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Which Point and Shoot Camera Is Best

Updated on October 12, 2014

Thousands Discover Great Cameras To Take Pictures They Only Dreamed About Before

Is there one best point and shoot camera? Absolutely not!

But there are quite a few cameras that have their owners "tickled pink" with their new cameras.

There is a bunch of research that went into compiling these lists. They are not just regurgitations of the Amazon Point and Shoot Cameras Best Sellers List.

It really depends on your needs. Remember that as you browse through these Top 5 lists of Digital Cameras.

As the author of this list, I have had the same concerns and frustrations buying a new camera that you are probably facing. Because of that, I am hoping you will get a lot of value from this article. There is a bunch of research that went into compiling the list. It is not just a regurgitation of the Amazon Point and Shoot Cameras Best Sellers List.

The first step is to determine your needs. That's why I have divided the cameras into categories. Start by choosing the type of camera you are looking for - look for your category below:

  • Best "every day - any family member" camera
  • Best "budget" point and shoot camera (under $150)
  • Top Compact Cameras Chosen by Professionals

Ratings ~ Who and How?

And Why Should You Trust Me?

Actually, even though I am the writer, I am probably someone just like you. Someone who has read what others like us think about the cameras they buy. Having purchased the wrong camera a couple of times, I am hoping to help you with your selection.

I have purchased quite a few cameras over the years, and I always go through the same rigorous process.

  • How does this model stack up against others in the same class?
  • Is the camera what I need?
  • What do others think about this particular camera?

These are important questions, but you can spend far too much time and energy on them. I feel that I have had enough experience that I can "cut to the chase" now and pick a good camera in any price range.

Even if you're not looking for yourself. You could be the influence in someone's life that points them in the right direction with a great camera choice, simply because they trust you. Such is the case with the young lady in this picture. She is now a happy Panasonic user because her Grandad helped her choose the perfect camera for her needs and photography level.

If you are a bit nervous about making the purchase of a camera without holding it in your hands first, just take a trip to a camera store or your local Best Buy and pick one up. But be forewarned, not every store carries every camera, even if they are "best sellers." And don't be tempted to plunk down your cash on the spot without checking the prices online. You can always go back and get your camera at the store if it proves to be a good deal, but check first.

Top 5 Point and Shoot Cameras For Family/Every Day Use

In order to get into the "Family Camera" category, the camera must be user friendly and shoot in a variety of situations. It must perform well as a travel/vacation tool and adapt to most age groups. So ease of use and zoom range play a major part in selection for this group of cameras.

Additionally, these cameras all are rated highly for video since more and more families are recording their legacy in motion, children growing and learning, special events, and, of course, holidays and vacations.

The listings here are in no particular order - they all qualify as the perfect camera for your family photos.

Canon PowerShot SX50

The Family/Vacation/Every Day Line-up:

It's a Canon - and it's a cannon! Check out the 50x zoom!

One of the things you have to be aware of with super zoom cameras is that the more you zoom the harder it is to maintain focus. Every little movement is magnified by the factor of the zoom. This camera compensates for that with image stabilization so you can be fairly confident that hand held pictures in good light will come out fine (not blurry).

The SX50 has Canon's newest technology, including the DIGIC 5 processor which is getting great reviews in the more professional Digital SLR cameras.

Even though it is listed in the "Family category," it easily qualifies for those who want to photograph wildlife from afar or even the full moon in amazing detail.

Panasonic FZ200

Family cameras don't usually have all the features of a "near-professional" camera, but this one does.

Panasonic has come up with a unique camera in that it is "user friendly" and has the benefits of control as well. If you want to simply point and shoot, you can, or if you are looking for a camera that you can use to "grow" into a more substantial hobby, this one's for you.

Other benefits that may be of interest for family or vacation shooters:

*Take pictures while you shoot video.

*12 frames per second speed shooting - don't miss anything at the soccer game

*24x zoom gets you right up close to the action

Nikon COOLPIX L820

First of all, it's a Nikon, one of the trusted names in the camera world.

This camera fits all the criteria as a great family camera. If you want to record kids' soccer, birthdays, first steps, or graduation, this could be your best choice.

