Family vacations are all about making memories, and that also means remembering them. When it comes to a camera, you want something lightweight, versatile, and discreet, so you can easily take it with you instead of wanting to leave behind at your vacation rental. You also want a camera that’s user-friendly, and one that takes great quality images to last a lifetime. With so many options out there, it’s hard to know where to look, so we’ve picked the top five cameras that are perfect for your next family vacation. They all have great features like incredible zoom or built-in Wi-Fi, so the next time you’re planning your family vacation, check out one of these five amazing cameras.
1. Sony RX100
This pocket-sized camera has five iterations. Each one is better than the last, but if you want the most bang for your buck, stick with the original, which you can get for about $450 compared to $1000. This high-end point and shoot camera has a large 20.1-megapixel sensor, a fast Carl Zeiss zoom lens, and RAW capability, all packaged in a lightweight and durable body. If you want to upgrade to the RX100 V, you’ll get an electronic viewfinder, 4K video, and better autofocus, but if you’re just wanting to take memorable group portraits, the Sony RX100 is the way to go.
2. Canon PowerShot G9 X
This great little camera weighs and costs a little less than the Sony above. It’s not the fanciest compared to the Canon PowerShot G5 X and the G7 Mark II, but it’s compact, lightweight, and great for travel. Plus, it’s under $400 and weighs only 7.4 ounces! You’re missing out on some features like an optical viewfinder and articulating LCD screen, but you still get the same 1″ CMOS sensor as the other two pricier models. If you’re comparing this one to the RX100, both cameras have identical sensor sizes and megapixels, but the Sony has 20mm of extra zoom. On the other hand, the G9 X has built-in Wi-Fi, which means your pictures can go from your camera to Instagram in a flash.
3. Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
If you want to take outstanding photos like a DSLR, but don’t want to carry around multiple lenses, try the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 with its incredible zoom. It has the same large 1″ sensor as the Sony RX100 series but a whopping 25-400mm of zoom. Plus, it also shoots 4K video. One of the downsides is that it’s large and weighs 29.3 ounces, similar to most other cameras with interchangeable lenses. However, you can’t beat this Panasonic’s convenience and versatility. It’s a great all-in-one camera and has a better zoom than most point-and-shoot cameras on the market. It’s perfect for catching a snap of that rare bird.
4. Ricoh GR II
The Ricoh GR II is the go-to camera for street photography, which means that it’s easy to use for travel photography too. This camera has an extra large APS-C image sensor, the same size as most digital SLRs or mirrorless cameras and bigger than any compact from Sony or Canon, and a very respectable f/2.8 maximum aperture. However, some users might be turned off by the lens which is fixed at 28mm, meaning there is no zoom. 28mm is great for taking snapshots while you walk around the city and even for some landscapes and other big scenes, but you can’t zoom in for close-ups. There is also built-in Wi-Fi, which is easy and convenient for transferring photos to your phone or computer.
5. Fujifilm X-T20
The Fujifilm X-T20 is a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera. These cameras were built entirely for digital and can fit DSLR-like image sensors into compact bodies. Some people argue that it’s the best for travel thanks to its outstanding image quality in a lightweight body. When it comes to mirrorless cameras, the Fujifilm X-T20 is arguably the best for travel. It has amazing color rendition and image quality and has the same 24.3-megapixel sensor and image processor as the pricier Fujifilm X-T2. At only 13.5 ounces, it’s much lighter than the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 listed above, making it super lightweight and compact for easy carrying on the go. Compared to the Fujifilm X-T2, it’s not weather sealed, which can be a deciding factor when choosing a travel camera, but for still photography, this camera is great. When it comes to lenses, Fujifilm has a terrific collection of X-Mount lenses, including the very respectable 18-55mm f/2.8-4 offered in a kit with the X-T20 priced at around $700.
BONUS CAMERA: Sony RX100 V
We obviously love the Sony RX100 series since the first version made it to the top spot on this list. We believe in it so strongly that we also wanted to include the latest version, the Sony RX100 V. This is the top point-and-shoot camera on the market today. It weighs only 10.6 ounces and features 4K video capability, an extremely fast burst rate at 24 frames per second, and an impressive 315-point phase detection autofocus. It also has a fast Carl Zeiss lens and pop-up electronic viewfinder, making it the best point-and-shoot for travel. The only reason it’s not number 1 on this list is the price tag. For $1000, you could also get an older mid-range mirrorless camera like the Sony Alpha a6000 and a couple of lenses, which would give you much better quality images.
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