The Best Digital Compact Camera for Your Needs

by echizen78

If you are looking for a digital camera that has all the features that you need but is small enough to carry around in a handbag or in your pocket then a digital compact camera may be your best choice. The best digital contact camera for you must have the features and specifications that you need. We have put together this guide to answer questions on this subject so that you know what to look for when purchasing your new digital camera.

What are megapixels and how many do you need?

Megapixels are the tiny squares that make up the digital image. One megapixel is 1 million pixels. You’ll get a better quality image from a camera with a higher rating in megapixels. However highly rated digital camera will be more expensive so make sure you buy a camera with just enough megapixels for the size of image you wish to produce. Compact digital cameras usually have a pixel count of between 1 million (1 MP) and 14 million (14 MP) pixels. To make prints of 4 inches x 6 inches you will need at least a 3MP camera. For larger 5 inch x 7 inch prints you will need between 4MP and 5MP. For poster size prints a 7MP rated camera will be adequate.

Do you need an optical or zoom lens?

Optical zoom will give a better quality image than digital zoom. Digital zoom works in the same why as enlarging an image on your computer. Detail between pixels are filled in with software so the final image can lack detail and appear fuzzy. Optical lenses however produce images in the same way as optical lenses on SLR cameras and give a superior image. The majority of compact digital cameras sold today have 3x zoom lenses which are adequate for most shots. More expensive compact digital cameras may have up to 12x zoom lenses. One example is the Canon PowerShot S5 IS which also has a system to stabilize images.

Other Features

For most compact digital cameras it is not necessary to change settings as they work very well by ‘point and shoot’. However if you want to produce special effects a camera that allows you to change shutter speed, aperture, white balance and other settings is needed. The more expensive cameras will have more features. Depending on your needs and your experience the best compact digital camera is not necessarily the most expensive but the one with the features that you need and that you are familiar with. If you are prepared to take the time necessary to learn how to use many of the features then choose a compact digital camera that allows you to change a wider range of settings.


Most compact digital cameras sensitivity ranges between ISO 100 and ISO 200 which are similar to the settings found on film cameras. Some of the more expensive cameras have higher settings. A few even have settings below ISO 100 but there is no real advantage in this as noise becomes a problem at these low levels. The best compact digital cameras efficiently choose the correct ISO level for the conditions.

LCD Screens

To be able to use the camera in all lighting conditions a bright LCD screen is needed. Some digital cameras have LCD screens that are poor when the lighting is dim. A separate viewfinder would then be necessary.


When you are looking for the best compact digital camera for your needs do not just look at the price but at the features that you need. A camera without a lot of user changeable settings may be better if you want to just point and click and let the camera automatically choose the settings. If you are more experienced or willing to spend the time needed to learn how to use the features then choose a camera that allows you to change more settings.

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