Last Updated on 06/04/2021 by Edy Ragnoli
How to shoot amazing pictures and videos during your travels. From cameras to smartphones passing through drones, discover the right device for your needs and pocket.
Whether you travel for leisure or work, taking pictures and videos is, in most cases, our daily activity. To obtain outstanding high-quality images without spending a fortune, you need to know how cameras work and which one is the best based on your taste, subject, and budget.
Let's see 15 camera models that can offer you the best results (compact, bridge, mirrorless, action, drones) and where to find the best deals. Read until the end to discover how you can do that even with your smartphone.
The Best Cameras for Travel: Quick Overview
- Best travel compact camera under $800: Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 Mark II
- Best travel compact camera under $1000: Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II
- Best travel compact camera over $1000: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII
- Best travel bridge camera: Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV
- Best travel mirrorless camera under $1000: Canon EOS M6 Mark II
- Best travel mirrorless camera under $1500: Fujifilm X-T3
- Best travel mirrorless camera over $2500: Sony a7R IV
- Best travel DSLR camera under $1000: Nikon D7500
- Best travel DSLR camera under $1500: Canon EOS 90D
- Best travel DSLR camera over $2500: Nikon D780
- Best travel camera for video under $1000: Sony a6400
- Best travel camera for video under $1500: Fujifilm X-T3
- Best travel camera for video over $2000: Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S
- Best travel action camera: GoPro HERO8 Black Edition
- Best drone for travel: DJI Mavic 2 Pro
… and don't forget the BONUS at the bottom of the page!
How a Camera Works
The camera is a device made up of mechanical and electronic elements capable of analyzing light, capturing it, and fixing it on durable support.
The camera lets light enter through the lens, analyses its intensity through the internal exposure meter, adjusts it through the diaphragm and shutter, and captures it through the sensor or film, which are the photosensitive elements.
How a Camera is Composed
The body is the main part of the camera, inside of which the most important tools are located such as the sensor (or the film), the shutter, the electronic devices, the viewfinder, and the buttons that allow you to interact with the machine.
The viewfinder is the hole through which we can frame the scene. There are two types of viewfinders, the one used on analogue cameras (Galilean) and the one used in reflex cameras. The latter is more accurate because the image passing through the lens shows us exactly what it's framed. The Galilean one, on the other hand, has a defect called parallax since it's not in line with the optics. Therefore, it gives rise to a false vision and the photos are slightly shifted from what's seen in the viewfinder.
The optical viewfinder is used in reflex cameras (digital and analogue). For economic reasons, this type of viewfinder allows a complete view of the framed scene only in the professional range devices. In the entry-level and semi-pro models, instead, it covers just 90-95% of the field of view.
The digital viewfinder (also called electronic viewfinder) is present in non-reflex digital cameras. It consists of a display that shows the acquired image in real-time.
When you use the display, it's said that Live View viewing mode is activated. In this case, the light arrives directly on the sensor, the information is processed by the processor and displayed in the rear monitor of the camera. On SLRs, while live view mode is active, light doesn't reach the camera viewfinder because the mirror is raised.
The Photographic Lens
The photographic lens is the main element of the camera as it's the part that allows light to enter. For this reason, it has the greatest influence on image quality. It can be fixed or interchangeable. If it's interchangeable, it's mounted in front of the machine body by means of a special bayonet coupling. It's formed by an external casing of the barrel which contains the glass lenses divided by optical groups.
Focal length of a lens
Without going into unnecessary technicalities about optical systems, the first three things to know about the focal length of a lens are as follows.
- Physically, the focal lenght is the distance between the optical center of the lens and the plane of focus (i.e. the sensor). This is why it's also called focal distance;
- It's measured in millimetres;
- It's an intrinsic feature of the lens and you always find it indicated on the outside.
Then, depending on the focal length, we can identify three main categories of lenses.
- Normal (with a focal length of around 50mm): they're called “normal” precisely because they offer an angle of view almost equivalent to that of your eyes. In short, they see as your eyes see.
- Wide-angle (with focal lengths of less than 35mm): they make the photographed subject smaller and allow you to broaden the angle of view. Therefore, they are great for landscapes.
