Whether you're looking for a compact camera with image quality exceeding that of your smartphone or just want something to sit alongside your more expensive gear, there are some impressive products that won't bust your wallet.

The cameras in this buying guide are light and portable, and several feature selfie-friendly LCDs. Generally speaking, you won't find a lot of direct controls or a lot of customizability, and 4K video is rare, but for those seeking a point-and-shoot experience with better image quality, these cameras fit the bill.

This guide has been updated to include details of the Canon EOS Rebel T7 (EOS 2000D), Nikon D3500 and Olympus PEN E-PL9, which have not yet been fully reviewed and could, when tested, change our recommendations.

Our pick: Canon EOS M100

Whether you're a seasoned photographer or a newcomer, there's something to like about the M100. It's very lightweight and compact, but contains some powerful components from previous Canon cameras like a 24MP APS-C sensor with Dual Pixel autofocus. A flip-up touchscreen makes selecting a focus point easy, and Dual Pixel will ably keep up with moving subjects.

The M100 lacks 4K video capture and is light on direct controls, so enthusiasts looking for multiple dials may find its single command dial frustrating to use. All told, it's the M100's portability and just plain good image quality that makes it a solid choice for a wide range of photographers.

If you're not convinced by our recommendation, take a look at all of the cameras we considered in the list below, and read on for a detailed look at how they stack up.

Other camera to consider: