What is the best camera for travel?
For years I had been using my phone camera, the pictures were ok, but not great. Once I started my blog, the need for a better camera for travel became a necessity. I needed to find a camera that met the following criteria.
- 4k video
- Point and Shoot ease of use
- Advanced setting options
- Internal stabilization
- Fixed lens / No detachable lens to carry around
- Wide range of zoom
- Reasonably priced
Many of the lightweight cameras I had found were the lower end digital cameras that lacked advanced shooting options, 4k video, and zoom features.
Cameras that had better 4k video options, did not have the zoom options or good stabilization
Point and shoot cameras didn’t check many of the boxes that I needed. Similar to the lightweight cameras.
Advanced setting options typically came on more expensive cameras and required interchangeable lenses.
Stabilization is on a wide range of cameras, so that was not a massive hurdle to overcome.
Fixed lens cameras typically did not have the zoom capabilities, or were more of a typical point and shoot camera.
To get a wide range of zoom, a fixed lens is not normally the way to go.
The biggest catch was reasonably priced.
What was I looking for and did it exist?
After doing my research, I found that I needed something between a mirrorless/DSLR and a point and shoot camera. Luckily, there is a group of cameras in the middle called bridge cameras. They have some of the advanced features of a mirrorless/DSLR with the automated shooting of a point and shoot (idiot-proof). This sounded like the best of both worlds, but how did they stack up, and were they good for travel cameras? The best of the bridge cameras seemed to be in a line of cameras by Panasonic.
There were 4 models of cameras from Panasonic that fit the criteria. I had to research all the specs and reviews to determine which one I wanted to buy for my travel camera. Half of the models were in the $600 and above range, the other half was below (I was very good at math as you can tell).
Making my Decision
Since I had eliminated the lower-priced DMC-FZ80 from the list, I was left with the DMC-FZ300 or DMC-FZ1000 which was above the $600 mark. This was the difficult part, the FZ1000 and the FZ-300 were very similar with some minor differences. We were about a week away from leaving on a trip, so I needed to make a decision fast, or I would be using my phone camera again. Therefore, I decided to go with the DMC-FZ300 after reading reviews and watching a ton of videos on YouTube.
I received the camera a day before we were to leave, this was cutting it close, Since I didn’t have time to learn all (any) the features, so I set it to auto for a true point and shoot experience. This would let me know if it was truly an easy camera to use. Therefore, I took some random shots and it seemed to fit the bill for a camera for travel. A couple of hours after I started using it, a deer was spotted in the yard about 200′ from the house. Great, I can test a nature photo from a distance. These are scaled-down as the original full resolution was accidentally deleted.
As you can see, the picture quality is great, and this was holding the camera and not on a tripod or any support. Therefore, I was happy with my purchase, it was time to start packing everything for our trip. This may have been a great choice for the best camera for travel. However, the real usage on the trip will tell if I was correct.
Testing in South Africa
Our first stop on this trip was in South Africa. I had the opportunity to test with nature in various locations around Cape Town. Due to larger images, this may take a few seconds to load.
Testing in Europe
Best Camera for Travel
I will have to say this is an excellent camera for travel, it is small enough to carry with you in a backpack or small carrying case. Since it checked all the boxes that I wanted originally. My best results were with nature photos and it shows in the bunny picture below. The bunny was about 100′ away, the picture was taken without a tripod.
I also grabbed a picture of a full moon, this was also impressive and without a tripod.
I would definitely recommend this camera for travel or an easy to carry around town option for that quick shot. All of the pictures and videos were taken without a tripod and on auto settings. If you want detailed instructions for using the camera, there are a lot of videos on YouTube to review, I have been happy with the auto settings. However, I probably need to read the manual at some point though.
Depending on your requirement, this might be a great option for your travel camera. Check out the rest of our gear here.