Top 6 Best Digital Point & Shoot Cameras Under $500 Reviews

Modern digital cameras allow you to take instant images and get wonderful, high quality results. The superb speed and responsiveness of digital cameras make them convenient for quick snapshots and easy computer access. However, before you decide on which camera to buy, there are some things you need to determine about the camera you want before you put down a few hundred dollars on one. There is more to a camera than just high megapixels. Not only have we provided a list of some of the top products available on the camera market today, but we have also provided a buyer’s guide to help narrow down your choices even further.

Buying Guide for Point & Shoot Cameras Under $500

If you’re thinking of buying a digital camera for the holidays, or for any other occasion, you would probably go straight to the store, find the camera the sales representative recommends, and call it a day. But it is better to know what you are looking for when you’re buying a digital camera, even if it is just a point and shoot camera. That way, you can make sure that you’re getting the best value for your money. Below are just some things to keep in mind when looking for a camera.

Megapixels. One of the most important things to note is that a camera is more than just the number of megapixels. Many people treat the megapixel count like the overall rating of the camera, but the truth is, most people will never use levels like 15 or 16 megapixels. Once you start getting to about 10, any higher number ends up giving you diminishing returns for everyday use.

Zoom. Zoom isn’t everything either! Just because a camera has the longest zoom distance doesn’t mean it is inherently better or worse! Instead, start looking for the features a camera offers, as well as reviews on the effectiveness of those features. For example, a common and very useful feature on some cameras is image stabilization, which helps reduce shuddering and blur effects when taking pictures. If you choose a camera with the most megapixels and the most zoom but without a basic feature like this, you’re committing to a relatively basic camera, which is far from ideal!

Do your research. Do your research on the special camera features, as well as user and professional reviews of those features, and then weigh in your options and opinions. This will give you a better idea of what kind of quality you are dealing with and will help you simplify the process of picking out which one you’ll take home.

Test them out! It is a great idea to try out a friend’s camera (if you can) and see what kind of specs and features they have. This will give you a better idea about what you’re looking for and what grabs your attention when you use a camera. You will also be better educated about what kind of key features to keep in mind when it comes to buying your own.

ISO Values. Be on the look out for the ISO values a camera has. The larger the ISO number, the more sensitive to light the sensor is, which can be useful in different situations. On the other hand, a low ISO value is excellent for bright lighting, outdoor shots, as well as still portraits. Higher values (around 400 or 800) are more appropriate for medium and lower light conditions, while extremely high values like 1600 are best for shooting rapid movement, low lights, high winds, or for those with unsteady hands.

All of this to say that that doesn’t mean the megapixel count and zoom distance are irrelevant, because both are still highly useful and will affect how good your camera experience is. The higher the megapixel count, the higher the resolution of photos taken with the camera. This is especially useful when you want to edit photos or are planning on using large prints and file sizes. The longer the zoom, the more options you’ll have while shooting photos. You will be less constrained by physical distance, as long as you can get a steady shot from a high zoom level.

Focusing on features versus price, trying cameras out to see which features you prefer, and keeping an eye on ISO levels will help you determine what kind of camera is best for you. Good luck, and happy hunting!

Top 6 Best Digital Point & Shoot Cameras Under $500

1. Sony DSC-HX400

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With the looks of a DSLR, this high-end point-and-shoot camera is one that anyone will be comfortable with. It’s 20.4 megapixel sensor makes for super detailed photos and it can also record videos up to 1080p. Group shots are made easy with the HX400’s advanced face-detection which can recognize up to eight people in a single shot.

Whether you are shooting up close and personal or at 50x optical zoom, the active stabilization makes for steady photos. Sony has always killed it with their cameras, and this unique take on the point-and-shoot style is no different.

2. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

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For those of us who love the vintage look of old film cameras, the Olympus satisfies that craving. A well-known name in the camera industry, their products are known for being versatile and durable. The OM-D E-M10 Mark III is no different.

This camera sports a mirrorless sensor, which is capable of shooting 16 megapixel photos and 4k video. If you have issues with shakey hands, fear not. The Mark III has a built-in five-axis image stabilization feature.

This feature allows you to not only take constantly clear pictures, but it automatically adjusts itself to take the best picture possible in whatever lighting situation. For wildlife shots, or stalking your ex, this camera also comes with a Silent Mode. Not to mention, wind cancellation and a reduction of background noises for good measure makes for killer quality audio recording.

3. Panasonic Lumix ZS80

8. Panasonic DMC-ZS50K LUMIX 30x Travel Zoom Camera with Eye Viewfinder (Black)

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If you’ve ever owned a panasonic product, you know how user-friendly they are. The new Lumix ZS80 does that and more. While many brands can only focus on their product being good quality, having useable features, or having a great price, Panasonic tackles all three with ease.

Coming with a crazy 20.3 megapixel sensor and 30x optical zoom by Leica, this Lumix can take stellar photos even in low light conditions. A lens-mounted control ring allows you to get the perfect level of precision and control. Some thing that many cameras in this price range struggle a lot with.

If recording videos is more your speed, you’ll love the 4k and UHD capabilities of the Lumix ZS80. With video recording quality like that, this may be a vloggers and YouTubers dream.

4. Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 III

7. Canon PowerShot S120 12.1Megapixel CMOS Digital Camera

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One of the most premium point-and-shoot cameras on the market today, the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 III is the epitome of the phrase “the best things come in small packages.” This legend features a one inch CMOS 10.1 megapixel sensor with a snappy f/1.8-2.8. Along with a 3x optical zoom Zeiss lense and an electronic viewfinder, that’s a lot in a compact design, all there to give you crisp and clear photos.

It’s pop-up feature gives you immediate access to the EVF anytime without adding more bulk to the design. This camera also comes with built-in wifi/NFC, a three inch tilt display and the ability to record videos up to 1080p and 60 fps. That’s one handy little device Sony’s got there.

5. Fujifilm X-A5

6. Canon-PowerShot-SX50-HS 12MP Digital Camera

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For those new to the photography scene, it doesn’t get much easier than the Fujifilm X-A5. This attractive and affordable, mirrorless camera has a 24 megapixel APS-C sensor with 4k recording capabilities at 15 fps.

But this isn’t just a basic point-and-shoot camera. There are a boatload of features that take advantage of the three inch verticle flip touchscreen. Couple that with two dials for getting the perfect adjustments and you’ve got yourself a camera that even photography enthusiasts will love.

6. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

2. Sony DSC-RX1001B 20.2MP Exmor CMOS Sensor Camera

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One of the most highly rated point-and-shoot cameras of this year, the PowerShot G9 X Mark II has a lot to offer. It’s 10.1 megapixel CMOS sensor gives you photos worthy of a DSLR. The DIGIC 7 image processor allows for crazy fast operation and top-notch background noise reduction for detail-rich photos in whatever lighting you find yourself in.

Running low on space? With it’s built-in wifi/NFC and Bluetooth connectivity you’ll be able to export photos with no issue. If you are looking for an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera but want the quality of a high-end DSLR, you’ll be impressed with the PowerShot Mark II.

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