Exactly what makes the best point and shoot camera also known as compact cameras? There is all manner of considerations that are needed to be included in a compact camera, so this guide is designed to cover the best budgeted compact camera in 2020.
For some people, the best point and shoot camera or compact camera is something that’s cheap and simple for family use, so we’ve found some options that offer great value and cover all the basics. Some family outings might be a bit more demanding, though, so we’ve also featured a couple of rugged all-weather alternatives.
If you’re looking for a pocket-friendly point-and-shooter for traveling, a camera with a greater zoom range will serve you well, while if you want the simplicity without sacrificing the picture quality, a high-quality compact is a way to go. And if you are planning to be a vlogger in such a case Sony ZV-1 is the best option for you.
Best Budget Compact Cameras in 2020
1. Sony ZV-1
- Fast Hybrid AF, Real Time Eye-AF3 and Real-time AF tracking
- Quickly switch between two modes of defocused background bokeh
- Product showcase setting transitions focus from face to object
- Face priority AE keeps faces bright in backlit or dim condition
The Sony ZV-1 is designed for content creation with a selfie-friendly vari-angle LCD screen, body grip and a recording lamp. A directional 3-capsule mic with while strong winds are being blown picks up your voice clearly with less wind noise, and the Bokeh switch and Product Showcase Setting make videos more interesting with much less effort. On the whole, the ZV-1 seems to nail Sony’s vision. It’s nimble, lightweight and powerful. With its advanced processing capabilities, fast autofocus and real-time tracking, combined with the impressively clear audio capture and the useful flip-out display, it really is a great option for vloggers.
2. Sony RX100 VII
- 20. 1MP 1. 0 Type stacked CMOS sensor, Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* 24 200 millimeter F2. 8 F4. 5 large aperture high...
- 0. 02 sec. High AF speed, 357 point focal plane Phase detection AF and 425 point contrast detection AF
- Up to 20 fps blackout free shooting, using up to 60 times/sec. Af/AE calculations.Dioptre Adjustment:-4.0 to +3.0 m-1
- Ai based real time tracking for stills and movies, and touch tracking. Real time eye AF for human (stills and movies),...
Inside its compact body, the Sony RX100 VII is packed with everything it takes to deliver gorgeous images. The 24-200mm zoom lens is complemented by 0.02-sec. super-fast AF, new Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF, plus enhanced image stabilisation and an external microphone jack for high-quality movie shooting. The RX100 VII is about as perfect as small-scale, high-end compact cameras get. If you can afford one – as this has never been a budget series.
It’s a perfect little vlogging camera, and with its advanced capture capabilities like 4K, eye- and fac- tracking, quick autofocus and fast burst speed, it’s really powerful too.
Sony has yet again shown how strong its compact camera game is, now seven generations deep and getting stronger each and every time. With the addition of the exterior mic input, this camera has become an even more capable and useful tool for video makers in particular. Plus, as ever, that 1-inch sensor makes for cracking stills.
3. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III
- The advanced video capabilities of the PowerShot G7 X Mark II camera can capture moments in the quality they deserve
- Features a large 1.0 inch, 20.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor that helps capture high quality images and videos with a wide...
- An aperture value of f/1.8 at the wide angle and f/2.8 when fully zoomed to a factor of 4.2x (24 100 millimeter), this...
- High resolution, 3.0 inches LCD monitor that tilts up 180 degrees and down 45 degrees is ideal for self portraits and...
The PowerShot G7 X Mark III has a neat, rectangular shape that’s not slim, exactly, but with its fully retracting lens and no viewfinder housing to get in the way, it’s very pocketable.
It’s also almost indistinguishable from the older G7 X Mark II model, even when you put them both side by side as we did. The new camera includes a slightly larger grip to make it easier to hold, but it uses the same 24-100mm equivalent f/1.8-2.8 zoom lens and the key differences are on the inside – the higher ISO rating, 4K video and 30fps burst mode, amongst others. Naturally, a camera with a one-inch-type sensor is never going to compete with an APS-C format design for image quality, but the images from the PowerShot G7X Mark III look really good, with a nice level of detail. If you scrutinize the corners of pictures shot at the widest end of the lens you’ll see some fall-off in sharpness, but it’s not bad.
Color and exposure are also generally handled well, making this a good camera to slip into your jacket pocket for everyday shooting.
