Picking the best travel camera is hard, but important. Photos are how you preserve your travel memories, after all. There are so many travel camera options out there, so many photography terms to sort through, and so many of them are high-quality and seem to take great photographs–so how do you pick?
We sorted through them for you, picking the best travel camera in five different categories. Whether you’re willing to spend for quality, are curious what the mirrorless craze is all about, want to try your hand at manual mode, or just want a simple pocket camera to snap some memories, we found the best compact camera for travel for you. We even have a fun option for printing memories on the go!
Most of these are great for everyone from beginners to advanced photographers, as they can be set on automatic or used in manual mode. They also each have unique features that fit different travel needs, from landscapes to cities.
Travel photos are some of the best souvenirs you can bring home from a trip. Don’t let not owning a travel camera be what prevents you from making memories that last a lifetime. And remember, the best travel camera is the one you enjoy and will be most likely to use:
What are the best travel cameras?
- Best Mirrorless: Olympus OM-D | Check it out on Amazon – $549
- Best Point and Shoot: Canon Power Shot | Check it out on Amazon – $109
- Most Fun: Fujifilm Instax | Check it out on Amazon – $56
- Best DSLR: Nikon D3400 | Check it out on Amazon – $489
- Best Overall: Panasonic Lumix ZS200 | Check it out on Amazon – $797.99
1. Olympus OM-D- $549
A mirrorless camera doesn’t have a reflex mirror, which DSLR cameras do require to reflect light to the viewfinder. Without a viewfinder in the camera, the image sensor in a mirrorless camera is instead exposed to light at all times. The lack of a mirror makes them more compact and great for travel.
Unlike other travel cameras, mirrorless options often do come with separate lenses. The Olympus OM-D is no exception here. The basic lens is a 14-42mm EZ lens that attaches to a lightweight body with a three-inch monitor.
It has a 16 megapixel live MOS sensor and TruePic VII image processor, plus offers 4K video and image stabilization for blur-free stills and videos. The touchscreen is intuitive and overall the camera is easy to use for beginners, but also has manual features for more advanced photographers.
There’s an auto mode and plenty of scene modes, great for getting an array of travel shots. Connect the camera to WiFi and easily sync your photos to your phone–your vacation Instagram just got better. Users love this camera, though some find it expensive.
2. Canon PowerShot- $549
If you’re not that into photography, but want to capture memories on your travels and are looking for something extremely compact and lightweight, opt for the Canon PowerShot. This tiny, handheld camera takes great photos for the price and fits easily in any bag.
It has an 8x optical zoom and image stabilizer, so you can take a decent range of photos. The 200 megapixel CCD sensor and DIGIC 4+ image processor helps deliver beautiful photos for a point and shoot camera.
Don’t know what the best settings are for the light or scene? No worries, the smart auto mode intelligently selects the best settings for the situation. It also has fun scene modes like fisheye effect, toy camera effect, and monochrome to add a little style to your travel photos.
Users found it to be a great pocket camera, though said it would be limiting for more advanced photographers.
3. Fujifilm Instax – $56
This is the best travel camera for those who like instant photos. It’s fun to use (and comes in lots of fun colors), and is a great way to share vacation photos on the go. Meet a new friend on the road? Snap a pic and hand off the photo on the spot.
Use the viewfinder with the real image finder feature and target spot to take the photo, then print it out and wait for the image to appear. It also has a selfie mirror, great for solo travelers. The exposure is automatic and the camera signals The camera takes two AA batteries and gives the recommended aperture setting.
It takes two AA batteries and comes in blue, pink, light blue, green, and gray.
4. Nikon D3400- $489
If you’re interested in photography and like to be in more control of how your photos turn out, this is the best travel camera for you. It’s a DSLR with plenty of settings (for sunsets, portraits, night skies, sports, scenery, etc.), but can also be set to manual mode, where you can control everything.
It’s consistently rated as one of the best DSLR cameras on the market. This kit comes with an 18-55 mm VR lens, a wide angle lens with macro, a memory card, a shutter release remote control, a lens cleaning pen, and a camera bag.
It has rave reviews from everyone from beginners to professional photographers. If you’re hoping to photograph a variety of settings and create truly beautiful, professional looking photos, this is the best travel camera for the job.
5. Panasonic Lumix ZS20 – $797.99
This is a high-end zoom camera in a compact body, giving you the best of botht worlds. The large 1.0-inch sensor provides high image quality, and the 15x zoom on a 24-360mm lens allows you to get a wide range of shots. It has a F3.3-6.4 aperture that allows for defocused backgrounds.
As one of the best compact cameras for travel out there, it also has 4K video recording and 4K photo mode so you can capture moments in motion. It also has a variety of scene and filter modes, which help you get creative with your travel shots.
The body has a three-inch touchscreen and an electronic viewfinder. The camera does a lot, but is easy to use, making it great for beginners to more intermediate users. Reviewers loved the camera for its size, zoom, and ease of use. It’s one of the best compact cameras for travel and a great all around option.
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