Best Travel Cameras for the UK in 2020 (October Update)


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Best Travel Cameras for the UK in 2020 (October Update)
Budget
GoPro HERO8 Black - Waterproof 4K Digital Action Camera with Hypersmooth Stabilisation, Touch Screen and Voice Control - Live HD Streaming
Value-for-Money
Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II
The Best
Panasonic LUMIX DC-G9EB-K G9 Mirrorless Camera Body Only - Black + H-HSA12035E 12-35 mm LUMIX G X VARIO Lens - Black
Title
GoPro HERO8 Black - Waterproof 4K Digital Action Camera with Hypersmooth Stabilisation, Touch Screen and Voice Control - Live HD Streaming
Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II
Panasonic LUMIX DC-G9EB-K G9 Mirrorless Camera Body Only - Black + H-HSA12035E 12-35 mm LUMIX G X VARIO Lens - Black
Rating
-
Megapixels
12
20.1
20.3
Video Resolution
4K (FHD 1080p)
4k video
4K video
Zoom Range
digital touch screen zoom, Max focal length of 15.1 mm
5x zoom range(24-120mm equivalent)
12-35mm / 24-70mm Focal Length
Weight
124g
340 g
658 g
Price
£318.32
£849.00
Price not available
Budget
GoPro HERO8 Black - Waterproof 4K Digital Action Camera with Hypersmooth Stabilisation, Touch Screen and Voice Control - Live HD Streaming
Title
GoPro HERO8 Black - Waterproof 4K Digital Action Camera with Hypersmooth Stabilisation, Touch Screen and Voice Control - Live HD Streaming
Rating
Megapixels
12
Video Resolution
4K (FHD 1080p)
Zoom Range
digital touch screen zoom, Max focal length of 15.1 mm
Weight
124g
Price
£318.32
Value-for-Money
Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II
Title
Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II
Rating
Megapixels
20.1
Video Resolution
4k video
Zoom Range
5x zoom range(24-120mm equivalent)
Weight
340 g
Price
£849.00
The Best
Panasonic LUMIX DC-G9EB-K G9 Mirrorless Camera Body Only - Black + H-HSA12035E 12-35 mm LUMIX G X VARIO Lens - Black
Title
Panasonic LUMIX DC-G9EB-K G9 Mirrorless Camera Body Only - Black + H-HSA12035E 12-35 mm LUMIX G X VARIO Lens - Black
Rating
-
Megapixels
20.3
Video Resolution
4K video
Zoom Range
12-35mm / 24-70mm Focal Length
Weight
658 g
Price
Price not available

With the rise of smartphones and their high-quality cameras, buying a travel camera has slipped down our priority list when we go abroad.

However, if you’re splashing out a small fortune on travelling the world, it makes sense that you’d want to bring home the best images possible.

Smartphone cameras produce nice results, but the images don’t blow up well and there’s such limited functionality.

For those that require creative control, cameras with interchangeable lenses, the option to use a proper flash, and a variety of shooting modes is crucial.

Whilst DSLR cameras with long lenses serve up professional-level shots, you don’t want to be dragged down by their cumbersome size and weight.

For many, a small and easy-to-use device will do the trick.

Every camera offers different capabilities and with such a huge range in price, picking the right one can be a daunting task.

