The Best Travel Cameras in 2019 – Compact, DSLR and Mirrorless Camera Guide

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With such a huge variety of camera brands, specs, features, and functions, it can be a bit of a minefield trying to work out what the best travel camera is for your needs.

Whether you want to up your Instagram game on your next vacation or are looking to get a bit more professional, this guide has you covered for 2019.

What Are You Going to Use the Camera For?

Before you rush out and blow your budget on a shiny new camera for your next trip, consider what you’re actually going to be using it for.

If you’re planning on taking pictures of you and the kids around the pool, a compact digital camera with Wi-Fi connectivity will take decent snaps that you can instantly share on your phone.

If, however, you’re traveling to far distant shores, and are looking to capture unusual and awe-inspiring images or to ramp up your photography skills, you’d be better off investing in a mid-range mirrorless or DSLR camera that will offer the features and flexibility you’ll need on your travels.

What you need versus what you can afford will also be a major factor in your final choice.

An expensive camera may provide you with incredible video and images, but if it eats into your travel budget, or becomes an expensive weight around your neck, it sort of defeats the object of having it in the first place.

Key Considerations When Buying a Camera for Travel

Budget

Depending on how experienced you are as a photographer, and how professional you want your finished product to look, your options are literally as deep as your pockets. Spend as much or as little as you want to on your camera, but make sure it’s exactly what you need before you spend a single cent.

Basic compact cameras can be purchased for well under $200, and are small, light, and easy to use. Entry level DSLRs start from around $500 and usually come with a small-sized sensor and 8 to 12 MP, perfect for shooting more professional looking images.

If you want to spend a bit more, mid-range compact cameras that come in between $200 to $600 are stylish bits of kit that come complete with big LCD screens and fancy features.

DLSRs and mirrorless cameras tend to have a higher price tag, ranging up to as much as $1,000. They do however offer a heady blend of automatic functionality and creative manual controls for capturing truly epic images.

The best-priced camera for your next adventure is the one that you can afford and has a sensible price tag that doesn’t prohibit you from using it when you get there.

Size and Weight

It’s a common misconception that incredible images are only captured using larger cameras, when, in actuality, it’s smaller cameras with bigger or heavier lenses that make the grade.

If traveling light is one of your goals, the last thing you need is a heavy camera weighing you down.

A compact camera that you can fit in your pocket or day pack, can give you a wide range of benefits over and above a full-sized camera kit. Discreet and easy to use, a compact camera can be whipped out to snap a quick photo with ease.

Big brands like Fuji, Olympus, Nikon, and Panasonic all have ranges of compact cameras that are designed to be the perfect size and weight to take anywhere with you.

If performance is more your goal, you might have to sacrifice size and weight, but the benefits are worth it for those who want a more professional output.

Sensor

Before you can choose the perfect camera to take on your travels, you need to understand how different camera sensors work, and how they can affect both the quality of the pictures you take and the size of the camera.

Generally speaking, a camera with a larger sensor will take the very best pictures in low light conditions.

Large sensors capture more light and therefore, better detail. Larger sensors are also better at creating depth of field (the blurry backgrounds) so if portraits or wildlife shots are your thing, take that into consideration. The downside is that the larger the sensor, the larger the camera.

Here are the typical sensor sizes you find in cameras:

  • Full Frame – 36 x 24mm
  • APS-H – 28.1 x 18.7mm
  • APS-C – 23.6 x 15.8mm
  • Four Thirds – 17.3 x 13mm
  • One Inch – 9 x 12mm

To put it into perspective, smartphone cameras are usually around one-third of an inch. For a travel camera, one inch or four thirds sensors would be the minimum you should look at. If budget is a concern, there are plenty of modern compact cameras that offer sensors of 1 inch or more, that can produce beautiful images even with their compact size.

Lenses

Mirrorless and DSLR cameras have interchangeable lenses, allowing you to pick the perfect lens for different situations.

For travel photography, focus on one or two lenses that work well in a wide variety of situations, rather than carrying an entire kit with you.

At the very least you should have a “walkaround” lens. This is a lens that isn’t the very best for every situation but one that can handle most situations. An all-purpose lens, if you will.

A lot of mirrorless and DSLR cameras will come bundled with a walkaround lens. Typically, this is a 24-70mm or 28-80mm lens. A lens like this will be able to handle landscapes, buildings, portraits, activities, and sports.

Some of the very best, most cost-effective, and readily available walkaround lenses on the market include those made by:

  • Sony
  • Nikon
  • Cannon
  • Ricoh
  • Sigma
  • Tamron
  • Tokina
  • Olympus

If your budget allows, the second or third lens you should buy is a wide angle lens or a telephoto lens.

Wide angle lenses are typically great for landscape and architecture photography but can also be used for interiors, portraits, and food photography. The below image was taken with a wide angle lens.

Telephoto lenses are usually 70-300mm lenses and, as the name suggests, used to shoot far away subjects. They’re usually bigger and heavier than a walkaround lens, but imperative if you’re doing wildlife photography. The below image was taken with a telephoto lens.

Before you fly, make sure you practice or even attend a photography class, with your new equipment. This will ensure that when you’re presented with that perfect travel moment you want to capture, you’ll know exactly what to do.

Camera Terms and Features Explained

Just because you like traveling and taking pictures doesn’t mean you have to be a professional photographer to shoot like a pro. This quick guide to the camera terms and features will have you thinking and sounding like an expert in no time.

Aperture

One of the most talked about components of a camera is the aperture. This simply refers to the size of the opening in the lens which lets the light flow in. Bigger openings and wide angles will let in more light while a smaller opening will let in less. Think of the aperture like a window — bigger opening equals more light.

Aperture is measured in f-stops, and confusingly, smaller numbers denote larger openings. For example, f/1.8 is a wide opening, while f/22 is a very narrow one.

The aperture is important because it helps to determine how light or dark the image is, and it also affects how much of the image remains in focus.

Megapixels

A megapixel is 1 million pixels. A pixel is a small square that fits together with other pixels like the pieces of a puzzle to create a complete image. How clear your finished image looks will be greatly determined by how many of these tiny squares are packed together in a small space.

