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The best point-and-shoot cameras in 2021

Best point-and-shoot cameras
(Image credit: Sonnie Hiles)

Owning one of the best point-and-shoot cameras is a great idea for creatives as they're self-contained, super-convenient and can be very cheap. A point-and-shoot camera is ready to be used right out of the box, with its lens attached to the front. It's a great alternative to a smartphone camera for ease of use – and much better quality.

Point-and-shoot cameras may have been cheap and flimsy once, and largely looked down on by the photographic community. But camera technology has come a long way since then, and these compact models now deliver an impressive imaging experience while remaining at a reasonable price. They may not give you the versatility of DSLRs or mirrorless cameras but you do get something that's incredibly convenient.

There are lots of truly premium point-and-shoot camera available, but the entry-level markets haven't been forgotten – so don't worry if you're working with a tight budget. We've included models all across the spectrum here, and also added the best and freshest deals for each one, so you can be sure you're getting a bargain.

Want to know more about what the best point-and-shoot cameras entail? Jump straight to the what to consider when buying a point-and-shoot camera section for more advice. 

We've also got dedicated best camera and best camcorder guides, in case a point-and-shoot isn't quite what you're looking for. And once you've made your choice, don't forget to pick up one of the best memory cards to store all your images and videos.

The best point-and-shoot cameras available now

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Canon Powershot G5

(Image credit: Canon)
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Best point-and-shoot camera: Canon Powershot G5

Best point-and-shoot camera: Canon Powershot G5 (Image credit: Canon)
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Best point-and-shoot camera: Canon Powershot G5

(Image credit: Canon)
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Best point-and-shoot camera: Canon Powershot G5

(Image credit: Canon)

01. Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

One of the best point-and-shoots around, versatile and pocketable

Type: Compact | Sensor: 1in | Megapixels: 20MP | Lens: 24-105mm (equiv) f/1.8-2.8 | Screen: 3in tilting touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: EVF, 2,360,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting: 8fps with autofocus, 30fps RAW burst mode | Max video resolution: 4K | Level: Enthusiast

Excellent zoom lens
Fast and responsive
Relatively pricey
Battery life not great

A good point-and-shoot camera should be easy to use, versatile and pocketable. The Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II ticks all of these boxes and then some. Its 24-105mm lens gives the user a hugely generous zoom range to play with, while its 20MP 1-inch sensor produces images that look fantastic, particularly in RAW mode, which is handy because you can also burst-shoot in RAW mode at a hugely impressive 30fps.

There's also 4K video, a tilting touchscreen, and Canon even found room for an electronic viewfinder, for those who prefer to compose images the classic way. The only real disadvantage is that all this tech does weigh heavy on the battery, which is CIPA-rated for about 230 shots before needing a recharge, so packing a spare is advisable. Also, this is a slightly pricier model, so if you're on a budget but want something like this, we'd recommend taking a look at the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II, included below at #4. Overall, this is the point-and-shoot camera that best hits the sweet spot between functionality and price.

Best point-and-shoot cameras: Nikon P950

(Image credit: Nikon)

02. Nikon P950

A ‘point-and-shoot’ camera that goes further in terms of lens reach and specification than most

Type: Superzoom compact | Sensor: 1/2.3-inch CMOS | Megapixels: 16MP | Lens: 24-2000mm (35mm equivalent) f/2.8 to f/6.5 | Screen: 3.2-inch, 921K dots | Viewfinder: 0.39-inch EVF (2359K dots) | Continuous shooting speed: Not specified | Video: 4K | Level: Intermediate

Catch-all lens
Time-lapse movie option
Bulky
Expensive

We may be stretching the definition of point-and-shoot camera here as, although you can do just that with this large lens incorporating Nikon P950, it would be remiss to over-simplify this bridge camera-like device aimed at intermediate users. Let’s just call it a compact all-in-one, which may well be the only camera you’ll need thanks to a whopping 83x optical zoom with dual optical vibration reduction built into a focal length equivalent to 24-2000mm in 35mm film terms. 

As well as a respectable f/2.8 maximum aperture, the camera boasts the ability to shoot 4K video, plus supports the capture of Raw files, making it an option for the enthusiast who wants a big lens back up camera, as much as the family user looking to tick all boxes. See more Nikons in our guide to the best Nikon camera.

