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The best APS-C cameras

APS-C cameras are digital imaging devices that feature a relatively large sensor. Their designation is derived from a discontinued format for film photography, the Advanced Photo System. Indeed, the sensor in APS-C digital cameras is of about the same size as a negative of the Classic version (hence APS-C) of APS film. This Classic format offers the same 3:2 width to height aspect ratio as 135mm film (while other "H" and "P" formats are wider). APS film was produced from 1996 to 2011.

The size of APS-C sensors is not standardized and different camera manufacturers use slightly different sensor sizes. For example, the sensors in APS-C cameras from Canon (15 x 22.5mm) are a bit smaller than those used by Fujifilm, Nikon, Pentax or Sony (15.7 x 23.5mm). As a result, the format factor (or "crop factor") for Canon cameras amounts to 1.6 — meaning that the diagonal of a film slide (or full-frame camera sensor) is 1.6-times as long as the diagonal of a Canon APS-C sensor — while for Fujifilm, Nikon, Pentax and Sony the format factor equals 1.5.

APS-C
APS-C sensor (Canon) vs film slide

As devices with a relatively large sensor, APS-C cameras provide very good image quality in terms of dynamic range, color reproduction and low-light sensitivity. Due to this superior imaging performance, they are often the tools of choice for enthusiast and professional photographers. Compared with full-frame cameras, APS-C cams offer several advantages: The smaller sensor size means that the cameras are less expensive and more compact (in particular when equipped with dedicated APS-C lenses). Moreover, in many cases APS-C cameras can be combined with (previously acquired) full-frame lenses, and in this case only use the center part of the lens for image capture while cropping out the peripheral areas where the optical quality tends to deteriorate. Also, due to the crop factor, APS-C cameras offer more telephoto-reach from full-frame lenses and are therefore very popular choices for sports and wildlife photographers.

There is a wide and growing choice of APS-C cameras on the market. It is not easy to decide which one is best. Indeed, what does it really mean to look for the best APS-C? The camera that offers the best imaging experience? The one with the highest sensor resolution? The one that is most portable? The APS-C camera that does not break the bank? The answers to these questions come down to personal preference, but hopefully the listings below will prove to be useful for your camera decision process.

The highest rated APS-C cameras

Top Elo
Camera with highest Elo: Fujifilm X-H2

The Camera Elo represents a comprehensive rating that takes the body, sensor and feature characteristics of digital cameras into account. It is based on the outcomes of thousands of pair-wise comparisons undertaken via the CAM-parator app.

The Fujifilm X-H2 is currently the top-ranked APS-C camera with a Camera Elo of 3200, followed in second place by the Fujifilm X-H2S with a rating of 3141. The table below lists the 20 highest ranked APS-C in descending order of their Elo. It also reports the cameras' DXO Mark sensor quality score, which can be taken as indicators of pure image quality. For both the Camera Elo and the DXO score, higher values represent better performance.

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The Cameras with the Highest Elo
    Camera
Model
Lens
Type
Camera
Elo
DXO
Score
Camera
Type
Resolution
(MP)
Video
Format
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Fujifilm X-H2Fujifilm X 320086 Mirrorless 39.88k/30p Sep 2022 1,999 amazon.com
2.
 
Fujifilm X-H2SFujifilm X 314186 Mirrorless 26.06.2k/30p May 2022 2,499 amazon.com
3.
 
Fujifilm X-T5Fujifilm X 313886 Mirrorless 39.86.2k/30p Nov 2022 1,699 amazon.com
4.
 
Canon R7ILC 299384 Mirrorless 32.34k/60p May 2022 1,499 amazon.com
5.
 
Fujifilm X-T4Fujifilm X 295384 Mirrorless 26.04K/60p Feb 2020 1,699 amazon.com
6.
 
Pentax K-3 IIIPentax K 290085 DSLR 25.64K/30p Mar 2021 1,999 amazon.com
7.
 
Canon R10ILC 287484 Mirrorless 24.04k/60p May 2022 979 amazon.com
8.
 
Fujifilm X-T200Fujifilm X 284584 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Jan 2020 699 amazon.com
9.
 
Sony ZV-E10Sony E 283785 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Jul 2021 699 amazon.com
10.
 
Fujifilm X-A7Fujifilm X 283784 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Sep 2019 499 amazon.com
11.
 