The two major features ~ 30x zoom (great when you can't get up close and personal) and 1080p video.

Panasonic DMC FZ60

One benefit that has been getting a lot of attention is that, similar to your smart phone, the Panasonic FZ60 will upload photos to your favorite social media site. Makes you look like a regular photographer on Facebook compared to some of those grainy, blurry pictures your friends are posting (JK LOL).

You can shoot at 10 frames per second under normal conditions, but if you want to use the Auto-focus tracking (a moving subject will stay in focus as it moves), you can still get up to 5 frames per second.

Another item that should not go unnoticed is that this camera has gotten a user rating of 4.6 stars on Amazon. This is quite rare for point and shoot cameras. It simply means that almost everyone who buys it likes or loves it.

Canon PowerShot SX260

This is the only camera in this category that actually "looks" like a point and shoot. That does not mean, however, that the quality is not as good. 834 customer reviews solidly put this camera into almost any Top 5 list.

Just a few of the features that make it a wonderful family camera:

*Face recognition

*Full HD video

*20x zoom

*GPS records picture locations

*Easy to carry in a pocket or bag

Best Budget Point and Shoot Cameras (under $150)

Not an expert? Just want a simple camera that you can carry with you all the time to get some decent photos? Want to buy a camera for your child/spouse/mother/grandmother that won't cost an arm and leg?

These cameras are just what you are looking for!

Panasonic Lumix DMC FH-8

Panasonic specializes in great cameras for every day use. This is one of the best at a budget price.

One of the benefits of a compact camera is how easy it is to carry everywhere. This one measures a mere 3.8" at its widest measurement, so it is a snap to carry it in a pocket or purse.

It takes video and still photos with plenty of settings to match your mood or occasion.

Check price - click here

Canon PowerShot A2300

This little camera just happens to be the best seller on Amazon.

Why? It's cheap, it takes good pictures, and it's cute. Takes video too, and it is about the size of many smart phones, so no problem having it with you all the time.

For under $100, this camera is hard to beat!

Sony Cybershot DSC-WX50

Sony has always had a good name in personal digital cameras.

This model can be picked up for about $100, and it does all the things you want your carry-everywhere digital camera to do, plus a few extras. For instance, you can use this camera for 3d photos. It will also allow still pictures to be taken while recording video.

Add a whole host of selections for creative shots, and you have a great camera for cheap.

Canon PowerShot Elph 520HS

In spite of its pocket-sized configuration, this Elph still has a full 3" LCD display. And take a look at how simple the navigation of settings is. There are only a few little buttons. Otherwise, just point and shoot. What could be easier?

HS - high sensitivity is designed so that pictures can be taken in a very wide range of situations, yet producing excellent quality in all of them.

Video is available at both full 1080p or 720p with stereo sound. This is a great feature on such an inexpensive digital camera. 12x zoom is also a handy feature.

Olympus VG-160

When "gramma B" says something like, "It's a great camera and it's easy to use," you have to think that this is really a user friendly camera. And as you read on, you find that someone else bought it for a 3-year-old, that is clincher.

It's the only Olympus among top rated cameras, probably because so many of us are now programmed to look at just Canon or Nikon. But there are some excellent models that are being overlooked, just like this one.

Don't you love the orange color?

The Olympus VG-160 is simple yet it gets the photography job done. Yes, there are some picture effects available. That is sort of standard with all current models. It also takes decent video.

Bottom line: if you need a simple, inexpensive digital camera, consider this one.

Best Point and Shoot Cameras (chosen by pros)

What does a pro photographer look for in a compact digital camera? Quality and control. Pros don't necessarily want to just point and shoot. They want to be able to manipulate the camera settings to get the exact image output they imagine before pressing the shutter button.

So the cameras in this category have enough bells and whistles (camera controls and settings) to allow the user to affect the output.. more so than just setting the camera on "auto" and going about taking pictures.

Professionals often use compact cameras as backups to their larger, more powerful digital SLR cameras, so they want and need control. These cameras have that.

Canon PowerShot G15

The Canon G-series has always been the choice of many pros, and the G15 continues the dominance. With this camera comes near-DSLR performance and quality.

