Best Cameras for Travel Blogging (2021)
Photography is a crucial part of travel blogging. That piece is usually taken care of by my partner on our trips. But with time I have learnt a little bit about photography too. In this post, we go behind the scenes to survey travel bloggers about the cameras they use for taking professional photographs. I’ll share the one that we use too. So let’s go ahead and take a look at the best cameras for travel blogging.
Criteria for choosing your camera
Several considerations go into buying the perfect camera for travel blogging. For practicality you need a portable camera. You can have as many lenses you want but preferably a flexible one which require fewer accessories to go with since more lenses means adding to the weight of your travel gear. Here are a few features based on which I would choose my camera.
Lens – focal length
Focal length of a lens is a key factor. In travel photography we need the wide angle (14mm – 85mm) to capture landscapes, streets and architecture. We also need high-zoom (135 mm+) close-up shots for capturing wildlife and nature. That is why most professional travel photographers more than one lens.
Sensor size determines how much information is captured in the image. This is turn is determined by the amount of light captured by the sensor. It is the single most important factor for taking high quality image. Yes, before taking travel blogging seriously I went after those crazy numbers for megapixels. Some mobiles come up with some 48 MP rear camera. However, the picture quality is not half as good as a 16 MP full frame DSLR.
A 35MM full frame camera is gold standard for professional photographers, but here comes the big question? Can we all afford it?
Budget indeed is a big factor when making any purchase decision, given DSLR is not a cheap investment. Since travel blogging is not my primary profession and I hardly make anything out of it, my budget was Rs. 50K when I started off. This price might not bring you a 35mm full frame but a APS-C sensor. A APS-C camera is lighter than a full frame. Combined with a good iso range it is good enough for professional photography.
One more thing to consider here is the accessories that come with the bundle. The camera bag, battery , memory card and even combined price with an extra lens etc.
ISO setting helps us take photos in dim light environments. While taking photos in dark we need to set the ISO high, at the cost of introducing noise. But this is much better than trying to increase brightness during post processing. A large range of ISO is very helpful.
A camera for travel blogging has to be sturdy and light-weight at the same time. Unlike lifestyle or fashion photography, this is a camera that will be subjected to a great amount of rough handling. You should be able to trek with it, go on adventures and walk long distances with it. It must come with a good quality camera bag and a long battery life.
Other Miscellaneous considerations
Other miscellaneous considerations include features like auto-focus system, WiFi, touchscreen lcd, and water resistance. Since most travel bloggers these days also make videos to enhance their content, good video capture resolution is also important. Battery life is also an essential criteria , especially for travel photography.
Best Cameras for travel bloggers – Entry Level (Budget < Rs.60K)
At entry level, we are looking for cameras that are easy to use , compact and affordable. Budget is usually small to begin with but you still need a camera that makes a real difference in the quality of your photographs from your mobile phone. It’s also important to choose something that will outlast the beginner stage.
Since it’s not possible for me to try all the cameras and test for myself, I reached out to the travel blogging community. The goal was to know what are the cameras that my favorite travel bloggers use for their stunning travel photos.
|Great lens (18-140mm), easy to move from beginner to intermediate||D5300 is difficult to get online in India and price of the new model D5600 is significantly higher than the former|
|Go Pro 9||Most compact and lightweight, waterproof||Image quality not comparable to DSLR|
|Sony Alpha 5100||Compact, wide-range of pre-programmed modes||No external flash capability|
|Canon EOS 200 D||Easy to use, great picture quality||Standard lens of 18-55mm is quite basic|
|Cannon G7X Mark II||Lightweight,compact||Standard lens of 18-55mm is quite basic|
Nikon D5300 / Nikon D 5600 – Editor’s Choice
Nikon D5300 is the first DSLR camera we bought after extensive research and it proved to be perfect.
The main reason for buying this specific model was the 18-140 mm lens. As beginners we were not comfortable with the idea of changing between a 18-55 mm lens and a 70-300 mm lens. It comes with a great ISO range of 100-25600. This single lens with a wider range made it a perfect entry level camera. The price when we bought it was Rs. 43.6K. The new model D5600 is an upgrade and comes at a higher price.
The D5300 kit also contained a 16 GB SD card and an amazing backpack. With a battery life of 600 shots, this is a great camera to carry on a long day trip or safari. This model was pitched as Nikon’s advanced beginner’s DSLR – a camera with advanced capabilities suitable for beginners. The display screen of 3.2”makes it easy to focus on the subjects.
