Savvy Travel Advice
Travel Photography: Best DSLR Cameras for Travel 2023
Last updated: September 28, 2023 - Written by Jessica Norah 60 Comments
DSLR cameras are a popular camera choice for travel photographers, as they offer great battery life, excellent image quality, a wide range of lens options, and full manual controls. They allow the photographer to take a lot of control over their travel photography and are available at a wide range of price points to suit most budgets.
We’ve put together a detailed and helpful guide to the best DSLR cameras for travel. As professional travel photographers, we’ll help you decide if a DSLR camera is a good choice for you, provide advice on how to choose the best DSLR camera, and share a list of the best DSLR cameras currently available across various price points.
We also give advice on how to make the most of a new DSLR camera, point out camera accessories that may be useful, and provide tips for protecting your camera while you are traveling.
Table of Contents:
Choosing a DSLR Camera for Travel Photography
Before sharing our list of the best DSLR cameras for travel photography, we wanted to give you some advice on what a DSLR camera actually is, so you can start to decide if this type of camera is right for you.
We’re going to cover how a DSLR camera differs from other types of cameras, and why you might want to consider this sort of camera for your travel photography needs.
What is a DSLR Camera?
The abbreviation DSLR stand for “Digital Single Lens Reflex”, which is a specific type of camera that has a mirror inside the camera body and uses a digital sensor. These camera have largely replaced the film Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras that were the go-to for photographers for decades. The main difference is that SLR cameras use rolls of film and DSLR cameras have a digital sensor inside instead.
Other than the change from film to digital in the storage of the image, the basic technology of this type of camera has not changed a great deal.
First, let’s explain what an SLR, or single lens reflex camera, is. The main part of an SLR (or DSLR) camera that differs from other camera types, such as compact, mirrorless, or smartphone cameras, is the fact that there is a mirror inside the camera, which sits inside the camera body between the lens and the camera sensor. If you take the lens off a DSLR camera and look into the lens mount area, you’ll see this mirror.
This mirror catches the light coming in through the camera’s lens, and reflects it up to the camera’s optical viewfinder. This viewfinder is where you put your eye when you want to compose the image.
Pressing the camera shutter button will cause the mirror to flip up and allow the light to pass through the shutter curtain and onto the camera’s sensor. This is why the optical viewfinder goes dark when you press the shutter button.
The way that a DSLR works has a number of advantages from a photography point of view. First, when you look through the optical viewfinder, you see what the camera sees, as the light you are seeing is passing through the lens. This makes things like adjusting the focus more accurate.
An optical viewfinder is also very battery efficient, as you don’t have to power a screen in order to see what the camera is seeing, as you do with other types of cameras like mirrorless cameras or point and shoot cameras.
DSLR cameras also have a number of other notable features, some of which they share with other cameras. You can change the lenses, and most of them have larger sensors than say a point and shoot camera, full manual controls, and capable performance.
The technology is also very well established, meaning that there is a wide range of DSLR cameras to choose from across a wide range of price points, as well as an extensive lens selection.
Is a DSLR Camera the Right Type of Travel Camera for Me?
Up until around 2012 or 2013, a DSLR camera was the natural choice for photographers looking to improve their photography. They offered manual controls, interchangeable lenses, and the best image quality of any camera on the market.
In 2012, however, mirrorless cameras began to become a popular alternative to a DSLR. Mirrorless cameras offer similar features to DSLR cameras, but most are smaller and more lightweight making them more appealing to consumers. Space and weight are especially important for those using their camera for travel photography.
There are still many good reasons to buy a DSLR though, which we will go into now, by comparing DSLR cameras to other types of cameras on the market today.
DSLR vs. Smartphone Camera
A DSLR camera is very different from a smartphone. You’ll get far better image quality with a DSLR than a smartphone, as well as a larger sensor, the option to change lenses, longer battery life, full manual controls, and RAW file support.
Of course, there are some disadvantages. A DSLR will be much bigger and heavier than a cell phone and it’s definitely not something you can slip into a pocket, or even a purse in most cases.
A DSLR will also be harder to use and is likely more expensive. However modern smartphones are fairly expensive and some phones are now more expensive than some DSLRs. However, as you likely already have a smartphone, getting a DSLR will be an additional cost.
It’s worth mentioning that the latest smartphones on the market do offer some manual options, as well as clever computational technology to get the best photos with minimal user input. A few even let you shoot in RAW. So some of the smartphones with better cameras have evolved to be on par with the better compact cameras, but none are as good as having a mirrorless or DSLR camera.
So if you want to really improve your photography and take control over the process, a DSLR is definitely a better choice than a smartphone.
DSLR vs Compact Camera
Compact cameras, also known as point-and-shoot cameras, sit in the space between smartphones and mirrorless cameras / DSLR’s. Compared to smartphones, they give you the advantage of a dedicated camera system with a larger sensor, as well as other features like a decent zoom and, in some cases, more manual controls.
Compact cameras are generally easier to use than DSLR cameras and require less learning to master. They are also much smaller, more lightweight, and can often fit into a pocket or purse with no problem.
However, compact cameras do have a number of drawbacks. Unless you pay a lot of money, they usually don’t have manual controls or RAW support. Image quality is also usually not comparable to a DSLR – smaller sensors and lenses means that they can only do so much. Image quality of a compact camera will usually be on par or slightly better than a smartphone.
With a compact camera you are also stuck with the lens it comes with and you can’t choose to upgrade further down the line. Still, compact cameras do work for a lot of people, and there’s a wide choice on the market. Take a look at our recommendations for the best compact cameras for travel if you think this might be better for you.
DSLR vs. Mirrorless Camera
As previously mentioned, mirrorless cameras are rapidly becoming the go-to camera for photographers who want the advantages of a DSLR but in a lighter package.
The main difference between a mirrorless camera and a DSLR is that a mirrorless camera has no reflex mirror, meaning that you won’t find a mirrorless camera with an optical viewfinder. If there is a viewfinder, it will be electronic. Instead you will be able to see a digital preview of the image on a rear liquid crystal display (LCD) screen and/or an electronic viewfinder.
This has advantages and disadvantages. In terms of advantages, what you see on the mirrorless camera screen will be exactly what the image you capture looks like, as you are looking directly at the image as it is being recorded by the sensor.
With a DSLR, you can only see the actual captured image after you have pressed the shutter button if you are using the optical viewfinder. Although you can also use the display screen on the back of the DSLR camera for the same effect.
This advantage comes with a tradeoff though as powering that screen uses up a lot of battery, and mirrorless cameras tend to have much worse battery life than an equivalent DSLR. This can be significant, a difference between 200 to 300 shots per battery for a mirrorless camera, compared to 600 to 900 for a DSLR.
DSLR cameras are also, in many cases, larger and heavier than their mirrorless counterparts. However, this doesn’t always tell the whole story, as you have to factor in the weight of the lenses and those spare batteries you will have to carry. So whilst generally mirrorless cameras will be lighter and smaller, this isn’t always the case, especially as a package.
DSLR cameras are also, in many cases, less expensive than mirrorless cameras. The price of new technology and that additional screen has meant that mirrorless camera prices have stayed fairly high, and as a general rule, a mirrorless camera will be more expensive or at least as expensive as a DSLR.
Finally, DSLR cameras have been around for a long time, and build upon previous SLR cameras. This means that there is an incredible selection of lenses available, including first-party lenses such as those made by Canon and Nikon, and third party lenses like those from Tamron or Sigma.
This huge choice, and the massive secondhand market, means lenses for DSLR systems are often far more affordable than mirrorless camera lenses. Still, a mirrorless camera will make an excellent choice for many, so do take a look at our mirrorless camera guide for inspiration.
Advantages of DSLR Cameras
Here are the general advantages of a DSLR camera:
- Great image quality
- Interchangeable lenses
- Wide selection of lenses and other third-party camera accessories
- Full manual controls
- Excellent battery life
- Less expensive than many mirrorless cameras
- Look professional
Disadvantages of DSLR Cameras
Here are the main disadvantages of a DSLR camera:
- Larger and heavier than smartphones, compact cameras, and most mirrorless cameras
- Higher cost than a compact camera and many smartphones
- Steeper learning curve to use compared to a smartphone or compact camera
- More noticeable and conspicuous than smaller cameras
If after reading this you are leaning more towards a different type of camera, take a look at our guides to the best compact cameras for travel , the best action cameras for travel , the best mirrorless cameras for travel , the best bridge cameras for travel , as well as our general camera guide .
If you are looking to give a gift, you can check out our guide to gifts for photographers for ideas.
What to Look for when Buying a DSLR Camera for Travel
When you are shopping for a DSLR camera (or any type of camera), you are going to quickly encounter a lot of jargon which can be overwhelming.
To help you out, we’ve put together some of the key features you should be looking out for when comparing various DSLR camera models. Some of these might be must-haves for you and other features may not be as important.
One of the most important parts of any camera, be it a smartphone or a DSLR, is the sensor. This is the component which is responsible for capturing the light, and turning it into a digital image file.
In the days of SLR cameras, the sensor was a physical piece of film which reacted chemically to the light hitting it. Modern cameras have replaced this piece of film with a digital sensor, and the size of this sensor is directly related to the performance of the camera.
As a general rule, the larger the sensor, the better the camera will perform. This is especially the case when using a camera for low-light or night photography as a small sensor often can’t capture enough light to produce pleasing images in these scenarios.
Another advantage of a larger sensor is that is allows for greater depth of field effects. Of course, these larger sensors have a trade-off as they need a larger camera body to accommodate them and larger lenses to capture the light. So generally larger sensors come with larger, heavier, and more expensive cameras.
In DSLR cameras for travel photography, there are two main sensor sizes you will encounter. These are APS-C and Full Frame sensors.
APS-C sensors are the most common sensor size in DSLR consumer cameras. The sensor size is not absolute, but is generally around the size of 24mm × 16mm.
If you are buying an entry-level to mid-range DSLR camera, the chances are it will come with a sensor of this size. Nikon calls this sensor size a “DX” sensor. Canon DSLRs with an EF-S lens mount system also use the APS-C sensor size.
Full Frame Sensors
Full frame sensors are the largest sensors available in DSLRs, with the exception of the much more expensive and bulky medium format cameras that are beyond the scope of this article (but you can see a good example of this type of camera here ).
Full frame sensors are called this because the sensor matches the size of a piece of film as found in original film SLR cameras, which measured 36mm x 24mm. This results in a surface 2.5x as large as an APS-C sized sensor.
As you can imagine, this sort of sensor is capable of capturing a lot more light, making it a great choice for low-light photography, action photography, and event photography. However, a bigger sensor both costs a great deal more, and also requires a larger camera body in order to fit it in.
One popular piece of marketing material that is often used to sell cameras of all kinds is its megapixel rating.
Of course, a megapixel is a real thing. It refers to the number of pixels that the camera captures when taking a picture, and it relates directly to the size of the image. As an example, if an image is 5000 pixels wide and 4000 pixels high, then it will be 20 million pixels (5000 times 4000). The million is denoted as mega so this would be a 20 megapixel, or 20 MP image.
Megapixels are particularly important if you are planning on printing your work. Higher megapixel values let you print your photos at larger sizes, and will produce higher quality prints. As an example, for an 8 inch x 10 inch print, you would usually want at least a 7.2 megapixel image.
The reality of course is that most people don’t print very many photos and they are primarily used and viewed on social media, websites, email, and as screensavers, where they won’t ever be displayed at greater than around 2000px. Most websites and social media sites display images at 800px or less. In these cases, even a 4 megapixel image (2000px x 2000px) will do!
Although megapixels do matter to a certain point, unless you are planning on selling your photos, having them printed to a large scale format, or think you will be cropping a lot of your images significantly (this happens often in the case of wildlife photography and sports photography), then you don’t need to worry too much about the number of megapixels. Anything at 12 megapixels or above is going to be fine for the majority of the average traveler’s uses.
The majority of travel photography has us holding our cameras in our hands and shooting “handheld”. For most situations this is fine, however if there is insufficient light available, images can turn out blurry thanks to our inability to hold our hands entirely still.
One option of course is to invest in a tripod which is a great option for travel photography anyway. If you are interested in getting a tripod, see our guide to travel tripods for inspiration.
Of course, it’s not always practical to carry a tripod around, especially when traveling. So to help with this issue, camera manufacturers often implement something called “image stabilization” into their camera technology.
Image stabilization, as the name suggests, is a way to compensate for the small movements of your camera in your hands, when shooting at slower shutter speeds. The stabilization can’t work miracles, but it can help, often letting you hand hold your camera and achieve sharp results at shutter speeds as slow as 1/8th of a second.
Different manufacturers have different approaches and technologies for image stabilization, with some offering this in the body of the camera itself, often with the sensor itself stabilized inside the camera. Other camera manufacturers offer this functionality in their lenses, either instead of or as well as in the camera bodies.
At the time of writing the majority of DSLR cameras do not offer in-body image stabilization, instead the technology is available in many of the lenses. This reduces the price of the camera body, and then leaves you the choice as to whether or not you need the feature when you come to purchase the lens.
Size & Weight of DSLR Cameras
The main criticism of DSLR cameras is that they are bulkier and heavier than most other camera types, and to be honest, this is a fairly valid criticism for the most part.
Fitting a mirror that flips up inside the camera body just takes up more space, and the larger sensors inside a DSLR have to go somewhere. Essentially, there’s just no way to downsize a DSLR beyond a certain point.
This said, camera manufacturers have been working wonders with DSLR cameras, taking advantage of lighter weight materials and technological advances to squeeze more kit into less space. So a DSLR camera might not take up as much weight or space as you imagine—you just have to find the one that is right for you!
The weight of a DSLR camera body goes from the lowest at around 14 ounces (396 grams) to about 36 ounces (1,020 grams), with most falling somewhere in between that range. So there is a lot of variation in weight.
Of course one then needs to add the weight of the lens and accessories to that number as lenses, in particular, can add a lot of weight to your camera setup. So you also need to consider the lenses you plan to use with the camera body when trying to determine weight and bulk.
We list the weight for each of the recommended DSLR cameras as per Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) standards. We include the approximate weight of the camera body with the camera battery and memory card.
Lens Compatibility & Availability
One of the best things about buying a DSLR camera is that there will be an incredible lens selection to choose from, both new and secondhand. There are many more lens choices available for DSLRs than for mirrorless cameras.
DSLR cameras have been around for a long time now (late 1970s), which has given manufacturers a lot of time to develop a wide range of lenses. For the biggest names in DSLR’s, Nikon and Canon, it’s no stretch to say that there are literally hundreds of lenses to choose from for each system.
The main thing to remember when buying a camera with interchangeable lenses is that it will have a specific lens mount, and you will be restricted to lenses that have that lens mount. For example, Canon DSLR cameras have two types of lens mount “EF-S” and “EF”. The majority of Canon’s consumer cameras are “EF-S” mount, which means they can accept both “EF-S” and “EF” lenses.
However, their full frame cameras, such as the Canon 6D Mark II or the 5D Mark IV, are “EF” mount lenses, which only accept “EF” lenses.
Before you buy your camera, it’s important to also consider the lens you want to buy with it, or might want in the future, to ensure the camera system you are investing in will support your photography needs going forward. To be honest, with the major players in the DSLR industry, this will not be a problem as there are so many lenses to choose from.
Whilst this can make picking a lens tricky, it also means that there’s really something to suit every budget and need. If you know what camera system you want and need help picking our lenses, you can see our guide to the best lenses for travel photography .
If you already own a DSLR camera and have existing lenses, staying with the same manufacturer is generally a good idea. As this will likely mean that you can keep using your existing lenses, which can save you a lot of money compared to switching to a whole new system.
DSLR cameras are designed for photographers who want to have full control over their photography, so they all come with full manual controls and the ability to shoot in RAW photo format so you can fully edit your photos. DSLRs give photographers as much control as possible and allow for almost any type of photography.
However, not all cameras are equal in terms of controls, with a variety of buttons, dials, and menu designs. We, for example, shoot with Canon DSLR cameras, which is a system we have gotten used to over many years. Even though we are professional photographers, we still find it hard to navigate the Nikon DSLR interface and set up a Nikon camera to do what we want since we are not used to it.
Certainly, every individual will vary, but it is worth considering the camera interface and controls as part of your purchasing decision. So if you are already familiar with a system of cameras (e.g., Nikon or Canon) and liked the camera interface, you’ll have less learning to do if you stick with the same manufacturer.
If you are new to cameras, this will probably matter very little in choosing a camera, as you will learn the system of the camera you purchase.
One of the nice things about digital sensors is that as well as being used to take photographs, they can also be used to shoot videos. Most can create videos, but they vary in the quality and video features, such as whether it has 4K video support.
Whilst this guide is all about travel photography, if you are interested in video, make sure that the camera you are buying supports any video features you want.
In terms of features, image stabilization, as described above, is also something to be aware of when shooting video, as this feature can help smooth out micro jitters if you are shooting video hand held.
WiFi / GPS / Bluetooth
Modern cameras have to do a lot to stand out in a crowded market, and one way that manufacturers seek to differentiate their models from each other is by adding various features.
Recently for example, many new DSLR cameras come with features like WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. This allows you to do things like remote control the camera from your smartphone, which can be great for getting shots remotely. You can also copy images to your smartphone or computer without needing a cable for sharing on social media.
Other features that a camera may come with include GPS, for location tagging (we find this to be a fantastic feature), electronic level indicators, and so on.
These sorts of features don’t affect image quality so how useful you find each of these features is of course up to your needs, but it’s always worth knowing about them.
DSLR cameras tend to have excellent battery life, but that isn’t to say that this is a universal feature, or that all DSLR cameras are created equal when it comes to battery life.
Generally, you’ll want a camera that offers a least 600 – 700 shots of battery life from a single charge.
Note that most photographers use the optical viewfinder when taking photos with a DSLR, but if you are using the rear display screen a lot, this will take up more battery to power the screen. It’s also worth noting that running features like GPS or WiFi can significantly impact battery life, so you will want to keep this in mind if you choose to use these features.
Image Burst Speed
A camera’s burst speed refers to the number of pictures it can take in sequence if you hold down the shutter button. This speed is most commonly given in either number of images per second, or frames per second (fps).
As technology has improved, the burst rates of cameras has increased, with many modern cameras able to shoot bursts of 10fps to 15fps. Note that this likely won’t be sustained over time as the camera will have an on-board memory buffer that will fill up. So it is good to also check the maximum number of images it can shoot at that burst speed.
Burst speed is particularly important for action photography, but it also serves as a good indicator of the camera’s overall processing ability and speed, so is a good number to know. The higher the burst rate, the better.
Weather Sealing / Dust Sealing
Finally, in your list of things to look out for when buying a DSLR camera, is whether or not it offers any kind of weather proofing or dust sealing.
While weather sealing does not make the camera waterproof, a weather-sealed camera will have a number of features that can help prevent water getting inside if you are out in the rain and make it more water-resistant. These usually include rubber seals around the ports and lens mounts. These same seals also help stop dust and other particles from getting into the camera.
Weather sealing is usually found on more premium cameras, and especially those designed for professional use. If it is a feature that is important to you, make sure you purchase both a weather-sealed camera body and weather-sealed lenses, as the whole system has to work together as a single unit to stop water or dust getting in.
The Best DSLR Camera for Travel Photography
Having given you an overview of DSLR cameras and a run down of some of the key specifications and features to look for, we’re now going to go through what we think are the best DSLR cameras for travel photography.
This list is ordered by price, from least expensive to most expensive, and contains, we think, some of the best DSLR cameras on the market today. For each camera, we’ll explain its key strengths, and why we’ve chosen to include it on the list.
We’ve started at around USD $450 for a DSLR camera in this list. We feel that this is the lowest you should pay for a new digital SLR with an included lens (or around USD $325 for the camera body only). If your budget is much less than this, we’d recommend waiting and saving up to invest in a DSLR..
If your budget is lower, then you might also consider either a second-hand camera or a certified refurbished model. You can see our guide to buying used cameras and photography gear for tips. Or you might consider using a quality smartphone camera or investing in a mid to higher end point and shoot camera . We would suggest these options would be preferable to investing in a DSLR camera that may not perform well.
Most cameras in this list come with the option to include a lens as part of a bundle, and this is often referred to as a kit lens. This can be a good deal, especially as a starting point, and for the entry level cameras in this list (priced up to around USD $700), we have included the kit lens as we feel this is the most sensible option.
Up until a few years ago most kit lenses were of poorer quality, but manufacturers have upped their game somewhat in this area, and the kit lens is often a great starter lens for those looking to get into more advanced digital photography without spending huge amounts up front.
If you are going to spend more than around USD $700 on a more professional grade camera, we suggest choosing and buying your specific lens separately. That way, you have more control over the specific lenses you purchase so you can get the type of lenses you need most. We suggest you check out our guide to the best camera lenses , which includes choices for the most popular DSLR systems.
If you are looking for an entry-level DSLR camera, we’d recommend checking out cameras 1 to 7, mid-range 7 to 12, and professional 11 to 14.
Here is Laurence’s list of the best DSLR cameras for travel photography (ordered by price, lowest to highest):
1. Canon EOS Rebel T7 (EOS 2000D)
Like its main competitor Nikon, Canon has a fairly bewildering array of DSLR cameras across their whole range. The Rebel T7 (known as the EOS 2000D in Europe) is one of their entry-level models, and you get quite a bit of camera for not a lot of money with this model.
Featuring a 24MP sensor, WiFi connectivity, and an ISO range up to 6400, it gives you all the control you need at a budget price point. Burst speeds aren’t great at 3fps, but it’s hard to argue with the price. To be honest though, we would likely lean towards either a slightly more expensive Canon, or the Nikon below if you are manufacturer agnostic.
Weight: ~ 16.7 oz / 475 g (camera body with battery & memory card) Price: Check price on Amazon here , B&H here , and Adorama here
2. Nikon D3500
The low price in Nikon’s entry-level DSLR is certainly no indicator of quality, as the Nikon D3500 has features that only a few years previously would have made this a premium camera.
With a 24.2MP DX sensor, 5fps shooting, and an impressive 1200 shot battery life, the Nikon D3500 has some great specs. It also features bluetooth connectivity so you can connect your smartphone, and the 18-55mm kit lens has image stabilization (Nikon calls this VR). This camera is a great starter option.
It’s also remarkably small and lightweight for a DSLR camera, although it is missing some features such as a touchscreen, which is to be expected at this price point.
If you really want to save money, this camera’s predecessors (the D3300 and D3400 ) has nearly the same features, but can be picked up for as low as USD $300 if you shop around. The D3500 does have better battery life and is lighter than the older models though.
Weight: ~ 14.6 oz / 414 g (camera body with battery & memory card) Price: Check price on Amazon here , B&H here , and Adorama here
3. Canon EOS Rebel SL3 (EOS 250D)
Compared to the Canon Rebel T7, the Rebel SL3 (known as the EOS 250D in Europe) has a faster processor, higher resolution 24.2MP sensor, moveable touchscreen, and faster burst speed (5fps). It also has a better battery life (1,630 shots). Notably, it also includes support for 4K video.
If you can afford the jump in price from the Rebel T7, we can highly recommend the SL3 as one of the best entry-level Canon DSLR cameras on the market today. It’s also slightly lighter and more compact than the T6, and is one of the smallest DSLR cameras with a moveable touchscreen and 4K support on the market today.
Note, the SL3 replaced the EOS SL2 camera , our previous pick on this list, in April 2019. As a result, expect to see prices come down on the SL2, meaning you might be able to get a great deal. The SL2 has very similar specifications, and the same sensor, but it has a shorter battery life (around 650 shots), and no 4K support.
Weight: ~ 15.84 oz / 449 g (camera body with battery & memory card) Price: Check price on Amazon here , B&H here , and Adorama here
4. Pentax K-70
Our list of the best DSLR cameras for travel are dominated by Canon and Nikon cameras which is simply because they tend to have the best DSLR cameras, and have been leading the market for decades. However, they are not the only players in the game, and the Pentax K-70 is certainly a good contender.
It also has a vari-angle LCD screen (not a touchscreen), is fully weather sealed (a feature not usually found on entry level cameras!), features a 24.2MP APS-C sized sensor, and an ISO that ranges up to 102,400.
The Pentax K70 is an excellent contender, with some fantastic features at this price point. Just be aware that Pentax does not have the huge range of lenses available to Canon and Nikon systems.
Weight: ~ 24.2 oz / 688 g (camera body with battery & memory card) Price: Check price on Amazon here , B&H here , and Adorama here
5. Nikon D5600
Nikon has three main ranges of consumer digital SLR cameras – the D3xxx, the D5xxx, and the D7xxx. Prices and features steadily increase between each range, and a new model number is released every one or two years to keep the range in each series fresh.
The D5600 features a 24.2Mp sensor, a touch interface moveable screen, good autofocus performance, Wi-Fi, NFC and bluetooth connectivity, and a battery life with an 820 shot capacity. Certainly an excellent entry to mid-range DSLR to consider.
Weight: ~ 16.4 oz / 464 g (camera body with battery & memory card) Price: Check price on Amazon here , B&H here , and Adorama here
6. Canon Rebel T8i (EOS 850D)
At the current top end of Canon’s Rebel series, the T8i (EOS 850D in Europe) offers a number of features to make it worth your consideration.
All this said however, it’s not as much of an upgrade compared to Nikon’s D5600, which offers pretty much the same feature set at a lower price. The Canon does have a nicer screen and slightly faster autofocus, but the Nikon has slightly better low light performance.
Weight: ~ 18.17 oz / 515 g (camera body with battery & memory card) Price: Check price on Amazon here , and B&H here
7. Pentax KP
As mentioned earlier, Canon and Nikon are two massive players in the DSLR camera space who tend to dominate best-of lists, but Pentax has some great well-priced and competitive options, including the Pentax KP.
The Pentax KP is a solid choice for a DSLR, offering in-body image stabilization, a 24MP sensor, a tilting LCD screen (not a touchscreen), 7fps burst shooting, and a very high 819,200 maximum ISO. It’s also got a fully weather sealed body.
Battery life isn’t ideal at under 400 shots, and it’s relatively heavy, but it gets many positive remarks about its high build quality and excellent image quality, especially when shooting at higher ISOs.
If you aren’t committed to a Canon or Nikon purchase, and you are happy with the available lens choices, this is definitely a contender.
Weight: ~ 24.8 oz / 703 g (camera body with battery & memory card) Price: Check price on Amazon here , B&H here , and Adorama here
8. Canon EOS 90D
We’re now moving into enthusiast territory, with camera costs starting at around USD $1,000 without a lens. Most of these will have the option of including a lens in your initial purchase; however, for comparison sake all these “prosumer”, mid-level, and professional level cameras will be listed at cost without a lens.
The first camera in this segment is the Canon EOS 90D. This features a 32.5MP APS-C sized sensor, movable touchscreen, fast autofocus, a weather sealed body, and 10fps burst shooting capabilities. This is quite an upgrade over our previous pick and the camera it replaces, the EOS 80D.
The EOS 90D is a very capable camera, and is certainly a step up from the more consumer oriented offerings in Canon’s range, although you do start to pay more for this level of camera.
Weight: ~ 24.6 oz / 701 g (camera body with battery & memory card) Price: Check price on Amazon here , B&H here , and Adorama here
9. Canon EOS 7D Mark II
The Canon 7D has long been the Canon wildlife and action camera of choice, offering a number of features that make it stand out for this style of photography. In particular, it has a large number of autofocus points, a dedicated autofocus point selection joystick, a fast 10fps burst shooting rate, and excellent subject tracking capabilities.
The LCD is not a touchscreen, but it does have built-in GPS and WiFi, and a battery life of 670 shots. The sensor is a 20MP APS-C size.
For wildlife and action photographers, this is a Canon camera to consider as this camera has many ideal features for quick focus and capturing moving subjects.
Weight: ~ 32 oz / 910 g (camera body with battery & memory card) Price: Check price on Amazon here , B&H here , and Adorama here
10. Nikon D7500
With a weather-sealed body, tilting touchscreen, 51 point Autofocus system, 8fps burst rate and support for 4K video, the Nikon D7500 is a serious contender at this price point.
The main competition to the Nikon D7500 around this price point is the aforementioned Canon 7D Mark 2. The Canon camera doesn’t offer a touchscreen or 4K video support and has a lower maximum ISO rating. However it has slightly faster burst imaging and a better autofocus system.
Both cameras are weather sealed, but the Nikon is significantly lighter, and offers better battery life, rated up to 950 shots from a single battery.
As you can see the Nikon D7500 and Canon 7d Mark II both have their pros and cons, so it will ultimately come down to personal preference as to which you prefer.
Weight: ~ 25.4 oz / 720 g (camera body with battery & memory card) Price: Check price on Amazon here , B&H here , and Adorama here
11. Canon EOS 6D Mark II
The Canon 6D range is Laurence’s personal favorite DSLR camera for travel photography. He is a long-term Canon user, and this camera has everything he needs from a travel camera.
This camera also has built-in GPS, which we find essential for keeping track of where all our photos were taken, as well as a weather-sealed body, tilting touchscreen, and a remarkably compact and lightweight design considering the large sensor. It’s also incredibly well priced for a full frame camera, and the battery is rated for up to 1200 shots.
It also offers a burst photography speed of 6.5fps, a significant upgrade from the original 6D. ISO support ranges up to 102,400, and the full frame sensor is 26.2MP in size.
This is the primary camera we use as travel photographers and we own two of the bodies so we can both use the same camera at the same time and swap lenses. You can see our full list of photography gear if you want to find out more about what cameras and accessories we are currently using.
Weight: ~ 27 oz / 765 g (camera body with battery & memory card) Price: Check price on Amazon here , B&H here , and Adorama here
12. Nikon D750
It’s time for Nikon’s entry-level full frame camera, which sits in competition to Canon’s 6D Mark II—the Nikon D750.
With a 24.3MP FX (Nikon’s name for full frame) sensor, this is an excellent camera. You get a tilting touchscreen, excellent low-light performance, 6.5fps burst performance, ISO up to 51,200, and built-in WiFi.
The camera is also weather sealed and offers a 1,230 shot battery life as well as a good autofocus system. Like the 6D Mark II, video is limited to 1080p.
It is slightly larger than the 6D Mark II and has no built-in GPS. However, both are excellent cameras, and the decision will likely come down to which camera system you feel most comfortable with.
Weight: ~ 29.63 oz / 840 g (camera body with battery & memory card) Price: Check price on Amazon here , B&H here , and Adorama here
13. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
We’re now stepping up to the more flagship DSLR cameras available on the market today. Although there are “better” cameras out there, which are a bit more specialist, the two cameras at the top of our list from Nikon and Canon are widely regarded as the go-to workhorse cameras of photographers of all types.
First up, Canon’s contender is the EOS 5D Mark IV. As the name suggests, this is the fourth iteration of this camera model, which has been a stalwart camera in the professional photographer’s bag for a long time now.
The 5D Mark IV offers a 30.4 megapixel full frame sensor with 61 autofocus points, ISO support up to 102,400, 4K video support, a touchscreen, weather-sealing, fast autofocus, 7fps burst shooting speed, built in WiFi and GPS, and image quality that is ranked amongst some of the best available.
It’s a definite price jump from the 6D Mark II, which we think will work fine for most travel photographers, but if you need the extra features, this is an awesome bit of kit.
