Best Cameras for Travel Photography

Best Cameras for TravelDo your vacation photos fall flat against your friends’ and families’? When you post on Instagram, are you left with only have a few good shots to choose from while the rest are blurry, too dark or your subject just won’t stay still long enough to get a good picture? Do you long for beautiful photos of sweeping landscapes at sunset or portraits of your loved one’s in just the right light? Have you ever wondered how people get those amazing travel shots that seem so effortless? If you think they are taken with iPhones you are mistaken. To achieve truly beautiful images capturing some of the greatest memories of your life, you have to invest in a good camera. Don’t let inexperience dissuade you, there are a few recommended books at the bottom of the page that will teach you to use your camera like a pro in no time.

This list will help you find the best camera for travel photography that fits your budget and travel needs.

Which Camera Type is Right for You:

Compact Cameras/ Budget Cameras: These cameras are easy to use, automatic, point and shoot cameras. They are, by far, the most budget friendly. Each comes with video capabilities, a fixed lens that zooms and some effects. On the downside, you have little control over the final product and the image quality will be good but not exceptional.

Waterproof Cameras: Waterproof cameras are tough and can pretty much survive any adventure from scuba diving to skiing. They also usually come with a pretty high end video feature. The image won’t be as high quality as a DSLR or mirrorless, but overall, it is good.

DSLR: Although larger, heavier and more complex to use, DSLR cameras have a wide variety of interchangeable lenses and an optical viewfinder that works best in low light. You have full manual control, which produces excellent image quality for the experienced photographer. These cameras also have better battery life and are less expensive than many mirrorless cameras of the same caliber.

Mirrorless: As opposed to DSLR, mirrorless cameras are lighter, more compact, faster and better for video. They can be controlled manually and produce amazing images. The downside is that they have fewer lenses and accessories. Mirrorless cameras are also much more expensive and the battery life isn’t as good.

Best Budget Cameras (Under $200)

Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 Digital Camera

  • Optical Zoom: 10x
  • Video: 720p HD
  • Display size: 5in
  • Images stabilization: yes
  • Dimensions: 0.9 x 3.8 x 2.2 in
  • Weight: 4.9 ounces
  • Megapixels: 12
  • Viewfinder type: fixed LCD
  • Lens options: none

Perks: The Canon comes with built-in Wi-Fi for easy downloads and in-camera effect modes such as Fisheye Effect, Toy Camera Effect and Monochrome.

For more information and pricing, click here.

 

Sony DSCW830 20.1 MP Digital Camera

  • Optical Zoom: 4x
  • Video: 720p MP4 HD
  • Display size: 2.7 in
  • Images stabilization: yes
  • Dimensions: 3.66 x 0.91 x 2.05 in
  • Weight: 4.32 ounces
  • Megapixels: 20.1
  • Viewfinder type: none
  • Lens options: none

Perks: The Sony DSCW830 is compatible with Final Cut Pro X and iMovie,  has a panorama shooting mode, picture and movie effects, and an advanced flash. You will get nice, clear shots with 20.1 megapixels.

For more information and pricing, click here.

 

Best Compact Camera

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

  • Optical Zoom: 3x
  • Video: 4K DCI 2160p
  • Display size: 3-inch touch sensitive monitor
  • Images stabilization: yes
  • Dimensions: 4.5 x 2.6 x 2.2 in
  • Weight: 13.9 ounces
  • Megapixels: 21.77
  • Viewfinder type: Optical, LCD, Hybrid
  • Lens options: none
  • ISO: Auto, 100-25600
  • F Stop: F1.7-2.8

Perks: The Panasonic Lumix is great for macro shooting- as close as 3cm, it has lens-mounted and body-mounted exposure controls, manual shooting mode, a remote control, and multiple aspect ratios.

For more information and pricing, click here.

