Our Expert Guide to the BEST Travel Cameras in 2024

We’ve spent years working as professional travel photographers, and are proud to have put together this definitive guide to the best travel cameras in 2024 for every budget, based on actual hands-on experience.

One of the best souvenirs you can bring home from your adventures abroad is photographs.

As the old saying goes, pictures are worth a thousand words, and nothing brings back the excitement and thrill of holiday memories quite like looking back at your photos.

These days almost everybody has a decent camera in their pocket, thanks to the wonders of modern smartphones. And while these are fine for the average person, if you really want great image quality, you’re going to have to invest in something better.

People say, “It’s not the camera that takes good photos, it’s the photographer”, and this is completely true. Yet there’s a reason professionals use expensive gear – they are better for the job.

Never fear though, that doesn’t mean you need to go out and spend $10k on a set-up! Definitely not.

Church Of The Good Shepherd Best Travel Camera
You don’t need an expensive camera to take good travel photos. But they do allow you to take your photography to the next level. All image credit in this article belongs to NOMADasaurus.

In fact this article is going to save you time and money by diving straight into the best travel camera for every budget.

So why listen to us?

We’ve been working as professional travel photographers for almost a decade, and have been fortunate enough to put hundreds of cameras to the test during our career.

Based on our personal experience, we’ve been able to narrow down the absolute top choice in every category.

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or professional, or even if you know nothing at all, we’ll help you make the right choice so you don’t waste your money getting something that just isn’t up to the job.

READ MORE: Check out our comprehensive guide on how to take better travel photos.

Let’s dive into our comprehensive guide for the best camera for travel photography.

What is the Best Travel Camera in 2024?

Without further ado, let’s get into the article!

Disclaimer – NOMADasaurus is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

GoPro HERO12 Black – The Best Action Camera

Action cameras have come a long way since we bought our first one back in 2010.

They used to be reserved just for people who were into extreme sports – skiing, skydiving, motocross, scuba diving, etc.

Now they have become one of the top travel cameras on the market thanks to their durability, compact size and high quality.

The good ones shoot in at least 4K video (this one though actually goes up to 5.3k), are completely waterproof and even connect to your phone so can take great photos from any angle.

They also shoot time-lapse photography, which is great if you’re catching an epic sunrise or particularly busy urban scene.

Even if you are not interested in jumping off of cliffs or mountain biking through a jungle, having an action compact camera is still a brilliant tool to have in your suitcase.

They are especially awesome if you’re looking for the best cameras for adventure travel.

Our Recommendation

The undisputed king of action sports cameras is GoPro, and we’ve been proudly using them for over 13 years.

These epic cameras have insane image quality and shoot some remarkable video. They’re also extremely durable, waterproof and fit in your pocket.

Adding to the GoPro series is a huge range of accessories that makes getting footage limited by only your imagination.

Check out our brand new GoPro HERO12 Black review to see if it’s right for you!

Different mounts allow you to put them just about anywhere, extension poles get unique angles (perfect for selfies), you can stick a GoPro on a tripod and there are even filters available.

We’ve had just about every GoPro camera since the original HERO was released, and we’re super excited to share that the newest one on the market is by far the best ever.

Their latest camera is the GoPro HERO12 Black, following hot off the heels of the successful HERO11 (click the link to read our review of it), and it’s risen the bar once again.

When the HERO7 came out they introduced a number of revolutionary features, such as HyperSmooth (in-built image stabilisation), TimeWarp (awesome hyper-lapse videos) and SuperPhoto (HDR photos on steroids).

The HERO9 added a front-facing LCD screen, which really stepped things up a notch, especially for vloggers.

The HERO10 brought in the new GP2 processor, which made everything work, well, just better.

The HERO11 went bonkers with a brand new larger sensor, 10-bit colour and all new aspect ratio.

And now with the HERO12 the company has gone and made everything more refined with a host of new features and upgraded battery life.

Gopro Hero 12 Black Camera For Travel
Underwater shooting straight out of camera, captured on the GoPro HERO12 Black.

Boasting the fantastic GP2 processor, 1/1.9″ sensor and 8:7 aspect ratio, the latest GoPro HERO12 Black now has HDR video to go along with the expert camera settings.

The massive aspect ratio gives more room to crop, so you can shoot in one perspective and scale later for portrait social media content or landscape YouTube videos.

The camera shoots in 5.3k 60 frames per second, 4k at 120fps and 2.7k at a whopping 240fps (8x slow motion), which also allowing for 27 megapixel screen grabs when using 5.3k on the full 8:7 ratio.

The stabilization is even better with HyperSmooth 6.0 (in-built horizon levelling up to 360 degrees), TimeWarp 4.0 allows to switch between hyper-lapse, real-time and slow-mo recording in the same video with a tap of the screen, and the SuperPhoto has improved HDR abilities.

The screens are still very responsive and look excellent.

SuperPhoto for photographers, in particular, means you can point and shoot, and barely have to edit before uploading to social media. Although we still recommend shooting in RAW for the pros out there.

This article talks more about how to take better GoPro photos, written by a pro.

For the purists out there, the GoPro HERO12 shoots in RAW format for all photo modes.

There is still voice activation and the entire unit is waterproof to 10m, meaning there is no need for a dive housing if you’re not going below that depth.

Also the all-new Night Effects modes are really awesome. Who would have thought you could capture light trails and the Milky Way on such a tiny camera?

For the video gurus out there the HERO12 is a gimbal killer. What does that mean? It means HyperSmooth 6.0 is on another level.

The HERO7 stabilisation was amazing for vlogging and action sports, as was the HERO8 and 9, but after testing the new HERO12, the stabilisation is even better again. Don’t know how they do it, but they do! And it works at 4K at 120fps, TimeWarp and live streaming!

Want slow motion? How does 2.7k at 240FPS sound? Buttery smooth, that’s for sure.

Whereas in previous models they had White, Silver and Black models, the HERO12 only has a Black model.

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Canon Powershot SX740HS – The Best Affordable Camera

If you want a dedicated camera that is cheap and still takes decent photos then you really are spoiled for choice.

