We all love capturing important moments in our life or those special things we see on our travels. The best way to achieve this without having expensive and technical photographic equipment is with a point and shoot camera. Most impromptu moments can’t be caught on equipment that takes a while to set up.
With the advent of cell phone photography, point and shoot cameras have come down significantly in price while still giving you a better quality picture than your Samsung Galaxy or Your iPhone X.
What is a Point & Shoot Camera?
Point and shoot refers to the ease of taking a photograph. You don’t have to hassle with removable lenses like with a DSLR camera. You grab it from your bag and snap the picture. It also gives you a much more compact body which makes it much easier to use when traveling or backpacking. They are also usually small and light enough to carry in a shirt pocket or hang from a lanyard for quick and easy access.
Check out our selection of 5 of the very best Point and shoot cameras for under 400 dollars.
Top Rated Point and Shoot Camera Models
Panasonic Lumix FZ80
A top contender in our selection is the Panasonic Lumix FZ80. This model is jam-packed with awesome features that make our photography experience an absolute pleasure.
- 18.9 megapixel
- 20 – 1200mm Lumix DC Vario lens
- 60 X zoom capability
The Panasonic Lumix has a few great built in features such as the 4K camera and video capability. With this function you can take a photo that captures 30 frames per second, which makes it ideal for those action shots where you can go back and choose the perfect frame from the burst shot. The video function shoots 2160 high resolution videos, almost 4 times higher than other options.
The quality of the 60X Zoom is insane for such a compact model!
The fairly large, wide angle lens disappears completely into the housing when not in use. This is really a simple to use and efficient design that won’t disturb the bank balance too much.
Canon PowerShot SX720 HS
Canon has always lead the market with brilliant photography equipment, they really know there stuff. The Powershot SX720 is an absolute bomb when it comes to snapping quick and easy shots.
- 20.3 megapixels
- 40 X optical zoom lens
- 1080p resolution video capabilities
The Powershot’s image processor combined with the 40 X optical zoom lens makes it possible to get a perfectly detailed portrait shot of someone who is standing really far away. The clarity and detail is unbelievable!
The Wi-Fi technology that is used in the Powershot SX720 is brilliant. With the touch of a button you can connect and share with other devices in an instant. The touch screen also makes operating very simple.
Definitely a worthy opponent to the previous one in our list.
Canon PowerShot SX420
The Canon Powershot SX420 has a bulkier housing than the first Canon we have on the list. If you are not too concerned with the extra bit of size then it is still packed with awesome features for its value.
- 20.0 megapixel
- 42 X optical zoom lens
- 720p resolution video capabilities
The Powershot SX420 may lack in some capability but it has some awesome features like the Smart auto setting. This function detects certain things in a scene and automatically selects the best setting and this all happens literally at the touch of the shutter button. 32 settings for photo and 21 settings for video are available in this function, making it great for first time users.
Fujifilm FinePix XP80 Waterproof
We thought we would throw a waterproof point and shoot into the mix for our adventurers. The Fujifilm FinePix is an awesome choice, especially if you have a holiday or tour planned to a watery destination. That snorkeling excursion in the Seychelles you have planned can now be immortalized with the help of the Fuji film.
- 16.2 megapixel
- 5x optical zoom.
- Waterproof to 15 meters/ 50 foot
- Shockproof to 1.75 meters / 6 foot
- Dust and freeze proof to 14 degrees fahrenheit (-10 degrees Celsius)
This is a real adventurer and what it lacks in zoom capability, it makes up for in its weatherproof quality.
It also records full HD 1080 video at 60 fps and is Wi-Fi enabled so connection and sharing to other devices is very quick and easy. This is the model to invest in for your next trip to the great outdoors.
The smallest most compact camera in our list is the Sony RX100. This model measures only 4 X 1.41 X 2.29 inches. Its light weight and small size make it the perfect pocket camera.
- 20.2 megapixel
- 3.6 X optical zoom
- Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens, triple coated to cut out unwanted glare and light
It’s the smallest in our list and also has the lowest zoom capability. If this does not concern you then this has to be the ultimate small point and shoot camera, the other amazing features are too good to boot. With full HD 1080p video and a mere weight of 7.5 ounces, this has to be a winning choice for any minimalist traveller.
Choosing the Right Model
Each of the models is either below or around the 400 Dollar mark. This is a good benchmark for quality and you don’t need much more than this to take excellent pictures with ease.
The Panasonic Lumix and Canon Powershot SX720 stand out at the top for size and absolute best function and capabilities.
Following close behind is the Powershot SX420, it has great capabilities but is more bulky and heavy than the others and probably better suited to storage in a pouch or bag.
For absolute minimalists the Sony RX100 is the lightest and smallest model in our list. And those with a taste for rough adventure, the Fujifilm Finepix will serve you well.
Features to Look for in a Point and Shoot Camera
They can have optical zoom (with a variable length lens which extends from the housing) but it’s fixed onto the body, giving you the ability to zoom in without the struggle of grabbing a new lens for each distance. This means that you could be shooting away within seconds of spotting an elusive bird or while you are taking a bus tour through an historic area.
Ease of use with regards to operating the camera is important, the less technical the better. Most of these options have auto shoot settings that auto adjusts before the shot is taken. So we’ve made sure that these are as hassle free as possible.
How to Take Great Pics with a P&S
We have a great review on the 5 Best Hiking Cameras for Backpacking Adventures.