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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Canon PowerShot G9

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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Canon PowerShot G9

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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Canon PowerShot G9

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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Canon PowerShot G9

(Image credit: Canon)

03. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

A fantastic do-it-all compact that's available for a terrific price

Type: Compact | Sensor: 1in | Megapixels: 20MP | Lens: 28-84mm (equiv) f/2-4.9 | Screen: 3in fixed touchscreen, 1.04million dots | Viewfinder: No | Maximum continuous shooting: 8.1fps | Max video resolution: Full HD | Level: Enthusiast

Punchy colours
Available at a great price
No viewfinder
Lens a little soft

The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II represents a fantastic balance between value and functionality. It costs a little more than your bargain-bin point-and-shoot, but you get so much more for your money, with a sensor capable of producing both beautiful punchy JPEGS and highly adjustable RAW files. It's even possible to convert the RAW files in-camera.

There are plenty more features on this camera that should satisfy any prospective point-and-shoot buyer: it shoots great-looking Full HD video (not 4K, but you probably don't need it), and boasts an intuitive touchscreen interface that makes it a pleasure to use. Being a couple of years old means the G9 X Mark II can be picked up for a great price, and in terms of sheer value for money, it's one of the best point-and-shoot cameras around right now.

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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Fujifilm X100V

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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Fujifilm X100V

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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Fujifilm X100V

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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Fujifilm X100V

(Image credit: Fujifilm)

04. Fujifilm X100V

One of the most intuitive, stylish, tactile compacts around

Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 26.1MP | Lens: 35mm (equiv) f/2 | Monitor: 3in fixed, 1,620,000 dots | Viewfinder: Hybrid optical/EVF, 3,690,000 dots | Max burst speed: 11fps (mechanical shutter) / 20fps (electronic shutter) | Max video resolution: 4K | Level: Enthusiast/professional

Makes photography fun
Absolutely sublime image quality
No zoom lens
Pricey

There are more than a few photographers who count the Fujifilm X100 series as the cameras that made them fall in love with photography again, and the Fujifilm X100V is among them. The combination of a high-quality X-Trans sensor, a 35mm equivalent prime lens, dial-based controls and a stylish retro-inspired design has been winning over hearts and minds for a decades, and the X100V is the fifth in this successful series. Not having a zoom may intimidate some photographers, but as the old adage goes, sometimes the best way to zoom in is to move your feet. Images shot on the X100V look utterly gorgeous straight out of camera, with the vibrant colours Fujifilm is known for, and the X100V is the first in the family to shoot 4K video. It's not cheap, but given that it's one of the best point-and-shoots ever made, that's to be expected.

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Best point and shoot cameras: Fujifilm XF10

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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Fujifilm XF10

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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Fujifilm XF10

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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Fujifilm XF10

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05. Fujifilm XF10

Excellent image quality in a tiny body, this is Fujifilm on a budget

Type: Compact | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens: 28mm (equivalent) f/2.8 | Monitor:: 3in touchscreen, 1.04m dots | Viewfinder: No | Continuous shooting speed: 6fps | Video: 4K 15p | Level: Beginnerintermediate

Images look excellent
Portable and affordable
No viewfinder
Disappointing 4K
Not widely available in the US

Many of the cheaper point-and-shoot cameras compromise by using smaller imaging sensors, while those with larger sensors tend to be significantly more balance. The Fujifilm XF10 represents an attempt to strike a balance between the two, stuffing an APS-C sensor into a compact body that's also available for an impressively low price.

It's basically the cheaper counterpart to the firm's well-regarded X100 series (which you'll meet a little further down this list). So while it doesn't have some of the flashier features, it does reliably produce punchy and vivid images straight out of camera. You're working with a prime lens not a zoom, so you'll have to move your feet, but the trade-off is images that are crisp and sharp. The XF10 is available in a few stylish colours too, including the gold trim demoed above. Having a touchscreen is handy as well. One tip though: don't expect much of the 4K video. At a frame rate of 15p it leaves something to be desired. 

Note: Unfortunately this model is hard to find in the US, but it does sometimes pop up so be sure to check.

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Best point and shoot camera: Fujifilm FinePix XP140

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Fujifilm FinePix XP140

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Fujifilm FinePix XP140

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Fujifilm FinePix XP140

(Image credit: Fujifilm)

06. Fujifilm FinePix XP140

An eminently affordable waterproof compact, with an optical zoom built in

Sensor: 1in type | Megapixels: 16.4MP | Lens: 28-140mm (equiv) f/3.9-4.9 | Monitor: 3in fixed LCD screen, 920k dots | Viewfinder: No | Continuous shooting speed: 10fps | Video: 4K | Level: Beginner

Waterproof and tough
Great value
Poor 4K video
Not ergonomically designed

The Fujifilm FinePix XP140 is one of the best-value waterproof point-and-shoot cameras around. It's not as sophisticated as, say, the Olympus Tough TG-6 (which you'll meet a little further down this list), but in terms of what you get for your money, it's tough to beat. Waterproof down to 25m, it produces images with punchy colours, making it a great choice for a beachside holiday.

