Many photographers, as well as people who aren’t interested in professional travel photography but enjoy traveling, want to capture every moment of their trip. Since the quality of photos taken with a smartphone is worse than digital cameras offer, people are still looking for the best cameras for travel. Point and shoot, DSLR, or mirrorless, do you need an interchangeable lens or not, $100 or $1,000, what camera body to buy? Let me help you to find your best travel camera to take the best travel pictures of your trip.
The ideal travel camera should be compact, lightweight, and provide image quality better than a smartphone. Why? You will need a smartphone for navigation, information search, communication, or translator. The camera greatly discharges the battery, and since you will often take pictures, it’s better to shift this task to a professional camera body.
Many people choose this kind of digital camera as the best camera for amateur photographers. When people choose travel cameras, they don’t want to carry a separate lens for landscape, portrait, or reportage photographs. They want to have one camera with one lens and shoot everything with it! Having a smaller version of a professional camera in your purse, backpack, or pocket which is inferior in quality to a “big” camera is very useful for any amateur photographer or travel blogger, so among those models offered here, you can choose the best camera for travel photography to your taste.
Price: about $550
This camera has a large 1-inch sensor in a compact package. The body can easily be taken as an average cheap camera without recognizing excellent optics and good quality. The new 20-megapixel backlit sensor gives a 40% sensitivity improvement in low-light conditions, which, according to Sony, allows RX100 II to focus faster in low-light conditions. Also, it helps get clearer images with higher ISO and the camera has the best zoom too. That’s why it is often called the best point and shoot camera 2018.
The camera cannot be synchronized with an external flash or, most importantly, with accessories such as an electronic viewfinder. The LCD screen has become mobile and is now tilting up and down, which makes RX100 II more flexible.
Photo by Sony Cyber-shot R
Price: about $740
In pursuit of the best small camera for travel and as a response to the excellent Sony Cyber-shot RX100, Panasonic developed a camera body about the same size as the previous ZS/TZ series cameras but took the leading position thanks to a large sensor. This physically larger sensor can significantly improve the image quality, but there is a small drawback - zoom range is not as extensive as its analogs offer.
However, ZS200/TZ200 still has a universal 15x zoom lens, as well as a convenient built-in electronic viewfinder. The camera uses a 1-inch CMOS image sensor with 20.1 megapixel resolution. The camera is equipped with an image stabilization system that compensates movement at five freedom degrees. With 111x66x45 mm dimensions, the camera weighs about 340 g. Without recharging the battery, it can take 370 shots. All this gives this “baby” the right to be called the best travel camera.
Photo by Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200
Price: about $400
It is another good example that more megapixels don’t mean better work. Smart manufacturers have reduced the number of megapixels from 16 to 12, which enabled them to increase the size, which in turn improved the sensitivity of the sensor to light. It is a very sensible strategy for underwater or evening shooting. The graphics processor is the same as in OM-D E-M1 Mark II flagship - extended dynamic range and fast camera response are guaranteed.
The free OI Track application allows you to assign GPS tags, data from a compass, a manometer, and temperature to video and photos directly in the camera, as well as transfer files via Wi-Fi to a smartphone or a tablet. Strong temperature fluctuations can cause condensation on the lens, but not in this case. Thanks to the double protective glass, TG-5 resists fogging even with very sharp drops.
TG-5 gets the best travel camera title because of its high level of protection and compactness, which will serve you if you are going on a journey in extreme conditions, for example, in the tropics with their high humidity or in places with low temperatures.
Photo by Olympus TG-5
Price: about $400
Compact camera for those who prefer traveling with minimum things. Touch control and excellent shooting quality make many photographers call it the best travel camera. In this camera, the developers managed to balance all the parameters. It is quite small, does not occupy precious space in the bag, and can easily fit in your pocket. At the same time, it has a rather large sensor (1" format) and a threefold zoom lens with optical stabilization.
The photo quality Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II provides distinguishes this camera among mobile gadgets, especially in low light conditions, where the mentioned stabilizer plays a vital role. A rather large sensor will also ensure beautiful background blurring. At the same time, the device is comparable with any smartphone in terms of easy operation: its touch interface is also user-friendly. Great combination of the optical and digital zoom defines it as the best travel zoom camera among those mentioned here.
Fast autofocus and burst mode at up to 8.2 frames per second are among the serious benefits. Travelers accustomed to professional cameras will find all the necessary settings, the option to record RAW files during photography, and video in Full HD. Moreover, due to its parameters, G9 X is considered the best point and shoot camera with WIFI.
