Compact point-and-shoot cameras are plenty. Although the new releases and updates every few months or so ensure that you can get the most current model out there, the variety of choices can make your selection process quite a challenge. What are the points to consider when purchasing this type of device?
The best point and shoot compact camera 2018 comes with a large sensor and high ISO.
Do not be misled by a high number of pixels listed in the basic specifications of a camera. On its own, a large number of megapixels does not automatically guarantee better photo quality. When thinking about megapixel number, you need to take this element together with the sensor size. Serving to determine the amount of captured light for a superb image quality, the sensor size of the camera is more indicative of image quality. Cameras with identical resolution can be differentiated from one another with the size of their sensors. Make it a point to look for a compact point-and-shoot camera with the largest sensor you can find.
In addition, the ISO or ASA rating indicates light sensitivity as well. Less sensitive sensors are characterized by lower ISOs. On the other hand, greater light sensitivity is indicated by a higher ISO. However, a high ISO tends to suffer from image noise. For still photos, sunshine-infused outdoor images and bright lights, ISOs between 50 and 200 are suitable. ISOs of 400 are ideal for moderate lighting conditions, rainy, cloudy and wintry days, moving subjects and indoor photos with natural light. For low-light situations, fast action scenes, high winds and for photographers whose hands are unsteady, ISOs from 800 to 1600 are perfect.
The high-rated models in the best point and shoot compact camera reviews 2018 should offer good quality focal length.
Typically quantified in millimeters, the focal length of a camera lens is a measure of the distance the image travels from the lens to the image sensor. In a traditional camera, that would be the distance between the actual film and the lens. With a longer focal length, the image appears closer but there’ll be less of the image captured in the frame. With a shorter focal length, you have a wider angle coverage in the final image. On a compact point-and-shoot, you have one fixed lens, which, unlike that of an SLR camera, can still be adjusted but at a limited range. It is necessary to decide the type of photography you intend to be doing with your point-and-shoot prior to the purchase. A short focal length of around 28mm is suitable for group shots, sporting events and outdoor scenes. For closeups of flowers, pets, faces and other individual subjects, a longer focal length is best, especially with further distance image capture.
The zoom magnification and focal length go hand in hand. The only real element that matters among intelligent zoom, digital zoom and optical zoom is the last one. Optical zoom is the actual or ‘true’ zoom that moves the lens further away from the sensor in a physical sense, without compromising on the image quality.
The best compact point and shoot camera under 300 offers image stabilization.
To compensate for the shake from the photographer’s hand, the camera needs to have image stabilization feature. With this at work, you’ll have fewer chances of blurred photos. While SLR models have the luxury of a tripod, something as compact and lightweight as a point and shoot does not come with that extra feature. With digital stabilization, there tends to be reduced image resolution. Budget models do not boast this feature, so make sure you won’t really need it if you plan to go for a cheaper camera.
The market is flush with options on compact point-and-shoot cameras. We hope the above buying guide helps you enjoy a smoother decision-making process. We have also highlighted the best products below for even more shopping assistance.
Top point and shoot compact cameras in 2018
Boasting a sophisticated aluminum body, the Sony DSC-RX100/B is equipped with a 20.2 megapixel Exmor CMOS image sensor that enables the camera to perform outstandingly in super low-light conditions. The brilliant f/1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T Lens is designed with a focal length of 10.4-37.1mm or a 35mm equivalent of 28-100mm, allowing you to record still images with extra-high definition in RAW, JPEG or even both formats at the same time.
This camera enables full HD 1080p video recording at a spectacular 60 frames per second. In addition, it supports a variety of controls for photo and video shooting ranging from iAUTO to Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual (P/A/S/M).
Equipped with shot-enhancing features, this model also comes with premium quality components. Moreover, the BIONZ image processor works superbly with the Exmor CMOS image sensor to allow DSLR-level fast focusing speeds even during low-light shooting situations, all without compromising on image detail.
What’s more, the optical zoom supports 7.2x clear image digital zoom as well as 3.6x optical zoom, for impressive photo quality. The multi-layered T coating significantly minimizes flaring and ghosting due to light reflection. The 3-inch Xtra Fine LCD display allows quick scrolling through photos and menus for convenience.Buy from Amazon.com for ($448)
Nikon Coolpix S7000 26483
Outfitted with a 16MP CMOS image sensor, the Nikon Coolpix S7000 26483 is able to capture and deliver high-resolution images as well as full 1080p HD video at an amazing 30fps for amazing picture and video quality plus speed. The onboard 20X optical zoom lens has a 25-500mm focal range equivalent to 35mm.
To enable further zooming capability, this model comes with a 40X Dynamic Fine Zoom feature that doubles the telephoto reach effectively. The effects of camera shake on the images get significantly lessened thanks to the Vibration Reduction capability. This means you can shoot at the maximum end of the zoom range.
The built-in WiFi and NFC sync with the Nikon snapbridge for problem-free sending of images from the camera to a compatible smart device and to enable sharing to popular social media sites. This model ensures low-noise stills and video capture up to ISO 6400. The 20x Zoom NIKKOR ED Lens comes with lens elements that ensure enhanced image, color and sharpness quality.
The electronically controlled ND filter delivers even more comfort during camera use. This model comes with a 460k-dot TFT-LCD monitor with an anti-reflective coating along with 5-level brightness adjustment. All the elements contribute to approximately 98 percent vertical and horizontal coverage in shooting mode, along with 100 percent coverage in playback mode.Buy from Amazon.com for ($298.95)
Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 9344B001
Engineered to be a creative force to be reckoned with, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 340 9344B001 is made sleek and slim and oozing with style. This remarkable device boasts a powerful 12x Optical Zoom that makes it ready to capture all the action. Providing all the flexibility you need when shooting, this is a slim, compact camera that offers an amazing 35mm equivalent of 25-300mm range for versatility.
Furthermore, the Wide-Angle lens captures expansive image from one shot to another, so you get superb perspective, depth and majesty in every shot. The extra width handles everything from family shots to city scenes and landscapes, making everything appear clear and bright.
The built-in wiFi enables effortless connection to your world, supporting video and image transfers directly to your favorite social networking sites, computer or mobile devices. Capture group photos by shooting remotely using a compatible tablet or smartphone. With the built-in NFC, this model only needs a simple touch of a button to facilitate the automatic launch of the CameraWindow app on your mobile device, for quick and easy sharing of images.
Working in tandem with the DIGIC 4+ Image Processor, the high-resolution 16.0 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor is geared to provide the Canon HS System that ensures superb image quality regardless of the photography situations.Buy from Amazon.com for ($199)