Best point-and-shoot camera 2024: top picks for simple shooting

The Olympus Tough TG-6, one of the best point and shoot cameras, on a green background
(Image credit: Future)

The best point-and-shoot cameras can do things that your smartphone can't, whether that's zooming further into distant subjects or taking a battering during family trips to the beach. These days, they come in all shapes, sizes and price points, so we've rounded up the best choices for simple, fuss-free shooting in our ranked guide below.

Budget point-and-shoot cameras are now a rare breed, unless you're buying second-hand. But while used digital compacts are having something of an ironic resurgence, there are still some genuinely good reasons to pick a new point-and-shoot over the best camera phones

One of those is optical zoom. Smartphones have made strides here, but they still struggle to match the reach and quality of many compact super-zooms. Our number one point-and-shoot camera, the Panasonic Lumix TZ200, offers 15x optical zoom, while the Panasonic Lumix TZ90/ZS70 goes even further with 30x optical zoom (albeit with a smaller sensor than the TZ200).

If you want a point-and-shoot that zooms even further – to the moon, in the case of the Nikon P950 – then you'll want to check out one of the best bridge cameras. The P950 has an incredible 83x optical zoom, though our pick of the best bridge models is the more rounded Sony RX10 IV, which pairs a 25x optical zoom with a larger 1-inch sensor.

Not that zoom is the only the reason to pick up a point-and-shoot. You might want an indestructible, waterproof camera to hand to the kids, in which case we suggest checking out the Olympus Tough TG-6 or, if video's your priority, the GoPro Hero 11 Black. The best instant cameras are also some of the most affordable point-and-shoots around and we think the simplest one for most beginners is the Polaroid Now+ (or its Polaroid Now sibling).

Because all of our picks below are simple to use, they're also among some of the best cameras for kids, though you can also check out our separate guide on those. Whatever kind of point-and-shoot you're looking for, we've spent countless hours testing the best ones around to compile our list below – and our built-in price comparison tool will also take you straight to be lowest prices on the internet. 

Best point and shoot cameras in 2022

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(Image credit: Future)
The best overall point-and-shoot camera

Specifications

Camera type: 1-inch sensor point-and-shoot
Sensor: 1.0-inch
Resolution: 20.1MP
Video: 4K
Lens: 24-360mm f/3.3-6.4 (15x optical)
Viewfinder: EVF 2,300,000 dots
Screen: 3.0-inch touchscreen, 1,240,000 dots

Reasons to buy

+
Large 1-inch sensor
+
Lovely 3-inch touchscreen

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Small EVF

Our Panasonic Lumix ZS200/TZ200 review describes this compact as "the most advanced travel zoom camera you can buy", and that's still the case.

What sets the ZS200/TZ200 apart from other travel-zooms is that it has a large 1-inch sensor – that's around four times the size of a typical 1/2.3-inch chip used in most of the other cameras in this list, and larger than many smartphones.

That sensor size can be found in other compacts, but not in ones with such a long-reaching lens as the 15x optical zoom unit here, which gives you a very useful 24-360mm reach. Being a Panasonic camera, the ZS200/TZ200 is also crammed full of excellent features; a 3-inch touchscreen, 2.3 million-dot EVF and 4K video recording up to 30fps.

The drawback? Well, of course, you do pay for all of this power. If this model is a bit too pricey for you, look out for deals on its ZS100/TZ100 predecessor. But for a point-and-shoot all-rounder with good image quality, you still can't do better than this without spending megabucks on the Sony RX100 VII (see number three below).

(Image credit: Future)
The best rugged point-and-shoot

Specifications

Camera type: Rugged point-and-shoot
Sensor: 1/2.3-inch
Resolution: 12MP
Video: 4K 30fps
Lens: 25-100mm f/2-4.9 (4x optical)
Viewfinder: No
Screen: 3.0-inch screen, 1,040,000 dots

Reasons to buy

+
Easy to use
+
Fast lens
+
It's really, really tough
+
4K video

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited 4x zoom
-
A tad expensive still

Not having to worry about damaging your camera really does make all the difference during your day-to-day adventures – and the Olympus Tough TG-6 is as tough as they come. 

Shockproof to 2.4m, waterproof to 15m, crushproof to 100kg and freeze-proof to -10C, you can go places and do things with the TG-6 that you wouldn't even consider with a smartphone or most other cameras.

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

A better maximum aperture means more light, which means better-quality images. Conversely, we have found the camera overexposes a little in bright light, but it does shoot in raw format too, so any lost detail can be recovered post-capture. 

