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Best Compact Camera For Travel 2022

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It is always great to be able to combine the passion for travelling the world with that for photography. Unfortunately, a bad choice in travel photography equipment can make the whole experience a nightmare. This is why choosing the best compact camera for travel is important.

This article will guide you through the best compact camera options and lightweight cameras to travel with.

Best Compact Camera For Travel: What To Look For

You might not be travelling on assignment, but for pleasure. Then you will want to keep the travel photography aspect as easy as possible.

When choosing the gear to travel with, here are the most important things to consider:

  • Keep the weight and size of the whole photographic setup low;
  • Keep the risk of theft in mind. You might want to consider not bringing your latest full-frame camera with a full range of professional lenses;
  • Use fast zoom lenses over fixed ones. This will increase your kit’s portability and flexibility;
  • Reduce the number of accessories you need to a bare minimum;
  • Pack everything in a comfortable bag that does not scream ‘Expensive Photo Equipment Inside’.

This does not mean you have to compromise about image quality.

Best Compact Camera For Travel

What many people do not realize, is that to take great photos you do not need a DSLR camera.

In today’s market, there are many compact cameras that fit the bill and deliver excellent images. But, what’s the best compact camera for your travels?

10. Sony Cyber-shot HX99

Sony Cyber-shot HX99

  • Type: Compact Camera
  • Sensor: 1/2.3”
  • Resolution: 18.2 Megapixels
  • Video: 4K
  • LCD: 3”, 921K dots, tilt-angle touchscreen
  • Zoom: 30x optical
  • Lens: 24-720mm f/3.5-6.4
  • Built-in EVF

When travelling, it is important to be comfortable, yet able to cope with all sorts of situations.

The Sony Cyber-Shot HX99 is very compact and lightweight. It comes in a package weighing only 242g. It packs an extreme 30x optical zoom lens, a built-in electronic viewfinder, and a large, multi-angle touchscreen.

The camera has a classic 1/2.3” sensor but a very high image resolution of 18.2 megapixels.

The image quality is better than that of most camera phones. But if you value this more than the zoom range, you should look into compact cameras sporting a 1”-inch-type sensor.

Unfortunately, not many cameras with 1”-type sensor can cover the impressive 24-720 mm focal range of the Sony HX99.

Experienced photographers will also appreciate the addition of raw capture. This will give you greater flexibility to tweak and adjust images post-capture.

Less impressive, are the cramped controls, but that is the price to pay with many compact cameras.

9. Panasonic Lumix TZ/ZS 200

Panasonic Lumix TZ/ZS 200

  • Type: Pro Compact Camera
  • Sensor: 1”
  • Resolution: 20.1 Megapixels
  • Video: 4K
  • LCD: 3” touchscreen
  • Zoom: 15x optical
  • Lens: 24-360mm f/3.3-6.4

The Lumix TZ200 is a pocketable compact camera. It comes with an impressive 15x, retractable, zoom lens. Weighting 340gr, it feels solid in your hand, thanks to the metal body.

It has a large, 20.1 megapixels, 1”-type sensor to ensure high image quality. Although not very fast, the zoom lens of the TZ/ZS 200 covers an impressive 24-360 mm focal range. This is ideal for travel photography.

Low light performances are good, thanks to the 5-axis Hybrid OIS stabilization. You can raise your ISO up to 25600. The image will look a bit too smooth due to an aggressive noise reduction at the higher ISO values.

Images are composed and reviewed with the large 3” LCD screen. Although not tiltable, it has touch screen capabilities. The TZ/ZS 200 has plenty of auto modes to make it easier for beginners. Experienced users will enjoy the possibility to switch to manual.

This Panasonic features 4K 30fps video and a 4K Photo mode. You can extract single frames and save them as 8 megapixels still photos.

Battery life is good, ensuring about 350 shots before need to be recharged. Another great feature for the travel photographer is that you can recharge the battery with the AC charger or via USB, using a portable power bank.

8. Sony RX 100 VII

Sony RX 100 VII

  • Type: Pro Pocketable Compact Camera
  • Sensor: 1”
  • Resolution: 20.1 Megapixels
  • Video: 4K
  • LCD: 3” multi-angle screen
  • Zoom: 5x optical
  • Lens: 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9

The RX100 VII is the latest reincarnation of the extremely successful RX100, Sony’s most professional, yet pocketable compact camera.
While not cheap, The Sony RX100 is one of the best compact camera options for travel enthusiasts.

There is virtually nothing you cannot do with this camera. It is small and lightweight, has both auto and manual controls, can shoot in RAW. And it has a multi-angle screen that is perfect for selfies and vlogging and a pop-out electronic viewfinder.

The large 1”-type sensor ensures very high image quality, and high ISO are usable. The lens offers optical stabilization. It covers a focal range of 24-200mm with a decent f/2.8-4.5 variable aperture.

Experienced users will enjoy the possibility to mount filters thanks to the several filter mount systems available on the market, both from Sony and other manufacturers such as LensMate.