Different cameras offer different resolutions which will affect the number of megapixels per inch. An 8-megapixel camera (8MP), for example, would have roughly eight million tiny squares of information per inch. So more megapixels are the way to go, right?

While every year cameras are upgraded with more and more megapixels, the marketing machine convinces you that you need more of them.

Unless you’re printing your images on very large canvases, you don’t need that many megapixels. For example, if you wanted a clear image printed on 14 x 11 inch paper, you need a minimum of 7 megapixels.

Megapixels are an important aspect of your camera and the quality of image you can produce with it. But, don’t focus entirely on this one metric.

Focal Length

Focal length is represented in millimeters (mm) and used is used to describe a lens. Focal length isn’t the physical length of your lens but the point of convergence of light and the distance between it and your sensor.

Simply put, the higher the focal length, the narrower the angle, but more zoom. Conversely, shorter focal lengths give you wider angles but less zoom.

To give you a rough idea, 50mm is close to what our own eyes see. 20mm is considered wide angle and 70mm and beyond is telephoto.

ISO

In camera terms, ISO refers to the sensitivity ratings for camera sensors.

In its simplest form, ISO is a camera setting that will brighten or darken your photos. As you increase the ISO, your photos will grow progressively brighter.

ISO is an excellent tool to help you capture images in poor light or dark environments. It also allows you to be more flexible about your aperture and shutter speed settings.

Single Lens Reflex

As the name would suggest, a Single Lens Reflex camera — or SLR as they are more commonly known — uses only one lens.

The term “reflex” refers to the mirror present inside the camera body which reflects the light the lens captures when you aim it at a subject and sends out the exact same image to the viewfinder or electronic image sensor.

Electronic View Finder (EVF)

The EVF is a small, electronic display that can usually be found at the top of the back side of the camera. The EVF might be built-in or might be removable.

The EVF lets you capture the scene you’re shooting in real time by projecting it onto the camera sensor. It can also show you the areas where the camera will focus and help you to shoot in low light by automatically increasing the brightness on the screen.

Image Stabilization (IS)

Image stabilization is the popular name for a number of techniques that are used to obtain sharp, blur-free images. These techniques may be part of the camera or the lens and can be either simple electronic adjustments or highly advanced electrical systems.

Image stabilization is most beneficial when you’re shooting in low light with a long exposure time and are unable to hold the camera steady while you take your photos.

RAW

RAW is a file format that captures all of the image data that’s recorded by the sensor when you take a photo. Unlike formats like JPEG, none of the information is compressed, meaning that you can produce much higher quality images.

RAW images are also much easier to work with when it comes to editing, making them the preferred choice of professional photographers who need to make adjustments in post-production.

It’s not just expensive cameras that can offer you professional grade image quality either, as these days plenty of compact cameras will also shoot RAW images.

Noise

Some pictures just look better than others. This could be because of the light, the camera or even the skill of the photographer, but more often than not grainy, unclear images are caused by camera noise.

In the world of photography, the term “noise” simply refers to visual distortions in an image.

Noise looks like tiny colored pixels or speckles on your photo, and can sometimes be so obvious it actually looks like the grain you see in old photos or film photography.

Images taken in low lighting situations are more prone to suffer from noise, but other factors such as sensor size, higher ISO settings, and even long exposures can cause noise too.

Compact, Mirrorless, or DSLR Cameras

Compact Cameras

Point and shoots are also commonly known as compact cameras or P&S cameras.

They work mostly automatically with easy-to-use functions such as focus free lenses or autofocus and automatic systems for setting the exposure and flash.

Mirrorless Cameras

Mirrorless cameras, on the other hand, are digital cameras that work with the addition of different lenses but don’t use a mirror to reflect the image into the viewfinder.

Advanced sensor technology has enabled this to happen, meaning that mirrorless cameras can be as slim as any compact camera, but with the added bonus of additional features.

Mirrorless cameras are available from budget to high end.

DSLR Cameras

A DSLR camera is a digital single-lens reflex camera that reflects the light coming from the lens up into an optical viewfinder, by way of either a prism (in higher-end DSLRs) or a series of mirrors.

When the shutter is pressed, the light coming from the lens takes a straight shot to the imaging sensor where a photograph is made.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Compact Camera

If you’re considering going compact with your next travel camera, consider the following first:

Pros

Compact and easy to carry — the clue is in the title with this one, as these cameras are compact by name and definitely compact by nature. Modern compact cameras are completely pocketable, with many of them being smaller than the average smartphone.

Affordable and easy to find — compact cameras can be purchased all over the world, everywhere from electrical stores and camera specialists to online retailers.

Easy to use and navigate — with easy to use controls and intuitive menus, anyone can capture decent images with a point and shoot camera.

Cons

Reduced image quality — smaller sensors can lead to reduced quality in low light situations, as well as a reduction in quality if you want to print large photographs.

Less flexibility — because there’s no way of changing lenses or other bits of kit, you’re limited to the built-in capabilities of the camera.

Slower functionality — with compact cameras, focusing is generally slower and there can be a noticeable lag between pushing the button and the picture being taken.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Mirrorless Camera

Mirrorless cameras are not always in favor with seriously professional photographers, but they are winning over a whole new audience who want high performance and flexible functionality at affordable prices. Consider the following before you buy:

Pros

Image stabilization and autofocus — of all the features you want in a camera, being able to guarantee steady, blur-free images is key to capturing razor-sharp images every time.

Size and weight — many photographers consider the compact size of a mirrorless camera versus the heft of a DLSR to be the main reason they invest in one.

Image quality — You can pretty much guarantee that most mirrorless cameras will offer higher quality images than most compact cameras can. They will even give DSLRs a run for their money.

Cons

Battery life — sad but true, mirrorless cameras can be less than efficient when it comes to battery life, meaning you’ll need to carry spare batteries or chargers with you wherever you go. This is only an issue if you’re doing continuous shooting for an extended period of time.