It was the first Nikon camera with the built-in WiFi and GPS tracker. If you turn this feature on the camera will save the location of the pictures for you. This is a useful feature for travel bloggers, especially on long road trips. Needless to say that both WiFi and GPS comes at the cost of battery life.
Nikon D5600 is an upgrade over this with a smaller and lighter body, touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity (SnapBridge) and a max ISO of 25.6 (double that of Nikon D 5300).Overall the camera produces some awesome raw files even in the dark. It is easy to use and therefore perfect for rookie photographers like me. However, even professional photographers will vouch for the features and flexibility the camera offers.
Sony Alpha 5100
Used and reviewed by Danny from Danny Explores
The A5100 is one of the smallest cameras in the world which allows for interchangeable lenses. It’s also compatible with a wide range of E-mount lenses. The camera has a 3-inch LCD touchscreen which flips 180 degrees which makes the camera perfect for selfies and vlogging if needed. The camera has a great autofocus and a wide range of pre-programmed modes which do a great job if you’re new to photography.
The only downsides I’ve found when using the A5100 are as follows;
- There is no external flash capability (not a massive deal breaker as the build in flash is actually pretty good)!
- There is only one SD card slot.
The A5100 comes in at around £539 which includes the body and a basic 35mm lens which is adequate for most basic photography. You can pick up a refurbished camera for a little less (this is exactly what I did)! This makes it a perfect budget option for anyone who’s just starting out with blogging and/or photography.
Canon EOS 2000D
Used and reviewed by Dymphe from Dym Abroad
One of the best cameras for travel bloggers is the Canon EOS 2000D. In other parts of the world, this camera model is known as the Canon Rebel T7. What I like most about it is that it is rather affordable, but still decent for taking photos. For example, you can take great photos at beautiful places, such as at the most instagrammable places in Chicago. Furthermore, it has an built-in WiFi function, which makes the use of it very convenient. You can connect your phone to the camera, and get the results immediately on your phone, which allows you to edit on the go.
Another aspect of the camera that I like is that the camera fits other EF-S lenses. That way, you can replace the standard lens on the camera with another one, and you have a large number of options for this. The price range is between $400 and $499, depending on the kit you choose. Because of the price, this is a great camera for the beginner career stage of travel blogging and photography.
Moreover, the camera is easy to use, which is also great if you are a beginner in photography. Two shortcomings of the camera are that the standard lens is rather basic and gives you little flexibility in taking photos. Furthermore, there is no input for an external microphone, which would have been convenient if you want to film with the camera.
Go Pro 9
Used and reviewed by Candice from CS Ginger
If you are looking for a convenient and lightweight camera option for travel blogging, the GoPro Hero 9 is a great option, especially if enjoy active activities and water sports during your travels. When traveling, GoPro is small and light. This helps especially if you’re trying to limit yourself to a carry-on. GoPro’s are compact and manageable.
The small size of GoPro is also convenient when you’re out on your daily adventures. Instead of a large bag for a DSLR camera, you can easily add your GoPro to a bag you are already bringing.
GoPros are also very durable while DSLR cameras can be very fragile. During travel, this is especially important whether you’re visiting the Big Island of Hawaii to snorkel, playing at the Caribbean beaches, or hiking in the national parks. There are a number of protective and waterproof cases allowing you to take your GoPro anywhere.
Being able to take videos and pictures underwater or in the water is awesome. It adds another level of travel you can present to your readers. You can share images of snorkeling, learning to surf, swimming at the beach, and more.
GoPros are much easier to learn how to use than the typical DSLR camera. There are several tutorials online as well as instructions included with the camera. The GoPro also has several unique features like burst photos, image rotation, time-lapse and built-in wi-fi.
However, if you are very serious about taking high-quality pictures with beautiful compositions then the GoPro might not be for you. A DSLR camera will take a much higher quality image than a GoPro. Features like shutter speeds and depth of field are not available on a GoPro.
Cannon G7X Mark II
By Bradley, Dream Big Travel Far
When it comes to travel blogging, an excellent camera to add to your toolbox is the Canon G7X Mark II. It is especially suited for taking videos, making it the perfect choice for bloggers and vloggers. Plus, currently retailing at $629, this Canon camera is an affordable option that delivers great performance.
The camera delivers ultra-sharp images with crisp centers, supports RAW files, and can zoom up to 4.2x magnification. Moreover, the max aperture of f/1.8 means you can shoot in low-light conditions and still get clear photos.
