The 10 best new cameras for travelers

The Cathedral of The Virgin Mary of the Immaculate Conception is in Plaza de la Catedral
These 10 new cameras for 2020 can capture your most exciting travel moments © Gary John Norman/Getty Images

Smartphone cameras have come a long way, but for the best possible travel photos most professional photographers will advise a dedicated camera to capture the best possible travel photos.

The advantages of dedicated cameras include larger sensors for higher-quality enlargements and cropping, superior low-light performance, and the ability to accept a range of lenses. These 10 new cameras stand out for their size and features, and they all interact with your smart phone to transfer files for editing and posting on social media so you can easily share your travel adventures.

Our writers independently select the best products to help you have amazing travel experiences. If you purchase through links on our site, Lonely Planet may earn a commission from the retailer.

Fujifilm X100V

Fujifilm’s original X100 from 2011 brought back the classic, retro travel camera look of the days of film. It’s latest version, the Fujifilm X100V, continues that classic styling with an even sharper 35mm-equivalent, f/2 prime lens. Manual dials make for easy full control, and its large APS-C sensor renders 26 megapixel images. Built-in filters mimic 17 of Fujifilm’s iconic film looks.
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Product shot of the Ricoh GRIII and a passport.
The Ricoh GRIII grabs high-resolution images while fitting easily into a pocket © Steve Larese / Lonely Planet

Ricoh GRIII

The Ricoh GRIII packs a powerful 24.2 megapixel APS-C sensor that gathers 15 times more light than a 1/2.55-inch cell phone camera. At just 33mm thin, the GRIII slides easily into a pocket and weighs about 9 ounces. Its 28mm-equivalent fixed lens includes two aspherical elements for sharp images even at its largest aperture of 2.8, and uses its 3-axis Shake Reduction System to help ensure sharp photos even at slow shutter speeds in dim light. The camera connects with smartphones to transfer images for editing and posting.
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Sony RX0 II

At less than 3-inches long, Sony RX0 II fits in your palm but packs a 1-inch sensor and 24mm-equivalent Zeiss lens to produce 15-megapixel images for detailed enlargements and crops. It’s waterproof to 33-feet and shockproof to 6.5 feet, and a 180-degree flip screen allows for creative angles and vlogging. The Sony RX100 VI adds a 20 megapixel, 1-inch sensor and a 24mm to 200mm optical zoom lens.
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Product shot of the Sigma fp and exposed sensor
Weighing under a pound, the Sigma fp Mirrorless Digital Camera delivers high-quality photos and video in a compact size © Courtesy of Sigma

Sigma fp

The Sigma fp is a full-frame camera that weighs just 13 ounces (body only) and is only 4.4-inches long. It accepts the full range of Sigma lenses from fisheye to telephotos perfect for wildlife, and produces detail-rich 24.6-megapixel files and 4k 24fps video. Designed for advanced and pro photographers and videographers, the Sigma fp is the world’s smallest and lightest full-frame camera. It accepts a variety of accessories, including an external monitor for videography.
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Nikon Z50

Using its new DX Z mount, the Nikon Z50 accepts a range of compact zoom and prime lenses covering 16mm to 250mm perfect for travel. It has a 20.9 megapixel, APS-C sensor for highly detailed files. The Z50 weighs 14 ounces and at 5-inches long and 2.4-inches thick (body only) can fit into a jacket pocket or small bag. It shoots video at 4K HD, and video can be edited in camera and sent to your smart phone for publishing. The camera can also be controlled by your phone using Nikon’s SnapBridge app, and its flip-down screen makes for easy selfies and vlogging.
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Product shot of the GoPro Hero 8
GoPro's waterproof action camera will record your wildest adventures © Courtesy of GoPro

GoPro Hero 8

The venerable GoPro cameras are known for being go-to action cams, but they also make great travel companions. The latest GoPro Hero 8 features its HyperSmooth 2.0, creating gimbal-like video while handheld. Attachments such as shotgun mics, lights and a soon-to-be-released Display Mod flip screen makes the GoPro a great choice for vloggers, and GoPro apps make it easy to edit, post and live stream via smart phones and tablets. The GoPro Max combines the ultra-wide aspect of the Hero 8 with the choice to go 360. Its monitor makes it perfect for selfies or vlogging, and its PowerPano mode creates distortion-free, level 270-degree panoramic shots and selfies.
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Product shot of the Canon M6 Mark II
Canon's latest mirrorless model packs high-quality imaging into a small size © Courtesy of Canon

Canon EOS M6 Mark II

The Canon EOS M6 Mark II takes interchangeable lenses and produces 32.5-megapixel images with its APS-C sensor. It takes 4k video, and its silent shutter takes up to 30 frames per second. The 3-inch touchscreen allows for easy control, and an optional electronic viewfinder can be fitted into the hot shoe that can also take an external flash. The camera body weighs 12 ounces and measures 5-inches long and 2-inches deep. EF-M lenses ranging from 180-degree fisheye to telephoto perfect for wildlife are available.
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Ricoh Theta Z1

The Ricoh Theta Z1 combines two lenses and two 1-inch sensors to make 360-degree images and 4k videos with surround sound. Images can be shared as single-frame stills or interactive scenes that viewers scroll through and explore. It syncs with smartphones for remote operation and live viewing. Still images can be taken in 23 megapixel RAW for fully editable files, and the Z1 can connect directly for live streaming on social media. With a sturdy magnesium alloy exterior and weighing 6.5 ounces, the slim Z1 easily slips into a front pocket. A standard tripod thread allows the Z1 to be attached to a selfie stick or tripod.
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Product shot of the Insta360 One R and lens
Swappable modules on the Insta360 allow you to switch from a 360 cam to a 4k wide-angle camera © Steve Larese / Lonely Planet

Insta360 One R Twin Edition

The Insta360 One R Twin Edition is a modular action camera perfect for travel, giving users the option of shooting 4K video, 12-megapixel photos or 360-degree stills and video on the fly. The camera comes with two interchangeable lenses – a super-wide lens (16mm full-frame equivalent) and a dual-lens 360-degree build. A 1-inch sensor lens module jointly developed with Leica is available separately and is capable of shooting 5.3K video and capturing 19 megapixel stills. These lens cubes can be swapped out on top of the battery baseplate. Waterproof to 16 feet (with an optional case that will take it safely down to 60 feet), the Insta360 One R Twin Edition weighs about 4 ounces it easily slides into a pocket.
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Panasonic Lumix LX100 II

The Panasonic Lumix LX100 II has an integral Leica 24-75mm zoom lens and manual control dials giving it the look and feel of a classic film camera. Users can choose between the electronic viewfinder or its 3-inch monitor. The LX100 II weighs less than a pound and measures 4.5-inches long and 2.5-inches wide – small enough for a coat pocket. Its 17-megapixel, Micro Four-Thirds sensor is about four times larger than most smartphone sensors. With a minimum focus distance of 3cm, it excels at taking detailed macro photos, and takes 4k video as well.
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