Point and Shoot Camera Reviews

Thank you for visiting my Point and Shoot Camera Reviews page.

If you want an overview of all the many types of digital cameras, then you may want to start at my What Type of Camera Should I Buy article.

Point and shoot compact cameras are at the ‘value for money’ end of the market. However, they still provide a high level of specification, but for a great budget-friendly price. They are very easy to use, with many automated features, and can easily fit into a pocket or bag.

If you are looking for a camera to capture great images, but don’t want the stress of thinking about what setting to use, then these are the cameras that have been made for you.

Whether this is your first camera purchase; you are looking for something simple that you can carry around with you for taking great candid shots; or you are just looking for the best point and shoot camera on the market, then this is the page you have been looking for.

What to Look Out For

Todays best compact cameras all have impressive features, but what should you be looking out for ?

Some of the models reviewed below offer features that you would only normally expect in much high specification models :

  • Image stabilization,
  • A variety of on-board filters
  • Portrait improving technology

In point and shoot cameras, the zoom ranges are generally more modest than in Super Zoom Cameras. However, you can still capture a fantastic range of pictures.

Most models will come in a selection of different colours. In addition to traditional black or silver, why not try pink or metallic blue ?

Adam’s Point and Shoot Camera Reviews

Here are my 7 favourite point and shoot digital cameras. I have put them in alphabetical order – in case you are looking for a particular brand. But these are what made the final review list :

  • Canon Powershot A1300
  • Canon PowerShot A2300
  • Fujifilm FinePix Z70
  • Fujifilm JV100
  • Nikon COOLPIX S3300
  • Olympus VG-170
  • Panasonic Lumix S3

Canon Powershot A1300 Review

Canon Powershot A1300 Review Image
Colors Available : Black or Silver

I have decided to review two Canon digital cameras. The first is the A1300, you can really snap up some fantastic images thanks in part to the Smart Auto Mode. This picks the best settings for up to 32 different scenes (i.e. the camera assesses what you are taking a picture of, and in what conditions, and sets the camera up for the best possible result).

Here are some of the special scene modes :

  • Portrait – brings focus to the subject, whilst blurring the background.
  • Face Self-timer – won’t take a shot until a face enters the frame.
  • Super vivid – Brings the colors to life.
  • Fireworks – Enables you to take spectacular shots of fireworks.
  • Long Shutter – Blurring effects when taking moving objects (think of the light trails left by cars or stars at night).
  • Discreet Mode – Turns off all lights, flashes and camera noises at the flick of a switch. Enables you to take pictures without disturbing others (e.g. babies asleep).
  • Fish-eye effect – Classic distortion without actually having to have a fish-eye lens.

There are many more scenes to play with (see A2300 below).

Even though it’s quite a slim camera, it still has a powerful 5x optical zoom lens.

Unusually, this camera has an optical viewfinder as well as the standard LCD screen at the back. The optical viewer comes into its own in bright sunlight when it can be impossible to actually see the image on the LCD screen. It’s also useful when your batteries are running low and you want to save energy by switching off the LCD screen.

The zoom range is from 28mm (for wide-angle sweeping landscapes, tall buildings or large groups of people in a line) and goes to 140mm (telephoto to really zoom in on your subject).

There is an excellent Help Button signified with a “?” button on the control panel. This gives you a help and advice on the LCD screen. There are plenty of answers to common questions and it even gives shooting advice. It also hi-lights, on a diagram, the buttons you are going to need for any given function.

Specifications :

  • Name : Canon PowerShot A1300 16.0 MP Digital Camera with 5x Digital Image Stabilized Zoom 28mm Wide-Angle Lens with 720p HD Video Recording
  • Dimensions : (Width) 94.7mm x (Height) 61.7mm x (Depth) 29.8mm
  • Weight : 174g
  • Megapixels : 16.0
  • Zoom : 5x Optical Zoom with 28mm Wide-Angle lens
  • Battery Type : 2 AA batteries
  • Pictures Per Charge : 220
  • HD Video : 720p HS Video
  • LCD Screen Size : 2.7 inches
  • Colors Available : Black / Silver

Summary :

The Canon Powershot A1300 camera works great and you won’t need a 25 page manual to work out how to use it.

