With technology constantly advancing, choosing between quality travel photos and lugging around heavy equipment is no longer an issue. During our 8 years of consistent travel, we’ve tested camera gear around the globe — often in humid and unpredictable weather conditions.
From compact point-and-shoot cameras to lightweight mirrorless systems and DSLRs, we’ve gathered the best travel cameras of 2017. Whether you’re a traveler looking for a large zoom range, the most compact and light kit, or something with exceptional low light capabilities, these cameras are the best on the market!
Best Travel Cameras of 2017
Best Compact Point-and-Shoot Travel Cameras
Nikon Coolpix A900
Type: Point-and-Shoot Specs: 20MP NIKKOR f/3.4-6.9 ED Lens, 24-840mm Zoom, 35x Optical Zoom, 3″ Tilting LCD, 4K Video at 30fps, ISO 3200, 7fps Continuous Shooting, Built-In Wifi, Full Manual Exposure Control, Remote Control via Smartphone or Tablet Price: $366.25
The Nikon Coolpix A900 gives you a versatile zoom range in a compact, sleek design. The ability to control this camera from your smartphone is a nice added bonus — especially for those of us who often travel solo. You can see what your camera sees and take photos right from your phone or tablet! With a price point below $370, this is one of the most affordable travel cameras on our list.
Canon PowerShot G9 X
Type: Point-and-Shoot Specs: 20.2 MP 1″ High-Sensitivity CMOS Sensor, 28-80mm Focal Length, 3X Optical Zoom, 3″ Touchscreen LCD Monitor, 12800 ISO, 6 fps Continuous Shooting, Built-In Wifi, Full HD Video, Built-In Pop-Up Flash, Full Manual Mode Price: $399
The Canon PowerShot G9 X is one of Canon’s newest cameras in their PowerShot series. We love these tiny cameras — especially for things like backpacking and hiking. We’ve owned several cameras in this line and love that you can shoot in full manual mode and capture RAW files. This camera produces beautifully vibrant images, is extremely compact, and it costs less than $400.
Type: Point-and-Shoot Specs: 20.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor, 28-100mm Focal Length, 6400 ISO, Approx 10 fps Continuous Shooting, Full HD Video, 3″ LCD Screen, Built-In Pop-Up Flash Price: $448
The Sony RX100 excels in ultra low-light situations, offers fast focusing speeds, and the ability to shoot in RAW format. In Auto mode, the camera automatically recognizes the correct scene mode, which is great for beginners. If shooting quality images in low light is one of your top concerns, this would be our pick in the point-and-shoot category.
Best Mirrorless Travel Cameras
Sony Alpha a7II
Type: Mirrorless Specs: 24.3 MP Full-Frame Exmor CMOS Sensor, 5-Axis SteadyShot Image Stabilization, Fast Auto Focus and 5fps Burst, Full HD Video, Weather-Resistant Body, Built-In Wifi, 3″ Tilting LCD Price: $1498 Body Only or $1798 with Kit Lens
This is the camera I take on every single trip. I upgraded from a heavy DSLR to the Sony Alpha a7II and I could not be happier! I lightened my load by at least 5-10 pounds and now I’m able to take up to 3 lenses without feeling like I’m overloaded. I currently travel with my Sony 16-35mm wide angle lens, Sony 24-70mm zoom lens for a slightly longer reach, and when I know I’ll be photographing wildlife, I bring this 70-200mm.
I’m highly impressed with the quality of images from this camera — especially the dynamic range. I rarely find the need to stack photos in post processing. See my full review of this camera here.
Type: Mirrorless Specs: 24.3 MP APS-C Sensor, 3″ Tilting LCD Screen, 8 fps Continuous Shooting, Weather Sealed Body, ISO 51200, 4K Video, Build-In Wifi Price: $1599 Body Only or $2199 with 18-55mm F2.8-F4.0 Lens
This high-end mirrorless camera is a favorite among travel photographers, similar to the Sony a7ii, because it’s lightweight and produces exceptional images. Choosing between purchasing a Fuji X-T2 and a Sony a7ii camera usually comes down to the difference in video capabilities and lens options. I personally see more value in a full-frame sensor, which is why I chose Sony over the Fuji X-T2.
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
Type: Mirrorless Specs: 16.1 MP 4/3 Live MOS Sensor, 3″ Tilting LCD Touch Screen, Up to 8.5 fps Continuous Shooting, Silent Mode & 4K Timelapse Shooting, In-Body Image Stabilization, ISO 25600, Full HD Video, Built-In Wifi Price: $499 Body Only or $549 with 14-42mm Kit Lens
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II mirrorless Micro Four-Thirds digital camera sports a classic design and includes many of the bells and whistles of the Sony a7II and Fuji X-T2 for a fraction of the price. This extremely compact camera is perfect for beginner and intermediate photographers looking for an affordable mirrorless without sacrificing quality images.
Sony Alpha a6300
Type: Mirrorless Specs: 24.2 MP APS-C Exmor CMOS Sensor, Up to 11 fps Continuous Shooting w/Auto Focus and Exposure, 3″ Tilting LCD Monitor, Weather-Sealed Body, 4D FOCUS with 425 Phase-Detect Points, 4K Video, ISO 51200 Price: $998 Body Only or $1148 with Kit Lens
The Sony Alpha a6300 is an excellent choice for intermediate travel photographers and those looking for 4K video. This camera has amazing low-light capabilities, an astonishing 11 fps continuous shooting and runs about $500 less than the full-frame Sony a7II. It also integrates a silent-shooting mode and is much smaller and lighter than the a7II.
Best DSLR Travel Cameras
Type: DSLR Specs: 24.2MP DX-Format CMOS Sensor, 3″ LCD Screen, EXPEED 4 Image Processor, 5 fps Continuous Shooting at Full Resolution, Full HD Video, Native ISO 12800, Extended to ISO 25600 Price: $359 Body Only or $446.95 with 18-55mm Kit Lens
The Nikon D3300 provides quick and accurate focusing capabilities, a 24.2 megapixel sensor, and great low light sensitivity in a compact body. If you already own a few Nikon lenses and purchasing a mirrorless is not within your budget, this is a good travel-friendly choice for beginners.
Canon Rebel SL1
Type: DSLR Specs: 18 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor, 4 fps Continuous Shooting, 9 Point AF System, ISO 12800 (expandable to 25600), 3″ Touchscreen LCD, Full HD Video, Scene Intelligent Auto Mode Price: $399 Body Only or $479 with Kit Lens
The Canon Rebel SL1 is the latest (as of early 2017) in the Rebel Series, a line of cameras that are perfect for beginner to intermediate photographers. Its compact body is great for travelers who want to shoot with Canon lenses and are looking for high ISO capabilities.
For travel photography packing tips, visit our Ultimate Packing List for Travel Photographers and for more insight into which camera will work best for your travels, visit How to Choose the Best Camera for Travel.