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The best selfie camera in 2021: cameras and camera phones that put you first!

The best selfie camera in 2020
The best selfie camera in 2020 (Image credit: Getty Images)

The best selfie camera don't start and end with smartphones! While the trusty phone that's always by your side is undoubtedly a great tool for selfies (particularly if you've picked up a newer model with the most sophisticated camera tech), many modern cameras come with flip-around screens that make them perfect for selfie-taking. Not to mention the fact that with camera prices getting more and more competitive, you can pick up a great selfie shooter for less than half the cost of a new iPhone.

Having a dedicated camera gives you advantages in all sorts of ways; you get a larger sensor, which provides better low-light performance as well as making it easier to create images with a stylishly blurred background, and depending on what kind of camera you pick up, you'll either have a useful optical zoom lens, or the ability to swap to whatever lens you like.

Compact cameras have the advantage of convenience, portability and simplicity, while still offering image quality better than that off your smartphone. DSLRs and mirrorless cameras will be generally a little more expensive, but allow you to change lenses at will, and will also tend to have larger sensors. We've included all types in our guide to the best selfie cameras, and as smartphones are still a great option, we've included a couple of our favourites in here as well. Whatever your needs and whatever your budget, we reckon one of these ten models will be right for you,

So with all that said and done, let's get started with our breakdown of the best selfie cameras available right now!

The best selfie cameras in 2021

Camera phones

(Image credit: Google)

1. Google Pixel 3a (but not the Pixel 4)

This cheaper version of the mighty Pixel 3 uses the same camera tech

Type: Smartphone | Sensor: 1/2.55" | Megapixels (rear/front): 12.2MP / 8MP | Lens (rear/front): f/1.8 / f/2.0 | Screen: Full-screen 5.6" OLED | Continuous shooting speed: Not specified | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner

Terrific image quality
Nice and affordable
No waterproofing
Only one lens

When Google announced a smaller and more affordable version of its flagship Pixel 3, it was great to hear that camera-wise it was broadly the same, with the same sensor and cameras on its rear. It only uses one camera for the front-facing shots, while the more expensive models use two, however the selfies it produces still impress, with excellent colors and vivid subject/background delineation. 

The construction is still pleasingly durable, though it’s worth noting that this model does not offer the waterproofing of the Pixel 3. Despite this, the attractive price of the Pixel 3a, coupled with its excellent camera tech, make it a winner in our book, and one of the best value-for-money smartphones you can get hold of right now in terms of camera tech. 

It’s also great to be able to see your images on such an excellent 5.6-inch OLED display, and it’s also worth noting that if you’d like something a little larger you might want to consider the Pixel 3a XL, which bumps this up to a 6-inch display. And yes, we know the Google Pixel 4 is out but, to be honest, we're a bit disappointed – it's expensive and we don't think it's worth the extra over the Pixel 3a!

Read more: Google Pixel 3a review

(Image credit: Apple)

2. Apple iPhone 12 Pro

New photo features make the iPhone 12 Pro a force to be reckoned with

Release date: October 2020 | Rear cameras: 12MP 13mm f/2.4, 12MP 26mm f/1.6, 12MP 52mm f/2 | Front camera: 12MP, f/2.2 TrueDepth camera | Dual OIS: Yes | Weight: 189 g | Dimensions: 146.7 x 71.5 x 7.4 mm | Storage: 128/256/512GB

Triple-camera unit
New Apple ProRAW file format
LiDAR scanner
'Only' 12MP camera sensors

The iPhone 12 Pro is one of the most advanced handsets for photographers currently available – and a perfect selfie camera too. It features a triple camera unit, including an ultra wide f/2.4 camera, a wide f/1.6 camera and a telephoto f/2 camera. Meanwhile, the front-facing TrueDepth camera features a 12MP sensor as well. 

If you're wondering what photography-focused features the iPhone 12 Pro holds over the base iPhone 12 (other than the addition of the telephoto camera), there are a few things you need to know. The first is that the Pro model will have a LiDAR scanner, which will mean faster focusing in low light situations – and likely better Instagram and Snapchat filters too, due to its 3D mapping technology. The iPhone 12 Pro will also be able to use the new Apple ProRAW file format, which means users will be able to combine the great computational photography effects Apple is known for with the power of RAW files.

