6 Powerful Point and Shoot Cameras for Discreet Street Photography

These small, yet powerful point and shoot cameras will help you become a street photography ninja.

Street photography is a genre that requires a certain finesse. You have to be able to capture images quickly and, in a lot of cases, discreetly. Having the ability to be able to blend into the crowd with a camera that doesn’t say “look at me” is a must, and having a camera that is small enough to not get banged and roughed up while walking through the busy streets is important too. While keeping things on the small size is nice, you have to make sure that the camera is still capable of performing the job. Fortunately, there are many powerful point and shoot cameras currently on the market that are suited perfectly for street photography. Here we will take a look at six point and shoot cameras that will help you blend in and nail the shots you want to get.

What makes a good camera for street photography? Ideally the camera will have fast autofocus capabilities, a good LCD screen, a sharp lens with a wide aperture for low light situations, a high burst rate, and of course low weight and a great form factor. Features such as a high megapixel sensor with good ISO performance are nice, but they’re not the be all end all when it comes to street photography. Being able to quickly grab a camera out of your pocket, and then point, focus, shoot, and move on is the name of the game here. These six point and shoot cameras are more than capable, and will quickly become a perfect companion for street photographers who want to be as discreet as possible. Let’s check out six of our favorite point and shoot cameras for street photography.

 

Ricoh GR II

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Fantastic image quality
  • JPEGs so good that I’d have no problems just posting the JPEGs and not even bothering to edit the RAWs (yes, it’s true. That’s a very strong statement.)
  • Compact body
  • I actually like the rough texture of some of the body.
  • Pretty simply to use, though I wish there were a few more direct controls
  • Really nice effects simulations
  • Very low profile look
  • LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact this lens tends to embrace flares rather than killing them.
  • Feels as if it really should’ve had an integrated viewfinder; something like the Fujifilm X30.

Cons

  • Autofocus suffers in low light and with moving subjects
  • Those that want the clinical look of a photo probably won’t be able to embrace the grain at higher ISOs, the fun of the creative effects, or the lens flare that’s possible here

Buy now ($546.95): Amazon

 

Canon Powershot G7x

 

point and shoot cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Great feeling in the hand
  • Very compact and fits into a skinny jean pockets
  • Nice controls, but we really wish that there were three dials instead of two for exposures
  • WiFi setup and transferring is very simple
  • Incredible battery life
  • Fast focusing
  • An excellent JPEG camera to be used with WiFi transferring

Cons

  • LCD screen doesn’t tilt downward, only upward
  • Images don’t seem as sharp as what Sony’s 1 inch sensors can output

Buy now ($552.99): Amazon

 

 

 

Pro Tip: Heading out for a day of street photography or on general photo walks can lead a photographer to have quite a few pictures in a short amount of time. One of the last things you want is to run out of storage space or have a memory card fail and not have a spare. It is always wise to carry a few extra SD cards on your person no matter what you are doing. Cards can (and do) fail often, and with modern cameras, storage space can fill up quickly. Put some of these affordable yet high performance SD cards in your pockets so that you’re covered.

 

Panasonic LX100

 

point and shoot cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Aperture ring and shutter speed dial maximize the amount of control you have
  • Retro aesthetic and small size makes it inconspicuous
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and the Panasonic Image App enables remote control, which is a good deal of fun
  • Impressive image quality and small files makes the camera less taxing on hard-drive space
  • Fast lens with a variable f1.7-2.8 aperture
  • Fast autofocus

Cons

  • The camera, for my purposes, is a bit too small to comfortably use
  • Not necessarily a con, but the aperture ring is in front of the focusing ring, which takes some time to get used to
  • When the camera’s set to AF, the focusing ring can adjust shutter speed, and if you’re not careful, you might inadvertently change the shutter speed

Buy now ($597.99): Amazon

 

Sony RX100 V

 

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • fantastic image quality (some of the best I’ve seen from a point and shoot camera with a 1 inch sensor)
  • fast autofocus
  • slim, compact size
  • nice EVF

Cons

  • Just because the autofocus is fast doesn’t mean it’s always accurate
  • I’d actually love a hot shoe
  • Ring around the lens could use a clicking mechanism

Buy now ($898): Amazon

 

 

Pro Tip: Being out and about on the city streets will mean dealing with dust, dirt, grime, and inclement weather. All of these things will make your camera and lens become dirty quickly, which can have an impact on picture quality and the overall life span of the camera itself. Always carry a basic camera cleaning kit with you so that you can take care of your gear on the spot. The last thing you want to do is spend extra time removing dirt spots from your images in post, and/or having to deal with a camera that isn’t functioning correctly due to dust and dirt.

 

Fujifilm X100F

 

point and shoot cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Great image quality, though I wonder how much better it could have been made
  • One of the best autofocus cameras when it comes to candid street photography
  • Compact
  • Nice feel that you’d expect from a camera like this
  • Acros video is very welcome
  • AF selection point joystick was long overdue
  • So light, small, and great that you’ll want to take it with you everywhere
  • Much improved battery life

Cons

  • At this point it could use sensor based image stabilization
  • Could use a lens update, sometimes I feel like the lens isn’t doing the sensor full justice. Though I only speak of this in terms of optical sharpness. Otherwise, the character it delivers is fantastic.
  • No weather sealing; absolutely not sure why
  • Though not necessary, it would be nice to have a headphone and microphone jack for video shooting.
  • Doesn’t adhere to Sunny 16 rules of metering, which is REALLY WEIRD

Buy now ($1,299): Amazon

 

Sony RX1r II

 

point and shoot cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Excellent image quality
  • Fast focusing
  • Great lens
  • Small
  • Lightweight
  • For most of us, it’s all the camera you’d possibly need
  • EVF addition is welcome.
  • Fair battery life for a Sony camera

Cons

  • Sometimes very hard to hold and shoot when doing street photography
  • When used with a radio flash trigger, the EVF can get in the way

Buy now ($3,298): Amazon