If you want an easy-to-use and portable camera for travel photography, you're probably looking for a point-and-shoot camera to capture snapshots of your favorite memories. Famous in the vernacular photography market, these compact cameras have simple operations and automatic focus and exposure settings to take pictures with minimal effort.
Also called compact digital cameras, they fit easily into any camera backpack, bag, or pocket. You get better-looking and more detailed photos with less at a convenience. Here are five of the best point-and-shoot compact cameras for travelers.
Top 10 Compact Point and Shoot Cameras For Travel Photography
1. Panasonic LUMIX FZ80
The FZ80 compact digital camera can shoot both 4K photos and videos in a long-zoom. The 4k technology allows you to capture snaps of even fast speed action in brilliant photo quality. You can even create high-resolution printable snaps of 3840 x 2160 resolutions via the burst feature with fast 30 fps. The 18.1-megapixel travel camera is equipped with a MOS sensor and a 20-1220mm DC Vario wide-angle lens that offers super-long 60x zoom to take photos of far-off objects and landscapes.
Designed for travelers and professional photographers, the Panasonic LUMIX offers excellent low-light performance to enjoy photography during nighttime. Thanks to the latest technology, the F2.8-5.9 bright aperture range is optically stabilized. For those who like creative freedom, the FZ80 has focus stacking and post focus to set preferred field depth and focal points of your taken photo.
This black-colored premium compact camera has the typical Panasonic digital camera appearance and features a 3-Inch touch-sensitive LCD. The display is clear and bright even in sunlight. The 1,170K electronic dot viewfinder works great when focusing and framing photos. With its comfortable deep grip and perfect compact size, the camera fits in your hand rightly and offers excellent battery life. It's lightweight enough to carry along for travel with ease. What makes it more travel-friendly is its Wi-Fi connectivity and convenient USB charging.
2. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II is a stylish, travel-friendly camera with 20.1 megapixels and a 1'' CMOS sensor. What makes it stand out is the DIGIC 7 Image Processor and intelligent image stabilization that delivers high-quality photos with all the details and no noise in any light situation. The 10.2-30.6mm macro lens offers an amazing zoom range and 8.2 fps shooting speed.
The pocket-size point and shoot camera measures 1.2 x 3.9 x 2.3’’ and weighs just 7 ounces. The Canon G9 an ultra-slim digital camera that’s portable yet offers excellent image quality. You can style your pictures the way you want with eight different presets for fine-tuning.
The Auto mode will deliver incredible shoots without worrying about exposure or light settings. You get various scene modes for creative effects, but shooting in RAW mode offers the best results. Thanks to the touchscreen controls, it's easy to set focus and change settings.
Another plus point of this 3-inch touch LCD is that you can just swipe by finger touch and zoom in by double-tapping when reviewing shots. With the customizable front-control ring, you can adjust exposure settings, snap styles, or lens zooming. Creative fun features like the Time-Lapse movie allow you to create short videos by condensing long ones.
Canon G9 X Mark II can send pictures to your phone or laptop using built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or NFC technology. Just ensure your phone's SIM card has hotspot abilities if your canon camera needs access to the internet.
3. Sony CyberShot DSC-WX220
Sony CyberShot DSC-WX220 is another superb point-and-shoot camera that's ideal for travel. This pocket-size camera lets you take flawless photos with its SONY 18.2 megapixels G lens. It’s equipped with a 10X optical zoom range in a stylish metallic yet lightweight and compact body that you can easily carry around anywhere.
To add more details and light into your frame, there’s a ½.3 inch Exmor R CMOS sensor with back-illuminated to perform outstanding even in low light situations. When BIONZ X processor and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization combine, you get sharp-quality images with great noise reduction, minimal grain, or blur. The Sony DSC-WX220 supports full HD video captures in 1080/60p without any distortion in movie recording.
With Super Resolution technology and a wide range of ISO range, bright and sharp images are guaranteed even in low-light. The f/3.3 to f/5.9 aperture range and 4.45-44.5 mm focal length allow you to change camera lens settings. With this option, you get a travel camera with 5x optical zoom lenses and decent battery life.
The compact camera has superb additional features like installed video camera shake correction, Sweep Panorama mode, and MotionShot. There are 13 different picture effects for fun editing and creativity. You can conveniently transfer photos wirelessly to your smartphone/tablet using Wi-Fi or NFC immediately after taking a picture, removing the need to look for transfer cables.
4. Canon PowerShot ELPH 360
If you're looking for an affordable, this is one of the best point and shoot camera that's full HD at 1080p, the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 will make a perfect option. With a 12X zoom range, 4X digital zoom, optical image stabilizer, and Intelligent IS; you can capture pictures with much ease and flexibility. A 20.2 megapixels high-resolution CMOS sensor with IGIC 4+ image processor delivers high-quality, sharp images with the least blur even in low-light environments.
The Canon HS SYSTEM is designed for outstanding low-light performance with an ISO range maximum of 3200. When tested, this powerful yet compact camera delivers perfect detailing in shadow and highlights areas with minimal noise, grain, or blur.
