Point and Shoots are finding a place among the tools like the best professional photographer’s camera, so if you are considering upgrading from your cell phone camera to a Point and Shoot, you have good reason to do so. Advances in technology have improved image quality, and professionals now affirm in interviews that they carry point and shoot cameras with them on a daily basis. For capturing spur-of-the-moment occurrences, Point and Shoots are convenient, lighter in weight, and much smaller than their expert gear. In addition, a point and shoot with a versatile zoom lens eliminate the need to carry multiple lenses. A compact digital camera with image quality exceeding that of your smartphone or just want something to sit alongside your more expensive gear, there are some impressive products that won’t bust your wallet.

The cameras in this buying guide are light and portable, and several feature selfie-friendly LCDs. Generally speaking, you won’t find a lot of direct controls or a lot of customizability, and 4K video is rare, but for those seeking a Point and Shoot experience with better image high quality, these cameras fit the bill.

Best Point and Shoot Camera Under $500 in 2021

Point and Shoot Camera Reviews

1. Sony RX100

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Sony RX100 20.2 MP Premium Compact Digital Camera...
  • 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,...

Sony’s RX100 is nothing short of the best all-around point and shoot camera under $500 I’ve ever seen. Where mirrorless cameras made waves by downsizing DSLR-quality photos into a package you could throw into your coat pocket, the RX100 does the same for your jeans. It’s really no exaggeration to say that it produces images on par with an average DSLR and kit lens combination, making this a revolutionary digital camera that means you’ll always be in a situation where you can take genuinely high-quality pictures.

You’ll be paying around as much as an entry-level DSLR or mirrorless camera kit. For that reason I wouldn’t recommend the RX100 as anyone’s only digital camera unless portability is the number one concern – you’ll get more flexibility and ultimately quality from something like a NEX-F3 at around the same price. If you’ve already got an interchangeable lens camera and simply want something more portable, however, the RX100 is impossible to beat right now. One thing’s for sure – Canon is going to have to pull off something special this year if its S-series will stay in the game.

2. Panasonic Lumix FZ80

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Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera, 18.1...
  • 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;...

The Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 is a superzoom bridge point and shoot camera for photographers on a budget. It features a small, 1/2.33-inch sensor with a resolution of 18MP. A massive lens system in the Panasonic FZ80 provides a focal length range between 20-1200mm (35mm film equivalent) and a whopping 60x zoom. Using the digital zoom, photographers can take photos with a focal size equivalent of 4800mm.

The FZ80’s built-in image stabilizer (Power O.I.S.) is really a hybrid program based on optical stabilization and electronic stabilization and works with photo and video recording. It works very well, but has its limits when it comes to pictures in the 800-1200mm range. In these situations, we recommend using a tripod for sharp photos and jitter-free movie recording.

3. Canon PowerShot SX740

Canon PowerShot SX740 Digital Camera w/40x Optical...
  • 40x optical zoom with optical image stabilizer and zoom framing assist
  • 4K video and 4K time-lapse movie
  • 20.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor
  • High-speed continuous shooting

Canon just introduced the new PowerShot SX740 HS digital camera, which has a 40x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 24-960mm), a 20.3MP CMOS imaging sensor, and 4K video capabilities, a first in the PowerShot camera series, according to Canon USA. Featuring a DIGIC 8 Image Processor, dual-sensing image stabilization, automatic picture transfer, feature assistant, and a 3-inch LCD screen that rotates 180 degrees, the brand new Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is designed to try to get consumers to switch from their smartphone cameras to a pocket-sized camera with more power and range.

