TOP 10 Best Cameras to Make Amazing Travel Videos in 2019 Reviewed

TOP 10 Best Cameras to Make Amazing Travel Videos in 2019 Reviewed
5 (100%) 5 votes

You’re in the market for a new camera for travel videos but with so many companies releasing so many cameras each year it can be impossible to choose…

Well, I’ve done the research for you and narrowed down the list to determine the 10 best travel cameras for video.

TOP 10 Best Cameras for Travel Videos in 2019

DJI Osmo Action Camera

Review: Action cameras have been pretty much dominated by GoPro since GoPro themselves invented action cameras but this year DJI came to the party.

The DJI Osmo Action is as portable as you would expect from an action camera and can be mounted to just about anything to get interesting angles.

Where I feel the DJI beats GoPro is with its built-in stabilization they call ‘RockSteady’. Stable footage is always going to be nicer to watch and provide a more professional cinematic look to your travel video.

Keep your luggage light with this tiny but powerful camera.

Pros

  • Fits in your pocket.
  • ‘RockSteady’ for stable footage.
  • 4K shooting.
  • Waterproof.

Cons

  • Small sensor means (comparatively) poor low light capability.
  • Fixed Lens.

Takeaway

Anyone looking for portability, this is the best small video camera for travel.

Canon Digital SLR Camera 80d

Review: Released back in 2016 you might think it is a weird choice but Canons mid-range APS-C DSLR is still worth a look for the price alone. With a fast autofocus system and 7 frames per second shooting you can capture wildlife and action at a very reasonable price.

Unfortunately, the low price comes at the cost of 4K resolution which will turn off aspiring professionals.

Still, for entry and enthusiast-level individuals, it is a great choice.

If you don’t need professional quality images and just want to capture moments this is a great choice, you can then spend the extra money on a few decent lenses!

Pros

  • Extremely affordable.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • No Built-in Stabilization.
  • Maximum resolution 1080p.

Takeaway

Anyone looking for affordability, the 80d is a great entry-level DSLR and will leave you plenty of cash for buying accessories.

Sony RX100VI Compact Digital Camera

Review: A point and shoot that reaches towards DSLR/Mirrorless level image quality.

Having a fixed lens is usually a downside for aspiring professional filmmakers but with the RX100VI’s zoom range of 24-200mm Sony is asking the question.

This camera is perfect for enthusiasts and especially vloggers with its tilting screen and lightness.

You can fit this camera in your jacket pocket and pair it with a small gimbal or shoulder rig for a lightweight video set up.

Pros

  • Fits in your pocket.
  • 8x optical zoom.
  • fast autofocus.
  • 4K shooting.
  • Built-in image stabilization.

Cons

  • Pricey for a point and shoot.
  • Fixed Lens.

Takeaway

When you want the perfect mix between portability and quality.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone

Review: In 2019 there is no reason why your go-to travel video camera can’t be a drone and when it comes to drones DJI are the kings.

While the Mavic Air is more portable the Mavic 2 (in its two versions the ‘Pro’ and the ‘Zoom’) brings more flight time, better optics and wind/obstacle resistance.

A whole travel video could easily be shot entirely on the DJI Mavic Pro 2 with no need for a tripod or handheld stabilizer.

The only problem is they can be a bit obtrusive, we’ll discuss this later on…

Pros

  • Beautiful aerial angles.
  • Cinematic shots with ease.
  • 4K shooting.
  • Smooth stable footage.

Cons

  • One trick pony.
  • Different drone flying laws in some countries.

Takeaway

When you want those amazing smooth and cinematic aerial shots.

Panasonic Lumix GH5s Digital Camera

Review: Let’s get the negative out of the way, the GH5s has no built-in stabilization, if that is a deal-breaker for you then scroll on.

However, slap a gimbal in the mix and you have a beast of a video camera. With 4k at 60fps and a maximum ISO of 51,200, you have little to complain about with this camera.

The GH5 all-rounder version has been a fan favorite but this GH5s puts more focus on video specs.

Pros

  • 4K shooting at up to 60fps.
  • Wide ISO range.
  • Reasonably priced.

Cons

  • No in built stabilization

Takeaway

When you want the best Panasonic camera for video.

Sony a6500 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Review: A few years old now, the A6500 is still an amazing camera and the price keeps dropping. This camera is an absolute powerhouse for video and comes in at around half the cost of its big brothers such as the A7riii.

Throw a microphone and a shoulder rig in and I am prepared to declare the A6500 as my pick as the best video camera for travel documentary filmmakers.

Pros

  • An absolute bargain for its quality.
  • 4K shooting.
  • Built-in image stabilization.

Cons

  • Poor battery life.
  • Reported overheating problems.

Takeaway

When you want professional quality, in a small package.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro

Review: Apple’s latest iPhone focusses on camera improvements, bringing out a triple-lens camera. I know it’s a phone but in 2019 phones are cameras and with the option of ultra-wide (13mm), wide (26mm) and telephoto (52mm) lenses, it has to be considered.

It also has its own built-in stabilizing system! So, attach a microphone, a handheld grip and you have a tiny and powerful travel camera set up.

Having a smartphone also means you can edit and upload videos directly from your ‘Camera’. Perfect for filmmaking on the go

Pros

  • Fits in your pocket, obviously.
  • Three lens options.
  • 4K shooting.

Cons

  • Finicky phone controls.
  • Lacks cinematic look.

Takeaway

When you want to be able to shoot anywhere, anytime.

