Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash
It’s time to experience the world with the best travel cameras. We’ve put together a list of the five best travel cameras that will dramatically improve your next vacation! From an impromptu road trip to a backpacking adventure across Europe, there are a lot of lightweight, versatile, and professional cameras that you can pick up at an extremely low cost!
When we’re talking about the best travel cameras, we’re primarily going to be looking at high-quality digital cameras and mirrorless cameras. These cameras are small, they fit easily into any luggage, and they’re easier for carrying with you on a day trip in a new city. Plus, digital cameras don’t attract the kind of attention that DSLR cameras do, meaning you’re less likely to be targeted while in a foreign country.
Other bonuses included with the best travel cameras are front-facing screens for taking amazing selfies, great 4K recording for adding videos to your personal vlog, and improved battery life for all-day photography sessions. Plus, there are some great action cameras out there for adventure travel, allowing you to take videos and photos underwater or during some other extreme activity.
But that’s not to say you can’t purchase a large DSLR camera for travel. There are definitely some great, full-sized DSLRs that you can take with you on vacation. The only issue with these is the annoying hassle of carrying multiple lenses and a camera bag. But if you don’t mind the extra weight, a DSLR might be exactly what you’re looking for.
1. Olympus E-M10 Mark III Micro Four Thirds Mirrorless Camera
First on the list is one of the best travel cameras ever developed by Olympus. The E-M10 Mark III is a micro four thirds, mirrorless style camera with impressive image stabilization, smooth 4K video, a huge 16-megapixel sensor, a fashionable design, and two setting dials that are easy to use even for beginners. The camera also comes complete with a 3” tilting LCD monitor that employs touchscreen technology. If you’re looking for something a bit smaller than a DSLR but more powerful than a standard mirrorless camera, this is the ideal setup. It can even be purchased with a variety of different lenses or as a starting kit.
The E-M10 Mark III is also wildly affordable. It takes great pictures, everything about the controls is intuitive and easy, and the camera is ideal for traveling. The Olympus app even makes it easy and quick to transfer all of your photos instantly, no matter which country you’re in! The lenses are more affordable than many of the E-Mount lenses from Sony – and yet there isn’t really a quality difference. Considering how low the price is and how advanced the features are, this really is the best robust travel camera you can buy from Olympus. The 4K video combined with the image stabilization makes for incredible home movies of your vacation.
- Incredible Build Quality
- Stellar ISO Performance
- 4K Video is Unbeatable
- Pop-Up Flash is Super Convenient
- Battery Life is Superb
- No Microphone Input
- May Need to Adjust RGB Channels for Better Color
2. Fujifilm X-T200 Mirrorless Digital Camera
The Fujifilm X-T200 Mirrorless Camera is arguably the best piece of equipment for traveling vloggers. The camera comes in three different colors, including champagne gold. But that’s only the beginning of how great the X-T200 is. This camera uses one of the largest LCD touchscreens in the business. Most standard LCDs are only three inches, and yet the X-T200 utilizes a 3.5” variable-angle screen that is excellent for taking selfies and recording yourself while vlogging. This camera is every vlogger’s dream. When it comes to wandering around a new city while on vacation, you couldn’t ask for a better piece of technology. It even comes included with film simulation effects for maximum creative control. Plus, you can adjust the background blur and the brightness to suit your preferred shooting style.
The X-T200 also uses state-of-the-art phase detection to improve focus in every imaging environment. It has face detection and eye detection so that when taking photos of groups of people, the camera always captures everyone at the right moment and focuses quickly. Plus, the camera is basically brand-new to the market and still under $1000!
- Fantastic Color in Every Photograph
- Ideal for Vloggers/YouTubers/Selfies
- HDR Video for High-Contrast Recordings
- In-Camera Video Editing
- Massive 3.5” LCD Touchscreen
- Body is Plastic
- Battery is Lacking
3. Sony Alpha a6100 Mirrorless Camera
The Sony Alpha a6100 brings everything you love about photography into one amazing piece of equipment. It’s one of the few mirrorless cameras that offer such an extensive range of lenses, giving you full control over every travel scenario. And yet at the same time, you can use the a6100 without a lens and still get unparalleled quality. It has incredibly fast AF and tracking for high-octane moments like sporting events, safaris, and outdoor activities. There has never been a more accurate autofocusing system inside of a mirrorless camera! It even has real-time AF for animals!