Weight: ~ 31.4 oz / 890 g (camera body with battery & memory card) Price: Check price on Amazon here , B&H here , and Adorama here
14. Nikon D850
With a massive 45.7MP sensor, 9fps burst shooting rate, a tilting high-resolution touchscreen, 153 autofocus points, weather sealing, and 4k video support, Nikon’s professional level camera has a lot going for it.
That sensor in particular has been roundly praised as being one of the best in the market, offering a wide dynamic range and excellent low-light performance.
There’s no on-board GPS, and it is slightly heavier and more expensive than the Canon 5D Mark IV. The D850 may have a slight edge over the Canon 5D, but it is a bit more expensive too. Both are excellent professional-level camera choices.
Weight: ~ 35.45 oz / 1005 g (camera body with battery & memory card) Price: Check price on Amazon here , B&H here , and Adorama here
**You can also see all the DSLR cameras we recommend above in a single page on Amazon here with current prices for a handy reference.**
Tips for Taking the Best Photos with a DSLR Camera
Hopefully by now you have a better idea of which DSLR camera is going to be best for you, your travels, and your budget. Of course, a camera isn’t everything when it comes to photography. Getting a great photo comes down mostly to the operator (that’s you!) of the camera rather than the camera itself.
With that in mind, we wanted to share some tips to help you get the most out of your DSLR camera.
Learn about composition
Photography is all about composition. What’s composition you ask? Composition is the art of placing your subjects in a way that is visually pleasing to people looking at your image. It is important not only in photography but in most forms of visual art and it is a skill that artists have been practicing for centuries.
A well composed photo is a photo where the subject is clear to your viewer, and is one that people will enjoy looking at. There are various techniques that you can use to compose great images, such as the rule of thirds, leading lines, use of color, symmetry, and more.
As you might imagine, composition is a lengthy topic, and one that deserves its own post. Which we have written! Check out our guide to photography composition for some ideas on how to compose a great photo.
Learn how to use your DSLR camera properly
A common mistake that many people make when transitioning from a smartphone or point-and-shoot camera to a DSLR is believing that the camera will automatically take better photos.
This could not be further from the truth. Whereas a DSLR is capable of taking far superior photos to a smartphone or compact cameras, it is a much more complex piece of equipment and takes more time to learn how to use it properly. If you leave it in auto, you might find that the images you are getting are the same or even worse than those taken with your smartphone!
This is because a smartphone camera has a lot of software that exists to do photography for you. With a smartphone or compact camera set to auto, all you have to do is compose a great shot, and the software will figure out things like exposure, shutter speed, and ISO for you. This may not get you the best photo, but it generally gives you a good photo.
A DSLR, in most cases, is designed to give you more control over these aspects of photography. This means that you will have to learn how to use it to get the most out of it.
A good place to start is to read over your camera’s user’s guide, although don’t worry if you don’t understand everything or know what every button does. The main thing you’ll want to learn is how to control the exposure, or how bright / dark the image is, which you do by adjusting the camera’s shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.
You’ll also want to learn the different focus modes on your camera and how to control those, as well as other features like subject tracking, control of the flash, and more. We have a beginner’s guide for new DSLR camera users that can help walk you through the main functions, settings, and accessories for your new camera.
Nearly every camera will have various guides and videos online that you can search for, and reading these in collaboration with an online photography course will have you handling your camera like a pro in no time.
Learn how to edit your photos
One of the major advantages that a DSLR camera has over a smartphone or basic compact camera, is that you can shoot in RAW (see our guide to RAW in photography here ).
RAW is an uncompressed file format where all the data that the camera records when it captures an image is saved to the memory card. It’s sort of the equivalent to a film negative, and it contains a great deal of image information that other formats, like JPEG, lose. It is important to note that RAW files also take up more memory than JPEG or JPG files.
The downside to RAW is that you have to edit the photos to make them useable, as RAW files aren’t supported by web browsers. Instead, you need to open the RAW file in your editing software, apply the changes you want to make, and then save the file in a friendlier format like JPG.
Our go-to recommended editing software for RAW files is Adobe PhotoShop Lightroom . This takes a bit of time to master, but will help you get the best results from your images. Adobe software also allows you to sort, label, and organize your images.
There are also free online photo editors that can handle RAW files, plus your camera should come with software that will let you edit the files your camera produces. Some phone apps like Snapseed (see our list of favorite travel apps ) can edit certain types of RAW files on the go as well. But eventually we recommend getting and learning to use a more powerful software like Adobe Lightroom.
You can see our guide to photo editing software and apps for a list and comparison of current options so you can decide which is best for you.
Consider getting some DSLR camera accessories
As with every device, there are some accessories that we think are worth investing in to help with your photography.
- Extra batteries. Whilst DSLR cameras are not as battery hungry as a mirrorless camera, there’s nothing worse than your battery going flat before you are done shooting for the day. Your camera probably comes with one battery, and we always recommend packing a spare.
- Memory cards. You’ll definitely need a memory card for your camera, although sometimes you can buy a camera as part of a bundle with a memory card included. We generally recommend having at least 2 with you as if one is full or if something goes wrong with one, you have a spare. We personally use and recommend these memory cards, but you have a lot of options.
- A camera bag. You’ll definitely want some sort of protection for your camera and lenses, especially when traveling. We recommend investing in a dedicated camera bag as these have the necessary padding to keep your equipment safe. We also suggest you get one that is a little larger than your camera and main lens, so you store a few other things in such as your spare batteries, memory cards, lens cleaners, and things like that. Here are some camera bag options to consider.
- Lenses. If you buy your camera without a lens, you are definitely going to want a lens or two to get you started. There’s a massive choice of lenses out there, so we suggest you have a read through our lenses guide for tips on purchasing new lenses for your camera. If you have a question about a lens for a particular camera, feel free to ask it in the Comments section below.
- Weather protection. We often encounter less than ideal weather while traveling. In these cases, you’re going to want to make sure you have either a waterproof case or bag to keep your gear dry in between uses, and a large Ziploc bag or dry bag can work in a pinch. You might even consider investing in a weatherproof sleeve so you can keep shooting even if the weather is terrible.
- UV filter. We usually have a clear UV filter on our lenses to help protect the glass from bumps and scratches. This doesn’t affect image quality but is used to help protect the lens itself from damage. These should not be confused with neutral density filters , which change the amount of light hitting your sensor.
- Camera strap. Whilst most cameras will come with a strap, we find that an upgraded camera strap makes for a much better carrying experience, as the manufacturer straps often are not super comfortable or appealing. We use and love our Peak Design straps which we use with both our mirrorless and DSLR cameras.
- Lens clothes / cleaners. We seem to be always wiping away a smudge or a bit of lint from our cameras and lenses, especially our cameras with interchangeable lenses. So we always have a couple of microfiber clothes and a blower/brush tucked away in our camera bag. Just be very careful of what you use to clean optics with, especially if you need to use liquid cleaner.
- Tripod. If you are serious about your photography, you should consider investing in a tripod. This can help you shoot in low light conditions, capture better photos of yourself , do more advanced techniques, and take better couple photos when traveling. Although a bulky tripod is not ideal for traveling, you can get a foldable mini-tripod like this one that can fit into a larger purse or backpack. We have a travel tripod guide to help you explore your options.
Take a photography workshop or course
Like any skill, photography takes time and practice to master. Photography can also be a fairly complicated skill to fully grasp, as there are multiple elements to consider, from learning how to compose a photo, to understanding how to properly use a camera, through to editing a RAW file.
With this in mind, we can definitely recommend that you look at the options you have for improving your skills. These can be as simple as doing a Google search for a specific issue through to more structured learning options like finding a photography book, taking a local photography workshop, or signing up for an online photography course.
With regards to the last, Laurence has actually created an online travel photography course to help everyone improve their photography, whatever their level. So far he has had over 1,000 budding photographers sign up to his course.
Laurence’s online photography course allows you to learn at your own pace while getting personalized feedback. It will teach you everything you need to know about taking better photos, from mastering your gear to editing your photos. It’s literally a one-stop shop with no upsells that has everything you could ever need to know about photography in one place. It starts with the basic concepts of photography and moves to more advanced content and photography techniques.
Whether you decide to take a course or not, one thing that is critically important is that you practice a lot. Practice makes perfect, and this is definitely true for photography. Identify as many opportunities as you can to use your camera and take it with you, and before you know it, your skill level will increase!
And that’s it for our advice on choosing the best DSLR camera for travel! We hope you found it useful. As always, we love to hear your feedback and questions, just let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Interested in a new DSLR camera? PIN this guide on Pinterest to read later:
Do you have any of your own tips or advice on choosing or using a DSLR camera? Have a questions about DSLR cameras or travel photography? If so, just let us know in the comments below!
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Ritik Patidar Post author
October 19, 2023 at 1:14 am
nice post. Thank you for posting something like this, I am looking for a DSLR camera in India and this has been very helpful in my search.
Jessica & Laurence Norah Post author
October 19, 2023 at 8:42 am
You are very welcome and just let us know if you have any questions as you search for a DSLR camera for travel!
Brad Post author
September 27, 2023 at 5:49 am
Looking for some thoughts on a new DSLR camera. I love my DSLR (old Canon Rebel model) and taking photos with it while traveling! It has completely changed how I look at new places. But mine is getting pretty long in the tooth and looking for a newer model, and something to recommend to my better half for the holidays. What would you recommend in the $750 range? Prefer Canon (since already have lenses, but only 2) but willing to sell my lenses and consider learning a new brand if a better upgrade in quality. I mainly use it for travel and when we go camping or have family gatherings.
September 28, 2023 at 7:24 pm
So in terms of DSLR Canon cameras in that price range I would suggest looking at the Canon EOS Rebel T8i (also known as Canon EOS 850D). You should be able to get the camera body new around that price, and if you get a used one, you can get both a camera and a lens for that price.
I would also probably recommend considering a mirrorless camera as that is the direction that the industry is going and fewer and fewer DSLR cameras and lenses are being produced. The advantage is going to be much improved autofocus, the fact that what you see through the viewfinder is exactly what you get when you press the button, and an overall smaller and lighter camera (great for travel!). We switched our main camera from a DSLR to a mirrorless Canon a couple of years ago and although we still use our DLSRs, the mirrorless has become my primary camera.
If you do consider a mirrorless camera and stick to Canon, there’s also the benefit that you can use a Canon adaptor and continue to use your existing Canon lenses. It will also be fairly familiar to use as the Canon buttons and menus tend to remain fairly similar between models. At your price point for a mirrorless camera, we’d recommend the Canon EOS R50 , which should give you some great results, and the autofocus system in particular will be a big improvement over your current camera!
Hope that helps, and just let us know if you have further questions as you search for a new camera!
Best, Laurence & Jessica
Mike Durrans Post author
May 14, 2023 at 10:58 am
Hi Guys, The problem these days — Lightroom has gone to a monthly subscription and it is not worth the money for Amateurs, I now suggest to people starting to use Affinity Photo 2 much more value for money !
May 16, 2023 at 9:48 am
Yes, I do think that Adobe Photoshop Lightroom can be too pricey for amateur photographers as you note, especially those who don’t use it a lot or need all the more advanced features. Affinity is definitely one option that is much more budget friendly and doesn’t require a monthly or annual subscription. However, we tend to recommend others before that one, especially if you want something more similar to Lightroom without a monthly subscription, specifically Skylum’s Luminar NEO or On1 Photo RAW .
This article which compares photo editing software should be helpful in reviewing a lot of the options out there!
Hope that helps! Jessica
Anita Moore Post author
March 25, 2023 at 2:31 pm
Hi, ive been a nikon user for a while. Looking for a personal camera to travel. I was thinking of the nikon z50. What are your thoughts. My big wish is for a lighter camera. I use a nikon d7200 and for personal use i want somethinglighter.
March 26, 2023 at 8:28 am
So the Nikon Z50 camera is definitely going to be lighter than the D7200, in fact it’s almost half the weight being 11oz lighter. However, do bear in mind that a lot of the weight comes from the lenses, so that will be a consideration.
The advantage of staying with an existing system is that you should be able to use your existing lenses on the Z50 with the Nikon adaptor, and you will be familiar with the menu system as Nikon cameras are all fairly similar, even when switching from DSLR to mirrorless.
More generally, the Nikon Z50 is an excellent performer. It’s versatile, you will notice faster shooting speeds as well as improved autofocus performance with features like eye focus tracking compared to your D7200. So I think you will be happy with the choice.
Hope that helps! Laurence
Amy Post author
June 7, 2022 at 9:44 am
Hi! This is a fantastic article. Thanks for providing such helpful advice as I’m educating myself. I’m looking to buy a camera for my travels, as I love sharing photos in prints to friends, family, and basically anyone who asks for them. I would appreciate very much your recommendations! Would this be possible?
-I’m hoping to own a camera that will last for years so durability matters. But I’m not sure if this is realistic given the rapidly changing technology? -My budget is flexible. -Lightweight and compact -I’d like to use it for nighttime shooting as well -> so perhaps a bigger sensor?
June 7, 2022 at 4:16 pm
Glad you enjoyed our article on DSLR cameras for travel. Yes, we are happy to try to help you find a camera.
Cameras can last a long time if you take good care of it and get it serviced/cleaned as needed. The biggest thing I would think about is that you choose a brand and a camera that has a wide selection of lenses available. This will make sure that you have a wide variety of lenses and will be able to get lenses, whether new or used, for years to come. In terms of brands, Canon, Nikon, and Sony would be the three I would recommend.
If you are considering a DSLR, I would also probably consider a mirrorless camera. Mirrorless cameras are the type of camera that most brands are leaning more towards and are making more new lenses for. Another advantage is that they have the electronic viewfinder which means you see what you are getting when you shoot which can be easier to use if you haven’t had prior cameras.
So the bigger your sensor, generally the bigger and heavier the camera….so you will need to weigh the two factors. There is no perfect camera.
Based on your request for a camera that would produce good quality photos for printing and be good at nighttime shooting, where a larger sensor would be beneficial, I’d recommend:
– Sony A7C mirrorless – Canon EOS R6 – Canon EOS R7 (more compact than the R6 but has a smaller sensor)
If you want to stick with DSLR cameras, then the Canon EOS 6D Mark II is a great option with good low-light performance. This is our favorite DSLR for travel and we have used it for many years.
Hopefully that will help you get started with selecting a camera. If you have further questions, happy to help further.
If this is your first camera like this, it might be helpful to take a workshop or course to help you get the most of it. Things like nighttime photography can take some practice. Laurence runs an online travel photography class that might be helpful.
Kathy Post author
May 2, 2022 at 8:07 pm
Hello, I’ve spent tons of time looking for information on a good beginner travel camera and your site has been the most helpful by far. We’re going on a safari trip to Kenya and Tanzania in August which is what prompted this search. I’m leaning toward the Nikon 3500 or 5600, but also still considering the Canon Rebel SL3. I want something lightweight and easy to use and would like to have a lens that will “do it all” and not have to switch out lenses while traveling. What do you recommend? After this trip the camera will mostly be used for event and family pictures and some additional, but less adventurous travelling. Thanks so much for sharing so much good info in a way that a newbie can understand.
May 3, 2022 at 3:50 am
Very happy to hear that you are finding our DSLR cameras for travel and our other camera guides helpful in finding a new camera! We were just in Kenya and Tanzania a few months ago – you are going to have a wonderful time.
So both the Nikon cameras you mention would be a good choice. The Nikon D3500 is slightly lighter and less expensive. It also has longer battery life. The D5600 has a slighty better focus system and the addition of a tilting touch screen. They both have the same sensor, so image quality will be the same – so really the decision is whether a tilting touchscreen is worth it for you. Personally, I would opt for it, but it’s a personal decision and may depend on your budget.
The Canon SL3 is also a great camera, but there’s not a huge difference between it and the D5600 in terms of performance. So there are no real significant advantages one way or the other, so it comes down more to if you prefer Canon or Nikon. Really it would come down to if you prefer the feel of one over the other, as the images from both will be similar.
You can also pick up lenses for either camera type which would work as a “do-it-all lens”. For Nikon for example there is the Nikon 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3G VR II or the Tamron 18-400mm F/3.5-6.3 DI-II VC , both of which should cover all the focal lengths you need. Similar lenses are also available for the Canon. You would just want a zoom lens that can go up to at least 200mm for a safari.
You might also want to check out our guide to safari cameras specifically, which has lots more options and ideas to consider. But I think those that you have identified would work well for what you want.
Also once you have chosen a camera, we have a post on safari photography tips that may be useful before you head off to Africa.
Hope that helps, and just let us know if you have any further questions!
Regina Post author
April 12, 2022 at 1:22 am
Honestly, this is is my first time giving a comment to a blog and that’s because you really impressed me on how simple and clear you explained the details, especially for a complete beginner like me. I can feel how genuine and passionate you are in sharing your knowledge about photography. I will definitely read more of your articles. I can’t wait to learn more from you!
Thank you so much!
April 12, 2022 at 6:45 am
Thanks for taking the time to comment and glad you found our DSLR camera guide helpful. If you have any questions about DSLR cameras or photography, just let us know and happy to try to help and provide advice.
Sajida Ali Post author
November 23, 2021 at 6:59 am
Thanks for sharing the post. I came to know new things about DSLR camera. Keep posting. Please let me know for the upcoming Posts.
November 24, 2021 at 1:44 pm
Glad you found our article helpful, and just let us know if you have any questions about DSLR cameras! Laurence also runs an online travel photography course that might be useful to you.
Mark Post author
August 14, 2021 at 7:51 am
Great list you have there! I have the Nikon D3500. Bought it a few years ago and it’s still doing good until now. I am considering to buy Canon EOS Rebel T7. They say it’s compatible with a wide variety of lenses.
Stay safe and healthy!
August 14, 2021 at 10:45 am
Glad our guide to DSLR cameras for travel has been helpful to you! The Canon EOS Rebel T7 is a popular and affordable DSLR camera and great for beginners and those new to DSLR cameras.
Just note that if you already have a Nikon D3500, the Canon EOS Rebel T7 is going to be similar in terms of performance, features, and price point. But obviously, if you move from Nikon to Canon, your Nikon lenses won’t work. So something to consider if you are thinking of changing camera brands. But the Canon EOS Rebel T7 could be a good bet if you are planning to move into the Canon system anyway and want something similar to what you have.
If you are looking for an upgraded camera (rather than something similar to what you have), you might also want to look more at the mid-range Canon DSLRs rather than entry-level ones. If you are looking for something specific within a certain price range, just let us know and happy to suggest some DSLR cameras for you.
Vinod Post author
January 14, 2021 at 10:02 am
Thank you sir for your information. Great post on DSLR cameras.
January 15, 2021 at 3:18 am
You are very welcome. Just let us know if you have any questions if you are in the process of researching and buying a new DSLR camera!
Ayaan Post author
October 15, 2020 at 4:05 am
Hi, Very helpful info! For a low light camera I would suggest the Sony A7S. It’s an awesome DSLR that is very relevant today and will be useable for a while. It has great IQ and is probably the best low light DSLR out there. Hope this helps!
October 15, 2020 at 4:17 am
Glad you found our DLSR camera guide useful and thanks for sharing which camera you are using!
Alex Johnson Post author
August 19, 2020 at 12:22 pm
hi mates. i would like to advice you one camera. it is very good option if you cannot afford to buy very expensive cameras.
August 20, 2020 at 11:56 am
Our advice on a specific DSLR camera would really depend on what your actual budget is, but the first few DSLR cameras on our list would probably be your best options if you are on a small budget.
If your budget doesn’t stretch to get you the type of camera you want brand new, you might consider looking at used and refurbished cameras. You can see our guide to buying used cameras here .
Let us know if you have further questions.
pankaj tyagi Post author
May 13, 2020 at 11:22 pm
I have been going through your blog for quite a while now and I seriously love the updates and advice you give. This post on the best DSLR cameras is excellent. I never would have mentioned but I just wanted to let you know. Leaving the comment on your blog post will let others see it and know the work you are doing.
May 15, 2020 at 6:32 am
Glad you enjoy our travel blog, and do feel free to reach out if you have any questions about choosing a DSLR camera for travel or any other travel-related questions!
Tom Y Post author
January 8, 2020 at 3:27 pm
Hi Jessica and Laurence: I really enjoyed your article and it has some great tips, tricks, and general info for someone like me, who is new to DSLR cameras – so thanks for all of the info. I know you have your chosen makes and models and ranked them in the article, and i am also sure that they would be the best options to purchase however I am on a serious budget and am buying a used camera through someone on Craigslist I am about to purchase a used Sony A380 DSLR and wondered if you had any opinion about this specific camera. I think I am getting an incredible deal as the camera comes with lenses, bag, and quite a few other accessories. The lenses I am getting are SONY DT 55-200mm SAM F/4-5.6 Tele Lens and a SONY 18-55MM F/3.5-5.6 DT SAM Lens. The whole package including the camera body, the lenses, a Lowepro bag, batteries, charger, strap, remote control and all cables is under $200 from a private seller and while I know this 14.2 megapixel camera is a little older it is in immaculate shape. Any opinions would be welcome and please be honest I can take it…and besides I have to go where my budget dictates at this point and this may be a stepping-stone camera, as once i get the feel for this over the point and shoot cameras that I have been using (they have also been Sonys and I have had great luck with them), i just may become a full-time convert. Thanks and looking forward to your reply, Tom Y
January 9, 2020 at 3:51 am
So the Sony A380 is definitely an older camera as it was released in 2009 so it would not be my first choice. However, for its time, it was a solid performer, with features like a tilting screen, good performance even at slightly higher ISOs and even in body image stabilization.
Given that you are also getting a full setup including lenses, I would say that as long you are willing to accept this is an older camera, it will definitely work as a day to day shooter and should be a great bit of kit to hone your photography skills on. It can be a great camera to start with as your first DSLR for such a great price.
I’d just make sure to test it out a little when you meet the buyer to make sure everything is in order and there are not scratches on the lenses or anything. We just wrote a post actually on where to buy and tips on buying used cameras that might be useful.
We also have a DSLR beginners’ guide that might be useful to you once you have your new camera.
Stephen Alex Post author
December 16, 2019 at 9:28 pm
Thanks for sharing the post. This post helped me to know new things about DSLR camera. Keep posting. Please let me know for the upcoming Posts.
December 19, 2019 at 6:15 am
Hi Stephen, Glad it was helpful and just let us know if you have any questions about digital SLR cameras! If you want to get our future posts, just be sure to sign up for them and/or you can sign up for our monthly newsletter where we often share links to our most recent posts. Best, Jessica
Stephen Post author
November 3, 2019 at 4:47 am
It a great review on the camera requirement,thank you i would like to ask ,how do you download sigma 150mm-600mm lens firmware to a canon 750d/Kiss8i camera and thank you
November 3, 2019 at 7:33 am
To update the Sigma firmware for a Canon camera you need to use the Sigma Optimization Pro software. You can read about how to do this and download the software from here:
If this is your first time doing updates with a Sigma lens, may also want to take a look at these detailed tutorial videos: https://www.sigma-global.com/en/download/lenses/tutorial/
You will need a computer to download the free software, the lens, the camera, and the Sigma USB dock. If you don’t have a Sigma USB dock, updates will work with some cameras if you connect the lens to the camera, and then connect the camera to your computer by USB. But this latter method doesn’t always work.
Steve Brodsky Post author
September 26, 2019 at 12:42 pm
I read with interest this list. There appears to be a bias towards landscape photography in the selections and if I was looking for an all-round performer, I would rank the 5D4 and the D750 ahead of the Pentax and D810.
The Pentax has some nice features like pixel shift but suffers by comparison in AF, frame rate speed (4.4 FPS) and its video features are inferior. The D810’s core strength is its DR at base ISO which particularly suits landscape photography. Both the 5D4 and D750 outperform the D810 at higher ISOs, both have considerably higher frame rates (the D810 tops out at 5.1 FPS whereas the D750 clocks 6.5 and the 5D4 7 FPS) and the 5D4’s video features are considerably more advanced (DPAF,4K, albeit cropped).
September 26, 2019 at 1:57 pm
Glad, you enjoyed our list and yes, our list is geared to travelers (certainly landscapes are one component of travel) and is focused more on mirrorless cameras for travel for photography. So some of your recs seemed to gear more to video, so definitely those looking for a camera for video or vlogging will want to look more closely at the video features. As you noted, some cameras have stronger video features than others.
Just let us know if you have any questions about a specific camera and we’re happy to help!
Nadhiya Post author
June 17, 2019 at 8:38 am
Dear Jessica. I love travelling and this wide-range article on the DSLR cameras that can be used during travel is amazing. Thank you for sharing all kinds and ranges of cameras, which will come in handy according to the type of travel one is attempting. This detailed article will thus be biblical for many travellers.
Laurence Post author
June 18, 2019 at 5:39 pm
So glad you found it helpful 😉 Just let us know if you have any questions abount any of the travel cameras.
Andy Post author
May 15, 2019 at 11:13 am
I love this site. I don’t even know how I got here, I was searching for the best DSLRs to buy in 2019 and google brought me to this treasure island. There’s more I’ve learnt here today about photography than I’ve ever been since I became an enthusiast two years ago. Thank you!
May 16, 2019 at 4:27 am
Hi Andy, Glad you found our DSLR camera post helpful, and do let us know if you have any questions. We have lots of camera and travel photography related articles and you’ll find lots more photography advice and tips on Finding the Universe . Best, Jessica
Mahesh Post author
July 21, 2019 at 3:12 am
vary good information on camera category
Taibo Chitsungo Post author
May 15, 2019 at 7:43 am
Hello, I used to own a Canon 500D and wasn’t that happy with happy so I got rid of it. I am a real estate agent and my wife is a business woman as well selling vintage articles. We also love traveling and take our camera with us for outdoors and landscapes. I would to be advised in which camera to go for. Especially a full frame camera, I’ve learnt a lot through this article. Thanks
May 16, 2019 at 4:41 am
Thanks for your comment! If you could let us know what specifically you weren’t happy with about the Canon, and also what your budget might be, we will be able to provide more specific advice.
In general though, our advice would be to consider the Canon EOS RP (a full frame mirrorless option from Canon), or the Canon EOS 6D Mark 2 (a full frame DSLR).
There are a number of other options for full frame cameras, both mirrorless and full frame, but we would need that extra information to provide more specific advice ????
Sufal Post author
May 5, 2019 at 6:04 pm
I’m looking forward to buy a camera for still photography. Can you suggest me between Canon Eos m100 and nikon d3500? Or even something else in this price range! I heard sony’s default color is not good and for still photography nikon is best.
May 6, 2019 at 11:44 am
So this is quite a tough one to answer as both are good cameras. The Nikon 3500 will give you many more photos per battery change, but is a little bit heavier (not much, about 65g).
The Nikon has a wider choice of lenses, but has no touchscreen. The Canon has both a touchscreen which also tilts.
Personally I would go for the Canon EOS m100 as a mirrorless system is usually easier to get good photos from, especially if you are relatively new to it, as what you see on the screen is exactly your photo. But if battery life and lens choice is more important, then the Nikon is also a good option.
So it depends on which features are most important to you. Hopefully the above helps you decide.
Kelcey Post author
May 10, 2019 at 4:35 am
I am a huge fan of the canon M line and it is all I bring when I travel! Very compact, lenses very affordable (particularly in the used market), and just plain fun to use!
Tim Rogers Post author
April 28, 2019 at 12:28 pm
Good to see someone promoting DSLR’s when so many seem to be switching to Mirrorless. But I’m curious to know why you didn’t include the Nikon D500 which is head and shoulders above the Canon 7D Ii as a wildlife and sports camera?
April 28, 2019 at 1:23 pm
Yes, Jess and I both still typically shoot with DSLRs as our go-to cameras, but I think we are becoming a dying breed, particularly in travel photography as so many people have moved to mirrorless cameras.
Thanks for your comment and thoughts on the D500 ???? We tried to include a range of great cameras (there are of course way too many to include them all!), and focus more on all-round travel cameras.
The D500 is certainly a great camera, but it’s somewhat costly and we think for general travel use rather than focused wildlife / action photography, at that price point folks would be better off with a full frame model. Of course, the story is different if the focus is wildlife and action photography. But we appreciate the comment and certainly have nothing against the D500!
EJ Post author
April 23, 2019 at 12:25 pm
I’ve been looking at DSLR cameras for outdoor travel photography, and one I came across that sounds really interesting is the Canon EOS 77D. Not too bulky, but a great feature set for a good price. It’s not on your list, but do you have an opinion on this camera for outdoor photography? I’m mostly looking at good landscape photography with a nice wide angle lens.
April 23, 2019 at 3:51 pm
So the Canon EOS 77D is a solid camera too. The problem Canon have is that they seem to want to make a camera at every price point, so it makes including them all challenging. It also means that the real world performance doesn’t seem to be that different as many of the cameras share the same tech.
The 77D basically sits between the T7i (800D in Europe) and the 80D in terms of technology. However, it’s priced more like the T7i, making it a good deal, as it has a slightly better image processor on board. Other than that the tech is pretty much the same.
In summary, yes, we do think this camera is a good choice at this price point for outdoor travel photography ????
Jyoth Post author
March 25, 2019 at 11:32 pm
This was super informative but also left me a little confused. I visited a Canon store and after letting them know my requirement for travel photography, the assistant advised me on buying Canon EOS 750D, This one is however not on your list at all. I am glad I didn’t buy any yet. Will look through the Canon options on your list and make a decision. Thanks for this detailed article.
March 26, 2019 at 9:51 am
First, let us say, that the best DSLR camera for travel is going to vary across people and opinions, so I am sure plenty of other perfectly capable models.
So Canon has a habit of releasing many cameras with only incremental changes ???? The closest to the EOS 750D that you mention is the EOS 800D (also known as the Rebel T7i). The 800D is basically the a recent version of the 750D.
The 800D has better battery life, a newer image sensor, a better kit lens, faster autofocus and faster burst speed shooting. So the changes are fairly significant.
That said, the Canon 750D can be purchased at a more budget price point as it is now a bit older, and it is still certainly a very capable camera.
I hope this helps! Let us know if you have any more questions,
Jyothi Post author
March 28, 2019 at 11:06 pm
Glad to hear from you. Ok, so between Canon EOS 800D and Nikon’s D5600 which one would you recommend? I am ok with either Canon or Nikon and have a budget of $ 1K but cant come to a decision on which one is best for travel photography. If you had to pick one within this budget (or maybe slightly more) which one would you suggest?
Thanks again. J
March 29, 2019 at 10:04 am
So this is definitely a tough call. I’ve shot with Canon since I was 13, so I am totally used to the Canon menu system, and find Nikon’s hard to use as a result. However, if it was the other way round, I’m sure I’d have the same problem with Canon cameras!
Both cameras are excellent. The Canon has slightly faster autofocus, but the Nikon has better low light performance. I would probably edge towards the Nikon on the basis of cost though – the Nikon can be had for about $100 less, and so you could buy it body only and then spend the extra savings on a nice lens.
If you haven’t tested out any cameras in your hand yet, I would also suggest finding a store and picking both cameras up to see how they feel in your hand, as this might also make a difference to you ????
Good luck! Laurence
April 1, 2019 at 11:03 am
Happy to report that I am now a proud owner of a Cannon DSLR 🙂 Thanks for your honest advice.
April 1, 2019 at 11:13 am
Congrats, enjoy your new Canon camera – hope it works out well for you!
