Are you looking for the best camera for travel photography? Are you an amateur photography enthusiast who would like to always be on the go during your travels but don’t want to miss capturing all the amazing views and memories along the way?
We have compiled some of the best-rated cameras from all price range, brands, and types that might be the answer to your needs! We all have our own needs and expectations, therefore, we often opt for choices and evaluate which one is the best for us.
That said, I personally recommend Olympus OM-D EM-10 II as it is the camera I personally use during my travels. It takes amazing photos and the size is reasonably small that you can fit it in a small bag with no problem! It is, in my opinion, the best travel camera out there.
Other than that, I’m a huge fan of Canon Powershot G7x, this used to be my go-to camera and still use it on occasion. It takes amazing photographs and it is a compact camera so it is almost palm size, so it is absolutely small enough to fit your purse! To see how is the photo quality of this compact camera, check out my photo diary from Kerala!
That said, do check this travel camera reviews to learn more about other camera brands that may interest you!
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Camera for Travel Photography Comparison Chart
- 2 A Travel Gear Guide: How to Choose The Best Travel Camera and What to Consider
- 3 Best Smartphone for Travel Photography
- 4 Best Action Camera for Travel Photography
- 5 Best Point and Shoot Compact Camera
- 6 Best Bridge Camera (in Between a DSLR and Point and Shoot)
- 7 Best Mirrorless Travel Camera
The Best Camera for Travel Photography Comparison Chart
|CAMERA MODEL||TYPE||SENSOR (inches)||WEIGHT (grams)||CHECK PRICES:|
|iPhone 6||Smartphone||1/2.6"||129g||CHECK PRICE|
|Google Pixel 2||Smartphone||1/3"||143g||CHECK PRICE|
|GoPro Hero 6 Black||Action camera||1/2.3"||117g||CHECK PRICE|
|PANASONIC LUMIX ZS100||Point and shoot||1"||309g||CHECK PRICE|
|Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II||Point and shoot||1"||318g||CHECK PRICE|
|Sony DSC HX90V||Point and shoot||1/2.3"||245g||CHECK PRICE|
|PANASONIC LUMIX FZ2500||Bridge camera||1"||966g||CHECK PRICE|
|Sony Alpha a6000||Mirrorless camera||APS-C||344g||CHECK PRICE|
|Fujifilm X-T10||Mirrorless camera||APS-C||381g||CHECK PRICE|
|Olympus OM-D E-M10||Mirrorless camera||Four Thirds||515g||CHECK PRICE|
A Travel Gear Guide: How to Choose The Best Travel Camera and What to Consider
Things to Consider Before Buying a New Camera for Travel
A complete camera gear with the body and kit lens on the low end will cost you roughly about 800USD easily and this is just a mid-range starters kit. Also, not to mention the high-end compact cameras can also run about the same price range and these don’t have interchangeable lenses.
So, that said, investing in a new camera can be really expensive so you really have to think about how much you’d like to spend on it before actually breaking the bank for it.
There are options, of course, to get the prices down and that is by going for second-hand cameras and lenses. However, this is all up to you!
I personally bought my whole Olympus kit with one zoom lens and two prime lenses for over 1000USD – all brand new. Previously, I had a Canon G7x which I bought for 600USD and truthfully, both are absolutely worth it for their prices! My Olympus OM-D10 is perhaps the best purchase I’ve ever done in a long time!
What are your goals?
Where else do you intend to use this camera other than during your travels? Are you planning to use your new camera for other hobbies while you’re not traveling?
These are a few questions you might want to ask yourself before splurging tons of $$$ on new kits! If you’re planning on just simply documenting your travels but don’t intend to, let’s say, pursue photography as a hobby or use it for something else then perhaps a point and shoot or your smartphone will suffice.
Point and shoot vs Your Smartphone vs DSLR vs Mirrorless Cameras
Whew, what an option you have! But the real question here is, which one do you need? We’ve talked about dealing with your goal before splurging and you really have to conclude with that so it will be easier to choose!
This goes without saying, these types of cameras all don’t matter if you don’t know how to take good photos – although, a good camera can certainly help you if that is a situation.
So, the best thing to do once you decided which camera to buy is to practice, practice, and more practice! Also, what most photographer has said before, it is all in the eyes of the photographer and not the camera.
I believe in this 100% as I personally don’t take amazing photos and can’t really tell the difference between my iPhone, Canon G7x, and Olympus. This is why I say to practice a lot as it will help you in the long run!
So, depending on your goals, you choose the best travel camera for you based on that!
The weight of the camera
If you’re intending to use the camera while traveling, it will be less of a hassle to carry something smaller and more compact than carrying a DSLR and a couple of lenses. Of course, if you don’t mind lugging around 2kg’s worth of gear with you, then go for it!
However, most people do opt for a lighter alternative and go for a point and shoot or a mirrorless camera.
Action camera, yes or no?
