When it comes to travel photography, mirrorless cameras tend to come out on top thanks to their tendency to have lighter and more portable designs, faster maximum shutter speeds, and quicker autofocus capabilities than DSLR cameras. Their electronic viewfinders are extremely handy to preview what your images are going to look like in real-time since they allow you to immediately see the effects of your various exposure settings on your images before snapping your shots.
It's important to remember that your chosen lens can significantly affect your ability to adjust exposure settings. Your aperture, focal length, depth of field, autofocus, stabilization performance, and maximum zoom capability can all depend on the type of lens you use, meaning camera performance can differ significantly depending on your chosen lens and settings. For these reasons, we test our cameras with their standard kit lenses to help with consistency.
We've tested over 70 cameras and have put together our list of recommendations for the best mirrorless cameras for travel photography, depending on their performance, available features, and their prices. You can also check our picks for the best mirrorless cameras, the best mirrorless cameras for beginners, and the best mirrorless cameras under $1,000.
The Sony α6400 is the best mirrorless camera for travel photography that we've tested. It's a relatively lightweight and portable interchangeable lens mirrorless camera with a sturdy magnesium alloy body that's advertised to be weather-sealed against elements like light rain or humidity. It feels comfortable to shoot with and includes customizable buttons and a decently large, high-resolution viewfinder.
It has a good overall battery life that's advertised to last for approximately 410 photos depending on your settings and shooting habits. Its screen can also tilt and flip out from the camera's body if you prefer to shoot from the hip, and it extends up for selfies or vlogs. The camera delivers impressive overall image quality, with a lot of dynamic range to bring out a wide array of detail in photos. Despite having an APS-C sensor, it has good noise handling at higher ISO levels.
Unfortunately, this camera doesn't have in-body image stabilization, so you have to rely on the optical stabilization of your lens. Thankfully, though, it does a good job of reducing camera shake when shooting handheld with its Sony E 16-50mm 3.5-5.6/PZ OSS kit lens attached. All in all, this is a great option for travelers thanks to its portable design, impressive image quality, and good battery life.
The best mirrorless camera for travel with a full-frame sensor is the Sony a7C. This compact interchangeable lens camera is almost as portable as the Sony a6400 but has a full-frame sensor, making it better suited to low-light shooting. The camera feels incredibly well-built, with a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body and a sturdy articulated screen.
It's a great option for travel not only because of its relatively compact size but also because of its outstanding battery life. It's advertised to last for approximately 680 photos on a full charge, and you can also use it while charging via USB, which is handy if you run out of battery on the go and have a portable battery pack. In addition, the camera delivers fantastic image quality out of the box, with remarkable RAW noise handling for high ISO shooting. It also has an excellent autofocus system to keep moving subjects in focus.
That said, it's not the most comfortable camera to shoot with. It has a high-resolution EVF, but it's small, so photographers who prefer to shoot through a viewfinder may find it inadequate. Its menu system also isn't the most intuitive or easy to navigate. Still, if you're looking for a compact camera for travel that also produces full-frame quality images, this is an excellent choice.
The best mirrorless camera for travel vlogging that we've tested is the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III. It's a mirrorless camera with a Micro Four Thirds sensor, making it more compact than most full-frame or crop-sensor options. It's also lightweight and made of premium materials. It even comes with an external flash in the box. Its screen is fully articulated, so you can easily turn it around to face you for self-recording.
It has a five-axis in-body image stabilization feature that does an amazing job of smoothing out camera shake in both 4k and FHD. Its video quality is good overall, but it suffers from a noticeable rolling shutter effect that can distort the image when panning the camera to the side. That said, its autofocus system does a great job of tracking moving subjects in 4k and FHD. It also has a high-speed recording feature that can capture video at 120 fps in FHD for slow-motion playback.
Unfortunately, because of its smaller sensor, all video is cropped by a factor of 2x. Its battery life is also somewhat disappointing, especially because it doesn't support USB charging. Still, it can record video for a decently long time before its battery dies, although battery performance can vary drastically based on real-world conditions and settings. All in all, its portable size, excellent video stabilization, and good video quality make it well-suited to travel vlogging.
If you'd prefer a camera with a larger sensor, check out the Fujifilm X-S10. It's not as portable as the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III. However, it has a larger APS-C sensor that delivers higher-quality RAW images and better video quality in brighter lighting conditions. It's a versatile mirrorless camera that's still relatively portable, making it well-suited to travel and vlogging on the go. It can shoot 4k and FHD video, and it has good internal recording capability. It also has a remarkable autofocus system that can track moving subjects quickly and reliably. It has a fully articulated screen that lets you monitor yourself while vlogging. Its tested battery life in video is a bit worse, but it supports USB charging, and you can keep using it while it charges, which is handy when traveling.
Go with the Olympus if you want an excellent vlogging camera that's more portable for travel. If you want a camera with a larger sensor, the Fujifilm is a great alternative.
If you're on a budget, the best mirrorless camera for travel is the Canon EOS M50 Mark II. This entry-level APS-C camera is relatively portable, feels comfortable to shoot with, and has a highly intuitive menu system, making it a great choice for beginners while also offering a lot of value for its price for those on a budget.
The camera has a bright, fully articulated touchscreen to help you shoot from different angles or record vlogs. It delivers great image quality out of the box and performs fairly well at higher ISO settings with decent noise handling capability. It also has a good autofocus system that does a satisfactory job tracking moving subjects. If you're interested in shooting video, it also offers great video quality, several frame rate options, and excellent autofocus tracking in 1080p.
However, while it can record 4k video, it can only record 4k / 24p video with a severe 1.5x crop. Its autofocus system also struggles to keep moving subjects in focus when recording in this resolution. Still, if you don't need 4k video, the performance and features this camera offers at this price are hard to beat.
If you need something more portable, check out the Canon EOS M200. Unlike the Canon EOS M50 Mark II, it doesn't have a handgrip or viewfinder, which makes it less comfortable to shoot with, but it's significantly easier to slip into a small bag and take on the go thanks to its compact size. While it doesn't have a fully articulated screen, you can still flip its screen up to face you if you need. As far as performance goes, the two cameras use the same 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, so out-of-the-box image quality and autofocus performance are similar overall. However, the M200 has slightly more limited video features, as 4k recording incurs an even larger 1.57x crop, and it has fewer frame rate options in 1080p. It also lacks a microphone port.
Get the M50 II if you prefer a larger but more comfortable form factor with a handgrip, EVF, and fully articulated screen. If portability is your main priority, however, go with the M200.
Jan 19, 2022: Changed the Sony a7C from a 'Full-Frame Alternative' to the 'Best Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera For Travel'. Renamed the Canon EOS M50 Mark II from 'Best Mirrorless Travel Camera For Beginners' to 'Best Budget Mirrorless Camera For Travel'.
Nov 24, 2021: Replaced the Sony a7 III with the Sony a7C as the 'Full-Frame Alternative' to the Sony a6400.
Sep 27, 2021: Replaced the Canon EOS M50 with the Canon EOS M50 Mark II.
Jul 29, 2021: Replaced the Fujifilm X-T4 with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III as the 'Best Mirrorless Camera For Travel Vlogging' and moved the X-T4 to Notable Mentions. Added the Fujifilm X-S10 as 'APS-C/Crop Sensor Alternative'.
May 31, 2021: Ensured that all main picks are still in stock and represent the best choice for their given category.
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 reviews for interchangeable-lens mirrorless cameras, 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.