How To Choose The Best Travel Camera (Plus Win A Free GoPro!)

Best Travel Camera Guide

How to Choose a Travel Camera

Travel Photography

After 7 years as a professional travel photographer & blogger, I keep getting asked what’s the best travel camera. There are so many to choose from! Here’s what I would pick, and why.

If you’re into photography, traveling the world with a good camera can help you bring back images that will stand the test of time — memories to share with family and friends for years to come.

Amazing travel photos are some of my most treasured souvenirs!

But what’s the best travel camera for capturing these special moments on your journey? There’s no easy answer to this question. Different people will have different requirements and budgets.

My goal with this digital camera buyers guide is to help you narrow down the overwhelming choices that are out there — and pick the perfect travel camera for your next trip.

Travel Photos from Norway

Norway’s Lofoten Islands

Travel Camera Features

  • Size & Weight: Gone are the days when a bigger camera means a better camera. If you want to travel with your camera, you’ll want something small & lightweight.
  • Manual Settings: Photography professionals want the ability to fully control the settings of their camera so they can dial in the perfect shot in all kinds of different situations.
  • Megapixels: Many people assume that more megapixels is better. This isn’t always true if the pixels themselves are small. However more megapixels on a large sensor will give you higher detail, and allow you to “crop” your image without reducing quality.
  • Fast Lens: Lens aperture is measured in f/numbers, like f/1.4, f/2.8, f/4, etc. The lower the number, the better it will perform in low-light situations.
  • Zoom Range: A zoom lens lets you get closer to the action, especially for wildlife or people. But the bigger the zoom the bulkier a camera gets. How much zoom you want is a personal preference.
  • HD/4K Video: Most quality travel cameras will shoot video in HD 1080p. Some even have 4K capabilities — which honestly most people won’t need unless you’re doing professional work.
  • WiFi/Bluetooth Enabled: Some cameras have their own wifi network, allowing you to upload your photos instantly to your computer or smartphone.
  • Interchangeable Lenses: High-end mirrorless and DSLR cameras have interchangeable lenses, allowing you to pick the perfect lens for different situations.
  • Weatherproofing: Will your travel camera hold up against the elements? Some cameras are better protected from moisture and dust than others.
Travel Camera Sensor Size

Understanding Camera Sensors

Camera Sensor Size

When choosing the perfect camera for traveling, you need to understand different camera sensors, and how they affect image quality and camera size.

In general, a camera with a large sensor is going to perform better in low light because that large sensor can capture more of it.

With a large sensor you’ll also get more detail, allowing you to print your images large, or crop them smaller, and not loose any quality.

However a large camera sensor means the camera itself will be larger as well.

Travel Photos from Hawaii

Ridge Hiking in Hawaii

What Do You Want To Capture?

When choosing the best travel camera for your needs, you must define what those needs are. Different cameras have strengths and weaknesses depending on what you’re using them for.

Are you looking for portability? Weatherproofing & ruggedness? Professional high-end image quality? Something reasonably priced? Are you going to be shooting more landscapes, wildlife, adventure activities, or people?

You often can’t have it all when it comes to travel cameras.

Keep reading below to learn the pros & cons for each type of camera, and which types of travel photography they work best for.

Point & Shoot Cameras

Point & shoot cameras have come a long way. As technology has improved, companies have managed to pack these pocket-sized cameras with tons of features. Some shoot 4k video and have manual settings, just like the more expensive ones in this list.

The big difference is the camera sensor is a bit smaller, and they don’t have interchangeable lenses.

In my opinion, a mid-range to high-end point & shoot is the best option for 75% of amature travel photographers. They combine the perfect mix of portability, power, and budget-friendliness.

Sony RX100 Series ($700 – $1000)

Sony RX100 Travel Camera

Sony RX100 V

The Sony RX100 V is my favorite point & shoot travel camera. It’s what I’d call a “professional” point & shoot. While it fits in my pocket, it has many of the same features as my larger primary mirrorless camera.

It’s a bit pricey at $1000, but you can also pick up older models like the RX100 III ($700) and RX100 IV ($850) for less. They also make reasonably priced underwater dive-housings for this line.

Highlights

  • 4k Video
  • Ultra-Fast Focusing
  • Flip-screen for Vlogging
  • Built-In Flash

Issues:

  • 1″ Sensor
  • Fixed Lens
  • Crappy Microphone

Check Price For Sony RX100 V Here

Canon PowerShot G7 X ($650)

Canon G7X II Travel Camera

Canon G7X II

The Canon G7 X is another fantastic point & shoot that’s great for travel photography. A bit less expensive than the Sony, it has fewer high-end features, but shoots great video with better on-board audio than the Sony. It’s a favorite for many YouTubers and Vloggers.

Highlights

  • Flip-screen for Vlogging
  • Built-In Flash
  • Decent Microphone

Issues:

  • 1″ Sensor
  • Fixed Lens
  • Slow Focusing

Check Price For Canon G7X Here

Travel Photos from a GoPro

Best Action Travel Cameras

Action Cameras

Action cameras have really transformed the travel photography & video world over the years. These tiny, waterproof, indestructible cameras can go anywhere & record anything!

