Point and shoot cameras are no match for DSLRs and mirrorless cameras when it comes to picture quality. However, they are by no means cheap and crappy just because they are relatively inexpensive. Best cheap point and shoot camera can be very powerful, more durable, and versatile. They can also perform exceptionally well in low light conditions.
Point and shoots are also a better alternative to smartphones, some of which are more expensive than these cameras. Therefore, we are going to discover the best cheap point and shoot camera in 2021 along with some other point and shoots that are worth considering.
Other sections included in the article are as under.
- Top 10 point and shoot cameras
- What is a point and shoot camera?
- How to choose a point and shoot camera?
- Frequently Asked Questions
The rise of smartphones has reduced the demand for classic compact point and shoot cameras. Most of you will be happy with the quality your smartphone, especially if it is a flagship model, delivers. However, many of us still want to feel a real camera while taking photographs. Similarly, you may be after better picture quality than that of a smartphone. Similarly, smartphones still cannot offer the same level of zooming as a good point and shoot camera. The battery also takes a lot of beating if you take photographs regularly.
Top 10 Point and Shoot Cameras
In the context of the above discussion, we have selected some of the best point and shoot cameras that are not only affordable but easily available in the market for you.
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Sony Cyber-shot RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX15/LX10
Canon PowerShot SX740
Kodak PIXPRO AZ421-BK
Fujifilm FinePix XP140
Olympus Tough TG-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ80
Canon PowerShot ELPH 190
Canon PowerShot SX540
- Sony Cyber-shot RX100: Best cheap point and shoot camera
- Panasonic Lumix LX15/LX10: Best point and shoot camera for beginners
- Canon PowerShot SX740 Digital Camera: Best advanced point and shoot camera
- Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ421-BK: Best budget point and shoot camera
- Fujifilm FinePix XP140 Digital Camera: Best point and shoot camera under $200
- Olympus Tough TG-6: Best waterproof point and shoot camera
- Panasonic Lumix FZ80 4K: Compact camera with highest optical zoom
- Canon PowerShot ELPH 190: Best point and shoot camera for close up photography
- Sony DSC-W800/B Digital Camera: Basic point and shoot camera
- Canon PowerShot SX540: Best point and shoot camera for low light
1- Sony Cyber-shot RX100: Best Cheap Point and Shoot Camera
Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 is a very old camera considering a very high numbers of cameras released nowadays. Released in 2012, it was the first-ever camera to have a 1-inch sensor. The camera is still available today and it is as popular among the novice and serious photographers as it was at the time of its release.
First thing first, even the latest generation of RX100 uses the sensor which is very similar to the one found in the original version. Therefore, it is not based on obsolete technology even though it is almost 8 years old.
You can get the original version for around $500 while the latest RX100 Mark VII will cost you almost double. The original model also has a slightly brighter lens than Mark VII. As such, it offers a longer zoom at the expense of wider aperture as compared to Mark VI.
Similarly, RX 100 does not have a 4K video feature unlike the Mark VII. However, it does offer full HD videos, which is more than enough for beginners and casual users. You should choose RX100 Mark VII if you want 4k video. The original also has a continuous shooting speed of 10 fps while the Mark VII has an outrageous continuous burst of 24 fps.
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 is a small and compact camera. You can easily stove it in your back pocket, purse, jacket pocket, or backpack. It also delivers the best image and video quality among all the point and shoot cameras.
Logically, you will buy 7 years old technology if you go for Sony Cyber-shot RX100. However, it is a very powerful and capable camera. It still feels like you are using the latest and perhaps, the greatest compact camera ever.
2- Panasonic Lumix LX15/LX10: Best Point and Shoot Camera for Beginners
You must consider Panasonic Lumix LX15 if you are not satisfied with the picture quality of your smartphone. LX15, also known as LX10 in some countries, will offer a considerable improvement both on video and image quality.
The 20 megapixels camera has a large 1-inch sensor. Unfortunately, there is no integrated electronic viewfinder and that is why many people don’t opt for this camera. However, features like having one of the widest apertures in the world are hard to ignore. The aperture has a focal range of 24-72 courtesy of f/1.4 to f/2.8 aperture range.
