How to choose the right travel camera

As photographers, we often have lots of different horses for different rides, and when it comes to traveling, it often seems very, very difficult to choose the right one to take with you. If you’re struggling with this dilemma, you’re not alone. Photographer and YouTuber Omar Gonzalez is here with you.

It’s good to have options, and Gonzalez looks at the pros and cons of taking the big DSLR with you (in this case, his Nikon D700) versus smaller options like the Fujifilm X-T3 or X-T20, eventually settling on a Sony a7C, which if you scroll to the end of its video to look at its photos, seemed like a great choice.

Back in the stone age of mirrorless cameras, I often struggled between half-baked Micro Four Thirds cameras or pathetic endeavors from Canon and Nikon, such as the original EOS M-series or Nikon 1-series cameras ( how things have changed with the R and Z lines). Then over the next few years I’d convince myself that a 1-inch sensor was fine and go with a Canon PowerShot G9 X or G3X with its insane 600mm equivalent zoom if I was feeling really adventurous.

Of the choices Gonzalez looks at here, between a Google Pixel smartphone, a GoPro, and various DSLRs and lenses, there’s another sensible option these days and one that’s enjoying a bit of a renaissance with the new Olympus OM-1 and Panasonic. Lumix GH6: Micro Four Thirds.

It was when I got my hands on the 2013 Panasonic Lumix GM1, a camera the same size as a G9 X (roughly a deck of cards), that I realized the happy medium between sensor size, image quality and portability. Combined with Panasonic’s tiny but mighty 12-32mm kit lens that came with the camera, it made a smaller sensor compact completely irrelevant. It made it easy for me to travel around London and easily take great photos at a cousin’s wedding. I couldn’t easily do this with a compact point-and-shoot camera or my phone:

The GM1 is a bit long in the tooth, but similar small size options exist in Micro Four Thirds that pack more modern technology. The Olympus E-M10 series is a particularly powerful travel camera, compact and offering excellent image quality.

So while Gonzalez opted for a full-frame Sony model, there’s plenty to choose from between that and a cellphone. What are your choices for a travel camera? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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