Top 10 Point and Shoot Digital Cameras - DPS Reader Favorites

Top 10 Point and Shoot Digital Cameras – DPS Reader Favorites


Canon-Powershot-S3-Is-Point-And-ShootIn this post I will share the top 10 Point and Shoot Digital Cameras – as voted by the readers of this site.

When I recently asked readers of DPS what digital cameras they use the array of cameras being used was quite amazing and yet there were some definite themes that I thought I’d summarize in 2 posts (this one looking at Point and Shoot Digital Cameras and tomorrow looking at DSLRs – update: check out the Top DSLRs post here).

Also at the bottom of this post I want to look at two other aspects of the results:

1. The breakdown between DSLRs and Point and Shoot Cameras
2. Brands of Point and Shoot Cameras

What Point and Shoot Models are Most Popular?

Before revealing the list let me make a couple of observations:

I was surprised on two fronts:

1. Despite there being 75 point and shoot cameras mentioned one camera completely dominated the list

2. The top of this 10 list was dominated fairly heavily by super zoom cameras (the top four all had 12x optical zooms with image stabilization). Only 4 of the top 10 were compact digital cameras.

Top 10 Point and Shoot Digital Cameras as Used by DPS Readers

I’m not going to list each camera mentioned but here are the top 10 (listed in order of popularity):

  1. Canon PowerShot S3 IS – a 6 megapixel camera with a 12x optical zoom and image stabilization – pictured right
  2. Canon Powershot S2 IS – a 5 megapixel camera with a 12x optcial zoom and image stabilization
  3. Panasonic DMC-FZ50 – 10.1 megapixels with 12x optical zoom lens and image stabilization
  4. Sony Cybershot DSC-H5 – 7.2 megapixles with 12x optical zoom and image stabilization
  5. Canon PowerShot SD800 IS – a 7.1 megapixel compact camera with a 3.8x wide angled optical zoom and image stabilization – pictured right
  6. Canon-Sd800-Is

  7. Canon Powershot A620 – 7.1 megapixels and a 4x optical zoom (more of an entry level than others in the list)
  8. Canon PowerShot S5 IS – 8 megapixels, 12x Optical Zoom and Image Stabilization
  9. Fujifilm Finepix S5200 – 5.1 megapixels, 10x optical zoom and image stabilization
  10. Canon Powershot SD550 – 7.1 megapixels and a 3x optical zoom
  11. Nikon Coolpix 5400 – 5.1 megapixels with a 4x optical zoom

It is worth noting that the number 1 ranking point and shoot camera (the Canon PowerShot S3 IS ) outranked all of the others significantly. In fact as many people owned it as all of the other 9 cameras in the above list put together! Obviously Canon are onto a winner with that model – it’ll be interesting to see if the newer Canon PowerShot S5 IS gets as popular.

The DSLR vs Point and Shoot Mix

Here’s how the DSLR vs Point and Shoot breakdown looks among Digital Photography School readers.


This mix did surprise me a little as I get a lot of email from Point and Shoot users. Perhaps they didn’t feel as comfortable answering or perhaps Point and Shoot users ask more questions than DSLR users.

I should say that while fewer DPS readers use Point and Shoot digital cameras – more point and shoot models were mentioned than DSLR models. (75 Point and Shoots vs 28 DSLRs). This is simply because the digital camera manufacturers release a lot more cameras aimed at this market than they do DSLRs. For example Canon tends to release between 2 – 4 new or updated DSLRs a year but announces 20 or so point and shoot cameras.

So what brands of point and shoot cameras are most popular?


Obviously Canon is clear favorite when it comes to Point and Shoot digital camera users among our readers. After that there’s a lot less between the main manufacturers with Sony, Fujifilm and Panasonic contending for second place.

I hope you enjoyed this examination of top point and shoot digital cameras. Tomorrow I’ll post a list of the Top 10 DSLRs that the DPS community uses.

Read more from our Cameras & Equipment category

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • David August 24, 2013 09:54 pm

    Do you feel the Sony DSC RX100 should be added to the point and soot camera list?

  • Barry Brandt April 26, 2013 09:05 am

    Dear Darren;
    Your article comparing point and shoot with dslr was very helpful. As you pointed out, great strides are being made in improving the P and S.
    I have used a Canon 40D for a number of years, but the idea of lugging it (and lenses) around Europe again gets more daunting as the years go by.
    What do you think of the Leica V-Lux or Panasonic's Lumix FZ 200 (or any other advanced P and S) as an alternative?
    Thanks for your help.
    Barry (Brandt)

  • Tushar Maniktala April 3, 2013 08:31 pm

    Can you suggest me a good Point and Shoot camera under 200$ budget range.
    Is OLYMPUS SP-620 uz a good choice?

  • krupa March 9, 2013 03:41 pm

    is canon p&s sx50hs a good choice for beginners?

  • Philip December 23, 2012 03:25 pm

    Oh the Camera, Oh the choices. In many ways too much technology and not enough imagination. I have like 7 cameras, two of the digital age and 5 of the film age. All work quite well for the perspectives they were made for. My phone also has a camera, but would hardly consider using this feature. Sort of reminds me of my first pin hole camera and uhm a sheet of film. The pictures are rarely in focus.
    My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic, with the 12 exposure cartridge and a cube flash, you either got 120th of a second or a 60th of a second exposure. Then came a Polaroid Land Camera, which I also used with a long focal tube mounted on my microscope for photo microscopic shots, with a manual cable release and timed with the second hand on my watch, as to exposure times. Then came the Voiglander and the Roli and the Pentax and then a Leica. Now I mostly use either a Canon Point and Shoot Power Shot Pro 1 or a Canon Rebel EO5.

    Standing out by the bus stop today, I noticed this little Pine Tree, maybe 4 years old and maybe 18 inches tall, towered by the other Pine Trees reaching some 50 to 60 feet off the ground. Then all of this other dead debris of vegetation as the Sun was setting at 3:30 PM in the afternoon over the mountain range. For tomorrow I am thinking I should go back there about the same time in the afternoon and take some Macro Photos of this little Pine Tree and this dead brush of this Summer's plants. Why? because the colors and the hues of light are quite different this time of year than in the Spring or Summer time. Ans I notice that the Pistils left on the annual plants still had some of the silvery seed heads left on them, most of the others had blown away in the wind. The Canon Point and Shoot Power Shot Pro 1 seems to me to have a better Macro feature than the other Canon camera. Think I will return to this spot tomorrow with filters and a tripod and see what I can accomplish. Like last year in the same area with Lichen growing on the Granite stone walls, who knows what I may discover that this camera and me are able to capture, as an Essence of Nature for this time of year.

  • Anthony Sparacio December 17, 2012 05:07 am

    These cameras are outdated... How about BRIDGE cameras? Better than a point and shoot and almost like a small DSLR without changeing lenes...

  • Victoria Wolf August 21, 2012 02:39 pm

    I think the best one is the Canon sx40hs... pics of the moon will show perfectly its craters... and with the CDHK hack you can almost have the control u have on a DSLR... love that point and shoot!!!! so easy to use and u can use it with filter 52mm filters... very good quality

  • daisycorner April 11, 2012 11:37 pm

    I'm someone who loves to take pictures but know nothing of cameras. So I read with interest your different lists, what is the difference between the 'Most Popular' list and 'Top 10 point and shoot' list? While Cannon seems to dominate both lists, the models seems completly different.

  • Maggie December 21, 2011 01:58 am

    You need to date technology posts. The comments here are from 2007, yet I've had this blog post come up four times searching for comparisons as the #1 article. Update it, or date it. Things have changed a lot since this article in terms of what readers prefer, no doubt.

  • Sin Wa December 19, 2011 06:00 am

    Had the S5IS for THREE YEARS!!!! Loved every minute of using it. Low lighting high ISO performance isn't that great... but neither does any camera unless you use anything higher than the mid range DSLRs or use a fast lens <f2. Other than that, has been a great stepping stone for me as an aspiring photographer. This year I was finally ready to get a dslr and I went for the Nikon d5100. It is AMAZING...but there are certain ways that I miss my S5.

  • Pablo December 16, 2011 05:51 am

    Hi there,
    Im interested to buy a point and shoot camera now. my budget its only bteween 150-200dls with taxes included. What i want in a camera? I'd like an easy to use camera, that take the pictures relativly fast, with good quality (it doesnt have to be professional quality) that also takes nice pics at night, can you tell me wish camera would you recommend? thanx a lot.

  • Debra Louque December 13, 2011 06:07 am

    I am interested to know how you would write this article now, as it seems to have been written in 2007 originally. I am looking into Point and Shoot cameras now , in particular a 16 MP HD Sony Cyber Shot, and would love to read an updated version of this same article. Great website by the way!!


