Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras

Top 10 Rated Point and Shoot Digital Cameras 2014

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Digital point and shoot cameras have come a long way since their beginnings. These cameras combine extreme portability with the newest technologies, like image stabilization, to capture the best looking image easily. We selected the 10 best point and shoot cameras based on the following criteria:

1. The size and type of sensor
2. The size and resolution of LCD viewing screens
3. Optical and digital zooms
4. Amount of auto focus and scene selection modes
5. Image stabilization and Intelligent digital zoom features
6. Number of shots per battery charge
7. Video and sound recording capabilities
8. Extra features like WiFi uploading, USB battery charging, and GPS tracking

Coolpix P310  9.5/10

16.1 megapixel CMOS sensor
3-inch high resolution viewing screen
4.2x optical zoom with 2x digital zoom
1080p (full HD) video recording
230 shots per charge

Nikon’s newest offer in the “Performance” line of Coolpix cameras should impress every entry-level photographer. The camera’s retro design is simple…
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16.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor
3.2-inch touchscreen LCD viewing screen
5x optical zoom and 5x digital zoom
1080p (Full HD) video recording
170 shots per charge

Canon’s newest addition to the PowerShot line has a lot to offer in a small package. This camera is designed for the tech savvy photographer on the go…
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18.2 megapixel CMOS sensor
3-inch LCD viewing screen
10x optical zoom and 20x digital zoom
1080p (full HD) video recording
240 shots per charge

This mid-level Cyber-shot model is loaded with features every photographer will find extremely helpful in creating powerful images…
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3-inch articulating high resolution screen
7.1x optical zoom
4x digital zoom
1080p(full HD) video recording
330 shots per charge

This high-end point-and-shoot from Nikon is designed for those who want the most out of their cameras. The body is compact and makes it easy…read more


LUMIX DMC-FX80  8.5/10

12.1 Megapixel CCD sensor
3-inch LCD touchscreen display
5x optical zoom and 4x digital zoom
1080p (full HD) video recording
210 shots per charge

This camera has the potential to be a major contender with many other high end compact digital cameras. The 12.1 megapixel sensor may not be the biggest…
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10x optical zoom
3.5-inch OLED touchscreen
1080p (full HD) video recording
140 shots per charge

There are going to be immediate comparisons of this camera to a smartphone. On many levels it is just that with a few exceptions. No mobile phone abilities…read more


16 Megapixel CMOS sensor
15x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom
3-inch LCD viewing screen
1080p (Full HD) video recording
300 shots per charge

The one feature on this camera that makes it stand out is the powerful zoom. No other camera in this class boasts a 15x optical zoom digital zoom…
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LUMIX DMC-FH6  8/10

14.1 Megapixel CCD sensor
5x optical zoom and 4x digital zoom
3-inch LCD viewing screen
720p video recording
280 shots per charge

The LUMIX FH6 has 14.1 megapixels and records 720p HD video in Motion JPEG format. Its 2.7-inch LCD screen is backlighted…
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PowerShot D20  8/10

12.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor
3-inch LCD viewing screen
5x optical zoom
1080p (Full HD) video recording
280 shots per charge

Extreme durability, image quality, and functionality have all met to create the Canon PowerShot D20. It has truly earned the title of rugged. This camera is meant…
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16.2 Megapixel CCD sensor
2.7-inch LCD screen
8x optical zoom
1080i video recording
240 shots per charge

This is a great little point and shoot for beginning photographers and anyone looking to upgrade an out of date digital camera will find exactly what they are looking here. One of the best things about this Cyber-Shot…read more


Honorable Mentions

18.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor
20x optical zoom 4x digital zoom
3-inch high resolution LCD viewing screen
1080p video recording
260 shots per charge

The LUMIX DMC-ZS30 is a feature packed 18.1 megapixels point and shoot capable of shooting 1080p video. The connectivity features are what really make this an interesting camera…
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Point and Shoot Camera Buying Guide

There are many features on digital cameras that some may find necessary while others may wish for something else. Also, the hardware on digital cameras, like sensors and lenses, is very important, so be sure to know what you are looking for and what you are getting.

Megapixels

Don’t be lured into a purchase by the number of megapixels alone. Yes, the higher the better, but it may not be what you are looking for. Large (higher than 12) megapixel measurements produce very large images that are pretty much only good for printing poster size prints or heavy cropping. If most of your pictures find their way onto the internet or social networks, a modest (12 or less) megapixel rating will suit you just fine. If hard drive space and memory card space are concerns, stick to lower numbers.

Sensor Type
The two types of sensors we find in digital cameras are CMOS and CCD. These are simply two different ways to capture visual information digitally. Each has its pros and cons, but quality is not lost on either side. The CMOS sensors are on higher end models and perform at better speeds. The CCD sensors are cheaper, very good at gathering light, and reducing noise.

Lens

The lenses on these cameras are not interchangeable like on larger DSLR’s, but they are pretty much all around useful. If you are looking for a camera you will use indoors a lot, wide angle lenses are the way to go. These would be the 24 to 28mm lenses. Most of these cameras are equipped with pretty powerful zoom features, so a wide lens will easily work in outdoor situations as well. Lens speed is the other thing to look for. These are given in f numbers (ex. f/2.5-f/4.8) usually listed on the lens somewhere. The lower numbers perform better in low light or action shots. Look for this if you are concerned about what kinds of light you will be shooting in most.

Optical Zoom vs. Digital Zoom
These are very important to take into consideration when looking at a purchase. Optical zoom is the zoom the actual glass is capable of in the camera. This type of zoom will not distort or reduce the quality of the image at all. Digital Zoom steps in at the end of optical zoom to digitally make the image larger than the lens is capable of. This results in a loss of quality, but it can be very powerful.

Shooting Modes

Cameras are usually equipped with many shooting modes to get optimal picture quality in a given scene. Having an array of selections can take the guesswork out of taking pictures on a snowy day or at an evening get together. Using these settings the camera adjusts itself accordingly (ex. sets flash, slows shutter speed, opens aperture) to make the best picture possible. If you are new to photography, these modes can be a lifesaver.

Brian Jones has had a passion for photography and anything related for the majority of his life. One photography class in high school was all it took to get hooked on everything to do with the subject. He became more focused on learning about camera equipment as he experiemented with everything available… See more about Brian

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