Best Digital Cameras for Travel in 2022

Dorian Smith-Garcia Profile image

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Updated July 15, 2022

When shopping for the best digital camera for travel, there are two core features to look for — excellent image capture quality and a lightweight camera body that won’t weigh you down. While compact or point-and-shoot cameras are the obvious choice if traveling light is your priority, they don’t always offer as many robust photography features as larger body cameras like DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

For this reason, you need to consider what type of images or travel video you plan to shoot (unless you’re considering a camcorder over a camera), as this will directly impact the kind of camera you select. Similarly, if you’re the type who wants to bring additional camera accessories with you, such as a few lenses or even a mini tripod, you’ll need to factor that extra weight into your overall plans.

Keep reading our guide on the best travel camera to learn more. Just starting your search for the best digital camera? Check out our comprehensive guide to help fine-tune your shopping experience.

Top Digital Cameras for Travel

 #1  Lincom Tech 40MP Digital Camera

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: This camera has a portable, lightweight design, allowing users to easily carry the device on long journeys. It has a 40-megapixel sensor and Full HD recording abilities, capturing high-quality pictures and footage.

Pros
  • Remarkably portable design
  • Stylish appearance
  • Excellent photo and video quality
Cons
  • Disappointing zoom function

The Lincom Tech 40MP camera has a multifunction design that is ideal for travel. This camera has an adorable pink and white color scheme that appeals to kids and adults. We like the camera’s anti-shake function which helps prevent image distortion. This camera has a powerful sensor, producing very natural pictures. With a Full HD video sensor, this device is good for recording videos. However, the zoom function on this camera produces pixelated images and videos.

This Lincom Tech 40MP camera comes with a 32GB microSD slot to accommodate photos and videos. A large 2.4-inch TFT screen allows users to preview photos accurately and change settings conveniently. The camera boasts a macro function, letting users capture images that are as close as 10 cm to the lens. We love the lightweight construction of this model, which easily fits into a leading digital camera bag for taking camping excursions and foreign trips.

 #2  Wowgo X8 12MP Digital Camera

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: This camera has an adorable design that will especially appeal to children. The device has a long-lasting battery that enables taking photos at events like picnics and camping trips.

Pros
  • Adorable design
  • 32GB SD card
  • Decent battery life
Cons
  • Mediocre photo quality

The Wowgo X8 12MP digital camera stands out because of its adorable appearance that appeals to children. This camera has an intuitive design that’s easy to use. With a 12MP sensor, the device produces decent photos. It also records Full HD video, allowing families to capture memorable moments at home and on the go. This camera comes with a 32GB TF card for storing videos and photos. However, this camera is not suitable for taking large photos that are intended for framing.

This Wowgo X8 12MP digital camera has a 30 fps continuous shooting function that is suited to capturing images of nature, wildlife, and valuable family moments. It features 12 funny stickers and four different fun effects, transforming photos in real-time. A built-in 1000 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery captures photos for up to 3 hours without needing recharging. The camera comes with a USB cable, simplifying charging when traveling in other countries. It’s compact and lightweight for easy transport.

 #3  Huenlyel 18MP Digital Camera

Award: BEST FOR CHILDREN

WHY WE LIKE IT: This camera has a good photo sensor that delivers vibrant, colorful photographs. It has an attractive bold look that will appeal to children and adults alike.

Pros
  • Excellent photo quality
  • Vibrant design
  • Advanced functions
Cons
  • Lacks SD card
  • Disappointing 8x digital zoom feature

The Huenlyel 18MP digital camera features a vibrant color scheme that will add glitz to any gear bag. This digital camera has a 2.7-inch TFT LCD to enable previewing photos and adjusting settings easily. A built-in flashlight improves visibility in low-light conditions. This camera also captures videos, delivering footage of up to 720P. The camera has several shooting modes to enable easy customization. An anti-shake function delivers distortion-free photos. However, although this camera has a card slot, it comes without an SD card.

This Huenlyel 18MP digital camera has an 8x digital zoom function for capturing images from afar. It delivers natural-looking, colorful photographs. The camera has a face and smile detection functions to deliver epic group shots and portraits. Featuring a continuous shooting function, this device is suitable for family photos and pictures of wildlife and nature. This camera also has a self-timer with settings of 2 to 10 seconds to enable hands-free operation.

 #4  Funshion YinFun Tech 30MP Digital Camera

Award: BEST FOR DIVERS

WHY WE LIKE IT: Featuring a water-resistant design, this device is the camera of choice for divers and swimmers. The device has a powerful 30-megapixel sensor for taking frame-worthy photos.

