Travel and photography go hand in hand. Whether you are interested in photography or not, when travelling we all pull out the mobile and snap away at those unique sights and landmarks. But what happens when you want to take your photos to the next level? Picking out the perfect travel camera is not an easy choice.
Questions running through your mind might be:
There are so many variables that make choosing a quality travel camera a difficult process, so we have a few suggestions to cover you - no matter where you are in your photographic journey.
While a lot of our customers will consider the choice between 2-3 similar DSLR cameras a difficult choice to make, if you have ever had to purchase a compact camera you will understand the choices here are next level. You may have to choose from between 5-10 similar models in the same price range. It has not been an easy choice with everything consider from price through to versatility, however our pick for the best compact travel camera is the Canon G7X Mark II. Not only does it contain all the bells and whistles of high end compacts with a large sensor, sharp lens, and manual controls, it has a fantastic 180° flip screen. The screen is great for putting yourself and your friends in the shot in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa or whilst you Vlog your way through a busy Istanbul market place. For such a small camera, the G7X Mark II has some big features and we would recommend it for both the sole compact camera you are taking on a trip or a fantastic backup when you don’t want to carry your main shooter around.
Bridge cameras could be seen as the perfect type of travel camera. Light enough that you can still walk around without being weighed down by lenses, and versatile enough that you can capture fantastic landscapes - all the while being able to zoom right in when on safari in Africa or trekking the Amazon. In this range of cameras, it is hard to go past the Panasonic FZ300. Stacked full of brilliant features designed with travel in mind such as a 25-600mm zoom lens with a constant F2.8 aperture, splash & dustproof and high quality 4k video. We suggest seriously considering the Panasonic FZ300 if you want more versatility than a compact camera, less hassle then an interchangeable lens camera and the power to shoot all subjects with the one lightweight device.
Mirrorless cameras have taken over as a go to choice for many explorers who are looking to have amazing image quality in a lightweight kit. There a couple of main benefits to choosing this system over the others including better image quality compared with bridge & compacts and being lighter than DSLR cameras whilst keeping similar, if not better image quality. One of the best in this category is the Fujifilm X-T2, which is Fujifilm’s top performing camera in the X series. With an upgraded autofocus system and 14 frames per second you can be sure you will never miss a shot whilst out adventuring in South East Asia. Superb build quality and a weather sealed body means you can use it no matter the weather conditions (pretty much). Best of all - with Fujifilm’s creative film modes you can produce some of the best images on the market that do not need a touch up! This feature extends to using the filters in video mode, which the camera can now shoot brilliant 4k. The X-T2 is certainly one of the best travel cameras on today’s market.
Now you may be thinking that the crop sensors are not going to cut it for you. That’s ok because Sony have you covered here and for our travel camera recommendation in this category, we have strayed away from the obvious answer everyone is talking about (A7R III). The Sony A7 II is an excellent option for those wanting the quality of a full frame but would like to save some extra dough to put towards extending your travels to another destination, or adding another lens to your kit. This is a brilliant camera for entering the full frame market and will produce some great photos especially in low light conditions. A big benefit of the smaller body here is not just the weight factor, but in some more extreme locations where you are not allowed to shoot with “professional cameras”(such as cathedrals and temples), the smaller Sony A7 II can be overlooked by security & police and will not disturb your subjects as much as if you were to point a big camera at someone, making this camera an excellent choice for taking on your next trip to Rome.
You might be asking yourself, why after all this mirrorless talk would you even consider a DSLR as a travel camera? Well, there are still many reasons to go this way and the 80D is a good way to do it. The benefits here of the DSLR range from increased battery life (as much as 3x longer than some of the smaller cameras), instant viewfinder (it’s optical) and the autofocus is very hard to beat in terms of speed and reliability. Canon also has the benefit of a camera range that extends up to high end professional gear that some of the other manufacturers cannot compete with. To top this off, with the 80D you have a high resolution 3” flip touchscreen to help capture all those unique angles. Let’s not forget too that that Canon has the most 3rd party products out there on the market, so there’s plenty of choice from lenses to remotes and speedlights. A great little travel camera that you can definitely grow with, perfect for taking on Safari in Africa.
Finally, we have the GoPro Hero 6. This is not a camera that we suggest taking on its own, however if you are looking for those unique angles and unusual wide angle shots that your standard camera cannot get then having your GoPro to supplement footage is a great idea. You can attach it with the head strap as run from the bulls in Pamplona, use it on the Go Pole to film great whites on a shark dive or plain and simple you can attach it to your car to create stunning time lapses driving around exotic lands. Slowly the GoPro potential is being realised by professional creatives and no you can add that missing feature to your holiday videos. The Hero 6 has added a new image stabiliser for ultra-smooth video on the fly, 4k slow motion and improved low light performance. Whilst this may be the smallest camera in the group, its footage is always some of the most impressive allowing you creative freedom like never before. Creating unique video footage to compliment your still images is a great way to fully capture the true essence of what your trip was like.
So, there you have it: our most recommend digital cameras for travel! If you agree with this list or think we could have had a different choice let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear your opinion and there is nothing better than a good photography debate.
If you’d like to test out any of these cameras in person, drop in to our Arthur Street store in Newstead for some hands on time with these cameras. We’re always keen to hear about your next adventure!
Written by Phillip Joshua, images of Japan by Louise Wright, images of cameras by CameraPro team