The TG-6 boasts a solid array of features, including 20fps continuous shooting, 4K video at 30fps, a 1cm macro mode and a high resolution 3inch screen – the only downside is that slightly high price tag.

Top-down shot of the Sony RX100 VII placed on a wooden bench

(Image credit: Future)
The best premium point-and-shoot

Specifications

Sensor: 1-inch, 20.1MP
Lens: 24-200mm, f/2.8-4.5
Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 921,000 dots
Viewfinder: EVF
Continuous shooting: 20fps
Movies: 4K
User level: Intermediate/expert

Reasons to buy

+
Sterling autofocus system
+
Lovely videos

Reasons to avoid

-
Handling not ideal
-
Expensive 

Sony's RX100 series has long been the pinnacle of premium compact cameras and the RX100 VII is the series' high water-mark. It's practically bursting with features, but the key one for its point-and-shoot usability is its class-leading autofocus. This means it can reliably track moving subjects like speeding pets or lock onto people with its Face/Eye AF mode, which means you can simply focus on composition.

The RX100 VII is also a pretty dab hand at video too, offering detailed 4K footage with minimal rolling shutter and handy features like a microphone jack. Aside from its price tag, we found that this camera's only real downsides are its lack of touchscreen functionality and a fairly average battery life. Some may also prefer the handling and shooting experience of the Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III (see no.7 below). But otherwise this is the best money-no-object compact camera around.

Polaroid Now Plus sitting on stone surface

(Image credit: Future / Tim Coleman)
The best instant point-and-shoot camera

Specifications

Lens: 35-40mm
Focusing: Autofocus
Flash: Built-in
Self-timer: Yes
Film type: Polaroid 600 & Polaroid i-Type

Reasons to buy

+
Perfectly sized prints
+
App versatility via Bluetooth

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricier film than rivals
-
A little bulky

Instant cameras are some of the most affordable point-and-shoots around – and we think the Polaroid Now+ is the most user-friendly model you can buy. This is largely thanks to its built-in autofocus, which we found to be mostly reliable in our tests and reduce your number of throwaway shots. But unusually for an instant camera, the Now+ also has built-in Bluetooth and a companion smartphone app, which brings some extra creative shooting modes that lift it beyond its rivals.

If you don't need this extra versatility, which lets you dabble with double exposures and manual shooting, then the standard Polaroid Now is also worth considering. It's also worth bearing in mind that the cost of this camera's Polaroid I-Type film can add up. But the flipside is that you get good-sized prints from a super-versatile instant camera that we think is also the best point-and-shoot of its kind.

(Image credit: Future)
A bridge camera that's in a league of its own

Specifications

Camera type: Bridge point-and-shoot
Sensor: 1.0-inch CMOS
Resolution: 20.1MP
Video: 4K 30fps
Lens: 24-600mm f/2.4-4 (25x optical)
Viewfinder: EVF, 2,350,000 dots
Screen: 3.0-inch tilt-touchscreen, 1,440,000 dots

Reasons to buy

+
The best bridge camera money can buy
+
Excellent stills and video IQ
+
Superb continuous AF
+
24fps stills

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Relatively unwieldy
-
Touchscreen functions are limited

The Sony RX10 IV is still one of the most versatile and capable cameras around, and redefined what we could expect from a point-and-shoot camera. We can't quite squeeze its plethora of top-line features into this short summary, but here goes.

It's a weather-sealed bridge camera packing a 25x optical zoom with 24-600mm coverage, supported by excellent stabilization and the larger-type 1-inch sensor, so images look great at any setting.

For photography, you can shoot up to 24fps with continuous metering and class-leading continuous AF – and that's in raw mode, too, which allows you to retain information that you can play with in editing software afterwards.

Video-wise, 4K UHD shooting is included, plus a range of slow motion modes up to an astonishing 1000fps, although the latter naturally comes with reduced image quality. There's a mic input and a headphone jack, while the touchscreen and EVF both look great, too.

The catch? Well, the RX10 IV is a little unwieldy at just over 1kg, but really it's the money that stings. Understandably, this is the most expensive camera in this roundup, but for any scenario – sports, wildlife, portraits, landscapes – you're covered. Everything about the RX10 IV is leaps and bounds above smartphones, so if you want the ultimate point-and-shoot, this is it.