Nikon Z30Nikon Z 281186 Mirrorless 20.74K/30p Jun 2022 709 amazon.com
12.
 
Sony A6600Sony E 279782 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Aug 2019 1,399 amazon.com
13.
 
Fujifilm X100V 35 mm f/2.0 279584 Compact 26.04K/30p Feb 2020 1,399 amazon.com
14.
 
Fujifilm X-T3Fujifilm X 278083 Mirrorless 26.04K/60p Sep 2018 1,499ebay.com
15.
 
Canon 90DCanon EF-S 277383 DSLR 32.34K/30p Aug 2019 1,199 amazon.com
16.
 
Sony A6100Sony E 277284 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Aug 2019 749ebay.com
17.
 
Fujifilm X-Pro3Fujifilm X 276784 Mirrorless 26.04K/30p Oct 2019 1,799 amazon.com
18.
 
Fujifilm X-T30 IIFujifilm X 276385 Mirrorless 26.04K/30p Sep 2021 899 amazon.com
19.
 
Fujifilm X-S10Fujifilm X 276285 Mirrorless 26.04K/30p Oct 2020 999 amazon.com
20.
 
Canon M6 Mark IICanon EF-M 275983 Mirrorless 32.34K/30p Aug 2019 849 amazon.com
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

You can access more detail on the listed cameras by clicking on the camera's name. Alternatively, you can compare two APS-C cameras using the search boxes below. Just enter two model names into the input fields and you will promptly be taken to a respective comparison.

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    The highest resolution APS-C cameras

    Perhaps your primary aim is to capture images with great detail, for example in landscape photography, or to have the ability to crop images heavily in post processing while still maintaining good image quality. In this case, the best APS-C camera might be the one with the highest sensor resolution. The following table lists the 20 APS-C cameras with the highest megapixel count. Again, clicking on the camera's name will reveal further detail.

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    The Cameras with the Highest Resolution
        Camera
    Model
    Lens
    Type
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Camera
    Elo
    DXO
    Score
    Camera
    Type
    Video
    Format
    Camera
    Launch
    Launch
    Price (USD)
    Street
    Price
    1.
     
    Fujifilm X-H2Fujifilm X 39.8 320086 Mirrorless8k/30p Sep 2022 1,999 amazon.com
    2.
     
    Fujifilm X-T5Fujifilm X 39.8 313886 Mirrorless6.2k/30p Nov 2022 1,699 amazon.com
    3.
     
    Canon R7ILC 32.3 299384 Mirrorless4k/60p May 2022 1,499 amazon.com
    4.
     
    Canon 90DCanon EF-S 32.3 277383 DSLR4K/30p Aug 2019 1,199 amazon.com
    5.
     
    Canon M6 Mark IICanon EF-M 32.3 275983 Mirrorless4K/30p Aug 2019 849 amazon.com
    6.
     
    Samsung NX1Samsung NX 28.0 249283 Mirrorless4K/30p Sep 2014 1,499ebay.com
    7.
     
    Samsung NX500Samsung NX 28.0 234787 Mirrorless4K/30p Feb 2015 799ebay.com
    8.
     
    Fujifilm X-H2SFujifilm X 26.0 314186 Mirrorless6.2k/30p May 2022 2,499 amazon.com
    9.
     
    Fujifilm X-T4Fujifilm X 26.0 295384 Mirrorless4K/60p Feb 2020 1,699 amazon.com
    10.
     
    Fujifilm X100V 35 mm f/2.0 26.0 279584 Compact4K/30p Feb 2020 1,399 amazon.com
    11.
     
    Fujifilm X-T3Fujifilm X 26.0 278083 Mirrorless4K/60p Sep 2018 1,499ebay.com
    12.
     
    Fujifilm X-Pro3Fujifilm X 26.0 276784 Mirrorless4K/30p Oct 2019 1,799 amazon.com
    13.
     
    Fujifilm X-T30 IIFujifilm X 26.0 276385 Mirrorless4K/30p Sep 2021 899 amazon.com
    14.
     
    Fujifilm X-S10Fujifilm X 26.0 276285 Mirrorless4K/30p Oct 2020 999 amazon.com
    15.
     
    Fujifilm X-E4Fujifilm X 26.0 275485 Mirrorless4K/30p Jan 2021 849 amazon.com
    16.
     