Top 3 Best-Sellers

SaleBestseller No. 1
Sony DSC-WX500 Digital Compact High Zoom Travel Camera with 180 Degrees Tiltable LCD Screen (18.2 MP, 30 x Optical Zoom, Wi-Fi, NFC) - Black
206 Reviews
Sony DSC-WX500 Digital Compact High Zoom Travel Camera with 180 Degrees Tiltable LCD Screen (18.2 MP, 30 x Optical Zoom, Wi-Fi, NFC) - Black
  • Zeiss vario sonnar T30x optical zoom lens for extra clear...
  • 18.2 MP Exmor R CMOS sensor for higher image quality even...
  • 180 Degree tiltable LCD screen for easy framing of selfies...
  • Use built-in NFC/Wi-Fi capability to send photos and movies...
  • Bionz X image processing engine delivers more detail with...
SaleBestseller No. 2
Endurax 66' Video Camera Tripod for Canon Nikon Lightweight Aluminum Travel DSLR Camera Stand with Universal Phone Mount and Carry Bag by Endurax
768 Reviews
Endurax 66" Video Camera Tripod for Canon Nikon Lightweight Aluminum Travel DSLR Camera Stand with Universal Phone Mount and Carry Bag by Endurax
  • Practical 66" Travel Tripod - Endurax Camera Tripod measures...
  • Versatile Photography Tripod For Photos - 1/4" quick release...
  • Ultra Stability - Constructed with thick aluminum tube and...
  • Lightweight Solid & Sturdy - Built with premium aluminum...
  • What You Get - A bonus phone clip, a bonus carry bag, 30...
SaleBestseller No. 3
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS Digital Camera - Black
226 Reviews
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS Digital Camera - Black
  • Capture stunning faraway detail using this tiny, pocketable...
  • Wi-Fi with NFC and image sync make it simple to connect to...
  • Make the most of the incredible zoom and effortlessly record...
  • Just point and shoot to capture fantastic photos or movies...
  • Digital camera powershot SX620 HS Wrist strap WS-800 Battery...

Below we’ve pulled together some of the best travel cameras on the market this year to get you started, listed in ascending order of size.

Let’s take a look at some of the best travel cameras on the market.

1. GoPro Hero 8 Black

Key Features

View on Amazon

  • Megapixels: 12
  • Weight: 124g
  • Additional Specs
    • 4K video resolution (FHD 1080p)
    • Wide angle lens
    • Touch screen
    • Max focal length of 15.1 millimetres
    • Point-and-shoot

If taking high-quality video on the go is is your top priority in a travel camera, then GoPro’s latest flagship should be a consideration.

GoPros are an attractive option to throw in your backpack for any travel adventure.

They are small and light, rugged, and you’ll be blown away by the image quality – particularly whilst moving or underwater. We don’t think any competitor offers better video quality, ease of use and overall value.

The GoPro Hero 8 Black builds on the successes of previous cameras with the same sensor and a similar lens arrangement but video stabilisation and Hypersmooth features are absolute game changers.

The latest model is more streamlined, ditching the shell in favour of built-in mount fingers so it is smaller and lighter than ever.

With a new microphone, 1080p livestreaming and higher max bit-rate, we can definitely see the value for money.

Despite containing lots of impressive technology, they are point-and-shoot cameras that work surprisingly well across a broad spectrum of shooting.

Although the automatic settings aren’t perfect every time, the new night modes capture most scenes at night time and in low light as well.

However, the GoPro is not a great camera for “conventional” photography and is not particularly versatile.

For anyone that wants to shoot landscapes or zoom into wildlife in the distance, you’ll need to choose something else with a zoom or long lens.

The GoPro requires getting up close and personal with the subject and isn’t well-suited to people shots unless you don’t mind them being a bit stretched.

The other issue is the battery life, which will only see you through a few hours of shooting – at best.

If you just want a waterproof action cam but don’t want to break the bank, the Hero 7 Black will be more than enough to suit your travel needs.

Pros
  • Incredibly small and light
  • Easy to use
  • Best-in-class digital stabilisation
  • Unique time-lapse modes
  • Unrivaled video shooting quality
Cons
  • Minimal zoom and no manual adjustment to exposure
  • Miniature screen hard for reviewing photos and settings
  • Average low-light performance

2. Sony RX100 VII

Key Features

View on Amazon

  • Megapixels: 20.1
  • Weight: 300 grams
  • Additional Specs
    • One-inch sensor
    • 20-200mm lens range
    • Three-inch tilting LCD display, with 921K dot resolution
    • 4k video
    • Point-and-shoot

For anyone craving a pocket-sized camera who has no budgetary restrictions – the obvious choice is the Sony RX100 VII.

