Best Compact System Cameras | Camera Guide | Argos

Compact system
camera guide

The pro on the go

CSCs boast many of the impressive features and high image-quality of a DSLR, but packed into a lighter, more compact design.

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Why they're great

  • Compact system cameras are lighter than DSLRs – ideal for taking high quality images on the go
  • You can change manual controls, swap lenses and add filters for more creative photography
  • Great autofocus means many models also let you shoot good quality videos

But consider

  • A smaller camera means a smaller battery – so you may want to carry spare batteries in case you lose charge whilst out
  • A compact system camera has smaller and possibly more fiddly buttons than its big brother the DSLR

Our best buys

Check out the top compact system cameras we want in our kit.

Essential Accessories

Complete your kit with cases, tripods, battery packs and more.

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Lens Guide

DSLRs and Compact system cameras will come with a standard lens, but these cameras also give you the flexibility of changing lenses for more specialised shots.

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What you need to look for

Focal range

The focal length or range of a lens tells you how much of the scene will be captured in the shot, and the how much magnification there will be. It's measured in mm. 

Aperture 

All lenses have an aperture range, also called the f-stop number, which tells you how much control you have over the focus. The lower the f-stop number, e.g f/2.8, the higher maximum aperture, meaning you'll be able to shoot a small amount of the scene in focus with the background blurred. These lenses tend to have a faster exposure in low-light conditions, meaning you can shoot indoors without a flash. A higher f-stop number, e.g f/38, means the majority of the shot will be in focus.

Compatibility

Whatever lens you choose, it's important to pick one that is compatible with your cameras as many brands create lenses that only fit their own cameras. Also make sure you match by type of camera, as a CSC lens will not mount to a DSLR camera. It's also important that the sensor is compatible, as a camera with a full-frame sensor will not mount to a lens made for cameras with a cropped APS-C size sensor. 

Lens types

Prime Vs zoom lenses 

Prime lenses only have one focal length so you can't zoom in and out. They have a simple design and therefore create higher quality images with less distortion. Zoom and super-zoom lenses have a variable focal length, letting you shoot subjects at different distances without having to change the lens. 

Shop prime lenses     Shop zoom lenses    

Telephoto lenses 

These lenses have a focal length of 100mm or more. They're best used for portraits, sports or wildlife photography to focus in on the subject from a distance. 

Shop telephoto lenses

Standard lenses  

Typically with a focal length of between 35mm and 50mm, your camera will usually come with this type of lens. They are useful for everyday shooting,- a 'Jack of all trades'. 

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Wide angle lenses 

Wide-angle lenses have a focal length of between 10 - 28mm and are designed to get as much of the scene in as possible - perfect for epic landscape shots and city skylines.

Shop wide-angle lenses

Macro lenses 

If you want to take close-up shots of flowers and insects and capture fine details, a macro lens lets you shoot close-ups from centimetres away. 

Shop macro lenses

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