10 Best Compact Digital Cameras

Is a compact camera an absolute must for you when shopping for a new digital camera? If so then you’ve come to the right place. This list only contains models with compact measurements and weigh less than 12 ounces. However, make sure you check the dimensions because some units are still larger than others, so if you want one that can fit in your pants pocket then look for a slimmer model that is 1 inch or less thick.

Despite their compact size, some these cameras can still take amazing quality photos and some have superzoom capability which might be needed in certain situations. If you have other specific needs in a camera you can check out our other lists like cheap / under $100, superzoom, or waterproof.

Below we review our top 10 best compact digital cameras. Also look below for a comparison chart of each model.


Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

The $700 Canon PowerShot G7X II is our pick for the best compact digital camera. It received the highest score for an advanced compact point-and-shoot camera from the leading consumer magazine and is one of the highest rated models on Amazon.

Amazing image quality is achieved thanks to a 20 MP 1″ CMOS sensor, DIGIC 7 image processor, and 24-100mm equivalent 4.2x optical zoom f/1.8-2.8 lens. Low light image quality is also excellent and the PowerShot G7X II has fast performance even when shooting RAW files in burst mode.

The HD video quality is also excellent, however it does not take 4K video. The battery life is just average. There is no viewfinder and the continuous AutoFocus can struggle with fast objects.

We highly recommend the Canon PowerShot G7X II for anyone looking for an outstanding point-and-shoot.


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV

The RX100-series from Sony has set the standard for premium compact cameras and the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV is no exception. Priced from $898 the DSC-RX100 IV is our pick for the best compact camera for video thanks to its amazing quality 4K video with up to 960 fps for super slow motion videos. Users should be aware though that you are limited to just 5 minutes of 4K video at a time.

The photo quality is superior to almost all other point-and-shoot cameras thanks to its 20.1 MP 1″ stacked CMOS sensor and Zeiss F1.8-F2.8 lens. Other nice features include 1/32000 shutter, fast autofocus, 16 fps burst shooting, viewfinder, and articulating screen.

The main con for the DSC-RX100 IV is the 2.92 optical zoom which is a bit limiting in certain situations. The battery life is also just average.

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV is the most expensive model on our list, so if you are looking for a bargain you should look at a different option (including the older Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III which is $200 cheaper). However, if you want the best compact digital camera for photos and video then this is the choice for you.


Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 is another quality travel camera for both photos and video with a 10x zoom lens which is much more than our top 2 choices. Priced at right around $700, it provides excellent image quality with a 20 MP 1″ sensor.

It can shoot in Ultra HD 4K video plus 4K photo – which lets you grab an image from video – and 4K post focus – which lets you change the focus later. Other quality features include fast autofocus, good high ISO performance, and RAW format.

The DMC-ZS100 is slightly larger than other compacts with dimensions of 4.4″ x 2.5″ x 1.7″. It has a small electronic viewfinder, pop up flash, and does not have a tilting display.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 is not perfect in any one area, but as a whole this is a solid compact point-and-shoot that will work for anybody. We highly recommend it for those of you who want a unit with a 1″ sensor with a 10x zoom.


Canon PowerShot G9 X

Canon PowerShot G9 X provides an amazing value with a price of about $479. It is the smallest 1-inch sensor camera available with dimensions of 3.86″ x 2.28″ x 1.21″.

This Canon model features a 1-inch 20 MP CMOS sensor with the DIGIC 6 image processor to provide excellent image quality and a f/2.0–4.9 aperture. It records video in 1080p with 60/30/24 fps. Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC makes sharing files quick and easy.

On the downside the G9 X only has a 3x zoom, very slow RAW burst shooting, no viewfinder, and poor battery life. Some people have also complained about the touch-screen menus being too complicated and not easy to use.

We recommend the Canon PowerShot G9 X for those of you who want a more affordable compact digital camera with a 1-inch sensor.


Ricoh GR II

The Ricoh GR II sells for around $580. This camera is geared more towards a photophile since it provides plenty of manual controls and features an APS-C 16 MP sensor. It excels in taking sharp raw or JPEG images. The lens has a wide angle capability of 28mm and has a maximum aperture of f/2.8.

It is capable of taking 1080/30p video, but the quality is just average.

The main problems with the Ricoh GR II is that it has no optical zoom, no image stabilization system, and lacks a viewfinder. For the average person who is just looking for a good point-and-shoot camera these are reasons why they might want to stay away from the GR II. The Wi-Fi app is also poor.


Canon PowerShot SX620 HS

The $279 Canon PowerShot SX620 HS boasts the most powerful optical zoom of any compact camera on our list at 25x. It features a 20 MP CMOS sensor with DIGIC 4+ image processing. The images, while quite good, are a step down from the more expensive digital cameras on this list especially in lower light.