We think that for its size, you won’t do better on image quality. Small enough to fit in your back pocket but containing the same image quality as most DSLRs, Sony have proved that good things really do come in small packages.

The VII model inherits Alpha 9-class features with the same autofocus calculation of up to 60 times per second, as well real-time tracking and real-time eye autofocus with 20fps blackout-free shooting.

It also comes bolstered with a bigger, high-resolution sensor that captures much more detail and color. Paired with an 8.3x optical zoom and it’s almost like having a pair of binoculars in your hand.

This high-end pocket camera is the perfect mix between a mirrorless and point-and-shoot camera.

Users can capture incredibly detailed photo and video, far better than an iPhone, then transfer them to a mobile and edit or post to social media.

There are a lot of buttons though, so it’s worth familiarising yourself with all the options before using it in the field.

The outer metal chassis is pretty sturdy but lacks grip and there is no waterproofing or shock-resistance – which is always a concern when out and about.

Sony makes up for this by making the camera lightweight and small enough to always stow safely.

Of course the biggest downside is the eye-watering cost. Is it an unreasonable asking price for a little point-and-shoot camera?

In terms of portability and performance, the RX100 VI is, in our opinion, totally worth it.

For those who love the idea of the Sony RX100 VII, but just not the price tag, a great alternative option is the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 III or IV. These RX100 models still pack a punch.

Pros
  • Sharp and bright viewfinder
  • Tilting touchscreen for easy use
  • Smooth lens adjustment ring
  • High-quality video shooting
Cons
  • Expensive

3. Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

View on Amazon

Key Features

  • Megapixels: 20.1
  • Weight: 340 grams
  • Additional Specs
    • One-inch sensor
    • 5x zoom range(24-120mm equivalent)
    • Pop-up viewfinder
    • Tilting 1040k-dot monitor
    • 20 fps continuous shooting speed
    • 4k video

Another incredibly powerful little camera, the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II is a great all-rounder for travelling.

With a pop-up viewfinder to use in bright light levels, quick AF and rapid burst shooting, it’s much like a miniature DSLR.

Launched onto the market in late-2019, Canon’s newest PowerShot model is no doubt one of the best compact cameras out there.

At 11 centimetres long, it’s teetering on the edge of being too big for your back pocket but certainly won’t weigh you down.

With a one-inch sensor at its heart the image quality is great, with pleasing colors and a good amount of dynamic range.

The superb zoom lens delivers pin-sharp results, even once blown up, and the wide range of features lets you get creative with both your still images and video recording in 4k.

The fast f/1.8-2.8 aperture is great for low-light shooting, making it ideal for camp fire shots or picking up wildlife at sundown and its flip-up LCD makes it ideal for selfies.

The manual modes are a little fiddly, requiring a bit of manual reading and playing around.

For anyone who is not accustomed to advanced camera settings, the number of functions can be off-putting and the Auto mode leaves a bit to be desired. Overall this is an impressive camera, let down only by the poor battery life.

Pros
  • Good zoom range
  • Pop up viewfinder
Cons
  • Poor battery life
  • Pricey

4. Panasonic Lumix TZ200 Travel Camera

Key Features

View on Amazon

  • Megapixels: 20.1
  • Weight: 340 grams
  • Additional Specs
    • 15x optical zoom
    • Three-inch display
    • One-inch sensor
    • Maximum continuous shooting speed of10fps
    • EVF viewfinder

Boasting the best zoom around on a compact camera, the Panasonic Lumix TZ200 allows users to capture any kind of subject and get as close as possible to the photos of a DSLR camera.

It is the ultimate combination of high portability and high-quality images.

The 15x zoom lens covers a 24mm wide-angle view right up to a long-range 360mm equivalent telephoto setting.

The Leica DC lens offers flexibility from 24 millimetre wide-angle to 360 millimetre zoomed-in images – perfect for capturing the shot, whether near or far.

