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compact fixed lens digital cameras with larger sensors


  • photography is all about design compromise
  • on one hand we mostly want the largest sensor possible for the best image quality and the greatest ability to control depth of field
  • but we also generally want it as small as possible
  • mirrorless camera systems with 2x crop sensors such as Micro Four Thirds system fit a nice compromise, but still, tend to be too big for a shirt pocket, but generally small enough for a jacket pocket (but can be squeezed into jeans pockets if used with a pancake lens).
  • the category of camera on this page aims at the compromise of allowing a shirt pocketable camera but with a large enough sensor for reasonable image quality and some depth of field control (mainly for close up work only though)
  • the current king of this category appears to be the Sony RX100
  • most compact digital cameras have sensors smaller than a 3x crop sensor and thus are not included on this page, such as:
    • Canon S100 = 4.6x crop (portraiture DOF equivalent to FF camera equates to 120mm f/27 - not the camera to make your subject “pop”)
    • Canon Powershot G12 = 4.6x crop (portraiture DOF equivalent to FF camera equates to 140mm f/21 - also not the camera to make your subject “pop”)
    • most compact superzooms such as Canon ELPH/IXUS = ~5.5x crop

4-5x crop sensor cameras

  • sensor really is too small but included on this page as a comparison
  • see also Pentax Q mirrorless camera system which has a 5.5x crop sensor but allows interchangable lenses

Olympus Stylus 1 "mini-OM-D"

  • announced Oct 2013
  • 12mp, 1/1.7“ back-illuminated sensor (4.2x crop factor)
  • 24-300mm f/2.8 10x OIS zoom
  • shutter 60sec-1/2000th sec
  • 1080 30p video
  • 1.44m dot EVF
  • tiltable touch screen
  • built-in 3 EV Neutral Density filter
  • WiFi smartphone connectivity
  • 116.2 x 87 x 56.5mm size
  • 402g incl. battery

Fuji X10

  • 28-112mm (eq), f/2.0-2.8 = 112mm f/11 “portraiture” in full frame terms

Fuji x20

  • announced Jan 2013
  • 28-112mm (eq), f/2.0-2.8 = 112mm f/11 “portraiture” in full frame terms, super macro to 1cm
  • advanced optical viewfinder syncs with zoom lens
  • 12mp backlit X-Trans sensor with phase detection
  • 20% more resolution, 30% less noise than x10
  • fast AF (down to 0.06sec)
  • Lens Modulation Optimiser to reduce optical effects such as lens diffraction
  • focus peaking
  • 1080/60p HD video

Olympus STYLUS XZ-2 iHS

  • one of the best compact digital cameras for 2012 although sensor gives 4.67x crop factor, importantly it shares many compatibilities with the wonderful Micro Four Thirds system and thus could be a very useful extra camera for those users
  • 12mp backlit sensor, 28-112mm (eq) f/1.8-2.5 lens = 112mm f/11 “portraiture” in full frame terms
  • hybrid control rings around the lens for digital or analog control of focus or zoom
  • swivel,touch screen AF
  • WiFi connectivity to smartphones via compatible Toshiba FlashAir SDHC card with an internal wireless LAN
    • “Much as we like the Panasonic LX7, the longer lens, excellent JPEGs and engaging user interface make the XZ-2 stand out for us. The XZ-2 is one of the nicest cameras in this group to use, featuring extensive customization inherited from Olympus's PEN-series interchangeable lens cameras. This is a serious enthusiast camera and easily one of the best of its type that we've encountered. Really the Olympus's strongest competition comes from the Sony RX100 - which at least matches it for image quality but doesn't quite offer the sense of engagement that we appreciate in the XZ-2's operational ergonomics.”

2.7x crop sensors

Sony RX10 II

  • announced June 2015
  • 1” sensor “world’s first 1.0 type stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor with advanced signal processing and an attached DRAM memory chip”
  • 1080p 240fps slo mo and up to 960fps at 1280×800 or 480fps at 720p
  • up to 5mins of 4K video with Picture Profile, S-Log2/S-Gamut
  • 14fps stills
  • 24-200mm (35mm equiv.) f/2.8 lens
  • EVF
  • Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity
  • $US1300

Sony RX100 V

  • announced Oct 2016
  • 1“ sensor with 315 on-sensor phase-detect AF points cover 65% of the frame
  • 24-70mm eq lens
  • built-in pop-up viewfinder
  • 24fps burst
  • 960fps slo mo video
  • 4K video, focus peaking, zebra, log gamma and oversampled 4K plus clean HDMI out

Sony RX100 IV

  • announced June 2015
  • 1” sensor “world’s first 1.0 type stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor with advanced signal processing and an attached DRAM memory chip”
  • 1080p 240fps slo mo and up to 960fps at 1280×800 or 480fps at 720p
  • up to 5mins of 4K video with Picture Profile, S-Log2/S-Gamut
  • 16fps stills
  • 24-70mm (35mm equiv.) f/1.8-2.8 lens
  • pop-up viewfinder
  • Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity
  • $US1000

