If you’re looking for a pocketable camera, then there are a range of great choices available on the second-hand market. We predict these second-hand classic compact cameras to become future classics.

Joshua Waller explains why these compact cameras should be considered, and why they’re likely to be the retro classics of choice. They are far more advanced than basic point-and-shoot cameras, but can of course be used in fully automatic modes if required.

A new point and shoot camera will cost £1000 / $1000. To find a cheap compact digital model, you need to turn to the used camera market. This guide points to options across the price range. For even cheaper, older alternatives, then read our guide to the best vintage digital cameras.

Here we look through some of our favourite compact digital cameras; potential future classic compacts, that you should be looking at if you’re in the market for a great second-hand compact camera.

We’ve selected used models that have manual controls, as well as raw shooting support, and additional advanced features that make them great to use – and to their full potential. Some of these offer classic styling, as well as external controls, making them much more pleasant to use than your standard compact digital camera.

You’ll also find that buying from an established US or UK retailer means you can often get a warranty to go with the used digital camera, whereas buying from other second-hand marketplaces such as eBay, Facebook or Craigslist, it’s unlikely you’ll get any warranty. Some of these models, despite their age, may also be available new, giving you the chance to buy one in mint condition.

Here are our choices for best second-hand classic compact cameras:

  • Fujifilm X100T
  • Ricoh GR II
  • Panasonic Lumix LX100
  • Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III
  • Panasonic Lumix TZ100
  • Panasonic Lumix LX15
  • Canon Powershot G7X II
  • Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
  • Canon Powershot S110
  • Olympus XZ-2
  • Panasonic Lumix TZ70
  • Olympus TOUGH TG-6

We also highlight our favourite branded compact cameras from the likes of Fujifilm, Ricoh, Panasonic, Sony, Olympus and Canon.

Large sensor compact cameras – APS-C

Fujifilm X100T, $1000, £690-820* used

Fujifilm X100T Silver

At a glance

  • 16MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS sensor
  • 35mm equivalent, f/2 lens
  • Hybrid OVF/EVF viewfinder
  • 3inch LCD screen
  • Wi-Fi

The Fujifilm X100 introduced in 2012 brought with it several things that people instantly loved, including the classic camera look of film cameras, a large optical viewfinder (with impressive hybrid EVF mode), manual controls and metal dials, as well as a large APS-C sensor, making it possible of giving DSLR quality whilst also fitting into a jacket pocket.

The first model is the 12MP X100 (2012), which was followed by the 16MP X100S (2013), and X100T (2014). Depending on what you can find, we’d recommend looking for the X100T. *Though the price has recently risen due to a recent surge in popularity on TikTok, we can see why as the analogue control dials make it a real joy to use, with impressive image quality on offer.

This is a great choice for those who have been unable to find the Fujifilm X100V after it went viral on TikTok.

Read our Fujifilm X100T review.

Ricoh GR II, $500-640, £539 used

Ricoh GR II

At a glance

  • 16MP APS-C sensor
  • 28mm equivalent f/2.8 lens
  • Viewfinder optional
  • 3inch screen
  • Wi-Fi and NFC

The Ricoh GR series is a range of compact cameras designed to hark back to the classic Ricoh GR 35mm film cameras, that were known for their compact size, and snapshot features, making them a great street and travel camera. Now the original Ricoh GR1 (and other) film camera costs the same as the digital version!

With the Ricoh GR, Ricoh introduced an APS-C sized sensor, in an impressively compact camera body, the 2nd version, the Ricoh GR II introduced in 2015, is available for around £539 second-hand.

The lens on the camera gives a 28mm equivalent, and has an f/2.8 aperture, and this delivers sharp, detailed images. With a wide-angle view and snap focus options, the camera makes a great choice for street photography, and the compact size means you can take it everywhere you go. With manual controls, raw support, and customisable, this makes a great compact for the advanced photographer.  

Make sure you don’t confuse the Ricoh GR II (with APS-C sensor) with the earlier “Ricoh GR Digital” series, which has smaller digital camera sensors, unless you want to go for that true vintage digital camera look.

Large sensor compact cameras – Micro Four Thirds

Panasonic Lumix LX100, $250-300, £259-349 used

Panasonic Lumix LX100

At a glance

  • 12.8MP Four Thirds sensor
  • 24-75mm equivalent, f1.7-2.8 lens, OIS
  • 2.7M-dot electronic viewfinder
  • 3inch screen
  • 4K video

The Panasonic Lumix LX100 offers a fast zoom lens, and Four Thirds sensor, along with optical image stabilisation. What makes this camera stand out from many of the other compact cameras, is the level of external, manual control available, thanks to the inclusion of numerous switches and dials. You’ll find you can adjust the aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation, aspect ratio and AF option without even switching the camera on.

The lens on the camera offers a 24-75mm equivalent, and with an f1.7-2.8 aperture gives this camera a brighter lens than most other large sensor cameras, and considering it has a zoom lens, this is all the more impressive. Even though the camera is now getting on in years, it still offers built-in Wi-Fi, and can record 4K video.

