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10 Best APS-C Cameras in 2024 (Best Mirrorless and Compact Cameras!)

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The good news for anyone looking for the best APS-C camera is that there are plenty of fantastic choices. They range from increasingly rare compact cameras to mirrorless cameras with astonishing specs.

Full-frame cameras might still reign supreme in the professional world. But it’s not unheard of for a pro to carve out a successful career with nothing more than an APS-C. But it’s probably a discussion for another time whether this trend will continue.

For now, we’ve put together a selection of compact, DSLR, and mirrorless APS-C cameras for you to consider. There’s something for every photographer and every budget on this list. Continue reading to see which is best for you.

Nikon Z fc

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Sony a6700

What Is the Best APS-C Camera?

The very best APS-C cameras have very high pixel counts on their sensors. They feature some of the best autofocus (AF) and image stabilization (IS) systems available. Whether you are an APS-C fan or remain to be convinced, there’s something here to meet your needs.

  • Face- and eye-detect AF for humans and animals
  • Lots of easy-access control dials
  • Attractive and stylish design
  • 4K video capabilities
  • Improved CMOS sensor
  • Wide expandable ISO range (50 to 102,400)
  • Built-in image stabilization
  • Weather-sealed body
  • 4K video recording with 10-bit 4:2:2 color
  • 120 fps slow-mo frame rate
  • Great value for the price
  • Eye-detect autofocus for humans and animals
  • Compact size
  • 4K video option
  • Flip-out touchscreen for selfies and vlogging

Canon EOS R100

  • Excellent image quality from the 24.1 MP sensor
  • Canon's reliable Dual Pixel CMOS AF system
  • AF also has auto subject, face, and eye detection
  • 4K video recording and Full HD at 60 fps
  • High-precision 2.36 million-dot electronic viewfinder


  • 30 fps burst mode with electronic shutter
  • 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization
  • Fully articulating touch screen
  • Unlimited, oversampled 4K video
  • Animal eye-detect AF for wildlife and pets


  • Powerful 40.2 MP APS-C sensor
  • Pixel Shift High-Res mode for 160 MP images
  • Built-in 5-axis image stabilization
  • 8K cinematic video at 30 fps
  • 4K recording at 60 fps and Full HD at 240 fps
  • Fully weather-sealed body


  • Compact and lightweight body
  • Responsive and accurate AF with eye detection and tracking
  • Wide ISO range with excellent low-noise performance at the top end
  • Vari-angle screen is perfect for videos and vlogging
  • Environmental sealing for outdoor shoots


  • Incredible 40.2 MP resolution from an APS-C sensor
  • AF uses AI to identify and track moving subjects
  • Pixel Shift Multi-Shot mode for ultra high-resolution photos
  • Long-lasting, 680-shot battery
  • Outstanding 6.2K video recording


  • 26 MP sensor for good noise reduction and fast readout
  • Sharp JPEGs with low noise
  • 15 quality film simulations
  • Hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder
  • Tilting touchscreen
  • Excellent 4K Ultra HD video


  • High-resolution 24 MP sensor in a compact camera
  • Manual exposure and focus settings
  • Face-detection autofocus features
  • Wi-Fi connectivity and USB charging


Choosing the Best APS-C Camera

Now that we’ve seen a summary of the best APS-C cameras around, let’s take a closer look at why we like them.

1. Nikon Z fc

The Nikon Z fc looks so good that you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a case of style over function. But its real beauty lies in its blend of looks and photo capabilities.

The Z fc has a 20.7 MP sensor. This is capable of an impressive on-paper maximum native ISO of 51,200. Impressive on paper is one thing, but the Z fc performs well in the real world. You’ll be happy with anything shot up to 1,600 ISO. And realistically, you can even shoot up to 25,600 ISO and still get good results.

For  most situations at most  viewing sizes, you’ll be more than impressed with how photos look. And don’t forget that it delivers 4K video at up to 30 fps as well.

Because it’s a mirrorless camera, you get really good sensor coverage with the AF system. The 209 hybrid zones cover 87% vertical and 85% horizontal of the sensor. It’s a hybrid phase and contrast-detection system. It can detect and track human faces, animal faces, and eyes. And it will track and adjust exposure at up to 5 fps (11 fps with AF and AE lock). 

One of the strengths of the Z fc is its connectivity. Videographers are big fans of mirrorless cameras. But you’re wasting your time if you can’t add an external microphone or if you can’t monitor the sound you’re recording. The Z fc covers that with jacks for both those functions.

It has HDMI, USB-C, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth for an impressive set of connectivity. But there’s no GPS and only one SD card slot. There’s no built-in flash, but there is a hot shoe for firing a speedlite.

Both the LED touchscreen and the electronic viewfinder (EVF) are excellent. They are bright and clear, and there’s no perceptible lag. Not everyone uses or likes a viewfinder. But there are plenty of situations where they are a real bonus. And the Nikon Z fc’s are fantastic.

Videographers probably care less about viewfinders. But they will like the articulating screen and overall video performance. You can shoot 1080p at up to 120 fps and 4K at 30 fps. There is a recording limit of 30 minutes, but this is common in a lot of cameras. That might deter some filmmakers, but it’s a handy performer for both still and video work.

And that brings us on to the real delight of the Nikon Z fc. How it handles, and how it looks. In real life, it’s surprisingly small. Because it looks like an old-fashioned SLR brick, you expect it to be the same size. But it is tiny by comparison, which is great for long photo shoots.

The aesthetics are beautiful. Metal dials engraved with numbers allow the tactile joy of physically controlling the settings. A tiny LCD screen to display your f-stop is a touch of modernity mixed with a retro look and feel. I think it looks best in faux leatherette and brushed metal, especially when paired with a matching DX 15-50mm lens .

There are many things to love about the Nikon Z fc . It looks amazing and takes superb photos in a range of settings. It’s small, lightweight, and unobtrusive, making it a perfect travel, street, or candid camera. And it performs well for both stills and video.

2. Sony a6700

Sony is known for having incredible autofocus, and the Sony a6700 carries on the tradition. But it’s not a one-trick pony. There are many aspects to this camera that make it a solid choice for an APS-C camera.

The sensor boasts 26 MP, which is plenty for most uses. It allows the a6700 to shoot 4K video at 120 fps, which is impressive. It shoots at up to 11 fps, which is faster than many pro-level cameras from just a few years back. And with a buffer that copes with 59 RAW images, it’s good enough for sports and wildlife photographers.

The AF system uses 759 phase-detection points to cover 95% of the sensor area. You can select a range of subjects, from humans, birds, and animals to planes and cars. The AF will track them as they move and keep focus locked on. It’s very effective.

One very handy feature is the 5-axis in-body IS. This works in conjunction with any image-stabilized lenses you use. The overall result is the ability to get great shots even when the light is low.

Image stabilization is also popular for video, and many filmmakers are fans of Sony cameras. The a6700 offers an impressive 120 fps 4K video option, but it does it from a crop of its sensor. If you want the whole sensor, then you’re limited to 60 fps, which is still very good. And if you want to post your videos on social media, even the cropped output will be big enough.

Something else that appeals to the video user is the fully articulating touch screen. It makes awkward camera angles or selfies a breeze. If you’re more a fan of a viewfinder, the a6700’s EVF is bright and can handle 120 fps refresh rates.

One advantage that APS-C has over full-frame cameras is their size. Sony’s a6700 uses the shape of a rangefinder camera to exploit the size benefits. But it doesn’t do away with the viewfinder completely. Not everyone likes the offset EVF. But it is better than no viewfinder in very bright conditions. 

The Sony a6700 is a superb little camera that nicely balances the needs of photographers and videographers. But like most Sony cameras, the menu system leaves a lot to be desired. And in such a competitive market, that can be a problem.

3. Sony a6100

The Sony a6100 is one of the best-value APS-C cameras available. Especially if you don’t want too many fancy features but rather a simple-to-use camera that will perform reliably in most circumstances. It’s not as fully featured as the a6700, but it still impresses with image quality, autofocus, and video.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is some barebones product. It comes with some very impressive specs, like a 24 MP sensor, 11 fps burst speed, and eye-, face-, and smile-detect AF. What it lacks are some other (often specialized) features, like a live-view color histogram in the EVF, customizable minimum ISO in auto ISO mode, or a headphone jack.

Someone looking to move up from their smartphone to a more capable camera will find lots to like about the a6100. Although it’s small, it’s easier to hold than a smartphone for video work. And the EVF is bright and fast for more traditional photography. The 120 fps refresh rate makes it responsive, although it will have an impact on battery life. One minor weakness with the a6100 is the small battery tends to drain quite quickly.

Where the a6100 shines is in how easy it is to take great-quality images. This is helped by the AF, the automatic exposure, and the quality of available lenses. All of this will be appreciated by videographers. They will also like the 4K video at 30 fps and 1080p 120 fps.

The AF system uses both contrast and phase detection and has 425 detection points. The AF will track eyes or faces and will recognize up to eight faces, allowing you to choose whom to follow. It will continue to track even as the camera rattles off bursts at 11 fps. That’s impressive. And it’s one of the features that make it so easy to get great results, even as a beginner photographer.

The same can be said of the automatic exposure. The a6100 brings point-and-shoot simplicity and delivers near-perfect exposure shot after shot. You simply have to whip it out of your pocket, start it up, and press the shutter. In most circumstances, that’s all you will need for a perfectly focused, well-exposed photo. Of course, you still have to choose the composition. But the camera takes care of all the settings, leaving you free to concentrate on composition.

The Sony a6100 makes taking excellent photos a breeze. It’s not perfect, and you wouldn’t be wrong if you found Sony’s menu system confusing. It’s the one thing that detracts from the experience of using this (and every Sony) camera. But overall, it’s compact, lightweight, and takes great video and still photos.

4. Canon EOS R100

The Canon EOS R100 is the lightest mirrorless camera with a viewfinder. It looks like a DSLR, but it’s much smaller. However, its performance matches many larger, more expensive cameras. It has a 24 MP sensor and shoots 4K video at 24 fps. And you can increase that to 120 fps for 1080p video.

The R100 gives you the excellent image quality you’d expect from a Canon sensor. And with the full fleet of RF lenses, you have a decent set of options. If that’s not enough, then a Canon EF-to-RF adaptor makes every EF and EF-S mount lens work perfectly. And that is a  lot of lenses.

Bearing in mind that this is a budget-friendly camera, the specs are decent. The maximum ISO is 12,800, which is pretty low by modern standards. And to be fair, the sensor doesn’t handle even that maximum speed as well as some other cameras. But you’ll be fine using up to ISO 3,200. And for a compact, easy-to-use camera, that’s more than acceptable.

Likewise, the 3.5 fps burst speed with AF and AE tracking won’t make any headlines. But unless you’re shooting sports, it’s more than decent. And it will handle 6 fps with focus and exposure locked. That AF system uses 143 detection points if the camera selects them automatically. For manual selection, you have the choice of 3,975 points.

Because the body is so small, you must press a few buttons before you access the controls. On my Canon EOS 5D Mark III , I can access 35 different functions without taking my eye off the viewfinder or moving more than a finger or thumb. But that camera is a beast and meant for a different market. The EOS R100 gives you most of what you need for simple, fast, photography.

There’s no in-body IS and the screen is fixed. So you’ll need to decide if those are must-have features for you. But sensor quality, AF, and automatic exposure are strong positives for this camera. And some pros might sneer, but the built-in flash is a great addition to a camera of this type.

If you want a compact, reliable, simple-to-use camera, the Canon EOS R100 delivers excellent photos. 

5. Canon EOS R7

If you want a more fully featured APS-C camera, then the Canon EOS R7 could be for you. It is blazingly fast, has excellent autofocus, and even has a self-leveling sensor! And all of this is in a body that’s substantially smaller than a DSLR.

You’ll love the sharpness of the EOS R7’s images. Not only is the sensor an impressive 32.3 MP, but its pixel density means the images are crisp. In-body image stabilization keeps the sensor stable. And it’s the same mechanism that automatically levels the sensor as you shoot stills and video.

You can shoot video at 4k and 60 fps or crank the frame rate up to 120 fps with 1080p video. The in-body IS, working in tandem with any lens IS, can help you achieve almost gimbal-steady shots.

6. Fujifilm X-H2

The Fujifilm X-H2 is a solid-looking APS-C mirrorless camera. It is traditionally styled with a central viewfinder lump and a chunky handgrip. It has some pretty incredible specs, including a 40 MP sensor, 20 fps burst speed, and a max shutter speed of 1/180,000 s!

If you feel slightly cheated by a “mere” 40 MP, you can activate the Pixel Shift mode. This takes a series of 20 RAW images in five sets of four. The sensor moves slightly between each shot, exposing each pixel five times. The images are combined to give an effective sensor resolution of 160 MP. It takes about a minute to combine the images later in the computer. But beware, the final image is about 640 MB! It works well for static subjects, but any movement from the camera or subject will spoil the shot.

Film presets are another feature that old-school film photographers might like. These process the JPEGs in-camera to recreate the feel of some classic films. So if you want to relive the glory days of Fuji Velvia, you’ll love this feature.

Truth is, you’ll get better image quality than any film camera you probably owned. The clarity and sharpness of the sensor is terrific. And this is a good place to mention that this camera can shoot 8K video at 30 fps. And it’s one of the best value cameras for getting into that level of video resolution. It also shoots 6.2K video at 30 fps, 4K at 60 fps, and 1080p at 240 fps.

The Autofocus works well and has eye, face, and object recognition. And the low-light shooting is very impressive, with a high degree of ISO invariance. There are fewer lenses available for the Fujifilm X-H2 than, say, the EOS R7. But there are enough to meet most needs. It’s the best-value 8K camera out there and makes a compelling case as a general-purpose camera as well.

7. Nikon Z30

If you don’t need a viewfinder, then the Nikon Z30 might be the right camera for you. There’s no getting around it—a viewfinder takes up space. But the Z30 looks neat and tidy without one. The layout of the body and controls is as good as you can ask for. And as you’ll always be using the screen, you can place the rear controls for easy access.

The Z30 has a 20 MP sensor, which is relatively modest. But Nikon knows a thing or two about sensors, and you’ll get excellent image quality from this camera. Like many cameras in this review, it shoots 4K video at 30 fps or 1080p at 120 fps.

There are 209 hybrid AF points, using both contrast and phase detection. It works well, especially for face detection and tracking. And the Z30 performs exceptionally well at high ISOs. There is almost nothing sacrificed in quality up to 3,200 ISO. And you can shoot usable images all the way up to 204,800 ISO.

Those are unusual circumstances, however. We mainly want our pictures to be in focus, sharp, and well-exposed. This Nikon takes care of that. With no viewfinder, it’s important that the screen is good. And it is. It’s clear, bright, and can be viewed from any angle.

This is a great little camera with some minor annoyances. When you hold it in portrait orientation, the menus and buttons remain at 90 degrees. And there’s no in-body IS or built-in flash. Other than that, the Nikon Z30 shows us how good a compact APS-C mirrorless camera can be.

8. Fujifilm X-T5

The Fujifilm X-T5 is a stills photography specialist. It will shoot video, but it is made for the old-fashioned stills photographer. The X-T5 looks like a “classic” camera. And the control dials give photographers total exposure control.

Many people suggest the APS-C X-T5 is nearly as good as full-frame cameras. The 40 MP sensor certainly outguns many full-frame cameras in terms of pixels. And the Pixel Shift mode offers incredible 160 MP images.

Fujifilm makes the most of the mirrorless camera’s AF advantages, using 3.3 million on-sensor phase-detection pixels. That covers pretty much the whole sensor. An AI processor expands the type of subjects the AF system can recognize and track. This includes humans and animals, as well as planes, trains, and automobiles.

The burst rate is 15 fps with the mechanical shutter and increases to 20 fps with the electronic shutter. And it has the same unbelievable 1/180,000 s maximum shutter speed. We use the phrase “blink of an eye” to describe something that is very fast, but that shutter speed is 54,000 times faster!

The Fujifilm X-T5 is a good-looking, well-built camera that delivers excellent image quality. It is backed up by an extensive range of lenses. So you would have no problem building up an impressive camera system.

9. Fujifilm X100V

The Fujifilm X100V is different from the other cameras we have reviewed so far. It is one of two compact APS-C cameras in this review. Smartphones have largely taken over the compact camera market. But the X100V has bucked that trend, and at times it’s had a significant back-order list. And it’s easy to see why.

In any retro camera beauty contest, the X110V would do well. Its old-school styling is matched by the quality of its construction. Lots of metal, including the physical knobs and dials, add to that feel of a crafted object. And those same dials mean that this is a great camera to learn all about photography and exposure.

The X100V has a 26 MP sensor that delivers beautifully sharp images. As a compact camera, we can also talk about the lens that comes attached to the body. It is a 23mm, equivalent to a 35mm lens on a full-frame sensor. It’s a classic length lens for press photographers. And there’s enough detail in the X100V sensor to allow one of this camera’s very neat ideas. A simple turn of a dial gives you a 50mm and 70mm digital zoom.

Perhaps one of the  X100V’s smartest features is found in the EVF. This is a hybrid viewfinder offering optical and electronic options. You can switch between the two easily. And most impressively, you can choose the optical viewfinder with digital overlays and immediate digital playback.

The AF system is fast and accurate, and the AE is impressive. One of the most convenient aspects is the ease with which the X100V balances fill-in flash from the built-in flash. It makes shooting in bright light with a fill-in flash a breeze. And it syncs with the mechanical shutter all the way up to 1/4000 s, which is extremely useful.

The electronic shutter leaves the mechanical one in the dust, with a maximum of 1/32,678 s speed. And if the light is still too bright for the effect you want, there is a selectable 4-stop neutral density filter. This is another clever touch, although the shutter speed dial only goes up to 4000. But if you’re using the electronic shutter, it selects speeds above that automatically.

The Fujifilm X100V is a wonderful camera. It’s as easy to use as a point-and-shoot camera and has the image quality of more “pro-minded” cameras. It is especially good at photographing people, with its fast and reliable AF and AE. It’s not such a great video camera, and the limitations of the fixed lens mean you won’t be shooting many sporting events. But it’s a camera you’ll want to take with you (and use) everywhere!

10. Ricoh GR III

The Ricoh GR III is another beloved compact APS-C camera. It’s roughly half the price of the Fujifilm X100V. But it is no slouch in specs or performance.

It has a very capable 26 MP sensor, 3-axis in-body IS, and an f/2.8 lens. At this price point, it’s impressive to see an ultrasonic sensor cleaner as well (although dust on the lens is less of a problem for fixed-lens cameras). Autofocus uses an on-sensor hybrid contrast and phase-detection system.

The AF has face detection and tracking, although some users find it to be a touch unreliable. However, with a 28mm equivalent lens, tracking fast-moving objects is unlikely to be a frequent activity. Shooting sweeping landscapes is easy with the handy infinity lock focus mode.

The GR III has no viewfinder. This leads to a small camera that will fit in your shirt pocket. But the GR III has a crisp and clear touchscreen. And because it puts many of its controls on the screen, it has fewer physical buttons on the camera body.

Most photographers know this isn’t the camera for serious video work. Video is limited to 1080p, and if your main use is videography, look elsewhere. But for stills, the resolution, the AF, and the high dynamic range make this an attractive choice.

There is an impressive level of ISO permanence. You can comfortably shoot with -5 stops exposure in RAW and pull up the details in post. JPEG rendition lacks a little “pop” for my liking, but you can tweak these things in-camera to get the effect you want.

There’s a lot of fun to be had with a camera like the Ricoh GR III . I’m not as convinced that it saves the compact camera sector as the Fujifilm X100V might. For the same money, I can get a top smartphone . But it’s a fine piece of gear that’s worth considering.

The Best APS-C Camera—Buyer’s Guide

There are many things to think about when choosing the best APS-C camera. There is such a big range of products available that it can be confusing. So we’ve unpicked some of the main things you need to know before making your choice.

What Is APS-C?

The Advanced Photo System (APS) actually started out as a film-based format. It added some digital information storage and some format flexibility to film cameras. You could shoot a conventional 4 x 6, 16:9 format 4 x 7″, or a panoramic 4 x 11″.

APS, as a format, was ultimately (and in a few short years) undone by digital. So in the digital world, we have its grandchild, the APS-C. Unlike the original APS, which was uniform across all manufacturers, APS-C isn’t quite that standard. All APS-C cameras have the same size sensor, except Canon. The Canon sensor is a fraction smaller than all the others.

For comparison, the APS-C sensor is roughly twice the size of the old 110 film. But it’s more than ten times the size of the biggest iPhone sensor. A full-frame sensor is 1.5/1.6 times bigger than an APS-C sensor. If nothing else, this shows that sensor size is not the only factor that affects image quality.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of an APS-C Camera?

When I bought my first DSLR, it was an APS-C, simply because that’s what I could afford. And I bought a Canon, as I already had a couple of lenses that would fit. So price is one of the advantages of an APS-C camera, especially compared to a full-frame equivalent.

At the other end of the size equation, the APS-C sensor is significantly larger than even the best smartphone cameras. Size isn’t everything, but a larger sensor tends to have better low-light performance. What the APS-C cameras in this review show is that you can get exceptional-quality images from this sensor size. The truth is for most users, most of the time, you won’t need anything bigger.

Mirrorless, DSLR, or Compact—What’s Best?

For many, the APS-C DSLR made them want to switch to a full-frame version. The demise of the APS-C DSLR is probably more advanced even than the full-frame DSLR. Mirrorless cameras are unstoppable in the quality end of the market.

Compact cameras, on the other hand, are losing out to smartphone cameras every day.

Mirrorless APS-C cameras with interchangeable lenses probably have a bright future. Full-frame cameras remain the choice of most pros. But you’ll find plenty of pros, especially videographers, who do just fine with an APS-C. And it makes sense. If the main destination of your video is social media, APS-C will fit the bill. You save money and neck pain by choosing the smaller, lighter device.

Conclusion: The Best APS-C Camera

There’s no doubt that the quality of the cameras in this review is quite remarkable. The image quality, autofocus capability, and overall versatility now reach astonishing levels. Once you decide what you need from a camera, you’re sure to find one here to suit your needs!

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The 12 Best Travel Cameras of 2024

Whether you’re shooting landscapes or cityscapes, these are the best travel cameras for capturing your memories.

best travel apsc camera

In This Article

  • Our Top Picks
  • Tips For Buying

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why Trust T+L

Travel + Leisure / Brian Kopinski

Cameras let us snap scenes that inspire, places that take our breath away, and simple moments that make up the fabric of a destination through a single shot. Hefty camera bodies with giant lenses might seem like the obvious choice for top-notch photos, but for travel, they can be a bulky hindrance taking up too much packing space. Instead, consider your specific needs as a jumping off point when you're ready to shop for a new camera. Are you a hardcore adventurer? Are most of your travels long-haul trips? Are you a beginner or advanced photographer? These are all questions you should ask yourself to help narrow it down.

Whether you purchase a budget-friendly camera or something pricier, it'll be an investment — not only financially, but also in trusting your pick to properly capture once-in-a-lifetime experiences that don't come with do-overs. To help with your travel camera search, we also spoke to professional photographers Jonathan Pozniak and Viktoria North, as well as Nikon senior product manager Mark Cruz, to get some expert advice on how to choose the best camera for you.

Best Overall

Sony alpha a7cr.

It’s compact in size but a powerhorse.

There’s only one SD card slot.

A full frame mirrorless camera with incredibly high resolution, the Sony Alpha 7CR is our top pick for a travel camera. The compact size makes it very portable, and the interchangeable lenses give you a lot of versatility for shooting everything from landscape or wildlife to portraits and city scenes. As a photographer, I love the intuitive design of the Sony Alpha series cameras and this one is no exception; auto-focus tracking is impressive, in-body image stabilization does not disappoint, and the battery life has improved significantly from earlier models. Track your subject with the smart eye detection, for humans and wildlife, including a special bird option. I also appreciate how customizable the settings and buttons are, making your photography shoots more efficient. In addition to having the capability of capturing high-quality photographs in both RAW and JPG files, this camera takes video in 4K too. Built-in WiFi and bluetooth capabilities make it easy to share photos or connect to a remote as well. For a professional quality camera that won’t take up too much space or weigh you down when traveling, this is our top choice.

The Details: Full frame CMOS (35.7mm x 23.8mm) sensor | 61 megapixels | 1/8000 to 30 seconds shutter speed | 4K video | 1.1 pounds

Best Action Camera

Gopro hero12 black.

It’s waterproof and weatherproof.

It doesn’t include a GPS component.

The rough and tumble GoPro Hero12 Black has long been one of the top action cameras, with its pocket-sized and durable design. With improved image stabilization and battery life, as well as the ability to handle hotter temperatures, this newest version is no exception. With so many accessories that can be purchased separately, this camera can be equipped for any adventure, big or small, cold or hot, wet or dry. I especially love the bite mount for capturing POV, hands-free shots, with my dog. This camera is so compact and portable, it’s perfect for travel. Anything you find yourself doing, from mountain biking or skiing, to snorkeling, or taking a sunrise timelapse, will be captured so vibrantly. Customize the frame rate and settings when capturing video, with the option for 5.3K video quality. You have the option to shoot in RAW or JPEG, though you can only use the wide angle when shooting RAW. Other cool features include the ability to use voice commands to take a photo or start video, and modes like HDR, sup slow motion movie, and star trails.

The Details: Size-unspecified CMOS sensor | 27 megapixels | 1/8 to 30 seconds in photo mode, 1/480 to 1/30 seconds in video mode shutter speeds | 5.3K + 4K video | 5.4 ounces

Best Budget DSLR

Canon eos rebel t7.

It's super affordable and user-friendly.

It's best suited for entry-level photographers.

With the Canon EOS Rebel T7, you can save your dollars without skimping on image quality, and there's not much more you can ask for in the DSLR world. Although there is a newer version of this camera ( EOS Rebel T8i ), the T7 is still the most budget-friendly device with features perfect for someone ready to branch out and learn the ins and outs of DSLRs. That being said, it's more suited for a beginner photographer who wants to amp up their game past smartphone photography . It's a fantastic camera to practice manual mode and learn how to adjust ISO, aperture, and shutter speed settings. Eventually, it's likely that you'll be ready to graduate to a more complex camera — but we all have to start somewhere, right?

Canon is well known for having a straightforward, easy-to-use system, which is a huge bonus for beginners. The LCD screen is helpful for navigating the menu and setting up images, though it does lack the luxury of touchscreen capabilities. Built-in WiFi allows for quick sharing between devices, so your amazing shots can be posted to social media platforms in a jiffy.

The Details: Cropped CMOS sensor | 24 megapixels | 1/4000 to 30 seconds bulb shutter​​ | Full HD video | 15.06 ounces (body only)

Best Budget Mirrorless

Canon eos r50.

B&H Photo

It’s compact and lightweight, offering great value for its features.

Advanced photographers might prefer a camera with more bells and whistles.

The brand new Canon EOS R50 snags the spot for best budget mirrorless and doesn’t only promise great photo quality, but its video capabilities are fantastic as well. With 4K uncropped video and stellar subject detection and tracking at a friendly price point, this mirrorless model is a great everyday camera that’s ideal for everything from social media video captures to portrait and landscape shooting. Interchangeable lenses give you flexibility, and the compact design won’t weigh you down. Excellent auto-focus that can be tailored to detect humans, animals, and even vehicles is a major highlight, as is the 12fps (frames per second) burst mode. The touchscreen and creative assist mode make this a beginner-friendly camera as well as one that won’t break the bank.

The Details: Cropped CMOS (APS-C) sensor | 24.2 megapixels | 1/4000th sec - 30 seconds, in 1/3-step increments shutter speed | 4K video | 11.52 ounces

Best Retro Look

Fujifilm x100vi camera.

It has a timeless look with modern features.

Since it’s a limited edition model, there are only a certain number available for purchase.

We love how compact and sleek the limited edition FUJIFILM X100VI is, with the nod to nostalgia symbolized by the engraved original brand logo. This is our top pick for best retro-inspired camera, but if you can’t get your hands on one of these limited edition models, the FUJIFILM X-T5 is our next best bet. That being said, this model has fantastic low-light capabilities, in-body stabilization, 6.2K video capture, and improved in-body stabilization to minimize shaky shots. It has a tilting LCD touchscreen display, which I find makes it easier to snag those artistic selfies in the midst of epic landscapes or to get a solid group photo. The lens is a fixed 35mm lens. With the camera’s WiFi, it also uses an intuitive camera-to-cloud (c-2-c) system which automatically uploads content to the cloud-based platform. For a small camera with a "throwback" look that has amazing capabilities, this one is perfect for travelers as an everyday use tool.

The Details: APS-C X-trans CMOS 5 HR sensor | 40.2 megapixels | 1/4000 to 15 Minutes in manual mode shutter speed (mechanical), 1/180000 to 15 minutes in manual mode shutter speed (electronic) | 4K + 6K video | 1.1 pounds

Best Mirrorless for Beginners

The user-friendly design makes learning photography with this model much easier.

The flip screen tends to get in the way of a tripod attachment if you're using one.

We love how the Nikon Z50 is small enough to fit in your pocket, but don't be fooled by its size: it produces big-time quality images. "For those new to photography and video, this camera provides an exciting entry point. It's small enough to carry with you, but offers higher-quality images than your phone. This model is great to learn with as it incorporates many easy-to-use features, plus offers an automatic mode that senses different shooting scenarios and automatically adjusts the camera's settings (e.g., ISO range, exposure compensation) to deliver stunning results," Nikon's Cruz says.

The flip-down LCD screen is ideal for travel photographers and creators that want to take selfies, vlog, or include themselves for scale. The Z50 is also designed to save settings for both photo and video separately, so you don't have to worry about changing everything when you switch modes. With low-light capabilities, an easy-to-navigate menu, a sleek design, and 11 frames per second at full resolution, a beginner travel photographer will be hard pressed to find a better mirrorless camera.

The Details: Cropped APS-C CMOS sensor | 20.9 megapixels | 1/4000 to 30 seconds, bulb, time shutter ​| 4K video | 14 ounces

Best DSLR for Beginners

Pentax pentax kf dslr.

It produces high-quality images at a more affordable price than most competitors.

The video capabilities aren’t that impressive.

For those interested in getting their feet wet with photography, the Pentax KF DSLR Camera is our top choice for its durable, weather-resistant body, vari-angle screen, and compact size despite DSLR cameras’ reputation for being hefty in general. It offers a solid grip, and longer battery life, as most DSLR’s do. Start learning the camera in automatic and make use of the manual controls as you learn photography. The large viewfinder is fantastic, and this particular model mixes modern mirrorless technology with the classic DSLR viewfinder by offering a live view in addition to the optical viewfinder. You’ll be able to mix and match your preferred focal lengths with this model as well, since it’s equipped for interchangeable lenses. For the price point, this newbie from Pentax is a solid entry level DSLR for travel that won’t take up a ton of space in your bag.

The Details: Cropped APS-C CMOS sensor | 24.2 megapixels | 1/6000 to 30 seconds shutter in auto mode, 1/6000 to 30 seconds shutter in manual mode | 1080p HD video | 2.73 pounds

Best Mirrorless for Outdoor Photography

Om system om system mark ii.

The autofocus is fast.

The video capabilities aren’t as fast as other models.

The newest OM SYSTEM camera, the OM-1 Mark II Mirrorless model is a lightweight and compact, high-performing camera with durable construction and IP53 weatherproofing. This means it can withstand the elements when shooting landscapes or wildlife outdoors, including some rain, wind, and snowflakes. In fact, the camera is freezeproof, dust and splash-resistant, and can handle temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The built-in stabilization is another key factor for outdoor and wildlife photographers, helping you to get the sharp image and assisting with longer exposures to minimize shake. The rubber control dials give you a little more grippy control when shooting, which is a nice additional feature that can go a long way. For a workhorse mirrorless travel camera that can hack it outdoors, this is a fantastic choice.

The Details: Cropped 17.4 x 13 mm (four-thirds) BSI MOS sensor | 20.4 megapixels | 1/8000 to 60 seconds shutter (mechanical), 1/32000 to 60 seconds shutter (electronic) | 4K video ​| 1.1 pounds

Best Splurge

Leica q3 digital camera.

It’s fast and performs well in most lighting conditions.

The front of the camera has a flat design, making it tricky to grip at times.

This pick is an upgrade to the Leica Q2 version of the company’s classic rangefinder camera, and we love how easy to use and versatile the Leica Q3 is across a wide array of shooting conditions. This fresh model allows for in-camera charging, which is a worthy upgrade from the previous one. The same full-frame capabilities are now paired with a powerhouse 60MP high-resolution sensor, hybrid AF (autofocus) system, and 8K video recording ability. The processing is speedy for both shooting stills and video, and boasts continuous shooting up to 15 frames per second. The fixed 28mm f/1.7 prime lens is impressive even in low light conditions, and a full battery charge will score you approximately 350 shots. The Leica Q3 is a great choice for intermediate to advanced photographers seeking high-end equipment for everyday purposes and professional jobs.

The Details: Full-frame BSI CMOS Sensor | 60 megapixels | 1/2000 to 1/2 second shutter speed, 1/2000 to 4 seconds in auto mode | 8K video at 30 frames per second, 4K video ​| 8.8 ounces

Best Underwater

Om system tough tg-7 black underwater camera.

It's tough and effective.

Divers should be aware that the waterproofing level only goes to 50 feet.

The upgraded Olympus Tough TG-7 is exactly what it claims to be: tough, rugged, and capable of taking superb underwater photos and videos. The solid handgrip does a great job giving you that extra security as you swim around and shoot the underwater world . New features added from the TG-6 include vertical video support, interval shooting, exposure smoothing, and USB-C connectivity for uploading content.

With a unique internal zoom mechanism, the 25–100-millimeter lens doesn't stick out from the camera body, keeping it watertight while you capture macro details of marine life from a safe distance. RAW shooting and 4K video make this not just any old underwater camera, but one with impressive capabilities. The super slow-motion mode is another favorite. It's rated as waterproof to 50 feet, making it the perfect companion for your snorkeling or free diving adventures . It's not just waterproof either; the shockproof design makes this camera perfect for ventures outside of the water as well. Bring it hiking, mountain biking, or just for a day at the beach without having to worry.

The camera is also easy to use, which is exactly what you want when you're shooting underwater. "I had fun with the Olympus TG-6 on assignment in Bora Bora. I'm a terrible swimmer so all I could do was click away and hope for the best. Thankfully it worked!" Jonathan Pozniak shares.

The Details: Cropped BSI CMOS sensor | 12 megapixels | 1/2000 to 1/2 second shutter, 1/2000 to 4 seconds shutter in auto mode | 4K video ​​| 8.8 ounces

Best Phone Lens

Moment tele lens.

It gives you 2x and 4x zoom capabilities when attached to single and multi-lens smartphones.

To achieve the 6x closer shot, you’ll need the Moment Pro Camera app.

Our top pick for a stand-alone extra lens to attach to your smartphone is the Moment T-series Tele 58mm lens, which allows you to zoom up to six times closer to your subject. As a standard, it also sits twice as close to the main camera lens of your phone. This allows for sharper shots versus using the zoom on your smartphone, which diminishes the resolution. Fantastic for landscape, wildlife, and portrait photography, this lens definitely elevates your smartphone photo game by offering more flexibility without sacrificing quality. Video will also benefit thanks to a beautiful bokeh effect and an overall cinematic vibe. This lens is easy to use, as it features a straightforward mounting process and quickly twists off. This lens is compatible with most phones, but it’s wise to consult the description before purchasing.

"For most people, a smartphone is all you need, but that may vary for each trip. If I'm out hiking for the day, my iPhone 12 Pro in my pocket is all I need, and the fact that it shoots RAW and video is a huge plus." Pozniak explains.

The Details: 58 millimeter | 300 line pairs per millimeter (axis), 200 line pairs per millimeter (edge) | 39.5 millimeter lens | 2.6 ounces

Best Pocket-Sized

Ricoh ricoh street edition.

B & H Photo

It’s very lightweight and portable.

There is no viewfinder.

We love the pocket-sized, travel-friendly Ricoh GR III Street Edition Digital camera for everyday use and portability. It’s easy to use with straightforward settings, menu, and customization. I really appreciate a camera that starts up quickly so you don’t miss the shot, and this one fits the bill. It has the capability to capture both JPEG and RAW files and you can get creative with the built-in filters like monochrome, HDR tone, and negative film. A fixed 28mm equivalent lens makes it versatile enough for portraits as well as landscape and street photography. This camera lacks a built-in flash but it does come with a hot shoe so you can attach a compatible external flash to it, if you’re taking night shots. Image stabilzation and an impressive auto-focus help produce sharper images, and a decent battery life makes it possible to explore a new city all day without having to worry that you’ll run out of juice. Bluetooth and WiFi make it easy to share photos as well. 

The Details: Cropped APS-C CMOS sensor | 24.2 megapixels | 1/4000 to 30 seconds shutter, 0.17 to 20 minutes shutter in time mode ​​| 1080p video ​​| 9.07 ounces

Tips for Buying a Travel Camera

Understand the specs.

"When you're thinking about buying a camera, it's important to understand what features and specifications complement your shooting style as well as the content you are looking to capture, whether it be still images, video content, or both," says Nikon's Mark Cruz. These are some of the specs you should consider before making a purchase.

Sensor size: Your camera's sensor is the rectangle that reads the image from your lens and dictates how much light and detail you're able to capture. The main sensor sizes to decide upon are cropped or full-frame, with full-frame cameras having larger sensors and the ability to produce higher image quality. Cropped frame sensors will get you a tighter frame, with magnification cropping the actual lens focal length by anywhere between 1.5x and 2x. This means that a 70-millimeter lens would be magnified to a 105-millimeter focal length with a crop factor of 1.5x. Common crop sensor sizes are APS-C and micro four thirds (1.6x and 1.5x).

There are advantages to purchasing a full-frame (35 millimeter) camera, though it will come with a heftier price tag. You'll experience sharper images with more crisp details, as well as less noise. Additionally, a full-frame sensor has excellent low-light capabilities, making it the ideal aspect for astrophotography . For landscape photography, the wider field of view is a major advantage of the full-frame sensor as well. If you're interested in professional photography, selling prints, or turning your shots into custom photo gifts , the full-frame sensor will be a good fit since it produces the highest possible quality images.

Megapixels: This is a measurement of the number of pixels the camera sensor has, with "mega" meaning "millions." Usually anything over 12 megapixels will get the job done. However, if you're planning on printing large-scale versions of your images for personal or professional use, the higher the megapixel count, the better. Most cropped sensor cameras have somewhere around 20–24 megapixels while full-frame cameras tend to have between 40 and 50 megapixels.

Shutter speed: This dictates the amount of time that your camera's sensor will be exposed to the light coming in. Faster shutter speeds such as fractions of a second are usually used for quickly moving subjects in order to freeze the motion in the photograph, while slower shutter speeds are typically used to capture things like the flow of a waterfall or the stars in the night sky by having it open and exposed for a longer period of time. When buying a camera, it's a good idea to purchase one with a wider range of shutter speeds to give you the most versatility. Typically, the range is between 1/4000 to 30 seconds. "Bulb" is available on some models and offers more than 30 seconds of exposure to light, usually for photographing the night sky.

Video shooting: The highest quality video on most cameras is 4K, which will give you superb quality. However, many still have full HD video at 1080p or 720p. If video is high on your priority list, 4K is certainly the way to go.

Weight: For travel cameras, this is one of the most important factors to consider. Most travelers want a camera that is lightweight for packing purposes and easy to carry around for the day. Think about if you are willing to lug a bigger DSLR or even a mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses in order to have the option for high-quality images that can be printed at a larger scale. If that's more than you need, then a compact, point-and-shoot, or your own smartphone with extra lenses might be the best fit for you.

