Best compact camera 2019: 10 top compact cameras to suit all abilities

From simple snappers for beginners to high-end powerhouses, here are the best compact cameras you can buy right now. 

Compact cameras and the compact camera market have changed considerably over the last few years. Smartphones, with their ever-improving cameras, have decimated budget models and as a result camera manufacturers have concentrated on putting more advanced features into compact cameras to make them more attractive than ever before.

Compared to compact cameras of old, manufacturers are now tending to design models based around physically larger sensors than used to be the norm. The result of this change is that you’re now going to get significantly better image quality than even the best smartphone. In some cases, the sensors in some high-end compact cameras can rival DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.  

The wide variety of different compact cameras means there’s a wealth of choice out there to pretty much suit all photographic needs and budgets. 

There are small compact cameras that can slip in a pocket yet have huge zoom ranges, and large bridge cameras that look like DSLRs, but have a large, fixed zoom lens and lots of automated easy-to-use options (though don’t expect DSLR-rivalling image quality). That’s not forgetting waterproof options and high-end models that are a great alternative to a DSLR or mirrorless camera should you want something a bit more portable. 

If you need a bit more help figuring out what kind of camera you need, then your best place to start is by reading this article: What camera should I buy?

Otherwise, read on to find out our pick of the best compact cameras you can buy right now.

Great value option: Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III

It may be old, but it still packs a punch

Sensor: 1-inch type, 20.1MP | Lens: 24-70mm, f/1.8-2.8 | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle screen, 1,229K dots | Viewfinder: EVF | Continuous shooting: 10fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner/Intermediate