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2009's Top Mid-Range Compact Cameras

Budget snappers for photographers who want a little more

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Kit of the Year Time was when the all compact cameras were much of a muchness, all designed for consumers seeking point-and-click simplicity, but with various degrees of manual control thrown in for enthusiasts. Nowadays, the compact market is segmented, with kit costing £150 or less for the holiday snapper, and the likes of the Canon Powershot S90 and the Ricoh GR Digital III for the serious photographer. And, of course, a stack of offerings in between those two extremes. Here are the ones from that category that we liked the most.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ7
RH Editor's Choice

Even if you’re not interested in taking movies, the rest of the DMC-TZ7’s features – coupled with its performance – make this camera well worth the money. If you are looking for a compact camera to take along your travels or simply want one that is a cut above the average, then the DMC-TZ7 should be near the top of your list.

Read the full review here

Reg Rating 90%
Price £299 Click of the best online price

Canon PowerShot SX200 IS

Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
RH Recommended Medal

Canon has managed to squeeze a quart into something a little larger than a pint pot. The PowerShot SX200 IS has a good range of features, including a very versatile zoom, and offers much for both beginners or DSLR users looking for a smaller camera to take on their travels. Handling is good, although it’s let down by a quirky pop-up flash system. You can even use it as an HD camcorder, provided you’ve got enough memory card space. This is indeed a handy camera to take on a holiday or a trip.

Read the full review here

Reg Rating 80%
Price £299 Click of the best online price

Fujifilm Finepix F200 EXR

Fujifilm FinePix F200EXR
RH Recommended Medal

All in all, we're impressed with the Finepix F200EXR. The EXR sensor is a step forward in camera technology and really does help improve image quality, especially in terms of dynamic range. We were disappointed by the lack of RAW file format support, HD movie shooting and a more comprehensive manual aperture control - and some of the camera’s operating quirks can take a little getting used to. But these don’t detract from the fact that the Finepix F200EXR offers the more adventurous compact user some handy features to deliver fine results.

Read the full review here

Reg Rating 75%
Price £330 Click of the best online price

Best of the Rest

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ6
Lots of automation, a fair sprinkling of features and a good overall performance

Samsung WB500
Chunky but cheap with a 24mm wide angle lens and oodles of features

Pentax Optio W80
Shockproof, dustproof and waterproof – ideal for the outdoors

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