4. Nikon CoolPix P950
- COOLPIX P950 offers 16. 0 Megapixels of resolution
- COOLPIX P950 features an 83X optical zoom/166X Dynamic Fine Zoom
- Built-in Bird and Moon modes along with scene modes for simple shooting
- COOLPIX P950 can capture stills and 4K UHD video
The Coolpix P950, from Nikon, is a versatile compact camera offering a unique mixture of stills and video capabilities along with reach to photograph even the most distant of subjects. The 16MP 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor features a back-illuminated design that contributes to a high degree of clarity and reduced noise to better suit working at high sensitivities and in difficult lighting conditions. The sensor also permits recording UHD 4K movie at up to 30 fps, Full HD video at around 60 fps, and in-camera time-lapse documenting and movie creation.
Complementing the imaging capabilities, the particular P950 is, of course, distinguished by its huge 83x optical zoom lens, which covers a 24-2000mm equivalent focal length range.
5. Sony RX100 VA
- FASTER AUTOFOCUS: Shoot up to 24fps with 0.05s auto focus and wide 315 phase-detection AF points
- 20.1 MEGAPIXEL PHOTOS: The RX100V uses a stacked back illuminated CMOS sensor with BIONZ X processor
- RETRACTABLE VIEWFINDER: View & play back your photos with the RX1005 electronic OLED Tru-Finder
- WIFI CONNECTIVITY: Connect DSCRX100M5 cameras by NFC or QR codes over wifi to transfer photo & video
The Sony DSC-RX100 VA is an updated version of the fifth camera in Sony’s popular lineup of 1″ enthusiast compacts. The ‘ VA’ model gains a deeper buffer, new white balance, metering and autofocus options, and the ability to save 720p proxy footage along with 4K video. Features that carry-over include on-sensor phase-detection AF and a burst rate of 24 fps with full-time focusing. The AF system has the same 25-pt contrast-detect program with 315 PDAF points that cover 65% of the frame. 4K video is oversampled without pixel binning and saved using the XAVC S codec. The RX100 V(A) continues to offer a 20.1MP 1″-type stacked CMOS sensor, 24-70mm F1.8-2.8 lens, pop-up EVF and built-in Wi-Fi w/NFC.
6. Sony RX100
- Approximately 20.1 megapixels , Exmor CMOS Sensor, 28-100mm equivalent F/18-49 lens, ISO 125-6400 Expandable ISO 80,...
- Operating temperature:Approx. 0°C to 40°C (32F° to 104F°).1080p video, Steady-Shot image stabilization,Rear control...
- Burst Mode (shots)-Approx10 fps,(VGA) Moving Image Size -640x480 30fps Approx3Mbps. Flash range:ISO Auto: approximately...
- Bright F18 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens with 36x zoom, Full HD 1080/60p video with manual control and dual record,...
There’s a whole lot of good to say about the Sony RX100. Bags of customisation, a silky smooth lens focus/custom ring, great performance, that high quality, wide-aperture lens and decent image quality – even at that high resolution – make the camera stand out.
The rear WRGB LCD screen is superior to a standard compact, but it won’t eliminate light reflection issues and the lack of a viewfinder or any possible accessory may put off some high-end snappers.
Is it worth it? Absolutely. The RX100 will be exactly what many demanding photographers have been waiting for: a truly pocketable high-end, large-sensor compact. It’s not quite perfect, and some may query its price against the NEX-series, but otherwise it’s a roaringly good first attempt. Tasty stuff.
7. Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80
- Point and Shoot Long Zoom Camera: 18.1 megapixel MOS sensor plus 60X zooms DC Vario lens (20 1220 millimeter and Power...
- High Resolution View Finder & LCD Display: High resolution 1,170K dot view finder and rear touch enabled 3 inch LCD...
- 4K video Capture: 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160) with three unique 4K ultra HD video pause and save 4K photo...
- Low Light Performance: Low light capture lets you enjoy photography during your nightlife again with impressive results;...
Panasonic launched The Panasonic FZ70. The all-in-one superzoom camera offered a then-unprecedented 60x optical zoom. Since then, many new superzooms have entered the market, but Panasonic hasn’t had any reply, at least not in the superzoom category. That has changed with the introduction of the Panasonic FZ80. Sporting the same 60x zoom lens, the Lumix FZ80 brings with it a new higher-resolution image sensor, new processor and a bevvy of new features, including 4K UHD video recording. Let’s see how the Panasonic FZ80 fares in the field.
8. Canon G9 X Mark II
- 1.0 Inch, 20.1 Megapixel High sensitivity CMOS sensor
- Digic 7 image processor. Compatible with iOS versions 8.4,9.3 and 10.2 and Android smartphone and tablet versions...
