The best "compact" in the world

Choosing a camera used to be simple: you either went for the tiny, fits-in-your-pocket, take-it-everywhere-with-you variety — and put up with the iffy picture quality — or you  opted for a super-expensive (and very heavy) SLR whose pin-sharp results more than compensate for the frequent visits to the osteopath. Now we have the "super compact" - a model that packs high spec performance into a tiny footprint. In this group the Leica X1 reigns supreme.

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Its USP is that all the usual features you'd expect from a compact (zoom lens, video mode, pointless special effects) have been stripped out, leaving room for an over-sized image sensor capable of improbably brilliant images.

Complementing this veritable light magnet is a fixed 35mm-equivalent lens (long favoured by war reporters), a broad ISO range, and the ability to add an external viewfinder — so that you're not left holding the camera at arm's length every time you take a photo. If you want a small camera that takes huge pictures, this one's definitely got the X factor. £1,395

LEICA X1 3qtr