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.
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.
Price: about $250
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.
Photo taken by Panasonic Lumix ZS50
Price: about $100
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.
Photo taken by Canon IXUS 185
Price: about $330
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.
Photo taken by Sony DSC-WX300
Price: about $300
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?
Photo taken by Nikon A900
Price: about $150
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.
Photo taken by Canon PowerShot Elph 190
Price: about $430
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.
Photo taken by Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
Price: about $200
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.
Photo taken by Canon Elph 170 IS
Price: about $370
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.
Photo taken by Sony RX100
Price: about $400
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.
Photo taken by Olympus TG-5
Price: about $450
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.
Photo taken by Canon PowerShot SX60 HS
Price: about $170
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.
Photo taken by Fujifilm Instax Mini 90
Price: about $500
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.
Photo taken by Panasonic Lumix FZ300
Price: about $430
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.
Photo taken by Canon PowerShot SX 720 HS
Price: about $400
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.
Photo taken by Nikon W300
Price: about $400
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.
Photo taken by Nikon Coolprix L840
|Panasonic Lumix ZS50Our Choice||CHECK PRICE|
|Canon IXUS 185Under $100||CHECK PRICE|
|Sony DSC-WX300Under $400||CHECK PRICE|
|Nikon A900For video||CHECK PRICE|
|Canon PowerShotElph 190For beginners||CHECK PRICE|
|Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark IIWith NFC||CHECK PRICE|
|Canon Elph 170 IS CameraEasiest to use||CHECK PRICE|
|Sony RX100For professionals||CHECK PRICE|
|Olympus TG-5For travel||CHECK PRICE|
|Canon PowerShotSX60 HS||CHECK PRICE|
|Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera||CHECK PRICE|
|Panasonic Lumix FZ300||CHECK PRICE|
|Canon PowerShot SX 720 HS||CHECK PRICE|
|Nikon W300||CHECK PRICE|
|Nikon Coolpix L840||CHECK PRICE|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.