Photo Review’s Top 3 recommended cameras and lenses for Travel.

Essential features:

  1. Portability.
  2. Versatility – able to handle a wide range of subjects and shooting conditions.
  3. Dust and moisture resistance.
  4. Good still and video shooting capabilities.
  5. Easy connection to a smartphone for image sharing and remote control of the camera.

Top 3 Compact fixed lens cameras

If you’re looking for a pocketable travel camera, be prepared to compromise when balancing size, price and performance. These three cameras are our pick of the options currently available, and all offer 4K video plus raw file support. Listed in order of overall weight (lightest first), including battery and SD card.

Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ220

The least expensive in this trio, this camera packs a 20-megapixel 12.8 x 9.6 mm MOS sensor plus a retracting 24-360mm f/3.3-6.4 zoom lens into a pocketable, 300 gram body. The TZ220 has the longest zoom reach in its class, but with a 1/3 stop reduction in lens speed. A well-thought out control layout and logical menu system makes this camera easy to use. 4K UHD video is recorded at 30/25p and 24p, but with a 1.5x frame crop.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII

The most expensive camera in the trio – but it also has a larger, 20-megapixel 13.2 x 8.8 mm sensor and the best AF system of the trio. Key features include a pop-up EVF, blackout-free shooting at 20 fps, Log profiles for 4K video recording and a versatile, 24-200mm f/2.8-4.5 retracting lens. A high price tag, slick grip, tiny controls and complex menu system are the main downsides of this camera.

Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II

Cheaper than the Sony camera, the G5 X II is easier to use but also 4K video capable and the heaviest of the trio by a small margin. Sensor size and resolution are the same as the RX100 VII’s and it also has a pop-up high-resolution EVF. The 24-120mm equivalent lens is faster and the monitor tilts up for selfies and vlogging. A dial-in ND filter is available for controlling exposures in ultra-bright conditions. JPEGs are colour-accurate with a good dynamic range.

Top 3 ILC combinations for compact size and light weight

Our three interchangeable-lens camera recommendations focus on compact size and light weight but, in the interests of ‘affordable’ pricing, they aren’t always the most recent models or the longest zoom lenses. Cameras without viewfinders have been excluded, as have those that don’t support raw file capture. Listed in order of overall weight.

Sony A6100 with 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ OSS lens

If you’re prepared to sacrifice zoom range for light weight, this 512 gram combo will provide good performance from the camera’s 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor (23.5 x 15.7 mm) sensor with a very compact standard zoom lens. Real Time Eye AF will focus on the subject’s eye when you’re taking human or animal portraits and burst shooting is supported at up to 11 fps with AF/AE tracking The LCD monitor supports touch controls and 4K movies can be recorded in high-bit-rate XAVC S format.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III with M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 lens

Not the fastest lens available but, with an overall weight of around 850 grams and a 16.6x zoom range that encompasses 24-400mm (35mm equivalent), this combo is hard to beat.  The M4/3 (17.3 x 13.0 mm) sensor has a resolution of 16 megapixels and the lens provides basic splash & dust proof construction. Plenty of useful functions are provided but the camera body isn’t weather-sealed.

Canon EOS RP with RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM lens

Not exactly bargain priced but the best value for money if you want a ‘full frame’ camera and long-zoom lens. Weighing 1235 grams, it’s also very compact and light for this category, and it’s one of the easiest to operate and most flexible. Features include 26.6 megapixel resolution, Dual Pixel CMOS AF, 4K movie support and integrated Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for easy image download or remote shooting.

See more Top 3 recommendations

Join our Newsletter to find out about the next Photo Review Top 3 recommendations