In recent years, compact cameras have faced fierce competition from the ever evolving smartphone. But if you want the absolute best image quality, a SLR or compact camera is still the number one choice.
Recent tests show that the new generation of compact cameras have much better light sensitivity, dynamic range, wide-angle and image stabilization that the best camera phones simply cannot match. Not even the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy comes close when comparing image, sharpness and colour reproduction.
The biggest advantage with a compact camera over other cameras is that they small enough to fit in your pocket or bag, meaning you can take them anywhere you like, and take stunning pictures on the go.
However, with as many as a hundred 100+ different models being released every year from various manufacturers, it can be a minefield trying to choose the right one, especially when there is a huge variety of models, sizes and price ranges.
First, one should consider what needs you have and how the camera is going to be used. Do you need a Ultra-compact, Super Zoom, or Enthusiast Compact. Ultra compact cameras are very small and light, often with a touch screen and a relatively short zoom. Compact cameras with super zoom can zoom up to 35x and tend to have relatively advanced settings. Enthusiast Compact cameras are intended as competitors to SLRs because they have large light-sensitive image sensors, excellent quality lenses and numerous manual settings.
Do not stare blindly at the number of megapixels when you buy a digital compact camera. Many believe that the more megapixels a camera has, the better it is. However, this is far from true.
Contrary to belief, cameras with a high megapixels count can deliver poorer picture quality than those with a lower number. The large number of pixels will only come into their own on a digital camera that has a lens with sufficiently good optics and light sensitivity (ISO number).
Likewise, one should also be careful when buying a camera based only on Zoom. The optics are enormously important for image quality, as is the quality of the camera image processor and software. These are important for, among other things, the digital camera's response speed, noise suppression and battery consumption. If the menus and controls are simple and fast this dramatically increases your chances capturing your subject when you see it.
On this page we've compiled a list of some of the best compact digital cameras you can buy in 2017.