Best Compact Camera 2016 - Which are the best compact cameras on the market right now? Find out in our selection of the best compact cameras of 2016
While there’s no arguing that the compact camera market is coming under increasing pressure for both the smartphone and CSC market, there’s still a lot to be said for having a dedicated camera with a fixed lens that you can easily take everywhere.
The good news is that there’s still a broad range of attractive compacts cameras on the market, and of a wide range of varieties to suit every need.
Here are some of the best compact cameras currently on the market.
Street price: £999
The X100T looks to build upon the success of its predecessors in the advanced compact market. It does so with the inheritance of Fujifilm’s 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor and fixed 23mm f/2 lens.
It approves upon its predecessor with a new 3in, 1.04m-dot LCD screen and hugely-impressive hybrid EVF which is one of the best in its class.
The result is one of the best advanced compacts on the market, capable of some hugely impressive images.
Best Compact Camera for: Retro styling and great build quality
Sony RX100 IV
Street price: £750
If you’re looking for the very best in traditional compact cameras, Sony’s RX100 series has long been the place to turn to. The RX100 IV represents the fourth in the series, and is arguably the best yet.
It features a pop-up electronic viewfinder, vari-angle LCD screen and Sony’s impressive Bionz processor. It also retains the 1in sensor that has made the range so popular, delivering some excellent images along the way, but there’s now a new design for even better image quality.
At around the £750 mark the RX100 IV is certainly not cheap, although it’s one of the most complete compacts going.
Best Compact Camera for: The very best in pocketable imaging
Street price: £290
The Panasonic Lumix TZ70 is a ‘travel zoom compact’, combining a long focal range (30x optical zoom) and an advanced specification, all in a body which is both lightweight and portable.
The TZ70 is one of the best cameras you could invest in if you’re looking for a camera to have on you at all times.
Best Compact Camera for: Versitility
Street price: £299
The Olympus TG-4 has a fast maximum aperture, and good autofocus responsiveness.
It’s submersible to a depth of 15m, shockproof from 2.1m and freezeproof to -10°C. The TG-4’s headline feature is its ability to shoot in the Raw format as well as JPEG. Manual aperture control is available via its excellent mode dial and it’s equipped with Wi-fi, GPS, and a compass feature that also outputs pressure and altitude information.
Best Compact Camera for: An active lifestyle
Sony RX1R Mark II
Street price: £2600
Despite being priced well outside the reach of most people’s wallets, the Sony RX1 Mark II is nonetheless a serious prospect for the well-heeled enthusiast.
It’s a niche product for a niche audience, but the Mark II version of the camera builds on the best-in-class reputation of its predecessor.
There’s a 42.4MP sensor, 399 phase-detection autofocus points and a variable low pass filter over the sensor – which is a first. The model also features a fixed 35mm Carl Zeiss lens that’s as sharp as a pin, along with a wide range of other high-end features.
If you’re looking for the very best in compact imaging and have a large budget, the RX1 Mark II is the one for you.
Best Compact Camera for: The very best in image quality
Street price: £594
The Panasonic Lumix LX100 has excellent build quality and intuitive controls, making the camera a pleasure to use. Once you’ve started shooting with the camera, you’re sure to be impressive with the excellent quality of images the LX100 produces.
It’s not without flaw, however – the EVF is slightly lacking in terms of specification, while it might not be as compact as some of its competitors.
What quibbles there are seem like nitpicking in the face of what is a truly impressive compact and one that both a pleasure to use and that produces some excellent images.
Best Compact Camera for: Usability