The well-known from film-based photography and the Compact SLR camera are represented in digital photography, and there are also a number of intermediate forms.
While SLRs differ in external form and structure of some of the film-based predecessors, for compact cameras is mainly due to the extreme miniaturization, by the strong reduction of the recording format is enabled (form factor compared with about 6 small picture). The now rarely built optical viewfinder has been replaced by large-format displays for picture composition.
As housing sizes have prevailed for Ultra-Compact format with the dimensions of a rectangular cigarette box, with the lens at rest disappears completely in the front and is closed automatically. Some compact cameras are constructed with internal lens: The front lens is rigid in the housing, the light is directed by a prism on the perpendicular direction for receiving arranged movable lens elements for zoom and focus in the housing interior. These "Periskopobjektiv" called design enables highly robust cameras that can be used even under water.
Panasonic Lumix ZS20
For something more ambitious models of a design is similar to the traditional compact cameras with protruding lens and beaded handle common. New special designs, such as housing halves rotatable with the Pentax Optio X have not been enforced.
One of the first established on the market hybrids between compact and SLR was the so-called bridge camera with fixed lens and electronic viewfinder, similar to the optical viewfinder of an SLR. Bridge cameras usually have super zoom lenses.
Was based on the beginning of 2008, introduced Micro Four Thirds standards the manufacturers Olympus and Panasonic with the LUMIX DMC-G1 for the first time a camera with a bayonet, but presented without oscillating mirror, which also established a new genre of digital system cameras, the so-called MILC- , EVIL cameras or CSC (for mirrorless interchangeable lens, electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens and compact camera system, in German about mirrorless camera with interchangeable lens camera with electronic viewfinder and interchangeable lens system camera or compact).