Compact Camera

Camera You Can Take Anywere

If you’re looking to make the jump from the camera on your smartphone to a dedicated camera, getting a compact or point-and-shoot camera is a logical step. Compact cameras are typically small and lightweight, often pocketable, but without the complexity of an interchangeable lens, so you can focus on pointing and shooting. Despite their small size, they still offer superior image quality to most smartphone cameras, as well as features like optical zoom and image stabilization, making them a great choice for travel photography or vlogging.

Most of our picks here are higher-end point-and-shoots. Cheaper options typically aren’t worth the investment over just using your smartphone. But if you’re an enthusiast who needs a compact camera to shoot with on the side, or you like the idea of a dedicated all-in-one camera, there are plenty of premium options to choose from, and we’ve included a budget pick as well to round out the list.

How to choose the best compact camera for you

When choosing the best compact camera for you, things like the sensor size and type of viewfinder might not be as important. After all, while pro and experienced photographers do use compact cameras, it’s really the novice, casual shooter, and point-and-shoot crowd that these cameras are most ideal for.

If you have some general knowledge about cameras, definitely take a look at the sensor size as Micro Four Thirds and APS-C options are as much on hand as 1-inch ones. Take a look at the type of viewfinder as well – or at least whether or not the camera you’re looking at has one. Most compact cameras have an electronic viewfinder, but a small number have an optical one.

Otherwise, those things might not matter as much to you depending on what you need it for. If you plan on using your compact camera for travel, you should take a closer look at the lens and its zoom capabilities. You’ll find that when it comes to taking travel photos, you’ll get a lot more use out of a camera with a built-in lens with impressive zooming capabilities. If you plan on using your camera for street photography or for snapshots of people, a fixed lens might just be ideal for you. If you want to shoot nighttime photos, look for one with high ISO capabilities and great noise handling.

Take a look at features as well. Some features you might not need, but a few might prove to be useful like image stabilization or face/eye tracking. Of course, price is a factor as well, and you will find many options whether your budget is low or flexible. However, don’t just go for the cheapest one, especially if you want more features or better performance. You’re best served by a camera that will meet your needs and expectations, so hold off and save up for a better choice.