The best cheap compact cameras in the UK 2023

By far the largest segment of the digital camera market, compact or point-and-shoot cameras are very small in size, easy to use and generally take great pictures with minimal effort. In this category of digital cameras, you will find many inexpensive models. In this guide, we have collected the best of them.

Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II 1

Editor's Choice

Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II

The best cheap compact camera in 2021

The G9 X II features a 1-inch sensor that is about 4 times the size of a high-end smartphone image sensor. Obviously, there will be some compromises to make.

279 £ on Amazon

The biggest change the G9 X Mark II makes over the G9 X Mark is the use of a new, larger than average 1-inch CMOS sensor. Also, Canon has given this camera a touchscreen interface that will be familiar to smartphone owners who want to upgrade to something better. The main issues with the original G9 X were performance related. Continuous shooting was slow, especially when using RAW or continuous autofocus, menus were slow and the battery life was not good.

The G9 X Mark II has solved most of the performance issues, mainly because of its new DIGIC 7 processor. The burst rate is faster, the buffer is larger and the interface is faster. The G9 X Mark II's 20 MP sensor is found on all of Canon's 1-inch compact cameras. The sensor has a 3X optical zoom lens with image stabilization. It has a maximum aperture of f/2, which means it can let in a lot of light, allowing you to maintain high shutter speeds and thus helping you get sharp photos with less chance of blurring when the camera moves a bit.

Kodak Pixpro FZ53 2

Best under 100 euros

Kodak Pixpro FZ53

The best cheap compact camera under 100 euros

If you can't spend more than 100 euros, the Kodak Pixpro FZ53 is the best camera you can get. It's a compact camera that takes quality pictures, but nothing more.

71,99 £ on Amazon

The Kodak Pixpro FZ53 is incredibly thin for a camera. It's not much bigger than most phones and easy to slip into a purse or pocket when you're on the go. At the same time, it was a little too thin to fit comfortably in your hand. The back side has a 2.7-inch LCD screen surrounded by several function buttons and a directional pad for navigating menus. The controls are easy to reach and the navigation is intuitive.

The Kodak Pixpro FZ53 offers images with a maximum resolution of 640 x 480 thanks to the 16 MP CMOS sensor. It also has the ability to save files with different compression rates: normal, fine and best. This model has a 5x optical zoom anda very effective 6x digital zoom that allows you to get sharp images with just a little noise. It should be noted that the Kodak Pixpro FZ53 can capture video up to 720p at 30 fps, but the video quality is poor.

Panasonic Lumix DMCTZ70 3

Best under 300 euros

Panasonic Lumix DMCTZ70

The best cheap compact camera under 300 euros

The DMC-TZ70 builds on Panasonic's fantastic reputation as a digital camera. This model stands out for its ability to render excellent photos in low light and its 30x optical zoom.

201 £ on Amazon

The Lumix DMC-TZ70 is a compact camera with a "high sensitivity" 12 MP CMOS sensor that offers a unique improvement in noise compared to its predecessor, the TZ60. The special feature of this sensor is that it is capable of 30x optical zoom with "hybrid" image stabilization. The Lumix DMC-TZ70 has both a 3-inch LCD screen as well as a new and improved 1.2 million dot electronic viewfinder. The camera features full manual controls, RAW support, maximum focus and a control ring.

Videos can be recorded at resolutions up to 1080p at 60 fps. Sharing photos is easy, thanks to built-in Wi-Fi with NFC. Straight from the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ70, JPEG images are warm and bright, with no oversaturation like it was with the TZ60. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ70's focus system does a good job in most conditions, helping to produce an accurate image, as does the auto white balance system.

Canon Powershot SX730 4

Best under 500 euros

Canon Powershot SX730

The best cheap compact camera under 500 euros

The Canon PowerShot SX730 is a great pocket camera that is ideal for travel when the most important thing is zoom range, rather than anything else.

367 £ on Amazon

The Canon PowerShot SX730, builds on the specifications of its predecessor, the SX720. The SX730 features a 20.3 MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor and a 40x optical zoom lens that is equivalent to 24-960mm in terms of a 35mm lens. These specs are shared with its predecessor, along with other features including FullHD video recording and a Digic 6 processor. Where there is a difference is that the new Canon PowerShot SX730 has a tilting screen, which is useful for taking selfies. There is also the introduction of Bluetooth connectivity.

