10 Best Compact Cameras: Reviews and Buying Guide

A compact camera is an alternative to the SLR, which is not only financially attractive. If you opt for a modern, compact digital camera, you’ll get a high-quality device for high-quality photos at some amazingly low prices. You can also create HD quality videos in no time with most compact cameras.

In our large compact camera comparison, we show you which models are recommended and which aspects you should pay attention to in order to filter out the best device for your needs from the multitude of offers. Learn all sorts of interesting facts about compact cameras. We not only provide you with facts but also answer widely asked questions and answer them in detail.

Top 10 Compact Cameras

Compact camera – what is it?

The term compact camera is repeatedly read in various brochures and on the Internet, but not everyone is quite sure what exactly is behind it. What does a compact camera mean and what details characterize such a device? We would like to give you some facts at this point.

As the name implies, a compact camera is, in general terms, a camera that is relatively handy and compact. We like to compare it with the SLR camera used by most professional photographers. While this type of camera is usually rather bulky, the compact camera can be conveniently transported in a handbag or even has pocket size.

A compact camera is usually a digital camera whose lens is permanently mounted. It is moved out of the case while photographing, whereas it remains retracted when the device is switched off and thus not only saves space but is also optimally protected against any dirt or damage.

A large LCD display is now standard on compact cameras. With so-called viewfinder cameras, you can also fix the subject through the integrated viewfinder window. Usually, a compact camera is particularly easy to use and is thus also ideal for beginners who have not got so much experience in the field of photography.

In recent years, however, it has been observed that compact digital cameras are getting better and better in terms of image quality and functionality, and can even be considered as an alternative to a bulky SLR camera.

Why a compact camera?

Before you try a compact camera comparison here on, you may still be thinking about why it should be just this type of camera. In fact, there are some good reasons to opt for a compact camera. We have summarized the most important points for you in an overview:

  1. Compact dimensions – the compact camera often even fits in your pocket
  2. Fair value for money – loads of features for little money
  3. Robust workmanship
  4. Often amazing picture quality

If you like taking pictures at private events, whether it’s concerts or football games, then you’re fine with a compact camera. Because these small cameras are usually allowed without registration, whereas you usually have to obtain permission to take pictures with a large SLR camera in advance. Also on vacation, a compact camera offers, as it is easier to transport and stow.

What advantages and disadvantages does a compact camera have?

Perhaps a comparison of the most important advantages and disadvantages will help you to make a decision for or against a compact camera. Because such a device is certainly not suitable for everyone. It always depends mainly on what you specifically plan with the camera and how you want to use them mainly. So it may well be that you are in your personal decision-making rather enthusiastic about the benefits or tend due to certain disadvantages then rather to a different solution.

Which compact camera is the best?

After weighing the pros and cons, you decided that it should definitely be a compact digital camera. Now, of course, the question arises, which compact camera to buy? Should it be a Sony compact camera or a Canon compact camera? Or even a model of a very different manufacturer? In order to make the right choice, it is worth specifying your own preferences before comparing the devices. For example, think about the following points and weight them accordingly:

  • Which format should the compact camera have? Should you, for example, still be easy to carry in your trouser pocket?
  • How important is a strong zoom to be able to take pictures of high- quality subjects that are further away?
  • Put on a finder worth?
  • How big is the display, how high is the presentation and can it be rotated if necessary to take pictures from other angles?
  • Is there a flash and how strong is this?
  • Is there an image stabilizer?
  • What kind of lens was used?
  • How fast is the camera ready for use after switching on?
  • What kind of battery is needed?
  • Can an external memory card be used?
  • Is the compact camera equipped with WLAN / NFC for data transmission?
  • Can videos also be shot and if so, in which quality?
  • Which accessories are included?

In addition, of course, things like the material and the processing of the compact camera will play a role. And finally, optics and color should appeal to you, so that you really like to film and shoot with the device.

Which are the main manufacturers?

Compact cameras are nowadays offered by a large number of manufacturers. There are some big brands that dominate the market. But it’s also worth keeping your eyes open beyond these brands. Ultimately, the device in its entirety must be coherent with you and your needs. The leading manufacturers of compact cameras include:

  • Canon
  • Sony
  • Kodak
  • Nikon
  • Panasonic

Anyone who decides on a Sony compact camera or a Sony compact camera, usually knows from the outset that a certain level of quality is offered. But even with the other manufacturers can be found very quickly thanks to reviews on the Internet, which device has already been approved by other consumers for good.

Compact camera, SLR camera or smartphone?

Are you still not sure if a compact camera is really the best solution for you? Maybe you still waver between such a device and an SLR camera? Or you think about whether it makes sense even to just leave it with the camera of your smartphone? Finally, this makes quite passable pictures. There are good reasons for each of these three variants.

If you think about what compact cameras can do even better than smartphones, you might not even think of a lot. In fact, the cameras of most smartphones have been improved significantly in recent years, so that there are sometimes only barely noticeable differences in image quality. It may well be that a very good smartphone camera makes even better pictures than a cheap compact camera.

