Disclosure: Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site. Please help support Studiopsis and buy from B&H and Amazon. It won’t cost you anything extra.
When it comes to buying the best small (compact) digital camera, there are several options to choose from. This page helps you sort though the wide array of compact digital cameras, and find the one that is right for you.
Top 10 Compact Point-and-Shoot Cameras
The more popular ones in the list that we have put forth had increased optical zooms with image stabilization. Please note that these are not the cheapest options. If you’re looking for the cheapest point-shoot/compact cameras (under 100 bucks), click here.
These models are have slightly better features and cost around a couple of hundred dollars or so. Here are some good options:
Canon PowerShot SX620 Digital Camera
The slim and sleek PowerShot SX620 HS camera is perfect for vacation, family occasion or everyday fun. Powerful 25x (25-625mm) Optical Zoom, image stabilization, built-in Wi-Fi and NFC lets you share images to social sites. 20.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 4+ Image Processor capture beautiful shots during day or night. 1080p Full HD video recording at your fingertips.
Fujifilm FinePix XP80 Waterproof Digital Camera (Editor’s Pick)
The Fujifilm FinePix XP80 Waterproof Digital Camera looks stylish, is waterproof and equipped with standard features in the segment. 16.2-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor delivers good quality images even in low light. Captures full HD Movies.
- Pros: Waterproof/Freeze proof/Dustproof, sturdy, Optical Image Stabilization, LCD with anti-reflective coating
- Cons: Battery drains faster
Color Options: Several colors – blue, graphite black, yellow.
Canon EOS M 18.0 MP Compact Systems Camera
With 18 mega pixels, the Canon EOS M captures high quality images that are excellent in color and clarity (the images can be printed on an A2 sized sheet with detailed clarity). Compact and easy to carry, it can also serve as a backup camera for professional photographers.
Captures HD videos. Continuous tracking of moving objects in focus. Compatible with Canon EF-S and EF lenses. Compatible with several types of cards. Comes with touch screen for easy selection.
More compact cameras:
- Sony W800/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera
Sony Lens w/ 5x Optical Zoom, Image stabilisation, 720p HD videos, Sweep Panorama mode-up to 360, Smile Shutter technology automatically captures smiles, easy Mode for simplified use.
- Samsung WB350F 16.3MP Digital Camera
16.3 MP, 21x Optical Zoom for great shots up front or from a distance, instantly share photos online, 3.0″ Touch Screen LCD, 1080p HD Video (microSD card required).
- Sony W800/B 20.1 MP Digital Camera
Bright f/1.8 lens with 5x optical zoom and 24mm wide angle view, 12.1 megapixel, exceptional low-light performance, 1080p Full-HD Video, wirelessly transfer images online, zoom while shooting and play back videos on an HDTV via the HDMI output.
- Canon PowerShot S3 IS – a 6 megapixel camera with a 12x optical zoom and image stabilization
- Canon Powershot S2 IS – a 5 megapixel camera with a 12x optcial zoom and image stabilization
- Panasonic DMC-FZ50 – 10.1 megapixels with 12x optical zoom lens and image stabilization
- Sony Cybershot DSC-H5 – 7.2 megapixles with 12x optical zoom and image stabilization
- Canon PowerShot SD800 IS – a 7.1 megapixel compact camera with a 3.8x wide angled optical zoom and image stabilization
- Canon Powershot A620 – 7.1 megapixels and a 4x optical zoom
- Canon PowerShot S5 IS – 8 megapixels, 12x Optical Zoom and Image Stabilization
- Fujifilm Finepix S5200 – 5.1 megapixels, 10x optical zoom and image stabilization
- Canon Powershot SD550 – 7.1 megapixels and a 3x optical zoom
- Nikon Coolpix 5400 – 5.1 megapixels with a 4x optical zoom
Though there are several models out there in this category that are good, usually there is always that one product that walks away with all the accolades, which has got the right mix of everything to tempt the user, and which outsells all the other products in that category.
Introduction to Small Cameras
A Compact / Point and Shoot Camera is the easiest to use, compared to other cameras, and lets you take quality pictures without having to do any manual settings. Not everybody would like to prepare for a shot by making several menu settings. All they want is to click a button and expect the photos to be there. That is where Point and Shoot Cameras make perfect sense. Here we take a look at the best digital compact cameras.
Because of advances in digital camera technology, digital cameras have become cheaper yet are packed with features. So even though you may want something for hobby photography, or need one that you can take along on holidays, you get cameras that have the capabilities to click cool pics, and even videos.
