Despite the fact that people seem to be taking pictures more with
their phones these days, there�s actually a boom of cool new
cameras coming out right now. And some of the most interesting
new cameras coming out fill the gap between a full-on
professional DSLR and the portability of a point and shoot.
So if you�re ready to graduate from Instagram, or maybe you�ve
already got a dSLR and want something a little more agile, these
are the five cameras you�re looking for. These are the top
compact cameras for advanced shooters, hand selected by
CNET�s Senior Camera Editor, Lori Grunin.
Starting off at #5, the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX1. It may be #5 on this list,
but it�s actually the #1 camera here in terms of photo quality. You get a full-
frame professional-grade sensor and a stunning Carl Zeiss 35mm lens.
There�s no optical viewfinder -- but that�s not why it�s at the bottom of the
So what�s the catch? How about a $2,600 price tag. You could spend the
same amount on a nice DSLR with a lot more shooting flexibility. But if
what you really want is something compact that doesn�t sacrifice an inch
on image quality, then this is the camera for you.
#4 comes down to earth... a bit: the Fujifilm X100S. Priced at
$1,300, this retro-styled compact packs a great viewfinder and
works well under manual control. You�re dealing with a slightly
smaller APS-C sensor, the lens is a little quirky, and autofocus
isn�t the best, but the overall image quality is beautiful. Plus, it�s a
hip camera. It�s a mustache and a beer cozy away from moving
At #3: the Canon PowerShot G15. Finally, a camera that won�t
bankrupt me. It�s also the last camera on this list that you�ll see
with an optical viewfinder -- so if that�s a must-have and you
don�t have a few grand to drop, the G15 is your best bet.
Now, the image quality isn�t in quite the same realm as the last
two, but the lens is very fast and you can tease out some extra
detail by shooting in RAW. It�s not the hippest looking thing, but
c�mon, who am I fooling? I don�t even have any tattoos. I mean,
tramp stamps don�t count, right?
Forget I said anything, save even more cash with #2: the Canon
PowerShot S110. At around $400, it�s really just a glorified point
& shoot -- but it�s good enough to get a nod of respect from
serious photo nerds. It�s also two generations removed from my
favorite pocket camera, the Canon S95, which I managed to lose
this year and still cry for every day.
Like the S95 and S100, the S110 offers a lot of manual control
and will even shoot RAW if you want to squeeze it for all it�s
worth. No viewfinder, and a touch screen that�s more trouble
than it�s worth, but small enough to fit in any pocket. And small
enough to lose.
But if you had to choose just one camera that hit all of the high notes on
this list: fast lens, affordable price, manual control, RAW image capture,
and a pocket-sized design, you�d arrive right here at #1: the Sony Cyber-
Shot DSC-RX100. Fast, bright, Carl Zeiss lens, big ol� 20 megapixel
sensor, adjustment ring right on the lens. Not the cheapest at $650, but
worth every penny. This is the pocket point & shoot that puts all the rest to
So there you have it, 5 great cameras that fill the void between your cell
phone camera and a full-blown DSLR. For a few other recommendations
check out Senior Editor Lori Grunin�s full roundup over on CNET.com.
I�m Donald Bell, thanks for watching.