Best compact camera: comparison of current compact cameras and our recommendations

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You are looking for the best compact camera? Then you are exactly right here. We show you which models are recommended on the market and give you concrete buy recommendations for every budget.

If someone told us two years ago that we would buy a compact camera, we would probably have shaken their heads in disbelief.

We love our system cameras and all the great possibilities they have with them.

But we also do not always feel like taking the big camera with us and therefore need a compact alternative.

Fortunately, a lot has happened in the field of compact cameras in recent years. Meanwhile, there are models that offer such a good picture quality that they do not have to hide from system cameras or SLR cameras.

In this article, we introduce you to the best compact cameras and show you which is the right choice for you.

If you are still unsure whether a compact camera is the right choice for you, it is best to also read our camera Kaufberatung .

Summary: The best compact camera

If you do not feel like reading our complete compact camera comparison, we'll give you a short summary at the beginning.

The question "Which is the best compact camera?" Can not be answered flat rate. Depending on requirements and budget, there is another camera that we would call the best compact camera. That's why we now introduce our favorites for different needs.

For each camera you will find a link to Bol.com as well as links to the photo retailers Foto Koch and Calumet. With both we have had good experiences and priced sometimes they are even cheaper than Bol.com or at least the same.

Here is our list of the best compact cameras:

# 1 Best compact camera for special requirements: Fujifilm X100F

The Fujifilm X100F is a top-of-the-range compact camera that we also use ourselves. It offers excellent image quality, a very reduced operation and is just fun. Priced it is just under 1,300 euros .

To the camera on Bol.com / At Foto Koch / Bei Calumet

# 2 Best value for money: Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100II

The Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100II is already available for less than 800 euros and our prize-winner. The bright zoom lens offers optimal conditions for almost all conditions.

To the camera on Bol.com / At Foto Koch / Bei Calumet

# 3 Best compact camera for video recording: Sony DSC-RX 100 VII

The latest camera in the Sony DSC-RX 100 series costs just under € 1,300 and clearly has its strengths in filming. For recording videos, there is currently no better compact camera on the market.

To the camera on Bol.com / At Foto Koch / Bei Calumet

# 4 Best Snapshot Camera: Ricoh GR III

A slightly different camera is the Ricoh GR III. It is the smallest and lightest compact camera and offers a remarkable image quality. Price is just under 900 euros .

To the camera on Bol.com / At Foto Koch

# 5 Best cheap compact camera: Sony DSC-RX 100

If you're looking for a compact camera for less, we recommend the Sony DSC-RX 100. The first camera in the popular Sony range, available for under $ 350, is the best in the lower price segment.

To the camera on Bol.com / At Foto Koch / Bei Calumet

In our opinion, these are the best compact cameras for various demands that are currently available on the market. You will learn more about the individual cameras and possible alternatives if you continue to read.

Why buy a compact camera at all?

If you are not yet sure if a compact camera is the right choice for you, we will first show you the advantages and disadvantages of a compact camera.

If you are still completely unsure what kind of camera fits you best, check out our camera buying guide. In this article, we present in detail all types of cameras and highlight the advantages and disadvantages:

Camera buying advice: Which camera is right for you?

Advantages of a compact camera

height and weight

The big advantage of compact cameras is of course the size and weight. While a SLR camera or even a mirrorless system camera often weighs several kilograms, a compact camera is small and light.

Sometimes there are models that weigh only about 200 grams and even the largest and heaviest compact cameras weigh no more than 500 grams.

Exactly this was also the decisive point for us, why we decided for a compact camera. We are very satisfied with our system cameras. We have the Sony Alpha 7ii with very good lenses, but that weighs just 3 kilograms.

If we deliberately go on a photo tour, that's no problem at all. Then we like to take the big camera with us. Often we just want to run through a city without taking pictures all the time. Nevertheless, it would be nice to have a camera on hand, if we encounter a great motif.

