Find Your Compact Camera Soulmate

Looking for the perfect ultra compact for you? Read on.

There's no companion as faithful to a traveler, as a nifty ultra compact camera. These little fit-in-your-pocket bundles of joy capture all those memories that you'd like to savor years after your hair's grayed. With that in mind, we've brewed up a list of our favorite ultra compacts for all you prospective compact-camera slingers, that are sure to do those memories justice; so if you wish to take the plunge and find your perfect match amongst petite cameras, allow us to partake in the matchmaking. Here goes...

Find Your Compact Camera SoulmateCanon Digital IXUS 980 IS
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Price: Rs. 24,000 (approx.)
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If it's 'love at first snap' you seek, the Canon Digital IXUS 980 IS is sure to win your heart over. This baby is a little pricey (Rs. 24,000 isn't exactly cheap), but for those of you who don't mind shedding out some dough, you cannot go wrong by buying this one. With a sturdy frame that fits like it was meant for your pocket, great design, a multitude of features, and great performance where everything from night shots to macro mode is concerned, it's hard not to like this one. With a motherlode of preset scene modes, great pre-shot processing (such as color replacement etc.) and extensive manual functionality, we'd recommend this to the power user out there, who doesn't mind shelling out a small fortune for a truly amazing product.

g_152392_nv9.jpgSamsung NV9
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Price: Rs. 14,000 (approx.)
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If you seek a little spunk in your companion, the Samsung NV9 has loads of it, and doesn't shy away from showing off the goods. It's got these cool analog dials to show you battery life and memory capacity, along with really amazing build quality/appearance, but its beauty isn't just skin deep. While this one's short on manual modes, it has one of the most extensive auto features and scene modes for every conceivable occasion. The night mode's absolutely the most brilliant we've seen, and ISO performance is tremendous too, making it a great buy for nocturnal photography. Besides that, it's got the most awesome Guide mode to help show budding photographers the ropes. We recommend this to all those who don't care too much for manual functionality, but wish to have a real powerhouse that's loaded with features and excels in all departments.

g_152402_wb500.jpgSamsung WB500
Rating: 4 / 5
Price: Rs. 20,000 (approx.)
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If you don't mind a little extra meat on your companion, behind the WB500's ample body lies an endless sea of photography love. Other than its most outstanding feature - 10x optical zoom and steady image stabilization (which is fantastic for a compact camera!) - there's tons this baby has to offer. To name a few, it has a powerful manual mode, a brilliant night mode, great macro performance, perfect auto-white balance, and vivid color reproduction. Apart from this, you have the plethora of scene modes and pre-shot effects the NV9 offers, and much more. So if you want it all and don't mind the big size, we'd recommend the Samsung WB500 hands-down.

g_152412_s630.jpgNikon Coolpix S630
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Price: Rs. 24,950
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The Nikon Coolpix S630 reeks of quality and class, with a sexy dull metallic shell that hones a raw metal finish. What the camera lacks in manual functionality, it more than adequately makes up for in automatic functionality, that works hand-in-hand with a really easy-to-use interface. Its macro performance was great, its auto-white balance and color reproduction were spot on, and image quality was nothing less than impressive. If you don't mind the hefty price tag and lack of manual functionality, this makes for a handsome companion with great overall performance that's sure to keep you satisfied.

g_152422_a100.jpgFujifilm A100
Rating: 3.5 / 5
Price: Rs. 7,000 (approx.)
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If you're short on dough and can't afford an expensive compact, the A100's one of the cheapest buys, and it doesn't compromise on quality. The camera's shapely, petite form makes it extremely portable for those of you who pocket your cameras in tight pants. To sweeten the deal, the camera features perfect color reproduction, a great macro mode, and surprisingly good ISO performance. So if you're a trigger happy photographer who doesn't seek the most powerful of the lot, and wear tight pants that have shallow pockets (i.e. you're short on dough), the Fujifulm A100 is a fantastic buy.

These cameras were picked from only those we've reviewed recently. If there's anything from the recent past that we've missed, and you think it deserves mention, please let us know by leaving a comment.

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