Best Point-and-Shoot Camera

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Last Updated on October 18, 2021

Top Pick: Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10

If you are in search of the best point-and-shoot camera but don’t have the time to find out how good it is, then here’s the best one you can buy.

Its incredible features and quality make it the best instant camera tool available.

How do you choose the best point-and-shoot camera? The answer to that varies, like everything else! Usually, when people mention a point-and-shoot camera, they refer to something simple. It works right out of the box; you just point, shoot, and enjoy! 

They are aimed at either first-time buyers or at those looking for very affordable cameras. Or for those, who want to use a camera as a tool rather than a tool for artistic expression.

Point and shoot, however, can refer to other things as well. In photography, a point and shoot is a camera with a wide zoom range that covers all eventualities. 

As long as the subject is at the right distance, they just point and shoot – they don’t have to fiddle with changing lenses. It’s the same basic need, but it calls for a more sophisticated and expensive camera.

With the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10, you can get a better photographic experience than with a smartphone, from a portable camera that you can bring anywhere. Compared to its rivals, this camera is unique in its combination of a superb lens and sensor, numerous physical controls, and a smooth touchscreen interface.

Thanks to its wide-angle 24-72mm zoom lens, responsive touchscreen, convenient physical controls, and fast autofocus, Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 is a better option than its competitors. The camera also records crisp 4K video and leverages this feature to provide innovative still-photography modes—such as 4K Photo, Pre-Burst, and Post Focus—that help you capture the right shot even when your reflexes aren’t quick enough.

Although it comes in a bit more expensive, the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 IV provides similar quality images.

It may lack a pop-up viewfinder for composing shots on sunny days, it actually outperforms the Panasonic LX10 in 4K video: It can output live uncompressed 4K video via HDMI, making it a better option for vloggers.

Despite this, the LCD screen does not have touch functionality, which makes focusing and using menu options more challenging.

The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is a good choice for anyone who is considering photography as a hobby or wants to upgrade from a smartphone that provides poor image quality. 

The camera makes some compromises to achieve its low asking price – it lacks 4K video, features fewer physical controls, and lacks a tilt screen and  viewfinder

However, it offers a good lens, the same type of sensor one would like in top picks, and an intuitive touch interface that makes the transition from smartphone photo-taking easy.

Purchasers of a Point and Shoot Camera

You likely already have a pretty decent camera in your pocket if you own a recent smartphone. 

However, you’ve probably also noticed that your smartphone camera has its limitations: If you view photographs on a larger screen, you’ll see blurry, blocky results that are very different from shots taken with a DSLR or mirrorless camera. 

Digital zoom is not recommended for use on your phone due to the poor quality of the images. Interested in capturing action shots? Put it out of your mind.

These limitations may frustrate you, so here are some reasons why a compact camera might be a good choice:

  • Better image quality: These cameras have significantly larger sensors than phones, resulting in better image quality indoors or when the sun is down, as a result of the better low-light capabilities.
  • Smartphone-like shooting: The majority of advanced point-and-shoots today have a touch screen interface for changing essential camera settings as well as selecting the point of focus, which makes the transition from smartphone photography easier.
  • Room for growth: Although you can pick up one of these cameras and point it at your subject, they also include all the customization you’ll find on a DSLR or mirrorless camera. 
  • Since they’re so easy to use, they’re an excellent place to start if you’re new to photography.
  • The focusing speed of smartphones has greatly improved over the years, but they’re still nowhere near as fast as a camera with a good autofocus system. When you track moving subjects like kids, sports, and pets, it is an entirely different experience.
  • Still portable: These cameras are larger than cellphones, but they’re still small enough that you can slip them into a pocket or bag without feeling heavy. Their large sensors and wide-aperture zoom lenses capture a lot of light, providing many of the advantages of a full DSLR or mirrorless camera without the burden of bulky bodies and lenses.
  • More flexible than a phone: These types of cameras are often equipped with versatile 3x zoom lenses that allow for wide-angle and portrait focal lengths without compromising quality. Additionally, many of them feature nifty extras, such as flip-up screens or electronic viewfinders, to ease the shooting process.
  • Better video: The best point-and-shoot cameras are also incredibly useful for shooting video, producing significantly clearer, less noisy, and more detailed images than even a flagship smartphone. The top models are especially appealing to YouTubers and Twitch streamers because they offer 4K video recording and an HDMI output that is uncompressed.