Higher price tags — of course, you’ll probably expect to pay more for a camera that can do more things, but if you’re on a strict budget, you may fare better looking at a high-end compact camera, than an entry-level mirrorless camera.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a DSLR Camera

Pros

Image quality — a DSLR will offer you just about the best image quality your money can buy.

Adaptability — DSLRs can be fitted with many high-quality lenses ranging from wide-angle to long focal lengths, as well as a wide range of flashes, filters, and other accessories.

Long-term investment — unlike a compact or even some mirrorless cameras, a DSLR will hold its value for many years to come. You won’t need to upgrade a DSLR as often as you will a cheaper camera, as they’re highly sought after in photographic circles, and the lenses are compatible with other camera bodies.

Cons

Size and weight — DSLRs are heavy and when you add a lens or two to your load you’ll have a lot of kit to lug about with you.

Complexity — The wide array of settings and features can be a little overwhelming at first. A good DSLR takes time to get to know properly.

Price — DSLRs are usually far more expensive than compact cameras. While there are well-priced bargains to be had, the additional cost of lenses and other accessories will make your DSLR more of an investment than a spur-of-the-moment purchase.

The Best Compact Cameras for Travel

There are literally thousands of different cameras available today, each one offering a wide variety of features and promising awesome images at the click of a button.

If you’re unsure which is the best kind of camera for your next adventure, check out the following to see how they compare.

Best Compact Cameras Under $500

The Panasonic on a Strict Budget

Panasonic Lumix ZS50 Camera

Sensor: 1/2.3″

Lens: f/3.3-6.4

Megapixels: 12

Screen: 3″

Video: 1080p

Using Panasonic’s Light Speed AF technology, combined with a huge 30x optical zoom range, this Lumix delivers snappy focusing and clear, razor-sharp images.

The advanced Hybrid OIS+ (Optical Image Stabilizer Plus) five-axis anti-shake system, counteracts any risk of shaking and blurring. The electronic viewfinder with its high-resolution 1,160,000-dot unit certainly makes shooting much easier in bright conditions.

Other specification highlights include a top sensitivity setting of ISO 6400, full 1080p video recording, and the ability to create incredible looking time-lapse movies.

You can also shoot RAW files, meaning you can draw out as much detail from every image as possible and create professional-looking images on a budget.

Small 4K Camera Busting With Features

Panasonic Lumix ZS100 4K

Sensor: 1″

Lens: f/2.8-5.9

Megapixels: 20.1

Screen: 3″ LCD display

Video: 4K

The Panasonic LUMIX Digital Camera DMC-ZS100K combines the superior optical performance of a 10x (25-250mm) LEICA DC VARIO-ELMARIT lens with stability and ease of use, all in a highly portable compact travel camera.

The lens itself is advanced and features a super bright F2.8-5.9 aperture range, which can capture powerful images. The hybrid IOS technology adds depth to images, even in low-light conditions.

Feeling creative? The Post Focus and Focus Stacking features allow you to change the focus at the touch of a button. Designed with travel in mind, the DMC-ZS100K comes complete with USB charging and Wi-Fi connectivity for you to share your snaps in an instant.

The Original RX100 That Still Packs a Punch

Sony RX100 20.2 MP Premium Compact Digital Camera

Sensor: 1″

Lens: f/1.8-4.9

Megapixels: 20.2

Screen: 3″ LCD display

Video: 1080p

Great for the candid photographer that likes to spread their wings, the Sony RX100 will allow you to capture stunning images with razor-sharp precision and professional quality focus.

The large 1-inch sensor, combined with the ultra-bright Carl Zeiss f/1.8 lens, will ensure that you never miss a moment.

Useful features such as the easy-access, aperture-setting control ring, along with the Optical Steady Shot with Active Mode for complete stability, transform this compact camera into a very smart bit of kit to take with you on your travels. There’s also a wide range ISO sensitivity and RAW image capture settings too.

An entire menu of additional features is easily accessed using the 3-inch (1,229k dots) Xtra Fine LCD Display, which also allows you to scroll through your image library and admire your photography skills, even when you’re on the move.

Sony’s Impressive Optical Zoom

Sony DSC-HX99 Compact Digital

Sensor: 1/2.3″

Lens: f/3.5-6.4

Megapixels: 18.2

Screen: 3″

Video: 4K

This super compact camera certainly packs a punch and is a great investment for anyone looking to take incredible images on their travels.

As the world’s smallest camera with a 24-720mm zoom lens, the Sony HX99 is full of high-level features that wouldn’t feel out of place on a larger, more expensive camera.

The ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* lens delivers superb image quality all across the zoom range, and the Clear Image Zoom feature allows further magnification of the subject, up to 1440mm2 (60x), while preserving high resolution.

Other features, such as the Eye AF, ensures perfect portraits every time, and the selfie-ready, 180 degree tiltable, 3-inch LCD screen will help you to capture perfect selfies or low-level images, wherever you are.

40x Optical Zoom From Canon

Canon PowerShot SX740 Digital Camera

Sensor: 1/2.3″

Lens: f/3.3-6.9

Megapixels: 20.3

Screen: 3″

Video: 4K

Offering 40x optical zoom and 4k video, this little beauty is an excellent, all-around travel camera that will help you to take good quality images with ease.

It’s impressively small and should be able to fit in your pocket —meaning you never miss a moment of the action.

With five-axis image stabilization, you can wave goodbye to blurry images. And, you can choose from Face and Tracking, Tracking AF, or a Center Point for perfect focus every time. Canon’s latest DIGIC 8 processor gives you the ability to shoot outstanding stills at up to 10fp. The good size screen tilts 180-degrees, making it useful for shooting from slightly awkward angles.

The Best Waterproof Compact

Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera

Sensor: 1″

Lens: f/2.0

Megapixels: 12

Screen: 3″

TG-5 from Olympus is a tough and rugged camera that’s perfect for those who love adventures.

It’s waterproof (50 ft/15 m), shockproof (7 ft/2.1 m), crushproof (220 lbf/100 kgf), freezeproof (14°F/-10°C), and even dustproof — meaning you literally can take in anywhere.

