The Best Point and Shoot Camera under $500

best overall rating
  • 20MP 1/2.3” BSI CMOS Sensor
  • 5-Axis Hybrid Vibration Reduction
  • 20mp 4K UHD videos at 30fps
premium choice rating
  • Nikkor Super ED 60x Optical Zoom
  • 160x Dynamic zoom
  • PSAM mode dial
great value rating
  • 40x Optical Zoom Lens
  • 80x Dynamic Zoom
  • 3” Tilting LCD screen

You don’t need a complicated, expensive DSLR camera to take the best pics of family and friends, you need the best camera under $500 on our list of the top ones to get the job done quickly, efficiently and with brilliant clarity. These point and press cameras have come a long way in the last few years and you can get best quality pictures without having to know the ins and outs of cameras in order to achieve it. All you do is point it and press a button, simple and easy. For YouTube cameras read the review here.

We review these great simple point and press types, looking at their technical specifications such as durability, fps shooting ability, low light shooting, lens types, and what type of CMOS sensor they offer. We review the Point-and-Shoot types ability to zoom both optical and dynamic, how you monitor and take your pics with viewfinder or LCD screen.

We also look at their ability to record video and picture-taking stills. Quality is important, so stabilization of images, editing ability, and if they film in 4K or 1080p is also considered. Price is always a consideration so we look at those that are available for under $500.

Best Point and Shoot Camera under 500

best overall rating

1. Nikon COOLPIX A900 Digital Camera

Nikon COOLPIX A900 (Black) Camera


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The first one from Nikon on our list and one of the best Point-and-Shoot are the Nikon Coolpix A900, which is a feature packed digital camera that will meet all of your expectations and more and all for under $500. Simple point and press operation yet able to give the best quality images and video this is a top one on the market today.

Featuring a 20MP 1/2.3” BSI CMOS Sensor and a Nikkor f3/4-6.9 ED Lens with a 35x Optical Zoom and 70x Dynamic zoom you will be pleasantly surprised with the quality you get with this compact and light version. You get 5-Axis Hybrid Vibration Reduction (VR) to ensure the best 20mp 4K UHD videos at 30fps and still photos with a backside illuminated image sensor which will let you take crystal clear images in almost any light.

Frame your images perfectly and monitor your recordings with a 3" LCD screen that can tilt to almost any angle. If you are a little more advanced in your use of cameras the A900 offers you PSAM mode dial to enable you to control your own aperture and shutter speed. Other features include Creative Mode for multimedia effects, Superlapse for first-person movie footage, and Multiple Exposure Lighten.

Connect seamlessly using the built-in WiFi, NFC or Bluetooth Low Energy and always be able to edit and share your photos to your favorite sites. Snapbridge app allows you to edit your footage and control it remotely and is compatible with most smartphones and tablets.

Bigger is not always better and the Nikon COOLPIX A900 proves that, this is a fantastic, small compactly built, offering with fantastic features, and the best quality video and photographic ability. Frame your photo with the LCD screen, shoot your footage or snap your shot, then effortlessly upload to your Facebook page or YouTube using the built-in WiFi or NFC.

Why We Like It
  • 20MP 1/2.3” BSI CMOS Sensor
  • 5-Axis Hybrid Vibration Reduction
  • 20mp 4K UHD videos at 30fps
  • 3” tilting LCD screen
  • built-in WiFi, NFC, and Bluetooth Low Energy
premium choice rating

2. Nikon COOLPIX B700 Digital Camera

Nikon COOLPIX B700


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An exceptional point and press camera that does so much more than merely point and snap and is available for under $500. It offers a 20.2MP 1/2.3” BSI CMOS Sensor, Nikkor Super ED 60x Optical Zoom lens and 160x Dynamic zoom lets you shoot from a distance, and an electronic viewfinder, as well as a 3" vari-angle LCD monitor, let you frame your shots with precision. It may be one of the compact types of cameras but it has the style and versatility of a DSLR.

Use the PSAM mode dial which allows you to control your camera manually, and steady your shot using the Vibration Reduction Technology.Shoot 20.0mp RAW images, allowing you to edit your pics easily in post, or record video in 4K with stereo sound, or you can shoot 5fps high-speed sequence even in dim lighting environments.

The Face-priority AF will always ensure your friends and family stay in focus when taking your image and save your still images as you shoot your footage or during playback. Set the autofocus to operate when the subject of your pic moves and so much more.

