Even with cell phone cameras and other convenient photo-taking devices, a good pocket-sized camera can still be a great tool to have. With a pocket camera, you can play with the settings and white balance controls so that you can get a level of control that is just not possible with a cell phone camera. Also, pocket cameras generally have good flashes and viewing screens and even anti-blur features. Many can also take video. If you are serious about taking pictures and want the maximum amount of control possible in the smallest package available, these compact cameras are the best tools that you can have in your pocket.
This 12 megapixel camera (12.1 megapixels, to be exact) is a solid choice for people who want a camera that is small, but not as cheaply made as many cameras in this category. The F3 has 4x optical zoom and an image stabilization feature that can come in handy for shooting while moving or if you are one of those people who has trouble holding still while taking pics. Typical point-and-shoot-camera features like face recognition and multiple focus points are found in the F3’s arsenal, as are quick zoom and a focus and white balance feature that automatically adjusts the lens for the best looking shots in difficult light conditions.
People who like sleek-looking cameras often opt for a Sony. While the WX5 certainly fits the good-looking-Sony stereotype, it is also a solid compact camera with some very interesting features. If you want to shoot action shots, this camera, which can capture up to 10 frames per second, is one of your best choices. It also has noise-control software that can help eliminate blurred pictures that plague many inexperienced shooters. The touchscreen controls make it easy to control, while the 5x zoom and ability to shoot HD video mean that virtually anyone will find this camera useful for their day-to-day photo and video needs.
This is another Sony that offers some really great pics in a really sleek and small package. This camera is not quite as tiny as the WX5, but it offers a great list of features, including an 18 megapixel sensor, 20x zoom and the ability to shoot full HD. Some extras that are not found in smaller cameras include the ability to shoot a sweep panorama (this means to basically take a video while panning the camera then have the camera turn it into one seamless still image). The best part about the latest Cybershot offering is that it has professional-like controls that up to this point have only been seen on DSLR cameras and larger fixed-lens cameras.
Canon PowerShot ELPH 300
This camera, from Canon’s popular PowerShot line, is a great choice for people who want lots of control and plenty of features, but also want to be able to carry their camera in their pocket. The ELPH has plenty of controls, but it can produce good images even if it is left in automatic mode. The quality sensors and lighting controls make great pics possible. The user interface might not be as convenient as a larger point-and-shoot camera, but the ELPH makes up for this with its compact size, which really makes it a great tool for those seeking maximum portability.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ7
This is the ultimate compact camera for many photography aficionados. This camera has a slim body, but it has a wide zoom lens that provides great images that look like they were taken with a much bigger camera. This camera might be lacking when people look at the overall pixel count, but it certainly offers the best controls of any camera in its price range. If you want a budget camera that you can use to grab and put in your pocket when you need it, the Lumix is a great choice.