Most smartphone cameras aren't ideal for long-range shots and carrying a bulky DSLR is just too much of a hassle. In the age of minimalism, everyone aims to travel light and keep things flexible.
And, when you go on a vacation, do you click a million photos with your smartphone in the hopes that at least one will be profile picture worthy? Yeah, we've all been there.
This is why we've come up with a list of the best cameras that can give you the range of a DSLR without the weight. A truly effective compact camera can prove to be a true blessing!
- Check out our guide to the best compact cameras.
This is what makes the 'travel camera' genre so popular. These are compact cameras, barely larger than a regular point-and-shoot model, but with massive 20x or 30x zoom lenses. You get the portability of a regular camera, but with so much more scope for shooting different kinds of subjects.
You're not going to get the same kind of quality you'd get from a DSLR or a mirrorless camera because the only way to make cameras with big zooms small enough to go in a pocket is to use a smaller sensor. But the picture quality is still pretty good, and perfect for sharing with friends and family.
If you're not sure this is the kind of camera you need, check our step by step guide: What camera should I buy?
Otherwise, keep reading, because here's our list of the top compact travel cameras you can buy right now.
- Maybe you want a DSLR after all but don't want to empty your bank account while doing it? You should have a look at the best DSLR cameras under Rs.50,000.
Nikon Coolpix W300
Rugged waterproof camera with 4K video recording capability
Sensor: 1/2.3-inch, 16MP | Lens: 24-120mm, f/2.8-4.9 | Monitor: 3.0-inch, 921,000 dots | Viewfinder: No | Continuous shooting: 7fps | Movies: 4K UHD | User level: Beginner/intermediate
The Nikon Coolpix W300 is made for those who love capturing adventurous moments as they happen. Though the GoPro series already exists in the market, the W300 has more access to features found on a conventional digital camera.
It's rugged and waterproof, replacing the older Coolpix AW130, but very little is different in terms of technical specifications. It's worth pointing out, that this camera will survive in depths of up to 100 ft and can withstand a drop from 7.9 ft. In addition to also being dust proof, it's freeze proof to -10 degrees Celsius.
Another thing that's different is that It also has a SnapBridge feature that allows users to easily transfer the images to any mobile device via a Bluetooth Low Energy connection. The built-in GPS can pin point your location in any photo and the mapping feature along with the altimeter and depth gauge, gives you a holistic understanding of your photography.
Read the full review: The Nikon Coolpix W300
Sony Cybershot HX350
50x optical zoom bridge camera
Sensor: 1/2.3-inches, 20.4MP | Lens: 4.3-215mm, f/2.8-6.3 | Monitor: 3.0-inches, 921,600 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic, 0.2-inches | Continuous shooting: 10fps | Movies: 1080p FULL HD | User level: Beginner/intermediate
Supposedly an upgrade from the HX300, very little is different between the two models.
The camera comes with a Optical SteadyShot anti-shake technology making it ideal for on-the-go photos that will develop without blurs. The 1080p Full HD video is an upgrade from the 720p HD options on the older model, but in the age of 4k, it still seems a behind the times.
This bridge camera (in between professional and pure point-and-shoot) mimics its design from traditional DSLRs making it very hard to differentiate for laymen. That is to say, its extensive controls and solid build makes it look more expensive than it actually is.
Read the full review: Sony Cybershot HX350
Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Huge zoom in a svelte shell
Sensor: 1/2.3-inch, 20.3MP | Lens: 24-960mm, f/3.3-6.9 | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle screen, 922,000 dots | Viewfinder: No | Continuous shooting: 5.9fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner/intermediate
The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS is something of a 'tale of two halves'. The good news is that it exhibits a fine build and is generally pleasing to use, with good response across most aspects of operation.
If you want a no-nonsense camera with a broad zoom range, and most of the decision-making left to it, the SX730 HS may just be what you’re after. The flipside of this is that the PowerShot SX730 HS lacks several of the features of its rivals, despite being one of the dearest options of its kind.
4K video, touch operation, an electronic level, even the option to move the focusing point - if you want any of these you'll have to look elsewhere.
