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The 11 BEST Cameras for Digital Nomads [2020]

If you’re seeking the absolute best camera for your life as a Digital Nomad; you need to know that in today’s tech savvy age, there’s an endless variety of choice for travel cams.

Everything from compactness to price, from customisability to ease of use is lucid amongst the staggering range of options.

At first it can seem a little overwhelming, especially when each product is marketed as “the best”. 

But which ones really are the best?

best cameras for digital nomads

Here at Nomads Nation, we’ve tried & tested dozens of travel cameras to find out which are worthy of adding to your Digital Nomad Packing List  – and which should be left at the store.

We’ve also included a quick guide detailing all the specs to consider when choosing the right digital nomad camera for you!

Use the reviews section to get brutally honest feedback from us on what we consider to be the top 11 travel cams grooving the market right now!

Quick Links

Best All Rounder >> Panasonic Lumix ZS200

Most Durable​ >> Olympus TG-6

Highest Quality –Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 III

Cheapest -Canon PowerShot SX730 HSM

Most Compact – Sony RX100 VA

Best for Travel Blogging – Canon G7X 

Best for Beginners – Canon Rebel T7

Best Action Travel Cam – GoPro Hero 8

Best All Rounder for Travel >> Nikkon D7200

Key Considerations when Choosing a Travel Camera

  1. Size & Weight: If a camera is going to be a part of your Digital Nomad gear, this is the first and most important thing to consider.

    For travelling efficiency, it’s easier to have an ergonomically, compact and light camera that takes up minimal space. The first 9 cameras we review are point and shoot, meaning they’re small, light and easy to pack.

  2. Some bigger cameras (e.g. mirrorless cameras and DSLR Cams) have more custom options like interchangeable lenses, but unless your a professional photographer, this isn’t something you need to worry about. 

  3. Weatherproofing: There’s massive variation between the durability of different cameras. Some, (like GoPro’s) main selling point is that they’re nigh indestructible – waterproof, freeze-proof, shatterproof etc.

    This is both awesome and 100% necessary if you’ll be shooting photos during extreme activities like water-sports and rock climbing.

  4. Stabilisation- Some cameras compensate for shaky hands with stabilisation. Super… handy (see what we did…well did you!?) if you’re a beginner or prone to dancing hands.
  5. HD/4K Video – Most travel cameras shoot in in HD 1080p. Some even have 4k capabilities, although this often makes them pricier.
  6. Megapixels – More mexapixels on a large sensor equals more detail and allows you to crop an image without reducing quality.
  7. Manual Settings – Pro Photographers will want the option to manually control all camera settings to dial in the perfect shot in different situations. 

Best all rounder

Why Digital Nomads Love the Panasonic Lumix ZS200- Compact and lightweight; it’s easy to travel with and yet it has the power of 20 megapixels, decent zoom and the ability to shoot in 4k video. 

Pros of Panasonic Lumix ZS200

  • Ultra high speed auto-focus.
  • Touched controlled LCD for greater control
  • Creative control including scene and filter modes

Cons of Panasonic Lumix ZS200

  • Only moderately durable
  • No "delete first" option when viewing photos
  • Only comes in black

Is Panasonic Lumix ZS200 for You?

If you’re after a camera that is straightforward to use, easy to travel with and suitable for a variety of situations, with awesome control features; but still not insanely expensive or overly complex than yes.

If you are a full time professional photographer and/or you specialise in a certain kind of photography (e.g. underwater), then you should probably fork out on a flashier, more specialist cam.

Most durable travel camera

Why Digital Nomads Love the Olympus TG-6 – It’s waterproof up to 50ft, freeze-proof up to -10 degrees celcius, dust-proof and can be dropped by up to 7 foot. 

This makes the Olympus TG-5 great for shooting in extreme situations like rock-climbing, watersports and hiking.

Seriusly – this thing is one of the hardiest pieces of Digital Nomad Gear, we’ve ever reviewed.

Pros of Olympus TG-6

  • Shoots in 4K movie
  • 5 underwater shooting modes!
  • High Resolution F2.0 lens with 8x zoom

Cons of Olympus TG-6

  • Has WiFi transfer, but it's is a little slow
  • Paper manual not included, you need to download a digital one
  • Can't record more than 5 minutes of 4K video

Is the Olympus TG-6 for You?

If you’re in search of a indestructible camera; but one that is affordable rather than military grade (!), to use in a range of varied settings – than yes.

The Olympus TG-6 is also fairly customisable and for those who know what they’re doing, has a lot of extra features.

However if you don’t plan on taking photos in extreme scenarios, it’d be better to spend the money on a camera that has different main selling points.

Best for getting high quality photos

Why Digital Nomads Love the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 III –  It’s beautiful metal construction gives it a premium and solid feel, yet it remains light thanks to the aluminium shell. 

