We are the most-photographed people in history and that’s thanks to technology. As it progresses at a growing rate, there are just more ways to document a moment or simply take that selfie. But unlike generations past, most people use their smartphones (even when they’re on vacation — instead of using one of the best travel cameras for shots your friends will drool over). After taking a picture with your phone, you will usually edit and filter it with photography apps like Instagram and VSCO.
However, there’s something about using a digital or film camera that can make it more fun. And don’t forget about the fact that Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) or Mirrorless cameras have been known to produce amazing travel photos.
While still photography is great, there are also many people who lean more towards video than photos. With the power of digital photography, there are lots of cameras that not only take great pictures but also record some sick high-definition video. So if you have your eyes set on being a digital nomad or a creative on the go, there are definitely devices that are perfect for you.
Now that we have made the case for not using your mobile phone, we’ve put together a list of the best travel cameras around. Whether you’re new to the whole setup or a seasoned photographer, there are a variety of cameras that will help you capture all the best images on your next trip.
For the Hobbyist
Although cameras are more accessible and affordable than in the past, people tend to use the camera in their phones instead of a stand-alone device. Some will say it’s more convenient but there are others who are just intimidated by the camera itself. It’s actually simpler than most people think. And we’ve got the cameras that will range from compact point-and-shoots to mirrorless cameras that make you look like a professional. And since you’re new to the photo game, these cameras won’t break the bank too much, which will give you more cash to add more activities to your vacation.
The Panisonic Lumix ZS50 may look like a tiny camera but it’s pretty powerful. It shoots 12.1 megapixel photos and can take 1080 HD-quality video. With the highest ISO at 6400, you can bring it into a low-lit area and still be able to take a sweet shot. But what we love most about this model is the Leica lens that’s built in. Not only does is the lens top of the line but it also has a long range zoom capability.
Although the Ricoh GR II looks like a basic point-and-shoot, this compact camera packs a sweet punch. And don’t let it’s small size fool you. First, you will be taking 16.2 megapixel photos and the 18.3mm f/2.8 lens is perfect for every lighting situation. You can take video in 1080p. Photos can be shot in JPEG or DNG RAW — the best kind of file if you want to get as much detail as possible even in a lowlight situation.
If you want a vintage-looking camera that’s meant for the 21st century, then the FujiFilm X-T10 is the right model for you. At first glance, it looks like one of Fuji’s older camera styles. However, once you look at the back you will see the 3.0″ 1.04m-dot LCD touchscreen and mechanisms for a more techy cam. The X-Processor Pro will let you take low-light photos because the ISO can go up to 51200.
If you’re looking for something that has a dual purpose but is still small, then the Sony RX100 V could be the camera for you. An alternative to the Sony mirrorless or DSLRs, this one will also save you some cash as it’s under $1000. While $900+ can still be a bit pricey, the camera does serve two purposes. It is exceptional when it comes to the video aspect. First, there’s the high frame rate (HFR) mode can get video at 960 frames per second, which is great for slowing things down when you edit.
And there’s a screen that you can flip up so you can make sure you’re in focus for that vlog you’re about to create or selfie you’re about to take. And the photos are pretty sweet, as it takes 20.1 megapixel photos with its one-inch sensor. So if you’re looking for something you can drop in a small bag and then go, this could be the one for you.
Although the Olympus TG 5 could have easily gone into our adventurer list, the size of the compact camera makes it perfect for theone who wants to take stellar images without all the technical skills. Yes, it’s definitely not the camera you bring out at a fancy restaurant. But this digital camera is perfect for a morning rafting trip or climbing the side of a mountain. It’s waterproof up to 15 feet of water and its lens doesn’t fog even in super humid environments. It also has a built in manometer, which you can link to your iPhone or Android, that includes GPS, eCompass, temperature sensor and manometer. It can also withstand 220 pounds. So it can be at the bottom of your backpack and stay in one piece. And of course, you can take some great pictures, even in lowlight situations.