2017 Edition 5 Best Travel Cameras – Make Better Photos

The best travel camera depends on the type of traveller. Do you travel light like a nun or pack everything but your PlayStation? It also depends if you want to photograph the milky way (you’ll need a tripod also for this) or capture underwater action. There’s no one-size-fits-all, but cameras come with several features that can improve your travel photography lifestyle.

5 Best Travel Cameras

1. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
2. Sony Alpha α6000 E-mount
3. Canon EOS 6D DSLR Full-Frame
4. GoPro Hero 5 Black
5. Samsung Galaxy S7 Front and Rear Cameras

Remember, sometimes the best camera is the one you have and could be your phone.

1. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II travel camera

16.MP MOS micro four-thirds sensor, weatherproof, built-in image stabilization, built-in Wi-FI

The OM-D E-M5 Mark II is Olympus’ flagship mirrorless camera. It has built-in, 5-axis image stabilization technology. This allows image stabilization regardless of the lens. The ultrasonic dust-reduction system allows you to change lens in dusty conditions without worrying about debris ruining the image sensor.

Pros: weatherproof, internal intervalometer (time-lapse), lightweight (469 g), RAW

Cons: battery life, no 4K video, noisy high-ISO images

2. Sony α6000 E-mount

Sony Alpha a6000 camera

24MP APS-C Exmor APS HD CMOS Sensor, BIONZ X image processor, built-in Wi-Fi, fast autofocus

The Sony Alpha α6000 is considered an advanced amateur camera by Sony. Its BIONZ X image processing engine reduces noise and corrects the texture and detail in an image. These saves time with post-processing or skip post and upload the photos directly to social media. It has an APS-C sensor (larger than Olympus’ Mark II micro four-thirds) which is pretty good for a low-cost camera.

Pros: 24MP APS-C Exmor sensor, fast autofocus, upload to social from camera, RAW

Cons: limited amounts of lenses, not weather-resistant, battery life

3. Canon EOS 6D DSLR Full-Frame

Canon 6D full-frame camera

20MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor, DIGIC 5+ image processor built-in Wi-Fi and GPS

The 6D is Canon’s entry-level professional camera. It has a 20MP full-frame CMOS sensor and a DIGIC 5+ image processor to capture vivid travel photos. The 6D has built-in HDR function for those who don’t want to post-process but still want the quality of high dynamic range.  It comes with GPS for tracking photos taken in remote locations.

Pros:  built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, RAW, full-frame sensor, wide range of lenses

Cons: size and weight, no built-in flash, questionable weather-resistant quality

4. GoPro Hero 5 Black

taking photo underwater if GoPro 5 black during travel

RAW, 12MP, waterproof, 4k video

GoPro is more popular for videos than photos. There previous versions didn’t yield high-quality photos until the release of the GoPro 5 Black.  The newest version allows 12 MP RAW capture (wide-angle only) which produces higher quality images after post-production. The most attractive feature of the GoPro 5 is its ruggedness and waterproof feature. It now takes HDR images. The GoPro is still the king of selfies.

Pros: durable (better with housing), RAW, 4k video, voice control

Cons: no image stabilization, distortion (correct it with Lightroom), no zoom

5. Samsung Galaxy S7 Front and Rear Cameras

Samsung Galaxy S7 cameras

12MP rear camera, 5MP front camera, water-resistant, image stabilization

Many people already have a camera: their camera phones. The Galaxy S7 is a water and dust resistant phone that takes great low-light photos because of its F1.7 aperture lens and larger 1.4 µm larger pixels on its Sony IMX260 sensor. The rear camera is 12 MP while the front is 5 MP. The S7 is better than the iPhone at taking wide-angle selfies (no selfie stick required). Using a camera phone is the faster way to share photos online.

Pros: compact, water-resistant, use it for just about anything, front and rear cameras

Cons: small image sensor, image quality and sharpness not as great as semi-pro cameras

Mirrorless Camera Systems and Travel Photography

Mirrorless, interchangeable-lens cameras are receiving a lot of attention for travel photography. As the name indicates, the body doesn’t have a mirror. This allows mirrorless cameras to have the same features and qualities of a DSLR camera minus the size and weight. Many travel photographers find the extra weight of a DSLR uncomfortable and prefer mirrorless. It’s also easier to hide a mirrorless camera from prying eyes.