Tara Post author
January 6, 2019 at 2:01 am
I found this so helpful in thinking about DSLR cameras! Thanks for the info xx
January 6, 2019 at 7:05 am
Hi Tara, Glad to hear that, and do let us know if you have any questions about choosing a camera! Best, Jessica
Kenneth Nova Post author
December 24, 2018 at 4:48 pm
Just received some Christmas money and looking to buy my first DSLR. I have only used a cell phone or point-and-shoot kind of camera before, so was not sure what to look for but your guide has been very helpful. I think I will go for either a Nikon or Canon since they have more legacy and lens options….I have no history with either. Is one better or easier to use than the other?
Thanks in advance for your help and great post! Ken
December 26, 2018 at 9:57 am
Hi Ken, Lucky you to have some money to purchase a camera for Christmas! Well, there are some small differences between Nikon and Canon cameras, but basically they are both great brands for DSLR cameras and both have been around for a long time. Both manufacturers make entry to professional models so easy to move up with both brands, if you wish to do so in the future.
I’d just pick one and then stick to that brand. That way if you upgrade your camera body, you can still use many of the lenses and accessories for your next camera. For a good entry-level camera, I’d recommend taking a look one of the Canon Rebels or the Nikon D5600 and base the decision on your budget and any important features that are must-haves for you.
Let us know if you have any questions.
Seana Turner Post author
December 21, 2018 at 10:34 am
I think my best advice is to hire you guys to come with me on all my vacations and take photos:) Wouldn’t it be great to have a personal photographer for every trip? I would love that…Merry Christmas to you both!
December 22, 2018 at 6:19 am
That is one alternative, haha! It would indeed be great to have a personal photographer. Merry Christmas to you and your family as well, and wishing you a wonderful 2019. Best, Jessica
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The best Canon DSLR you can buy in 2023
We select the best canon dslrs ever made - from beginner-friendly options to high-end cameras for professional photo and video shooters..
You can’t go wrong with a great Canon DSLR. They are some of the finest, most consistently popular cameras ever made. There will be a great model to suit every area of photography interest. The first-ever version was released in the year 2000; the likely last in 2020. After two decades of photographic innovation, iteration and improvement, the results speak for themselves, as we’ll see.
Rapid progress in technology means that DSLRs are no longer the undisputed kings of the photo world – the best mirrorless cameras have taken the throne. It is no secret that Canon is concentrating energy and resources on its EOS R mirrorless line . With entry-level versions like the Canon EOS R50 and Canon EOS R100 making debuts, it’s clear that they’re aiming at photographers of all abilities with this shift. (See our DSLR vs mirrorless guide for more on the differences between the two types.)
Yet DSLRs retain their charm. Many photographers prefer the form factor – the immediacy of an optical viewfinder and satisfying clunk of the mirror mechanism. Canon DSLRs also arguably still hold an advantage with lenses – especially cheap ones. Those aforementioned two decades of history means that there are absolutely loads of lenses available to DSLR users at all levels. Take a look at our guide the best EF-mount lenses to see what we mean.
Ultimately, a Canon DSLR is a terrific tool with which to take fantastic pictures. Learn more about how to pick a good one at the bottom of this page in our explainer and FAQ section. For now, read on to discover the best Canon DSLRs we’ve ever reviewed and tested…
There’s a Canon camera for everyone
We’ve picked out what we think are the best Canon DSLR cameras for all budgets and abilities. We’ve picked new cameras first, and then added a few of the best second-hand classics. So let’s jump in with a quick run-down:
- Best Canon DSLR for sports and wildlife: Canon EOS 90D – check best price
- Best budget full frame Canon DSLR: Canon EOS 6D Mark II – check best price
- Best Canon DSLR for travel: Rebel SL3 / Canon EOS 250D – check best price
- Best cheap Canon DSLR: Rebel T100 / Canon EOS 4000D – check best price
- Best Canon DSLR for beginners: Rebel T7 / Canon EOS 2000D – check best price
- Best Canon DSLR for enthusiasts: Rebel T8i / Canon EOS 850D – check best price
- Best professional Canon DSLR all around: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – check best price
- Best professional Canon DSLR for sports and action: Canon EOS-1D X Mark III – check best price
And here are our picks for the best Canon DSLRs to buy used:
- Best used Canon DSLR for beginners: EOS Rebel T5 / Canon EOS 1200D – check best price
- Best used Canon DSLR for enthusiasts: Canon EOS 80D – check best price
- Best used Canon DSLR for action and sports photography: Canon EOS 7D Mark II – check best price
- Best used Canon DSLR for video: Canon EOS 5D Mark III – check best price
- Best used full-frame Canon DSLR: Canon EOS 6D – check best price
Continue reading to find out why these DSLRS are so highly rated…
Best Canon DSLR for sports and wildlife: Canon EOS 90D
The Canon EOS 90D is Canon’s top APS-C model, combining speed, resolution and 4K video.
At a glance
- $1199 / £1299 body only
- 32.5MP APS-C sensor
- 45 cross-type AF points
- 10fps shooting speed
- ISO100-12,800, expandable to 25,600
- 4K 29.95/25p video
The Canon EOS 90D is Canon’s highest resolution APS-C format camera, with a 32.5MP sensor , so it’s perfect for making big prints of your best shots. Shoot raws and you’ll achieve images packed with close detail, good dynamic range and lifelike colours. For a faster workflow, out-of-camera JPEGs are excellent too.
The camera’s high resolution means big prints are within easy reach. The freedom to crop into pictures to pull out small details with minimal sacrifice to image quality make it well suited to fine-art photography and macro photography . Together with the 1.6x crop factor, this also makes it a great camera for wildlife photography .
Made for the enthusiast
The EOS 90D is a fine stills camera and, with a monitor that swivels to face forward, also suits prospective vloggers. Shooting 4K video also comes without any crop, plus there are headphone and microphone sockets. In fact the EOS 90D is a great all round camera for enthusiasts, boasting high speed continuous shooting capability too. Its closest rival in Canon’s mirrorless range is the Canon EOS R7, but that has far less lens choice, unless you don’t mind using Canon EF-S DSLR lenses via an adaptor – in which case you may do better sticking with a Canon DSLR in the first place.
- High pixel count
- Dual Pixel AF in Live View
- 10fps shooting
- Solid build
- No USB charging
- Autofocus through the viewfinder not as good as Live View
Read our full Canon EOS 90D review
Best budget full frame Canon DSLR: Canon EOS 6D Mark II
Here’s the Canon EOS 6D Mark II with 24-70mm lens fitted. It’s Canon’s cheapest full frame DSLR but doesn’t stint on features. Photo credit: Michael Topham
- $1399 / £1429 body only
- 26.2 megapixel full-frame sensor
- ISO 100-40,000
- Dual Pixel AF
- Built-in GPS
- 45 cross type AF points
The Canon EOS 6D Mark II is the cheapest full frame DSLR in the Canon line-up; yet is a long way from being a basic model. It’s actually very well featured for the money, thanks to its 26.2MP resolution, 45 AF phase detect points and 7560 RGB+IR metering sensor.
In Live View shooting you also get very competent AF performance here, thanks to Canon’s Dual Pixel AF which covers over 80% of the image area and gives speedy and accurate autofocusing in stills and video. It’ll also work well in challenging conditions; even low-light situations such as night photography . Using the EOS 6D Mark II in live view mode offers many of the advantages of mirrorless cameras, showing that the DSLR design still has a few tricks up its sleeve.
Intuitive control layout
Using the optical viewfinder, you get a 6.5fps maximum shooting speed with AE/AF tracking – just the ticket for subjects on the move. Handling and ergonomics rate highly, with a typically generous collection of controls, including a focus joystick and rear control dial plus a fully articulating 3-inch touchscreen. Its body is weather-sealed, too.
- Full frame, 26.1MP
- Vari-angle touch monitor
- Fast shooting
- In-camera Raw processing
- One SD card slot
- Viewfinder AF array quite small
Read our full Canon EOS 6D Mark II review
Best Canon DSLR for travel: Rebel SL3 / Canon EOS 250D
The Canon EOS 250D is a superb beginner’s DSLR, with helpful guide modes to explain basic concepts. Photo credit: Canon
- $649 / £619 with 18-55mm IS STM lens
- 24.1MP APS-C sensor
- Shoots at 5fps
- Articulating monitor
The Canon Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D is one of the smallest DSLRs you can get, but it still finds the space for a good set of features and even a fully-articulated vari-angle rear screen. It is suitable for beginner and student photographers with its simple user-friendly guide mode; yet is powerful enough to continue to serve them as they explore more advanced techniques. Its compact stature make it good for travel, and with a touch-sensitive vari-angle monitor that can face forwards, it’s perfect for vlogging and selfies, food photography , and more. Video shooters can enjoy 4K UHD video recording for crystal clear movies.
Shoot over 1000 frames from a single charge
Of course, it is a very capable performer for stills with its the 24MP sensor and Canon’s Dual Pixel autofocusing, which give consistently pin-sharp results in stills and video; even in poor light. Battery life is extremely good too, with a claimed 1070 shots using the optical finder – another advantage of the DSLR design.
- Canon’s Dual Pixel AF
- Impressive shot capacity with the optical finder
- Small viewfinder
- 4K video comes with a 1.7x crop
- No Dual Pixel AF in video mode
Read our Canon EOS 250D / Rebel SL3 Review
Best cheap Canon DSLR: Rebel T100 / Canon EOS 4000D
The ultra-cheap Canon EOS 4000D is sold with a kit lens. Photo credit: Canon
- $229 / £129 (excellent used condition) body only
- 18 megapixel APS-C sensor
- Nine autofocus points
- 3fps shooting speed
- 63-zone dual layer exposure meter
This is Canon’s least expensive DSLR , and it is certainly built down to a price, but it is still fairly well furnished with features. It should suit no fuss point-and-shoot snapping for photography students and beginners who desire a ‘proper’ camera without breaking the bank. Users who want to take it out of full auto mode will find reliably accurate focusing and exposure systems at their disposal. Impressively for this price level, the EOS 4000D has a 63-zone dual layer exposure meter that delivers great results in a range of lighting conditions and while the AF system is limited to nine points, it works well and responsively.
A good starting point
The Rebel T100 / EOS 4000D has an 18MP APS-C sensor with resolution good enough for most uses. It is an old design, however, and keen photographers may feel the urge to upgrade before long. It has a native ISO speed range of 100 to 6400, which is pretty modest by today’s standards, but there is a pop-up flash for shooting in low light.
- Compact, lightweight
- Great value at this price
- Integrated flash
- Just 18 megapixels
- Nine AF points
- Full HD video only
- Small rear monitor
Read our Canon EOS 4000D review
Best Canon DSLR for beginners: Rebel T7 / Canon EOS 2000D
The Canon EOS 2000D is perhaps Canon’s best entry-level DSLR right now, and can be found at low prices. Photo credit: Canon
- $479 / £459 with 18-55mm II lens
- 9 AF points
- Creative Auto Mode and Creative filters
- 3fps shooting
- ISO 100-12800 range (extended)
The Canon Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D is still an entry-level camera, but a worthwhile step up from the Rebel T100 / EOS 4000D. A key benefit is its 24MP resolution , which is appealing especially to users who wish to make enlargements and prints. And speaking of bigger, the EOS 2000D’s monitor measures 7.5cm / 3inch and boasts 920,000 dots of resolution, showing off detail more effectively. This is a really practical asset for checking your images.
A more robust build quality is another benefit of the EOS 2000D over the EOS 4000D. For example, its lens mount is made of metal, rather than the engineering plastic used on the EOS 4000D.
The Canon Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D is unabashedly a beginner’s camera, and as such there are a few features on which Canon has compromised in order to keep the size and cost of the camera down. Its 9-point autofocus system is probably the one you’ll most immediately notice – even by beginner camera standards, this is pretty basic. For general snapshots it’ll be fine, but it will struggle with fast-moving subjects.
Video-wise, the Rebel T7 / EOS 2000D shoots at a maximum resolution of Full HD 1080p, at a maximum frame rate of 30fps. If you want 4K, you’ll need to pay a little more for the Canon EOS 250D – though you do have to contend with that vicious Canon crop that plagued the firm’s 4K cameras for many years.
- 24MP sensor
- Creative filters and useful feature guide
- Large, high-res monitor
- Only Full HD video
Read our Canon EOS 2000D / Rebel T7 review
Best Canon DSLR for enthusiasts: Rebel T8i / Canon EOS 850D
The Canon EOS 850D / Rebel T8i is a good all-round DSLR for advanced beginners and enthusiasts. Photo credit: Andy Westlake
- $899 / £999 with 18-55mm IS USM lens
- 45 point, all cross type
- 7fps with AE/AF tracking
- 4K /25p video
The Canon EOS 850D has been around for a while but is still a terrific all-round package and a very capable DSLR for the enthusiast photographer keen to explore their creativity. Buy it with the 18-135mm USM lens and you have compact, lightweight package with a zoom range suitable for a wide range of subject matter, from portraits and snapshots to landscape and street. Another, more affordable kit option is with the 18-55mm IS STM lens.
The EOS 850D has a 24.1MP sensor paired with a Canon DIGIC 8 processor, and is capable of first-class photographs full of crisp detail and rich colours. Its ISO 100-25,600 range also allows you to shoot successfully when light levels drop. There’s the option of 4K /25p video on this camera, but the usefulness is limited because the image is cropped by 64% and there’s no Dual Pixel AF available. This restricts your angle of view and the live view autofocus is slower: though you don’t have these limitations when shooting 1920 x 1080 full HD.
- Good picture quality
- Vari-angle touchscreen
- 7fps shooting with AE/AF tracking
- Body has a robust feel
- Optical viewfinder is small
- Video features and performance limited
Read our full review of the Canon EOS 850D
Best professional Canon DSLR all round: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is like the Swiss Army Knife of professional DSLRs and a favorite workhorse for many professional photographers. Photo credit: Canon
- $2,699 / £2,789 body only
- 30.4MP full-frame sensor
- 61 AF points
- DCI 4K 25/30p
- 150,000 pixel RGB+IR metering sensor
- DIGIC 6+ processing engine
- ISO 100-32,000
The rugged Canon EOS 5D Mark IV body has been a favourite amongst professional photographers for years, boasting advanced weather sealing and a 30.2MP full-frame sensor . The camera delivers images of outstanding clarity, colour fidelity, low noise and with excellent dynamic range giving detailed highlights and shadows. This makes it a great choice for landscape shooting, producing maximum tonality in your images. It is in fact a highly capable all-rounder that can be used for a wide range of professional and commercial subjects.
Dual Pixel Raw
Autofocus is first rate in stills and video with 61 AF points through the finder and, for shooting action, 7fps shooting with full AE/AF tracking is available. The EOS 5D Mark IV also has a neat feature called Dual Pixel RAW (DPRAW) which captures imaging data from each pixel from two very slightly different points of view. Using Canon’s free DPP software you can edit a DPRAW image and fine-tune to adjust lighting, give a different point of focus, or adjust background bokeh. This is a somewhat technical process and the effects are not always obvious.
- Excellent image quality
- Solid build with great handling
- High ISO performance
- Dual Pixel AF with face detect and tracking
- Fixed 3.2in monitor
- Live View shooting a modest 4.3fps with AF tracking
Read our Canon EOS 5D Mark IV review
Best professional Canon DSLR for sports and action: Canon EOS-1D X Mark III
The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is a rugged, professional DSLR designed for high-speed shooting and extremely popular amongst pros. Photo credit: AP
- $6,499 / £6,999 body only
- 20.1MP full-frame sensor
- DIGIC X processor
- 5.5K Raw video
- Huge native 100-102,400 ISO range
- 20fps max shooting speed on Live View mode
Canon’s flagship professional DSLR has an impressive feature set, including a native ISO range that peaks at 102,400. This means poor light definitely won’t stop play, which is one of the reasons why this camera has become a stalwart or professional sports and action photographers. Thanks to the advanced sensor, a special Gaussian Low Pass filter and DIGIC X processor, the image quality is remarkably good even at that high sensitivity.
High speed shooting
Indeed, speed is the key word for this camera. You can shoot with a top speed of 16fps through the optical viewfinder, or get even more in Live View with a speed of 20fps. Perhaps even more important is that the EOS-1D X Mark III takes high-speed CFexpress Type B cards, so you can capture a lot of frames without hitting the buffer.
To cope with fast-moving action, the EOS-1D X Mark III boasts an AF system with 191 points, of which 155 are cross-type. It also has Canon’s Deep-Learning AF Algorithm that can recognise faces even when they are upside down.
- Pro-level build quality
- Large ISO range
- Takes two CFexpress Type B cards
- High asking price
- Big and heavy body
- Resolution perhaps too low for scenic and studio shooters
The best used Canon DSLRs to buy
The second-hand market offers value for restricted budgets. Opting for a second-hand version of a camera from a few years ago is a great place to find a bargain. We recommend going with reputable dealers rather than buying privately, as you’ll get some limited warranty (usually 3-6 months) and some assurance that the camera has been checked over by professionals. With DSLRs, it’s also important to check the shutter actuations, as every camera is rated to perform to a specific number. For more, check out our guide to buying second-hand cameras .
Below, we’ve picked out a few of our favourite Canon DSLRs on the second-hand market.
Best used Canon DSLR for beginners: EOS Rebel T5 / Canon EOS 1200D
The Canon EOS 1200D is a beginner-friendly model that can be picked up for a good price. Photo credit: Canon
At a glance:
- $238 / £144 (excellent used condition)
- 18MP APS-C sensor
- DIGIC 4 processor
- ISO 100-6400 (extended to ISO 12,800)
- 3in, 460,000-dot, TFT LCD screen
Beginner photographers can pick up a hell of a bargain if willing to shop second-hand, and the excellent EOS 1200D is a case in point. Going for about a third of its original asking price on the used market, the EOS 1200D has retained a reputation as a solid, do-everything DSLR for beginners. With its 18MP APS-C sensor, it’s not quite as high-resolution as many other cameras on this list, but the autofocus system is fast and accurate in a way that punches above its weight.
Basic AF system
Once again, you only get 9 AF points, and a burst mode of 3fps – this is going to come with the territory of shopping for a beginner’s camera in 2014. This will likely be enough for most purposes, and if you need more speed than that, check out the EOS 7D Mark II below.
In our original review of the EOS 1200D, we also singled out the low-light performance as being particularly impressive. We were happy with the results we got right the way through the camera’s native ISO range of 100-6400, and that isn’t always the case with entry-level cameras. If you’re planning on urban night shoots, this is a great choice of DSLR, especially if you pick up a cheap 50mm lens to go with it.
- Excellent value on used market
- Reliable autofocus system
- Good high-ISO performance
- Only 9 AF points
Read our Canon EOS 1200D review
Best used Canon DSLR for enthusiasts: Canon EOS 80D
The Canon EOS 80D offers 24MP of resolution, and is still a great all-round camera for enthusiasts. Photo credit: Canon
- Around $466 / £484 (excellent used condition)
- 24.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- 45 cross-point AF
- ISO 100-16,000, expandable to 25,600
- 7fps shooting speed
- 100% viewfinder with 0.95x magnification
Canon’s two-digit EOS DSLRs built up a reputation for being good APS-C all-rounders, useful for photographers who want an affordable camera that does a bit of everything. The EOS 80D is an excellent example, and is plentifully available second-hand. It adds a number of improvements on the previous EOS 70D, including a beefed-up autofocus system with phase-detection points across the entirety of the frame. The big optical viewfinder covering 100% of the frame is also welcome, and helps the EOS 80D deliver a marvellous shooting experience across the board.
The EOS 80D uses a relatively sophisticated autofocus system. While it cannot touch the sublime subject-detect system of cameras from the 2020s, its 45 highly accurate cross-type points are very respectable, and will get the job done in most situations.
Capable for video
As it was preceded by the EOS 70D – which proved a surprising hit with YouTubers – the EOS 80D is a handily capable video camera. Having Full HD video at a frame rate of 60p is welcome, as is the vari-angle touchscreen that lets you shoot from all angles with ease. The addition of a headphone port also wins the EOS 80D a few points from videographers. It’s not 4K though, which may be a deal-breaker for some users.
- Accurate focusing in all modes
- Very good build quality
- Solid video spec
- Single card slot
Read our Canon EOS 80D review
Best used Canon DSLR for action and sports photography: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
The Canon EOS 7D Mark II is a high-speed APS-C camera for enthusiasts, with great features and solid build quality. Photo credit: Canon
- $446 / £574 (excellent used condition)
- 20MP APS-C sensor
- 65 cross-point AF
- ISO 100-16,000 expandable to 51,200
- Dual card slots – CompactFlash and SD
The Canon EOS 7D Mark II was introduced in 2014, a replacement for the EOS 7D that came out in 2009. Its big selling point was that it was an APS-C DSLR that had advanced AF features derived from the EOS 5D Mark III and EOS-1D X.
As such, Canon’s renowned Dual Pixel sensor delivers good Live View AF, and 65 cross type AF points for viewfinder AF, with Intelligent Tracking and Recognition (iTR) to give improved subject tracking. The EOS 7D Mark III was the first Canon to have iTR after the EOS 1D X, and uses the RGB+ IR meter sensor to improve servo focusing with moving subjects.
Making the most of the EOS 7D Mark II’s enhanced AF skills, it can rattle along at 10fps and when shooting raw you can get around 30 shots before buffering.
A solid build
The Canon EOS 7D Mark II has been equipped with an impressive degree of weather sealing. In the course of our testing, we took this DSLR out in “brutal weather conditions that gave it a thorough soaking” and were happily able to report that the camera came through it with no problems. If you’re an adventurous outdoor photographer, this is definitely a DSLR to consider (just make sure you also stick to weather-sealed lenses).
The EOS 7D Mark II also has two card slots – however, the camera shows its age here, as one of the slots is for the CompactFlash format of memory card, which is little used these days. You can still buy these cards from most photographic retailers; just be aware that if you upgrade from the EOS 7D Mark II to a newer camera, the ComapctFlash card will almost certainly end up gathering dust in a drawer.
- Dual card slots
- Environmentally sealed and robust body
- No touch screen
- Fixed monitor
- iTR inconsistent
Read our full review of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Best used Canon DSLR for video: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III may be ten years old, but it’ll still produce excellent images. Photo credit: Canon
- $629 / £644 (Excellent used condition)
- 22MP full-frame sensor
- 3.2in monitor
- DIGIC 5+ processor
- ISO 100-25,600
- 61AF points
- Dual CompactFlash and SD card slots
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III is an excellent full-frame camera that has proved itself a fine machine since it was introduced over ten years ago in 2012. Key features include a 22MP full-frame sensor, a 61 point AF system for speedy and accurate focusing while a 63 zone metering system ensures spot-on exposures. These days it can be picked up second-hand for a great price.
This camera was the first Canon DSLR capable of High Dynamic Range shooting where three bracketed exposures are made and merged in-camera and an auto align feature means you can even get perfect shots shooting handheld. It can shoot multiple exposures too for creative effect.
The EOS 5D Mark III has a shutter rated at 150,000 actuations, so do check this aspect when shopping for a second-hand model.
Great video, but Full HD only
This camera is part of a line that basically revolutionised run-and-gun filmmaking. The EOS 5D Mark II was a genuine game-changer in terms of the quality of video it put out, and the EOS 5D Mark III also shoots great-quality Full HD content, and fixes a few issues with the Mark II such as the prevalent rolling shutter. Of course, time has marched on, and many video shooters will now want 4K resolution. The EOS 5D Mark III also lacks a few features that are useful on newer cameras, such as a fully articulating screen.
- Full HD video
- 6fps shooting
- Live View AF and face detect slow, and hunts compared with more recent cameras
- Fixed rear screen
Read our Canon EOS 5D Mark III review
Best used full-frame Canon DSLR: Canon EOS 6D
The EOS 6D offers absurdly good value for full-frame. Photo credit: Canon
- Around $389 / £429 (excellent used condition)
- 20.2MP full-frame sensor
- 4.5fps continuous shooting
- ISO 100-25,600 (exp. 50-102,800)
- 11-point AF
- In-camera HDR and multiple-exposure modes
Announced at Photokina 2012 and released a couple of months later, the EOS 6D was marketed as a smaller and more affordable alternative to the hugely popular EOS 5D Mark III. Fulfilling this brief, the 6D borrows hardware from the 5D III while also bringing some of its own to the table. For example, while the 5D III was built around a 22.3MP full-frame CMOS sensor, the 6D instead employs a 20.2MP chip. However, both cameras share the same DIGIC 5+ image processor, and both provide a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-25,600 that can be expanded to the equivalent of ISO 50-102,800.
It was released with a body-only price of £1,680 and it’s now possible to source a second-hand 6D in ‘excellent’ condition with a shutter count less 10,000 for just a few hundred dollars/pounds. That could give you money left over to spend on an extra lens.
Magnesium alloy body
The Canon EOS 6D is very small and light for a full-frame DSLR. It’s constructed from magnesium alloy, and weighs 755g with battery and card. If you like the ergonomics of a full-frame DSLR but don’t necessarily want to carry a big, bulky system, this model could potentially strike an elegant balance that’ll suit your needs.
- Great price for full-frame
- Lightweight and portable
- Excellent image quality, especially in low light
- No built-in flash
- Max flash sync of 1/180sec
- Basic 11-point AF system
Read our Canon EOS 6D review
How to choose the best Canon DSLR
The higher the megapixel count, the more detail the camera can capture. However, it is true that even a fairly basic camera like the Canon EOS 4000D, with ‘just’ 18MP of resolution, can produce professional level, detail-rich prints at A2 size and more – as long as you have a reasonably sharp lens and competent camera technique.
Canon DSLRs use two autofocus systems – one for the optical viewing system and another for ‘live view’ on the LCD screen, which uses Canon’s unique Dual Pixel AF, a feature introduced by Canon in 2013, first seen on the EOS 70D, and now found on most of its recent DSLRs like the EOS 90D. Each pixel on the imaging sensor is divided into two light-sensitive diodes, and they are analysed for focus data, the end result being snappy, reliable focusing in both stills and video. Dual Pixel CMOS AF is on all newer Canons and definitely worth seeking out.
APS-C vs full-frame
Canon DSLRs come with two sensor sizes – APS-C and full-frame. For many camera users, an APS-C camera is more than adequate, giving excellent image quality and is a great choice. The smaller format means physically more compact cameras and usually lower prices for both the cameras and the lenses. Full-frame cameras are preferred by dedicated enthusiasts and professional photographers. The larger format provides better image quality, with greater dynamic range and better low-light performance, but the cameras are bigger, heavier and more expensive, as are the lenses.
See our guide to APS-C vs full-frame sensors for more detail on how this all works.
While Canon DSLRs were at the forefront of a huge revolution in video in the mid-2000s, these days if video is going to be a big part of your life you will be better off going for a mirrorless model. There, you will generally find more features, greater sophistication and better performance. The latest Canon mirrorless cameras have 4K, 4K Cine, 6K and 8K, and you get features like in-body image stabilisation something Canon’s DSLRs don’t have. Having said that, the enthusiast level Canon EOS 90D is a very effective camera for shooting video. In fact video recording is available on most Canon DSLRs, including the Canon models featured here. For serious filmmaking you’ll likely want to get one of the best tripods for steady footage.
Canon DSLRs – frequently asked questions
Here are answers to some of the most common questions we get asked about Canon DSLRs.
Do Canon DSLRs have IBIS (in-body image stabilisation)?
No, Canon DSLRs do not have IBIS. While Canon added optical stabilisation to plenty of its EF-mount lenses, an equivalent system didn’t make its way to the camera bodies until the arrival of the mirrorless Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6 .
Is Canon going to discontinue DSLRs?
We may not see any new Canon DSLRs in the future. In 2022, Canon CEO and Chairman, Fujio Mitarai, said that the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III would be Canon’s last flagship DSLR. The last new DSLR the firm announced was the Canon Rebel T8i / Canon EOS 850D in early 2020, and since then the focus has clearly been on Canon’s mirrorless cameras . However, Canon DSLRs are still on sale and there are plenty of used examples in excellent condition and with little wear.
Can you use Canon mirrorless lenses on Canon DSLRs?
No. Canon RF mirrorless lenses cannot be adapted to work with EF-mount DSLRs. While it’s possible to adapt EF DSLR lenses to RF mirrorless cameras via Canon’s EF-EOS R adapter, there is currently no adapter that flows the other way, and there is unlikely to be one. Making such an adapter would be technologically challenging due to the RF-mount’s shorter flange distance and wider throat, and Canon has little incentive to do so when it is aiming to move photographers over to its mirrorless system.
Which Canon DSLRs are full-frame?
The Canon EOS-1Ds, EOS-1D X, EOS 5D and EOS 6D DSLRs all use full-frame sensors . All of these lines have gone through multiple iterations, with the most recent and advanced cameras being the EOS-1D X Mark III (released in 2020), the EOS 6D Mark II (from 2017) and the EOS 5D Mark IV (from 2016). Looking at older models on the second-hand market can be a great way to get full-frame quality for an affordable price, and you may have already seen we’ve put a few in this guide. Just be aware that the further back you go, the more you’ll have to compromise on features like autofocus speed, burst mode, high ISO performance and others.
Are Canon DSLRs weatherproof?
Some Canon DSLRs are weather-sealed, but not all of them . In general, the more expensive professional cameras, such as once again the EOS-1D X, EOS 5D and EOS 6D lines, are the ones that feature extensive weather-sealing. However, some more affordable mid-range models such as the EOS 90D also feature weatherproofing. Really, it just depends on the individual camera, so check before you buy if this is a priority feature for you.
If you’ve found the best Canon DSLR in this guide, then why not have a look at the best Canon EF-mount lenses and the best EF-mount zoom lenses to go with your new camera. Or have a look at more of our buying guides, including our look at the best Canon EOS cameras of all time (including SLRs and DSLRs), or have a look at the best Canon mirrorless cameras .
- What are the best value DSLRs in 2023?
- Best used DSLRs in 2023
- Second-hand DSLR lenses: ultimate buying guide
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by Will Cheung
Will Cheung FRPS is a very experienced photographic journalist and in his long career on imaging magazines has edited Practical Photography, Digital Photo and Photography Monthly. He is also a very capable photographer and achieved the Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society distinction with a submission of black & white photographs.
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The best Canon camera for 2023: Canon's finest DSLR, mirrorless and compact models
Our guide to the best Canon camera you can buy right now
- Best overall
- Best budget
- Best premium
- Best hobbyist
- Best R5 alternative
- Best affordable full-frame
- Best compact vlogging
- Best travel compact
- Best DSLR overall
- Best flagship DSLR
- How to choose
- How we test
1. The list in brief 2. Best overall 3. Best budget 4. Best premium 5. Best hobbyist 6. Best EOS R5 alternative 7. Best affordable full-frame 8. Best compact vlogging 9. Best travel compact 10 . Best DSLR overall 11. Best flagship DSLR 12. How to choose 13. How we test
Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, the best Canon camera models have a lot to offer. From entry-level to professional, Canon has a wide variety of options in its stable. We’ve extensively tested all of its top performers and created this guide to help you pick the right one for your budget and skill level.
We think the best option for most photographers is the Canon EOS R5. A full-frame hybrid with excellent autofocus, dependable in-body image stabilization and a high-resolution sensor, it’s close to being the perfect Canon camera for those who like to shoot a range of subjects. In fact, we put it up there with the best professional cameras you can buy.
If you’re looking for something more affordable, we rank the EOS R10 as the best budget Canon camera. Conveniently compact and usefully versatile, it represents fantastic value for enthusiasts with an interest in wildlife or action photography. Or if you want a more affordable full-frame option, take a look at the Canon EOS RP.