    Fujifilm X-T30Fujifilm X 26.0 268383 Mirrorless4K/30p Feb 2019 899ebay.com
    17.
     
    Pentax K-3 IIIPentax K 25.6 290085 DSLR4K/30p Mar 2021 1,999 amazon.com
    18.
     
    Leica CLLeica T 24.1 247382 Mirrorless4K/30p Nov 2017 2,795 amazon.com
    19.
     
    Leica TL2Leica T 24.1 244182 Mirrorless4K/30p Jul 2017 1,950 amazon.com
    20.
     
    Pentax KPPentax K 24.1 238981 DSLR1080/60i Jan 2017 1,099ebay.com
    Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

    The most portable APS-C cameras

    A well-known proverb states that the best camera is the one that you have with you. As such, a smaller and lighter camera will likely get more use than a bulkier and heavier model. The table below lists the 20 lightest APS-C cameras that have been released since 2015 in ascending order of their weight.

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    The Lightest Models
        Camera
    Model
    Lens
    Type
    Camera
    Weight
    Camera
    Size
    Camera
    Elo
    Camera
    Type
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Camera
    Launch
    Launch
    Price (USD)
    Street
    Price
    1.
     
    Ricoh GR II 28 mm f/2.8 8.9 oz 4.6 x 2.5 x 1.4 in 2110 Compact 16.1 Jun 2015 699ebay.com
    2.
     
    Ricoh GR III 28 mm f/2.8 9.1 oz 4.3 x 2.4 x 1.3 in 2536 Compact 24.0 Feb 2019 899 amazon.com
    3.
     
    Ricoh GR IIIx 40 mm f/2.8 9.2 oz 4.3 x 2.4 x 1.4 in 2508 Compact 24.0 Sep 2021 999 amazon.com
    4.
     
    Fujifilm XF10 28 mm f/2.8 9.8 oz 4.4 x 2.5 x 1.6 in 2539 Compact 24.0 Jul 2018 499ebay.com
    5.
     
    Samsung NX500Samsung NX 10.1 oz 4.7 x 2.5 x 1.7 in 2347 Mirrorless 28.0 Feb 2015 799ebay.com
    6.
     
    Canon M200Canon EF-M 10.5 oz 4.3 x 2.6 x 1.4 in 2459 Mirrorless 24.0 Sep 2019 549 amazon.com
    7.
     
    Canon M10Canon EF-M 10.6 oz 4.3 x 2.6 x 1.4 in 2066 Mirrorless 17.9 Oct 2015 499ebay.com
    8.
     
    Canon M100Canon EF-M 10.7 oz 4.3 x 2.6 x 1.4 in 2388 Mirrorless 24.0 Aug 2017 499ebay.com
    9.
     
    Fujifilm X-A7Fujifilm X 11.3 oz 4.7 x 2.7 x 1.6 in 2837 Mirrorless 24.0 Sep 2019 499 amazon.com
    10.
     
    Fujifilm X-A10Fujifilm X 11.7 oz 4.6 x 2.6 x 1.6 in 2284 Mirrorless 16.0 Dec 2016 399ebay.com
    11.
     
    Fujifilm X-E3Fujifilm X 11.9 oz 4.8 x 2.9 x 1.7 in 2526 Mirrorless 24.0 Sep 2017 899ebay.com
    12.
     
    Fujifilm X-A3Fujifilm X 12.0 oz 4.6 x 2.6 x 1.6 in 2328 Mirrorless 24.0 Aug 2016 399ebay.com
    13.
     
    Fujifilm X70 28 mm f/2.8 12.0 oz 4.4 x 2.5 x 1.7 in 2292 Compact 16.0 Jan 2016 799ebay.com
    14.
     
    Sony ZV-E10Sony E 12.1 oz 4.5 x 2.5 x 1.8 in 2837 Mirrorless 24.0 Jul 2021 699 amazon.com
    15.
     
    Fujifilm X-E2SFujifilm X 12.3 oz 5.1 x 3.0 x 1.5 in 2198 Mirrorless 16.0 Jan 2016 699ebay.com
    16.
     
    Fujifilm X-A2Fujifilm X 12.3 oz 4.6 x 2.6 x 1.6 in 1963 Mirrorless 16.0 Jan 2015 399ebay.com
    17.
     
