So you've made the decision: you're going to buy a camera. After giving it much thought, you've decided that the reliable but primitive camera on your smartphone simply won't cut it and that you need a reliable, stand-alone device with which to capture those special moments. You have figured out the “what”, but now it's time to refine that a bit. Buying a camera is no easy task, and it takes a lot of research before you can make an informed decision, you need to know why you want it and what photos you intend to take with it so that you can begin the search with details ready in hand. As a starting point, the $500 point and shoot camera guide should do the trick and help you learn the ropes, allowing you to develop your technique until you can move to something more advanced. A camera should become a part of you when you go out, with your mind focusing on what part of reality you can capture to keep it recorded forever, in the most beautiful manner possible.

Point and shoot cameras are a great way to balance price with functionality, but the key is ensuring that you get the best bang for your buck in an industry that produces a lot of redundancy.


We'll discuss some of the best point and shoot cameras of 2014 so that you can make the right decision and get a great return on your investment.

Sony Cybershot DSCW800

If you need a very affordable camera but are not worried about all the bells and whistles, then the Sony Cybershot DSCW800 is a perfect selection. You may not find this camera on the shelves during any digital camera sale, but that's because it is both new and already affordable. In many cases, you'll be able to pick this sweet deal up for less than £50.


It comes with a 20-megapixel resolution, HD video recording, many different shooting modes and zoom. With image stabilisation and panoramic potential, you'll love the basic functionality it provides. Sorry, but no Wi-Fi or high resolution screen is included on this affordable point and shoot.

Olympus Tough Series

Those who are willing to spend a bit more in exchange for something that is guaranteed to stand the test of time will be impressed with the Olympus Tough Series. Designed to weather water, dust and shocks, this camera can be found for around £250 through select retailers. With high aperture zoom functionality, macro modes that allow you to get up close and personal, and full 1080p high definition video, there is little that this sophisticated point and shoot cannot do.


Time lapse photography just got easier with this Olympus model, allowing you to take up to 100 pictures over a one-day period. There is also an indicator on the screen that will let you know how far underwater you are, so that you don't go too deep and compromise the camera (but don't worry, it'll work at depths of up to 16 metres).

Samsung Galaxy Camera Series


Last but not least, the Samsung Galaxy Camera series is a solid performer that most likely won't wind up in a digital camera sale for many months to come. Its heavy, thick design helps protect it from small drops and spills, while the large screen is touch-compatible and provides great resolution when snapping photos.


A selfie function exists that allows you to take photos at set intervals until the camera is otherwise told, while a huge optical zoom (21x) gives you all the power you need to get up close. This camera is around £300, but worth every penny.

In the Market for Something Else?

If you cannot find the camera of your dreams here, please keep in mind that there are plenty of other solutions. Many people buy from Gumtree whenever they are in search of quality cameras but cannot afford them new. You can find many great point and shoot cameras at pre-owned prices, allowing you to “buy up” when you otherwise wouldn't be able to do so.


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