So we wanted a second camera in our photo equipment , which we can always have with us, if we do not want to take our big cameras with us, but which nevertheless fulfills our requirements in terms of image quality and operation. That's why we chose a premium compact camera.

unobtrusiveness

Another advantage of compact cameras is their comparatively inconspicuousness. With a big camera around your neck, you are always pretty noticeable as a photographer. In some areas, this is not necessarily recommended, so a small compact camera here is the better solution.

Even in street photography, it often makes sense to be traveling with a small camera instead of being noticed with a big camera.

Disadvantages of a compact camera

Lack of flexibility

If you opt for a SLR or system camera, you will buy the camera and lenses separately. So you can always buy new lenses, if you want to try something new or try a different kind of photography.

This is not possible with a compact camera. Here is the lens firmly installed in the camera, so you can not change. That's basically not bad, but you should know.

picture quality

Often, the image quality of compact cameras is called a disadvantage. That's certainly true in part, but you have to take a closer look.

There are now premium compact cameras that offer excellent image quality and do not have to hide from many large cameras. If you opt for such a premium model, you get synonymous with compact cameras a very good picture quality.

Of course, the quality, for. B. in low light conditions, never approach a large full-size camera, but that's also logical. Firstly, better technology can be installed in larger cameras and, secondly, it is of course also clear that a full-frame camera for 3,000 euros achieves better results than a compact camera for 800 euros.

Overall, you should worry about the picture quality but not so much. The decision for a compact camera is always a conscious decision for less weight and size. Certain drawbacks are just needed there, but the cameras presented here all offer a decent quality.

Compact camera vs. Smartphone

Meanwhile, of course, smartphones are a real alternative to a compact camera. So why should you buy a compact camera at all, if a smartphone can take just as good pictures? After all, you always have it with you anyway.

Good question! We also got involved in smartphone photography for a while, but found that it just is not the same. This has two main reasons:

Operation and enjoyment of photography

Taking pictures with a smartphone does not make us any fun personally. Sure, for a quick snapshot, we sometimes press on our phones, but for more it just simply not enough.

For us it is part of photography that we ourselves make various settings such as aperture or shutter speed. This is also possible with high-quality mobile phones, but that's simply not comfortable. Half an eternity has passed before you click through the menu to make the settings. On a good compact camera that goes with a handle.

And then there is also the lack of value of mobile phone photos. Most people have hundreds or even thousands of photos on their smartphones. Most of them never look at each other again. For photos taken with a real camera, that's just different.

That may be a very subjective attitude, but we certainly feel that many people feel that way.

It's a question of price

Basically, it's also a question of price, whether a smartphone is a real competitor to a compact camera - both the price of the smartphone and the camera.

To take decent pictures with a smartphone, you must definitely resort to a premium model that is priced in the upper three-digit range or even higher.

The same applies to a compact camera. It makes absolutely no sense to buy a compact camera in the low price segment under 500 euros, if you also have a 1000 euro smartphone in the bag. In this case, a smartphone camera is actually the better option, as the image quality and the operation of cheap compact cameras is simply not good enough.

In our opinion, a smartphone will not work against a premium compact camera.

Compact camera vs. system camera

Are you still unsure whether a compact camera or a system camera is the right choice for you? The answer is as usual: it depends!

Is size and weight the most important argument for your purchase decision: Then opt for a compact camera.

If you want to be flexible and use other lenses on your camera in the future, then opt for a system camera.

For us it is not even the question: compact camera or system camera? We use both!

We take the system camera with us if we consciously go on a photo tour and want to take a lot of pictures.

We take the compact camera with us, if we do not want to have large luggage or just want to spread a handful of photos to a day. For us, both systems complement each other perfectly.

What should you look for when buying a compact camera?

We will introduce you to the best compact cameras in detail. First, let's take a look at what you should pay attention to when buying a compact camera and what we also paid attention to when selecting the cameras in this article.

picture quality

The picture quality is of course the most important criterion when buying a camera. Various factors are responsible for image quality, which makes this criterion the hardest to review when making a purchase decision.

Among other things, the built-in sensor and the lens of the camera are among the factors that affect the image quality. Of course, in this article, we only present cameras that provide decent to very good picture quality.

luminous intensity

The light intensity of a compact camera depends on how far the aperture of the lens can be opened. The decisive value for this is the so-called f-number. The smaller this number, the brighter the lens.

