Small, Light and Mighty: 6 Fixed Lens Cameras That Still Amaze Us

compact cameras
Small in size, but big on performance; these slightly older fixed lens cameras will not disappoint.

Sometimes all we want to do is go out and shoot with as little gear as possible. At times, just thought of having to load up your camera bag and then having to lug it around can put a damper on your photography plans, and this, my friends, is where small fixed lens cameras come into their own. Being able to head out the door with a small camera with just one lens can be liberating. Not only will you save your back and shoulders, but you’ll find that you’re forced to be more creative due to only having one lens to play with. If you’re in the market for a camera that you can grab, slip on your pocket or a small bag and head out the door with (and you also want to save a few bucks), the slightly older small fixed lens cameras we have rounded up after the break may be of interest you

Captured with the Fujifilm X70

For me, and I’m sure for a lot of other photographers out there, small, fixed lens cameras bring a lot of fun back into photography. If you’re a working photographer who shoots with larger cameras all day long, compact cameras like the ones listed below offer a welcome break. The great thing is that these fixed lens cameras do not make you give you give up anything in terms of image quality when you use them. The lenses that are attached to the bodies are excellent optically, and the sensors are incredible too. You can grab these cameras before heading out of the door, and you can be confident knowing that you will be able to capture stunning shots. The models we have rounded up below are a little older but don’t think that old equals bad. The fixed lens cameras below are fantastic in every way.

Fujifilm X70

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • The best ergonomics of any compact fixed lens camera we’ve held
  • Great image quality
  • Excellent build quality
  • Touchscreen
  • Fits into a skinny jean pocket
  • Incredible battery life
  • Leaf shutter for use with flash
  • Autofocus is fast enough in most situations
  • Dedicated Auto switch for the noobs out there
  • The camera that you truly want to take everywhere with you

Cons

  • An ISO dial could have been a welcome addition
  • Buttons on the touchscreen itself is a bit odd
  • WiFi image transfer sends very low-resolution images
  • Lens gets dirty very easily
  • It should come with a leather wrist strap as part of the standard kit. This camera was designed to be in your hand, not around your shoulder or neck

Buy now: $699.95

Sony RX100 V

fixed lens cameras

Here are the pros and cons from the full review:

Pros

  • fantastic image quality (some of the best we’ve seen from a point and shoot camera with a 1-inch sensor)
  • fast autofocus
  • slim, compact size
  • nice EVF

Cons

  • Just because the autofocus is fast doesn’t mean it’s always accurate
  • We’d actually love a hot shoe
  • Ring around the lens could use a clicking mechanism

Buy now: Used from $556

Leica Q

fixed lens cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Incredible build quality, though no weather sealing
  • Very high detailed EVF, the best currently in the industry
  • Beautiful image quality
  • Very versatile RAW files up to 6400 ISO
  • Fast autofocusing capabilities
  • Depth of field focusing scale on the lens
  • Macro capabilities on the lens

Cons

  • The price tag
  • Menu system is deep
  • No DNG only shooting option at the time of publishing this review

Buy now: $4,249

Sony RX1r II

fixed lens cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Excellent image quality
  • Fast focusing
  • Great lens
  • Small
  • Lightweight
  • For most of us, it’s all the camera you’d possibly need
  • EVF addition is welcome.
  • Fair battery life for a Sony camera

Cons

  • Sometimes very hard to hold and shoot when doing street photography
  • When used with a radio flash trigger, the EVF can get in the way

Buy now: $3,298

Fujifilm X100F

fixed lens cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Great image quality, though we wonder how much better it could have been made
  • One of the best autofocus cameras when it comes to candid street photography
  • Compact
  • Nice feel that you’d expect from a camera like this
  • Acros video is very welcome
  • AF selection point joystick was long overdue
  • So light, small and great that you’ll want to take it with you everywhere
  • Much improved battery life

Cons

  • At this point, it could use sensor-based image stabilization
  • Could use a lens update, sometimes we feel like the lens isn’t doing the sensor full justice. Though we only speak of this in terms of optical sharpness. Otherwise, the character it delivers is fantastic
  • No weather sealing; absolutely not sure why
  • Though not necessary, it would be nice to have a headphone and microphone jack for video shooting.
  • Doesn’t adhere to Sunny 16 rules of metering, which is REALLY WEIRD

Buy now: $999

Ricoh GR II

fixed lens cameras

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Fantastic image quality
  • JPEGs so good that we’d have no problems just posting the JPEGs and not even bothering to edit the RAWs (yes, it’s true. That’s a very strong statement.)
  • Compact body
  • We actually like the rough texture of some of the body
  • Pretty simple to use
  • Really nice effects simulations
  • Very low profile look
  • LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE the fact this lens tends to embrace flares rather than kill them

Cons

  • Autofocus suffers in low light and with moving subjects
  • Those that want the clinical look of a photo probably won’t be able to embrace the grain at higher ISOs, the fun of the creative effects, or the lens flare that’s possible here

Buy now: Used from $569.58