Most smartphone cameras are great for general snaps, but do not do justice to the things you see and experience when you're traveling, while wearing a thick DSLR is just too much of a hassle for many people. In the age of minimalism everyone strives for light travel and keeping things flexible.

That is why the genre & # 39; travel camera & # 39; so popular. These are compact cameras that are barely larger than a standard point-and-shoot model, but with massive 20x or 30x zoom lenses. You get the portability of a normal camera, but with much more room for photographing different types of subjects.

Some models now have larger sensors for better image quality

You do not get the same quality as a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, because the only way to make cameras with large zoom lenses that are small enough to fit in a bag is to use a smaller sensor. But the image quality is still pretty good, and perfect for sharing with friends and family, while some models now have larger sensors for improved image quality.

If you are not sure whether this is the kind of camera you need, consult our step-by-step guide: Which camera should I buy?

Alternatively, if you're at the pool or on the beach, you might want something firmer, so check out our best waterproof camera and the best action camera guides.

Otherwise you will continue reading, because here is our list of top travel cameras that you can buy now.

Best travel camera & # 39; s 2018

1. Panasonic Lumix ZS200 / TZ200
The most advanced travel zoom camera you can buy now

Sensor: Type 1-inch, 20.1 MP Lens: 24-360 mm, f / 3.3-6.4 | Monitor: 3.0-inch touchscreen, 1,240K dots | viewfinder: EVF | Continuous shooting: 10 fps Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner / Intermediate

Large 1.0-inch sensor

Decent 15x zoom lens

EVF still feels pretty tight


With the emergence of high-end compacts such as the excellent ones Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V stealing the thunder from compact travel zooms, Panasonic's response was to keep the camera body about the same size as its previous ZS / TZ series cameras, but to press a much larger sensor. We saw this with the Lumix ZS100 (known as the Lumix TZ100 outside the US), and Panasonic continued with the new Lumix ZS200 / TZ200. This physically larger sensor provides a much better image quality, but the small disadvantage is that the zoom range lens is not as extensive as some. That said, the ZS200 / TZ200 still has a very versatile 15x zoom lens, while there is also a handy built-in electronic viewfinder. Not only that, there is the addition to 4K video recording and Panasonic's 4K photo mode to capture 8MP images of fleeting moments. The best compact camera with travel zoom available, if a bit pricey.

2. Panasonic Lumix ZS100 / TZ100
The premium travel camera from Panasonic has a larger sensor

Sensor: Type 1-inch, 20.1 MP Lens: 25-250 mm, f / 2.8-5.9 | Monitor: 3.0-inch touchscreen, 1,040K dots | viewfinder: EVF | Continuous shooting: 10 fps Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner / Intermediate

Large 1.0-inch sensor

4K movies

Limited 10x zoom lens

Fixed rear display

Until the Lumix ZS200 / TZ200 was introduced, the Lumix ZS100 / TZ100 was our choice of Travel Zoom compacts. Like its newer sibling, the ZS100 / TZ100 enjoys a large 1.0-inch sensor with a decent 20.1 MP resolution, but the 10x zoom lens is one of the shortest available. Do not be put off, for the Z100 / TZ100 is a brilliant camera, with a built-in electronic viewfinder, a large touch screen, 4K video, Wi-Fi image transfer and easy-to-use controls. There are also more advanced manual functions, including unedited recording for those who want to edit their images at a later date. It all comes down to a powerful travel package that now has to be priced more attractively.