The Sony ZV-1, one of the best compact cameras, mounted on a tripod outside overlooking a river

(Image credit: Future)
The best point-and-shoot for video

Specifications

Sensor: 1-inch 20.1MP
Lens: 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8
Monitor: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 921,600 dots
Viewfinder: None
Continuous shooting: 24fps
Movies: 4K/30p
User level: Beginner/Intermediate

Reasons to buy

+
Class-leading autofocus
+
Hotshoe and 3.5mm mic port

Reasons to avoid

-
Touchscreen a tad limited
-
MicroUSB rather than USB-C

Looking to mostly shoot video rather than stills? The Sony ZV-1 is the best compact point-and-shoot you can buy. Effectively a video-focused version of Sony's RX100 series (see no.3 above), this camera has been designed for vloggers and YouTubers who want something small and simple-to-use. In our tests, its autofocus did an excellent job of keeping faces and moving subjects in focus, with its Product Showcase mode particularly handy for YouTubers who regularly do product reviews.

We also found the video quality from the ZV-1's 20.1MP 1-inch sensor to be very impressive, as long as you shoot in good light, and this is backed up by a 3.5mm mic port for boosting audio quality, too. While it is also a capable stills camera, the ZV-1's bright 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens doesn't give you quite the same reach as the RX100 VII, so photographers should lean towards that model. But if you need something compact and affordable that'll still give you natural background blur in both stills and photos, the ZV-1 should be top of your shortlist.

Panasonic TZ90

(Image credit: Future)
The best compact super-zoom

Specifications

Camera type: Zoom point-and-shoot
Sensor: 1/2.3-inch
Resolution: 20.3MP
Video: 4K
Lens: 24-720mm f/3.3-6.4 (30x optical)
Viewfinder: 0.2-inch EVF, 1,166,000 dots
Screen: 3.0-inch tilt-touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots

Reasons to buy

+
30x stabilised optical zoom
+
Decent 4K video
+
Lovely tilt-touchscreen 
+
Has a viewfinder

Reasons to avoid

-
We'd like a better grip
-
Mediocre viewfinder

Pioneers of the 'travel-zoom' type of point-and-shoot camera, Panasonic brought us the smallest camera with 10x optical zoom back in 2006. The company has been a regular presence ever since, culminating around twelve years later in the Panasonic Lumix TZ90 (known as the ZS70 in the US).

Of course, the tech has moved on and we now have a 30x optical zoom with 24-720mm focal range, supported by a five-axis image stabilization that we have found to be very effective. 

There are similar cameras with bigger zooms, but in our tests we found the TZ90 offers the most well-rounded package.

Key features include the lovely 3-inch touchscreen that tilts up for an intuitive selfie mode. Unlike many models in this list, you also get a 0.2-inch viewfinder. It's on the small side and you'll err towards the lovely touchscreen instead, but most other cameras at this level (and of course smartphones) simply don't have a viewfinder at all, so the option is very welcome.

Like the Canon SX740 HS, there's a 1/2.3-inch sensor with 20.3MP and a 10fps continuous shooting mode. But the TZ90 can also shoot in raw format and offers in-camera raw editing, too. With impressive 4K video quality too, the ZS70/TZ90 offers excellent value for money.

(Image credit: Future)
A great travel point-and-shoot with a video focus

Specifications

Camera type: 1-inch sensor point-and-shoot
Sensor: 1.0-inch back illuminated
Resolution: 20.1MP
Video: 4K UHD 30fps, Full HD 120fps
Lens: 24-100mm f/1.8-2.8 (4.1x optical)
Viewfinder: No
Screen: 3.0-inch tilt-touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots

Reasons to buy

+
Lovely build quality
+
Excellent video features
+
Tilt-touchscreen

Reasons to avoid

-
No viewfinder
-
Dated AF

PowerShot is Canon's sub-brand for its point-and-shoot camera range and, alongside the pricier Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II, this is its best one yet. Both cameras have 1-inch 20MP sensors and touch-sensitive flip-screens, with the main difference between the two (other than price) being the lack of an electronic viewfinder on the G7 X Mark III. For point-and-shoot fans, this setup should be fine, but the G5 X Mark II is another fine option if you do need that viewfinder.

The G7 X III does also have a few other video-related tricks up its sleeve that you don't find on its more expensive sibling. The main one is the ability to livestream directly to YouTube, but it also has a microphone input for improved audio quality. The AF system may be slightly dated and not quite up to Sony's RX100 series, but but otherwise the G7 X III is still a fine, video-focused compact with excellent image stabilization.

