Travel cameras: Compact options for artists and designers on the go

Looking for a small and portable camera with excellent photography skills? Check out our curated collection of the best compacts.

Image licensed via Adobe Stock

Image licensed via Adobe Stock

When you're constantly on the move, exploring cityscapes and travelling abroad, you want to make the most of your experiences. After all, as the pandemic proved, seeing the world is a luxury that could be taken away at any moment. So you don't want to miss the chance to capture memories that will last a lifetime.

If you take your photography seriously, then just using your phone won't really cut it. But you don't want to be lugging around a huge and cumbersome DSLR, either. In that case, a dedicated compact camera offers the perfect sweet spot between portability, versatility, and overall image quality.

That said, the best compacts do tend to cost the most. So, to help you keep your costs down, we've included links to our favourite second-hand site, MPB. That way, you can get a quality shooter for less; plus, every piece of kit is inspected carefully by MPB's product specialists and comes with a six-month warranty to give you that peace of mind you need.

Whether it's capturing the vibrant life of a city break or the serene landscapes abroad, a reliable compact ensures no moment is lost. So, our guide brings together some of the best on the market, tailored for various budgets.

1. Ricoh GR III

Looking for a lightweight, compact camera for street and/or travel photography? The Ricoh GR III is a great choice owing to its portability, fast lens, and responsive autofocus system.

It comes with a fixed 28mm equivalent wide-angle lens and a large 24MP APS-C sensor and incorporates sensor-shift stabilisation and dust removal. This makes it easy to capture highly detailed images with excellent colour reproduction across the entire ISO range. It's nice and pocketable, too, with a compact and slim body design. Its fast hybrid autofocus and quick 0.8-second startup time mean you're less likely to miss that magical moment on your travels.

Its 6cm macro mode with 0.35x magnification means it's great for capturing detailed close-ups, and the intuitive touchscreen operation features an outdoor viewing mode for easy visibility in sunlight. Overall, this is a strong option for photographers who prioritise portability and are fine with a fixed lens setup.

[Ricoh GR III](

Ricoh GR III

2. Sony RX100 VII

Here's another strong choice for travellers: the Sony RX100 VII. It is versatile and compact and known for its excellent autofocus and dynamic range.

It may be small, but it still manages to pack in an impressive array of advanced features. These include a 20MP 1-inch sensor, 24-200mm equivalent f/2.8-4.5 zoom lens, and speedy 20fps burst shooting up to 90fps.

You also get high-end 4K video capabilities with the latest autofocus technologies, including real-time tracking and eye AF for humans and animals. Overall, this is a great option for travellers seeking a powerful all-rounder that's easy to carry.

[Sony RX100 VII](

Sony RX100 VII

3. Leica Q2

Have money to spend? Here's a premium model that delivers everything you need, from a compact camera and more.

The Leica Q2 features a 47.3 MP full-frame sensor and an integrated 28mm f/1.7 Summilux lens. You also get weather-sealing to the IP52 standard, and autofocus performance is lightning-fast, with a wide range of modes, including face detection. Plus, it can shoot at a blistering 20fps with the electronic shutter.

Elsewhere, 4K video recording is offered at up to 30fps, and the fixed 3-inch LCD is touch-enabled for easier operation. Connectivity includes Bluetooth and WiFi with smartphone app control. Despite its compact size, the Q2 provides a fully manual shooting experience akin to Leica's renowned rangefinders.

[Leica Q2](

Leica Q2

4. Fujifilm X100V

Enthusiast photographers and Fujifilm fans alike will love the Fujifilm X100V, the fifth iteration of Fujifilm's classic compact camera with a fixed 23mm f/2 lens. It features a 26.1MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor, a tilting touchscreen display for easier shooting at odd angles, excellent autofocus performance, and 4K video recording capabilities.

Sporting a sleek, pocketable body design with an aluminum top and bottom plate, the camera has physical dials for key settings like shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. The hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder allows switching between an unobstructed optical view and a detailed electronic view.

In short, this is a great choice if you're seeking excellent image quality, impressive video features, and vintage aesthetics.

[Fujifilm X100V](

Fujifilm X100V

5. Panasonic DMC-TZ200

If options 1-4 on our list are too pricey, here's our top budget option. The 15x optical zoom lens (24-360mm equivalent) allows you to capture everything from landscapes to portraits and zoom in on distant subjects while on the go. And its large 1-inch 20.1MP sensor provides image quality superior to most budget compacts.

It's well-built, with an aluminium body, and has a good blend of automatic and manual controls for both point-and-shoot ease and creative freedom. The tilting LCD screen makes composing at different angles easy. And this camera can shoot 4K video at 30fps and extract 8MP stills from 4K footage. The 5-axis image stabilisation, meanwhile, supports handheld shooting.

Overall, its powerful zoom range, large sensor and blend of automatic and advanced controls allow you to capture high-quality memories wherever your travels take you.

[Panasonic DMC-TZ200](

Panasonic DMC-TZ200


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