2017 Best Compact Cameras
…& Round-Up of a few Great Previous Models
Today, we shall be looking at a few point and shoot systems that were released recently.
Some as recently as in 2017.
Best Point & Shoot Cameras in 2017
- Our Pick: Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II @ $429.00
- Canon PowerShot SX730 HS[email protected] $399.00 (Release Date: June 6, 2017)
- Nikon Coolpix A900 @ $379.00
- Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70K[email protected] $447.99
- Lowest Price: Nikon Coolpix A300 Hybrid[email protected] $136.95
- Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100K[email protected] $535.95
- 1.0-Inch, 20.1 Megapixel* High-sensitivity CMOS sensor.
- Digic 7 image processor.
- Ultra-slim, lightweight and pocket-size camera.
- 1 megapixel 1” High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor
- DIGIC 7 image processor
- Maximum aperture of f/2 to f/4.9
- Built-in lens with a focal length range of 28 – 84mm (35mm equivalent)
- 3” rear LCD screen with a resolution of 1.04 dot touchscreen LCD monitor
- Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity
- Full HD video recording at 60 fps
- Burst speed of 8.2 fps (RAW mode)
- RAW support
- Optical dual sensing image stabilization
- Auto ND filter
What we don’t like:
- No 4K / UHD video recording
The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is a 1″ sensor powered point and shoot camera with a resolution of 20.1 megapixel and Canon’s DIGIC 7 image processing engine. The larger sensor with a high resolution is capable of producing images of the size 5472 x 3648 pixels.
The versatile lens on the G9 X Mark II is a delight to shoot with. It has a fast wide aperture range of f/2 (wide angle) to f/4.9 (telephoto). The optical focal range of the lens is 28 – 84mm (35mm format equivalent).
The native ISO range on the camera is 125-6400, but it can be extended to up to 12800. Being a small sensor, however, means at high ISO some amount of noise is inevitable.
Built-in dual sensing image stabilization comes with up to 3.5 stops of compensation for any inadvertent movement of your hands when photographing.
The G9 X Mark II has a decent continuous shooting speed of 8.2 fps, even when shooting in RAW mode.
In RAW mode, you will be able to shoot at a maximum of 21 RAW and 38 JPEG frames before the buffer overruns, and the camera slows down to make its buffer.
Alternatively, at four fps you can shoot practically an unlimited number of both JPEG and RAW frames.
We would have loved to see 4K / UHD video. The G9 X Mark II only has full HD video at a frame rate of 60 fps.
There is a built-in stereo mic as well. You can record good quality sound with the videos. Each clip recorded can be a maximum of 29 mins and 59 seconds.
The camera has both built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. This means sharing your images seamlessly on the go is that much easier. Plus, with built-in Wi-Fi, you can shoot as much as you can and back up your images without having to worry about storage space.
This Wi-Fi feature works splendidly when inside a studio or a hotel room or anywhere else with a wireless network around.
The rear LCD screen is the only window via which to compose and frame your shots. The 3″ LCD touchscreen with a resolution of 1040k-dots is decent. It does not swivel. But it gives 100% frame coverage.
The form factor of the camera is compact and lightweight. It weighs 206 grams with the battery and memory card inserted. Plus, it is small enough to be easily tucked in your jacket pocket (93.9″ x 2.3″ x 1.2″).
Video Review of one of the Best Compact Cameras in 2017:
The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II (Our Pick, see more reviews & price on Amazon)
- 40x optical zoom with zoom framing assist
- 20.3 Megapixel^ CMOS sensor
- Digi 6 image processor
- 3 megapixel 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor
- DIGIC 6 image processor
- 40x optical zoom (equivalent to 24-960mm on a 35mm format)
- Lightweight and small compact form
- Built-in ISO range of 80 – 3200
- 3” rear LCD screen with 180 ˚ tilting capability
- Full HD video recording at a frame rate of 60 fps
- Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth
What we don't like:
- Small sensor
- No touchscreen properties on the LCD screen
- Video shooting options are bland
The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS is a compact point & shoot camera with a very powerful optical zoom.
As a matter of fact, its 40x optical (35mm format equivalent of 24 – 960mm) zoom will rival even some of the more expensive bridge camera that we recently reviewed.
A versatile lens, as it can focus at 5cm when shooting in wide macro mode and then switch just as effortlessly to infinity focus when shooting in telephoto mode.
Even though this is essentially a small package, the lens incorporates an optical image stabilizer. It is necessary too as the camera has an extremely long focal length for a small system.