Photo by Canon Power Shot G9 X Mark II
Price: about $400
Many people associate GoPro with travel and adventures and, since it is most equipped for them, it can take great photos and is compact. Waterproof up 10 meters deep, you can trust Hero7 to accompany you on almost any adventure during the holidays. You will find that it is deservedly rated among the best travel cameras. And if you buy an additional body, you will significantly increase the depth of the dive.
The addition of high-performance HyperSmooth stabilization makes GoPro Hero7 Black perfect for even more crazy adventures than ever before - and the fact that the camera is not very expensive is also very important. Although Hero7 is superior to other cameras from GoPro in price, thanks to the development of HyperSmooth, it far exceeds their capabilities and IN photography opportunities as well. The new TimeWarp feature in Hero7 Black is also very interesting, and the image quality remains consistently high. The updated user interface and portrait options make GoPro Hero7 Black easier and more convenient to use. Besides, the camera remains compatible with many accessories. Without any serious flaws, this is the case of eliminating minor defects, so the model can be called the best travel camera.
The resolution of the sensor remains the same - 12MP. But the Touch Zoom feature ensures improved recognition of voice commands. I wish they added a battery with longer battery life.
Mirrorless cameras are a trend of recent years. Leading brands of photographic equipment made huge improvements in this direction, so now you can pick up a camera that contains the power and quality in a compact package that are inherent in DSLR. This option makes it possible to change lenses and offers ample opportunities for shooting, which has expanded the application area for mirrorless cameras, and now they can be found among the best travel cameras.
Photo by GoPro Hero 7
Price: about $500
Sony A6000 is a mirrorless digital camera that offers high image quality, broad functionality, and excellent video recording capabilities. This model is rather large and doesn’t have foldable lenses, meaning it can only be carried in a bag. Thankfully, Sony A6000 is comfortable to hold and it is equipped with an adequate electronic viewfinder. The camera controls are well-designed and can be adjusted with programmable buttons and a customizable quick-start menu.
Judging by price and functionality, this contender for the best compact zoom camera title is close to DSLR models. Its hardware is in a similar class and APS-C matrix with a 1.5 crop factor is familiar from Sony reflex cameras.
As there is no touchscreen, manual focusing requires a lot of button pressing and takes quite a bit of time. Another slight disappointment is the battery life. A single charge won’t be enough for a day of intense shooting, while the battery has to be inside the camera and connected to a PC or charger to recharge it.
Now, let’s return to the advantages. Sony A6000 may be the best camera for traveling Europe as it offers amazing photo quality, considering its size and relatively low price: highly detailed and accurate colors, a broad dynamic range, and ISO up to 3200. The same thing goes for the video recording quality. Another great feature is the continuous shooting speed of 11fps and a large buffer.
This is a versatile, small, and cheap standard zoom lens with feedback, which is a great plus for videographers. This lens is also useful for you to determine the direction in which you want to grow as a photographer.
This is a $250 lens that offers great lens speed, which allows you to capture portraits with beautiful bokeh and work in poor lighting conditions. Sadly, since it has an APS-C matrix with a 75mm focal distance, it can’t be used as a universal lens.
Price: about $600
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is not miniature but is still perceived as small even among mirrorless models. It is especially compact in combination with the folding MZD ED 14-42/3.5-5.6 EZ lens, and we will consider this combination as the best travel camera kit.
Ergonomics is significantly improved compared to the previous OM-D E-M10model: Control wheels on the top panel have moved into a more comfortable position, and mode disk is elevated that provides easy access. The rotation of all the discs is optimally tight, and the grooving is pleasant to touch. The concept of 2x2 interface is successfully implemented - pressing the button you briefly change the functionality of both control wheels, which as a result provides quick access to four key parameters. These save a lot of time and boost creativity as soon as you get used to it, so I called it the best camera for travel photography.
As for the control logic, the abundance of possibilities, the flexible configuring, everything is rich and powerful in the traditional way of Olympus. For beginners, it will be a little difficult to understand all the settings, but amateurs and professionals will appreciate them. The newbies may use a simplified control mode.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II, like the best mirrorless camera, can help you take beautiful images that are rich and detailed with high sharpness over the entire frame area. The lenses from M. Zuiko Digital Premium and PRO lines will help you to fully use the camera potential, but you can also get great photos with the standard zoom, which is why it gets the title of the best compact zoom camera for traveling.
