It’s not a luxury anymore to expect travelling with a small camera kit that weighs less than 5 pounds such as a mirrorless camera. It’s also not unthinkable that such a camera can produce photographs worthy of a National Geographic photographer and then returning home with all of the post-processing works done in-camera and ready to be printed or posted to your blog and social media.
The Rise of the Mirrorless Camera
The newest thing to cause excitement in digital photography is the rise of the Mirrorless Camera. These cameras offer much of the quality and speed of their larger and older brother, the DSLR, but without the size and weight.They incorporate an electronic viewfinder instead of the pentaprism system that a DSLR utilizes, which vastly reduces the cameras’ size while making them perfect for travel photography. So, say goodbye to checking bags at the airport. Travel carefree with just a carryon and a small camera bag.
It goes without saying that capturing photographic memories is a key part of travelling. Although camera phones seem to be everywhere, they do have their limitations. And no, I’m not going to point out the value of a DSLR, which at one time, seemed to be the only way to get a truly great photo. The established order of things has changed. I’ve selected three different compact cameras ideal for your travel photography.
I’ve never met two photographers who completely agree on the merits of camera gear. We’re all looking for slightly different things. I’ve ranked, what I consider to be, the 5 best compact system cameras you can buy right now based not just on specs, handling and performance, but size, simplicity and value for money too.
Top 5 Mirrorless Cameras
Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 24.3MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 8fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Expert
With a brilliant new AF system, lovely handling and an updated sensor that delivers pin-sharp images, the X-T2 has to be one of the most desirable cameras available right now.
Sensor size: Full-frame | Resolution: 42.4MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 1,228,800 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 5fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Expert
Meet the Full Frame, palm-sized α7R. Packing a 36.4 MP 35mm full-frame sensor into a body half the weight of leading DSLRs, this is the new standard for photographers seeking the ultimate creative tool.
- Less bulky than a DSLR, the LUMIX G85 is the compact 4K video-enabled Micro Four Thirds Mirrorless (DSLM) camera with true-to-life photo image quality.
- Newly developed in-body gyro sensor adds class-leading 5-axis body stabilization that when mated to LUMIX 2-axis optically stabilized lenses for a “Dual IS” effect, is worth nearly 5 f-stops in video and still capture.
- 4K Video recording at 30p/24p 100 Mbps plus a 3.5mm port for external microphones. (Full HD 60p 28Mbps)
- Weather sealed splashproof and dustproof, rugged enough to withstand even the most challenging environments.
- 16-Megapixel MFT eliminates the need for low-pass sensor filters while boosting fine detail resolving power sensor.
- Never miss a photo with 3 unique 4K Ultra HD Video pause and save 4K Photo Modes
- Expand creative possibilities with 27 (and growing) interchangeable lens options
Sensor size: Micro Four Third | Resolution: 16MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch display, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 9fps | Maximum video resolution: 4K | User level: Beginner/intermediate
The Lumix GH5 is Panasonic’s most powerful mirrorless camera to date and a worthy successor to the GH4, whether you’re shooting stills or movies. It’s fast, flexible and feature-packed, easily taking-on rivals in this category and out-performing virtually anything at its price for video. Like the recent Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II it proves Micro Four Thirds can not only play with the big boys, but beat them in many respects.
The professional grade Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K mirrorless camera offers over 28 Lumix and Leica compact lens options built on the next-generation (ILC) interchangeable lens camera standard [Micro four Thirds] pioneered by Panasonic. Its “mirrorless” design enables a lighter, more compact camera body that includes cutting-edge 4K 60P (4:2:0 8-bit) and 30P (4:2:2 10-bit) in-camera cinematic video, 5GHz Wi-Fi + Bluetooth for fast connection and image transfer, lightning fast DFD focusing, dual i.S 2.0 stabilization and exposure technologies not possible with traditional DSLRs. With the exclusive Lumix 4K photo (8MP, 30/60 fps) & brand new 6K photo mode (18MP, 30 fps), simply pause that perfect moment from video to produce printable high resolution photos. Never miss the moment again with Panasonic Lumix and the new GH5!
Sensor size: Micro Four Third | Resolution: 20.3MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.2-inch display, 1,040,000 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 12fps | Maximum video resolution: 4K | User level: Intermediate/expert
Fast-focusing and 4K-shooting, the Alpha a6300 from Sony is a versatile APS-C-format mirrorless digital camera designed for multimedia image-makers. Revolving around a redeveloped 24.2MP Exmor CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processor, clean image quality is provided with a wide expandable sensitivity range to ISO 51200, along with accelerated readout speeds for internal 4K30 and Full HD 1080p120 video recording with full pixel readout. Stills shooters also benefit from the apt processing speed, which enables continuous shooting at 11 fps for up to 21 raw frames in a burst, as well as 14-bit raw file output. Complementing both stills and video, the sensor and processor combination also avails 4D FOCUS, which combines a wide-coverage 425-point phase-detection system with a 169-area contrast detection system for quick and precise focusing performance. This focusing system also enables High-density Tracking AF for more efficient and accurate tracking of moving subjects across the image frame. A well-rounded camera for both photographers and videographers, the a6300 is characterized by its speed and further qualified by its refined image and video quality.
Sensor size: APS-C | Resolution: 24.2MP | Viewfinder: EVF | Monitor: 3.0-inch tilt-angle display, 921,600 dots | Maximum continuous shooting rate: 11fps | Movies: 4K | User level: Beginner/intermediate