It may be small, but it’s surprisingly well equipped for a camera of its size. This camera comes complete with an F2.0, high-speed lens, 20 fps burst shooting in RAW, and anti-fog dual pane glass for spectacular images in every environment.

Its advanced dual quad-core TruePic VIII Processor will allow you to take images, no matter the light conditions.

A Simple to Use and Small Compact Camera

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II Compact Digital Camera

Sensor: 1″

Lens: f/2-4.9

Megapixels: 20.1

Screen: 3″

Video: 4K

With its ultra-slim design and easy to use features, the Powershot G9 X is a great camera for taking everywhere.

Easy to use and offering a wide range of features including eight pre-set picture styles, a time-lapse movie function, and built-in Bluetooth technology, even the most amateur of photographers should have no trouble capturing epic images with this little beauty.

The patented DIGIC 7 Image Processor will help you to capture great looking pictures, even at high ISO settings, while the enhanced tracking and detection capabilities will help you to lock onto your subject perfectly. Finally, you can take 4K video with almost lifelike clarity, which is ready to share at the touch of a button.

Best Compact Cameras Under $1000

Four Thirds Sensor in a Small Body

Panasonic Lumix LX100 4K Camera

Sensor: 4/3″

Lens: f/1.7-2.8

Megapixels: 16

Screen: 3″ 921k dot LCD

Video: 4K

The legendary LUMIX LX Series with manual controls is a brilliant bit of kit and one of the best compact cameras. Designed to inspire, the LX offers the full hybrid photo experience with 24p or 30p 4K Ultra HD video and 4K photo mode.

This compact camera can capture subtle details and beautiful images using the high sensitivity MOS Sensor with a multi-aspect ratio, and by maintaining a resolution of 12.8 megapixels.

The sophisticated LEICA lens system is the perfect complement to the camera’s compact body, and with F1.7-2.8 brightness, high speed, and crisp detail corner to corner, you have yourself a powerful piece of kit that can almost match budget mirrorless and DSLR cameras.

The Lumix LX also comes complete with an integrated Live View Finder with 2,764-dot equivalent high resolution. It delivers approximately 100% color reproduction and a variety of other features including time lapse and RAW data.

The Fifth Generation of the Popular Sony RX100

Sony RX100VA 20.1MP Digital Camera

Sensor: 1″

Lens: f/1.8-2.8

Megapixels: 20.1

Screen: 3″

Video: 4K

The Sony RX100 packs a wealth of features into its small but sturdy frame and offers plenty for the modern photographer to play with while out on the road.

The zoom lens works well for landscapes, group shots, and even the occasional selfie, while the 4K video captures the kind of footage typically found in much more advanced pieces of camera kit.

Capture the action as it happens with Sony’s phase/contrast-detection autofocus system with 315 focus points and quality action tracking. It will keep up with most moving images, and the high-speed continuous shooting mode is equally impressive.

The sensor makes for excellent image quality every time, and the ingenious flip out back screen means you can even capture images from a low angle.

A Worthy Upgrade to the Original G7X

Canon PowerShot G7 X II Digital Camera

Sensor: 1″

Lens: f/1.8-2.8

Megapixels: 20.1

Screen: 3″

Video: 4K

Capture incredible images with this Canon camera that allows you to shoot continuously at up to 8 fps, and offers an aperture of f/1.8-2.8 to help you take high-precision pictures every time.

The high-resolution, 3-inch LCD monitor cleverly tilts up 180 degrees and down 45 degrees to help you take incredible self-portraits or to capture breathtaking high and low angles to add depth and interest to your photos.

The DIGIC 7 Image Processor has high capability autofocus tracking, enhanced image stabilization, and superb image clarity, even when shooting with a high ISO.

Finally, the in-camera RAW conversion and built-in Wi-Fi even means you can edit and share your masterpieces instantly.

Best Compact Cameras Over $1000

DSLR Image Quality in a Compact Camera

Canon G1X Mark III Digital Camera

Sensor: APS-C

Lens: f/2.8-5.6

Megapixels: 24.2

Screen: 3″

Video: 1080p up to 60p

This class-leading, premium-zoom compact camera is perfect for serious enthusiasts who want to capture epic images on the go.

The 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor is capable enough to handle all conditions, while the small SLR-styled body, with a retractable 24-72mm-equivalent f/2.8-5.6 lens, and a centrally placed electronic viewfinder, will easily fit in your travel bag.

Image processing features such as Auto Lighting Optimizer for balancing light in difficult environments adds value, while the decent continuous shooting specs and the lens-based optical image stabilization will help you to create your perfect picture, wherever you are.

If you want to direct your own movies, you may miss out on a microphone with this model, but the time lapse capability is pretty darn impressive, and the onboard Wi-Fi allows for smooth and seamless sharing.

One of the Most Advanced Compact Cameras on the Market

Fujifilm X100F 24.3 MP APS-C Digital Camera

Sensor: CMOS APS-C

Lens: f/2

Megapixels: 23

Screen: 3″

Video: 1080p

The Fujifilm X100F offers impressive CMOS APS-C 24.3 MP capabilities and is the culmination of the very best technology used in previous models combined with cutting edge additions to make shooting easier than ever.

The precise focus ring sensor and the revised user interface are subtle but incredibly high-end improvements on its last incarnation.

The camera itself offers plenty of dynamic range and very good noise reduction. The auto-focus ensures excellent image quality even in low light, while the addition of the AF joystick keeps images razor sharp whatever the subject.

The video quality is good, for Full HD (1080p), but if we’re honest, the X100F is best suited to shorter video clips and still photography.

The Best Mirrorless Cameras for Travel

A mirrorless camera offers you excellent, almost pro-standard images and super smooth video in pocket-sized packages.

You may not get all the bells and whistles you would find on a DSLR, but you’ll still be able to have plenty of fun.

Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $700

A High-Value Mirrorless Camera From Sony

Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera 24.3MP SLR Camera

Sensor: APS-C (23.5mm x 15.6mm)

Megapixels: 24.3

Screen: 3″ tilting touchscreen

Video: 1920 x 1080

The Sony Alpha a6000 is a veritable powerhouse of a compact camera, which will provide you with epic images wherever you are.