- Telephoto (with focal lengths greater than 70mm): They make the photographed subjects larger and allow to narrow the angle of view. They're perfect for close-up portraits, sports, and wildlife photography.
Finally, a lens can have:
- A single focal length, and in this case it's called “fixed lens“;
- Variable focal length, and in this case it is called “zoom“.
As seen above, each focal length affects the visible extent of the scene captured which is called the angle of view. This is very useful to explain the functioning of the different focal lengths.
Focal length and angle of view
The “angle of view” is what you can see through the viewfinder with that lens attached. In the graphic below, the same situations we talked about above are well represented:
- The longer the focal length (telephoto), the smaller your angle of view, and the larger the subject that appears in the frame;
- The shorter the focal length (wide-angle lenses), the greater the angle of view, and the smaller the framed subjects will appear;
- For normal focal lengths (standard lenses), i.e. around 50 mm, the angle of view is similar to that of the human eye. That's around 45 degrees (monocular vision).
Look at the image. As the focal length increases, the angle of view narrows. Therefore, it's better you change the focal length in accordance to the type of photo you're going to take.
However, you must take into account a third element, too: the size of the sensor on which the image is captured (see the paragraph “the sensors” below).
The diaphragm is an element placed inside the lens that serves to measure the amount of light that reaches the photosensitive element. It consists of blades that open and close by acting on a ring nut placed on the lens barrel or a ring located on the back of the camera body.
The shutter is the element that determines the duration of exposure to light of the photosensitive element. Generally, it's composed of two curtains that are activated by letting the light pass for a specific time. You can set this time with a ring nut placed on the machine body.
The photosensitive element can be a sensor or film. In today's era, we have two types of light-sensitive elements, the sensor in the digital cameras and the film in the analogue cameras. It's the element that reacts to the light beam and give life to the image.
The most used sensors in cameras are the CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) and the CMOS (Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor). There's also the FOVEON image sensor that's currently used only in Sigma cameras.
CCD and CMOS have the following different characteristics and intended uses as explained below.
- The CCD has the higher image quality and generates less noise than the CMOS;
- CMOS consumes much less energy than CCD;
- CMOS is cheaper than CCD;
- CMOS allows for greater speed in the burst.
Due to the features we've just seen, CMOS has been implemented in compact cameras and smartphones. The CCD, instead, was intended for all those cameras that aimed at high performance in terms of image quality. But the distinction between CCD and CMOS was very clear in the past. Today, with technology advancement, the differences between the two have narrowed. Now it's getting more common to see CMOS even on medium to high-end cameras.
What are Megapixels?
The resolution of a sensor is indicated with megapixels. In digital photography, one megapixel equals one million pixels, and is a term used to indicate both the number of pixels in the image and how many total pixels are present on the camera sensor. To calculate the megapixels and get the total sum of pixels generated, you must multiply the two dimensions. For example, a sensor producing 4288 × 2848 pixel images has 12.2 megapixels (4288 × 2848 = 12.212.224).
Too much misleading marketing led us to think that a higher number of megapixels automatically corresponds to higher image quality. This is not entirely true. In fact, a higher number of pixels allows, in theory, a greater resolving power which affects the print size. But the image quality also depends on the following parameters.
- Dynamic range: the sensor's ability to record details in areas with highlights (very bright areas) and in shaded areas (very dark areas).
- ISO sensitivity: the sensitivity to light of a sensor is defined in the ISO (International Standard Organization) standard, the higher the technological level of the sensors. The lower the noise in the image at high ISO.
- Sharpness: when we talk about the “sharpness” of the photo, we refer to the overall clarity of an image in terms of both focus and contrast. When the subject of an image is sharp, the image appears clear and realistic with high detail, contrast, and texture. Images lacking sharpness (“soft” images) may appear blurry and with poor detail.
Dynamic range and ISO sensitivity are parameters that depend exclusively on the sensor and are dependent on both its size and its technology. Sharpness depends not only on the sensor, but also on the quality of the lens.
