Usually, it takes a little while for a casual shooter to feel limited by the abilities of their cameras. They habitually become wildly enthusiastic about the prospect of producing pictures with better image quality and the need to optimize their self-expression through photography.

Thus, they begin to desire such things like – a camera that would work wonders in annoying low-light scenes. At this point, photography becomes more than just fun. The distinctive sentiment distinguishing professionals and amateurs will be blurred. Like professional photographers, casual shooters would all at once, agree that a picture should worth a thousand words.

Still, most casual shooters wouldn’t want to spend much on a camera. In view of this, we decided to look at the best point and shoot cameras under $500. Considering all the necessary yardsticks, the following cameras emerged the best among their peers.

Best Point and Shoot Cameras Under $500

Best Point and Shoot Cameras Reviews

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200

Panasonic is one of the biggest electronics manufacturers in the world and products like Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 earned the Japanese company the respect and admiration it enjoys across the globe.

DMC-FZ200 stands out among other cameras because of features like its 12 fps high-speed burst shooting. While it’s almost impossible for the camera to miss a shot with this feature, it has amazing optical image stabilization and a  24X Leica lens complementing its lens light response with fast F2.8 constant aperture.

With abundant creative control effects features that enable one add an artistic touch to captured images and videos, the camera has an advanced technology to minimize the effects of handshaking and reduce glare. Its optical image stabilizer is effective in suppressing handshake vibrations and minimizing blur in shooting pictures and recording video.

Pros

  • Very easy to use and suitable for casual and advanced shooters;
  • Can make videos while capturing images;
  • Easy to upload and share motion and still images on social media platforms;
  • Efficiently manages handshaking to minimizes blur;
  • Has an ergonomic design that ensures optimal control;
  • Captures full HD videos in MPEG and MP4 formats;
  • Has impressive creative control features;
  • Creates good picture quality.

Cons

  • Not water or weather resistance;
  • No Wi-Fi

Verdict

It isn’t rare to have a point and shoot camera that produces detailed images and videos that are easy to share on social media platforms. But with this camera, you don’t have to switch modes to make videos. You can record while taking photos and videos are recorded in full HD in both MPEG and MP4 formats. This and other cool features make Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 suitable for casual and advanced photographers. It is very easy to use and affords advanced shooters the luxury of greater creativity.

Nikon CoolPix P510

CoolPix P510’s 42x optical zoom and its advanced VR image stabilization are probably the key features that earned it the admiration of photographers. Disregarding that, the camera has other outstanding and distinctive attributes like its high-speed continuous shooting and optimized control and design.

With the high-speed shooting provision, one can continuously capture images rapidly without missing a single moment. This trait and the aptitude of the image sensor aid the making of decent night pictures when shooting with the camera in hand.

Furnished with 16.1 megapixels back-illuminated CMOS image sensor and a 42x zoom covering a focal range of 24mm wide angle and a 1000mm zoom for capturing distance images, the camera has an advanced Lens-shift VR image stabilization as a perfect complement. The image stabilization atones for camera shake to make certain the reproduction of sharp images, especially during extreme close-up or super-zoom.

CoolPix P510 was designed for efficient handling that will optimize controls. This is why there’s a new function button that allows shooters to assign often-used functions for quick access. Among other things, the camera has a vari-angle ultra-high resolution LCD which can be tilted upward or downward to cover all the angles. Moreso, the camera has a good handgrip that helps eliminate camera shake and, is endowed with a side zoom control for stable handling.

Pros

  • Very easy to use;
  • Has a comfortable grip for stable shooting;
  • Shooting performance is very fast;
  • Zooming ability isn’t ordinary;
  • Captures full HD videos with stereo sound;
  • Good image stabilization and colour reproduction;
  • Has built-in GPS with logging function.

Cons

  • Lack smooth focus on distance objects while zooming;
  • Make whirring noise when it’s turned on;
  • Has Eye-Fi card support, no Wi-Fi.

Verdict

It’d be impossible to not find a flaw in this camera if you are out to identify one. Like every other camera, Nikon CoolPix P510 isn’t 100 percent adequate. But then, the camera’s overall performance is satisfactory and beyond average. It has an abundant picture and video features, a superzoom, fast shooting ability and eye-catching image quality. These attributes are intriguing to camera enthusiasts and its ease-of-use is appealing to casual shooters.

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Canon Powershot SX60

Canon is a famous manufacturer of imaging and optical products and, as far as we can tell, its Powershot SX60 is one of the best point and shoot cameras under $500. One wouldn’t have to look deep to observe that this camera was built for convenient and flexible shooting. It has a 3 inch Vari-angle LCD with uncommon resolution. You can flip this out, turn or rotate in order to take shots from unusual angles. Fascinatingly this feature makes it possible for one to capture self-portraits.

The LCD didn’t take away having a viewfinder from SX60. It comes with an electronic viewfinder that’s effective in eliminating the consequence of camera shake. This can be attributed to the camera’s intelligent optimal image stabilization automated to constantly check camera movement and apply the right shake correction so as to allow the making of clear and steady photos.

