If you have up to £300 to spend on a digital camera then you have a wide range of cameras to choose from. Once you step above the £200 mark you start to get access to top class picture quality as well as a wide range of features.
At this level digital cameras are aimed at people who see photography as a hobby. There are cameras with extreme length lenses as well advanced manual controls. Features such as GPS tagging - so that you know where you were in the world when you took a picture - are available on a small number of models.
You also have access to the best touch screen controlled models. All cameras are likely to offer High Definition movie recording and some will additionally offer the ability to record sound in stereo.
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 E-P2 has a 3 inch LCD screen, manual exposure modes, a 3 frames per second burst mode and can shoot High Definition movies. It can also capture photos in RAW, has an 11 point Auto Focus system and has a maximum ISO setting of 6400.
The Olympus TG-820 is one of the most robust digital cameras you will find. It can withstand depths of 10m, is shockproof to falls of 2m and can work in temperatures as low as -10 degrees centigrade. In addition it is also crushproof to weights of 100kg. There is a 3 inch LCD screen, image stabilisation and a Full 1080p High Definition movie mode. Olympus have also included the ability to produce 3D still photos and battery charging via a USB port.
The Cybershot DSC HX20V packs in plenty of features. These include GPS, High Definition Movies, Image Stabilisation for stills and movies and a 3 inch LCD screen. Other features worth a mention are a burst mode that can capture up to 10 frames per second and a mode for throwing the background out of focus to accentuate your main subject. The LCD screen is 3 inches in size and the camera is capable of focusing from 1cm away from your subject in macro mode.
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 S100 is a touch control LCD screen. The LCD screen is an impressive 3.5 inches in size. Other features include the ability to shoot High Definition movies and to produce 3D still images. Image stabilisation is available to reduce picture blur. The Coolpix S100 is available in red, gold, black and purple. This camera is ultra slim and has a sliding lens cover.
The D3100 is an ideal starter Digital SLR. It is relatively small and lightweight and has a guide mode to help you get the most out of the D3100. Features include 12 megapixels and a 3 inch LCD screen. There is a range of manual exposure controls and you can record High Definition movies. It is available in kit form with a wide angle lens.
The E-PL1 has a 2.7 inch LCD screen, an 11 point auto focus mode and can fire off shots at a rate of 3 frames per second in burst mode. You can capture images in RAW and shoot High Definition movies. Olympus have made four different coloured versions available. These are gold, silver, black and red.
The Finepix X-S1 is an advanced super zoom digital camera. The 26x zoom lens also has wide angle capabilities. Key features include High Definition movies with stereo sound, image stabilisation, a tilting 3 inch LCD screen and an electronic viewfinder. For close up work the Finepix X-S1 is able to focus from 1cm away from your subject.
The IXUS 510 HS has a large sized 3.2 inch LCD screen. The screen is touch controlled. Other features include Wi-Fi for transmitting pictures to other devices such as smartphones. The IXUS 510 HS can record stereo sound to go with your High Definition movies. Slow motion movies can be recorded too. Image stabilisation is available for both still photos and movies.
The Coolpix P310 is a high quality compact camera. The key feature is the f/1.8 aperture. This makes the Coolpix P310 a good choice for lowlight photography. Other features include Full High Definition movies, image stabilisation and a 3 inch LCD screen with a much higher resolution than you find on a typical digital camera. In macro mode the camera is capable of focusing from 2cm away from your subject. There are also a set of manual exposure controls.
The Cybershot DSC HX10V has Full High Definition Movies, GPS, a 3 inch LCD screen and a good quality G series lens. Other features include Image Stabilisation for still shots and movies, a macro mode that can focus from 5cm away from your subject and a 3D photo mode. There is a high speed burst mode that can capture shots at up to 10 frames per second, plus a feature that can defocus backgrounds to make your subject stand out more. There is an inbuilt guide and an Easy Shooting mode.
The Lumix DMC FT3 is a robust digital camera. It is waterproof to depths of 12m, freezeproof down to temperatures of -10 degrees centigrade, shockproof to drops of 2m and dustproof too. Features also include a compass, GPS positioning, a barometer and an altimeter. It can also shoot High Definition movies.
The Lumix DMC FS45 has a couple of features that mark it out as a step up on more basic digital cameras. These include a 3 inch LCD screen, image stabilisation and the ability to shoot High Definition movies. There is also a shooting mode for producing square photos for when you would like your shots to look a little different.
The Lumix DMC G5 is one of the most advanced Compact System Cameras. It has a range of manual controls including Fully Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority. You can store images in RAW mode. You can select the auto focus point by touch through the 3 inch LCD screen. An electronic viewfinder is available too. You can shoot High Definition Movies with stereo sound.
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 Cybershot DSC TX20 has a wide range of features packed in. These include a 3 inch touch controlled LCD screen and the ability to shoot Full High Definition Movies. It is also waterproof to 5m and shockproof against small drops. For close up shots it is able to focus from 1cm away from your subject. It also has a skin softening mode for more flattering portraits.
The Lumix DMC GX1 offers manual exposure controls (Fully Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority), Full High Definition movies and the ability to store images in RAW format. There is a 3 inch LCD screen. The screen allows you to change some settings by touch. There is also the option to purchase a viewfinder. This is attached to the Lumix DMC GX1 via a hot shoe.
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 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 Lumix DMC GF3 is a compact size even for a compact system camera. It has a set of manual exposure controls (Fully Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority) as well as the ability to store images in RAW format. Some settings can be accessed through a touch sensitive LCD screen. The Lumix DMC GF3 is also capable of recording High Definition movies.
The D3200 is an entry level Digital SLR. As well as the high number of megapixels for a camera at this level it has an 11 point auto focus system and can fire off bursts of shots at up to 4 frames per second. One of the big attractions for someone stepping up to a Digital SLR for the first time is the comprehensive Guide Mode. The D3200 can also capture Full High Definition Movies.
The Lumix DMC LX7 is a small, but very powerful digital camera. A wide range of options have been packed into the compact body. These include manual exposure controls (Fully Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority), a f/1.4 maximum aperture, a 1cm macro mode and a burst mode that can capture a small number of shots at up to 11 frames per second. Full High Definition Movies can be recorded with stereo sound. High speed videos can also be made for slow motion replay.
The Cybershot DSC RX100 is small, but powerful. It has many of the features you would expect to find on a Digital SLR. The large f/1.8 aperture is one of the main attractions. This size of aperture is ideal for lowlight photography. This camera has a set of manual exposure controls, a 3 inch LCD screen and Image Stabilisation. In burst mode it can shoot at up to 10 frames per second.
The Coolpix P5100 offers a stunning amount of zoom. There are plenty of other features available too. These include manual exposure controls, manual focusing, a 5 frames per second burst mode, GPS, 360 degree panoramas and 3D photography. You also have access to a macro mode that can focus from 1cm away from your subject and a 3 inch LCD screen that you can tilt away from the camera body. A viewfinder is available too.
The Cybershot DSC HX200V is one of the most impressive digital cameras when it comes to the range of features on offer. As well as its 30x zoom lens it has a set of manual exposure controls. It can shoot High Definition Movies and you also have the option to take still photos when you are shooting a movie. For composing your shots you have a choice of a 3 inch, tilting LCD screen or an electronic viewfinder. In addition you can create 3D still images, defocus backgrounds and fire off bursts of photos at a rate of 10 frames per second. It also has GPS.