Buy for your skill level and purpose

While browsing for a travel camera, first assessing your skill level and main purpose for shooting will help narrow down your search considerably. If you're a professional photographer doing brand work with a hotel in a far-flung destination that will be used in marketing campaigns or billboards, your purchase will most likely look a lot different than if your goal is to get images for your travel-focused Instagram page or to simply share with friends and family via digital picture frames . As a beginner, you should purchase a camera aimed at that level of photography with some room to grow, so you can learn effectively without being overwhelmed.

Choose a camera that fits your life and travel style

Do you spend a lot of time outdoors or doing water-based activities, or are you mostly interested in food photography when you travel? All of these aspects will help you determine the right fit for you. As photographer Jonathan Pozniak shares, it's also about comfort. "All cameras are good nowadays, and all have fantastic features. So here's my rule of thumb: go to a camera store, and hold each one in your hand. Listen to the sound it makes, feel what the clicking of the shutter is like," he says. "How do your fingers glide across the buttons? It should feel like an extension of your arm. Be intuitive with it!"

The art of packing a camera involves cushioning and protection against the elements (rain, dust, dirt, etc.). A backpack designed for camera use with a rain cover is always a good idea, particularly if you're someone who will be exploring the outdoors. Camera cubes are great accessories that provide an affordable way to turn a bag you already have into a camera bag.

"When I'm not bringing a lot of gear/cameras, I love the camera cubes by Mountainsmith for the airport and plane. I usually keep the cube in my room with extra lenses and if I am doing a lot of walking, just pick one lens to use for the day (usually a 50 millimeter)," says North.

"While today's mirrorless cameras are rugged, it is best to pack them in a camera bag to ensure as much safety as possible and avoid any potential damage. You should also make sure to put the body cap on the camera to protect the sensor from getting dirty, scratched, or damaged while traveling," she adds.

"Circular Polarizer and a UV filter, a comfortable strap like the Peak Design SL-BK-3 Slide , a backpack clip like Peak Design Capture Camera Clip V3 , and if you're heading somewhere with rain or snow in the forecast, Peak Design's shell ," says North.

You'll also definitely want something to backup all the incredible footage you'll be getting. "A portable hard drive for backups is essential! My heart crumbles when I hear stories of cameras and laptops getting stolen on the road. I've certainly experienced that myself. I make multiple backups each day and put each portable drive or thumb drive in a different bag just in case one gets lost or stolen," Pozniak shares.

Our experts also recommend making sure your batteries are fully charged before stepping out each day and bringing along a couple extras just in case.

Our experts had a lot to say when it came to the camera versus lens debate. "The camera and lenses are equally important, but it depends on what a person wants to capture," says Nikon senior product manager Mark Cruz. "The lens is what creates a gorgeous blurred background or lets you get close to the action from far away, but the camera provides the autofocus performance and speed to get there. The most important factor for the quality of photos is how you, as the photographer, make the most of your equipment. Combining photography knowledge with a powerful, capable camera and sharp, versatile lenses will allow you to get the best content."

Meanwhile, professional photographer Jonathan Pozniak argues that they're equally important, and emphasizes keeping your lenses clean: "Both! But what's even more important is how you use it, how it feels in your hand, and I've gotta say it, how clean your lens is!"

Fellow photographer Viktoria North was adamant that lenses are her highest priority, and she has very good reasons for putting them at the top of her must list. "With even the most basic of digital cameras now having impressive MP counts and full size sensors becoming more common, good quality glass is most important for me," she says. "This is because I can achieve a specific feel to my images dependent on the lens. For example, a fixed 50 millimeter is going to allow me to capture my urban travels as my own eyes see things. If I also go fast on it, say F1.8, that means the background is going to be nice and blurred and keep the focus on my subjects. But if I'm traveling in some beautiful vast landscapes, I'd grab a zoom lens. This will allow me to compress the different levels of the landscape and or subject and create a lot of depth. You don't always have to go with a big lens like a 70–200mm. I hike and backpack with a 24–105mm F4 most often and when it's at 105mm, I can achieve some really great compression with it."

The main difference between mirrorless and DSLR cameras is the tool or technology used to capture the image. A DSLR uses a mirror to reflect light onto the image sensor, but this makes a DSLR heavier and clunkier to carry around. They also usually only have an optical viewfinder which portrays more closely what the eye sees versus an electronic viewfinder on the screen. A mirrorless camera lets light directly hit the sensor, and typically has a live, electronic viewfinder so you can see the real time settings. Mirrorless cameras are more lightweight, therefore making them more portable and travel-friendly. They’re also quieter and faster due to the mechanism they use to capture light. DSLR cameras typically have a longer battery life and a wider array of lenses available, though with recent gains in technology for the mirrorless camera world, that’s changing.

Yes! They usually don’t have the highest megapixels and have a crop sensor, but you can still capture great photos. You may be limited to producing large scale prints, but, depending on the capabilities, you’ll be able to have prints made that are good quality in a fair amount of sizes. For online and social media, a point-and-shoot camera is perfect.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

A travel photographer herself, Lauren Breedlove used her personal experience with finding the right cameras and shooting in various conditions around the world. She also scoured the internet, researching and selecting the best cameras for travel, and interviewed professional photographers Viktoria North and Jonathan Pozniak , as well as Nikon senior product manager Mark Cruz , to gather expert insights. Using all of these factors, she curated this list of the best travel cameras.

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The Best Travel Camera: Compact, DSLR, Mirrorless & Phone!

Last updated: June 2, 2024 . Written by Laurence Norah - 167 Comments

I’m a professional travel photographer, and one of the most popular questions I’m asked by readers and students on my travel photography course is what the best travel camera is.

With that in mind, I wanted to put together a definitive (and regularly updated) guide to the best travel camera out there.

This guide covers everything you need to know to help you choose the best camera for travel, based on your needs and budget, as well as a guide to all my favourite cameras.

This is a detailed post, in which I’m going to cover my top picks for the best camera across a range of categories, including smartphones, compact cameras, mirrorless cameras and DSLR cameras, to name just some of the options.

These travel camera picks will suit a wide range of budgets, needs, and expertise levels. Our picks are ordered in approximate order of budget, from lower budget models through to higher end models.

I’m also going to go through in detail what you need to look for when buying a camera for travelling, and why each specification is important, so you can make the best choice for you.

Remember, the best camera for travel is going to be very dependent on your needs and situation, but after reading this post you should be able to pick the right camera for you – even if it’s not one we suggest!

I also have a guide to the best cameras for hiking and backpacking which contains some different options specific to those requirements, as well as a guide to the best action cameras .

This guide will also work if you are looking to buy a camera for someone else, and I recommend taking a look at our photography gift guide for more ideas of what to buy a photographer too.

Now, before we dive into individual travel camera recommendations, let’s get started by looking at what you need to think about when picking a camera for travel.

I think this is essential reading, as understanding what you are looking for when buying a camera will help you make a truly informed decision.

What To Consider When Picking A Travel Camera

Budget – how much do you have to spend on a travel camera.

This is an important one. Cameras vary wildly in price, from a couple of hundred dollars up to thousands of dollars. So you definitely need to think about how much you want to spend.

Also, this is a travel camera. Whilst you want to get the best shots, travel can expose you to risks, from loss to theft. Obviously, these are things that can be mitigated against with insurance, but it’s something to bear in mind when making an investment – the more pricey the camera, the higher the insurance premium.

Finally, don’t forget that the camera is only a part of the puzzle. You will also need things like memory cards, spare batteries, lenses – as well as possibly a tripod and filters. Your needs will vary, but don’t forget to include them in your overall budget – I’ve written a post on travel photography accessories to give you some pointers, as well as a guide to picking the best lens for travel photography .

Weight – How much are you willing to carry around?

This is a really important question. If you’re the kind of person who likes to travel light, then you’re not going to want a bulky DSLR. Having the best travel camera that sits in your hotel room while you’re out having fun isn’t going to be much use.

Even a mirrorless system might be too much for you if you want something that will truly fit in your pocket or purse, and your best bet is probably a smartphone or compact camera.

On the other hand, if image quality and low-light performance are more important to you than weight, and you’re happy carrying spare lenses, filters, and other accessories, then you’ll likely be looking at a mirrorless or DSLR system.

Remember, as a general rule of thumb, the bigger the camera, the more room it has for a larger sensor. A larger sensor means the camera can capture more light, which means you’ll get sharper, cleaner images even when shooting in darker situations.

Use – What are you going to be taking pictures of?

The type of photography you’re going to be doing makes a big different to the type of travel camera you will be buying. If your main goal is to take nice travel photos for your albums, social media, and to post to friends and family online, then any of the camera types will likely do the job.

However, if you’re going to be doing a lot of action photography, or need the camera to be fully waterproof, then something like a GoPro is going to be the best option.

If you like astrophotography, you’re going to need a camera with a big sensor to let in plenty of light and you might want to invest in a DSLR. Conversely, if you just want a general purpose camera with plenty of flexibility for a variety of travel scenes, from food to landscapes to people, then something like a mirrorless system will most likely be best, offering the best performance for the weight.

Best Travel Camera

Extra features to look for in a Travel Camera

A lot of cameras these days come with extra features that you may or may not care about. I’m talking about touchscreen interfaces, built-in GPS, WiFi, weather resistance, pivoting screens, and so on.

The main features you should be looking at in terms of actual image quality are the sensor size, aperture range, level of manual control, and, for cameras without an interchangeable lens, the optical zoom. Beyond that, which features you are interested in depend on your needs.

For example, you may also want to take videos with your camera. Some cameras are much better at video than others – notably Panasonic’s range of Lumix cameras are known for their video performance.

Personally, I love having a camera with GPS and WiFi capabilities so I can easily remember where my shots were taken, plus I can remote control my camera from my smartphone. On the other hand, a touchable, pivoting screen isn’t a deal breaker for me.

What works for me might not work for you though, so think about which features are important to you when making a purchasing decision. The best camera for travel photography definitely varies from person to person, but hopefully the information in this post will help you make the right decision.

Photography Terminology to Know When Buying a Camera for Travel

Like any subject, photography brings with it a raft of terminology – some of it is important to know about, other things are manufacturer buzzwords that don’t really make any difference to your photography. Here are the important terms to look for when buying a camera for travel, and what they mean.

Aperture. The aperture is the hole in the lens that lets light in, and is one side of the exposure triangle . Aperture is measured in numbers, with an “f” preceding the number, for example, f/1.8, f/2.2. The smaller the number after the “f”, the bigger the hole, and the more light that gets in. Look for smaller numbers, which will let you get better pictures even when there is less light available, and also allow you to better control depth of field .

Optical zoom. This represents the difference between the smallest and largest magnification that the camera’s lens can achieve. So a camera with a 10x optical zoom can make objects seem 10x bigger in the image compared to when the camera is zoomed out.

Digital zoom. A totally pointless feature that some manufacturers add to their cameras. It’s basically a software zoom – the same effect you get if you zoom in on your PC or smartphone when you have an image. Avoid using it.

Focal length. Focal length is the proper photography term for optical zoom, and is a standard across lenses and manufactures. Optical zoom is an easy to understand number that you will find in point and shoot cameras. Focal length, measured in mm, is the number you will find on cameras with interchangeable lenses. The bigger the focal length, the more magnification the lens offers.

EVF. An electronic viewfinder. This means that the camera has a viewfinder, but rather than being a glass based version that shows the scene in front of you as your eye sees it, instead there’s a small electronic screen which shows what the camera sensor is seeing – the same as the display on the back of the camera. You generally only find these on high end mirrorless cameras.

Megapixels. Megapixels just refers to the number of pixels the camera’s sensor has. Mega means million. So 12 megapixels is 12 million pixels, and would be an image 4000 pixels wide and 3000 pixels high. 4000 * 3000 = 12 million.

Thankfully, manufacturers are nearly over the megapixel war, which is a good thing, because as long as you have over about 12 megapixels, you’re good to go. In some cases, such as smartphones, less megapixels is actually better, as you’ll probably get better low-light performance as each pixel on the sensor might be bigger. But yes, unless you’re planning on printing out your images on billboard sized canvases, you can essentially ignore the megapixel marketing.

OIS / EIS. These are image stabilisation technologies, either Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS) or Electronic Image Stabilisation (EIS). OIS is found in a number of camera and lens systems, and a small number of smartphones, and is a mechanical system that compensates for small movements of the camera system, such as your hand. EIS is generally only found in smartphones, and is a software solution for motion compensation. OIS generally achieves better results.

Sensor size. The size of the sensor inside a camera is one of the most important specifications to be aware of. The bigger the sensor, the more light it can capture, and so the better it will perform in conditions where there is less light.

Sensor sizes range from tiny, such as those found in smartphones, and generally increase in size as the size of the camera increases. Here’s a diagram to show different sensor sizes, and you can read more about different formats here .

Best Travel Camera - Sensor sizes

Do be aware that manufactures can be a bit sneaky when it comes to describing sensor sizes, particularly in compact cameras. They might for example, talk about having a “1-inch” sensor.

This refers to the type of sensor, rather than it’s physical size. So whilst a 1/2.3 inch sensor is smaller than a 1-inch sensor, neither sensor is actually close to 1/2.3 inch or 1 inch. See more on how physical sensor sizes map to actual sensor sizes here .

RAW. RAW is a file format that more advanced cameras use, allowing you to save the unmodified image data that the camera has captured, rather than the edited JPG version.

This gives you much greater control over the final look of your images, with the downside that file sizes are much bigger, and you have to edit them on your computer in an image editing program before you can use them anywhere.

Many cameras give you the option to shoot in RAW, JPEG/JPG, or to shoot in both. We recommend shooting in both even if you plan only to use the JPG version for now – in the future as your photography skills develop, you’ll be pleased to have the option to go back and edit the original RAW files. You can find out more about RAW in my guide to RAW in photography .

If you are interested in learning more about photography and understanding in detail all the terms above and how they affect your shots, check out my travel photography course , which has all the photography answers you need.

The Best Travel Camera

I’ve divided this list into the different types of camera for travel, with some information on what to look for in each category. I will keep this post updated with the latest travel camera options as they are released. You can see the last date of update at the top of the post.

Each section has a series of the best travel camera recommendations ordered approximately by price, from lowest to highest. Note that prices change and sales occur, which is why we link you to the relevant pages on Amazon and other camera retailers for up to date pricing information.

This should give you everything you need to know to help you make a decision on which would be the best travel camera for you to buy, based on your budget, usage scenario and luggage space.

Best Smartphones for Photography

Why pick a smartphone for travel photography.

If you care about portability, ease of use, and not having to carry another device around with you, then my advice is to get a smartphone with a decent camera, and just use that.

A smartphone can certainly make for a good travel camera, and the latest smartphones take excellent photos in a wide variety of situations.

They also have more features than your average small travel camera – you can share the images directly from the smartphone to your favourite social media platforms, plus have them automatically back up to the cloud as you go using something like the Google Photos app.

In addition, since a smartphone is a device that nearly all of us will be travelling with anyway, choosing one which takes good photos is a cost-effective way of buying a camera.

The main disadvantages are the lack of lens options, reduced manual controls, and generally poor performance in low-light due to the small sensor. But if you want something you’re always going to have on you, a smartphone is hard to beat.

Finally, I’d also add that it’s worth picking a smartphone with a good camera even if you plan on buying a standalone camera. It will serve as a good backup, and you are likely to always have it on you.

What to Look for When Buying a Smartphone for Travel Photography

Manufacturers are fairly inventive when it comes to squeezing tech into tiny smartphone bodies, but obviously there’s a limit to what can be achieved in such a small form factor.

Features to look out for include a wide aperture, which will let more light in, and let you capture shots in low light conditions. Another good feature is an optical zoom, which will let you capture images of further away subjects. This is usually achieved either with a clever nifty periscope zoom, or through the use of multiple cameras as different focal lengths.

Some smartphone manufacturers talk about having bigger pixel sizes. This relates to the physical size of the pixels on the sensor, a number measured in µm, or micrometers. Larger pixel sizes are good as they are more light sensitive and help low light performance.

Speaking of pixels, be wary of high megapixel numbers. In my opinion, anything above 16MP is a warning sign that the manufacturer is trying to win you over with high numbers – you really want less megapixels, as each pixel can then be bigger to capture more light.

Other features to look out for are some form of stabilisation, either optical or electronic, which will let you get photos in lower light and compensate for your hand movement. Better smartphones will have more manual controls to give you more options for your photos. There are different types of focusing system, but I’ve never found a lot of variation between them. Waterproofing can be a benefit, meaning you can get photos in the rain or at the beach.

Also if you plan to travel internationally with your phone a lot, try to choose an unlocked phone so you can put a foreign SIM card in, and that works on multiple frequencies so you still get 3G, LTE/4G and 5G (for more recent phones). That means you can still easily use it to call, text, and get online when travelling internationally. Here’s an excellent resource for finding out which phones work on which networks in which countries.

The Best Smartphone for Travel Photography

Here are five suggestions for current phones which I think are some of the best smartphones for travel photography and should definitely at least get you started in your search. Prices are for the unlocked version of the phones, you might be able to get a better deal through a carrier on a contract.

1. Google Pixel 8

Google Pixel 8 - Unlocked Android Smartphone with Advanced Pixel Camera, 24-Hour Battery, and Powerful Security - Obsidian - 128 GB

Launched in late 2023, the Google Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro offer a combination of reasonable price and excellent camera performance. They can take great pictures in the majority of lighting situations, including in low light, when it switches into a low light mode.

Most users will likely be happy with the Pixel 8 version. This comes with a 50MP wide angle camera (which outputs 12.5MP images) and a 12MP ultrawide camera, as well as an 8MP front facing camera. It comes with a 1/1.31” sensor and a f/1.7 aperture. The wide-angle camera has 1.2µm pixels, whilst the ultrawide uses 1.25µm pixels

You also get 4K video support as well as built-in image stabilization. The standard Pixel has no optical zoom, but it does support shooting in RAW. Being a smartphone, it has a touchscreen, and it’s also water resistant.

You can also upgrade to the Pixel 8 Pro if you want an additional 5x telephoto lens, although it does cost a bit more.

This would be our pick for the best reasonably priced smartphone for travel photography.

Check latest price here .

2. Fairphone 5

Since 2013, Fairphone have been manufacturing smartphones that are fairly made. What does that mean? Well, the idea is that the production of their devices is made in a sustainable way, with practices that benefit everyone involved.

That includes the people involved in everything from the mining of the materials that go into the phone, through to you, the consumer. Over the years, smartphones have become increasingly hard for consumers to repair, with the industry moving towards a more disposable model.

Fairphone wants to change that, with phones that are user repairable and upgradeable, as well as relatively affordable.

Now, to be honest, the first few phones from FairPhone weren’t class leading. Building a device that meets all their requirements is tough. But they have continued, and the latest iteration, the Fairphone 5, is actually solid performer when it comes to general use, and also as a camera.

You get two main cameras. The first is a 50MP f/1.9 aperture camera with a 1/1.56″ sensor, 1 μm pixels and optical image stabilization. The second is an ultrawide 50MP with an f/2.2 aperture, 0.7um pixels and a 1/2.51″ sensor.

Now, the image quality from other phones on our list will be marginally better, but the green and environmental credentials of the Fairphone are world leading for smartphones.

3. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

best travel apsc camera

Samsung’s flagship Galaxy phones are known for their superior photography capabilities, and the 2023 Galaxy S23 Ultra is no exception.

You get four rear mounted lenses, a boggling 200MP f/1.7 wide angle, a telephoto 10MP f/4.9, a second telephoto 10MP f/2.4 and an ultrawide 12MP f/2.2.

This range of lenses gives you a 10x optical zoom, as well as impressive digital zoom capabilities which go all the way up to 100x! The front facing camera is no slouch either, offering a 12MP f/2.2 wide angle.

Pair that with pixel sizes from 0.6µm-1.4µm pixels and OIS – all packaged in a water-resistant smartphone, it’s no wonder that it is usually found at the top of the pile when people review cameras for smartphones. This is the smartphone I currently own and use for my mobile travel photography needs. Check latest price here .

4. iPhone 15 Pro Max

best travel apsc camera

The latest iPhone Max model offers a range of photography focused features that make it a worthwhile upgrade over previous iPhone models. You get 3 cameras in total.

There’s a main 48MP camera which also offers a 2x 12MP zoom. Then there are 2 12-megapixel cameras, one which offers an ultra-wide lens, and one with a 5x telephoto zoom. This latter is the biggest optical zoom of any iPhone to date.

There’s also a built in LIDAR scanner, which makes for wonderful night photos, as well as a RAW mode. A great choice if you’re an Apple person.  Check latest price here .

Best Compact Camera for Travel Photography

Why pick a compact camera for travel photography.

A compact travel camera offers a number of advantages. First, they offer larger sensors than most smartphones, so image quality and performance is usually improved. They are pocketable, so easy to take with you.

Compact cameras also tend to be designed to be more user friendly (hence the nickname point-and-shoot cameras) and are generally much less expensive than mirrorless and DSLR camera systems. Many models offer manual controls, and having a separate device means you can keep on taking photos even if your smartphone battery is on the way out.

One of the biggest advantages though, and the reason to pick a compact travel camera over a smartphone, is the optical zoom. All the compact travel cameras we feature have an optical zoom (except the GoPros), letting you get shots of distant objects that you wouldn’t be able to get with a smartphone.

The main disadvantages are the smaller sensor sizes compared to a mirrorless or DSLR and the lack of interchangeable lenses.

If you’re interested in buying a compact camera, see our detailed guide to getting the most out of a compact camera here for some tips and advice.

What to look for when buying a Compact Travel Camera for Travel Photography

There are a variety of features that compact travel cameras offer for travel photography. Key features to look for are the optical zoom, and specifically, how much optical zoom the camera offers.

Other features include the size of the sensor – the bigger the sensor, the better the performance – the maximum aperture, and whether or not there is some form of image stabilisation technology built in.

Any camera with a long optical zoom needs excellent image stabilisation, as the more you zoom in, the more exacerbated tiny movements become.

Other features to consider depending on your needs include GPS, WiFi and touchscreen capabilities. Some more advanced compact travel cameras also include manual modes, which can really help you get the most out of them, and some even shoot in RAW. Let’s take a look at our pick of the best compact travel cameras.

The Best Compact Camera for Travel Photography

Here are a number of my top suggestions for compact travel cameras which I think are some of the best options for travel photography.

Note, many manufacturers have ramped down production of their compact cameras and new models are not being released. This is largely due to the popularity of smartphones.

The main impact is that many of the models I recommend are now older models.

This means stock and availability of some compact camera models can be very low. This is especially the case at the lower price points.

I’d suggest checking used camera sites like KEH or MPB if you are struggling to find a specific model.

1. Panasonic Lumix ZS70 / (TZ90 in UK)

best travel apsc camera

With a 30x optical zoom lens, a 20.3MP 1/2.3 inch sensor, OIS, full manual controls and RAW support, this camera puts out some great shots at an excellent price for what you get. It even has an electronic viewfinder, which is rare in a compact camera and can make composing images in bright sunlight easier.

A newer model was released in 2019 – the ZS80 . This adds Bluetooth and a higher resolution EVF but not much else. We’re not sure that is a sufficient upgrade to justify the price difference, but it’s up to you. If you find them at the same price, then you might as well get the ZS80, otherwise the ZS70 remains our pick while it’s still available.

Check price on Amazon here , B&H here and Adorama here

2. Sony RX100

best travel apsc camera

It also has a fast f/1.8 aperture and a 3x optical zoom. It’s a little long in the tooth now, but you can pick one up for a great price, hence the inclusion in this list. You can also get newer models with newer features at increasing price points.

We use and love the RX100 version V , which offers a number of upgrades over this model and is available at a reasonable price. You can see the bottom of this section for the latest and greatest version as well.

Check price on Amazon here

3. Canon Powershot SX740

best travel apsc camera

At 1/2.3in, the sensor is similar to other cameras at this price point. Also, as with other cameras with a long zoom, it comes with the tradeoff that the maximum aperture only goes to f3.3, and at maximum zoom, is all the way down at f/6.9.

Still, it’s one of the best zoom cameras in our list of point and shoot travel cameras, especially at this price point, and the price is excellent for what you get.

4. Olympus TG-7 Waterproof Camera

best travel apsc camera

If you need a camera that will survive nearly everything you throw at it, including drops and being submerged in water, then this Olympus is a great option.

It’s particularly focused on those looking for underwater photography, and unlike the GoPro mentioned below, it features a 4x optical zoom lens. This is also optically stabilized.

This camera also has RAW shooting, 4K video support, a fast f/2 lens and built in GPS, as well as a variety of dust, shock and waterproof features. Of all the cameras in our list, this is probably the one with the most survivability!

5. Canon Powershot G9 X Mark II

best travel apsc camera

It has more manual controls, allows for RAW shooting, and an aperture that starts at f/2. The optical zoom isn’t too impressive at 3x, but you definitely get improved image quality from that larger sensor.

6. Sony Cybershot HX99

best travel apsc camera

With an excellent 28x optical zoom packed into a small body, the camera offers an 18.2-megapixel 1/2.3in sensor, flipping touch screen, 4K video support, electronic viewfinder, manual modes, RAW support, Bluetooth and 10fps shooting support.

It’s an excellent choice for a compact zoom camera, with good image quality and solid features. It’s also reasonably priced for what it offers.

Check price on Amazon here , B&H here and Adorama here .

7. Panasonic Lumix ZS100 (TZ100 in UK)

best travel apsc camera

Panasonic’s 1-inch sensor camera model is no slouch, with an f/2.8 aperture lens and an impressive 10x optical zoom. It also has full manual controls, a touchscreen interface, EVF, OIS and RAW shooting.

It’s a little more pricey than other options in our list, but that optical zoom is a definite bonus in the 1-inch sensor category. There is also a newer model, the ZS200 , which costs a bit more and also has a 15x optical lens, although it has a narrower aperture as a result.

8. Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

best travel apsc camera

We’re moving up a price point now with the Panasonic Lumix LX100 II. This is unique amongst the compact cameras in our lineup, as it uses a micro four thirds sensor.

This larger sensor results in better low light performance, but does mean the camera is larger and heavier. The sensor offers 17MP of resolution in a 4:3 aspect ratio. The camera comes with a 24-75mm equivalent lens (approximately 3x optical zoom) which offers a variable aperture of f/1.7 – f/2.8.

You also get a touch screen, electronic viewfinder, optical image stabilization, full manual controls, and RAW support. The screen however doesn’t flip out.

Overall, this is an excellent option for those who don’t mind trading absolutely portability for improved image quality. If you fall within this category, you may also consider the Canon PowerShot G1 X Mark III , which has an even larger APS-C sized sensor in an even larger body.

9. Sony RX100 VII

best travel apsc camera

There’s a big jump in price to Sony’s latest RX100 model, the RX100 VII. Released in August 2019, in our opinion this is one of the best compact travel cameras money can buy. If your budget can stretch to it then this would be our pick for the best compact camera for travel.

Like the previous model in the lineup, the VI, this camera is a leap over previous cameras in the RX100 lineup as it has a far more impressive optical zoom, equivalent to 8x, with a 24mm – 200mm lens.

This compares very favourably to the previous optical zoom of models in the range (versions I – V), at 3x.

It still retains the 1-inch sensor, so you get better image quality than your average compact camera. It’s also the first in the series to feature a variable aperture which is slightly slower – however we feel this is a reasonable trade-off due to the zoom capability. It also has image stabilisation, a tilting screen and an electronic viewfinder.

We would argue that this is the best small camera for travel photography, if you have the budget for it, although the improvements over the VI are not too significant, so if you can find that for a lower price, that might be the one to go for. We personally have the version V model which we got for a great price during a sale event.

The Best Action Camera for Travel Photography

Why pick an action camera for travel photography.

If you are going to be spending time doing any kind of adventure activities, from snorkelling and swimming to skiing or snowboarding, an action camera is likely going to be the best option for you.

These tiny cameras are designed for use in more extreme environments, including total water immersion, and are perfect for capturing moments that other cameras simply wouldn’t survive.

That survivability does come with a trade-off of course – most action cameras don’t have manual controls, optical zoom or the ability to change aperture settings. However, when you’re catching the perfect wave you are unlikely to be wanting to fiddle with that sort of thing anyway – you just want something that works.

We’d generally say that an action camera is going to be best as a secondary camera or if you plan on making a lot of video. It can work as your primary camera, if you are happy to live with the restrictions.

What to look for when buying an Action Camera for Travel Photography

Most action cameras are fairly similar in size and features, although there are a few things to look out for.

Obviously, the environments the camera can survive in are important to consider. Some action cameras are totally waterproof for example, whilst others will need a special housing.

The interface is also important. These cameras are very small, so having a simple interface is key so you aren’t fumbling with setting when trying to get the shot.

Other features to look out for are image or video stabilization, size of the screen, if it has a touchscreen for control, additional features like voice commands and the resolution of the video and photo files. Support for 4K video for example should be the default for any action camera you buy for travel.

It’s also worth checking to see what accessories the camera comes with, as this can add a lot to the price. Some cameras come with a lot of accessories out of the box, whilst others will require you to spend quite a bit on additional accessories to meet your needs.

Best Action Camera for Travel Photography

Here are some of our suggestions for the best action cameras for travel photography. We also have a more complete guide to the best action cameras if you want some more suggestions.

1. Akaso Brave 7 LE

best travel apsc camera

Despite the lower price, this camera doesn’t skimp on features. It supports video at up to 4K at 30 frames per second, 20MP still image capture, voice commands, electronic image stabilization, a large touch screen for control, and a second front facing screen which is perfect for selfies. It’s even water resistant without the case down to a metre, or 40 metres with the case.

Check price on Amazon here .

2. GoPro Hero

best travel apsc camera

The most well-known brand in action cameras has to be GoPro, and specifically the GoPro Hero range of action cameras. Whilst they tend to be the more expensive option, they excel at action photography and video.

If you need something that’s going to survive water and action, then the GoPro line is the best option out there.

Advantages of the GoPro are that it is waterproof without a housing down to 10 metres (with housings available deeper than this), and they have fantastic image stabilization. It also has voice activated commands.

The disadvantage is that to get the best shots you are going to need to buy a number of accessories so you can mount the GoPro wherever you want. These can add up a bit. You’re also likely to need additional batteries.

Still, if you want the best action camera out there for image quality and features, the GoPro series is the one to go for!

Check price on Amazon here and  B&H here  

3. Insta360 Go 3

If you can’t decide between an ultraportable action camera and one with a screen, then we’d highly recommend checking out the Insta360 Go 3, which offers the best of both worlds, and is one of the action cameras we currently use.

best travel apsc camera

The camera itself is tiny, weighing around 35g (1.2oz). Despite the diminutive size it’s still fully featured though, supporting 2.7K video. It’s also waterproof without a housing and features a powerful magnet system which allows you to mount and attach it almost anywhere.

If you use the camera on its own then there’s no screen. However, pop it into the “action pod” and it turns into a more traditional looking action camera with a full size tiling touchscreen, control buttons and additional battery life.

4. Insta360 X3

best travel apsc camera

Most cameras on the market today shoot what’s in front of you. However, if you want to capture all the action, then you might consider a 360-degree action camera.

If that’s the case, then the brand we recommend is Insta360. They’ve been making 360-degree cameras for a number of years, and we have used a number of their cameras on trips around the world.

Their latest 360 action camera is the Insta360 X3 . It comes with two cameras, meaning it can capture a 360-degree view of the world at 5.7K. It’s no slouch at photography either, able to capture a 72MP 360 degree photo.

That means that you can get the shot and then crop down as you wish to frame the exact action moment you want. Alternatively, you can shoot with a single lens if you want. Both front and rear facing cameras are equipped with a 1/2″ 48MP sensor. It also supports HDR mode and is waterproof to 33ft (10 metres).

Check price on Amazon here and  B&H here 

Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel Photography

Why pick a mirrorless travel camera for travel photography.

A mirrorless travel camera is a relatively new development in the travel camera space. They are similar to DSLR cameras; however they do not have an internal mirror to reflect light from the lens to the optical viewfinder.

This means that they can be smaller, lighter and more portable – making them a top contender for the best camera for travel.

Mirrorless cameras also have all the other benefits of a DSLR – larger sensors, manual controls, excellent image quality and interchangeable lenses.

In terms of disadvantages, they are of course larger and heavier than smartphones or compact travel cameras and are more expensive, especially when you factor in one or two good lenses.

Compared to DSLRs, they generally have poorer battery life, and less lens choice – although this latter is improving as mirrorless systems mature.

What to look for when buying a Mirrorless Travel Camera for Travel Photography

Mirrorless cameras come with different sensor sizes, from the micro 4/3 format up to full frame. All of these are larger than those you will find in compact travel cameras or smartphones, and again, the larger the sensor, the more light the camera can capture in any given situation.

Another key factor to consider is the lens selection. Different manufacturers offer different lens systems, so it’s worth investigating to be sure there are sufficient lens choices for the kind of photography you want to be doing. Also be aware that whilst most mirrorless cameras ship with a kit lens, you can also buy them without a kit lens and then buy a more suitable lens for your needs.

Other considerations include the screen type, if the camera has an EVF, WiFi, water resistance, type of focus system and so on.

Also be aware that all of the camera manufacturer’s below have a range of mirrorless options – I’ve done my best to highlight those that offer the best combination of price and features for travel photography.

Based on a few years of experience shooting with a variety of different mirrorless camera systems, and feedback from fellow travel photographers, we’re put together our list of the best mirrorless cameras for travel.

If you choose one of these, we also recommend reading our guide to how to use a mirrorless camera to get you started!

1. Canon EOS R100

best travel apsc camera

With a large APS-C size sensor as found in their consumer DSLRs, the Canon EOS R100 is one of the best budget travel camera options to consider. It took Canon a while to get into the mirrorless camera game, but their “R” series is now a serious line-up of excellent cameras.

The R100 is the entry level model, launched in July 2023. You get an APS-C sized 24.1MP sensor, a superb autofocus system, support for a wide range of lenses as well as built in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth. The relatively large sensor offers good performance, and I’ve personally always found the Canon menu system to be the most intuitive to use.

There’s no touchscreen, which is a logical omission at this price point, but other than that you are looking at perhaps the best entry-level mirrorless camera for beginners.

Check price on Amazon here and B&H here .

2. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

best travel apsc camera

The Olympus has an excellent in-camera stabilisation system, an EVF, a (fixed) touchscreen and WiFi connectivity. There’s also a wide range of micro 4/3 lenses available.

3. Sony a6100

best travel apsc camera

Sony have been making mirrorless cameras for a long time, and the a6000 was our model of choice for a long time. However, the camera was released in 2014, and is now getting a bit long in the tooth.

Today, we recommend the a6100 which was released in 2019. This features an APS-C sized sensor (the same as you find in most DSLR’s), fast autofocus, a tilting touch screen, EVF, and a wide range of lenses, plus WiFi, and is an excellent bit of kit for the price. The main omission is weather sealing, for which you’d want to consider the a6400 or a6600 .

Sony have a number of models in the a6xxx range. These include the a6000 (2014, discontinued), a6300 (2016, discontinued), a6500 (2016, discontinued), a6600 (2019), a6400 (2019) our current recommendation, the a6100 (2019) and the a6700 (2023).

Each of these offers different features and capabilities over the a6100. Differences include battery life, autofocus, touch screen capabilities and image stabilization.

Depending on your budget, you might find one of these suits your needs better. The a6600 in particular is an excellent choice as it offers in camera image stabilization as well as a touch screen, weather sealing and much improved battery life.

However, as of writing we think the a6100 is one of the best budget mirrorless cameras for travel.

4. Nikon Z50

best travel apsc camera

Nikon was late to the mirrorless camera game, but they’ve now released a number of mirrorless camera models including full frame and DX sensor models.

The Z50 is their more entry level mirrorless camera, which features a DX sized sensor, similar to the APS-C sensor in other cameras.

It has a 20.9MP sensor, 11fps burst shooting, 4K video support, a tilting touchscreen display and an OLED viewfinder.  You also get Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, with battery life rated to around 300 shots.

If you are an existing Nikon user looking to make the leap to mirrorless, this is an excellent option. It’s a great lightweight alternative to something like the D7500, and has compatibility with most of Nikon’s lenses via an adaptor.

If you’d prefer a full frame option, consider the Nikon Z6 II or Z7 II .

Price: Check price on Amazon here , B&H here , and Adorama here

5. Panasonic Lumix GX9

best travel apsc camera

To start with, Panasonic cameras are known for excellent video performance, and if this was a round-up of the best travel video camera, it would have many more Panasonic cameras in!

The GX9 also has the advantages of a fully tilting touchscreen, 4K video, excellent sensor based optical stabilisation, a wide lens choice (most micro 4/3 lenses will work). Unfortunately, unlike the GX8, this doesn’t have a weather sealed body.

6. Fujifilm X-T30 II

best travel apsc camera

The X-T30 II features an APS-C sized 26.1MP sensor, excellent build quality and a reputation for taking superb, sharp photos.

You also get an EVF, a tilting touch screen and WiFi.

If you want a more traditional mode dial interface, check out the Fuji X-S10 which offers similar specifications but with the addition of in-body stabilization.

7. Canon EOS RP

This is the first full frame option in our list. I wanted to include full frame cameras in this list, despite them being a little larger and often more expensive than cameras with smaller sensors.

A full frame camera has a sensor that is approximately equivalent to a frame of 35mm film, and they generally offer the best image quality and low-light performance, at the downside of a higher price and larger physical size.

Canon’s full frame mirrorless range launched in 2018 with the Canon EOS R , and the RP is the more budget friendly offering, which has an excellent feature set in a very compact offering.

best travel apsc camera

For your money you get a full frame sensor in a lightweight, weather-resistant body. There’s a flipping touchscreen, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, and a 26.2-megapixel sensor.

The best news though is that if you are an existing Canon user, there’s a lens adaptor. This will let you use all your existing EF and EF-S Canon lenses with the camera, meaning you don’t have to re-invest in all new lenses.

There are a few omissions – there’s no in-body image stabilization, and burst rates max out at 5fps. However we think this is an excellent option, especially if you already have some Canon lenses.

If your budget stretches to it you might instead consider the more recent Canon EOS R8 , but for the money I think the RP is a bargain full frame option.

8. Canon EOS R7

Launched in 2022, this APS-C camera is packed with the latest technology. In fact, a lot of the technology in this camera, especially around autofocus, is borrowed from Canon’s high-end EOS R3, a camera which retails in excess of $6,000 USD.

best travel apsc camera

At the heart of this camera is a 32.5MP APS-C sized sensor. That is fully image stabilized, and it supports shooting at 15 frames per second (mechanical) and a staggering 30 frames per second (electronic).

Perhaps the most impressive feature though is the autofocus. This can identify and track a range of subjects, including animals and birds. I have used this system extensively and it is amazing how well it can lock onto even a fast moving subject to enable you to get sharp shots every time.

You also get a touch-enabled flip screen, weather sealing, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and compatibility with a massive selection of Canon lenses. Battery life is reasonable at 660 shots, and the weight without a lens is also good at 612g/ 21.58oz.

If the price is a bit much, consider instead the Canon EOS R10 . The sensor has fewer megapixels and you lose image stabilization and weather sealing. However, it weighs a lot less and you still get a very powerful camera for your money.

Price on B&H here  and  Adorama here

9. Sony Alpha 7c II

If you like the look of the Sony A6xxx line but want something with a full frame sensor, look no further than the Sony A7C.

best travel apsc camera

Somehow, Sony has managed to fit a full frame sensor into a body that is almost identical in size and weight to the A6600, making it one of the smallest full frame mirrorless cameras on the market today.

They haven’t cut corners in terms of features either. You get a 33MP sensor, 10fps shooting, in body image stabilization, 4K video, WiFi, bluetooth, vari-angle touchscreen and weather proofing.

It even manages 540 shots on a charge. A fantastic option if you want something with a full frame sensor but in a relatively compact size.

Check latest price on Amazon here , B&H here , and Adorama here

10. Canon EOS R6 Mark II

In 2020, Canon launched two spectacular mirrorless camera options, namely the Canon EOS R6 and the Canon EOS R5 .

best travel apsc camera

These were the first full frame mirrorless cameras from Canon featuring in-body image stabilization, offering an amazing 8 stops of stabilization when used with a compatible lens.

