If you’re about to go on a trip, you should make sure you have the best mirrorless camera for travel with you. This camera has to be reliable, lightweight, and capable of taking high-quality photos and videos. If you want to bring back hundreds of memorable travel pictures, you need to choose photography gear seriously. This review covers 10 best mirrorless cameras for travel that should satisfy everyone regardless of his/her taste and budget.
Lately, more and more photographers and travelers start giving preference to mirrorless cameras since they have many advantages over smartphones and even DSLRs:
All mirrorless cameras are heavier and more expensive than smartphones, but they make up for that by offering interchangeable lenses suitable for different goals and weather. You can find models with moisture-, dust-, and cold resistance as well as protection from minor fall damage. Browse through the cameras and lenses below and find your best mirrorless camera for travel.
Price: about $450
I managed to test this camera in several cities located in different climate zones and it offered amazing performance. I was especially impressed by M100’s shooting speed and auto mode. It quickly recognizes the scene (portrait or landscape) and automatically turns on the HDR mode when it’s needed.
The camera focuses quickly even during the evening and handles poor lighting conditions well. I should also mention that the camera is lightweight, which is a very important factor when choosing the best mirrorless camera for travel. Thanks to the EF-EOS M mount, you can use all Canon optics, while “native” lenses of the EF-M series (including a telezoom one) that are compact, lightweight, and inexpensive.
It’s an STM zoom lens with a focal length range of 88-320mm. It’s designed to photograph distant subjects, sports events, animals, and landscapes. The built-in STM mechanism has a silent and fast autofocus.
Image by Canon EOS M100
Price: about $500
I consider this model to be the best Sony mirrorless camera due to its small size and ergonomic shape. The menu also feels very intuitive since it’s the same as in all the other latest cameras released by this brand. I was particularly amazed by A6000’s autofocus system. Its speed is incredibly high even in poor lighting and the offered accuracy is impressive as well.
When I used Sony A6000 during my travels, it took beautiful pictures in bad lighting and even in the foggy mountains. Shooting in such conditions is always a good way to test camera’s optics. With perfect dust- and moisture resistance, you have a Sony mirrorless camera that you can take anywhere.
This lens has 2 ED glass and 3 aspherical elements that offer a higher resolution and color reproduction across the entire zoom range. It’s a universal model that allows shooting everything from portraits to landscapes.
Image by Sony A6000
Price: about $500
Shooters call this model the best mirrorless camera under 500 due to its stylish metal body and quite law price. X-A3 was designed to easily hold and control it with one hand. You can rotate the camera’s screen 180-degrees for selfies and vlogs, and use convenient sensor controls.
You can choose the focal point, zoom in, preview images and take photos simply by pressing on the screen. During my travels, X-A3 proved to be very versatile as I used it for taking portraits of friends, architecture, and panoramic photographs. It works very fast and produces results equal to other top mirrorless cameras that cost about $2000.
I recommend this zoom lens if you’re looking for a compact, lightweight option for your X-Series gear. It makes the AF system silent when shooting videos and manual focusing quick and accurate.
Image by Fujifilm X-A5
Price: about $850
This cheap mirrorless camera was designed specifically for travelers. Due to its characteristics, you can easily bring GX9 with you everywhere. It can endure both heat and cold up to -20oC while remaining operable and fast. GX9 has a metal body, which is great if you like hiking in the mountains as much as I do since you don’t have to worry about damaging it.
When working in bad lighting, the camera performed admirably as the taken photos weren’t too noisy or overexposed. This camera has a new 20MP image sensor that captures highly detailed images and offers good color reproduction. GX9’s image stabilization works quite well when taking photos. Sadly, it isn’t as efficient during video recording.
This lens can be used in any weather condition thanks to its dust- and moisture-resistant design. With its help, there’s nothing preventing you from capturing secluded landscapes that were out of your camera’s reach before.
Image by Panasonic GX9
Price: about $1000
This is one of the best Sony mirrorless cameras that was a perfect fit for my hands, but if your palms aren’t as big as mine, you may find this model a bit uncomfortable. I like that a7 II features a lot of buttons that you can adjust to your needs.
