Best Mirrorless Travel Cameras

Mirrorless travel camera

We often get questions like, ‘What is an ideal travel camera?’, ‘Should I invest in a digital camera or better just stick to my smartphone…’ Smartphone cameras may now be more capable than ever with constant improvements but they still are just smartphone cameras. 

If you want to shoot travel photos like a pro but don’t want to carry a lot of gear on you, try mirrorless cameras.

Mirrorless cameras are somewhere in between point & shoot cameras and DSLRs. To be more precise, if you review their features and performances, they are the same as DSLRs, but when you evaluate their size, most mirrorless cameras are lighter than DSLR if you use a KIT lens they will compete with point & shoot cameras. 

So, mirrorless cameras are without doubt the best general cameras for travel photography.

In this article you will learn why using mirrorless is an ideal solution for travelers who want compact but powerful cameras. We will cover all the advantages and disadvantages of using mirrorless cameras and go through 10 most important things you should pay attention to when choosing which camera to buy. 

You will find our recommendations for micro four-thirds, APS-C, and full-frame cameras that fit travel photography, and which additional accessories are a must if you want to leverage your camera’s performance and your creativity.

Table of Contents

P.S. If you don’t have a time to go through the whole article, below you will find quick overview of our favorite mirrorless cameras:

Is a Mirrorless an Ideal Travel Camera?

In short, if we need to pick just one type of camera to be your ideal travel companion it will definitely be a mirrorless camera. 

Why? 

Firstly, they are compact and has bigger sensors than point & shoot cameras.

Secondly, there are a lot of lenses available for all current producers because the technology is well established. It wasn’t like this 10 years ago when DSLRs offered a lot more according to available lenses and equipment. So, you can customize the system however you want and have a more compact system then an equal DSLR.

These are the reasons why we first think about mirrorless cameras for an ideal travel camera.

Advantages of Mirrorless Cameras

Couple in Cappadocia

Photo by Mesut Kaya on Unsplash

Powerful & compact

10 years ago, you had to use big DSLRs if you wanted to take photos with no compromises while traveling. Things have changed.

Mirrorless brings you “hearth of DSLR” in a more compact size. 

Of course, mirrorless are not as compact as point & shoot cameras, but their size is somewhere in between. Furthermore, a lot of mirrorless cameras offer excellent performance in video production as well. 

Today, lots of professional photographers and video creators use mirrorless cameras as a first camera or backup one. Of course, point & shoot cameras and especially smartphones are smaller, but they are not as powerful as mirrorless cameras.

More control to boost your creativity

You may ask yourself which benefits you get with mirrorless if you compare it with your (flagship) smartphone – that is also capable of producing great photos. The answer is simple – you get better control and a lot more options to boost your creativity.

The truth is that today’s smartphones are getting better and better in terms of photography and videography, especially if you like to review photos and videos on the smartphone screen, but mirrorless cameras will offer you a lot more. 

The good combination is to use a smartphone in situations when you take random photos (i.e. when you just arrive in a destination and want to explore it quickly without spending too much time), but switch to a bigger camera when you want to dedicate some time to taking really great photos, especially if you want the RAW format.

You can start with a single lens and then upgrade it

One of the great advantages over smartphones and point & shoot cameras is the ability to change lenses as on DSLRs. 

Basically, you can start with a single lens (KIT lens you usually get with a camera) and then expand the system according to your needs.

You can produce good video as well

If you want to take videos as well, almost all mirrorless cameras will enable you to get good videos in 1080p or 4K. 

Of course, there are cameras which are better or worse for video production, but essentially, even basic mirrorless models will provide pretty useful footage for most users.

Disadvantages of Mirrorless Cameras

Nikon camera on the tripod

Photo by Gautam Singh on Unsplash

There are not a lot of disadvantages of mirrorless cameras when you compare them with others, especially DSLRs. 

Two most important things are battery life and lack of optical viewfinder.

Of course, we don’t want to say that the battery life is poor, but is much lower than on DSLR cameras. The reason is you need to use either an electronic viewfinder or an LCD screen on a mirrorless camera and they ‘eat’ juice fast.

On the other hand, DSLRs have optical viewfinders so, if you use just an optical viewfinder on a DSLR, the battery life is much longer then on mirrorless cameras. In other words, with mirrorless cameras you always should have a spare battery in the bag and you shouldn’t forget to charge batteries after each photo day (as you will charge your smartphone).

Another thing is that DSLR cameras are bigger and their ergonomy comes to be an advantage for some users. Of course, ergonomy depends on the model, but in general the bigger size of DSLR cameras give you a more comfortable use.

We also want to mention that you should count on the learning curve when you move from smartphone or point & shoot camera (especially if you use them mainly in auto mode), so it will be ideal if you can invest some time to study your camera. 

However, if you want to continue shooting mainly in auto mode, maybe you should avoid buying a mirrorless camera, especially because the quality of the final photos will not be so great as you use at least some of the manual settings. The pictures may even appear worse than on your point & shoot camera (they are devoted to less experienced users so their auto mode is better optimized for them).

10 Things You Should Pay Attention to

Best travel mirrorless cameras

1. Micro Four-Thirds or APS-C or Full-Frame

There are 3 sizes of a mirrorless camera sensor. The smallest one is a micro four-thirds, then an APS-C and the biggest one is a full-frame. Of course, full-frame sensors have some advantages over micro four-thirds and APS-C.

The bigger size means less noise in high ISO (better low light photos) and higher dynamic range. However, the bigger sensor means a bigger camera as well and more expensive and bigger lenses in many cases. So, if you want to have the most compact mirrorless system, micro four-thirds or APS-C cameras will be better options.

2. Lenses

Before you invest in a new camera you should have long-term and short-term plans for all the lenses you will buy. 

If you use old lenses you need to pay attention to their compatibility. 

Nowadays, no matter which producer you choose you will probably have a lot of choices regarding lenses, but the devil is in the details. So, before you buy a camera you should think about what your system will look like in 1-3 years.

3. Electronic Viewfinder and LCD Screen

Considering you will use either an electronic viewfinder or LCD screen, you should pay attention to them. When we say pay attention we want to stress out that you should evaluate the size and resolution of EVF and LCD screens.

If you want to make vlogs or plan to take selfies you should ensure you have a camera with a fully articulated screen.

4. Ergonomy and Controls

Ergonomy and controls are also important. In many cases, when it comes to travel photography, you simply don’t always have enough time, so ergonomy and access to controls are key

It’s not the same if you adjust things in a blind with your finger or if you put the camera down and use both hands to adjust settings.

5. Speed (x 3)

You need to have 3 things in mind regarding the speed:

  1. Autofocus speed;
  2. Shooting speed in burst mode;
  3. Writing speed when the buffer is full (but it depends mostly on the memory card).

If you don’t want to shoot a lot of action photos and prefer landscapes or similar, you don’t need to think about it too much. 

But if you are more action oriented you should definitely keep the 3 things in mind – a faster autofocus combined with a high number of photos in burst mode, plus fast writing after you make the buffer.

6. Image Stabilization

It’s probably one of the most important things for all travel photographers.

There are 2 options: to use a camera with in-body stabilization which means that every lens you mount on becomes a stabilized lens, or to use lenses with optical stabilization.

The benefit is clear – you will be able to take sharp photos when the shutter speed is slower, which enables you to get better low light photos when you don’t have a tripod or want to use a camera in situations when tripods are not suitable. We encourage you to avoid investing in systems without either in-body stabilization or stabilization in lenses.

7. Video

Today’s mirrorless cameras usually have good features for videos as well. But if you prioritize video you should pay attention to a few more things. 

Some of them are: video stabilization, the ability to record 4K as well, whether the camera records 4K in full width or cropped, in which fps you can record in 1080p or 4K, does it support 120 or 240 fps – if you are going to create slow motion videos, does it support for 10 bit, can you record in H.264 and H.265 or only in H.264 and so on.

8. Wireless Connectivity

Wireless connection is pretty essential for travel cameras especially for easier backup to computers without cables. You are also able to control your camera using smartphone apps. Usually they support wireless, NFC, and Bluetooth.

9. Body and Materials

You should evaluate weight and size of the camera in order to pick between compact or compact to midsize systems. Full-frame cameras are usually bigger than APS-C or the micro four-thirds one. 

Also, you should evaluate if you need to have a weather or dust sealing camera and it depends on your travel style. For more adventure-style travelers, a weather-sealing camera is ideal.

10. Battery Life & Charging

In the end we want to stress once again that battery life is one of the things you should pay attention to in the mirrorless world, considering they don’t have optical view-finder like DSLR so battery consumption is higher than on DSLRs. 

So, you should consider investing in at least 1 or 2 spare batteries + external charger in order to be able to charge both batteries at the same time. Also, if you travel a lot, make sure your mirrorless camera can charge using a USB, so you can recharge it on the go or using a power bank.

