The compact camera is one of the most popular types of cameras being sold around the world today. Of all the photographs taken across the globe, up to fifty percent of them come from a compact camera of some kind. Essentially, the compact camera usually represents a brands entry level variant that is simple point and shoot camera that is easy to use. The hallmark of the compact camera is its small size, high mobility and ability to take reasonably good still pictures. In other words, they are perfect for the vast majority of enthusiasts out there that don’t necessarily have the skill or the budget for a full DLSR camera. Most people just want something that fits in their pockets and can take photographs as and when they see an opportunity. Additionally, almost all of them are digital which is very convenient as you can simply upload your pictures to your computer to view them (unlike film).

Their biggest competitor is the camera phone, which represents the fastest growing segment today. As a rule, you generally won’t find too many features on most compact cameras although this will vary from series to series. Because they are meant as a simple point and click, they are almost always fully automatic. As such, there aren’t too many settings to fiddle with when you want to take a photograph. Additionally, it utilizes a viewfinder for ease of use unlike those that are usually found in professional cameras. The absolute cheapest compacts on the market can be had for less than fifty pounds. The higher the price, the more features and quality the compact will have in general.

Price is also determined by the quality of the lens and its zoom capability. The lens is arguably the most expensive part of any camera. In many cases, a high quality lens can cost as much as the entire camera body in the case of high end DLSR variants. While the zoom feature is a very straightforward function, they are actually divided into two categories. You will come across something called optical zoom and digital zoom. Digital zoom is carried out by software and isn’t really a true zoom. Optical zoom points to lens capability and is far more valuable than digital zoom.

While there are a whole slew of brands on the market, you want to stick with established brands for your compact camera. As such, the brands you want to shop with are Canon, Nikon, Sony, Samsung, Olympus, Panasonic as well as Fuji. Sony, Samsung and Panasonic have some of the cheapest entry level variants that are adequate for simple operation. There usually multiple series offered by each brand depending on features and price.

The highest end compact cameras focus very much on picture quality and are capable of stunning photography in the hands of a capable operator. Superzoom cameras are also on the rise with many models offering up to twenty times zoom capability. However, these are usually for advanced users. For those that want something simple and cheap, the market is awash with a range of them to choose from these days.

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Do drop by our site if you're interested in the best compact camera variants on the market. Everything from the canon compact camera to those made by Sony and Nikon are touched upon.