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Best travel camera for all types of travellers 2017

Best travel camera for all types of travellers 2017

Being able to capture great travel photos is something that has always been important for me whether that’s spending 6 months abroad backpacking Europe (shot with iPhone and point-and-shoot camera), or going on various adventure travels to South America (shot with mirrorless) or relaxing in tropical vacation spots (shot with DSLR).

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For my recent camera purchase, I went with a mirrorless camera because I wanted something portable while having the flexibility to learn how to shoot manual. Although this decision made sense for my travel style and level of photography experience, it may not make sense for you.

This post will walk you through thinking about which camera options is right for you and the best camera in each category.

KEY QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE PURCHASING A TRAVEL CAMERA

There are a couple of key questions you should ask yourself before purchasing a travel camera:

1. Photography Experience: What is your level of experience with various cameras? How much effort are you willing to put into learning to use your camera?

  • Point-and-shoot cameras are the easiest to use, followed by mirrorless and then DSLR. If you’ve already used a point-and-shoot and want greater control over your images, it might be time to upgrade to a mirrorless or DSLR.
  • Everyone’s willingness to learn photography differs but it does take time and effort to master. Mirrorless cameras and DSLRs take amazing photos but if you don’t put in the effort and time to learn how to use the manual functions of the camera, you will probably be better off investing in a point-and-shoot that has a range of automatic shooting modes to get a better image.

2. Cost: How much money do you want to spend (camera, camera bag, lens, etc)?

  • Setting a budget is a very personal decision but a couple of factors to think about are: what accessories do I need for my camera? Will I need to buy lens for my camera?
  • Traveling with expensive equipment is also risky so think about what value of equipment you’re comfortable having on you

3. Travel Style: What types of trips are you most likely to take and want to capture (city travel, adventure, etc)? This will impact the level of portability and functionality you’re looking for for your camera.

  • 3a. Portability: How much gear are you willing to carry?
    • It’s important to invest in a camera system you want to carry
    • If you want a compact camera that will fit into your pocket or purse, go for a point-and-shoot
    • If you want interchangeable lens and portability, go for a mirrorless
    • If you don’t mind carrying heavier equipment and want a camera with more extensive lens option, go for a DSLR
  • 3b. Functionality: What are the key functions you require your camera to have? (video quality, video stabilization, flip/rotating screen, wifi, weatherproof, etc)
    • The level of functionality will differ by camera (not type of camera) but it’s important to keep in mind specific functionality you want to help narrow your search.
    • How important is video recording for you? If it is very important, look for a camera that shoots in 4K. Bonus if it has video stabilization but this can also be fixed if you use a gimbal.
    • Will you frequently shoot outdoors in unpredictable weather? If so, you might look for a weatherproof camera
    • Other features to consider:
      • Flip/rotating screen - great for shooting at different angles, selfies or vlogs
      • Wifi - great if you need on-the-go access to the photos or want to shoot on timer without purchasing a remote
Best camera for travel

WHAT TYPE OF CAMERA SHOULD I PURCHASE?

We will be covering the three types of camera options you can choose from: point-and-shoot, mirrorless and DSLR.

POINT & SHOOT

  • Best for: individuals who are starting out and have no photography experience
  • Learning curve: minimal
  • Functionality: limited - wide variety of automatic shooting modes built into the camera with limited manual control
  • Cost: Typically the cheapest option of the three and you don’t need to purchase additional lens for the camera
  • Portability: Smallest and mos t portable option

MIRRORLESS CAMERA

  • Best for: Enthusiasts who have used point-and-shoot cameras and want more control over camera settings
  • Learning curve: Steeper learning curve
  • Functionality: high - full manual controls and interchangeable lens
  • Cost: Medium - high price range depending on camera and lens you purchase
  • Portability: Portable (will vary depending on # of lens you have and want to carry - I use two lens) 

DSLR

  • Best for: Experienced photographers who want the most control over camera settings
  • Learning curve: Steeper learning curve
  • Functionality: high - full manual controls, excellent picture quality and interchangeable lens
  • Cost: Medium - high price range depending on camera and lens you purchase
  • Portability: Heaviest & clunkiest option because the body of the camera is rather large compared to the other two options

I’ve used all three options for travel but when I purchased my latest camera, I was looking for something portable but offered me the opportunity to experiment with manual controls and lens choices, which is why I decided to go for a mirrorless camera.

