Smartphones are a challenge for the low-end camera market, but advanced and mid-range cameras are booming. By 2020, you’ll have a compact camera with a larger sensor, more megapixels and more connectivity options and features than ever before (even 4K video is now easily available at this level). If you are an amateur wanting to improve your photography or a professional looking for a smaller alternative to a DSLR or mirrorless camera, you will find the best photos of the year below. More information can be found in our points and images comparison table and in the purchase tips below.
Best overall result
1. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II ($429)
Sensor size:116 mm²
Weight: 7,3 oz.
What we like:. A well thought out precision shot with a large sensor for a good price.
What we don’t do: No viewfinder or 4K video.
In recent years, the area of high quality point and field shots has grown significantly, with Canon Sony competing for the top position. Based on a combination of performance and value, we make a nod to the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II. More importantly, you get a large one-inch image sensor that sets the tone when it comes to image and video quality. In addition, the camera is equipped with a high-quality 28-84 mm f/2-4.9 lens and features such as built-in image stabilization and Wi-Fi. With its 7.3 ounces and slim design, it is the ideal compact device for travel and everyday use.
What do you sacrifice when using the G9 X Mark II compared to some of the more expensive options below? It does not have an electronic viewfinder, which means you need to align your pictures using the rear LCD monitor. And the more expensive G7 X Mark II really broadens the range of functions, including a wider zoom from 24mm to 100mm and a faster maximum aperture from f/1.8 to 2.8. In general you can certainly spend money on the G7 X Mark II or the high-end Sony RX100 VII model below, but we like the value of the G9 X Mark II.
See Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II.
Best point and shoot quality
2. Sony RX100 VII ($1298)
Sensor size: 116 mm²
Weight: 10,7 oz.
What we like:. First-class image and video quality with all the trimmings.
What we don’t do: Higher price and slower price target compared to previous versions.
Sony’s RX100 line will be represented in the world of marking and will go through its seventh iteration in 2019. With the RX100 VII we start with the good things: This ultra high-end camera has almost all the high-end features you could wish for. It features a large 1-inch image sensor, a clear Carl Zeiss lens with a 24-200mm range, captures 4K movies and has an advanced autofocus that is years ahead of cheaper spot shots. And at 10.7 ounces, it’s the perfect compact camera for anyone looking for a lighter alternative to a mirrorless camera or DSLR.
Our biggest trump card with the Sony RX100 VII is its price. If the money didn’t burn our pockets, we would hesitate and spend almost $1300 for every point and every shot. For this price you get a mid-range, mirrorless camera like the Fujifilm X-T30, which surpasses this Sony camera (although with extra dimensions and weight). Additionally, on the latest versions of the RX100, including version VII, Sony has extended the zoom range with an aperture of 24-200mm (now f/2.8-4.5 instead of f/1.8-2.8 on the RX100 V, although this lens is only 24-70mm). Leaving these questions aside, it will be difficult to find a point and a recording that offers better image and video quality or more features.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Sony RX100 VII
Best budget item and plan
3. Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 ($109)
Sensor size: 28 mm²
Scale: 28-224 mm
Weight: 4,5 oz.
What we like:. Basement price; more scalability than competitors such as the Sony WSC-800 is lower.
What we don’t do: Won’t outperform the camera on most new smartphones.
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 is an inexpensive alternative to the camera on the phone or even for children studying the art of photography. On paper, the specifications are pretty damn good in terms of price: 20-megapixel resolution, 28-224mm zoom range (much more than other budget options like the Sony DSC W800 below), 720p video and light weight – just 4.5 ounces. And one of the reasons this camera is so popular is the ease of use for which Canon is known. Just aim and shoot.
Our biggest problem with a camera like the ELPH 180 is that it is far outdated by smartphones. With a small image sensor and limited optics, today’s iPhone can take much better pictures of people in portrait mode, even though the Canon zoom is slightly clearer. However, the reality is that many people no longer need or want to wear two devices unless their special camera is superior to their phone in some performance. Unfortunately, the Canon ELPH 180 is not suitable, although, as said, it is excellent for children and people on a tight budget. If you want to spend even less, take a look at the Sony WSC-800 below.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Canon PowerShot ELPH 180
Best Super Sound Camera
4. Panasonic Lumix FZ80 ($298)
Sensor size: 28 mm²
Weight: 21.7 oz.
What we like:. A serious scale-up for less than $300.
