If you travel very often and looking forward to buying a cheaper camera for travel photography, you are lucky. In this article, we’re going to discuss some of the budget cameras suitable for travelling.
With advanced technology, mobile cameras are getting better than ever, and they are quite competent enough to replace conventional cameras. But the best quality camera will always justify its place in your travel bag.
Our buying guide should help you choose the best budget camera for travelling, not to end up buying the wrong one.
Our Recommended Top 5 Best Budget Travel Camera at a Glance:
Top Pick: Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera
Runner’s-Up: Sony DSC-HX99 Compact Digital
Best DSLR for Travelling: Canon EOS Rebel T7 Travel Bundle
Best Mirrorless Camera for Travelling: Panasonic LUMIX GX85 4K Digital Camera
Best Action Camera for Travelling: REMALI CaptureCam 4K Ultra HD
Types of Travel Cameras
You always have the flexibility to choose your type of travel camera on a budget. There are Point and Shoot cameras that are designed for comfort and east to use. This budget-friendly and compact kind of travel camera aren’t the most powerful of all having smaller sensors.
Then, there are Mirror-less cameras that offer great image quality with many shooting features. The affordable cameras don’t excel in battery life and the number of lenses.
If you are thoughtful about photography or want to pursue it as a profession, you may wish to a DSLR camera. The expensive camera will provide you the best quality images, great battery life, and lots of manual functionalities. Despite many advantages, you may not want a DSLR to travel as they’re big and heavy.
However, there is another sort of camera that will take you back to the bygone era. The Instant camera is capable of producing original printouts within a short time after making the snaps. Fujifilm Instax Mini 90 Instant Film Camera is the best to capture your favorite moments in travel and keep them inside the diary for a long time.
Best Budget Camera for Travelling Under $500: Our Honest Picks
1. Best Compact (Top Pick): Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera
If you need a quality camera, but DSLR seems bulky to you, then Nikon COOLPIX B500 is there. The B500, a DSLR styled super-zoom camera, is the best budget travel camera with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC pairing.
B500 isn’t exactly the camera to fit in your pocket as its size is larger than other point and shoot cameras. But the size is justified due to its long battery life with 4 AA batteries. It has a 40x optical zoom lens that offers a maximum 900 mm telephoto setting to meet your need.
With the 3 inch LCD screen (which is 90˚ tiltable), it is super convenient to shoot with a tripod. COOLPIX B500 comes with a 16-megapixel resolution with a sensitivity range of ISO6400 that can shoot continuously at 7.4 fps. It offers a full HD 1080p video recording at 30 fps.
Another unique feature of B500 is its compatibility to connect with your smartphone through Nikon’s new Snap Bridge app. It allows you maintaining a constant connection between your smartphone and the camera to get the pictures in real-time, edit them, and post them in your favorite sites.
The COOLPIX B500 is so easy to use, a great device to take pictures and videos. It automatically optimizes settings for individual shots to give you the best snaps. You’ll be free to enjoy the moment while taking photos. So, the camera should be your best companion on upcoming trips.
- 40x optical zoom lens
- Connectivity with smartphones
- Compatible 4k video
- Small image sensor of 1/1.23 inches
- Viewfinder not included
2. Best Compact (Runner-up): Sony DSC-HX99 Compact Digital Camera
Sony HX99 is a small camera with a massive zoom that can take place in your pocket quite easily. With Sony sensor expertise and standard menu system, the travel-zoom compact camera is currently Sony’s best travel cameras under $500.
This pocket-friendly camera is housed in a metal body that weighs around 14.9 ounces. The camera is perfect to be with you in travel as it covers the range from wide-angle 24mm to telephoto 720mm.
The ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* lens provides excellent image quality, and a clear image zoom feature allows further magnification of the picture up to 1440 mm (60x) while keeping the high resolution.
HX99 offers 18.2 megapixel (effective) that works with the advanced BIONZ X image-processing system to deliver the best image quality. With a range of ISO80-6400, low light scenes can be beautifully shot.
The camera is compatible with a stunning 4K video and can record with an amazingly high bitrate of up to 100 Mb/s. For slow motion, it allows you to shoot up to 120 fps in 1080HD. It can also automatically detect and focus on the main subject’s eyes in your shots by the Sophisticated Eye AF feature.
The Fast Intelligent AF helps to adopt highly accurate contrast-detection autofocus. The high resolution 3″ touch LCD, which is 180˚ tiltable, is perfect for taking selfies and taking low-angle shots.
For a tiny compact camera with a superb zooming capability and 4K recording and that too within a budget range, Sony HX99 is a perfect travel camera for the money.
- 30x zoom range
- Pop-up EVF
- RAW support and 4K video
- Unattractive flare
- Shaky video
3. Best DSLR for Travelling: Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Travel Bundle
The compact DSLR features a 24.1 MP APS C-MOS sensor and a DIGIC 4+ image processor that ensure a rich quality image with reduced noise. With a native range of ISO 100-6400, which can be expanded to ISO 12800, you can capture low light conditions.
