Point-and-shoot cameras for video have stood the test of time and still have use today despite some more advanced types of digital cameras taking the reigns of the market the past decade. When filming videos, many factors need to be taken into consideration for choosing the best camera. However, one of the most important to first keep in mind is size. This is where point-and-shoots dominate — when it comes to versatility, these are amazing, especially if you want something that (typically) fits in your pocket, is great for on-the-go uses like traveling or camping, and less likely to break on you if you drop it. Today we took some time to look through the best point-and-shoot cameras for filming videos to give you some help.
Picking your point-and-shoot video camera
As we read in our recent video camera guide, there are many types of video cameras in regards to shapes, sizes and functionality available to us today. Since we’re in here today, we’ve been able to knock out one of the biggest factors when determining which video camera you need — type. Do you need versatility? Ruggedness? Point-and-shoots have your back. They’re perfect for traveling, filming sports, or really any person who doesn’t want one of those big and bulky DSLR cameras.
For point-and-shoot video cameras, the budget-range is pretty wide. We have some amazing cameras for under $500, while others below that price-range get to be a bit budget-friendly but sacrifice some video quality and extra features you may need down the road. How much cash do you have saved up? This will be your first and foremost thought to keep in mind when sifting through our picks.
Next up is video resolution and overall quality. Do you want the newest of the new, 4K video resolution? Can you settle with 1080p resolution (this is still the most popular video resolution out today, and will be for quite a few more years as 4K needs to continue become cheaper as well as supported by a lot of playback devices — until then, 1080p is still quite fine to have)? Also keep in mind the frames-per-second your video camera provides — 60p is a lot better than 15p, regardless if it’s 1080p or 720p.
Lastly, extra features of your point-and-shoot camera are also important. In terms of the word extra, we mean functions and specs included in your video camera that don’t involve your necessary,basic camera features (such as the ability to record video, processors, sensors, etc.) Some examples include waterproof and shockproof protection, Wi-Fi or NFC connectivity, software or apps, optical zoom, and more.
Don’t forget to grab some video editing software if you’d like to tweak some of the feel and look of your clips in post-production as opposed to relying on real-time settings in your camera while you film.
The best point-and-shoot cameras for filming videos
Panasonic Lumix LX10
This camera uses a whopping 4K video recording system with the exposure control and focus accuracy that you could expect to find on a high-end DSLR camera. With a 20.1-megapixel high sensitivity sensor you’re going to get high quality shots that are extremely detailed, with F-stop range that’ll allow for beautiful bokeh as well. Panasonic also included a fast working DFD feature that calculates the focus distance for you and locks it in so none of your video will end up blurry or out of focus.
Another little addition is that they have a built-in editor that allows you to refocus your photos or videos after they’ve been taken, so you never have to worry about sacrificing creativity for a split second shot. As far as the rest of our list goes, this camera falls around the mid to upper price point, but with the features that it includes you’re getting a pretty fair deal for your dollar as one of the best point-and-shoot cameras for filming videos. Panasonic is a really well established brand that’s been around for quite some time, so their reputation definitely precedes this product. We begin our list with the Panasonic Lumix LX10, in our opinion one of the best point and shoot video cameras in the market today.
Canon PowerShot G16
This camera is Wi-Fi compatible, which is going to make sharing your videos super easy if you want to avoid using a computer altogether. Through the use of a Canon app you can hook up your camera to your phone or laptop and instantly get your product out in a snap. It uses a Canon DIGIC 6 image processor, Canon’s high-quality processor, which gives you higher resolution and less noise with an up to ISO 12800. This is going to be helpful when you can’t fully control your lighting, which is basically the case in any environment that isn’t a studio. With six different IS modes to choose from, camera shake can be virtually eliminated and image stabilization is maximized.
Lastly, with a 5X optical zoom and a brighter lens you can create soft backgrounds with personalized detail where you want it. This is one of the more modern and up to date options on our list, so if that appeals to you and you want a product from a reliable brand like Canon, this is going to be one of the best point and shoot video cameras on the market. Here we’ve got another big name and highly reviewed point-and-shoot camera, the Canon PowerShot G16.
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 III
In terms of style, this is one of our more sleek-looking options and it’s also one of the more compact cameras on this list. But as the saying goes, big things come in small packages, and that couldn’t be truer with this camera. It uses a 1-inch sensor with EXMOR CMOS technology and has 20.1 MP. It works great with architectural shooting and landscapes because the 24-mm wide-angle lens allows you to pack more in a shot without having to zoom out too much.
For more up close shots, it has a 2.9x optical zoom that isn’t too large (if you need larger, continue reading) but it won’t compromise quality or detail when you use it. It comes with a built-in electronic viewfinder that takes the guesswork out of shooting, and a 180-degree tiltable LCD screen that lets you take selfies, if you’re in to that. This is one of the more pricey options on this list, but if you want a compact point and shoot for shooting videos that packs a punch and captures amazing quality, this is the camera for you. For our third pick, the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 III continues our list strong.
Ricoh GR II
This one starts out around the middle price point on our list, but Ricoh gives you the option of purchasing it as a part of various kits ranging from basic to deluxe to premium, each one increasing in price but offering something new that may pertain to your needs. This is another option that has Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, and it’s also one of the more portable and lightweight options that we’ve researched. The GR II uses full HD 1080 video processing that’ll give you super detailed and high-definition pictures and videos without taking up an absurd amount of room on your memory cards. You can also save your files in DNG, RAW, or as a JPEG, which gives you total control of your editing process down to when the camera saves your video and into post-production.