What we don’t do: Small image sensor and large aspect ratio.
As far as the large zoom is concerned, it will be difficult to find a better value than the Panasonic Lumix FZ80. For just under $300, this camera has a huge zoom range from 20 to 1200mm, enough to capture wildlife, sporting events, school shows and anything else you could possibly want. In addition, the FZ80 spins quickly at up to 10 frames per second, records 4K video and features an Image Stabilization System (O.I.S.) to reduce camera shake. With built-in Wi-Fi you get an impressive and modern camera for a reasonable price.
What are the disadvantages of the Panasonic FZ80? This is partly because the price is so low that the image sensor is small and dwarf compared to some of the most expensive super-zooms on the market that can work for $1,000 or more. And with its 21.7 oz. weight, it’s far from a handheld camera – it looks more like a DSLR or mirrorless camera than a compact camera. But despite its shortcomings, the FZ80 offers a lot of zoom and features in an affordable package, which is why it is in our ranking.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Panasonic Lumix FZ80.
Best Rugged Shooting
5. Olympus Tough TG-6 ($379)
Sensor size: 28 mm²
Weight: 8,9 oz.
What we like:. The only really airtight place on that list.
What we don’t do: The case is good, but the optical characteristics are behind the price.
For most outdoor activities, we do not recommend the use of hard or robust cameras if you really need extra protection. You pay a lot for a small image sensor and bad parts, and most of the money goes into a waterproof housing that protects everything. And the Olympus TG-6 is best in class: waterproof to 15 meters, dustproof, frost-resistant and with a fast f/2 aperture for shots in low light and underwater. We also like the 25-100mm zoom range, which is wider than most rigid cameras, often 28mm wide.
Please note that this camera’s small sensor limits the quality of photos and movies that the Olympus TG-6 can produce, especially at this price. But it’s definitely fun – you can take the camera almost anywhere without having to worry. And we love the 4K video functions and action track sensors that use the built-in thermometer and GPS to assign temperature, position and other data to your photos. And for underwater photography and deep diving you can visit the SeaLife ReefMaster, which also takes 4K photos and can take you underwater to a depth of 130 feet.
See the Olympus Tough TG-6
The best of the other
6. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II (US$589)
Sensor size:116 mm²
Scale: 24-100 mm
Weight: 11,3 oz.
What we like:. Excellent focal length compared to the G9 X Mark II above.
What we don’t do:You need to produce more functions.
Let’s start with the fact that there has been a close cooperation between the above mentioned G7 X Mark II and G9 X Mark II to take first place in the list. Both cameras are equipped with large 1-inch image sensors and offer a variety of features such as in-camera image stabilization, touchscreen, RAW capabilities and advanced connectivity. The main reason for choosing the G7 Mark II is the objective: The focal length is 24-100 mm instead of 28-84 mm, and we can tell you first-hand that these 4 mm are important for landscape photography, along with the faster f/1.8-2.8 lens. Add a fold-out rear LCD display and the choice depends on your appreciation of these features.
What are the flaws of the Canon G7 X Mark II? It doesn’t record 4K video like many high quality compact cameras from Sony and Panasonic, and it doesn’t have an electronic viewfinder (all recording is done via the rear LCD screen). And compared to a more expensive camera like the Sony RX100 VII above, you sacrifice a whole range of things, such as zoom range, video speed, autofocus speed and accuracy and much more. It is worth mentioning that Canon released the G7 X Mark III last summer, and this camera actually records 4K, but in the beginning it was full of questions about sharpness and did not meet expectations, so the Mark II was recorded.
See Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II.
7. Panasonic Lumix LX10 ($498)
Sensor size:116 mm²
Weight: 10,9 oz.
What we like:. An impressive combination of image and video quality.
What we don’t do: Less comfortable than the competition.
For enthusiasts and beginners, the Panasonic Lumix LX10 is a fascinating point-to-point option. We really liked the old LX7, and the new LX10 is very competitive with the advanced points and shots from brands like Canon and Sony. Most noticeable is the f/1.4-2.8 lens, which is the fastest lens on the list and delivers excellent low-light performance for compactness. The LX10 also makes 4K video recordings, which no Canon can do, and has a touch screen that even the expensive Sony RX100 V does not have.
