While smartphone cameras are undoubtedly convenient, there's still something to be said about a dedicated camera with buttons and dials that you can touch and feel. Though smartphones are becoming more and more capable these days, they're still physically limited by their lenses. That's where the point-and-shoot camera 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 without being much larger than your pocket.
We've bought and tested over 75 cameras, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best point-and-shoot digital cameras to buy. If portability is your top priority, you can also take a look at the best travel point-and-shoot cameras we've tested, 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 best point-and-shoot camera we've tested is the Fujifilm X100V. It isn't cheap, especially now that TikTok has driven up demand in the US amidst continued stock shortages, but it brings a lot to the table that you simply don't get with other point-and-shoots. Its lens is super sharp, with a wide max aperture and a fairly versatile 35mm-equivalent focal length. The camera also uses the same high-res APS-C sensor found in many of Fujifilm's flagship and premium interchangeable-lens cameras, giving it a leg up on most point-and-shoots, which tend to have one-inch or smaller sensors.
Of course, that bigger sensor also means the camera isn't as compact as other options on this list. If you want something truly pocketable without giving up APS-C image quality, the RICOH GR III is a great cheaper alternative, though it isn't nearly as versatile, with poor video capabilities, a fixed screen, and no viewfinder. Meanwhile, the Fujifilm is fitted with a unique hybrid electronic/optical viewfinder that gives it unmatched functionality. Wrap it up in a sleek-looking and sturdy package, and it's a clear winner among point-and-shoot cameras.
The Fujifilm X100V may be a drool-worthy option for enthusiasts, but a smaller, more affordable camera like the Sony RX100 VII is not only more accessible but also the best travel point-and-shoot camera we've tested. Its zoom lens isn't as sharp or fast as the lens on the Fujifilm, but it's a lot more versatile for far-away subjects. Though it doesn't boast a fancy hybrid viewfinder, its small form factor is still packed with nice features like a pop-up electronic viewfinder and a pop-up flash.
It uses a one-inch sensor, so you won't get quite the same level of image quality as with the Fujifilm, but that's still larger than most compact cameras and smartphone sensors, meaning you'll still get solid 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 in its price range.
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.
The camera is super portable and has a little pop-up viewfinder for sunny days when the screen is harder to see. It doesn't have the best battery life, but that's a common downside among compact cameras. Its autofocus system is also less reliable as far as tracking faster-moving subjects. However, it's still 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 on a point-and-shoot camera.
If you're on a tighter budget, the Panasonic LUMIX ZS80 offers a lot of value for its price. You won't get the greatest image quality out of this thing, but it's portable, is easy to use, and even has a little viewfinder. Battery life is also decent, and it can even record 4k video, albeit with a heavy crop.
The real selling point of this camera, however, is its zoom lens, which ranges from 24 to 720mm (full-frame equivalent). That means you have a ton of flexibility to zoom in on far-away subjects or take wider-angle shots like landscapes. If you want to save even more money, the Canon PowerShot SX740 fills a similar niche with an even longer zoom range, though it lacks a viewfinder and has a worse battery life.
For a compact vlogging camera, look no further than the Sony ZV-1. It's small, lightweight, and designed specifically with vloggers in mind. There's a dedicated video recording button and a fully articulated screen so you can monitor yourself and a detachable windscreen for its microphone to help cut down on ambient noise—features you won't find on a photo-oriented camera like the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II.
If that wasn't enough, it's also got Sony's always-reliable autofocus and specialized modes for vlogging. Product and beauty vloggers, for instance, can take advantage of its 'Product Showcase' feature, which automatically shifts focus to any objects held up in the frame instead of prioritizing faces. Like most point-and-shoots, battery life isn't the best, especially if you're recording in 4k. However, it's tough to beat if you need a compact vlogging camera.
Jan 19, 2023: Checked article for accuracy; no change to recommendations.
Dec 20, 2022: Reviewed article for clarity and accuracy; no change to recommendations.
Nov 25, 2022: Moved the Panasonic LUMIX LX100 II to Notable Mentions and replaced it with the Sony RX100 VII as the 'Best Upper Mid-Range Point-And-Shoot Camera'.
Oct 28, 2022: Removed the RICOH GR III as a main pick and updated text for the Panasonic LX100 II.
Sep 06, 2022: Revamped article with clearer structure and picks to better reflect market conditions and user expectations.
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.