How to Choose The Best Travel Camera (The Complete Guide)

Woman photographer in exploring of monument valley

Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

Are you an ordinary traveler who wants to get extraordinary photos from your trips? Yes!
Is photography your favorite hobby? Yes!
You don’t travel to earn as a professional travel photographer? No!

If your answers are the same as ours, you know how challenging it is to choose the right travel camera. We are also hobbyists or photo enthusiasts. So we are not professional travel photographers. We don’t earn from photography, and we are not professional travelers. That said, we wrote this guide on how to choose the best travel camera from our point of view.

We also need to combine our hobby with other stuff – our family, friends, non-photography stuff on trips, etc. It’s not the same if you are on a business trip and use the spare time after work to take photos, or when you are on a dedicated trip where the main purpose is to take great photos.

Time is often a factor that limits your creativity. Those are things that professional travel photographers don’t struggle with too much because the purpose of their travel is pure photography. So they usually have enough time dedicated to taking photos. But the rest of us need to handle a lot of other stuff. Especially if you take into consideration that often it’s you who enjoys taking photos on vacations, but not your company (partner, family, friends).

Our goal with this post is to help you choose the right camera, right accessories, the right way of photography according to the type of your traveling experience in order to ensure that photography won’t be a burden. But instead, to relax you and enable you to enjoy and take a lot of great photos (and videos).

So, in this post, you will learn how to choose the best travel camera and which are the 9 most important features your travel camera should have. Also you will discover our recommendations for when you should (and shouldn’t) use a smartphone, a point & shoot, a mirrorless, a DSLR, or an action camera as a travel camera.

Table of Contents

Shortlist of The Best Travel Cameras

If you don’t have a time to read the guide below you will find list of our favorites travel cameras separated by types (smartphone, point & shoot, mirrorless, DSLR, and action cameras).

Best Smartphone Travel Cameras in 2022

Best Point & Shot Travel Cameras in 2022

Best Mirrorless Travel Cameras in 2022

Micro Four-Thirds



Best DSLR Travel Cameras in 2022

Best Action Cameras for Travel in 2022

How to Decide Which is The Best Travel Camera for You?

Smartphone camera

Step 1: What’s Your Main Goal (or How Will You Use It)

It’s not the same if you want to keep your camera with you all the time while you are on a trip or to have your camera with you only on dedicated photo sessions. For example, it can be a bit overwhelming to take all your gear with a heavy backpack while you go sightseeing and walk around a new city. After 2 days, you will probably leave all of them in your hotel room and go out only with your smartphone.

This is the reason why you should decide what’s your main goal for your trip. Are you organizing a trip to take photos (in this case you will probably be more comfortable taking most of your photo equipment)? Or you go on occasional business trips to different countries and cities and you want to be able to take great photos to capture some moments in your spare time with a lightweight equipment? Or anything in between?

The worst possible scenario is to invest in plenty of equipment which you won’t bother to carry. So, be smart and decide first when and how will you take photos and go from there.

Step 2: Decide Your Budget

Once you have an idea in which situations you will use your camera, it’s time to decide how much you want to spend on gear. Given that traveling is your hobby and not a source of income, you just need to decide on the budget you are comfortable with right now. But be aware that photography and traveling are expensive hobbies and that you will probably want to upgrade your photo equipment later.

In other words, maybe you could first buy a decent camera with a kit lens. Especially if your budget is tight. But let’s say after a few months you would decide to buy additional lenses.

We recommend you to create a list of photo equipment you want to buy and set the priorities. So you will be able to plan your budget for initial investment and for additional equipment you will buy, let’s say, in the next year.

Step 3: Small or Big

Action vs mirrorless camera

The next step is to decide about the size of a camera. How much are you willing to carry around? You should count on camera + equipment. If you prefer ultra-compact cameras without additional accessories you should think about point & shoot or just about a smartphone with a good camera.

