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What's a good compact budget camera for travel photos?

I will be traveling for four weeks in April to Iceland and many parts of Europe and after seeing so many beautiful landscape photos of Iceland, I realize my phone camera just won't cut it.  This trip is already maxing my budget, but if anyone has a good recomendation for an affordable compact digital camera that would be great for traveling, please let me know. Thank you.

22 Answers

top answer by
Ross from Fort Collins

My Go Pro H4 has changed my life, you do have to buy the LCD screen to use it as a camera but it's nice having the most bullit proof waterproof camera ever. There's a reson top gear and national geographic use them!

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answered by

Definitely the Sony RX100 III.  It's still pocketable & has an amazing 1" sensor which means indoor shots without flash look amazing. Some photos w/ 1.8 aperture look like they came from an SLR. Reviews of it are off the chart.

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answered first by
Justin from Phoenix

The Fuji XP-200 is a great compact camera. It's also very durable like all the XP series. It's waterproof to 50 feet and resists shock and extreme temperatures. It also has a flat bottom, which is very nice for improvising without a tripod. The image quality is decent - not quite up to a DSLR, of course, but a huge leap above a camera phone. The controls are pretty straightforward, too. It's what I use as a backup to my Pentax K-50.

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answered by
Claus from Holte

Canon G16. Small, but perfect quality. Also HD video. I did this video on it 


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answered by
Rick from Denver

I love my Olympus Tough TG-850 for travel and adventure. It took lots of abuse for over three years in Hawaii. Consider it!

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answered by
Brian from Portland

I'm a photographer and have used many different types of camera. My advice is to buy the one you will use. A lot of people think they need a DSLR for great images but it's so big and bulky they end up leaving it in the hotel room most of the time. My suggestion is something compact like the RX100 and if you have time, definitely shop on BH Photos or Adorama. You can get good deals there and even return it within 30 days if you don't like it. Make sure you play with it and know how to use it before your trip and bring an extra battery :) 

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answered by
Rona from New York City

You will get lots of suggestions as people will recommend the camera they have. (even the Canon 6D which is very far from an affordable or compact camera). Fact is, the cameras from known brands such as Sony, canon and Nikon are all excellent. Unless you plan on enlarging your photos to 20x30 or more, don't get hung up on how many megapixels it has as they all have much more than you will need or notice. they all also have many more features than you need, so you are fine staying with the low end.

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answered by
Zach from Philadelphia

Consider a camera with wifi built in. I have the canon 6d, which is a pricier dslr but it has wifi and having the camera connect with my smartphone and being able to upload pictures to social media on the fly without a computer is great. The canon s110 comes to mind in terms of a compact camera with wifi. Someone else mentioned the gopro and that has wifi to connect to your smartphone too. 

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answered by
Sandra from McMinnville (Oregon)

I am in love with my Nikon Coolpix S5200. It is nice and small enough to slip into a pants pocket or a small purse. Yet it also has amazing zoom and so many features to help you capture as much as is possible. 

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answered by
Jon from Madison

I have the Nilon CoolPix P330, takes fabulous photos and supports RAW capture. Lens is very nice and fast. 


It's not the fastest, nor does it have a long lens, but for landscapes it's lovely. GPS is dog slow and inaccurate (especially compared to a phone).

2 thanks

answered by
Rama from Singapore

Well, i own a SONY NEX-5R and a GoPro 3+ Black, so they satisfied my need of taking good quality photos, so a Mirrorles digital camera should do the trick, not as pricey as a DSLR, but still have competitive results :) SONY, Nikon, Olympus, or Fuji have some cool stuff..

2 thanks

answered by
Jacqui from London

Hi Sunny!  

We have a Canon Powershot G15. It is no longer available, but the Canon Powershot G16 is almost exactly the same as it is the preceding model. 

Both cameras are a "bridging camera" which means it is between a small point and shoot and a bigger DSLR. I wanted a DSLR to get into photography and did quite a bit of research before I purchased, but I decided on this one because I do not yet have the skills for a DSLR and I liked how easy the G15 was to use, also the weight (its very small and lightweight for travelling) and the price. I also did a lot of research on Nikkon V Canon, but decided that a Canon was for me. 

