The best point-and-shoot camera
Smartphones are great: internet access, photo editing apps, and high resolution lenses. Impressive? Yes. But do you know what else has internet access, photo editing apps, and high resolution lenses? Actual cameras. What's more, point-and-shoot cameras have optical zooms which allow you to take pictures at a distance without sacrificing resolution. You can take the same zoomed photos with a smartphone, but you end up looking pixelated.
If you're one of the many who have realized that your smartphone just can't offer the quality photos and video of a good point-and-shoot camera, then read on. We've compiled this convenient buying guide and included a few reviews as well. Check out our pick for Best of the Best, the Nikon CoolPix P900.
Considerations when choosing point-and-shoot cameras
Megapixels are what define the resolution of a camera. The higher, the better. 12 to 24 megapixels are a good starting point for high resolution photos on a point-and-shoot camera.
Most display screens on point-and-shoot cameras measure about three inches diagonally. However, if you want something that offers more versatility, you can find some slightly larger, and others that even swivel or tilt for easier shooting.
The lens in your point-and-shoot camera is important because it cannot be changed out. If you want to make sure you get the best possible pictures when zooming, look for a high x-number in relation to the optical zoom on your lens.
Most point-and-shoot cameras have a flat rectangular shape. This makes them ideal for quick use and storing in a pocket or purse. However, some are designed more like a DSLR camera, which makes them heftier and easier to stabilize.
Use these effects to modify your photos for fun effects and color changes. Each point-and-shoot camera has their own set of special effects, so research which ones you like before buying.
A number of point-and-shoot cameras now offer WiFi capability. Connecting to WiFi makes it quick and easy to share and transfer photos with yourself, your friends and family, or even on social media.
While every point-and-shoot camera can record video, not all offer the same quality. If you spend on the high end of the spectrum, you can get a point-and-shoot camera that can record and playback in 4K quality. If recording high resolution video is important to you, then keep that in mind when checking the specs of each camera.
While the beauty of point-and-shoot cameras is the simplicity of use, some people might want a little more control in their photography. That's why most point-and-shoot cameras have a manual feature allowing them to change lighting and other settings for a more hands-on photographic experience.
Point-and-shoot camera prices
Point-and-shoot cameras have a wide variety of prices, ranging from $25 all the way to $1,000. It's best for beginners to start on the low end, although even the most expensive ones are easy to learn.
Q. Do I need a separate flash for my point-and-shoot camera?
A. Probably not. Most point-and-shoot cameras have a flash built into the body of the camera. Some high end models have a hot shoe bracket for an external flash on top, but they are rare.
Q. Can memory cards be transferred from one point-and-shoot camera to another?
A. Yes, so long as the memory card slot on each camera is of the same size. SD and micro SD are the two most common sizes, which are popular in point-and-shoot cameras.
Point-and-shoot cameras we recommend
Best of the best: Nikon CoolPix P900
Our take: One of the best zooms on the market makes the P900 a winner.
What we like: The 83x optical zoom is light years ahead of any smartphone and the DSLR body style is great for steady shooting.
What we dislike: Expensive, but worth it.
Best bang for your buck: Sony DSCW830 20.1 MP Digital Camera
Our take: So easy it practically takes its own pictures.
What we like: The balance of value and quality is unmatched in this model. It has all the features of a more expensive camera and takes great photos.
What we dislike: Some dislike the simplicity of the camera as it's basic compared to others.
Choice 3: Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera
Our take: A rugged camera for all your photo needs.
What we like: Waterproof. WiFi capabilities that make photo sharing fast and simple.
What we dislike: The video quality is not up to the level of the photos.
Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.