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How to choose the best compact camera

Compact cameras or point and shoot digital cameras have virtually replaced compact film cameras and their arrival on the scene has spawned more budding photographers than ever before. Many of today's compact cameras are capable of rivaling DSLR cameras under certain conditions. The extended feature sets available on compact cameras makes them more adaptable to a large variety of shooting conditions. On a nice bright sunny day there are several compact cameras on the market that will produce images which are almost indistinguishable from a DSLR when they are printed out as large as A4.

The choice available in the market today is immense in terms of size, features, and capability. Where to begin may seem rather daunting and perhaps it is easiest to decide how much you want to spend then start looking at what is available in that price range. Of the thousands of compact cameras out there several compete for the top rated compact camera slot. Manufactures like Cannon offer an excellent compact range called Powershot, and a smaller compact range of digital camera known as Ixus. Sony offers a range of compact digital cameras known as cybershot. Panasonic once led the field in compact superzooms with their ZS/TZ series, but are now challenged by Canon,Samsung and Fuju.

Compact digital camera's extra features

It is sometimes worth considering what extra features are available in compact digital cameras. An often overlooked mode of operation is the video mode.

What's the best compact camera for taking videos?

The video mode in some compact cameras often rivals camcorders and in a lot of cases some compact digital cameras can produce HD video superior to a lot of camcorders. The image sensor combined with state of the art image stabilisation is often better than that found in camcorders. The latest Panasonic compact superzooms are capable of producing very respectable videos in a format which can be instantly played back on almost any pc and easily uploaded to video and social networking sites.

Is Nikon better than Canon or Sony?

The top spot for compact digital cameras changes each year across the digital camera range.

Individual camera manufactures often have niches for particular camera ranges. For example Fuji's compact camera range has often been great for producing low noise images while Panasonic have tried to provide a large zoom in a small camera body as in their ZS/TZ series. If you are looking for a camera that can take pictures in all conditions then Canon is hard to beat even though their large zoom models are no as sleek looking as the Panasonic ZS/TZ range. Neither will it be as good in low light conditions as some of the Fuji range.

Sony although newer to the digital camera market than some of the other names has a huge depth of experience in the digital video camera market. They very much staked their commitment to the digital camera Market when they tied up with Konica-Minolta.

Most large camera manufacturers bring out new models every year, usually around the end of the summer months. Hopefully their cameras will have good reviews prior to the Christmas buying period. Often these cameras are updated slightly on the previous model by the inclusion of a few additional features or by squeezing in a few extra mega pixels.

So in summary, if you stick with the big camera names you won't go too far wrong in your selection of a suitable compact digital camera. If you are prepared to sacrifice having the latest bells and whistles on your new camera you can often pick up last years model at knock down prices. Good luck and happy shooting!