In 2022, a new model of the R6 was released, the R6 Mark II. This features improved battery life, a slightly larger sensor, and a much faster burst shooting speed compared to the original R6. It also retails at the same original MSRP of the R6, so would be the camera we recommend.

Compared to the R5, the R6 Mark II is the lower priced version, and the one we would recommend for most travel photographers. The R5 is an amazing bit of kit, with 8K video support and a higher megapixel sensor. We personally use the R5 (see our full Canon EOS R5 review here ), and love it.

However, the R6 Mark II offers a very similar experience with a much-improved price point, so unless you really need the 8K video support or higher megapixel count, we think the R6 Mark II is a great option.

Specs wise the Canon EOS R6 gives you a 24.2MP full frame sensor, autofocus that can track people, animals, and vehicles, up to a staggering 40 frames per second burst shooting, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth, 4K video, as well as a flip-out touchscreen. It’s also dust and drip-proof.

As with the Canon EOS RP above, there’s a lens adaptor which will let you use all your existing EF and EF-S Canon lenses with the camera, meaning you don’t have to re-invest in all new lenses. If you have the budget, this would definitely be my camera of choice for travel photography.

You can see our full Canon EOS R5 review here , which covers a lot of the features of the R6 Mark II, to see if it might be the camera for you.

Check price on Amazon here , B&H here  and Adorama here .

11. Sony Alpha a7 IV

Sony effectively started the mirrorless camera revolution, and the Sony a7 IV, as the name suggests, is the fourth iteration in the excellent a7 range.

Sony a7 IV

It comes with a full frame 33MP back side illuminated sensor, flip out LCD display, a high refresh rate EVF, WiFi, 10fps burst shooting and a fast autofocus system that includes animal and people eye tracking.

It also has excellent battery life at 610 shots per full charge, and includes weather sealing.

Of course, all these features do mean the price is relatively high. The good news is that you can still pick up previous models in the range, including the A7 III and A7 II . You lose some of the latest technology, but you still get great performance at a much lower price.

Check price on B&H here and Adorama here .

Best DSLR Cameras for Travel Photography

Why pick a dslr travel camera for travel photography.

Honestly, if this is your first travel camera purchase, then I suggest that a mirrorless camera is a better choice for most travel photography use compared to a DSLR. They offer all the control you need in a smaller, lighter package, with an ideal balance of portability and image quality.

For a time DSLR’s had a better choice of lenses and improved battery life over their mirrorless counterparts, but those areas have been significantly improved with modern mirrorless cameras and so this is no longer a good reason.

The main disadvantage of a DSLR is the weight – the weight in particular, especially when you add in some high quality lenses, is a real issue for many users.

That said, at the entry level especially, you can pick up some real bargain DSLR cameras. So if you are just starting out and want something to learn photography with, a DSLR can be a solid budget option, giving you full manual control over your photography.

Just be aware that the main manufacturers are almost exclusively focusing on mirrorless cameras going forward, which would appear to be the future of photography.

What to look for when buying a DSLR Travel Camera for Travel Photography

DSLRs tend to be the largest type of camera, so one thing that is important to look for is that the camera is comfortable in your hand. My suggestion is to visit a store and try the camera in hand, with a variety of lenses attached, to see how they perform before making a purchase. Canon and Nikon still rule the cameras in this category.

Features are fairly similar across most DSLR’s in terms of capability. They’ll either offer an APS-C sized sensor, or, more expensively, a full frame sensor.

Other features to look for include the ISO range, lens selection, weather resistance, GPS, WiFi, touch screen, autofocus system and number of control dials. More dials can be a good thing – letting you quickly set the camera up for different needs without having to dive into menu options.

If you do purchase a DSLR camera, do also take a look at our guide to using a DSLR camera to help you get the most out of it.

Best DSLR Camera for Travel Photography

We personally travel with both mirrorless camera’s and DSLR’s – for our work as travel photographers we still love our full frame DSLR – the image quality and lens selection still make these a great choice for us. Based on our experiences, here are the top five DSLR travel cameras available at the moment:

1. Nikon D3500

best travel apsc camera

For the money you get a 24.2 APS-C sized sensor, solid performance and an excellent selection of lenses. To be honest, there’s not much between this and the more expensive Canon below other than this doesn’t offer 4K video support. It really depends what works for you and your budget.

2. Canon Rebel SL3 (EOS 250D in Europe)

best travel apsc camera

The Canon Rebel line is an excellent series of good value entry-level DSLR cameras (my first DSLR was a Rebel), and the SL3 is no exception.

It’s one of the smaller SLR cameras Canon has made, and offers great performance for an excellent price. Specs include a touchscreen, 24.2MP sensor, WiFi, 1070 shot battery capacity, 4K video support, and compatibility with all of Canon’s lenses (and a great many third party lenses.).

The SL3 was released in April 2019, and it’s predecessor (and our previous pick), the Rebel SL2 , is likely to be available at a good price as a result. It’s a very similar camera, featuring the same sensor, but has around half the battery life and doesn’t support 4K video.

3. Nikon D7500

best travel apsc camera

Moving up into the “prosumer” category of DSLR camera’s, and Nikon’s version is the D7500. This is Nikon’s high end APS-C camera, with a 20.9MP sensor, fast autofocus, a weather sealed body, and Wi-Fi. It also has a tilting 3.2″ touchscreen.

If you’re looking to upgrade from an existing consumer focused Nikon to something a bit more professional from the Nikon range, this is a good choice. However, you might prefer the lighter and just as fully featured Nikon Z50 instead.

4. Canon EOS 90D

best travel apsc camera

5. Canon EOS 6D Mark II

best travel apsc camera

Compared to its predecessor, and our previous favourite travel camera the Canon EOS 6D, the Mark II adds a touchscreen which swivels.

It’s solidly built, and well priced, having seen some great discounts since it launched at $1800. For a full-frame travel DSLR, we think this is a great bit of kit.

Just be aware that it’s only compatible with “EF” mount lenses – any “EF-S” mount lenses from other Canon bodies won’t work. If it’s a bit pricey, do consider the original 6D, which is still a fantastic travel camera and is very competitively priced nowadays.

What is the Best Budget Travel Camera?

As a bonus section – this is one of the most popular questions I’m asked when people ask me to help them choose the best travel camera, so I thought a section to help those of you with a fixed budget would help.

My suggestion for the best budget travel camera is one of the following cameras. Note that some of these are older and may no longer be in stock. As a result, you might want to pick them up second hand, see my guide to buying used cameras for tips on how and where to do that.

1.  Nikon D3500

It also comes with the advantage that you get access to all the Nikon and Nikon compatible lenses, which is a huge choice. If you’re keen on an SLR, this is a great option at a fantastic price point.

2. Olympus OM-D EM-M10 III

best travel apsc camera

It’s also cheaper since the launch of the Mark 4, meaning you can pick it up with a lens and be right on budget!

3.  Sony RX100

With full manual controls and the ability to shoot in RAW, plus a 1-inch sensor and excellent image quality, this is far more than “just” a point and shoot.

As mentioned in the compact camera section above, there are various iterations of this model available, and you can pick up one of the earlier versions for a great price.

If you’re looking for a quick summary of the best travel camera on the market today, these would be our picks, ordered by camera type.

  • Sony RX100 range : If you’re just looking for a point and shoot camera that will take great photos with minimal input, then I’d suggest this range as a great option.
  • Panasonic Lumix ZS70 : If you are constrained by budget but want a good zoom, this is the best budget compact travel camera with a decent zoom.
  • Sony a6600 : If you want a great compact mirrorless camera, the Sony a6xxx range is the one to go for. The entry level model is the Sony a6100 , (discontinued in late 2021 but stock is still available) but if you can stretch to the a6600 that’s a better option as it has image stabilization and a touch screen.
  • Sony Alpha 7c II – if you want all the benefits of a full frame camera but in a compact package, this is the camera to go for. I think it’s the ideal camera for hiking or backpacking .
  • Sony Alpha a7 II – for a budget full frame mirrorless camera, this would be our choice. It’s also fantastic value. Note this is a bit older now, so the A7 III or A7 IV might be a better option depending on your budget.
  • Nikon D3500 : If you are looking for a DSLR for travel photography, I’d recommend this Nikon at the entry level
  • Canon EOS 6D Mark II : This is our pick for our favourite high end DSLR for travel photography, although we’d recommend a mirrorless camera to most users
  • Canon EOS R6 Mark II – An excellent compact full frame mirrorless camera with all the features you need. If your budget will stretch to it, also consider the Canon EOS R5 which is the camera I currently use

Hopefully this summary helps with your purchasing decision! If I was purchasing a camera today with no previous lenses, I would likely go with the Sony Alpha 7c if I wanted something lightweight.

As a Canon user with lots of lenses though, I’d go with the Canon EOS R6 Mark II or Canon EOS R5 . If you are a Nikon user with existing lenses, then I’d suggest the Nikon Z50 , the Nikon Z6 II or Z7 II .

When upgrading, it’s often easier to stay with the same manufacturer as the menu systems are usually going to be familiar, and your existing lenses might carry over.

Accessories for your Travel Camera

When budgeting for your travel camera, don’t forget to think about any accessories you might need.

If you’re planning to buy an interchangeable lens camera like a mirrorless or DSLR system, then you will obviously need a lens. Check out our guide to the best travel lenses here for some recommendations across a range of systems.

We’d also recommend considering some of the following accessories.

Travel can be rough on your photography gear, and so I recommend investing in a good photography bag.

Camera bags are specially designed to provide padding and protection for your gear, and many of them also come with rain covers. This means that you have somewhere safe, protected and padded to put your gear.

Personally, I use Vanguard photography bags and I’ve been an ambassador for Vanguard for many years now. If you see something on their store that works for your equipment, you can save money using our exclusive Vanguard discount code. This will give you 20% off everything in the  Vanguard store.

Just use the code  FindingTheUniverse for your discount! This code works in the Vanguard USA, UK, Australia, Spain, and Germany stores.

There are of course a range of other camera bags available, you can see the options on Amazon here and B&H Photo here .

External Hard Drive

When you travel, it’s important to be able to store your photos somewhere safe. To do this, we recommend investing in an external SSD.

The price of external SSDs has come down in recent years, so we would recommend one of these over a mechanical version as they are much faster, smaller, as well as being far less prone to losing data.

best travel apsc camera

The external SSD we currently use by Adata is ruggedized and dust and water resistant. It also supports both Mac and PC users.

Photo Editing Software

To get the best out of your photos you are going to want to edit them, and to do that you’ll need a photo editing application!


There are a number to choose from, including paid options like Adobe Lightroom Classic CC , Skylum Luminar AI , and ON1 Photo RAW , as well as free options like Darktable and Fotor .

Deciding which to go for is a whole other decision. To help you out, I’ve put together a guide to the best photo editing applications , which has both paid and free options.

Accident Protection

A camera is a significant investment, and as such you might want to protect yourself from accidental damage.

The price of this varies depending on the cost of your camera gear, but a relatively small investment can provide peace of mind against a variety of common accidents, from liquid spills, to accidentally dropping it.

For some examples, here’s a 3 year accident protection plan for electronics valued between $1500 and $1999.99, whilst this one covers products between $800 and $899.

Note that both of these are only valid for qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. If you are shopping elsewhere, or direct from the manufacturer, check what they have available before purchasing if this is important to you.

It’s also possible to take out separate insurance, or that your homeowners insurance for example covers such things.

Backup Software

If you aren’t already backing up your photos, now is the time to change that. There’s no point having an awesome laptop to edit your photos on if you lose them all!

We have a complete guide to how to back up photos , which has a range of options and covers what to look for.

However, if you want an easy to use option with unlimited backups, then we use and recommend Backblaze . It’s well priced and in our experience is just works. You can try it out for free here .

Further travel photography reading and resources

And that summarizes my guide to the best travel camera for travel photography! Hopefully you found it useful. I’ll be keeping it up to date as new camera models come out and prices change.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for more resources to help you make the most out of your travel photography, check out the following resources I’ve put together:

  • My guide to picking the best lens for travel photography , which will be useful if you have a camera with interchangeable lenses.
  • My always expanding series of Photography Location Guides , to help you get the best shot in locations around the world.
  • I have a review of the Peak Design camera strap system as well as the Peak Design travel tripod
  • Photos need editing to get the best out of them. See our guide to the best photo editing software for our suggestions. If you’re looking for something to edit your photos on, see our guide to the best laptops for photo editing
  • An overview of my Travel Photography Gear , in case you wondered what a professional photographer has in his bag
  • Our guide to what to buy a photographer , which has gift ideas at every price point and experience level. For more general gift ideas, see our gift guide for travelers , and our tech gift buying guide .
  • A  Beginners’ Guide to Improving your Travel Photos
  • My series of Photography Tips , which I am always expanding and updating with posts like this one. See our guides to northern lights photography , lens compression ,  back button focus ,  fireworks photography ,  taking photos of stars ,  cold weather photography ,  long exposure photography ,  RAW in photography , use of  ND filters ,  depth of field  and  photography composition , which should get you going
  • If you like the photos on this blog, you’ll be pleased to hear they are all available for sale. Head on over to our photography sales page to place an order.

Looking to Improve Your Photography?

If you found this post helpful, and you want to improve your photography overall, you might want to check out my online travel photography course .

Since launching the course in 2016, I’ve already helped over 2,000+ students learn how to take better photos. The course covers pretty much everything you need to know, from the basics of how a camera works, through to composition, light, and photo editing.

It also covers more advanced topics, including astrophotography, long exposure photography, flash photography and HDR photography.

You get feedback from me as you progress, access to webinars, interviews and videos, as well as exclusive membership of a facebook group where you can get feedback on your work and take part in regular challenges.

It’s available for an amazing one-off price for lifetime access, and I think you should check it out. Which you can do by clicking here .

And we’re done! Thanks for reading – if you’ve got any comments, feedback or suggestions, just let me know in the comments below.

Tips and advice on how to pick the best camera for travel, including what to look for, and suggestions in every category including the best smartphone, compact, mirrorless and DSLR cameras for travel photography!

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Ian Andersen says

28th January 2024 at 10:29 am

Thanks for great and thorough reviews. I did not read through all of them and I was wondering if you could say which travel (super zoom) camera WITH GPS is better.

Laurence Norah says

28th January 2024 at 5:58 pm

Unfortunately, the majority of newer cameras don’t come with built-in GPS tagging functionality on the camera. Instead, if you find a camera which has WiFi and a companion smartphone app, they tend to pull the GPS info from the companion app. So really what you want is one of the travel cameras which has this feature. The Sony cameras in this list such as the RX100 do support this, and I believe the Panasonic ones do. However I’d recommend doing a search for each camera to ensure it does meet your requirements. Do you have a short list of cameras you like already, and I can look at trying to help.

29th January 2024 at 6:29 am

Thanks Laurence, I was a satisfied Lumix TZ user for many years up to – was it TZ 60 or 70 that still had the GPS built in. The argument for losing it was saving battery power but I found that carrying extra batteries was way simpler than using their clunky iPhone app. My latest is a TZ 202. Great pictures but annoying not to gave them tagged. I tried to switch to the SONY DSC-HX90V hoping for easier operation of the phone connection. Again, great photos but clunky GPS solution. So I am really hoping for a small (belt-carried) camera with GPS so I can get away from almost exclusively using my iPhone 15 pro.

29th January 2024 at 4:05 pm

I assure you, I feel your pain. I shot on a Canon 6D for a very long time and one of the features I loved was the built-in GPS tagging. Now I have an R5, and I have to use the Canon companion smartphone app for GPS tagging. Whilst it works pretty well, it’s another step I have to remember to do. It also eats up my smartphone battery if I forget to shut it off after shooting. About the only system I know of that still has built in GPS on a relatively compact camera is the Olympus Tough TG6, but that doesn’t have much of a zoom and is more designed as a rugged camera. So I’m not sure it will meet your needs, but one to look at.

Happy shooting 🙂

Farhana Farid says

29th September 2023 at 6:22 am

This guide on the best travel cameras is a game-changer for wanderlust enthusiasts like me! The detailed reviews and recommendations provide a clear understanding of which cameras are most suitable for capturing those breathtaking moments on the go. The consideration of factors like portability, image quality, and versatility is spot on. Thanks for making my travel photography decisions so much easier!

1st October 2023 at 10:13 am

My pleasure Farhana, I hope you find a great camera for your travels 🙂

Kevin Nalty says

15th October 2023 at 1:43 am

Hi. Agree- this is really thorough and didn’t overwhelm me. I’m curious what you think of the Canon EOS R50. I did a review of it in my blog (Willvideoforfood) but I’m not even remotely as informed. -Kevin

15th October 2023 at 12:14 pm

Thanks very much! So I think Canon has been hitting it out of the park recently with their mirrorless camera options and to be honest it’s almost hard to go wrong with whatever recent mirrorless model you pick up. The R50 specifically offers tremendous value and you get a lot of features, especially the autofocus system, which has the same features as you would find on their super high-end models like the R5 (which is what I use). In the old days of Canon they arbitrarily kept some features for their higher end models only, but that approach seems to be changing for the better which is good news for us consumers. The main downside with the R50 as you note in your review is a lack of optical image stabilization. I would also add that I don’t create video, so those areas of a camera are something I don’t review or use.

For anyone else reading this, now is honestly a great time to be buying a camera. The vast majority of recent releases have been excellent, with superb image quality and a solid range of features. As I said, it’s almost hard to go wrong 🙂

Thanks for stopping by!

Gurshabad Bakshi says

9th September 2023 at 6:02 am

Hi, awesome post. Very thoughtful and comprehensive. I have been reading your bogs and planned a visit to Bali based on your suggestions. I want to carry a leisure photography budget camera, that can click good photos and underwater videos and stuff. I have some questions for that. For what all activities and where all do you use Akaso Brave 7 camera? Is its image quality good enough? And if you could share some sample pics and viseos, it would be so very wonderful and helpful.

10th September 2023 at 3:02 pm

Hi Gurshabad!

So we honestly only use the Akaso (and any other action camera for that matter) for specific situations like underwater photography. The reason is that we personally have other cameras that are better for things like landscapes, and wildlife photography, but the Akaso is the only camera we have for underwater photography. So whilst it definitely works for that, we wouldn’t personally use it for everything just because we have other camera gear. However, if you are happy with the limitations, like not being able to zoom or adjust many settings, it could certainly work. I’m on a trip right now so don’t have access to all my images, so I can’t share samples unfortunately.

Hopefully this helps a bit. Have a great time in Bali 🙂

William says

22nd August 2023 at 11:10 pm

Great review and suggestions!. Thank you.

23rd August 2023 at 10:35 am

Thanks William!

Rachel says

3rd June 2023 at 8:47 pm

Thank you for this great article! I’m going to be traveling for my honeymoon soon, and decided I should upgrade from using my smartphone for all my photos to using an actual camera so I can get some printable quality photos. I’ve read a few lists like this one, but yours is the only one I’ve read that doesn’t just feel like a paid advertisement. I appreciate all the tips and advice you listed here. I now have a camera on my wishlist, thank you!

4th June 2023 at 7:03 pm

Hey Rachel! I’m so glad you found my article helpful, and many thanks for taking the time to let me know. I hope you enjoy your new camera, and if you have any questions as you continue your photography adventure feel free to reach out!

Claude AYMARD says

31st January 2023 at 8:15 pm

Hello, for you which can be the best safari travel camera easy to used for good photo quality -canon sx70 hs -canon m200 with 55-200mm -lumix tz100 -Lumix GX9 with 14-140mm thank’s in advance

1st February 2023 at 10:40 am

I do have a guide to the best safari cameras here which might help. However, from your list I would probably lean towards the Canon SX70HS for ease of use and also the great zoom means you can get good shots of further away subjects. My dad actually has the SX60 and he really likes it, we’re on safari right now and he is using it with good results.

Let me know if you have any more questions and bon voyage 🙂

9th August 2022 at 2:04 pm

10th August 2022 at 12:38 pm

Thanks Tanis!

9th July 2022 at 8:13 pm

Hello! I am so happy that I stumbled upon your website when researching for a trip to Iceland. I fell in love with photography when I was on my high school’s yearbook staff, a long long time ago. I have collected many SLR cameras over the years, manual and digital along with lenses (Nikon and Canon). Sadly, none of them have been used for several years and when I recently pulled them out, I realized how outdated they are. So…I am looking to sell everything (thanks for your amazing article on how to do that!) and start fresh. If you were me, with a budget of $2k-$4k, looking for a very high quality, relatively light weight camera system with the latest and best technology, what would you recommend? I would like one camera with two lenses at the most. Light weight enough that it’s easy to carry and use, without sacrificing image quality. Something that I can ‘grow into’ as a I renew my love of photography. Many thanks for sharing your expertise. Cheers!

10th July 2022 at 9:59 am

It’s great to hear from you, and I’m so pleased you have been finding the site useful so far!

With your requirement for something lightweight but that also has great image quality (and within budget of course) I would probably suggest the Sony Alpha 7c . Excellent autofocus, in body image stabilization, a full frame sensor and a weather sealed design, somehow all in a body that weighs about a 1lb.

If you wanted lighter, the Canon EOS RP is another full frame option which is fractionally lighter and also significantly cheaper, however you lose in body image stabilization and the focus tracking system isn’t quite as accomplished as the Sony in this model. It’s also slightly larger, despite being less heavy.

Both cameras have an excellent selection of lenses to choose from depending on what you want to photograph 🙂

Let me know if I can help any more!

17th April 2022 at 12:56 am

Hello Laurence, First off let me say thank you for such great articles, guides, advice and overview for someone who’s never been to Scotland and interested in touring the NC500. With that said, there are many great choices concerning camera & lens combinations in your article. Getting specific addressing the NC500 route, just what would be your best advice for focal lengths in reference to 35mm full frame? I see many wide to ultra wide images in the article, so inquiring about specific needs. Want to pack a 1-2 lens kit for this specific trip, and of course I’m thinking a tripod will be handy also!

17th April 2022 at 10:21 am

It’s our pleasure, I am pleased to have been of help. So I primarily travel with two lenses, a 16-35mm and a 70-200mm. Most of the landscape shots I take are with the wide angle, although there are sometimes nice opportunities to use the longer lens for isolating a subject. But if I was going to only take one lens it would be the wide-angle all the way.

Hopefully this answers your question! Let me know if I can offer any further input, I’m happy to help.

Edward says

31st January 2021 at 9:50 am

Hi, I was happy to read where you wrote “Personally, I love having a camera with GPS”. So do I, or rather so would I, but I am having trouble finding one that I like the look of. All I want is a compact camera with GPS and a viewfinder, with a useable zoom (say up to 200mm equivalent) and good image quality (which today would imply a sensor of 1″ or bigger). There is no such unicorn.

So what do you use, please, that gives you GPS? Or do you use an “add-on later” method like recording a GPS track and geotagging your photos later? I personally am reluctant to do that for a number of reasons, mainly that I travel for 3-6 months at a time (or at least I did when I could) without carrying a computer, so I would not only have a lot of geotagging to do later, but the on-the-road backup to Dropbox would not be geotagged.

31st January 2021 at 2:11 pm

I currently use a Canon 6D, which is a full frame DSLR. For a while Canon added GPS units to a number of their cameras, but unfortunately this useful feature has been missing from their newer models. For me it’s one of the most useful features to have, so I don’t like the omission. The reasoning is to do with battery life I suspect. GPS units take up power, and newer mirrorless cameras are already battery hungry. So leaving off the GPS is done in an effort to conserve battery power I suspect.

The good news is that many cameras today include the ability to pair with a smartphone app over Bluetooth or Wifi. When the camera takes a picture, it polls the smartphone app for location data, and embeds that in the photo. This of course does require extra setup, remembering to connect the camera to the phone before every shoot, and can drain your smartphone battery too. So it’s not amazing as an alternative, but it does at least work.

I believe that the Sony Image link app supports this for the Sony RX100 series, so with your requirements of a 200mm zoom and a 1″ sensor, the Sony RX100 VI or higher would be an option. Another option I believe would be the Panasonic ZS200.

Finally, another option, as you mention, is to use a third party GPS logger, either a standalone device or an app on your phone, that records the data and saves it, which you can then manually sync later. Again, it’s more work.

Overall, I would much prefer that manufacturers just add the GPS device and let us as users decide for ourselves if we want to use it and use up battery life. Hopefully it makes a reappearance as a standard feature!

1st March 2021 at 5:06 pm

Hello, thanks for the well thought-out response. It gives me a lot to think about, and if I do have to give up one or more of my checkboxes (or at least half of one, by needing to use a separate app), I may rethink them all – take a step back and ask myself what I really want to do, rather than ask what equipment will satisfy what I think are my wants. I suspect that the RX100 VI plus the app would be the nearest I could get. Or the Panasonic SZ200/TZ200 (or SZ100) plus its app. It is ironic that it seems that 1-inch sensor compacts really took off in the mid-2010s, just as manufacturers were deciding to drop GPS.

2nd March 2021 at 4:37 pm

My pleasure Edward! I would say that one of those would be the best option. It is certainly disappointing that this is no longer a standard feature!

Kyle O'Donnell says

16th December 2020 at 8:30 am

awesome list, you put it together very well 🙂 i got a Sony A6400 from amazon, it’s absolutely amazing, it really show in my vlogs.

16th December 2020 at 11:12 am

Thanks Kyle!

Charles Haskins says

29th April 2020 at 10:19 am

I have been reading through your responses to questions and I am astonished by the detail and the thoughtfulness of your answers. Quite apart from the photography info, it is a great lesson in human decency – great “customer service” for people who aren’t even customers really. I will definitely be following you in the future! Thank you!

29th April 2020 at 10:21 am

Hi Charlie,

Thanks very much, that’s kind of you to say. We do our best to try and answer everyone’s questions, be it photography or travel related 🙂 If folks have taken the time to read and leave a comment, then we feel it’s only right to answer if we can!

Thanks again for your comment, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions of your own!

All the best

29th February 2020 at 11:15 pm

I am quite new to photography. I purchased the M50 last summer (my first non-compact). I don’t know if it is my skills, the camera, or that I need better lenses, but so far I haven’t had much success getting sharp images.

1st March 2020 at 10:52 am

Sorry to hear about your issues. There are so many variables that go into what could make an image less sharp, from incorrect focus through to a lens issue. It’s hard to diagnose without seeing an image – do you have one somewhere online you can link to that I can take a look and provide some more insight? It would be best if it also shows the camera settings at the time – usually a site like flickr will save this info.

1st March 2020 at 4:27 pm

These aren’t all from the M50, but several of them are. Also, these happen to be the better ones: https://www.flickr.com/photos/me77777 . I feel like I have to sort through so many that aren’t as sharp as these to find a good one, but even some of the ones I’ve posted could certainly be sharper.

1st March 2020 at 4:41 pm

Thanks for sharing. So, some initial thoughts:

On this image of the lighthouse: https://www.flickr.com/photos/me77777/49596740501/in/photostream/

The camera is set to f/29. This is a super narrow aperture. Most lenses produce their sharpest images at around f/8, with sharpness falling off towards the edges wider than f/8 (i.e. f/5.6, f/4 etc). Above f/16, sharpness dramatically reduces due to an effect known as diffraction. It’s generally not advisable to go above f/16 for this reason. Performance will vary by lens, but as a general rule, f/8 – f/12 is a good range.

Of course, this doesn’t consider depth of field for composition. For landscapes, a wider depth of field is usually preferable, so you’d be looking at f/8 – f/16 in most cases. For portraits, a shallow depth of field would be preferable. Softness in portraits is less of an issue as you wouldn’t normally have the subject on the edge of the shot, so the softness wouldn’t be too noticeable.

Now, here’s another image of a church in a city: https://www.flickr.com/photos/me77777/49503917028/in/photostream/

So this was shot a 1/40th of a second at 200mm focal length. The longer the zoom, the harder it is to hold a camera steady. As a general rule of thumb, shutter speed should not be lower than the inverse of the focal length. So if you are shooting at 200mm, you would not use a shutter speed slower than 1/200th of a second. A 50mm focal length would be 1/50th of a second.

The file format you are shooting in will also make a difference. If you’re shooting in JPG, then the compression setting and sharpness setting in camera will make a big difference to the final image sharpness. Ideally you’d want to shoot in RAW, so you can edit sharpness after the fact.

These are just some ideas to start with. Something like this shot looks wonderfully sharp to me: https://www.flickr.com/photos/me77777/49498974486/in/photostream/

Happy to provide any more feedback if you have more specific images of course 🙂


2nd March 2020 at 4:34 am

Thanks for taking the time to give feedback. You have an amazing site.

2nd March 2020 at 11:19 am

Thanks Craig – my pleasure 🙂

Natalie says

24th December 2019 at 1:05 pm

Thank you very much for collating all this information together- I do not feel nearly as overwhelmed as I did before!

I am going away travelling to India and South East Asia, and would like to both take great pictures in low light, and film a short documentary (so stability is also key without lugging a tripod around (Oof).

I am looking into purchasing a DSLR, budget however is a concern. This will be my first time camera, however I have a little experience in film cameras (mostly SonyPMW200).

I am currently looking at the Nikon D750…can you recommend something cheaper and still great for filming? I guess the Nikon D5300?

Nikon also seems to be cheaper for lenses than Canon- what would you reccomend?

Any suggestions would be great. Thanks so much

24th December 2019 at 2:53 pm

Hi Natalie,

Thanks very much!

So I have to be honest, video is not an area of expertise for me. However, if you want to shoot stable video without a tripod, you are going to need to think about how you are going to stabilize your camera. Without a tripod, your best bet is going to be some kind of camera stabilization. Currently, the Canon and Nikon DSLR’s don’t offer this in camera, so you would need to rely on a lens with image stabilization built in.

Alternatively, you could look for a camera with image stabilization built in. I’m not sure what your budget is all in, but one of the micro four thirds cameras from Olympus or Panasonic might be a good option. These are notable for producing great video, have a wide choice of lenses, and most importantly, have built in image-stabilization in the camera body. The Olympus Om-D E-M10 Mark 3 is currently on sale all over the place with a lens. For video and low light, you will benefit from a wide aperture prime lens, such as the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 .

I appreciate this might not be the answer you were looking for, but if video is important, I think this might be a better direction to go in than a DSLR. All the capabilities are the same, the only disadvantages are a reduced battery life and a slightly smaller sensor. However, by using a wide aperture lens you can make up for the reduced low light performance.

I hope this helps – I’m happy to discuss further of course!

20th December 2019 at 1:17 am

Sorry I visited your site but couldn’t read a thing. Please fix the site. Best regards

20th December 2019 at 10:46 am

Thanks for your comment. Could you clarify perhaps what you couldn’t read and what i need to fix? The site loads ok on all our devices, but if you can let me know what device and browser you are using, and what specifically is not working, then I will be happy to take a look,

Martha Dobson says

3rd November 2021 at 4:02 pm

Website was beautiful, I think that this man is lying to you about the website not being legible.

3rd November 2021 at 6:07 pm

Thanks Martha!

Marije says

17th December 2019 at 8:47 am

Hi Laurence,

Thank you so much for this very insight- and helpful review. I’m looking to buy a compact camera with good optical zoom possibilities for photographing people, landscapes and wildlife during my holidays. As I’ll be visiting Swedish Lapland for a week of winterfun, I would like a camera that will also be Able to capture the northern light (autora). Which compact camera will be a good or even the best choice. Was Leaning towards a Sony Cybershot DSC-RX 100 series but found vi and vii quite expensive anD not shure about optical zoom of v. Love to hear your opinion.

17th December 2019 at 9:14 pm

So I would say probably the next best option after the RX100 would be the Panasonic Lumix ZS100 or ZS200. The Canon Powershot G3X is another good option as it has a 1 inch sensor and a 25x zoom lens. I have to say, northern lights photography is a challenge for any camera though, even a full frame DSLR. So while you will definitely be able to get photos with a compact camera, just be aware of its limitations. I have some tips on taking taking photos of the northern lights here , which might be worth a read.

Otherwise, let me know if you have any more questions – and have a great trip!

22nd October 2019 at 8:36 am

How about the Panasonic G90/95? It has all bells and whistles of GX9 and much more (like UHS-II support, stronger IS and focus stacking). It has a comfortable grip and a rugged body, a swivel touch screen, unlimited video shooting, mic and headphones port (hello vloggers!). Similar to GX9 it can be charged via usb but comes with an external charger and both can be charged via a powerbank with 2 ports! I’m almost happy with my gx9 but miss the weather sealing and the mic port. If Pana doesn’t release a gx10 with these 2 features I’ll go for the G90.

24th October 2019 at 12:51 pm

The G90/95 is certainly an excellent camera, although is at a bit of a price premium compared to the GX9 so isn’t directly comparable in my mind. However, if it fits what you are looking for you should definitely go for it – this list is by no means definitive (hence the long section at the beginning to help people decide).

Enjoy your new camera, whatever it turns out to be!

lalan kalansooriya says

15th September 2019 at 12:36 pm

Hi I am bigginer to the photography and i wish to buy a camera. I love to travel photography. My budjet is about 300$. So I would like to know what are the recomended cameras for me

15th September 2019 at 2:25 pm

At $300 you will definitely be looking at either a mid-range compact camera or a lower end DSLR. There aren’t many mirrorless cameras at that price point unfortunately, unless you go second hand. In terms of compact cameras, I’d suggest either the Lumix DC-ZS70 or the Sony RX100 .

For DSLRs, consider the Nikon D3400 or the EOS Rebel T6 .

10th August 2019 at 8:23 am

Hi Laurence and Jessica, Just a quick thank you message to say that this is the first article I read (and I ‘ve read quite a few!) that really explains things about cameras in a clear way! Im new to travel photography and was looking for info on how and where to start from. Thanks a lot!

11th August 2019 at 11:38 am

Our pleasure! We’re always happy to hear that we’ve been able to help people, and believe me, I know that photography is not the easiest topic to get to grips with 🙂 Let us know if you ever have any questions!

Stuart Svoboda says

21st July 2019 at 6:03 pm

Thanks for your thoughtful and comprehensive advice. Obviously, budget plays a big role in most people’s decisions and there are few aspects of photography that don’t involve some compromise. However, for those who are willing to part with a bit more cash in pursuit of a supremely capable yet practical alternative, you missed at least one significant choice and that’s the Lumix G9. My G9, battery grip, lenses (mostly Leica, covering the 35mm-eq range from 16-800mm), spare batteries, flash/soft box, filters, etc. (including an Olympus TG-5, which I agree is a great, bomb-proof, go-anywhere camera) all fit into a small pack that weighs 6400) ISO noise with moving subjects. Big deal (looks more like film anyway). A much more compact (although not pocket-sized) and far cheaper alternative that still produces great IQ (stills and 4K video–much better than a 1/2.3) is the Lumix FZ1000. The first-gen (which I got for c.US$600) is still available and a great bargain (IMHO, the best price/performance value currently available). The Mk II adds some nice features but has the same great 1″ sensor and 25-400mm-eq Leica lens. If you can’t get great images under most conditions with that, it’s not the camera… And no, I don’t work for Panny–they just make great cameras (performance and ergonomics). Bottom line: the IQ achievable in most conditions from even “mid level” cameras these days is more than enough for most purposes–much beyond that is overkill (but some of us like overkill on occasion).

Thanks for your blog.

21st July 2019 at 6:32 pm

Thanks Stuart! We also like the Panasonic gear, I’ve had a G6 and still use the GX8 on a regular basis. There just wasn’t room for every camera on the list, but we certainly appreciate your recommendation and no doubt folks reading the post will find your input useful as well 🙂

Sandra says

11th July 2019 at 7:50 pm

Thanks for such a great article! I am wondering what you think of the new Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II which was announced July 9th and is due in stores August 1st. How do you think it compares to others in your compact camera list? I am taking a 3-week trip to China in September and want a great travel camera. Looked at the Sony RX100 VI but it felt very small in my 73-year-old hands and I missed it not having a grip. I am replacing a very old Canon G16. Thanks for any input you can share!

12th July 2019 at 4:19 am

I’ve been reading up on these two cameras and they both look very promising. I would say that they would probably be excellent, but I’ve not been able to personally try them out as yet. However, if you are used to Canon, it would be a logical step to buy one of these two, and I am confident you will be happy with the performance. I’ll be updating this post in the near future, but likely after your trip. In the meantime though, I am still happy to recommend them on spec as the price / specifications are great.

Candy Luong says

24th June 2019 at 8:45 pm

Thank you for the well-written review! I am on the market to purchase an upgrade from a 2011 Canon Rebel T3i with a couple of EF lens. I am conflicted between upgrading to a DSLR or mirrorless camera for travel and leisure photography. What I look for in an upgrade is WIFI, GPS, lightweight, adaptability to the canon lens, and does not break the bank (max $1500) for a full kit. Is there a mirrorless camera that has a proven adapter for canon lens? I’ve looked into the Canon EOS RP but the price point for a full kit is insanely expensive. What would you recommend?

25th June 2019 at 1:38 am

So the Canon EOS RP would be my recommendation – with the adaptor the body only should come in under your budget, and it will work great with the Canon lenses you have. If you move to another manufacturer, I think you will struggle to get a full frame camera for any less money, and the adaptors are not so good as they have to do a conversion between the electronic systems, which usually results in slower performance. The only thing missing from the EOS R is built in GPS, however the low energy bluetooth capabilities mean you can sync GPS from your phone without too much battery drain.

If it’s still too much, you might consider a second hand Canon 6D or 6D Mark 2, which are both great cameras. I still shoot full time with the original 6D and have no complaints. GPS is one of my favourite features on it, and I wish more cameras had it as a default!

I hope this helps!

Kathy Golden says

17th June 2019 at 11:27 pm

I just happened upon your website while researching DSLR cameras and I found a treasure-trove of information! Thank you so much for this thorough and informative blog. It is very helpful. I hope to compare mirrorless and DSLRs for both travel and “family” photography.

19th June 2019 at 4:18 pm

My pleasure, let me know if you have any questions!

6th June 2019 at 11:50 am

Really found this article useful – thanks!

Soon, I am quitting my job and going travelling for the ‘foreseeable future’ – yay fun!

I love taking pictures generally (e.g., smartphones or on friends cameras). But knowing I am going travelling, I would love to capture some great quality shots and edit them myself etc along the way. Although a ‘first purchase’, I need it to be high quality so that it is worthwhile over a smartphone, worth the financial investment, and worth carrying around. I am very likely to take a look into some of your courses too before I go (so that I actually CAN capture some good moments) – with this in mind, what would you recommend?

Many thanks in advance!! Flo

6th June 2019 at 12:02 pm

My pleasure! So it will depend on how much you want to carry with you. If it’s a minimal amount, then you’d be better off with a high end point and shoot, like the Lumix ZS200 or the Sony RX100 series. These both take excellent photos, have full manual controls and even shoot in RAW.

If you want to step up above that there are many choices. For travel, I’d recommend probably a mirrorless camera to keep the weight down, paired with one or two lenses. At this point it will come down to your budget – all the mirrorless cameras on this list will do a great job, but they are at different price points, starting with less expensive and then getting more expensive! At the higher end, I’d suggest perhaps the Canon EOS RP, whilst at the lower end, the Sony a6000 or Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III.

Let me know if I can help any more 🙂

6th June 2019 at 7:32 am

Hi thank you for such wonderful tips. Im no expert. I would really appreciate some guidance. I own iphone x and photos are great. But for travel I d also need a solid zoom for vast landscapes. I ve been looking into Panasonic, I like idea of Leica lens… what I d like is what can i get up to 1000 usd ( preferabbly less) that would make sense to get better photography then iphone x, a good zoom and still a nice looking not too big camera. Thank you 🙂

6th June 2019 at 11:40 am

So based on your requirements for a smaller camera, I’d say either the Sony RX 100 VI or the Lumix ZS200. They both offer a good zoom range and good image quality, as well as manual controls.

