A point and shoot camera is the perfect choice if you just want a camera to capture memories with the family, a pocket snapper to take on holiday, or just a general-use camera with a little more range, depth and power than the one in your phone.
1. Panasonic Lumix ZS70 / TZ90
Panasonic’s pocket-sized camera combines a small body with a big zoom
Type: Compact | Sensor: 1/2.3in | Megapixels: 20.3MP | Lens: 24-720mm 3.3-6.4 | LCD: 3in tilting, 1,04k dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 10fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner to intermediate
Panasonic’s long-running ZS series always offers a capable choice for those seeking a fully-featured pocket camera for the holidays or occasional city break, and the
This Wi-Fi-ready point and shoot camera boasts enough control to satisfy a broad range of users, with the creative advantage of a 30x optical zoom plus Raw shooting, and it performs well in terms of both stills and video (with 4K offered in the case of the latter). A nice little touch is the inclusion of an electronic viewfinder – even if it is tiny – just above the LCD screen, as well as a lens control ring. The camera’s 49-area autofocus is pretty reliable and speedy enough, while image quality is generally very good, with the metering system balancing a variety of scenes. In short, the ZS70 is a good all-rounder that won’t weigh heavily on your pocket – in every sense.
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2. Sony Cyber-shot WX220
Looking for something cheaper? This pint-sized Sony still has a 10x zoom
Type: Compact | Sensor: 1/2.3in | Megapixels: 18.2MP | Lens: 25-250mm f/3.3-5.9 | LCD: 2.7in, 460k dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 1.5fps | Max video resolution: 1920×1080 | User level: Be
Any point-and-shoot compact worth its salt has to differentiate itself from what a smartphone can do. The most useful advantage it can offer is an optical zoom of at least 10x, which is exactly what the provides, its lens spanning a focal range stretching from 25-250mm (in 35mm terms). It may not otherwise have that many frills, and the 2.7in LCD screen seems a little small compared to what’s out there in the rest of the market, but what it does, it does well, with images turning out bright and punchy with a decent level of detail. If you want a small camera with a bigger-than-average reach, the WX220 is worth a look.
3. Canon PowerShot IXUS 185 / Elph 180
This little Canon has style and simplicity, and it’s cheap too!
Type: Compact | Sensor: 1/2.3in | Megapixels: 20MP | Lens: 28-224mm f/3.2-6.9 | LCD: 2.7in, 230k dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 3fps | Max video resolution: 1280×720 (HD) | User level: Beginner
Canon has been pushing its digital IXUS range for over 15 years now (called ELPH in the North America, an
d while each version has become a little slimmer and more refined, they’ve essentially remained stylish point-and-shoot cameras that will readily slip into a pocket and won’t break the bank. What we get here with the
Canon / Elph 180 is very much a beginner’s model, delivering 20MP from a relatively small 1/2.3in sensor. The zoom offers a respectable 8x optical range, starting from a usefully wide setting equivalent to 24mm, though light sensitivity runs from just ISO 100 through to ISO 1600, with the camera limiting itself to a maximum ISO 800 when left on Auto setting. Even with the Program mode implemented, operation remains pared back, although there are some creative digital filter options available for anyone choosing to dig deeper into the menus. So, no prizes for specs, but for this kind of money the Canon IXUS 185 does pretty much all you would expect.