One thing all of the cameras in this category have in common, aside from having a fixed prime lens, is that they offer either a 28mm or 35mm equivalent focal length (save for the Sigma Quattro dp2 and dp3), making all excellent choices for shooting street photography or candids. You’ll find large sensors in this category, either APS-C or full frame. One nice perk of having a fixed prime lens camera is that the lens can be optimized for the camera’s sensor. As a result, all of these cameras deliver excellent sharpness.
The range of prices in this category is fairly broad. On the more affordable end, you have the Ricoh GR II and Sigma Quattros, all of which use APS-C sensors and lack electronic viewfinders. These cameras offer comparably slow maximum apertures of F2.8 (though the 21mm equiv. dp0 is an F4.).
The Fujifilm X100T falls into the middle of this category’s price range. It also uses an APS-C sensor but features a fairly high-resolution built-in EVF and arguably better ergonomics than the Sigmas or Ricoh, not to mention better image quality at medium / high ISO sensitivity settings.
On the more expensive end of the spectrum you have two drool-worthy full-framers in the shape of the Leica Q and Sony Cyber-shot RX1R II. While comparable to the extent that they’re the only fixed lens prime full framers on the market, the shooting experience offered by these two cameras is quite different.
So get ready to zoom with your feet, because here are the cameras we think are worth a look:
- Leica Q (Typ 116)
- Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II
- Fujifilm FinePix X100T
- Ricoh GR II
- Sigma Quattro series
On the following pages, you'll find what we liked and didn't like about each camera, links to our test scenes for image quality comparisons, and real-world galleries to give you a sense of how each performs outside the lab.