Sum­mer is just around the cor­ner, which means it’s time to think about a vaca­tion cam­era! Pho­to: hippopx.com

What is it, it’s almost May already? Haven’t you “pumped up for sum­mer” yet? There is a great way — every­where and always car­ry a heavy cam­era and a bunch of lens­es. But, of course, such exer­cis­es are best done clos­er to home. When you trav­el real­ly far, you begin to appre­ci­ate com­plete­ly oppo­site things in pho­to­graph­ic equip­ment — com­pact­ness and light­ness. Today we’ll talk about just such cam­eras for vaca­tion and trav­el.

What should be the best camera for travel

As we not­ed above, a trav­el cam­era, first of all, should be com­pact and light­weight, and if it is a cam­era with inter­change­able lens­es, light­weight uni­ver­sal glass­es should be avail­able for it.

In addi­tion, it should have a “sur­viv­able” bat­tery and the abil­i­ty to recharge on the go via USB. And it should also be a ver­sa­tile cam­era that is suit­able for any genre of pho­tog­ra­phy — street pho­tog­ra­phy, land­scapes, por­traits. If she makes a cool video, it will be a nice bonus.

So, here are our main cri­te­ria for the best trav­el cam­era:

  • com­pact­ness;
  • auton­o­my;
  • ver­sa­til­i­ty.

In our top 7 cam­eras for vaca­tion and trav­el, we tried to col­lect cam­eras of var­i­ous types — from point-and-shoot cam­eras to full-frame mir­ror­less cam­eras, so that every­one can choose the most suit­able option for their shape and bud­get.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII

The lat­est ver­sion of the com­pact from the Cyber-shot series from Sony, which the lan­guage does not dare to call a “soap box”. In this baby, the Japan­ese com­pa­ny tried to col­lect every­thing a trav­el­er might need, but at the same time save the user from hav­ing to deal with inter­change­able lens­es on their own. And, it should be not­ed, Sony man­aged not only to col­lect all this, but also to do it well (even excel­lent­ly).

Its built-in 24–200mm equiv­a­lent zoom lens (devel­oped in col­lab­o­ra­tion with top optics man­u­fac­tur­er ZEISS) with a good (though not the bright­est) max­i­mum aper­ture of f/2.8–4.5 makes it pos­si­ble to cap­ture any sub­ject in any sit­u­a­tion, from vast seascapes to birds, sit­ting on the high­est branch­es. There is also a pro­pri­etary aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem that eas­i­ly catch­es any mov­ing objects, so you can prac­ti­cal­ly not think about focus­ing.

The cam­era can also do video: 4K at 30 fps with the same cool aut­o­fo­cus. All this in a super-com­pact “soap box” case: the Sony cam­era weighs only 300 grams and fits into a jeans pock­et.

The main dis­ad­van­tage of the RX100 is its high price, but you get what you pay for: this cam­era gives trav­el­ers absolute­ly every­thing they need.

Fujifilm X100V

Fuji­film X100V is a handy cam­era for every­day shoot­ing in the city, and for dis­tant wan­der­ings. Pho­to cred­it: trustedreviews.com

Anoth­er cam­era option with an inte­grat­ed lens that is great for trav­el­ers is the Fuji­film X100V. Although it’s not very reward­ing to com­pare them with Sony, these are cam­eras with com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent philoso­phies and tar­get audi­ences. What is the rea­son? The Fuji­film X100V is not equipped with a zoom lens, but with a 35mm equiv­a­lent fixed focal length glass. For many, this is too pre­ten­tious solu­tion, which, it would seem, deprives a cam­era with an inte­grat­ed lens of one of the most impor­tant char­ac­ter­is­tics — ver­sa­til­i­ty.

How­ev­er, although the lens in the Fuji­film X100V does not allow you to zoom in and out while stand­ing still, 35mm is just the focal length that allows you to pho­to­graph almost every­thing: from land­scapes and street pho­tog­ra­phy to por­traits in the envi­ron­ment. And, of course, as befits a fix, this is a lens with very cool optics — a super-sharp pic­ture and excel­lent aper­ture in one bot­tle.

