Whether you are going to the sea with your family or on a long solo trip through Southeast Asia, if you are fond of photography, one smartphone will not be enough for you. You’ll likely need a larger camera, a versatile lens, and a wireless connection to quickly transfer photos to your mobile device.
Our list includes a variety of cameras, including pocket compacts, larger bridge cameras, and mirrorless cameras with built-in fixed lenses. For our main recommendations, we have chosen compact models with the best image quality.
Our pick: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII (large zoom coverage and fast autofocus)
20-megapixel 1‑inch verbose CMOS sensor.
24–200mm equiv. f/2.8–4.5 lens.
Hybrid autofocus system.
- Class-leading autofocus.
- Excellent image quality.
- 4K video with oversampling.
- Confusing interface.
- Not a very fast lens.
- Slippery grip.
The RX100 VII is a powerful zoom pocket camera that does just about everything except the price. Its 24–200mm equiv. the lens is suitable for a variety of shooting situations, the maximum aperture of f2.8–4.5 is also quite flexible.
The RX100 VII is equipped with a rather limited number of physical controls (which is not surprising for such a compact body), but offers extensive customization options to get the most out of them. The touchscreen lets you select an autofocus point or trigger AF tracking in video. Of the pleasant features of ergonomics is a pop-up viewfinder (only one touch is required to activate it).
The camera has the best autofocus system ever seen in a compact camera: the compact Sony will be able to quickly focus and track any subject you encounter on your travels. The model also received an easy-to-use Wi-Fi system for quickly transferring images to a smartphone. The battery capacity is quite acceptable, which is also important when traveling.
Source: Dan Bracaglia/dpreview.com
Excellent image quality is one of the main strengths of the camera. JPEGs come out with great colors, while Raw files provide plenty of flexibility in post-processing. The lens is sharp over the entire range of focal lengths, however, not too high aperture somewhat limits the potential of using the camera in low light conditions. The lack of an ND filter also means you’ll have to use shutter speeds slightly faster than optimal for bright lighting conditions, potentially making your shots look a little less professional.
The quality of video shooting is also at the highest level — the camera allows you to shoot 4K from the entire width of the matrix, while rolling shutter is minimal. All in all, the RX100 VII is by far the most advanced travel camera on the market: no other competitor can boast such a combination of size, speed and picture quality.
Alternative: Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II (faster lens compact)
20-megapixel 1‑inch multi-layer CMOS sensor.
24–120mm equiv. f/1.8–2.8 lens.
- Fast lens with good zoom range.
- 4K/30p video.
- Fast burst shooting.
- Not a very strong battery.
- There is no microphone jack.
If you like the RX100 VII but want a faster lens that handles low light conditions better and offers a shallower depth of field, then you should look into the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II.
This pocket camera features nice ergonomics, high-quality build and user-friendly interface. The flip-out display flips to the selfie position, and the pop-up viewfinder comes in handy when shooting outdoors. The battery capacity of the camera is below average, in addition, it is not compatible with all USB chargers, so during long journeys without access to outlets, you should be careful.
Image quality is very high with pleasing colors and a wide dynamic range. The model’s autofocus is reasonably fast and responsive, but the camera can’t track the subject during continuous shooting.
The G5 X II allows you to shoot in RAW at 30 fps, taking several shots before you fully press the shutter button.
4K / 30p video is of decent quality and is shot without crop. Unfortunately, video capabilities are somewhat limited by the lack of a 24p shooting option, as well as a microphone port. The built-in ND filter allows you to shoot at faster shutter speeds.
Overall, the Canon G5 X II is pleasant and easy to use, and the photo and video quality is also excellent. Considering its compact size, versatile lens and fairly reasonable price, Canon’s model can also be safely recommended to travel photographers.
APS‑C Fixed Mirrorless: Fujifilm X100F
24MP APS‑C X‑Trans CMOS sensor.
35mm equiv. f/2 lens.
- Excellent viewfinder.
- Comfortable ergonomics and design.
- Quality image.
- Large matrix and fast lens.
- Only 1080p video.
- Autofocus is weaker than competitors.
- It’s easy to accidentally hit the focus ring.
The X100F is Fujifilm’s fourth generation APS‑C camera with built-in prime lens. The device received a 35-mm equivalent lens with f / 2 aperture and a 24-megapixel crop X‑Trans matrix.
The camera will appeal to advanced photographers as it comes with a host of physical controls, including setting dials, an autofocus joystick, and customizable buttons. The model is equipped with a hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder, which provides a very special shooting experience.
Source: Toshimitsu Takahashi/fujifilm.com
The X100F also boasts excellent image quality in both JPEG and RAW.
Video, on the contrary, is the weak side of the camera: these are the limitations imposed by 35 mm equiv. lens, and a maximum resolution of 1080p with a minimum level of autofocus control.
The camera can be recommended to travelers who prefer to take photos using the direct controls on the camera body, as well as to all lovers of cameras in retro design. Those who also plan to shoot a lot of videos should pay attention to other models.
Advanced bridge camera: Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ1000 II
20-megapixel 1‑inch BSI-CMOS sensor.
25–400mm equiv. f/2.8–4 lens.
- Powerful zoom lens with relatively good aperture.
- Fully movable touch screen.
- Fast autofocus.
- “Jitter” of the picture during focusing.
- Big crop in 4K.
- “Plastic” feel from the case.
The Panasonic DC-FZ1000 II is the second generation of the popular bridge camera. The model is equipped with a 1‑inch sensor and a stabilized 25–400 mm equiv. lens, as well as, unlike the first generation, a touch screen, additional controls and Bluetooth connectivity.
The FZ1000 II received a comfortable grip, two control dials, but the all-plastic body does not quite match the price of the device. The electronic viewfinder is of very good quality, and the touchscreen display makes it much easier to control the camera.
High-level in-camera autofocus with fast face and eye detection. At the same time, during continuous autofocus, there is jitter in the viewfinder, which can be distracting, but, in general, the accuracy of the Depth from Defocus system is impressive.
The image is also at a fairly high level. The lens is a little soft, although the camera does quite a good job of sharpening software (however, this enhances the external effect of noise reduction in JPEGs).
The FZ1000 II shoots 4K UHD at 30p and 24p, but with a strong crop (at 1080 the camera shoots without crop). In general, the video quality is good, and the camera also provides an advanced set of video controls.
With a versatile zoom lens, fast autofocus, large viewfinder and 4K video, the FZ1000 II is one of the best bridge cameras on the market. The versatility of a bridge camera is great for travelers, making it a highly recommended model for travel photographers.
* when preparing the article, materials from the resources dpreview.com, onfoto.ru, market.yandex.ru were used.