What is a Travel Camera?
If you are in the process of traveling after the COVID-19, then keep your hopes high because one day, you will travel for sure. You can carry a 2kg camera as your travel camera, but will you enjoy your traveling experience with such massive weight? I bet you you won’t, and at the end of the day, your neck slash shoulder will cause pain. The travel camera needs to be lightweight with the best possible image quality in a small package.
Mirrorless vs. Point Shoot Camera?
The point of having a “Point & Shoot” camera is over the mirrorless is a fixed lens and compact size. Most Mirrorless cameras come in an interchangeable lens form factor. One best advantage of travel Point & Shoot cameras is the auto-cap open when you turn on the camera, such as the GR III. If you want to capture the moment as fast as you can, your best option will be a “Point & Shoot” camera.
Best Point & Shoot Camera for Travel on Market?
Mostly, Point & Shoot cameras are associated with tiny sensors and inferior image quality. But right now, you can have an APS-C sensor in the camera body in your pocket. Today we have some of the best travel Point & Shoot cameras with a large sensor and weightless them 260g. But one of the major draws of large sensor “Point & Shoot” cameras is the lack of 4K video. They are still best for 1080P videos or get a 1-inch sensor camera such as the RX100 series.
Best All-Rounder Travel Camera
1. Nikon Z50
If you are looking for the best hybrid camera system, you need a look at Nikon. Today, Nikon is one of the most underrated brands when it comes to the travel camera market. With the Nikon Z50, you are getting the best JPEGs straight out of the camera. The Nikon color science is one of the best, in my opinion. Now, let’s talk about the video features of Z50; it everything you need to shoot travel videos. Z50 is the best budget low light camera on the market. You can vlog with the flip-down screen; make sure to turn on the Sports VR mode for better digital stabilization.
Best Fixed Lens Camera
2. Fujifilm X100F
There is a new X100V on the market right with 4K video support, but the price is above $1,000. So I recommend the X100F purely for photography. If you need a very compact camera with a bright APS-C F2 lens, then you can’t find anything better than in from the Fuji X100 series. The lens on the X100F is 35mm, one best classic focal length. A 3 stops build-in ND filters for your F2 aperture in bright outdoors under the direct sun. One of the most underrated features of X100F for travel photography is the OVF. I’m not going to start an EVF vs. OVF debate for travel photography, but OVF connects you with the location. There is something magically about using the OVF, which EVF can never match.
Best Travel Pocket Camera
3. Ricoh GR III
Suppose you need the best pocket travel camera for photography and some light video shooting. You seriously have to consider Ricoh GR III. First, its weight around 250g and super compact to put on your belt hostler case. So the real question is, what are you getting with GR Mark 3 version? It comes with the ND Filters; it helps you to keep the F2.8 aperture on sunny days. It very stealth-looking because it allows you to snap an image fast before anyone can notice it. Finally, the best feature of GR III is the IBIS. Yes, heard me right, this tiny little APS-C pocket camera with stabilizer. The IBIS helps you shoot at a slower shutter speed at low light and blur-free images. Sadly, the GR III video output is maxed at 1080p, but it is good enough for it. I hope the upcoming GR IV comes with a 4K video with a mic jack.
Underrated Compact Travel Camera
4. Canon M200
I don’t want to put this camera on the best travel camera list due to “NO USB CHARGING.” But if you are fine with carrying the external charger for the Canon EOS M200N battery, then this is the best compact travel combo. Canon M200 is an EF-M mount interchange lens camera. Put the 22mm F2, a pancake lens, and you will get amazing images thanks to the bokeh. I wish my GR III come with F2 rather than an F2.8 aperture. Also, the EF-M lens is one of the most compact and affordable lenses on the market.
Best Lightweight Weather-Sealed Camera
5. Olympus E-M5 III
This is the best MFT camera ever created, and you can say this is a mini E-M1 II in a tiny body. So what went wrong with the E-M5 Mark 3? Customers were expecting a significant upgrade rather than shrinking a 4 years old camera in a compact body. Once, stop listening to every YouTuber’s opinion, then you will love it. Its build from excellent rugged plastic is difficult to dent, plus its lightweight is around 414g. Also, weather sealing and you shoot straight into the rain without getting the water inside your camera—finally the best 4K video quality aside from E-M1 III, which is the bigger brother. E-M5 III also has the 121 points Phase Detection on the sensor, which works much better than Sony in my personal experience. I don’t see why any will pick a Panasonic MFT with a mediocre autofocus system over the Olympus.
