How to choose the perfect travel camera

by Tanja
best travel cameras
Readers often ask us what’s in our camera bag, which lenses do we use, or advice on the best travel camera to buy for their next journey. So here’s a guide we prepared to help you choosing the best camera – between DSLR, mirrorless, actioncam and bridge – for your next trip!!

The journey is an emotion and an endless discovery. So many places to see, so many moments to capture and of which you would like to have a tangible memory. That’s why there is an object that can’t be missed in every true traveller’s backpack: a good camera.

A beautiful photo is the most precious memory

In a time when photography has become more easily accessible to everyone, it is difficult to choose the model that best suits our needs. Personally when it comes to travel I choose a small, lightweight camera which allows me to travel with small luggage. But let’s go with order!

Things to consider before buying a travel camera

Lenses. The most experienced photographers know it, the lenses have an enormous influence on the quality of the shot. The aperture of a lens is measured in f / numbers, such as f/1.4, f/2.8, f/4, etc. The lower the number, the better the performance in low light conditions. Before choosing the lens you must think about the type of photography that you like. Wide-Angle lenses are perfect for landscapes, while telephotos are great for portraits. Find out which lenses we use on our travels >>

Zoom. A zoom lens gets you amazingly close to your subject, especially for wildlife or people. But the bigger the zoom the bulkier a camera gets.

Video HD/4KMost cameras shoot video in HD 1080p, some even in 4K capabilities – the best quality if you want to do some professional work.

Wi-Fi and BluetoothThis feature is super cool! Some cameras allow you to upload your photos to a smartphone via Bluetooth so you can instantly share your memories with friends and followers on your socials.

The best travel DSLR camera of 2019

A DSLR camera is one of the best choices for those who want to take the first step into professional photography. To make it simple, the main difference between DSLR and compact cameras (or Point-and-Shoot) is the interchangeability of the lenses. Although the choice of the camera body is important, it’s the lens making the difference on the quality of the image. The advice is to choose an entry-level camera body and to invest most of the budget available on good lenses.

These 3 models are a great start:

best travel cameras

Nikon D3400


The best Mirrorless travel camera of 2019

Then there are the mirrorless cameras, super compact but with interchangeable lenses. They are in between compact cameras and DSLR and are my first choice when I travel. They are pocket-sized and ultra-light and equipped with an electronic viewfinder that allows you to see in real time the changes made by the variation of parameters such as ISO and aperture (with DSLR cameras you can see the results only after shooting). This feature, by itself, is worth buying a mirrorless! Think about how much time you save by having a preview of the manual shooting settings.

Sonys are among the best mirrorless cameras on the market. I always carry my Sony Alpha 6000 with me, which I love, but the technology evolves at the speed of light so here are the latest Sony models with a medium price range:

Mirrorless cameras are also great for making videos, movies and documentaries. If you want to get quality videos remember to check the frame rate, the autofocus system and the stabilizing system. A plus: the swivel screen, essential for vlogging!

best travel cameras

Sony Alpha 6300

The best Bridge cameras to travel in 2019

One of my favorite features of bridge cameras is the built-in zoom that, in some models, reaches significant distances. This makes them excellent travel cameras, especially considering the value for money – for adventure trips and safaris. A few months ago, for example, we visited the Kruger National Park, bringing with us a mirrorless camera and a DSLR, both with a 210mm zoom – good, but not enough. Buying a bigger telephoto lens would have cost too much. Result: in some photos, you can’t really see the animal! Here is where bridge cameras come into play that, at moderate costs, allow you to have a built-in zoom capable of capturing not only animals but the craters on the moon!

Here are some of the best mid-range models:

best travel cameras

Nikon Coolpix P900

Action Cam, the camera that survives every kind of travel

The indestructible Action Cam is the ideal travel companion for all the extreme adventures. Resistant and tiny, they can take pictures and film even under water and at any temperature. We put our GoPro to the test in a mud bath in Vietnam and it survived!

There are several brands on the market, but the best is definitely the GoPro. The GoPro Hero 7 is the latest model,  it has an integrated video stabilizer and can film in 60fps slow-motion and 4K. It is waterproof (no need for additional cases) and a touch screen. What’s interesting is the new voice control to activate the camera when is mounted on a helmet or on the surfboard!

best travel cameras

GoPro Hero 7

Instantcam, the camera for nostalgic souls

In the past decades, the habit of printing photographs of our travels has been lost. The hundreds of photographs taken in a burst end up in forgotten folders on our laptops. And without the pleasure of leafing through a photo album, we rarely see these photos again.

That’s why I always loved the old Polaroids. A few seconds and the photo is in your hands, no more excuses. Among the Instantcam’s the Leica Sofort is my favorite. In addition to the classic look that distinguishes the Leica brand, this instant camera is able to automatically adjust the correct amount of light to be printed on the film using the exposure meter.

Vintage charm and a lower price for another very interesting model, the Fujifilm Instax Mini 90.

best travel cameras

Fujifilm Instax Mini 90

Which camera will you take with you on your next adventure?

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