When you’re on the go, and want to travel light, the right point and shoot camera is all a travel photographer needs to get a great shot. Here are some of the best point and shoot cameras for travel photography this year.
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The Sony Cyber-shot DSC RX100 III takes a large 1.0” Exmor R CMOS image sensor, a bright f1.8-2.8 aperture, 24-70 mm zoom, Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens, and a cleverly retractable SVGA OLED viewfinder and combines them into a sleek black package. This camera looks good, and you’ll be taking high quality 20.1 megapixel pictures and decent HD video in style. The viewfinder lets you see the world the way the RX100 III sees it and features a Zeiss T* coating that reduces reflection and flare. While the Cyber-shot may be a little difficult to hold onto with its ultra smooth exterior, its 180 degree 3” LCD flip screen makes lining up selfies a snap.
Canon’s answer to the Sony Cyber-shot is the Canon Powershot G7 X. It features a 1.0” 20.2 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor, a DIGIC 6 Image Processor, and a Bright f/1.8-2.8 aperture, 4.2 optical zoom (24-100 mm) lens. With its 3” flip-up touchscreen display and 1.0” sensor you might be thinking this looks similar to the RX 100 III, and you would be right, because Canon is actually using a similar Sony sensor. The PowerShot actually does take slightly sharper pictures with better white balance thanks to its image-processing software and slightly sharper lens. At its lower price point this would make the the Powershot a clear winner, however its performance does suffer when not using its autofocus. With the autofocus feature on its one of the fastest cameras in its class, but as this feature greatly drains battery life the practical traveler will probably turn it off, leading to a much slower camera. It all comes down to whether you value image quality or performance, either camera will make a great edition to your travel photographer’s arsenal.
When it comes to pocket cameras in a lower price bracket, the Nikon Coolpix S9700 is a solid choice. This camera is all about its 30x optical zoom. Its Nikkor lens 4.5-135 mm lens has an angle of view equivalent to a 25-750 mm lens in 35mm  format. That’s alot of zoom power to place in your pocket. With Full HD 1080/60i video recording, 16 megapixel camera, this compact captures decent photos and video. In great lighting this camera takes excellent shots. The S9700 comes in either solid black or sporty red. If you need a travel sized camera that can take shots from afar, this is the camera for you.
Looking for something a little more rugged to help you document your trips to exotic locales? The Olympus TG-4 was built with the mantra in mind to have a camera you can take anywhere while doing anything. This point and shoot takes a 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, a fast f2.0 wide angle lens, and a TruePic VII Image Processor and encases them in a durable shockproof metalic red exterior. Waterproof up to depths of 50 ft (15 m), crushproof up to 220 lbf (100 kgf), and freezeproof up to 14 °F (-10°C), the TG-4 was designed for the travel photographer who shoots in extreme locations. Whether you’re skiing in the alps, bushwhacking through the Amazon, or kayaking down the Rio Grande, this point and shoot was made for adventure.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC LX100 makes a great companion to any travel photographer looking for a solid point and shoot camera to complement their DSLR. When it comes to advanced compact cameras, the LX100 is at the top of its class. The LX100 combines a Leica DC Vario-Summilux Lens with an unusually large (for its class) Micro 4/3”MOS sensor to bring high quality 16 megapixel shots and 4K video. This fast lens has a nice wide f1.7-2.8 aperture and 24-75 mm zoom. This point and shoot comes with a wide range of features. You can use 4K Photo mode to take high quality 8 megapixel stills from your 4K video or create stop motion animations with its 11fps and 40fps burst modes. The LX100 sports a nice solid grip, and well-constructed manual control dials.
Find the Right Camera to Match your Needs!
This list is by no means comprehensive, and merely represents a sampling of the different types of point and shoots available on the market. What other point and shoots would you recommend to new travel photographers? Post your favorites in the comments below!
P.S. Need some travel photo inspiration? Check out our post on who to follow on Instagram!