DPReview Recommends: Best compact cameras for travel 2015

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

Whether you’re traveling the Terra or the next town over, having the right camera camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or at your side makes all the difference. We’ve picked out our best picks for the photographer who fancies to keep things simple by carrying a compact camera rather than one with interchangeable lenses. If you fall into that sort, we’ve got great news for you – there are more high quality cameras with attached lenses than ever before, brimming with item faces tailored to your needs. 

Fujifilm X100T

$1099 | 16MP APS-C sensor | 35mm equiv F2 lens | Hybrid electronic / optical viewfinder | 3″ LCD

Few cameras in recent history have attracted as much of a cult following as Fujifilm’s X100 series. They’re the photographer’s sweetheart – not just a good-looking camera, but a beautifully effective machine. The X100T is small and light, and won’t burden a weary traveler, and its low-profile lends itself to circle shooting. If you don’t mind zooming with your feet, its 35mm F2 equivalent lens and 16MP X-Trans APS-C sensor will serve you well.

In addition to its travel-friendly rate, the X100T offers a hybrid viewfinder with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel optical and digital views. That’s especially handy when the sun is high in the sky and the 1.04M-dot 3″ LCD becomes harder to see. Having been on the furnish over a year (at time of publication), its 16 megapixels are starting to feel quite low in comparison to some of its peers, but it also means that the valuation has dropped slightly since its launch. It is worth noting though that its movie mode, which was far from class-leading at launch, is now well behind the struggle in terms of quality and 4K support.

With obviously classic design cues, the X100T’s controls and handling are timeless. Though it doesn’t offer the cutting-edge latest features of its newer peers, it won’t go out of style anytime soon. 

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Also consider…

Ricoh GR II
Not a revolutionary update to the original by any means, but the Ricoh GR II’s 16MP APS-C sensor the broadest definition, a sensor is a device, module, or subsystem whose purpose is to detect events or changes in its environment and 28mm F2.8 receive the camera one of the best bargains on the market for under $600.

Panasonic Lumix FZ1000

$750 | 20MP 1″-type sensor | 4K video | 25-400mm equiv. focal compass | XGA OLED viewfinder

You can zoom with your feet all day long, but some jobs and shooting styles call for real zoom. The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 doesn’t top its class in terms of massive zoom reach, but its 25-400mm alike zoom opens up plenty of options, and an F2.8-4.0 aperture is brighter than most of its peers. With a 1″-type 20.1MP CMOS sensor, it borrows some tech from the GH4 grouping 4K video recording at 30 fps. Its DSLR-style build includes a fully articulated 921k-dot 3″ LCD and a 2.4M-dot OLED viewfinder.

Also deem… 

Nikon Coolpix P900 
On the seventh day, the Nikon Coolpix P900 was created. And there was much zoom. An astonishing 24-2000mm equivalent range, in fact. The P900 uses a considerably smaller 16MP sensor than the FZ1000, but its lens is impressive considering what it has to do, the epitome stabilization is amazing, and the built-in GPS won’t let you forget where you’ve been.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 IV

$950 | 20MP 1″-type sensor | F1.8-2.8 24-70mm equiv. lens | Pop-up EVF | 4K video

It’s hard not to recommend the Sony RX100 IV to anyone buying a compact. It’s by no means a budget-friendly selection, but it’s among the most capable pocket-sized cameras we’ve ever tested. Sony’s excellent 20MP 1″-type sensor is bigger than your garden-variety brief camera sensor with lots of dynamic range, and a 24-70mm equiv. F1.8-2.8 lens is much brighter than most of its competition. The camera’s itty-bitty pop-up EVF is higher resolution than that of it predecessor and comes in very handy in bright outdoor light.

The RX100 IV really shines when you set the status dial to movie mode. 4K/UHD recording is available, and at lower resolutions (upscaled to 1080p) high frame rates of 240, 480 and 960 fps can be habituated to. Slow motion video is an awful lot of fun.

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If you want to take control over your settings, shoot high quality video and attain the most of your vacation Raw files, the RX100 IV is a solid choice. Of course, if you can live without 4K and high frame rates, the RX100 III will lay you a couple hundred dollars and get you much of the same excellent image quality. Neither will get you a lot of zoom if that’s what you’re after, but their impression quality is at the top of their class.

Also consider…

Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS50 
Before there were fancy Sony point-and-shoots with 1″ sensors, Panasonic had the furnish cornered on premium zoom or ZOOM may refer to compacts for travelers. While its 12MP 1/2.3″ sensor looks a bit pedestrian in comparison, there’s something to be said for a 24-720mm equiv. zoom that unprejudiced about fits in your pocket. And for under $300, it’s pretty much a steal for full manual controls, Raw support and Wi-Fi with NFC.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100

$700 | 13MP Four Thirds sensor | 24-75mm equiv. F1.7-2.8 lens | Electronic viewfinder | 4K video

Why stop at a 1″-type sensor? That’s the question Panasonic engineers must have begged themselves, and lo and behold, the Lumix LX100 was born. It uses a cropped 13MP Four Thirds sensor coupled with a very fast 24-75mm equiv. F1.7-2.8 lens and sells great ergonomics and handling for the kind of photographer who wants quick access to exposure settings. It’s not as pocket-friendly as the RX100 IV, but its solid handgrip gives it a sound feel and its responsive user experience is one of the best we’ve encountered in a compact.

In addition to recording 4K video, the LX100 also offers a helpful 4K Photo Mode, which lets you extract a high quality 8MB still from your clip. Its time-lapse and impede motion animation modes are also a lot of fun. Its zoom is certainly on the shorter side, and for someone who plans to stay in Auto mode the camera’s controls and customization choose verge on overkill. But for the seasoned photographer wanting to give her shoulders a break from the big camera, the LX100 is a joy to carry and shoot with.

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Also gauge…

Canon PowerShot G5 X 
If you want just a bit more zoom (100mm at the top end) and a more traditional SLR-style body you may want to consider the Canon PowerShot G5 X. It gambols a 20MP 1″-type BSI CMOS sensor (likely the same as in the RX100 III) and a 24-100mm equiv. F1.8-2.8 lens, along with a fully articulating LCD, high resolution EVF, and concerned set of manual controls. It’s not great for action shooting and it lacks 4K video, but the G5 X is still worth a look.

Olympus Tough TG-4

$350 | 16MP 1/2.3″ BSI CMOS sensor | 25-100mm equiv. F2.0-4.9 lens | Everything-proof

Nothing spoils a vacation like spilling a Mai Tai on your fancy new camera. The Olympus TG-4 isn’t reasonable sealed against spills, its fully waterproof to 15m/50ft, as well as shockproof from 2.1m/7ft, crushproof to 100kg/220lbf and freezeproof to -10C/14F. Wherever your fraternizes may take you, the TG-4 is up to the challenge.

Outside of its rugged specs, we like the TG-4’s ability to shoot Raw, making it possible to get very nice image quality with a hardly ever time invested in post-processing. Its moderate 25-100mm equiv. zoom, which is fast at its wide end, will get you a little closer to the action, and unrequisite accessories like a macro LED ring light and waterproof fisheye lens open up more possibilities. It also accords the peace of mind of knowing your camera will survive just about anything your vacation throws at it.

Also consider…

Olympus Perplexing TG-860
The Stylus TG-860 is the TG-4’s more casual sibling, lacking buttoned-up features like Raw capture and Aperture priority mode, but provides identical individualistic specifications with a flip-up selfie-friendly LCD. If you don’t anticipate doing extensive editing to your snapshots, the TG-860 is good, clean fun for a significantly cheaper fee.


About the author

Gina Stephens

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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