The camera is built around a 20.3 megapixel 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor. Image processing is powered by Canon’s DIGIC 6 image processor. The sensor is capable of producing images of the size 5184 x 3888 pixels.
The 3” LCD screen at the back of the camera flips out at a maximum angle of 180 ˚. It allows you to make selfies much more easily compared to some other point and shoot cameras where the screen flips out sideways (and even downwards on some systems). The screen has no touchscreen controls though, (which we would have appreciated) but gives 100% frame coverage.
The Canon PowerShot SX730 comes complete with all connectivity options (except for GPS). Wireless allows you to transfer images and videos seamlessly from your camera to your laptop / external storage device. NFC is for pairing and allows instant pairing between your camera and compatible tablet and or smartphone. Finally, Bluetooth allows you to control your camera via your smartphone.
The SX730 is a decent video shooter. It is capable of shooting full HD videos at a frame rate of 60 fps (59.94 fps) with stereo sound quality recorded via a built-in stereo mic.
- 20MP 1/2.3" BSI CMOS Sensor
- NIKKOR f/3.4-6.9 ED Lens
- 24-840mm (35mm Equivalent)
- 35x Optical Zoom Lens, 70x Dynamic Zoom
- 3" 921k-Dot Tilting LCD
- 20 megapixel 1/2.3″ BSI CMOS sensor
- 35mm format equivalent optical zoom of 24 – 840mm
- 3” tilting rear LCD screen with a resolution of 921k-dots
- UHD / 4K video recording at 30 fps
- Built-in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC
- ISO range of 3200
- Burst speed of 7 fps
- Full manual exposure controls
What we don’t like:
- No RAW support
- Burst rate captures seven frames only
- Rear LCD screen has a frame coverage of only 98%
Another super-long zoom lens equipped compact point and shoot from the Nikon stable. Both Nikon and Canon seem to churn them out with monotonous frequency.
These cameras are aimed at smartphone users who typically shoot with their phone camera. These are users who want a small smartphone like camera with the convenience of the small size.
These cameras are powered by a ‘larger’ sensor, typically the 1/2.3″ CMOS and come packed with a long optical zoom. Both features are missing on smartphone systems.
The Nikon Coolpix A900 is built around a 3” 20 megapixels 1/2.3 BSI CMOS sensor. BSI sensors are known for their better low light performance. The wiring on these sensors is at the back of the camera. This means the pixels have better reception of light.
Additionally, the built-in ISO range of the camera is 80 – 1600 which can be further extended to 3200. The sensor is capable of producing large fine JPEGs of the size 5184 x 3888 pixels.
The major USP of the camera is its fantastic built-in 35x optical zoom lens. On a 35mm format that is the equivalent of 24 – 840mm. For a compact system that is an incredible amount of focal length reach.
Additionally, the lens also has both optical and digital 5-way image stabilization to compensate for any unintentional movement of the hands while the image was made.
At the back of the camera is a 3” tilting screen. Tilting screens are better for selfies and group shots. This one flips all the way up facing forward. The display resolution is 921k-dots. The frame coverage is only 98%.
The Coolpix A900 has a decent burst speed of 7 fps. But it can only capture about seven frames at that speed.
What the Coolpix A900 has and a lot of other compact point and shoot systems don’t is built-in 4K / UHD video shooting. It captures videos at a resolution of 3840 x 3160p at a maximum frame rate of 30 fps. If you choose to shoot at a scaled down resolution of full HD you have the option to shoot at up to 60 fps.
Built-in stereo mic ensures that the camera can record stereo quality sound. A maximum of 29 minutes or 4 GB of continuous recording can be made.
- 20.3 Megapixel MOS sensor plus 30x Leica DC VARIO-ELMAR Lens (24-720mm), plus 5-axis Hybrid o.I.S. (Optical image stabilizer).
- 0.2-Inch 1, 166k-dot EVF (electronic view Finder) with eye-sensor for easier viewing under sunny outdoor conditions.
- 4K QFHD video recording (3840x2160), plus exclusive LUMIX 4K PHOTO and 4K Post Focus with internal Focus Stacking feature.
- Lens barrel mounted control ring enables quick, intuitive operation of important functions.
- Wi-Fi plus a 180 degree front flip-up touch feature-enabled screen simplifies selfie photography, and framing for unusual perspectives.