Our comprehensive round-up covers a whole fleet of Canon cameras, including compact models that are among the best travel cameras , and entry-level DSLRs that feature in our list of the best beginner cameras . Each has been extensively tried and tested in the real world, to sort the good from the great in Canon’s catalog. Together with our deal links and expert buying tips, this guide is your shortcut to the best Canon camera.
Tim is TechRadar's Cameras editor. With more than 15 years in the photo video industry and most of those in the world of tech journalism, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with all things camera related.
The quick list
You can use the summary round-up below for an instant overview of the best Canon cameras. When you find a model that ticks the right boxes, click the link beneath each entry to read more of our review feedback.
The best Canon camera overall
A versatile, powerful camera with incredible autofocus and a proven form factor, the EOS R5 is Canon’s best ever stills camera.
Read more below
The best budget Canon camera
With modern autofocus and good handling, the EOS R10 is a compact, affordable powerhouse that’s perfect for first-time Canon buyers.
The best premium Canon camera
Combining DSLR handling with cutting-edge mirrorless skills, the EOS R3 is built for speed, making it ideal for sports and wildlife.
The best Canon camera for hobbyists
Look past its limited lens range and the EOS R7 is fantastic value for enthusiasts, producing excellent images at a competitive price.
The best Canon EOS R5 alternative
A full-frame hybrid with pro-grade specs, the EOS R6 II can produce beautiful stills and video, making it an ideal second to the R5.
The affordable full-frame Canon
With a compact build, sound autofocus and responsive interface, the Canon EOS RP represents compelling full-frame value.
The best compact vlogging Canon
With a suite of features for videographers, including a mic input and flip-up display, the Mark III is a pocket-sized win for vloggers.
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The best Canon travel compact
Built small but capable, a sharp sensor, uncropped 4K and solid zoom range make this premium compact an ideal choice for travel.
The best Canon DSLR overall
It’s expensive, but if you can justify the cost, the EOS 5D Mark IV is one of the most complete DSLR cameras we’ve ever tested.
The best flagship Canon DSLR
Equipped with all the performance Canon could muster, the 1D X Mark III is a rugged, innovative and truly impressive flagship.
The best Canon camera options for 2023
Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.
Below you'll find in-depth summaries for all of the best Canon cameras in our list. We've tested each one extensively, so you can be sure that our recommendations can be trusted.
1. Canon EOS R5
Our expert review:
Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.
✅ You want the best stills camera: Good for photography of any genre, the EOS R5 is the most powerful and versatile stills camera Canon has ever made. ✅ You’re upgrading from a DSLR: Pairing good physical handling with a superior EVF, autofocus and burst speeds, the R5 offers a next-gen shooting experience.
❌ You’re on a budget: The EOS R5’s body-only cost will be prohibitive for many enthusiasts, especially when you factor in the cost of RF-mount lenses. ❌ You shoot mainly video: The EOS R5 can capture sharp 8K footage, but recording time limits mean its video abilities don’t match its stills skills.
There's a heck of a lot to like about the Canon EOS R5, particularly if you're a stills photographer. In fact, we'd say that there's never been a better Canon camera for those who shoot a wide range of photography.
We've spent a lot of time with the EOS R5 since it launched, and our tests have consistently found it to have fantastic image quality, seriously impressive autofocus, and decent battery life. We're also big fans of the body design, which combines a responsive touchscreen with a superb electronic viewfinder.
It might have the headline-grabbing spec of 8K video, but the picture is a little less clear for videographers. The EOS R5's overheating restrictions are likely to put off those who shoot lengthy clips (interviews, for example). We've tested the EOS R5's latest firmware, though, and didn't get any overheating warnings when shooting a short film in 32-degree temperatures, so it's certainly a very capable video camera for most people.
Canon clearly went all-out on the EOS R5, and it's close to being the perfect Canon camera for hybrid shooters. However, that comes at a cost: the EOS R5 has a high asking price. But if you're keen on the brand, then it may be worth paying.
Read our in-depth Canon EOS R5 review
- ^ Back to the top
2. Canon EOS R10
✅ You’re a beginner: We rate the Canon EOS R10 as the best beginner camera you can buy right now, thanks to its usability, affordability and powerful autofocus. ✅ You want a small, affordable hybrid: It’s built more for stills than video, but the EOS R10 can still record uncropped 4K/30p footage oversampled from 6K.
❌ You want a lot of lens choice: Lens availability is a limiting factor for the EOS R10, with few native APS-C glass options available at present. ❌ You shoot a lot of action: Burst speeds are decent, but the limited buffer depth is restrictive when shooting RAW images of action or wildlife.
If you can look past the old-school sensor, we think Canon’s EOS R10 is one of the best entry-level mirrorless cameras for beginners. Fitted with Canon’s powerful Digic X chip, it also benefits from truly modern autofocus abilities.
In testing, the processor and AF tracking together proved remarkably powerful. Continuous shooting speeds of 15fps with the mechanical shutter also mean the EOS R10 is a winner if you want to experiment with action photography.
With dual control dials and a dedicated AF joystick, we found that the EOS R10 made it straightforward for learners to get hands-on with creative shooting. Its lightweight body will also feels comfortably familiar for anyone coming from a DSLR, with the articulating touchscreen making it an easy switch for smartphone photographers.
Low-light abilities are limited by the lack of in-body image stabilization, but image quality still proved decent during our tests, with plenty of detail hiding in the shadows. Video skills are solid too, with 4K footage oversampled at 30fps. Provided Canon comes out with more native APS-C lenses to grow with, the R10 hits the top spot for beginners.
Read our in-depth Canon EOS R10 review
3. Canon EOS R3
✅ You’re a pro sports photographer: The EOS R3 is built for speed, shooting full-res RAW files at 30fps, with a big buffer depth and rapid autofocus system. ✅ You want a mirrorless hybrid: The EOS R5 shoots sharper 8K video, but the R3 captures oversampled 4K/60p footage with fewer overheating issues.
❌ You need high-res stills: It’s a speed demon, but rivals like the Nikon Z9 and Sony A1 offer fast burst speeds at higher resolutions than the R3’s 24MP. ❌ You want a discreet camera: Unapologetically made for pros, the size of the EOS R3 means it isn’t a camera that goes under the radar.
Styled more like a sports DSLR than the handier EOS R5, the Canon EOS R3 is every bit a professional mirrorless camera. It has fewer megapixels than the EOS R5, because it’s built for speed instead of outright resolution – and if the former is your priority, it’s the best Canon camera you can get. During our extensive time testing the EOS R3, we found it one of the best sports and wildlife cameras we’ve ever tested.
At its core is a 24.1MP stacked CMOS sensor, which we described in our review as a “purring photographic engine”. It can shoot full-quality raw images at a remarkable 30fps, as well as 6K/60p raw video internally without any noticeable rolling shutter. We were also mightily impressed by its autofocus system, and reassured by the tough magnesium alloy build.
In short, the EOS R3 is the pinnacle of mirrorless speed. It’s undeniably big and expensive, but if you need an uncompromising Canon camera and can afford to pay the premium, you won’t be disappointed.
Read our in-depth Canon EOS R3 review
4. Canon EOS R7
✅ You want a small all-rounder: Its APS-C sensor gives the EOS R7 travel-friendly dimensions, while its kit lens covers a useful 18-150mm focal range. ✅ You want a budget sports camera: The EOS R7 makes excellent subject-tracking autofocus available to those without top-end full-frame budgets.
❌ You want a lot of lens choice: There are few native RF-S lenses available at present, which makes a camera like the Sony A6700 more appealing. ❌ You shoot a lot in low light: The APS-C sensor takes lovely stills, but full-frame Canon cameras perform better in dim conditions.
Hitting the APS-C sweet spot, we think the EOS R7 is one of the top options in Canon’s line-up for enthusiast shooters. In testing, its compact proportions made it a nice camera to use, with a reasonably chunky grip and accessible control layout. Yet it also benefits from a generous feature set, while undercutting its full-frame cousins.
Among the highlights is Canon’s latest Dual Pixel CMOS AF II autofocus, which proved both rapid and reliably capable of keeping up with subjects. Electronic burst speeds of up to 30fps also make it a dream for sports and wildlife photography, with in-body image stabilization offering eight stops of compensation when shooting handled.
Overall, our real-world usage proved that the EOS R7 can produce lovely images in a wide range of conditions. Low-light results aren’t quite on par with Canon’s full-frame models, but it’s hard to argue when you’re getting such impressive versatility and value. That includes two UHS-II card slots, an articulating touchscreen, and the ability to shoot uncropped 4K/60p video.
All that’s really holding the Canon EOS R7 back right now is a lack of native lenses. This is something that Canon will hopefully address if the RF-S system becomes as popular as it should be.
Read our in-depth Canon EOS R7 review
5. Canon EOS R6 II
✅ You want a pro workhorse: Made for professionals, the EOS R6 II impresses with its terrific autofocus, burst shooting and low-light performance. ✅ You want a second Canon: If you’re already invested in the RF system, EOS R6 II would make a great second camera to use alongside an EOS R5 or R3.
❌ You’re conscious of cost: The EOS R6 II is a very capable all-rounder, but it’s also an expensive one, with a price that’s only justified if you really like it. ❌ You shoot more stills than video: The EOS R6 II produces excellent stills and video, but you can find better value elsewhere if your focus is on still images.
Canon’s EOS R6 was a more affordable version of the R5, favouring speed over outright resolution. The R6 II makes several useful improvements to that formula, cementing its position as one of the best mirrorless all-rounders for Canon fans.
Even boosted from 20.1MP to 24.2MP, its sensor still has a lower pixel count than the EOS 6D Mark II. And at 4K/60p, its video resolution can’t challenge the 8K offered by the R5. Yet we found in testing that the EOS R6 II is a fantastic shooting tool: its AI-powered autofocus proved highly effective and low-light performance terrific.
By doubling the already rapid electronic burst shooting speeds to 40fps, the EOS R6 II sets the pace among mirrorless cameras, making it a top choice for shooting action. Our tests did find that in-body image stabilization fell short of the promised eight stops, but color rendering was very attractive and image quality impressive overall.
You’ll find better value if you prioritise stills or video, and the incremental improvements don’t justify upgrading from an EOS R6. But if you’re already invested in Canon’s RF system and willing to part with a chunk of cash, the R6 II is a seriously capable hybrid.
Read our in-depth Canon EOS R6 review
The best affordable full-frame Canon camera
6. canon eos rp.
✅ You want full-frame on a budget: The EOS RP offers a capable full-frame sensor and solid feature set at a reasonable asking price. ✅ You want a compact body: Even with a full-frame sensor inside, the Canon EOS RP is nicely packaged, with a compact, lightweight body.
❌ You shoot a lot of video: With a crop on 4K video and rolling shutter experienced in testing, the EOS RP’s recording skills are compromised. ❌ You want a lot of lens choice: The EOS RP uses an RF mount, but there are currently few lenses that complement the camera’s proportions and price.
It's a few years old, but we think the Canon EOS RP still offers excellent value for those who want to go full-frame, but can't stretch to the pricier Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6. We found it to be charmingly compact and easy to use during our tests, which means even beginners will be able to quickly find their way around the camera. That said, the EOS RP's small size does occasionally make the camera feel front-heavy when using larger lenses.
On the plus side, Canon's wide range of RF lenses also works in the EOS RP's favor, particularly when you pair it with relatively affordable primes like the RF 50mm f/1.8.
The EOS RP's 4K video game is a little more restricted, as it comes with a 1.6x crop factor and you can't use Canon's trusted Dual Pixel CMOS autofocus system at resolutions higher than 1080p. That aside, we continue to be impressed by the value the EOS RP offers. It has excellent AF performance, produces vibrant and sharp images, boasts a wonderfully responsive rear LCD touchscreen, and can be used with existing EF lenses with a lens adaptor.
Read our in-depth Canon EOS RP review
The best compact Canon camera for vlogging
7. canon powershot g7 x mark iii.
✅ You want a compact vlogging tool: With a mic input, YouTube livestreaming support and a 1-inch sensor that shoots 4K, the Mark III is made for video. ✅ You value physical controls: Although it’s small, the well-built G7 X Mark III benefits from good handling and four physical control dials.
❌ You like using a viewfinder: Its video focus means the G7 X Mark III skips the viewfinder in favor of a responsive flip-up touchscreen. ❌ You want reliable metering: Image and video quality is generally very good, but the G7 X Mark III’s metering system frequently overexposes.
Long popular with vloggers, Canon’s G7X range has kicked it up a notch with its latest implementation. In our tests, we found the Mark III's 20.1MP one-inch sensor to be very capable. It's also equipped with uncropped 4K video recording and a microphone socket, features requested on its compact cameras for a very long time.
This means you can elevate the sound above and beyond the internal mic’s offering, a feature we found particularly useful during our vlogging tests. Impressively, the G7 X III can stream directly to YouTube , so you can live vlog whatever’s happening around you, without having to downgrade to using your smartphone.
USB charging is another great feature which means you can give it power bursts on the go, which is particularly helpful if you’ve been shooting a lot of 4K video.
Read our in-depth Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III review
The best Canon premium compact for travel
8. canon eos m6 mark ii.
✅ You want a portable powerhouse: Low in size and weight without compromising on specs and features, the M6 Mark II is ideal for travel. ✅ You want sharp results: With a high-resolution 32.5MP APS-C sensor, the EOS M6 Mark II captures detailed stills and uncropped 4K video.
❌ You want a built-in viewfinder: The M6 Mark II doesn’t have a viewfinder as standard; you can add one to the accessory shoe, but it’s sold separately. ❌ You want a vari-angle display: While the titling touchscreen can usefully flip up to face forwards, it’s not as versatile as fully articulating display.
Until recently, the EOS M6 Mark II was Canon's flagship APS-C camera, but that title now belongs the Canon EOS R7. The arrival of the latter pushes this model down our list, but it's still a great choice as a traveling companion. You also get the option of having no viewfinder, which further boosts its portability.
Its tiny body houses a 32.5MP APS-C sensor (the same one that's in the Canon EOS 90D). Working with a Digic 8 image processor, it offers up to 14fps continuous shooting. In our experience with the camera, this was great for sports, wildlife, street photography, and virtually any moving subject we pointed it at.
Unlike the EOS RP above, its 4K video is uncropped and uses the entire width of the sensor, which we found to be a boon for the video quality. There's also a microphone input socket and a screen that faces all the way forward, which makes this a fine vlogging camera – particularly if it now sees a price drop with the arrival of the EOS R7 and EOS R10.
Read our in-depth Canon EOS M6 Mark II review
9. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
✅ You want a well-rounded DSLR: Improved in every way, the Mark IV is one of the most well-rounded and complete DSLR cameras we’ve tested. ✅ You want excellent autofocus: Dual Pixel AF is a huge upgrade from the 5D Mark III, with instantaneous focusing and excellent tracking.
❌ You have a tight budget: Performance upgrades come at a price, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV represents a significant investment compared to rivals. ❌ You record a lot of video: 4K video is a welcome presence, but the 1.64x is prohibitive and there’s no support for 4K output via HDMI.
Canon’s 5D range continues to be popular among traditionalists. And for good reason: these high-specced DSLRs offer a huge number of features in a body that handles superbly.
Here we have an excellent 30.4MP sensor which, although lower in resolution than the likes of the Nikon D850, still gives you plenty of scope to create fantastic shots in a range of conditions.
Our tests also found that the 61-point AF system performed well in low-light and was also impressively quick, if not quite up to the standard of the latest mirrorless models. 4K video recording is available, but this being a slightly older model, it's limited to 30p.
Although autofocusing is whip-smart, the 5D Mark IV can only manage 7fps burst shooting, which puts it behind many newer models. But if you’re shooting landscapes, portraits, still life – in short, anything which doesn’t move too quickly – you'll find it an excellent photographic companion.
Read our in-depth Canon 5D Mark IV review
10. Canon EOS 1D X Mark III
✅ You want Canon’s ultimate DSLR: Packed with features and stacked with performance, the EOS 1D X Mark III is superlative in every way. ✅ You believe in the DSLR format: The Mark III goes toe to toe with the best mirrorless cameras, with 20fps burst speeds and infallible autofocus.
❌ You want a small camera: The Mark III wears its traditional DSLR styling with pride, but that does mean it’s bigger than its mirrorless rivals. ❌ Your budget is limited: The EOS 1D X Mark III’s flagship feature set carries a hefty price tag, which puts it well beyond reach of most hobbyists.
Think of a superlative and it probably describes the Canon 1DX Mark III. A flagship sports DSLR in every sense, Canon packed this full-framer so full of performance that it automatically earns a spot on this list. There are two reasons why it's so far downL its mirrorless equivalent – the Canon EOS R3 – and the fact that its power and price tag make it too much camera for most people.
Physically, the 1DX Mark III is the same size as its predecessor, but 90g lighter and just as ergonomic. Two new Smart Controllers also make it a cinch to operate, courtesy of optical sensors that let you navigate focus points with the lightest swipe of your thumb.
Its Digic X processing chip is three times quicker than the one in the 1DX Mark II. In our tests, we found that this worked very nicely alongside the redesigned sensor to deliver impressive 4K video at 50fps, blistering continuous frame rates and an almost unlimited buffer.
Then there’s the autofocus. Driven by deep learning for subject recognition and detection, it proved supremely fast and infallibly accurate in our review, rivaling the very best mirrorless models. It’s supremely capable and can comfortably outgun almost all the competition, mirrorless or DSLR.
Read our in-depth Canon 1DX Mark III review
How to choose the best Canon camera
It can be tricky to pick the right Canon camera for you. The brand offers a wide array of choices, ranging from pocket-friendly compacts to bulkier DSLRs to cutting-edge mirrorless systems. Canon caters to pretty much every type of photographer and filmmaker out there, and which model is right for you will depend hugely on what and how you like to shoot. In particular, you’ll need to consider which body style and sensor format best suits your needs.
If you’re into sports and wildlife photography, for example, should you should be looking for a camera with fast frame rates and reliable in-body image stabilization to steadily capture rapid action. The Canon EOS R3 delivers all this and more (but at a price).
Equally, if you’re more focused on moving images than moving subjects, Canon’s range is home to several video-focused cameras, which support external microphones, feature flip-out screens for easy framing, and can capture uncropped 4K footage. The Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III is a pocketable solution for travelers, as is the Canon EOS M6 Mark II for those who’d like an APS-C sensor in a travel-friendly form factor (though it might be an idea to hold off a little to see how the R7 and R10 perform).
Canon also makes several fantastic all-rounders. These versatile cames work well in multiple scenarios, and will often be the best choice for hobbyists who’d like to try their hand at multiple photography and video genres. The Canon EOS R6 is the best Canon all-rounder you can currently buy, while the EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D is a more affordable all-rounder.
Canon has traditionally been a big player in the DSLR market, which has now come to an end, thanks to the popularity, weight saving, and technological breakthroughs with mirrorless tech. While it still remains one of the most established names in relation to the format, it’s now also become a mirrorless force to be reckoned with. If you’re searching for the ultimate in resolution, performance, and technology, you should be looking at its latest mirrorless cameras, like the Canon EOS R3, R5, and EOS R6. That said, you’ll need a pretty serious budget to take one home.
Those with a more limited budget needn’t worry. Canon offers a fantastic range of compact, DSLR, and mirrorless options that won’t break the bank. The Canon EOS M50 is a great example: recently succeeded by a minor upgrade, it’s available at particularly affordable prices, yet still represents excellent value as an everyday or travel camera.
What’s the best Canon camera for beginners?
Canon makes a range of cameras for beginners. Which one is right for you will depend on your specific needs, skills, and budget. Whether you’re upgrading from a point-and-shoot or switching from a smartphone, Canon has a camera for you.
Which is the best Canon camera for beginners? We think the best all-round Canon camera for most novices is the Canon EOS Rebel SL3 / EOS 250D. A lightweight, entry-level DSLR with excellent battery life and ergonomics that make it great to hold, it’s a brilliant camera for new photographers to handle. Although its 9-point autofocus system is dated, it performs consistently and image quality is good. Plus there are plenty of compatible lenses in Canon’s catalog when you’re ready to get creative.
That said, if you’d prefer to start out with a mirrorless camera, the Canon EOS M50 is also an excellent choice for beginners. Since succeeded by the Canon EOS M50 Mk II (a minor upgrade), it remains a very capable APS-C camera that’s accessible and easy to use. Its combination of an excellent electronic viewfinder with a slick, vari-angle touchscreen makes it very approachable for first-timers. Dual Pixel autofocus is also fast and reliable. If you can look past the limited battery life and plasticky finish, it’s a great value choice if you’re just starting out.
Prepared to take the plunge and buy a camera that you can grow into? The Canon EOS RP is a full-frame mirrorless camera that’s relatively affordable and offers top-notch performance. It’s compact and easy to use thanks to a responsive rear touchscreen, so beginners should quickly get to grips with its interface – yet the EOS RP also produces sharp, vibrant images and boasts excellent autofocus performance. If you can deal with the 1.6x crop on 4K footage, it’s an appealing package.
Is Canon or Nikon better?
The Canon versus Nikon debate has been rumbling on for decades. For as long as both Japanese brands have existed, there’s been a question as to which is superior. Yet a simple answer is impossible: while there are many die-hard fans of each camera maker, the winner in each case will depend on what kind of camera you want and how you plan to use it.
As you’ll see from the list above, Canon has a huge catalog of cameras, catering to all kinds of photographers and videographers. Nikon is no different: check out our round-up of the best Nikon cameras and you’ll find a similarly comprehensive stable of models, ranging from travel compacts to full-frame mirrorless powerhouses.
While both Canon and Nikon offer something for everyone, they do take different approaches to certain features. Compare the Canon EOS R6 II with the Nikon Z6 II, for example, and you’ll immediately find differences in the way that they handle and how their interfaces operate. Which suits you better will usually come down to personal preference.
The question is best approached on a case-by-case basis, either comparing specific models or assessing each brand’s offerings in a particular category. We’ve done exactly that in our in-depth Canon vs Nikon feature . Unless you’re already invested in one manufacturer’s lens mount system – or deeply familiar with a specific control setup – we don’t recommend choosing by name alone. It’s always better to decide on the basis of expert testing, in light of your specific expectations.
How we test Canon cameras
Buying a camera these days is a big investment, so every camera in this guide has been tested extensively by us so we can authoritatively decide on the best Canon camera. These days, real-world tests are the most revealing way to understand a camera's performance and character, so we focus heavily on those, along with standardized tests for factors like ISO performance.
To start with, we look at the camera's design, handling, and controls to get a sense of what kind of photographer it's aimed at and who would most enjoy shooting with it. When we take it out on a shoot, we'll use it both handheld and on a tripod to get a sense of where its strengths lie, and test its startup speed.
When it comes to performance, we use a formatted card and shoot in both raw and JPEG (if available). For burst shooting tests, we dial in our regular test settings (1/250 sec, ISO 200, continuous AF) and shoot a series of frames in front of a stopwatch to see if it lives up to its claimed speeds. We'll also look at how quickly the buffers clears and repeat the test for both raw and JPEG files.
In various lighting conditions, we also test the camera's different autofocus modes (including Face and Eye AF) in a single point, area, and continuous modes. We also shoot a range of photos of different styles (portrait, landscape, low light, macro/close-up) in raw and JPEG to get a sense of metering and its sensor's ability to handle noise and resolve fine detail.
If the camera's raw files are supported by Adobe Camera Raw, we'll also process some test images to see how we can push areas like shadow recovery. And we'll also test its ISO performance across the whole range to get a sense of the levels we'd be happy to push the camera to.
Battery life is tested in a real-world fashion, as we use the camera over the course of the day with the screen set to the default settings. Once the battery has reached zero, we'll then count the number of shots to see how it compares to the camera's CIPA rating. Finally, we test the camera's video skills by shooting some test footage at different frame rates and resolutions, along with its companion app.
We then take everything we've learned about the camera and factor in its price to get a sense of the value for money it offers, before reaching our final verdict.
- Best cameras for photography
- Best camera for beginners
- Best beginner DSLR cameras
- Best 4K camera
- Best full-frame camera
- Best compact camera
- What camera should I buy?
- Mirrorless vs DSLR: 10 key differences
- Camera rumors
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Tim is the Cameras editor at TechRadar. He has enjoyed more than 15 years in the photo video industry with most of those in the world of tech journalism. During his time as Deputy Technical Editor with Amateur Photographer, as a freelancer and consequently editor at Tech Radar, Tim has developed a deeply technical knowledge and practical experience with cameras, educating others through news, reviews and features. He’s also worked in video production for Studio 44 with clients including Canon, and volunteers his spare time to consult a non-profit, diverse stories team based in Nairobi. Tim is curious, a keen creative, avid footballer and runner, and moderate flat white drinker who has lived in Kenya and believes we have much to enjoy and learn from each other.
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Best DSLR Cameras for Travel Photography
Why would we recommend DSLR cameras for travel photography when some mirrorless cameras are more powerful, compact, and lighter?
Before you add any camera to your travel photography gear , be sure to try out each type of camera to find the best choice for your needs.
DSLR cameras still include a wider selection of lenses, generally better optical viewfinders (looking straight through the lens could be the decisive factor for some photographers), much better battery life as well as heft and stability in hand.
In this guide we share information about how to choose a good DSLR camera, the DSLR travel cameras we recommend, and how to pick the perfect lens for your travel photography camera.
This site contains affiliate links which means WE may receive commissions for purchases made through these links. We only provide links to products we actually use and/or wholeheartedly recommend! As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Read the full Disclosure Policy.
How to choose the best dslr camera for travel.
The process of shopping for a DSLR camera can be confusing and overwhelming. To help you out, we have compiled the essential features that you should consider when comparing different DSLR camera models.
1. Sensor Size
The sensor is arguably the most important part of a camera. It’s the component that captures light and transforms it into an image. As such, it plays a huge role in affecting how the digital image file will look.
The size of the sensor directly affects the camera’s performance. When using the camera for low-light or night photography, a large sensor will capture more light thereby producing more pleasing images.
A large sensor also has the advantage of allowing for greater depth of field (DoF) effects. Remember, DoF is a really important tool in travel photography because it allows you to isolate the subject from the background.
Usually, a larger sensor means the camera body will also need to be larger to house it. The larger DSLR cameras can accommodate larger lenses, and they have a faster processor and autofocus system which means these cameras may be pricey!
The heavier and bulkier design of these cameras is the trade-off you’ll have to make for their better performance and superior imaging capabilities. When it comes to DSLRs, there are mainly two types of sensor sizes that you will encounter, Full-Frame and APS-C.
Full-Frame (FX-format) sensor is the largest sensor size available in DSLRs. They are called Full-Frame because they match the size of the piece of film found in the traditional film SLR cameras, which measures 36mm x 24mm.
A Full-Frame sensor is capable of capturing more light, which makes it ideal for low-light photography. Cameras with Full-Frame sensors best suit professionals and enthusiast photographers who perform a lot of cropping and editing in post-processing.
APS-C Sensors or Crop Sensors
A Crop Sensor is anything smaller than 36mm x 24mm. It’s called the crop sensor because you’re effectively cropping the full-frame image.
They are cheaper to manufacture, so they can be found in most consumer DSLRs.
In our above list of the best DSLR cameras for travel photography, we have featured entry-level and mid-range crop sensor DSLRs that will perfectly suit beginners to enthusiast photographers who are looking to capture high-resolution photos without breaking the bank.
2. Optical Viewfinder (OVF)
An optical viewfinder is the part of a DSLR that you put one eye up to the camera and look through, to preview the scene. The main advantage of OVF is that you see what the camera lens sees since you look through the lens. DSLRs have OVF, while mirrorless cameras have EVF (Electronic Viewfinder).
Unlike OVF, EVF doesn’t show you a view of the scene through the lens. Rather, it shows you what the camera sensor sees. And because the sensor is a little screen inside the camera, you will be looking at a processed scene. instead of a straightforward view of the “real” scene.
OVFs offer better picture quality compared to EVF since you’re always seeing a true image of the scene. Moreover, unlike EVFs, OVFs have zero energy consumption and are always on. That means you can look through your camera’s optical viewfinder at any time, even if it’s powered OFF.
TIP: Since optical viewfinders don’t drain the battery, you get an extended battery life when you go for a DSLR. That explains why most of the cameras above have an impressive battery life. DSLRs are also larger in size compared to mirrorless and compact cameras, something that allows them to accommodate larger batteries.
3. Manual Mode
Apart from the sensor size and optical viewfinder, the next important reason for getting a DSLR over other cameras is the manual mode. DSLRs are designed for users who want full control over their photography. As such, they come with fully manual controls for manual mode photography .
When taking a photo with a DSLR, you can either choose the Auto Mode or Manual Mode. In the Auto mode, the camera will auto-select the best settings for taking the photo depending on the environment. In Manual Mode, you manually adjust these settings with dials and buttons.
The three important settings in manual mode photography are Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. The trio alters the camera’s sensor exposure to light. Understanding the manual mode will help you get more creative with your photography by shooting photos with bokeh, silhouettes, and so on.
4. Megapixels (MP)
Most camera manufacturers use megapixel rating as marketing material. And as a shopper, it’s very easy to fall for an average camera model with high megapixels. But you most likely don’t need a DSLR with higher megapixels for your travel photography.
Megapixels simply refers to one million pixels. It is the unit used to measure the resolution of digital cameras. More pixels usually mean more detail in an image. For example, a 12MP camera will capture an image of 4,000 pixels wide and 3,000 pixels high (4000 times 3,000 = 12 million pixels = 12MP).
NOTE: As a general rule, megapixels are important if you are planning to print your work or do a lot of cropping in post-processing. If your travel photos will be viewed and used on social media, websites, blogs, emails, digital photo galleries, and screensavers, then you don’t need to worry about getting the highest MP camera. For the average traveller, an 8MP to 12MP image resolution is perfectly fine for your uses!
5. Image Burst Rate
Burst rate refers to the number of images the camera can capture in a sequence if you hold down the shutter button. Normally, the burst rate is given in frames per second (FPS), where one frame is one image. So, FPS represents the number of images captured in one second.
A camera’s burst rate is especially useful in action and wildlife photography. The higher the number, the better!
6. Image Stabilization
Sometimes it’s inevitable that you’ll need to take photos while holding the camera with your hand, instead of putting your camera on a tripod. Handheld shooting can result in blurry photos if there is insufficient light in your shooting environment.
The photos end up blurred since as humans we are unable to hold our hands entirely still. As such, the camera ends up shaking due to the small hand movements. The best way to avoid such camera shakes is to invest in a good tripod. But in some cases, it may not be practical to use a tripod.
Getting a camera with in-body image stabilization can help! The image stabilization will offset the small camera shakes due to your hand movements, especially when shooting at slower shutter speeds. There are lenses with image stabilization as well.
TIP: But we will always recommend a good lightweight travel tripod to get those tack sharp images!
7. Video Recording Features
As a general rule, a good photography camera will always record decent video footage. All of the cameras above record at least Full HD 1080p videos at 30fps. This footage is clear and smooth enough to appeal to most consumer video platforms like YouTube.
If you double as a vlogger, you should consider the camera’s video resolution, frame rate, and audio capabilities. A 1080p video resolution is perfect, but having the ability to record in 4K is a plus! Frame rate (fps) is the number of individual video frames/images captured by the camera per second.
NOTE: Video footage is a sequence of images that move at such a faster rate that your eyes perceive motion. Hence, a frame rate of 30fps means more images per second than 24fps. At 1080p and 60fps, the video footage is very smooth. A higher frame rate like 120fps is great for slow-motion playback.