The f-number is indicated with an f / or F /. An aperture of f / 1.8 is thus better than a f / 3.5 aperture. Of course we write here with all cameras, which aperture allows the lens.

Viewfinder and display

Not all compact cameras have a viewfinder. For us, a missing viewfinder is an exclusion criterion, because for us it is simply a matter of photographing to look through the viewfinder. But that is certainly a very personal decision that everyone has to make for themselves.

The same applies to the display. The compact cameras presented here differ quite clearly in what one can do with the display. Some cameras have a folding display, others do not. Some have a touchscreen, others do not. Here you simply have to decide for yourself what is urgently needed for you or just gimmickry.

service

A very important factor when buying a compact camera is the operation of the camera. From our big cameras we are used to reaching all the important controls quickly and making important adjustments in no time at all.

As there is less space for cogs and buttons in a compact camera, it may be that the operation is not quite as comfortable and some functions have to be controlled via the menu on the display.

However, many compact cameras have very clever operating concepts, so that the operation is almost or just as comfortable as on a larger camera.

Premium compact cameras over 1,000 euros

It starts with the premium compact cameras, for which you have to put more than 1,000 euros on the table, but also get the most.

If this is too expensive for you, jump straight to the next section, where we introduce cameras between 500 and 1,000 euros.

Our favorite: Fujifilm X100F

The Fujifilm X100F is considered one of the best compact cameras ever. Fujifilm has really set the standard with this premium compact camera and after a long comparison, we decided to buy this camera as well.

The most important data at a glance:

  • Focal length: 23 mm fixed focal length (converted to full size 35 mm)
  • Aperture: f / 2.0
  • Sensor: 24.3 megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor
  • Weight: 469 grams
  • Folding display: no
  • Viewfinder: yes (optically and electronically)
  • Price: about 1,300 euros

Our assessment:

The Fujifilm X100F is barely a bargain at almost 1,300 euros, but in our opinion it is absolutely worth the price.

The camera is just a lot of fun and looks really pretty.

The minimalistic operating concept reminds of the times of analogue photography. Shutter speed and exposure compensation are set by means of cogs directly on the camera, and the aperture is set directly on the lens, so that operation is fast and uncomplicated after a short settling in.

The picture quality is really terrific. Of course you can shoot with the camera in RAW format, but also the JPGs have a top quality.

Especially is the hybrid viewfinder. A small switch on the front of the camera makes it easy to switch between the optical and electronic viewfinders so you can take advantage of both types of viewfinder.

The camera has a built-in flash, which we would normally consider gimmicks. In the case of the Fujifilm X100F, however, this flash really does a surprisingly good job, so you can certainly use it.

Are there any disadvantages at all? Sure, they always exist. For example, the camera does not have a folding display, which does not bother us personally. At 469 grams, it is not exactly one of the absolute lightweights among the compacts.

It is important to know, of course, that the lens is a fixed focal length . We like to shoot with fixed focal lengths and 23mm (equivalent to 35mm to full size) is the perfect focal length for us. Of course, if you prefer a camera with zoom, the Fujifilm X100F is not the right choice for you.

For those who want to photograph consciously and appreciate a special camera, the Fujifilm X100F is our absolute buy recommendation.

To the camera on Bol.com / At Foto Koch / Bei Calumet

Perfect for video recording: Sony DSC-RX 100 VII

Sony offers a whole range of high-quality compact cameras with the RX 100 series. End of 2019, the seventh camera in the series came on the market, the Sony DSC RX 100 VII.

The most important data at a glance:

  • Focal length: 24 to 200 mm
  • Aperture: f / 2.8 to 4.5
  • Sensor: 20.1 megapixels 1 "CMOS sensor
  • Weight: 275 grams
  • Folding display: yes
  • Viewfinder: yes (electronic)
  • Price: about 1,300 euros

Our assessment:

Sony has brought with the Sony DSC-RX 100 VII definitely a camera of the top class on the market, which also shows the handsome price of about 1,300 euros.