EOS Rebel T7 can record Full HD 1080p videos, and the processors allow continuous shooting at three fps for moving subjects. Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II lens offers a 28.8-88mm equivalent focal length range.
Optical Image Stabilizer helps to lessen the appearance of camera shake by stopping up to four shutter speed.
The Ritz Camera Bundle Includes 128 GB memory card, 60-inch Monopod, Vivitar 3-Piece 58mm Digital Camera Filters, LPE10 Battery, Vivitar 58mm 2.2x Telephoto Lens, Vivitar 58mm Wide Lens Telephoto Lens Attachment, a tripod and many more.
With its fast autofocus system, you can capture anything instantly, and the bright optical viewfinder enables the viewing more precisely. With a large LCD screen, the capability to take vivid, high-quality images and videos, and many accessories with feature guide, Canon EOS Rebel T7 is a top-class travel-friendly DSLR you can have.
- Wi-Fi communication
- Great low light performance
- Warranty: 1 year
- Dimensions: 5.1’’ x 4’’ x 3.1’’
- Heavier than others in the list
4. Best Mirrorless for Traveling: Panasonic LUMIX GX85 4K Digital Camera
Panasonic GX85, which is also known as GX80 in some markets, is very popular among the travellers for shooting lighter and faster with hybrid photography performance of a mirrorless camera that is half as a bilk as most of the DSLRs.
With this best budget camera for travelling, you will get a fine detail performance with the 16MP Micro Four Thirds sensor. Panasonic’s innovative post focus functionality allows you to make a post-capture adjustment.
You have to be stunned by the integrated eye-level electronic viewfinder, a high 2.76million-dot resolution. The 3 inches touchscreen LCD can be tilted 80˚ up and 45˚ down to maximize viewing. With its super-small 12-32mm zoom, GX85 is now the best affordable camera for travelling.
Image stabilization is top of its class available in either photo or video recording mode. It’s a great feature that Panasonic adds from the perception of convenience, which even works better when using a lens. Panasonic’s DFD autofocus technology instantly measures the subject’s distance resulting in faster autofocus.
Wi-Fi mobile control allows you to connect the camera with mobile to share photos instantly. Also, the 4K photo, 4K video, and 4K post-focused modes will let you fall in love with the device.
- Post focus functionality
- 4K mode
- Faster auto focus
- Warranty: 3 years
- Auto ISO
- The microphone is bad compared to the video quality
5. Best Budget Action Camera for Travelling: REMALI CaptureCam 4K Ultra HD
You can shoot all your travel adventures and thrilling athletic moments in 4K UHD videos or enjoy crystal clear photos with 12 MP camera with an ultra-wide angle of 170˚ as single or cluster shots.
You can also capture scuba diving or surfing videos with the CaptureCam in the ocean up to 30m by placing the IPX8 waterproof case. It’s an extraordinary move by REMALI, which allows you to capture stunning sea life in 4K UHD.
The CaptureCam comes with a shockproof carrying case that fits all of the 21 mounts and accessories that can be used in any situation. It comes with three batteries that ensure you never miss any moments without capturing. Also, a dual dock battery charger and a wall charger will allow you to charge 2 of the batteries while you can use the other one.
The remote control feature permits your control over the camera even in the distance. CaptureCam has an easy using iSmart DV app to view, control, share, and edit to your smartphone to easily upload on social sites.
The CaptureCam is a great device for breath-taking videos and photos, which is ideal for travel adventurers, extreme sports enthusiasts, which comes in a budget price that makes it the best budget camera for travel vlogging.
- Great battery performance
- Waterproof case
- Dimensions: 9.06’’ x 6.69’’ x 2.76’’
- Weight: 1.45 Pounds
- No zoom
Buying Guide: How to Choose A Budget Travel Camera?
Before jumping on the specifications, you need to evaluate the reasons behind you are going to buy one. How will you use a travel camera? Well, on the first hand, you must choose your camera based on your travel patterns.
What Is Travel Camera and What’s the Purpose of having This?
When hearing about a travel camera, the first thing that comes to your mind is the size of the models should be travel friendly. The camera should be compact but doesn’t compromise with picture quality. After all, you need the best quality camera to capture beautiful sceneries and your adventurous pictures.
Nowadays, smartphones are well capable of taking good quality pictures, but if you want to print out photos after the travel, a travel camera is a better choice. If you would like to action photography or want your gadget to be fully waterproof, smartphones are not a smart option.
Again, if you are interested in astrophotography, you need a camera with a large sensor that lets in plenty of light. A camera for adventure photography offers superior image quality, comfortable handling, and better manual control.
You may argue that DSLR is always the prime choice to take pictures, but many don’t want to carry a bulky camera to take photos in travelling. In this concern, travel cameras with a long zoom and good stabilization become an automatic choice.
Consider your travel locations: Where do you like to travel a lot? Are those sunny places or gloomy ones?