What are the disadvantages of the Panasonic Lumix LX10? One of these is the 24-72mm focal length range, which offers a shorter focal length at a distance of 24-100mm than a camera like the Canon G7X Mark II above. Moreover, Panasonic’s compact devices are not as intuitive and ergonomic as the other options in this list. Canon is known for its easy-to-use features and Sony has produced six RX100 series debugging transmitters. The Panasonic LX10 is easy to use, but the menu systems, buttons and the camera itself are more addictive than we would like.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Panasonic Lumix LX10.
8. Sony WX350 ($288)
Sensor size: 28 mm²
Weight: 4.8 oz.
What we like:. A range of healthy zooms and features in a compact package.
What we don’t do: No 4K video.
For travelers and anyone looking for maximum versatility in a small format, the Sony WX350 is the perfect choice. Unlike real super scales like the huge Panasonic FZ80 above, the WX350 records an incredibly light 4.8 oz. while reaching a 500mm zoom. Sony has most of the other advanced features such as Wi-Fi, image stabilization, Quick Action Photography and many fun modes that bring your photos to life. Please note that this camera is not equipped with 4K video for this function. You need to upgrade to a Sony DSC-HX99 or RX100 line (especially RX100 IV and higher).
Speaking of the Sony DSC-HX99, this smooth tip-shot is one of the most likely competitors of the WX350 quoted here. For about $200, you can get a wider range of focal lengths (24-700 mm), 4K video and Carl Zeiss lenses, but with almost the same aperture range. Considering the fact that the DSC-HX99 weighs considerably more at 8.5 oz and for non video recordings that do not require 4K, we refer to the cheaper WX350.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Sony WX350
9. Canon PowerShot SX740 HS ($399)
Sensor size: 28 mm²
Scale: 24-960 mm
Weight: 9,7 oz.
What we like:. A huge zoom for such a light camera.
What we don’t do: A small image sensor.
Canon’s SX740 HS is a powerful compact camera that lets you take photos in a compact body. This stylish camera fits easily in your pocket, captures 4K video and has built-in Wi-Fi to transfer photos on the go. But the most important thing is that you get the optimal large zoom at 24-960 mm, which is very impressive in a small form factor (for a similar zoom you have to get close to a super large zoom with more than twice the weight). Overall, the SX740 HS is a great travel camera that can wreak havoc.
If you don’t need the SX740 HS’s zoom function, we think the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II (our best choice) is the best choice in the same price range. The SX740 HS image sensor is much smaller than the G9 X Mark II, with a smaller lens and lower light output than the G9 X Mark II, and with fewer functions. And it is worth mentioning that we preferred the older versions in this respect. Last year, for example, a similar Canon PowerShot SX720 HS was available for less than $300, making it more attractive.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Canon PowerShot SX740 HS
10. Fuji film X100V ($1,399)
Sensor size: 368 mm²
Scale: No. (35 mm lens)
Weight: 16,9 oz.
What we like:. With its large image sensor and high quality lens, this is the ideal place for street photography and travel.
What we don’t do: No scale and a high price.
Fujifilm has a unique position in the world of point and shoot, and the X100V is a model to follow. In essence, this camera combines all the advantages of mirrorless Fujifilm cameras with interchangeable lenses, but with the size and simplicity of a compact camera. Especially the extra wide APS-C image sensor, which is more than three times larger than Sony’s RX100 series, and Canon’s high quality point sensor, such as the G7 X Mark II, are impressive. You also get a very bright f/2 lens, even if it is fixed at 35 mm. Professionals and enthusiasts love the best lenses, but they are certainly less versatile than zooms.
The Fujifilm X100V is a new model for 2020 and we’ve added it to the old X100F, which is currently being sold for a few hundred dollars less. We always like to save money when it’s earned, but the X100V has better autofocus, a rounded mobile LCD screen, 4K video functionality and better weather resistance. In general, there are a number of improvements that make the X100V worth improving.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Fujifilm X100V
11. Canon PowerShot SX70 HS ($399)
Sensor size: 28 mm²
Weight: 21.4 oz.
What we like:. Huge hem and good angle of view.
What we don’t do: Heavy and bulky; small image sensor.
If you’re looking for a good zoom without breaking the sofa, take a look at the popular Canon SX70 HS. For $400 you get a wide range from 21mm to 1365mm, as well as fast shots at 10 frames per second, image stabilisation and easy-to-use features typical of Canon. We also appreciate that the SX70 HS has a width of 21 mm, which is rare for this type of device. This super-zoom is large and does not fit in your pocket, but for travel, action photography and daily use it is a reliable option.