Let’s talk connectivity in this stunning little point and press beauty. With built-in WiFi, NFC and Bluetooth Low Energy you are never out of touch. Use Snapbridge transfer images instantly to your smartphone or tablet for editing or uploading and control your camera remotely using the app.

The Nikon A700 offers an incredible 160x dynamic zoom so you can shoot perfect images from a distance, not bad for a mere point and press camera. Always stay in focus with the vibration reduction technology and face-priority AF, or use the PSAM mode dial to control your own settings and shoot in even the most difficult of conditions.

Why We Like It
  • Nikkor Super ED 60x Optical Zoom
  • 160x Dynamic zoom
  • PSAM mode dial
  • 3” vari-angle LCD monitor
  • Vibration Reduction Technology
great value rating

3. Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera (Black)

Nikon COOLPIX B500 (Black)


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New to photography, and want something that is not only going to give your fantastic picture and video, is easy and simple to use, simply point it at your target and press a button, but also is great value for under $500? You need not look any further than the Nikon Coolpix B500. A small compact camera that packs quite a punch with a 16MP 1/2.3” BSI CMOS Sensor, 40x Optical Zoom Lens and 80x Dynamic Zoom. Frame your pics or monitor video in real-time using the 3” Tilting LCD screen.

Shoot continuously at 7.4fps or record video in full HD at 30fps. Offering 18 scene modes and easy auto mode you can let the camera do all the work for you getting the right settings no matter what the lighting situation. The 16MP low-light sensor, lens-shift vibration reduction or VR ensures you get the best picture quality.

Using the 4-axis Hybrid Vibration Reduction will ensure that your video is shot without the shaky hand effect and shoot fast moving scenes such as sporting events using the Superlapse Movie feature. Stay connected always with the built-in WiFi, Bluetooth (BLE) and NFC. Use the Snapbridge app to instantly transfer pics from your camera to your smartphone enabling you to edit and upload your pics and footage effortlessly to your favorite sites.

Get the best video footage at 1080p full HD and combine that with perfect stills and you have a camera that lets you record your family’s special occasions or vacations in perfect clarity, just pint and press. Then upload them to your favorite sites instantly with built-in WiFi, NFC and Bluetooth technology, one of the best for under $500 on the market.

Why We Like It
  • 40x Optical Zoom Lens
  • 80x Dynamic Zoom
  • 3” Tilting LCD screen
  • 18 scene modes and easy auto mode
  • Built-in WiFi, Bluetooth (BLE) and NFC

4. Panasonic DC-ZS70K Lumix 4K Digital Camera

Panasonic DC-ZS70S Lumix Camera


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The Panasonic DC-ZS70S Lumix is an exceptional, simple point and snap camera, recording 4K QFHD footage and capturing 4K photo is a breeze with these compact digital cameras and you get all of this for under $500. You’re your photo and footage using the 4K post focus with internal focus stacking features to enable you to get the most out of your photography. The 20.3 megapixel MOS sensor, when used in conjunction with the Venus Engine, will ensure that even in dim lighting situations, you can get clear, quality footage.

The Leica DC Vario-Elmar Lens includes a 30x optical zoom, and the 5-axis hybrid O.I.S and Level Shot function are all designed to allow you to film smoothly and evenly eliminating "hand shake" and vibrations. The LCD touchscreen will tilt to 180 degrees for the perfect selfies and allows you to frame your shot perfectly or monitor your video recording in real time.

The Control Ring gives you full manual control the aperture, shutter speed, as well as the focus and zoom much like a DSLR and these settings can be customized. The viewfinder allows you to frame your pic if you prefer instead of the LCD screen, perfect for when taking shots in the brightest of sunshine and will activate as soon as you raise it to your eye.

4K QFHD recording with a 20.3 megapixel MOS sensor and LCD touchscreen that tilts to 180 degrees you have the perfect cameras that are both light and compact and perfect for you to take on vacation. Either let it do the hard work or manually control your settings and use the eye viewfinder when in bright sunshine. Great value for under $500.

Why We Like It
  • 4K QFHD recording
  • 20.3 megapixel MOS sensor
  • LCD touch screen tilts 180 degrees
  • Control Ring for manual control
  • Eye viewfinder

5. Canon PowerShot SX730 Digital Camera

Canon PowerShot SX730


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Stunning images and crystal clear video recording is what you can expect from this best point and press camera under $500. It offers a 40x optical zoom and to help you get the exact right shot, it has zoom framing assist. The Intelligent IS will select the correct stabilization method for you depending on conditions. The LCD monitor tilts 180 degrees to enable you to frame the perfect shot or monitor your video as you record.

