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18 Best Travel Cameras & Drones of All Time

Choosing the best travel camera for your journey can be a daunting task, especially with so many camera options available on the market. But don’t worry, in this post we will help you find the best travel camera for your needs.

There are several types of travel cameras available (Point-and-Shoot, High-End Compact Cameras, Mirrorless, DSLR) and each has its benefits. Point & Shoots are the most portable and least expensive, but they also capture lower quality images. High-end cameras are similar to point-and-shoots, but capture high quality images. Mirrorless cameras are best for travel as they offer the compactness of a point-and-shoot but the image sensor of a DSLR. DSLR’s are the heaviest option out of all of them, but they also capture professional quality images.

In the end it really comes down to what type of traveler you are and what features (size, image quality, price, etc.) are important to you. We, for example, are lightweight budget backpackers, so portability and price are very important to us. However, we also have a professional blog to run, so good image quality is equally important. Based on that information we decided to go for the Sony RX100 III, a high-end compact camera that fits into our pants pocket and has a large image sensor.

Once you know what features are important to you, check out our recommendation for the best travel camera for each type.

Table of Contents

Comparison Table of the Best Travel Cameras

Below is a list of the best cameras for travel. Click on the camera name to read reviews and check prices.

ImageCameraTypeRating
Panasonic Lumix FZ80Point-and-Shoot
(4.4/5.0)
Canon PowerShot SX720Point-and-Shoot
(4.4/5.0)
Sony RX100High-End Point-and-Shoot
(4.3/5.0)
Panasonic Lumix LX100High-End Point-and-Shoot
(4.0/5.0)
Canon Powershot G16High-End Point-and-Shoot
(4.5/5.0)
Fuji X-T20Mirrorless
(4.7/5.0)
Sony A7 IIMirrorless
(4.3/5.0)
Sony Alpha a6000Mirrorless
(4.5/5.0)
Canon Rebel SL2DSLR
(4.5/5.0)
Nikon D3400DSLR
(4.6/5.0)
GoPro Hero6GoPro HERO6Action Camera
(4.0/5.0)
YI 4KYI 4K+Action Camera
(4.0/5.0)
Insta360 OneInsta360 One360 Camera
(4.2/5.0)
Samsung Gear 360Samsung Gear 360360 Camera
(3.6/5.0)
Ricoh Theta SRicoh Theta S360 Camera
(4.0/5.0)
DJI Mavic ProDJI Mavic ProDrone
(4.2/5.0)
DJI Phantom 4DJI Phantom 4Drone
(4.0/5.0)
DJI SparkDJI SparkDrone
(4.1/5.0)

Best Compact Travel Cameras (Point-and-Shoot)

If you need the best compact camera for travel, and price and portability is your main concern, point-and-shoot cameras are your best bet. Nowadays, compact cameras can be had for a very reasonable price and most will fit into your pants pocket or at the very least they won’t weigh down your luggage. Point-and-shoots have come a very long way in the recent years, and take pretty good images. If you are looking for an inexpensive, easy to use camera to document your journey for friends and family, check out our point-and-shoot recommendations below.

Lumix_FZ70

Panasonic Lumix FZ80

Sensor: 16.1MP 1/2.3″ BSI MOS
Weight: 19.84 oz.
Features: 60x Optical Zoom, Full HD 1080i Video

The Panasonic Lumix FZ80 captures high quality 4K photos and videos to make sure you capture the best of your moments. This long-zoom camera makes it easier than ever to get clear images even if they’re a ways away. Photos can be recorded at up to 30 frames per second, then you can pick out the perfect moment. Boasting stunning low-light capture and featuring LCD touch display and Wi-Fi capabilities, the Panasonic Lumix FZ80 is a super convenient camera to travel with.

