Visit our Business Solutions website >>

Compact System Camera Reviews

Updated: Apr 20, 2014 02:00
Brand
alaScore
Price
Sensor
#1
alaScore 100

Olympus OM-D E-M1

The new Olympus flagship, the OM-D E-M1, is a very good 16-megapixel Micro Four Thirds camera, but its price tag is too high when you consider other high-end cameras out there.

45 expert reviews | 16 user reviews

#2
alaScore 99

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

Panasonic Lumix GX7 has been a wonderful camera and it has everything going for it – beautiful build, great handling, a high-res EVF which can tilt, an overdose of features, wireless connectivity, great image quality and so on. The silent mode,...

54 expert reviews | 43 user reviews

#3
alaScore 98

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

The GM1 offers much of the features and image quality of its Lumix GX7 sibling in a much smaller, lighter package. A few concessions have been made to reduce the size so drastically, namely a lower-capacity battery, but it's an excellent option for...

43 expert reviews | 50 user reviews

#4
alaScore 97

Samsung NX300

Ultimately, the NX300 gives the impression of an aspiring champ that isn’t quite there yet – just like Samsung’s NX system in general. If you can live with the restrictions, the NX300 is an attractive upgrade from your old point-and-shoot camera or a...

63 expert reviews | 256 user reviews

#5
alaScore 97

Olympus PEN E-P5

The Olympus E-P5 is an outstanding ILC combining Rangefinder styling, top of the line components, outstanding image quality and amazing performance into a compact package. It also features the largest collection of available lenses for an ILC. Read...

45 expert reviews | 33 user reviews

#6
alaScore 96

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6

Panasonic has announced its latest Wi-Fi capable, interchangeable lens LUMIX series camera for 2013. The DMC-G6 is an updated version of last year's well-reviewed G5, which our reviewer said "delivers a lot of high-end features in a lightweight,...

41 expert reviews | 85 user reviews

#8
alaScore 95

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 ($1,299.99 direct, body only) is Panasonic's top-end Micro Four Thirds camera. It's a 16-megapixel design that is quite popular for videographers, but at its heart it's a very capable still camera. It focuses quickly, offers...

52 expert reviews | 126 user reviews

#9
alaScore 95

Fujifilm X-M1

Whether you’re a pro photographer or one that never moves out of automatic mode, the Fujifilm X-M1’s image quality will astound you.

32 expert reviews | 65 user reviews

#10
alaScore 94

Olympus OM-D E-M5

You can pick this device up for $1000 with the body only or for $1300 as a kit with the 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 zoom lens, that being the setup you’re seeing above (with all photos being taken with that lens as well. Grab if from your favorite retailer today!

100 expert reviews | 363 user reviews

#11
alaScore 94

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF6

There are four function buttons, of which two are physical and two are touch buttons. You can set any of the 28 functions on any of the four buttons. We would suggest you to keep the Fn1 and Fn2 buttons as is, unless you won’t be using the Wi-Fi button...

37 expert reviews | 37 user reviews

ADVERTISEMENT
#12
alaScore 93

Fujifilm X-E1

It's not a general-purpose recommendable camera thanks to subpar video and slightly sluggish performance, but for photo-quality-first photographers who want the analog-ish shooting experience, the Fujifilm X-E1 rules in its price range.

46 expert reviews | 162 user reviews

#13
alaScore 93

Sony NEX-6

The NEX-6 offers a highly attractive combination of excellent image quality, courtesy of Sony's proven 16MP sensor, enthusiast-friendly ergonomics (including a mode dial - a first for the NEX-series), a 'real' hot shoe, an OLED electronic viewfinder,...

50 expert reviews | 505 user reviews

#14
alaScore 92

Sony Alpha NEX-7

When Sony debuted their mirrorless system, the promise of a full APS-C image sensor in a relatively compact body was enticing, if not entirely realized. The Sony NEX-7 scratches closer at the potential of that combination by bringing together an...

103 expert reviews | 615 user reviews

#15
alaScore 92

Samsung NX2000

Samsung has steadily become the go-to camera manufacturer for touch screen LCD cameras and models with built-in Wi-Fi. With the growing popularity of the mirrorless ILC camera design, Samsung appears to have hit a home run with its NX2000 camera. This...

21 expert reviews | 91 user reviews

#16
alaScore 92

Fujifilm X-A1

The Fujifilm X-A1 ($599.95 list, with lens) represents the lowest cost of entry into Fuji's mirrorless camera system. It's a 16-megapixel APS-C shooter with a traditional Bayer image sensor (more on that later) that delivers impressive images even when...

18 expert reviews | 30 user reviews

#17
alaScore 91

Fujifilm X-PRO1

The X-Pro1 marks Fujifilm's entry into the high-end mirrorless interchangeable-lens market, and combines excellent image quality with fluid handling. The hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder is excellent, but autofocus is relatively slow and manual...

86 expert reviews | 67 user reviews

#18
alaScore 91

Samsung NX20

The Samsung NX20 is an excellent camera for both casual and advanced users. However, avoid the high-speed burst mode.

60 expert reviews | 59 user reviews

#19
alaScore 91

Canon EOS M

I hope that this review gave you a good idea of how it is to use the Canon EOS M in the real-world. Instead of trying to review *everything* I tried to narrow things to the most useful/popular aspects of the camera. If you would like to ask a question,...

65 expert reviews | 300 user reviews

#20
alaScore 90

Sony NEX-5R

The Sony NEX-5R is a solid interchangeable lens camera that will (sometimes) make you forget about your DSLR.

