Camera geeks often talk about camera specs and get all dizzy with the numbers. For the rest of us regular folk (like me!), all the technical specifications do nothing but add to the confusion. Well, you no longer need to fret! In my time spent researching interchangeable lens mirrorless cameras for travel, I’ve found a few handy go-to choices for all of you, starting with…
1. Nikon 1 J5
Best for absolute beginners
We begin with the small, but rather sturdy Nikon 1 J5. The J5 doesn’t have a large sensor, but it’s rather feature-packed for its size. Nikon is well-known for its DSLRs, but the mirrorless J5 doesn’t disappoint. It only weighs 311g with its kit lens attached, and boasts a very fast 20 frames per second burst capture. It also performs commendably in low-light situations.
While it might have the smallest sensor in this line-up, it’s 20MP sensor still provides great photos for a camera that’s no larger or wider than an iPhone 5S. This camera isn’t going to satisfy a professional, but it does have a certain point-and-shoot simplicity that comes together well with manual controls.
Nikon 1 J5 retails for SGD699 at Courts.
2. Sony Alpha a6300
Sony’s Alpha a6300 is a great mid-range mirrorless camera for beginners to intermediate users. An upgrade from the a6000, Sony gave the a6300 an almost similar body, but upgraded its guts for more speed, better colour rendering and precision. What stands out for me is its APS-C sensor, which can be found on most mid-range DSLR cameras.
When you put that together with a powerful image processor and one of the world’s fastest autofocus systems, and the a6300 can go toe-to-toe with other cameras in its weight class. While this camera might not have as many bells and whistles as other cameras, it more than makes up for it with speed, superb image quality and the ability to shoot in ultra-HD (4K).
3. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
Best for travel vlogging
This entry is Olympus’ effort to improve on the original OM-D E-M5 model, and comes highly recommended if you’re into shooting travel vlogs because of its light and tough body. The E-M5 Mark II boasts a 3-inch touchscreen LCD, and has weather sealing so you can face some inclement weather without worrying too much. It also has image stabilisation for both photos and video!
The Mark II is compact, and while it’s sensor is not as powerful, it compensates with a unique 40MP Multi-Exposure mode. Basically, it has the ability to move its sensor into eight different internal positions and then use all eight shots to create a high-resolution composite image – in layman terms, it shoots amazing photos.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II retails for SGD1,787 on Harvey Norman.
4. Fujifilm X-T1
Best all-day shooter
Sometimes, you want to capture images while you’re on the move. That’s where the X-T1 comes into play. Possibly Fujifilm’s best mirrorless X-series camera to date, the Fujifilm X-T1 is a versatile camera suitable for everyday use. Its old-school form factor belies the power it houses in that dust, water-resistant and freeze-proof (up to -10°C) body.
This camera has really handy manual dials on the top of its body for very quick access to exposure and ISO settings so you never need to spend precious moments clicking through an on-screen menu. It’s also very responsive, especially with the newer lenses, and performs well under most conditions. While the video on this camera isn’t fantastic, its image quality is one of the best out there.
Fujifilm X-T1 retails for SGD1,787.90 on Lazada.
5. Sony A7R-II
Best for the hardcore enthusiast
Often hailed as the heavyweight champion of full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Sony A7R-II is built for those who want the power of a full-frame sensor packed into a compact frame. The A7R-II has a 42.4-megapixel back-illuminated image sensor, shoots 4K video, has solid low light performance, and built-in image stabilisation.
Its body is made from robust magnesium alloy, with weather sealing and the ability to mount heavier-than-usual lenses. The Sony A7R-II is densely-packed with features and can compete with some of the best DSLRs, and is only held back by its hefty price.
Sony A7R-II retails for SGD3,299 (body only) on TK Foto.