Point-and-shoot cameras can be tremendously appealing to novice photographers and experienced users looking for a portable backup to their dedicated mirrorless or DSLR camera. Their compact size and built-in lenses make them well-suited for taking photos in busy environments, but their dedicated controls, typically larger image sensors, and fast autofocus systems make them more versatile for this kind of use than most smartphone cameras.
We've tested over 70 cameras, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best point-and-shoot cameras to buy. These picks were selected not only based on their overall performance but also their feature set and price. You can also check our recommendations for the best compact cameras, the best mirrorless cameras for travel, and the best cameras for beginners.
The best point-and-shoot camera that we've tested is the Fujifilm X100V. This premium compact camera features a large APS-C sensor for excellent image quality as well as a built-in lens with a 35mm full-frame equivalent focal length that's suitable for a wide range of photography. While it's not the most compact camera on this list, it's still portable enough to slip into a small bag or coat pocket, and it's partially weather-sealed, with full weather-sealing when you buy a lens adapter and filter at additional cost.
The standout feature of this camera, however, is its unique hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder. The camera has a sleek retro-inspired rangefinder design, so the viewfinder is offset from the body, and with the flick of a switch, it toggles between an OVF with relevant information overlaid in the viewfinder and an EVF that lets you preview exposure settings and color profiles. The camera delivers amazing image quality overall and impressively little noise at higher ISO levels, even when shooting in RAW. It also has a robust autofocus system that does a good job tracking moving subjects.
That said, it doesn't have any kind of image stabilization feature, which may make it harder to take clear photos when shooting handheld at slower shutter speeds. Its controls may also take novice users some getting used to. The camera's battery life also leaves a little to be desired, particularly when shooting high-resolution video for longer periods, which may also cause some overheating. Still, its high-quality construction and rich set of features make this one of the best street photography cameras we've tested.
The best point-and-shoot camera we've tested for travel is the Sony RX100 VII. It's an incredibly portable compact camera with a one-inch sensor. Despite its small size, it comes with a pop-up electronic viewfinder for more precise framing and a built-in pop-up flash. It has a bright touchscreen that can flip out for low-angle shots or up for selfies or vlogs. It also has a built-in 200mm equivalent zoom lens, meaning you can zoom in on far-away subjects.
It delivers excellent out-of-the-box image quality, with JPEGs that look relatively noise-free at higher ISO levels and have fantastic dynamic range to bring out a wide array of details in high-contrast scenes. That said, its RAW noise handling capability is mediocre due to its smaller sensor, so it's not as well-suited to low-light photography at higher ISO levels. Its overall video quality is alright, though you may notice some grain in dimly lit conditions.
Unfortunately, it has a disappointing battery life, and it can overheat and shut down quite easily, particularly when recording 4k video. On the upside, it has a fantastic autofocus system that quickly and reliably keeps moving subjects in focus, whether you're shooting video or taking photos. All in all, this is a great option for travel due to its compact size, excellent image quality, and superb autofocus system.
The best point-and-shoot camera that we've tested for vlogging is the Sony ZV-1. It's a great entry point for new vloggers looking for something small and compact. It comes loaded with vlogging features, including a detachable windscreen for its built-in microphone to reduce wind noise, as well as a fully articulated screen that you can flip around to face you.
It's incredibly lightweight and portable but still feels comfortable to use, thanks to its handgrip bump and thumb rest. It has a fantastic autofocus system for video, along with specialized focus modes, like 'Product Showcase', which automatically shifts focus to an object held up within the frame. It also features a dedicated 'Background Defocus' button that quickly switches between a shallow and wide depth of field. It shoots in 4k at up to 30 fps, though with a slight crop, and in 1080p at up to 120 fps, giving you a range of frame rates to choose from to suit your needs.
That said, its battery performance is disappointing. It tends to overheat and shut down frequently when recording continuously in 4k. Battery life, however, can vary with different settings and usage habits. The camera is capped at a five-minute recording time limit in 4k, but you can record for much longer in 1080p. All in all, if you need something compact for vlogging, this is one of the best vlogging cameras that we've tested for most people.
