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Top 10 Best Serious Compact Digital Cameras 2017

Top 10 Best Serious Compact Digital Cameras 2017 - We take a look at the top 10 best serious compact digital cameras available on the market today that we've put to the test.

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Panasonic X100F in Compact Cameras

ePHOTOzine has reviewed every serious/advanced compact camera available and here, we reveal the best cameras, based on our in-depth reviews. Below, we highlight some of the best features of each model so you should be able to find a camera capable of delivering high image quality and speedy performance.

The cameras on this list have a larger than normal sensor built in and we've not included bridge cameras as these don't tend to be very compact in size and we've also left out travel zooms. We do have top tens which look at bridge cameras and travel zooms, though, so do check them out if this is the type of camera more suited to you. Plus, a number of these types of cameras now feature larger than normal sensors as well as manual controls. 

 

1. Panasonic Lumix LX100 

Panasonic Lumix LX100 Black (7)

 

The Panasonic Lumix LX100 is a large sensor (Micro Four Thirds) compact camera, with a f/1.7 - 2.8 Leica lens equivalent to 24-75mm in 35mm terms, built-in Wi-Fi and an electronic viewfinder. Even though we reviewed the camera back in 2014, it's still sitting as reigning champion in our top ten thanks to its impressive line-up of features, 4K video capture, bright lens and stylish metal body. In fact, we were that impressed with the LX100, we gave it our 'Editor's Choice' award. 

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2. Canon Powershot G5 X 

Canon Powershot G5 X (1) | 1/60 sec | f/1.4 | 25.0 mm | ISO 640
 

The Canon Powershot G5 X is a development of the G7 X, and features the same large 20 megapixel 1inch BSI CMOS sensor and bright 4.2x optical zoom f/1.8-2.8 lens, but adds a tilting vari-angle touch-screen, electronic viewfinder and updated design. The G5 X gives more optical zoom than most of the competition with the same sensor and anyone who is looking for a compact camera that delivers excellent image quality, good control and handling, as well as a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF), the G5 X certainly offers the complete package. 

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3. Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) 

Leica D LUX Typ109 (1)
 

The Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) is based on the Panasonic Lumix LX100 and features a large 12.8 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, built-in Wi-Fi, an electronic viewfinder, and 4K video recording. The Leica lens is the equivalent to a 24-75mm lens and features a bright f/1.7-f/2.8 aperture giving high image quality, and a large Micro Four Thirds sensor ensures that noise performance is good even at higher ISO settings. The built-in electronic viewfinder is another useful feature, particularly if regularly shooting outdoors in bright sunny conditions. With a number of external controls, along with a compact and stylish metal body, the Leica D-Lux (Typ 109) is a pleasure to use and we were happy to 'Highly Recommend' it. 

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4. Fujifilm X100F 

1/100 sec | f/5.6 | 55.0 mm | ISO 720

The Fujifilm X100F is the latest fixed lens premium compact to join Fujifilm's popular line-up of retro-inspired compacts. Inside the X100F you'll find a 24.3Mp APS-C CMOS sensor and new features include an ISO dial built into the shutter speed dial (like the X-Pro2) and a focus joystick which allows you to change the focus point without taking your eye off the viewfinder. The 100F is actually the 4th generation of the X100, updating the X100T, and in the evolved version you'll also find the hybrid viewfinder that can switch between optical and electronic views. 

Overall, the camera feels great and is a joy to use so if you get the chance to try it our, we highly recommend that you do. 

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5. Ricoh GR II 

GR Closeup 3
 

The Ricoh GR II is an update to the Ricoh GR and features a number of updates including built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, improved white balance, noise performance, effects modes, as well as the capability to wirelessly control external flash units. Features carried over from the GR include a 16 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, plus a 28mm equivalent f/2.8 GR lens which produces images that are very sharp and detailed. The Ricoh GR II may seem like a subtle update to the previous camera, however, the camera offers built-in Wi-Fi and NFC, bringing the camera more up to date. Improvements have been made in continuous shooting and the camera feels very rapid in use. For those that want a pocketable camera that can deliver high image quality, without the need for optical zoom, then the Ricoh GR II would make an ideal solution.

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6. Canon Powershot G7 X II 


 

The Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II is the update to the G7 X, and as a serious compact camera with a larger than normal 20-megapixel 1inch sensor and it provides excellent image quality, with a bright 4.2x optical zoom lens, whilst still being pocketable. For those who want a compact camera with a larger than normal 1inch sensor, and a longer zoom than most other serious compacts, then the G7 X Mark II certainly delivers high image quality and rapid speed. With Wi-Fi and NFC built-in, there is very little lacking from the G7 X Mark II, and it's easy to transfer images, as well as control the camera with your smartphone remotely. The Canon Powershot G7 X Mark II would make an excellent choice for those that don't want to take a bigger camera with them but also don't want to compromise on image quality or control. 

