When choosing a camera it can be tricky to know where to start. Whether you are going travelling or you have a passion for amateur photography, having a decent quality camera you can keep in your pocket or bag can be really handy for those spontaneous moments. We have pulled together our top picks of the best compact cameras available right now.
- Want to go retro? Check out the best instant cameras for polaroid snaps
- Get up close and personal with our list of the best zoom cameras
- Want to step it up a notch? Invest in a mirrorless camera for flawless photos
Compact cameras are designed to be the smallest and lightest cameras you can get, but that doesn’t mean they’re short on features. There are many different types of compact cameras on the market, so the main thing to consider is what you’ll be using it for.
If you’re off on your travels, we recommend opting for a camera with built-in Wi-Fi, this makes your life so much easier as you can upload everything to your phone, tablet, or straight to social media directly from the camera. For adventure trips, something that is waterproof and shockproof like the Olympus Tough TG-5 (opens in new tab)will keep your pictures safe, plus it has 4K video which is great for documenting your trip.
If you plan on using your compact camera for videoing too, keep your eyes peeled the video quality in our list below - 1080p is a fairly standard video quality to expect with most entry level compact cameras, but for anyone relying on high quality videos, 4K is your buzz word.
Have a read of our top picks below to find out which compact camera is best suited to you!
Whether you’re a photography enthusiast or you’re a world traveller, if you want the best of the best then the Leica Q doesn’t skimp on quality- and neither does the price. With a sturdily built body, you can expect to really get a grip on this camera to capture moments wherever you are. One of the best things about this camera is that it’s fast and reactive, meaning you can capture that fleeting moment quickly and easily. The built-in Wi-Fi will then allow you to share your photos with the world at the touch of a button. It’s pricey, but if you’re serious about photography then this is the camera to get.
This retro-looking camera is one for photography lovers. It is a hybrid digital camera which uses both an optical and digital viewfinder to give you the best of both worlds. In addition, you can also control this camera from your smartphone which can be great for taking selfies or images that are hard to get into position for. Of course, any lover of photography will appreciate the vintage analogue controls that are easy to use and you’ll be able to instantly upload your photos via Wi-Fi to share with friends.
Off on an adventure? Then the Olympus Tough TG-5 will be your new best friend. It is waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, and can pretty much withstand any beating you throw at it. Whether you’re off on a hike or taking part in an extreme sport, this is the camera you want to have to document your journey. The 4K video quality means you can expect to capture every moment with clarity and users say the photo quality is very impressive. There are lots of controls and settings but users found it to be fairly intuitive for the most part; if you’ve used a camera before, you should find this one easy to manage.
If you like the look of the Leica Q but it’s waaay out of your price range, then you may want to consider this bridge compact from Sony. It comes in at under £1000 and users have nothing but praise for this little compact. It has a fast focus lens with an OLED viewfinder and is said to provide detail in every photo. If you’re a keen photographer but don’t want to lug around your DSLR, then this could be the perfect second camera for when you want to capture those unexpected moments. Users found the zoom range to be impressive and once again the 4K film quality makes it great for capturing both stills and movies.
This Canon compact camera is a reliable choice if you’re looking to take casual photos when out and about. Lots of users have said the video quality is impressive, so it’s ideal for vlogging and capturing weekend adventures. It has a 4.2 optical zoom, full HD movie-making and a whole suite of creativity options to play with if you’re into filming. The touch screen controls are easy to use and navigate and the Bluetooth connectivity makes sharing simple and seamless.
Anyone looking for something not too bulky without compromising on quality may be interested in this Panasonic Lumix model. Despite its size, this compact camera has a 10 x optical zoom plus a 20x intelligent zoom to capture those crystal clear shots. The camera also boasts an image stabiliser so you never have to worry about blurry photos again as it reduces handshake. Those who already have a camera such as a DSLR have said how impressed they are with the range of features on this camera and say it is particularly good for capturing video also. This camera also doesn’t need a specific charger as it simply connects via USB cable which can make packing a bag for your travels a little easier.
The Nikon Coolpix A900 is a great travel companion for fast and impressive snaps. This camera has a large 35x optical zoom and excellent 4K video resolution. The vibration reduction makes it easier to capture crystal clear images even when on the move, and you’ll have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC in order to share your movies and pictures wirelessly whenever you want to. The manual controls are said to be intuitive with a range of settings to capture the perfect images.
Planning an adventure that will take you to the depths? Check out our guide to the best underwater cameras (opens in new tab).