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Best Compact camera 2021 • 7 Compact cameras Reviews

The number of photography and video cameras available on the market continues to rise every day. The excessive choice can be confusing for customers and often results in many people becoming unsure about which type of camera is best suited for them.

Compact camera Leaderboard 2021

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Tested Products 7
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Hours Spent 48
Evaluated Studies
Evaluated Studies 105
Considered Reviews
Considered Reviews 395

What is a compact camera and how does it work?

The first question that anyone should ask themselves before deciding to buy a compact camera is how to use one. There are generally no bad cameras, but the decision between one model or another will depend on how you plan on using it and the type of photographer or videographer you are.

Compact cameras are usually well-suited for people who use cameras infrequently. A compact camera is perfect for those who simply want to take good-quality photos at such special events as birthday parties, outings with friends, vacations, or weekend getaways. When it comes to a compact camera, we recommend finding a product that produces optimum results and is easy to use. Our guide and the comparison chart within it will help you form your own opinion about the topic and choose the best product for your needs.

Shopping Criteria for Compact Cameras

Before selecting a compact camera model, it is important to account for several factors. Below, we have prepared a list of the most important aspects, according to popular opinion, to consider and compare when it comes to a compact camera.

  • Megapixels
  • Zoom
  • Video quality
  • RAW format
  • Wi-Fi connectivity

Megapixels

Generally speaking, the more megapixels a camera has, the higher the image quality will be. However, there are some other important parameters that must also be considered, such as the camera sensor, which also has a bearing on the quality of the image.

Compact cameras are usually for those people who use a camera infrequently.

Nowadays, most compact cameras have at least 12 megapixels. If you purchase a camera with at least 12 megapixels, your camera will be sufficient for taking good-quality photos, albeit not professional-grade images. It is advisable to test out the camera in order to get an idea of the image quality prior to purchase.

Zoom

The zoom feature will help you locate and capture objects or situations that are far away. The larger the zoom the camera has, the better photographs you can take of faraway objects. When taking photographs of distant subjects, tests have proven that using tripods will produce a more stable image.

It is necessary to consider how you plan on using your compact camera when it comes to the zoom feature. If you want a camera only for events or parties with friends, you don’t need to have a big zoom. On the other hand, if you want to capture nature shots or animals on your ventures in the great outdoors, a camera with a zoom is required. We suggest a compact camera with a zoom of 8 to 12 magnifications.

Did you know that compact cameras are also called point-and-shoot cameras because they are easy to use?

Video Quality

If you’re looking for a compact camera with video recording functionality, the two main options offered are high-definition (HD) and Full HD. If you are planning to shoot video frequently, we recommend opting for Full HD. It would be ideal for you to test out the camera first or look at some test video recordings. Choosing a camera with only HD video capabilities is for those who want to prioritize photographs and will only use video on rare occasions. Again, the best product for you depends on your requirements for the camera.

If you are interested in going a step further, some compact cameras include 4K video recording. What is interesting to note is that there are still only a few televisions that have the ability to view video recordings in 4K, but it may be of interest to have this recording option.

Compact cameras are very simple to use.

RAW Format

More and more compact cameras come with RAW format capabilities. This feature can make the difference between a casual user and an amateur photographer. When using RAW, you will be able to capture high-quality photographs and have the ability to edit the photo to produce the best possible result.

By capturing photos in RAW format, editing becomes easier and is far more interesting for those with a passion for photography and photo editing. However, it is worth noting that images captured in RAW format occupy much more space on the camera’s memory card.

Wi-Fi Connectivity

The final aspect to consider before purchasing a compact camera is whether it has wireless connectivity. Being able to quickly transfer the images and videos you have just recorded to your mobile phone or computer is, in our opinion, a huge advantage and provides the best usability. As we live in a world of social networking, more and more compact cameras are incorporating this option, so you can share all your photos with your friends more easily.

