Point-and-shoot cameras have come a long way from where they started, and today’s high-end models can achieve vivid, sharp, exciting photographs, even for spur-of-the-moment shots. All point-and-shoot cameras have a fixed lens, often pancake or zoom style for maximum portability. When choosing a top-tier fixed lens digital camera, keep in mind what type of images you shoot. For other considerations regarding what makes a good point-and-shoot digital camera, read about our five favorites below.
1. Leica D-LUX 7 Camera
This camera performs reliably well in every aspect. It has a spectacular 17 megapixel resolution and four-thirds sensor (one step below an APS-C), in-body image stabilization, and an aperture maxing out at a bright f/1.7. It goes above and beyond with its basically unparalleled wide-angle lens—boasting an equivalent focal length of 24 to 75 millimeters—and with its impressive ability to shoot 4K video at up to 30 frames per second (fps). The LCD sensor doesn’t move and there’s no built-in flash, but those are worthy sacrifices for the camera’s compact size, measuring just over four and a half inches long. Plus, it has a classic silver and black look with an enviable red Leica stamp on the front.
2. Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II Digital Camera
This camera is a powerful option for a much more affordable price than our #1 pick. It’s equipped with a 5x zoom lens, can shoot continuously up to 20 fps (30 if shooting in RAW mode), and can film in HD 120p or 4K 30p video for short spurts. It has built-in flash—a rarity for a camera of this size and quality—and a pop-up electronic viewfinder that makes selfies a breeze. However, this PowerShot’s calling card is its touchscreen display, which, in conjunction with the electronic viewfinder, allows you to touch and drag objects into focus. That alone makes up for its otherwise lackluster autofocus feature and relatively exhaustible battery.
3. Ricoh GR III Digital Camera
The sturdy and discreet Ricoh GR III offers a superior sensor and lens at a relatively approachable price. The 24.2 megapixel sensor is APS-C sized; add in the 28-millimeter equivalent f/2.8 lens, and the result is sharp, high-quality images, particularly for a camera at its price point. The on-sensor phase-detection autofocus is fast and consistent, although it can struggle in bad lighting. For its small size (and light weight of just 227 grams), this easy-to-use model creates great shots. Still shots, that is—the video quality is nothing special.
4. Fujifilm X100V Digital Camera
The biggest standout feature of the Fujifilm X100V is its hybrid viewfinder. You have the option of an optical viewfinder with traditional rangefinder capabilities, or an electronic viewfinder that works with the 3-inch tilting LCD screen for extended visibility. The APS-C sensor gives you a resolution of a whopping 26 megapixels—the same as higher-end Fujifilm models, like the X-Pro3 camera. The 23 millimeter lens (equivalent 35 millimeters) provides clarity even in corners and in wide aperture close-up shots. The video capabilities also stand out: This camera can shoot in great 4K/30fps resolution with continuous autofocus and face detection.
5. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II Digital Still Camera
One of the most important considerations for image quality is sensor size, and the relatively tiny Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II manages to pack a full-frame, 42 megapixel sensor into a body under four and a half inches long. The camera is dense—it weighs just over a pound, making it slightly less pocketable than the other cameras on this list—but it’s sleeker than comparable full-frame DSLRs by leaps and bounds. The BIONZ X processor combined with the backside-illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor cuts way down on noise in low-light situations, and the 399-point phase detect autofocus system beats many more expensive DSLR cameras as well.