  • Robert Norman November 24, 2011 05:42 am

    I travel quite a bit and find point and shoots good enough for our needs- we never enlarge beyond 8 x 10.
    I have an old Canon Power Shot A95 (5 mpx 3x zoom) and am going to purchase a new point and shoot camera.
    I have narrowed down my preferences to 2 cameras
    a) Panasonic-Lumix ZS-10 14mp 16x optical zoom
    b) Nikon Coolpix S8200 also 14mp and 16x optical

    I am a little concerned about the high optical zoom capability and reliability and also wonder what the draw backs would be compared to a say 10x optical lens?

    Bob Norman

  • Toronto Azzurri November 9, 2011 09:08 am

    You already know thus significantly on the subject of this subject, produced me personally imagine it from numerous numerous angles. Its like men and women are not interested except it is something to accomplish with Girl gaga! Your personal stuffs nice. Always care for it up!

  • wich September 19, 2011 10:13 am

    Thank you for good content.
    I have a Canon PowerShot S3 IS is one of its beautiful shape and easy to use.
    The image has was beautiful. Customizable, too.

  • Denver Photog July 29, 2011 12:13 pm

    Considering the low percentage of P&S cameras for the DPS readers (compared to dslr's), I was surprised at how small the Nikon percentage was. I had the impression the 8100 was fantastic, though I don't have one.

    Thanks for sharing the pie chart. Makes it easy to see the breakdown better than a 1 -10 list for me.

  • Vj June 23, 2011 05:14 pm

    Hi, I am quite impressed with Canon S3 IS performance. That model is nowhere availble now in US. Is there any other new model replacing S3's performance. If yes, please let me know. Thanks.

  • Stratman May 7, 2011 02:46 pm

    @ B Jay,

    While the Nokia N8 may have a larger sensor and "Carl Zeiss" branded optics, the combination does not necessarily produce consistent, high image quality that you can get from a dedicated point-and-shoot camera.

    The sensor's size does not automatically mean it can be on par with the old Panasonic LX-3 or even the Canon S90. Cellphones generally are best for scenes with plenty of light (read: daytime) but are very poor when their ISO sensitivities are pushed beyond ISO400 in low light.

    Then, there's the subject of the lens itself. Although Carl Zeiss is a renowned lens manufacturer, but I doubt if the company actually makes the lens for the Nokia N8. Cheaper CZ lenses are made under license from Carl Zeiss AG by a third party lens maker.

    Even if it did, don't expect its sharpness to be like one of Zeiss' Planar-T or a Distagon lenses for SLR cameras. You should compare the N8 to the likes of the new Sony Ericsson Android OS smartphones with the Sony-made, Exmor-R CMOS sensor and not a proper digital camera.

    Think of the new sensor and CZ lens as a bonus feature for a smartphone rather than the N8's specialty. Smartphone or camera? That depends on what you intend to use it for primarily. If you want a smartphone that also takes good pictures, the Nokia N8 would be the better choice.

    But if you're serious about photography and getting much better image quality, buy a proper compact camera like the Lumix LX-5, PowerShot S95. Such cameras have very fast, dedicated A/D image processors, more accurate metering, exposure options, optical zoom, much faster shot-to-shot performance and a shallower depth-of-field, which cannot be had with a slim smartphone.

    Smartphones will always be smartphones, regardless of the tiny camera that along comes with it. You can't have the proverbial cake and eat it too.


  • B Jay April 28, 2011 02:38 pm

    If we don't consider the Nokia N8 a better option as it has got larger sensor(1/1.83) than most of the cameras mentioned above? It has even got Carl Zeiss optics.
    I'm asking this because I want a better image quality, and want to buy a smartphone or a camera. But it will be better if I get both in one package.

  • andhiena April 2, 2011 02:45 pm

    how bout psnsdonic lumix TZ10?

  • Jamil Sayed November 16, 2010 12:46 am

    I have been using Nikon E4600 for last 4 years. It is an excellent camera of low price. But the image quality is awesome. I am very much pleased with the performance of E4600. It should be noted that there is a remarkable shutter lag, but the best image quality compensates it.

  • gaurav November 12, 2010 03:43 am

    Sir, I bought Casio Exilim EX-Z2000, and i am experiencing very bad with it.
    camera has very dull picture quality,it looks very nice when it is on camera screen and went scattered and very unnatural if it comes to my lap top screen, other thing is picture on its actual size got grainy image.
    I bought this camera on recommendation and found very poor experience. I am totally unsatisfied, i talked with casio customer care they just said camera has no problem.
    I am sure,there could be some other issues with this problem as Casio can not be so bad.

  • Susan Dreghorn September 10, 2010 07:12 pm

    Hope somebody can help please.
    I want to purchase a point and shoot camera and have been looking at the Canon Ixus range as they're light and portable and it would enable me to take a quick snap when I find a subject matter I might like to paint. However, I realise (due to eyesight) that one of my criteria would be to have a view finder that I can look through to focus and size shot as well as the LCD screen. Can anybody suggest a camera that does this in the point and shoot range that give good quality photos,
    thanks for your help

  • Thomas C Olson September 1, 2010 01:13 pm

    I have a Canon 20D and I always shoot in raw and the image open with 300 resolution. Most point-and-shoot cameras I have seen cannot shoot in raw and open the image with 72 dpi. This is a very low resolution. Is there a P&S camera that opens the image with a higher resolution than 72 dpi. I would like at least 240 to start working on a photo. I am not so concerned how many pixels they contain because most people do not enlarge a print than 11x14. I would like to know if there is a P&S camera on the market that has a resolution of 240 or more and if there is one that shoots in raw. Thank you.

  • Melissa Reed August 28, 2010 01:06 pm

    I think it's interesting that there are no Panasonic Lumix point and shoots on the list - I own one and part of the reason I bought it is because it is one of the top point and shoots on Flickr and looking at the images, they were fantastic. It was between that and the Canon the Lumix I bought has a Leica lens.

  • Aparna August 19, 2010 04:15 am

    I Own a Olympus 590UZ and found it to be extremely satisfying... Its a gr8 peice every photographer should have, lest he/she decide to go on the road without much to carry for nature's phtoshoot!!

  • Jamil Sayed July 6, 2010 03:03 am

    If I prepare a list of best pont Point and Shoot Models, I will keep Fujifilm HS10 on the first place. It has wonderful 30X zoom. Next cameras are Canon SX20IS, Nikon P100, and Panasonic FZ35.

  • Dia June 17, 2010 08:05 pm

    Hello back again :)
    Because so many people helped me here and my camera decision was also based on what they wrote me, Im back to report which may help other users as well, based on my humble experience.

    For the record, I started as amateur, used the Canon Powershot S1 to 3 IS series for a long time, these days Im into travel photography and selling some photos and articles. So now I bought the Canon EOS 550D with the Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD lens, after reading endless posts and advices.

    In one line: Im extremely happy with my results. Its a whole new universe of capabilities.

    When it comes to the body, for my price range I felt its one of the best solutions. Works perfect and can even shoot full HD video if people care about it. Its like a baby 7D, using the 63 zone metering system among its features and also a wider lcd screen which displays the exact size of the photos without letterboxing. Finally I can shoot handheld in low light conditions, the noise levels are very low even in high 3200 ISO settings (or more, it goes to 6400 supported and optional 12800 for extreme conditions). This is one of the reasons I also upgraded to dslr, with my Powershot S3 IS, anything from 400 ISO and above would give me considerable noise, especially at night shots. Controls are perfect and easy to use, since Im used to Canon cameras. I shoot mostly full manual or sometimes aperture or shutter speed selection modes.

    As for the lens, Im also very happy about it. Read many posts and reviews, some people complaining about slow focusing. I know it does focus a bit slower than its Canon 18-200 brother, but during day time was fast enough for me to focus and capture a flying sparrow on the air. There is a bit of difficulty focusing with ultra low conditions (talking about really low light conditions), a bit more when using the telephoto end. Fixed that using the manual focus, works great. The stabilization (VC) works great, I manage to shoot handheld night shots at 1/8 or even on 1 sec. exposure on the wider edge. This compensates a bit for the f/6.3 when using it on its telephoto end, never caused me a problem. The extra 70mm zoom (when compared to the 200mm other lenses) add quite a lot for the people who intend to use that super zoom.

    For somebody who is not super professional and wants an all day travel lens using strong zoom capabilities and doesn't want to carry more than one lenses, I would strongly recommend the tamron. I write that cause for sure and I checked and also read from the tests, shooting with prime lenses result to better and more crisp photos, guess this is something for the super professionals :)

    In some cases I read that you may also be lucky for your tamron lens to work good with your camera calibration...? Dont really know about this, but worked fine with mine from the start.

