Finding the perfect travel camera can be hard which is why we are sharing the best camera under $300 for travel photography!
In the past 9 years of travel, we have tried our fair share of cameras and all have had pros and cons when perfecting our travel photography. We also know that you don’t want to spend a fortune on a camera just before you travel the world, so here is our best travel cameras for photography under $300!
Updated July 2020
Best travel cameras under $300
Pros: The Nikon COOLPIX B500 has an impressive zoom range extending to 40x with a digital zoom function that nearly doubles that range; making this camera great for wildlife and nature photography. The camera is great for travel photography and video; with Full HD video recording at 30 fps. The camera also has Bluetooth, WiFi and NFC; all helpful for the travelling blogger. It also has image stabilisation, a revolving screen to get those difficult angles and 1/4000s High Shutter Speed.
Cons: ISOs 3200 and 6400 are only available in auto-mode, meaning the camera doesn’t perform as well in low light. It is also run off four AA batteries, which can be expensive and a hassle to find/charge when you’re on the road.
Even in 2020, this is still a great camera for those looking for a great photography camera that is ideal for travelling around the world with.
Learn more about this camera here. Below is an example of the Nikon in action.
Pros: You can’t go wrong with a good, affordable waterproof camera.
The Fujifilm FinePix XP140 9upgraded from the XP130) is just that; it’s good value for money, has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and has a 5x optical zoom lens. It is also waterproof down to 82ft and shock proof up to 5.9m – a big jump from the XP130.
This is an ideal camera for those with little knowledge on photography because is has a great face detection focusing feature and image stabilisation. It is also a light weight camera, convenient for travel and day trips.
It also captures 4K video up to 15 frames per second.
Cons: The lens is slow, which can be a struggle when you are trying to catch photographic moments quickly. The battery life is also pretty short and it can sometimes produce soft images.
Learn more about this camera here.
Pros: This small sensor Superzoom camera has a 1/2.3″ sized CCD sensor. It has image stabilisation and face detection focusing, making it ideal for new photographers. The 24mm Wide Angle Lens is ideal for travellers, as is the 42X Optical Zoom. This is a great camera for those looking for a really good image and is often referred to as the best point and shoot camera under 300.
Cons: For those wishing to step up their camera gear, this may not be the answer. There is no RAW shooting available on this camera and the max ISO is 1.600. There is also no full HD video and there isn’t a built-in viewfinder. It is also a heavy camera and has a low battery life; you will get around 196 shots from a full battery.
Learn more about this camera here. Below is an example of the Canon at work.
Pros: With 20x optical zoom and, like many Sony cameras, excellent lock-on focus, this camera is great for photography but also an ideal vlogigng camera. It connects to smartphones via Wi-Fi w/ NFC and offers Motion Shot Video which traces your subjects movement. It is incredibly compact and can be placed in a pocket, making it ideal for travel. The battery life is also pretty decent for the size of the camera.
The price makes it an affordable option for those looking for a high quality camera without the price tag.
Cons: There is no macro setting available on this camera which isn’t ideal for upclose photography. Because of the size of the buttons, changing the settings can be a little difficult.
Pros: The Canon PowerShot SX720 is arguably one of the best all-round cameras on the market. It is light weight and has a fantastic zoom range of 25-750mm on a 35mm camera. It is also one of the of the few budget cameras that offers full HD video. It has built-in WiFi, image stabilisation and a pop-up flash. It also has a good autofocus speed when compared with other cameras at this price range.
Cons: It is one of the higher priced point and shoot cameras and has a maximum ISO setting of 3200; meaning it struggles in low light. Although is has image stabilisation, the camera has some shake when the zoom lens is fully extended.
Learn more about this camera here.
Pros: This $300 camera has a huge zoom range of 60x and has fast autofocus. It can shoot in raw at 10fps and films 4K video at 30fps. In comes complete with a touch LCD and Wi-Fi.
Cons: There is no EVF eye sensor on this camera and the rear LCD is fixed; not too helpful for those creative shots or vlogging. This is a more expensive camera at this price point however it gives you a lot of zoom compared to other cameras under $300.
