5 Best Mirrorless Cameras For Travel Photography [Tips For Choosing]
If you love traveling and want to capture every moment then you should have a camera that is lightweight and portable but still produce quality results.
In past, most thought that only DSLRs are capable of producing quality results. Since technology is continuously evolving and with it we have a new generation of cameras called Mirrorless.
They are more portable, lighter, and have faster autofocus and shutter speed than DSLRs.
To see what exposures setting might look like in real-time, they have excellent EVF.
Meaning we do not have to sacrifice quality for our ease as we can have both in form of the best mirrorless cameras for travel photography.
Mirrorless cameras are not only great for travel photography but they are also useful for action shooters, street photography, and landscape photography.
Is purchasing a new camera next on your list? Then consider purchasing the best mirrorless camera. Because of their smaller dimensions, they are becoming the new choice for professionals.
Buying Guide: Best Mirrorless Cameras for Travel Photography
After trying and testing several cameras, I have come to these factors to look for in best mirrorless cameras for travel photography.
Size And Weight
The weight and size must be lesser to carry them around easily to travel.
It is the second most important factor. As travel cameras are exposed to harsh environments, therefore they must be weather resistant.
Battery life for best mirrorless cameras for travel photography must be good. Because charging them too often would be very difficult during trips.
Do you not want to shoot at high shutter speeds or do not want to use a tripod? then it is imperative for a camera to have image-stabilized lenses. Now many new models of mirrorless cameras are coming with in-camera image stabilization.
Before purchasing one of best mirrorless cameras for travel photography, keep in mind sensor sizes according to your needs. The general three sensor sizes are:
- Micro-four third.
5 Best Mirrorless Cameras For Travel Photography Reviewed
As a hobbyist cum professional photographer, I always wanted a mirrorless camera therefore I tried and tested many models from which top five best mirrorless cameras for travel photography are:
1. Fujifilm X-T4
User Level: Beginners, Professional
- Greatly weather sealed.
- Articulating touch screen.
- Good battery life.
- Strong build.
- A few menus are untouchable.
- Average high ISO performance.
My main concern for purchasing this camera was still photography for my trips and so far I can recommend this camera to be one of best mirrorless cameras for travel photography.
Plus point of purchasing this camera was choosing film effects before taking a shot. Lots of cameras that I have owned allow this effect but after taking a shot. So, it was a good option, to begin with.
X-T4 is more affordable than other known brands with the same specifications.
Powering up camera took about half then a second which is quite fast. I almost took around 350 shots on first day of shooting with the camera and haven’t needed to recharge it.
Impressive sensor performance can be seen in both high and low light conditions. Having mechanical and electronic shutters at same time is also a huge plus.
Without increasing shutter speed, you have +-6.5 stop camera shake stabilization which helped me to take lots of difficult shots easily.
I also used this camera at a high ASA of 12800 and BOY! Was I surprised? It performed exceptionally well with low noise.
All buttons that I have used could be programmed differently from the factory setting, which helped me get things rolling quicker from the first use.
Aperture, ASA, and Shutter preferred shooting is also simple. I just had to choose only one or two (in rare cases) and camera was able to adjust the other remaining.
An Amazing feature of T4 that I like is the ability to make a customized menu called ‘MY MENU”. You can even assign a function key to launch it.
2. Sony A6000
User Level: Enthusiasts, Amature, Professional
- Long aperture range.
- Excellent low light performance.
- Customizable buttons.
- Average battery life.
- No-in body image stabilization.
- No touch screen features.
Professionals consider DSLR cameras as their go-to camera but mirrorless technology is getting more famous as days pass by.
Sony A6000 is the world’s best-selling mirrorless camera and one of my favourite’s that is why I have included it in my list of best mirrorless cameras for travel.
I had to charge battery for six straight hours which seems pretty excessive, but once battery was fully charged it performed better than my expectations.
Took this camera on 8 days trip where I took several hundreds of photos with it. Overall, this camera performed very well given its price range.
A6000 also performed well when I did some street photography with it during my trip. This camera was able to capture all action due to its 179 phase detect AF points that cover around 92% of frame.
What I meant in simple language is that a6000 is good at tracking moving subjects across whole frame.
There are several features I like about a6000 which are:
- Amazing lightning-fast autofocus with Eye detection. Meaning a person can leave the shot and when it reenters, camera will refocus.
- Autofocus, white balance, B&W, and zoom, all are one button touch away.
- Catching up on moving objects is very easy.
- Powers up quickly.
- Works with plenty of lenses (third-party included).
- A very lightweight camera to carry around thus a suitable candidate for travel photography.
- Wireless transfer of photos directly to my phone library.
- Surprisingly great pop-up flash for a small size.
- Better than average Electronic View Finder which let me check shots easily before pressing the shutter button.
Overall, Sony A6000 is an affordable mirrorless camera with great quality for anyone who wants to test waters of travel photography without being hard on his pockets.
A Smart Camera
This camera can sense when it is brought up. When brought up to eye level, it automatically turns off the LCD screen and switches to View-finder.
3. Canon EOS RP
User Level: Professional, Hobbyist, Amature
- Excellent EVF.
- Easy transfer over wifi.
- Fast autofocus.
- Vari-angle LCD.