When it comes to vlogging, nothing turns off an audience like good video footage with poor audio. We recommend getting a camera with at least a built-in stereo mic. But if you’re a vlogging enthusiast, consider a DSLR that offers an option to plug-in an external mic.
- Vlogging Cameras for Beginners
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- Cameras for YouTube
8. Camera Body
To niche down further on your ideal DSLR camera for travel photography, you need to consider the camera body components: weather-sealing, the material used to make the chassis, weight, and size.
Weather sealing is usually found in more premium DSLRs that are designed for professionals and enthusiasts. Such cameras will have a weather-sealing for moisture and dust, while some have waterproofing. With a weather-sealing, you will have peace of mind when doing your photography in extreme environments.
Usually, weather-sealed cameras are designed with a robust body made of magnesium-alloy or aluminum chassis. But you will need to pay more to enjoy their premium design.
Further, you also need to consider the camera weight and size. DSLRs are normally heavier and bulkier than mirrorless and compact cameras. Mainly because they have a mirror(s) and a large sensor inside the camera body.
9. Lens Availability
When you buy a DSLR camera, especially Nikon or Canon, you’ll have a wide selection of compatible lenses. The lens options also include some third party manufacturers like Sigma, which can accommodate the two brands.
TIP: If you’re just a beginner, we always recommend starting out with the kit lenses that come with the cameras. Later, you can upgrade to a versatile lens depending on the type of travel photography you pursue.
10. Other Features
Among the other features that you will want to consider include connectivity, external mic input, LCD screen, battery life, GPS, and a headphone jack. Your ideal camera should at least have built-in WiFi connectivity. Having Bluetooth, NFC, and HDMI is a plus. Almost all of the DSLRs above have WiFi and HDMI connectivity.
Apart from connectivity, a DSLR with an articulating touchscreen LCD will usually provide you with the best photography experience. An articulating screen allows you to capture photos and videos from different angles without changing your position. With a flip-screen, you can easily take selfie shots and videos.
With a responsive, intuitive touch-enabled LCD, controlling the camera gets easier! Other additional features like GPS for geotagging your photos and a longer-battery life are always a plus. Keep in mind that you can always pack extra batteries or a power bank just in case your travels involve visiting remote locations.
Canon EOS 6D Mark II DSLR Camera
- 26.2MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
- DIGIC 7 Image Processor
- 45-Point All-Cross Type AF System
- Full HD Video at 60 fps; Digital IS
- 3" 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen LCD
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Movie Servo AF
- Native ISO 40000, Expanded to ISO 102400
- 6.5 fps Shooting; Time-Lapse & HDR Movie
- Built-In GPS, Bluetooth & Wi-Fi with NFC
- Dust and Water-Resistant; SD Card Slot
BUY Canon EOS 6D Mark II at B&H PHOTO
Nikon D850 DSLR Camera
- 45.7MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor
- EXPEED 5 Image Processor
- 3.2" 2.36m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
- 4K UHD Video Recording at 30 fps
- Multi-CAM 20K 153-Point AF System
- Native ISO: 64-25600,Extended: 32-102400
- 7 fps Shooting for 51 Frames with AE/AF
- 8K Time-Lapse, Negative Digitizer Mode
- 180k-Pixel RGB Sensor, Focus Shift Mode
- SnapBridge Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
BUY Nikon D850 at B&H PHOTO
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR Camera
- 30.4MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
- DIGIC 6+ Image Processor
- 3.2" 1.62m-Dot Touchscreen LCD Monitor
- DCI 4K Video at 30 fps; 8.8MP Still Grab
- 61-Point High Density Reticular AF
- Native ISO 32000, Expanded to ISO 102400
- Dual Pixel RAW; AF Area Select Button
- 7 fps Shooting; CF & SD Card Slots
- Built-In GPS and Wi-Fi with NFC
BUY Canon EOS 5D Mark IV at B&H PHOTO
Canon EOS 90D DSLR Camera
- 32.5MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
- DIGIC 8 Image Processor
- UHD 4K30p & Full HD 120p Video Recording
- 45-Point All Cross-Type AF System
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF with 5481 AF Points
- Up to 10-fps Shooting, ISO 100-25600
- Built-In Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- EOS iTR AF, Electronic Shutter Function
- 220,000-Pixel AE Metering Sensor
BUY Canon EOS 90D DSLR Camera at B&H PHOTO
Pentax K-70 DSLR Camera
- 24.24MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
- PRIME MII Image Processor
- Anti-Aliasing Filter Simulator
- 3.0" 921k-Dot Vari-Angle LCD Monitor
- Full HD 1080i Video at 60 fps
- SAFOX X 11-Point AF with 9 Cross Sensors
- ISO 100-204800, Up to 6 fps Shooting
- Built-In Wi-Fi, Compatible with O-GPS1
- Shake Reduction & Pixel Shift Resolution
- Weather-Resistant Construction
BUY Pentax K-70 DSLR Camera at B&H PHOTO
Canon EOS Rebel SL3 DSLR Camera
- 24.1MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
- 3.0" 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen
- UHD 4K24p Video and 4K Time-Lapse Movie
- 9-Point AF System; Dual Pixel CMOS AF
- ISO 100-25600, Up to 5 fps Shooting
BUY Canon EOS Rebel SL3 at B&H PHOTO
Canon EOS Rebel T8i DSLR Camera
- UHD 4K24p Video, Vertical Video Support
- 45-Point All Cross-Type Phase-Detect AF
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Eye Detection
- ISO 100-25600, Up to 7 fps Shooting
- 220,000-Pixel AE Sensor
BUY Canon EOS Rebel T8i at B&H PHOTO
How to Pick the Perfect Lens for Your DSLR Camera
After buying a DSLR camera, the next important piece of your travel photography gear is a lens. Some DSLR cameras come with a kit lens, meaning that you can take photos as soon as you assemble the camera and lens. But kit lenses have limitations in terms of their features and the image-quality that they can capture.
Investing in a good lens will allow you to capture sharp and detailed photos. One of the main advantages of DSLRs (and mirrorless) cameras is the fact that they work with interchangeable lenses. Something that allows you to invest in an assortment of lenses for different types of travel photography.
When buying a travel photography lens, it’s important to consider the types of subjects that you intend to shoot. This allows you to get a clue of the most likely lighting conditions that you’ll experience during your work. Different lens suits different situations. Usually, lenses fall into six main categories:
1. Standard Lenses
A standard lens, also known as a normal lens, has a fixed focal length that is usually around 50mm. A good 50mm prime lens normally reproduces fairly accurately what the human eye sees in terms of angle of view and perspective. It captures an image that appears “natural” to the viewer.
Standard lenses also have a wide aperture, something that gives them excellent low-light performance. If you’re ready for that next step to improve your photography, technically and creatively, then get a 50mm prime lens.
2. Zoom Lenses
As the name suggests, zoom lenses have a variable focal length. These lenses can be zoomed “in” and “out” to provide a wider range of focal lengths. As a result, they are usually extremely versatile and useful, making them the primary lens choice for most travel photography work.
Zoom lenses will normally have a focal length range that falls between 15mm (wide angle) and 300mm (telephoto). With a zoom lens, you can shoot dynamic landscapes or zoom into wildlife and action in far distances and capture then from afar. The only trade-off of a zoom lens is its limited aperture.
3. Telephoto Lenses
Telephoto lenses usually have a longer focal length range of between 100mm and 800mm. These lenses provide a high magnification level, thus allowing you to capture subjects at moderate to far distances. Their longer focal length range, however, makes them bigger and heavier than other types of lenses.
Modern tech-advances have allowed for more compact telephoto lenses. But such lenses are quite expensive! Telephoto lenses are generally ideal for sports and wildlife photography – where you can’t get near the subject. We only recommend them to professionals or as a secondary lens to enthusiasts.
Check out our list of the best lenses for wildlife photography !
4. Wide-Angle Lenses
A wide-angle lens is the opposite of a telephoto lens. They usually have a shorter focal length and provide an angle of view beyond that of normal lenses. As such, they are able to capture more of a scene in a single shot. Wide-angle lenses are therefore ideal for landscape and group portrait photography.
TIP: If you’re a budding landscape photographer, we recommend getting an affordable wide-angle lens with a focal length range of between 10mm and 42mm. Having such a lens along with a zoom lens will give you a good headstart as you go about documenting your travel adventures.
5. Macro Lenses
Macro lenses are specially designed for close-up photography. They are useful for capturing subjects like small animals, insects, and plants at a very close range. These lenses capture really eye-catching photos due to their special internal construction that gives them excellent sharpness and contrast.
6. Kit Lenses
We have mentioned “kit lenses” quite a bit in this guide. A kit lens is a lens that comes bundled with an entry-level or mid-range camera. They are usually “very cheap and slow” zoom lenses with average image quality. But they are great for getting you up and running quickly as you learn around a DSLR.
TIP: If you are past the beginner stage, then we recommend you purchase the camera body and the specific lenses that produce the image you want to capture.
Tips for Buying a Zoom Lens for Your Travel Photography
As you might have noted, your first DSLR camera lens will most likely be a zoom lens, and maybe a fast prime lens like an f/1.8 50mm. Some manufacturers sell bundled kits. If you’re an absolute beginner, we would recommend starting with the kit lenses.
A zoom lens, also a walkaround or versatile lens, is a lens that does almost everything. It can shoot wider landscapes, close-up portraits, and telephoto shots. It’s basically a lens that can cover most (if not all) of your travel photography needs. The following tips will help you invest in a good zoom lens:
- Always start with a kit lens if you’re an absolute beginner. It will save you the cost of investing in a versatile lens that you may not need.
- As a beginner, intermediate, or enthusiast travel photographer, you can do quite a lot with an 18-55mm or 24-70mm or 18-135mm lens. Or any affordable lenses that fall within the range of 15mm to 150mm.
- A wider lens aperture (lower f/stop) is usually preferable since it allows you to take photos in low light situations. Always go for a maximum aperture of less than f/4, preferably around f/1.8 to f/3.5.
- If you can afford it, go for a lens with image stabilization. Such a lens will allow you to take sharper photos in low-lighting situations during handheld shooting.
- Finally, don’t forget to put the size and weight of your ideal lens into consideration. Remember, you want to limit the size and weight of your gear during your travel adventures.
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- Pro Photography, Video Articles & Inspiration
From epic landscapes to urban street scenes: the best Canon kit for travel photography
Canon Ambassador and adventure photographer Ulla Lohmann always travels with the Canon EOS R6 in her kitbag because its groundbreaking In-Body Image Stabilizer (IBIS) and exceptional AF enable her to shoot handheld from unusual locations. "I can find different angles that wouldn't usually be possible without a tripod," she says. Taken with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 24mm, 1/40 sec, f/18 and ISO320. © Ulla Lohmann
The temptation might be to pack everything, but when it comes to choosing the right cameras and lenses for travel photography, you have to be a little selective. Space and weight are always at a premium, but with the ever-growing Canon EOS R System, you get more versatility than ever before.
Thanks to their full-frame sensors, intuitive handling and compact size, Canon EOS R System cameras are a natural choice for the travel photographer. Add Canon's growing range of outstanding RF lenses to the mix, both zoom and prime, and you've got an incredibly capable camera setup. But the question is, which are the best Canon cameras and lenses for travel photography? Here, we speak with two Canon Ambassadors, German adventure photographer Ulla Lohmann and documentary photographer Jérôme Gence , who detail which kit is essential to them when they're exploring. We also talk to John Maurice, European Product Marketing Manager at Canon Europe, who provides expert insight.
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Ulla loves the Canon EOS R6 for its speed, image quality, flexibility and compact size. "When travelling, you can shoot in situations that others wouldn't think possible," she says. Taken with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 24mm, 1/8 sec, f/11 and ISO100. © Ulla Lohmann
The Canon EOS R6 provides up to 8-stops of protection against camera shake – a game-changer for travel photographers for whom setting up a tripod often isn't an option. "I frequently shoot two-second exposures but thanks to the IS that's not a problem," says Ulla. Taken with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens at 35mm, 1/80 sec, f/14 and ISO100. © Ulla Lohmann
Best mirrorless camera for travel: Canon EOS R6
With its 20.1MP full-frame CMOS sensor, a sensitivity range up to ISO102,400, up to 8-stops of image stabilisation1 and up to 20fps burst shooting, the Canon EOS R6 is an incredibly versatile camera that's perfect for travel. "The EOS R6 is an indispensable tool for travel photography," says Ulla. "The high ISO sensitivity means I can be more flexible and react to situations much more quickly. I can also hand-hold it." Jérôme has recently switched from his trusted Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR to the Canon EOS R5 with its 45MP full-frame CMOS sensor and groundbreaking intelligent AF. "It's an amazing camera… I really love it," he says. "People won't wait for you to take a photograph, so you have to be really quick." Jérôme continues, "When you photograph a portrait, the face can change so quickly, so I love really fast autofocus. The speed of the EOS R5's AF is just crazy."
Canon EOS R6
For some situations, such as a city break, John points to the more affordable EOS RP as a perfect travel camera: "The EOS RP will satisfy lots of people's requirements because it's a full-frame camera," explains John. "The body has a similar weight compared to an APS-C DSLR yet offers the step up to full-frame quality, and we now have a range of lightweight and affordable travel lenses: the Canon RF 24-105mm F4-7.1 IS STM , the RF 35mm F1.8 MACRO IS STM, the RF 50mm F1.8 STM and the RF 85mm F2 MACRO IS STM ."
In this image taken by documentary photographer Jérôme Gence, a Chinese vlogger protects herself from the sun while waiting for the bus. "You don't need a big setup with the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II , and the quality is unbelievable," says Jérôme. "It's also so small, so you can photograph everything." Taken on a Canon PowerShot G5 X (now succeeded by the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II ) at 12mm, 1/640 sec, f/4 and ISO125. © Jérôme Gence
Best compact camera for travel: Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II
When you want to travel even lighter, an advanced compact camera is ideal. With a design inspired by EOS cameras and an excellent 20.1MP 1-inch stacked sensor, the Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II offers a brilliant blend of performance and portability. "When I want to take a break from a project and just go out and take some photos, I bring this camera," explains Jérôme. "It delivers such great quality photographs. You can shoot RAW, which is a priority for me. For video it's also really great."
Canon PowerShot G5 X Mark II
John fully supports the PowerShot G5 X Mark II's travel credentials: "It provides many of the same manual controls as EOS cameras. So it features a lens control ring, it's got dials and buttons on the body, and it will shoot RAW. It has a very versatile focal range of 24-105mm and it's got a very bright lens (f/1.8-2.8). With those specifications you can cover a wide variety of subjects indoors and outdoors and into the evening whilst traveling. Its compact size means you can carry it with you all the time too."
Jérôme took this image at a popular co-working space in Lisbon, Portugal. "The main reason I use the Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM lens is that it means I'm able to include as much detail in the frame as possible," he says. Taken on a Canon EOS R5 at 16mm, 1/40 sec, f/4 and ISO400. © Jérôme Gence - Pierre & Alexandra Boulat Award 2020 sponsored by La SCAM
A young French taxi driver trades online while waiting for customers during the Covid-19 pandemic. Despite the low light, a common challenge for travel photographers, the Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM lens enabled Jérôme to brilliantly capture both the scene in the cab and the driving rain outside. Taken on a Canon EOS R5 at 15mm, 1/40 sec, f/4 and ISO3200. © Jérôme Gence - Pierre & Alexandra Boulat Award 2020 sponsored by La SCAM
Best wide-angle zoom lens for travel: Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM
Canon's ultra-wide RF zoom is an impressive lens that opens up a range of creative possibilities. "It's incredibly sharp," says UIla. "It is just the right lens to use for travel photography when capturing landscapes." "The RF 15-35MM F2.8L IS USM will be more dedicated to vast landscapes or interiors," adds John. "If you want to capture the magnificence of buildings at close range, for example, you want an ultra wide lens such as this one."
Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM
Ulla uses the Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM lens when she wants both herself and her subject to stand out from the crowd. "It's a really, really cool lens," she says. "It really allows you to put the focus on specific things." Taken on a Canon EOS R6 at 50mm, 1/320 sec, f/1.2 and ISO100. © Ulla Lohmann
Best prime lens for travel: Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM
"I'm always looking to stand out from other photographers, and this lens helps me do just that," enthuses Ulla. "It's a fairly heavy lens, so it's not necessarily the everyday lens you put in your camera bag, but the weight is worth it for the image quality it delivers." Travel photographers will want to pack this lens if they want that extra bit of quality, especially if they're shooting people or working in poor light. "It has this really beautiful bokeh. It's hard to describe as you don't see it very often – but it's kind of a unique bokeh effect," continues Ulla.
Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM
John agrees that it's a stunning lens for portraiture. "When you're travelling, you're also interested in where you are, so it enables you to add a bit of context. Together with the nice depth of field control, it's going to help you capture amazing environmental portraiture." If you want a more compact version of this aspirational lens, the Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM is a lighter weight, more affordable option and an excellent choice if you want to carry a compact and light lens that's also very high quality. The 50mm focal length offers a similar perspective to human vision, so your shots will appear very natural. The wider aperture will also allow you to be more artistic and blur busy backgrounds – which can be useful in crowded locations, such as a market place or street.
Best standard zoom lens for travel: Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM
If you're restricted to one lens or need to travel light, then this lens should be the one you take. With a very versatile focus range, it also sports Canon's Nano USM autofocus for quiet and fast focusing, while the 5-stop Image Stabilizer increases to 8-stops when the lens is mounted on a Canon EOS R6 or EOS R5 . "The RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM is probably the lens you're going to use most of the time," says John. "It will give you speed and a good range – you'll be able to capture both portraits and landscapes very well. It's also a lens that offers good video performance with quiet and smooth autofocus. Many enthusiasts and professionals choose this lens because it's versatile and belongs to the prestigious L-series – so you have a useful and high quality lens in one for landscape, portrait and everyday use."
Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM
The Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM lens is one of Ulla's go-to lenses when she travels because of its incredible focal length range. She used a long exposure to blur the wild seas below this lone fisherman. Taken on a Canon EOS R6 at 135mm, 1 sec, f/32 and ISO50. © Ulla Lohmann
Best super-telephoto wildlife zoom for travel: Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM
The 100-500mm focal length range that the RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM offers makes it ideal for bringing distant scenes closer, and is particularly useful if you're planning to photograph wildlife on your travels. I hesitated before buying this lens, because I wanted the RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM," explains Ulla. "But for photographing from a distance, whether that's animals, birds or people, the RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM is much, much better. I don't mind that it's only f/7.1 at 500mm, as you automatically have a fairly blurred background." The IBIS in the EOS R6 combined with the IS in the lens makes it possible to use slower shutter speeds for more creative imagery, such as Ulla's photograph of the sea (above). The ISO range also enables you to use higher shutter speeds for fast action shots.
Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1L IS USM
Best binoculars for travel: Canon 10x30 IS II
"Binoculars are often how you find things before you photograph them," explains John. "They're essential for wildlife, travel or even revealing stuff in the landscape that you can't quite pick out otherwise. "The Canon 10x30 IS II binoculars are bright enough for most conditions and have a good magnification," he adds. But it's not just about those qualities, as these binoculars also feature Canon's optical Image Stabilizer technology. "That really improves the resolution," John says. "Your eyes don't have to correct for the movement that would normally occur with other binoculars, which can be very fatiguing and reduces your apparent resolution – or in other words, it improves your ability to clearly identify subjects."
Canon 10x30 IS II
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1 8-stops based on the CIPA standard with Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM lens at a focal length of 105mm.
Baptism of fire: adventure photographer Ulla Lohmann
From lava-filled craters to towering sea stacks, the Canon Ambassador reveals the challenges she's faced and her 5 tips for aspiring adventurers.
Young Photographer: learning travel photography
How do you begin a travel photography career? Pro travel shooter Annapurna Mellor offers advice to new talent Henry Jay Kamara.
Capturing a fading tradition with the EOS 5D Mark IV
Canon Ambassador Joel Santos photographs the last remaining traditional Chinese cormorant fishermen, in challenging light conditions.
Adventure photography with EOS RP
Outdoor lifestyle and action photographer Jake Baggaley explains how the lightweight Canon EOS RP gives him a creative edge.
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- Best Budget
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Recent updates, all reviews, the 6 best travel cameras - black friday 2023 reviews.
A good camera can be an indispensable travel companion, letting you capture your adventures abroad to share with friends and family. For many, the best choice for traveling will be the camera you've already got in your pocket—your smartphone. However, if you want to step up your photography game, you won't lack options. While it can be hard to narrow down, it's important to consider things like portability, battery life, and build quality, as well as your own ergonomic preferences and, most importantly, your budget.
We've bought and tested over 95 cameras in our lab, and below, you'll find our top camera picks for traveling. If you're specifically looking for a point-and-shoot camera, check out the best compact cameras for travel instead. Or, if you're interested in capturing beautiful landscapes on your travels, the best cameras for landscape photography might also be of interest. Travel vloggers can have a look at our top vlogging picks as well.
Best Camera For Travel
As far as interchangeable lens options go, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is one of the best travel cameras you can get. As part of the Micro Four Thirds (M4/3) system, it offers a good combination of portability, flexibility, and quality. Though it isn't as heavy-duty as higher-end models in the Olympus lineup, like the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III or the OM SYSTEM OM-1 , it has a more portable body that makes it better for travel. Plus, it's packed with many of the same features, including computational photography modes and a wide selection of compact lenses to keep the overall size of your kit down.
Aside from its compact size, the camera feels well-built, with weather-sealing for added peace of mind when you're out and about in adverse weather conditions. It also has an excellent five-axis in-body image stabilization system, which can reduce camera shake in travel vlogs or make it easier to shoot at slower shutter speeds in trickier lighting. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the longest battery life, so you might have to buy a spare battery for long days on the go, but if you're looking for something small and mighty, this is an excellent travel camera for the price.
See our review
Best Full Frame Camera For Travel
The Sony α7C is the best camera for travel photography if you care about image quality. It's one of the most compact full-frame bodies on the market, proving that you don't need to sacrifice image quality for portability. While it's the largest option on this list, and full-frame lenses will inevitably take up more space, it's impressive how compact Sony made this camera while including features like in-body image stabilization (IBIS) and a fully articulated screen.
Of course, that relatively compact size means fewer control dials, fewer custom buttons, and a disappointingly small viewfinder. But the α7C's high-resolution full-frame sensor handles noise incredibly well in low-light environments, with plenty of dynamic range to capture a wider array of detail. The camera also has a fantastic battery life and sturdy, weather-sealed construction, giving you more peace of mind when shooting outdoors. It has since been replaced with the Sony α7C II , which has a higher-resolution sensor and some upgraded video specs, but the original α7C is a better overall deal for most travelers because it's cheaper and still has most of the same features.
Best Mid-Range Camera For Travel
If you can do without IBIS and want something more affordable, the Fujifilm X-T30 II is a great mid-range option. Unlike the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III , it uses an APS-C sensor but still has a portable, lightweight body that's ideal for traveling. It also lacks more premium features like weather-sealing and advanced video specs. However, it's still a relatively sturdy camera, and its dedicated exposure dials give you more hands-on control over exposure settings.
At the heart of the camera is a high-resolution sensor that delivers excellent image quality, and you can even play around with the look of your photos in-camera using film simulation profiles that emulate the look of classic Fujifilm film stocks. On top of that, it has a decent autofocus system and a relatively good battery life, making this an excellent travel camera for the price.
Best Budget Camera For Travel
If you're on a tighter budget, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a great choice that brings a lot of value to the table. Like its higher-end sibling above, it uses a Micro 4/3 sensor, making for a remarkably portable camera kit with plenty of lightweight and affordable lens options. It's also a great choice for beginners, thanks to simple controls and easy-to-use creative shooting modes.
This is one of the few budget cameras with in-body image stabilization, so it's a good choice if you also like to shoot vlogs or videos on the side. IBIS can also be useful in low light, letting you shoot at slower shutter speeds without a tripod. However, it's still an entry-level model, so build quality isn't the greatest. Its autofocus system can also be sluggish. If you'd prefer a camera with a more reliable autofocus system, the Canon EOS R50 is an amazing alternative and is even a bit cheaper. However, it's less portable, and lens options are limited.
Best Point-And-Shoot Camera For Travel
If portability is your top priority, and you want something more capable than your smartphone camera, a premium point-and-shoot is the way to go. The Sony RX100 VII has been going strong for several iterations—for good reason. This latest model uses a stacked 1-inch sensor, so image quality is very solid for the camera's size. It's also a remarkably portable camera, so you can bring it with you wherever your travels take you, and its built-in lens has a fairly long zoom range that's great for travel snapshots of everything from landscapes to far-away subjects.
Be aware that compact cameras like this have a limited battery life, though you can always bring a spare battery or a portable battery pack to charge it on the go. The RICOH GR III is a great alternative if you want something more minimalist. It doesn't have a viewfinder, and its fixed focal length lens is less versatile than the zoom lens on the Sony. However, it has a larger APS-C sensor that delivers excellent image quality and is better suited to low-light situations. On the other hand, if you're looking for something cheaper, you can still find older generations of the RX100 on eBay and other used camera retailers.
Best Action Camera For Travel
The GoPro HERO10 Black is one of the best video cameras for travel, thanks to its small size and rugged, waterproof exterior. Not only can you bring it with you no matter where you go, but it's also perfect for capturing action footage of scuba diving, waterskiing, or any other adventuring you might do on vacation. Best-in-class stabilization means you don't have to worry about distracting camera shake. With 5.3k video recording at up to 60 fps and 4k at up to 120 fps, you can capture high-quality action footage at a wide range of frame rates and resolutions. It's also a solid option for travel vloggers, thanks to a front screen that lets you monitor yourself while recording.
While GoPro has released newer models since, including the GoPro HERO11 Black and GoPro HERO12 Black, the HERO10 can still do everything you need from an action camera but at an all-time low price, making it a great deal. If you want to save even more, you can find older models like the GoPro HERO9 Black and get similar performance and features, albeit with fewer frame rate and resolution options.
- Fujifilm X100V: The Fujifilm X100V is a large-sensor point-and-shoot camera. It isn't nearly as portable as the Sony RX100 VII, and its fixed focal length isn't as versatile as the Sony camera's zoom lens. However, it's still relatively compact, and its larger sensor captures higher-quality images if that's a priority. Just be aware that stock shortages have made it very difficult to find. See our review
- Sony ZV-1: The Sony ZV-1 is a great point-and-shoot if you do more travel vlogging than photography. It performs similarly to the Sony RX100 VII in image quality and autofocus but has a shorter zoom range and lacks a viewfinder. On the flip side, it has a fully articulated screen and a better internal mic for vlogging. See our review
- Sony ZV-E1: The Sony ZV-E1 is a full-frame camera that's even more compact than the Sony α7C. It's a great choice for high-quality travel videos, with a sensor optimized for low light. However, it lacks a viewfinder and is generally less versatile for photographers and hybrid shooters. See our review
Oct 24, 2023: Added mention of the Sony α7C II as a possible alternative to the Sony α7C.
Sep 28, 2023: Minor touch-ups for clarity of text.
Aug 30, 2023: Updated the introduction for clarity and added some additional information about alternative options.
Aug 01, 2023: Added the Sony ZV-E1 to Notable Mentions and renamed the GoPro HERO10 Black to 'Best Action Camera For Travel'.
Jul 06, 2023: Replaced the Sony a7C with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III as the 'Best Camera For Travel' and renamed the Sony a7C to 'Best Full-Frame Camera For Travel'; renamed the Sony RX100 VII to 'Best Point-And-Shoot Camera For Travel'.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the top travel cameras for most people, according to their needs. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability (no cameras that are difficult to find or almost out of stock in the U.S.).
If you'd like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all of our camera reviews, ranked by their suitability for travel photography. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There is no single perfect camera. Personal taste, preference, and shooting habits will matter more in your selection.
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Home » Gear » best canon travel lenses
16 UNBELIEVABLE Canon Travel Lenses (2023)
Canon is one the most successful and well-regarded lens manufacturers in the world and for good reason – they produce some stunning pieces of glass.
Because of this, there is a Canon lens for nearly every type of photography out there – especially for travel photographers!
But sorting through Canon’s lens library can be very daunting. Which is exactly why we wrote this epic guide to the best travel lesnses for Canon.
To shoot like a pro, you have to pack like a pro, and this insider guide to the best Canon travel lenses will show you EXACTLY which travel lens is best for YOU.
So without further ado, let’s get into discussing the best Canon lenses for travel photography (so you can shoot like a pro!)
Quick Answers: Best Full Frame Canon Travel Lenses
Quick answers: best travel lenses for canon ef-s, best full frame canon lenses for travel, best ef-s canon travel lenses of 2018, things to consider when buying the best travel lenses for canon, faq about the best canon travel lenses, final thoughts.
- All Around Best Travel Lens for Canon Full Frame – Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 L IS USM
- Best Full Frame Budget Travel Lens for Canon – Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 XR Di LD
- Best Full Frame Professional Travel Lens for Canon – Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
- Best Full Frame Prime Travel Lens for Canon – Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM
- Jump to -> The List of Best Full Frame Canon Lenses for Traveling
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 L IS USM
- Feature Highlights > IS, 77mm filter
- Weight > 1.47 lbs/670 g
- Dimensions > 3.29” x 4.21”
Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 XR Di LD
- Feature Highlights > No IS, 67mm filter
- Weight > 1.12 lbs/508 g
- Dimensions > 2.87” x 3.62”
Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
- Feature Highlights > No IS, 82mm filter
- Weight > 1.77 lbs/ 805 g
- Dimensions > 3.48” x 4.45”
Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM
- Feature Highlights > No IS, 49mm filter
- Weight > 5.64 oz/160 g
- Dimensions > 2.72” x 1.54”
- All Around Best Travel Lens for Canon EF-S – Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Lens
- Best EF-S Budget Travel Lens for Canon EF-S – Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM
- Best EF-S Professional Travel Lens for Canon EF-S – Sigma Art 18-35mm f/1.8
- Best EF-S Prime Travel Lens for Canon EF-S – Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM
- Jump to -> The List of Best EF-S Canon Travel Lenses of 2018
Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
- Weight > 1.42 lbs/645 g
- Dimensions > 3.29” x 4.35”
Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM
- Weight > 1.24 lb/565 g
- Dimensions > 3.3” x 3.6”
Sigma Art 18-35mm f/1.8
- Feature Highlights > No IS, 72mm filter
- Weight > 1.78 lb/811 g
- Dimensions > 3.07” x 4.76”
Canon is, in a sense, at the head of the pack when it comes to lens R&D and is usually the vanguard of all things new and exciting in the camera lens world.
If you have a Canon camera (EF or EF-S) and are having trouble finding the best Canon lenses for travel photography, then we’re here to help!
We’ve compiled a list of 16 lenses that are suitable for travel photography. Each has their own merits (and faults) that will suit whatever kind of photographer that you are. Whether or not you’re a professional or an ultralight backpacker or a casual enthusiast there’s a travel lens from Canon out there for you!
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All Around Best Canon Lens for Travel (Full Frame)
canon ef 24-105mm f/4.0 l is usm.
- Weight: 1.47 lbs/670 g
- Dimensions: 3.29” x 4.21”
- Filter Size: 77mm
- Image Stabilization: Yes
The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 L took the travel photography world by storm when it was released. With solid optics, a very useful focal range, image stabilization, and a respectable aperture, the Canon 24-105mm seemingly has it all. For those who want a useful full frame zoom lens that can do a little bit of everything, the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 L IS USM is a great buy and is our choice for best Canon lens for travel photography.
