Now is a good time to work on your hobbies. Of course, team sports are off the agenda, along with most other activities or creative pursuits that require human interaction. A good alternative at the moment? Photography. A camera is a one-off purchase that is useful, enjoyable to use and potentially even a lucrative side hustle.
You can’t beat a new gadget and a standalone camera provides the perfect opportunity to get stuck into some tech. The even better news is you don’t need a weighty DSLR to join the club. There’s an array of powerful, compact and, most importantly, stylish cameras ready for documenting the surreal times we are living in.
Here’s a rundown of the most aesthetically pleasing options on the market, which don’t sacrifice function. Happy snapping.
You’ll quickly notice that throughout this list there’s a running theme of top-notch technical capability packed into classic cases – and the Leica M series is undoubtedly the best example on the market. It’s the camera silhouette made famous by the iconic names of street photography, such as the Magnum collective and Cartier-Bresson.
Leica’s flagship model, the M10 will certainly set you back but you’ll be getting a stylish workhorse for life in an unbeatable package.
Robust, with a vintage charm and ergonomic feel, Leica responded to calls from photographers asking for the dimensions of their original cameras, with the M10’s body almost identical to previous analogue models. With mind-boggling ISO ranges, a full frame sensor, 24 megapixels and five frames per second continuous shooting, the M10 is a god-level piece of kit.
Another example of a camera company going back to their roots. A retro-styled body meets the uncompromising photographic power of a 6.2-megapixel FX-format sensor (the same as Nikon’s flagship D4) with all the charm of a classic analogue 35mm point and shoot. In simple terms: powerful but compact. Needless to say the picture quality is incredible, with phenomenal low-light results and high-speed performance.
On the style front, the Nikon DF is also a winner. Vintage dials provide a satisfying ease of use so often missing from standard DSLRs, where settings must be altered among a malaise of internal menus. Simply turn the dials to set up and off you go.
Following on from the success of the ground-breaking X-T3 comes the latest in a long line of stylish compact mirrorless cameras from Fujifilm. Launched in February, the X-T4 boasts the world’s fastest 15fps shooting, premium quality video, professional-level battery capacity (500 frames per charge) and trademark stabilisation and colour reproduction. The most baffling feature is how they’ve managed to fit all of that into such a compact and lightweight body.
Another remarkable addition to an already ground-breaking range.
Another icon to complete the list. Timeless design, the finest materials and a piece of true modern craftsmanship. The result of 80 years of camera history and technical innovation all wrapped up into one stylish package.
Surprisingly light, even with interchangeable lenses, the PEN-F is a personal favourite due to its compact body, perfect dial configuration layout and flashgun potential. There’s even a host of timeless official Olympus accessories including straps, carry cases and customisation kits to make it your own.
Of course, it shoots well too – offering 20.3 megapixels, a 3 inch monitor, high resolution and image quality as well as the potential for mobile device connectivity for remote settings.