    Some of the test photos I shoot, all handheld can be found here:

    Once again all these are based on my experience, and noting down that I use photography in traveling mostly under rough conditions where I dont have the luxury to carry more lenses with me. Hope it helps some people to decide buying their own camera. If you have the extra money and wanna get into more creative photography than the programmed modes, buying a dslr would give you so much pleasure you won't want to go back to point and shoot cameras again :)

    Finally I wanna thank all the people who time the time to read and reply to my previous posts :)

  • Denver Photographer June 17, 2010 07:06 am

    Where's the leica? Honestly the lieca point and shoots are amazing!

  • megan June 15, 2010 09:49 am

    i arrived here because i am shopping for the best camera digital w/ macro that i can use for photographing my jewelery. it seemed helpful to read the article and the comments to a point. but then, as i continued to read , i found myself overwhelmed once again. need help! on my own, i've looked at Canon PowerShot A2100 IS, Nikon L100, Sony DSC-TX7, and Sony DSC-H55. but i'm so illiterate when it comes to camera speak, i really don't know if these are what i really need. i thank you very much in advance for any advice you can offer...

  • Stratman May 14, 2010 01:16 am

    @ Dia

    You're welcome. The best place for you to look for information on cameras and photography is Flickr. If you already have a Yahoo email ID, you can sign up for a free Flickr account. There are countless groups in Flickr dedicated to all kinds of photography styles you can imagine. e.g. pets, macros, flowers, landscape, portraits, night scenes, action shots, animals, wildlife, insects, abstract, clouds, shots taken from an airplane, etc..(except for p0rn, of course).

    It's worth paying USD25 a year for the Flickr Pro account. You get unlimited photo uploads, bigger video uploads, you can join more than a hundred interest groups and many extras. Serious photographers always pay for the Flickr Pro account. Facebook is NOT the place to share your photos, FB will always compress your images to low resolution and small sized images.

    So, when you've bought your 550D, be sure to search for groups related to the 550D, Canon dSLRs and of course the Tamron 18-270mm VC zoom. Look at the image pools and see how other people take photos and submit their work into the pools.

    all the best!

  • Dia May 13, 2010 11:05 pm

    WoW Stratman,
    thank you SOOOOOOO much for the time and effort you took to write me all these, they are so helpful!
    I continued to research and also think of what I need from my photography... the latest years I have started some travel writing and selling some articles and photos... this is also the reason Im upgrading my camera.

    So I decided to go for a dslr, since I worked and now have a few extra money to spare. As you suggested, I will go for the 550D, the difference in money here in Europe from the 500D is not big, and there are some features that might not interest me extremely now, but might most probably do in the future.

    As for the lens, after reading and reading so many reviews and thinking, for now I will go for one lens taking compromise on the image quality. For the start at least. So I think will go for the Tamron 18-270 and hope it will calibrate well on my camera body and not have any problems... :)

    Thank you soooooo much once again!! :)
    Will come back to this forum to report after having bought the stuff next week :)

  • Stratman May 11, 2010 02:43 am

    @ dia

    I've had a PowerShot S2 IS in 2006 and in the same year upgraded to the S3 IS, which I still have to this day although I seldom use it. It wasn't until Canon introduced the SX10 IS and SX1 IS (with the CMOS sensor) an entirely new lens replaced the old one on the S3/S5 IS. The previous lens had a focal range of 36-420mm but has a much faster maximum aperture at the telephoto end (f/3.5).

    The new USM lens on the SX20 IS has a wider range, from 28-560mm (35mm equiv) but at 560mm its largest aperture drops to f/5.7. Which means you'll have to use slower shutter speeds and/or higher ISOs to compensate for the loss of light at 560mm.

    The SX1/SX10/SX20 IS also saw the use of Canon's current DiGIC 4 processor with loads of nifty features like Smart AUTO mode and HD video, but with the exception of the CMOS based SX1 IS, all the current crop of PowerShots have a very lame burst mode - often slower than 1.3 frames/sec.

    P&S cameras like the S3 IS and SX20 IS don't need very small apertures for maximum depth of field. An aperture of f/8 on these cameras have deep depth of field like f/22 on a dSLR. Anything smaller than f/8 on a P&S camera will result in light diffraction, which means very soft looking images. I usually use f/5.6 on my S3 IS for landscape shots. At f/8 I'll get less-than-sharp photos due to diffraction.

    If you like the Canon brand, I'd suggest you try the Rebel XSi a.k.a EOS 450D. Its price has dropped since its introduction in early 2008 and it's still being sold today. It's a lightweight and small dSLR for an APS-C sensor format and is very popular with beginners and seasoned amateurs as their backup body. If you want video, you'll have to pick between the 500D and the latest (and pricey) 550D.

    DSLR hobby can be very expensive. You start to outgrow the kit lens and want a plethora of lenses from ultra wide angle to telephoto zoom. It's not unusual for Rebel dSLR owners to have lenses that are more expensive than the body itself.

    A wide zoom like the Canon EF-S 18-200mm IS or the Tamron AF 18-270mm VC will serve as a decent travel lens (when you want to have only one lens with you) but neither will give you super sharp images. Zooms of these kind are for convenience rather than for the ultimate image quality. Shorter focal range lenses are generally better but you'll need a few lenses to cover the focal range from 28mm to 560mm like on the SX20 IS.

    In terms of image quality and performance, any Rebel series camera will beat a bridge camera like the SX20 IS. Both have their pros and cons, so you'll have to decide what you really want in a camera. If you're going for a dSLR, there's no need to buy an expensive body like the EOS 50D or 7D. You can start off with the 500D (assuming you want video recording) and buy better lenses for it.

    The EF 50mm f/1.4 USM is great for low light, but even the "nifty-fifty" EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II is good enough for most casual users. When it comes to Canon lenses, things go like this:

    - The bigger the lens' maximum aperture, the more expensive it is.

    - A constant maximum aperture zoom lens is pricier than one with a variable maximum aperture model.

    - Prime lenses (fixed focal length) usually yield sharper images than zoom lenses.

    - One with a silent and fast USM autofocus motor costs more than a lens with an AFD or micro motor autofocusing drive. More expensive models have USM AF motors by default.

    - Any Canon lens with image stabilization will cost a lot more than one without IS.

    - Any L-series Canon lens command a higher price tag than a non-L type. L-lenses have a better resale value.

    - Not all L-series lenses are super stellar performers. And not all non-L lenses are that bad either.

    - The cheapest lens in Canon's lineup is the EF 50mm f/1.8 Mk II. Although it's cheap, its optical quality is surprisingly very good.

    The good news is that there are alternatives from third party lens makers such as Tamron, Sigma and Tokina if you find a particular lens from Canon expensive. The bad news is that it's a mixed bag; some people report poor performance with non-Canon lenses while others swear by them. Some owners happen to get excellent copies of lenses while others are unfortunate to receive ones with slight miscalibration. Even then, some Canon lenses have been said as poor performing ones. You need to research carefully before investing in a certain Canon lens.

    If you choose to upgrade to the SX20 IS, your cost of ownership would be minimal. At best you may want to get an external flash like the Canon Speedlite 270 EX or 430EX II and buy an adapter for the SX20 IS from Lensmate, so that you can fit special filters like polarizing and neutral density filters.

    Hope this helps and good luck with your decision! :-)

  • tom bach March 30, 2010 02:53 am

    I wish you had included the date this article was published. I cant tell if it is recent or 3 years old.

  • Elizabeth Wylie March 16, 2010 09:07 pm

    I have viewed all the communications on your site, there certainly is a bewildering choice of cameras. I stared off with a camera in 1941 and that has been my main hobby ever since. I went proessional for a good number of years and have owned many old and modern cameras. I have only two cameras, the Olympus SP-570UZ and the Panasonic DMC-FZ28. I used the Pansonic for quite some time simply because the Olympus was too heavy with four AA batteries supplying the juice to it. I have recently swung back to the Olympus simply because the lens on it produces far better colourful and razor sharp photographs than the Panasonic model does, despite the fact that the Panasonic has a Leica lens. Maybe my comments might help someone.
    Sincerely~~Liz (North Wales UK)

  • Dia March 9, 2010 09:48 am

    Hello everybody,
    I've spent a long time reading all the posts, because Im looking for information to decide on upgrading my camera.

    I got the Canon Powershot S1 IS back in 2005 and it was a great camera for start. Learned about photography as it could shoot everything manual, never shot with auto settings. My CCD got burned, Canon replaced it in 2007 for free, even after my warranty was over, with the newest model of that time Powershot S3 IS. Im still using it until now, very satisfied by it. Im traveling a lot and now I started selling my travel photos and articles to some newspapers and magazines, shot with the S3 IS. My biggest problem is the lens is not wide enough (36mm) and its difficult to shoot without a tripod with low light conditions. And also min. aperture of f/8.0 is sometimes not enough for landscape photography...

