Travel photography is a very challenging niche, and you must have the creativity and the best travel camera based on your photography interest.
I love photography and travel, so it’s a no-brainer that I’m into travel photography.
Digital cameras nowadays are so flexible that it will give you so much freedom to be more creative.
There are various digital camera options out there and it can be overwhelming especially for the beginners in photography.
So the hunt for the best camera for travel photography can be a mammoth task.
Best Travel Camera (Photography For Beginners) Contents
- What should I consider in choosing the best travel camera?
- Here is the list of the best travel digital cameras
What should I consider in choosing the best travel camera?
Weight & Size
The weight and size are very important in choosing your travel camera. I’m sure you’ll appreciate this advice when you are hiking a mountain and carrying all your photography gear.
Trust me its hard work!
Another thing that you should consider in choosing your travel camera. There are three common types of sensor formats in digital cameras:
Four Thirds (a.k.a. MFT or Micro-Four Thirds),
APS-C (Advance Photo System), and
35mm Format (a.k.a Full-frame) this is the biggest sensor format in the digital cameras.
So why bother which sensor type?
Camera sensors are the one that registers the image to your camera. The bigger the sensor of your camera, the higher the pixels it will capture.
Hence, there are more details (colours and pixel dots) captured in 35mm format (full frame) than the MFT.
However, with the technological advancement of digital cameras nowadays, you can’t pretty much see the difference between the full-frame and MFT images. I personally use a MFT camera for my travel photography. Another thing to consider is the versatility of the camera (weather-proof and waterproof).
Your camera should withstand the demands of travel photography.
Another important in considering your best travel camera.
However, this would depend on what sort of images you intend to capture.
For a starter, I would suggest going for a kit lens because this would give you more flexibility in practising your photography skills.
I asked my fellow travel bloggers who love travel photography too, here are their recommendation for the best travel digital cameras.
Here is the list of the best travel digital cameras
Olympus Pen EPL Series
Olympus is the pioneer of the micro four-thirds (MFT or 3/4) cameras. It’s a great travel camera because of its portability without sacrificing performance. A great alternative to heavy DSLR that normally takes up all the space and weight in your luggage.
The Olympus PEN series is fun to use and an entry-level camera if you want to upgrade your photography game from a standard point and shoot digital camera. The photo that I took using my Olympus PEN won a Lonely Planet front cover in the 100th print edition.
Olympus OMD E-M10 Mark II
Olympus OMD is an upgrade to the Olympus PEN series. It has more advanced features e.g. image stabilization etc. for intermediate to professional users. If you have the interest to level up your photography game and you are into MFT and its portability, I would say go for an upgrade to OMD. This is the current camera that I’m using for my travels. I absolutely love it!
Travel Camera recommendation from Tom of TravelTomTom.net
For me, there is no doubt that GoPro is the best travel camera. A GoPro is always ready to use and there is no need to change any settings, which for me is the best thing about it. You simply turn it on hit 1 button and you are recording.
Switching between video and photo is easy and it comes with easy to use software to create cool videos. Photos are high quality and I love how the colours come out. For landscape, this is not the ideal camera, but to take pictures with yourself in it a GoPro is the best camera to travel with, especially when you travel solo.
DJI Mavic / Spark
Since the start of the commercial drone trends, DJI does a marvellous job on making their drones “travel-friendly”. The DJI Mavic Pro and DJI Spark revolutionised drones from its massive and chunky predecessor to a lightweight and tiny commercial drones.
Having drone footage in your travel video will give it an additional WOW factor with its bird’s eye view perspective! The only caveat is flying drones are not legally allowed everywhere. Make sure to check the drones law in each place you will go to! Also, get a drone insurance!
It will not only cover you and your bank account but also other people who might get affected in case an accident happens.
Panasonic Lumix G7
Travel camera recommendation from Inma of A World to Travel
I’ve been using this Panasonic mirrorless for over a year and after testing it against different weather conditions and in a good number of destinations and situations. I can say it comes close to the perfect camera for someone looking forward to carrying as less camera weight as possible without compromising too much on quality.
ISO and life battery could definitely be improved but those two things are my only concerns at this point. Pair the body with a wide angle lens like the 7-14 and a regular 14-140 plus a tripod and you are good to capture pretty much anything and everything.
Canon EOS 6D
Travel camera recommendation from Laurence of Finding the Universe
My favourite travel camera is the Canon EOS 6D.
It’s a full-frame SLR, which means it has a really big sensor, making it great for low-light photography. The 6D is also remarkably good value for a professional level SLR and comes with built-in GPS – essential for keeping track of where I took all my photos.
Canon cameras also have an incredible selection of high-quality lenses, both made by Canon and from third parties like Sigma. Meaning there’s a lens available for pretty much whatever you want to take pictures of – from landscapes to sports!
Of course, as a travel photographer, I recognise that not everyone will want to carry a larger camera around with them, so I put together a guide to picking a travel camera for every budget to help folks out.
Garmin Virb 360
Travel camera recommendation from Thais of World Trip Diaries
Our newest camera is a Garmin Virb 360. If you’ve never played with a 360 camera before, you should try it! It’s a lot of fun and it gives you the opportunity to capture whatever’s going on all around you.
We use it in auto mode for now, which is proving to be very good – except when it’s dark. This is a great camera because besides being a 360 camera, it’s also an action camera that is waterproof, super tiny and lightweight. We chose this one because the lenses are changeable – no problem if we break it!
This photo was taken in Osaka, Japan – that’s Osaka Castle.
