Travel vlogging has become a common way to share your travel experiences around the world, with some people even managing to make a full-time job out of it.
If you dream of setting off across the world to explore what it has to offer and want to share your experiences with your audience then you need the right camera, and choosing the best travel vlog camera comes down to a few factors that we’ll discuss shortly.
But first I’ve put together a list of the best cameras for travel vlogging in 2020 and my thoughts on their pros and cons…
- TOP 8 Best Cameras for Travel Vlogging in 2020
- What to Look for When Buying a Good Camera for Travel Vlogging
TOP 8 Best Cameras for Travel Vlogging in 2020
Sony Cyber Shot RX100 VI
Review: Sony’s latest point and shoot, the RX100 VI, is a tiny option for travel vloggers. Easily fitting in your pocket meaning you will never have that “oh, I can’t be bothered taking my camera” feeling.
Some of the most exciting new features are an optical zoom range of 24 – 200mm, inbuilt stabilization, and a 180 degree flipping LCD screen so you can make sure you are in the frame.
Image quality is very good while of course not performing as well as a larger, heavier mirrorless or DSLR camera.
- 4k video.
- Very portable.
- 8x zoom capabilities.
- Inbuilt stabilization.
- Poor battery life.
Olympus Pen E-PL9
Review: An absolutely gorgeous travel camera, the Olympus PEN E-PL9 does more than just look good.
It has a micro four-thirds sensor (smaller than full-frame and APS-C sensors) which keeps cost and weight down compared to DSLR’s.
You are on your own in terms of audio recording so and external microphone is needed if you are planning on including your lovely voice!
- 4k video.
- Very good looking.
- 180-degree monitor.
- No audio recording.
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III
Review: Another point and shoot system, the Canon PowerShot G7 Mark III doesn’t have the zoom range of the aforementioned Sony RX100 VI, but it does ok at 24 – 100mm.
It features a flip screen and 4k video mode and image stabilization, all of which will make travel vlogging that much easier.
You can even live stream to YouTube straight from the camera (as long as you have network signal of course), that’s live vlogging with much higher quality than your shaky phone!
- 4k video.
- Good autofocus.
- Image stabilization.
DJI Osmo Action Camera
Review: DJI jumped into the action camera market in 2019 with the Osmo Action, instantly declaring action camera war to Go Pro.
Action cameras are great for travel vlogging because you can take them everywhere with you, attach it to your body, your bike, or your dog.
The DJI comes in cheaper than the latest GoPro model, the Hero7 Black, and has a color screen on the front which makes it a better action camera for vlogging.
- Stable, moving footage.
- Extremely portable.
- 4k video.
- Front color screen.
- You will need to buy accessories.
iPhone 11 Pro
Review: With the advances in smartphone cameras, they have to be considered when looking for a travel vlogging camera. They are obviously portable and chances are you already know how to use one.
The new iPhone 11 Pro seems to have focussed on camera upgrades and comes with a triple-lens set up letting you choose between ultra-wide, wide, and telephoto.
Of course, having your video camera be a phone means you can share your videos instantly to social media and interact with your audience while still shooting.
- On you at all times.
- 4k video.
- 3 lens choice.
- Lower quality than a camera.
Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera
Review: This entry-level Mirrorless camera slots in nicely between point and shoot systems and the larger Mirrorless/DSLRs.
It has all the basic features needed for travel vlogging such as a screen to make sure you are in the frame, and lens options for those looking to upgrade from a fixed lens point and shoot.
It is relatively affordable and features an excellent autofocus system but its 4k video comes at a crop factor of 1.6. Put simply, this means when shooting in 4K you won’t be able to get as wide a shot as you can with other cameras which may become an annoyance when holding the camera out to film yourself.
- 4k video.
- Articulating touch screen.
- Poor battery life.
Sony A6400 Mirrorless Camera
Review: A 24mp mirrorless camera which is a huge step up in quality from the cameras we have looked at so far.
You have the option of shooting at 120fps in 1080p for those slow-motion moments and the 4k video is downscaled from a higher resolution meaning a lot more detail in your image.
The leap from point and shoot systems to the Sony A6400 is huge in terms of image quality but it still manages to stay fairly portable weighing about 14 ounces (body only).
There is no image stabilization here so you may need to invest in a gimbal to avoid shaky footage.