Action cameras such as GoPro can be an awesome addition to your gear. However, is it something you need? Well, not necessarily but if you spend a lot of time doing awesome adventures and going underwater then yes! You can take your travel photography to a whole new level with an action camera and document amazing adventures along the way.
That said, will these suffice and replace a normal camera? No. Action cameras don’t perform as well as normal cameras. For instance, it can’t be zoomed and the aperture can only go down to a certain focal point thus making it perform poorly under low light situations.
With all these said, an action camera is awesome to have but not necessarily needed!
Why Should You Get a Dedicated Travel Camera (Apart from Your Smartphone)
Battery Lasts for Days
In comparison to a smartphone, a camera generally would last longer without charging and would be more valuable if you’re shooting outdoors or the wildlife and would have no access to an electrical outlet for few days. You won’t want your device to run out of battery when you need it the most. Hence, a dedicated camera can last up to several days, and you can also carry extra battery along.
No Notifications and Interruptions
Your smartphone might be powerful and has the benefits of several gadgets. Your pocket will be less weighted down. But for serious photography, you need a serious camera. A phone call or even a Facebook notification can ruin your experience while you are busy framing shots.
Get closer to subjects
Smartphone cameras are getting better each passing year. But the dedicated camera still has an advantage – the zoom. You can get the 2x optical zoom to the max in high-end smartphones. On the flip side, even the budget digital cameras have 5x digital zoom.
More control over shots
You can have a lot more control in settings like shutter speed, aperture, white balance, etc. Most people want to have the convenience and simplicity of smartphones, but you can get better results with a digital camera only.
Capture Low Light Shots
Smartphones like Samsung Galaxy S8 are surely getting an edge these days. But it is still better to invest in a decent travel camera to get better shots in low-light conditions. Sensors in the camera are around 50 times larger than that of smartphones.
Never miss any shot
It is another area where a dedicated camera can have the edge over a smartphone, due to ultrafast shutter speed. From capturing goal on a football game to shooting water rafting adventure, you have to capture many photos instantly to get rid of blur.
No Storage Limit
How many times did you resist yourself from the urge to clicking pictures just because you are afraid of running out of space? Even if you have enough space, there’s always a risk, especially with 4K video recording which can eat up the space available so easily. In a digital camera, you can expand storage up to 256GB. That is, depending on your memory card, of course!
How to Choose the Best Travel Camera?
Weight and Size
Gone are the days when bigger was better. You can even get small and light digital cameras that can take better photos. If you’re traveling, it is more convenient to carry a smaller and lighter camera so it won’t be a hindrance to your exploration. If you’re not aiming to take professional photos, a compact digital camera would be the answer to your prayers!
That said, there are a lot of smaller ones with interchangeable lenses such as a mirrorless camera.
Photography professionals want to control their camera settings to a great extent so they can get ideal shots in all situations. Most cameras available nowadays have an option to shoot manually and with other options to control aperture, shutter, and ISO. It is good to invest in a camera that offers these so you can also learn how to take photographs and adjust the settings as to how you envision the shot must be.
It is a belief that more megapixels are better. It is not always the case if pixels are small. But if the sensor is large, more megapixels give better results. You can crop the image without having to compromise quality.
One can measure aperture something like f/4, f/1.4, f/2.0, etc. The lower the aperture count, the better the low-light performance.
A zoom lens is vital to get closer to the subject, especially in the case of wildlife photography. The larger the zoom, the heavier the camera is. So, it’s up to you to decide the amount of zoom you’ll need but typically, for travel photography, a 14-150mm zoom lens should be more than enough to capture anything that is far with great clarity.
Resolution (for Videos)
Most travel cameras shoot in 1080p HD, but some even capture in 4K resolution, something which most people won’t need unless they need professional results. You typically only need this if you’re opting for something that can also take great videos!
If you’re a travel blogger, like me, it is almost godsend when they started releasing cameras that can connect to your smartphone via Wi-Fi to transfer all your photos for easy sharing to social media. Of course, for those who take photos who only aim to use the camera and have no hurry to share it online, this is not a big thing. That said, it is a good perk!
DSLR and high-end mirrorless cameras come with interchangeable lenses to pick ideal lens according to situations. It may be not a big thing for you to have a camera with interchangeable lenses if you’re not thinking of photography as a hobby but a matter of preserving memories.
Cameras with interchangeable lenses can be a pain in the butt during travels as some lenses are not good for certain shots and changing it in the middle of a crowded place might not be an option so sometimes you have to deal with this and can be stressful at times.
However, for the amateur travel photography enthusiast, having an option to change lenses can be a fun thing as you can really achieve amazing results playing around the lenses you have on hand.
Will your travel camera withstand the elements? Some cameras provide better protection against dust and moisture. This is why it is important to understand the risk of bringing expensive gear during your travels and have to make sure you have insurance for your things!