Today’s smartphones have good sets of cameras. Mostly with an ultra-wide and telephoto camera integrated. In many situations they are a good alternative to mirrorless or DSLR. However, if you want to have a bit more advanced system, you should pick a camera with interchangeable lenses – a mirrorless or DSLR.

In any case, when you decide about the size you need to think about your system as a whole: your camera + additional accessories.

Step 4: Are You Going to Make Videos?

Camera with an external microphone + dead cat

If you are going to shoot videos as well, you should think about a camera with good video capabilities.

Almost all current cameras shoot videos in 1080p (full HD). However, we recommend you to go with a camera capable of recording 4K video to have more flexibility later in the post-processing. But also because you should consider it as an investment in the future (in near future 4K will become which full HD is now). Other things you should consider are input for an external microphone and stabilization (you don’t like shaky videos, do you?).

Youtube is full of sample footage for any camera. So you will be able to see all of them in action before investing into a camera.

Step 5: Additional Accessories

Are you going to use the full capabilities of your camera? In this case, you should think about additional accessories like lenses, tripods, filters, etc.

Some travelers want to have an ultra-compact system without any additional accessories (i.e. travelers who want to take pictures with a mobile phone camera).

But we think that even for ultra-compact systems you should have at least some accessories to use its full capabilities.

9 Most Important Features for Your Travel Camera

GoPro 7 Black


Let’s start with the 2 features that your travel camera should have in terms of mobility and durability.

1. Size

In our experience, size is the single most important factor of any travel camera. We are not saying don’t go on your vacation with a big camera. Instead think twice about which gear you will have in your luggage.

Many times we see travelers (photo enthusiasts, not professional travel photographers who travel for a living) who keep all their photo gear with them. And in the end they use just their smartphone as main camera.

We need to be honest and say that we were also one of these travelers many times. Finally, we decided to keep only the gear we know we want to use and won’t leave in the hotel or in our backpack.

This doesn’t mean we recommend going with a smartphone only. It means that you just need to think about what is the affordable size of the camera for you.

So, considering the size of your travel camera and other accessories is the most important thing when you invest in your gear.

2. Robustness

Well, traveling is unpredictable. Maybe you will use a wall beside the road to simulate a tripod because you left a tripod in your hotel room. Murphy never sleeps and guess what, strong wind could happen and your camera would fall…

This is not something that you shouldn’t expect when it comes to travel photography. That’s the reason why you should choose a robust camera that won’t need to go to the trash once an accident happens. In our experience it’s not a question of whether it will happen, but when it will happen.

Pay attention to materials your camera is made with.

Turn on image stabilization


When you decide about the size and level of robustness your travel camera system should have, you should move to the “inside” – the features of the camera.

3. Image stabilization

Good image stabilization is simply a MUST nowadays. There are 2 types of stabilization – optical and electronic. Optical image stabilization can be in-camera stabilization or in-lens stabilization.

As the name suggests, in-camera stabilization means that the sensor of the camera is responsible to stabilization no matter which lens you have on your camera stabilization will work. Electronic stabilization is good as an additional way to stabilize the image or video. Especially for video stabilization if you are ok with a crop factor.

Why is this a must? Because of 2 things: low light photography and smooth videos. In low light environments, stabilization will enable you to take clear photos without blur with lower shutter speed. That means in most situations on the go, you will be able to take a sharp image without using tripods to make your camera steady.

Of course, no matter if you have an in-camera or in-lens stabilization, and no matter how good your stabilization is, it won’t completely replace your tripod. But you will be able to walk down the street and take sharp photos using street lights. When we talk about videos, no one wants to see shaky videos.

Stabilization in your camera is not capable of miracles, but will help get rid of too many shakes. Especially if there is an additional help of electronic stabilization.

4. Speed

If you take photos from the car or while moving, image bursts are something you need to pay attention to. In many situations on the go, you won’t have a second chance to take a fantastic photo.

Your camera needs to be fast to be able to capture photos within less than 1 second when you turn it on. Also, your camera needs to have a decent continuous shooting mode. And buffer to enable you to take at least 5-10 images per second to get a perfect shot especially when the situation won’t be replicable.

