The best point-and-shoot cameras are ideal for creatives because they offer a great deal of shooting potential in a (generally) affordable package. Once, point-and-shoot cameras had a reputation for being cheap and nasty, but now they can and do represent some of the best value for money you can get in the world of photography. All the major manufacturers are in on the action, and a list of the best point-and-shoots like this has no shortage of contenders.
For this guide we've restricted ourselves to the twelve best point-and-shoot models, including a wide range of models to suit all budgets. We're confident that whatever your needs, we'll have featured a point-and-shoot camera to recommend you.
Not sure if this type of camera is the best choice? Jump to the what to consider when buying a point-and-shoot camera for more advice. We've got a dedicated best camera guide too, in case a point-and-shoot isn't quite what you're looking for. And don't forget to pick up one of the best memory cards once you've decided.
The best point-and-shoot cameras available now
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 pretty much the best point-and-shoot camera around right now.
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, 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.
Yes, most people would use their smartphone if all they wanted to do was occasionally point and shoot – but here’s a stripped-back stills ‘n’ video option that is smaller than most phones, while being pitched as the ultimate in outdoor activity cameras. Resembling a large paperclip with a lens attached – and apart from a shooting mode dial doubling as an on/off switch, that’s essentially it – the 13 megapixel, bright f/2.2 aperture ‘Ivy’ can indeed be clipped onto a belt or bag.
Recharged via a USB port, features include Full HD video of up to 60fps, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity plus waterproofing to a depth of two metres for up to 30 minutes, while it’s drop proof against a fall from a height of two metres. Displaying a sense of fun, the device comes in a choice of four ‘flavours’: Riptide (blue), Dragon Fruit (pink), Avocado or Stone. Fun and easy to use, this is a microSD compatible option for those who don’t want to risk their smartphone getting splashed or dirty and is about a third the cost of a dedicated action camera.
Sony has wisely chosen to keep all seven of its RX100 cameras in production and widely available since each one's respective launch, which means there’s a strong possibility one will suit your specific needs and budget.
While the company’s more recent models still have an asking price that sails close to their RRPs, the Mark IV continues to hit the sweet spot between features, performance, size and price.
This point-and-shoot camera is an ideal all-rounder for the more discerning user. On top of a 20.1MP 1in sensor and a ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 optic, the camera has a high-quality pop-up viewfinder, together with a tilting LCD screen that goes all the way around to face the front, and even 16fps burst shooting for critical captures. 4K video and HD recording to a staggering 960fps for slow-motion output are also on hand (making this our pick of the best point-and-shoot cameras for film, too) as is Wi-Fi and NFC for simple cable-free communication between the camera and smart device. It’s not the cheapest option out there, but you get a solid performer for your money, whatever you might be photographing.
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.
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.
Leica’s excellent M-series rangefinders are probably the last kind of camera that would make this list, but the firm’s Q (Typ 116) model is a different beast. It blends classic good looks with modern trappings, from autofocus and built-in Wi-Fi through to a 3in touchscreen and a superb 3.68million-dot electronic viewfinder. The 24MP full-frame sensor allows it to easily capture better images than most other compacts, although the fixed-focal length 28mm f/1.7 lens in front of it – while optically excellent – may prove limiting for those who may need a zoom. This is a no-compromise point-and-shoot camera that produces exquisite stills, but it’s asking price very much reflects this – definitely one for the purist. It's worth noting as well, however, that the Leica Q2 was recently announced, so we may see a (probably mild) price reduction for this model fairly soon.
Nikon's largest superzoom went from big to ridiculous with this update. The Nikon Coolpix P1000 boasts a lens with a whopping equivalent focal range of 24-3000mm. Yes, 3000mm. At that distance, you can expect to pick out details on the surface of the moon (as indeed many users have done), and you can monitor all this either with the high-resolution electronic viewfinder or the tilting LCD screen on the camera's rear (not a touchscreen, unfortunately).
It does come with trade-offs, as you might expect. The camera itself is an extremely hefty piece of kit, while its 1/2.3in sensor is comparatively small and suffers in terms of dynamic range because of it. Still, Nikon has packed an impressive amount of tech in here, including superzoom essentials such as Dual Detect VR (vibration reduction, compensating for camera shake), and the P1000 is undoubtedly unrivalled in superzoom stakes.
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.
With only a handful of compacts in Fujifilm’s stable these days, it’s the well established, very respected Fujifilm X100F that makes the cut. While pricier than the XF10, it’s hard to fault: a respected 24MP X-Trans CMOS sensor, a sharp, wide-aperture lens equivalent to 35mm, and a clever hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder are just the main highlights from a glittering spec sheet. Whether you’re shooting Raw or JPEGs, the results are filled with detail, while a collection of Film Simulation modes give you the option to treat images at once with a range of effects reminiscent of the company’s popular film emulsions. If you need 4K video then it’s probably best to hang on for the XF10, or look towards the company’s X-T20 or X-T2 mirrorless bodies, but for everything else the X100F is golden – particular for street and documentary work.
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!
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.
The best point-and-shoot cameras: What to consider
Best of all, point-and-shoots 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.