Images are nicely saturated and detailed, as long as you can keep shooting video or taking photos in bright sunlight. The great feature of this model is its 40x optical zoom, which is still the longest available on the market today. If your main concern is to have ultimate flexibility in focal length, then this camera is for you. Here, no electronic viewfinder, no touch screen, no RAW support, no ability to change the focal point and no 4K video recording.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best cheap compact camera

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The best cheap compact camera in 2021

The best cheap compact camera under 100 euros

The best cheap compact camera under 300 euros

The best cheap compact camera under 500 euros

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best cheap compact cameras

The best Less than 100 euros Less than 300 euros Less than 500 euros
Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II 5
Kodak Pixpro FZ53 6
Panasonic Lumix DMCTZ70 7
Canon Powershot SX730 8
Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II
Kodak Pixpro FZ53
Panasonic Lumix DMCTZ70
Canon Powershot SX730
The G9 X II features a 1-inch sensor that is about 4 times the size of a high-end smartphone image sensor. Obviously, there will be some compromises to make.
If you can't spend more than 100 euros, the Kodak Pixpro FZ53 is the best camera you can get. It's a compact camera that takes quality pictures, but nothing more.
The DMC-TZ70 builds on Panasonic's fantastic reputation as a digital camera. This model stands out for its ability to render excellent photos in low light and its 30x optical zoom.
The Canon PowerShot SX730 is a great pocket camera that is ideal for travel when the most important thing is zoom range, rather than anything else.
20.1 MP 1-inch CMOS
16 MP 1/2.3 inch CMOS
12 MP 1/2.3 inch CMOS
20.3 MP 1/2.3-inch CMOS
f/2-4.9, 28-84 mm
f/3.9, 28-140 mm
f/3.3-6.4, 24-720 mm
f/3.3-6.9, 24-960 mm
Optical zoom
Video recording
FullHD 60 fps
HD 30 fps
FullHD 60 fps
FullHD 60 fps
Dimensions (W x H x D)
9.8 x 5.79 x 3.13 cm
9.14 x 5.64 x 2.29 cm
11.1 x 6.5 x 3.4 cm
11 x 6.38 x 3.99 cm

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Buying guide - cheap compact camera

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How to choose your cheap compact camera

When choosing a cheap compact camera, it is not enough to look at the cheapest. It remains an investment and you must take into account a number of criteria. Here are these criteria!

#1 - Resolution

On a camera, the resolution of the resulting image is measured in megapixels. A megapixel is composed of one million pixels.

This resolution refers to the quality of the image your camera can produce, and it is important to pay attention to this number if you prefer clear, high-resolution photos and if you want to make prints. The higher the number of megapixels, the better the photo resolution you'll get.

#2 - Sensor size

Directly related to the number of megapixels, the sensor size is important when buying a compact camera, as it refers to the amount of light the camera can capture. The larger the sensor, the more light your camera can capture, which is important when shooting in the evening or in low light.

#3 - Zoom

Compact cameras, even the cheap ones, will have both an optical and a digital zoom.

Optical zoom means that you can enlarge an image without reducing the quality, while digital zoom is when your camera zooms in at the end of the optical zoom. The quality of the image will inevitably be reduced. For this reason, you'll want to prioritize your camera's optical zoom capabilities. For example, if your camera has a 5x optical zoom, that means that when using it, objects in the frame will appear five times larger.

#4 - CIPA battery life

The CIPA battery life estimate is buried in a camera's technical specifications. CIPA stands for "Camera & Imaging Products Association" and almost all camera manufacturers are members. So even though the batteries are not standardized, the formula for determining their life is.

The CIPA rating is generally based on how long the battery will last if the flash is used half the time and the LCD screen is often used to view pictures after shooting. Thus, your battery may last longer than the CIPA rating indicates.

#5 - User interface

Generally speaking, the smaller the camera, the more reliant it is on screen menus and the fewer buttons dedicated to camera settings and navigation functions.

If you shoot mostly everything automatically, that's okay, but for the more experienced photographer, having image quality settings at your fingertips is usually better than having to navigate a maze of submenus. Some inexpensive compact cameras have a touch screen.

What is a compact camera?


A compact camera, often called a Point & Shoot, is a small camera designed to be both easy to use and ultra portable. Unlike more advanced cameras, such as DSLRs, a compact camera does not have interchangeable lenses. However, they usually have a good zoom lens, which gives them an advantage over smartphones.

