The compact camera segment has developed significantly in recent years. Smartphones, which integrate cameras of ever-better quality, have decimated the economic compact. The manufacturers have had to implement new functions to make them attractive to consumers.
If compared to the models of a few years ago, the best compact camera has much larger sensors and can take better photographs than any smartphone. Not only that, some high-end compacts produce images comparable to those of SLRs and mirrorless cameras.
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Here are the top 10 best compact cameras for 2021!
- Top 10 Best Compact Cameras 2021 Reviews
- #1 Best Compact Camera for Beginners: Panasonic Lumix ZS200
- #2 Best Compact Camera for Travel: Canon G7X Mark III
- #3 Best Compact Camera for Video: DJI Osmo Pocket
- #4 Best Compact Camera for Low Light: Fujifilm X100V
- #5 Best Compact Camera for Landscape Photography: Panasonic Lumix LX100 II
- #6 Best Compact Camera for Portraits: Sony ZV-1
- #7 Best Compact Camera for Macro: Fujifilm Instax Mini 11
- #8 Best Full Frame Compact Camera: Nikon Z6
- #9 Best Budget Compact Camera: Fujifilm X100F
- #10 Best Superzoom Compact Camera: Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II
- Final Words
Top 10 Best Compact Cameras 2021 Reviews
#1 Best Compact Camera for Beginners: Panasonic Lumix ZS200
Panasonic invented the super zoom pocket compact category practically. Despite the great competition, the ZS range continued to dominate the category and the Lumix ZS200 will not be outdone.
As we have seen with the Lumix ZS100, Panasonic has kept the small size of the TZ series by inserting the large one-inch sensor. It can achieve better image quality. The zoom length will not be record-breaking. But a 15X magnification factor should be more than enough for most users. Plus, you will find an electronic viewfinder (albeit a small one) and a large touch display.
- Large one-inch sensor
- 15x magnification
- Compact and lightweight
- Easy to use
- Small electronic viewfinder
- Fixed display
If you are a beginner and looking for a versatile camera capable of taking great photographs, you have found it.
#2 Best Compact Camera for Travel: Canon G7X Mark III
By the time we update this guide, we are putting the finishing touches on the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III review. We are confident it will be as successful as previous G7 X models. It comes with the valuable addition of 4K video, a microphone, and the ability to stream the face on YouTube.
And if you do not care about videos, there are still many features to enjoy, such as the 30 FPS full-resolution burst or the highly sensitive touchscreen. It even has the processing power in the room or the convenient charging via USB. However, there is no viewfinder, the classic hook to start tripods. But not everyone needs it.
- Fast burst
- Great build quality and handling
- Generates slightly soft images
- No viewfinder
We also find the integrated ND filter and the flip-up LCD screen. Together, these features make the G7 X Mark III one of the best compacts around for those who want to record video on the fly.
#3 Best Compact Camera for Video: DJI Osmo Pocket
Just look at it to understand that Osmo Pocket is a unique model in this ranking. The stabilization technology available was born on drones produced by DJI. The lens is available on a 3-axis gimbal mounted on a pocket handle.
While it is tiny, it works great. Osmo Pocket can shoot extremely smooth video in 4K up to 60fps. Slightly bigger than a pocket flashlight, this mini camera can eliminate any form of movement or vibration by replicating the functions of its larger counterparts in a super compact size.
The featherweight of 116g and its size that allows you to insert it in your pocket and use it with one hand make Pocket a unique model. Convenient camera controls make panning a breeze, while features like time-lapse and active face tracking are great for creative shooting.
- Gimbal for stabilization
- 4K / 60 FPS video
- Compact and lightweight
- Unique design
- Mediocre audio
- Small display
Osmo pocket is also extremely versatile. The universal port can connect a smartphone, making data transfer quick and easy, and unlocking new functions, and allowing access to previews from the phone.
#4 Best Compact Camera for Low Light: Fujifilm X100V
Fujifilm X100V takes all the positive aspects of the previous model and solves most of its weaknesses, becoming the perfect compact in the smartphone age. The highlights of the compact Fujifilm are a vintage style that blends with the compact design.
It comes with a large APS-C sensor, a one-of-a-kind hybrid viewfinder, and a fixed 23mm f / 2 prime lens. The new X100V improves in all aspects and offers a new swiveling screen and improved autofocus.
Image quality has also increased, thanks to the redesigned lens. It improves performance in low light. Besides, there is a hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder and support for filming in 4K / 30p.
Sure, add a filter if you want to achieve complete weather sealing. The cost could be prohibitive for many users. If you are looking for a compact camera that is aesthetically beautiful, easy to pocket, and has high-end features, Fujifilm X100V is the right choice.
- Improved sensor and autofocus
- 4K video
- Compact and lightweight
- Vintage design
- It needs a filter for resistance to environmental factors
- Fixed focal length
Overall, the X100V offers a wide range of features within a body made with lightweight materials in perfect vintage style.
#5 Best Compact Camera for Landscape Photography: Panasonic Lumix LX100 II
While the 24-75mm zoom lens is modest for a compact, we recommend not neglecting the Lumix LX100 II. It is a perfect choice if you are looking for a versatile compact that can take great photos.
Not only does the lens have a variable aperture of f / 1.7-2.8, but the 17MP Micro Four Thirds sensor achieves unmatched image quality. It also integrates a comfortable and large touchscreen display (albeit a fixed type), 4K video, and controls on the camera body.
- Excellent image quality
- Quality checks on the camera body
- Lightweight and compact
- Comfortable touch screen
- Slow zoom
- Fixed display
This mode is the best compact camera for passionate photographers.
