While there are no reliable statistics on how many digital SLR cameras are stolen on vacations annually, it’s fair to say that the number is high — very high. Digital SLRs, especially in developing countries, attract about as much attention as a gold Rolex or a red Ferrari. But there is a better option for producing near-DSLR quality photos in a smaller, sleeker package that won’t peg you as the well-endowed photographer.
A new wave of compact digital cameras has been hitting the market steadily over the past few years, with each new release getting closer to pro-level DSLR’s in terms of optics quality and resolution. Pocket sized and powerful, these compact cameras are changing the way that consumer and prosumer photographers capture moments while on the road. Before you head out on your next adventure, consider leaving the DSLR behind and opting for one of the more sensible options below.
– Additional Contribution by Tucker Bowe
The big upgrade here is the sensor. The X100F rocks the same 24MP X-Trans sensor found in Fuji’s X-Pro2 and X-T2, compared to earlier X100s’ 16MP. It has a fast auto-focus and delivers SLR-quality photos. Plus it looks pretty retro.
Sensor: 24MP X-Trans CMOS sensor
Lens: 35mm equivalent F2 lens
Unique Features: physical aperture control ring, wide angle lens, great image quality
Ricoh GR II
Photographers love this little camera. It comes with built-in wi-fi and NFC for quick smartphone uploads — the first for Ricoh’s GR cameras. It also has a large 16MP APS-C sensor and 28mm equivalent F2.8 lens, which is much better at capturing photos in low light your smartphone.
Sensor: 16MP CMOS APS-C sensor
Lens: 28mm F2.8 lens
Unique Features: 1/4000 sec max shutter speed, F2.8–16 aperture, wi-fi and NFC capability
Canon G7 X Mark II
Canon’s new G7X Mark II is the brand’s most powerful PowerShot yet. The compact camera shoots both RAW and JPG files at speeds of up to eight frames per second. RAW files are also processed in-camera, which means that you can review and tweak the files directly from the rear touchscreen.
Sensor: 20.1MP CMOS
Lens: 8.8-36.8mm f/1.8 (35mm equivalent: 24-100mm)
Unique Features: Built-in wi-fi, in-camera RAW conversion
The new Olympus Pen-F is almost exactly the same size as the original 35mm Pen-F — and it looks nearly identical as well. But the Pen-F is more than just a pretty face. As a street shooter, it’s tough to beat with its 20.3MP sensor and the ability to use any micro four thirds lenses made by Olympus, Panasonic, Sigma, etc.
Resolution: 20.3MP 4/3 Live MOS Sensor
Lens: Can be used with all micro four thirds mount lenses
Unique Features: 5-Axis in-body image stabilization, OLED viewfinder
Sony RX1R II
While a fixed lens can sometimes be a handicap, it isn’t always a bad thing. The RX1R II makes the most of its fixed-lens setup by employing a 35mm Zeiss Sonnar. The Sonnar offers superb image quality and at f/2, opens wide for beautiful bokeh — perfect for candid street portraits.
Sensor: Full-frame Exmor R CMOS 43.6 MP
Lens: Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm f/2
Unique Features: OLED viewfinder
The Leica Q follows the spirit of compact Leica cameras of the past, like the M series of film cameras, which are still lauded for their quality today. With a 24MP full-frame sensor, the Q is about as close as you can get to a pro-level DSLR in a compact camera.