Be it young adults, parents or young children, everyone loves to click pictures, especially when it is some important occasion or a family outing. So owning a camera is must for most of us nowadays.
What to Look For?
Compact cameras are reasonably priced, give great results, and most of them are simple point-and-shoot cameras (just point the camera towards the subject and click).
Here are some more characteristics of these cameras.
- These are small in size
- Easy to use
- Auto functions make it ready to use
- Comes with rechargeable lithium-ion battery (no need of changing batteries)
- Comes with video recording capability
These come with many more features, the important factors to consider when you are purchasing the best small digital camera are:.
- Company. – Pick a company you trust.
- Cost – Buy once, buy right..but don’t go overboard with your purchase
- Image quality – Make sure you are happy with the image quality.
- Ease of use – Easy to use cameras get used more than the difficult ones.
- Megapixels – Not an issue nowadays, modern cameras have plenty of megapixels.
- Size and Weight – The smaller lighter cameras are easier to carry.
- Battery life – Long battery life helps ensure you don’t get caught without power.
- Battery type – Are they rechargeable or regular? Which type are you most comfortable with?
- Memory card size – If you are taking high resolution pictures make sure you get enough memory.
- Video quality – Small Digital cameras can capture videos as well. Make sure the quality is good.
The quality of most small digital cameras today is amazing, and they are pretty reasonably priced. Remember, the best small digital camera is the one that meets your needs.
Slim is In
Slim is in vogue now, and it applies to electronics as well. Nobody likes owning bulky stuff and manufacturers have realized that as well. Televisions, computer monitors, phone and cameras are all becoming thinner and compact.
The best part about the point and shoot cameras is that they look stylish, are easy to carry and simple to use.
Though most use only the auto functions on such cameras, some of these do offer advanced features that can help you learn advanced techniques. With a wide range of features and capabilities packed in a small & compact body, a point and shoot camera offers great value if you’re interested in taking photos.
Stick to your Budget
Sticking to your budget is important irrespective of what you buy. We spoke about compact cameras with large sensors, but then they are on the expensive side (assuming you’ve never owned a DSRL camera).
There are many who are obsessed about cameras and feel that something entry level cannot take good pictures. However, the fact is that for many, a digital camera in the range $200 to $250 dollars would also serve well.
After all, a camera is a tool to take pictures. There are many photographers who use high-end cameras that produce stunning pictures, but they also own compact cameras and they have no problem taking great shots with their $200 camera. In fact, some of their favorite pictures are shot using their cheap cameras. So you really don’t have to go overboard with your purchase.
Popular Brands / Series
Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Fujifilm & Olympus are the more popular brands that make compact cameras. Among that too, most users look at the Canon PowerShot & Sony CyberShot series for their options. Some of the popular Brands / Series of compact cameras:
One of the best things about the current lot of digital cameras is that you can very well categorize them into two types – one that is the more professional grade DSLR types – and the other is what you can define as compact. So frankly speaking though there are so many models, it is good that there are just a couple of categories. And I guess that’s what I like the best about the digital cameras of today.
And it’s not that these compact point-and-shoot ones give bad results, the pictures captured can be amazing. Though there are limitations in case you want to capture action sports or zoom in a long distance or take pictures in dark; a DSRL will be more apt for those scenarios.
But these are good enough for most purposes and you can easily carry them around. Most cameras nowadays have advanced features where it can distinguish faces from other objects in a picture, it can tell if the person being photographed is smiling or blinking and so on. Many models also have the capability to take multiple pictures on one click of the shutter to help you choose the best one.
Want something more advanced? Go in for a bridge camera or a compact system camera!
A bridge camera has more features than a point-and-shoot camera. And if you want more control over the features, with the ability to change lenses, go in for a Compact system camera. A compact system camera lies somewhere between a point-and-click and a digital SRL camera! These have a bit more features than the point-and-shoot cameras, allow you to fiddle with the settings, and tend to be a bit more expensive as well. These are also known as mirrorless or mirrorless system cameras.
Not everyone likes to do an elaborate setup before taking every shot. There are many who would prefer to have their cameras to be very easy-to-use, and also don’t want to spend a fortune on these gadgets. This is where these compact cameras make perfect sense.
If you are a beginner photographer, or a casual user who take pictures only on certain occasions, then you may not need something really fancy.
These are also great for children to start learning about photography, and women do have some stylish options when it comes to point and shoot digital cameras.