High-end pocketable compacts 2013 roundup

With smartphones taking over the low-end compact camera market, manufacturers have been striking back with feature-rich top-tier compacts. These cameras out-perform the smartest of phones by offering much better image quality, useful zoom ranges and the ability to capture Raw files. Several of them also offer Wi-Fi, letting you make use of your phone's connectivity to publish while you're out-and-about. The truly pocketable design of these cameras gives you no excuses to leave your gear at home. 

Don't let the point-and-shoot appearance of these cameras fool you. They may not have the same level of control as the full-fledged enthusiast models, but they offer very similar image quality. Here are the five models that will make your smartphone jealous:

In the following pages, you'll find what we liked and didn't like about each camera, and links to our test scenes and real-world galleries to give you a sense of how it performs in a variety of situations.

Comments

Total comments: 120
J Kerppi
By J Kerppi (1 month ago)

Pic quality is the most important thing when comparing any cameras. Sony brings the best results in this pocket camera category. This is why I will hand over my old S110 to my daughter. She hates the black colour but will like the small size of Canon.

I will buy Sony's device tomorrow. If it will cost a couple of hundreds more, does it matter to anybody? Price difference is meaningless in these matters. Have one family dinner less in restaurant and you have covered the difference. If one cannot afford a good camera then it is better to be without a camera. Bad quality pics make one sick.

1 upvote
David1956
By David1956 (2 months ago)

I don't claim to be an expert, but have been around cameras a little so I can understand the basics, so I'd like to ask a question of those with a little more knowledge.

I'd like to know how these camera would compare to some of the best waterproof, shock proofs cameras like the AW120, etc for the average users. By average users I'm meaning vacation pictures in various lighting, some movement, but also used for things like outdoor concert (cheap seats) at nights.

I read all the comments, that the "action" cameras don't take as good of pictures, but there is very little comparison between the groups. In other words, taking a concert picture at night on 120mm, would there really be that much difference between a DSC-RX100 and a AW120 (I know the AW100 are not out yet, just looking for a SWAG).

0 upvotes
Czechster
By Czechster (2 months ago)

Purchased a Panasonic LF1 on Jan. 30, 2014 and can't believe they could pack so many features in such a small package. This is smaller than my Sony DSC W80 but is light years ahead. Will comment once I have had a chance to explore all of the functions available of this camera.

0 upvotes
Number05
By Number05 (3 months ago)

Should I buy some back up batteries for S120 while I travel?

0 upvotes
Rurik Halaby
By Rurik Halaby (3 months ago)

I always carry a spare. Ever since I ran out of juice on my G10 while on a wonderful walk around Paris a few years ago. Never felt so silly. I love my S120 by the way.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Kendrick27
By Kendrick27 (1 month ago)

Yes. I have an S110 and unfortunately, I am always grateful for carrying a spare battery.

0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (1 month ago)

A spare battery is almost mandatory if you are serious about photography, even with a DSLR like the Canon 5D Mk3.

0 upvotes
sailorboy414
By sailorboy414 (3 months ago)

I don't claim to be an expert, but has anyone looked at the Studio Test Scene under the cameras. It seems to me that the P330 has done much better than all the others.

2 upvotes
Czechster
By Czechster (3 months ago)

I thought the same thing. Even beat the expensive Sony. Go figure.

0 upvotes
Michel F
By Michel F (2 months ago)

At low ISO (below 400), the Nikon seems almost or on par with the RX100. Above that, the RX100 is way ahead.

0 upvotes
DRNottage
By DRNottage (3 months ago)

I have the LF1 and absolutely love it. I'm a pro, and I know a sharp lens when I see one, and this camera HAS one. I don't understand all the complaining about the EVF, because it's highly usable and more than adequate. Panasonic keeps NR to a minimum, unlike Sony, and the flash performance produces amazingly consistent results- unlike Canon, (I must say!) The video performance is nearly as good as Sony's. So, in other words, buy one, carry it, and use it. You won't be sorry.

4 upvotes
Czechster
By Czechster (3 months ago)

I too thing the LF1 is good camera. The EVF seals the deal. Its hard to believe the critics pan the LF1.

0 upvotes
Lyle-Mi
By Lyle-Mi (3 weeks ago)

Yep, I decided on the LF1 as well. The viewfinder and compact size sealed the deal for me. Ticked most of my boxes.

1 upvote
ftb72
By ftb72 (4 months ago)

Currently, the Sony is up to nearly $250 more than the LF1 ($300 at B&H) and the Canon is $100 more. Makes the contest a bit different.

