Hi-Tech Studio: Compacts For Pros

As a pro photographer, you use gear that provides the results you need, that satisfies your clients. But you can’t always carry that gear with you everywhere you go. Sure, an iPhone is nice and gives you a lot of flexibility, and it’s always with you, but having something a little larger that’s much more capable and can still be with you all the time gives you the ability to capture what you see anytime with pro image quality. Here are some cameras that meet this need—the convenience of a compact with the image quality of a big sensor, ideal for "personal work/what I see" on a website, video snippets and shooting with social media/self-promotion in mind, along with very good image quality and shooting features.

Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark II

Considerably faster than its predecessor, the 12.8-megapixel PowerShot G1 X Mark II can shoot bursts at up to 5.2 fps (compared to 1.9 fps). It also features a faster lens, with a maximum aperture of ƒ/2 (versus ƒ/2.8), that also covers a wider 35mm-equivalent range, from 24-120mm, up from the 28-112mm range of the G1 X. The Mark II adds WiFi, as well, allowing remote control of the camera with your iOS or Android smartphone. While there’s no built-in viewfinder, the optional EVF-DC1 can be attached to the accessory shoe, and the 3-inch touch-screen LCD can tilt for easier viewing. RAW and JPEG image formats are available, as is full HD video. Dual Control Rings on the lens are customizable to perform a variety of functions, such as aperture adjustment and manual focus. List Price: $799.
Sensor Size: 1.5 inches (18.7×12.5mm)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 2.6×4.8×3.2 inches
Weight: 14.1 ounces (without battery and memory card)

Fujifilm FinePix X100T

The third-generation X100T retains the X100S’s 16.3-megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor with on-sensor phase-detection AF and no AA filter, but features a faster processor. The fixed lens has a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 23mm (vs. 35mm for the X100S), with a fast maximum aperture of ƒ/2. It also improves on the hybrid electronic/optical eye-level viewfinder and adds built-in WiFi, a built-in ND filter for video, an electronic shutter with speeds to 1/32,000, an intervalometer and more. The X100T can focus down to 3.9 inches in Macro mode and does 1080 full HD video at 60/50/30/25/24 fps with stereo sound. It also has a larger LCD monitor (3.0 inches vs. 2.8). There are convenient control dials for shutter speed, exposure compensation and aperture, and a number of customizable buttons. List Price: $1,299.
Sensor Size: APS-C (23.6×15.6mm)
Dimensions (HxWxD): 2.9×5.0x2.1 inches
Weight: 14.1 ounces (without battery and memory card)

Leica X (Typ 113)

Leica X (Typ 113)

Longtime rangefinder camera legend Leica offers some neat compacts, the most recent being the X (Typ 113). It features a 16.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and a built-in 23mm ƒ/1.7 Leica Summilux lens (equivalent to the classic 35mm lens on a 35mm camera). There’s a 3-inch, 920K-dot LCD monitor, and you can add an optional EVF or optical finder to the camera’s accessory shoe should you prefer eye-level operation. Operation is straightforward and simple, with dials for shutter speed and exposure compensation, an aperture ring on the lens and manual focusing via the lens’ focusing ring (there’s also 11-point contrast-detect AF). The X can do 1080 full HD video at 30p and shoot still images at 5 fps. List Price: $2,295.
Sensor Size: APS-C
Dimensions (HxWxD): 2.9×5.2×3.1 inches
Weight: 17.1 ounces (with battery)

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