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Top Rated Point and Shoot Cameras 2013 - 2014 Review

Updated on February 20, 2014

Compact Digital Camera Guide and Review 2014

I like to use my DSLR camera when I'm trying to get professional-level quality, but most of the time my compact point and shoot camera is the one I take with me on road trips. Because I go biking a lot it's just easier to have a small, lightweight camera that can still take really great pictures. Below I'll review a few of the top rated point and shoot cameras for 2014 thus far.

Canon Point and Shoot Camera
Canon Point and Shoot Camera

Canon PowerShot ELPH 300

If you need a camera to fit into your pocket or purse easily, this one should be a great companion. It is very thin and weighs less than 5 ounces. It comes with a 24mm ultra wide angle lens. The technology in this camera gives you very good shots in low light situations with is a very nice feature since you don't always want to, or can't, use the flash in every setting. It features 12.1 megapixels for very nice shots.

Great Movies with a Point and Shoot Camera

One thing I really like about this camera is the quick video recording button; instead of fumbling with the menu to hurry and capture video, all you have to do is push the button on the camera to instantly start shooting. The options for movie taking are really fun. This includes slow motion movie taking and miniature movie modes. Something else that I have enjoyed, since I have fast moving children, is the High Speed Burst Mode that takes eight frames per second. This makes a good feature for sporting events as well. One thing I have noticed about this camera is that the lens gets stuck periodically. Luckily I never had it get stuck permanently but I know other owners have had issues with that. This camera is definitely not for the professional photographer but it works very well for the average user or family. When in auto mode, you don't have the option to change many settings which is kind of a drawback. I also noticed that the finish was a little rough with the logo being bigger and not very smooth. This does not affect picture taking however, it is just a cosmetic issue. I enjoy being able to edit color and give my pictures different effects; I am not trained in Photoshop so having this on the camera is nice for me.

Best New Canon Point and Shoot Cameras 2014

Here's a few of my favorite Canon point and shoot digital cameras listed in order of popularity and customer rating.

Sony Compact Digital Camera
Sony Compact Digital Camera

Sony Cyber Shot DSC-HX200V

This device captures a whopping 18.2 megapixels for very nice high def images. I think the best thing about this camera is the image stabilization with 3 way active mode. It is really hard to take a blurry picture with this camera and that is a huge plus for me. It features 3D sweep panorama capabilities, which makes taking scenic photos very convenient. The camera detects what scene mode is appropriate so you don't have to try to pick the right setting. One thing that I notice is that I often take pictures outside of subjects in the shade but they are hard to see. I don't even need to worry about it with this camera. There are features like soft skin mode to even out the skin tone of your subjects, face detection, smile shutter and anti-blink detection to make sure you get the best pictures possible.

Near Professional Photos with a Point and Shoot Camera

I've always noticed how professional pictures sometimes have blurred backgrounds so the focus of the picture is just that - the focus. DSLR cameras used to be the only ones to blur out backgrounds but now this point and shoot camera can do it! I did notice that the zoom on review mode is kind of slow to react. This isn't a huge issue but can be a pain when in a hurry to make sure your shot came out ok. This camera is not the smallest on the market but it takes some great pictures. This makes a good camera for someone who likes to travel; the GPS function will record your location and direction of shot for easy remembrance. I personally don't use that function but I'm glad to know it's there when I do want to use it!

Kodak Point Shoot Camera
Kodak Point Shoot Camera

Kodak EasyShare Z990

This camera gives you 12 megapixel picture capacity and a 30x optical zoom. The low light shots on this camera were not as good as the Canon PowerShot, but they weren't too bad overall. I liked the wide angle lens that let me get shots in close quarters. Something fun with this camera was the Photobooth capture mode that takes four consecutive photos like those taken in a real photobooth. I appreciate that it comes with rechargeable batteries that are included, along with a charger. It does seem like the battery power gets eaten up rather quickly and this was a drawback for me, but at least they are rechargeable. They give you more life than regular batteries however. You get user friendly modes so you can change the aperture and shutter speeds. Picture editing is easy and gives you options for creative borders around your photos. It has a few more color options than some of the others which include vivid, full, basic color, black and white, and sepia.

Sharing Pictures from your Digital Camera is Easy

It's not called the EasyShare for nothing. You can share to multiple social networks and emails simultaneously. While you review your pictures you simply need to push the Share button and choose your destination. When you connect your camera to a computer, it will automatically share those pictures you specified. I thought it was cool that it uploads friends' tags to Facebook too. The picture quality is not as great as some other cameras I've tried but it is still a good affordable option. It is very user friendly and that is a big plus for me. I did notice that sometimes the processing of images can slow down the camera. There is anywhere from a three to six second delay before being able to take pictures again.