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PowerShot_SX700

Canon PowerShot SX720

Sensor: 20.3MP CMOS
Weight: 9.4 oz.
Features: Built-in Wifi, 40x Optical Zoom, 3″ LCD, 1080p HD Video

Whether you’re taking family portraits or capturing images from your around-the-world adventure, the Canon PowerShot SX720 is ready for anything. Even when you’re on the move, its updated technology allows for virtually shake-free photos. The three-inch screen makes checking image details simple and the built-in Wi-Fi makes transferring and sharing pictures and videos effortless. With a 40x zoom and 1080p HD video, the Canon PowerShot SX720 is definitely a camera you want for your next event.
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Best High-End Compact Travel Cameras

High-end compact cameras are very similar to regular point-and-shoot cameras, but they usually have larger image sensors and come with some other cool features. For example, high-end compact cameras offer a full manual mode next to the auto mode and many allow you to take pictures in RAW format – which allows for better image editing on your computer later. If you don’t want to sacrifice the portability of a point-and-shoot but you need a camera that can capture higher quality images, then you will want to look into purchasing one of the high-end compact cameras below.

Sony_RX100M

Sony RX100

Sensor: 20.1MP4 BSI-CMOS
Weight: 10.2 oz.
Features: Built-in Wifi, Built-in ND filter, 3″ LCD, ISO 160-12800, captures RAW & JPG

The sleek and slim design isn’t the only thing that makes the Sony RX100 great…it also produces stunning image quality. Get remarkable photos in almost any light thanks to its lens that reduces ghost and flare and its ISO 125 to 6400 sensitivity. Never miss a moment again, as the high-performance lens and large image sensor can allow you to capture fast-moving objects even in low light. Whether you’re a beginner or an amateur photographer, you’ll love the sophistication of the Sony RX100.

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LUMIX_DMC-LX100

Panasonic Lumix LX100

Sensor size: 16.8MP 4/3″ MOS
Weight: 13.9 oz.
Features: 24-75mm Leica DC lens, 4K Ultra HD video

Let your creativity run wild with the Panasonic Lumix LX100. This legendary series has produced the perfect camera for your next adventure. 4K photos and 30p 4K ultra HD videos are just the beginning of this amazing hybrid photo experience. The eye-level viewfinder provides stable and clear framing, and an external flash is even included to improve light quality. Thoughtful features like the 11 FPS burst shooting and stop motion animation make for a photography experience you won’t want to miss.

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PowerShot_G16

Canon Powershot G16

Sensor size: 12.1MP 1/1.7″ CMOS
Weight: 12.5 oz.
Features: Built-in wifi, full manual mode, captures RAW & JPG

Offering a system that’s designed to reduce noise and enhance clarity, the Canon Powershot G16 remains the best digital camera for travel and makes photos come alive. Share your amazing pictures with your friends, family, and the world almost instantly with the built-in Wi-Fi. You can even program your own settings so the camera works perfectly for you. After a picture is snapped, it can be printed in just minutes thanks to Canon’s Direct Print system. With countless features and settings coupled with amazing images, it should come as no surprise that the Canon Powershot G16 is one of the best travel cameras on the market.

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Best Mirrorless Travel Cameras

Mirrorless cameras are by far the best for travel, allowing you to take very high quality images while still being compact enough to fit into your backpack. This type of camera is perfect for people who still want an interchangeable lens, without the weight of a DSLR. Below, we picked the best mirrorless cameras for travel.

Fuji_X-T10

Fuji X-T20

Sensor size: 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III
Weight: 13.4 oz.
Features: Water and dust resistant, up to 8 FPS continuous shooting, 3″ tiltable LCD

Never miss the perfect angle again with the Fuji X-T20. The LCD and touch-screen monitor tilts to ensure you can shoot pictures from whatever position you want, and you have eight effects available to make unique and exciting photos. Not only can you add photo effects, but film simulation modes are available as well, giving you the opportunity to add and change the effects and settings of your 4K videos. Convenience is one of the highlights of the Fuji X-T20 as the free app allows you to control the camera remotely while also being able to view and transfer camera images. It’s hard to find fault with a camera as great as the Fuji X-T20.