For those who want a little bit more class, look out for the Leica version, the Leica D-Lux (Typ 109), although be prepared to pay more for this luxury version.

Read our Panasonic Lumix LX100 review

Large sensor compact cameras – 1 inch sensor

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III, $250-300, £254-384 used

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III – available second-hand and new

At a glance

  • 20MP 1inch BSI CMOS sensor
  • 24-70mm equivalent, f/1.8-2.8 lens
  • 1.44M-dot Pop-up EVF
  • 3inch tilting screen
  • Wi-Fi and NFC

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 series introduced a new compact digital camera, with a larger than normal 1inch 20MP sensor, and a bright zoom lens. In true Sony style, the technology packed into each camera has been impressive, and with no noticeable size increase, Sony were able to put a pop-up electronic viewfinder in the RX100 III model.

In terms of value for money this is a real bargain. Expect to pay another £100 for each newer version, so the Mark IV is around £350+, V around £435+, all with the same 24-70mm equivalent lens. However, if you like easy to access external controls, then some may find the small buttons and controls on the RX100 series cameras quite small.

Read our Sony Cybers-shot RX100 III review

Panasonic Lumix TZ100, ZS100, $200-230, £289-324 used

Best Second-hand Classic Compact Cameras: Panasonic Lumix TZ100

At a glance

  • 20MP 1inch CMOS sensor
  • 25-250mm equivalent, f/2.8-5.9 lens
  • 1.1M-dot electronic viewfinder
  • 3inch touchscreen
  • 4K video

The Panasonic Lumix TZ100 / Panasonic Lumix ZS100 features a 10x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 25-250mm, giving a useful wide-angle to telephoto range, with an aperture range from f2.8-5.9. It’s also known as the TZ100 in some markets.

The TZ100 offers a hybrid optical / electronic 5-axis image stabilisation to help with longer shots or for when you’re shooting in low-light. You’ll find manual controls, as well as raw shooting available on the TZ100, and the Q.Menu button gives you quick access to settings.

It uses a 1inch sensor, and offers 4K video recording. With a relatively compact camera body, and a weight of 312g with battery and memory card it is easy to take with you wherever you go.

Read our Panasonic Lumix TZ100 (ZS100) review

Panasonic Lumix LX10 / LX15, $300-400, £334 used

Panasonic Lumix LX15 / LX10

At a glance

  • 20MP 1inch sensor
  • 24-72mm equivalent, f/1.4-2.8 lens
  • 3inch tilting touchscreen
  • 4K video
  • Wi-Fi

The Panasonic Lumix LX10 / Panasonic Lumix LX15 is a compact camera with a 20MP 1inch sensor, and features a brighter than normal 24-72mm equivalent, f/1.4 – 2.8 lens. It offers good macro performance, letting you focus on subjects just 3cm away. Known as the LX10 or LX15 depending where you are, this digital camera is worth seeking out.

If you’re looking for both compact, and a bright zoom lens, then the LX10 / LX15 is a good choice, thanks to 5-axis image stabilisation, 4K video recording and a 3inch tilting touch-screen. The screen can be tilted forwards for selfies and vlogging, and the camera has built-in Wi-Fi, a true modern classic.

Read our Panasonic Lumix LX15 review

Canon Powershot G7X II, $700, £620 used

Canon Powershot G7X II

At a glance

  • 20MP 1inch sensor
  • 4.2x optical zoom, 24-100mm equivalent, f1.8-2.8
  • 3inch tilting touchscreen
  • FullHD video
  • Wi-Fi

The reason you might want this over another compact digital camera, is that it remains compact, but offers additional reach compared to most, with a 4.2x optical zoom lens, that offers a 24-100mm equivalent zoom range, and an f1.8-2.8 aperture, whilst using a 1inch sensor.

You also benefit from Canon’s excellent colour reproduction, with great JPEGs straight from the camera. With logical controls and menus, along with a responsive touchscreen, this is a great point and shoot camera, with manual controls, and raw support. If you’re already used to shooting with Canon cameras, then this makes a great pocketable option or back-up camera.

However, for those that want to record 4K video, this is not a great choice, as video is limited to FullHD video only. The screen can be tilted forwards, for selfies or for vlogging.

Read our Canon Powershot G7X II review

Second-hand Bridge – Ultra-zoom Camera

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000, $380- $500, £310- £400 used

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000

At a glance

  • 20MP 1inch CMOS sensor
  • 16x optical zoom lens
  • 2.36M-dot OLED EVF
  • 3inch tilting-screen
  • 4K video recording

If you want big optical zoom and a large sensor, then this is where you need to be looking, thanks to the 16x optical zoom lens, giving a 25 to 400mm equivalent. Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) helps keep shots steady, and the camera can shoot at a rapid 12fps in continuous shooting mode, which still remains relatively impressive, even today.

