Maybe you’re a seasoned pro who is looking for a portable, light camera to lug around (those heavy DSLR’s take a number on your arms, don’t they?) or maybe you’re just getting into photography and looking for an easy, compact camera to get those once in a lifetime shots of your family and friends. No matter your use, I’m here to help you along your journey of finding the best point and shoot cameras 2017 has to offer!
Best Point and Shoot Cameras 2017
Sit back, grab your favorite drink and let’s dive into our list of the top 8 compact cameras you gotta’ check out before you pull the trigger and purchase any compact cameras this year! Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
So whatcha’ waiting for? Scroll down below and let’s get into our top 8 favorite point and shoot cameras…
|Nikon Coolpix S7000||16||1080p||3"|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS60|
|Olympus Tough TG-4||16||1080p||3"|
|Sony DSC-RX100M III Cyber-shot||21||1080p||3"|
|Canon Powershot ELPH 160||20||720p||2.7"|
|Nikon Coolpix S33||13||1080p||2.7"|
|Canon PowerShot SX720 HS||20||1080p||3"|
Nikon Coolpix S7000 – Best Compact Camera for Beginners
Nikon’s Coolpix line has been around for ages and there’s good reason: The Nikon Coolpix S7000 is a great, all-around camera for any individual who wants to have the luxury of a point and shoot camera which is compact, but powerful. It’s packin’ 16 megapixels which is more than enough to print your photos at decent sizes and hang them around your home. At only 5 ounces in weight, it’ll be incredibly light so you can take it around on all your adventures with friends, those fun vacations with family and crazy nights out.
Zoom and Image Stabilization God
The Nikon S7000 has been equipped with an amazing 4x zoom and unrivaled image stabilization: Imagine sitting outside on a beautiful, clear summer night and being able to capture that full, bright moon in vivid detail with craters in sight. Trust us when we say that you’re family and friends will be in awe and asking you how you managed to capture such an amazing image!
Snappy Focusing Speed
Remember the days of slow, clumsy point and shoot cameras that could hardly capture your kids playing sports or any other activity that required a lot of movement? Those days are long gone and the Nikon S7000 improves upon that by having quick, efficient focusing speed for you to capture all those quick moving movements in a flash. That’s right, don’t hesitate to whip it out and get a shot of that bird flying overhead or your significant other doing something crazy like jumping on one leg and trying to rub their head at the same time (don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about!)
Photograph, Upload, Share
Nowadays a lot of people forget to take a compact camera’s ability to upload files quickly and share them with friends and family. Well, with Nikon’s SnapBridge App, you’ll be able to shoot, upload and share with ease. The app is dead simple to use and makes it easy for you to view images you love and share them with all your social media friends!
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS60 – Best Point and Shoot Camera for 2017
Hold your breath because we’re about to show you why the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS60 should be considered if you’ve got a medium ranged budget and want a killer camera. Though Panasonic might not be first that comes to mind when thinking about compact cameras, they’ve been in the game a long time and are a force to be reckoned with. The DMC-ZS60 sports a sleek design and a saucy 18 megapixels. With 4K video and Panasonic’s exclusive Lumix 4K Photo, we’d call you out of your mind if you thought that this camera was lacking on the technical details. It’s also rockin’ a 24-720mm (that’s a 30x ZOOM!) lens for you to capture ridiculously close images from long distances.
Testing shows that this camera has a great interface and easy to use controls, but doesn’t skimp on having more advanced features that amateur and pro photographers will enjoy.
We also consider it a great point and shoot camera for travel and hiking because of it’s amazing zoom lens and fast shutter speed for catching things with quick movement. (We like to say it’s as fast as a cheetah and maybe if you’re out on a Safari you could actually snap a shot of one!)
The camera has a CMOS sensor and comes in at a little over 1/2lb. Still lightweight and easy to maneuver, this little gem will fit perfectly in your bag without you even noticing.
Not only are you going to be shooting jaw dropping photos with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS60, but you have the capability of getting gorgeous 4K video! No longer are your hikes confined to just getting beautiful photos, but now you can bring your friends and family along for the experience with video detail that will blow them away. Pretty nifty stuff in such a small package, eh?
The camera has a standard design and comes in black or silver (although both models are primarily black). It’s easy to hold in your hand and feels rugged enough to take with you on anything you can think up to do in your mind.
Crystal Clear Display
It has a standard 3” display, but the quality is noticeable and colors are true so that you are capturing exactly what you see.
