by Andrew Lisa
The 10 Best Cameras for Summer Travel
Check out the best digital cameras for summer travel photography. SpecOut compiled this list of the 10 best digital cameras based on weight, price, megapixels and HD video capabilities.
From graduations and senior trips to vacations and backyard barbecues, summer is the time when memories are made -- and recorded. The best cameras for summer travel are light, functional and, of course, affordable. Most of today's smartphones have good cameras, but there is no comparison to the quality that can only come from a dedicated, stand-alone camera.
Experts at SpecOut, a consumer tech research group assembled this list of the top 10 cameras that are perfect for summer travel and ranked them according to their Smart Rating. The Smart Rating is a weighted average of the camera features and ratings from three digital camera experts: DPreview.com, PC Magazine and CNET.
To be included in the list, all cameras had to weigh less than 24 ounces (1.5 pounds) and provide resolution greater than 12 megapixels -- better than the best iPhone camera quality on the market. They also needed to be capable of shooting high-definition video and -- since vacationers are prone to losing or damaging cameras -- cost less than $2,000.
Researchers did discover a trend while compiling the best cameras: Mirrorless and point-and-shoot cameras dominate the list due to their wide functionality and light weight, making them great for summer travel.
10. Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera
Camera Rating: 96.62, Camera Type: Point and Shoot
This point-and-shoot camera has a crisp, f/2.8 aperture lens that produces an impressive super zoom. It features a fast 1/20000-second shutter, which makes it perfect for action photography.
Perfect for travelers, the Panasonic LUMIX Digital Camera DC-FZ80K brings the legendary optical performance of a super-long 60X (20-1200mm) DC VARIO lens with amazingly stable O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) to a highly portable point-and-shoot travel camera. With a powerful 18.1-megapixel MOS sensor, the LUMIX DC VARIO camera lens features a super bright F2.8-5.9 aperture range that is optically stabilized with Panasonic's POWER O.I.S. technology to add striking depth of field dimension to your photographs even in low-light conditions. The high-resolution power of 4K video technology captures up to 4X the resolution (3840 x 2160) of standard Full HD, enabling you to create printable photos with 4K PHOTO's blistering 30 frames per second burst feature. Post Focus and Focus Stacking provide for additional creative freedom by allowing you to change depth of field or focus points after you take the picture. The LUMIX FZ80 perfectly fits in your hand with an ergonomic grip while its rear touch-enabled 3-inch LCD display and high resolution 1,170K-dot viewfinder remain clear even in bright sunlight. Convenient travel-ready technologies like USB charging and Wi-Fi connectivity to your mobile device make the LUMIX DC-FZ80K a digital camera that everyone can enjoy.
9. Sony DSC-RX100 IV Digital Camera
Camera Rating: 96.91, Camera Type: Point and Shoot
This advanced compact has some of the best video capabilities in its class. Sony's DSC-RX100 IV Digital Camera is pricey for its category but this Sony Digital Camera takes amazing pictures thanks to its 21 megapixel image resolution.
Inside Sony's compact RX100 IV digital camera is a 1-inch stacked back-side illuminated Exmor RS CMOS sensor -- a remarkable advance in image shooting possibilities. Use it to reveal the wonders of up to 40x super slow motion, super-high-speed 1/32000 sec. Anti-Distortion Shutter, and handy 4K movies.
8. Fujifilm X-Pro2 Digital Camera
Camera Rating: 96.95, Camera Type: Mirrorless
The Fujifilm X-Pro2 Digital Camera boasts 24.3 megapixels -- more than the average mirrorless camera -- and has 110 minutes of video battery life, making this a fantastic camera for summer vacations.
The FUJIFILM X-Pro2 takes X-Series digital camera performance to new heights. The new 24MP X-Trans CMOS III image sensor and high performance X Processor Pro image processing engine dramatically improve image quality. The Advanced Hybrid Viewfinder is capable of instantly switching between optical and electronic viewfinders. Fast focal plane shutter and intelligent Hybrid Phase detection take performance a step further. Plus, there's a new weather resistant rugged body and dual SD memory card slots to fulfill the wishes of every pro photographer. By combining these features with the ultra-high image quality of FUJINON X-Mount lenses and FUJIFILM's renowned color reproduction technology, the X-Pro2 delivers the best ever results from an X-series camera.
Amazon: Fujifilm X-Pro2 Digital Camera
7. Sony Alpha a6300 Digital Camera
Camera Rating: 97.51, Camera Type: Mirrorless
Fluid shooting and a ton of features makes this an ideal choice for advanced photographers. It has a small body, a high-end 24MP APS-C sensor and an oversized viewfinder for taking high-quality images.
Sony's Alpha a6300 Digital Camera offers fast autofocus speed, the most extensive autofocus coverage plus high resolution 4K video recording.
Amazon: Sony Alpha a6300 Digital Camera
6. Fujifilm X-T100 Digital Camera
Camera Rating: 97.6, Camera Type: Mirrorless
Fujifilm's X-T100 Digital Camera 24.2-megapixel, X-Trans sensor produces excellent images. Its shooting design is more streamlined than its predecessor, thanks to an updated viewfinder.
Sporting a sleek and stylish design, Fujifilm's mirrorless X-T100 digital camera offers a host of features including a high magnification electronic viewfinder, a horizontal tilting rear LCD screen, the latest built-in Bluetooth technology for easy and seamless image transfer and an extended battery life, with up to 430 frames possible per charge. In addition, the x-t100 weighs just 448G with anodized coating on aluminum top cover, delivering a simultaneously retro and Luxury feel. The x-t100 boasts a powerful 24.2 Megapixel APS-C size sensor and is equipped with a Phase detection autofocus system featuring a newly developed autofocus algorithm for super-fast and precise focusing. Combined with Fujifilm's renowned outstanding image quality with the company's proprietary color reproduction technology, the x-t100 is stylish, portable, and highly versatile -- making it the ideal companion for everyday photography.
