Choosing and tracking down the perfect point and shoot modern cameras is not that easy because many camera industries are looking into making more advanced cameras.
The camera makers have been looking into a future where the best point and shoot cameras are going to outdo the best smartphone cameras by creating new features that the smartphone camera does not have.
Below is a detailed comparison of ten top best point and shoot cameras below $500.
1. Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera
Budding photographers (especially outdoor photographers) appreciate the Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera because it is a sturdy and durable camera that works well in many environments.
This unique camera has a f/2 lens that can capture moving objects, coral reefs in the sea and close ups (macro photos). Customers like the shooting speed which allows them to capture the perfect snapshot. Plus, it has an anti-fog double glass for enhanced clear images.
Other than the superb speed, Olympus TG-5 has ultra HD 4K video recording capabilities that allow you to create videos for long periods as well as full HD 120 fps slow motion recordings.
Additionally, this camera has a inbuilt Action Track Sensor that captures movements and location using GPS. The TG-5 has the advantage of having a Data Log Mode that allows a user to record and track data for an extended period.
Notably, Olympus TG-5 has an image sharing application that uses an inbuilt Wi-Fi to enable users to share photos to their smartphones and subsequent remote control.
Also, this camera has a long-lasting battery life.
Other than the mentioned features, this version allows for image caption under deep waters and starry nights with improved shadow and light. Furthermore, it has a waterproof wide angle lens.
If you want to zoom, the waterproof TCON-T01 Teleconverter Lens (sold separately) extends the TG-5’s zoom by almost seven times.
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It has no flexible viewing angles (unless you buy the tele converter).
It has no external flash shoe, which means that the camera is not fit for flash photography. The camera lacks a viewfinder (if you fancy a viewfinder, have a look at our post about the best compact cameras with a viewfinder).
- New 12MP Hi-Speed Image Sensor for improved low light performance and noise reduction
- Underwater: compensation: -2 EV to +2 EV (in 1/3 EV steps). Bright F2.0 high-speed Lens. Video Recording format :...
- Dual Quad Core TruePic VIII Image Processor. 3.0 inches 460k-Dot LCD Monitor. Focus Range Normal: 3.94 inches (10 cm)...
- Field sensor system with GPS, Manometer, Compass, and temperature sensors
- Waterproof to 50 feet, F, Dustproof, Crushproof to 220 lbf, Shockproof from 7 feet, Freezeproof to 14 degrees, Anti-Fog...
2. Sony DSC-RX100/B
The review the Sony DSC-RX100/B reveals a number of unique features that qualify it to be rated at the top 10 list of best point shooting cameras under $500.
Firstly, the Sony device has a 20.2 MP CMOS sensor that captures images well even at low light. Additionally, the lens that is being used by this device is bright F1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* type lens that delivers refined background defocusing, and reduces flares caused by reflection of light.
The ISO ranges from 125 to 6400 which ensures that the noise level stay low.
Similarly, it has complete creative control with a full range of controls for pictures and videos and also the ability to capture RAW images. Most customers have liked the gorgeous full HD videos that are shot by the high-performance lens and large image sensors.
There are more additional features liked by users such as:
- the built in pop up flash,
- multi-frame noise reduction,
- four focusing modes,
- high-speed autofocus,
- 10fps continuous shooting,
- fine LCD display and
- customizable function buttons.
Related Post: A review of the SONY DSC-RX100
Some users have complained about slow shutter speed and not so great shallow depth of field.
- Approximately 20.1 megapixels , Exmor CMOS Sensor, 28-100mm equivalent F/18-49 lens, ISO 125-6400 Expandable ISO 80,...
- Operating temperature:Approx. 0°C to 40°C (32F° to 104F°).1080p video, Steady-Shot image stabilization,Rear control...
- Burst Mode (shots)-Approx10 fps,(VGA) Moving Image Size -640x480 30fps Approx3Mbps. Flash range:ISO Auto: approximately...
- Bright F18 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens with 36x zoom, Full HD 1080/60p video with manual control and dual record,...
- Dimension: 1016 mm x 581 mm x 359 mm, Weight: 213g (75 oz). Exposure Compensation: +/- 3.0 EV, 1/3 EV step
3. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
The Canon Power Shot G9 X is great because it captures and produces remarkable images and quality videos even in low light or bad weather.