4. Olympus Tough TG-6

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Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera, Red
  • Waterproof (50 feet /15 meter), dust proof, shockproof (7 feet / 2.1 meter), crush proof (100 kgf), freeze proof (14...
  • High resolution F2.0 lens, maximum 8x zoom, true pic VIII, back illuminated CMOS image sensor
  • Variable macro system comprised of 4 macro shooting modes, magnified shooting up to 1 centimeter from the end of the...
  • 5 underwater shooting modes including underwater microscope, 3 underwater white balance modes

The red Tough TG-6 from Olympus is a sleek Point and Shoot capable of handling a wide variety of adventures. Featuring a 12MP BSI CMOS sensor and TruePic VIII image processor, the TG-6 offers notable image clarity and low-light performance to ISO 12800, along with fast 20-fps continuous shooting, 4K30p video recording, and high-speed Full HD 1080p shooting at 120 fps. Complementing the capturing capabilities is really a versatile 4x optical zoom lens, which spans a 25-100mm equivalent range, and has an f/2 maximum aperture to benefit working in difficult lighting conditions.

5. Panasonic Lumix ZS80

Panasonic LUMIX ZS80 20.3MP Digital Camera, 30x...
  • Large sensor – 1/2. 3 Inch 20. 3MP MOS high resolution sensor provides improved low light performance by significantly...
  • Leica DC VARIO ELMAR lens features an impressively sharp 24mm ultra wide Angle 30x telephoto lens (35mm camera...
  • Power O. I. S. Optical image Stabilizer (O. I. S.) effectively compensates for hand shake to minimize Blur during...
  • 4K video QFHD 4K video in 3840x2160 at 30P; also via 4K PHOTO mode to capture fleeting photo opportunities at 30 fps in...

Panasonic Lumix DCZS80 is a pocketable workhorse comprising a versatile array of video and stills capabilities. Featuring a 20.3MP 1/2.3″ High-Sensitivity Live MOS sensor, the ZS80 Point and Shoot realize rich image quality with low noise and sensitivity to an extended ISO 6400 for working in difficult lighting conditions. The sensor and image processor also enable shooting continuously at up to 10 fps with single-shot AF, 30 fps at 8MP in 4K PHOTO modes, and UHD 4K video recording at 30p. Additionally, the 4K Photo modes allow you to produce stop motion images, which combine sequential exposures into a single frame for a dynamic finished look.

6. Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70K

Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70K, 20.3 Megapixel, 4K...
796 Reviews
Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70K, 20.3 Megapixel, 4K...
  • 20. 3 Megapixel MOS sensor plus 30x Leica DC VARIO ELMAR lens (24 720mm), Plus 5 axis Hybrid O. I. S. (Optical image...
  • 0. 2 Inch 1, 166k dot EVF (electronic view finder) with eye sensor for easier viewing under sunny outdoor conditions
  • 4K QFHD video recording (3840x2160), Plus exclusive Lumix 4K PHOTO and 4K post focus with internal focus Stacking...
  • Lens barrel mounted control ring enables quick, intuitive operation of important functions

Lumix DC-ZS70 Point and Shoot camera from Panasonic blends a sleek form factor with versatile stills and video capabilities. Revolving around a 20.3MP 1/2.3″ High-Sensitivity Live MOS sensor, the ZS70 realizes rich image quality with low noise and sensitivity to an extended ISO 6400 for working in difficult lighting conditions. The sensor and image processor also enable shooting continuously at up to 10 fps with single-shot AF, 30 fps at 8MP in 4K Photo Modes, and UHD 4K movie recording at 30p. The 4K abilities also permit working with unique Post Focus technology for choosing a specific point of focus after shooting.

Beyond the imaging abilities, the ZS70 is also characterized by its impressive 30x Leica DC Vario-Elmar zoom lens, which covers a 24-720mm equivalent focal length range, as well as 5-axis HYBRID O.I.S. to minimize the appearance of camera shake for sharper handheld shooting. Also notable is the camera’s compact size and incorporation of both a 1.166m-dot electronic viewfinder and 3.0″ 1.04m-dot tilting touchscreen LCD. Additionally, built-in Wi-Fi allows you to wirelessly share imagery or remotely control the digital camera from a linked smartphone or tablet.

7. Sony DSC-WX350

Sony DSCWX350 18 MP Digital Camera (Black)
  • 20x Optical/40x Clear Image Zoom G Lens
  • Keep your subject in focus with Lock-On AF
  • Simple connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi w/ NFC3
  • Motion Shot Video traces subject movement

The Sony Cybershot DSC-WX350 has an 18.2 megapixel Exmor R CMOS sensor and 20x optical zoom lens, a 35mm equivalent of 25-500mm, and can be extended to 40x with Clear Image Zoom. There is Optical SteadyShot to reduce blur when shooting handheld and you can also shoot at 10fps.

