunately, there’s no port for headphones or a microphone, meaning this camera is perhaps better suited for photography than video. 

If it’s within your budget, the RX100 VI is a winner for dynamic, focused photos, long zoom range, and its pocket-friendly size. 

Best Camera for Kids: Kodak PRINTOMATIC

KODAK Printomatic Digital Instant Print Camera


What We Like
  • Colorful and retro design

  • Easy for kids to learn and use

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Print quality not the best

  • Doesn’t capture motion well

Inspire your kids to get creative and capture the world around them with the Kodak Printomatic. It’s a bright, cheery camera that can either print instantly or save images digitally.

The rounded edges of this handheld camera make it easy for small hands to hold and grip, with large buttons. The Printomatic offers a 10MP sensor, with a flash and automatic focus. It works best on still subjects, rather than trying to use it for capturing motion. 

Printing is done via Zink paper, rather than normal photo paper. It’s more environmentally friendly, since it doesn’t require ink or toner, but the resulting photo quality can sometimes look more washed out than it should. 

It’s a lot of fun at a very affordable price, especially for kids who don’t need the high resolution of an adult camera. 

Best Performance: Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III


What We Like
  • Sturdy and solid design creates a premium product

  • Wi-Fi photo transfer

  • Easy to learn

What We Don't Like
  • Only a 16MP sensor

  • Menu screen can be confusing

For photographers looking to take their photography up a notch, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III, a micro four-thirds mirrorless camera, delivers premium results and gives users many ways to customize their shot.

Using a 16MP sensor, in-body image stabilization, multiple shooting modes, and a tilting LCD screen, it’s easy to create your perfect shot. For a fun add-on, the camera includes 15 built-in artistic filters, which allow you to instantly alter things like the brightness, tone, focus, and sepia of the image. If you don’t use post-production software such as Adobe, these filters are an easy and fun way to edit your photos and make them pop.

Because of all the features offered in this camera, it can take some time to learn the menu screen and all its options, but it’s worth the time and effort. This sturdy frame camera, with all-metal housing, is a reliable piece of tech that will take beautiful photos for years to come.

Best Retro Camera: Polaroid Originals OneStep 2

Polaroid Originals OneStep 2


What We Like
  • Fun, retro design is easy to love

  • Rechargeable battery

  • Classic instant Polaroids are popular with everyone

What We Don't Like
  • Bulky to travel with

  • Images can’t be canceled before printing

If you remember the original Polaroid and the excitement and anticipation of watching a photo slowly print out from the front of the camera, then you’ll love the Polaroid Originals OneStep 2.

Designed as a modern version of Polaroid’s original 1977 camera, this retro instant camera lets users point and shoot, then eagerly await the printed result. For a new twist, it also works with Bluetooth, allowing users to control the camera remotely via the free Polaroid app. It also has a rechargeable battery and prints out on the iconic Polaroid film that’s loved by everyone.

Unfortunately, there’s no digital option to save photos, so all images print automatically, something to be careful of as film can be costly. Its bulky size makes it hard to travel with, so consider leaving it at home for use on special occasions and parties- it is sure to wow a crowd. 

What to look for in the Best Point-and-Shoot cameras

Point and shoot cameras may have optical or electronic viewfinders or both. Which is better?

The answer is not that simple, as it depends on your personal preference. A viewfinder is what you look through when taking the photo- if it’s electronic, you’ll see your view via an LCD screen on the back of the camera, while an optical viewfinder uses mirrors and prisms to show you what you’re seeing.

Optical viewfinders (OVF) are the traditional way of seeing through a camera- although the view is small, it is accurate, unfiltered, and you’re seeing exactly what is in front of you. Electronic viewfinders (EVF) give you a digital representation of what is in front of you. The advantage is you can see your view on a much larger field, but the power required for the screens often means a much shorter battery life.

It is best to experiment with both to learn which you prefer or look for a camera that offers both OVF and EVF. 

Why Trust Us

Lifewire is a trusted consumer expert for point and shoot cameras. We’ve either personally used and worked with each camera, or have thoroughly combed through reviews of each product to give you the best possible and unbiased information on each product, allowing you to purchase with confidence. 

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