Best small and image quality travel camera

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Tom
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Hi,

Having a tough time upgrading my camera, my needs seem to be quite niche.

I currently have a Panosonic Lumix GM1. It's perfect, small and concise. However, I feel like the shots could do with a better quality image.

As such, my only need to upgrade is chasing that pin sharp image.

I appreciate I will have to get a slightly larger camera (and sensor) to get that.

The problem is, every review looks into video too and is very vlog centric. To be honest, I won't touch the video function so that doesn't really apply.

The dream would be a Leica Q2, but funds don't allow, so looking at ~£1k budget and it needs to be small form and produce top quality photos.

Currently looking at:

Canon EOS M6 MK2
Sony A7-C (definitely too expensive and maybe too big)
Sony A6600 (is it better than the Canon for image quality though? 24mb vs 32mb)

Any others?

Thanks
 
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21,942
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Les
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Maybe consider the lenses too- a quality lens is a priory for me, for getting pin sharp image quality

I would recommend a Sony a7Riv ( 61 mp) or a7Riii( 42mp) with a Sigma 24mm f1.4 ART lens if your budget allows ( I use these and what a terrific combo) :sony:


Les :)
 
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Chris
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Depends if you want/need a zoom lens
If no then look at a Fuji rangefinder or XE2/3 with a pancake (27mm) lens
If yes then look at a fuji XE-2/3with a Zoom ( 18-55)/(18-135)
 
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Ian
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With your budget i would seriously take a look at the Fuji X100v or the slightly older X100F, fixed 35mm f2 lens with outstanding image quality in a small travel friendly form.
The A6600 is a great camera but with a lense will be way out of budget.
Also look at a Fuji X-T30 with the XF18-55mm lens.
What lens/lenses were you using on the GM1 ?
 
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Raymond
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You just got to ignore the video review part of the review as all cameras have video functions now. Don't think "I am not paying for this extra feature that I will never use". Rather look at the features that you use and get the best one for what you need, if it has some award winning video feature, doesn't matter.
 
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Simon
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If you like the idea of a Q2 then what about the Fuji X100 range (F?) - I have used this at times to take away with me, leaving the DSLR at home. Great IQ and may just fit into a big jeans pocket but certainly a coat pocket or a little belt case.
 
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Richard
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As above. A used X100F can be had for about £700. X100Vs are c£1300 new, so a bit above your budget. No zoom, but learning to live a 35mm focal length equivalent is really liberating. The quality of images continue to amaze me (after 6 years with the X100 series). Perfect travel camera.
 
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Bazza
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I wanted a small compact camera as well,so bought the Panasonic DC-TZ95 ( £365). it has everything on it like 4k , the pano is amazing- flip screen -video bluetooth etc etc. Takes a time to go through all the settings but can save your fav,3 settings to make things easier. I did download the manual and kept it on the computer so it is easier to read and go through. won't replace my DSLR's but handy to keep in the pocket. still getting used to it but happy with it so far

used cup for size comparison
_DSC4485.jpg

if looking for a DSLR then the Nikon D810 is well worth considering. Recently married up to a tamron 24-70mm G2 lens among others and picture quality is excellent
 
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1,579
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Andy
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I always liked the look of the Sony RX100 series for travel, I just don't that much travelling at the moment (who does?:thinking: ) There's a wealth of different models with varying specs and prices to suit most budgets and considerations :)

Edit:
However, i've just noticed you're already using a larger sensor than the RX100 so it probably isn't suitable for you if you're wanting to go bigger! :LOL:
 
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26,366
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Alan
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Hi,

Having a tough time upgrading my camera, my needs seem to be quite niche.

I currently have a Panosonic Lumix GM1. It's perfect, small and concise. However, I feel like the shots could do with a better quality image.

As such, my only need to upgrade is chasing that pin sharp image.

I appreciate I will have to get a slightly larger camera (and sensor) to get that.

The problem is, every review looks into video too and is very vlog centric. To be honest, I won't touch the video function so that doesn't really apply.

The dream would be a Leica Q2, but funds don't allow, so looking at ~£1k budget and it needs to be small form and produce top quality photos.

Currently looking at:

Canon EOS M6 MK2
Sony A7-C (definitely too expensive and maybe too big)
Sony A6600 (is it better than the Canon for image quality though? 24mb vs 32mb)

Any others?

Thanks
Do you mean the new A7c? If you think the A7c is too big good luck finding a quality smaller camera at a fraction of the cost of a Q2... but even so out of your £1k budget. There are small Sony lenses, for example the last few times I've been abroad I've had a Sony 35mm f2.8 on my A7 which makes for a compact and light combination.

