This is what photos from a $6000 compact camera look like…

Zeiss ZX1
(Image credit: Zeiss)

After two years of waiting the Zeiss ZX1 compact camera is now available to pre-order. Costing $6,000 this camera with its fixed 35mm f/2 wide-angle lens justifies it high price tag with its designer looks, precision engineering, and its full-frame sensor. The camera also has a built-in Android computer operating system, which means it has Lightroom built in. But what do pictures taken with this luxury compact look like?

We have yet to get this camera for review, and we suspect that given the Zeiss ZX1 is only going on sale in Germany and the USA, that this unusual camera may be hard to find on sale when it actually goes on sale in November. But to give a taste of what this camera can do, Zeiss has handily provided sample images from three professional photographers who have been using the 37-megapixel ZX1.

Below are the images provided Swedish photographer Hans Strand, Hungarian born Csaba Desvari, and LA-based music shooter Greg Watermann…

Hans Strand

(Image credit: Hans Strand)

  (Image credit: Hans Strand)

"For me, it’s the “one camera, one lens” that I would like to use in my next life," comments Hans Strand. "A contrast to all the cameras and lenses I am using today. It is amazing what you can obtain with just one lens".  (Image credit: Csaba Desvari)

Csaba Desvari

(Image credit: Csaba Desvari)

(Image credit: Csaba Desvari)

Csaba Desvari took his sample images on the streets of Manila.  "Sometimes life does not wait for the right equipment. Therefore, the fixed-lens camera gives me the freedom to be only a photographer and disconnect from being a gadget guru who changes hardware continuously, such as lenses, filters, etc," he explains. "Though, I have to mention in this case, the ZX1’s high-resolution sensor allows for effective cropping in postproduction if there is a need for it in the composition. Therefore, I didn’t feel like I was on a tightrope with the 35 mm". (Image credit: Csaba Desvari)

Greg Watermann

(Image credit: Greg Watermann)

(Image credit: Greg Watermann)

Greg Watermann shot his sample images in Miami Beach during lockdown. "Everything was empty here, so it was easy to avoid others. A situation that was unknown before, but which gave me the freedom to explore the city in new ways", he explains. "The camera is great in low light situations. I shot slightly underexposed with lower contrast and saturation. This keeps my highlights under control. Then, in processing, I open up the shadows, bring the color up, adjust contrast, and, lastly, set the black point level".  (Image credit: Greg Watermann)

Pre-order the Zeiss ZX1 at B&H Photo
Pre-order the Zeiss ZX1 at Adorama

Read more:

Best full frame compact cameras
Best APS-C compact cameras 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 

His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.

He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.