By Tati Taylor 20 days ago, Cameras & Lenses
Compact cameras let you take family photos or even beauty photographs in the studio. Modern point and shoot cameras have been updated over the last several years because nowadays everyone has a smartphone and there is no need to have a high-end camera for portraits.
That’s why I’ve decided to put together a guide to the best compact cameras for beginning photographers that can compete with the best dynamic range cameras.
ISO range of 125-12800 is provided by the camera’s 20.2 MP 1-inch BSI-CMOS. It is one of the best compact cameras, as it offers reduced shot-to-shot time and immediate playback. Fast maximum aperture and 24-100 mm definitely contribute to its functionality. Besides, it is also equipped with a 9-blade curved aperture diagram and a neutral-density filter. Flipping range of the 3" touch screen LCD is from 180 degrees up and 45 degrees down.
Photo by Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
Being one of the most reliable options on this list, it stands out among other point-and-shoot cameras. While it may seem a bit expensive, it has great value for the money. It features a 15x zoom which makes it suitable for avid travelers who want to take photos of faraway objects. The Lumix DMC-ZS200 allows you to snap stunning pics of wildlife and other objects that may be difficult to approach.
Photo by Panasonic Lumix TZ200 / ZS200
If you are going to do professional photography, view more reviews of the best cameras for photography that are DSLR or mirrorless cameras.
The Leica Q is a stylish compact camera that is designed for those who like to capture the beauty of the world around them. Thanks to the high ISO, you will get excellent quality RAW images . The RAW dynamic range cannot be called ideal if you compare the Leica Q with competitors. But if you set a correct exposure, you can get an excellent result. This compact camera is capable of shooting Full HD video, with a speed of up to 60 frames per second. The video quality is pretty good. The Leica Q is the perfect option for travelers, street photographers, bloggers and journalists.
Photo by Leica Q (Typ 116)
The Cyber-shot RX1R II is a small camera with a Zeiss Sonnar T * 35 lens, a BSI 42-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, electronic viewfinder and autofocus system from the a7R II. High detailing, good ISO performance and a wide dynamic range allow the Cyber-shot RX1R II to be one of the best compact cameras today. The leaf shutter will save you from vibration when opening the lens. It is quite expensive, but its price fully corresponds to its characteristics.
Photo by Sony DSC-RX1 RII
If you are a fun of extreme photography and travel videos, I recommend reading about the cheapest 4k cameras for beautiful landscape photos and videos.
This compact camera will be suitable for those who need to upscale their vlogs by switching from a smartphone to a portable camera. What makes the Sony ZV-1 perfect for vlogging is that it is small and doesn’t weigh much. It has a special button for recording videos and a tilting screen that makes it easier for you to record videos of yourself. You can use it with an external mic and detachable windscreen to minimize noise when recording your videos. Whether you need to shoot videos outdoors or in the studio, this will be the perfect camera for your needs. You can also capture footage in the Product Showcase mode, which allows you to quickly focus on any object in the frame.
Photo by Sony ZV-1
This portable high-end camera is fitted with a large micro 4/3 image sensor, which allows you to snap 17MP photos and 4K 30p video footage. When equipped with an ultra-fast f/1.7-2.8 24-75mm Leica DC Vario-Summilux lens, it can be used in poor light situations. The camera has an impressive aperture range, which allows you to take photos at a low shutter speed and use it in a handheld mode without mounting it on a tripod.
Photo by Panasonic Lumix LX100
Exceptional zoom makes the Nikon Coolpix B500 one of the best small digital cameras. Despite the absence of a viewfinder, all troublesome angles may be simplified with the assistance of a tilt screen. Moreover, you may hide the screen from nasty sunlight. Basic modes available with the Nikon Coolpix B500 are a great option for those who do not search for something extraordinary. Unfortunately, fully automatic modes don’t let you change shutter speed or aperture. RAW shooting is not available, either.
Photo by Nikon COOLPIX B500
If you are going to start photography career, I recommend reading about the best mirrorless camera for beginners and choose the best beginner camera for your money.
Fujifilm X100 has a 12.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor that was created specifically for this camera. Thanks to the large sensor and a f2 lens, you can shoot videos in HD and experiment with focus to make some areas slightly blurred. This feature makes this model different from other portable cameras. Its sensor boasts 10x higher sensitivity than regular sensors that can be found in other compact cameras. The camera is also equipped with a powerful image processor, which allows you to capture stunning images at different ISO settings.
Photo by Fujifilm X100
This compact camera features a 25-100mm lens and an f/2 aperture at the wide end. At max zoom, you can use an f/4.9 aperture. It has great value for the money as it allows you to switch between Macro and Micro modes to take photos of the highest quality. You can use it to take excellent macro and micro shots. Another advantage is that you can capture RAW photos at up to 20 fps. It’s a perfect option for families with small kids as it has a durable body protected from shock impact.
Photo by Olympus TG-6
This 24.2MP camera is fitted with an anti-aliasing filter, which allows you to snap crisp and clear pics with a great level of detail. Due to ISO 102400, it can be used in low-light conditions. You can shoot in RAW and take pics at 14 bits. The camera supports impressive image quality due to the newest GR Engine 6. While its APS-C-size image sensor is quite large, the GR III is quite portable. Its frame is made of magnesium alloy, which makes it remarkably durable.
Photo by Ricoh GR III
The Aberg Best is the best budget compact camera for beginners. A magnificent 2.7 inch TFT LCD screen lets you watch all videos you have just recorded in superb quality. The camera is equipped with a good battery, providing 60 minutes of continuous work. Although the Aberg Best belongs to the category of cheap cameras, it has 21 MP to snap photos that may also be printed and used. Besides, this cheap camera is upgraded with such useful features as Face Detect, Smile Capture and Anti-shake.
