Top 10 compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget. IndyBest tries out small but perfectly-formed snappers to capture your special moments

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The Independent Online

Compact cameras have been challenged by phones in recent years – which have, in large part, stolen all their features and put them in a box that is with us at all times.

But compacts still have a lot to say for themselves – deeper pictures, better detail and more control. We had a look through the lenses of the leading compact cameras to pick out the best.

{1} Panasonic Lumix TZ60: £249, jessops.com

 

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Light, compact and clear, this is perfect for travelling. It’s still got all of the expected features – a good zoom, nice pictures and an effective screen to watch them on – but packs them into an extra-small and not-tooexpensive box.

Buy now

{2} Fujifilm X100T: £969, jessops.com

 

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This is decidedly retro, and not just in its looks. It comes with a fixed lens length – so you can’t zoom and have to line up your pictures perfectly. But if you’re up for a challenge and want something  that feels classy, this is great.

Buy now

{3} Canon Powershot G16: £269, johnlewis.com

 

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The smaller and less expensive end of Canon’s compact range, but still packing in its best features — an excellent sensor for clear images, a great screen to look at them through, as well as wi-fi technology for sharing them after you’ve taken them. A touch screen also makes using the camera easy and quick.

Buy now

{4} Canon PowerShot SX710 HS: £256.31

 

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This is truly tiny – you can scrunch it up in the palm of your hand. There are some compromises to get that small, like a less robust body and less high quality photos, but if you want your compact to truly live up to the name, you’ll not get a higher quality camera in a smaller package.
Buy now

{5} Samsung Galaxy Camera 2: £229, currys.co.uk

 

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Phones might be taking on cameras – but it’s going the other way too. This is superconnected – with an internet connection and the Android operating system – so that you can easily edit and share photos. And the pictures don’t look too bad, either.

Buy now

{6} Olympus TG-3: £299, amazon.co.uk

 

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Tough compact cameras often compromise on the compact element to be tough – building so much protection around the actual camera that it loses any ability to actually be carried. But this is still light and small, despite being rugged, and turns out decent photos too.

Buy now

{7} Olympus Stylus 1: £359, currys.co.uk

 

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This is like a mini SLR; as well as looking like one, it has a decent lens and viewfinder to boot. It’s easy to use and looks nice – if a little 1980s.

Buy now

{8} Canon Powershot G1X: £339, amazon.co.uk

 

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The photos you get from this are almost on a par with Canon’s (more expensive) SLRs, while being compact and having useful extra features, such as wi-fi. The photos it takes are beautiful and deep, the screen is sharp and the body is well-built and rugged.

Buy now

{9} Sony RX 1: £1,948.97, johnlewis.com

 

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This is the very best around – though you have to pay up for it. It has a beautiful, sharp lens, a sensor as good as almost any SLR, and still manages to do all that in a relatively small body. If beautiful pictures are your aim and you’re not held back by price, this is the one.

Buy now

{10} Nikon Coolpix S9700, £219.99, amazon.co.uk

 

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Nikon’s Coolpix range is straightforward and reasonable, but has all of the great quality and build that you’d expect from the welltravelled camera company. This might not have all of the gizmos of other cameras, such as wi-fi, but it takes great pictures and is well-priced.

Buy now

Verdict:

If you planning on dropping your camera, the Olympus TG-3 will let you do that. And if you're planning on dropping a load of money on a camera, then the RX1 will amply live up to its huge price tag.

But the Olympus Stylus 1 packs most of the important things into a small, versatile box — which is probably what you're looking for in a camera.

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing

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