Why isn’t the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS at the top of our list? The small image sensor has its limits, even for those who want to print or photograph under difficult conditions. The truth is that scales with a large sensor (see for example the Panasonic FZ1000 below) are much more expensive, which can cost some people a lot, but reduces the appeal for most people. But for a DSLR alternative with tons of zoom and good features, we like the value of the SX70 HS.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Canon PowerShot SX70 HS
12. Sony RX100 ($448)
Sensor size:116 mm2
Scale: 28-100 mm
Weight: 8.5 oz.
What we like:Good value as a tender goes further
What we don’t do : It’s a bit long in terms of possibilities.
In the world of cameras, a 6 year old model is rarely so recommended, but the original RX100 remains the cheapest model in the Sony assortment. Simply put: The camera’s functions have improved considerably in the six renderings that Sony has produced since 2012, but the image quality is surprisingly similar. Since the latest RX100 VI model costs $1,198 – for that price you can get a great mirrorless camera like the Sony a6300 with a lens – we prefer to save on an older model that costs half that price. It is still an excellent camera for precision photography in a compact and lightweight body.
What do you sacrifice when you choose the original Sony RX100? The electronic viewfinder first appeared on the RX100 III, which is a very nice addition, and a 4K-format video was presented on the RX100 IV. In addition, the latest version exceeds the telephoto range (f/4.5 vs. f/4.9) with an ultra-fast flash speed of 24 f/s. All these properties are important, but the image sensor and the megapixels remain almost identical. At some point we will have to remove the RX100 from this list, but given the price there will be no good fight without the RX100.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Sony RX100
13. Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 ($598)
Sensor size: 116 mm²
Weight: 29,3 oz.
What we like:. Tons of zoom and a one-inch sensor.
What we don’t do: Very difficult for the point and the shot.
If the size of your target and your shooting isn’t a priority, take a serious look at the Panasonic FZ1000. With this camera you have a large 1-inch image sensor and an exceptional zoom of 25 to 400 mm (this category of points and images is nicknamed Super Zoom). Other dots and images offer even more zoom at smaller dimensions, but these models also have much smaller sensors and cannot compete with the optical quality of the FZ1000. And the icing on the cake: The FZ1000 is one of the few cameras on this list to record 4K video.
The obvious problems with super-zooms like the Panasonic FZ1000 are related to size and weight. This recording is literally the size of a small SLR camera and weighs 29.3 ounces. You certainly don’t put the FZ1000 in your pocket, but its versatility and convenience is attractive to travellers and those who don’t want to wear and change multiple lenses. Of course, it is a viable alternative to an entry-level DSLR, but with a smaller sensor.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Panasonic Lumix FZ1000.
14. Rico GR III ($900)
Sensor size: 368 mm²
Scale: (28 mm lens)
Weight: 9.1 oz.
What we like:. Image sensor the size of an SLR camera, with a very low weight and small dimensions.
What we don’t do: prices, and no zoom is suitable for everyone.
Realistically, the Ricoh GR III is a niche camera, but it will still be one of our most popular professional cameras on the market in 2020. The most remarkable feature is the gigantic APS-C image sensor – the same size as many DSLRs – in a compact housing that weighs just over 9 ounces. You’ll also get a bright f/2.8 lens, fast and accurate autofocus, built-in image stabilization and a host of other advanced features. Don’t forget that the GR III has a fixed focal length of 28mm, which is ideal for traveling and shooting outdoors, but not for everyone. However, if you want professional image quality in a miniature package, Ricoh GR III is an entertaining option.
For those who want to save money, the old Ricoh GR II is currently sold for about 600 dollars. What is the difference between these two models? The GR II has fewer megapixels (16.2), has no built-in image stabilization, and is, among other things, inferior to autofocus. We still like the previous model, launched in 2015, but we think there are enough updates and improvements to justify the extra cost of the new model. Both are excellent high-end spectacles for those who want a compact alternative to larger installations.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Ricoh GR III
15. Panasonic Lumix ZS70 ($298)
Sensor size:28 mm²
Scale: 24-720 mm
What we like: .a functional camera with an elegant design.
What we don’t have:Smaller sensor and slower lens than the LX10 described above.
