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Compact System Camera Reviews

Updated: Jul 30, 2014 00:09
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alaScore
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Sensor
#1
alaScore 100

Olympus OM-D E-M1

If you really need need the much larger files, slightly better exposure range or low-light performance of a full-frame camera, or if you can’t live without 1024p or 1060p video, then the E-M1 may not be for you. By the same token, if you just want to...

58 expert reviews | 159 user reviews

#2
alaScore 99

Fujifilm X-T1

The Fujifilm X-T1 is one of the more interesting mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras you're going to find on the market currently. Its design contains a classic combination of dials and buttons that will remind you of an SLR film camera. The X-T1's...

26 expert reviews | 142 user reviews

#3
alaScore 98

Olympus OM-D E-M10

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 is a portable and compact ILC with great performance and image quality. Loaded with useful features and coming in at $700 for the basic kit, this is a fantastic entry-level ILC or travel camera. Read more in our

26 expert reviews | 70 user reviews

#4
alaScore 98

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1

Panasonic deserves a round of applause for designing a very compact and lightweight interchangeable lens camera. Overall, the camera is capable of taking good pictures, but performance is a bit uneven. With that said, we feel you’re giving up way too...

33 expert reviews | 60 user reviews

#5
alaScore 97

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,...

44 expert reviews | 35 user reviews

#6
alaScore 97

Fujifilm X-E2

Fujifilm X-E2 is an impressive camera and we have very little to complain about. It offers excellent image quality, great build, wonderful handling thanks to the ergonomics and placement of dials and buttons, fast AF performance and so on. The wireless...

28 expert reviews | 127 user reviews

#7
alaScore 96

Samsung NX300 / WB30F

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 | 668 user reviews

#8
alaScore 96

Nikon Nikon 1 V3

The Nikon 1 V3 is one of the few mirrorless cameras we'd recommend for shooting sports or quick moving kids. It brings high autofocus performance, interchangeable lens versatility, and DSLR-like handling in a portable size. However, when factoring in...

39 expert reviews | 49 user reviews

#9
alaScore 95

Sony Alpha a6000

The Sony A6000 is a good solid interchangeable lens camera with one major advantage over rivals: effective continuous AF which works pretty much anywhere on the frame for stills or movies. If you're shooting stills, it also works at the top continuous...

8 expert reviews | 77 user reviews

#10
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.

35 expert reviews | 146 user reviews

#11
alaScore 95

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 | 59 user reviews

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#12
alaScore 94

Olympus OM-D E-M5

If the OM-D E-M5 were a couple of hundred dollars or euros cheaper I would not hesitate to recommend it as a great all-round camera and masterful feat of digital-image engineering. As it is, potential buyers will have to answer for themselves if the...

100 expert reviews | 605 user reviews

#13
alaScore 94

Sony Alpha NEX-5

After seeing so many cameras come out through the years, each with tiny improvements over the last, it hasn’t been the most exciting of times in the point-and-shoot camera segment. We’re happy to report that the NEX-5 is one of the most exciting...

233 expert reviews | 1125 user reviews

#14
alaScore 94

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,...

35 expert reviews | 13 user reviews

#15
alaScore 93

Sony Alpha 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,...

49 expert reviews | 105 user reviews

#16
alaScore 93

Sony Alpha 7R

Sony has gone above and beyond with both the a7 and a7R, bringing Professional image quality and performance to a much more compact ILC. If the price does not scare you away, you will be thrilled with the performance and image quality from these...

13 expert reviews | 19 user reviews

#17
alaScore 93

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,...

77 expert reviews | 510 user reviews

#18
alaScore 93

Leica T

For a company that hasn't made any significant changes to the design of its flagship camera in the 60 years since the introduction of the M3, the Leica T (Typ 701) ($1,850, body only) is a bold statement. Its sleek aluminum unibody design is a huge...

16 expert reviews

#19
alaScore 92

Olympus PEN E-PL5

For users upgrading from a simple point-and-shoot to an interchangeable lens camera, the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 is a very good camera to transition to.

44 expert reviews | 204 user reviews

#20
alaScore 92

Sony Alpha NEX-7

If you’re looking for a camera that’ll last for years and has tons of options to help you grow as a photographer, buy the Sony alpha NEX-7.

98 expert reviews | 411 user reviews

#21
alaScore 92

Fujifilm X-Pro1

The Fujifilm X-Pro1 ($1,199.95 body only) was the camera that launched the company's X series of interchangeable lens bodies. That makes it about two years old, which can be an eternity in the technology world. But Fujifilm has continued to enhance its...

96 expert reviews | 267 user reviews

#22
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...

20 expert reviews | 62 user reviews

#23
alaScore 91

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.

45 expert reviews | 250 user reviews

#24
alaScore 91

Panasonic DMC GH3 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...

30 expert reviews | 10 user reviews

#25
alaScore 91

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...

35 expert reviews

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    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

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    Compact System Cameras on alaTest

    alaTest.com has collected and analyzed millions of reviews from 2713 sources to help you choose the best Compact System Camera from top brands like Keytronicems, Kortex, Genicom, Ftp Software, Lucent Technologies and more.

    Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
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