    Now I wanna go for a new camera and Im really struggling to decide, should I go for a dSLR and spend more 1000 euros for body and 2 lenses, one 50mm with an f/1.4 and a wide zoom 18-250mm or I would compromise a bit and go for the Canon Powershot SX 20 IS which has stabilizer, strong zoom, good video and everything else?

    I travel by backpacking and hitching a lot and with all kinds of weird conditions, going to many festivals and such, so also carrying with me a 1000+ euros camera equipment is something I should consider as well... its different with so expensive stuff and different with one that its around 400 euros...

    I know its the one behind the camera that counts, but I played with a Canon 35D and love it :) But again, I've raised really hard my money to hit the road again, and Im upgrading my camera... what would be your advice for me? :) :) :) Thanx a lot!!

  • yogesh March 5, 2010 04:41 pm

    Hello All,

    I have seen many people using 7 mp or 8 mp point and shoot cameras. is there any speciality in using small MP. As there is good Cannon Point and Shoot Camera model is Cannon Powershot SX IS 200. 12 MP ,12X Zoom and 5 optical zoom.

    Can some one would suggest me wather my choise was good or bad.

    Thanks in advance for your suggestion.



  • Carla March 5, 2010 01:56 am

    Is there an "updated" top 10 digital point and shoot camera poll? Thanks!

  • 7777 February 27, 2010 09:47 pm

    can i take pictures of splashing of water ,water drops &moving objects with olympus sp 590 ultra zoom camera ?12 mp 26x.

  • eugenie bafaloukos February 27, 2010 02:52 am

    I'm interested in point and shoot camera, pocket size, which can take shots in low light. Dusk. Magic hour.
    Does anyone know which model has the greatest automatic low light capability? thanks in advance for your thoughts

  • Rizny February 26, 2010 04:14 am

    Hello, I'm using a Panasonic Lumix TZ15, with 9.1 megapixels and 10X optical zoom, HD video recording with a 28mm - 280mm lense.

    Great features and value for money.

    Check out some pictures I took using this camera by clicking on the below link:

  • reizl February 25, 2010 02:31 pm

    hi there.. i would like to buy a new camera and explore the world of photography. i wana start with P&S before upgrading to getting confused between nikon s8000 or canon SX210 IS... both cameras will be out any time soon and features im looking for but dont know which camera has the best quality pictures.. any suggestion/comments for a begginer?

  • Cluke February 18, 2010 10:10 pm

    "Lens error, restart camera"... THIS is the Canon secret wallet buster. They don't tell you how many people are being stuck with paper weights, once this message pops up. It happens out of the blue and there's nothing you can do, especially if you're pass warranty. Oh sure, they will fix it , but for another hundred, some odd dollars.

  • Cluke February 18, 2010 10:01 pm

    Canon is a joke. Why pay BIG money for a cameras with a regular "lens error, restart camera" problem?
    Once that message comes on, it's a paper weight from that point, on. Nothing cures the problem.
    So, you couyld keep buying Canon forever: waiting for that jam that robs you of hard money.
    I understand this problem has occurred at soon and after warranty. Canon pretends to not know about it.

  • yogesh February 6, 2010 05:11 pm

    Hello Ruchi,

    I am Using Canon Point and Shoot Camera, model no is Canon Power shot SX 200 IS. Confg. is 12.1 MP 12X zoom 5x optical zoom total it becomes 48X zoom. with 18 preloaded features and it has Manual and Auto functions. I am also new to Photography but from last 5 mts I have developed lot in my photography. For Beginners I would say it the best camera with good price rather than pay more for DSLR or SLR's.


  • Ruchi February 5, 2010 07:45 pm

    I m new to this photography world
    i wanna buy one point shoott camera.
    can u suggest me which one to go for
    how about Canon Power Shoot SX120..........


  • Ema January 30, 2010 10:09 am

    Hi Eugenie Bafaloukos and Yogesh !

    Every time I have questions about any camera's features I go to It's a great site to learn which gives brief and detailed info about camera's features and performance.

    Hope you'll find answers there.

  • eugenie bafaloukos January 30, 2010 05:35 am

    I would like to fine a pocket size camera that has manual capacities.
    I'm leaning towards Canon.
    I like the idea of the IXUS 200
    can it be used manually
    if not is there a camera that resembles it that does have manual capabilities???

  • yogesh January 28, 2010 09:16 pm


    Recently I have purchase new Point and shoot Digital Camer of Canon, Powershot SX200IS.
    Configuration of Camer is 12X Zoom + 5 optical zoom with 12.1MP.
    I would like to develop my skills in Photography.
    I had been going through various articles published here on site.
    Could you guide me in shareing your comments of snaps that I have shoot. How better I would have shooted the same snap.
    If you could share the link where I can upload my pictures?

    Yogesh Shinde

  • Ema January 23, 2010 07:02 am

    Hi Darren,

    Thanks for your advice on ps cameras. I'll check them out.
    I had canon 200is, and i agree with you - absolutely great camera, if it only had a good ISO i wouldn't return it. Otherwise colors are very realistic, resolution is like in my sony Zeiss lensed camera and many other pluses.

    Best regards,

  • Sime January 22, 2010 11:27 pm

    kat - Yes!

    But there are two choices here...

    Top quality "Not a dSLR camera" semi-compact - Canon G11 :


    Top quality compact - Canon S90IS :

    BUT neither have very good video...

    Whereas this little guy has 720p HD video, less "real camera" functions than the two above, but still takes a great image (I'm reviewing one right now) the Canon Ixus 200IS :

    Hope that helps.


  • kat January 22, 2010 09:49 pm

    This discussion has been extremely helpful! I have taken note of some cameras mentioned here, but there are still too many on my list, and I need to narrow it down.

    I currently have an old point and shoot pocket camera, have had it for over four years, and in the past maybe two years now, I have been getting increasingly unsatisfied, to the point now that I hate the camera. The quality of pictures, quality of video, manual options/settings, etc. It's just MUCH too basic, and not good enough AT ALL.
    I am thinking that the evf/powerzoom camera would be the best way to go - a nice middle ground.
    No heavy lugging around, no lens addiction/changing (haha), and I just don't think I NEED an slr - I'm not trying to be a pro. I just want a serious camera, not a toy, something that'll give me great quality, but is still relatively light.
    I'm looking to spend around $400.
    Decent quality video is important to me. Also, something that won't disappoint me in low light/night time.
    Would like a viewfinder and a screen. Also something that isn't slow, as my current oldie is very slow.
    Anyone have any input?

  • Sime January 12, 2010 08:58 pm

    Hi Ema...

    I'd have a look at the Canon S90 or the G10 - Not as heavy as a dSLR, but with lots of "Bang for your buck" and quite quick - lag wise.

    Hope that helps.

    The Ricoh GRIII is also awesome, but doesn't have a zoom lens.


  • Ema January 12, 2010 05:39 pm

    Hi Darren,

    I was looking for some info about p&s cameras and was brought to your site. Very helpful and informative site.

    I was wondering if there is a P&S with fast (est) shutter lag and with long ,10-20, optical zoom. So far some of the ps cameras I saw have maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 but slow shutter lag even though some of them have 20x zoom.

    I am very reluctant to carry lenses and bulky dslrs for big $$. The life is already heavy without them , so I hope there is some simple but noble featured P&S camera.

    Thank you,

  • dana January 9, 2010 12:48 am

    In view of the lightening fast changes in the electronic market, it would be much more meaningful if there was a date on this article . . . my guess is since my Canon S3 IS is at the top of the 10 best point and shoot cameras, this article is at least 3 years old!


  • M. Burke January 8, 2010 11:14 am

    I have a P&S Sony DSC-H5 and a Sony alpha 300 DSLR. I like both cameras. The H5 has a Carl Zeiss lens which is very sharp and its 12 x optical zoom is great and with an added 1.7 x Sony telextender one has a maximum zoom of about 740 mm (35 mm equivalent). It can be used in aperture, shutter or manual modes as well as the auto and program modes. It is light and ideal to take on trips. I have been able to get beautiful 16 x 20 inch prints with it. The main disadvantages are it does not have RAW capability, it does not have a remote control feature and it has a perceptable shutter lag.

    While Canon and Nikon seem to be the more popular for DSLR's they do not have in the body image stabilization like the Sony DSLRs and one has to buy image stabilization lenses for these two brands. I love the DSLR for the more creative control it allows one. The ability to change lenses and to use a polarizer and the instantaneous shutter release. I currently use Minolta Maxxum and Tamron zoom lenses with it.

