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The Best Travel Cameras for Capturing Memories

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Given the large number of cameras available today, it can be hard to decide which camera to buy so that you can capture your travel memories.

Whether you’re into epic-level adventures or annual Disney World vacations, I’ve found the best cameras for travel photography.

Most fun camera
Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 Instant Camera

Fujifilm Instax Mini 12 Instant Camera

  • Built-in selfie mirror
  • Comes in a variety of pastel colors (blossom pink, clay white, light blue, lilac purple, mint green)
  • Prints 2" x 3" vertical photos in ~90 seconds

Yes, instant cameras are back! Instant cameras are one of the best travel cameras because you can take pictures of new friends and share the printed photo with your new friends. It's like making your own souvenir!

My favorite instant camera are any of the FujiFilm Instax camera models.

They have different models that take landscape, portrait, and square photos. Plus, you can choose from a variety of fun colors or even a vintage camera look.

On top of all of that, you can find Instax film with fun borders, like an iridescent mermaid, your favorite Disney characters, or a variety of solid colors.

Best for beginner photographers
Sony Alpha A6600 Mirrorless Camera

Sony Alpha A6600 Mirrorless Camera

  • Photo: 24.2 MP
  • Video: 4K HDR
  • ISO 100-32000
  • Continuous drive speed: up to 11 fps

If you want the flexibility and range you get from a dSLR professional-style camera, but hate the weight, then mirrorless cameras are the perfect solution for you.

These cameras are far lighter than dSLRs, plus they have interchangeable lenses and do better in low-light situations then any of the other cameras on this list.

dSLRs used to have a leg up in full-frame shooting, but mirrorless cameras are quickly catching up in this area.

I’m currently shooting with the Sony A6600, but there are other excellent options available to choose from.

I recommend going with the newest model you can afford so that it lasts you a long time ’til you need to upgrade!

Most durable
GoPro HERO12 Black Action Camera

GoPro HERO12 Black Action Camera

  • Photo: 27 MP
  • Video: Up to 5.3K HDR
  • Emmy award-winning in camera stabilization
  • Waterproof up to 33ft (10m)

One of the best travel cameras out there is the GoPro HERO range of cameras.

But even if you're not into adventure travel, GoPro cameras are great for capturing unique point-of-view shots and video, such as riding a roller coaster, or hands-free shots thanks to the voice command capability.

I have the GoPro HERO 6 and 8 models, and often travel with both so I can capture multiple angles while shooting.

The newer models are even more impressive and capture even better quality, but with the arsenal of cameras I have, I haven't needed to upgrade yet. But when it comes time, I will get the latest and greatest!

I love this camera so much because is so tiny and portable, yet super versatile thanks to its variety of photography accessories.

If you can't plunk down the change for a mirrorless camera, I highly recommend a GoPro for travel photography.

Best for 360° footage
GoPro MAX 360 Camera

GoPro MAX 360 Camera

  • Photo: up to 16.6 MP
  • Video: up to 6K
  • 1080p live streaming capability
  • 4 lenses: narrow, linear, wide, and max superview
  • In-camera stabilization for smooth footage
  • Waterproof up to 16 ft.

Grab a 360° camera to capture immersive photos and videos of your travels.

These fun travel cameras are perfect for creating virtual-reality style tours of hotel rooms, parks, landmarks, and other travel spaces.

My top pick for 360° cameras goes to the GoPro MAX. It's waterproof, captures video up to 6K, and includes in-camera stabilization.

Plus, it works with all of the fun GoPro mounts that you probably already have for your GoPro HERO!

Best for aerial footage
DJI Mini 4 Pro Drone

DJI Mini 4 Pro Drone

  • Photo: 48 MP f/1.7
  • Video: up to 4K 60fps
  • Can capture footage for up to 45 min per battery
  • Under 249 g, so registration for use is not required in many countries

Ever see an amazing photo that looks like the photographer took it from a plane? Most are taken by drones!

Camera drones are one of the best travel cameras for outdoor travelers.

Imagine the amazing up-in-the-air shots you can get while camping, chasing waterfalls, or playing at the beach!

My top pick for camera drones goes to DJI Mini 4 Pro. It’s super lightweight and can record up to 45 minutes of footage in 4K.

Most convenient
Apple iPhone 15

Apple iPhone 15

  • Photo: up to 48 MP
  • Video: up to 4K

iPhones make one of the best travel cameras for a variety of reasons.

The number of fun photo and video apps, such as Instagram, Snapchat, VSCO, and more, is one reason.

Another reason is that using your iPhone as your travel camera means one less electronic to carry around all day.

I currently use an iPhone 13 Pro as one of my cameras for travel photography and I love it.

My favorite feature on the iPhone cameras is the easy tap-to-switch for different photo and video options, such as slo-mo, timelapse, portrait, and panoramic modes.

What are your favorite cameras for travel photography?

Share your favorite cameras for travel photography in the comments below. For more fun travel gadgets, check out my post about the best travel tech gifts.

About the author

Photo of travel blogger Meg Frost, of Frost + Sun, in Havana, Cuba.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

Meg Frost is a Boston-based travel blogger that helps people embrace technology to make vacation planning and traveling wicked easy, affordable, and fun.

She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and B.S. in Communication & American Studies from University of Miami.

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