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. Note like my other guides they’re also listed by review date, not in order of preference.

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Best Point and Shoot

Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 review

The Instax Mini 9 is one of the most affordable cameras to use Fujifilm's hugely popular Instax Mini film cartridges - these produce small business card size prints which emerge seconds after taking the photo and self-develop before your eyes within a minute. The Mini 9 is almost identical to the best-selling Mini 8, but adds a small mirror by the lens for framing selfies, is supplied with a close-up adapter lens, and available in five pastel colours. Like other Instax Mini cameras, don't expect 100% accurate framing with the basic viewfinder and beware that prints can often be over-exposed under very bright conditions. If you want instant pictures with accurate framing and guaranteed exposure, then consider Fujifilm's digital Instax SQ10, or their portable Instax printer that'll talk to phones and other cameras. But once you understand what Instax Mini can and cannot do, it's enormous fun. I've not met anyone, young or old, who's not spellbound by a low-cost camera that pumps out instant prints, and it's perfect for events or breaking the ice in street photography. There are more sophisticated and compact models in the Instax Mini range, but I'm fond of the basic charm the Mini 9 inherits from its predecessor. Once again it may not cope with all conditions, but I still believe very home should have one. Refreshingly retro and recommended!

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Nikon Coolpix W100 review

The Nikon COOLPIX W100 is a budget point-and-shoot waterproof compact. If you were asked to describe it in two words they would be simple and inexpensive, given a couple more you could also add fun and stylish. With a 3x optical zoom, a 2.7 inch screen and a small sensor of the kind found in mobile phones, it has a fairly basic specification, but the icing on the cake is WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity which with Nikon's SnapBridge app lets you automatically transfer all your photos to your phone in the background while you shoot. You can also remotely control the camera with your phone. So it's an inexpensive no frills waterproof compact that scores highly on connectivity and ease of use. We highly recommend it, either for the kids or as a holiday camera you can take anywhere and not worry about.

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DJI Spark review

The Spark is DJI's smallest and most affordable drone to date, opening-up truly new angles and possibilities to photographers who've previously never owned a flying camera. The flight time is on the short side, but not too brief to get a few great shots. The compact size doesn’t help the Spark in wind but all similarly compact drones have the same drawback. There's no RAW output, but the JPEG quality is good and crisp. Also beware when flying backwards, as the drone’s sensors won’t detect a tree, or a face, until it hits it, but again all-round collision detection is beyond a product at this price. If you're into video, the selfie and helical selfie shots are simple and effective, while the possibilities of the active track modes allow you to swoop past a subject and keep it in frame with very little practice. Better yet, the possibility of adding a radio controller at your leisure, allowing up to 2km range and faster flight speeds offers a nice upgrade path without asking for too much up front. Ultimately, the value offered by this drone and its potential to revolutionize your photography, while having enormous fun doing so, makes it easy to Highly Recommend.

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Canon PowerShot SX730 HS review

Canon's PowerShot SX730 HS is the company's flagship pocket super-zoom camera. It shares the 20 Megapixel resolution, 1080p movies and 40x optical zoom range of its predecessor, all packed into a surprisingly small body. Canon's added a tilting screen and Bluetooth for easier connectivity and effortless GPS tagging, but it faces tough competition from Panasonic's Lumix TZ90 / ZS70 which also offers a viewfinder, 4k video and a touch-screen, albeit with a shorter 30x zoom range.

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Olympus TOUGH TG5 review

There isn’t a better rugged waterproof compact around than the Olympus TOUGH TG-5. Like all great cameras it gets the basics right - a bright, good quality 25-100mm f2 - 4.9 lens paired with a quality 12 Megapixel sensor and high performance TruePic VIII processor. It builds on that with a great set of features and shooting modes, including Pro capture continuous shooting, 4K video, RAW support, and superb macro modes. Finally, it provides the control you need to make the most of those features, whatever the environment. The only downside is the poor performance of the movie continuous AF.

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Panasonic Lumix TZ90 / ZS70 review

On the face of it, Panasonic’s Lumix TZ90 / ZS70 doesn’t add a lot to the earlier TZ80 / ZS70. The touch screen flips up and over and there’s a new 20 Megapixel sensor which delivers better quality 4k UHD video. However, with a 30x optical zoom, built-in viewfinder, great continuous shooting, 4k UHD video with PASM exposure control, 4k photo modes, RAW recording, and a wealth of other features, it remains one of the most powerful pocket super-zooms around and comes Highly Recommended. But if you can live without the flip-up screen the earlier TZ80 / ZS60 is well worth keeping in mind.