You get standard connectivity features with the a6100, such as Wi-Fi and NFC. The external mic input is great for videos. The pop-up 3” LCD is ideal for selfies. The viewfinder is OLED and high contrast. Basically, everything is superb. The camera is reasonably priced, it produces some of the most realistic colors you’ll ever see in a photograph – and best of all, it’s small, easy to use, and fun while traveling!
- Best & Fastest Autofocus @0.01 Seconds
- ISO up to 51200
- Huge Selection of Interchangeable Lenses
- Useful External Input
- The Most Realistic Color Reproduction
- Frustrating Mobile App
- Too Many Accessories Sold Separately
4. Olympus Tough TG-6 Waterproof Adventure Camera
The Olympus TG-6 Digital Camera is by far the best travel camera for those going on a serious adventure. This camera is waterproof up to 50 feet, it has an impressive resolution for a camera that only boasts 12 megapixels, it can do 4K video recording, and it has a strong battery that will last all day. If you’re heading out to the beach, there is no better camera. But this baby is not only great in situations where it could get wet. It also works well in harsh environments because it’s dustproof and freezeproof. The TG-6 is the ultimate camera for the desert, for a snowy mountain, and for snorkeling off the coast of Mexico!
And even though the camera only has 12 megapixels, it frequently provides more detailed images than other cameras with higher megapixels. It also comes ready with the perfect settings, allowing you to immediately begin shooting in RAW. The contrast and sharpness are great, the white balance is fantastic, you can shoot in macro mode, and there are five underwater modes to make the best out of your diving experience. This is a great everyday camera and a phenomenal travel camera. Plus, it’s stylish and comes either in red or black at under $350!
- Best Beach Camera
- Waterproof @ 50 Feet
- Impressive Resolution w/ 8x Zoom
- 4K Video Recording
- Very Strong Battery Life
- Only 12 Megapixels
- Poor Video Stabilization
5. Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR Camera
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is the full package when it comes to a DSLR camera for travel. It has all the beneficial features of a normal DSLR in a smaller, more compact package. This means huge image quality, lightning-fast autofocus, and massive versatility for whatever environment you find yourself in during your travels. It’s also built rugged, with full weather resistance and a solid body. If you’re going from the deserts of California to the mountains of the Himalayas, this is definitely the best DSLR camera to do it with.
Besides just being built tough, the Mark II is filled with the newest and most impressive image technology. It can take 4K time-lapse videos, it shoots at 6.5 frames per second, it uses a 45-point AF system for seamless tracking, and it has all the wireless connectivity you would expect, from GPS to built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
- New DIGIC 7 Image Processor + 26.2 Megapixels
- 3” Variable-Angle Touchscreen + Front-Facing
- Superb Performance in All Areas
- Compact/Rugged/Weather Resistant
- Wildly Expensive
- Large Kit if Traveling
When it comes to the best travel cameras, there are a few main things that will make or break your vacation. The first important feature is going to be the zoom range. Keep in mind that you’ll be looking at all kinds of exciting new things, from architecture to wildlife. But not everything is going to be right in front of you, and having a usable zoom range is going to be important when trying to document every moment of your travels.
The second main feature is image quality. It’s true, the newest smartphones on the market offer some pretty impressive image technology. But they still can’t compare to a real camera. And while digital cameras are great for their convenience, a mirrorless camera or a DSLR camera is definitely going to offer better image quality. If you really want the most professional images, you might want to spend a bit more money on a camera with a larger sensor.
But you also have to think about what kind of vacation you’re taking! If it’s a weekend in Mexico, you probably want the smallest camera possible with these simplest functions at the lowest price. You never know when you’ll end up using the camera again. But if you’re taking a three-month trip to Japan, investing in a more professional camera, a shoulder bag, and additional lenses will have a bigger payoff. At the end of the day, you’re really the only one who can decide which travel camera is best for you.
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