5. Sensor size

The biggest sensor allows better photos. Especially in low light because of lower levels of noise in high-ISO ranges. Also, a bigger sensor means that you will have a better dynamic range of photos. But in most cases you won’t have a lightweight camera and lightweight lens.

If you want to have a compact camera system you will need to accept some trade-offs when it comes to the sensor size (i.e. DSLR full-frame camera is not compact itself, and when you count on lenses and other accessories it quickly becomes heavy).

6. Manual controls

Manual controls on smartphone camera

Taking photos in auto mode is good for those who don’t want to think too much about photos. But it won’t let you use 100% of your camera’s capabilities. Even if you use just a mobile phone camera you will need to adjust ISO, white balance, or shutter speed to get better photos than in the auto mode.

You should pay attention to this when working with smartphones, point & shoot, and action cameras. Mirrorless and DSLR cameras come with a lot of manual controls.

7. Video features

Your camera should be able to make videos in at least 1080p (full HD). However, most current cameras are capable of recording videos in 4K which is great. With the higher resolution video you will get more space for post-processing.

8. Connectivity

If you are going to create regular backups during trips or control cameras using mobile phones, NFC and WiFi are a must. It’s simply easier to connect devices without cables especially when you are on the go.

9. Battery life

The battery should have autonomy for at least 300-500 images. In any case, we recommend you keep with yourself at least 1 more spare battery.

Smartphone as a travel camera

Smartphone as a main travel camera is a perfect fit for travelers that don’t want to carry a lot of equipment but still want to get great photos without a lot of preparation. A few years ago it was impossible, but thankfully, today’s smartphones are greatly improved, especially the flagship models.

For example, with today’s smartphones, you can get a significantly better photo than with a 5 years old point & shoot camera. Furthermore, considering very good processing, today’s high-class smartphones can offer photos that look very similar to more professional DSLRs or mirrorless cameras if you don’t look into details.

We met plenty of professional photographers who use just their smartphone with an awesome camera and don’t think too much about other photo equipment while they’re on vacation.

Smartphones can replace your DSLR or mirrorless camera. Also, plenty of them can replace action cameras. However, you shouldn’t expect that smartphone camera to be brilliant enough to beat all of them in all situations. But in a lot of situations, smartphone cameras can be jack all of trades.

We use a smartphone camera on our trips a lot. Just that last year around 60% of our travel photos were taken with a smartphone camera.

In plenty of situations, we don’t have enough time to prepare other photo equipment to take photos. But our smartphones are always with us. Of course, we also carry a full-size camera and an action camera, but use them in different situations, when we have enough time to prepare for photos or videos.

So we took plenty of interesting photos and videos in the past with just our smartphones.

When You Should Use a Smartphone as a Travel Camera?

  • When you primarily take photos and videos on the go and don’t have time to prepare for photos;
  • When you primarily take travel photos for Instagram;
  • When you don’t want to keep with yourself a bag or a backpack;
  • In any situation where taking a big camera may not be appropriate (i.e. if you don’t want to look like a paparazzi on a beach full of people).

When You Shouldn’t Use Smartphones as a Travel Camera?

  • If you want to post-process your photos in a photo editing software;
  • If you want to take RAW files;
  • If you don’t like saturated photos and prefer more flat colors;
  • If you want to take the best possible photo or use photos for prints.

Recommended Accessories

  • Selfie stick;
  • Ultra-compact tripod;
  • Gimbal (if you want perfectly stabilized videos).

Want to take a look which smartphones are perfect choice for travelers? Read our guide about best smartphone travel cameras.

If you don’t have a time to read the guide below you will find list of our favorites smartphones that perform fantastic as a travel camera:

Best Point & Shoot Travel Camera

Image source: Sony

Point & shoot cameras were earlier associated with amateurs who want to shoot just in Auto mode, mostly concentrating on snapshots. Plenty of travelers used point & shoot cameras before smartphone cameras cut part of their market. Currently, point & shoot cameras are divided into at least 2 categories – simple and advanced.

