With smartphone cameras sporting more megapixels than ever, it may seem that the compact camera is obsolete. However, not all digital compact cameras are doomed. There are many things a superzoom compact camera has that can't be matched by a smartphone camera: larger sensor, handling, better optics and of course, optical zoom. Digital zoom (utilized by smartphones) degrades image quality, and that's why it's still better to go with optical zoom when you need that extra reach. Thus, this year we have focused on super-zoom compact cameras accordingly; expect these cameras to offer you high zoom ratios and good image stabilization for better image quality and longer reach. Due to these attributes and the fact that they are portable, they are also often referred to as 'travel compacts'.
One of the limitations of the traditional digital compact camera has always been the inability to share images conveniently and quickly with others. We have seen many recent compact cameras come with Wi-Fi, but the Panasonic Lumix TZ40 takes it further by including NFC as well. Its sensor also sees a bump up in resolution from 14 megapixels in the TZ30 to an 18-megapixel sensor. User interface is easy to navigate and there’s a Quick Menu button to bring up a list of commonly-used settings. Best of all, the TZ40 has a touch-enabled display, so you can set the AF area by tapping on the screen.
The TZ40’s noise control is quite well-controlled as loss of detail was only observed at ISO800 onwards. Panasonic’s image stabilization remains one of the best; shooting at 20x optical zoom is no harder than shooting at 10x optical zoom. For all of its attributes combined, this makes the TZ40 our choice for the best point-and-shoot digital camera.
|Criteria/Model||Canon SX280 HS||Nikon S9400
For more details on how we selected our winners, check out the full reviews and articles listed at the References section at the end.