Fully loaded with the Bionz-X processor, which is also found in the Sony Alpha 7R, it offers incredible processing power giving it an autofocus of just 0.06 seconds.

The burst mode is capable of shooting up to 11fps continuous for 21 frames of raw JPEG or 49 frames of fine JPEG. This camera also has 25 contrast-detection, AF points for high precision pictures every time.

The automatic AF-S focus mode will also ensure that you never miss a moment, even if the action in front of you moves quickly. As an upgrade to the ever-popular Sony-NEX 6, this little camera certainly has big shoes to fill, and it effortlessly does that, and then some.

The Lean, Mean Selfie Machine

Panasonic Lumix GX850 4K Mirrorless Camera

Sensor: Four Thirds Sensor

Megapixels: 16

Screen: 3″ tilting touchscreen

Video: 4K

This entry-level mirrorless camera is a great travel accessory for anyone who’s looking for more than their camera phone can offer.

The 16 megapixel, micro four thirds processor is highly capable and will offer you excellent resolution, razor sharp focus, and epic images every time.

The interchangeable lenses will give you more flexibility than any camera phone could offer and the ability to record at Full HD or 4K. Your ability to upload instantly using the built-in Wi-Fi just adds to the fun.

The cool touchscreen can tilt up by 180 degrees making it perfect for selfies of vlogs. Panasonic’s Depth-by-Defocus, DFD, technology will predict how and where to focus, ensuring that blurry snapshots are a thing of the past.

All in all, the Lumix GX850 is a capable, compact camera that comes with the benefit of interchangeable lenses to ensure you always get the perfect picture.

Low-End Mirrorless With Excellent Image Quality

Fujifilm X-A5 Mirrorless Digital Camera

 Sensor: APS-C sensor

Megapixels: 24.2

Screen: 3″ tilting touchscreen

Video: 4K UHD 2160p

The Fujifilm X-A5 is a compact, stylish, and perfectly portable camera with an eye-catching retro design and a ton of features that you won’t usually find on cameras of this spec and size.

The 180 degree tilting rear LCD screen is perfect for selfies, vlogs, and unusual angles, while the built-in Bluetooth technology means you can share your creations with the world in an instant.

The extended battery life will provide you with up to 450 frames per charge, and the powerful 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, equipped with a phase detection autofocus system, means that you’ll never miss a shot.

Fujifilm’s first class color reproduction technology will also ensure that your images look utterly beautiful, making this little camera the ideal companion for your everyday travel photography needs.

The Favored Olympus E-M10 Just Got Better

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

 Sensor: MOS sensor

Megapixels: 16

Screen: 3″ tilting touchscreen

Video: 4K HD120

The Olympus E-M10 mark III comes complete with a 14-42mm EZ lens kit that has been specially designed for people who love photography and want to explore their ability to capture the perfect picture.

Compact and easy to use, the E-M10 is so small and lightweight that you can literally take it anywhere with you.

Designed with simplicity in mind the foolproof in-body image stabilization will help you to shoot blur-free stills and super smooth 4K video, without the need for bulky tripods or any other additional equipment.

The TruePic VIII Image Processor is powerful and highly capable, and as a comprehensive starter kit, you’ll have everything you need to get shooting, including the ultra-slim electronic zoom M.Zuiko 14-42mm EZ lens, a custom Olympus camera bag, and a 16 GB memory card.

Best Mirrorless Cameras Under $1500

Touchscreen Goodness and Compact Design

Panasonic Lumix GX9 4K Mirrorless ILC Camera

Sensor: Four Thirds sensor

Megapixels: 20.3

Screen: 3″ tilting touchscreen

Video: 4K

The Lumix G9 from Panasonic is a proficient mid-range mirrorless camera that features a 20 megapixel four thirds sensor with the power to provide epic images.

With in-body stabilization, tiltable viewfinder, and touch screen, there’s literally no excuse for not capturing awesome snaps with this camera.

Never miss a moment with 9fps bursts with continuous autofocus and 4K video, complete with a clever range of photo modes. All of these features can create masterpieces that you’ll want to share instantly using the camera’s Bluetooth, location tagging, and seamless Wi-Fi connections.

49 focus points, Custom Multi AF mode, and Light Composition mode will help you to shoot first class images, while the Tuned 3D Color Control detects hue, saturation, and brightness every time.

Mid-Priced Mirrorless That Hits the Sweet Spot

Fujifilm X-T20 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Sensor: MOS III APS-C sensor

Megapixels: 24.3

Screen: 3″ tilting touchscreen

Video: 4K

The Fuji X-T20 is a clever little camera that closes the gap between a hobby camera and entry-level professional kit. It delivers functionality in spades and offers a ton of quality features at an affordable price.

The tilting LCD screen allows you to touch focus and shoot, and the 325-point auto focus system provides incredibly fast precision images.

The 4K video shoots at up to 30fps and the HD video at up to an impressive 60 fps, and both are usable with the in-camera film simulation effects. The 8 fps continuous shooting with AF and 5 fps with live view are professional touches that you don’t always find on cameras of this size.

Perfect for the traveler who wants more than just a basic point and shoot, the Fuji X-T20 is the real deal.

Full Frame Sensor Without the Bulk

Sony Alpha a7IIK Mirrorless Digital Camera with 28-70mm Lens

Sensor: Full Frame

Megapixels: 24.3

Screen: 3″ tilting touchscreen

Video: 4K

This full frame mirrorless camera uses the same 24-megapixel sensor and Bion X processor as its ever-popular predecessor, the original A7.

Improvements in this version include 5-axis sensor-based image stabilization and an improved AF performance system complete with 25 contrast-detect and 117 phase-detect points.

The 3-inch tilting LCD screen makes it super easy to capture awesome selfies or amazing forward facing images, while the OLED viewfinder means you’ll never miss a shot.

The easy to use and incredibly familiar Sony function buttons are a welcome sight, and despite being a little larger than some other cameras in the same range, it’s still compact and incredibly portable.