1 upvote
J Kerppi
By J Kerppi (1 month ago)

I do not quite understand why the price of any camera is so important. When we travel and pay thousands of dollars or more for the trip, it is more important that the pics we take are of high quality. Does it make any sense to pay for one night in a good hotel more than the camera did cost?

Perhaps not, if we are clever enough to set the priorities correctly.

0 upvotes
DoctorJerry
By DoctorJerry (3 weeks ago)

At what difference in price does it make sense to buy the less expensive camera? If the diffence in image quality is almost undetectable why would you pay more? I have the LF1 and in test after test shooting with it and dSLRs you can NOT tell which camera shoot which image. And the response time of the LF1 is so damm good. And the size allows me to take that camera with me all the time, not something I would care or want to do with the dSLR. And having a f2 lens even thought it is only that at wide angle, allows me to shoot at very low ISO levels. The EVF, at least for me, sealed the deal as to which camera to buy. and now with it priced as low as $269 why in heaven would I pay $750 or more and not have anything better let alone near the same size?

0 upvotes
Jennyhappy2
By Jennyhappy2 (4 months ago)

So between the S120 and XQ1, XQ1 has the edge given the larger sensor?

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (4 months ago)

Fujifilm probably has very slightly better picture quality, but Canon has better RAW support and video. As a total package, I'm not sure I'd say Fujifilm

0 upvotes
Twenty3twenty2
By Twenty3twenty2 (4 months ago)

IMO P330 comes with GPS is one up over the S120.

1 upvote
Timur Born
By Timur Born (4 months ago)

The DPR test scene shots reveal the strength of the LF1 sensor and its lens weakness outside the center. That being said of all the cameras listed here only the S120 and LF1 fit somewhat comfortably into jeans trousers pockets, even if they stay there all day during walking, driving and sitting.

Between these two the LF1 offers more reach at the long end, viewfinder for when needed (bright sunlight, dark stage audiences), but lesser wide angle and close to zero JPG controls (sharpness, noise). the LF1 is considerably cheaper than the newer S120 here in Germany.

And yes, the RX100 offers a larger sensor, but its lens construction suffer from the same compromises (even worse in the corners) and lack of long reach also evens the sensor size and resolution advantage for the long end. But more importantly, its depth makes it more of a coat pocket camera, and if I need to use coat pockets I can already use Micro Four Thirds.

3 upvotes
linzybel
By linzybel (4 months ago)

By my calculations, your "winning" Sony -- with the biggest sensor but narrowest zoom range -- also happens to cost 30% more than Panasonic and Fuji, 44% more than the Canon, and 70% more than the Coolpix.

They're in the same "category" only in a technical sense.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (4 months ago)

It depends which country you're in. In Europe the RX100 is less expensive than the S120. The price difference in the US is why we listed an 'if you don't want to spend so much' option.

If you want a pocketable camera, the RX100 is the hands-down winner, despite our reservations about it. If it's too expensive, the others will do, but they're compromise choices - we tried to make that clear.

4 upvotes
Michel F
By Michel F (2 months ago)

I disagree about the RX100 being the hands down winner. I've had it. I feel there is no clear winner in this category. They all have strengths and weaknesses. They all have compromises including the RX100 and I'm not talking only about its price point. It's the nature of the beast in this category. I would certainly love to see the other manufacturers come out with an equivalent sensor to the Sony in size or use that one in their own cameras. They could do a few things better.

2 upvotes
FeDost
By FeDost (1 month ago)

@R Butler: I live in europe and I can say the RX100 cost at least $150 more than the Canon.

0 upvotes
washyshots
By washyshots (5 months ago)

Why isn't the Mamiya Rb67 with digital back not here !!!!!!! :-)

5 upvotes
Holistry
By Holistry (5 months ago)

DPR's comparison chart indicates that the S120 has "remote control" capability "via smartphone." Apparently that is incorrect. I've read the manual, spoken with Canon tech support, and asked a major camera retailer's canon maven, and all say you cannot remotely trigger the S-120's shutter via a smartphone. Or by any other means, for that matter. It will transfer photos via wi-fi, but that's not remote "control." DPR, what say you? And, Canon, you almost lost the sale over this. The S120 is still in contention, but if it had this feature (as, say, the less expensive Samsung does), I would have bought it two hours ago.

