The Quick list ↴
1. Overall: Fujifilm X100V?
2. Budget: PowerShot SX740 HS
3. Premium: Sony RX100 Mark VII
4. Travel: Panasonic Lumix ZS200
5. Waterproof: Olympus Tough TG6
6. Pocket: PowerShot G5 X II
7. Instant: Instax Mini Evo
8. Zoom: Nikon P950
9. Value: Lumix FZ1000 II
10. Sharp: Ricoh GR III
The best point-and-shoot cameras are perfect for those who just want to get out and take photos without worrying about camera settings, and desire a blend of simplicity and quality in their photography kit. Unlike DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, the fixed lens on a point-and-shoot camera is the only one you're getting – but they also offer significant image quality and handling upgrades compared with using a smartphone.
The term "point-and-shoot" is a bit more flexible these days, and these cameras are generally versatile and adept for those who want to take pictures and not sweat the details too much. They should be equipped with everything you need to simply take photos. But that's not to say they lack power, as some of these cameras have 4K capabilities and high-resolution sensors yet still retain the nature of point-and-shoot.
For a broader set of options, we also have a guide to the best cameras overall, as well as the best cameras for beginners, plus the best disposable cameras to take away on vacation. There's also the best cameras for kids to consider as well as the best memory cards, which you’ll need once you’ve picked your camera.
The quick list
Don't have much time? Here are our top 3 choices for the best point-and-shoot cameras on the market right now, but we recommend you see our full list to make a truly informed choice.
This is our pick of the best point-and-shoot camera overall, it's not the cheapest - but the image quality is sublime and it makes photography fun again. 5 stars from us.
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This is the best budget point-and-shoot camera with a price tag of just $449/£379 approximately. It shoots 4K and has a great 40x optical zoom, but no viewfinder.
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The best point-and-shoot cameras
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The best Point-and-shoot camera overall
This is the premium choice for point-and-shoot cameras, and what a choice it is. The Fujifilm X100V, as we said plainly in our review, is arguably a perfect camera in the sense that it achieves precisely what it's setting out to do. The combination of an APS-C sensor and a fixed 35mm equivalent lens has gone through five iterations essentially unchanged since the original X100 debuted in 2010, and it has remained enduringly popular. This is a fantastic camera for street photography and everyday shooting.
Another strength of Fujifilm X cameras, as we mentioned in our review, is how great the images look straight out of camera. If you aren't someone who likes spending a lot of time editing images in software, then the vivid, crisp JPEGs of a Fujifilm X-Trans sensor may well appeal to you.
True, it doesn't have a zoom lens, but this is something you know going in – if you want a zoom lens, don't buy this camera. The trade-off of sharpness of the prime lens is well worth it in our view. So really, the only major strike against the X100V is its price, which is considerable, costing more than any other camera on this list. In our view, this camera's premium design and superb engineering make it more than worth the price tag, if you can afford it.
Read more details in our full Fujifilm X100V review.
The best budget Point-and-shoot camera
The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is a really impressive superzoom camera – even though it’s slim and compact, it offers a whopping zoom range of 24-960mm equivalent. That’s some serious zooming power, and once that smartphones can’t hope to get anywhere near.
It’s got loads of great photography features too, like its ability to burst-shoot at 6fps, which is great for capturing the kind of wildlife that the zoom lens will allow you to catch a glimpse of. Having a flip-out screen is handy too, especially for video, which on the SX740 HS is stabilised for smoother shots. Autofocus is snappy and responsive.
The only real downside is the sensor, which is a small 1/2.3-inch type. This hurts the image quality and the dynamic range of the camera, and this paired with the f/3.3 maximum aperture means you’ll definitely struggle in low light. If night shots are a big part of your repertoire, look elsewhere – otherwise, this is a highly capable compact camera and a terrific point-and-shoot.
The best premium Point-and-shoot camera
This compact point-and-shoot camera is premium for a reason, and has a host of amazing features that make it one of the best cameras on the market right now. It takes a few elements of the latest Sony Alpha Mirrorless cameras, such as the electronic viewfinder and lightweight design, and paired this with a digital CMOS sensor to deliver amazing image quality and 4K resolution video capture.
One of the best things about this camera, as noticed by music photographers on TikTok, is that it's pretty inconspicuous and can be taken into most places that a DSLR or mirrorless camera cannot. The flashy telephoto lenses you get on interchangeable lens cameras will draw attention to you more often than not, but this compact Sony RX 100 Mark VII doesn't look like a very powerful professional camera and so will be given the green light by security more often than not.