We’ve personally owned a whole range of different brands in this range, from Canon to Fuji to Olympus to Sony, and with the way the best travel camera market is now if you’re not fussy about the brand you get, then you can’t really go wrong. But let us explain what you’ll need.

You’ll basically be looking for a small point and shoot, something that is foolproof and most importantly quite durable. Having a big zoom range is a big bonus so you can crop right in on different scenes.

The ability to use manual settings will come in handy if you ever want to play around and learn a bit more about how photography works.

And you want something affordable so that you won’t be overly worried if you lose it (just make sure you backup your photos).

Our Recommendation

The Canon Powershot SX720HS was a hugely successful compact camera, and Canon backed it up with the amazing SX730HS to become the best budget travel camera.

But like all good camera companies, Canon has stepped it up a notch again by bringing out the newest model in the range, the SX740HS.

This great little travel camera does it all, and for the price, it is the best travel zoom camera out there.

40x optical zoom, manual settings, shoots in 4K video, good color grading, and it is one of the better compact cameras out there.

It also has wifi so you can transfer photos straight to your phone or laptop without plugging it in, or control the camera from your phone. Perfect for the general traveler who just wants something to take decent photos with on their trip.

It also has a large articulated screen, so you can angle your shots perfectly, whether you’re shooting from the ground or above the head.

A few more updates over the SX730HS is an improved small sensor, meaning better low light capabilities, and faster burst shooting, cementing its position as the best budget camera for travelling.

Canon Sx740Hs

READ MORE: Check out our latest guide on the best camera accessories!

Sony RX100 vii – The Best Compact Camera for Travel

This is the next level up. You still want the portability and benefits of having a point and shoot, but you want to take incredible photos too.

You’re interested in learning about the fundamentals of photography, and perhaps want to one day print your photos or maybe put them up online. Ultimately you’re after the best pocket camera for travel.

Here are the things you’ll need: Full manual control, a decent size sensor, zoom, high-quality video, flip screen (so you can shoot from different angles while still framing your shot), ability to shoot in RAW format, good ISO performance and a wide aperture.

This is the category that most people will be in. So if you’re asking yourself what is the best compact digital camera for traveling, read on…

READ MORE: Check out our comprehensive guide to the best landscape photography tips!

Our Recommendation

This is, in our opinion, the best point and shoot camera for travel on the market. It does everything you’ll ever need it to do and has incredible image quality in a premium compact size.

Sony have completely revolutionized the market with the RX100 range, and with each update it just gets better and better.

Without a doubt there’s no better option for the best compact camera for travel out there than the Sony RX100 vii right now.

The Mark 7 has a very long zoom range (8.6x optical, up from 3.6x optical, which is like having a 24-200mm lens), an amazing 20mp one-inch sensor to capture huge dynamic range, high quality 4K video and an articulating flip screen.

It’s an expensive camera, yes, but if you want the absolute best quality on the market in a small, compact unit that fits in your pocket, this is the best travel camera out right now.

BONUS TIP – If you want to create travel vlogs and have a decent camera for photography too, this is the model for you!

Sony Rx100Vii

Canon G7X Mark iii – Best Camera for Vlogging

Vlogging is the newest craze, and it’s quite literally taking over as the new digital media of choice for many travelers and influencers.

If making videos is more your style instead of taking photos, then you’re going to want to look at a camera that has a range of specific features.

Most importantly is the ability to shoot in 4K (even if not many people have 4K monitors today, in a few years it will be common and you’re going to want to have footage to match the current standard).

Once you’ve got this another handy feature is an articulated LCD screen that can face you while you’re talking in the lens.

This allows you to frame your shot instead of cutting off half your head. Lastly you’ll want a microphone jack to catch better audio.

Get the camera, start filming and put some great videos up on YouTube! Sounds easy, right? But what is the best travel camera for vlogging…

Our Recommendation

We’ve used more vlogging cameras than we can remember, from full-frame setups to GoPros and even putting to the test the brand new Sony ZV-1F.

But what have we settled on?

The Canon G7X Mark ii has always been considered the ultimate travel camera for vlogging, but it fell short in a few different categories.

That’s all changed now with the newest upgrade, the G7X Mark iii.

Shooting fantastic 4k video, this travel camera now has an in-built microphone jack for improved audio, a flip-up touchscreen for keeping your face in frame, and has a faster start-up time than previously.

The image quality is also much better now, and with manual control functions it really is a premium compact travel camera.

Canon G7Xiii

Sony A6600 – Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel

You’ve broken out of the realm of standard point and shoots, and you’re looking for a camera that has interchangeable lenses.

You’re getting into the idea of shooting wide, or perhaps portrait shots. Maybe you really would like to get a longer zoom.

Most of all, you really want to get serious about photography.

In your kit will be a range of lenses for a range of situations. You can look at getting filters to give beautiful effects on your shots. You might even want to start growing your photography portfolio.

A few years ago everyone would have recommended you to get an entry-level DSLR. This is no longer the case.

With the way mirrorless technology has gone DSLRs are losing traction and popularity. Now you can get something with the same image quality for half the size.

Torres Del Paine National Park Views
Mountain views of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. Taken on a Sony A6300.

Our Recommendation

The Sony A6600 is an absolute powerhouse and puts up a good fight for being the ultimate travel camera.

For entry-level mirrorless cameras, Sony broke the mould by introducing the A6000 a few years ago. Since then every model has been lightyears ahead of the competition.

The latest A6600 is their newest offering, and for a compact camera, it is seriously next level.

It boasts one of the fastest autofocus capabilities of any camera on the market, an improved APS-C sensor capable of high-level video and great image quality, a touch-enabled articulating LCD screen and excellent electronic viewfinder.

The range of lenses available for this Sony mirrorless camera is huge, and manages to cover all bases for whether you want to shoot 4K video or take images that you can sell to magazines.

Sony A6600
Bonus: Recommended Lenses For Sony A6600

You can really get away with the standard lenses that come in most kits, but there are a couple of exceptions that you could splurge out for.

All Sony E mount lenses will fit onto the Sony A6XXX series (including the spectacular full-frame range, with a crop factor).