Generally, the idea with a compact camera is that the camera can easily fit in a pocket or purse so you never feel like you're carrying something big. This makes them perfect for travel and commuting of any kind.

They also make great cameras for those new to photography, and we often recommend them to families who want to buy a camera for their kids/teens who want to start taking pictures with something a little more serious than a smartphone.

Compact cameras are also generally designed to get good photos with minimal effort on the part of the user. You usually just turn it on, point it at the subject or object and press the shutter button. That's where the name "Point & Shoot" comes from.

Of course, photography isn't that simple! Regardless of the type of camera you use and the intelligence of the technology in it, the photographer's skill in composing the image is essential to getting good results.

There is a wide range of compact cameras on the market. This means that there is a big difference between the models both in image quality, features and handling.

For example, almost all compact cameras will offer zoom, flash and preset scenes. However, only the most advanced (and expensive) compact cameras offer manual modes and features such as Wi-Fi and the ability to shoot in raw RAW format.

Compact or bridge camera

Compact camera

Compact cameras or Point & Shoot cameras have, as their name indicates, very compact dimensions. They can easily fit in a trouser pocket or in a bag. In general, compact cameras are versatile and achieve the perfect compromise between functionality and price. However, there are compact cameras that rival professional cameras.

Because of the wide range of prices and build quality, we can't generalize with compact cameras by saying they are for beginners only or by suggesting that the quality of the lens or sensor is poor. But in the category of inexpensive compact cameras, we should not expect miracles.

Bridge camera

Bridge cameras fall somewhere between compact cameras and DSLRs. Although they look like a DSLR, they have the ease of aiming and capturing of a compact camera. In addition, the lens is also fixed and not interchangeable. Bridge cameras have advanced features, such as manual controls to change ISO, shutter speed and aperture if you want to improve your photography skills.

One of the things that sets bridges apart from traditional point-and-shoot cameras is the powerful zoom. You can shoot from the 24mm wide angle option or stretch your focal length to bring distant horizons or objects closer with a 2000mm optical zoom capability. It's the zoom that makes bridges less compact than compact cameras.


When deciding which camera to buy, start by determining the type of photography you will be doing most often. For wildlife or sports photography, the powerful zoom, image stabilization and features of a bridge camera are perfect. For everyday snapshots and portability, compact cameras are best.

5 reasons to buy a cheap compact camera ?

1. Perfect for beginner photographers

For beginners in photography, starting with a quality compact camera is the best way to learn the business and also to discover their personal style. Of course, there will come a time when a compact camera won't be enough and you'll need to upgrade to a larger, more capable model. Your compact camera will always serve as a backup.

2. Versatility

Compact cameras today occupy a niche between smartphones and larger, more expensive cameras. When the smartphone market exploded, camera manufacturers tried to compete by adding extra features to their compact camera models.

As a result, today's compact camera is generally a fully functional, high-resolution, full-featured photographic tool. Most compact cameras come with an optical zoom lens, a feature that may seem trivial, but is missing on smartphone cameras.

3. Macro photography capability

Because of their smaller sensors and built-in lens designs, almost all compact cameras allow the user immediate and inexpensive access to the world of macro photography. Typically, a DSLR requires the photographer to purchase a special, expensive macro lens. Of course, while a compact camera rarely reproduces an image with a true macro effect, most will allow you to get close.

4. Ease of use

Compact cameras are what we call point-and-shoot cameras. That is, as soon as you take it out of your pocket or bag, you're ready to take a shot. You don't have to do a lot of fiddling to be able to take good quality pictures with compact cameras. The camera takes care of everything for you. Even if you are more of a manual control enthusiast, they offer that as well.

5. Excellent image quality at a low price

Previously, there were mainly two types of cameras: the expensive DSLR and of course the cheap compact cameras. At the time, DSLRs were only for professionals, as they were better in all aspects of photography.

Today, with the rise of microtechnology and advances in digital processing, compact cameras can now take high quality images, sometimes even better than DSLRs.

The best brands of cheap compact cameras

In our opinion, the best brands of cheap compact cameras in 2022 are :


Canon is of course very experienced in making cameras, and its PowerShot line of compact travel cameras has always proven popular. Canon is well known for providing some of the best compact cameras with advanced features at very affordable prices.

Sony offers a variety of innovative cameras in the mirrorless and SLR categories, some with full-frame sensors and a wide variety of lenses, as well as a wide selection of advanced compact cameras. The company supplements these high-end cameras with relatively inexpensive point-and-shoot and superzoom models.

