6 best compact system cameras


Compact System Cameras (CSCs), also called mirrorless, are the new big thing for keen photographers.

The absence of the mirror means they are smaller and lighter than SLRs, too. Most, but not all, use sensors called APS-C or Micro Four Thirds. All are way bigger than in compact cameras, so picture quality is much improved, too. One camera here uses an even bigger sensor, called full-frame. Generally, bigger is better and sensor size is arguably more important than pixel count.

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For value, the Nikon 1 S2 is excellent, though you do have to manage without a viewfinder. As a viewfinder addict, I found this less troublesome than I expected and the S2 is a great first CSC. But more advanced photographers, or users sliding across from an SLR, the Sony Alpha A7 with its enormous full-frame sensor, has a lot to offer. The Olympus is particularly strong when it comes to light weight and small size – and no slouch in the image department. Both Fujifilm cameras look sensational and the X-T1 is very hard to beat. Unless you want amazing UHD video recording, in which case the Panasonic is the winner:  knockout for video and as strong as the Fujifilm X-T1 for stills pictures.

Buy now

1. Panasonic Lumix GH4, £1299.00

2. Fujifilm X-T1, £1,399.00

3. Nikon 1 S2, £379.99

4. Sony Alpha A7, £1,399

5. Olympus OM-D E-M1, £1,499.99

6. Fujifilm X-E2, £749

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