Enhance your natural features using the Smooth Skin effect, available in all modes, and shoot continuously at up to 5.9fps. If you are taking footage you can record in full 1080p HD at 60p or in MP4 format with no "hand shake" using the 5-axis image stabilization. Use MF Peaking to enable you to focus on your image with the best precision ensuring you get the best possible image that is completely in focus.

Organise your camera's images using the Story Highlights feature and you can even compile a short video of about 8 minutes applying background music and color effects. Geotag and Date Stamp your images using the Bluetooth technology to connect to your smartphones GPS so you will always remember where and when the shot or footage was taken. Connect using your to built-in WiFi technology, NFC and Bluetooth keep you connected and enable you to upload your pics to your favorite sites as you take them.

These are point and press cameras that do it all for you and allows you to take the perfect video footage in full HD or MP4 and upload your memories to Facebook or any other site instantly using the built-in WiFi or Bluetooth. Geotag and Date Stamp your pics so you will never forget where and when it was taken.

Why We Like It
  • 40x optical zoom
  • Smooth Skin effect
  • Record in Full HD or MP4 format
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • Geotag and Date Stamp

6. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II Compact Digital Camera

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II


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Pocket-sized, compact point and press cameras that offer outstanding features to enable you to shoot quality video or stills when and where you need to and for under $500 it is a real bargain. Its 1” 20.1mp CMOS Sensor offers you a dynamic range and will ensure both the light and dark of your images are highlighted properly. The fast shutter speed will ensure reduced blur and it offers a 3x optical zoom. The high ISO combined with the large image sensor, and f2.0 lens ensures that you get quality images even when taking photos or video in low lighting conditions.

It is perfect for use in low light situations. Lock onto your subject using the cameras tracking and detection capabilities and the DIGIC 7 Image Processor provides noise reduction, continuous shooting capabilities as well as quick start-up and operation. The LCD touch panel screen allows you to monitor your footage as you shoot or select and frame the perfect photo.

A highly user-friendly option for under $500 with a customizable menu and a control ring to make adjustments as you shoot. Connect seamlessly and upload directly to any web service using the built-in WiFi or connect instantly to your smartphone using NFC technology. Use Bluetooth to pair your camera with your smartphone with the Canon Camera Connect App. You also get Picture Style Editor, in-camera RAW conversion, and the ability to save your RAW footage as a JPEG.

A small, compact, lightweight and feature packed option for under $500 to take with you on your travels. Monitor your footage or frame your still photograph on the LCD touch panel and upload your images to social media sites or connect with your smartphone through Bluetooth or built-in WiFi and NFC.

Why We Like It
  • 1” 20.1mp CMOS Sensor
  • High ISO
  • DIGIC 7 Image Processor
  • LCD touch panel screen
  • Built-in WiFi, NFC, and Bluetooth connectivity

7. Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera Kit

Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Black)


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A superb little point and press digital camera kit for under $500 that offers a host of features designed to enable you to shoot anytime and anywhere in an instant. It is small and compact, making it the perfect camera to travel with. The 18mp CMOS (APS-C) image sensor combined with the DIGIC 4+ Image Processor will allow you not only speed but also quality. Shoot in bright or low light and get the perfect shot with the ISO 100-6400.

The 9 point AF system that includes a center cross-type AF point which will intelligently combine normal and high-precision focus taking the aperture and available light into consideration. All of this combined with the Al Servo AF will give you optimum autofocus with superb accuracy. Focus on your subject using the optical viewfinder quickly and frame your picture easily.

The system intelligently uses both normal and high-precision focus, depending on the aperture and available light, so your images contain crisp and clear detail.The Scene Intelligent Auto mode will along with EOS Scene Analysis System help you to take the perfect picture whether you are focusing on faces or objects and in any lighting conditions and whether wanting your image in landscape or portrait. Built-in WiFi, along with built-in NFC and Bluetooth keeps you connects and you can use the free Canon Camera Connect App to connect to your smartphone for editing and more.

The Canon EOS Rebel will have you taking the perfect picture no matter if you are recording video or taking the perfect still picture. It offers a host of features that will automatically ensure your aperture, shutter speed and more are in sync to give you the perfect pic every time.