Olympus Tough TG-4 – Best Compact Camera for Extreme Sports
You’re in a kayak traveling down those intense rapids and you want a camera to withstand the water, abuse and wear and tear. What ya’ gonna turn to? The Olympus Tough TG-4! If you’re into extreme sports or any other types of crazy adventures where normal point and shoot cameras would take a literal beating, then this is your baby. With a rugged, but polished looking design this Olympus camera fits in with the most extreme weather conditions, but is still suitable for taking it out around that new, exotic location you may be exploring.
Quick F2.0 Lens Speed
You’re going to be able to catch all the action with the fast F2.0 lens that the Tough TG-4 is equipped with. Struggling to get some decent light for those early morning or near dusk expeditions? No problem as having an aperture of F2.0 will provide you with optimal light entering the camera for even the toughest lighting situations.
Top Camera Modes
While most cameras have your boring, everyday basic shooting modes, the Olympus Tough TG-4 flips the script by giving you powerful macro capability and an epic HDR Underwater Mode. With this, you’ll be able to capture those hard to get images on your favorite snorkeling or scuba diving excursions.
We found that Olympus also offered a live composite mode which was unique. This technology combines images (similar to the Underwater HDR mode) to give you perfectly balanced and lighted images. With these options the scenes you capture are going to look dramatic and almost movie like.
The Olympus Tough TG-4 is already a backpacker’s and extreme outdoor enthusiast’s wet dream, but it also packs some special features like a compass and GPS for you to rely on in those remote and excluded locations. Save some space in your travel bag as now you’re camera will be able to double as a robust GPS with landmark recognition technology and a compass that can measure things like water depth, altitude and barometric pressure.
Rugged and Tough Camera Body
We’ve been saying all along – this is the camera to get if you want to take a camera anywhere and not have to worry about it being demolished. Feel confident knowing that this travel point and shoot camera has a crush proof rating of 2200 lbf as well as being shock, dust and freeze-proof!
In today’s compact camera world, no point and shoot would be complete without WiFi capability and the Olympus TG-4 is no exception. We found that it allows you to quickly and capture and upload photos with their OI.Share App. You can also share images instantly with the press of a button after connecting them with a QR code – a pretty neat feature which makes sharing images even easier!
Sony DSC-RX100M III Cyber-shot – Best Advanced Point and Shoot Camera
The time has come to talk about undoubtedly one of the best compact cameras currently on the market. With its’ slick style and internal specs that’ll make your jaw drop, the Sony DSC-RX100M III is on our list for being a compact camera for all the advanced photographers out there. At almost $700, it’s in the upper range of compact cameras, but for good reason:
Everything these days is about bigger and better. This Sony packs a 20.1 1” CMOS sensor. So, what exactly does that mean? For starters, you’re going to be able to print every photo you take at almost any size you need with extreme clarity and depth. If you’ve always wanted that big canvas hanging over the bed in your room, this baby will be able to capture a high enough resolution to do it for you. Second, you’re going to have even more room for cropping out that “not so perfectly” framed shot.
Perfect Lens Range
While having a 24-200mm zoom range on a point and shoot camera might sound nice, it’s hardly practical and is intended for those users who want a “do it all” type of camera. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III sports a practical, Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 24-70mm ranged lens that has a variable aperture rating of F1.8-2.8. This means you are going to be able to capture those beautiful, portrait style photographs with those creamy, bokeh backgrounds that everybody is trying to achieve. Wide angle (24mm) gives you enough room to achieve group shots or selfies, while having a zoom range of 70mm will be great for those times you need a little zoom to capture subjects farther away. Trust us when we say that this lens will blow away your expectations and you’ll find that it is the perfect range for getting any type of portrait or landscape shot you’ll need to capture.
LCD Display of Legends
With a big, bright 3” LCD display sitting on the back of the Sony DSC-RX100 III, you’re going to be able to review every picture with quickly and make adjustments on the go. While we’re talking about the display, everybody knows we are currently in the era of selfies and Sony thought of a great addition: the 3” LCD display can pivot and rotate at various angles so you’re able to get all the selfie shots you desire. Worried about shooting out in full sun because of not being able to see the screen? No worries there either as the DSC-RX100 III incorporates a WhiteMagic technology that helps reduce glare and increases the screen brightness during those bright, full sun days.
Smooth and Creamy Video
No, we’re not talking about Skippy’s peanut butter. The video on this camera is absolutely amazing. With the aperture range it boasts and its’ low light capability, video has never been more immersive or looked so good in so many different lighting situations. This advanced point and shoot camera can shoot up to 1080p at 60fps. While we would have liked to see it be able to shoot at 2k or even 4k, the provided variable aperture lens of 24-70mm makes up for the lack of video resolution since you’ll be able to grab more diverse types of video.