The built-in zoom lens from Zeiss has a focal length of 24 to 200 mm, so you are well equipped for any purpose. With such a large focal length range, of course, the light intensity always suffers, which is rather average with an aperture of f / 2.8 to f / 4.5 depending on the selected focal length.

The absolute strength of the camera is the autofocus, which is one of the best in the market for compact cameras.

The camera plays its strengths especially for filmmakers. You can do with the camera relatively low-blur 4k video recordings. There is also the option to rotate portrait videos and the camera has a connection for an external microphone.

For videographers, youtubers and vloggers, we think the Sony DSC-RX 100 VII is the best choice.

Who makes only photos, drives in our opinion with one of the cheaper predecessor models (Sony DSC-RX 100 V and VI), which we present below, better.

To the camera on Bol.com / At Foto Koch / Bei Calumet

Full-frame compact camera: Sony DSC-RX1R

The Sony DSC-RX1R is one of only two compact cameras on the market, which is equipped with a full-format sensor and delights even the most demanding photographers.

The most important data at a glance:

  • Focal length: 35 mm fixed focal length
  • Aperture: f / 2.0
  • Sensor: 24.3 megapixel CMOS full format sensor
  • Weight: 482 grams
  • Folding display: no
  • Seeker: no
  • Price: about 2,600 euros

Our assessment:

The Sony DSC-RX1R came on the market in 2013 and is at just under 3,000 euros at first sight outrageously expensive for a compact camera.

Of course, the price is justified by the full-frame sensor, but certainly only the least amount of money for a compact camera will take in the hand.

The camera's image quality and technical features are beyond any doubt and will make even the most demanding photographers happy.

If you do not want to do without a full-frame sensor, the Sony DSC-RX1R is the camera with the best price-performance ratio. Alternatively, only the grip remains for Leica Q2, which is again almost twice as expensive with 5,000 euros.

To the camera at Bol.com

For Leica fans: Leica D-LUX 7

If you would like to have a Leica camera without having to spend several thousand Euros in your hand, you should take a look at the Leica D-Lux 7 times.

The most important data at a glance:

  • Focal length: 10.9 to 34 mm (converted to full size: 24 to 75 mm)
  • Aperture: f / 1.7 to f / 2.8
  • Sensor: 17 megapixels FourThirds sensor
  • Weight: 403 grams
  • Folding display: no
  • Viewfinder: yes (electronic)
  • Price: about 1,150 euros

Our assessment:

The Leica D-Lux 7 is certainly not a bad camera. However, behind the pretty facade hides a Panasonic LUMIX DC-LX100II. Sounds strange, but it is.

Leica and Panasonic are cooperating in the development of compact cameras and in fact the Leica D-LUX 7 is technically absolutely identical to the Panasonic LUMIX DC-LX100II.

Only the case looks a bit more valuable with the Leica camera and with the Leica you also get an app to sync your photos, but rather gets mixed reviews.

If you really want to have a Leica, which we can understand, you can buy this camera without hesitation. If you prefer to pay 300 to 400 euros less, rather buy the identical Panasonic LUMIX DC-LX100II, which we will introduce in more detail below.

To the camera on Bol.com / At Foto Koch / Bei Calumet

Compact cameras under 1,000 euros

In this section, we introduce compact cameras for less than 1,000 euros. Most cameras range between 700 and 800 euros. For the price you get really decent quality.

We would not spend much less on a compact camera. In the even cheaper models, the advantages over a smartphone are not really available, so we would actually recommend, rather to grab the phone and save the money for a new camera.

Our favorite: Panasonic LUMIX DC-LX100II

We wavered for a long time, which compact camera we buy and the Panasonic LUMIX DC-LX100II is just barely not become. In this price category, it is definitely our absolute favorite.

The most important data at a glance:

  • Focal length: 10.9 to 34 mm (converted to full size: 24 to 75 mm)
  • Aperture: f / 1.7 to f / 2.8
  • Sensor: 17 megapixels FourThirds sensor
  • Weight: 392 grams
  • Folding display: no
  • Viewfinder: yes (electronic)
  • Price: about 800 euros

Our assessment:

As already mentioned, the Panasonic LUMIX DC-LX100II is technically absolutely identical to the almost 400 Euro more expensive Leica D-LUX 7. While Panasonic supplies the sensors for both cameras, the lenses come from Leica.

