The point and shoot camera can be a really valuable tool in developing and improving your photography skills. They are so lightweight and small, so you can bring them just about anywhere. You don’t need extra tripods, bags or some other accessories to carry around. Also, you don’t need to spend a lot of time setting up your shot. With some other types of cameras, you might spend up to half an hour setting up different things as well as changing some settings on them, but the point and shoot camera is always ready to go. After all, it is why they are called “point and shoot”.

The point and shoot camera allows you to quickly try out a bunch of different ideas for compositions. It helps teach the user how the camera sees because something that looks good in person won’t always translate well to a photograph. Point and shoot cameras basically reduce photography to its basic fundamental – to capture a moment in time as you see it from a particular location.

Moreover, all point and shoot cameras have fixed lenses meaning you won’t have to sweat when trying to change lenses. Also, point and shoot camera brings everything in focus so the entire scene looks sharp, as it typically cannot separate background from foreground. And finally, another huge advantage of point and shoot cameras is the fact that they are generally much cheaper to buy as well as maintain than most of other camera types.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when purchasing this type of camera. Some of those important factors include: sensor size, the zoom range, the focal length range, the size of the camera, display resolution (when it comes to LCDs), ISO performance (camera’s sensitivity to light), and optical image stabilization.

Product Reviews – 5 Amazing Point and Shoot Cameras under $200

Nikon Coolpix L340

20 megapixel
Digital zoom: 4x
Optical zoom: 28x
HD 720p videos with sound
1 year Nikon’s limited warranty

At a price of less than $200, this long zoom camera is an excellent value. The Nikon Coolpix L340 is really easy to use, and its zoom is simply amazing. It gives you the ability to take incredible pictures. Nikon has equipped the lens with amazing lens-shift vibration reduction in order to help tame the effects of camera shake. In addition to a scene-detecting automatic mode and six special effects filters, it also boasts Nikon’s Smart Portrait mode which will flatter images of family and friends by softening skin as well as warning you if someone blinks. The chunky design, rear thumb rest and large rubberized hand grip make this camera easy and nice to hang on to, while a 3” LCD screen provides a satisfactory viewing experience with great brightness and color reproduction. Read more on Amazon

Nikon COOLPIX L840

Available colors: black, red
Display size: 3 inches
Optical zoom: 38x
Optical sensor resolution: 16 MP
Full HD 1080p videos with stereo sound
Built-in Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication technology for instant sharing
1 year limited warranty

This is a super-zoom bridge camera with a focus on value. The main selling point of the Nikon COOLPIX L840 is its 38x optical zoom and built-in Wi-Fi with NFC pairing as well as 1080p Full HD video recording. The camera includes lens-shift Vibration Reduction that helps tame camera shake, and Nikon has also added a really useful Snap-Back button allowing you to rapidly zoom out in case you lose sight of your object and then immediately zoom back in once you have found it again. Photographs from this camera immediately impress with clear, vibrant colors, and are accurately exposed. Read more on Amazon

Canon PowerShot SX400

Available colors: black, red
Average battery life: 190 photos
Digital zoom: 4x
Display: LCD
30x optical zoom (24-720mm)
0 Megapixel sensor
High speed Auto Focus
Smart AUTO intelligently selects the right settings for the camera
1 year limited warranty

This camera really is a pleasure to hold and to use as well. The right-handed grip is deep enough that you can easily secure the camera in one hand. All the buttons are located on the right side of the camera and are thumb accessible. Canon included many specific shooting modes, for different situations, including: portrait, low light, face self timer, miniature effect, fish eye effect, monochrome, toy camera effect, poster effect, fireworks, super vivid, snow, long shutter (1 to 15 seconds). The Canon PowerShot SX400 has a 3” color TFT LCD with approx. 230,000 pixels. Read more on Amazon

Nikon COOLPIX S7000

20x optical zoom and 40x dynamic fine zoom
Full HD 1080/60i videos with stereo sound
18 scene modes for effortless videos and photos
Target Finding Auto Focus for intelligent, accurate autofocus
Built-in Wi-Fi
Available colors: white, black, gold, pink
One year limited warranty

The Nikon COOLPIX S7000 features a back-illuminated 20 million pixel CMOS sensor as well as a 20x optical zoom which provides you an equivalent viewing angle of 25-500mm in 35mm terms. Also, there is Full HD video recording and built-in Wi-Fi as well as NFC support for connecting the Nikon S7000 to your tablet or smartphone. Other specs include the ability to create panoramas, an EXPEED C2 processor, a range of scene modes, the ability to charge the battery via a USB port, and a 3” 460k dot screen. This is an impressively slim camera considering it features a 20x optical zoom, and it will slip into your pocket with ease. Connecting this camera to your phone or some other smart device is really easy. It is pretty impressive how closely you can get to the subject by simply switching macro focusing on. Read more on Amazon

Canon PowerShot SX410 IS

Available colors: black, red
Average battery life: 185 photos
Continuous shooting speed: 0.5 fps
20,0 Megapixel sensor
Canon DIGIC 4+ Image Processor
Powerful 40x optical zoom
3” LCD screen

This is a super-zoom camera that boasts a 40x optical zoom. That is a really capable zoom range to pack into a device this size. It looks very compact, and is also quite practical. Even though it won’t easily fit in your pocket, it fits nicely in your hand, and has a good sized grip that is covered in soft textured plastic. The Canon PowerShot SX410 IS includes Intelligent IS optical image stabilization. This feature uses scene detection in order to decide the best way to apply stabilization. Read more on Amazon

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