10 Everyday Carry Cameras for Street Photography

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Avid street photographers need, or at least want, to have a camera on them at nearly all times. Not all cameras are well suited to everyday carry. Big, bulky medium-format DSLRs aren’t going to cut it here. So, check out this list of highly capable and compact cameras that belong in your everyday carry (EDC) bag.

1. FUJIFILM X100F

Of course, the X100F, from FUJIFILM, was going to make this list. Not only does it just look great and is reminiscent of classic street photo film cameras, the X100F is one of the best for the job. It’s slim, packs a 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III sensor and has an amazingly compact and sharp 23mm f/2 lens that provides shooters with a look that is equivalent to a fabulous 35mm focal length. Just enough physical dials and controls are spread out around the body for fast operation and a hybrid 91-point AF system with 49 phase-detection points will help you lock focus on fast-moving subjects. My favorite part is that it manages to use a hybrid optical and electronic viewfinder that you won’t find on any other camera here.

FUJIFILM X100F Digital Camera

2. Ricoh GR III

Another famous EDC camera that street photographers love is the Ricoh GR III, as even this third APS-C iteration maintains the design and feel of its predecessors. Initially, the GR III looks just like the earlier models, which is great, but it also makes sure to improve the most important aspects of the imaging pipeline. A brand-new 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor and redesigned 28mm equivalent f/2.8 lens promise sharper, richer images in all conditions. A Hybrid AF System and 3-axis Shake Reduction image stabilization system further advance the GR III, and a new 3.0" 1.036m-dot touchscreen completes the package for a small, powerful EDC point-and-shoot camera.

Ricoh GR III Digital Camera

3. Leica Q2

Being one of the best doesn’t mean you can’t get better. The Leica Q2 is a perfect example of that. Now featuring a 47.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor, the compact camera has dramatically boosted image quality and performance. The Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH. lens is also a key to the Q2’s success and it’s a popular choice for street photography, although its ability to crop in to 35mm, 50mm, and 75mm at the press of a button means that you can find the focal length that works best for each shot you take. Leica took care with the design, making something that can proudly bear the Leica red dot and provide all the usability and control you would expect for a street-photography camera.

Leica Q2 Digital Camera

4. Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI

Being small and feature rich is another way to being a solid everyday camera, making the Sony RX100 VI a serious contender. Less is certainly more here because opting for a 20.1MP 1"-type Exmor RS stacked CMOS sensor allowed Sony to create a camera that delivers great image quality and can still slide into your pocket. It’s also packed with surprises. A flip of a switch will reveal a 0.39" 2.36m-dot OLED EVF. A Fast Hybrid AF system with 315 points will make focusing as fast as high-end mirrorless and DSLR cameras. A rear 3.0" 921k-dot touchscreen can tilt up 180 degrees for selfies or vlogging. UHD 4K30 video is available with HLG or S-Log3 gammas. It can shoot video at up to 960/1000 fps and stills at 24 fps—and that lens extends from 24-200mm in 35mm equivalent terms. That is seriously impressive for such a small camera, and will make it ideal for travel, vacation, or demanding photographers in need of an exceptional versatile EDC option that doesn’t break your back. I even call it the “perfect pocket camera” in my hands-on review.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI Digital Camera

5. Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

In case you want something a little bit bigger, without getting too big, of course, we have just the thing: the Panasonic Lumix LX100 II. Choosing to use a 17MP Four Thirds MOS sensor—I guess unsurprisingly for the manufacturer—the LX100 II is a great choice for street photographers who want a little more from their compact. This one stars a useful 24-75mm equivalent f/1.7-2.8 lens and has a great and ergonomic control scheme that fits exposure controls on the lens and body. A 2.76m-dot electronic viewfinder provides another advantage for effective street photography and it also packs 4K video recording. It’s different than other options on this list and may be the perfect match for you. You can read Allan Weitz’s hands-on review for more information.

Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II Digital Camera

6. Canon PowerShot G5 X

If you’re looking for something a little different or similar to your bigger cameras, you will find the Canon PowerShot G5 X. This is another 20.2MP 1"-type point-and-shoot, but this one features a design with an electronic viewfinder at the top instead of off to the side. This makes the entire camera look and feel like a DSLR but without any of the bulk, making it easy to toss into your everyday bag. As for versatility, the 24-100mm equivalent f/1.8-2.8 lens should do the trick in just about any everyday situation.