As expected, the sharpness falls somewhat at full zoom. At the other end of the range, the three-centimetre macro capability allows you to get up close with tiny subjects.

Similar to the compact cameras above, a powerful one-inch sensor provides top-notch detail, colour and clarity even in low light.

The handy high-res electronic viewfinder makes shooting in bright conditions that much easier, though its size and built-in design does leave it feeling a little cramped.

The screen is an upgrade on previous models, with a higher resolution and is touch-sensitive (though fixed in place, which we don’t love).

The battery life also seems to have been improved and with Wi-Fi connectivity and direct social media access, vloggers and influencers are good to go.

A textured strip down the front of the camera allows for a better grip but invest in a decent case as it isn’t shock or water resistant.

Note that Panasonic has kept its predecessor, the TZ100, amongst their line-up, giving users two options to choose from depending on budget.

Pros
  • Best zoom available on a compact camera
  • Decent battery life
  • High-quality one-inch sensor
Cons
  • Fixed screen
  • Small EVF
  • Sharpness falls at full zoom

5. Fujifilm X100V Mirrorless Digital Camera

Key Features

View on Amazon

  • Megapixels: 26.1
  • Weight: 428 grams
  • Additional Specs
    • Weather-sealed and rain-safe
    • Newly designed 23mm F2 lens
    • Continuous shooting speed of 11 fps
    • 4K 30p video recording
    • Hybrid viewfinder

Fujifilm’s X100V is a highly anticipated camera and one of the most exciting additions to the market of 2020.

Whether you tend to get caught out by the weather, are travelling by boat or just like taking photos in the rain, the fact that this camera is 98% weather-sealed will give you one less thing to worry about.

Although previous models already offered face and eye-detection, the improved algorithm in the X100V provides better tracking and accuracy.

It also incorporates a new sensor, an updated (and far sharper) lens, and a leaf shutter so the flash works at all speeds.

The internal X-Processor 4 translates into improved autofocus, a high ISO performance and can shoot at an impressive 11 frames-per-second.

The advanced hybrid viewfinder is another upgrade on the previous model, now matching that found on the Fuji X-Pro 3 and making shooting in different conditions far easier.

On top of this, the three-inch rear-tilting LCD touchscreen can be maneuvered for easy shooting and subject review.

Once you’ve got to grips with the various functions, customisation is easy using the custom buttons and the range of film simulations is great for those who are nostalgic for old-school cameras.

Although it is expensive, the X100V is a more-than-capable pocket performer that takes great photos and has the option to shoot 4K/30p footage on the move.

Pros
  • Weather-sealed
  • Intuitive design and functions
  • Advanced hybrid viewfinder
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Noisy when focussing
  • Battery life

6. Olympus Tough TG-6

Key Features

View on Amazon

  • Megapixels: 12
  • Weight: 250 grams
  • Additional Specs
    • 20 fps continuous shooting speed
    • Wi-Fi capability
    • 1/2.3-inch sensor
    • Lens: 25-100mm f/2.0-4.9
    • 4K 30P video

Although it’s certainly not as sleek as its counterparts in our lineup, the Olympus Tough TG-6 is a unique device.

Olympus recently decided to kit out its popular TG-6 model with some life-proof perks whilst retaining features that tip towards the premium end of the scale, including RAW-format shooting, 4K video and a three-inch monitor.

As the name suggests, the Tough TG-6 is rugged enough for any adventure and its spec sheet goes beyond the waterproof norm.

Users can travel carefree with this in tow. Dustproof, waterproof up to 15 metres, shatterproof up to 100 kilograms, frostproof down to -10°C, and shockproof from a drop height of 2.1 metres, you could almost say the camera was indestructible.

The Tough TG-6 is ready for all sorts of land- and water-based captures, with a double-glazed protective glass that ensures reliable anti-fogging of the image sensor.

With strong zoom functions, the TG-6 lets you shoot both wide-angle and zoomed-in shots of faraway objects.

