Best Point and Shoot Under 500

Best Point and Shoot Under 500

Need the best point and shoot camera under 500 that is compact, lightweight, and has good shooting characteristics? If you are going to buy a user-friendly and cheap camera for beautiful travel and family photos or videos, check out my review of 15 best point and shoot digital cameras for beginners.

15 Best Point and Shoot Cameras Under 500

top 3 best point and shoot cameras under 500

Point and shoot cameras offer many useful features for taking still photos and recording fantastic videos in high resolution. Everything is done in the Auto mode but the results are nice. So, if you don't want to deep into all numerous camera settings which mirrorless and DSLR cameras have and want an affordable camera for travel and holiday photographs, I recommend you one of the following 15 best compact cameras under 500.


1. Panasonic Lumix ZS50

panasonic lumix zs50

 
 

Price: about $250

 
Pros+
  • 30x optical zoom range
  • Great battery life
  • Wi-Fi and NFC
  • Built-in EVF
Cons-
  • No touchscreen control
  • Lack of 4K video recording
 
 

Many photographers give preference to this model among other cameras under 500 due to a very extensive zoom range running from 24-720mm. The following model will please users with a built-in electronic viewfinder that is a very rare one in cheap cameras. Unfortunately, a large 3.0-inch display at the camera back is not touch-sensitive.

Next great thing about Panasonic Lumix ZS50 is the presence of auto and manual controls. Additionally, there is also a handy wheel round the lens that lets users easily adjust settings. As for the battery life, it will be enough for taking 300 shots, so you'd better purchase an additional battery if you are going to leave a charger at home.

panasonic lumix zs50 sample photo

 Photo taken by Panasonic Lumix ZS50


2. Canon IXUS 185

canon ixus 185

 
 

Price: about $100

 
Pros+
  • Simple Auto mode
  • Slim and pocket-sized design
  • Instant 720p HD videos
  • Easy, hassle free control
Cons-
  • The LCD screen isn't big
  • No optical stabilizer
  • No Wi-Fi
 
 

It is the best camera under $500 due to a number of reasons. First of all, it has a compact stylish design and 20 megapixels for good photos. It also has an 8x optical zoom and instant HD video recording which will help to get astonishing results while travelling. Canon IXUS 185 is a nice budget camera for everyday use. You will be surprised when see its size as it is not bigger than an ordinary smartphone. Despite this fact, a camera has fantastic settings which guarantee excellent video and photo quality.

Actually, beginners can easily skip exploring the complex settings of digital cameras and just choose Easy Auto mode. After that, a program will choose the proper setting for getting bright and clear photos. Of course, their quality can't be compared with mirrorless or DSLR camera models, but this model can be easily included in a list of best point and shoot under 500.

canon ixus 185 sample photo

Photo taken by Canon IXUS 185


3. Sony DSC-WX300

sony dsc-wx300

 
 

Price: about $330

 
Pros+
  • Large optical zoom
  • Quick focusing
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Nice quality of videos and photos
Cons-
  • Body is quite tiny in comparison with the lens
  • Screen gets scratched easily
 
 

It is the best point and shoot digital camera for beginners who are going to take travel or landscape photos. A quality of Sony Lens G allows taking brilliant photos without much noise. In addition to it, this model can boast a variety of available settings which will easily meet all your requirements. Another great benefit is the ability to export shots to a smartphone or a laptop via built-in Wi-Fi. In fact, Sony DSC-WX300 is a user-friendly camera as has simple menu settings and features which don't require professional skills for operating. The video is nice. You can snap still shots while HD recording. Moreover, you can easily return to a video capture without any pauses or indication of taking photos.

