Best Point and Shoot Cameras under $500 2021 : Reviews & Buying Guide

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1. Sony Alpha 2. Sony 3. Panasonic Lumix
Sony Alpha A6000 Best Point And Shoot Cameras under $500 Sony RX100 Panasonic Lumix

Point and Shoot Cameras make up a large part of the digital camera market due to their ease of use and affordability. When compared to DSLR cameras, best point and shoot cameras under $500 are compact, easy-to-use, and provide great picture quality without much effort. A point and shoot camera can automatically adjust the shutter speed, aperture, focus, and light sensitivity.

There are various other reasons for choosing a point and shoot camera, one of them being pictures with exceptional color representation. But before buying one, you should be fully acquainted with the features, benefits of point and shoot cameras and why it is better than other types of cameras.


What Are Point And Shoot Cameras?

Talking about some of the best point and shoot cameras under $500, the main types to choose from include basic point and shoot cameras, super compact ones, superzooms, waterproof, and advanced compacts. Those who are happy with auto features can go for basic point and shoot as it comes with in-camera automation features so that users don’t have to manually set control or taking pictures. This type of camera is well known for providing amazing auto modes and scene selection.

The advanced compact provides the benefits of a DSLR camera along with the benefit of portability. This type of point and shoot provides manual control for setting the aperture, ISO, and shutter which makes it easy to capture images. When compared to fixed-lens cameras, these cameras also provide better image quality.

For magnified focal lengths, you can go for a superzoom camera as it gives both wide-angle shots, and telephoto reach. Manual control for aperture and shutter as well as image stabilization are some other benefits of superzoom cameras.

Waterproof or rugged style cameras are especially made to withstand any extremes in any environment, making them suitable for sport-enthusiasts, and mountaineers. Rugged point and shoot cameras are uniquely designed to be shockproof, waterproof, and weatherproof.
So now that you know what point and shoot cameras and what are its different types, let’s have a look at some features of the same.

Features Of Best Point And Shoot Cameras Under $500

Whenever buying a camera, you must first understand the features which are essential for your purchase.

1. Zoom

When looking for some of the best point and shoot cameras under $500, it is important that you differentiate optical zoom and digital zoom. No doubt, digital zoom gives a longer zoom range but the quality of image is compromised. Some cameras also offer both optical and extended digital zoom. In case zoom lenses are an essential feature for you, then optical is the way to go, although it adds bulk.

2. Megapixel Count

More megapixels are not always equal to better images. The clarity of photos depends on sensor size, especially in low-light conditions. If low-light shooting is a priority for you, then go for point and shoot camera with larger image sensor. In case powerful zoom is more important, look for a camera with a smaller sensor.

3. Viewfinders

Point and shoot cameras do not have viewfinders most of the time and instead have an LCD screen which helps you to line up the shot. Larger LCD screens are more on the expensive side but offer a better view of the framing. Some of the high-end compact point and shoot cameras will have viewfinders which are helpful for composing in bright sunlight when it becomes difficult to see the LCD screen because of glare.

4. LCD Screen

While choosing a camera, it is important that you look for premium quality LCD screens. A large 3 inch LCD screen is better for giving you an accurate preview of your shot. For better color, and better visibility in bright light, go for high quality LCDs.

5. Image Stabilization

If you take pictures in low light, then this feature is very helpful. Since a camera chooses a slow shutter speed to get a better exposure, the image can have a blurred effect even with a sturdy grip. Image stabilization helps with this in two ways.

These methods include optical image stabilization which adjust the lens to compensate for the movement, while the other method of sensor movement adjusts the position of the sensor to compensate for any shake. To correct the blurring after the image has been clicked, another method of digital image stabilization is used.

6. Face Recognition

Facial recognition is a common feature that most digital cameras offer these days. This feature helps to detect your subjects’ faces in the scene. Since the camera senses a face, it locks exposure and focus suitable for the image. Some cameras also offer smile recognition where a camera detects the smile and click the picture with a person smiling.

7. Wireless Connectivity

Another interesting feature of point and shoot camera is that now they come with in-built wifi which offers a great way to share photos through social media sites by connecting a wifi hotspot.
8. Battery

Mostly, the best point and shoot cameras come up with their own rechargeable lithium batteries for extended use.

Advantages Of Point And Shoot Cameras

To make the right decision while buying a camera, you need to know the advantages of the product you are thinking of buying. Let’s dive into the benefits of point and shoot cameras.