The built-in WiFi allows you to transfer the photo to a smartphone. You can even control the camera remotely with it. Battery life is good and the camera can be recharged via USB with a computer or power bank.

7. Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III


Sony Cyber-shot RX100 III

  • Type: Pro Pocketable Compact Camera
  • Sensor: 1”
  • Resolution: 20.1 Megapixels
  • Video: 4K
  • LCD: 3”, 1.229K dots, multi-angle screen
  • Zoom: 5x optical
  • Lens: 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8
  • Pop-up flash
  • Built-in EVF

This model is a couple of years old but it still packs a punch. It’s especially good if low light performances are, for you, more important than the reach of the zoom.

In fact, the Sony RX III is the last model with a bright 24-70 f/1.8-2.8 zoom lens.

Once again, we find a large 1”-type sensor, a pop-out electronic viewfinder, an articulated LCD screen in a pocketable body, same as for the newest model.

6. Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

  • Type: Pro Compact Camera
  • Sensor: 1”
  • Resolution: 20.1 Megapixels
  • Video: 4K
  • LCD: 3” color
  • Zoom: 5x optical
  • Lens: 24-120mm f/1.8-2.8
  • Built-in EVF
  • Pop-up flash

The Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II is a pocket-friendly compact camera, similar to the Sony RX100. If you like the RX100 M3 for its fast lens, but you want a longer zoom then this Canon is worth considering.

Handling experience is top. The camera feels solid and it is well-built.

The large multi-angle, tiltable LCD is ideal for selfies and video bloggers. The pop-up viewfinder is very helpful for shooting outdoors under bright light. The pop-up flash is great for taking indoor photographs.

Thanks to the large 1″-type sensor, as a good dynamic range and deliver images of very high quality with nice colors. A built-in ND filter can help shooting long exposures in daylight. This is a very nice option if you find yourself near a waterfall or you want to empty a touristic spot from the crowd.

Pro photographers will appreciate the fact the G5 X II can shoot Raw images at 30 fps. And it comes with a pre-capture option.

The AF is fast and precise. But it cannot track moving subjects during the burst shooting and battery life is below average.

5. Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV

Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV

  • Type: Pro Weather-Sealed Compact Camera
  • Sensor: 1”
  • Resolution: 20.2 Megapixels
  • Video: 4K
  • LCD: 3” ,1.44m dots, multi-angle
  • Zoom: 24x optical
  • Lens: 24-600mm f/2.4-4
  • Built-in EVF

The Sony RX10 IV is the most expensive camera of this list. Its price is well justified by the camera performances, which will appeal to expert and pro photographers on the move.

The Sony RX10 is a rather bulky, DSLR-style, bridge camera. While not the lightest and most compact camera in this list, the RX10 packs a wonderful zoom lens, covering the impressive range of 24-600mm. And it is bright too, having an f/2.4-4 variable aperture.

Optical stabilization is very effective. Combined with the fast aperture, it makes easier to get good images in low light conditions.

Other interesting features are the hybrid AF, fast and precise, the fast 14 fps burst shooting mode and RAW image format. On the connectivity side, the camera includes NFC, WiFi, and Bluetooth. These allow for the easy transfer of your images on a smartphone and to remotely control the camera with it.

The Sony RX10 IV also record high-quality, 4K, video. The dedicated microphone jack port allows recording audio with an external microphone. This makes this camera very attractive for vloggers.

Due to its size, handling experience is great, very similar to that of a classic DSLR camera. You will not find yourself battling with small buttons.

A welcome feature for travel photography is that the camera is weather-sealed. You can shoot in any conditions without worries.

4. Olympus Tough TG-6

Olympus Tough TG-6

  • Type: Pro Waterproof Compact Camera
  • Sensor: 1/2.3”
  • Resolution: 12 Megapixels
  • Video: 4K Ultra HD
  • LCD: 3” color
  • Zoom: 5x optical
  • Lens: 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9
  • Power: Rechargeable Li-Ion battery pack.
  • Colors: Black, Red

The Olympus Tough TG-6 is the newest model in the Olympus series of rugged cameras. This camera is built for adventures. It is small and lightweight and you can easily fit it in your pockets.

It is shock-resistant from 2.1m, crushproof to 100kg, dustproof and freezeproof to -10 ºC, and waterproof down to 15 mt. The built-in optical stabilization ensures motion free photos and videos.

Photo capabilities are good. The 25-100mm zoom lens is suitable for landscape photography while being able to close in and to isolate the subject from a wider scene.

At the widest end, the aperture is a fast f/2, which is great for low light conditions. Zoom in, and the aperture narrows down quite fast, until the value of f/4.9 at the telephoto end of the zoom.

Despite the small sensor, ISO can be set up to 12800, which helps in low light conditions.

Images can be recorded as jpeg only. But the camera offers many automatic modes. These include a selectable underwater white balance mode, live composite, 9 artistic effects, microscope modes and even focus stacking. Burst speed is good, being up to 10 fps.

