The Best Cameras for Vacation and Travel Photography: DSLRs (2017 Edition)

What’s the best camera for vacation and travel photography in a DSLR form factor? To be honest, no one is making a bad camera these days. There are a number of you out there that simply want an interchangeable lens camera like a DSLR for the professional look and feel. And to be honest, there are a lot of great DSLRs out there. Though if you’re traveling, some are better than others.

In this list, we round up some of our favorites and provide lots of image samples.

The Standard: Canon 6D

The Canon 6D is weather sealed DSLR and the company’s entry point when it comes to full frame DSLRs. It’s designed well and has survived a lot of torture in our previous reviews.

Get it with a 40mm f2.8.

In our review, we state:

“The Canon EOS 6D feels similar in quality to the 5D MKII, though it has a slightly more contoured body. It seems to be nearly the same size as the 60D, with the exception that the 6D is slightly thinner due to not having a pop-up flash housed in the pentaprism. In use I didn’t notice any obvious “weak points” on the camera, which is overall confidence inspiring. The body feels solid in hand and I couldn’t feel any flexing or rattles while using the camera. As far as weather resistance, I didn’t experience any rain during my tests, but I understand that there is at least some level of weather resistance, though I wouldn’t expect it to be as extensive as Canon’s higher end offerings.”

Buy Now: Amazon (Prices start at $1,209)

Sample Photos

The Powerhouse: Nikon D500

The Nikon D500 provides pretty much everything you’d possibly need in a DSLR; fantastic image quality, great autofocus, a tough body, etc.

Try it with a Nikon 18-105mm lens.

In our review, we state:

“This camera is solid as a rock. When you grip onto that wonderfully sculpted grip, it’s tough to not equate it to a piece of art though that isn’t the intention at all. Nikon’s placement of the thumb joystick and their continued emphasis on making the experience of your eye not leaving the viewfinder while shooting must be praised. Of course, it’ll take some muscle memory to master but it’s quite excellent.”

Buy Now: Amazon (Prices vary depending on kits)

Sample Photos

Nikon 50mm f1.8

The Lightweight But Solid Option: Canon 77D

Our review of the Canon 77D is still in the works, but so far it’s a great camera in many regards. It’s lightweight but feels solid. Plus it’s got fairly good image quality.

I strongly recommend a Tamron 10-24mm VC lens.

Buy Now: Amazon (prices start at around $849)

Sample Photos


Full Frame and The Toughest on the Market: Pentax K-1

Okay, seriously, what other camera can do this:

You’ll want to get your hands on a Pentax 28-105mm lens while you’re at it.

In our review, we state:

“In our tests, we took the camera out into the rain to go shoot. It and the two lenses we tested it with survived the elements very well and quite easily overall. So as far as ruggedness goes, that’s totally fine. The Pentax K-1 also feels like a solid DSLR that is meant to do some serious work. Indeed, I’d have no issues using it if I have the right lenses on me. My third party lights work fine with it; but I purposely have lights that work with every system.”

Buy Now: Amazon (Usually goes for $1,783.89)

Sample Photos


The Best Budget Option: The Canon Rebel SL1

In our review, we state:

“With all that in mind, the Canon SL1 sports a 18MP APS-C sized imaging sensor that is significantly larger than the one that you find in most point and shoot cameras–and therefore effectively gives you better image quality. It can shoot 4 frames per second in continuous shooting mode to help capture your dog or child running across the yard. The camera can also shoot 1080p HD video, has a touch screen, and can become very sensitive to light via its ISO abilities that range from 100-12,800.”

Buy Now: Amazon (Usually around $459 with a lens)

Sample Photos

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.