DJI Osmo Pocket

Review: A tiny version of DJI’s gimbal-mounted camera, sleek and beautifully designed. The Osmo Pocket can be taken anywhere you go and 120fps at 1080p means great slow-motion moving camera shots.

The main selling point here is the size of the gimbal, the main drawback I see is if you want to capture the audio you will need an external solution. This isn’t a problem if you want to lay a music track and let the images speak for themselves.

You can even attach your smartphone to act as an external monitor!

Pros

  • Pocket-sized.
  • As stable as it gets.
  • 4K shooting.

Cons

  • Fixed lens.
  • Lacks the shallow depth of field ‘cinematic’ look.

Takeaway

When you want to shoot stable footage on the move without too much setup time.

Sony a7R III Mirrorless Camera

Review: With a massive 42.4 megapixels, the A7r III is a beast for photography but its video specs are right up there with it. 5 axis inbuilt stabilization, 4k shooting, and a full-frame sensor make for beautiful images and outrageous low light performance.

As the A7r III is one of Sony’s flagship cameras it is priced as such but is worth every penny. If you want the highest quality out of your travel videos then get your credit card out now because you have found your camera.

With the A7r III you will also have in your hands one of the best photo cameras on the market with which you can shoot amazing time-lapses. Buy this camera if you can afford it.

Pros

  • 4K shooting.
  • Built-in image stabilization.
  • Full-frame sensor.

Cons

  • Pricey.

Takeaway

When you want the best all-round travel video solution.

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera

Review: Available in a 4k or 6k model, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema camera is the travel filmmaker’s dream. The 6k (6144×3456) super 35 sensor will have you shooting Hollywood film quality travel videos with a camera no bigger than the DSLR/Mirrorless cameras listed here.

The downside is of course and as usual, the price, but if you can foot the bill you will have a powerful cinema level camera in your hands.

It is compatible with EF and MFT lenses meaning you have the biggest range of available lenses imaginable (though after forking out for the camera you may not be able to afford more than one).

Pros

  • Cinema grade footage.
  • Small and lightweight.
  • Black magic color science.
  • 4K and even 6K shooting.
  • Amazing dynamic range.

Cons

  • Expensive, so expensive.
  • You will need a lot of accessories.

Takeaway

When you dream of becoming a professional filmmaker and image quality is the only thing on your mind.

close up action camera with stand

What to Look for When Buying a Good Camera for Travel Videos

Size

Size is a major factor to consider when looking for a good camera for travel videos and it all depends on where and how you will be traveling.

You might not want to haul a heavy rig up into the Andes and there is only so much you can cram into the airplane overhead compartment.

These days it is possible to fit some of the best small video cameras for travel in your jacket pocket but a small body means a smaller sensor so you will have to sacrifice a bit on the way of image quality…

Image Quality

In 2019 we are being told if you don’t shoot in 4k you shouldn’t bother. While 4k is great and should definitely be considered when buying a camera for video it is not a pre-requisite for great travel videos.

Almost everyone watching videos on YouTube, for instance, will be watching on their tiny phone screen, on such a small screen 4K is overkill.

4k gives you more detail and wiggle room in post-production but a lower frame size like 1080p is still going to look great!

It’s all about what you can afford…

photography items and gear

Price

Everything comes at a price. If you want the absolute best image quality you are going to have to pay the absolute most to get it.

It is easy to get caught up in having the latest and best gear but this could mean not being able to buy the much-needed accessories to bring your travel videos to life such as a microphone, extra batteries, grips, etc.

You should look for a happy middle ground where the image quality is great for the final output (YouTube/Facebook) but you can still afford a lens or two.

Remember you also need to be able to afford the flights!

Accessories

There are accessories you’re going to need to get the most out of your camera and to shoot the best travel videos.

Some more necessary than others such as extra batteries and SD cards, and some that I would consider luxuries like stabilizers and microphones.

There is a trade-off; The more you start to add to your kit the better quality videos you can produce, but it all becomes less portable.

You must think about the final video you wish to produce and work out the least amount of gear you can use to achieve it.

My advice would be not to get sucked into buying every single accessory and instead focus on a few that will enhance your work.

Mirrorless vs DSLR vs Action Camera vs Point and Shoots

This is a question that cannot be answered I’m afraid. Each type of camera has its benefits and each has its drawbacks.

I can, however, give you my preferred setup; a mirrorless camera, as they are generally lighter than DSLRs, together with a good smartphone (because you almost certainly already have one).

The mirrorless camera is my main workhorse while the phone is always on me and ready to capture unexpected and candid moments.

It is also always nicer to pull out your phone when filming random people rather than shove a big camera and microphone set up in their face!

Drones

Drones have become a mainstay of travel videos as they can shoot from angles that instantly up the production value on your film. They seem to be in every travel filmmakers kit but are definitely not a necessity.

In fact, governments are cracking down on the use of drones in public spaces and national parks as they can be a nuisance to local wildlife and can make people feel like they are being spied on in their backyard.

They can add oodles of value to your film but make sure you research your destination’s drone laws before buying one as they can be confiscated at border crossings.

Canada now even requires you to attend an actual flight school before you are legally allowed to fly drones!

Summary

So there you have it, my picks for the best travel camera for videos. Hopefully, this has helped you in deciding what camera to take on your next adventure.

The main takeaway here is to focus on what you want to achieve from your published video, this will inform your choice.

Do you want to break into the world of professional film making? Then look for the camera with the best image quality and be prepared to fork out the cash for accessories.

Are you a vlogger? Favor portability and an external microphone option.

You get the idea.

There are so many travel camera options out there I am sure I have missed some, so let me know in the comments if there are some you think I should check out!

Comments