Learn more about this camera here.
What to look for in a camera?
Cameras often have a load of features which are generally available in a digital camera in the $300 price point. As a traveller, there are certain features you will want to look out for.
- Zoom – A digital zoom is essential for travelling, with most models offering up to 24 – 1200mm. The problem is, the higher the zoom, the bigger a lens is likely to be, so for travelling, you will want a decent zoom without the camera becoming too heavy.
- Sensor Size – The image quality on a camera is decided by the size of the sensor. A general rule; the bigger the sensor, the better the image quality. DSLRs have bigger lenses than digital cameras but not too many DSLRs are available in this price point.
- Size and weight – For travellers, especially those who love to travel long term, the size and weight is an important feature to look out for. Travel cameras under $300 are either portable and made to be an easy camera you can carry around with you, or they are heavier camera’s that need a neck strap or bag to be carried around in. You can get lightweight DSLR cameras but these are often as a much higher price point.
- Weather protection – For those adventure travellers, you will want to choose a ‘rugged’ camera. These should be dust-proof, water-proof and even freeze-proof. These often have limitations so you will have to balance priorities between size, features and price.
- Image Stabilization – Some cameras and lens offer image stabilization, which reduces the blur caused by movement in an image. This is ideal for photos in low light conditions.
- 4K Video – If you are looking to record using your travel camera, then a camera which can record in 4K is a fantastic extra feature. This is especially true if you re looking to create travel videos for YouTube.
- Battery – Rechargeable batteries are a must buy hang a long-lasting battery is also important for travellers.
Best Vlogging Camera under $300
Having the perfect travel camera does’t just include taking the perfect pictures. More and more travellers want to vlog and share their experience from their travels, but which camera is the option to start with?
- The Panasonic Lumix ZS50 is known as a travel video camera because of its high optical zoom and compact size. The sleek design allows you to hold the camera for long periods of time (ideal for vlogging), the camera records in full HD with a steady fps rate. However, there is no flip screen on this camera.
- The Nikon Coolpix B500 is a compact, durable camera with fantastic photo capturing modes but also records in full HD video. However, if you intend on recording for long periods of time, choose a different camera; this camera tends to have heating issues.
- Canon PowerShot SX620 – This camera is easy to use as well as being a lightweight, compact option. It records in full HD and has 25x optical Zoom, so focusing on small objects it not a hard task.
- Nikon Coolpix L340 is a great camera for a decent price point. It is lightweight, durable, have an excellent optical zoom and an external microphone jack option. However, it only records in 720p.
- Canon Vixia Rf800 – This is the best camcorder for vlogging, ideal for vlogging. The flip screen makes filming easier but and you can film is full HD but it comes with a 57x optical zoom. However, the battery drains fast and the camera isn’t great for photographs.
Best travel cameras FAQ
For traveling, the DJI Osmo Pocket offers great stabliziation and is a small, easy to use camera which also records in 4K. For Adventure travellers, choose a GoPro camera whilst travel photographers will appreciate the features on the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII or the Canon EOS Rebel.
If you have a decent camera phone, then it is not necessary to take a camera travelling with you. However, if you are looking to take some high quality images of video footage, investing in a camera is a great way to remember your travel experiences.
For a beginner photographer, looking for a DSLR, choose the Canon 90D, Nikon D56000 or the Canon EOS Revel T7i.
For travel blogging, you want a lightweight camera which can produce high quality images. The Sony RX100 V is a mirrorless camera but our favourite choice for travel photography. The Nikon D7500 is a DSLR which produces fantastic images for your travel blog; it is an investment but still one of the cheaper DSLR options available.
Professional photographers will use a high-end DSLR camera, often a Canon or Nikon.
The Sony DSC-W830, the Canon PowerShot Elph 189 and 360 are all great pint and shoot cameras for travel. The Sony RX100 is also a great choice for those looking to film their travels too.
The Panazonic Lumix TZ200/ZS200 is a compact travel camera with the best long-zoom option.