Best cameras for travel photography and vlogging in 2021
Our life is the sum of our experiences, and nothing provides more vivid experiences than traveling. Travelling broadens our horizons and gives us a fresh perspective towards life. It offers us an opportunity to learn about people from different walks of life and their culture.
Travelling also provides a remedy for the stress, anxiety, and monotony of our daily existence. This is the reason behind the growing popularity of travel photography.
Travel photography is an extremely rewarding and artistic genre of photography.
It allows the traveler to capture the beauty and essence of their destination on film. It creates memories that last a lifetime. These memories can then be shared with others to educate them about the cultural diversity around the world.
It also motivates and inspires other people to travel and experience these places for themselves. While traveling, most people prefer to take photos with their phone cameras. However, photography enthusiasts are always looking to have the best photography equipment and accessories possible to make their experience more enjoyable.
To know more about photography as a profession, click here.
What to look for in a Camera for Travel Photography
The specifics of your photography equipment should be determined by the purpose it will serve. The basic essentials to look for in a camera for travelling purposes are a compact design and lasting battery life. It doesn’t have to be the most sophisticated piece of machinery with an extremely high megapixel count. The best cameras for this genre offer a combination of portability, accessibility, manual control and decent image quality.
Price plays a key role in any purchase. Travelling can be an expensive activity, so we wouldn’t want our photography accessories alone to cost a fortune. It is important to have a price range in mind when browsing options.
- Portability and Durability
Our equipment shouldn’t be a detriment to our travel experience. Having a large DSLR with a wide array of lenses can be tedious to carry around and maintain. Further, our gear also needs to be durable and weatherproof. Our travel adventures take us to different parts of the world with contrasting climates. Therefore, having weatherproof casing for our equipment is important.
A travel camera should be easy to use on the fly. However, it should still have the options to manually adjust the settings to capture the perfect shot in varying conditions.
- Battery life
This is probably one of the most essential features to look for in a travel camera. While travelling, we don’t always get the opportunity to charge all our gear and accessories regularly. Having good battery backup on our devices is important. Nowadays, some cameras offer portable USB charging as well. This is a slower process, but is really helpful while travelling.
- Image and Video Quality
Even though extremely high megapixel counts are not the primary necessity for a travel camera, the image quality should still be decent. If you are looking for a vlogging camera to record various travel destinations, most cameras offer a video recording resolution upwards of 1080p. There are also cameras in the higher price ranges offering resolutions of 4k and even 8k.
The Top 10 Travel Photography Cameras Available Today
Canon Powershot SX740HS
Overview: The Canon Powershot SX740HS is one of the best budget options when it comes to travel photography. It is a rather basic point and shoot camera. It offers great portability and the ability to toggle settings manually. Weighing in at 275g, it is a rather compact device. It offers a 21 MP sensor, great zoom capabilities and video recording resolutions of 4k, 1080p and 720p. Overall, there are significant improvements in this model over its predecessor, the SX730HS. For detailed specs, click here.
Price: To check the latest price of the Canon Powershot SX740HS, click here.
Pros: There is a lot to like about this device. It is extremely cost effective for the features it offers. It is compact and durable and has an impressive battery life. The 40x optical zoom lens with stabilization features are impressive as well. It also provides efficient connectivity options with Wi-Fi, USB, HDMI and NFC options.
Cons: There are no significant issues with the device in particular. However, certain areas display some shortcomings due to the budget build. It offers limited image quality control and the quality suffers even more at longer focal lengths. The 3 inch display isn’t touch sensitive, which can be bothersome. Over sharpening of images is also visibly present.
Sony RX100 VII
Overview: The Sony RX100 VII is the best compact device available when it comes to travel photography equipment. It offers point and shoot features similar to the Powershot SX740HS, but with better quality. It has a 21 MP camera with stunning 4k resolution video capture. The camera also has a burst mode capable of capturing at 90 fps. It has video recording of 120 fps HD and up to 1000 fps at lower resolutions. For detailed specs, click here.
Price: To check the latest price of the Sony RX100 VII, click here.
Pros: This device offers nearly everything one needs to capture quality pictures and videos while visiting various travel destinations. It offers ultra high speed shooting capabilities and high end resolution. It is also great for vlogging due to its 3 inch touch screen flip display and the availability of a mic jack.
Cons: The main con when it comes to this device is the price tag. This high end travel camera fetches a high end price as well, which hurts its ‘value for money’ rating. The controls on the screen and device are also rather small which makes it a little tedious to operate.
Canon G7X Mark III
Overview: the G7X Mark III is widely regarded as the best vlogging camera in the market nowadays. It offers significant improvements over its predecessor, the Mark II. The most notable upgrades are the new CMOS sensor and the Digic8 processor. These combine to provide a higher quality images and better performance. For detailed specs, click here.
Price: To check the latest price of the Canon G7X Mark III, click here.
Pros: This device is a vlogger’s delight. It has an articulated LCD screen that can rotate 180 degrees. This allows you to frame your shot better while recording yourself. The most revolutionary feature offered by this device is the ability to directly live stream what you are recording.
Cons: The biggest con about this camera is the below average battery life. Battery backup is essential for travel photography. The 4k video recording also has a 10 minute limit, which can be annoying for those looking to record in long sessions.
Overview: This is the first entry on this list, which isn’t a standard point and shoot camera. The Sony A6600 is a powerhouse in the genre of travel photography. It has interchangeable lenses which provide the user more control and versatility. It also has impressive autofocus capabilities and a brilliant electronic viewfinder. For detailed specs, click here.