To simplify, with the same technology and megapixels the larger a sensor will be and the more dynamic range and less noise at high ISO it will have compared to its smaller counterpart. For this reason, in terms of quality, having 18 megapixels on a 36x24mm wide sensor (full frame) is quite another thing than having them on a sensor with the dimensions of 6.16 × 4.62mm.
Memory Card is the digital element used to record digital information deriving from the sensor of digital machines. It's not found on analogue cameras because the image is impressed directly on the film and give then life to a negative that will be developed subsequently.
How Different Types of Cameras Work
To date, there are two types of cameras, the Analogue, and the Digital ones. The difference lies in the photosensitive element (the support that captures the light) which can be the film in the analogue ones or the sensor in the digital ones.
Basically, the first procedure is a photochemical process that allows the photons, contained within the rays, to impress a photosensitive surface (film) through the use of chemical compounds. The process leaves a negative image to form on it. This image will be then developed, still through a whole series of processes and chemicals, up to the final printing on photographic paper.
The digital camera works like an analogue one, but the process that leads to the formation of the image is all numerical and digital. It means it's filtered through a binary code that's encoded and decoded several times to ultimately give life to printing on paper.
Briefly, we can say the light beam (photons) are converted by a device, called Analog to Digital Converter (ADC), into a digital electrical signal. Afterwards, it transforms them into digital information transmitted to a processor inside the machine. In essence, this processor is a small computer and once it completes the calculations, the image is stored on a memory card.
Depending on the process used to form the image in the viewfinder, the cameras are divided into Mirrorless, Reflex or Galilean viewfinder.
The first to be invented was the analogue camera with a Galilean viewfinder which uses a hole oi the top left of the camera body as a viewfinder to frame the scene. This type of viewfinder has a defect called parallax: it gives a view that's not in line with the axis of the lens. Therefore, you have photographs with a frame slightly different from what you saw through the viewfinder because the photo is shot from the point of view of the lens.
To overcome this problem, we invented reflex cameras (or DLSR).
How Reflex Cameras Work
In Reflex cameras, there's a system of deviation of the light flow through a mirror and a pentaprism that sends the image back into the viewfinder and rises when shooting, letting the sensor or film impressed. So, in reflex cameras, we can see through the lens and frame the same image that will then be taken through the lens itself.
How Mirrorless Cameras Work
Mirrorless technology was born as an improvement of the digital photographic system to make these cameras smaller, lighter, and more versatile. So we designed machines without the mirror and pentaprism mechanism. Here's how it works.
The light beam hits the sensor directly where the digital image is formed. This image is displayed through electronic and digital processes in the two screens, the external LCD one on the back of the machine and the internal one in the viewfinder. When you shoot, the system activates the shutter which, together with the diaphragm, determines the light to let through. This system is very similar to the analogue one, but avoids the drawback of the parallax defect because the image is recreated on electronic screens through digital processes.
The Different Types of Travel Cameras
To choose the best travel camera for your style and needs, you must consider several things. With so many models and types available on the market, it’s necessary you know the difference between them.
Do you want both quality and comfort? A pocket-sized camera is your best choice. A compact camera offers a good compromise between portability and quality. The best ones can compete with DSLRs and mirrorless cameras when it comes to image quality. They are the best gears for photographers who are looking for a second camera to take anywhere.
Bridge cameras are compact cameras with a DSLR body. Generally, they have a handyman superzoom and are suitable for those who, out of laziness, do not want to have a set of interchangeable lenses with them. The drawbacks? A fixed lens and a smaller sensor compared to mirrorless cameras and DSLRs.
In recent years, mirrorless cameras are gradually replacing DSLRs in the photographic industry winning the appreciation of an important slice of the market. The reasons for this success are many.
- They've reached a quality level similar to DSLRs (and in some cases even higher).
- They're lighter and smaller.
- They produce high-quality photos and videos.
- They offer full connectivity, rapid autofocus, burst speed, and a great shooting experience.
DSLR cameras are the most popular choice for professional and amateur photographers looking for great quality. They're digital reflex cameras and can mount single interchangeable lenses. DSLRs are robust and guarantee high-quality images. I recommend them if you are more focused on photos rather than videos or if you want to start the profession of sports or naturalist photographer.