What to Choose as a Mirrorless Travel Camera?

If you are sure that a mirrorless is an ideal travel camera for you, let us show you our favorites.

First, we want to uncover our methodology:

We outlined our recommendations following 3 categories, considering sensor size: micro four-thirds, APS-C, and full-frame. We didn’t use the absolute best and budget-friendly flags as we did in our recommendations for smartphones, point & shoot, DSLRs, and action cameras.

There are 2 reasons for this. The first is because we will uncover lot more cameras, because of the popularity of mirrorlesses for travel photographers. The second is because we’d like to avoid comparing apples with oranges. Simply, for some brands even the cheapest cameras we outline here are not budget-friendly in any way.

Micro Four-Thirds

Panasonic Lumix DC-G100

Image source: Panasonic

Overview

This is one of the smallest and lightest Panasonic’s MFT cameras and it’s a good choice for travelers, especially if you like to make vlog-style videos. 

It’s powered by a 20 Mpix sensor without in-body stabilization, but there is an electronic stabilization which enables you to get smooth videos. If you have a lens with optical stabilization, electronic stabilization will work in conjunction. Autofocus is good and uses contrast-detect technology only (there is no phase detect).

This camera has both mechanical and electronic shutters, but mechanical is limited up to 1/500s shutter speed. Continuous shooting is slower with mechanical shutter than with the electronic one (with the mechanical you will be able to shoot 5 images per second, but with the electronic it’s 2x more – 10 images in second). 

We were pleasantly surprised by a very good electronic viewfinder which is large enough and has a pretty good resolution. Of course, there is also a very good LCD touchscreen which is fully articulated so you can use this camera for selfies and front-facing video recording in vlog style.

The body is well-built, the grip is comfortable, and when you combine it with its lightweight it’s clear that you can use this camera all day and it won’t tire you up. You can also buy an optional selfie stick to use it also as a mini tripod for smoothest experience and vlogging.

How it performs for stills?

To be clear, this camera is devoted primarily to users who move from smartphone photography to “real” cameras. That said, Panasonic tried to reach users who primarily want to get good JPEGs. So, JPEGs are pretty good in terms of color and contrast in daylight. 

Dynamic range is solid for micro 4/3 sensor and chromatic aberrations are acceptable. For low light conditions you can count on pretty usable photos up to ISO 3200. However, you can increase ISO up to 25600, but the noise starts to become too visible on ISO 6400.

There is also an option to create HDR photos directly from the camera, and there are 22 filters you can try, but it won’t replace your Instagram filters, so we recommend you to edit photos instead to use the built-in.

How it performs for video?

As we mentioned previously, this camera is marketed as great gear for vloggers. So, there is 4K video up to 30 fps, and 1080p videos up to 120 fps to make nice slow motion footage. 

The overall quality of video is pretty good in terms of colors and dynamic, but we are (negatively) surprised that 4K videos are cropped especially when you turn on electronic image stabilization. If you want to get full width videos you need to stick to 1080p and turn off the electronic image stabilization.

One of the best features in terms of video is directional audio. In other words, Panasonic enables several ways to use the built-in microphones (3 of them) so you can track the person you are recording. It’s a fantastic feature if you take videos in noisy areas. 

All in all, for travel vloggers this camera is a pretty good option especially if you use the 1080p resolution.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog

Sample videos:

Vlogging style video
4K vlogging style video
4K video test
Audio tracking test

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Compact size & lightweight, plus fantastic ergonomic for hands;
  • Very good optical viewfinder and fully articulated LCD touchscreen;
  • The KIT lens is pretty good and travel friendly;
  • Stills and videos are pretty good;
  • Excellent built-in microphone with audio tracking.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • No in-body stabilization;
  • No weather-sealed body;
  • No 60 fps in 4K;
  • Videos in 4K are heavily cropped especially when you use electronic image stabilization.
Panasonic Lumix DC GX9

Image source: Panasonic

Overview

It’s another compact and travel friendly mirrorless camera. 

This camera is powered by a 20.3 Mpix sensor and unlike the DC-G100, GX9 is equipped with in-body 5-axis image stabilization which works in conjunction with optical image stabilization on the lens. Autofocus system is pretty much the same as on the DC-G100 and it uses contrast-detect technology. 

GX9 is a fast camera and enables you to take 6 images per second in burst mode. This camera has a tilting touchscreen LCD and with tilting electronic viewfinder. So, if you like to use EVF over LCD, you can use it even for photos with inconvenient angles where you would normally use the tilting option of LCD screen.

The body of DX9 is built with a combination of metal and composite materials and unfortunately it’s not weather-sealed. Connectivity of GX9 is wide so you can use wireless and Bluetooth to connect it to your smartphone or laptop. 

This is a very good choice for your next travel camera if you consider size and compactness as your top priority.

How it performs for stills?

We like the overall quality of the photos. In daylight conditions the dynamic range is pretty good and the colors are natural. In low light we recommend to stick ISO up to 3200 if you want to avoid noise and desaturation, and you will be satisfied with results.

Considering the LCD screen is not fully articulated, if you want to take selfies or make vlogging videos, you will do this blindly. There are also 2 new options you can try to boost your creativity: monochromatic modes which enable you to take black & white grainy images which look like old photos, and sequence composition mode which will combine multiple photos into one.

How it performs for video?

GX9 is capable of making 4K videos up to 30 fps and 1080p up to 60 fps. 4K is a bit cropped (1.25x) but if you want to shoot full-width you should switch to full HD resolution. Of course if you use electronic image stabilization alongside the in-body, the video will be more cropped. 

You can capture 4K videos in 100 MB/s which enables you to get more data. You can choose a focus point using the touchscreen and also there are zebra patterns and live histogram.

Unfortunately, there is no microphone input nor headphone output, so if you want to get a better audio quality than the internal microphone offer, you should read what we say about the GH5 camera which is more suitable for video creators.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog
Gallery of sample photos on Pixel Peeper
Gallery of sample photos on Onfotolife

Sample videos:

4K video samples
Another video (post processed)

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Compact and well-designed camera;
  • Very good quality of photos and videos in all modes;
  • Tilting viewfinder + tilting LCD touchscreen;
  • Very good dual image stabilization system (in-body which works in conjunction with in-lens stabilization + electronic stabilization for videos);
  • Can charge using a USB which enables you to recharge it on the go (with power bank or public chargers for phones);
  • Great connectivity (wireless + Bluetooth).

Cons as a travel camera:

  • Poor grip;
  • No weather-sealing;
  • No input for external microphone, nor output for headphones;
  • No eye cup on electronic viewfinder;
  • Battery life is poor especially if you use the camera in video mode.
Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5M2

Image source: Panasonic

Overview

If you ask videographers what they recommend for video shootings, we’re pretty sure lot of them will pick Panasonic Lumix GH5M2. This is probably the best option for travelers whose focus is on video shooting, but also want to get very good stills.

GH5M2 is newer version of extremely popular GH5M2. The heart of this camera is 20 Mpix sensor with in-body stabilization which works in conjunction with stabilization in lens which makes dual image stabilization (you need to have Panasonic lenses which supports this feature) and up to 6.5 f-stops of compensation. 

Electronic viewfinder is big and bright, but the camera is also equipped with a fully articulated LCD screen. Autofocus is fast and precise and you can use even 2 additional features post focus and focus stacking which enables you to focus your image after you take a photo. 

In continuous shooting mode you can take 12 images per second no matter if you shoot in JPEG, RAW or JPEG + RAW. However, continuous focus will work up to 9 images per second.

The camera body is made of magnesium which makes it rugged and durable and it’s also weather-sealed. Regarding connectivity, you can use wireless, NFC, and Bluetooth. There are 2 memory card slots which support UHS II cards. Plus there is USB-C capable for powering and charging.

How it performs for stills?

The overall quality of images is excellent for both JPEG and RAW. The colors are vivid, sharpening is great, and dynamic range is higher than on other micro four-thirds cameras. In low light the camera performs pretty well if you count on sensor limitation which means that you shouldn’t be too aggressive with the ISO adjustments.

As we mentioned in the overview, there are 2 interesting features we would like to stress out: post focus and focus stacking. These features enable you to tweak focus after you take a photo. The camera will shoot several photos using different focus points and you can adjust the focus later. Focus stacking will use all focus points to create a photo where all objects are focused. These 2 features work only on static objects. So, you need to use at least a tripod in order to leverage it.

How it performs for video?

This is the field where GH5M2 is brilliant. This camera can record 4K videos up to 60 fps and 1080p videos up to 180 fps. We want to stress that you will get the full width of the sensor and there is no crop in 4K videos like on most other cameras. 

You can use 10-bit 4:2:2 internal recording in order to get the best possible video for post processing. Another thing is that GH5M2 allows you unlimited video recording unlike most other cameras. Also, there is another thing – live streaming directly from the camera.

