Best Canon Cameras for Travel Photography (Updated for 2018)

Travel PhotographyOne of the joys of travelling is capturing photos of the vistas, architecture, and cultural icons of new and exciting locations. Travel photography can range from the simple point-and-shoot method, to a precision and highly technical shoot. Of course, the type of camera used will vary greatly depending on the needs of the user. This guide will outline some of the best Canon compact, mirrorless, and DSLR cameras for travelling, and discuss the merits of each.

Best Canon Compact Point-and-Shoot Cameras for Travel Photography

Compact point-point-and-shoot cameras are ideal for travelling. They’re compact, usually inexpensive, and easy for new users to adjust to. Quite often there’s little manual input needed, so if you’re a total beginner this is a good place to start. Here are some of our favourites:

1. Canon PowerShot G9 X

Why it’s great:

  • Good overall performance.
  • Compact, lightweight, and affordable.
  • Built in Wi-Fi.

Our favourite point-and-shoot all ‘rounder for travel photography is the Canon PowerShot G9 X. It has all the features a new user needs to take some good shots. It has a fairly decent zoom range of 28-80mm, giving users a variety of options. Although there are definitely compacts with a longer range, the benefit of the G9 X is its compact and lightweight design; it’s small enough to fit in a pocket and doesn’t take up too much weight in a bag. The 1-inch CMOS sensor is up to the standard set by other cameras in the class, meaning it’s comparable on image quality, yet it doesn’t have the price tag of said competitors. Overall, this is an excellent entry-level camera for travel photography.

Buying considerations:

  • The zoom range may not be quite enough for certain situations.

2. Canon PowerShot SX720

Why it’s great:

  • 40x optical zoom with equivalent 24-960mm range.
  • 3-megapixel CMOS sensor.
  • Good optical image stabilization.

The SX720 packs a huge zoom lens into a small and sleek casing. The 40x optical zoom gives an impressive and diverse range particularly for a camera of this size, with a 960mm equivalent telephoto length. The longer lengths are well supported by the excellent 5-axis image stabilization, meaning shooting handheld is still possible at full zoom. Overall performance is good, thanks to the 20.3-megapizel sensor, with images coming out consistently sharp and clear.

Buying considerations:

  • It lacks some of the handy shooting modes of similar competitors, such as panorama shooting.

Best Advanced Canon Compact Digital Cameras for Travel Photography

It’s debatable whether this should be a separate category from point-and-shoots. Advanced compacts have all the trademarks of the above selection, compact designs, fixed zoom lenses, and smaller sensors than mirrorless or DSLR cameras. However, they’re often more advanced than their cheaper counterparts. Quite often they’ll have fully-manual modes, as well as RAW capture, and will cost more (although perform better). Here are our top choices:

1. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II

Why it’s great:

  • 1-inch CMOS sensor with 20.1-megapixels.
  • 4x optical zoom, equivalent to 24-100mm, with aperture range of f/1.8-2.8.
  • 1080p video capture.

The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II is a beautifully designed camera that more than delivers with its results. Although its 1-inch sensor is smaller than that on a DSLR or mirrorless, it’s still capable of capturing fantastic images. The 4x optical zoom is admittedly smaller than examples featured above, yet the quality of the lens with its maximum aperture of f/1.8-f/2.8 is far superior. It performs well across its 24-100mm equivalent range. If your budget can stretch beyond the simpler point-and-shoots seen above, this is our favourite advanced compact for travelling.

Buying considerations:

  • Again, the G7 X has a slightly limited zoom range, which may be an issue for some users.

Best Canon Mirrorless Cameras for Travel Photography

Mirrorless cameras have become increasingly popular over recent years, particularly as a choice for travel photography. Their relatively compact size compared to a DSLR, coupled with their often excellent image quality make them ideal for taking on the road. Unlike a compact, mirrorless cameras can have interchangeable lenses, giving them a good amount of versatility. Below are our top picks:

1. Canon EOS M5

Why it’s great:

  • 24-megapixel Dual Pixel APS-C CMOS Sensor.
  • Articulated touchscreen.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Canon’s mirrorless range has been a little behind its competitors of late, yet the EOS M5 is a very good camera. It appeals to both the experienced amateur and the more serious photographer. Its range of options is easily accessible thanks to the many dials and buttons, helped out massively by the articulated touch screen. The OLED electronic viewfinder coupled with the image stabilization makes taking sharp and clear images easy. Although it doesn’t have the 4K video capture that some of its competitors do, it’s slightly cheaper than others in this bracket, and the 1080p capture is very good. Overall, this is our favourite Canon mirrorless camera for travel photography.

Buying considerations:

  • The build quality isn’t quite up to the standard of other similar cameras, and it’s not weather sealed.

2. Canon EOS M10

Why it’s great:

  • 18-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor.
  • 3-inch articulated touchscreen.
  • Small and affordable.

Whilst the above EOS M5 is aimed at more experienced photographers, the M10 is more for the everyday user, as reflected in the price. This is a camera that is still packed full of features though, such as built in Wi-Fi, an articulated touchscreen, 4.6fps burst shooting, and a popup flash. The 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 standard lens keeps things lightweight and compact, whilst still offering a reasonable range, and of course can be swapped out as needed. Overall, if you’re an amateur photographer new to mirrorless systems this is certainly an affordable option that should be considered.

Buying considerations:

  • The built quality has a rather plastic feel compared to other mirrorless systems.
  • More experienced users may find it somewhat lacking. 

Best Canon Digital SLR Cameras for Travelers

Our final group of cameras are DSLRs, an area where Canon has been leading the field for a while now. Their DSLR range is broad and often excellent, giving industry-leading image quality and performance. The benefit of a DSLR for travel photography is the larger sensor and better range of manual controls they offer. Although often expensive and heavy, the serious travel photographer won’t leave home without one. Here are some of the best on offer:

1. Canon Rebel SL1/100D

Why it’s great:

  • 18-megapixel APS-C sensor.
  • 3-inch touchscreen.
  • Small and lightweight compared to other DSLRs.

The Canon Rebel SL1 (also known as the 100D) is a robust and travel-friendly DSLR. It’s at the lower end of the cost scale in Canon’s range, yet still performs very well in all areas. The 18-megapxiel crop frame sensor is capable of capturing great shots in a wide variety of situations, helped by the good performance across its ISO range of 100 – 25600. Even in low-light situations, image noise control is very good. Other features such as the optical viewfinder and touch screen make this a great camera to take on your travels, and for the cost there’s very little to fault.

Buying considerations:

  • There’s no Wi-Fi connectivity like some of the other cameras we’ve seen in the list.
  • Not all modes offer RAW capture.

2. Canon EOS 6D

Why it’s great:

  • 2-megapixel CMOS sensor.
  • ISO range of 50-102,400 with extension.
  • Excellent image quality.

For the more serious photographer, the above Rebel SL1 may not be quite enough camera for the job. The EOS 6D is definitely more expensive, but the performance increase is noticeable. The 20.2-megapixel sensor captures a huge amount of detail and the ISO can be extended to a range of 50-102,400 which is simply huge. It performs very well across that range and there is little image noise when shooting in low light. The 6D features everything you’d expect to find in a modern DSLR; in-camera RAW image processing, built-in Wi-Fi, an 11-point autofocus system. It’s a good all-rounder that’s and gives so much flexibility when travelling, and compared to other DSLRs in a similar bracket it isn’t all that expensive.

Buying considerations:

  • There’s very little to criticize about this camera. Although it’s more affordable similar cameras in this range, it still might be a bit pricey for those just starting with their photography.

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