Movies are saved in MPEG-4 AVC format. It has 19.6 megapixels, 12-bit depth, and has a wide range aperture. This camera utilizes a fixed lens, so it is not zoom compatible, however this is how most upper end lenses achieve the high quality that they do. It also has a built-in flash, giving you all basic elements that great cameras have while allowing you to have optimal control of your creative process if you can sacrifice the lack of zoom. Here we’ve got the Ricoh GR II digital point and shoot camera.
Without even getting into functional details, this point-and-shoot video camera is one of my favorites in terms of style. Traditional dials make it super easy to personalize your shot, all while adding a nostalgic and vintage element. This combination of style and function, we think, makes this one of the best and coolest point and shoot video cameras out there. It uses an accurate optical viewfinder that calculates focal points and focus areas all on its own, all displayed on a high-tech viewfinder that lets you adjust and control your picture in an instant. It also uses beautiful chrome coloring that will bring you back to that of the classic camera era. Lastly, it has 16.3 MP, a 3-inch monitor, and an ISO of 51200.
This camera is jam-packed with features that allow you to add your personal style in your photos and videos, as well as in the style of the camera itself. The Fujifilm X100T has the look of an old film SLR camera with the black body and silver chrome finishing, but also comes in black for another classic look. However, although this may sport a vintage look, its capabilities are nothing but modern and advanced.
Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70
Next we have an amazing budget-friendly point-and-shoot for videos from Panasonic if your price-range is a bit lower than our previous picks. This is the one for you if zoom was what you had in mind, as well as if you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of a bigger build. This version of the LUMIX uses both HD 1080/60p video and sound, and uses a 60x optical zoom for beautiful up close shots. It also has a built-in Dolby microphone that’ll provide some clear sound (although we still recommend external mics for professional use), and has face tracking AF metering and smart autofocus that minimizes the work you need to do in order to get a great shot. With four exposure settings, one of which being completely manual, and intelligent light metering you’re guaranteed to have customizable and fine tuned lighting to any shooting environment.
This is one of the best point and shoot video cameras you can get if you’re looking for something that’ll be a great alternative to the more expensive options, while still giving great picture and sound quality. For starters, the Lumix DMC-FZ70 camera has a look more like today’s DSLR cameras with a slightly thicker body than some of our more sleek options. However, having that thicker body isn’t going to significantly add weight, and it increases durability and sturdiness, so that aspect is all based on personal preference.
Canon PowerShot G9 X
This camera is similar to the previous X100T because of its vintage feel. It comes in two color schemes, silver\brown and black. This camera has optical zoom and a 3-inch touch screen panel. A wide aperture range allows you to take video in low light conditions without having to use a flash (although there is a flash built-in to the camera) and a control ring on the lens adjusts Aperture settings. There are 9 settings for white balance control and ISO goes up to 6400 and as low as 125 in AUTO mode, giving you control of color and detail. One of these settings is similar to the manual setting, letting you customize more fully than the pre-existing settings.
As far as our list goes this is probably more suitable for the beginning to middle range videographer, but if that’s you, then this is going to be a great point and shoot video camera for your needs. Not to mention the awesome look you’ll be getting if that’s important to you. It made it into our best digital cameras guide for a reason. The body of the Canon PowerShot G9 X is thicker than some of the other models and has the classic dial setting for the shutter and the settings.
Olympus Tough TG-4
In regards to our list, the fact that it’s waterproof, has a setting specifically for night-time, and is made to withstand rough terrain is what makes it unique — it’s what we were talking about when it came to ‘additional features’ in the beginning of the article. Many underwater cameras have to give up technical features which help create great photos and videos, but not this one. This camera has a 16 Megapixel sensor with a 3-inch rear LCD monitor. It’s waterproof up to 50 feet and is shockproof for up to a 7-foot drop. It’s also freeze proof for as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit for those of you who plan to venture into colder territories.
There’s a built-in flash that has five settings, and it comes with various shooting modes for lighting, color, intervals, and time lapses. If you’re a videographer who loves to adventure and explore, this video camera is going to be the best option for you. Versatile and durable are two words that describe the Olympus Tough TG-4 perfectly. This also made it into our best waterproof camera guide.
Canon PowerShot SX720 HS
It’s compact, sleek, and has a ton of specs for a camera on the lower end of the price spectrum. If you’re somebody who wants a quality point and shoot video camera that wont break the bank, but doesn’t sacrifice all camera quality, this is the best camera for you. Like most, the flash is built-in, it has a 40X optical zoom (4X digital zoom), and has an Optical Image Stabilizer. The 3-inch LCD screen on the back of the camera is ideal for getting a clear shot of your image field before you click the shutter, and it also makes playback detailed and clear.
ISO can be either be used up to 3200 or in AUTO, and you can pick from 6 different white balance modes. It also comes with various shooting modes and photo effects. All of this means that without having to know the ins and outs of video cameras you can still have creative control over your shot. Next up is another Canon camera, the PowerShot SX720 HS.
Nikon Coolpix S3700
This type of camera and Nikon’s Coolpix line has been around forever, and is going to be more basic than some of our other options. Really, if you want a starter camera at a low price, this is going to be the best point and shoot for video option for you. It comes in three different colors (silver, red, and pink) and is a little bigger than our most compact option on this list. It’s perfect for the beginner videographer because it has Scene Auto Selector, which picks the camera setting based on the environment you’re in. It also comes equipped with autofocus.
However, if you want to control the settings you still have the option to pick which scene mode, adjustable white balance, or flash mode you want for the shooting situation. But basic doesn’t mean outdated, because this version of the Coolpix comes Wi-Fi equipped so that you can connect your pictures or videos to any smartphone or tablet. Last on our list is the Nikon Coolpix S3700.