With it’s inbuilt viewfinder, 20.1 megapixel one inch sensor and 4k video recording this is an absolute monster, capable of taking exceptionally high quality photos.

This camera would go great with the WANDRD PRVKE

Pros of Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 III

  • Metal Construction = Extremely durable
  • Very long battery life
  • 180 degree LCD makes it great for selfies.

Cons of Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 III

  • Screen layout a little cluttered
  • Doesn't have any grips on the front
  • Buttons and controls a little close together

Is the Sony Cyber-Shot RX100 III for You?

If your number one priority is getting extremely high quality photos and video footage on a compact and durable travel camera, than yes…so long as you don’t mind splashing out a little extra.

Whilst not as durable as some cameras (like the Olympus TG-6), nor as simple to use as say the Panasonic Lumix SX200…the Sony Cyber-Shot RH100 III does take amazing pictures.

Best Cheap Travel Cam

Why Digital Nomads Love the Canon Powershot SX730 HS – It boasts 40x zoom and image capture, plus it has a much longer zoom range than many DSLR Setups…yet is considerably cheaper.

Pros of Canon Powershot SX730 HS

  • 20.3 megapixel sensor on board
  • Shockingly budget friendly
  • Compact and sturdy design

Cons of Canon Powershot SX730 HS

  • No 4K Video shooting - but HD capabilities enough for most people
  • Small, travel friendly design = slightly cramped buttons
  • Not as light as some other travelc ameras

Is the canon powershot SX730 HS for You?

If you’re on a bit of a budget but you still want a compact camera that produces high quality images, has a shit ton of customisable features and is stylish and durable, this is a great bet.

However, if shooting the best possible video footage (4k) is high on your agenda or you want the lightest possible travel camera, then no. 

Best Compact Travel Camera

Why Digital Nomads Love the Sony RX100 VA – Seriously, travel cameras don’t get any more compact and lightweight than this. 

This baby weights just 10.6 oz and will easily fit in your pocket; yet has many of the same features as much larger cameras. 

This is perfect for allowing you extra space for packing other tech such as a Travel Laptop. 

Pros of Sony RX100 VA

  • Fast focusing
  • 20 Megapixels
  • Flip screen for vlogging

Cons of Sony RX100 VA

  • Not as cheap as some other travel cameras
  • Fixed lens
  • Small sensor

Is the Sony RX100 VA for You?

If your number one priority in a travel camera is that it’s as compact and light as possible, then hell to the yes. Seriously, you won’t find a camera that takes up less than the Sony RX100 VA.

That said it’s not as customisable as some of the other cams we’ve reviewed, nor as cheap.  

Best Travel Vlogging Camera

Why Digital Nomads Love the Canon G7X – The exceptionally high quality onboard audio (rare for a travel cam!) and flip screen, make the Canon G7X ideal for digital nomads of the travel blogging variety.

Since it’s so compact this would fit great in a daily sling (like the Bellroy Sling). 

  • Great onboard audio
  • 24-100mm zoom
  • 20 megapixels
  • Less high end features than other cameras so far reviewed
  • No 4k
  • Slow focusing

Is the Canon G7X for You?

If you want a compact, durable and most importantly vlogger friendly travel camera – you’d better believe this one’s for you.

Ya see, many travel cameras have pretty poor quality audio – as in they don’t record sound too well. But not the Canon G7X – your witty travel remarks will cut through on your blog as sharply as an icy howl at a birthday party.

The flip screen also means you’ll be able to clearly see yourself; meaning you’ll have no excuse not to look like a total mess. Now go take a shower. 

Best Beginners Cam for Digital Nomads

Why Digital Nomads Love the Canon Revel T7 – It’s insanely easy to use – even your old gran could figure it out! Plus it’s cheap, which is handy considering that as a beginner camera, it probably won’t be your last.

This is a great camera to pair with the Peak Design Everyday Sling.

Pros of Canon Rebel T7

  • Image stabilisation
  • Large sensors provide plenty of resolution
  • Easy to use controls

Cons of Canon Rebel T7

  • A little bulky
  • Only comes in black
  • Limited special features

Is the Canon rebel T7 for You?

If you’re looking for your first camera; one that won’t overwhelm you with endless features and which is easy, go for it. Of course, this isn’t just a beginner cam – it’s a beginner travel cam, because it’s compact and light to travel with. Noice.

That said, if you have an inkling of camera knowledge and/or need a lighter and smaller travel camera, you might want to consider one of the other easy to use, but smaller and slightly higher quality models like the GoPro Hero8 or the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS.

