There is no doubt that while planning your vacation you will probably include a pocket camera into your list, which will be able to capture every moment of your adventurous trip and won’t make you feel exhausted by its size or weight.
And even if your plans do not presuppose holidays in the near future, it is always very convenient to have a small camera close at hand. Its small size and light weight are a perfect combination for various life occasions.
So we have prepared a list of the best compact cameras available on today’s market. It’s full of cameras with a sophisticated design, hefty image sensors and processors. And note that most of them are quite affordable.
13 Best Compact Cameras To Buy in 2019
One of the Best Mirrorless Cameras Available
Fujifilm X-T30 is a mirrorless camera that offers a good combination of sharp image, fast shooting performance and exceptional autofocus that altogether match the performance of some more expensive models such as Sony’s A6400.
This camera is compact and easy to handle, and it brings a retro look that distinguishes it from the competition. However, it lacks the weatherproof characteristic, but that is something most users can go without.
On the other hand, it offers a powerful performance that allows for recording of 4K videos at 30fps and 1080p ones at 120fps rate, and full-resolution burst image shooting at 8fps with a mechanical shutter and 30fps with an electronic one. Moreover, Fujifilm X-T30 shows great results in catching fast-moving action and delivering photos with realistic colors and good exposure levels, which make it a great option for both professionals and amateurs looking for a good all-rounder for everyday use.
Fujifilm X-T30 is compatible with Fujifilm’s X Mount lenses and has Bluetooth connectivity, but more importantly, it is fitted with 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, which is the main reason for its quality performance.
Overall, X-T30 is a great upgrade of the older X-T20 model and altogether one of better quality offerings from Fujifilm. Therefore, if you want the best mirrorless cameras for under $1000, this is probably your best choice.
- Fast performance
- Quality ergonomics
- Sharp video
- Great autofocus
- Lack of in-body stabilization
- Only one memory card slot
Panasonic LUMIX S1R
A Highly Durable Camera with Exceptional Image and Video Quality
If you are into rugged cameras that deliver an amazing video and image quality, Panasonic LUMIX S1R camera is the device for you. Although expensive, this device is capable of capturing 4K videos at up to 60fps and full HD videos at the amazing 120fps rate, and producing realistic, crystal clear images that make it perfect for professional use. Moreover, this camera allows for burst shooting at the speed of 9fps (6fps with continuous AF) and, thanks to the multi-shot function, the production of 187-megapixel photos that come as a result of a combination of eight images that are captured during sensor shifts.
Panasonic LUMIX S1R is equipped with 47.3MP CMOS sensor and 5-axis image stabilization system that is the main reason for its quality performance; however, this cannot be said about its autofocus. The feature that is fast, accurate and effective and shows good results in low-light, but it is a bit wobbling, which may be too much of a hassle for many people.
On the other hand, LUMIX S1R offers both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, it comes with dual card support (one slot supports for SD and other XQD cards) and is fitted with a responsive and highly durable 2.1M-dot touchscreen LCD. Also, this camera has a magnesium alloy die-cast frame and offers a weather-proof design, which makes it dust and splash resistant.
Altogether, Panasonic LUMIX S1R is a good, but not a great camera. Nevertheless, it is an enjoyable and overall good option for users looking for sheer quality.
- 5-axis image stabilization
- Excellent resolution
- 4K video with a 60fps rate
- Two card slots
- Short battery life
- Rivals offer better action performance
- Wobbling autofocus
Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
The Best Canon Pocket Camera
Having only 7.3 ounces (i.e. 206 grams) G9 X Mark II is full of surprises which can make your photography process not only convenient thanks to its size but also highly professional.
Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II has a 3-inch multi-angle touchscreen LCD display. Note that it is fixed and can’t be tilted.
Its 20.1-megapixel 1-inch CMOS sensor together with the DIGIC 7 image processor let you capture high-resolution images and save the photo quality even after its cropping and trimming.
The DIGIC 7 image processor makes its work faster especially if compared with its predecessor with a DIGIC 6 version. It also provides better tracking and detection capabilities. Due to the DIGIC 7 image processor Canon PowerShot G9 X II can keep subjects in focus and at the same time check sharpness level of each image and minimize the noise effect.
The optical image stabilizer helps to reduce image blur which is very often caused by camera shake or vibration. PowerShot G9 X Mark II ISO can be expanded to 12,800 what allows capturing images in low-light conditions.
Canon G9 X II allows capturing up to 8 fps in continuous shooting mode. Its auto custom and preset white balance controls provide natural tones under different lighting conditions. Besides, there is a full range of scene modes (portrait, self-portrait, panning, nightscape, etc.).
Having this pocket camera you can record Full HD movie clips at 60 fps with the maximum clip length of 10 minutes. Changing settings to 30 or 24fps allows recording almost 30 minutes of video. Keep in mind that Canon G9 X II doesn’t record 4K video.