Both guarantee a very good picture quality. The focal length of 24 to 75 mm is suitable for almost all situations and the maximum aperture of f / 1.7 to f / 2.8 brings the necessary light intensity.

The operation is intuitive via different turning wheels. Another highlight is the large LCD display with touch operation.

Overall, the camera offers an excellent price-performance ratio and is our buying tip in this price segment.

To the camera on Bol.com / At Foto Koch / Bei Calumet

Good value for money: Sony DSC-RX100 V

The fifth camera from the Sony DSC RX100 series offers the best price-performance ratio of all cameras in the series, in our opinion.

The most important data at a glance:

  • Focal length: 24 to 70 mm (converted to full size)
  • Aperture: f / 1.8 to f / 2.8
  • Sensor: 20.1 megapixels 1 "CMOS sensor
  • Weight: 299 grams
  • Folding display: yes
  • Viewfinder: yes (electronic)
  • Price: about 800 euros

Our assessment:

The Sony DSC-RX100 V is a very good choice and competes with the Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100II for the title as value for money in our compact camera comparison.

For the key figures focal length and light intensity, both cameras are equal. Unlike the Panasonic, the Sony compact camera has a folding display, in addition, it is again almost 100 grams lighter and smaller.

But that's a disadvantage for us, frankly, because we like the operation on the Panasonic better. Since the Sony is smaller, it has less direct outdoor settings. Ultimately, it is the taste and habituation thing, but has given us the rash.

Although there are already two successor models, which we also present here in the article. For us, however, the Sony DSC-RX100 V has the best price-performance ratio among the Sony cameras and is therefore our buy recommendation.

To the camera on Bol.com / At Foto Koch / Bei Calumet

The successor: Sony DSC-RX 100 VI

And here comes the completeness equal to the next camera in the series, the Sony DSC-RX100 VI.

The most important data at a glance:

  • Focal length: 24 to 200 mm (converted to full size)
  • Aperture: f / 2.8 to f / 4.5
  • Sensor: 20.1 megapixels 1 "CMOS sensor
  • Weight: 301 grams
  • Folding display: yes
  • Viewfinder: yes (electronic)
  • Price: about 1,000 euros

Our assessment:

The Sony DSC-RX100 VI costs about 200 euros more than its predecessor, but in our opinion is not necessarily an improvement.

The focal length of this camera is now up to 200 mm. This sounds good at first, but unfortunately it is at the expense of the light intensity, which is a lot worse with this camera.

Improvements were mainly in the autofocus and the video features.

Overall, we would either advise to the previous model or buy the successor model.

To the camera on Bol.com / At Foto Koch / Bei Calumet

The snapshot camera: Ricoh GR III

A slightly different camera is the Ricoh GR III - the perfect snapshot camera.

The most important data at a glance:

  • Focal length: 18.3 mm (28 mm converted to full size)
  • Aperture: f / 2.8
  • Sensor: 24 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • Weight: 257 grams
  • Folding display: no
  • Seeker: no
  • Price: about 900 euros

Our assessment:

The Ricoh GR III is marketed as the ultimate snapshot camera. That does not sound so positive for a 900 Euro camera, but it is meant that way.

The biggest advantage of the camera is its really compact size and the low weight of only 257 grams. The Ricoh GR III really fits in any pocket, making it the perfect all-in-one camera.

The camera offers a good picture quality, an excellent image stabilizer and is above all very fast.

Unfortunately, the camera has no viewfinder, so it is not the right choice for us. But she does not necessarily need a viewfinder for her task as a fast-working compact camera.

If you are looking for a camera for fast but high quality snapshots then the Ricoh GR III is a good choice. If you prefer taking pictures in peace and would like to adjust a lot yourself, we advise you to another camera.