#6 Best Compact Camera for Portraits: Sony ZV-1
If you are aiming more for a compact camera that is ideal for videos rather than photographs, Sony ZV-1 is the best option available. Not that it cannot produce good quality shots, but the strength of the ZV-1 is its video specs.
Among many features, we find excellent level autofocus that allows you to keep a focus on people and moving objects. It offers an impressive video quality thanks to the 20.1MP sensor.
The bright 24-70mm f / 1.8-2.8 optics does not allow you to reach the distances of the RX100 VII. The audio quality is excellent by the 3.5mm input that allows you to add an external microphone. It can count on special support for installation.
- Impressive video quality
- Excellent level autofocus
- Easy to use
- Low brightness
It guarantees excellent blur in both photos and video shooting and is ideal for portraiture and vlogging.
#7 Best Compact Camera for Macro: Fujifilm Instax Mini 11
Certainly, Instax Mini 11 is not a compact camera like the other models in the ranking. But if you are looking for a small, stylish point and macro shoot that does not cost too much, Instax Mini 11 is a great option.
We have selected it to be our favorite Instant Camera, thanks to the excellent automatic exposure system that allows you to shoot without having to think too much about the adjustments. The unit is ideal for all people who are taking their first steps in the world of photography.
The camera body is not small. If you are looking for a super-compact instant camera, opt for the Instax Mini LiPlay. However, consider that this one costs double compared to Fuji Instax Mini 11. It makes the price one of its chief strengths.
- Great to start
- Efficient automatic exposure
- Compact design
- Rather small prints
- The advanced features are missing
Being part of the Instax Mini line, the printed photos are the size of a credit card. And if you feel like taking a selfie, you can do it thanks to the integrated front mirror.
#8 Best Full Frame Compact Camera: Nikon Z6
Nikon Z6 is firmly at the top of our ranking of the best full-frame compact cameras and is a model that we feel we can recommend without hesitation. We chose it because it has a glorious mix of specs, functions, ergonomics, performance, and price.
The 24.5MP sensor produces stunning images, with great color reproduction and excellent detail, while the 273-point AF system is more than efficient. Also, the most impressive feature is the 12 FPS burst, well-organized controls, and large, bright electronic viewfinder. The FTZ adapter allows you to use Nikon lenses with an F mount.
- Great at high ISO
- Advanced EVF viewfinder
- 273-point AF system
- Well-organized controls
- Limited buffer
- Only one SD card slot
All the above benefits make the Z6 an ideal choice for enthusiasts or professionals who are looking for a second camera body.
#9 Best Budget Compact Camera: Fujifilm X100F
With the help of the powerful electronic hybrid viewfinder and intuitive and well-finished controls, this camera is always ready to use. The large APS-C sensor guarantees excellent image quality. The autofocus is responsive. Finally, the wide dynamic range and excellent noise management give a good dose of flexibility sublimated by the Film Simulation modes for the video part.
The fixed focal length could be restrictive compared to competitor compacts with zoom lenses. But few of these guarantee the level of quality and use of the X100F.
- Affordable price
- Responsive autofocus
- Excellent noise management
- Film Simulation mode
- Limited focal length
Given the alternative models, you can take this little gem home with you at really affordable prices. So, if you do not want to spend a fortune but require a premium compact, X100F will not disappoint you.
#10 Best Superzoom Compact Camera: Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II
The typical aesthetics of DSLRs leave room for a cleaner body that does not give up a solid grip but is more comfortable to carry around. Inside, we find a new 20.1MP CMOS sensor powered by Canon’s DIGIC 8 engine and capable of shooting in 4K format without having to resort to crop.
The new 24-100mm zoom lens offers a good focal range and a rather generous maximum aperture. Adaptable and fun to use, the G5 Mark II allows you to bring quality shots to the case and is characterized by excellent focus and a good number of functions.
The autonomy needs to be improved, and the lens is slightly soft when used at long focal distances. However, Mark II proves to be an excellent all-rounder capable of giving excellent results in any situation.
- Excellent grip
- Quality viewfinder
- Powerful zoom
- High focal length
- Mediocre autonomy
The second edition of the G5 X is a big step forward for the Canon series, both in terms of style and specs.
What compact cameras do professionals use?
Photography enthusiasts prefer SLR and mirrorless, but there are situations where they need a pocket device. And the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III is a perfect choice.
Is it worth buying a compact camera?
Usually, we associate the fact of having to pay more to get an excellent product. Keep in mind that the result depends on the eye of the person taking the photo. Spending a lot of money does not mean taking excellent photographs.
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What should guide us in the purchase is to think about the concrete features of our photo camera? In this way, you can better choose the model that suits your needs.
Which compact camera has the best zoom?
Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II’s 24-100mm zoom lens offers a good focal range and a rather generous maximum aperture.
Are compact cameras as good as DSLR?
An important difference between reflex and compact is precisely the size of the sensor that has gained the image. Users should remember that a larger sensor means less noise and therefore better image quality.
The large variety of compact cameras available on the market today offers a choice for every need and budget.
There are small pocket compacts that have an optical super zoom, often referred to as super-zoom compacts (Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II). Then, we have the compact bridges that resemble SLRs despite having a fixed lens and many autonomic functions that are easy to activate (Canon G7X Mark III). There are even waterproof models and high-end compacts that represent valid alternatives to SLRs or mirrorless for those looking for portability.
If you are already oriented on the compact. From our reviews, you can find out which models will be the best compact camera for your needs on the market.