Fixed lens cameras have come a very long way in a short amount of time. These days, you can get your hands on small cameras that house full-frame sensors, IBIS and more. The best part is that these cameras make capturing candid street portraits and street photography, in general, easy and fun.
All of the fixed lens cameras we have listed in this roundup are exceptional. They are all fantastic when it comes to their ergonomics and how they look. Trust us when we say you’ll be able to capture the streets in style. These cameras just inspire you to go out and create every day, which is exactly what you need in cameras like these. So, without further ado, let’s take a quick look at five of our favorite fixed lens cameras for candid street photography and more.
Leica Q2 — The quintessential fixed lens camera for street photography
The Leica Q2 is one of the finest fixed lens cameras on the market. Expertly engineered and crafted by the masters in Wetzlar, Germany, this fixed lens camera features a 47.2-megapixel full-frame sensor and a drop-dead gorgeous design. The 3.67 million dot EVF allows you to view and capture the world in style, while the 3-inch 1.04m-dot touch screen will let you drool over the street candids you’ve captured.
A big part of what makes the Leica Q2 so good is the Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH lens. This lens is razor-sharp. It renders beautiful colors, the bokeh is creamy and smooth, and it just adds that classic ‘Leica Look’ to your images. Other mod-cons include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, IP52-rated weather sealing and a UHS-II SD card slot. The Leica Q2 is meticulously crafted and it will inspire you to create images every time you pick it up.
Ricoh GR IIIx — A compact camera that’s big on features
The Ricoh GR IIIx is the latest fixed lens compact camera from Ricoh. Following on from the success of the Ricoh GR III (featured below), the GR IIIx introduced a new 40mm equivalent lens that many street photographers had been crying out for. In our review, we said:
“The Ricoh GR IIIx is a fantastic camera. It’s small, lightweight, can slip into a pocket easily, it’s easy to use, and the sensor and new lens will help you create gorgeous images.”Brett Day, Gear Editor
The GR IIIx is all that and more. The 24-megapixel sensor is tried and true. The image processor churns out incredible JPEG images (especially black and white images). Despite it being small, this compact camera is ergonomically sound, even for those with large hands (like me), and Snap Focus is included too. If you don’t want to use Snap Focus, you can rely on the improved autofocus performance. The GR IIIx belongs on the streets and it makes capturing the world around a breeze every time you use it.
Fujifilm X100V — An uncomplicated Rangefinder-style gem of a camera
The Fujifilm X100V is a compact camera that makes street photography and capturing candids 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 X100V is just a gorgeous Rangefinder-style camera that won’t let you down. In our full review, we said:
“The camera is for anyone who wants to make photography a daily part of their life and take their camera around with them as often as possible. It’s for anyone who likes to photograph in a simple, relaxed and less complicated way.”James Maher
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. It’s the perfect camera for those who love to shoot JPEGs.
Ricoh GR III — The street king of fixed lens compact cameras
After finally getting a Ricoh GR III in for review, I quickly fell in love with this small, fixed lens camera. It’s brilliant. This compact camera features a fantastic 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, IBIS, a built-in ND filter and a fast 28mm equivalent f/2.8 lens. Here’s what I said about it in my full review:
“The Ricoh GR III is a solid compact camera for street photographers and those who like photo walking with minimal gear. The Snap Focus feature alone makes this camera brilliant. Add in its small size, IBIS and other features, and you have a very capable camera.”Brett Day, Gear Editor
The Ricoh GR III doesn’t have a viewfinder. However, it does have a 3-inch touchscreen, which is more than enough for a pocketable camera like this one. You’ll also find a fantastic 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 to use because of this feature. The Ricoh GR III is so small that you won’t draw any attention to yourself while you capture street candids. It’s a winner.
Sony RX1R II — Full-frame goodness in a tiny camera
The Sony RX1R II is an incredibly small, yet ridiculously powerful fixed lens camera. While not pocketable due to the lens, this still small in size camera houses a huge 42-megapixel full-frame sensor! The sensor is married to a Carl Zeiss 35mm f/2 Sonnar lens which is beyond sharp and amazing in just about every way.
So what else does this box of tricks offer? 399 phase-detect autofocus points give you the same autofocus performance as the Sony a7R III. A 2.36 million dot EVF lets you see the world around you, while the tilting 3-inch screen lets you shoot from the hip easily. Native ISO goes up to 102,400. You can also capture 14-bit RAW files that are packed with intricate detail. In the world of fixed lens cameras, the Sony RX1R isn’t cheap. However, it’s certainly one of the best.