There are a lot of options to adjust autofocus (speed and sensitivity) and you can rely on very good implementation of face/eye detection with subject tracking. You can also choose a focus point using a touchscreen LCD. 

Dual IS which is a combination of in-body and in-lens stabilization and works great. You can always add additional electronic stabilization if you are comfortable with small tradeoffs with a bit cropped video (but the crop is minor, just 1.1x).

All in all, if you want to be able to create professional looking travel videos, but still be able to take pretty good photos, GH5M2 should be on your bucket list.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog

Sample videos:

4K 60 fps video
Low light video test

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Professional 4K video up to 60 fps without any crop and with 10 bit colors in almost all modes;
  • Comfortable viewfinder and fully articulated touchscreen LCD;
  • Fast & precise autofocus for stills and videos. Good subject tracking using face and eye detection;
  • Top-notch dual image stabilization for stills and videos;
  • Rugged and weather-sealed body;
  • Option to adjust focus after you take a photo;
  • Live streaming;
  • USB-C charging;
  • Wireless and Bluetooth connections for easy sharing.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • One of the biggest and heaviest micro four-thirds cameras;
  • No built-in flash.
Olympus OM D E M10 Mark IV

Image source: Olympus

Overview

Olympus is one of the best among micro four-thirds cameras. M10 Mark IV is a great option for travel photographers who want to have a very compact and lightweight camera with an old-fashion body. 

It’s powered by a 20 Mpix sensor, in-body 5-axis stabilization and is able to produce 15 images per second in burst mode. Autofocus is fast and relies on contrast-detect. Face and eye recognition works very well and can recognize people even if they don’t look at the camera. 

The LCD screen is not fully articulated but you can tilt it up to 180 degrees which makes it a useful camera for selfies or vlogging.

The camera is made of plastic and it’s not weather-sealed, which is understandable considering that Olympus’s engineers made a pretty lightweight mirrorless camera (the camera’s weight is only 0.84lb or 383g including the battery). There is USB charging as well as the option to connect cameras with a smartphone via wireless and Bluetooth.

How it performs for stills?

If you usually take travel photos with your smartphone and like to get vivid and saturated photos without tweaking them through a photo editor, this camera will definitely be a good choice for you. 

Olympus M10 Mark IV is an entry-level camera, hence in processing Olympus’s engineers had beginners photographers in mind. So, it’s one of the rare “real” cameras that produce pretty good photos in Auto mode (without blurring, considering they keep exposure speed low enough + photos are nicer to look at with saturated colors). 

Sharpness and dynamic range are also very good, but photos are a bit noisier in lower light because the camera keeps shutter speed on a level that prevents blurry images. 

Also the camera will automatically correct all artefacts made by the lens so you will get pretty good end results. Considering that this camera is devoted to beginners and smartphone users who want to have a “real” camera, there are a lot of filters you can use instead of the Instagram filters.

How it performs for video?

There is support for 4K video up to 30 fps, and 1080p up to 60 fps. In-body stabilization works pretty good, but if you enable additional electronic stabilization the video will be smoother, but the tradeoff is cropped video. 

The overall quality of video is pretty good, and if you like a bit more saturated colors you will also like that. If you like to take vlogging videos, you will love LCD screen because you can flip it down.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog

Sample videos:

Sample video

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Ultra compact and lightweight body;
  • 5-axis in-body stabilization;
  • Colorful and vivid JPEGs with very good auto mode (considering the camera is devoted to beginners and people who previously used smartphones to take photos);
  • Good for selfies and vlogging because you can flip LCD screen by 180 degrees;
  • USB charging.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • Weak feeling of the body considering it’s made of plastic;
  • No weather sealing;
  • No microphone input;
  • No external charger in set (you need to buy it separately).

APS-C

Canon EOS M6 Mark II

Image source: Canon

Overview

EOS M6 Mark II is a compact and pretty powerful camera.

It’s powered by a 32.5 Mpix sensor and it’s equipped with a dual pixel autofocus system. The camera is very fast in shooting, so you can count on 14 images per second when you use the continuous mode. There is a tilted LCD screen which you can flip by 180 degrees on up and by 45 degrees on down. So, you can use it for selfies and vlogging as well.

EOS M6 Mark II doesn’t have a built-in viewfinder, but you can use an optional electronic viewfinder when you need it. 

EOS M6 Mark II uses EF-M lenses but you can also use other Canon’s EF lenses but with adapters (If you already have old Canon lenses you can rely on them). If we want to stress a single disadvantage it will be the lack of in-body stabilization, so if you want stabilized images you should use lenses with optical image stabilization.

It’s built with very good materials and the feel in hand is pretty good. The ergonomy of the camera is very good due to grip and buttons you can easily access with a single finger. In the end we want to mention that you can connect it to your smartphone using wireless and Bluetooth.

How it performs for stills?

The overall quality of photos – color reproduction, dynamic range, noise levels, and sharpening – are excellent considering very good JPEG processing. There are both mechanical and electronic shutters. 

Autofocus and subject tracking work very well, but you need to be closer to the camera in order for it to track you.

How it performs for video?

EOS M6 Mark II is capable of capturing 4K video up to 30 fps without any crop (using full width sensor). If you want to capture 60 fps videos you have to choose 1080p. Also in 1080p you can capture slow motion videos in 120 fps. There is an option to capture HDR videos in 30 frames per second.

Unfortunately, there is no in-body stabilization, so you need to rely only on optical image stabilization in lenses (if you have an IS lens) or using the electronic image stabilization which will crop the video. You can use standard and enhanced electronic stabilization, but with the enhanced mode the video will be cropped significantly. 

Also the rolling shutter effect is barely noticeable and better than on many other cameras.

The quality of 4K and 1080p videos are good, but you need to be aware that this camera is not intended to make professional videos.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog
Gallery of sample images on Onfotolife

Sample videos:

Sample video
Travel videos
Test for vlogging videos
Low light video test

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Very compact & lightweight body with nice ergonomy and pleasant feel in hand;
  • Excellent autofocus and subject tracking capabilities;
  • Photos are fantastic in both JPEG and RAW;
  • 4K and 1080p videos in full width of sensor (no crop);
  • Tilted LCD screen useful for selfies or vlogging;
  • USB charging.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • No built-in electronic viewfinder (you can attach it separately);
  • You have to use EF-M lenses if you don’t want to use an adapter for other EF lenses;
  • Autofocus tracking works only when subjects are close to the camera;
  • No weather-sealed body;
  • No in-body image stabilization;
  • Battery life is lower than on the competitors’ models.
Canon EOS M200

Image source: Canon

Overview

It’s another compact mirrorless camera by Canon, we can also say it’s a pocket-size mirrorless camera, because it’s sized to be as compact as an average point and shoot camera. 

It’s powered by a 24.1 Mpix sensor and also has dual pixel autofocus together with face and eye detection. The camera is capable of shooting 6 images per second in burst mode or 4 images per second if you use autofocus. 

The LCD touch screen on the rear is big and nice with the option to flip down by 180 degrees which makes the EOS M200 a great choice for selfies and vloggers. 

You can connect your camera to a smartphone or laptop to transfer images or control the camera using wireless and Bluetooth. Also, there is a USB charging option so this camera can be easily recharged on the go using a power bank.

The main advantage for travelers is definitely the point & shoot camera size, but the tradeoff is that the camera doesn’t have an electronic viewfinder as well as a grip for handling.

How it performs for stills?

The overall quality of images is very good. We like the colors and dynamic range of JPEGs. There is also an option to make HDRs using several modes available. The KIT lens is also surprisingly good but produces maybe a bit less sharp angles in the images.

How it performs for video?

The camera can capture 4K and 1080p video. There is an option for time-lapse videos and vertical videos for people who want to shoot for Instagram stories or similar. 

4K is limited to 30 fps, but it’s also significantly cropped (1.7x) which means that you won’t be able to shoot at any wide angle if you don’t have a really wide lens. However, 1080p video is still very good in terms of quality and it uses full-width of sensor, so it means that 1080p video is not cropped, that is if you don’t use electronic image stabilization (there is no in-body image stabilization). 

Autofocus in video is very good and you can use the well-implemented face detection for subject tracking and keeping it in focus.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog
Gallery of sample images on Onfotolife

Sample videos:

Sample video
Another sample (handheld video)

Pros as a travel camera:

  • One of the smallest mirrorless cameras on the market;
  • Excellent image quality;
  • Very well implemented subject tracking;
  • You can flip LCD screen by 180 degrees so you can shoot selfies easily.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • No electronic viewfinder;
  • No grip so handling is much worse than on a regular mirrorless camera;
  • 4K videos are significantly cropped;
  • No input for an external microphone.
Fujifilm X-T4

Image source: Fujifilm

Overview

Fuji X-T4 is one of the most capable APS-C mirrorless cameras on the market.

It’s equipped with a 26 Mpix sensor with in-body image stabilization which is combined with electronic image stabilization – pretty useful for smooth videos. 

