What camera should I buy?

Best high-end pocketable compact - Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III

In our opinion the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 Mark III is - at this point in time - the best pocket camera available. The Canon PowerShot G7 X is a strong competitor, but is also Canon’s first crack at pocket cam with a 1” sensor, and it's not quite good enough yet either optically, or in terms of overall performance. With the RX100, RX100 II and now the RX100 III, Sony has had three opportunities to perfect the concept. Specifically, we feel that the RX100 Mark III offers advantages in its superior battery life, added options/features for video shooters, better image quality, and its built-in EVF. 

Honorable Mention: Canon PowerShot G7 X

The Canon G7 X is a capable camera. Just because the RX100 Mark III took the top spot doesn’t mean the G7 X should be disregarded. It has a leg up on the Sony in terms of zoom range, offering a 24-100mm equivalent, compared to the 24-70mm equivalent lens on the RX100 Mark III. Its image quality is decent, though not as good as the Sony’s. It's overall performance is also somewhat sluggish and we'd appreciate better battery life. That being said, we are incredibly excited to see what Canon engineers do with the second iteration of this compact. 

Best affordable high-end pocketable compact - Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LF1 is not the newest high-end compact around, nor does it offer the biggest sensor, or the cheapest price tag. That being said, it is still an incredibly capable compact with a built-in electronic viewfinder for under $300. That is less than half the price of the Sony RX100 Mark III, the only other high-end pocket camera to sport an EVF. The Canon S120, Nikon P340 and Panasonic LF1 all offer similar-sized sensors and fairly comparable image quality to the LF1 (the Fujifilm does have a slightly larger sensor than the rest), but the Panasonic also leaps ahead of the pack in its massive zoom range, a 28-200mm equivalent. The other compacts all max out at 120mm or less. For these reasons, we have chosen it as our best budget pocket camera.