So if you are ever considering an upgrade to full frame and want to buy some new lenses for your APS-C sensor, you can fork out the money early and still use your lenses later on.

Best Wide Angle Lens

There’s really only one option in this range, and it’s the brilliant 10-18mm F4. To this day one of the best photos we’ve seen taken of the Petronas Towers was taken with a Sony A6000 (older model) and this lens.

Best Portrait Lens

The Sony 50mm F1.8 is a great choice for a native portrait lens. It’s light, fast and cheap. 

The quality is decent without being amazing, but it definitely does a wonderful job for what you pay for.

Otherwise step up to the FE 55mm F1.8 (read about it below), although this will give you a 85mm perspective on the APS-C sensor.

Best Zoom Lens

Keeping with the affordable and light range that makes for great travel camera lenses, we recommend the Sony 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3.

For the amateur and hobbyist photographer, this will do just about everything you need and is a solid lens to have in your kit.

Humpback Whales Breaching
4 humpback whales breach in Antarctica. Taken on the Sony A6300.

Sony A7iv – Best Professional Camera for Travel Photography

If you’re like us and want to make capturing the absolute best images of your travels a priority, then you’ll be looking at a professional range of travel cameras.

Following on from the discussion on mirrorless vs DSLR above, you’ll get many professional photographers who choose to stick to cameras like the Canon 6D or 5D series, or the Nikon D750 or D810.

These are legendary cameras in the industry, and with the enormous range of lenses available for each one, there’s a reason the best in the business use them.

But, we’re talking about travel cameras. And for this, we recommended sticking to mirrorless. 

Full frame DSLRs are big and heavy, whereas their equivalent in mirrorless are a fraction of the size.

If you have decided you want to take the leap to a full frame sensor and want to be rocking the best mirrorless camera for travel, then you have only two choices.

READ MORE: But you need to carry everything, right? Here’s our new expert guide to the best camera backpacks on the market today!

Our Recommendation

Sony was the first major camera producer to create a full frame mirrorless camera, and while Canon has finally caught up, Sony has years of research and development on their side.

The Sony A7 series is almost flawless. Fantastic image quality, 4K video capabilities (on the A7R, A7S and the A7iv), articulating LCD screens, wifi, light, compact and a whole range of native lenses available for it makes them the absolute best cameras for traveling.

And with the Metabones adaptors you can even use your old Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Samyang or other type of lenses on it.

As of 2024, Sony’s top cameras are the A1, A7iv, A7Siii, A7Rv and the A9ii. Now while the A9ii, A7Rv and A1 are absolute beasts of cameras, the truth is you most likely don’t need all the features they have.

We currently own the A7iv and A7Rv, and for professional travel photography, they are the best on the market.

The image quality is superb and the dynamic range is insane. The low light capabilities are also amazing. Even at ISO 12800, there’s barely any noise that shows up on the shot compared to a compact camera.

We personally recommend the A7iv as the best travel camera out there, as it’s just damn near perfect, especially as a hybrid photo and video camera.

4K video with 60fps, a lightning-fast autofocus system, joystick control, touch screen, fast processor, upgraded full frame sensor and amazing battery life.

If you’re the kind of person that loves to blow up their images for print, or does a lot of cropping when you edit your shots, then that’s the only reason you’ll want to step up to the A7Rv, as it has a 62mp sensor.

But wait – isn’t the brand new Sony A7Rv the best in class right now? Yes, it is. However, while it is absolutely incredible and takes things up another notch, it’s quite expensive and the megapixel count is likely not something you need..

Instead we recommend that you save your money on the body, put what’s left over towards some lenses, and get the A7iv be your go to camera for travel photography.

Sony A7Iv
Bonus: Recommended Lenses for Sony A7iv

If you’re going for the Sony A7 series, we’ve got some bad news for you. Full frame lenses are expensive.

But if you’re considering turning your photography hobby into a profession, then this is a small sacrifice to make for the quality of photos you’ll be taking.

Trust us, if you’re buying the best camera for travel photography on the market, you’ll want to also have the best lenses to go with it.

The great thing with the Sony Alpha series is that their lenses are all interchangeable, meaning if you start out with a Sony A6600 and eventually upgrade to a Sony A7iv, you can take your old lenses and put them on the new camera (but it will have a crop factor).

Best All-Round Lens

The new FE 24-105mm f4 lens from Sony is pretty much the best all round travel zoom lens for photography.

It’s damn sharp, and with a constant aperture of f4, it means you can get excellent bokeh and decent low-light performance at any focal length.

This lens practically lives on our A7iv, as it’s so versatile, great for video and the image quality is fantastic.

Best Wide Angle Lens

The Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GM lens is one of the best wide angle lenses on the market, and when you throw it on your travel camera, you’re almost guaranteed to get fantastic shots.

Pretty much every review on photography sites raves about it, and having owned it for over three years now, we completely agree.

It’s not cheap, but to have such a fast and wide native lens for the Sony setup is pretty epic! If you want a cheaper alternative, check out the 16-35mm f4, which is also very good.

Amir Timur Mausoleum
Amir Timur’s mausoleum in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Taken on the A7Riii with 16-35mm f/2.8 GM lens.
Best Prime Lens

If you are into portrait or street photography make sure you get the FE 55mm F1.8 prime lens.

It’s very fast, very light and very sharp. And with such a good value, it may be the best prime lens that Sony makes (excluding the high-end GM series).

Best Zoom Lens

Owning a telephoto lens isn’t just about taking photos of wildlife or zooming in on things that are far away from you. It adds a whole new creative element known as lens compression to your arsenal.

This is the optical illusion that happens when the further you zoom into something, the bigger the background appears.

You start to get this effect from around 100mm and on, so if you’re looking for the best zoom lens to put on your Sony A7iv, consider the 70-200 f2.8 GMii lens, or the 100-400mm GM lens.

We have both of these zoom lenses, and we love love love them!

DJI Mavic Air 2 – The Best Drone for Travel

Aerial photography has gained in popularity over the last two years, and it’s easy to see why. 