If you plan on hiking, mountain biking, surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, or even swimming under waterfalls during your travels, an action camera can create epic video & photos of the experience.

GoPro Hero 6 ($500)

GoPro Hero 6 Travel Camera

GoPro Hero 6

The GoPro Hero 6 is GoPro’s best camera yet, with improved video stabilization, color, and 60p slow-motion 4k footage. It’s waterproof case and touch-screen will handle any adventures you dream up. A must-have for adventure addicts like me!

Check Price For GoPro 6 Here

GoPro Hero Session ($200)

GoPro Session Travel Camera

GoPro Session

The GoPro Session is GoPro’s smaller & cheaper model. Without a screen, this tiny cube can fit just about anywhere — you’ll barely notice it. If you aren’t an action sports junkie, this will do for most people. Connect to the GoPro App on your smartphone to frame your shots.

Check Price For GoPro Session Here

Travel Photos from Hawaii

Best Mirrorless Travel Cameras

Mirrorless Cameras

Larger than a point & shoot, but smaller than a DSLR, mirrorless digital cameras are all the rage right now. Even professional photographers are starting to switch over due to their small size and ability to produce high-quality images.

I use a mirrorless camera as my main travel camera. They offer more features than a point & shoot, like the ability to use interchangeable lenses, and a larger sensor with better low-light capability and detail.

Sony A7 Series ($1300 – $3200)

Sony A7 Travel Camera

Sony A7ii

The Sony A7 II is one of the best travel cameras money can buy. Sony is on the cutting edge of camera technology lately, and other brands are having trouble keeping up. There are a few different models available.

The Sony A7S II is geared towards videographers, with extremely good low-light capabilities and 4k video. The Sony A7R III is geared for professional photographers who want super-fast focusing and a giant full-frame sensor.

Highlights

  • Full Frame Sensor
  • Internal Stabilization
  • 4k Video (A7S & A7R only)
  • High Dynamic Range
  • Weather-sealed Body

Issues:

  • Lacks swivel screen for vlogging
  • No built-in flash

Check Price For Sony A7ii Here

Fujifilm X‑T2 ($1500)

Fujifilm X‑T2 Travel Camera

Fujifilm X‑T2

The Fuji X-T2 is a popular competitor to the Sony A7 mirrorless camera. I’ve used it before, and the Fuji is very well-made! My favorite part about it is the rugged all-metal dials that control this camera’s settings. However it has a smaller APS-C crop sensor rather than being Full Frame.

Highlights

  • APS-C Sensor
  • 4k Video
  • Weather-sealed Body

Issues:

  • Lacks swivel screen for vlogging
  • No built-in flash

Check Price For Fuji X-T2 Here

Sony A6500 ($1200)

Sony A6500 Travel Camera

Sony A6500

The Sony A6500 is an even smaller version of Sony’s awesome A7 mirrorless camera. The big difference is a slightly smaller APS-C cropped sensor, and less weatherproofing to protect against rain.

The A6500 also shoots 4k video, shoots faster photos than the A7, and has a touch-screen. For a more budget friendly version, the older Sony A6000 is almost just as capable, for almost $700 hundred dollars less!

Check Price For Sony A6500 Here

DSLR Cameras

Digital SLR Cameras (DSLR) wouldn’t be my first choice for a travel camera. Because these cameras use a physical mirror instead of an electronic viewfinder, the body is larger than on a mirrorless camera.

Personally I think most people would be better off with a mirrorless camera system these days. Especially if you’re trying to minimize the weight and size of your travel gear.

Nikon D3400 ($400)

Nikon D3400 Travel Camera

Nikon D3400

Check Price For Nikon D3400 Here

Canon 80D ($1000)

Canon 80D Travel Camera

Canon 80D

Check Price For Canon 80D Here

Smartphone Travel Cameras

Smartphone Travel Photography?

Using Your Smartphone

Can you use your smartphone for travel photography? Of course you can! You’ll sacrifice a bit of quality due to the super small camera sensor in phones, but if you’re only publishing to the web, most people won’t notice.

Another downside is lack of a physical zoom feature (digital zooming doesn’t produce great results).

Some smartphones can even shoot in RAW format these days though. I travel with an iPhone 7+, but the Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel 2 also take amazing photos & video. Smartphones are also great backup cameras too.

What About Camera Lenses?

You honestly don’t need a million different camera lenses. When I first started, I only used a single general-purpose lens while I was learning.

If you have money to burn, then get two: a wide angle zoom and a telephoto zoom.

These two lenses will allow you to capture a mix of landscapes, portraits, and wildlife from a distance. However lugging around multiple lenses and changing them back & forth can be annoying if you’re new to photography.

To keep things easy, I’d recommend only one lens at first. Something with a decent focal range, around 18mm – 55mm or 28mm – 70mm.

When looking at a lens aperture, the lower the number, the better it will be in low light. F2.8 or F4 should cover you for most situations. If you want to shoot star photography, go with F2.8 or lower.

