Best point and shoot camera


If you're shopping for a point-and-shoot compact camera, you've come to the right place! At Camera Labs I write in-depth reviews of cameras but understand you're busy people who sometimes just want recommendations of the most outstanding products. So here I'll cut to the chase and list the best point-and-shoot cameras around right now.

On this page you'll find the best point-and-shoot compact cameras, from the cheapest models worth having to those aimed at enthusiasts who demand a high degree of control and decent quality. So this page has the broadest range of prices and features of all my buyer's guides, but if you're looking for a great camera that fits in your pocket, you're sure to find it here! I've also included a couple of pocket super-zoom models but if you're really into this type of camera you should check out my dedicated best superzoom camera buyer's guide.

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Gordon's favourite compact camera right now: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III

Sony RX100 III review - order at Amazon USA, B&H, Amazon UK or Amazon DE, thanks!

The market for compacts aimed at enthusiasts is one of the fastest-growing right now and there's loads of great options. Canon's S120 and Panasonic's Lumix LF1 lead the field at the pocket-end, while at the chunkier-end are models like the Canon G1 X II, Lumix LX100 and Fujifilm X100T. But for me the best models in this category sit in the middle, just thick enough to accommodate a larger sensor for better quality, but remaining thin enough to squeeze into most pockets. My personal pick is the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III, although the Canon G7X is equally good in different ways. I appreciate these are not cheap cameras, so if you're looking for something more affordable, scroll down for other great options.

Sony's RX100 III is the latest in its enormously popular 'compact-with-a-big-sensor' series. Like the earlier models, the RX100 III is equipped with a 20 Megapixel 1in sensor that has about four times the area of a typical phone or point-and-shoot camera, allowing it to deliver lower noise and greater tonal range. The lens on the new model is 24-70mm f1.8-2.8 compared to 28-100mm f1.8-4.9 on the Mark II. So while the latest Mark III can't zoom as far, it can go wider, and crucially stays much brighter at the long-end, making it better in low light and for delivering a shallower depth of field. The other big difference is Sony's managed to squeeze a popup electronic viewfinder, that's surprisingly good. There's also a built-in ND filter, higher bit rates for 1080p, slow motion 720p, a screen which can angle round to face the subject for selfies, and support for downloadable apps. The RX100 III may now have more competition than ever from the likes of Canon and Panasonic, but it remains one of the best compacts around. If you don't need the viewfinder, consider the earlier RX100 II or Canon G7X below. If you do want an EVF and don't mind having a bigger body, consider the Lumix LX100.

Pros: Big 1in sensor in a pocket body. EVF, bright lens, Wifi, tilting screen, XAVCS.
Cons: No touch-screen. Lens range not as long as Canon G7X.
Overall: One of the most compelling compacts for enthusiasts just got even better.

Highly Recommended Alternatives

Panasonic TZ70 / ZS50 review - order at Amazon USA, B&H, Amazon UK or Amazon DE. Thanks!


The Lumix TZ70 / ZS50 is Panasonic's flagship pocket super-zoom, and like previous incarnations, it takes the high ground compared to rivals. Despite sharing a great deal with its predecessor, including the 30x zoom range, and actually losing one major feature, Panasonic has made a number of improvements that genuinely enhance the over experience. Most notably, the built-in electronic viewfinder - a key benefit over the Canon SX710 HS - is now more detailed than before and includes an eye sensor to switch between it and the screen. The reduction in resolution to 12 Megapixels also gives it a small edge over rivals in low light, and there's still support for RAW files, another benefit over rivals. It all adds up to a classy camera if you can afford it, but if money's tight, consider Canon's cheaper SX710 HS (lower on this page), or indeed Panasonic's own TZ60 / ZS40 from last year. Also compare closely with Sony's HX90V (below) which packs a 30x zoom with an EVF, GPS and tilting screen.

Sony HX90V review - buy it from Amazon USA, B&H, Adorama, Amazon UK or Amazon DE. Thanks!


