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The best point-and-shoot cameras in 2021

best point-and-shoot cameras
(Image credit: Canon)

The best point-and-shoot cameras can be used right out of the box. Self-contained with the lens built-in, they're super-convenient and can be very cheap. That makes them a great alternative to a smartphone camera for ease of use – and often much better quality.

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

There's a huge number of premium point-and-shoot cameras available, but the entry-level markets haven't been forgotten, so don't worry if you're on a tight budget. We've included models from across the spectrum and added the best deals for each, so you can be sure you get a good price.

Jump straight to the section on what to consider when buying a point-and-shoot camera for advice about points to look out for when choosing the best point-and-shoot cameras. We've also got a guide to the best camera and best camcorder if point-and-shoot isn't what you're looking for. Once you've made your choice, don't forget to pick up one of the best memory cards to use in your device.

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

Versatile and pocket-size, this is one of the best point-and-shoots around

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, 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 1-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. This is also a slightly pricier model from Canon. If you're on a budget but want something along these lines, we'd recommend taking a look at the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II at #3 below. But, all in all, this is the point-and-shoot camera that hits the best spot between functionality and price.

Best point-and-shoot cameras: Nikon P950

(Image credit: Nikon)

02. Nikon P950

A ‘point-and-shoot’ camera with superior specs and lens reach

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 a point-and-shoot camera a little here. You certainly can do that with the large lens Nikon P950, but it would be remiss to over-simplify this bridge camera-like device, 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 its 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.

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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 great do-it-all compact available at 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 offers a fantastic balance between value and functionality. It costs a little more than your bargain-bin point-and-shoot, but you get a whole lot more for your money, with a sensor capable of producing both punchy JPEGS and highly adjustable RAW files. It's even possible to convert RAW files in-camera.

There are enough features on this Canon camera to satisfy any prospective point-and-shoot buyer. It shoots excellent Full HD video (it's not 4K, but you probably don't need that), and it has an intuitive touchscreen interface that's a joy to use. Since this camera's been around for a few years now, you can pick it up for a great price, making it one of the best point-and-shoot cameras around when it comes to value for money.

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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

Many photographers say the Fujifilm X100 series made them fall in love with photography again, and the Fujifilm X100V is one of those. This is the fifth camera in a series that's been winning people over for decades with its combination of a high-quality X-Trans sensor, a 35mm equivalent prime lens, dial-based controls and a stylish retro-inspired design. 

Some photographers may be put off by the lack of zoom, but as the old adage goes, sometimes the best way to zoom in is to move your feet. Images look gorgeous straight out of the camera, with the vibrant colours Fujifilm is known for. The X100V is also the first in the series to shoot 4K video. This camera is by no means cheap, but that's to be expected given that it's one of the best point-and-shoots ever made.

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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

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05. Fujifilm FinePix XP140

An highly 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 (see #8 below), but it's tough to beat in terms of value for money. Waterproof to 25m, it produces images with punchy colours, making it a great choice for a beachside holiday.

It's tough and brightly coloured, and the 5x optical zoom offers a good deal of shooting versatility. The XP140 even shoots 4K video, although you're unlikely to use it 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)

06. Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200

A tiny but capable tech-packed superzoom compact

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 superzooms has been hugely popular with roaming photographers for a long time, and the Lumix TZ200 offers a leap forward in zoom capability. Panasonic has somehow managed to fit a 24-360mm equivalent onto a tiny body, giving this camera incredible reach. 

The 1-inch sensor gives it real flexibility in all sorts of lighting conditions, making for a camera that's brilliantly versatile but uncomplicated and can still fit in a pocket. Whether you want to take simple reference photos for a creative project or high-quality prints to incorporate into your work: this is a solid choice.

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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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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Lecia Q2

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07. Leica Q2

For photographers wanting to treat themselves.

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 the best point-and-shoot cameras, but that doesn't mean we can't throw in a little luxury. The Leica Q2 is no budget option; it's a high-end compact camera for those who want the ultimate shooting experience – something that it delivers in spades. It boasts a full-frame sensor with 47.3MP of resolution and a stabilised 28mm f/1.7 lens. The result is simply divine to handle. 