1. Size

The first and foremost advantage of point and shoot cameras is their size. These cameras can be easily slipped into your pocket and can be carried very easily from one place to another. The small and convenient size makes point and shoot cameras an ideal choice for travelers.

2. Weight

Along with a convenient size, point and shoot cameras also carry the advantage of being lightweight. They do not require any extra bogs, tripods or other accessories to be carried around. You can easily carry them in your regular purse or bag with ease. However, there are some bigger and bulkier cameras such as advanced SLR-like cameras due to their super zoom qualities.

3. Fixed Lens

Point and shoot cameras come with fixed lenses. You don’t need to worry about carrying any additional products.

4. Ease Of Use

Point and shoot cameras are easy to use and don’t take a lot to learn how to use them. These are intended to be used right out of the box after charging.

5. Automatic

Point and shoot cameras are almost fully automatic which means that it takes away all the manual work while you are using auto mode.

6. Price

The best part about point and shoot cameras is that they are affordable. Unlike other cameras, buying a point and shoot won’t create a hole in your pocket. Although they come in a varied price range, they are very affordable.

The Benefits Of Using A WiFi Camera

WiFi is becoming more readily available in digital cameras but you might be confused as to whether this is one feature you can live without or not. The best way to decide is to know the benefits of using WiFi models.

One of the major benefits of using cameras with WiFi is that it allows you to upload files to your smartphone, tablet, cloud, social media platforms, and various other apps. You can click a bunch of pictures and immediately share them online or store them in your cloud storage system. With this comes two more benefits. Firstly, you won’t have to worry about plugging your camera into your laptop to upload images anymore. Secondly, you will have quick access to all your stored images which saves you the headache of scrolling through each image individually on your camera. Also, saving storage space on your camera is also a great benefit.

Along with this, you can never run out of storage as you can set your device to delete photos once they are uploaded. Such models are also ideal for anyone who loves taking travel photos. All you need to do is find a location with freely accessible WiFi like your hotel, and you can instantly share images with friends and family. So if you are interested in saving storage space on your camera along with seamlessly uploading anything you shoot, opting for a WiFi camera is the best investment you can make.

Top 15 Best Point And Shoot Cameras Under $500 In 2021

1. Sony Alpha A6000

Sony Alpha A6000 Best Point And Shoot Cameras under $500

Sony’s camera lets you test the limit of your creativity with the premium mirrorless DSLR that is primarily focused on speed. Every artistic shot, be it fast action or candid, you benefit from 24.3MP details. The a6000 is a super compact compact camera which provides ease of carrying from one place to another. It is around half the size and weight of a typical DSLR but still provides the same size APS-C image sensor like most DSLRs.

Its interchangeable lenses and E-mount system make the Sony a6000 more versatile than almost any other camera available in the market. The camera also features the world’s fastest autofocus. It captures a6000 11fps frames per second in continuous shooting mode with AF tracking by making the most of the wide area 179 point phase detection AF sensor.

The a6000 super moving subject tracking performance ensures that you get great shots during still or video capture. With this camera, you get incredible detail and gorgeous enlargements, thanks to the newly developed 24.3 megapixel Exmor APS HD CMOS image sensor.

The camera has higher resolution than most DSLRs and adopts the same gapless on-chip lens structure for ultimate image quality and light sensitivity. You also get better images with BIONZ X image processor which faithfully reproduces textures and details in real time via extra high speed processing capabilities deliver true-to-life images. This image processor enables grater natural detail, richer tonal gradations, lower noise and more realistic images whether you shoot videos or still.

With this camera, sharing becomes easier as the wifi connectivity allows you to control your camera with your compatible smartphone or tablet and the PlayMemories camera apps. Also, images can be transferred directly to your mobile device for quick editing and uploading. Connectivity has been simplified with the one-touch utilizing NFC (near field communication). You simply need to touch the camera to the compatible NFC enabled device to connect.

Due to the Exmor CMOS sensor and BIONZ X processor, you get 20% higher sensitivity than the NEX 7, giving stunning details in low light. For an additional burst of light, the a6000 offers its users a pop-up flash and a standard hot shoe for additional flash accessories.

Although small, the a6000 gives you full DSLR control and immediate access to functions you need to shoot like a pro. Two dials on the top and a rear mounted-control wheel allows quick selection of shooting mode and camera settings.