Sony's Cyber-shot HX90V is the World's smallest compact camera with a 30x optical zoom. Successor to the popular HX60 and HX50, it shares a similar optical zoom range, but packed into a smaller body. The HX90V delivers an equivalent range of 24-720mm, taking you all the way from respectable wide angle to super-telephoto, although the earlier G-series optics have been upgraded to a new design by Zeiss. Like its big rival, Panasonic's Lumix TZ70 / ZS50, the HX90V features a built-in electronic viewfinder which is popped-out the top of the body for use like the RX100 III and IV. Unlike the TZ70 / ZS50 though, the HX90V also sports an articulated screen which can tilt up to face forward for selfies, along with built-in GPS hardware, a useful capability Panasonic removed from the latest model. Ultimately, the Lumix takes the lead on noise, support for RAW and high-speed shooting, but the HX90V has the GPS, tilting screen and slightly smaller body. Both are great high-end pocket super-zooms.

Canon SX710 HS review - order at Amazon USA, B&H, Amazon UK or Amazon DE. Thanks!


Canon's PowerShot SX710 HS is a good, solid 30x pocket super-zoom. It represents a mild refresh of last year's SX700 HS, keeping the same body, controls and 30x optical range, but enhancing it with a higher resolution sensor and greater smartphone control. The jump to 20 Megapixels delivers plenty of detail in good light, but copes less well than lower resolution rivals in dim conditions. The degree of control and features fall short of the Lumix TZ70 / ZS50, but will still be sufficient for most people who want this kind of camera. For me the ultimate decision boils down to whether you want the built-in viewfinder of the TZ70 / ZS50 and crucially if your budget will stretch. If the answer is yes to both questions, then go for the Lumix. If not, then the SX710 HS will deliver essentially the same optical range with the same portability at a lower price, but again compare the features and prices with last year's models as there's potential bargains to be had.

Canon G7X review - order at Amazon USA, B&H, Amazon UK or Amazon DE, thanks!


The PowerShot G7X is Canon's answer to Sony's RX100 series. Canon's taken the same 20 Megapixel 1in sensor (delivering a big upgrade in image quality over typical phones or compacts) and squeezed it into essentially the same sized body. The big difference here though is Canon has equipped the G7X with a 24-100mm f1.8-2.8 zoom, giving it longer reach than the RX100 III without losing the f2.8 aperture - this is great for portraits and macro shots. Canon's also fitted a screen that can angle forward to face the subject and unlike Sony, it's touch-sensitive too, allowing you to tap to reposition the AF area or pull-focus while filming. The AF system is faster for stills and more confident for movies, and it's cheaper than the RX100 III. If you don't need the viewfinder of the Sony, it's a great alternative!

: Big sensor in compact body; bright zoom; great AF; Wifi; touch-screen.
Cons: No viewfinder, nor means to mount one. Screen tilts uo but not down.
Overall: A highly compelling rival for the Sony RX100 series.

Nikon L830 review - order at Amazon USA, B&H, Amazon UK or Amazon DE, thanks!


Nikon's COOLPIX L830 is a DSLR-styled super-zoom camera with a surprisingly powerful feature-set for the money. You get 16 Megapixels, 1080p video, a tilting 3in screen and a 34x optical range equivalent to 22.5-765mm. It's also powered by AA batteries that may increase the weight, but at least a spare set is easy to get hold of. At this price there's no Wifi, nor much manual control either, but there's no arguing with the core specification for the price, and that's why it's understandably become one of the best-selling cameras around.

Pros: 34x zoom, tilting screen, AA battery power.
Cons: Lens cap needs to be removed before powering-up; no Wifi.
Overall: Deservedly one of the best-selling super-zooms at this price-point.

Canon SX60 HS review - order at Amazon USA, B&H, Amazon UK or Amazon DE, thanks!


