Best Canon Cameras for Travel Photography (Updated for 2021)

Michael Sand
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In this age of digital photography, when the megapixels race drove the desire for higher and higher resolution cameras, a Canon was the gold standard for many travelers.

Though there was a bit of a lull in the decade after the 2008 recession, the trend is now reversed. The highest-end cameras from Canon and Nikon have incredibly fast autofocus, excellent high-ISO performance, and have become quite powerful at low ISOs.

But with so many new cameras on the market, it’s tough to decide which one is best.

To help you weigh up the options, I looked at the cameras I actually use daily — which are the 7D MkII, the 5D MkIV, and the Sony a7R MkII — along with the new Canon 6D MkII and Nikon D500. See which one best fits your needs.

NameCategoryProduct
Canon PowerShot G9 X Digital CameraBest OverallCanon PowerShot G9 X Digital Camera
Fujifilm FinePix S1 16 MP Digital CameraBudget PickFujifilm FinePix S1 16 MP Digital Camera
Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR CameraUpgrade PickCanon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera

1. Canon PowerShot G9 X Digital Camera

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon PowerShot G9 X Digital Camera

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Pros:

  • Small and compact
  • 16MP sensor
  • Full manual control
  • Excellent low light performance
  • Easy to use
  • Plenty of handy features
  • Affordable
  • Excellent battery life
  • Great menu system

Cons:

  • No hot shoe
  • No microphone input
  • Slow autofocus
  • Average video quality

For many travelers, one of the most essential accessories they need to bring on their journey is a camera. Obviously, you can’t go wrong with a pro-level DSLR camera, but they tend to be bulky, heavy and quite pricey. Many travelers like a compact and light camera they can easily toss in their bag without adding too much bulk or weight to the clothing and other items in it.

The main front-facing feature of the Canon G9 X is its 20.1MP sensor, and its 3x optical zoom (28-84 mm). With the zoom feature, you can zoom in on shots that are just out of reach.

2. Canon EOS M10 Mirrorless Camera Kit

Our rating: 9 / 10

Canon EOS M10 Mirrorless Camera Kit

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Pros:

  • Good travel friendly camera
  • Item comes with a camera bag
  • Items have a reasonable price

Cons:

  • Dials are very small and difficult to manipulate
  • Users may have to purchase an extra memory card

Coupled with Canon’s STM lens, the EOS M10 features image stabilization for smooth shooting, a 24 MP APS-C CMOS sensor, and continuous focus technology for fast and precise auto-focusing. The camera comes equipped with a 3.0-inch LCD screen for composing shots, but it doesn’t swivel, so you’ll need to make sure your shots are composed in advance.

We also like the fact that this camera comes with a rechargeable battery and charger, but you will still need to purchase memory cards, as it doesn’t come with any memory built in. It’s a good option for travel photography.

3. Canon PowerShot Digital Camera

Our rating: 8 / 10

Canon PowerShot Digital Camera

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Pros:

  • Excellent low light performance
  • Two control dials
  • Oblique tilt capability
  • Easy to use interface
  • Great manual controls
  • Plenty of features
  • Easy to shoot verticals
  • Surprisingly good in low light

Cons:

  • Annoying startup delay
  • Mediocre video quality
  • Not great for movie making

In 2015, Canon launched an updated version of its popular G7X point-and-shoot camera that had the new code name of G7X II. We took this camera for a spin. This lightweight camera is perfect for travel – it is so small and light that you can easily carry it around all day without any damage to your shoulders.

We found it to have two control dials on the back, rather than on the top, making it easier to use. It also has oblique tilt capability – a unique feature for a camera of this size, letting you get a bit of a different perspective than the typical right angle. It also is easy to use thanks to its Canon user-friendly interface.

4. Canon EOS M5 Mirrorless Camera Body

Our rating: 8 / 10

Canon EOS M5 Mirrorless Camera Body

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Pros:

  • Excellent battery life
  • Lightweight body
  • Shoots beautiful pictures
  • Great camera for anyone

Cons:

  • Emphasis on video and limited selection of lenses
  • Limited Wi-Fi capabilities
  • Limited exposure options for video

The Canon EOS M5 is an excellent choice if you’re a photographer who wants a camera that shoots great photos and videos without the bulkiness of the bigger DSLR. The M5 puts an emphasis on video and is especially great for live events due to its autofocus capabilities.

The M5 has a fixed zoom lens with a multi-layer coating that helps to reduce reflections and lens flare. It has a fast contrast-detection autofocus system with a dedicated phase-detection autofocus sensor. The camera is also great for street photographers as it can shoot up to 8.6 frames per second in continuous shooting mode.

The M5 comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities so photographers can transfer photos wirelessly to their smart phones or edit them directly on them. In addition, they can also copy photos from their phone to their camera.

5. Canon PowerShot SX720 HS

Our rating: 8 / 10

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS

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Pros:

  • Excellent images and video in most situations
  • Design elements of previous SX-series cameras that were well-received
  • Touchscreen functionality offers an interesting alternative to a touchpad

Cons:

  • The GPS isn’t always accurate.
  • Touchscreen functionality can be wonky at times.
  • No external flash.