THE BEST CAMERA IN EACH CATEGORY

BEST POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMErAS

  • Best Value Compact Point-and-Shoot Camera: Sony RX100
    • Price (USD): $448
    • Resolution: 20.2 MP
    • Viewfinder: No
    • Monitor: 3.0 inch LCD screen
    • Max continuous shooting rate: 10fps
    • Movies: 1080p
    • User level: Beginner/intermediate
    • Pros: One of the best values on the market.
    • Cons:  No ele ctronic viewfinder or 4K video
    • Although now there are 5 different RX100 options, the original provides the best value while offering you  very similar image quality.
 
Sony RX100
 
  • Best Compact for Image and Video: Panasonic Lumix LX10
    • Price (USD): $698
    • Resolution: 20.1 MP
    • Viewfinder: No
    • Monitor: 3.0-inch touch screen, 1,040,000 dots
    • Max continuous shooting rate: 6fps
    • Movies: 4K
    • User level: Beginner/intermediate
    • Pros: An impressive mix of image and video quality (4K)
    • Cons: Limited zoom range and slower than the Sony RX100 V.
 
Panasonic Lumix LX10
 

BEST MIRRORLESS CAMERAS

  • Best Advanced Mirrorless Camera: Fujifilm X-T2
    • Price (USD): $1,899 (with 18-55mm F2.8-4.0 R LM OIS Lens)
    • Sensor Size: APS-C
    • Resolution: 24.3 MP
    • Viewfinder: Electronic viewfinder
    • Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 1,040,000 dots
    • Max continuous shooting rate: 8fps
    • Movies: 4K
    • User level: Expert
    • Pros: Polished handling, fast autofocus
    • Cons: No touchscreen
 
Fujifilm X-T2
 
  • Best Advanced Mirrorless Camera with added features: Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II - This is the camera I use when I travel
    • Price (USD): $1,848 (w/ 12-40mm lens)
    • Sensor Size: Four Thirds CMOS sensor
    • Resolution: 16 MP (can form single 40 MP or 60 MP image on high reso mode)
    • Viewfinder: EVF
    • Monitor: Fully articulating 3.0 inch touch screen
    • Max continuous shooting rate: 10fps
    • Movies: 1080p
    • User level: Beginner/intermediate
    • Other features: Built-in Wifi, Weatherproof body
    • Pros: High quality feel, impressive 40mp/64 mp images
    • Cons: 1080p video, not 4K
    • I went with this option because video stabilization was important to me so I didn’t need to buy a gimbal and I felt that 1080p video resolution met my needs. Other added benefits include: wifi capabilities for easy sharing to my phone (and one of the best apps for camera control), weatherproof body for my unpredictable travel destinations and the fully articulating touch screen.
 
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
 
  • Best Entry Point Mirrorless Camera: Fujifilm X-T20
    • Price (USD): $1199 (w/XF18-55mmF2.8-4.0 R LM OIS Lens - Silver)
    • Sensor Size: APS-C
    • Resolution: 24.3 MP
    • Viewfinder: Electronic viewfinder
    • Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen display, 1,040,000 dots
    • Max continuous shooting rate: 8fps
    • Movies: 4K
    • User level: Beginner/intermediate
    • Pros: Excellent build and design
    • Cons: limited touchscreen control, EVF magnification
 
Fujifilm X-T20
 

BEST DSLR

  • Best Full Frame DSLR: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
  • I have never personally used this camera before but from doing research from favourite travel photographers on Instagram, this seems to be popular choice!
    • Price (USD): $4,199 with EF 24-105mm lens
    • Sensor Size: Full-frame CMOS
    • Resolution: 30.4 MP
    • Autofocus: 61-point AF, 41 cross-type
    • Monitor: 3.2 inch touchscreen, 1,620,000 dots
    • Max continuous shooting rate: 7fps
    • Movies: 4K
    • User level: Expert
    • Pros: Advanced autofocus system, stunning performance
    • Cons: Expensive compared to rivals
 
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
 
  • Best Entry Level DSLR: Canon EOS Rebel T7i
    • Price (USD): $849 with 18-55mm lens
    • Sensor Size: APS-C CMOS
    • Resolution: 24.2 MP
    • Autofocus: 45-point AF, 45 cross-type
    • Monitor: 3 inch articulating touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots
    • Max continuous shooting rate: 6fps
    • Movies: 1080p
    • User level: Beginner/enthusiast
    • Pros: Impressive features, easy to use
    • Cons: No 4K video, plastic finish
 
Canon EOS Rebel T7i
 

Let us know in the comments below what camera you use on your travels!

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