Best compact camera for the travel photographer

By Peter Chubb - Sep 20, 2016

Even though we are at an age where owning and taking a compact digital camera with us is far less important because of huge strides made in smartphone camera technology, there are still photographers out there that still much prefer to use a compact digital camera.

They offer you far more than a phone can in terms of its zoom capabilities, although lacks the ability to share the photos you have taken right away, unless you connect it to a computer. Ok, so they are not going to give you the sort of shots you would get from a DSLR or CSC, but they will be able to achieve far more than what your phones camera can – although you do have to sacrifice a couple of things, and they are ultimate portability and easy of use.

So how would you go about choosing the best compact camera for the travel photographer? Firstly, you need to ascertain whether you need a huge zoom, which more than likely will be the case, deliver high quality images, but also of a decent size that you are able to fit it in your pocket. The camera will also need to be able to handle varied conditions, such as on the beach, out in the wilderness, or even in rough conditions where the weather can constantly change.

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While this might not be the most definitive list, these are what we believe are the models you should consider, and it starts with the Canon G7 X Mark II. This model is a premium bridge and so offers details that you would usually expect from a DSLR, and although the 20-megapixel sensor is not of a great deal of importance, its zoom equivalent of a 24-100mm lens is impressive. Ok, we know you would prefer more soon, but then you will have to sacrafice something, and that os its compact size. Full details of the G7 X Mark II, such as specs and features can be found here. As for price, you should expect to pay around £549.

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Next up we have the Fuji X100T, and although it has a higher price tag of around £775, you should not dismiss it just yet. The reason we say this is because of that fact it looks so sexy with its retro styling, along with some rather impressive specifications. Ok, so we know that its fixed length lens is a limitation, but it is more of a sophisticated camera with a hybrid viewfinder, 16.3MP sensor, although not your usual kind, as it is an APS-C sized X-Trans CMOS II. The manual controls look old school, although do not let that fool you, as there is a host of amazing features, details of which can be found on the Fuji website.

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If your budget is unable to stretch that far, then you could always consider the Olympus Stylus TG-4. Ok, so we know that it does not look as sexy, and tends to have a more generic design, but it’s a tough little camera that is able to cope with demanding conditions. With only 16 megapixels you are still going to get some decent shots, and while there are some phones out there with more, the sensor is larger and so will be able to let far more light. The 4x optical zoom lens is not the best out there, but with a maximum aperture of f/2, built-in WiFi and GPS are features that make this £265 (or thereabouts) camera worth your consideration. If you would like more details on this model, then please visit Olympus’s website.

There are other models worth your consideration as well, such as the Panasonic LX100, TZ100 and TZ80, as well as the Sony HX90V, RX100 IV, and the Nikon S9900. All of these are great cameras and have positives and negatives, although they will all give you are far better experience than you get from the camera on your smartphone.

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