If you want a professional camera for taking photos while travelling, I recommend you reading about the best point and shoot cameras and the best travel cameras for affordable prices.
 

sony dsc-wx300 sample photo

Photo taken by Sony DSC-WX300


4. Nikon A900

Nikon a900

 
 

Price: about $300

 
Pros+
  • Powerful Zoom
  • Great battery life
  • Compact design
  • Adjustable screen angle
Cons-
  • Non-touch screen
  • No viewfinder
  • Bad image quality in low light
 
 

Pay attention to this model if you look for the best point and shoot camera for video. Nikon Coolpix A900 has a compact design with quite powerful video recording features. Its size isn't bigger than a smartphone has, however, it has high-performance. The camera features a 20 Megapixel BSI CMOS image sensor and a Nikkor f/3.4-6.9 ED lens which allows taking astonishing photos. Moreover, it has a fantastic 35x optical zoom and a 70x dynamic zoom with Lens Shift Vibration Reduction. Isn't it great to enjoy a nice quality of the photo and video recording that can be comparable to expensive DSLR models?

If you are going to learn how to take portrait and travel photos, I recommend you buying the best cheap camera with good characteristics to study manual camera settings and working with light.
 

Nikon a900 sample photo

Photo taken by Nikon A900


5. Canon PowerShot Elph 190

Canon PowerShot Elph 190

 
 

Price: about $150

 
Pros+
  • 10X optical zoom lens
  • Compact size fitting most pockets
  • A narrow number of control buttons
Cons-
  • Poor photo quality, especially in terms of color reproduction
  • Too small buttons for comfortable pressing
  • Video resolution is limited to 720p HD
  • A tiny 2.7 inches LCD screen
 
 

Canon PowerShot Elph 190 has a 20.0MP 1/2.3" CCD sensor and DIGIC 4+ image processor. It has a very compact and convenient design along with a 10x optical zoom lens. It allows working with plenty of different subjects no matter what a distance is. An Intelligent IS image stabilization system rewards for the effects of camera shake to create sharper photos. Composing shots and reviewing images is possible due to a 2.7" 230k-dot LCD monitor.

You will also easily transfer videos and photos to other devices thanks to built-in Wi-Fi with NFC. This model also has a Smart AUTO mode for cleverly choosing of exposure settings. The look of images can be changed in scene modes, while ECO mode will help save battery life. Press Help Button in order to find out more about specific camera controls.

View more about all cheap Canon cameras to choose a good and reliable camera body for bright photos and clear videos.
 

Canon PowerShot Elph 190 sample photo

Photo taken by Canon PowerShot Elph 190


6. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot g9 x mark ii

 
 

Price: about $430

 
Pros+
  • Distant shooting with the camera connect app
  • Touch-screen panel 
  • Image synchronizing
  • Fitting a Canon connect station CS 100
Cons-
  • Weak battery life
  • Small buttons for viewing images and turning on
  • The absence of a lens cap
 
 

Canon Power Shot G9 X is the best point and shoot camera under 500 for family photos. It allows taking remarkable photos and brilliant videos no matter what lightning or the weather is. You can easily carry this camera during the whole day thanks to a compact design and low weight. This model has Full HD video recording and full manual control. By the way, it’s also possible to zoom and refocus the lens during capturing.

As for a touchscreen, photographers can feel free to adjust exposure settings too. What is more, Canon has updated its menus and interface to match EOS DSLRs. As a result, Canon Power Shot G9 X So has similar image-processing options such as Picture Style color modes, Highlight Tone Priority, Auto Lighting Optimizer tonality controls. It means you shouldn’t get involved in JPEG processing settings if want to shoot RAW. Just control the camera's color output.

Canon PowerShot g9 x mark ii sample photo

 Photo taken by Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II


7. Canon Elph 170 IS

Canon Elph 170 IS

 
 

Price: about $200

 
Pros+
  • 12x zoom lens
  • User-friendly interface
  • Rapid startup and focus
  • Image stabilization
Cons-
  • Low-res rear display
  • Absence of Wi-Fi
  • No onboard storage for photos
  • Exclude Canon Creative Shot
 
 

Are you looking for the best travel camera under $500? Then pay attention to Canon Elph 170 IS. Its moisture-resistant design makes this model a perfect choice for taking photos in any extreme environments. A SMART Auto mode allows easy and quick shooting. It chooses proper settings for a particular subject or scene.