There is both a 4x optical zoom and a 2x digital tele-converter that enables a maximum 8x zoom. Combined with the amazing macro settings we are surprised at how affordable this camera is.

Its integrated field sensor system of a GPS, manometer, temperature sensor and compass will leave you feeling more like Bear Grylls than a holiday-maker.

Easy to use and simple by design, this camera is just as suited to beginners as it is to intermediate photographers.

The main flaws are the preset underwater modes create overly blue photos and the battery is quick to deplete yet slow to charge.

Pros
  • Durable and rugged
  • Affordable
  • 4K video
  • Can shoot in RAW format
Cons
  • No viewfinder
  • Small sensor
  • Poor battery

7. Panasonic G9

Key Features

View on Amazon

  • Megapixels: 20.3
  • Weight: 658 grams (body only)
  • Additional Specs
    • Mirrorless camera with removable lens
    • Four thirds sensor
    • OLED electronic viewfinder
    • ISO range of 100-25,600
    • Articulating, touch-sensitive TFT LCD monitor
    • 4K video

The Panasonic G9 is an all-rounder for those who want to shoot a variety of different subjects when travelling.

Marrying together professional quality and versatility, there is very little here to criticise.

The 20fps burst speed is well-suited to moving animals whilst the colours and detail produced by the sensor are equally good for landscapes.

Panasonic claim that the G9 has the world’s fastest AF speeds for a mirrorless camera, with a focus time of 0.04sec with the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 ASPH.

Its high-resolution capture mode (originally introduced by Olympus) takes a sequence of images with a tiny shift in the sensor position for each, then combines them into a single 80MP image.

Most professional photographers use full frame cameras, though micro four thirds (M4/3) sensors have been around for over a decade now and maintain popularity with users who value their especially compact size.

Note that anyone shooting above 6400 ISO or printing massive images/ prints shouldn’t get a M4/3 system camera as the sensor isn’t big enough.

As mentioned, the sensor size doesn’t quite match some of its competitors but accounting for the smaller design, selection and price of lenses, articulating screen and general ergonomics, video quality and user interface, it still offers incredible value for money,

The pictures are sharp and give nice detail and the option to change lenses is something that you won’t get from the above point-and-shoot options.

The downside is that it has a much larger body than a CSC (compact system camera) and the sensor is smaller than a proper DSLR.

Pros
  • Excellent viewfinder
  • Weather sealing
  • 4K video
Cons
  • Bulky/heavy for a CSC
  • No built in flash
  • Reduced sensor size

8. Nikon Z50

Key Features

View on Amazon

  • Megapixels: 20.9
  • Weight: 530 grams (body only)
  • Additional Specs
    • APS-C sensor
    • Z lens mount
    • 2-inch tilting touchscreen monitor
    • 39-inch OLED viewfinder
    • 4K video

Nikon’s Z50 is based on the Z series with the same level of flexibility and handling but packed into a small, travel-friendly sized format.

Combining total versatility with portability, this APS-C mirrorless model is Nikon’s best-suited camera for photography on the move thanks to its smaller form factor and specifically-designed lenses.

The first DX-format mirrorless camera in the range, the Z50 captures perfectly focused photos that have the depth and colour of larger cameras and 4K detail-rich movies to boot.

Whether you want to shoot slow-motion footage in full HD, create time-lapse sequences or capture still frames while filming, this camera can do it all.

The new DX mirrorless system provides professional-quality images, from wide-angle to telephoto.

The fast-focusing lens has wide-angle to normal 16-50 millimetre focal length range and in-lens vibration reduction helps to capture clearer images in low light and record steady footage when filming while walking.

The Hybrid-AF (autofocus) system is fast and precise, covering 90% of the frame to deliver edge-to-edge sharpness.

The rear monitor can be angled all the way forwards, great for grabbing those vacation selfies, and the smartphone-style touch controls are easy to use.

Currently there aren’t many lenses specifically for the Z50’s DX format but the range should continue to grow.

