The Best Point and Shoot Camera

I tried the DSLR route. I gave it my best shot. And I found out I’d rather just have a really nice point and shoot.

The thing with DSLRs is, you have to carry around equipment. Lenses, bag, tripod, and well… I’ve got a baby. I don’t need more gear to carry around.

Part of this travel lifestyle is learning to simplify your life, and DSLR cameras are not simple!

We had a Sony Alpha SLTA33L DSLR with Translucent Mirror Technology and 3D Sweep Panorama (Black) for a while. It took really good photos, but I learned something about myself. I noticed I was too lazy to change the lenses when I did carry them with me, but most of the time I didn’t want to carry them with me because they were too heavy anyway.

I just wanted to take photos fast, not sit and fiddle with the settings all day. And this camera was among the lightest of the DSLR cameras.

So we sold the Sony and Jacob got a Nikon for his HDR photos. I was left trying to decide which camera to get.

I had a “bridge” camera before. They’re a bridge between point and shoot and DSLR, they’re normally a bit bulky but still lighter than a DSLR, and they have top-of-the-line zooms on them. I had the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ35 12.1MP Digital Camera with 18x POWER Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7 inch LCD  and it really was a fantastic camera. I still think it’s the best bridge camera out there right now. I gave it away when we got the DSLR, and I seriously considered buying it again after we got rid of the Sony.

I also considered getting a mirrorless DSLR like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 12 MP Micro 4/3 Compact System Camera with 3-Inch Touchscreen LCD and 14-42mm Zoom Lens (Black). They’re the smallest HDR-style cameras on the market right now, but I knew that I would have to get serious about camera settings to use one and I wasn’t ready for that kind of commitment.

Canons are the most popular brand, and so I was prepared to get a Canon. I was ready to spend whatever it took to get the best point and shoot out there, because I still want quality photos, I just don’t want to take my quality time shooting them. (I kinda wish I was the DSLR enthusiast type. Ah well, maybe I’ll get into someday…)

****After sufficient research, however, I decided to go with the Sony DSC-RX100 20.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor Digital Camera with 3.6x Zoom ****

Here’s why:

Top low light capability

1.8  aperture lens

One inch sensor which means the highest quality photos possible in a point and shoot right now

Quick and easy focus ability. Achieving the “blur” in portraits is one of the most important parts of a good photo.

Fun in-camera settings

In-camera help (you know you’ll never use the manual anyway)

Intuitive to use

Beautiful display screen

Drawbacks include:

The picture taking button is placed rather awkwardly

The $650 you could spend on a DSLR, conceivably, if that was what you preferred.

The zoom doesn’t compare to a bridge camera. Unfortunately, it seems the technology just isn’t available in the point and shoots to have the highest quality sensor possible AND to have a high zoom.


This camera is a great pick for those of you out there like me who love to take pictures…but who don’t want the gear or the post-processing and so on.


What camera do you use and why?


I found this website to be the most helpful when making my decision. It compares the top quality point and shoots on the market right now:



Here’s some sample photos from the camera:





Fun in-camera settings




Easy-to-use focus control even for a novice like me



Top low-light capability (this was in a low-lit cave)

Kalli Hiller

Article by Kalli Hiller

Kalli Hiller is a voluntary vagabond who, with her husband Jacob, has traveled full time for the last eight years.

Kalli has written 377 awesome articles for us.

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