Simple cameras are mainly dedicated to beginners or people who are not interested in exploring different modes and features. But want to take photos on a fully automated regime with a camera, not with a smartphone.

On the other hand, advanced point & shoot cameras fit more advanced users who want a bit more advanced camera. It means to have long zoom range but to be pocket-size camera without the need to worry about multiple lenses, big backpacks, and other accessories. Also, some travel vloggers use point & shoot cameras because of their compactness.

More advanced point & shoot cameras have plenty of manual controls. Some of them have almost all features of big DSLR or mirrorless cameras. Even a big sensor and RAW files. But all of that in pocket-size with a single (often very good) zoom and a useful range.

If you are on a business trip and will have some time to explore the area, a point & shoot camera can be a wise choice. Also if you want to go traveling without a big backpack full of photo equipment, a prosumer point & shoot camera is a more advanced solution than a smartphone camera. In the end, point & shoot is a great backup camera for your DSLR/mirrorless camera.

When You Should Use Point & Shoot as a Travel Camera?

  • When you are not going to use a smartphone camera but a real pocket-size one;
  • When the compactness of a system is a priority (when you want all in one compact camera with solid zoom capabilities, but without the need to take multiple lenses);
  • When you are going to take mainly JPG photos;
  • In any situation where carrying a big camera may not be appropriate.

When You Shouldn’t Use Point & Shoot as a Travel Camera?

  • If you want to have the flexibility to change lenses by need;
  • If you want to take photos with great bokeh;
  • If your priority is to take ultra-wide photos;
  • If you want to take mainly RAW photos and post-process them in a photo editing software.

Recommended Accessories

  • Additional memory cards & spare batteries;
  • External microphone if you are going to shoot lots of videos;
  • Lightweight tripod;
    Protective case or small bag;
  • Screen protector to avoid scratching;
  • Cleaning set.

If you don’t have a time to read the guide below you will find list of our favorites point & shoot travel cameras:

Mirrorless travel camera

Mirrorless cameras are almost ideal for plenty of travelers and probably the most popular type of travel cameras. They are at the same time as powerful as DSLRs but with a relatively compact size in general (but not all, especially not full-frame cameras).

Of course, mirrorless cameras are not small enough to fit in your pocket unlike most point & shoot cameras. But if you don’t have plenty of accessories and big lenses, you will be able to pack them together in a small bag. That said, if you have a mirrorless camera with a single lens, a set of filters, a small tripod, and a charger, you won’t need to have more than 1 small or medium size backpack to pack all of it.

Mirrorless cameras are best to combine with a smartphone while you are traveling. You can rely on them in almost all situations and use a smartphone in situations where you want to take casual shots. Or simply when you don’t want to walk around with a camera.

Also, a mirrorless cameras are small enough so you can bring it even on your business trip. It won’t be a heavy-weight addition to your backpack together with your laptop (if you use just one lens without many accessories).

When You Should Use Mirrorless as a Travel Camera?

  • When you want to take photos and videos while traveling without compromising quality;
  • When you want to get professional quality with a relatively compact size camera;
  • When you want to have more control (manual modes);
  • When you have enough time on your trip for taking photos;
  • When you want to have a system with 1-3 lenses;
  • When you are going to post-process your photos and videos.

When You Shouldn’t Use Mirrorless as a Travel Camera?

  • When you want to have a longer battery life without worrying about backup batteries (DSLRs can shoot without using the LCD screen, but using an optical viewfinder which is a huge saver for battery life);
  • When you want to have a camera with an optical viewfinder;
  • When you want better ergonomics in hand (bigger cameras with bigger grips are usually better in ergonomics);
  • When you want to have greater flexibility with lenses and additional accessories (there are still a bit more options for lenses and additional accessories for DSLRs in comparison to mirrorless cameras but this is not a huge difference a few years ago).