Pay attention to such interesting filters and effects as Toy Camera, Fisheye and Monochrome. It uses SD memory cards for photo storage and rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. Moreover, you will like its special ECO mode that makes possible to extend the shooting and make battery last longer.

Canon Elph 170 IS sample photo

Photo taken by Canon Elph 170 IS


8. Sony RX100

Sony RX100

 
 

Price: about $370

 
Pros+
  • You can use 4 focusing modes
  • Multi-frame noise reduction
  • Autofocus is rather fast
  • Continuous shooting speed is 10fps
Cons-
  • The battery life is short
  • Shutter speed is slow
  • Deep depth of field isn’t available
 
 

Its 20.2 MP CMOS sensor gives you the opportunity to take great pictures even in the cloudy day or in the evening. I recommend you using an F1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* type lens for this camera. It can create excellent background defocusing and avoid flares. You can use ISO from 125 to 6400 depending on the light and time of the day. As a result, your images will have a low noise level. Moreover, you can choose the best settings for your images using diverse controls. The possibility to shoot RAW files is also one of the advantages of this best point and shoot camera. It also has excellent features for recording high-quality videos in full HD.

Sony RX100 sample photo

Photo taken by Sony RX100


9. Olympus TG-5

Olympus TG-5

 
 

Price: about $400

 
Pros+
  • The camera body is made of quality plastic
  • Universal and user-friendly
  • 4k video recording
  • A built-in electronic compass
Cons-
  • Viewing angles are not flexible
  • Lack of external flash shoe
  • There is no viewfinder
 
 

Excellent protective assets ensure reliable operation in various weather conditions. Outdoor photographers will certainly appreciate this feature. The powerful lens allows you to capture a wide variety of things. It can be both coral reefs and moving objects. Macro shooting is also at a decent level. Double glass provides improved picture clarity and protection against fogging.

If we talk about video recording capabilities, I would like to mention the Ultra HD 4K feature. You can record both long videos and use Full HD 120 fps for slow motion footage. A special sensor allows you to track movements and add location tags to videos and photos. You can save and track data for a long time by using a Data Log Mode. Sharing your photos with friends will not be difficult for you. This point and shoot has a special app for fast image transferring via the built-in Wi-Fi.

Olympus TG-5 sample photo

Photo taken by Olympus TG-5


10. Canon PowerShotSX60 HS

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS

 
 

Price: about $450

 
Pros+
  • Amazing optical zoom
  • It’s not heavy
  • A RAW format support
  • There is a hot shoe for external flash
  • Wi-Fi
Cons-
  • Electronic viewfinder eye sensor is absent
  • You cannot use HD slow-motion modes
  • There are no touchscreen controls
 
 

Outstanding performance and basic technical characteristics make this model one of the best universal point and shoot cameras. It is suitable for different genres of photography and shooting conditions. The high 65x magnification lens and 21mm ultra-wide angle give you the possibility to take a wide variety of shots. You can take pictures on any territory and at any distance. The developers have provided the camera with the tracking remote objects function. To turn it on, you just need to activate zoom and click on the “Framing Assist” button. You can easily find the objects you need even in very bright light. Canon’s HS System and DIGIC 6 provide excellent camera performance in a variety of lighting conditions. You get brilliant shots in both bright and poor light.