Canon's PowerShot SX60 HS is the company's latest DSLR-styled super-zoom camera. Successor to the massively popular SX50 HS, the new model extends the optical range from 50x to a whopping 65x, making it the joint longest in the World (at the time of writing). The SX60 HS takes you from 21 to 1365mm, or extreme wide angle to extreme telephoto, covering every eventuality. It also includes 1080 / 60p video, manual control, support for RAW, high resolution viewfinder and screen, mic input, Wifi with NFC, and a particularly neat Zoom Assist feature that automatically adjusts the lens zoom to always keep someone in the frame if they move too close, too far, or off the side. It's not the cheapest super-zoom around, but it is the best-featured of the small sensor / big range models.

Pros: 65x zoom; articulated screen; flash hotshoe; 1080p; RAW; mic input; Wifi.
Cons: No eye sensor for EVF; no slow motion HD video; no touch-screen.
Overall: Canon's best-seller gets upgraded with a longer zoom, Wifi and more!

Panasonic Lumix LX100 review - order at Amazon USA, B&H, Amazon UK or Amazon DE!


The Panasonic Lumix LX100 is one of the most powerful compact cameras to date. Forget 1in sensors, Panasonic's squeezed in the larger Four Thirds sensor from the Lumix GX7 along with its big and detailed viewfinder too. Sure the lens specification means only 12 Megapixels of the original 16 are used, but the active area is still larger than a 1in sensor and the spare border allows the camera to cpature at different aspect ratios without cropping. As for the lens, the LX100 sports a 24-75mm zoom with a bright f1.7-2.8 focal ratio and an impressive macro mode than can focus as close as 3cm at wide angle. The AF system is very fast and impressively keeps working at much lower light levels than the competition. And the icing on the cake? The LX100 can film video at 4k resolution and actually lets you grab 8 Megapixel stills from it. The body may be larger than the RX100 III and G7X, and the screen may not tilt or be touch-sensitive, but it's hard to argue with the powerful specification.

: Big sensor, quality lens, EVF, close macro, Wifi, silent option, 4k, 11fps.
Cons: Screen doesn't tilt and isn't touch-sensitive, no ND filter, no mic input.
Overall: A very high specification compact, albeit not the smallest around.

Canon ELPH 340 HS / IXUS 265 HS review - order at Amazon USA, B&H, Amazon UK or Amazon DE!


Canon's ELPH 340 HS / IXUS 265 HS is a classy point-and-shoot camera with a 12x optically stabilized zoom, 3in screen, and Wifi with NFC that lets you transfer images wirelessly. It features a 16 Megapixel CMOS sensor rather than a CCD for better quality in low light. The ELPH 340 / IXUS 265 can also capture Full HD 1080p, offers cunning wink, smile and face self-timers and a wealth of creative effects, albeit still not a panorama mode. It's an excellent choice for those looking for a versatile and classy point-and-shoot compact with good image quality and a capable zoom range without breaking the bank. If you're looking for a true budget model in double-digits though, go for the Sony W830 below.

Pros: 12x stabilized zoom; Wifi; quality 16 Megapixel sensor; 1080p video.
Cons: Close to the price of some pocket superzooms with longer ranges.
Overall: A desriable point-and-shoot compact for the money.

Sony W830 review - order at Amazon USA, B&H, Amazon UK or Amazon DE, thanks!


Sony's Cyber-shot W830 is one of the lowest-priced point-and-shoot cameras that's worth having. It's a point-and-shoot compact with an 8x optical zoom, 20 Megapixel resolution and 720p video packed into a slim and light body, and offers a step-up from the cheapest compacts on the market while maintaining a double-digit price tag. For this kind of money you won't get Wifi or 1080p video, but the basics are there along with a useful zoom range, panorama mode and in-camera charging. In my book it's the best compact at the sub-100 price tag.

Pros: 8x zoom; 20 Megapixel sensor; 720p video; low price.
Cons: No Wifi; no 1080p video.
Overall: If you have a double-digit budget, this is the best camera for your money.

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