A point and shoot camera is a really handy bit of kit if you don’t want to carry anything heavy or fuss about complicated settings.
They can fit in your pocket so you can take them everywhere with you and lots of them come with a built-in flash for when it’s dark. You’ll instantly notice the upgrade in image quality compared to shooting on a smartphone, but you won’t need to spend any additional money on lenses.
With so many point-and-shoot cameras on the market, choosing the best cameras to buy can be challenging. It’s a good idea to think about how advanced you need it to be, what features you can live without, and how much you’re willing to spend.
If you’re buying a point-and-shoot camera for a beginner cheaper cameras with much smaller sensors might be a better option, they likely won’t be able to shoot in RAW. However, if you’re happy to splurge a bit, you can get some seriously advanced bits of kit that will fit in your pocket and are the perfect travel camera. Whether you’re looking for an upgrade from your smartphone to take on holidays, day trips, or if you’re looking for a simple camera for your kids, we’ve put together a list to suit all needs and budgets.
Even the most expensive point-and-shoot camera will still cost you a lot less than one of the best DSLRs or best mirrorless cameras, plus you don’t need to buy additional lenses or a flash. Many professional photographers will own a point-and-shoot as well as their main camera which they keep on them at all times should a photo opportunity arise.
We think the cameras on our list are fantastic value for money. There’s a mix of older and newer models because we think some point and shoots just can’t be beaten such as the Panasonic ZS80/TZ90 (opens in new tab). After using some of the best photo editing software, what you want to shoot and how much time you want to spend processing them will define which point-and-shoot camera you go for.
To make navigating the guide easier we’ve split it into three sections:
What you should look for in point and shoot cameras
Why you can trust Digital Camera World
Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.
Cheap and simple – Even the most basic point-and-shoot cameras will offer better image quality and more zoom capabilities than your phone. They might not have some of the more advanced features of more expensive models but at they’re affordable and will get the job done.
Waterproof – Whether or not you’re an outdoorsy person, a waterproof camera is a great option your you, as they’re more robust and can be used near water or in the rain without any qualms. They’re great for beach holidays, using by the pool, or taking on adventures as they are rugged enough to handle getting dropped.
Longer zooms – One of the advantages of point-and-shoot cameras with a smaller sensor is that often they have longer zoom ranges. Most basic cameras will have a zoom range of 3-5x but some of the more expensive models will give you a 30x optical zoom. These larger zoom ranges are great for taking on holiday when you might want to photograph objects in the distance.
Better quality – The best point-and-shoot cameras will have larger sensors which make them better in low light, the lens is often capable of wider apertures down to f/2.8 and sometimes you can even set the camera to shoot in raw – perfect if you didn’t quite expose an image properly. The more advanced cameras do cost more but the features often make it worth it.
Now that the best camera phones (opens in new tab) produce such good-quality images you might wonder why you’d bother investing in a point-and-shoot but believe us, there is a massive difference in image quality. Even the smallest sensors in the cheapest point and shoots are usually bigger than the tiny ones in your smartphone. Features such as the built-in flash will also be much better quality than a phone flash and the zoom will cover a bigger range.
If you are looking for a really high-end point-and-shoot, check out our guide on the best compact cameras which covers more advanced and more expensive models. However, if you’re just looking for a camera that is a step up from your phone camera and won’t cost you much, scroll below to see the best point-and-shoots available.
Best point and shoot camera in 2023
Best point and shoot camera: Our top picks
If we were looking for one compact point-and-shoot camera to rule them all, we would certainly add to our cart the Panasonic Lumix TZ200/TS200, with its one-inch sensor size, 15x optical zoom, and its ability to slip unobtrusively into your jacket pocket or rucksack pouch makes it the perfect companion while on the go.
Want to take your point-and-shoot camera underwater? Want to hike it up mountains, shoot in the snow, or in extreme heat? These are the tough and rugged cameras to choose from.
