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The Best Cameras for Travel: Which Type Should You Buy?

The best cameras for travel. The best cameras for travel photography. The best travel cameras for beginners. Best cameras for travel bloggers. Best cameras for travel waterproof.
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It has been said that one of the best parts of traveling is the memories that you make and the enjoyment of reflecting on past experiences. Outside of sharing those memories, there is no better way to remember your travels than pictures or videos, right? If you want to improve how you capture your travel memories, but are not sure where to start, this is the post for you. Read more to learn about the best cameras for travel for any budget!

The Best Cameras for Travel 

The Best Point and Shoot Cameras for Travel

The point and shoot camera is also regularly known as a compact camera. Perfect for those who want functionality, but also great auto features to reduce the learning curve. These are great for those who are just starting to expand out of the “phone camera world”. 

Nikon Coolpix A900

The Nikon A900 camera is small enough to fit into most pockets, but it comes complete with a lot of great features. Some of those features include:

  • Image Sensor Quality: 20MP for great quality shots
  • Video Quality: 4K Video 
  • Zoom Quality: 35x NIKKOR VR Zoom Lens
  • Viewfinder Type: Features a 3 inch LCD screen
  • Built in Flash?: Yes
  • Connectivity: Pair with compatible devices via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC via the SnapBridge App
  • Dimensions: 4.45 x 2.62 x 1.56 inches and 10.6 ounces
Sale
Nikon COOLPIX A900 Digital Camera (Black)
  • 20MP 1/2.3" BSI CMOS Sensor. Focal length : 4.3 to 151mm
  • NIKKOR f/3.4-6.9 ED Lens. Bluetooth Specification Version 4.1

Panasonic Lumix ZS70

Another affordable compact camera with high-quality features is the Panasonic Lumix ZS70. Features include:

  • Image Sensor Quality: 20.3MP high-sensitivity MOS
  • Video Quality: 4K Video 
  • Zoom Quality: 30x Optical Zoom
  • Viewfinder Type: Get both a eye viewfinder and a 3 inch LCD viewfinder that can be tilted 180º for selfies
  • Built in Flash?: Yes
  • Connectivity: Built in Wi-Fi for easy sharing with your devices
  • Dimensions: 1.62 x 4.4 x 2.64 inches and 11.4 ounces
Sale
Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70S, 20.3 Megapixel, 4K Digital Camera, Touch Enabled 3-inch 180 Degree Flip-front Display, 30X LEICA DC VARIO-ELMAR Lens, WiFi (Silver)
  • 20.3 Megapixel MOS sensor plus 30x Leica DC VARIO-ELMAR Lens (24-720 millimeter), plus 5-axis Hybrid o.I.S. (Optical...
  • 0.2-Inch 1, 166k-dot EVF (electronic view Finder) with eye-sensor for easier viewing under sunny outdoor conditions

Canon PowerShot G7 Mark II

The Canon PowerShot point and shoot cameras are known for not only their photo capabilities, but also their strong video quality. In fact, they are well-known as the “Vlogging Camera” of choice for many YouTubers. This was actually one of my first forays into a premium camera, and I’ve captured great shots with it. Features include:

  • Image Sensor Quality: 20.1 MP 1” CMOS sensor 
  • Video Quality: 4K Ultra HD Video 
  • Zoom Quality: Optical Zoom of 4.2x
  • Viewfinder Type: 3.0 inch touch LCD monitor that tilts up 180º so that you can easily do selfies
  • Built in Flash?: Yes
  • Connectivity: Connect to compatible devices via Wi-Fi and NFC
  • Dimensions: 1.65 x 2.4 x 4.15 inches and 1 pound
Canon PowerShot Digital Camera [G7 X Mark II] with Wi-Fi & NFC, LCD Screen, and 1-Inch Sensor - Black, 100 - 1066C001
  • The advanced video capabilities of the PowerShot G7 X Mark II camera can capture moments in the quality they deserve
  • Features a large 1.0 inch, 20.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor that helps capture high quality images and videos with a wide...

Picture of the Acropolis at night captured with my Canon PowerShot G7 Mark II

The Best Mirrorless Cameras for Travel

Now you may be asking – what is a mirrorless camera? Well, it is very similar to the larger DSLR cameras, but like the name suggests, it does not include a mirror inside. As a result, the cameras have all the functionality as DSLRs, but are smaller in build. One downside is that there is no real optical viewfinder, even eye viewfinders are digital in these cameras. 

