Pho­to: pixabay.com

Com­pact cam­eras with a built-in lens are easy to use, take great pho­tos and good video. And all with­out hav­ing to fid­dle with inter­change­able “glass­es”. In this rat­ing, we will con­sid­er the best mod­els of “com­pacts” in 2020 — with a zoom lens, a fixed lens (with a fixed focal length) and rugged cam­eras.

“Com­pacts” with a zoom lens

“Com­pacts” with a fixed lens

Pro­tect­ed “com­pacts”

“Compacts” with a zoom lens

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII is arguably the most advanced zoom com­pact on the mar­ket. Pho­to: fotosklad.ru

Price: from 85 thou­sand rubles.

One of the most advanced com­pact cam­eras that still fits in your pock­et is the Sony RX100 VII. Its 24–200mm equiv­a­lent focal length lens pro­vides a range suit­able for a vari­ety of shoot­ing sit­u­a­tions while main­tain­ing a good max­i­mum aper­ture of f/2.8–4.5. The video qual­i­ty is at a high lev­el — the cam­era uses the entire width of the matrix for 4K record­ing, the rolling shut­ter effect is min­i­mal. There is an input for an exter­nal micro­phone (which is not so com­mon in “com­pacts” and will cer­tain­ly please blog­gers).

The mod­el is equipped with one of the best aut­o­fo­cus sys­tems among all com­pact cam­eras: just point the cam­era at the sub­ject, and it will eas­i­ly track it around the frame. A face and eye detec­tion sys­tem is avail­able, which is espe­cial­ly con­ve­nient when shoot­ing peo­ple.

Among the cons of the Sony RX100 VII is a con­fus­ing menu sys­tem, small but­tons and a minia­ture grip, so the cam­era is quite easy to drop from hands, bit­ing the price. How­ev­er, in terms of the com­bi­na­tion of char­ac­ter­is­tics, this is now per­haps the best com­pact cam­era with a built-in zoom lens on the mar­ket.

Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

The G5 X Mark II with a built-in fast zoom lens is suit­able for work­ing in fair­ly low light. Pho­to: fotosklad.ru

Price: from 55 thou­sand rubles.

The Canon G5 X II fea­tures a short­er but faster lens (f/1.8–2.8) than Sony’s offer­ing. The 24–120mm equiv­a­lent focal length lens is a ver­sa­tile option that deliv­ers more pro­nounced bokeh (back­ground blur) and bet­ter low-light per­for­mance than the Sony RX100 VII lens.

The G5 X II pro­duces detailed RAW and JPEG pho­tos in Canon’s sig­na­ture col­ors. Video qual­i­ty is also quite good, but the lack of a micro­phone input lim­its the use of the mod­el for record­ing blogs. The strengths of the mod­el are con­ve­nient con­trols, a sim­ple inter­face and a viewfind­er that is not bad for a “com­pact”. On the oth­er hand, com­pared to the com­peti­tor from Sony, Canon’s com­pact zoom does not have the same advanced aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem. Bat­tery life of 230 shots per charge (accord­ing to CIPA rat­ing) is also not the most out­stand­ing indi­ca­tor, but the cam­era can be charged via USB.

Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III

The Canon Pow­er­Shot G7 X Mark III is one of the first cam­eras designed for vlog­ging. Pho­to: fotosklad.ru

Price: from 57 thou­sand rubles.

A more “sharp­ened” ver­sion of Canon’s com­pact zoom cam­era for vlog­gers is the Pow­er­Shot G7 X Mark III. Its focal length range is even small­er (24–100 mm), so you can for­get about shoot­ing from afar com­plete­ly. At the same time, the aper­ture ratio remained the same as that of the G5 X II, which promis­es good pic­ture qual­i­ty in low light and pro­nounced bokeh.

The G7 X III shoots 4K/30p video with­out crop­ping, the detail is quite decent, but you can’t call it the best cam­era in the class in this indi­ca­tor. Although the mod­el is clear­ly adapt­ed for blog­gers: the screen rotates and lifts up to the “self­ie” posi­tion, there is a jack for an exter­nal micro­phone, and videos can be streamed direct­ly to YouTube.