What makes it so brilliant for travelling is that it weighs 319g, which means the camera is very portable and user friendly. It supports a great one-handed use so you can take stunning travel photos even as you’re exploring a market, temple, or even dodging crowds in a busy place. All thanks to its ergonomic body and rubber grip. The relatively small size also means you can easily pack the Canon G7X Mark II into your travel backpack.
One thing to note if you’re planning to use this for vlogging, however, is that it lacks a microphone jack and you can’t record in 4K. The built-in mic may pick up wind noises. That said, these shouldn’t be a problem for most.
Best Cameras for Travel Blogging – Intermediate Level (Budget Rs. 60K+ – Rs. 1.2L)
|Canon EOS M50 (~Rs. 99K)||small size, in-built dual-pixel autofocus system, 4K videos||Short battery life|
|Olympus EM-10 Mark III (~Rs. 65K)||Live composite mode, night photography||Comes with 14-42 mm lens , extra lens needed for close-up shots|
|Nikon Z 50 (body+lens) (~Rs.89K)||Mirrorless, adaptable with Nikon DSLR lenses||Not full-frame|
|Sony Alpha 6400 (~Rs. 1.02L)||Light-weight, easy to use, 4K video, great standard lens (18-135mm)||Not full-frame|
Canon EOS M50
Used and reviewed by Erki from Genem Photography
A mirrorless camera Canon M50 is the perfect addition to your beginner’s camera gear. As it’s mirrorless, it is small-sized and lightweight and fits in every travel blogger’s suitcase with ease.
Canon cameras are mostly known for their clear and colorful colors, that was one reason I chose that Camera. Also, I like the camera because it has an in-built dual-pixel autofocus system with three modes: face tracking, zone, and one-point autofocus. It makes it much easier to get the sharpest photos possible. Another key feature is its fast DIGIC 8 image processor, which makes it possible to shoot 10fps in Single AF mode. In addition to great photography features, it also provides 4K videos.
As already mentioned, it’s a more beginner-level camera for those who are on the verge to take photography more seriously than just taking photos with a mobile. One of the greatest benefits, why many travel bloggers have chosen that camera, is because of the value for the money. The price for Canon M50 is affordable in terms of average camera prices. A camera body and standard EF M15 – 45mm f/3.5 – 6.3 lens costs around 650€.
One biggest shortcoming is that the 4K video is cropped 1.6 times, so it means it’s not full screen when shooting videos of the highest quality. Another con is the short battery life. With one charge it lasts approximately 235 shots. So it’s recommended to acquire an additional battery for your camera.
Fantastic landscape photo captured in low light by Erki @Genem Photography
Sony Alpha ILCE 6400
Used and reviewed by Jiayi from The Diary of a Nomad
The Sony A6400 with 18-135mm power zoom lens is definitely one of the best cameras for travel blogging. It is light and travel-friendly, and yet produces stellar results. This mirrorless camera can also shoot 4K video, making it an amazing choice for travel vloggers too.
One of the things you’ll love about the Sony a6400 is that it is very easy to use. In fact, it’s suitable for both beginners and intermediates, even though the results are pretty much professional-level. Of course, since this is an APS-C camera, it won’t perform as well as a full-frame camera in terms of image quality. However, for its ease of use, weight, and price, it offers incredible value for money.
A camera is not much without its lenses, and another great thing is that there’s a very wide range of amazing lenses that the Sony a6400 can be used with. I highly recommend the Sony 10-18mm F4 for wide-angle shots of landscapes and the Sony 18-105mm F4 for vlogs.
The biggest downside of the Sony a6400 is that it does not come with built-in image stabilization, meaning taking handheld shots in the dark will be difficult without a tripod or a stabilized lens. If you’re a beginner who isn’t planning to take photos in the dark, though, this shouldn’t be a problem.
The Sony A6400 starts at $900 USD for the camera body only and $1,250 USD if you want to get it with the 16-50mm kit lens.
Breathtaking view at Cinique Terre captured using Sony A 6400 by Jiyai @Diary of a nomad
Olympus OMD EM10 Mark III
Used and Reviewed by Zoe from Together in Transit
One thing I never leave behind when travelling is my Olympus OMD EM10 Mark III camera. This stylish but practical camera is a must-have whether I’m going away for a weekend or a long vacation for my intermediate level of photography.
The camera itself is great for photography, with the camera itself not overloaded with buttons and has a fantastic autofocus that never fails. It also has a in-body highly effective 5-axis stabilization system. When shooting my subjects or locations, I always use the highest of quality and shoot with RAW for better editing afterwards. For video, the camera can shoot in 4k, though I personally don’t make many videos with it currently.
