Best compact cameras for travel? These 5 are quality without the bulk

If you think compact cameras are only for amateurs, think again. They’re lightweight, they’re easily portable, and they can capture some unexpectedly awesome pictures to cement the memories from your trips. Compact cameras have improved so much over the times that they can easily hold their own.

Some of the best photographers I know own compact cameras for travel and as back-up to their professional systems. Read on as we recommend some of the best compact cameras for travel available today for users of all levels.

1. Canon Powershot G7X

Best for travel vlogging

Canon Powershot G7 X

With its excellent image quality, easy-to-use controls and handy size, this camera is great for beginners. In fact, the external dials and custom settings ensure that the G7X can still be a useful camera for users who demand a higher level of manual control. This camera will be a great accompaniment through your photography journey.

The G7X is also a great tool for vlogging, with DSLR-quality images (in proper lighting conditions), touchscreen, the ability to set a fixed focal point, and 31 autofocus points to ensure your videos are never out of focus. An articulate screen ensures you can view your vlogs are you record, and take selfies without worry.

2. Canon Powershot G5X

Best for the seasoned camera user

Canon Powershot G5 X

This is a camera for those who who value a good grip and a physical electronic viewfinder (EVF). You get great image quality for the the price, and it also includes that an articulate screen for those important travel selfies. In addition to its great image quality, this camera offers a touchscreen for ease of use, and just like the G7X above, also takes great HD videos, and is suitable for vloggers.

If you’re willing to sacrifice some pocketability for a better grip, then you should definitely go for this over the G7X.

3. Ricoh GR II

Best for street photographers

Ricoh GR II

The Ricoh GR II may not look impressive, but it’s all about what’s under the hood. Armed with a large APS-C sensor and 28mm full-frame equivalent lens (a very nice, wide field-of-view), this handy shooter is great for stealthy street photos. The lack of flashiness in the looks department would ensure that your camera would help you blend in and stay pretty much incognito.

One of its greatest strengths is its black-and-white in-camera film simulation, which would be great for those who love an eye-catching and contrasty look to their shots.

4. Fujifilm X70

Best for the ‘film look’

Fujifilm X70

The X70 is a vintage-styled camera that comes with a fixed lens, with an approximately 28mm focal length in full-frame terms. Just like the Ricoh GR II, it makes for a very good street photography camera for walkabouts on your travels.

The X70 is universally praised for its excellent image quality and Fujifilm’s much-lauded in-camera simulation of classic film styles. If you love the film look, then the X70 would be perfect for you. And if camera looks are an important part of your decision, then opt for this piece of gear.

5. Sony Cybershot RX100IV

Best of the best

Sony Cybershot RX100 IV

This is the crème de la crème, the king of the compact camera hill, and also one of the most expensive cameras we have on this list. What makes it so good? Excellent image quality, and a large sensor that comes in a small and very pocketable package. The problem we have with this camera also lies with its size – it’s so small and smooth that the best item to compare it to would be a bar of soap. You get the idea. Also, it’s really expensive for what it offers, because Sony.