You don't say what focal length or range interests you so I'll just recommend an original A7 with 35mm f2.8 or the 28mm f2 if you prefer. It'll be a significant step up in image quality from MFT kit.

Oh, and I'd forget 1" sensor cameras if you want a bump up in image quality from MFT.


Good luck choosing.
 

Fuji Dave

Teacher's Pet, of Borg
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16,739
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PRINCESS
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If you can't push to get the Fuji X100V then go for the F as both are great little cameras and IQ is bang on, or the Sony A7C.
 
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Rich
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If you already have m4/3 lenses how about one of the newer 20mp cameras.
Such as Olympus E-M5 iii, E-M10 iv or Panasonic GX9
 
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Jon
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As above. A used X100F can be had for about £700. X100Vs are c£1300 new, so a bit above your budget. No zoom, but learning to live a 35mm focal length equivalent is really liberating. The quality of images continue to amaze me (after 6 years with the X100 series). Perfect travel camera.
I have to agree with you there. I have the fixed focal length Fuji XF10. It is great not having to think about what lens to stick on the camera, or how much to zoom in or out Simply get up close and take the photo. I am certainly getting more photos that I do like.
 
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Simon
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I have to agree with you there. I have the fixed focal length Fuji XF10. It is great not having to think about what lens to stick on the camera, or how much to zoom in or out Simply get up close and take the photo. I am certainly getting more photos that I do like.
I agree 100% - it sounds weird but having a 35mm seems to make shooting easier than worrying about what lens to put on and what lens to take with you. Very liberating. You can still zoom in when editing if needed.
 
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Andrew
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Tiny sensor. OP already finds 4/3 not good enough
The GM1 has an AA filter and is a bit softer than the newer 16Mp and 20Mp MFT cameras. It also suffers from a bit of shutter shock.

A newer Panasonic or Olympus body would probably be a noticeable step up. And if the OP has some MFT lenses then these will carry over.

If size is important and a fixed lens isn't an issue then the Fuji XF10 or Ricoh GRiii are one route. Neither have an EVF but both offer APS-C. X100 family is a bit bigger but offers an EVF (and OVF). These cover quite a spectrum in price.

Problem with APS-C mirrorless is that is a step up in size over MFT in terms of lens. The X-T30 has been mentioned - with the 18-55. The combination is quite a leap in size and weight over a GM1 with a small lens. Fuji also offer the XE family - the XE4 has just been launched - and there's a 27mm pancake lens. Add anything but the lightest lens to the other APS-C options and they will also be quite a bit larger.

So what are the main parameters for the OP - focal length, EVF, and what is an acceptable size?
 
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Alan
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The GM1 has an AA filter and is a bit softer than the newer 16Mp and 20Mp MFT cameras. It also suffers from a bit of shutter shock.

A newer Panasonic or Olympus body would probably be a noticeable step up. And if the OP has some MFT lenses then these will carry over.
Not significantly so IMO other than at higher ISO's. I've been with MFT since the GF1 and currently own both 16 and 20mp cameras and although the newer ones are ahead of the earlier cameras as the ISO's rises they're behind my first generation FF Sony A7 for image quality if I go looking for the differences.

Actually I always thought the image quality I got from my G1 and GF1 was excellent at ISO 100-400 but even then the differences to FF will be there when you pixel peep which may not be an issue for some but for others who succumb to gas and pixel peep it could well be an issue.
 
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Alan
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https://flic.kr/p/2kA9QjX just taken with the panasonic DC-TZ95 in pana mode of our back garden. Click on photo to see large size
View: https://flic.kr/p/2kA9QjX
Nice. But keep in mind that the TZ95 is a tiny sensor compact and the image quality wont match a 1" camera never mind a recent MFT camera.

A holiday snap pano. First generation A7, 35mm f2.8, handheld at f2.8, 1/80 and ISO 12,800.



100% crop from that. This will probably suffer from the posting process so will possibly not look as good here as on my screen. In the original picture you can see someone at that 321 rooftop swimming pool.



To get significantly better than MFT, IMO, maybe a really top end APS-C camera or a FF camera will be needed. Almost anything is good enough in good light for normal whole picture viewing but if the OP wants to look closer than normal whole picture viewing and wants better IQ 1/23 or 1" cameras with long zoom lenses are probably not going to cut it. All in my HO.
 
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Early next month the Fuji X-E4 with 27mm 2.8 WR will be released for under £1K i think.

There is no AA filter on the sensors and that lens is quite a sharp little thing, its light and small and looks like a little rangefinder.
 
