Looking for a high quality, reliable camera, that’s a step-up from your smartphone, but won’t break the bank?
You’ve come to the right place.
In the next 3 minutes, we’re going to run through our picks for 2018’s best point and shoot cameras.
Bonus: We’ve got one camera under $100, two under $200, and picks under $250 and $300 if you want to stretch the budget a little.
Let’s get started!
What Is A Point And Shoot Camera?
A point and shoot camera (also known as a compact camera) is designed for simple operation, with settings such as exposure, and focus taken care of automatically. Like the name suggests, all you need to is point and shoot.
Most point and shoot cameras have optical zoom built in, and are also able to take advantage of digital zoom to get even closer to a subject. This is a distinct advantage over DSLR cameras.
Is A Point And Shoot Camera Right For You?
If you require full control over settings, and the highest quality images, then you’ll probably want to invest in a DSLR.
But if you are looking for an easy to use, reliable shooter, that will fit in your pocket or bag, and can capture good quality images in most conditions, then a compact camera is a great choice.
And in 2018, there are some great point and shoot cameras on the market. Here are our favorites, starting with the cheapest and gradually moving up in price points and features.
#1 Sony W800/S
Our pick for: best point & shoot camera under $100
Sony make some great cameras at this price point, and the W800/S is no exception.
It’s simple to operate, takes good quality stills (up to 20MP), and can also capture HD video (720p).
Optical zoom isn’t the most powerful (you’ll get 5x), but we were impressed with the SteadyShot image stabilization.
There’s also a 10x digital zoom, but we would advise sticking with the optical zoom unless you REALLY need to get close. You can always blow up an image in your photo editor of choice when you get home.
And by the way, that’s our advice with most digital zooms. They get very noisy very quickly.
All in all, a very nice little camera. Even better, it’s normally available for under $100.Check Price on Amazon
#2 Canon PowerShot ELPH 190
Our pick for: best cheap point & shoot camera
Need more optical zoom?
Then the Canon PowerShop ELPH 190 is a good choice.
You’ll get a 10x optical zoom, and again you’ll get solid, in-built image stabilization.
And while photo and video resolutions are the same as the Sony 800/S (20MP / 720P), the Canon packs in a few extra features that make it a better all round camera.
If nothing else, the in-built Wi-Fi (an impressive feature for a camera at this price point), makes it a little more desirable.
The good news?
While it is slightly more expensive than the Sony, it’s generally available for under $150.
Which makes the PowerShot ELPH 190 one of the best value point and shoot cameras on our list.Check Price on Amazon
#3 Sony DSCW830/B
The Sony DSCW830/B is another great little shooter, which is normally available for well under the $200 mark.
You’ll get a healthy 20.1MP and an 8x optical zoom. There’s also stabilization built in, which is always useful when using the zoom.
Video is an acceptable 720p at 30fps. A little short of full HD, but still plenty for shooting high quality videos. If you want a dedicated video shooter (for under $200) then check out camera #6 on our list.
Any other highlights?
We liked the Panorama shooting mode, which lets you shoot a full 360 degrees. Useful for capturing outdoor scenes.
All in all, a great camera for the money.Check Price on Amazon
#4 Canon PowerShot SX620
Our pick for: best point & shoot camera under $200
Another Canon (yes, I’m a Canon fan), and this time it comes packing a whopping 25x optical zoom.
That’s pretty much as good as you’ll get zoom wise in a point and shoot camera. If you need more than that (you almost certainly don’t), then you’re looking at stepping up to a bridge camera, and that takes you into a different price bracket.
You’ll be getting closer to the $200 mark here, but if you have the budget then it’s worth spending the extra dollars.
Aside from the impressive zoom, you’ll get image stabilization, built in Wi-Fi, a 20.2MP sensor, and 1080P HD video. We also found that the SX620’s CMOS sensor performed better than the W800/S and ELPH 190 in low light conditions.
All in all, a great little point and shoot camera that will handle most scenes admirably.Check Price on Amazon
#5 Nikon Coolpix B500
Our pick for: best point & shoot camera under $300
Ok, we’re going to cheat a little here.
You know how we mentioned above that for more zoom you’ll need a bridge camera?
And how we also mentioned that bridge cameras are a little more expensive?
Well, the Nikon Coolpix B500 is actually a bridge camera. And yes, it’s a little more than $200 (but not much more).
However we thought it was worth a mention on our list. Why? Because, the 3 point and shoot cameras we’ve detailed above are the best availlable in 2018, and cover a range of price points and features.
If you want a strictly point and shoot camera, go for the W800/S, the ELPH 190, or the SX620. They are all great cameras.
But if you want a little more oomh, then the Nikon Coolpix B500 is an excellent bridge camera, at a frankly excellent price.
- 40x optical zoom
- A Nikkor f/3.0-6.5mm lens (seriously good)
- A 16MP CMOS sensor
- Full HD (1080p) video
- Built in bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC
- 7.4fps continuous shooting
- Remote control via smartphone or tablet
And you’ll normally get it all for under $300.
Bargain.Check Price on Amazon
#6 GoPro HERO (2018)
Our pick for: best point & shoot camera for video
Might not technically be a point and shoot camera, but we still thought it was worth highlighting the fact that you can now pick up a GoPro for under $200.
The HERO is part of the new GoPro range and will shoot stills in 10MP, with a 10fps burst mode.
And those stills are pretty good.
But let’s be honest. If you’re going to buy a GoPro, you’re probably buying it for the video. And they’ve pushed the boat out with the video spec on this one.
You’ll get a whopping 1440p at 60fps. That’s huge!
Throw in Wi-Fi and bluetooth for connectivity, a touch screen, 3 microphones, and waterproofing to 33ft, and you’re getting a hell of a deal.
Which is why we thought we should include the new GoPro HERO in this list.Check Price on Amazon
That’s it for our guide to the best point and shoot cameras under $200.
I know that choosing a camera can be a difficult decision, so if you have any questions, or comments then please leave them below and I’ll be happy to answer them.
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