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
“Compacts” with a zoom lens
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
Olympus Tough TG‑6
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
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