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Jon
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The GM1 has an AA filter and is a bit softer than the newer 16Mp and 20Mp MFT cameras. It also suffers from a bit of shutter shock.

A newer Panasonic or Olympus body would probably be a noticeable step up. And if the OP has some MFT lenses then these will carry over.

If size is important and a fixed lens isn't an issue then the Fuji XF10 or Ricoh GRiii are one route. Neither have an EVF but both offer APS-C. X100 family is a bit bigger but offers an EVF (and OVF). These cover quite a spectrum in price.

Problem with APS-C mirrorless is that is a step up in size over MFT in terms of lens. The X-T30 has been mentioned - with the 18-55. The combination is quite a leap in size and weight over a GM1 with a small lens. Fuji also offer the XE family - the XE4 has just been launched - and there's a 27mm pancake lens. Add anything but the lightest lens to the other APS-C options and they will also be quite a bit larger.

So what are the main parameters for the OP - focal length, EVF, and what is an acceptable size?

IMG_5666.JPG

Me out with the dinky little XF10 this morning. It is so small and inoffensive, you can whip it out take the photo, and stick it back in a small pocket unnoticed.
 
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Bazza
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MFT cameras also cost 3x the amount of the TZ95 and larger as well. I just wanted a slip in pocket out of sight camera when not in use. Type of thing was in Egypt when I only took out my small camcorder as the DSLR would have been a target to be grabbed. DSC_6419.jpg


go in somewhere like this with a DSLR and leave with just a camera strap over your shoulder. A fellow passanger had £300 snatched from his pocket on this visit
 
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Image quality is always less important to me than getting the picture which tells the story. That's why I like small, unobtrusive cameras with wide range zooms...

Wood and tile gable in Clyst St Mary TZ70 P1030408.JPG

Seefeld Politzei teaching cycling road safety P9150038.JPG

Austrian police officer in the Zillertal S10 NIK_1082.jpg

Hummingbird Hawk Moth Mayrhofen S10 NIK_1021.JPG

Sony HX90 8GB 09 DSC00413.JPG

Sony HX90 8GB 09 00273.JPG
 
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8,538
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Jon
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DSC_4781.JPG









DSC_4782.JPG



I can hold both the Canon G7X and the Fuji XF10 in one hand, as they are both dinky little things.
 
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Andrew
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MFT cameras also cost 3x the amount of the TZ95 and larger as well. I just wanted a slip in pocket out of sight camera when not in use. Type of thing was in Egypt when I only took out my small camcorder as the DSLR would have been a target to be grabbed.
I think the situation with the likes of the TZ95 is that you get a camera with a long zoom lens range, smaller sensor, EVF, and an inbuilt cover on the collapsing lens that make it very flexible and pocketable. Play to its strengths and you get good results.

It's quite possible to get MFT kit at not much more than a TZ95 depending on the lens. Oly EM10ii and EM10iii are still available with kit zooms. Bit bigger - but good stabilisation and well featured - and the smaller MFT lenses make carrying an extra lens or two convenient.

(It's possible to get a low end APS-C kit for not much more than a TZ95 if you catch a deal at the right time).
 
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David
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As above. A used X100F can be had for about £700. X100Vs are c£1300 new, so a bit above your budget. No zoom, but learning to live a 35mm focal length equivalent is really liberating. The quality of images continue to amaze me (after 6 years with the X100 series). Perfect travel camera.
Silver V's are in the Fuji Refurb store for £999
 
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Bazza
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I am not against MFT cameras my criteria was cost -size- features -video- flip screen and possible blogging later on :banghead:. so the TZ95 fitted the bill. Already have 3 dslr cameras + camcorder and
Nikon L26 compact used to check roof gutters on my house to see if I need to clean them
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqfMceO4958
 
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David
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I think the real decision is pocketability - once that decision has been made it narrows down the selection of available cameras.

Most cameras are capable of sharp images, but the smaller sensors obviously loose out in low light and shallow depth of field.

My choices would be X100 series - if its not pocketable or Sony RX100 series if it has to be pocketable - keeping the zoom range down for better IQ
 
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John King
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I have a FUJI X20 for a 'walk around' camera. It was only on the market for a short while, but it is gem that should have had a longer production life. It has a a 28-112 (equivalent to 35mm lens). You can view the rear screen or use the very good zoom optical finder. Agreed it only has a 12m pixel sensor but I can make an A3 print from that whatever aperture the lens is set at. And who wants to go over that?

The later X30 or the earlier X10, both only on the market for a short periods are slightly different, but just as good. I would recommend them to anyone. They are rare, but if you see one snap it up, they are well worth the money. Expect to pay around £220 for the X20.
 