Camera is capable of producing 20 images per second with the autofocus and electronic shutter in continuous shooting mode. With mechanical shutter it’s a bit slower but still very good with 15 images per second. Subject tracking is implemented solidly but Sony A6XXX series are still better in that field. 

Viewfinder and LCD touchscreen are superb in terms of resolution, brightness, and size. Of course, LCD screen is fully articulated. 

Fuji also added 12 film simulations modes which enable you to capture images with a nice “film-look”.

The camera is built with strong materials and the body is weather-sealed. One drawback for travelers could be the size of the camera, because it enters the full-frame cameras territory but it’s not a full-frame camera. 

On the other hand Fuji X-T4 comes with a high-capacity battery and you can charge it through the USB port. There are 2 memory card slots which support the UHS-II standard. Also there is a port for external microphone. In the end you can control and transfer images wirelessly through wireless and Bluetooth.

How it performs for stills?

The overall quality of photos is excellent. JPEG processing is fantastic, so the color accuracy, sharpness, dynamic range, and noise levels are among the best over mirrorless APS-C cameras. 

As we already mentioned there are 12 film simulations which will make your photos look old-fashioned/vintage when you want them to. Also there is an option to create HDR photos directly on camera, without using external app.

How it performs for video?

In its nature, Fuji X-T4 is one of the best hybrid cameras on the market. When we say that we mean it’s capable of producing excellent photos and videos at the same time. 

So, the camera is capable of capturing 4K videos up to 60 fps and 1080p up to 240 fps. You can also record 10-bit color video with F-log without an external recorder. You will get full-width 4K videos up to 30 fps, and slightly cropped (1.18x) if you record them in 60 fps. In 1080p mode, you can capture full-width videos with 60 fps as well. In both modes you can choose H.264 or H.265 codec (H.265 will produce the lightest files but has limitations in compatibility with old devices). 

There are few levels of image stabilization available and the strongest is the boost image stabilization mode to get fully static video when you don’t have a tripod with you. 

Also, its rolling shutter is among the best in class. Maybe the single important disadvantage is the lack of autofocus tracking in video mode.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog
Gallery of sample images on Onfotolife

Sample videos:

Sample video (captured in different color profiles)
Cinematic handheld video
Low light 24 fps video

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Excellent choice for travelers who don’t want compromises in both photo and video;
  • Fantastic overall quality on photos and videos;
  • One of the best image stabilization systems on the market;
  • Uncropped 4K videos with 10-bit colors;
  • Support for H.265 codec;
  • Capable to make slow motion videos up to 240 fps (other cameras usually support up to 120 fps);
  • Comfortable grip;
  • One of the longest battery life in the mirrorless camera world;
  • USB charging;
  • Weather sealed body;
  • Dual UHS-II memory card slots.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • No subject tracking in video mode;
  • Big and heavy for an APS-C mirrorless camera.
Fujifilm X-T30

Image source: Fujifilm

Overview

X-T30 is cheaper than X-T4 but still a very good option for travelers who prefer a more compact and lightweight camera, because it’s quite smaller and lighter than X-T4

The camera is powered by a 26.1 Mpix sensor. Autofocus is fast and precise and you can capture up to 20 images per second in the burst mode with the autofocus enabled (or 30 without autofocus). There is no in-body stabilization so you need to use lenses with optical image stabilization, which is not a problem considering that KIT lenses come with OIS. 

Face detection and autofocus with subject tracking work very well. Viewfinder and LCD touch screen are bright and with good resolution. The LCD screen is not fully articulated, instead it’s tilted and you can tilt it up and down. If you are a video enthusiast we would like to mention that the camera has a 2.5 mm external microphone input, so if you use a 3.5 mm mic you will need an adapter.

The build quality is perfect but the body is not weather-sealed. The ergonomy is very good and you can access all controls easily. Also, you can connect the camera to your smartphone using wireless and Bluetooth to control the camera remotely, or transfer images. 

Last but not least, there is only a single SD card slot and it’s compatible only with UHS-I standard.

How it performs for stills?

The overall image quality is excellent. Out of camera JPEGs are rich with great colors, good sharpness, and low noise level. Noise reduction works very well in high ISO values as well as in long exposure. 

If you want to experiment with dynamic range, you can count on 3 modes you can test in order to get the results you want.

How it performs for video?

X-T30 is capable of making excellent videos as well. The colors are great, the autofocus is fast and face tracking works well. There is support for 4K videos up to 30 fps, and 1080p up to 120 fps. The good thing is that 4K videos are not cropped. 

By default videos use 8-bit colors, but if you are an advanced video maker you can also leverage the option to record 10-bit video using an external recorder (but we suppose that a lot of our readers are not in that category). There is also support for F-log and film simulation modes (the most famous is Eterna mode) if you want to get a nice effect without external color grading. 

You should know that recording of 4K videos is limited to 10 minutes. Also, the rolling shutter is barely noticeable and better than on other cameras of this category.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog
Gallery of sample images on Onfotolife

Sample videos:

Sample video
Film simulation comparison
Low light video test

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Powerful camera in compact & lightweight size;
  • Excellent quality of photos and videos;
  • Full width 4K videos;
  • Tilted LCD screen;
  • Film simulation modes;
  • Can charge using a USB.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • No fully articulated LCD screen;
  • No weather-sealed body;
  • No in-body stabilization;
  • 10 minutes limit for 4K videos.
Nikon Z50

Image source: Nikon

Overview

Nikon Z50 is a travel friendly mirrorless camera considering it’s compact and lightweight. 

It’s powered by a 20.9 Mpix sensor. Autofocus is fast and precise and relies on the phase detection technology. Face/eye detection is implemented very well, but subject tracking is not as reliable. In burst mode you can take 11 images per second with autofocus. 

There is no in-body stabilization so you should rely on the in-lens stabilization. There is no fully articulated LCD touchscreen, but you can tilt it by 180 degrees down or 90 degrees up, so you can use it for selfies or vlogging. 

If you already have Nikkor lenses you need to know that this camera is compatible natively only with Nikkor Z mount, so if you are going to use lenses with a F mount you will need to buy an adapter.

The camera is built with good material and the feel in the head is nice due to good ergonomy and a pretty comfortable grip, plus the body is weather sealed

For video creators there is an external microphone input (but without output for headphones). There is also an option to connect the camera with a smartphone using wireless and Bluetooth. This camera is equipped with a single SD card slot and it’s compatible with UHS I standard.

How it performs for stills?

Out of camera JPEGs are very good with accurate colors and a good dynamic range. RAW files are slightly compressed but they are made in 14-bit. 

Also for Instagrammers there are a lot of filters you can apply directly on camera.

How it performs for video?

Nikon Z50 is a solid choice for video makers as well. It’s capable of capturing 4K video up to 30 fps but with 1.5x crop. 1080p videos can be captured up to 120 fps. 

The overall quality of video is very good with nice colors and very good autofocus with excellent subject tracking.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog
Gallery of sample images on The Photography Hobbyist

Sample videos:

Sample video
Another video made with flat color profile
Videos made in standard color profile without color grading

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Excellent quality of photos;
  • Very good quality of video in both 4K and 1080p;
  • Ergonomic design, comfortable for hand holding;
  • Tilted LCD screen;
  • Can charge using a USB.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • No in-body stabilization;
  • No fully articulated LCD screen;
  • Battery life is poor.

Image source: Nikon

Overview

It’s a retro-look mirrorless camera dedicated to vloggers and everyone other who want to have a stylish camera.

It’s powered by an APS-C CMOS sensor with 20.9 Mpix. Nikon Z fc is equipped with a very good autofocus system with face and eye-tracking in photo mode. Also, there is a full-time eye-tracking in video mode. The camera is capable of bursts at 11 images per second in JPEG or 9 images per second in RAW format.

There is no in-body image stabilization, so you should choose lenses with optical image stabilization. Also in video mode, there is an option for additional electronic image stabilization.

LCD on the rear is a touchscreen and it’s fully articulated. So, it’s very friendly for vlogging-style videos and selfies. There is also a very good electronic viewfinder for those who like more the traditional way of photographing.

If you are a hybrid shooter you will like separate settings for video and photo mode. With this setup, you won’t accidentally keep some video settings in photo mode and vice versa.

Build quality is very good we can say it lefts a premium feel. We don’t like that there is no grip but it’s the price of a stylish design. However, you can buy additional grip sold separately if you want so. You will like control dials on the top. Besides very good quality aluminum dials, it’s a quick way to switch ISO, shutter speed, and exposure compensation. Many other compact mirrorless cameras have some or all these settings hidden into menus.

Battery life is solid and by CIPA camera is capable of 300 shots with single charging. However, there is a USB-C port for recharging or powering, so you can easily recharge or power the camera on a go. For video shooters, there is a port for an external microphone, but there is no port for headphones.

