Compact Digital Camera Review

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Why Buy a Compact Digital Camera?

The latest compact digital cameras have a wide selection of features, including powerful zoom lenses and high-megapixel sensors. One of the best reasons to purchase a compact digital camera is they give you the option to control your settings manually.

These affordable cameras can fit easily into a small purse or pocket. They provide higher quality images than you get from your smartphone. Some even include Wi-Fi so you can share images on your favorite social networking sites.

With a compact digital camera you can be ready to capture photos and video at a moment’s notice. Whether you are filming your toddler’s first step or a taking a picture of a snowflake, these versatile devices preserve your memories. With zoom lenses that bring faraway subjects close, you don’t have to worry about missing a thing. Our top three picks for the best series of compact digital cameras are the Sony Cyber-shot WX300, the Canon PowerShot SX280 HS and the Panasonic Lumix SZ9. To learn more, read our articles on compact digital cameras.

Compact Digital Cameras: What to Look For

The best compact digital cameras offer access to plenty of creative modes and artistic features so you have control over the end product. The most impressive cameras capture video with sound and offer Wi-Fi capabilities. We also like seeing extras like GPS and wide angle lenses. Keep in mind you will pay extra for more features so don’t buy cameras with things you are not going to use. Keep the following criteria in mind while you pick the best camera for your situation.

Image Quality
Image quality is determined by a combination of factors. Resolution, optical zoom and image stabilization features are elements to keep in mind. The best compact digital cameras have an image resolution of 14 megapixels or more. The more pixels a camera has, the better.

The regulation of light is crucial when it comes to image quality. Consider the size of the image sensor. If you have a camera with a high resolution combined with a small image sensor you will get poor quality photos. Look for cameras with a 1 2/3 inch sensor or larger. Larger sensors collect and record more information resulting in better images.

These compact cameras come with both optical and digital zoom capabilities. Optical zoom is the most important factor to consider. While optical zoom uses an extended lens to bring your subject closer, digital zoom just enlarges the existing image. This results in distortion.

Image stabilization features are vital when you are using a zoom lens. The further the camera lens extends, the more the camera will shake. Image stabilization compensates for the movement of your camera and lens ensuring that you get clear images.

Features
The best compact digital cameras have built-in HD video recorders with sound. Some will allow you to take still pictures and moving video at the same time. Look for a camera with a zoom lens that works while you are shooting. We like the cameras that allow you to watch your videos on your television by connecting via a USB cable.

Some cameras are equipped with W-Fi capabilities so you can share your photos on social network sites. When purchasing a camera with Wi-Fi pay attention to whether the images can be transferred directly from the camera itself. Some require that you transfer the photos to a computer or mobile device before sending them to your friends and family.

Creative options vary with each camera. Most offer a multitude of art filters. They include features that change the colors, lighting and contrast of your photos. You will find settings with names like retro, starburst and fish eye. Each gives you a different effect and experimenting with them is fun.

Battery Life and Storage
Compact digital cameras include rechargeable batteries. Most have enough power to shoot 200 photos per charge. If you travel to a remote area without access to a power source, purchase a camera that will also use disposable batteries. Be aware that most of these cameras have little or no internal storage, so you will need to purchase memory cards separately.

Design
Compact Digital cameras combine long zoom lenses with a portable, lightweight frame. Find a camera that fits comfortably in your hands. If you prefer using touchscreen controls over buttons look for a camera with at least a 3-inch display screen.

Help & Support
All of the cameras we reviewed include at least a one-year warranty. The best manufacturers offer different contact options for help. Look for companies that offer FAQs, email contact information and toll-free telephone numbers. It’s also helpful if they have online manuals.

Compact Digital Cameras combine a small form factor with a long zoom lens. Because they are lightweight you can take them to sporting events, family parties and vacations. Every camera offers different levels of control. They have automatic modes for beginners and manual settings for more advanced photographers so you can have the best of both worlds.

