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.

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Best Point and Shoot

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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Fujifilm Instax SQ10 review

The SQ10 marks a big step in the Instax story - it's not just Fujifilm's first instant camera to use the new square format prints, but also the first to employ digital capture. Digital allows you to compose and review images with a screen, the chance to only print the images you want (and when you want), the ability to apply crops and effects, and finally the opportunity to store the files and use them again or elsewhere. This gives it greater flexibility than the older analogue Instax cameras and while the SQ10 and its cartridges are more expensive, you could quickly save on consumable costs by only printing what you need. Try to use it as a traditional digital camera though and you'll be frustrated: the files are low resolution (albeit fine for the Instax prints), there's no optical zoom, no exposure control, no movie mode, minimal feedback, and limited connectivity. Indeed there's no way of extracting images stored internally, only those on an optional Micro SD card, and even then you'll wonder why as your phone's camera will invariably deliver better quality images. But the SQ10, like all Instax cameras, is about making prints, and the new square format looks great. I also loved being able to choose which images to print, not to mention when, or in multiples if desired. If you like the idea of instant prints but prefer to use a more serious camera, I'd suggest one of Fujifim's Instax printers, but if you want a single camera solution, the SQ10 is very tempting: it's the most flexible Instax to date and simply enormous fun to shoot with.

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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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Canon SX720 HS review

Canon's PowerShot SX720 HS is the company's flagship pocket super-zoom camera, boasting nothing less than a 40x optical zoom. It shares the same 20 Megapixel resolution and 1080 / 60p movie mode as its predecessor, the SX710 HS, but extends the optical zoom range from 30x to 40x while maintaining virtually the same body size. The new zoom features a range equivalent to 24-960mm, allowing it to out-gun the 30x / 24-720mm of its arch rival, the Lumix TZ80 / ZS60. In terms of other features, the SX720 HS falls behind the Lumix, lacking a viewfinder, touch-screen, 4k video and RAW recording, but Canon has focused on delivering the longest zoom in the smallest body and in those terms the SX720 HS doesn't disappoint. If it's a long zoom you're looking for, there's nothing to touch it in this form-factor, but if you're happy with a 30x range and can spend a little extra, the Lumix TZ80 / ZS60 comfortably out-features it in every other department.

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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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Panasonic Lumix TZ80 / ZS60 review

The Lumix TZ80 / ZS60 is a pocket-super-zoom with a 30x optical range, 18 Megapixel sensor, 4k video, touchscreen and built-in electronic viewfinder. Sold alongside the flagship TZ100 / ZS100, the Lumix TZ80 / ZS60 effectively becomes its 'cut-down' sibling, but it is arguably the true successor to the earlier TZ70 / ZS50, while the TZ100 / ZS100 starts a new series with a larger sensor to differentiate it. The TZ80 / ZS60 shares the same 30x / 24-720mm zoom range and electronic viewfinder as its predecessor, but adds 4k video, reinstates the touch-screen of older models and bumps-up the resolution to 18 Megapixels, albeit still with a small sensor. The sensor is arguably too small for the 4k video to really shine above 1080p, but importantly it allows the camera to support Panasonic's 4k Photo modes which really add value and make the Lumix models unique. This and the continued support for RAW, keeps the Lumix TZ80 / ZS60 a classy step-above most rivals, but if your budget is tighter and you don't need 4k video or the built-in viewfinder, consider Canon's PowerShot SX720 HS which extends the zoom range to 40x. Sony's older HX90V is also a good alternative, boasting an EVF, tilting screen and GPS receiver.

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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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Sony RX100 IV review

The RX100 IV becomes one of the smallest traditional compacts with 4k video, and the slow motion modes from 4x to 40x are simply fantastic. Whether you're a film-maker, someone who analyses sports motion, or simply enjoys footage of your kids or pets running and splashing around, the RX100 IV delivers a combination of quality and features that hasn't before existed in a pocket form factor. They enhance what was already one of the best compacts around and if you can exploit them, the Mark IV is the compact for you. So while this fourth generation of the RX100 series has become a more specialist rather than mainstream product, I'm still happy to award it a Highly Recommended. If you don't need 4k or slow motion video though, check out the earlier Mark III.

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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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Nikon COOLPIX S33 review

If you're a photographer with kids, you'll understand the desire to equip them with a camera that can survive pretty much anything they throw at it - or drop it into. Waterproof tough models are ideal since they can survive drops, sand, snow or total submersion in liquids, but equally you want one that won't break the bank. Nikon's S33 is the perfect choice, a budget digital camera engineered to survive the trials of childhood - or indeed active adult-hood. Available in a variety of bright colours, this simple-to-use 13 Megapixel / 3x zoom compact is waterproof to a depth of 10 metres, shock-proof to 1.5 metres and you can use it in temperatures down to -10C, so it's good for the piste as well as the pool or the seaside. There are superior tough cameras out there, but none at this price, nor any which can be programmed to bark or tweet when you take a photo. If you'd also like Wifi, look out for its successor, the W100.

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Olympus TOUGH TG860 review

I think the TOUGH TG860 is the real star in the Olympus rugged line-up. It offers a superior zoom, more versatile screen, better video and better support for shooting sports and action subjects all at a lower price than the TG4. You sacrifice the RAW mode, which is something a lot of people will be able to live without. A bigger loss is the bright f2-4.9 aperture of the TG4 but despite that the TOUGH TG860 remains a compelling alternative. As it stands in the current crop of waterproof cameras, the TG860 earns our Highly Recommended rating.

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