3. Sony Cyber-shot RX100 VI
Sensor: Type 1-inch, 20.1 MP Lens: 24-200 mm, f / 2.8-4.5 | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 921K dots | viewfinder: EVF | Continuous shooting: 24fps | Movies: 4K | User level: between-

Blister performance and AF

High-quality EVF

Zoom range can not match others

Very expensive

Sony revolutionized premium compact cameras with the original RX100 because it was pocket-sized with a large 1.0-inch sensor. Thanks to the fairly modest zoom lenses on previous models, however, they have not really lent themselves as a travel camera & # 39; s. All this changes with the arrival of the RX100 VI, which is packaged in a decent 24-200 mm zoom lens, which although it is shorter than many rivals, has an impressively fast (variable) maximum aperture. In addition, the RX100 VI has an amazing (if complex) autofocus system, the ability to take pictures with 24 fps and advanced 4K video recordings. It can be a little awkward to use and is expensive, but there is certainly nothing else that can touch it when it comes to performance.

4. Panasonic Lumix ZS50 / TZ70
This is the way to go for it, you have a limited budget

Sensor: 1 / 2.3-inch, 12.1 MP Lens: 24-720 mm, f / 3.3-6.4 | Monitor: 3.0-inch, 1,040K dots | viewfinder: EVF | Continuous shooting: 10 fps Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner / intermediate

Brilliant zoom range

Manual controls and unworked

No touchscreen

The image quality can be better

Panasonic's cameras of the ZS / TZ series have begun the whole genre of traveling with large zoom cameras, and they are still leading. The Lumix ZS50 (Lumix TZ70 outside the US) may not be the newest model in the range, but with a large 30x zoom, automatic and manual controls and the ability to record raw files - a big bonus for enthusiastic photographers who want the best wanting quality from a small camera there is little to say about the price. The Lumix ZS50 even squeezes an electronic viewfinder. Okay, it's not the biggest EVF out there, but it can be very useful in bright light. It is Swiss travel camera's pocket knife, combining convenience, quality and control. There are many followers, but this is the original.

5. Sony Cyber-shot HX90V
The HX90V corresponds to the zoom range of the ZS50 and adds GPS to embed location data

Sensor: 1 / 2.3-inch, 18.2 MP Lens: 24-720 mm, f / 3.5-6.4 | Monitor: 3.0-inch, 921K dots | viewfinder: EVF | Continuous shooting: 10 fps Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner / intermediate

Tilt screen

GPS built-in

Can not shoot raw

Tricky pull-up viewfinder

The HX90V shares the same 30x optical zoom range as the Lumix ZS50 / TZ70 (above), including a built-in electronic viewfinder. A big bonus in scaring hard, bright light, when normal LCD screens are difficult to see, but the EVF in the HX90V comes out of the body when you need it, which may not be everyone's taste. There is a convenient tilt screen of 180 degrees and while you can not create raw files, the HX90V literally places your photos on the map by recording the location using the built-in GPS receiver.

6. Panasonic Lumix ZS70 / TZ90
Panasonic's latest travel compact is good, but a bit pricey

Sensor: 1 / 2.3-inch, 20.3 MP Lens: 24-720 mm, f / 3.3-6.4 | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1,040K dots | viewfinder: EVF | Continuous shooting: 10 fps Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner / intermediate

Great set of functions

Touch screen

Image equalization at high ISO

Loss of detail at the end of the zoom lens

You may wonder why the Lumix ZS70 (Lumix TZ90 outside the US) comes lower in our list than the ZS50 / TZ70 - a camera that is now two generations old. The answer is simple: the jump from a resolution to 12MP to 20MP has really affected image quality in low light due to the increased number of pixels. That said, there is the welcome addition of 4K video recording and a great touch screen interface. There is also a really good touchscreen that now jumps out of the body for selfies and built-in EVF - this can be better, but some rivals for the same price have none at all.

