For those of us who like to see the world through a viewfinder and a lens, we’re always comparing which sort of camera is better; DSLR, mirrorless, film, polaroids, action cams, phone cameras...the list goes on.
But for those who are new to the snapshot game, all these options can be just a little bit overwhelming.

The general advice is to use what you’ve got, which these days means the camera you’ve got sitting in your pocket right now, a.k.a your smartphone. Whilst this advice is good, plenty of beginners have already become the master of their phone camera and are aching to get their hands on something more specific, yet taking the plunge into technical cameras can still seem a little too much of a jump. That's where compact cameras and action cameras come in.
Small and less intimidating than DSLRs, mirrorless and classic film cameras, compact and action cameras are a great choice for those looking to get started in photography. Though their abilities may seem limited in terms of manual functions, such as focal range and a lack of interchangeable lenses, these limitations can in fact lead to greater creativity and are perfect for the beginner photographer.
Other great features of these smaller cameras is their affordability and availability.

Of course, any quick google search will take you down the road to famous brands such as Sony, Lumix, GoPro and many others. These are great options to choose from, but for those on a tighter budget who don’t mind taking a risk, there are cheaper and lesser known options on the market.

One such camera is this unique colourful compact camera available from Japan’s quirky goods retailer Village Vanguard.

Despite resembling a gashapon toy, this palm-sized camera actually packs quite a punch; with an image sensor of 300,000 pixels and the ability to shoot both pictures and videos. The camera also comes equipped with a digital 4x zoom lens, a rear view LCD monitor, a self-timer function and a tripod hole.

Pair the camera up with a 16GB MicroSD card, and you’ll be able to take up to approximately 53000 images (at 300kb per image) or 260 minutes of video (10MB).

Sure, it may not be considered as professional as a Canon EOS Rebel T6i, but who says it can’t be? In fact, it could even be more professional if you use it as a webcam for important zoom meetings – which is possible by connecting the camera to a PC using the USB slot.

The camera, called Bonzart Lit, is available from Village Vanguard’s online store in two bright quirky colours – fuchsia pink and sky blue.

Bonzart Lit

Price: 5,980 yen (tax included)
Available from: Village Vanguard Online Store

Camera Specifications
Image sensor: 300,000 pixel CMO
Focal length: 50 cm to infinity
LCD monitor: 1.44 inch color TFT
Zoom: Digital 4x zoom
Self-timer: Off, 2 seconds, 10 seconds
Color mode: Normal, black and white, Sepia, Negative, Red, Green, Blue, Vivid
Recording media: microSD card (sold separately) Up to 16GB
EV value: ± 2.0 (0.3EV step)
Language setting: Japanese / English
Still image resolution: 3M (2048 x 1536), 1M (1280 x 1024), VGA (640 x 480)
Video resolution : 640 x 480, 320 x 240
Power supply: Built-in lithium battery

Body size: W66xH43xD20 (mm)
Weight: 33g
Included accessories: Camera body, USB cable, strap

By - Connie Sceaphierde.