If you’re wondering why you shouldn’t just buy a DSLR or mirrorless camera.

Since they feature even better images and video, more comfortable ergonomics, and more physical controls, those models are even better than their predecessors. Size and weight are, of course, the determining factors.

We recommend cameras in this guide that offer significantly better image quality than smartphones. Despite this, they are still small enough to fit into a pocket or purse.

DSLRs and mirrorless cameras require a larger bag, and their heavier weight can cause neck and shoulder pain after several hours of shooting.

You may go for mirrorless cameras with the most dependable image quality if you choose them over those with the greatest portability.

Things to consider while choosing

You have to identify some key traits that make a good point-and-shoot camera before you can find the best one.

  • Larger sensor: We are looking for cameras with significantly better image quality than a smartphone, which makes it logical to find ones with a significantly larger sensor. Although Image quality isn’t solely determined by a sensor’s size (lens design also plays a major role), it is a major factor. For all other factors being equal, a larger sensor will have larger pixels that can capture more light. By using this design, image noise is reduced, as well as bright and dark areas of the scene are recorded without the sky and shadows turning white. 

The majority of smartphone cameras make use of 1/2.3-inch sensors, so it’s obvious to choose to focus on lenses with 1-inch sensors or larger.

  • A wide-aperture lens: Cameras with these big APS-C sensors should utilize lenses with extremely wide apertures throughout their zoom range to make the most of their big sensors. By opening the aperture wider, more light enters the camera, which allows you to use a lower ISO setting (thereby reducing image noise) and a higher shutter speed (thereby reducing blur). This lens also allows you to shoot portrait photographs with a shallow depth-of-field, possibly along with a more pronounced blur (or bokeh) around your subject. At full wide-angle (24mm), the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 lens has a maximum aperture of f/1.4, and at full telephoto (72mm), it has a maximum aperture of f/2.8. By comparison, most cheap point-and-shoot cameras only have apertures of f/3.2 or f/4.5 regardless of zoom setting, which results in blurred or noisy pictures.
  • A compact design: Point-and-shoot cameras should be compact enough to easily fit in a pocket or small bag, which means they should fit in your pants pocket or in your bag every day. In such a case, you are not going to be able to use most superzooms of travel zooms and rather will have to stick to cameras with a zoom ratio of around 3x or less.
  • Ease to Use: All of these cameras are easy to use if they are set to auto, so many owners don’t bother going into manual mode. However, if you choose to explore through the menus, the main menu should be easy to operate and the camera should provide quick access to certain functions as well as convenient access to key setting options. It also has bonus points for the camera’s customizable buttons and dials, which enable the shooter to set the camera up as they like.
  • Touchscreen, tilt screen, or electronic viewfinder: Any camera with one or more of these features is going to be a lot more useful than the one without. When you playback photos, you can swipe through them and tap to focus. The touch screen makes navigating menus and selecting photos in playback both faster and easier. For selfies, tilt screens allow you to take photos below (and sometimes above) your head. You can usually rotate them up 180 degrees for a more natural selfie shot. On especially bright days, when glare obscures the image on the rear display, using the electronic viewfinder takes the guesswork out of the composition
  • Wireless connectivity: In 2021, you need an easy way to transfer photos from your phone to your computer rather than having to put an SD card in a card reader, spend time transferring the photos to your computer, and then email yourself or upload them to Dropbox. If you want these cameras to be able to connect directly to your phone, you should have the choice of using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, or a combination of the three. It is a plus, but not a requirement, to be able to shoot using a tethered connection, in which newly shot images are automatically transferred to a linked device.
  • Solid video specs: These cameras are capable of high-quality video recording, which is why it’s important to keep them at a minimum set at 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second. Due to the growing popularity of displays with a quad-HD resolution, they should be granted a bonus point to models that could record footage at a minimum of 30 frames per second. Video codec options such as uncompressed HDMI output, a wide array of input types, and uncompressed HDMI output are optional extras but are most useful for vloggers and Twitch streamers.

