Best Point and Shoot Camera
for Travel Writers

By Linda Popovich

The best point and shoot camera for travel writers is one that has a few key capabilities. What exactly does this mean? Let’s back up for a second and cover the basics first.

Everyone’s a photographer these days because they carry a smart phone. And smart phones are getting much better at producing good photos. But if you’re a travel writer, and you’re planning to sell stories and your photos to magazines, you’ll need to go a step beyond a smart phone. A standalone camera will produce better quality images, more consistently, than your smart phone.

small size of best point and shoot camera for travel versus mirrorless and dslr camerasIt's hard to argue that a point and shoot (left) can be the best camera for travel. It's so small compared to a mirrorless camera (middle) or a dSLR (right). If it's important to you to have the smallest size possible, but still have make good enough images for print magazines, the right point and shoot is your best option. (See best point and shoot cameras for travel writers below.)

Here are a few of the most important benefits of a point and shoot camera:

  •     It’s small and so it’s good for travel
  •     It produces better images than a smart phone
  •     It’s simple to use - you can set it on “Auto” and point and shoot
  •     As you learn more, you can adjust the settings and use the camera more creatively

And here are the “cons” about point and shoot cameras:

  •     You can’t change the lens - it’s fixed on the camera
  •     The sensor is smaller than on mirrorless or dSLR - image quality suffers
  •     Sometimes the small size is hard to handle or easy to drop
  •     Might not have a viewfinder and other features found in better cameras

Are photographs from a point and shoot camera good enough for print magazines?

I can say they usually are good enough but it depends. Editors expect photos to be in focus, properly exposed and well-composed. No matter what camera you use, you must satisfy these three requirements. Roy and I have both had plenty of point and shoot images published in magazines, and our cameras weren't as good as the ones list below!

Point and shoot cameras are good if any of these things apply to you:

  •     You’re new to photography
  •     You feel intimidated by technology
  •     You simply want to point and shoot to capture the image
  •     You don’t have much money to spend

Point and shoot cameras are a good way to enter the world of photography without a great deal of effort or cost.

So back to my original question. There are three things that are important to look for in a point and shoot camera:

  1. Sensor size (bigger is better)
  2. RAW image capture - allows you to process your photos outside of the camera for better quality images
  3. Versatile travel lens (wide angle and zoom)

The best point and shoot cameras have all of these things.

Here are our recommendations for the best point and shoot cameras that meet these three requirements:

Best Point and Shoot Camera Models for Travel Writers - My Recommendations

Canon G5X MKII, 1” sensor, 24-120mm lens, RAW image capture

This camera has a wide angle lens (24mm) with a decent zoom (120mm).  It’s a great starter camera that you can carry in your pocket for years to come. I don't own this Canon model. But based on experience with an old Canon Powershot that still works really well (it's at least 9 years old) I’d gladly upgrade to this model when the time comes.

Panasonic Lumix ZS200, 1” sensor, 24-360mm zoom lens, RAW capture

This is an affordable camera with a great zoom lens. I have a Panasonic mirrorless model, not a point and shoot camera. But if I were in the market for a new point and shoot, I’d consider this one primarily because of the Leica lens and it’s far reach. We couldn’t find any other point and shoot camera with a similar range, so if you are looking for a far-reaching zoom lens, this is the camera for you.

Olympus Tough TG-6, waterproof, BSI-CMOS sensor, 25-100 mm lens, RAW capture

If you find yourself around water a lot, then you’ll know that camera equipment needs to be water-resistant or better yet - waterproof. This camera is waterproof and has a very reasonable price tag anyway. It's a great buy! The zoom has slightly less range than others on the list, but it’s still good for travel. We find that 85-90% of our images are within the range of this lens, so you won’t feel limited. And like they say, if your lens doesn’t get you close enough, zoom with your feet to get closer.

Sony RX100 VII, 1” sensor, 24-200 mm, RAW capture

They say this is the best travel camera on the market right now. And that makes it the best point and shoot camera. I happen to own this cameraand I love it. It takes great action shots and we’re using our bigger cameras far less especially outdoors because this camera is so easy to carry.  It's small but a little bigger than pocket-sized. It's surprisingly heavy for a little camera. It’s may be the most expensive camera on this list but I think it's well worth the price. My only complaint is that it doesn’t do well with water - so don’t get it wet.  If you're a water person, take a pass. But if you generally spend your time on dry land and aren't likely to get caught in tropical rainstorms, this camera could make you very happy.

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What Else You Need To Know . . .

When you buy any camera you want to buy some additional things:

  1.  An extra battery or two
  2.  An external charger if one doesn’t come with the camera
  3.  High quality memory cards
  4.  A travel tripod suitable for your camera model

And finally, no matter which one you choose, the best point and shoot camera for you is the one that feels good in your hands. Be sure to stop in a camera store and pick up all the models listed here, play around with the buttons and knobs, and then decide which one is right for you.

If there isn’t a camera store near you, read reviews and watch YouTube videos for the camera model. You’ll find out what other people think about how it feels in their hands.

Good luck in your search for the best point and shoot camera. And when you’re ready to upgrade to a mirrorless camera or a dSLR camera, you can find more information on this website.

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Linda Popovich is a freelance travel photographer based in the beautiful State of Washington when she's not living somewhere in SE Asia. Her images have been published in more than 58 regional, national, and international print magazines and also in online travel magazines.  She’s also the Editor and Publisher of