We think the Ricoh WG-6 is an impressive setup from its predecessor, the WG-60 (opens in new tab). It comes equipped with a 20MP sensor, 4K video at 30fps, and a max ISO of 6,400 thanks to a built-in multi-application ring light fitted to the front of the camera. Not only is this camera waterproof to 20m, it’s shockproof too which means it can handle a bit of rough and tumble making it one of the best cameras for kids (opens in new tab)too!
It comes in either a bright orange as pictured or a more traditional black depending – we love the orange as it’s very hard to miss. It benefits from a zoom lens with a focal range of 28 – 140mm which is better than any other waterproof camera making it ideal for you to use as a normal camera too to capture your travel photos or outdoor adventures.
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If you want a camera that does what it says on the tin the Olympus Tough TG-6, we found that the TG-6 is exactly what you need. It might have a smaller 1/2.3-inch sensor, but all things considered, it produced good-quality images in our testing and it can also shoot 4K video.
It has a 25-100mm with an aperture of f/2 at the wide end and f/4.9 when it’s at its maximum zoom. It includes lots of interesting features that really come to life when shooting in clear water such as Macro and Microscope modes which allow you to get up close and personal.
The ability to capture RAW stills and shoot at up to 20fps also makes this camera a very good choice. The best thing of all is that it can really take a bashing making it perfect for families with little ones. It’s a superb travel camera that benefits from excellent waterproofing – perfect for the more adventurous (or clumsy) type.
Read our full Olympus Tough TG-6 review (opens in new tab) for more details
If you want to get pixel-perfect images from a distance, nothing beats having an optical zoom. These point-and-shoot cameras below are great for bringing far-away subjects into close focus.
If you’re not worried about age, the six-year-old Panasonic Lumix ZS70/TZ90 is still one of the best, most affordable compact cameras you can buy, in our opinion.
It has an enormous 30x zoom equivalent to 24-720mm. Even when fully zoomed in, the picture quality isn’t bad, and built-in image stabilization helps with camera shake. If you’re a keen traveler, the combination of a massive zoom, petite body, and WiFi capabilities will make this camera your perfect companion.
It features a small viewfinder as well as an LCD screen for you to view your images. The 49-point focus system isn’t the most advanced but it’s speedy enough to capture most things. Image quality is pretty good considering it’s only got a 1/2-3 sensor and its metering system helps to balance exposure no matter where you’re shooting.
There is actually a newer version of this camera but it doesn’t have such a large zoom and you end up paying more. If you wanted a camera that offers better low-light performance you might be better off checking out the Panasonic Lumix ZS200/TZ200 as it has a larger 1-inch sensor.
Read our full Panasonic ZS70 review (opens in new tab) for more details
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If you’re after a camera with incredible zoom capabilities look no further than the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS with a focal range equivalent to 24 – 960mm. It has a 20.3MP 1/2.3-inch sensor and an LCD screen that can be flipped to face the front making it perfect for selfies.
For anyone looking to shoot video too, it can film in 4K and as a max continuous burst shooting mode of 10fps. The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS can be found slightly cheaper if you don’t need 4K video and it still has Full HD recording. The image quality and autofocus performance on this camera is pretty good and overall it’s an excellent camera for the price.
Read our full Canon PowerShot SX740 HS (opens in new tab) for more details
“Point-and-shoot” doesn’t mean cheap or poor quality! Here are the point-and-shoot cameras that will cost you a little more, but deliver image quality comparable to professional cameras, or enthusiast models.
During our review, we found that there is plenty to admire about the Panasonic Lumix TZ200/TS200, even aside from the headline grabbers of one-inch sensor size and a 15x optical zoom reach from a ‘travel zoom’ camera that will slip unobtrusively into your jacket pocket or rucksack pouch when on the go.
We found that its construction was solid with an aluminum build and ergonomically laid out, it also offered a good blend of hands-on control yet point-and-shoot accessibility, with the option to fish around in its pool of creative filter effects if you tire of its automatic results.
Read our full Panasonic Lumix TZ200/TS200 review (opens in new tab) for more details
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If you want a point-and-shoot camera that also delivers a visible jump-up in picture quality from a camera phone, you need one with a larger sensor. This Panasonic LX15, which goes by the name of the LX10 in some territories, has a 1-inch 20-megapixel sensor that will do the job perfectly.