Price: To check the latest price of the Sony A6600, click here.
Pros: The Sony A6600 offers some of the most desirable features of a travel photography camera. It has excellent battery life and weather sealing. The compact design and image stabilization also add to the appeal of the device. The interchangeable lenses allow the user to switch between portrait, wide angle and zoom modes efficiently.
Cons: The biggest drawback of this camera is the cost when compared to its rivals. Such a steep buying price can be discouraging for potential buyers. The body design and the display is also a bit outdated.
Overview: The Sony A7III is the perfect blend of a travel photography camera and a professional camera. It acts like a jack of all trades in this genre. The excellent autofocus and contrast detection make the 24 MP camera perform even better. It also provides beautiful 4k and HD video recording as well. For detailed specs, click here.
Price: To check the latest price of the Sony A7III, click here.
Pros: The Sony A7III has excellent battery life. The updated menu system and the new Autofocus joystick make it easier to use as well. It also has excellent noise reduction and customization options. This camera also has interchangeable lenses for greater versatility.
Cons: Despite being in a similar price range as the A6600, the A7III offers better value for money. However, the price can still be considered a con. The camera is also comparatively less compact than its rivals in the travel photography genre. It also lacks an external battery charger and can only be charged with an internal USB charger.
GoPro Hero 9 Black
Overview: This is the first action camera in this list. These devices used to have the reputation of being solely meant for extreme sports and activities. However, with the progression of technology, these cameras can now be used for a variety of purposes. Their small size and durable build make them ideal for travel photography. the GoPro Hero 9 offers a new 5k resolution, which is a massive upgrade. For detailed specs, click here.
Price: To check the latest price of the GoPro Hero 9 Black, click here.
Pros: Action cameras like the GoPro Hero 9 are known for their compact size and ease of use. The interface is simplistic. The device also has in built image stabilization and and horizon leveling. A feature known as TimeWarp 3.0 lets the user switch smoothly between real time, hyper lapse and slow motion. The screen placement at the front also makes it ideal for flogging. It can also be easily attached to various mounts to make it even easier to use.
Cons: The obvious con with action cameras is the lack of in depth features when compared to the competition. Full frame cameras offer more in that department.
Panasonic Lumix G100
Overview: Even though the Panasonic Lumix G100 is primarily marketed as a vlogging camera, it is extremely versatile. It has a 20.3 MP sensor capable of taking incredible still images. For detailed specs, click here.
Price: To check the latest price of the Panasonic Lumix G100, click here.
Pros: This camera does a lot of things well. It can act as a vlogging camera or for stills. it has a compact body with a decent viewfinder and inbuilt charging. This makes it ideal for travel photography. The interchangeable lenses add to the versatility off the camera for still images. The directional audio tracking is impressive as well.
Cons: The 4k recording mode of this camera poses certain concerns. It can only record for 10 minutes at a time. It is also subject to extreme cropping when recording in 4k. The autofocus suffers from issues as well.
Overview: Nikon Z50 is marketed as a device which is ideal for those looking for a casual experience. It is a good entry level camera for travel photography. It has a 20.9 MP CMOS sensor. The touchscreen tilts down by 90 degrees and upwards by 180 degrees. This makes it efficient for vlogging purposes. For detailed specs, click here.
Price: To check the latest price of the Nikon Z50, click here.
Pros: The Nikon Z50 has an excellent autofocus system with impressive object tracking and face detection. It also has an informative and easy to use interface. For a mid-price travel photography camera, this device offers excellent image and video quality.
Cons: The battery life of this camera is a little below par. The in-built USB charging somewhat compensates for this but overall it is still a let down. Also, lens availability and prices are a concern.
Sony A7R IV
Overview: The Sony A7R IV is smaller in size compared to the average full frame DSLR. However, it certainly doesn’t lack in features or capabilities. It has excellent autofocus and top tier resolution for images and videos. The 61 MP sensor is as good as it gets for a travel photography camera. The upgraded weather sealing makes it perfect for traveling as well. For detailed specs, click here.
Price: To check the latest price of the Sony A7R IV, click here.
Pros: The incredibly high resolution is the most prominent feature of this device. Sony has also made major upgrades to the interface. It has an impressive battery life and in-camera charging. The weather sealed build of the device is extremely grip friendly as well.
Cons: This is the most expensive travel camera on this list by a fair margin. Despite offering the best features and quality, the price can be a deal breaker for many. The menus can also be complicated and the touchscreen is laggy compared to its competitors.
Overview: Fujifilm has always been a reliable household name when it comes to photography. With the X-T30, they have offered a device similar to the high end X-T3 at a more affordable price. It has a 26.1 MP sensor with excellent autofocus and burst shooting. The interchangeable lenses add to the versatility of the device. For detailed specs, click here.
Price: To check the latest price of the Fujifilm X-T30, click here.
Pros: The X-T30 can be considered the little brother version of the X-T3. It offers a lot of the same features for a fraction of the price. This makes it a good option for travel photography. The 4k recording quality is excellent and has no crop issues. The controls and the UI are simple but efficient as well. Also, the compact design and tilting touchscreen LCD screen make it ideal for travelling and vlogging.
Cons: The primary shortcoming of this device is the lack of inbuilt image stabilization. This can be troublesome for travel photography. The 10 minute limit for 4k video recording and the inefficient subject tracking is also a con.