Pocket Sized Digital Cameras Explained

As the title suggests this type of digital camera is small enough to fit into a pocket. Even a small pocket like you find on a pair of jeans will do. I consider any digital camera under 25mm wide to be ultra compact or pocket sized. As digital cameras continue to shrink you will find many under 20mm and some a fair bit slimmer than that.

In terms of build quality this type of camera is well made and will have a lightweight metal body. This is definitely an improvement on the plastic bodies often found in other types of camera.

More About Pocket Sized Digital Cameras

Although the cameras tend to have a similar, rectangular shape there is a fair amount of choice in terms of design. You should be able to look at the different cameras available and find one that you like the look of.

Whilst the cameras are small, manufacturers are still able to find enough room to add a large LCD screen to the camera. The majority of recent introductions have 2.5" screens. There are also some models available offering 3" screens. There is a downside to this and that in the majority of cases there has not been room to fit in a viewfinder. This can be a drawback, especially in very bright weather.

Picture quality has improved a lot and now matches up to that found with most other types of digital camera.

Some of lenses you will find extrude from the body when the camera is switched on while other remain within the camera.

Pocket sized digital cameras tend to be easy to use. The majority have a straightforward set of features without any manual exposure controls. So in many ways these are high quality point and shoot cameras.

In terms of price they can range from £100 to £200. Occasionally you will find one or two cameras cheaper than this. The majority of models are priced around the £130 mark.

It pays to look around carefully before you buy as quality can vary from camera to camera. Some are not very good indoors. It should also be pointed out that owing to the small size of these cameras the lens and the flash unit tend to be close together. This means it is very difficult to avoid red eye in portrait shots when flash is used.

One final point is that the range of the flash unit tends to be limited with this type of camera. Therefore you need to be aware of this limitation when you are using the camera in lowlight situations.

Currently most cameras offer between 8 and 12 megapixels.


Build quality
Large LCD screen
Easy to use


No viewfinder
No manual controls
Slight decrease in picture quality
Red eye
Limited flash range

Suggested Pocket Sized Digital Cameras

This is a selection of my current top rated cameras in this category.

Sony DSC TX55 Rating: 85/100

Ultra Compact 16 Megapixels 5x Zoom

Sony DSC TX55 The Cybershot DSC TX55 is one of the slimmest digital cameras around at just over 13mm wide. It is touch controlled, with a large 3.3 inch LCD screen. It can produce 3D still images as well as 3D panoramas. The Cybershot DSC TX55 is able to shoot High Definition movies and is available in red, black, silver and violet.

Guide Price: £319.99 See latest prices: Sony DSC TX55 Prices

Related Pages: Sony DSC TX55 Review Sony DSC TX55 Spec

Nikon Coolpix S3300 Rating: 81/100

Ultra Compact 16 Megapixels 6x Zoom

Nikon Coolpix S3300 The Coolpix S3300 is a relatively straightforward, pocket sized digital camera. Features include a wide angle lens, the ability to shoot High Definition movies and a 2.7 inch LCD screen. Nikon have equipped this camera with image stabilisation. For your close up shots the Coolpix S3300 is able to focus from 5cm away from your subject.

Guide Price: £108.99 See latest prices: Nikon Coolpix S3300 Prices

Related Pages: Nikon Coolpix S3300 Review Nikon Coolpix S3300 Spec

Panasonic DMC FX90 Rating: 79/100

Ultra Compact 12 Megapixels 5x Zoom

Panasonic DMC FX90 The Lumix DMC FX90 has a couple of features that are not readily available on all digital cameras. These are the ability to send images to a computer using Wi-Fi and the ability to shoot 3D still images. In addition you change settings and controls using a 3 inch touch sensitive LCD screen. The 5x zoom lens has wide angle capabilities and includes a feature that gives you access to up to 9.8x zoom if you reduce the number of megapixels you are shooting at. For movies there is a High Definition movie mode.

Guide Price: £149.98 See latest prices: Panasonic DMC FX90 Prices

Related Pages: Panasonic DMC FX90 Review Panasonic DMC FX90 Spec

Digital Camera Types

Straightforward, simple cameras. These are also the cheapest you will find.

The most common type. Most are simple and straightforward.

On similar lines to the pocket camera, but a little larger.

Extra zoom over and above more basic cameras, but retaining a fairly compact size.

Extreme zoom lens. Normally with plenty of manual features.

Contain features normally associated with a Digital SLR, but in a smaller body.

As well as being waterproof many cameras are also drop proof and freezeproof.

Compact System Cameras are a cross between a typical compact camera and a Digital SLR. They offer you excellent picture quality, a wide array features and are a small size.

Entry level Digital SLRs for enthusiasts.

Top of the range for the most demanding professional photographers.

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