You could look into mirrorless cameras too, but to get a good zoom you’d need a larger lens, and it wouldn’t be so compact!

Let me know if you need any more information, I’m happy to help 🙂

12th May 2019 at 10:46 am

Hi .. I am a Nikon d5300 (with two lenses 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses) user and I need to buy a compact camera with dslr quality lesser in weight .. please suggest

12th May 2019 at 7:16 pm

So if you want something really compact then the Sony RX100 range is a good option. The quality is great for a compact camera, and you also get full manual controls. If you just want something a bit smaller, then you might consider one of the mirrorless options, but they aren’t always a lot smaller, so a compact is likely to be a better option.

Thomas Mygind says

1st June 2019 at 7:38 am

If you want the smallest Full Frame option – then this basis option weighs 450 gram + EF-lenses. Cannon M100 + Viltrox 0.71x adapter makes your APS-C into a full frame eqvivalent.

Then add any EF-lens you like -for example: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Lens 33.5 oz (950g) 3.3 x 4.9″ (83 x 124mm) 77mm 2002 Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens 13.4 oz (380g) 2.9 x 2.8″ (73 x 70mm) 67mm 1996 Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens 23.7 oz (670g) 3.3 x 4.2″ (83.5 x 107mm) 77mm 2005 Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 II USM Lens 13.2 oz (375g) 2.8 x 3.0″ (72 x 75mm) 58mm 2000 Canon EF 28-105mm f/4.0-5.6 USM Lens 7.4 oz (210g) 2.6 x 2.7″ (67 x 68mm) 58mm 2002 Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens 19.1 oz (540g) 3.1 x 3.8″ (78 x 97mm) 72mm 1998 Canon EF 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 USM Lens 17.6 oz (500g) 3.1 x 3.5″ (78 x 90mm) 72mm 2000

9th May 2019 at 11:20 am

Hi, I’m relatively new to serious photography, but I’ve long had an interest in photo editing and am now wanting to learn more about the actual photography part of it. As it is, you’ve pretty much sold me on the Nikon D3500 since it sounds like an excellent option to learn from without being too expensive, though I’m also considering the D5300 for its video capabilities (from what I’ve found) and the GPS option. Can you recommend a few additional lenses, ideally at least one for further away shots? Particularly for some darker areas.

Whatever the case, this guide has taught me quite a bit and given me a lot to think about. Thank you for that.

11th May 2019 at 9:03 pm

Delighted to have been of assistance. So my first recommendation would be to check out our guide to the best travel lenses, which has a number of options for Nikon. You can see that here:


The criteria you have (long lens that is good in low light) does unfortunately bring you into the more costly type of lens – you need a wide aperture to capture more light, and all the glass ends up costing more. I’d suggest looking for a lens with a f/4 or faster aperture (f/2.8 would be ideal), and 200mm to 400mm focal length.

Happy to provide some more specific suggestions if my linked post doesn’t do it for you 🙂

13th May 2019 at 9:39 am

Hey Laurence,

You make a compelling point, as did the price tags once I looked into what you suggested. I’ll add that to my “eventual” list once I’ve gotten good enough to justify the cash.

I ordered a D3500 bundle “w/AF-P DX 18-55mm & 70-300mm Zoom Lens” and “55mm Wide Angle & Telephoto Lens”. Seemed like a fair way to start (though I wish I’d have ordered it a few hours prior because I missed a nice sale, haha).

I’m keeping this page bookmarked, there’s so much to learn and I appreciate the help. I had to check out your guide on San Francisco since that’s part of why I wanted a new camera: I’m taking a trip up that way later this year and am planning on making the most of it – I live in California, but I’ve never spent much time that way since it gets expensive fast – including a few museums, Grace Cathedral, Chinatown, and several other areas. Now I’ve just got to practice a lot in the next 3 1/2 months so that I can manage something awesome by then.

Thanks again, this has been incredibly helpful.

13th May 2019 at 6:34 pm

It’s absolutely my pleasure, and please do reach out if you ever have any more questions about photography or travel, and I’ll do my best to help out. Enjoy your new gear, I’m sure you’ll be very happy with it!

4th May 2019 at 10:06 pm

Great website!

I will be going to Europe this summer and I intend to take many HDR pics. I currently have a Nikon D3400. (I prefer the APS-C cameras to the full frame cameras because I like the lighter weight, especially for travel.). I like the camera except for the fact that it has no exposure bracketing at all. This makes HDR photography, especially of tourist sites that might have people walking in the distance, slightly difficult. My question is: Should I take the D3400 to Europe or purchase the latest Canon Rebel, with which I can do 3 quick shots continuously?

Please consider: I have compared my Nikon to my old Canon T3i. Using the same settings for both, the Nikon seems to take better pictures when I compare the exact same shots side by side. Is that just my imagination or is that due to the very slightly larger sensor?

So, again, the choice is: 1) take the Nikon, which seems to take good pics, and be forced to take all my HDR shots manually? (The advantage there is that I could take 5 or more.); OR 2) buy a new Canon T7 or T7i and be able to take 3 quick shots at different exposures? (I don’t mind the extra cost if you find it is the best choice.)

I would appreciate any advice you can provide.

Thank you very much for your time and consideration to this matter.

5th May 2019 at 9:48 am

Thanks! So the sensor size probably doesn’t make that much difference, but the sensor technology likely will. The T3i was released in 2011, and it’s hard to really compare that against a much newer camera, as sensor technology moves on every year. I would say that the newer Canon would likely be comparable. It’s definitely frustrating that the Nikon cameras in the D3xxx range don’t have exposure bracketing, that’s a real omission by Nikon. I would say that if this is something that is important to you, and you don’t have a wide selection of Nikon lenses, that you might find the Canon more suited to your specific needs. I also can’t speak for the T7i, but on my Canon 6D, I can set it to take 3 or 5 shots for the exposure bracketing 🙂

Best of luck, and have a great trip!

22nd April 2019 at 7:03 am

Thank you for your great article. It is well-written and informative. I notice in your picture comparing sensor size, that Nikon’s aps-c is larger than the Canon aps-c. Is Nikon’s significantly better than Canon’s in terms of the final picture? What is the measurable difference between the two, in terms of pixels and/or quality? Should I base my decision on that? Thanks again

22nd April 2019 at 10:30 am

There is not a big difference between the two to be honest, the small size difference is not big enough to make a real world difference in my opinion, certainly not enough to make a purchase decision on 🙂

Mohit Chupra says

21st April 2019 at 9:57 am

Hi , after read the content i understand that there a lot of good value entry -level DSLR cammers .

21st April 2019 at 11:22 am

That is correct, DSLR cameras are great value for sure 🙂

20th April 2019 at 2:27 pm

Hi, I currently have galaxy s10 and thinking of buying Famon g7x for travelling. The main purpose of the trip is the northern lights. Would g7x worth buying? Or would s10 do the trick? Thanks

20th April 2019 at 3:25 pm

So the Canon G7x does have a larger sensor than a smartphone, and will therefore be better for northern lights photography. Smartphones are capable of taking pictures of the northern lights, but they won’t produce the best results. Either way, you will definitely want a tripod as otherwise you will get blurry pictures. I have a full guide to taking pictures of the northern lights you might want to check out too.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Sanjeev Rai says

12th April 2019 at 7:34 pm

I am going on a family trip to Europe covering Italy Switzerland and Paris . Looking into various videos of gopro I am inclined to buy go pro but not sure how much I will utilize as I am not into adventure sports. Although I feel a good family video covering mountains and beach will be cool. Also thinking of buying Nikon D3500 or May be both . Totally confused . I am not a photography enthusiast but regularly travel and wants to keep memories of my trips . Pleas guide

12th April 2019 at 7:44 pm

Hey Sanjeev,

So a GoPro is good as a general point and shoot action camera that will survive most situations. It’s also great for video. However, it has limitations – you can’t zoom, and it takes very wide angle photos. So things will seem further away. This is great for action sports and so on, but not really ideal for landscape photography.

If you want something pocketable that does great quality, I’d probably suggest one of the compact cameras on our list, or a mirrorless cameras. Most of these also do good video as well 🙂

Sanjeev says

13th April 2019 at 11:50 am

Thanks Laurence

I have budget of USD 500 . Will see which one fits the budget. Also may be GOPro + IPhone 7

13th April 2019 at 2:18 pm

Best of luck 😀

7th April 2019 at 7:18 pm

Hi – I’ve been a portrait photographer for too many years to say 🙂 and have always used Canon. At the moment we have 2 5d mark iii and one 7d at the studio with multiple lenses. I have finally made a decision to follow my passion and start traveling to shoot more landscapes and small towns. Weight is the biggest issue for me, however, quality of camera and lens is too. I’ll be headed for Europe then Asia this fall so I have some time but I’m trying to figure it out now. Any advice would greatly be appreciated.

7th April 2019 at 7:27 pm

Ah, the old conundrum – weight vs quality! Personally, we travel with a pair of Canon 6D’s and usually three lenses, a wide angle, a 70-200 (plus 2x convertor for wildlife) and a fast prime.

The key is a good strap for the camera (we love the Peak Design straps) and a good bag.

If I was you, and used to the Canon system (which I am), I would stay with it. I’d probably also suggest sticking with full frame. If size is the predominant issue, mirrorless cameras can help a bit, but not as much as folks might make out, because often so much of the weight is in the lens anyway.

I would probably be tempted by the Canon EOS RP. It’s a full frame mirrorless camera that, with a mount, will be compatible with all your EF (and even EF-S) lenses. It’s very compact for a full frame mirrorless camera.

If you want to just start over, and don’t mind investing in new lenses, then I might suggest something like the Fuji X-T30, which produces really lovely images. My only concern with shifting to a new system is that Canon is really great and colour, and other camera systems may not be as good as you used to (this is a reason many photographers I know have not shifted to the Sony mirrorless system for example).

I hope this response helps a bit! Let me know your thoughts 🙂

7th April 2019 at 10:04 pm

Hi Laurence, Thank you for your quick reply. I agree about the Sony, as we are so invested in all Canon lenses it makes it hard to change. I have, however, been very interested in the mirrorless camera and now with Canon’s out I have contemplated it but don’t see it being so much better than the 5diii except of course the weight, (which is what I need) I also worry that the battery doesn’t last long and even if I use an attachment won’t it slow down my lens? Deb

7th April 2019 at 11:38 pm

Canon has designed the mount adaptor so it just works like a passthrough. There’s no impact on the lenses. I know this has been an issue with other systems, like using the Canon lenses on Sony cameras, you lose autofocus speed and sometimes stops of light, but Canon didn’t want that to happen so the lenses should work just as well as if they are native.

To be honest, the performance won’t be massively improved over the 5D Mark III which is a great camera. If you are happy travelling with that, then go for it. But if size is a consideration, I’d say it’s the best option that would also let you use your existing lenses.

Carrie says

4th April 2019 at 9:16 pm

Thanks for the reply.

It’s a little difficult for me to describe how looking through a viewfinder on a non-DSLR camera affects my eyes. For many photos I prefer using the viewfinder, but for other photos I really like having the articulated screen.

I’m leaning toward the Canon EOS Rebel SL2 or one of the Nikon’s with an articulated screen (the good thing about a Nikon is my boyfriend has Nikon cameras and we might be able to share lenses). It’s just a matter of finding the right Nikon.

5th April 2019 at 12:04 pm

My pleasure. So it sounds like a DSLR is the right kind of camera for you. I would definitely recommend Nikon if your boyfriend has Nikon already, as this will save you the hassle of multiple lenses. When Jess and I got together, she had Nikon and I had Canon, and we just decided we’d merge everything to Canon to make life easier.

In terms of cameras, the Nikon D5600 is probably the best option as it comes with the tilting screen. You could also pick up the D5500 for a lower price if budget is a concern.

3rd April 2019 at 10:09 pm

The current camera I’m using is a Nikon B700, which I like for its small size, articulated screen, and super-zoom. However, the image quality seems to have deteriorated a lot in the two years I’ve had it and I now am having issues with using the viewfinder (my dry eyes are making it difficult to see what I’m trying to focus on because I’m looking at a tiny screen). So I think it’s time to switch to a DSLR or mirrorless camera. Mirrorless might be better because of the smaller size, but having never used one I don’t know how my eyes will handle it.

Any recommendations for a good, smaller DSLR or mirrorless with a good zoom and an articulated screen? My father has been using Panasonic Lumix cameras for years and has been very happy with his results.

4th April 2019 at 12:12 pm

So for DSLR and mirrorless cameras, these don’t come with a fixed lens, meaning you can change the lens to something that meets your requirements. However, there are not many lenses out there that would offer the sort of zoom you might be used to with the B700, that would also be smaller. So even if the camera body ends up being smaller, the overall package would be fairly large. Bridge cameras like the one you have are a fairly specific product and the main way they have been able to differentiate from all the other types of camera out there is by offering these pretty incredible zoom lenses.

I am a little confused though – the B700 has a screen, so I am wondering why you would not be using that for the focus? If the viewfinder is too small, this will be a similar problem with viewfinders on other cameras too I think.

I just don’t want to recommend a camera that doesn’t actually solve the problem!

2nd April 2019 at 6:52 pm

Hi, I have been looking into the Sony RX100 VÍ and the brand new Lumix FZ 1000 II. I want zoom, big sensor, tilting LCD, and low light capability. My only concern is size of the Lumix since my primary use will be for travel. Please help! What are your thoughts?

2nd April 2019 at 7:12 pm

So both cameras actually have the same size sensor, which is the 1″ sensor. The FZ1000 II definitely has more zoom, but it is much less compact. However, it also has a longer battery life and a tilting / swivel screen.

Personally if a compact camera is what you want, I would go for the Sony as it will slip into a pocket or purse. The Lumix definitely won’t. I don’t think image quality will be much different, although there are not many reviews on the FZ1000 II as it’s so new.

I hope this helps 🙂

2nd April 2019 at 7:24 pm

Thank you so much. It definitely helps.

Donna F. says

26th March 2019 at 1:43 am

This article is super! And, so is findingtheuniverse.com – I’ve learned so much as I am researching what camera to purchase. Any recommendations would be welcomed. I want a compact camera to travel with me on my motorcycle. It will need to endure a lot of vibration. I’d like for it to fit in a jacket pocket or tank bag. And, I’ll be taking pictures of landscapes, awesome views and interesting people.

26th March 2019 at 1:53 pm

Thanks very much Donna – delighted to be able to help!

So if you think the camera is going to be subjected to a pretty rough time, you might consider the Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera . It’s a good camera, although the 4x optical zoom, whilst good, may not be perfect for everything. It’s certainly the toughest camera in our list though.

If image quality and more zoom is more important, and you think you can trade off a bit of the survivability factor, I might consider either the Panasonic Lumix ZS100 or the Sony RX100 VI . These both have more manual controls as well as a larger image sensor, so the image quality will be higher. The Sony is at quite a premium price point though, so you would definitely want a good case to protect it!

I hope this helps a bit 🙂

Let me know if I can help out any further!

Nowshad Rahman says

24th March 2019 at 4:18 pm

I was looking for features the basic travel camera and this helped a lot. Thanks for the insightful article. Sony RX100 VI is good for travel?

24th March 2019 at 4:24 pm

It certainly is. It is definitely a premium compact camera, but the combination of image quality, manual controls, and the impressive zoom and autofocus performance make it probably the best compact camera for travel on the market today 🙂

Mallory J says

20th March 2019 at 4:42 am

Looking for some input… I have a Nikon D80. I used to do newborn photography some years ago. It worked fine for me then. Had my own kids, moved on in my career and on the side we travel a ton. The Nikon is clearly older and the whole set up is too heavy to travel with (I have 4 lenses total for it, however only use the my 24mm and 50mm. Rarely the 125 as I felt the quality was bad and never the telephoto that I bought with it. Anyhow, years later I know nothing about photography anymore and am looking for something other than my phone (iPhone xsmax). I want better, easier and more convenient than the D80. I like the blurry backgrounds (see I can’t even remember the correct terminology for this) and clear photos for nature and sports. My questions is, right off the bat, is there a camera that stands out? Do I go Nikon and continue to use my lenses and forgo the weight? Do I get something new, compact, same brand, different brand?

20th March 2019 at 10:22 am

Hi Mallory,

The word you are looking for is bokeh 😉

Ok, so this is a bit of a challenging question. SInce you already have lenses, my initial response would be to consider maybe the Nikon Z6 . Whilst this is pretty much identical in size to the D80, it’s a mirrorless camera with a full frame sensor, so you will be getting a marked step up in image quality and capability in a camera that is the same size. There’s also a Nikon adaptor so your existing lenses should work, although you’ll want to check compatibility. You should also find it easier to pick up as the menu system will be similar.

If size / cost is more of a consideration, then I think you would want to consider a mirrorless camera and look to invest in a couple of lenses. If you are happy with prime lenses then this is great because they tend to be cheaper and higher quality.

I’d say perhaps the Canon RP, or the Fujifilm X-T30 would be a great starting point, depending on budget 🙂

Happy to answer any follow up questions of course!

5th March 2019 at 9:33 am

Hi, thanks for you great article about various compact/travel cameras. I am planning to buy a new camera. I am trying to decide between Canon m50, Canon 200d, Nikon d5600 as well as Canon g3x. I live in humid area & that’s why I am concerned & also bit worried about that. I don’t have budget to buy expensive camera that have weather sealing. Canon g3x. does have weather sealing but then it have only 1 inch sensor (I do need camera which takes great quality images, video making is not my priority). Moreover, I also want to have a touchscreen. Kindly help me in this regard. Thanking you for the same

5th March 2019 at 12:09 pm

So based on your requirements and budget (I am assuming your budget based on the cameras you are looking at), I am going to suggest a totally different camera to those which you have been looking at.

My suggestion is either the Pentax KS-2, the Pentax K70 or the Pentax KP.

These are all APS-C sized sensor SLR camera which are weather sealed. They are also great value for a weather sealed camera.

The only disadvantage is that they do not come with touchscreens. I know this is something you want, but it might be a decision between weather sealing and a touchscreen at this price point. If the touchscreen is more important, I would suggest the Canon m50.

8th March 2019 at 11:35 am

Thanks for your reply. Kindly let me know why you suggested Canon m50 and also are mirrorless camera more sensitive to moisture/dust than DSLR? Thanks

8th March 2019 at 2:13 pm

So a mirrorless camera is more sensitive to dust than a DSLR. This is because there’s no mirror protecting the sensor, and every time you change lenses the sensor is exposed to the elements. In terms of moisture, I would not say there is a significant difference. A mirrorless camera has more electronic parts if you include the screen, so in theory more could go wrong, but I would say in the real world this isn’t likely to be a big issue.

I recommended the M50 as it’s a great compact mirrorless camera that is easy to use and produces quality results. However, a compact DSLR from Canon or Nikon would also be a good choice. Honestly, most cameras these days will take great photos in the right hands, the technology has come along very far. It’s just question of what has the specific specifications you need.

8th March 2019 at 2:26 pm

Thank you sooo much for your swift response. And thank you for clearing my doubts too. Actually I had almost decided to buy canon m50 but due to doubt about absence of mirror may make it more sensitive, I have narrowed down my choices to Nikon D5600 and Canon 200d. But still confused cause Nikon D5600 have 39 AF points whereas Canon 200d have just 9 and canon have dual pixal Autofocus. My priority is for stills. Kindly let me know if more Autofocus points are really that important. And please help me to decide between these two models. Thank you soo much for helping me out.

8th March 2019 at 7:49 pm

A lot of autofocus points can be useful if you are shooting fast action or wildlife photography. Otherwise it’s not too critical. I have a Canon 6D which is my primary camera, which I think has 9 autofocus points, and I’ve never found I needed more!

4th March 2019 at 8:24 pm

Hello, hope you’re doing well. I love your web page ❤️ I have some months suffering and searching information about a digital camera. I am interested for full frame & Mirrorless Camera for my work as a Aesthetician , and for travel also , I have considered Canon G7 X Mark II but im not pretty sure if it good for photography. Suggest me one good camera or good lenses for travel, fashion, makeup . Good bless you and thankful if you wanna respond

5th March 2019 at 3:03 pm

If you’re interested in a full frame mirrorless camera, I’d say that the Sony A7II would be a good option. The G7X Mark II is a lighter and more compact camera, but you can’t change the lenses, and it doesn’t have a full frame sensor.

Other options include the Canon EOS RP, Canon EOS R, Nikon Z series, and the more recent Sony A7 III, although this is somewhat more expensive now than the version 2.

For lenses, there’s a huge choice. I’d suggest a walk around lens for general travel photography, and then a fast prime lens for portrait work. A 50mm f/1.8 lens would be good for that. I have a guide to travel lenses you can see here:

Mick England says

3rd March 2019 at 3:53 pm

This may have been written before the D7500 came out as you state: “This is Nikon’s high end APS-C camera, with a 20.9MP sensor, fast autofocus, a weather sealed body, dual SD card slots and Wi-Fi.” In fact Nikon actually dropped the dual card slot that was present in the 7200 but the D7500 is nevertheless an excellent camera and I have never had a card fail on me.

3rd March 2019 at 4:05 pm

Hi Mick! Thanks for the catch 🙂 I’ve updated the description of the D7500. I too have never had an SD card fail on me in any camera, although I appreciate some folks like the peace of mind – especially for critical work like weddings and other event photography.

22nd February 2019 at 12:54 am

Hi, I have come across your website while I am searching for best travel camera. I am very limited knowledge about camera and planning to get my first ever camera. Thinking of getting either sony or canon. I am going to visit Euroup in 2 months and need travel camera for both photo and video capturing. May I request for your recommendation please? Thanks in advance ~

23rd February 2019 at 7:27 am

I would likely recommend a mirrorless camera like the EOS M100 as they are easy to pick up and use, and also easy to learn. However, I don’t know your budget – the M100 is at the low end of the budget (although it’s still a great choice). However, if you have more money to spend, there are other options too 🙂

12th February 2019 at 9:36 am

Hey there, I want to buy a travel system camera because my DSLR is just too heavy to carry around all the time. I‘m currently trying to decide between the sony a6000 and sony a63000. So far, from what i‘ve heard it seems like there‘s no big difference between the two cameras that justifies the much higher price of the newer model. However, since i‘m planning to go to south east asia, i‘m not sure how important it is for me to have a camera that‘s water and dust resistant (as the a6300 is). What‘s your experience? Is the a6000 likely to survive rainy season (pf course i‘m going to put my camera in the rain either way) or is worth investing 300€ more for that feature? Thank you!

12th February 2019 at 5:31 pm

I would probably lean towards the a6000 – it’s less costly, and weather sealing won’t make a camera waterproof unfortunately – you’re better off just trying to keep it dry 🙂 The a6300 is a decent camera, but I think for the price difference it’s not that much better.

Have a great trip!

11th February 2019 at 6:38 am

hi, thanks for your such informative blog. I am considering to purchase Fujifilm X-T20 with 18-55mm lens or Canon M50. And, my usage is more to photo shoots instead of video shoot.

I appreciate if you could give advise on this,

13th February 2019 at 9:17 pm

Both are excellent cameras, so it is hard to really decide between them. The Canon is slightly better for videos, and the Fuji might give slightly better photo performance, but the difference is very small. The main difference is the lens options – I would say there are more better value lenses for the Canon than the Fuji, but to be honest, both are really great cameras and I don’t think you will be disappointed with either choice!

Roxanne says

5th February 2019 at 6:58 am

What camera would you recommend for the following.. Indoor for a convention I will be attending Site seeing photos Novice photographer Selfies Price isn’t a deal breaker, so as long as it’s going to last me Captures my memories Ease of grab and shot Social posting Printing

Also considering a upgrade on cell too. To have both a camera and cell phone handy for just in case. I currently have a iPhone 7plus. But open to a smartphone that offers better photo capabilities.

Thanks in advance for your help!

5th February 2019 at 11:44 am

Hi Roxanne!

So the most challenging scene you’ll be looking at shooting will be the indoor scenes, which is where many cameras will struggle due to a lack of light.

If you wanted a capable smartphone, I currently use the Google Pixel 3 which is excellent for a wide range of shooting scenarios, including low light. I’ve not tried out the latest iPhone though.

In terms of a camera, for point and shoot I’d have to suggest either the ZS100 / ZS200, or one of the Sony RX100 options. However, the smaller sensor might not give the best results for indoor work.

So if you don’t mind a slightly bigger camera, I’d probably recommend the Fujifilm X-A5. This has a flipping screen for selfies, a large sensor that performs well in low light, and is still quite portable and easy to use.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions 🙂

Ranjeet Kaur says

19th January 2019 at 6:47 pm

Hi guys, thanks so much for creating this page its an amazing read… i had a dslr camera for 10 years but it has now broken i also have a small canonn camera very small.brought in 2005 takes a card of 2gb but thats givent up as well. I i belive its time to up grade…. i use the camera for travling, gathering and amy social events. I also use it with work when i go and look at properties… so with this in mind im strugling to decide which camera to buy as i would like to get a small compact one…. what would you recommend?

19th January 2019 at 6:55 pm

Hi Ranjeet!

Our pleasure. So if it’s a small compact camera you are after, that is the section of the post to look at. We also have an expanded version of suggested compact cameras here . It’s hard to recommend without knowing your budget, but that page should give you lots more options!

4th January 2019 at 1:05 am

I’m hoping you can help as I am probably comparing apples to oranges. I’m looking for a travel camera for an amateur that is fairly compact, has an auto function, can take selfies, and takes bright, crisp pictures. Deciding between the Canon EOS M50 and the Sony RX100 iii. Any advice?

4th January 2019 at 9:47 am

Sure thing! So the RX100 will be more compact than the M50, but my personal preference would be the M50. It has a larger sensor, meaning images will be higher quality in a variety of shooting situations, has the full auto function, and also has a fully articulating screen for selfies. So that would be my preference of the two.

Another option is the EOS M100, which is a bit smaller, but has similar features. It’s also less expensive. It might be a good balance between the two options 🙂

26th December 2018 at 9:41 pm

What would your opinion be with getting the 200d with a 35mm prime and an ultrwide zoom? Do you have any suggestions as to which lenses I should look at? Total budget would only be around 700 I think at this stage. It would be used for travelling (cities and mountains) as well as a little bit of filming in the woods, but this is very much a secondary use

Many thanks

26th December 2018 at 10:01 pm

So that would be a great combination. Assuming a total budget of $700 to include the 200d, which is around $400 body only, then my suggestion would be the Canon 10-18 ultrawide angle , and the Canon 50mm f/1.8 , which is an amazing lens for the price.

That will take you to $794 all in, which is pretty decent for what you are getting 🙂

26th December 2018 at 10:06 pm

Sounds just about perfect, thanks for the speedy reply

If I remember I’ll try to post how I get on with them, such a good thread I’ll probably have a read over in a few months again XD

Thanks for the help, Flo

26th December 2018 at 10:17 pm

My pleasure 🙂 I’d love to hear how that combination works for you, so do pop back and let me know 🙂

We keep this post up to date as newer models come along, we also have a guide to travel lenses if you want another post to read 🙂 https://www.findingtheuniverse.com/best-lenses-for-travel-photography/

Have a wonderful 2019!

26th December 2018 at 7:23 am

Thanks for your article, it was really helpful. I was already considering the Nikon D3500 with an 18- 140mm lens as an alround in-expensive travel camera for an upcoming trip where we really only want to travel with the bare minimum. We can get this as a kit lens in Aus. However, I was wondering about the comparison between the D3500 and the D5600 with the 18-140 mm which is also available as a kit?

26th December 2018 at 11:09 am

Hi Helen, and thanks!

So there is not a great deal of difference between the two. They have pretty much the same specification, the main difference is that the D5600 has a moveable touchscreen and the D3500 has a fixed, non touch-screen. The D5600 is a bit heavier too, but they are otherwise dimensionally identical.

So really it comes down to whether or not the moving touchscreen is something you would want, as otherwise these two cameras are pretty much identical.

Hope this helps!

valina1981 says

11th December 2018 at 6:03 am

Absolutely love this post! Thank you. I’ve spent the last few weeks drowning in information and agonizing over which camera will be the best for me. As a complete beginner who wants to capture great images but wouldn’t have the slightest idea where to start with changeable lens this guide is ideal. Thank you

11th December 2018 at 10:06 am

My pleasure!

9th December 2018 at 7:21 am

I found this very helpful and an now as subscriber. I was going to sign up for your course, but got confused (my constant state) when I was about to pay and was greeted by a different instructor (‘Nomatic” Matt, or something like that). I now have a little over and hour experience reading your material and felt there was a good match, so didn’t sign up with Matt, if that is what I was doing. May be I missed something. Please let me know if you are in fact the instructor. Thanks

9th December 2018 at 10:31 am

Sorry about that confusion, I should probably try to make it clearer. So the course that you are talking about is my course, I wrote the whole thing, and all the homework / feedback comes to me. The course is just hosted at the Nomadic Matt site as he has a number of courses that compliment each other, plus it means I don’t have to worry about server hosting and the technology of the course – I just run it 🙂

But yes, that’s the one to sign up for to get to me 🙂

9th December 2018 at 5:06 pm

Thanks for the quick response and clarification. I will be signing up.

9th December 2018 at 7:11 pm

Thanks Steve, looking forward to helping you out 😀

Shirzad says

27th November 2018 at 1:13 am

You are a star!! Thank you, very informative.

27th November 2018 at 11:21 am

My pleasure! let us know which one you chose 🙂

David Stepenberg says

19th November 2018 at 1:56 am

Outstanding publication that was informative and easily understood. I appreciate your sharing your experience and expertise.

I’m interested in a digital camera that produces extremely high quality photos for canvas enlargement, has a large sensor, image stabilization, and is compatible with a high quality long range zoom lense. Based on this publication I’m assuming a DSLR is best, but I’m not sure which one and would appreciate your feedback.

19th November 2018 at 10:13 am

Thanks very much 🙂

So based on your requirements, you’d be looking at a fairly high end camera. You have a few options, depending on your budget:

The Canon 5D Mark IV The Sony A7r III The Nikon D850

These are all roughly the same price. For your specific needs, I would probably lean towards the Sony a7 rIII, which is a mirrorless full frame camera, with in body image stabilization and a high megapixel sensor which means you’ll be able to get those high quality images you’re after.

The 5D is a great camera, but the sensor doesn’t have so many megapixels. The Nikon is also excellent, with a fantastic (Sony made) sensor, but has no in body stablization.

Of course, both Nikon and Canon offer stabilised lenses, so you can get the same effect with a lens.

I hope this helps. There are other options at lower (and higher!) budgets, but this would me my starting point without knowing your exact budget 🙂

26th October 2018 at 4:13 pm

Nice article..! Any reason to choose D3300 over D3400?

26th October 2018 at 6:07 pm

In terms of the cameras under $500, I wanted to pick a great value camera, and the D3300 certainly fits that bill, especially since the D3400 and D3500 have since been released. However, if you have the budget, the newer models are definitely worth checking out 🙂

17th October 2018 at 9:22 pm

I feel you are missing a well known and loved travel camera. The Ricoh GR &/or GRii essentially the same, is ultra light, a somewhat fast 2.8 for low light, no AA filter that delivers sharp images and can be found used $350 or brand new $600. Yes, it has a fixed 28mm lens but it’s also so sharp with an aps-c sensor That cropping into a RAW image is still sharp after digital processing. Not the fastest auto focus but for those who focus on setting up their image or are patient for the scene to develop, it’s sufficient.

Great blog. Thanks for the work.

18th October 2018 at 5:43 pm

Thanks very much! There are a lot of great cameras out there for sure, and thanks for recommending your favourite. Hopefully someone finds your recommendation useful 😀

7th October 2018 at 2:10 pm

Absolutely brill article thankyou! I have a question for you . . . Im a land artist in the UK and currently looking to invest in a camera to capture my artwork. Been using a samsung galaxy phone up till now but seriously need to upgrade as Im being asked for large prints! Im good with light and composition but have very little tech knowledge! So looking for the smallest simplest camera that is not a phone! that shoots in RAW for high quality large prints that I can carry easily and not have to think about! Ive been looking at the Sony RX100 V and wondering if the image quality will be good enough . . friends saying Sony Alpha series is better! Help! Getting confused with so much choice! Would really appreciate your opinion or advice :)) *artwork ranges from small macro creations to much larger woodland or river work

10th October 2018 at 4:59 pm

So for something small the shoots in RAW, a higher end point and shoot should work fine for your specific needs 🙂 The Alpha series from Sony is a great choice too, but they are certainly bigger than a point and shoot, and also a bit more complicated to use. So I would advise something like the Panasonic or Sony in this post. We also have a more comprehensive Point and shoot camera guide here with even more choices 🙂 https://independenttravelcats.com/best-compact-camera-travel-point-and-shoot-cameras/

Let me know if you have any more questions!

Cecilia Lawrence says

11th September 2018 at 1:22 am

Hi there! Thank you for taking the time to write up this list! I was wondering if you could give me some camera recommendations. I’m an amateur photographer and I mostly use my camera for taking interior photos (like architecture or portraits) for art references. The things I’m looking for are:

1.) Long battery life (when traveling) 2.) Under $500 3.) Good in low-light settings

I’m trying to find either a good point-and-shoot or a mirrorless camera that fits in my budget. I was told that the Canon Rebel t6 is a good DSLR for what I’m looking for, but I’m wondering if it might not be a little too cumbersome when traveling. Any suggestions?

11th September 2018 at 10:34 am

Hi Cecilia!

My pleasure. So, your wishlist is quite a challenge I have to be honest 🙂

For a long battery life, your best option is going to be a DSLR, as mirrorless cameras use up more battery due to not having an optical viewfinder, which means you always need to be powering a screen.

Low light is the hardest environment for a camera to work in. My suggestion for the type of photography you are wanting to do would be to invest in a tripod, which can help get around some of the challenges of shooting in low light by letting you use longer exposures.

My suggestion would be perhaps the Canon M100 . This has the same sensor has the Canon DSLR cameras, but is in a smaller body, so it is quite compact. It comes in under budget including a lens. The only issue is that the battery life is not going to be as good as a DSLR.

let me know how that sounds!

11th September 2018 at 6:06 pm

Thank you so much for your quick response! This camera looks perfect–exactly what I was looking for. Thank you again!

11th September 2018 at 6:09 pm

My pleasure Cecilia 🙂 You inspired me to add it to the post as well, I think it’s an excellent option at this price point 🙂

Prashanth says

31st August 2018 at 9:17 am

Hello, thank you for an excellent article. I’ve got a tough one for you – my trusty Panasonic FZ300 has checked itself out after three terrific years. I can’t seem to find anything else that matches its set of amazing features. Can you help? Thanks!!

31st August 2018 at 10:31 am

Hi Prashanth,

I think the logical replacement would be the new Panasonic FZ330, which seems to have a similar set of features and upgraded technology 🙂

1st September 2018 at 6:00 am

Oh wow Laurence, thank you! I can’t believe I wasn’t able to find it myself. I kept searching for “FZ300 successor” but apart from a few forum postings on what a potential successor should look like, I only saw pages from four years ago that declared that the FZ300 was a successor to the FZ200! I noticed that you don’t have a section for bridge cameras on your blog – from my own experience, I found the FZ300 the most versatile cam I’ve used. I go on an annual 5500+ meter trek (Kailash Manasarovar yatra if you’re interested), and I’ve really put the weather sealing capabilities of the FZ300 to the ultimate test! The ultrazoom really comes in handy on the trek (to scope out far away features or wildlife) and the insane feature set (from 4 years ago!) – 4k video, timelapse, wifi, multiple zoom controls, touchscreen, etc. make this camera an absolute treat to use. If at all anything could be improved, it would be the sensor, because it isn’t good at all in low light (thats when the RX100 comes out of my pocket ;-)). I look forward to checking the FZ330 out – thanks again!

1st September 2018 at 6:04 am

Oops! I had just replied to your comment Laurence, but I’m afraid the FZ300 and the FZ330 are exactly the same 🙁 “There is no functional difference as far as I know. It is a brand / labeling thing. The FZ330 IS the FZ300.”

1st September 2018 at 10:54 am

You are right! I am so sorry, I just found that and figured it must be the latest version of it as that’s what Panasonic has on their website. They don’t seem to have anything newer with the same sort of features, and I can’t find anything else that is the same sort of bridge design with the same feature set. The FZ300 / 330 seems to still be the only option. So I’m not sure if you’ve considered just buying another one?

You are definitely correct that this guide is currently missing bridge cameras, the only reason being I don’t have personal experience with them so it’s hard for me to give good advice!

2nd April 2019 at 7:07 pm

Hi again Prashanth!

A bit of a delay, but I thought you’d be interested in the recently launched FZ-1000 II. It doesn’t have quite the zoom of the FZ330, but the sensor is both bigger and has higher megapixels, so when you crop the image you will likely end up with the same results. It’s also somewhat more expensive. But in case you were still looking, I thought you’d like to know 🙂

2nd August 2018 at 7:15 am

Thank you so so much for this. This helped me so much

2nd August 2018 at 10:00 am

My pleasure Rachel 😀

Techwhippet.com says

23rd May 2018 at 3:55 pm

Hi findingtheuniverse, This article is very much helpful. But still I have question on it should I ask here ?

23rd May 2018 at 7:36 pm

If you have a question you are welcome to ask it 🙂

nick esposito says

16th March 2018 at 4:23 pm

6D II has a swivel screen and a touchscreen..your info is wrong in the article.

16th March 2018 at 4:29 pm

Thanks Nick – I’ve fixed that in the article 🙂

Gezina Uys says

21st February 2018 at 12:59 pm

I have been looking for a travel camera for a long time now, but not one can can do everything I want it to do. 1. It must be lighter than my Canon EOS . 2. Must take superb photo’s because I print a lot and enlarge them. 3. Large sensor. 4. Good optical zoom lens. 5. Image stabilization. 6. Build in flash with range more than 10m. 7. Megapixels – more than 20.

Please advice me what to buy. I go on a holiday in August and must have the camera by then. My Canon is just to heavy to carry around.

21st February 2018 at 1:13 pm

That is quite a list 🙂

Getting everything you want in one camera is going to be quite hard – a large sensor will require a larger camera body, that’s just how it works. I’d also add that very few built in flashes are either that powerful or produce good results – this is why pretty much every professional level camera doesn’t even have a built-in flash.

It’s hard to give specific advice without a budget in mind. However, my advice to you would be to consider the Sony mirrorless systems, and in particular the Sony Alpha a7II ( http://amzn.to/2CbOehK ) for your requirements. This has nearly everything you have asked for:

1 – mirrorless, so smaller and lighter than EOS full frame cameras, weighs 1.32lbs 2 – takes great photos 3 – full frame sensor 4 – lots of lenses available 5 – built in 5-axis image stabilisation 6 – no flash (see above for why) 7 – 24.3MP

21st February 2018 at 1:37 pm

To follow on from your e-mail where you say that Sony are leaving the South African market (!). This is definitely a problem, as there aren’t any other full frame mirrorless cameras that I’m aware of, other than the Leica range, which are really expensive.

So my advice would be to look instead at the APS-C sized sensors on mirrorless cameras. These still produce great image quality and come in a smaller format. I’d specifically advise either the Fuji XT2 or the Fuji XT20, depending on your budget, both of which offer superb image quality. I know a number of professional photographers who love these cameras and use them as their main cameras day in and day out.

Techwhippet says

15th February 2018 at 7:22 am

Hi Mate! I just bought the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III, and am curious, do you ever take prime lenses when travelling? I’ve seen some amazing travel pictures taken with Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III. Amazing blog, keep up the great work!

17th February 2018 at 8:36 pm

Thanks very much! I don’t usually take prime lenses, I usually have a wide angle and a telephoto, and find that is enough to carry!

Greg Kennon says

3rd February 2017 at 4:05 pm

Wow! Awesome in depth post! We recently bought a Sony point and shoot camera and we have loved it. We have used a DSLR before but they are so heavy to take on long walks/hikes! Thanks for the great post! I will definitely reference this when it’s time to upgrade:)

Laurence says

3rd February 2017 at 4:09 pm

Thanks Greg, pleased you find it useful!

