Once you are prepared to between £150 and £200 for a digital camera you have almost full choice when it comes to buying compact models. You can choose between some of the best pocket cameras and some cameras with a tremendous amount of zoom if you need that sort of power to get in close to distant subjects.
At this price point build quality is usually very good. You should also be able to find cameras offering eye catching picture quality. Unless you are in the market for an older model all cameras are likely to be able to record High Definition movies.
At this level cameras with manual exposure control start to be more widely available. This type of digital camera is more likely to appeal to the more serious photographer who sees photography as a hobby.
Aside from its obvious ability to zoom in on distant subjects the SP-720UZ is able to squeeze in wide scenes and can focus from 1cm away from your subject in macro mode. There is a burst mode that can reel off up to 6 shots at a rate of 5 frames per second. You can shoot High Definition movies and there is a 3D still photo feature. The LCD screen is 3 inches in size.
The big attraction of the Olympus SP-820UZ is the 40x zoom lens. This gives you the flexibility to photograph more or less any typical photo opportunity. Other features include a 3 inch LCD screen, a macro mode that can focus from 1cm away from your subject and the ability to shoot High Definition Movies. Power is supplied by AA batteries.
The Finepix F660EXR has a wide range of features. As well as the more obvious zoom power the camera has a 24mm, wide angle lens. You get access to manual exposure controls as well as Full High Definition movies with stereo sound. Other features include image stabilisation and slow motion movies. You can also shoot 360 degree motion panoramas.
The Lumix DMC SZ7 is a versatile digital camera. Its zoom range caters for distant subjects, wide scenes and every type of photo opportunity in between. There is a 3 inch LCD screen, a High Definition movie mode and image stabilisation. The High Dynamic Range mode helps to bring out more detail in high contrast scenes. You can also fire off shots at up to 10 frames per second.
The Powershot A3400 IS is a cheaper option when it comes to touch controlled digital cameras. Aside from touch control it operates along the lines of a fairly typical point and shoot digital camera. It has a 3 inch LCD screen, can record High Definition movies and has image stabilisation for both still images and movies.
The Finepix SL240 offers wide angle photography options as well as the more obvious telephoto ones. Features include a set of manual exposure controls as well as image stabilisation, a hot shoe, image stabilisation and High Definition movies. For composing photos you have the choice of using a 3 inch LCD screen or an electronic viewfinder. There is a macro mode that is capable of focusing from 2cm away from your subject.
The Fuji Finepix XP150 is a robust digital camera. It can operate underwater to depths of 10m. It can survive 2m drops and can also cope with temperatures as low as -10 degrees. It also has special seals to keep out sand and dust and a rubberised coating. Other features include GPS tracking, Full 1080p High Definition movies, a 2.7 inch LCD screen and image stabilisation.
The TG-620 is waterproof to depths of 5m, shockproof to falls of 1.5m and can continue to operate in temperatures down to -10 degrees centigrade. It has plenty of other features too. These include a 3 inch LCD screen, image stabilisation and battery charging via a USB port. There is also a 3D stills photography mode as well as being able to shoot full 1080p High Definition movies.
The Lumix DMC LZ20 is designed in a similar style to a Digital SLR. It has a manual exposure mode, a 3 inch LCD screen and Image Stabilisation. It can also shoot High Definition Movies. Power is supplied by four AA batteries. For close up work this camera can focus from 2cm away from your subject.
Taking a look at the robust features on offer the Lumix DMC FT20 is waterproof to 5m, shockproof to falls of 1.5m and freezeproof down to -10 degrees centigrade. Aside from those features it operates as a straightforward point and shoot digital camera. It can shoot High Definition movies, has image stabilisation, a 2.7 inch LCD screen and can focus from 5cm away from your subject.
The Canon Powershot D30 is a tough, rugged digital camera for use in challenging conditions. It can operate underwater in depths as low as 25m. It can cope with freezing ski slopes with temperatures down to -10 degrees centigrade. In addition, it is dustproof. This makes it a good choice for use on a beach or in a desert.
As well as being waterproof this camera has a special underwater mode. An underwater macro mode is available too. All in all, this camera is ideal if you are looking for a simple, point and shoot camera for scuba diving or use in and around the pool.
The Powershot D30 can survive the rough and tumble of the outdoor life as it can survive drops of up to 2m.
If you are the adventurous type and like to travel, Canon have equipped the Powershot D30 with GPS technology. This logs exactly where you were in the world when a picture was taken.
More standard features include 12 megapixels and a 5x zoom lens. The lens has a wide angle of view, for squeezing in wider scenes. Intelligent IS helps you to get pin sharp photos in difficult shooting conditions. It has a 3 inch LCD screen and can shoot Full High Definition 1080p Movies.
The stand out feature on the Coolpix S1200pj is the built in projector. As well as being able to display photos you have taken with the camera you can connect your iPhone®, iPad®, iPod touch® , iPod nano® or iPod® to the Coolpix S1200pj and display images from those sources too. Aside from the projector you get standard point and shoot ease of use, image stabilisation and a 3 inch LCD screen. You can also shoot High Definition movies.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC FX70 is a 14 megapixel digital camera. It has a 3 inch touch controlled LCD screen. For zooming in there is a wide angle 5x zoom lens. You can shoot High Definition movies and image stabilisation is available too.
The Powershot D20 is waterproof to depths of 10m, shockproof to drops of 1.5m, freezeproof to temperatures as low as – 10 degrees centigrade and dustproof. It has a 3 inch LCD screen and can record both High Definition and slow motion movies. It has GPS tracking and in macro mode can focus from 1cm away from your subject.