Intelligent Auto recognises the scene and automatically adjusts the camera settings, with Superior Auto recognising when your subject is moving. Other shooting modes include iSweep Panorama and artistic picture effects which can be applied to both images and videos. When shooting portraits the WX350 will automatically remove skin blemishes, brighten teeth, widen eyes and cut forehead shine.

The built-in Wi-Fi allows you to transfer your images and videos to a smartphone or tablet and allows your mobile device to act as a remote control. You can also use NFC to quickly transfer pictures and setup connections.

Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with Optical SteadyShot Active Mode to ensure they are as smooth and steady as possible.

8. Panasonic Lumix ZS50 

Panasonic Lumix ZS50 Camera, Black
  • 12. 1 Megapixel sensor delivers high resolution photos with fewer image artifacts
  • 30x (24mm) LEICA DC Lens optical zoom performance is ideally suited for travel and everyday photography
  • Enhanced low light sensitivity for improved sharpness even without a flash
  • Built-in eye viewfinder eliminates outdoor glare on sunny days

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 is a Point and Shoot digital camera featuring a 12.1MP High Sensitivity MOS sensor and Venus Engine image processor to enable high-resolution still imaging and full HD 1080p video recording with noticeable low-light quality and sensitivity to an expandable ISO 6400. Fast performance is also afforded throughout the camera system, including the ability to record full-resolution imagery at up to 10 fps or 6 fps with continuous AF.

Complementing the imaging performance of the camera is the built-in Leica DC Vario-Elmar 30x optical zoom lens, which provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-720mm to suit working within a wide variety of situations. Aspherical and extra-low dispersion elements help to produce sharp, high contrast imagery and also work to minimize aberrations and distortion through the entire zoom range. Benefitting the extensive zooming capabilities of this lens is HYBRID O.I.S.+ image stabilization, which minimizes the appearance of camera shake to better support working with greater zoom magnifications or longer shutter speeds.

9. Canon PowerShot ELPH 180

Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 Digital Camera w/ Image...
  • 8x Optical Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer helps you capture images with flexibility and ease
  • 20.0 Megapixel CCD sensor combines with the DIGIC 4+ Image Processor to help deliver stunning image quality
  • 720p HD video capabilities. Focusing range: Normal: 2.0 inch - infinity (W), 4.3 feet (1.3 meter) - infinity (T)
  • Smart auto intelligently selects the proper settings based on predefined shooting situations

PowerShot ELPH 180 from Canon is a convenient Point and Shoot featuring a 20.0MP 1/2.3″ CCD sensor and DIGIC 4+ image processor. Together, the sensor and processor offer notable image quality for stills shooting as well as HD 720p video recording at 25 fps. Complementing the imaging capabilities, an 8x optical zoom lens covers wide-angle to telephoto perspectives to suit capturing in a variety of locations. This lens is also benefitted by Digital IS, which helps to minimize the appearance of camera shake for sharper handheld shooting. Additionally, the camera’s sleek design is complemented by a 2.7″ 230k-dot LCD for picture playback and live view monitoring, and a host of shooting features are available to intelligently select exposure settings, creatively adjust the look of imagery, or simply learn more about how to use all of the shooting controls of the ELPH 180.

10. Sony DSCW800

Sony (DSCW800) 20.1 MP Digital Camera (Silver)
  • MP Super HAD CCD sensor for beautifully detailed images.
  • Sony Lens w/ 5x Optical Zoom.
  • Reduced blur with SteadyShot Image stabilization
  • Capture your videos in 720p HD Movie mode

Sony DSC-W800 Digital Camera is a point and shoot that features 20.1 megapixels inside the 1/2.3″ Super HAD CCD sensor, and has a professional Sony 5x optical zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 26-130mm. A bright 2.7″ Clear Photo LCD 230k-dot monitor at the back allows you to clearly view your photos and high-quality 720p HD videos.