As the name suggests, this is the ideal camera for dynamic persons, adventure or sports lovers who would like to catch their best actions. It's portable, tough, wearable, small, lightweight and, sometimes, waterproof.
An action camera is a perfect companion for Vloggers and sportspeople such as surfers, bikers, climbers, swimmers and so many more. The best models offer activity sensors, incredible stabilized 5K videos, front-facing screens for Vlogging, auto-editing, extraordinary mounting flexibility, and water resistance.
Aerial Photography Cameras
Aerial photography (also called airborn imagery) is used to catch on camera the Earth's surface, map the terrestrial features, or taking breathtaking pictures of cities, nature and the wilderness seen from a new perspective, unusual to the human eye. Cameras can be mounted on aircraft, satellites or any other flying objects. In this guide, I analysed the camera drones that offer the best solution for travel photography.
Photography Learning Resources
Comparing The Best Travel Cameras
Best travel compact camera under $800
Best travel compact camera under $1000
Type: Compact Sensor: 1″ Megapixels: 20 MP
Best travel compact camera over $1000
The Best Bridge Cameras for Travel
Type: Compact Sensor: 1″ Megapixels: 20.1MP
Best travel mirrorless camera under $1000
Type: Mirrorless Sensor: APS-C Megapixels: 32.5 MP
Best travel mirrorless camera under $1500
Type: Mirrorless Sensor: APS-C Megapixels: 26.1MP
Best travel mirrorless camera over $2500
Type: Mirrorless Sensor: Fullframe Megapixels: 61 MP
Best travel DSLR camera under $1000
Type: DSLR Sensor: APS-C Megapixels: 20 MP
Best travel DSLR camera under $1500
Best travel DSLR camera over $2500
Type: DSLR Sensor: Fullframe Megapixels: 24.1 MP
Best travel camera for video under $1000
Type: Mirrorless Sensor: APS-C Megapixels: 24.2 MP
Best travel camera for video under $1500
Type: Mirrorless Sensor: APS-C Megapixels: 26.1MP
Best travel camera for video over $2000
Type: Mirrorless Sensor: 4/3
Best Action Cameras for Travel
Type: Compact Sensor: 1/2.3″ Megapixels: 12 MP
Best Drone to make video for travel
Type: Compact Sensor: 1″ Megapixels: 20 MP
What to Value in a Travel Camera
Knowing the types of cameras helps you decide what to buy for your specific situation and needs. But for a better judgement, there are other factors you must take into consideration: the size, weight, capabilities, setup, battery life, accessories, and price tag.
A point-and-shoot (compact) camera is very comfortable when it comes to portability. You can put it in your pocket or daily backpack. It'll take up little space and you can move with more freedom. Conversely, DSLR and mirrorless cameras are bigger and demand more space with their body, lenses, and accessories. But for that reason, it's more unlikely you'll leave them behind somewhere (on the train, in the aeroplane seat-back pocket, on the table of that nice pub where you enjoyed your time last night).
This is directly connected to the size and can be an important choice factor for travellers who walk and shoot a lot. For example, carrying a DSLR camera with multiple lenses, battery grip, tripod, flash light, and other accessories gives you a lot of options, but can be also tiring for your arms, shoulders, and neck.
We're talking about quality, features, and performance. What gear to choose depends on your use. Do you just post on social media like Instagram? A smartphone may be enough. Do you like taking videos? A mirrorless or action camera can be an optimal choice. Do you need high-resolution images (for portrait, landscape or cityscape)? You need a camera with good sensors and a lot of pixels. Are you creative? You better use a camera with interchangeable lenses, manual settings, and zoom. Do you like to take low-light pictures? You need a camera that lets in a lot of light (with low f-stop numbers and a wide aperture). Are you a wildlife photographer who want to capture fast-moving animals? You must use a fast shooting camera (with at least 30 fps).
Each camera works differently and its settings can effect how you'll enjoy the gear (the viewfinder, screen, dials, buttons, etc.). So go into a store and test them all. You'll figure out which setup (and gear) is better for you.
