Buying guide: How to choose the best compact photo camera

If you have been using your mobile phone to take photos anytime, anywhere for a while, but you have been bitten by the photography bug, you may be thinking of buying a digital camera. Unless you have very advanced knowledge, there is no doubt that the best option is to have a compact camera. If you are thinking of buying one or want to renew yours, it is important that you have certain aspects very clear before deciding on one model or another.

One of the main advantages that a model of this type offers us is its small size, which allows us to carry it comfortably in our pocket in any experience that we want to keep a memory of. Now, this does not imply that they can also offer us good image quality.

How to choose the best compact photo camera

What you should keep in mind

The first thing that we have to be clear about when choosing a compact photo camera is the use that we are going to give it . As you will understand, it is unnecessary to spend a lot of money on a model that we are not going to get the most out of. Therefore, the question we must ask ourselves before anything else is what do you want the camera for? . Being clear about the answer makes your choice much easier and more accurate.

Once we are clear about what things we like to photograph or what we are going to do with the photos, the next thing is to review certain characteristics to make sure that the model that interests us meets what we are looking for. The main specifications to review are:

  • Resolution or megapixels: It is usually a guideline for most people, but the truth is that a high resolution is not always linked to a high image quality, especially if the photos we take are not going to be used for printing. giant size. If this is not your case, you should not be obsessed with this data, since quality is more related to the size of the viewer and the technology that is responsible for managing it
  • Sensor: The bigger it is, the better. More light will be captured in each shot and we will also be able to obtain better snapshots in low light environments.
  • Zoom: Except in exceptional cases, it is normal for all cameras to allow us to zoom in to enlarge the image that we are going to capture. Now, the most interesting is the optical zoom, which allows us to bring the image closer while maintaining the best possible quality.
  • Connectivity: Depending on the use that we are going to give it, it is interesting to verify if it is a model with WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth, type of connector for charging or what memory cards it supports.
  • Video recording: If you are one of those who likes to record video, this is another piece of information to take into account. One recommendation is that it at least allows us to record in 4K at 60 fps.

cámaras de fotos compactas funciones

  • Image stabilizer: It is another interesting fact if we do not want to have to use a tripod or other accessories to take photos or record videos, especially if we do them on the move. In this way, it will automatically avoid the famous vibrations of the camera when recording or photographing.
  • Battery life : Most models are equipped with rechargeable batteries with a good duration, however, it is worth checking this information to avoid choosing a model that leaves us unable to take more photos in the middle of the day. Models with a rechargeable battery are always recommended. Battery-powered models tend to be more basic and in the long run involve unnecessary additional cost, in addition to the limitations of battery use.
  • GPS : We can find models that incorporate GPS, allowing us to add the geographical coordinates of the photos we take to later position them on a map. It is an interesting function, but if we are not going to use it, we must value it. In addition, it is important to know that it consumes a lot of battery.
  • Internal memory : Although it is not a particularly important factor, since we can use cards of different capacities, we must assess the reading and writing speed of the cards used if we are fans of burst shooting.
  • RAW : If you are one of those who like to make simple touch-ups to your photos, then it is interesting that the chosen model can capture in RAW format.
  • Size and weight: If what we are looking for is a compact camera, it is recommended that we check its dimensions to choose the model that best suits our tastes or needs.
  • Budget: Without a doubt, it is a great handicap when choosing one model or another.

Get the most out of your compact camera

Compact models allow you to take very good photographs, but to get the most out of them it is important that we know how to handle them and how to get the most out of them. Today, we can search for a lot of information on the Internet, there are even many accessible courses, but here are some tips for you to keep in mind:

  • Read the manual : The truth is that there are certain functions that can be very intuitive, but spending a little time to carefully read the manual of the camera will allow us to gain great knowledge and discover settings and controls that you probably did not know.

cámara de fotos compacta

Once this is done, start experimenting with all the features and settings, as well as the different lights, shadows and movements. Although you will surely discover very curious and interesting details, you should pay attention to:

  • Focus or shutter control : One of the characteristics of digital photo cameras is their ability to work automatically, however, choosing a model that allows manual functions will make us learn a little more about this incredible world of photography. Try to try the manual focus and control the shutter speed yourself if your model allows it or you find yourself with the capacity and desire to learn a little more.
  • Take care of the frame : Most allow you to enable a grid to help us choose the perfect frame, use it.
  • Use the image modes : In the same way, take advantage of the different modes to capture landscapes, low light scenes, moving images or faces. The settings for each of them usually offer very good results.

