The Best Advanced Compacts of 2015 - We take a look at some of the best advanced compacts on the market
Advanced compacts have become especially popular in recent years, especially with experienced and enthusiast-level photographers that already own a DSLR but want something smaller and easier to carry around without losing an advanced feature set.
By their nature, the best advanced compact cameras will offer things such as Raw capture and full manual control over the image capture settings as standard. Menu systems will be more complex and offer much more in the way of user customisation too.
Last but not least you can also expect the best advanced compacts to sport a hotshoe on the top of the camera in order to mount external flashguns and accessories with.
We’ve taken a look at the best on offer and come up with a selection of the best advanced compacts on the market today.
If you’re looking for the very best in advanced compacts then your first stop may well be the Fujifilm X100T.
It sports some stunning design and an intuitive control layout which makes it a breeze to operate, while it’s capable of delivering some truly excellent images.
While it’s certainly not the cheapest on the market, the Fujifilm X100T is amongst the very best in compact camera technology.
Best Advanced Compact for: Those prepared to pay for the very best
Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 IV
Street price: £750
The Sony RX100 is now in its fourth iteration. As before, it’s got a one-inch sensor, which makes for excellent images. There’s also a 24-70mm (equivalent) lens, with a maximum aperture of f/1.8-f/2.8, which is super useful for low light and creating pleasing shallow depth of field effects.
Although the Mark IV is the latest version of the camera on sale, the Mark III is still available on sale too, if you want to save a bit of cash.
Both the RX100 IV and the RX100 III have integrated EVFs, making the models more attractive than ever before.
Best Advanced Compact for: Pocketable power
Street price: £499
Canon’s G range of PowerShot compacts used to be the last word in advanced compact performance, although in recent years the standard has arguably dropped somewhat.
The G1 X Mark II represents somewhat of a return to form however, delivering a good level of image quality and some good features.
The main thing which went against it was its extremely high list price of £799. However, it’s now available for nearly half that and as such may be worth closer consideration.
Best Advanced Compact for: Canon devotees
Street price: £359
Olympus’s PEN range of CSCs has proved popular in recent times thanks to a combination of advanced features and retro design.
This popularity has led to Olympus trickling down the design features to its compact range, as is evidenced in the Olympus Stylus 1.
The model features an extensive zoom and DSLR-like styling, as well as a viewfinder and strong performance.
Best Advanced Compact for: DSLR-esque design
Street price: £550
Clearly under pressure in what is an increasingly competitive market, Panasonic really upped its game with the LX100.
The model features as good a specification as any other on the market and is capable of capturing some stunning images, all at a price which won’t break the bank.
Best Advanced Compact for: Manual control and strong image quality
Street price: £394
In terms of price, the G7 X sits between the latest G16 (£299) and the flagship G1 X (£599) models within Canon’s highly regarded G-series range.
While all three cameras are quite distinct in terms of specification and hardware, the G7 X is by far the smallest of the trio, making it an ideal pocket camera for enthusiasts. Built around a 1in backside-illuminated CMOS sensor that provides 20.2MP of effective resolution, the G7 X further benefits from a fast 24-70mm fixed zoom with a maximum aperture of f/1.8. Unlike the G16 (but in common with the G1 X), the G7 X lacks a viewfinder, however, the 3in rear display is ultra-sharp.
Street price: £399
Ricoh has a long tradition of building premium compacts. The GR Digital is the latest incarnation
and it boasts a 16.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor, Ricoh’s latest GR ENGINE V image processor, and a 28mm f/2 fixed prime.
This combination, coupled with the camera’s diminutive size, makes the GR Digital an ideal street photographer’s camera. Elsewhere, it benefits from the removal of the low-pass filter for maximum sharpness and detail, plus a built-in ND filter that allows you to use slower shutter speeds in bright conditions. While there’s no viewfinder, the hotshoe mount can be used to attach an optional Ricoh GV-1 or GV-2 viewfinder.