Not that long ago the only way to get photos from the sky was by taking a chartered flight or helicopter.

But today just about anyone can go out, buy a drone and start taking shots from very unique angles.

The appeal is obvious. Capturing epic photos and video of landscapes from a perspective that few have ever seen before.

From the moment we bought our first drone (a DJI Phantom 4) we fell in love with it.

Good drones up until now have always been quite prohibitive when it comes to travel due to their bulky size.

The DJI Phantom series helped make it more accessible for most people, but even then it was still a commitment to travel with one.

Today the best drone for travel has finally been determined.

Sunset Vibes Coron
Sunset vibes in Coron, Philippines. Take on the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.

Our Recommendation

The DJI Mavic series is what you should be looking for when considering a travel drone.

With foldable legs and compact size, they tick all the boxes for portability.

There are a few different models to consider, and it really depends on your needs.

If you’re a professional, we recommend the DJI Mavic 2 Pro, thanks to its 1-inch Hasselblad Sensor and 360-degree collision avoidance.

But just announced is the Mavic Air 2, and with features like 48-megapixel photo mode, panorama capabilities and 4k video, it’s the best option for anybody trying to take travel photos from the air on their next trip.

Its small size and great value makes it perfect for travel, but one thing to consider is the fixed focal length, meaning you can’t zoom in to take photos.

Note – With whatever drone you buy we highly recommend buying extra batteries. You’ll be surprised how quickly you chew through these. Check out the bundle packages from DJI (called ‘Fly More’ on the Mavics).

Dji Mavic Air 2

GoPro Max – Best 360 Travel Camera

With virtual reality becoming more and more popular, it might be no surprise that one of the best travel cameras for 2024 is actually a 360-degree camera!

These incredible little devices come with multiple cameras on one piece, managing to capture an entire scene in one shot in both photos and high definition video.

When they first came out they were very poor quality, but now they’ve improved enough that we actually travel with one full-time now.

360 cameras became popular when the Chinese company Insta360 started to bring out their affordable options, but the image quality was always pretty poor.

Then GoPro stepped onto the scene with the Fusion, and it changed the industry forever.

With all the standard great features GoPro is known for, such as being waterproof, having awesome connectivity and packing it all into compact cameras, the Fusion took things to the next level.

It did require a bit of work to use though, and the stitching wasn’t great. Plus with two SD card slots required to save media, it was just that bit too cumbersome for most photographers.

Cue the Max!

Our Recommendation

The GoPro Max took the best parts of all their cameras and threw it together into one unit with this one.

The Max, with its dual lenses on either side of the body, now uses just one SD card, making storage and management so much easier, and it has a touch LCD screen that can be used on the go.

For people looking for travel cameras that can do it all, it doesn’t just shoot in 360-degree mode.

There is their ultra-wide single perspective, and for having a small sensor, the low light shots are surprisingly good.

If you’re a travel vlogger you’ll be amazed at the quality of this! The inbuilt microphones do a great job at picking up audio while cutting out background noise, and the battery life is great.

It shoots at 5.6k video quality and 30 frames per second. You can change the pitch, yaw, field of view and angles to get the view you desire.

Even more unique, it can create 360 time-lapses and hyper lapses with a simple click. No need to pull it up in a program like Adobe Premiere Pro to make your videos any more!

Best of all it connects seamlessly to your smartphone using the GoPro app, so you can do all your editing, sticking and keyframing on the go.

When it comes to a travel camera that tries to do it all, this one is hard to beat.

Gopro Max

That concludes our list of the best cameras for traveling. Let us know if you have any other recommendations, or if you use any of these cameras while traveling the world!

How to Choose the Best Camera for Travel 

No matter what level you are, the first piece of kit you are going to need to buy is the camera.

This can range from a cheap point-and-shoot right up to a top-of-the-line DSLR that can cost as much as a small car.

A quick visit to a camera store can leave you feeling completely overwhelmed with all the choices.

Keep on scrolling to find detailed information about each of these, and why they really are the best cameras for travel.

READ MORE: See what made the cut as the best travel tripod on the market in our expert guide!

What Features to Look for in a Travel Camera

There’s a number of different features that you need to look for when searching for the best travel camera to buy, based on your needs.

Size and Weight

The first thing to look out for is how big and heavy a camera is.

When you’re on the road traveling, weight and space is a huge issue to overcome. You don’t want to be lugging around a heavy backpack full of gear if you don’t have to.

If you’re not a pro or a big enthusiast, we recommend checking out a compact camera or mirrorless camera, as they are smaller and more portable, while also providing decent image quality.


One thing that camera companies and salespeople like to preach about is megapixels. But what exactly does that mean?

A pixel is a tiny dot of color that you see on your computer or phone display. A megapixel is 1 million (actually 1,048,576 to be technically correct)  of those dots. So ‘24 megapixels’ so about 24 million dots of color

You may hear that more megapixels equal better quality photos, but this isn’t entirely true.

The sensor has more to do with image quality than the resolution does, but it does play a small part.

In short don’t get caught up about more buying a camera with more megapixels, unless you’re planning on printing your images on billboards.

Instead just use this guide to the best travel cameras to find out exactly what is the best choice you can afford.

Cook Islands Palm Tree Tropical Water Best Travel Camera
Having a decent travel camera allows you to capture the best memories of your vacations.

Interchangeable Lenses

One thing to consider when looking at the best travel camera is whether or not you can change the lens.

The reason this is important is that it gives you more choices down the road if you decide you want to get into different styles of photography.

A compact travel camera is most likely a fixed lens, meaning that whatever zoom range it comes with you can’t change.

A camera that you can change the lens on will let you upgrade to wide-angle lenses, a zoom lens, better maximum aperture options for low light performance, etc.

In general, if you can afford a mirrorless camera or DSLR, it’s worth buying.

Manual Settings

A camera that allows you to change the manual settings gives you complete control over things like aperture, ISO and shutter speed.

This opens up a whole new world of creativity, and in our opinion, you shouldn’t consider a camera that doesn’t have this feature.

Luckily every recommendation on this list allows you to control those settings, even the GoPro HERO camera below!

