1. Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 ($698)

People must be tiring of smartphone cameras, because "a creative renaissance" is happening in the category of compact point-and-shoots. Most new models can also shoot HD video, but few if any rivals offer the 15X optical zoom of Panasonic's new 12-ounce ZS200. Buy it at Amazon.

2. Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI ($1,100)

Though the latest addition to Sony's RX100 series costs hundreds more than its excellent predecessors, "it's pretty much the best compact camera around right now," according to Digital Camera World. Features include "super-smooth" 4K video and a pop-up electric viewfinder. Buy it at Amazon.

3. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II ($430)

Novice shutterbugs should check out this "supremely compact" Canon. Though it lacks 4K video, it's the smallest and cheapest camera with a 1-inch image sensor, and the intuitive interface "makes transitioning from smartphone shooting simple," per The Wirecutter. Buy it at Amazon.

4. Olympus Tough TG-6 ($450)

Need something indestructible for an outdoor adventure? This shockproof, waterproof, coldproof, and "just plain durable" camera works up to 50 feet underwater. And though images come in at just 12 megapixels, the Olympus measures up in every other respect. Buy it at Amazon.

5. Ricoh GR II ($546)

Though it's "on the big side" and "not great for video," the Ricoh GR II has developed a cult following online, and for good reason. Thanks to its DSLR APS-C sensor, "it's capable of downright gorgeous photos," according to Wired. And it's far cheaper than the new GR III, Ricoh's admittedly more capable update. Buy it at Amazon.

Editor's note: Every week The Week's editors survey product reviews and articles in websites, newspapers, and magazines, to find cool and useful new items we think you'll like. We're now making it easier to purchase these selections through affiliate partnerships with certain retailers. The Week may get a share of the revenue from these purchases.