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS sample photo

Photo taken by Canon PowerShot SX60 HS


11. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera

Fujifilm Instax Mini 90

 
 

Price: about $170

 
Pros+
  • Excellent portability and great form factor
  • There is a mount for the tripod
  • You can set exposure manually
  • LCD readout
  • Dual shutter buttons
Cons-
  • Few color options (black & brown)
  • Selfie mirror is absent
 
 

Are you crazy about photographing various landscapes, monuments, and just stunning places? Do you want to have a camera at hand to capture important moments? Then this best compact camera under 500 is what you need. It can satisfy all your requests and become your reliable companion. It is small, universal, and convenient so you can take it with you to the party or any journey. Images slightly exceed the medium size and are larger than 35mm film. If you use the right scanner, then you can get high-resolution images.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 sample photo

Photo taken by Fujifilm Instax Mini 90


12. Panasonic Lumix FZ300

Panasonic Lumix FZ300

 
 

Price: about $500

 
Pros+
  • The camera grip is cozy and reliable
  • Rear Touch Panel
  • Wi-Fi connection
  • 3.0-inch free-angle
  • Macro shooting
Cons-
  • The image sensor is too small
  • As the lens is fixed, there is no additional wide angle one
  • Rather bulky, so you need a bag or strap
 
 

Video recording features also deserve a few good words. You can record video in the 4K format at a speed of 30 frames per second. This $500 camera has a 25-600mm zoom as well as a full-range f/2.8 aperture. ELMARIT lens allows you to take incredible pictures even if you are photographing in low light. Autofocus has a high-speed performance. With an advanced DFD and fast AF, this point and shoot camera immediately measures the distance between the foreground and background to get excellent focus on the object. You will also appreciate the 5-axis/tilt correction and wonderful image quality.

Panasonic Lumix FZ300 sample photo

Photo taken by Panasonic Lumix FZ300


13. Canon PowerShot SX 720 HS

Canon PowerShot SX 720 HS

 
 

Price: about $430

 
Pros+
  • It’s very compact
  • 20MP picture quality
  • Nice autofocus speed
  • Sharp and bright LCD screen
  • Flash produces evenly spread light
Cons-
  • A small camera buffer limits you in burst modes
  • Inconvenient small buttons
  • Panorama mode is not available
 
 

This model is an excellent continuation of the famous HS series. It has a 40x optical zoom which is put in a slim and compact body. This best point and shoot camera under 500 is an ideal option for those, who do not want to miss the charming moments and views during traveling or holidays. The camera has manual adjustment of many modes and parameters. You cannot select the autofocus point. Unfortunately, a RAW format is not available either. You can easily transfer photos or control this travel camera remotely via the built-in Wi-Fi.

Canon PowerShot SX 720 HS sample photo

Photo taken by Canon PowerShot SX 720 HS


14. Nikon W300

Nikon W300

 
 

Price: about $400

 
Pros+
  • Waterproof and durable construction
  • Easy to use
  • GPS is built-in
  • Wonderful pictures in good light
Cons-
  • Reflective screen
  • You cannot take RAW images
  • Poor performance in low light
 
 

This camera has a 6MP backside illuminated CMOS sensor which helps achieve excellent video and photo quality. I also like a high shooting speed and wonderful autofocus. 4K Ultra Video recording is another undoubted advantage of this model. It is almost universal and you can take pictures with it in many situations. Water is not a serious threat to this point and shoot camera as it has a reliable waterproof body. Underwater shooting or a photo session in rainy weather is absolutely possible with Nikon W300.

Optical elements also meet your expectations. Moreover, the camera is small and you can easily carry it around. Besides, you can use a special application to save your photos in the Cloud storage. You can simply setting up automatic uploading of files to the Cloud.

Nikon W300 sample photo

Photo taken by Nikon W300


15. Nikon Coolpix L840

Nikon Coolprix L840

 
 

Price: about $400

 
Pros+
  • Amazing lens with 38x optical zoom
  • Nice exposure controls
  • Convenient rubberized hand grip
  • Long battery life
Cons-
  • It is made of cheap plastic
  • Slow AF performance
  • Very complicated menu system
 
 

Are you looking for a camera with a simple system of settings that does not have a lot of switches and buttons? Then this long zoom digital camera is your option. This model is not more complicated than a smartphone and is perfect for amateur photographers. However, it has a 38x optical zoom which you will not find even in the top smartphones. This camera shows decent image quality if you shoot outdoors in good natural light or indoors with a flash.

