Recent technical advances have allowed experts to deliver compact image quality close to that of reflex for a fraction of their size. Here are the top 10 according to the testing lab top5net.com
image quality or compact? Both general! Taking advantage of optical increasingly compact and bright and the famous sensor 1 inch, experts compacts now offer image quality that challenges reflex: the housings whose optical delivered in kit often pale in comparison to those of their little brothers.The high price of these compact – sometimes equivalent to an entry level DSLR! – Is explained by the quality of the components and their extreme miniaturization.
A reflex that fits in your pocket
The specification compact experts loads starts with optics, including the high quality and brightness confined to the modest zoom powers generally between x3 and x7. Compared to a simple compact, an “expert” model is often much better built (premium finishes, strength), moved the RAW image format (digital negative) and has all the possible walkouts manuals. The capabilities of an SLR in a pocket format sum.
In the past the focus of manufacturers was essentially “real photographers” who were looking for a compact able to support their (s) reflex. Now the movement is rather to look more broadly for reaching discerning users seeking the power of reflex in a pocket size. Proof by example with the arrival for the first time, said a compact travel: the Lumix TZ100. A device with a power zoom (x10) “family” gives him the palm of the versatility of this comparison (quality / zoom power). Great versatility which allows him to make an entrance directly into the third position of our ranking!
They make shade for large appliances
In four years, the technology has evolved so much that experts are starting to tease compact SLR image quality side, for only a fraction of their weight. The parallel with the reflex is so prégnant that our test methods are the same.Some experts compact to larger sensors like the LX100 Panasonic produce images difficult or impossible to distinguish from those of their big brothers (if they are not equipped with high-end optical).
Components constantly improving
Holy Trinity of digital photography consists of the sensor, optics and image processor. In all these areas, the years pass and the fierce competition has led to significant progress.
The arrival of the sensor 1 inch in the Sony RX100 in 2012 has radically changed the situation. For the first time a manufacturer has managed to achieve unparalleled image quality in an ultra-compact format. Optical advances have otherwise go to apertures of f / 1.4 at the wide angle and f / 2.8 at the end of zoom, even with a large sensor like the LX100.
As to the processors, all the improvements of manufacturing processes from the world of telephony make the new chips became true gross calculation.This improvement not only benefits the burst and the quality of the image processing, but also to the autofocus speed, again, rivals the SLR and hybrids.
As to the processors, all the improvements of manufacturing processes from the world of telephony make the new chips became true gross calculation.This improvement not only benefits the burst and the quality of the image processing, but also to the autofocus speed, again, rivals the SLR and hybrids. This power boost also allows these cameras to meet the requirements of a recording in 4K. And rendering is sometimes exceptional!
Other equipment increasingly widespread among experts compact: the electronic viewfinder. A component whose quality has steadily improved in recent years due to soaring hybrids – to replace an SLR you need a viewfinder. Becoming better defined, these sights are found on the most impressive devices like the LX100. Sony has however proved with its RX100 Mark III it was possible to integrate into devices in pocket format. The current quality level viewfinders finally satisfying and we already seen arriving on non-expert lines, such as ultra-zoom compact “normal.”
Diversification like “expert”
This comparison deals with a kind of compact experts: the housings equipped with a normal zoom. This is important because in addition to these conventional devices, two other types were developed: fixed focal length compact experts and experts in compact powerful zoom.
16 juinLa first category – compact fixed focal experts – take large sensor (APS-C or full-frame) and optical high-flying fixed equipment that allows them to tu SLRs. But the lack of zoom intends them to an audience more expert, able to settle for a 28 mm or 35 mm. These devices are called Fujifilm X100T, Sony RX1R Mark II , Ricoh GR II , Leica Q , Sigma DP2 Quattro , etc. Sharp devices, limited use, but incredibly attractive to photographers numbers.
The second category, that of “bridges experts” offers the image quality of an expert compact (or an SLR) but with a zoom more powerful than the standard. Emerging as “invented” in 2013, this category might have a bright future because it combines image quality, good ergonomics “to reflex” and good value / zoom, conventional bridges often with disappointing image quality and compact experts insufficient zoom range for many users. These two categories will be later comparative dedicated.
The following ranking is based on a permanent comparison of compact cameras experts who gets different scores for each product. We note of course the image quality (colors, mounted ISO) but also factors such as ergonomics, speed of use (speed menus, development speed) or the quantity – and quality ! – Functionality.