    In the final analysis, when all the arguments about sensor size and noise are over, it still is the photographer's ability to capture a composition that makes the pic rise above the ordinary snapshot - the camera helps but only to some extent. Correct exposure, lighting and composition is what really counts. Specialized equipment is only needed for specialized assignments such as very fast low light action or wild life photography. For most purposes one can get great images with either a P&S or a DSLR.

  • Pat Layton December 13, 2009 10:43 am

    I am a P & S person. I like simplicity in a camera because I am not a good photographer. I now need a P & S camera with a strong zoom because I need to shoot documents on occasion. It needs to be economical. Anyone have suggestions?

  • glnv December 11, 2009 01:06 pm

    Photographer...I don't know about the particular Olympus camera your referring to, however, the worst digital camera I had was Olympus. The shutter lag was horrible and image quality was darn right disappointing. I doubt be buying another Olympus again, they had their moment in the past.

  • Sime December 9, 2009 08:37 pm

    Hi Katina, I'd probably point you in the direction of either the Canon PowerShot S90IS or a Canon PowerShot G11 The latter may be a bit more camera than you're after, but would certainly do everything you would like with very good low light performance for a "semi-compact" ...the Powershot S90 (First link) is a very good compact with quite good low light performance for a compact. The issue you have with compacts and low light is that they introduce noise quite quickly due to the smaller sensor. I have used the S90 and think it performs quite well in lower light situations. Hope this helps.


  • Katina December 9, 2009 02:03 pm

    Which P&S works the best in low light situations? Do the P&S's come with flash?
    I am a novice and have no clue what to get. I do know that pics will be downloaded to computer so that I can play with them and compile albums for family and friends.
    Most pics will be at home. My home is under a ton of trees so I have very low light. Also some of kids sports games so whats good for that? Average use and average cost.
    Thanks to all who can help.

  • Subrata December 6, 2009 04:56 am

    Nikon is best!
    I have used slr, dslr and digital cameras of brands- Canon, Sony, Kodak and Panasonic.
    I found Nikon to give best and sharp picture quality.
    Its a personal opinion and experience.

  • gretchen November 13, 2009 07:29 pm

    My point and shoot is the Canon G10. My DSLR is the Canon 5D Mark II. I carry the p&s with me at all times.

  • Pritam October 19, 2009 11:30 pm

    Hi Bob,

    I suggest you should read the comparison study between Point-n-shoot & DSLRs at some other article in DPS. Basic points would be,
    (i) Better picture quality, color depth.
    (ii) More control in Manual mode.
    (iii) Low noise

    However " great" is a subjective word, so you have to consider the benefits along with the Extra cost of DSLR & the lenses.

  • Maltese Bob October 19, 2009 04:32 am

    Hi, I'm (another) newbie here. At the moment, I am the proud owner of a Nikon Coolpix P80, 10mp, 18X zoom (27-486mm). I've been reading a lot about DSLRs and lenses, but I'm still not sure why do I have to upgrade to a DSLR. Ok, I understand that with DSLRs you can have more flexibility when it comes to lenses, but my coolpix can already do a lot from a wide-angle, to zoom, macro zoom... I can take great pictures with it. It has VR (vibration reduction), it can fit on a tripod, and i found out that i can even buy filters for it. At this point, having read about DSLRs I am very much interested in owning one, but not yet convinced. Can someone convince me please? Btw, I'm mostly interested in travel and landscape photography, and I'm into photography as a hobby, because I happen to travel a lot, and really would like to take great shots when I'm around. Thanks.

  • SueS October 7, 2009 11:35 am

    I too own the Canon SX10 IS. I couldn't decided between that and a DSLR. It was just a little cheaper and I thought that at the time I didn't know too much and was afraid to spend the extra money. I do love it!!! However, now that I've taken some classes and know more, I would really love a DSLR! I just got this one last Dec. and am trying to justify buying a DSLR. But I do get some great shots and lots of compliments on some of my photos, I would just like real professional look and feel I could only get that with a DSLR.

  • Gary Sprague October 5, 2009 03:48 am

    I am useing a Nikon P90 and so far i am extreamly happy with it 12.1 mp and the zoom is way beyond exceptional 24x
    in my humble oppion it is a great starter camera and a good back up for the dslr

  • Chuck Thomas September 23, 2009 07:34 am

    I find your analysis very helpful. How do you discern the relative size of the sensor that is used by a particular camera? Is there a numerical specification or standard that lets you make an interpretation of "biggest", "too small," etc. Thanks.

  • wie September 13, 2009 04:09 pm

    I agree with moses and manop that this list needs to be updated to reflect the current offerings in P&S market

  • Rick Ripple September 10, 2009 03:47 am

    For me, a camera is a tool to gather photo reference for drawings and water color paintings.
    Darren , your information was very useful, informative, graphically illustrated and well organized .
    Thanks for the help in selecting a new camera . Based on your information and because I am NOT a
    strong techno. guy , I am going with the fastest DPS with the largest op. viewfinder and image sensor available on a DPS.
    Thanks Again ,

    Rick Ripple

  • Kartik August 7, 2009 04:30 pm

    I'm a newbie to this area and just abt 6 months into serious photography. The camera which really caught my eye (with the help of google ofcourse initially) was Cannon Sx10IS.... I wanted to invest in the optical zoom and was def not ready for a DSLR. This camera gave me exactly that. 10 MP with a 20x zoom.

    I think the beauty abt this camera is that it can be used by a wide range of people. I myself have used it only on auto and the designated scene modes on my first trip (when i didnt know much) and got great results.. and it has all the features to keep you busy experimenting like shutter speed, exposure etc...ofcourse its nothing compared to a DSLR but as mentioned caters to a wide range.

    Negatives: very heavy..A newbie who tries to click using the LCD will struggle initially if he tries to use it like the slimfit P&S and end up with blurred snaps.

    Would request a new post on the same topic. Maybe it would spring up some interesting results.

  • John.D August 6, 2009 07:38 am

    Hi, I just purchased my first ever sub compact camera, that is a Canon SD1100 IS. I had to decide between a Sony DSCW 150 and the Canon. I was really going to buy the Sony but backed away after some Goggling. Image quality was a concern for many owners and most important, I owuld have had to buy these expensive Memory Stick. Coolpix line: nver in a thousand years. Cheaply made and horrible IQ. Though I have a Nikon D50 which I love and takes astounding photos, a Fuji S5200 which is exceptional in low light and a behemoth Sony DSC R1 (CF cards) that takes beautiful pictures. I concur: in the P&S world, nothing beats a Canon. Endnote: my first digital cam was an Olympus Camedia D100 (1.4 pixels) which was built like a tank. Next I bought a Canon S2IS that died on me, thanks to the E18 error. So I stayed away from Canon after that. Today I’m giving Canon another try but I’m still very anxious, To me, Canon is not exactly trustworthy.

  • Manop July 27, 2009 06:57 am

    I totally agree with the above comment. The up-to-date top 10 p&s cameras would be nice. By the way, I'm so surprised that there is no Olympus camera in your list.

  • Moses July 4, 2009 05:16 pm

    Since this poll was done almost 2 years ago, it might be interesting to re-visit assessment. 2 Years is a long time in the digital camera world and many, many new products are on the market. My current favourite P&S is the Canon G10.

  • Lu June 19, 2009 02:15 am

    I'm looking for a small point and shoot that doesn't have a long shutter lag. Is there such a thing?

  • Michael O'Brien June 1, 2009 04:27 pm

    Maybe, we should take a look at the 'new' Kodak Z980 Digital Point-and-Shoot camera. Bought it as a back-up to my DSLR. This Kodak Z980 with 12 MP and 24X (26-624mm) wide angle Schneider-Kreuznach Variogon optical power zoom lens with other great features, may 'not' be my back-up camera for long. I haven't picked my DSLR in two weeks, because of this 'new' camera. This 'new' Kodak Z980 Digital Point-and-Shoot is a 'winner' and will give any DSLR a run for it's money. By the way.., the price is also a 'winner'.

  • Natesh May 24, 2009 03:32 am

    I bought a Canon Powershot SX100 IS last year, and must say I'm really happy with it (10X optical zoom; 8MP resolution). It's really a hybrid camera, between a DSLR and a point-and-shoot. It has features like shutter priority, aperture priority and manual controls, along with manual focusing. exposure compensation, ISO setting, flash settings, slow sync, image stabilization, multiple face detect, etc that allow you to take full control over every aspect of photography. And I think it looks and feels nice. The price was less than half of what is advertised in for the Canon PowerShot Pro Series S3 IS that is shown at the top of this blog.

