The best travel camera in 2024: compact and portable cameras to take anywhere

Fujifilm X-S20 digital camera
(Image credit: Gareth Bevan / Digital Camera World)

The best travel cameras have to do one crucial thing: be better than your phone. That means the best travel cameras need to combine compactness with image quality, advanced features with simple operation, and ideally the ability to share your holiday photos and vacation videos fast. 

Even though the best camera phones can produce great images, you just don't get the same quality as you would if shooting with one of the best point-and-shoots or best mirrorless cameras. Smartphones are restricted by smaller sensors offering lower still and video quality, reduced low light performance, and minimal control over depth of field (for those blurry backgrounds). 

Gareth Bevan headshot
Gareth Bevan

Gareth is the Reviews Editor at Digital Camera World, and the person in charge of approving all the latest camera-related tech. He never misses an opportunity to travel, or an excuse to take photos while traveling, so is best placed to judge what are the best travel cameras for all sorts of different vacations and adventures.

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Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

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FeaturesBig 40MP sensor, improved AF an IBIS makes this one heck of a good compact camera for traveling★★★★★
DesignNot much has changed from the X100V, but this is still a stunning travel camera to turn a few heads★★★★★
PerformanceThe images from the 40MP sensor are stunning, especially combined with Film Simulations. Video is also great, but there are better options★★★★★
ValueEverything about this camera is premium including the price. There are cameras of similar capabilities for less, although with less style ★★★★
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FeaturesNot the newest model, but the only full frame sensor on this list still offers enough spec for great photo and video★★★★★
DesignIt's compact and lightweight size makes it an excellent option for travel, although can be front heavy with big lenses★★★★★
Performance24MP stills, and 4K video supported by a great autofocus system, it still has specs to keep up with todays cameras★★★★★
ValueThe best value full-frame camera with an extensive range of affordable first and third-party lenses★★★★★
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FeaturesEasy to use with good stills and video quality, but autofocus is a lets down, as is the lack of IBIS★★★★
DesignIncredibly compact and easy to use, especially for beginners, comes with a flipping screen for selfies and vlogging★★★★★
PerformanceWhile image quality is great, the camera uses older autofocus which is a bit hit-and-miss compared to modern rivals★★★★
ValueThe best value camera on this list, despite its few flaws it offers excellent value that more than make up for shortcomings★★★★★
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FeaturesBest of both worlds with a 24MP sensor and 6.2K open gate video, backed up with some much improved AF★★★★★
DesignThis is a small and lightweight camera, which paired with Fuji's small lenses is a breeze to carry while traveling★★★★★
PerformanceThe video performance is exceptional for a camera of this price, photos are also excellent, especially paired with film simulations★★★★★
ValueWhile other Fuji cameras have more megapixels, the X-S20 strikes a very good performance-value balance★★★★★
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FeaturesSnappy autofocus, 4K video and 20MP stills, and the MFT sensor provides extra reach for getting closer to subjects★★★★
DesignTiny body makes this an excellent travel camera to slip into a pocket or bag, the lenses are also small so you can pack a few★★★★★
PerformanceThe 20MP might be a little small by todays standards, but the image and video quality are still superb for social media, and autofocus is very reliable★★★★★
ValueExcellent value for the features with no premium for the pretty retro design and build of the camera★★★★★
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FeaturesRugged waterproof camera that offers a bigger sensor for still images, especially in low light, and its zoom lens gives plenty of versatility★★★★
DesignCompact, rugged, and waterproof, too big for an action camera, but built for photography with easy physical controls★★★★★
PerformanceGreat stills quality, even if 12MP is very conservative, the clever macro modes are a joy though★★★★
ValueNot much more than the best action cams, this is a the camera to buy if top quality stills in challenging locations are your thing★★★★★
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FeaturesWaterproof and rugged with all the action camera mainstays like 4K video, stabilization, hyperlapse modes, and stills★★★★★
DesignVery well built and premium feeling waterproof design with a touch screen on the back and front★★★★★
PerformanceThe stabilized quality of the 4K video is outstanding, especially in low light, but the 10MP photo mode is a bit of a letdown★★★★
ValueThe debate will rage on, but going toe-to-toe with GoPro the DJI comes out as the more affordable of the two★★★★★
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FeaturesIncredible 360º views of your travels with some great stabilization, and easy connectivity makes getting your videos a snap★★★★★
DesignEasy to use design that plays nicely with lots of accessories for mounting in different ways, the exposed lenses were a concern though★★★★★
PerformanceImpressive 360º video with the capability to readjust the view afterward, although 5.7K doesn't give much resolution for pros ★★★★
ValueNot hugely expensive and offering good value on rivals, although a premium product if you only want to dabble in 360º★★★★★
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FeaturesGenerally fantastic video quality, but for vlogging and video the inbuilt stereo mics are outstanding★★★★
DesignThe camera is very compact, has a vari-angle screen and works with a huge array of E-mount lenses★★★★
PerformanceGreat video quality, but it is the audio quality that stands out and saves having to carry external microphones while traveling★★★★
ValueA very affordable way to take your video and vlogs to a level beyond your phone, although require buying a lens too★★★★★
Gareth Bevan
Reviews Editor

Gareth is a photographer based in London, working as a freelance photographer and videographer for the past several years, having the privilege to shoot for some household names. With work focusing on fashion, portrait and lifestyle content creation, he has developed a range of skills covering everything from editorial shoots to social media videos. Outside of work, he has a personal passion for travel and nature photography, with a devotion to sustainability and environmental causes.

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