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Best Compact Camera for Travel in 2020 | Point and Shoot Great Pictures

A great travel camera is small, lightweight, and versatile – everything you need to capture great pictures. Point-and-shoot cameras are the smallest and most cost-effective cameras, making them ideal for taking along on your next adventure.

But, with so many cameras available on the market, you may find yourself struggling to pick one. In the guide below we roundup our picks for best travel cameras.

Why are Point-and-Shoot Cameras ideal for Travel?

When you are exploring a new area, the last thing you want is a bulky camera hindering your ability to capture the moment. Point-and-shoot cameras are easy to put in your pocket or bag. They have been developed into great little cameras in recent years, with many offering panorama modes, built-in Wi-Fi, great video capturing, and larger image sensors. They are also economical and easy to replace on the road.

What Makes a Great Travel Camera?

In theory, a good camera should be a trustworthy travel partner. However, there are a few features that you should look out for that make the ideal travel camera. These features include:

Portable and Small

One of the essential features of a travel camera is its compact form which allows it to be easily portable. Point-and-shoot cameras are known for their small size which allows them to be slipped into your pocket with ease. For traveling, the smaller the camera is, the better for you.

Versatile

Taking photos on the go requires snapping images in varying circumstances, and often unexpectedly. Because of this, you want a wide zoom range with decent aperture. This means that your camera can take a great picture no matter if it is dim or bright. Also, check that it has decent video capabilities, so you can shoot a few short videos of the things you experience.

Discreet

When traveling, tourists are often targets. This is mainly because they carry most of their valuables on their person. In cities, it may be dangerous and uncomfortable to take and use a large camera. Having something that can fit in your pocket and not draw unnecessary attention to you is essential when on the road. Point-and-shoots are often also not recognized by common thieves, as they usually are eyeing the larger, more expensive DSLR cameras.

Durable

Based on the traveling you do, you may want a weather resistant camera. Rugged models, which are point-and-shoot cameras in a casing, as their sensors are small and you are paying more for the protective housing than you are for a good camera. With reasonable care, proper storage, and not shooting in dusty or rainy conditions, your point-and-shoot camera will be just fine.

Good Resolution

This should be the most important factor you consider when purchasing a compact travel camera. When it comes down to it, the purpose of a camera is to capture the beautiful moments along the way. If your camera has sub-par resolution, your travel photos won’t be great. If you plan on posting your pictures online to share with your friends and family, or on a blog, any of the cameras on this list will work perfectly. Of course, with small point-and-shoot cameras, you can’t expect the same quality images as a full DSLR with a top quality lens. But for general travel purposes, any point-and-shoot camera that is 16 megapixels or more will work well.

Reviewing the Best Camera for Travel

#1: Fujifilm X100F 24.3 MP APS-C

At a glance:

  • Megapixels: 24.3
  • Weight: 468 grams
  • Sensor: 368 mm2
  • Zoom: 35 mm prime (no zoom)

The Fujifilm X100F’s predecessor, the X100T was a firm favorite in the photography world, but the X100F is even more exciting. This camera is Fujifilm’s new (2017) premier compact point-and-shoot camera, and a brilliant option for travel photography.
This camera has the power of a Fujifilm mirrorless camera, but at a fraction of the size. The large APS-C image sensor is very impressive, and is over three times bigger than the Sony RX100, the Canon G9 X, and the Lumix FZ1000. It also has plenty of megapixels to give a great shot, good autofocus, a decent battery life, and fast continuous shooting.

While its sensor leaves little to be desired, many are put off by the fixed lens. The 35 mm focal length gives you excellent image quality, but you don’t have the flexibility of a zoom lens. If you like a fixed focal lens, and don’t mind moving closer to get a good image, this camera is ideal. It can rival a DSLR or mirrorless camera, and is a favorite amongst enthusiasts and professionals alike.

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Pros

  • Sleek design and very high quality build
  • Takes excellent pictures
  • Large APS-C image sensor
  • Impressive battery life (longer than many of it’s competitors)
  • Good autofocus which many love

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a thumb rest which some prefer

#2: Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 4K Point and Shoot Camera

At a glance:

  • Megapixels: 20.1
  • Weight: 831 grams
  • Sensor: 116 mm2
  • Zoom: 25 – 400 mm

If you want the versatility of a mirrorless or DSLR camera without having to carry around loads of equipment or worrying about switching between various lenses, a superzoom camera is ideal. The Lumix FZ1000 has a large 1” CMOS image sensor, similar to the Canon G9 X above and the Sony RX100 below, but the Lumix has a brilliant 25 – 400 mm zoom.