To the camera on Bol.com / At Foto Koch

The alternative: Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

Canon also offers various compact cameras. The Canon PowerShot G7 X III is one of the most popular compact cameras of the manufacturer.

The most important data at a glance:

  • Focal length: 24 to 600 mm (converted to full size)
  • Aperture: f / 2.8 to 5.6f / 1.8 to 2.8
  • Sensor: 20.2 megapixels 1 "CMOS sensor
  • Weight: 304 grams
  • Folding display: yes
  • Seeker: no
  • Price: about 800 euros

Our assessment:

The Canon PowerShot G7 X III is a consistently good camera, but in our opinion, but the price-performance ratio does not match the Panasonic LUMIX DC-LX100II and the Sony DSC-RX100 V, both of which cost around 800 euros.

From the light intensity of the Canon is also very good, with the focal length, it even offers a little more zoom than its two competitors. It has advantages in particular with the video functions.

The biggest disadvantage for us is the missing viewfinder and the generally not so intuitive operating concept of the camera.

As I said, the Canon PowerShot G7 X III is a solid compact camera with which you do not go wrong. But for us it is not the best choice in this price segment.

To the camera on Bol.com / At Foto Koch / Bei Calumet

The zoom miracle: Canon PowerShot G3 X

If you are looking for a camera with a huge zoom range, the Canon PowerShot G3 X is the best choice.

The most important data at a glance:

  • Focal length: 24 to 600 mm (converted to full size)
  • Aperture: f / 2.8 to 5.6
  • Sensor: 20.2 megapixels 1 "CMOS sensor
  • Weight: 733 grams
  • Folding display: yes
  • Viewfinder: yes (electronic)
  • Price: about 800 euros

Our assessment:

A compact camera with a focal length of up to 600 mm is sometimes a correct announcement. Normally you have to carry around for such focal lengths huge lenses.

Although 733 grams are quite a lot for a compact camera, this is too much for the enormous focal length. Many technical details are otherwise very similar to the Canon PowerShot G7 X II, also priced both cameras move in the same frame. Unlike the G7X, the G3X also offers a viewfinder.

If you have a compact camera for wildlife photography, z. For example, if you're looking for safaris or other distant subjects, then the Canon PowerShot G3 X is a great choice. For all other applications, we would prefer a different camera.

To the camera at Bol.com

Cheap compact cameras under 500 euros

As already mentioned, we would not buy ourselves a cheap compact camera, because in this price range smartphones meanwhile do at least as good a job.

If you still want to buy a cheap compact camera, we present you in this section two models for well below 500 euros.

Our favorite among the cheap compact cameras: Sony RX100

The Sony RX100 was the first camera in the popular Sony series. Even if she is getting a bit old, she is still a solid alternative for beginners.

The most important data at a glance:

  • Focal length: 28 to 100 mm (converted to full size)
  • Aperture: f / 1.8 to 4.9
  • Sensor: 20.2 megapixels 1 "CMOS sensor
  • Weight: 240 grams
  • Folding display: no
  • Seeker: no
  • Price: about 350 euros

Our assessment:

Although the Sony RX100 is already getting a bit old and there are now six successor models, it is still a good entry-level camera.

The Sony RX100 offers a decent picture quality and a relatively high light intensity. The comparatively low price of less than 350 euros makes the Sony RX100 a good choice in the lower price category of compact cameras.

To the camera on Bol.com / At Foto Koch / Bei Calumet

The alternative: Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

The Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II is the affordable entry-level compact from Canon.

The most important data at a glance:

  • Focal length: 28 to 84 mm (converted to full size)
  • Aperture: f / 2.0 to 4.9
  • Sensor: 20.2 megapixels 1 "CMOS sensor
  • Weight: 209 grams
  • Folding display: no
  • Seeker: no
  • Price: about 350 euros

Our assessment:

The Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II is a solid entry-level camera with relatively good light output and a typical focal length range.

It is very light, but has neither the viewfinder nor a folding display like the Sony. Der Sensor ist allerdings der gleiche, wie in den teureren Modellen der Canon-Reihe.

Zur Kamera bei Bol.com / Bei Foto Koch / Bei Calumet

Conclusion