Professional compact cameras Holy Grail

Nikon 1

This is the idea of a compact camera targeted at the professionals and at the advanced amateurs that Nikon just released.

Seriously Nikon, this is a joke, and a bad one!

Why someone with a bit of brain in their skull would spend money on a camera that:

– has a little stilish pocketable body, but an ugly long protruding lens that vanify the portability. And ok, the lens is interchangeable but (read below);

– has a tiny tiny sensor (so expect load of noise reduction and much less detail that in a magapixel equivalent larger sensor);

– does NOT have a finder, so you have to shoot at arm lenght blurring the photos because the lack of stability compared to a camera steady pressed against your cheek.

Canon G12

UPDATE: Fuji listened, so check the review of the X100 here


The search for a truly “professional” compact camera is like the search of the Holy Grail. Even the Canon most appealing alternatives, the G and S series, or the Olympus Pen series are all lacking in some department. With the possible exception of the Leica M8 and M9, that nontheless you may hardly consider compact cameras, no camera on the market that I’m aware of offers the features that a real “professional” compact camera should does.

So, Nikon, Canon, Leica, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony or whoever can make it, please give us a camera that:

1) do NOT cost a fortune: around 500€ is perfect, 1.000€ is ok, 8.000€ is a bit out of the budget for almost everybody…

2) it is compact, even with the lens ready for shooting;

3) it can be focused manually WITHOUT motors, simply moving a ring around the lens;

4) with a decent sized sensor, from APS-C and above, better yet full frame;

5) with a good lens with a limited zoom range (let’s say something like 28-70mm), or better yet with a fixed focal lenght like the immortal 40mm f/1,7 that every good compact in the ’70 sported. I don’t care if the lens is interchangeable or not;

6) it MUST have a finder. If you manage even to put an electronic or optical rangefinder in it it will be wonderful (and I’m not asking for the moon, think at the Olympus XA).

Olympus XA

So, basically, my Holy Grail of the compact cameras is nothing fancy: just a revival of one of the great ’70 compact (Minolta HiMatic 7s, Canonet, Olympus XA) with a digital sensor in place of the film plane and a monitor on the back. Seriously Canon, Nikon, Olympus: do you think that what is was so simple to build 40 years ago it is difficult to build now? Stop messing around with launch-and-forget products and start making the photographic industry history again.