This digital camera is equipped with a built-in microphone and built in flash on the front. You get a 3'' colored LCD with almost 461,000 dots on the rear of the camera to offer wide-angle viewing. Users can easily navigate through multiple settings such as various shooting modes, aspect ratio, program modes, and a range of white balance options. Some exciting features of Canon ELPH 360 include story highlights and creative shots.
Using the Access point mode, you can connect your Windows computer or Android/iOS phone and Canon ELPH 360 camera through a wireless router to effortlessly share photos.
5. Panasonic LUMIX ZS100
The Panasonic ZS100 is a 20.1-megapixel point-and-shoot camera that packs a high sensitivity 1’’ large MOS Sensor that offers high-resolution image and video quality. This ZS100 is one of the top-selling models from Panasonic’s Travel Zoom series. The 5axis HYBRID image stabilizer on the sensor helps you to take photos with one hand and zoom out/in to get an impressive steady shot.
In addition to powerful zoom and lens, the ZS100 camera supports 4K video recording. All of these features come in a small body with a slim profile! This makes it perfect for fitting inside a not so spacious anti theft bag. The travel camera has a built-in electric viewfinder and features 4K photo mode. It shoots 30 frames per second at 8 megapixels instead of 20. Another exciting feature is the post focus that allows you to choose where you want to focus in the frame. The fastest aperture and wide-angle is 2.8, and the more you zoom, the less light reaches the sensors, which ends with a maximum 5.9 aperture.
Although it's a small portable compact camera, Panasonic didn't compromise on the buttons. It has a dedicated button for 4k photo mode, post focus, and a quick menu. You can control settings and navigate the menu real quick with the touchscreen LCD. Overall, Z100 is a great versatile camera, and zoom range allows for all sorts of perspectives in picture-making while the sensor captures fantastic image quality.
6. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
Improved over its predecessors, the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is a comfortable camera specifically for travel due to its compact size and performance. It has a 1'' Type CMOS sensor that offers better image quality than a small sensor compact camera or your Smartphone’s camera. The built-in lens, G7 X Mark II features a fast F 1.8-2.8 24-100mm zoom that provides a lot of reach with decent low light capabilities.
The tilting 3’’ touchscreen LCD is another outstanding feature — it's easy to set up and take shots from any angle. This makes it ideal for selfies and street photography as the high-resolution LCD tilts up and down from 180-45 degrees. It provides an excellent image quality as the G7 fast burst shooting enables you to capture fast-paced action with astonishing clarity. The Autofocus comprises manual focus and tile focus.
A comfortable grip around the hand and the control ring around the lens can be set to clicky or smooth, which offers excellent ease for photo and video shoot. For easy transfer or image posting on social media like Instagram or Facebook, the camera has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC technology.
This compact point and shoot camera is well-designed and captures good-quality photos and videos.
7. Olympus Tough TG-6
Olympus Tough TG-6 is a waterproof, rugged compact camera that’s perfect for capturing every adventure. Designed for travel photographers and sports enthusiasts, Olympus TG-6 is a travel camera that features a 12 Megapixels ½.3’’ CMOS sensor. The camera offers the top image quality in its class. The sensor is back-illuminated and stabilized for shooting. Equivalent to a 25-100mm zoom lens, it’s versatile enough to shoot everything from portraits to landscapes. With a maximum aperture of F2.0-4.9 at the wide-angle setting, the TG-6 offers reasonably bright pictures with fine details.
With the simple interface, it's easier for you to change or adjust settings. It has a traditional exposure mode dial, a single control dial on top, and a 3'' LCD on the rear. Although most users don't look beyond the full auto mode, experienced photographers can adjust the exposure settings with raw shooting mode for their desired results. Unlike most compact cameras, the TG-6 supports video shooting up to 4K 30p with many other video features.
Best of all, this camera doubles as a GPS! The TG-6 features a built-in GPS with a compass, manometer, accelerator, and thermometer. The tracking feature associates your photo's location with a specific area and shooting data using an app. This rugged camera is well-built and built to take severe abuse. It's 50 feet waterproof, shockproof to 7 feet, dustproof, and can withstand 220lbs of crushing pressure. Built to operate in both freezing and rain conditions, Olympus TG-6 is an ideal choice for adventurous photographers.
8. Canon PowerShot ELPH 180
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 180 is an entry-level point and shoot camera available at an affordable price with still offering quality photos and videos. With optical image stabilization, 8X optical zoom, 20 megapixels CCD sensor, and DIGIC 4+ image processor, you get pictures that are clear, rich, and fully detailed. This high resolution makes it ideal for generating large prints. During certain light conditions, the image processor reduces noise to give vibrant bright colors. Great for those who want simple camera settings, the ELPH 180 features a Smart AUTO function that intelligently detects the scenes and then selects the optimal settings via the 32 predefined shoot situations. There are various scene modes like fisheye, portraits, monochrome, and more. The auto-zoom feature is handy for capturing amazingly framed shots.
With just a single push button, you can record videos in 720p HD at 25fps. It’s a stylish slim camera with a body thickness of 22mm. The 680mAh battery is estimated to last for 220 shots while there’s an eco mode that helps manage the camera power. It’s pretty beginner-friendly with a help button on the camera's exterior. Pressing the button brings up the help menu that includes various troubleshoot topics and helpful advice.
