So, what's the best Canon camera for travel

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Travel Prague astronomical clockTravel Photography
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You're looking for the best Canon camera for travel and you don't know where to start. It's an important consideration because you don't want the wrong choice to screw up your photo excursion.

Updated for 2021, this post will help you pick the best travel camera in the Canon lineup before you start packing. 

Whether you are a hobbyist trying to bring in a little money from your photography or just a camera enthusiast wanting to capture the incredible world we live in, it's a good idea to consider what camera features you will need.


Top 5 Canon Cameras for travel photography

1. canon point and shoot for travel

Generally, I'm not a big fan of point and shoot cameras made by Canon, or anybody else, but if you want a Canon that will fit in your pocket, will be great for travel, and is super affordable, then the PowerShot SX620 might be a perfect fit for you.

SX620 SPECS:

  • 20 Megapixel is plenty
  • 25X zoom is solid
  • WIFI lets you share easily
  • 1080p Full HD Video
  • Affordable and Pocketable

If you've recently upgraded your smart phone, I recommend you avoid a Canon point and shoot camera and use your phone. The camera technology built into phones rivals the better point and shoot cameras.

If you want  to keep your photography separate from your phone calls and texting, and want a camera that fits in your picket or purse,  the SX620 is not a bad choice.

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2. canon bridge camera for travel

This is the classic "Bridge Camera" that fits in between Canon point and shoot and traditional Canon DSLR cameras. Bridge cameras behave like DSLRs, and you don't have to ever change lenses to get a complete range of super wide to super telephoto views of your subject.

SX530 SPECS:

  • Crazy powerful 50X zoom (24-1200 equivalent)
  • WIFI and NFC for easy sharing of your favorite photos
  • Ergonomic grip for one handed operation
  • More creative control of camera settings


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3. Canon DSLR for travel 

The Canon SL3 can be the perfect travel camera for you if you want a full featured DSLR in the smallest possible size. I fell in love with the SL1 when it first came out in 2013. The SL2 and SL3 are essentially the same size, but with more advanced technology built in.

CANON SL3 SPECS:

  • 24 Megapixel sensor for great image detail.
  • Digic 8 processor is powerful for amazing image quality
  • Interchangeable lenses for great versatility
  • Super advanced 4k and time lapse video capabilities


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4. Pro Canon DSLR for travel for cheap

Canon 90D and 18-135mm lens"PRO" Travel Camera
Canon 90D and 18-135mm lens

If you really want to step up your game and shoot with a professional quality Canon, but an an affordable price, I can't recommend the Canon 90D enough. Pair it with the Canon EF-S 18-135mm lens and you have a camera and lens combination that can shoot just about any possible subject you'll encounter in your travels.

CANON 90D SPECS:

  • 32.5 megapixel CMOS sensor combined with the Digic 8 processor
  • 10 Frames per second
  • Advanced. dual pixel, 45 point, super fast focusing.
  • Uncropped 4k video, 120 fps 1080 video
  • WIFI and Bluetooth


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Canon 90D travel camera"East Point Lighthouse Under The Stars." Heislerville, NJ.
Canon 90D. 30 Seconds. ISO 800.

I love my 90D. Although it's not technically labeled as a "professional" Canon camera It's got many of the features and capabilities of the pro DSLRs, but in a smaller, more affordable version. 

"Fly Eagle Fly"
Canon 90D. 10 Frames Per Second


5.  Canon High End Compact Travel Camera

CANON G SERIES

Early on in my search for a compact travel camera I came across and purchased a Canon G11. At the time, it was more of a high end travel camera than the point and shoot cameras and with a higher price tag.

The g11 has since been outdone by the Canon g12, Canon g15, The G7 series, and the G1x series. I upgraded to the G1X Mark II.

I recommend the recent Canon Powershot "G" series cameras as great for travel photography.

My G1X Mark II (2014) is still a great travel camera for me and my adult son has taken it on trips overseas as well.

The G1X Mark III was announced in 2017 and is even better because it has a permanent viewfinder.

We all want a quick answer to our question, particularly if we are planning to buy a new camera for travel photography.

Professionals are going to travel with their DSLRs and pack several camera bodies, lenses and other accessories.

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You want a good vacation camera that you can carry around without a big camera bag. The modern digital snapshot taker is more accustomed to composing with an LCD.  If you don't mind it, then ignore this disadvantage; it's not relevant. One additional feature to consider is whether you want a pop-up flash only or would like to be able to add a flash on a hot shoe on the top of your  travel camera.

Shoe Mount for External Flash

top of camera hot shoeFlash Hot Shoe

For most people having a pop-up flash is good enough. It's very convenient and a good travel camera doesn't need to have the ability to mount an extra flash on top of their camera.  Pop-up, built in flashes are always there and ready to go either automatically or through camera settings.

I am a portrait photographer, so I am obsessed with good lighting and I like to have more control than a pop-up flash can give. I absolutely must have a hot shoe on top of every camera I use, but you may be different.

The light from hot-shoe mounted flashes are easily modified, have the ability to bounce, and can be more accurately controlled.

The Best Camera For Travel Photography

One of the reasons the Canon SX500 IS was considered as one of the best cameras for travel photography was its size and price.  It's a lot of camera features packed into a small size for the money.

  • 16 Megapixel.
  • 3.0 Inch LCD.
  • HD Video with stereo audio recording.
  • 30x Wide-angle to telephoto zoom without changing lenses. That's equivalent to 24–720mm.

Although it's got 16,000,000 pixels, it has good (not great) low light camera because the over dimensions of the sensor are still relatively small.  The individual pixels themselves are quite small and not as efficient at gathering light as a large sensor with larger pixels.

So what does all this mean?  I considered it one of the best cameras for travel photography for the beginner photographer because of its great price, easy to carry size, ease of use and a extremely versatile zoom range. That camera is not good enough anymore. Not in 2021.


Important Update to Best Camera for Travel

The only constant is change and that is certainly true with digital cameras and other technology based industries as well.  There's a set of new players in town with regard to a good travel camera. The G1X Mark II, G1X Mark III, and the G7x Mark III.

Some may be pricey, but there's no question about the image quality or ease of taking one of these cameras along on a trip or vacation.

I first wrote this article in 2013. More than 3 years later, I updated to new favorite "best camera for travel."  It was much smaller than a DSLR and has a much bigger sensor than point-and-shoot cameras and original Canon "G" series.  It was the Canon G1X Mark II. It's till a great camera in 2021. Read all about it.

More opinions on travel cameras, equipment and accessories:
Travel Photography Cameras on Amazon

I hope this post on a good Canon camera for travel photography was helpful. For related topics see the links below my signature or you can search for other topics on this website by using the search box below.

Stay inspired. Shoot a Canon!


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Author Bruce Lovelace
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Bruce Lovelace is the publisher of Canon Camera Geek. Read more about him on the About Page. He also publishes how to articles and camera gear reviews at the Photography Tips website.

View some of Bruce's photos on Instagram  and Flickr  Join the Tribe: YouTube. Visit the Canon Geek FaceBook Group. Bruce runs photo workshops and provides 1 on 1 digital photography coaching.

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