While smartphone cameras are undeniably convenient and getting more and more capable by the year, there's still something to be said about a dedicated camera with buttons and dials you can touch and feel. Smartphones are also physically limited by their lenses. That's where the point-and-shoot comes in. Whether it's a super sharp fixed lens or a versatile zoom lens, it'll give you a bit of an edge to take your everyday or travel photos to the next level—all while fitting into your pocket.
We've bought and tested over 80 cameras in our lab, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best point-and-shoot digital cameras. If portability is your biggest priority, you can also take a look at our top point-and-shoot cameras for travel, or if you want something with a bit more oomph that's still portable enough to travel with, check out our picks for the best mirrorless cameras for travel. Alternatively, if you don't mind a bigger camera and want a built-in superzoom lens, take a look at our picks for the best bridge cameras.
The Fujifilm X100V is the best point-and-shoot camera we've tested. While it isn't cheap and may be hard to find amid stock shortages and increased demand, this premium fixed-lens camera brings more to the table than almost any other point-and-shoot. Most notably, it has a unique hybrid electronic/optical viewfinder, which gives it unmatched functionality when it comes to framing and composition. Its built-in lens has a versatile 35mm full-frame equivalent focal length that's great for street photos or landscapes. Plus, it's super sharp, with a fairly wide max aperture that's well-suited for low light situations.
Inside, the camera uses the same high-res APS-C sensor found in many of Fujifilm's high-end mirrorless cameras, giving it a leg up in image quality. And with a sleek-looking and sturdy exterior, it's a clear winner among point-and-shoot cameras. That said, this isn't the most compact option out there. If you want something truly pocketable without giving up APS-C image quality, the RICOH GR III is a great cheaper alternative. However, it isn't nearly as versatile, with poor video capabilities, a fixed screen, and no viewfinder.
The Fujifilm X100V may be a drool-worthy option for enthusiasts, but the smaller and slightly more affordable Sony RX100 VII is like the Swiss Army knife of point-and-shoot cameras. Though it doesn't boast a fancy hybrid viewfinder, it's still packed with nice features like a pop-up electronic viewfinder and a pop-up flash. And though its zoom lens isn't as sharp or fast as the lens on the Fujifilm, it's a lot more versatile for far-away subjects, making this a great choice for travel photography.
It uses a one-inch sensor, meaning you won't get quite the same image quality as with the Fujifilm, but its sensor is still larger than the sensors in most compact cameras and smartphones, so you'll still get some excellent photos out of this thing. Add in a fantastic autofocus system and very quick burst shooting, and this is one of the most full-featured point-and-shoots on the market. No wonder it's on its seventh iteration and counting.
For those who don't want to spend a small fortune on a point-and-shoot, the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II offers a good balance of performance and features at a more reasonable price. Like the Sony RX100 VII, it uses a one-inch sensor, so image quality isn't as good as large-sensor compacts like the Fujifilm X100V or the RICOH GR III. However, it's still a step above most smartphone cameras, and you get a built-in zoom lens for versatile shooting, although its zoom range is notably shorter than the Sony.
Still, the camera is super portable and, like the RX100 VII, has a pop-up viewfinder for sunny days when the screen is harder to see. Though its subject tracking isn't the most reliable, its autofocus is still generally good and will get the job done in most situations. Ultimately, this is a great pocket camera for the price, and if ergonomics are a priority for you, its small handgrip is one of the most comfortable we've tested among point-and-shoot cameras.
If you're on a tighter budget, the Panasonic LUMIX ZS80 offers a lot of value for its price. It uses a smaller sensor than any of the more premium picks above, meaning image quality is a bit lacking, especially in low light. On the upside, it's a portable camera that's super easy to use. Its tilting screen can flip all the way up for selfies and vlogs if needed, and the camera even has a viewfinder, which is nice to have on sunny days when it's harder to see the screen.
That said, the real selling point of this camera is its zoom lens. It has a very wide zoom range that gives you a ton of flexibility to zoom in on far-away subjects or take wider-angle shots like landscapes. Battery life is also decent, and it can even record 4k video, albeit with a heavy crop. Overall, this is a great little camera for the price if you're looking for a cheap point-and-shoot with plenty of zoom.
If you want a point-and-shoot for vlogging, look no further than the Sony ZV-1. It's small, lightweight, and designed specifically for vloggers, with features you won't find on a photo-oriented camera like the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II above. While the ZV-1 doesn't have a viewfinder, its fully articulated screen is ideal for vlogging, allowing you to monitor yourself while recording. It also comes with a detachable windscreen for its microphone to help cut down on ambient noise.
If that wasn't enough, you've got Sony's ever-reliable autofocus system, with additional focus modes tailored for vloggers. Product and beauty vloggers, for instance, can take advantage of the 'Product Showcase' mode, which automatically shifts focus to any objects held up in the frame rather than prioritizing your face. Like most point-and-shoots, battery life isn't the best, especially if you're recording in 4k. However, this camera is tough to beat if you need something compact for vlogging.
Apr 17, 2023: Checked that picks were still the best choices for user needs.
Feb 09, 2023: Removed mention of the Canon PowerShot SX740 as an in-text alternative to the Panasonic LUMIX ZS80.
Jan 19, 2023: Checked article for accuracy; no change to recommendations.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best point-and-shoot digital 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'd like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our point-and-shoot camera reviews. 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.