According to customer reviews, it is one of the best point and shoot cameras under $500. It provides impeccably sharp images and there are never any focus issues. Shots can be adjusted in real time and there is no need to carry heavy gear. Overall, it is a great purchase.


2. Sony RX100

Sony RX100

With Sony’s professional compact camera, you get exquisite image quality and creative freedom in a truly compact package. The camera features a large, 1” sensor and an ultra-bright Carl Zeiss f/1.8 lens which provides razor-sharp images and pro-quality defocused backgrounds. For easy access to aperture settings and for more total creative freedom, the camera also features a handy control ring.

When we compare this camera to the average point and shoot, Sony RX100 boasts a large, specially developed 1” Exmor CMOS sensor which helps to capture more light and reproduce every stunning detail with greater fidelity. The original dual noise reduction and column A/D conversion helps to further decrease noise to ensure smooth, clear reproduction even in low-light.

With RX100, you can shoot in nearly any light with natural result due to the sensitivity that ranges from ISO 125 to 6400. The auto ISO mode automatically determines the most appropriate setting or manually expands sensitivity for greater control. Camera’s large sensor, bright lens, and precision image processing work together to ensure remarkably low noise.

The camera provides SLR-like handling with a full range of controls for video and still shooting from Program, Aperture priority, shutter priority and manual (P/A/S/M) modes for more advanced photographers, to an incredibly effective iAuto mode ideal for beginners.

You can save pictures as compact JPEG files, ultra-high quality RAW files, and even both at once. When shooting in the RAW format, images are saved prior to de-mosaicing or applying white balance, sharpness, and color enhancement for maximum latitude for enhancing images on your PC. You can also create amazingly clear, extra-smooth movies with full HD 1080/60p video capture. Record fast moving objects and dark settings with astonishing clarity, thanks to the large image sensor and high-performance lens.

Some of the other additional features include optical steady shot with active mode for blur-free movies even while walking. The camera-shake compensation using optical steady shot/active mode has been improved with the addition of new electronic image stabilization. Another feature which is the memory recall mode can memorize up to three groups of the user’s preferred settings which includes zoom magnification, white balance, exposure compensation, date, and grid lines. Also, the sophisticated aluminium body is lightweight, slim, and strong. Picture effect mode, superior auto mode, intelligent scene recognition mode, customizable function button, and face detection technology are some other features which make it one of the best point and shoot cameras under $500.

As per customer reviews and overall ratings, the camera is easy to use, extremely portable, and provides all the features of expensive, bulky cameras in an affordable price and compact design.


3. Panasonic Lumix

Panasonic Lumix

The Panasonic LUMIX is a large, 1 inch 20.1 megapixel point and shoot camera inside which beats the heart of an enthusiastic photographer. Its 1 inch 20.1 megapixel high-sensitivity MOS sensor records provides high-quality images with sharp details. When combined with the venus engine, recording with stunning picture quality is possible.

The photo creativity is based on light, and it all begins with the lens. The F1.4-2.8 LEICA DC lens provides a decisive edge even in low light and adds a beautiful bokeh effect. The camera with a minimum focusing distance of 3cm and 30cm makes capturing spectacular close-up details, even handheld easier and possible, thanks to proven POWER OIS (optical image stabilizer). With DFD (Depth from Defocus), you can instantly calculate the distance to the subject and quickly establish a focus lock for 6 fps burst AFC or 10 fps burst AFC.

The camera unleashes 4k technology with 4k video capture mode that captures up to 4x the resolution of standard full HD. This makes for an amazing quality for your fast paced action, and exciting scenes.

The 4K video technology enables ultra HD photography with an innovative 4K photo feature. You can capture ultra-high resolution 4K video at super-fast 30 frames per second, then press Play, Pause, and Save to extract the exact instant you want from individual 4K video frames to create a 4K still image.

The Post Focus feature allows you to set your desired focus points after the photo has been taken. Plus, selecting several focus points with the focus stacking feature gives greater depth of focus. The lens-mounted control ring adds precise control you want and the dual control of the lens ring and rear dial adds manual control of shutter, zoom, and focus. The Focus Stacking mode enables you to adjust in-focus areas after shooting by combining multiple images easily. This is a great benefit when shooting macro-images.

Light composition function, focus bracket, and full HD high speed video are some other features of this camera.


