So, you need it the best small camera – but where do you convert? Are Canon and Nikon simply as strong here because they are with their more complex DSLRs and mirrorless digital cameras? Or in the event, you look towards famous brands Sony, Panasonic and Fujifilm?
We think the very best compact camera now maybe the Sony RX100 Tag IV. It’s been blessed with a sizable sensor, cracking 4K video, a high-quality EVF and speedy burst shooting, all in the body that squeezes into your pocket.
The best camera for you personally, though, depends upon what you’re ready to take with you, and how accommodating your budget is. Plus, it will pay to take into account what you have a tendency to shoot, as this determines the features you truly need.
If you will be shooting outdoors in sunlight, a high-quality electronic viewfinder is an enormous reward, while selfie-lovers and the ones maintaining shoot from the bottom or above their heads at all times benefit from tilting LCD screens.
Those capturing moving subjects would be wise to make hybrid phase- and contrast-detect AF systems one of the keys wants, while those with video on the mind should look not only for 4K video but also a built-in ND filter to help control exposure.
Whatever you plan to shoot – and no matter your budget – we’ve got an option for you below. Here are the best compact cameras right now.
10 Best Compact Cameras in 2020
1. Sony RX100 Mark IV: Best overall
This is the fourth of seven RX100-series cameras, and while the Mark V and VI (position 4) versions are more advanced, they’re also a fair bit costlier. We reckon the Mark IV strikes the nice spot between being advanced plenty of to offer the average photographer everything they need by way of up-to-day tech without it getting so pricey that no one can justify the outlay. Image quality is solid in great light and poor, while video quality can be excellent due to footage getting oversampled before it’s output at 4K. In the event that you can’t truly extend to it, the old RX100 Mark III continues to be available brand-new, while Canon’s PowerShot G5 X Mark II (placement 5) and Panasonic LX15 are also shortlist-worthy.
2. Panasonic Lumix ZS200: Best travel zoom
The Lumix ZS200’s specs (also referred to as the Lumix TZ200 beyond your US) belie its compact proportions: not merely do you get yourself a healthy 15x optical zoom, nevertheless, you get a sizable 1-inch sensor thrown in too. That bodes perfectly for picture quality, and it’s bolstered by effective picture stabilization in the lens and Natural shooting to assist you to squeeze out extra goodness from pictures. Panasonic has also shoehorned in an in-depth electronic viewfinder to create shooting in shiny light a breeze, while Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and a super-responsive LCD display screen make the procedure of capturing, viewfinder and outputting your pictures a cinch. Ideal for travel but small enough for general make use of back home too.
3. Fujifilm X100F: Best enthusiast compact
The premium X100F may not be the most recent model here, nonetheless, it still sits towards the high end of the compact camera tree, with a stylishly retro body mingling with a big, APS-C sensor and an excellent helping of Fujifilm’s prized technology inside. Film Simulation choices help deliver beautiful colors direct from the camera while physical dials for aperture, shutter quickness, exposure settlement and ISO offer you lots of physical control – no faffing around the menus right here. The primary party trick exclusive to Fujifilm, however, is normally its hybrid viewfinder, which may cleverly end up being alternated between optical and digital views of the picture.
4. Sony RX100 VI: Best advanced compact
The RX100 line had been popular prior to the RX100 VI arrived, but this version’s ace card is its expansive 24-200mm zoom lens (in 35mm terms) in the body just no more than before. But that’s simply a sliver of what makes it shine, with amazing 4K video, a pop-up EVF, tilting touchscreen, 24fps burst shooting and blistering autofocus all seated alongside. You get the impression that the body has been designed to be as small as possible rather than comfortable to handle, although you can buy a separate hold if it bothers you. Either way, for day-to-day time shooting or as the main cameras on a holiday, the RX100 VI packs a mighty punch for a camera this diddy. If you don’t need a wide focal range, check out the RX100 IV (position 1).