Nikon is a company that has made a name for itself around the world with its imaging products. Nikon is known for making inexpensive compact cameras that offer excellent image quality with many features without weighing down your pockets.

Fujifilm is a world-renowned company that offers digital cameras to satisfy the needs of all photographers, amateur and professional. Fuji Point&Shoot cameras have many features, including fixed lenses for optimal quality, larger sensors and only the most advanced technology, making them a perfect choice for professionals and enthusiasts.

Samsung is known for its excellent quality TVs and home appliances. But its catalog also includes compact digital cameras with amazing features while maintaining an affordable price. These are usually ultra-compact digital cameras that give high-resolution shots, suitable for any type of photographer.

Olympus offers a wide range of digital cameras with many features that are suitable for both beginners and professionals. The wide range of Olympus compact cameras offer excellent build quality in a stylish design while providing excellent image quality.

What is the price for a cheap compact camera

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

80 £ to 150 £
150 £ to 300 £
more than 300 £
Price range diagram


Protect your cheap compact camera

The most important accessory for your compact camera is a case. It will protect it from bumps and accidents when you are not using it, and keep it protected when you put it in your travel bag or backpack. There are a variety of cases on the market. Often the manufacturer of the compact camera will offer an official case, but they are often quite expensive.

Use both hands whenever possible

Compact cameras generally have smaller sensors than DSLRs. This means that their light-capturing capabilities are not as advanced as full-frame sensors. Your compact camera will generally need more light (i.e., a slower shutter, higher ISO, and larger aperture) to get a good exposure.

In these conditions, you don't want to move around too much when you press the shutter button or you'll get blurry and/or noisy shots. So always try to hold your camera with both hands, whenever possible.

When in doubt, use automatic mode

The compactness of a compact camera is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they are easy to carry and take anywhere. However, its portability means that the controls and functions of compact cameras are often hidden in menus and accessible only with tiny buttons. To avoid any handling problems during those times when you just need to take a picture, use the automatic mode.

Avoid taking pictures in the middle of the day

The different angles of the sun also create different types of shadows, which can dramatically change a photo. In the middle of the day (between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.) in summer, for example, the sun is usually directly overhead. This will result in flat images, as there are no shadows to create depth and perspective. When the sun is closer to sunrise and sunset, the angles of the shadows create more pleasing images, with a clearer sense of depth and perspective.

Practice taking pictures with your cheap compact camera

Like any skill, photography is something you will improve as you practice it. It is important to remember to carry your camera with you wherever you go. You never know when a photography opportunity may arise, and simply using your camera will help you become familiar with its various settings.

Read the user guide

Whatever your knowledge of photography, it is recommended that you always read the user guide before using your compact camera. This will help you understand every function of your camera so you can optimize and get the most out of your shots. The user guide will also help you understand the settings of your camera.


Can cheap compact cameras capture video?

Yes, they can, and they are pretty good at it. In fact, one of the main reasons for their popularity was that they replaced bulky camcorders. In fact, some models can even shoot in 4K, but for a cheap model, you'll have to settle forFull HD resolution. So, depending on the price range, you'll have different video resolutions. But almost all of the cheap compact cameras released in the last five years allow you to record video.

Do the characteristics of the display screen matter?

The LCD screen on the back of your compact camera displays a preview of the photo you're about to take. It also displays previous photos and lets you scroll through the camera's functions. In digital photography, a larger display screen is easier to use. Some LCDs offer touchscreen control.

What is the difference between optical and digital zoom?

Optical zoom (true zoom) offers a closer image, while maintaining image quality. On the other hand, digital zoom reduces image quality. This is because digital zoom digitally enhances an image by cropping and then enlarging a section of the image, while optical zoom uses the lens. Cheap compact cameras have optical zoom starting at 3x, but advanced models can go up to 60x.

How to clean your compact camera?

One of the great advantages of a compact camera is its ease of maintenance. Dust and small particles can certainly find their way inside your camera, so keeping it clean can help prevent that from happening. The only accessory you'll need to clean your compact camera is a microfiber cloth. It's super soft and specially designed for delicate surfaces like your camera lens, control screen or viewfinder.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II 9
Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II
Kodak Pixpro FZ53 10
Kodak Pixpro FZ53
Panasonic Lumix DMCTZ70 11
Panasonic Lumix DMCTZ70
Canon Powershot SX730 12
Canon Powershot SX730


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