The con­trast aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem isn’t great for mov­ing sub­jects, but if you’re will­ing to take charge of track­ing them, the cam­era offers a decent burst rate of 8.3 fps. The G7 X III feels secure in the hand and has a con­ve­nient lay­out of con­trols. Bat­tery life, as in the G5 X II, leaves much to be desired — 235 shots on a sin­gle charge.

Sony ZV‑1

But this is a com­plete­ly “blog­ger” cam­era. Pho­to: fotosklad.ru

Price: from 63 thou­sand rubles.

Con­tin­u­ing the theme of cam­eras suit­able for vlog­gers, I would like to men­tion this spe­cial “blog­ger” mod­el from Sony — ZV‑1. Of course, a lens with an equiv­a­lent focal length of 24–70 mm can no longer be called uni­ver­sal, but for every­day shoot­ing, street pho­tog­ra­phy and por­traits (in addi­tion to the main pur­pose of the mod­el — self­ie video shoot­ing), it will also work.

The mod­el has inher­it­ed an excel­lent aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem from the RX100 series. It instant­ly and tena­cious­ly catch­es any objects, auto­mat­i­cal­ly applies face and eye recog­ni­tion, and con­tin­ues to track a per­son even if he turns away from the cam­era.

As befits a vlog­ger cam­era, ZV‑1 shoots high-qual­i­ty video and has a bunch of “chips” for blog­gers (includ­ing advanced built-in micro­phones) — you can read about them in our review.

Of the minus­es of the ZV‑1: it does not have a viewfind­er or a con­trol ring around the lens, like oth­er RX100 cam­eras. The adjust­ment ele­ments are also “sharp­ened” for blog­gers, so you won’t find con­ve­nient cus­tomiz­able set­tings dials here.

Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 Mark II

Pana­son­ic Lumix DC-LX100 Mark II is best suit­ed for pho­tograph­ing sta­t­ic sub­jects. Pho­to: fotosklad.ru

Price: from 74 thou­sand rubles.

A more inter­est­ing option for pho­tog­ra­phy might be Pana­son­ic’s flag­ship com­pact cam­era, the Lumix DC-LX100 Mark II. It is equipped with a fast zoom lens with a 24–75mm equiv­a­lent focal length, which is well suit­ed for every­day and por­trait shoot­ing. While this lens isn’t “super sharp,” you’ll get both RAW shots well-suit­ed for post-pro­cess­ing and JPEG pho­tos with pleas­ing col­ors.

The aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem isn’t the best in class, but it’s rea­son­ably fast and qui­et. How­ev­er, in terms of pho­tog­ra­phy, the cam­era has a clear draw­back — the lens moves very slow­ly when zoom­ing, so for most shots with mov­ing objects it is bet­ter to pre­pare the focal length in advance.

Sig­nif­i­cant crop­ping of the frame and the lack of a con­nec­tor for an exter­nal micro­phone lim­it the options for its use for video shoot­ing. How­ev­er, if you’re look­ing for a “com­pact” for qual­i­ty pho­tos, the Lumix DC-LX100 Mark II is a decent option.

“Compacts” with a fixed lens

Fujifilm X100V

The Fuji­film X100V is the best fixed focal length com­pact. Pho­to: fotosklad.ru

Price: from 105 thou­sand rubles.

Fuji­film X100V is the most ver­sa­tile (as far as it is pos­si­ble for this mod­el) and advanced com­pact prime lens cam­era avail­able in 2020. She has a nice retro design, and the pho­tos are of excel­lent qual­i­ty. A lens with a 35mm equiv­a­lent focal length and a max­i­mum aper­ture of f/2 pro­duces a sharp image across the frame, and also per­forms well at close focus­ing dis­tances. An advanced matrix with a res­o­lu­tion of 26 megapix­els — APS‑C X‑Trans is respon­si­ble for the image qual­i­ty.

The X100V can shoot at 20fps with aut­o­fo­cus, and despite its fixed focal length, the cam­era is suit­able for shoot­ing fast-mov­ing sub­jects thanks to its good track­ing aut­o­fo­cus. Fuji­film’s “com­pact” also has the most advanced fea­ture set for video shoot­ing in its class, although there is a draw­back: there is no sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem. But still, com­bined with an excel­lent set of con­trols and a com­fort­able grip, the X100V is a very inter­est­ing, albeit niche, cam­era. You can read more about it in our review.