0 upvotes
DPReview Staff
By DPReview Staff (5 months ago)

You are correct, surprisingly remote control is not a component of the S120's Wi-Fi. It was an error in our spec sheet, likely entered on the day of announcement when details can be vague or just wrong. We've fixed it. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

0 upvotes
Holistry
By Holistry (5 months ago)

Thank you for your prompt attention. I went with the S120 and am pretty confident about it in other respects. As for the remote release, some time ago for another camera I fabricated a bracket that holds an old-fashioned cable release over the shutter button. Now if only I could find a remotely controlled solenoid device to replace the cable release. Unfortunately, if such a thing ever existed commercially, nobody's heard of one now. Anyone happen to have a parts list for cobbling one up cheaply? IR or RF, doesn't matter what kind of remote.

0 upvotes
Holistry
By Holistry (4 months ago)

Shawn, a follow-up. Apparently a CHDK hack is already available for the S120, but there's not much direct discussion of it at DPR. Is it CHDK disrespected, seen as dangerous or what? I don't want to overclock my camera, just press its button via USB (which would suit me for now).

Incidentally, the chart says no external flash for S120. But Canon's S120 accessories page shows their HF-DC2 ( a "slave flash, fired by the camera's pre-flash"), and says it "effectively doubles the flash range of the camera." I notice the SX280 HS column shows the SX280's flash being half as powerful as the S120. I hope S120 number isn't assuming the $150 add-on flash is attached!.

While I'm at it, a digital-novice question: would any slave flash serve the purpose? I had thought so, but don't know if the camera would read it during exposure, and hadn't considered the possibility of premature triggering by a pre-flash.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
harold1968
By harold1968 (5 months ago)

Looks like the RX1(R) doesn't get a look in anywhere
Strange
As it's the best compact

0 upvotes
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (5 months ago)

The RX1(R) is not very pocketable though...

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Tony0211
By Tony0211 (5 months ago)

I'm 74 years old and spent most of my photo days looking through SLRs with viewfinders. I'm looking for a high end compact but only the Panasonic offers a viewfinder although the author is critical of it. What does one do on a bright sunny day at the beach or anywhere too bright to see the image on the screen?

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
BayToSierras
By BayToSierras (5 months ago)

What I do is just take a chance and maybe zoom out for later cropping, then turn away from the sun to review the picture in the shade. Another good option is the Hoodman Loupe, which comes with a lanyard to hang around the neck.

0 upvotes
Corian Spirit
By Corian Spirit (5 months ago)

Wear a cap or towel to block the sun. Just like the old ways of taking pictures.

0 upvotes
drsandfer
By drsandfer (4 months ago)

try looking at say the G15 powershot by canon. It has the viewfinder, Raw and many other features this group has. I used a G2 several years ago and the shots were wonderful. Since the G16 has come out if u hurry, the G15 is still available at say BestBuy for 350 or so which is awesome. the G16 has WiFi but if u dont care and the price is right

0 upvotes
Clint009
By Clint009 (4 months ago)

Most of the suggested reply forgot when we are at that age (+70), we wear glasses, while the viewfinder have dioptry ajustement otherwise we have to get the camera away for the proper focus. I agree with Tony, the viewfinder is a primary importance sometimes in your life.

3 upvotes
jim
By jim (4 months ago)

Tony

I'm 77 and I find the missing viewfinder a serious weakness in pocket cameras. Almost none have them anymore. I like a shirt pocket camera because I can have with me much of the time. My Powershot 100 is good in all other regards, but much of the time I have to literally point and shoot. That is, I can't see the viewfinder so I guess which way to point the camera. Thus framing is not possible, often the zoom isn't useful and a lot of extra pixels have to be devoted to cropping. If there's lens flare I find that out too late. All in all I'm unhappy about it, but the choice today is a larger camera or guess what you're getting.

In my opinion a Hoodman converts a pocket camera into an unpocket camera that doesn't serve the purpose I'm after. I have larger cameras.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
jdthh
By jdthh (3 months ago)

I absolutely agree with you. It wasn't that long ago that viewfinders were standard on most cameras. At least 50% of my shots are in bright sun and I just aim, take a several pictures, and hope I capture something worth saving. This is not photography! There are a few lower-end Canons with a VF but maybe with the Lumix LF1 we will have more choices. I do notice the zoom is quite a bit lower than the Lumix ZS15 I own which does not have a viewfinder.

0 upvotes
rccasgar
By rccasgar (3 months ago)

What about Olympus Stylus 1??

