The compact camera category is always a wide-ranging one and this year is no different, with some brilliant contenders in line for the crown.
They might be fighting a war with the smartphone camera but the compact cameras aren't giving up anytime soon with new models and updates flooding the market all the time. From Panasonic's Lumix LX100 and its Micro Four Thirds sensor to Sony's Cyber-shot RX100 III that offers it all in a pocketable size, there is a compact out there for every situation.
It was no easy task to choosing just five in such a vast category, but after much contemplation and consideration we have whittled down the dozens of possible contenders to the final shortlisted nominees, listed below in a little more detail.
Canon PowerShot SX700 HS
The Canon PowerShot SX700 HS is an update to the earlier SX280 HS model and its jump from a 20x to 30x optical zoom epitomises the trend of increasing zooms, which deliver what a smartphone camera can't.
It has fewer features than some of its main competitors but when it comes to image quality, Canon's SX-line has always been top of its class and the SX700 HS continues this legacy to make it one of the top travel zooms.
The Fujifilm X30 represents the third generation of the company's 2/3-inch sensor-size compact series and while it boasts the feature set of its X20 predecessor, it is a little larger and comes with an all-new built-in electronic viewfinder.
READ: Fujifilm X30 review
The Fujifilm X30 is bolder and better than its predecessor and it's an impressive camera with a lot to be said for the physical controls, useful features, eye-catching design and, importantly, accessible price point. Competition is rife but the X30 remains in the mix with one hand still on the crown.
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 slips into the premium superzoom camera category and packs in a jumbo feature set, including a 25-400mm f/2.8-4.0 equivalent zoom lens paired with large 1-inch sensor.
From 4K video, to silent operation, fast 12fps burst mode, through to the vari-angle LCD and built-in electronic viewfinder combination, decent autofocus and stacks of physical controls, the FZ1000 is an affordable and viable DSLR alternative that really shines on the image quality front.
Panasonic Lumix LX100
The Panasonic Lumix LX100 squeezes a large-size Micro Four Thirds sensor into it, along with an impressive electronic built-in viewfinder, a 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8 equivalent lens for creative images and classic controls with autofocus options that surpass many of its competitors.
It lays the foundations of a great product. A few physical nips and tucks here and there, plus a couple of layout and features tweaks would see the Lumix LX100 be the perfect compact companion. It may come with a slightly large chunky metal body, but it has so many good features wrapped into it that overall, high-end compact cameras don't come much better than this.
Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III
The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III is now in its third-generation and it features a 1-inch sensor, built-in retractable electronic viewfinder and rewrites the earlier RX100 rulebook with a new 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 equivalent lens.
It's a pocketable high-end compact camera that offers it all and although it is very much on the pricey side and has no touchscreen on board, the RX100 III is the benchmark pocketable camera to beat.
Voting for your favourite
Voting in the 11th annual O2 Pocket-lint Awards is now open so you can let us know which one of these great devices you think should win the Best Compact Camera 2014 award and give us your verdict on all the other tech across the 13 select categories.
Winners will be announced at the exclusive event in London on 27 November in association with O2 and Hotwire. For now, keep an eye on the O2 Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2014 hub for all the latest on how the voting works, who the elite judges are and the O2 Pocket-lint Gadget Awards shortlist.