This camera is easy to carry around because of its small size and low weight. The point & shoot camera has an impressive 20.2 Megapixel sensor, a powerful image processor, and a quick f/2.0-4.9 lens (3x optical zoom, raging from 10.2 to 30.6mm focal length).
The G9 X Canon connect application available for this camera helps users to post photos to social media via the inbuilt Wi-Fi. The camera also has an inbuilt Near Field Communication (NFC) icon that works to do away with the manual way of starting the Canon Camera Connect App.
The ISO range is 125-12800 which enables sharp and bright images even when shooting fast moving / low light situations.
Additionally, the Canon Power Shot G9 X is fitted with a DIGIC 6 Image Processor that captures excellent steady quality MP4 videos.
Customers also liked:
- remote shooting with the camera connect application,
- a mobile device connect button,
- an image synchronizing function, and
- compatibility with the canon connect station CS 100
The camera has slightly noisier high-ISO images and poor auto white balance when shooting indoors in tungsten light. The performance is also under-rated because 6.5fps JPEG is limited to 10 frames only.
- 1.0-Inch, 20.1 Megapixel* High-sensitivity CMOS sensor.
- Digic 7 image processor. Compatible with iOS versions 8.4,9.3 and 10.2 and Android smartphone and tablet versions...
- Ultra-slim, lightweight and pocket-size camera.
- Features:Touch-screen panel (capacitive type)
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4. Canon PowerShot SX730
Canon has produced yet another wonderful camera that has very interesting features, easy portability and grip. The camera stands out in having a very powerful zooming ability of 40x magnification.
Users like the Canon Power Shot SX730 because of its ability to tilt the screen at 180º and the smooth skin effect that helps to improve images.
Additionally, just like the cameras mentioned above, this model has an inbuilt Wi-Fi technology. Also, this connection has helped many users to remotely control the camera from their smartphones through the app and also via Bluetooth connection.
Moreover, this compact camera has an amazing 20.3MP CMOS Sensor that ensures perfect imaging and provides great sensitivity for high ISO capture with reduced noise. Besides, the camera captures Full HD Video at 60p and MP4 format essential for sharing of luminous images.
Fascinatingly, the Power Shot S730 HS is liked by customers because of its Geotag & Date Stamp Options that use the Bluetooth enhancements to help a user geotag photos.
Moreover, the Power Shot S730 HS has:
- story highlights,
- self-portrait mode,
- 3.0-inch tilt-type (180º up) LCD and
- DIGIC 6 Image Processor
- 40x optical zoom with zoom framing assist
- 20.3 Megapixel^ CMOS sensor
- Digi 6 image processor
5. Nikon W300 Waterproof Underwater Digital Camera
Nikon has produced a camera that that many active and nature loving photographers love, because it is waterproof, dust proof, and shockproof.
The Nikon W300 makes luminous photos and videos thanks to its 16MP backside illuminated CMOS sensor. The camera works best in low light with a fine autofocus and speedy shooting.
Furthermore, this model has a nice zooming ability with 5x optical zoom NIKKOR Lens and Hybrid VR to help users capture quality steady images even when the camera is shaken.
Additionally, the camera has 4K Ultra Videos with Stereo Sound that ensures magnificent pictures and videos shot as stills while recording and AE lock available when shooting under the water.
Notably, Nikon W300 is easy to manipulate and control because the function buttons have been placed strategically to enable one hand shooting. Interestingly, the camera has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections to help photo sharing and uploading with compatible devices and further allowing remote controlling of the camera with the device.
Other features that that stand out are the ease of use and onboard GPS.
- Waterproof, freeze proof, shockproof and dustproof adventure camera with extra capabilities
- Stunning high resolution photos, 4K Ultra HD videos, Time-lapse videos, Super lapse videos and music montages
- 16.05-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, 5x optical zoom NIKKOR lens with telephoto power and Hybrid VR image...
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, eCompass, altimeter, depth gauge and more
- Waterproof to a depth of 30 m, shockproof from a height of 2.4 m, cold-resistant down to -10°C and dust-proof
6. Canon Powershot SX60 16.1MP Digital Camera
The Canon Power Shot SX60 has many exciting features that make it an excellent model to use in taking photos in almost every environment.
