Reader Advice: Best Camera for Trip Pictures?

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I need readers’ advice! I currently take all my trip pictures with my Galaxy S4 — many turn out amazing but alot do not.

I’ve been trying to improve the quality of photos in my trip reports and thinking it might be time to upgrade my camera. Particularly when it comes to taking low-light photos and quick shots where I’m trying to be unobtrusive in public areas (not necessarily selfies).

Would love to do something at a professional level, but currently don’t have the funds or the space in my carry on. Not to mention it would be a dead giveaway in airport lounges. So I’m hoping to find something reasonably priced that can easily fit in a hand or pocket. The ideal would be a different phone, but I’m very open. I’m in the midst of wading through online reviews, but actual user experience is so much more helpful.

Recommendations for what to consider and what to avoid?

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  1. Chris Reardon

    December 1, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    How about a mirrorless SLR?

  2. Ben

    December 1, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    I’m a big fan of the Sony RX100. It’s not cheap, but it takes fantastic photos and is small enough to fit in a pocket, or small purse.

  3. Lucas Guterres

    December 1, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    Hey Keri! I always travel with my GoPro 4 and a Canon 60D, which is an amazing camera, but I’ve been in some embarrassing situations (plus I’m extra shy) because of it’s size and sounds of an analog camera (click click), so I’ve been researching a lot about a smaller camera but with top quality (for it’s type). There are two cameras that got my attention: Fuji X100S, which has top quality but the downside is a fixed lens (23mm). The other one is the Canon G5X, which seems pretty darn good. I’m coming to the US next week and will probably buy this last one. If you have any other suggestions, let me know, and safe travels! 🙂

  4. Rxgeek

    December 1, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    I have the mirrorless Sony A6000 and love it.

  5. Shane

    December 1, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I use a Sony A6000 for my travels. It’s a fantastic camera with amazing potential. I’d stick with the 16-50mm kit lens for now. Since it is an interchangeable mirrorless lens camera, you can buy better/more lenses as you grow as a photographer and your budget allows.

  6. Travel Griz

    December 1, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    I just picked up the Sony A5100. Nearly identical to the A6000 mentioned above. A5100 has a touchscreen and the A6000 has an electronic viewfinder are the main differences.

  7. Karen Choulat Harrell

    December 2, 2015 at 12:01 am

    I’ll preface by saying not cheap, but I LOVE me Sony RX100 III. Small, great features, and I’m actually thinking about selling my large DSLR because I’m getting excellent, comparable photos with the Sony.

  8. Pam

    December 2, 2015 at 4:15 am

    I’m a professional photographer and I specialize in resorts, cruises, travel. You get what you pay for in a camera. I’d actually suggest looking at the Canon Rebel with a decent low f stop lens. I shoot Canon 5D Mark ll and Mark lll, Hasselblad and yes, iPhone 6 Plus. A Rebel is not inconspicuous but it’s a good quality prosumer starter camera. Where a DSLR helps in in the ability to capture selective focus in your depth of field, allowing backgrounds to go soft while your focus elements pop.

  9. James

    December 2, 2015 at 5:06 am

    First I would invest in a dictionary. A lot is two words.

  10. Evan

    December 2, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Sony RX100. Just took it on my first trip (Al Maha, Park Hyatt Maldives, Singapore) and the pictures are fantastic. Photogenic places for sure so I was pleasantly surprised at how well it captured the scenery. Highly recommend it.

  11. M2dc

    December 3, 2015 at 2:52 am

    I bought an Olympus SH-2 in August for travel and I love it! Amazing zooming ability, great in low light. Also small and lightweight and feels right in my hand. Make sure you go to a camera store and actually try it before you buy it since I almost spent 2x as much for a camera I would have really disliked.

  12. Laura H.

    December 3, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    I have a Sony RX100 and love it. It takes excellent quality images and is small enough to carry everywhere.

  13. continuum

    December 13, 2015 at 8:00 pm

    If a MILC like the Sony A6000 (or it’s slightly lower end sibling, the A5100) is too bulky, the Panasonic GM1 or newer GM5 might be worth a look. Adding a pancake lens (for the Panasonics, the 20/1.7 is quite good) helps with bulk.

    If those are still too bulky, the Sony RX100 series is excellent but pricey. The RX100 IV is the way to go but the slightly older and cheaper RX100 III is still excellent. The Canon G7 X is also an option worth considering.

    Finally for small small the Canon Powershot S120 or Panasonic LX7 are older but decent models worth a look. DPreview has some nice roundup as to look at for more info.

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