4. Canon PowerShot

Canon PowerShot

The powerful camera by Canon has a 25x optical zoom camera with intelligent IS which optimizes image stability for virtually shake free images. Whether you are on a vacation, celebrating a special family occasion, or just enjoying life, the slim Canon PowerShot is ready for your next shot. You can enjoy the versatility of a powerful optical zoom for subjects both near and far.

The intelligent IS for optimized image stabilization helps to capture everything ranging from lovely close-ups to distant sight virtually shake-fre. You will be impressed with the zooming capabilities of this slim, compact digital camera. The 25x optical zoom lens packs high zoom power into a slim design to get you down on the field, on top of a high skyscraper, deep into the landscape, and much more.

Advanced technology of the camera helps to ensure that images and videos are captured in outstanding quality. This is due to the intelligent IS which analyses camera movement, and applies a suitable shake correction method for shooting situations. The system selects one of the modes from normal IS, panning IS, macro IS, and tripod mode for stills.

The camera also features built-in WiFi technology which makes it convenient to share your photos with friends, and family whenever you want to. You can easily post your images to selected social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and Google Drive though CANON image gateway directly from the camera or even save them to an online photo album to share it anytime, anywhere.

The built-in NFC technology provides fast connectivity with a single tap. This allows for quick, and easy sharing of images as well as makes it simple to install the app. Post analysing customer reviews, it is evident that the camera is portable, feels very sturdy, and is easy to use. It provides amazing picture quality, and the zoom lens is incredibly powerful for a pocket camera.


5. Panasonic Lumix 4K

Panasonic Lumix 4K

The powerful Panasonic LUMIX captures all the scenes, sights, and emotions of your vacations. This pocket size camera does it all in photos and videos, with vivid colors, and details, just the way you saw and remember them.

The camera providing clarity of 4k video makes it easy to record every journey in almost four times the quality of full HD. You actually get a chance to capture more excitement, more life, and more memories that will last for years to come. The camera’s 24mm LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR lens includes 30x optical zoom to get you close to everything that piques your interest.

One of the best features of Panasonic LUMIX is the automatic eye viewfinder. Even the brightest camera screens become difficult to view in harsh sunlight. The camera’s viewfinder activates automatically when you lift the camera to your eye so that you can see every detail and capture the shot you are looking for.

The control ring, in addition to giving you smooth manual control of the aperture, shutter speed, zoom, and focus, can be customized to handle your favorite settings.

You can record high quality images in incredible detail with the 18.1 megapixel high sensitivity MOS sensor records. With the 4K technology inside the camera, 4K photos allows you to capture the perfect moment in 30fps and select your best photo after shooting.

Though some customers complain about the customer service, others find it perfect for a point and shoot under $500. Customers love the minimalist and beautiful design of the camera. The stabilization helps tremendously to keep blur at bay, and the camera seems sturdy.


6. Panasonic Lumix Zs100

Panasonic Lumix Zs100

It is one of the best point and shoot cameras under $500 for travelers as it combines exclusive 4K photo with 4K video capture performance that everyone can enjoy. The 20.1 megapixel Panasonic LUMIX ZS100 features a large, 1 inch high sensitivity MOS sensor and 20-250mm LEICA DC VARIO ELMARIT lens with a super bright F2.8-5.9 aperture range that is optically stabilized with Panasonic’s HYBRID O.I.S technology. This technology helps to fully suppress blurring caused by unwanted handheld shaking. The level shot function automatically detects and corrects camera tilt to let you record more confidently.

The camera features high resolution 4K video technology enabling users to capture fast-paced action in stunning quality and create printable photos with 4K photo’s blistering 30 frames per second burst feature.

The Venus engine in the camera is Panasonic’s premier processor enabling both high quality image capture and high-speed signal processing required for 4K video recording. It also integrates superior noise reduction for improved sensitivity, gradation performance, resolution, and color.

You also get high-speed auto focusing for increased image stability with Panasonic’s Depth From Defocus (DFD) Auto Focus (AF) technology. It instantly calculates subject distance, then drives the focus mechanism in one fast, continuous movement for faster autofocus speed. With this, you get process in-camera so that you can develop RAW format images with adjustments for color space setting.

With the high resolution viewfinder, difficult viewing and shot framing under harsh sunlight is eliminated. The 4Ks technology ‘Post Focus’ feature allows you to set your desired focus points after the photo has been taken. Moreover, selecting several focus points via the focus stacking feature provides greater depth of focus.