Best Highest Megapixels Compact Camera
6. Canon M6 II
Canon had done a magnificent job by properly updating the famous M6 camera. Canon had merged the M6 and M5 line in one, which resulted in M6 Mark 2. This camera had way better EIS for videos than A6600 IBIS. You put the Sigma 16mm F1.4 for EF-M on M6 II and start vlogging; make sure to get an ND filter for such a bright F1.4 aperture. Overall, I had no complaint from M6 II aside from the soft 4K video. I wish the 4K video at least sharp as M50 or had a crop mode like Canon 90D. M6 II is the best travel camera if you put the 22mm F2 on it.
Best $1000 Travel Camera
7. Fujifilm X-S10
It’s tough to recommend the X-S10 over the E-M5 III because they are very similar in size and weight. The IBIS on X-S10 is not good as the X-H1 or X-T4, so if you need smoother IBIS, you know it the Olympus E-M5 Mark 3. But you shoot videos handheld with not much moving, then the Fuji 16-80mm F4 is an excellent match for the X-S10. One reason to buy the X-S10 over all the other cameras is the great JPEG images straight out of the camera. Also, the Fuji glass is some of the best after the Olympus, in my opinion. Overall, Fujifilm X-S10 is a great compact travel camera, but it lacks weather sealing. If you plan to travel to East Asia during the rainy season, then E-M5 III is a better option for you.
Best Compact EVF Camera
8. Panasonic Lumix G100
This is camera weighs only 354g and comes with the best EVF in this “Best Travel Cameras for 2020” list. I love the tiny size of the G100. It lacks IBIS, but there is Electronic Image Stabilizer, but it crops up to 1.79x in 4K if you plan to use the High EIS. If you stick with the Standard EIS, then it will crop the only 1.39x. I will not recommend the Panasonic G100 for vlogging instead for handheld shots with OIS in the Lens. You can use amazing Leica 12-60mm F2.8 to plan and show your travel documents without walking. Overall, G100 is the most lightweight interchangeable lens camera of today.
Best Budget E-Mount Camera
9. Sony A6100
You will be wondering why the A6100 over the A6400? The answer is the price; sometimes, you can get deals as low as $500 for A6100. The only A6100 is missing over the A6400 is “Picture Profile” and low-resolution EVF. Yes, we can talk about the plastic build of the Sony A6100, but that is not important because of beginner travelers’ target market. Make sure to don’t buy the A6100 kit lens. Sony PZ 16-50mm is the worst pancake lens of all time. I suggest you invest your money in Sony E 18-135mm or E 18-105mm, which both very good OIS in the lens for vlogging. Overall, it’s a cheap travel camera, but image quality and color rendition is not the mark. But the 4K video is very sharp and detailed due to down-sampling from 6K footage.
Best Lightweight Full-Frame Camera
10. Canon EOS RP
I want to love the Canan RP because of its super-low $999 price for a full-frame camera. Canon RP shine with RF 35mm F1.8 or RF 50mm lens. But once you start putting any other RF lens on the RF, it will increase weight over 1KG. For a travel camera, you need a lightweight body with lightweight lenses, which RF glass lacks. The Sony A7C is a better buy if your budget allows you to spend $2000. But if you are looking for full-frame image quality at an affordable price, you can’t go wrong with the Canon RP. Also, use the RP in 1080p because of bad autofocus in 4K mode. I want to be honest here; I sold my RP for the Nikon Z5, but that cost me $1300, so still, it’s above the $1000 marks for the best travel cameras under $1000.
I hope you enjoyed the travel cameras buying guide for $1,000; it was not an easy task to rank. I try my best to give you my honest, unbiased opinion. I think MFT cameras are best for traveling where APS-C and Full Frame lenses are large and bulky. Let me know what is your favorite under $1000 travel camera in the comment.