Lensrentals has revealed the most popular point-and-shoot cameras of 2022. The list features a wide range of point-and-shoot cameras, including inexpensive models, superzooms, and even a pair of premium cameras that cost nearly $6,000.
With such a diverse list, it’s worth considering what Lensrentals considers a “point-and-shoot camera.” Its classification is simple: if a camera has a fixed lens, it’s a point-and-shoot. The camera doesn’t need to fit in your pocket easily, nor must it be designed for amateur photographers looking to grab some nice snapshots on a family vacation — not that there’s anything wrong with that, either.
This broad definition results in a highly unusual top 10 list of cameras — one that includes the $499 Olympus Tough TG-6 waterproof camera at one end, and the $5,800 full-frame Leica Q2 at the other. The popular point-and-shoot cameras run the gamut.
The list shows a few standouts, including the Fujifilm X100F and Ricoh GR IIIx. These cameras are notable because, unlike some point-and-shoot models, the X100F and GR IIIx (and the similar GR III) are popular among enthusiasts and professional photographers. They’re great cameras when photographers aren’t in the mood to carry an interchangeable lens camera but are also unwilling to sacrifice image quality.
While the X100F, Leica Q2 Monochrom, GR IIIx, Fuji X100V, and Leica Q2 all take “fixed lens” a step further by incorporating fixed focal length lenses, the Nikon Coolpix P1000 in the seventh spot goes a wildly different route. The Coolpix P1000 includes a “ridiculous 125x zoom lens” that offers a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 24-3000mm. It’s a bit long in the tooth, having hit store shelves in 2018, but it remains the most powerful zoom range in a point-and-shoot camera nearly five years later.
The P1000 achieves its remarkable zoom thanks largely to its tiny image sensor. The Leica Q2, the most popular point-and-shoot at Lensrentals in 2022, instead features a large full-frame image sensor. It’s easy to see why photographers are interested in trying the Q2. It has a 47-megapixel sensor paired with a Leica Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH lens that promises exquisite image quality. It’s weather-sealed, has an impressive built-in OLED viewfinder, shoots pretty fast, and has the pretty face and incredible build quality that photographers expect from Leica’s premium products.
There’s something else interesting about Lensrentals’ list: none of the cameras are new, with one exception. The Ricoh GR IIIx is the only one released in the last two years, but even that is essentially 2019’s GR III with a different lens. As PetaPixel wrote last year, “smartphones have all but totally replaced compact cameras.” The compact camera market, which heavily overlaps with the point-and-shoot camera market, shrunk by 97% between 2008 and 2021.
But are point-and-shoot cameras well and truly dead? In the sense that most customers aren’t buying them, and most manufacturers aren’t fussed about making new ones, yes. Point-and-shoots are dead, buried, and mostly forgotten. However, among a small, niche crowd, they’re still quite alive. Following a TikTok trend, the Fujifilm X100V, which landed in second place on Lensrentals’ list, became so popular that Fujifilm couldn’t fulfill new orders.
There may not be anywhere near enough demand for companies to resuscitate many of their most basic paint-by-the-numbers point-and-shoot models, like the majority of the Canon PowerShot and Nikon Coolpix series. However, there is clearly still space for stylish, premium compact cameras to survive and perhaps even thrive.
Given the popularity of the Leica Q2 and Q2 Monochrome at Lensrentals last year, photographers still value style and image quality, even if the mainstream market is more than happy using smartphones. It’s not clear if these same customers are willing to throw down nearly $6,000 for the privilege, but people are at least interested in giving high-end point-and-shoot cameras a whirl.
Image credits: Lensrentals unless otherwise noted