5 Best Compact Cameras for Travel in 2023

With lots of countries lifting restrictions, traveling is starting to become normal all over again. While some like to travel and enjoy peaceful moments, others like to capture those moments to cherish later on. If you belong to the second group of people, a reliable and compact camera becomes essential.

best compact camera for travel

Most smartphones of late click good photos but they still can’t match a dedicated camera in terms of picture quality. So, getting a standalone portable camera for travel makes a lot of sense considering you want to cut down on weight. A compact camera is also easy to carry around in your pocket or backup. Here’s a list of some of the best compact cameras for travel across various price ranges.

Before we get to the cameras though, here are some other articles you may be interested in –

Let’s capture some memories now!

1. GoPro Hero 10 Black

  • Sensor: 23MP
  • Lens: Fixed, wide-angle
  • Videos: 5.3K at 60fps
The first thing that comes to mind when someone says GoPro is action camera. The GoPro Hero 10 Black is indeed an action camera but it also makes for an excellent compact camera for travel. It’s probably the smallest camera that you can get with excellent photo and video quality and a ton of features that make it versatile.

The GoPro Hero 10 Black takes compactness to the next level. It’s tiny and can fit into your pocket when you’re not using it making it extremely handy for traveling. Unlike a bigger camera, there are no big lens protrusions plus there’s no learning curve at all since all you have to do is turn it on and start shooting. There’s a 23MP sensor that not only takes great pictures but also shoots videos in up to 5.3K resolution.

You should consider getting a GoPro if your primary use case is recording videos instead of photos. It can also be used to record vlogs or if you’re going trekking or biking, you can mount it on your body to get a nice POV recording. The stabilization is also top-notch which makes it even better when you’re on the move. Overall, it’s one of the best compact cameras under $500.

2. Canon G7X Mark III

  • Sensor: 20.2MP, 1-inch CMOS
  • Lens: Fixed, 24-100mm, f/1.8-f/2.8
  • Videos: 4K at 30fps
Looking for a one-stop solution for a photo and video bundle? Canon has got you covered! The G7X series from Canon is widely popular for its vlogging capabilities and the Mark III further improves on those features. However, don’t think that this camera is only good for videos. The 1-inch sensor coupled with the wide aperture ensures great photos with good bokeh even in low-light situations.

The Canon G7X Mark III is the perfect starter pack for those who want to get an all-in-one bundle that helps with taking photos and recording videos in various situations. It’s a small and compact point-and-shoot camera which means it’s easy to carry around every time you travel. However, there’s also a downside to this form factor – you cannot use interchangeable lenses so you’re stuck with the perspective that you get with the in-built focal length.

The camera offers up to 4X zoom, still quite good for clicking scenes or objects that are farther away. You can record 4K videos with it and the in-built stabilization is excellent. The kit bundles two battery packs, a charger, a 64GB memory card, a cleaning cloth, a camera bag, a soft light, and a couple of small tripods. This is a perfect kit when you’re on the move and want to carry everything in a single bag. While we would recommend this camera mainly for videos, it fairs pretty well with photos too.

3. Sony Alpha ZV-E10

  • Sensor: 24.2MP, APS-C
  • Lens: Interchangeable, E-mount
  • Videos: 4K at 30fps
The Sony Alpha ZV-E10 is arguably one of the best travel cameras on this list. It has almost everything you would need from a full-fledged camera, including extra features like an interchangeable lens system but in a compact form factor. If you’re a beginner who is starting off with photography and videography, we would highly recommend getting this one.

The Sony Alpha ZV-E10 is similar to Sony’s mirrorless APS-C cameras except that it’s specifically made for vloggers or content creators. The interchangeable lens system is the biggest highlight of this camera. You can get multiple lenses and use them based on your requirements when traveling. The camera has a 24.2MP CMOS sensor and sports a dedicated button to add more background blur in addition to the natural depth of field.

Since this is a camera with an interchangeable lens, you can get a wide-angle lens when you want to shoot landscapes while traveling along with a zoom lens to shoot faraway objects. This is the biggest advantage of getting a camera with interchangeable lenses. You won’t be limited to just travel photography with this camera as you can also use it for other purposes like product shots or portraits.

This camera also comes with a pop-filter for the mic which can be helpful when you’re recording videos in a windy climate. The Sony Alpha ZV-E10 is the perfect do-it-all camera on a budget. Whether it’s photos or videos, this is the ideal travel companion we recommend. It’s also arguably the best mirrorless camera for travel.

4. Nikon Z FC

  • Sensor: 20.9MP, DX CMOS
  • Lens: Interchangeable, Z-mount
  • Videos: 4K at 30fps
If you prefer Nikon as a brand over Sony and want an interchangeable lens system, you should pick up the Nikon Z FC. It is a compact DX-Format mirrorless camera that has a portable body and is easy to carry. The overall footprint is similar to the Sony ZV-E10 and there’s not a lot of difference in the features either. This is a good pick if you click a lot of wildlife while traveling.

Some consumers may want a camera that looks nice and unique along with clicking good pictures. Well, this is that camera! The Niko Z FC has a nice retro look to it with a silver and black exterior. You get an interchangeable lens system so you can get as many Nikkor Z-mount lenses as you want to get different perspectives depending on what you’re shooting.

One of the highlights of this camera and the reason why one should consider this over the Sony is the natural color science. We would say that those who lean more towards photography than videography or click a lot of terrains or wildlife should pick this camera and those who record a lot of videos should opt for the Sony ZV-E10 instead.

5. Sony RX100 VII

  • Sensor: 20.1MP, 1-inch CMOS
  • Lens: Fixed, Zeiss T*, 24-20mm, f/2.8-f/4.5
  • Videos: 4K at 30fps
It’s funny that a point-and-shoot camera from Sony is more expensive than one with an APS-C lens system, but guess that’s the extra premium you pay for a truly compact travel camera. The Sony RX100 has a legacy of being the best point-and-shoot camera in the business and this is 7th iteration with lots of improvements.

Are you looking for a no-frills camera experience where you just take out the camera from your pocket, point it at a scene, click, and end up with an excellent image? If the answer is yes, pick up the Sony RX100. You don’t have to bother about interchangeable lenses or different focal lengths. You get in-built zoom capabilities up to 200mm and video recording up to 4K with image stabilization.

This camera is also lighter and slimmer than most cameras with an interchangeable lens system. The screen flips up on top and can be used for vlogging. If you’re into the nuances of photography, this camera isn’t for you since you would be better off with the Sony Alpha ZV-E10. Get this only if you strictly want a pocketable camera that clicks A+ photos. One thing to note though is that the menu system on this camera is pretty complex which is ironic since the camera is meant for someone who isn’t very tech-savvy.

Capture Your Memories With a Compact Camera

Don’t bother carrying hefty DSLR cameras while traveling since you’ll end up spending a lot of your time just handling and maintaining them. Instead, pick up a compact camera for travel that you can carry around in your pocket with ease. You’ll save space while traveling, plus your Instagram game will also get stronger. So, which compact camera do you plan on buying? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Last updated on 17 January, 2023

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