Best Compact Cameras

Top 10 Rated Compact Digital Cameras 2014

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As we chose the top 10 compact digital cameras, we considered a number of factors that set the winners apart from the rest. These qualities include:

1. Number of megapixels to produce sharp, detailed images
2. Optical zoom that doesn’t degrade the picture quality
3. Lightweight, slim, portable design
4. Large and bright LCD preview screen
5. Easy-to-operate buttons and menu controls
6. Little to no lag between shots
7. Battery life and ease of recharging
8. Minimal noise or graininess in low-lighting shots
9. Various preset modes including an easy auto mode
10. Face recognition feature that optimizes focus and exposure for portrait shots
11. Value for the price

You’ll find a selection of digital cameras here, from basic point and shoots for beginners to more advanced bridge cameras for the serious photographers.

Colors: Black, Blue, Red, Silver, Violet
3-inch LCD screen
10.1 MP
3.8x wide-angle optical zoom
10.6 ounces
4.4” x 1.8” x 2.6”

With 10.1 MP, the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX7K compact digital camera produces superbly sharp photos. You are going to see minimal noise and/or blurriness all sorts of photographs…read more


Available in 3 colors
3-inch LCD Screen
12.1 MP
10x wide-angle optical zoom
5.1 ounces
3.8” x 0.9” x 2.2”

An easy-to-use digital camera from Canon with excellent HD video recording capabilities and wifi built in, this model is amazingly priced at $199.99. 1080p HD video recording…read more


GE X550-BK  9/10

Colors: Black, White
2.7-inch LCD screen
16 MP
15x wide-angle optical zoom
14.5 ounces
2.6” x 4” x 2.9”

This relatively low-priced ultra zoom camera acts as a bridge between point and shoots and an DSLRs. It has a powerful zoom for a compact camera at 15x. The 16 MP sensor…read more


Canon SX160 IS  8.5/10

Colors: Black and Red
3-inch LCD screen
16 MP
16x wide-angle optical zoom
10.2 ounces
1.7” x 4.4” x 2.9”

Canon has a great reputation for beginner digital cameras. This is a perfect example. You get a sturdy, durable, and compact digital camera that features a 3-inch LCD screen…read more


Olympus SZ-15  8.5/10

Colors: Black, Red
3-inch LCD screen
16 MP
24x wide-angle optical zoom
8 ounces
1.6” x 4.2” x 2.7”

The Olympus SZ-15 compact digital camera has an impressive optical zooming spec of 24x. This means you can get super clear shots from very far away…read more


16 Megapixel CMOS sensor
15x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom
3-inch LCD viewing screen
1080p (Full HD) video recording
300 shots per charge

The one feature on this camera that makes it stand out is the powerful zoom. No other camera in this class boasts a 15x optical zoom digital zoom…
read more


Nikon L820  8/10

Colors: Black Red
3-inch LCD screen
16 MP
30x wide-angle optical zoom
2.1 pounds
4” x 6” x 6”

Nikon’s Coolpix L series is aimed at beginners and those familiar with cameras alike. The L820 digital camera produces sharp pictures at 16 MP, even from far away with the amazing 30x optical zoom…read more


Color: Black
3-inch LCD screen
16 MP
5x wide-angle optical zoom
7.2 ounces
6.1” x 5.2” x 1.9”

This is one feature rich camera. And a big improvement over previous models. It is a slim, lightweight digital camera with a 16 MP sensor. The twist on this Samsung digital camera is the additional LCD screen…read more


Sony DSC-W710  7/10

3 Colors Available
2.7-inch LCD screen
16.1 MP
5x wide-angle optical zoom
8.6 ounces
4.3” x 3.2” x 2.4”

This Sony digital camera is a great little point and shoot model that takes sharp, bright photos. The body is nice and compact as well. We were amazed by the sweep panorama mode…read more


Compact Cameras Buying Guide

Understanding Pixel Count in Your Digital Camera

When you look at a photograph taken with a digital camera, you see a clear, crisp image. What you don’t see are the millions of pixels that make up the image. Pixels are the miniscule blocks of color that put together make up a picture. Each pixel has a numeric value from 0 to 255 and comprises three colors: red, green, and blue. Those three colors, each assigned a number from 0 to 255, blend together in unique combinations to make up any color you can imagine. Think of it like mixing paints.

Digital cameras are distinguished by their pixel count. The greater the pixel count, the sharper the image and the more you can blow up the picture without losing its clarity. Pixel counts in cameras range from 1 million, or 1 megapixel (MP), to 14 million. If you have ever tried to print or develop a low-resolution image, say from the Internet, then you know it turns out pixelated with the blocky pixels visible.

How many megapixels do you need in your digital camera? If you like developing a lot of your prints, decide what size photos you prefer:

  • If you’re a casual photographer or you like making prints of family photos, you’ll be happy with a 3MP camera, which makes sharp 4”x6” and 5”x7” prints.
  • If you prefer large 8”x10” photographs, then a 4MP or 5MP camera will yield a clearer image at that size.

Some cameras give two pixel counts. There’s the total pixel count, which includes all the pixels on the sensor surface. The pixels on the edges are typically dropped in the final image. The effective pixel count measures all the pixels in the image after the edge pixels are taken away.

Brian Jones has had a passion for photography and anything related for the majority of his life. One photography class in high school was all it took to get hooked on everything to do with the subject. He became more focused on learning about camera equipment as he experiemented with everything available… See more about Brian

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