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7. Leica Q (Typ 116) 

Leica Q Black (10)
 

The Leica Q (Typ 116) features a fixed 28mm f/1.7 Summilux ASPH. lens, a 24 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, full HD video recording, a 3inch touch screen and an electronic viewfinder with 3.686 million pixels. The Leica Q (Typ 116) offers rapid performance, excellent image quality, and good handling.  If you wanted one camera to use, and like the idea of one focal length, then the Leica Q Typ 116 is an excellent camera. If however, you are wanting to change lenses, then perhaps the Leica Q might not be the one for you. Overall, the camera makes full-frame photography more accessible with a Leica lens, without the expense of having to buy a Leica M rangefinder and lens, whilst also making it easy to use with autofocus and other beginner-friendly features such as auto and scene modes available. For the professional photographer or those that simply want to get back to the core controls of photography, there are a number of external controls giving direct access to aperture, focus, and shutter controls. This makes it a joy to use the camera. 

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8. Fujifilm X70 

Fujifilm X70 (3)
 

The Fujifilm X70 features a 16.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and a wide-angle 28mm f/2.8 equivalent fixed focal length lens. The camera is noticeably more compact than the X100 series, and does away with the Hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder, instead relying on a 3inch tilting touch-screen on the back of the camera. The Fujifilm X70 is an ultra-stylish compact camera with a larger APS-C CMOS sensor and a compact 28mm equivalent f/2.8 lens, which means it gives DSLR image quality, with good noise performance in low light. It also has direct access to shutter and aperture controls making it feel like a traditional camera, such as the Olympus Trip 35, although the X70 is actually noticeably smaller. Whilst there are a few small niggles, particularly for those with large hands, the X70 is an extremely desirable camera that not only delivers excellent image quality, it also looks good, is fun to use at the same time.

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9. Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III 

Sony Cyber Shot RX100 III (3) (Large)
 

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III is designed for those that want better landscapes and portraits and is only 9g heavier than the RX100 Mark II. The Mark III features a new 24-70mm equivalent wide-angle lens and a built-in pop-up viewfinder. As well as improved auto-focus modes, the camera features a tilting screen that tilts to face you. The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III features a 1inch 20.2 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor that delivers impressive noise performance and excellent image quality. The RX100 III takes the already impressive RX100 II image quality and gives an impressive new 24-70mm lens, that is brighter at the telephoto end, and for those that want an electronic viewfinder, the EVF in the RX100 III is excellent, larger than most, and very neatly tucks away keeping the camera compact and pocketable. 

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10. Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II 

Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II Black (1)

 

The Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II updates the Canon Powershot G9 X  and offers a 3x optical zoom lens, a 20.2 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, a 3inch touch-screen, and manual controls, whilst being compact and offering built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC. It features the same control ring as the original G9 X around the lens but adds Bluetooth, a new image processor and faster continuous shooting.

The Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II is compact and stylish, and one of the smallest cameras available that delivers high image quality, thanks to the use of a 1inch BSI CMOS sensor. The camera also offers improved continuous shooting with an improvement in JPEG shooting, as well as a massive improvement in continuous raw shooting speed. Above all, the G9 X Mark II delivers great image quality and is a pleasure to use. 

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Other top ten features you may be interested in include our Top 10 Cameras Used In The ePHOTOzine GalleryTop Superzoom Lenses For Travel and our Top 12 Best Cameras For Kids. To find the right memory card for your camera, have a look at our memory card guide. You can find all the latest camera reviews here.

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Photographs taken using the Panasonic X100F

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Comments


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I played around with three compacts at John Lewis recently - two I loved (one I'd quite like to own but working hard to resist) and one I did not.

They were:

1) Canon G15 - I have a G10 and I have to say I loved everything about the the G15 - a very, very nice camera indeed

2) The Panasonic LX7 - f1.4, aperture control on a ring around the lens and it just felt fabulous to hold ...I am soooo drawn to this camera

3) the Sony RX100 - left me cold. There is nothing about this camera I liked.
Judder.. I've been waiting to go digital for ever. This year I bought the compact-enough-for me Lumix FZ1000 mint from KEH, 600$.. It weighs just over a pound and has a Leica 24 f28 to 1600 F4(!!!), . With setting at Vivid MAX and an 81B filter it;s very very close to velvia 50 without all the hassle of film... Try it....

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