Our Fab Five Pocket Point-and-Shoots

Okay, we know most of you have long since ditched the point-and-shoot market for your smartphone and we are most certainly aware of the myriad reasons why.

But hear us out for a minute as there are still a few tricks up the sleeves of traditional digital camera makers and this is particularly true when it comes to the pocket-camera category – and these tricks we speak of go beyond just being all about diminutive design specs. We’re talking super zoom lenses, shock-resistant design, underwater capability and just plain old better optics than what you’re carrying around in your smartphone.

So then, we’ve cherry picked a few of our favs – some new, some not so new – as there’s still a ton of shooting situations where the point-and-shoot is mightier than the smartphone. Take a look.

Nikon’s Super Cool Coolpix


It always fun to add a bit of panache to your picture-taking endeavors and Nikon’s Coolpix AW130 does exactly that. And when you can do that and still tote around a camera you can drop and/or take underwater and not worry, you’ve got something pretty special. The AW130 is waterproof to 98 feet, freezeproof to 14º F and can withstand a drop of around 7 feet. We also talking a 16 MP, low-light CMOS sensor; a 5x, 28–140mm, f/2.8–4.9 Nikkor lens; and a 3-inch, 910K-dot OLED monitor on the spec side. Add vibration reduction, built-in Wi-Fi with NFC and GPS functions and you’re talking one power-packed, versatile little camera for under $300 ($299). Nikon

Olympus Stays Tough

We have always been big fans of the Olympus Stylus Tough series and the TG-4 has become a huge favorite. A fashionably designed outer shell houses one terrific, take-anywhere compact camera that features a fast, water-repellent f/2 lens (4x, 25–100mm f/2–4.9), 16MP, 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS sensor, Olympus’ TruePic VII image processor, sensor-shift image stabilization and built-in Wi-Fi; waterproof to 50 feet; shockproof to 7 feet; crushproof to 220 lbf (pounds-force); and freezeproof down to 14º F. Perhaps a bit pricier at around $379 – Olympus

Canon’s Power On Display

Canon cam

Staying with the heavy hitters we also love Canon’s Powershot line and the G7 X has a bunch of nice touches that make this one an easy choice. An impressive feature set starts with the sensor, a large and light-grabbing 1.0-inch, 20.2 MP High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor powered by Canon’s DIGIC 6 Image Processor. We love the results this camera gets in tough, low-light situations up to ISO 12800 – and let’s face it, even the most ardent smartphone shooter has to admit, low light photography is not exactly a smartphone strong suit. Again, a bit pricier than most compacts at around $499, but the quality images this one takes speak nicely to that price hike. Canon

Panasonic’s Big Zoom


Panasonic has had a winner for quite a while now with it’s TZ-series and the Lumix TZ80 is the crème de la crème. Our favorite feature is the camera’s 30X optical zoom, which encompasses wide-angle (24mm equivalent) perfect for group shots and has the ability to bring close (720mm equiv) anything far off in the distance. Additional features include an 18 MP sensor; 4K video; Wi-Fi; ISO80-ISO3200 and optical image stabilization. $399 – Panasonic

Sony Plays To Strength


Matching the power zoom in the Panasonic TZ80 is Sony’s WX500 that also sports a 30X optical zoom and comes in a bit more affordably at around $299. This one features the ever-present Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens and Sony’s BIONZ X image processor as well as a 21 MP sensor, three-inch tilting display, in-camera Wi-Fi and NFC. This one is a true shirt-pocket model as Sony kept the design specs to a minimum on this model but this is yet another solid, take-anywhere little picture-taker. Sony

Receive our weekly newsletter to stay on top of the latest photography trends

Subscribe to receive the best learn.zoner.com has to offer

Invalid email

By confirming the subscription, you consent to the processing of your personal data for receiving newsletter. Learn more in our privacy policy.

AuthorMichael McEnaney

I am a veteran technology journalist with over 20 years experience covering consumer electronics and imaging tech as well as launching, editing/writing content, selling and marketing a variety of publications and websites. Most recently I helped NAPCO launch the Technologytell.com network of consumer tech websites and also helped launch the popular tech website TechTimes.com as well as launching his own website at www.your-digital-life.com that covers all consumers can do with their digital images and videos after they’ve captured them. My true passion has always been photography – both capturing life’s most precious moments as well as covering the pros that capture the world.

Comments (0)

There are no comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *