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5 Quick-Fire Compact Digital Camera Reviews

Here are some short, sharp compact digital camera reviews. I've chosen 5 models that stand out for their all-round quality and value. Information on 10 key specifications has been provided for each camera. So if you're not familiar with some of the jargon, why not first have a glance over this guide to finding the best compact camera? It explains how each of the 10 specifications actually relates to your needs.

1. Canon Powershot SD 4000 IS / IXUS 300 HS

The best all-rounder

 

The Canon IXUS 300 HS camera is nicely built, with a strong metal surface, and has a simple, sleek design.

It produces good quality photos for a compact camera (whilst there are 10 MP's, the sensor - like all compact sensors - is tiny so this is not equivalent to 10MP's on a DSLR!)

The colour quality is fantastic so you can be sure of nice prints.

A good ISO range opens up low light photography and the movie mode is simple to use and really good quality.

The battery life is excellent which is a real bonus. Definitely one of the best buy cameras.

Listen up! Watch this video guide to the
Canon Powershot SD 4000 IS!

Sensor 10MP

Lens

28 - 105mm
LCD Screen 3"
ISO 125 - 3200
Material Metal
Manual Modes Shutter Priority + Several Scene Modes
Video Mode Yes
Weight 175g
Rechargeable Batteries Yes
Flash Built in. Turn on or off.

 

 

2. Canon Powershot S90

The best compact camera for manual controls

 

The Canon Powershot S90 is sturdily built and can be customised with a grip for better handling (I would advise doing this since the design as it stands feels a little awkward in the hand).

The image quality is brilliant so great prints of your pictures can be had. It's not so good for you party animals though: lack of noise reduction makes for grainy images in low light or after dark photos.

One of the main reasons I've included the S90 on this list is the manual controls it offers. Not only can you get creative with full control of aperture and shutter speed, but you can do so through an easily accessed 'Function Ring' which is just brilliant!

Sensor 10 MP

Lens

28 - 105mm
LCD Screen 3"
ISO 80 - 3200
Material Metal
Manual Modes Full Manual, Shutter Priority, Aperture
Video Mode Yes
Weight 175g
Rechargeable Batteries Yes
Flash Built in. Turn on or off.

 

 

3. Samsung TL500 / EX1

The best compact camera for low light and moving subjects

 

The Samsung EX1 camera look really great. It is strongly built and stylish.

A nice wide angle lens is great for keen landscape photographers. Though limited focal length of 72mm isn't so good for sport or portrait pictures.

The maximum aperture on this Samsung camera in F 1.8 - 2.4, that's really bright/fast! So basically, if you take your camera with you on nights out or enjoy low light photography this is a great choice for you.

Plus if you're ever going to want to capture moving objects, this is an ideal choice. The wide aperture puts less demand on slowing the shutter speed (which would lead to blur).

Not only that, but the ISO performance is superb; this is the best compact camera on my list for people shooting moving subjects or in low light! Full manual controls offer great creative freedom too!

Listen up!
Watch this video guide to the Samsung TL500!

 

Sensor 10MP

Lens

24 - 72mm
LCD Screen 3"
ISO 80 - 3200
Material Metal
Manual Modes Full Manual, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority
Video Mode Yes
Weight 356g
Rechargeable Batteries Yes
Flash Built in. Turn on or off.

 

 

4. Nikon Coolpix P5100

Best compact camera for build quality and flash

 

The Nikon Coolpix P5100 is a really nicely designed model that handles very well despite being tiny! It's strong build makes it suitable for those of you who take your camera everywhere.

It produces photos with very realistic tone and colour. The 12.1 MP sensor provides top notch detail that will make for excellent prints.

At low ISO settings the quality is great but for after dark shots or shots of moving subjects the performance is less brilliant. So not perfect for social photographers, but...

If you don't mind using flash, it performs fantastically well in this camera - well above the average.

Sensor 12.1

Lens

35 - 123mm
LCD Screen 2.5"
ISO 64 - 3200
Material Metal
Manual Modes Full Manual, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority
Video Mode Yes
Weight 200g
Rechargeable Batteries Yes
Flash Built in. Turn on or off.

 

 

5. Canon Powershot A3100 IS

Best compact camera for high quality at low price
 

This Canon Powershot A3100 IS has a very slim, sleek design ad is available in lots of colours.

I have chosen to include it in these compact digital camera reviews because it is cheap, but still offers really decent specifications. It is unusually strongly built for a camera of this price.

Although there are no manual modes the 'Auto' mode is top notch, providing accurately exposed pictures in most situations.

Plus there are other cool effects you can play with like 'super-vivid mode', which enriches colours, or 'poster-effect mode' which converts images to retro style posters!

It's also rare for cameras of this category and price to offer rechargeable batteries - much better than spending a small fortune on dozens of AA's.

This is without doubt one of the best buy cameras on the market. It's very high quality for such a low price!

Sensor 12.1 MP

Lens

35 - 140mm
LCD Screen 2.7"
ISO 100 - 1600
Material Metal
Manual Modes None
Video Mode Yes
Weight 165g
Rechargeable Batteries Yes
Flash Built in. Turn on or off.

 

Still Deciding!?

These great little compact digital camera reviews in video format will talk you through some other top notch models!

 

 

The best compact camera for you will be the one that features all the right specifications to meet your needs. Just think about everything you use your camera for and prioritize the most important points.

Where Next?

Digital Photography Basics

Olympus E3 User Review

Why I've Fallen In Love With My iPhone's Camera

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