Takes professional-looking photos. Impressive, intuitive features for a point-and-shoot camera. Beginners love ability to choose focal point during editing. Experienced photographers enjoy the power and ease of use.
With the long-range zoom, it takes practice to keep the camera steady enough for crisp photos at high magnification.
Easy to learn and use, kit provides helpful tools, great for gifting to amateurs. Takes beautiful images for being a simple camera. Shoots 720p HD video. Includes 16GB SD Memory Card and camera case.
Users who struggle with technology might spend some time learning to transfer images.
A reliable camera with good quality. Features like panorama shooting, image stabilization, and advanced flash make this camera much more useful than expected for the average user. Fun effects (like "Toy Camera" and "Pop Color") add personality to photos.
A very simple camera that might not be the best for those looking for more professional features and quality.
Clear, sharp images. Small size makes it easy to bring anywhere. Easy to use and download photos. 180º panorama capture, built-in flash and 9-point autofocus modes. 4x Optical Zoom and nicely sized LCD screen. Beginners enjoy the included kit accessories.
Doesn't come with manual, users have to view it on the Kodak website.
8x optical zoom great for beginner macro photography. Auto setting has helpful pre-selections. Capable of 720p video recording, and provides options for visual effects such as Monochrome, Toy Camera, & Fisheye. Bundle includes 2 - 16GB SD Memory Cards, cleaning cloth and camera case.
Doesn't include USB/transfer cables. Some users believe a phone camera is capable of comparable images.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
As smartphone cameras have become popular, they’ve absorbed a large chunk of the entry-level section of the digital camera market. As a result, point-and-shoot cameras are less common than they were several years ago. However, you can still purchase these simple cameras, which are easy to use and perfect for traveling, at an affordable price.
The biggest benefit? Point-and-shoot cameras come with an optical zoom lens, giving you clear pictures even when you zoom in — something your smartphone can’t do. But before you buy, there’s plenty to consider. Do you want a camera that can fit in your pocket, or is a bulkier option with a larger optical zoom lens more important? Are you interested in features such as special effects, high-resolution videos, and WiFi connectivity, or is a simpler, more affordable model more your speed?
To better understand the advantages of a point-and-shoot camera, our handy guide has all the information you’ll need. When you’re ready to buy, check out our top picks.
A point-and-shoot camera is also known as a fixed-lens camera. Because the lens is built into the camera body, you cannot change it out for another lens. You should give serious consideration to the lens at the time of purchase, because, if you decide you’re unhappy with it later, you’re stuck.
This type of camera will have an optical zoom lens measurement, designated with an x. A larger optical zoom measurement means you can significantly magnify the scene. One of the advantages of a point-and-shoot is that, unlike the digital zoom found in a smartphone camera, the optical zoom on a point-and-shoot doesn’t cause a loss in image quality. Optical zooms of 5x, 10x, and 20x are common, but some cameras have optical zooms up to 50x or higher.
Point-and-shoot cameras sometimes have bodies close to the size of a deck of playing cards. A thin digital camera may fit in a pocket, making it easy to carry with you anywhere.
Those with a big optical zoom lens are quite a bit bigger and closer in size to a DSLR camera.
The term megapixels, or MP, refers to the number of pixels in each photograph. Pixels are tiny dots that, when combined together, create the photo. As a general rule, the more megapixels available in the camera, the better. Anywhere from 12 megapixels to 24 megapixels is common. However, if you’re looking for the best photo quality, a larger image sensor (in physical size) is more important than megapixel count. Point-and-shoot cameras often have a 1/2.3-inch sized image sensor. Larger options include 1/1.7 inches and 1/2 inches.
Display screen size is an important feature for certain photographers. A screen that measures 3 inches diagonally is a common size for a fixed-lens camera. Some screens are able to tilt or swivel away from the camera body, which allows for odd-angle photos or selfies.
Inexpensive: One nice thing about point-and-shoot cameras is that they often have a low price point. This is important for beginners who are seeking an inexpensive way to start with photography. The least expensive point-and-shoot cameras will cost $25 to $125. These will be thin cameras with tiny image sensors of 1/2.3 inches or less. Image quality will be spotty, especially in low-light situations.
Mid-range: For $125 to $300, you can find some point-and-shoots with mid-range zoom lenses. Occasionally, you’ll find a 1/1.7-inch image sensor in this price range, but oftentimes, these cameras have 1/2.3-inch image sensors.
Expensive: The priciest point-and-shoot cameras run from $300 to $1,000. These will have at least one high-end feature. You may find a large zoom lens in this price range, such as 30x or greater. Image sensors often will be 1/1.7 inches in size, but some will be as large as 1 inch.
In addition to the camera, there will be some extra costs as well, such as a memory card to store your photographs on (about $5 to $25, depending on storage size). You may also want to purchase a second rechargeable battery for the camera (about $30 to $50, depending on the model).
To have more fun with your point-and-shoot camera, it’s important to maximize image quality. Here are some tips we’ve collected to help you have better success when shooting photos with your fixed-lens camera.
Q. Why would I want a point-and-shoot camera when I have a smartphone camera?
A. Smartphone cameras have replaced a majority of the point-and-shoot cameras at the beginner end of the market. Smartphone cameras certainly have a lot of nice features. However, point-and-shoot cameras give you an optical zoom lens, something smartphone cameras cannot duplicate. Dedicated digital cameras give you a bit more control over the shooting settings than smartphone cameras, too.
Q. What type of flash do I want with my point-and-shoot camera?
A. A flash unit embedded in the corner of the camera body is typical in a lower-priced camera, but its image quality is uneven. Slightly more expensive models may have a pop-up flash that extends out of the top of the camera body. These work nicely for good image quality. Occasionally, a point-and-shoot camera has a hot shoe bracket on top, which allows you to add an external flash unit. This is the best quality you’ll receive from a flash.
Q. Can I move a memory card from one camera to another?
A. Yes, as long as the memory card is the proper size for both cameras. You may want to format the memory card when using it with the new camera. Formatting the card will erase all pictures from the card, giving you a clean slate in the new camera.