Pros
  • Incredibly detailed photos
  • Waterproof design
  • Compact profile
Cons
  • Relatively low battery life

People who regularly capture pictures from a distance will be pleased with the zoom feature on the Funshion Yinfun Tech 30MP digital camera. This digital camera zooms up to 16X, delivering convenience and good performance. The camera has a waterproof design, so users can capture photos at a depth of up to 10 feet underwater for up to 1 hour at a time. However, the included 650 mAh lithium-ion battery provides a low battery life.

With a 30-megapixel sensor, this camera captures incredibly detailed photos that can be printed in a large size. This Funshion Yinfun Tech 30MP digital camera also records detailed videos at resolutions of up to 1080p. It has a 2.7-inch screen that offers accurate previews. The camera has a delay timer with settings of up to 10 seconds to enable all family members to appear in landmark group photos. This camera has a flash for capturing photos in low-light conditions.

 #5  Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 18.1MP Digital Camera

Award: BEST FOR PROFESSIONALS

WHY WE LIKE IT: This Panasonic camera has an advanced lens, viewfinder, and UHD video capture abilities, delivering professional-grade photographs and videos. The camera is suitable for advanced users who need high-quality media.

Pros
  • Outstanding video capture abilities
  • 60x optical zoom
  • Specialty low-light settings
Cons
  • The camera is heavy

The Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 18.1MP digital camera is an advanced model ideal for semi-professional and expert users. This camera has an 18.1-megapixel sensor, delivering detailed images with vibrant colors. It is Wi-Fi-enabled, allowing users to transfer photos and videos to computers easily. Featuring an excellent video sensor, this camera captures footage of up to 4K, so it is a good choice for people who are interested in taking professional-grade videos. However, this camera is heavy and takes up a good amount of space.

This Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 18.1MP digital camera has a high-res viewfinder and 3-inch 1,170K dot LCD display, providing DSLR-quality previews. A Low Light Capture function lets users shoot low-gain photos in low-light conditions. It has micro HDMI, MicroUSB, and USB 2.0 ports for hassle-free connection to computers, mobile devices, and display devices. An included DC Vario lens zooms images up to 60X and has Optical Image Stabilization, delivering epic photos.

 #6  GoPro HERO6 Black 12MP Digital Camera

Award: BEST FOR OUTDOOR SPORTS

WHY WE LIKE IT: This camera has a rugged, waterproof design that’s ideal for action sports and recording in water. It’s also incredibly lightweight, enabling simple transportation.

Pros
  • Outstanding rugged construction
  • 4K video recording
  • Waterproof design
Cons
  • Mediocre battery life

Users with an active lifestyle will appreciate the features of the GoPro HERO6 Black 12MP digital camera. This device has a decent camera sensor, capturing high-quality, natural-looking photos. However, it’s the video recording features of this camera that stand out, and the device captures 4K video at frame rates of up to 60 fps. It has an advanced image stabilization system that is suitable for recording steady videos on fast-moving vehicles and when engaged in active sports. However, it has low battery life.

This GoPro HERO6 Black 12MP digital camera has a 2-inch display to assist in framing shots. It supports 5GHz Wi-Fi, making easy work of transferring photos and videos between the camera and compatible devices. The camera is waterproof up to a depth of 33 feet, enabling users to document under-want excursions in detail. The camera works with the QuikStories able to touch up photos and videos for effortless post-processing. Featuring a rugged casing, this device withstands rough handling.

Beginner’s Guide to Digital Cameras for Travel

What are Digital Cameras for Travel?

A digital camera for travel, like the Akaso V50 Pro, is a relative term, as everyone’s idea of “travel-friendly” will vary. For example, someone who’s only a casual photographer and does group travel photos on vacations or special events may feel that a point-and-shoot camera with its compact size and an LCD screen or electronic viewfinder is more than sufficient to meet their needs.

Conversely, a professional photographer hoping to capture high-quality images, such as crisp nature shots or practice long exposure shots of city streets, may find that a mirrorless or DSLR camera is better suited to their needs.

However, when people generally speak about digital cameras that are ideal for traveling, they’re usually speaking of lighter and smaller camera bodies. This is ideal as you can carry your camera around while you’re out sightseeing without the added weight you would experience with a heavier camera.

