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The 10 Best Cameras for Travel in 2015



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This post showcases the ten best cameras for travel so that you can make the most of your photography and your budget.

Posted June 30, 2015 by

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In recent years, I’ve brought along a camera for trips to 20 countries across four continents.  I love to talk  photography with anyone who’s interested, whether that means people who are just starting out or other longtime enthusiasts around the world.  When you talk about these things enough, of course, you end up being the person friends ask for advice when they’re trying to figure out the best cameras for travel adventures.

Well, I’m happy to help.  And I’ll try not to ramble.

The first factor on many photo-shoppers’ minds is often budget.  What can you get for your money? With that in mind, I’ve put together this collection of the 20 best cameras for travel with prices ranging from under $100 to around $1500.


Choosing the Best Cameras for Travel

First, let’s talk about picking your camera.

What are the “best cameras for travel” when we’re talking about your travel?

When it comes down to it, the idea of the “best cameras for travel” depends on you.  What are your — or the lucky photographer’s — needs?  Do you want a pocketable point-and-shoot, or a weatherproof DSLR with lots of different lenses?  Is quality video recording important to you?  How about weatherproofing?

As someone who’s traveled with kits ranging from a single point-and-shoot to a DSLR + 5 lenses, here are my 2 cents when it comes to travel camera shopping:

  • If you think all the best cameras for travel are fancy DSLRs, think again.  Many travelers don’t love stopping mid-tour to change lenses, and others (like me!) don’t love carrying all that weight.  Remember, under the right conditions, many smaller cameras (from point-and-shoots to interchangeable lens cameras) will take photos that rival photos from DSLRs.
  • That being said, nothing beats a modern DSLR for versatility.  If you love taking photos under a wide range of conditions (lighting and weather), your “best cameras for travel” may be quality DSLRs with lenses to match.  Make the most of the chance to learn the art and trade of photography during your travels.
  • Mirrorless cameras can be a great compromise between the weight of a compact camera and the flexibility of a DSLR.  Just remember that those extra lenses also add bulk to your otherwise compact camera kit
  • Megapixels (MP) are important but not that important.  Unless you’re planning to turn your photos into 10-foot murals, the even 12+ megapixels is probably plenty.  Here’s a super useful chart that shows how megapixels relate to print size and quality.
  • How much zoom do you need? That’s actually a pretty subjective question.  The best cameras for travel for some photographers may have tiny or non-existent zooms.  Many pros take fantastic photos with fixed (non-zoom) lenses.  Still though, there are some travel situations (like processions, for example) where a longer zoom might come in handy.

Overall, modern cameras offer a huge array of features. The question becomes: Which are the best cameras for travel when we’re talking about your budget and your photography?


Best Cameras for Travel: A Glossary

Here are some practical definitions to help you easily sort through the options below.

Point-and-Shoot Camera: A small, often lightweight camera that includes autofocus and is generally designed to keep your shooting simple.

Mirrorless Camera: These cameras have small camera bodies but include a lens mount, letting you change lenses for greater shooting flexibility.  Since this technology is more recent, you might have to work a little harder to find lenses you like than with a standard DSLR.

DSLR Camera: While the official definition is long and technical, a digital single lens reflex camera is usually larger and heavier than your other options.  You can use it with a wide range of lenses, and it may offer the most options for travelers who take an in-depth approach to photography.


The 10 Best Cameras for Travel (and for your budget)

* All DSLR cameras and mirrorless cameras below include the specified lens (at the price listed).

Keep an eye out for cameras without a price listed, especially the ones marked “Too low to display.”  You’ll need to check Amazon to see the current prices for those travel cameras.


