The 9 best cameras for travel

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What’s the best camera for travelling and taking great photos? What’s the best choice? Here’s a quick comparison of 9 cameras!

Travelers have always had the problem of having to choose between a camera that’s small enough not to be bulky, and one that offers good image quality.

Today, the question no longer arises: compact cameras now have optical zooms that rival those used by professionals, while digital SLR cameras are smaller and lighter.

But with so many cameras to choose from, how do you decide which one is right for you? We investigated to find out what photo-loving travelers should look for in a camera, and which ones to consider.

Appareil Photo pour voyager

To do this, you need to take into account 6 important characteristics:

the size of the lens sensor: along with the number of megapixels, this dictates overall image quality as well as the camera’s performance in low light, for example inside churches, at night markets or at twilight outdoors.

camera portability: it’s important that the camera is neither too heavy nor too big.

zoom and shutter speed (time during which the shutter opens).

viewfinder or LCD screen? If you’re traveling to a sunny destination, cameras with viewfinders are best. An LCD screen can be difficult to read in direct sunlight.

battery life: this is very important. A battery that can take 400 photos a day should be enough. If not, take a « spare » battery.

Wi-Fi and GPS options: be careful, these are not superfluous options. GPS lets you identify the place where you’re taking the photo, and Wi-Fi lets you store your photos on Dropbox or Facebook in the meantime. So you don’t lose any photos (in the event of loss or theft).

So without further ado, here are our Top 9 travel-friendly cameras:

Best wildlife and sports camera

Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR

Fujifilm Finepix HS50EXR

Fnac (€379.90)

Priceminister (299,90€)

Amazon (316€)

This is a super-zoom (bridge) camera with a zoom that can zoom up to 42x and shoot in burst mode at 11 frames per second. So you can shoot on safari or capture a bull run, for example.

A comfortable manual grip reduces camera shake even when the lens is at maximum zoom.

Portability: Although the camera has the shape and style of a DSLR, it’s much lighter. There’s no need for extra lenses (and your camera bag will be less bulky, too).

Zoom: The 16-megapixel lens and 42x zoom are ideal for long-distance photography.

Image quality: Despite a small 1/2″ sensor, photos with little light are decent thanks to a larger-than-average aperture

Viewfinder: The electronic viewfinder is larger than most cameras, allowing comfortable framing of an animal, even in bright sunlight

Wifi: Yes

GPS: Yes

Best waterproof camera

Olympus Tough TG-2

Olympus Tough TG-2

Fnac (€355.90)

Priceminister (404,50€)

Amazon (365€)

If you’re heading for the sea, snow or mountains, you’ll need a compact camera designed to withstand extreme conditions.

The TG-2 is a pocket-sized device with a rugged exterior that is waterproof to 15 meters, resistant to 100 kilos and frostproof to -10°C.

Portability: Less than 3 cm wide, it fits easily into a wetsuit or diving suit pocket.

Zoom: The 12-megapixel lens can zoom up to 4X, and supports Olympus Fisheye and Teleconverter lenses for a wider range of shots.

Image quality: Auto « low light » mode produces good clarity and color in a variety of situations, including low-light conditions.

Viewfinder: No

Wifi: No, but you can synchronize and send photos to your smartphone

GPS: Yes

Best budget camera

Panasonic TZ40

Panasonic TZ40

Fnac (246,86€)

Priceminister (200€)

Amazon (236€)

A compact camera with one of the longest optical zooms on the market, the TZ40 also features a large lens for beautiful landscape shots and detailed photos even from a distance.

In burst mode, it can take up to 10 images per second.

A fully manual mode makes it a good choice for experienced photographers.

Portability: Lightweight and pocket-sized, 2.8cm wide

Zoom: This is a camera with an impressive 20x optical zoom.

Image quality: Although the sensor isn’t large, it produces good photos in daylight, and the 18-megapixel lens delivers high-clarity photos across its focal range.

Viewfinder: No, photos can only be viewed on the LCD screen

Wifi: Yes

GPS: Yes

Best second camera

Fujifilm Finepix F900 EXR

Fujifilm Finepix F900 EXR

Fnac (€288.90)

Priceminister (175€)

Amazon (219,95€)

DSLR photographers will appreciate this pocket-sized camera that shoots in RAW, the file format that contains minimally transformed image data, allowing full editing with photo software.

Automatic modes are complemented by a full manual mode.

Portability: With dimensions of 3.6 x 10.5 x 6.1 cm and a weight of 232g, it will easily fit in your pocket.

Zoom: 20x optical zoom for long-distance photography with macro lens works like a charm.

Image quality: The 16.1-megapixel lens features a Fuji-exclusive 0.5-inch sensor optimized for low-light conditions. Burst mode shoots at 10 fps.

