In my daily travels I always carry a vintage 35mm Olympus Stylus Epic (not the zoom model) loaded with Kodak Portra 400 or Ilford HP5. It’s small and discreet, and since it hardly looks like a professional grade camera it provides a stealth advantage when photographing the average subject. It has an amazingly sharp and very fast 2.8 lens, a spot meter mode, several flash modes, and is easy to hold in-hand. I’ve made flawless 18×12″ prints from these negatives and could print even larger.
I also always carry a small digital camera and use it for all kinds of things. And, because I like small easily portable cameras for daily carrying – my 4×5 Graflex is great, but I’m no Louis Mendes – I usually have one eye on what’s new and exciting in the compact digital market space. I suspect I’m not alone so I pulled together this little list from Amazon’s best selling compact camera category (Amazon continually updates this list based on sales, so if you check the link you may find slightly different results).
There are some great little cameras on the list.
1. Sony NEX-6L/B: Pocket camera with professional-grade performance; 16 MP APS-C sensor with up to 10 fps shooting and Full HD video; Fast Hybrid AF includes phase-detection for DSLR-like focus; Bright XGA OLED viewfinder for 100% coverage; Wi-Fi® sharing and downloadable camera apps
2. Nikon 1 J1: A revolutionary new 10.1 MP imaging system from Nikon; harmoniously designed from the ground up. The Nikon J1 claims to have the world’s fastest autofocus among cameras with AF
3. Samsung NX2000: 20.3MP CMOS Sensor; SMART features – Social Media Upload, E-mail, Direct Link, Mobile Link; PC Auto-backup; Remote Viewfinder; All share, Cloud Service; and a Hybrid Autofocus System.
4. Sony Alpha a6000: Capture life in high resolution with 24MP APS-C sensor; Compact & lightweight Mirrorless DSLR for everyday use; Easy and intuitive controls help you shoot like a pro; Smartphone remote control & sharing via NFC & Wi-Fi; What you see is what you get with an OLED Viewfinder.
5. Nikon 1 V3: Electronic viewfinder and camera grip included; Enhanced 18.4-MP image sensor is paired with Nikon’s new EXPEED 4A image processor; Sharp, clear, noise-free photos and videos up to ISO 12,800; Built-in Wi-Fi for sharing photos; Cinema-quality 1080/60p HD video
6. Sony DSC-RX100M III: 20.1MP 1″ Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor; BIONZ X Image Processor; Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* f/1.8-2.8 Lens; 24-70mm (35mm Equivalent); 1440k-Dot OLED Tru-Finder Pop-Up EVF.
7. Sony NEX-3NL/B: 16.1 MP Exmor APS-C sensor for great images; New SELP1650 lens with motor zoom lever and body control; Create easy self-portraits with 180° tilting LCD screen; Full HD movie shooting 60i/24p
8. Sony NEX-5TL: DSLR-quality in about half the size and weight; 16 MP APS-C sensor with fast 10 fps shooting speed; Fast Hybrid phase-detection AF for DSLR-like focus
9. Panasonic DMC-G5KK: AVCHD Full HD (1080p),ISO Sensitivity Auto: 160-12800;16M digital Live MOS sensor+Venus Engine 7FHD; Engine 7FHD 3, 920K dots Free-angle touch LCD; Full time AF, Full HD video; 920K dots Free-angle touch LCD
10. Sony A3000: 20.1 MP Exmor APS-C sensor for great images; Light body and dependable grip for worry-free shooting; Full HD video recording for capturing life’s moments
11. Olympus OM-D E-M10: 16MP Sensor, TruePic VII Processor; Built-in Wi-Fi, flash, creative tools; Tiltable touch screen; 3-Axis IS; 84 point Fast-AF, 8 FPS
12. Olympus E-PM2: 6MP Live MOS Image Sensor; Immediate Response Touch Navigation on 3 LCD; Full HD Movie;