See it at Amazon Image Price Features
Nikon COOLPIX AW130 Waterproof Digital Camera best-cameras-for-travel-budget-nikon-coolpix-aw130 $599.99 This pocketable point-and-shoot is waterproof, freezeproof, and shockproof. With good image quality in addition to built-in WiFi and GPS, these are the best cameras for travel if you can never turn down an adventure.
Olympus PEN E-PL6 Digital Camera with 14-42mm II Lens best-cameras-for-travel-budget-olympus-e-pl6 Price Not Found The 16MP Olympus PEN E-PL6 offers incredible value for the money. Its huge ISO range and superior in-camera stabilization bring quality images in reach in lots of different lighting conditions. This is a great entry-level camera for photographers who are just getting started with mirrorless cameras.
Nikon COOLPIX P900 best-cameras-for-travel-budget-nikon-coolpix-p900 Too low to display This top-rated 16-megapixel camera includes an incredible 83x Optical Zoom. It’s also got full manual exposure control that’s perfect for hands-on shooting. Its built-in GPS and Points of Interest will do a great job helping you document your journey. This is the best point-and-shoot for travelers who love to capture faraway moments.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX90V/B best-cameras-for-travel-budget-sony-dschx90v $448.00 This 18.2 megapixel camera includes 30x optical zoom and a built-in retractable viewfinder perfect for taking photos in every kind of light. It also has built-in wi-fi, a great feature for casual photographers who want to transfer their photos directly to image sharing sites.
Nikon 1 J5 Mirrorless Digital Camera w/ 10-30mm PD-ZOOM Lens best-cameras-for-travel-budget-nikon-1-j5 $746.95 This mirrorless camera is a great fit for travelers who want DSLR quality in a lightweight package. Between the 20.8 effective megapixels, 105 AutoFocus Points, and 1080/60p video capabilities, this versatile travel camera will be a great fit for photographers looking to make the switch to mirrorless from point-and-shoot cameras or even DSLRs.
Sony DSC-RX100M IV best-cameras-for-travel-budget-sony-dsc-rx100m $848.00 This new installment in the top-rated Sony RX100 line features 20.1MP images, fast autofocus, a high speed “anti-distortion” shutter, and high resolution 4K video recording. These are the best cameras for travelers who want top quality in a pocket-sized package.
Sony A77II DSLR with 16-50mm F2.8 Lens best-cameras-for-travel-budget-sony-a77ii $1,198.00 With a 24.3MP sensor, 12fps continuous shooting, and an excellent new AF system, this is the versatile camera for travelers who don’t slow down. The fact that it’s weather sealed also makes it a great choice if your looking for a camera that will stand up to the unexpected.
Fujifilm X-T10 Mirrorless Digital Camera with XF 18-55mm Lens best-cameras-for-travel-budget-fujifilm-x-t10 $1,099.95 This top-rated camera packs a 16MP sensor, a sophisticated new autofocus system, and a tilting LCD screen into a lightweight, compact body. It’s also got an electronic viewfinder for easy shooting in any light. These cameras are available in black or silver.
Canon EOS Rebel T6s DSLLR with 18-135mm Lens best-cameras-for-travel-budget-canon-rebel-digital-t6s $999.00 This bestselling DSLR has a 24.2MP sensor, high-speed continuous shooting, and a 19-point all cross-type AF system for superb autofocus performance. The included lens also offers a much greater zoom range than your average kit lens.
Nikon D7200 DSLR with 18-140mm Lens best-cameras-for-travel-budget-nikon-d7200 $796.95 Nikon’s top-rated D7200 features a 24.2MP sensor and a 51-point autofocus system for correct focus even in low light. The included kit lens also packs a hefty zoom. These are the best cameras for travel photographers who don’t mind carrying a little weight in exchange for excellent quality images.


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The 10 Best Cameras for Travel
This post showcases the ten best cameras for travel so that you can make the most of your photography and your budget.


I'm a travel addict and shopping lover with six years abroad and seventeen countries under my belt. Now that I've settled down in Cambridge, MA for a couple years, TravelGiftList helps me keep up with the world of fun, quirky, and practical travel gifts!

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