The Wi-Fi connection with NFC capability and downloadable apps makes this little beauty great fun to play with and an incredibly capable camera wherever you’re planning to travel to.

Sony has since released the Sony Alpha a7III, and while it’s a better camera, the Sony Alpha a7II is currently $800 cheaper and provides great value for the price.

Best Mirrorless Cameras Over $1500

One of the Best Mirrorless Cameras Money Can Buy

Sony a7R III Mirrorless Camera

Sensor: Full Frame Exmoor R CMOS Sensor

Megapixels: 42.4

Screen: 3″ touchscreen

Video: 4K

The Sony a7R Mark III is a full-frame mirrorless camera that uses a 42.4 megapixel stabilized BSI CMOS sensor. Offering a wide range of improvements over its predecessor, this newer model is one of the very best out there.

With impressive specifications in all aspects, serious semi-pros and enthusiasts will love the 42.4-megapixel sensor and 10fps continuous shooting.

The hybrid AF system that employs 399 phase-detection points covers approximately 68% of the frame. With 4K video recording, higher resolution EVF, and even a joystick for adjusting the focus point, it’s easy to see why the Sony A7R III is such an easy sell — even with its higher price tag.

Best for Full Frame Fans with Deep Pockets

Nikon Z7 FX-Format Mirrorless Camera Body w/ NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S

Sensor: Full Frame BSI CMOS Sensor

Megapixels: 45

Screen: 3.2″ tilting touchscreen

Video: 4K

The Nikon Z7 is a sophisticated, yet high priced, camera that offers a ton of kit that you simply won’t find on lower priced models.

With its innovative on-sensor 493 phase-detection system, you’re guaranteed extraordinary quality images.

Nikon certainly appears to have hit the ground running with this little number as the in-camera image stabilization system (IBIS) will keep things blur-free, no matter how fast you or your subject are going.

Nikon users who are willing to part with the cash will also get the benefit of the new 5-axis, 5-stop VR system, even with non-VR lenses.

Other fabulous features of Z7 include an ISO range of 64-25,600, or ISO 32-102,400 in expanded mode, 9fps continuous shooting, 4K UHD video recording, a weather-resistant magnesium alloy body, and a 200,000-shot shutter life.

This could just be the ultimate bit of kit for those prepared to spend money on their travel camera.

Versatile with Excellent Build Quality

Fujifilm X-T3 4K Wi-Fi Digital Camera

Sensor: APS-C

Megapixels: 26.1

Screen: 3.2″ touchscreen

Video: 4K

This retro-looking camera may not be a full-frame camera, but it certainly performs like one. The X-T3 is refined, well-honed, and full of features that make it fun to use.

Offering fast, smooth autofocus and up to 11 fps (mechanical) or 30 fps (electronic) continuous shooting, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get the very best shot, every single time you shoot.

The powerful 4K creation tool allows you to direct moving pictures that you can send instantly, using the built-in Bluetooth or Wi-Fi capabilities.

The EVF is sharp and powerful, making it a pleasure to look through, while the features menu and buttons are easy to navigate and use.

The 26-megapixel X-Trans 4 sensor works well in all lighting conditions with an ISO of 160, and the phase-detect autofocus that spans a total of 425 selectable AF points, makes for clear, sharp images every time.

Quality AF Performance and Capable Handling

Canon EOS R Mirrorless Digital Camera

Sensor: Full Frame CMOS

Megapixels: 30.3

Screen: 3.15″ fully articulating touchscreen

Video: 4K

The sharp look and enhanced functionality of the Canon EOS R make for great image quality, easy handling, and high-quality video capabilities.

Perfect for the high-end enthusiast, this camera houses a full-frame 30.3-megapixel sensor that guarantees truly stunning images.

The new DIGIC 8 processing engine offers a healthy, native ISO range of 100-40,000, which can be expanded upon. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) on the EOS R features an impressive 3.69-million dot resolution for perfect vision.

Razor-sharp shooting capabilities add to its charm, as does the intuitive touchscreen LCD that will easily guide the user through a wide range of features. The 4K video capability is equally as impressive, and if you fancy yourself as a bit of a pro-director, you won’t be disappointed with the finished product.

The Perfect Blend of Video and Still Camera

Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K Mirrorless Camera

Sensor: Micro Four Thirds

Megapixels: 20.3

Screen: 3.2″ vari-angle touchscreen

Video: 4K

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 offers great video capability paired with the necessary features to capture awesome stills. As one of the best 4K cameras on the market, this little number is an excellent choice for semi-pro photographers or high-end amateurs.

The new Venus Engine, with 1.66x faster processing power, promises more natural, true-to-life images with better noise control.

The electronic viewfinder offers a staggering 3,680,000-dot resolution and 0.76x magnification. For razor-sharp and shake free perfection, the Axis Dual IS II anti-shake system works in tandem with Panasonic’s wide range of optically stabilized lenses to deliver up to five stops of correction.

The GH5 also offers the very impressive and much talked about “6K” camera capability allowing you to extract 18 megapixel still images from ultra-high video footage at 30fps at an unlimited burst rate.

The Best DSLR Cameras for Travel

If you have deep pockets, strong shoulders for carrying all that kit, and the dedication and skill to shoot like a pro, a DSLR could be just right for you.

Best DSLR Cameras Under $700

Your First Budget DSLR

Nikon D3500 W/ AF-P DX NIKKOR

Sensor: APS-C CMOS

Megapixels: 24.2

Screen: 3.0″ fixed touchscreen

Video: 1920 x 1080

Perfect for those looking to get into DSLR photography, the 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor in the D3500 is about as good as you can get in this price range.

It offers a very impressive 5fps continuous shooting speed as well as built-in Bluetooth that lets you transfer your images to your smart device.

Talking of smart touches, this little beauty also lets you fire the shutter remotely using your smartphone. Impressive!

There’s no in-body stabilization, but many of the Nikon lenses that are compatible with the D3500 body, including the AF-P 18-55mm lens (included with the camera), come with Nikon’s VR (Vibration Reduction) system.

