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Best cheap compact cameras - reviewed

Top-10

If small and light is the way you need to go, you should take a long look at Nikon's S7000. It’s the most pocketable of the four models we tested, weighing an airy 161g and being 27mm thick at its chunkiest point. Jam it in your jeans and you won’t even know it’s there.
However it still packs a 20x optical zoom and extra-sensitive back-illuminated 16MP sensor, however, as well as 4-axis image stabilisation and Wi-Fi (with NFC to make pairing it with an Android device decidedly less fiddly). It’s no lightweight when it comes to features.
I’m not totally sold on the S7000’s gold finish, but it’s only one of four available options (black, silver and pink are the others). The body exterior is mostly metal and reassuringly solid, but I found the mode dial to be a bit loose – prone to turning of its own accord when the camera was taken in and out of a pocket.
Picture perfect?
As with the other cameras in the test, the Nikon has a physically small sensor (just 1/2.3 of an inch in corner-to-corner diameter). It’s never going to produce images and video with the clarity and realism offered premium compacts with 1in sensors or system cameras with even larger APS-C or full-frame sensors.
Here, there are areas of grainy noise even when the lighting is good and the ISO is at its lowest setting of 125 – just like with all the other models – but I also found that the “Night Landscape” mode, which takes several higher ISO 900 shots and melds them together, delivered impressively similar results in much lower light conditions. So you take the rough with the smooth.


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