Our Final Thoughts
Canon Powershot ELPH 160 – Best Point and Shoot Camera Under $200
If you’re looking for the perfect point and shoot camera under 200 ($), then the Canon Powershot ELPH 160 is for you! While it may seem basic compared to some of our other compact cameras reviewed on here, it packs a punch for the user who wants something quick and easy to get the shot of anything and everything. No complex controls, settings or hard to understand terms here.
Keep reading to find out why we know this camera will be a perfect fit for you:
Easy Peezy Lemon Squeezy
Did we already mention how easy this point and shoot camera is to use? No fumbling around trying to find what you need; no having to learn complex terms or looking at settings you have no clue about. Spend less time learning and more time doing what you want to do – shooting! Out of all the cameras available, this one has to be the simplest, most down to earth and straightforward to use. It’s also slim, light and easy to handle, which will make you feel confident using every time you bring it out. Trust us when we say that family and friends will thank you for being able to capture the moments quickly and effortlessly without having to “think” about what to do.
Video That Won’t Overwhelm You
We all love capturing those special moments with video, but some point and shoot cameras pack such a high resolution video that it’s a pain and struggle to deal with once you’ve uploaded it onto your computer. Not the Canon PowerShot ELPH 160. Ya’ see, with a video HD range of up to 720p, this leaves you with the perfect balance of quality video, but without the massive file sizes and storage that goes along with it. After all, who wants to spend time having to figure out how to store all that video? Rest assured that the actual process of shooting video is simple with an easy click of the on-camera movie button. Give yourself a break and make video easy!
Best Auto Mode We’ve Seen
The PowerShot ELPH 160 sports a function called Smart AUTO: this chooses the best scene and settings for the current situation you’re shooting in making it a breeze to capture images in almost any setting. If you’d like to manually select a shooting mode you have 17 different options to choose from such as Portrait, Toy Camera Effect, Poster Effect, Snow, Fireworks and Super Vivid. Out of all the cameras we have reviewed in this price range, the ELPH 160 provides some of the most diverse and best shooting modes available. As well, the Smart AUTO focus mode was one of the best we have seen in its’ category.
It Keeps On Goin’
Tired of messing with compact cameras that have horrible battery life and leave you running to the charger more than anything else? Not anymore. The PowerShot ELPH 160 sports an ECO mode which optimizes the camera’s power management and the LCD display which allows you to get more photos per charge. Pretty cool, eh? What’s even more cool is that they have added this feature on the camera with a dedicated button, so all you need to do is press it for activation and continue on with your adventures!
Nikon Coolpix S33 – Best Waterproof Compact Camera
So you’re looking for a camera, but not just any compact camera – it needs to be easy to use, light and most of all – waterproof! Well, there’s a lot to choose from in the waterproof category, but we’d have to say the Nikon Coolpix S33 takes the cake. Waterproof up to 32 feet and packing a 13.2MP CMOS sensor, you can’t go wrong with this beauty. While it doesn’t get any style points from us, that’s not the focus. After all, you’re looking for an affordable waterproof point and shoot camera that can take great images in unique locations. Keep reading and find out why we’ve rated the Coolpix S33 our top choice:
Larger than Life
We’ve noticed that a lot of underwater cameras are very good, but one thing they always get wrong are the buttons and menus. Ya’ see, being under the water and having to navigate a camera isn’t always the easiest thing, so when a manufacturer like Nikon includes big, oversized buttons and smooth menus it makes our job of changing settings and getting those underwater shots so much easier, am I right? The buttons on the Nikon Coolpix S33 are dead simple to use and provide you with enough room and space that using them in the water are easy as pie. No more messing around trying to get that perfect setting or even snapping a photo while that exotic, rare fish swims away.
Fun, Underwater Video
We all know taking photos underwater is fun, but what’s even better? Video! That’s right, bust out this compact camera underwater and enjoy capturing video in 1080p. Also, the camera is equipped with stereo sound that makes your videos not only look amazing, but sounds come to life. Whether you’re snorkeling off a beach in Maui or have friends and family over in the pool for a relaxing BBQ, you know your Coolpix S33 will do the job and document it well with video!
With a 3x Nikkor wide angle zoom lens it’s great for capturing anything and everything under the water. While we loved the zoom, we did notice that zooming in too far would degrade quality, so that’s something to be cautious of. Either way, having a 3x zoom is more than sufficient for underwater photography, especially when objects you may be photography are usually not too far away.
