/The 10 Best Cameras For Traveling

The 10 Best Cameras For Traveling

 

Smartphones have undoubtedly become the favorite camera for casual shooting. Nonetheless, when you spend your time and effort to venture hundreds or thousands of miles for new experiences, smartphones can’t beat a traditional camera.

Whether it’s a superzoom feature that lets you capture a distant landmark without having to trek there, a rugged model that withstands immersion in water, or even an interchangeable lens feature for increased image quality, dedicated cameras provide the extra tools to make your experiences last.

Obviously, the camera you choose should be based on the type of travel you plan to do. Alternatively, you can opt for an all-purpose model that covers the essentials, or one that’s specially designed for the niche and activities you plan to do. Niche cameras include those that keep up with rough-and-tumble lifestyle and high-speed adventure. While others are better suited for those who want to take their time and set up their camera to capture the perfect moment. Regardless of what your needs are, there’s an ideal camera for you that you can bring along on your vacation. Below are some of the best cameras for traveling.

CameraOptical ZoomBatteryWeight 
Olympus TG-44x4.6 Watt Hours0.54 poundsCheck Price
Sony CyberShot RX100V2.9x4.5 Watt Hours1.5 poundsCheck Price
Panasonic Lumix G855x8.7 Watt Hours1.11 poundsCheck Price
Olympus Mark II OMD E-M11x12.8 Watt Hours1.1 poundsCheck Price
GoPro Hero 5--0.26 poundsCheck Price
Panasonic Lumix TS304x-2.4 poundsCheck Price
Fujifilm X-T21x8.7 Watt Hours0.26 poundsCheck Price
Panasonic Lumix FZ250020x8.7 Watt Hours2.13 poundsCheck Price
Panasonic Lumix DMC GX81x8.7 Watt Hours1.7 poundsCheck Price
Sony A65001x7.3 Watt Hours0.91 poundsCheck Price

1. Olympus TG-4

While most camera manufacturers develop at least one rugged, pocket-sized, point-to-shoot, waterproof camera that does it all right, Olympus has continually developed a pedigree in solid-performance rugged cameras. This model has the ability to shoot RAW files, making it the first rugged camera to support RAW shooting. Considering that it can also be used up to 50 feet below the water surface and that it’s operable in extremely dusty or cold conditions, this is one of the best go-anywhere and everywhere camera.

It also supports a wide range of attachments, including an LED ring light for incredible macro shooting, a 1.7x Teleconverter, and underwater housing that essentially boosts its range to 150 feet. With a camera like this, you won’t find yourself wondering if you should bring your camera on your trip or not. It’s ideal for enthusiast adventurers or travelers in need of a camera that can survive any elements.

Pros
  • Water Proof down to 15m
  • Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 Max Video Resolution
  • Timelapse Recording
Cons
  • No Manual Exposure
  • No Built-in Viewfinder

2. Sony CyberShot RX100V

Although smartphones might have eliminated much of the pocket cameras, there’s a special breed of cameras they cannot dare touch; the premium compact. Premium compact cameras are small on the outside but pack immense power in the inside. They are therefore a favorite for casual shooters and professionals and are a worthy investment for traveling.

The RX100 Mark V is the latest offering from Sony in the RX series of premium compacts. Thanks to its 20 MP and 1″ type sensor featuring a f/1.8, 2.8 zoom lens and fast 24 to 70mm, the camera has excellent image quality. It’s capable of capturing perfect moments as it can focus in as little as 0.05 seconds with shooting bursts of up to 24 images in a second. The camera can also handle your videos needs quite admirably, since it supports 4K resolution.

Pros
  • Built-in EVF
  • 24fps burst shooting
  • Slow-motion video capture
  • Light and compact
Cons
  • No touchscreen
  • Low battery life

3. Panasonic Lumix G85

 

Panasonic’s G85 comes with a plethora of features, many of which not found in the competition. It brings decent weather sealing, which allows the shooter to push the envelope in most working environments. For a lower price point than the GX8, the G85 trades a slight drop in the megapixel performance, better weather sealing, an SLR-like Design, a robust grip, and it doesn’t come with a low pass filter, which results in a slight increase in sharpness. But thanks to its compact DSLR styling, it’s great for shooting on the move and is great for adventure scenarios like taking shots while kayaking.

If you want to get the most off the dial-image stabilization system of the camera, get an IS II-rated Panasonic lens. The G85 is also highly capable as a video camera, so you can bring along a few accessories for video shooting, such as a steady cam or an external microphone if you want to get those seriously smooth shots.

Pros
  • Electronic Built-in Viewfinder
  • Environmental Sealing
  • External Microphone Port
  • 4K Photo (8MP photos)
Cons
  • Low Battery Life

4. Olympus Mark II OMD E-M1

This camera is just quick; fast shutter speed, fast focus, and more importantly, the camera can shoot sequential images at an impressive 15 frames a second using its mechanical shutter. To put it into perspective, it’s only a single frame per second slower than the Canon EOS-1Dx Mark II, which is the fastest Pro DSLR.

Olympus has a renowned autofocus, which allows for fast, sharp, and accurate focusing on targets of all speeds and types. This makes sure that the camera locks in tightly to the subjects, which can come in handy when you find yourself photographing a local dancers’ parade at dusk, or at an air show with soaring planes. With its solid 20.4 MP sensor, you can be sure of taking great shots on your vacation.