If you want the look of the Panasonic LX10 to be higher, but want a higher zoom, the ZS70 is a good option for mid-range applications. This point and snapshot offers an impressive list of features for a camera up to $300, including 4K video, an electronic viewfinder and a super versatile Leica 24-720mm lens. We also love the design and feel of the ZS70, which is elegant and functional with a weight of just over 11 ounces. Panasonic point-and-shoots have become more and more popular lately, and travel zooms like the ZS70 are a big part of that equation.
The reasons why we don’t want to spend money on this camera are the image sensor and the aperture of the lens. With a relatively small sensor size of 1/2.3, the Panasonic ZS70 simply cannot compete with the best results in terms of overall image quality. And one of the things we like most about the LX10 is the lightning fast lens at f/1.4-2.8, while the ZS70 is much slower than f/3.3-6.4. There are a lot of frills in this camera, and it’s very nice to use, but don’t expect high quality pictures or low light.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Panasonic Lumix ZS70.
16. Nikon Kulpix B500 ($257)
Sensor size:28 mm²
What we like: Slightly wider than the SX530 HS at a height of 22.5 mm.
What we don’t have:Autofocus and Wi-Fi connectivity issues.
In recent years Nikon has not really dominated the target market with the acquisition of brands such as Sony, Panasonic and Canon. But we love the Coolpix B500, the musical super rival of the popular Canon SX530 HS above. Both cameras have the same price and offer great versatility with a wide zoom range. At the same time, both devices have small image sensors, multiple hand controls and use 4 AA batteries, which increases their cost when not charged (and even such a setting is worthless).
Why is the Canon SX530 HS higher than the Nikon B500? We like the extra hem (it’s 1200 mm longer), and it weighs a few grams less. In addition, some users have reported that the B500 has Wi-Fi connection problems and, like most inexpensive superzooms, autofocus tends to hunt. One of the advantages of the Nikon B500 is that at 22.5 mm it is slightly wider than the 24 mm of the SX530 HS. This may seem an insignificant difference, but for landscape and outdoor photography we take everything we can get.
See Nikon Coolpix B500.
17. Sony DSC-W800 ($120)
Sensor size:28 mm²
What we like:. The price of the basement and the low weight.
What we don’t do:Not very sharp, and the Canon ELPH 180 above offers a higher zoom.
Despite the constant improvement in the quality of the phone’s camera, there is still time and space for a certain point and place to take pictures. And if you want to spend as little time as possible in this category, the Sony DSC-W800 is the best option for you. The specifications are worth it: You get a resolution of 20.1 megapixels and a zoom of 26-130 mm. With just 4.7 ounces and a slim form factor, you even know there’s barley in your pocket or backpack.
Why is the Sony DSC-W800 at the bottom of this list? Our most affordable model, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 shown above, offers a wider 28-224mm zoom range for less money, and this camera can even weigh a little less with a total weight of 4.4 oz. In addition, some users have complained about the Sony DSC-W800’s periodic blurring and lack of sharpness, which is the result of a small matrix and cheap lenses and components. However, they can’t compete on price or size, which is why we’ve included them here.
Look, look, look, look, look, look. Sony DSC-W800
Comparison table for point cameras
Tips for taking pictures with camera and Spike
- Point and shot categories
- Image sensor
- Low brightness
- LCD display
- Durable cameras
- What about the memory card?
Point source camera categories
With the growing number of cameras and the continuous improvement of their quality, by 2020 most camera manufacturers will focus their energy on enthusiasm or professional photography. Many of these cameras are equipped with large one-inch image sensors, clear lenses and a large number of useful functions such as tiltable LCD screens and 4K video. The largest part of this list consists of enthusiastic models, with the Canon G7 X Mark II and the Sony RX100 at the top.
Medium range points and shots generally offer great possibilities, but sacrifice the size of the image sensor (many are relatively small at 2/3) If you do not plan to use a zoom, or if you want features such as a large zoom at a reasonable price, medium-range cameras are a good compromise between price and performance.
This end of the point and shoot spectrum is recessed. You may remember that almost everyone on holiday had a cheap target shooting device with them (including us), but if you remove the camera from the phone, it is inappropriate to carry two devices that do similar things. For example, the latest iPhone has a damn impressive camera (plural) and a portrait mode that surpasses the starting point and recording. And even if the camera is slightly better marked on paper, the comfort of a smartphone wins. For these reasons, we generally recommend to choose a middle class or an enthusiastic model. An exception is of course if you do not have a camera phone or do not want to take it with you for activities such as hiking or skiing.