Leslie Hoerwinkle says

24th January 2017 at 3:53 am

So, which camera is the best? ????

13th February 2018 at 10:23 pm

It really depends on what you want to do with it, and your budget! I’d suggest checking out the post and making a decision on the best travel camera for you 🙂

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The Best Mirrorless Cameras

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Fujifilm XT5 camera on a geometric yellow backdrop

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You know what's the least important part of taking a great photo? Gear. The vision you have and the work you put into realizing it are far more critical.

That's not to say gear doesn't matter, just that it's best used in service of something larger. That's why this guide doesn't get too deep into the weeds of megapixel counts, sensor sizes, and pixel peeping. All these cameras are capable of producing amazing images. Which one is right for you depends more on your needs than on the size of the sensor.

Still, choosing the right one can be confusing. I've spent years testing dozens of cameras in all kinds of shooting scenarios to come up with what I think are the best choices for different types of photographers.

Be sure to check out our many other buying guides, like the Best Camera Bags , Best Action Cameras , Best GoPro Hero , and Best Instant Cameras .

Updated February 2024: We've added the Leica Q3, Sony A7C R, Nikon Zf, and updated links and prices throughout.

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Full-Frame or APS-C?

The internet has an obsession with sensors, megapixels, and zooming in on images to find their flaws. Here's the thing: If sharpness is what you want, shoot the largest format you can. But know that great photographs don't need to be razor-sharp from edge to edge. Few of them are.

That said, most of the cameras here have “full-frame sensors” (except the Fujifilm models, which use the APS-C sensors). There is nothing magical about this size; it just happens to be the same size as 35-mm film. This means that any lens made for a film camera can (probably) be adapted to work with the camera and produce the same field of view.

There are much smaller sensors—micro four-thirds, for example—that are capable of producing very sharp images. Future versions of this guide may include some micro four-thirds cameras, but for now, to keep things simple, I've limited testing to APS-C and larger sensors.

Best for Most People

Sony's A7 IV ( 9/10, WIRED Recommends ) is a 33-megapixel, full-frame camera capable of incredibly sharp images, with excellent dynamic range and the best autofocus system on the market. It's compact and light enough to carry all day without back strain, and the grip is comfortable. The five-axis image stabilization means you can hand-hold it in lower light, and the wide range of 4K video options make it the best all-around video-and-stills combo on this page. There are better still cameras (see the Sony A7RIV below) and better video cameras, but nothing else combines the two quite as well.

What I don't like about it, or any other Sony, is the labyrinthine menu system. Luckily there are enough customizable buttons that it's not too difficult to set things up so you never need to dive into the menus.

Specs: 33-megapixel full-frame sensor, 10 frames per second (fps), 7K oversampled 4K/30 fps video, SD and Express cards

★ Alternative: If you don't need the new autofocus features, the A7III remains a solid choice, and it's frequently on sale for under $1,800 .

Best on a Budget

The Fujifilm X-T5 ( 9/10, WIRED Recommends ) is the best camera I've tested this year. Fujifilm uses APS-C sensors, which are smaller than the full-frame sensors in the rest of the cameras in this guide, but with the 40-megapixel sensor in the new X-T5 you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference. Images from the X-T5 are sharp, wonderfully detailed, and don't suffer too much noise. This sensor also manages to retain that uniquely Fujifilm look.

The X-T5 is more focused on the shooter of stills, while the updated X-H2 ($2,299 with XF16-80mm Lens Kit) is the best option for those more interested in video. The camera body's design is reminiscent of film cameras, and perhaps the best thing about it is how seldom you need to use digital controls. ISO, shutter speed, exposure compensation, and shooting modes are all accessible via physical dials. Plus, Fujifilm's excellent line of lenses is surprisingly affordable relative to some of the others on the list, making this one of the least expensive systems to invest in. My only real gripe is the grip; it's on the small side for a body of this size.

Specs: 40-megapixel XTrans APS-C sensor, 15 fps with full AF, 4K/60 fps video, dual SD cards

★ Alternatives: The Fujifilm X-T4 ($1,700) remains a solid choice, especially if you want a fully articulated rear screen, which is helpful when shooting video of yourself. Also, the X-H2 has a rotating screen, which the X-T5 lacks.

Megapixel Madness

The new A7RV uses the same 61-megapixel full-frame sensor as its predecessor, which remains largely unmatched (unless you opt for medium-format cameras). If that's not enough, there's a 16-shot, high-resolution mode that can create 240-MP images (so long as your subject is static, e.g., a landscape). The dynamic range is outstanding, and the ability to recover detail in the shadows is something you'll only believe once you do it yourself.

The primary improvements over the previous model are increased autofocus speed and intelligence, a huge new viewfinder and, although this might sound strange, an option for smaller RAW files. Fully uncompressed RAW files from this sensor run around 125 megabytes per image. There are now options to shoot large, medium or small lossless compressed RAW files. I haven't tested this model, but I will update this guide after I do.

Specs: 61-megapixel full-frame sensor, 10 fps with full AF (12 bit RAM, 6 fps for 14-bit RAW), 8K/24 fps video, dual SD/CF cards

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nikon z611 camera

Best for Nikon Fans

The Nikon Z6 II is Nikon's answer to the Sony A7III, and it is a good answer for dedicated Nikon shooters. The 24-megapixel full-frame sensor has excellent dynamic range, and the phase-detect autofocus system is one of the best I've used. Video quality is also excellent, with 10-bit 4:2:2 N-Log output possible over HDMI. The Nikon Z6 II is also the most comfortable camera to hold on this list. Although this will depend somewhat on the size of your hands, the grip is larger and more generously spaced than on the Sony or Fujifilm cameras.

The Z-series lens system is intriguing for its wider base mount, which allows more light to the corners of the sensors. The benefits of this can be seen in the incredibly fast 58-mm f/0.95 lens (manual focus) and the surprisingly small 50-mm f/1.2. If you've got a lot of legacy Nikon glass you want to keep using, there's an F-to-Z mount adapter available for $250.

Specs: 24-megapixel full-frame sensor, 12 fps with full AF, 4K/30 fps video, XQD/CFexpress (Type B), and SD card slot

★ Alternatives: For more resolution, there's the Z7 II, which is very nearly identical to the Z6 II except it has a 42-megapixel sensor and it's more expensive . The Nikon Z5, on the other hand, is one of the cheapest full-frame cameras. Often on sale for around $1,100 , the Z5 is a stripped-down Z6. The sensor is the same, but you lose much of the video features of the Z6.

Front of the Nikon ZF camera

Best for Classic Camera Vibes

The Nikon Zf ( 8/10, WIRED Recommends ) is the camera I would buy if I were in the market for a new camera. I grew up in the film era, and I am still more comfortable turning dials and knobs than I am using touchscreens. The Nikon Zf offers just that. Every setting you need to make an image is accessible on a dial or knob: ISO, aperture, shutter speed, and exposure compensation. There's also a switch to change shooting modes and another to change to black-and-white mode or video mode.

The Zf looks like a 1980s film camera, but the 24-megapixel sensor and speedy autofocus system is decidedly modern and every bit as good as our other Nikon pick above (faster at autofocus thanks to its updated processor). There's no beefy grip to hold onto (though you can buy one ), and I hate that Nikon doesn't give you a battery charger, but otherwise the Nikon Zf is a fantastic camera. I suggest the version with the 40-mm lens, which pairs well with this body.

Specs: 24-megapixel full-frame sensor, 13 fps, 4K/60 fps video (cropped for 60 fps).

Canon EOS R camera without lens attached

Best for Canon Fans

The Canon EOS R is a mirrorless option for people who loved their DSLRs. It's a hefty beast, with a solid feel that reminds me of what I used to love about film cameras. Even the on-off switch is made of metal. The sensor is typically Canon, which is to say sharp, with good contrast and the characteristic Canon color rendering (it's slightly warmer in tone than some of the others here). The phase-detect autofocus is fast and accurate. One thing to note: The rumor mills suggest that the R might be getting an update in 2023.

One thing I really like is that when you change lenses there's a cover that swings out to protect the sensor from dust. (The exception is if you have an adapter and you remove the lens but not the adapter.) Every camera on this list would benefit from adopting this feature. The R-Mount lens system uses a very wide base diameter, like the Nikon system, and achieves similar results—there are fast R lenses around. The better news for those already invested in Canon glass is that there's a $99 adapter that will let you affix just about any older Canon lens to the R.

Specs: 30-megapixel full-frame sensor, 8 fps with autofocus, 4K/30 fps video, dual SD card slots

★ Alternatives: Canon has gone all-in on mirrorless in the past couple of years, with everything from this budget R model to the massive (and massively expensive) R5 ($3,500) . They're all nice, especially if you have a lot of those sweet legacy Canon lenses.

Leica Q3 compact digital camera

A Luxe Fixed-Lens Option

Leica's Q3 ( 9/10, WIRED Recommends ) packs a 60-megapixel sensor and Maestro IV processor, which it uses to produce some truly wonderful images. True to Leica's reputation, shooting with the Q3 is a wonderful, simple experience that helps you focus on what you're doing, not the camera.

The autofocus on this model is better than on the Q2, but it's still not a sports camera by any means. The fixed 28-mm lens is great in both manual and auto focus modes. I never used to be a fan of 28-mm lenses, but lately they've grown on me and become my go-to for many situations. The Q3 also has a bright, sharp viewfinder. It's not the camera for everyone, but for a certain kind of photographer the Q3 is an absolutely perfect fit.

Specs: 60-megapixel full-frame sensor, fixed 28-mm lens, 8K/30p video.

Panasonic Lumix S5 camera without lens attached

Best for Video

Panasonic's S5 is a compact, full-frame mirrorless with a very sharp 24-megapixel sensor. The S5 mostly holds its own against the rest of these full-frame cameras in still image quality, but what really sets it apart is the extra video features you won't find elsewhere. Support for V-Log recording, anamorphic 4K support, and uncropped 4K at 30 frames per second top the list. The result is a camera that's perfect for hybrid video and stills shooters.

The one place this camera struggles is autofocus, especially when shooting video. That's where the new S5II should be a significant step up. It features a new chip with onboard phase detection and, from early reports, appears to bring the S5's autofocus up to snuff. Unfortunately it's also significantly more expensive at $2,300 . We haven't had a chance to test this one, but if you can afford it, on paper it's well worth the upgrade.

Both S5s use the L-mount lens system, an effort to do for full-frame what Panasonic did for micro four-thirds: create a unified lens mount standard. Leica is the driving force behind the L-mount, but Panasonic and Sigma also have plenty of glass in L-mount. That means there's no shortage of lenses for the S5. If your primary use case is video, be sure to check out our guide to the gear and tips you need to make studio-grade home videos .

Specs: 24-megapixel full-frame sensor (no AA filter), 5 fps with autofocus, 4K/30 fps video, dual SD card slots

Front view of the Sony A7C R

Best for Travelers

If you want the smallest body you can get but still want a full-frame sensor, the Sony A7C R ( 7/10, WIRED Recommends ) offers the most bang for your buck. It's plenty small and light, even with a lens. The 61-MP sensor offers amazing detail and very good dynamic range. Throw in some best-in-class autofocus with great subject tracking, and you have a camera that can handle just about anything. It's expensive, but if you can afford it, this is a great camera.

Specs: 61-megapixel full-frame sensor, 8 fps , 4K/60p with a roughly 1.2X crop, single SD card slot.

★ Alternatives: There are regrettably few travel-friendly full-frame cameras, but the Fujifilm X100V ( 9/10, WIRED Recommends ) is a wonderful travel cam with a great 26-megapixel APS-C sensor. It's a few years old, but it's still one of our favorite cameras, especially for travel and street photography. Unlike the other cameras in this guide, the X100V has a fixed 23-mm lens (35-mm equivalent in full-frame). The X100V is a joy to use and produces wonderful images. The main problem is that a TikTok-inspired obsession with this camera has driven the price up to insanity levels. Don't pay more than $1,400 for this one.

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Buying Advice

There is no such thing as the perfect camera. Each has its own limitations, and part of the magic of photography is learning how to get around them. What you want to find is the camera best suited to the type of photos you like to take.

If you want to shoot wildlife, you need good in-body stabilization. If you're a street photographer shooting from the hip, stabilization isn't as important, but an extending viewfinder screen becomes paramount. If you're a landscape photographer who always uses a tripod, you probably don't need either of those things, but you might need a sensor capable of sharp, wall-size prints.

Once you've figured out the best camera for your needs, buy a lens to go with it and start shooting every day. Read the manual for your camera and learn what it can and cannot do, and then use it over and over until it is an effortless extension of your mind. Once you have the comfort level, the gear fades into the background where it belongs, and you can focus on making the images you've always dreamed of creating.

Oh, and hey, you may want to pick up a camera bag, sling, cube, or other accessories for your new system. We have just the guide to help .

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best travel apsc camera

New: 7 Best cameras for travel

Updated March 2024

Travel can expose you to once-in-a-lifetime sights and experiences, and a good camera can be the perfect way to preserve those memories. We've looked at a range of models that offer great image quality, good autofocus and excellent video, so that you can capture whatever you encounter on your travels. We've also tried to select relatively small cameras so they don't interfere with your trip.

Our selections include relatively compact cameras with fixed lenses, perfect for just documenting what you saw on your trip; they also include Micro Four Thirds and APS-C models that allow smaller camera/lens combinations, if you're looking to travel light. Full-frame cameras open up the potential for even better image quality but the lenses can get pretty big, so it's worth checking how big the total package is, before committing to a large-sensor model.

Our recommendations

Best pocketable travel camera: ricoh gr iii, the classic choice: fujifilm x100vi, truly compact mirrorless: om system om-5, all-round compact capability: sony a6700, the great travel kit: fujifilm x-s20 with 18-55mm f2.8-4.0 ois, the stylish travel companion: nikon zf, portable full-frame: sony a7cr.

24MP APS-C sensor | 28mm equiv. F2.8 lens | Wi-Fi + Bluetooth

What we like:

  • Excellent image quality
  • Good controls and ergonomics
  • Truly pocketable

What we don't:

  • Short battery life
  • No built-in flash
  • Sluggish AF in low light

The Ricoh GR III is the latest in a series of classic compact cameras with a large APS-C sensor and a 28mm equivalent lens. It's not the most flexible camera but it's one of the most pocketable and has built up a dedicated following of photographers who find it a joy to shoot with.

Our only concern, in terms of using the GR III for travel are that some users have found dust can get into the lens. So it's worth trying to find some sort of protective bag to keep it in.

There's also the GR IIIx , a variant with a longer, 40mm equivalent lens on it. This may be a little tight for documenting your travels, but it's historically a popular focal length.

Read our Ricoh GR III review

See the Ricoh GR III studio scene

Sample photo

40MP BSI CMOS APS-C X-Trans sensor | 35mm equiv F2 lens | Hybrid viewfinder

  • Excellent build quality
  • Subject-detection autofocus
  • Now with in-body image stabilization
  • Lens not especially fast to focus
  • Hard to find in stock

Like the Fujifilm X100V before it, the Fujifilm X100VI is a classically styled fixed lens camera with a 35mm equivalent F2 lens. But being in active production following its 2024 launch, the X100VI is somewhat easier to buy than its constantly out-of-stock forebear.

Updated with in-body image stabilization rated at up to 6EV of correction and a 40MP BSI CMOS APS-C X-Trans sensor, the X100VI is a significant upgrade over its predecessor despite looking virtually identical. And those improvements in part explain the X100VI's $200 increase in list price to $1,600.

Like its older brother, the X100VI isn't the smallest or most inconspicuous camera, but its fixed focal length means you develop an 'eye' for the photos it'll take, essentially making it a better quality, more engaging alternative to snapping away with your phone.

The addition of subject-detection autofocus has given the X100VI the ability to recognize animals, birds, automobiles, motorcycles and bikes, airplanes, and trains though human (face/eye) detection is a separate mode. However, the lens the X100VI shares with the X100V is not the fastest to autofocus, prioritizing sharpness over speed.

The X100VI brings a level of polish you would expect from a sixth iteration of a camera. Fujifilm has done a great job keeping the X100-series up to date without messing with the formula that's made it so popular. No surprise, this is the best X100 yet.

Unfortunately, despite ramped-up production, demand for the X100VI seems to have outstripped supply with the camera already on backorder at virtually all dealers. With any luck, however, its release will depress the over-inflated sale price of previous generation X100V cameras, which are still quite capable if you can find them for prices befitting used gear.

Read our Fujifilm X100VI review

Sample photo

20MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor | 4K/30p video | In-body stabilization rated to 6.5EV (7.5 with some lenses)

  • Attractive JPEG output
  • Selection of clever photo features
  • Excellent image stabilization
  • IP53 rating supports claims of weather sealing
  • AF tracking is disappointing
  • Image quality is behind larger sensor cameras

The OM System OM-5 is a compact interchangeable lens camera with a 20MP Four Thirds sensor in a compact body with plenty of external control.

That relatively small sensor means it can remain fairly small, even with a lens attached, and the Micro Four Thirds lens system provides extensive options in that regard, from compact zooms to small prime lenses.

Read our OM System OM-5 review

See the OM System OM-5 studio scene

Sample photo

26MP BSI CMOS sensor | 4K/60p video capture | Fully articulating screen

  • Front and rear command dials
  • Excellent AF in stills and video
  • 4K/120p capture (with crop)
  • No AF joystick
  • JPEG sharpening can be aggressive

The Sony a6700 is built around a 26MP APS-C-sized sensor. Its excellent autofocus performance means it excels at both stills and video capture. There's a good choice of relatively compact lenses available, too. We'd suggest avoiding the really small 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 though: it's not the lens to get the most out of this camera.

Fast, dependable autofocus with a selection of subject recognition modes means the a6700 will help maximize your chances of capturing the unexpected moments on a trip.

Read our full Sony a6700 review

See the Sony a6700 studio scene

Sample photo

26MP X-Trans APS-C sensor | Up to 6.2K/30P 10-bit video | In-body image stablization

  • Excellent still and video quality
  • Long battery life
  • Comfortable, simple ergonomics
  • AF tracking still lags behind peers
  • Small electronic viewfinder
  • Micro HDMI instead of full-size

Fujifilm's X-S20 is also worth considering. Like the a6700, it's built around a 26MP BSI CMOS sensor and is strong at both stills and video. Its autofocus isn't as simple and powerful as the Sony's, but its JPEG color modes produce really attractive results, and there's a wide choice of lenses including compact prime and the well-priced, supremely useful 18-55mm F2.8-4.0 OIS, which is a great travel option.

Read our Fujifilm X-S20 initial review

See the Fujifilm X-S20 studio scene

Sample photo

24MP full-frame BSI CMOS sensor | Full-width 4K/30 video, cropped 4K/60 | Stabilization rated to 8EV

  • Distinctive design with direct controls
  • Effective subject recognition
  • Strong stills and video features
  • Weight and minimal grip can become uncomfortable
  • Slow MicroSD second slot
  • Few custom buttons

The Nikon Zf is a classically styled full-frame camera built around a 24MP full-frame sensor that's used by many of its peers. The angular 80s-style body isn't the most comfortable to hold in your hand for extended periods, but the lack of stick-out grip makes it smaller than many of its rivals, making it a tempting travel companion.

At least in its all-black form, there's a chance of it being mistaken for a film camera, which may help avoid the wrong kind of attention, when you're out and about in an unfamiliar setting.

Read our initial review of the Nikon Zf

Sample photo

61MP BSI CMOS sensor | 4K/60p video with 10-bit color | Dedicated ‘AI’ processor for AF system

  • Big camera features in a small body
  • Outstanding AF performance
  • Auto Framing video mode
  • Small, low-res viewfinder
  • No joystick control
  • No fully mechanical shutter

The Sony a7CR is a relatively compact full-frame camera with an image-stabilized 61MP CMOS sensor. You sacrifice the convenience of an AF joystick and get a pretty small and basic viewfinder to keep the camera's size down, but there's little else that delivers this much image quality in such a compact package.

You'll need to pick your lenses carefully to keep the camera portable but the a7CR's autofocus means it can respond rapidly to just about anything you encounter on your travels.

Read our Sony a7CR initial review

Sample photo

Why you should trust us

This buying guide is based on cameras used and tested by DPReview's editorial team. We don't select a camera until we've used it enough to be confident in recommending it, usually after our extensive review process. The selections are purely a reflection of which cameras we believe to be best: there are no financial incentives for us to select one model or brand over another.

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The Best Mirrorless Camera

Phil Ryan

By Phil Ryan

Phil Ryan is a writer primarily covering photography gear, printers, and scanners. He has been testing cameras professionally for 19 years.

A mirrorless camera can give you better photos than your smartphone can, and it’s the best choice for anyone who wants to learn more about photography.

Everything we recommend

best travel apsc camera

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

The best mirrorless camera for most people.

With this camera’s small size, vast lens selection, built-in stabilization, excellent autofocus, and reliable exposure, you can easily capture great images anywhere.

Buying Options

Upgrade pick.

best travel apsc camera

Fujifilm X-T5

The best mirrorless camera for serious photographers.

This retro-styled, weather-sealed camera is the best APS-C mirrorless camera you can buy, with ample customizable controls, great autofocus, excellent video, built-in stabilization, and outstanding images even in very low light.

best travel apsc camera

The best full-frame mirrorless camera

If you want to step up to a full-frame camera, this model offers the best image quality you can get, along with a tilting touchscreen, dual memory-card slots, and cutting-edge autofocus.

While DSLRs used to be the go-to option for improved image quality, mirrorless cameras have taken over thanks to their increased portability and reduced mechanical complexity.

After more than 220 hours of research and testing over the past seven years, we recommend the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV —a versatile, high-performing mirrorless camera that’s available at a great price.

Its advanced features help it capture reliably great-looking images in all kinds of conditions, and its small size means you’re more likely to carry it with you everywhere.

Although the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV doesn’t offer the absolute best image quality, it captures great-looking images and is a joy to use. But it really stands out from the mirrorless competition thanks to its compact, lightweight design and its low price.

It’s compatible with more lenses than any of our other picks, and all of them work with its impressive built-in image stabilization. The autofocus system locks on to subjects quickly and accurately, and the lock-on remains accurate even in dimly lit situations. Its smartphone app, which enables remote shooting and image transfer, is better than those of most rivals, too.

Because the OM-D E-M10 IV is so small, you’re more likely to bring this camera with you everywhere you go. But despite its small stature, it has a comfy grip, plenty of tactile controls, and a tilting touchscreen, which together make it one of the better-handling cameras in its class.

If you’re serious enough to spend over $2,000 for a camera and lens bundle, the Fujifilm X-T5 is the best choice to bring your photography to a higher level.

The sensor puts out surprisingly clean, detailed, color-accurate images even when you shoot in especially dim lighting. And Fujifilm’s film simulations evoke nostalgic memories through clever application of color and tones, if you opt to use them.

The camera is rugged and weather sealed, has dedicated dials for all of your most-used settings, sports a large electronic viewfinder that gives you a great view of what you’ll get, and captures beautiful 4K video. Plus, its tilting screen and built-in image stabilization make shooting in challenging situations even more manageable than with our top pick.

The full-frame Sony ɑ7 IV delivers the sharpest, cleanest images of any mirrorless camera in its price range, and with its tilting touchscreen, comfortable grip, and easy-to-use controls, it’s a joy to use.

Its excellent battery life and dual memory-card slots are meaningful improvements over what we’ve seen on any other full-frame mirrorless camera under $2,700.

Add its weather sealing, its fast burst shooting, and its AI-powered eye-tracking autofocus system, and the α7 IV is definitely the best full-frame mirrorless camera for your money—if you’re willing to spend this much. Most people don’t need to.

The research

Why you should trust us, who this is for, what you need to know about mirrorless cameras, how we picked and tested, our pick: olympus om-d e-m10 mark iv, upgrade pick: fujifilm x-t5, our full-frame pick: sony ɑ7 iv, other good mirrorless cameras, what to look forward to, the competition.

I’m Wirecutter’s senior staff writer for camera and printer coverage, as well as the former senior technology editor for Popular Photography; prior to that I served as a senior camera editor at CNET.

In my role at Popular Photography, I was in charge of camera and lens testing procedures and personally field-tested all of the cameras, as well as many of the lenses, that the publication covered during my tenure.

I have been covering mirrorless cameras since the very first models were introduced in 2008.

If you want to move beyond the constraints of smartphone photography or are interested in learning what terms like shutter speed, aperture, and ISO mean (and even if you already know), buying a mirrorless camera probably makes sense for you.

Compared with DSLRs, mirrorless cameras are smaller and lighter. And instead of providing an optical viewfinder, which uses a mirror to bounce light that travels through the lens up to your eyeball, mirrorless cameras offer an electronic viewfinder (EVF), which shows a live feed from the sensor. That means you see exactly what you’ll get in the finished photo.

Combined, these factors make mirrorless cameras easier to carry around and less fussy to use than DSLRs, yet mirrorless cameras provide equal or better image quality. And as a bonus, you can easily adapt any film- or DSLR-era lens to any mirrorless camera body, giving new life to vintage equipment.

Sensor size

All else being equal, a larger sensor size generally equates to better image quality.

The sensors in the cameras we recommend here are much larger than those in smartphones. Sensor sizes in mirrorless cameras, in ascending size order, include Four Thirds (as found in our top pick), APS-C (as found in our upgrade pick), full-frame (as found in our also-great pick), and even medium format (which is far too expensive for us to recommend, at least for now).

At equal pixel counts, larger sensors have larger pixels, which gather more light; that reduces image noise (tiny unwanted speckles) and increases detail. They can also produce shallower depth of field, which helps to create dreamier out-of-focus backgrounds but also makes getting your subject correctly in focus more difficult.


Mirrorless cameras were created to be more portable than digital single-lens reflex cameras. Because camera makers don’t have to incorporate the SLR mirror or other parts associated with moving that mirror up and down, they can design a smaller camera.

Although some newer mirrorless cameras include large grips that make them quite chunky, they’re still smaller and lighter overall (and especially thinner) than equivalent DSLRs.

Unlike DSLRs, mirrorless cameras come in lots of different designs, from DSLR-shaped to rangefinder-styled. As a result, anyone can find a model that suits their style of shooting, and you have plenty of options that are small enough that you won’t think twice about bringing your camera with you wherever you go.

Battery life

With small camera bodies come smaller batteries, which means fewer photos captured per charge.

Camera makers are starting to get better about this—but especially in models aimed at beginners, manufacturers are still sacrificing some battery life in favor of a smaller camera.

For every round of testing, we look at all the mirrorless cameras currently available and take into account not only the needs of the average photographer but also those of people coming from smartphones and experienced photographers seeking to take their hobby to the next level.

We look for the best balance of price and features that are more important to people who are getting serious about learning photography as a hobby:

  • High-resolution EVF: An electronic viewfinder that provides a detailed view of your subject makes it easier for you to frame your images and is essential when you’re focusing manually.
  • Comfortable grip and ample external controls: It shouldn’t be hard to adapt your shooting to a new situation.
  • Tilting or rotating screen: You’re likely to want to take a photo from a strange angle eventually.
  • Fast burst-shooting rate: Fast-moving subjects are often best captured in a burst of images.
  • Long battery life: You shouldn’t be interrupted too often by the need to switch batteries.
  • Second card slot: Whether you want instant backup of your shots, the ability to separate your video and stills storage, or simply the peace of mind that comes from having another card already there when you need it, a second slot is useful.
  • Fast, reliable autofocus: Capturing a sharp photo when you want it, and being able to maintain focus on a subject as it moves throughout the frame, is essential.
  • Weather sealing: A sunshower or some light rain shouldn’t interrupt a good day of shooting or cause damage to your camera.

We take the cameras out into the streets and parks of New York City and use them with their kit lenses in a wide variety of situations, noting how they function in full auto mode as well as in other shooting modes.

We pay attention to the autofocus system, noting how easily we can choose where to focus and how well the camera can lock focus and track subjects.

We check out the menu systems to see how easily we can find the settings that you might want to adjust (though all mirrorless menu systems are somewhat overwhelming).

We pair each camera with our smartphone to make sure that the connection process is simple, to see how much control over the camera we have when operating it remotely, and to determine whether transferring images to a phone is uncomplicated.

Of course, we also pay close attention to image quality, though all of these cameras can capture beautiful images.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV, our pick for the best mirrorless camera.

The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is the camera we recommend for people seeking the best bang for their buck from a mirrorless camera with semi-professional features.

It’s feature-packed. The E-M10 IV has a fast autofocus system, a high-resolution electronic viewfinder and a movable touchscreen, and the ability to shoot five photos per second until the SD card fills up (if you use a UHS-II card).

The E-M10 IV’s built-in image stabilization can work with any lens you use with it. We also like the camera’s ample physical controls, which let you customize multiple buttons and dials so that the settings you adjust most are just a touch away.

It produces images with plenty of detail and pleasingly vibrant colors. As a Micro Four Thirds camera with a slightly smaller sensor, the E-M10 IV can’t quite match the image quality of larger-sensor competitors such as our upgrade pick and full-frame pick , but it comes close enough that most people wouldn’t be able to see a difference in most photos.

In our tests, images we shot in good light closely matched what we could do with most similarly priced competitors, though the E-M10 IV showed a little more image noise when shooting at higher ISOs.

The touchscreen on the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV tilted upwards, displaying a settings screen.

It’s compatible with a huge array of lenses. As part of the Micro Four Thirds camera system, the E-M10 IV is compatible with more than 100 native lenses—ranging from a 16mm-equivalent fisheye to an 800mm-equivalent zoom—from Olympus, Panasonic, and third-party lens makers such as Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina. That’s far more of a selection than you can find for any of our other picks.

And like other mirrorless cameras, it can use a huge range of vintage lenses via simple mechanical adapters.

A photo of a cardinal bird on a snowy branch, taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV mirrorless camera.

Its image stabilization is very effective. The E-M10 IV can move its sensor to reduce the blur caused by shaky hands. In practice, this means you can take sharper photos in dimly lit conditions or when you’re using a lot of zoom.

With the E-M10 IV, we consistently got usably sharp images shooting handheld at shutter speeds that would inevitably produce irretrievably blurred images without stabilization—as slow as ⅓ second when we used a 50mm lens with the E-M10 IV.

A photo of window covered with stickers, graffiti, and a grate, taken with the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV mirrorless camera.

It offers excellent ergonomics. After shooting with the E-M10 IV around New York City over the course of a few weeks, we can say that the camera is comfortable to use.

The grip offers an amazing balance of functionality and size, as it’s compact yet prominent enough for you to let the camera dangle securely from your fingers when you’re walking to your next shooting location (even with Olympus’s relatively large 40–150mm f/2.8 Pro lens attached).

The control dials are readily accessible, even when you’re using the viewfinder. Although the camera has only two physical customizable buttons, Olympus gives you plenty of options as to what to assign to them. Plus, you can customize the control panel on the tilting touchscreen to feature just the settings you change most often.

Its smartphone app is better than most. The E-M10 IV’s built-in Wi-Fi support lets you use your iOS or Android smartphone to transfer images and control the camera remotely to a greater degree than you can with cameras from Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon, or Sony.

Beyond setting focus and adjusting exposure settings, you can switch shooting modes, control the zoom on electronically zooming Olympus lenses, and tap your phone screen to set the focus point. You can also adjust burst or timer modes, white balance, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and exposure compensation.

Rear view of the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV mirrorless camera, showing the on-screen instructions to pair with a smartphone.

Its autofocus is quick and accurate. The E-M10 IV’s AF is as fast and accurate as you can expect from any current camera.

In good light, it reliably finds focus almost instantly. As with any AF system, the focus speed slows down in dimmer light, but no more so than on most competitors. In the course of our testing, we never saw any blurry shots resulting from an autofocus error.

Its EVF and its tilting screen make framing shots easy. The E-M10 IV sports a high-resolution OLED viewfinder that lets you hold the camera up to your face—a more stable and immersive way to shoot—while framing your image. It isn’t the best EVF we’ve used (the panels on the high-end Fujifilm X-T5 and Sony ɑ7 IV are better), but it ranks near the top of the class for cameras in this price range.

The 3-inch tilting touchscreen lets you move the autofocus point by touching the screen or even tap to shoot, as you would on a smartphone camera. You can also use the touchscreen as a trackpad for adjusting focus while looking through the viewfinder.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

  • The E-M10 IV’s menu system, like most modern camera menus, is annoyingly complicated. But given the complexity of cameras, as well as photographers’ demands for ever-greater control over their cameras, mirrorless cameras will likely never rid themselves of complex menu systems.
  • Battery life is another pain point. At just 360 shots per charge, the E-M10 IV’s battery life is notably shorter than what you get from our picks by Fujifilm and Sony (580 and 520 shots, respectively). Be sure to carry an extra battery for longer outings.
  • Though the E-M10 IV’s AF system locks focus quickly and accurately on static subjects, its performance is less reliable when it’s trying to track a moving subject. In our tests, the focus point had a tendency to shift to the background when a subject moved around the frame. As a result, you may miss a brief moment when burst shooting, but this issue never prevented us from getting the shot we wanted.
  • Although Olympus advertises a burst rate of 8.7 shots per second, this camera isn’t the best choice for fast-paced sports, since you get that speed only if you disable continuous autofocus tracking. With continuous AF, the best you can do is 5 frames per second.

The Fujifilm X-T5, our upgrade pick for the best mirrorless camera.

The Fujifilm X-T5 feels like a classic camera living its best life in today’s digital world. Behind its stunning retro looks, you’ll find a plethora of buttons and dials augmented by deep customization and cutting-edge technology. The result is a tool worthy of serious photographers who want to capture professional-looking photos or video in any situation.

The images it produces are stunning. The X-T5’s 40-megapixel sensor—the highest resolution in its class—captures images that you can print at very large sizes, even if you crop them down first. You can make prints of uncropped images up to 32 by 21 inches (at 240 dpi), which is larger than the prints that many professional photographers can make at home.

A closeup of a red columbine amongst several others in the blurry background.

The film-simulation modes in Fujifilm’s digital cameras look great, and they’re one of the most fun aspects of these image-making machines. They’re designed to mimic the results of the company’s vintage film stock (even some types that have been discontinued), and they often do a better job of creating that classic film look than most of the filter apps that people pay for.

And in addition to the built-in film simulations, you can find dozens of “recipes” that you can add to the camera’s custom shooting menu for even more personalized JPEG looks.

The classic controls leave room for customization. The functions you use the most—shutter speed, ISO (sensitivity), and exposure compensation—are available on dials on the top of the camera. Similarly, you can adjust the aperture settings on Fujifilm’s lenses via a clicky ring, though you can opt to let the camera control it instead, or use one of the customizable command wheels on the camera body.

Changing settings while looking through the viewfinder is fast and easy, and thanks to the dials you can adjust the most important settings before turning the camera on. Controlling the autofocus point is simple, too, thanks to a well-positioned joystick.

The 3-inch touchscreen allows you to tap to focus and shoot and to customize other functions. The screen tilts up and down, as well as to the right for portrait shooting. It doesn’t flip out to the side like the one on its predecessor, the X-T4, or on the Sony ɑ7 IV , so you’re likely to have a tough time vlogging or shooting selfies with the X-T5; if you want to check the framing while you’re in front of the camera, you have to connect your phone.

A view from the top of the X-T5 displaying many of its control dials.

Superior stabilization makes for sharper photos. By moving the sensor to compensate for hand shakiness, the X-T5 helps you get sharp photos when you’re zooming far or shooting in dim conditions at slow shutter speeds.

An overhead view of people walking across a stone bridge, lined with lamp posts outside.

Fujifilm claims that the X-T5 can provide up to seven stops of stabilization, and in our testing it reliably gave us six stops. That resulted in sharp photos when we were shooting with an 80mm lens (a 120mm-equivalent field of view) at 1/2 second. Without stabilization, we would want a shutter speed of 1/125 second to get a usable photo when using a lens like that.

Compared with the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV, the Fujifilm X-T5 gave us one stop more of stabilization. That’s also one stop more than we saw in its predecessor, the X-T4.

The battery can last a whole day. With a rating of 580 shots per charge, the X-T5’s battery lasts longer than those of any of our other picks. Most days we were able to get through the whole day without the battery running out.

The battery indicator hit the dreaded red zone after some of our three-and-a-half-hour bird-photography sessions, however. These sessions were especially taxing for the camera, since we kept it in performance boost mode—an optional setting that enhances the autofocus capabilities and raises the EVF’s refresh rate to better capture fast motion.

As always, just to be safe, we suggest carrying at least one extra battery , because everyone forgets to charge sometimes. Another option is to use a portable power bank , since the battery charges via USB-C anyway. (Like many contemporary cameras, the X-T5 doesn’t come with a battery charger in the box, just a wall adapter and a USB-C cable.)

Its smartphone app is useful. After we installed Fujifilm’s Camera Remote app , connecting the camera to a mobile device was simple. Once you register the app with a device, it remembers that camera and reconnects quickly through a combination of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

We easily shot stills and video, changed all of the core camera settings, transferred images, and shared them with friends via the app. We also updated the camera’s firmware through the app without any issues.

Weather sealing can give you peace of mind. Fujifilm touts the X-T5’s 56 weather-sealed points on its website, and we had no problems when we used the camera in the rain. Whereas our top pick, the E-M10 IV, can withstand a light shower, we would trust the X-T5 to shrug off a downpour that would thoroughly drench our clothes.

If you do plan to brave the weather, remember to pair this camera with a weather-resistant lens. Fujifilm puts “WR” in the name of its lenses that are weather-sealed, and most third-party manufacturers note whether their lenses can withstand precipitation and dust storms.

A small gray and white bird resting on a rock.

The tilting touchscreen helps at odd angles. Though the touchscreen on the X-T5 doesn’t flip to the side and rotate all the way forward like the X-T4’s did, it can tilt up, down, and toward the right side of the camera.

We think that Fujifilm should’ve stuck with what it had in the X-T4, but unless you’re a vlogger who doesn’t want to use a smartphone to see where you are in the frame before you start and stop recording through the app (which is what we’d do anyway), the limited screen flexibility shouldn’t be a problem.

The EVF looks great. At 3.69 million dots, the X-T5’s 0.5-inch, 0.8x-magnification electronic viewfinder basically matches what you get in Sony’s ɑ7 IV, which is to say that it looks great. We enjoyed using it to frame photos and to zoom in to ensure that our manual focus was correct when we used our Leica-mount manual lenses through an adapter.

Video looks amazing. The 4K footage we shot looked beautiful, and the image stabilization kept it impressively smooth when we shot handheld, even at long focal lengths.

Because this Fujifilm camera is equipped with a sensor that’s larger than the one in our top pick from Olympus, you can expect it to capture video with less noise in darker settings, though the results won’t be quite as clean as with our full-frame pick from Sony. Plus, the 6.2K-resolution option gives you room to spare during editing to crop down to 4K.

If you want to send an HDMI signal to an external recorder, such as an Atomos or Blackmagic device, you can record at up to 6.2K and 30 fps in 12-bit Apple ProRes RAW format or Blackmagic RAW for the most amount of leeway with color grading or other fancy editing tactics. We did not have a compatible recorder on hand to test this function. In-camera, you’re limited to 10-bit (4:2:2) color at 6.2K, which in our experience looked every bit as stunning as the 4K footage we made.

A top-down image of the Sony A7 IV

Generally, we don’t think most people need a full-frame camera, but if you want one for its superior image quality and its ability to shoot in very low light, the Sony ɑ7 IV is the best option.

Its image quality is best in class. The ɑ7 IV’s 33-megapixel sensor captures more than enough fine detail to make very large prints, even at high ISO settings that would produce overly noisy images on other full-frame cameras.

The images have more pixels than those of our top pick, but not as many as images from our upgrade pick. However, its images are cleaner than either of theirs thanks to its full-frame sensor.

It has plenty of customizable physical controls. More so than on any of our other picks, the ɑ7 IV’s controls let you quickly and seamlessly access everything you need to reach when you’re shooting.