This is self-explanatory. For how long do you need your camera? How many pictures and videos would you like to take? If you wish to shoot all day long without any break, you'll definitely need a long-lasting battery with high capacity (or additional ones such as a battery pack/grip or USB power bank).
Depending on the type of camera, there can be quite a lot of accessories. They can make your experience better and improve the results. Some examples are lenses, battery packs, backup storage, flash light, tripod, straps, padded bags, and portable light tent.
High quality often means high price and photography can be a pretty expensive hobby (or digital work). But you can save money by focusing on what you really need and giving up on the extra features you rarely use. For example, you may avoid the high-end full-optional cameras that only a National Geographic photographer would use. Sometimes, you can save hundreds of dollars and still get a good camera just by choosing a previous model (which still grants you high quality).
The Best Point-and-Shoot Cameras for Travel (Compact Zoom)
Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 Mark II: Best Travel Compact Camera Under $800
Type: Compact | Sensor: Micro Four Thirds | Megapixels: 17MP | Lens: 10.9-34.0mm f/1.7-2.8 (24-75mm equiv.) | Screen: 3.0″, 720 x 480 pixels, fixed touchscreen | Viewfinder: EVF | Max burst speed: 5.5/11 FPS | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner/enthusiast
The Lumix LX100 II features large, Four Thirds sensor technology with increased resolution, making it a high-end compact camera. With this series, Panasonic offers a hybrid photography experience with excellent 4K videos and photos. As a point-and-shoot camera, the mounted Leica D lens in not interchangeable, but comprises 11 elements with great zoom capability. It's versatile enough to leave space for creativity even in a small body. I suggest it for beginners and enthusiasts.
Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II: Best Travel Compact Camera Under $1000
Type: Compact | Sensor: 1″ | Megapixels: 20 MP | Lens: 8.8-44.0mm f/1.8-2.8 (24-120mm equiv.) | Screen: 3.0″, 720 x 480 pixels, articulated, touchscreen | Viewfinder: EVF | Max burst speed: 8/20fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner/enthusiast
PowerShot G5 X Mark II is another option to bring a DSLR-like quality camera in your pocket. You can enjoy high-quality results in a little lightweight ergonomic body with one lens. I appreciate the PowerShot G5 X Mark II for its 20.1-megapixel sensor, the bright images, and the fast DIGIC 8 processor. Do you like shooting videos with a cinematic touch? The 4K 30p recording allows capturing uncropped subjects while the FHD 120p video can create detailed close-up and slow-motion movies.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII: Best Travel Compact Camera Over $1000
Type: Compact | Sensor size: 1″ | Megapixels: 20MP | Lens: 9.0-72.0mm f/2.8-4.5 (24-200mm equiv.) | LCD: 3.0″, 720 x 480 pixels, articulated, touchscreen | Viewfinder: EVF | Continuous shooting: 20/90 fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast/expert
Do you love realistic-looking textures and to get superb clear images across the entire zoom range? Sony RX100 VII features an awesome 24-200mm2 zoom. This compact camera – it's very small yet powerful – is ideal for Vloggers and videographers on the go. Why? Because of its advanced features for creators: microphone jack, vertical position data recording, low-light shooting, “Active” mode image stabilisation for smooth video shooting while you're walking. This camera is your choice also if you like capturing fast-moving subjects (animals, vehicles, etc). You'll be amazed by its 90fps single burst shooting.
The Best Bridge Cameras for Travel (long zoom)
Type: Compact | Sensor: 1″ | Megapixels: 20.1MP | Lens: 8.8-220.0mm f/2.4-4 (24-600mm equiv.) | Screen: 3.0″, 800 x 600 pixels, articulated, touchscreen | Viewfinder: EVF | Max burst speed: 24 fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast
Are you not sure if you should get a compact or reflex camera? Opt for a bridge camera. The Sony RX10IV is what I suggest. You need more than a pocket to bring it with you, but the capabilities and performance are worth it. This camera mounts a 25x optical zoom: an astonishing 24-600mm3 ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* lens that produces very detailed tele-macro images. So, stop traveling with many lenses and so much weight. You can capture close and far subjects with one single lens.