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8,538
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Jon
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I think the real decision is pocketability - once that decision has been made it narrows down the selection of available cameras.

Most cameras are capable of sharp images, but the smaller sensors obviously loose out in low light and shallow depth of field.

My choices would be X100 series - if its not pocketable or Sony RX100 series if it has to be pocketable - keeping the zoom range down for better IQ
That is one of the things that put me off the X100, not being able to get it into a small pocket. I was going to get a used X100, but opted for a new XF10.
Only niggle with the XF10 is the lens, at f/2.8 it is not the fastest.

May still get an X100 in the future, just for the fun factor.
 

Nod

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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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Having all 3 baby Xs (10,20 and 30), there is a definite improvement as you progress through the 3. In handling as well as IQ. Unfortunately, none of them slip into a shirt pocket. :(
 
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Simon
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How about a used Sony RX1? MPB have some within your budget and it's a full-frame sensor with a stellar 35mm fixed lens. Probably the closest you'll get to a Leica Q within budget.
 
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Rich
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Surprised nobody has suggested use your phone, looks like I have now.

Good ones seem to rival small cameras these days, no surprise they have killed the compact market.
 
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Name
Tom
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Wow thanks for all the replies, looking through it looks like I probably wasn't totally clear.

Even though I suggested Q2, a fixed lens just won't cut it I don't think. I have a pancake (20mm f/1.7) for the GM1 and I rarely use it, it's tiny but unnecessary baggage and changing lens while walking around isn't for me. I want the option to change lens, just in case but 95% of the time will always have a 1 lens bag. As such a small amount of zoom would be required as that's always my go-to over prime. The kits lens with the GM1 was sufficient for that (12-32mm f/3.5-5.6).

Maybe consider the lenses too- a quality lens is a priory for me, for getting pin sharp image quality
I would recommend a Sony a7Riv ( 61 mp) or a7Riii( 42mp) with a Sigma 24mm f1.4 ART lens if your budget allows ( I use these and what a terrific combo)
Too big and expensive, sorry. Not sure you read the OP.

Depends if you want/need a zoom lens
If no then look at a Fuji rangefinder or XE2/3 with a pancake (27mm) lens
If yes then look at a fuji XE-2/3with a Zoom ( 18-55)/(18-135)
Yes on zoom, but will 16MP be good enough quality compared to M6 mk2 (32.5MP) and Sony a7C (24MP)? These 2 seem the only ones in the running and the Sony is way out of budget really.

With your budget i would seriously take a look at the Fuji X100v or the slightly older X100F, fixed 35mm f2 lens with outstanding image quality in a small travel friendly form.
The A6600 is a great camera but with a lense will be way out of budget.
Also look at a Fuji X-T30 with the XF18-55mm lens.
What lens/lenses were you using on the GM1 ?
X-T30 seems a good shout, a little bulky though, but might have to suck this up.

You just got to ignore the video review part of the review as all cameras have video functions now. Don't think "I am not paying for this extra feature that I will never use". Rather look at the features that you use and get the best one for what you need, if it has some award winning video feature, doesn't matter.
Thanks, just checking.

Do you mean the new A7c? If you think the A7c is too big good luck finding a quality smaller camera at a fraction of the cost of a Q2... but even so out of your £1k budget. There are small Sony lenses, for example the last few times I've been abroad I've had a Sony 35mm f2.8 on my A7 which makes for a compact and light combination.

You don't say what focal length or range interests you so I'll just recommend an original A7 with 35mm f2.8 or the 28mm f2 if you prefer. It'll be a significant step up in image quality from MFT kit.

Oh, and I'd forget 1" sensor cameras if you want a bump up in image quality from MFT.
Good luck choosing.
Yes, A7C. I feel like I require a zoom, and that's when the lends get chunky.

The underrated Canon G1X Mk3 is as small as a premium compact and has an APS-C sized sensor, as well as a 24-72 equivalent lens. It’s not perfect and while it’s not as sharp as the X100, it’s arguably more usable (and a bit smaller).
Looks a good size.

If you already have m4/3 lenses how about one of the newer 20mp cameras.
Such as Olympus E-M5 iii, E-M10 iv or Panasonic GX9
GX9 looks good.

I have to agree with you there. I have the fixed focal length Fuji XF10. It is great not having to think about what lens to stick on the camera, or how much to zoom in or out Simply get up close and take the photo. I am certainly getting more photos that I do like.
I agree 100% - it sounds weird but having a 35mm seems to make shooting easier than worrying about what lens to put on and what lens to take with you. Very liberating. You can still zoom in when editing if needed.
As much as I'd want to, I know the fixed will get tiresome.