0 upvotes
BIOGONS
By BIOGONS (3 months ago)

I am 58 years old and need to use glasses in short distances; so, I NEED a viewfinder in my new pocket camera. I have been using big and heavy reflex mirror cameras for 40 years, and never again.
An other improvement using the e-viewfinder is that you can check the results at the moment, no moving your eyes , and preview taking errors as wb, etz.
I have used my semipro Canon GL2 dv vídeo camera with only a 180K viewfinder resolution, and no as good as the newones, but enought.

1 upvote
BIOGONS
By BIOGONS (3 months ago)

Sorry. the Olympus Stylus 1 is a good travel camera but it´s not a pocket camera like the LF1, and is close to a 40% overpriced.

0 upvotes
mcshan
By mcshan (5 months ago)

Reading all the DPR buying guides has been fun and a good quick review of each camera.

By the end of all the buying guides I am convinced there are many who just don't get "it". Questions like "why isn't the Coolpix A listed here?" (in almost every category!) will never cease to amaze me. Have these folks not read the categories?

DPR has done their best and put together an interesting and fairly complete (good enough!) list of categories and cameras. Not every camera is listed but it appears to me a good effort was made trying to include the top cameras and found good reasons to list them in appropriate categories.

4 upvotes
jcmarfilph
By jcmarfilph (5 months ago)

From what I have seen, XQ1 is better than S120 especially on high ISO. Why recommend a smearing machine?

2 upvotes
technic
By technic (5 months ago)

The XQ1 sensor may be better, but S120 has the better lens. For me noise is less of an issue than blurry corners, and I take most of my images in decent lighting anyway ...

3 upvotes
samfan
By samfan (5 months ago)

Let me put it this way. As advanced as Sony or Canon are, or as sympathetic as Fujifilm is, or as much as I like lots of other cameras...

The viewfinder, such as it is, on the LF1, gives it a million mile headstart against anything else in its class.

I will never, ever understand how can so many people shoot with their arms stretched, using cameras that are completely unfit for such a goal. I can make due with a positionable LCD (such as on my EX1), but fixed LCD? Never. Even though I have such a compact. It's just a terrible way to take pics (except macro/closeups).

I never liked Panasonic cameras, but recently it seems they're the only one that 'get it' in compacts.

Heck, if I want to carry a small pocket camera, I carry a FILM COMPACT just so I can have a viewfinder in a small camera. Maybe I'll consider such a Panasonic some day.

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
12 upvotes
MrTaikitso
By MrTaikitso (5 months ago)

Agreed! (I have an EX2, superb, and annoyed it doesn't get much airplay on this site!) I come from an NEX too, so that is saying something. The 1.4 lens is superb indoors and the articulating display makes up for lack of a VF.

0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (5 months ago)

Well that may suit you but if you've ever tried holding an RX100 to your eye (just pretend it has an evf), you'd know how hopeless this would be compared to holding out and using the screen. Maybe you have short arms, but its clear compacts are obviously not for you ... In which case I recommend a DSLR, because as good as the LF1 and EX2 definitely are, they're not a patch on a model such s the RX100 (having owned them all).

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (5 months ago)

chadley_chad, I guess that's why Sony now offer an EVF option with the RX100II, since composing via the LCD is such a great idea.

1 upvote
samfan
By samfan (5 months ago)

chadley_chad, why would it be hopeless to hold an RX100 to ones eye if it would have an EVF?

Just for reference, I have 2 DSLRs, a few SLRs, a CSC with EVF, a few digital p&s, a dozen phones and gadgets with built-in cameras and a full drawer of film p&s.

The only ones I can't stand are those with a fixed screen.

Heck, when I have my Pentax Option I-10 (which is a delibarate Pentax Auto 110 SLR look-alike), I have a reflex to put it up to my eye. It's almost depressing.

The problem with digicams is that they're designed after the old film p&s. But those were meant for holding up to the eye. If you want to see something designed to be held at arms length, look at handguns or videocameras. Now compare to a typical digicam.

1 upvote
technic
By technic (5 months ago)

Fully agree, these cameras need either EVF or swivel LCD and Panasonic is one of the few who are listening. But I think this is mostly a serious issue for people over 40-50, due to aging eyes. Most younger people seem to be comfortable using the LCD (they buy mostly smartphones anyway, while the older generation has the money to spend on better cameras?).

