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How to choose a compact digital camera

Catalogue

Compact digital cameras are small, lightweight cameras that fit neatly in your pocket. They are quick and easy to use and are even capable of shooting video. This makes them ideal for casual photographers who have less demands in terms of the final image quality. They have a fixed built-in lens and feature automatic modes that help you choose the correct settings. 

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Advantages and disadvantages
  • Small and lightweight
  • Simple control
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Ability to shoot video
  • Low price
  • Lower-quality photos
  • Difficulty capturing fast-moving objects

Frequently asked questions about compact cameras

These days everyone has a smartphone – is it worth getting a compact camera?

Although smartphones come equipped with decent cameras, compacts still have their place. Unlike smartphones, they are fully designed for the purpose of taking photographs. Thanks to their adapted ergonomics and conveniently positioned controls, they are much more comfortable to operate than smartphones. When using your smartphone, it is necessary to go through the menu, which slows down the whole process.

If you have the latest flagship smartphone, you are probably satisfied with the camera and don't need a compact. However, the best smartphones are significantly more expensive than compacts. Conversely, cheaper phones can match compact cameras for price, but not in terms of photo quality. So if you have a cheaper phone, it is certainly worth getting a compact camera.

Are there different types of compact camera?

There are several compact camera variants. Let's take a look at the differences between them.

Ultrazooms

Ultrazooms are cameras that feature lenses with a large zoom range, allowing it to bring even the most distant objects into focus, much like binoculars. So if you often shoot very distant objects, such as wildlife or mountain peaks, ultrazooms will be suitable for you.

- Powerful zoom (10x or more) 

- Lighter and smaller than SLRs

- Relatively simple to operate

Professional compacts

Professional compacts can be compared to cheaper DSLRs. They are suitable for experienced photographers who require certain functions without blowing their budget on an expensive camera.

- Durable metal body

- Higher quality resulting images

Waterproof compacts

Waterproof cameras are suitable for holidays by the sea or pool. They are resistant to water, sand and dust.

- Waterproof to 12 metres

- Resistant to dust and sand

Children's compacts

Children's compact cameras combine the features of a camera with the fun design of a toy. They help develop children's creative abilities and are lightweight and easy to use. They come in a range of fun designs.

- A great toy for the pool, beach or for photographing in the rain

- Lightweight and suitable for small hands

- Easy to operate

- Fun and colourful designs

Instant compacts

Instant compact cameras allow you to print and share photos in moments, combining the best features of Polaroid and digital cameras.

- Instant printing of photos

- Simple to use

Who are compact cameras suitable for?

Compacts best serve those who want to take snapshots of friends and family, holidays and trips, and walks around the city. They are lightweight and fit easily in your pocket, so they are always close at hand for spontaneous snaps. Want a highly portable camera you can take everywhere? Then a compact is the right choice for you.


Conversely, compacts are best avoided if you want to take macro, sports, or landscape photos.

Ultrazooms
  • Powerful zoom 
  • Ergonomic body
Ultrazoom
Professional compacts
  • Durable metal body
  • Higher quality images
Profesionální kompakty
Waterproof compacts
  • Waterproof to 12 metres
  • Resistant to dust and sand
Vodotěsné kompakty
Children's compacts
  • Combines a toy with a real camera
  • Durable and fun design
Dětské kompakty
Instant compacts
  • Print photos instantly
  • Easy to use
Instantní kompakty

What's important when choosing a compact camera?

Rozlišení
Resolution

Resolution refers to the number of pixels in an image and affects the quality and size when printing. The vast majority of compacts are equipped with a sensor resolution of at least 10 megapixels. Generally, the higher the sensor resolution, the higher the quality of the resulting image and the larger the potential print size. A 10Mpx camera is sufficient for producing high-quality images printed at a normal size.

Zoom
Zoom

Allows you to zoom in and out of your subject. There are typically two types of camera zoom: optical and digital. Optical zoom uses the movement of the objective lens to actually change the focal length, so the image quality remains the same; digital zoom simply enlarges and recrops a part of the image, causing a loss of image quality. Cameras with so-called ultrazoomem offer an even greater zoom range. A 3x zoom is sufficient for normal photography.

Paměťová karta
Memory

Memory cards vary in capacity, size and speed of data transmission. Their capacity is stated in GB. Some cameras come with a built-in memory card. If you need to buy a memory card separately, however, make sure it compatible with your camera. When shooting with a resolution of 10 megapixels on a 1 GB memory card, you can store around 195 shots.

Glossary - compact cameras
Compact camera

Compact cameras are lightweight, small, and ideal for people who need a simple and versatile camera. Today's versions have many useful features, such as water resistance, good aperture lenses, and manual mode. Compact cameras tend to come with a lot of scene modes and functions, so you won't have to worry about manually adjusting the exposure, etc. Compact camera lenses tend to have both digital and optical zoom.

Full HD video

Full HD is a high-quality video recording format designed for playback on larger screens.

Benefits of Full HD format
- Sharp images
- Bright colours
- High levels of detail

Face detection

Digital cameras with face detection technology can detect a human face in the frame and automatically focus on it. The focus is based on the detection contrast whereby the lens works to focus by moving forward and backward, while the sensor monitors the photographed image. When it detects sharp edges in the image, the movement of the focusing lens is stopped. This technology works only under favourable light conditions.

- Face Detection is supported by most compact cameras.
- Digital cameras use a faster focusing system using phase detection.

Glossary
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