Compact photo cameras according to your budget

If once you have reached this point you are more or less clear about the use you are going to give your camera and what are the most important aspects to take into account depending on your needs, you only have to do the math to know the budget you are willing to spend and choose one of the models that we show you below:

Between 800 and 1000 euros


This Sony DSC-RX100M6 is a compact camera with an Exmor RS CMOS sensor that offers a resolution of 20.1 megapixels, an aperture f2.9 – 4.5 and includes 8x optical zoom. The display is a 3-inch tiltable TFT LCD touch screen. It has a burst shooting function of up to 24 fps, image stabilizer, maximum 4K video resolution and measures 101.6 x 58.1 x 42.8 and weighs 301 grams. Its price is around 1,000 euros.

cámaras de fotos compactas Sony DSC-RX100M6

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

This Canon is equipped with a 1.0-type stacked CMOS sensor that offers a resolution of 10.2 megapixels. Among all its functions, we must highlight burst shooting, automatic or manual focus adjustment, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, image stabilizer, 3-inch LCD screen and a maximum video resolution of 4K. It has an approximate price of €800.

cámaras de fotos compactas Sony Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

Between 400 and 700 euros

Sony Cybershot RX100 III

This Sony model also has a 20.1 megapixel resolution sensor, although the video quality drops to 1080 pixels or Full HD. It is equipped with manual or automatic focus adjustment, image stabilization, 3-inch screen and 0.39-type OLED electronic viewfinder. The sale price of this model is 650 euros.

cámaras de fotos compactas Sony Cybershot RX100 Mark III

Canon Powershot SX740

The Canon Powershot SX740 is a compact photo camera with good features. Specifically, it has a 20.3-pixel backlit CMOS sensor, image stabilizer, 4K video recording system, 3-inch LCD screen and an incredible 40x optical zoom. It costs just over 500 euros.

cámaras de fotos compactas Canon Powershot SX740


Also with a type of CMOS sensor, in this case 18.2 megapixels and with a BIONZ X image processor, we find this Sony model. It allows a 28x optical zoom, has automatic and manual focus, maximum aperture f / 3.5-6-3 and a 3-inch screen. We can get it for approximately 400 euros.

cámaras de fotos compactas Sony HX99

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX80K

We changed the third and now we want to mention this Panasonic model with a 16 megapixel sensor, optical image stabilizer and a Lumix Vario lens with f//3.5-5.6 aperture. It also has a 3-inch screen and the ability to record video and photos up to 4K. It is close to 700 euros but it is possible to find it regularly on sale.

cámaras de fotos compactas Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX80K


Another of the interesting compact cameras in the Sony catalog is this DSC-RX100 III. A model with a 20.1-megapixel resolution Exmor R CMOS sensor, 2.9x optical zoom, f/1.8-2.8 maximum aperture and a 3-inch screen. It is a model that costs around 500 euros.

cámaras de fotos compactas Sony DSC-RX100 III

Less than 300 euros


This Sony compact has a 20.1 megapixel resolution Super HAD CCD sensor, 8x optical zoom, autofocus, optical image stabilizer, autofocus and is capable of recording video in HD or 720 pixel resolution. The screen has a size of 2.7 inches. You can buy it for €140.

cámaras de fotos compactas Sony DSC-W830

Panasonic DMC-TZ80

The Panasonic DMC-TX80 is a high-performance model at a very reasonable price. Specifically, it has a sensor with a resolution of 18.1 megapixels, a lens with a maximum aperture f/3.3-64 and also includes a hybrid stabilizer, 30x optical zoom and 4K video recording. Its cost is about 300 euros.

cámaras de fotos compactas Panasonic DMC-TZ80


The most affordable model on this list is this one from Sony, a compact camera with a 20.1 megapixel resolution Super HAD CCD sensor, capable of recording HD video and a 6x optical zoom. In this case, the image stabilizer is digital and it has a 2.7-inch screen. For just over 100 euros it can be yours.

cámaras de fotos compactas Sony DSC-W810

Which one do I buy?

From this list there are two models that offer an enormous value for money, on the one hand there is the Canon PowerShot SX740 and on the other the Panasonic DMC-TZ80 . In the case of the Canon, it must be said that it is a more advanced model and suitable for those who have already made some first steps in the world of photography. A compact photo camera equipped with everything we can ask of a camera of this type and price.

Now, if you are looking for something cheaper to get started and you do not want to spend a lot of money, the Panasonic DMC-TZ80 will be your best choice. It has great features to achieve the best result in each shot.