Panasonic FZ1000

  • introduced June 2014
  • 20mp 1“ sensor
  • 25-400mm equivalent f/2.8-4.0 Leica DC Vario Elmarit lens with 5 aspherical lenses and no onion-ring bokeh
  • space recognition AF by DFD with 12fps burst rate
  • 5-axis optical image stabiliser
  • focus peaking
  • 4K HD video at 30fps, 100Mbps with 4K 8mp Photo stills.
  • 2.36m dot EVF
  • WiFi, NFC
  • ~$US900

Sony RX10

  • introduced Oct 2013
  • 20mp 1” sensor, 24-200mm (equiv) constant f/2.8 8.3x zoom lens
  • Bionz X image processor
  • 10fps
  • 1080p with 60p/24p options
    • great image detail for video1)
    • built-in ND filters
  • WiFi/NFC for remote control by smartphones
  • $1300

Sony RX110

  • introduced Aug 2013
  • improved version of the RX100
  • performs a good deal better in low light, thanks to Sony’s rear-illuminated sensor
  • adds tilting LCD, Wi-Fi, standardized hot-shoe, and 24p video.

Sony RX100

  • introduced in June 2012, it instantly became a hit for its image quality, build quality, fast aperture 3x fully retractable zoom lens and breast pocket of a jacket pocketability
  • 1“ 20.9mp EXMOR sensor
  • 28-100mm (equiv), f/1.8-4.9 Carl Zeiss = 100mm f/13.4 “portraiture” in full frame terms
  • ISO 125-6400
  • steady shot IS
  • 10fps burst
  • 1080 60p HD video

1.9x crop sensor cameras

  • sensor is too big to allow a 3x zoom camera for a shirt pocket, may as well buy Micro Four Thirds system where a 45mm f/1.8 lens will at least give 90mm f/3.6 “portraiture” in full frame terms
  • there may be a good case for a niche wide aperture pancake lens version though

Canon G1X II

  • introduced May 2014
  • 12.8mp
  • 24-120mm (eq) , f/2.0-3.9 lens = 120mm f/7.4 “portraiture” in full frame terms
  • close focus to 5cm
  • dual control rings
  • tilting touchscreen LCD
  • 5.2fps burst
  • WiFi with NFC for smartphone control
  • optional EVF
  • 1080/30p HD video
  • much better than the mark I with faster AF but still too big for a shirt pocket, may as well buy Micro Four Thirds system

Canon G1X

2x crop sensor cameras

Panasonic LX100

  • announced Sept 2014
  • a touch large for a pocket, but OK for a jacket pocket, and smaller than the Canon G1 X II
  • 16mp multi-aspect sensor giving 12.7mp actual
  • 11 fps (6.5 fps in C-AF) with 1/16,000th sec shutter
  • 10.9-34mm (24-75mm f/3.4-5.6 equiv.) F1.7-2.8 POWER OIS ASPH Leica lens, close focus 3cm, 9 aperture blades, aperture dial and aspect ratio selector, focus mode selector, 43mm filter thread
    • much more depth of field (DOF) control than smaller sensor cameras such as the Canon G7 X, G1 X II or Sony RX100
  • DFD AF technology to give faster AF
  • 49 zone AF; eye detect AF; focus peaking
  • 2764k dots XGA EVF with 60fps refresh rate
  • 3” 921k dot LCD but no touch
  • 4K HD video (and 4K photo mode) at 30p, 1080 60p
  • electronic silent shutter mode to 1/16000th sec with burst rates up to 40fps at full resolution!
  • mechanic shutter inside the lens allows flash sync at all mechanical shutter speeds (up to 1/4000th sec) !!!
  • HDR mode automatically takes and combines 3 shots;
  • panoramic sweep mode;
  • minimal noise up to ISO 3200
  • Intelligent Resolution feature
  • multiple exposure mode;
  • 6 Photo Styles and 22 creative filters
  • bundled flash
  • WiFi with NFC
  • 393g, 115 x 66 x 55mm, $US899

APS-C sensor sized cameras

Canon Powershot G1X Mark III

  • announced Oct 2017
  • the 1st Canon G-camera to use an APS-C size sensor
  • 24mp Dual-pixel AF sensor; 15-45mm f/2.8-5.6 3x zoom lens eq. to 24-72mm
  • 7-9fps burst rate; built-in flash plus hotshoe
  • EVF plus vari-angle touch screen; dust/water resistant;
  • 1080/60p video with 5 axis movie IS; no 4K;
  • $US1299

Leica X-U underwater camera

  • announced Jan 2016
  • 16.5mp with fixed 23mm f/1.7 lens (eq. to 35mm fov)
  • no viewfinder just the LCD screen
  • can be used down to 15m depth and resist a drop of 1m
  • $US3000