Unlike the interchangeable lenses of digital SLRs or DSLRs, point and shoot cameras have a built-in lens and many models have a fairly universal zoom lens. For example, the Sony RX100 VII has a zoom range of 24-200mm, while the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS offers a very impressive zoom range of 24-960mm, but without other functions.
In recent years, super-zoom cameras, which have an extremely wide zoom range of up to 1000 mm or more, have become very popular. We know that smartphones have trouble zooming, and this is a way for camera manufacturers to stay interested. Super Scale is a really cool camera – we love for example the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS with 21-1365mm optical zoom and cost less than $400. But geniuses have two big problems. They are much heavier and larger than conventional point photography (closer to an SLR than a point camera), and oversized image sensors are generally small, often 1/2.3. But for travel, sports events, school shows or animal photography they are very entertaining devices to use.
We advise you to think about the types of photos you will take most often before you buy. Generally, wide angle shots are 18 to 24 mm, street shots 24 to 35 mm, portraits 50 to 100 mm and telephoto shots 100 mm and more. Only get superscalability if you plan to use this end of the zoom range regularly.
Marketers see megapixels as the central factor that determines the image quality of the camera, but it is actually the size of the sensor. The general analogy in photography is that megapixels look like buckets in which rain is captured (rain is clear and colourful). The more buckets, the more rain they will collect. As a result, 20 megapixels on a small sensor (small cups) are much less effective in capturing light than 20 megapixels on a large image sensor (large cups). Typical sizes of sensors detected on point cameras are shown below:
- 1/2.3(6.17 x 4.55 mm = 28 mm²)
- 1/1.7 (7.60 x 5.70 mm = 41 mm²)
- 1 (13.2 x 8.8 mm 116 mm²).
- APS-C (23.6 x 15.6 mm = 368 mm²)
Almost all starting points and some of the centers and images are equipped with 1/2.3-inch CMOS image sensors. The higher the price, the greater the chance of a larger sensor – the most elite point and shoot type sensor or a 1 or 1/1.7 CMOS sensor. Some professional compact cameras are equipped with APS-C image sensors, but this is rare (the largest are Ricoh GR III and Fujifilm X100F).
A pixel is a single point of information, and digital photographs consist of millions of these points. To make the calculations more tangible, we use the term megapixel (mega = million). For example, if the camera has 18 megapixels, it takes pictures of 18 million small dots.
As described above for the image sensor, the number of megapixels can be misleading. If the X camera has 24 megapixels and the Y camera has 12 megapixels, this does not necessarily mean that the X camera produces better quality images. If the Y-camera has a larger sensor, higher ISO sensitivity and an excellent lens, you can expect better photos with fewer megapixels. A sensible buyer should first look at the size of the sensor, then the number of megapixels, and try to evaluate how these two numbers add up compared to the competition (we have tried to simplify things by using the handy comparison table above). As a general rule: The more you pay for your camera, the bigger the sensor and the more megapixels you get.
The main difference between a budget and high quality shots is the low brightness of the lens and the camera. With respect to the lens, an important number to check is the maximum aperture value, expressed in f-stops between f/1.4 and f/22 or higher. The smaller the number, the more the lens can be opened and the more light enters the camera. At the bottom of the spectrum is a camera such as the Panasonic Lumix LX10 with a maximum aperture of f/1.4. Most average and budget dots and photos have a maximum aperture of f/2 to f/3.5. You will notice that the maximum aperture is expressed by two numbers that include both the wide and telescopic ends (e.g. f/1.8-4.9).
Regarding the low brightness of the camera itself, you should use the ISO sensitivity (usually just called ISO) for searching. The higher the ISO value, the more sensitive the camera is to photographs and the less chance of noise (the graininess often seen in photographs taken with cheap cameras or your smartphone). A camera like the popular Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 is not particularly good in low light with a sensitivity of ISO 100-1600, while the Sony RX100 VII has a much more impressive range of 24-25600. In combination with the maximum aperture of the lens, these factors determine the performance in low light.
Like the zoom, video is an increasingly popular feature of cameras. Full HD 1080p (1920 x 1080 pixels) will be the standard in 2020, even for spot shots. Some business models only run at a resolution of 720p (1280 x 720 pixels), but there are fewer and fewer. At the top of the spectrum are now several professional compact cameras with 4K (4096 x 3072 pixels) video, including the Sony RX100 VII and the Panasonic LX10.