- Sensor: 1.0-inch BSI CMOS
- Megapixels: 20 MP
- Max ISO: 12,800
- Shooting Speed: 8.2 fps
- image stabilization
- built-in NFC, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
- touch screen
- light body
- compact size
- manual focusing and exposure
- remote control with a smartphone
- poor battery life
- no environmental sealing
- no articulating screen
Great Value For Money
Unlike Olympus TG-6 this camera doesn’t belong to the list of budget items. On the contrary, Fujifilm X100F is expensive and deserves to be called one of the best compact cameras.
The X-Trans CMOS III sensor uses a periodic color filter array, so there’s no need for an optical low-pass filter. Although it has an increased pixel count, this sensor has a great control over noise. As a result, Fujifilm X100F has got wider ISO range (up to 12,800) and an expended phase detection area. Due to the last one, there is an option of phase-detection AF.
Having a newly-developed X-Processor Pro this pocket-sized camera can boast of an advanced performance speed that is 4 times higher than all previous models had. The X-Processor Pro has also improved the display quality making the images look smoother, and has reduced the camera’s startup time to approx. 0.5 seconds.
- Sensor: X- Trans APS-C III
- Megapixels: 24.3 mp
- Max ISO: 12,800 (expandable to: 51,200)
- Shooting Speed: 8 fps continuous shooting
- high image quality
- Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder
- fast autofocus
- built-in ISO Dial
- Focus Lever
- in-camera RAW conversion
- improved battery life
- manual focusing and exposure
- built-in ND filter
- remote control with a smartphone
- no 4K video
- unreliable face detection
- poor image stabilization
- no weather sealing
- no articulating touchscreen
Ricoh GR III
A Great Performance in a Small Package
Although a compact size is usually a limiting factor, reality proves that sometimes those boundaries are crossable and Ricoh GR III is the prime example of that.
Of course, its performance cannot be compared with the top-class mirrorless cameras. However, its clean and detailed photos, with good color accuracy, position it pretty high among the mid-range devices.
Equipped with a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, 18.3mm f/2.8 lens (equivalent to 28mm lens), fast autofocus function and 3-axis in-body SR stabilization system, Ricoh GR III presents a great tool for everyday shooting, as well as occasional video capturing, that can be managed in a 1080p resolution at a 60fps rate.
Moreover, this camera is equipped with USB-C charging function and a responsive 3″ 1.04M-dot LCD touchscreen, but more importantly, it provides easy handling and because of its lightweight character, great portability.
All in all, although a Ricoh GR III is a bit overpriced niche product, dedicated to a small number of people looking for a practical and small-sized replacement for their smartphone, the fact is that its qualities put it well above its primary purpose. To be precise, they firmly position it among the best mirrorless cameras available, making it one of the better deals out there at the same time.
- Exceptional image quality
- Fast autofocus
- Questionable video quality
- Not that great battery life
Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II
An Excellent Pocket-sized Camera Ideal for More Demanding Users
If you are looking for a small size and excellent performance in one, Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II is the device for you. Compact enough to fit in your jeans pocket and powerful enough that it can be compared with the best DSLR cameras out there.
The main reason for its quality performance is its 20.1-megapixel one-inch CMOS sensor and 24-120mm f/1.8-2.8 (5x optical zoom) lens, in a combination with image stabilization, producing images with good dynamic range, natural colors and a fairly nice level of details.
Although Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II offers a solid action photography performance and decent video quality, with good frame rates in both 4K (30fps) and 1080p (120fps) resolution, its primary purpose is still photography, where it shows its best results.
According to its performance and price, it is the closest to the Sony RX100 Mark VII; however, it lacks some of the more prominent features that would make it stand out from the bunch.
Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II is equipped with a Bluetooth connection, USB charging function, 180-degree tilting touchscreen, as well as a pop-up optical viewfinder for easier photo composing. More importantly, it is supplied with a fast AF function and supports 20fps burst shooting, with fixed focus and 8fps shooting with the autofocus turned on.
In other words, everything that could be expected from the best compact camera is there.
- Mighty 4K performance
- Good overall image quality
- Not the best battery life
- No mic input
- Problematic autofocus during video capture
Sony RX100 VII
The Best Compact Camera There Is
Finding a top-class camera that will outperform all the competition is what most users are dreaming of, and Sony with its RX100 VII has managed to make that dream alive.
This device is amazing on so many levels that not each of them can be mentioned. It produces excellent, sharp images, with a lot of detail, it allows for continuous shooting at a speed of 20fps with both autofocus and auto-exposure turned on, it supports the creation of high-speed videos with 1000fps, and a lot more.