    Some people have asked for advice regarding buying the "right" camera. Let me say that this will depend entirely on your personal needs, and if you go by other people's advice you are likely to be disappointed, as some important need of yours that you never clearly thought about may not be met.

    For example, when I set out to buy a camera, I knew I wanted the following features (among others):

    1. Must have very good optical zoom: the higher the better. Good resolution would be a plus point. I never planned to make huge printouts, so huge resolution was not required.
    2. Must not be bulky (that pretty much ruled out SLRs). Ease of carrying was important to me. I'd rather have a lesser camera that I could carry everywhere, than a super camera that I would find difficult to take around with me.
    3. Using AA batteries would be an advantage, as I could find these readily available anywhere if required in a hurry when my own battery was exhausted.
    4. Lots of manual controls that could also help me to learn more about photography would be an advantage.
    5. I didn't want an LCD monitor that opened out on hinges. I wanted one that was fixed in place. This was because of a bad experience with a video camera earlier. The hinged monitor got damaged because it was "opened too much", and replacing it cost a fair bit of money. I thought, the less the moving parts, the better.

    And so on. The more the merrier. Actually, my list grew longer as I went and looked at cameras and found out about more features.

    You would be well advised to make a similar list of what you want and what you don't want, what you wouldn't mind having, how much you are willing to consider paying, etc. Just think about what you would like to photograph, and the conditions under which you plan to photograph. Otherwise the options are just too many, and can drive you crazy. And after you've done your buying, you'll realize too late that you should have guessed that the kids would drop your camera first thing (a little forethought might have guided you to the rugged, drop resistant, water resistant and very pretty Olympus models as the right choice for you.)

    For example, will you need to attach filters to your camera? My model cannot take them. Maybe you would like to use polarising filters to cut down on reflections? It's up to you. I didn't think I would need it all that much.
    Do you want to consider interchangeable lenses? You will need a DSLR for that.
    Will you need a hot shoe for an additonal external flash? Mine doesn't have one. But I can use a "slave flash" that will be triggered automatically when my built-in flash fires.
    Do you need a built-in viewfinder? Mine doesn't have one. Doesn't really bother me.
    Do you need a rugged model? Would you like to do underwater photography? Should it be able to take a little rain water? Will your kids be using it?
    Do you plan to take high-speed action pictures?

    I think you get the picture!

  • Pritam May 17, 2009 11:00 am

    Can anybody help me to decide which on to buy between Sony Cybershot DSC-H50 or Nikon Coolpix P80. Or Should I spent a little more money and get a Cannon Powershot SX 10 IS. Appreciate you response.

  • Denja April 17, 2009 01:48 am

    I was really rather surprised that the Kodak Z1012 was not mentioned in the top ten. I shoot both medium format and 35 mm film cameras, but had not invested in a DSLR. I have a friend that owns a Z1012, and he raved about it. I borrowed it and was utterly amazed. About the only thing that I miss on it is rear curtain sync, but when I need that I can use my 35 SLR. For the price and covenient size, the Z1012's image quality, zoom range, and shooting modes are amazing.

  • DQ April 16, 2009 08:42 pm

    Would you please suggest what I should look for?
    I dont want to play around with lens, i want all auto if possible, if there r options for manual too thats not a problem.
    So what I understand from you is that point and shoot cameras are good for us?
    I would like good zoom , and optical lens should be good, i have OLympus c-70, with 5x zoom, would want double or more than that, megapixels dont matter to me...8 would be fine i guess...
    I know its a baby camera, but i have had immense satisfaction with this
    The shutter speed is less, which i want to look into too...faster shutter or lag as of in technical terms
    if u suggest some DSlr with these values which has inbuilt auto systems , I would be interested in that too
    Aw but dont want too heavy cameras
    SniFF do i seem confused?
    Thanks For listening!

  • DQ April 16, 2009 08:31 pm

    Allow Me To say, You are such a BOON!

    I am amazed at the amount of efforts n fine tuning you have done regarding cameras, was searching to upgrade from digital cameras, as i was keen to take close up flowers n faces...hence came across you

    wow i seek so much in my cam lol
    Video Priority
    remote ...PRIORITY
    Point and shoot (prof dslr wud not be me i guess, dont haVe the patience
    Wow so happy I found You

  • ForestWander Nature Photography March 21, 2009 03:36 pm

    Personally I like the Canon G9.

    I like the manual features of this point and shoot.

  • Bim March 17, 2009 09:51 pm

    Errr... What about the Canon Powershot G7... or the most recent addition the G10. Outstanding capabilities!

  • jam March 16, 2009 12:33 pm

    hi guys..
    i have to ask for your opinions since you're the pro.
    which dslr camera should i get? a canon or a nikon?

    i do have a canon compact camera and the features are cool but im wondering if i should get myself another one or try to switch to nikon..

    please help me with this: i've heard that ten canon cams is only equivalent to only one nikon cam..? hmmmm....

    by the way, i've learned much from this site...

    thank you very much!!!

    i'd love to hear from you soon...

  • kostas March 1, 2009 06:06 pm

    i want to bay the canon sx1 is,for quick shuter, superzoom and little video.Iwant ACAMERA for to foto karate fight (my son 9 year) idont want dslr.what is your think. thank you

  • Margie February 20, 2009 01:38 pm

    Thank you so much, racineur and Richard for sharing your experience and taking the time to reply to my questions. From what I'm reading, a camera is a very personal choice. A lot depends on what you like to shoot, the size and feel of the camera, how experienced the photographer is and the bottom line, is the budget. I'm really looking for something I can grow with in experience, that won't overwhelm me or have too many accessories and take away from the fun of taking pictures.
    To that end, I'm taking notes and following up on all the great suggestions I have received here.
    Many Thanks !

  • Richard Lai February 19, 2009 06:02 pm

    Hi Margie
    I have recently bought the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 and have enjoyed the capabilities of the camera which took absolutely punchy photos. It takes fantastic photos at ISO 100 - 200. Anything above ISO 400 will have noise present but that is quite prevalent with other camera with the same size sensor, so its not unusual or specific to TZ5. I don't think there is any point buying another point and shoot camera because you have got the best or second or third best of the lot. If you are interested in taking beautiful photos then the next camera should be a DSLR ( because of the bigger sensor and manual control, you get better dynamic range and smoother gradation ). I recently have upgraded to a Pentax 200D DSLR ( very cheap )and was amazed at how much better the photos turned out. I am not going to brag about my DSLR but for the price and features its an enjoyable and ( enough sophistication and features ) to do some serious photography with it. With a prime lens it will probably produce professional results. Remember that the photogapher comes first and then the camera.
    Hope you have a great time with the TZ5 ( what it lacks is RAW capture and manual control ). This is why you need the DSLR. Happy snapping.

  • Racineur February 8, 2009 10:39 am

    Hi, I just purchased my first ever sub compact camera, that is a Canon SD1100 IS. I had to decide between a Sony DSCW 150 and the Canon. I was really going to buy the Sony but backed away after some Goggling. Image quality was a concern for many owners and most important, I owuld have had to buy these expensive Memory Stick. Coolpix line: nver in a thousand years. Cheaply made and horrible IQ. Though I have a Nikon D50 which I love and takes astounding photos, a Fuji S5200 which is exceptional in low light and a behemoth Sony DSC R1 (CF cards) that takes beautiful pictures. I concur: in the P&S world, nothing beats a Canon. Endnote: my first digital cam was an Olympus Camedia D100 (1.4 pixels) which was built like a tank. Next I bought a Canon S2IS that died on me, thanks to the E18 error. So I stayed away from Canon after that. Today I'm giving Canon another try but I'm still very anxious, To me, Canon is not exactly trustworthy.

  • Margie February 6, 2009 12:12 pm

    trisha, THANK YOU for taking time to share your experience with me. I've heard a lot of really good things about Olympus cameras. I'm taking notes :)

  • Trisha February 6, 2009 08:19 am

    Hi, new to this site, and have to agree with Dave above with RAW vs Jpeg.. might be I need a professional RAW software program rather than those supplied by camera manufacturers. Have mainly used Olympus
    cameras and always had spectacular results, from the manual OM1, to the E-100RS which I must say was a fantastic camera and even with one 1 mpx I got really great shots.. (Fuji in the middle) then on to the SP570 superzoom with spectacular pictures, particulary those with the zoom macro.. I am now looking foward to the new Olympus superzoom out next month.. wow! imagine 12 mp and 27 optical zoom.. can't wait. I mainly take pictures of wildlife - so need a camera light and easy to use and carry and quick to zoom in and get that shot.. A lot of my friends have pentax, panasonic and canon cameras and they all consider the pictures taken by the SP570 quite superior in picture quality, like everyone, I certainly have some duds here and there, but overall the camera has provided me with stunning shots and opportunities I would never have had to capture once off shots... having to carry one camera instead of a bag full of components makes everything so much easier. Cheers...