Hawaii from the Air

Flying my DJI Mavic Over Hawaii

Drones For Travel Photography

Drones are incredible tools for capturing images & video in a totally different perspective. But this probably isn’t the most important travel camera for the average person.

Many places have restrictions on flying personal drones, for example US National Parks, and even entire countries. So you need to do your research to avoid heavy fines or confiscation.

If you REALLY want a drone, I’d recommend the DJI Spark for beginners. It’s tiny, pretty affordable, and very easy to use.

If you eventually want to make money from your drone photography, and have a larger budget, than you’ll completely fall in love with the more professional DJI Mavic Pro. You can see my review video here.

Travel Photography Camera Gear

All My Camera Gear

What Travel Cameras Do I Use?

I actually travel with 4-5 different cameras on my adventures around the world. This is a bit overkill for most people.

However travel photography is how I make my living, so I invest in gear to help me accomplish my job. When I first started 7 years ago, all I used was a Canon 7D and a GoPro Hero.

The camera backpack I use is called a LowePro Whistler 350. It’s got room for a 15″ laptop, jacket, and incredibly fits all 5 travel cameras, lenses & some accessories if I need it to — great as an airplane carry-on.

Travel Photography Tips

I want to let you in on a little travel photography secret. Even if you have a top-of-the-line $10,000 camera, your photos aren’t going to be spectacular if you don’t know how to use it.

And I don’t mean pressing the shutter — I mean:

  • Learning how to shoot in manual mode
  • How to expose images properly
  • Adjusting your white balance
  • Framing shots for maximum impact
  • Paying attention to light
  • Post-processing your images with software

You don’t become a good photographer because you have a nice camera, your photography improves over time through practice, patience, and skills you learn from others.

So sure, invest in a new travel camera if you think you need it, but remember to invest money & time into learning new photography skills if you really want to create those jealousy-inducing images for your Instagram feed!

Here are some of my favorite beginner travel photography tips.

Travel Camera Giveaway

Who Wants to Win a GoPro?

Free GoPro Session Giveaway!

If you don’t have a GoPro action camera yet, but want one, here’s your chance to win a GoPro to use on your next travel adventure!

I’m giving one lucky reader their very own GoPro Hero Session 5 (along with some accessories).

I love my GoPro, and travel with it everywhere. It’s great for capturing water sports, hiking trips, epic selfies, and hands-free video from my travel adventures around the world.

I’ve been traveling with a GoPro of some kind for the last 7 years!

Here’s an article I wrote about my favorite GoPro accessories for travel, along with examples of how you can use it to capture amazing footage.

OFFICIAL RULES

ELIGIBILITY: Ages 18+
Promotion is open and offered to residents of any country. However the winner will be responsible for their own country’s customs fees.

CHOOSING A WINNER:
A winner will be selected at random from the list of entries, and notified by email on December 3rd. If the winner does not respond within one week, an alternate winner will be chosen at random.

PRIZE:
The winner will receive (1) GoPro Hero Session, (1) GoPro Backpack, and (1) GoPro Selfie Stick. Prize value worth $450. Prizes are shipped to winner’s chosen address. Local customs fees are not included in the prize.

TERMS & CONDITIONS: Click Here For Details

How To Enter Contest

Enter your name and email address below and follow the instructions.

You’ll have the option to earn extra contest entries (and more chances to win!) by completing certain tasks.

UPDATE: We Have A Winner!
Michael Trasatti has won a free GoPro Session.

Good luck, and I look forward to congratulating the winner! ★

Pin This!

How To Choose The Best Travel Camera. More at ExpertVagabond.com

Have any questions about travel cameras? What about other suggestions? Drop me a message in the comments below!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

Any Questions Or Comments?

Thanks for leaving a comment, I appreciate your feedback. However please use your real name only and treat everyone with respect. Lets have a meaningful conversation!

219 Comments

  1. Ah Matt! I wish i had an molecule of creativity with a camera as you do! Thanks for a great article, i appreciate your recommendations because you’re so good with a camera!

  2. Great article! As an active traveler I’ve found out that the best camera is the one that’s with you. A bit of a cliche, but true. And since you usually carry a mobile phone with you, I have chosen Google Pixel 2 as my main device. As a side note, with Pixel 2 you also get an unlimited Google Photos storage space, which might be valuable for photographers.

  3. Thank you so much for the valuable tips. It’s good to know the break down of camera types, specifications and the feature of each camera.

    Highly useful for me as a new & growing food and travel photographer! I’m a learning a lot from your posts. Thank you.

  4. Thanks for sharing your personal opinion about cameras. For the time I just started running my blog and I’m stick to the nikon d3200 that I have been using for the last 4 years! Too bad im running late for the competition but congrats on giving the opportunity to your readers!

  5. Great way to learn all about cameras. Perfect for the beginner in discerning and deciding what camera to buy for customizing to a particular travel itinerary.

  6. I will be taking a trip to Ireland in March with my sister. I keep saying how I want a good camera to capture all of my memories but was feeling overwhelmed by the hundreds of cameras there are to use. This post was definitely helpful on where to start. Thanks!