*High quality LCD screen at 922,000 dots resolution.

*Optical viewfinder as well as LCD Live View.

*DIGIC 5 image processor (the same processor in all the pro Canon DSLRs).

*Full 1080p video with stereo sound.

*The Canon HS system for taking pictures in the most challenging lighting situations.

*Extremely short shutter lag (shutter lag is the number one complaint of many camera users).

*The full range of camera controls, including all creative modes available on even the most expensive DSLRs.

Panasonic LX7

This is a truly compact camera, in spite of its power and quality. So don't let it's size and shape fool you. It has some very impressive features.

The Panasonic really shines when it comes to interior shooting, especially when low-light situations call for a wide aperture. It is also great for landscapes and portraits when professional quality is desired. If you are looking for a solid, high image quality camera, this one is the choice of many pros.

In fact, the LX7 gets plenty of recognition from actual photographers, as evidenced by comments like this: "As a secondary or back-up camera, I highly recommend the LX7. It is a serious photographer's P&S camera. Of course, it will not replace your Digital SLR, but considering it is a compact, it works very well for me."

Users have rated this model at 4.5 stars, which is quite high for a point and shoot camera.

Sony DSC-RX100

This Sony digital camera is a marvel of engineering!

Here are some basic facts about this model that you need to know before making your next digital camera purchase:

*In spite of its small size, it has a 20-megapixel sensor.

*The lens is made by Carl Zeiss - it's F1.8 aperture is the finest among compact cameras.

*That aperture is what makes this camera special in low light photography.

*Macro shots are amazing - they must be seen to be believed.

*Image quality is fantastic. Look at the sample images on Amazon. They should make a believer out of anyone.

Nikon Coolpix P510

The Coolpix P510 is an animal of a different breed compared to the others in this category. It stands alone as a super zoom. However, it is a really good super zoom at 42x with image stabilization. It's a dream for someone with limited mobility.

Great camera for photographing the moon!

It is also a good substitute for a camera case full of lenses.. the 42x actually equates to about 1000mm. (A 1000mm lens for your DSLR is going to cost a pretty penny).

While the image quality is good, it does not quite match up to some of the other cameras in the category or to DSLR models (which is understandable).

Canon PowerShot S110

"Plenty of bang for your buck," is how one happy customer put it. When considering a $600 alternative, this camera makes a lot of sense.

*DIGIC 5 processor has all the improvements in image quality that are present in much more professional cameras.

*12-megapixel HS (high sensitivity) sensor.

*Touch-screen LCD technology.

*Built-in Wi-Fi so you can communicate directly with your Facebook account to upload pictures.

*Excellent HD video with a dedicated video button.

Rating the Top 5 Best Point and Shoot Cameras

Picking a compact digital, aka point and shoot, camera is simple... NOT!

You can't just go to your local department store camera counter and pick one up. You have to have a plan. You have to know which camera does what you want to do.

In this article, you will get some ideas about which cameras are the best as rated by others who bought the cameras just like the ones you are looking at.

There is no scientific research formula to determine the Top 5 Point and Shoot Cameras. The ratings are from the Amazon online store where camera buyers get to post their experiences and opinions about the cameras that they purchased. You will get truthful, meaningful comments about what is good and not so good about the cameras there.

But even better, in this article we have sifted through the Best Sellers list to find which point and shoot cameras were the absolute favorites. And it is not necessarily the top seller. The cameras in this list are from the standpoint of user satisfaction. Yes, they are on the Best Sellers list, but there is the Star Rating to consider as well to make the Top 5 Point and Shoot Camera List.

Hopefully this will save you a lot of time and confusion.

By the way, this is kind of a dynamic list in that I am constantly trying to find the newest and best point and shoot cameras. If the ratings change, the list will change. So keep coming back until you make your purchase. Never know which camera will show up on the Top 5 Point and Shoot Camera list.

Buying Cameras Online - Please help me with this survey.

I am personally a fan of online purchases, but I know there is a difference of preferences on this subject. Please take the time to share which side of this issue you are usually on.

Will you buy online?