There’s 4K video recording, a built-in high-resolution electronic viewfinder (often simply called an EVF), and this makes the camera easier to use in sunny conditions.

The digital camera has an ergonomic design, with DSLR-like styling, which helps make it more stable when using the camera and its long telephoto reach.

Read our Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 review

Pocket Compact Cameras

Canon Powershot S110, $245, £132 used

Canon Powershot S110 in Black

At a glance

  • 12MP BSI CMOS sensor, 1/1.7inch
  • 5x optical zoom lens, f/2.0-5.9, 24-120mm equivalent, OIS
  • 3inch screen
  • 3cm macro mode
  • Wi-Fi

For those looking for something compact and pocketable, the Canon Powershot S110 is one of the most compact cameras available with full manual controls and raw shooting. It also features built-in Wi-Fi to make it easier to transfer images to a smartphone or tablet.

There’s a 5x optical zoom lens, which gives an impressive range of 24-120mm equivalent, and this includes an f/2.0 aperture at the wide end, as well as built-in Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). This was the penultimate Canon Powershot S series camera, followed only by the S120. There’s a lens control ring to help make changing settings more easy, and with a small camera body, it’s worth using a wrist strap.

Make sure you buy from a dealer with a warranty, as reports online suggest that the lens can jam if not looked after, especially as this is one of the older digital cameras on this list. However, something to keep in mind is that the S110 can prove hard to find, so another option is the older model, the S100, or the newer model, the S120 – although be aware that prices may vary!

Olympus XZ-2, $150, £120+ used

Olympus XZ-2

At a glance

  • 12MP BSI CMOS sensor, 1/1.7inch
  • 4x optical zoom, 28-112mm equivalent, f1.8-2.5, OIS
  • 3inch tilting touch-screen
  • Optional electronic viewfinder
  • 1cm super macro mode

Harder to find is the Olympus XZ-2, probably one of the rarest digital cameras on this list. However, it can still be found on eBay for as low as £120 / $150.

The camera has a nice f/1.8-2.5 4x optical zoom lens, and gives images with Olympus’ pleasing colours, as well as impressive macro performance. You get a built-in pop-up flash, and flash hot-shoe should you need it. There’s a 3inch tilting touch-screen, and a 12MP BSI CMOS sensor.

It’s been called an “underrated gem” by owners of the camera, and offers good handling for a compact camera, with a detachable grip. However, the lack of built-in Wi-Fi could be a deal-breaker for some.

It could also be difficult to find, as it is also one of the older digital cameras on the list, and another option is the even older Olympus XZ-1.

Read our Olympus XZ-2 review

Compact cameras – Travel Zoom

Panasonic Lumix TZ70 / ZS50 – Travel Zoom, $150, £120+ used

Panasonic Lumix TZ70 / ZS50, silver/black version

At a glance

  • 12MP BSI CMOS sensor, size
  • 30x optical zoom lens, 24-720mm equivalent
  • 1.1M-dot EVF
  • 3inch screen
  • Wi-Fi

12-megapixels for a compact camera was considered a bit of a “sweet spot” as it offered reasonable noise performance for the time, and the TZ70 / ZS50 is a prime example.

The Panasonic Lumix TZ70 / ZS50 digital camera offers an impressive 30x optical zoom lens, giving you a 24-720mm equivalent zoom range! Even with this zoom range, you can still fit it in a pocket, making this a great camera to take with you on walks, without having to worry about it.

This is also a bargain of a camera, as you can buy them new for around £219 in the UK, this means second-hand prices have to be low to compete. You can pick up the camera for around $130 / £100, but they tend to sell quite quickly. You’ll also find versions available in all black or silver and black.

Read our Panasonic Lumix TZ70 / ZS50 review

Compact cameras – Waterproof

Olympus TOUGH TG-6, $260-350, £359 used

Olympus Tough TG-6 (Red) Lego for scale. Photo Joshua Waller

At a glance

  • 12MP BSI CMOS sensor
  • 25-100mm equivalent lens, f/2.0-4.9
  • 3inch screen
  • 15m waterproof
  • Wi-Fi, GPS

It’s likely that you might struggle to find one of these on retailers used lists, and may need to look to eBay to find this used digital camera, but it’s worth seeking out an Olympus Tough TG-6 (or TG-5) if you want one of the best waterproof tough compact cameras released. The TG-6 is waterproof to 15m, shockproof against drops, crushproof, and freezeproof. It would also make a great choice if you want a camera for adventures, or adventurous kids.

You’ll also find a range of advanced shooting modes, including Pro-capture, high-speed shooting, 4K video, an impressive 1cm macro mode, plus built-in focus stacking.

We did find a Olympus Tough TG-6 for £399 new from Cambrian Photo, although it’s fair to assume it will sell out fast, as only the red version has sold out and only the black version is in stock.

Read our Olympus Tough TG-6 review

Retailers to have a look at to find these cameras:

You’ll find even more bargains in our buying guides, or in our second-hand section.

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