 

Canon PowerShot G9X Mark II

  • Optical Zoom: 3x
  • Video: FHD 1080p
  • Display size: 3-inch
  • Images stabilization: yes
  • Dimensions: 1.2 x 3.9 x 2.3 in
  • Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Megapixels: 20.1
  • Viewfinder type: fixed LCD
  • Lens options: none
  • ISO: 125-12800

Perks: The G9X Mark II boasts up to 8.2 frames of continuous shooting for the ever moving target. There are picture style presets which include monochrome and portrait. The time lapse function gives you the ability to slow down or speed up your movies for ultimate control.

For more information and pricing, click here.

 

Canon Powershot G7X Mark II

  • Optical Zoom: 4.2x
  • Video: FHD 1080p
  • Display size: 3 in
  • Images stabilization: yes
  • Dimensions: 1.6 x 2.4 x 4.2 in
  • Weight: 1.4 lbs
  • Megapixels: 20.1
  • Viewfinder type: flexible LCD
  • Lens options: no

Perks: At 4.2x, the G7X Mark II provide the ultimate zoom.  The 3.0 inch LCD monitor tilts up 180 degrees and down 45 degrees making it ideal for self-portraits, and capturing pictures at high and low angles with ease. It has advanced video capabilities and the ability to shoot continuously at up to 8 fps.

For more information and pricing, click here.

 

Best Waterproof Camera

Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Camera

  • Optical Zoom: 8x
  • Video: 4K UHD 2160p, 2K DCI 1080p
  • Display size: 3 in
  • Images stabilization: yes
  • Dimensions: 2.6 x 4.4 x 1.3 in
  • Weight: .56lbs
  • Megapixels: 12
  • Viewfinder type: LCD
  • Lens options: no

Perks: This camera is beyond tough. It is waterproof, dirt proof and crush proof. with four macro shooting modes and a wide-angle, fog free lens, there is no situation this camera can’t handle.

For more information and pricing, click here.

 

GoPro HERO7 Black Waterproof Action Camera

  • Video: 4K60
  • Display: Intuitive Touch Screen
  • Images stabilization: HyperSmooth
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.4 x 5.9 in
  • Weight: 4.2 ounces
  • Megapixels: 12+ SuperPhoto With HDR
  • Lens options: no

Perks: The GoPro has become the standard when it comes to action/ adventure video shooting. It has voice control, live streaming, time warp video, intuitive touch screen, and vertical shooting. Buy an attachment that fits on your head so your hands are free to surf in Hawaii or climbing Mt. Everest.

For more information and pricing, click here.

 

Best DSLR Camera

Nikon – D750 DSLR Camera

  • Video: 4K UHD video recording at 30 fps
  • Display size: 3.2-inch 922k-dot tilting touchscreen LCD
  • Dimensions: 3 x 4 x 4 in
  • Weight: 2.13 lbs
  • Megapixels: 20.9
  • Viewfinder type: optical
  • Lens options: yes
  • ISO: Auto, 100-51200

Perks: With 8 fps continuous shooting, 51 available focus points and 15 cross-type sensors, the Nikon D750 will give you the best possible photo in any situation. Manually control ISO, shutter speed and aperture to get the perfect shot in low light situations and tracking moving subjects. It also includes built in Wi Fi connectivity.

For more information and pricing, click here.

 

Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / 250D

  • Optical Zoom: 0.25x
  • Video: 4K video, 4K time-lapse movie
  • Display size: vary angle touchscreen, 3. 0 Inch LCD
  • Dimensions: 2.7 x 4.8 x 3.6 in
  • Weight: 1.5lbs
  • Megapixels: 24.1
  • Viewfinder type: optical
  • Lens options: various
  • ISO: 100-25600

Perks: The Canon EOS Rebel is the lightest and smallest DSLR on the list. It also provides the highest image quality.  It connects to WiFi and bluetooth technology transfers images wirelessly.

For more information and pricing, click here.