The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 L IS USM greatest strengths are its focal range and superior optical performance. At 24-105mm, this lens can capture everything from landscapes to close-up portraits.
The f/4.0 aperture, though not the fastest, is still very capable and, when shot wide open, can still create some nice bokeh. The lens is quite sharp – especially when stopped down – and combined with image stabilization and a fast autofocus, images are sure to be crisp.
The of Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 L IS USM does suffer from some distortion and chromatic aberrations. These are to be expected though from such a large package and these can easily be fixed in post-processing anyway.
Overall sharpness isn’t jaw-dropping either but, as mentioned before, stopping down the lens can fix this.
- Very useful focal range.
- Solid optical performance.
- Effective IS and autofocus.
- Should be stopped down for optimal sharpness.
- Some distortion and chromatic aberrations.
- Not the fastest aperture.
Best Full Frame Budget Canon Lens for Travel
tamron 28-75 f/2.8 xr di ld.
- Weight: 1.12 lbs/508 g
- Dimensions: 2.87” x 3.62”
- Filter Size: 67mm
- Image Stabilization: No
Though we were tempted to name the legendarily affordable Canon 50mm f/1.8 as our pick for best budget Canon lens for travel, we simply couldn’t pass on the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 XR Di LD.
For around $500, you can get a fast, lightweight, sharp lens; that just about covers all the bases for travel photography! Though it’s not the cheapest lens on this list, the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 XR Di LD is certainly the best bang for your buck and a great alternative to some of the more expensive full frame lenses.
Aside from the price, the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 XR Di LD greatest strengths are its size and image quality. At the time of its release, this lens was touted as the lightest and most compact medium zoom lens (that had a f/2.8 aperture) yet. 10 years later, it’s still impressively useful.
With a fixed f/2.8 aperture, the Tamron Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 XR Di LD should deliver excellent image quality as is customary of this type of lens. It doesn, in fact, perform very well, creating pictures that are crisp and sharp. Corner softness is a problem when the aperture is wide open but, like most lenses, this disappears when the lens is stopped down. Distortion is noticeable at wider angles and CA is well controlled throughout.
The Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 XR Di LD is built from high-grade plastics. Usually, in these cases, durability becomes an issue as plastic is less hardy than certain alloys. Given the price point of this lens though (plastic is cheaper) this is understandable and probably forgivable if price is a concern.
- Very affordable.
- Light and small.
- Overall great image quality.
- Soft edges in images.
- Plastic construction.
Best Full Frame Professional Canon Travel Lens
canon 24-70mm f/2.8l ii usm.
- Weight: 1.77 lbs/ 805 g
- Dimensions: 3.48” x 4.45”
- Filter Size: 82mm
If you like the idea of having a fast, supremely sharp lens that can outperform all the rest and you don’t have financial concerns, then the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is about the best that you can get.
With near-flawless optics, a constant f/2.8 aperture, and superb construction, the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is one of the most impressive lenses that you can buy and is our choice for the best professional Canon travel lens.
The Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is classified as a “medium zoom;” we’d like to call it a “working man’s lens” though because it performs amazingly well and is very reliable. Lenses like these are used by professionals to get shit done. The Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is no exception.
The Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM’s optics are just about perfect – sharpness is superlative, CA and distortion are extremely well controlled, and mechanics are state-of-the-art. The lens’ autofocus system is silent as the grave and very quick.
The constant f/2.8 aperture performs better when shot wide open than other lenses, so low light photography should be less of a hassle. Throw in a rugged, weather-sealed body that can withstand the elements, and you have a lens that can go anywhere and do (almost) anything.
The Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is not perfect though. Most noticeably, the lens struggles while shooting subjects up-close – sharpness drops down and focusing becomes finicky at these short distances.
On a more general note, the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM still lacks image stabilization, which appears to be endemic to all pro-level medium zooms. The price of this lens may make some shudder as well.
- Unbeaten image quality.
- Robust, weather-resistant build.
- Fast aperture and autofocus.
- Very expensive.
- Still no image stabilization?
- Struggles up close.
Best Full Frame Prime Canon Travel Lens
canon 50mm f/1.8 stm.
- Weight: 5.64 oz/160 g
- Dimensions: 2.72” x 1.54”
- Filter Size: 49mm
Some lenses are just timeless; the Canon 50mm f/1.8 is one of those. For years, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 has been loved and used by thousands of photographers and has solidified itself in their kits. It’s current iteration, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM continues the legacy.
There are simply too few lenses that can compete with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM’s price point and image quality. This lens is one of the most useful (ever) and travel photographers can grab one for around only $100!
The Canon 50 f/1.8 STM offers great optical quality. When used wide open, the lens has great center sharpness although the edges are somewhat soft.
When stopped down, this softness disappears quickly. CA is well controlled and there is a bit of distortion but latter can be easily fixed in post-processing. Build-wise, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM is very-small, near pancake-like, and is built from more durable materials than its predecessors.
One of the reasons the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM has succeeded so well is its focal length. 50mm lenses, lovingly referred to has “nifty fifties,” are super flexible focal-wise. Nearly any scene can be captured with a 50mm lens, from landscapes to people to urban settings. You can read this article for more on why 50mms are amazing.
Let’s not forget the age-old saying “you get what you pay for” though – the Canon 50 f/1.8 STM, obviously, lacks a lot of things.
Autofocus is reportedly a little sluggish, peak sharpness isn’t achieved until f/5.6, and distortion is apparent, which isn’t something you see very often in prime lenses. Downsides taken into consideration, it’s still hard not to love the Canon 50 f/1.8 STM.
- Price that can’t be beaten.
- Excellent optics.
- Autofocus can be sluggish.
- Has to be stopped down for best optical quality.
- Some distortion.
Best Full Frame Canon Travel Lens for Landscape Photographers
Canon ef 16-35mm f/4.0l is usm.
- Weight: 1.35 lbs/615 g
- Dimensions: 3.25” x 4.44”
For travel photographers who are going to be taking primarily landscape or, perhaps, interior architecture photos, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4.0L IS USM is a no-brainer. With astounding optical performance and a relatively lightweight, rugged body, this is the best Canon travel lens for landscape photographers.
Optically, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4.0L IS USM leaves little to be desired. The lens is amazingly sharp at nearly every aperture until f/16.0 when diffraction sets in. CA is well controlled and distortion, which is very common in wide zooms, is actually well-maintained.
The corners do show vignetting that never really disappears no matter what aperture you’re at but, like distortion, this can be alleviated somewhat in post-processing.
The Canon EF 16-35mm f/4.0L IS USM’s aperture is a little on the slow side and won’t be appropriate for certain situations like astrophotography. Thankfully, this lens does come equipped with image stabilization though, which will be helpful with handheld shooting in low-light as well as videography.
For diehard travel photographers who are constantly on the move, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4.0L IS USM lightweight will appeal greatly. Given its usefulness, the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4.0L IS USM is quite compact and is thus more versatile.
Thanks to its robust construction as well, this lens will stand up to elements, which landscape photographers will be exposed to quite often.
- Excellent optical performance across the spectrum.
- Image stabilization helps with slower aperture.
- Slower aperture.
- Some corner shading.
- Not appropriate for astrophotography.
Best Full Frame Canon Travel Lens for Portrait Photographers
Canon 85mm f/1.8 usm.
- Weight: 15 ozs / 425 g
- Dimensions: 2.95” x 2.81”
- Filter Size: 58mm
Much like the Canon 50mm f/1.8 USM, the Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM stuns with its awesome image quality, small size/weight, and, best of all, unbeatable price. For those who enjoy portrait photography, this is the best travel lens for Canon hands down.
85mm is one of the most widely regarded focal lengths among photographers. At this narrower angle, subjects are isolated wonderfully against their backgrounds and bokeh is usually of that dreamy variety. These lenses are also known for being ridiculously sharp.
What dissuades many newcomer photographers from these 85mm lenses are that they are usually prohibitively expensive. Most of the good ones go for at least $1000 or more (the Canon 85mm f/1.2L is $1,800!!!). The Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM, on the other hard, is usually found for only (^) though, which is why it’s such an awesome opportunity!’
The Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM delivers in much the same way as its competitors do – sharpness is excellent, the bokeh is smooth, autofocus is quick, and there is little in the way of blemishes e.g. CA, distortion or vignetting. This lens is the real deal.
The Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM does suffer from some very minor issues – shooting wide open often results in soft, CA laden images plus there’s no lens hood included. In my opinion, these flaws are far-and-away forgivable. At the end of the day, this is a must for any portrait photographer.
- Amazing price given its focal length.
- Stellar optics.
- Very compact.
- Little soft when shot wide open.
- Chromatic aberrations when shot wide open as well.
- No lens hood included.
Best Full Frame Canon Travel Lens for Astrophotographers
Rokinon 20mm f/1.8 as ed umc.
- Weight: 1.09 lbs/497 g
- Dimensions: 3.27” x 3.48”
The Korean company Rokinon, or Samyang as it’s sometimes referred to, is most well-known for producing sharp, effective lenses that are very affordable. The Rokinon 20mm f/1.8 AS ED UMC is one such lens. With this lens, you can capture the night sky in all of its splendor and not have to break the bank in the process. For these reasons, we think that the Rokinon 20mm f/1.8 AS ED UMC is the best Canon travel lens for astrophotography.
Rokinon lenses are cheaper because they lack a lot of the electronics that are found in modern day lenses. Autofocus and some recorded data are possible because of these electronic components and so Rokinon lenses cannot do either. When using the Rokinon 20mm f/1.8 AS ED UMC, you’ll have to focus the lens manually and write down the aperture value for future reference.
Honestly, focusing manually isn’t such a hassle especially if your shooting landscapes and starscapes. Since the scene in question is far away and doesn’t really “move,” you won’t have to worry much about shifting focus. For me, the cheaper price tag is worth the sacrifice.
Optically, the Rokinon 20mm f/1.8 AS ED UMC is still a worthy performer. Sharpness is great though you’ll have to deal with some CA at wider apertures; that latter bit maybe tedious as you’ll being shooting at wider apertures near constantly for astrophotography. Try stopping it down just a tad to hit that balance between optimal low light and optical performance.
The body of the Rokinon 20mm f/1.8 AS ED UMC is built from high-grade plastics while the mount is metal; both are quite sturdy. The whole lens can feel quite bulky though not as much as some other full frame lenses.
- Good optical performance for price.
- Distortion is well controlled.
- Fast and wide.
- Slightly bulky.
- Manual only.
- CA and shading at widest aperture
Best Full Frame Canon Travel Lens for Telephoto Lovers
canon 70-200 f/4.0l usm.
- Weight: 2.99” x 6.77”
- Dimensions: 1.55 lbs/705 g
- Image Stabilization: No, but can come with IS for a higher price
Telephoto zooms are some of the most expensive lenses out there – they’re bigger, have more moving parts, and contain more glass elements. Many wildlife photographers invest in only one and expect to get their money’s worth out it.
For those who can’t or don’t want to drop a couple of grand on a professional telephoto zoom or need IS, look no further than the Canon 70-200 f/4.0L USM! Though this lens is one of the most affordable in the bunch, it still performs very well. For backpackers who need something less expensive and doesn’t sacrifice much quality, the Canon 70-200 f/4.0L USM is one of the best telephoto Canon travel lenses that you can buy.
There’s not much to hate about how the Canon 70-200 f/4.0L USM performs – images are very sharp, CA is well controlled, and the autofocus is zippy. The corners are a bit soft at longer focal lengths but this is endemic of most telephoto zooms. It can arguably hold its own against other more expensive telephoto zooms outside of low-light situations.
Those who shoot fast-moving subjects or more often in low-light may be wanting something more out of the Canon 70-200 f/4.0L USM – the f/4.0 aperture is somewhat dim and the lack of IS can be a problem. Luckily, that latter gripe can be alleviated by investing a little more in the Canon 70-200 f/4.0L IS USM , which is the same lens albeit with image stabilization.
Being an L-type lens, the Canon 70-200 f/4.0L USM is quite robust and can hold its own against the elements. Weight wise, it’s actually a bit on the lighter side, which I’m sure will appease backpackers. It is not, shorter or less cumbersome than others though.
- Great price for telephoto.
- Excellent optical performance.
- Great autofocus.
- Still relatively big and bulky.
- f/4.0 may leave some wanting.
- No IS, but you can buy a different model with this feature
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All Around Best Canon Lens for Travel (EF-S)
canon ef-s 17-55mm f/2.8 is usm.
- Weight: 1.42 lbs/645 g
- Dimensions: 3.29” x 4.35”
The Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is a fine lens thanks to its fast aperture, image stabilization, and solid optical performance. If you need a medium zoom lens and like shooting in low-light than we recommend this one as it is our choice for the best Canon EF-S lens for travel photography!
At 17-55mm is roughly 25-85mm in full frame equivalency, which makes it a classic medium zoom. These lenses are usually very useful as they offer an excellent mix of great image quality, fast apertures, and the ability to shoot many subject matters because of its focal range.
The Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is a fine medium zoom for the company’s EF-S line. Optics are generally very good in this lens – sharpness is excellent throughout the aperture range, peaking at f/4.0. Images are a little soft at f/2.8. CA and vignetting are also apparent when this lens is shot wide-open.
Of great benefit is the addition of image stabilization, which, for some reason, isn’t always built into f/2.8 medium zooms. The IS works very well and when you combine it with the fast aperture, you have a lens that functions very well in handheld/low-light situations.
The Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM is a bit bulky for an EF-S lens. Some might find this a positive rather than a negative though as its greater bulk is related to its greater durability. Overall, this lens is built rather well and should hold its own.
Finally, this lens is a bit expensive, again, considering that it’s for the EF-S line. If you find the price prohibitive, be sure to take a look at our next lens review!
- Performs very well in low-light.
- Good image quality.
- Quick, silent autofocusing.
- Chromatic aberration and vignetting.
- Slightly more expensive.
Best EF-S Budget Canon Travel Lens:
- Weight: 1.24 lb/565 g
- Dimensions: 3.3” x 3.6”
For those who might find the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 too expensive, the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM is an excellent alternative. For a couple of hundred dollars less, you have a lens that offers similar optical performance, image stabilization, and a fast aperture. The Sigma is one of the best bang-for-your-buck lenses on this list and is our choice for best budget travel lens for Canon’s EF-S mount.
The Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM performs in a very similar way to the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 – sharpness is overall very good though the edges are soft, more so in the Sigma than the Canon. Chromatic aberrations are present to some degree and vignetting is a little stronger when the lens is shot wide-open. Each lens does produce slightly different distortions and CAs but these differences are minor enough to feel more like distinct and amiable personality traits.
Image stabilization (referred to as optical stabilization in Sigma lenses) is built into the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 and works well. Like the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8, the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM excels in low-light situations because of its optical stabilization and fast aperture.
The Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM is a bit lighter than the Canon EF-S and the barrel is shorter as well. The plastic construction leaves a bit to be desired but the lens still feels solid enough. Many users report that the focus ring is a bit annoying to use as well.
- Great bang for your buck.
- Excellent center sharpness.
- Fast aperture and IS.
- Edges are soft at lower apertures.
- Tedious focus ring.
Best EF-S Professional Canon Travel Lens
sigma art 18-35mm f/1.8.
- Weight: 1.78 lb/811 g
- Dimensions: 3.07” x 4.76”
- Filter Size: 72mm
If there was a lens that would convince someone to invest in the EF-S mount, it would be the Sigma Art 18-35mm f/1.8. Simply put, this lens is one of the most gorgeous, most effective, and most admired lenses in all of the photographic world. It is, without question, the best premium EF-S Canon travel lens that a professional could buy
The Sigma Art 18-35mm f/1.8 has it all – amazing optical quality, excellent construction, a fast aperture, and blazing autofocus. Even at its widest aperture (f/1.8), the Sigma Art 18-35mm f/1.8 is amazingly sharp from corner to corner, which is very impressive. Chromatic aberrations, vignetting, and distortion are still present but in microscopic amounts.
The Sigma Art 18-35mm f/1.8 is made from various alloys and feels very robust. Topping out at over 800 grams, this lens is definitely on the heavier side but, for many photographers, this adds a nice balance to the lens and feels good in their hands.
The focal range of the Sigma Art 18-35mm f/1.8 can feel a little limited for some photographers. Luckily, this range still contains some very useful focal lengths and users will still be adept at taking photos of everything from landscapes to portraits. Given the unprecedented performance of this lens as well, we think that it’s a worthy tradeoff.
- Extremely sharp at all apertures.
- Very few optical blemishes (CA, distortion, vignetting, etc).
- Focal range may be too limited for some.
Best EF-S Prime Canon Travel Lens
It’s back! Regardless of which Canon mount that you use, the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM is still one of the best deals that you can find. Few lenses can compete with this one as no other offers the sharpness, size, and versatility this one does for such a low price. It is, above all else, the best budget Canon lens for travel of any sort, period.
Even though this lens was developed for the full frame Canon EF system, it can still be mounted on an EF-S body. By doing so, the lens’ focal length will effectively be extended – to 75mm – for certain technical reasons . Overall image quality isn’t affected in the least though and some might even find this change more appealing as the increased telephoto effect is great for portraits.
For a complete review of this lens, refer to our former expository . Aside from the focal length, little will be different about the Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM when using it with an Ef-S camera.
- Price that can’t be beat.
Best EF-S Canon Travel Lens for Landscape Photographers
canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 is stm.
- Weight: 8.47 oz/240 g
- Dimensions: 2.94” x 2.83”
Don’t let this lens’ appearance fool you – this is one of the best Canon travel lenses for landscapes photographers out there and a must-have in their bags. Offering stellar sharpness in a tiny package and at a great price, the Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM will serve you very well.
Most look at the Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM’s price tag and plastic body and immediately dismiss it as poor craftsmanship. I mean, how could something that looks so basic be worth buying?
Little do they know that the Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is actually an extremely sharp lens at nearly every aperture setting. Seriously! Overall resolution with this lens is very impressive. Vignetting and distortion, which are common in wide-angle zooms, are still present but actually very well controlled. Chromatic aberrations are noticeable at times but these can be fixed in post processing.
Autofocus in the Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is speedy and the included image stabilization is very handy in low-light situations. The extra 4 stops of shake compensation that you get more than makes up for the relatively slow aperture.
At less than 10 ozs as well, the Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM is very portable and should take up next to no room in your bag. The Canon 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM’s build quality is, justifiably, subject to some criticism for being rudimentary but, given the amazing price of this lens, most will forgive this fault I’m sure.
- Impressively sharp.
- Very good price.
- Some vignetting and distortion.
- Basic plastic construction.
- Chromatic aberrations present around the edges.
Best EF-S Canon Travel Lens Portrait Photographers
canon 50mm f1/.4 usm.
- Weight: 10.23 oz/290 g
- Dimensions: 2.91” x 1.99”
For those who want a little extra speed to throw out the backgrounds behind their subjects, think about upgrading to the Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM over the f/1.8. The brighter aperture combined with good image quality is sure to create some amazing shots. We at Broke Backpacker definitely recommend this lens to any portrait photographer looking for the best travel lens for Canon.
Like the 50mm f/1.8 that we talked about just prior, the Canon 50mm f1/.4 USM was designed to be used with Canon’s full-frame EF mount. When used with a cropped EF-S mount, the focal length of this lens becomes longer. This gives the benefit of isolated your subjects even more and creates some lovely bokeh.
Optically, the Canon 50mm f1/.4 USM performs well though you’ll have to stop it down to around f/4.0 or f/5.6 to achieve maximum sharpness. When used wide-open,the edges are noticeably soft while the center is somewhat less sharp. Portrait photographers may not notice this softness around the edges or even care about it as these areas are usually blurred from the bokeh anyways.
Most of the time, the Canon 50mm f1/.4 USM’s autofocus performs as it should: quickly and accurately. Many users report that the autofocus can lag at times though. The Canon 50mm f1/.4 USM does tend to behave differently depending on the camera body that it’s mounted on and autofocus may be affected as such.
Build-wise, the Canon 50mm f1/.4 USM is built from high-grade plastics that many complain feel flimsy at times. Regardless of its integrity, which is good enough, the lens is very light and compact. Packing this one around is very easy.
- Very fast aperture.
- Good price.
- Center is sharp and bokeh is dreamy.
- Needs to be stopped down for optimal sharpness.
- Focusing struggles at times.
Best EF-S Canon Travel Lens for Astrophotographers
samyang 16mm f/2.0 ed as usm cs.
- Weight: 1.28 lb/583 g
- Dimensions: 3.39” x 3.52”
Rokinon/Samyang deliver yet again the best travel Canon lens for astrophotographers. Like full frame Canon users, those who use the EF-S mount will find that Samyang lenses will give them the best low-light performance and for the best price. In summary, the best astrophotography lens for the Canon EF-S mount is the Samyang 16mm f/2.0 ED AS USM CS.
Like most Rokinon/Samyang lenses, image quality is excellent. Center sharpness is great from the get-go at f/2.0, while the edges are only moderately so. Stopping down the lens a bit allows the edges to catch-up sharpness-wise. Chromatic aberration, vignetting, and distortion are all well-controlled.
Even though the Samyang 16mm f/2.0 is built mostly from plastics sans the metal mount the whole lens feels very sturdy. The zoom ring is perfectly damped and feels great to use. Regrettably, there are no hyperfocal markings on the actual lens, which means you’ll have to use a separate app or make the calculations yourself. Investing in a Rokinon/Samyang lens means that you’ll have to relinquish autofocusing. While this could be a problem with certain types of shooting, autofocus isn’t very useful with astrophotography anyways. Shooting landscapes as well shouldn’t be hampered by manual focusing either. Doing both, you’ll hardly miss autofocusing.
- Great center sharpness.
- Good value.
- Fast aperture.
- Needs to be stopped down for edges to catch up.
- Manual focus.
- Lack of hyperfocal scale.
Best EF-S Canon Travel Lens for Telephoto Lovers
canon ef-s 55-250mm f/4-5.6 is stm.
- Weight: 13.23 lb/ 375 g
- Dimensions: 2.76” x 4.38”
For photographers who use telephoto lenses a lot to shoot wildlife or sports, there’s a lot to love about the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM. This a surprisingly sharp lens that performs very well thanks to an effective autofocusing system in addition to image stabilization. Given the amazing price of the lens these days as well, the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM should be in almost every Canon EF-S photographer’s bag.
We mentioned just before that the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is a surprisingly sharp lens – it is, in its own right, a very sharp lens actually. Center sharpness is excellent throughout the lens’ focal and aperture range. The edges, though slightly soft, are nice and sharp once the lens is stopped down. Overall sharpness does drop-off beyond the 200mm focal point though.
The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM has a fairly slow aperture, one that you’ll probably be stopping down anyways for sharpness. Thankfully, the lens’ internal stabilization is very effective and compensates for 4 stops of shakiness. Combine this with a quick and accurate autofocus system and capturing moving objects should be less of a problem.
Construction wise, the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is just ok. The all-plastic body doesn’t necessarily scream “take me into the wilderness” but it’s still reasonably sturdy. Due to its plastic construction, the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM is very light especially so for a telephoto lens. Note that there is no lens hood included with this lens.
- Great sharpness.
- Very lightweight.
- Effective autofocus and IS.
- Aperture’s a little slow.
Now, you could spend a fat chunk of $$$ on the WRONG present for someone. Wrong size hiking boots, wrong fit backpack, wrong shape sleeping bag… As any adventurer will tell you, gear is a personal choice.
So give the adventurer in your life the gift of convenience: buy them an REI Co-op gift card! REI is The Broke Backpacker’s retailer of choice for ALL things outdoors, and an REI gift card is the perfect present you can buy from them. And then you won’t have to keep the receipt. 😉
Lenses are just as if not more important as your travel camera ! They are the ones that create the image, that bend the light to then be read by the camera sensor. Sharpness, contrast, color, composition; all of these aspects are influenced greatly by the quality of your lens.
When looking for the best travel lens for your Canon camera, there are many qualities to take into consideration. Size, aperture, IS, and more are all vital components to the making of a great travel lens.
Below is a list of features to consider when looking for the best travel lens for Canon. Note that I’m going to glossing over a lot of photographic concepts here. I’ll try and keep things clear; otherwise, feel free to post any question regarding photography in the comment section below.
Lenses come in all shapes and sizes from pint-sized pancakes to behemoth, tree-trunk-like tools. How big and heavy a lens thus influences how you carry and use it.
Larger lenses obviously take up more space and so leave less for other lenses or accessories. As you start packing more as well, the weight of your bag gets heavier and heavier. I personally have carried both heavy backpacks and shoulder bags and can say it’s fun for about 5 minutes.
If you have limited space in your camera bag or like lenses that happen to be larger, you’ll have to pick and choose your equipment wisely. Take note of how much a lens weighs and its dimensions and then think about how much you’re willing to carry.
If you’re going to be bringing a lot of equipment with you, be sure to invest in a good travel camera bag as well! You’ll need something spacious and secure to protect your equipment to the max. Read our article on the best travel camera bags for some suggestions!
Along with shutter speed and ISO, aperture is a key part of the exposure triangle , which must be considered if you want to take great photos. Though shutter speed and ISO fall within the realm of the camera, the aperture is directly controlled by the lens. How an aperture behaves directly influences what kind of photos you can take and can also lead to some pretty creative compositions.
A fast aperture – one that is less than or around f/2.8 – is almost always preferable. Though not always the case, a faster aperture is usually indicative of optical quality, It is also useful during certain photographic situations. Without going too deep into the mechanics, a faster aperture means that your camera can take in more light and, thus, be more suited for dimmer situations. Moral of the story: a smaller aperture number (meaning faster) is most often a good thing.
A quick aperture is not always necessary though. Lots of lenses with slower apertures can offer exceptional image quality e.g. the Canon EF 16-35mm f/4.0L IS USM. Besides, most lenses don’t even reach optimal sharpness until they’re stopped down to f/5.6 or f/8. Unless you really need a fast aperture for low-light performance or for creating bokeh, you may not need to spend the extra money.
A lens’ focal length dictates its field of view , which, in turn, determines how large the compositional frame is. The wider the focal length, the wider the field and the more you can capture in a photo. In addition, depth is influenced as well – foregrounds and backgrounds appear closer when shot with a longer lens and further apart with a wider lens. Focal length is measured in millimeters e.g. 12mm, 50mm, 70-200mm.
Certain lenses with certain focal lengths are better for capturing certain scenes. Longer lenses, renowned for their shallow depth of field and isolating qualities, are great for portraits. Wider lenses, with their expansive fields of view, are great for interior shots when space is tight or for capturing big vistas.
Whether or not a lens covers a single focal length or many is something to consider as well. Prime lenses only cover one focal length but are usually sharper and less prone to optical abnormalities. Zoom lenses cover multiple focal lengths but can suffer from image softness, chromatic aberrations, and distortion. Higher quality zoom lenses suffer less from these issues but you’ll have to pay a pretty penny for them.
What type of photographer you are will determine what kind of focal length you find most useful. You’ll often find that certain lengths are more attractive to your style of shooting or that you favor a particular lens over others. Remember too that any lens can be useful if they’re used by a skilled set of hands. A good photographer can take beautiful landscape photos with a telephoto lens or create an alluring portrait using a super-wide angle.
Not every autofocusing system is created equal – some are lightning fast, utilizing state-of-the-art technology, while others are sluggish doofuses that can’t make heads or tails of a subject. How well an autofocus system behaves in a lens may or may not frustrate you depending on your photographic style.
Generally speaking, most lenses autofocus pretty well. Only in rare situations does a lens really suffer from poor autofocus and most of the time these are pretty much shunned.
Certain photographers, like sports or wildlife photographers, may need better than average autofocusing to keep up with their subjects. If you need an autofocus system for your style of shooting, be sure to see if your potential new lens is up to parr. Also know that camera sensors play an important part in autofocusing as well so, if you keep finding yourself unimpressed, it could be more than the lens.
Though autofocusing is currently the dominant trend in modern photographic equipment, lens that use manual focusing are still common. Of particular note, Rokinon/Samyang lenses are only manual focus, a decision made by the company to cut costs.
Manual lenses can still be useful in certain situations. Landscape and astrophotographers feel their limitations less, due to their subject matter, and may even enjoy their vintage-like feel, much like a musician might enjoy an old record.
Each lens has a certain filter threading found at the front of the barrel, which is used to attach various (you guessed it) filters. These filters e.g. polarizers, NDs, UVs are used for both creative effects and sometimes additional protection.
There really isn’t such a thing as a proper filter threading. Most filter sizes have become standardized and there is almost always a full set of filters for each one. No matter your lens, there’s a filter that will fit it.
Filter sizes do play in part in costs though. If you have multiple lenses with multiple filter threadings, you may end up spending more money for more filters, many of which maybe perform in the same way. Buying the same filter twice just to accommodate different lenses is super annoying.
To avoid this issue, try investing in a single set of filters, preferably with a larger threading, and than use step-down rings. These handy accessories are adapters for your filters and will allow you to install larger filters on lenses with smaller threadings. Or think about investing in a slot-in filter system, which uses a screw-in adapter to hold a plate-like filter. Polarizer filters are not effective with slot-in filter systems.
Image stabilization or optical stabilization technology has become extremely commonplace in modern-day lenses. This tech is found in all sorts of lenses, from cheap pieces of shit to luxurious professional-grade glass. It is, at the end of the day, a very useful feature to have in your lenses as it can allow for some very crisp images.
Image stabilization (IS) works by compensating for shake caused by hand holding a camera. This shakiness is, unless you’re using a tripod, often unavoidable. Shakiness appears as blurring in images and so they are usually unusable (though some photographers have found a creative way to use shake). With image stabilization, handheld shooting becomes much easier as you have to worry less about steadying your hand.
Whether or not you need image stabilization is something to consider in choosing the best Canon travel lenses. If you’re a landscape photographer who constantly has their camera mounted on a tripod, image stabilization is pretty redundant. On the other hand, if you shoot subjects that require you to move often or you just like to have your camera ready in your hands, then IS would be useful.
You’ll see two types of Canon lenses out there: EF and EF-S. This is because certain lenses are designed for certain sensor sizes. EF lenses are meant to be mounted on full frame Canon cameras while EF-S lenses are meant for APS-C or crop sensor Canon cameras.
Lenses are designed to be paired with their corresponding sensor sizes for reasons that are technically challenging and too time-consuming to explain right now. Just understand that a lens will most often function best with the sensor that it was designed for. Some lenses do get along quite well with different sensor sizes and you’ll have to study which ones these are. Keep this in mind when purchasing a travel camera lens.
You can mount full frame lenses on APS-C cameras (and not vice versa), again, for certain technical reasons. Optically, the lens should perform somewhat similar to its native sensor type – vignetting may increase but sharpness is often not affected. Of very important note, the focal range will be lengthened when mounting a full frame lens onto a crop sensor body – a 24mm EF lens mounted onto EF-S camera will behave more like a 35mm lens.
Still have some questions? No problem! We’ve listed and answered the most commonly asked questions below. Here’s what people usually want to know:
What Canon lens do professional photographers use?
Professional Photographers that use (full frame) Canon cameras often use the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM . If you’re shooting with a Canon EF-S, check out the Sigma Art 18-35mm f/1.8 .
Which lens is best for travel photography?
Travel photography is different than shooting professionally or shooting fixed set ups. Therefore, we recommend the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4.0 L IS USM , which is ideal for your travel adventure.
How can I protect my camera lens?
When storing your camera, make sure you have a high quality camera and lense bag that will prevent pressure points and scratching. Having an additional UV filter will add more protection as well.