As compact cameras are generally designed for users who want to capture leisure or social scenes, purchasing a compact camera with Wi-Fi connectivity is a sensible decision. Being able to share your experiences immediately — both on social networks and digital platforms — is one of the main benefits of a compact camera. Our test provides you with information about whether the models have that sort of connectivity.

Alternatives to Compact Cameras

Compact cameras versus bridge cameras: What’s the difference?

Within the range of options that exist within compact cameras, there is another lesser-known type of camera: the bridge camera. If you are simply looking for a point-and-shoot camera without any real manual adjustment, then a compact camera is the best option. However, if you are interested in a camera that is somewhere between a compact digital camera and a reflex camera (DSLR or SLR), then a bridge camera may be the device for you.

Bridge cameras:

  • larger optical zoom
  • reflex-style look
  • advanced image controls
  • higher performance and quality
  • more expensive

Compact cameras versus reflect cameras: What’s the difference?

You have now seen which types of photographers match with compact cameras as opposed to reflex cameras. Whether you require a camera for more professional use or for leisure and social situations will be one of the key factors in deciding between the two options. To help you out even further, we want to show you the different technichal aspects of each type in order to make the best decision — even without testing the two types first.

Compact cameras:

  • more affordable
  • great ergonomics
  • fixed diaphragm
  • non-interchangeable lens
  • electronic shutter
  • shorter battery life
  • less professional camera

Reflex cameras:

  • usually has an optical and electronic viewfinder
  • mechanical shutter
  • bigger camera body
  • it is possible to clean the sensor manually
  • quick focus

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FAQs

What are the differences between compact cameras and other photography devices?

A compact camera is specially designed for photography enthusiasts and for those individuals who are looking for an inexpensive camera that still produces high-quality photos. A compact camera allows greater control over the image that is in view via an electronic viewfinder. Compact cameras offer manual shooting modes with a powerful and versatile lens, which is not interchangeable. Special features such as brightness, sensor size, optics, and zoom ensure that a compact camera produces far better images than a smartphone. With a compact camera, you will have the ability to take image quality to the next level the next time you go to a national park, the beach, or a new city.

Should I consider choosing a reflex camera instead?

So far, you have seen the advantages offered by compact cameras and, the more advanced type of compact camera, the bridge camera. However, it is not uncommon to consider going a step further and purchasing a top-shelf product: a reflex camera. The range of technical possibilities and quality that can be created with a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera is far greater than a compact camera. Of course, the price is considerably higher and the level of skill required to use an SLR camera is greater. Someone who purchases a reflex camera is usually a person who is very interested in photography and spends time studying the functioning of the camera and improving their photographic technique. A reflex camera is therefore aimed at a user who works as a professional photographer or has photography as one of their main passions.

Is it better to buy a camera with interchangeable lenses?

For people looking to capture photos of the highest quality, the lens of the camera should be a top priority. Being able to change the lens of the camera according to the needs of the shot is critical for capturing high-quality, professional-grade photos. Lenses are without a doubt one of the most important aspects of a camera as they have a huge influence over the final result of the image. Normally it is not possible to change the lens on a compact camera, but it is possible with a reflex camera. New reflex cameras usually come with a standard lens that will not provide the highest quality images possible. The standard lens is usually fine for becoming familiar with the camera and taking basic photos, but if you wish to advance your level, a specialized lens is likely required. We are of the opinion that it depends on how serious of a photographer you are and whether a higher-quality lens is within your budget. This will also depend on whether your camera’s lenses are interchangeable in the first place.

Should I spend more to purchase a better camera?

It is completely normal to associate the price of a camera with the final image quality produced. You should also remember that the result of the photos is also dependent on the skill of the person taking the picture. The most expensive camera on the market does not guarantee high-quality photos. What should guide your purchase decision is to think about the specific functionalities that you want in a camera in order to meet your intended needs. There are a number of features that can help you choose the camera that best suits your needs, as detailed in the shopping criteria section.

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