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Top five best cheap compact cameras for 2019

By Hollie Hennessy

We round up the top-scoring compact cameras costing less than £200 to help you find the perfect cheap camera to suit your needs.

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

If you're looking for a fantastic point-and-shoot model that won't break the bank but still takes great pictures, you'll find the best models listed here. 

We've selected five of the best compact cameras available for around £200 or less in the table below. Plus, it's worth knowing which compact cameras to avoid – so we've highlighted some Don't Buys you should steer well clear of. 

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by joining Which?.

Best cheap compact cameras

65%
£189.00
Reviewed

A fantastic and simple camera to use, this ranks up there with some of the best we've tested. It scores well for both photo and video quality, with photos proving detailed with good colours. Overall, a great camera at a bargain price.

65%
£210.12
Reviewed

This is a first-class camera, with a fantastic zoom, that takes great photos in just about any situation. Its electronic viewfinder, manual controls and multifunction ring make it a better choice for creative photographers than most competitors, and it's still great to use.

64%
£157.90
Reviewed

This is a fantastic little camera; it's very small, so it feels light in your pocket, plus the photo and video quality isn't compromised by its diminutive size. It's the kind of camera you can carry with you to take all types of photos.

62%
£149.00
Reviewed

A solid camera all-round, its 20x zoom allows you to pick out distant landmarks with relative ease and, at 164g, it's surprisingly lightweight to hold. It's certainly worth considering if you're shopping for a compact camera on a strict budget.

60%
£139.00
Reviewed

At around only £100, this camera is a great budget option. It takes pretty good photos in typical lighting, and is excellent at keeping your shots blur-free. Low-light picture quality is only average, as is the flash - but the 10x optical zoom is great for shooting distant landmarks. At around only £100, it's a great budget option.

Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct as of October 2019.

Not found the right product for you? Browse all our compact camera reviews.

And here are some cheap compact cameras to avoid

The worst compact cameras from our testing not only take terrible-quality photos and video, but they're cumbersome to use and have limited features. We've seen compact models with flimsy and easily breakable camera bodies, tiny and fuzzy LCD screens for framing or reviewing shots, and snail-like shutter speeds. Make sure you don't waste your money on sub-par cameras.

Worst cheap compact cameras

31%
£49.99
Reviewed

This model ranks well below other cameras we've tested and we recommend giving it a wide berth. It's a Don't Buy camera; the overall image and video quality are both below average and the image stabilisation performs poorly.

31%
£66.00
Reviewed

This Don’t Buy camera is not worth your money; don't be tempted by the cheap price and take a look at some of the other waterproof cameras we've tested to document your next holiday by the sea.

18%
£48.67
Reviewed

This isn't just a poor camera – it's so terrible we've declared it a Don't Buy. From the disappointing pictures and videos to the sub-par build quality and battery life — it's basically unusable. We'd recommend you spend your money on another camera.

How to choose the best compact camera

Here are some of the key criteria worth keeping in mind before you select your next camera, especially if you're in the market for a cheap model. 

  • Video You might not be able to expect 4K video from a cheaper camera, but that's not to say the best don't still record good-quality footage. 1,080p can be perfectly acceptable, especially if you don't have a 4K device to display video on anyway.
  • Viewfinder Not all compact models have a viewfinder, but a lot of people like to have the option to shoot with one, as well as an LCD screen. Look out for this when you're shopping for a cheap compact.
  • Zoom Digital zoom enlarges the pixels in an image after it has been taken. What you want is an optical zoom. This is when a camera’s lens magnifies an image for much sharper results.
  • Build quality Cheaper cameras are more likely to be made of lower-quality materials, so avoid those which are obviously plastic and go for the models that look and feel a bit more sturdy. You'll also want to look out for a grip and a good weight behind the camera.
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