Note that functionality of these cameras depends on the type of lens you buy. In reviewing the mirrorless cameras, I’ll point out capabilities of the kit lens that comes with the camera in question. 

Canon EOS M200

The Canon EOS M200 is known for its slim design, affordable price, and high quality features. With this camera, you can expect the following features:

  • Image Sensor Quality: 24.1 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor 
  • Video Quality: 4K Ultra HD Video (you can shoot vertically as well!)
  • Kit Lens Details: The kit lens features a standard zoom of 15-45mm, with an aperture of f/3.5-6.3
  • Viewfinder Type: 3.0 inch touch LCD monitor that tilts up 180º as well as down 45º so that you can easily do selfies and take better pictures in bright settings
  • Built in Flash?: Yes (pop-up)
  • Connectivity: Connect to compatible devices via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC
  • Dimensions: 1.4 x 4.3 x 2.6 inches and 1.19 pounds
Sale

Sony a6000

The Sony a6000 is widely recognized as one of the top mirrorless cameras on the market. It is quite affordable, has great features, and since it is so popular, there are so many different types of lenses to choose from. In addition, it’s about half the size of typical DSLR cameras. Features of this camera include:

  • Image Sensor Quality: 24.3 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor 
  • Video Quality: FullHD 1080P 
  • Kit Lens Details: The kit lens features a power zoom of 16-50mm, with an aperture of f/3.5-5.6
  • Viewfinder Type: 3.0 inch touch LCD monitor that tilts up 90º as well as down 45º so that it takes great pictures, no matter the light quality. You also get an OLED eye viewfinder as well. 
  • Built in Flash?: Yes (pop-up)
  • Connectivity: Connect to compatible devices via Wi-Fi and NFC
  • Dimensions: 4.72 x 1.77 x 2.64 inches and 12.2 ounces
Sale
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Digital Camera 24.3MP SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) w/16-50mm Power Zoom Lens
  • Advanced 24.2MP back Illuminated 35 millimeter full frame image sensor
  • ISO 100 25600 (expandable to 51200). Lens compatibility: Sony E mount lenses

For more information on the best lenses for the Sony a6000, click here.

Picture of (me) at the beach in Ghana – Taken on my Sony a6000

Sony Alpha a7

As a full-frame mirrorless camera, the Sony Alpha a7 is a step up from the a6000. (Hence the increased price). It is noted for its updated sensor design and known for its speed and strong low-light capabilities. Features include:

  • Image Sensor Quality: 24.2 MP Full-Frame CMOS sensor 
  • Video Quality: Ultra 4K HD video
  • Kit Lens Details: The kit lens features a power zoom of 28-70mm, with an aperture of f/3.5-5.6
  • Viewfinder Type: 3.0 inch touch LCD monitor that tilts up 107º as well as down 41º so that it takes great pictures, no matter the light quality. You also get an Tru-Finder OLED eye viewfinder as well
  • Built in Flash?: Yes (pop-up)
  • Connectivity: Connect to compatible devices via Wi-Fi and NFC to share images and even remotely control the shutter
  • Dimensions: 5 x 2.36 x 3.78 inches and 1.32 pounds
Sony Alpha a7 III Digital Camera with 28-70mm Lens and Accessory Bundle
  • Bundle Includes: Sony Alpha a7 III Full Frame Mirrorless Camera with 28-70mm Lens, Koah Shotgun Video Microphone...
  • Sony Alpha A7 III: Ideal for beginners and seasoned professionals alike, the a7 III has renewed features for everything...

The Best DSLR Cameras for Travel

DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex, and it has a digital sensor and a mirror inside the camera body. The main advantage of this camera over the mirrorless type is that it has a standard viewfinder which can help you capture better images. In addition, the prices are often lower as the technology has been around longer. However, as mentioned above, DSLRs tend to be bulkier and heavier, making them less ideal for travel. 