Why We Like It
  • 18mp CMOS (APS-C) image sensor
  • 9 point AF system
  • EOS Scene Analysis System
  • Scene Intelligent Auto mode
  • Built-in WiFi, along with built-in NFC and Bluetooth keeps

8. Sony DSC-RX100/B 20.2 MP Digital Camera



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Take the perfect shot under any circumstances with the Steady-Shot image stabilization, rear control dial, and customizable front control ring and record your video in 1080p video. The Sony is a point and press digital camera that offers you some of the features and has an ultra-slim aluminum body to allow you to take it with you on your adventures and all for under $500. The 1” Exmore CMOS Sensor is larger than most of these types of cameras and offers the best fidelity in your pictures.

The dual noise reduction and column A/D conversion decreases noise even more even in low light. With an ISO range of 125 – 6400 and the auto ISO mode the camera will automatically select the appropriate setting or you can change your settings manually with the PASM mode.Frame your images with the 3" LCD Display and then shoot them in RAW mode which allows you to edit them easily in post, or you can choose to capture in JPEG to upload to social media sites instantly.

Multi-aspect ratio recording, customizable function button, memory recall, auto portrait framing and Face Detection/ Registration technology ensure you get a crystal clear image.There are a lot of different creative styling and focusing modes, along with the pop-up flash to provide extra light in darker environments.

An ultra-slim, compact and easy to take around with you combined with a load of great features make this digital camera one of the top ones on the market. Use it in full auto or put it in PASM mode and chose your own settings and get the perfect shot with every click of the button.

Why We Like It
  • Steady-Shot image stabilization
  • Rear control dial
  • Customizable front control ring
  • Dual noise reduction
  • PASM mode

9. Nikon 1 J5 Mirrorless Digital Camera



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The best speed, versatility, and creativity are what you can expect from the Nikon 1 J5 and it is exactly what you get with 20.8mp, 20fps continuous shooting ability with AF-C and an EXPEED 5A advanced processing engine. This is a fantastic point and press version that is simple, easy and highly portable and available for under $500. The 180 degree LCD touch screen allows you to frame your picture perfectly, or to monitor your 1080p/60p video recording in real-time.

You get an autofocus system that uses 105 phase-detect AF points which will identify and focus on your subject instantaneously. Use the continuous shooting mode or fixed focus to get an amazing 60fps. Use the Sports Mode for even more speed and switch between capturing pre-game pics to close-ups on the field easily.

The high ISO of 12800 you get substantial noise reduction and it will stack four separate images to offer crisp and detailed low-light results. Other features of this great camera include HDR images, time-lapse and slow-motion filming. Use the 1 Nikkor lens, or add the FT-1 mount adapter to use the Nikkor DSLR lenses. Stay connecting with the built-in WiFi and NFC to share your images instantly. Or use the memory card to record your footage.

As fast as a DSLR, but smaller and more portable, with a host of features to ensure you get quality, high resolution 1080p video and still photography. The Nikon 1 J5 Mirrorless offers you 105 phase-detect AF points and high ISO to ensure you get never miss the moment.

Why We Like It
  • 20.8mp, 20fps continuous shooting ability
  • 180 degree LCD touch screen
  • EXPEED 5A advanced processing engine
  • 105 phase-detect AF points
  • High ISO

10. Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera



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This is an extremely rugged, durable and versatile camera that can cope with any environment you may find yourself in. It is small and compact yet packs quite a punch when it comes to features and it is available for under $500. Waterproof to 50 feet, dustproof, crushproof and shockproof as well as freezeproof and with an anti-fog lens you will not find a tougher little camera out there.

Offering a 12mp high-speed image sensor for reduced noise and fantastic low light performance with its specialized image sensor and advanced dual quad-core TruePic VIII Processor, along with a bright F2.0 high-speed lens. Capture great still pics with 20fps burst shooting in RAW image and you get split-second timing using the Pro Capture Mode, which will take a running series of images and then capture the moment with five frames either side so you will never miss the perfect shot on the reefs.

Capture your video in UHD 4K resolution at 120fps for slow-motion playback, and the time lapse video function lets you film short amounts of footage over long periods.Know exactly where you are with the Action Track Sensors as built-in GPS will record latitude and longitude. Log your tracking data using the Data Log Mode and upload images using the built-in WiFi, which will transfer all images to your smartphone using the Olympus Image Share App.

Looking for the best camera to accompany you on all of your adventures whether it be diving, skiing, or even cave crawling, then you found it in this rugged, feature packed and compact digital option from Olympus. With incredibly high shooting rates you will never miss a moment when using the Pro Capture Mode.