4K Video

It’s 2024 – make sure you get a camera that can shoot 4K video!

This provides much higher resolution when shooting video, and even if you don’t have a 4K monitor at home, you can always take that clip and watch it in high definition 1080p, or even crop into your footage.

Just beware that 4K video chews up your battery life, so make sure you have some spare ones!


Unless you plan on always being in perfect weather when you travel, it’s a good idea to get a camera that is either waterproof, or has good weather sealing.

Unfortunately you often have to compromise on a waterproof camera or a quality travel camera (unless you buy a GoPro), so we don’t recommend buying a camera that is fully waterproof.

Instead just make sure it has decent sealing, or look at buying an underwater housing if you want to get into underwater photography.


How far you can zoom in on a subject is very important when trying to decide the best travel camera.

If you buy a fixed lens camera, make sure it has a long zoom range, like a Canon Powershot or the Sony RX100vii.

Or if you buy a mirrorless camera or DSLR, you don’t have to worry about this as you can always upgrade later.

Galapagos Sea Lion
Try to get a camera that has a varied zoom range so you can change form wide angle shots (like this one of a Galapagos sea lion) or telephoto shots. Image credit: Alesha Bradford


No matter how steady you think you are, you will almost always have a small amount of camera shake when taking handheld photos.

If you’re shooting at fast shutter speeds, this isn’t a problem. But if you’re photographing in low light, you can end up with motion blur.

Look out for cameras that have inbuilt image stabilization to counter this.

Mirrorless vs DSLR

A DSLR (digital single lens reflex) works by having a mirror inside the camera. When you are looking through the viewfinder the mirror is down, covering the sensor, and you are looking at a reflected scene.

When you push the shutter the mirror flips up mechanically, allowing the image to be exposed onto the sensor, and then onto your SD card. All these moving parts take up room, hence why DSLRs are larger in size.

With mirrorless cameras, there are no moving parts inside. The image comes through the lens and directly onto the sensor.

There is an electronic viewfinder,  meaning you are seeing a digital copy of what you’re pointing the camera at, rather than a live view.

So without a mirror constantly flipping, the camera can be made a lot smaller. That’s why mirrorless cameras can be half the size of a DSLR.

When mirrorless cameras first came out the quality wasn’t that great. Now they are just about on par with DSLRs, and the portability means that they are the best cameras for travel photography!

In case you’re not sure what we mean, this article goes into a bit more information, but in short, we recommend getting a mirrorless camera.

Photos Of Penguins
Alesha taking photos of king penguins in South Georgia on a photography assignment.

What camera do most professional photographers use?

The 3 most popular cameras that pros use are the Canon 5Div, the Nikon D850 and the Sony A7Riv.

What camera is best for travel videos?

For general travel videos, the kind of stuff you would publish on YouTube, we recommend the Sony RX100vii. If you’re looking to create more cinematic videos, the A6600 is the best compact travel camera for videos.

What is the best small camera for travel?

If you need the best small camera for travel, you should buy the Canon SX740HS. Compact, high quality and affordable, this little beast is a fantastic travel camera.

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Alesha and Jarryd

Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award-winning writers and professional photographers behind this blog. We have been travelling the world together since 2008, with a passion for adventure travel and sustainable tourism. Through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. As one of the world's leading travel journalists, our content and adventures have been featured by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, CNN, BBC, Forbes, Business Insider, Washington Post, Yahoo!, BuzzFeed, Channel 7, Channel 10, ABC, The Guardian, and plenty other publications. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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109 thoughts on “Our Expert Guide to the BEST Travel Cameras in 2024”

  1. I’m so glad I found this post! I’ve been looking for a new travel camera that’s both affordable and high-quality, and this list has been incredibly helpful. I’m particularly interested in the Canon PowerShot G7 X III and the Sony RX100 VII, as they seem to offer the perfect balance of portability and image quality. Thanks for doing the research and making it easy for us to find the best travel cameras for our next adventure!

  2. What do you think of the new FX30? I am in between that and the A7IV for travel videography. Leaning towards the fx30 though due to cost savings.

  3. Thanks for sharing. It’s a very informative blog.
    The DSLR camera lenses, now and again called the “eye” of the camera, is seemingly the main part of the camera. The further developed you become, the more you will be gone up against with different specialized terms. Sooner or later, you’ll most likely likewise need to update your lenses past the standard unit form you initially got with your camera.

  4. Thanks a lot for your advice! Now I know which camera I need.

    • Glad you found the article helpful. 🙂

  5. I want to start taking pictures to sell photos. And I also need a professional camera for photos on my site. Thanks for the article, your advice helped me a lot. Now I know how to start

  6. I’m so excited to buy new camera for traveling. Thanks for your article, it’s a big help!

    • Glad the article helped. Happy camera shopping. 🙂

    • Glad we could help. Happy shopping. 🙂

  7. I’m looking for references about best camera for travel. Cause I wanna update my camera.

    This article is so useful, and so inspiring me for buy best camera.

    Thank you for sharing this article! 🙂

  8. awesome list, you put it together very well, i got a Sony A6400 it’s absolutely amazing, it really show in my vlogs.

    • That is so awesome. We love Sony cameras. The quality is awesome. 🙂

  9. Thank you for taking the time to publish this information very usefully!
    used camera lenses

    • Glad it was helpful. Thank you

  10. Another great article, I absolutely LOVE the Vietnamese ladies steaming grain, the way the light interplays with the steam and the subjects is beautiful. I also used to have an RX100 but co-incidentally it was stolen in….Vietnam! I now use an HX60V for snapshots and I’m just learning to use a DSLR so your articles are coming in handy. Keep up the good work.

  11. Now, it’s very easy to carry a camera for a traveler during travel. It is a trend to take the snap-through mobile because mobile is one of the most necessary gadgets for everyone. I have been using my Xiaomi Redmi 4X 3GB 32GB Smartphone during my Tour. It is enough to do photography. I am using other gadgets like mobile camera lenses from Mycooltechonline. A good online store.

  12. I really like fujifilm. I love her more during holidays 🙂

    • So glad you found a camera you love. Happy photographing.