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Sony_A7

Sony A7 II

Sensor size: 24MP CMOS
Weight: 20.8 oz.
Features: Fast Hybrid AF and 5 FPS burst, world’s first 5-axis in-body image stabilization in a full-frame camera, ISO 100-25600

Camera-shake is essentially a thing of the past with the Sony A7 II. The world’s first full-frame camera with a five-axis in-body stabilization allows you to capture exquisite images with its 24.3MP resolution. Focusing speed has been improved by about 30% with the new hybrid autofocus system so you can grab the perfect image before it passes. Apps allow you to personalize your experience with everything from time lapse to detailed close-ups. With all that and more, the best mirrorless camera for travel continues to live up to all the hype.

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Sony Alpha a6000

Sensor size: 24MP APS-C CMOS
Weight: 12.6 oz.
Features: Hybrid AF with 179-point focal plane phase-detection, up to 11 FPS continuous shooting

Premium quality is at its finest with the Sony Alpha a6000. Enjoy the world’s fastest autofocus while you can capture 11 pictures in one second. The camera is super intuitive and even has two quick-access dials so you can change your settings in a snap. 24.3MP detail will complement all of your photos and the Wi-Fi connectivity makes sharing your masterpieces a breeze. Boasting top-of-the-line quality while being half the size and weight of most DSLRs makes this camera a proven winner.

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Best DSLR Travel Cameras

DSLR cameras offer the best image quality of any type of camera but they are also heavier and more expensive than mirrorless or point-and-shoot cameras. If you need superior image quality and don’t mind the extra weight, check out our favorite DSLR’s below.

Canon_Rebel

Canon Rebel SL2

Sensor size: 24.2MP APS-C CMOS
Weight: 13.1 oz.
Features: 3″ touch panel LCD, ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600)

Need some help capturing the perfect photo? The Canon Rebel SL2 comes equipped with a Feature Assistant to coach you through experimenting with all the different features and taking remarkable photos. Its lightweight body makes it easy to travel with while still being able to capture professional looking images. Excellent for vloggers and documentarians, the Canon Rebel SL2 has an external microphone input to ensure clear and high-quality sound. You’re sure to step your photo game up when you choose the Canon Rebel SL2.

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Nikon_D3300

Nikon D3400

Sensor size: 24.2MP CMOS
Weight: 15.2 oz.
Features: 11 AF points with 3D tracking, ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600), 3″ LCD

Capturing fast action is no longer a game of luck with the best Nikon travel camera, the D3400. Grab 5 FPS continuously with an amazing autofocus performance, and create a thrilling photo sequence from your fast action shots. Your stunning photography will be ready to share almost instantly as SnapBridge automatically transfers your camera pictures to your compatible tablet or smartphone. With features ranging from a 24.2MP sensor to a native ISO range from 100–25,600 to flawless low-light photos, the Nikon D3400 is a gateway to improved photography. All the small details will come into perfect focus with the Nikon D3400.

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Best Action Cameras for Travel

The best camera for travel photography needs to take high quality pictures and be versatile. If that’s what you’re looking for and you want to give others a front row seat to your adventures, then an action camera is what you need. While you’re ziplining across a canyon, cliff jumping, canyoning, or surfing, your action camera will capture all of the exhilarating moments. Because they’re designed to be attached to helmets, bikes, and other moving objects, it’s often considered the best lightweight camera for travel. A lot can be packed into a small action camera, so we want you to know which ones are the absolute best for your next journey.

GoPro Hero6

GoPro HERO6

Sensor size: 12MP
Weight: 4.2 oz.
Features: Waterproof, RAW photo capture, Advanced video stabilization

Unquestionably the best waterproof travel camera, the GoPro Hero6 is waterproof down to 33 feet without a housing. Delivering twice the performance of its previous model, this updated camera provides dramatically improved image quality. Voice control, three microphones, and a 2-inch touch display make it easier than ever to capture the best of your travels. With 12 MP photos and 4K60 and 1080p240 video, there’s no better way to make your adventures come to life than with the GoPro Hero6.