  7. I love how well You’ve explained all these camera’s, My next travel camera will definitely be one from your list ! Thanks ! Right now we mainly use the GoPro4, which is allright but I’m looking forward to using GoPro6 😊

  8. I enjoyed reading this post. I’ve been reading about the Sony a7 but it’s pricey. I have a Canon Rebel but find it big and heavy when I travel so I am using my Iphone 7 plus. It’s easy to carry and takes good photos. Thanks for all your camera tips and suggestions.

    1. Hi Bonnie, I totally identify with your comment. I used to carry my Nikon D5300 with a couple of lenses for a while, then I’d travel only with one prime lens, and now I just take my iPhone with me.
      Anything other than the iPhone feels bulky and heavy and, on day six or seven of travel, it starts to weigh like a kettlebell!

  9. To take photos for my blog, currently I’m using an android cellphone xD So Im excited to upgrade eventually to a good camera. The photos on this blog inspired me to take better wilderness photos for my own site- I realized it is a big contributing factor to why people read the blog! This article will be useful when I am ready to upgrade :)

  10. Thanks for the great tips Matt. I am currently using a Canon EOS650D. I really like the camera, but it is quite heavy. I am from Australia, but currently living in Switzerland. I want to explore this country as I only just arrived here. I have done some research and there are some great places here for some good photo opportunities.

  11. Thanks for your great help! Your article was a guidance for my future camera choose. I am a beginner in the photo art and it is quite hard to understand who’s who especially if you search it for a particular use as travel for example.

  12. i currently use my iPhone on landscape mode to shoot videos in 1080 60fps, would love to get a gopro next :)

  13. Great post! Thanks for sharing this valuable information. I was just looking for something like this, but I have to confess that your post exceeded my expectations! I am in the process of setting up my blog in which I will be sharing my knowledge and travel experiences. Now I have your unique experience to decide what camera will substitute my current Sony Alpha Next-3. Thanks!

  14. My travel camera is a Canon 7D, I love taking photos of my travels, but definitely need a compact camera that is lighter and still takes amazing shots!

  15. I have been checking out these mirrorless cameras lately, as well. So I appreciate the recommendations – they seem like an incredible asset to a camera arsenal!

  16. I wish i was as good as you at taking pictures. Your pictures are beautiful. I guess having good equipment help a lot ! :)

  17. Great post! I do have one follow-up question – what about photo storage? Do you use something on the go and back up later?

  18. i do not have a good camera to take nice pictures, i only use my iphone camera. I am trying to save up for a nice camera but all of them are so expensive!! I really would also like a drone because they can catch some really cool footage!

  19. Thanks Matt for the great article! We need a new camera for our food quest and we’ve been hesitating to go for a DSLR. It seems that they are plenty of other reasonably-priced options and good quality cameras for our travels. Any preference for close up shots? Thanks!

    1. Close up portraits of people, or like “macro” photography of insects and other small things? You can’t go wrong with any of these cameras, but for portraits, a lens that can do something between 35mm – 85mm with a large aperture (small number) like F2.8-ish will work well.

  20. You are always helpfull with your article and i do always follow ur advice and experience. I use canon 760d that even helps me to capture some good inages.

  21. I love capturing moments. My favorite camera is the point and shoot although I love iphone photographs more. Which is the most budget friendly camera you wpuld suggest for a student.

  22. Favorite travel camera at the moment is definitely my GoPro 5 Silver (it means I’m actually doing something fun when I’m using it). Going to Japan in the morning but trying to make it back to South America here soon.

  23. The only camera I have to use is on my phone:( I would love to get a go pro one day because it always for such a wide variety of picture taking!! Right now I would really like to go to Afghanistan; after reading your post about it I want to see for myself how beautiful the country is and how, contrary to popular belief, not everyone there is bad and terrorists

  24. Great article! Do you have any tips how to shoot night sky in the Sahara desert? I have mirrorless camera Panasonic DMC-GF6 + 14-42 f/3.5-5.6 + 45-150 f/4-5.6.

  25. Thanks for the tips! I use a mirrorless from Panasonic. I went once on a photo tour in Bali where I learned to use it. I’m contemplating for my next travel to buy lenses for my iPhone, would love to read an article on those!

  26. I’ve found RX100 M2 to perfectly suit for my travels. Small enough to put into the pocket and great enough to shoot high quality photos.
    The next upgrade will be probably some drone for the better angles…

  27. Very informative and detailed article. Love the shots!
    I am not very comfy using the big/bulky cameras (especially on treks) and you have listed all the alternatives with their pros and cons – that really helps. Thanks much, Matthew!

  28. Excellent post. Comprehensive yet succinct. I’ve been eyeing the Sony A6500 for a while (I like street photography, small cameras with pancake wide angle lens are best suited for this)!
    Travel style has become a factor that affects my choice of cameras when I travel. If I’m with impatient friends, I only bring my iPhone and a GoPro. Sometimes travel buddies don’t want to wait for one to change lenses or set up the tripod to capture that awe provoking sunset!
    The one point in favor of DSLRs, IMHO, is that they can be great for learning the fundamentals of photography because DSLRs typically have all the controls as physical levers, wheels, buttons, etc. and this makes it easier for a student to develop the intuition to adjust ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and all the good stuff.
    Also, physical controls are much faster to adjust and capture that elusive shot!