The GoPro Hero 11 Black action camera sitting on a wooden platform

(Image credit: Future)

9. GoPro Hero11 Black

The best rugged point-and-shoot for video

Specifications

Weight: 153g
Waterproof: 10m
5.3K video: up to 60fps
4K video: up to 120fps
2.7K video: up to 240fps
Stills resolution: 27MP
Battery life: 1720mAh

Reasons to buy

+
Versatile aspect ratio for cropping
+
10-bit mode useful for color grading

Reasons to avoid

-
Still not great in low lighting
-
Budget rivals offer better value

If you need a little smartphone stand-in for shooting your adventure or travel videos, then GoPros remain the best point-and-shoots around. And while GoPro's latest flagship doesn’t dramatically raise the bar for image quality, it is the most versatile action cam ever made, thanks to its new 1/1.9in sensor. That sensor's 8:9 aspect ratio lets you easily export content in formats to fit different social channels –including vertical videos – without compromising on quality.

There are also a bunch of other handy features that collectively boost its usability. One of those is Horizon Lock. Shoot at 5.3K/30p with a Linear lens and it’ll keep scenes level through 360 degrees, a feature that impressed us during testing. The action cam's maximum bit rates have also been boosted to 120Mbps, which means it's better able to handle complex scenes.

Any downsides? Live-streaming is still limited to 1080p and low-light performance leaves plenty to be desired. But with an Enduro battery now included as standard, plus a 5.3K TimeWarp setting, we found the GoPro Hero 11 Black to be a fun, versatile, tough companion with one-button operation.

(Image credit: Future)
The best point-and-shoot for zoom

Specifications

Camera type: Bridge point-and-shoot
Sensor: 1/2.3-inch
Resolution: 16MP
Video: 4K 30fps, Full HD 60fps
Lens: 24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5 (83x optical)
Viewfinder: 0.39-inch EVF, 2,359,000 dots
Screen: 3.2-inch vari-angle, 921,000 dots

Reasons to buy

+
Monster zoom
+
Vari-angle screen
+
Impressively versatile

Reasons to avoid

-
It's big
-
Screen not touch-sensitive
-
Small sensor

You wouldn't necessarily think of a smartphone for wildlife photography, would you? The same cannot be said for bridge cameras, like the Nikon P950. 

And what a lens the P950 has. Designed to get you close to the action, be it wildlife or sports, it boasts an 83x optical zoom. Yes, you read that right, the zoom covers a simply ridiculous 24-2000mm range, with a f/2.8-6.5 maximum aperture. 

Such flexibility is partly achieved by using the small 1/2.3-inch sensor, like those used in smartphones, so don't expect image quality to match the large DSLR-like form factor. However, for what lens you get, the P950 is small – 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.

The P950 has more going for it besides its zoom. There's a 3.2-inch vari-angle screen (that sadly isn't touch-sensitive), a decent 0.39-inch EVF with a 2.359-million dot resolution, 4K video, raw support and 7fps continuous shooting. 

It may not be the most capable bridge camera around (see the Sony RX10 IV below), but in terms of bang for your buck, the P950 is one of the best zoom cameras you can get.

(Image credit: Future)
A stylish choice that's ideal for hobbyist photographers

Specifications

Camera type: Large sensor point-and-shoot
Sensor: Micro Four Thirds
Resolution: 17MP
Video: 4K (with 1.34x crop)
Lens: 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 (3.1x optical)
Viewfinder: EVF, 2,760,000 dots
Screen: 3.0-inch touchscreen, 1,240,000 dots

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent image quality
+
Large sensor and fast aperture lens
+
Good for hobbyist shooters

Reasons to avoid

-
Fixed touchscreen
-
4K video is cropped
-
Sluggish electronic zoom

If you consider yourself to be a hobbyist photographer and are looking for a tiny but capable point-and-shoot, then the Panasonic Lumix LX100 II should definitely be on your shortlist.

Its USP is its large sensor size. It's the same Micro Four Thirds sensor format as used in the company's 'Lumix G' mirrorless cameras, being almost twice the size of the 1-inch sensor found in other high-end point-and-shoot cameras in this round up.

Squeezed into this impressively compact body is a 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 lens. That's only a 3.1x optical zoom, but the lens aperture is very fast, letting in more light and providing greater control over depth of field. In other words, you can blur those backgrounds more easily. While smartphones rely on image processing for blurred-background portraits, it's all real here. 

The viewing experience is good, with a high-quality 2.76-million dot EVF, though sadly the rear touchscreen is fixed. We'd love a tilt function for waist-level viewing, especially when out-and-about doing reportage photography. 

All in all, every choice from design to features makes the LX100 II ideal for photography enthusiasts, and it's all found in an impressively compact package.

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