Types of Travel Cameras
Most travelers prefer a point and shoot over the bulky DSLR’s but since the release of Mirrorless cameras, it became revolutionary to ordinary travelers as they can, not only, take amazing photos but also hassle less since the size is so small! To choose the best small camera for travel, consider what you need – weight, size, price, ease of use or other factors.
Point & Shoot Compact Digital Cameras
If weight, price, and ease of use are your main focus, you should invest in a compact digital camera. It won’t weigh down your luggage, and it will fit in a purse or backpack.
High-End Compact Digital Cameras
These cameras have few more features than point and shoot cameras. It is the best compact camera for travel as it is similar in size and has full manual mode along with auto mode. Usually, they can capture a picture in RAW format. These are a bit more expensive than compact cameras.
If you want size, image quality, and weight are your primary focus, a mirrorless camera is your best bet. Unlike DSLR, it lacks the mirror reflex optical viewfinder. If you still need an interchangeable lens without the bulk of DSLR, it is a perfect choice. An electronic viewfinder is another plus. It shows the real-time effect of ISO and aperture, unlike DSLR.
If you want something for wildlife, sports, and any action photography, DSLR cameras are your best bet. You can have more lens options, longer battery life, and faster focus.
Best Smartphone for Travel Photography
I’m biased when it comes to phones. I always opt for Apple products as most of my gears are Apple thus it is easier for me to connect everything blissfully. However, iPhones do have amazing cameras and without denying can take amazing travel photographs.
iPhone 6 has8 megapixels and have autofocus that gives absolute clarity to your photos! I am honestly in love with my iPhone, that is why I recommend this too.
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If ever I would change phones basing my decision for its camera, I’ll definitely go for Google Pixel 2 as not only I heard awesome reviews, but apparently have other amazing advantages – you can read a review here. This camera has 12 megapixels with f/1.8 stop making it an amazing smartphone for travel photography. Take all that blur background photos all you want!
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Best Action Camera for Travel Photography
Not only it takes amazing photographs during your adventure (even if you’re legit moving all the time), it is also so small that it fits your pocket – literally! It has image stabilization, amazing photo quality, and to top it all – it is waterproof. To even make these all better, GoPro Hero 6 Black can also shoot in 4k with a 12-megapixel sensor. You can also dive up to 10 meters with it! Score.
Capture your action shots and adventures and turn them all into beautiful stories on your device with Hero6 Black. The major highlights of this compact camera include 2x performance, top-level video stabilization, and GP1 chip. The waterproof design and voice control are making it the best digital camera for travel.
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Best Point and Shoot Compact Camera
Are you looking for a reliable and high-performance travel camera? Panasonic Lumix ZS100 4K is your best camera for travel photography. It provides a versatile viewing angle with Optical Image Stabilizer Plus. It is your best travel companion for high-sensitivity ISO 12,800 video recording, which is beyond the ordinary digital cameras.
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Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II digital camera gives you amazing shots with great performance and speed. The smart design of this compact camera makes it perfect for events, travel, and anywhere you go. This Canon travel camera features 20.1 MP and 1.0-inch sensor, high-performance CMOS sensor with f/1.8 to 2.8 aperture to capture brilliant images.
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Sony DSCHX90V is designed to be smart enough to capture every detail with added sharpness with the world’s lightest and smallest 30x zoom camera. The Sony travel camera has 18.2 Megapixel low light Exmor R sensor and ZEISS optics that are powered by 5-axis image stabilization.
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Best Bridge Camera (in Between a DSLR and Point and Shoot)
If you want to capture advanced and professional-quality 4K video, I would highly recommend Panasonic Lumix FZ2500. This traveling camera features a wide 1-inch sensor, 20.1 MP shooter with f/2.8-4.5 aperture.
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Best Mirrorless Travel Camera
The best part of the Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Camera is that it comes with the complete bundle for your photography adventure. It means you won’t have to buy anything additional if you opt for this package. It includes a 16-50mm lens, two 64GB SD cards, batteries, DSLR camera bundle, Micro USB cable, and whatnot.
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A favorite amongst young budding amateur photographers and young city hipsters who love taking fashion photography, this camera also made its way to travel lovers as their go-to gear to while on the go. With 16 megapixel CMOS II sensor and other amazing qualities, Fujifilm X-T10 is also best for those who are on a budget as it falls under 1000USD for the whole kit.
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At first, I was torn between Sony A6000 and Fujifilm X-T10, I was then introduced to Olympus OM-D E-M10 and I was in love! This camera is so powerful for its size and price. This camera has 16 megapixels four-thirds CMOS sensor, image stabilization, and rather long battery life.
I paired mine with a 14mm prime lens and a 14-150mm zoom lens – both perfect for travel photography. Not to mention, I paid just a bit over 1000USD for this whole set. I think its mid-range price versus quality is mindblowing!
This camera and lenses were suggested to me by my blogger friend, Zany of Everything Zany!
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