5 best cameras for travel in 2023
In the realm of modern travel, where every vacation journey is an opportunity to capture cherished moments, selecting the best travel camera becomes an art in itself. There are many options, but it really comes down to two types of people: those who want a small camera for things like extreme sports and those who just want a simple point-and-shoot camera when size doesn't matter.
From lightweight and compact to premium mirrorless models, we tested and picked the best travel cameras for your next adventures. Our guide has been designed to help you navigate the packed camera market and find the best option suited to your needs and preferences.
We evaluated multiple cameras’ user-friendly controls, image quality, durability, connectivity, and value for money to select the 5 best cameras for travel in 2023. So, whether you're scaling mountains or strolling through city streets, our article will help you find the perfect travel companion to capture your experiences effortlessly.
Best travel camera: 5 top picks
- Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III – the most versatile travel camera on Amazon
- Sony A7C – lightweight vacation camera with excellent battery life on Amazon
- Fujifilm X100V – compact Amazon travel camera with a single focal length
- Nikon Z fc – retro style mirrorless camera from Amazon for traveling
- GoPro Hero11 Black – powerful pocket camera from Amazon for immersive shooting
How to choose the best camera for travel?
Picking a travel camera can be challenging, as the options are quite endless. You need a compact shooting camera that you can easily take with you during your travels, but it should still be able to capture clear photos and steady videos of your exciting journeys. So, here are a few things to keep in mind that will help you to determine which travel camera to choose:
- Budget. Determine a budget that suits your financial comfort. All cameras, including the ones for traveling, come in a wide price range, so setting a budget will help you narrow down options that meet your needs without overspending.
- Image quality. Look for a camera with a good sensor size and resolution. Higher megapixels contribute to sharper images, while larger sensors perform better in low light conditions, allowing you to capture quality travel shots regardless of lighting.
- Battery life. A long-lasting battery is a must-have when you’re exploring new places, as you might not always have easy access to charging. Look for cameras with good battery life or options to have spare batteries.
- Size and portability. Opt for a compact and lightweight camera that won’t weigh you down while traveling. Smaller cameras are easier to carry, making them ideal for capturing candid shots.
- Type of photography. Consider cameras that offer interchangeable lenses, as they can cater to different types of photography. This provides flexibility to adapt to various shooting scenarios, from wide-angle landscapes to shots of distant subjects.
- Extra features. Consider some exclusive features that travel cameras offer – image stabilization, support for Wi-Fi or Bluetooth that can cater to travelers who use the camera for vlogging, weather resistance features for greater durability, and more.
Best camera for travel in 2023: reviews
We went through a comprehensive assessment of 30 travel cameras in order to select the best choice and help you make a well-informed decision. The detailed reviews below are based on our evaluation process regarding usability level, how convenient each one is to travel and shoot with, as well as the key features:
1. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III – best travel camera overall
|📷 Lens:||Micro Four Thirds mount|
|🎞 Body type:||SLR-style|
|💵 Price range:||$1,200 - $1,500|
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III stands out as the best travel camera, combining versatility and innovation to cater to photography and videography enthusiasts. With its exceptional still image quality and the ability to capture cinematic 4K video at 30fps, this camera ensures your travel memories will be beautifully captured.
Size and portability. Crafted with wanderers in mind, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III features a compact Micro Four Thirds system that guarantees adaptability. Its dimensions of 125.3 x 85.2 x 49.7mm and lightweight build at 414g make it an effortless addition to your travel gear, letting you capture breathtaking shots without being burdened by weight.
Versatility and performance. This Olympus model excels in photography and videography with its 20.4MP stills and 4K video at 30fps. Its user-friendly design suits pros and novices, supported by an intuitive interface for simple navigation.
Connectivity. This Olympus model has seamless connectivity options. You can use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB connections for swift image transfers and even remote shooting capabilities.
2. Sony A7C – compact full-frame travel camera with long-lasting battery life
|📷 Lens:||Sony E-mount|
|🎞 Body type:||SLR-style|
|💵 Price range:||$1,500 - $1,900|
Sony A7C is another great camera for travel. It’s portable size, delivers excellent image quality, has a Sony E-mount lens system, and caters to beginner travel photographers.
Size and portability. The Sony A7C is the ultimate travel companion with its compact frame measuring 124.0 x 71.1 x 59.7 mm and a weight of 509g, ensuring breathtaking shots without the bulk.
Versatility and performance. Armed with a full-frame 24.2MP sensor and advanced BIONZ X processor, the Sony A7C excels in capturing intricate details, even in challenging (low) lighting. It also has a weather-sealed body, so you can use it even in extreme weather conditions. However, it doesn’t have weatherproof ports.
Connectivity. With this Sony model, you can use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB connections, while remote shooting capabilities broaden your creative horizons.