- Tilting screen.
- 4K video.
- Microphone input.
- No inbuilt stabilization.
- Reported rolling shutter problems.
Canon 1DX Mark II DSLR Camera
Review: If you want to make travel vlogs that could be played on a cinema screen then this is your camera. Obviously this is a heavy and expensive beast but it is just that; a beast.
It shoots 4K at 60fps and performs better than you are imagining in lowlight situations. The 20.1 megapixel full-frame sensor means this camera is a major contender for the best camera for travel vlogging and photography.
Of course, you will have to hit the gym or rely on tripods because it weighs in at about 54 ounces without a lens on it. You may also need an extra carry bag for it and all the accessories.
Carry bag? No worries, we’ve got a separate article for the best camera bags out there! So, definitely check it out if you’re looking for a trusty bag for your gear!
- 4K video.
- Massive selection of lenses.
- Good low light performance.
- Good battery life.
- Heavy, like really heavy.
- Expensive, like really expensive.
What to Look for When Buying a Good Camera for Travel Vlogging
One of the main factors to consider when looking for a good camera for travel blogging is size and weight.
You will be carrying this thing everywhere you go so anything that fits in your jacket pocket will be perfect, but smaller cameras, such as point and shoots, are not going to have the image quality of larger mirrorless or DSLR cameras.
So you have to weigh up your options and decide how much weight and size you can deal with.
Picture yourself in vlogging action; are you going to hike up mountains? Go jet skiing? Probably best to keep your gear light.
You also need to be able to fit all your gear in a backpack or small carry-on bag together with all your other travel necessities, especially if you are looking to make your living from travel vlogging.
For more insightful advice on just that, check out our article on how to become a digital nomad! Of course, you could go all out and focus on image quality, meaning tired arms, maybe lots of weird looks from strangers, but great images…
Think about the final output for your travel vlog and this will help determine the image quality you need to aspire to when choosing a camera.
Will you be the next Peter McKinnon, carrying around a huge Canon 1dx Mark2 shooting high-quality 4k vlogs for millions of viewers?
Or will you simply be sharing your adventure with family and friends?
When you think about it, most viewers of your travel vlog will be watching on their tiny smartphone screen so you don’t really need a camera that can shoot in 4k.
But high image quality with amazing colors and insane detail can add a lot of value to your vlog and can set you apart from the tourist crowd.
If you dream of making money from your vlogs and continue traveling the world then definitely go for higher image quality!
Price is, of course, a huge factor to consider when buying any camera, there is not much point shelling out thousands for a travel vlogging camera and then not being able to afford to travel anywhere.
My advice would be to start out cheap and then look to upgrade when you can afford it later on.
Maybe buy a camera that is a few years old now and the price has dropped, then upgrade when you get into the swing of things.
If you have already been travel vlogging for a while and feel the need to buy a new camera then consider what you want to get out of it.
Specifically why are you upgrading? Do you need better image quality or stabilization? Or do you just want the latest camera to make sure you are ahead of the game?
The most important thing is that you can still afford to travel to make your vlogs and you don’t get slowed down with credit card payments.
I think audio plays a huge part in travel vlogging.
The difference in audio quality between a smartphone and a shotgun microphone is huge and can take your travel vlog from amateur to pro.
An external microphone doesn’t have to be expensive and on most DSLRs can be attached to the top of the camera.
This will focus the audio recording on your voice instead of picking up wind or traffic noises from the surrounding area.
Another option is lapel microphones, which you clip on to your clothes. Lapel mics are great for documentary-style travel vlogs as you can be facing away from the camera and your voice will still be heard clearly.
Of course, you could ditch in-camera audio altogether and just use music or why not make silent travel vlogs?
Story is King
All this gear and all these credit card payments aside, the absolute most important thing to consider when looking for the best camera for travel vlogging is your story.
Your travel vlogs tell your story so you simply need a camera that is going to allow you to capture that.
Hopefully, by now, you have an idea of the options for travel vlogging cameras in 2020. Now you can pick one and go out and put it to work!
Whether you choose a DSLR, Point and Shoot or an IPhone you will have a powerful tool at your disposal, ready to make your own epic travel vlogs.
Of course, we all have our own opinions so let me know what you have decided is the best travel vlogging camera in 2020.