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Sony RX100 V review

Sony's RX100 Mark V is the company's most powerful premium compact to date. Like the previous two generations in the series it packs a 1in / 20 Megapixel sensor, built-in viewfinder, 24-70mm f1.8-2.8 zoom, tilting screen and decent Wifi / NFC wireless control (so long as you update the in-camera app). The Mark V also inherits the 4k movies and HFR slow motion video of the Mark IV, but builds on it further with embedded phase-detect AF for more confident photo and movie focusing, and a front-side LSI processor which doubles HFR recording time, boosts continuous shooting to 24fps and allows huge bursts to be captured. In short, it's the best compact for action shooters and also one of the best for video too. But there's still no touchscreen and if you don't need ultra slow motion video, PDAF or the epic bursts, there are more affordable 1in compacts around with essentially the same photo quality, albeit few which have the built-in viewfinder.

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Panasonic Lumix LX10 / LX15 review

Panasonic's Lumix LX10 / LX15 is a highly compelling premium compact which bravely goes head-to-head with the big hitters from Sony and Canon. Rather than producing a me-too version, the LX10 / LX15 features a number of unique differences which stand out from the crowd: a 24-72mm f1.4-2.8 lens that's brighter and focuses closer than most when zoomed-wide, generous 15 minute 4K movie clips, and Panasonic's wealth of clever 4K Photo modes which now let you refocus and adjust the depth-of-field after the event. You're also getting a touchscreen that tilts up (albeit not down), 1080 video at 120p for slow motion, decent Wifi features and USB charging. There no built-in viewfinder, nor ND filter, but for the price this won't bother most buyers. Ultimately the LX10 / LX15 is a welcome addition to the increasingly crowded premium compact market and one I can highly recommend.

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Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II review

The PowerShot G7X is Canon's answer to Sony's RX100 series, packing a larger than average 1in sensor into a pocketable body. The G7X Mark II is the latest version, sharing the same 1in sensor and 4.2x / 24-100mm / f1.8-2.8 zoom as its predecessor, but now with an improved grip and a touch-screen that can angle down as well as flipping all the way up to face the subject for selfies, or filming pieces to camera. Behind the scenes the 1in sensor is coupled with Canon's latest DIGIC 7 processor which supports timelapse movies, in-camera RAW processing and improved tracking and subject detection. As before its major rival is Sony's RX100 III with the Canon boasting a longer zoom and touch-screen, while the Sony sports a built-in viewfinder. If you want the same quality in an even smaller body, consider the G9X which may have a shorter zoom and lacks the tilting screen, but measures roughly the same as Canon's S120. Or if you want the same quality but with a longer zoom in a body that's still pocketable, there's Panasonic's Lumix TZ100 / ZS100. The market for 1in compacts is growing steadily, but the G7X Mark II strikes a great balance of features for the money.

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Panasonic Lumix TZ100 / ZS100 review

The Lumix TZ100 / ZS100 resets the clock on Travel zoom development. Rather than exclusively continue with ever longer zooms, Panasonic has boldly split the range, leaving the TZ80 / ZS60 to pursue the long zoom market and allowing the new TZ100 / ZS100 to go for photographers willing to sacrifice some reach for improved quality. So with its latest generation, the top-end Lumix travel zoom once again finds itself offering something unique in the market. Of course Canon and Sony might have something similar in the wings, but with their latest G-series and RX100 IV still being fairly recent, Panasonic may find itself with a one of a kind proposition for some time. Either way, there's nothing to match it if you desire the quality of a 1in sensor with a longish zoom that will fit in your pocket.

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Canon PowerShot G5X review

Canon's PowerShot G5X is one of the most capable compacts around, delivering much of the experience of a larger camera in a smaller, lighter and often cheaper form factor. The really clever part is it's essentially based on the best-selling PowerShot G7X, but enhances it in a number of key respects to become a much more satisfying camera to shoot with. For me, the G5X is more of a standalone camera than one that would partner a larger system. It's a confident all-rounder I greatly enjoyed shooting with over an extended test period and one I can Highly Recommend if you're happy with the 1in quality and don't need pocket dimensions, 4k video or a longer zoom.

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Canon G9X review

Canon's PowerShot G9X is the slimmest traditional compact to feature a 1in sensor - giving it superior quality to most phones and compacts but without compromising its pocketability. Indeed the G9X is almost exactly the same size as Canon's earlier S120, despite sporting a sensor with roughly three times the surface area. As you'd expect for a small body with a larger than average sensor, the zoom range isn't huge - just 3x - but the 28-84mm range still covers most needs while the 5cm macro and f2 aperture at the wide end allow for respectable close-ups and relatively shallow depth-of-field effects. Impressively for its size there's a mode dial with a wealth of shooting options from full Auto to full Manual, while the touch-screen interface presents quick and easy access to all the settings. Indeed the combination of pocket size and the touch-screen makes it one of my favourite compacts around, although compare it closely with the chunkier G7X (Mark I or II) which squeezes-in a longer zoom and a tilting screen, often at a bargain price.

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