The latest cameras we’ve tested look ideal for a summer trip, whether you’re eyeing a premium model that will produce stunning, pro-level photos, or a rugged camera that can withstand the knocks and drops of an adventure holiday.
Years of testing cameras has taught us that you can’t always rely on a marketing description for the truth, which is why it’s important to know whether the camera you’re buying can actually produce good photos. In our most recent test, we’ve uncovered some amazing cameras which will document your travels beautifully, alongside two models to steer well clear of.
Want to compare cameras? Read all of our digital camera reviews here.
Best types of camera for travel
Compact cameras are ideal for travel, as they’re so small and light. You can pop them in a backpack or bumbag without them taking up too much space or weighing you down. The best compacts are just a step below DSLR and mirrorless cameras in terms of picture quality, and some even have huge zooms, which means they’re good for photographing landmarks and distant scenes.
Similar to DSLRs, mirrorless models can produce some of the highest-quality images and, as with DSLRs, you can change the lens. This is great if you want to be creative with your travel photos and need an especially large zoom, wide-angle shots or a macro lens for close-up detail of foliage or wildlife. They also tend to be quite small and light compared with bulkier DSLRs, so are ideal for travelling, even though you might want to carry around additional lenses.
Perfect if you’re an avid adventurer, rugged cameras are built not only to withstand the elements, but also any accidental drops. Picture quality isn’t as good as with a premium compact or an interchangeable-lens camera, but they’re worth it if your trips are action packed.
Latest cameras on test
Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ95, £399
The Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ95 is a small, compact camera with an impressive 30x optical zoom – potentially making it the perfect travel companion. It’s also decently priced, at less than £400. We really liked the range of wireless functions, meaning you can quickly and easily transfer images to your phone or laptop, and share your travel shots on social media. But how good is the picture quality? Read our full Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ95 review to find out.
Ricoh WG-6, £352
The Ricoh WG-6 is a rugged digital camera. It’s waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof and even crushproof. It also has 8x zoom magnification and 4K video, which you don’t often see on rugged models. But is this camera just tough, or will it actually record and photograph your travels well? Find out all the details in our Ricoh WG-6 review.
Nikon Coolpix W150, £149
The Nikon Coolpix W150 is a budget rugged camera. It’s built to withstand the elements and can cope underwater; ideal for photographing the kids having fun in the pool, or even underwater wildlife while snorkelling. The camera is light and simple with a fun, bright design. But, at such a low price, does it actually take good photos? Our Nikon Coolpix W150 review reveals all.
Panasonic Lumix DC-G90M, £1,079 and G90H, £1,259
Panasonic’s new Lumix DC G90 mirrorless camera is available in two different lens kits, the G90M or the G90H, with the G90H having a longer lens. Both cameras have high-end features such as 4K video recording with no limit, a 20.2MP image sensor and a 3-inch tilting screen, so it will be easy to take holiday selfies and frame difficult shots. But for more than £1,000, is picture quality what you’d expect? See the results of our tough testing in the Panasonic Lumix DC-G90M and G90H reviews.
Canon EOS 250D, £506.49
Unlike other DSLRs, the Canon EOS 250D is small and light, and is accessible to a wide range of photographers, from complete beginners to enthusiasts. At around £500, it’s not a huge investment, but we felt that the build quality was surprisingly high despite being mainly plastic – it’s secure to hold, and the material means it’s much more portable than metal models. Has Nikon struck the perfect balance between simplicity and performance? Read our review of the Canon EOS 250D to see what we thought.
Top three travel photography tips
Researching the locations you’ll be visiting is the first step to getting the best photos on your travels. Online research, using platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram, can help you to scout out the most photogenic places before you go. Make sure to consider timings – what’s the best time to arrive if you want a sunset shot? Or will you get a better photo at a famous landmark if you arrive before opening hours? It’s also worth checking coastal or elevated locations for the best sunrise and sunset viewing.
Tripods are a great addition to any photographer’s kit, and you’ll be able to find some inexpensive, lightweight models that are easy to use and carry around. They’re particularly helpful if you’re travelling solo, or in a couple and want both of you to be in the photos. Modern cameras tend to have have wireless capabilities and often ‘live view shooting’, which means you can link them to your phone and use that as a remote, and to view what the camera can see from a distance. They’re also great if you want to do some sunset or night-time photography, as you’ll get best results shooting with slow shutter speeds. A tripod allows you to keep these slow, without camera shake.
Take an extra battery and storage card
When you’re travelling, there can be so many photo opportunities and picturesque views that, before you know it, you’ll have filled your storage card. Instead of wasting time deleting pictures and freeing up space when you could be enjoying your surroundings, take an extra storage card to pop in when your first one is full. The same applies to the battery. Cameras don’t have a particularly long battery life, especially if you’re recording in 4K, a time lapse, or shooting for a long period of time. It’s also tricky to fully charge all your devices while travelling, as hotel rooms often have limited plug sockets and electricity that shuts off when you’re not in the room, so getting an extra battery will save you the hassle.