 

Nikon D3500

  • Optical Zoom: 3x
  • Video: Full HD 1920 x 1080p
  • Display size: 3 in
  • Dimensions: 4.88 x 2.76 x 3.82 in
  • Weight: 0.86 lb
  • Megapixels: 24.7
  • Viewfinder type: Optical
  • Lens options: various
  • ISO: 100-25600

Perks: This camera is great for video. It records in multiple frame rates up to 60 fps, as well as HD 720p, in the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format. There is a built-in monaural microphone for recording high-quality sound. A range of Special Effects in-camera, and an image sensor that’s 15x larger than those used in typical smartphones will give you sharper, clearer pictures.

For more information and pricing, click here.

 

Best Mirrorless Camera

Fujifilm X-T3

  • Video: 4K UHD
  • Display size: 3.69m-dot OLED electronic viewfinder
  • Dimensions: 9.7 x 8 x 5 in
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Megapixels: 26.1
  • Viewfinder type: Optical
  • Lens options: various
  • ISO: Auto, 160 to 12800 (Extended: 80 to 51200)

Perks: Face Detection and auto-focus tracking for moving subjects when capturing either high-resolution stills or recording 4K video is a huge advantage if you enjoy shooting nature or even your own, active children. This camera has the ability to record 4K video at 30 frames per second or capture of 120 frames per second at 1080p to create super slow motion effects.

For more information and pricing, click here.

 

Nikon Z50

  • Optical Zoom: 3.1x
  • Video: 4K UHD 2160p
  • Display size: 3.2 in
  • Images stabilization: yes
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 9.1 x 9.1 in
  • Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Megapixels: 20.9
  • Viewfinder type: Electronic
  • Lens options: various

Perks: The Nikon Z50 is weather sealed, small, durable, and easy to use. It connects to your phone for simple photo transfer. A wide lens mount allows more light to enter, making images sharper, more contrasted, better low light performance and focusing speed. Also included is in-camera video editing with numerous filters for high quality image control.

For more information and pricing, click here.

 

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

  • Optical Zoom: 3x
  • Video: Ultra HD 4K
  • Display size: 3.0 inches tilting LCD monitor with intuitive touch screen
  • Images stabilization: dynamic
  • Dimensions: 4.8 x 2.9 x 3.3 in
  • Weight: 1lb
  • Megapixels: 16
  • Viewfinder: interactive, electronic
  • Lens options: various

Perks: The Olympus OM-D is compact & lightweight. It is good for a beginner with an easy an auto focus function and touch screen focus to take the guess work out of photography.  It includes 15 built in art filters and supports WIFI syncing.

For more information and pricing, click here.

 

Best Tripods

Tripods are invaluable when you want to take flawless lowlight shots or group photos.  They are also extremely useful if you are traveling solo.  Take a look at these great options for compact, lightweight tripods that will go anywhere.

TYCKA Rangers 56” Compact Travel Tripod: This tripod is lightweight, compact and durable. It includes a carrying bag and will support even the heavier DSLR cameras with ease. Since it is low angle and macro view enabled, it is perfect for extreme closeups of your subject. Low light shots will be clearer and portraits will seem as though a professional came with you on your trip.

For more information and pricing, click here.

 

Torjim 60″ Camera Tripod: With a maximum load capacity of 11lbs, this tripod will hold everything from a simple point and shoot camera to a DSLR with a telephoto lens. There is an attachment for your cell phone that is perfect for live streaming, and vlog shooting. The tripod itself is equipped with a bluetooth remote control, that makes capturing family photos a snap.

For more information and pricing, click here.

Books

Summing It Up

Make your friends envious of your amazing vacation shots with one of these cameras. It is worth spending a few extra dollars to document your adventures!

Bon Voyage!

12 Comments

  1. Willow

    This is a great article. I just recently purchased a new camera after doing a lot of research, but it is more complicated than my previous camera and it has a lot of settings I’m not sure how to work.

    I love the recommendation on the books. The Photography Demystified book sounds exactly like what I am needing to get the most out of my new camera. Thanks for the suggestions.

