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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
The XZ-1 has plenty of advanced features. These include manual exposure controls, image stabilisation and High Definition movies. There are a number of optional extras available too. For example you can add an external flash unit, viewfinder and stereo microphone.
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 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 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 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 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 Lumix DMC TZ30 has an impressive range of features. These include GPS positioning, High Definition movies with stereo sound, manual exposure controls, a 3 inch LCD screen and image stabilisation. In macro mode the camera can focus from 3cm away from the subject and there is also a high speed shooting mode that can capture up to 10 frames per second.
With an Android operating system and having Wi-Fi connectivity to other smart devices the Coolpix S800c is a little different to your typical digital camera. It also has a range of more traditional digital camera features such as a 3.5 inch touch controlled screen and Full High Definition Movies with stereo sound. GPS positioning and tagging are available too.
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 Finepix X10 stands out from the crowd. Fuji have equipped this camera with a wide range of advanced features and given it what it describes as a luxury design. It has a full set of manual exposure controls, manual focusing, a f/2 lens, bracketing, High Definition movies and the ability to shoot at 7 frames per second. In terms of design the controls are made of metal and the camera has a leather like finish with a magnesium top plate and camera base.
The Finepix F770EXR has an impressive range of features. They are all packed into a relatively small body size. Features include a wide angle lens, High Definition movies with stereo sound, image stabilisation and GPS. For more control over picture taking there are manual exposure settings. There is also a RAW mode. If you are looking for something different you can try the 360 degree motion panorama.
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.