This was the year that the Compact System Camera became mainstream. Compact System Cameras, also called mirrorless, are cameras with the high-quality build, big sensor and interchangeable lenses found on a DSLR but without the mirrors that give that category its name and save size and weight into the bargain.

The standout is the brand-new Sony Alpha A7 with a sensor the size of a 35mm frame and a 24MP resolution. At £1299 for the body it’s not cheap, but it’s pretty amazing.

Sony Alpha A7

Advanced compacts also had a good year, including the 12MP Fujifilm X20 with its beautiful retro styling, powerful features and simple interface. It’s a real joy to use and delivers results effortlessly. Sony’s small HX50 is also impressive, squeezing a 30x zoom in and featuring a 20MP sensor.

Sony's HX50


If you really want a proper DSLR, Canon’s EOS 100D is the smallest and lightest around. It has an 18MP sensor and is very simple to use – a great step up from compact to advanced camera.

Canon EOS 100D


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