A woman in a yellow coat looks through the lens of a nikon camera

The Best Cameras for Travel Blogging for Every Budget

When you travel, it seems like there’s a new opportunity for a life-changing experience around every corner! From coming face to face with elephants in their natural habitat, to trekking across glaciers in Iceland, to discovering ancient temples in South America, you’re always a step away from an experience you’ll never forget.

But, just to be safe, shouldn’t you be taking photos of your travels? While you can’t always lug around your entire photography rig, sometimes you want your photos to come from somewhere a little more permanent than that easily-breakable smartphone. With that in mind, we’ve put together a guide to some of the best cameras for travel blogging!

Types of cameras for travel photography

Compact (“point-and-shoot”)

Use it for: on-the-go shots, budget travel, easy, hassle-free photography

These smaller, lightweight cameras are perfect for travellers going on big adventures with a smaller budget. Ideal for stashing in a backpack or whipping out when that perfect shot of a lounging lion comes into view, compact cameras are the perfect option for that first big trip you’ve spent a lot of time saving up for – you don’t need to blow your budget on the most expensive camera!

  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100: containing many of the same features as larger DSLR cameras, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 is a great option for travellers who want a lightweight option that still takes high-quality photos of their adventures. As a bonus, this model features Sony’s “White Magic” technology, which allows for a brighter display – perfect for long nights seeking out the northern lights or early morning safaris!

Zoom compact

Use it for: safaris, intermediate photography

Similar to their compact cousins, zoom compact cameras allow for quick shots, easy packing, and point and shoot photography. However, zoom compact cameras also include longer zoom ranges, meaning shutterbugs who bring these cameras on their trips will be able to capture some incredible images from further away – perfect for wildlife encounters, open areas with large crowds, and monuments. While this technology often comes with a higher price tag, zoom compact cameras are still generally more affordable than their larger counterparts.

  • Panasonic Lumix TZ70: perfect for photographing in low light, the Panasonic Lumix TZ70 is there for perfect sunrise and sunset shots, nighttime photography, and, of course, long-distance photos with its 30x optical zoom. With a compact design that still manages to include a built-in GPS and Wi-Fi, this may be your perfect travel camera.
An arial shot of a man taking a photo
Experiment with angles to elevate your photography | © Charley Pangus/Unsplash

Adventure

Use it for: rough conditions, extreme exploration, video

While not always packed with the same features as other cameras, adventure cameras are perfect for just that – durable, compact, and simple to operate, adventure cameras are the perfect option for travellers who want to record their journey in a whole new way. Attach them to a vehicle, helmet, surfboard, or anything else, and document your travels from hikes to extreme sports and everything in between. While all that technology squished into one small camera, the price point can be high, but these durable cameras should last for years to come.

  • GoPro Hero 7 Black: If you’re looking for an adventure camera that’s reliable, easy to use, sturdy, and provides clear images, your first stop will likely be a GoPro. There’s a reason why these small cameras are often the first choice for travellers looking for an adventure camera: not only did they essentially invent the category, they perfect it.

DSLRs

Use it for: high quality photos, landscape shots, the important moments

DSLRs, which stands for Digital Single Lense Reflex, are often the first port of call for photographers looking to up their game even further. These large, expensive cameras may not be the best option for backpacking trips or off-the-cuff shots, but they more than deliver in terms of image quality and opportunities for creativity. Featuring manual controls and interchangeable lenses, beginner and expert photographers alike will be able to customize their experience. Keep in mind, however, that investing in a DSLR means taking extra precautions while travelling in order to keep your valuable camera safe.

  • Nikon D850: boasting incredible battery life, a large screen to find the perfect shot, and 4K video capabilities, the Nikon D850 is often touted as one of the best all-around DSLR cameras on the market.
A person in a white shirt stands by a body of water taking a picture with a camera with a large lens
DLSR and mirrorless cameras have interchangeable lenses to allow for different shots | © Ari He/Unsplash

Mirrorless

Use it for: long journeys, priceless shots

Often confused for DSLRs mirrorless cameras have one important distinction: they don’t contain the bulky mirror DSLRs do, meaning they’re smaller, lightweight, and a great option for travellers hitting the road for long periods of time who may not have room to pack a larger camera. While mirrorless cameras occasionally experience issues with battery life and auto-focus, the current models are often just as powerful as DSLRs.

  • Canon EOS M6: while mirrorless cameras can be pricey, the Canon EOS M6 is nearly half the price of some of the competition, making it a great option for beginner photographers. Featuring great image quality and a compact, lightweight design, it’s one of the best mirrorless cameras for travel blogging.
The view of a city through a digital camera
See things from a new perspective through photography | © Jay Wennington/Unsplash

Travel photography tips

  1. Take the road less travelled: you’ll find some of the best photo-ops outside of the main tourist attractions.
  2. Rise and shine: it’s always a good idea to get up early, especially if you plan on photographing wildlife.
  3. Take it slow: don’t rush through any aspect of a trip you’d like to photograph – taking your time will allow for better-composed, more thoughtful photos.
  4. Be respectful: always ask permission before taking photos that include locals; not only is it the polite thing to do, it often results in better photos, since your subject will be more willing to work with you. Learning a few words in the local language can go a long way!
  5. Do your homework: what is the history of your destination? Do the people there have a reputation for being open-hearted and welcoming, or do they prefer to be left alone by tourists? Respecting the location enough to research it in-depth will do wonders for your photography.
A woman in a yellow coat looks through the lens of a nikon camera
Photography is the ultimate way to document your travels | © Constantinos Panagopoulos/Unsplash

Whether you’re a photography expert looking to up your game, or a newbie who just wants to remember that life-changing trip with some beautiful photos, there’s a travel camera for everyone, at every budget.

What camera do you travel with? What’s your favourite photo you’ve ever taken while travelling? Let us know in the comments!

Maggie is a life-long traveller who, after three years abroad, has returned home to Toronto, where she works as a Content Editor at TourRadar. When she's not reading, writing, or dreaming about her next trip, she can usually be found cooing over other people's dogs or hunting down Mexican food.

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