Good Points :

  • Help button to assist those who are not technically minded
  • Controls are kept to a minimum, which is ideal for the newbie
  • Common battery type (although you will need rechargeables)
  • Great value for money

Bad Points :

  • It’s a slow shooter (Don’t expect to grab it quick and catch someone falling over)
  • Limited to black and silver colors only

Adam’s Canon Powershot A1300 Review Score = 81 out of 100

If you would like to see some customer reviews of the Canon Powershot A1300 then please click here : Amazon Customer Reviews.

Please click on the link below to find out more, see other colors, or to purchase the A1300.

Canon PowerShot A2300 Review

The Powershot A2300Small and simple to use, but still packed with a variety of features. It includes the Smart Auto Mode which makes photography easy even for beginners. Of course there are going to be many similarities with the A1300 above.

Canon Powershot A2300 Review image
Colors Available : Black / Blue / Red / Silver

Here are some of the special scene modes that did not get mentioned in my A1300 model review above.

  • Smart Auto – The camera will select the best settings based on the surrounding environment and lighting conditions.
  • Program – The correct aperture and shutter speed combination is selected dependent on the shooting conditions.
  • Monochrome – You have a choice of Black and white, blue, or sepia (those old brown photographs).
  • Toy Camera Effect – This gives the impression that it’s been taken by an old pin-hole camera (darkening the edges of the photos).
  • Digital IS – Any Image blur is corrected automatically.
  • Snow – Snow scenes can be difficult to shoot, often leaving the subject darkened or with a bluish tint. This setting corrects that.
  • Live View Control – Adjustments to color, tone and brightness done with controls which are easy to understand.

Specifications :

  • Name : Canon PowerShot A2300 16.0 MP Digital Camera with 5x Digital Image Stabilized Zoom 28mm Wide-Angle Lens with 720p HD Video Recording
  • Dimensions : (Width) 94.4mm x (Height) 54.2mm x (Depth) 20.1mm
  • Weight : 125.0g
  • Megapixels : 16.0
  • Zoom : 5x
  • Battery Type : 1 Lithium ion battery
  • Pictures Per Charge : 210
  • HD Video : 720p HS Video
  • LCD Screen Size : 2.7 inches
  • Colors Available : Black / Blue / Red / Silver

Summary :

Overall, the Canon Powershot A2300 is a smart little camera which is ideal for the casual user. It does everything you would expect a camera of this price range to do.

Good Points :

  • Slim, enabling this model to easily slip into your pocket or bag.
  • Performs well at taking action shots thanks to the digital IS.
  • A lot of camera for a little price.

Bad Points :

  • As with the A3100, there is a small shutter lag (i.e. it takes the photo a second or so after you press the button).
  • Be careful when handling this model, it can be a bit slippery.

Adam’s Canon Powershot A2300 Review Score = 86 out of 100

If you would like to see some customer reviews of the Canon Powershot A2300 then please click here : Amazon Customer Reviews.

Please click on the link below to find out more, see other colors, or to purchase the A2300.

Fujifilm FinePix Z70 Review

Like Canon, I have included two Fujifilm digital cameras. The Finepix Z70 really has got some style about it coming in some fantastic colors. The controls are lit up with LED keys. These enable functions to be navigated easily, even in dark conditions.

FujiFilm Finepix Z70 Review image
Colors Available : Black / Blue / Silver / Berry Red

It really has got some good face retouching functions and you even have editing features for the movies that you take. There’s also a good range of editing features for the still images.

Specifications :

  • Name : Fujifilm FinePix Z70
  • Dimensions : (Width) 91mm x (Height) 57.1mm x (Depth) 20.1mm
  • Weight : 124.5g
  • Megapixels : 12.0
  • Zoom : 5x
  • Battery Type : NP-45A lithium rechargeable battery
  • Pictures Per Charge : 220
  • HD Video : 720p HD Video
  • LCD Screen Size : 2.7 inches
  • Colors Available : Black / Blue / Silver / Berry Red

Link to Owner’s Manual

Summary :

The Finepix Z70 has a great feature called Target Focus. This helps keep the subject in the frame and in focus if it is moving and you are panning with it. It’s actually quite pleasing to see such advanced features in an entry-level camera.