Baggage carrying: Are you willing to carry extra bags for the camera? Or, need a compact one to carry it in the pocket?
Subjects for photos: Landscape? Portrait? People? Animal? Look for a camera that is best for taking pictures of your taste.
Travel type: Do you like to go on a casual vacation or an athletic vacation?
When you finish dealing with the questions, you should know what features you need from the best cheap camera for travelling. Here we bring some must-have features your camera should possess.
Features to Consider:
Megapixel: Most people think that the more megapixels are, the better the camera is. This isn’t absolutely true; if the pixels are small themselves, more megapixels won’t help much. However, megapixels help you capture photos in a better resolution and size the picture without reducing the quality. It is also beneficial to shoot in RAW.
Aperture: Aperture is an opening that controls the brightness of the image that enters through the lens and falls on the image sensor. Aperture is expressed as f/number, such as f/2.8 or f/4. The lower the amount will be, the better it will perform in low-light. Also, the lower it will be, the higher the price will become.
4K support: Filming in 4K resolution is a big bonus if your camera can do it. Most of the affordable cameras for travel support 1080p resolution, which is also very good. If you want 4K, you need to increase your budget or you can check the article 4k Camera Under $500
Zoom: Zoom represents the largest and smallest magnification difference on the lens. A zoom lens helps wildlife photography or astrophotography where you can take pictures far from the object. Travel cameras come with various zoom ranges. If you are not a photographer by career, a large zoom lens is not required for you.
Battery: Battery life is an important feature in case of choosing an affordable camera for travel. You will be outside all day round, and your camera should run the whole time. Camera battery’s life is measured based on the number of shots is can take in one battery charge.
The best budget camera for Travelling should usually last around 250-350 photos. However, it’s recommended to have a backup of another camera battery.
Size and weight: Your travel camera should be small in format to be in your backpack. Small cameras are also convenient to be in your pocket so that you can bring it out anytime. There was a time when bigger cameras were considered better, but thankfully, technology is much more advanced now. You’ll get good cameras in smaller sizes.
The same goes for weight as well. We mean, you literary won’t want to carry a big and heavy DSLR around your neck the whole day, right?
Shutter Speed: Shutter speed is referred to as the measurement of the shutter’s time is open. Faster shutter speed is needed to have a sharp image. In case you are taking a picture of a moving object, the shutter speed should be around 1/1000 second to avoid any blur motion in the image. For small sensor cameras, you may need faster shutter speed.
ISO: ISO is the camera’s sensitivity of light and is displayed in numbers like 100,200 or 1200. What do the numbers mean?
Well, changing the ISO will essentially make your image brighter or darker. If you are taking pictures in sunny places, low ISO settings will ensure the most detailed image. In contrast, ISO needs to be increased in darkness.
However, while using high ISO’s like 3200, you may often experience noise and grain. Thus, try to keep the ISO as low as possible. Some cameras are doing great in high ISO’s, and it’s a great way to test your camera.
Stabilization: Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) is another important feature to have to get quality videos. Stabilization reduces the ‘handshake’ effect on slower shutter speeds. It helps to keep the image sharp rather than blurry.
The camera with better stabilization produces videos that ignore the handshaking resulting in excellent stable videos.
Waterproofing: If you are into outdoor traveling a lot, then a camera can survive any weather condition. Waterproofed cameras have a great advantage in this case. Whether you go through a river or bath under the springs, a waterproof camera will always be at your back.
How to Take Good Photos While Traveling?
Photography is a skill that is developed by capturing photos maintaining some core rules. Here are some tips to take good pictures while traveling.
- Choose a colorful background
- Maintain contrast with composition
- Play with different angles to find the best
- Shoot in aperture mode
- Maintain white balance
- Create perspective while capturing landscape
- Look for the appropriate light
If you need more suggestions, 10 ways to take good photos while traveling might be helpful.
How to Conserve Battery While Travelling?
While going outside, you need to make sure the battery is full. Otherwise, there’s no use of carrying a camera. However, many face difficulty with fast battery draining. Here are a few tips for you:
- Turn off all wireless connections.
- Turn off stabilization
- Keep the LCD in low brightness.
- Turn off image review.
- Turn off automatic sensor cleaning.
- Shut down the camera in between shots
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the difference between manual and auto mode?
The camera determines optimum shutter speed, aperture, and ISO with preset values in automatic exposure mode. You have the flexibility to control them in manual mode.
Is Nikon or Canon better?
Both brands are quite good for quality images. It's better to compare each camera separately irrespective of brands.
What is a good inexpensive camera for travelling?
As a travel enthusiast, Nikon COOLPIX B500 is the best option for you. If you love to adventure REMALI CaptureCam is waiting for you.
Traveling heals monotony and refreshes everyone. You must be wanting to keep memories of the travel for a long time. Owning a travel camera can be really handy in your travel time. Our article should help you to choose the best budget camera for travelling.