10 Best Compact Cameras for Changing Your Photography Experience

If you’re looking for the greatest compact camera, you’ve come to the right place. We put all of the greatest portable alternatives to the test in order to compile this list of the best models available in 2021. 

This shopping guide will help you pick the finest small camera for you, whether you’re searching for an inexpensive smartphone upgrade or a premium powerhouse that fits in your pocket.

In recent years, smartphones have put a lot of pressure on tiny cameras. 

Smartphones can now record exceptional results in a variety of circumstances, thanks to significant advancements in mobile photography, such as multi-lens shooting and improved low-light capabilities, while yet maintaining the convenience of a small design.

Our Top Pick

Sony ZV-1

Sony ZV-1

  • Unrivaled autofocus
  • Hotshoe and 3.5mm mic port
  • 1.0- type Exmor RS CMOS image sensor bokeh back effect
  • Hing resolution and low noise
  • Flexible screen

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Why would you buy a compact camera?

Why would you buy a compact camera

Despite the fact that basic point-and-shoot cameras have all but vanished from the market, the best small cameras continue to offer advantages over smartphones. 

Larger sensors are a clear advantage, while tilting touchscreens and physical buttons provide a more tactile shooting experience than using a smartphone. 

There are additional types that cater to specialized niches, such as super-zoom cameras, waterproof compact cameras, and fun and easy-to-use instant print cameras.

Whatever your photography style or budget, there’s a tiny camera on the list below to suit you. We’ve recommended a broad variety of portable models, spanning a spectrum of pricing brackets, to help you select your ideal small camera.

 From the latest releases to some more economical options, we’ve recommended a wide variety of portable models, covering a spectrum of pricing brackets.

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10 Best Compact Cameras – Buying Guide

1. Sony ZV-1

If you’re searching for a compact camera that focuses on video rather than stills, the Sony ZV-1 is the finest option. 

Not that it isn’t capable of taking still photographs – it does, after all, share the same sensor and CPU as Sony’s latest RX100 series cameras – but the ZV-1’s main strength is its video capabilities. 

These include class-leading autofocus capabilities that allow it to lock on to people and moving objects in your picture with tenacity, as well as exceptional video quality from its 20.1MP 1-inch sensor.

A 3.5mm mic port for enhancing audio quality with an external microphone, as well as a hot shoe to aid mount the latter, round out the features. It’s brilliant 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens doesn’t have the same reach as the RX100 VII, but it does provide gorgeous background blur in both stills and movies, which is ideal if you mostly take portraits or vlogs.

Pros

  • Unrivaled autofocus.
  • Hot shoe and 3.5mm mic port.
  • 1.0- type Exmor RS CMOS image sensor bokeh back effect.
  • Hing resolution and low noise.
  • Flexible screen.

Cons

  • Touchscreen a tad limited.
  • MicroUSB rather than USB-C.

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2. SONY RX100 VII

Sony is the greatest contender for individuals looking for the greatest possible image quality in a pocket-friendly size. 

The RX100 VII is the most recent model, and it builds on Sony’s reputation for high-quality premium small cameras. A microphone jack is the main new addition here, which finally makes the RX100 series appealing to vloggers.

Otherwise, you have a one-inch sensor with a 24-200mm (equivalent) lens, which should be plenty for most common situations. The lens does not have a super-wide aperture, unlike previous RX100 models, which could be an issue if you frequently shoot in low light.

Pros

  • Great image quality.
  • Inbuilt viewfinder and tilting screen.
  • 4K video.
  • Fast frame rate.
  • Built-in Wireless (Wi-fi).

Cons

  • Very high price.
  • Slightly fiddly handling.

3. Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III

With the G1 X Mark III, Canon has done an incredible job. Yes, it’s expensive for a tiny camera, but it has the same 24-megapixel APS-C sensor as Canon’s EOS 80D DSLR and EOS M mirrorless cameras

This is paired with an even more incredible zoom lens, which spans a 24-72 equivalent focal range while still retracting into the camera body when not in use. 

True, the maximum aperture drops dramatically when you zoom in, from f/2.8 to f/5.6, but this is what you get with compact DSLR and mirrorless kit lenses anyhow. The G1 X Mark III may appear to be expensive, but it isn’t when compared to other APS-C compact cameras, and it is now in a class by itself for a quality compact camera with zoom.

Pros

  • Very compact for sensor size.
  • Excellent image quality.
  • Decent 3x zoom range.
  • Dust and moisture resistance.
  • Vari-angle touch LCD.

Cons

  • Just f/5.6 at full zoom.
  • Video limited to 1080p.

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4. Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200

Panasonic pioneered the travel-zoom camera category, which consists of small cameras with built-in long zoom lenses. Despite fierce competition, the Lumix ZS series (known as TZ outside the US) has dominated sales, and the superb Lumix ZS200 continues this trend (called TZ200 outside the US).

Panasonic has been able to maintain the camera body around the same size as preceding ZS-series cameras while squeezing a considerably larger 1-inch sensor into the camera to give significantly improved image quality, as we first witnessed with the Lumix ZS100 / TZ100.

Although the zoom lens isn’t as powerful as some, the adaptable 15x zoom should be more than enough for most individuals, and it still outperforms all smartphones. There’s an electronic viewfinder (although a small one), but there’s also 4K video and a nice touchscreen interface. This is the camera for you if you want a tiny all-in-one camera that takes outstanding pictures.

Pros

  • Large 1.0-inch sensor
  • 15x zoom range lens
  • Rubber grip ensures a good grip on the housing.
  • Extensive configuration option.
  • Right low light lens.