The camera also comes with a very responsive touchscreen. The touchscreen offers an extremely pleasant user experience thanks to a couple of control rings. The Power I.O.S image stabilization is also another feature to droll about.
Panasonic Lumix LX15 is a neat little camera with an excellent balance of features, functions, performance, and price.
Panasonic Lumix LX15 is one of the best point and shoot cameras for beginners. It is lightweight, easy to carry in the pocket, and reasonably priced. On the other hand, it is powerful enough to be a camera of choice for serious photographers as well.
3- Canon PowerShot SX740 Digital Camera: Best Advanced Point and Shoot Camera
The Canon PowerShot SX740 is the best cheap point and shoot camera if high optical zoom is your primary requirement. The camera is a great value for money because of its massive 40x zoom.
Although SX740 is a compact camera yet it outshines most of the professional DSLRs and mirrorless cameras in terms of optical zoom and focal range. Its lens has an unbelievable focal range of 24-960 mm. Similarly, you normally don’t find 40x optical zoom even in most high-end and expensive cameras. The 20.3-megapixel camera also has maximum continuous shooting speed and video resolution of 10 fps and 4K.
The 922k dots 3-inch LCD is perhaps the best feature of SX740. You can make the screen face the intended subject by flipping it to face the front. The image, video, and autofocus quality of the camera is exceptional, to say the least.
You can also use the dial mode to select the usual PASM suspects. Similarly, there are also plenty of controls that make it easy to operate the camera. SX740 also offers several selfie-friendly modes which are a rarity in compact cameras.
Canon PowerShot SX740 is an advanced point and shoot camera with a lot of punch. You will fall in love with this camera for its features, especially the high focal range and 40x optical zoom.
4- Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ421-BK: Best Budget Point and Shoot Camera
Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ421-BK is yet another budget point and shoot camera with awesome features and functions. One of the best things about the camera is the 42x optical zoom.
The 16 megapixels camera delivers crystal clear and crisp 720P HD videos, panoramas, and close-ups. The optical image stabilization also ensures the photos are sharp and detailed no matter you are on rough waters on uneven ground. The 24 mm wide-angle lens also allows you to capture the whole scene instead of just a part of it.
You can get as close to the action as possible thanks to the whopping 42x optical zoom without putting yourself in the tight spot. The camera’s Panorama mode will help you capture your adventures in their true sense as well.
Some of the other features of the AZ421-BK include Face/Cat/Dog Detection, Face Beautifier to reduce facial flaws, and auto scene tracking. Similarly, features like post-editing and object tracking along with many others make AZ421-BK the best digital point and shoot camera in its the price range.
Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ421-BK is a fantastic camera despite its low price. It can easily help you replace your smartphone camera for a fraction of the price.
5- Fujifilm FinePix XP140 Digital Camera: Best Point and Shoot Camera under $200
Fujifilm FinePix XP140 is one of the most versatile cameras at the moment. A worthy upgrade of extremely popular XP130, this waterproof point and shoot cameras offer the best value for your money.
XP140 is not as sophisticated or good as Olympus Tough TG-6. However, the camera is tough to beat for what it offers for your money. It delivers images with sharp and detailed colors. It is waterproof up to 25 feet, making it an ideal choice for a holiday on the beach.
XP140 is a beautiful and colorful camera with a 5x optical zoom. It can also shoot 4k videos, which is a bonus even though it tops at 15 frames per second and the quality is also not that great. Similarly, there is no viewfinder and therefore, you have to use the screen to adjust the images. Shoddy 4K is not a deal-breaker for most people because it is only a beginner-level camera. Nonetheless, it does have a very intuitive 3-inch 920K dots LCD and a continuous shooting speed of 10fps.
Fujifilm FinePix XP140 is the best cheap point and shoot digital camera for general purpose photography above and below water.
6- Olympus Tough TG-6: Best Waterproof Point and Shoot Camera
Olympus Tough TG-6 is arguably the best waterproof point and shoot camera you can currently buy. It is a very tough camera that can take a lot of battering if you love to adventure in any kind of environment, temperature, and circumstances.
To being with, Olympus Tough TG-6 is crushproof up to 100 kg and shockproof up to 2.1 m. The camera is waterproof up to 15 meters and withstands temperatures down to -10 degree centigrade.