Compact cameras

(Image credit: Canon)

3. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

A great-value compact with a good-sized sensor for low light work

Type: Compact | Sensor: 1in | Megapixels: 20.1MP | Lens: 24-100mm | Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed: 30fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner/intermediate

Useful f1.8 zoom lens
Excellent touchscreen
Lens soft at wide end
Some AF issues

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III has made a name for itself as one of the most capable and affordable vlogging cameras around, so of course it's also great for selfies. As handily shown in the image above, the useful touchscreen monitor flips around 180-degrees, making to compose and focus your shots on the go. The combination of a 1-inch sensor (larger than you'd generally find in a compact of this type) and a lens with a maximum aperture of f/1.8 means the G7 X Mark III is much more capable in low light than many of its rivals. Producing impressive, punchy images straight out of camera, this is a tremendous option for keeping in a pocket and taking wherever you go.

Read more: Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III review

(Image credit: Panasonic)

4. Panasonic Lumix ZS70/TZ90

Selfie-friendly functions and a huge zoom, all in a pocket-size camera

Type: Compact | Sensor: 1/2.3in | Megapixels: 20.3MP | Lens: 24-720mm | Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed: 10fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner

Plenty of selfie-friendly features
Huge zoom range
Small sensor
Viewfinder could be better

The TZ90, known as the ZS70 in the US, is unquestionably one of the smartest cameras around for selfie shooters. Flip the touchscreen around to face the front and you’re presented with a range of controls, such as the option to soften skin, activate a slimming mode or choose between blurring the background and keeping it sharp. There’s a Buddy Shutter option that captures the image as soon as you and a companion bring their faces together, and if you’re some distance away from the camera you can even trigger the exposure by simply waving your hands across your face. Together with 4K video recording, a built-in viewfinder and a mammoth lens equivalent to 24-720mm, it’s fit for whatever you want to throw at it.

(Image credit: Sony)

5. Sony RX100 IV

A pocketable marvel, this high-speed, high-quality camera is exceptional

Type: Compact | Sensor: 1in | Megapixels: 20.1MP | Lens: 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 | Screen: 3-inch tilting, 1,228,800 dots | Continuous shooting speed: 16fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast

Excellent image quality
High-resolution LCD
LCD not touch sensitive
Handling not for everyone

There's no need to plump for the latest and the most expensive RX100 model, as Sony keeps these cameras in production and it's possible to snap up older ones for a bargain price. We'd recommend the RX100 IV, which combines superb image quality and super-fast shooting speeds with a screen that tilts upwards, perfect for selfies and vlogging. It can also make use of a dual recording mode, capturing 17MP stills while simultaneously shooting Full HD video, and it has lots of nifty extra features like a built-in ND filter. The perfect camera to have in your pocket when you're out on your adventures, the RX100 IV will help you capture every moment. It's three versions behind the latest RX100 VII, but you may not need the latest tech and this model is still on sale and WAY cheaper.

Read more: Sony RX100 III vs RX100 IV vs RX100 V vs RX100 VI

6. Panasonic Lumix LX15

Panasonic's answer to Sony's mighty RX100 line is a corker

Type: Compact | Sensor: 1in | Megapixels: 20.1MP | Lens: 24-72mm f/1.4-2.8 | Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed: 10fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast

Very small body
Great image quality
Some rivals offer viewfinders
Battery life could be better

With its tiny body, flip-up touchscreen and a range of selfie modes such as Soft Skin and Slimming, the LX15 (also known as the LX10 in some places) has plenty of appeal for those wanting to capture themselves with ease. And that's all before you get to the guts of the camera, which themselves are pretty solid: a large, 1in sensor, 4K video recording, and a lens that has a bright aperture of f/1.4 at the wide end, to help with blurring backgrounds and low-light shooting. The fact that it has a relatively short zoom lens might put some off, but this does at least help it to remain pocketable.

DSLR and mirrorless

Fujifilm X-T200

(Image credit: Fujifilm)

7. Fujifilm X-T200

Potentially the ultimate selfie camera

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Lens mount: Fujifilm X-mount | Screen: 3in vari-angle touchscreen | Max burst speed: 8fps | Max video resolution: 4K UHD at 30p

Lightweight and compact
4K video
Vari-angle screen
Simplified external controls
Regular CMOS not X-Trans sensor

If you have a bit more budget to play with and you're looking for a camera that allows you to swap lenses, the Fujifilm X-T200 is one of the best selfie cameras around. Blessed with a large vari-angle touchscreen, you're able to twist and turn the screen in almost any direction you like so you can see the composition. However, this isn't the only benefit to the Fujifilm X-T200.

