How to Find the Best Point and Shoot Camera for Your Needs

Technology  ·  Guides   Updated October 2019

Point and shoot cameras are the biggest segment of the camera market. They are usually compact and simple to use. All the camera needs is to press the shutter button and it will handle the rest. Aperture, focus, light sensitivity and the shutter speed are all automatically adjusted on the fly.

Point and shoot cameras are designed for:

  • those who are not satisfied with the quality of the photos from their cell phone
  • those who don't want to carry anything large like a digital SLR-type camera
  • those who want something relatively easy to use, to take great photos with little effort
  • those who want a camera with super-zoom (10x, 20x and more), but can't afford or don't want a D-SLR camera with zoom lens

How to Choose the Best Point and Shoot?

Point and shoots come in many sizes, shapes and prices. It's quite difficult to choose what to buy. In this article you will find the things to watch out for when deciding what is best for you.

Image Quality

It's not just about megapixels. Today's point-and-shoots all have about 10 and more megapixel sensor and it hardly makes any difference whether it's 10, 12 or 16MP unless you intend to make large prints. If you want to take great photos, camera lens, image stabilization, sensor size and sensitivity are far more important.

Camera Lens

When choosing a camera it is essential to pick the right lens focal length range. This will tell you what field of view (FOV) the camera will be able to cover. For instance, imagine one camera has a focal length range of 28-140mm and another covers 35-175mm. Both of them will have 5x zoom, but the former will offer a wider angle at 28mm, while the latter will have more zoom at 175mm. A wider angle of the 28-140mm lens means the camera will be easier to use in tighter spaces and to take photos of a group of people from closer distance. (e.g. at a party)

Optical Image Stabilization

Image stabilization helps to prevent blurry photos, by compensating for the movement of your shaky hands. This is one of the most important features you should look for, especially when you intend to shoot low light conditions and don't want to use tripod or flash all the time.

High-ISO Performance in Low Light

If you want to take a lot of photos indoor, in the evening, or on a cloudy day, you might want to look into how well your camera performs in low light. ISO setting tells you how much light is collected by the sensor, and the less light you have available, the higher the ISO-setting will get automatically adjusted. In cheaper point-and-shoot cameras, indoor photos taken without flash will often result in unclear noise-filled images. You could use flash for every low-light situation, however the flash has a limited range and the effect is not always good, especially with small flash built in a compact camera.

Size and Functionality

Generally there is a trade-off between how much a camera can do and how big it is. You have to decide whether, for example, an extra large optical zoom is more important than a small size. Superzoom point-and-shoots are almost as big as entry-level D-SLR cameras. If you want a camera with plenty of features and settings to play with, you need to understand that the smaller the camera is, the more difficult it will be to access those settings through smaller buttons and LCD screen. (if touch-enabled)

Recording Videos

Most point-and-shoot cameras have the ability to record HD video. Currently the most popular HD formats are full HD 1080p and 720p most likely to be seen on cheaper models. If video quality is important to you, go for full HD.

In the list below you can find the models, which are particularly outstanding and popular among users:

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