TG-6 also features an outstanding 12 megapixels CMOS sensor and f/2 lens which is equivalent to 25-100 mm. As a result, the camera allows you to take fantastic 4K videos and terrific images. On top of that, TG-6 provides unmatchable shooting versatility at a reasonable price.
Variable Macro System is another great feature of TG-6, enabling you to take close-up shots at a distance between 1 cm and 30 cm. Similarly, you can instantly share your pictures and images to smart devices using Olympus Image Share system activated through the built-in WiFi.
TG-6 also comes with several excellent modes which further enhances its performance underwater. You can also find accurate location data for your images because of the features like Location finder, Compass, and GPS.
TG-6 does not perform well in low light due to the small lens which is a bit of letdown. Another point to note here is that TG-6 is the upgraded version of TG-5. However, the upgrades are minor. You may as well consider Olympus Tough TG-5 if you have budget constraints.
Olympus TG-6 is unrivaled in the world in terms of taking adventurous photos and videos. Similarly, the underwater capabilities of the camera are second to none.
7- Panasonic Lumix FZ80 4K: Compact Camera with Highest Optical Zoom
Photographers love Panasonic Lumix FZ80 for its 60x zoom which is one of the highest among compact cameras. However, it is not the camera’s only selling point. FZ80 is a versatile camera and can help you take brilliant pictures in different conditions.
The low cost camera delivers excellent image quality thanks to an ultra-wide 20 mm lens and of course, 60x zoom. The camera also enables you to take good telephotos as it can extend beyond 1200 mm. you may be surprised to learn that the camera’s 20 mm lens is wider than typical 24 mm lens you find in most compact cameras.
FZ80 also offers very fast autofocus and a continuous shooting speed of 10 fps at 18 megapixels which is a sort of standard among compact cameras. The 4K video quality is also good as you can capture 4K at 30 fps. The camera also has very sharp DVF and a very responsive and intuitive to use touchscreen.
You can also connect the camera with the remote control and smart devices through WiFi. It is also compatible with the Panasonic Image App which you can download from both iOS and Android. However, FX80 also has micros USB and HDMI ports.
Some of the downsides of the camera include fixed rear LCD, limited raw buffer, and wobbling effect while shooting telephoto videos.
Panasonic Lumix FZ80 is the best cheap point and shoot camera if high zoom is your primary concern. It also offers very sharp EVF, 4K videos at 30 fps, and WiFi. It does have some shortcomings but is benefits outweigh them quite easily.
8- Canon PowerShot ELPH 190: Best Point and Shoot Camera for Close Up Photography
Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 is the best point and shoot camera to shoot close up images thanks to highly impressive 10x zoom.
The telescopic lens ensures wide-angle photography up to 24 mm. Similarly, you can also take extremely sharp and highly detailed telephotos at a very long 240 mm range. You can control the zoom using a ring around the shutter button. As a result, you don’t have to move your hands to frame your shot and shoot in a quick time.
Available for only $149, ELPH 190 is also one of the cheapest cameras to offer WiFi. Therefore, you can wirelessly send your images to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and smart devices as well as Google Drive and other cloud services.
ELPH 190 produces excellent videos (720p) and images. The colors in both videos and images are bright and natural but not excessively vivid. Similarly, the camera also accurately captures details.
Image stabilization is brilliant, especially for wider zoom settings. The camera also features a crispy 2.7-inch LCD and a smooth plastic case.
All in all, Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 is a great choice for getting close to the action. It is a very affordable camera with some excellent features and functions.
9- Sony DSC-W800/B Digital Camera: Basic Point and Shoot Camera
If you are looking for a small point and shoot camera for family use, you must opt for Sony DSC-W800 digital camera.
There is not much difference between a smartphone and a compact point and shoot camera other than optical zoom. The Son DSC-W800/8 offers 5x optical zoom which is an absolute bargain for its price. Similarly, the lens has a focal range of 26-130 mm and therefore, it can easily meet most of your daily photography needs.
Keep in mind that Sony DSC-W800/B is a basic camera and does not offer many advanced features. The 2.7-inch LCD is on the smaller side with low resolution. However, the camera can shoot standard 720 videos and the image quality is quite reasonable as well.