- Ultra slim, lightweight and pocket size camera
- Features: Touch screen panel (capacitive type)
The G9 X Mark II is as much a success as it is a missed opportunity. Compared to the original G9 X model very little has changed. We’d like to see a bracket-mounted touchscreen, for the shutter button to be in a more sensibly placed, and for autofocus options to be more detailed.
Saying that, in this price range, the 1-inch sensor at its heart is very capable and the lens – while it lacks a constant wide aperture or particularly long reach – combines to produce images that are far beyond what a phone camera could produce. Add the touchscreen controls combined with physical buttons and the lens ring and the G9 X II is an example of camera companies forging forward into the modern age. And doing so rather well.
9. Panasonic Lumix LX10
- POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA: Large, 1-inch 20.1-megapixel MOS sensor plus 3X zoom LEICA DC VARIO-SU millimeter ILUX lens...
- TILTING SELFIE DISPLAY: Rear touch-enabled 3-inch LCD display (1040K dots) tilts upward 180 degree for easy selfie...
- 4K VIDEO CAPTURE: 4K QFHD video recording (3840 x 2160), plus exclusive LUMIX 4K PHOTO and 4K Post Focus with...
- LENS-MOUNTED CONTROL RING: Manual lens-mounted control ring brings DSLR-like exposure control to a compact...
The DMC-Lx10 is n updated version of Panasonic’s LX line of enthusiast compacts. It maintains the small body, bright lens ethos that has made the range so popular but now includes a 20MP 1″-type sensor. A decent number of control points and touchscreen mean plenty of direct control, despite the small size. A 24-72mm equivalent F1.4-2.8 lens makes it a very capable pocket camera. A 1″-type sensor, excellent autofocus and solid 4K video make the LX10/LX15 Panasonic’s most capable pocket camera yet. The ergonomics aren’t all we were hoping but a good degree of customization and a responsive touchscreen make it quick and easy to use.
10. Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II
- 20.1 Megapixel 1.0 inches Stacked CMOS Sensor and DIGIC 8 Image Processor
- 5x Optical Zoom Lens (24 120mm f/1. 8 2. 8) with Optical Image Stabilizer
- 4K 30p / FHD 120p Video. Operating Temperature: 32 104°F / 0 40°C
- Pop up EVF with 2.36 Million Dots, Touch and Drag AF
The Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II is an advanced compact camera featuring a large sensor, fast processing, and a flexible zoom lens. The 20.1MP 1″ CMOS sensor uses a stacked design, which coupled with the DIGIC 8 image processor to realize quick autofocus performance, quick full resolution shooting up to 20 fps, and UHD 4K30p video recording. Complementing the sensor and processor is a 5x contact lens, which covers a 24-120mm equivalent focal length range for wide-angle to short-telephoto fields of view. An f/1.8-2.8 maximum aperture range suits working in difficult lighting conditions as does an Optical Image Stabilizer, which compensates for the effects of camera shake. Rounding out the G5 X Mark II’s design, the camera features a pop-up 2.36m-dot electronic viewfinder, 180° tilting touchscreen LCD, and has both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for wirelessly connecting to a mobile device.
Best Budget Compact Mirrorless Cameras in 2020
11. Sony Alpha a6600
- World’s fastest AF at 0 02 sec W/ real-time AF & Object tracking
- 24 2MP APS-C Exmor sensor w/ front end LSI and ISO up to 102 400
- Wide 425-phase/425-contrast detection AF points over 84% of sensor
- Up to 11fps continuous shooting at 24 2MP RAW w/ AF/AE tracking
Check Out: Best Sony Alpha a6600 Lenses
The Sony a6600 looks an excellent camera for video and vlogging, and its stunning AF, in-body image stabilization and large battery make it suitable for demanding stills photography. However, its still image quality is good rather than class-leading, which is a significant shortcoming given the a6600 is up against some terrific and more keenly-priced rival cameras, and while its video performance is broadly good, it’s marred by pronounced rolling shutter effect and pretty ordinary video specifications by today’s standards.
12. Nikon Z5
- Intensely detailed 24MP full frame images and 4K UHD videos
- VR image stabilization built-in for sharp, stabilized photos and videos
- Superb 273 point autofocus system that can focus near the edges, detect and follow eyes (people, cats and dogs) and...
- Creative features built-in, including time-lapse, multiple exposure, creative picture controls and focus shift...
