10 Best Point-and-Shoot Cameras in 2021

Looking for the best point-and-shoot camera on the market right now? Good news: in our frequently updated round-up below, we’ve picked up all of the greatest options, from fuss-free budget options to premium compacts.

Before we begin, let’s address the obvious question: do we still need point-and-shoot cameras when many smartphones can do the job so well? Even mid-range phones now feature superb, beginner-friendly cameras, but the cameras in our list below all still serve a very useful purpose for a variety of reasons.

For starters, you might want a modest, family-friendly camera that isn’t as prone to scrapes and drops as a smartphone. You may also desire some of the added capabilities that aren’t accessible on phones, like built-in viewfinders and optical zoom, to let you have a more comfortable, engaging shooting experience.

You might also want greater overall image quality than your phone can deliver. Yes, today’s flagship phones can compete with the greatest point-and-shoot cameras on our list, but today’s small cameras still provide physical advantages that outperform most phones at that price point.

The Sony Cyber-shot WX220 is our overall pick for the top point-and-shoot camera right now because it combines smartphone-beating power and 10x optical zoom in a fashionable, cheap compact. However, it may not be the greatest option for you, so make sure to look through the rest of our list to find the best point-and-shoot camera for you.

10 Best Point-and-Shoot Cameras in 2021

1. Sony Cyber-shot WX220

$299.99 in stock
1 used from $299.99
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Last update was on: November 29, 2021 8:24 am

The Sony Cyber-shot WX220 is the epitome of what we term a classic point-and-shoot camera, a compact, pocketable model that thrived before flagship smartphones emerged.

Certainly, at its pricing range, there is no phone with a lens that can compete with the WX220. You receive a steady 10x optical zoom with 25-250mm coverage for this inexpensive price. Even at telephoto lengths, stabilization maintains the scene crisp.

The 1/2.3-inch picture sensor is the same size or larger than those seen in most smartphones, yet it has a respectable 18.2MP resolution here.

Pictures have wonderful colors and can be modified in-camera with a variety of effects, plus the camera is Wi-Fi capable and it’s simple to transmit those photographs to your, ahem, smartphone.

The WX220 is let down by its convoluted menus and the fact that its 2.7-inch LCD screen isn’t touch-sensitive. Otherwise, this small, no-frills camera is a capable snapper to keep in your pocket or give to your children.

2. Canon PowerShot SX740 HS

$434.99 in stock
4 used from $434.99
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Last update was on: November 29, 2021 8:24 am

Travel zooms like this one provide something that no phone can equal – a massive optical zoom. This is the Canon PowerShot SX740 HS’s main selling factor.

The lens has a 40x optical zoom with 24-960mm coverage crammed into an extremely compact, robust, and elegant design. It also has 3.5-stop intelligent stabilization, which makes the telephoto end more usable, however, image quality suffers slightly as a result.

Again, you have a 1/2.3-inch sensor, so image quality will be comparable to that of a smartphone — albeit resolution is high at 20.3MP and the camera is far more versatile, with that zoom range and a 10fps continuous shooting option.

The SX740 HS features a decent 4K video performance and a quick focusing that may be always-on in that continuous photo mode, thanks to Canon’s Digic 8 engine.

The camera’s 3-inch flip-up screen should ideally be touch-sensitive, and a viewfinder would be useful for shooting in low light. But, given that the SX740 HS is still at the bottom end of the point-and-shoot pricing range, everything is forgiven.

3. Panasonic Lumix TZ90/ZS70

$547.28 in stock
14 new from $449.99
2 used from $438.10
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Last update was on: November 29, 2021 8:24 am
Panasonic, the pioneers of the travel zoom type of point-and-shoot camera, introduced the smallest camera with 10x optical zoom in 2006. Since then, the company has been a consistent presence, culminating roughly twelve years later in the Panasonic Lumix TZ90 (known as the ZS70 in the US).

Of course, technology has advanced, and we now have a 30x optical zoom with a focal range of 24-720mm, as well as a five-axis image stabilization system that we have found to be very successful.

There are cameras with larger zooms, but the TZ90 appears to be a more well-rounded product.

The gorgeous 3-inch touchscreen that tilts up for an intuitive selfie mode is one of the key features. Unlike many other models on this list, it also includes a 0.2-inch viewfinder. It’s on the small side, and you’ll gravitate toward the gorgeous touchscreen instead, but most other cameras at this level (and, of course, smartphones) lack a viewfinder entirely, so the option is good.

