16 best compact cameras for travel, including alternatives to GoPro! 

These days, most of us snap photos with our smartphones, especially when we are travelling – it’s convenient to whip out your phone for a photograph of your food, or even for a wefie with our friends at a tourist attraction.

That being said, a camera still offers advantages over smartphones. Some offer unparalleled photo quality, while others are built to withstand tough conditions that many phones are unable to tolerate.

We’ve compiled a list of the best compact cameras that you should bring on your travels – compact, because none of us enjoy lugging around heavy photography gear. There is something for every skill level, every budget, and every expectation!

Cameras for convenient travelling

1. Sony DSC830

Effective pixels: 20 megapixels
Optical zoom: 8x
Weight: 122g
WiFi: NA

Photography enthusiasts and camera experts alike have agreed that this is one of the best compact cameras to get, especially at its low price tag.

It doesn’t have all the fancy features of its more expensive counterparts, such as WiFi and 1080p video, but 720p may be good enough for your personal home videos.

If you just want a camera that is really lightweight (122g weighs less than an iPhone XS!) and takes decently good photographs of you without having to break the bank, this is the one you should opt for.

Sony DSC830 retails at SGD219 on Lazada, as well as authorised retailers.

  • 2. Panasonic Lumix TZ90

Effective pixels: 20 megapixels
Optical zoom: 30x
Weight: 322g
WiFi: Yes

If you ever griped about not being able to take selfies properly with traditional cameras, Panasonic’s offering solves the problem with a tilt-angle screen, so that you can have the lens facing you while monitoring the photo on the tilted screen.

Selfie-taking abilities aside, the Lumix TZ90 is a pocket-friendly option that packs a punch of great features: the autofocus is quick, and the zoom function good enough for you to take photographs of faraway scenery. Best of all, it fits snugly into your backpack or travel pouch without feeling like a deadweight.

Panasonic Lumix TZ90 retails at SGD416 on Lazada, as well as at authorised retailers.

3. Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

Effective pixels: 17 megapixels 
Optical zoom:
3.1x
Weight: 349g
WiFi: Yes

With most cameras, you’ll look out for only one fantastic feature, such as high resolution or high shutter speed.

What makes Panasonic’s Lumix LX100 II unique is the fact that you get a balance of all the best features you could possibly ask for in a camera. Despite its small size, anyone can do a variety of shooting styles with this camera, be it landscape or street photography.

Little wonder then, that this has been touted as the best compact camera for any photography enthusiast.

Panasonic Lumix LX 100 II retails at SGD1399 on Lazada, as well as at authorised retailers.

4. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

Effective pixels: 20.1 megapixels 
Optical zoom:
3x
Weight: 206g
WiFi: Yes

This camera from Canon is slightly larger than what one would usually expect, but it is precisely this that results in photos that nearly approach DSLR-standard in terms of image quality.

You will have no problems shooting indoor shots, night streetscapes and other photos taken in low light, and even portraits are depicted brightly with contrast maintained even in backlight conditions. Definitely perfect for taking family photos on your vacation!

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II retails at SGD669 on Canon’s websiteLazada, as well as at authorised retailers.

5. Canon PowerShot SX740 HS

Effective pixels: 20.1 megapixels 
Optical zoom:
40x
Weight: 206g
WiFi: Yes

Don’t belittle this sleek camera – it packs a 40x zoom that you will find incredibly handy when you are trying to capture faraway mountains, or the city view from above.

It also boasts a short startup time and shooting interval, so that you can quickly capture all the unexpected photo opportunities as and when they arise. For those who like to take videos for their vlogs, you may also appreciate the PowerShot G9 X Mark II’s variety of movie shooting functions, including 4K movies, 4K time lapse movies and the new Video Snapshot function.

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II retails at SGD529 on Canon’s websiteLazada, as well as at authorised retailers.

Cameras for rough outdoor conditions

6. Garmin VIRB Ultra 30

Effective pixels: 12 megapixels 
Optical zoom:
2x
Weight: 87.9g
WiFi: Yes

When it comes to compact, action cameras, the first brand that may come to mind is GoPro. Garmin, however, is also another popular choice among photography enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies alike.

The 3-axis image stabilisation captures smooth and steady video, no matter whether you are cycling over rocky terrain or sitting in a bumpy car ride. The best feature, however, is the fact that you can actually shoot hands-free using voice control to start & stop your recording, as well as take photographs – how cool! No wonder some people see it as a good alternative to GoPro.

Garmin VIRB Ultra 30 retails at SGD629 on Lazada.

7. Sony RX0 II premium tiny tough camera

Effective pixels: 15.3 megapixels 
Optical zoom:
NIL, fixed lens
Weight: 132g
WiFi: Yes

Don’t belittle this tiny camera – although it’s so small that it fits snugly in your palm, this bad boy allows you to shoot high-quality photos and videos anywhere and everywhere, be it sandy deserts, rough ocean waters, or even just your own backyard.

As the name implies, Sony’s camera is waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, and even crushproof. It even comes with a tiltable LCD monitor so that you can take selfies or do vlogging even when you are snorkeling with the fishes.

Sony RX0 II premium tiny tough camera retails at SGD899 for body, SGD999 including shooting grip kit on TecoBuy, as well as at authorised retailers.

8. Sony FDR X3000R

Effective pixels: 8.2 megapixels
Optical zoom:
3x
Weight: 46g
WiFi: NIL

If you are looking for a compact camera that can take both superb videos and amazing photographs, Sony has the perfect product for you. Due to Balanced Optical SteadyShot, their unique stabiliser, you can take high-resolution videos without worrying that you will get shaky footage.

You can also bring this on your wildest jungle adventures: the Action Cam body alone is splashproof and freezeproof, and supplied Underwater Housing is dustproof, shockproof and waterproof to 60 m.

