Do you have any plans to travel this summer? A good camera can help you bring back vacation images to share with family and friends for years to come. But what’s the best travel camera for capturing these special moments on your journey? There’s no easy answer to this question. These tips will compare mirrorless with point and shoot cameras to help you pick the perfect travel camera for your next trip.
A compact travel camera offers a number of advantages. First, they offer larger sensors than most smartphones, so image quality and performance is usually improved. They’re pocketable, so easy to take with you. They also tend to be designed to be more user friendly (hence the nickname point-and-shoot cameras) and are generally much less expensive than mirrorless and DSLR camera systems. Many models offer manual controls, and having a separate device means you can keep on taking photos even if your smartphone battery is on the way out. One of the biggest advantages though, and the reason to pick a compact travel camera over a smartphone, is the optical zoom. Most point and shoots, Nikon Z fc from Beachcamera.com, have an optical zoom letting you get shots of distant objects that you wouldn’t be able to get with a smartphone.
There are a variety of features that compact travel cameras offer for travel photography. One key feature to look for is how much optical zoom the camera offers. Other features include the size of the sensor – the bigger the better – the maximum aperture, and whether or not there is some form of image stabilization technology built in. Any camera with a long optical zoom needs excellent image stabilization. The more you zoom in, the more exacerbated tiny movements become. Other features to consider depending on your needs include GPS, WiFi and touchscreen capabilities. Some more advanced compact travel cameras like Sony Cyber-shot HX80 also include manual modes, which can really help you get the most out of them, and some even shoot in RAW.
Mirrorless travel cameras are similar to DSLR cameras. However, they don’t have an internal mirror to reflect light from the lens to the optical viewfinder. This means that they can be smaller, lighter and more portable like the Sony Alpha a6000 from Beachcamera.com. Making them a top contender for the best camera for travel. Mirrorless cameras also have all the other benefits of a DSLR – larger sensors, manual controls, excellent image quality and interchangeable lenses.
Mirrorless cameras come with different sensor sizes, from the micro 4/3 format up to full frame. All of these are larger than those you’ll find in compact travel cameras or smartphones. The larger the sensor, the more light the camera can capture in any given situation. Another key factor to consider is the lens selection. Different manufacturers offer different lens systems. So it’s worth investigating to be sure there are sufficient lens choices for the kind of photography you want to be doing. Also be aware that most mirrorless cameras, like the Sony a7r III, ship with a kit lens. But you can also buy them without a kit lens, like this Canon EOS R50, and then buy a more suitable lens for your needs. Other considerations include the screen type, if the camera has an EVF, WiFi, water resistance, focus system and so on.
Whether you opt for a mirrorless camera, or a point and shoot, you’re going to end up with a light-weight and highly portable camera that takes superior photos to anything you could get from a smartphone.