  • Margie February 5, 2009 02:37 am

    MANY THANKS,Dave, for your very helpful reply.

  • Margie February 5, 2009 02:37 am

    THANK YOU so very much for your kind reply.
    It was very helpful and you seem to understand my level of performance.
    I am going to take a careful look at this camera for consideration.
    Best wishes,

  • Dave February 3, 2009 11:13 pm


    I'm not a professional by any stretch, but I think the lens quality is one of the major considerations on 'point and shoots'. On the basis you only get one unchangable lens, it needs to be good. I used to be a Sony freak but I think their cameras often look great and have great design features but don't live up to the expectation. I moved to Panasonic (who use Leica lenses) and have been very happy. I recently upgraded to an FZ28 superzoom. I love it. I was thinking of getting a beginners SLR but decided that I wanted a bit more ease of use and less stuff to carry around with me. The FZ28 allows manual control of many features or fully auto. The big advantage for me is that I get great Macro shots up to fully 'zoomed in' shots all on one lens. With SLR you obviously need a few different lenses.

    Portraits and Macro are really good on this camera, sometimes shots can be a little 'soft' at full size, but if you view/print at no more than A4 size it is not much of an issue. If you are prepared to learn the features and experiment a bit (menus are bit odd in layout) then the FZ28 is a great camera. If you are prepared to spend a bit of time processing on your PC/Mac then the ability to shoot RAW is also great (although bizarrely I find the finest JPEG mode often produces better shots that the RAW - probably just me!).

  • Margie January 30, 2009 03:39 am

    Hi, Darren,
    I have been on the fence over which camera to buy. My first digital was a Sony Cybershot 5.1 mpix, sort of clunky but what a spectacular lense. I up-graded to a Fuju Finepix S5700, which I like, but I have a lot of trouble with noise as I'm still learning to use the apreture and film speed. My newest addition was the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5, beautiful clarity, less noise, But I miss the viewfinder.
    What I want to know is Do You Buy the camera with the best lens ? and aren't the Leica and Carl Zeiss lens
    the best out there? If not, why not? If so, why then isn't the Sony Carl Zeiss or the Panasonic Leica lens
    camera the best to go with ? I will eventually hope to "graduate" to an SLR and want to make an educated purchase. I love to photograph portraits, wildlife, macro botanical, and zoom way out there to capture a lighthouse or sailing ship. I really appreciate your time in answering my questions.
    I was referred to this site by my Forum friends at

  • Canon Maiden January 20, 2009 09:35 pm

    Canon S1, S2, S3 and S5 are absolutely wonderful cameras. My first digital camera was the S1. It was a faithful friend and an outstanding learning tool. I now have an S5 and although I still envy anyone with a Rebel, I can't complain. After all, my S5 can show you craters on the moon and the only accessory required is a tripod.

  • Sime January 18, 2009 10:06 am

    Hey Mikey, I own a 30D and a 960is and the shots are not comparable. I don't know what you've had done to your 720is, but I'd sure love to see some shots side by side.


  • Mikey January 18, 2009 05:12 am

    I own a canon 30d, a canon xsi rebel, and a canon 720is. The point and shoot 720is takes great pics that often rival the pics taken with the other 2 dslrs, and it has IS and face detection built-in. It also renders beautiful color and can take quick photos of the sea and sky with great contrast and detail just using the settings dial.

  • Lenore January 14, 2009 11:02 am

    Is a Panasonic FX 150 Lumix a good point and shoot camera. How about the DMC FX 150?

  • Philip January 9, 2009 01:25 am

    PS: the LX3 also stores RAW files if you like.

  • Philip January 9, 2009 01:24 am

    Have a look at the Panasonic Lumix LX3, which has become my take-everywhere camera of choice. It is a tiny compact camera with full manual controls (granted, the manual focus via joystick is a bit odd). It has a fantastic wide-angle lens and goes down to f2 and ISO 80.

  • adam January 1, 2009 05:36 am

    The point and shoot term is kind of misleading, and probably the wrong one to apply to compact digitals: an SLR in program mode is also point and shoot, and A and G series Powershots have full manual controls.

    To me there are three functional categories: pocket cameras, the EVFs, and SLRs. I think of EVFs (or power zooms or prosumer or whatever you want to call them) as analogous to rangefinders - smaller and easier to carry around than an SLR, but with more features and better optics than a pocket camera.

    I've got a Powershot 710IS too and it's great... I'm sad to see that Canon seems to have dropped the series after the 720. The 650 and SX110 have similar features, but they're a bit bigger too.

  • AnafromNO November 26, 2008 06:55 am

    I got a free Casio Exilim EX Z1080 when I participated in a rewards program with a vendor I use frequently. This little freebie is actually a 10.1 megapixel, 3x zoom gem with manual options for aperture and ISO. It has a great histogram and focus lock. Rather sophisticated. It takes really crisp pictures with no significant digital noise or moire pattern. I've been able to use almost all photos for large size print output at 300dpi & CMYK color mgmt.

    I just got a Kodak Z1012 IS on sale at I've not used it yet but the controls look logically placed and easy to understand. It was very highly rated thru'out the web for its class which is inexpensive, 10.1 mp, 12x optical zoom with manual ISO and full automatic settings. We'll see how it goes.

    I'm a sub professional (book published) photographer who's for years used a Nikon SLR. I'm new to the digital photo world but very excited by what I've found so far and it's such a relief to be spared the tedium of changing film... Fun stuff!

  • john October 12, 2008 12:24 pm

    do you use auto mode and zoom out as well .
    if so i have try this and my photo are very grainy .
    try manuel mode and zoom out

  • john October 12, 2008 12:20 pm

    i have a lumix dmc-fz18
    i get great shot from this camera i take photo of truck with oversize loads on the move i use sports mode i get very good shots i use my opticl zoom 18 x.
    the camera it has some down fall as well on over cast days shuter speed is slow .
    dont get much time with truck heading for you at 60-80 km/ph may be 10 shots at most .

  • Hannah September 28, 2008 01:20 pm

    I just purchased the Sony DSCW170 and I want to cry. The camera looks great and has many options, but when I looked at the pictures on my computer they were horrible, very grainy. I've only owned one other camera (Canon A75 Powershot with 3.2mp) and the pictures from it are outstanding compaired to this camera. Am I doing something wrong. I figured couldn't mess up "Auto" mode, but apparently I did. Can someone help me please?!

  • Anthony July 16, 2008 07:17 pm

    I purchased the S3 IS close to two years ago now and it's been a truly great camera. It's served me well until recently where I splurged for the XSi/450D. I'll probably still use the S3 over the SLR when I need the ultra telephoto zoom (too poor to spend $1500 on a nice piece of glass).

    My SD630 is small & convenient too although now that my skills have improved I wish it had a full manual (or even Av/Tv) modes. Anyone suggest a good P&S upgrade to the SD630 with aperture/shutter priority modes? (while still being nice and thin)

  • Roby June 14, 2008 06:46 pm

    I own the Canon Powershot S5 IS and I absolutely love it

  • Alison June 14, 2008 06:18 am

    I'm thinking about nikon s52. is this camera better than canon a620?

  • Ashvin May 28, 2008 11:09 am

    Any idea about the performance of the Sony DSCW170? It's got great specs. But the general feedback i got from multiple reviews is that Sony, in general, under-performs on indoor shots. How true is that?

  • Image Clipping May 26, 2008 04:43 pm

    The recording pixels now include a "Widescreen" feature that has the same aspect ratio as 16:9 widescreen TVs for shooting wide images. Adding ISO [800] has resulted in a faster shutter speed even when shooting in dark environments.


    Image Clipping Services

  • photo booth frank March 7, 2008 01:14 am

    I love my Nikon D50. I've owned it for about 4 months and just absolutely love it. This is my first DSLR. Previously I messed with a Canon SD100, which did great in low light settings. The pictures were just amazing and vivid. I now use that camera in my photo booth and it works out great. Only other bad thing is how slow it is to get ready to take a picture. Very slow

  • Andy February 17, 2008 07:46 am

    The Sony DSC-T200 is the coolest camera out there if you want to impress your friends with technology. Unfortunately, the indoor pictures are some of the worst you will ever see. Extremely grainy in most indoor lighting! You could get better pictures with most cameras that cost less than $100. This explains why so few people actually buy the DSC-200.

  • Jigishu January 14, 2008 08:08 pm

    I thought Sony cameras are cool and stylish but don't understand why only few people buy it. People should take a look at the all new DSC-T200.

  • Sid December 31, 2007 10:17 pm

    Can anyone tell me if canon ixus75 is a good P&S camera. I'm just looking for something to get me started with photography that i can carry in my pocket.