How do I know what camera lense I need?
First, find out what kind of camera you have. There are all kinds lenses for different camera types. Then figure out what your main shooting style (travel, professional, landscape, etc) will be and choose the lense accordingly.
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So there you have them – the best travel lenses for Canon! We’ve covered 16 lenses – 8 for each of Canon’s mounts – and every one of them is unique. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses and each quality needs to be taken into consideration when looking for the best Canon lenses for travel photography.
Consider what kind of photographer you are and what kind of lens(es) you need. Do you like to photograph wildlife or faraway subject? Then buy a telephoto lens like the Canon 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM. Maybe you like to shoot landscapes and want to try your hand at astrophotography? Invest in a fast, wide-angle prime like the Rokinon 20mm f/1.8 then!
Once you’ve realized what kind of travel photography you want practice, it’s just a matter of choosing the best Canon travel lens for yourself. Know that each one will be different and that each will dramatically affect the quality of your pictures. Lenses are, after all, the apparatus that creates the image in the first place.
So think carefully about which Canon travel lens is best for you. As one photographer once told me: “you don’t invest in an expensive camera; you invest in great glass.” Upon reaching a conclusion, just buy it! You’ll feel good knowing that you did your homework and bought the perfect lens for yourself.
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!
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great article but surprised not to see 18-135 or 15-85 for EF-S.
I’d suggest the two Canon EF pancake lenses, the 40 and 24 F2.8s, for full frame and crop Canons respectively. Great, discrete, inexpensive and super light lenses.
nice article, thank you 🙂
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6 Best DSLR for Travel Photography: (2023 Guide & Reviews)
A great DSLR camera can make all the difference when capturing travel memories.
I was in the same boat as others to find the best DSLR for travel photography.
With so many options on the market, choosing the right one for my needs was overwhelming.
A good DSLR camera for travel photography should be lightweight, portable, and powerful enough to capture high-quality images and handle various lighting conditions.
With such qualities in my mind, I stumbled upon many options in my budget to be my travel companion on different trips worldwide.
Which are the Best DSLR for Travel Photography?
Here are my recommended top 6 Best DSLR for Travel Photography:-
Canon 90D: (Best DSLR for Travel Photography)
I’ve always dreamt of capturing nature’s beauty through my photography.
Finally, after saving a few hundred bucks, I could invest in the best DSLR for travel photography within my range.
Once, I decided to embark on a backpacking trip through Southeast Asia.
As an amateur photographer, I needed a reliable camera to handle the different lighting and weather conditions I encountered on my journey.
After much research, she decided to go with the Canon 90D.
- Model: Canon 90D
- Effective Megapixel: 32.5MP
- Image sensor: 22.3mm x 14.8mm CMOS
- ISO range: 100-25600
- Shutter speeds: 30-1/8000 sec
- Storage: SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-II compatible)
- LCD: 7.7cm (3.0″) 3:2 Clear View II TFT
- Dimension: 140.7 x 104.8 x 76.8mm
- Weight: 701g
ISO / Shutter Speed:
It is mostly the same as the 80D, although there is a little difference in image quality when I talk about the ISO and shutter speed.
It has an ISO range of 100 to 25600.
The video footage was smooth, even at ISO 6400.
In addition, the camera boasts a rapid shutter speed range of 1/8000 sec to 30 sec.
That is why fast-moving subjects are captured with crispness and freezing motion.
Aperture / Depth of Field:
It is compatible with EF and EF-S mount lenses, with some lenses having a maximum aperture as wide as f/3.5, which is ideal for low-light and shallow depth-of-field photography.
A wide lens can range between f/3.5- f/22, while telephoto lenses lies between f/5.6 – f/36.
White Balance / Frame Rate:
Along with different customizable settings, its white balance is also adjustable.
From auto mode to manual controls, everything is just a click away.
When it comes to video recording, the Canon 90D offers a variety of frame rate options.
You can shoot in Full HD at up to 120 frames per second, allowing smooth slow-motion footage.
For photos, it can shoot at 10 fps with continuous AF using the OVF and at 7 fps in live view mode.
Why is this camera the best?
The camera’s high-resolution 32.5-megapixel APS-C sensor is one of its standout characteristics.
Even in low-light conditions like being surrounded by tall trees, its sensor took exceptionally detailed and precise photos.
Whether you want to shoot in low-light areas during traveling or capture the golden hour, the 90D is a complete package for professionals and amateur photographers.
Hence, it is the best DSLR camera for travel photography.
Click here to buy
- New 32.5MP image sensor.
- 10fps capture with iTR tracking.
- Vari-angle LCD.
- Some dust and splash protection.
- Optical viewfinder.
- Mirrorless-quality autofocus for 4K video.
- Cramped rear dial.
- No sync socket.
- Single memory card slot.
Canon 5d mark iv: (Best DSLR for Travel Photography)
As a photographer, I always seek new and exciting places to capture with my Canon 5D Mark IV.
Recently, I took a trip to Japan, a country known for its stunning natural beauty and rich cultural heritage.
My first stop was in the bustling city of Tokyo.
I spent my days wandering through the city’s bustling streets, capturing images of the colorful markets, towering skyscrapers, and neon-lit cityscapes.
Using this camera, I got beautiful photos that perfectly portray the dwellers’ lives.
- Model: Canon 5D mark iv
- Effective Megapixel: 30.4 MP
- Image sensor: 36 x 24 mm (CMOS)
- ISO range: 100-12800 (expandable up to 100-25600)
- Storage: 1 CompactFlash Type I and 1 SD/SDHC/SDXC and UHS-I
- Viewfinder: 0.71x 3 x 21mm
- Dimension: 150.7 x 116.4 x 75.9mm
- Weight: 800g
I’ve used the camera before and had no difficulty choosing the settings.
The camera has a native ISO range of 100-32000, which can be expanded to a range of 50-102400 for extreme low light conditions.
For shutter speed, setting to a faster setting helped capture the bustling city life while on tour.
To catch as much light as possible, I set the aperture to f/5.6.
Some street scenes were tough to photograph in low light and at such a fast pace; therefore, the f/8 setting was appropriate.
With autofocus tracking enabled, it can shoot at a continuous burst frame rate of up to 7 fps.
This makes it an excellent camera for capturing fast-moving action.
I loved making short videos for reels with it because of its 60 fps full HD recording capabilities.
I used the AWB to obtain the finest color mix because I frequently photograph at night.
Travel photography is about capturing the perfect shots to add to your portfolio.
It is possible if your camera’s autofocus isn’t exceptional.
Luckily, Mark IV autofocus is sharp enough to lock the subject at any pace.
Overall, it is a highly versatile and capable camera for travel photography.
Be it city tours, hiking, or a walk in the park; you can take it anywhere with you.
The camera’s rugged construction, weather-sealing, and intuitive controls make it a reliable and user-friendly tool for photographers, while its advanced video features, such as 4K video recording and Dual Pixel RAW technology, make it the best DSLR for travel photography.
- 30MP full-frame image sensor.
- Fast 61-point autofocus system.
- 7fps continuous shooting.
- Unlimited JPG shooting buffer.
- Pro-grade build.
- Dual Pixel AF Live View focus system.
- 3.2-inch touch screen.
- Integrated GPS and Wi-Fi.
- CF and SD card slots.
- Clean HDMI output is 1080p only.
- No in-body flash.
Nikon D850: (Best DSLR for Travel Photography)
The moment I got my hands on the Nikon D850, the perfect way to test its capabilities was to embark on a travel adventure.
My destination was the picturesque country of Iceland, with its breathtaking landscapes, glaciers, and aurora borealis.
Along with the best DSLR for travel photography, I embarked on a journey to the country’s most remote and stunning locations.
- Model: Nikon D850
- Effective Megapixel: 45.7 MP
- Image sensor: (35.9 x 23.9 mm) (BSI-CMOS)
- ISO range: 64-25,600 (Expandable to 102,400)
- Shutter speeds: 1/8000 sec
- Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II supported) + XQD
- Viewfinder: 2,359,000-dot
- Dimension: 146 x 124 x 79 mm
- Weight: 1005g
The camera has a native ISO range of 64 to 25600, which can be extended up to ISO 102400.
The shutter can go to 1/8000th of a second, which allows you to freeze the action and capture fast-moving subjects.
It also has a minimum shutter speed of 30 seconds, which is helpful for long exposures.
The aperture settings on this camera depend on the lens that I attach to the camera.
While using the prime lens – the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G, its aperture goes to f/1.8, while a zoom lens such as the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E ED VR has a maximum aperture of f/2.8.
Compared to its previous cameras, it outperforms them regarding frame rate.
It gave me an fps of 7 frames per second in continuous shooting mode.
Hence, it made it easy to shoot during traveling and road trips.
As I walked along the black sand beach and the iconic Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon, I was captivated by the crystal clear blue icebergs that floated in the water.
The camera’s 45.7-megapixel sensor captured every detail of the ice formations, from the cracks and crevices to the smooth, glass-like surface.
This was why I found this camera the best option for travel photos.
Overall, my travel experience with this camera was among the best I have ever had.
Using it, I could capture the essence of Iceland, from its rugged and breathtaking landscapes to its delicate glaciers.
Thanks to this camera, I brought the beauty of Iceland back home with me and relived the experience of my journey through my photographs.
- Full-frame 45.7MP image sensor.
- 153-point autofocus system.
- 7fps burst shooting.
- Wide ISO range.
- Large optical viewfinder.
- Tilting touch LCD.
- Dual card slots.
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
- No built-in flash.
- SnapBridge system needs some work.
Nikon D500: (Best DSLR for Travel Photography)
I recently had the opportunity to take the Nikon D500 on a trip to Europe, and it proved to be the perfect companion for capturing all of the sights and scenes of my journey.
I traveled to the Swiss Alps, where I took advantage of the D500’s incredible low-light performance to capture the stunning beauty of the mountains at dusk and dawn.
The camera’s rugged build and weather sealing also came in handy during my hikes, protecting it from harsh environments.
- Model: Nikon D500
- Effective Megapixel: 28.9
- Image sensor: 23.5 mm. x 15.7 mm.
- ISO range: 100 – 51,200.
- Storage: SD/SDHC/SDXC
- LCD: TFT touch-sensitive LCD with a 170° viewing angle
- Dimension: 147 x 115 x 81 mm
- Weight: 760g
My last spot was Barcelona, where the camera’s fast shutter speed and excellent autofocus helped me capture the energy and vibrancy of the streets and markets.
The camera’s high-resolution sensor also allowed me to capture the incredible detail and texture of the city’s historic buildings and monuments.
The ranges for ISO are 100-51,200, and for mechanical and electronic shutters, 1/8000 sec and 1/250, respectively.
It has a maximum aperture of f/8 when utilizing the built-in flash.
You cannot determine the maximum aperture when using an external flash since the lens type is a key factor.
It has a maximum continuous shooting speed of 10 frames per second, which helps capture the busy streets of Barcelona.
However, you must check your camera’s storage because the more excellent fps, the more memory it will take.
Once, I was shooting indoors in a historic building, and setting the white balance to “incandescent” helped correct the yellowish tint in my pictures.
Its autofocus and continuous shooting mode make it the best DSLR for travel photography.
It allowed me to capture the fast-paced energy and movement of the cities I visited, as well as the action-packed outdoor activities such as hiking and exploring the Swiss Alps,
Overall, this camera is an exceptional DSLR for travel photography, with its fast performance, rugged build, and excellent image quality allowing me to capture all of the fantastic sights and experiences of my journey through Europe.
- Solid build.
- She advanced an edge-to-edge autofocus system.
- 10fps capture with tracking focus.
- Large buffer for extended shooting.
- Superb high ISO image quality.
- Clean HDMI output.
- Excellent control layout.
- Tilting touch-screen LCD.
- Dust- and weather-resistant design.
- XQD and SD card slots.
- Snapbridge wireless transfer needs some work.
Nikon D780: (Best DSLR for Travel Photography)
As a seasoned photographer, I traveled to Bali, Indonesia, for this year’s summer vacation, and I couldn’t wait to explore this stunning island.
The first place on my itinerary was the famous Tanah Lot Temple, situated on a small rocky island and is only accessible during low tide.
I took my Nikon D780 out of my bag and started shooting.
The 24.5-megapixel sensor and the Expeed 6 image processor produced sharp, vibrant images that captured the intricate details of the temple and the surrounding landscape.
- Model: Nikon D780
- Effective Megapixel: 24.5 MP
- Image sensor: (35.9 x 23.9 mm) (CMOS)
- ISO range: 100 – 51,200
- Viewfinder: Eye-level Pentaprism Single-Lens Reflex Viewfinder
- Dimension: 143.5 x 115.5 x 76 mm
- Weight: 840g
As I walked around the temple, I noticed the golden light of the setting sun illuminating the area, creating a magical ambiance.
I quickly adjusted the camera settings, and the D780’s ISO range of 100-51200 allowed me to capture the scene with stunning clarity and detail without compromising image quality.
The AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR kit lens has a maximum aperture of f/1.8 and a minimum of f/22 on the D780.
THE VIDEO COLORS REMAINED BEAUTIFUL whether I opted for a high or low ISO range.
In continuous mode, this DSLR can shoot at 7 frames per second.
A lower frame rate is ideal for low-light situations because it allows more light to travel through the lens, leading to richer pictures.
The D780’s impressive dynamic range enabled me to capture the vivid greens of the rice fields in Ubud and the deep blue of the sky.
My final pictures truly reflected the beauty of this part of Bali.
The camera’s ergonomic design and lightweight body made it easy to carry around, even during a long day of walking and exploring.
Overall, my experience with the camera was incredible.
It is the best DSLR for travel photography because of its versatility and image quality.
Whether I was capturing the details of a temple, the vibrant colors of a rice paddy, or the majesty of a Komodo dragon, the D780 delivered stunning results every time.
- Excellent 24MP full-frame sensor.
- 7fps burst with tracking.
- 12fps electronic shutter.
- Phase detect focus for video.
- 4K with a flat profile.
- In-camera charging.
- The image sensor isn’t stabilized.
Canon 80D: (Best DSLR for Travel Photography)
Traveling becomes exciting when you have a friend along with you.
For my next vacation, my best friend Kurtis accompanied me.
I made sure to include my trusty Canon 80D DSLR camera.
I had heard so much about its capabilities for travel photography, and I couldn’t wait to put it to the test.
My destination was the tropical paradise of the Maldives, a land of crystal-clear waters, white sand beaches, and stunning coral reefs.
- Model: Canon 80D
- Effective Megapixel: 24.2 MP
- Image sensor: DIGIC 6
- ISO range: 100-16000 (expandable to 256,00)
- Storage: SD, SDHC, or SDXC (UHS-I)
- Dimension: 139.0 x 105.2 x 78.5mm
- Weight: 730g
The turquoise waters and clear sand were a beautiful sight for sore eyes.
This would be the perfect opportunity to experiment with the 80D’s ISO and shutter speed settings.
My friend helped me set my ISO to 200, which allowed me to capture the subtle nuances of the colors without sacrificing image quality.
As I explored the islands, I experimented with different shutter speeds, ranging from 30 – 1/8000 sec.
The 80D has a maximum aperture of f/1.8-f/3.5, depending on the lens attached.
I experimented with the camera’s aperture to get beautiful shots.
Once, I used a wide aperture of f/1.8 to capture a stunning image of a brightly colored fish swimming through coral reefs.
It has a maximum frame rate of 7 frames per second.
Its fast frame rate captures the playful dolphins smoothly jumping out of the water.
As a result, I was able to capture multiple shots in quick succession.
The beauty of the golden hour on the beach didn’t go to waste as I set the white balance to “warm light.”
It has a high-quality image sensor that can capture stunning, detailed images and a range of customizable settings that allow the photographer to adjust the camera to their specific needs.
Due to its durable, weather-sealed body, it underwent the severities of travel and was a reliable companion for me.
I’ve shot almost every type of scene with this camera.
From landscapes and portraits to action shots, it has the features and capabilities to help you get the shot you want.
This versatility makes it a popular choice among travel photographers as it is the best DSLR.
- 45-point autofocus system.
- 7fps capture with focus tracking.
- Vari-angle touch-screen display.
- Pentaprism viewfinder.
- Smooth video autofocus.
- 1/8,000-sec shutter and 1/250-sec flash sync.
- Wi-Fi with NFC.
- Single SD card slot.
- No PC sync connection.
Alright, guys, that concludes all the cameras we will discuss today in this article.
Do you guys have any experience with these cameras? What are your thoughts on them?
Which is your Best DSLR for Travel Photography?
Is there a camera that I didn’t mention in this article that you love to use?
Would you please leave your thoughts and comments below?
Best travel camera under $500:
Best Sony cameras for travel photography:
I am a Professional and Certified Digital Photographer born in the USA. I have been in this field of photography for 22 years, and in these years, I have used many photography lenses and Cameras, which I want to share here on this website about my experience. The idea for Bestoflens.com is to provide honest information about different Lenses and Camera products in the format of a “Best lenses for AYZ” list. I want this website to be the last destination for people to pick the best Cameras and lenses to fit their needs. You can find our unbiased reviews here on Bestoflens.
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Best lenses for travel photography in 2023: perfect all-in-one superzooms
The best lenses for travel will let you shoot almost anything, and save some space in your bag!
The best lenses for travel photography will enable you take amazing photos without weighing you down. Travel photography lenses are often versatile zooms that allow you to pack just one lens such as a superzoom but it all comes down to your shooting style and how much you want to carry. Arguably a nifty fifty prime lens is great for travelling as they're so small but only one focal length may start to test you.
• What are the best camera lenses to buy ? • Best lenses for astrophotography • Best lenses for bird photography ` • Best Canon lenses • Best Fujifilm lenses • Best Nikon lenses • Best Olympus lenses • Best Panasonic lenses • Best Pentax lenses • Best Sony lenses
We all love to travel. And when we’re not traveling we’re probably dreaming about the next trip. One of the best things about traveling is getting to capture new people and places but deciding what kit to take can be tricky when space is limited. We’ve already got a guide to the best cameras for travel , but if you’ve got a DSLR or a mirrorless camera, you need to work out what lenses to take too. And this is where the superzoom lens comes into its own. These are lenses with extra-long zoom ranges that do the job of a standard zoom lens and a telephoto zoom combined.
With most of your bases covered, you can focus on snapping gorgeous landscapes, stunning sunsets or captivating portraits and the best part is if you choose to just take one lens with you, you'll never have to faff with changing it.
When picking a superzoom lens, it’s tempting to go for the biggest zoom range you can get your hands on. However, such lenses tend to be quite large and weighty. They’re generally more convenient and less heavy than a combination of standard and telephoto zoom lenses but, when you want to travel light or go on walkabout, it’s nicer to have something smaller and more lightweight dangling off your camera strap.
Considering the 1.5x crop factor of most APS-C cameras (1.6x for Canon ), a zoom range of around 18-200mm is generally ideal. This gives you similar wide-angle coverage as from a standard zoom, while stretching your telephoto reach to 300mm in full-frame terms (320mm for Canon). Overall, you’ll get a very generous zoom range in a compact package. Choices are more limited for Canon and Nikon full-frame SLRs.
Is a superzoom the only lens you will need? If you like cities, architecture and culture, we’d suggest having a look at the best ultra-wide lenses too.
Ultra-wide shots aside, though, a superzoom should be able to take care of every other kind of subject. Let’s take a closer look at the best buys for a whole host of different camera brands. Remember, we’re choosing the best lenses for travel, so we’re not just looking at outright zoom range, but at portability, weight and performance too.
Best lenses for travel photography in 2023
Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.
1. Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM
Our expert review:
Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.
Canon does make a proper full-frame superzoom travel lens - the EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM - so why have we picked this 24-105mm instead? Quite simply, this is a better travel lens. At 795g, it's less than half the weight of the 28-300mm, so is much more travel-friendly, and it's also about half the price. That still doesn't make it cheap, but at least you can feel a little less conspicuous.
The new Mk II version of the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS has been redesigned to be tougher and more resistant to shock and vibration, and it features fluorine coatings on the front and rear elements. More importantly, the optics have been revamped, with the aim of improving sharpness across the whole image frame, throughout the zoom range.
Barrel distortion from the preceding 24-105mm lens was notoriously bad at the short end of the zoom range, but the Mk II performs a little better. It’s also a bit sharper, autofocus is a little quicker and bokeh is smoother, thanks to the fitment of ten, rather than eight, diaphragm blades. Overall, however, each of the improvements is quite subtle rather than making a hugely noticeable difference.
Read the full Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM review
2. Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD
There's nothing that can beat this lens for sheer focal length flexibility when shooting with an APS-C Canon DSLR. It's now one of a decreasing range of superzoom lenses, as Tamron has discontinued our old favorite 16-300mm option. This 18-400mm is bigger, heavier and more expensive, but it does perform rather well, considering its massive 22x zoom range. Its 710g heft is also fair when you consider what a vast focal range this lens covers, and it includes a moisture-resistant construction with a number of weather seals, including one around the metal mounting plate.
Read more: Tamron 18-400mm f3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD review
3. Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
Just as in the DSLR camp, Canon offers two 24-105mm ‘RF’ lenses for its range of EOS R-series mirrorless cameras. There's the relatively compact and lightweight variable f/4-7.1 option, and the more up-market L-series f/4 lens that we'll be looking at here. It's sharp across the board while the autofocus performance is very good when paired with the advanced AF systems of the EOS R6 and EOS R5. There's also the excellent 5-stop image stabilization system that when paired with these two latest cameras and their in-body stabilization systems delivers up to 7.5-stops of compensation. Perfect when you're travelling and can't always shoot with a tripod.
4. Canon RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM
If you're an EOS R-series shooter and want something with a longer focal range than the Canon's two 24-105mm options, then you're in luck as there’s also a superzoom option that isn’t overly big and heavy, and doesn’t cost silly money. It comes in the shape of the RF 24-240mm, which squeezes a very useful 10x zoom range into a reasonably lightweight and weather-sealed build. Further attractions include a Nano USM autofocus system which is super-fast for stills and enables smooth and virtually silent focus transitions during movie capture, and a highly effective 5-stop image stabilizer. At the short end of the zoom range, color fringing can be noticeable and barrel distortion is massive, but both of these aberrations are corrected in-camera by default, and when processing raw files. With this lens, Canon is combining optical and digital corrections rather than relying on optical corrections alone.
5. Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC
Our old favorite travel lens for Nikon DX DSLRs used to be the AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II, but since Nikon has discontinued that lens, this Tamron equivalent is the next best thing. It's even lighter, at just 400g, and is just as small, measuring 75x97mm. That makes it an ideal, unobtrusive travel companion.
Part of the weight-saving is due to it having a plastic rather than metal mounting plate, but it nevertheless includes a weather-seal ring and the overall construction feels solid and durable. Sharpness is better than from Tamron's older 18-270mm lens - the only caveat being that corner-sharpness can be a little lacklustre when shooting at 100mm using the widest available aperture.
Read the full Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC review
6. Nikon AF-S 24-120mm f/4G ED VR
Nikon and Tamron have both manufactured 28-300mm superzoom lenses for many years, offering a travel-friendly option for Nikon full-frame SLRs. There’s not a lot to choose between them for handling, image quality and all-round performance. Both are good rather than great. To make the most of Nikon’s recent full-frame SLRs, it pays to set your sights rather lower in terms of zoom range, and to go for quality instead. The latest edition of Nikon’s 24-120mm VR is our first choice. It’s relatively compact and has excellent handling characteristics. It also gives you more a generous wide-angle perspective at the short end of the zoom range. The flipside, naturally, is that you’ll lose out on powerful telephoto reach, but that's often less useful than you expect anyway.
7. Nikon Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR
The list of travel-friendly credentials for this soon-to-be-launched lens is long and impressive. It’s particularly compact and lightweight for a full-frame lens that boasts such an extensive zoom range, yet has a sturdy construction that includes comprehensive weather-seals and a fluorine coating on the front element to repel moisture and grease. Image quality benefits from the inclusion of two aspherical elements, one aspherical ED (Extra-low Dispersion) element and two further ED elements. Nikon’s high-tech ARNEO coating is also applied to minimize ghosting and flare. Not just for stills, the stepping motor-driven autofocus system enables smooth focus transitions during movie capture, along with minimal focus breathing and focus shift when zooming. Ideal, for full-frame Z-series cameras, the lens is also an interesting travel choice for the Z 50 , where this camera's 1.5x crop factor gives this lens an effective zoom range of 36-300mm.
8. Fujifilm 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 WR LM R OIS
From Fujifilm ’s acclaimed XF stable of lenses for its APS-C format mirrorless X-mount cameras, this one has an impressive string of letters after its name. It’s a WR (Weather-Resistant) lens with no less than 20 areas of sealing in its construction. It features a fast and virtually silent LM (Linear Motor) autofocus system that’s super-fast for stills and smooth for movie capture. Handling is enhanced by the ‘R’ control ring, and it has a particularly effective 5-stop OIS (Optical Image Stabilizer). Quality glass includes four aspherical elements and two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements. The 7.5x zoom range is a little limited compared with some other travel lenses on the market but this helps to enable a relatively compact construction. Image quality is very impressive overall, although corner-sharpness is a little mediocre towards both ends of the zoom range.
Olympus and Panasonic
9. Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH Power OIS
Micro Four Thirds format travel zooms from Olympus include the budget-friendly 14-150mm II and the up-market 12-200mm. They’re both very desirable lenses but we prefer this Panasonic option, which splits the two Olympus zooms for selling price, while adding a highly effective 4-stop optical image stabilizer. Thanks to the 2x crop factor of Micro Four Thirds cameras, the effective zoom range is 28-280mm in full-frame terms, thereby nearly matching 18-200mm lenses on APS-C format cameras. It delivers this in a remarkably compact package that weighs a mere 265g. That’s only about half the weight of some APS-C format 18-200mm lenses, making the Panasonic particularly travel-friendly. Even so, it packs a fast autofocus system and quality glass, including three aspherical elements and two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements. For a superzoom lens, sharpness is both very good and highly consistent throughout the entire zoom range.
10. Tamron 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Di III VC
This Tamron superzoom for APS-C format E-mount cameras is strikingly similar to Sony ’s own-brand E 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS LE. They’re both exactly the same size and weight, as well as sharing the same minimum focus distance and maximum magnification factor, and they have the same 62mm filter thread. They also both feature stepping motor-based autofocus systems and optical image stabilization. All in all, the Tamron is a compact and lightweight lens with a powerful zoom range, ideal for travel photography. It’s neatly turned out with optional black or silver finishes, and delivers very good image quality. As with the Sony lens, sharpness drops off noticeably at the long end of the zoom range. The Tamron can be much less expensive than the Sony lens in the USA, making it rather better value, but the situation is reversed in some other countries, including the UK.
11. Sony FE 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 OSS
Although fully compatible with Sony’s APS-C format E-mount cameras, on which this lens has an effective focal length of 36-360mm, this lens really comes into its own on full-frame bodies. It’s typically weighty for a full-frame format superzoom but doesn’t feel overly large and has refined handling. The 10x zoom range kicks off at 24mm, enabling a generously wide maximum viewing angle, and there’s good telephoto reach at the long end. Based on a stepping motor, the autofocus system is quick and quiet, while Optical SteadyShot gives a benefit of around 3-stops in beating camera-shake. The optical path includes no less than five aspherical elements, plus one ED (Extra-low Dispersion) element. Image quality is mostly very good for a superzoom lens although corner-sharpness is a little lacklustre at the short end of the zoom range, and overall sharpness drops off at the long end.
How we test lenses
We test lenses using both real world sample images and lab tests. Our lab tests are carried out scientifically in controlled conditions using the Imatest testing suite, which consists of custom charts and analysis software that measures resolution in line widths/picture height, a measurement widely used in lens and camera testing. We find the combination of lab and real-word testing works best, as each reveals different qualities and characteristics.
• These are the best cameras for travel right now • Best travel adaptor • The best wide-angle lenses for your camera • 10 travel photographers to follow while in lockdown • The best tripods for travel • The best camera bag for travel
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Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners!
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In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.
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The Best Travel Lenses for Canon Cameras
Now more than ever, photographers are working on-the-go, taking jobs across the country, and even around the world. We need lenses built to travel with us, that perform at the highest level, but don’t weigh us down. As the major camera manufacturer, Canon develops some of the best lenses and professional glass on the market. However, more recently, they have shifted to develop more portable, lightweight lens options in their RF series line up, that complement the lighter, travel-friendly, full-frame mirrorless, EOS R series of cameras. They’ve also done a fantastic job with their EF series lenses, to keep up with the ever-changing demands of travel photographers.
These lenses truly strike the perfect balance, and provide the travel-friendly options that content creators, photographers, and videographers need this year and beyond. So, let’s break down some of these best travel lenses , shall we? Here are the top Canon lenses for travel . This article will highlight RF and EF series lenses that combine weight, size, portability, and performance in one package, perfect for travel and the modern-day photographer.
What to look for in a travel lens
A solid travel lens, whether it’s perhaps the best travel Canon lens or a lens from Sony, Nikon, or other brands, has a few key features. These include:
Airline weight restrictions can make life tough on travel photographers. That’s why you should look for a portable, lightweight lens whenever possible to keep your pack easy to carry and well within airline requirements.
The faster the aperture, the more versatility you have to work in low-lit conditions and to get creative with the shot (e.g., blurred backgrounds or bokeh). Look for an aperture range of at least around f/4, although even faster, like f/2, is ideal — especially for night-sky images .
Make sure the lens has solid autofocus capabilities, including fast and accurate focusing. You don’t want to waste precious travel minutes perfecting (or missing) the shot.
The focal length you need depends on the type of images you hope to create. If you want to try landscapes or astrophotography, get a wider focal length like 20mm. If you hope to break into wildlife photography, nab a telephoto lens with at least a 300mm focal length. A zoom lens that transitions from wide to telephoto is also a great option for travel.
Best Travel Lenses for Canon Cameras
Whether you’re shooting with a Canon DSLR or mirrorless camera, you’ll find a lens that you can bring with you on your next trip or turn into your favorite primary lens. All you’ll likely need is a Canon Mount Adapter — if you’re using the newest Canon mirrorless systems — and you’re good to go!
Best Canon Mirrorless Lenses for Travel
Canon rf 28-70mm f/2 l usm lens.
When it comes to the best Canon travel lens, it’s hard to top the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM lens. This Canon travel lens is bursting at the seams with coveted features, including a constant f/2 aperture for stunning bokeh no matter the focal length, a 12-pin communication system to optimize data transfer, and a control ring for easily adjusting settings. It also comes with reliable image stabilization, so you can rest assured that you’ll capture sharp shots, even when shooting handheld.
- Full-Format Wide Angle to Telephoto Zoom
- Focal Length of 28-70mm
- Aperture Range of f/2 – f/22
- 9 Rounded Diaphragm Blades
- Weighs 1,430g (3.15 lbs.)
Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens
Another solid option on the list of the best Canon travel lens options is the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens, which offers up to five stops of image stabilization with five stops of shake correction, high image quality via a large-diameter RF mount, and a minimum focusing distance of 0.92 feet — which means you can go from wide-angle landscapes to creative macro shots. The clarity and focusing work in tandem to make this one of many options for the best Canon travels lenses on the market.
- Full-Frame Wide Angle Zoom
- Focal Length of 15-35mm
- Aperture Range of f/2.8 – f/22
- Optical Image Stabilization Technology
- Weighs 840g (1.85 lbs.)