Canon EOS Rebel T7

Per Canon, the EOS Rebel T7 is meant for the user looking to move past mobile photography. It’s tagged as a “sleek” entry-level DSLR. This camera features:

  • Image Sensor Quality: 24.1 MP APS-C CMOS sensor 
  • Video Quality: Full HD 1080P
  • Kit Lens Details: The kit lens features a power zoom of 18-55mm, with an aperture of f/3.5-5.6
  • Viewfinder Type: 3.0 inch touch LCD monitor and standard eye viewfinder 
  • Built in Flash?: No
  • Connectivity: Connect to compatible devices via Wi-Fi and NFC to share images
  • Dimensions: 3.1 x 5.1 x 4 inches and 3 pounds

Nikon D3500

The Nikon D3500 is billed “as easy to use as a point and shoot camera”. It’s relatively compact and comes with a lot of great features, like those listed below:

  • Image Sensor Quality: 24.2 MP DX-format CMOS sensor
  • Video Quality: Full HD 1080P
  • Kit Lens Details: The kit lens features a power zoom of 18-55mm, with an aperture of f/3.5-5.6
  • Viewfinder Type: 3.0 inch touch LCD monitor and standard eye viewfinder 
  • Built in Flash?: Yes
  • Connectivity: Connect to compatible devices via Wi-Fi and NFC to share images
  • Dimensions: 4.9 x 2.7 x 3.8 inches and 13 ounces
Nikon D3500 24.2MP DSLR Camera with AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Lens (1590B) – (Renewed)
  • Includes all original accessories plus a 90 Day Warranty
  • Nikon D3500 24.2MP DSLR Camera with AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Lens

Pentax K-70

The Pentax K-70 is built as an all-weather DSLR, and meant for shooting great outdoor and landscape shots. It’s weather resistance means that it is quite durable and that’s something that sets it apart from others in this list. Features include:

  • Image Sensor Quality: 24.24 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Video Quality: Full HD 1080P as well as 4K for Interval shots
  • Kit Lens Details: The kit lens features a power zoom of 18-55mm, with an aperture of f/3.5-5.6
  • Viewfinder Type: 3.0 inch touch LCD monitor and standard eye viewfinder 
  • Built in Flash?: Yes
  • Connectivity: Connect to compatible devices via Wi-Fi and NFC to share images
  • Dimensions: 2.9 x 4.9 x 3.7 inches and 2 lbs

The Best Action Cameras for Travel

Action cameras are tiny little cameras that are used to capture motion shots. This style of camera has really been made popular by the GoPro, which we’ll cover more below. If you take active vacations either on land or in the water, an action camera is something that you should certainly have on your list.

COOAU 4K 20MP

A nice budget option, the COOAU 4K features pretty much all the features you’d want in any action camera. The only downside is that you do have to use the provided casing to make it waterproof. Key features include:

  • Image Quality: 20MP 
  • Video Quality: 4K UHD / 30fps 
  • Connectivity: Connect to compatible devices via Wi-Fi to share images
  • Feature Set: This camera has many settings, such as Time lapse Videos, Smart EIS image stabilization, and upgraded waterproof depth
  • Dimensions: 2.28 x 0.98 x 1.57 inches and 1.1 lbs
COOAU 4K 20MP Wi-Fi Action Camera External Microphone Remote Control Underwater 40M Waterproof Sport Camera Time Lapse with 2X1200mAh Batteries and 20 Accessories
  • 【Ultra HD 4K 20MP Action Camera】- This action camera adopts the newest upgraded chip, 7 layers of optical glass lens...
  • 【Stabilization and 40M Waterproof】- Smart anti-shake program is embedded in the chip. Therefore video fluency and...

GoPro Hero7

The GoPro is what has made action cameras famous. Due to the camera’s popularity, there are many affordable options that you can use to attach your camera to any part of your body for unique capture. And I should mention that it is PERFECT for underwater shots. Key features include:

  • Image Quality: 12MP 
  • Video Quality: 4K UHD / 30fps 
  • Connectivity: Connect to compatible devices via Wi-Fi to share images
  • Feature Set: Features include a Touch screen, Voice control (no need for remote), video stabilization, vertical shooting capability, photo timer, and ability to shoot in burst mode.
  • Dimensions: 2.4 x 1.3 x 1.8 inches and 4.2 ounces
GoPro HERO7 Black + Extra Battery - E-Commerce Packaging - Waterproof Digital Action Camera with Touch Screen 4K HD Video 12MP Photos Live Streaming Stabilization
  • E-COMMERCE PACKAGING: GoPro HERO7 Black Camera plus Extra Battery- This product is in manufacturer E-Commerce packing...
  • 4K60 VIDEO AND 12MP PHOTOS: Awesome as the moments themselves. 8x Sol-Mo Video - With ultra high frame rate 1080p240...

