What to See in a Compact Camera

We have previously talked about why a compact camera is a great choice for enthusiast, and even professional, photography. There are many benefits of using such a camera especially if you’re a street shooter and need something small and light to carry with you.

But with so many options out there, with so many different feature sets, which kind of camera is best for you? Here is a list of a few things you should consider before settling on a compact camera:

  1. Manual Controls

Before anything else, if you want a serious camera, you should make sure that the camera you’re considering has manual controls. You don’t want a camera that only shoots in Auto mode along with the fancy modes like Night, Sports, and Portrait. Having manual controls available to you is the first step to creating more serious photographs with a small camera.

  1. Fast Lens

If you’re looking for a fixed-lens camera, make sure that the lens is fast. This means that the lens should have a wide aperture which allows you to take brighter and sharper photos. Without a fast lens, you won’t always be able to take clear photos especially if the camera has a small sensor.

  1. Big Sensor

A bigger sensor usually means better quality and more details. A bigger sensor will also bring in more light into your photos, which will lead to a faster shutter speed and hence clearer photos. You will also be able to take better ‘bokeh’ shots with a shallower depth of field than what your smartphone or a typical small sensor camera is capable of capturing.

  1. RAW Format

And last but not least, it is almost crucial to have RAW file support from your camera if you are planning to use a photo editing software. A RAW image file allows you to make non-destructive edits to your photos and give you much more control over what you can change about the way your photos look. Also, make sure that the output RAW format is supported by the photo editor of your choice so you don’t run into any compatibility issues later on.

  1. Viewfinder

Most compact cameras don’t come with viewfinders and rely only on the LCD screen at the back for all framing. If you’re more used to the traditional viewfinder, then your options may be limited. You can also get a camera with an electronic viewfinder, which is better than an optical one in many ways as it allows you to view the changes you’re making to the settings of your photo in real-time.

So before you run out to buy a fancy new compact camera for yourself, make sure that you know what you need it to do and which features are most required by you.