Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.
Sometimes value is a hard thing to measure, but in our book, it simply means the most bang for your buck. The Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II fits that description with a lot of high-end features, tremendous versatility, and powerful hardware at a mid-range price.
What makes the Powershot G7 X Mark II stand out most is its one-inch 20.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, which ensures that both light and dark parts of an image are captured in high quality and you can get amazing low-light photos. Another standout feature is the camera’s multi-angle three-inch touch LCD screen that makes it easy to shoot at any angle you can dream.
On top of this, the model has a 24–100mm optical zoom lens, intelligent image stabilization, in-camera RAW conversion, easy photo sharing via Wi-FI and NFC, the ability to capture 1080p HD video and high-speed continuous shooting up to eight frames per second.
Some folks want the power and versatility of a DSLR or mirrorless camera but are intimidated by all the controls. Crossover point-and-shoots — devices that offer a bit more versatility than your average compact camera — are designed to meet this demand.
Like our top pick, the COOLPIX B700, the Canon PowerShot SX620 is designed for people who want the best of both worlds. With the 20.2-megapixel high-sensitivity CMOS sensor, you’re likely to capture some stunning, high-resolution images that most smartphones simply can’t compete with. Add in the DIGIC 4+ Image Processor and you see why, when it comes to point-and-shoot sensors, the SX620 is one of the best around.
The camera also features a 25x optical zoom, Full HD (1080p) video recording, intelligent image stabilization, and, of course, Wi-Fi, and NFC connectivity. You can also engage the remote shooting function to use your smartphone as a control.
Design is always a subjective category, but we love the PowerShot ELPH 190 for its compact form factor that doesn’t disappoint when it comes to quality. It comes in blue, red and black and weighs just under five ounces, making it easy to slip into your pocket. It features a 20.2-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor, plus a DIGIC 4+ Image Processor, which together deliver top-notch image quality. It also captures HD video in 1080p HD and has a 12x optical zoom, as well as an optical image stabilizer.
It has a limited ISO setting limit of 3200, which means it lacks performance in low light settings, but its beautiful three-inch, 461,000-pixel LCD screen might distract you from this fact.
If you’re looking for something a little less intimidating than our top pick, but you still want some serious zoom power, the SX740 is certainly worth looking into. It features a 40x optical zoom and an impressive 20.3-megapixel high-sensitivity CMOS sensor, 4K video and time-lapse recording, Optical Image Stabilization, and a Zoom Framing Assist function.
With Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, you can connect your camera to your smartphone to remotely control the camera. The camera can also automatically transfer your photos to your mobile device or your desktop for instantaneous sharing. And there’s a huge variety of shooting modes for novice shooters. It’s a well-rounded device with a lot of features, but not too many for any beginner to handle.
Point-and-shoot cameras tend to get a bad rap, if only because of the increasingly competitive cameras found in smartphones. The Nikon COOLPIX B700 is an attempt to assert the power, performance, and versatility of the point-and-shoot space.
It features a 20.2 MP CMOS sensor ideal for low-light conditions, Full 4K video recording, target-finding autofocus (AF), and full manual exposure. Why would you want full manual exposure? Because you know enough about photography to take your game to the next level and begin setting the ISO, shutter and aperture settings yourself—something you can’t do on a smartphone.
The B700 also has a stunning 60x zoom through the solid NIKKOR lens. It’s an all-around impressive shooter for the point-and-shoot space, one that offers a lot more than the thing in your pocket.
If you like to have the newest gadgets, you’ll want to spring for the Canon PowerShot SX730. Released in June 2017, this pocket-friendly camera is built for travelers on the go. It packs a sizeable 20.3-megapixel CMOS sensor into its petite 4.3- x 1.6- x 2.5-inch body. Where it really impresses, though, is with its zoom: you get a 40x optical zoom lens, plus Canon’s 80x ZoomPlus digital zoom technology. It can also capture 1080p Full HD with a maximum 60p frame rate.
With an ISO range of 80 to 1600, it captures decent low-light images considering its small form factor. You’ve also got built-in image stabilization, built-in flash, built-in Wi-Fi2 technology, face detection technology and a three-inch LCD screen that flips up. A touch screen would have been nice, but we won’t get too greedy now.
Our writers spent 230 hours researching and testing some of the best WiFi cameras available. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.
Zoom - There are two types of zoom you’ll see touted by manufacturers — optical zoom and digital zoom — although they certainly aren’t equal. Optical zoom measures the increase in the lens’s focal length, while digital zoom adjusts the image in the camera itself, essentially cropping the image. Optical zoom is the more meaningful spec, and most high-end cameras will offer at least 40x optical zoom.
Picture quality - For optimal picture quality, the image sensor is crucial. While it’s the most expensive part of the camera, it’s well worth the investment. In general, the larger the sensor, the pricier the camera. The most common types of sensors on the market today are CMOS and CCD. The former is cheaper to produce but also is more susceptible to image noise. For premium quality, aim for 16 to 20 megapixels.
Brand - When it comes to cameras, there are many brand loyalists. Photographers usually fall into the Nikon and Canon camps, largely depending on the compatibility of lenses. If you already have a handful of peripherals, buy a camera that’s compatible, but if you’re just starting out, don’t hesitate to consider other brands, too.