Firstly, this model has shoot ultra-far and wide to capture a vast range of shots via the high 65x magnification lens and 21mm ultra-wide angle that helps to shoot conveniently in all terrain.
Secondly, this camera helps a user to keep track of distant objects effortlessly by merely pressing the zoom and the “Framing Assist” button.
Additionally, Canon Power Shot SX60 ensures comfortable steady shooting with the help of an electronic Viewfinder that provides SLR-like handling and enhances vision even in the very bright environment.
Interestingly, this Canon’s model helps to capture objects in both low and high light just as you remember them, this has been possible with Canon’s HS System and DIGIC 6 together with a 16.1MP CMOS sensor.
Other features that have drawn customer interest include: stunning images captures with ease, realistic movies, and Wi-Fi connectivity.
The camera does not have an electronic view finder eye sensor. Also, it lacks in-camera HD slow-motion modes, and touchscreen controls.
- Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC allows wireless transferring of images and video ; Power Source :Battery Pack...
- 16.1 megapixel 1/2.3-inch high-sensitivity CMOS sensor combined with DIGIC 6 image processor (Canon HS SYSTEM)
- 65x optical zoom, 4x digital zoom and 260x combined zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer.Video Clip Length Up to 29 Min...
- Bright 3-inch vari-angle LCD plus an electronic viewfinder. Operating temperature: 32-104°F/0-40°C
- Capture stunning 1080p HD video in MP4 format with a dedicated movie button and zoom while shooting
7. PANASONIC LUMIX FZ300
The Lumix DMC-FZ300K is an amazing Panasonic model that is liked by many users because of its long zoom digital camera that contributes to the achievement of multimedia imaging.
Some of the features include a 4K video at 30 frames per second. Plus, 4K Photo Modes-Free Your Creativity. This 4K feature operates in three ways:
- to burst shoot images as long as the shutter function is pressed,
- 4K burst stop/start function that enhances movie recording and
- 4K burst pre-burst that is modified to start recording one second prior and after the user presses the shutter function.
Additionally, the camera has 25-600mm zoom with full-range f/2.8 aperture and ELMARIT lens that contribute to enhanced caption even in low light.
Unlike other models in this category, this unique camera has a high-speed auto-focus with DFD advancements that ensures quick calculations of the background and foreground distances to bring the object into fine focus.
Other exciting characteristics that customers liked include high image quality, 5-axis correction/tilt correction.
The LUMIX FZ300 has everything in the right place:
- 1,440k-dot, 0.7x Large OLED LVF,
- 3.0-inch free-angle,
- Rear Touch Panel,
- Wi-Fi connectivity,
- close-up macro shooting;
The large-sensor superzooms image quality is not that good.
- [LEICA Lens] 24X Zoom (25-600mm) with F2.8 aperture brightness across the full zoom range of the LEICA DC Lens
- [12.1-Megapixel] High sensitivity MOS sensor achieves superb low light image quality
- [4K Features] Capture moments with superb 4K imaging performance in both video and exclusive 4K PHOTO stills.
- [Worry-Free] Splash-proof / dustproof body
- [Stabilization] 5 Axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization assures steady photos and videos
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8. Sony DSCHX80/B High Zoom Point & Shoot Camera
The Sony DSC-HX80/B is another fascinating camera that Sony made in order to get clear details up close with the small and light 30x zoom camera.
The Sony has a 30x optical ZEISS zoom lens plus 60x Clear Image Digital Zoom to help users get very close to the object under focus for high-quality imaging and video recording.
The image quality has been advanced further by the gorgeous 18.2MP image quality with backside-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor to deliver stunning images under low light environment and reduce the image and video shakes.
Moreover, this model has an inbuilt retractable OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder that accurately displays what will happen in your recording for accurate monitoring of the results. Additionally, this camera has the ability to capture high-quality HD movies with the help of XAVC S that ensures minimal noise and little shakes.
The Sony DSCHX80/B has a simple connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi and NFC to allow you transfer images directly to your smartphone and to family members, and even uploading to social media and websites by just one touch.
Besides, it is fitted with selfie-ready multi-angle 3″ Xtra Fine LCD display. Other additional features liked by customers include customizable settings, 5-ais image stabilization greatly reduces blur and many more.