  29. Im just now getting into photography so I don’t really have a great camera I love for travel. I really want to get to new zealand next though.

  30. Thanks for all the helpful info. I’m just now trying to get more into the photography side of things (after about a decade hiatus, and now as a professional travel writer). Do you ever find it hard to juggle the photography and the writing aspects? Some have told me they end up having to step back on writing if they focus on photos and vice versa.

  31. I love my Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 But I have some great old Canon FD lenses which I would love to use again with an adapter on a Sony Alpha…
    Wouldn’t mind trying out the GoPro either, but I’m not rich and traveling is my priority.

  32. A friend of mine shared the article with me as I am preparing myself for a trip next year to Russia for the World Cup. I travel often, about twice a year, and have been wanting to become a travel blogger for a while and your article really helped enlightening me on which camera might be best for what I want and need. I will check with local retailers for the availability of the cameras you mentioned and prices. Thank you lots! :)

  33. Great post – I’m soooo wanting to take a Mavic Pro to Finish Lapland this Christmas, but I hae no idea how it will hold up in the cold.
    In the photo, what do you have your macbook inside to make it weatherproof?

  34. I really need to upgrade on my camera. Right now I shoot with a full frame Canon Mark II + a zoom lense 22 – 70. The entire thing weights 1.8kg (3,9 pounds).
    I totally agree with your point on composition, shooting in manual mode and postproduction. Cannot help it, think how much of a difference there could be between the sony a7rii and Canon Mark II, tho.

  35. This blog post couldn’t have come at a better time! I’m in the middle of researching which camera I should get. Can’t afford both a new camera and a GoPro, that would’ve been so cool though. Crossing my fingers for that competition, haha. Glad I signed up for your mail updates, it’s so inspiring. Thank you!

  36. This article is great! Thanks! If you are going hiking, backpacking, camping, or just exploring — how do you decide when to bring a larger professional camera verses when to bring a smaller simpler digital camera?

    1. Great question Alyssa! Just experience I guess. If the hike is going to be multi-day, and I have to pack a lot of water, I usually choose the smaller RX100. But if I can easily re-fill a water bottle along the trail, and don’t need to carry as much, I’ll bring the larger A7R (and just minimize the number of lenses/accessories).

  37. This was really helpful since I’m heading overseas next summer to film for my school. Do you recommend Gorilla tripods for DSLR cameras? Are they worth caring them around?

  38. Great tips! What do you think about the Olympus Pen series? I was thinking of getting one of them for Christmas… But you helped me be convinced about the Mavic! Thanks

  39. Thanks for all the great tips! The camera I currently have is a Sony Alpha a5000 Mirrorless camera. I’ve been doing photography for almost a year now just using my iPhone but now I’m learning how to properly take pictures using my Sony. I hope to become an awesome photographer like you one day :)

    My next trip is Lisbon,London and Norway in February – March. Hope to capture some amazing photos!

  40. We have just upgraded to the Sony Alpha 6000 and we are looking forward to taking lots of photos when we visit Switzerland in December. Just a question, what lens would you recommend purchasing for evening/night photography?

  41. This is an amazing post. I have been taking pictures with my Samsung galaxy phone. I was confused about which camera to get, thanks for the help! Also, having a GoPro on road trips will be awesome. Love your blog. Thanks!

  42. I have recently discovered your website as I am trying to create a blog / photography website for my cycling and travel photo’s.

    So far I am loving it. I have a Nikon D5500 which I use as well as my Sony Xperia X mobile phone with 23m pixel camera, however I am missing an action camera. With my upcoming travel to Vietnam in April 2018, where I will be cycling cross country (covering 303 miles) for Charity, I am keen to get an action camera so this was really useful!

  43. Hi, Matt! I have been trying decide on a new camera to purchase for my upcoming adventures and this post was exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!

  44. Great suggestions! i’ve been looking to get a compact camera and i think I’ve found the one thanks to you! I currently use my DSLR Canon 6D, and although i absolutly love my baby, but i do a lot of adventurous hiking and I do not want to damage it. Thank you for your tips! i love your blog!

  45. Very interesting! My Canon 70D is heavy and requires my attention when I go around cities (thieves paranoia mode ON), but I love it. I tried a mirrorless, but couldn’t get used to it. Next on the wish list is definitely a GoPro!! :)

  46. I know nothing about cameras and am in desperate need of one for my travels and for my newly launched Brazilian travel blog. This post is a great starting point, so thank you!

  47. Hi thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience with us! I bought few months ago a new camera canon eos 80d! And all the picture are just amazing but is true that is not easy to carry around and and I’m thinking to buy a mirrorless, smaller and manageable. Your link is clear and easy and it is a good help for choose my next first mirrorless.,!

  48. learned a lot!! thanks for sharing your knowledge!! I’m going to apply it in my next travel adventure. A GoPro is a must to any travels.