As Light As…
One significant advantage this underwater camera has as opposed to a few others that are in the market is that it is very light! Coming in at only 5.7 ounces there are times you are going to forget this camera is even around your wrist. As light as it is, the casing and feel of the camera is still sturdy enough and it doesn’t give off the vibe that it is a cheap, throw-away camera.
Sony DSCW830 – A Budget Friendly Compact Camera
If you’re looking for a great all-around camera that can be used in a variety of different situations, then you owe it to yourself to take a look at the Sony DSCW830. This beautiful, compact Sony camera has won our award for being one of the best budget friendly point and shoot cameras in the market. With a higher end range of 20 megapixels and a convenient 8x zoom, you can’t go wrong with picking this up right away. Are you curious why we’ve rated this compact camera so highly? We thought so! Keep reading and find out:
Ready, Steady, Go!
While we loved the Canon Powershot ELPH 160, it was missing one important factor: that’s right – image stabilization! With this Sony DSCW830 you aren’t going to have to worry about unstable images because it comes with a powerful zoom and image stabilization to help grab you those up close and personal shots. We believe image stabilization is one of the most important additions on a point and shoot camera under the 200 dollar price range. It allows the camera to be versatile and helps you adapt as a photographer to a lot of different situations such as capturing clean, still images at sporting events or getting candid images of your kids playing at the park!
A Video Feature To Die For
The camera comes with a standard 720p MP4 HD video mode which is perfect for a camera at this price point, but there’s an included feature that makes this camera extra worthy of our “Best Compact Camera” under $200. Sony has included their Optical SteadyShot image Stabilization so you no longer have to worry about having video that shakes you to death when viewing it. That’s right, feel free to walk (or even run) and Sony’s 2-way Active Mode will auto-correct the video for both horizontal and vertical motion. If you ask us, this feature alone is one of our favorites and a must have for any point and shoot camera you are looking at under the $200 price range.
That’s right…panorama! The DSCW830 includes an up to 360 degree Panorama mode which we found great for capturing images of your total surrounding and achieving a very immersive feel! While this mode isn’t something you’re going to be using all the time, it achieves beautiful panorama images to share with your family and friends. Press the shutter button and sweep around yourself as the camera takes total control and captures images at high speed. It then stitches the photos together automatically leaving you with a super wide angle view that anyone viewing your pictures will be amazed by.
Crystal Clear Screen
Another feature that stood out to us was the fact that the Sony DSCW830 has a 2.7” (230k dots) LCD screen for viewing and reviewing your photos. This means that you aren’t going to miss an important shot because of a low quality display. You’ll have natural and vibrant colors to review, frame your shots and navigate the menus with ease.
Canon PowerShot SX720 HS – Favorite Point and Shoot Camera for Traveling
If you’re on the hunt for a higher quality point and shoot camera, but still want to keep it under a $400 budget, then the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS is right up your alley. With a 20.3 megapixel sensor and the ability to shoot video in 1080p and at 60fps, you couldn’t find a better deal even if you tried. The amount of features this Canon packs into its’ small build will leave you wondering what else they could possibly include that you don’t already have. Ready to find out more? Let’s go:
A Truly, “Do Everything” Kinda’ Lens
Yes, the Canon PowerShot SX720 packs quite the lens: imagine having the capability to shoot from a range of 24-960mm and everything in between. Well, imagine no more! Those specs are not a typo, and yes, they’re every bit of as amazing as they sound. We guarantee you will be blown away when capturing close up images using Canon’s Macro (Hybrid) IS mode. The vivid, life-like detail that this lens produces with close up objects is absolutely incredible. Also having the functionality to zoom in 40x puts you on another level compared to most other point and shoot cameras. The lens on the PowerShot SX720 is nothing short of a masterpiece and you’ll find yourself being able to shoot in almost any situation with confidence. Out of all the features this camera offers, the lens capabilities and specs is our absolute favorite. We’ve found that it is so good it almost rivals camera’s lenses twice its’ price point!
Remote Shooting and Viewing Capabilities
The remote shooting on the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS is a kick ass feature that any amateur to advanced photographer can appreciate. You’ll find and think up so many uses for this feature that it almost, in our opinion, single handedly justifies the cost of the camera. Are you interested in getting off camera, third person footage of you and some friends on your crazy adventures? No problem. With Canon’s Camera Connect App your device will show a live image allowing you to quickly and easily frame your shots for that perfect image or video footage. The other great addition to this application is the built in wifi technology that makes sharing fast and easy. You can remotely transfer files and video directly to your devices without the need of a computer which makes sharing your best moments that much easier. Gone are the days of having to wait until you get home to share everything with the world. Now, in a matter of minutes you can bring anyone and everyone along with you. At a $300+ price point for the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS, these live features are great additions and worth the extra cost.
