If you’re in the market for a lightweight travel camera, there are so many different options you can get, depending on the type of traveling you’re going to do. If you plan on taking plenty of candid shots around town, you’ll need a large sensor and a decent zoom. However, if you’re planning a more rugged trip, you need a more resistant camera.
Regardless of what your needs are, the best travel camera must be lightweight and durable. These days you get so many features in small travel cameras. There are different sensor systems, lenses, and focal lengths. It can become a bit overwhelming having to pick between these options. However, there’s no need to worry this article will cover everything you need to know about lightweight travel cameras.
1. Panasonic Lumix ZS200
Panasonic is well known for its compact camera brilliance. The body of the Panasonic Lumix ZS200 is the same size as you find in their traditional ZS series. However, the newer variant has a much larger sensor. The larger sensor provides it with a significant upgrade in image quality.
You get 20.1MP for the money you pay, and you also get 4K recording. Additionally, Panasonic gives you a 15x zoom feature that helps capture distant subjects with ease. When you look at the camera overall, its main advantage and disadvantage become evident. Its larger sensor allows it to capture an image of much higher quality while the zoom lets it down when compared to other cameras.
2. Canon PowerShot G5X Mark II
You typically associate Canon with high-quality DSLR cameras. However, it would be foolish of you to write off their series of compact cameras. The Canon G5X Mark II has everything the travel photographer would need.
In comparison to other cameras, the G5X Mark II offers a vast aperture range. What this wide aperture does is allow it to take much better photographs in low light. If you’re a fan of nighttime photography, this camera will be your constant companion. The Mark II has a very flexible focal length as well. It also provides you with the ability to take 4K videos at will.
3. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III
If you’re more a heavy-duty travel photographer, then this entry, in particular, will interest you. The size isn’t particularly massive, but it’s not as compact as you’d expect. However, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III offering from Olympus is well worth the investment. It covers all photographic needs that you could expect from a lightweight travel camera. You get a 20.4MP four-thirds sensor with changeable lenses.
The camera has a brilliant processor that offers holiday photographers everything they need. You get to use the touchscreen monitor to help you sift through modes and images quickly.
This camera offers you a level of image stabilization that others in the same bracket can’t match. However, one of the caveats of the camera is the low light performance. You’ll notice a significant drop in quality once conditions get darker. On the upside, you have a brilliant 4K video recording. So, if you’re into making vlogs, this camera will definitely play the part.
4. Fujifilm X-T30 (Overall Winner)
If you’re looking for a camera that’ll make heads turn, then surely check the Fujifilm X-T30 out. It is an absolutely gorgeous looking camera. Not only the design, but the build quality is exceptional as well. It’s one of those cameras that feels lovely to use. It makes use of Fujifilm’s APS-C, 26.1 MP sensor.
Unlike other cameras on the list, you get to have fun with Fuji’s X-mount lens system. These are a diverse set of lenses that Fuji offers with its X-series camera. You’ll be spoiled for choice with different lenses you can choose from. Additionally, you also get 4K recording at 30fps.
The camera can be a little fiddly to use, and there’s no automatic image stabilization. However, once you get the hang of things, this can be an advantageous camera.
5. Sony RX100 VII Cyber-Shot
Sony has been known for their brilliant compact offerings. The original RX100 was a revolutionary lightweight travel camera. It was the first pocket camera to offer a 1-inch sensor. However, one of the caveats has been their limited zoom offering.
That’s certainly not the case with VII edition of the camera. It has a brilliant zoom lens now. However, it currently doesn’t have the same extensive aperture value as before. It may not be ideal for low light shooting, though if you’re shooting mostly in the day, you have nothing to worry about.
Photographers also get a bunch of fun modes to use. There’s a 90fps burst mode as well as 4k recording. One major inconvenience you’ll find with the camera is its very average battery life. It won’t last you the whole day, and that’s super important while you’re traveling.
6. Nikon Z50
The Nikon Z50 is an entry point for those looking to get into the world of DSLR photography. However, it’s compact and lightweight, which makes it an excellent travel camera. One of the standout features of this camera is the button layout. It’s satisfying to use and user-friendly as well.
You also get a great screen that can flip underneath the body. This, in combination with the 21MP APS-C CMOS sensor, can let you take unbelievable selfies. One thing you have to take into consideration is the lack of native lenses. Nikon doesn’t have a lot of lens offerings for the Z50’s DX-format. You can expect this to grow larger with time.
7. Canon PowerShot SX740 HS
Sometimes, you don’t have a massive budget to spend on a travel camera. That doesn’t mean you have to skip out on quality. The Canon PowerShot SX740 HS is a very competent all-round travel camera, with one very brilliant feature.
You get a sensor that offers 20.3MP. The camera manages to provide images with decent quality. However, there’s not a lot you can adjust. You also don’t get a viewfinder or an LCD touchscreen.
What you do get is a massive zoom range. The camera is a great companion if you’re going on a safari. So, if you’re in the market for a compact camera with a great zoom, you won’t find much better than the SX740.
8. Panasonic G95
If you’re looking for a flexible lightweight travel camera, then the Panasonic G95 is perhaps the perfect choice for you. It uses a four-thirds sensor and has a resolution of 20.3MP. The advantage of a four-thirds sensor is the wide variety of lenses available in the market. You can get whatever lens suits your needs the most.
The G95 also offers some of the best video quality among the list. If you’re into making videos, then this camera is perfect. It has a stunning design and decent build quality. When you’re using the camera, it feels great in your hands. The only major disadvantage is the slightly small sensor. However, the right lenses can help you work around that.
If flexibility is your primary concern, then the Panasonic G95 is perfect for you. It offers comprehensive performance along with a diverse range of lenses.
9. Olympus Tough TG-5 (Budget Winner)
For the extreme travel enthusiast, a delicate lightweight camera simply will not work. Sometimes the conditions themselves will be too much for other cameras. The Olympus Tough TG-5, on the other hand, is up to any challenge.
The camera has a waterproof, shockproof, and freeze-proof design. However, it’s not just a brawler. Inside its compact body is a brilliant sensor that offers 12MP resolution but produces excellent images. It also offers 4K video recording and the ability to take pictures in RAW format.
If you’re into extreme adventures, then you’re going to need a reliable companion. The Tough TG-5 is ultra-durable and offers very decent performance.
Final Words On Lightweight Travel Cameras
This list comprehensively covers several different types of lightweight travel cameras. Regardless of the nature of your trip, there’s a camera out there for anyone. Each one has its own advantages and disadvantages.
What’s important to consider is what your needs are. Additionally, you must also pay attention to your photographic skills. Some cameras on the list are for the casual photographer and others for more hardcore users. Choose the camera that suits your needs best!