Ever since digital took hold in photography, photographers have desired a high-quality compact camera that could match the quality of their DSLRs when they wanted to travel light or work unobtrusively. While we’ve seen a series of compacts aimed at the serious photographer, only a handful have featured a sensor with the same physical APS-C size dimensions as those found in most DSLRs. And while it could look like Compact System Cameras would see off these high-end compacts, there’s a growing range of these niche compacts emerging.

The latest two APS-C sensor based compacts cameras are Fujifilm’s X100S, building on the success of the original X100 from two years ago, and the Nikon Coolpix A, which is their first APS-C premium compact.

Both feature fast, fixed lenses and almost identical resolutions, but have their own interpretations of what a photographer-focused premium compact should be, so which one comes out on top?

Fujifilm X100S

Fujifilm X100S front view

Read our full standalone review of the Fujifilm X100S


Key Specs

 Sensor – 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS
Output size – 4896 x 3264px
Lens – 23mm f/2
Focal length magnification- 1.5x
Shutter speeds – 30secs-1/4000sec, bulb
Max flash sync – 1/4000sec
ISO 200-6400 (Extendable to 100-25,600)
Drive mode – 6fps
Movie mode – Full HD (1920×1080) @ 60/30fps
Display – 2.8in, 460k-dot screen & Hybrid viewfinder
Field of view – 100%
Focus points 49
Dimensions – 126.5 x 74.4 x 53.9mm
Weight – 445g  


Superb lens and sensor combination; Hybrid viewfinder Handling characteristics


35mm lens might be a bit restrictive; AF still not quick in all situations Display could be better




Nikon COOLPIX A front view

Read our full standalone review of the Nikon COOLPIX A

Key Specs

 Sensor – 16.2MP APS-C CMOS
Output size – 4928 x 3264px
Lens – 18mm f/2.8
Focal length magnification – 1.5x
Shutter speeds – 30secs-1/2000sec, bulb
Max flash sync – TBC
ISO – 100-6400 (Extendable to 25,600)
Drive mode – 4fps
Movie mode – Full HD (1920×1080) @ 30/25/24fps
Display – 3in, 921k-dot screen
Field of view – 100%
Focus points – Multi-area
Dimensions – 111 x 64.3 x 40.3mm
Weight – 299g


Compact design; Excellent image quality; Simple menu system; Fantastic LCD screen


Slow focusing speed; No viewfinder; Minimum focus distance; No filter thread

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Nikon COOLPIX A vs. Fujifilm X100S
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