Best Point and Shoot Under 500

Best Point and Shoot Under 500

Need the best point and shoot camera under 500 dollars 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 the 15 best point and shoot digital cameras for beginners.

best point and shoot camera under 500

What Is the Best Point and Shoot Camera Under 500?

Point and shoot cameras offer many useful features for taking still photos and recording fantastic videos in high resolution.

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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, choose this camera type.

Best Point and Shoot Camera Under 500 in 2019

If you 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

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Pros+
  • 30x optical zoom range
  • Great battery life
  • Wi-Fi and NFC
  • Built-in EVF
Cons-
  • Not found
 

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

The next great thing about Panasonic Lumix ZS50 is the presence of auto and manual controls. Additionally, there is also a handy wheel around 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 the charger at home.

panasonic lumix zs50 sample photo Photo taken with Panasonic Lumix ZS50

2. Canon IXUS 185

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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
 

This 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 taking good photos. It also has an 8x optical zoom and instant HD video recording, which will help you to get astonishing results while travelling. The Canon IXUS 185 is a nice budget camera for everyday use. You will be surprised when you see its size, as it is no bigger than an ordinary smartphone. Despite this fact, the 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 the best point and shoot under 500 dollars.

canon ixus 185 sample photo Photo taken with Canon IXUS 185

3. Sony DSC-WX300

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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
 

This is the best point and shoot digital camera for beginners who are going to take travel or landscape photos. The quality of the Sony Lens G enables you to take brilliant photos without much noise. In addition, this model boasts 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, the Sony DSC-WX300 is a user-friendly camera as it 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.

sony dsc-wx300 sample photo Photo taken with Sony DSC-WX300

4. Nikon A900

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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 are looking for the best point and shoot camera for video. The Nikon Coolpix A900 has a compact design with quite powerful video recording features. Its size is no bigger than a smartphone; 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 takes 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 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 buy the best cheap camera with good characteristics to study manual camera settings and work with light.
Nikon a900 sample photo Photo taken with Nikon A900

5. Canon PowerShot Elph 190

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Pros+
  • 10x optical zoom lens
  • Compact size fits 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-inch LCD screen
 

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

You can 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 clever choosing of exposure settings. The look of images can be changed in scene modes, while ECO mode will help save battery life. Press the Help button in order to find out more about specific camera controls.

  • View more about all cheap Canon cameras to help you choose a good and reliable camera body for bright photos and clear videos.
Canon PowerShot Elph 190 sample photo Photo taken with Canon PowerShot Elph 190

6. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

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Pros+
  • Distant shooting with the camera connect app
  • Touchscreen panel 
  • Image synchronizing
  • Fitting the Canon connect station CS 100
Cons-
  • Weak battery life
  • Small buttons for viewing images and turning on
  • No lens cap 
 

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

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

Canon PowerShot g9 x mark ii sample photo Photo taken with Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

7. Canon Elph 170 IS

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Pros+
  • 12x zoom lens
  • User-friendly interface
  • Rapid startup and focus
  • Image stabilization
Cons-
  • Low-res rear display
  • No 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 the 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 the 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 a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. Moreover, you will like its special ECO mode that makes it possible to extend the shooting and make the battery last longer.

Canon Elph 170 IS sample photo Photo taken with Canon Elph 170 IS

8. Sony RX100

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

This camera’s 20.2MP CMOS sensor gives you the opportunity to take great pictures even on cloudy days or in the evening. I recommend you use 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

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

This camera’s 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 subjects, from coral reefs to moving objects. Macro shooting is also at a decent level. Double glass provides improved picture clarity and protection against fogging. 

If we’re talking about video recording capabilities, I would like to mention the Ultra HD 4K feature. You can record long videos as well as use Full HD 120fps 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 the 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 with Olympus TG-5

10. Canon PowerShotSX60 HS

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Pros+
  • Amazing optical zoom
  • It’s not heavy
  • RAW format support
  • Hot shoe for external flash
  • Built-in Wi-Fi 
Cons-
  • Electronic viewfinder eye sensor is absent
  • You cannot use HD slow-motion modes
  • 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 anywhere and at any distance. The developers have provided the camera with the function of tracking remote objects. 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 with Canon PowerShot SX60 HS

11. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera

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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 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 requirements and become your reliable companion. It is small, universal, and convenient so you can take it with you to parties or on 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 with Fujifilm Instax Mini 90

12. Panasonic Lumix FZ300

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

The video recording features of this camera 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. The ELMARIT lens allows you to take incredible pictures even if you are photographing in low light. The autofocus has 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 subject. You will also appreciate the five-axis correction/tilt correction and wonderful image quality.

Panasonic Lumix FZ300 sample photo Photo taken with Panasonic Lumix FZ300

13. Canon PowerShot SX 720 HS

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Pros+
  • Very compact
  • 20MP picture quality
  • Nice autofocus speed
  • Sharp and bright LCD screen
  • Flash produces evenly spread light
Cons-
  • 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 dollars is an ideal option for those who do not want to miss any charming moments and scenes during traveling or holidays. The camera offers manual adjustment of many modes and parameters. You cannot select the autofocus point. Unfortunately, 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 with Canon PowerShot SX 720 HS

14. Nikon W300

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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 the high shooting speed and wonderful autofocus. 4K Ultra Video recording is another undoubted advantage of this model. The camera 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 reliably waterproof body. Underwater shooting and photo sessions in rainy weather are absolutely possible with the Nikon W300. 

The optical elements also meet expectations. Moreover, the camera is small and you can easily carry it around. In addition, you can use a special application to save your photos to cloud storage. You can simply set up automatic uploading of files to the cloud.

Nikon W300 sample photo Photo taken with Nikon W300

15. Nikon Coolpix L840

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Pros+
  • Amazing lens with 38x optical zoom
  • Nice exposure controls
  • Convenient rubberized hand grip
  • Long battery life
Cons-
  • 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 for you. This model is no 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 the desired results. The video quality won’t upset you either. In addition, the camera has 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 with Nikon Coolprix L840

List of 15 Best Point and Shoot Cameras Under 500 Dollars

Image Camera Features  
panasoniclumix zs50
Panasonic Lumix ZS50
Our Choice
  • 12.1MP
  • 1/2.3"
Check PRICE
canon ixus 185
Canon IXUS 185
Under $100
  • 20MP
  • 1/2.3-inch
  • CCD
Check PRICE
sony dsc-wx300
Sony DSC-WX300
Under $400
  • 18.2MP
  • 1/2.3"
Check PRICE
Nikon a900
Nikon A900
For video
  • 20MP
  • 1/2.3-inch
Check PRICE
Canon PowerShotElph 190
Canon PowerShotElph 190
For beginners
  • 20MP
  • 1/2.3-inch
  • CCD
Check PRICE
Canon PowerShot g9 x mark ii
Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
With NFC
  • 20MP
  • 1"-type
  • CMOS
Check PRICE
Canon Elph 170 IS
Canon Elph 170 IS Camera
Easiest to use
  • 20MP
  • 1/2.3-inch
Check PRICE
Sony RX100
Sony RX100
For professionals
  • 20.2MP
  • 1in. type Exmor R
  • CMOS
Check PRICE
Olympus TG-5
Olympus TG-5
For 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 dollars

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 your photos. Therefore, when choosing the best point and shoot camera pay attention to the sensor size.

2. Zoom

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


Ann Young

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. read more