I found that it is very fast to turn on and shoot straight away, where as previous point and shoot cameras I had owned (Olympus Tough and a Panasonic) were much slower. This was quite important to me since I find when travelling and on tours there are plenty of things to take photos of before they pass you by. 

I love the size and wight. It is very easy to sling over your shoulder or fit in my handbag. It could almost fit in my pocket, without the soft case. Even though it is lightweight it is very sturdy. 

It does not have a swivel screen or a touch screen, but I prefer the fixed screen. 

The Powershot G16 has 20% better quality photos and I probably would have purchased it had it not been a little above my budget. It is still brilliant value for money and I highly recommend it! 

I have not found any problems or issues as yet. I am still learning how to use the manual and panorama functions, but the Auto and Scene selections are very good features. 

You can check out some photos I have taken this year: & 

These two reviews really helped me make my decision:


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answered by
Zachary from New York City

Cannon powershot ELPH 115-150 won't break the bank, beautiful point and shoot, enough mega pixels to tweak the size of the photos once on your laptop, phone etc. just slip the sd card into your phone to transfer photos if you have a smartphone, or if you have an iPhone you will need an adapter. I hope this helped!

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answered by
SC from Petaling Jaya

You might want to look into Panasonic's LUMIX range? One of the cons is that some (if not all) use a proprietary battery. So, scratch that. 

Nikon has some affordable, easy to use digital cameras that you can use AA batteries for. 

It all comes down to your priorities: what do you want your camera to do? Otherwise, any old camera that fits your budget would work. Or borrow one from friends or family members, like someone else suggested. 

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answered by
Travis from Traverse City, Michigan

Do you have a friend or relative that would let you borrow their camera? A good one is probably going to be over $300 unless you buy used or rent online. I feel like with smartphones no one uses their digital cameras anymore so I bet someone has one laying around! The only caveat about this is if it is a really nice one I wouldn't want to be nervous about breaking it. Don't take a dslr or larger camera unless you're on a mission for photos.  I would look for an ultra compact camera with retractable zoom (so you can fit it in your pocket without a hassle) and agree with Zach's recommendation of getting something with wifi so you can post pics on the go / backup to dropbox.

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answered by
Jacey & Scott from Fort Collins

We have an awesome camera:  pentax WG-III.  It is droppable up to 6.5 feet, crushproof up to 220 lbs, waterproof up to 45 feet and cold proof up to 14F.  Has tons of easy to figure out options (with description so you don't have to memorize the icons), can stitch together 2 or 3 photos into a normal size print (so you don't have to have special prints for those wide photos anymore) and can video too.  We love it!

1 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Keith from Bowness-on-Windermere

That's a difficult one to answer ... rather like me bragging a Renault against whatever you drive. Best advice is go to a reputable dealer and say what you want the camera to do, what you're going to do with the pix, and how much you want to pay, then ask to see a selecting. Handle them all, and see which feels right, and seems easiest to operate.

Hope this helps. Keith

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answered by
Chh from Kathmandu

Try Fuji X100s.

answered by
Peter from Bloomington (Indiana)

We've gotten great results from a Fuji FinePix F770 EXR. Very light weight, excellent zoom, outstanding for macro pictures (e.g., flowers or small architectural details). It's very good in relatively low light. That matters in museums and cathedrals where you can't use flash. Of course, we bought this a couple of years ago and cameras come and go, but we've been very satisfied.

answered by
cao from Paris

If you need only a souvenir photo , almost all the compact cameras can satisfy it. Today, a lot of good compact cameras are selling under 100 us dollars. Choose a famous brand like Canon, Nikon ,Samsung, Pentax, Panasonic, Fuji and from 8 mega pixels or more is ok. 

answered by
Irene from Pretoria

You can't go wrong with a Sony Cybershot, if they still make them.

answered by
Ashley from Calgary

2 weeks shy of crossing paths! Thanks for this post, I'm interested in the answer as well!

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