  13. Спасибо за информацию!!!!!

    • Thank you

  14. This is by far one of the best full frame DSLRs that your money can buy (Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera). I’ve owned it now for a year and don’t regret picking it instead of the 5d Mark III. I have 90% of the features of the mark iii and saved a pretty penny.

  15. Just purchased the A7Riii and quite literally cant wait for it to arrive! Also booked myself onto a quick photography refresher course. Thanks for all the helpful information Alesha and Jarryd!

    • Hi Ben, you are welcome. Congratulations. It is an amazing camera. The quality of the photos is insane. There are great YouTube videos for setting up your camera when it comes and also for the video settings too. There are great videos for certain photography too. ie. waterfalls, portraits, animal. This is where we go to sometimes to learn more. Have fun and let us know how is goes. 🙂

  16. Thanks for the insightful article.
    Your selected cameras were too good.
    This blog is unique. I just love it!
    Sony A7Riii is the most interesting one.

    • Thank you so much. We have the A7Riii now and it is amazing. It is not cheap but the quality of the images is sensational. We highly recommend it.

  17. Thanks Alesha And Jarryd for putting together this in-depth guide. It’s very helpful. I’ve been using a GoPro 7 for a couple of months for my travel photos but not loving it. the footage is all but uneditable in my adobe premiere pro. not sure why….looking for resolution for this issue.

    • Hi Paul, not too sure why it would do that. We have had no problem pulling ours up in Final Cut Pro. Have you contacted GoPro about the issue? They would be better and will be able to help you. I hope you find a resolution.

  18. Hi nomadasaurus,
    I’m looking for a compact camera, I use Canon 77D usually but it’s getting bulky and heavy. I’ve researched some of the cameras you’ve listed but most compact ones lack the mic input. What would you recommend for that? I need good video stabilization, mic input, flip up screen and good autofocus. The price isn’t such a concern.
    Thank you!

    • Hi, we once had a Sony A6300 and it had a mic input. We loved videoing on that and it video quality was in 4K. The stabilisation was not too good but the stabilisation in the model up (A6500) is so much better. We wish we got that. We have had some experience with Sony cameras so we can comment on that. If you would like more compact check out the Sony RX100 v (think 6 is out now). All the best and happy shopping.

  19. Your gear is great! I used to travel with more heavy stuff (Sony body, a couple of lenses, etc) but nowadays I try to avoid having too much equipment. In fact, I decided to travel as light as possible and to master one focal length. For the last 15 months, I’m having only my Ricoh GR ii with me and nothing else. Sure, sometimes I miss having extra lenses, but to be honest I feel so much better traveling light. The Ricoh weighs slightly more than 250 grams and it proved to be an ideal companion for my journeys. Unfortunately, its video capabilities are below average. If the new edition is capable of high-quality video, I will upgrade and I will keep traveling with just a 28mm lens.

  20. dude im gonna asking something about recomended camera for diving
    im going to dive this long christmas weekend
    i got budget about 300$ but im kinda confused cause theres a lot of g-pro wanna be from chinesse market thats very cheap?
    should i bought go-pro or can u recomended other option?

    ty b4 tho

    • There are not many good cameras for diving under $300. Your best bet is to maybe look for a second hand GoPro. We always use GoPros for diving and they are great.

  21. Thanks so much for taking the time to write and so glad you found our article helpful. Wishing you a wonderful time. Best,

    • Glad we could help. Thank you

  22. Thank you for the great insights. We are planning a 6 weeks tour through Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia and I am thinking about getting a waterproof camera (both for the humidity and also for some snorkeling). Any thoughts about the Nikon Coolpix W300? We are not going into deep water, so maybe the Panasonic Lumix FT7 / TS7 is a better choice? Your opinion would be highly appreciated.

  23. I will choose the Sony A6300. It will help me to have the best shots of my travels

    • That’s a great camera. You will get great shots. 🙂

  24. Nice list! Actually am planning to take Canon G7X as it is one of the best camera. Great picture quality and handy to use. Would be better if canon could have provided better battery life. Need recharging battery after about 1 hr of use including video recordings.
    Otherwise for performance it is a great camera.

    • Sounds like a great camera Matt. We are glad you are happy with it.

  25. Great list. Looks like we need The Mavic 2 Pro. Thanks for the extra battery tip.

    • Thank you so much. Drones are great fun and you get great footage from them. They are great to have but please obey the rules as it destroys it for everyone. Happy flying

  26. Hello nomadasaurus,
    Looking for a good digital video camera to record high school basketball for a team without breaking the bank. Any recommendations?

    • Hi Marria, A small compact camera that is great for recording is a Sony RX100v or the Canon G7X. It will all depend on your budget though. All the best

  27. Hello Alesha and Jarryd,
    Thanks a lot for your informative post. I love travel vlogging, and I usually make use of my iphone 7, but I would like to start using a camcorder or camera now. I’m looking for one that is reliable and produces quality hd videos and in the $300 – $400 price range. I’m using it mainly for personal every day vlogs and would occasionally upload on youtube or my blog, what would you recommend? Thank you. Also for any of your recommendations, would it also be able to take good pictures?

    • For something that takes great photos and great video $300 – 400 maybe a a bit of a low budget. Check out the Sony RX range, Sony 6300 or Canon G7X. All the best and good luck camera hunting

  28. Hi what are your thoughts on the Olympus Tough T-5.

    • Not too sure. We have never used one. Maybe check out the internet for others reviews on the Olympus Tough T-%.

  29. Absolutely cool article! I own Nikon D90 by myself but I see that it’s high time to upgrade my gear kit. Heard a lot of positive reviews on Mavic Air and GoPro is a must nowadays if you wanna your photos look like eye-catching.

    • Thanks for your comment Elis. All the best with the upgrade. The Mavic Air is definitely a better size for travelling.

  30. thing about the mavic air that i hate is that the camera can’t rotate into portrait mode. a use that a lot for aerial landscapes with the mavic pro and in testing the mavic air i really missed the feature. the workaround is to use the vertical pano feature and crop in post, but that’s just extra steps. the smaller size is definitely a plus though. currently i’m always torn on which one to bring on trips.