Why We Like It
  • Tough, durable and portable
  • 12mp high-speed image sensor
  • F2.0 high-speed lens
  • Pro Capture Mode
  • Action Track Sensors
  • Data Log Mode

Buyers Guide Questions

You have been taking photos for years using your smartphone or tablet but now you are ready to move onto using a proper standalone camera, but you do not know what camera to choose. There are many cameras out there and sometimes all the jargon such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO and more can be very overwhelming. The decision on which will be most suitable for you will depend entirely on your needs and requirements. There are two basic options when making the decision of which one is applicable to your needs. DSLR cameras or Point-and-Shoot.

Another consideration when making this decision will be what your budget for the camera. If you are looking for options that are at prices under $500 then you need to look at the point-and-shoot variety to get the best quality cameras. Your DSLR cameras come in at a higher price tag and often require additional components such as lenses, flashes, and even external mics to get the best video recordings. If you are a person who loves to take pics of your family vacation, a night out with friends or record that live concert you are attending then these types of cameras are best for you.

It is convenient, lightweight, compact and easy to operate cameras. You don’t need to know all the ins and outs of camera operation to use these cameras and they are very easy to maintain. The added benefit of these great little cameras is the LCD screen you can use to either monitor your video footage as you film or frame your best photograph without having to use a viewfinder to do so. A lot of these LCD screens on cameras are also flip out, allowing you to take the best pics at almost any angle.

Not only do these cameras offer automatic operation they also offer some of the best zoom capabilities with some giving you up to an amazing 160x dynamic zoom such as the Nikon COOLPIX B700 Digital Camera. While these great little digital cameras may not have the large sensors that the DSLR cameras do they still give the best quality images in both 1080p full HD and 4K quality images. They also offer 4K video recording ability with built-in sound and even stereo sound. These types of cameras are also best if you are into your extreme sports as they are extremely lightweight and compact as has been said.

Some like the Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera is capable of operating in almost any environment, so taking it with you when snorkeling, skiing or even skydiving is not an issue. So how do you decide which of the cameras is best? Well, that is a loaded question and we have addressed the major differences between the two types of cameras at a later stage in this buyers guide. The bottom line is simply what you are going to be using your camera for is what will determine which one is most suitable for you.

What is the Point-and-Shoot Camera?

What is the Point and Shoot CameraThese types of cameras are a very compact, lightweight and small. It is designed with very simple operations and automatic settings for focus, aperture, shutter speeds and other complications that are prevalent in your more advanced DSLR cameras on the market. These types of cameras make the best travel cameras and are the best types for beginners or people who just want to be able to take pictures on their family vacations.

Some have built-in flashes for when taking pictures in darker environments and all have a zoom capability from 30x optical zoom to 160x dynamic zoom. They provide focus-free operation or autofocus. There are some of these types of cameras that allow users to control their settings manually using PSAM mode for when you are ready to start adjusting your own settings, best for more complicated photography where conditions are adverse.

However, in general, this product will do all the work for you. Another wonderful aspect of these compact cameras is their connectivity. Most will have built-in WiFi and NFC along with Bluetooth capabilities. You can snap your to heart’s content and then instantly upload your pics to social media sites, or use the available apps transfer them to your smartphone to be edited before uploading – best for the budding instagrammer.

What Camera Should I buy for Beginner Photography?

What Camera should I Buy for Beginner PhotographyWhen you are looking into getting your photography career off the ground, but don’t want to be concerned with things like f-stops, ISO settings, shutter speeds and aperture then you need to look at getting the best one on the market. So what you need to look at is a camera that allows you to develop your feel for photography, the ability to frame your picture the best way and get the right compositions. Quality is a great concern obviously, but with these types of cameras, you get great quality and clarity with a lot of them offering 4K photography.

The compact digital camera is the one of choice here. There are some great Point-and-Shoot cameras for under $500 so you also do not have to spend a fortune on a complicated DSLR camera to get started. These types of cameras are great for traveling with, they are light and compact, and most will even slip into your pocket. This makes them very attractive, even to professionals, who will usually carry one of these around for the “just in case” moments.

These types of cameras have developed a lot over the last few years and offer features that allow you to get the kind of quality pictures that you would get using a DSLR camera but without the hassle. If you’re finding you’re DSLR camera to be hard to work with, you can make life easier with a Shoulder Rig for your DSLR. They are automatic, with AF and more, your camera will assess the situation and set itself to give you the best quality shot depending on the circumstances. They also offer great zoom, both optical and dynamic, so you can capture both near and far images easily.