Sony FDR X3000R retails at SGD699 for body + waterproof case, SGD799 for body + live-view remote kit at authorised retailers.

9. Olympus Tough TG-6

Effective pixels: 12 megapixels
Optical zoom:
4x
Weight: 253g
WiFi: Yes

Olympus’ Tough line of cameras has a good reputation for being premier all-weather extreme compacts: so good, in fact, that an executive at a rival camera brand even endorses and uses these cameras!

The latest TG-6 in the lineup is waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, crushproof AND freezeproof, making it a well-rounded compact that you can bring to virtually any tough outdoor conditions you can think of. Besides being almost indestructible, reviews have also praised this camera for shooting great images in low-light settings, and boasts image stabilization for both stills and movies.

Olympus Tough TG-6 retails at SGD658 on Lazada, as well as at authorised retailers.

10. YI 4K+

Effective pixels: 12 megapixels
Optical zoom:
4x
Weight: 93g
WiFi: Yes

Often touted as a worthy alternative to GoPro’s Hero6 Black, the Y1 4K+ certainly boasts product features unique to them. For starters, it weighs 24g lighter than its counterpart, and has a slightly larger touchscreen that makes for a better user experience.

Capable of shooting 4K video at an incredible frame rate of 60fps, this could also possibly be the fastest action camera you can get on the market.

Olympus Tough TG-6 retails at SGD658 on YI Technology’s websiteLazada, as well as at authorised retailers.

11. DJI Osmo Pocket

Effective pixels: 12 megapixels
Optical zoom:
NIL
Weight: 116g
WiFi: Yes

A tech review describes this camera as “a DJI device that doesn’t fly but still captures amazing, stable video”, which would definitely appeal to photography enthusiasts and those who are always jet-setting to exotic locations.

With access to several intelligent functions like ActiveTrack, Motionlapse, and 3×3 Panorama, Osmo Pocket offers impressive effects that smartphones simply cannot replicate. The only downside is that this newest handheld gimbal from DJI is not waterproof, so you have to be a little careful if you are going out to sea with the Osmo Pocket.

Olympus Tough TG-6 retails at SGD658 on Lazada, Apple’s website, as well as at authorised retailers.

Cameras for the professionals

12. Leica Q2

Leica Q2

Effective pixels: 47.3 megapixels 
Optical zoom:
Fixed lens, up to 75mm
Weight: 652g
WiFi: Yes

No compact camera comes close to the kind of photo quality and features that Leica Q2 packs. For starters, its resolution of 47.3 megapixels and focusing speed of 0.15 seconds means you can capture the sharpest photos in less than a second, and few, if not none, are on par.

This Leica camera also comes with special weather sealing so that it is protected from dust and water spray, meaning that you could bring it along on your wildest travel adventures – if the price tag doesn’t deter you from doing that.

Leica Q2 retails at SGD7,450 on Leica’s website, at Leica’s official stores, as well as on Lazada.

13. Sony RX1R II Professional Compact Camera with 35mm Sensor

Effective pixels: 42.4 megapixels
Optical zoom:
8x
Weight: 480g
WiFi: Yes

For the travellers who want the best photographs that can be printed out in 24R size, framed, and hung up in your living room, you need a camera that can take photos that won’t look grainy when you enlarge them. While the obvious choice would be to go with a DSLR, these days you can use a compact camera and get the same photo quality, sans the heavy weight.

The RX1R II offers fast and accurate wide-area autofocus coverage and tracking performance, meaning that you can shoot better, clearer stills almost instantly when you press the shutter button – a formula for award-winning candid shots!

Sony RX1R II Professional Compact Camera with 35mm Sensor retails at SGD4,999 at authorised retailers.

14. Sony RX100 III Advanced Camera

Effective pixels: 20.1 megapixels
Optical zoom:
2.9x
Weight: 290g
WiFi: Yes

If you think this looks just like any other point-and-shoot, think again: this compact camera from Sony is actually crafted for serious photographers on the go, and is touted by the brand as the ideal choice for pros looking for a camera to bring along in place of the heavier interchangeable lens models.

You can capture the best photos and videos in all kinds of challenging situations, be it low-light settings or wide-angle shots, thanks to its extremely fast processor and top-notch camera lens from ZEISS. It may be a small camera (it fits nicely into your palm), but that certainly does not mean it comes with less impressive features!

Sony RX1R II Professional Compact Camera with 35mm Sensor retails at SGD1,199 on Lazada, as well as at authorised retailers.

15. Fujifilm X70

Effective pixels: 16.3 megapixels
Optical zoom:
 Fixed lens, up to 50mm
Weight: 340g
WiFi: Yes

Fujifilm’s premium compact camera can be used by anyone to capture stunning and dramatic photos – yes, even if you consider yourself an amateur.

The brand has made it easy for users to operate the camera, and uses the best color reproduction technology to accurately portray vivid colours in every photo you take. You will also realise that photographs taken with the X70 are much sharper, as it harnesses an image processing technology that corrects optical defects.

Fujifilm X70 retails at SGD799 on Lazada, as well as at authorised retailers.

16. Fujifilm X100F

Effective pixels: 24.3 megapixels
Optical zoom:
 Fixed lens, up to 70mm
Weight: 469g
WiFi: Yes

Another compact camera that has optimised its design for easy operation, the X100F allows photographers to quickly change settings while firmly holding the camera – a function that you will find immensely useful when you are indulging in street photography.

And for those who miss the film photography era, this camera is actually equipped with a Film Simulation function to create beautifully-toned monochrome images that you can’t get on most other digital cameras’ monochrome mode. We highly recommend that you use this camera to take photographs of historical landmarks!

Fujifilm X100F retails at SGD1,999 on Lazada, as well as at authorised retailers.


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