In terms of overall video quality, it’s not just the resolution. The quality of the autofocus, the ISO sensitivity, the size of the image sensor and other functions, such as image stabilization, all play an important role in the video you shoot in focus and in image. Specialist videographers also like to experiment with different recording speeds, the most common of which are 60, 30 and 24 frames per second. More expensive dots and photos generally offer a higher video speed.
The last item you often see in links is a special button for movies. This means that instead of using buttons or the touch screen to navigate through menus, a single button (usually red) on the outside of the camera makes it possible to capture video almost instantly. Again, advertising producers have to compete with smartphones, and a special button to shoot a movie is another way to do this.
Wi-Fi and NFC
The method of connecting the camera to a USB port on a desktop or laptop computer and manually downloading photos is becoming increasingly unnecessary. Built-in Wi-Fi is a welcome bonus for many new cameras that allow you to transfer and upload photos and videos directly from your camera to your device or social networking platform. Some even offer light processing directly on the camera. Wi-Fi software and platforms vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, some are easier to use and less prone to errors than others, but we like to be able to use Wi-Fi when it’s convenient.
The LCD screen at the back is another point to distinguish between points and planes. Most LCD screens are about 3 inches in size, with resolutions that vary greatly depending on price. A higher resolution and a brighter screen would be useful when setting up a frame in difficult conditions. Some high-end models have a tiltable LCD screen for difficult angles and even a touch screen that is easier to navigate than keys. For us, the LCD screen is neither a creator nor a crusher, but it gets better because you spend more and the difference is noticeable.
Electronic and optical viewfinders
Some advanced points and images are equipped with an electronic or optical viewfinder. This desired function means that, instead of having the pictures pointed at by the rear LCD monitor, you can look through the viewfinder on top of the camera. For professionals and enthusiasts who demand precision and take a large number of photos, a viewfinder is indispensable. Again, electronic viewfinders are rare in precision photography and can usually be found in DSLRs and some mirrorless cameras, but an electronic viewfinder is certainly an advantage over new high-end models such as the Sony RX100 VII.
Our fight against rugged cameras
There are several robust digital cameras on the market, our favorite is the Olympus Tough TG-6. These units are essentially entry-level units with an external housing that makes them resistant to water, dust and shocks (characteristics such as the depth of the seal depend on the model).
Above all, no camera is really waterproof – you can see from the various reports on sites like Amazon that rugged cameras can accidentally leak. In addition, you pay a substantial premium for extra protection and often get a relatively simple camera in terms of image quality. The Olympus TG-6 is currently priced at $349, although the entry-level model has specifications – for this price you get excellent midrange and shots that aren’t weatherproof.
Underwater photography with the Olympus Tough series | Falinn Owie
Robust cameras are best suited for difficult activities such as diving, rafting, surfing, climbing, skiing and snowboarding in wet weather. They are very suitable for a beach holiday. Sand is one of the biggest enemies of any camera or lens, and an additional sealant prevents small stones from getting into your electronics. For normal travel and outdoor use, we recommend purchasing a normal camera, which is of high optical quality and is smart for storage. Even a normal bag in a Ziploc pouch will protect your camera in most cases.
What about the memory card?
The good news for consumers is that memory cards are becoming faster and cheaper. A few years ago, class 10 cards, which have a minimum recording speed of 10 MB per second, were expensive, and a real choice was made between these cards and the slower class 4 cards. In 2020, the price of the Class 10 cards will drop to the same level as that of the Class 4 cards, which makes no sense (Class 4 cards are largely extinct).
Our favorite SD memory card for capturing photos and videos is SanDisk Extreme, with high write and read speeds (up to 70 MB/sec. write and 150 MB/sec. read). You also get protection from the elements: SanDisk Extreme is waterproof, shock and X-ray resistant and can work at temperatures from -13 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. We love the added peace of mind, but if you don’t care about the durability of the card, the SanDisk Ultra costs a little less.
From a storage point of view, a 64GB card is relatively cheap (it’s part of what it used to be) and a good format for a dot and a photo, so you don’t have to constantly run to your computer to download and delete photos. If you often record 4K video or do not have access to download, 128GB and 256GB cards are available, although this is exaggerated for most users working in point-and-shoot mode.
Go back to our selection of best points and return to our points comparison table and return to
best advanced point-and shoot camera,best point-and-shoot camera 2018
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