Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel

Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel

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 your photography gear seriously. This review covers the 10 best mirrorless cameras for travel that should satisfy everyone regardless of his/her taste and budget.

best mirrorless camera for travel

10 Best Mirrorless Cameras for Travel

Top 3 Best Mirrorless Cameras for Travel

Lately, more and more photographers and travelers have started giving preference to mirrorless cameras since they have many advantages over smartphones and even DSLRs:

  • High-quality and bright picture quality
  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Smaller size and weight compared to the majority of DSLRs
  • You may improve your photography skills thanks to simple setting adjustments

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 Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus, Canon, and Panasonic cameras and lenses below and find your best mirrorless camera for travel.

1. Olympus E-M1 Mark II

Olympus E-M1 Mark II Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel View Prices on Amazon
  • Remarkable video focusing
  • Dual SD slots
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Amazing battery life
  • Swift charging
  • Video-friendly: 4K, fully swiveling LCD, microphone and headphone jacks
  • While using polarized lenses, the EVF might produce blackout
  • Inconvenient location of headphone and microphone jacks for the swiveling LCD
  • On a high frame burst mode, it has trouble tracking moving subjects

The Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II isn't just a camera, but an incredibly powerful all-rounder for both photo and video shooting while traveling. My favorite characteristics are the support for 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 the 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 incorrectly 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, the EM1 Mark II is the best mirrorless camera for travel, urban landscape and architectural photography.

Recommended camera lens:

Olympus M.ZUIKO 40-150mm f/2.8

This lens is famous for its close-focusing mechanism. The lens won't let you down while traveling as it is frost resistant, protected from dust and moisture.

Olympus M.ZUIKO 40-150mm f/2.8 photo sample Image by Olympus E-M1 Mark II
  • Are you fond of extreme photography and video shooting? Check out my review of the best cameras for backpacking and shooting in extreme conditions.

2. Canon EOS M100

Canon EOS M100 Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel View Prices on Amazon
  • Simple and easy menu
  • Small size
  • Articulating display to take selfies and record vlogs
  • Dual pixel focusing excels at tracking faces
  • Allows for setting the focus by pressing on the necessary object on the screen
  • Face Detection lacks accuracy
  • Lots of noise on higher ISO
  • Shutter is very loud
  • Rear LCD has poor viewing angles

I managed to test this camera in several cities located in different climate zones and it offered amazing performance. I was especially impressed by the 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 from the EF-M series (including a telezoom one) are compact, lightweight and inexpensive.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM

It’s an STM zoom lens with a focal length range of 88-320mm. It’s designed to photograph distant subjects, sporting events, animals and landscapes. The built-in STM mechanism has a silent and fast autofocus.

Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM photo sample Image by Canon EOS M100

3. Sony A6000

Sony A6000 Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel View Prices on Amazon
  • Metal body
  • Convenient grip
  • High shooting speed
  • Tilting screen
  • Remote control support
  • No touchscreen controls
  • Small screen size
  • Can’t choose the focal point directly
  • Poor battery life

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 recent cameras released by the company. I was particularly amazed by the A6000’s autofocus system. Its speed is incredibly high, even in poor lighting and accuracy is impressive as well.

When I used the 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 the camera’s optics. With perfect dust- and moisture resistance, you have a Sony mirrorless camera that you can take anywhere.

Recommended camera lens:

Sony 18–105mm f/4 G OSS

This lens has two ED glass and three aspherical elements that offer a higher resolution and color reproduction across the entire zoom range. It’s a universal model that allows for shooting everything from portraits to landscapes.

Sony 18–105mm f/4 G OSS photo sample Image by Sony A6000
  • Read more about the best mirrorless cameras you can use both for travel photography and professional studio/portrait shooting.

4. Fujifilm X-A5

Fujifilm X-A5 Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel View Prices on Amazon
  • Articulating screen
  • Long battery life
  • Fast hybrid AF system
  • Integrated RAW-converter
  • Lens has an efficient image stabilizer
  • Poor autofocus performance during video recording
  • 4K videos are limited to 15fps and five minutes
  • Small burst shooting mode buffer
  • No RAW support when shooting in auto or preset modes

Shooters call this model the best mirrorless camera under 500 due to its stylish metal body and low price. The X-A3 was designed to easily hold and control 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, the 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 $2,000.

Recommended camera lens:

Fujinon XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ

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.

Fujinon XC 15-45mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ photo sample Image by Fujifilm X-A5

5. Panasonic GX9

Panasonic GX9 Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel View Prices on Amazon
  • Small and lightweight
  • Sensor doesn’t have a low-frequency filter
  • Good image stabilizing system
  • High burst shooting mode speed (9fps)
  • Interesting built-in filters
  • Poor performance at higher ISO
  • Disappointing color reproduction in JPEG
  • Isn’t dust- and moisture resistant
  • Short battery life
  • Doesn’t have mic and headphone inputs

This cheap mirrorless camera was designed specifically for travelers. Due to its characteristics, you can easily bring the GX9 with you everywhere. It can endure both heat and cold up to -20oC while remaining operable and fast. The 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 photos taken weren’t too noisy or overexposed. This camera has a new 20MP image sensor that captures highly detailed images and offers good color reproduction. The GX9’s image stabilization works quite well when taking photos. Sadly, it isn’t as efficient during video recording.

Recommended camera lens:

Panasonic LUMIX G Vario Lens 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH

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.

