By .

The best Sony compact system cameras are the interchangeable lens camera with advanced controls embedded within a compact body. These cameras make use of CMOS sensors and can capture images of over 14 Megapixel resolution. The below listed top-rated cameras are the Alpha NEX product line of products which feature electronic viewfinders and are affordable at a price of at least $600.

Browse All Top Sony Compact System Camera »

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R 24MP Compact System


#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R
Sony Alpha NEX-3N
Sony NEX-5
Sony Alpha NEX-5N
Sony Alpha NEX-C3
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R 24MP Compact System
Sony Alpha NEX-3N Digital Camera
Sony NEX-5A Digital Camera
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Body Only Digital Camera
Sony Alpha NEX-C3 Digital Camera
[?]
ReviewGist
Score
[?]
ReviewGist
Score
[?]
ReviewGist
Score
[?]
ReviewGist
Score
[?]
ReviewGist
Score
Release Date
Jun 2013
Feb 2013
May 2010
Aug 2011
Jun 2011
Camera Type
Compact System Camera, Large sensor compact
Compact System Camera, Digital camera - Mirrorless system, Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Compact System Camera, Digital camera - Mirrorless system
Compact System Camera
Digital camera - Mirrorless system,Compact System Camera
Optical Zoom
1.0 x
3.0 x
1.5 x
3.1 x
3.0 x
Resolution
24.0 Megapixel
16.0 Megapixel
14.2 Megapixel
16.1 Megapixel
16.2 Megapixel
Image Sensor Type
CMOS
CMOS
CMOS
CMOS
CMOS
LCD Screen Size
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
Image Sensor Size
43.04 mm
28.2 mm
28.2 mm
28.2 mm
28.2 mm

  • Sony have truly blurred the lines between compact and DSLR in terms of the RX1R's features, performance and image quality. The RX1R is a truly pocketable camera that offers a full-frame DSLR experience, something that money can actually now buy.


  • For those that are looking for the highest image quality possible in a camera that is as compact as possible, then the Sony Cyber-shot RX1R certainly delivers impressive results, however the price is likely to put the general user off. For those trying to decide between the RX1R and original, then the RX1R would suit those looking for sharper images, and if landscapes or similar detailed shots are important to you then the RX1R would be a good choice.


  • Superb it may be, but whether the RX1R is worth it overall depends on the application to which you may wish to put it.


  • The Sony Alpha NEX-3N isn't as good a performer as its predecessor, but it does include a collapsible power zoom lens and it comes at a lower price.


  • If you've held off buying into a particular compact system camera, there's never been a better time to finally take the plunge. With the NEX-3N, Sony's put together a winning package, hitting the sweet spot in price and features. Although this camera isn't perfect (as we found with its video features), many first-time camera buyers will probably love it anyway. It's a DSLR-sized sensor in a small body with interchangeable lenses for just under $500, something that was a pipe dream even a few years ago.


  • The Sony NEX-3N is one of the cheapest compact system cameras on the market, but remarkably it's also one of the more accomplished, providing an intuitive upgrade path for compact camera owners, or simply being a small and light camera that delivers great results. There aren't too many bargains in the camera market, but the new Sony NEX-3N definitely qualifies as one of them.

  • Rating Unavailable

    Overall, we continue to be really impressed with the Sony NEX-5 and its lower-priced sibling, the NEX-3. Both offer higher image quality than any of their rivals, all in a package that's smaller than all of their large-sensor rivals. It is fun to carry and shoot, and gorgeous to behold with a bevy of features you're going to want to explore.


  • For a lot of people, the excellent high-sensitivity photo quality, competitive performance, and an ultracompact body will likely outweigh the Sony Alpha NEX-5's quirks and operational annoyances.

  • Rating Unavailable

    - Sony seems to have the slowest battery chargers on the planet, with this one taking 250 minutes to fully charge the NP-FW50.

  • Rating Unavailable

    Sony NEX-5N is unquestionably a more feasible take-anywhere camera than pretty-much any SLR camera, and its combination of image quality and feature set make it fairly easy for me to look past the occasional wrinkle here or there. More often than not, I found myself grabbing the NEX-5N from our well-stocked shelf when I left the office for a little photographic R&R. That, in my book, is the mark of a camera worth owning, and for that reason the Sony NEX-5N earns a clear Dave's Pick.


  • An especially good option for people who want a relatively inexpensive ILC for shooting video, the Sony Alpha NEX-5N's photo quality's about the same as its cheaper sibling's.


  • The Sony Alpha NEX-5N delivers a lot of performance from its compact body, packing a sensor as large as those found in most digital SLRs and recording video in full 1080p HD. But it doesn't quite edge out its little brother, the NEX-C3, our Editors' Choice.

  • Rating Unavailable

    Overall, the Sony NEX-C3 is a great consumer compact system camera that we think will serve a broad base of users. Image quality is very good among compact system cameras, with remarkable ISO performance from 200 to 1,600, producing images that look good printed at 20x30 inches. We did have some problems with the kit lens, with soft corners and noticeable chromatic aberration, and image quality was not quite as good as the images from the NEX-5N, despite the matching 16-megapixel resolution.


  • A lot of people will like the Sony Alpha NEX-C3 for its excellent photo quality and a now more usable design, but it can get unexpectedly heavy with the zoom E-mount lenses and it's still a bit more expensive than many point-and-shoot upgraders will like.


  • The Sony Alpha NEX-C3 builds on the already-excellent NEX-3, but manages to be lighter and more compact. Not only does the NEX-C3 produce stunning images, even at high ISO settings, it easily earns our Editors' Choice for compact interchangeable lens cameras.