- 3 megapixel 1/2.3″ MOS sensor
- 30x optical zoom 35mm format equivalent of 24 – 720mm
- 5-axis HYBRID optical image stabilization
- Electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 1.166m-dots
- Built-in UHD / 4K video recording at a frame rate of 30p
- Native maximum ISO of 6400
- RAW support
- Ten fps continuous shooting speed
- 4K photo modes
- Focus Stacking and Post Focus
What we don’t like:
- Nothing! We love it!
The Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70K is built around a 1/2.3″ MOS sensor with an effective resolution of 20.3 megapixels.
The sensor is capable of producing large fine JPEGs and RAW frames of the size 5184 x 3888 pixels. The native ISO range of the camera is 80 – 3200. In extended mode, you can stretch it up to 6400.
Just like any other cameras in the point and shoot segment, the Lumix DC-ZS70K’s major USP is the lens.
The focal length of the lens is 24 – 720mm on the 35mm format. Though not the longest we have seen, the focal length coverage is decent enough for most practical purposes.
The versatile lens focuses very close when shooting in wide mode, up close to about 50cm. In the wide macro mode, it can focus from a minimum working distance of 3cm. Alternatively, when shooting in the telephoto mode, it can focus at infinity.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70K has a useful continuous shooting speed of 10 fps at full resolution. Alternatively, you can shoot at a reduced resolution of 8 megapixels at a frame rate of 30 fps.
But what makes the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70K special is the 4K / UHD video recording capabilities. It shoots at a resolution of 3840 x 2160p (UHD) at a frame rate of 30 fps.
At full HD resolution, you can shoot at a maximum frame rate of 60 fps. There is also a 1080i option available. You can shoot at 60 fps at 1080’ as well.
A maximum of 29 mins and 59 seconds can be recorded along with stereo quality sound recorded via the built-in stereo mic.
The lens comes with 5-way optical image stabilization. This image stabilization works in still shooting as well as when recording full HD video. It will not work when recording 4K videos or high-speed video recording.
The 3” built-in tilting LCD touchscreen has a resolution of 1040k-dots and a frame coverage of 100%. Plus, there is a small electronic viewfinder also with 100% frame coverage.
The other features of the camera include built-in Wi-Fi. Surely this will help when transferring images and videos seamlessly to your laptop.
- Capture what's happening from wide-angle to telephoto with 8x optical zoom NIKKOR glass lens/16x Dynamic Fine Zoom
- High resolution 20.1-megapixel image sensor
- Using Nikon Snap Bridge, the camera has built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology for wirelessly sharing photos to a compatible smartphone
- Small compact form figure and lightweight
- 1 megapixel 1/2.3″ CCD sensor
- 8x optical zoom with a 35mm format equivalent coverage of 25 – 200mm
- Built-in SnapBridge Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC connectivity
- ISO range of 80 – 1600 and extended up to 3200
- Four-axis hybrid vibration reduction
- Built-in memory (19 MB)
- Available at a throw-away price
What we don’t like:
- 7” screen with a resolution of only 230k-dots
- 720p HD only
- Mono mic
The Nikon Coolpix A300 is a replacement for your smartphone. It has a small sensor, but a powerful zoom lens that covers the focal length 25 – 300mm on the 36mm format.
The small sensor is the biggest USP of the camera along with its form factor and why this should be in your bag or your jeans pocket always. Very simply it gives better image quality than your average smartphone. But there are more to this camera.
Let’s start with the sensor as it is the heart of the camera. The only thing that we don’t like is the fact that this is a CCD sensor. These are notorious for power hogging. The resolution of the sensor, however, is good. The 2o.1 effective megapixel will produce images of the size 5152 x 3864 pixels.
The built-in lens covers the essential focal length of 25 – 200mm. Maximum aperture ranges from f/3.7 (in wide mode) and f/6.6 to f/10.5 (in tele-mode). Small cameras are fantastic optical devices. So much is packed into them.
Like the four-way image stabilization. Up to three stops of shake compensation is provided by the built-in image stabilization mechanism.
Lenses on small compact cameras are extremely versatile. They are suitable for normal portraits and as well as telephoto shots.
Switch to macro mode, and the lens becomes ideal for shooting flowers, creepy crawlies as well. In macro mode, the lens on the A300 can focus at just 2 cm.
Native ISO range of the camera is 80 – 1600. In the extended mode, you can stretch it up to 3200.
There is a built-in memory of about 19 MB. Not exactly what you would be expecting to shoot vacation with that, but it is handy, just in case you need to make a quick couple of images and don’t have the memory card around.