The 1/2.3-inch sensor has 20.3MP and a 10fps continuous shooting mode, just like the Canon SX740 HS. However, the TZ90 can also shoot in raw format and has in-camera raw editing. The TZ90/ZS70 offers exceptional value for money, as well as impressive 4K video quality.

4. Fujifilm XP140

$353.49 in stock
3 new from $352.78
2 used from $222.99
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Last update was on: November 29, 2021 8:24 am

Another type of camera that still outperforms cellphones is the rugged camera. Right now, the Fujifilm XP140 is our favorite low-cost option in this category – it provides excellent value for money.

Yes, you get a lot for your money with this eye-catching yellow camera. It is totally waterproof to a depth of 25m, shockproof to 1.8m, freezeproof to -10°C, and dustproof without the use of a casing.

The waterproof build limits the lens’s reach, but the XP140 still boasts a good 5x optical zoom with a 28-140mm focal length. The lens is also stabilized, which is useful for those rough-and-tumble trips.

The 1/2.3-inch sensor is back-illuminated, which is ideal for low-light situations like underwater photography. All 16.4MP images may be geotagged with a GPS position and wirelessly shared via Fujifilm’s app, or even printed on the go with the Fujifilm Instax Share printer.

The 4K video is a letdown at only 15 frames per second, but Full HD videos do considerably better — and there’s an option for slow-motion and time-lapse filming.

5. Olympus Tough TG-6

$399.00 $449.00 in stock
12 new from $399.00
10 used from $425.90
Free shipping
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Last update was on: November 29, 2021 8:24 am

Not having to worry about harming your camera makes a world of difference on your daily travels – and the Olympus Rugged TG-6 is as tough as they come.

With a shockproof depth of 2.4m, a waterproof depth of 15m, crush resistance of 100kg, and a freeze resistance of -10C, the TG-6 allows you to go places and do things that you wouldn’t ever consider with a smartphone or most other cameras.

Olympus has chosen a more modest 4x optical zoom and 12MP resolution with this lens, but it is faster than most, with a maximum f/2 aperture at the wide end and f/4.9 at the longest focal length.

A larger maximum aperture lets more light in, resulting in higher-quality photos. In contrast, we discovered that the camera overexposes slightly in strong light, but it also shoots in raw format, so any lost detail may be restored post-capture.

The TG-6 has a good set of capabilities, including 20fps continuous shooting, 4K video at 30fps, a 1cm macro mode, and a high-quality 3inch screen — the only drawback being the slightly higher price tag.

6. Panasonic Lumix TZ200

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In our Panasonic Lumix ZS200/TZ200 review, we called this small “the most advanced travel zoom camera you can purchase,” and we still believe it.

The ZS200/TZ200 differs from other travel-zoom cameras in that it contains a huge 1-inch sensor, which is roughly four times the size of the standard 1/2.3-inch chip found in the majority of the other cameras on this list.

That sensor size is present in other compacts, but not ones with such a long-reaching lens as the 15x optical zoom unit found here, which provides a very useful 24-360mm reach.

As befits a Panasonic camera, the ZS200/TZ200 has a 3-inch touchscreen, 2.3 million-dot EVF, and 4K video capture at up to 30fps.

What’s the disadvantage? Of course, you have to pay for all of this power. However, for an all-in-one tiny camera with good image quality, you can’t do much better than this.

7. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

$709.00 in stock
1 new from $709.00
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Last update was on: November 29, 2021 8:24 am

Canon calls its point-and-shoot cameras PowerShot, and we classified the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III as the company’s most video-focused PowerShot yet last year.

The G7 X Mark III is popular among vloggers since it offers more than just 4K video capture, Full HD D 4x slow-motion capture, great image stabilization, and mic input.

The bigger type 1-inch sensor with a 20.1MP resolution is squeezed into a tiny-yet-tough housing, as is a fast f/1.8-2.8 lens with a control ring that allows a 4x optical zoom. A good 3-inch tilt-touchscreen that can be turned up for selfie viewing is also included.

Unfortunately, there is no hot-shoe for accessories or a built-in viewfinder, and the AF mechanism is a little out of date. However, discussing these flaws demonstrates how competent the G7 X Mark III is in other areas — it’s in a different league than smartphones.

8. Nikon P950

$1,384.95 in stock
1 new from $1,384.95
3 used from $839.88
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Last update was on: November 29, 2021 8:24 am

You wouldn’t dream of using a smartphone for wildlife photography, would you? Bridge cameras, such as the Nikon P950, are not in the same league.