Read the full review: Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Nikon Coolpix P900
World's first bridge camera to feature an 83x optical zoom
Sensor: 1/2.3-inches, 16MP | Lens: 4.3-357mm, f/2.8-6.5 | Monitor: 3.0-inches, 921,000 dots | Viewfinder: Electronic, 0.2-inches | Continuous shooting: N/A | Movies: N/A | User level: Beginner/intermediate
The P900 stands out because of it's 83x optical zoom and remains the market leader in this respect. The issue with this camera is that due to crazy large zoom, it's one of the larger cameras on the list.
Its manual control feature is something that's immensely useful for enthusiasts but it's shadowed by the fact that you can't shoot pictures in RAW format especially since its biggest competitor, the Canon SX60 HS, does support RAW.
As a travel camera, most of your images will turn out beautiful since most shots will be taken in bright light. It's ideal for bird or wildlife photographers, even for users who want to take pictures of the moon, since these things are normally out of range for most lenses. But, if you have plans for low-light photography, you should probably look at other options.
Read the full review: The Canon Coolpix P900
Canon PowerShot SX430 IS
Image stabilisation and focus assist lamp
Sensor: 1/2.3-inch, 20MP | Lens: 24-1080mm, f/3.2-6.9 | Monitor: 3-inch, 230K dots | Viewfinder: No | Continuous shooting: 30fps | Movies: 720p, VGA | User level: Beginner/intermediate
What makes this camera special is its built-in optical image stabilisation (IS), giving it almost 2.5 stops of stabilization. There are a bunch of scene modes that come pre-programmed for different situations as well as an auto mode for beginners that don't care for too many settings.
There's a focus assist lamp in the front to help the camera focus in low light locations where as the pop-up flash is manual. You'll have to open and close it on your own even in auto mode.
Even though it has an A/V out and USB socket, it lacks a HDMI port making direct connections to a TV a bit of a pain. The screen isn't gapless making the LCD view ineffective in bright light situations. You know, when you have to cup your hand over the screen so that you can see what's going on? That.
The basics of the camera measure up well. Performance delivers decent results with good color composition. Despite having no HDR or backlighting scene mode, the camera comes paired with an iContrast that serves the purpose of expanding the dynamic range that the camera can capture.
Overall, for travelling, this camera will give you value for your money!
Sony CyberShot RX100 III
The best pocketable compact camera just got better
Sensor: 1/2.3-inch, 20.3MP | Lens: 24-840mm, f/3.4-6.9 | Monitor: 3.0-inch, 921,000 dots | Viewfinder: No | Continuous shooting: 7fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner/intermediate
The Sony Cybershot Mark III is a unique camera that outshines the others in its price class. Unlike most of the other pocket-sized camera, this camera comes with a viewfinder (EVF). It helps with the composition of the photograph in bright light and helps you concentrate on the image.
An upgrade from the RX100 II, it manages to keep all the amazing features of it's predecessor while adding a whole bunch of improvements. It's 1-inch sensor is capable of recording high quality photos and the wide aperture enables the user to fully control over depth of field.
The camera scores on all fronts, from being to easy to use to producing quality images.
Read full review: Sony CyberShot RX100 III
Affordable with an amazing zoom but without the luxuries
Sensor: 1/2.3-inches, 20.4MP | Lens: 4.3-215mm, f/2.8-6.3 | Monitor: 3.0-inch, 921,000 dots | Viewfinder: No | Continuous shooting: 24/30/60fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner/intermediate
The Sony WX500 is an attractive camera with solid specifications, which brings the user all the same features as the HX90 and should even deliver the same image quality.
What's the difference?
That it's cheaper.
Since the sensor in camera is smaller in order to make the huge zoom feasible, one would assume that photographs wouldn't come out as well. But, the Exmor R CMOS sensor does a pretty good job. The Bionz X engine negates the qualm about over smoothing of images to hide the noise in photos.
The auto-focus is pretty snappy, even in low light situations and handles its colors well.
This camera is meant for users looking to save money without compromising on quality.
Read full review: Sony WX500