  49. My best friend Canon 600D got so wet after catching the whales in the Atlantic Ocean near the Azores, that it left me only with my old friend Canon 450D, now just without HD video option. As a photography lover I can’t even imagine to go on a trip without a camera in my bag.

  50. Great advice. I am a writer living in Beijing and currently starting to publish travel articles, and I am really in the market for a travel camera! I really think the advice and descriptions are amazing! Def going to pick up one of these cameras for my upcoming trip to Cambodia with my mom. What do you do to protect your camera while out in high-theft countries? Thanks for the advice and the chance to win!

  51. Great article! Choosing the right camera for travelling is an important matter. I have always used my DSLR camera (Canon EOS 50D), but the weight and space it needs along with lenses is always a problem. A GoPro can be a great alternative for saving space.

  52. Check out this one, it’s versatile but almost unknown: RICOH WG-4
    (originally a PENTAX, but RICOH swallowed PENTAX)

    They call it “adventure camera” and say it’s “adventure proof” (crushproof, shockproof, coldproof -10°C, waterproof 14m)
    Rugged, has some weight, lens is protected
    Full HD Video, 16MP photography
    Many different modes, among them HDR, …
    Many smart extras: time, altitude, GPS, compass
    ca. 300 EUR: good price/performance ratio

    My no. 1 gadget and the reason why I decided to buy it: it’s a p&s camera that makes amazing macro pictures (1cm; built in macro LED light), don’t know one with a better resolution and close up!! A huge plus, great for those who love tiny bugs… The remaining quality characteristics all fulfill my expectations.

    I use my WG-4 for more than 2 years now; I am still happy with it. I took it on a Pamir trip in 2015 and take it with me for everyday professional purposes.
    As a backup camera I have my mobile phone Samsung S6 edge camera: more than sufficient!

    BTW: Quite a lot of disillusioning reviews on GoPro 6 out there…

  53. Thanks for putting up this extremely helpful post! I think I am looking for a camera which is more into weatherproofing and ruggedness. We own a Canon DSLR but soon we realized it was a bad choice for ‘our kind of travel’. We are more into hiking in wet weather, crossing rivers and stretches of water. Our camera is too sensitive for all these rough ways of travelling!

  54. Hey, i think I’ll get me a mirror less camera. Photographer friends advise me to get one. They are easy to use and good entry point. Also im taking a basic photography course.

  55. Hello, I read your article and just said in one breath because all these questions were collected in one and by the way as you described everything simply and all very very competently and understandably thank you very much for such an article I will follow your advice and I think in years 2:3 I will have a similar set as you do)

  56. Like always, enjoyed your post and always learn something. I’m into nature photography and hope to go to Africa. Am using Nikon 3300 and Tamron 300and 600 lenses. Could I get close enough pics with the point and shoot or lighter cameras?

  57. I️ just bought a canon rebel sl2 for my travels around the world next summer! Looking forward to learning how to use it and getting awesome shots!

  58. Hey Matt, I usually travel with my Canon G1X Mark II and next time with my new GoPro Hero6 too! :D

    I wish I could make a living with travel photography. Do you have an article or tips on how to begin selling travel pictures?

  59. Hey Matt, what are your thoughts on a Nikon Coolpix P7100 for a starter travel camera? I’ve used it for several trips in automatic mode and been fairly happy with the results, but I’d like to move forward in my photography skills.

  60. This is very helpful! I’m thinking about shooting more video for my trips rather than just take photos and this blog really helps me out!

  61. Hi, I’m a new reader of your blog. I found it by chance but I started reading it with pleasure. I love traveling and I’d like to do it and remember everything and take photos is the best way (along with notes). I started only a few years ago (so 2/3 travels) but every year I make a “new step” like a new camera, a well-written journal. I will read your articles trying to take all tips you give, to make my travels better.
    (I apologize if I wrote something wrong, including grammatical errors)

  62. Matt,
    I love all of your posts so much. I’m a sixteen-year-old aspiring world wayfarer, but I’ve never really got into photography, but this post makes me feel like I should to get better quality pictures for my travels! I have considered getting a Go Pro, but are there other action cameras that you’d recommend for a more affordable price? I have a big trip to Germany coming up this summer and I’d really love to capture every moment, and I feel like the Go Pro or another action camera would be the way to go!

  63. Great article! Really helpful thanks. I will like yo visit Cuba. I’ve always wanted to and I don’t mind a little info on how to budget for it. Also hoping to join your kamchatka adventure next year😊

  64. The next place I would love to travel to is New Zealand to explore the Hobbit House! Traveling is when you have to pack light, what is the best camera you use for overall photos?

  65. Wow! Thanks for all that info that’s great! So many choices! I really love taking photos, but am fairly new to it all because I only just started blogging. . . . this, combined with the fact that I don’t yet earn much and need to constantly sustain my travels, puts most of these out of my price range. If I’m just a beginner and don’t yet want to invest much time in editing and such, would a simple smartphone camera be best for me? I’ve been using my Samsung but something’s wrong with it and the camera is absolutely terrible. Anyway great post! Thanks! Definitely keep these in mind . . . .

  66. Really informative piece. This was really helpful and answered every question that one could have about the tedious aspects of photography.