Picture taken in Croatia on my GoPro6 – Note the quality!

GoPro Hero 9

The newest addition to the GoPro family, the Hero9 has added many new features to take things up a notch. Upgrades include more power, more stability, and more clarity. Additional features include: 

  • Image Quality: 20MP 
  • Video Quality: 5K UHD / 30fps + 4K UHD / 60fps
  • Connectivity: Connect to compatible devices via Wi-Fi to share images
  • Feature Set: Features include a Touch screen, Voice control (no need for remote), video stabilization, vertical shooting capability, photo timer, and ability to shoot in burst mode. In addition, you can now shoot in RAW, have scheduled capture, and capture pictures before you even shoot with the HindSight feature
  • Dimensions: 9.08 x 5.42 x 3.25 inches and 11.2 ounces
GoPro HERO9 Black - Waterproof Action Camera with Front LCD and Touch Rear Screens, 5K HD Video, 20MP Photos, 1080p Live Streaming, Stabilization + Sandisk 64GB Card and Extra Battery
  • MORE EVERYTHING. More power. More clarity. More stability. New Live View Front Display. 30% More Battery Life....
  • MORE RESOLUTION. - Shoot stunning 5K video that maintains serious detail even when zooming in and capturing 14.7MP frame...

The Best Camera Phone Accessories for Travel

Not quite ready for a phone upgrade? I will mention that there are a few options for upgrading your phone so that it is a better travel camera. Check out the accessories below:

Camera Phone Lens Kit

This lens kit by VKAKA provides 9 different lens add-ons for your phone:

  • 2x Zoom Lens
  • 198º Fisheye Lens
  • 15x Macro Lens
  • 20x Macro Lens
  • 0.63x Wide Angle Lens
  • 0.36x Super Wide Angle Lens
  • Circular Polarized Lens
  • Starburst Lens
  • Kaleidoscope Lens

All the lenses clip onto your phone for easy use and removal. 

Phone Camera Lens Kit, 9 in 1 Zoom Universal Telephoto Lens+198° Fisheye lens + 0.36 Super Wide Angle Lens + 0.63X Wide Lens +20X Macro Lens + 15X Macro Lens + CPL + Kaleidoscope Lens + Starburst Lens
  • Premium Quality : Unlike cheaper phone lenses, the Cell phone Lens Kit is designed with industrial grade aluminum along...
  • 9 pcs phone camera lens in 1 kit: 2x zoom telephoto lens, 198° fisheye lens, 15X macro lens, 20X marco lens, 0.63X wide...

SmartPhone Gimbal Stabilizer 

Take better video with your smartphone by using this Gimbal by Hohem. As a bonus, it also offers a base so that you can use it as a small tripod as well. This one is compatible with most smartphones and will help you take movie-quality video. 

Sale
Gimbal Stabilizer for Smartphone, 3-Axis Phone Gimbal for Android and iPhone 13,12,11 PRO, Stabilizer for Video Recording with Face/Object Tracking, 600 °Auto Rotation - hohem iSteady Mobile Plus
  • [Upgraded iSteady 6.0 Anti-shake] Introduce the newly upgraded Hohem iSteady Mobile+ gimbal stabilizer. Thanks to this...
  • [Hohem Joy App, Filming Has Never Been So Easy] Enjoy controlling your filming tool on your phone video stabilizer and...

How to Choose a Camera for Travel

When choosing which camera you should buy for travel, there are three key factors that you should take into consideration. 

Size

When it comes to travel, I think that size is the most important factor to consider. If you are out and about all day, there are few things as annoying as carrying around your camera and camera gear everywhere that you go. Look for the smallest size and weight in a camera that still meets all your personal photography requirements.

Type of Photography / Videography 

What kind of pictures will you take most on your trip? Are you more focused on portraits of your travel crew? Or taking pictures of beautiful landscapes? Make sure the camera you buy has the capabilities to take the shots you desire. And this can either be built into the camera itself, or through the lens you use with your camera.

Cost

Cost is a key consideration in any purchase, of course. I do caution against always going after the cheapest option for your camera, however. Remember, a camera is an investment that will last you for years to come. Buy what you can afford, but also buy something that you will not have to replace in the near term. 

In Summary | The Best Cameras for Travel

I hope you’ve found this post on how to use the best cameras for travel helpful! If you still need help deciding, here are the best cameras for each category:

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Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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