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YI 4K

YI 4K+

Sensor size: 12MP
Weight: 3.2 oz.
Features: 4K/60fps Resolution, EIS, Live Stream, Voice Control

The world’s first action camera to record 4K/60 FPS video is also consistently known as the best camera for adventure travel. 12 MP photos can be captured in four different modes so pictures come out exactly as you want them to. Features like voice control, RAW image capture, and live streaming are only the beginning. With an impressive battery life, videos can be recorded for up to 70 minutes. In addition, its USB-C power connector allows for faster data transfer and more efficient power delivery. If you love action cameras with continual updates and improvements to give you the best quality, the YI 4K+ is the best camera to buy for travel.

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Best 360 Cameras for Travel

Don’t miss a moment of your next adventure with a 360-degree camera. No longer do we have to turn around in a circle with our phones to make a 360-degree image for Facebook or stitch together panoramic shots because the best 360-degree cameras solve those problems. With no extra processing needed, 360-degree cameras capture almost every angle of the sphere around us and produce high-quality images and videos. Many are small and lightweight, so to help you narrow your choices, here are the best 360-degree cameras.

Insta360 One

Insta360 One

Sensor size: 24MP
Weight: 8 oz.
Features: UHD 4K video, SmartTrack auto-framing, 360 live-steaming

When looking for the best camera for traveling it can be hard for one to stand out, but the Insta360 One does just that. Providing 4K video and live streaming along with 24 MP photos, the endless feature list includes favorites like the all-new bullet technology, FreeCapture, and six-axis stabilization. Amazing shots become effortless with the bullet technology while the Insta360 One captures every angle around you sending an impressive 240 FPS video to your app. Plus, you’ll never miss another moment trying to focus your camera with the FreeCapture feature. Shoot your videos first, then go back and capture the highlights on your phone later. It’s premium performance, resolution, and stability make it one of the best travel cameras on the market.

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Samsung Gear 360

Samsung Gear 360

Sensor size: 8.4MP Dual CMOS
Weight: 4.5 oz.
Features: UHD 4K video, IP53 water-resistant rating

While there are many good cameras for travel on the market, this one sets itself apart as one of the best. Redesigned so it’s smaller than a baseball and easy to grip, the Samsung Gear 360 is a dust and water-resistant camera made to capture your best moments. You can throw out all your special lenses when you buy the Samsung Gear 360 because the app allows you to choose from five viewing modes to create sensational photography. As a 360 camera weighing in at only 130g, yet still having a battery life of more than two hours and up to 256 GB of expandable memory, it’s been called the best small camera for travel. Heading on an adventure and needing the best affordable camera for travel? The Samsung Gear 360 is one of the greatest options you’ll find.

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Ricoh Theta S

Ricoh Theta S

Sensor size: 12MP
Weight: 4.8 oz.
Features: Full HD video at 30fps

This third generation camera has been improved to exceed user expectations. Create everything from still images to 25-minute videos with impeccable quality. Storage and Wi-Fi are only two of the features that have been improved, and now you’ll have 8 GB of storage and a Wi-Fi speed of 8Mbps. Weighing around 125g, it maintains its spot of the list of the best small cameras for travel. If you’re looking for a super functional camera that’s easy to use, check out the Ricoh Theta S.

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Best Drones for Travel

Offering perspectives that used to only be accessible by helicopters, drones have changed the way we capture views around the world. Perfect for everything from capturing vacation fun to creating a travel documentary, it’s no surprise everyone wants one. Since not all drones are created equal, we’ve listed the ones that will give you the best quality and will be the easiest to carry on your adventures.

DJI Mavic Pro

DJI Mavic Pro

Sensor size: 12MP CMOS
Weight: 1.64 lbs.
Features: True 4K, up to 4.3 miles (7km) of transmission range

Effortlessly create professional videos with the DJI Mavic Pro. Packed with fantastic technology, it folds down to the size of a bottle of water making it super easy to carry. Offering a transmission range of more than four miles, it can fly 40mph up to 27 minutes. Its premium technology and redundant sensors increase safety and ensure accurate positioning. Smooth footage is guaranteed with its 4K stabilized camera that boasts 12 megapixels and a maximum exposure time of eight seconds. The best high-end travel camera is here, and it’s the DJI Mavic Pro.

