Best Point-and-Shoot Cameras

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Welcome to our annual Holiday Gift Guide. For 2016, we've decided to segue from wholly budget-based recommendations and instead focus on different camera categories.

Point-and-shoot cameras used to be huge business until smartphones gutted the market in a very short time. But guess what? If you're the type of person who wants good quality images and features like an actual optical zoom point-and-shoot cameras will best smartphones all day long. On the flip side, it means carrying around two devices.

Still, point-and-shootcameras aree a relatively smart way to dip your toes into photography where you can learn about framing and focal length and light and even, on some models, how to adjust manual settings. And while 2016 models all offer a way to interface with smart devices, point-and-shoots are also perfect for family members or for kids who don't care to, or aren't quite old enough, to own a smartphone.

With that in mind, here are our picks for the Best Point-and-Shoot Cameras for 2016!

 

Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS

Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS is a budget-friendly and pocket-sized point-and-shoot with a 12x optical zoom (25-300mm equivalent), 20.2MP High Sensitivity CMOS image sensor, DIGIc 4+ image processor, Full 1080p HD video recording, and built-in Wi-Fi & NFC for transferring files to smartphones. On top of that, the 360 HS also boasts optical image stabilization to help you shoot smoother videos and stills in lower lighting conditions. Pick one up today from around $229 in black, silver, or purple.

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Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS60

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS60

The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS60 is an awesome little camera with an incredible 30x (24-720mm equivalent) optical zoom lens, an 18MP CMOS image sensor, and built-in Wi-Fi for sharing files and/or remotely controlling the camera. Other features include an EVF as well as a touchscreen LCD display, 5-axis image stabilization for smoother videos and crisp low-light still images, and a Lens Ring Control to make manual settings adjustments on the fly. It's also one of the few point-and-shoots to offer 4K Ultra HD video recording with a 4K (8MP) photo mode. The MSRP on these is $449, but you can generally pick them up for less than $400.

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Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX90V

Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX90V

Let's be clear: Sony makes incredible image sensors for a lot of different companies and cameras. The Cyber-Shot DSC-HX90V houses an 18.2MP Exmor R CMOS Sensor and BIONZ X image processor that are capable of shooting high quality stills in low light and Full 1080p HD video with higher bit rates (less compression) than most other HD cameras. Its 30x Optical Zoom ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T Lens (24-720mm equivalent) has you covered for most shooting scenarios, while 5-axis image stabilization will keep things shake-free and sharp. Other features include an OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder, P/A/S/M modes for more control over your images, a 180° titling rear display for selfies, GPS for geo-tagging, and Wi-Fi and NFC for connecting to smartphones. Pick up an HX90V for less than $450.

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Canon PowerShot SX540 HS

Canon PowerShot SX540 HS

With a mind-melting 24-1200mm equivalent optical zoom range (50x!) and sub-$400 pricing, the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS has our vote for best budget super-telephoto point-and-shoot. Perfect for budding sports and wildlife photographers, this camera boasts a 20.3 Megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 6 processor for low-light performance and Full 1080/60p HD video recording. Optical Image Stabilization comes standard (you'll need it), as do very accurate AF tracking, and Wi-Fi / NFC for connecting this digicam to your smart devices. There's also impressive Burst Shooting Macro modes as well as several artistic Filters. Pick one up today for less than $400.

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