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 Lumix DMC SZ5 is one of the first digital cameras to offer compatibility with smartphones. This camera can be controlled using a smartphone to set focus, zoom in and take a picture. It also has Wi-Fi connectivity. This allows the camera to be wirelessly connected to smartphones, computers and televisions. More standard features include a 3 inch LCD screen, High Definition Movies, a 5cm macro mode and Image Stabilisation.
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 Coolpix S6300 is a relatively small camera considering the amount of zoom on offer. Key features include a 2.7 inch LCD screen, High Definition movies with stereo sound and 3D photography. You can also create 180 degree and 360 degree panoramic images. Nikon have also built image stabilisation into the Coolpix S6300.
The Finepix F600EXR offers a great combination of plenty of features in a compact body size. It has a 15x wide angle, zoom lens, manual exposure controls, image stabilisation and a 3 inch LCD screen. It can shoot image stabilisation and has a high speed shooting mode that can capture up to 8 frames per second. GPS tracking is available and you can store your images in RAW format. There is also a motion panorama mode for capturing 360 degree panoramas.
The Powershot SX240 HS has a host of features in its compact body. The 20x zoom lens gives you plenty of scope to cover the majority of typical photo opportunities. There are manual exposure controls, plus a 3 inch LCD screen and a macro mode that is able to focus from 5cm away from your subject. The Powershot SX240 HS can shoot High Definition movies with stereo sound.
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.
The Powershot SX500 IS gives you a lot of zoom in a compact sized body. In macro mode the camera can focus from more or less next to your subject. Other features include a 3 inch LCD screen, manual exposure modes and High Definition Movies. Stereo sound can be recorded with a movie. You can also opt to shoot movies in the popular iFrame format.
The SZ-31MR has a wide angle lens, a 3 inch LCD screen and a macro mode that can focus from 3cm away from your subject for close up photography. Other features include being able to shoot High Definition movies, image stabilisation and a special mode for creating panoramic shots. You can attach the camera to a USB port when the battery needs charging.
The Coolpix AW100 is waterproof to depths of 10m, shockproof to drops of 1.5m and freezeproof to temperatures as low as 14 degrees centigrade. Features include GPS tracking, an electronic compass and a world wide map. Aside from the robust and tracking features the Coolpix AW100 operates as a simple point and shoot digital camera. It has a macro mode that can focus from 1cm away from the subject. It is also capable of shooting Full High Definition movies.
The Coolpix L120 may be shaped like a Digital SLR, but it offers the simplicity of a point and shoot digital camera. As well as the zoom power on offer it has a 3 inch high resolution screen, can focus from 1cm away from the subject in macro mode and shoots High Definition movies.
The Powershot SX260 HS packs a wide range of features into a relatively small body size. These include GPS tracking, a 20x wide angle lens, a 3 inch LCD screen and manual exposure controls (Fully Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority). It can shoot High Definition movies with stereo sound as well as slow motion movies. It has image stabilisation for both still photos 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 Lumix DMC 3D1 produces 3D images. It can also shoot 3D video clips as well as being able to shoot 2D High Definition movies. The camera uses two lenses to create the 3D images. When you are not shooting in 3D mode they can be used for dual shooting of 2D wide and zoom photos. Other features include a 3.5 inch LCD screen. The screen gives you touch control. The Lumix DMC 3D1 also has the capability to shoot 2D images at 8 frames per second.
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.
The Coolpix S9300 packs a great range of features into its relatively small body. Features include Full High Definition movies with stereo sound, a high resolution, 3 inch LCD screen and GPS tracking. It also has the ability to create 180 and 360 degree panoramas. You can fire off shots at a rate of up to 7 frames per second and image stabilisation has been built in too.
If you are looking for lens power the Lumix DMC FZ48 has a 24x zoom lens. The lens also has wide angle capabilities and image stabilisation. If you need even more zoom you can opt to decrease the number of megapixels you are shooting at in return for extra zoom up to 46.9x. Other features include a set of manual exposure controls and manual focusing. In addition to the 3 inch LCD screen there is also a viewfinder available for composing images. There is a special mode for shooting 3D still images. You can also record Full High Definition movies with stereo sound.
The Lumix DMC SZ1 offers you plenty of scope for capturing a wide range of photo opportunities. It is a very compact size and is also easy to use. Features include High Definition movies, image stabilisation and a 3 inch LCD screen. For close up shots it is able to focus from 5cm away from your subject.
The IXUS 125 HS has a 3 inch LCD screen and can record High Definition movies. Image stabilisation is available for still photos and movie recording. There is also a mode for recording movie clips that can be replayed in slow motion. For close up work the IXUS 125 HS is able to focus from 3cm away from your subject when the camera is placed in macro mode.
The Optio WG-1 GPS offers GEO tagging so that you know exactly where you were when a picture was taken. It is waterproof to depths of 10m, protected against falls of up to 1.5m, crushproof to weights of 100kg and freezeproof to temperatures down to -10 degrees centigrade. It has a 2.7 inch LCD screen and can shoot High Definition movies. It also has five lights around the lens. These are activated fro close up shots to ensure your subject is lit correctly.
You can use the Optio WG-1 in water to depths of 10m. You will also be able to continue to take pictures in temperatures down to -10 degrees centigrade. This camera is also shockproof to 1.5m and crushproof to 100kg. In addition there is a 2.7 inch LCD screen for composing your photos and a High Definition movie mode. To help light subjects in macro mode Pentax have added five small lights around the lens.
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.