The holiday season is upon us once again and with all the sales and special deals around at the moment, this is a great time to start thinking about getting a new camera. Maybe for a loved one, maybe just as a treat to yourself. In this article, we'll be looking at the current field of enthusiast zoom compact cameras, and examining their relative strengths and weaknesses to help you make your buying decision. As part of this roundup we'll be looking at the cameras' specifications and operational ergonomics, as well as their image quality and the relative merits of their zoom lenses. Here are the cameras we're going to be looking at, plus a link to the conclusion, for those of you who like to skip ahead...

Some of these cameras have been reviewed in full on dpreview, and some haven't. Where we do have review content on the camera, we'll be summarizing some of it in this article, and providing links to our full coverage elsewhere on the site. We won't be scoring the cameras that we haven't fully reviewed yet, but hopefully the information we've provided, and the sample images, should give you a pretty good overview of their relative performance. 
 
To navigate this article, click on the camera names above to go straight to the products you're most interested in, or click through the pages using the navigation at the bottom of this page. There are 12 pages in all, including a conclusion, and the cameras are arranged in alphabetical order. On each camera's page you'll see 'Check price / Buy now' links, and please be aware that these go to the relevant product page on amazon.com so if you're based outside the USA, don't be alarmed. 

Key Specifications Compared

A resolution of 12MP is more or less standard for the high end of the compact camera market at present, and some of the cameras in this roundup (the Nikon P7700, Olympus XZ-2 and Samsung EX2F) almost certainly share the same 12MP CMOS sensor. The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 obviously stands out, thanks to its much larger 1" sensor, but there are plenty of differences between the other models in this selection too, particularly in terms of their lenses.

 SensorISO Range*Lens (35mm equiv)DisplayVideoStreet Price
Canon G15 12MP 7.44x5.58mm CMOS 80-12800 28-140mm F1.8-2.8 3" LCD
921k dot
1080p 24fps $420/£490
Canon S110 12MP 7.44x5.58mm CMOS 80-12800 24-120mm F2-5.9 3" LCD 461k dot 1080p 24fps $350/£370
Fujifilm X10 12MP
8.8x6.6mm
EXR CMOS
100-3200 28-112mm F2-2.8 2.8" LCD
461k dot
1080p 30fps $500/£320
Fujifilm XF1 12MP
8.8x6.6mm
EXR CMOS
100-3200 25-100mm F1.8-4.9 3" LCD
461k dot

1080p 30fps $450/£320
Nikon P7700 12MP 7.44x5.58mm BSI CMOS 80-6400 28-200mm F2-4 3" LCD
921k dot articulated
1080p 30fps $425/£385
Olympus XZ-2 12MP 7.44x5.58mm BSI CMOS 100-12800 28-112mm
F1.8-2.5
3" LCD
921k dot
Flip/Touch
1080p 30fps  $550/£425
Panasonic LX7  10MP 6.7x5.1mm** MOS  80-6400 24-90mm
F1.4-2.3
3" LCD
921k dot
1080p
60/50
fps
$450/355
Samsung EX2F 12MP 7.44x5.58mm BSI CMOS 80-3200 24-80mm
F1.4-2.7
3" OLED
614k dot
articulated
1080p
30fps
$370/£420
Sony RX100 20MP 13.2x8.8mm CMOS  125-6400 28-100mm
F1.8-4.9
3" LCD
1.23m dot
1080p
60fps
$650/£450

* At full resolution
** Largest image area available (4:3 aspect ratio setting)