  67. Hi Matt!

    I’m so excited to have found this blog! I love international travel and often wonder how I can do it more affordably – your blog has definitely opened my eyes and I have been telling all my friends about it. Thanks for pursuing and sharing your passion!!

  68. Thanks Matt. Looking into investing in the new mirror less camera sometime soon.

    Also praying I win the contest, hehe!

    Cheers,
    Hassan The Travel Guru

  69. Love your input. You’re totally right… can’t get the best out of your camera if you don’t take the time to use it. My go-to is my Canon 5D, which is awesome since I’m a filmmaker and can shoot both video and photos.

  70. Loved the article! How do you feel about 3rd party lenses for smart phones? I was recently in Iceland with a group of creatives and everyone was always doing a combinations of shots – first with their DSLR, but then with their smart phone – for 2 reasons – to mark the geographical location, but also to have something more immediate to share on social media. We all discussed smart phone lenses, but none of us had one. Thanks!

  71. Hi Matt, Great article! Am surprised to hear you travel with so many cameras! I have a Canon 5D MKIV and am absolutely loving it at the moment. In due course, I’m hoping to upgrade to the mirror-less system. Your article has some good pointers and will help with the decision. Thank you :)

  72. Hi,
    What do you think about Tamron’s 18-400 lens? I’m not a huge photographer but I figured that this is super versatile as it has the huge range….

    Secondly, assuming that tripods weigh around 1kg, are they worth it when backpacking?

    Thanks.

  73. Hi Matt! I just bought the Sony A7ii, and am curious, do you ever take prime lenses when travelling? I’ve seen some amazing travel pictures taken with Sony primes. Amazing blog, keep up the great work!

  74. Great article! I’d also consider MFT – micro four-thirds is a very compact size factor and the quality is pretty high. If I didn’t already have a D800, I’d get a GH5 or G85 myself. Keep up the good work.

  75. I currently have a DSLR (Nikon D3300), but I find it cumbersome to travel with. I tend to use my iPhone for many shots out of convienience. I’ll definitely be considering some of these options. I recently moved to Colorado, so I’m hoping to get a GoPro in order to capture my adventures around the state (hiking, kayaking etc)! Great post, it was super informative!

  76. Great giveaway Matt! Thanks for sharing! Fingers crossed! Have you seen or used the Nikon coolpix P900 83x before? It has a zoom world record. I bet that one is pretty cool. Cheers, wherever you are my friend!

  77. Hey Matt,

    This was wonderful article as usual. I have been following your blogs since long. I have a Canon 800d. I would never recommend anyone to use for travelling and making youtube videos as I find it bulky. Unfortunately this was the only option when I checked quality and budget. I am seriously thinking of replacing it with other camera which can be useful for regular travelling backpacking. Your article explained in detail thanks again. Keep travelling and exploring. Hope to meet you some day once I start my abroad expedition.

  78. I’m heading off by bicycle from London to Beijing in 2018 and am thinking of changing my camera so this post comes at a good time for me! I currently have a Sony HX200V, which is a fixed lens DSLR.

  79. I think Fujifilm X-T2 is my favorite camera. It take excellent quality pictures and it has a good price as well. Weather sealed too… to a certain extent :)

  80. Great article! I love how many cameras and options you discuss. What would you recommend for the Northern Lights? I’ve got a Nikon and am considering a wide angle lens with fast aperture; any recommendations of tips?
    Good luck!

  81. I spent a few years traveling and taking lots of pictures. One of the most important camera features for travel photography (to me) that you didn’t mention is the ability to use the Wifi to shoot remotely from a smartphone. This way you can frame yourself in the shot a lot easier. Paired with a tripod and you can take some excellent pictures of yourself with less trial and error. I’ve mostly used Sony’s PlayMemories version on my A6000, but have also used Canon’s version on their SX700 HS. Both are excellent.

    If I could do it all over again I would hands down opt for a versatile point and shoot (or two) over an interchangeable lens camera.

    I was also a fan of wifi for transferring photos. When traveling around Europe for 3 months I traveled with only my camera and iPad mini 3. I could easily transfer the images over the wifi and edit them on Lightroom Mobile then post them to wherever, cutting out my hefty MacBook Pro and its power cord from my backpack.

  82. Great comparison article especially as travel use cameras. I tend to immediately go to my smart phone camera and forget that I have a Sony a6000 sitting at home. My wife or I should take a class on it so we are comfortable with it. I am sure we will enjoy photography much more.

  83. Wow this was quite informative, if I dont win the gopro Ill try to save up and buy one because it looks and sounds like a must have!

  84. I just entered and my browser led me somewhere else while I was trying to share with Facebook. I had to log back in and I mistakenly resigned up and I do’t want to make it look like I signed up twice. Anyways I love your blog, and I hope I win your package.

  85. We used my iPhone 7+ with the dual lens on our trip to the Alaskan interior earlier this year and it was great for what it was, but you have me thinking about what I want to capture in the future! Great info!

  86. Thanks for sharing all of this info. It is good to know there are different affordable options for newbies and photography pros. Also good to know that you consider the iphone 7 a good option! I thought I was the only one!