Unfortunately the LF1 seems a step behind the other top compacts in image quality (due to long zoom range with small size?), and for a 'quality compact' that is a significant downside. I hope we will see more compacts with internal EVF, even if it is just a simple one like in LF1; too bad that that other 'compact' from Panasonic, the GM1, has just an LCD.

3 upvotes
Lucas_
By Lucas_ (5 months ago)

The solution for you seems to be the Sony RX100 II with its tillt LCD and several other goodies ( bar the price...)!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ANAYV
By ANAYV (5 months ago)

Those with decent vision only hold LCD about 5 to 7" inches away.

0 upvotes
davids8560
By davids8560 (4 months ago)

Yeah, I bought a RX100 by mail order almost immediately after it came out. I didn't give much thought to the absence of a viewfinder. I perhaps mistakenly believed the 1,000,000+ pixel 'White Magic' LCD would blow away all previous LCD's. And, to be honest, in all but the brightest sunlight I've found the RX100's fixed LCD to be reasonably visible. But for the price I think there should be even a modest viewfinder for those times when conditions are just too bright, and equally importantly, to use when shooting subjects in motion.

Small optical and electronic viewfinders have been built into small cameras before. Even the tiny Nikon P60 has an EVF. So it can be done.

0 upvotes
fooddudeone
By fooddudeone (5 months ago)

I am very happy that they didn't include the Ricoh GR (imo, the very Best "pocket camera" of all time...well, at least, to date). Excluding it from this list means that less people will have it and don't know what "that mysterious/neat/sleek/understated camera" is when they see it on the streets :) ...the GR will be more obscure in the best possible way and only a camera for people in the know.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Hugo808
By Hugo808 (5 months ago)

Yeah, I'm sure Ricoh will be thrilled no-one knows what their gear looks like! Sounds like they'll go bust if you get your way.....

3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (5 months ago)

All of these are (relatively) small-sensor zoom compacts - the GR (along with the X100S, Coolpix A and Sigma DPMs) would be a different category.

4 upvotes
Boerseuntjie
By Boerseuntjie (5 months ago)

Funny Ricoh who?, they are not even available in Canada and not even known in many parts of the world, about as well know as the Sigma DPMs. not to mention not exactly a pocket camera.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
AndyGM
By AndyGM (5 months ago)

Hmm, having tried out the "clicking" lens wheel of the S110, and the "clickless" lens wheel of the RX100, it's my personal opinion that the clickless version is nicer to use. But I see Andy and Richard disagree with me, so the Sony and Fujifilm get a negative because of it. I would advise anyone thinking of buying any of these to try them out for yourself, which one of these types of control wheel suits you best is a very personal thing.

4 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (5 months ago)

@AndyGM - I'm pretty sure we also advised people to try it out.

The complete lack of tactile feedback (and probably audible feedback, since you have to have all sounds on or off), plus the slight lag between you turning the dial and it acknowledging that you're trying to change settings means that I never feel very connected to what the camera's doing.

It may sound esoteric, but it means that whenever I pick up the RX100 to give it another chance, I find myself thinking of it as a stunning point and shoot, but not an engaging photographic experience. I simply don't feel that I'm involved in what it's doing, meaning I end up with some great image quality but not much enjoyment of the process.

3 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (5 months ago)

Somehow, the Canon user interface is always better than Sony and even many other cameras.

For example, the Canon G12 may not have the brightest lens among similar cameras, it is an extremely nice camera to use. It has all the right controls at your fingertips.

Working within its limitation, I have taken very acceptable low light and night scenes with it despite its slower lens and small sensor. One can almost get the same result from the Canon S110.

0 upvotes
chadley_chad
By chadley_chad (5 months ago)

Oh my! Having your use of the Rx100 spoilt by the fact the dial doesn't click like the Canons really shows how petty some people can be. For gods sake man, having owned both I understand your point, but is it that much of a show stopper? Think you need to get out more.

0 upvotes
mad marty
By mad marty (5 months ago)

quote: "It (the S120) can't match the RX100's larger sensor for image quality, but it's a lot less expensive"

In Germany the s120 isn't really less expensive as the price difference of the Sony and the Canon is 20 Euro.
The canon S... always have been to expensive. In my opinion they aren't worth more than 300 Euro.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
technic
By technic (5 months ago)

S120 is relatively expensive because it is new. If you buy the previous version they are a LOT cheaper than the Sony. In Netherlands the price difference between the cheapest S120 and RX100 is about 50 euros, which indeed is very little given the spec of the Sony. But S110 is now EUR 244, half the price of the RX100. Within about half a year, the S120 price will be around 300 euro too.