The zoom doesn’t poke out from the camera body, to this might suit some photographers who are inclined to knock, or drop, the camera.

When set against other camera’s in this class, the Finepix does a great job in bright light.

Like many photographers, I would tend to use this camera using the auto mode. However, the Z70 does allow you to manually program the exposure – a touch of professionalism for those that want to go down that road.

The automatic scene recognition is very capable at doing the ‘thinking’ for you.

The camera has 13 mega-bytes of internal memory. This may leave you short for any extended photography sessions. You can easily pick up a cheap but reliable storage card here : Fujifilm 4 GB Flash Memory Card

Whilst it’s not the best camera in this list, overall it’s not a bad choice with some fantastic features.

Good Points :

  • Good looking camera
  • Good image quality
  • A one touch easy web upload feature allows you to easily share your creations with others on Facebook or YouTube
  • Controls that light up in the dark

Bad Points :

  • No panoramic mode with this model
  • Some might feel this camera is a little sluggish on start-up

Adam’s Fujifilm FinePix Z70 Review Score = 71 out of 100

If you would like to see some customer reviews of the Fujifilm FinePix Z70 then please click here : Amazon Customer Reviews.

Please click on the link below to find out more, see other colors, or to purchase the Z70.

Fujifilm JV100 Review

This is great for first time photographers. Face detection is included and is, in fact, becoming pretty common-place. However, this camera also includes smile and blink detection and automatic red-eye removal. Smile detection will automatically take a shot as soon as the camera senses a smile, and the blink detection will warn the photographer that blinking has been detected.

Scene detection is another included feature and this allows the camera to select optimum settings depending on what is in focus (i.e. subject being near or far; and in bright light or low levels of light).

Point and shoot camera reviews | FujiFilm JV100 Review image
Colors Available : Black or Blue

It also has a great Tracking Auto Focus feature. This will ensure you get a sharp image when ‘tracking’ a moving object.

Specifications :

  • Name : Fujifilm FinePix JV100 12 MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Zoom and 2.7inch LCD
  • Dimensions : (Length) 93.0mm x (Height) 55.0mm x (Depth) 20.6mm
  • Weight : 106g (excluding batteries, accessories and memory card)
  • Megapixels : 12.0
  • Zoom : 3.7x
  • Memory : SD & SDHC Memory cards
  • Battery : Rechargeable Li-ion
  • Pictures Per Charge : 200
  • HD Video : Yes (720p)
  • LCD Screen Size : 2.7 inches
  • Colors Available : Black / Blue

Summary :

Start up and shut down times are quite good for this type of camera. Although focussing is not the quietest I’ve come across, it does it quickly enough to get a tick in my book.

Whilst there is no image stabilization on the lens or sensor, the ISO will adjust the shutter speed appropriately.

The level of fine detail this camera produces is very impressive for a point and shoot camera.

Good Points :

  • Small and lightweight
  • Packed with features
  • High level of detail is captured
  • Face Detection ensures smiley faces
  • Excellent HD Movie mode
  • You can zoom in whilst recording video (entry-level cameras don’t usually do this)

Bad Points :

  • Only available in Blue & Black

Adam’s Fujifilm JV100 Review Score = 81 out of 100

If you would like to see some customer reviews of the Fujifilm JV100 then please click here : Amazon Customer Reviews

Please click on the links below to find out more, or to purchase the JV100.

                                         

BLACK VERSION                                             BLUE VERSION

Nikon COOLPIX S3300 Review

The Coolpix S3300 Nikon digital camera is slim, easily slips in your pocket or bag, and is very colourful. Equipped with a 6x zoom lens, it will get you close to the action. Meanwhile the very impressive 720p HD video takes great movies that look great when played back on a HD TV.