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Electronics » Digital Cameras » Compact Digital Camera Review
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Rank #1#2#3#4#5#6#7#8#9#10
10-9  Excellent
8-6    Good
5-4    Average
3-2    Poor
1-0    Bad
Sony Cyber-shot WX300 Canon PowerShot SX280 HS Panasonic Lumix SZ9 Samsung WB800F Canon PowerShot Elph 530 HS Fujifilm FinePix F770 EXR Olympus SZ-16 iHS Nikon Coolpix S6600 Kodak PixPro FZ151 Panasonic Lumix XS3
Sony Cyber-shot WX300 Canon PowerShot SX280 HS Panasonic Lumix SZ9 Samsung WB800F Canon PowerShot Elph 530 HS Fujifilm FinePix F770 EXR Olympus SZ-16 iHS Nikon Coolpix S6600 Kodak PixPro FZ151 Panasonic Lumix XS3
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Lowest Price
Visit Sony Cyber-shot WX300
$320.95
Visit Canon PowerShot SX280 HS HS
$239.99
Visit Panasonic Lumix SZ9
$299.99
Visit Samsung WB800F
$199.91
Visit Canon PowerShot Elph 530 HS
$149.95
Visit Fujifilm FinePix F770 EXR
$299.95
Visit Olympus SZ-16 iHS
$142.00
Visit Nikon Coolpix S6600
$272.55
Visit Kodak PixPro FZ151
$119.99
Visit Panasonic Lumix XS3
$139.03
Ratings
9.88
9.70
9.63
9.50
9.00
9.00
8.95
8.75
8.70
8.32
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10.00
10.00
9.38
10.00
10.00
10.00
9.38
9.38
10.00
10.00
9.38
9.38
10.00
10.00
10.00
8.75
10.00
9.38
10.00
10.00
7.50
10.00
8.75
10.00
10.00
8.75
8.75
8.75
10.00
10.00
9.38
7.50
9.38
10.00
10.00
7.50
10.00
10.00
7.50
7.50
8.75
7.50
9.38
10.00
9.38
6.88
7.50
10.00
10.00
10.00
 
Image Quality
Image Sensor CMOS CMOS MOS CMOS CMOS CMOS CMOS CMOS CCD MOS
Sensor Size (inches) 1/2.3 1/2.3 1/2.3 1/2.3 1/2.3 1/2.3 1/2.3 1/2.3 1/2.3 1/2.3
Resolution (MP) 18.2 12.1 16.1 16.4 16.8 16 16 16 16.4 14
Optical Zoom 20X 20X 20X 21X 12X 20X 24X 12X 15X 5X
Digital Zoom 40X 4X 4X 5X 4X 2X 4X 4X 6X 4X
Focal Length (mm) 25-500 25-500 25-250 5-350 28-336 25-500 25-600 25-300 24-360 24-120
Shutter Speed (seconds) 4-1/1600 15-1/3200 4-1/1600 16-1/2000 15-1/4000 4-1/2000 4-1/2000   4-1/2000 8-1/1600
Minimum ISO Sensitivity 80 80 100 100 100 100 100 125 80 100
Maximum ISO Sensitivity 12800 6400 6400 3200 3200 6400 6400 6400 1600 6400
Built in Flash
Image Stabilizer
HDR
 
   
   
Features
Video 1920x1080 1920X1080 1920x1080 1280x720 1080p 1280x720 1080p 1920x1080 1280X720 1920X280
Burst Speed (frames per second) 10 14 10 8 6.1   30    10
Audio
Wi-Fi
  
  
Intelligent Auto Mode
 
 
White Balance
Color Effects
Face Detection
 
Slide Show
  
Picture Effects
Art/Digital Filters
Panorama
 
 
Self-Timer
 
Red Eye Reduction
GPS  
 
 
    
Battery Life & Storage
Battery Life (shots per charge) 500 260 220 280 190 300 350 150 210 230
Internal Storage (MB) None None 60 25 None 30 43 None 8 200
Storage Media SD, SDHC, SDXC SD, SDHC, SDXC SD, SDHC, SDXC SD, SC,SDHC, SDXC SD, SDHC, SDXC SD, SDHC, SDXC SD, SDHC, SDXC SD, SDHC, SDXC SD, SDHC SD, SDHC,
Li-ion Battery
 
  
 
Design
Display Screen Size (inches) 3 3 3 3 3.2 3 3 2.7 3 3
Camera Depth (inches) 1.16 1.28 .83 1.26 .78 1.4 4.5 1.1 1.22 .73
Camera Height (inches) 2.14 2.47 2.23 2.35 2.11 2.4 2.6 2.3 2.35 2.14
Camera Width (inches) 3. 78 4.19 6.5 4.19 3.38 4.1 1.1 3.9 4.26 3.63
Camera Weight (ounces) 5.9 8.22 4.64 7.69 5.75 8.2 8.1 5.9 6.4 .23
Help & Support
Warranty 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year
Includes Manual
 
 
 
FAQs
  
Online User Manual
Telephone Support
 
Email Support
Live Chat Support