The TG-6 offers Wi-FI connectivity and includes GPS, compass, manometer, and temperature sensors.

This camera focuses on outdoor and adventure travels. If you are into reportage and people, there are far better best compact camera for travel options, though.

3. Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

  • Type: Pro Compact Camera
  • Sensor:  micro four thirds
  • Resolution: 17 Megapixels
  • Video: 4K 
  • LCD: 3”, 1.24m dots, fixed, with touchscreen
  • Zoom: 3x optical
  • Lens: 24-75mm f/1.7-2.8
  • Built-in EVF

The Lumix LX 100 Mark II is a very attractive camera. What sets it apart from the rest of the pocketable compact cameras in this list, is its large micro four-thirds sensor.

The trouble with big sensors is that you need big lenses to go with them. Panasonic has really hit the sweet spot with the LX100 I.

In a compact body, Panasonic packed a micro four-thirds sensor. This is not much smaller than the APS-C sensors found in many DSLR cameras, and larger than the 1”-type sensors of the Sony RX100 & Co.

The multi-aspect micro four-thirds sensor allows you to shoot with 3:4, 3:2 and 16:9 aspect ratio without cropping the image, thus without losing pixels.

The retractable lens has a modest 3x zoom, covering a rather narrow 24-75mm focal range. While this may force you to “zoom with your feet”, the lens is very bright. Combine this with the large sensor size and it is not surprising if low light performances are excellent.

We also find a 4K video and photo quality, RAW format, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, a large 3” touchscreen (though fixed) and the camera can be recharged via USB.

Handling experience is very nice and the main controls are very easy to manipulate. You can use the external shutter speed dial, lens aperture ring and the aspect ratio switch.

2. Olympus OM-D EM 10 Mk iii

Olympus OM-D EM 10 Mk iii

  • Type: Mirrorless Camera
  • Sensor: Micro Four Thirds
  • Resolution: 16 Megapixels
  • Video: 4K Ultra HD
  • LCD: 3″ tiltable touch screen
  •  Zoom: –
  • Lens:  Interchangeable Camera Lens (ICL)
  • Built-in EVF

The EM-10 Mk iii is the latest improvement on the entry-level line of Olympus OM-D cameras. This mirrorless camera is light and compact. The micro four-thirds sensor allows Olympus to keep the lens size very small. This makes the camera very portable, ideal for travel and landscape photography.

Image quality is excellent, even with the usual 14-42mm kit lens. In time, you can expand your equipment with more lenses to cover shorter and longer focal lengths.

The camera features an in-camera 5-axis image stabilization, 4K Ultra HD video, tiltable touch screen with touch-to-focus and touch-to-shoot function, 15 art filters, and different shooting modes.

Continuous shooting speed is up to 8.6 fps. The selectable AF points are 121, and it has built-in pop-up flash and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Instead of an optical viewfinder, the EM-10 has a very sharp and responsive 2.36M dot OLED electronic viewfinder.

The great plus of using a mirrorless micro four-thirds camera compared to a classic DSLR is that lenses are often more compact and lightweight. They have to work with a sensor smaller than the classic APS-C and full-frame sensors employed in DSLR.

Pro and enthusiast lightweight travel photographers should consider combining this camera (or any in the Olympus OM-D family) with the Olympus Zuiko12-100 f/4 PRO, a great travel zoom.

 1. Apple iPhone 11  PRO 

Apple iPhone 11 Pro

  • Type: Camera Phone
  • Sensor: 1/2.55″
  • Resolution: 12 Megapixels
  • Video: 4K 30fps
  • LCD: Multi-touch 5.8″/6,5″ retina display
  • Zoom: 2x
  • Lens:  Triple Lens (Ultra-Wide 13mm f/2.4, Wide f/2.8 and Telephoto 52mm f/2.0

The Apple iPhone does not need to be introduced. It is a well-known smartphone and the most popular camera out there.

The iPhone 11 PRO is the most photography-centred iPhone to date and a serious contender to travel point and shoot cameras.

On the back, we found 3 cameras. These are an ultra-wide lens, equivalent to 13mm, a classic wide lens and a telephoto lens, equivalent to 52mm. This adds great flexibility to the ways you can photograph with a phone.

Flexibility is the key. Firstly, you have a device that is a phone, a GPS navigator and a computer. Then, you have a good point and shoot camera, with many apps to improve and extend its performances.

Finally, rugged and waterproof cases will turn your phone into the best companion for your adventures.

All in a device that is small, lightweight and easy to use.

Many tripods and tripod mounts are available for enthusiast iPhone photographers on the move.


Travels and photography are passions that often go hand in hand. We try to freeze in time the many memories from exotic destinations.

By choosing the right camera, you will enjoy taking photos even more but make no mistake. Dragging along full photographic equipment revolving around the latest pro-DLSR is often not the best choice.

Today’s market offers a wide range of very capable and lightweight best compact cameras to choose from. This will ensure you will enjoy both travelling and photographing in the most possible comfortable way.

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