Finally, the appreciation of the tester also weighs quite heavy – about 25% of the note – for the simple reason that a camera is a creative tool that we take almost for granted. More subjective test a TV, the camera test necessarily takes into account the fun we had to use the object.
Here are the top 10 best models according to tests conducted until 16 June 2016.
If he had to give up large sensor 1 inch for reasons of price and size, 1 Stylus offers a rare power zoom compact among experts: a x10,7 zoom, zoom, which is now rivaled by that of the TZ100. Experts of the compact, it recovers RAW mode and a bright optical over the entire focal length (f / 2.8). And (big) bonus in addition to its swiveling screen, it has a quality electronic viewfinder.
So slim size very easy to slip into a shirt pocket, the X-Q2 is part of the range of “smart” with a retro clean & design. His two technical strengths are the quality of jpeg color and overall responsiveness of the device, always ready to shoot and quick to make the point (in daylight). The rise in high sensitivity is not great, the fault too small sensor.
Take RX100 Mark II, give the more latitude swivel screen (for selfies) and pass the finish all-metal which Canon has the secret and you get a nice compact expert in the line of PowerShot S. Nothing very innovative, but the copy is clean. Attention to energy consumption: in normal mode it only holds 200 pictures, the eco fashion is not a luxury. And the purchase of one (or two) battery (s) extra (s) may soon be necessary when you get out of the cities (hiking, etc.)
Evolution of the first RX100 This Mark II has a swivel screen, Wi-Fi and a more sensitive sensor. Between a Mark I get older and a dear Mark III, the Mark II still has meaning and therefore remains at the Sony catalog. That is, if it is a safe bet.
Overall rating : 7.6 / 10 | Price 475 €
06. Canon PowerShot G5X
Superbly constructed, the PowerShot compact G5X is the most serious ever produced expert Canon recent years. His exemplary build quality – it’s probably the most sturdy of this ranking – actually a device that has no qualms to take anywhere. Its viewfinder is excellent and very good optics. Too bad that autonomy is so feeble and Canon will be kept to a minimum in terms of features – no 4K video for example.
Overall rating : 7.7 / 10 | Price : 849 €
5. Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Mark III
King of miniaturization, Sony has managed to integrate an electronic viewfinder and a rotating screen in a housing that fits in a jacket pocket, a real feat. Taking advantage of the same sensor as the RX100 Mark II, this new version introduces an even brighter optics. We must realize the amount of integrated technologies to accept that such a small device is also expensive.
Overall rating : 8.0 / 10 | Price 749 € |
4. Fujifilm X30
With his “small” and its optical sensor to moderate specifications (f / 2-2.8), the X30 does not look. Only engineers Fuji, uncompromising with the image quality, made miracles: the pictures are beautiful, well-stitched, the beautiful colors and the small electronic viewfinder does the job. Compact, strong and not too expensive, it is one of our favorites.
Overall rating : 8.2 / 10 | Price 529 €
3. Panasonic Lumix TZ100
Ideally, the Lumix TZ100 is the last scion of a series’ compact candy “dedicated to travel. In truth, the TZ100 is a mutant: the large sensor 1 inch classic range and a x10 zoom, unprecedented power in a small package. If its pure image quality is slightly less than the leaders in the category – he had to sacrifice a bit of sharpness and brightness on the altar of the zoom power – it is the most versatile of the competition and offers all experts refinements: EVF, 4K video, RAW mode, etc.
Overall rating : 8.33 / 10 | Price: 699 €
2. Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Mark IV
Based on the RX100 Mark III, Mark IV version of this advantage of the same rotating screen and a very good retractable viewfinder which provides an AF speed faster, the 4K video and video idle modes up to 1000 pictures per second. A compact housing that performance that only suffers from one defect: a very high price.
Overall Rating: 8.5 / 10 | Price: 1050 €
1. Panasonic Lumix LX100
The LX100 is a demonstration of the expertise of Panasonic. With its large sensor Micro 4/3 (larger than 1 inch Sony!), It offers the same definition 12 Mpix in all formats (4/3, 3/2, 16/9, etc.) and great image quality. Besides its rich equipment (AF competition, electronic viewfinder, touch screen, etc.) it is the only film in 4K.