Travel camera recommendation from Becky of Becky The Traveller
I upgraded to my Nikon D3300 SLR in 2015 and I absolutely love it!
For someone whose passion is travel and photography, this camera is perfect. The kit lens which is 18-55mm is lightweight and great to take out for the day without feeling like your neck is going to give way to the additional weight.
Although, I’ve now treated myself to a few additional lenses, including a Sigma Wide Angle 10-20mm. This is amazing for landscape shots. The best thing for me is that the Nikon 3300 has a great auto setting. So to start off with you can still take awesome photos without panicking about the camera settings.
Later you can experiment with the help menus to try out different photos. For me, I loved photographing the many waterfalls in Iceland and getting that perfect blurred water shot. And if you’re travelling to Iceland on a budget the best thing is that they are free to photograph!
Travel camera recommendation from Margherita of The Crowded Planet
My favourite camera to use for travel pictures is the Nikon D810.
I’ve been a long time Nikon user, having started with a D200 is 2007 and a D700 (full frame) in 2010. About two years ago one of the two cameras broke and I started looking for a replacement – and that’s where I found the D810.
Still a full-frame model, but with increased speed, resolution and especially great performance in low-light conditions. I normally shoot with a 14-24 (wide angle) or a 28-300 lens, but I found the camera to be excellent also on safari, where I shot with an 80-400 lens.
This pic is from my winter visit to Kemi, Finland – there wasn’t much light, but the camera didn’t let me down!
Sony RX100 M3
Travel camera recommendation from Kristina of Map Trotting
The super compact fixed-lens Sony RX100 M3 with a one-inch sensor has been our main travel camera for just over a year now.
It features 20.1MP image quality, a pop-up viewfinder and a bright F1.8-2.8 Zeiss zoom lens. It’s very powerful, yet nice and discreet when we want to grab a shot but not the attention.
I’ve been especially enjoying it on our recent picture-perfect trip to Istanbul. The automatic features of this camera are fantastic, creating beautiful photos with reduced noise and blurriness even in low light. It’s almost tempting to not even try learning manual mode.
However, the manual mode in this tiny gadget has incredible potential, allowing you to play with shadows and intensity of colour. Plus you can easily add more focus to your photos and create crisp images when shooting close-ups.
Canon EOS 70D
Travel camera recommendation from Campbell & Alya of Stingy Nomads
We used to travel with small compact cameras because it’s easy to carry around especially when you go hiking or diving. But two years ago we decided to go bigger and bought a new camera, Canon EOS 70D with two lenses 50mm and 18-135mm lenses.
Photography was my hobby for a couple of years before I started travelling full time and I used to see the world through a viewfinder. Canon 70D takes great photos and if you take them in RAW format you can do so much with your photos in Photoshop!
The camera is easy to use if you don’t feel like adjusting settings all the time use its auto mode it works perfectly. Recently we decided to dedicate more time to YouTube and now taking more travel videos, this camera does a perfect job; The quality of the footage is amazing for both still and moving objects.
We’re planning to extend our lens collection and buy a 70-300mm lens for taking photos and videos of animals on safaris.
Travel camera recommendation from Cameron & Natasha of The World Pursuit
I’ve had the Fuji X-T10 for over a year now and absolutely love it. I switched from a Canon Rebel because I was looking for something less clunky and I wanted a mirrorless camera.
I found exactly what I was looking for with the Fujifilm cameras. First off – I love the style of this camera. It’s chic and retro and models that of an old film camera. Actually, I’ve had quite a few people walk up to me and tell me how cool it is that I’m shooting on film before!
Fuji’s sensor has some of the best jpegs out of a camera that I have seen. Sometimes I feel I don’t even have to take up extra memory and shoot RAW. It has an excellent colour representation and photos require little editing, which is perfect for those who just want a great overall camera.
The camera comes with WiFi, tracking autofocus, and even cool effects like film simulation modes that emulate old cameras. The camera is lightweight and slim, so I love carrying it around cities when I travel. I don’t look like an obnoxious tourist like I used to with my big Canon DSLR.
Olympus OM-D EM-1
Travel camera recommendation from Cara of Crawford Creations Travel
I am using and loving my Olympus OM-D EM-1 camera for capturing all of my travel photos. Having recently switched from Nikon to Olympus’s mirrorless camera, I am so happy not to have to lug around a big DSLR anymore.
The Olympus OM-D EM-1 packs all the punch of a professional digital camera in a much smaller, lighter, and more easily portable size. It also has the added benefit of being weatherproof which is great for unexpected rain storms on the road.
This camera shoots professional quality images, is durable, lightweight, and small, the best combination for travel. The Olympus OMD-EM-1 is the perfect camera for an amateur or professional photographer looking to take their travel photography game to the next level.
Travel camera recommendation from Leanne of The Globetrotter GP
I love my Nikon D5500.
I’ve had the opportunity to upgrade to a flashier Nikon model a few times but yet I always go back to the latest version of the Nikon 5000 range. The reason is that it is lightweight, takes great photos and is super easy to use. It has a fab flip screen which comes in very handy for taking photos from above when there is a crowd or from down low if you want a quirky angle for urban photography!
It’s also affordable compared to many DSLRs which is great as I am very clumsy and have damaged more than one camera on my travels before! I want to know I will be able to afford to replace my camera should this happen again!
Now you’ve decided to invest in a new camera, how about reading my photography how-to-guides such as How to take Instagram worthy landscape photos?!