Video recording on the A300 is of the resolution of 720p HD only. With 4K / UHD increasing becoming commonplace we expected that the A300 would have at least full HD. 720p HD is a let-down.
Video mode benefits from the 4-axis hybrid image stabilization system as well. This will come in handy. What lets down the video mode is the mono sound recording quality.
To round off, the camera has built-in wireless, NFC, and SnapBridge Bluetooth functionality. This means you can easily and seamlessly pair your camera with a compatible smartphone/tablet, and then transfer the images and videos seamlessly.
Built-in wireless also means that you don’t need a cable to transfer your images to a laptop.
What we don’t like about the camera is the low resolution of the 2.7” rear LCD screen. The 230k-dots screen resolution is a let-down. This and the 720p HD is what makes the Nikon Coolpix A300 Hybrid lose out steam against better smartphone cameras.
- Legendary LUMIX LX Series with manual controls -- Designed to Inspire Creativity
- Superior light capture with large, multi-aspect micro four thirds sensor
- f = 10.9 - 34mm/(24 - 75mm in 35mm equiv in 4:3, 3:2, 16:9)/(28 - 88mm in 35mm equiv. in 1:1)/(28 - 87mm in 35mm equiv. in 4:3 in 4K Photo recording)/(27 - 84mm in 35mm equiv. in 3:2 in 4K Photo recording)/(26 - 81mm in 35mm equiv. in 16:9 in 4K video / 4K Photo recording)/(32 - 101mm in 35mm equiv. in 1:1 in 4K Photo recording)
- Clear and stable framing thanks to eye-level EVF (2,764k-dot)
- Full hybrid photo experience with 30p 4K Ultra HD video and 4K photo mode. Please Refer User Manual before use.
- 8 megapixel 4/3” Multi-Aspect MOS sensor (same as in Panasonic’s MILC systems)
- 2764k-dor electronic viewfinder
- 4K / Ultra HD video recording at 30 fps
- Full HD video shooting at 30 fps
- Manual exposure and control dials
- Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity as well as NFC
- Built-in hot-shoe for mounting an external flash
- Option to pull 8 megapixels stills from the video footages
- Increased ISO range of up to 25600
- Easy aspect range switching option
What we don’t like:
- Rear LCD screen does not have touchscreen properties
The Panasonic Lumix DMC- LX100 is a four-thirds system designed around a 12.8 megapixel 4/3 sensor. Panasonic terms this as an ‘Advanced’ camera. Let’s grid deeper into the spec sheet and find out more about it.
Powering the camera is a Leica DC Vario-Summilux f/1.7 – 2.8 lens with a 35mm format optical coverage of 24 – 75mm. The fast f/1.7 – f/2.8 lens (with a 9-blade aperture) captures a lot of light. Thus, it is an asset when shooting in low light conditions.
This camera’s spec sheet does not invoke a delightful reading experience, especially considering the small sensor and the small optical zoom range of the lens.
Having said that, the larger MOS sensor and the smaller resolution actually promises better low light image quality than traditional high resolution 1/2.3″ sensors.
Though the Lumix DMC-LX100K is essentially a point and shoot camera, there are plenty of shooting features which would make a serious photographer.
Manual controls is a point that needs to be highlighted here. It has lens based aperture switchover option and an easy shooting mode selector at the top (main shooting mode dial)
Another cool feature of the camera is the aspect changeover button on the lens barrel. This option allows you to switch from 4:3, 3:2 or even 16:9 with just a flick of the switch.
Viewfinder and LCD screen
For those who love composing via a viewfinder, the Lumix DMC-LX100K comes with a 2764k-dot electronic viewfinder for this purpose. Apart from that, there is a 3” 921k-dot rear LCD screen as well.
The Lumix DMC-LX100K is capable of shooting 4K / UHD video recording at a frame rate of 24 / 30 fps. With 4K / UHD video fast becoming standard this s a feature that we like. You can shoot full HD videos as well. In full HD mode, you can shoot at a faster frame rate of 60 fps.
The camera also gives you the option to extract 8-megapixel high-resolution images from the 4K / UHD videos. This gives you the option to squeeze out an incredible amount of stills from your videos.
Built-in wireless connectivity and NFC allows seamless pairing with a compatible device as well as an easy transfer of videos and images to an external storage device/laptop.
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Wanderlust at heart and a shutterbug who loves to document his travels via his lenses; his two passions compliment each other perfectly.
He has been writing for over 6 years now, which unsurprisingly, revolve mostly around his two favorite pursuits.