Canon’s image stabilization system helps reduce blur, while the powerful zoom helps to capture far away objects – just be aware that you need good lighting to take advantage of that zoom or you risk increased noise levels. The SX620 HS captures full HD video, but the quality is just average. Built in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity allow for easy file transfer, however it does not support iOS 10.

Some negatives include no articulating screen, no viewfinder, manual pop-up flash, slow continuous shooting (2.5 fps), no RAW shooting, and average battery life.

Overall the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS is the best compact digital camera under $300, but is lacking in some ways compared to more expensive options.


Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS

The Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS, available for about $239 is Canon’s premium budget compact and makes a good choice for a cheap point-and-shoot camera. It has a 12x optical zoom with variable aperture spanning f/3.6-7.0. At its heart is a 20 MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor with a DIGIC 4+ image processor.

Image quality is quite good, but not outstanding. The images can get noisy in dim lighting. Full 1080p 30fps video records in mp4 format and is of decent quality. It also offers Wi-Fi capability.

The speed of the ELPH 360 HS is relatively slow with a burst rate of 2.5 fps. There is also no viewfinder and the battery life is a bit below average.

Overall we recommend the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS for buyers looking for a cheap, compact camera who also want a decent zoom lens.


Nikon Coolpix S7000

The Nikon Coolpix S7000 sells for $227, but we have seen it on sale for under $200. At that price it would rank as the best compact digital camera under $200. It features a back-illuminated 16MP 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor with a 20x optical zoom lens.

Image quality is quite good, but a bit noisy in poor lighting or in flash pics especially when zoomed in. Other nice features include image stabilization, Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, full 1080p video, and fast continuous shooting of 9.2fps.

On the downside some people have complained about the ability to autofocus on certain objects. There is also no viewfinder, no articulating screen, no manual focusing/exposure, no raw shooting, and somewhat poor battery life.

Overall the Nikon S7000 will outperform your smartphone in image quality and the 20x zoom is vastly superior. This makes it a good choice for those buyers looking for a value on a good quality point-and-shoot compact camera.


Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350

Another small camera with a 20x optical zoom lens is the $270 Sony Cybershot WX350. It features a 1/2.3″ Exmor R CMOS sensor with 18 MP. Image stabilization and Lock-On AF help keep your subject in sharp focus.

In this price range the WX350 has impressive performance speed. It is quick to focus and provides up to 10 fps continuous shooting. it also has impressive battery life.

Image quality is good, but not quite as packed with detail as we would like. Images also have good color reproduction, but can also be noisy in lower light settings. Video is captured at 1080/60p in mp4 format, while the quality is OK, but not outstanding.

Overall the Sony Cybershot WX350 is for buyers looking for speed and a powerful zoom in a compact under $300.


Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 IS

The cheapest compact camera on our list is the Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 which sells for $159. The positives are that it offers a 10x optical zoom, 20 MP, wi-fi, is relatively cheap, and it is the smallest and lightest camera on our list.

However, images are just average at best with a small 1/2.3-inch CCD sensor and probably comparable to any recent smartphone. Video is limited to 720p HD which is disappointing. It is also a bit slow with a burst speed of .8 fps.

You should consider the Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 if budget is your primary concern or you need a longer zoom than what a smartphone can offer.

Best Compact Digital Camera Comparison Chart

Model Rating Price MegaPixels Optical
Max Aperture Shutter Speed Weight
Dimensions (in)
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II 9.4 $699 20 4.2 f 1.8-2.8 15 – 1/2000 11 4.2 x 2.4 x 1.7
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV 9.4 $898 20 2.92 f 1.8-2.8 30 – 1/32000 10 4.0 x 2.3 x 1.6
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 9.3 $697.99 20 10 f 2.8-5.9 60 – 1/16000 11 4.4 x 2.5 x 1.7
Canon PowerShot G9 X 9.3 $479 20 3 f 2-4.9 30 – 1/2000 7 3.86 x 2.28 x 1.21
Ricoh GR II 9.2 $580 16 1 f 2.8 300 – 1/4000 9 4.6 x 2.5 x 1.4
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS 9 $279 20 25 f 3.2-6 15 – 1/2000 6.4 3.8 x 2.2 x 1.1
Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS 8.9 $239 20 12 f 3.6-7 15 – 1/2000 5 3.9 x 2.3 x 0.9
Nikon Coolpix S7000 8.8 $226.95 16 20 f 3.4-5.9 1 – 1/4000 6 3.9 x 2.4 x 1.1
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX350 8.7 $269.99 18 20 f 3.5 – 6.5 4 – 1/1600 6 3.78 x 2.16 x 1.01
Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 IS 8.5 $159 20 10 f 3-6.9 15 – 1/2000 5 3.75 x 2.24 x 0.93

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