The Compact Camera Deserves Much Better Than What We Have Now

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I’ve wanted a good compact camera for years. And I don’t just mean a fixed lens camera and a point-and-shoot camera. I’m specifically talking about something compact. If we’re discussing good point and shoots, there are lots to choose from. Everything worth discussing has an APS-C sensor or larger. The Canon G1X Mk III, Leica Q2, Fujifilm X100V, and the Sony RX1R Mk II are the big ones that come to mind. If the Panasonic LX1 Mk II were weather-resistant, I’d take it more seriously. And I think that’s the problem: we’re not taking the compact seriously enough. And that, in my theory, is because the folks in charge never took them seriously.

Almost every Millenial, Zennial, and Gen X photographer I’ve spoken to would love a compact camera. There are great reasons why the Contax T2 was so expensive. People wanted it. It was serious. And it did everything they wanted. Plus, it got a glowing endorsement from celebrities. Zeiss missed out big here instead of focusing on the ZX1. There are instances when a compact camera is much more beneficial. 

As a journalist, I often have to pack multiple cameras and lenses into a camera bag. Sometimes, while shooting, it makes more sense to pack a smaller device. My phone is good, but it’s not capable of doing what a compact can. And I think there’s a lot that still needs to be done in the compact camera world.

  • The Canon G1x Mk III had a ton of potential. Canon’s colors are to die for. But the zoom lens limited the advantage of having a larger sensor. I’m not saying don’t give it a zoom lens. However, Canon is very innovative these days. They could theoretically do a much better job. Considering how small the Canon EOS RP is, they could make a camera like that and give it weather sealing. Canon has experienced making great pancake lenses like their 40mm f2.8 as well. Canon also has a great 22mm f2 lens for EF-M. So why can’t Canon translate this into a more premium compact camera?
  • The Leica Q2 is fantastic. But Leica is due for a really small full-frame or APS-C sensor camera with full weather sealing. I’d buy it tomorrow, considering how solid their build quality is.
  • The Fujifilm X100V is a wonderful camera. But I’d really like a weather-sealed version of the Fujifilm X70 or the XF10.
  • The Sony RX1 Mk II should be the company’s future. The 1-inch sensors don’t have much of an advantage anymore except for photographing birds and wildlife. Sony can make tiny full-frame cameras. Why can’t they put an APS-C sensor in a body the size of the RX100 cameras? 

I was long expecting something from Olympus, such as a digital version of the Olympus Trip. But it didn’t happen. And I was hoping Panasonic had put weather sealing in the LX1 Mk II. But I was disappointed when it didn’t become manifest. 

I think that a new generation needs to be the pioneers for the compact camera. Why bring it alongside your phone? Well, here are some great reasons:

  • Ergonomics: There’s nothing like the tactile feeling you can get. That’s one of the reasons why the X100V and Q2 are sold out everywhere.
  • Much better image quality
  • Far superior autofocus

Those are just three reasons. But camera manufacturers can take things further. Multiple exposure modes, app stores, ND filters, overpowering the sun with flash and a leaf shutter, and many other things are possible. 

Please, guys, help us actually bring back the compact camera industry and not treat it like a step-child.

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