If you want a vlogging camera with built-in livestream capability, check out the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III. Unlike the Sony ZV-1, it doesn't have a fully articulated screen, though you can tilt and flip it up to face you for vlogs, and its autofocus system isn't as reliable. That said, it can shoot 4k video without a crop, and it comes with a built-in livestreaming feature that lets you livestream directly to YouTube over Wi-Fi. It feels comfortable to shoot with, thanks to its small handgrip and highly intuitive menu system. While its overall video quality isn't as high as the Sony, it does have greater internal recording capability and a longer recording time limit in 4k. It also does a great job of reducing camera handheld shake. However, it doesn't have a microphone or headphone jack and lacks Bluetooth support, which is disappointing.
Get the Sony if you want a compact vlogging camera with better autofocus and a fully articulated screen. If you do a lot of livestreaming, the Canon is worth consideration.
For those who need more zoom range, a bridge camera brings together the convenience of a built-in lens shared with more compact point-and-shoots and the ergonomics and shooting experience of DSLR-style cameras. The best bridge camera we've tested for most people is the Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II. It's a fairly well-rounded camera that feels very comfortable to shoot with and comes with a built-in zoom lens with a flexible 25-400mm full-frame equivalent focal length.
The camera has a remarkably easy-to-use menu system, a large rubberized handgrip, and a fully articulated screen that makes it easy to shoot video or take selfies. It delivers great image quality with a ton of dynamic range to bring out a wider array of detail. It also has decent noise handling capability, so it performs fairly well in low light, though shooting at higher ISOs still introduces some noise. It shoots at a fast 10 fps in its high-speed continuous shooting mode.
That said, its autofocus system is only decent. It does a good job of tracking moving objects but struggles to reliably keep moving faces in focus. It's also quite bulky compared to a compact point-and-shoot, so it's less convenient to take traveling. Still, if you're looking for a solid and comfortable camera with a long zoom range for a variety of everyday photography, this is a great option for most users.
If you are interested in a bridge camera that feels even more premium and offers slightly better performance overall, take a look at the Sony RX10 IV. It's considerably pricier than the Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II and even less portable. However, it has a longer 600mm equivalent focal length and feels more sturdily constructed with a weather-sealed body. Though it's bulkier, it also feels incredibly comfortable to use with well-spaced physical controls and a bright tilting screen. It has a long battery life and a very fast 21 fps burst rate, making it a great option for sports and wildlife photography. Image quality is also excellent, with a lot of dynamic range and minimal loss of sharpness when shooting at higher ISOs in JPEG. Its autofocus system has 315 advertised detection points and does a decent overall job of tracking moving subjects when taking photos. The camera also has better 4k video performance than the Panasonic, but its menu system is more confusing and harder to navigate.
Get the Panasonic if you want a leaner, more affordable bridge camera. If you want more zoom range, a more robust autofocus system, and a weather-sealed body, the Sony is a great alternative.
Jan 06, 2022: Removed the Panasonic LUMIX ZS80. Renamed the Fujifilm X100V as 'Best Point-And-Shoot Camera' and added the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III as an 'Alternative With Livestream Support' to the Sony ZV-1.
Dec 10, 2021: Verified accuracy and availability of picks; no change to recommendations.
Nov 11, 2021: Added Sony RX10 IV as new 'Better-Built Alternative' category pick.
Oct 14, 2021: Minor updates to text for clarity and accuracy; no change to recommendations.
Sep 23, 2021: Added the Panasonic LUMIX LX100 II and the RICOH GR III to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best point-and-shoot cameras for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability (no cameras that are difficult to find or almost out of stock in the U.S.).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our reviews for compact, ultracompact, and bridge cameras. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There is no single perfect camera. Personal taste, preference, and shooting habits will matter more in your selection.