The Best Small Cameras for Travel Content

Want to know what the best travel cameras are? Let’s look at which are the cheapest, which are the smallest, and which will get you the shot you need.

Taking photos on a travel camera

Picking a travel camera can be tough. There’s so much choice out there – you get so bogged down with information, you can’t see the forest for the trees. That’s why Epidemic Sound ambassador ZY Cheng has broken it down for us. 

Whether you want a compact travel camera for on-the-go content creation, location scouting, or just to make memories, there’ll be a model for you. Let’s look at some of the main competitors.

What’s the best camera to start travel photography?

If you’re just dipping your toe into travel photography, buying an expensive, complicated camera might seem excessive. So, get something that you’ll use every day: your phone. In particular, the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

iPhone 14 Pro Max: More than a phone

Retailing at $1,099, this isn’t the cheapest of the cheap. However, if you’re already looking to upgrade your mobile phone, the iPhone Pro Max could be the best travel camera for you. 

Mobile camera systems have gotten so good, they’re now competing with ‘real’ cameras – the iPhone 14 Pro Max could easily be the only travel camera you take on a trip. It’s so darn versatile, shooting up to 48 megapixels (!) for raw photos and 4K video in ProRes; the phone can also cover ultra-wide angles, medium telephoto shots, and everything in between.

Plus, you’ll never forget it. Your phone lives in your pocket by default, so unless you lose it, your camera will always be on-hand.

That convenience is what makes the iPhone 14 Pro Max so appealing. You don’t have to pack anything extra for the trip, meaning you can shoot, edit, then post your content directly from your hotel room (or deep in the jungle – whatever works).

If you’re thinking of dropping serious dollar on a travel camera, but aren’t sure if you’ll use it enough to justify the spend, the iPhone 14 Pro Max might be your happy medium.

iPhone 14 Pro Max

What’s the best all-round travel camera?

If you want a balance between convenience, quality, and price, look no further than the Sony RX100 V.

Sony RX100 V: Capable and compact

First, we should address something: good cameras aren’t cheap. Some people spend tens of thousands of dollars on their gear, and while the Sony RX100 V can be bought for $999.99, that's still a lot of money.

But if you want a point-and-shoot, autofocusing travel camera that doesn’t scrimp on the good stuff, here’s your solution. Its one-inch sensor is fairly large for a point-and-shoot camera, but its size allows for more light, and thus greater image quality.

Shooting travel content

You can take 20-megapixel still images with the RX100 V, and it’s also 4K-ready with slick slow-motion features to boot. Oh, and it’s packing a zoom lens and pop-up viewfinder – pretty neat.

All of these features are bundled into an impressively capable, compact package. The Sony RX100 V might not break any boundaries, but it won’t break the bank, either. A really good travel camera that does the business.

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What’s the best camera for taking travel pictures alone?

If you’re riding solo, you’re the only person who can shoot, edit, and deliver that delicious content – you and you alone. So, here’s the travel camera that’ll help you out: the Fujifilm X100V.

Fujifilm X100V: High-tech yet retro

Coming in pricier at $1,399, the Fujifilm X100V is surprisingly high-tech, given its retro aesthetic. Its APS-C sensor delivers the crispest image quality and bokeh you could want, supported by that 23-millimeter F2 lens and 26.1 megapixel capability.

The X100V’s superpower, though, is that it can simulate different film stocks straight out of the camera. Without any photo- or video-editing software, you can modify your shot’s overall vibe, squeezing out all kinds of different colors and moods.

The X100V’s got a super smooth hybrid viewfinder, too, along with 4K video like the other travel cameras we mentioned. Some people choose this as a stills-only camera, but you’ll be just fine using it for video.

Fujifilm X100V

What’s the best ‘budget’ travel camera?

There isn’t really a best ‘cheap’ travel camera, but this will give you a whole lot of bang for your buck. Say hello to the Insta360 ONE RS.

Insta360 ONE RS: Wild but reliable

The Insta360 ONE RS is one of the more popular (and best) budget travel cameras on the market, available for $549.99 – it’s often bundled and discounted via Insta360’s store, too.

It’s a lightweight, modular action camera, comprising a core, a battery, and an Insta360 lens of your choice. This means that, as long as you’ve bought the right lenses or received them as part of a bundle, you can play around with 360-degree video, a 4K boost lens, and even activity-specific tools for things like snowboarding and motorcycling.

The ONE RS also lets you erase the selfie stick from your footage, stabilizes like a dream, and can even be dunked 16 feet underwater. 48 megapixels and the choice to shoot up to 5.7 megapixels is a tempting offer, especially given how tiny and travel-friendly it is. If you’re capturing active, wild footage, don’t sleep on the Insta360 ONE RS.

Insta360 ONE RS

Find a travel camera that works best for you and your content

We’ve just covered four travel cameras that serve four different purposes. It’s a diverse list to serve a diverse art – no two filmmakers are the same, and what works for someone else might not match your style at all. Figure out which type of camera suits you best, do your research, and make as informed a decision as possible when purchasing. Your content will be all the better for it!

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