5. Panasonic Lumix LX100 II: Best for general photography
The original LX100 was notable for being the first compact of its kind to sport a big Four Thirds sensor, and this second-gen update packs a handful of useful improvements. We get a fresh sensor – the same as that inside Panasonic’s Lumix GX9 mirrorless camera – and some tweaks to image processing, together with a higher-resolution LCD that’s sensitive to touch. With masses of physical control, it’s perfect for those who like to change things like aperture and exposure compensation as directly as possible. It’s one of a number of enthusiast compacts fighting for your attention, but with that huge sensor and a great lens, it’s definitely one of the most appealing right now. Great as a walkaround camera where a larger interchangeable-lens camera might not be practical.
6. Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II
The new PowerShot G5 X Mark II might be relatively compact but don’t let that fool you; there’s plenty of wizardry on the inside. You get an EVF that pops up when you need it and hides when you don’t, together with a large 1-inch sensor, 4K video, and an LCD screen that flips up to face the front. The 30fps Raw burst mode is unique, and handling is also better than similar models from competitors. It all adds up to be a strong camera for the enthusiast that requires top image quality in a compact form – our only real reservation is price right now, which is partly down to just how new the camera is. For something similar but cheaper, check out the Sony RX100 Mark IV (position 1).
7. Panasonic Lumix ZS60
The Lumix ZS60 (known as the Lumix TZ80 outside the US) is one of a number of budget ZS models from Panasonic that packs a little more than the norm inside its slender body. It’s not quite the newest – the Lumix ZS70 arrived quite recently – but at its current price point it represents the best value among its siblings, and indeed, many other cameras at this level. Key features run from a 30x optical zoom, 4K video recording and 5-axis image stabilization through to a 1.2million dot EVF and Wi-Fi, while clever tricks include the ability to adjust focus after you’ve taken an image and even the option to pull out 8MP stills from 4K videos. If you want something comparable but more complex, the Lumix ZS200 (position 2) will be something to consider.
8. Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
If there’s a very important factor Panasonic knows how specifically to deliver in its cameras it’s affordability, and the FZ1000 teaches you simply how generous the business can be. While definitely not ‘compact’ for a concise camera, the relationship of a 1-in sensor with a zoom lens equal to 25-400mm in 35mm conditions makes its current price tag extraordinarily good. A few of this is right down to the truth that it’s been out there for incredibly a while, but with 5-axis picture stabilization, 4K video, 12fps burst capturing, a mic slot and both Wi-Fi and NFC all up to speed, the spec sheet displays the camera to be relevant in today’s market. The Sony RX10 III (position 10) will be its closest rival upon this list, although the FZ1000 gets the benefit of being not even half that camera’s cost. Even though the FZ1000 has been updated by a Mark II version, the price difference between the two means it’s still this one that gets our nod.
9. Ricoh GR III
With an understated design and a prime (ie non-zoom) lens, the GR III is decidedly a niche option – but with an APS-C sensor inside its petite shell, it’s capable of producing images expected from much larger interchangeable-lens cameras. It’s ideal for street photographers, and the fact that Ricoh has somehow managed to find space for sensor-based stabilization is very welcome given that we don’t tend to see this on such cameras. On the flip side, there’s no viewfinder nor 4K video, and the touchscreen is fixed in place – but what it lacks in versatility it makes up for in quality of performance and results.
10. Sony RX10 III
Sony has now released four very capable RX10-series models, but it’s the 1 / 3 model in the range that hits the nice spot between features and price, with an excellent lens equivalent to 24-600mm in 35mm terms being the star. It’s capable of producing nicely sharp images at all settings, thanks in part to an excellent image stabilization system, while 4K video, DSLR-like control, and a weather-sealed body only add to its flexibility. It’s a little larger than the norm but much smaller than a DSLR packing the same kind of zoom range. If you need something more compact, the Panasonic SZ200/TZ200 (position 2) also packs a 1-inch sensor, 4K video, electronic viewfinder and a wide-reaching zoom lens, albeit one that works between focal lengths equivalent to 24-360mm.