Best Digital Cameras for Travel for 2017


For travel photography, the needs of people can vary from a week's holiday at the seaside to trekking in the Himalayas. Ideally, the best digital cameras, mirrorless and digital SLR cameras should have most of the following features:

Speed - the digital camera must have minimal shutter lag to allow fast picture taking. This may not be so important for travel landscape photographs but is essential for photographing people, animals, festivals and social occasions. For hd 1080 video or 4k video, it is essential to have the fastest memory cards available in order to record continuos video. This also applies when taking rapid photos in RAW format.

Zoom lens - the zoom lens must be 3x or longer and must be capable of producing sharp high quality photos. A good zoom lens provides many options for the travel photographer or holiday maker. A zoom lens will bring the subject closer at the telephoto setting or take in a wide panaroma or interior at its wide setting.

Manual controls - aperture priority, shutter priority and full manual control can be useful in achieving creative results. The travel photographer can use aperture priority to control depth of field to control areas of sharpness. Shutter priority helps to freeze action with fast shutter speeds or allows night time photography through long shutter speeds. Manual control allows full control of both shutter and aperture and offers the greatest creative possibilities for the travel photographer.

Size - a small digital camera is more likely to be taken on more journeys than a large camera. Except for digital SLR cameras, many of the digital cameras listed below are small to medium in size. A small and light digital camera can prove invaluable to the travel photographer carrying a large or heavy backpack over a long period of time. The lack of weight can also allow the travel photographer to carry additional accessories such as external flash and a tripod.

Battery Life - the camera battery must be able to last for a reasonable time before recharging is required.

Large LCD - the LCD viewfinder must be 2" or larger to accurately view and compose the picture.

Except where otherwise stated, all the digital cameras recommended for travel have the above features. Other features or additions which can be useful for the travel photographer include:
Large memory card - for long travel periods, a large memory card or cards will be required. Small external hard disks, CD and DVD writers are also available with memory slots to back up data on the go.

Powerful zoom - A wide angle zoom for landscapes and interiors can be useful. Also a long telephoto zoom lens is desirable for distant shots.

Weatherproofing - with hazardous elements such as rain and sand, a weatherproof camera can be very useful in capturing shots that would otherwise have been missed.

Optical image stabilizer - for shooting in low light conditions without flash or using a camera with a large telephoto lens.


Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS100

For: - 20 MP one inch sensor for high quality images
- 10x Leica zoom. Equivalent to 25 to 250mm.
- 4k ultra video & eye level viewfinder.
- 5-axis image stabilization for HD video.

Against: - Poor menu system & small viewfinder.
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Sony RX100 IV

For: - Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24 to 70mm (equiv) f1.8-2.8 lens.
- 20.1 MP 1" Exmor RS BSI CMOS sensor. 3 inch multi-angle LCD.
- Optical image stabilization. Shoots at 16 fps. Slow-mo up to 960 fps.
- XGA OLED Tru-Finder viewfinder. Shutter speed up to 1/32000 sec.

Against: - Limited zoom range.
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Canon PowerShot G3 X

For: - 20.1 MP 1 inch BSI CMOS sensor. Optical image stabilization.
- 24 to 600mm (equiv) f2.8-5.6 zoom lens. Shoots at 5.9 fps.
- 3.2 inch touchscreen LCD with tilt. Wi-Fi and NFC.
- Compact weather resistant body. HD 1080p video.

Against: - No 4k video or electronic viewfinder.
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Nikon DL24-500

For: - 20.8 MP CX BSI CMOS sensor. 4k video with stereo sound.
- Shoots at 20 fps with AF or 60 fps with fixed focus.
- Nikkor 24 to 500mm (equiv) f2.8-5.6 ED VR lens. Wi-Fi and NFC.
- Eye level OLED viewfinder with 2.36m dots. Jpeg and RAW.
- 3 inch vari-angle OLED touchscreen LCD with 1037k dots.

Against: - Low battery life. No weather sealing.
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Olympus OM-D E-M5 II

For:  - 2.36M dot electronic viewfinder. Splash and dust proof body.
- 40 MP multi-shot mode for high resolution images. HD 1080p video.
- 5-axis image stabilization for stills and movies. Shoots at 10 fps.
- Top shutter speed of 1/16000 sec. 3" vari-angle touchscreen LCD.

Against:  - 16 MP M43 sensor is lagging behind competition.
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