Which Fixed Lens Compact Should You Choose?

Fstoppers writer Andy Day recently published his thoughts on why Canon and Nikon should get into the full-frame fixed-lens camera segment and what that would mean for us as photographers. The Slanted Lens also did a great comparison of three existing options for a compact fixed-lens camera.

When looking for a fixed-lens compact, there are plenty of options in the consumer space and many that bridge the gap between the needs of everyday users and professional photographers. As much as feature sets vary, so do prices. Consumer options like the Fujifilm XF10 and Ricoh GR III both have fixed 28mm equivalent lenses and produce great quality images at under $1,000, with the former being well under. Taking one more step towards a camera many professionals love to have as a walkaround or second body, the Fujifilm X100F comes in at just over $1,000 and provides a unique value proposition with its exceptional lens and hybrid viewfinder. Taking the step into full-frame gives you the other two cameras compared in the video here, the Sony RX1R II and the Leica Q2. Stepping up to either of these also multiplies the price of any of the previous options. Could Canon and Nikon add something to this space an compete with the existing players? 

In this video, The Slanted Lens give us a few areas where all these cameras succeed and some areas where they fail (in some cases, despite a hefty price tag that perhaps should offer more). These are great starting points for considering what you may want in a fixed-lens compact. Enjoy the video, and do share your thoughts on which of these cameras might work for your photography or what future models would require in order for you to invest in one. 

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15 Comments

Michael Holst's picture

It's like comparing apples to socks to baseball. lol

The Sony vs the Leica makes the most sense but the Fuji is a different animal.

The question is "why "should" I choose a fixed lens compact" if I don't have any need for it? Quite misleading for a title.

Its very simple:
If you want the best handling, great image, and can afford it, the leica.
If you want the best image quality but dont mind the handling, and can afford it get the Sony.
If you want one with good image quality but not as the other ones and dont mind the xtrans sensor, and good handling get the fuji.

Benton Lam's picture

The Fuji XF10 and Ricoh will live in a pocket quite easily. If that's what you want, e.g. aspiring street photographer, that's one way to go. If only the XF10 auto-focus isn't so bad in lower light conditions....

I like the X100F, love the idea of the hybrid viewfinder, but it's too big to live in the jacket pocket.

Fuji XF10 and Ricoh have nothing to do with the cameras in this article. The Fuji XF10 and Ricoh are point and shoots with great sensors, thats it. They lack a viewfinder, they lack the autofocus speed, they lack the handling. If all you want to do is shoot like using a phone or shoot and pray, than yes they will be great.

Benton Lam's picture

"When looking for a fixed-lens compact, there are plenty of options in the consumer space and many that bridge the gap between the needs of everyday users and professional photographers. As much as feature sets vary, so do prices. Consumer options like the Fujifilm XF10 and Ricoh GR III both have fixed 28mm equivalent lenses and produce great quality images at under $1,000, with the former being well under. Taking one more step towards a camera many professionals love to have as a walkaround or second body, the Fujifilm X100F comes in at just over $1,000 and provides a unique value proposition with its exceptional lens and hybrid viewfinder. "

Try scrolling back up and read it again?

Yes they are mentioned i the article, true, what i meant is that those cameras cant really be compare to the Rx, x100 or Leica Q. The RX, x100 and Q offer you superior handling and functionalities but are not really portable. If you want portable, yes those cameras you mentioned are excellent options, but you will only be able to use them as point and shoots, depends as always in what you are looking for.

Benton Lam's picture

I own the XF10. It's got full manual control, with a macro 28mm equivalent lens at f/2.8.

It depends on what is superior handling for the kinds of photography that you're doing. I have the XF10 mostly for street shooting, and the lack of a viewfinder hasn't been much of a handling handicap. If anything, it lends quite naturally to shooting from the hip, so you don't have the movement of bringing it to eye-level that tips you off.

I find it more likely to encourage shooting from different height because you don't default to eye level.

What I do find to be actually deficient in handling is that the one-handed LCD only shooting imparts far more camera shake than I had anticipated. So I'd have to actively remember to try to shoot more two-handed, or bump up the shutter speed.

And it's AF is quite atrocious when it's not outdoor in the sun. But that's more of a fuck-up from Fuji's part. Something that I hope the GR III will be better at AF and having IBIS.

What are the improvements of say the X100F, or the RX1R, or the Q/Q2 over something like a GR III, outside of bigger / denser sensor and the presence of a viewfinder? They're all quite similar in terms of a being a fixed lens, wide, leaf shutter cameras. Most in this list are still focus by wire, which if you do need to go to MF, they're generally not that great. And the minimum price difference between them and a GR III is at least $200 USD.

I suppose if a viewfinder is a handling must, then yes, the XF10 and the Rico would not be in consideration.

Image quality is a huge improvement, at least the sony and leica over the gr (v2, havent tested v3). Regarding the x100 yes probably the gr has better image quality, even thou i own a x70 i dont really like the xtrans sensor.

Obviously you've never held or used a Ricoh GR. Point and shoot hahaha. As far as image quality, have you even looked at the GR3?

I used v2 and the rest of all the other cameras mentioned above with the exception of the xf10, but I do own a x70 which is very similar.... so yes i keep my point. And yes i do consider the ricoh gr point and shoot shooting style, as the xf10 and even the xf70, even thou with the tilting screen it can be a bit more useful :) Have you used or owned the other cameras?

Jan Kruize's picture

Hmmhh... buy a zoomlens, only very good photographers who make big prints then you see the difference. The rest is nonsens.

And in that case 99.9% of them won't be shooting with a RX1 or Q2. I think that Nikon and Canon are doing right keeping away from that market and focusing in other places of the camera spectrum, specially in this transition stage. For me I'm quite happy with my Lumix Lx-100 mk1. I couldn't recommend it more if you are really into photography.

Spy Black's picture

"Which Fixed Lens Compact Should You Choose?"

None. It's 2019...

The camera manufacturers concentrate on the full-frame markt because there is the most money to be made in terms of profit margins. In the grand scheme of things, that part of the market is not where most of the camera are being sold.
The pro market is probably in terms of number quite a lot smaller than the prosumer market.