Included are an autofocus-point control joystick, three customizable dials, a function button that brings you to a quick menu where you can change all of the most important settings, and five customizable buttons for fast access to your most-changed options.

Although the total number of customizable buttons on the ɑ7 IV is comparable to what rivals offer, the breadth of functions you can assign helps the ɑ7 IV stand out.

The back display of the Sony A7 IV folded out for viewing from above

Its touchscreen display can move into nearly any position. The touchscreen flips out to the side, tilts up and down, and can face the same direction as the lens for selfies.

Even if you prefer to shoot with the viewfinder, you can use the touchscreen as a trackpad and slide your thumb across the screen to move the autofocus point. If you prefer to focus on your subject by touching the screen as you would on your smartphone, you can do that, too, or you can set the camera to also take the picture when you tap your subject.

Its battery lasts longer than most rivals’. One of the biggest drawbacks of mirrorless cameras is their anemic battery life, but the ɑ7 IV offers 520 shots per charge, about 60 shy of our upgrade pick but still impressive considering the larger size of its sensor.

You should still pick up an extra battery , but with a full charge you’ll be able to get through, say, a child’s field hockey game without running out of juice (unless you lean on burst mode more than anyone really should).

Dual card slots ensure that you never lose a shot. The ɑ7 IV’s two SD card slots let you write a backup of everything you capture to a second card—a convenient feature if you’re worried about one of those cards failing and costing you once-in-a-lifetime shots (or paid work).

Alternatively, you can set the camera to move from one card to the next once the first card is full, save video to one and stills to the other, or save JPEGs to one and raw images to the other.

the side of the Sony A7 IV with the door to the SD card slot open.

Its autofocus is blazing fast and sticks like glue. The ɑ7 IV’s autofocus is the best of any of the cameras we recommend, and it’s one of the best AF systems we’ve ever encountered in our tests.

It uses AI to help determine what to focus on when it’s set to full auto, zone focusing, or one of its tracking modes. In particular, its face- and animal-tracking modes are likely to astound anyone who hasn’t used a camera with an AI-based AF system: It finds an eye and keeps tracking as long as that eye remains in the frame, even if the subject looks away from the camera as they move around.

In our tests, with the ɑ7 IV in bird-tracking mode , the camera did a similarly impressive job of tracking the eyes of birds even while they were in flight or hopping from branch to branch.

Its burst mode is more than fast enough for most people. The ɑ7 IV’s top burst speed of 10 frames per second (in the Hi+ burst mode) is plenty to capture fast action, including any amateur sports.

The speed dips a bit if you shoot in raw (unless you use a CFexpress card), but even at the slower 6 to 8 fps you get when shooting raw on a SD card, we’ve concluded that these restrictions aren’t onerous for anyone but sports-photography pros.

A finch sitting on a branch in the shrubs

It can produce clean-looking images in very dim light. People who frequently shoot indoors, or in the evening or early morning, will appreciate that the ɑ7 IV’s ISO range extends all the way to 204,800.

Though that max setting produces lots of noise when you view images at 100% magnification, even picky shooters are likely to agree that the ɑ7 IV can produce extremely nice images up to ISO 25,600. But if your plan is to share images on social media and view them on smartphones, or at a size that doesn’t take up the whole screen, you can feel free to use the entire ISO range.

Video looks great, too. The ɑ7 IV captures extremely good-looking video that’s similar in quality to footage from other full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Topping out at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second, it uses the full width of the sensor to capture video, which it then scales down to 4K footage with a dazzling amount of detail. It can capture HD footage at up to 120 fps, and it can also do 5x slow motion that still looks great on a good home television.

If you want a full-frame camera that uses Nikon’s Z-mount lenses : We think that Nikon’s Z 6II is the best choice for anyone looking for a camera in that system. Its 24.5MP images show plenty of detail, even if they don’t have the sheer resolution of photos from the 33MP Sony ɑ7 IV. Pictures have realistic color, pleasing contrast, and are well-exposed when using Nikon’s automatic settings.

Autofocus proved effective in our tests, with speedy initial focus. And while the Z 6II’s tracking isn’t quite as sophisticated as the ɑ7 IV’s, it’s more than fast and accurate enough for most photographers.

One downside we think most shutterbugs will notice is the relatively anemic battery life. At 400 shots per charge (with power save mode enabled), it’s significantly shorter than the 520 shots you’ll get with the ɑ7 IV. But if you carry an extra battery , that’ll sting a little less.

Video from the Z6 II looks great, but tops out at 4K30p. And while the LCD screen tilts up and down, we’d prefer a fully articulating display for more versatility.

If you want a camera that uses L-mount lenses: Panasonic’s Lumix S5 II is the best option for the L-mount system, which also includes cameras and lenses from Leica and Sigma.

Together, these companies have assembled a growing array of lenses that cover a wide range of needs and budgets.

The S5 II can’t match the autofocus performance of our full-frame pick and upgrade pick . Both of those cameras do a better job of identifying an animal in a scene and tracking along with it, though the S5 II performs pretty well in that regard.

The S5 II has a 24-megapixel full-frame sensor, which might seem a tad low resolution in comparison with the Sony ɑ7 IV’s 33-megapixel sensor and the Fujifilm X-T5’s 40-megapixel sensor, but that’s still enough pixels to make a 25-by-17-inch print as long as you’re not cropping the image.

Fujifilm has announced the X-T50 , a slightly scaled-down version of the X-T5 we recommend. The new model has the same 40.2-megapixel X-Trans sensor as our upgrade pick, the same video specs, the same autofocus system, and the same image stabilization. However, its burst mode is a bit slower with the mechanical shutter (5 fps vs. the X-T5’s 15 fps), it has a lower-resolution electronic viewfinder, its rear LCD only tilts up and down (the X-T5’s tilts up, down, and out to the left), its battery life is much shorter, and it has just one memory card slot. On the plus side, it’s smaller in every dimension than the X-T5, and more than four ounces lighter. We look forward to testing it alongside Fujfilm’s older X-T30 II in the near future.

Panasonic has announced the Lumix S9 , an extremely compact (5 by 2.9 by 1.8 inches and 1.1 pounds) full-frame camera designed for both stills and video (vlogging in particular). Its 24.2-megapixel sensor can record up to 6K footage in a 3:2 aspect ratio, commonly referred to as “open gate” recording; this allows you to crop the footage to your aspect ratio of choice and use it for YouTube, TikTok, and more. The S9 is also the first Panasonic camera to offer a dedicated LUT ( lookup table ) button, which provides functionality similar to Fujifilm’s film simulations. Users can choose from built-in LUTs, or load user-created profiles via the Lumix Lab app .

Making such a small camera has downsides, of course. One is that Panasonic has omitted a viewfinder, and there’s no option to add an accessory finder since the camera doesn’t have a powered hot shoe. Another is that recording length is more limited than on the S5 II and other Panasonic full-frame cameras, since the S9 lacks a fan, and there is no headphone jack to monitor live audio.

Alongside the Lumix S9, Panasonic also announced a 26mm f/8 manual focus pancake lens and the development of a 18-40mm f/4.5-6.3 lens that is intended to pair with the new camera. We’re currently testing the Lumix S9 and will share results soon.

Canon’s EOS R10 and EOS R7 are solid APS-C cameras that make nice photos and videos. They’re light and relatively small, and if you think you’ll only ever want the kit lens and a cheap telephoto zoom to go with it, these cameras might serve your needs well. But at this writing, the Canon system lacks a lot of other common lens options, and you’d likely be just as happy with our top pick, which costs less than either Canon model.

The EOS R8 creates high-quality images and has fast autofocus that can track a wide variety of moving subjects. Plus, its 4K 60 fps video recording is impressive for a camera that you can often find for under $1,500 with a kit lens. But the R8’s battery is only rated to give you 150 shots when shooting with the viewfinder (220 if you use power saving mode), there’s no joystick for changing your AF settings, and there’s only one memory card slot.

We haven’t tried the newer Canon EOS R50 , an APS-C camera that is priced closer to our top pick than the R10, but we think that the larger range of lenses available for the Olympus system makes it a more attractive option.

We ruled out Canon’s EOS R6 Mark II largely because it consistently costs at least $200 more than our full-frame pick, the Sony ɑ7 IV. In addition, Canon’s EOS-R lens lineup is not nearly as extensive as Sony’s EF mount ecosystem, and third-party lens makers have not yet stepped in to help fill the gap.

Canon’s EOS RP was the company’s smallest and lightest full-frame camera when it was introduced in 2019, and it makes great-looking images. But its autofocus system has since been eclipsed by the features in newer cameras, and as we mentioned above, the selection of native lenses isn’t extensive enough. At the EOS RP’s current price, it isn’t a bad option as a smallish basic full-frame camera body if you’d like to use older Canon lenses via an adapter.

Nikon’s Z f gives the innards of the Z 6II a snazzy-looking shell that evokes classic Nikon film cameras, and may also call to mind the look of Fujifilm’s excellent X-series bodies. While it’s undeniably beautiful, and the tactile dials—which click even more satisfyingly than the X-T5’s—provide an enjoyably old-school interface, we found ourselves dearly missing the Z 6II’s grip.

Even compared to the similarly styled X-T5, the Z f is bigger and weighs significantly more, yet provides even less purchase around front. On a recent trip, we were able to extensively test the add-on grip that Nikon offers in conjunction with accessory maker SmallRig, and it went a long way to solving the Z f’s handling issues. But even so, this is a large, heavy mirrorless camera. Those with larger hands and a taste for the angular designs of yesteryear may appreciate that heft, but it seems likely that more will find it tiring over a long day of shooting.

The Nikon Z 50 offers great ergonomics and produces beautiful photos, though it’s a tad expensive for an APS-C mirrorless camera. Like the Canon EOS R lineup, Nikon’s Z-mount lens system is still fairly barebones, especially for its APS-C cameras (though at least you have third-party options to choose from). Ultimately, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV represents a better overall value for most people.

Nikon’s Z 7II , Z 8 and Z 9 all seem like fabulous cameras, but are more powerful than most people need. The Z 9 is a camera specifically made for professional photographers, and at $5,500 without a lens, it’s well beyond the price range of most people who can’t write it off as a business expense. The similar but smaller Z 8 goes for about $5,000 with its kit lens. And the Z 7II costs more than $3,000 when paired with a lens, which is beyond the scope of what we currently test.

We have yet to test the Olympus OM-1 because although it seems like a very capable and robust camera, we’ve concluded that if you’re planning to spend more than $2,000 for a camera body alone, you should look beyond the inherent limitations—especially in terms of low-light performance—of the relatively small Four Thirds sensor. The same can be said for the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III .

With a DSLR-style design, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G85 isn’t as compact as the Olympus OM-D E-M10 IV. It also costs more. But it’s better for capturing video and for snagging broadcast-quality 4K footage that you can pull stills from, and it has a fully articulated touchscreen and an external-mic input. It’s worth considering for video enthusiasts, but most people will be better served by our top pick.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85 is another good option for video-first shooters, offering smooth-looking 4K footage. But its photo quality isn’t quite as good as that of other cameras in its price range, especially in low light. Its battery doesn’t last as long, either, and it doesn’t have a flippable screen for selfies.

Anyone interested in Panasonic’s Lumix S5 would be better served going with the S5 II , because that model’s hybrid autofocus system is a noticeable improvement over the S5’s sometimes-wobbly, contrast-only AF.

We were impressed with the images and video we took with the Canon EOS M200 , and we appreciate the way that it presents various camera settings in layperson’s terms to help you learn how to make the most use of the camera. That said, the lens selection is too limited for us to recommend this model.

Sony’s ɑ6500 is a capable camera, but Sony has released only one native E-mount lens since 2013 and offers just 18 total to choose from. Sony’s full-frame FE-mount lenses are compatible with the α6500, but they’re bigger and heavier than native APS-C lenses. Although third-party options exist, we’d be more comfortable recommending this camera if it got more support from its own manufacturer.

The Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 is a great camera that captures very nice video, but its 20-megapixel Four Thirds sensor can’t quite keep up with the Fujifilm X-T5’s 40-megapixel APS-C–size sensor. In addition, this camera is bigger, with a bigger battery, but it has shorter battery life.

If you want a full-frame mirrorless camera and are already invested in the Nikon system, the Nikon Z 6 should make you happy. It captures beautiful images, and the interface replicates what many people already love in Nikon’s DSLRs. Nikon’s mirrorless lens selection is growing but still sparse, but if you use the adapter to mount DSLR lenses—or opt for third-party Z-mount lenses—you’ll have a wide array to choose from.

The Sony α7 III remains a wonderful mirrorless camera, with a plenty-adequate 24-megapixel sensor and fast burst shooting. It also has much better battery life than the α7 IV. But we’ve concluded that the newer camera’s improvements make it worth the extra money for people who are ready to spend on a full-frame body.

This article was edited by Erica Ogg and Ben Keough.

Meet your guide

best travel apsc camera

Phil Ryan is Wirecutter’s senior staff writer for camera coverage. Previously, over 13 years he covered cameras and other photo-related items for CNET and Popular Photography. As the latter's tech editor and then senior tech editor, he was responsible for maintaining and refining the lab testing for cameras, and as the main camera tester,  he used and wrote reviews of many of the cameras released in that timeframe.

Further reading

An illustration of two portraits (left, taken by a mirrorless camera; right, taken by a DSLR) of a smiling person holding a happy baby (left) and a crying baby (right).

Why We Don’t Recommend Buying a New DSLR Camera

by Phil Ryan

If you’re buying a new camera, look for a mirrorless model—most camera makers aren’t developing DSLRs anymore.

Four point-and-shoot cameras, side by side, on a wooden rail in an outside setting.

What My Vintage Digital Camera Obsession Has Taught Me

by Ben Keough

Before you go digging for hidden gems in the graveyard of digital camera history, heed these warnings.

Two Nikon DSLR cameras sitting next to each other in front of four Mirrorless lenses lined up side by side.

The First Nikon Z-Mount Mirrorless Lenses You Should Buy

If you’re new to Nikon’s mirrorless Z-mount camera system, these are the first lenses you should consider adding to your arsenal.

Three different cameras pictured with rocks.

The Best Point-and-Shoot Camera

by Phil Ryan and Ben Keough

The Sony RX100 VII is the best choice for people who want a compact camera that produces significantly better photos and video than their smartphone.

The best compact camera for 2024: top pocket choices to take anywhere

Find your dream smartphone-beating pocket compact

  • Best overall
  • Best for features
  • Best for video
  • Best for photo quality
  • Best for hobbyists
  • Best all-rounder
  • Best money-no-object
  • Best compact instant
  • Best vlogging

How to choose the best compact camera for you

How we test compact cameras.

Best compact camera lead image

1. The list in brief 2. Best overall 3. Best features 4. Best video 5. Best photo quality 6. Best hobbyist 7. Best all-rounder 8. Best money-no-object 9. Best instant 10. Best vlogging 11. How to choose 12. How we test

Whether you want a smartphone upgrade, reliable backup camera or purpose-built creative tool: the best compact cameras combine capable shooting skills with pocket-friendly proportions. We've extensively tested all of the top options in a range of real-world scenarios and ranked our favorites below.

Based on our in-depth reviews, we think the best compact camera for most people is currently the Fujifilm X100VI . It's the follow-up to the virally popular X100V – our previous top pick – retaining the fixed 23mm f/2 lens but adding a 40MP sensor and in-body image stabilization to become an even more accomplished street photography tool. It's retro design is still beautiful, too.

If you want a more versatile camera with a large optical zoom range – we also highly recommend the Sony RX100 VI , which despite being released in 2018 remains one of our favorite pocket cameras and can still be purchased new. It pairs 8.3x optical zoom with incredible features such as 24fps burst shooting. 

There are superzoom travel cameras, fixed-lens premium compacts, and some of the best vlogging cameras included in this guide. If you're not sure where to start, you'll find expert buying advice at the bottom of the page.

Tim is TechRadar's Cameras editor, with over 15 years in the photo video industry and most of those in the world of tech journalism, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with all things camera related. He notes, "modern smartphones are incredibly capable photography tools, but if you're looking for a dedicated camera with superior features and handling, the premium models in this list are definitely worth considering."

The quick list

Use the round-up below for an instant summary of the best compact camera for every need and budget. When you find a compact camera that ticks the right boxes, you can use the links beneath each entry to jump down to our full write-up.

Fujifilm X100VI compact camera on a white background

The best compact for enthusiasts overall

A sharp street shooter, the X100VI takes Fuji’s TikTok-famous X100 series to new heights, with a 40MP sensor and image stabilization.

Read more below

Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VII

The best pocket compact for features

With strong image quality, sharp 4K videos and class-leading AF, the RX100 VII is one of the most capable compacts right now.

Sony ZV-1 vlogging camera

The best compact for video creatives

A bright lens, superb autofocus and useful design features make the Sony ZV-1 a powerful pocket option for shooting video.

Ricoh GR III

The best photo quality from your pocket

Responsive, pocketable and intuitive handle, the GR IIIx uses a versatile 40mm f/2.8 lens to produce sharp RAW stills.

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

The best for keen hobbyists

A brilliant compact for enthusiasts, the Lumix LX100 II offers excellent stills quality, responsive autofocus and good physical controls.

Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

The best all-rounder for photographers

The Canon PowerShot G5 X II blends a capable core with useful features, a quality build, and great controls and handling.

Load the next 3 products...

Leica Q3 on white background

The best money-no-object compact

The Leica Q3 is the most powerful, most enjoyable, most expensive compact camera. Price aside, it’s tactile and high quality.

Polaroid Go

The best compact instant camera

Combining retro looks with point-and-shoot simplicity, the Go produces rich instant prints that are perfect for sharing.

DJI Pocket 3 on a white background

Best for vlogging

This fantastic tool for solo vloggers is super-portable and super-stable thanks to its gimbal, plus it's affordable.

  • ^ Back to the top

The best compact cameras in 2024

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

Below you'll find full write-ups for each of the best compact cameras in our list. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.

The best compact camera for most people

Front of the Fujifilm X100VI reflected in glass table

1. Fujifilm X100VI

Our expert review:


Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

✅ You want a versatile everyday camera: A sharp sensor and image stabilization make the X100VI a flexible tool for shooting on a daily basis.

✅ You like a retro-modern hybrid: The X100V blends old-school looks with modern features, including a superb hybrid viewfinder.

❌ You want the best value overall: Its new skills are welcome, but the X100V offers many of the same core features for less – if you can find it in stock.

❌ You like to use different focal lengths: The fixed 23mm focal length is a calling card of the X100 series, but some will find it too limiting.

The Fujifilm X100V went viral for its retro style, pocket-friendly design, hybrid viewfinder and fixed 23mm f/2 lens. The X100VI takes the same concept and upgrades it again, boosting resolution to 40MP and adding in-body image stabilization for the first time. It also borrows the class-leading autofocus from the Fujifilm X-T5 . In our review, we found images pin-sharp across the entire sensor, with the increased pixel count offering greater flexibility when cropping. Together with impressive subject tracking autofocus and effective stabilization, we think it’s an even more rounded compact for street shooting.

Our tests also revealed the X100VI to be a more capable filmmaking tool, courtesy of 6.2K 10-bit video support. The fixed focal length will still be a limiting factor for some, as will the single UHS-I SD card slot. You need an adaptor for full weather-proofing, too. Given the sold-out demand for the X100V, it’s also unsurprising that Fujifilm has increased the price for its successor. But from our time living with the X100VI, we think it’s the pinnacle of the X100 series, and the best premium compact for everyday use. 

Read our in-depth Fujifilm X100VI review

Sony RX100 VII

2. Sony RX100 Mark VII

✅ You need a complete pocket camera: The RX100 VII is arguably the most rounded pocket camera for photo and video.

✅ You shoot action: Lens zoom is limited, but the performance is not with super fast autofocus and continuous shooting. 

❌ You want excellent handling: Small it may well be, the RX100 VII isn't the most ergonomic option available.

❌ You rely on a touch screen: The function of the touch screen is limited, with no support for menu navigation.

In many ways, the RX100 VII is still best compact around right now. Its autofocus system, we found, is comfortably ahead of any other pocket camera, tracking moving subjects with great reliability and making clever use of its Face and Eye AF, even in video mode. Video quality is superb, while image quality is also stellar. But all of this comes at a huge price, and for many people that could be a deal-breaker.

Still, we can't avoid including it in this guide, as it's one of the best options around. If your budget allows, then you won't find a more powerful compact than the Mark VII. But if you're happy to sacrifice some of the latest autofocus features and a microphone jack, check out the RX100 VI, which offers most of its performance but costs a little less.

Read our in-depth Sony RX100 Mark VII review

The best compact video camera

Sony ZV-1

3. Sony ZV-1

✅ You want a powerful vlogging camera: The Sony ZV-1 is the best compact camera for YouTubers right now, shooting smartphone-beating 4K video.

✅ You want a compact you can grow with: Sony has made the ZV-1 simpler for beginners to use, but it's also jam-packed with pro features.

❌ You mainly want to shoot stills: While it's no slouch for stills, the lack of a viewfinder and moderate zoom range will limit some photographers.

❌ You need an all-weather action camera: The ZV-1 is packed with features, but one that's missing is weather-proofing.

If it's mainly video rather than stills that you're looking for from a compact camera, then the  Sony  ZV-1 is the one of the best options around. Not that it isn't also very capable at shooting still photos – it has the same sensor and processor as Sony 's latest RX100 series cameras, after all – but the ZV-1's main strength are its video powers. That includes its class-leading autofocus powers, which helps it tenaciously lock onto people and moving objects in your frame. During testing, we found it to do an excellent job of keeping moving subjects in focus and tracking our eyes across most of the frame. Of course, the video quality from its 20.1MP 1-inch sensor is nothing short of impressive as well.

These are backed up by a 3.5mm mic port for boosting audio quality with an external microphone, and a hotshoe to help mount the latter. Its bright 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 doesn't give you the same reach as the RX100 VII, but it does ensure that you get lovely background blur in both stills and videos – perfect if you mainly shoot portraits or vlogs. Sony has since released the ZV-1 II , but for us the successor was a puzzling update that in real world use offered little extra than the ZV-1 to justify its pricier tag. 

Read our in-depth Sony ZV-1 review

The Ricoh GR IIIx camera on a wooden table

4. Ricoh GR IIIx

✅ You want to develop your creative eye: With a fixed focal length lens, exposure tools and a wide range of in-camera edits, the GR III X encourages creativity.

✅ You want a fun pocket camera: Small enough to slip in the pocket, quick to use and intuitive to handle, the GR IIIx is point-and-shoot happiness.

❌ You want a versatile camera: The GR IIIx is as niche as they come. Fixed lens, fixed focal length, modest video specs. This is aimed at a certain type of photographer.

❌ You shoot video a lot: Tech-wise, the GR IIx is way behind today's smartphones for video recording, being limited to Full HD resolution and mono in-camera audio.

If you’re an avid street photographer there’s no doubt you’ll have heard of the Ricoh GR – a superb series of compact cameras that are famous for their sharp, fixed focal length lens and large APS-C sensor. The Ricoh GRIIIx is the latest model and features a 40mm f2.8 lens versus the standard GR III’s wider 28mm f2.8 option, which may make it a more versatile option depending on your proclivities. Personally, we’d prefer the X’s 40mm for portraiture while the GR III’s 28MM is ideally suited to landscape.

From our review, we think the GRIII X is a superb everyday carry camera, with new features like the Snap Focus system making it an intuitive camera for capturing decisive moments. A host of excellent customization options make it a great choice for experienced tinkerers with in-camera raw editing and easy sharing via the wireless smartphone connection. We would have liked better battery life and a tilt-screen, but such omissions are understandable given the compact body. We think this is the best GR iteration yet if you’re on the hunt for superb image quality, snappy performance, and intuitive handling in a pocket-friendly body.

Read our in-depth Ricoh GR IIIx review

Panasonic LX100 II

5. Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

✅ You want a Micro Four Thirds sensor: The sensor is larger than the 1-inch ones used in most other compacts and produces lovely photos.

✅ You want excellent handling: A sensible size, decent grip, EVF and solid build all combine for a lovely shooting experience.

❌ You want the latest tech: The LX100 II is a fantastic camera but it was launched all the way back in 2018 and feels a little dated with its fixed screen and clunky UX.

❌ You want a speedy shooter: The zoom action is a touch pedestrian; both the zoom lever around the shutter release button and the multi-function control ring respond slowly. 

Compact cameras with sensors larger than 1-inch in size are typically limited to fixed-focal-length lenses, which is great for quality but less so for flexibility. But not the Panasonic LX100 II; it manages to marry a 17MP Four Thirds sensor – the same size as those found inside Panasonic's G-series mirrorless cameras – with a zoom lens equivalent to 24-75mm in 35mm terms, proving that sometimes you can get quality and flexibility at once. 

We found its Leica-badged lens to be very impressive, capturing very good levels of detail that's worthy of pricier APS-C cameras, and its exposure metering system more than reliable. Our tests also show that it handles noise pretty well and produces natural-looking images with faithful colors. The original LX100 was something of a landmark camera for offering something similar, and this latest iteration takes the baton, with a nippy AF system, robust body, clear 4K videos and a useful electronic viewfinder among its highlights.

Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix LX100 II review

Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

6. Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

✅ You want excellent build quality: Build quality feels great overall, with secure handling and plenty of attention to detail around all the controls.

✅ You're want an everyday shooter: The 24-120mm f/1.8-2.8 lens strikes a nice balance between versatility and image quality, covering most everyday scenarios.

❌ You shoot 4K video: The G5X Mark II can shoot 4K video, but cannot match the superior features from Sony's rival offerings.

❌ You want excellent value: Canon is never cheap, and the G5X Mark II looks like an expensive option compared to its rivals. 

The best Canon cameras you can buy don’t just include full-frame flagships - the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II is easily one of the top options from the brand currently. It’s not the cheapest option out there currently but it’s a well-rounded camera with a pocket-friendly form-factor and fantastic handling, New features for the Mark II include the excellent stacked 20.1MP 1-inch CMOS sensor equipped with the brand’s DIGIC processing engine. 

This model is now capable of 30fps in raw burst mode, 20fps burst in regular JPEG, and also features a respectable line-up of video specs. Being able to fully capture video at 4K without any crop factor is a particular highlight in such a small body. Other excellent new additions include USB charging, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity, which are all fantastic quality of life additions for any camera - especially one at this price point. These additions, combined with the Mark II’s excellent build quality and versatile 24-120mm f/1.8-2.8 lens make this camera an excellent every day carry option and one of best travel cameras in particular.

Read our in-depth Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II review

The best money-no-object compact camera

Leica Q3 camera in the hand

7. Leica Q3

✅ You like manual control and a tactile experience: The robust dials and shutter button offer the tactile experience that we'd like to see more of.

✅ You want the best-quality everyday camera: With a super-sharp lens and full-frame sensor, no compact camera can better the Leica Q3 on stills.

❌ You want to push a camera hard: The Q3 has some seriously impressive features, but they work best when in moderate, everyday use.

❌ You’re after great value: There’s no real rival to the Q3, and it does represent reasonable value for a Leica, but $5,995 / £5,300 / AU$9,790 is a lot of anyone’s money. 

Compact cameras can be cost-effective alternatives to interchangeable lens cameras but that doesn’t mean there aren’t superb high-end options. Take the stunning Leica Q3: a full-frame monster that comes complete with the exceptional Summilux 28mm f/1.7 ASPH fixed lens. Calling the Leica Q3 compact may be a slight stretch – it's around the same size as the Panasonic Lumix S5 II with a pancake lens – but it is the full package if you’re looking for superlative image quality and almost unparalleled build quality. 

It’s this latter point that allows the Leica Q3 to stand out from the competition and smartphones. Put simply, the Leica Q3 offers a premium tactile shooting experience that even the best camera phones can’t hope to match. And, price aside, the Leica Q3 is an excellent performer. Unlike the well-known M-series rangefinders from the brand, the Q3 is fully autofocus capable, which makes it an excellent everyday carry for the well-heeled. Sure, the autofocus performance doesn’t quite match the best systems on the market right now but the Leica Q3 is the brand’s easiest to use camera yet - and one that scores full marks on style points.

Read our in-depth Leica Q3 review

Polaroid Go

8. Polaroid Go

✅ You love keepsakes: There's nothing like a physical print and the Go spits out beautiful little prints that you can keep or share with those around you.

✅ You want a small instant camera: Most instant cameras are big and bulky and awkward, but the Polaroid Go is as small as they come. 

❌ You want low running costs: The Go itself is inexpensive, but its instant film refills increase the cost significantly.

❌ You shoot close ups: Most instant cameras are point-and-shoot, but the fixed focus can feel quite limiting for close ups.

Instant cameras are designed for fun – and few make it easier to capture quick, attractive snaps than the Polaroid Go. Pitched as “the world’s smallest analogue digital camera”, its boxy, retro shape means it isn’t as portable as a digital compact camera – but it’s still one of the dinkiest instant cameras you can buy in 2021. Capable of producing credit card-sized prints with dreamy pastel tones and impressive detail, the Go’s greatest merit is its point-and-shoot simplicity. 

The streamlined interface is super easy to use, with a handy digital shot counter for tracking your snaps. Unlike other instant cameras, we found this to be very versatile. Automatic flash can be manually overridden, while self-timer and double-exposure modes add welcome opportunities for creativity – although its fixed focus and lack of a macro mode mean it isn’t quite as flexible as certain alternatives. Film refills aren’t the cheapest, and you do pay a premium for the Polaroid Go’s portability. What you also get, though, is an entertaining, accessible and convenient – not to mention surprisingly capable – instant printing camera.

Read our in-depth Polaroid Go review

DJI Pocket 3 vlogging camera in the hand shooting video of fancy food on a table

9. DJI Pocket 3

✅ You shoot handheld solo vlogs: The three-axis gimbal offers unmatched stabilization, while ActiveTrack works like a virtual cameraman.

✅ You value portability: True to its name, the Pocket 3 is a pocket-friendly solution for shooting steady vlogs wherever you go.

❌ You shoot a lot of photos, too: Low light image quality is improved over the Pocket 2, but resolution is much lower.

❌ You’re happy with your smartphone: If you prefer shooting with your phone, a gimbal mount like the DJI OM 5 might make more sense.

We were already big fans of the DJI Osmo Pocket 2 , yet its successor takes quality and convenience for vlogging to a whole new level. It equals the video quality of larger models like the Sony ZV-1, yet still has an incredibly compact form factor. The improvement in video and image quality, now up to 4K 120p, is enough to pick the Pocket 3 over your smartphone for vlogging, as is the super smooth footage achieved thanks to the three-axis gimbal. It's also a massively convenient device, comfortably slipping into a pocket, with decent audio quality and compatibility with remote mics.

There's also a new trick up the Pocket 3's sleeve: multi-aspect video recording. Taking a leaf out the GoPro Hero 12 Black playbook, the Pocket 3's 1-inch sensor is squarer than your traditional 16:9 aspect, so you don't unnecessarily lose detail when switching between horizontal and vertical formats. The rear LCD screen touchscreen even rotates to instantly switch between those formats. Little wonder that the Pocket 3 is now our top recommendation for most vloggers. 

Read our in-depth DJI Pocket 3 review

When it comes to selecting a compact camera, there are several factors to consider. As the name suggests, all compact cameras promise portability, but there’s more to keep in mind than form factor alone. All of the cameras in our list above offer some combination of versatility, handling, features and image quality. Which specific aspects matter most will depend on what and how you like to shoot. If you can’t find a compact the ticks your key boxes, you might be better off using your smartphone’s camera.

One of the key things to think about is sensor size. All of the best compact cameras should represent a step up from your smartphone. Micro Four Thirds and APS-C options, such as the Fujifilm X100V, are now as prevalent as 1-inch models. 

If you plan on using your compact camera for travel, you should take a closer look at its lens and zoom capabilities. To be worthy of your attention, the latter should offer at least 10x optical zoom, if not more. If you plan on using your camera for street photography or candid portraits, a fixed lens might work better for you. Or if night-time shots are your thing, look for a compact with good noise handling and high ISO capabilities.

Whatever your subject of choice, pay attention to how a camera handles. This is something we cover in our reviews. Most compacts have an electronic viewfinder, but a small number use an optical one instead. Most also feature a touchscreen interface, which makes it more straightforward to upgrade from a smartphone, although not every display can tilt. You should also think about whether manual controls matter to you.

Some features you might not need, but a few – such image stabilization or face/eye tracking – could prove to be useful bonuses. Of course, price is a factor as well, so if the models above are too pricey new, check out their second-hand availability. Our guide on  how to buy a second-hand DSLR or mirrorless camera may be aimed at larger models, but much of the same advice applies to premium compact cameras.

Is a compact camera better than a smartphone?

It’s widely accepted that the best camera is the one you have with you, and this will often be the smartphone in your pocket – especially if you’re looking to capture quick, sharp images for sharing on social media. While the  best camera phone  options are better than ever, though, the top compact cameras remain a cut above their mobile rivals when it comes to image quality and the overall shooting experience.

Larger sensors are an obvious bonus: the sensor inside a premium compact will, in general, be bigger than the one in your average smartphone. This means you’ll get more detail and better low-light performance, which will be evident if you choose to print out your images. It helps that most compact cameras also benefit from high-quality optics.

Only a handful of smartphones offer the versatility of optical zoom. While zoom range varies by model, most of the best compact cameras feature this as standard. Even with huge improvements to the quality of digital zoom technology, it can rarely compete with the quality of optical zoom when it comes to preserving detail.

Many compact cameras also have physical advantages over smartphones. While both types of device are designed to be pocket-friendly, the best compacts feature dedicated buttons and dials that offer greater creative control. Similarly, many of the best compact options feature a small but useful grip that gives them an ergonomic edge over smartphones when it comes to handling. Tilting touchscreens and dedicated electronic viewfinders are also handy for framing, while certain compacts ship with niche features, such as stabilizing gimbals and waterproof bodies. 

The Sony RX100 VII sitting on a wooden bench

Do photographers use compact cameras?

Given their performance and relative portability, most photographers now favor one of the  best mirrorless cameras  as their primary camera. These models are not much bigger than a premium compact, with many numbering among the  best travel cameras , yet they also offer the flexibility of interchangeable lenses.

That being said, many photographers still choose to travel with a premium compact as a second camera. While they might not compete outright with the images captured by top mirrorless models, a reliable compact camera can be a useful tool to keep within easy reach, in case a photo-worthy scene unfolds before you.

This is particularly true for street and travel photographers. A compact is less conspicuous than a professional full-frame camera, making it easier to shoot comfortably in public. The smaller proportions also mean you’re more likely to take it with you whenever you head out, without needing a bulky kit bag.

The same is true for photographers who want to travel light and leave their main camera at home. You’ll rarely see an image from a compact adorning billboard, but the best models can produce images plenty sharp enough for digital assignments and prize-winning pics. That’s especially true if you pick a compact that focuses on a specific niche, such as the Fujifilm X100V with its fixed 23mm f/2 lens – ideal for street and low-light photography.

Real-world tests are the most revealing way to understand the best compact cameras' performance, quirks, and features. So, along with standardized tests for factors like ISO performance, we take every camera we test for a spin to see how it fares in real-world scenarios.

We'll use it both handheld and on a tripod to get a sense of where its strengths lie, and test its startup speed. We also use a formatted UHS-1 card and shoot in both raw and JPEG (if available), testing its burst shooting and buffer performance. 

For autofocusing, we use the different autofocus modes on hand in single point, area, and continuous modes. Naturally, we take a look at how accurate and reliable its metering is, how well it handles noise, and how well it minimizes things like fringing and distortion. Its video shooting skills are tested as well by shooting some test footage at different frame-rates and resolutions.

Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

Of course, we also look at the camera's design, handling, and user interface while getting a sense of what kind of photographer it's most ideal for. Battery life is tested as well over the course of the day with the screen set to the default settings. Once the battery has reached zero, we'll then count the number of shots to see how it compares to the camera's CIPA rating. 

Once all is said and done, we take all our data and everything we've learned about the compact camera and compare it to its price tag to see if it offer great value for your money.

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Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other. 

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best travel apsc camera

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  • 2023 IN REVIEW

The 9 best digital cameras for travelers, according to National Geographic

These are the cameras our photo engineering team likes for everyone from beginners to street photographers and those on a budget.

Overhead studio view of the 2023 travel video cameras of the year against an orange background

Now that the world is traveling again, the desire to capture precious moments is stronger than ever. A powerful travel image not only tells a story, it also reminds us of the wonders that await around every bend in the road.

With that in mind, we tapped the National Geographic photo engineering team to tell us which compact cameras they like best for travelers. Here are their top picks.

Best camera for most travelers: Fujifilm X-S20

Studio photograph of the Fujifilm X-S20 camera against a green background

  • The X-S20 gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It follows the X-S10 (another outstanding model featured in past camera guides) with most of the top features that the Fuji X line offers in an affordable, versatile, and stylish package.
  • Comfortable to handle, the X-S20 performs well with a balanced 26 megapixel (MP) sensor and a new, larger battery.

Tip:   This camera is best paired with the all-around XF 16-80mm f/4 OIS WR lens. For a second lens, try the ultra-compact XF 27mm f/2.8 R WR, which gives human eye-like perspective at 40mm.

Find it on B & H .

Best camera for street photography (and most compact): Ricoh GR III

Studio photograph of the Ricoh GRIII camera against a teal gradient background

  • The Ricoh GR III has appeared on our list four times, since it packs a ton of power in a pocketable size.
  • With a stabilized 24 MP APS-C sensor, phase-detect autofocus, a highly responsive touch screen, and an easy-to-navigate menu system, the GR III works well for casual point-and-shoot settings and controlled manual shooting.

Tip: If the 28mm f/2.8 effective focal length is too wide, try the GR IIIx. Released in 2021, it’s identical to the GR III, aside from its lens, which has a tighter field of view with a 40mm f/2.8 equivalent lens.

Best camera for overall performance: Fujifilm X-T5

Studio photograph of the Fujifilm X-T5 against a green background

  • Fujifilm’s XT series provides an excellent shooting experience for amateurs and pros alike. This line blends vintage dials with modern, professional-grade controls, rugged construction, weather sealing, and strong autofocus and speed performance.
  • The X-T5 model remains one of the highest performing cameras with its combination of image quality, autofocus, size, lens choice, weather sealing, and battery life.
  • Slightly smaller than the X-T4, it’s packing the 40 MP sensor from the X-H2 model—one of the highest resolution APS-C sensors on the market—keeping the X-T5 the reigning champ of travel cameras again this year.

Tip: We love Fujifilm’s selection of compact prime lenses for traveling, including the 27mm f/2.8 R WR and the 23mm f/2 R WR.

Best luxury camera: Leica Q3

Studio photograph of the Leica Q3 against a blue background

  • At $5,995, this camera isn’t cheap. In the mirrorless full frame market, only one camera model not made by Leica currently sells for over $6,000—the Sony A1, the highest performance 35mm camera in the world. What does all that money get you? Arguably the finest shooting experience for travel photography, in one author’s opinion. The elegant controls and stunning looks make this camera a joy to use.
  • The image quality is second to none on this list, with massive 61 MP raw files that leave generous room for cropping. The camera is weather sealed and built like a tank.

Tip:   We also suggest the Leica Q2, or the Q2 Monochrom, which sports a black-and-white-only sensor.

Best camera for a full-frame interchangeable lens: Nikon Zf

Studio photograph of a Nikon ZF camera against a green background

  • A rock-solid sensor, rear screen, the same high-quality electronic viewfinder from the Z6II model, and charming retro style make the Nikon Zf our top pick for this category.
  • It also features eight sensor stabilization stops and the same EXPEED 7 processor as Nikon’s flagship models, offering exceptional AF and VR performance.
  • The weather sealing, magnesium alloy body, and etched brass mechanical dials show that a lot of thought and care went into the user experience. This camera was the most fun to test.
  • The full-featured Zf sports tech (unique to this model) allows you to shift your focus point with the touch screen while using the viewfinder, use pixel shift shooting to create 96 MP images, and focus point stabilization. The Zf centers stabilization around your focus point, rather than the middle of the sensor. And it has a dedicated black-and-white mode.