The Coolpix L610 is an easy to use digital camera offering a fair amount of zoom power. It can also produce Full High Definition Movies with stereo sound. Another feature worth mentioning is the panoramic mode Nikon have built in. This gives you the ability to create 180 degree and 360 degree panoramas. Power is supplied by AA batteries.
The Canon Powershot SX510 HS is packed with plenty of features. As well as having a wide range of manual controls the big attraction of this model is its 30x zoom lens. This type of lens gives you a great deal of flexibility. As well as being able to zoom in on distant subjects it is also equally at home when you are taking panoramic landscape shots or photographing groups of people.
Its feature set makes the Powershot SX510 HS a good choice if you see photography as a hobby. In many ways it is similar to a Digital SLR, but with the convenience of not having to worry about changing lenses for different types of shots.
If from time to time you find 30x zoom is not enough, Canon have equipped the Powershot SX510 HS with a feature called Zoom Plus. This increases the amount of zoom available to 60x, giving you one of the most powerful cameras around.
When you are looking for creative control, manual features include shutter priority, aperture priority and fully manual exposure. There are also extra white balance options for colour control, compared to more basic digital cameras.
Other features include a 3 inch LCD screen, the ability to GPS tag photos, Full High Definition Movies (1080p) and Wi-fi connectivity to make sharing your photos easy.
The Finepix S2980 has a set of manual exposure controls including shutter priority and aperture priority. It is capable of shooting High Definition Movies. For close up shots there is a super macro mode that can focus from 2cm away from your subject. It has a 3 inch LCD screen, plus the option of using and electronic viewfinder for framing your photos. Power comes from a set of AA batteries.
The Finepix Z1000EXR is a slimline digital camera that offers you Touchscreen control. It also has a Wireless Image Transfer function that is compatible with some smartphones and tablets for wireless upload to the Internet. Other features include High Definition movies, a 3.5 inch LCD screen and functions to enhance the way your portrait photos look.
The Lumix DMC G3 has a 3 inch LCD screen that pulls out away from the body and also twists around. The screen is touch sensitive allowing some settings to be changed via touching the screen. It has manual exposure controls, a viewfinder and images can be stored in RAW mode. There is a High Definition movie mode. Stereo sound can be recorded to accompany your movie clips.
The Lumix DMC TZ25 has a wide range of features. These include manual exposure controls (Fully Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority), a burst mode capable of firing off still photos at a rate of 10 frames per second and image stabilisation. It can record High Definition movies and produce 3D photos too. There is a 3 inch LCD screen and in macro mode the minimum focusing distance is 3cm.
The Cybershot DSC WX100 packs a lot into its small body. As well as the powerful lens it can take 3D still shots and capture Full High Definition Movies. For capturing action there is a high speed burst mode that can take up to 10 frames per second. Image Stabilisation is available for still shots and movies. If you are new to photography there is an Easy Shooting Mode to help get you started.
The Lumix DMC FX80 has a 3 inch touch controlled LCD screen. Other features include being able to produce 3D photos and panoramas. Panasonic have built in image stabilisation, plus the ability to shoot Full 1080 pixel High Definition movies. In macro mode the Lumix DMC FX80 can focus from 5cm away from your subject.
The Coolpix L810 scores highly for ease of use. Features include a 3D photography mode, plus the ability to shoot High Definition movies. There is also image stabilisation and a 3 inch LCD screen. Power is supplied by AA batteries. The 26x zoom lens also has wide angle capabilities. The Coolpix L810 is available in black, red and blue.
The Canon Powershot SX520 HS offers you a tremendous amount of versatility when it comes to picture taking. The 42x zoom lens can capture just about any photo opportunity from panoramic views to far away, distant subjects. If that level of zoom is still not enough, Canon have equipped the Powershot SX520 HS with a feature called Zoom Plus. This doubles the zoom capabilities to 84x magnification.
The power of the lens may be the main attraction of the Powershot SX520 HS, but Canon have added in plenty of advanced features. These will appeal to you if you are either an advanced photographer or you are looking to learn and master the art of photography. The list of features available is similar to those you would expect to find on a Digital SLR. The main difference with this camera is that you have the convenience of a lens that does not need to be changed over for different types of photo opportunity.
The features include a set of manual exposure controls. These include fully manual operation, aperture priority and shutter priority. There is a powerful flash unit and you can fine tune colours with a range of white balance settings. In macro mode you have the ability to focus on subjects that are right in front of the lens. If you like the idea of shooting short movie clips with a digital camera, the Powershot SX520 HS can capture Full High Definition Movies (1080p).
The Lumix DMC GF2 is remarkably small for a camera that offers you the ability to interchange lenses. The camera body itself is almost pocket sized. There are plenty of advanced features on offer for the more discerning photographer. These include manual exposure, Full High Definition movies, 3.2 frames per second and a 3 inch touch controlled LCD screen.
The Lumix DMC FS35 offers some extra zoom compared to a lot of compact digital cameras. The amount of zoom available can be increased to a maximum of 18x when shooting at lower resolutions. The camera is able to capture High Definition movies and has software built in that makes it easier for you to upload photos and video clips to web sites such as Facebook and YouTube.
The Lumix DMC FT4 is waterproof to depths of 12m, shockproof to drops of up to 2m, dustproof and freezeproof to temperatures down to – 10 degrees centigrade. It can capture both full High Definition movies and time lapse movies. Other features include a 2.7 inch LCD screen and image stabilisation. It has GPS tracking and a built in compass.