The integrated full-frame viewfinder is bright and clear. This is great news if you take many landscape photos while traveling. The camera’s autofocus has a backlight and works efficiently even in poorly lit spaces.
The image stabilizer deserves special attention separately. Sony implemented a mind-blowing 5-axis IS system, which makes a7 II one of the best mirrorless digital cameras available. It allowed me to take sharp photos at 1/30s and even 1/15s exposure times at a focal distance of 200mm. This is enough for shooting the night city without a tripod.
The lens has a thought-out design, quality build, and high focusing speed supported by an efficient image stabilizer. Most importantly, this model is very optic-wise.
Image by Sony Alpha a7 II
Price: about $700
While this model isn’t positioned as the best Fujifilm mirrorless camera, it has many advantages that make it ideal for professional use. Firstly, it’s a very good mirrorless camera for travel thanks to its small size and weight. Additionally, the tilting touchscreen allows selecting the focal point with your finger.
I found the color reproduction to be very good and that auto white balance usually doesn’t require any adjustments in Lightroom. This good mirrorless camera also performed very well in bad lighting. The single drawback I’d like to mention is the lack of moisture-protection as the camera’s screen didn’t work accurately when covered with raindrops. However, X-T20 works really well out in the cold, not losing speed even at -15oC.
This is the latest addition to the lineup of lenses for Fujifilm mirrorless cameras. It is quite lightweight. Besides, it has dust and moisture protection and can operate perfectly up to -10 degrees.
Image by Fujifilm X-T20
Price: about $600
This model proved to be one of the best mirrorless cameras for travel. Due to its size and weight, I easily held the device with one hand, while the frame was tracked with a rotatable display. The only drawback I noticed was the inability to record clear sound with the integrated microphone. The device recorded the sounds around but not my voice. A lavalier microphone, for which EOS M50 has an output, helped a lot.
The camera doesn’t feature an integrated video stabilization system, so you need to choose an appropriate lens. Besides, at night the picture turned out a little noisy. However, the saturated colors in daylight are amazing. Even in cloudy weather, the colors produced by this camera remained realistic, bright and eye-pleasing.
In terms of photography, I would like to note that EOS M50 is very good at shooting in poor lighting and at night. During the day you are also unlikely to complain about the device performance. Moreover, this mirrorless camera independently selects the necessary parameters for better image quality. But if you do not agree with them, you can always set up everything.
Its zoom multiplicity is 8.3×, which will be enough to photograph not only people staying nearby but also remote objects. The lens boasts of an impressive stabilization, silent and smooth focus.
Image by Canon EOS M50
Price: about $1700
Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II isn't just a camera but incredibly powerful all-rounder for both photo and video shooting while travelling. My favorite characteristics are the support of two SD memory cards and a touch screen that may tilt to the side and rotate around its axis 360 degrees. These camera characteristics along with a hybrid focusing system make EM1 Mark II the best compact mirrorless camera.
I liked the way it demonstrated its capabilities in good lighting, but in the dark, the focus often misses the object. It has a good 5-axis stabilization, which made it possible to shoot indoors in low light and outdoors in the dark. While working with it, I used only auto white balance and it focused wrongly only a few times.
I like the Super-HD mode, so you can take several pictures and then merge them in one 50MP resolution photo. Thanks to this mode, EM1 Mark II is the best mirrorless camera for travel, urban landscape, and architectural photography.
This lens is famous for its close-focusing mechanism. The lens won't let you down while travelling as it is frost resistant, protected from dust and moisture.
Image by Olympus E-M1 Mark II
Price: about $400
SONY А5100 is one of the best mirrorless digital cameras capable of operating in fully automatic mode. If you seek for a camera that gives you awesome photo quality and, at the same time, is user-friendly for amateurs, A5100 is a perfect match!
The built-in flash contributes to its versatility. Besides, the confident operation of the autofocus allows you not to worry about getting continuously sharp shots, the device will do everything itself. The quality of shots produced by a combination of 24MP matrix and new Bionz X processor is top. That's why it deserves to be called the best Sony mirrorless camera for affordable price.