Photo by Aberg Best
Such ‘extras’ as a good autofocus system, 4K video recording and EVF make the ZS100 a notable model among other cameras. It is also improved with a 3" touch-sensitive LCD, Wi-Fi and 4K features. A 1"-type BSI CMOS sensor and a 25-250 mm equivalent lens make the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100/TZ100 one of the best point and shoot cameras. The Lumix ZS100 is ideally suitable for dynamic photo and video shooting since it has superb autofocus and other necessary features.
Photo by Lumix ZS100
Sony RX100 VII is the most impressive small zoom camera that supports excellent image quality. What makes it stand out among other compact models with large sensors is that they are fitted with prime lenses with a fixed focal length. It makes them less convenient to use than this model with a zoom lens. If you are looking for a small and portable camera with an impressive zoom range, the RX100 VII is a perfect fit. It features a pop-up viewfinder and works best when the weather is sunny. While you are unlikely to be satisfied with its battery life, this camera is a clear winner when you compare it with other portable models in this price bracket.
Photo by Sony RX100 VII
This compact camera is made of durable materials and has a compact size, which makes it perfect for avid travelers. It’s suitable for snapping pics in different weather and lighting conditions. Another advantage of this camera is its weatherproof case. It also protects it from dust and shock impact. Using this 13.2MP camera, you can take stunning pictures of cityscapes and picturesque landscapes. The CMOS sensor is suitable for taking photos in poor light. You can use 3x optical and 6x digital zoom to take pictures of faraway objects. The camera features a 4-way navigation bar.
Photo by Nikon Coolpix W100
In case you aren’t satisfied with the performance of regular point-and-shoot cameras or simply enjoy snapping pics for fun, pay close attention to this option. This camera is fitted with an optical viewfinder and features a 95mm f/14 lens. By adjusting its settings, you can balance the overexposed and underexposed areas. This model is powered by AA batteries and doesn’t support a USB connection. While it is quite basic and lacks some professional features, it’s perfectly suitable for taking photos. This camera will be perfect for anyone who is looking for a model for regular use.
Photo by Fujifilm Instax Wide 300
If you are a novice photographer, this compact camera is a great option to consider. You will easily master its controls. Despite its basic features, it allows you to snap superb pics. It is fitted with a 16.15MP image sensor. While the resolution of your photos won’t be high enough to significantly enlarge them, they will look great on the screen of your PC or smartphone. The Kodak PIXPRO features a 4x optical zoom lens. Thanks to a 9-point AF system, you will be able to take crisp and clear photos. While it lacks some advanced features, it’s a good choice for those who are looking for a small camera.
Photo by Kodak PIXPRO FZ43
A 40x optical zoom and compactness make the Canon SX740 HS the best small camera that fits in your pocket. It is a 24-960 mm flexible camera lens that takes pictures of remote objects. It is modernized with five-axis image stabilization, Canon’s Digic 8 processor, 4K video shooting and an option to snap stills at up to 10 fps. Nevertheless, the SX740 HS has some drawbacks which may prevent potential clients from buying it. They are likely to switch to other cameras such as the Panasonic TZ-series for example. It doesn’t have an EVF, RAW shooting mode, a screen sensor, and, unfortunately, the focal point can’t be altered. Still, being equipped with 40x optical zoom, 4K video providing relatively good picture quality and great portability, it satisfies the needs of its potential buyers.
Photo by Canon PowerShot SX740 HS
Canon G7 X Mark II (Black)OUR CHOICE
|CHECK PRICE →|
Panasonic Lumix TZ200 / ZS200CLASSIC
|CHECK PRICE →|
Leica Q (Typ 116)DURABLE
|CHECK PRICE →|
There are several aspects that you should pay attention to when choosing the best compact camera.
It all depends on your goals. If the image size is the most important aspect for you, you need to be guided by the number of megapixels. For example, if you are going to print photos of small size, you can use any camera from 4 megapixels (for example, a smartphone camera) and up. However, if you are shooting at a professional level and your work involves printing large pictures, pick out an expensive and high-quality Panasonic camera or a similar device produced by another brand.
I recommend opting for an optical zoom. Although the digital zoom is a good option when combined with photo editing in Photoshop, too. Compared to smartphones, compact cameras are leaders, since only the newest phones have 2x zoom on the market. Moreover, these gadgets are very expensive and cost even more than some of the best digital cameras for sports with a good zoom.
A large sensor is able to capture more light, which makes it possible to get good photos at any time of the day. In addition, the size of the sensor affects the depth of field. With a big sensor, you can easily achieve the effect of a blurred background. By the way, the price of the highest megapixel camera largely depends on the sensor size.
In short, the “f’ ”indicator is responsible for the opening of the aperture. The greater this value is, the less light will be involved in the frame (for example f1.4 is better than f2). It affects the depth of field. Setting a large aperture may result in blurry photos.
There are various camera shutter speeds which are designed for different aims. These values are denoted by numbers (for example, 1/1000 or 1/50). The average speed is 1/60. Be aware of the fact that indicators below this value can cause blurring of the image. Remember this when choosing your camera for macro photography.
ISO is an indicator of camera sensitivity to light. The advantage of digital cameras for street photography, as opposed to film ones, is in the ability to adjust the ISO at any moment. However, keep in mind that the higher ISO value you select, the more digital noise on the pictures you will get, even while using the best compact camera.
The built-in camera flash is rarely used when shooting, but sometimes it can help you in difficult situations, when the natural light is insufficient and you don’t have artificial light sources. A flash of inexpensive compact devices usually has a maximum range of only 2-3 meters, while the more expensive models offer 7-8 meters.