May 30, 2016
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The attraction behind point and shoot cameras is that they’re not only portable, but that they can do what your smartphone can’t: capture photos in almost any lighting scenario, and with that quality that far exceeds that of even the iPhone or latest Android. Moreover, some are rugged and designed to survive water, drops and more.
So, if you’re interested in the latest and best point-and-shoot cameras, as well extra-high picture quality, we have five cameras you need to check out.
The Coolpix 840 is one of our favorite picks, because it gets as close as it can to leaving the point-and-shoot arena all together and rocketing off to a more complex market. There’s an incredible 38x optical zoom that includes vibration reduction, a 16-megapixel sensor, and the ability to shoot 1080p video. In the back there is a standard 3-inch LCD display with the added bonus of tilt capability.
This camera also includes WiFi and NFC capabilities, which allows you to link it to a smartphone and quickly transmit images as soon as you finish snapping photos. They tend to work best when you snap a series of photos, review them on your camera’s screen, then transfer a few of the best to your phone for sharing or editing.
However, with these highly impressive specs do come a few caveats. First, the Coolpix L840 is bigger and heavier than the other cameras on our list, which makes it harder to fit in your pocket. Second, if you don’t need all this zoom functionality, there’s no good reason to get it just because the lens is big and shiny; stick with what you really need.
This slimmer point-and-shoot camera is easier on the pocket, but not so great on the wallet. That big jump to nearly $600 is due to the higher-end specs of this Canon model. The PowerShot line has long been about equipping a few of the best specs possible and letting consumers do the rest: As a result, here we have a 20.2-megapixel sensor, a DIGIC 6 image processor, and a multi-angle 3-inch LCD touch panel.
The optical zoom for this model is at 4.2x (24mm-100mm), and the camera can take 1080p video if you so choose. Wi-Fi and NFC are, once again, built in, and RAW and JPEG files are supported. Some reviewers have noted that the camera has a short battery life, so you may want to carry around spare batteries if possible.
If your idea of a great picture is less “national monuments” and more “hang-gliding passed national monuments” than you may prefer the Stylus Tough TG-4.
This point-and-shoot camera is designed for adventurers who only have room for a point and shoot camera in their weather-resistant pocket but need it to survive just about anything. This camera is freeze-proof, waterproof up to 50 feet, shockproof, and crushproof up to 220 pounds. You can truly take it just about anywhere.
About the other specs: The camera comes with a 16-megapixel lens, a TruePic VII image processor, options for 1080p video, and the ability to capture RAW format images as well as a Live Composite mode. Wi-Fi is included, but the NFC has been replaced here with a GPS and an electronic compass, which are probably more useful for fans of this camera.
Another affordable option, this PowerShot model aims for the middle of the road and comes up with a great set of specs as a result.
If our first Canon model had too much zoom for you and you prefer a greater focus on image quality for your pocket camera, this is the model to go for. The zoom is 12x optical, but the sensor is up to 20.2-megapixels. And there is also 1080p video, Wi-Fi, NFC, and a 3-inch LCD screen.
Another unique feature of this ELPH model is the number of modes it offers, which includes a hybrid auto made for four-second video clips, a creative shot mode, an auto slideshow mode, and more. These are handy features if you like to post a lot on social media.
This slim Coolpix model is notable for its high-end specs. If you want the absolute latest in image quality, wait for this guy to be released: It combines some of the best features of the models above and improves on others. There’s a 20-megapixel sensor, a high-quality NIKKOR lens, a huge 35x optical zoom, and video recording at 4K resolutions (30fps, but still). The 3-inch LCD screen tilts, too!
In addition to WiFi and NFC, this model also comes with Bluetooth for even more connection options. If you can afford the $400 price tag, it’s hard to do better for a friendly consumer-focused camera.
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