12 Best Compact Cameras for Travel

Get pro shots while traveling light with these small and powerful cameras.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
August 05, 2019

For many, photography is an exciting part of travel. And as impressive as phone cameras are, they have their limitations. Dedicated cameras allow photographers to up their game creatively and capture scenes that would challenge other devices. Many of the following compact cameras have a range of optics that allow for capturing wide scenes or zooming in tight for portraits and distant subjects. Some of these cameras are probably smaller and tougher than most cell phones while still delivering incredible images. Larger sensors are better for low-light situations and capturing detail for cropping images or making prints. More controls mean more creative input. Images can be quickly transferred to phones for editing and posting, making your phone and camera a complete system for sharing your travels online. Depending on your needs, any one of these cameras would make a trusty companion on your next adventure and help share your vision with the world.

Sony's RX100 line has been a long-time top travel camera choice, and its RX100VI continues that trend with its one-inch, 24-megapixel sensor, 24-200mm (equivalent) Zeiss lens, lightning-fast auto-focus tracking, a shooting speed of 24 frames per second and 4k video recording. A pop-up viewfinder complements its tilt screen for precise framing. This all fits into a body that weighs 11 ounces and measures four inches long.

BUY IT: BHPhotoVideo, $1,198

From GoPro

The same attributes that make the GoPro 7 Black an extreme-sport go-to also make it perfect for travel. Its small size fits anywhere, and its unassuming profile lets you capture quiet moments without drawing attention. The touch screen makes operation easy, and the 7 Black will respond to voice commands, making selfies a breeze. It's built to take a beating and even works underwater without a special housing to 33 feet. Thanks to its HyperSmooth electronic image stabilization, the GoPro 7 Black captures up to 4k video that's super stable even when walking, and it can take an external mic for superior sound quality. Its 1/2.3-inch sensor produces 12mp photos that provide plenty of resolution for social media and comfortably prints up to 11x14. Its wide lens has an angle of view up to 149.2 degrees, perfect for tight interiors, tall buildings and sweeping vistas.

BUY IT: BHPhotoVideo, $399.99

Sometimes called a GoPro competitor because of its similar size, the Sony RX0 II is in a class of its own. Its one-inch sensor size delivers exceptional 20mp still images and 4k videos, and its screen flips for low-angle shots and easy selfies. Its metal body is shock-tested to 6.5-feet, and it's waterproof to 33 feet without special housing. Image stabilization keeps videos steady and photos sharp.

BUY IT: BHPhotoVideo, $698

From Ricoh

Share what you see in a 360-degree scrollable image or video, or create a still "tiny Earth" photo with the Ricoh Theta V. Two 180-degree lenses capture everything around you, and mics bring directional audio recording to your videos. Quickly get yourself in the picture, or use the tripod socket to capture the scene sans people.

BUY IT: BHPhotoVideo, $376.93

From Canon

Canon's new Powershot G7 X Mark III has a one-inch, 20.1-megapixel CMOS sensor behind an f/1.8-2.8, 24mm to 100mm-equivalent zoom lens with a nine-blade aperture, meaning you'll get great photos in low light. Its screen rotates 180 degrees and is touch-sensitive for smooth operation. Video records at 1080p in MP4 and built-in Wi-Fi makes sharing images a snap.

BUY IT: Canon, $649.99

From Canon

With interchangeable lenses and an APS-C sensor, the Canon EOS M6 packs the power of full-sized DLSR into a travel-sized package that weighs less than a pound. Its large sensor makes for superior low-light photography, and its 24-megapixel files ensure detailed images. The screen is touch-sensitive and tilts for creative angles. The EOS M6 comes with the 15-45mm zoom lens, and a range of other EF-M lenses are available.

BUY IT: Canon, $599.99

The Ricoh GR III is a street-shooter favorite featuring a tack-sharp f/2.8, 28mm lens (35mm equivalent) and an APS-C sensor in a slim body that slips into your pocket. It 24.2-megapixel images are detailed up to ISO 102400, making this a low-light favorite. Combined with its three-axis shake reduction, it's capable of producing professional-quality photos under demanding conditions with a form and fit perfect for travel.

BUY IT: BHPhotoVideo, $899.95

With its compact size and range of Sony E-mount lenses to choose from, the Sony a6500 is perfect for travel photography ranging from street to safari. Its APS-C sensor produces 24.2-megapixel images, and the camera body weighs just a pound and measures less than five inches across. It shoots a blistering 11 frames per second, and it boasts the fastest focus speed currently on the market, making it a great choice for animals and action. Its five-axis image stabilization helps make sharp images even with larger lenses. Sold with the Sony 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, it accepts all Sony E-mount lenses and adapters.

BUY IT: BHPhotoVideo, $1,598

Leica made the original travel camera and continues that legacy with its D-Lux 7. As stylish as it is compact, it has a built-in 24-75mm lens (35mm equivalent), a Four Thirds sensor that produces 17-megapixel images. It also records 4k video and has a touch screen.

BUY IT: BHPhotoVideo, $1,195

From Olympus

The Olympus Pen F harkens back to the original Pen F of the 1960s with its retro styling, leather accents and solid metal construction. But it’s fully modern with a horizontal flip-out screen, Four Thirds sensor creating 20.3-megapixel images and 81-point selectable auto-focus. The Pen F also has a unique 50-megapixel high resolution mode that combines images of a scene to make a huge, detailed-rich file (you’ll want to use a tripod). The Creative Control dial allows you to mirror the look of several types of film, including black-and-white. It accepts a large range of M.Zuiko-mount lenses for any type of travel.

BUY IT: Olympus, $999.99

Weighing just 10 ounces and measuring 4.4-inches across, the Fujifilm X10 disappears into a pocket until you need it. Its large APS-C, 24-megapixel sensor produces rich images, and its 28mm (equivalent), f/2.8 lens is perfect for many low-light travel situations. Its big brother, the venerable X100F, incorporates an optical viewfinder and award-winning retro styling.

BUY IT: BHPhotoVideo, $449

Sporting a Leica lens with a 24-360mm 35mm equivalency, the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS200 packs a one-inch, 20-megapixel sensor in a body weighing 12 ounces and measuring 4.37-inches in length. Its three-inch screen is touch-sensitive, and the camera has a top frame rate of 10 images per second. Five-axis image stabilization keeps images sharp.

BUY IT: BHPhotoVideo, $797.99

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