If you're looking for a compact digital camera, you have a lot of choices. Although the past couple of years has seen a serious erosion of the entry-level, sub-$100 class thanks to the emergence of powerful smartphones, improvements in technology have meant that if you've got a couple of hundred dollars or more to spend, you can get yourself a very capable camera. In this guide, we examine the major classes of compact cameras, and discuss their relative strengths.

We're not pointing you towards specific models in this article - that will be the subject of future reviews and roundups. This article is intended as a guide to this class of products, to help you make an informed buying decision.