Which Camera Would You Put In The "Top 5 Point and Shoot Camera" List?

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    • notsuperstitious1 profile image

      Edith Rose 4 years ago from Canada

      I just purchased the Nikon COOLPIX L820, and I have 14 days to try it out. So far, it appears to be what I want without buying a tripod.

      That Canon G15 looks very interesting.

    • MissRubyStars profile image

      MissRubyStars 4 years ago

      For some reason I have always been a fan of the Sony Cybershot line. The DSC-WX50 looks impressive for the price

    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 4 years ago

      Love the detail and the extra photos really help.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      Mine is a small Panasonic point and shoot that was purchased around 6 years ago and it is great for my needs. It cost somewhere around $100 from a local retailer who highly recommended it at the time and the pics of my kittens and other things are all taken with it, Great lens and thanks for the info. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2013 and also on Photography. Hugs

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Brian, you are correct about the shutter lag. And there are definitely differences between models. The cameras listed here do vary tremendously in price and quality, and their value is a direct result of customer satisfaction for dollars paid. I will do my best to include the category of speed for focusing, continuous shooting, and shutter lag.

      Thanks for the insightful comment.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      What about focusing speed and shutter lag? One of the biggest annoyances people have with P&S cameras are how slow they are when trying to capture action and multiple shots quickly. I see no mention of any of that.

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 5 years ago

      @CoffeeWriter LM: Hi CoffeeWriter, thanks for the vote of confidence. I also like seeing the photos that others take with a camera I am considering. I think it's one of the main reasons for buying a particular camera.

    • CoffeeWriter LM profile image

      CoffeeWriter LM 5 years ago

      Amazing lens with lots of detail yet not overwhelming. Really appreciate seeing sample photos taken with each camera.

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 5 years ago

      @himTrini: Thanks so much himTrini, I would not be upset at all if you shared this information with her :-).

    • profile image

      himTrini 5 years ago

      One of my coworkers asked me what the best point and shoot camera was just earlier today, She could really use this link; you have everything covered. Great job.

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 5 years ago

      @vinodkpillai lm: Yes, I would choose that one too, but my problem is that I would choose all of them - I should own a camera store :-)

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 5 years ago

      @mbgphoto: Right you are.. I always have a camera handy and ready, even if it is my iPhone. And, yes, you can get some amazing quality out of even a simple little point and shoot like the PowerShot SD1200. Thanks for sharing your camera preferences.

    • profile image

      MimayManalo 5 years ago

      very catchy shoots... i am now interested on Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150, this will be a very nice start :)

    • vinodkpillai lm profile image

      vinodkpillai lm 5 years ago

      These are all new and I haven't tried them out, but if I have to select one just now, I think I'll pick the Canon Powershot G12. Great lens with plenty of info. Thanks for sharing.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 5 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Great camera. I have a Canon Powershot SX40 HS and love it. The zoom is wonderful and it is so light weight compared to my DSLR. When traveling where I know I'll be doing a bit of hiking to get my shots the Canon SX40 will be my camera of choice. I also carry a Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS in my purse at all times so I always have a camera available...I'm always amazed when I get shots as good as I could on my DSLR. I like having several options.

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 5 years ago

      @MimayManalo: You can't go wrong with the Panasonic FZ150, and you may even consider the newer FZ200.

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 5 years ago

      @facts7: Yes, the Nikon P510 is on the verge of breaking into the Top 5 list! Thanks for pointing this out.

    • profile image

      facts7 5 years ago

      Nikon COOLPIX P510 great camera

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      What a beautiful! How much is this??

      Dich vu Seo

    • profile image

      leonasharon 5 years ago

      YA appreciate ur knowledge about cameras.Thanks!

    • profile image

      Jwittier 5 years ago

      Great reviews dude! Always nice to check up on new gear!

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Good info! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 5 years ago

      jwloo, while the Leica is a great camera according to those who own it, it is #1083 on the best sellers list at Amazon. When you have over 1000 cameras ahead of you, the chances of making a Top 5 list are pretty slim :-) If you happen to own one of these, you are a lucky dude! Thanks for your comment.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I wonder why the Leica D-LUX 5 Digital camera didn't make the list. Perhaps too expensive? Maybe because it didn't come out this year? Hmm...

