Written by Sanne

Compact cameras: what should I keep in mind?

Compact cameras are versatile, compact all-rounders that are usually suitable for various situations. Apart from the all-rounders, there are also cameras that shine especially in one particular aspect of photography. One might have a large zoom range, while another is waterproof and shockproof, allowing you to use them in athletic situations. This page explains the most important choices, so you'll be able to easily find a compact camera that suits you.

When do you opt for a compact camera?

Choosing a compact camera

The range of compact cameras is very large. But what they all have in common is the compact size. The big question is only: when do you opt for a compact camera? To find out, it is good to first know what a compact camera is and what you have on it.

What situation will you be using the camera in?

Compact cameras are available for different users. What kind of camera you ultimately choose depends on what you use it for. Do you want a camera for home? Then you do not want any hassle with manual setting options, but a smart automatic mode that immediately makes the best picture. A camera with a large zoom range is ideal during holidays and traveling. These often have a compact size, so you can easily take them on a journey.

There are also cameras that can withstand water, dust and shock for sportive users. Does the device have a tiltable screen and self-service mode? Then it is an extremely suitable camera for vloggers. Do you want to change the settings manually and have control over how your photos will look? Then a compact camera for the advanced photographer is something for you.

How important are megapixels?

Megapixels. You often hear that word when it's about cameras, but how important are they really? More megapixels doesn't automatically mean better photos. It does mean you can print photos at larger sizes. You should, then, first consider carefully what you will do with your photos. Almost all compact cameras that are made nowadays have a minimum of 10 megapixels (10 million pixels), which allows you to print photos at A4 size or bigger.

Which settings on the camera can you change manually?

The number of buttons that can be set depends on the execution of your camera. Settings such as aperture and shutter speed can be changed with most compact cameras. With the more advanced compact cameras, you have as much freedom in terms of settings as with an SLR.

The aperture determines the size of the aperture. With the shutter speed you determine how long the lens aperture stays open and the ISO value is a tool for shooting with little or bad light.

What do you need optical zoom for?

A camera's optical zoom draws the image closer before you capture it, without any loss of quality. Digital zoom, by contrast, zooms in on part of the captured image, which can lead to loss of quality although this does depend on your camera's resolution. That means if you want to draw an image closer that is further away, you'll need a compact camera with optical zoom. When you're traveling, a compact camera with 10x to 30x optical zoom is practically sufficient. Not sufficient for you? Check out the compact cameras with an optical zoom over 30x.

What accessories will I need?

There are a number of accessories that are indispensable during shooting, including a memory card, battery, bag and tripod.

The limited internal memory of cameras means you always need a memory card. The number of gigabytes is relevant here; the more gigabyte, the more photos you can make. An extra battery is not a luxury. Especially when you go out for a day and do not want to sit with empty battery. Many compact cameras fit into your pocket, but will be damaged more quickly than when you store them in a camera case. When purchasing a bag, consider extra space for small accessories. In addition, a tripod comes in handy when you have a camera with a large zoom range.

Want to record video as well?

Many compact cameras can record video in addition to photographing. All models have an automatic mode for this, in which the camera controls everything and focuses by itself. This is sufficient for most home videos and vacation videos. Zooming in and out during filming works the same way as during photography. The zooming motion may be visible on your video.

In order to keep the camera still during filming, using a tripod or stabilizer is recommended. One big advantage to recording video with a compact camera is that it's lightweight. This makes it a commonly used camera among vloggers, especially when it has a tiltable screen.

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