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Best Point and Shoot Cameras for Travel and Tourism

Smartphones are the most popular way of taking pictures, but point and shoot cameras still give superior performing with sharper images, more control, and superior zoom. They’re still a popular choice despite smartphone cameras getting better with every passing year.

Best Point and Shoot Cameras Reviewed

There are lots of options to choose from in point and shoot cameras. In fact, there are so many that it can frankly become overwhelming. The price range is also ridiculous, going from just a few hundred all the way to several thousands in value.

To make life easier for all interested buyers, we’ve narrowed it down to 5 point and shoot cameras that don’t demand extravagant spending. To help you with your purchase, there’s also a buyer’s guide after the reviews.

Our Top Pick

Our Top Pick

Canon PowerShot G9X Mark II

Great Image Quality and Performance

The Canon PowerShot G9X Mark II is the upgraded version of the regular G9X with an improved autofocus and Bluetooth connectivity. This is a powerful point and shoot camera that can rival in performance to other cameras much pricier than itself.

The Canon PowerShot G9X Mark II is simply the best performing camera under $500, and for its balance of quality and price, it earns our top pick.

Budget Pick

Budget Pick

Panasonic Lumix ZS50

Great Camera at a Great Price

The Panasonic Lumix ZS50 is a great point and shoot camera at an affordable price. It has immense features and wonderful functions such as manual mode and RAW picture capture at an affordable price. The fast burst shot mode also allows for quick action photography.

The Panasonic Lumix ZS50 earned our award as the best vlogging camera under $300, and it continues to be a great budget choice for anyone looking for a reliable and excellent point and shoot camera.

Canon PowerShot G9X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G9X MKII

  • Sensor: 1 inch
  • Megapixels: 1MP
  • Video Resolution: 1920×1080

The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is a compact yet high quality camera that takes fantastic stills. This point and shoot Canon camera comes with a 1 inch sensor paired with a wide-angle 28-84mm lens. There is no viewfinder in this camera, but the LCD is touch sensitive and works well for taking photos.

It boasts 20.1MP, but the camera’s photo quality is outstanding and can rival that of much more expensive models, including the Sony RX100 Mark IV and V. For the quality of the images, it’s an absolute steal for under $500.

The Mark II improves on the autofocus of the original G9X and adds Bluetooth technology, but it’s essentially more or less the same. The low light performance is excellent thanks to the larger sensor. Additionally, you have RAW support in this camera as well, which we love.

The major downside with the G9X is that it only features optical zoom up to 3x. Still, we think it’s the best point and shoot camera given its balanced performance and fantastic performance.

Pros

  • Fantastic image quality
  • Compact size
  • Easy to use
  • Wonderful LCD touchscreen

Cons

  • Limited zoom range
  • No 4K recording

Canon PowerShot SX730

Canon PowerShort SX730

  • Sensor: 1/2.3 inch
  • Megapixels: 3MP
  • Video Resolution: 1920×1080

Don’t let its compact size fool you. The Canon PowerShot SX730 is a powerful point and shoot camera that offers a massive 40x optical zoom, making it one of the best point and shoot cameras for those looking to take pictures from afar.

It boasts a maximum continuous shooting speed of 5.9fps. The whopping focal range is 24-960mm. It also features a 3-inch LCD with 922k dots resolution. This LCD can be flipped to face the front for some great selfies. With it, you get plenty of selfie shooting modes as well. You also get WiFi, NFC, and Bluetooth connectivity with this device.

The autofocus is great, as is the image of this camera. We consider it one of the best point and shoot cameras out there because of its competitive price. At less than $400, you’re getting a camera that can do it all, and it won’t take any space since it’s small even for a point and shoot camera.

Pros

  • Huge optical zoom range
  • Good operational response
  • Small form factor
  • Good image quality

Cons

  • No RAW shooting
  • Can’t compete in quality with more expensive point and shoot cameras

Sony RX100 IV

Sony RX100 IV

  • Sensor: 1inch
  • Megapixels: 1MP
  • Video Resolution: 4K

Canon and Nikon may dominate the DSLRs, but when it comes to point and shoot cameras, Sony is king. Their RX100 line of cameras are the best high-end cameras out there, unless you’re looking for “boutique” range of shooters from the likes of Leica.

Our favorite out of the RX100 range is the Mark IV because of its price and performance balance. The Sony RX100 IV boasts a large 1-inch sensor for wider photos. The Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens is a 24-70mm one with variable aperture between f/1.8-2.8. This results in excellent low light performance for a point and shoot, and you can take some gorgeous portrait snaps as well.

We love the popup viewfinder on this camera, an EVG type with 2.36 million dots. The LCD on this camera is a tilting 3in display that can be turned to face the user for some great selfies. A whopping 16fps shooting speed allows for great burst shots.

