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The 6 Best Mirrorless Cameras For Travel - Winter 2024 Reviews

Best Mirrorless Cameras For Travel

As is often the case, the best camera for the job is usually the one you've already got on you, and that's especially true when you're traveling and likely don't have the space to pack a bulky camera kit. A smartphone will suffice for most people, especially as modern smartphone cameras become increasingly impressive. But if you want to take your travel photography to the next level, a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera will get you there. While the battery life on mirrorless cameras isn't as strong as their DSLR counterparts, they're tough to beat regarding portability, making them great travel cameras if you want the versatility of shooting with different lenses.

We've bought and tested over 100 cameras in our lab, and below, you'll find our recommendations for the best mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras for travel. If you'd prefer a fixed-lens compact camera, check out our best compact cameras for travel instead. You can also look at our top vlogging cameras if you're a travel vlogger. Or, if you want a mirrorless camera for use beyond just traveling, check out our recommendations for the best mirrorless cameras overall.

  1. Best Mirrorless Camera For Travel

    Among mirrorless options, the Fujifilm X-T5 stands out as one of the best for travel photography. It's aimed at enthusiast photographers, with old-school exposure dials that make it easy to adjust settings on the go and a relatively portable, lightweight design. Beyond its sleek exterior, it also comes equipped with one of the highest-resolution APS-C sensors on the market, with 40 megapixels, capturing stunning levels of detail and giving you plenty of leeway to crop your photos.

    If that wasn't enough, it has excellent battery life for a mirrorless model, and the camera feels nice and sturdy, with a weather-sealed body for some more peace of mind if you're caught in the rain. It also features Fujifilm's most advanced autofocus system, with intuitive AF tracking for a wide range of subjects, including many you'll likely encounter while traveling, from people to birds to vehicles. Overall, the X-T5's combination of image quality, portability, and photography-first design make it our top pick for the intrepid travel photographer.

    See our review

  2. Best Full Frame Mirrorless Camera For Travel

    If image quality is your top priority, the Sony α7C is hard to beat for high-level travel photography. It's one of the most compact full-frame bodies on the market, proving that portability and image quality aren't mutually exclusive. While full-frame lenses are still bigger than APS-C or M4/3 alternatives, the compact body helps make a more portable kit, especially if you stick to smaller prime lenses. Its compact size does mean fewer custom buttons and an uncomfortably small viewfinder; however, these are small sacrifices to make if you need portability but still want the best possible image quality.

    The camera's real selling point is its excellent full-frame sensor, which can capture beautiful images—from busy street scenes in European cities to breathtaking landscapes in the mountains of South America or anything in between. That said, the camera's now been succeeded by the Sony α7C II, which boasts a higher-resolution sensor and more advanced video features, but it's more expensive, and the α7C performs on par for photography, so it's a better deal for most travelers.

    See our review

  3. Best Upper Mid-Range Mirrorless Camera For Travel

    Micro Four Thirds (MFT) models like the OM SYSTEM OM-5 are practically made for travel photography. Though there's a slight trade-off in low light capability with a Four Thirds sensor, you can still get excellent images out of this camera. It also has some neat computational photography features, like a high-resolution composite mode to capture stunningly detailed landscapes or vistas. Plus, the MFT ecosystem has a well-established lineup of lenses, including more compact options that'll make for a more portable overall kit.

    On top of that, the OM-5 is weather-sealed and ruggedly built, giving you some peace of mind while traveling. Built-in image stabilization allows you to get clear shots at slower shutter speeds, and the camera has a decent autofocus system, though it falls short of the standard set by brands like Sony and Canon. Battery life is also underwhelming, but this model is still a sure bet if you're looking for a portable and feature-rich camera system at a reasonable price point. If you can find it for cheaper, the older Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III offers near-identical performance, though it uses an older sensor and lacks a few extra features found on the OM-5, like 'Live ND' mode.

