Smartphone VS compact camera: Why getting a compact camera is still worth it

16 Apr 2018

The smartphone is the new entry-level camera. Nowadays, digital compact (also known as point-and-shoot) cameras have advanced features that are perfect for someone who has an interest in photography and wants to play around with manual settings.

Quality at a great price

Compact cameras are more affordable than ever and an inexpensive camera option for getting in the game.

Compared to your smartphone, compact cameras’ battery life is made to last, allowing you to take up to 500 photographs per charge. Sure, you can use your phone, but you won’t necessarily have it charged for when you need to fire up your GPS location.

Advanced features

Compact cameras are still as easy to use as ever, but give you more creative control over smartphones with:

  • optical (versus digital) zoom functions for true image quality
  • larger (1/2.3″) sensor sizes for sharper, clearer photos
  • larger aperture that utilises depth-of-field for smoother bokeh
  • better low-light performance, useful at night
  • motion tracking for great action shots


Bokeh (pronounced bohkay) is the aesthetic quality of a blur in the out-of-focus part of an image produced by a lens. It makes photos more visually appealing, and allow photographers to focus on a particular area in an image.

Great for underwater photography enthusiasts

If you’re a scuba diver interest in dabbling in underwater photography, here’s a life hack for you: Compact camera housings are much more affordable than intermediate- to pro-level DSLRs housings.

Our recommendation

If you’re a more serious photographer who wants to improve your photography skills, we recommend buying a compact camera from the Canon Ixus, Canon PowerShot or Sony Cyber-shot RX series, and Olympus TG series for underwater shots. Get one with manual control and a versatile lens so you can start experimenting.

Canon Ixus 190

The stylish, ultra-slim Canon IXUS 190 is no dinky-toy. With an impressive 10x zoom and 20MP CCD sensor, you’ll get stunning pin-sharp photographs, every time; even in low-light conditions. Also record superb HD movies with MP4 audio that’ll make the audience feel like they were there with you.

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS

The Canon PowerShot SX620 HS is a great travelling companion featuring a high-res 20MP CMOS sensor for quality images and a 25x optical zoom lens for capturing detail near and far. The lens has optical stabilisation tech for sharp, blur-free images even in low light. Share using Wi-Fi / NFC technology.

Olympus TG-5

The waterproof Olympus TG-5 is the ultimate partner to your most challenging adventures, built to tough extreme environments from the Arctic to the undersea world. Features a 12MP camera, 4K video recording and a 4x optical zoom f/2 zoom lens.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-Rx100

The Sony DSC-RX100 has a 20.2MP Exmor CMOS image sensor that excels in ultra low-light. It’s equipped with a f/1.8 Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T lens and a pop-up flash. You can record UHD images in JPEG, RAW, or even both simultaneously.

Remember that the best camera is the one you have with you! Which do you prefer? 

About the Author:

Anna is a content strategist who enjoys pouring her creative juices into the Outdoorphoto Blog.


  1. Gavin du Plessis 20 Apr 2018 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    How does the Canon M10 rate as a compact ??? You did not mention in your article?

    • The Outdoorphoto Team 26 Apr 2018 at 9:09 am - Reply

      Hi Gavin

      What is great about the Canon EOS M10 mirrorless is that, unlike a compact camera, it’s not limited to only one zoom lens, making it more versatile than a compact while remaining lightweight.

      Kind regards,
      The Outdoorphoto Team

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