9. Canon PowerShot ELPH 190
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 is an inexpensive camera with 10x optical zoom with 40x digital zoom. The Canon ELPH 190 features a slim profile and tight design that's easy to carry around anywhere in your pocket or purse. Like some of the other ones on this list, it also has Wi-Fi and NFC capabilities to make it easy to share photos. Just like the ELPH 180, it has a CCD sensor with a resolution of 20 megapixels. The focal length on this version is 4.3-40mm with an aperture of 3-6.9. Easy and straightforward to use, the camera has accessible menu controls with buttons for both beginners and experts.
DIGIC 4+ Image Processor combined with multi-level image stabilization provides outstanding image quality. Plus, it’s simple to start recording by the touch of a button.
10. Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless
Sony Alpha a6000 is one of the top mirrorless cameras with a DSLR-like PS-C HD image sensor with 24.3 megapixels resolution in a compact body, making it a great travel companion. The BIONZ X image processing provides richer details and color contrast.
With the 4D focus system, this Sony camera has the fastest autofocus at a mere 0.06 seconds with a 179-point wide focal plane and fast hybrid. The superior AF shooting mode tracks any object wherever it goes with 11FPS. The camera has a High resolution and high contrast OLED Tru-Finder and DSLR style dials for more intuitive operation, unlike a fixed viewfinder. Wi-Fi/NFC technologies improve connectivity with PC and mobile devices.
With a wide range of ISO 100 25600, you get clarity in all kinds of scenes. This mirrorless camera even has interchangeable lenses, so you can replace the lens with a macro one to take beautiful shots of food. That gets you a little closer to DSLR, but with a smaller camera body, so you don't have to carry a huge camera backpack or bag around.
Compact Camera For Travel Buyers Guide
There are tons of standalone compact digital camera models by various brands in the market today exclusively for travel. Point and shoot cameras are popular because of their compact, slim profile that’s more travel-friendly than bulky DSLRs and professional cameras. They are ideal for people who want a versatile mid-range camera for digital photography. All while offering functionality and versatility at a reasonable price. Here are things you need to consider when shopping for a point and shoot camera:
Don’t forget to focus on image resolution when buying a new camera. Megapixels alone don't determine the image’s quality since the numbers of megapixels decide how large you can print them. A bigger sensor means higher-quality pictures so look for a camera with a large sensor. Then your focus should be on built-in image stabilization. This compensates for shaky hands and allows you to capture sharp images.
Almost all point-and-shoot cameras support HD, but some models can capture 4K video or an Ultra HD video recording with a higher resolution. Another convenient feature on travel cameras is the dedicated video button for easy shifting to still photography video recording.
It’s essential to consider the Aperture range since this allows the travel camera to perform well in low light situations and offers the blurry/bouquet effect. The lower the number, the better!
Point and shoot cameras with long optical zoom work great for travelers or people into nature or sports photography. If you want to zoom into distant details, look for a camera with high optical zoom range.
ISO refers to the range of sensitivity of the camera's sensor. A wide range of ISO is better for taking pictures in a dark or low-light situation. A higher ISO will brighten up the dark shot, and when shooting in a bright setting, you require a lower ISO.
Look out for extra features as they can be accommodating. A built-in GPS is excellent for geo-tagging the location on your photos during vacation. Technologies like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC allow you to transfer or upload photos without connecting the camera to a computer with a cable.
If you’re going someplace where the camera might take a bit of pounding and get damaged, a tough camera should be your first preference. It should be waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, freeze, drop, and crash-proof. The camera should be robust so you can take it for the beach, snorkeling, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, and hiking.
Mirror Vs. Mirrorless Camera
In traditional DSLR cameras, light after passing through the lens hits a mirror inside the camera. This mirror bounces the light through the prism into the viewfinder to focus the shot. In most modern cameras, only some reflected light goes to the optical viewfinder (except mirrorless cameras), while part of it hits the separate autofocus sensor.
In mirrorless cameras, the light passes straight through the lens to the sensor responsible for autofocus. This gives the digital image to an electronic viewfinder or LCD screen. Since there's no mirror mechanism involved, the camera is small but still delivers the same high-resolution image. That’s why many people choose them as travel cameras.
Interchangeable or fixed lens
Buying an interchangeable or fixed lens camera depends mainly on what sort of photography you want to do. To capture good-quality pictures during your adventures in nature, fixed lens work great. However, if you want a more professional-quality image with different effects, an interchangeable lens camera is what you need. You can find lenses at different focal lengths.
Automatic and manual control
Most of the point-and-shoot cameras are automatic and don’t have controls to adjust focus or exposure. However, there are also advanced point-and-shoot cameras with manual controls for avid photographers.
Although smartphone cameras act as a go-to camera for many people, some want more detailed and better quality photos during vacation. Point-and-shoot cameras are perfect for travel photography. These are basic compact cameras can shoot high-quality images and videos yet still fit into your pocket, offering convenience you won't find with other travel cameras.