40 expert reviews | 67 user reviews

#21
alaScore 90

Sony NEX-F3

In the end, the largest added-value of this camera is its ease of use, image quality, the “Superior” auto-mode (Sony’s own feature name) and the ability to charge and sync with Micro-USB. If you have checked the photos and videos that I have posted on...

59 expert reviews | 195 user reviews

#22
alaScore 90

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1 is available in India at an MRP of Rs. 44,000. The camera does really well in terms of design, features and performance. When it comes to pricing, the camera is priced more or less on par with its rivals, such as the Nikon 1...

89 expert reviews | 212 user reviews

#23
alaScore 89

Sony NEX-3N

The Sony NEX-3N is an affordable and capable Interchangeable Lens Camera featuring an APS-C sized 16.1-Megapixel imaging sensor, powerful BIONZ image processor and the Sony E-mount with its fantastic collection of lenses. This camera is easy enough for...

27 expert reviews | 320 user reviews

#24
alaScore 89

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5

With capable, speedy performance, and a friendly but powerful interface, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF5 is a good choice for people looking to upgrade from a point-and-shoot.

49 expert reviews | 117 user reviews

#25
alaScore 89

Nikon 1 V1

The Nikon 1 V1 with a 10-30mm lens is available in the market at a price of Rs.42,600. This camera was launched last year, across the world and it has only made its way to India, just recently. Many brands are recognizing India as a strong market for...

95 expert reviews | 507 user reviews

Buying Guide

Buying Guide - Compact System Cameras

Compact System Cameras, sometimes referred to as MILCs (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras), are a relatively new category in the digital camera market space. You can think of them as a sort of hybrid cross between Compact Cameras and Digital SLRs; however, Compact System Cameras come in a lot of shapes and sizes (and more importantly, sensor formats). Some offer SLR performance with a bit less bulk, while others are like slightly larger Sub Compacts with a few lens choices.

What is a Compact System Camera?

In the days of film, SLR (Single Lens Reflex) cameras were created to allow the photographer to use the viewfinder to look directly through the lens. Because there was film behind the lens, a mirror was used to bounce the image up to the viewfinder. Digital SLRs followed this traditional design, but with digital image sensors, you don’t have to worry about exposing the film, and the mirror becomes optional.

Many Compact System Cameras use the same APS size image sensors you’d find in a quality digital SLR camera. In fact, most high end models rival similarly priced SLRs in terms of performance and image quality. This, combined with their more compact size, makes them very desirable cameras.

One defining factor of these Compact “System” Cameras is their interchangeable lenses. Just like their SLR counterparts, each manufacturer uses its own lens mount system. Unlike SLRs, Compact System Cameras do not currently offer a wide selection of lenses (most models feature around three different lenses). As the Compact System format becomes more popular, we’ll likely start seeing more lens choices.

What to Look for in a Compact System Camera

There is a lot of variety in the Compact System market, but there are some important factors you should consider to help make sure you’re making a solid purchase.

Sensor Size/Type: If you’re expecting SLR-quality images, make sure it has an SLR-quality image sensor. These will be APS-type sensors and typically offer at least 16MP. Unless you’re looking for a particularly small Compact System Camera, stay away from 1/2.3” size sensors (this is the same size you’d find in your typical compact camera).

Size: One of the main benefits of the Compact System format is their smaller size; however, this can be a bit of a juggling act. As they get smaller, they tend to sacrifice features and image quality.

Lenses: Most Compact Systems currently have a fairly limited selection of lenses. Make sure the camera you’re getting offers the types of lenses you’re interested in – or at least adapters for the lenses you already own.

Viewfinder: Many Compact System Cameras lack a viewfinder or only offer a rangefinder. If you want an SLR-like experience, choose one with an electronic viewfinder. It allows you to view images through the lens and can actually offer some improvements over the SLR system.

Who is a Compact System Camera Right For?

Compact System Cameras make and excellent choice for anyone looking for a digital SLR but doesn’t plan on getting more than a few different lenses. This would include budding amateur photographers, enthusiasts, and hobbyists. Many professional photographers may also be interested for those shots where a large camera just isn’t practical.

Some Compact System Camera Recommendations

With all of the major camera manufacturers entering the Compact System market, it’s tough to know just who has the best to offer.

Olympus was among the first to popularize the category with its PEN line, which remains a popular choice for those looking for something affordable and exceptionally compact.

Sony’s NEX line is arguably the best the Compact System category has to offer, with excellent features, image quality, and lenses. Unfortunately, their popularity has made them hard to find and slightly overpriced, though many would say that it’s worth it. Canon’s entry into the market with its EOS M will be a very welcomed alternative.

Nikon, the other major player in the photography game, has yet to impress with its 1-Series which, with a much smaller image sensor than the competition, offers little more than what you’d find in a nice compact camera.

Popular Compact System Camera products

Back to top

Compact System Cameras on alaTest

alaTest.com has collected and analyzed millions of reviews from 2663 sources to help you choose the best Compact System Camera from top brands like Panasonic, Olympus, Sony, Samsung, Fuji Film and more.

Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
before you make your purchase
ADVERTISEMENT

Compact System Camera Articles

Going On a Holiday? Don’t Leave These Gadgets Behind

So, what’s it going to be this summer? A long road trip, an adventurous camping trip, a rite-of-passage backpacking trip through Europe or a luxury holiday to an exotic destination. Irrespective of...

Gift Ideas for Recent Graduates

It’s that time of the year when students walk down the aisle in their black graduation caps and parents can’t stop grinning with pride. Graduation is a special occasion, a once-in-a-lifetime event...

Get These Cool Accessories For Your iPad

So, you just bought yourself a brand new Apple iPad and now you are on the lookout for some exciting accessories. The good news is that you won’t be disappointed at all since there is a wide range...

ADVERTISEMENT