Sony DSC-W800/B is the camera for you if you need a low-cost pocket camera for general use. You cannot and should not compare it with more expensive high-end cameras.
10- Canon PowerShot SX540: Best Point and Shoot Camera for Low Light
Canon point and shoot cameras offer unrivaled picture and video quality, versatility, and durability and Canon PowerShot SX540 Digital Camera is no exception. Available for under $300, the camera delivers outstanding optical performance thanks to powerful image stabilization and 50x optical zoom.
Canon PowerShot SX540 is perhaps one of the best compact cameras for low light photography as it features a DIGIC 6 image processor and 20.3 megapixels CMOS sensor. It is also very easy to share images and videos with smart devices, social media, and Canon Power Flash HF-DC2 because of the built-in NFC and WiFi.
The SX540 captures spectacular full HD videos at 1080P. It also allows accurate and quick image recognition thanks to the Zooming Frame Assist feature. You can also view images from a very wide angle owing to the presence of large 3-inch 461,000 dots LCD.
Some of the other notable features of the SX540 include Story Highlights and Hybrid Auto.
Canon PowerShot is yet another brilliant camera for high zoom. However, it is also an ideal choice for capturing breathtaking videos and images in dimly lit places.
What is a Point and Shoot Camera?
A point and shoot camera is a type of compact camera with entirely automatic exposure and focus. It can either be a film camera or a digital camera as well. You just have to press the button while taking the photograph and the camera handles everything else. Point and shoot option is also available with some of the high-end cameras. In simple words, these cameras make all the adjustments and settings automatically. For example, it is impossible to manually set the focus, shutter speed, and aperture in a point and shoot camera.
How to Choose a Point and Shoot Camera?
What makes the best cheap point and shoot camera depends on your expectations, requirements, and of course, budget. Generally, cameras with 1-inch full-frame and APS-Sensors deliver better optical performance, especially in low light, than cameras with smaller sensors. Similarly, prime lenses offer better image quality as compared to zoom lenses.
However, point and shoot cameras with high optical zoom help you get distant objects into zoom. There are several tough, durable, and waterproof models for daredevils and adventurists as well.
You need to consider many other factors as well. For instance, look for a camera with a viewfinder if you love to shoot outdoors. On the other hand, you can give vent to your creativity by having a camera with a tilting touchscreen. The average zoom range for point and shoot cameras is 3-5x. However, you need a longer zoom if you are a traveler or capture a wide range of objects.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the best inexpensive point and shoot camera?
Here are the best cheap point and shoot cameras.
- Sony Cyber-shot RX100
- Panasonic Lumix LX15/LX10
- Canon PowerShot SX740 Digital Camera
- Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ421-BK
- Canon PowerShot ELPH 190
2. Which Point & Shoot camera is best?
The original Sony Cyber-shot RX100 is the best point and shoot camera in the world. Released in 2012, it still offers better image and video quality than most of the latest generation cameras.
3. Is a point and shoot better than the iPhone?
iPhones are more slender than point and shoot cameras. Similarly, they help you take great photos as well. However, point and shoot cameras are still better than iPhones because of their longer optical zoom, enhanced image sensors, longer battery life, inbuilt flash, image stabilization, and several other features. The photography experienced offered by point and shoot cameras is way better than an average iPhone.
4. Which Canon PowerShot is best?
Currently, the best Canon PowerShot is Canon PowerShot GX G7 X Mark III. It has a large 1-inch sensor, 4K video, and a bright zoom lens. It also becomes a good pocket camera because it is small, lightweight, and compact. However, the camera is facing stiff competition from other cameras and smartphones alike.
5. Why use a camera instead of a phone?
Cameras are better than phones when it comes to taking photos. They are designed to offer more creative control over your photography or its outcome. You can only take a quick snapshot using a smartphone. They usually lack all the features and functions which a camera has. Some of these features include image stabilization, enhanced image sensor, built-in flash, longer optical zoom, and long battery life. You can install different apps to improve camera settings on your app but they will also put extra pressure on its memory and battery.
Concluding our guide, we can confidently say that the best cheap point and shoot cameras are a better option than smartphones when it comes to taking high-quality images and videos. They are not only cheaper but more versatile, durable, and powerful. On top of that, they have all the features and functions to help both amateurs and serious photographers improve their photography skills.