The 3 Best Point-and-Shoot Camera

The best pick: Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 takes beautifully detailed pictures, barring extreme lighting conditions. With its intuitive touchscreen interface, 180-degree screen flip for selfies, and fast autofocus, this camera is a great choice for selfies and 4K video streaming. Many of its rivals have some of these features, but none can match this compelling combination at such a competitive price.

The LX10 delivers excellent image quality, which is the most important aspect to consider when purchasing an accessory like this. In contrast to some competitors, it produces sharp, sharpened JPEG images that aren’t oversaturated or oversharpened right after installation. 

With the zoom lens, you can take photos with a range of focal lengths (24-72mm equivalent) that’s wider than any smartphone, close enough for portraits, and blurs backgrounds nicely when shooting close-ups. 

Lenses from Leica have outstanding sharpness at all focal lengths and aperture settings, and they can focus as close as 3 centimeters for impressive macro shots-closer than those from Sony RX100 IV and Canon G9 X Mark II. Furthermore, the optical stabilization allows you to take clear pictures in any lighting conditions.

With the LX10, when you use the Standard photo style, JPEGs are lower contrast and saturation, so you’ll have to edit them to make them look good on Instagram or Facebook. It’s actually better that way: As cameras are getting more capable, you have fewer options to customize your photos to your taste. 

You can also choose from other “photo styles” (Panasonic’s term for JPEG predesigned presets), such as Monochrome, Vivid, and Scenery for more or less “punchy” results right out of the camera. 

If you want to alter these presets, or if you want to create your own custom photo style, you can choose certain contrast, sharpness, noise reduction, and saturation settings. 

For those who prefer to handle everything themselves, you can always shoot in raw mode and utilize digital darkroom software such as Adobe Lightroom to develop your photos; it’s the best way to make the most of your camera, but it adds significant processing time.

Though it isn’t the smallest camera, the LX10 is quite compact. The lens project about half an inch from the front when it’s turned off; a shorter handle can be found to the side.

There is a large amount of physical control on the LX10, so you can adjust settings without having to dive into the menu system. With the dedicated aperture dial and click-stops that let you control the f-stop directly when shooting in manual mode or aperture-priority mode, it is the sweetest feature. 

Additionally, a second dial can be smoothly rotated in front of the primary one, and a third control wheel is at the top; both can be customized to control an extensive range of camera functions. 

The back of the camera features a four-way directional pad that provides direct access to the exposure compensation, white balance setting, drive mode, and self-timer functions. 

Panasonic has also set up dedicated buttons for several Panasonic-exclusive features, including its 4K Photo mode and Post Focus feature, which we will discuss further below.

It is relatively easy to navigate the LX10’s menus thanks to its superb touch screen interface. By using the Quick Menu, you have easy access to 11 of your most frequently used settings, including ISO, exposure compensation, and AF mode, simply by touching a few fingertips. There are submenus within the main menu system that allow you to access less-used options. If you’ve ever used a smartphone, you’ll be up and running in no time.

When it comes to autofocus, the touchscreen is most useful. The AF system can be set to single- or multi-point focusing, and then you can simply tap the sensor to focus. The system is fast, reliable, and simple to use. 

In addition, it’s a significant improvement over the Sony RX100 IV and the other RX100 cameras, including the recently released RX100 VI, which lacks touchscreens and takes much longer to focus. 

