Canon Powershot G9 X, £399.99, John Lewis: Considering its size and price, this smart, retro-looking camera delivers remarkable results. Best of all, it easily slips into your pocket. A 1-inch sensor and wide f/2-4.9 lens aperture allows the camera to let in plenty of light, improving the quality of pictures; and, if you're shooting stills or video in low light, the image stabiliser is a handy aid. It's a lot lighter than market competitors (weighing just 207g), making it an ideal travel companion.
Nikon D5 (body only), £5,199, www.wexphotographic.com
Many will balk at the price of Nikon's flagship full-frame DSLR, which launched earlier this year, but for both professionals and serious snappers, it's money well spent. The 20.8MP sensor delivers a good balance between image quality and manageability of file size, while the 12 frames per second burst is bliss for shooting fast moving sports and wildlife. It might sound like you're firing a machine gun, but catching every moment guarantees great shots - plus, there's no annoying buffering (an issue hindering older models). In terms of both performance and size, it's by no means a lightweight camera (it comes in at 1,405g), but if you want to step up your game, this is the model to buy.
Leica Sofort, £215, www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk
It won't be on sale until November, but the hype surrounding Leica's first instant camera means pre-orders are already available. Operating like an old-school Polaroid, this neat bit of kit delivers vibrant images on demand and will appeal to those with a love for spontaneity. It's a no-brainer to use, with just a few simple modes to choose from - including a selfie option, assisted by a mirror on front of the camera - but there is the option to be creative with multiple exposures and manual setting of focussing distance too. The affordable price tag is obviously appealing; for many, the opportunity to own one of these iconic red dot beauties is too good to pass up.
Leica SL Mirrorless Camera (Typ 601), £5,320, www.leica-storemayfair.co.uk
Leica are world famous for making quality equipment, and this full-frame compact system camera is of expected high calibre. Controls are minimal and intuitive, making it ideal for those who hate thumbing through manuals; in the heat of the moment, when rapid responses are required, it's also much easier to use. Shooting 11 frames per second and with an ISO range from 50-50,000, it's up there with most professional DSLRs. The only downside is its weight; it's much heavier than other mirrorless cameras. But given the performance, it's a compromise you might be willing to make.
Fuji XT-10 (body only), £469, www.amazon.co.uk
The X-T1 was a roaring success for Fuji; this slightly stripped-back, more affordable model is just as impressive. Featuring a 16MP sensor, it has an ISO range of 200-6,400. Controls allow full creative control, with shutter and aperture easily adjusted via a top wheel; other functions have to be set via a back screen menu, although it's simple enough to follow. A built-in viewfinder will please purists, while a pull-out back screen can be handy when shooting from the ground. In the absence of a mirror, the shutter burst is fast - eight frames per second - and it's super-light even with a telephoto lens attached. Small and discreet, it's perfect for street photography.
Nikon COOLPIX S7000, £149, John Lewis
If you simply want a sturdy snapper that does all the work for you, this could be your weapon of choice. A 20x optical zoom (equivalent to 25-500mm in 35mm terms) caters to different needs, while inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC allows straightforward connectivity. A VR system compensates for wobbly hand shake in low light, and a scene auto selector helps the camera select the best settings. It's also possible to download a free companion app for phone - ideal for selfies. Given the price, images are respectable, and the option to manually select the focus point is a bonus. Expect noise at higher ISOs, but otherwise, this is a great little compact.