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The very best cameras for travel photography and videography in 2018

Travel and photography are like fish and chips, they just go together perfectly. What better souvenir to take home than an album full of beautiful photos to remind you of the fantastic places you visited, the people you met and the experiences you had?

I first started to get interested in travel photography in 2008 on safari in Ghana. I took a super cheap point and shoot camera with me and spent most of the time being frustrated at the limitations of my camera. There I was, a mere few metres, from a huge elephant yet I’d take a photo and it would look like a grainy speck in the distance. Meanwhile, my safari buddies were comparing super sharp DSLR images and my eyes were turning green with envy. I vowed at that moment I would never travel without a decent camera again and since then, my camera and I have been firmly joined at the hip!

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I’ve often been asked what is the best camera for travel photography? But it’s not always an easy question to answer as one camera might be great for one person but not another. Personally, I love the Nikon D5500 (see more about that below) however, it’s not the best camera for video, you certainly can’t get it wet and some people may deem it too heavy. So when asking “What is the best camera for travel photography” really you need to be asking “which is the best travel camera for me?”

Here are some opinions from experienced travel bloggers to help you make the decision. Today we are discussing the best cameras for travel photography and videography in 2018.

But first, a few things you need to think about before you buy your travel camera!

Questions to ask yourself

  • How important are quality photos?
  • How much are you willing to spend?
  • Would you be happy to carry a heavy camera in order to get quality photos?
  • How many features are you happy with? Do you want something straightforward and easy to use or something which allows you greater control of the finer details?
  • Are you clumsy? Should you be thinking about a more robust camera?
  • Will you be going underwater?
  • Will you be taking many videos?
  • Does it matter to you what the camera looks like?

 Aspects of the Camera to take note of:

  • Camera weight
  • Number of lenses available for the camera you are looking at.
  • Frames per second for Videography.
  • Number of focus points.
  • Sensor size
  • Price
  • Additional features like flip screen, touch screen, Wifi and inbuilt editing tools.

So now it’s time to ask those travel bloggers “Which is the best camera for travel photography?!”

The Best Budget Canon DSLR Camera for Travel Photography by David Angel from Travel With Little One.

The Canon 650D

St Pauls Cathedral at sunset - photo taken by David Angel - best camera for travel photography

Credit @DavidAngel

I’ve been a professional photographer and art director for almost 20 years, and for much of that time used medium format film for my work.

However, the last few years I’ve used a Canon 650D camera, supplemented with very good wide angle and telephoto lenses. The 650D is an entry-level to ‘prosumer’ model and produces very good results at RAW. As a result of shooting medium format for so long, I tend to go with manual settings, especially in low light situations, and with this control, it produces some wonderful results.

One of the things I like about the 650D is its lightness. I spent many years lugging over 10kg of kit up mountains on my back, whereas now my camera bag with all lenses weighs about half that. Digital is so much more convenient than film, and you work so much more quickly with it. That said, my wife’s iPhone is even quicker!

The Best Budget Nikon DSLR Camera for Travel Photography by yours truly

The Nikon D5500

Picture of a Peruvian lady on the lares trek in peru taken by the globetrotter GP - the best camera for travel photography

I’ve had several opportunities to upgrade my camera and I always end up going back to the Nikon 5000 series. I started with the Nikon D5100 and now I have the newer version Nikon D5500. Whilst I can see the appeal of a fancy full frame camera, I feel the Nikon D5500 is a better camera for travel photography.

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Why?! Well, because it’s lighter and smaller than a full-frame DSLR. It’s got a super handy flip screen which allows you to take some great low and high angle photos. Whilst it’s not the cheapest camera, for a DSLR, it is very reasonable.

Cost is obviously an important factor for choosing the best camera for travel photography – you don’t want to spend your trip opting out of activities because you are worried about damaging a $5000 camera! It’s about finding a travel camera which can take quality photos you are happy with but at an affordable price.

For me, the Nikon D5500 combines the winning factors – it creates quality photos, has handy features to help take pictures at creative angles, it is fairly lightweight and comes at a reasonable price that won’t break the bank! I’m definitely a fan!

The Nikon D5500 combines winning factors - quality photos, has handy features to help take creative angled shots, is fairly lightweight & comes at a reasonable price that won't break the bank! #nikond5500 #travelcamera Click To Tweet

The Best Canon Mid Range DSLR Camera for Travel Photography by Longest Bus Rides

The Canon 70D DSLR Camera

The Milky Way, with San Francisco's lights glowing on the horizon. Copyright J. Sern of LongestBusRides.com The best camera for travel photography

Credit @LongestBusRides

I love this camera and have taken it around the world. My favourite feature is that, like several Canon models, it has the vari-angle screen. This allows me to hold the camera over my head, take a self-portrait, and take macro shots of flowers inches off the ground, all while easily seeing the screen and not having to stand on a ladder or crawl on the ground.