Nikon Coolpix AW100 Digital Camera
Nikon Coolpix AW100 Digital Camera

Nikon CoolPix AW100

16 megapixels delivers great pictures in any setting. Your video capturing happens in 1080p full HD with stereo sound. I did notice that the sound was not as good as I had hoped before viewing my videos, but it isn't horrible, just not as great as it could be. This is also a camera that has GPS tracking capabilities. I like that it comes with a built in map system so I can view my path. The compass is very handy as well; my husband got a little turned around when backcountry snowboarding once and this was a boon to him.

Sturdy Camera for an Active Photographer

For the active person, this camera is a great choice. It is waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof. If you like to have a good camera for snorkeling or scuba diving, you can take it down to 33 feet. If you are a skier, you will be happy to know that it will take pictures in temperatures as low as 14 degrees. Also, dropping it is not problem, as long as it isn't more than 5 feet. Because this was made for sportier type people, pictures are made to be sharper even if you are moving while shooting. I did not like how it was very slow to boot up and get from menu to menu though, that was a big drawback when in a hurry to change settings for different pictures. It does not have the most user friendly menus and navigation systems so it takes a bit more education before being able to use it swiftly. Low light pictures leave a lot to be desired and that was kind of a drawback for me. It is a very convenient camera to carry around which is nice. The battery life is pretty good for lasting an entire day of picture taking; taking videos does suck more battery life that I noticed. This is probably not my first choice of camera but for the outdoor enthusiast, it is one of the better options on the market.

Pentax Digital Camera
Pentax Digital Camera

Pentax Optio WG-2

Another camera for a hardcore outdoorsman, or woman, is this 13th generation Pentax. It holds up under any kind of weather and is waterproof for up to 40 feet. Anybody will appreciate that it can withstand temperatures of negative 10 degrees, that it's dustproof, shockproof and even crushproof; it can handle weights up to 220 LBF (pound force). This makes a good feature when you have it at the bottom of a backpack or when it gets wedged between solid objects. A very cool feature on this device are the 6 macro LED's used with a detachable macro focus ring for good focus and even lighting around the smallest of objects; up to 1 cm in front of you. You get 16 megapixels with a 5x optical zoom lens, a 3 inch LCD screen and 1080p video capabilities. The 3 inch LCD screen is nice and big for reviewing your pictures and videos. An added benefit is the HDMI port so images can be viewed on HDTV's.

I really enjoyed using the infrared remote. This made a great option for self-portraits and group shots; I have yet to see how it holds up for very small subject picture taking. I did notice that it was kind of slow in shooting but the picture turn out really nice for my liking. The best advice for someone considering this camera is to decide what your primary needs are: amazing pictures or durability. Most of the price comes into play because of the technology put into the rugged design instead of the picture quality, but I was still impressed with the pictures compared to other point and shoot cameras on the market.

Panasonic Lumix Point Shoot Camera
Panasonic Lumix Point Shoot Camera

Panasonic Lumix ZS20

This 14.1 megapixel camera with 24mm wide angle lens gives you nice pictures with quite a bit of range. I have to say that this camera has some great noise reduction technology making it smooth and very fast. You get optimum noise reduction based on the brightness of your pictures and low light photos turn out very well.

One of the best Zooms on a Point Shoot Camera

I must say that I was very impressed with the zoom capabilities of this camera; it comes with a 20x optical zoom but has 40x Intelligent Zoom as an extension. This means you can bring your subjects 2x closer than with the original zoom; I had a lot of fun testing this out and my pictures came out great. You also get 20x optical zoom in video recording and while recording; some other cameras won't let you change the zoom once you start taking video. It comes with some nice features for movie taking. First, you get wind cut reduction so your voices can be heard instead of the breeze, you can record in high speed so watching in slow motion is possible, and my absolute favorite feature is being able to cut a still image from a video with no hassle! Some of the other cameras we have reviewed have been slow to reload after taking a picture but this camera is super-fast; it is ready to take another picture almost immediately. I was a little bit overwhelmed by the menus since it takes a lot of clicks to get where I want to go and there are a lot of buttons on the camera. This device is easy to carry around because it is small and compact. Picture quality was not as sharp as some of the others I've tried, but there is so much else to love on the camera that this is really not a deal breaker for me, nor am I a professional photographer. The touch screen is kind of nice, but sometimes it is just easier to use the controls. I often get confused as to when I can even use the screen and when I am supposed to use the controls since there is little indication if the screen is functional at certain times. But again, this kind of issue resolves itself with more practice using the camera.

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