Check Out: Best Nikon Z5 Lenses
The Nikon Z5 is a very nice camera to handle and use. It works well. Our only misgivings are around the features and the pricing. The Z5 is a pretty advanced camera in many ways, with its in-body stabilisation and twin cards slots, yet curiously hobbled in others, using its modest 4.5fps burst mode and cropped 4K body. Our biggest worry is the modest price differential between this and the superior Z6.
13. Canon M50
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF for fast, accurate autofocus that helps you get the photo you want right as the moment happens
- 241 Megapixel APS C CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 8 Image Processor delivers incredible color, clear details, and stunning...
- Vari angle touchscreen LCD has a flexible tilt range ideal for high angle and low angle shooting, and reviewing your...
- Built in high resolution electronic viewfinder features approximately 2,360,000 dots to see high amounts of detail when...
Check Out: Best Canon M50 Lenses
The First Canon camera with an APS-C-sized sensor to sport 4K video shooting, The Canon EOS M50 – also known as the EOS Kiss M – is an advanced entry-level mirrorless model that sits above the entry-degree M100. The new arrival boasts a 3in vari-angle touchscreen display, which is ideal for selfies and video recording, alongside a centrally positioned 2.36million-dot EVF that offers a more DSLR-like shooting experience than The EOS M100. With a resolution of 24.1MP, and respectable APS-C dimensions, the EOS M50’s sensor works with the latest DIGIC 8 processor to produce pleasingly clean results across most of its native ISO 100-25,600 range. This resolution should be more than enough to meet the printing demands of its target market, while that physically large sensor can easily produce a stylishly shallow depth of field in images. At 10fps, the device has a respectable continuous shooting speed too, although a capacity of only 10 Raw frames means its buffer will quickly fill, limiting its use to short bursts.
14. Nikon z50
- Compact, lightweight and durably constructed mirrorless camera
- First DX-format mirrorless camera to use a large 55mm lens mount, offering advantages in high image quality and low...
- 20.9 MP sensor with robust 4K UHD video features
- Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for simple pairing to a smartphone
Check Out: Best Nikon z50 Lenses
The Nikon Z50 is not just a scaled-down version of the Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7. Nikon has done a remarkable job of giving such a small camera this type of solid one-handed grip, but quite apart from the size of the camera, we were impressed by the 16-50mm pancake kit lens which is one of the slimmest APS-C kit lenses we’ve yet seen and uses a ‘proper’ mechanical zoom rather than an electrical power zoom system. But the clincher could be Nikon’s pricing. Body only, the Z 50 already costs less than its chief APS-C rivals, the Sony A6400 and Fujifilm X-T30, and the prices for the package lens and twin zoom lens bundles is really quite remarkable.
15. Sony Alpha a6400
- Next Gen speed: experience the world’s fastest 0. 02 sec AF with real-time AF and object tracking
- Enhanced subject capture: wide 425 Phase/ 425 contrast detection points over 84% of the sensor
- Fast & accurate: up to 11Fps continuous shooting at 24. 2MP raw with crisp, clear natural colors
- Multiple movie functions: make time lapse movies or slow/quick motion videos without post processing
Check Out: Best Sony Alpha a6400 Lenses
The Alpha a6400 from Sony is an APS-C-format mirrorless camera that adopts many of the features normally reserved for their full-frame lineup. This includes an autofocus acquisition of 0.02 seconds, Real-time Eye AF and Real-time Tracking capabilities, high-speed shooting up to 11 fps and silent shooting around 8 fps, both with AF/AE tracking, an upgraded BIONZ X image processing engine, an LCD touchscreen that tilts 180° up and 74° down, UHD 4K movie recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning, internal recording for time-lapse videos, and more.
16. Panasonic Lumix GX85
- Fine Detail Performance:16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor with no low pass filter resulting in a near 10 percent...
- Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera Kit: With two super compact lenses 12 32mm F3.5 5.6 and 45 150mm F4.0 5.6, shoot...
- Class Leading Dual Image Stabilization: In body 5 axis dual image stabilization works in both photo and motion picture...
- Live Viewfinder and Tilting LCD Display: Integrated eye level electronic viewfinder (2764K dots) and rear touch enabled...
