Advanced compact camera battle: Canon G12, Nikon P7100, Panasonic LX5, Olympus XZ1

by Enche Tjin on August 28, 2011

Today, there are four notable advanced compact cameras in the market. Advanced compact camera is a compact camera that has manual exposure control, able to capture RAW file, has hot shoe (for external flash or accessories). Generally, these cameras has high built quality and high quality built-in lenses.


Advanced compact cameras are usually designed for enthusiast amateurs, or professional photographer who want a more portable camera for daily use.


Canon Powershot G12

Canon G-series are famous for its design. Enthusiasts love it because it has DSLR like control. It has plenty buttons and dials that make changing setting faster. Canon G series camera is very popular for many photographers including those who already has DSLR system. The latest one, Canon G12, has versatile 28-140mm f/2.8-4.5 lens and capable to record HD 720p video. Image quality wise, G12 tops other compact cameras in this post (according to


Nikon Coolpix P7100

Many Nikon DSLR shooters opt Canon G12 for compact camera for a long time. So Nikon think that they should also release camera of similar design. Therefore, last year (September 2010), Nikon releases Nikon P7000. However the P7000 has slow processor, so it does not appeal to many enthusiasts. But today, Nikon just release P7100 with new processor equal to that of DSLR camera. P7100 will also has extra dial in front of the camera to satisfy enthusiasts’ demand. Among all, P71000 has the longest lens range, from 28-200mm f/2.8-5.6. For Nikon DSLR users, you can use Nikon SB flash and even control it wirelessly using built-in flash.


Panasonic Lumix LX5

Panasonic LX5 is successor of LX3, a very popular and well regarded advanced compact camera. Unlike Canon G12 and Nikon P7000, LX5 does not has optical viewfinder, slimmer, and smaller. LX5 is famous for its wide and bright zoom lens (24-90mm f/2-3.3). In LX3 era, there are no competitors that make compact that match the f/2 aperture. However, in 2010, Samsung release TL500 which has f/1.8 lens, and in January 2011, Olympus release XZ1 that has  f/1.8 zoom lens too.

Olympus XZ1

Olympus XZ1

Olympus XZ1 is famous for its lens. XZ1 has high quality and bright ZUIKO lens (28-112mm f/1.8-2.5). It is almost the same size as Panasonic LX5 and surpass LX5 in lens design. Control wise, it has ring on the lens where you can use to change settings according to the camera mode you choose. For example, in Program mode, you can use it to control ISO. However, there are no direct button to ISO. So in aperture or shutter priority mode, you have to go to menu to change ISO setting.

So which is the best?

Overall, Canon G12 is the best advanced compact camera in my opinion. It excels in many areas that are important for enthusiasts: fast, plenty of control, and excellent image quality. Olympus XZ1 and Nikon Coolpix P7000 shares the second place. Olympus XZ1’s strength is on the bright and excellent lens.  Nikon P7100 with the new processor is great for travelers who love longer telephoto lens. The last place is Panasonic LX5. Although I place LX5 in the last place in this comparison post. I think that LX5 is a solid advanced camera, but in high competitive market, LX5 does not have feature that best other compact camera in this category.


Get Canon G12 : If you want ultimate advanced compact camera with excellent control, speed and image quality.

Get Olympus XZ1 : If you want a relatively slim compact, you like to shot in low light and produce nice out of focus area blur.

Get Nikon P7100 : If you like camera with plenty of control and versatile lens ranging from wide to telephoto (28-200mm)

Get Panasonic LX5 : If you want the small advanced compact camera, often shoot in low light and love wide lens.

Hopefully this post help you to decide :)

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

kwanonku September 3, 2011 at 7:59 pm

With the price range around $500, the old model of compact system cameras such Olympus E-P1/E-PL1 or Sony NEX-3 and Samsung NX10 which still available as new unit on market will be very attractive option to choose.

savoir maigrir July 25, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Great blog you have here.. It’s hard to find high quality writing like yours nowadays. I truly appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

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