Top 15 Best Premium Compact System Cameras 2018

Top 15 Best Premium Compact System Cameras 2018 - Here are the Top 15 Best Premium Mirrorless Compact System Cameras (CSCs) with an Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) reviewed by ePHOTOzine.

|  Fujifilm X-T3 in Mirrorless Cameras
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The mirrorless camera, or compact system camera (CSC), lets you change lenses, as well as providing DSLR sized sensors with DSLR image quality in a much more compact camera body. With a rapid refresh cycle, there is a number of new cameras introduced each year, with many offering innovative new features. Here we highlight the best advanced Compact System Cameras with a built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF).  

Click the camera names to read our full reviews of these cameras to see how they have scored, as well as the pros and cons of each model. To check the latest prices, you can click the green "Check Latest Price" buttons. 

Here we highlight the best of the bunch, starting with Number 1:

1. Sony Alpha A7R Mark II 

Sony Alpha A7R II (2)

The 42.4 megapixel Sony Alpha A7R Mark II offers a backlit full-frame CMOS sensor, 4K video recording, 5-axis sensor based image stabilisation, ISO50 to ISO102400, 5fps continuous shooting, and a tilting 3inch screen. There is a large, high-resolution electronic viewfinder (2.36m dots), and built-in Wi-Fi. 

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2. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II 

Olympus OM D E M5 MarkII (2)

The 16 megapixel Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II is an impressive camera, with a range of features to suit all aspects of photography, from the video enthusiast, who will benefit from the 5-axis image stabilisation, or someone looking for high resolution (stills) photography, the 40-megapixel mode will be very appealing. The camera is much cheaper than any alternative 36mp+ camera and the camera produces excellent images, with an abundance of options and settings available. There is a large, high-resolution electronic viewfinder (2.36m dots), ISO100 to ISO25600, a vari-angle touch-screen, built-in Wi-Fi, 10fps continuous shooting, and a weather sealed camera body. 

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3. Panasonic Lumix GX80 

Panasonic Lumix GX80 Black (1)

The Panasonic Lumix GX80 has a 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, 5-axis in-camera sensor based image stabilisation, 4K video recording and a sensor without the optical low pass filter, for improved resolution, contrast and colour reproduction. The Panasonic Lumix GX80 offers a compelling set of features and delivers images with very good colour and is capable of producing images with excellent detail, although does benefit from the use of high-quality lenses to get the best out of the camera.

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4. Fujifilm X-T20 

X T20 Black Front+XC16 50mm

The 24.3 megapixel Fujifilm X-T20 offers a tilting LCD touchscreen and 4K video capability. It has a premium build, with top and bottom plates made out of die case magnesium alloy and dials made of aluminium. It has an updated menu system and offers Wi-Fi with the ability to control and trigger the camera with your phone. 

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5. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II 

Olympus OMD EM10 MarkII (11)

The 16 megapixel Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is the entry level Olympus OM-D model, yet features the same 16-megapixel sensor as the E-M5 Mark II, as well as 5-axis image stabilisation, and built-in Wi-Fi, at a competitive price. There is a large, high-resolution electronic viewfinder (2.36m dots), ISO100 to ISO25600, 8.5fps continuous shooting and built-in Wi-Fi. Although the camera is not weather-sealed, it does have a tilting touch-screen. 

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6. Sony Alpha A9 

Alpha 9 (ILCE-9)

The 24 megapixel Sony Alpha A9 offers high-speed continuous shooting at 20fps, a backlit full-frame CMOS sensor, 4K video recording, 5-axis sensor based image stabilisation, ISO50 to ISO204800, and a tilting 3inch screen. There is a large, high-resolution electronic viewfinder (3.69m dots) with no blackout, built-in Wi-Fi, and professional connection options, including ethernet. 

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7. Panasonic Lumix G80 

Panasonic Lumix G80 G85 (8)

The 16 megapixel Panasonic Lumix G80 offers 4K video recording, 5-axis image stabilisation, 9fps continuous shooting, a vari-angle touch-screen, a weather-sealed camera body, and DSLR styling. There is a large, high-resolution electronic viewfinder (2.36m dots), ISO100 to ISO25600, and built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. 

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8. Fujifilm X-E3 

Fujifilm X E3 OL Hands On (1)

The 24.3 megapixel Fujifilm X-E3 offers a 3inch touchscreen, 4K video capability and a compact rangefinder style camera body. It has a premium build, with top and bottom plates made out of die case magnesium alloy and dials made of aluminium. It has an updated menu system and offers Wi-Fi with the ability to control and trigger the camera with your phone. 

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9. Panasonic Lumix GH5 

Panasonic Lumix GH5 Leica 12 60mm Lens (1)

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 has a new 20-megapixel sensor, 5-axis image stabilisation, and a 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen. The GH5 is capable of shooting in 6K at 30fps and offering 18 megapixel still images from this, as well as 4K video at 60fps. There is also 12 fps continuous shooting.

As well as the GH5, the Panasonic GH5S is now available which is designed for low light video as well as capturing stills. 

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10. Fujifilm X-T2 

Fujifilm X T2 (4)

The 24 megapixel Fujifilm X-T2 gives excellent image quality, high-speed continuous shooting at 8fps (or 11fps with the battery grip), and records 4K video. There is a large, high-resolution electronic viewfinder (2.36m dots), a tilting 3inch screen, ISO100 to ISO51200, built-in Wi-Fi, and a weather-sealed camera body. The X-T2 updates the X-T1.