The GM1 has an AA filter and is a bit softer than the newer 16Mp and 20Mp MFT cameras. It also suffers from a bit of shutter shock.

A newer Panasonic or Olympus body would probably be a noticeable step up. And if the OP has some MFT lenses then these will carry over.

If size is important and a fixed lens isn't an issue then the Fuji XF10 or Ricoh GRiii are one route. Neither have an EVF but both offer APS-C. X100 family is a bit bigger but offers an EVF (and OVF). These cover quite a spectrum in price.

Problem with APS-C mirrorless is that is a step up in size over MFT in terms of lens. The X-T30 has been mentioned - with the 18-55. The combination is quite a leap in size and weight over a GM1 with a small lens. Fuji also offer the XE family - the XE4 has just been launched - and there's a 27mm pancake lens. Add anything but the lightest lens to the other APS-C options and they will also be quite a bit larger.

So what are the main parameters for the OP - focal length, EVF, and what is an acceptable size?
Think you've summed it up. Reading these replies and doing further research A7C is probably perfect but I think it might be too big/heavy. Ultimately the quality of image is the most important. Focal length isn't a big zoom just a normal kit, GM1 kit lens was 12-32mm which was enough zoom for me. Anything else I'd get a separate lens, but I haven't felt the need to.

Sony A6500 (or A6600 if funds allow) and Sony 18-135. An overlooked but excellent lens.
A6600 is looking good, that lens is definitely too big.

Nice. But keep in mind that the TZ95 is a tiny sensor compact and the image quality wont match a 1" camera never mind a recent MFT camera.

A holiday snap pano. First generation A7, 35mm f2.8, handheld at f2.8, 1/80 and ISO 12,800.

100% crop from that. This will probably suffer from the posting process so will possibly not look as good here as on my screen. In the original picture you can see someone at that 321 rooftop swimming pool.

To get significantly better than MFT, IMO, maybe a really top end APS-C camera or a FF camera will be needed. Almost anything is good enough in good light for normal whole picture viewing but if the OP wants to look closer than normal whole picture viewing and wants better IQ 1/23 or 1" cameras with long zoom lenses are probably not going to cut it. All in my HO.
This is why I'm thinking A7C.

Early next month the Fuji X-E4 with 27mm 2.8 WR will be released for under £1K i think.
There is no AA filter on the sensors and that lens is quite a sharp little thing, its light and small and looks like a little rangefinder.
Will take a look, seems to be a lot of Fuji that could be good, how do you decide!

I think the situation with the likes of the TZ95 is that you get a camera with a long zoom lens range, smaller sensor, EVF, and an inbuilt cover on the collapsing lens that make it very flexible and pocketable. Play to its strengths and you get good results.

It's quite possible to get MFT kit at not much more than a TZ95 depending on the lens. Oly EM10ii and EM10iii are still available with kit zooms. Bit bigger - but good stabilisation and well featured - and the smaller MFT lenses make carrying an extra lens or two convenient.

(It's possible to get a low end APS-C kit for not much more than a TZ95 if you catch a deal at the right time).
This is a third of my budget, is it really what I should get?

I think the real decision is pocketability - once that decision has been made it narrows down the selection of available cameras.

Most cameras are capable of sharp images, but the smaller sensors obviously loose out in low light and shallow depth of field.

My choices would be X100 series - if its not pocketable or Sony RX100 series if it has to be pocketable - keeping the zoom range down for better IQ
Difficult without seeing in person, even watching videos. It's the lens that could be an issue rather than body-only size.

How about a used Sony RX1? MPB have some within your budget and it's a full-frame sensor with a stellar 35mm fixed lens. Probably the closest you'll get to a Leica Q within budget.
Looks perfect! But a bit too pricey I think at new price.

Surprised nobody has suggested use your phone, looks like I have now.
Good ones seem to rival small cameras these days, no surprise they have killed the compact market.
This is the thing, I've always wanted a camera over the phone due to quality, and I don't think I will get the quality I want with a phone? Having a play on preview image-comparison tool, the iPhone X is significantly worse than all the cameras I was looking at.
 
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Graham
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Zoom lens and improved IQ over M4/3 and remaining pocketable is a struggle. There aren't all that many pancake style zoom lenses around. Many of the suggestions on here would be a downgrade in image quality.

Canon did their G5X and similar models which I really rate but I assume discontinued now.

In Fuji world, the XE3 and XE4 with the 15-45 zoom lens might be a good option.

Or slightly curve ball, find a good GM5 and keep using the 12-32?
 
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