    See our review

  4. Best Mid-Range Mirrorless Camera For Travel

    The Fujifilm X-T30 II doesn't offer too many upgrades over the original Fujifilm X-T30, but if it ain't broke, why fix it? As far as mid-range options go, the X-T30 II is an excellent choice with a super portable body. Like the higher-end Fujifilm X-T5, it has a sleek retro-inspired design with the same vintage approach of including dedicated exposure dials, giving you more hands-on control over camera settings on the fly.

    The camera's APS-C sensor captures excellent image quality straight out of the camera. And while competitors like the Sony α6400 (or one of its α6x00 series siblings) might have better autofocus, the combination of physical controls and Fuji's film simulation profiles make the Fujifilm a blast to shoot with. Throw in a solid selection of fast prime lenses, and you've got a great camera for travel photography, particularly if you're interested in capturing people or street scenes. That said, unlike the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III mentioned above, there's no IBIS here, and the camera is less versatile for videos and vlogs because of its tilt screen.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Mirrorless Camera For Travel

    If you're on a tighter budget, the small and mighty Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV offers a ton of value for its price. Like its higher-end sibling above, it uses a Micro Four Thirds sensor, making for a more portable overall kit with a budget-friendly price tag. It's a great option for beginners, with simple controls and plenty of creative shooting modes that allow you to play with different photography styles.

    Beyond that, this is one of the few cameras at this price point with in-body image stabilization, which can help reduce camera shake in videos or make it easier to get clear handheld shots at slower shutter speeds. That said, this model doesn't have the most reliable autofocus, so if that's important to you, the Canon EOS R50 is a good alternative with a larger APS-C sensor and a more effective AF system. Just be aware that there are fewer lens options for Canon's RF-mount, and lenses are generally bigger.

    See our review

  6. Best Mirrorless Camera For Travel Vlogging

    If you're more inclined to shoot videos while traveling, consider a vlogging camera like the Sony ZV-E10. It's small and lightweight, so it's easy to toss in a bag and take on the go. While it doesn't have a viewfinder like the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV, its fully articulated screen is perfect for vlogging, allowing you to monitor yourself while shooting. It has vlogging-friendly features like a detachable windscreen to reduce ambient noise, specialized focus modes, and a great battery life.

    It's worth noting that the camera doesn't have built-in stabilization, and its e-stabilization feature introduces a distracting wobble effect, so you're better off keeping it disabled and using an optically stabilized lens if you want to keep camera shake to a minimum. Otherwise, the ZV-E10's relatively low price, convenient size, and solid video features make this the ideal mirrorless camera for travel vlogging.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Fujifilm X-T4: The Fujifilm X-T4 is the predecessor to the Fujifilm X-T5 and, though it's a tad heavier, is a great choice if you want to save some money, offering many of the same advantages. That said, it uses an older processor and lower-resolution sensor and has a less reliable autofocus system. See our review
  • OM SYSTEM OM-1: The OM SYSTEM OM-1 is a fantastic Micro Four Thirds camera. It's more rugged and better built than the OM SYSTEM OM-5, but it's also pricier and likely overkill for most people. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 26, 2024: Replaced the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III with the OM SYSTEM OM-5, as it's more widely available.

  2. Oct 27, 2023: Added mention of the Sony α7C II to flesh out the market context for the Sony a7C.

  3. Aug 31, 2023: Added the Fujifilm X-T5 as the 'Best Mirrorless Camera For Travel' and shifted the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III down to the upper mid-range spot.

  4. Jul 06, 2023: Renamed the Sony a7C to 'Best Full Frame Mirrorless Camera For Travel' and replaced it with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III.

  5. May 08, 2023: Verified that recommendations were still relevant and accurate.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best mirrorless cameras for travel for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability (no cameras that are difficult to find or almost out of stock in the U.S.).

If you'd like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our interchangeable-lens mirrorless camera reviews, ranked by their suitability for travel photography. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There is no single perfect camera. Personal taste, preference, and shooting habits will matter more in your selection.