For more zoom, a 10x digital zoom function doubles the camera’s reach and Sony’s SteadyShot Image Stabilization with Active mode compensates for camera shake to help provide clearer images with minimal blur and low noise, even while you stroll around. For shooting at an even wider angle, try the 360˚ Sweep Panorama, which allows you to press the shutter button and sweep your camera around to gather in your entire landscape and take many high-resolution pictures and automatically combine them into one photograph.

12. Panasonic Lumix ZS100

Panasonic LUMIX ZS100 4K Digital Camera, 20.1...
  • POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA: Large, 1-inch 20.1-megapixel MOS sensor plus 10X zoom LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens (25-250mm)...
  • EYE-LEVEL ELECTRONIC VIEWFINDER AND LCD DISPLAY: High-resolution 1,166k-dot viewfinder and rear touch-enabled 3-inch LCD...
  • 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...

Lumix DMC-ZS100 from Panasonic is a versatile Point and Shoot marrying both form and function. Designed to be as sleek as possible, the ZS100 still manages to incorporate a large 1-inch 20.1MP High-Sensitivity MOS sensor and 10x optical zoom lens. The sensor pairs with a Venus Engine image processor to realize clear, clean image quality with low noise and high sensitivity to an expanded ISO 25600. This processor chip and sensor also permit quick continuous shooting, up to 50 fps with an electronic shutter or 10 fps with a mechanical shutter, as well as 4K UHD video recording at 30p and 24p frame rates.

13. Sony Cyber-Shot DSCW810

Sony Cyber-Shot DSCW810 20.1MP Digital Camera
  • 20.1MP Super HAD CCD sensor for beautifully detailed images, Sony Lens w/ 6x Optical Zoom, Easy shooting in Party Mode
  • Reduced blur with SteadyShot Image stabilization, Capture your videos in 720p HD Movie mode, Simplify camera menu with...
  • Take stunning images in Sweep Panorama mode-up to 360 degrees, Smile Shutter technology automatically captures smiles,...

The new Cyber-shot DSC-W810 features a high-resolution 20.1 MP CCD sensor paired with a versatile 6x zoom lens, allowing it to shoot detailed still images and 720p HD videos. The addition of new Party Mode means that the camera automatically adjusts settings for shots in challenging light conditions meaning that those magic moments are captured forever.

14. Coolpix B600

Coolpix B600 Black
76 Reviews
Coolpix B600 Black
  • 60x optical zoom, 120x Dynamic Fine Zoom
  • 16 Megapixel low-light sensor
  • Full HD 1080/60i (50i) videos with 4-Axis Hybrid VR and stereo audio
  • 19 scene modes and 36 Creative effects

The Nikon Coolpix B600 is a superzoom camera with an optically stabilized 60x lens that is equivalent to 24-1440mm. It uses a 16MP BSI-CMOS sensor (1/2.3″) and has a 3″ fixed LCD (but no electronic viewfinder). Video can be captured at 1080/30p. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are built-in.

15. Sony DSCW830/B

Sony DSCW830 20.1 MP Digital Camera with 2.7-Inch...
  • 20.1 Megapixel(effective) Plus 8x Zoom and number of pixels (Gross)is approx. 20.4 megapixels
  • Optical Steady Shot image Stabilization with 2-way Active Mode. Dimensons(W X H X D)(APPROX.)- 3 3/4 x 2 1/8 x 29/32...
  • 720p MP4 HD Movie Mode ; This product is compatible with Final Cut Pro X and iMovie.
  • Panorama Shooting: 360 Sweep Panorama; Minimum Illumination: Auto: 22.0 lux Shutter Speed 1/30

The sleek new Point and Shoot camera Cyber-shot DSC-W830 features a high-resolution 20.1 MP CCD sensor paired with a versatile 8x Carl Zeiss optical zoom lens and powerful BIONZ® processor, allowing it to shoot exceptionally detailed still images and 720p HD videos. It’s Optical SteadyShot technology minimizes image blur from camera shake, and an Optical SteadyShot® Active Mode ensures smooth HD videos.

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