You can connect the camera with your phone or computer easily with a wireless connection and Bluetooth.

How it performs for stills?

The overall image quality is very good. We can say that JPEG has a typical “Nikon-look”. Colors are a bit colder sometimes but you can adjust it easily with warmer white balance settings. Sharpness is stressed and noise reduction is solid. However, if you want to avoid camera processing you can shoot in RAW/NEF format and process photos how you do like.

How it performs for video?

As we previously stated, this camera is devoted primarily to vloggers. The quality is awesome in both 4K and 1080. Unfortunately, there is no option for 60 fps videos in 4K (30 fps is maximum), but in 1080 you can shoot up to 120 fps. A built-in microphone will provide satisfactory sound quality, but there is also a port for an external microphone. In all resolutions, you can use electronic image stabilization, but you will get cropped video. Without using electronic image stabilization you will be able to shoot full-width videos.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog

Sample videos:

Sample video

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Excellent image quality;
  • Very good autofocus in both photo & video modes;
  • Stylish design & premium building quality;
  • Fully articulated LCD touchscreen;
  • Very good electronic viewfinder;
  • Separate settings for photo & video modes.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • No in-body image stabilization;
  • No 60 fps video in 4K;
  • Electronic image stabilization produced highly cropped video (without it you get full width video).
Sony Alpha A6600

Image source: Sony

Overview

A6600 is currently the leading Sony’s APS-C mirrorless camera. 

It’s powered by a 24 Mpix sensor and has the same autofocus system, the same top-notch subject tracking, and the same continuous shooting mode as on A6100 and other newer A6XXX cameras. The addition is in-body image stabilization which is useful for both stills and videos. 

The camera has both electronic and mechanical shutters. There is also an input for external microphone and an output for headphones. The LCD touchscreen is tilted up to 180 degrees so you can easily shoot selfies or make vlogs.

The body is built with magnesium and is weather-sealed. The grip is deep and comfortable for handling. 

One of the strongest advancements of A6600 is the battery. It’s probably the most traveler-friendly battery on mirrorless cameras, considering that the life is very long and it’s capable by CIPA to shoot 810 shots with a single charging. Furthermore, there is USB charging and operation, so with an addition of a power bank you will be able to ensure you have enough power all the time. 

Unfortunately, there is just a single card slot which supports the UHS I standard. In the end it’s worth mentioning that A6600 is equipped with wireless, Bluetooth, and NFC for connection to smart devices.

How it performs for stills?

The overall image quality is the same as other A6XXX cameras – out of camera JPEGs are excellent. When we say excellent, it means that colors, dynamic range, and noise levels are among the best in the class. 

When you add on top of this that you get a camera with very fast autofocus and superb subject tracking, you can be sure that this camera is one of the top peaks among APS-C mirrorless cameras.

How it performs for video?

Video performance is great as well. 4K videos look pretty nice and are really rich in details. Unlike A6100, there is in-body 5 axis image stabilization which works well. Also, there is no limit in terms of time of video recording. 

You can capture uncropped full width 4K video in 24 fps, but if you capture 30 fps video you will get 1.23x crop. 1080p video is not as good as 4K in terms of quality, but with 1080p you can capture 60 fps or even 120 fps videos. 

For more serious video creators there are a lot of options for picture profiles and logs. Unlike Fujifilm or Panasonic cameras, there is no option to capture videos in 10-bit, nor in H.265. Also, there is no electronic image stabilization mode which would be a great addition over in-body stabilization.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog
Gallery of sample images on Onfotolife
Another gallery of A6600’s sample images

Sample videos:

Sample video using Cine 4 profile
Low light video
In-body stabilization test

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Excellent image quality;
  • Top notch autofocus implementation with excellent subject tracking;
  • In-body 5-axis image stabilization;
  • Tilted LCD touchscreen;
  • Comfortable grip;
  • Long battery life + USB charging;
  • Uncropped 4K video;
  • Weather sealed body.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • No fully articulated LCD screen;
  • No built-in flash;
  • No 60 fps in 4K;
  • Jello effect when you capture 4K in full-width;
  • 1080p videos are significantly worse in terms of quality than 4K videos.

Image source: Sony

Overview

Sony ZV-E10 is mainly dedicated to vloggers, but inside it’s basically same as Sony Alpha A6100. So it’s equipped by 24 Mpix CMOS sensor and have best-in-class autofocus system (the same as on Sony A6XXX series).

Beside of the its LCD screen is fully articulated and also built-in directional microphone is very good and came with windscreen. Also there are both microphone and headphone connectors. However, there are 2 things that are missing – no shooting mode dial and no viewfinder. If you are purely photographer, maybe you would rather avoid this camera. But if you are video content creator you will like option for live steaming.

Sony ZV-E10 is built by very good materials but it’s not weather-sealed. Battery life is very good considering that the camera is able for 440 shots with single charging (CIPA rated) or 80 minutes of video recording. Regarding videos, we’d like that this camera is able for H.265 format and 10-bit videos, but if those 2 are not your priorities, you will get very capable camera for content creation.

How it performs for stills?

As we previously said, Sony ZV-E10 share almost all photo capabilities with Sony Alpha A6100. So, you will get the same quality for images and the same autofocus capabilities. Unfortunately, it means also that you can not count on loss-less RAW considering that Sony in A6XXX series use a bit compressed RAW. But for most of users it’s not so important, considering many of us won’t do some heavy weight editing in post.

How it performs for video?

Sony ZV-E10 is primarily focused for video creators. It’s capable to record 4K videos up to 30 fps (at 24 fps without crop, at 30 fps with 1.23x crop), and also 1080p videos up to 120 fps (120 fps slow motion videos are 1.14x cropped). Also there is ability to shot vertical videos, so you won’t need to use only your smartphone camera for photos you will share on social media. Also there are 10 different Cinema picture profiles as well as S-Log 2, 3 and HLG.

There is no in-sensor stabilization, so camera will use in-lens stabilization (if your lens have it) plus you can add additional electronic stabilization. But be aware of using it if you don’t have enough wide lens, because you will get very cropped final video (1.44x). But in any case, we recommend you to turn off stabilization at all and relying on gyro stabilization you will get in Sony’s free Catalyst Browse app. Of course, it requires additional steps from you (import videos to your computer, edit them and export), but you will get the best possible results. We can say it’s only way to get gimbal-like stabilization without gimbal and we very like this offer on newest Sony cameras.

Also there are 2 additional features devoted mainly to beginners: background defocus – basically camera will set aperture to widest level; and soft skin effect.

3 things we don’t like on videos are: you will notice rolling shutter artefacts (jello effect) in motion videos at 4K (on 1080p it’s much lower); and 1080p videos are not so sharp and nice as 4K. However, all current Sony’s 4K cameras from A6XXX suffer from the same “problem” in 1080p. Also we’d like to see 60 fps on 4K, but for 60 fps you need to use 1080p.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog

Sample videos:

Sample video
120 fps video sample
4K cinematic video
Low light sample video

Pros as a travel camera:

  • One of the most compact and lightweight APS-C mirrorless cameras;
  • Excellent image quality;
  • Top-notch autofocus system with superb subject tracking possibilities;
  • Very good video quality in 4K;
  • Fully articulated LCD screen;
  • Very good built-in microphone with windscreen;
  • Microphone + headphone input;
  • Very good battery life + USB charging.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • No in-body stabilization;
  • No shooting mode dial;
  • Without viewfinder;
  • Not weather-sealed;
  • No 60 fps in 4K;
  • No 10-bit videos or H265 format;
  • Jello effect in 4K videos;
  • 1080p videos are significantly worse in terms of quality than 4K videos.

Full-Frame

Canon EOS R6

Image source: Canon

Overview

EOS R6 is a mid-size full-frame mirrorless camera powered by a 20 Mpix sensor and in-body image stabilization. 

The camera is equipped with an excellent autofocus system with integrated subject tracking which is capable of tracking not only people but also animals. 

There are both mechanical and electronic shutters and EOS R6 can produce 20 images per second with electronic shutter in burst mode. The amount of images per second in burst mode is lower if you use mechanical shutter – it can capture up to 12 images per second with the autofocus.

The LCD touch screen is fully articulated, bright, and with good resolution. The battery life is solid and the camera should be able to shoot 350-380 shots when fully charged.

The body is made of magnesium and is weather-sealed. There are dual memory card slots that support UHS-II. You can also connect EOS R6 to your smartphone using wireless and Bluetooth.

How it performs for stills?

The overall image quality is excellent. Out of camera JPEGs are very good with accurate colors and great dynamic range and pretty low level of noise even in high ISO. RAW photos are also very good with even less noise levels.

How it performs for video?