Another feature I love about DSLRs, in general, is the bulb feature. This allows me to take a photo at any length exposure, which is useful for very low-light situations, like astrophotography. Stick the camera on a tripod and I can shoot the Milky Way.

Keep in mind, this camera, plus whatever lens is attached is not especially lightweight just like all DSLRs. However, the quality overrules this for me. The Canon 70D might be found cheaply now, since Canon has released the 80D DSLR.

The Best Fuji Mirrorless Camera for Travel Photography by The World Pursuit

The Fuji X Series

Zebra on safari by The World Pursuit - the best camera for travel photography

Credit @TheWorldPursuit

I’ve been travelling with the Fuji X Series cameras for a few years now and absolutely love the image quality of them. I bought this after I got sick of lugging around my clunky Canon DSLR. I was in the market for a sleek, stylish, and lightweight camera that would serve me well on safaris, in cities, and in the mountains. It doesn’t hurt that the Fuji series have a complete retro look – most people think I’m shooting on an old film camera!

Fuji’s sensors have some of the best jpegs out of the camera I have seen. With excellent colour representation, the photos require little editing. These cameras also have wifi, tracking autofocus, and even cool effects like film simulation modes that emulate old cameras. This combined with a lightweight build that is slim, ergonomic, and fun makes it a real stand out in the world of mirrorless cameras

The Best Sony Mirrorless Camera for Travel Photography by Travel Lemming

The Sony A6000 Mirrorless Camera

Fishermen on a lake at sunset in Myanmar by Travel Lemming - the best camera for travel photography

Credit @TravelLemming

For travellers looking to step up their photography game without blowing their entire vacation budget, the Sony a6000 is a great entry mirrorless camera. Small enough to stash away in your purse (it’s about half the size of a DSLR) but powerful enough to create eye-popping images, this camera punches well above its weight.
The a6000 is also packed with features usually reserved for much pricier offerings. You’ll love the OLED viewfinder for clear visibility on sunny days, and the 100-25,600 ISO range will let you shoot even in the lowest of light. The camera also records gorgeous 1080p HD video. And transferring your creations to your phone on the fly is a breeze with the built-in WiFi transfer system.
Perhaps most importantly, the Sony a6000 allows for interchangeable lenses, meaning that the camera has plenty of room to grow as you expand your photography skills.
If you want to shoot photos like a pro on a budget, look no further than the excellent Sony a6000!

The Best Olympus Mirrorless Camera for Travel Photography by Tara Lets Anywhere

The Olympus OM-D-E-M10 Mark II

Boats in Asia by Tara lets Anywhere - best camera for travel photography

Credit @TaraLetsAnywhere

For cameras, we swear by the Olympus OM-D-E-M10 Mark II. Along with Sony A6000, it’s a contender among top budget mirrorless cameras for entry-level photo enthusiasts, and we chose it due to a slightly higher performance review online. We can’t be happier with this choice.

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Olympus Mark II is easy to use and it takes realistic, colourful pictures. Given the right conditions, minimal to no editing is required. Of course, it also has manual options that make mirrorless cameras great for quality photography – so you can adjust the aperture, ISO, white balance and so on.

This camera comes with a 14-42mm kit lens for all-around use. We use mostly this one for capturing travel photos. Olympus Mark II is also compact and lightweight, with 120 x 83 x 47mm dimension. Some of the useful features we find are HD video, 5-axis image stabilization and fast auto-focus, as well as high-res electronic viewfinder and tilting LCD screen for easy use.

Overall, Olympus OM-D-E-M10 Mark II is a great mirrorless camera that will give you your bang for the buck.

The Best Compact Camera  for Travel Photography By BackpackBecki

The Lumix TZ80

Picture of an Orangutang by BackpackBecki taken with the panasonic Lumix TZ80 - best camera for travel photography

Credit @backpackbecki

I was at crossroads when my old camera had well and truly worn out. With the amount of travelling I was doing, part of me wanted to upgrade to a DSLR but then I really liked the size and practicality of compact cameras.

One big annoyance with my old compact camera was that it didn’t have the best zoom and it was fairly rubbish on action shots. Regardless if I chose a DSLR or another compact, these were two things I wanted to address.

Although I loved the idea of a DSLR, what put me off was the size of them. I’d grown used to the practicality of compact cameras. I couldn’t just chuck a DSLR into my little shoulder bag. So I focussed my search on compact camera options.

