It should come as no surprise that compacts made up the bulk of new releases this year, with over 75 making their way onto the market. Don't worry, we're not going to detail every single one here, or you may be reading this feature until next year.
There has however been some interesting developments in this arena, especially in the bridge camera and premium compact market. Pretty much of all the manufacturers have introduced a new compact camera this year, but here is our pick of the crop.
Canon Powershot S100
Canon's latest premium compact camera was unveiled in September as a replacement for the S95. It's packed with a host of new features, including a higher pixel count, a larger zoom, Digic 5 processor, inbuilt GPS and an extended ISO setting capability up to 6,400. Canon claimed that the S100 was capable of producing images with a quarter of the visible noise of its predecessor, and we were impressed by its performance in our review.
Read our Canon Powershot S100 review
You might be sick to death of seeing this camera advertised on television, but early indications suggest that this camera is doing well for Samsung. Featuring a flip-up screen capable of a full 180 degrees, it's unusual to see something like this on a camera so small. Sadly, the image quality didn't match up to its relatively costly price, but we still think it's one to watch as the price comes down in the new year.
Read our Samsung MV800 review
Sony Cybershot TX55
Taking the mantle as the world's slimmest compact camera, Sony appears to be trying to take on smart phones in the battle for precious handbag or pocket space. Measuring just 12.2mm thick, it manages to squeeze in a 5x optical zoom and 16 million pixel EXMOOR R CMOS sensor.
Nikon's first entry into the rugged compact market, the AW100 features a wide variety of assets, including a waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof and dustproof exterior and an impressive 5x optical zoom lens. It also has inbuilt GPS, full-HD video recording capability and in our review showed that it also manages to produce decent images too.
Read our Nikon AW100 review
Ah, the X10. Fujifilm had a big smash on its hands last year with the charmingly retro-styled, but still punch-packing X100. Keen to capitalise on that, it introduced the X10, its baby brother in September. The X10 uses a smaller sensor than the X100, favouring a 2/3inch EXR CMOS sensor and a 4x zoom lens with an aperture range between f/2 and f/2.8.
Will it have the same mass appeal as the X100? Only time will tell, but it's certainly one to watch, along with the upcoming Fuji CSC that is expected in 2012.
Read our Fujifilm X10 review.
Canon IXUS 230 HS
It's a rare day when a camera gets a full 5-star review from our steely band of reviewers. But, the Canon IXUS 230HS, released in August managed to achieve just that. Featuring a 12.1 million pixel back-illuminated CMOS, the camera uses Canon's HS technology and Digic 4 image processing to keep noise-levels down. It also has full HD video recording an 8x optical zoom lens, not bad going for something of its size.
Read our Canon IXUS 230HS review
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Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.