In addition, it features a 0.03 second auto-focus that lets you capture the subject clearly almost immediately without missing a shot, especially for subjects in the move. Imagine your children playing sports at the stadium or singing in the last row at school. You'll take everything and keep all details.
The Best Mirrorless Cameras for Travel
Canon EOS M6 Mark II: Best Travel Mirrorless Camera Under $1000
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 32.5 MP | Screen: 3.0″, 720 x 480 pixels, articulated, touchscreen | Viewfinder: NO | Max burst speed: 14 fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Advanced
With the EOS M6 Mark II, you can capture fantastic high-quality images suitable for enlargement thanks to a 32.5 Megapixels sensor. Are you a cam user (for leisure or work such as holding remote webinars)? The EOS M6 Mark II mirrorless camera can turn into a webcam producing extraordinary images.
In addition, an electronic shutter allows you to shoot in silence, making the device perfect during quiet situations such as recitals, presentations or school concerts. Unfortunately, with this electronic shutter, the camera doesn't offer continuous high frame rate shooting. Therefore, if you are a wildlife photographer, pick and choose another camera from this list.
Fujifilm X-T3: Best Travel Mirrorless Camera Under $1500
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 26.1MP | Screen: 3.2″, 720 x 480 pixels, articulated, touchscreen | Viewfinder: EVF | Max burst speed: 20 fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast
After its upgrade from the X-T2 model, the Fujifilm X-T3 mirrorless camera offers splendid autofocus (mainly in the face and eye detection) and improved performance in low-light settings and video recording. This makes the camera one of the best still/video hybrids you can find on sale. Improvements in the sensor and processor made this camera 3x faster than its predecessor. Efficiency has been enhanced too, affecting positively the battery life.
Sony a7R IV: Best Travel Mirrorless Camera Over $2500
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Full-frame | Megapixels: 61 MP | Screen: 3.0″, 800 x 600 pixels, articulated, touchscreen | Viewfinder: EVF | Max burst speed: 10 fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Advanced
Are you looking for a stunning resolution to capture the best pictures during your travel or nomadic life and get quality larger prints? The Sony α7R IV full-frame mirrorless camera won't let you down. The price tag is pretty high (even with the body only), but what you get has undeniable value: 61 Megapixels, high-speed performance, impressive real-time tracking and eye autofocus for both animals, humans, and movies, and much more.
The Sony α7R IV can capture great landscape and portrait. It also offers sharp focus with macro photography (try it with a Sony 90mm macro lens).
The Best DSLR Cameras for Travel
Nikon D7500: Best Travel DSLR Camera Under $1000
Type: DSLR | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 20 MP | Screen: 3.2″, 640 x 480 pixels, articulated, touchscreen | Viewfinder: Optical | Max burst speed: 8 fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner/enthusiast
For any DSLR lovers, this camera is for you if you are looking for good colour rendition, exposure, and saturation combined with a fast and accurate focus. Birds photographers may fall in love with the Nikon D7500. ISO performance and sensor quality are very nice. And if you like shooting videos, you'll be impressed by its recording capabilities. Mounted on a tripod, the results are really good.
Canon EOS 90D: Best Travel DSLR Camera Under $1500
Type: DSLR| Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 32.5 MP | Screen: 3.0″, 720 x 480 pixels, articulated, touchscreen | Viewfinder: Optical | Max burst speed: 11 fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast
The Canon EOS 90D is ideal for all travel photographers who love nature, birding, air shows, and macro photography. The protruding grip makes the holding comfortable with big zoom lenses. Autofocus and tracking performance are stunning. The pictures quality is nice, with less cropping penalty, thanks to the extra pixels that assure more sharpness. This makes the camera a good choice for shooting fast-moving subjects such as birds and aircraft.
Are you wondering whether you can bring it on travel? My reply is yes. The camera is not so heavy and doesn't take too much space in your backpack even with two lenses.