If you are photographing in low light, then you need to think about using a good flash to achieve desired results. The video quality won’t upset you too. It has the integrated Wi-Fi. In general, this is an excellent compact camera which is very easy to understand and start using. This is one of the best point and shoot cameras in this price range, perfectly combining quality and simplicity.

Nikon Coolprix L840 photo sample

Photo taken by Nikon Coolprix L840


List of 15 Best Point and Shoot Cameras Under 500

IMAGE Camera Characteristics Check Price
panasoniclumix zs50 Panasonic Lumix ZS50Our Choice
  • 12.1MP
  • 1/2.3"
CHECK PRICE
canon ixus 185 Canon IXUS 185Under $100
  • 20MP
  • 1/2.3-inch
  • CCD
CHECK PRICE
sony dsc-wx300 Sony DSC-WX300Under $400
  • 18.2MP
  • 1/2.3"
CHECK PRICE
Nikon a900 Nikon A900For video
  • 20MP
  • 1/2.3-inch
CHECK PRICE
Canon PowerShotElph 190 Canon PowerShotElph 190For beginners
  • 20MP
  • 1/2.3-inch
  • CCD
CHECK PRICE
Canon PowerShot g9 x mark ii Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark IIWith NFC
  • 20MP
  • 1"-type
  • CMOS
CHECK PRICE
Canon Elph 170 IS Canon Elph 170 IS CameraEasiest to use
  • 20MP
  • 1/2.3-inch
CHECK PRICE
Sony RX100 Sony RX100For professionals
  • 20.2MP
  • 1in. type Exmor R
  • CMOS
CHECK PRICE
Olympus TG-5 Olympus TG-5For travel
  • 16MP
  • 1/2.3-inch
CHECK PRICE
Canon PowerShot SX60 HS Canon PowerShotSX60 HS
  • 16MP
  • 1/2.3-inch
  • CMOS
CHECK PRICE
Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera
  • 2.4 X 1.8 Inches
  • Electronic Shutter 1/60 sec. shutter spee
CHECK PRICE
Panasonic Lumix FZ300 Panasonic Lumix FZ300
  • 12MP
  • 1/2.3-inch
  • CMOS
CHECK PRICE
Canon PowerShot SX 720 HS Canon PowerShot SX 720 HS
  • 20.3MP
  • 1/2.3-inch
  • CMOS
CHECK PRICE
Nikon W300 Nikon W300
  • 16MP
  • 1/2.3-inch
  • CMOS
CHECK PRICE
Nikon Coolprix L840 Nikon Coolpix L840
  • 16MP
  • 1/2.3-inch
  • CMOS
CHECK PRICE

How to Choose the Best Compact Camera under 500?

1. Megapixels

You are mistaken if you think that the number of megapixels is the main key to a quality image. In fact, the most important characteristic is the size of the sensor. First of all, it affects the clarity of pictures. Therefore, choosing the best point and shoot camera pay attention to the sensor size.

2. Zoom

Cameras can use digital or optical zoom. Digital type gives you a greater range of magnification but the quality of photos decreases. Optical makes the camera a little bulky. Some models feature both types. In general, for those who are interested in zoom lenses is better to opt for the camera with an optical zoom.

3. LCD Screen

High-quality LCD screens are a valuable part of any camera. I recommend choosing models with a 3-inch display to be able to preview and evaluate the picture.

4. Camera Modes

Automatic selection of the most suitable shooting modes is one of the most important advantages of the best cameras under 500. This feature not only simplifies your work but also speeds it up.

5. Battery

Modern point and shoot camera manufacturers provide models with their own rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. As a rule, they have quite a long life. Regular AA batteries fit certain cameras and you can use them if you cannot charge the device through a power outlet.


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Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.

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