Recommended Accessories

  • Additional memory cards & spare batteries;
  • Set of filters (UV, ND, CPL);
  • External microphone if you are going to shoot lots of videos;
  • External flash;
  • Lightweight tripod;
  • Bag or backpack;
  • Cleaning set;
  • Gimbal if you are a video enthusiast.

Find out the best mirrorless travel cameras by TravelPhotoCam’s experts.

If you don’t have a time to read the guide below you will find list of our favorites mirrorless travel cameras:

Best Micro Four-Thirds Mirrorless Travel Cameras

DSLR Travel Camera

Image source: Canon

If you are going to be a professional travel photographer, take photos in heavy conditions (i.e. in a wild, in poor weather conditions…), need a lot of action photos or simply want a bigger and heavier camera than a mirrorless, you should consider DSLRs as your main travel camera. 

Also, if you are going to take a lot of photos and want a camera with long battery life, DSLR is a better choice for you than other types of cameras. 

Furthermore, if you prefer using viewfinders instead of LCD screens, DSLRs are equipped with optical viewfinders. They consume low energy so this is the reason why battery life is longer than on the mirrorless). This is the main reason why some professionals still prefer using DSLRs over mirrorless, no matter that mirrorless cameras are on the same range according to performance nowadays.

Considering that a lot of DSLRs are relatively big, we recommend you to think about a 2nd pocket-size (backup) camera (to avoid walking around every time with a big DSLR or lot of additional & heavy equipment in your backpack).

When You Should Use DSLR as a Travel Camera?

  • When you want to take photos and videos while traveling without compromises in quality;
  • When built-in materials, a very good grip, and a professional look is a higher priority than the size of the camera;
  • When you are going to travel mainly in heavy conditions when the robustness of the camera and lenses is a priority;
  • When you are going to become a professional travel photographer and take a lot of photos in the wild, with different weather conditions, etc.;
  • When you want to have more control with on-camera buttons instead of the menu;
  • When you prefer taking photos using a viewfinder instead of using an LCD screen;
  • When you want to have a camera with greatest possible battery capacity;
  • When you have enough time on your trip for taking photos;
  • When you want to have a full-size system with a lot of additional equipment.

When You Shouldn’t Use DSLR as a Travel Camera?

  • When you are going to take mainly JPEG photos without additional post-processing;
  • When your priority is compactness over usability;
  • When you prefer taking photos using an LCD screen on the rear;
  • If you are going to make vlogs;
  • When you are planning to have a system with just a single lens.

Recommended Accessories

  • Additional memory cards & spare batteries;
  • Set of filters (UV, ND, CPL);
  • External microphone if you are going to make lots of videos;
  • External flash;
    Full-size or lightweight tripod;
  • Bag or backpack;
  • Cleaning set;
  • Gimbal if you are a video enthusiast.

If you don’t have a time to read the guide below you will find list of our favorites DSLR travel cameras:

GoPro 7 vs GoPro 9

Action cameras are almost your ideal companion on your trips. They are compact, water-resistant, have great built-in stabilization. They can be easily upgraded with a lot of additional equipment and mounts to make your life easier.

Why we said “almost”? Because they are usually better in video creation than for photos. So if you rely on action cameras solely to take photos, it may not be an “ideal” companion for you. More on this later.

Action cameras are devoted mainly to the action-oriented travelers. If you like skating or cycling, surfing, hiking, snorkeling, skiing, going on a road trip or any other kind of “active trips”, we’d say that having an action camera is a must!

However, we don’t want to recommend relying solely on action cameras if you consider photography as a higher priority than making videos because of 2 reasons. 

Firstly, action cameras have an ultra-wide field of view which is perfect to use from time to time, but not always. In other words, with an action camera you don’t get any zoom. Secondly, current action camera models are focused more on making great videos, and capabilities for taking photos are secondary. It doesn’t mean that photos on action cameras are useless. But photos taken by a flagship smartphone will probably out beat action camera’s photos, especially in low-light.