There’s also a lack of 4K video capability, but the full HD 1920 x 1080 video at up to 60/50fps is pretty impressive for the price. Affordable, effortlessly usable, and pretty impressive across the board, the D3500 is an excellent entry-level DSLR to take with you on your next adventure.

The Light and Easy Canon DSLR

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 DSLR Camera with EF-S 18-55mm STM Lens

Sensor: CMOS APS-C

Megapixels: 24.2

Screen: 3.0″ vari-angle touchscreen

Video: FHD 1080p

Compact and clever, the EOS Rebel SL2 is a great little camera for taking traveling with you.

A step up from regular smartphone cameras and their digital counterparts, this entry-level DSLR will change your game completely.

Canon’s newly developed 24.2-megapixel APS-C Canon CMOS image sensor pairs perfectly with the unique DIGIC 7 image processor. This offers features like Dual Pixel CMOS AF for smooth and accurate autofocus and a high-resolution Touch Screen monitor that supports both Touch AF and Touch Shutter release functionality.

When you have captured epic images, you can share them in an instant with the built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, while the EF-S 18-55mm STM Lens will effortlessly capture your subject with clarity and razor-sharp precision, every time.

Good Value Option For Beginners

Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera

Sensor: APS-C CMOS

Megapixels: 18

Screen: 3″ touchscreen

Video: HD 1080P

Offering versatile video and still image capabilities, the EOS Rebel T6 from Canon is a compact, sleek, and affordable DSLR that comes complete with a DIGIC 4+ image processor.

Rich quality images with reduced noise are easy to achieve using this camera, and the ability to shoot continuously at 3fps for photographing moving objects is an impressive feature, given the price.

The 9-point AF system incorporates a single center cross-type AF, as well as a contrast-detection focusing system to ensure razor sharp precision when shooting movies or working in live view.

When you’ve taken your shot, you can share your images instantly using the built-in Wi-Fi with NFC linked to your mobile device or smartphone. Good looking, easy to use, and easy on the bank balance, the EOS Rebel T6 is a good entry level DSLR for broadening your skill set.

Best DSLR Cameras Under $1500

Lightweight Full Frame Body

Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body

Sensor: CMOS APS-C

Megapixels: 24.3

Screen: 3.2″ vari-angle touchscreen

Video: FHD 1080p

As Nikon’s first full-frame DSLR to feature vari-angle display and built-in Wi-Fi, this is a traditional camera with plenty of up to date features.

The powerful 51-point AF system with 15 cross-type sensors and 3D Color Matrix Metering III with a 91,000-pixel RGB sensor are impressive at any price. The ability to shoot 6.5 fps at full resolution makes it fast and responsive.

D750 offers impressive image quality, cinematic video capabilities, pro-inspired handling, and intuitive controls.

The exceptional imaging system makes the D750 a popular choice with pro-photographers or enthusiasts looking to capture moving pictures. The built-in Wi-Fi connectivity makes it easy to share your adventures in an instant.

You can also change the way you compose your images using the vari-angle LCD display, or use a compatible smartphone or tablet as a remote monitor for Live View shooting on the move.

Great Ergonomics and a Step Up From the 70D

Canon EOS 80D DSLR Camera

Sensor: APS-C CMOS

Megapixels: 24.2

Screen: 3″ vari-angle touchscreen

The Canon EOS 80D DSLR is a versatile, feature-rich, and user-friendly camera that’s perfect for both professional photographers and those who would like to be. With an impressive 45-point all cross-type AF system, the ESO 80D provides high-speed, highly-precise AF across all kinds of light.

The Intelligent Viewfinder, with approximately 100% coverage, provides a clear view and comprehensive image data while the built-in Wi-Fi with NFC allows you to share your images instantly.

The powerful 24.2-megapixel (APS-C) CMOS sensor and Dual Pixel CMOS AF for Live View shooting enhance the EOS 80D’s performance across the board and transforms it into one of the finest cameras in its class.

Shoot full HD 60p movies, capture awesome stills, and work your way easily through the intuitive menu of features using the touch screen.

The EOS 80D camera body is compatible with an ever-expanding collection of EF/EF-S lenses plus a host of EOS accessories.

A Tempting Addition to the Nikon Range

Nikon D7500 DX-Format Digital SLR

Sensor: DX-Format CMOS Sensor

Megapixels: 20.9

Screen: 3.2″ tilting touchscreen LCD

Video: 4K

The Nikon D7500 allows you to lock on to fast-moving subjects with 51 available focus points, 15 cross-type sensors, and group-area AF for sharper, faster detection in low light.

The large 3.2-inch touchscreen will help you to shoot at high or low angles, and you can simply touch where you want to focus using Nikon’s innovative Live View feature.

If you’re planning on taking moving pictures, the Nikon D7500 will record rich and detailed 4K Ultra HD or Full HD videos when teamed with industry-leading NIKKOR lenses and a selection of pro-level video features, including time lapse.

You can even share your masterpieces in the moment when you install Nikon’s SnapBridge app on a compatible phone or tablet and connect to the D7500 for instant sharing.

This enthusiast-level DSLR is one of the best in its class and offers flawless autofocus, 4K Ultra HD video, and professional level creative tools, wrapped up in a rugged package with intuitive, easy to use controls.

A Well-Rounded Full-Frame DSLR

Canon EOS 6D Mark II Digital SLR Camera Body

Sensor: Full Frame CMOS

Megapixels: 26.2

Screen: 3″ vary-angle touchscreen

Video: 4K

Canon’s EOS 6D Mark II features a high-resolution 26.2 megapixel full-frame Canon CMOS image sensor that’s powerful enough to capture excellent images across the board.

The addition of Canon’s DIGIC 7 image processor and a 45-point All Cross-Type Viewfinder AF system means you’ll never miss your subject. The enhanced low light sensitivity to EV -3 at the center AF point allows you to be as creative as you want, whenever you want to shoot.

With a ton of additional features, including Dual Pixel CMOS AF and a 3.2-inch Vary-Angle Touchscreen LCD monitor, creating epic images and video is made easy.

When you’re happy with your work, share your videos and images instantly using the built-in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC connectivity for easy operation.

