Best Point-and-Shoot Cameras 2014

Best Point-and-Shoot Cameras 2014

Despite smartphone cameras challenging the low end of the point-and-shoot camera market, 2014 should be a strong year for mid-range and high-end point-and-shoots. These compact cameras have large sensors, more megapixels, and an array of features and connectivity options. For those who want far better image quality than a smartphone in small package, below are our picks for the best point-and-shoot cameras of 2014.
 
 

High-End Point-and-Shoots

The Sony RX100 II is one the best point-and-shoot ever made—it’s what many professionals and enthusiasts will use when they can’t carry larger set-ups. The camera has an extra large sensor that produces high-quality 20.2 megapixel images, a fast Carl Zeiss lens, manual settings, RAW capability, and a lightweight durable body. The original Sony RX100, also a terrific camera but with fewer features, is now available at a discount.
Megapixels: 20.2
Sensor Size: 116 sq. mm
Zoom: 3.6x
Weight: 9.9 oz.
Point and shoot camera button



 
At the high end of the point-and-shoot camera market, Canon’s recent release of the G1X Mark II offers up direct competition to the Sony RX 100 II above. The G1X Mark II boasts a big 1.5” CMOS image sensor—only about 20% smaller than Canon’s entry-level digital SLRs—along with a faster lens than its predecessor and Wi-Fi (no GPS). This camera does not have an optical viewfinder, helping bring down the size and weight to a respectable 19.5 ounces. For travel and enthusiasts who want a second camera to carry around on the go, the G1X Mark II is an excellent option. 
Megapixels: 12.8
Sensor Size: 262 sq. mm
Zoom: 5x
Weight: 19.5 oz.
Point and shoot camera button
 

 
 
Fujifilm is a top-notch camera manufacturer that seems to strike a cord with photography purists who value image quality over features. The X100S is the company’s flagship point-and-shoot camera, offering an APS-C image sensor (the same as many entry-level digital DSLRs) in a compact body that weighs only 15.7 ounces. The fixed Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens has impressive low light performance and sharpness, and the camera shoots Full HD 1080p video. The most notable shortcoming of the X100S is its fixed focal length lens, which is great for street and travel photography but limited for any use that requires zoom. It’s also pricey at well over $1,000. 
Megapixels: 16
Sensor Size: 372 sq. mm
Zoom: None (fixed 23mm lens)
Weight: 15.7 oz.
Point and shoot camera button




 

Mid-Range Point-and-Shoots

The Canon PowerShot G16 is one of the top advanced performance point-and-shoots on the market. The lens is impressive with a maximum aperture of f/1.8, and the camera comes with features like Full HD 1080p movie capability, an optical viewfinder, in-camera HDR and panorama modes, and a number of manual controls. Given its image quality and features, the Canon G16 is pocketable (to achieve this, Canon went without a flip-out screen that was on previous models like the G12). 
Megapixels: 12.1
Sensor Size: 41 sq. mm
Zoom: 5x
Weight: 12.4 oz.
Point and shoot camera button
 
 

 
For travel and street photography, the Fujifilm X20 can go head-to-head with just about any compact camera (the Sony RX-100 II above might be an exception). With a large sensor, fast and accurate autofocus, an optical viewfinder, and RAW capability, the images produced by the FujiFilm X20 are superb for a point-and-shoot. A strength of the camera is its fast 28-112mm zoom lens, which helps bring to life scenes without optimal light. And like all Fujifilm cameras, a big draw of the X20 is its retro look and feel. 
Megapixels: 12
Sensor Size: 58 sq. mm
Zoom: 4x
Weight: 12.5 oz.
Point and shoot camera button
 
 
 
 
Canon's popular S90–S120 models have set the standard for their class of performance point-and-shoots. The new Canon S120, released in October of 2013, combines high photo quality (the camera has an large sensor, manual controls, and RAW capability) with a simple and sturdy camera body that fits in your pocket. It isn’t the most feature-packed point-and-shoot, but the Canon S120 performs well across the board with no discernable weaknesses.
Sensor Size: 41 sq. mm
Megapixels: 12.1
Zoom: 5x
Weight: 7 oz.
Point and shoot camera button


 
 
The Panasonic Lumix LX7 is a favorite among photography enthusiasts and a great value at under $300. Boasting a high-quality Leica lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.4, the Lumix LX7 has the best low-light performance of any point-and-shoot camera on this list. In addition, the LX7 shoots fast (up to 11 frames per second), has Full HD 1080P video capability, in-camera HDR, and a handy manual aperture ring. At under $300, the LX7 currently is a steal.
Megapixels: 10.1
Sensor Size: 41 sq. mm
Zoom: 3.8x
Weight: 10.5 ounces
Point and shoot camera button

 

 

Budget Point-and-Shoots

The Canon PowerShot SX260 is a favorite among consumers with a 20x digital zoom, Full 1080p HD video capability (a rarity for a budget camera), and image stabilization, among other features. In most conditions, the Canon SX260 outperforms its price range and will produce high quality images. And at only 8.2 ounces, this compact travel zoom easily fits in your pocket.
Megapixels: 12.1
Sensor Size: 28 sq. mm
Zoom: 20x
Weight: 8.2 oz.
Point and shoot camera button


 
The Nikon L830 is the best budget superzoom on the market, packing an impressive 34x optical zoom along with a 16-megapixel image sensor. Compared to more expensive superzooms, the Nikon L830 has fewer manual controls and requires conventional AA batteries. However, its image quality is excellent and it has a nice 3-inch LCD screen on the back for shooting and navigation. The camera also features Full HD 1080p video, stereo sound, and in-camera HDR, all of which are rarities in this price range. 
Megapixels: 16
Sensor Size: 28 sq. mm
Zoom: 34x
Weight: 18 oz.
Point and shoot camera button

 
 
For those looking for a point-and-shoot on a budget, the Canon PowerShot A2500 is a great option. At well under $100, the camera features a 16.1-megapixel zoom lens with a focal length equivalent of 28-140mm and image stabilization for better low light performance. But perhaps most impressive is its total weight of only 4.4 ounces with a memory card, making the Canon A2500 an excellent option for travel and easy everyday use. 
Megapixels: 16
Sensor Size: 28 sq. mm
Zoom: 5x
Weight: 4.4 oz.
Point and shoot camera button