So with quite a bit of research and black Friday looming I decided on the Panasonic Lumix TZ80. It’s got an awesome 30x zoom! And 4k video/photo capability. A ton of pre-set filters even in automatic mode which has led to some fabulous artistic shots. The macro is also pretty decent too. Nice added extras are a viewfinder if it’s too sunny to see the screen, as well as the ability to link to your smartphone via the app. The big bonus is that all this is compact enough to still fit into my little day bag.

I’ve totally fallen in love with my little Panasonic Lumix TZ80 and the outcomes I’ve had using on my past 3 trips. I would highly recommend this camera to anyone who wants quality and convenience.

The Best Camera for Using for Underwater Travel Photography by The RTW Guys.

The Sony RX100 Mark IV

sea of cortez sea lion by the rtw guys - the best cameras for travel photography

Credit @TheRTWGuys

I’ve been using the Sony RX100 Mark IV since I borrowed one in 2016 in Indonesia. The quality was so impressive that I bought it as soon as I got home.

FantaSea’s FRX10 underwater housing  is the best for this camera. It’s inexpensive, high quality, and allows full manual control over all functions of the camera. The FRX100 supports the BigEye M55 wide-angle conversion lens (ASIN B00R6LRRRU), which you’ll need for the best photo and video results.

My favourite feature of the RX100 is the ability to pre-set two custom white balance configurations. No more constant adjustment during a dive. Push a button and you’re done.

The camera, housing, and lens will set you back about $1600, fairly inexpensive for the quality you’re getting. You’ll add more to this kit eventually, but this is enough to get you started. And when you’re done underwater, it’s a perfect travel camera that fits right in your front pocket!

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The Best Drone for Travel Photography by Allan from Live Less Ordinary.

The DJI Spark Drone

Drone photo of stately home from above in the snow - by live less ordinary - the best camera for travel photography

Credit @LiveLessOrdinary

Size will always be the deciding factor for many travellers when it comes to drones, and this is why DJI Spark is the perfect model, a drone small enough to fit in your pocket or take off from your hand (143×143×55 mm), and light enough (300grms) for it to avoid occasional local drone legislation.

At the same time, the quality is high, as expected from DJI, and the Spark easily covers the needs of any blogger or hobbyist in drone photography and videography. But what I love most about the DJI Spark is just how simple and idiot-proof it is to use. As with obstacle avoidance sensors, it is almost impossible to crash, and with GPS tracking, if the connection is lost, or the battery life is running low, it will automatically return “home” to where it first set off. Not to forget that it is the cheapest of the DJI drones.

To check out the video capacity of the DJI Spark, check out this video by Live Less Ordinary.

 

The Best Smartphone Camera for Travel Photography  by Stuart Forster of Go Eat Do

The Google Pixel smartphone

Victoria Falls Zimabwe_Taken with the Google Pixel Camera by Go Eat Do - the best camera for travel photography

Credit @GoEatDo

Having a smartphone with a quality camera is handy for taking photographs and filming videos. I find that the has a very good still camera. It also enables me to shoot high-definition videos without carrying bulky equipment.

The camera creates 12.3-megapixel photos and is quick to focus. It also performs reasonably well in low-light conditions.

As a trained photographer I regularly use D-SLR cameras on assignments and love the creative flexibility offered by them. But sometimes it’s a relief to travel light and simply enjoy photography. The Google Pixel smartphone weighs just 143 grams. Carrying it in my pocket on nights out or days off ensures that I’m able to quickly ready myself to take photos.

I also like that it’s easy to download photo editing software to the phone. That means I can immediately edit pictures for online use and share them via social media.

The Google Pixel has by far the best camera of any smartphone I’ve yet used.

The Best 360-Degree Action Camera for Travel Photography by World Trip Diaries

The Garmin Virb 360

360 degree photo by world trip diaries - the best camera for travel photography

Credit @WorldTripDiaries

After a lot of research, we bought a Garmin Virb 360. It’s a very cool 360 camera, which means it takes a photo of everything around, above, and below.  It doubles as an action camera, too. It can go underwater, it’s weather resistant, and it has a lot of cool accessories to use it in a wide variety of ways!
The reason we bought it instead of others is that we can change the lenses in case they break. That means we can use it without the fear of having to get a new camera.
It’s also a small and lightweight camera, which makes it great for travelling!
The only troubles are editing (it takes a bit longer than regular photos to be usable) and the need for a good and stable tripod – because I’m sure you won’t want your camera falling down at the smallest movement.

So there we have it, plenty of advice from experienced travel bloggers to help you find your next camera! So which do you think is the best camera for travel photography in 2018?! I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions and as always I really appreciate any shares to help me spread the word!

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