The camera comes in a compact size but with a heavy-duty list of features such as a crystal clear LEICA zoom lens and innovative 4K photo capture/4K video. According to customer reviews, the camera has a solid feel, features a large lens, provides RAW JPEG option, electronic viewfinder, and fast focus, which makes it a great buy.


7. Canon PowerShot ELPH 190

Canon PowerShot ELPH 190

The Canon PowerShot ELPH is a slim, and beautiful digital camera that helps you take stunning photographs and records pristine 720p HD video so that you are ready to capture every special moment that life throws at you.

It’s DIGIC 4 image processor features accelerated processing speed to create a fast responsive performance. This results in giving you a natural and easy shooting experience. It’s 10* optical zoom allows for adequate magnification. The 20.0 megapixel CCD sensor of the camera preserves details and sharpness.

With the 16 GB SDHC memory card class 10, you can store thousands of photos. The camera comes in two attractive colors. The package includes Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 IS digital camera, Transcend 16 GB SD card, SD card reader/writer, starter cleaning kit, protective case, and an extra battery so that you never go out of power.

As per customer reviews, this camera is great for those who want a compact, good quality point and shoot camera at a reasonable price. Setup between the camera and phone is very easy and the camera is really good for framing selfies or remote recording. It provides a good zoom and customers love the affordability.

The accessories that come along are worth the price. Overall, it is a great product if you are looking for the best point and shoot cameras under $500.


8. Sony DSCHX80

Sony DSCHX80

The Sony DSCHX80 is the world’s smallest and lightest 30x zoom camera which will help you get sharp details. The camera features a pop-up electronic viewfinder for eye level framing and a 180 degree tilt screen for 18.2MP selfies. It provides stunning picture quality which comes from the low-light with 5-axis image stabilization.

With the premium ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T lens from wide angle, get super close and clear pictures. The ZEISS T coating helps to reduce undesirable reflection, such as ghosting and flare on the lens surface. The 30* optical zoom allows you to get closer with the object and the powerful BIONZ X processor compares patterns found in adjacent pixels, and create new pixels to match selected patterns, resulting in more realistic, high quality images.

The 18.2 megapixel Exmor image sensor with BIONZ X image processor together brings out the full resolving power of the camera’s professional ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T to deliver high resolution, and stunning low-light sensitivity with improved image clarity and drastically reduced grain for both stills and movies.

The pop-up OLED Tru-Finder helps to view every scene in rich detail with high contrast and brightness. It faithfully displays what will appear in your recording, including the effects of your camera settings so that you can accurately measure the results.

The XAVC S enables beautiful video recording with minimal compression noise even in scenes with a lot of movement. The camera can also record in AVCHD, ideal for HDTV and Blu-ray Disc burning, or your choice of highly compressed MP4 HD video ideal for web.

This camera by Sony features Wi-Fi connectivity that allows you to control your camera with a compatible smartphone or tablet. You can frame your image on your device’s LCD and control the camera shutter. Along with this, you can also transfer the image taken directly to your mobile device for quick editing and uploading. The camera truly makes sharing easier. Connectivity has been simplified with NFC3 where you can simply touch the camera to the compatible NFC enabled device to connect.

Sony’s optical SteadyShot image stabilization lets you get remarkably sharp images, both stills and videos. Sony’s advanced frame analysis technology greatly reduces blur caused by camera shake when shooting movies. This allows you to move along with the action and get super clear images of your subject in motion, even when zoomed in.

With a beautiful 3” LCD Display that rotates up approximately 180°, taking selfies becomes easier than ever. You can easily frame for selfies or shoot objects like pets at eye level without getting on the ground.

As per customer reviews, the camera’s pop-up viewfinder is simply amazing. Customers loved the quick menu with 12 customizable functions, monitor that tilts 180 degrees for selfies, and video quality. All in all, it is an ideal camera for all enthusiastic photographers, with a list of never ending features.


9. Canon PowerShot G9 X

Canon PowerShot G9 X

If you are looking for a compact camera that is as compact as possible, the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II should surely be on your list. The camera is not only incredibly portable but also packs a 1-inch type sensor that’s around 4* size of the image sensor in a camera phone. This results in improved image quality.