Even if you're only interested in capturing stills at the moment, the X-T200 offers 4K video. This means that if you think you might want to experiment with video content, you'll have the means to do it. Meanwhile, its 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor has more than enough megapixel power to enable you to capture great quality images. 

Read more: Fujifilm X-T200 review

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8. Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D

A DSLR that's good at selfies? You'd better believe it

Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C | Lens mount: Canon EF-S | Screen: 3in vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Max burst speed: 5fps | Max video resolution: 4K UHD at 25p

A lightweight, intuitive DSLR
Superb Live View shooting
Larger than mirrorless rivals
Relatively few AF points

This isn't the cheapest DSLR you can buy by any means, but very often it's worth paying a little extra money to get a much better range of features – and this is the perfect example. The EOS Rebel SL3 (aka EOS 250D) has Canon’s top-of-the range APS-C sensor with 24.1MP of resolution and brilliant Live View shooting, thanks to a fully-articulating touchscreen display and Canon's fast Dual Pixel CMOS AF autofocus. In fact, we’d actually say this is one of the only DSLRs where composing shots with the screen is downright preferable to using the viewfinder. Canon also packs in 4K video and Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, wrapped up in the smallest DSLR body you'll ever see. For selfies you can just flip the vari-angle touchscreen round to the front and focus and shoot just as fast as any mirrorless camera can.

Read more: Canon EOS SL3 / Canon EOS 250D review

(Image credit: Olympus)

9. Olympus PEN E-PL9

A stylish and well-featured body, with a range of smart accessories too

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Micro Four Thirds | Megapixels: 16.1MP | Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds | Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,037,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed: 8.6fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner

Lovely retro design
Touch-sensitive screen
Smaller sensor
NFC not included

The beautifully stylish Olympus Pen E-PL9 was clearly designed to tempt younger users away from photographing with smartphones, and as such it of course is equipped to take a good selfie. Its tilting screen provides lots of rich detail, while the images it produces are easily superior to most smartphones, and to be honest they're on par with a lot of larger-sensor DSLRs and mirrorless cameras that supposedly outpace it. Designed with retro charm, and coming with a range of useful accessories, the Pen E-PL9 is a seriously powerful camera hiding behind an exterior that's all style. Best of both worlds!

Read more: Olympus PEN E-PL9 hands on review

10. Panasonic Lumix GX800

Plenty of features shoehorned into a tiny shell makes this a winner

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Micro Four Thirds | Megapixels: 16MP | Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds | Screen: 3-inch articulating touchscreen, 1,037,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed: 10fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner/enthusiast

4K video
Diminutive, lightweight body
Battery life could be better

Yep, another Panasonic model, but it makes the list for good reason. The company has focused strongly on delivering small but fully featured cameras in recent years, and the GX800 blends its small form and flip-up screen with the option to use different lenses from the ever-growing Micro Four Thirds lens stable. You can change the focus of the background, apply Soft Skin and Creative Filter options, and set for a number of shots to be taken in quick succession, with a large countdown timer displayed before it all starts. You can even capture selfie panoramas and use the Buddy Shutter option described above if you're with a friend. The only real downside to the camera’s small size is the 210-shot battery life, but with USB charging you can still keep it juiced up conveniently while on the move.

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11. Canon EOS M50

The mirrorless EOS M50 is smaller, cute and won't cost a fortune

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C size | Megapixels: 24.1MP | Screen type: 3.2in vari-angle touchscreen LCD, 1.04million dots | Viewfinder: EVF, 2,36million dots | Maximum continuous shooting speed: 7fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner

Vari-angle touchscreen
Built-in electronic viewfinder
Limited lens range
4K video limitations

With the EOS M50, though, we think Canon has hit the sweet spot for selfie fans, with a camera that's easy to use for beginners but has an electronic viewfinder (so that you're not just reliant on the rear screen for composing pictures) and is being offered at an affordable price. The key component is the vari-angle screen that can flip round to face the front, or just about any other angle. The EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM kit lens has a retracting mechanism to make the camera smaller to carry around when it's not in use, and there is a small but handy selection of other EOS M lenses you can use with this camera. Be aware, though, that Canon's speedy Dual Pixel CMOS AF system doesn't work when shooting in 4K – but it's fine for full HD video and regular stills.

Read more: Canon EOS M50 review

Read more:

• So you want the best selfies? Then check out the best camera phones right now
• These are the best cameras for beginners right now
• Going on a trip? Here the best travel cameras to take with you
• If cash is tight, check out the best budget camera phones
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