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Compact System Camera Reviews

Updated: Dec 20, 2014 10:21
Brand
alaScore
Price
Sensor
#1
alaScore 95

Samsung SMART CAMERA NX1

Samsung has announced its flagship NX-series camera, the NX1 SMART camera, which aims to deliver superior still images with impressive speed, cinema quality video in up to 4K resolution, and smartphone-esque wireless connectivity.

7 expert reviews

#2
alaScore 94

Samsung NX3000

This compact, Wi-Fi-friendly camera lets you swap lenses and excels in low light. But the auto focus is slow and inaccurate, and burst shooting is disappointing, making it a poor choice for demanding photographers. Read more in our

13 expert reviews | 78 user reviews

#3
alaScore 93

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...

46 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

#4
alaScore 92

Sony alpha SLTA77VM

Although on the expensive side, the Sony SLT-A77 is one of the best DSLRs we’ve reviewed in the past year or so.

72 expert reviews | 267 user reviews

#5
alaScore 91

Sony alpha SLT-A57M

The A57 combines a high quality 16MP sensor, easy access to shooting parameters and class-leading video performance. And does this while providing an equivalent shooting experience whether composing images via the EVF or rear LCD.

50 expert reviews | 413 user reviews

#6
alaScore 90

Sony alpha SLT-A37K

Today Sony announced the new SLT-A37 (aka α37) Translucent Mirror Technology camera, which allows full time autofocus and continuous live image preview while taking still shots or capturing full high definition video at 60i/24p. This continuous focus,...

30 expert reviews | 170 user reviews

#7
alaScore 89

Panasonic DMC-GF3

The touch-screen Lumix DMC-GF3 is Panasonic's smalllest Micro Four Thirds camera. Its low-light performance and sharpness aren't on the same level as some competitors, but it is still a very capable camera.

92 expert reviews | 260 user reviews

#8
alaScore 88

Sony alpha NEX-F3K

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...

53 expert reviews | 159 user reviews

#9
alaScore 87

Samsung SMART CAMERA NX210

The Samsung NX210 offers you the high pixel-count and compact dimensions of the NX200 and adds WiFi-connectivity to the mix. The NX210 is slightly let down by long buffering times in raw mode and the JPEG engine's noise treatment at high sensitivities...

39 expert reviews | 31 user reviews

#10
alaScore 86

Nikon J2

Nikon's popular 1 series cameras is getting a new model for 2012, the 1 J2. It features many of the same specifications from last year's J1, including a 10-megapixel CMOS sensor, a 3.0-inch LCD display, the EXPEED 3 image processor, full manual...

37 expert reviews | 212 user reviews

#11
alaScore 85

Nikon S1

Nikon introduced two new 1-series models at CES 2013, the S1 and the J3. The main differences are these: the Nikon 1 S1 will retail in kit-form for about $100 less than the J3. The S1 features a smaller 10.1 megapixel CX-format CMOS image sensor, a...

31 expert reviews | 88 user reviews

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#12
alaScore 84

Sony alpha SLT-A65VM

The 24-megapixel Sony Alpha 65 is capable of shooting at a blazing fast 9 frames per second, but is held back by a kit lens that simply can't match the quality of the high-resolution image sensor.

44 expert reviews | 43 user reviews

#13
alaScore 83

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1KS

"The best camera is the one that you have with you". That sums up the value of the GM1. It will fit into any jacket or sweatshirt pocket. But what is particularly exciting to me is that it completes the Micro Four Thirds system. No other system can...

31 user reviews

#14
alaScore 81

Nikon v2

The model that we handled is unfinished - Nikon reps were keen to stress that it might not perform quite as well as the final shipping cameras, but we\'re happy to report that with the fast 18.5mm prime attached, autofocus seems extremely fast and...

5 expert reviews | 15 user reviews

#15
alaScore 80

Sony alpha SLT-A37M

It's Perfect, very good quality. It is very good, it meets all my expectations, it's perfect. I love my camera.

1 expert reviews | 109 user reviews

#16
alaAverage 4.9

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7KS

Fantastic camera. Nice ergonomics. Feels solid in the hand. In body stabilization (3 axis) and can use panasonic OIS in their lenses. Replaces by GX1 and no regrets. Wonderfully sharp images with terrific color accuracy.

6 user reviews

#17
alaScore -1

Polaroid iM1836

Today at CES 2013, Polaroid introduced the world's first Android-powered compact interchangeable lens "smart camera." It features an 18 megapixel CMOS image sensor capable of recording Full HD 1080p video, Auto blink detection, Auto face exposure, a...

3 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 2896 sources to help you choose the best Compact System Camera from top brands like Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Nikon, Polaroid and more.

    Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
    before you make your purchase
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