The Best Premium CSC 2016 – We round up some of the best premium compact system cameras currently on the market
The compact system camera – or CSC – market has continued to grow over the past few years, with many photographers moving away from DSLRs in favour of their smaller siblings.
The move has been fuelled by the improvements found in the premium CSC market. Although they feature a higher price tag than their entry- and mid-level counterparts, they offer specifications that are certainly compete with similarly priced DSLRs.
Such a serious investment, however, merits some serious planning and consideration. Luckily, we’ve done a lot of the legwork for you, so why not check out our guide to the premium models in our best premium CSC of 2016 guide.
Street price: £879
Fujifilm’s ‘X’ series of CSCs has a long reputation of housing some of the very best CSCs on the market, and there’s a good chance that the X-T1 is the foremost of this selection.
The model combines chic design with excellent handling, fantastic image quality, and one of the best viewfinders on the market.
Best Premium CSC for: A complete premium package
Read our full Fujifilm X-T1 review
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Panasonic Lumix GH4
Street price: £1,050
When the GH4 first hit the market back in May of last year it was the first CSC to offer the new ultra-HD 4K video capture, thus continuing Panasonic’s tradition of producing top quality video shooters.
The GH4 also offers solid stills capture, and with a strong line-up of compatible lenses available it’s certainly worth of consideration
Best Premium CSC for: Video capture
Read our full Panasonic Lumix GH4 review
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Street price: £1,350
There’s little denying that Leica is the name most synonymous with premium digital cameras.
Back in May of last year the manufacturer announced its first premium CSC in the shape of the Leica T. The model, while still expensive, is more affordable than other Leica cameras, although it does lack the extensive feature-set seen in some competitors.
Best Premium CSC for: Premium build quality
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Street price: £1,249
In terms of which of these models has the most impressive specification, it’s hard to look further than the Samsung NX1.
Features include, in no particular order, a 15fps burst more, Ultra-HD 4k video capture, a 153-point AF system, and both a 1,036k-dot Super AMOLED LCD and 2.36m-dot OLED EVF. And that’s just the start.
Best Premium CSC for: Those wanting everything
Read the full Samsung NX1 review
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Sony A7 II
Street price: £1,250
When it comes to image quality, the very best in the field often comes from cameras with full-frame sensors. The Sony A7 II is one such model, cramming a 24.3MP chip in to a stylish retro body.
The A7 II also allows for some strong operational performance thanks to a sophisticated AF set-up and the latest Bionz X processor.
Best Premium CSC for: High-end image quality
Read our full Sony A7 II review
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Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
Street price: £890
In terms of the combination of retro design and sophisticated specs, Olympus’s OM-D range is one of the originators.
The E-M5 Mark II builds on a strong history in the field with an improved spec, excellent image quality and, perhaps most importantly for some, full weather resistance.
Best Premium CSC for: Those shooting in difficult conditions
Read our full Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II review
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