And what a lens the P950 possesses. It has an 83x optical zoom and is designed to get you near to the action, whether it’s wildlife or sports. Yes, you read that correctly: the zoom has a 24-2000mm focal range and a maximum aperture of f/2.8-6.5.

Such adaptability is made possible in part by the use of a small 1/2.3-inch sensor, similar to those seen in smartphones, so don’t expect image quality to rival that of a huge DSLR-like size factor. The P950 is, however, modest for what lens you get – if a telephoto lens with such a long reach existed for a DSLR (which it doesn’t), it would be as long as your arm.

Aside from its zoom, the P950 has a lot more going for it. There’s a 3.2-inch vari-angle screen (which isn’t touch-sensitive), a 0.39-inch EVF with 2.359-million dot resolution, 4K video, raw support, and 7fps continuous shooting.

The P950 isn’t the most competent bridge camera on the market (see the Sony RX10 IV below), but it’s one of the best zoom cameras for the money.

9. Sony RX10 IV

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Last update was on: November 29, 2021 8:24 am

The Sony RX10 IV is simply the most competent all-in-one camera on the market, completely changing what we can expect from a point-and-shoot camera. We can’t quite include its profusion of top-line features into this brief summary, but we’ll try.

It’s a weather-sealed bridge camera with 25x optical zoom and 24-600mm coverage, as well as outstanding stabilization and a larger-type 1-inch sensor, so images look amazing in any situation.

For photography, you can shoot at up to 24fps with continuous metering and class-leading continuous AF – and that’s in raw mode, which allows you to keep information for later manipulation in editing software.

In terms of video, 4K UHD shooting is supported, as well as a variety of slow-motion settings ranging from 30fps to 1000fps, but the latter naturally results in worse image quality. There is a microphone input and a headphone jack, and the touchscreen and EVF both look amazing.

What’s the catch? The RX10 IV is a touch bulky at a little over 1kg, but it’s the price that really hurts. This is, understandably, the most costly camera in this overview, but it covers all bases — sports, animals, portraiture, and landscapes. Everything about the RX10 IV is a step above smartphones, so if you’re looking for the ultimate point-and-shoot, this is it.

10. Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

$908.99 $997.99 in stock
2 used from $908.99
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Last update was on: November 29, 2021 8:24 am

If you consider yourself a casual photographer and are searching for a small but capable point-and-shoot, the Panasonic Lumix LX100 II should be at the top of your list.

Its main selling point is its big sensor size. It uses the same Micro Four Thirds sensor format as the company’s ‘Lumix G’ mirrorless cameras, and it’s near twice the size of the 1-inch sensor featured in the other high-end point-and-shoot cameras in this roundup.

A 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 lens is crammed into this incredibly small chassis. Although the optical zoom is just 3.1x, the lens aperture is incredibly fast, allowing more light in and giving you more control over the depth of field. In other words, you can easily blur those backdrops. While cellphones rely on image processing to provide blurred-background photos, everything here is real.

The viewing experience is good, thanks to a high-quality 2.76-million dot EVF, although the rear touchscreen is fixed. We’d love to have a tilt function for waist-level viewing, especially while shooting reportage photography.

Overall, every choice, from style to features, makes the LX100 II excellent for photography enthusiasts, and it’s all housed in a surprisingly small size.

What to look for when purchasing point-and-shoot camera?

Point-and-shoot cameras come with a variety of functions to meet a variety of demands. If you intend to shoot in low light, there are full-frame point-and-shoot cameras with large sensors. If you need a lot of zoom for faraway scenes, one of the various point-and-shoot superzooms is a good option. For those looking for a camera for more adventurous sports, there are lots of models with waterproofing and sturdy construction.

You might desire a camera for Instagram, to exhibit business projects, or simply for travel. A point-and-shoot camera can do wonders in each scenario, but it might be difficult to determine what to prioritize. Some users may choose the longest zoom available for photographing faraway things, but others may like to squeeze as much image quality as possible out of this little package, in which case a bigger sensor is the way to go.

Your expectations and money will also play a role in determining the finest point-and-shoot camera for you. Cameras with 1in, APS-C, and full-frame sensors have significant advantages over those with smaller sensors, particularly when shooting in low light. In terms of image quality, prime lenses can provide significant advantages over zoom lenses.

If you want to be creative, search for cameras with tilting LCD screens, as well as viewfinders if you photograph outdoors on a regular basis. A long zoom is fantastic for vacations and travel, but it usually comes with a shorter maximum aperture range, which can make the camera difficult to operate in low light and when trying to create a shallow depth of field.

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