Especially when zooming or at night, but then show the weaknesses many a cell phone camera. In addition, here can also be a problem with the battery, which is empty at some point. Practically with a mobile phone camera, on the other hand, you do not have to make any additional investment, you have to carry one device less and you can edit the shots directly and share them online.

Again, the situation is a little different in the SLR camera. Here, the cost of acquisition is the highest, which is likely to represent an inhibition threshold for one or the other. In addition, the devices are rather bulky in terms of their dimensions and the operation is rather difficult without some expertise. On the other hand, here you have the possibility of maximum influence on the recordings since there are plenty of manual settings options. The image quality is unsurpassed, there are plenty of interchangeable lenses and other accessories.

Which other alternatives to the compact camera are there?

If a good compact camera is not enough for you and you do not want to use either a mobile phone or an SLR camera, you should explore other alternatives. Because there are you, high-quality cameras that are not directly classified in these categories. The speech is above all of the system camera and the bridge camera.

System cameras are a kind of intermediate between the compact camera and SLR cameras. Here are various features of both types of equipment combined, especially the compact appearance of the compact camera with the versatility of the SLR camera. The most important features of a system camera are the following:

  • Comparatively handy as a compact camera
  • Flexible interchangeable lenses
  • A wide range of functions
  • High-quality sensors as with SLR cameras

If you want to perfect your pictures with snapshots with a compact camera, you should think about purchasing a system camera. However, keep in mind that additional costs will be incurred for the interchangeable lenses and generally the purchase price will be higher than with a conventional compact camera.

Also, the bridge camera is a kind of symbiosis of SLR and compact camera, where optically similar to the first-mentioned variant. It looks professional, but has its very own product features, of which we want to list the most important ones for you:

  • Professional look
  • Often very large optical zoom
  • A fixed lens like a compact camera
  • Various manual adjustment options
  • Operation as with an SLR camera, however, is a mirrorless camera

The bridge camera works as silently as an SLR camera, offers a higher quality lens compared to a compact camera and is usually equipped with Live View and an electronic viewfinder. In terms of accessories, you will be offered a lot. Although SLRs and bridge cameras are similar in many ways, you usually pay far less for a bridge camera. Compared to a compact camera, however, the costs are higher. In addition, the devices are much heavier and unwieldy.

Where do I buy my compact camera best?

There are different ways where you can buy your compact camera. On the one hand, there is the classic, stationery retail trade on site. There you have the advantage that you ideally receive competent and comprehensive advice and can touch and try the device directly. However, you have to expect that in many cases you pay a comparatively high purchase price in the local store.

By contrast, if you order your compact digital camera online, you can generally expect a noticeable saving. So, if you already know exactly which device you want, then there’s nothing wrong with just hitting it with a mouse click and saving yourself time in the store. The supplied operating instructions and possibly also corresponding videos on the Internet will assist you in commissioning and making the various settings.

How do I care for my compact camera?

Proper care is important in a sensitive electronic device such as a compact camera so that life is correspondingly long. This not only includes measures such as regular cleaning, but also preventive measures can be taken to protect your compact digital camera in the best possible way. In the following we have compiled the most important tips and hints for the care and cleaning of a compact camera for you:

  • Remove light dirt and dust by using a microfiber cloth
  • Contamination of the lens, you should always with a special cleaning cloth back on the body
  • With cotton swabs, you can also get to hard to reach places
  • When using grains of sand, extreme caution is advised: here you can, for example, use a soft brush
  • Always use a sleeve to transport your compact camera
  • If you want to be on the safe side, use a screen protector

Already with these few and mostly simple protection and precautions, you ensure that you enjoy your compact camera for as long as possible.

Which compact camera accessories make sense?

The big advantage of the compact camera over other solutions is that you can basically start right away. You do not have to buy additional lenses separately or other extras that cost a lot more money. Nevertheless, there are of course one or the other compact camera accessories, which can be quite useful.

For example, it is a good idea to get a high-quality and visually appealing camera bag for the camera, whether in the colors of your favorite football club, with a colorful pattern or simply plain and plain. Of course, you can also order protective covers, screen protectors and cleaning cloths to be well equipped in this regard. If the corresponding items need to be replaced, even new adapters, cables or power supplies can be ordered easily.

Since when are there compact cameras?

When in 1888 Kodak No. 1 was the first mass-produced camera, nobody could have known what a widespread use these devices would later have. It was only in the 1930s that photography became more and more automated, for example, when exposure metering and automatic shuttering were developed.

The very first compact camera is the Rollei 35 from the year 1966. In the 1970s, the introduction of autofocus followed. In addition, the first SLR camera with an interchangeable lens was presented – at that time a small sensation. Further improvements were achieved over time. But until the 1990s, it was the usual practice that was taken on the typical film roles that had to let the consumer develop externally.

In 1990, the world’s first all-digital camera was introduced, the Kodak DCS. In the early days, the digital camera could not prevail on a broad front due to high acquisition costs and not yet very convincing resolution. But just a few years later, the compact camera with digital technology was indeed standard. However, with the emergence of increasingly better smartphone cameras, the market for compact cameras is currently declining overall. Above all, high-quality devices are still appealing to the consumer.

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