Cons

  • Small electronic viewfinder
  • Fixed screen

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5. FUJIFILM X100V

The X100V is the fifth version of an incredibly well-regarded premium compact camera, with a charmingly retro look combined with a variety of sophisticated functions. 

After years of being known as the makers of inexpensive and cheerful point-and-shoot cameras, Fujifilm was reintroduced to the world of serious photography with the first X100.

The X100V, like its predecessors, features a DSLR-sized (APS-C) sensor and a fixed-length 23mm f/2 lens. This provides you a 35mm comparable focal length, which is ideal for street photography. Only having one focal length may seem limited, but it will force you to be more creative with your photography in many ways, which is a good thing.

Pros

  • Beautiful design.
  • Tilting screen.
  • Large sensor.
  • Low light performance.
  • Battery performance.

Cons

  • Single focal length.
  • High asking price.

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6. Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

The problem with large sensors is that they necessitate large lenses, which eliminates any possibility of portability. Normally, yes. Panasonic, on the other hand, has nailed it with the Panasonic LX100 II. 

It combines a Micro Four Thirds sensor, which is similar in size to ASP-C sensors seen in contemporary DSLRs, with a miniaturized lens assembly that powers down into a camera body that is tiny enough to take around.

The LX100 II is a completely redesigned version of the original LX100, which was beginning to show its age. 

The new model boasts a 17-megapixel ‘multi-aspect’ sensor, which means you can shoot in its native 4:3 aspect ratio, the 3:2 aspect ratio used by most DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, or a 16:9 ‘wide’ format without losing a lot of megapixels.

Pros

  • Only compact with MFT sensor.
  • Fast f/1.7-2.8 lens.
  • 4K video, 4K Photo modes.
  • A large sensor gives you control of depth.
  • Retro metal control dials.

Cons

  • 17MP is lower than some rivals.
  • The LCD screen is fixed.

7. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

The G7X Mark II was a tremendous hit, and we’re convinced that vloggers and hobby photographers will love it just as much. 

With the addition of 4K shooting, a microphone input, and live streaming to YouTube to the previously mentioned built-in ND filter and flip-up an LCD screen, this is undoubtedly the best compact for vlogging right now.

If you don’t care about video, there’s plenty to keep you pleased, including 30fps shooting at full definition, a super-sensitive touchscreen, in-camera Raw processing, and USB charging. It’s a shame there’s no viewfinder or hot shoe, but then again, these features aren’t required by everyone.

Pros

  • Super-fast burst shooting.
  • Great build and handling.
  • Built-in Wireless (Wi-fi).
  • Bluetooth Connectivity.
  • 4K (UHD) Video.

Cons

  • The lens can be a little soft.
  • No hot shoe.

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8. FUJI X100F

If you want the X100V but don’t have the funds to buy it, looking at its predecessor is a good option – the only thing you’ll miss out on is the tilting screen.

The Fuji X100F is as stunning as it is powerful. If you prefer the classic style, the X100F, like pretty much every other camera in Fuji’s excellent arsenal, is a sight to behold.

Although the X100F is a tiny camera, it has a DSLR-sized sensor (APS-C). It’s combined with a wonderful 35mm f/2.0 fixed-length lens, which, though restricted, is ideal for shooting street life and travel shots that force you to think about what you’re photographing before pressing the shutter release indiscriminately.

Pros

  • Gorgeous looks.
  • Very large sensor.
  • Excellent image quality in Raw and JPEG.
  • The hybrid viewfinder is delightful.
  • In-camera Raw conversion and WiFi.

Cons

  • High price.
  • One focal length only.

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9. Leica Q2

Leica cameras have a reputation for polarizing people. They’re exorbitantly priced, built to old styles and standards that many people consider outdated or irrelevant, and they rarely match modern counterparts in terms of features and technologies.

But cameras are more than just numbers on a spreadsheet, and the Leica Q2 excels in every way, from its full frame image quality with its new 47 megapixel sensor to its Leica-made Summilux lens and its pared-down minimalist style.

Using a Leica isn’t only about the photographs; it’s also about the experience, so you’ll have to evaluate whether the experience is worth the money. Even if the price isn’t an issue for you, there’s still the matter of locating a merchant who has one in stock. Best of luck!

Pros

  • Superb Summicron 28mm f/1.7
  • Full frame 47MP sensor
  • Built-in Wireless (Wi-fi)
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • External Flash Shoe

Cons

  • Fixed LCD panel
  • No pop-up flash

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10. CANON SX740 HS

For those searching for a travel-friendly compact camera, the SX740 is a wonderful option.

Although it includes manual control settings, we wouldn’t suggest it to advanced photographers, especially since it doesn’t support raw format shooting. 

40x optical zoom is great for getting closer to the action, but such a long lens necessitates a small sensor – this shouldn’t be an issue if you’re primarily going to use this camera for bright daylight shots of your vacation, but it’s not the best performer in the world for low-light and night work.

Pros

  • Great zoom range.
  • Easy to use.
  • Good value.
  • 4K (UHD) Video.
  • Face Detection Focusing.

Cons

  • No touchscreen.
  • Poor in low-light.

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Conclusion

The answer to this question will vary depending on your needs. With all of the different features, sizes and prices to choose from when buying a new camera, it can be tough to find one that is perfect for you. 

To help narrow down your search, we’ve put together this list of top cameras in 2021. Hopefully, our review will give you some ideas about which compact camera might work best for you and your budget!

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