It's tough and brightly coloured, and a 5x optical zoom adds a fair amount of shooting versatility. The XP140 even shoots 4K video, although in all honesty you probably won't be using this function much since it caps out at a 15p frame and doesn't look all that great. Still, for general-purpose shooting above and below the water, this represents a fantastic buy.

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200

(Image credit: Panasonic)

07. Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200

A tiny but capable superzoom compact, packed full of tech

Type: Superzoom compact | Sensor: 1in | Megapixels: 20.1MP | Lens: 24-360mm (equiv) f/3.3-6.4 | Screen: 3in fixed touchscreen LCD, 1.24million dots | Viewfinder: EVF, 2.33million dots | Max burst speed: 30fps | Video: 4K | Level: Intermediate

Large sensor for a compact
Hugely improved zoom
LCD fixed in position
Disappointing max aperture

Panasonic's TZ range of travel-friendly superzoom cameras has long been hugely popular with roaming photographers, and the Lumix TZ200 represents a great stride forward in terms of its zoom capability. Somehow, Panasonic has managed to fit a 24-360mm equivalent onto this tiny body, giving the user a great deal of reach and making for a fantastically versatile imaging machine that can still fit in your pocket. For an uncomplicated camera that does as much as possible, the Lumix TZ200 is a really solid choice, whether you want to take simple reference photos for a creative project or high-quality prints that you'll incorporate into your work: it's ideal for both. That 1-inch sensor gives it real flexibility in all sorts of lighting conditions.

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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Lecia Q2

(Image credit: Leica)
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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Lecia Q2

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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Lecia Q2

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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Lecia Q2

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08. Leica Q2

You know who deserves some opulence? You. You do.

Sensor: Full frame | Megapixels: 47.3MP | Lens: 28mm f/1.7 | Monitor: 3in fixed touchscreen, 1.04million dots | Viewfinder: EVF | Continuous shooting speed: 20fps | Video: 4K | Level: Expert

Sublime lens
Manual focus feels amazing
Very expensive
Limited video options

This may be a guide to point-and-shoot cameras, but that doesn't mean we can't get a little fancy from time to time. The Leica Q2 is no budget model; it's a high-end compact camera for those who demand the ultimate shooting experience, and it delivers that in spades. Pairing a full-frame sensor that has 47.3MP of resolution to play with, and a stabilised 28mm f/1.7 lens, the Leica Q2 is just superb to handle. If you ever meet anyone who's actually used one, get ready to be subjected to hours of gushing about how great the focusing feels, how wonderful the RAW performance is, what a fantastic experience using this camera can be. It's not cheap, obviously. It's video chops aren't up to much (though it's unlikely anyone buying it cares). If you have the cash and desire for this camera, you're probably halfway to ordering it already. Enjoy.

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Olympus Tough TG-6

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Olympus Tough TG-6

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Olympus Tough TG-6

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Olympus Tough TG-6

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Olympus Tough TG-6

(Image credit: Olympus)

09. Olympus Tough TG-6

The best waterproof compact camera on the market right now

Type: Tough compact | Sensor: 1/2.3inch | Megapixels: 12MP | Lens: 25-100mm f/2 | Screen: 3in fixed LCD, 1.28million dots | Viewfinder: EVF, 1.04million dots | Max burst speed: 20fps | Max video resolution: 4K 30p | Level: Beginner/enthusiast

Can take a beating
Useful optical zoom range
Small sensor
Minor upgrade over predecessor

If you’re the adventurous type who needs a point-and-shoot camera that can take some punishment, meet the Olympus Tough TG-6. Waterproof to 15m, shockproof to 2.1m, crushproof up to 100kgf and freezeproof down to -10°C, this is a camera that will take everything you throw at it and more. The best part is however that it also produces terrific images and 4K video thanks to its backlit 12MP CMOS sensor, and its 25-100mm equivalent f/2 lens gives you real shooting versatility – far more than you’d get from something like a GoPro.