The camera is capable of shooting 4K videos up to 60 fps and 1080p up to 120 fps. Two important things to mention are that this camera is capable of shooting in 10-bit and also to use H.265 in recording format. The subject tracking works very well in all modes, but rolling shutter is noticeable in 4K.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog

Sample videos:

10-bit video test
Another 4K 10-bit video

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Excellent image & video quality;
  • Superb autofocus system with subject tracking;
  • Excellent in-body image stabilization system;
  • Fully articulated LCD screen;
  • 10-bit video;
  • H.265 codec supported;
  • USB charging;
  • Dual card slot with UHS-II format supported.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • 4K recording is limited;
  • Rolling shutter exists more than it should;
  • Autofocus requires investing time to make adjustments according to your needs.
Canon EOS RP

Image source: Canon

Overview

EOS RP is a compact full-frame camera powered by a 26 Mpix sensor and dual pixel autofocus system (based on the phase detection technology) with face tracking and pupils detection.

The camera is a bit slower than those of the competitors’ so you must be satisfied with 5 images per second in burst rate (or 4 with autofocus) and also there is no in-body stabilization (we suppose it’s a tradeoff for the compact size). You can mount all Canon’s EF lenses using an adapter, while without an adapter you can mount only the RF lenses. The good side is a fully articulated LCD touch screen and a very good electronic viewfinder.

The camera is built with magnesium but there are also some parts of aluminium and polycarbonate resin with glass fibre. It feels good in hand in terms of quality and durability. The grip is comfortable and the overall design is ergonomic. 

EOS RP is equipped with both external microphone input and headphone. You can connect it to a smartphone using wireless and Bluetooth. 

There are 2 main disadvantages you need to be aware of – there is just a single SD card slot (but it supports UHS-II cards) and the battery life is really short (250 shots by CIPA) so you definitely need to buy at least 1 spare battery. However, you can charge the battery using the USB so if you are going to spend a lot of time outside, you can recharge the battery using a power bank as well.

How it performs for stills?

Out of camera JPEG photos are excellent thanks to the advanced processing technology. The colors are accurate, the image is sharp and with good dynamic. 

RAW photos are also very good and there is an option to get compressed RAW photos in order to save some space.

How it performs for video?

Video is not one of the strongest points of EOS RP. There is support for cropped 4K by 1.7x which is a huge crop and you need to attach an ultra-wide lens in order to get a wide enough frame. 

Furthermore, autofocus is not so reliable and there is a lot of rolling shutter effect when you make panning videos. In 1080p things are also not impressive, so if you are a video creator we definitely not recommend this camera and encourage you to look at other models.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog
Gallery of sample images on Onfotolife
Gallery of sample images on 500px

Sample videos:

Sample video

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Compact and lightweight full-frame camera;
  • Excellent image quality in both JPEG and RAW;
  • Full articulated LCD touch screen;
  • Large and bright electronic viewfinder;
  • USB charging;
  • Excellent autofocus in photo mode;
  • Good design, easy to handle.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • Compact only with few prime lenses. If you attach a zoom lens the system will become bulky and heavy (hope that Canon will produce more compact RF zoom lenses);
  • Video quality is disappointing especially because of heavy crop, lot ot rolling shutter, and poor autofocus performance (don’t match quality on photo mode);
  • No in-body image stabilization;
  • Not weather-sealed;
  • Battery life is poor.
Nikon Z6 II

Image source: Nikon

Overview

Z6 II is a powerful camera which will satisfy both travel photographers and video creators. 

It’s powered by a 24 Mpix full-frame sensor. There is in-body 5-axis image stabilization which works pretty well in photo and video modes. Autofocus is fast and precious with subject tracking for humans and animals. 

Z6 II is very fast in the burst mode, so you can shoot up to 14 images per second. Like Z50, this camera uses Nikkor Z lenses but you can mount F-mount lenses with a specialized adapter. The LCD touch screen is not fully articulated but its’ tilted.

The body of Z6 II is built of magnesium and is weather sealed. The design is ergonomic with a very good grip. There is an option to add vertical grip if you like to take vertical photos and videos. 

If you want to use an external microphone or headphones, you can connect them. The camera is equipped with dual card slots (one of them supports UHS-II cards). Battery life is good (more than 400 photos with single charging without enabled LCD), there is also support for USB charging and operating. In the end, you can connect the camera to your smartphone using built-in wireless support and Bluetooth.

How it performs for stills?

Z6 II produces very good photos. Straight from camera JPEGs look very good, but also RAW files are excellent with low-noise levels. Colors are nice and warm and the dynamic range is high.

How it performs for video?

With this camera you can get a 4K video up to 60 fps. If you take videos in 60 fps you can fit a 1.5x crop. There is an option to record videos in RAW format (Blackmagic RAW options). The overall quality of videos is very good. 

In full HD (1080p) you can take videos up to 120 fps, and make good slow motion effects. The camera is capable of tracking humans and animals in video modes as well. There is support for 10-bit colors, but only using an external recorder. There are also a few more options, such as adjustments of focus speed and zebra pattern for adjusting exposure.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog

Sample videos:

4K test video
Low light video

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Excellent performance in both photo and video shooting (good solution for travelers who combine photography and video creation);
  • Autofocus and subject tracking are on the highest level;
  • Excellent in-body image stabilization system;
  • Well-built, good ergonomic, and weather sealed case;
  • Full-width video in 4K (at 30 fps);
  • USB charging.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • No fully articulated touch screen;
  • Significant crop in 4K 60 fps;
  • 10-bit colors video only with an external recorder (to be honest, if you don’t consider yourself a serious video creator it shouldn’t be a deal breaker).
Panasonic Lumix DC-S5

Image source: Panasonic

Overview

This one of the most travel friendly full-frame cameras by Panasonic, because their full-frame cameras are usually big and heavy. Panasonic is also one of the favorite choices for hybrid shooters – travelers who want to be able getting excellent photos and great videos.

DC-S5 is like a full-frame GH5 in terms of characteristic and overall look and feel. It’s powered by a 24.2 Mpix full-frame sensor with great 5-axis in-body stabilization which works in conjunction with in-lens stabilization and is supported by the electronic image stabilization.

Autofocus relies on the contrast detect technology but it is fast and reliable. In continuous shooting mode this camera is a bit behind the competitors considering that it’s capable of capturing 7 images per second, or 5 if you use autofocus. 

There is also an option to make high resolution 96 Mpix photos combine 4 regular photos (only for static photos). Another interesting feature you will probably like is Live view composite mode which helps you capture effective long-exposure photos of traffic lights, fireworks or star trails. 

The camera is equipped with a fully-articulated LCD touch screen and with a very good electronic viewfinder. For video creators it’s worth to mention that there is also an input for external microphone and an output for headphones.

DC-S5 has a magnesium frame and is weather-sealed. There are 2 slots for SD cards (just one of them supports the UHS-II standard). Battery life is good as well, it’s CIPA rate for 450 shots with single charging. There is an option to be charged via USB. 

Of course, there is wireless and Bluetooth support for remote control and image transfer to your smartphone or laptop.

How it performs for stills?

Out of camera JPEGs are very good. Colors are vivid, sharpening is good, and dynamic range is similar to the other full-frame competitors’ cameras. 

In low light conditions images are almost noise free up to ISO 6400. On higher ISOs, the noise becomes visible, but you can use them if you are not in a situation to use a tripod or don’t have a bright lens.

How it performs for video?

It’s definitely one of the best compact full-frame cameras for video creators. You can capture 4K videos up to 60 fps. Unfortunately, 60 fps videos are cropped (1.56x) but you can capture full-width videos in 30 fps. 

One of the most important advantages over the competitors is that you get 10-bit colors, so you will have a lot of space in post-production to grade colors. 

There is also an option to make full HD slow motion videos using 180 fps mode. If you record 4K video in 10-bit there is a limit of 30 minutes because the camera will overheat. The same limit is for 8-bit 4K videos in 50 or 60 fps. In other recording modes you won’t be limited by time. 

Two more things to mention in the end: you can choose between H.264 and H.265 formats and the camera supports vertical video recording.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog

Sample videos:

Cinematic 4K video sample
Another cinematic video (pay attention that they used gimbal and drone as well but we added this video because it shows all DC-S5’s power for professional usage)

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Great hybrid camera for users who value photography and videography, so the overall quality is excellent on both sides;
  • Compact body with superb ergonomics;
  • High-resolution mode for static photos;
  • Live view composite mod;
  • Very good fully articulated LCD touch screen;
  • Weather-sealed body;
  • USB charging.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • Not as fast as the competitors in burst mode;
  • 4K at 60 fps is significantly cropped;
  • 30 minutes limit for 10-bit videos because of overheating.
Sony Alpha A7 III

Image source: Sony

Overview

This is one of the top Sony’s full-frame cameras and it’s very popular among advanced travel photographers. 

It’s powered by a 24.2 Mpix sensor and is equipped with in-body 5-axis stabilization. In the burst mode, you can take 10 images per second. Autofocus system combines the phase and contrast detection technologies and it works well in terms of subject tracking. 