1 upvote
AngryCorgi
By AngryCorgi (5 months ago)

Actually, the 1" sensor is 4x the size of the 1/2" sensor. When comparing sensor sizes, you compare surface area, not linear #s. Area, or rather photosite area, is a good indicator of SNR, which is always a square of the linear difference.

Comment edited 26 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Ridethelight
By Ridethelight (5 months ago)

So the Canon don't like's include no hotshoe and the LF1 don't likes include a poor viewfinder even if the others have NO viewfinder.
Clutching at straws spring to mind here when it comes to the dislike section.

1 upvote
stevo23
By stevo23 (5 months ago)

Totally missed the one and only for this category - Panasonic GM1

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (5 months ago)

That doesn't really fit the definition of "pocketable". Even with the smallest pancake lens attached, it is close to 60mm thick.

2 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (5 months ago)

GM1 is not a compact, it's an interchangeable lens camera. Compact camera is generally used synonymously with fixed-lens camera.

0 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (5 months ago)

You forgot to add the smiley. Let me help:

:D

Otherwise, some will not get the humorous intent of your comment.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

GM1 fits well into this category of "barefoot cameras"
if one glues or welds the lens permanantly to the mount.

0 upvotes
stevo23
By stevo23 (5 months ago)

I know you're all right. But for me, the GM1 starts to negate the need for such a camera. In other words, bye small sensor. No need anymore, the GM1 is here.

0 upvotes
fastlass
By fastlass (5 months ago)

The aperture comparison graph is very nice. thx!

0 upvotes
Piciul
By Piciul (5 months ago)

For me, the best is Olympus XZ-10. None of those presented here has a bright aperture at the long end, and, at normal ISO, the IQ of the cheaper Oly is similar (from RAW), despite the sensor size.
But, again, Dpr ignored it. or maybe is the sixth hidden camera:

"Here are the six models that will make your smartphone jealous:
•Canon PowerShot S120
•Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100
•Fujifilm XQ1
•Nikon Coolpix P330
•Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1"

6 upvotes
sean000
By sean000 (5 months ago)

We have an XZ-10, along with an OM-D E-M5. Even with a pancake lens attached, the E-M5 is not truly pocketable (well... large coat pockets perhaps). The XZ-10 is, and it's a delightful camera to use. My wife loves it because it fits in her purse, has the same touchscreen features as my E-M5 (which is actually quite useful when photographing the kids), and it has that Oly JPEG engine that usually produces excellent results right out of camera. It's also extremely responsive and focuses quickly in low light. If you want a touchscreen in a camera this size, as well as a bright lens, it's the only game in town.

1 upvote
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (5 months ago)

Wow. Y'all need to fire your "fact checker".

The LF1 has a Q.menu

c labs noted:

"Q.Menu system which allows you to adjust exposure compensation, Step Zoom, aspect ratio, resolution, sensitivity, white balance, AF mode, movie quality and monitor brightness using either the front or rear dials. "

And your own picture shows the Q.menu button on the lower right:
http://www.dpreview.com/files/news/9157282048/LF1_F3-7001.jpeg

It makes me wonder if you actually spent much time with the LF1?

So your major gripe then would be a lack of exposure flash compensation? For a point and shoot (to me) that's not really a big deal.

4 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (5 months ago)

I shoot quite often with compact cameras for casual use. If any compact camera is to be considered "high-end", it should have flash exposure compensation. It is extremely useful for fill flash of indoor shots like in a restaurant. This will tone down the flash for a more natural look instead of the so often overexposed "bright faces" we see from P&S photos. It will reduce the red eye effect too.

I am surprise the LF1 do not have this capability since there is also a Leica version of this camera.

Even much cheaper P&S cameras have this capabilty.

3 upvotes
Roger Nordin
By Roger Nordin (5 months ago)

It's quite interesting to see what a different opinion PhotographyBLOG came up with for the LF1 - "We've been very pleasantly surprised by the LF1, so much so that we can highly recommend what is an excellent compact camera."

But DP Review has to be commended to find those niggles - no flash exposure adjustment is just lazy and sucks big time. Really NO excuse to fail to provide it on what is supposed to be a camera above the bottom consumer level compacts!

On the other end, Panasonic doesn't provide it even on the entrylevel MFT GFx series of system cameras either, so it comes as no surprise if you know Panasonic... It's there on their LX series and higher spec:ed MFT system cameras, though.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (5 months ago)

Flash exposure compensation aside, I'm curious what other indispensable features are found to be missing from the LF1... On paper it seems mostly on par with the S120, if not slightly ahead depending on preference.

