Last updated: July 1, 2020

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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. Choosing the right camera usually depends on determining the intended use, so that you can compare the best options for your situation or project. Depending on whether you would like a camera for professional or amateur purposes will make a big difference.

Compact cameras, otherwise known as point-and-shoot cameras, are very simple to operate and usually provide high-quality results. Their functions are slightly more limited than other types of digital cameras, such as DSLRs or SLRs. Compact cameras have a non-detachable lens and are relatively inexpensive, lightweight, and the ideal camera to take on any trip.

Key Facts

  • Compact cameras are an excellent introduction to photography and a great option for kids, travelers or novice photographers.
  • This type of camera is lightweight and there is no need to change lenses. Compact cameras are very easy to use as they have automatic programs for taking the best photos.
  • Photographers who usually use this type of camera are those who are not focused on the technical aspects but still want high performance and good image quality. A compact digital camera is a fantastic option if you want to venture out into nature or visit a historic city and take higher quality images than those produced by a smartphone.

Our Selection: The Best Compact Cameras on the U.S. Market

In the following section, you will find a list of the best compact cameras currently available on the market. We have selected these cameras based on their value for money, their features, and customer feedback. All of the products below offer multiple features for taking photos, which makes each product an excellent purchase option. So that you can compare each product easily, we have summarized the main features of each product below. Take a close look at this list as we are very confident that your next compact camera is mentioned below.

Best Compact Camera Bundle Pack

This amazing bundle pack comes with a Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 20MP 8X Zoom Digital Camera (Silver), a 32GB memory card, card reader, protective case, mini tabletop tripod and more! The PowerShot ELPH 180 digital camera from Canon is a convenient point-and-shoot model that will deliver fantastic shots and is incredibly easy to use. For a complete pack that has everything you need to get started, this bundle pack from Canon is a perfect choice.

Best Beginner Compact Camera

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 is one of the best compact cameras on the market for beginners as it is so simple to use, lightweight, and durable. With scene modes such as fisheye effect, toy camera effect, and monochrome, young budding photographers can have so much fun with this camera. Learning about the world of photography has never been so enjoyable thanks to the Canon PowerShot compact camera.

Best 4K Compact Camera

The Panasonic LUMIX Digital Camera DC FZ80K is the ideal compact camera for travelers and nature lovers as it brings a legendary optical performance to a highly portable point-and-shoot travel camera. The high-resolution power of 4K video technology makes this camera stand out for capturing professional videos in all situations.

Best Compact Camera For Kids

For a young photographer who is just starting out with a camera, the AbergBest 21 Megapixel compact camera is the perfect option. Kids of all ages will have so much fun learning how to capture photos and videos with their friends thanks to the 8x zoom and the HD video capabilities. Available in 4 sleek colors, this is the ideal camera for a young photographer.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Compact Cameras

It is very important that before buying a camera you know a few aspects about how they work. In the following sections, we will explain some of the different aspects of these cameras so that you can determine which is the best option for you.

Compact cameras are very simple to use.
(Source: Melpomen: 86271216/

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.

Specialty 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, beach or new city.

The ideal camera will depend on the intended use as certain cameras suit specific situations. A compact camera is ideal for creating special memories of your vacation or trip and as an entry point into the world of photography.

How do I use a compact camera?

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

Compact cameras are usually well suited to the type of person who uses a camera infrequently. A compact camera is perfect for someone who simply wants to take good quality photos at events such as birthday parties, outings with friends, vacations or weekend getaways. When it comes to a compact camera, we recommend looking for a product that is easy to use and produces optimum results, rather than focusing too much on the technical aspects of the device.

Compact cameras are usually for those people who use a camera infrequently.
(Source: Puhhha: 91086613/

Compact cameras vs bridge cameras: What is the difference between compact cameras and bridge cameras?

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.

