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The Best Compact Cameras for Travel in 2018

Whether you're planning a short city break in Bruges, gearing up for a family holiday to Barbados, packing for a 'staycation' in Bognor Regis, or training for a trek through Bangladesh, you'll be able to capture amazing photos and travel light with our top picks of the best compact cameras for travel and holidays in 2018.

Keeping the weight down is a common requirement for a travel camera, which is why we've narrowed our selection to only compact digital cameras - they're light, compact, and feature packed so you know you'll be able to come home with some truly memorable travel images.

Different holiday destinations have different needs though - you might want a more stylish premium compact camera if you're wandering the city streets, hunting out cool coffee shops and taking in everything cultural, whereas a waterproof, shockproof, go-anywhere compact camera might be more appropriate if you're off on a summer holiday with the kids!

In this article we're comparing the benefits and differences of these ten compact digital cameras so you can find the best camera for your needs:

  1. Canon IXUS 185 - a ready-to-go, point-and-shoot camera
  2. GoPro Hero 5 Session - a tiny, 4K video waterproof cube
  3. Ricoh Theta V - a 4K video, 360 degree camera 
  4. Panasonic Lumix TZ90 - a superzoom, all-in-one travel camera 
  5. Sony RX100 III - 20 megapixel pocket sized travel camera
  6. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II - compact & stylish with Full HD video
  7. Panasonic Lumix LX15 - 4K video in a pocket camera
  8. Fujifilm X100F - retro premium styling & outstanding image quality
  9. Canon PowerShot G1X Mark III - DSLR quality in a compact camera
  10. Olympus Tough TG-5 - a rugged, almost-everything-proof 4K camera

1. Canon IXUS 185

Buy it now in Red, Black or Silver at Park Cameras

One of the most affordable and capable compact digital cameras available in 2018 is the brilliant little Canon IXUS 185. It's Canon's latest compact camera and packs a 20 megapixel sensor with 8x optical zoom in a super slim, pocketable body.

The Canon IXUS 185 is perfect for travelling anywhere, if you just want a camera that will take great photos without loads of fiddly settings. It's one of the slimmest compact cameras on the market and shoots 720p HD videos, as well as using the powerful Canon DIGIC image processing. It's the latest in the renowned Canon IXUS lineup and is designed for hassle-free, easy, point-and-shoot photography. The compact size makes it perfect to slip into a pocket.

The compact and slim Canon IXUS 185 is available in three colours - black, silver, or a fetching red and is available to order today from Park Cameras.

2. GoPro Hero5 Session Action Camera

The GoPro Hero5 Session is available now at Park Cameras

Whether you're off on a more adventurous holiday, perhaps climbing Everest or traversing the Sahara, the GoPro Hero5 Session action camera is the ultimate in compact, high quality, 4K video, voice activated device for capturing stunning footage and images of your trip. And even if you're holidaying somewhere less extreme, the Hero5 Session is a camera you don't need to worry about.

You can give it to the kids and let them take it swimming or leave it on your beach towel and not worry about getting sand inside it; it'll be fine! This little cube GoPro hardly takes up any room in your bag and is perfect for taking anywhere you go.

Beyond recording gorgeous 4K video, it will also capture 10 megapixel still images so you can still get those still shots. The GoPro Hero5 Session is a fantastic alternative to the traditional compact camera, offering a different perspective for your holiday images.

There's also Panasonic's advanced features including Post Focus which lets you choose the focus point in an image after it's been taken, and Focus Stacking which lets you compile multiple photos with different focal points together into a single, ultra sharp image. Extra functions include Self Shot mode, Panorama Selfie, and Beauty Retouch so you can get really creative with your travel photography.

5. Sony Disc RX100 III Compact Digital Camera

Buy the Sony RX100 III today from Park Cameras

With a big sensor and a bright lens, the Sony RX100 III is a pocket-sized compact camera that produces stunning quality images, making it ideal for capturing those precious summer holiday memories, giving serious image quality and extreme portability.

Featuring a 1-inch 20 megapixel back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor and a ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens with 2.9x optical zoom, the RX100 III is the third in Sony's famous RX100 series (they released the Mark V in 2016), and can comfortably handle low light situations thanks to the ISO sensitivity up to 25,600.

A bright OLED view finder and 180-degree tilting LCD screen give detailed viewing for easy shooting, and the sleek, compact aluminium body of the Sony RX100 III looks great and means you can travel light while knowing that you've got an immensely powerful camera in your pocket that's ready to go whenever you are.