    I'm very new to photography and have never owned a camera before.

  • Tomate Farcie December 9, 2007 04:26 am

    I have been a P&S camera user for a while now and was looking into possibly upgrading to an entry-level DSLR to have a little more fun. So I was going on line to try to educate myself a little bit before making a decision. Thanks for taking the time to post these articles for us. TF

  • ausGeoff November 19, 2007 01:29 am

    I think - with regard to the above pie chart - that the operative comment underneath is "among our readers".
    Such a relatively small and weighted sampling doesn't really prove anything one way or the other.
    To imply that Canon sells nearly half of ALL point and shoots is ludicrous, and certainly inconsistent with actual sales world-wide.
    All this illustrates is that the Canon "fan boys" are way more vocal about their toys!

  • Ritchel November 9, 2007 11:43 pm

    Nice infos here. I am looking for quality digital cameras with fair price. And the articles are helpful. Thanks!

  • john D walsh October 19, 2007 06:55 am

    I have canon 710 IS. & got tremendous pics' from it.
    will go in coat-pocket. lots of modes on. for price better than the S3 IS. lighter & lens accessories etc. has 6 optical as well. later version= 720 IS.has face detection.

  • Photographer September 7, 2007 10:00 pm

    I wonder why people don't like olympus models. For example Olympus SP-560 UZ is one of the best recently announced point and shoot cameras and there are much more very good models from olympus. I understand that Nikon and Canon has good name, but Olympus produce as good cameras as Nikon and Canon (my oppinion).

  • Rusty August 23, 2007 11:58 am

    I own a Canon Powershot A95. I'm an amateur photographer that does some serious photography. I recently got rid of my Minolta XG1 film and all lenses for $80. I was lucky to get that. I've used DSLR's (Canon, Nikon) and love both. I travel and do sports, but basically throw my stuff around all over the place. My A95 has been with me for 4yrs almost and is still shooting...barely. However, it works. It has dents, scratches, nicks, and chips. I cannot stress how much I love the metal body.

    I've taken some amazing photos (and many not so), but have always loved the result. It's clunky and slow now. I have to coax it into zooming sometimes, but people are always impressed with the quality. Yes, it pales in comparison to the new models of anything, but you know what... ain't all in the camera. It's who's behind it that counts.

  • Sonya August 19, 2007 04:59 pm

    I went to check out the popular S3 specs at the Canon site but
    there are no "S" series cameras listed. Only "SD". Does this mean the "S" cameras have all been discontinued? There seem to be too many cameras to choose from anyway and models don't seem to last over a year. Is this becasue the technology changes that fast or it it just to make money? I just don't understand why the popular cameras are discontinued.

    Thanks in advance for responding.

  • George Fragos August 18, 2007 06:04 am

    A great photograph is 90% photographer and 10% camera. Camera features add to the potential subject list. An expensive full featured camera doesn't insure great photographs.

  • cassie August 16, 2007 11:22 am

    I am still lovin' my Canon S2IS... it was my gateway camera...after I bought it I started to experiment with Manual mode and really started to love photography. I still have and use my S2 regularily especially for video and Super Macro!!

  • Jason August 15, 2007 06:06 am

    I wonder how popular the Sony Cybershot DSC series would be if you combined all those using H1/H2/H5 cameras. I personally use an H2.

  • Mario August 15, 2007 01:23 am

    Forgot to say that I consider EVF cameras a subset of P&S because the visor only has a tiny LCD with is practically unusable, being the rest of the features almost identical, so the LCD visor can be considered a gimmick instead a feature imho.

  • Mario August 15, 2007 12:42 am

    I own a Nikon Coolpix 5700, Canon Powershot A520, and a DSLR Canon 400D which I bought in that order, and my opinion is that Canon software is way more powerful in P&S segment at least that Nikon. On the Nikon there is a very noticeable lag from the moment you point and something and when it actually takes the photo which can be measured in seconds.

    The A520 (4 Mp), even it was marketed as a lower camera than the 5700 (5.1 Mp)usually delivers much higher quality in the kind of fast shoots you can expect to use a P&S camera, handles better lightning and it overalls to a much pleasurable experience on top of it has plenty of manual controls more easily selectable than with the Nikon even if the Nikon has a lot of extra buttons to make those adjustments fast.

    I always carry the A520 even when I carry my DSLR too, cause I want to be able to make some discrete and fast shoots which could spoil the subject if I get out a big camera for example. Im so satisfied with it Im going to buy another P&S from canon updated with more Mp.

  • John August 15, 2007 12:38 am

    Yes, but I'm actually looking for a Point and Shoot so this could be of interest to me. I'd like to see a survey of what people use as a camera with the following constraints - it must be pocket/compact size and they must have another larger camera. I'd expect to see quite a few Canon IXUS's and Fuji Fxx's but I'm not sure what to go for.

  • armondjg August 14, 2007 11:58 pm

    I have the Sony H5 and love it! I used to use Nikon´s SLRs.
    The Sony only has one major problem- no hot shoe.

  • Matthew Miller August 14, 2007 11:36 pm

    I have to disagree with the previous comment about EVF cameras. An EVF is just a point & shoot digital camera with a second, smaller LCD screen in a tiny peep-hole. Fundamentally, their feature set doesn't differ significantly from other P&S cameras, and in fact is usually somewhat worse than that of some nice "bridge" cameras like my old Olympus C-5060. Their main feature is generally a large zoom range including a lot of telephoto reach. That's useful and cool (despite the obligatory image quality compromises).

    I'm not saying there's anything wrong with them, but however you argue it, there's one thing that unquestionably puts them in the same category as P&S cameras: a tiny little sensor.

  • Suzanne August 14, 2007 11:27 pm

    I use the new Olympus SP-550 UZ and despite some negative reviews, simply love it. It has way more pluses than minuses. That said, when I went into the market for a new camera, I could have bought a DSLR and didn't. I love the freedom of a compact digital camera. I like being more portable and not having to carry so much equipment. It works much better for my type of photography and do not regret my decision at all.

  • Tomek B. August 14, 2007 06:47 pm

    I just got Ricoh Caplio R6. Not enough pictures taken yet but looks promising!

  • Graeme Smith August 14, 2007 05:59 pm

    It's to bad Ricoh has such a small market share - they make cool and innovative cameras! I was reading about the new one with a 24 mm wide angle zoom lens and it looks like a nice camera!

  • Navneeth August 14, 2007 04:10 pm

    I'm an S3 IS user, I love the camera, and I completely agree with Amigone201. :)

  • Dayle August 14, 2007 03:29 pm

    Interesting article...
    Nikon is no where in site when it comes to P&S...
    but I too own a canon P&S and its def worth it...

  • L.E August 14, 2007 12:15 pm

    I currently own a dsc-h2 and the s3-is was a bit more than I could afford,If I had the money I would have bought an Xti for sure.The dsc-h2 does basically what I need and some of my friends with d-slrs( 20d and xt) are also quite fond of my camera,simply because of the zoom lens.Over the 2 months I have had it i have now snapped over 7000 photos with it and am quite happy now.Wished it looked like the s3 is though. :)

  • AC August 14, 2007 10:11 am

    My S2IS is around 2 years old now.. but I still use it on a more or less daily basis. It does what I need it to do - but I do have DSLR envy and want to get one :D

  • Sime August 14, 2007 08:34 am

    I had the Canon powershot pro 1 (an ElectronicViewFinder camera) and I personally classed that as a point and shoot, just because of the way it handled... I guess horses for courses?

  • Darren August 14, 2007 08:22 am

    While I take your point on the EVF classification I didn't want this series of posts to start breaking up into too many categories. Point and shoot, EVFs, entry level dslrs, pro dslrs etc - so I broke them into two categories and hope people will be OK with that.

    There is a real difference between the EFSs and the other point and shoots though - hopefully people will be able to see the top 5 or so of each above pretty clearly.

  • Puplet August 14, 2007 08:12 am

    Agreeing with the above: great cameras but hardly "point and shoot"!

  • Amigone201 August 14, 2007 08:03 am

    A lot of those are EVFs. They're not as powerful as SLRs, but in a class far beyond a regular point and shoot. When you talk about a point and shoot camera, people are generally looking for something with a little less power and more automation than an EVF. I don't consider EVFs to be in quite the same range as a standard point and shoot.

  • Elliot August 14, 2007 07:52 am

    Interesting that Nikon does so badly in the point-and-shoot realm. I shoot with a D50, when I recommend pocket cameras to friends, I always strongly recommend Canon. Nikon's offerings in this arena have always struck me as overpriced and underfeatured, and in terms of image quality, Canon impressed me more. I do love Nikon SLR's, though.