When it comes to travel cameras, the market is full of options differing in size, price, and performance. In this context, mirrorless cameras are a great choice as they are compact and versatile. On this basis, here are some of the best mirrorless cameras for travel.
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What is a Mirrorless Camera?
In simple terms, the difference between a mirrorless camera and a DSLR is – you guessed it, the mirror.
A DSLR uses an in-body mirror that reflects the image to an optical viewfinder. A mirrorless, on the other hand, has an electronic viewfinder.
There are various other differences, and most photographers nowadays position themselves in either camp. DSLRs usually have a longer battery life, while mirrorless cameras score points with their compactness.
Mirrorless vs DSLR – Pros and Cons:
- The optical viewfinder of a DSLR lets you see through the viewfinder with your own eyes instead of a screen.
- Mirrorless cameras are smaller and easier to handle, which can be a pro or a con depending on your preferences.
- DSLRs have longer battery lives.
- Mirrorless cameras make less noise while shooting.
- Mirrorless cameras are faster, catering well to street photography.
- Mirrorless cameras offer more performance for less money, especially when it comes to shooting video.
The gap between the two is becoming narrower with every model year, but both systems are excellent options, depending on your priorities. If you’re a beginner photographer or have a smaller budget, mirrorless is undoubtedly a more appealing choice. So, let’s get to some of the best mirrorless cameras for travel.
How do we Define the Best Mirrorless Cameras for Travel?
The options are virtually endless, but there are some criteria that you can use to find the best compact travel camera for your needs.
These criteria include the following:
- Size and versatility.
- Price (all of these cameras are under 2,000$).
- Lens options.
- Video performance.
- Intuitiveness and usability for beginners.
- Durability and ruggedness.
Should you go APS-C or Full-Frame?
When buying a new travel camera, you’ll face a choice between an APS-C sensor or a full-frame. A full-frame lens is roughly equivalent to a 35mm film, catching a wider scene. An APS-C, on the other hand, crops the image. With Sony cameras, the crop factor is 1.5.
Do you need a full-frame camera for travel photography? There are many debates on the matter, and the answer isn’t straightforward. For sports, wildlife, and landscape photography, a full-frame camera will help you catch the entirety of a scene.
Nevertheless, an APS-C sensor is a more accessible way into photography, as these cameras are less expensive.
To conclude, if you’re a beginner – or don’t want to spend a fortune, APS-C cameras are a great choice as their performance is nowadays more than enough for travel photography.
The Best Mirrorless Cameras for Travel in 2021
The following five are popular choices among amateurs and pros alike. They offer everything you need and cover different budgets. Without further ado, here are our five best mirrorless cameras for travel photography.
The Beginner’s Favorite: the Sony A6000
The Sony Alpha 6000 has been on the market since 2014, making it one of the best-selling mirrorless cameras of all time, and there are good reasons for that.
It’s simply impossible to find a better beginner camera in this price range. For less than 600$, the A6000 offers a 24-megapixel APS-C sensor, 11fps burst shooting, and a vast assortment of lenses to choose from.
Its battery life is limited, and it doesn’t have in-body image stabilization (“IBIS”), but you get a lot of camera for your money.
All in all, the Sony A6000 is one of the best mirrorless travel cameras for beginners, especially if your budget is low.
- Find the Sony A6000 on Amazon
The Value for Money Option: the Sony A6400
Even though the A6000 is still around, Sony has put various successor models on the market, including the A6400.
For just under 1,000$, the Alpha 6400 is a newer, better version of the A6000 with the same basic specs. Its breathtaking autofocus capabilities, 4K video recording, and compact body make it an excellent travel camera.
On the minus side, the A6400 still doesn’t have IBIS.
To conclude, the A6400 is a favorable choice for photographers who are a bit more advanced and have a mid-range budget.
- Find the Sony A6400 on Amazon
The Fujifilm XT200: a Vlogger’s Dream
In a similar price bracket, the Fuji XT200 has comparable specs to the Sony competition.
Where it truly shines, however, is video recording. Equipped with no-crop 4K capabilities – as well as audio controls and easy-to-use microphone inputs – the XT200 is a recommendable camera for vloggers with a limited budget.
Aside from that, its retro-style design and its intuitive interface undoubtedly create a superb user experience.
- Find the Fujifilm XT200 on Amazon
The Best Full-Frame Allrounder: the Sony A7iii
Having discussed three budget APS-C cameras under 1,000$, it’s time to get into the full-frame segment. These cameras aren’t for beginners, but they offer world-class all-around performance for travel photographers who need versatility.
The first one in this category is the Sony A7iii.
I’ve been using this camera for a while now, and there are virtually no disadvantages.
It has a 24-megapixel full-frame sensor with IBIS and arguably the best autofocus on the market. Its video capabilities are world-renowned, justifying its popularity among professional Youtubers.
Even though it’s bulkier than Sony’s APS-C alternatives, it’s still compact and works well as a travel camera.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for the best mirrorless cameras for travel photography, the Sony A7iii should be high on your list. It starts at around 2,000$, but because its replacement will arrive soon, you can find fantastic deals online.
- Find the Sony A7iii on Amazon
The Canon EOS R: a Multi-Functional Beast
The Canon EOS R is Canon’s answer to the A7iii.
The Canon has a 30-megapixel sensor, giving it the edge over Sony in terms of resolution. It’s a bit slower when it comes to burst photography – 8 fps vs Sony’s 10 – and its video capabilities lag behind the A7iii’s.
Where Canon has the edge, in my opinion, is user experience. Many photographers criticize Sony’s menus, and they are indeed annoying.
All in all, the Canon is an excellent alternative to the A7iii, especially if video recording isn’t your primary concern.
Find the Canon EOS R on Amazon