7. Canon PowerShot SX730 HS
Huge hem in a slim scale

Sensor: 1 / 2.3-inch, 20.3 MP Lens: 24-960 mm, f / 3.3-6.9 | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt angle display, 922,000 K dots | viewfinder: No Continuous shooting: 5.9fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner / intermediate

Excellent zoom range

Stable construction quality

No viewfinder

Do not touch the LCD sensitively

The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS is a kind of story of two halves. The good news is that it shows a nice build and is generally pleasant to use, with a good response to most aspects of the operation. If you want a no-nonsense camera with a wide zoom range and most decision making, the SX730 HS might be exactly what you're looking for. The downside to this is that the PowerShot SX730 HS lacks different characteristics of its rivals, despite being one of the most precious options of its kind. 4K video, touch control, an electronic level, even the option to move the focus point; if you want one of these, you have to look elsewhere.

Also consider ...
Are you going on vacation or something else, but do not worry about size and weight? Then we have chosen three alternatives to consider - a DSLR, a mirrorless camera and a bridge camera. They all have advantages over a special travel zoom compact if you are prepared to have a slightly larger bag. Let's see...

8. Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV
If you want even more zoom, this is it

Sensor: 1 inch CMOS, 20.2 MP Lens: 24-600 mm, f / 2.4-4 | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1.44 m dots viewfinder: EVF | Continuous shooting: 24fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Intermediate / Expert

Fantastic sensor

Zoom lens of high quality


Menu system can be better

Like the idea of ??an all-in-one camera with a quality sensor, but do you want an even longer zoom lens? Then a bridge camera is the answer and Sony's Cyber-shot RX10 IV is the best there is. With a huge 24-400 mm f / 2.4-4 zoom lens, the RX10 IV builds on the RX10 III with an overhauled AF system that now does justice to the rest of the camera, while the 1-inch, 20.1MP sensor is able to achieve excellent details. The operation is highly polished, feels like a DSLR in the hand and is complemented by a large and bright electronic viewfinder. That is not forgetting the ability to capture video in 4K and shoot at up to 24 fps. Impressive things.

Read our depth Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV review

9. Nikon D3400
Nikon's entry-DSLR is a great travel camera in combination with a super zoom lens

Sensor: APS-C CMOS, 24.2MP Lens: Sold separately Monitor: 3.0-inch screen, 921,000 dots viewfinder: Optical | Continuous shooting: 6fps | Movies: 1080p | User level: Beginner

Easy to use

Great image quality

No touchscreen

Bad connectivity

Nikon & # 39; s D3400 is our favorite entry DSLR at this time. The large 24.2 MP APS-C sensor delivers superior images of a compact camera with a travel motif, while the battery life is 1200 when you travel. It is fair to say that it is not full of features, but the D3400 is very easy to use (even if you have never bought a DSLR) and it is quite compact to use. Although the D3400 is most often supplied with a 18-55 mm kit lens, this will be quite restrictive for your journeys, so you will want to invest in something like Tamron's 18-400 mm f / 3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD super zoom lens. Thanks to the 1.5 crop factor of the APS-C sensor, this corresponds to 27 - 600 mm. This provides sufficient range to cover most subjects, while you can always switch to a fast prime lens for more creative, shallow depth of field.

Read our depth Nikon D3400 review

10. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
This neat mirrorless camera comes with a number of neat lenses

Sensor: Micro Four Thirds, 16.1MP | Lens: Sold separately Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle touchscreen, 1,037,000 dots viewfinder: EVF | Continuous shooting: 8.6fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner

Compact size, also lenses

Excellent viewfinder

Only 16.1 MP resolution

The battery life can be better

Olympus refined and adapted one of our favorite mirrorless cameras to make it an even more attractive solution for both new users and enthusiasts. With a sensor of the Micro Four Thirds sensor format (about half the area of ??APS-C), image quality is not as good as APS-C rivals like the D3400, but the effect on image quality is small and they are still better than a travel zoom. It also means that the lenses are as compact and light as the camera itself. With a 5-axis image stabilization system, a decent electronic viewfinder, an impressive 8.6 fps burst recording speed and 4K video, it is not a toy - the E-M10 Mark III is a pretty powerful camera. Couple it with a few tidy Micro Four Thirds lenses and you have a decent little travel setup.

Read our depth Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III review