Nikon D780: Best Travel DSLR Camera Over $2500
Type: DSLR | Sensor: Fullframe | Megapixels: 24.1 MP | Screen: 3.2″, 1024 x 680 pixels, articulated, touchscreen | Viewfinder: Optical | Max burst speed: 7 fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Advanced
Nikon D780 is the DSLR travel camera for those who love not just taking amazing still photos but also shooting videos and would like to get amazing detailed images. It features an ultra quick, accurate and sharp focus throughout the frame. Moreover, the video recording technology offers great cinematic options thanks to the full-frame 4K UHD and 10-bit N-Log and HDR (HLG) video.
The Best Travel Cameras for Making Videos
Sony a6400: Best Travel Camera for Video Under $1000
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.2 MP | Screen: 3.0″, 640 x 480 pixels, articulated, touchscreen | Viewfinder: EVF | Max burst speed: 11 fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner/enthusiast
Here's the camera you can buy if you are a Vlogger looking for a proper flipping screen that can tilt 180-degree. The Sony Alpha 6400 doesn't have in-body IS, but if you use a lens with OSS (Optical Steady Shot), this isn't a big deal at all. Being a mirrorless camera, this Sony device makes a great travel companion. Complemented with two to three lenses, it still doesn't get heavy and doesn't take too much space in the bag. So, feel free to go hiking, riding a bicycle, or walking all day long through a crowded city.
Regarding the image quality, AF accuracy is amazing, and the Auto ISO feature helps a lot in low-light settings without a flash. In addition, no recording length limit makes shooting videos more comfortable.
Fujifilm X-T3: Best Travel Camera for Video Under $1500
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 26.1MP | Screen: 3.2″, 720 x 480 pixels, articulated, touchscreen | Viewfinder: EVF | Max burst speed: 20 fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast
I've already introduced the Fujifilm X-T3 before. This camera evolved to serve better the needs of professional videomakers. It features a more advanced X-Processor 4 and improved resolution, upgraded to 26.1 Megapixels from 24 Megapixels of its predecessor. Fujifilm also added a Mic and headphones socket plus mini HDMI and USB-C ports (quite useful for a direct file exchange with your computer or for USB charging).
The display can tilt 45-degree downwards and 90-degree upwards, making it very useful for vertical shooting. Unfortunately, it's not fully articulated, which would be a great addition for any Vlogging and selfies. For the rest, the video quality is fantastic with 16 film simulation modes available.
Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S: Best Travel Camera for Video Over $2000
Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Micro Four Thirds | Megapixels: 10.2 MP | Screen: 3.2″, 800 x 600 pixels pixels, articulated, touchscreen | Viewfinder: EVF | Max burst speed: 8 fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Advanced
Panasonic Lumix GH5S is a big deal for videomakers and Vloggers who want to shoot in low-light conditions getting great results with more natural-look skin tones. In fact, with up to 10,000 or 12,800 ISO, this camera still produces pretty usable images with post noise reduction. Furthermore, the slow-motion recording is good and allows you to shoot 1080p videos at up to 240fps. The GH5S is smaller than other cinema cameras which makes it very handy when you travel.
The Best Action Cameras for Travel
Type: Compact | Sensor: 1/2.3″ | Megapixels: 12 MP | Screen: 2.0″, 320 x 480 pixels, fixed, touchscreen | Viewfinder: NO | Max burst speed: 30 fps | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner/enthusiast
What kind of action do you like? Are you a diver, surfer, biker, skier, snowboarder or skater? The best way to catch all your adventures is an action camera and GoPro HERO8 does the job perfectly. In this model, the company added auto leveling. It also improved image stabilisation and audio pick up (a great enhancement for shooting in noisy areas). And if you like going live, the GoPro HERO8 allows 1080p live streaming.
The Best Drone for Travel
Type: Compact | Sensor: 1″ | Megapixels: 20 MP | Lens: 10.0mm f/2.8 (28mm equiv.) | Screen: N/A | Viewfinder: NO | Max burst speed: N/A | Max video resolution: 4K | User level: Enthusiast/Advanced
A tiny commercial drone equipped with camera is the best option to take stunning aerial photos even if you are an amateur. The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is what I suggest. It's folding and lightweight. Therefore, it can travel with you effortlessly (it will fit in most camera bags). This model is so easy to fly even for beginners thanks to the different flight modes (auto takeoff, landing, return to home, sensors to avoid obstacles, etc.).