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11. Olympus PEN-F 

Olympus PEN F Black (3)

The Olympus PEN-F features a 20 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, built-in electronic viewfinder (EVF), which has a high resolution of 2.36million dots, and a vari-angle touch-screen. Beyond the stylish design, and rangefinder position of the EVF, the Olympus PEN-F features the same premium camera technology as the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II, with a 5-axis image stabilisation system. The camera also offers 10fps continuous shooting, full manual controls and raw shooting. Overall, the Olympus PEN-F offers a unique shooting experience, which is difficult to match without spending significantly more money.

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12. Sony Alpha A6500 

Sony Alpha A6500 With Lens Angle

The Sony Alpha A6500 offers a number of upgrades from the previous model including built-in 5-axis image stabilisation, a tilting touch screen and improved grip to name a few. It features a 24 megapixel sensor, weather sealing and 4K video with 8 megapixel stills. It's also Wi-Fi, NFC and bluetooth capable.

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13. Fujifilm X-Pro 2 

Fujifilm X Pro2 (7)

The Fujifilm X-Pro 2 is the evolution of the X-Pro 1 and includes a 24-megapixel sensor, new processor, faster AF, better operability, better performance, improved feel, better weather sealing, and improved design. FullHD video is included, but not 4K video recording.  If the rangefinder camera is your preferred style, then the X-Pro 2 gives excellent results and is well-worth considering. 

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14. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II 

Olympus OM D E M1 Mark II (6) (Custom)

The 20 megapixel Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II has 5-axis image stabilisation, 4K video recording and an improved battery. It has a dual SD slot and a weather sealed body, enabling you to use it in any weather. The camera boasts super-fast autofocus with 18fps continuous shooting. 

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15. Panasonic Lumix GX9 

1 sec | f/5.6 | 21.0 mm | ISO 100

The Panasonic Lumix GX9 updates the GX8, with a more compact camera body, a tilting screen, and smaller electronic viewfinder (EVF), which is most likely unavoidable due to the smaller body size. The 3inch tilting touch-screen has a good resolution of 1270K dots, and continuous shooting speed has been improved to 9fps. In-camera image stabilisation has been updated to 5-axis image stabilisation and can be used in combination with lens-based image stabilisation when using Panasonic lenses. Image quality has been improved with slightly better noise performance, and colour reproduction is now better than ever with Panasonic's latest cameras. 

Buy on Amazon


For more mirrorless compact system camera reviews, have a look at our latest mirrorless reviews. Don't forget to pick up a bag for it to protect it - have a look at our complete guide to bags. If you want a memory card for your camera, have a look at our complete guide to memory cards

Photographs taken using the Fujifilm X-T3

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RobboB Plus
12 133 United Kingdom
19 Jun 2017 4:54PM
I wonder where the Fuji XT20 would sit in the ranking given that the XT10 is in there?
dcash29 13 2.3k England
19 Jun 2017 8:43PM
The 40-megapixel mode on the EM5 mkii sounds very appealing, however in my opinion its not. Plus by the time you attach a decent zoom lens, a grip to balance the unit, the M4/3 size and weight advantage has disappeared.
20 Jun 2017 7:32AM
Is the Olympus E-M1 Mark ii on the naughty step for being too expensive? And is the Canon M5 not worthy of consideration over some of these older ( and arguably not 'Premium') cameras.
Of course, if you mention 'Premium' then surely the Leica TL system should be there - it won't be to everybody's taste (or pocket) but with a body, lens and VF isn't much more than the Sony with a lens, and you don't need a new computer to process the files!Tongue
emmaK22 Plus
7 115 United Kingdom
20 Jun 2017 10:03AM
Hi MrScott & RobboB,

The article has now been further updated to include the X-T20 and OM-D E-M1 Mark II rather than their older counterparts. Their scores equated to the same rankings in the list for each.


Cagey75 7 42 Ireland
16 Oct 2017 8:19PM
Who makes these lists up? Do they just bundle some popular models into a hat and select at random? .... AFTER they get paid by Sony? Over-priced, ugly heap of over-hype #1 on all of these shoddy lists, the rest are just in random order.
joshwa Plus
8 868 United Kingdom
17 Oct 2017 2:11PM
Hi Cagey75

The list is based on our reviews, which you can read by following the links. We are not sponsored, or paid by Sony in any shape or form.

ChrisV Plus
12 2.3k 26 United Kingdom
16 Nov 2017 10:52AM
I don't agree with the order of this listing and I don't like [insert brand], therefore you must be getting paid by [insert brand] and you probably eat babies when not running corrupt websites.

Sorry about that - I think I'm coming down with a mild case of the internet.

Actually Josh I think these lists sort of illustrate the weakness of such lists. When reviews are undertaken by different people [sometimes even the same people depending on the mood they're in on the day]a certain amount of subjectivity is bound to creep into the scoring. I also imagine some of these scores are relative to the pricing. For example I'd say the OMD EM1 II [testing, testing - sorry can't help doing that] is a superb camera, but pretty horribly overpriced. The problem with that is that prices fluctuate which is the only reason I could imagine the GX80 might outrank the GX8 in your list when the latter can be obtained for very little more cash than its junior [albeit younger] sibling. And your reviewer probably hadn't had their fill of baby food that day. [Apologies - it's like sneezing.]

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