Amazon: Fujifilm X-T100 Digital Camera
5. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Digital Camera
Camera Rating: 97.77, Camera Type: Mirrorless
One of the best Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras available today, this Olympus digital comes with a versatile lens kit. It is fully weather-sealed and features an industry-leading stabilization system.
The new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Digital Camera features the most sophisticated image stabilization technology ever offered in an interchangeable lens camera.* The ultra-sensitive 5-axis VCM (voice coil motor) system is so responsive and accurate, you can shoot sharp images in low light and capture silky smooth video, hand-held without a tripod. The E-M5 Mark II is also a bring-it-anywhere portable system camera that is nearly 40% lighter than conventional DSLR's and its durable all metal body is sealed for splashproof, dustproof and freezeproof protection.
4. Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera
Camera Rating: 97.79, Camera Type: DSLR
Live view and movie-mode autofocus are two leading features of Canon's flagship digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR). The Canon EOS 70D has a good-sized sensor and takes amazing images with 20.2 megapixel resolution.
Canon's EOS 70D 20.2MP Digital SLR Camera Body plus EF-S 18-55mm IS STM Standard Zoom Lens features an APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+ image processor to ensure high-resolution images and excellent low-light sensitivity. Both the sensor and processor work together to produce well-detailed, clear imagery that exhibits natural tonality and color gradations with minimal noise when working in difficult lighting conditions. The processor also provides notable speed throughout the camera system, including the ability to record up to 7 fps in full-resolution, quickened AF speeds, and full HD 1080p video recording. The 3.0-inch Clear View II touchscreen LCD monitor profits greatly from the advent Dual Pixel CMOS AF system and its ability to utilize Touch AF focusing for finely controlled selection of the point of focus. The monitor's vari-angle design also enables more efficient shooting and viewing from both high and low angles and an anti-reflective, smudge-resistant coating allows for clear well-detailed viewing. The included 18-55mm IS STM standard zoom lens features the optics, AF and image stabilization necessary for shooting in any number of situations.
Amazon: Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera
3. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II 4K Digital Camera
Camera Rating: 98.15, Camera Type: Mirrorless
This top-of-the-line Olympus model fills the space between traditional DSLR and Micro Four Thirds cameras. It is bursting with high-end features, and it takes excellent images, even in low light.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II 4K Digital Camera is an advanced system of innovative technology and features designed to forever change your photography: up to 18 frames per second sequential shooting with precision C-AF Tracking, 121 Cross-Type On-Chip Phase Detection AF points, up to 5.5 shutter speed steps of compensation with powerful in-body image stabilization, plus a 50MP High-Res Shot Mode. It's all enclosed in a lightweight magnesium alloy weatherproof body. Paired with the superior resolution of Olympus M.Zuiko PRO lenses, the E-M1 Mark II will deliver brilliant imagery that's coveted by professionals everywhere.
2. Canon PowerShot G5 X Digital Camera
Camera Rating: 98.26, Camera Type: Point and Shoot
Although the Canon Powershot G5 X makes it easy to compose stunning images in bright light, it is a bit sluggish and its battery life leaves something to be desired. On the bright side, its 20.2 megapixels create ultra-high resolution images.
The first PowerShot G-Series camera to incorporate a full-featured 2.36 million dot electronic viewfinder, the amazing Canon PowerShot G5 X Camera makes it simple to compose, set and capture high-quality stills and video without taking your eye away from the camera. For photography in the glare of bright sunlight, recording HD Video in an auditorium and other situations where the lighting is difficult or using the LCD monitor is inconvenient, the PowerShot G5 X's electronic viewfinder helps enable unfettered operation. Full control is made simple with dedicated dials situated around the camera that let you easily customize and control the settings. What's more, helpful features like a built-in accessory hot shoe and a multi-angle, capacitive touch screen monitor serve to create an experience as unique as the subject being recorded. With its phenomenal and large imaging sensor, its marvelous electronic viewfinder and comprehensive operation, the PowerShot G5 X can deliver performance that's easy to see.FEATURES: 1.0-inch, 20.2 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS Sensor - At the heart of the PowerShot G5 X camera is a brilliant 1.0-inch 20.2 Megapixel High-Sensitivity CMOS sensor. Physically larger than the sensors found in most compact cameras, the PowerShot G5 X's sensor works in tandem with Canon's DIGIC 6 Image Processor to quickly deliver gorgeous, high-resolution images with nuanced details, plus impressive low-light performance with a low signal-to-noise ratio and minimal noise and distortion. Suitable for tremendous enlargements, significant cropping and many other applications appealing to the advanced photographer, images and video captured on the PowerShot G5 X's sensor are engineered to impress even the most critical eye.
1. Sony Alpha a6000 Digital Camera
Camera Rating: 100, Camera Type: Mirrorless
Sony's mirrorless compact digital camera is perfect for advanced photographers who want something smaller than a DSLR. Lauded for its speed, image quality and instant focus, the Alpha a6000 earns a Smart Rating of 100.
The compact, lightweight Sony Alpha a6000 Digital Camera delivers superb image quality via a newly developed 24.3-effective-megapixel (approx.) Exmor APS HD CMOS sensor and BIONZ X image processing engine as well as highly intuitive operation thanks to an OLED Tru-Finder and two operation dials.