Videographers will find the LX10’s tap-to-focus even more helpful, since using it, on one hand, they can “pull focus” on a subject located wherever they want in the frame. It is pleasing to observe the transition between focal points was smooth and cinematic, not jumpy, something Panasonic claims its engineers took particular care to achieve.

LX10 uses Panasonic’s depth-from-defocus (DFD) autofocus system, similar to that used by other recent Lumix cameras. It’s a little bit geeky how DFD functions, but when a subject is out of focus, the camera can make an accurate calculation of how far out of focus it is. 

Due to this, the focus is very fast, and (when the light is good) no wobble is associated with traditional contrast-detection AF systems, in which the lens hunts around while trying to lock focus. Also, DFD technology keeps your subject focused when you use tracking AF, especially while it is moving away or toward the camera.

The LX10 has even more proprietary tech that is one of its biggest selling points. As soon as you press the shutter button, the LX10 records a short 4K video clip and displays it as a series of still photographs. Basically, it’s a burst mode with 30 frames per second. It is possible to extract and save a still as an 8-megapixel JPEG when you find the perfect expression or position. 

It is also possible to continuously record video with the LX10’s Pre-Burst function. This feature allows the LX10 to capture up to 30 frames before and after the shutter is pressed. As a result, you can still get a good shot even if you don’t hit the shutter in time. 

The continuous shooting of video drains the battery more rapidly when compared with conventional stills. Though it doesn’t reduce battery life entirely; however, if your battery was low, to begin with, you wouldn’t miss out on using it.

In addition, the App has the Post Focus mode, which records short 4K videos at different focus points and then allows you to tap anywhere in the frame to focus after the picture has been taken.

Despite it taking just a fraction of a second to track focus, this mode is most effective with still subjects, although it will also capture moving subjects if there is enough light to freeze motion.

Using the Panasonic Image App (available for iOS or Android) you can connect your LX10 to your smartphone or tablet, and the setup process is relatively easy (Panasonic provides quick video walks through the process for iOS and Android). 

The Remote Shooting app lets you use your device to increase shooting settings, focus, and shoot from. Once the connection is established, you can begin to use the app. Additionally, image transfer enables you to transmit raw files to your mobile devices. 

Unless you use the LX10 to transfer files to smartphones and tablets, AVCHD videos can’t be viewed on these devices, so if you want to share clips on social media, stick with MP4.

Using the H.264 codec, the LX10 captures 4K video at 30fps and 1080p at 60fps (or 120fps without lens stabilization and autofocus). If all assist features (stabilization and auto-level) are turned on, the wide-angle visual field of view could be cropped down from 24 mm instills to 36 mm in 4K, and 30 mm in 1080p. 

When these assist functions are turned off, the field of view gets widened a bit, but you don’t get the full 24mm wide-angle on the camera. Besides limiting wide-angle views, this crop also decreases low-light performance because the sensor is smaller and therefore the camera does not take in as much light. Nevertheless, this is a fairly typical crop for these kinds of cameras.

The LX10’s 4K video was nearly as good as the Sony RX100 IV (runner-up).

With the LX10, you can continuously shoot for 15 minutes, rather than the Sony, which can only do one at a time (due to heat buildup). 

In the absence of HDMI output for uncompressed video (or “clean”), the LX10 is not as useful for Twitch and YouTube live streamers as the RX100 IV, which can output video while recording. (Neither camera is equipped with a 3.5 mm jack for an external microphone.)

Flaws, but not a deal-breaker

In Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-LX10, the absence of an electronic viewfinder is a serious concern. Since the Mark III, there has been a touchscreen on every Sony RX100, which is a great feature-especially if you are shooting in direct sunlight, where the screen can be difficult to see, or in particularly dark places, where the screen might distract others. 

Furthermore, while the touchscreen of the LX10 is able to tilt up 180 degrees, it does not tilt down like that of the RX100 IV, so it is difficult to take pictures above your eye line (as you would at a concert). 