There are numerous features such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection, NFC, flippable 3″ touchscreen LCD, USB-charging function, even a microphone jack, but even more importantly, great equipment under its premium-looking shell. Sony RX100 VII is fitted with an excellent one-inch 20MP Exmor RS Stacked BSI-CMOS sensor that has proved its worth with the past RX100 cameras, and the amazing 24-200mm f/2.8-4.5 Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens that is, along with its high-speed (0.02 sec) autofocus, the most responsible for its staggering performance.
Although it looks similar to its predecessor, RX100 VII brings a lot of improvements over it, especially in action photography and video capturing that sort of make it a compact-sized version of Sony Alpha camera.
To sum up, if you want the best mirrorless camera in a pocket-sized package, Sony RX100 VII is the device for you.
- Excellent performance
- Great autofocus
- 20fps burst shooting with autofocus
- Complicated interface
Sony CyberShot DSC-WX500
The Best Budget Pocket Camera
Here’s another pocket camera which you can buy at an affordable price of about $350. Sony Cyber Shot WX500 is a good option for trips, family shootings or any other occasions when a compact camera, which can be always close by, turns to be a windfall.
WX500 has a combination of a BIONZ X-series image processor and a backside-illuminated Exmor R-branded CMOS image with a resolution of 18.2-megapixel. Add to this list five-axis Optical SteadyShot image stabilization and you will get not only accurate and also smoothed shots with a minimized blur from camera shake at slower shutter speeds.
Its 3.0-inch LCD display with a five-step manual brightness adjustment has an articulation mechanism which allows a monitor to be tilted upwards to full 180-degrees, providing an option of self-portrait shooting. Besides, on the top deck, there is a built-in, popup flash strobe.Its ISO range is 80 – 12,800.
Keep in mind that Sony WX500 allows only contrast-detection automatic focusing, so it means that manual focus is not available at all. By the by, focusing is possible to as close as two inches (i.e. 5cm) at a wide angle.
WX500 has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC.
There is an option of Full HD video including even XAVC S-compressed 50Mbps records at up to 60 fps. Its continuous shooting speed reaches 10 fps (which is decent).
Sony CyberShot WX500 has also got plenty of scene modes, such as Landscape, Sunset, Night Scene, Handheld Twilight, Night Portrait, Portrait, Advanced Sports Shooting, etc. By the way, there are available picture effect functions, e.g. Retro Photo, Soft High-key, Partial Color, Pop Color and others. This compact digital camera provides also Intelligent Sweep Panorama function for full 360-degree panoramas.
- Sensor: 1/2.3-inch BSI-CMOS
- Megapixels: 18 MP
- Max ISO: 12,800
- Shooting Speed: 10 fps
- long battery life
- manual exposure
- 720mm Good Tele Lens
- image stabilization
- articulating screen
- built-in Wi-Fi and NFC
- remote control with a smartphone
- light body
- no external flash shoe
- no environmental sealing
- no manual focusing
- no RAW shooting
- no built-in viewfinder
Olympus Tough TG-6
A Camera with a Name that Tells it All
In the age of smartphones, compact cameras have a problem of keeping their competitiveness because of so many similarities, as well as disadvantages, compared to smartphones. Therefore, their only option is to offer something different, something that will help them stand out, and the perfect example of that is Olympus Tough TG-6, which combines great durability and excellent performance in one.
As mentioned, this device is pretty rugged and is water and dust-proof, it can sustain a lot of “beating” and overall provides an almost unbreakable tool for capturing your most important life moments. Additionally, thanks to its 12MP 1/2.33-inch CMOS sensor and 24-100mm f/2.0-4.9 (4x optical zoom) lens, this camera delivers images of the finest quality and allows for the creation of more than solid video material. To be precise, this camera supports for 4K video capturing at 30fps rate, 1080p material at 120fps, 720p at 240fps and 360p videos at 480fps, which allows for the creation of more than attractive slow-motion videos ideal for blogs, vlogs or your Instagram channels.
Olympus Tough TG-6 comes with an SD card slot, it has a GPS and Wi-Fi function and altogether presents one of the best budget pocket camera options out there. Of course, if you are willing to accept a couple of downsides here and there.
- It produces quality photos
- Fiddly buttons
- Restricted manual controls
- Only 12MP sensor (its predecessor has a 16MP one)
The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful
Leica Q2, and Leica cameras in general, are such specific products, with their own philosophy that makes them the best of the best in most cases. However, this philosophy also puts some limitations upon them, which prevent them from becoming utterly amazing.
Overall, this camera is a real masterpiece, with premium build, magnesium-alloy body, and more importantly, amazing performance that won’t leave anyone indecisive. The main reason for that is its all-mighty 47.3MP full-frame sensor and 28mm F1.7 Summilux stabilized lens, which helps this compact dude make amazing photos that look rich and vivid and with excellent dynamic range, in almost any situation. In other words, with Leica Q2 it is nearly impossible to make a bad photo.