Anoth­er fea­ture of the cam­era is a hybrid opti­cal / elec­tron­ic viewfind­er. If you pre­fer the viewfind­er to work with the cam­era turned off, cov­er­ing the entire frame with­out any col­or dis­tor­tion and delays, use an opti­cal viewfind­er. If you want to imme­di­ate­ly see how the pic­ture will look with all your set­tings, choose elec­tron­ic.

Despite being geared towards pho­to aes­thetes, the Fuji­film X100V can shoot 4K video as well, so it’s tru­ly a ver­sa­tile trav­el cam­era. In addi­tion, it is very com­pact — 468 grams.

Sony ZV-E10

If shoot­ing trav­el blogs is in your mind, but you also don’t want to for­get about pho­tog­ra­phy, you can look at the vlog­ger Sony ZV-E10.

We have already writ­ten about this cam­era more than once and have repeat­ed­ly com­pared it with anoth­er blog­ging mod­el — the Sony ZV‑1. The ZV‑1 is more com­pact, it has a built-in lens that makes life eas­i­er for a trav­el­er, and if you are not inter­est­ed in pho­tog­ra­phy, then it is bet­ter to take it. The ZV-E10 is in this rank­ing pre­cise­ly because of its greater ver­sa­til­i­ty — this is an option for a vlog­ger who often posts on social net­works.

The main dif­fer­ence between the two mod­els is that the ZV-E10 allows you to use inter­change­able lens­es, which means that you have access not only to zooms, but also to fast fix­es. And fast fix­es are not only a beau­ti­ful­ly “blurred” back­ground, but also a fat plus for street pho­tog­ra­phy, espe­cial­ly in the evening!

And, of course, this cam­era has every­thing you need for vlog­gers — cool 4K video, a tena­cious aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem for pho­tos and videos, a pow­er­ful bat­tery and good built-in micro­phones. And its 24-megapix­el APS‑C sen­sor allows you to take detailed pic­tures with low noise and good dynam­ic range.

The main dis­ad­van­tage of the mod­el is the lack of built-in sta­bi­liza­tion, so it is bet­ter to use opti­cal­ly sta­bi­lized lens­es. There are also some prob­lems with the rolling shut­ter effect (a spe­cial type of image dis­tor­tion in a video), but they are not crit­i­cal.

Canon EOS M50 Mark II

The Canon EOS M50 Mark II has a handy swiv­el screen that will work well for self­ie blogs and pho­tos from unusu­al angles. Pho­to: camerajabber.com

Anoth­er cam­era that ful­fills all the cri­te­ria for a great vaca­tion and trav­el cam­era is the Canon EOS M50 Mark II.

This cropped mir­ror­less cam­era takes great 24-megapix­el JPEG pho­tos with nice col­ors that can be shared on social media with min­i­mal post-pro­cess­ing. Aut­o­fo­cus does not fail, although it is slight­ly worse than that of Sony cam­eras.

The M50 II shoots video in 4K, although with quite a bit of crop­ping, so it’s best to switch to 1080p for bet­ter pic­ture qual­i­ty and improved aut­o­fo­cus. For blog­gers, there is built-in sup­port for YouTube stream­ing, ver­ti­cal video, and a micro­phone jack.

This is a very light — 387 grams — and com­pact — 116 x 88 x 59 — cam­era. The sig­na­ture EOS M series lens­es are also small and light.

Per­haps not the M50 II’s strong point is the bat­tery — 305 shots on a sin­gle charge, but the cam­era can be recharged from a pow­er bank on the go. In gen­er­al, this is an easy-to-use, ver­sa­tile and very bud­get cam­era, which is con­ve­nient to go on vaca­tion with — it does not take up much space and can do every­thing a trav­el­er needs.

As an alter­na­tive crop cam­era that makes excel­lent ready-made JPEGs for social net­works, we can rec­om­mend the Fuji­film X‑T30 II. The Fujik is also very easy to han­dle, com­pact, and there are plen­ty of cool minia­ture lens­es for it.

Sony a7C

If you’re a fan of the full frame and all its ben­e­fits (detail, wider “look”, improved low-light per­for­mance, etc.), but still want to trav­el light, then Sony has a unique offer — the Sony a7C.

