Cameras, including those of the APS-C variety, used to be large, bulky affairs that honestly weren’t much smaller than their full-frame brothers; however, times have changed, and you can now get small APS-C cameras that can go anywhere and that don’t force you to make compromises when it comes to technology and image quality.
The small APS-C cameras we’ve listed in this roundup are fantastic. They all look stunning, and they feel great in hand. Of course, these go-anywhere cameras leave nothing on the table regarding the latest tech, either. Whether you’re heading out to work, to the park, downtown, into the wilderness, to a meeting, or wherever, these cameras can tag along without becoming a burden.
The tiny powerhouses listed below feature incredible sensors, the latest and greatest autofocus systems, good LCDs and EVFs, and some even pack IBIS into their tiny shells. Pick up one of these small APS-C cameras, and you have no excuses not to capture new images daily. So, let’s look at five small APS-C cameras that would love to be your everyday carry camera.
Fujifilm X100V — One of the most charming small APS-C cameras around
The X100 series Fujifilm offers some of the best small APS-C cameras that have ever seen the light of day. The X100V placed another feather in Fujifilm’s cap. These compact cameras make documentary photography, everyday photography, and street photography fun and easy. The X100V features the same excellent 26.1-megapixel sensor that’s found in the X-Pro 3 and X-T4. This iteration of the camera also has new optics in its fixed 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/2 lens.
The autofocus system is solid and reliable. The Fujifilm X100V is also fully weather-sealed when used with an optional adapter ring and a 49mm screw-in UV lens filter. On top of this, you’ll also have access to gorgeous Fujifilm film simulations like Provia, Acros, Classic Chrome and more. The Fujifilm X100V is a beautiful Rangefinder-style camera that won’t disappoint you. Check out our full review.
Ricoh GR IIIx — A tiny camera with a big heart
The Ricoh GR IIIx is the latest fixed lens compact camera from Ricoh. Following the success of the Ricoh GR III, the GR IIIx introduced a 40mm equivalent lens that many GR fans had been craving, and believe us when we say the lens is a cracker! The lens is ultra-sharp, produces nice bokeh and renders gorgeous images overall.
The 24-megapixel sensor used in the GR IIIx is tried and true, and the image processor churns out sublime JPEGs. Despite its size, this small APS-C camera is ergonomically sound, even for those with large hands. Oh, and we cannot forget about Snap Focus! What a delight it is to use. However, If you don’t want to use Snap Focus, you can rely on the improved autofocus performance. The Ricoh GR IIIx easily slips into your pocket, so you can easily take it everywhere. Want to find out more? Read our review here.
Nikon Z fc — Vintage charm, small size, big sensor
The Nikon Z fc is one of the most stylish small APS-C cameras to date. Packed inside this vintage-style camera is a 20.9-megapixel sensor capable of producing incredibly gorgeous images. The Z fc’s party trick is that it can capture incredibly clean images at high ISOs. For example, I have captured incredibly clean images at ISO 12,800. You can even push this marvelous sensor harder and still get great results. See image samples in our full review.
Nikon Z fc has a fantastic fully-articulating touchscreen LCD and a responsive electronic viewfinder. The autofocus system is excellent for everything from street photography to portraits, and the camera can charge via USB-C. Pair this small APS-C camera with a lens like the NIKKOR Z 28mm f/2.8 (see our review here), and it will be a faithful companion no matter where you go.
Ricoh GR III — An APS-C pocket powerhouse
We, like many others, quickly fell in love with the Ricoh GR III after one landed on our doorstep for review. This small APS-C camera has a fantastic 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, IBIS, a built-in ND filter and a fast 28mm equivalent f/2.8 lens. It just begs to be used every day, and thanks to its size, you can easily slip it into a pocket and take it everywhere.
The Ricoh GR III doesn’t have a viewfinder. However, it does have a functional 3-inch touchscreen, which is more than enough for a pocketable camera like this one. You’ll also find a great autofocus system with a brilliant snap focus feature. Snap Focus allows you to shoot at one of six pre-defined focusing distances quickly and easily. The GR III is easily one of the most fun cameras you can buy because of this feature. Set your focal distance, point, shoot and profit. It makes capturing images that easy. Read about why we fell in love with it in our full review.
The Sony a6400 is a small APS-C camera that any new photographer or videographer can quickly fall in love with. This small rangefinder-style camera is easy to use, offers exceptional image quality, and will give you access to arguably the best lineup of mirrorless lenses on the market.
The 24-megapixel APS-C sensor in the Sony a6400 performs excellently and offers plenty of dynamic range. The a6400 also has one of the fastest autofocusing systems around (it can acquire focus in 0.02 seconds). The a6400 boasts 425 autofocus points; it can track objects in real-time and fire off 11 frames per second. It’s topped off with tons of 4K video modes and a mic jack. So as you can see, this small APS-C camera will suit many creators down to the ground, and the best part is that when paired with a small lens, it can go just about anywhere.