It’s no secret that smartphones and their increasingly powerful cameras are eating away at the sales of traditional low-end compacts. As a result, camera manufacturers are creating compacts that offer radically different feature sets than their smartphone counterparts. 

Optical zooms with fast glass, the ability to capture in Raw, large sensors (compared to those in smartphones), and even EVFs are finding their way into this class of camera. And while they may lack the dedicated controls of their bulkier enthusiast compact cousins, many of them offer comparable image quality in a sleeker package. 

Note: We purposely excluded the Nikon Coolpix A, Ricoh GR, Sigma Quattro and Sony RX1R as they will be included in a separate roundup of single focal length compact cameras, to be published in the coming weeks. 

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.

If direct control or zoom range is more important to you than pocketability, you might wish to read our Enthusiast compact camera roundup.


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