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10 best compact cameras

For the times when a handy smartphone just won't cut it, invest in a powerful, pocket-sized machine for impressive photos

If you want more out of your photography, get more hands on with a compact camera  ( Panasonic )

Since smartphone cameras have replaced most of the basic point and shoot cameras, manufacturers have rallied to create a new crop of sophisticated compact cameras.

Combining technologies from professional cameras with artificial intelligence in ever smaller and more user-friendly camera bodies, these new compacts give DSLRs a run for their money.

They don’t only easily slip into a pocket, but also make it incredibly easy to shoot professional-looking images with a depth and richness that is beyond smartphone cameras. 

So, it's worth considering investing in a compact camera if you want to take your photography to the next level, without the expense or bulk of a system camera. 

All of the cameras reviewed here produce images that can be printed at A3 size or larger and allow you to wirelessly transfer images (except for the Nikon Coolpix A10).

All zoom ranges are given in their 35mm equivalent, stating what the focal length would be on an SLR or full-frame camera.

If you're serious about video, choose a camera that shoots 4K or UHD, which has a much higher resolution than HD video.

We have thoroughly tested all models in challenging settings, photographing fast-moving subjects in low light (read “young children, on a gloomy winters’ day”) and only included cameras we felt are significantly better than a good quality smartphone camera. Here's the top of the crop.

You can trust our independent reviews. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections, which are formed from real-world testing and expert advice. This revenue helps to fund journalism across The Independent

The verdict: Compact cameras

The Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ200 is an incredibly versatile camera. It not only produces excellent image quality but also packs a raft of features into a compact body, making this a real alternative to a system camera.

You can’t be the Canon Ixus 185 for good value in a compact body and has an impressive zoom range. It’s perfect for beginners and children or to slip into your travel bag.

If you’re into the outdoors, the Nikon Coolpix W300 is the perfect companion. It sports GPS as well as altitude and pressure gauges and its light, yet water, shock, freeze and dustproof body copes with anything you through at it. 

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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