Some of these types of focus and press cameras even offer a PSAM mode, so when you get comfortable with your camera and are ready to move on to a more advanced level, you can manually adjust your settings, learning as you go until you are ready to move on to the more complicated and expensive DSLR cameras.

If you’re looking for a camera to begin your new Vlogging Channel, head over to our detailed review on beginner vlogging cameras.

Point-and-Shoot camera vs DSLR?

Looking to buy your first digital camera and are not sure if you should go for a Point-and-Shoot camera or a DSLR. Well, both have their strengths and weaknesses and it will depend on what you want to use your camera for, as well as how much knowledge you have, or want to have about cameras and their various settings.

A lot of professionals own both one of these types of cameras as well as a DSLR camera, the reason for this is that both are quite valuable for the professional, the DSLR for its quality photos and the Point-and-Shoot for its compactness and convenience. The main and most basic differences at first glance between these two types of cameras are convenience and price.

Of course image quality, adaptability, how the camera functions best, and what features they offer along with its size and weight as well as maintenance and portability of your camera will all play a part in your decision. First it is important to understand what DSLR and Point-and-Shoot cameras refer to. A DSLR cameras is a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera.

It combines the optics of a SLR camera with digital imaging sensor instead of photographic film. A Point-and-Shoot camera is simply put a compact, lightweight camera designed with simple automatic operation with focus free lenses, built in flashes and automatic zooms. Below we take a look at both of these great cameras and their major differences to try and help you decide which type of camera would best suit your needs.

Quality of image
The compact type cameras will generally produce photo quality that is of a lower standard than the DSLR ones due to their size. This is not due to the number of megapixels, as these types often have more than your DSLR at 10 or so but it is due to the fact that your standard DSLR camera has a larger image sensor which allows you to capture your images at a higher ISO.

What you see is what you get in a basic digital camera. They are not very adaptable at all. Some of the higher end ones do offer lens adapters. They do not offer the ability to add an external mic, nor to add a flash for night photography. You will not be able to upgrade your camera after a few years, you will have to replace it with a newer model. Most of these types of cameras offer anything from 3x optical zoom to 160x dynamic zoom and everything in between.  They are not, however, suitable to all shooting conditions, especially in darker environments. If you are looking for a versatile camera that can reach above limits, you may want to look at 360-degree cameras, perfect for achieving wide-angle panoramic shots.

DSLR, on the other hand, are highly adaptable. You can not only change lenses, you also have a variety of filters, flashes, and mics that you can choose from as additional accessories to enhance the ability of your camera.  The DSLR can be used effectively no matter if it is nighttime or in bright sunlight and you can set the controls to give you the same quality of the shot, depending on your settings and type of lens or flash being used. You can upgrade your DSLR with new lenses and updated accessories and they are a lot longer lasting that your average compact camera.

Manual Controls
Manual Controls on DSLRThe DSLR is designed for professional photographers, or at least for amateurs who know how to control their own camera settings. Some of the best DSLR cameras do come with auto modes, however, they are generally designed to be operated manually. The compact cameras are meant to be automatic in their nature.

They are simple to use and you do not have to understand how to control any camera setting to be able to use them. As the name suggests, all you have to do is aim the camera at your subject and capture your best shot. Some of the models do have the option of PSAM which allows you to control your own settings, this is not the norm and you will have to find the menu to be able to do this which is not readily available as is on the DSLR cameras.

Size and Weight
This is where the compact types take the prize hands down. They are small, compact and best to take with you on your vacation, to your graduation or even to a party. They are often small enough to fit into your pocket and incredibly lightweight. These are the type of cameras that the amateur prefers as well as the professional who needs something with them all the time, often professional photographers will have this type of camera with them as they are so easy to carry around and are best to use in a pinch.

Your DSLR camera, on the other hand, is both large and heavy. They are not easy to take everywhere with you and when you are looking at adding a few extra lenses, a mic and an external flash to the mix, you are going to have to pack that extra bag to carry around with you. This is the main reason that photographers have both of these fantastic cameras in their kit. The compact version for convenience and DSLR for a higher quality image and the ability to capture your best images in any situation and still get that perfect shot, this is made even easier with the use of a great quality DSLR Stabilizer.