Best Action Camera for Travel

Why Digital Nomads Love the GoPro Hero 8 – Oh behave! Of course you’ve heard of the GoPro Hero 8. It’s GoPro’s best camera yet and an absolute must for the photo snapping adrenaline junky.

Waterproof, highly durable and with three levels of video stabilisation, it’s the camera for shooting watersports, trekking and extreme activities with.  

Pros of GoPro Hero 8

  • Quick loading accessories like flash, LCD screens, microphones and more.
  • 4k video with slow mo options
  • Voice activated control - perfect for when you're doing something epic with no free hands.

Cons of Gopro Hero 8

  • Limited Zoom
  • Small sensor
  • Limited range of casing colours.

Is the GoPro Hero 8 You?

If you want an affordable travel camera, that’s as compact as can be and is ideal for extreme activities and water-sports then yes. The GoPro Hero 8 is extremely durable and with it’s fun and nifty features like slow mo video shooting and voice activated control it’s a breeze to use.

Of course, it doesn’t take the same kind of ultra high quality photos that the likes of the Sony A7III does – nor it it immensely customisable. So, if you don’t need a nigh indestructible camera designed specifically for extreme activities, choose something else with more relevant features to you.

Most Customisable travel camera

Why Digital Nomads Love Olympus PEN E-PL9: It come’s with an absolute shit ton of customisable options that let you adapt the camera to your shooting style.

Roll this into a relatively cheap, durable and exceptionally compact camera and you’ve got the Olympus PEN E-PL9.

Pros of Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

  • Super compact - will fit in your pocket
  • Silent mode (disables all shutter sounds)
  • In body stabilisation.

Cons of Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II

  • Small - may be difficult to handle for people with giant hands
  • For custom setup, you will need to read the entire online manual
  • Has only 16 megapixels, 4 less than most other cams we've reviewed.

Is Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II for You?

If you have good photography knowhow and you want a highly customisable camera that you can set specifically to your shooting style; whilst still being cheap to purchase, then yes.

 However, if you are not too fussed about customising your cameras setup, you should pick something more simple to use like the Panasonic Lumix ZS200.

Best Mirrorless Luxury Travel Camera

Why Digital Nomads Love the Sony A7 III – Wow. Seriously – the A7III is the best (slightly larger) travel camera money can buy at the moment. 

Its full frame sensor technology, rapid focusing speed and dynamic range are phenomenal.

Combine this with internal stabilisation and a high dynamic range…and you’ll know where your money is going!

Pros of Sony A7 III

  • 24 Megapixels!
  • Weather Sealed body
  • 4k video

Cons of Sony A7 III

  • Big and heavy
  • Expensive
  • No built in flash

Is the Sony A7 III for You?

Would you describe yourself as a “professional amateur”, meaning you know how to shoot in manual mode and understand concepts such as depth of field?

Do you mind a travel camera that’s a little bulkier than the other models (point and shooters), so far reviewed…and can you fork out some real dosh?

Do you want a camera that provides the most cutting edge photo snapping technology known – one that goes above and beyond pretty much any other travel camera out there?

If you’re answers to the above questions were: “Yarp. Narp. YARP”! Then absolutely. 

Best DSLR Camera for Travelling

Why Digital Nomads Love the Nikkon D7200 – It’s fantastic for all different types of photography, shoots in 4k/UHD video and the 51 point AF system will track a moving subject. 

This makes it great for complicated photo shoots like shooting wildlife, sports and the routing survivors of your defeated arch nemesis’ army.

If you are getting a DSLR, you should paid it with an awesome photography backpack. Check out our Peak Design Everyday Backpack review. 

Pros of Nikon D7200

  • Many lenses available
  • Weatherized
  • Large APS-C Sensor

Cons of Nikon D7200

  • DSLR Cameras are bigger than point and shoot as well as mirrorless cameras.
  • Slow focus
  • Heavy body

Is the Nikon D7200 for You?

This is another camera that’s really tailored towards amateur professionals – people who know their shit. Simply put, if you don’t know your shit, then you won’t get the most out of this camera, which would be a shame considering it’s high cost. 

But, if you do know what your doing and you don’t mind a fairly bulky camera that excels at taking high quality photos of moving targets, this is a great shout. 

Final Thoughts on Travel Cameras for Digital Nomads

The. End. You should now know exactly what it is in a travel camera that will and won’t work for you, based on your personal needs, travel style and shooting preferences. 

Rest assured that the 11 travel cameras we’ve reviewed, are without a doubt the best currently on the market as well as the most relevant for digital nomads.

More questions needing to be asked? More gear being sought, mayhaps? You know what to do. The comments section is at the bottom of this page. Chow. 

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Written by Alex Hatton

Alex is a full time Digital Nomad and the Founder of the world's greatest Scuba Diving site - DivingSquad.com! Connect with Alex Hatton -