Eight great compact cameras for your summer break

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If you’re planning on going abroad this summer, you’ll be needing a solid compact camera to take with you. Camera phones just aren’t good enough, and DSLRs are both too bulky and too expensive.
The great thing about the compact market at the moment is that there is something to be found for absolutely everybody.
There’s a multitude of good products at every price point. Whether you’re looking for cheap and cheerful or pricey and performance-led, you’ll always be able to find something that suits your needs.
Here are eight great compact cameras, with all budgets, tastes and needs catered for amply. Be sure to check out the following reviews if you need a new digital compact camera this summer.
Panasonic Lumix LZ8* -* £140
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At £140 the Panasonic Lumix LZ8 is an absolute bargain.
It’s fairly basic as far as compact cameras go, but what it does do is cover all the bases. It’s got an 8-megapixel lens and a standard 2.5-inch LCD screen.
But the LZ8 defies its budget price and the modest feature list by producing some absolutely fantastic pictures.
And when it comes down to it, if you want to take a compact camera on your holidays this summer.
That’s all you really need, isn’t it? Read our full review
Fujifilm FinePix F50fd - £140
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This 12-megapixel compact camera from Fuji is possibly even more of a bargain than the Panasonic one above.
When it launched it cost around about the £300 mark.
But now it’s priced online at less than half that amount. The big bonus with this one is that Fuji engineers spent a lot of time trying to improve its low-light performance.
And wow, it certainly works. It’s also a very solid all-round camera, a steal at £140. Read our full review
Nikon CoolPix P5100 - £175
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The dream of most amateur photographers is to own a stonkingly good DSLR.
But sometimes it’s just not practical to take one of those away on holiday. What if it breaks? What if you lose it?
Aside from that, the sheer size and weight of them make them a but unsuitable for taking away with you. So how about taking a digital compact which thinks it’s a DSLR, yet has the size and weight of a standard compact?
The 12-megapixel Nikon CoolPix P5100 is just one of those.
It weighs just 200g and yet packs some awesome features. Read our full review
Casio Exilim Card EX-S10 - £180
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The Exilim Card EX-S10 was born to be taken abroad.
It’s very compact and weighs just 140g – ideal for making sure your suitcase isn’t overweight when you get to the airport.
When it came out, it was the world’s smallest 10-megapixel camera – it’s just 15mm thick. And despite being impossibly thin, it manages top pack some seriously good features.
The LCD screen measures 2.7-inches across.
But the controls can be a bit fiddly so if you’ve got clumsy fingers like us, you may find it a bit frustrating at times. Read our full review
Canon IXUS 90 IS - £200
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The IXUS 90 slots comfortably into the midrange of Canon’s line-up. It’s a pretty good choice too.
It looks great, and produces some really fantastic images.
There’s a new button layout style on this camera which some people might not like though.
It can be a bit fiddly until you get used to it.
But at £200 it’s good value and has that perfect balance between features and price. Read our full review
Canon Powershot A650 IS - £210
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For a measly £10 more than the IXUS 90, you could get your hands on a Canon Powershot A650 IS.
This compact camera is very good at capturing high-detail photographs in variable lighting conditions.
A It performs just as well indoors as it does outside too. It’s slightly larger and more heavy than the IXUS, but still this camera is absolutely fantastic.
A bit like the CoolPix at the top of the page, this compact offers a lot of the features you’d only normally find on a DSLR.
And for that reason alone it’s a must-by for anyone lusting after DSLR-like quality from a compact. Read our full review
Ricoh Caplio R8 - £230
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Ricoh hasn’t exactly always been known for being a maker of brilliant cameras.
But with every new generation of Caplio R-series cameras, it gets better and better.
The R7 was a revelation after a rather poor predecessor, and the R8 has taken things once again to the next level.
It’s a very powerful compact camera and produces some incredibly fine images.
There’s something special about this camera – it puts the magic back into digital photography. Read our full review
Sigma DP1 - £610
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The Sigma DP1 is currently the Rolls Royce of the digital compact world.
It’s more of a concept camera than anything else, because it has an enormous image sensor which you would never normally find in a compact.
The image processing technology is also vastly different to other cameras – and it works very well.
Image quality is unbelievable, and you’d hope so to because this camera is very expensive. Read our full review
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