Viewfinder or LCD screen
Camera ViewfinderThe best compact type cameras offer the luxury of an LCD screen, and often one that will tilt to various angles allowing you to get the best pictures at odd angles. Not only that but you can monitor your video footage as it is being recorded on the LCD screen as well as frame your shot perfectly, in the best way possible. The LCD screen also enables you to take the best selfies as well as group photos and be able to ensure that all of you are in the frame when the shot is taken. A wonderful asset to these types and one of its defining features.

Some Point-and-Shoot cameras such as the Nikon COOLPIX B700 Digital Cameras will give you the option of both viewfinder and LCD screen, however, this is not the norm in these types of cameras. DSLRs on the other hand only offer you the optical viewfinder in order to frame your shot in the best way possible. They do often have an LCD screen for you to check your photo afterward to ensure that it comes out as you want, and some now offer “live view” LCD in order for you to frame your shot but they cannot compete with the best Point-and-Shoot.

This is another area that the Point-and-Shoot cameras beat the DSLR. The compact aim and press cameras are easy to maintain, simply ensure that your lens cap is in place and that you keep your cameras in a secure place and clean and you are good to go. The DSLR, on the other hand, requires a lot of maintenance both for the body and lenses as well as accessories. You need to ensure that your camera body is cleaned regularly including the small areas where you will attach your flash, mic, and lenses to keep it at its best.

You need to keep the threading’s clean and dust free and ensure that the lenses themselves are cleaned and maintained. All in all, keeping your DSLR clean and ready to work best can take time and effort. These are some of the major differences between the two cameras, besides of course price. Although DSLR cameras have come down significantly in price, they cannot compete with the more compact cameras. You can get these types for under $500.

Aim and press cameras are advancing in technology and most will offer you either full HD or the best 4K quality images without having to know the ins and outs of how they operate, and how to maximize your settings, or having to spend a fortune on buying not only the body but all of the best accessories. For the novice photographer or somebody who is looking for convenience in a camera and who just wants to take those snapshots of the family vacation or a night out with friends, the compact digital will come out best.

You can get digital cameras under $100 and some of the best Point-and-Shoot cameras for under $500 such as those on our list that we have reviewed for you. If however, you are a professional photographer who values the quality of image above all else, the DSLR is for you. Or you can purchase both which is what a lot of professional photographers do, the Point-and-Shoot for convenience and the DSLR for the perfect shot.

What is NFC on a Digital Camera?

NFC or Near Field Communication is a wireless link between your camera and your smartphone or computer, very much like the tap-and-go services you get with Apple Pay and the like. NFC will detect and enable any technology in its close proximity and communicate with it without any internet connection requirement. It is fast and efficient and will operate automatically. How does Near Field Communication or NFC work you ask?

Well, it is incredibly simple actually. NFC was derived from RFID or Radio Frequency Identification. It will automatically operate as part of a wireless connection when activated by any other chip in its immediate vicinity. When activated it transfers data between your camera and your smartphone or computer, the two devices, however, need to be in close proximity for the NFC to work best.

You do not need a code or any other device in order to it to connect. It requires very little power to operate and is perfect for those people who work in the field and need to be able to edit their photos on their phones but have no WiFi or intermittent WiFi in order to transfer them to their computer or phone to be able to use their photo editing apps.

What Benefits of Using a WiFi Camera?

Benefits of WiFi on a CameraMost if not all of your digital cameras these days come with built-in WiFi. There are many benefits of having this capability, however, there are pitfalls too, the main one being the security of your camera and images. If it has WiFi it can be hacked and therefore you need to take the necessary precautions to prevent that from happening to you. Having WiFi available to you on your camera will allow you to transfer your pictures instantly from your camera to your computer, smartphone or even upload to social media sites.

It also offers you the option of backing up your images to a cloud-based service. These are all qualities that you will enjoy especially if you are the journalist in the field and need to submit to your editor but are not near any form of computer (click here for Webcam review). Another great option available to you with a WiFi enabled camera is that you can live stream video from it and use it as a surveillance camera.  Just place it in the desired area such, switch on the camera and press record.

You can connect the camera via WiFi to your computer in your home and watch the video stream without being near your camera. The main problem with WiFi enabled cameras is hacking.  You are at risk form attackers not only gaining access to your photographs but also any other network devices that may be connected to your cameras such as your computer or smartphone.

To protect your WiFi network you need to ensure that your password on your WiFi is very secure, and if possible that your router is protected by WPA2 encryption. Never use the default password on your camera and ensure that the password you choose is not your name, telephone number or some other obvious passwords, or you may find yourself a victim of cybercrime.