Tip: If you get only one lens, make it the 24-120mm f/4. We recommend pairing that with one of the brand’s compact primes, such as the 40mm f/2 or the 28mm f/2.8.

Best camera for wildlife photography: OM System OM-1

Studio photograph of a OM Systems OM-1 camera against a teal gradient background

  • Like other flagship cameras from major brands (Sony A1, Nikon Z9, Canon R3), the OM-1 is stacked with features, and it’s incredibly fast. With continuous autofocus, the OM-1 can shoot up to 50 frames per second (fps)—faster than most video.
  • Its outstanding subject detection system tracks all sorts of animals in high-speed situations.
  • OM System’s flagship OM-1 has a unique Micro Four Thirds (MFT) sensor, which means the aspect ratio is 4:3, rather small at about half the size of full frame.
  • The camera also has multiple computational modes, including a hand-held high-res mode (makes a 50 MP file from a burst of 16 frames), and our favorite, the Live-ND filter, which simulates a physical neutral density filter. This allows for slower shutter speeds in brighter conditions to capture motion. Think blurred ocean waves or majestic waterfalls.
  • With the best weather sealing of any camera on this list, this model stands up to even the harshest conditions.

Tip: The top lenses for this camera are all in the pro line, which have outstanding build quality, often integrated lens hoods, and smooth focus/zoom rings. For the wildlife enthusiast and birder, the best lens is the 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO. It gives you a lightweight 300-800mm range and an integrated teleconverter up to 1000mm handheld. The best overall lens for this model is the 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO (24-200mm).

Best camera for beginners: Canon EOS R50

Studio photograph of the Canon R50 camera against a green background

  • Canon continues to fill out its lineup of APS-C mirrorless bodies, and the R50 is a great choice for beginners or anyone wanting to upgrade from their cell phone.
  • It’s compact and comfortable to grip, with an integrated electronic viewfinder, and a small pop-up flash. It also has one of the best touch interfaces, with easy menu navigation and a touch control panel for adjusting your settings while shooting.
  • The greatest strength of the 18-45mm lens that comes with the R50 is its size. The APS-C line’s greatest weakness is the lack of lens options.

Best budget camera: Nikon Z30

Studio photograph of the Nikon Z30 camera against a blue background

  • Nikon introduced the Z30 last year as the third model in its mirrorless APS-C lineup. The absence of an electronic viewfinder keeps the size compact, so it’s easy to carry around and fun to shoot with. Yet it still has great features. Plus, besides Nikon’s own line of DX lenses, there are many affordable third-party lens options.
  • For an entry-level camera, the Z30 has impressive stills credentials, including excellent low-light performance, a mechanical shutter capable of shooting 11 frames per second with AF tracking, the option to save images as high-quality raw files, and strong autofocus capabilities.

Tip: This model is a perfect match for Nikon’s compact DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR. For added fun, shallow depth of field, and improved lowlight performance, look no further than the DX 24mm f/1.7. It’s a compact prime that you may want to leave on your Z30 full time.

Most versatile camera for travel: Sony RX100VII

Studio photograph of the Sony RX100VII camera against a green background

  • Sony’s RX100 line remains one of the most versatile ultra-compact cameras. Featured in past lists,   the RX100VII still has the same features we praised before: the pro line’s real-time autofocus for highly reliable eye/face autofocus for people and animals; electronic shooting with almost no distortion of moving subjects; silent shooting and high shutter speeds for bright light conditions.
  • The RX100VII’s 24-200mm equivalent zoom lens still isn’t as bright as we would like, but it covers a wide range. Tom continues to consider the RX100 line his “desert island” choice.

Note: In future versions, we’d like to see a USB-C type connector for in-camera charging and image offloading. A model that sports Sony’s current menu system that’s easier to navigate and supports touch controls would be a welcome improvement too.

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NOMADasaurus Logo

Our Expert Guide to the BEST Travel Cameras in 2024

Picture of Alesha and Jarryd

  • Last Updated: December 13, 2023

We’ve spent years working as professional travel photographers, and are proud to have put together this definitive guide to the best travel cameras in 2024 for every budget, based on actual hands-on experience.

One of the best souvenirs you can bring home from your adventures abroad is photographs.

As the old saying goes, pictures are worth a thousand words, and nothing brings back the excitement and thrill of holiday memories quite like looking back at your photos.

These days almost everybody has a decent camera in their pocket, thanks to the wonders of modern smartphones. And while these are fine for the average person, if you really want great image quality, you’re going to have to invest in something better.

People say, “It’s not the camera that takes good photos, it’s the photographer”, and this is completely true. Yet there’s a reason professionals use expensive gear – they are better for the job.

Never fear though, that doesn’t mean you need to go out and spend $10k on a set-up! Definitely not.

Church Of The Good Shepherd Best Travel Camera

In fact this article is going to save you time and money by diving straight into the best travel camera for every budget.

So why listen to us?

We’ve been working as professional travel photographers for almost a decade, and have been fortunate enough to put hundreds of cameras to the test during our career.

Based on our personal experience, we’ve been able to narrow down the absolute top choice in every category.

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or professional, or even if you know nothing at all, we’ll help you make the right choice so you don’t waste your money getting something that just isn’t up to the job.

READ MORE: Check out our comprehensive guide on how to take better travel photos .

Let’s dive into our comprehensive guide for the best camera for travel photography.

Table of Contents

Our Recommendation

Bonus: recommended lenses for sony a6600, bonus: recommended lenses for sony a7iv, size and weight, resolution/megapixels, interchangeable lenses, manual settings, weatherproofing, stabilization, mirrorless vs dslr, what camera do most professional photographers use, what camera is best for travel videos, what is the best small camera for travel, what is the best travel camera in 2024.

Without further ado, let’s get into the article!

Disclaimer – NOMADasaurus is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

GoPro HERO12 Black – The Best Action Camera

Action cameras have come a long way since we bought our first one back in 2010.

They used to be reserved just for people who were into extreme sports – skiing, skydiving, motocross, scuba diving, etc.

Now they have become one of the top travel cameras on the market thanks to their durability, compact size and high quality.

The good ones shoot in at least 4K video (this one though actually goes up to 5.3k), are completely waterproof and even connect to your phone so can take great photos from any angle.

They also shoot time-lapse photography, which is great if you’re catching an epic sunrise or particularly busy urban scene.

Even if you are not interested in jumping off of cliffs or mountain biking through a jungle, having an action compact camera is still a brilliant tool to have in your suitcase.

They are especially awesome if you’re looking for the best cameras for adventure travel.

The undisputed king of action sports cameras is GoPro, and we’ve been proudly using them for over 13 years.

These epic cameras have insane image quality and shoot some remarkable video. They’re also extremely durable, waterproof and fit in your pocket.

Adding to the GoPro series is a huge range of accessories that makes getting footage limited by only your imagination.

Check out our brand new GoPro HERO12 Black review to see if it’s right for you!

Different mounts allow you to put them just about anywhere, extension poles get unique angles (perfect for selfies), you can stick a GoPro on a tripod and there are even filters available.

We’ve had just about every GoPro camera since the original HERO was released, and we’re super excited to share that the newest one on the market is by far the best ever.

Their latest camera is the GoPro HERO12 Black , following hot off the heels of the successful HERO11 (click the link to read our review of it), and it’s risen the bar once again.

When the HERO7 came out they introduced a number of revolutionary features, such as HyperSmooth (in-built image stabilisation), TimeWarp (awesome hyper-lapse videos) and SuperPhoto (HDR photos on steroids).

The HERO9 added a front-facing LCD screen, which really stepped things up a notch, especially for vloggers.

The HERO10 brought in the new GP2 processor, which made everything work, well, just better.

The HERO11 went bonkers with a brand new larger sensor, 10-bit colour and all new aspect ratio.

And now with the HERO12 the company has gone and made everything more refined with a host of new features and upgraded battery life.

Gopro Hero 12 Black Camera For Travel

Boasting the fantastic GP2 processor, 1/1.9″ sensor and 8:7 aspect ratio, the latest GoPro HERO12 Black now has HDR video to go along with the expert camera settings.

The massive aspect ratio gives more room to crop, so you can shoot in one perspective and scale later for portrait social media content or landscape YouTube videos.

The camera shoots in 5.3k 60 frames per second, 4k at 120fps and 2.7k at a whopping 240fps (8x slow motion), which also allowing for 27 megapixel screen grabs when using 5.3k on the full 8:7 ratio.

The stabilization is even better with HyperSmooth 6.0 (in-built horizon levelling up to 360 degrees), TimeWarp 4.0 allows to switch between hyper-lapse, real-time and slow-mo recording in the same video with a tap of the screen, and the SuperPhoto has improved HDR abilities.

The screens are still very responsive and look excellent.

SuperPhoto for photographers, in particular, means you can point and shoot, and barely have to edit before uploading to social media. Although we still recommend shooting in RAW for the pros out there.

This article talks more about how to take better GoPro photos, written by a pro.

For the purists out there, the GoPro HERO12 shoots in RAW format for all photo modes.

There is still voice activation and the entire unit is waterproof to 10m, meaning there is no need for a dive housing if you’re not going below that depth.

Also the all-new Night Effects modes are really awesome. Who would have thought you could capture light trails and the Milky Way on such a tiny camera?

For the video gurus out there the HERO12 is a gimbal killer. What does that mean? It means HyperSmooth 6.0 is on another level.

The HERO7 stabilisation was amazing for vlogging and action sports, as was the HERO8 and 9, but after testing the new HERO12, the stabilisation is even better again. Don’t know how they do it, but they do! And it works at 4K at 120fps, TimeWarp and live streaming!

Want slow motion? How does 2.7k at 240FPS sound? Buttery smooth, that’s for sure.

Whereas in previous models they had White, Silver and Black models, the HERO12 only has a Black model.

Q? Encoding=Utf8&Asin=B0Cddy8F9L&Format= Sl250 &Id=Asinimage&Marketplace=Us&Serviceversion=20070822&Ws=1&Tag=No0C4D 20&Language=En Us

Canon Powershot SX740HS – The Best Affordable Camera

If you want a dedicated camera that is cheap and still takes decent photos then you really are spoiled for choice.

We’ve personally owned a whole range of different brands in this range, from Canon to Fuji to Olympus to Sony, and with the way the best travel camera market is now if you’re not fussy about the brand you get, then you can’t really go wrong. But let us explain what you’ll need.

You’ll basically be looking for a small point and shoot, something that is foolproof and most importantly quite durable. Having a big zoom range is a big bonus so you can crop right in on different scenes.

The ability to use manual settings will come in handy if you ever want to play around and learn a bit more about how photography works.

And you want something affordable so that you won’t be overly worried if you lose it (just make sure you backup your photos).

The Canon Powershot SX720HS was a hugely successful compact camera, and Canon backed it up with the amazing SX730HS to become the best budget travel camera.

But like all good camera companies, Canon has stepped it up a notch again by bringing out the newest model in the range, the SX740HS .

This great little travel camera does it all, and for the price, it is the best travel zoom camera out there.

40x optical zoom, manual settings, shoots in 4K video, good color grading, and it is one of the better compact cameras out there.

It also has wifi so you can transfer photos straight to your phone or laptop without plugging it in, or control the camera from your phone. Perfect for the general traveler who just wants something to take decent photos with on their trip.

It also has a large articulated screen, so you can angle your shots perfectly, whether you’re shooting from the ground or above the head.

A few more updates over the SX730HS is an improved small sensor, meaning better low light capabilities, and faster burst shooting, cementing its position as the best budget camera for travelling.

Canon Sx740Hs

READ MORE: Check out our latest guide on the best camera accessories !

Sony RX100 vii – The Best Compact Camera for Travel

This is the next level up. You still want the portability and benefits of having a point and shoot, but you want to take incredible photos too.

You’re interested in learning about the fundamentals of photography, and perhaps want to one day print your photos or maybe put them up online. Ultimately you’re after the best pocket camera for travel.

Here are the things you’ll need: Full manual control, a decent size sensor, zoom, high-quality video, flip screen (so you can shoot from different angles while still framing your shot), ability to shoot in RAW format, good ISO performance and a wide aperture.

This is the category that most people will be in. So if you’re asking yourself what is the best compact digital camera for traveling, read on…

READ MORE: Check out our comprehensive guide to the best landscape photography tips !

This is, in our opinion, the best point and shoot camera for travel on the market. It does everything you’ll ever need it to do and has incredible image quality in a premium compact size.

Sony have completely revolutionized the market with the RX100 range, and with each update it just gets better and better.

Without a doubt there’s no better option for the best compact camera for travel out there than the Sony RX100 vii right now.

The Mark 7 has a very long zoom range (8.6x optical, up from 3.6x optical, which is like having a 24-200mm lens), an amazing 20mp one-inch sensor to capture huge dynamic range, high quality 4K video and an articulating flip screen.

It’s an expensive camera, yes, but if you want the absolute best quality on the market in a small, compact unit that fits in your pocket, this is the best travel camera out right now.

BONUS TIP – If you want to create travel vlogs and have a decent camera for photography too, this is the model for you!

Sony Rx100Vii

Canon G7X Mark iii – Best Camera for Vlogging

Vlogging is the newest craze, and it’s quite literally taking over as the new digital media of choice for many travelers and influencers.

If making videos is more your style instead of taking photos, then you’re going to want to look at a camera that has a range of specific features.

Most importantly is the ability to shoot in 4K (even if not many people have 4K monitors today, in a few years it will be common and you’re going to want to have footage to match the current standard).

Once you’ve got this another handy feature is an articulated LCD screen that can face you while you’re talking in the lens.

This allows you to frame your shot instead of cutting off half your head. Lastly you’ll want a microphone jack to catch better audio.

Get the camera, start filming and put some great videos up on YouTube ! Sounds easy, right? But what is the best travel camera for vlogging…

We’ve used more vlogging cameras than we can remember, from full-frame setups to GoPros and even putting to the test the brand new Sony ZV-1F .

But what have we settled on?

The Canon G7X Mark ii has always been considered the ultimate travel camera for vlogging, but it fell short in a few different categories.

That’s all changed now with the newest upgrade, the G7X Mark iii .

Shooting fantastic 4k video, this travel camera now has an in-built microphone jack for improved audio, a flip-up touchscreen for keeping your face in frame, and has a faster start-up time than previously.

The image quality is also much better now, and with manual control functions it really is a premium compact travel camera.

Canon G7Xiii

Sony A6600 – Best Mirrorless Camera for Travel

You’ve broken out of the realm of standard point and shoots, and you’re looking for a camera that has interchangeable lenses.

You’re getting into the idea of shooting wide, or perhaps portrait shots. Maybe you really would like to get a longer zoom.

Most of all, you really want to get serious about photography.

In your kit will be a range of lenses for a range of situations. You can look at getting filters to give beautiful effects on your shots. You might even want to start growing your photography portfolio .

A few years ago everyone would have recommended you to get an entry-level DSLR. This is no longer the case.

With the way mirrorless technology has gone DSLRs are losing traction and popularity. Now you can get something with the same image quality for half the size.

Torres Del Paine National Park Views

The Sony A6600 is an absolute powerhouse and puts up a good fight for being the ultimate travel camera.

For entry-level mirrorless cameras, Sony broke the mould by introducing the A6000 a few years ago. Since then every model has been lightyears ahead of the competition.

The latest A6600 is their newest offering, and for a compact camera, it is seriously next level.

It boasts one of the fastest autofocus capabilities of any camera on the market, an improved APS-C sensor capable of high-level video and great image quality, a touch-enabled articulating LCD screen and excellent electronic viewfinder.

The range of lenses available for this Sony mirrorless camera is huge, and manages to cover all bases for whether you want to shoot 4K video or take images that you can sell to magazines.

Sony A6600

You can really get away with the standard lenses that come in most kits, but there are a couple of exceptions that you could splurge out for.

All Sony E mount lenses will fit onto the Sony A6XXX series (including the spectacular full-frame range, with a crop factor).

So if you are ever considering an upgrade to full frame and want to buy some new lenses for your APS-C sensor, you can fork out the money early and still use your lenses later on.

Best Wide Angle Lens

There’s really only one option in this range, and it’s the brilliant 10-18mm F4 . To this day one of the best photos we’ve seen taken of the Petronas Towers was taken with a Sony A6000 (older model) and this lens.

Best Portrait Lens

The Sony 50mm F1.8 is a great choice for a native portrait lens. It’s light, fast and cheap. 

The quality is decent without being amazing, but it definitely does a wonderful job for what you pay for.

Otherwise step up to the FE 55mm F1.8 (read about it below), although this will give you a 85mm perspective on the APS-C sensor.

Best Zoom Lens

Keeping with the affordable and light range that makes for great travel camera lenses, we recommend the Sony 55-210mm f/4.5-6.3 .

For the amateur and hobbyist photographer, this will do just about everything you need and is a solid lens to have in your kit.

Humpback Whales Breaching

Sony A7iv – Best Professional Camera for Travel Photography

If you’re like us and want to make capturing the absolute best images of your travels a priority, then you’ll be looking at a professional range of travel cameras.

Following on from the discussion on mirrorless vs DSLR above, you’ll get many professional photographers who choose to stick to cameras like the Canon 6D or 5D series, or the Nikon D750 or D810.

These are legendary cameras in the industry, and with the enormous range of lenses available for each one, there’s a reason the best in the business use them.

But, we’re talking about travel cameras. And for this, we recommended sticking to mirrorless. 

Full frame DSLRs are big and heavy, whereas their equivalent in mirrorless are a fraction of the size.

If you have decided you want to take the leap to a full frame sensor and want to be rocking the best mirrorless camera for travel, then you have only two choices.

READ MORE: But you need to carry everything, right? Here’s our new expert guide to the best camera backpacks on the market today!

Sony was the first major camera producer to create a full frame mirrorless camera, and while Canon has finally caught up, Sony has years of research and development on their side.

The Sony A7 series is almost flawless. Fantastic image quality, 4K video capabilities (on the A7R, A7S and the A7iv), articulating LCD screens, wifi, light, compact and a whole range of native lenses available for it makes them the absolute best cameras for traveling.

And with the Metabones adaptors you can even use your old Canon, Nikon, Sigma, Samyang or other type of lenses on it.

As of 2024, Sony’s top cameras are the A1, A7iv, A7Siii, A7Rv and the A9ii. Now while the A9ii, A7Rv and A1 are absolute beasts of cameras, the truth is you most likely don’t need all the features they have.

We currently own the A7iv and A7Rv, and for professional travel photography, they are the best on the market.

The image quality is superb and the dynamic range is insane. The low light capabilities are also amazing. Even at ISO 12800, there’s barely any noise that shows up on the shot compared to a compact camera.

We personally recommend the A7iv as the best travel camera out there , as it’s just damn near perfect, especially as a hybrid photo and video camera.

4K video with 60fps, a lightning-fast autofocus system, joystick control, touch screen, fast processor, upgraded full frame sensor and amazing battery life.

If you’re the kind of person that loves to blow up their images for print, or does a lot of cropping when you edit your shots, then that’s the only reason you’ll want to step up to the A7Rv, as it has a 62mp sensor.

But wait – isn’t the brand new Sony A7Rv the best in class right now? Yes, it is. However, while it is absolutely incredible and takes things up another notch, it’s quite expensive and the megapixel count is likely not something you need..

Instead we recommend that you save your money on the body, put what’s left over towards some lenses, and get the A7iv be your go to camera for travel photography.

Sony A7Iv

If you’re going for the Sony A7 series, we’ve got some bad news for you. Full frame lenses are expensive.

But if you’re considering turning your photography hobby into a profession, then this is a small sacrifice to make for the quality of photos you’ll be taking.

Trust us, if you’re buying the best camera for travel photography on the market, you’ll want to also have the best lenses to go with it.

The great thing with the Sony Alpha series is that their lenses are all interchangeable, meaning if you start out with a Sony A6600 and eventually upgrade to a Sony A7iv, you can take your old lenses and put them on the new camera (but it will have a crop factor).

Best All-Round Lens

The new FE 24-105mm f4 lens from Sony is pretty much the best all round travel zoom lens for photography.

It’s damn sharp, and with a constant aperture of f4, it means you can get excellent bokeh and decent low-light performance at any focal length.

This lens practically lives on our A7iv, as it’s so versatile, great for video and the image quality is fantastic.

The Sony 16-35mm f2.8 GM lens is one of the best wide angle lenses on the market, and when you throw it on your travel camera, you’re almost guaranteed to get fantastic shots.

Pretty much every review on photography sites raves about it, and having owned it for over three years now, we completely agree.

It’s not cheap, but to have such a fast and wide native lens for the Sony setup is pretty epic! If you want a cheaper alternative, check out the 16-35mm f4 , which is also very good.

Amir Timur Mausoleum

Best Prime Lens

If you are into portrait or street photography make sure you get the FE 55mm F1.8 prime lens.

It’s very fast, very light and very sharp. And with such a good value, it may be the best prime lens that Sony makes (excluding the high-end GM series).

Owning a telephoto lens isn’t just about taking photos of wildlife or zooming in on things that are far away from you. It adds a whole new creative element known as lens compression to your arsenal.

This is the optical illusion that happens when the further you zoom into something, the bigger the background appears.

You start to get this effect from around 100mm and on, so if you’re looking for the best zoom lens to put on your Sony A7iv, consider the 70-200 f2.8 GMii lens, or the 100-400mm GM lens .

We have both of these zoom lenses, and we love love love them!

DJI Mavic Air 2 – The Best Drone for Travel

Aerial photography has gained in popularity over the last two years, and it’s easy to see why. 

Not that long ago the only way to get photos from the sky was by taking a chartered flight or helicopter.

But today just about anyone can go out, buy a drone and start taking shots from very unique angles.

The appeal is obvious. Capturing epic photos and video of landscapes from a perspective that few have ever seen before.

From the moment we bought our first drone (a DJI Phantom 4) we fell in love with it.

Good drones up until now have always been quite prohibitive when it comes to travel due to their bulky size.

The DJI Phantom series helped make it more accessible for most people, but even then it was still a commitment to travel with one.

Today the best drone for travel has finally been determined.

Sunset Vibes Coron

The DJI Mavic series is what you should be looking for when considering a travel drone.

With foldable legs and compact size, they tick all the boxes for portability.

There are a few different models to consider, and it really depends on your needs.

If you’re a professional, we recommend the DJI Mavic 2 Pro , thanks to its 1-inch Hasselblad Sensor and 360-degree collision avoidance.

But just announced is the Mavic Air 2 , and with features like 48-megapixel photo mode, panorama capabilities and 4k video, it’s the best option for anybody trying to take travel photos from the air on their next trip.

Its small size and great value makes it perfect for travel, but one thing to consider is the fixed focal length, meaning you can’t zoom in to take photos.

Note – With whatever drone you buy we highly recommend buying extra batteries. You’ll be surprised how quickly you chew through these. Check out the bundle packages from DJI (called ‘Fly More’ on the Mavics).

Dji Mavic Air 2

GoPro Max – Best 360 Travel Camera

With virtual reality becoming more and more popular, it might be no surprise that one of the best travel cameras for 2024 is actually a 360-degree camera!

These incredible little devices come with multiple cameras on one piece, managing to capture an entire scene in one shot in both photos and high definition video.

When they first came out they were very poor quality, but now they’ve improved enough that we actually travel with one full-time now.

360 cameras became popular when the Chinese company Insta360 started to bring out their affordable options, but the image quality was always pretty poor.

Then GoPro stepped onto the scene with the Fusion, and it changed the industry forever.

With all the standard great features GoPro is known for, such as being waterproof, having awesome connectivity and packing it all into compact cameras, the Fusion took things to the next level.

It did require a bit of work to use though, and the stitching wasn’t great. Plus with two SD card slots required to save media, it was just that bit too cumbersome for most photographers.

Cue the Max!

The GoPro Max took the best parts of all their cameras and threw it together into one unit with this one.

The Max, with its dual lenses on either side of the body, now uses just one SD card, making storage and management so much easier, and it has a touch LCD screen that can be used on the go.

For people looking for travel cameras that can do it all, it doesn’t just shoot in 360-degree mode.

There is their ultra-wide single perspective, and for having a small sensor, the low light shots are surprisingly good.

If you’re a travel vlogger you’ll be amazed at the quality of this! The inbuilt microphones do a great job at picking up audio while cutting out background noise, and the battery life is great.

It shoots at 5.6k video quality and 30 frames per second. You can change the pitch, yaw, field of view and angles to get the view you desire.

Even more unique, it can create 360 time-lapses and hyper lapses with a simple click. No need to pull it up in a program like Adobe Premiere Pro to make your videos any more!

Best of all it connects seamlessly to your smartphone using the GoPro app, so you can do all your editing, sticking and keyframing on the go.

When it comes to a travel camera that tries to do it all, this one is hard to beat.

Gopro Max

That concludes our list of the best cameras for traveling. Let us know if you have any other recommendations, or if you use any of these cameras while traveling the world!

How to Choose the Best Camera for Travel 

No matter what level you are, the first piece of kit you are going to need to buy is the camera.

This can range from a cheap point-and-shoot right up to a top-of-the-line DSLR that can cost as much as a small car.

A quick visit to a camera store can leave you feeling completely overwhelmed with all the choices.

Keep on scrolling to find detailed information about each of these, and why they really are the best cameras for travel.

READ MORE: See what made the cut as the best travel tripod on the market in our expert guide!

What Features to Look for in a Travel Camera

There’s a number of different features that you need to look for when searching for the best travel camera to buy, based on your needs.

The first thing to look out for is how big and heavy a camera is.

When you’re on the road traveling, weight and space is a huge issue to overcome. You don’t want to be lugging around a heavy backpack full of gear if you don’t have to.

If you’re not a pro or a big enthusiast, we recommend checking out a compact camera or mirrorless camera, as they are smaller and more portable, while also providing decent image quality.

One thing that camera companies and salespeople like to preach about is megapixels. But what exactly does that mean?

A pixel is a tiny dot of color that you see on your computer or phone display. A megapixel is 1 million (actually 1,048,576 to be technically correct)  of those dots. So ‘24 megapixels’ so about 24 million dots of color

You may hear that more megapixels equal better quality photos, but this isn’t entirely true.

The sensor has more to do with image quality than the resolution does, but it does play a small part.

In short don’t get caught up about more buying a camera with more megapixels, unless you’re planning on printing your images on billboards.

Instead just use this guide to the best travel cameras to find out exactly what is the best choice you can afford.

Cook Islands Palm Tree Tropical Water Best Travel Camera

One thing to consider when looking at the best travel camera is whether or not you can change the lens.

The reason this is important is that it gives you more choices down the road if you decide you want to get into different styles of photography.

A compact travel camera is most likely a fixed lens, meaning that whatever zoom range it comes with you can’t change.

A camera that you can change the lens on will let you upgrade to wide-angle lenses, a zoom lens, better maximum aperture options for low light performance, etc.

In general, if you can afford a mirrorless camera or DSLR, it’s worth buying.

A camera that allows you to change the manual settings gives you complete control over things like aperture, ISO and shutter speed.

This opens up a whole new world of creativity, and in our opinion, you shouldn’t consider a camera that doesn’t have this feature.

Luckily every recommendation on this list allows you to control those settings, even the GoPro HERO camera below!

It’s 2024 – make sure you get a camera that can shoot 4K video!

This provides much higher resolution when shooting video, and even if you don’t have a 4K monitor at home, you can always take that clip and watch it in high definition 1080p, or even crop into your footage.

Just beware that 4K video chews up your battery life, so make sure you have some spare ones!

Unless you plan on always being in perfect weather when you travel, it’s a good idea to get a camera that is either waterproof, or has good weather sealing.

Unfortunately you often have to compromise on a waterproof camera or a quality travel camera (unless you buy a GoPro), so we don’t recommend buying a camera that is fully waterproof.

Instead just make sure it has decent sealing, or look at buying an underwater housing if you want to get into underwater photography.

How far you can zoom in on a subject is very important when trying to decide the best travel camera.

If you buy a fixed lens camera, make sure it has a long zoom range, like a Canon Powershot or the Sony RX100vii.

Or if you buy a mirrorless camera or DSLR, you don’t have to worry about this as you can always upgrade later.

Galapagos Sea Lion

No matter how steady you think you are, you will almost always have a small amount of camera shake when taking handheld photos.

If you’re shooting at fast shutter speeds, this isn’t a problem. But if you’re photographing in low light, you can end up with motion blur.

Look out for cameras that have inbuilt image stabilization to counter this.

A DSLR ( digital single lens reflex ) works by having a mirror inside the camera. When you are looking through the viewfinder the mirror is down, covering the sensor, and you are looking at a reflected scene.

When you push the shutter the mirror flips up mechanically, allowing the image to be exposed onto the sensor, and then onto your SD card. All these moving parts take up room, hence why DSLRs are larger in size.

With mirrorless cameras, there are no moving parts inside. The image comes through the lens and directly onto the sensor.

There is an electronic viewfinder,  meaning you are seeing a digital copy of what you’re pointing the camera at, rather than a live view.

So without a mirror constantly flipping, the camera can be made a lot smaller. That’s why mirrorless cameras can be half the size of a DSLR.

When mirrorless cameras first came out the quality wasn’t that great. Now they are just about on par with DSLRs, and the portability means that they are the best cameras for travel photography!

In case you’re not sure what we mean, this article goes into a bit more information, but in short, we recommend getting a mirrorless camera.

Photos Of Penguins

The 3 most popular cameras that pros use are the Canon 5Div, the Nikon D850 and the Sony A7Riv.

For general travel videos, the kind of stuff you would publish on YouTube, we recommend the Sony RX100vii. If you’re looking to create more cinematic videos, the A6600 is the best compact travel camera for videos.

If you need the best small camera for travel, you should buy the Canon SX740HS. Compact, high quality and affordable, this little beast is a fantastic travel camera.

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Best APS-C Cameras: what to look out for and what to buy

A crop sensor doesn't mean less of a camera. we pick the best aps-c cameras on the market today based on our tests.

Nikon Z50 Review

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Monday October 10, 2022

By Jeff Meyer


The best APS-C cameras are smaller and lighter than most full-frame cameras, and they allow you to fill your frame with your subject from a greater distance. APS-C is a very popular choice for sensor size, appearing in both DSLRs and compact system cameras (and even some premium compact cameras, too). In this buyer’s guide, we help you choose the best cameras with an APS-C sized sensor.

Although not as large as a full-frame sensor , APS-C sensors larger than most other types, including Four Thirds, one-inch, and the smaller sensors found in the average mobile phone. This means you get advantages such as better noise control and greater depth of field, without the bulk of a full-frame camera.

Here we’ll be taking a look at a range of different cameras currently available, showing you the best of what the APS-C market has to offer. We’ve chosen the finalists based on high image quality, a good range of features and superlative handling.

What does APS-C mean?

APS-C is short for Advanced Photo System Type-C, which was a late addition to to film photography. The Advanced Photo System was a new size of film negative that measured 25.1mm x 16.7mm and provided a 3:2 image aspect ratio.

The APS-C, or crop, sensor matches the size of a single APS-C film negative in the same way that a full-frame sensor matches a single frame of 35mm film. For more information, check out our guide on when to use APS-C lenses instead of full-frame.

Is APS-C better than full frame?

Neither APS-C or full-frame formats is ‘better’ than each other. Both have their purposes. There is often a perception that full-frame cameras are better than APS-C cameras, but both have their advantages. Yes, full-frame cameras capture more detail and perform better in low light, thanks to their larger sensors. However, APS-C cameras tend to be smaller and lighter, for a start. They are also popular with wildlife photographers because the cropped sensor lets you fill your frame with your subject from farther away. File sizes are also much smaller from an APS-C cameras.

For a more in-depth discussion on this topic, check out our guide to Full-frame vs APS-C cameras where we run through more of the key differences between the two formats. You might also find our guide on when to use APS-C lenses instead of full-frame useful.

The best APS-C cameras you can buy today

All of our picks for the best APS-C cameras were based off our experience testing these models. For a deeper dive into the many different camera types and features available, check out our range of camera buying guides . Also check out our guide to DSLR vs mirrorless cameras to find out which technology is best suited to your needs.

Fujifilm X-H2S

Is this the hybrid camera you’ve been waiting for?

Sensor: APS-C CMOS Megapixels: 26.16 Lens mount: Fujifilm X AF System: Intelligent Hybrid with up to 425 points Viewfinder: 0.5 inch 5.76 million-dot OLED Color Viewfinder with 100% coverage Screen:  Vari-angle 3-inch LCD with 1.62-million dots Max video Resolution: 6.2K at up to 30p; 4K at up to 120p

Its new flagship APS-C camera, the Fujifilm X-H2S is the successor to the Fujifilm X-H1 and it’s designed for use by sport and wildlife photographers – or anyone who likes to photograph moving subjects. It features a brand new 26.1MP stacked sensor, the 5th generation of Fujifilm’s X-Trans CMOS chip, and extends the range of automatically detectable subjects to include animals, birds and vehicles.

In addition, the Fuji X-H2S makes a significant jump up in video capability in comparison with the X-H1, with 6.2K video at 30p and 4K at 120p. Thanks to Fujifilm’s technological advances, the X-H2S offers a wide range of frame rates, greater bit depth and less rolling shutter (with full sensor readout in 5.4msec or 1/180sec), plus in-camera Apple ProRes (ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 LT) recording. There’s also F-Log and dual memory slots for SD and CFexpress cards.

The Fujifilm X-H2S demonstrates the impact of switching to a stacked CMOS sensor and boosting processing power. It has enabled Fujifilm to update the subject detection and AF speed significantly and boost the full-resolution continuous shooting speed to 40fps.

Find the Fujifilm X-H2S on Amazon UK and Amazon US .

  • Fujifilm X-H2S review

Nikon Z50 Review

A little gem of a camera with some powerful features

Sensor: APS-C CMOS Megapixels: 20.88 Lens mount: Nikon Z AF System: Phase detection with 209 AF points, Eye AF and Subject Tracking Viewfinder: 2.36million-dot electronic viewfinder Screen: Tilting 3.2-inch 1,040,000-dot touchscreen, Max video Resolution: 4K at 30fps and Full-HD at 120fps

Pros: Great size and shape, Nikon’s camera heritage Cons: Screen tips down for viewing from in front, no joystick for setting the AF point

Nikon may have been late to get serious about mirrorless cameras but the Z50 isn’t playing catch-up with anyone. It’s a very nice, solid-feeling camera with well-implemented touch-control and superb image quality.

Its autofocus system is also excellent and can cope with moving subjects in poor light.

There are currently only two Nikon DX format Z lenses but more are in the pipeline and F-mount lenses can be used via an adapter. Also, as Nikon has used the same Z mount on the Z50 as it has for its full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Z6 and Z7, the lenses are interchangeable.

Find the latest deals on the Nikon Z50 at Amazon UK and Amazon US .

  • Nikon Z50 review

Canon EOS R7

An APS-C camera with some serious firepower

Sensor:  APS-C format (22.3 x 14.8mm) CMOS Megapixels: 32.5 Lens Mount: Canon RF Mount AF System: Dual Pixel CMOS II AF phase detection with up to 5915 positions and 651 automatically selectable points Viewfinder: 0.39-type 2,360,000-dots OLED EVF Screen:  Touch-sensitive vari-angle 2.95-inch LCD with 1.62 million dots Max video resolution: 4K Max frame rate: 15fps for up to 224 Jpegs or 51 raw files, Electronic shutter: 30fps for 126 Jpegs or 42 raw files

Canon’s flagship APS-C format camera, the Canon EOS R7, looks and feels worthy of its billing. It features the same Dual Pixel CMOS AF II technology as the Canon R3, R5 and R6 in a weather-sealed body that’s smaller and lighter than the Canon 90D. There’s also the ability to shoot uncrossed 4K video at 60p, C-Log and ports to connect an external mic and headphones.

The Canon EOS R7 and Canon EOS R10 , launched at the same time in May 2022, are the first APS-C format mirrorless cameras with the Canon RF mount. This mount is directly compatible with both the Canon RF and RF-S mount lenses. The new range of RF-S lenses produce an image circle that is only large enough to cover APS-C format sensors so they are smaller and lighter than their full-frame counterparts.

The Canon R7 is aimed at the same audience as the EOS 7D Mark II, which we’re also still including on our list of the best APS-C cameras, because as you can see in our Canon EOS R7 vs 7D Mark II comparison, the 7D II is still a really viable camera. But the R7 gains a lot of features and technological advances compared to its DSLR predecessor.

Find the latest EOS R7 deals on Amazon UK and Amazon US .

  • Canon EOS R7 review

Fujifilm X-H2

Fujifilm’s high-resolution X-series camera delivers exceptional image quality

Sensor: APS-C CMOS Megapixels: 40 Lens mount: Fujifilm X AF System: Intelligent Hybrid with up to 425 points Viewfinder:  5.76-million-dot EVF with 0.8x magnification Screen:  Vari-angle 3-inch LCD with 1.62-million dots Max video Resolution: 8K at 30p, 6.2K at up to 30p, DCI4K at up to 60p, HD at 240p Apple ProRes internally in 10-bit at 4:2:2

The Fujifilm X-H2 splits the company’s flagship X-H series in two directions and provides an option in the X series for those who are after high resolution. Inside the camera is a 40MP APS-C back-side illuminated X-Trans CMOS 5 HR sensor with pixel layout that is said to be optimised for capturing detail and unrivalled colour accuracy.

The X-H2’s sensor is paired with Fujifilm’s new X-Processor 5, which enables 8K/30p video, improved autofocus capability and black-out free shooting at up to 15fps. Although the X-H2 has the highest resolution sensor of any Fujifilm X-series camera, it is also the first in the series to feature Pixel Shift Multi-Shot mode . In the X-H2, Pixel Shift Multi-Shot mode records 20 images with the sensor moving by 0.5 pixels between each.

As well as high-resolution stills, the X-H2 is also a serious camera for videographers. The X-H2 records video and Apple ProRes 10-bit 4:2:2 footage to a CFexpress Type B card at up to 8K/30p. Meanwhile, 12-bit Apple ProRes RAW or Blackmagic RAW footage can be recorded to an Atomos Ninja V+ or Blackmagic Design Video Assist respectively. These external devices connect via the X-H2’s full-size HDMI Type A port.

With exceptional image quality, high-level video capabilities and a £2,000 / $2,000 price tag, the Fujifilm X-H2 is one of the best APS-C cameras you can buy right now.

  • Fujifilm X-H2 review

Nikon D500

A superb all-rounder, well suited to lots of different subjects

Sensor: APS-C CMOS, Megapixels: 20.9, Lens Mount: Nikon F Mount, AF System: Phase Detection AF, 153 point, Viewfinder: Optical pentaprism, 100% coverage, 1.0x magnification Screen: 3.2-inch, tilting, 2359k-dot, touch-sensitive Max video resolution: 4K, Max frame rate: 10fps

Pros: Touch-sensitive screen, dual card slots Cons: Screen doesn’t articulate, Live View shooting a little stilted

Sharing many of the same specifications as the top-of-the-line (and full-frame) D5, the D500 has a vast swathe of appealing specifications. Designed to perform well in a variety of situations, there’s an excellent AF system and processor (shared with the D5) that copes brilliantly with action and fast-moving subjects – which you can shoot at 10fps.

The sensor has a relatively modest 20.8 million pixels, which sees it in good stead to cope with low light shooting across a very wide sensitivity range.

With a robust body, and plenty of buttons and dials to give you direct access to commonly used controls, the D500 also has an excellent viewfinder and a tilting touch-sensitive screen.

Find the latest deals on the Nikon D500 at Amazon UK and Amazon US .