Image stabilization reduces the effects of camera shake, even when you fully zoom in. Linked to this, the ‘sports setting’ allows you to take moving objects with ease, leading to great results.

As with many cameras within this review, the S3300 comes with a selection of scene modes. This allows for the camera to pick the best settings for that particular ‘scene’. Included in this feature include : Beach, Landscape, Sunset, Snow and the previously mentioned Sports settings.

Nikon Coolpix S3300 Review image
Colors Available : Black / Pink / Purple / Red / Silver

Digital filters are always a welcome addition, and this camera includes High-contrast mono-chrome, Nostalgic Sepia, Soft, plus a few others.

Specifications :

  • Name : Nikon COOLPIX S3300 16 MP Digital Camera with 6x Zoom NIKKOR Glass Lens and 2.7-inch LCD
  • Dimensions : (Width) 94.8mm x (Height) 57.8mm x (Depth) 19.5mm
  • Weight : 128g
  • Megapixels : 16.0
  • Zoom : 6x optical (4x digital)
  • Battery Type : 3.7 Volt Li-Ion Digital Camera Battery
  • Pictures Per Charge : 210
  • HD Video : 720p HD
  • LCD Screen Size : 2.7 inches
  • Colors Available : Black / Pink / Purple / Red / Silver

Summary :

The buttons on the Coolpix 3300 are kept to a minimum, making operation of this camera very easy.

The camera is excellent at capturing multi-coloured images, without the colours bleaching into each other. ‘Noise’ levels are also very good, resulting in a very crisp shot.

On video recordings, the optical zoom has to be set prior to the starting the recording. You can still zoom in after this, but it has to be with the digital zoom – which generally produces inferior results. This isn’t a major issue however, as many cameras at this level don’t even allow you to make any adjustments after you start recording.

The self-timer only allows for countdowns of 2 seconds and 10 seconds. Whilst this might be a bit restrictive for the real enthusiast, it shouldn’t be an issue for the average user of this camera.

Good Points :

  • Great value for money
  • Very slim
  • Available in vibrant colors
  • Ability to see the image on the LCD screen in bright conditions

Bad Points :

  • Continuous shooting mode is a bit pedestrian with a best of 1.3 frames per second

Adam’s Nikon COOLPIX S3300 Review Score = 72 out of 100

If you would like to see some customer reviews of the Nikon COOLPIX S3300 then please click here : Amazon Camera Reviews.

Please click on the link below to find out more, see other colors, or to purchase the S3300.

Olympus VG-170 Review

Simple controls on top of this Olympus are a dream for the inexperienced user. A separate button for movies is clearly identifiable and good if you are looking to take a quick video.

The Olympus VG-170 has a flash that is double the strength of other compact cameras – hitting subjects up to 15 meters away. The lens starts at 26mm for a nice wide-angle, stretching to 130mm to really bring those subjects close. Shake free shots are virtually guaranteed with Digital Image Stabilization.

Olympus VG-170 Review image
Only Available in Black

The ‘Beauty Setting’ feature is designed to alter portraits. Skin smoothing and brightening can make even the most senior member of your family look like a teenager. Face lengthening and even changing the color of someone’s eyes is all possible from the control panel of the camera.

Specifications :

  • Name : Olympus VG-170 Black – 14.0 MP
  • Dimensions : (Width) 103.7mm (Height) 62.5mm (Depth) 22.2mm
  • Weight : 147g
  • Megapixels : 14.0
  • Zoom : 5x
  • Pictures Per Charge : 160
  • HD Video : 720p (HD)
  • LCD Screen Size : 3 inches
  • Colors Available : Black

Summary :

Where the VG-170 differs from other models in the point and shoot range is the fact that it has a nice textured case. This enables a better grip on the camera. Some might say that the plastic body feels cheap but, to me, it keeps the weight down.

The menus on this camera are a bit deep in places, but well designed and follow a logical pattern. Short cuts are available for those wanting to ‘get there now’.

