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The 6 Best Travel Cameras - Winter 2024 Reviews

Best Travel Cameras

A good camera can be an indispensable travel companion, letting you capture your adventures abroad to share with friends and family. For many, the best choice for traveling will be the camera you've already got in your pocket—your smartphone. However, if you want to step up your photography game, there are plenty of great options out there. While it can be hard to narrow them down, it's important to consider things like portability, battery life, and build quality, as well as your own ergonomic preferences and, most importantly, your budget.

We've bought over 100 cameras, and below, you'll find the best cameras for travel photography that we've tested in our lab. If you're specifically looking for a point-and-shoot camera, check out the best compact cameras for travel instead. Or, if you're interested in capturing beautiful landscapes on your travels, the best cameras for landscape photography might also be of interest. Travel vloggers can have a look at our top vlogging picks as well.

  1. Best Camera For Travel

    The OM SYSTEM OM-5 is one of the best travel cameras you can get. As part of the Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system, it offers a good combination of portability, ruggedness, and image quality. Though it isn't as heavy-duty as higher-end models like the OM SYSTEM OM-1 or the older Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III, it has a more compact body that makes it better for travel. Plus, it's packed with many of the same computational photography modes and is compatible with a wide selection of portable MFT lenses to keep the overall size of your kit down.

    Beyond its compact size, the camera feels well-built, with weather-sealing for added peace of mind in adverse weather conditions. It also has an excellent five-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS) system, which can reduce camera shake in travel vlogs or help you shoot at slower shutter speeds without packing a tripod. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the longest battery life, so you might have to buy a spare battery for long days on the go, but if you're looking for something small and mighty, this is an excellent travel camera for the price. If you want to save even more money, the older Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is nearly identical and can be found for less if you buy used, though it uses an older processor and lacks some extra features like 'Live ND' mode.

    See our review

  2. Best Full Frame Camera For Travel

    The Sony α7C is the best camera for travel photography if you care about image quality. It's one of the most compact full-frame bodies on the market, proving that you don't need to sacrifice image quality for portability. While it's the largest option on this list, and full-frame lenses will inevitably take up more space, it's impressive how compact Sony made this camera while including features like IBIS and a fully articulated screen.

    The α7C's high-resolution full-frame sensor handles noise incredibly well in low-light environments, with plenty of dynamic range to capture a wide array of detail. The camera also has a fantastic battery life and a sturdy, weather-sealed construction. That said, its ergonomics leave a little to be desired, particularly when shooting through its tiny viewfinder. The camera's successor, the Sony α7C II, is a good alternative if you need a higher-resolution sensor and upgraded video specs, but the original α7C is a better overall deal for most travelers because of its lower price and similar feature set.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Camera For Travel

    If you can do without IBIS and want something a bit more affordable, the Fujifilm X-T30 II is a great mid-range option. It uses an APS-C sensor and has a portable, lightweight body that's ideal for traveling. While it lacks more premium features like weather-sealing and advanced video specs, it's still a relatively sturdy camera, and its dedicated exposure dials give you more hands-on control over exposure settings on the fly.

    Beyond just its portable exterior, the X-T30 II uses a high-resolution crop sensor that delivers excellent image quality straight out of the camera. Film simulation profiles make the camera a blast to shoot with and make it easy to change up the look of your photos without having to do any post-processing. On top of that, it has a decent autofocus system and a relatively long-lasting battery, making this an excellent travel camera for the price.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Camera For Travel

    If you're on a tighter budget, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a great choice that brings a lot of value to the table. Like the higher-end OM SYSTEM OM-5 above, it uses an MFT sensor, making for a remarkably portable camera kit with plenty of lightweight and affordable lens options. It's also a great choice for beginners, thanks to simple controls and easy-to-use creative shooting modes.

    It's also one of the few cameras at this price point with IBIS, so it's a good choice if you also like to shoot vlogs or videos on the side. IBIS can also be useful in low light, letting you shoot at slower shutter speeds without a tripod. However, it's still an entry-level model, so the build quality isn't the greatest. Its autofocus system can also be sluggish. If you'd prefer a camera with a more reliable autofocus system, the Canon EOS R50 is an amazing alternative and is even a bit cheaper. However, its lens options are more limited, and it's less portable overall.

    See our review

  5. Best Point-And-Shoot Camera For Travel

    A premium point-and-shoot is the way to go if you need something compact but more capable than your smartphone camera. The Sony RX100 VII has been going strong for several iterations—for good reason. This latest model uses a stacked 1-inch sensor, so image quality is very solid for the camera's size. It's also a remarkably portable camera, so you can bring it with you wherever your travels take you, and its built-in lens has a fairly long zoom range that's great for travel snapshots of everything from landscapes to far-away subjects.

    Be aware that compact cameras like this have a limited battery life, though you can always bring a spare battery or a portable battery pack to charge it on the go. The RICOH GR III is a great alternative if you want something more minimalist. It doesn't have a viewfinder, and its fixed focal length lens is less versatile than the zoom lens on the Sony. However, it has a larger APS-C sensor that delivers excellent image quality and is better suited to low-light situations. On the other hand, if you're looking for something cheaper, you can still find older generations of the RX100 on eBay and other used camera retailers.

    See our review

  6. Best Action Camera For Travel

    The GoPro HERO10 Black is one of the best video cameras for travel, thanks to its small size and rugged, waterproof exterior. It's perfect for capturing action footage of scuba diving, waterskiing, or any other adventuring you might do on vacation. Best-in-class stabilization means you don't have to worry about distracting camera shake. With 5.3k video recording at up to 60 fps and 4k at up to 120 fps, you can capture high-quality action footage at various frame rates and resolutions. It's also a solid option for travel vloggers, thanks to a front screen that lets you monitor yourself while recording.

    While GoPro has released newer models, now up to the GoPro HERO12 Black, since the HERO10's release, it can still do everything you need from an action camera at an all-time low price, making it a great deal. Still, if you need newer features like Bluetooth mic connectivity or the TikTok-friendly 8:7 native aspect ratio offered by newer models, you can't go wrong with getting the latest and greatest GoPro has to offer, as long as it fits your budget.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Fujifilm X100V: The Fujifilm X100V is a large-sensor point-and-shoot camera. It isn't nearly as portable as the Sony RX100 VII, and its fixed focal length isn't as versatile as the Sony camera's zoom lens. However, it's still relatively compact, and its larger sensor captures higher-quality images if that's a priority. Just be aware that stock shortages have made it very difficult to find. See our review
  • Sony ZV-1: The Sony ZV-1 is a great point-and-shoot if you do more travel vlogging than photography. It performs similarly to the Sony RX100 VII in image quality and autofocus, but it has a shorter zoom range and lacks a viewfinder. On the flip side, it has a fully articulated screen and a better internal mic for vlogging. See our review
  • Sony ZV-E1: The Sony ZV-E1 is a full-frame camera that's even more compact than the Sony α7C. It's a great choice for high-quality travel videos, with a sensor optimized for low light. However, it lacks a viewfinder and is generally less versatile for photographers and hybrid shooters. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Feb 15, 2024: Minor tweaks to text to ensure article is relevant to the current state of the market.

  2. Jan 19, 2024: Replaced the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III with the OM SYSTEM OM-5 in the top spot, because it has better availability and performs very similarly.

  3. Dec 21, 2023: Added mention of the OM SYSTEM OM-5 as an alternative to the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III.

  4. Nov 22, 2023: Checked that picks still meet user needs and expectations.

  5. Oct 24, 2023: Added mention of the Sony α7C II as a possible alternative to the Sony α7C.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the top travel cameras for most people, 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 of our 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.