Just a few years ago, taking high-resolution photos while traveling meant lugging around lots of heavy gear, but that’s no longer the case. Mirrorless cameras offer the resolution and flexibility of a DSLR in a size that’s much easier to tote around an airport or take on a ten mile hike.
Since mirrorless cameras have now been around for a few years, there’s usually plenty of lenses and accessories to pair with them too.
While they’re small and lightweight, they still offer big resolution and the versatility of interchangeable lenses. Prioritize the features based on the type of travel you do most—if you follow action you’ll need speed, but sight-seeing trips can often get away with a more affordable camera.
Mirrorless Camera Accessories
Make sure to pair the camera with a good wide-angle lens for sightseeing, and a solid telephoto if you’re hoping to scout out some wildlife. Since mirrorless cameras haven’t caught up with DSLRs in terms of battery life, pack an extra battery and bring the charger along as well.
Best Mirrorless Cameras for Travel Comparison Chart
|Name||Image||Avg. Battery Life||Weight (lbs)||Price*||Rating|
|Panasonic G7||350 photos||0.9||$||4.6|
|Fujifilm X-T10||350 photos||0.84||$$||4.8|
|Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II||310 photos||1.1||$$||4.1|
|Sony Alpha a6000||420 photos||0.76||$$||4.6|
|Fujifilm X-T1||350 photos||0.97||$$$||4.7|
|Sony Alpha a7IIK||350 photos||1.32||$$$||4.3|
|Sony a7R II||290 photos||1.38||$$$||4.6|
*Price Range (includes lens kit): $ = Under $600, $$ = $600-1200, $$$ = $1200+
Accurate as of May 2016
Reviews of the Best Mirrorless Cameras For Travel
Panasonic G7 Mirrorless Camera Review
Going with a model that’s a year old is a good way to get big specs for a smaller price. The Panasonic G7 has been replaced by the GX8, but the 2015 version is available for about half the price.
The G7’s biggest selling point is 4K video, but the still shots are solid as well on the 16 megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor. Burst speed sits at 8 fps and autofocus at 49 points.
The tilting LCD viewfinder, wi-fi and weight of just .79 pounds all make the G7 a well-rounded camera. But perhaps the best part is the price—it’s about $600 with a kit lens.
Fujifilm X-T10 Camera Review
Fujifilm’s X-Trans sensors offer beautiful color and detail and the X-T10 is affordable enough for travelers and hobbyists at around $800.
With an APS-C sensor that’s larger than the Micro Four Thirds cameras, you’ll get plenty of resolution for your travel photos with this camera. The burst speed hits a respectable 8 fps.
Autofocus is solid with a hybrid 49 point system. Weighing in at 13.4 ounces, it won’t bog down your bag much either. The X-T10 sits at a good middle ground between quality and price.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review
Olympus has a solid Micro Four Thirds mirrorless line, and the E-M5 Mark II is one of the company’s top options.
With features like water and dust sealing, the 16.5 ounce E-M5 is an excellent choice for travel. The 5-axis sensor shift image stabilization is excellent and works for both stills and video.
The 10 fps burst speed, paired with an 81-point autofocus system should do pretty well for action, if that’s on your travel agenda.
Sony a6300 Mirrorless Camera Review
The Sony a6300 has a lot of things going for it, but one of the biggest perks is speed. This little 14.25 ounce shooter has an 11 fps burst speed with a whopping 425 point phase-detection autofocus.
If your travel includes photographing action—like sports or wildlife—this camera is a solid choice.
Besides the speed, there’s also 4k video, both a tilting screen and an electronic viewfinder, and a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body.
Fujifilm X-T1 Mirrorless Camera Review
If the Fujifilm X-T10 doesn’t quite have enough features, the X-T1 should be a winner.
With the same sensor, the image quality will be the same but the usability and experience will be quite different. The X-T1 offers weather-sealing as well as a magnesium alloy body for a big durability upgrade.
The X-T1 also has more physical dials for adjusting manual settings—so it’s faster to use for experienced photographers, but would be a bit daunting for beginners. However, the boost in usability features comes with a price increase.
Sony a7 II Camera Review
If the Micro Four Thirds and even APS-C sensors simply aren’t enough resolution for the sweeping views you hope to capture, Sony’s full frame a7 II mirrorless should fit the bill.
While pricey at $1,600, the a7 line is currently the only place you’ll find full frame in a mirrorless.
Unlike the original a7, the a7 II has added five-axis image stabilization and improved autofocus, as well as a few design tweaks. Processing those bigger images trades off for a bit slower 5 fps burst speed, however. The camera, now made with magnesium alloy over it’s composite older sibling, is also heavier than the other options in the a7 lineup.
Sony a7R II Mirrorless Camera Review
Still not impressed?
The Sony a7R II is arguably the best mirrorless camera that money can buy—but you’ll need lots of it at over $3,000.
The a7R II is still a full frame camera, but with twice the resolution with 42.2 megapixels. Video quality sees a bump up to 4K and the number of autofocus points reaches a big 399.
Besides the downside of the bigger price, though, the a7R II also weighs over a pound.
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All the cameras above offer RAW shooting too, which will help you to capture more information in a single shot for editing when you return, or you can use a photo editing service such as SmartPHOTOeditors so you can focus on unpacking instead.
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