The Tough TG-6 boasts an interesting Variable Macro System, which specialises in allowing you to shoot close-ups at distances between 30cm and 1cm, while built in Wi-Fi lets you use the OI.Share system to instantly send images to your smart device or take remote control of the camera. There are also some useful underwater modes to help you get the most out of the TG-6’s sub-aquatic capabilities, as well as GPS, Compass and Location functions so that you can always get accurate location data for your images. The small sensor is a bit of a shame as it means the camera struggles in low light, and it’s also worth noting that this is a fairly minor upgrade over the previous TG-5, so if budget is an issue you might want to try that camera instead. However, as a point-and-shoot camera for adventurous stills and videos, this is unrivalled.

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Panasonic LX100 II

(Image credit: Panasonic)
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Best point-and-shoot camera: Panasonic LX100 II

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Panasonic LX100 II

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10. Panasonic LX100 II

A stylish and capable compact with a clever multi-aspect sensor

Type: Compact | Sensor: Four Thirds | Megapixels: 17MP | Lens: 24-75mm (equiv.) f/1.7-2.8 | Screen: 3in touchscreen, 1,240,000 dots | Viewfinder: EVF, 2,760,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed: 11fps | Video: 4K | Level: Enthusiast

Excellent large sensor
Switchable aspect ratios
Fixed LCD screen
No built-in flash

Photographers had been waiting a long time for a follow-up to Panasonic's original LX100, released in 2014. Happily, when 2018 rolled around, the LX100 II did not disappoint. Though it's built around a 21MP Four Thirds sensor, the LX100 II cannily only uses a portion of this for image-taking (to a maximum of 17MP) allowing for easy switching of image aspect ratios on the fly – a task handily accomplished via the aspect dial on the lens. Elsewhere, you've got a solid metal body with tactile dial-led controls, a super-sharp optic on the front with a wide maximum aperture of f/1.7, and a huge selection of Panasonic's 4K video modes to play with. A magnificent camera four years in the making – and one that was every bit worth the wait!

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Ricoh GR III

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Best point-and-shoot camera: Ricoh GR III

(Image credit: Ricoh)

11. Ricoh GR III

Pocketable power, producing fantastically sharp images

Type: Compact | Sensor: APS-C CMOS | Megapixels: 24.24MP | Lens: 28mm (equiv) f/2.8 | Screen: 3in touchscreen LCD, 1,040k dots | Viewfinder: No (available separately) | Max continuous shooting speed: Not specified | Video: Full HD | Level: Enthusiast

Fantastic, low-noise images
RAW support and in-camera processing
No 4K video
Poor battery life

The Ricoh GR III is a fantastic fixed-focal-length APS-C compact to rival the Fujifilm X100F, this impressive comeback kid from Ricoh was long-awaited by photographers of all disciplines. Its APS-C sensor delivers fantastic, crisp results whether shooting 24MP images or Full HD video, while the redesigned 28mm lens produces images that are sharp from corner to corner.

Any gripes? Well the battery life isn't the best, lasting only around 150 shots per charge, which really isn't enough for a camera released in 2019. The lack of 4K video is also a shame, so if this is something that bothers you then best look elsewhere. Ultimately though, as a pocketable prospect for stills shooters, the Ricoh GR III excels in all other categories.

Best point-and-shoot-cameras

What to consider when buying point-and-shoot cameras

Point-and-shoot cameras offer all sorts of different features depending on your needs. Planning to shoot in low light? Then there are full-frame point-and-shoots with generously sized sensors. Or, if you want plenty of scope for distant subjects, you can pick up one of the many point-and-shoot superzooms on the market. There are also plenty of models with extensive waterproofing and tough casing, for those who live life on the adventurous side.

Of course, the best point-and-shoot camera for you depends on your expectations and your budget. As a general rule, cameras with 1in, APS-C and full-frame sensors offer many advantages over those with smaller sensors, most notably in low light. Prime lenses can also offer great advantages over zooms in terms of image quality.

There are plenty of other factors to consider. You should also look out for cameras with tilting LCD screens if you want to get creative, as well as viewfinders if you tend to shoot outdoors with any frequency. A long zoom is great for holidays and travelling. However, this feature tends to be accompanied by a narrower maximum aperture range – which can make the camera harder to use in low light and when looking to create shallow depth of field.

You might want to give your Instagram a little love, take photos that show your projects in a flattering light, or just have a camera that never leaves your side when travelling. In each of these cases, a point-and-shoot camera can work wonders. The best part is that all the major manufacturers are in on the action, so there are loads to choose from. 

This can make it tricky to know what to prioritise. Some users might want the longest zoom they can get for shooting distant subjects, while others might want to squeeze as much image quality as possible out of this small package, in which case a larger sensor is the way to go.

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