Pros
  • Good image quality
  • Weather sealing
  • Ergonomic design
Cons
  • Low Battery Life

5. GoPro Hero 5

The weight and size of action cameras is a no brainer for travel enthusiasts. Many of them are small enough such that they hardly take any space in your luggage. The wide-angle lenses can capture more of the view, and the Wi-Fi capability allows you to share photos via smartphones. In addition, operating them is usually as simple as pressing a single button, and they can be subjected to all forms of abuse and they will keep on ticking.

The Hero5 Black is a popular model for its quality and ease of use. It features 4K video and is waterproof just in case. Compared to the Hero5 Session, the Hero5 Black comes with an integrated touch screen, allowing for simple setups and use, and is capable of shooting RAW photos for better image quality. This camera is ideal for extreme athletes in need of high-quality video in rugged environs.

Pros
  • Waterproof without a case
  • Excellent image quality
  • Great microphones
Cons
  • Poor touchscreen responsiveness
  • No EIS in 4k

6. Panasonic Lumix TS30

For those on a budget and still, want a model that is easy to use and can handle basic photography, the Panasonic TS30 is a great choice. It comes with basic stills and 720p video modes, meaning it won’t be winning any image quality tests. However, it has waterproofing protection of down to 26ft., with a torch light for improving the quality of underwater videos. It can also shoot at 8 frames a second and can endure waves, weather, snow, sand, and other elements. Starting at $145, it’s a great option for your next trip to the slopes or beach getaway.

Pros
  • Water Proof down to 8m
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing
Cons
  • No Touch Screen
  • No Built-in Viewfinder

7. Fujifilm X-T2

This model builds on its predecessor, the X-T1, and the success of its X-Pro2 sibling. The controls on this model feel close to none, and it simply works intuitively with your hand with little practice or thought. It comes with a gorgeous 24.3 MP sensor that is well balanced and a great overall build. Don’t let the retro style make you think the camera is a schmuck. It’s actually an all-around, all-star team player, that won’t let you down or quit on you, regardless of where you are traveling.

Some of its features include weather sealed body, full mechanical core settings, electronic viewfinder, Wi-Fi, 5-axis image stabilizations 23 mm by 15.6 mm X-Trans CMOS III (APS-C) with primary color filter, cinema 4K Video, Fujifilm emulations, and dual SD card slots.

Pros
  • Excellent design
  • Vastly improved autofocus
  • 4k video addition due to the heat sink on the camera
  • Weather sealing
Cons
  • Tracking autofocus isn’t the fastest
  •  Low battery life

8. Panasonic Lumix FZ2500

A superzoom camera is ideally a point-and-shoot camera that features a long zoom lens. Some are more compact, while others have a DSLR-like body. most of them offer manual controls and advanced shooting modes, though most use internal components typically found in the smaller entry-level cameras. However, some are built around large sensors and have RAW images and therefore provide better image quality.

The FZ2500 only has 20x zoom, which is not as long as some cameras in this category feature. Nonetheless, it comes with a much larger 20 Megapixel camera, with 1″ type sensor that can shoot in RAW mode. This means it has a much superior image quality than comparable models. It can also shoot in continuous bursts of up to 12 frames a second, has an inbuilt ND filter, and can record 4K videos.

Pros
  • Solid high ISO images
  • Great ergonomics
  • 1-inch sensor with 20x zoom lens
Cons
  • Aperture not constant throughout the zoom range

9. Panasonic Lumix DMC GX8

The G series has traditionally been popular with enthusiasts, or as backup cameras for the pros. The GX8 is no exception, as it shares a wide range of lenses shared by the 4/3 cameras. Its moveable electronic viewfinder is quite notable, as it can sit comfortably at 45 degrees, the normal 90 degrees, and fully vertical; a useful feature in low angle shots, or in video shooting. This is generally the capability that the camera excels most at.

Pros
  • Excellent speed and burst options
  • Comprehensive control
  • Great EVF
Cons
  • Large frame
  • MFT sensor limits high-ISO performance

10. Sony A6500

 

This model comes with a number of improved features from its previous models, including a super fast autofocus, an incredible 425-point phase-detection autofocus system, and an extended shooting buffer to let you keep shooting the action without any delays. The camera has a serious punch in a compact size, and its internal 4K recording, 5-axis image stabilization, and touch-screen for smooth focusing make it a great all-rounder. Whether you are in the mountains or at a sports event, this camera has you covered.

Pros
  • Fast autofocus
  • Great ergonomics
  • Tilting touch-screen LCD
  • 4K video
Cons
  • No headphone socket
  • Dense menu system

Conclusion

As you shop for the camera, the thing to always keep in mind is to get what you will actually use. Having a top-of-the-line camera that is too big and heavy can make it worthless in your trip, so choose wisely. If you already have a mirrorless or DSLR camera, you might have a good idea of what you need. If you only shoot with your phone, start by analyzing where your phone’s camera is lacking when making the choice. Good Luck!

Gary Nguyen is a 24-year-old photographer and writer from Romania. Some of his works have been published in The Guardian, New York Times, Telegraph, and many others. Learn more