Best Travel Camera Guide
Photographs are tangible memories that can be held and reflected on long after a dream vacation has come to an end. For many travelers, the pictures they take along their journey are the most valuable mementos they have.
Thus, investing in a quality travel camera is worth the expense. The right camera will ensure you capture clear, vibrant and frame-worthy photos each time you hit the shutter-release button.
Plus, travel cameras offer additional conveniences that make using and toting your device around on-the-go easier and less cumbersome.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the best travel cameras on the market today, as well as some of the most crucial factors to consider when making your purchase.
We hope you find them helpful!
Factors to Consider When Buying a Travel Camera
Knowing what to look for when shopping for the ideal camera for your adventures is half the battle.
Below are the key characteristics we recommend looking for:
Sure, a professional DSLR with multiple lens attachments will help you capture amazing, art-gallery-level photos — but are you willing to carry that much equipment around with you on a daily basis? If you’re a professional photographer, the answer may be yes. But if not, you’ll likely want to opt for a camera that is lighter and more appropriate for the amount of trekking you’ll be doing. There are plenty of point-and-shoot cameras on the market that takes outstanding photos, so determining what your needs are and buying a camera that meets them (without going overboard) is always a smart choice.
When deciding between the best travel cameras for sale today, how you intend to use the camera should be a major factor in your selection. Do you want to shoot candid shots where your subject may be in motion? Like a racing jaguar or a live dance performance? Or do you mostly just want to take photos of your friends or family? Do you plan to print high-resolution copies of your photos to frame and hang in your home? Or will you primarily be sharing your photos on Instagram? These questions will greatly influence which camera is right for you. For action photos, a DSLR camera will offer better fast-shooting features. For travelers who don’t require high-resolution or RAW image files, a point-and-shoot will work just fine.
Another important determinate when searching for a travel camera is how difficult the device will be to use. While professional-grade DSLRs are awesome for producing high definition photos, they have far more settings than compact digital cameras or mirrorless cameras. These settings are incredibly useful if you are an advanced photographer, but if you’re a novice who doesn’t want to waste time fiddling around with different buttons and adjustments, a DSLR likely won’t be the best travel camera for you.
The Top 5 Travel Cameras of 2019
1. Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200
This petite camera packs a punch. Many travelers have praised it as the best compact camera for travel since it’s super lightweight and easy to carry. But perhaps its most celebrated feature is it’s 15X zoom capability. No other camera in the compact category is comparable when it comes to zoom range, separating it from the competition. If you’re looking for a convenient camera that will allow you to take high-quality photos of far-away animals or scenic landscapes, this is the ideal camera for you.
2. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
This small-scale shooter is a front-runner in the mirrorless camera category. It has a high-performing 5-axis, in-body stabilization system that allows users to capture clear, crisp shots in low light — ideal for travelers who want to capture city skylines at night or scenic, sprawling sunsets. It also offers a ton of exterior dials that allow users to customize their settings, without things getting too complicated. If you’re an intermediate photographer who understands how to adjust your shutter speed, white balance, or ISO, this is a fantastic option.
3. Nikon D3500
As far as DSLRs go, the Nikon D3500 is one of the most travel-friendly units available. Its body only weighs 415g, far less than some of its competitors, making it easier to tote around. This travel camera also offers a phenomenal battery life, providing 1,550 shots on just one charge. Since this camera is designed for beginners who are just getting comfortable using higher-grade DSLRs, it keeps its features and external dials simple, so as not to confuse the user. Lastly, it is extremely affordable, with most retailers selling this unit at the $350.00 range. So, if you’re looking to take ultra-clear, resplendent photos without too much fumbling around, the Nikon D3500 is a smart call.
4. Canon PowerShot G1 X III
This pocket-sized camera is another strong contender for the title of “best compact camera for travel”. It features a DSLR-grade sensor and a 3X zoom range— quite the feat for such a small unit! One of the downfalls of this device, however, is that it isn’t capable of shooting 4K video, so if you’re someone who likes to record in HD, this may not be the ideal option for you. It does offer a superb autofocus time, though, at 0.09 seconds— great for those who want to snap their subject at the drop of a dime. Lastly, this unit comes with always-on Bluetooth LE, which is perfect for users who want to share images immediately with another smart device, like a phone or tablet.
5. Olympus TG-5
If you’re into extreme sports or more adventurous forms of travel, you’ll want a built-tough camera that can keep up with your expeditions. The Olympus TG-5 is that camera. It proudly comes with a certified waterproof, crush-proof, shockproof and freeze-proof design, making it a no-brainer for travelers who are likely to book a skydiving trip on a whim or scale a mountainside at a moment’s notice. Also, as a surprising bonus, it has $K video capability, making it an excellent choice for those who like to vlog or produce videos of their escapades. If you’re a thrill-seeker looking for the best travel camera for your unique lifestyle, this is the device for you.