A compact pancake-lens. When folded, its length is slightly more than 2 centimeters. This makes it possible to carry a camera, for example, in a jacket pocket. This miracle of minimalism in combination with OM-D E-M10 Mark II can be called the best pocket camera among mirrorless kits. When the lens is moved to its working position, it expands almost 3 times in length. Though the lens does not have serious dimensions, it was made quite professionally - using high-quality plastic and even a metal mount of the bayonet.
Price: about $700
Olympus E-PL9 brought the PEN series closer to compact travel cameras while adding a built-in flash, but it lost the ability to attach an additional viewfinder. This model is created for photographers who want to switch from a smartphone to a “true” camera. That impression is further supported by the addition of Bluetooth, which makes the shooting process even easier. E-PL9 also has a rotatable screen and it comes with several ART filters.
While being tested, PEN E-PL9 met all the requirements for a DSLM-camera of “Micro Four Thirds” system. It’s beginner friendly and can be considered the best camera for travel bloggers. It has convenient touchscreen controls and a variety of creative filters for shooters who make lots of Facebook and Instagram posts.
This model offers terrific image and UHD-video quality, making it superior to smartphones in this regard. Also, E-PL9 includes different modes such as HDR, multi-exposure, and panoramic photography.
This is the kit lens for Micro Four Thirds best travel cameras system. It has a 3-times zoom range. The focal range on a 2-crop factor is the equivalent to a full-frame shot (28-84mm).
This is one of the best superzoom lens options for traveling and everyday use. However, similar to Canon kit lenses, this model has a limited lifecycle. Over time, the data transfer flex wears out and the lens refuses to zoom in. The only thing you can do is to replace the flex.
Price: about $550
Panasonic has once again managed to develop one of the best mirrorless cameras at a low price. With its design, workflow, and control settings, G7 reached a level higher than G6. Regarding functionality, this model stands out with its 4K video support. However, G7 isn’t only great for recording 4K footage, but it also offers wonderful overall content quality, an impressive amount of settings, and an accurate autofocus, so even its Full-HD recording capability surpasses the competitors and it can be considered the best camera for travel photography.
G7 offers excellent performance in poor lighting conditions, as its autofocus finds objects better than the naked eye. In normal lighting, G7 has a noticeably lower focus speed than Olympus OM-D E-M5 but is faster than Fujifilm X-T10. The same is true for the startup loading time. The continuous shooting speed is worse than the competitors have, but it lasts the longest.
The camera automatics work well both in natural and artificial lighting, with the exception of incandescent lamps. The battery life indicator isn’t very useful, as three segments aren’t enough to make a proper judgment.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 is substantially cheaper than the GH4 model, as the latter remains the go-to choice for professional photographers. Meanwhile, G7 suits enthusiasts who want a universal camera for photo and video shooting.
Panasonic has developed an improved version of its kit lens with the same focal distance and lens speed, but with a smaller length (when folded), while keeping the optical stabilizer. The only drawback of this compact zoom is the increased delay between the camera’s turning on and its readiness to start shooting compared to the regular 14-42mm. Also, the total price of the camera + lens increases by about $170. However, if you want to have one of the best small cameras with zoom for travel, that shouldn’t stop you.
It’s a versatile pancake-lens for everyday use. It’s equivalent to a 40mm full-frame lens, which is perfect for different photography types – architecture, landscapes, portraiture, group pictures, midrange macro, evening, and indoor photo shoots. Moreover, the lens is small and compact, while offering terrific lens speed at a low price.
Price: about $1500
What I love the most about Fujifilm cameras is their ergonomics. The nicely placed control elements and top-notch assembly quality make this model a pleasure to use, which is why many professionals choose it as their main equipment. This is probably the best small camera for travel that is also lightweight and durable.
This camera is compatible with a lot of detachable lenses, has 4K video support, and Fujifilm “film imitation” mode (imitating 15 different photographic films). This is a nice addition, but you can achieve that effect in Lightroom as well. The main settings such as shutter speed, ISO light sensitivity, expo-correction, and shutter speed modes are done by mechanical discs. You can also attach a battery grip which adds 2 more batteries to the camera and increases the shooting speed up to 11 shots per second.
I’d recommend this best compact camera for travel to people who are familiar with how to photograph in manual mode and those who need the most accurate and vibrant colors possible.
This is the first lens with an electronic zoom for X Mount bayonet. It’s distinguished by its small weight and size, and it is perfect if you need a good zoom travel camera.
This is one of the cheapest autofocus fixed-lenses for Fujifilm X bayonet with an impressive lens speed. Its main strengths are the compact size, small weight, and the dust and moisture protection. Thanks to the impressive autofocus speed and its small size, this lens can be used by reporters and street photographers.