    • We heard you with the size. It is so much more convenient with travel than our Phantom 4. Definitely a bummer about the portrait mode. Maybe this may be an option with the next upgraded Mavic Air.

  31. The best camera for me, is always the one that you can quickly grab and shoot, especially when you are presented with the perfect moment. It could be a professional camera, or your camera phone, whichever you can grab fast and shoot. New phones nowadays, have become more powerful, and yet they’re only in the mid range cost. Professional cameras on the other hand can give you a wider range in terms of camera lenses. So, in all honesty, it really is up to you and your style. Do you prefer camera you can just grab quick and shoot, or something that you can take a shot even from a far? awesome article! I love it!

    • Real do agree with you Bethzy “the best camera in the world is the one you have with you”

    • Totally agree Bethzy. Photography is different for everyone. Some shoot on the phones and some have professional camera. Thank you so much.

  32. It’s really interesting to read! I just find out best cameras for travel.
    It ’s too good! Really had a great time.
    Is it Sony RX100V camera best for the travel?

    • It is a great compact camera with manual setting. It is definitely a great quality travel camera. We loved travelling with the older model RX100ii and loved the quality of our shots. I can only imagine Sony has made their cameras better. 🙂

      • Thank you so much

  33. I personally use Canon G7 X for my travel. But I have face some problem. That’s why I want to buy Sony A6300. Can you personally suggest me on this!


    • Hi Harris, how are you? Personally we have never used the Canon G7X for an extent amount of time. We have borrowed our mates and had no issues at the time.

      What are you using the camera for? If you are using the camera for mainly video then the A6300 screen doesn’t turn to face you. So it can get a little annoying not knowing if you are in focus or not. We used to have the Sony R100ii and loved it. The screen doesn’t turn on that either but I thing the RX100v does. It is compact, has manual settings and is a great camera. If it is for general photography with a bit of videoing, then the A6500 would be better. The A6300 does not have stabilisation and we regret not spending a little more for that as we do mainly video on our A6300. We shoot all our photos on our Sony A7ii.
      We do love our A6300 but you definitely need a tripod for filming. It shoots in 4k too which is also a great feature.
      All the best.

  34. Hey guys, i guess this is one of the finest travel articles written in its own niche, superb articulation & attention to specifics. Looking forward to such great content & inspiration.
    Now i know to filter out my camera for travel. (phew). One of the most intriguing aspect of travelers is the type of camera they should carry to capture the whole place. This blog answers each & every question a traveler should have in his mind. Keep it coming!

    • Thank you so much. We are so happy we could help. We definitely will have more articles coming out on photography soon. If you have any questions, please do send us a message. 🙂

  35. Thanks Alesha and Jarryd! Great review. I am contemplating to buy the G7X as I’ve seen many reviews telling that it’s great for photography and vlogging. The only concern I have is that, there are few who have told me that dust easily gets into its lens. Is it true? And which camera you think is better, iphone 8 or samsung s8? Thanks!

    • Thanks for your comment Adrian. We can’t comment on the G7X about dust easily getting in the lens. It did happen to our Sony RX100iii and we always had to use spot removal to remove that annoying dot. As for the iphone 8 and Samsung s8, we have never used the samsung before. We have the iphone 8 and think it takes great phones. Definitely look on youtube for some reviews before buying. All the best

  36. I’ll be honest, I haven’t read most of this article but I can relate with my own experiences! You certainly need something in the compact range. Sony AS7 mk2 with a nice 10-20mm lense is 100% a travel camera, possibilities are just endless.

    • Great selection. We have heard it is a great camera. Thank you for your comment. 🙂

  37. Thank you guys, this was very helpful!

    • Glad we could help. Happy travels

  38. Hey nomadasaurus,
    Thank you for the detailed suggestions, I use my Samsung s8 for my travel vlogs but have been looking for a dedicated camera for it. I do interview style vlogging. So your suggestions really helped me.

    • Hi Marry, thats awesome. The Samsung s8 seems like a great camera. We would recommend the Sony A6500. It shoots in 4k and has stabilisation. It is a semi compact size. We have a Sony A6300 and love it. We wish we got the A6500 for the stabilisation. All the best

  39. Hi Mate!
    I just bought the Canon SX720HS, and am curious, do you ever take prime lenses when travelling? I’ve seen some amazing travel pictures taken with Canon SX720HS. Amazing blog, keep up the great work!

    • Hi Ghama, thank you so much. we have a 55mm prime lens we take travelling with us for portrait photography. We don’t use it as much as our wide lens but we are always happy we have it. Have fun with your Canon SX720HS. Happy travels

  40. Hello Alesha And Jarryd,
    Thanks for your awesome article. I’m a beginner photographer. So I need a good photography camera. I want to buy Sony A6300 . Can you personally suggest which is the best for me?

    Thank you.

    • Thank you for your message Kim Lori. We love Sony. We have a A6300 and love it. We did begin with a Sony RX 100 ii and loved it. It was compact and had manual settings to learn. The latest one is RX100v. We have different lenses for the A6300 and a small tripod. It all depends what level of photography you want to do and how you want to travel. Lighter the better sometimes. All the best 🙂

  41. Dear Alesha And Jarryd, Thanks for this detailed post. I am using the Canon G7X Mark 2 for the last few months. It solves my requirements for blogging. Its nice that it is in your list.

    • Hi Thomas, So awesome you have found a camera that meets all your needs. All the best and have fun shooting.

  42. Two cameras I would consider for your list:

    The Samsung phone cameras are definitely better than the IPhone. I have both.

    One of the best DSLR travel cameras is the Nikon D5500 as it’s light and a fantastic camera.

    • Thank you so much Bruce for your suggestions. 🙂

  43. Do any small point & shoot cameras have dual voltage charger? My camera is only reason I have to carry a voltage converter when traveling in Europe

    • I don’t think so Mavis. We haven’t heard of anything like this. Sorry we couldn’t help.