In the end, you can use your left thumb to press the shutter button when the camera is upside-down, however, the photos will come out completely upside-down and will have to be manually rotated. 

Though we would have preferred a viewfinder and tilt-down screen on the RX100 IV, we still find that the LX10’s physical controls and touchscreen interface make it more enjoyable to shoot with, and that is why the RX100 IV is not worth the significantly higher price.

All large-sensor compact cameras have serious concerns regarding their battery life. According to Panasonic, the LX10’s battery is rated for 260 shots in mixed-use, which is 20 less than Sony’s RX100 IV (even though by using its viewfinder, the Sony has a shorter stated battery life). 

When used in the field, this number varies widely depending on how many videos you shoot, how many different modes you use, and how often you switch between shooting modes. 

For an event lasting a few hours, you won’t need to worry, but for a full day of sightseeing where you’re going to take many snapshots, you’d be wise to bring along an extra battery (or charge with someone’s USB power pack between shots).

Clicky aperture rings like those found on the LX10 are great for convenience, but they are also simply misleading. Since the maximum aperture decreases as you zoom in, the dial doesn’t always reflect what you get. 

The ring on the camera indicates f/1.4 even when you zoom to 72mm, for example. Currently, the setting is only accurate after f/2.8, but this is a concern only when the aperture is wide.

It’s also slightly annoying that the aperture ring can’t serve another purpose when you’re using a shooting mode without aperture control; if you’re in Program or Auto mode, for instance, it’s totally useless.

While similar models from Sony and Canon feature neutral-density filters, this Panasonic camera lacks a neutral-density filter that would allow shooting wide-apertures in bright sunlight or super-long exposures (think star trails, for example). 

Canon and Nikon offer electronic shutters with shutter speed up to 1/16,400 – fast enough to shoot at f/1.4 in bright light. Panasonic addresses the first scenario by offering an electronic shutter with speeds up to 1/16,400.

If you use the electronic shutter mode to take a picture of fast-moving objects, remember that rolling-shutter effects can result, making moving objects appear distorted. A physical neutral-density filter is required to use long exposures, but the LX10’s lens doesn’t have an elegant way of mounting one.

In addition to these complaints, there are a few minor issues. To feel more secure, perhaps with a bit of rubber on the grip, it would be better to have a more substantial grip. 

Also, it would be handy if the camera could be turned on directly in playback mode without extending the lens, as both Canon and Sony cameras can do; this feature can save batteries and reduce wear on mechanical components over time.

Second-place finisher: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 IV

This camera is a great choice for anyone who prefers an electronic viewfinder or places a greater emphasis on the quality and capabilities of video than most people do. 

The RX100 is the second generation in the RX100 family tree, behind both the RX100 VA and Sony’s new RX100 VI. However, most people don’t find the features those cameras offer valuable enough to justify the price increase. 

In contrast to the top pick, optical zoom on the RX100 IV doesn’t include touch functionality-a feature that improves the ease of use and is standard on nearly all other cameras.

The RX100 IV produces quality photographs that are nearly indistinguishable from the top pick in this review. There are basically no differences between the two cameras’ 1-inch sensors. The RX100 IV’s lens design is very similar to the LX10’s, as the RX100 IV has a nearly identical zoom range and produces a similar background blur when taking portraits. 

The RX100 IV produced JPEGs from the default settings that are slightly more saturated and contrasty than the LX10, but the settings can be adjusted so that you get the best results. 

Shooters of raw files may experience various levels of sharpness between multiple units of a single camera because the manufacturing tolerances of lenses differ among models, just as between Sony and Panasonic models that share a sensor design.

In comparison with the Panasonic LX10, Sony’s pop-up electronic viewfinder is arguably the most significant distinction-a great feature for those who prefer to compose their shots eye-level rather than via the rear LCD. 

When compared to the size of the camera, the EVF is impressively large and clear, and the clever retracting design makes it unique in its class. 