What I especially like about this camera body is that any weaknesses of most types of optics are easily masked by the camera’s electronics. Its dimensions enable you to carry it almost everywhere, which makes it is the best mirrorless camera for travel. The model easily fits into a large pocket of a jacket, and it gives you the opportunity to take pictures anywhere while traveling.
This zoom lens is fully folding and may be turned into a compact piece of gear. It may be used on a daily basis since it operates perfectly at regular portrait lengths and real wide angle.
Image by Sony a5100
Price: about $1100
I brought Fujifilm X-T2 with me when I was climbing the mountains. The main factor in favor of this device was its small weight. During the hike, this good mirrorless camera was constantly hanging over my shoulder and didn't interfere at all. Thanks to its speed, I was able to photograph almost everything that was interesting.
The pleasing addition was a silent electronic shutter. It enabled me to take shots at ultrashort exposures up to 1/32000 seconds. It is undoubtedly the best Fujifilm mirrorless camera for travel, since the performance of the batteries is impressive. On the hike, the lack of electricity may cause troubles. Nevertheless, a full charge of one battery was enough for me for 3 days.
Furthermore, image stabilization and autofocus pleasantly surprised me while working in the twilight and darkness. Static objects remained sharp, despite the small hands shaking. Another option, which I appreciated, was a bright swivel screen. It is capable of rotating both horizontally and vertically. This allowed shooting "from the hip" without lifting the camera to the eyes, as well as taking pictures of landscapes from low points without removing the backpack.
The body, the thread for the filter and the lens mount are completely metal. It makes the lens a little heavier than plastic analogs, but at the same time, it wins in terms of sensations.
Image by Fujifilm X-T2
|Canon EOS M100||VIEW PRICE|
|Sony A6000BEST SONY||VIEW PRICE|
|Fujifilm X-A5FOR BEGINNERS||VIEW PRICE|
|Panasonic GX9||VIEW PRICE|
|Sony Alpha a7 IIUNDER 1000||VIEW PRICE|
|Fujifilm X-T20FOR PROFESSIONALS||VIEW PRICE|
|Canon EOS M50FOR VLOGGING||VIEW PRICE|
|Olympus E-M1 Mark IIOUR CHOICE||VIEW PRICE|
|Sony a5100BUDGET||VIEW PRICE|
|Fujifilm X-T2||VIEW PRICE|
At first sight, the process of selecting the mirrorless camera for travel isn't challenging at all, since the current market offers a vast array of models. Their peculiar features, for instance, cool design, top-grade construction, fantastic specifications, certainly catch the eye. Nevertheless, the number of mirrorless camera reviews and devices presented may be overwhelming and it will be hard to figure out which characteristics are relevant to you. Therefore, before you decide on the ideal mirrorless camera for travel, carefully look through its key features to understand whether you need them or not.
Prior to choosing a mirrorless camera, think through the really important characteristics to you. If you aren't going to shoot a video, it makes no sense to pay for videos in 4K format. Immediately consider the need for the ubiquitous Wi-Fi interface. How often do you upload files online? If you do not, it is unlikely that you will use this function.
After all, mainly for the sake of compactness, many opt for the best mirrorless cameras. Transporting them is more convenient than SLR cameras. But it is worth remembering that the small camera is not always easy to operate, especially in manual mode. So if you have big palms, take this factor into consideration referring to reviews or feedback on a certain model.
This is a key parameter that in most cases determines the quality of images. If you are focusing on artistic shooting with further printing or publication of large photos, choose a camera with a large matrix. In order to get pictures just to remember and publish them on social networks, you may purchase fast devices with smaller sensors.
If you are serious about developing as a photographer, in the future you will definitely need new lenses and accessories. That's why it is better to choose a system with a good range in a reasonable price category.
While picking the best mirrorless camera for travel, it is necessary to take into account weather conditions you will be shooting in. That is, how the device works at low or high temperatures, whether there is protection from dust and moisture, what materials are used in the construction. It will be unpleasant if the equipment lets you down during the trip due to rain or accidental fall.
Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a photographer, photo retoucher and of course, journalist. Here on FixThePhoto blog you can find all of my reviews, photography and photo editing tips, pricing guides, and photography experiments.