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 high-end point-shoot features the same 26.1 MP sensor found on Fujifilm's range of interchangeable lens cameras, like the Fujifilm X-Pro3, yielding excellent out-the-box image quality. Like the X-Pro3, it uses a hybrid viewfinder that you can toggle between a high-resolution EVF that allows you to preview exposure adjustments in real-time and an optical rangefinder that provides an unfiltered view of your subject.
While this camera is larger than most small-sensor compacts, it's still very portable, and it feels impressively well-built. Its built-in prime lens has a full-frame equivalent focal length of 35 mm, which is well-suited to capturing a variety of subjects. It also features a built-in four-stop ND filter that allows you to shoot at slower shutter speeds or wider apertures in brighter environments with less risk of overexposing your image. Its autofocus system also does a good job of tracking moving subjects.
Unfortunately, this camera doesn't have any in-body stabilization feature, which could make it easier to snap images at slower shutter speeds. In addition, while this camera does have relatively advanced video recording capabilities, including 10-bit 4:2:2 recording via HDMI, it can quickly overheat, though this isn't rare for compact cameras. Still, it's a fantastic option if you're looking for a camera that combines retro aesthetics with the ease of use of a modern mirrorless system.
If you're looking for a pocketable travel camera, consider the Sony RX100 VII. It can easily fit into a small bag or a coat pocket, and it's got a bright, tilting screen to help you shoot from different angles or take selfies. If you prefer to shoot through a viewfinder, it also has a pop-up EVF, though it's very small.
The camera's built-in zoom lens has a fairly long focal length, ranging from 24 to 200mm (full-frame equivalent), so you can zoom in on farther subjects. It can shoot at a remarkably fast 20 fps in its high-speed burst mode, so you can easily capture fast-moving subjects and busy street scenes. It has a fantastic autofocus system as well, with face and eye detection and reliable subject tracking. It takes excellent JPEG images right out of the box, with a lot of dynamic range and mostly accurate colors.
Unfortunately, like many compact cameras, it suffers from poor battery life and overheating issues. Thankfully, though, it supports USB charging, and you can keep using it while it charges, which is handy if you've got a portable battery pack. Its menu system is also hard to navigate because of its limited touch controls. Despite its flaws, this is still an excellent little pocket camera with a versatile set of features and unmatched portability.
If you're a vlogger looking to make the jump from a smartphone to a dedicated camera but still want something portable, the Sony ZV-1 is an excellent option. This compact point-and-shoot is for vloggers, with a lightweight body that you can carry around for long periods with minimal fatigue. Its small handgrip and well-spaced controls make it comfortable to use even when holding it in a selfie position. There's even a detachable windscreen for its microphone to help cut down on wind noise when shooting outdoors.
This camera's built-in lens is optically stabilized. Combined with its electronic stabilization feature, the camera does an excellent job of smoothing out camera shake when recording handheld. Its autofocus system delivers exceptional tracking performance in both FHD and 4k recording. It even has dedicated tracking modes for either human or animal subjects. In 'Product Showcase' mode, the camera is capable of swapping focus from faces to objects held up within the frame, and a dedicated 'Background Defocus' function instantly adjusts lens aperture from f/5.6 to f/1.8 or vice versa, allowing for quick swaps between a deep or shallow depth of field.
Unfortunately, like most compact cameras, it can overheat during long recording sessions. Like the Sony RX100 VII, it uses an Np-BX1 battery, which doesn't supply a very long runtime. Thankfully, the camera can be charged while in use via its USB-C port, which is handy if you want to plug into an external power source or have a mobile battery charging pack. Overall, its compact size, superb autofocus system, and wide variety of video features make it one of the best compact cameras for travel that we've tested.
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.
While it's not as portable as one of the compact cameras on this list, the Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II is one of the best bridge cameras we've tested, combining convenience, versatility, and comfort in a relatively affordable package. Generally speaking, bridge cameras are a good all-in-one solution for general photography and home video thanks to their built-in zoom lenses and relative portability.
It has a highly intuitive menu system that makes it easy for anyone to pick it up and start shooting. Its built-in lens has a long zoom range, with a 25-400mm focal length (full-frame equivalent), so you can zoom in on far-away subjects or take wide-angle shots or close-ups. It has a great battery life that'll last for quite a while, depending on how you use it. It can also shoot at relatively quick 10 fps to capture fast movement, and overall, it takes great images right out of the box, despite having a small sensor.
That said, its autofocus system struggles a bit when keeping track of moving subjects, particularly human subjects. If you're interested in video, this is a serviceable camera when shooting in 1080p, but it can only shoot 4k with a significant 1.45x crop, and its autofocus system performs poorly in 4k. Still, if you're looking for a solid and affordable camera that feels comfortable to shoot with and has a long zoom lens for a variety of photography styles, this is a great option.
While we recommend the Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II for most people looking to buy a bridge camera, the Sony RX10 IV is one of the best bridge cameras you can get if money is no object. It has a hefty 24-600mm Zeiss zoom lens, giving you more focal reach, and it's weather-sealed against moisture and dust, so you have some protection on rainy or windy days. Although it takes a long time to empty its photo buffer once full, the camera can shoot at a remarkably fast 21 fps in its high-speed burst mode to easily capture fast movement. It has a robust autofocus system that can effectively track moving subjects, so it's a great choice for sports or wildlife photography. It's also better for video, with more frame rate options and more reliably video autofocus. That said, it's significantly bulkier and has a more convoluted menu system that makes finding more advanced settings a bit of a pain.
Get the Panasonic if you want a reasonably-priced bridge camera with a more beginner-friendly menu system, but if you're looking for the best of the best when it comes to bridge cameras, go with the Sony.
Mar 11, 2022: Ensured all main picks are still available and represent the best option for user needs and expectations.
Feb 04, 2022: Reviewed article for accuracy and clarity.
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.
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.