Photos are our memories and having a camera that is lightweight, compact and easy to take with you no matter where you go is a great asset. You are a little overwhelmed by the complexities of the DSLR cameras and also you do not want to have to spend a fortune on a camera. Yes, you could use your cell phone but then again, it does not give the best close-ups, nor can it take distance photos with any clarity. With these cameras being so affordable, easy to use, and highly portable, can you really afford not to invest in one of the best Point-and-Shoot cameras for under $500 on our list?

Nikon COOLPIX A900 (Black) Camera

Top Pick

Not surprisingly it is a Nikon that gets the nod as our best choice of camera for under $500. The Nikon COOLPIX A900 Digital Camera offers you everything you need to capture the moment with the best precision and clarity. Offering a 20mp 1/2.3” BSI CMOS Sensor and a Nikkor f3/4-6.9 ED lens which has a 35x optical zoom and 70x dynamic zoom you will be able to get that best shot no matter how near or far away it is.

Ensure you do not have any shake when recording your 4K UHD video at 30fps with the 5-Axis Hybrid Vibration Reduction. The backside illuminated image sensor will ensure you capture crystal clear images no matter what the lighting environment. Frame your image in the best way by using the 3″ LCD screen which will tilt to almost any angle, or monitor your video recording in real-time. A little more advanced and want to be able to set your own aperture and shutter speed? No problem with the Nikon as it offers you a PSAM mode dial.

Be creative and add some multimedia effects using the Creative Mode, or film a movie at high speed with the Super-lapse getting the best exposure using the Multiple Exposure Lighten function. Connect seamlessly using the built-in WiFi, NFC or Bluetooth Low Energy and always be able to edit and share your photos to your favorite sites.

Nikon COOLPIX B700

Premium Choice

Our premium choice for one under $500, for obvious reasons, is the Nikon COOLPIX B700 Digital Camera which is not only small and compact but is feature packed with an astonishing 160x dynamic zoom to let you get close up to far away subjects with ease. Offering a 20.2mp ½.3” BSI CMOS Sensor and a Nikkor Super ED 60x Optical zoom lens with both an electronic viewfinder and a 3” vari-angle LCD monitor you can frame your image with the best precision and then capture them with clarity and high-quality 4K resolution.

As versatile as a DSLR camera in some way when using the camera in PSAM mode, you can set your own aperture, shutter speeds and more. Use the vibration reduction technology to steady your shot and ensure no “hand shake” when recording your 4K video with stereo sound at it’s best. Film up to 5fps with the high-speed sequence and get the best quality images even in the lowest of lighting environments.

The face-priority AF is the best way to keep your friends and family in focus and you can save your still images as you record video or even during playback. The autofocus will operate to keep your focus set when your subject moves. Connect seamlessly using your built-in WiFi, NFC as well as Bluetooth and use the Snapbridge app to transfer your images instantly to your smartphone for uploading to any social media sites.

If you are looking for a point-and-shoot that is more Premium, for over $500, there are some fantastic point and shoot options in the market.

Nikon COOLPIX B500 (Black)

Great Value

When you are taking your first tender steps into the photography scene, you do not want to spend a lot of money on a complex difficult to operate camera, you need something that will assist you to take quality photos at a lower price, like a $200 digital camera, and video to get you started on your way, and give you the confidence to proceed. The Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera is a focus and press that will do all of that for you and more and for under $500 – it’s definitely the best in terms of value. This is a small and compact camera that offers a 16mp ½.3″ BSI CMOS Sensor, 40x optical and 80x Dynamic zoom.

The 3″ LCD screen which will tilt to almost any angle will allow you to easily monitor your video or frame your photo. You can capture images at up to 7.4fps for still photos and record your video in 1080p full HD at 30fps. No matter your shooting environment you camera has you covered with 18 scene modes and easy auto mode, the camera will do all the work for you to ensure that no matter what lighting environment you find yourself shooting in you will get the best exposure.

The 16mp low-light sensor with lens-shift vibration reduction will give you the best shake free, clear crisp images. The 4-axis Hybrid Vibration Reduction ensures that your video will be stable and you can shoot fast motion scenes using the Superlapse Movie feature. Stay connected always with the built-in WiFi, Bluetooth (BLE) and NFC and use the Snapbridge app to instantly transfer pics from your camera to your smartphone.