By using the EVF, shooting in bright daylight is made easier, and it also allows you to shoot in dark environments more discretely since the camera’s rear display isn’t illuminated while it’s being used. 

As an extra bonus, its rear display is more adjustable than the top pick’s, allowing you to adjust it down 40 degrees for easy shooting above your head.

With the same bit rate as the LX10, the RX100 IV can record 4K video at up to 30 frames per second. However, Sony offers a wider range of formats and codecs, including a proprietary format for videos called XAVC S that delivers greater picture clarity in both 4K and 1080p recording modes –not a big difference, but noticeable nonetheless. 

In order to capture the best XAVC S footage, your SDXC card must have a minimum of 64 GB of space. This can be accomplished using a SanDisk Extreme Pro SDXC UHS-II card. The card works perfectly, but its performance is not cheap.

In contrast to the LX10, the RX100 IV crops 4K videos more conservatively, meaning it can produce wider-angle footage. 

Although the LX10 can shoot 1080p at 120 frames per second for 16x slow-motion, the RX100 IV has the ability to slow things down to 960 frames per second for 32x slow-motion (albeit only for two seconds at a time).

As an additional bonus, the RX100 IV simultaneously streams live, uncompressed 4K video quality through its HDMI port-perfect for YouTube and  Twitch streamers.

A three-stop ND filter on your camera is handy for shooting at wide apertures in the sun, so you can blur your subject’s background while still capturing a good amount of light. 

The ND filter will also allow you to use longer exposures to create beautiful streaks of motion on rivers, waterfalls, and in traffic. You can also enable and disable the ND filter manually, but the Auto setting is probably best to just leave it on.

Pick for those on a budget: Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

Although it doesn’t have the same level of power, flexibility, or customization as our top picks, it still makes our list with two things: its reasonable price and its compact size. Obtain this camera if you want the cheapest, smallest 1-inch sensor you can find.

Just under half as heavy as either Panasonic’s LX10 or Sony’s RX100 IV, G9 X Mark II is also one-third smaller and slimmer; its lens bump measures less than one inch. 

The three cameras can be compared side by side, and the differences don’t seem significant. If you pick them up, however, it’s evident there’s a great deal of difference. The G9 X Mark II would be much more comfortable to carry around.

While Canon’s default JPEG processing skews towards an Instagram-ready style—the background and foreground of in-focus subjects look jagged, and color saturation is a little out of whack—the still-image quality is still very good. There are alternative JPEG image styles available on the camera to help calm things down just a bit, so if you don’t like overly blown-up shots, it is easy enough to change them. 

Among all the cameras mentioned below, the G9 X Mark II also takes raw images, and those raw images from this camera look just like those of LX10 and RX100 IV.

In comparison with Panasonic and Sony, this Canon model has a 3x zoom lens, but it has a different distribution of zoom ranges. 

Compared to the other lenses, Canon’s begins with a view that’s nearly the same as that of a smartphone and can zoom in a little farther than the others. 

Panasonic and Sony are much better at wide-angle than they are at telephoto because the loss at wide-angle is much greater than the gain. 

Nevertheless, the Canon model’s less-than-ideal aperture range of f/2-4.9 is a major disappointment. A narrow aperture limits background blur and makes telephoto shooting in dim environments more difficult; the narrower the aperture, the higher the ISO setting you have to use, and the more noise you’ll get as a result. 

A slimmer, more streamlined body of the G9 X Mark II is directly responsible for the compromised lens.

In addition to the slim design, there are other effects. A big concern is battery life since the included battery can only handle 235 shots per charge. It would be nice if Canon included a second battery in the box; if you intend to go on extended outings with this camera, you should definitely buy one. 

As well as being smaller and more limited in range than the built-in flash on the LX10 and RX100 IV, it cannot also be tilted up to diffuse the lighting. Due to the lack of an EVF and articulating screen, you’re stuck shooting with a point and shoot.

