The Best Cameras for Vacations and Travel: Point and Shoots (2017 Edition)

The best camera for a vacation: what could it be? Some folks will tell you the best camera is the one that you’ve got on you; but sometimes you may not want to risk bringing your phone with you even if your connection won’t work and your battery life will therefore work even better. Now, the best cameras can arguably be point and shoots. But we’re not talking about some regular, ordinary point and shoots. We’re talking about the really fantastic and top notch ones. Heck, call them a fixed lens camera more than anything else.

Here are a bunch of our favorites along with sample images.

Fujifilm X100F

Perhaps one of my favorite cameras on this list is the Fujifilm X100F. It’s got great image quality, but most of all the ergonomics are absolutely top notch.

In our review, we state:

“I have many personal qualms with the Fujifilm X100F, but it isn’t at all a bad camera. In fact, in many ways it’s the absolute best APS-C camera on the market. It’s small, autofocuses quickly, has a low profile, delivers great image quality, has a hybrid EVF/OVF, some of the best battery life of any APS-C mirrorless camera out there, and is very reliable. Fujifilm’s X100 series has evolved quite a bit since the start, and the upgrade over the Fujifilm X100T is pretty significant. Some of the things that we’ve needed for a while are now present; though I can easily see how someone will be confused as to whether they should get this or just a 23mm f2 or 23mm f1.4 for their Fujifilm X series camera.”

Buy Now: Amazon (Usually $1,299)

Sony Rx100 Series

Would you believe me if I told you that award winning photos have been shot with the Sony RX100 series of cameras? They very much deserve the praise, and if you’re looking for a compact option with a zoom, this is one of the best out there.

In our review of the Sony RX100 V, we state:

“The Sony RX100 V is a really excellent camera not only for the enthusiast, but also for the pro that wants something a bit more compact. You’ll get far better images than what your phone can deliver and you’ll realize just how useful it becomes for a variety of reasons. I tended to use it for quick shots and updates to our Instagram.

More importantly, it’s a camera designed for the digital shooter more so than the one who may want to make big prints from a vacation. And to be honest, that seems to be most of us these days.”

Buy Now: Amazon (price varies depending on which version you get)

Ricoh GR II

The Ricoh GR II is for the photographer who wants to be the fly on the wall when shooting photos. Period. That’s who it was designed for.

In our review, we state:

“It’s an absolute honor to give the Ricoh GR II the Editor’s Choice award. This camera is fantastic for the street photographer, travel photographer or even for a blogger that doesn’t want to or care to shoot a whole lot of video. Its compact size, great image quality, fairly reliable autofocus, and fantastic lens make it a must for many photographers. Even better, the JPEG image quality is so good that I’d probably never worry about doing a whole lot of editing to my RAW files. The autofocus suffers in low light and sometimes the controls can be a bit finicky, such as in manual exposure mode, but I’m positive most shooters will probably just work with this camera in aperture priority and call it a day.

The Ricoh GR II is surely a fantastic camera if it’s going to be your only camera at this price point.”

Buy Now: Amazon (Around $561.58)

Leica Q

Perhaps the most expensive option on this list. It’s also the largest, but the Leica Q has an image quality to it that’s very incredible. This is thanks in part to the beautiful Leica lens attached to it.

In our review, we state:

“Leica’s Q camera has an incredible build quality that is also quite low profile just like the M cameras. It becomes even more low profile when you put black tape over the logos and branding. With the way it’s designed, you probably won’t ever want to let it autofocus despite the focusing being that darn good. The buttery smooth focusing ring, solid aperture clicks and all remind us of just how much of a better job they do over Fujifilm, Voigtlander and Zeiss when it comes to the construction of manual glass.

Indeed, you’re paying not only for quality–but an experience.”

Buy Now: Amazon (It’s expensive, trust me)

Sony RX1r Mk II

The biggest and best rival to the Leica Q is this puppy: the Sony RX1R II. It’s for the higher end crowd that really wants the absolute best in one small package.

In our review, we state:

“When you look at the image quality from the Sony RX1r II, you’ll be very impressed. For what it’s worth it’s the same sensor in the a7r II–Sony’s top of the line camera out there. The details, the color rendition and everything else will be very incredible. Additionally, the lens is also rather stellar.”

Buy Now: Amazon (Usually $3,298)

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Canon G1x Mk II

One of my favorite things about Canon is the way they render skin tones. Shooting a lot of photos of your family? Then get the Canon G1x Mk II.

In our review, we state:

“While someone can surely theoretically take this camera, put it in auto mode and go shoot, it’s mostly targeted at the user that will shoot in manual or aperture priority. Canon’s menu system for the G1x Mk II is simple, effective and to the point. We really couldn’t ask for anything more. Be warned though that some menus are a bit long.

Users that love touch screens can navigate through it all by using the screen–which is another really cool addition despite being around for a while.”

Buy Now: Amazon (Usually around $649)

Zeiss ExoLens Lenses and Your Phone

Lastly, if you’re looking to save a lot of money then just get some upgraded optics for your phone. The Zeiss ExoLens set includes a wide angle lens that’s absolutely perfect for most vacations.

In our review, we state:

“Lots of people who call themselves photographers may not necessarily take mobile lenses seriously; but the truth is that they’re actually quite good, especially in the case of the Zeiss Exo Lenses. Moment and PhotoJoJo make great optics, and it only makes sense that one of the best lens makers in the world wanted to get involved. The company makes three lenses that we tested: a wide angle, a telephoto, and a macro. Though currently only available for the iPhone and Samsung phones, the lenses will offer photographers a significant improvement in image quality providing they take the right steps.”

Buy Now: Amazon (Price varies on the kit you get)