It’s widely considered that a professional high-quality photograph can only be taken with a DSLR camera. That’s why the vast majority of professional photographers use reflex cameras. Moreover, the best cameras for travel ordinarily have a large image sensor, and thanks to the inclusion of changeable optics and a ton of manually adjustable settings, they offer unlimited creative potential to their owners.
While traveling, photographers usually take their reflex camera along with a few spare lenses. For instance, the best super zoom travel cameras lenses are perfect to capture landscape scenes, while a model with high lens speed is the go-to option to take artistic portraits and close-up photos with a blurred background. The combination of both lens types always enhances the beauty of a travel photo album. Also, using manual settings and a tripod, it’s possible to create breathtaking evening cityscapes. This option is great for people who want to take photography seriously during their travels.
Price: about $750
Nikon D5600 is the best travel zoom camera for hobbyists and beginners since it’s simple to use, lightweight, and portable. The built-in tooltips will simplify the learning process of how to operate the camera, and the touchscreen controls are supported by a smartphone-like UI. The automatic mode works well and allows getting good results even for people who are new to DSLR cameras. The only thing a newbie has to keep an eye on is the autofocus point.
This best pocket camera has a 24MP matrix with a wide dynamic range and good performance on high ISO settings. It also allows recording Full HD video footage with a 50-60fps and has a rotatable display.
All in all, it’s a nice feeling to know you can purchase a good DSLR camera for a relatively low price.
It’s the most versatile of all reasonably priced lenses. Even though it’s quite large, it can be the best option for travelers due to its wide focal range.
A very well-made, compact, and inexpensive wide-angle zoom lens that is perfect to photograph landscapes and architecture in old cities with narrow streets.
Price: about $600
Canon EOS 200D is one of the best cameras for beginning photographers. It’s compact and, compared to most competitors, is very easy to master thanks to the touchscreen controls and simplified interface, which is very important for travelers. The APS-C 24MP sensor creates a consistently high-quality picture, capturing sharp and colorful photos even at high ISO values. The autofocus works equally fast in two modes: viewfinder and Live View.
A great feature of this camera that isn’t available in most DSLR cameras is the rotatable screen. 200D also deserves credit for 5 fps continuous shooting mode and Full HD video support. This camera also supports remote smartphone control, and you can transfer the images directly to your phone. Another nice perk is the camera’s availability in different colors.
The biggest drawback of this travel camera is the simplicity of the included kit lens. It won’t satisfy your growing photography needs for long, so it’s better to purchase the camera body separately.
This is a fantastic wide-angle lens for portraiture and street photography, which allows creating highly detailed, sharp images. The maximum aperture is f/1.8, as it allows shooting without any additional light sources even in poor lighting conditions. This is a great lens that will satisfy all your travel needs.
This is the best replacement for 18-55mm kit lens. In certain situations, it can replace a lot of lenses and when it comes to stabilization, it surpasses them. This lens can easily become your main one if you appreciate versatility, but it does weigh quite a bit.
|Sony A6000OUR CHOICE||CHECK PRICE|
|Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX100 FOR TRAVEL||CHECK PRICE|
|GoPro Hero 7FOR EXTREME TRAVEL||CHECK PRICE|
|Panasonic G7VIDEO QUALITY||CHECK PRICE|
|Olympus PEN E-PL9FOR BLOGGING||CHECK PRICE|
|Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200||CHECK PRICE|
|Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera||CHECK PRICE|
|Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II||CHECK PRICE|
|Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II||CHECK PRICE|
|Fujifilm X-T2||CHECK PRICE|
|Nikon D5600||CHECK PRICE|
|Сanon EOS Rebel SL2 / 200D||CHECK PRICE|
When traveling, you don’t want to only get emotions, but also take photographs to share with your friends. That’s why you have to find a good camera beforehand. To make sure that you’ll choose the best travel camera, pay attention to the following criteria:
This is the most important factor since you don’t want to carry a 2-pound camera on top of an already heavy backpack. The preferable weight is below 1 pound.
The best travel camera is the one you can fit in your pocket since you’ll be able to easily take it out and use it whenever you want.
If you’re purchasing a camera with an unchangeable lens – a broad focal range is a must-have. The camera has to be capable of taking both street view pictures and close-up shots.
If it’s a mirrorless or DSLR camera, then you need fast lens speed to make use of your camera entire functionality, especially during evening photo shoots.
While traveling, you’re moving constantly and don’t have time to stand still, trying to manually focus your camera. That’s why you should search top rated point and shoot cameras with a fast and accurate autofocus.
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.