The EVF is mediocre sure, but it's still usable and better than not having one (i.e. every other camera in the roundup). The S120 has a touchscreen but the LF1 has remote control over Wifi, longer reach, sweep panoramas, and more burst modes.

0 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (5 months ago)

The S120 does offer a wide degree of customization for it's JPEG output, judging by the forums that's indispensable to some... The LF1 lacks any fine JPEG output settings, so it's RAW or take the JPEGs as they are.

The S120 also feel slightly better built, more densely packed and more metal, though that may not mean much in light of past issues with their lens retract mechanism on the S110...

LF1 has a larger aperture thru it's range and faster max shutter.

2 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (5 months ago)

The S120 does feature a usefully wider FL of 24mm, and starts off marginally brighter.

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (5 months ago)

I'm really embarrassed to say that, having shot with the LF1 on and off for nearly a month (albeit without investigating it in the depth I would for a review), I literally never noticed the Q.Menu - despite it being written on the body.

I've gone back, re-assessed and re-written the coverage and can only apologise for getting it wrong.

4 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (5 months ago)

Good stuff, thanks for going back to it to check.

0 upvotes
andywest
By andywest (5 months ago)

Amazon Germany:
Canon S120: 459€
Sony RX100: 439€

Yep Canon S120 is obviously "lot less expensive" than Sony RX100. ;)

But I guess dpreview refers to the US-Market.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (5 months ago)

There is no way those prices are accurate. Amazon is known for having inflated prices by third party sellers on out of stock products.

0 upvotes
Resom
By Resom (5 months ago)

?

You should compare between S120 and Sony DSC-RX100>>>M2<<<
The Sony costs 638 EUR

Or you compare the S110 to the Sony DSC-RX100:
245 EUR vs 439 EUR

Get the idea?

1 upvote
Forever Young
By Forever Young (5 months ago)

Which category shall the Canon G16 fall in?

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (5 months ago)

The Canon G16 is under the earlier category, the Enthusiast Compact.

2 upvotes
kaizr
By kaizr (5 months ago)

The conclusion states that the S120 is a lot less expensive than the RX100, but Amazon UK is showing that the S120 is currently £70 more expensive than the RX100

2 upvotes
Peter Smithson
By Peter Smithson (5 months ago)

I've had an S95 and an S100. I wait 6 months until they fall below £300. The S110 is £249 which compared to last years Sony at £370, that's a large percentage difference.

But they are comparing last years Sony with this years Canon so that's a bit strange!

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Resom
By Resom (5 months ago)

You should compare to the actual version of RX100 II - and this cam is more expensive. But yes, DPreview taling about the "RX100"...

1 upvote
D1N0
By D1N0 (5 months ago)

The S110 is just as good as the s120 and costs much less.

0 upvotes
stevens37y
By stevens37y (5 months ago)

Why would anyone buy the RX100 instead of the RX100 II ?
Why are they in diff categories?
The RX100 is simply the previous model.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
glastoria
By glastoria (5 months ago)

Well, I give you my reasons, as I bought one last Saturday:
1) 170€ cheaper;
2) I will never use the hot-shoe, nor buy a 400+€ EVF;
3) image quality of the MkII is better, but not dramatically so;
4) the original RX100 is thinner

12 upvotes
stevens37y
By stevens37y (5 months ago)

>>original RX100 is thinner
RX100II has an articulated display.
Big advantage it is what I miss on the LX7.

1 upvote
photoreddi
By photoreddi (5 months ago)

Similarly why would anyone buy the newly available XQ1 instead of Fuji's XF1 that it just replaced and which didn't even get a mention? Maybe because stocks of the XF1 are dwindling, but it's not as if the new XQ1 is the better camera. It's better in some respects but has taken several steps backwards in other areas. More importantly, for such a small difference between the two models, the XQ1 is now selling for about $450 while several dealers (including Amazon and DPReview's Gearshop) have been selling new XF1s for just $199.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Harold66
By Harold66 (5 months ago)

This is a misleading title for a list of cameras which does not include ricoh GR, Nikon A, sigma dpm. I have seen the reply from dpr but if this is high end what becomes of these cameras not listed : super high end ??
Harold

7 upvotes
quiquae
By quiquae (5 months ago)

DP Merrill is many things, but pocketable is not one of them. It certainly does not compete in the same segment as S120 or RX100.