Ricoh GR III

The Ricoh GR III is very good for stills, but it’s out­dat­ed for video. Pho­to: fotosklad.ru

Price: from 69 thou­sand rubles.

A more com­pact ver­sion with a wider-angle lens is the Ricoh GR III. This mod­el has built-in sta­bi­liza­tion, a hybrid (con­trast + phase) aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem, a 24MP APS‑C sen­sor and a lens with an equiv­a­lent focal length of 28mm and a max­i­mum aper­ture of f/2.8.

The image qual­i­ty is high, aut­o­fo­cus in good light is very fast, and the set and lay­out of con­trols is well thought out. How­ev­er, for video shoot­ing, the mod­el is out­dat­ed: 4K video is not avail­able. Anoth­er tan­gi­ble minus is only 200 shots on a sin­gle bat­tery charge.

Fujifilm XF10

Fuji­film XF10 is a bud­get “com­pact” with a fixed lens. Pho­to: fotosklad.ru

Price: from 32 thou­sand rubles.

Anoth­er “com­pact” with a fixed lens from Fuji­film is the bud­get mod­el XF10 for entry-lev­el shoot­ing. The cam­era has a very com­pact retro-style body, while Fuji­film’s sig­na­ture JPEG col­ors and Film Sim­u­la­tion mode help you cap­ture styl­ish pho­tos that some­times don’t require any addi­tion­al pro­cess­ing.

How­ev­er, con­sid­er­ing the bud­get seg­ment, the cam­era has some draw­backs that you need to be aware of before buy­ing. First­ly, the aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem is not out­stand­ing — blur­ry pho­tos, even in good light, are not uncom­mon for it. Sec­ond­ly, 4K video is lim­it­ed to 15 fps, and Full HD, although avail­able at 60 fps, is not very detailed.

Protected “compacts”

Olympus Tough TG‑6

A secure cam­era that does­n’t com­pro­mise on func­tion­al­i­ty. Pho­to: fotosklad.ru

Price: from 29 thou­sand rubles.

The Olym­pus TG‑6 con­tin­ues the com­pa­ny’s tra­di­tion of build­ing the best rugged cam­eras on the mar­ket. The TG‑6 is water resis­tant up to 15 meters (with­out the use of any addi­tion­al acces­sories), drop resis­tant up to 2.1 meters, frost and dust resis­tant.

But unlike many rugged smart­phones that sac­ri­fice most oth­er fea­tures for high pro­tec­tion, the TG‑6 pro­duces qual­i­ty RAW-enabled pho­tos and 4K/30p video. This mod­el has an excel­lent bat­tery life (340 shots per charge). The cam­era is equipped with a num­ber of macro and under­wa­ter shoot­ing modes, and many inter­est­ing acces­sories are avail­able for it.

Among the minus­es are the back screen, which is eas­i­ly scratched (which is strange for such a mod­el), the lack of Blue­tooth and a slight­ly con­fus­ing menu sys­tem.

Fujifilm FinePix XP140

Bud­get cam­era with good pro­tec­tion. Pho­to: fotosklad.ru

Price: from 13 thou­sand rubles.

A more bud­get mod­el in the pro­tect­ed cat­e­go­ry is the Fuji­film FinePix XP140. This is a vari­ant of the sim­plest com­pact cam­era, which is not scary to give to a child (it is not easy to break the FinePix XP140 — it has pro­tec­tion against falls from a height of 1.8 m) or drop it into the sea while relax­ing (water-resis­tant up to 25 meters).

For its price, the FinePix XP140 has decent aut­o­fo­cus, but you should­n’t expect out­stand­ing pho­tos from it: the qual­i­ty of pic­tures is at the lev­el of mid-bud­get smart­phones. 4K video is lim­it­ed to 15 fps, but Full HD is already avail­able at 60 fps. The zoom range is not bad (28–140mm), but the lens is quite dark (f / 3.5–5.5), so the qual­i­ty of images dete­ri­o­rates sharply in low light. The cam­era can take 240 pho­tos on a sin­gle bat­tery charge, sig­nif­i­cant­ly los­ing to the Olym­pus TG‑6 in this char­ac­ter­is­tic.

* In prepar­ing the arti­cle, mate­ri­als from the resources dpreview.com and onfoto.ru were used


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