- Lightweight and compact.
- Modest battery life.
- Average video capabilities
- Limited dynamic range of sensor
- No built-in flash.
Canon EOS RP had what I was looking for: HDR, durability, flip-out touchscreen, AEB, image stabilization, full frame, and much more.
For my traveling photography, I had to have a camera that takes vibrant photos and RP does exactly that.
Pictures and videos that were taken flattered me as I was not expecting such quality in this price range.
Sharp and clear shots were taken plus I could easily navigate through the menu. One thing that saved me one day when I forgot my flash was its high ISO.
Many cameras result in grainy pictures at high ISO but in my opinion, pictures I took at high ISO were of great quality.
Amature can use this camera to taste what it is like and feel having a good mirrorless camera without breaking their savings as there are many expensive options there.
My expectations exceeded when I start using it. Features I like while using it are:
- Ultra low-light capability.
- For separating backgrounds, there is an ultra-shallow depth of field.
- Real-time exposure in Live View.
- More quiet shutter.
- Astounding image quality.
- Impressive autofocus.
- No focus tuning calibration issues.
- Weather resistant.
- Form factor and weight are less than my previous camera which I loved.
- Superb built quality.
- Similar to higher-end cameras that I have used, buttons of RP have the same weighted press.
Amazing Picture Quality
Have used many full-frame cameras of high end. But for harsh environment, I wanted to have a lower-end camera in case anything bad happens. But the minute I took my first shot,
Just forget about shooting RAW as its JPEGS are exceptional. Canon has done a great job in nailing colors at such a price.
4. Panasonic Lumix G85
User Level: Beginners. Intermediate
- Amazing video quality.
- Focus acquisition is very fast.
- Weather sealed.
- Strongly built.
- Excellent RAW quality.
- Lower than expected battery life but in this price range, it is the best it can get.
- ISO range is limited.
- No port for headphones.
All cameras I had were good for still but for videos, I was not pleased. I, therefore, purchased Panasonic G85 which has many positive reviews. To tell the truth, G85 has lived up to my expectations.
Good camera for the price with well-developed accessories. Also, an ecosystem of lenses is well-developed and continuously growing.
Handling of G85 is much better due to its large-sized handle. Holding and taking pictures is very easy. Rather than a large handle, it is still lightweight.
On and off switches on right side are more convenient for me. Also, I found the user interface better than other brands. Also, app is very responsive.
I used it for a total of two trips and there are many things I would like to highlight about it.
- Intuitive and responsive controls.
- Customizable controls.
- Physical controls are further augmented by touch screens.
- To quickly access frequently used settings, there are two custom buttons.
- Good ergonomics.
- Can reach the controls without straining my fingers.
- Reliable focus in low-light conditions.
- Exceptional image stabilization.
- Better than expected image quality.
- Weather-sealed camera with plenty of weather-sealed lenses to match.
- Great video capability.
- No stabilization humming.
- Wider and longer zoom range.
Not Much Post Processing Is Needed
Video making was the main concern for purchasing this camera. I also do not have extra time to spend on post-editing. This is why I like G85 so much. With standard settings, colors and clarity of videos are better.
5. Sony A7 III
User Level: Beginners, Professionals
- Impressive autofocus.
- Exceptional dynamic range.
- Greatly customizable.
- Touch screen controls are limited.
- Not much weather resistant.
I am a huge fan of SONY A7 series so when Sony A7 III came out, I had to try. And so far, I have only a few issues but overall it can be enlisted as one of best cameras for travel photography.
Many things I like about this camera are:
- Provides photos of higher resolution.
- Has more autofocus points.
- Provides bird eye autofocus which is just WOW!
- Better stabilization than its predecessor.
- Amazing viewfinder.
- Image buffer is bigger.
- Support Wifi of 5GHz.
New menu that A7 III offers is also better for me to handle and do settings easily. I do not have to do lots of work to have the desired setting.
Flip out screen is also great. I could do more articulation with it but at the same time, it worries me due to being present outside of camera body.
Right after using many mirrorless cameras of different models, I can say that it has an autofocus that is 99% correct.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I buy a mirrorless camera for travel photography?
Why not DSLRs? Well, this is the question that most beginners asked. DSLRs are cameras that many use to look legit and professional. They produce great results, but problem is that they are very heavy in weight.
As a travel photographer, you need quality with convenience which a mirrorless camera offers. Because they are light in weight but produce almost same results as DSLRs.
How much should I spend on a travel camera?
Travel cameras cost from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. Before purchasing one keep in mind that in traveling, camera is going to be exposed to many risks, fallouts, and possibly theft.
What are the ideal factors of a travel camera?
Good features at a reasonable price are the ideal features for a travel camera. Also, it must be compact and light in weight to carry around easily.
Mirrorless cameras are becoming new go-to cameras for professionals and beginners alike. The ease and convenience with state of art features make them best cameras for travel photography.
As a professional photographer, I have used mirrorless cameras of different kinds and companies. In this guide, I have mentioned my top five recommendations. Top three of which are:
Sony a6000: Due to its long aperture range. Also, the customizable button is a great option.
Lumix G85: Due to its excellent RAW pictures and amazing video quality.
Sony a7 iii: Due to its higher resolution and more autofocus points.