The 5-Best Cameras for Travel/Vacation Photography

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Vacationing and photo-taking go hand-in-hand. Many of us bring our main photography gear with us while vacationing while many more of us prefer to use our phone camera. Either way, we’re taking pictures.

Personally, I’ve come to realize that using something in-between often works best. For those of us that use DSLR’s, lugging around all that weight while vacationing can be burdensome. At the same time, only relying on our phone for photography, may not give us the quality we expect.

A couple years ago, I began taking my vacation photos with a relatively (for me) stripped down mirrorless system and have been quite satisfied with the results. In this article, I talk about the five cameras that I feel work out great for travel/vacation photography. To make my list, the camera had to satisfy the following:

1.) The camera and lens must be relatively compact.

I mentioned already that lugging around a full size DSLR is not an enjoyable experience while vacationing so the first requirement a camera needed to make this list was that it be light and relatively compact. Because of that requirement, this list only contains mirrorless cameras.

2.) The camera, with lens, had to cost less than $1500.00 (U.S.).

Many of us are invested heavily in a system already. If you’re currently invested in a mirrorless system, you probably don’t need to change much in order to take your camera on vacation since most mirrorless systems are relatively compact. If not, you probably don’t want to spend a lot of cash on a system that will mainly be used when on vacation so I selected cameras that cost $1500.00 or less for this list.

3.) The camera must shoot 4K video.

Although I don’t take much video while on vacation, many people do, so I added 4K video to my requirement list.

Without further ado, here is our list,

priced low to high


Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II with 14-42 EZ Lens

$699.00

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Micro Four Thirds | Megapixels: 16.1MP | Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds | Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,037,000 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic | Max burst speed: 8.6fps | Max video resolution: 4K |

This camera has a great combination of still photography and video at a great price.


LUMIX G85 4K with Lumix G Lens, 25MM, F1.7 ASPH

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: Micro Four Thirds | Megapixels: 16MP | Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds | Screen: 3-inch free-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic | Continuous shooting speed: 9fps | Max video resolution: 4K |

$1,045.98 

Personally I prefer a zoom lens for my travel photography but if you’re mainly taking landscape images, this combo will work out great.


Fujifilm X-T20 w/XF18-55mm F2.8-4.0 R LM OIS Lens

$1,199.00

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.3MP | Lens mount: Fuji X | Screen: 3-inch tilting touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic | Continuous shooting speed: 8fps | Max video resolution: 4K |

Very light with great picture quality.


Sony a6500 with 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 Lens

$1,498.00

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.2MP | Lens mount: Sony E | Monitor: XGA OLED viewfinder, 2.36million dots | Continuous shooting speed: 11fps | Viewfinder: Electronic | Max video resolution: 4K |

Cutting edge technology with great image quality.


Fujifilm X-T2 with 18-55mm F2.8-4.0 R LM OIS Lens

$1499.00

Type: Mirrorless | Sensor: APS-C | Megapixels: 24.3MP | Lens mount: Fuji X | Screen: 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 1,040,000 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic | Continuous shooting speed: 8fps (up to 14fps) | Max video resolution: 4K |

Great build with a lot of features.


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