It’s true that there is no built-in EVF, which might put some people off, and the smooth finish to the body might make it look rather stylish but it doesn’t make for the firmest handgrip.
But we found the responsive touchscreen terrific, the dual control rings provide a very pleasing user experience, and the 24-72mm has one of the widest aperture settings around, courtesy of its f/1.4 to f/2.8 aperture range.
Overall, this neat little snapper has a near-perfect balance of features, performance, and pricing. It’s small enough for your pocket, easy for beginners, but powerful enough to be one of the best point-and-shoot cameras for serious photographers.
Read our full Panasonic Lumix LX10 Review (opens in new tab) for more details or Panasonic Lumix LX 15 review (opens in new tab)
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The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is a rather sophisticated-looking point-and-shoot camera, courtesy of its minimalist yet traditional appearance and streamlined controls, which have the benefit of keeping the body endearingly dinky – which is great while on holiday and you want to get good photos while looking good yourself.
Despite this, it’s something of a beast under the bonnet, with a 1-inch sensor paired with a wide-angle 28-84mm equivalent lens, whose maximum aperture at wide-angle is a respectable f/2.
There’s no viewfinder, but the 3-inch LCD on the rear also responds to touch, which again ensures that physical controls can be kept to a minimum. To sum up, this is a neat-looking, well-specced point-and-shoot compact camera that can produce vastly superior images to your camera phone – and it’s also rather nice to look at and use.
Read our full Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II (opens in new tab) for more details
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While the RX100 VI does cost more than most point-and-shoot on this list, buyers are willing to countenance it, we couldn’t include it here for the simple reason that this series represents pretty much the best the world of compact cameras has to offer.
As the name implies, the VI is the sixth iteration in a series that Sony has been perfecting for many years, providing an exceptional blend of image quality and portability. While the VI has since been superseded by the VII, we reckon this model offers an outstanding balance of power and value for money.
Super-smooth 4K footage and dynamic burst shooting – it’s all here, and there are plenty of extra features that many cameras on this list don’t offer, such as the pop-up electronic viewfinder. All this is housed in a camera small enough to pop into a pocket – provided you don’t mind a few of the controls being a little fiddly to use, it’s a boon for travel photography and videography alike.
If you like the sound of the RX100 VI but are still put off by the cost, then check back through previous models in the RX100 series, as they are without exception very good, and most of them are popular enough to still be in production. And, alternatively, if you’ve got more cash to splash then definitely take a look at the current flagship, the Sony RX100 VII (opens in new tab).
What’s the best point and shoot camera?
During our testing for the best point-and-shoot camera, we found that there is plenty to admire about the Panasonic Lumix TZ200/TS200 (opens in new tab), with its one-inch sensor size, 15x optical zoom, and its ability to slip unobtrusively into your jacket pocket or rucksack pouch when on the go.
In our review we found that its construction was solid with an aluminum build and ergonomically laid out, it also offered a good blend of hands-on control yet point-and-shoot accessibility, with the option to fish around in its pool of creative filter effects if you tire of its automatic results.
Read our full Panasonic Lumix TZ200/TS200 review for more details.
What is the cheapest point and shoot camera
If you’re not worried about age, the six-year-old Panasonic Lumix ZS70/TZ90 is still one of the best, most affordable compact cameras you can buy, in our opinion. It has an enormous 30x zoom equivalent to 24-720mm.
Even when fully zoomed in, the picture quality isn’t bad, and its built-in image stabilization helps with camera shake. If you’re a keen traveler, the combination of a massive zoom, petite body, and WiFi capabilities will make this camera your perfect companion.
Read our full Panasonic ZS70 review for more details.
How we test cameras
We test cameras both in real-world shooting scenarios (opens in new tab) and in carefully controlled lab conditions. Our lab tests measure resolution, dynamic range, and signal-to-noise ratio. Resolution is measured using ISO resolution charts, dynamic range is measured using DxO Analyzer test equipment and DxO Analyzer is also used for noise analysis across the camera’s ISO range. We use both real-world testing and lab results to inform our comments in buying guides.