Panasonic LUMIX G Vario Lens 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH photo sample Image by Panasonic GX9
  • If you want to compare mirrorless cameras with compact or DSLRs, read more about the best travel cameras available today.

6. Sony Alpha a7 II

Sony Alpha a7 II Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel View Prices on Amazon
  • Sturdy, dust- and water-resistant body design
  • Articulating (1-axis) display
  • Vast array of control buttons and dials
  • Has a “Zebra” function with an adjustable IRE level
  • “Hand-Held Twilight” and “MFNR” modes take 6 frames to reduce noise
  • Lacks built-in flash
  • Doesn’t have touchscreen controls
  • Average continuous shooting mode speed (5fps)
  • Disappointing battery life

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 the 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 the 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.

Recommended camera lens:

Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS

The lens has a well thought-out design, quality build and high focusing speed supported by an efficient image stabilizer. Most importantly, this model is very optic-wise.

Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS photo sample Image by Sony Alpha a7 II

7. Fujifilm X-T20

Fujifilm X-T20 Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel View Prices on Amazon
  • Easy to use
  • Good AF system
  • 4K video support
  • High photo quality
  • Can be charged via USB
  • Could be better ergonomically
  • Poorly balanced when shooting with large lenses

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 for 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, the X-T20 works really well out in the cold, not losing speed even at -15oC.

Recommended camera lens:

Fujinon XF 50mm f/2 R WR

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.

Fujinon XF 50mm f/2 R WR photo sample Image by Fujifilm X-T20

8. Canon EOS M50

Canon EOS M50 Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel View Prices on Amazon
  • 4K video recording
  • Improved CMOS AF dual pixel
  • Rotatable touch screen
  • A remarkable EVF
  • Simple to use
  • Short battery life
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF doesn't work in 4K video recording mode
  • USB charging isn't supported
  • The memory card and battery unit are locked when shooting with a tripod

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 the EOS M50 is very good at shooting in poor lighting and at night. You are also unlikely to complain about the device’s performance during the day. 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 manually.

Recommended camera lens:

Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM

Its zoom multiplicity is 8.3×, which will be enough to photograph not only people staying nearby, but also remote objects. The lens boasts impressive stabilization, as well as silent and smooth focus.

Canon EF-M 18-150mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM photo sample Image by Canon EOS M50
  • Can’t choose a good mirrorless camera for YouTube videos? Read more about the best vlogging cameras for travel videos and awesome photos from your trips.

9. Sony a5100

Sony a5100 Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel View Prices on Amazon
  • Low noise matrix
  • Focusing with a touch screen
  • Autofocus in video mode
  • Flash may be directed at the ceiling
  • Wi-Fi and NFC modules
  • Inconvenient menu
  • Limited Wi-Fi and NFC compatibility
  • Functionally limited touch screen
  • Lacks a hot shoe

The SONY А5100 is one of the best mirrorless digital cameras capable of operating in fully automatic mode. If you are looking for a camera that gives you awesome photo quality and, at the same time, is user-friendly for amateurs, the 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 notch. 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 in 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.

Recommended camera lens:

Sony SELP1650 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS

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.

Sony SELP1650 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS photo sample Image by Sony a5100

10. Fujifilm X-T2

Fujifilm X-T2 Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel View Prices on Amazon
  • Exceptional design
  • Fascinating image quality
  • 4K video
  • Improved autofocus
  • Problems with internal stabilization
  • Phase autofocus isn't compatible with all lenses
  • Confusing menu

I brought the Fujifilm X-T2 with me when I was climbing the mountains. The main factor in favor of this device was its light 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 1/32,000 of a second. 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 three 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 for 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.

Recommended camera lens:

Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS

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.

Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS photo sample Image by Fujifilm X-T2

The List of 10 Best Mirrorless Cameras for Travel

Image Camera Characteristics  
Olympus E-M1 Mark II
Olympus E-M1 Mark II
  • 20.4 Megapixel Live
  • MOS Sensor
Canon EOS M100
Canon EOS M100
  • 24,2 Megapixel
  • CMOS (APS-C) Sensor
Sony A6000
Sony A6000
  • 24 Megapixel
  • CMOS (APS-C) Sensor
Fujifilm X-A5
Fujifilm X-A5
  • 24,2 Megapixel
  • CMOS (APS-C) Sensor
Panasonic GX9
Panasonic GX9
  • 24,2 Megapixel
  • CMOS (APS-C) Sensor
Sony Alpha a7 II
Sony Alpha a7 II
UNDER 1000
  • 24,3 Megapixel
  • CMOS (APS-C) Sensor
Fujifilm X-T20
Fujifilm X-T20
  • 24.3MP X-Trans
  • CMOS III APS-C sensor
Canon EOS M50
Canon EOS M50
  • 24.3MP X-Trans
  • CMOS III APS-C sensor
Sony a5100
Sony a5100
  • 24MP
  • APS-C sensor
Fujifilm X-T2
Fujifilm X-T2
  • 24.3MP X-Trans

How to Choose the Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel

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.

1. Discard Unnecessary Functions

Prior to choosing a mirrorless camera, think through the really important characteristics to you want. 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. Discarding needless functions, you can get a decent camera under 500 dollars.

2. Dimensions

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.

3. Sensor Size

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. In order to get pictures just to remember and publish them on social networks, you may purchase fast cameras under 1000 dollars with smaller sensors.

4. Camera Accessories

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 range.

5. Device Protection

While picking the best mirrorless camera for travel, it is necessary to take into account the 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.

Ann Young

Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more