We recommend that you take an action camera as an additional camera on your trip if you are a casual traveler. But if you are solely oriented on “actions” on your trips and prioritize video over photos, you won’t be wrong.

When You Should Use an Action Camera as a Travel Camera?

  • When you want to have as compact travel camera as possible;
  • When you consider using a travel camera on a beach, in water, or in heavy weather conditions (whenever you need a water-resistant camera);
  • When you consider taking a lot of videos and want to have gimbal-like stabilization (we need to stress out that it’s the case on high-end action cameras. Low-end action cameras don’t have such great stabilization, if any);
  • When you want to fix your camera on different surfaces (windscreen of your car, helmet, surfboard, snowboard…);
  • For any kind of trip that includes a lot of activities (such as biking, surfing, hiking, snorkeling…);
  • For any kind of road trips where you want to take photos and videos on a go;
  • For vlogging.

When You Shouldn’t Use an Action Camera as a Travel Camera?

  • When you don’t want to get only ultra-wide photos or videos;
  • When you want to have the ability to take zoom photos;
  • When taking photos is your top priority (especially low light photos).

Recommended Accessories

  • Spare batteries and external charger;
  • Additional memory cards;
  • Protective housing, screen, and lens protectors;
  • Underwater housing (especially if you use them in saltwater or going to dive because without an additional case, you will not be able to use an action camera in deeper water);
  • Handler/selfie stick;
  • ND filter;
  • Mounts (suction cup, head strap, flexible mounts…);
  • A case for the camera and accessories;
  • Tripod.

If you don’t have a time to read the guide below you will find list of our favorites action cameras for travel photography:

Our Recommendations for 6 Types of Trips

Tenerife - Road Trip

You have probably wondered how to choose photo equipment according to your travel type. In the end, we’d like to pass through different types of trips and let you know what we recommend for your photo set:

1. Dedicated photo trip

If you truly love photography, a dedicated photo trip is the best option for you. 

Of course, we are aware that’s as an enthusiast or someone who has a limited amount of vacation days. You probably won’t be able to spend them on those kind of trips. Especially if you have a family and want to travel with them or with friends. But you can arrange to dedicate one part of your trip to photography or 1-2 hours each day.

If a dedicated photo trip is a viable option for you we recommend you first make a photo plan and then take your best equipment according to the plan.

Let’s say, if you are going to take a lot of low-light photos, a tripod will be essential. Or if you are surrounded by wildlife and want to take photos of animals, high-end telephoto lenses will be the highest priority for you. 

So, first make a plan of what you are going to see and what you are going to capture, then plan which kind of photo equipment you need to satisfy it without compromises – and pack it.

2. Travel with family or friends

If you are like many of us, you will probably spend your vacation days traveling with family or friends. No matter if the family is only you and your partner, or you have kids as well. 

You might be keen on photography, but other family members, your partner or friends will for sure see your hobby as a bit of a pressure for them, if you prioritize taking photos instead of spending time with them. However, it doesn’t mean that you should forget about photography, but simply you should handle it in a smart way.

Taking your big camera like mirrorless/DSLR, 1 or 2 lenses, a tripod, and essentials + smartphone  will probably be a good compromise. Plus, if you are going to organize some activities, an action camera will also be a wise choice.

For all of this you won’t need more than one average size backup which you can keep on your arm, and your family, partner, or friends won’t see you as “the one who only wants to take photos; we are not the priority,” but instead, you will still be able to satisfy your need for good photos and videos.

3. Business trip

If you work in a company that offers you a lot of business travel, you can connect your work and passion for photography without needing to spend your money on traveling.

It seems like a dream for a lot of us. But business trips, if you are not a professional photographer or journalist, do not revolve around photography at all. 

You probably travel to an event, a fair, or to have meetings… so you need to think about how much spare time you have before deciding to pack all of your photo equipment. The reality is that you probably won’t have a lot of spare time and that time will probably be after your working hours or at night. However, this shouldn’t worry you too much, you just need to organize yourself.

