For our best compact cameras for 2021 list, we’ve considered six important factors – image quality, functionality, ease of use, release date, fun factor, and value for money. These cameras are ideal for those looking for a better shooter than a smartphone, yet small enough to fit in a pocket. Thus, I can imagine them as great daily drivers or backup cameras for professionals who already have DSLRs but prefer something more convenient.

Best Compact Cameras

5 Best Compact Cameras – What do professionals use?

These cameras can also serve as a great way to introduce beginners to the world of photography – you’ll get full manual control and viewfinders without being overly complicated. 

Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm x100 best compact cameras for 2021

  • Sensor: 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS
  • Lens: 23mm, f/2
  • Display: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1.62m dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF
  • Continuous shooting: 11fps (mechanical), 30fps (electronic)
  • Video: 4K
  • Price: $1,399

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Each new version of the Fujifilm X100 model improves upon the previous one yet retains the signature retro look. 

To put it simply, the Fujifilm X100V is the quintessential compact camera for the smartphone age. It’s stylish, convenient, durable, and packed with great features. It sports a large APS-C sensor, a hybrid viewfinder, and a fixed 23mm f/2 lens. With the X100V, Fujifilm offers improved autofocus performance along with a new two-way tilting screen. 

Thanks to several design enhancements, the Fujifilm X100V has improved on the already excellent image quality of the X100 lineup. The combination of a redesigned lens, state-of-the-art X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, and X-Processor 4 ensures that images are processed swiftly so you don’t miss out on any moment.  

The X100V can record videos up to 4K at 30fps. You can also capture 1080p videos at 120fps to create a super slo-mo effect. The hybrid viewfinder has been dramatically improved. It now comes at a higher resolution, offers 95% frame coverage, and provides parallax correction. 

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

Tech Reviews - Panasonic Lumix LX100 II - Tech News

  • Sensor: Micro Four Thirds, 17MP
  • Lens: 24-75mm, f/1.7-2.8
  • Display: 3.0-inch touchscreen, 1,240,000 dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF
  • Continuous shooting: 11fps
  • Video: 4K
  • Price: $797

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For a compact camera, the Panasonic Lumix LX100 II checks all the boxes – amazing image quality, impressive performance, decent battery life, excellent electronic viewfinder, and lots of dedicated controls. 

The Lumix LX100 II offers incremental upgrades over its predecessor. We get a new grip for better control and handling. Aside from that, nothing much has changed physically. I think that’s a good thing since the LX line already looks great with its classic design. 

While the lens and viewfinder remain the same, we get a new 17-megapixel, Four Thirds image sensor, and Venus Engine image processor. This results in even better image quality compared to its predecessor. 

Sony RX100 VII

Tech Reviews - Sony RX100 VII - Tech News

  • Sensor: 1-inch, 20.1MP
  • Lens: 24-200mm, f/2.8-4.5
  • Display: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 921,000 dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF
  • Continuous shooting: 20fps
  • Video: 4K
  • Price: $1,298

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If you’re looking for an all-around compact camera you can take with you wherever you go, then the Sony RX100 VII is a great choice. This model may not offer a huge upgrade over its predecessor. However, it is widely considered as the best go-between camera, offering professional-level performance in a compact design.  

It has everything going for it – an excellent autofocus system, amazing video and image quality, and ease of use. Unfortunately, all of these come at a price. It might be expensive but it still offers a good value for money. 

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III

Tech Reviews - Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III - Tech News

  • Sensor: APS-C CMOS, 24.2MP
  • Lens: 24-72mm, f/2.8-5.6
  • Display: 3.0-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots
  • Viewfinder: EVF
  • Continuous shooting: 7fps
  • Video: 1080p
  • Price: $999

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The Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III is Canon’s flagship compact camera. This workhorse packs a large 24.2-megapixel CMOS sensor with built-in phase-detection AF, a 3x zoom lens, and f/2.8 aperture at the wide-angle end of the lens. Along with these features and the same renowned usability of a Canon DSLR, the PowerShot G1 X Mark III offers a true DSLR experience in compact camera size. Although you may not get the same battery life, that problem can be easily resolved with a spare battery.

With its electronic viewfinder, the Canon Powershot G1 X Mark III makes it easier to take pictures in bright environments. This camera also offers a 3-inch variable angle touchscreen which you can use to navigate through the settings and set the focus position. Unfortunately, if you need 4K videos, you’re out of luck as this camera only offers 1080p recording. 

Ricoh GR III

Tech Reviews - Ricoh GR III - Tech News

  • Sensor: APS-C 24.2MP
  • Lens: 28mm f/2.8 (35mm-equivalent)
  • Display: 3.0-inch touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots
  • Viewfinder: No
  • Continuous shooting: 4fps
  • Video: Full HD
  • Price: $896

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With its discreet looks, along with its compact and lightweight design the Ricoh GR III is a perfect choice for street photographers and travelers. 

This camera features a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor and an f/2.8 fixed focal lens. The anti-aliasing filter-free lets you capture detailed images. Low light sensitivity is improved with up to ISO 102400. The excellent built-in 3-axis stabilization lets you capture clearer images even while walking along the sidewalk. 

On the downside, the $896 price might turn some people off especially when you consider the fixed lens and the poor battery life. However, if you understand what this camera stands for and you’re looking for an alternative to your DSLR then this camera won’t disappoint.

Looking for an Action Camera? Check out our Best GoPro Camera Alternatives list.

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