Pros
  • Compact DSLR equivalent
  • Good handling
  • Pricey but good value considering
Cons
  • Limited native Z lens range (due to size)

Travel Camera Buying Guide

When choosing a travel camera, look for something light, small and versatile.

It needs to fit in your hand luggage (if not your pocket) so that you can pull it out at regular intervals.

Equally, it needs to be good enough to justify its spot in your bag.

You want to be able to snap amazing pictures in a number of different scenarios, whether that’s hiking up a mountain, sailing at sea or trekking through the jungle, come rain, wind or shine.

Whatever you choose, you can expect a small but mighty camera whose results are completely breathtaking.

Anyone you ask will give you different advice on which camera to buy and with so many options it can be incredibly overwhelming.

Some key things that we would recommend taking into consideration when looking for a travel camera are outlined below.

DSLR vs Mirrorless vs Point-and-Shoot

A DSLR is simply the digital version of a film SLR camera. Light enters through the lens, is reflected off a mirror in the camera body and bounces up into the viewfinder.

When you click the shutter, the mirror flips down and exposes the digital sensor, absorbing the light and capturing the image.

Simple? Kind of. They are widely used by professionals but are also bulky and heavy. DSLRs have a wider selection of lenses to choose from.

But as mirrorless cameras continue to grow in popularity, their lens offerings are catching up.

A mirrorless camera, as the name suggests, has no mirror, meaning there isn’t any way to preview the image through the viewfinder – image previews must be viewed on the digital screen.

However the streamlined design allows for a smaller and more portable device.

The bonus of a mirrorless camera over a point-and-shoot is the ability to change lenses.

A major gripe however is that smaller camera bodies equals smaller batteries, which is not ideal for shooting over a sustained period.

Point-and-shoot camera viewfinders (if there are any) are separate from the lens, meaning what you see in the viewfinder will be at a different angle and look different than what the camera captured.

These cameras are generally the most straightforward to use, as well as being the most compact.

Where are you going and what are you shooting?

There isn’t one ideal travel camera to suit everyone. Your decision should be primarily based on where you’re going and what you’re looking to capture.

Consider whether your priority will be people, landscapes or wildlife, as well as lighting levels and possible weather conditions.

If you’re going on safari then you’ll need the option of a long zoom but if you’re shooting fellow climbers on a mountaineering expedition, then you might prefer a wide lens.

Another important factor is whether you’re mainly looking to shoot stills, video or a combination of the two.

If video is a high priority then look for 4K settings that go well beyond the capabilities of your smartphone.

If you’re doing lots of walking and carrying around several lenses on holiday sounds like a nightmare, then stick to a compact.

Zoom Range

Unless you will be shooting in one specific situation or environment then don’t limit yourself with a purely wide or narrow angle lens.

Where possible, opt for something that will enable you to shoot a variety of situations with either a built in zoom or changeable lenses.

Size and Weight

This almost goes without saying. Although it’s tempting to buy the flashest camera out there, your travel camera needs to be portable, otherwise you’ll never use it.

If you don’t usually carry a bag then opt for a pocket-sized compact camera.

If you use a backpack anyway, then a bigger DSLR or mirrorless camera might work, particularly if you want to carry a spare lens.

Whilst you want to travel as light as possible, some of the slightly bigger cameras are more versatile and can pay dividends when it comes to image quality and flexibility.

Image Quality

If you’re investing in a travel camera, the picture quality needs to be well above what your smartphone can produce.

Buying a cheap point-and-shoot camera won’t do your once-in-a-lifetime trip justice like a mirrorless, premium compact camera or DSLR would.

Simplicity

A top of the range, whizz-bang camera is surplus to most people’s requirements.

Unless you’re prepared to sit down with the encyclopedia-length manual or spend your holiday messing around with camera settings, opt for a camera with simple full auto modes that anyone can use.

Most cameras now come with a couple of automatic functions, as well as some manual setting adjustments, giving you the best of both worlds.

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Last update on 2020-10-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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