Check Out: Best Panasonic Lumix GX85 Lenses
The Lumix DMC-GX85 from Panasonic features a compact build and intuitive layout, along with a feature-set to suit a multimedia lifestyle. Utilizing a 16MP Live MOS sensor, which lacks an optical low-pass filter for increased sharpness, the GX85 is capable of shooting continuously at up to 10 fps with single-shot autofocus, or 6 fps with continuous autofocus, as well as around 40 fps when using an electronic shutter function. UHD 4K video recording is also supported in 30 and 24 fps frame rates, and also Full HD 1080p, and the 4K recording abilities also permit shooting 8MP stills at a 30 fps rate. A sensitivity range up to ISO 25600 permits working in difficult and low-light settings while 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization also helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake for sharper handheld shooting.
17. Canon EOS M200
- Fast and accurate Dual Pixel CMOS AF with eye detection AF
- High-image quality with 24.1 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor.
- 4K video and 4K time-lapse movie along with vertical video*.
- 3.0-Inch touch panel LCD screen with tilt Option for 180° for selfies.
Check Out: Best Canon EOS M200 Lenses
The Canon EOS M200 blends a wide range of shooting capabilities with an everyday form factor. Sporting a 24.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC 8 image processor, the M200 enables high-resolution stills shooting along with a 6.1 fps continuous shooting rate and wide ISO 100-25600 sensitivity range to suit working in a variety of conditions. UHD 4K video recording is also supported, as well as in-camera 4K time-lapse movie production for a creative melding of stills and video. The sensor’s design also facilitates Dual Pixel CMOS AF, which uses phase-detection autofocus for quick, accurate, and smooth performance to match both stills and movie use.
18. Sony Alpha a6000
- Advanced 24.2MP back Illuminated 35 millimeter full frame image sensor
- ISO 100 25600 (expandable to 51200). Lens compatibility: Sony E mount lenses
- Hybrid AF with 179 point focal plane phase detection and 25 contrast detect points
- Up to 11 FPS continuous shooting. Battery Life (Still Images): Up to 360 shots. Metering type:1200-zone evaluative...
Check Out: Best Sony Alpha a6000 Lenses
All told the Sony A6000 is an echo of its earlier NEX-6 model, making it a sensible balance of small and light but also powerful and capable of producing great images. We love the built-in electronic viewfinder, tilt-angle LCD screen and the step forward in autofocus ability.
However, some slight autofocus slip-ups, a so-so battery life and no touchscreen control hold it back from being the ultimate interchangeable. And let’s not forget just how strong the near competition is. Each model has its highs and lows, but the larger Olympus E-M10 and slower but stylish Fujifilm X-E1 are priced at a similar point as alternatives.
If you want a small system camera where a viewfinder is essential then the A6000 has heaps going for it. It’s also so keenly priced that it will have a lot of the competition looking over their shoulders.
19. Canon M100
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Phase detection
- 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS C) Sensor
- Built in Wi Fi, NFC and Bluetooth
- Intuitive Touchscreen, 3.0 inch Tilt type LCD
Check Out: Best Canon M100 Lenses
The Canon EOS M100 Mirrorless Digital Camera makes a suitable everyday companion for those who want both an easy-to-use and highly capable camera system. With built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth, the 24.2MP APS-C camera makes it easy to share your snaps and videos almost immediately after you take them. For those looking to expand their photography skills, this camera is a great stepping off point as it has a Creative Assist feature that can walk you through how certain settings affect your image. Or, if you simply want to capture your grand adventures with your friends, a Self Portrait mode is available for making use of the 180° tilt ability of the 3.0″ 1.04m-dot touchscreen LCD.
20. Sony Alpha a6300
- Faster Autofocus: Shoot up to 11fps with 425 phase detection auto focus points and 0.05 sec AF speed
- Incredible Photography: Advanced 24.2 MP Exmore CMOS sensor expands sensitivity and minimizes noise
- Electronic Viewfinder: Cameras feature a high resolution XGA OLED Tru-Finder for enhanced viewing
- 4K & HD Recording: Record professional content with multiple movie functions and full pixel readout
Check Out: Best Sony Alpha a6300 Lenses
Sony Alpha a6300 from Sony is a versatile APS-C format mirrorless digital camera designed for multimedia image-makers. Revolving around a redeveloped 24.2MP Exmor CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor, clean image quality is provided with a wide expandable sensitivity range to ISO 51200, along with accelerated readout speeds for internal 4K30 and Full HD 1080p120 video recording with full pixel readout. Stills shooters also benefit from the apt processing speed, which enables continuous shooting at 11 fps for up to 21 raw frames in a burst, as well as 14-bit natural file output. Complementing both stills and video, the sensor and processor combination also avails 4D FOCUS, which combines a wide-coverage 425 point phase-detection system with a 169-area contrast detection system for quick and precise focusing performance.