A compact camera is the need of the hour and needs to stand out from the crowd if it needs to stand a chance of competing against a well-sorted camera phone. With this camera, Canon has produced an amazingly small camera, yet one which does not sacrifice much when it comes to performance and image quality.

The camera with 98 x 57.9 x 31.3 mm and just 206 g is as compact as compact cameras get. The 31.3 mm thickness figure overstates things as that only applies to the fattest part of the camera where the lens protrudes. The thickness of the rest of the camera body is far thinner, making the camera even more svelte in hand.

It features a 1-inch size sensor which has 4x the surface area 1/2.3-inch sensor that you’d find in a typical compact camera or camera phone which makes the sensor more light sensitive and able to resolve more detail with less image noise/grain, especially in low light conditions.

The camera’s sensor is fronted by a 3x optical zoom lens with image stabilization and boasts of a large maximum aperture of f/2, which means it can let lots of light through to the image sensor. This helps to keep the shutter speed high and therefore helping you to get sharper shots with less chance of camera shake blur.

This camera by Canon is extremely fast and responsive to use with the touch screen making it easier to select a focus point. It’s exposure metering does a good job of balancing shadow and highlight detail for a bright overall exposure.

Overall, it is a good and affordable buy which offers you a wide variety of features.


10. Canon PowerShot SX740

Canon PowerShot SX740

This compact mega zoom Canon camera offers a good balance of simplicity and ease of use, along with multiple exposure controls and an extremely versatile zoom lens. For people who want a pocket-size camera with extreme zoom capabilities will find Canon SX740 extremely useful and appealing. While beginners and snapshooters will appreciate the camera’s simplicity, photographers with a little more experience will enjoy the benefits of semi automatic and manual exposure controls.

The camera retains many of its predecessor’s strengths which includes an image stabilized zoom lens and a 20MP sensor but with a new DIGIC 8 processor. It can now shoot 4K video and capture images at 10 frames per second.

The camera is small enough to be anywhere and everywhere companion, measuring 4.3 x 2.5 x 1.6 inches and weighing a mere 10.5 ounces with battery and SD card installed.

The all metal camera looks and feels solid and the textured grip and thumb rest provides a good handhold. The dials and buttons of the camera work smoothly too. Despite the petite size, Canon has managed to equip the camera with a 40x, image stabilized zoom lens with a 35 mm equivalent focal range.

The optic image stabilization works well but you might want to use a tripod or other support system when you’re zoomed in all the way. You can lose track of subjects when shooting at a full telephoto, especially smaller ones like birds or dogs. The SX740 has a nice feature for this. You just need to press the Zoom Framing Assist button on the back of the camera to zoom out so you can acquire your subject.

Along with auto and program options, the camera also offers various speciality and creative modes such as food, portrait, grainy B&W, and fisheye. Substantially, it is a great option if you are looking for the best point and shoot cameras under $500.


11. Canon PowerShot SX730

Canon PowerShot SX730

The SX730 is Canon’s flagship pocket super zoom camera. It features 20 megapixel resolution, 1080p movies and a 40x optical zoom range of its predecessors, all of this packed into a surprisingly compact body. The company added a tilting screen and bluetooth for easier connectivity and effortless GPS tagging.

With SX730, you can capture subjects near, far, and in between, with the powerful 40x optical zoom. Enjoy taking shots of epic moments with Zoom Framing Assist when using longer focal lengths. The camera’s 180 degree tilt-type screen can face all the way forward to put you in the center of selfie so that you never fail to get perfect shots. Its smooth skin effect, now available in all modes can help to enhance your natural features. Also, with the built-in bluetooth, WiFi and NFC3 technology, you can share your photos and videos right away.

The overall size of the camera lets you fit it into a pocket, ready to capture the action whenever it happens. The large grip present on the front and back of the camera is another great feature which along with textured surface and slip-resistant shape helps to make it feel comfortable in your hands.

The built-in WiFi technology and Canon camera connect app lets you transfer photos and videos to and from compatible devices and you can even upload directly to various web services and more. The camera also featureS NFC3 technology which means you can connect the camera directly to compatible devices. The bluetooth pairing lets you easily connect to and remotely control the camera from compatible smartphones.

Another interesting feature is the Self Portrait Mode which can help you to take your ideal selfie. This mode can be easily accessed through the menu or automatically activated when you tilt the screen to face forwards. While shooting, you can make adjustments ranging from smooth skin tones and blur background to brightness and more.