- 30x Optical/60x Clear Image Zoom ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* Lens, 18.2MP Exmor R CMOS Sensor for superb low light images,...
- Versatile video w/ high-quality XAVC S, AVCHD & MP4 formats, Simple connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi w/NFC, 5-axis...
- Selfie-ready 3" Extra Fine LCD multi-angle display, P/A/S/M modes, customizable settings and Memory Recall mode, Enhance...
- Focus Range Wide: 1.97" (5 cm) - Infinity Telephoto: 8.20' (2.5 m) - Infinity.Adjustable Angle Up by approx. 180...
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9. Sony DSCHX90V/B Digital Camera
Many users prefer the Sony DSC-HX90V point and shoot camera because of its beautiful features. Its known to be the world’s lightest and smallest camera that can be carried to any place in the pocket and it also has a higher 30x zooming ability.
The ability to zoom accurately is attributed to the 30x optical zoom ZEISS lens, 60x clear imaging digital zoom that allows a user to get super close to the object and reducing undesirable reflections.
Plus, it has a powerful BIONZ X processor that works to compare patterns in adjacent pixels and create fresh pixels to rhyme with the selected patterns, leading to high-quality pictures.
Additionally, this camera has an excellent 18.2MP backside illuminator with CMOS image sensor for enhanced images.
Interestingly, this model has an inbuilt retractable OLED True-finder with approx. 638k dots and a viewfinder, both work to correctly display what is to appear in the recording allowing a user to monitor the results. Besides, the Sony DSCHX90V/B has the connectivity characteristics that allow you to connect to smartphones through Wi-Fi and NFC.
Enthusiast photographers prefer this camera for many other reasons: it shoots high-quality movies, has an image stabilizer, is selfie-ready, customizable setting options, and downloadable camera apps.
- does not have a touchscreen feature and
- it lacks RAW shooting options.
- 30x Optical/60x Clear Image Zoom ZEISS (Trademarked) Vario-Sonnar T Lens
- 18.2MP Exmor R (Trademarked) CMOS Sensor for superb low light images
- Built-in retractable OLED Tru-FinderTM viewfinder
- Versatile video w/ high-quality XAVC S, AVCHD and MP4 formats
- Simple connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi with NFC
10. Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX400V Wi-Fi Digital Camera
Users like this great camera because of its stunning features. It has all-inclusive characteristics that a user may need and some include:
- high zooming ability (attributed to the 50x optical zoom) and
- smooth full HD video recording.
In addition, the DSC-HX400V is fitted with a new BIONZ X processor and an optical steady-shot function that work simultaneously to ensure quality images with minimal blur and low noise.
Furthermore, the model has a 20.4MP Exmor R CMOS sensor that makes it easy to use in the low light environment. Also, it has an inbuilt Lock-On AF that ensures that the images taken are in focus even when the camera is shaken or when in motion.
Transfer of images to Android devices and subsequent uploading has been made easier because of a simple connectivity to a smartphone through Wi-Fi and NFC.
Moreover, this camera has GPS installed in it that enables a user to track a photographic trip and later view the track and pictures on a plot.
Additional features include:
- the motion-shot video traces subject movement,
- ability to create cinematic full HD videos,
- downloadable camera apps such as Play-Memories Camera App, and
- 4k quality still images production through HDMI2.
- Few post-capture and in-camera picture effects
- cheap plastic feel
- Clear Image Zoom ZEISS Lens. Panorama (Recording): Intelligent Sweep Panorama (supports 360 format)
- 20.4MP Exmor R CMOS Sensor for superb low light images
- Keep your subject in focus with Lock-On AF
- Simple connectivity to smartphones via Wi-Fi w/NFC3
- Map your images with GPS tagged photos.Focus Range (From the Front of the Lens):0.39 in - Infinity (W), 7.87 ft -...
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Which is the Best Compact Camera under $500?
In conclusion, the decision to choose what camera to use fully lies in one’s preferences, the price of the camera, and the usage intention (all these 10 cameras listed here, however, are all good picks and are among the bestseller cameras on Amazon.com).
We hope you can find your favorite compact camera under $500 and if you have any suggestions, recommendations or questions, please do leave a comment below!