    1. Gin

      Hi Willow, Thank you! Yes, I feel like the main thing holding people back from investing in sa quality camera is the learning curve. A good book will do wonders! Once you learn the basics, it will be easy!

  2. Dereck

    Wow, what a great list you have! My wife and I have been getting into photography and videography over the last year and a half, and its been a fun hobby so far. We currently have a Nikon D5100 and D5300 that we use, but someday we’d like to get a mirrorless camera. In any case, we’re able to get some pretty high quality pictures and video with these and they’re great to learn on. Thanks for sharing this information, you’ve really done your homework!

    1. Gin

      I have a D5100 as well and I feel like it is practically a dinosaur now, compared to these new fangled models! Researching this article has made me want to invest in a new one! The mirrorless options can get pricy, but the technology is superior. I don’t love the idea of having to get all new lenses, though!

  3. Steve

    Wow-what a good and comprehensive post on travel cameras. I am a Nikon man and was beginning to worry that in your recommendations that the Nikon wasn’t going to appear until cited the Nikon 3500. I have used a Nikon 3300 for many years and was thinking about upgrading how does the 3500 compare to the 3300? Will my Nikor Lenses fit the same camera body? The same questions go for the Nikon Z50. What would you recommend for a mirrorless camera? Really like the idea of a narrower and lighter body. A little turned off by the Nikon price at the moment.

    1. Gin

      Hi Steve! Thank you for the kind comments and excellent questions! I’m a Nikon girl, myself!

      First, lets tackle Nikon 3300 Vs. 3500. They are both great cameras but there are some differences. They both shoot at a 24 megapixels, video is full HD, they are equipped with a Nikon F mount (which means the lenses will be interchangeable), 3in fixed type screen, optical viewfinder and 5 fps continuous shooting. Where the 3500 is superior, is it has a higher ISO (25600-12800 vs 100-12800) which will give you much more control in lowlight situations. Another perk to the 3500 is it has Bluetooth and wifi technology, which would enable you to control it remotely with your cellphone or transfer files wirelessly. The 3500 is much more efficient, getting double the shots per battery charge. It’s is also lighter, at 365g vs. 410 for the 3300. The cons for both cameras is there is no image stabilization, no flexible viewing angles and neither is weather sealed.

      The Nikon Z50 is a mirrorless option. You will have to invest in some new lenses because they are not interchangeable. That being said, DSLR have been around a lot longer so there are more lens and accessory options. The pros of mirrorless cameras are they are lighter (around 408g including a 16-50mm lens) and more compact. They have better image stabilization, which is key for lowlight shooting and moving targets like wildlife and small children! The mirrorless camera shoots slightly better video and allows more still photos per second than the DSLR. Oh, and the price is a bit higher!

      On the other hand, the DSLR has better battery life and again, you don’t have to invest in a ton of new lenses and accessories, which we all know, can add up.

      Nikons can be expensive, but my old N5100 is still going strong and has been dropped, knocked and rained on. It’s going on 9 years old. They are tough, durable and you know whichever one you choose, it will last a lifetime! It’s an investment!

      Good luck with your search! I do hope this helped.

  4. Wow! So many choices. Thanks for the write up.

    My Canon Powershot is about to give up the ghost, so I am definitely in the market for a new camera – especially one that is good for video and audio, and has good stabilization for when I’m stumbling around my garden. : )

    Thanks for the info!

    1. Gin

      Hi tracy! So glad I could help! Yes, there are some great choices on this list. There are so many options out there, it’s nice to have the list cut down, even a little. I hope you find the perfect camera for you!

  5. This site is packed with information. I have a couple of cameras but I tend to use my Galaxy mobile which has 3 cameras on. The thing is, people love to carry cameras around and its looks good to have one with a 50 foot lens.

    1. Gin

      Ha! yes! I know what you mean! Although, there are a select few of us who actually know how to use those cameras and it makes a huge difference compared to everyday cellphone shots. I love my DSLR for the quality of the photo it takes, but you have to put the work in to learn how to use it!

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