However, the fixed screen is touch-sensitive, and Canon’s user interface is incredibly easy to use with a finger. Compared to Panasonic and Sony’s menus, it’s much less complicated, offering less flexibility to highly experienced photographers, but being simpler for people who don’t already practice photography. 

Both the LX10 and RX100 IV are enthusiast cameras, while the G9 X Mark II is designed to be used as a point-and-shoot camera.

While the G9 X Mark II produces high-quality still images, it falls short in many technical departments. The maximum shutter speed and the burst shooting are slower than each other. 

In combination with the narrower aperture range, the top ISO setting is one stop lower, making nighttime shooting more challenging.

There’s a maximum bitrate of 35 Mbps with a video resolution of 1080p and 60 frames per second. Although the results are adequate, they aren’t as sharp as those of Panasonic or Sony cameras.

The contest

Sony’s DSC-RX100 IV, the runner-up, was released in 2015. In addition to the RX100 IV, it’s right up there with its predecessor, RX100 III, a good choice if you prefer the RX100’s signature features without needing 4K. 

In addition to the RX100 IV, Sony also produced the RX100 V and the RX100 VI, the latter of which was released this summer. 

As the company’s upgrade cycle progresses, it’s bringing improvements such as higher processor speeds, better autofocus and burst rates, and more sensitive sensors, but at the same time, it’s bringing an increase in price. 

Most people would be better off going with the RX100 IV or the top pick from Panasonic and pocketing the savings compared to the RX100 VI. The improvements are nice, but the RX100 IV or our top pick from Panasonic is still a better deal. 

However, whenever Sony releases a new RX100 camera, the prices of older models tend to drop.

The Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III is a DSLR-class camera with an APS-C sensor that produces superior image quality than our top pick; however, this camera is heavy, expensive, and has a lens with a restrictive aperture range. Despite its similarity to our top picks’ silhouette, it’s substantially thicker, which makes it hard to carry in a pocket.

With the PowerShot G5 X, you’ll get a camera with a similar type of sensor to our top pick, a zoom that reaches even farther, an articulated digital viewfinder, and an OLED screen. However, its battery life is atrocious; it can only shoot 210 shots per charge, and it can shoot less than one frame every second in raw mode, which is unconscionable for a camera in this category.

In addition to the G7 X Mark II’s longer zoom lens, it is not capable of capturing 4K video (unlike top pick) or has no EVF (unlike runner-up).

With the new Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II and Lumix DMC-LX100, Panasonic offers a larger sensor than those in our picks. In addition to being capable of shooting 4K video, these two models have beautiful EVFs and plenty of manual controls. 

The larger sensor, however, brings with it a larger lens and a bulkier camera that will not fit into your pocket. If you aren’t concerned about portability, either option is a capable camera, and since the LX100 II is now available, the older model is even more affordable.

The new Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 produces excellent images, but its bulk due to the 15x zoom lens, or its narrow aperture range makes it unlikable.

Also, the ZS200’s EVF is significantly worse than that of runner-up pick, and its rear touch screen is non-articulating. The camera might be a solid fit for someone whose priority is zoom over pocketability, and who doesn’t plan to shoot in dim light very often. For most people, however, our picks are better.

The Fujifilm XF10 and Ricoh GR II are also quite similar to one another. They are both compact cameras with large APS-C sensors and wide-angle lenses (28mm-equivalent). 

Despite being capable of producing beautiful images, neither is in the same league as our picks, and neither is as versatile as our picks. These models lack articulating screens and EVFs, as well as fixed-focus lenses. Despite the touch screen and 4K video capabilities, the XF10 is capped at just 15 frames per second.

Best Point-and-Shoot Camera
Olivia Bouler

From a young age, camera's fascinated me. My dad gave me my first Canon when I was seven, and since then I've tried to improve my craft. As a young Ornithologist and photographer, I travel a lot and love to bring a camera with me. I love the feeling of capturing a moment that can never be repeated and providing someone with a memento of a time or place.