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DJI Phantom 4

DJI Phantom 4

Sensor size: 12MP CMOS
Weight: 1.65 lbs.
Features: Capture 4K ultra HD video at 30 fps, intelligent flight support systems

Simply double tap and the DJI Phantom 4 will take off. With another tap of the finger, it’ll return home. Once called DJI’s sexiest drone, the sleek design coupled with its features, makes the Phantom 4 a dream come true. It’s never been easier to create remarkable footage, as this drone is able to capture 4K videos at 30 frames per second and slow motion 1080p at 120 frames per second. Fly the Phantom 4 for up to 28 minutes at 45 mph, and its stabilization system makes unwanted camera movements a thing of the past. At this price point with all the features it offers, you can’t go wrong with the DJI Phantom 4.

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DJI Spark

DJI Spark

Sensor size: 12MP CMOS
Weight: 1.49 lbs.
Features: ActiveTrack, HD Wi-Fi Video Transmission

Featuring all of DJI’s signature technologies, this mini drone allows you to capture moments whenever and wherever they arise. With facial recognition software, your drone will take off from your hand by only recognizing your face and can return to its home point automatically with a tap of a button or when it senses its battery’s low. Capture 720p real-time video from more than a mile away with its impressive transmission range. It can capture up to 16 minutes of magic before it needs a recharge, and when it returns home you’ll know you made the right choice with the DJI Spark.

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The Author

Ben

Ben is a professional web designer and the man behind the scenes of Road Affair. He has been traveling around the world with his partner in crime, Jazzy, since 2012.

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Comments

  1. I have an old Nikon D40 (circa 2007) and an iPhone 6s+. I know I want to up my pics game on my website and Instagram, but I don’t know whether to add lenses to my Nikon, get a new DSLR, or get a new mirrorless. I’ve seen stuff out there recommending each option. I plan on travelling full time by the end of this year. What would you recommend?

    1. The Nikon D40 was definitely a good DSLR back then but things changed a lot and even cheap Point & Shoot Cameras have larger sensor nowadays. If you wanna up your pic game I would recommend you check out the Nikon D3300. It’s the #1 best seller on Amazon with over 750 positive reviews. Plus, it is a fairly cheap DSLR camera for travel. Hope that helps and good luck with your travel plans :D

    1. It really depends on what your goal is. If you wanna step up your game and take higher quality images, I would recommend you check out the D3300. It works pretty much the same as the D3100 but it has a larger sensor and 24MPs instead of your 14MPs. If however you are satisfied with your shots and you don’t need higher quality, stick with your old one. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help to you.

  2. Fantastic guide Ben – very comprehensive. We started out with point and shoot camera’s, and even after we upgraded to DSLR’s we still use the Canon Powershot SX50 for a lot of photography, mainly because of the zoom. Wildlife photography especially – the quality is by far superior to that kind of zoom on any other camera we’ve used.

    Everything else though, highly recommend the Nikon D5300 – I’m a beginner in terms of DSLR’s so I think that’s a great entry level for those just learning :)

  3. Used a cheap Canon point and shoot cameras before but upgraded to a Nikon DSLR now. With the invention of smartphone cameras as good as most point and shoots, the photography scene has changed a lot.

  4. I would add the Canon G7 X Mark II to this list in the high end compact section. It’s one of the best on the market at the moment and it also takes awesome videos! And Canon M3 in the Mirrorless section. :)

  5. I have a Sony Cybershot but it is getting pretty old. I am planning to switch to a new one. This list has given me a good view of the best ones in the market.

  6. Thank you for such a detailed list. I am really looking forward to getting a mirrorless soon since I am a little bored of the DSLR and cannot decide between the Sony and the other brands. Most people recommend the Sony, so would you also say that? So far I had the Nikon D7000, but its time for a change now.

  7. I do have a Canon 6D, Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mark II and an Olympus Pen E-pl7. The Canon 6D is usually never with me on vacations any more, i have been using my EM-5 Mark II more and more. Just love it! Its really great, and its lighter that the heavy DSLR with all the heavy optics. :-)

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