If you ever meet anyone who's used this camera, prepare to be subjected to hours of gushing about how great the focusing feels, how wonderful the RAW performance is and what a fantastic experience the camera offers. It's hugely expensive and the video isn't up to much (although it's unlikely that anyone buying this cares). If you have the cash and you want this camera, you're probably on your way 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

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08. Olympus Tough TG-6

The best waterproof compact camera

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 need a point-and-shoot camera that can take some punishment for more adventurous pursuits, the Olympus Tough TG-6 is probably the answer. It's waterproof to 15m, shockproof to 2.1m, crushproof up to 100kgf and freezeproof down to -10°C. Basically, it will take everything you throw at it and then some. Best of all, it produces fantastic images and 4K video thanks to its backlit 12MP CMOS sensor. The 25-100mm equivalent f/2 lens offers great shooting versatility – far more than something like a GoPro, for example.

The camera boasts an interesting Variable Macro System, which enables you to shoot close-ups at distances between 30cm and 1cm. There's also built in Wi-Fi, which allows you to use the OI.Share system to instantly send images to your smart device or to take remote control of the camera. The various underwater modes can be useful to get the most out of the TG-6’s sub-aquatic capabilities, while the GPS, Compass and Location functions mean you can always get accurate location data. The only gripe is that the sensor is on the small side, which means the camera can struggle in low light. It’s also worth noting that the TG-6 is really quite a minor upgrade over the older TG-5, so if you're on a budget you might want to consider that as an option. 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

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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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09. Panasonic LX100 II

A stylish 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

Released in 2018, the Panasonic Lumix LX100 II is the long-awaited follow-up to the original LX100. It offers 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. 

Built around a 21MP Four Thirds sensor, the camera cannily uses only a portion of this for image-taking (to a maximum of 17MP) allowing image aspect ratios to be switched easily on the fly – handily accomplished using the aspect dial on the lens. It also boasts a huge selection of 4K video modes to play with. Four years in the making, this is a camera that was 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

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10. Ricoh GR III

Pocket-sized power that produces 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 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 the Fujifilm X100F. 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.

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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Canon PowerShot SX740 HS

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Best point-and-shoot cameras: Canon PowerShot SX740 HS

(Image credit: Canon)

11. Canon PowerShot SX740

A compact travel camera with a fantastic zoom

Type: Compact | Sensor: 1/2.3-inch back illuminated | Megapixels: 20.3MP | Lens: 24-960mm f/3.3-6.9 (40x optical) | Monitor:: 3.0-inch, 922,000 dots | Viewfinder: No | Continuous shooting speed: 6fps | Video: 4K UHD | Level: Beginner - intermediate

Portable and compact
Great zoom
No viewfinder

The huge optical zoom is the main selling point of the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS. It crams a 40x optical zoom with 24-960mm coverage onto an impressively compact, solid body. It also boasts 3.5-stop intelligent stabilization, making the telephoto end more useable, although image quality suffers a little understandably.

The camera has a 1/2.3-inch sensor, so expect similar image quality to a smartphone there, though the camera is more versatile than most, including in its zoom range and the 10fps continuous shooting mode. It also offers decent 4K video and a snappy autofocus. A viewfinder would be nice for shooting in bright light, but the oversight can be forgiven at this price point. 

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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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12. Fujifilm XF10

Excellent 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: Beginner - intermediate

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

Many of the cheaper point-and-shoot cameras use smaller imaging sensors, but larger sensors tend to give significantly more balance. The Fujifilm XF10 attempts to strike a balance, fitting an APS-C sensor into a compact body for an impressively low price. It's basically the cheaper counterpart to the company's acclaimed X100 series (see above). It doesn't have some of the flashier features, but it does reliably produce punchy and vivid images straight out of the camera.  

Again, you'll be working with a prime lens rather than a zoom, so you'll need to move your feet, but the trade-off comes in the form of crisp, sharp images. The XF10 is available in a few stylish colours too, including the gold trim pictured above. It also has a handy touchscreen. Just don't expect too much of the 4K video – at a frame rate of 15p it leaves something to be desired. 

Note that this model is hard to find in the US, but it does sometimes pop up.

What to consider when buying point-and-shoot cameras

Point-and-shoot cameras offer different features for different needs. If you're planning to shoot in low light, there are full-frame point-and-shoots with generously sized sensors. If you want plenty of scope for distant subjects, you can pick up one of the many point-and-shoot superzooms. There are also plenty of models with waterproofing and tough casing for those who want a camera for more adventurous pursuits.

You might want a camera for Instagram, for taking photos to showcase professional projects, or just for travel. In each case, a point-and-shoot camera can work wonders, but 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.

The best point-and-shoot camera for you will also depend 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 when it comes to shooting in low light. Prime lenses can also offer great advantages over zooms in terms of image quality.

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. Note that a long zoom is great for holidays and travelling, but this 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 a shallow depth of field.

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