When seeking an intermediate digital camera, some people will automatically turn toward the best DSLR cameras for beginners. However, if those cameras are a bit too complex for you, there are other options, such as the best point and shoot under 500.
The basic cameras on this list have quite a few more features than what you’ll find in the best point and shoot camera under $200, including the option of viewfinders and extremely large zoom lenses. And while these models cannot match the image quality you’ll find in a DSLR camera, such cameras are extremely easy to use, making them well worth considering.
Best Point and Shoot Under $500 Cameras
|Nikon Coolpix B700||Canon PowerShot SX710||Nikon Coolpix P7700||Panasonic Lumix FZ70||Canon PowerShot G16|
|Image Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch||1/2.3 inch||1/1.7 inch||1/2.3 inch||1/1.7 inch|
|Optical Zoom Lens||60X||30X||7.1X||60X||5X|
|Movie Resolution||4K UHD 3840x2160||Full HD 1920x1080||Full HD 1920x1080||Full HD 1920x1080||Full HD 1920x1080|
|Wireless Connectivity||WiFi, NFC, and Bluetooth||WiFi and NFC||None||None||WiFi|
|Dimensions||5.0 x 3.4 x 4.2"||4.44 x 2.59 x 1.37"||4.7 x 2.9 x 2.0"||5.13 x 3.82 x 4.65"||4.28 x 2.99 x 1.59"|
|Weight||20.0 ounces||9.49 ounces||13.9 ounces||21.44 ounces||12.6 ounces|
|Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price||Check Price|
#1 Pick Nikon Coolpix B700
Price: $496 | Resolution: 20.2MP | Optical Zoom Lens: 60X
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Huge zoom lens with top flight 4K movie quality.
The new Nikon Coolpix B700 is a great option in this area of the intermediate fixed lens camera market, offering a host of really nice features that few models in the sub-$500 price range can match. You’ll find an impressive 60X optical zoom lens with the B700, which also offers 20-plus megapixels of resolution for still images and 4K or full HD video recording.
The B700 includes an electronic viewfinder, which is a great feature, especially for those migrating to digital cameras from film cameras (where a viewfinder was the only option). Nikon included an option to use JPEG or RAW image formats with the B700, which is another option typically found in more expensive cameras and which makes the B700 a very good value.
#2 Pick Canon PowerShot SX710 HS
Price: $299 | Resolution: 20.3MP | Optical Zoom Lens: 30X
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Impressive price point for a 30X optical zoom lens camera.
Perhaps the best aspect of the Canon PowerShot SX710 is its relatively low price, even while having no features that will let you down. The SX710 would also qualify as a best point and shoot camera under $300, which is great price point for the intermediate level of the digital camera market.
The PowerShot SX710 has some nice features that make it a contender for a top travel camera too, including a versatile 30X optical zoom lens and more than 20 megapixels of resolution for still images. And it’s a thinner model than the other options on the best point and shoot cameras under 500 list, meaning you could carry it in a pocket or a purse relatively easily.
#3 Pick Nikon P7700
Price: $388 | Resolution: 12.2MP | Optical Zoom Lens: 7.1X
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Impressive image quality in a pocket sized camera.
As most of the best point and shoot cameras offer a small 1/2.3-inch image sensor, the fact that the Nikon Coolpix P7700 provides a slightly larger image sensor (1/1.7-inch) helps it achieve a better than average image quality, even though it offers only 12.2 megapixels of resolution. The P7700 has a tiltable LCD screen, which works well for odd angle photographs and for using the camera while attached to a tripod.
The P7700 has an interesting price point, making it a best point and shoot camera under $400. Although it might be better if this camera had a slightly lower cost, it still competes well against the other intermediate models on this list.
#4 Pick Panasonic Lumix FZ70
Price: $298 | Resolution: 16.1MP | Optical Zoom Lens: 60X
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Huge 60X optical zoom is perfect for recording long distance photos.
With a 60X optical zoom lens, the Panasonic Lumix FZ70 is in rare company in the intermediate area of the digital camera market, as only a handful of cameras offer an optical zoom range of more than 50X. You’ll be amazed at the types of photos you’ll be able to shoot with a 60X zoom. When you consider you can find the FZ70 at a price point of less than $300, the 60X zoom lens becomes all the more impressive.
As Panasonic included a small 1/2.3-inch image sensor and only 16.1 megapixels of resolution with the Lumix FZ70 model, its image quality can’t quite match the top options on this list. But the FZ70 still creates very strong images over long distances.
#5 Pick Canon PowerShot G16
Price: $478 | Resolution: 12.1MP | Optical Zoom Lens: 5X
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Despite its age, great image quality keeps the G16 a strong contender.
The Canon PowerShot G16 fixed lens camera is a couple of years old, but it remains well placed on this list because of its very good image quality. With a 1/1.7-inch image sensor, the G16 is able to outperform most other P&S cameras in terms of image quality, even with just 12.1 megapixels of resolution available.
The Canon G16 has a high resolution 3.0-inch LCD as well as an optical viewfinder, making it easy to frame the scene in the manner you prefer.
Which Point and Shoot Camera Under $500 Is Right For You?
When seeking the best point and shoot camera under 500 dollars, you’re going to find some impressive models. They might not be able to compete directly with DSLR cameras, but a few of them do offer some DSLR-like features, such as viewfinders and a sturdy camera body. And many of these cameras do offer one particular feature — a large optical zoom lens — that DSLRs can’t offer. These point and shoot cameras are easy to use and provide plenty of fun features that make them worth considering for those who prefer a fixed lens camera to the interchangeable lenses of a DSLR.best-point-and-shoot-under-500-20