Equipped with 16.1MP CMOS sensor, the point and shoot camera yields high sensitivity for fast, rapid and continuous shooting. Also, with the backing of an external microphone, Powershot SX60 captures sophisticated and full HD videos (1080p). The still and motion pictures created can be quickly and easily shared with inbuilt Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

Pros

  • Enhanced grip with Vari-angle LCD that allows flexible shooting;
  • Efficient image stabilization technology;
  • Has inbuilt Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication technology;
  • Captures full HD videos;
  • Has a good audio ability;
  • Zooming power is remarkable;
  • Produces striking images which can be easily shared.

Cons

  • Low light performance for video is of average quality;
  • Could’ve been lighter in weight.

Verdict

Beyond producing images with qualities that emphasizes detail, SX60 has an ultra zooming ability supported with efficient image stabilization technology. The camera has a comfortable grip that’s suitable for professionals, fused with an easy-access-to-controls design. It has all that’s needed for a productive and creative shooting experience.

Panasonic Lumix FZ80

There are several features that would make any photographer fancy Panasonic Lumix FZ80. These features range from its touch-enabled LCD display to the high-resolution 1,170k-dot viewfinder, its 18.1MP sensor resolution, the fast and precise focusing, optically stabilized lens, impressive low light performance and Wi-Fi connection.

Designed to have an ergonomic grip that comfortably fits the hand, FZ80 has a high-resolution viewfinder that shows a large amount of detail even under unfriendly atmosphere. The camera is well-fortified to deal with the issue of low-light. It has a magnificent low light performance which is formidable when used with the ‘Post Focus’ feature that enables one pick the desired focus point after shooting.

More to that, Lumix FZ80 is admired for its 4k photo and video capture ability. For still images, you can use the 4k photo mode to capture about 30 frames of good-quality pictures per second. Similarly, the 4k video mode can capture up to 4 times the resolution of standard full HD. These features enable shooters to just unleash the camera and later pick out exciting scenes and moments.

Pros

  • Suitable for casual, lazy and advanced shooters;
  • Has an incredible low light performance;
  • Images are of good quality when reproduced in larger prints;
  • Captures fine image of objects that are extremely far away;
  • LCD display is touch-enabled;
  • Built-in Wi-Fi;
  • The rechargeable battery has good endurance
  • 4k technology is awesome.

Cons

  • Objects captured at a long distance are of ordinary quality.
  • Makes discouraging noise.

Verdict

Panasonic Lumix FZ80 is a good buy for lazy shooters or photographers who don’t really know what they are doing. The camera’s 4k technology makes up for their inadequacies enabling the creation of fine-quality pictures with less effort. The abilities of the FZ80 are explicitly enormous.

Sony DSC-RX100

DSC-RX100 wasn’t branded the professional’s compact camera for nothing. Crafted to be light in weight with aluminium and advanced aspherical (AA) lens, RX100 has an elegant design blended with 20.2 megapixels and 1.0 inch Exmor CMOS sensor to guarantee the creating of explicit pictures and full HD videos. The camera’s wide F1.8 aperture and lens also add value to picture quality.

While it’s easy to access the control buttons to fine-tune images, adjust exposure and use picture effects, there is a functional steady shot active mode that rectifies the flaws caused by shaky camera movements. RX 100 has a brilliant potent in making images that are crisp and clear in extremely low light scenes. This impressive ability has been linked to the camera’s fast and precise autofocus. It is possible to focus on an image with the autofocus modes or do that manually like in DSLR cameras.

Additionally, the camera has a bright 3 inch LCD screen enlivened by an abundant high contrast that permits shooters to see the screen clearly at all times. With this, it’s easier to zoom to the perfect extent, pull targeted objects closer and make quick alterations to brightness, colour or other necessary changes in real-time on the screen. The simplicity of this point and shoot camera is evident in its clever auto mode which quickly detects and scrutinizes shooting condition for the sake of adjusting camera settings to attain admirable outcome.

Pros

  • One can focus automatically or manually like in DSLR cameras;
  • Has a good image stabilization technology;
  • Decent image quality in low light;
  • The LCD screen is brilliant;
  • Controls are very adequate;
  • Records full HD movies;
  • Pocketable and easy to carry around;

Cons

  • No Wi-fi;
  • Has a poor grip

Verdict

Sony DSC-RX100 affords amateur photographer the chance to create pictures like professionals. From its auto portrait framing that automatically trims captured images to make attractive balanced pictures; to the inbuilt optical steady shot technology that enhances stabilization to compensate camera shake blur and the abundant picture effect that enables one to artistically transform photos and movies,  this camera has indeed brought the point and shoot supremacy to bear.

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People are crazy about pictures because they record our memories, freeze moments of our lives which pass unremarkably, and are powerful language speaking to our emotions and allowing us to tell tales about the world around us.

Shooters looking for a high performing camera with a flair for creating stunning pictures would find happiness in the products reviewed above. They are the best point and shoot cameras under $500.