Camera technology has come a long way in recent years, especially in the compact market.
Although smartphones initially captured large numbers of traditional small camera users, improvements in sensor and image processing capabilities, have made these small packages more and more attractive to buyers.
Plus, with the rise in popularity of lifestyle blogging, vlogging and travel photography, spending good money on a compact camera is now well worth it.
By tradition and definition, these devices don’t have interchangeable lenses, which not only makes them smaller but means there’s a lot less to think about for the casual user. And unlike DSLR’s, which have complicated controls and clunky buttons, compact cameras operate at a fraction of the speed and many have touchscreens, focus tracking and 4K video as standard.
For more serious users, we’d recommend an advanced model – as these machines often enable you to take photos in a RAW file format (a must if you want to edit your photos to a high standard), film in 4K and have a number of other features more akin to higher-grade professional equipment.
How we tested
We tested these cameras over a period of a month in a range of settings. Testing criteria included ease of use, ergonomics (how the menu systems operated and how easy they were to hold and operate), video and photography quality, including stabilisation and audio quality, and each individual package’s value for money compared to its competition. We also acknowledged that many people want to travel with their camera, so size and carrying ability was tested as a deciding feature on which setups to include in this list.
Best compact cameras for 2022 are:
- Best overall – Sony ZV-1: £621, Amazon.co.uk
- Best for experienced users – Canon G1X mark III: £1,139, Currys.co.uk
- Best for travelling – Panasonic lumix LX100 II: £749, Wexphotovideo.com
- Best zoom range – Panasonic lumix DC-TZ90 super zoom: £299.99, Johnlewis.com
- Best for compact 4K filming – Canon powershot G7 X mark III: £699, Johnlewis.com
- Best style and design – Fujifilm X100V: £1,299, Johnlewis.com
- Best for premium quality – Leica Q2: £4,500, Parkcameras.com
- Best build quality – Sony A7C: £1,699, Wexphotovideo.com
- Best for pocket-sized shooting – Sony cyber-shot RX100 V: £799, Parkcameras.com
- Best for a film look – Fujifilm X-E4 £949, Johnlewis.com
- Best for street photography – Ricoh GRIII street edition: £899.99, Ricoh-imaging.eu
- Best smartphone replacement – Fujifilm XF10: £499, Amazon.co.uk