Canon has once again produced a camera that is, typically, smack in the middle of the enterprise / prosumer line. It doesn’t have the top-of-the-line Canon-engineered image stabilization processor, nor does it have 4K video capability, a faux aperture ring, or a touchscreen. At the same time, it has a GPS device that’s “touchable”, and it has Canon’s latest processor and a touch-screen. It also has an extremely versatile 25X optical zoom lens.

6. Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR

Our rating: 8 / 10

Canon EOS Rebel SL1 Digital SLR

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Pros:

  • Offers a range of various useful features
  • It is a reasonably powerful camera but still compact and lightweight
  • It is also pretty affordable, and you can buy it with a high-quality lens

The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 is a great starter camera. It has useful features such as image stabilization, which is common on high-end cameras. It is reasonably powerful, and it is small and lightweight.

It is ideal for people who want to get into photography but do not want to spend a lot of money on the camera, as well as people who already know how to use a camera. It works with both Canon and third-party lenses, and it is compatible with memory cards from other manufacturers as well. You can buy it with a high-quality lens, and it offers a good range of features at a reasonable price. It is also pretty portable.

Despite these advantages, there are higher-end models that are better suited for enthusiasts.

7. Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera

Our rating: 8 / 10

Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera

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Pros:

  • Attractive megapixel count (20.2 vs 13 or fewer)
  • Impressive resolution
  • Low price
  • Great for travel

Cons:

  • Average battery life
  • Heavier than similar cameras (1.14 lb vs 0.66 lb)
  • A bit larger than similar cameras (5 x 4.44 x 3.39 vs 4.82 x 4.82 x 3.82)

The Canon EOS 6D is a DSLR camera capable of capturing videos in Full HD and select images using its low-pass filter function.

It is an original camera and comes with the original accessories and warranty. Compared to the other cameras in this class, this model is an affordable option, cheaper than its competitors by hundreds of dollars.

Canon is currently the world leading brand in digital image and video cameras. A large share of camera users choose Canon models, despite the high price of these cameras, because of the high quality pictures that Canon cameras produce.

8. Fujifilm FinePix S1 16 MP Digital Camera

Our rating: 6 / 10

Fujifilm FinePix S1 16 MP Digital Camera

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Pros:

  • Very compact (weighs about 82g)
  • Takes great outdoor pictures
  • Best travel Canon camera in terms of image quality

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best camera for travel photography?

Ultimately, which camera you prefer is a personal choice. However, there are a few things you’ll want to look for. One is being able to use legacy lenses, that are Nikon and Canon lenses in particular. These lenses were designed to transfer the light entering the camera lens into the sensor very efficiently … and this is one of the main reasons why DSLR cameras are a popular choice for travel photography.

Another thing to look for is a wide depth of field, which is what allows you to shoot everything from a close-up shot to a landscape in one photo without multiple landscape and portrait-orientation shots. This will significantly cut down on the amount of time you spend in post-processing.

Which Canon camera is the best for photography?

Canon is the gold standard of the camera world. Their SLR cameras have been the choice of professionals for a long time, and Canon’s budget point and shoot lines remain the choice of millions of amateur photographers. As a budget option, Canon has a lot of good starter point and shoot cameras that also make excellent choices for travel. That is because many of them are small and lightweight, take great photos, and are durable and waterproof.

However, Canon’s top SLR cameras remain the best of the best. In order to help you decide which Canon is best for you, we’ve put together a list of the 7 best travel cameras from Canon. Each is chosen for its specific advantages best matched for different types of travel photography. Some may be better for sky-high mountain scenery while others may be best for taking underwater photos off the coast of Belize.

What is the best Canon camera right now?

How about the best DSLR camera?

After much research and deliberation, we’ve determined that the Canon EOS 5D is the best Canon DSLR camera on the market. Pictures are high quality, it takes great video, and its autofective is very impressive. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth the additional cost.

If you are looking for a less expensive option, the EOS Rebel T6i is an adequate alternative. While the photos are definitely not as good, the quality is still comparable to other DSLR cameras. The more advanced features on this model, such as the updated autofocus, make it our top recommendation. It is a good choice for both travel photography and for those just getting started.

Conclusion

For those truly passionate about photography, the best way to practice your skills is to travel. And that’s why we went to all the trouble to find the best travel cameras. So you can capture the most brilliant of photos on your vacation and enjoy your memories for years after. What we found is there are two ways to go with camera selection. You can go with a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera, which you might prefer if you’re used to using a SLR and, therefore, more comfortable with the controls. Or you can consider a hybrid camera, which are specially designed for vacation photography and are all-around winners.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Canon PowerShot G9 X Digital CameraBest OverallCanon PowerShot G9 X Digital Camera
Fujifilm FinePix S1 16 MP Digital CameraBudget PickFujifilm FinePix S1 16 MP Digital Camera
Canon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR CameraUpgrade PickCanon EOS 6D 20.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR Camera