Authored by George Minton
With travel photography becoming increasingly popular, a good quality camera is now a necessity for most travelers. But the biggest question is, what kind of camera should we use?
For years, a DSLR camera was everyone’s go-to. But technology evolves, and there’s a growing trend among travelers today to go the mirrorless route.
Keeping up pace with bulkier and older DSLRs, mirrorless cameras use the latest technology to produce high quality images in smaller bodies. It’s called mirrorless because the cameras are designed not to have an optical mirror in front of the sensor, which is common in DSLR cameras. Instead, it uses a digital display system, or an electronic viewfinder.
This is particularly useful for beginner photographers, as being able to see how shutter speed, aperture and ISO affect your photograph in ‘real time’ is really useful in understanding the components of exposure.
So if you’re planning to switch your DSLR to a mirrorless camera, or you’re looking for your first camera to start with, here are 6 mirrorless cameras that you can try.
Top 6 Mirrorless Cameras for Travel Photography
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
Are you the type of travel photographer who loves diving underwater to capture its beautiful wildlife? If yes, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II is one of the best cameras for you.
This camera really stands out for its shooting speed which can shoot 18fps in C-AF Tracking mode and 60fps in S-AF mode.
“Combine that with one of the most advanced autofocus systems we’ve seen and 5-axis in-body image stabilization – along with what made the original so impressive – and the Mark II is a force to be reckoned with.“
For another great Olympus camera, check out this Olympus Pen E PL6 review.
Sony Alpha A7R II
The Sony Alpha A7R II offers faster performance and excellent video options than previous models. This isn’t surprising since Sony A7 series cameras are equipped with smaller and lightweight system to create high-resolution photographs.
But Sony made A7R II more special by making it the first camera that features a full-frame back side illuminated (BSI) sensor. This technology dramatically improves image quality in the following way:
“Imagine if you wore eyeglasses that were crisscrossed with braces that kept the lenses in place. You’d be able to see, but some of what ought to come through the lenses would be obstructed, and the overall image would be dimmer. In a way, most camera imaging sensors included in cameras and camcorders do the same thing; they include small electronic parts that block some of the light coming through your camera lens. BSI is meant to correct this.”
The A7R II is a reliable gear to use if you love capturing architectural design and landscapes. ➡ View on Amazon.
Sony Alpha a6500
When it comes to photographing fast action subjects, the Sony Alpha a6500 gets the attention of most photographers.
Alpha a6500 is Sony’s top tier APS-C mirrorless camera that offers 5-axis in-body image stabilization, 7.5 cm touchscreen operation and high-speed burst rate.
Remember one thing though – the more photos you take, the less present you are in the moment… not to mention, the more photos you’ll have to ‘cull’ through later!
Aside from impressively-fast autofocus, the focus on the Sony a6500 is no slouch either, using contrast-detection and something called Spatial Object Detection to achieve autofocus speeds of 0.06 seconds – definitely among the fastest performance of any camera.
This is one of the smallest mirrorless cameras on the market, but it’s also one of the toughest. It’s made from a weather-sealed and durable magnesium alloy and features a deep grip for a solid hold.
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8
When GX8 was launched, the first question most consumers asked was “what’s its difference from the previous one?” Well, GX8 may be following up with GX7 popularity but it definitely has new features to watch out for.
One of the improved features is its megapixels sensor. GX8 is the first Micro Four Thirds camera that has 20MP (previous Four Thirds MOS sensor models only have 16MP) which is great for shooting street photography.
The camera has also received a big upgrade in the autofocus department, and gained 4K (UHD) video capture. Its speed and subject tracking is impressive, and while bulkier than the previous GX7, build quality has increased and the camera is now splash and dust resistant.
The Fujifilm X-T20 is a modern camera that has a retro-look. Its body is designed with the old fashioned dials and switches on top, and toggles on the back.
If you want to experience the old-fashioned way of taking pictures, X-T20 is one of the best options. But of course, it’s more than just a pretty camera; its features (e.g. 325-point autofocus system and Multiple Exposure modes in the dial options) are advantageous for shooting events or in the studio.
The camera uses a 24MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor, which delivers gorgeous, vibrant, clean and crisp images that rival even the best dSLR cameras. It offers a speedy start-up, meaning that as soon as you turn the camera on it’s ready to shoot.
Autofocus speeds are also excellent, and there’s very little shutter lag time or shot-to-shot delay. All this means that this camera won’t get in the way of you capturing your shot. If you want to invest in your photography, the Fujifilm X-T20 really is a great travel camera.
Canon EOS M5
Powerful and fast – this is the Canon EOS M5. This is Canon’s best mirrorless camera, and a promising choice for travel photography. It is a 24MP mirrorless camera built around a Dual Pixel APS-C sensor, giving it depth-aware focus across most of the frame.
It has an excellent electronic viewfinder, with a well implemented touchscreen, and offers a more efficient shooting experience with a shorter startup and interval time in between each image capture than other cameras. It is very approachable and easy to use, and offers a lot of external control for those who want to take more hands-on control of the shooting experience.
Not to mention it has Dual Pixel CMOS AF system that helps photographers to capture stills and shoot video with fast and precise autofocus that remain locked onto the photographers’ subject.
If none of these mirrorless cameras satisfy you, you can check Cameraseals for more great camera options for travel photography.
Alternatively, for comprehensive buying guides and reviews of the best mirrorless cameras on the market today, take a look at Shotkit, as there is plenty of information available to help you know what to buy.
OTHER CAMERA GEAR WE RECOMMEND. CLICK PHOTO ↓