We don’t recommend you to go on a business trip with a big camera, a set of lenses, and a lot of additional equipment because this will probably stay in your luggage and you will realize that you were too exhausted after a day full of work to handle all of these.

Instead, we recommend you take smaller cameras (i.e. point and shoot, or compact mirrorless with a single all-round lens) and count a lot on your smartphone camera. 

If you have a small mirrorless camera we recommend you to keep just 1 lens, especially if you have a 50 mm prime lens which is more compact than the standard one and zoom lenses & prime lenses that are much brighter (most of them have max. aperture f/1.4 or f/1.8) and have a very good focal length. 

So, if you don’t have a lot of spare time on your business trip and especially if this spare time is after sunset, a small mirrorless with prime lens + smartphone should be sufficient. 

Traveling to a new destination without spending your money + being able to take great photos + having as compact a system as you can = ideal for most of us.

4. The weekend break/short trip

If you are going to have a weekend break, be it is a city break, a short getaway (i.e. on a beach/lake/river) or some kind of adventure, it will influence which camera settings you should take with you. 

The preparation part is essential here. That’s to say, if you have 2-3 days to take a break from the city, you will probably have limited time. So if you are going to enjoy not being in a hurry and still have time to take great shots, you should invest some time before the trip to plan everything out.

If you are with a company (family, partner, friends) you will probably use a smartphone camera a lot. In many situations with smartphone cameras, you will take photos faster. 

Also, you will be able to easily switch to the selfie mode, and make videos as well. The worst thing for you will be to take a lot of heavy equipment which you might leave in the hotel room – take it only if you are sure that you have enough time to use it all.

Our recommendation for you is – if you go on a weekend trip consider a mirrorless/DSLR with a single all-round lens (with wide to telephoto range like 18-105, 18-135, 18-200 will be perfect for weekend trips). An action camera is a nice support in situations where mirrorless/DSLR won’t be a good fit. And don’t forget your smartphone camera.

The last piece of advice is: keep 1 gear at a time in hand. If you take photos with a smartphone camera, do not use it for the same scene you would use a mirrorless camera – why would you? You will waste time switching cameras to take photos at the same location.

5. Road trip

For some travelers (including us), road trips are among the most popular types of traveling. Because you get flexibility, you can stop your car whenever you want and explore a lot of destinations in a short period of time. 

The pros of road trips are also that you will probably have enough space in the car to put all your photo equipment in the trunk. But it’s also a cons if you take gears you won’t use at all. 🙂

Considering that road trips are kind of an action-packed vacation, we recommend you to invest in an action camera and additional accessories (mounts & selfie sticks) because you will be able to take great photos and videos while you drive.

Also, you can be a bit more flexible with other gear you will take (bigger camera, tripods, other accessories, maybe even a drone).

6. Adventure/action/adrenaline vacation (hiking, diving, skiing, safari…)

When the primary purpose of a trip is an adventure, adrenaline, or any other actionable activities, like hiking, diving, skiing, safari, etc. action cameras will become your best friend! In many cases, there is no other way to get great photos and videos.

Today’s action cameras have improved a lot – you can make RAWs and get footage with an extremely good stabilization. They are rugged and waterproof. So you won’t worry about getting back home with a broken camera and without any photos.

We recommend you invest in all accessories you need to leverage your action camera as much as possible.


Choosing the right travel photo set is challenging. Especially if you don’t know yet which type of trip you’ll have, and which equipment and accessories you should have with you.

But when you do know which traveling experience you’re going to have, how photography will fit into your trip, and sort out the details, the decision process will be much more straightforward. You already know if you should have just a smartphone or go with a full-size camera or anything in between. The main question will be whether you want to for the absolute best camera or a budget-friendly one.

What’s your preferred camera set for traveling? Can you share your tips on how to choose the best travel camera? Is there anything important we may have forgotten to mention?

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