It also has a reasonably speedy f/2.8 – 4 lens, and it takes 4K video – perfect for those moments when a picture just isn’t enough.

Compared to other point-and-shoot cameras, the Lumix FZ1000 is big and heavy, but you can’t match its convenience. It is a proper all-in-one camera that offers more reach than the typical point-and-shoot camera. It larger size and higher price need to be considered, but the versatility offered is unmatched.

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Pros

  • Really long 25 – 400 mm zoom
  • Easy to use
  • Takes 4K video
  • All in one solution

Cons

  • A little bit heavier than others on the list

#3: Ricoh GR II Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD


At a glance:

  • Megapixels: 16.2
  • Weight: 221 grams
  • Sensor: 328 mm2
  • Zoom: 28 mm prime (no zoom)

This camera is a great point-and-shoot for travel photography. First, you need to know that this camera has a fixed lens, which means it has no zoom at all. Instead, you get a large APS-C image sensor – this is the same sensor that is found in mirrorless cameras and full DSLRs – but is still three times smaller than a DSLR. That means there’s a lot of images packed into this small camera.

Many people are put off by the fixed 28 mm lens, but it is a good focal length for travel shots and landscapes, and if you need to zoom, you can simply move closer to the object. The sensor and the fast lens make up for the fixed lens (if you see it as a problem), and the small size and price will have you enjoying the camera from the start of your trip to the end.

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Pros

  • Large APS-C image sensor
  • Fast autofocus
  • Sharp lens
  • Wide prime lens captures great pictures

Cons

  • Fixed lens not for everyone
  • Controls are a bit cramped

#4: Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II Compact Digital Camera


At a glance:

    • Megapixels: 20.2
    • Weight: 207 grams
    • Sensor: 116 mm2
    • Zoom: 28 – 84 mm

When Canon came out with their G-series, they brought a new edge to the market. While the G9 X mark II isn’t as fancy as some of the other Canon’s, and it has less zoom and a slower lens than the more famous G7 X mark II, it is great value for money and has everything you need for travel photographs.

The G9 X has the same 1” CMOS image sensor as the G7 X, but it starts up faster – ensuring you can catch every moment, is slimmer and lighter, and is less expensive.

The Canon G9 X has great touchscreen functionality, and the built-in Wi-Fi makes transferring your photos and videos quick and easy. The manual focus means you can personalize your style, especially if you have experience with photography.

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Pros

  • Good touchscreen functionality
  • Lightweight so it’s easy to carry around
  • Fast startup allowing you to turn on and shoot quickly
  • Excellent image quality

Cons

  • Weaker in low light

#5: Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V 20.1 MP Digital Still Camera


At a glance:

  • Megapixels: 20.1
  • Weight: 301 grams
  • Sensor: 116 mm2
  • Zoom: 24 – 70 mm

The Sony RX100 V is the result of the continued success of the RX100 series. It is the fifth version in the series, and is best, but also the most expensive. It offers 4K video shooting, a fast 24 frames per second (fps) burst rate, and a notable autofocus with 315-point phase detection.

This camera is considered one of the best cameras for travel due to its pop-up electronic viewfinder, the fast lens, and its compact size.
Unfortunately, the price tag of the RX100 V lets the camera down. For the same price, you can get a mirrorless or DSLR camera with decent lenses. But, if you are willing to spend the money, you will get a great camera in a small body.

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Pros

  • Small and discreet
  • Phase detection autofocus
  • Takes 4K video
  • Electronic viewfinder

Cons

  • No touchscreen

Final Thoughts

When traveling, you are naturally going to want to take pictures to share with your family and friends. Your smartphone probably won’t be adequate, so you need a small point-and-shoot camera that you can easily carry with you.

While all of the cameras on our list are great additions to any adventure, our overall favorite is the Fujifilm X100F. For its smaller size, you get the power of a full DSLR. This means you get amazing pictures without having to worry about lenses and other settings.