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.
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.
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 IXUS 1100 HS has a wide angle lens. The lens also has plenty of scope for zooming in on more distant subjects. This means you have a great amount of flexibility from a camera that is small enough to slip into a larger pocket. There is an advanced movie mode with the IXUS 1100 HS able to shoot full format HD (1080) movies. Another movie option allows you to shoot slow motion movies. There is also a movie mode for shooting in Apple iFrame format.
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.
Canon have excelled themselves with the Powershot S100 when it comes to packing features into an extremely compact body. The specification makes very impressive reading, especially when you consider this camera will fit into a good sized pocket.
Features include a large maximum aperture (f2), Full High Definition movies, manual exposure controls, a wide angle lens, GPS picture tagging, a top shooting speed of 9.6 frames per second, RAW capture, image stabilisation for stills and movie footage, a range of different aspect ratios and a high dynamic range mode. It has a 3 inch LCD screen and the flash unit pops up on top of the camera away from the lens. This can help to reduce red eye.
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 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 Finepix HS30EXR is a fully featured digital camera with many of the features you would expect to find on a Digital SLR. Features include a 30x zoom lens. The lens also has wide angle capabilities. There are a set of manual exposure modes and you also have access to manual focusing. There are High Definition movies with stereo sound and manual focusing. You can add extra power by adding an external flash unit via the hot shoe.
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.
The Lumix DMC FZ62 has plenty of features to get your teeth into. As well as the 24x zoom lens there are a set of manual exposure controls (Fully Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority), Image Stabilisation and a 1cm macro mode. You can shoot High Definition Movies with stereo sound. The LCD screen is 3 inches in size and you also have the option of using an electronic viewfinder.
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 P7100 offers a range of advanced features if you are looking for a smaller digital camera as an alternative to a Digital SLR. Features include manual control settings – fully manual, aperture, priority and shutter priority, plus the ability to store images in RAW format. For composition you can use an optical viewfinder or a high resolution, 3 inch LCD screen. You also have access to a macro mode that can focus from 2cm away from the subject and a High Definition movie mode.
The Powershot SX40 HS is a serious piece of kit. It offers extreme zoom power as well as the ability to photograph wide scenes such as landscapes and groups of people. It has an impressive set of manual controls too. The movie mode is one of the most advanced you are likely to find. Other features include a 2.7 inch LCD screen that pulls away from the body and can be twisted round at an angle to provide you with a comfortable shooting position.
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.
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 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 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 Lumix DMC GF5 can store images in RAW format. It gives you a choice of four different aspect ratios 4:3, 16:9, 3:2, 1:1. It has a set of manual exposure controls and can shoot Full High Definition Movies with stereo sound. The LCD screen is 3 inches in size and is made up of 920,000 dots. This camera is small and lightweight compared with other Compact System Cameras.
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.
The Powershot D10 is the first Canon digital camera to be waterproof (to 10m), freezeproof (to -10 degrees) and shockproof (to 1.22m). It is also dust proof. Aside from those features this is a relatively straightforward, point and shoot digital camera.
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 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 TG-1 is waterproof to depths 12m, shockproof to drops of 2m, crushproof to 100kg and can work in temperatures down to minus 10 degrees centigrade. Some settings can be changed by tapping the camera. Image Stabilisation has been built in by Olympus for both still photography and for shooting Full High Definition Movies. The LCD screen is 3 inches in size and you can focus from 1cm away from your subject in super macro mode. The TG-1 is compatible with Eye-Fi memory cards for Wi-Fi transfer and the battery can be recharged by connecting the camera to a USB port.
The Coolpix P7700 has a range of advanced features. These include a burst mode that works at the rate of 8 frames per second, manual exposure controls (Fully Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority) and RAW capture. The Full High Definition Movie mode can record in surround sound. In addition there is a 3 inch LCD screen that pulls out away from the body so that you can find a more comfortable shooting position.
The EOS 600D offers full High Definition movies. It has 9 point Auto Focus, an ISO range of 100 – 6400 (expandable to 128,000) and can reel off still images at a top speed of 3.7 frames per second. To help you compose photos from awkward shooting positions there is a 3 inch, vari angle LCD screen. If you are new to this level of camera then you are likely to find the on screen camera guide is very useful.