Choosing a Compact Digital Camera

If you’re looking for a good compact or “point and shoot” camera, there are a number of factors to take into consideration. Usually people buy compact digital cameras for their portability and ease of use, when they don’t really require that near-professional image quality that would be obtained using a larger and more expensive digital single-lens reflex camera. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of digital compact cameras and key performance features.


Digital cameras come in several categories, including ultracompact, compact, advanced compact or bridge cameras, and single-lens reflex (SLR) cameras. Ultracompact cameras are small enough to fit in a pocket or purse and are easily transportable, and the lenses retract when not in use. Compact cameras are slightly larger but can offer more features and larger control buttons. Advanced compact or bridge cameras are still larger and can include advanced features such as a larger image sensor, image stabilization, and HD video, but they are more expensive. SLR cameras are the largest, most sophisticated, and most expensive of the group. Here are some typical price ranges for digital cameras:

Ultracompact: up to about $200
Compact: up to about $250
Advanced compact or bridge cameras: up to about $450
SLR: from $400 up to several thousand dollars


There are several factors that determine a compact nikon digital camera for sale camera’s performance. This includes the size and the number of megapixels of the image sensor, the quality of the lenses, the amount of optical zoom, and the aperture size. Today’s compact cameras typically offer image sensors in the range of ten to fourteen megapixels. This is usually enough resolution most photographers. The number of megapixels is usually not the only factor in determining image quality. It is also important to consider the quality of the pixels. Does the photo have enough focus? Is there enough contrast in the image, and are the objects rendered sharply? A good way to get a sense of the overall image quality is to read online reviews, including those that test compact camera performance over a range of conditions.


The lenses of compact digital cameras are an important aspect of performance that are sometimes overlooked. First there is the focal length of the lens. Many compact digital cameras have a range of focal lengths. Normal perspective is 50mm. Wide-angle lenses have focal-length less than 50mm – typically 35mm down to 24mm. Telephoto or zoom lenses have larger focal-lengths up to 100mm or more. Very good digital cameras have a range from 24mm wide-angle up to over 800mm telephoto. The f-number is a measure of the light-gathering power or “speed” of the lens- the lower the f-number the greater the light-gathering power. So if you are taking any photographs in low-light conditions, you will want to have a low at f-number such as f/2.8. Typically digital compact cameras will have a range of f numbers- low numbers for wide-angle mode to high numbers for telephoto mode. Optical zoom is an important factor when you are looking to take close up photos of objects from a distance.


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