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.
Best Compact Cameras
Last update on 2022-01-09 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon
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
Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III
The Best Compact Camera for Vloggers
The Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III is a compact camera designed to lure vloggers, as it makes for the company’s most video-focused PowerShot to date. Truth be told, this is basically an update of the older G7 X Mark II, its predecessor, but it comes with a revamped 20.1MP, 1-inch sensor, a fresh DIGIC 8 processing engine and “super powers”, i.e. it can capture images at up to 30fps due to its Raw Burst shooting mode.
We know, it already sounds very interesting, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Despite its relatively dull appearance, the G7X Mark III can record UHD 4K video, has a 3.5-millimeter microphone input, and, check this out: can livestream on YouTube!
The body design is supremely ergonomic, and the camera feels and stays comfy in your hand, starts up fast, focusing is pretty good, and face detection is amazingly speedy. The user interface is very EOS-ish, and the touchscreen is responsive and very easy to use, especially when it comes to focusing and swiping. Image and video quality are also good, with nice colors, low image noise and a good level of detail.
Bottom line, if you’re shopping for a compact camera that’s focused on amateur videographers, the Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III should rank high on your shopping list.
- 20fps@ full res
- 4K video
- USB-C charging
- Flip-up LCD screen
- Wi-Fi and NFC
- LiveStream capable
- Lacks built-in viewfinder
- Prone to overexposure
The Best Compact Camera of Its Kind
Here we have something really special: the X100V from Fujifilm, one of the best cameras of its kind, and by that we mean a compact camera built for the smartphone age. To begin with, the retro design is clearly aimed at street photography aficionados, even if the price tag may deter some of them from trying it, which is a shame.
Basically, the X100V is a premium compact camera, and has a design inspired from 1950’s film cameras; moreover, it looks stylish, it’s light, compact, and has a pocketable form factor. However, there’s more than meets the eye. Under its relatively humble appearance, you’ll discover a unique hybrid viewfinder, a large APS-C sensor, and a fixed 23mm f/2 lens.
If you combine all these factors together, you’ll understand why the X100V is incredibly popular among travel snappers and posh street photographers. It’s worth mentioning that the X100V is the 5th member of its “family”, i.e. this is an incremental upgrade of an already amazing compact camera. The latest generation boasts a state of the art 26.1MP APS-C X Trans CMOS 4 sensor, a better AF system, plus 4K@30FPS video capability.
Moreover, we must mention the improved lens, 11fps bursts, and the dial-driven analogic controls, which are absolutely awesome for old-school photographers.
The new tilting touchscreen is very interesting and ergonomically designed, and the camera is built around a magnesium alloy frame with aluminum plates. Needless to say, everything looks and feels premium, and if you can afford it, just go for it and thank us in the comments section.
- Weatherproof body
- Impressive EVF
- Raw Processing
- Pocketable and slim
- 26.1MP APS-C sensor
- Improved lens
- Lacks optical stabilization
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
The Best All-Rounder Compact Camera
Our next pick is the Sony ZV-1, a point and shoot and very powerful pocket camera specifically designed for vloggers. The ZV-1 builds on the success of the highly popular Sony RX100, and it’s one of the best vlogging cameras on the market, combining a cutting edge autofocus system with cool tweaks that make it perfect for shooting YouTube vids on the move or at home.
The main selling point of the ZV-1 is the powerful combo between Sony’s proprietary Real-time tracking and Real-time Eye AF systems and a bright 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens. Add into the mix the 1-inch sensor, which is a tad larger compared to what you’d find in a modern smartphone, and you’ve got yourself a winner. Basically, this camera makes high quality shooting a child’s play, offering consistent focus and a pleasing background blur.
There’s also a 3.5 mm microphone port included in the “package” which means you can easily add high-quality audio to your videos, and you can even mount accessories like LED lighting or a shotgun microphone via ZV-1’s hotshoe. Bottom line, if you’re looking for a compact with a good pedigree, the ZV-1 really delivers: you’ll get a sharp 24-70mm lens, best in class AF, excellent image quality, a lightweight body, cool design, a flip-out display and well-implemented electronic stabilization.
So, even if this Sony compact would’ve benefited from a wide-angle lens, it’s actually impressive what the company managed to pack into this tiny camera, hence you should definitely give it a shot (pun intended).
- Lightweight and small
- Industry-leading AF
- Excellent performance
- Bright lens
- Side flipping screen
- Great for 4k video
- No USB-C
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
Fujifilm X-T4 Mirrorless Camera
Jack of All Trades
If you’re looking for a perfectly balanced compact camera, here it comes: the Fujifilm X-T4 is in the house. Released back in February, the latest iteration of the X-T flagships is better in every way compared to its predecessors.
Fujifilm seems to have tried to remedy every known issue of the previous X-T3, thus the X-T4 now comes with a fully articulating screen, a quitter shutter, in-body image stabilization and a bigger battery. With the X-T4, the retro flagship from Fujifilm is now finally a modern hybrid and arguably the best compact APS-C mirrorless camera available today.
The X-T4 boasts a charming retro-design, which is also very intuitive even for first-time users, while its industry-leading photo and video specs are to be expected from a camera that costs north of $1000 dollars. Speaking of cutting-edge performance and specs, we must tell you that the X-T4 is capable of recording 4K video with 60p 10-bit internal recording, which makes it ideal for vloggers and even filmmaking.
Just to give you a few juicy specs, you must learn that the X-T4 mirrorless camera features a 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, backed by a X Processor 4 image processor, and has an ISO range 160 to 12,800 (exp 80-51,200) and maximum image size of 6,240 x 4,160.
To be honest, this baby has so many advanced features that it’s tough to mention all, but we must pay homage to the excellent hybrid phase detection/contrast AF system and the in-body image stabilization, and also to the new shutter with 300,000 actuations (twice the life span of the older-gen T3).
Battery life has been also doubled to 500 shots on a single charge in normal mode, while the new autofocus algorithm dubbed ETERNA Bleach Bypass cinematic Film Simulation mode is incredible in face/eye detection scenarios. All in all, this is a great camera, one of the best you can buy in its niche, offering impressive performance for the money asked and a balanced set of features.
- 15fps mechanical shutter
- 5 axis stabilization
- 500 shot battery
- Vari-angle screen
- 60p 10-bit 4K
- Superb APS-C sensor