There is nothing worse than coming back from a travel excursion only to find out that all of your pictures are blurry and out of focus. While a smartphone picture may be fine for a casual weekend away, anyone who travels often knows the value of a having the best camera for travel. And, the good news is that there are a lot of great options on the market these days.
When you begin your search, you will notice that there are many different types of camera models available including Point and Shoot, Advanced Compact Camera, DSLR, and Mirrorless. All four types have their place but the best camera for travel will be the one that is best suited for your specific purpose and photography style. The following considerations may help you narrow down your choices.
Things to Consider About Cameras for Travel
- Size and Portability. If your travels involve long treks, limited luggage, and tight spaces, you need to consider size. Point and Shoot cameras will fit easily into your luggage, but they also have the fewest options for advanced photography. Mirrorless cameras tend to be slightly less bulky than DSLR cameras and contain more settings than Point and Shoot.
- Photo Settings. If you are a skilled photographer, you will want the best camera for travel that allows both auto and manual modes, as well as the ability to capture photos in RAW format so you can use a photo editing computer to edit them. You will also want to see if your travel camera includes a lens, if a lens must be purchased separately, or is not able to use interchangeable lenses (popular cannon lenses).
- Photography Subject. You also need to consider what types of photos you will mostly be capturing with your travel camera. For example, action cameras tend to be great for action shots and nature, while mirrorless cameras might have trouble focusing in low light.
Best Camera for Travel Top 10 Comparison Guide
Reviews of the Top Rated Cameras for Travel
The Sony Alpha a6000 is a versatile mid range camera designed for experienced amateurs who want a mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses. It is very lightweight and compact, and will fit easily into packs and luggage for travel.
The Alpha a6000 has Enhanced Fast Hybrid Auto Focus that combines the speed of phase detection auto focus with the precision of contrast detection auto focus to give you the best of both worlds. Even with the crisp auto focus, the camera can handle continuous shooting to the effect of 11 photos per second. There is no touch screen, however, so you will need to choose your auto focus selection point using the D-pad, which can be a tad tricky.
One of the best parts of this camera, especially if you are on the go while travelling, is that it is easy to use for any skill level. Its auto settings allow you to take clear, well focused pictures even with little photography knowledge. The manual settings allow you to fine tune your shots for different subjects. This is a great camera for travel that can grow with you as your knowledge base grows. The Alpha a6000 even has a variety of video settings to produce high quality film. However, if you never plan on using more than the automatic settings, you can get a point and shoot camera for much less of a dent to your wallet.
The Nikon D5300 is the camera you will want to purchase if you are looking for a DSLR best camera for travel. It is lightweight, although slightly bulkier than the Sony Alpha a6000, has many setting options and can be easily upgraded over time.
The D5300 is a step up from the beginner’s DSLR. It will reliably shoot high resolution images, even at low ISO settings, in both RAW and RAW+JPG formats. The swivel display is convenient if you want to shoot unique angles, such as overhead crowd shots, as it will rotate 180 degrees. This Nikon has a variety of automatic settings, such as a 39-point auto focus system, but the auto focus can be a bit slow and tends to work best in the center position. If you are unhappy with the result you can always manually adjust and get a clear shot.
Two advertised strengths of this best camera for travel are its built in GPS and WiFi connectivity. These two features are especially handy while traveling as you can instantly geotag photos and share them to your phone. However, the GPS system will not always recognize your location, especially in remote or rural locations, and the WiFi connection is sometimes too weak to share many photos.
Overall, the Nikon D5300 is an excellent mid range DSLR camera. With a standard 18-140mm lens, you will be taking crisp, focused photos in no time. If you are willing to pack a little extra weight and purchase extra Nikon DSLR camera lenses for those action shots you love, the Nikon is the way to go.
If you are a traveler who likes to live life in the extremes, The Fujifilm X-T1 all purpose mirrorless camera is the one for you.
The X-T1 is a weather resistant travel camera. It has a sealed body that can withstand both dust and water, and it can also work in temperatures up to -10 degrees Celsius. Fuji sells a weather resistant battery grip and 18-135mm lens to complete your set up. While the camera is a bit on the pricy side, especially when you consider the extra expense of a lens or two, it is well worth the price, especially if you travel to extreme destinations.
The electronic viewfinder is one of the best elements of the camera. It is a wide angle, OLED screen that is responsive to camera adjustments. There is hardly any lag between what you seen on the screen and the adjustments you have made. If you are looking for a touch screen or flip out screen, however, you won’t find it on the X-T1. The phase detection auto focus is another great element of the camera. It works especially well with moving subjects, and can keep everything in focus at up to 8 frames per second.
A few drawbacks to this specific best camera for travel are in its shooting capacity and video production. While the small body of the camera is great for traveling, you do sacrifice the space for an extra memory card slot and a long battery life. You will need to pack extra for extended travels. Additionally, the image quality of videos is not the best, so it is not quite as versatile as some other mirrorless travel cameras on the market. But if an extra battery, memory card, and still photos only are not deal breakers, the great image and color quality you would expect from a Fuji will not disappoint in the X-T1.
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