  • Nikon D500 review

Fujifilm X-T4 review

Fujifilm X-T4

Style and substance with this well featured and attractive option

Sensor:  X-Trans CMOS 4 APS-C sensor Megapixels: 26.1  Lens Mount: Fuji X AF System: Intelligent hybrid with up to 425 selectable AF points Viewfinder: 0.5 inch, 3.69 million dot OLED, 100% coverage Screen: Vari-angle 3-inch 1.6 million dot touch screen LCD Max Video Resolution: C4K (4096×2160) at 59.94p/50p/29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p 400Mbps/200Mbps/100Mbps, 4:2:0 10bit internal SD card recording; 1080/240p

Pros: Fast AF and frame rate, 4K video, IBIS Cons: It’s hard to fault this camera

It may have the same 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor and X-Processor 4 processing engine as the X-T3, but the Fujifilm X-T4 also has 5-axis in-body image stabilisation with a shutter speed compensation value of 6.5Ev, a quieter shutter, a bigger battery, a great new Film Simulation mode and a vari-angle touchscreen.

Like the X-T3, the X-T4 can shoot C4K (4096 x 2160) MOV video at up to 60p. However, it can also record in MP4 format.

In addition, its possible to record Full HD video at up to 240p (with continuous focusing), twice the rate possible with the X-T3. That’s great news for those who like to see action in slow-motion.

All this combined with Fujifilm’s image-quality knowhow makes the X-T4 the company’s best X-series camera to date, not to mention one of the best mirrorless cameras you can buy today.

It may not be an automatic upgrade choice for X-T3 users, but X-T1 and X-T2 photographers will love it. More significantly, it’s very attractive to anyone contemplating their first serious Fuji camera.

Find the latest deals on the Fujifilm X-T4 at Amazon UK and Amazon US .

  • Fujifilm X-T4 review

best travel apsc camera

One of the best APS-C cameras on the market, with a super array of specs for your money

Sensor: APS-C Exmor CMOS Megapixels: 24.2 Lens Mount: Sony E-Mount AF System: Fast Hybrid AF, 425 points / 169 points Viewfinder: 0.39-inch, 2.36 million-dot XGA OLED, 100% coverage Screen: 3-inch, 921,600-dot, touch-sensitive, tilting Max Video Resolution: 4K Max Frame Rate: 11fps

Pros: Very good image and vido quality, fast and accurate AF Cons: Single SD card slot, limited touch control on tilting LCD

The market for high-end APS-C cameras is a pretty crowded one, but the Sony A6600 stands out by offering a great range of features. The Sony A6600 is Sony’s flagship APS-C format mirrorless camera. It has a great range of features including Real-time Eye AF for humans and animals, plus Eye AF for humans in video mode.

Inside the Sony A6600 is a 24.2Mp APS-C format sensor. That means that the sensor measures 23.5 x 15.6mm and that lens mounted on it incur a 1.5x focal length magnification factor.

Nevertheless, Sony uses the same mount on its APS-C and full-frame mirrorless cameras so you can use full-frame and APS-C format lenses interchangeably.

Sony has built an excellent reputation for its autofocus systems and its great to see that the A6600 has 850 AF points made up of 425 phase-detection points and 425 contrast-detection points. In addition, there’s Real-time Eye AF which can be set to work with humans or animals for stills shooting and humans for video.

As we’ve come to expect, 5-axis image stabilisation is built in the Sony A6600 and extends the safe hand-holdable shutter speed by up to 5 stops.

Find the latest deals on the Sony A6600 at Amazon UK and Amazon US .

  • Sony Alpha A6600 review

EOS 7D Mark II

Canon 7D Mark II

A rugged all rounder, ideal to step up to from Canon’s entry-level models

Sensor: APS-C CMOS Megapixels: 20.2 Lens Mount: Canon EF-S AF System: 65 cross-type AF (centre point dual cross type) Viewfinder: Optical pentaprism, 1.0x magnification, 100% coverage Screen: 3-inch, 1040k-dot Max Video Resolution: Full HD Max Frame Rate: 10fps

Pros: Weatherproof, great handling Cons: Fixed, non touch-sensitive screen, no 4K video

Despite being one of the oldest models in our list, the 7D Mark II is still a great choice for those looking for a high-performing APS-C camera.

Canon is yet to update its 7D line, so it still sits as its top offering for the smaller than full-frame sensor size. Designed to appeal to photographers who like to shoot lots of different subjects, it copes well with a variety of different tasks, including action photography with 10fps shooting and a very capable autofocus system.

Offering a rugged body which is weather-sealed, the 7D Mark II is readily equipped for shooting outdoors, while features such as a top-plate LCD make it very user-friendly.

If you’re already a Canon photographer using something lower down in the company’s line-up, the 7D Mark II is the obvious choice.

Find the latest deals on the Canon EOS 7D Mark II at Amazon UK and Amazon US .

Fuji X100V review

Fujiilm X100V

A retro-styled premium compact which is ideal for street photography

Sensor:  X-Trans CMOS 4 APS-C sensor Megapixels: 26.1 Lens: Fujinon 23mm f/2 (35mm equivalent) AF System:  Intelligent hybrid with up to 425 selectable AF points Viewfinder:  Optical: Reverse Galilean viewfinder with electronic bright frame display, 95% coverage and x0.52 magnification, Electronic: 0.5 inch 3,690,000-dot OLED with 100% coverage, 0.66x magnification Screen: Tilting 3.0-inch 1,620.000-dot touchscreen LCD Max Video Resolution: DCI 4K (4096×2160) at 29.97p/25p/24p/23.98p, 200Mbps/100Mbps, for up to 10min

Pros: Hybrid viewfinder, 35mm focal length ideal as a walk around lens Cons: Expensive

The Fuji X100V is a compact camera and the fifth model in Fujifilm’s widely respected X100 series. Inside it has the same 26.1MP APS-C format sensor and processing engine as the manufacturer’s recent enthusiast-level interchangeable lens cameras, the Fujifilm X-T4 , X-T3 and X-Pro3 .

This means that it can capture the same quality images albeit using a fixed 23mm f/2.0 lens with an effective focal length of 35mm.

It has a high-quality build and traditional exposure controls along with a hybrid viewfinder and a tilting touchscreen. It’s not for everyone but it’s a camera that many people will fall in love with.

Find the latest deals on the Fujifilm X100V at Amazon UK and Amazon US .

  • Fujifilm X100V review

Best APS-C Cameras

Ricoh GR III

Slim, understated and capable of great results

Sensor: APS-C CMOS Megapixels: 24.24 Lens: GR 18.3mm (28mm equivalent) f/2.8 AF System: hybrid Viewfinder: n/a Screen: 3-inch touch-sensitive, 1,037,000-dot Max video Resolution: 1920×1080

Pros: Small size, uncomplicated Cons: No viewfinder, screen doesn’t tilt

We might be getting ahead of ourselves a little, but after shooting with a final production sample of the Ricoh GR III shortly before its announcement, we think it’s worth adding to this list.

It’s not an all-singing, all dancing, camera but the Ricoh GR III allows you to focus on the essentials. It’s designed for snap shooting and its a nice choice for street photography.

Inside, the 24.24Mp CMOS sensor lacks anti-aliasing (AA) filter to help it capture more detail but there’s an anti-aliasing system built-in should you need it. There’s also a top sensitivity setting of ISO 102,400 and a sensor-shifting Shake Reduction (SR) system.

The 14-bit DNG raw files have buckets of detail and it’s maintained very well into the corners. Flare, chromatic aberration and vignetting are also kept under close control.

Find the latest deals on the Ricoh GR III at Amazon UK and Amazon US .

  • Read our Ricoh GR III Review
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Out of all these camera , i would recommend go with sony A6400 with 85MM lens

Harry Brook

Great article

Angela Nicholson

You left out the Nikon D7500.

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11 Best APS-C Cameras in 2024 (Read Before You Buy!)

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to the best APS-C cameras. The powerful 26MP Pentax K-3 III tops this list but includes a variety of other options as well, from Canon, Fujifilm, Sony, and Nikon—all packing impressive specifications!

Pentax K-3 Mark III

Pentax K-3 Mark III


If you buy a product through one of our referral links we will earn a commission (without costing you anything). Prices last updated on .

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Why the focus on APS-C sensor size ? The answer lies in the balance it strikes between size, cost, and image quality. Smaller than full-frame but larger than micro 4/3 sensors, APS-C sensors provide excellent image quality without the bulkiness or high cost of full-frame options. They’re ideal for those who want to capture high-quality photos without carrying around a large, heavy camera or breaking the bank.

In this guide, you’ll find an array of APS-C cameras to suit every style and budget, each with its unique strengths. Remember, the best camera for you depends on your specific needs and photography style, so read through each option carefully to see which is the best fit for your photographic journey. Let’s dive in!

Featured image for best aps-c camera -Pentax K-3 Mark III

What Is the Best APS-C Camera in 2023?

Before we delve into each camera, here’s an overview of the best APS-C cameras on our list:

  • Solid score of 83/100, showcasing impressive specifications
  • 26-megapixel CMOS sensor with fast 12fps shooting speed
  • High-quality 4K video recording with 60fps frame rate
  • Feature score of 87/100, with advanced technology and user-friendly features
  • Reliable storage and battery performance, with 800-shot battery life

Canon EOS R7

  • Scores an impressive 83/100 in evaluation
  • Boasts 33 megapixels, 15 fps shooting speed
  • Offers 4K video resolution, 120fps frame rate
  • Equipped with 3-inch touchscreen, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Provides 660 shots per charge, supports USB charging


  • Scores 82/100 in overall evaluation
  • Has an impressive 40-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Offers high-quality 4K video resolution
  • Equipped with touchscreen, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth
  • Provides battery life of 680 shots


  • High score of 81/100, showcasing top-notch features
  • Boasts a 40-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Impressive video capabilities with 6K resolution
  • High-resolution screen with user-friendly design
  • Solid storage and battery life with dual card slots


  • High general specifications score of 80/100
  • Competitive optics with a score of 78/100
  • Impressive video performance rated 77/100
  • Strong feature score of 85/100 with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Solid storage and battery performance with a score of 76/100


  • Scores 79/100 for general specifications
  • Features a 26-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Boasts a feature score of 85/100
  • Provides versatile storage and battery options


  • Scores a solid 76/100 in evaluation
  • Boasts a video score of 91/100
  • Equipped with WIFI and Bluetooth connectivity
  • Supports USB charging for on-the-go use


  • Scored 75/100 for general specifications
  • Features 24.2 megapixels and 11 fps shooting speed
  • Boasts a video score of 91/100 with 4K resolution
  • Equipped with a 3-inch screen and WIFI and Bluetooth capabilities
  • Offers a battery life of 810 shots and supports USB charging


  • Scores 75/100 in general specifications assessment
  • Boasts a 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Achieves a video score of 83/100 with 4K resolution
  • Features a 3-inch screen with touchscreen and flip screen capabilities
  • Offers dual memory card slots and USB charging convenience


  • Scores 75/100 in general specifications
  • Boasts 20.9 megapixels and 10fps shooting speed
  • Offers 4K video resolution and time-lapse functionality
  • Features 3.2-inch touchscreen and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth connectivity
  • Provides dual memory card slots and 1240 shots per charge


  • Scores 73/100 for general specifications
  • Earns 72/100 in the optics category
  • Features score of 86/100 for advanced, user-friendly design
  • Storage and battery score of 35/100, supports USB charging


Our Favourite APS-C Cameras (in Detail!)

Now we will describe each camera on our list in more detail.

1. Pentax K-3 Mark III

  • Pixel Shift high-resolution images
  • Accurate and fast autofocus
  • 5.5-stop shake reduction
  • Astrotracer tracks stars in the sky
  • Sharp detail and 4K video
  • Expensive for an APS-C DSLR
  • Only 25 shots in buffer
  • Only accepts slower SD cards
  • Fixed LCD and joystick can't be used in menu system
  • Heavy 4K crop, only 8-bit video

It’s a DSLR camera that weighs 820g and is priced at $1999. The camera is compact, measuring 135 x 104 x 74mm. This makes it a competitive option for photographers on the move.

The Pentax K-3 Mark III boasts a 26-megapixel CMOS sensor and a Prime IV processor. This combination ensures high-quality images. It has a shooting speed of 12 frames per second, perfect for capturing fast-paced action.

It uses the Pentax KAF2 lens mount. This allows for a wide range of compatible lenses. It also has image stabilization, reducing camera shake and blurring.

The camera also impresses with video recording. It offers a maximum video resolution of 4K and a frame rate of 60fps. The built-in time-lapse feature adds versatility to its video capabilities.

The Pentax K-3 Mark III features a 3.2-inch screen. The high resolution of 1,620,000 dots offers clear and detailed image previews. It also has modern connectivity options like WIFI and Bluetooth.

Its storage and battery performance are also competitive. It has two memory card slots and offers a battery life of 800 shots. The camera also supports USB charging, a convenient option for on-the-go charging.

The Pentax K-3 Mark III is a reliable choice for photographers seeking a high-quality DSLR experience. It’s a strong contender in today’s market, providing users with a high-quality camera that integrates advanced technology and user-friendly features.

2. Canon EOS R7

  • 30 fps burst mode with electronic shutter
  • 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization
  • Fully articulating touch screen
  • Unlimited, oversampled 4K video
  • Animal eye-detect AF for wildlife and pets
  • Fiddly AF joystick and exposure compensation dial
  • Easy to change power switch to video by accident
  • No built-in flash
  • Limited range of native lenses
  • Rolling shutter effect shooting video

This camera’s optics score is 82/100. It boasts 33 megapixels and a shooting speed of 15 frames per second. The Digic X processor powers the camera. It’s paired with a high-quality CMOS sensor. The result is an outstanding DXOMARK score of 97 for the sensor.

The Canon EOS R7 also shines in video performance. Scoring 91 out of 100, it offers 4K video resolution. The camera supports a maximum video frame rate of 120fps. This allows for smooth and detailed slow-motion sequences.

The EOS R7 doesn’t disappoint in features either. It receives a score of 85/100. Equipped with a 3-inch touchscreen and a screen resolution of 1,620,000 dots, image previews are clear and precise. The camera also offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Canon EOS R7 scores 79 out of 100 in storage and battery performance. It offers two memory card slots and an impressive battery life of 660 shots per charge. The camera supports USB charging, a convenient feature for photographers on the go.

The Canon EOS R7 is a powerful APS-C camera. It’s a top choice for those seeking high-quality performance in photography and videography.

3. Fujifilm X-H2

  • Powerful 40.2 MP APS-C sensor
  • Pixel Shift High-Res mode for 160 MP images
  • Built-in 5-axis image stabilization
  • 8K cinematic video at 30 fps
  • 4K recording at 60 fps and Full HD at 240 fps
  • Fully weather-sealed body
  • Expensive for an APS-C camera
  • High-res shot mode doesn't always produce the sharpest images
  • No shutter or ISO dial on top of the camera
  • Certain functions only work with a CFexpress Type B card
  • Prone to overheating without additional cooling fan

The camera’s optics score of 81/100 is well-deserved. Equipped with a 40-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and X-Processor 5, it captures high-resolution images with ease. The shooting speed of 15 frames per second is a boon for capturing fast-moving subjects. A Fujifilm X lens mount is highly compatible with a range of quality lenses.

In terms of video performance, the X-H2 doesn’t disappoint. It offers 4K resolution, ensuring high-quality footage. The max video frame rate of 60fps allows for smooth motion capture. And the built-in time-lapse functionality can be a game-changer for creative videography.

The X-H2 boasts a feature score of 85/100. The 3-inch high-resolution touchscreen and flip screen make composing shots a breeze. Connectivity is seamless with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, though the lack of GPS might deter some.

Storage and battery are also well-considered in the X-H2. It accepts CFexpress Type B and SD cards. The battery life of 680 shots and USB charging support add to its appeal. Despite some minor drawbacks, the Fujifilm X-H2 is a strong contender in today’s APS-C camera market.

4. Fujifilm X-T5

  • Incredible 40.2 MP resolution from an APS-C sensor
  • AF uses AI to identify and track moving subjects
  • Pixel Shift Multi-Shot mode for ultra high-resolution photos
  • Long-lasting, 680-shot battery
  • Outstanding 6.2K video recording
  • 40.2 MP resolution creates large files for storage
  • Lowest ISO is 125, not 100
  • Limited RAW buffer for full-resolution burst shooting
  • Rolling-shutter effect is sometimes visible with video
  • Video has a 1.23x crop factor at full resolution

The Fujifilm X-T5 is a solid choice in the world of APS-C cameras. Launched in 2022, this mirrorless camera boasts an impressive score of 81/100. Its compact size and lightweight design make it a portable and user-friendly option.

The X-T5’s optics score also stands at 81. It’s equipped with a 40-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. This allows for high-quality image capturing. The camera’s shooting speed of 15fps and X-Processor 5 ensure quick and efficient operations.

The X-T5 shines in video performance too. It scored 87 out of 100 in this department. The camera captures highly detailed 6K resolution footage. It can also record at a smooth 60fps, making it an attractive choice for videographers.

The camera’s feature score is 85/100. Its 3-inch high-resolution screen offers a clear and vivid display. The touchscreen and flip screen features add to its versatility. It lacks GPS but compensates with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for easy image sharing.

The X-T5’s storage and battery score is 76. It offers dual memory card slots and a battery life of 580 shots. These features, along with its USB charging capability, make it a reliable camera for modern photographers. The Fujifilm X-T5, with its impressive specifications, holds its own in the APS-C camera market.

5. Sony FX30

  • 759-point AF system has fast and accurate face detection and tracking
  • Built-in gyroscopic video stabilization for smooth handheld shooting
  • Webcam functionality and remote control with a smartphone
  • Ports for external audio recording
  • Brilliant 4K video recording at 120 fps and Full HD at 240 fps
  • 26 MP is a low image resolution for a full frame camera
  • Limited photography features
  • No built-in optical or electronic viewfinder
  • 3-inch LCD screen is frustratingly small
  • Not weather-sealed for shooting in all conditions

The Sony FX30 is a top pick among APS-C cameras. It’s a mirrorless model that was announced and released in 2022. The FX30 offers a compact, lightweight design. Weighing just 646g, it’s an attractive choice for a range of photography styles.

It features a 26-megapixel CMOS sensor. This, combined with the powerful Bionz XR processor, allows for a shooting speed of 10 frames per second. The FX30’s sensor has a DXOMARK score of 94. This reflects its high-quality performance.

The FX30 also excels in video performance. It delivers 4K video resolution. The high video frame rate of 120fps enables smooth, slow-motion footage. This is ideal for capturing fast-moving subjects. But it lacks built-in time-lapse functionality. This may be a downside for some users.

The FX30 holds a feature score of 85 out of 100. It comes with a 3-inch touchscreen and a flip screen. This adds to the user experience. It also offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity for seamless file transfer and remote control.

The camera’s storage and battery performance score is 76 out of 100. It features two memory card slots. The battery life is capable of delivering 570 shots. Plus, the camera supports USB charging. This adds to its convenience. Despite minor drawbacks, the Sony FX30 is competitive in the APS-C camera market.

6. Fujifilm X-H2S

  • Great image quality
  • High frame rate
  • In-body image stabilization (IBIS)
  • Five subject detection modes
  • Excellent for video
  • Limited lens line-up
  • Canon, Sony have better Eye Detection
  • No touch screen video tracking
  • Rolling shutter in F-Log2 video
  • Dynamic range is lost shooting video with an electronic shutter

The Fujifilm X-H2S is a recent addition to the mirrorless APS-C camera market. Released on 05/31/2022, it has an attractive price tag of $2500. This compact camera weighs just 660g, making it a convenient choice for photographers on the go.

The X-H2S is equipped with a 26-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. It’s paired with the X-Processor 5, enabling fast processing and shooting speeds. With a shooting speed of up to 40 frames per second, it’s a strong contender in today’s market.

The camera’s optics score is 77/100. This is due to its image stabilization and 3:2 aspect ratio. These features ensure steady, well-composed shots. The X-H2S also features a Fujifilm X lens mount, offering compatibility with a range of high-quality lenses.

The Fujifilm X-H2S excels in video capabilities. It offers 4K video resolution and a maximum frame rate of 60fps. This ensures high-quality, smooth motion capture. Also, it includes a built-in time-lapse functionality, adding versatility to its video capabilities.

The X-H2S boasts a 3-inch touchscreen and flip screen. These features enhance usability and convenience. Additionally, it offers Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity for easy image transfer and remote control.

The camera’s storage and battery score is 76/100. It supports both CFexpress Type B and SD cards, providing ample storage options. The NP-W235 battery delivers 580 shots per charge. This, along with the USB charging support, makes the X-H2S a reliable choice for modern photographers.

7. Fujifilm X-T4

  • Decent APS-C BSI-CMOS sensor
  • A great frame rate of 15 fps
  • 6.5 stops of image stabilization
  • 4K video (DCI or Ultra HD) up to 60 fps
  • A fully articulating rear touchscreen
  • 12 Film Simulation modes
  • Autofocus speed and accuracy depends on the lens and the subject
  • Unreliable face and eye detection
  • No external battery charger provided
  • Limited video recording time
  • No subject tracking in video mode

The Fujifilm X-T4 is a versatile APS-C camera. Launched in 2020, it still holds its own in today’s competitive market. This mirrorless camera is compact, lightweight, and packs a punch in terms of specifications.

At the heart of the X-T4 is a 26-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor. Paired with the powerful X-Processor 4, it delivers high-resolution images. It’s swift, too, offering a shooting speed of 20 frames per second. This makes it perfect for capturing fast-moving subjects.

The X-T4 shines in the video department. It not only records high-quality 4K footage but also supports a maximum video frame rate of 120fps. This allows for smooth slow-motion capture. And with built-in time-lapse functionality, creativity knows no bounds.

The camera’s 3-inch touchscreen display offers a clear view. It also features a flip screen, adding to its usability. Despite the lack of GPS, it compensates with WIFI and Bluetooth connectivity. This allows for easy transfer of images and remote control of the camera.

The X-T4 offers ample storage with two memory card slots. It accepts SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards. The battery life lasts for 500 shots, and the camera supports USB charging. This makes it a reliable choice for on-the-go photographers.

The Fujifilm X-T4 is a well-rounded APS-C camera. It combines high-quality imaging capabilities with advanced features. This makes it a strong contender in today’s camera market.

8. Sony a6600

  • Astonishing autofocus
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization reduces camera shake
  • Silent shooting
  • Terrific battery life
  • Small, lightweight camera
  • Slow buffer speeds
  • Controls feel cramped with large hands
  • Limited touchscreen controls
  • No pop-up flash
  • Rolling shutter recording video

The Sony a6600 is a mirrorless APS-C camera that packs a punch. Announced in August 2019, it’s compact and lightweight. Weighing only 503g, it’s easy to carry around.

Its optics score an impressive 76/100. The camera features a 24.2-megapixel sensor. This, along with an 11 fps shooting speed, enables high-resolution images of fast-moving subjects. The CMOS sensor and Bionz X processor ensure speedy, accurate image processing.

The APS-C sensor size offers a balance of image quality and portability. Plus, the Sony E lens mount is compatible with a wide range of lenses. Image stabilization is also included. This is especially useful in low light conditions or when using longer focal lengths.

The a6600’s video capabilities are exceptional. It scores a solid 91/100 in this department. It can capture 4K footage at 100fps. This results in smooth, dynamic action capture. The built-in time-lapse functionality offers creative options for videographers.

The camera’s features score 81/100. It has a 3-inch screen with a resolution of 921,600 dots. You also get built-in WIFI and Bluetooth. But it lacks GPS functionality.

Storage and battery get a score of 48/100. The a6600 has a single memory card slot and a battery life of 810 shots. It also supports USB charging.

The Sony a6600 is a strong contender in the APS-C camera market. Its blend of features and performance makes it a solid choice for both photographers and videographers.

9. Fujifilm X-H1

  • 24 MP image resolution from an APS-C sensor
  • Phase-detection AF with up to 325 focus points
  • Built-in image stabilization
  • 4K video recording and Full HD slow-motion options
  • Durable camera body with weather sealing
  • Slow 14 fps continuous shooting for a mirrorless camera
  • Small native ISO range
  • Rear touchscreen has limited range of movement
  • 4K video is cropped
  • Full battery only gives you 300 shots

The Fujifilm X-H1 is a mirrorless APS-C camera that packs a punch. With a general specifications score of 75/100, it holds its ground in today’s competitive market. It’s compact and lightweight, making it a reliable choice for photography enthusiasts.

The X-H1’s optics score is 71/100. It’s equipped with a 24-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor that delivers high-resolution images. Its shooting speed is 14 frames per second, perfect for action shots. The X-Processor Pro ensures efficient image processing. It’s a versatile camera suitable for various photography styles.

But the X-H1 shines in video performance too. It scores an impressive 83/100 in this area. It offers 4K resolution and a maximum video frame rate of 60fps, ensuring smooth, high-quality footage. Built-in time-lapse functionality is a bonus.

The X-H1 also scores 83/100 for its features. The 3-inch touchscreen with flip screen capabilities offers a clear display and easy navigation. It lacks GPS, but Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity make up for it. This enhances the sharing and transfer of images.

The storage and battery score is 68/100. The X-H1 has dual memory card slots for flexibility and supports USB charging. However, the battery life of 310 shots is relatively low. Despite this, the Fujifilm X-H1 remains a robust choice for photographers who value storage flexibility and convenience.

10. Nikon D500

  • Excellent low-light performance
  • 10 fps RAW burst with 200-image limit
  • Weather-sealed body
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • 4K video with ports for external sound recording
  • Low resolution for an APS-C Sensor
  • No advanced bird or animal AF
  • Slow AF in Live View
  • Heavy DSLR body

The Nikon D500 is a DSLR camera that holds up well, despite being launched in 2016. The sturdy build and high-performance specs make it a reliable option for photographers seeking an APS-C camera. With dimensions of 147 x 115 x 81mm and a weight of 1.90 lbs, it’s a solid choice.

The camera’s optics are impressive, scoring 69/100. It features a 20.9-megapixel sensor and a shooting speed of 10 frames per second. The Nikon F DX lens mount and APS-C sensor size provide compatibility with a wide range of lenses. But, the lack of image stabilization might be a drawback for some.

When it comes to video, the Nikon D500 is a competent performer. It offers 4K resolution and can capture footage at a maximum frame rate of 30fps. The built-in time-lapse functionality is a nice touch. Though not the most advanced, it’s reliable for high-quality video capture.

The D500’s features score an impressive 87/100. A 3.2-inch touchscreen with a high resolution and a flip screen enhances user experience. The camera’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enable seamless sharing and remote control. But, the absence of GPS could be a setback for some.

Lastly, the Nikon D500 has a strong storage and battery score of 79/100. It has two memory card slots and offers 1240 shots per charge. Although it lacks USB charging, the D500 remains a trustworthy choice for photographers.

11. Nikon Z50

  • A more affordable mirrorless option
  • Nice to handle and use
  • Relatively lightweight and not too bulky
  • Solid 4K video performance
  • 20.8 MP sensor resolution is lower than many close competitors
  • Poor battery life
  • Only one memory card slot
  • Limited native APS-C lenses

The Nikon Z50 is a mirrorless APS-C camera that packs a punch. Announced in October 2019, it sports a compact design. It only weighs 450g. Its portability makes it a competitive option for photographers on the move.

Its optics score is 72 out of 100. The Z50 boasts 21 megapixels and an 11 fps shooting speed. These specs are competitive in today’s market. The camera’s Expeed 6 processor enhances its performance. But, the lack of image stabilization might be a drawback for some.

The Z50’s video performance is impressive. It scores 91 out of 100. It supports a maximum video resolution of 4K and a frame rate of 120fps. These features make it an appealing choice for those seeking top-notch video performance.

It also boasts a feature score of 86 out of 100. It offers a 3.2-inch screen size and a resolution of 1,040,000 dots. The touchscreen and flip screen add to its user-friendly design. However, it lacks GPS functionality.

The Z50’s storage and battery features may not be its strongest selling point. It has a single memory card slot and a 320-shot battery life. This might fall short for professionals requiring extended shooting capabilities. Yet, its overall performance and features make the Nikon Z50 a strong contender in the APS-C camera market.

Our Verdict: The Best APS-Cameras

In conclusion, the 11 Best APS-C Cameras listed in this article offer you a wide range of options, each with its unique strengths and features, catering to varying photographic needs and preferences. With the Pentax K-3 Mark III leading the pack, closely followed by the mirrorless Canon EOS R7 and the Fujifilm X-H2, you are assured of high-quality performance and exceptional results.

However, this does not downplay the capabilities of the other eight cameras on the list. Whether you’re looking at mirrorless, DSLR, bridge, or compact cameras, each alternative offers impressive specs and high performance that can meet and perhaps even exceed your photographic expectations.

Remember, the best camera is not necessarily the one with the highest specs but the one that suits your style and needs the most. So, take your time in making your choice, considering your specific requirements and budget.

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Sony’s latest mirrorless cameras are known for their compact size and impressive image quality. Many are offered with kit lenses like the 16-50mm, which is a fine option for getting started. However, the E-mount lenses below offer superior optical performance and produce better images and videos, no matter whether you’re an amateur photographer or seasoned veteran. Keep in mind that Sony E-mount lenses have a crop factor of 1.5x, and you’ll often see us list the 35mm equivalent for reference. For more background information, see our Sony E-Mount lens comparison table and buying advice  below the picks.   

1.  Sony 35mm f/1.8 OSS ($423)

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Recent updates, all reviews, the 6 best mirrorless cameras - spring 2024 reviews.

Best Mirrorless Cameras

Mirrorless cameras have all but won the camera technology wars. For some, that may mean there's no better time to get a DSLR  as their prices drop. But if you want to enjoy the best that camera tech has to offer today—and tomorrow—getting a mirrorless camera is the way to go.

While we firmly believe that you don't need the latest or greatest camera to take good photos or enjoy photography—and we even think DSLRs can be some of the best cameras for beginners —mirrorless cameras have a few advantages. They're typically more portable than traditional DSLRs, feature precise and responsive autofocus systems, and have electronic viewfinders that let you preview your exposure in real-time. They've come a long way in a short period, with a constantly expanding market that caters to a range of budgets and experience levels.

The good news is you can't go wrong with any modern camera released within the past few years. We've bought over 100 cameras and tested them in our lab to help you narrow down your options. Below, you'll find our top mirrorless camera recommendations for most people. If you're specifically looking for a full-frame model, check out the  best full-frame mirrorless cameras we've tested instead. Alternatively, if you're buying your first camera, you might also want to look at our  top mirrorless cameras for beginners  or the best budget mirrorless cameras  we've tested.

Best Mirrorless Camera

Canon EOS R6 Mark II Design Photo

The Canon EOS R6 Mark II is the best mirrorless camera we've tested. This enthusiast-level hybrid camera can handle a wide range of photography and video work, whether you're a hobbyist or a pro. It's fitted with a high-resolution full-frame sensor with plenty of dynamic range and good low-light performance, not to mention in-body image stabilization (IBIS) for steadier handheld shooting. Plus, a highly effective autofocus system and burst shooting at up to 40 fps with its e-shutter make it a great fit for faster subjects like sports. On top of that, it has advanced video features like 10-bit 4:2:2 4k recording at up to 60 fps without a crop.

The biggest downside here is that Canon is still building out its RF lens lineup, and third-party options are not yet available. If you'd prefer to invest in a more established lens ecosystem, the Sony α7 IV is a no-brainer alternative. It's very evenly matched with the R6 Mark II, with a slightly higher-resolution sensor and an AF system that's just as reliable. However, it has a slower max burst rate, particularly when shooting uncompressed RAW files, and can only record 4k 60 fps video with a heavy crop. But we're really splitting hairs here. Either of these cameras will suit you well, depending on your ergonomic and lens preferences.

See our review

Best Mirrorless Camera For Video

Panasonic LUMIX S5 II Design Photo

The Panasonic LUMIX S5 II is one of the best mirrorless cameras for video work, thanks to high-end video specs like internal 10-bit 4:2:2 color and support for a wide range of recording formats. The original Panasonic LUMIX S5 still offers incredible value for its price, so it's a great alternative if you need to save some money, but the S5 II improves upon the formula with a new phase-detection AF system that offers quicker and smoother autofocusing for those that need it.

The camera also has a fantastic IBIS system and a full-frame sensor well-suited to shooting in less controlled lighting situations. The Panasonic LUMIX GH6 offers some extra features for even more advanced filmmaking, like internal ProRes codecs. It's part of the Micro Four Thirds system, so there's also a wider range of affordable lens options. However, the S5 II's cheaper price, larger sensor, and overall feature set make it a fantastic option for the money.

Best APS-C Mirrorless Camera

Fujifilm X-T5 Design Photo

If you prefer the portability and smaller lenses offered by the APS-C format, the Fujifilm X-T5 is the best enthusiast-oriented APS-C camera. It has one of the highest-resolution crop sensors on the market, with a 40.2-megapixel resolution that captures stunning detail and gives you more leeway to crop your images. The camera's relatively portable design, tilting screen, and dedicated exposure dials are great for street photographers and make it easy to change settings on the fly. It also boasts impressive video features, like 10-bit internal recording and 4k capture at up to 60 fps.

Another fantastic crop sensor camera is the X-T5's flagship sibling, the Fujifilm X-H2S . It's a more expensive camera, so the X-T5 is a better deal for most shooters, but the pro-centric design of the X-H2S and its stacked sensor make it a great fit for high-level action photography and video work. It has slightly better internal recording specs, including support for ProRes formats, and suffers much less rolling shutter distortion. However, the X-T5 is a bit cheaper and more portable.

Best Mid-Range Mirrorless Camera

Sony α6700 Design Photo

The Sony α6700 is the best mid-range model we've tested. It's an impressive upgrade from Sony's older APS-C cameras like the Sony α6600 , with a new sensor and processor and a new AI-driven autofocus system—in fact, it's one of the most effective AF systems on the market. The camera is also relatively portable, has IBIS, and includes some fairly advanced video features, including 4k at 120 fps (albeit with a significant crop) and internal 10-bit 4:2:2 recording.

Another great choice in this price range is the Fujifilm X-S20 . Its autofocus system isn't quite as reliable as the Sony's, and it can't record 4k video at 120 fps. However, it's still a very impressive hybrid camera, with 4k 60 fps recording. Unlike the Sony camera, it even supports open gate 6.2k video capability and RAW video output to an external recorder. Those who prefer a more hands-off approach to editing will also love Fuji's JPEG colors and film simulation profiles, but the Sony model's extensive lens options and ultra-reliable AF make it a better overall pick.

Best Entry-Level Mirrorless Camera

Canon EOS R10 Design Photo

The Canon EOS R10 is one of the best entry-level cameras you can buy. If you're looking for a well-rounded model that's accessible enough for newcomers but still offers more advanced features, this camera nails that balance. It has great ergonomics, an intuitive user interface, and a highly effective autofocus system, plus quick burst shooting and excellent image quality for its class. Vloggers and video shooters can take advantage of 4k recording at up to 60 fps (with a crop), as well as a dedicated high frame rate mode for slow-motion recording at up to 120 fps in 1080p.

The Fujifilm X-S10 is another great choice that sits around the same price point. Unlike the R10, it features IBIS, which can help smooth out camera shake when shooting handheld. The X mount also has a more established lens lineup than Canon's RF mount. That said, the Canon has a significantly better autofocus system and more frame rate options.

Best Budget Mirrorless Camera

Canon EOS R50 Design Photo

If you're on a tighter budget, the Canon EOS R50 is one of the best bang-for-your-buck mirrorless cameras you can get brand new. Sitting below the Canon EOS R10 , this is a great entryway into "serious" photography for those who've never used a camera. It has a highly portable body that makes it easy to grab and go, along with dead-simple controls and a range of intuitive, creative shooting modes for beginner photographers. Plus, its APS-C sensor captures excellent-quality images, and it has a highly effective autofocus system and good video specs for the price.

Lens options for Canon's RF mount are still limited, but on the upside, the camera is compatible with both APS-C and full-frame RF lenses, which makes it easier to upgrade to a full-frame body down the line if you want to. If you'd like a more compact camera kit with more lens options, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a great alternative with a Micro Four Thirds sensor. However, its autofocus system isn't as reliable, and its ergonomics are somewhat lacking.

  • Canon EOS R7: The Canon EOS R7 is a fantastic mid-range camera and a great fit for sports and wildlife photography, with better ergonomics and faster burst shooting than the Sony α6700. However, it's also a bit pricier and has fewer lens options overall. See our review
  • Fujifilm X-H2: The Fujifilm X-H2 is an incredible APS-C camera with the same high-resolution sensor as the Fujifilm X-T5. It offers more advanced video capabilities, including 8k recording, but it's pricier and less portable. See our review
  • Nikon Z 6II: The Nikon Z 6II is a well-rounded hybrid camera with a full-frame sensor. It boasts excellent ergonomics and quick burst shooting, but it lags behind cameras like the Canon EOS R6 Mark II when it comes to video capabilities. See our review
  • Nikon Z f: The Nikon Z f is a full-frame camera with a vintage-inspired design. It captures excellent image quality and has a very reliable autofocus system. However, its internal video recording capabilities fall a bit behind the Canon EOS R6 Mark II, and its ergonomics can take some getting used to. See our review
  • OM SYSTEM OM-1 Mark II: The OM SYSTEM OM-1 Mark II is one of the best Micro Four Thirds cameras we've tested. It's a great choice if you need something more rugged and portable than the Canon EOS R6 Mark II. However, it isn't as well-rounded for video work and has less advanced internal recording capabilities. See our review

May 29, 2024: We touched up the article throughout for clarity of text.

Apr 30, 2024: We replaced the OM SYSTEM OM-1 with the OM SYSTEM OM-1 Mark II as a Notable Mention. We also re-ordered the picks slightly so that similarly-priced products are closer together.

Apr 02, 2024: We've replaced the Sony α7 IV with the Canon EOS R6 Mark II as the best overall pick since the Canon is on sale at the time of writing and offers a few small advantages over the Sony. We also renamed the Fujifilm X-T5 to 'Best APS-C Mirrorless Camera' to better reflect its market position and added both the Nikon Z 6II and Nikon Z f to the Notable Mentions.

Mar 04, 2024: We've reviewed the article to ensure that the picks and text are up to date.

Feb 08, 2024: Replaced the Fujifilm X-H2S with the Panasonic LUMIX S5 II as the top video pick because of the value it offers for its price. Also replaced the Fujifilm X-S10 with the Canon EOS R10 as the entry-level pick since it has a more beginner-friendly design and better overall video specs.

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability (no cameras that are difficult to find or almost out of stock in the U.S.).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our reviews for interchangeable-lens mirrorless cameras. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There is no single perfect camera. Personal taste, preference, and shooting habits will matter more in your selection.

How to shoot your best-ever travel photos! N-Photo 164 on sale today

The July 2024 issue hits the newsstands on 6 June – let's take a peek inside the only mag for Nikon nuts…

N-Photo 164

Have you ever come back from a far-flung destination, only to be disappointed to discover your memory card is full of so-so holiday snaps? We’ve enlisted the advice of travel pro Steve Davey, who shows you how to get under the skin of a location to capture the ‘sense of a place’ and show the side that you don’t see in the holiday brochures. 

Our apprentice stays closer to home, exploring the West Country to capture bluebell woods, rapeseed fields, stately homes and ancient monuments, under the instruction of landscape pro Mark Bauer. 

Emma Dunham tells how she transformed her career from taking portraits of people to foodie photos in the N-Photo interview. Plus Motorsports supremo Jon Nicholson shares a lifetime of images of capturing everything on four wheels, from banger-racing to Formula 1.

We take a super-close look at eight of the best macro lenses for F- and Z-mount Nikon s, to help you take larger-than-life shots of everyday items. And we also check  out Nikon’s stunning new superzoom, with its gargantuan 28-400mm focal length range. 

We have our usual mix of practical shooting and editing projects, including how to shoot road bike racing, get close-ups of bees, capture the excitement of a football match, and take sporty portraits with a stroboscopic effect, as well as mastering Affinity Photo’s HSL tool and adding a misty effect to scenes in Photoshop CC.

N-Photo 164

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