Top 10 Compact Camera
A compact camera is a still camera designed primarily for simple operation which is to point-and-shoot. They are stylish, easy to carry and simple to use. Most use focus free lenses or autofocus for focusing, automatic systems for setting the exposure options, and have flash units built in. Below are PING Magazine top 10 compact camera for 2013.
The Fujifilm X10 is the company’s first entry into what is becoming an increasingly crowded enthusiast compact camera segment. Users often desire a second ‘carry-anywhere’ camera but still value direct access to photographic controls and demand image quality significantly higher than that of entry-level point and shoot models. As such, the selection of high-end compact cameras like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 and Olympus XZ-1 has grown to include large-sensor fixed lens models like the Canon PowerShot G1 X. For users who desire pocketability, the X10 – though comfortably small in the hand – will be less attractive than the genuinely compact Canon PowerShot S100. The X10 has an optical glass viewfinder that is brighter and more pleasing to look through than those found on either the Nikon Coolpix P7100 or Canon PowerShot G12, and also has a hotshoe to which you can attach one of Fujifilm’s flash units. Finepix is no 1 our on top 10 compact camera.
Canon’s PowerShot G-series is one of the most iconic lines of digital compact cameras, with the original G1having debuted right back in September 2000. The original models sported fast lenses, articulated LCDs, optical viewfinders, raw data recording and lots of external control, and were aimed at tempting enthusiasts who usually shot with 35mm SLRs to dip a toe into the brave new waters of digital photography. The Nikon comes with an articulated screen and a similar level of external control as the G15, but its body is larger than the Canon and lacks an optical finder. Ultimately the competition is fierce in the enthusiast compact sector and no matter what camera you choose you’ll have to compromise in some area or another. That said, with its combination of very decent image quality, responsive operation, quick AF, excellent build quality and its versatile and fast lens, the Canon PowerShot G15 is a safe bet for most photographers looking for a ‘serious’ compact. Powersot G15 is no 2 on our top 10 compact camera.
3. Sony RX100
The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 is an enthusiast compact camera based around a 20MP 1″ CMOS sensor. It features a Zeiss-branded 28-100mm equivalent F1.8-4.9 stabilized lens featuring Zeiss T coatings to minimize internal reflection. The rest of its specification is pretty impressive too – a 1.2 million dot 3.0″ LCD, and 1080p60 video capture or 1080i with 17MP stills and movie recording. The RX100 may not look radically different to a recent Canon ‘S’ series compacts – whose balance of image quality and pocketability have made the S100 darling of its class. But the Sony’s much larger sensor means it outshines it in every respect bar price. In fact, despite appearances, the RX100 has more in common with Canon’s G1 X than any of its other peers. It’s interesting that the only other cameras to balance image quality, speed and size like this are Nikon’s 1 System cameras, but they’re still not as small, aren’t available with as bright a lens, and simply haven’t been designed to offer the same level of accessible user control. Sony RX100 is no 3 on our top 10 compact camera.
4. Olympus XZ-2
The Olympus Stylus XZ-2, the company’s most recent premium compact, jettisons onto the market with its classic body design and its quite impressive f/1.8 lens. With 11 Art Filters and 5 Effects, 1080p full HD video and an accessory port for flashes and viewfinders, it’s sure to grab the attention of avid photographers. The still image quality is very good with maximum clip length of 29 minutes at HD resolution. Nevertheless, there’s the noise performance issue with both the still and video images- while a bit better than the average compact digital, it gives way to pixel deterioration once sensitivities reach at least 800 ISO and above. In the point and shoots market, the XZ-2 soars to the top. If interchangeable lenses scare you and a high performing point and shoot is what you are after, the Olympus Stylus XZ-2 will undoubtedly give you what you need. Olympus XZ-2 is no 4 on our top 10 compact camera.
5. Panasonic Lumix LX7
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 ($499) is the long-awaited replacement to the very popular DMC-LX5. The LX5 (and its predecessors) was well known for its low light ability, and Panasonic has improved on that in two ways. First, there’s the LX7’s lens: with a maximum aperture range of F1.4 – F2.3, it lets in way more light than what you’d find on a compact camera. Photo quality on the Lumix DMC-LX7 is excellent. The camera takes well-exposed photos, without too much highlight clipping. Colours are nice and saturated, and accurate in most situations. The LX7’s lens is definitely high quality, with good sharpness across the frame. One issue that the DMC-LX7 unfortunately has is redeye, despite its two features designed to prevent it. Its fast lens, performance, and manual controls will make enthusiasts drool, while those just starting out can get great results using Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto mode. Aside from that, the LX7 is a first-rate camera that we can highly recommend. Lumix LX7 is no 5 on our top 10 compact camera.