  44. Wow great post, GoPro is my favourite camera to travel. It’s light and the videos are always good under good lightning condition. I like to take with me the pole accessory because I can use it in different occasions. I have an experience to buy GoPro Camera, top Photo-Editing software and many more products at an affordable rate, my best Ultimate Guide.

    • Great guide. We love our GoPro too. 🙂

  45. Thanks guys! We are currently looking to get a new camera and this has helped us massively. Definitely looking at a mirrorless now to trade in for our little bit bulky DSLR. Your pictures are awesome! 🙂

    • Thanks so much Adam! We love our mirrorless set up. Having a smaller camera really makes a difference when travelling, and the image quality in the Sony cams are phenomenal. Thanks for the comment on the pics too. Happy shooting! 🙂

  46. Nice post! I think you can update it with some new cameras/drones though. The new DJI Spark is much smaller than the one you have here and provides similar image quality. I put together a post with the 6 cameras I consider best to travel with – check it out if you have time! Cheer

    • Hi Mark. Thanks for your comment. We will have a look at the Spark. Cheers

  47. What a wonderful article on cameras. This is very informative . Right from smart phone cameras to highly professional cameras, you have provided detailed info based on our needs. I know what i am going to buy now.

    • Thank you so much. We are happy we can help. All the best with your purchase.

  48. Great recommendations guys! What about stabilizer for gopro? Although it makes great videos, without stabilizing it while hiking or really anything else, it looks too shaky and crapy.

    • Thank you so much Maya. We do not have a stabiliser for our go pro but we know Go Pro does have one. Not too sure about any others. Sorry

  49. Great list guys, we have been loving the portability of our Sony RX100ii. This has been great at capturing memories from our travels.

    • Thank you so much. We are stoked you are loving the RX100ii. We loved ours also. Definitely a great travel camera.

  50. This is a brilliant list. I have a Nikon DSLR which I carry and it is a little bulky, and I recently got a GoPro, but am looking at buying a Mirrorless soon in addition to a drone maybe which should be cool too right? Everyone has been suggesting the Sony mirrorless, so you feel that is the best bet around nowadays?

    • Thanks for the comment Mike. The GoPro is great for action photography, and we love ours. We honestly feel that the mirrorless system by Sony is one of the best setups on the market, particularly when comparing image quality with cost/size. If you want to go pro, check out the A7Rii, but you can definitely get away with the A6XXX series as well and be very happy:)

  51. Great article. I have the Sony kit you listed. I also have the 35 2.8 which is very light. My struggle is the 24-240 is heavy and I am looking for a possible alternative. The 24-70 2.8 is very large and heavy and the F4 version does not have the tele range. How about using the 18-200 APSC lens. It will be a 27-300 and is light but does it give up too much IQ?

    • To be honest, we don’t have much experience with that. Have you looked DP Review? Maybe that might have more information. Sorry we could’t help you more.

  52. i’m using fujifilm xa1 and i love fuji colors. actually important is lens. i have a 3 different lens. happy traveling. i recommended fuji…

    • Thank you for sharing. We have heard that is a great camera too. 🙂

  53. Great List! I agree do not use bad equipment for photography. It can spoil your all memories that you want to capture in your photographs.

    Good Photographer + Good Equipment = Ultimate Photography


    • Very true Nitin. Being able to hang those great clear good quality shots in your home and being very proud of them is so rewarding. Thank you for your comment. 🙂

  54. Thank you for very interesting material! I read it with pleasure.
    A good camera is the main weapon of the traveler 🙂

    • Thank you for reading George. Happy travels. 🙂

  55. Hey guys. Stumbled across this great post via Pinterest. I’ve just stumped up for a 5D Miii but not for travel. Feel like I’ve gone from a hand-glider to a Boeing at the moment actually. It’s fun learning though. Hey small world as I’m the Founder of the Twitter #Travchat. We’re on a break over the Holidays but back mid Jan. Hope you can join in the conversation sometime in 2017. Happy Travels 🙂 Cheers Saxon (From Thirty Summers)

    • Hi Saxon, Thanks for reading. We know what you mean going from a small compatible camera to a more advance one. It is overwhelming. We will definitely come over to twitter and catch a chat one time. Thanks

  56. Thanks for the list! We are currently looking for a nice drone, something in the range of 600-1000 USD max – is there something you could recommend here? Also, it should be easy to carry. I have been looking but it’s really har to find – perhaps you have another tip?
    Many thanks, very informative post.

    • Cheers Julian! I’d check out some of the older DJI Phantoms. Perhaps the 3 Pro? Should be able to get one for under $1000 easy 🙂

  57. I own a G7X and it’s one of my best buy in 2015 🙂 I am definitely gonna try the Sony A7Rii. First time here on your blog and it’s amazing! Really had a great time! Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks so much Jeremiah! Stoked that you’re going to check out the A7Rii as well. We can’t wait to get ours. The G7X is definitely an epic camea as well. All the best and happy travels! 🙂

  58. This is great! Especially because I also have the A7Rii. It’s by far the best camera I’ve ever owned. Questions though: I currently have the 10-18 and 24-240. Do you think it would be worth the cost/trouble to sell them and upgrade to the 16-35 and 70-200?I like to travel light, so I’m not sure if the weight/cost/quality is worth the hassle of upgrading. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks guys, keep up the good work 🙂

    • Thanks Scott! With the 10-18 the crop factor makes it about the same as the 16-35, so you won’t actually be gaining anything in terms of field of view. The 16-35 is also a LOT bigger and heavier than the 10-18. However the quality is far superior, and it’s a shame to have the A7Rii and not utilise that sensor to its full capability 😉

      Pretty much the same can be said about the 24-240 compared to the 70-200. The 70-200 is a much nicer and sharper lens, and the constant aperture is great (you can get some really nice bokeh even at F4 on it). But is it worth the upgrade if you have the 24-240? For us, personally, I would say no. Unless you are constantly shooting in the longer range, the 24-240 is a perfect travel lens and should be ticking a lot boxes for you.

      You take some great landscape and street shots, so I think you would really notice and appreciate the quality improvement in the 16-35. Let us know what you end up deciding 🙂

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