The best compact cameras for every user

Compact camera systems provide portability and convenience for the photographer on the go. While smartphones with high quality imaging capabilities have reduced the overall number of compact cameras available on the market, many compact systems available today are high quality, rugged, and offer large sensors and other settings for better image quality. Whether you’re a longtime photographer, or a rookie looking for a simple travel camera for an upcoming trip, here’s a look at four cameras that are among some of the top compact systems available today. These cameras represent a sample of the wide range of features and prices suitable for all users.

best compact cameras Fujifilm X100F

Fujifilm X100F

The Fujifilm X100F fixed-lens digital camera is the fourth iteration of Fujifilm's X-series camera. The first in the series, the X100, launched in 2011. The X100F has received much recognition for its aesthetic, a retro-inspired design that has continued throughout the company’s X-series line. One feature that sets the camera apart is a large 16.3-million-pixel APS-C sensor, allowing for higher quality images and better low-light shooting conditions. The camera has also received note for its expanded autofocus system, which includes an AF-point joystick, allowing for easier autofocus setting.

While the X100F offers many features in a smaller package, it falls on the expensive side for a compact camera with a price tag around USD $1,200. It also has slightly more bulk than other compact options, so it may not be ideal for certain scenarios. In terms of usability, the X100F is better suited for more experienced photographers, as opposed to being an ideal option for beginners or casual photographers.

Light L16

Startup company Light is a newcomer in the photography space. The company announced its first product, the 16 lens L16 camera in 2015, and released the camera in 2017.

In terms of capability, the L16 can capture up to 10 images simultaneously. It then uses on-board software to combine the shots into a single, high-resolution image. The camera can produce 52-megapixel resolution images, allowing users to capture high quality photos without the bulk and weight of traditional camera equipment. With a size slightly larger than a smartphone, and weighing less than a pound, the L16 travels easily and fits into most backpack pockets. The camera also has a 5-inch HD touchscreen in place of a viewfinder, offering a familiar user experience for avid smartphone photographers.

Like the Fujifilm X100F, the camera is on the higher side in terms of price, selling on Light’s website for USD $1,950. However, like many high-quality compact camera solutions, this is a fraction of the cost of a complete DSLR setup, especially considering the advanced imaging technology under the hood. Given its wireless connectivity, and Light’s commitment to constant software improvements, any needed tweaks or solutions based off of user feedback are quickly delivered through over-the-air updates. While the camera was designed to function similar to a smartphone, there may be a learning curve for newer users. The company’s desktop editing software may also require additional photo-editing experience since some of the functionality goes beyond a casual beginner knowledge set.

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is part of the manufacturer’s G Series, which traditionally has offered models for photography enthusiasts looking for DSLR functions without the bulk. The camera features 1-inch sensors, allowing for high quality images in a package much smaller than most of its competitors. With dimensions of 98 x 58 x 31mm, the camera is slim and pocket-sized. The camera’s controls and design are streamlined, making it well-suited for intermediate or even beginner photographers willing to learn. The camera also includes Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth capabilities, allowing easy connectivity. This is an optimal step-up for users looking for some of the image-sharing capabilities offered by their smartphones.

The Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is priced between USD $400-$600, falling in the mid-range for many compact cameras. However, the price can still be a significant investment for many beginner or intermediate photographers. Due to its small size, the camera is also limited in some respects, offering a shorter focal length zoom lens than some of its competitors. The camera also uses a touch screen interface, which advanced photographers and other users may not find ideal.

Sony Cyber-shot WX220

The Sony Cyber-shot WX220 has been recognized for its value, offering an appealing option to beginner or hobby photographers searching for a step up from their smartphone camera. The camera launched with a price tag under USD $200, making it a low-risk option for users looking for a dedicated compact camera without some of the advanced features more seasoned photographers may be seeking. Sony cameras have been known for capturing bright colors and the Cyber-shot WX220 maintains this quality, while also offering good image resolution. The camera also provides a solid option for printing photos from a trip or sharing online, and also has Wi-Fi capabilities.

Many settings for the Sony Cyber-shot WX220 are automatic, so it’s not an ideal option for users who are looking for more control over settings, or those who would like to change them often. The camera’s Program Auto mode, for example, allows some settings to be adjusted, but doesn’t give control over things like aperture or shutter speed. Although images captured with the WX220 are sufficient for sharing online or most normal-sized prints, it’s not well-suited for larger printing, where images can lose sharpness upon close inspection.

If you’re in the market for a quality camera but want the convenience of taking a high-quality picture on your smartphone, there are many camera companies making innovations toward the perfect all-in-one device.

Recently, Light has received funding from SoftBank’s Vision Fund and the German camera giant, Leica. With this investment, the company is focused on developing advanced imaging technologies, including a new wave of smartphone cameras. Different from the L16, the smartphone camera will have between five and nine lenses and will be able to capture 64- megapixel images.

Leica has also entered into a partnership with Chinese network company, Huawei and created the P20 Pro, a smartphone camera with triple-lense technology that can take up to 40-megapixel images. Huawei and Leica are currently working on their next release, the P21, a smartphone camera that many are hoping will keep the three lense design.

SEE ALSO: Is Huawei P20 Pro The Best Camera Smartphone?

No matter if you choose to go with the camera on your smartphone or a compact camera, technological strides are being made in all facets of the camera industry, making it impossible to choose wrongly.


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  2. Great article! I was just about to buy camera for bike tour.
    I'v already bought the best exercise bike in 2018 and camera is the next thing.