  87. I am your one of the biggest fan. I always check your posts which inspire me all the time. Hope to be a great traveller like you one day!

    I had Canon but this time I am thinking about buying a Sony. Here this article helped me about it. Thank you!

  88. Hey my name is Sachin, I was a chemical engineer before but I love travel and Photography. So I have quit my job recently. Right now I have a cannon 1300 d , kit lens , should I continue my journey with this much only, and I am very inspired by your blogs. My Instagram I’d is saclorine.

  89. Thanks for these tips! I’ve been using a Canon 70D for a couple of years and it gets the job done, but is heavy. I do a lot of mountain climbing and adventure travel so something more lightweight seems appropriate. Perhaps the GoPro is the way to go!

  90. Have you tried any of the other action camera’s on the market? I’ve seen YouTube comparisons with the quality to be similar of a GoPro for under $100.

  91. In your opinion – What’s the best overall lens for Travel photography, something that is versatile with both scenery and people?

  92. Hey Matt!

    Great Social Media Event & nice post, thanx for sharing.

    Sony A6000 can be alternative to A6500 (for just photography ofc.)

    See you on road!

  93. I use my Nikon D3200 but have been looking for an additional option that is easier to take everywhere with me. A GoPro would be perfect!
    Thanks for the article, it is a great source of information! I keep hearing more and more good things about the mirrorless cameras available now.

  94. This has been so helpful, I’ve been struggling to find a camera that is good for the job, lightweight and good for me. I love the way you write and are passionate about photography. Thank you!

  95. Been following you for sometime and always trust your gear reocommendations, thank you! I’m getting ready to embark on my first hiking/backpacking/extended travel trip and a new camera was on my list of things to get. Thank you for sharing your expert opinion! I’m leaning towards the Sony A7 II :) happy travels!

  96. Hi, I am travelling with my kids and have the blog decanaplanina.com (kidsonmauntain). In the past I was using my Nikon 70D for taking pictures, but with the time I realized that making adventure trips with kids is something where you can’t afford to spend time on picture settings (if you want the kids to survive :-)
    No I am using my Samsung Galaxy S8+ for 90% of the cases outside. It makes great pictures during the day and excellent videos. My Nikon I am taking when more adults are with me to take care of the kids.

  97. Thanks for the helpful atricle! I will Go Go Thailand soon and was looking for a good travel Cam. I think i have found it now :)

  98. Very useful article 😊 thanks! I’m still looking for the best camera for myself and opting for the Sony a6000 as it’s in my budget. I see that you are using Sony too. Would Sony be your first pick if you would have to choose only one camera to use?

  99. Great article! I personally use Nikon D90 as my travel camera. Together with my Sigma F2.8 wide zoom lens and Nikkor F1.8 portrait lens its a perfect combination. Would love to have an action sports camera and a drone one day!

  100. Should I get a Telephoto? I have Wide angle and Kit lens? I am not pro along with My day job I do travel and love taking photos.
    I own Nikon D5200 and have been using it for 4 years now.

  101. We’ve been using our phones for travel pics and as you say they are great backups, but of course battery life is always an issue. Thanks for the reviews. If I don’t win the giveaway, I know what to ask for from Santa. By the way, when will the contest be held?

  102. Great post! I use the RX100 V as well and love it! I also just bought the a6500 with two lenses and I’m super excited! I have yet to get a drone but that will come later.

  103. Super cool giveaway Matt! I use an Olympus mirrorless for our travel photos. I drooled over the Sony’s but I was in Sydney on a trip during Dec. and there was a huge 40% discount on the Olympus+Zoomlens combo that swayed me that direction. ;) Anyways, would love to add a GoPro session to my kit…so crossing my fingers! It was a Happy Thanksgiving this year, hoping it’s an even happier Christmas! ;)

  104. Thanks for this article. I have been reading up on a variety of cameras to use while traveling. I have a Nikon DSL, but it weighs too much for me when I go out traveling around. I have a Nikon CoolPix which I take with me due to it being rugged and I can upload pictures to my site easily and it is lightweight and small. But I want something more. I feel the urge to expand. I have looked into buying GoPro, but I hold back due to the cost of the accessories even though I like the small size, waterproof, and video.
    I also use an iPad to shoot with as I travel.
    So many choices, but cannot find the perfect one to meet all of my needs. Reminds me of when I was shopping for strollers- I ended up with several different ones in order to meet the multitude of travel needs!

  105. Great advice! I’m thinking about making the switch to Mirrorless thanks for the info! Also I was wondering what your advice would be for stabilization for filming?
    *also congratulations on your marriage!

    1. It’s possible! They are getting pretty close. But as smartphone cameras improve, so do the point & shoots.

      The big difference is the image sensor size. A larger sensor will always produce more detailed images, and have better low-light capability. The sensor in a phone can only get so big…

    1. Great post, is the GoPro really useful when you already have a DSLR? I would love one, mostly for action sports or time lapses, which get hard unless you have professional DSLR equipment and should be easy with a GoPro. But I’m still trying to picture myself when exactly I would need it the most…