One of the best features I use the most is the live composite mode in the advance photo mode. Here you can capture some amazing photos showing the movement of light streaks, water and sunsets for example. It also works well with night photography.
Lastly, the camera and a combined lens costed me 570 euros, but there are slightly newer models now so likely a cheaper deal can be found. I’d recommend investing in some different lens too, such as a wide-angle lens and one to zoom in.
Used and reviewed by Victoria from Guide your travel
The Nikon Z50 is the perfect camera for intermediate photographers who are trying to step up their game. It’s a mirrorless camera so it’s a lot lighter and smaller than a DSLR but will all the functionality. The Nikon Z Series is a fantastic choice for your first mirrorless camera. Many professional photographers are making the change from DSLR to mirrorless so the Z50 is definitely recommended.
It’s the most affordable camera from the group and since the lenses conveniently work together it’s super easy to upgrade once you’re ready to take the next step. Even Nikon DSLR lenses can be used on the Z50 with the help of handy adapter. This means that you don’t need to start over if you previously used DSLR lenses. You can just get an adapter and you’ll be good to go.
As a travel blogger, you need a camera that performs well but isn’t too heavy or bulky. The Nikon Z50 is just that and is the perfect travel companion. Make sure to combine it with a high-quality polarising filter to get the best shots possible. The camera works well in low-light conditions and is weather resistant so a few raindrops or some dust won’t harm it.
However, be aware that the Z50 isn’t a camera suitable for expert or professional photographers. It’s not full frame so there is still room for an upgrade in the future. However, at just under 1000$ it won’t break the bank and is one of the most affordable options when you consider its features.
So these are the cameras used by some of our top travel bloggers. I hope the post is useful for anyone looking to invest in a good camera to capture their travel memories. Please share your thoughts in the comments section.
Best Cameras for Travel Blogging at advanced level (Budget > Rs.1.2L+)
|Canon EOS R6 (~Rs.2.1L)||Full frame, small, mirrorless, easy to use, great for wildlife photography||High price, low battery life for full-day photography|
|Sony Alpha 7 III (~Rs. 1.8L)||Full frame, portable, live previews, easy to use, 2 memory slots||High price, buggy mobile app|
|Canon EOS 90D (~1.35L)||Affordable, shoots fast (up to 10 fps)||Not full-frame, no usb charging|
|Olympus EM5 Mark III (~Rs.1.5L)||Light, compact and affordable||Not full-frame|
|Sony Alpha 7 C (~Rs.1.9L)||Full frame, 5-axis Image stabilization that also works for video||High price|
Canon EOS R6
Used and Reviewed by Suzanne from Meandering Wild
The Canon R6 is a small mirrorless camera with the capabilities of a full frame DSLR. It is easy to use but to get the most from it you do need to be happy with using a camera and working in manual mode or at least away from auto.
The camera makes everything easy with a clever autofocus system that remembers where you have focused. This means you can focus on something and then reframe to get the composition you want.
It also allows you to take multiple frames and this is useful if you are trying to capture a moving object. Anything from cars, runners to wildlife can be tracked with the fast repetitive shots combined with the auto focus capabilities.
Unlike a DSLR this camera is compact and fits perfectly in your grip. It is lightweight making it ideal for travel and hiking.
If you are already using a Canon camera and lenses, there is a handy adaptor that allows you to use normal Canon lenses on this mirrorless body. There is no change to the performance of the lens making it ideal while you transition from one type of camera to another.
The only downside to this camera is the battery use. For a full day of photography you will need at least two batteries to ensure you have enough power.
This camera is at the higher end of most budgets and with the lenses needed this is not a cheap investment. However, if your focus is photography it is a worthwhile investment. As a travel blogger for 3 years and an advanced photographer I recommend this.
Fantastic bird photography using Canon R6 by Suzanne @Meandering Wild
Sony Alpha 7III
By Jessica from Uprooted Traveler
The Sony a7III is a great camera for bloggers, given its breadth of intuitive features. For a travel blogger, its portability is a key selling point- for example, the battery can be charged with a USB-C cable, as opposed to charging via a separate dock, and its mirrorless body is thinner than its DSLR predecessors. The mirrorless aspect comes with other advantages, like an electronic viewfinder that allows you to see live previews of what your photographs will look like (which is helpful when composing challenging shots, like trying to capture the Milky Way in Zion National Park) and a silent shutter, which helps you to shoot in quiet spaces, like museums, or for photography with skittish subjects, like on a safari in Tanzania.