With the Story Highlights feature, you can view your still images and videos as a fun short story by simply pressing the Story Highlights button. The SX730 will automatically classify your images according to date, event, or people, and then compile a short video of approximately three minutes.

Customer reviews show that customers are impressed with this camera due to its fantastic zoom, sharp images, compact size, good battery life, wireless picture transfer, and the price.


12. Canon PowerShot ELPH 180

Canon PowerShot ELPH 180

It is Canon’s entry-level ultra compact camera and brings with it incremental upgrades but remains easy on the wallet. Many features of ELPH 180 mirror those of its predecessors like the 20 megapixel CCD sensor remains unchanged, as does the 8x optical zoom 28-224mm equivalent lens, which has a maximum aperture range of f/3.2 to f/6.9.

The camera is focused on delivering high quality images for a budget-friendly price. Although in pursuit of this goal, it leaves out some features like wireless connectivity, a positive side effect of having a more affordable feature set is that the camera body itself is very small and easy to slip into a pocket. The camera is 3.7 x 2.1 x 0.9 inches (95 x 54 x 22 millimeters) in size and weighs a paltry 4.4 ounces (126 grams). This includes NB-11L/NB-11LH battery which gives you enough power for 220 shots. In case you are looking to get a bit more from the battery, you can easily enable the ELPH 180’s Eco mode to preserve and improve battery life.

The camera is easy to use with its smart AUTO mode which automatically selects the optimal camera settings for your particular subject. It features Scene modes and a new Auto Zoom feature, which allows the camera to automatically zoom in to frame your subject and keep it in focus.

In addition to recording JPEG stills, it’s possible to record video at 720p resolution at 25 frames-per-second in MOV files with the Canon ELPH 180.

The camera is available in both red and silver color options so that you have a color choice to choose from. The accessory kit includes Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 Digital Camera, Transcend 16GB Memory Card, Deluxe Point & Shoot Camera Case, and Hi-Speed SD USB Card Reader

As per customer reviews, the camera comes at an excellent price, and helps to take really crisp shots. Customers seem really satisfied with it.


13. Sony DSCW830

Sony DSCW830

It is a mid range point and shoot camera providing an optical zoom of 8x 20 megapixel CCD sensor that has a 2.7 inch screen and can make 720p HD videos. Though it lacks some features of larger cameras like the manual exposure control, Sony DSC-W830 has a scene detect intelligent auto exposure and it also features a smile shutter that takes shots automatically when it detects a smiling face in its frame.

The camera is great for portrait photography as its very high resolution sensor allows you more space for cropping so you can print your portrait photos in a larger form with more details. Image stabilization is another advantage because it diminishes the effects of camera shake when shooting on long exposures and long focal lengths, providing sharper portraits.

The menu system of the camera is very simple so it’s not hard to control it. The smile shutter feature even has its own button.

The continuous shooting performance of the camera is pretty minimal at 1.0 frames per second, but it still has a consistent speed for up to 100 shots if you’re patient enough to keep your finger on the shutter for more than two minutes.

The camera features an in-built flash that’s located on the front board on the right upper side of the lens and has a max range of 3.2 meters when set at the wide-angle. The flash can provide an adequate amount of light for close subjects.

There are various picture effects available like for still images, you get Toy camera, Pop Color, Partial Color, Soft High-key, for panoramas you get Pop Color, Partial Color, Soft High-key, and for movie you get Toy camera, Pop Color, Partial Color, Soft High-key.

It also features a 2.7-inch LCD screen with 230k dots on the right side of the back. This is an average screen providing a nice view when indoors and not in the bright sunshine.

As per customer reviews, the camera fits conveniently into the pocket and helps to take decent shots. It is a good option to consider when you are looking for the best point and shoot camera under $500.


14. Sony Cyber-shot HX80

Sony Cyber-shot HX80

Sony HX80 is a compact high-zoom camera. It comes with a retractable built-in electronic viewfinder. Sony also reported that the HX80 is the world’s smallest 30x optical zoom camera with a built-in EVF.

The HX80 is definitely a compact camera with dimensions of 4.02 x 2.29 x 1.40 inches (102 x 58 x 36 mm) and a weight of 8.6 oz. (245g) with battery and Memory Stick DUO included. It looks very similar to HX90V, which itself shares a similar style with the premium RX100-series, so many photographers should be pleased and familiar with the HX80’s appearance. The only difference is that the HX90V does not have a control ring around the lens.