Viewfinder: No

Wifi: Yes

GPS: Yes

Best compact camera

Sony Cybershot RX100 II

Sony Cybershot RX100 II

Fnac (569.90€)

Priceminister (478,17€)

Amazon (489€)

Image quality is often sacrificed for portability in a compact camera, but the Cybershot RX100 II is one of the best of a new trend: compact cameras with larger sensors.

It’s aimed at photographers who already own a DSLR and want the same photo quality in a pocket camera.

Portability: At 3.83cm wide, it’s a little bulkier than other compacts, but well worth the extra image quality.

Zoom: The lens zooms in at up to 3.6x, making it one of the weaker candidates if long-distance shooting is required.

Image quality: The one-inch sensor on the 20-megapixel lens is excellent in low light. Images can be taken in RAW format for greater editing flexibility.

Viewfinder: No, but a tilting LCD screen allows you to avoid direct sunlight, and you can buy an extension viewfinder

Wifi: Yes, with mobile app for connection to smartphones

GPS: Yes

Best camera for beginners

Nikon S9500

Nikon S9500

Fnac (284.80€)

Priceminister (327,36€)

Amazon (365€)

With no manual modes, but a full range of automatic modes, the S9500 is a good choice for novice photographers looking for a Wi-Fi camera and a powerful zoom.

Built-in filters let you add Instagram-style colors to photos, and you can even set a 4-second shutter speed by choosing the « fireworks » mode.

Portability: ultra-thin and pocket-sized, 3.3 cm thick and just 207 g

Zoom: zooms in up to 22x and supports close-ups up to one centimeter away

Image quality: the 18-megapixel lens does a good job in the various auto day and night modes, while a panorama mode offers easy wide-angle shots

Viewfinder: No

Wifi: Yes

GPS: Yes

Best portable DSLR camera

Nikon D3200

Nikon D3200

Fnac (€355.90)

Priceminister (404,50€)

Amazon (457€)

Still among the smallest and lightest DSLR cameras available, more than a year after its launch, the Nikon D3200 is an entry-level camera that comes with a guide to help beginner DSLR users.

If you intend to print your travel photos, then quality is more important than portability, and this camera is a reasonably priced first step and ideal for the journey into the world of DSLRs.

Portability: It won’t fit in your pocket or small handbag, but at just under half a kilo, it won’t weigh you down too much either. The additional lenses, however, will weigh you down.

Zoom: The basic lens zooms in at 3x. So you may want an extra lens

Image quality: With a 24.2-megapixel lens and good autofocus, shots are extremely clear, with well-defined colors.

Viewfinder: Yes

Wifi: Yes, and it supports a mobile adapter for pairing with Android smartphones

GPS: Yes

The best all-round cameras

Panasonic GX7

Panasonic GX7

Fnac (€749.90)

Priceminister (645.33€)

If you’re considering a DSLR for the superior image quality, but are put off by the size, a hybrid camera like the Panasonic GX7 is worth checking out.

It’s a little heavier than a compact, but has a larger sensor than DSLRs.

A silent mode is ideal for keeping things discreet, while a thick manual grip lends more stability if additional lenses change the center of gravity.

Portability: Weighing just 360g, the GX7 offers a huge array of features in a body that can be easily slung over the shoulder.

Zoom: Basic lens zooms in at 3x

Image quality: 16-megapixel lens gives good detail and color

Viewfinder: Yes, with up to 90-degree tilt so you can get a glimpse from difficult angles

Wifi: Yes, with NFC (near field communication) for synchronization with Android phones and other NFC devices

GPS: Yes

Sony Alpha 7

Sony Alpha 7

Fnac (€1279.98)

Priceminister (1267,20€)

Amazon (1105€)

Here’s another recently released hybrid camera that officially has the largest sensor on the market. This one is larger than the sensors on high-end DSLR cameras. However, it weighs 400g.

This makes it an excellent choice for those already using a DSLR and needing a smaller camera for travel, or an enthusiast looking to upgrade to an interchangeable lens camera.

Portability: Just under 5 cm thick, the Alpha 7 isn’t pocket-sized, but its shape is good-looking and the thick side handle makes it easy to shoot one-handed on the side of a boat, for example.

Zoom: The supplied 3x zoom is a slight extra, and is dust- and water-resistant.

Image quality: The 24.3-megapixel lens features a full-frame sensor that captures every detail and offers excellent color rendition, in low light and daylight alike

Viewfinder: Yes, an electronic viewfinder

Wifi: Yes, with NFC (Near Field Communication) for synchronization with Android phones and other NFC-enabled devices

GPS: Yes

Why shouldn’t you use your smartphone for photography?

It’s true that below €230-240, smartphone cameras rival ordinary cameras. But for cameras costing over €250, you’ll see a clear difference.

What about you? Which device do you use when you travel?