3. Fujifilm X100V – single focal length camera ideal for travels
|📷 Lens:||23mm, f/2|
|🎞 Body type:||Large sensor compact|
|💵 Price range:||$1,300 - $1,900|
Fujifilm X100V is an artistic travel camera crafted to inspire adventure enthusiasts. It’s a compact model with a single fixed 23mm f/2 lens and has a design of analog cameras.
Size and portability. The Fujifilm X100V sparks elegance but, at the same time, is very compact and great for traveling. A compact silhouette measuring 128 x 75 x 53mm and a feather-light 478g frame ensure the camera is a joy to carry, promising breathtaking images.
Versatility and performance. This camera renders 26.1MP stills with exquisite detail. 26.1MP sensor and X-processor 4 help to improve autofocus and image quality. It also has a hybrid viewfinder (optical and electronic) and a dust and splash-proof body, which increases its durability. A downside is that there’s no zoom.
Connectivity. With this Fujifilm model, you can transmit your images through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, inviting others into your visual journey. The USB-C port streamlines charging and data transfer, too.
4. Nikon Z fc – vintage travel camera for photography enthusiasts
|📷 Lens:||Nikon Z mount|
|🎞 Body type:||SLR-style|
|💵 Price range:||$1,000 - $1,200|
Nikon Z fc is a good camera pick for travelers – it’s an SLR-style combination of vintage aesthetics and modern capabilities – an ideal pick for intermediate users seeking visual stories.
Size and portability. The Nikon Z fc's dimensions of 134.5 x 93.5 x 44.9mm and weight of 445g define its travel-friendly nature, allowing traveling photographers to capture moments without burden.
Versatility and performance. This camera seamlessly combines its retro design with a 20.9MP APS-C sensor and EXPEED 6 processor, delivering quality images across various settings, from landscapes to urban environments. A downside is that the Nikon Z fc doesn’t have in-body stabilization nor a weather-sealed body, so it might not be as resistant in extreme weather conditions as, for instance, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III.
Connectivity. Equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, the Nikon Z fc facilitates easy image sharing and remote operation. Stay connected while preserving your travel experiences.
5. GoPro Hero11 Black – powerful and compact travel camera for action
|📷 Lens:||12mm F2.8|
|🎞 Body type:||Action cam|
|💵 Price range:||$350 - $500|
If you’re into vlogging, sports, and action traveling, then GoPro Hero11 Black is the best compact travel camera for you. It’s durable and waterproof, as well as has capabilities for different shooting conditions. Overall, it’s an adventurer’s essential for on-the-go storytelling.
Size and portability. The GoPro Hero11 Black boasts a super compact size, measuring 62.3 x 44.9 x 28.6mm, and weighs a mere 153g, fitting effortlessly into your pocket for spontaneous shots. It’s the most compact choice of travel cameras on our list.
Versatility and performance. This camera packs a punch with 5.3K video and 20MP photos. It thrives in various environments, from underwater depths to mountain summits, ensuring vivid documentation of your explorations. However, it might not be as versatile as a mirrorless or a DSLR camera, as it’s not as customizable, and battery life is less durable than other mirrorless cameras.
Connectivity. You can share your vlogs or travel shots to other devices via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities. The GoPro Hero11 Black's connectivity enables quick content transfer, allowing your travel stories to unfold with ease.
6. Canon EOS Rebel SL3 – intuitive and professional camera for travel
|📷 Lens:||Canon EF/EF-S lens mount|
|🎞 Body type:||DSLR|
|💵 Price range:||$600 - $800|
Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is a solid travel camera pick for beginners and enthusiasts chasing visual excellence. It balances portability and performance with its compact design and potent 24.1MP APS-C sensor.
Size and portability. The Canon EOS Rebel SL3 presents a compact form at 122.4 x 92.6 x 69.8mm and a lightweight build at 449g, making it an unobtrusive addition to your travel kit, allowing for shooting on the move.
Versatility and performance. Sporting a 24.1MP APS-C sensor and DIGIC 8 processor, the camera delivers sharp images across diverse landscapes. Its versatile ISO range ensures quality in varying lighting conditions, making it suitable for a range of travel scenarios. Just be aware that it’s not weather-sealed, has a small viewfinder, and its built-in flash can sometimes struggle to open automatically.
Connectivity. Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities enable swift content sharing and remote control. The Canon EOS Rebel SL3's connectivity empowers you to share your visual stories easily.
