Smile! You’re on compact camera!

To take a great photo, you need to have an expensive, bulky camera, a Pandora’s box of accessories, huge telescopic lenses and several gigabytes of memory space, right? Wrong!

Gone are the days when the best that you could hope for from a slim line camera was a blurry mess of colour that you wouldn’t even consider posting to your “drunken” album on Facebook. Today, manufacturers know that people want so much more from their “point and shoot” camera.

The appeals of compact digital cameras are obvious. They are great for holidays, nights out and any occasion where space in your pocket or handbag might be at a premium. They require no setting up, almost all of the key features are automatic and you can literally just point and shoot.

Your average compact camera is now packed with the sort of technology that, not that long ago, was the exclusive preserve of the professionals and what’s more, they really do look the part, coming in chic casings and fantastic colours.

We have picked out a handful of fantastic point and shoot cameras which we think fit the bill perfectly for almost any occasion. Whether you want something to capture a great night out with friends, a holiday on the beach or the sights of a city break, any of these cameras would be ideal.

Casio Exclim Z800

We will start off with one of our personal favourites, the Casio Exclim Z800. Casio, the people who brought you the digital wristwatch, are shamefully under-rated in the world of digital cameras in our view and the Exclim range really is one that can compete with the best that the likes of Sony, Panasonic and Samsung can come up with.

This particular model promises crisp and clear images, with 14.1 megapixels, crammed into a choice of funky coloured casings. Throw in a 4x optical zoom, a 27.5mm wide angle lens, the ability to shoot 720p high definition video, and a price tag of just £119, and you’ve got the recipe for a great compact camera.

Samsung PL150
Samsung PL150

Next up, we’ve got the Samsung PL150 which comes with a feature that’s so clever and innovative, it falls into the “why doesn’t everybody do that?” category. Like most digital cameras, it comes with a screen on the back but unlike most cameras, it also has a screen on the front. That means that this camera is absolutely perfect for those “at arm’s length” self portrait photos.

It packs in 12 megapixels and also has clever features like face detection, self portrait and object tracking, making life easier for beginners to get the perfect shot – first time. Smart face recognition can even spot the most photographed faces in your photos and focus on them, as well as letting you search for specific people in your photos. Think of it like “tagging” your friends in your photos.

Praktica DigiPix 524
Praktica DigiPix 524

If, however, you’re looking something that does the basics right with no fuss and doesn’t break the bank, then the Praktica DigiPix 524 could be for you. Priced at just £39, there’s nothing on here to overwhelm you, no fiddly features and no complicated settings. Just point and shoot.

The results are surprisingly good for a sub-£40 camera. The 5.4 megapixel lens doesn’t produce photos that are comparable to the Casio or Samsung, but the photos are still respectable, particularly if you usually just post your pictures online.

Of course, we’ve only just scratched the surface with these three models. Needless to say, a quick browse of Very’s range of digital cameras will reveal much, much more for you to cast your eyes over!

30th September 2010
Written by Very_Lauren