The camera features a BIONZ X image processor that drives both still and video capture. With this, the native ISO range is 80-3200 and is expandable to 6400 and 12,800 for stills. The HX80 provides 30x optical zoom is Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* branded lens with eleven elements in ten groups, including five aspherical elements. It also has 5-axis optical SteadyShot image stabilization which minimizes the effects of camera shake for both stills and videos.

The HX80 also has face detection and an auto macro focusing mode in which focus area options include wide, center, flexible spot (small, medium, or large), and expanded flexible spot. The camera offers users a wide array of exposure modes like Intelligent Auto, Superior Auto, Program Auto, Aperture Priority, Shutter Speed Priority, Manual, three Memory Recall exposure modes, and Movie Mode. In addition to these, there are various creative modes like panorama and scene selection shooting modes. You also get creative picture effects available for both stills and movies.

The package includes Sony Cyber-shot HX80 Compact Digital Camera, a 32GB SDHC High Speed Memory Card, Sony LCS-CSQ/B Carrying Case, Corel Paint Shop Pro X9, General Brand 1600MAH Battery Pack, General Brand BX1 Battery & Charger, Memory Card Reader, Mini Tripod, Cleaning Kit, Deco Mount 12-inch Compact Rubberized Spider Tripod & Support, Xit High Speed micro-HDMI to HDMI A/V Cable 6 Feet, and an extreme Speed LCD/Lens Cleaning Pen.

Overall, it is a great option if you are looking for the best point and shoot cameras under $500.


15. Canon PowerShot ELPH

Canon PowerShot ELPH

With Canon PowerShot, you can make the most of your special occasions. It lets you capture your favorite moments in stunning 720p HD video. It is a slim, simple, and stylish camera which has easy-to-use features to help create photos that are as stunning as you want.

The camera features an 8x Optical Zoom so more shots are within your reach. You will simply love the wide 28–224 mm (35 mm equivalent) shooting range offers. With this, the wide-angle lens can capture an expansive image in each shot, adding depth, perspective and grandeur. Due to the extra width, landscapes, city scenes, family shots come out more beautifully.

No matter what you are shooting, be it wide group shots or zooming to the telephoto end, your images will be bright and clear. The camera has a DIGIC Image Processor which features accelerated processing speed, assisting in creating fast, responsive performance, giving you a shooting experience that is both easy and natural. It also enhances the image quality in many ways. It also significantly reduces noise for brilliant color, smooth gradations and beautiful detail even in low light. The processor’s highly efficient design also helps to extend battery life.

According to customer reviews, this point and shoot is great to use, especially considering its low price. The camera is really good at picking up accurate and bold colors in both the photo and video modes. The package includes a “Getting Started” guide, a warranty card, a small lanyard, 680mah battery, an external battery charger. Overall, it is a great entry level point and shoot with 8x optical zoom which will never leave you disappointed.



Point and shoot cameras are a great option if you want to upgrade your phone’s camera but don’t want to pay a heavy price for a DSLR. They are a perfect compromise between your phone’s native camera and a fully-blown DSLR. With them, you get the portability and features of a smartphone, and stunning picture quality of a DSLR at a pocket-friendly price.

With smartphone manufacturers launching better cameras every year, point-and-shoot cameras have to constantly innovate with new features and pack them all into a smaller body to stay relevant.

Go for some of the best features when you purchase a point and shoot, including NFC technology which is a relatively new feature that is already in use in other industries like payment cards, transportation goods, and debit and credit cards. The feature has now been adopted for modern digital cameras, and allows electronic devices to recognize each other’s presence when they are near. This will help your smartphone to sense the camera and wirelessly connect to it. Other features to go for include built-in WiFi and Bluetooth.

Premium features such as built-in WiFi, 4K technology, and face detection used to be exclusive to high-end cameras but today they are found in most point and shoot cameras. Sorting through so many options can be a tough choice. This is why it is essential to be acquainted with the usage, features, and advantages of point and shoots, and then check reviews to make the best choice.

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Marco Downs

Marco Downs

Marco Downs is our second founder and he is the creative head of this website. Marco stumbled upon photography only in college when he joined the photography club. His parents could never afford a camera for him as a child and it was in college that he saved up and bought his first camera. He now writes in-depth buyer guides and informational articles to assist the buyers. 
Marco Downs

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