Aside from this, it has fast hybrid AF (autofocus), enhanced image stabilisation for movie recording, an external microphone jack making it great for vlogging, super slow motion capabilities, and a one-push access viewfinder that can pop pout and be tucked away as you please. You can get this camera for a steal price secondhand, but new it can be too expensive for most to consider.
The best Point-and-shoot camera for travel
In our full review of the Panasonic Lumix ZS200 (also known as the TZ200 outside of the US), we praised it as one of the smartest buys you can make if you're looking for a good travel zoom camera. This, for our money, makes it the best choice of point-and-shoot camera, as it delivers supreme flexibility and excellent image quality, all in a body that's small enough to carry anywhere with you.
With a 1-inch sensor, the Lumix TZ200 delivers excellent images, with plenty of detail and impressive dynamic range. Meanwhile, the 24-360mm equivalent lens is impressively sharp throughout its zoom range – though be aware that at the full telephoto extension, its maximum aperture drops down to f/6.4, which restricts you a little in low light. A bigger aperture would have necessitated a bigger camera, so we understand why Panasonic made the trade-off, but all the same, it's something to be aware of.
The Lumix TZ200 is great for video too, as we noted in our review. The 4K quality is good across the board, as is standard for Panasonic cameras, and it also offers a number of interesting shooting modes. There's 4K Photo, which extracts a high-quality still from 4K footage, effectively giving you a 30fps burst mode. And then there's the more out-there stuff like Post Focus, which quickly fires a series of shots across an image's focal plane, allowing you to choose the focusing point after you've captured the shot.
See our full Panasonic Lumix ZS200 review for more details.
The best waterproof Point-and-shoot camera
The Olympus Tough TG-6 is more than just a point-and-shoot. It's a type of camera known as a "tough compact", meaning it's waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof – and more. It's designed to keep on kicking in pretty much any shooting scenario, much like a GoPro, but with more of a traditionally camera-shaped design.
In our full review, we found that the TG-6 is still pretty much the best tough compact you can buy. Its optical zoom lens puts it ahead of many other similarly specced cameras – and is also something GoPros don't have – with a 25-100mm equivalent range that is excellent for a wide range of subjects and perspectives. We also appreciated the fact that it goes to a generous maximum aperture of f/2, which opens up options in low light. Great if you plan to keep shooting well into the evening.
The thing to be aware of – and this is a consistent issue across tough compacts and action cameras – is that the TG-6 uses a relatively small sensor. Its 1/2.3-inch type sensor is about the same size as you get in most smartphones, so you're not going to see a huge upgrade in image quality and dynamic range compared to your phone.
See our in-depth Olympus Tough TG-6 review where we get into more detail.
The best pocket-sized Point-and-shoot camera
A good point-and-shoot camera should be easy to use, versatile, and, ideally, you should be able to put it in a pocket. The Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II ticks all of those boxes and more. It has a 24-105mm lens, which gives us a very generous zoom range to play with, while its 20MP one -inch sensor produces images that look fantastic, particularly in RAW mode. You can also burst-shoot in RAW mode at a mighty impressive 30fps.
This camera also boasts 4K video, a tilting touchscreen, and even finds room for an electronic viewfinder for those who prefer to compose images the classic way. The only disadvantage is that all this tech drags a little on the battery, which is CIPA-rated for about 230 shots before a recharge. We'd recommend packing a spare.
The best Instant Point-and-shoot camera
The Instax Mini Evo is the ultimate hybrid digital instant camera (and point-and-shoot option) that can produce amazing printed analogue photos with the ability to add creative effects in-camera. You get a digital and physical copy of your image, and you can choose whether or not you want the image printed after you shoot it to save wasting expensive film.
The best part of using this Instant camera is that it can also print photos directly from your smartphone image gallery anytime you want, whether or not they were captured using your camera, so essentially it also doubles as a portable smartphone printer too. It has a 3-inch LCD screen on the back to browse through your images, and has the bare minimum in terms of settings to keep it simple.
The brown retro variant of the Mini Evo is new, released only a few months ago, and has a great aesthetic feel to it. See our full review of the Instax Mini Evo.
The best Point-and-shoot zoom camera
We may be stretching the definition of a point-and-shoot camera a little here, but stretching is the name of the game with the Nikon P950. Its enormous lens puts your zoom potential further than pretty much any other camera out there, on a par in focal length terms with the kind of super-telephotos that run up four-figure price tags. But it would be remiss to over-simplify this bridge camera, which is aimed at intermediate users.
