Summer is just around the corner, and that means vacation is too. Who isn’t ready for sunny days in the park and outdoor BBQs? Summer doesn’t last forever, and if you want the most out of it you’ll want to have a way to look back and remember it when the leaves start to turn. Smartphone photos may be ok when it comes to selfies, but for stunning beach photos that help you remember the sun in the dead of winter, you’ll want a dedicated camera. Here are the top five cameras to make your summer vacation shine.
Canon PowerShot G16
This sturdy powerhouse isn’t a DSLR, but its imaging capabilities could trick any untrained eye. It looks and feels a bit more substantial than a standard point-and-shoot, but retains Canon’s signature user-friendly interfaces.
• Sturdy, substantial body that won’t get broken on long trips
• Fast software
• Wi-Fi enabled for easy sharing
• Possible to shoot in RAW
• Low-light capability lacking
• Optical viewfinder can be difficult to frame image
• Pop-up flash can be cumbersome
Pentax Optio WG–3
A truly waterproof camera is essential for summer beach vacations. This very durable Pentax performs well on camping trips too.
• Waterproof down to 45 feet
• Super low-light capabilities (down to ISO 6403)
• 3” LCD screen, 16 megapixel sensor
• GPS enabled
• Short battery life
• Doesn’t fit in pocket, a bit clunky to hang from belt
• Shutter release delay in low-light situations
Sony Alpha a5000
If you’re looking to take your vacation shots to the next level, this Sony with interchangeable lenses will do the trick without taking up half your carry-on.
• Works well in low light without flash
• Can use any Sony lens interchangeably
• Wi-Fi enabled, includes remote control app download
• 180-degree flip screen
• No microphone / headphone input
• Lacks electronic viewfinder
• Video options lacking
Fujifilm FinePix XP200
Shockproof, waterproof, dustproof, and freeze proof, this Fujifilm is all-around vacation-proof but delivers the quality images you want to remember your trip.
• 3” LCD display
• 16 megapixel with ½.3” CMOS image sensor (performs well in low light)
• 1080i video capabilities
• Free remote control app download
• Wi-Fi enabled with automatic download option
• Underwater photos can be blurry
• Can be bulky to carry
• Image stabilizer can create digital noise
Olympus PEN E–PL2
Another interchangeable lens camera, this model harkens back to our camp days with its PENPal feature, allowing you to wirelessly transmit your photos over Bluetooth directly to your smartphone for super easy sharing on the go.
• SMART Wi-Fi technology
• Face and eye detection for stunning portraits
• Auto-focus is spot on in well-lit situations
• Manual controls for advanced photographers
• Auto-focus doesn’t always hit mark in low light
• Video clip limited to 2GB
• Bizarre red-dot lens flare for sunset shots, even in dedicated sunset mode