    Fujifilm X-A5Fujifilm X 12.7 oz 4.6 x 2.7 x 1.6 in 2601 Mirrorless 24.0 Jan 2018 399ebay.com
    18.
     
    Fujifilm X-E4Fujifilm X 12.8 oz 4.8 x 2.9 x 1.3 in 2754 Mirrorless 26.0 Jan 2021 849 amazon.com
    19.
     
    Canon M3Canon EF-M 12.9 oz 4.4 x 2.7 x 1.7 in 2088 Mirrorless 24.0 Feb 2015 679ebay.com
    20.
     
    Fujifilm X-T200Fujifilm X 13.1 oz 4.8 x 3.3 x 2.2 in 2845 Mirrorless 24.0 Jan 2020 699 amazon.com

    The most affordable APS-C cameras

    A camera is only as good as the lens that is placed in front of its sensor. Thus, the best APS-C is one that leaves room enough in the budget to purchase a high quality lens to go with it. More generally, budgetary considerations are almost always important when deciding on a camera purchase, so that the following listing should be of interest. It displays the 20 least expensive APS-C cameras that have been released since 2015 in ascending order of their launch prices (camera only). The latter provide a good idea on the market position of the cameras, but it is often worthwhile to check the current pricing, as all except the most recent models might be available at discounts or as great deals on the pre-owned market.

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    The Least Expensive Models
        Camera
    Model
    Lens
    Mount
    Launch
    Price (USD)
    Camera
    Elo
    DXO
    Score
    Camera
    Type
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Video
    Format
    Camera
    Launch
    Street
    Price
    1.
     
    Fujifilm X-A5Fujifilm X 399 260182 Mirrorless 24.04K/15p Jan 2018ebay.com
    2.
     
    Fujifilm X-A3Fujifilm X 399 232881 Mirrorless 24.01080/60p Aug 2016ebay.com
    3.
     
    Fujifilm X-A10Fujifilm X 399 228481 Mirrorless 16.01080/30p Dec 2016ebay.com
    4.
     
    Fujifilm X-A2Fujifilm X 399 196379 Mirrorless 16.01080/30p Jan 2015ebay.com
    5.
     
    Canon T100Canon EF-S 399 184563 DSLR 17.91080/30p Feb 2018 amazon.com
    6.
     
    Nikon D3500Nikon DX 429 209783 DSLR 24.01080/60p Aug 2018 amazon.com
    7.
     
    Canon T7Canon EF-S 449 198681 DSLR 24.01080/30p Feb 2018 amazon.com
    8.
     
    Canon T6Canon EF-S 449 190266 DSLR 17.91080/30p Mar 2016ebay.com
    9.
     
    Fujifilm X-A7Fujifilm X 499 283784 Mirrorless 24.04K/30p Sep 2019 amazon.com
    10.
     
    Fujifilm XF10 28 mm f/2.8 499 253983 Compact 24.04K/15p Jul 2018ebay.com
    11.
     
    Canon M100Canon EF-M 499 238878 Mirrorless 24.01080/60p Aug 2017ebay.com
    12.
     
    Canon M10Canon EF-M 499 206665 Mirrorless 17.91080/30p Oct 2015ebay.com
    13.
     
    Nikon D3400Nikon DX 499 204086 DSLR 24.01080/60p Aug 2016ebay.com
    14.
     
    Canon M200Canon EF-M 549 245982 Mirrorless 24.04k/25p Sep 2019 amazon.com
    15.
     
    Canon SL2Canon EF-S 549 245379 DSLR 24.01080/60p Jun 2017ebay.com
    16.
     
    Canon M50 Mark IICanon EF-M 599 273183 Mirrorless 24.04K/24p Oct 2020 amazon.com
    17.
     
    Fujifilm X-T100Fujifilm X 599 262383 Mirrorless 24.04K/15p May 2018ebay.com
    18.
     
    Canon SL3Canon EF-S 599 258682 DSLR 24.04K/25p Apr 2019 amazon.com
    19.
     
    Pentax K-70Pentax K 649 234680 DSLR 24.01080/60i Jun 2016 amazon.com
    20.
     
    Canon T6sCanon EF-S 649 210470 DSLR 24.01080/30p Feb 2015ebay.com
    Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

    Further Reading

    Additional information on the calculation of the Camera Elo can be found on a respective Elo methodology page. Moreover, there are other rankings of cameras by category that might be of interest:

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