It’s worth mentioning that the camera is equipped with both mechanical and electronic shutter which can work in full silent mode. The LCD touch screen is not fully articulated but it’s tilted. Viewfinder is not something special and we can say it’s just OK in terms of brightness and resolution.

The camera frame is made of magnesium and it’s designed ergonomically so the feel in hand is very good and comfortable. The camera is weather-sealed but not as robust as other cameras. You can say that it will survive dust and moisture but not heavy rains.

Battery life is among the best for all mirrorless cameras – with a single charging you can take 700+ photos. However, in video mode, the battery life is much lower, so if you are going to shoot a lot of videos, you should invest in spare batteries. 

If you are a video creator, A7 III has both – an external microphone input and headphones output connectors. There is the ability to recharge batteries using USB, but it’s extremely slow, so no matter that this camera “supports” USB charging in reality it is useless. 

Also the camera has 2 card slots and one of them supports the UHS-II standard for faster cards. There are a lot of options to connect it with other devices, so Bluetooth and wireless are included.

How it performs for stills?

The overall image quality is excellent in any light condition. Out of camera JPEGs are rich in colors, sharpened, and with great dynamic range. 

Due to the large sensor and very good noise reduction you can use this camera even in low light conditions for taking photos and you will still get excellent photos even in very high ISOs. Of course, A7 III won’t produce miracles, but if you won’t exceed ISO 12800 you will be satisfied for sure. 

For RAW images you can choose to capture compressed or uncompressed files, but even with compressed files you will get enough data to be pretty flexible in the post-processing.

How it performs for video?

A7 III is also a very capable camera for video creators and supports 4K up to 30 fps. You can record full width/uncropped videos only at 24 fps, but 30 fps videos are recorded with small (1.2x) crop. 

There are also a lot of features for more advanced video makers such as zebra pattern, peaking for exposure, log profiles, and HLG footage, but there is no support for 10-bit colors as on some Fuji, Nikon, and Panasonic cameras. 

In 1080p you can capture videos up to 120 fps and A7 III can transform them to slow motion without any additional software. Rolling shutter effect is not noticeable except you pan the camera very fast, but in regular usage it won’t be a problem. 

In-body stabilization works just OK but it’s not excellent, and there is no additional electronic stabilization, so A7 III won’t be brilliant for smooth handheld videos especially if you are moving.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog
Gallery of sample images on Onfotolife
Gallery of sample images on Pixelpeeper
Gallery of sample images on 500px

Sample videos:

Test of autofocus, video stabilization, slow motion and low light videos
Another sample video

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Excellent quality of both images and videos;
  • Very good autofocus with subject tracking;
  • Very long battery life if you use the camera mainly in photo mode;
  • Very good noise reduction in high ISO;
  • Full-width 4K video;
  • In-body image stabilization.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • No fully articulated LCD screen;
  • Limited usability of touchscreen;
  • USB charging is extremely slow;
  • Weather-sealing is poor if you compare with the competitors’ cameras.
Sony Alpha A7R IV

Image source: Sony

Overview

A7R IV is a high-class mirrorless camera for advanced photographers. 

The camera is equipped with a 61 Mpix sensor which offers extremely detailed photos (it’s almost 3x more megapixels then on a standard mirrorless camera). 

Of course, the camera is equipped with the latest autofocus system with advanced subject tracking. Autofocus is relied on the phase and contrast detection technology and can detect humans and animals. There is also a very good in-body stabilization. 

In the burst mode this camera can shoot 10 images per second with the autofocus. The camera is capable of shooting high resolution images (for static subjects) up to 240 Mpix with a combination of 16 images without any additional software, so all is done in-camera. The 5.76 Mpix electronic viewfinder is one of the best on mirrorless cameras.

The body is made of magnesium and is weather-sealed and resistant to dust and moisture. Also it’s one of the most comfortable mirrorless bodies. The battery has very good capacity and long life – according to CIPA rates for 670 shots.

Camera can be charged and operated over the USB. Regarding connectivity, there are slots for an external microphone and headphones, 2 card slides which support UHS-II, and as on other Sony cameras there is support for wireless, Bluetooth, and NFC.

How it performs for stills?

A7R IV produces extremely detailed photos because of its 61 Mpix sensor. Besides that the camera excels in other aspects as well, so the colors are accurate, sharpening is very good, dynamic range is high and noise level is the lowest possible even in higher ISOs. 

RAW photos are uncompressed so you will have great flexibility in post-processing. 

If you don’t want to make any compromises with the image quality and you are OK with a slightly bigger size and a higher price tag (higher than any other camera we outlined here), we’d recommend you to consider to invest in A7R IV.

How it performs for video?

Video is another strong point of A7R IV so it’s capable of capturing 4K videos up to 30 fps without crop. 

There are a lot of options for more advanced users, such as zebra tools, S log & HLG capturing, adjustment of focus response, and adjustment on focus speed. Autofocus supports subject tracking on the same level as in photo mode. 

As on other Sony cameras there is no 10-bit colors mode and A7R IV has just 8-bit colors and some more advanced videographers may consider it a disadvantage.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog
Gallery of sample images on Onfotolife

Sample videos:

Handheld 4K sample video
Another sample video
120 fps cinematic video

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Top-notch and highly detailed photos and very good video in all modes;
  • One of the fastest and the most precise autofocus integration with subject tracking in both photo and video modes;
  • In-body 5-axis image stabilization;
  • Long battery life and ability to be charged and operated using USB;
  • Ergonomic design, comfortable grip, built with very good materials;
  • Weather-sealed body.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • Very large files because of high resolution;
  • No 60 fps in 4K videos;
  • No fully articulated touch screen;
  • No 10-bit colors.
Sony Alpha A7C

Image source: Sony

Overview

It’s one of the smallest full-frame cameras available and definitely one of the most travel-friendly cameras if you consider how powerful of a camera you get in such a small case. 

A7C is powered by a 24.2 Mpix sensor with Sony’s latest autofocus implementation with top-notch subject tracking. Autofocus system is a hybrid of contrast and phase detection technology and eye recognition is detecting both people and animals and it’s not distracted by other objects or humans you don’t want to track. 

In burst mode you can shoot up to 10 images per second with the autofocus. The camera is equipped with a fully articulated LCD touch screen which makes it friendly for selfie shooters and vloggers. On the other hand, the electronic viewfinder is a bit smaller than we like and the position is on the left side of the camera which is less comfortable than when it’s in the center.

The body is made mostly of magnesium-alloy and when you hold the camera in hand the feel is that the camera is strong and rugged which is pretty important especially for outdoor travel photography. 

The design of the camera is similar to Sony A6600 so it’s ergonomic and comfortable to carry around. Battery life is the best in class and it’s CIPA rated to 740 shots. A7C can be charged via USB. 

There are also ports for an external microphone and headphones. You will also have great flexibility to connect A7C to your smartphone or laptop using wireless, NFC, and Bluetooth. 

There is just 1 card slot (compatible with UHS-II) and it’s probably the only important tradeoff you need to make if you prioritize size over other stuff and invest in A7C instead of bigger full-frame cameras. 

If we can introduce A7C in one sentence we would say it’s basically A7 III in a smaller and lightweight case with a better autofocus.

How it performs for stills?

A7C is capable of capturing excellent photos. The overall quality is the same as on A7 III but the autofocus and subject tracking are significantly improved.

Also regarding RAW photos you can record 14-bit uncompressed RAW and later be more flexible in post-processing or to choose a bit compressed RAW in order to save some space on the card. 

Out of camera JPEGs are very well-processed, the colors are rich, and the dynamic range is high.

How it performs for video?

A7C is a good travel companion for video creators as well. 4K 30 fps videos are shot with full-width of sensor and can be recorded up to 30 fps. Subject tracking works in video mode as well as on the photo. The rolling shutter is barely noticeable when fast panning. 

As with other Sony’s cameras there is no option for 10-bit colors, but there are a lot of other options for advanced videographers such as zebra pattern, S-Log, and HLG recording

Video creators will especially like additional options for gimbal-like stabilization Sony’s called gyro stabilization. It means that the camera records gyro data as well, and by using an external Sony’s software Catalyst Production Suite you will get a stabilized video. The only disadvantage is that you can’t do it directly in the camera but need to use external software.

Samples

Sample images:

Gallery of sample images on Imaging Resource
Gallery of sample images on Photography Blog

Sample videos:

Vlogging video sample
Video stabilized in Catalyst using gyro information
Another 4K sample video

Pros as a travel camera:

  • Compact and lightweight body (in the full-frame cameras world);
  • Excellent image and video quality;
  • Top-notch autofocus system with subject tracking;
  • In-body 5-axis image stabilization + additional gyro stabilization (using external software);
  • Uncropped 4K video;
  • Fully articulated LCD touch screen;
  • Long battery life + USB charging;
  • Weather-sealed body.