Best cameras for travel compared
Check out how the finest travel cameras stack up against one another in our comprehensive comparison:
|Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III||Sony A7C||Fujifilm X100V||Nikon Z fc||GoPro Hero11 Black||Canon EOS Rebel SL3|
|Body type||SLR-style||SLR-style||Large sensor compact||SLR-style||Action cam||DSLR|
|Video resolution||4K 30fps||4K 30fps||4K 30fps||4K 30fps||5.3K 60fps||4K 30fps|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Micro USB||Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB 2.0|
|Price range||$1,200 - $1,500||$1,500 - $1,900||$1,300 - $1,900||$1,000 - $1,200||$350 - $500||$600 - $800|
|Best for||Versatile travel camera, beginners to intermediate photographers||Full-frame enthusiasts, low-light photography||Street photography, photographers who want a classic look||Retro-styled shots, vloggers||Action, sports, travel, high-speed shots||Entry-level DSLR users|
How we select these travel cameras
Choosing the perfect travel camera is a big decision. For this reason, our team of experts carefully evaluated 30 different camera options to bring you the best picks. We considered a bunch of important factors to make sure you get an excellent camera for your adventures. We looked at:
- Image quality. We evaluated each camera’s specs, like resolution and overall image quality, so you get sharp travel shots.
- Versatility. We checked whether the cameras can handle different kinds of situations for shooting (low-light, high-speed, point-and-shoot, still images, portraits).
- Battery life. We checked how long the batteries last – it’s extremely important if you’re traveling to remote locations for extensive periods of time.
- Sharing options. We made sure you can quickly share your photos.
- Weather sealing. We checked if the cameras are strong enough to handle travel and extreme weather conditions.
- Ease of use. We made sure they're not too complicated and cater to entry-level as well as intermediate users.
*We may earn an Amazon affiliate commission for the products recommended in this guide.
Is it worth getting a digital camera for travel?
In the age of smartphones, the decision to invest in a digital camera for travel is a common dilemma. While phones offer convenience, digital cameras bring distinct advantages that can significantly enhance your travel photography experience. Here are some of the pros of getting a digital camera for traveling:
- Advantages over smartphones. Digital cameras outshine smartphones in various aspects of travel photography by offering a wider lens selection, more manual controls, and more versatility in taking technically challenging shots.
- Enhanced image quality. Larger sensors result in sharper, more detailed images with improved low-light performance.
- Powerful optical zoom. Some travel cameras offer strong optical zoom capabilities, capturing distant subjects without compromising quality.
- Manual controls. Creative control via manual settings for exposure, aperture, and shutter speed enables diverse shot possibilities.
- Durability. Designed for travel, cameras withstand environmental factors better than delicate smartphones.
- Extended battery life. Cameras last longer on single charges, ensuring you're ready to capture moments during extended outings.
- Specialized features. From panoramas to macros, cameras provide options for various shooting scenarios.
In a nutshell
After delving into the field of travel cameras, it's clear that selecting the perfect companion involves striking a balance between convenience and capability. We explored the advantages of digital travel cameras, how to choose one, and overviewed the 6 best travel cameras out there in 2023.
Among the options, our top pick is the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III. With its exceptional image quality, versatile features, and durable weather-sealed design, it really stands out as the ideal camera to capture your travel escapades in all its glory.
In conclusion, investing in a dedicated travel camera elevates your photography game, offering not only remarkable memories but also the joy of creative expression. Whether you opt for our top recommendation or another contender, your journeys will undoubtedly be enriched by the power of these exceptional devices.
What camera is best to use when traveling?
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is the best camera to use when traveling. It’s compact, lightweight, and has an excellent image quality. It is also weather-sealed, so you can use it in any condition. It also has a wide range of lenses available, so you can take photos of anything, from landscapes to portraits.
Which DSLR camera is best for travel photography?
The best DSLR camera for travel photography is the Canon EOS Rebel SL3. It’s compact, making it easy to carry around. It also has a 24.1MP APS-C sensor that produces sharp and detailed images. Besides, it features 4K video resolution, so you can capture the best videos of your travels.
Which camera is best for a family trip?
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is the best camera for a family trip. It’s versatile and entry-level, and has a quality image sensor and image stabilization, so you can get sharp photos and videos even in low-light conditions. The only downsides are that it doesn’t have a built-in flash or an articulating screen, and it can be pricey.
What is the best small camera for travel?
The best small camera for travel depends on your needs and budget. If you are looking for a versatile camera that takes great photos and videos, the Fujifilm X100V is the best option. It’s compact, stylish, and has a 26.1MP APS-C sensor. Alternatively, the GoPro Hero11 Black is durable and can take great action photos and videos in various conditions. It’s also much more affordable.
What is the best camera bag for travel?
The best camera bag for travel depends on your needs and the type of camera you are using. Some factors to consider include the size and weight of your gear, the type of travel you are doing, and your budget. Choose a bag that is large enough to fit all of your gear but not so large that it is cumbersome to carry.