To provide you with a little more information, bridge cameras, also known as advanced compact cameras, have a larger optical zoom, a reflex-style look, and more advanced image controls than a compact camera. The performance and quality that can be achieved with a bridge camera is superior to a compact camera, however, the price is also higher.

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 to top of the range, a reflex camera. The range of technical possibilities and quality that can be created with an SLR is far greater than a compact camera. Of course, the price is considerably higher and the level of skill required to use a reflex camera is greater.

Someone who purchases a reflex camera is usually a person who is very interested in photography and who 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.


Did you know that the first camera was created in 1826? The creator of this camera was Joseph-Nicéphore Niépce and the camera consisted entirely of a wooden drawer.

What are the differences between compact cameras and reflex cameras?

You have now seen which type of photographer is suited to purchasing a compact camera as opposed to a reflex camera. Depending on 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 have created the below comparative table to carefully specify the technical aspects of each type in order to make a better decision.

Compact cameras Reflex cameras
Affordable price

Great ergonomics

Fixed diaphragm

Non-interchangeable lens

Electronic shutter

Shorter battery life

Less professional camera

Usually has an optical and electronic viewfinder

Mechanical shutter

Bigger camera body.

It is possible to clean the sensor manually

Quick focus

Is it better to buy a camera with interchangeable lenses?

For people looking to capture the highest quality photos, 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 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 possible quality images. The standard lens is usually fine for becoming familiar with the camera and taking basic photos, but if you wish to advance your level then a specialized lens is usually required. Depending on how serious you are with photography and if it is within your budget, you may consider purchasing a higher quality lens. This will also depend on whether or not your camera’s lenses are interchangeable.

Compact cameras are ideal for recreational outings with friends and they will produce higher quality photos than a smartphone.
(Source: Marctran: 91046041/

Should I spend more and 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 also depends on the skill of the person who takes the picture. The most expensive camera on the market is not always a guarantee of 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 following shopping criteria section.

Buyer’s Guide

Before selecting a compact camera model, it is important that you take into account several factors. Below, we have prepared a list of the most important aspects to consider when it comes to a compact camera.


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

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.

Woman outdoors taking pictures with her camera. Female traveler making memories of her travel.


The zoom will help you locate and capture objects or situations that are far away. The larger the zoom that the camera has, the better photographs you can take of objects far away. When taking photographs of images that are far away, it is recommended to use the tripod as this will produce a more stable image.

It is necessary to consider how you plan on using your compact camera when it comes to zoom. 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 whilst venturing 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 the most viewed photograph in the world is the one that the Windows XP computer had as default wallpaper?

Video Quality

If you’re looking for a compact camera with video recording functionality, the two main options offered are HD and Full HD. If you are planning to shoot video frequently, we recommend opting for Full HD. Choosing a camera with only HD video capabilities is for those who want to prioritize photographs and will only use video on rare occasions.

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.

RAW Format

More and more compact cameras come with RAW format capabilities. Having this feature is the difference between an amateur photographer and someone who only uses the camera occasionally. 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 memory card.

WiFi Connectivity

The final aspect to consider before purchasing a compact camera is whether or not it has wireless connectivity. Being able to quickly transfer the images and videos you have just recorded to your mobile phone or computer is a huge advantage. As we live in a world of social networking, more and more compact cameras are incorporating this option, so that 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 WiFi 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.


You should remember that there is no one camera that is better than another. Rather, a camera with the most adequate features for the intended use will be the most suitable camera for you. Whether you are an amateur user or someone with a growing interest in the world of photography, there is a compact camera out there that suits you.

There are people that own a reflex camera and find it far too professional or complex to use. If this is the case for you, a compact camera is a great option. The first question you should be asking yourself when it comes to purchasing a camera is: what kind of photographer do I want to be?

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(Source of Featured Image: Tatiana Popova: 60027832/

Why you can trust me?

Brett Holmes Technology Geek
Brett is a keen observer of the latest technology trends and knows his way around the industry because he runs an electronics store. He writes about it in his spare time and wants to help others learn more about the technology industry.