Best Travel Camera: Small Cameras, Waterproof Cameras and More

7 min read

You’re off on the vacation of a lifetime! Beach, bar, city or spa—you’re having the time of your life. You want to remember these days forever. But wait… You didn’t bring your camera because it’s too heavy! The quality is too bad! It fell in the pool and stopped working!

Whatever travel you’re into, hopefully it won’t be long until we’re having unforgettable adventures again. When that day comes, be ready to capture every moment with the best travel camera. 

What makes a good camera for travel?

Buying a new camera can be daunting because of the number of options. Even in the class of “travel cameras”, there are literally thousands to choose from. To narrow down the choices, here are some key things to consider when choosing the best travel camera:

  • Portability: NO to clunky and heavy, YES to lightweight and easy to carry around.
  • Creativity vs. simplicity: Do you want a thousand amazing creative options, or a hassle-free point and shoot? 
  • Image quality: High resolution, great stabilization and superior low-light performance to reduce the chances of that perfect shot being blurry.
  • Durability: Especially when traveling, your camera needs to be able to endure the elements. 
  • Versatility: Reducing the number of cameras and accessories you need to carry around to make travel more enjoyable. 

Best small camera for travel 

When traveling, the last thing you want is to be lugging around a huge DSLR with multiple lenses. Your neck will be aching, your hands will be full and chances are you’ll not bother taking the camera out every day. So you need a portable and practical small travel camera. 

best small camera for travel

Well, Insta360 GO 2 weighs just 27 grams and it’s smaller than your thumb. It’s so light that you can shoot with no hands! Mount it anywhere you like, tap to shoot and go. It’s so tiny that you’ll probably forget you’re taking awesome hands-free POV shots!

GO 2 comes with several pocket-sized accessories, so when you’re traveling there’s no need to carry bulky gear around. The first is an Easy Clip for attaching to hats, headbands, shoes and more. Second is a sticky-based Pivot Stand for mounting in unconventional places, and the third is a magnetic pendant necklace for wearing on your chest. GO 2 is waterproof to 4 meters, too, so you don’t even need to carry a waterproof case at the beach or by the pool. 

While GO 2 is a small travel camera, it’s performance is anything but. Another great travel feature is Insta360’s leading FlowState Stabilization technology. Whether you’re flying down the ski slopes or navigating busy streets, the stabilization algorithm eliminates all bumps from your shots, while Horizon Lock keeps the camera steady. The result is crisp lines and buttery smooth footage.

When is a case not a case? When it’s also a charger, a controller with an LED control screen AND has three fold out legs for use as a tripod! GO 2’s multi-functional case allows it to act as a camera much greater than it’s diminutive size.

When you’ve finished shooting, there’s no need to spend hours editing your footage if that’s not your thing. With FlashCut AI in the Insta360 app, you can put your feet up and leave the editing to the robots. Easy. 

Check out more of GO 2’s killer features here.

Best pocket camera for creative travel videos

For those of us whose sole purpose of going on vacation is taking epic shots of absolutely everything, Insta360 ONE X2 is the ideal pocket camera for travel. It isn’t a regular camera. It’s a 360-degree steady cam. 

best pocket camera for travel

With two fisheye lenses, ONE X2 is a travel camera that challenges everything you thought you knew about image making. Forget “point-and-shoot”, discover the freedom of “shoot first, point later”. The camera captures images from every angle, so you can relax in the knowledge you’ll never miss that perfect shot again! Just shoot now, then reframe around your subject and favorite angles later. 

When you’re bungee jumping over the Nile, kayaking down the Amazon or flying through the Grand Canyon, you shouldn’t be glued to a viewfinder. When you “shoot first, point later”, you’re free to live in the moment. When you finally have a moment of calm, either upload as a traditional flat video or in mind-blowing 360. That’s why 360-degree cameras are so great for travel photography.

ONE X2 really comes into its own once you let your creative juices flow. With the help of Shot Lab AI editing, you can create breathtaking cinematic effects with the tap of a button. Effects to choose from include stop motion, timelapses, clone effects, flying effects and many, many more. ONE X2 also utilizes Insta360’s signature FlowState stabilization, so your footage will appear even more blockbuster-like. 

best travel camera

If you prefer travel vlogs or documentaries to big-screen movies, why not be the star of your own? Use ONE X2 with the Invisible Selfie Stick to create the impression of being filmed by someone else. It’s like having your own personal camera crew in your pocket!

Despite its creative focus, ONE X2 is still an action camera after all. Waterproof to 10 meters, its durable body is designed to withstand whatever adventures you put yourself, and it, through. It also acts as a regular POV action cam for when you’re too busy to reframe your shots. Just use ONE X2’s simple Steady Cam mode for easy point-and-shoot photos and videos that you can share instantly to social media. 

Check out more of ONE X2’s killer features here.

Best all-rounder travel camera

When traveling, should you take a compact camera, a video camera, a 360 camera or an action cam? Nobody likes compromise. So why choose just one? You can have them all in one!

Thanks to its innovative interchangeable lens design, Insta360 ONE R gives you all the power. Rather than carrying 101 different cameras or limiting yourself with one specialist cam, take ONE R with interchangeable lenses that can be swapped in and out. You get the same choice as taking all your cameras without being weighed down. 

waterproof travel camera

The Twin Edition includes two different lenses. Firstly, the Dual-Lens 360 mod which lets you shoot stunning 5.7K 360 footage, just like ONE X2. Second is the 4K Wide Angle mod, which shoots like a regular action cam, for crisp details and high-resolution shots. 

The third option for ONE R is the 1-Inch Edition developed with the legendary lens manufacturer, Leica. By joining forces, Insta360 and Leica have created a lens which shoots the best quality images ever seen in action cams. 

Boasting a 1-inch sensor, ONE R 1-Inch Edition excels not only as an action cam but also as a stills camera. The large sensor drastically improves dynamic range and performance in low-light, where many other action cams struggle. Shooting in 5.3K and combined with FlowState Stabilization and Horizon Lock technology, the 1-Inch Edition does the job of an action cam AND a traditional camera.

Flexibility is the traveler’s dream. And as if being able to choose three lenses wasn’t enough, there’s more! The durable and rugged ONE R also has a reversible touch screen display, is waterproof to 5 meters and performs superbly in low light, thanks to PureShot AI mode. ONE R is designed for globetrotters who are taking thrill-seeking 360 videos and stunning stills all in one day! All things considered, this is a seriously versatile travel camera.

Check out more of ONE R’s killer features here.

So which camera is best?

Choosing the best travel camera all comes down to your individual needs. Think about what aspects are most important to you when traveling—size, simplicity, creativity, quality, durability or versatility—and you should be able to find a perfect match!

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