April 19, 2024

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11 Best Travel Cameras, According to Experts and Amateurs Alike (2024)

3 min read

If you’re debating whether to spring for one of the best travel cameras before an upcoming trip, consider this: Yes, a smartphone is perfectly capable of serving the average traveler’s photography goals, but a dedicated camera is required for capturing high-quality memories. The wide angle lens of a smartphone camera can only take its images so far; in spite of technology’s advancements over the years, its zoom feature still degrades photo quality, making them too grainy—in our opinion—to be worth taking. When it comes to travel photography, many of us want to get close and fill the frame with exciting faraway shots like skylines and canyons. A good travel camera also allows the photographer to shoot exciting, fleeting scenes from their trips, like bicycles blurring through a charming street, low-light landscapes like a starry sky, or a city strip flashing with neon lights. Lastly, we’ll leave you with this: In an era when we’re glued to our phones every minute of the day, documenting a trip with a camera allows us to be present in the here and now, and actually connect with the place we’ve traveled so far to experience.

To guide your search for the perfect new device, we’ve tapped experts, editors, and frequent travelers to weigh in on their most-loved cameras. Below, 11 travel cameras to consider bringing on your next adventure.


Find the best travel cameras:


For taking your interest to the next level

Larry Guo, a Brooklyn-based reader who studied fine art photography as an undergraduate, loves Fujifilm’s ecosystem of cameras when it comes to taking travel photos. His particular camera of choice is the Fujifilm xT10, a mirrorless digital camera that is significantly more lightweight and portable than a DSLR. “You have all of the abilities of a raw digital camera, but it’s less bulky,” Guo says.

Guo’s recent travels have taken him and his partner Rob to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and throughout Japan. His partner, who has an affinity for landscape photography, uses the Fujifilm XT3, which is a more semi-professional model.

“[Rob] really likes the process of coming home and editing. He enjoys landscape photography, so he brought an extra lens. He took really beautiful shots in Puerto Vallarta of the mist. In Japan, he took beautiful photos all over the place. We had them printed at Griffin Editions in Gowanus [Brooklyn].”

Pallavi Kumar, Condé Nast Traveler’s senior visuals director, is loyal to Fujifilm as well. “Fuji’s image quality and colors are unmatched,” Kumar says. “Sony is supposedly advanced, but Fuji’s image quality is something else.” She shoots with the Fujifilm x100V.

Guo added that he has heard terrific things about the point-and-shoot cameras by Ricoh. These high-end point-and-shoots make snapping high-caliber photos on the move easy and seamless, requiring little to no steps before hitting the shutter. “It’s a really well-made point-and-shoot,” he says. “There’s no interchanging lenses. And for most people, that’s really what you need. Most people don’t want to travel with multiple lenses.”

Image may contain: Camera, Electronics, and Digital Camera
Image may contain: Camera, Electronics, and Digital Camera
Image may contain: Camera, Digital Camera, and Electronics
Image may contain: Camera, Digital Camera, and Electronics

For capturing video footage

Filmmaker and writer Leslye Davis—who is a co-director of the documentary Father Soldier Son and has worked as a visual journalist at the New York Times—has been taking a camcorder with her on her personal travels. “It keeps me off my cell phone and it makes it easier to keep track of footage but also to edit while you shoot, so it’s fun to watch the shots back-to-back,” she says. For photos, she’s been shooting with the Canon R6. “It’s light and has a silent shutter and the images are high-res.”

Image may contain: Camera, Electronics, Video Camera, Computer Hardware, Hardware, Monitor, and Screen

Sony FDR-AX700 4K camcorder

Image may contain: Camera, Digital Camera, Electronics, and Video Camera

For emulating the experts

National Geographic underwater wildlife photographer Cristina Mittenmeier previously told Traveler that she shoots with a Sony a7R III. Given the subject matter she captures, she uses it for its extraordinarily high-resolution images and low-light capabilities.

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