Fuji X100F

  • 8fps 24mp X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor
  • not weathersealed
  • hybrid AF 325 CDAF / 169 PDAF points
  • hybrid OVF/EVF 2.36Mdot
  • 1.04mdot LCD
  • 7 custom buttons
  • fixed 23mm f/2 lens, close focus to 0.1m
  • shutter 4 sec to 1/4000th mechanical, 1/32,000th electronic
  • built-in flash GN 4.6m (ISO100)
  • 1080 60p video
  • WiFi
  • 469g, 127 x 75 x 52 mm (5 x 2.95 x 2.05″)
  • $US1299 / $AU1799

Fuji FinePix x100T

  • announced Sept 2014 as a upgrade of the X100S
  • same 16mp 6fps sensor and lens 23mm f/2 (DOF eq. 35mm f/2.8 on full frame or 17mm f/1.4 on MFT) - built-in ND filter, close focus to 10cm, but still no IS
  • redesigned hybrid viewfinder:
    • 2.3m dot LCD panel
    • adds a darkened 'tab' that can pop up in the optical finder to allow projected information to be clearly seen in all lighting conditions and allows the digital split image MF aid to be available in optical mode
    • optical mode covers 92% of image
    • EVF mode 54 fps, 0.005sec lag screen refresh
  • rear LCD much improved - now 3.0“, 1.04m dot panel but no touch screen
  • new fully electronic shutter mode for silent operation, shutter speeds to 1/32,000th sec, but risks rolling shutter artefacts
  • aperture ring now in 1/3rd EV stops
  • exp. compensation increased to +/- 3EV and works in autoISO in manual mode
  • new rear control dial instead of toggle
  • adds Face Detection AF
  • adds ability to tie spot meter to selected AF point
  • new film simulation mode - Classic Chrome - Kodachrome
  • 1080 24/50/60p at up to 36mbps, stereo mic input, focus peaking but poor video colour
  • WiFi smartphone control
  • 440g, 127 x 74 x 52 mm (5 x 2.91 x 2.05″)

Fuji FinePix x100S

  • announced Jan 2013 as a major revamp of the X100
  • fixed 23mm f/2.0 lens (eq. to 35mm lens on a full frame) with built-in 3-stop ND filter, macro to 10cm
  • 16mp X-Trans CMOS II sensor with on-sensor phase detection AF sensors and no low pass filter
  • 25% more resolution, 30% less noise
  • “world's fastest AF” - as little as 0.08sec
  • 6fps burst, shutter to 1/4000th sec, built-in flash plus hotshoe
  • shutter lag 0.01sec, start up 0.5sec, shooting interval 0.5sec
  • higher definition 2.36million dot hybrid viewfinder plus digital split image manual focusing as well as focus peaking
  • Lens Modulation Optimiser to reduce optical effects such as lens diffraction
  • film simulation modes
  • 1080/60p HD video at 36mbps, stereo mic
  • 445g, 127 x 74 x 54 mm (5 x 2.91 x 2.13”)

Fuji FinePix X100

35mm full frame

Sony RX1r II

  • 42mp full frame compact announced Oct 2015 (same sensor and BIONZ X processor as the Sony a7R II full frame mirrorless camera)
  • 35mm f/2 Carl Zeiss Sonnar lens
    • 8 elements in 7 groups, 3 aspherical elements, 9 aperture blades
    • close focus 30cm normally, and down to 20cm in macro mode
    • leaf shutter giving flash sync to 1/2000th sec!
    • 49mm filter
  • improved 399-point hybrid AF system
  • new pop-up 2,359,296 dot OLED TRU-finder EVF with 0.74x magnification, a 19mm eyepoint and a -4.0 to +3.0 diopter adjustment
  • rear LCD now tilts but still no touch control
  • no built-in flash
  • optical variable low-pass filter - user can set degree of filter to reduce moiré including turn it off to give maximum details
  • ISO 50 - 102,400, 5fps burst with AF between each frame - so C-AF at last
  • shutter only to 1/4000th sec
  • no image stabiliser apparently
  • focus peaking
  • support for 14-bit uncompressed raw files
  • can now define a minimum shutter speed for the Auto ISO sensitivity option
  • 50Mbps XAVC S movie mode at 1080 full HD at 24, 25, 30, 50 or 60fps
  • WiFi, NFC, smartphone remote control
  • 113 x 65 x 72 mm (4.5 x 2.6 x 2.8 in)
  • 507g w. battery (17.9oz) giving 200-220 shots
  • $US3300

Leica Q typ116

Sony RX1

  • introduced Sept 2012
  • this camera is the 1st full frame compact digital
  • in essence it is somewhat like a large version of a Sony NEX 5R but with a Sony SLR A99 sensor (without phase detect sites) and a fixed 35mm lens
  • new ISO-standard flash hotshoe doing away with the old Minolta legacy hotshoe at last!
  • 24mp 14-bit RAW sensor, 5fps burst
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • fixed Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2.0 OIS lens with:
    • quiet leaf shutter 30sec - 1/2000th sec
    • 9-bladed circular aperture
    • macro switching ring allows focus to 20cm
  • 3“ fixed LCD screen
  • popup flash
  • flash sync up to 1/2000th sec
photo/compact_large_sensor.txt · Last modified: 2017/10/16 21:21 by gary1