Speaking of images, DJI Mavic 2 Pro offers the best quality for photos at a very reasonable price, even with low light. Videos are awesome too. So, if you expect to catch astonishing sunset and sunrise like only birds can see, this drone will make you happy.
Bonus: The Best 3 Smartphone for Photography
Cameras have always been the first choice for shooting high-quality photos and videos. This was true until a few years ago. Don't get me wrong. They're still the best option, but if shoot for simple things such as web publications, a smartphone can be a great travel companion that can take amazing pictures (beautiful enough for any social media).
In fact, technological advancement removed some limitations smartphones had in the past such as smaller sensors, worst lenses and zoom. So let's discover the best three phones for photography.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro: Best Smartphone for Photography Under $300
Release date: May 2020 | Rear cameras: 64 MP f/1.9, 26mm (wide), 8 MP, f/2.2, 119˚ (ultrawide), 5 MP, f/2.4, (macro), AF, 2 MP, f/2.4, (depth) | Front camera: 16 MP, f/2.5, (wide) | OIS: NO | Weight: 209 g | Dimensions: 165.8 x 76.7 x 8.8 mm | Storage: 64 /128 GB
With the Redmi Note 9 Pro, Xiaomi created a best-buy for 2020 that combines good performance, durability, and camera quality. The 5,020 mAh battery is really long-lasting (of course, it all depends on your use). But let's focus on the cameras.
At a very low price, you get a mid-range smartphone that does a very good job with ultra-wide images and portraits. The colour temperature and white balance have a very natural look. The night mode is great too. Video recording options give a lot of fun as well, making the Redmi Note 9 Pro a great device for all content creators on a budget.
Google Pixel 4: Best Smartphone for Photography Under $600
Release date: October 2019 | Main camera: 12.2MP (f/1.7) | Telephoto: 16MP (f/2.4) | Ultra-wide: None | OIS: Yes | Front camera: 8MP | Weight: 162g | Dimensions: 147.1 x 68.8 x 8.2mm | Battery size: 2,800mAh | Max video quality: 4K 30fps | Storage: 64GB / 128GB | Memory card slot: No
If you would like a higher-level smartphone at a fair price, I suggest going for the Google Pixel 4. This device is sturdy, compact and resistant to dust and water. In a beautifully-designed body, we have a 2.84 GHz Snapdragon 855 octa-core processor along with 6GB Ram and Android 10 OS.
What about photos and videos? Google Pixel 4 can rival with the iPhone 11 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Note10. It features just two rear cameras but the results are good even at maximum zoom level. The optical image stabilisation gives a great contribution to the good image quality. And if you like the stars, the Astrophotography feature allows you to take better photos of the sky at night.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: Top Smartphone for Photography
Release date: March 2020 | Rear cameras: 108MP (primary f/1.8, 26mm, OIS), 12MP (ultra wide angle f/2.2, 13mm), 48MP (telephoto f/3.5, 103mm), ToF depth-sensing camera | Front camera: 40MP (f/2.2, 26mm) | OIS: Yes | Weight: 222 g | Dimensions: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8mm | Storage: 128 / 256 / 512 GB
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is definitely more expensive than the the other two (with the same amount of money, you may buy five Redmi Note 9 Pro or two Google Pixel 4). So why should you spend so much?
The Galaxy S20 Ultra stands apart from the others for its excellent performance matched with a superior periscope telephoto and big-sensor primary camera offering outstanding image resolution (respectively, 108 Megapixels and 48 Megapixels). The camera also records 8K videos, but with so few devices able to display this resolution, I'm wondering if we can really consider it a plus (at least for now).
Start Your Photography Blog and Make it a Business
Whether you are a social media influencer, Vlogger, travel photographer or videomaker, an amateur or professional, a sportsperson, adventurer or reporter, this list of travel cameras is for you. Which one do you prefer when you travel? Feel free to share your point of view and experience.