Compact cameras are a great choice for beginner photographers, and also for those who are looking for a good quality, take everywhere camera as a backup to their DSLR or bridge camera.
While most modern smartphones have a decent camera built in, to take your photography to the next level, you’ll need a dedicated camera. And these days a compact, point and shoot camera, with good specifications doesn’t have to break the bank.
Below we’ve picked out the best compact cameras in 3 different price ranges: under £100, £100-£150, and £150-£200.
Best Compact Cameras Under £100
Here are our 3 top picks under £100.
1. Nikon Coolpix A10
A great little camera for beginners, the Nikon Coolpix A10 puts the fun back into photography. The A10 is super easy to operate, lightweight at just 160g, and captures high quality images with its 16.1MP sensor.
Additional features, such as motion blur reduction (which reduces camera shake), and HD video recording (720P) make this a great purchase and comfortably one of the best compact cameras available for under £100.
It’s also powered by AA batteries, so just pop a couple of spares into your bag and you’ll never miss a great shot due to a dead battery!
We also liked the ‘smile timer’, which takes the shot when it recognises your subject is smiling. Just get your subject to say cheese and the A10 will do the rest!
2. Canon IXUS 150
Like the previous camera, the IXUS 150 is also a light and sleek device. One of the main differences is its sensor which is 16MP – but a lower resolution does not mean less quality image. In fact, its image processor, the Digic 4+ is a proof of that.
Not only it does allows you to take great pictures, you can also try your talents with video. Since the camera features an HD resolution, you may want to try it out. It has different filters for both shooting and recording.
But besides being a fun camera, there’s a serious quality that is not sacrificed upon size or speed. It’s a great option to shoot in dim light environments, since it has an ISO sensitivity of 800.
If you are a novice photographer, this camera is a must. Especially if you like to shoot indoors or you are curious about trying your luck with video.
The Canon IXUS has a price that can vary among its different color presentations, but it’s always under £100.
3. Sony Cyber-Shot DSC W800
Though this is a great camera to start on your photography path, you can find a great sensor resolution of 20.1MP just like in the first two cameras mentioned above.
It has a shorter focal length, since its optical zoom is 5x. However, just like the IXUS 150, it has the option of recording HD video, so you have a wider amount of features you can take advantage of.
Despite being a camera also aimed at beginners, it includes several creative filters for your photographs. This means you can customize your shots a bit more and more good news is that you can easily set your camera through an intuitive menu shown on the back LCD screen.back to menu ↑
Best Compact Cameras Under £150
For a little extra investment, you can get a lot more camera. Here are our 4 favourite compact cameras under £150.
1. Sony DSCH300 Bridge Camera
A Sony bridge camera for under £150… what’s not to like?
This is a step up from the point and shoot systems, and has the features to match. We were particularly impressed by the 20.1MP sensor, and the 35x optical zoom is great for a camera at this price point.
The DSCH300 has built in image stabilisation, which will reduce blur in your photos, and shoots HD quality movies in 720P.
If you want to capture something extra special, the camera has a built in 360 degree panorama mode – a common feature on more expensive smartphones, but rarer on compact and bridge cameras.
Impressive that Sony are able to offer a high quality bridge camera for under £150. While it’s not quite at the level of their more expensive bridge camera options, it’s a perfectly solid camera, which will make a great investment, and accurately capture any scene.
2. Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ10
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ10 is a point and shoot, but has some great specs for the price.
The 16.6MP sensor is more than adequate to capture most scenes in good detail, and the 12x optical zoom will allow you to get up close and personal to your subject.
A neat little camera, which is another good choice for beginners.
3. Nikon Coolpix A300
Nikon make some great little cameras in their less expensive ranges and the A300 is no exception.
This affordable compact camera has a resolution of 20.1MP and an 8X optical zoom. It’s a very small camera, which will easily slip into your pocket or bag, which means you can literally take it anywhere. This also makes it a good choice as a second camera for capturing those unexpected moments.
Image stability, HD video recording, and long battery life make the A300 an excellent choice.
4. Nikon Coolpix S3700
The Nikon Coolpix S3700 is another great option for photographers on a budget. It has a powerful sensor with 20.1MP resolution.
Its focal length also has a 25-200mm focal range, which makes it great for every day shooting. From portrait to detail photography, you can have a good learning experience with this camera.
Be careful with the maximum zoom, though. You may need some stability to avoid blur effects within your shots.
The thing that probably contributes most to its higher price is S3700 connectivity options. Not only can this camera connect to Wi-Fi but it also has a Near Field Communication (NFC) feature that goes great with a remote shutter.
The camera also has several shooting modes, easy retouch features and panorama assist which will help you create great panoramic photographs.back to menu ↑
Best Compact Cameras Under £200
Finally, lets take a look at the two best cameras in the £150-£200 price range.
1. Sony DSCWX350
With an 18.2MP sensor and 20X optical zoom, the Sony DSCWX350 is our favourite camera in the £150-£200 price range.
The zoom really is impressive, and takes very detailed shots, even at full zoom. The lens is also super fast to focus, and captures crisp, high quality images – even in low light conditions.
Chuck in full HD video (at 60fps), built in Wi-Fi (something many entry level DSLRs lack), and great battery life, and you’ve got an awesome little camera for not a lot of money.
2. Canon Powershot SX620
While the DSCWX350 is our favourite camera at this price point, the Powershot SX620 certainly runs it close.
Specs wise its actually a little better – with a 20.2MP lens and 25X optical zoom. And like the DSCWX350, it also has built in Wi-Fi and NFC. Oh, and it captures video in full HD 1080p.
So why do we prefer the Sony?
Well, in most conditions the performance of the 2 cameras is pretty similar, but we found the Sony outperformed the Canon in low light.
But don’t get us wrong, the SX620 is still a great camera with incredible features for the price.back to menu ↑
Which Is The Best Compact Camera In 2017?
We would recommend all the compact cameras featured in our list, however, if we have to pick a winner… (well two).
Looking for something a little more fancy? Check out our guide to the best DSLR cameras of 2017.