However, there are also some downsides – most importantly, the fact that the lens isn’t interchangeable, which may present a real issue for many, especially considering this device’s more than a high price.
Looking on the bright side, this camera is packed with features such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection, it offers an easy to use app for wireless data transfer. Moreover, Leica Q2 comes fitted with 3″ fixed touchscreen LCD with 1.04 million dots, it has a 3.68MP OLED EVF and a lot more.
Altogether, although it isn’t perfect, this camera delivers great quality photos and is ideal for casual, street and travel photography, in which it has no match and is the best mirrorless camera you can find. However, if you are more into action or sports, this device just isn’t for you.
- Excellent design
- Solid build quality
- Sharp optics
- Gorgeous 4K 30fps video
- Amazing image quality
- No optical viewfinder
- Unchangeable lens
- Really expensive
- No USB
PANASONIC LUMIX ZS200
A Traveler’s Best Companion
PANASONIC LUMIX ZS200 is a bridge camera with great versatility in a combination with its small size, which makes it a perfect option for travelers that are looking for a good, but not too expensive all-in-one device.
This camera comes with a solid 20.1MP one-inch sensor, 24-360mm, f/3.3-6.4 Leica DC lens with image stabilization and 15x optical zoom, and is equipped with fast autofocus. All of these characteristics together deliver very good, detailed images, with accurate colors and strong dynamic range, except for dark tones. LUMIX ZS200 also supports burst shooting at 10fps without and 6fps with autofocus, as well as 4K video capturing at 30fps and 1080p in 60fps rate. Moreover, there is also a slow-motion mode that allows full HD filming with 120fps and offers an opportunity for adventurers or action freaks to capture the most interesting moments in detail.
PANASONIC LUMIX ZS200 comes with a 3” 1,240K dots screen LCD screen, it is fitted with EVF and offers a Wi-Fi functionality that allows for video and image wireless sharing through its dedicated Panasonic Image App, adding just a bit more versatility to this already great product.
Overall, if you like to travel and are looking for a good all-in-one camera, that is among the best compact cameras available at the same time, PANASONIC LUMIX ZS200 should without a doubt be your first choice.
- Good-quality pictures
- Slow-motion mode
- Not the best LCD screen
- Not that user-friendly
The Best Compact Camera for 4K Video
Fuji has a wide range of cameras that could fall into the compact class, but we chose the popular X-T3 as our favorite. It clocks in at a little over a pound sans the lens and comes with all the bells & whistles you could ask for in the features department.
The Fujifilm X-T3 is a well-built camera with a magnesium alloy body that measures 5.24” x 3.66” x 2.32”. It comes with all the necessary ports as well with USB 3.1, micro-HDMI and jacks for headphones or an external microphone. You’ll also get built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 LE which allows you to share or control your camera with your smartphone.
Under the hood, you’ll find an X-Processor 4 chip and a 26MP BSI-CMOS sensor. The extended ISO range is impressive at 80 – 51200, and while it takes amazing photos, you’ll be blown away by 10-bit 4K video. We’re also pleased to say it’s easy to use thanks to a solid set of dials that complement the X-T3’s overall style.
This camera is available in several packages if you need a lens or battery grip, but you can purchase the body and outfit it with your gear as well. It may be a bit pricey, but you’ll get what you pay for with the X-T3… and that’s a good thing in this case.
- Excellent photo and video quality
- Ease of use
- Improved Face & Eye detection
- Sports Finder mode
- 4K at 60p
- Stabilization in video modes
- It’s expensive
- Lack of LCD articulation
Panasonic Lumix LX100 II
A High-Powered Camera with a Classic Style
The Lumix lineup has gained plenty of fans in recent years, and cameras like the LX100 II are bound to bring more into the fold. This powerful camera is definitely compact and has a sweet four-thirds format sensor to as well.
There are a lot of standout features on the Panasonic Lumix LX100 II, but we’re going to start with the lens and sensor combo. It has a 21.7MP Four Thirds MOS sensor with an ISO range of 200 to 25600 out of the box. It has DC VARIO lens from LEICA with power OIS and a range of 24 – 75mm. The external controls are the icing on the cake, especially if you want a camera that’s easy to use.
Other features of the LX100 II include 4K video at 24 or 30P, USB charging, Bluetooth 4.2 and Wi-Fi. The camera itself has a classic design and measures 2.5” x 2.6” x 2.5” with a weight of only 12.31 ounces. It also has a nice 2,764k-dot EVF and a large 3” touchscreen although the latter is fixed which is disappointing for several reasons.
The Lumix LX100 II is one of the lighter cameras to make the cut, even if it’s a little boxier than other models. It has excellent performance in low light conditions, and the biggest drawback is the fixed display.
- LEICA DC 24 – 75mm lens
- Great in low light
- Manual controls
- Fixed LCD is disappointing
- Control layout could be better