For this reason, compact cameras tend to be a fan favorite for this specific photography category. But keep in mind that you can find travel-friendly options within the three major camera categories — point-and-shoot, mirrorless, and DSLR.

Digital Cameras for Travel vs Other Digital Cameras

The biggest differentiator between a travel-friendly digital camera and other models is the weight and the size. Typically, the idea of a product being ideal for travel usually means that it’s smaller and lighter. And in the case of cameras, this means that you can either slip it into a pocket (as with compact cameras) store it in a backpack, or tote it without taking up too much space.

Aside from physical dimensions and weight, digital cameras for travel are indistinguishable from other cameras. You can find travel-friendly cameras that have long-zoom and excellent image quality without sacrificing weight.

Similarly, you can opt for a camera that offers a simplistic interface that is easy for you to manage. And as with any other camera category, travel-friendly digital cameras come in a range of price points. But when you get back from your travels, the best digital camera docking stations can make uploading images to your computer easier.

How Digital Cameras for Travel Work

Digital cameras for travel function the same as their non-travel-friendly counterparts. If you have a compact camera, you will most likely have a streamlined interface. But depending on the included functionality, you might have access to a long-zoom range, manual controls, aperture, wireless support, HD or 4K video capability, and a high megapixel rating.

While you might not have the ability to use additional lenses and some features, such as manual control and aperture, might be slightly limited, you’ll still get a robust camera that can support a wide array of photography goals. However, keep in mind that the more functionality you get with a camera, the more expensive it will be.

DSLR and mirrorless cameras will usually provide most of the above attributes but with more fine-tuned control. For example, you’re not solely limited to the zoom support for the built-in camera lens. You have the option to bring additional lenses to extend your shooting capabilities — although this will mean traveling with more weight. Similarly, you’ll usually have better aperture controls and stabilization, as well as the potential to shoot in RAW format.

Why You Should Buy a Digital Camera for Travel

If you’re the type who needs to capture every little detail when you’re traveling, then a good digital camera should be in your arsenal. However, there are plenty of other reasons why picking a lightweight camera can make sense.

Are Digital Cameras for Travel Worth Buying?

  • You Want a Pocket-friendly Camera: If your travels include extended periods of walking such as with street photography, you’ll want to lighten your load as much as possible. Cameras with compact bodies can be a great solution and are usually designed to fit in your pocket.
  • You Want Better Image Quality: For many people, smartphones have replaced traditional cameras. But for as great as they are, they can’t always capture sharp images with as much precision and color accuracy as a traditional camera.
  • You’re Focused on Advanced Photography: If you’re hoping to try a wide range of advanced photography tricks like long exposure and time-lapse, these aren’t always possible with lesser cameras or smartphones.

Why Digital Cameras for Travel May Not Be for You

  • You’re Not Concerned About Weight: If you’re okay using a heavier camera because it meets your needs, you might see shifting to a lighter camera as a downgrade.
  • You’re Fine with Your Smartphone: Similarly, if you feel like you shoot excellent quality pictures with your smartphone, you might feel like the added cost of buying a stand-alone camera is unwarranted.
  • You Don’t Take Many Pictures or Don’t Travel: Maybe you don’t travel that often, or you’re not much of a shutterbug. Whichever reason applies, you might feel like there’s no point in purchasing a camera.

How Long Will Digital Cameras for Travel Last?

Digital cameras have a varied lifespan, and that timeline depends on the type of camera you purchase. If you buy a DSLR or mirrorless camera, you might hear the terms “shutter actuation” or “shutter count” frequently used. Whichever term you prefer, both refer to the actual number of pictures the mechanical shutter on a camera can take before physical fatigue sets in and the shutter breaks.

This figure tends to be more important for DSLR cameras versus mirrorless cameras, as mirrorless cameras also incorporate a digital shutter. That means that you can choose to use the digital shutter, thereby bypassing the mechanical shutter and extending your camera’s lifespan. Shutter counts can vary widely across brands and even within models from one brand. Typically, you’ll get a range anywhere from 50,000 to over 500,000, with better brands offering higher shutter counts.

However, for most people, shutter count isn’t going to be an issue unless you’re buying a camera secondhand. If you’re purchasing a secondhand camera, you should ask for the shutter count to determine whether you’re getting a deal or a lemon.

With compact cameras, shutter count isn’t a factor. In most cases, brands don’t bother to list a shutter count for these types of cameras. Anecdotally, many people have had compact cameras that lasted for years. Typically, if you take care of a compact camera, it will last quite a while. You may find that you’re ready to upgrade to a new model before your camera outlives its usefulness.