Video recording on this device is at 4K. You can also shoot HD video at a staggering 960 frames per second for some fantastic slow-motion capture. There is also WiFi and NFC support on this camera.

Pros

  • Great form factor
  • Very powerful
  • Packed with high-end features at a reasonable price
  • Excellent image quality

Cons

  • Poor battery life
  • Tends to be slippery
  • Expensive

Panasonic Lumix ZS50

PanasonicLumix

  • Sensor: 1/2.3 inch
  • Megapixels: 1MP
  • Video Resolution: 1920×1080

We already reviewed the Lumix ZS50 by Panasonic and considered it the best overall point and shoot camera for vlogging. Even as a dedicated point and shoot camera, the Panasonic Lumix ZS50 is a fantastic option.

You get lots of control as a user with this camera, as it offers a full manual mode for those who want to tinker and learn the intricacies of photography. RAW support is also present, and there’s a high-speed 100 frames per second video mode in HD as well.

The low light performance is top-notch thanks to its incredible 24-720mm lens. 10fps burst shot allows for quick photos in burst mode, making it great to capture sport moments. The electronic viewfinder is what you’ll find in cameras much more expensive than itself, and the 3 inches fixed LCD is high in detail. This is a beginner friendly camera, but it’s also incredibly effective for anyone with experience due to its manual mode.

Pros

  • Great EVF viewfinder
  • Great value
  • Packed with high-end features at a reasonable price
  • Great image quality for the price

Cons

  • Fixed LCD that is not touch-sensitive
  • Can have trouble with noise

Olympus TG5

  • Sensor: 1/2.3 inch
  • Megapixels: 12MP
  • Video Resolution: 4K

Olympus is an underrated company when it comes to photography. They’ve been around for a long time, and they know how to make great point and shoot cameras. The Olympus TG-5 is our favorite choice for any rugged point and shoot camera. It is waterproof, dust proof, and can even withstand being frozen.

Olympus recognizes its incredible resilience, and that’s why they’ve named “Tough”. The user level required to operate this camera is novice though – it’s very beginner friendly and easy to use.

One of the standout features of this camera is its incredible burst mode. At 20fps, the burst shots are ideal for capturing sports and action images on the fly with this mode. You also get the 4K recording and slow-motion recording in Full HD.

The Olympus TG5 is full to the brim with high tech, yet it doesn’t demand as much a price as other cameras with similar specs would have you dish out. The pixel count is low but the image quality is still fantastic.

Pros

  • Rugged and tough design
  • 20fps burst mode is great
  • Very easy operation
  • Great video recording

Cons

  • Average LCD panel

Buyer’s Guide

    Point and shoot cameras don’t come cheap, and for many of them, you could get a superior DSLR camera. The major reason they are still popular is because of their ease of use and compact size.

    For this reason, these two factors should be the most important in your decision. The best point and shoot camera is one that snuggly fits in your pocket when turned off, and has an intuitive auto mode for taking pictures on the fly.

    The size of the sensor is directly related to the quality of the image and how it performs in lower light situations. As a result, larger sensors produce better images. In modern point and shoot cameras, the two standard sizes for the sensors are 1/2.3 inch and 1 inch.

    The latter has become increasingly popular in point and shoot cameras as 1-inch sensors offer improved image quality and superior low light performance. However, 1-inch sensors make the cameras a little heavier, so if portability is why you’re going for a point and shoot, you should consider a good quality 1/2.3 inch instead.

    Image stabilization is a really important feature in any camera, and all the more important in lighter point and shoot cameras. Because point and shoot cameras are so lightweight, they require superior image stabilization to capture images without blurring them.

    If you like shooting videos and pictures in lower lights, image stabilization is particularly important. Lower shutter speeds result in more light in, but they also transfer the effect of movement to make the image blurry. For this reason, a high-quality image stabilization is paramount to taking great quality pictures in low light and when zoomed in.

    Unfortunately, there is no way to discretely measure image stabilization. Therefore, you need to read reviews and carefully look at sample photos in low light and zoomed in conditions to determine whether the amount of stabilization is ideal for your needs.

    Why get a point and shoot camera instead of a DSLR?
    A DSLR camera offers superior control and image quality when used right, but they have a larger learning curve and require technical know-how. More importantly, DSLR cameras are bulky and often require an entire kit to carry around. For these two reasons, point and shoot cameras are still a popular choice.

    Do I need camera accessories to take great pictures?
    While you don’t need additional camera accessories to take great photos (provided you have a good camera), you can benefit greatly from tripods, additional batteries, and memory cards for a better experience.

    How is a point and shoot camera superior to a smartphone camera?
    The main difference is the physical build, which makes point and shoot cameras superior. Though they’re small, they have a much larger sensor than ones found in modern smartphones. Additionally, optical zoom, larger amount of pixels, and a dedicated camera processor make the overall image processing and quality far superior.

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