You’ve chosen you bag, shoes, and packable jacket but you’re still not sure what’s the best travel camera to take on your trip. You’ve entered….

“The Great Camera Dilemma!” 

Depending on your level of skill, this can be a very daunting task. You’re investing so much time and money into your venture so you want to be sure you capture all of the magical moments.  Since most people don’t have Scrooge Mcduck as their uncle, price is one of the biggest factors. To help you make a decision, we’ve broken our selections down into 3 levels, Jetsetter, Traveler, and Backpacker, high, medium, and low cost respectively.

First decision Mirrorless vs DSLR

Previously, if you wanted to upgrade from you point-and-shoot travel camera the only option was SLR or single-lens reflex camera.  Now with new technology, numerous mirrorless cameras are available. What is a mirrorless camera? “Compact system cameras (CSC) are often referred to as mirrorless because, unlike single lens reflex (SLR) cameras they don’t have a mirror to bounce light from the lens up into a pentaprism (or pentamirror) viewfinder.” – This allows Mirrorless cameras to be much lighter and more compact than a DSLR.  While one type of camera isn’t necessarily better than the other, it just depends on what you plan to do with it.

Mirrorless Cameras

  • Light weight
  • Compact
  • Better at Video
  • Limited Lens Selection
  • Shorter Battery Life

The smallest, best travel camera on our list is a mirrorless camera.  The greatest benefit of mirrorless cameras is there size.  If you’re an amateur photographer looking to upgrade your point-and-shoot, mirrorless cameras are one of the best travel camera options.  I know several backpackers who swear by the mirrorless cameras I recommend below. Just be sure to charge it each night. Learn more about mirrorless camera setups here.

DSLR Cameras

DSLR Camera Cannon EOS 60D
  • Great in Low light
  • Plenty of lens and accessory options
  • Long Battery Life
  • Bulkier
  • Not as good shooting video

DSLR cameras are and will continue to be the number one option for best travel camera if you want the best quality photographs.  DSLRs offer the most lens options and bodies to choose from but that is changing quickly as manufacturers of mirrorless cameras design new lenses.  If you want to have more control over your photographs, then DSLR is the way to go.  I travel with a DSLR, and while it takes up a little more space than a mirrorless, I like the lens options I have to chose from. Maybe in a few years when mirrorless cameras have more lenses to choose from I may look to switch, but until then I’m sticking with my Nikon.

Mirrorless Cameras

For Jetsetters

Best travel camera - Fuji x-t1

Fuji X-T1

Light, compact, fast, and 2015 Reddot award winner! This costs more than most backpackers are willing to spend, but if you’re looking for one of the best travel cameras, the Fujifilm X-T1 is one of the best.

Price $1,449

Buy it here

For Travelers

Best travel camera - Olympus OM-D

Olympus OM-D

Perfect travel camera for beginners.  This has multiple lenses available and built in wi-fi for easy transfer.  The built in wifi is great for uploading pictures quickly to social media.  I recently purchased a 6s Plus iPhone and now I do almost 50% of my photo editing on it using Adobe software.

Price $1,299

Buy it here

For Backpackers

Best travel camera - Sony A6000

Sony A6000

One of the smallest and lightest cameras on our list for the best travel camera.  This Sony A6000 is dust proof, splash proof, & freeze proof. It’s a super fast camera, & DP review – readers choice award

Price $598

Buy it here

DSLR Cameras

For Jetsetters

Best travel camera - Cannon EOS 5D mark III

Cannon EOS 5D Mark III

Full frame sensor, Beginning level professional camera, 1080p video recording capabilities

Price $3,099

Buy it here

For Travelers

Best travel camera - Cannon EOS 5D mark III

Cannon EOS 60D

Fold out display screen, setting display on top, Reader Choice award 11 years in a row!

Price $939

Buy it here

For Backpackers

Best travel camera - Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200

Easy to use, Great for beginners learning a DSLR but still has the flexibility to control your shots like a professional

Price $446

Buy it here