How to Choose the Best Digital Camera for Travel

At a minimum, if you’re shopping for a digital camera to take with you on your travels, you’ll want something lightweight that doesn’t add to your load, especially if you’re going to be on foot for extended periods. But other factors, like your shooting style and photography goals, will be important determinants for picking the right camera.

Digital Cameras for Travel Key Factors to Consider

1. What size camera do you want?

We can’t stress enough that “lightweight” is a relative term. Some people may find that a compact camera is too limiting, and they’re willing to upgrade to a mirrorless camera that is typically lighter than a traditional DSLR. Think about your travel plans, whether you’ll be doing more walking than riding, and whether you’re trying to travel light with no bags or are okay with taking a day bag with you.

2. What are your photography goals?

Similar to the lightweight factor, think about your photography goals. If you’re simply trying to capture images quickly, you might be fine with a basic compact camera. But if you’re trying to catch specialized shots or like the idea of tinkering with settings, you may find that upgrading to a premium compact camera, DSLR, or mirrorless camera is a better option.

3. What features are available?

Again, this factor is going to depend on your comfort level with cameras. Some people may prefer a streamlined camera with a simple interface and basic controls. But if you want to control functions like aperture, stabilization, or full manual control support, you’ll find that you need to upgrade to either a higher-end compact DSLR or mirrorless camera. Similarly, some cameras can also be the best digital cameras for video, thanks to HD or 4K video support.

4. Do you want to use accessories?

Depending on the camera accessories you want to bring on your trip, you may find that you’re naturally pushed in the direction of mirrorless or DSLR cameras. This is especially true if you want an interchangeable-lens camera, a feature that’s not supported by compact cameras. However, other accessories like tripods or camera straps tend to be more universal.

5. What’s your budget?

Budget shouldn’t be the only factor guiding your purchasing decision, but it does matter. As a general guide, enhanced functionality usually goes hand-in-hand with a more expensive camera — even for compact models.

6. Do you want wireless sharing support?

This is a feature that you can find on all three camera styles. But the type of wireless sharing support can vary. In most cases, your option will be wireless, Bluetooth, or even NFC. Consider which option you’re most comfortable with and look for cameras that feature that platform. Always check to make sure you’re getting the finest digital camera with WiFi, so it doesn’t fail during uploads to the cloud.

7. Is the camera weatherproof?

As a general rule, water and technology don’t mix. So, if you’re planning to use your camera outdoors, you need to think about whether the camera you want is weatherproof. Typically, DSLR cameras tend to offer the best weatherproofing protection from dust, water, and general grime.

Even if you pick a camera that doesn’t have a high rating against dust, wind, or water, you can protect your investment by picking up a waterproof camera bag and avoiding leaving your camera exposed to the elements when it’s not in use.

Digital Cameras for Travel FAQs

Why should I pick a compact camera for travel photography?

The biggest benefit to picking a compact camera is that they’re incredibly lightweight and take up minimal space. In some instances, they can even fit in your pocket, which means you don’t have to carry extra bags with you. Compact cameras usually have interfaces that are easier to use, even for novices. Likewise, they tend to be cheaper than their DSLR and mirrorless siblings.

What should I look for when buying a mirrorless camera for travel photography?

Specifically, you’ll want to pay attention to the sensor size. Typically, the larger the sensor, the better lighting you’ll achieve in your pictures. Also, think about lens compatibility. In general, mirrorless cameras tend to support interchangeable lenses, but this can still be limited to your camera brand. Don’t forget to consider the aperture ratings, general controls, ease of use for the interface, the focus system, and if it supports wireless connectivity.

How much do you have to spend on a travel camera?

This is going to depend on a variety of factors. First, think about your budget, as this will ultimately dictate what you can or can’t afford. Next, think about your photography goals. Are you hoping to capture more complex images such as time-lapse or long exposure? Or, do you want a long-zoom lens that can capture images at farther distances? The more robust functionality a camera offers, the more you should expect to spend. And finally, consider how durable the camera is. Some cameras are designed to brave the elements for extended periods, while others shouldn’t be.

Do I have to use a compact camera for travel photography?

No, you don’t. Compact cameras are a popular choice because, by default, they’re lightweight and small, taking up minimal space in your travel bag. But some people may feel like compact cameras don’t offer enough features to support their photography goals. In that case, a smaller DSLR or mirrorless camera may be a better choice.
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