Canon’s Best APS-C CMOS Sensor Camera

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera

Sensor: APS-C CMOS

Megapixels: 20.2

Screen: 3.2″ touchscreen

Video: 4K

This sophisticated camera offers all the bells and whistles you could ever need including a 20.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, Dual DIGIC 6 Image Processors, and super fast operating speeds.

The rugged shutter can withstand up to 200,000 cycles and is capable of shooting up to 10fps. The 65-point All Cross-type AF will ensure precise and stable AF and the wide AF area makes for fast and consistent focus even in dim lighting.

Other nice touches, like the Intelligent Viewfinder, let you both shoot, change, and confirm camera settings all without looking away.

The full HD video with Custom Movie Servo AF (speed and sensitivity) Dual Pixel CMOS AF enable you to shoot still images or video like a true professional.

Best DSLR Cameras Over $1500

Fast, Robust, and Well-Rounded

Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR

Sensor: FX-format full-frame CMOS

Megapixels: 46

Screen: 3.2″ tilting screen

Video: 4K

This high-resolution, full-frame DSLR, boasts an impressive 46-megapixel, backside-illuminated CMOS sensor, and is one of Nikon’s fastest shooting DSLRs to date.

Loved by both professional photographers and high-end enthusiast alike, the awesome power of the D850 is designed to impress. The efficiency of the sensor improves low light performance, while the electronic front curtain shutter (EFCS) and exposure delay, counteracts shutter shock.

The D850 is also the proud owner of one of the best AF systems on the market, with fine-tuning that allows you to benefit from your lens’ full capabilities.

When it comes to capturing moving images, at 1080 resolution, the camera can shoot at up to 60p, with a slow-mo mode that can capture at 120 frames per second before outputting at 30, 25 or 24p. The 4K capabilities are also pretty darn incredible.

High Performance at a Premium Price

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR

Sensor: Full-frame CMOS

Megapixels: 30.4

Screen: 3.2″ touch panel LCD

Video: 4K

Building on the powerful legacy of the 5D Series, the EOS offers heaps of refinements across image quality, performance, and overall versatility.

The full-frame sensor means that high-quality images and epic 4K video are easy to capture. The focus accuracy has been improved and refined with the 61-point AF system and revolutionary Dual Pixel CMOS AF for smooth video and live view shooting.

The DIGIC 6+ image processor provides continuous shooting at up to 7fps, and the built-in Wi-Fi means you can share your masterpiece with ease.

The easy to navigate touch panel will help you find features and access your photo library in seconds. Reliable, impressive, and perfect for all kinds of photography, the EOS is a capable camera with plenty of oomph!

Perfect For Action and Wildlife Photographers

Nikon D500 DX-Format Digital SLR

Sensor: DX-Format CMOS Sensor

Megapixels: 20.9

Screen: 3.2″ tilting touchscreen LCD

Video: 4K

The Nikon D500 Digital SLR  offers you the capabilities you need to take awesome professional or amateur images anywhere in the world.

No matter what you’re shooting, the powerful DX sensor will let you capture the exquisite details, colors, and textures of every subject, while the enhanced flexibility of the Nikon lens range means you’ll always be shooting with unparalleled clarity and quality.

The EXPEED 5 processor allows for up to 10 frames per second, while the Multi-CAM 20K autofocus system provides 153 AF points including 99 cross-type points. All of this enables you to create images that match your creative vision.

The cinematic 4K video with editing features will help you capture mindblowing video, and the D500’s SnapBridge functionality offers multiple built-in connectivity options, to let you share your story with the world in an instant.

The Big and Beautiful With Superior Performance

Canon EOS-1DX Mark II

Sensor: CMOS

Megapixels: 20.2

Screen: 3.2″ touchscreen

Video: 4K

If you have prior experience of shooting with a 1D series, chances are you’ll love this camera and be able to work with it from the start.

If not, the seriously impressive range of features may take a little while for you to get used to. With an AF system that utilizes 61 AF points, a 350,000-pixel RGB+IR sensor for face recognition and subject tracking, and a dual pixel autofocus system, this is one seriously impressive bit of kit.

The two Digic 6+ processors help keep noise levels down by enabling the 1D X Mk II to apply complex noise-reduction algorithms. It can also shoot at up to 14 frames per second with full exposure metering and autofocus operation.

Capture literally anything, anywhere, with this high-end camera that comes with a price tag to match its utter brilliance.

Final Thoughts

Wherever you’re heading, and whatever you’re planning to take pictures of when you get there, the right camera for you is out there.

For everyone from snap-happy beginners to hardened professionals, finding the right camera can bring your visions to life like never before.

From the light speed and razor-sharp images of the Panasonic Lumix to the intuitive features and the full frame 30.3 megapixels of the Canon EOS, there really are a number of excellent quality, affordable cameras on the market.

If your budget is big and you’re happy to carry more with you, any of the DSLRs in the Nikon D Series could quite possibly allow you to capture your best photos ever.

 

Now that you’ve got yourself a savvy new camera, you’ll need a way to keep it safe… check out our review of the best camera bags for travel!

Interested in other top travel items you shouldn’t miss out on? Check out our additional product reviews:


Featured image courtesy of Astock Productions via Shutterstock.

FAQ

What cameras do travel bloggers use?

Travel bloggers use a variety of cameras to capture their adventures for their blogs and social media platforms. Depending on your budget and whether you want to specialize in photography, videography, or adventure shots, here are some popular options:

  • Panasonic Lumix LX100
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X II
  • Panasonic Lumix GX9
  • Fujifilm X-T20
  • Sony Alpha a7IIK
  • Panasonic Lumix GH5
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
  • Nikon D7500
  • GoPro Hero 7
Amar Hussain

About Amar Hussain

Amar was born and raised in England, UK, embarked on an 11 country round the world gap year after graduation and then became well and truly hooked. The first gap year inspired a second which ended up being a 23 country down-the-world trip from Canada to Antarctica. Since then Amar has endeavored to turn his gap year into a ‘gap life’ and has spent the last 10 years traveling the 7 continents.

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