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The best selfie camera in 2019: camera phones and cameras that put you first!

best selfie camera

You may not have given much thought to the notion of the "best selfie camera." Surely your phone can do the job adequately enough? That may appear to be the case, but in fact the world of selfie-cameras is a fiercely competitive one, with smartphones and regular digital cameras piling up against each other to be the best at the job.

Yes, that's right, the best camera phones are great for selfies, but they aren't the only option – many cameras from leading manufacturers these days are designed with selfies in mind, providing screens that flip to face the front and controls designed to be operated in from both sides. Compact cameras with fixed lenses and small mirrorless cameras tend to be best for this, though small DSLRs work too, and we have included all three types on this list.

One thing to note – when we're talking about selfies in this instance, we're talking about still images. If you're looking for the best device to shoot videos of yourself, check out our list of the best cameras for vlogging.

So, from smartphones to DSLRs, let's take a look at the best cameras for selfies available right now!

(Image credit: Google)

1. Google Pixel 3a

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 colours 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.

(Image credit: Huawei)

2. Huawei P30 Pro

One of the most impressive smartphone cameras around

Type: Smartphone | Sensor: 1/2.55" | Megapixels (rear/front): 40MP / 32MP | Lens (rear/front): f/2.2 / f/3.4 | Screen: 6.47″ OLED display | Continuous shooting speed: Not specified | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner

Incredible cameras
Multiple lenses
Possible future Android issues
High asking price

There’s a catch here that’s worth mentioning. The Huawei P30 Pro has, quite simply, one of the best camera systems in the smartphone game right now, BUT, recent announcements from Google that the firm will likely be losing access to Android, due to trade restrictions imposed by the American government, could cause compatibility issues in the future. If you’re okay with potentially moving to a Huawei-built version of Android in the future, you’ll find an amazing smartphone camera at your fingertips, with a whopping 32MP of resolution on the front-facing end. It takes amazingly crisp photos, producing excellent exposures with a wide dynamic range and top-notch colour rendering. You’ll catch yourself taking selfies time and again just to marvel at how good they look, even if you’re as deeply unsightly as the average staff member at DCW (trust us on that one). The high asking price is a bit of a turn-off, but if this and the possibility of an impending blacklist don’t bother you, this is about as good as it gets for smartphone cameras right now. 

3. Panasonic Lumix TZ90

Masses of selfie functions and a huge zoom lens squeezed into a pocketable body

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, also 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)

4. 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.

4. 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 LX10 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.

5. Canon EOS 200D / EOS Rebel SL2

Canon’s baby DSLR offering picks up from where the EOS 100D left off in style

Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens mount: Canon EF-S | Screen: 3-inch articulating touchscreen, 1,037,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed: 5fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Beginner

Excellent features-to-size ratio
Responsive in operation
Not the cheapest entry-level camera
Strong competition

Launched as the world’s lightest DSLR with a vari-angle screen, this teeny camera manages to combine the longstanding benefits of Canon’s EOS system with up-to-date technologies. You can, for example, use it with a huge range of lenses that stretch back thirty years, but still ping out all your creations effortlessly through either Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or NFC. The 3-inch screen can be fixed to a range of positions and is super sensitive to touch, while face detection and tracking keep you in focus as you or the camera move around.

(Image credit: Olympus)

6. 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!

7. 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
No NFC

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.

8. Canon EOS M3

It might have had a bit of stick upon release - but this outgoing model is now a bargain

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens mount: EF-M | Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Continuous shooting speed: 4.2fps | Max video resolution: 1080p | User level: Beginner

Touch-sensitive screen
Superb value for money
Limited lens range at present
No 4K video

Canon’s EOS M models might not have had the appeal of other mirrorless lines, but the EOS M3 is arguably the best value camera in this list. Why? For a start, having recently been replaced with the EOS M6, it can now be had a bargain price. In fact, it’s the cheapest model on this list to sport an APS-C sensor, which gives it an advantage over the compact cameras for image quality. Its screen is touch sensitive and its wireless functionality also works well, which also means you can control it from your smartphone or tablet if you want to capture yourself from further away. 

Read more:

• 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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