Canon PowerShot G5 X Digital Camera

7. Olympus PEN-F with 17mm Lens

Taking classic street cameras and reimagining them for digital is a winning formula these days, and the Olympus PEN-F is one of the more intriguing picks. It certainly looks the part, and the 2.03MP Four Thirds Live MOS sensor reminds us of the original half-frame design. The camera is part of the Micro Four Thirds system, so make sure you pair it with a good lens—I’m thinking the M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/1.8 Lens is a solid choice. The camera displays retro styling with plentiful dials, but certainly digital thinking, with a 2.36m-dot OLED EVF, 5-axis in-body image stabilization, a 50MP High-Res Shot Mode, Creative Dial, and Color/Monochrome Profiles. It’s a camera that looks the part if that’s what you want for your everyday style.

Olympus PEN-F Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera

8. Sony Cyber-shot RX1R II

You know what I love? I love the Sony RX1R II. The RX1 series made some waves when it was first launched, due to its focus on quality in an exceptionally small package, and though there are now quite a few new competitors in the space, the Sony RX1R II still stands as one of the best. Featuring the same 42.4MP Exmor R BSI full-frame CMOS sensor as the much-loved a7R II and with a perfectly matched ZEISS Sonnar T* 35mm f/2 Lens, it is easy to see how this can be a perfect choice for street photography. Sony tech inside makes things even better, with a 399-point phase-detect AF system that will accurately and quickly track your subjects as you wander about the city, and a pop-up 0.39" 2.36m-dot OLED EVF stays out of the way in your bag but is ready to go the second you need it. Image quality is great, and size is minimal. What’s not to love?

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R II Digital Camera

9. Leica M10-P with 35mm Lens

Ah, a Leica rangefinder. The original street photographer’s camera—now upgraded for the digital age. Leica has long been trusted for its quality. The rangefinder design and compact, durable, and reliable build make the M10-P one of the best and most desired cameras for street photography and photojournalism. This “P” model also eschews the normal Leica red dot in favor of a subtle, all-black or all-silver finish that attempts to draw less attention as photographers are out working. The 24MP full-frame CMOS sensor and beautiful 0.73x optical viewfinder are a dream to work with—just make sure you choose the right lens. Personally, I would go for the Summicron-M 35mm f/2 ASPH. Be sure to read Bjorn Petersen’s hands-on review of the M10-D if you want to know more about Leica’s latest offerings, though take note that this is the screenless model and perhaps even closer to the photojournalists’ cameras of old.

Leica M10-P Digital Rangefinder Camera

10. ZEISS ZX1

I know, I’m kind of cheating by including the still-not-yet-released ZEISS ZX1 on this list. However, the early marketing materials point to this perhaps being the king of EDC cameras. First, ZEISS is a trusted brand. That alone should make its first foray into the digital camera world enticing. Next, the specifications are top notch. A 37.4MP full-frame CMOS sensor and ZEISS Distagon T* 35mm f/2 lens? That should make Leica Q and Sony RX1 fans curious. It’ll even shoot 4K video. Perhaps, what makes it the best for EDC is its integration of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC. “Shoot. Edit. Share.” is the tagline for the ZX1 and that is because you can snap a photo through the outstanding 0.74x Full HD OLED viewfinder, check it out on the 4.34" touchscreen, where you have tons of editing controls backed by Adobe technology, and then connect to a network and share your images instantly to social media. Oh yeah, and it has a massive 512GB SSD built-in that can handle and organize your projects. This camera may eliminate a laptop or tablet from your EDC bag, and that advantage cannot be understated.

ZEISS ZX1 Digital Camera

Something here should pique your interest, especially if you are a street photographer. Those looking for an everyday carry camera will likely be equally as satisfied. Do you think we missed your favorite camera? Be sure to leave a comment below with your choice, or even talk about your EDC camera kit. And make sure to stop by B&H Explora for even more EDC tips and articles. To read more articles about everyday carry solutions, click here.

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