The Sony a7C isn’t much big­ger than the RX100 soap­box we start­ed this list of the best trav­el cam­eras with, but it does­n’t lag behind full-frame full-frame cam­eras in terms of image qual­i­ty. The a7C has a built-in sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem that makes it eas­i­er to shoot video and work in low light, an excel­lent aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem, detailed 4K and a bat­tery that allows you to take 740 frames on a sin­gle charge — an out­stand­ing result for a mir­ror­less cam­era.

Of the minus­es — a rel­a­tive­ly high price (although we must not for­get that this is a full-frame cam­era) and a not very con­ve­nient minia­ture viewfind­er (you have to pay for the over­all com­pact­ness).

There is anoth­er full-frame Sony cam­era that has earned cult sta­tus among trav­el­ers — the Sony a7 III. It’s also very com­pact for a full frame mod­el and has a very long bat­tery life. The mod­el was released in 2018, so it falls slight­ly behind the lat­est Sony in terms of video capa­bil­i­ties and aut­o­fo­cus per­for­mance, while being slight­ly cheap­er. This makes the Sony a7 III one of the most inter­est­ing cam­eras on the mar­ket for trav­el pho­tog­ra­phers in terms of val­ue for mon­ey.

Nikon D5600

From the super minia­ture prime to the super ver­sa­tile trav­el zoom, Nikon’s exten­sive line­up of SLR lens­es offers glass for every­thing from super minia­ture primes. Pho­to: pocketlint.com

Yes, a SLR appeared in our rat­ing! DSLRs are big­ger and heav­ier than their mir­ror­less coun­ter­parts, but when it comes to trav­el, they have one very big advan­tage: bat­tery life.

Nikon D5600 is good for sev­er­al rea­sons. First­ly, just the same bat­tery (970 pho­tos per charge). Sec­ond­ly, despite the fact that this is a DSLR, it is quite com­pact and weighs only 465 grams.

The 24-megapix­el APS‑C sen­sor deliv­ers beau­ti­ful­ly detailed pho­tos, and you get all the ben­e­fits of work­ing with an opti­cal viewfind­er that we talked about above. This cam­era can be pur­chased with a uni­ver­sal zoom 18–55mm at a very rea­son­able price today.

How­ev­er, the cam­era has seri­ous lim­i­ta­tions in terms of video shoot­ing: not very good detail, no 4K and weak aut­o­fo­cus for video. So if you’re going to shoot any­thing more demand­ing than short tik tok videos, it’s best to take a look at the mir­ror­less cam­era options we’ve out­lined above.

GoPro Hero10 Black

If lying down on the beach is the most bor­ing thing you can imag­ine, an action cam­era is the way to go. Pho­to: camerajabber.com

And of course, what’s a good vaca­tion with­out an action cam­era? A calm, mea­sured vaca­tion is not for every­one, and some­one needs to rush with a cam­era into the very heat (or into the very water)! That’s what GoPro is for. The newest mod­el in the Hero10 Black series offers every­thing you need for shoot­ing action videos and extreme sports, but it does­n’t for­get about pho­tog­ra­phy.

Despite the small matrix, the “goprosh­ka” takes 23-megapix­el pic­tures at the lev­el of good cam­era phones. Com­pu­ta­tion­al pho­tog­ra­phy algo­rithms are used to make the pho­to as suit­able as pos­si­ble for social net­works — with nice bright col­ors and good dynam­ic range.

In terms of video, the Hero10 Black shoots 5.3K at 60fps and 4K at 120fps for cool, detailed slow motion. There is an advanced sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tem on board, so you can jump and run with the cam­era as you like with­out fear of get­ting jerky and shaky video.

The cam­era has a capa­cious bat­tery (more than one and a half hours of video on a sin­gle charge), which can be recharged using an exter­nal bat­tery. As befits an action cam­era, it has a super-com­pact body with pro­tec­tion from all pos­si­ble exter­nal mis­for­tunes — rain, sand, dust, salt water.

As an alter­na­tive to action cam­eras, you can con­sid­er the advanced rugged Olym­pus Tough TG‑6 com­pact. It’s as inde­struc­tible as a GoPro, yet it has a 25–100mm equiv 4x opti­cal zoom lens. and a larg­er sen­sor that ben­e­fits low-light per­for­mance.


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