3 upvotes
Tapani Tarvainen
By Tapani Tarvainen (5 months ago)

The only reason I can think of for excluding Coolpix A and GR is that they lack zoom. But there are many people, especially among those looking for high-end pocketable camera, for whom that's not a key criteria, certainly not over image quality.

2 upvotes
Tailwagger
By Tailwagger (5 months ago)

And if so, that is a shame. The lack of zoom might be limiting in some dimensions, but its liberating in others. Whats actually ironic about this is that a whole new generation is growing up with fixed lens 'instamatics' in the form of cell phones. You know what? They seem to be able to handle making images with iPhones, what makes us so sure that many of them wouldn't be just as well served by a GR as an RX100. Being fortunate enough to own both, I know which one I'd choose over the other.

0 upvotes
LeVerm
By LeVerm (5 months ago)

Ricoh GR, in fact is what? A pocket high end fixed lenses compact? Does' n matter. Is one of the best, all categories considered…

1 upvote
phazelag
By phazelag (5 months ago)

I think someone looking at my Gallery of LF1 shots, might question the review o the LF1. Specs dont make an image, and this camera made these.

http://www.scottzinda.com/Point-and-Shoot-Cameras/Panasonic-LF1-test-shots-/i-4QDXs9P

4 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (5 months ago)

With respect, our assessment doesn't say the LF1 can't take good photos (and yours are very impressive).

However, this doesn't suddenly give it the Q.Menu that Panasonic offers on its other models. Nor does it give you control over flash exposure compensation or make the viewfinder better.

6 upvotes
foivosloxias
By foivosloxias (5 months ago)

Well said! Great images! Enjoyed browsing through your gallery!

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
allanmh
By allanmh (5 months ago)

When I look at an image of the rear of the LF1, the lower right button is clearly marked Q.menu

1 upvote
Impulses
By Impulses (5 months ago)

Maybe he meant the Q.menu isn't customizable? (it isn't, mildly disappointing) It's certainly there and accounted for though.

0 upvotes
ccnell
By ccnell (5 months ago)

Oly XZ-10 would fit in just as well as anybody else!

4 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (5 months ago)

small sensor puts it in a lesser category.

1 upvote
redeye47
By redeye47 (5 months ago)

XZ-10 fast lens goes a long way in making up for the smaller sensor.

0 upvotes
Deutsch
By Deutsch (5 months ago)

What Category does Nikon Coolpix A fall into?

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (5 months ago)

That and the Ricoh GR. Neither are any thicker than the RX100.

Maybe they are too niche?

3 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (5 months ago)

The GR, X100S, Coolpix A, Sigma DPMs and possibly the Canon G1X would fall into a more specialist class, but we're probably not going to have a chance to cover those, this time 'round.

2 upvotes
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (5 months ago)

no they dont. the cameras people are waying against them are in these last two classes

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (5 months ago)

@Kodakchrome200 - I'm not sure there is anything that we could write that would help anyone choose between an APS-C camera with a fixed 28mm equiv. lens, and something with a 2X-1XX zoom lens and a smaller sensor.

If you want the best images, you buy the APS-C camera, if you want any sort of flexibility at all, you buy the zoom compact. I don't really understand how good one of those cameras would need to be to change someone's mind about which type of camera they need.

3 upvotes
Boliver666
By Boliver666 (5 months ago)

The absence of the Ricoh GR from this review is mirrored by its absence from GearShop. You don't really expect DPR to tout a product they don't sell, do you?

0 upvotes
Allen Yang
By Allen Yang (5 months ago)

Prefer best Portability of the group, then get a Canon S120.
Prefer best Image Quality and is OK with a slightly larger body,then get a RX100.

1 upvote
sfa1966
By sfa1966 (5 months ago)

No Sigma DP(x)M?
Or do they not fall into this category?

0 upvotes
Donglei
By Donglei (5 months ago)

DP series are in the category of prime lens compact, competing with X100, Coolpix A, GR, X2 and even RX1.
While Olympus XZ-10 is trully forgotten here.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
mfait
By mfait (5 months ago)

Canon Powershot, Not Sony!

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (5 months ago)

Argh! Sorry about that.

It was a copy-and-paste error stemming from an attempt to ensure consistency of the crosshead styling.

3 upvotes
jcespite
By jcespite (5 months ago)

Why wasn't the panasonic GM 1 included in this comparison as well.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 120