Update* Sony have just announced (June 2018) that the Mark VI will include a 28-200mm focal range - find out more about this feature packed, premium compact camera.

6. Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II Compact Digital Camera

Available in Black or Silver from Park Cameras

The second iteration of Canon's G9X compact camera, the PowerShot G9X Mark II is a gorgeous, sleek and stylish compact digital camera packing a high-resolution 1-inch 20 megapixel sensor and is powered by Canon's DIGIC 7 image processor, the same as found in the Canon EOS M5 and G7 X Mark II.

With Full HD video recording and an f/2.0 3x optical zoom lens, the G9X Mark II is a premium compact camera that also features Wi-Fi connectivity for easy sharing of your travel pictures.

The G9X Mark II is a more than just a holiday camera, it's a powerful, versatile, go-anywhere compact digital camera that will continue to delight you with outstanding quality images long after you return from your travels.

7. Panasonic Lumix LX15 Compact Digital Camera

The Lumix LX15 in stock now at Park Cameras

Another 4K video camera in this line-up, the Panasonic Lumix LX15 is a fantastic, small and stylish compact camera that's full of outstanding features, making it an ideal candidate for travel or holiday photography.

Inside the Lumix LX15 is a powerful 1-inch 20 megapixel sensor, and the images come courtesy of a gorgeous 24-72mm f/1.4-2.8 Leica lens, so the images are sharp and clear.

With 4K video recording, the LX15 will capture stunning movies of all your holiday memories, but there's a host of advanced features that make this a serious compact camera.

You'll always be ready to capture precious moments with a start-up time of only 0.5 seconds, a time between shots of only 0.2 seconds, a shutter release lag time of only 0.01 seconds and a super-fast autofocus time of only 0.08 seconds.

The 91 focus points on the Fujifilm X100F are paired with Phase Detection AF and Contrast AF which makes focusing on your chosen subject easier, quicker, and more precise than ever.

The advanced hybrid viewfinder makes taking photos easy and clear, and with a host of other features including Film Simulation modes and Wi-Fi operation via the camera remote app, the Fujifilm X100F is an outstanding premium compact camera that will last you for years, even after your holiday is over.

9. Canon PowerShot G1X Mark III

The Canon G1X Mark III is available now at Park Cameras

Much like the Fuji X100F, the Canon PowerShot G1X Mark III is a premium compact camera with all the bells and whistles you'd usually expect to see on a mid-range DSLR camera.

With a large APS-C sensor packing 24. megapixels, Full HD video, a fast DIGIC 7 image processing engine, and Canon's famed Dual Pixel CMOS AF focusing system, the PowerShot G1X Mark III stands out in the range of compact cameras as a camera worthy of any serious photographer.

On the front there's a nice, bright f/2.8 lens with a focal length of 15-45mm (equivalent to 24-72mm in 35mm terms), which is a great range for everyday shooting and means the G1X Mark III is capable of shooting anything from events and party shots, to portraits and landscapes.

Overall, the Canon G1X Mark III is stuffed full of features that make it a wise choice for any photographer who is looking for a serious compact camera that's not only pocket-friendly but also capable of delivering brilliant quality image and video.

10. Olympus Tough TG-5 Rugged Action Camera

Available today in Black or Red from Park Cameras

As rugged, tough travel cameras go, you can't go far wrong with the Olympus Tough TG-5. This is a tough action camera that's waterproof, freezeproof, as well as being crush, shock, and dustproof to boot. It's a versatile, 4K video shooting, compact camera for travel that comes with a battery of 'Field Sensors' that add data to your images and video.

As if that's not enough, the TG-5 features a stunning 12MP sensor that's been optimised for low light performance with larger pixels than its predecessor - perfect for shooting in murky water. It also features the same Pro Capture Mode for high speed shooting that you find Olympus' top-of-the-range OM-D E-M1 Mark II, and the same user interface too.

Wherever you're going, whatever you throw at it (or throw it at), the Olympus TG-5 can handle it, and will deliver stunning images and 4K video that will wow your friends and family.

If you've been inspired by any of these cameras but haven't found what you're after, there's loads more compact cameras to choose from online & in store at Park Cameras.


By Park Cameras on 18/01/2018

Trade in your old equipment

Fast and easy trade in service ensures your old gear is collected efficiently and you are paid quickly! It's very simple to trade in your unwanted photography gear. Just head over to our dedicated Sell or Part Exchange page, fill out the details, and we'll get back to you with an offer for your old gear. Take the cash, or put it towards the cost of your new gear. It's up to you! Find out more