Battery charging actually takes place whilst it is still inside the camera. You can actually plug your camera into your computer (via the USB port) to do the charging. You need to be aware though, it can take up to 10 hours to re-charge the battery using a computer. A much more acceptable 4 hours re-charge is obtained from a standard electrical outlet.

A surprising feature for an entry-level camera is the 3D shooting option – although you will need the old-fashioned red and blue lens glasses to see the effect. It’s also up to you to actually take two shots of the same image – although this is partially done automatically. Whilst this is clever feature which looks good on-screen, the images don’t translate particularly well when printed out.

Overall, this camera does offer something a bit different from other models in this review. If you want to experiment a bit with on-board editing and 3D modes then you might want to pick up this model.

Good Points :

  • Easy to use
  • Strong flash
  • 3D shooting mode

Bad Points :

  • Pictures can be a bit grainy on a fully zoomed in image which is then blown up afterwards
  • Only available in black

Adam’s Olympus VG-170 Review Score = 79 out of 100

Please click on the link below to find out more, or to purchase the Olympus VG-170.

Panasonic Lumix S3 Review

The Lumix S3 Panasonic digital camera provides the user with great all round specifications.

There are four main functions under its Intelligent Auto Mode umbrella :

  • Optical Image Stabilizer – Corrects any image blur as a result of hand shake during the picture-taking process.
  • Intelligent ISO Motion Detection – Compensates for any subject movement whilst you are taking the photo.
  • Face Detection – This optimizes the shot to prevent blurring of facial shots (caused by the camera focusing on whatever is at the centre of the shot).
  • Intelligent Scene Detection – Automatically sets your camera up for the best shot in any given situation, such as : Scenery Mode, Portrait Mode, Macro Mode, Night Portrait Mode, Night Scenery Mode, and Sunset.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-S3 Review image
Colors Available : Black / Purple / Red / White

The Lumix Image Uploader makes uploading to social networking sites like YouTube and Facebook pain-free.

Specifications :

  • Name : Panasonic Lumix DMC-S3 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 4x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom with 2.7-Inch LCD
  • Dimensions : (Width) 99mm x (Height) 59mm x (Depth) 21mm inches
  • Weight : 117g
  • Megapixels : 14.1
  • Zoom : 4x
  • Battery Type : 3.6V rechargeable lithium ion battery pack
  • Pictures Per Charge : 250
  • HD Video : 720p (HD)
  • LCD Screen Size : 2.7 inches
  • Colors Available : Black / Purple / Red / White

Summary :

The rounded edges and lightweight plastic casing of the Lumix S3 has raised questions about this camera looking more like a child’s toy, rather than a genuine piece of photographic equipment. However, I feel those assertions are somewhat harsh and unfair. This camera also has its fans because it doesn’t look like an updated boring square box from the 1970’s.

I would say that, the Lumix S3 is aimed at first time photographers (teenagers in particular will love it, with its funky colours). It is simple to use and pretty idiot proof. The images captured with this unit are not always going to be perfect. However, the camera’s good points far out-weigh its limitations.

You cannot zoom in whilst videoing. However, that is not entirely unusual for point and shoot cameras (even though a few of the other models I’ve reviewed here do offer that facility to varying degrees).

This camera does, in fact, have a lot to offer, under its plastic exterior.

Good Points :

  • Excellent image sensor packing more pixels into the image than cameras costing twice as much money
  • Small and light
  • Quick and quiet to operate
  • Easy to use

Bad Points :

  • Not the best camera in low light conditions, but it’s still acceptable and you do have the flash to compensate

Adam’s Panasonic Lumix S3 Review Score = 86 out of 100

If you would like to see some customer reviews of the Panasonic Lumix S3 then please click here : Amazon Customer Reviews

Please click on the links below to find out more, or to purchase the Lumix S3.

                                                                      

Black, Purple or Red                                                                  White Version

Final Thoughts

That concludes my review of the Point and Shoot cameras. I’m very confident that you will find something which suits your needs in this list. I hope you found these reviews helpful.

Further Reading

  • What Type of Camera Should I Buy ?
  • Active Camera Reviews
  • Camera Phones vs. Compact Digital Cameras

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