Cons as a travel camera:

  • EVF is small and has low resolution;
  • No dual card slot;
  • No 60 fps in 4K videos;
  • For gyro-stabilized videos you need to use external software.

Travel Accessories for Mirrorless Cameras

When choosing your ideal mirrorless camera you definitely need to evaluate additional accessories in order to leverage the full performance of your camera.

For Easy Storage and Power Backup

External hard drive, camera and laptop

1. Make sure you have enough storage: memory cards + external storage for backup

Nowadays, it’s better to have as much free space as possible on memory cards, even though JPEGs are much larger in size than they used to be. 

If you record a lot of 4K videos there won’t ever be too much free space. You will probably take a lot of duplicates before you begin editing, so it’s better to have enough space for all of them instead of deleting some photos before the end of your trip. 

Let’s say that 64 Gb of memory is a minimum. If you have a camera with dual card slots think about simulating the use of 2 cards in order to always have a backup copy. 

External storage (HDDs) are cheaper, so think about getting one if you don’t want to keep a few memory cards with you and want a reliable device for a backup.

2. Make sure you have enough power: spare batteries + external charger + power bank

There is no need to explain it except to remind you of times when you wanted to use your camera but ran out of battery. So, make sure to have 1 or 2 spare batteries on you while traveling. 

Most of today’s cameras come with an internal charger which means that you need to recharge a battery that needs to be in your camera. If you have just a single battery it may not be a huge problem, but if you have additional batteries and need to charge them one by one, it can be pretty inconvenient.

So, it is always better to have an external charger in order to charge all batteries at the same time. Eventually you could consider buying a power bank if you have a camera with USB charging to continue with shooting if your battery is low and you don’t have any spare ones.

To Get Better Photos

Camera, lens hood, UV and CPL filters

1. UV, ND and CPL filters

A set of filters is absolutely necessary for travelers who want to get great photos and to protect their lenses from scratches.

Let’s start with protection. You should first buy a UV filter

These filters prevent UV lights, which is important in film photography because UV lights could have effects on films, but it’s not the case in digital photography. The good side of UV filters is that they won’t affect your photos and videos in any way (of course if you don’t buy the cheapest filters on the market). Because of that many photographers use them to protect lenses from scratches – and you should, especially if you travel somewhere where you can have dust and sand in the air, or you need to clean your lens often. 

ND and CPL filters are not protective but their role is to make your photos and videos look nicer.

ND (Neutral Density) filter is used to reduce the amount of light your sensor will receive. 

When you are shooting in the noon of a sunny day you may not be able to get the results you want because of the strong light – ND filter is a solution. Also if you want to add a moving effect when you shoot a river in the forest you can use it to reduce the amount of light and use longer exposure. When you want to take photos with wider apertures to get shallow depth of field, you will also use ND filters.

CPL filter is a must for any travel photographer because of their advantages for landscapes and outdoor photos. 

It will help you to get a better sky color, eliminate reflections from glossy surfaces and windows, and get better colors of plants and more transparency of water. Overall your landscape photos will look better with a CPL.

All we mentioned will work for videos as well.

2. Lightweight tripod

If you are going to shoot in a lot of low light and long exposure conditions, it’s essential to make your camera stable. 

If you are going to take HDR photos (to make 3-5 photos with different exposure and combine them manually to get a real HDR photograph), or want to shoot stable videos, you need to have a tripod. 

Considering you will be on the move, you definitely need to aim for a lightweight tripod in order to be able carry it with you.

3. External flash

These days more and more mirrorless cameras are available without a built-in flash, which is actually good, because a built-in flash can make your photos look worse. However, things are a lot different when you use an external flash because it provides you more flexibility. 

Once you learn how to use it you can take really great photos without overburning, red eyes ,and dark background. Of course, it’s not essential for travel photographers, but if you are going to shoot indoor photos and have some free space in your backpack, you should consider it.

To Get Better Videos

Camera with an external microphone

1. External microphone

Built-in microphones in most cameras are not so powerful. You will often hear unwanted sounds like the sound of the wind or autofocus and whenever you touch the camera with a finger it will also be recorded. Plus, the sound reproduction is pretty basic.

These are the reasons why you should invest in an external microphone. You will get a much better sound quality and no unwanted sounds.

2. Gimbal (if you are a real video enthusiast)

Of course, gimbals are not for everyone, but if you are a video enthusiast and want to record as smooth videos as possible, gimbals will help and work better than any in-body or in-lens image stabilization systems. For the average traveler they will be too uncomfortable and too big, though. So, you should consider a gimbal if you really want to use it.

To Carry and Protect Your Gears

One of the best camera bags for travel

1. Bag or backpack

Your camera is bigger than your smartphone and you definitely won’t carry it in your pocket. Also, you probably don’t want your keys to leave scratches on your camera. Considering you have a camera, lenses, and other accessories you should think about a bag to carry all of them.

2. Protective case

If you want to protect your camera for accidental scratches, the best option is to buy a protective case. It’s made of silicone and will protect your camera in the same way as silicone cases protect your smartphone. It doesn’t mean that the camera will be resistant to drops, but at least scratches won’t be a problem.

3. Cleaning set

From time to time, you will need to clean lenses to get rid of fingerprints and/or dust. Also, if you change lenses, the chance is that dust will get inside the sensor. This is the reason why you should have a cleaning set in your bag. At least you should have a lens pen, cleaning spray, air blower, and a microfibre cloth.

What is The Best Mirrorless Camera for You?

What is the best mirrorless camera for you

Photo by Bailey Mahon on Unsplash

The short answer is – it’s up to you. However, there are 4 things you need to consider:

  1. Your photography (videography) skills;
  2. Type of traveling you plan;
  3. Your personal preferences;
  4. And your budget.

If you are a beginner, go for entry level models. When it comes to the type of traveling experience you’re planning, it’s hard to recommend a particular camera. Plus, all of us have different preferences and budget. This is why our recommendations are based on our personal opinion.

For an active traveler

If you are an active traveler you probably like to be outdoors most of the time. You probably like hiking, exploring the surroundings, maybe you are also an adrenaline junkie and like extreme sports, so you should choose a camera with a rugged body and weather-sealed is a must.

You should make sure that the camera can be charged over the USB and has an effective image stabilization system if you make videos.

If you travel with family or friends

If your travel companions are your family or friends the chance is that you will split your time to be able dedicate yourself to both: family/friends and photography. 

However, there will be a lot of situations when you will take spontaneous photos and videos with them. If you travel a lot with your family or friends and if they are not photographers, or at least not as enthusiastic about photography as you are, you should think about getting a small and lightweight camera, which is fast enough, has a great autofocus with subject tracking, and don’t forget to ensure that its capable to make excellent videos

Think about getting an external flash because you will probably take a lot of indoor photos. Large and bulky cameras with expensive lenses would only be a burden when you travel with family or friends.

If you are business traveler

If you are a business person and travel for business a lot, the chances are that you spend your free time at your home. You probably won’t have a lot of time to enjoy taking photos.

The rule of thumb in this situation is: get a powerful camera in a compact body.

In the end, we want to give you few more tips:

  • Tip 1: if you are not an experienced photographer, get to know your camera before the trip. It’s not a smartphone and if you take photos in auto mode mainly, you are wasting money. So, play with the camera, go through every feature, watch Youtube video tutorials, and practice it. Try to use your camera not only while traveling;

  • Tip 2: avoid buying a new camera a day before the trip. Simply, you won’t be able to study it and learn all its features and you will probably become frustrated later;

  • Tip 3: the same is for accessories – devote some time to explore and practice them. And don’t buy them right before the trip because you simply won’t have enough time to practice using them;

  • Tip 4: invest some time to learn how to compose nice-looking travel photos. Avoid investing in expensive cameras just to take snapshots;

  • Tip 5: during the trip, devote some time to review both photos and videos in order to be able to repeat it if you are not satisfied. Many travelers review them when they come home and realize that some important photos are out of focus or similar;

  • Tip 6: finally, invest some time to learn post-processing. Some photos will be just average straight from the camera, but if you pass them through any editing app and make few adjustments you can get a great photo.

Conclusion

If you wondered whether mirrorless cameras are a great choice as a travel camera or you should look elsewhere, we are pretty sure that you got the answer. 

In our opinion and based on our personal experience, mirrorless cameras fit most travelers because they are more compact and lighter in size than DSLRs. At the same time, they are a lot more advanced than point & shoot and smartphone cameras. You can afford a lot of them without spending a fortune and can start with a KIT lens, and then upgrade the system over time. 

If you are a video creator, lots of mirrorless cameras can produce very good footage as well. And finally, you learned which accessories will help you to not run out of battery and storage, and which will help you protect and carry your gear better.

The only thing left is to choose a set that will suit your skills, type of trip, personal preferences and your budget.

What’s your ideal mirrorless set for traveling? Can you share your tips with us? Is there anything else we forgot to mention?

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