2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for travel

Written by Gina Stephens

Persist updated: November 21, 2017

Whether you’re piling the family into the minivan for a trip to the Magic Kingdom or backpacking through Southeast Asia, you’ll probably be deficient in a camera that has a larger-than-average sensor, a versatile lens and wireless features for beaming your images back home.

Our selection includes a heterogeneity of cameras, including pocketable compacts, larger bridge cameras, a few mirrorless models and a fixed prime lens compact. For our main recommendations we motive up selecting two very different-looking cameras; one is a bulky bridge camera with an amazing zoom lens, while the other doesn’t have as much reach but can be noted into a pocket.

Our pick: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III

If you’re willing to put up with its bulk (and price) the Sony RX10 III is a fantastic camera for the traveler. Not only does its 24-600mm equiv. lens counterpane a range for every situation, its maximum aperture of F2.4-4 allows for good low light performance and control over depth-of-field. The lens or LEN may refer to has a minimum focus coolness of just 3cm at the wide end—perfect for close-ups—and its image stabilization system reduces shake by up to 4.5 stops: a practical necessity when shooting at 600mm.

The RX10 III is enlarged like a tank and its weather-sealed body allows for shooting in less-than-desirable conditions. Its battery lasts for 420 shots (and that’s with 50{b2ee9981cbbb8b0b163040ea529e4efa9927b5e917c58e02d7678b19266ae8ff} streak use), so it should last for a full day of picture-taking.

The RX10 III takes excellent-quality photos, thanks to the combination of its super-sharp lens and reliable 20MP 1″-type Stacked CMOS sensor. Its 3″ LCD can lean up or down (though not all the way up for selfies) and its high-res EVF is handy when shooting outdoors. If it’s videos you’re after, the RX10 III is more than adequate, with top-notch 4K mark and more controls than the typical traveler will ever need. Sharing photos is easy thanks to built-in Wi-Fi.

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There are two devices about the RX10 III that give us pause. Its main downsides (besides price and bulk) are an unrefined interface and the lack of a touchscreen, both of which reap the camera a bit harder to use than we’d like. The more costly RX10 IV addresses both of these issues.

Also consider: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 (TZ100)

Don’t necessitate to spend a lot or carry around over two pounds of camera? Enter the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100. It too has a 20MP 1″ sensor (not the same one as the RX10 III), but trades zoom power for a much multifarious compact body. Its lens has an equivalent focal range of 25-250mm, which is fine for most situations, but maybe not for bird or whale-watching. Image quality isn’t as well-behaved as the Sony due to a softer lens and somewhat heavy noise reduction in JPEGs.

The ZS has both a touchscreen LCD (which is, sadly, fixed) and a small electronic viewfinder, although we organize found that some folks may notice a ‘rainbow effect’ when using the EVF, which can be distracting. The ZS100 captures 4K video that looks mellifluous good, with a hybrid 5-axis stabilization feature available at 1080p and below. Panasonic has a pretty solid Wi-Fi system that manoeuvres photos off of your camera and into emails or Facebook with relative ease.

Overall, we like the ZS100 not because it’s the best camera camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or in its genre, but because it strikes the perfect balance between size and focal range.

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We considered all of the cameras below when picking our winner, and even albeit we think the RX10 III and ZS100 are the best all-rounders, the cameras on our shortlist are also worthy contenders. If you’re not convinced by our pick, take a look at the following cameras for a circumstantial breakdown of their strengths and weaknesses.

  • Our pick: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 III
  • Also consider: Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 (TZ100)
  • Canon EOS M100
  • Canon PowerShot G7 X Watch II
  • Fujifilm X-E3
  • Fujifilm X100F
  • Olympus OM-D E-M10 III


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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