A compact all-in-one, we could call it, and it may be the only camera you’ll need thanks to the aforementioned huge 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 can also shoot 4K video, and it supports the capture of Raw files, which makes it a solid option for enthusiasts who are after a big lens backup camera as well as those looking for a family camera that ticks all the boxes. You can see more Nikons in our guide to the best Nikon camera.
The best value Point-and-shoot camera
Like the Nikon P950, the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 II boasts a powerful zoom. However, it's arguably a much more sensible camera, more concerned with overall quality and usefulness than it is grabbing headlines for "biggest zoom EVER". The capable zoom lens covers an equivalent range of 16mm to 400mm, which is a lot by any standards, and it's a high-quality Leica DC Vario-Elmarit optic. It's not as sharp as something you'd find on a real high-end compact camera like the Sony RX10 IV, but that's why this camera costs significantly less.
With a 1-inch sensor, the Lumix FZ1000 II outstrips the P950 in terms of image quality, and its handling is excellent too. Having a vari-angle LCD makes you super-versatile, especially for video, and the high-quality electronic viewfinder is a welcome addition. We could gripe at the lack of weather-sealing, which is an unfortunate omission on a camera that's otherwise so well-suited to outdoor exploring. A bit of dust- and splash protection really wouldn't have gone amiss. But otherwise, this is a highly capable point-and-shoot that offers tremendous value for money.
The best sharp Point-and-shoot camera
The Ricoh GR III represented an impressive comeback from Ricoh, and it was highly anticipated by photographers of all disciplines. It's a brilliant fixed-focal-length APS-C compact that can rival arguably the leader of this type of compact, the Fujifilm X100V which was featured further up our list. The APS-C sensor delivers fantastically crisp results whether shooting 24MP images or Full HD video, and the redesigned 28mm lens produces images that are sharp from corner to corner.
The battery life could be better, lasting only around 150 shots per charge – not really enough for a camera that was only released in 2019. The lack of 4K video is also a shame, and you should look elsewhere if that's important for what you need. But as pocketable compact for still shooters, the Ricoh GR III excels in all other categories.
Update: If you like the sound of the Ricoh GR III but feel a 28mm equivalent lens is a little wide, then Ricoh has announced a companion camera in the form of the Ricoh GR IIIx. It's essentially the same deal on the inside, with the crucial difference that it has a 40mm equivalent lens rather than a 28mm. This narrower perspective is good for a more naturalistic feel, ideal if you're looking to shoot street or documentary images.
What is a point-and-shoot camera?
'Point-and-shoot' is not an official camera designation the way terms like 'DSLR' or 'mirrorless' are. With that said, the term does have a generally accepted meaning in the photographic community: it's a camera with a fixed-lens that's easy to pick up and use. A fixed-lens camera is also known as a compact; all point-and-shoots are compacts, but not all compacts are point-and-shoots, as some are quite advanced (not to mention expensive) and designed for serious photographers.
Which point-and-shoot camera has the best zoom?
If you're looking for zoom length and nothing else, then we'd recommend taking a look at superzoom compacts like the Nikon P950. These cameras have incredible optical zoom lenses, which pair with digital zoom technology to give you unbelievable optical reach. This makes them pretty bulky, but their power to close distance is unmatched at their price point.
Which point-and-shoot camera is best in low light?
While point-and-shoots aren't known for their low-light qualities, some careful selection can lead you to a great camera. The things you want to look out for are a decent sized sensor (ideally APS-C, though Four Thirds will do), good high-ISO performance, and a large maximum aperture on the lens – remember, you won't be able to change it. Based on these criteria, from the list above we'd recommend looking at the Panasonic LX100 II, which has a real advantage in the form of its f/1.7 lens, as well as a decent-size sensor. See our guide to the best low-light cameras for more.
Why should you buy a point-and-shoot camera?
The two main advantages of point-and-shoot cameras are convenience and portability. Point-and-shoots are easy to use, they tend to be light, and they have everything you need to start taking pictures from the moment you open the box. They also tend to be much more affordable than buying the equivalent camera and lens combination would be in a DSLR or mirrorless system.
So why doesn't everyone use point-and-shoots? Well, having a fixed lens does hamper your versatility; you'll never be able to exceed the stated focal range in either direction, meaning you can't go zoom further in or out than the camera was meant to. They also tend to have smaller sensors than interchangeable-lens cameras, which can have an effect on the dynamic range of images, and the camera's low-light performance.
If you need a decent, affordable camera with some nifty features, and not the best technology in class, then a point-and-shoot is the way to go.