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 5 years ago

      I'm usually happy with the results I get from my iPhone, so I hardly ever carry a camera now. But, when I do, it's an Olympus.

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 5 years ago

      @savateuse: iPhones cameras have really gotten much better, and many people are using them. They are especially useful when posting photos to Social Media like Facebook. It's actually pretty funny that there are lenses you can buy to attach to newer iPhones.. they look crazy with a lens attached.

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 5 years ago

      @BarbRad: I did not know about the Costco guarantee, but I have used the Amazon 30 day "no questions asked" return policy. The one tricky thing about that is that you have to buy from Amazon, not one of the other sellers. For instance, I got a lens from JR Electronics (through Amazon) and their policy was only 15 days. Anyway, hope you find the camera you will be happy with. Panasonic makes some good ones.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 5 years ago from Templeton, CA

      Choosing a camera is such a pain. I've been reading reviews on Amazon all afternoon, and I never know if the positive and negative reviews are unbiased or not. I was interested in the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 and I read everything from that it was exactly the right one for me to "Don't buy this camera." Costco doesn't carry it, so I would not get the "return in 90 days, no questions asked" policy that is so desirable. I can't always find someone I know who has used the camera I'm interested in. Your reviews did put a few other possibilities on my list.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      great info you have

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 5 years ago

      @JoyfulReviewer: Thanks for your insightful comment. I like sample pictures. It gives me hope that I might be able to duplicate the quality with that particular camera.

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      I hope to buy a new camera soon, and will definitely use the helpful info. you've provided when making my choice. I especially liked that you provided sample pictures taken with each of the cameras being reviewed.

    • GeekGirl1 profile image

      GeekGirl1 5 years ago

      Canon powershot sx40

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Canon S100 or S200 when it comes out.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Canon PowerShot SX40 HS looks great,

    • TTMall profile image

      TTMall 5 years ago

      Very informative lens. Well done!

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 5 years ago

      @baileyvisuals: The G9 was (and is) a fine camera. The G12 obviously has some upgrades, but I don't buy the newest model every time one is released either. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

    • baileyvisuals profile image

      baileyvisuals 5 years ago

      Well I am a canon G9 user still and love that! Nice lens and very informative to find the best point and shoot.

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you WorldWide101. Yes, the PowerShot lineup offers some excellent cameras. I need to look into the Nikon N1 because it is also getting a lot of attention.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Yea i agree the canon power shot is a great camera to make photo`s!

      Great Lens! The Nikon N1 is a awesome camera to btw :P

    • glenbrook profile image

      glenbrook 6 years ago

      Of the ones on your list, I like the Canon G11 because it has a real viewfinder and it can run the CHDK. I like the G12 better though because it's $150 cheaper, still has a real viewfinder, and is still CHDK capable. Not sure why people like the earlier model better, the G12 doesn't give up anything compared to the G11, unlike most "improved" cameras.

    • adamfrench profile image

      adamfrench 6 years ago

      Impressive lens, thumbs up

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 6 years ago

      @deyanis: Thank you deyani. I am glad you liked it. And, yes, the G11 is a great choice, as are all the cameras listed here.

    • deyanis profile image

      deyanis 6 years ago from Oz

      I've heard many great reviews about Canon PowerShot G11, so this camera has my vote. You have explained the top 5 point and shoot camera comprehensively and this lens has been blessed & is now showcased on my Baby Angel lens.

    • profile image

      canonpowershotprice 6 years ago

      I have

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 6 years ago

      @sukkran trichy: Thanks Sukran, great choice - Canon G11. It looks as if the G12 is gaining ground in popularity now.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 6 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      canon powershot g11 is my fav. thanks for the detailed useful info. ~blessed by a squid angel~

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 6 years ago

      @kitchenfloortiles: You are right about the cost, but I would take a DLSR any day if I could afford it. Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      kitchenfloortiles 6 years ago

      I think the new nikon d7000 price is too much to afford and these cameras you reviewed are much better, so thanks for your views.