It also supports taking photos all day- there’s two memory card slots (you can either write the photos simultaneously to both memory cards for redundancy or just store a ton of photos on each of the memory cards between photo dumps) and the lithium batteries keeps the camera powered for thousands of shots on a single charge. Not everything is perfect, though- the mobile app is buggy, making things like taking photos using your phone as a remote challenging.
While the price point- starting at $2,000- is steep, it’s a great value for what a feature-rich camera it is. Given how intuitive it is to use, it’s perfect for all levels of photographers, but with its astounding amount of features and the upfront investment, it’s most appropriate for bloggers who are interested in either becoming intermediate or advanced in their photography.
Canon EOS 90 D
Used and reviewed by Debbie from World Adventurists
The Canon 90D is one of Canon’s most budget-friendly full-performance DSLRs, a significant step up from the beginner-level Rebel series.
If you are intermediate with your photography skills and ready to take your travel photography more seriously, and with some more professional lenses, you will love this camera. It has more options than a point-and-shoot, but you do not have to shoot only in manual mode.
The Canon 90D is a great option to be able to improve your photography skills, while still getting sharp and gorgeous images that have a professional look and feel. You will even get sharp images in low-light settings.
The 90D shoots fast (up to 10 fps) to catch those perfect moments, such as taking photos from a boat when learning how to flyboard. It has upped the game for wildlife photography too. Even when recording or photographing scenes with a lot of movements, the output is sharp and clear.
The back screen also pulls out and flips around, allowing you to have more creativity with your perspectives when you are shooting video or taking some stills.
The only cons I have found are that there is no USB charging option, and it is not the lightest camera to trek around.
Olympus EM5 Mark III
By Holly from Globe Blogging
I’d been blogging for years using my phone, which are pretty capable these days, and an old point and shoot model, but was unexpectedly gifted an old Olympus micro four thirds camera. This range of cameras are ideal for active travelers on the move, being lightweight and compact but still with full interchangeable lens capability and manual settings.
When it came time for me to upgrade my older model after careful research I chose to upgrade to the Olympus EM5 Mark III. It falls below the EM10 and the EM1 on size and weight, and has advanced weather proofing technology to protect the inner workings of the camera. All the lenses are compatible across the full range of micro four thirds cameras.
It’s hard to go past the appeal of being so light and compact, but this camera also takes amazing pictures! It does a great job at capturing the colors of a landscape, and just as well as capturing the details of a macro shot. It’s also a fraction of the price of a DSLR at less than AU$2000. The drawback is that the smaller image sensor, which is why the camera can be so small, means that the camera doesn’t perform as well in low light conditions. However, if you know how to manipulate your settings you have some ability to adjust for this. It even gives Astro-photography a good go!
It’s also super easy to use making it a great unit for learning and perfecting your skills. While I have many years experience taking photos, I’m an eternal student when it comes to learning how to get the best out of the camera.
Rare Pink Flannel Flowers captured by Holly @Globe blogging in her home region
Sony Alpha 7C
Used and reviewed by Sean from Living out Lau
The Sony Alpha 7C with 28-70mm Zoom lens is a full-frame mirrorless camera that is known for its balance between affordability and performance. It has a 24.3-megapixel CMOS sensor and Sony’s renowned dynamic range. Thanks to its 35mm sensor, the Sony a7II performs well in low-light situations. Combined with the 5-axis in-body image stabilization, users can worry less about achieving sharp images. This image stabilization feature also works for video, though it is only able to capture footage up to 1080p/60p.
One of the best features of the Sony A 7C is its portability. It is a lot less bulky than DSLRs, making it the perfect camera for fashion bloggers, travel bloggers, and lifestyle bloggers. Along with its excellent low-light performance and image stabilization, the Sony a7C is a well-rounded camera for everyone.
There are some features that we don’t like on the Sony A7C. The first one is the limited tilting screen. The LCD screen of the camera is not fully articulating or tilting, making it difficult to take self-portraits and vlogs. Another downfall is the subpar video specifications. 1080p/60p is simply not enough in this age of time, especially if videography is your bread and butter.
Excellent landscape captured on Sony A7II, by Sean from @livingoutLau
I hope this post will help you immensely in making your buying decision. After all, it is one of the most important investments for a travel blogger or photographer. If you liked the post, don’t forget to share. You can also subscribe to our fortnightly newsletters.
You can refer to our behind the scenes posts for more guides on travel gear.