Built Like a Beast
There’s no doubt about it – for the price, the PowerShot SX720 HS is built like a beast. It has a finger grip on the front of the camera to ensure that you get a steady hold. The large 3” LCD feels solid and is fairly resistant to scratches. The dials and placements of the settings are functional and make sense and the buttons feel firm and not flimsy like a lot of the other compact camera manufacturers these days. Overall, the camera has a very sleek design that we found attractive, yet subtle. You aren’t going to be standing out when you pull this out on your next trip, which is a good thing.
The Buyer’s Guide to Compact Cameras
We know how much work it takes to research, analyze and make a buying decision when deciding on the best point and shoot cameras 2017 has to offer. In this buying guide, we want to show you the key areas you need to focus on so you can effectively choose the perfect camera that fits your budget and shooting needs.
3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Buying Any Camera
Our Most Frequently Asked Questions
- Question: Aren’t DSLR’s and mirrorrless cameras better than point and shoots?
- Answer: I’ll answer that by saying yes and no. Ultimately, it’s gonna’ come down to what your goal with the camera is. While DSLR’s and mirrorless cameras have their upsides, point and shoot cameras are great for the fact that they’re small, light and portable.
- Question: What features do I need to pay attention to when buying a point and shoot camera?
- Answer: Our personal top 3 features you need to consider when buying any compact camera is whether it includes image stabilization, has good low light performance and the included video quality.
- Question: What usually comes included in a compact camera kit?
- Answer: If you’re not buying a “camera kit”, then typically what comes included inside the packaging are: batteries, charger, strap (maybe), and lens covers. Anything additional that you may need such as a SD card or a camera bag will need to be purchased separately.
- Question: Are point and shoot cameras good for vlogging (YouTube vlogging, etc)
- Answer: Yes! Actually, we’d much rather prefer carrying around a compact camera for any type of vlogging work rather than a DSLR. While the DSLR may have better functionality and be able to capture some pretty epic scenes, it’s a pain to lug around with all the gear, set up and shoot. Again, this depends on the person and their personal needs, but point and shoot cameras are great if you need something light and portable, but that you still want to have great quality and pack a punch.
- Question: Is a point and shoot camera usually a good choice for beginners?
- Answer: Again, this depends: If you’re brand new to photography and just want to snap a couple of good pictures and are casually dabbling around then compact cameras are very good starting places to get your feet wet! However, some people will want to make photography their career and they already know that is the direction they are taking – if this is the case and you have a budget that can fit a DSLR or higher end mirrorless camera, then move that way.
- Question: What size memory card do you recommend and what brands?
- Answer: We recommend getting the largest memory card you can afford, but anything over 16gb for a beginner should be plenty (unless you plan on recording a lot of video then look at grabbing a 64gb card to start out with). As far as brands go, we recommend Sandisk or Lexar.
- Question: Should I buy a used compact camera?
- Answer: If we’re strictly talking about compact cameras, then we recommend you buy a new camera. The reason for this is that most users are looking for a point and shoot camera under $500, so these are relatively inexpensive and will be hard to come by in the used market and still be in good condition. However, if you’re shopping around for a camera above the $600 range or are looking to invest in a digital SLR and your budget can’t fit buying something brand new, then there are more options from people who are looking to re-sell and upgrade.
- Question: Can a GoPro do the same thing as a small, portable camera?
- Answer: While a GoPro can take amazing photos and capture very high quality video, it’s a completely different beast: GoPro’s were originally created to capture quality video for those who are into extreme sports and can be more cumbersome and harder to handle because of the many different mounts and attachments that are available. Sure, you may be able to use a GoPro as a dedicated camera for trips and vacations, but you’ll soon find out that it’s not the most fluid of cameras to shoot with compared to a compact camera
With all that being said, find a point and shoot camera that fits YOU best. With so many brands and different technologies out there, you’re bound to find something that will get you great images and video of anything you’re looking to capture.
Truth be told, it’s never easy to make a final decision, but we hope this list was able to point you towards a point and shoot camera that is perfect for you. If you think we left out a top compact camera in the market, feel free to contact us or leave a comment and let us know!