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The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is an amazingly capable point-and-shoot camera that is powerful enough to replace a DSLR and will make most camera buyers happy. It measures just 6.3 x 5.7 x 3.2 inches and weighs 1.4 pounds, so it’s a lot smaller than a DSLR, too.
Outstanding images on the PowerShot G7 X Mark II are possible because of its one-inch 20.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, which means photos will have enough detail for printing or editing in RAW in Photoshop. It also has a 4.2x optical zoom lens, which is modest, but still useful for getting close-ups, and the ability to shoot 1080p HD video at 60fps (frames per second).
Now let’s talk connectivity. The camera has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC technology, so you can post photos directly on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Google Drive using your camera or you can send photos to your smartphone or tablet. The free Canon Camera Connect app works on both iOS and Android devices, so you’re likely covered for sharing no matter where you are.
Low-end, budget point-and-shoots tend to either scrape the bottom of the barrel in the hardware department or, at the very least, offer one or two stand-out features while plastering the cheapest parts on the rest of the camera. With the DSC-W800, Sony managed to maintain a quality build and design without compromising on performance or reliability.
At the heart of this shooter is the 20.1-megapixel Super HAD CCD sensor, which is quite impressive for the price point. Thee 5x optical zoom is nothing to write home about, but given the super-slim, lightweight design (0.28 pounds), the low-powered zoom is acceptable. The W800 also has some nifty creative controls, a 360-degree panorama mode, image stabilization, and smile shutter technology — hey, it even shoots HD (720p) video.
Slim and pocket-friendly, Canon’s Powershot G9 X Mark II is compact enough to carry everywhere without sacrificing photo quality or features. Centered around its one-inch, 20.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, the G9 X Mark II utilizes Canon’s DIGIC 7 image processor for well-rounded operation including fast photography, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity for quick photo transfers to compatible devices.
Weighing only 7.3 ounces, the Canon's compact body still has space for an f/2.0 lens (great for low-light photography) and an optical zoom of 3x for a focal range of 28-84mm. The three-inch touchscreen LCD display is super responsive, and the customizable control ring on top allows you to quickly adjust a multitude of settings including aperture, exposure or shutter speed.
The Panasonic TS30R is a somewhat odd-looking camera—it looks sort of like a video game controller—but it serves a niche category that could prove indispensable for travelers. It’s slim, lightweight and confidently designed, but more importantly, it’s all-weather. It can handle water depths of up to 26 feet, drops from as high as five feet, and temperatures as low as 14°F. It also features a dust-proof design, which helps preserve longevity and functionality.
The camera itself features some middling specs: a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, MP4 HD (720p) video recording, 4x optical zoom, and 220MB of built-in memory. It also has a number of shooting modes and creative controls, including a creative panorama function, which allows you to shoot and overlay consecutive images in a horizontal or vertical fashion.
Fujifilm is a camera brand that commands a serious fanbase, and it’s no surprise considering the functionality and versatility of their cameras. The XF10 is a great option if you’re looking for that same level of quality without shelling out for an expensive interchangeable lens camera. First off, the camera offers an impressively large 24.2 MP APS-C CMOS sensor, ensuring that you’ll have plenty of pixels for any post-editing you might do.
There’s a single-focus 18.5mm, f/2.8 lens, which works great with the cam, though it is admittedly limited without the zoom functionality. The 3-inch LCD touchscreen is pretty brilliant, too, giving you a resolution of over 1040k dots — great for previewing your pictures in detail. There’s a standard ISO range of 100–12800, ensuring tons of versatility even in low-light situations.
On the video front, the camera allows you to shoot up to 3840 x 2160 4K video for as long as 30 minutes, which is pretty impressive for a camera in this category and price point (hence our distinction here). Add to that some advanced filter options, an old-school film-emulating technology, easy-to-navigate menus, and even Bluetooth connectivity for a seamless hookup to your phone on the go, and you have an amazing little camera.
The forthcoming Nikon COOLPIX A900 manages to hit the sweet spot of being a high-end camera that’s not outrageously overpriced. The specs and features this thing manages to pack are on par with more mid- to high-end interchangeable lens shooters.
In the vanguard, you have the 20-megapixel 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS sensor — a highly sensitive sensor that boasts the highest resolution in the 1/2.3-inch format. It also features a 35x optical zoom lens with dynamic zoom capabilities up to 70x. It has a three-inch tilting LCD, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC connectivity, remote shooting via smartphone or tablet, and an ISO sensitivity of up to 3200, with continuous shooting at 7fps. Plus, it shoots 4K (UHD) video at 30fps.
This is Nikon’s attempt to breathe life back into the somewhat stale realm of mid-range point-and-shoots and looks like it will be a breath of fresh air.
The Panasonic DC-ZS70K has 30x optical zoom (equivalent to a 24-720mm lens on a 35MM camera), so you can get as close as you need without disturbing your subject. The long-range zoom is boosted by five-axis optical image stabilization that helps compensate for five separate types of movement alongside Level Shot function to detect and balance against any image’s horizontal line for picture-perfect results.
4K video capture is outstanding, at 3840 x 2160p resolution and the 20.3-megapixel MOS sensor adds stunning results for still photos. Also included is a 180-degree tilting LCD display that helps capture all the selfies you could ever want in 4K quality.
The Panasonic LUMIX ZS100 costs more than a brand new iPhone, so right off the bat you know you’re targeting a category of shoppers for whom budget is not an issue. That also means you’re getting some top specs and features. The ZS100 features a huge (1-inch) 20.1-megapixel CMOS sensor that maximizes color and minimizes artifacts.
It has a 10x optical zoom with a wide f/2.8-5.9 aperture, an eye-level electronic viewfinder (EVF), touch-enabled LCD and a lens-mounted control ring to help provide DSLR-level exposures. It also shoots 4K (UHD) video. By all accounts, this is one of the best compact point-and-shoots you can find for a reasonable price.
Image quality - Of course, the primary concern when purchasing a digital camera is its overall image quality. While most devices will come with enough megapixels these days, it is crucial to consider other aspects such as the included lens speed, low-light performance, and whether or not your device is capable of capturing watchable HD video.
Connectivity - You might not be using your smartphone to capture the images, but you may decide to share them on your favorite social media afterward. Be sure to select a camera with Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities so that you can easily connect and transfer your photographs and videos to your mobile device.
Ruggedness - On what adventures will you be taking your new device? If you know that you’ll be out in the rain or traveling through extreme weather, then you might want to consider an ultra-rugged camera for the trip. Special rugged cameras can survive sharp drops, lousy weather, and even being fully immersed underwater.