6. Nikon Coolpix P7700
Another August rolls around, and with it another new high-end Coolpix from Nikon. After years of relative stagnation, Nikon’s high-end compact camera lineup was relaunched with the release of the P7000 in 2010. Externally a near-clone of the Canon PowerShot G12, the P7000 offered the sort of manual control and ‘hands-on’ ergonomics that we’ve come to expect from high-end compacts, and delivered excellent image quality from its 10MP CCD sensor, but was badly let down by a glitch UI and glacially slow performance. The P7100, in other words, felt somewhat like a PowerShot G12 competitor, whereas the P7000 just looked like one. The P7700 steps even further out of the Canon’s shadow. Coolpix P7700 is no 6 on our top 10 compact camera.
7. Samsung EX2F
As one of Samsung’s flagship point-and-shoot cameras, the EX2F is nicely styled shooter that offers plenty of user-adjustable controls. It also sports an amazing fast-aperture lens, large sensor, beautiful display, and great use of Wi-Fi. It can’t rival a DSLR or mirrorless camera, but the EX2F is a very good point-and-shoot. The EX2F, at the end of the day, is still a point-and-shoot, but a very good one. The camera produces quality photos, thanks to the large sensor and excellent lens. The AMOLED screen is also marvelous, as is the Wi-Fi. But users stepping up from a lower-end cam may find the lens’ short focal range and slow zoom unattractive. The $449 list price is a bit high for a point-and-shoot. If you’re absolutely interested in stepping up to a higher-end camera that’s not a DSLR, consider investing in a mirrorless camera like Samsung’s NX, Sony’s NEX, or Micro Four-Thirds models from Panasonic and Olympus. Samsung EX2F is no 7 on our top 10 compact camera.
8. Leica V-Lux 40
For a decade Leica lenses have appeared on Panasonic cameras to (arguably) up the latter’s photographic credibility, while the electronics giant’s expertise has successively provided the innards for Leica’s tentative steps into the digital world. The 14.1 megapixel, 20x optical zoom Leica V-Lux 40 offers fantastic value for money compared with the Panasonic TZ30 unless you were thinking about buying the bundled Photoshop software separately anyway what we’re left with is one of the coolest travel zoom cameras out there. In its favour this is a very usable and portable Leica, if, like Panasonic’s own TZ series, remaining largely unchanged from previous iterations. Though this is a purchase decision you’ll probably make with heart rather than head, it puts in a solid, reliable performance all the same. Leica V is no 8 on our top 10 compact camera.
Samsung is the class leader when it comes to connected cameras. The company built an excellent Wi-Fi implementation into both point-and-shoots. At the same time, it leads the pack in Android handset development. Its Galaxy S4 smartphone walked away with our Editors’ Choice award for Android phones. The camera does better in terms of shot-to-shot time. You can capture a burst of 20 shots at 3.7 frames per second, with virtually no recovery time required between bursts. Shutter lag is an unimpressive 0.4-second, which is more on par with a low-end point-and-shoot than a $500 camera. The SX280 is a little slower in continuous drive mode; it records photos at 3fps, but can go as long as you’d like. Its shutter lag is a mere 0.1-second, which will help you capture a candid moment with ease. Galaxy camera is no 9 on our top 10 compact camera.
10. Pentax K-01
The Pentax K-01 (from $749) is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with a most unusual design. Created by Australian designer Marc Newson of, the modern look of the K-01 will certainly turn heads. Aside from its unique looks, the K-01 is also a fully-featured camera. It has a 16 Megapixel CMOS sensor, K-mount lens support with built-in image stabilization, lots of manual controls, a boatload of scene modes and special effects, an HDR function, and 1080p video recording. If you’re taking photos of your kids or pets or want something a little less chunky, then I would consider one of the other excellent interchangeable lens cameras out there. Pentax K-01 is no 10 on our top 10 compact camera.