Canon RF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM
This Canon RF-mount lens is designed for Canon full-frame mirrorless cameras, and more dedicated shooters would appreciate the fact that this mirrorless lens offers a true wide-angle perspective of 24mm and that it bears Canon’s L-series lens technology, ensuring more vibrant, sharp, high-quality images.
For many professionals, it’s a dream to be able to use a smaller, pro-level mirrorless camera and have the option to mount a premium lens that covers a wide range of focal lengths. The RF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM offers it all, especially when you want pro-quality images to bring home from your travels.
- Full-Frame Wide-Angle to Telephoto Zoom Lens
- Focal Length of 24-105mm
- Aperture Range of f/4 – f/22
- Ring-Type Nano USM AF System
- Weighs 700g (24.7 oz)
Canon RF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM Lens
When it comes to the best Canon lenses for travel, it’s hard not to include the powerful and impressive Canon RF 70-200mm f/4 . This, Canon’s shortest and lightest 70-200mm interchangeable zoom lens, promises seriously high quality images—even when zoomed in. The camera features five stops of shake correction (and up to 7.5 stops with coordinated optical image stabilizer and in-body image stabilization). The result? Sharp, crisp shots, even when used handheld.
The lens comes with a control ring for easy settings changes, a 12-pin communication system, and a coating that’s dust and water resistant—all must-have features for travel photographers and videographers .
Learn more about the lens in this hands-on review by Vanessa Joy .
- Full-Frame Telephoto Zoom Lens
- Focal Length of 70-200mm
- Aperture of f/4
- Optical Image Stabilizer with up to 5 Stops of Shake Correction
- High Speed, Smooth and Quiet Auto Focus with Dual Nano USM
- Minimum Focusing Distance of 1.96 ft.
- Dust- and Water-resistant with Fluorine Coating
- Weighs 695g (1.5 lbs)
Canon RF 14-35mm f/4 L IS USM Lens
Another Canon lens you can’t skip when it comes to travel is the Canon RF 14-35mm f/4 lens . The lens is perfect for those looking to experiment with landscape , architecture , and even night sky photography . With a wide angle focal length of 14-35mm, this lens will capture entire sweeping scenes that truly draw the viewer in.
Specs-wise, this ultra-wide-angle lens features up to seven stops of shake correction when it’s used in tandem with the EOS R series cameras that feature in-body image stabilization. It also has a minimum focusing distance of 7.9 inches across all focal lengths, not to mention a lightweight construction that’s easy to pack for trips close to home or halfway around the world.
See the lens in action in this hands-on review by Josh Katz .
- Wide Angle Zoom Lens
- Focal Length of 14-35mm
- Optical Image Stabilizer with up to 5.5 stops of shake correction
- High speed, smooth and quiet autofocus with Canon’s Nano USM
- Control Ring for direct setting changes
- Dust- and weather-resistant
- Weighs 540g (1.2 lbs)
Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 IS STM Lens
The Canon RF 24-105mm f/4-7.1 lens is an all-in-one lens, and one of the best Canon lenses for travel. For starters, this compact lens features a flexible zoom range of 24 to 105mm, which means photographers can go from wide-angle streetscape shots to zoomed in portraits or wildlife subjects—all within seconds, and without the need for a lens change.
The wide-angle zoom was also built for close-up shooting, which means you can capture flowers while on the go , or food from your favorite restaurant in a new city. The lens comes built-in with smart and effective autofocusing to ensure each snap is as sharp as the last. And, this lens is budget friendly and therefore perfect for the aspiring travel photographer.
- Wide Angle to Telephoto Zoom Lens
- Aperture range of f/4-7.1
- Optical Image Stabilization at up to 5 Stops of Shake Correction
- Control Ring for Direct Setting Changes
- In-camera Digital Lens Optimizer
- Leadscrew-type STM enables Smooth Autofocusing for Still-image and Video Shooting
- Weighs 395g (13.93 oz)
Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens
Whether it’s for portraits of the people you meet or food films to showcase the delicious cuisines around the world, the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L lens has you covered. It’s another one of the best Canon lenses for travel creators, starting first and foremost with the lifelike photos this stunning 50mm focal length produces. The lens also has a fast aperture that helps it work in low-light situations without compromising on quality.
With the tactile control ring, it’s easy to adjust exposure settings like shutter speed. And, the new RF lens mount design promises a shorter distance between the rear element and camera sensor—meaning improved optical performance your fans and clients will adore.
- Standard Lens
- Focal Length of 50mm
- Aperture of f/1.2
- Three Aspherical Elements and One UD Element
- Air Sphere Coating (ASC) Minimizes Lens Flare and Ghosting
- 12 pin Communication System
- Weighs 950g (2.09 lbs)
Best Travel Lenses for Canon DSLR Cameras
Canon ef 24-70mm f/2.8l ii usm.
If you’re willing to invest more in a professional-quality Canon travel lens, the 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM is a top choice. Not only does it offer a more versatile “medium zoom” focal length that reaches 70mm, but it also combines a bright maximum constant aperture with the brand’s L-series technology to provide superior low-light, color, and quality performance. Even its Ultrasonic Motor autofocus system is fast and silent, so you’re sure to always catch the perfect moment.
What makes this full-frame lens near perfect is that the premium optics are housed in a rugged, weather-sealed body, making it all the more ideal for outdoor and travel photography.
- Full-Frame Wide-Angle Zoom Lens
- Focal Length of 24-70mm
- Ring-Type Ultrasonic Motor (USM) AF System
- Weighs 805g (28.4oz)
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
Looking for an awesome “nifty fifty” to document your travels? Fortunately, Canon makes high-quality 50mm lenses that are great for a wide variety of photography styles. The 50mm f/1.8 STM, in particular, is almost everything you’d want in a travel lens: it’s small, lightweight, fast, versatile, and inexpensive.
And with the same maximum aperture of f/1.8, you get nothing less than tack sharp focus and luscious bokeh quality. No wonder it’s still one of the most popular Canon lenses to date.
- Full-Frame Standard Prime Lens
- Fixed Focal Length of 50mm
- Aperture Range of f/1.8 – f/22
- Gear-Type Stepping Motor (STM) AF System
- 7 Rounded Diaphragm Blades
- Weighs 161.59g (5.7oz)
Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM
This Canon lens also covers a short wide-angle focal range, with a smaller aperture of f/4. What really makes this a must-have (especially for travel photographers with a focus on landscapes or architecture ) is that it’s a full-frame lens, which makes it the only short focal length lens we’ve mentioned so far that offers a true wide-angle perspective.
Bonus features include the brand’s coveted L-series lens technology, image stabilization (helpful for handheld shooting), incredible sharpness with reduced chromatic aberration or vignetting, and a rather compact form factor.
- Focal Length of 16-35mm
- Optical Stabilizer (OS) Technology
- Weighs 615g (21.7oz)
Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
We already mentioned a 50mm earlier, but this other Canon nifty fifty offers a faster maximum aperture of f/1.4 — the perfect choice for those who want to really throw out backgrounds with a much narrower depth of field. Its eight rounded aperture blades (one more compared to the f/1.8) helps create gorgeous bokeh .
These make the lens even more perfect for taking portraits while traveling. Canon also developed it with high-grade plastics, so it’s lightweight, handy, and incredibly easy to stash in your camera bag.
- Aperture Range of f/1.4 – f/22
- Ultrasonic Motor (USM) AF System
- 8 Rounded Diaphragm Blades
- Weighs 290g (10.2oz)
Canon EF-M 22mm f/2 STM
There aren’t too many lenses for Canon crop sensor mirrorless cameras, so the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM clearly stands out. At first glance, it’s the perfect “pancake lens” that you’ll definitely want to match with your compact camera if you want to be equipped with the lightest camera setup possible.
Once the sensor’s crop factor has been taken into account, you get to shoot with an extended focal length of 35mm, making it great for street photography and other day-to-day snapshots while you’re traveling. You could even insert it right into your pocket and forget it’s there because of its very minimal weight of 105g.
- APS-C Wide-Angle Prime Lens
- Fixed Focal Length of 22mm
- Inner Focusing (IF) AF System
- Weighs 105g (3.7 oz)
Rokinon 20mm f/1.8 ed as um.
For travelers with a penchant for capturing spectacular images of the night sky, the Rokinon 20mm f/1.8 AS ED UMC prime helps you capture those dreamy images without having to break the bank. It offers a fixed focal length of 20mm and is suitable for full-frame cameras so you get the exact wide-angle perspective.
Rokinon is well-known for producing competitively priced, sharp, and effective lenses. The result? You can capture starry night skies or the Milky Way from wherever in the world you decide to travel to. This is also a great lens for group shots and daytime landscapes .
- Full-Frame Wide-Angle Prime Lens
- Focal Length of 20mm
- Manual Focusing System
- Weighs 490g (17.2oz)
Sigma 18-35mm F/1.8 DC HSM ART Lens
For those shooting with APS-C format Canon cameras, this other Sigma lens is perhaps the most effective and most admired third-party travel lens. It boasts gorgeous optics that professionals can use, such as a blazing fast autofocus and a shorter wide-angle zoom range that enables the use of a much wider maximum aperture.
As for image quality, you get brighter photos in low-light conditions, enhanced sharpness from corner to corner (even at f/1.8), and distortions and aberrations reduced to microscopic amounts.
- APS-C Wide-Angle Zoom Lens
- Focal Length of 18-35mm
- Aperture Range of f/1.8 – f/16
- Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) AF System
- Weighs 800g (28.2oz)
Shop the entire collection of Canon lenses at Adorama.
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The Best Travel Photography Lenses: Our Top 12 Picks
A Post By: Darren Rowse
Struggling to decide on the best travel photography lens for your needs? Not sure which lenses to take on your next trip?
You’re not alone.
Picking out the perfect travel lenses is tough . Fortunately, as a frequent traveler, I’ve come up with quite a few tips for picking the right travel photography lenses – and that’s what this article is all about.
So if you want to know my recommendations for the perfect lenses, keep reading!
- Which lens is best for travel photography?
This is actually a question I’ve thought long and hard about having gone on several overseas and interstate trips over the past few years. The answers that I’ve come up with have varied from trip to trip considerably and have depended upon a number of factors including the length of the trip, the nature of the trip, my current ‘favorite’ lens and my current phase of photography (I tend to go through phases where my style in photography changes a bit).
A lens can make or break you in terms of image quality. I constantly advise people to get the best one that they can afford as an upgrade in lens will usually lead to much greater improvements in image quality than an upgrade in camera body.
The main considerations that you’ll probably want to consider when buying a lens for travel include:
Weight – unless you’re lucky enough to be traveling first class and with your own personal porter to haul around your camera kit you probably will need to limit your lens choice to a couple of lenses simply because of the size and weight that they take up in your bags. I am lucky enough to own 5 Canon SLR lenses at present and am always tempted to pack each one because they are all ideal for some scenario or another – however if I did (and if I included an external flash, tripod, filters, spare batteries, charger etc etc) I’d end up with a fully loaded and very heavy camera bag.
The risk of everything getting stolen, the strain it takes to lift it on those long days of traveling and the fact that the more lenses you take the more time you spend changing lenses and the less time you enjoy your trip has taught me to take the ‘less is more’ approach.
Versatility – travel photography presents you with a unique challenge that many other types of photography do not in that the situations that you might like to photograph can vary incredibly over your trip. Depending upon your destination and the type of shots you take you’ll probably a lens (or combination of them) that is versatile and gives you a range of focal lengths. So if taking just one a zoom with a wide range might be best or if you’re able to take more than one a combination of different lengths could be worth while.
On my last trip (to Turkey) I had days where I was shooting paintings in low light in caves (flash not permitted), to taking shots at sunrise of landscapes from hot air balloons, to shooting shots of my wife in front of buildings (tourist style), to shooting dancing scenes in the evening. The variety of lighting conditions, distance to subjects and other requirements means you need to be prepared for literally anything. As a result a lens that is as versatile as possible in terms of zoom size and speed can be well worth investing in.
Lens Speed – one of the factors that I hear many travelers complaining about after a trip is that once the sun went down their photo quality also went down. Depending upon your destination, low light situations are common when traveling. Galleries or ancient buildings where you can’t shoot with a flash, dinners at night etc all present photographers with real challenges which can be helped by investing in the ‘fastest’ lens you can afford.
The speed of a lens is signified by the number that usually appears after the ‘f’ on the lens (it’s aperture). For example – the 18-55mm lens that is usually bundled with a Digital Rebel XT has an aperture of f/3.4-5.6. This means at the 18mm focal length the aperture is f/3.5 and at the 55mm focal length it has a maximum of f/5.6. The lower the number the more light the lens allows to hit your image sensor and the faster shutter speed you’ll be able to shoot at (ie the lower the number the faster the lens). When shooting in low light a fast lens is a real advantage.
Other Factors – Of course there are other factors to consider – not the least of which is cost. As I say above, invest more into your lenses if possible as the improvements to photos are often made in this area. Having said that, just because you can’t afford a pro lens doesn’t mean you can’t take great shots. Other factors will include the type of shots you tend to take (ie if you are into macro shots you might want to invest in a macro specific lens, if you’re going to sporting events you might want something with extra length etc).
- So which lenses do I recommend?
I’ve avoided the question for long enough now so let me run through a few options for Canon DSLR owners (I’m sure there are equivalents for other brands). As I’ve said above, when I travel these days I tend to take 2 lenses – one is a versatile zoom which will cover a range of focal lengths and the other is a light weight, small and fast prime lens (a prime lens is one with a fixed focal length. Prime lenses are traditionally good quality and faster than zooms). Of course the two lenses I talk about below are based upon my own budget, photographic style and preferences. I’ve added a few other alternatives into the mix which others might consider.
Lens 1 – Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS
Let me start by saying that this lens is not cheap – in fact it’s one saved up for and have only just purchased. However if your budget will stretch you might want to look at this one. I list it here for a number of reasons:
• it’s image quality is renowned as one of the best zoom lenses going around. This is an ‘L’ series lens which is a ‘luxury’ or Pro level. • focal length is wide and will cover a variety of situations and needs • while f/4 isn’t super fast it will do you fine in many lighting situations – especially anything shot in daylight. It’s f/4 across all focal lengths so it is faster than the 18-55mm at full extension. • this lens has Image Stabilization (IS) which will allow you to handhold shots at up to 2 stops faster than normal (this means in low light you can slow your shutter speed a couple of stops without suffering camera shake).
Of course for every positive there is a negative and this camera’s include:
• Weight/Size – this is not the lightest lens going around and by the end of a day of it hanging around your neck you’ll know about it • Price – the weight it adds to your neck will be taken from your wallet – it’s not cheap • Speed – as I say above, f/4 is ok, but it’s not the fastest option going around.
Alternatives to the 24-105mm f/4L IS
A couple of alternatives come to mind.
• Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM – in the same price league and with similar quality and weight, but faster (aperture of 2.8 across all focal lengths), without image stabilization, shorter zoom range. So if you’re shooting at low light a lot (especially moving objects which IS won’t freeze) and you don’t mind loosing the top end focal length it might be an option.
• Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM – this is a much more affordable option but you do sacrifice image quality (as you’d expect). It has a longer focal length, still has Image Stabilization and at 28mm is faster than the 24-105mm (but is slower at the other end of the zoom). It’s also a bit lighter and smaller. I’ve owned this lens for a while now and have usually included it in my kit when traveling. It’s images are not as good as my L series lenses but it’s a good general purpose lens.
Lens 2 – Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens
Whereas my last suggestion was very expensive this one is at the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of cost and is one of the most affordable lenses you’ll find in the Canon range when you consider the quality of the images it produces.
While this lens is not much to look at in terms of size, weight or even construction it is significantly faster than any of the other lenses mentioned above at f/1.8. This will allow you to shoot at quite low light levels, especially if you up your ISO (remember you get grain at higher ISO). I use this lens when I don’t want to lug the other one around with me (I leave it locked up at the hotel), especially at night.
The Positives for this lens are:
• Speed – f/1.8 is the fastest lens I’ve currently got in my collection. It’s great indoors especially when a flash is not allowed or appropriate. • Weight/Size – you can fit it in your pocket easily and will hardly know it’s there – perfect for taking out at night or when you need to travel especially light • Price – last time I looked on Amazon it was just over $100 USD • Quality – while it’s no ‘L’ Series lens many argue that when you consider it’s price it’s one of the best quality lenses going around on a ‘dollar to quality ratio’. • Focal length – although you’re limited to one focal length it is a useful one. I find it works well with portraits and in getting in nice and close for tightly framed shots of things in street-scapes etc.
On the downside of this lens:
• Focal length – it is a handy length for some shots but not having a zoom can be frustrating if you’re used to that. It’s also a little too long for landscapes (especially on non full frame cameras where it’s the equivalent of an 80mm lens. • Build Quality – this lens can be a little hard to take seriously when you first pick it up because it’s so light that it feels like a toy. It’s quite ‘plasticy’. It is also a reasonably noisy lens and not the fastest at focussing in low light.
Alternatives to the 50mm f/1.8
The following lenses are alternatives to the 50mm f/1.8 in terms of their speed and size
• Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM – if the focal length is right but you’re a bit put off by the quality of the f/1.8 lens you might want to spend a bit more (actually it’s more than 4 times more) and get it’s faster big brother – the f/1.4 version. Once again it’s small, light and takes sharp pictures. Despite it being more expensive it’s still quite reasonably priced and is significantly better in terms of quality of build and image. While I love my f/1.8 I wish I’d spent a little more and got this one instead. • Canon EF 28mm f/1.8 USM – worth considering also when using a non full frame camera is a wider angle lens like this 28mm one (equivalent of a 45mm lens). In many ways this one has a very similar feature list to the f/1.4 lens. It’s small, light, fast and not too expensive. • Canon EF 20mm f/2.8 USM – go even wider angle with a 20mm lens. It’s not as small as either of the 50mm lenses but is still small enough and gets some very positive reviews.
- Other L Series lenses that you might want to consider:
If money is no object and you don’t mind lugging around extra gear here are a few more ‘L’ Series lenses that I know friends take with them. They’re not cheap or light but the results are stunning.
• Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM or the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM – two wider angle zoom which would match well with the 24-105mm lens. The 16-35mm is especially useful as a faster lens. These lenses are great for portrait and landscape work. I own the 17-40mm lens and it is a lens I’d strongly consider taking away (it’d be my number 1 above if I hadn’t just bought the 24-105mm and if weight wasn’t an issue I’d take it in addition to the other two every time). • Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM or the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM – if you think you’ll need some extra length on a zoom I’m a big fan of the 70-200mm range. Of course the 2.8 version is faster and great for lower light situations. Couple these with one of Canon’s lens extenders and you will add even more length. Keep in mind that these are sizeable lenses to travel with and because they are both white they can draw attention to you and could make you a target for people who might want to take them off your hands.
Travel Photo Source
- One more for consideration
Lastly I have one friend who swears by the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM when he travels. He’s a big landscape shooter but also loves getting in close to people for wide angle portraits. His shots are always interesting and so this could also be a good option as it’s not a huge or weighty lens and it won’t break the bank as much as an L-Series lens. As I think about it this would probably complement the 24-105mm lens nicely in terms of focal length as it’d give you an almost unbroken range (apart from 22-24mm) from 10mm to 105mm.
- Best travel photography lenses: conclusion
Now that you’ve finished this article, you hopefully have a better sense of the best travel lens (or lenses!) for your needs.
So grab the perfect lens.
And have fun on your trip!
Now over to you:
What travel lenses have you used in the past? What’s your favorite travel photography lens? Share your thoughts (and travel images!) in the comments below.
Table of contents
- 8 Ideas of What To Do With Your Vacation Photos
- What Skills do You Need to be a Travel Photographer?
- How to Capture the Essence of a Place – Travel Photography Tips
- 7 Tips to Make Travel Photography Interesting Again
- Avoid These 5 Major Mistakes Made By Travel Photographers
- Travel Photography – Do You Ask Permission Before, After Or Not At All?
- Travel Photographers Workflow – At Home and on the Road
- The Photo Critique: Travel Photo Edition
- 6 Reasons Why Your Travel Photos Don’t Look Like the Ones in Magazines
- The Fine Line Between Travel Photography and Having a family Vacation
- 10 Ways to Improve your Vacation Photos
- What is Your Biggest Travel Photography Challenge?
- 7 Travel Photography Hacks to Get You Going Places
- How to Use a Travel Photography Shot List to Come Home with Better Photos
- Why You Need To Be A Guerrilla Travel Photographer – And How To Become One
- How to Get the Most Out of a Travel Photography Location
- Travel Photography, Backpacking and Packing Light
- 6 of the Best Smartphone Apps for Travel and Landscape Photography
- How To Keep Camera Gear Safe While Traveling
- 5 Ways to Find Great Locations for Travel Photography
- 15 Tips for Protecting Your Images While Traveling
- Safety Tips for Travel Photographers (Particularly Women)
- Off Camera Flash for Your Travel Photography
- How to Use Natural Light in Travel Photography
- Photo Composition Tips from Bob Holmes – Composition in Travel Photos
- The Importance of People in your Travel Photos
- Create More Unique Travel Photos by Adding a Model
- 5 Lessons Learned Switching from DSLR to Mirrorless for Travel Photography
- How To Keep Your Batteries Charged While Traveling – Remote Location Edition
- 5 Tips For Travel With Only One Lens
- 5 Lessons Learned While Using a Kit Lens for Travel Photography
- 7 Tips for Using a Tripod in Landscape and Travel Photography
- The Best Fujifilm X-Series Kits for Travel Photography
- The First 10 Things You Need to Buy After Your Camera for Travel Photography
- Tiniest Interchangable Lens Micro Four Thirds Cameras for Travel with Amazing Quality
- The Only Three Lenses You Need for Travel Photography
- Must Have Gear for Travel Photography Newbies
- Why Olympus Mirrorless Cameras are Top Notch for Travel Photography
- 5 Camera Bags That Every Travel Photographer Needs At Some Point
- A Travel Tripod that can Also Act as a Light Stand
- The iPad as a Photographer’s Travel Helper [a Review]
- 7 Non-Photography Items Which No Travel Photographer Should Leave Home Without
- 7 Reasons Why a Tripod is a Travel Photographer’s Best Friend
- Travel Photography Equipment – What To Pack?
- 10 Ways to Improve Your Travel Photography Portraits
- How to Plan and Take Killer Sunset Photos on Your Next Vacation
- Tips for Photographing Local Parks
- How to Find the Best Kinds of People to Photograph While Traveling
- 4 Ways To Make Better Street Portraits While Traveling
- How to Photograph People When Traveling
- How To Take More Creative Environmental Travel Portraits
- Photographing Signs – Travel Photography Tip
- Tips for Creating Better Documentary Travel Photos
- 6 Tips for How to be a Culturally Sensitive Travel Photographer
- Travel Photography Subjects: Old People
- How to Put the Fine Art into Travel Photography
- Travel Photography without the Travel – Going Local
- How to Tell Better Visual Stories with Travel Photography
- Create a Theme to Step Up Your Travel Photography
- Travel Photography ~ Think Outside The Postcard When Photographing Famous Landmarks
- Photographing Festivals and Events – Tips for Travel Photographers
- Video: Travel Photography Tips – Shoot with a Purpose
- 7 Reasons Why You Should Art Direct Your Travel Photography
- Buy Less Gear: Travel and Experience More
- Editorial Travel Photography – Telling the Story of a Location
- Travel Photography Subjects: Religion
- Travel Photography Subjects: Views
- Travel Photography Tips – Photographing the Coast
- Taking Photos in Busy Tourist Destinations with no People in the Shot
- How to Backup and Manage Your Photos When Traveling Without a Computer
- Tips for Creating a Killer Vacation Photo Book
- Photo Editing Workflow for Travel Photography
- How to Build a Travel Photography Portfolio
- How to Become a Professional Travel Photographer – Two Paths
- 11 Tips for Shooting Travel Stock Photography to Make Money
- How to Sell a Travel Story to a Magazine and Help Fund Your Travels
- 7 Realities That Hit Once You Become a Professional Travel Photographer
- Is a Career in Travel Photography Right for You?
- Travel Inspiration: Bali
- Canadian Travelogue – Introduction
- Travel Photography Inspiration Project: South Africa
- Travel Photography Inspiration Project: Thailand
- Canadian Travelogue – Newfoundland – Gros Morne National Park
- Travel Photography Inspiration Project: India
- Travel Photography Inspiration Project: Japan
- Travel Photography Inspiration Project: Kenya
- Travel Photography Inspiration Project: Morocco
- Travel Photography Inspiration Project: Vietnam
- An Interview With World Traveler Gary Arndt
- Interview: Oded Wagenstein – Author of Snapn Travel Guide and dPS Writer
Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category
is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals .
He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips . Follow him on Instagram , on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+ .
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Best Travel Lens for Canon
Jun 8, 2022 · 4 Comments
If you’re looking for the best Canon lens to take on your next travel adventure, this buyer’s guide is for you!
Camera gear is expensive, which is why it’s so important to buy smartly. I’ve been shooting with Canon cameras for over fifteen years and have tried a wide array of different lenses. I wasted a lot of money on the wrong equipment and would like to help you avoid the mistakes I made early in my career. This buyer’s guide on the Best Travel Lens for Canon will help you choose the perfect lens for your travel photography needs.
Please keep in mind that this article isn’t meant to weigh Canon RF vs. EF lenses. It’s my understanding that Canon will be retiring EF lenses over time as they develop their mirrorless cameras. I’ve decided to include both RF and EF options since many photographers are still using DSLR systems.
This post contains affiliate links and I may receive commissions for purchases made through these links. However, please know that I only provide links to products that I love and truly recommend.
Budget over Broke
First and foremost, I would like to state that the best lens is the one you can afford. If this means using the kit lens included with your camera body, so be it. Will it perfect amazingly in low light situations or offer the focal length range you’re looking for? Not necessarily. But starting with what you can swing financially is always a good idea.
For example, I took the image below with a Canon EF-S 18-55mm . This lens is generally included with the Canon Rebel and while it doesn’t offer a wide aperture, it is versatile lens all the same. Shooting at 18mm is wide enough capture a landscape and 35-55mm is great for portraits or street photography.
Keeping to the “budget over broke” mentality, this article includes alternative lenses for those using crop sensor cameras. When I first started shooting digital photography (yes, I am indeed old enough to have started my career as a film photographer), the first camera I purchased was the Canon 60D. This crop-sensor was my working horse for many years and I found several work-arounds when it came to lenses. If you’re wondering how I got started in travel photography, check out my post on Life Revamp With Passport Stamps .
So if you’re on a tight budget, use what you have on hand. I firmly believe that learning to troubleshoot certain lens limitations can make you a better photographer over time. Again: the best lenses are those you can afford. However, if you do have some money set aside or plan to save cash for new gear, keep reading!
Best for Small Budget
In the spirit of showcasing affordable camera lenses for travel photographers, here are the best budget Canon lenses.
- Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 STM . This 50mm lens is a great value, coming in at under $150. It’s small size also makes it light and easy to travel with. It’s ideal for portraits while on the road.
- Canon RF 35mm F/1.8 IS STM . While most of the RF line comes at a high price tag, the 35mm is available for under $600. It’s also light and compact, which is nice when lugging around gear during trips.
- Canon RF 24-105mm F/4-7.1 IS STM . A great general-purpose zoom lens for people on a budget using a mirrorless system, available for under $600. If you’re shooting with a DSLR, try the Sigma 24-105mm f4 DG OS HSM Art lens for Canon EF. It comes at a slightly higher price tag, however is still economical in comparison to others in this zoom range.
Best for Landscape Photography
Wide-angle lenses are best when it comes to capturing panoramic views. In other words, the smaller the focus length your lens offers, the more you’ll be able to fit into your frame.
Best wide-angle Canon lenses for full-frame cameras:
- Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS . Fantastic for ultra wide shots and still maintains sharp images on the sides and corners. Keep in mind that at its widest, this wide angle lens will create distortion (fisheye effect). Stylistically, this can be super cool if used correctly. If using a DSLR system, try the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L.
- Canon RF 24-70mm f/2.8L. Wide enough to capture sweeping landscapes or architecture. This is also an incredibly versatile lens, which I will highlight more later in this article. If using a DSLR system, try the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM.
- Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM . While this lens doesn’t offer the wider aperture seen in its 24-70mm counterpart, it’s still a fantastic lens for landscapes. As seen in all wide angle lenses, some distortion and physical vignetting can be seen at its widest. If using a DSLR system, try the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L II USM.
Best wide-angle Canon lenses for APS-C sensor cameras:
- Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM . If you’re shooting with a crop sensor camera and looking for a wide angle lens, I recommend the Canon 10-22mm. When shooting with a crop sensor, this lens will replicate the range offered by the Canon 16-35mm.
- Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM . Faster than the 18-55mm and with an aperture of f2.8 for certain SLR cameras, this lens will emulate what a 24-70mm can do on a full-frame camera.
Best for Portrait Photography
While traveling, it’s likely that you’ll want to capture people in addition to the places. I’d like to state for the record there is no single “right lens” when it comes to portraits. So many of Canon’s lenses would be considered a great option when it comes to capturing people. This being said, I do have my personal favourites, especially when it comes to choosing the best Canon travel lens.
I’ve chosen to share prime lenses only for this category. Prime lenses are generally a more compact size, lighter and significantly sharper than their zoom lens siblings. Also, they tend to have wider apertures, which means they’re perform better in low light conditions.
Best prime lenses for full-frame cameras:
- Canon RF 35mm f1.8 Macro IS STM . When it comes to prime lenses, the 35mm is stylistically my favourite. It captures a wider field of view than our natural eye, without being wide enough to cause distortion. A maximum aperture of f1.8 also creates a nice amount of bokeh. If using a DSLR system, try the Canon EF 35mm F1.4L II USM.
- Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM. Not only is the price way lower than the RF 50mm F1.2L (a whopping $2700 difference between the two), it is also way lighter. It’s for this reason that I recommend the cheaper version of the RF 50mm. Traveling with gear can get heavy, especially on trip that involve a lot of walking. If shooting with a DSLR system, try the Canon EF 50mm F1.2L AF USM.
- Canon RF 85mm F2 IS STM Macro. Again, the recommendation comes down to weight. The RF 85mm F1.2 weighs over twice as much, and while it definitely outperforms the 85mm F2, it kills my back to walk around with a backpack full of heavy lenses. If shooting with a DSLR system, try the Canon EF 85mm F1.4L IS USM.
Best prime lens for APS-C sensor cameras:
- Canon EF 35mm F1.4L II USM . Due to the crop sensor, the 35mm will shoot close to what a 50mm would with a full-frame.
Best for Wildlife Photography
If your travel adventures are focused primarily on wildlife photography, a high quality telephoto lens is an important factor when choosing what gear to buy.
Best telephoto lens for full-frame cameras:
- Canon RF 100-400mm F5.6-8 IS USM . Incredibly sharp, fast, light and affordable, this lens is a great starter telephoto lens for those using a mirrorless system. It even offers an optical image stabilization switch, which some higher end lenses lack. If you’re using a DSLR system, try the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens.
- Canon RF 70-100mm f4L IS USM . While this lens doesn’t have as much reach as the 100-400mm, it’s wide range of focal lengths makes it a versatile lens for travel and wildlife.
- Canon RF 600mm f4L IS USM. If you’re very serious about wildlife photography and price is not an issue, the investment of this lens may be worth it. I’ll be the first to admit that this lens is way out of my budget, coming in at a whopping $13000, but it’s an absolute beast of a lens.
- Canon EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS STM. This camera lens is a great alternative for those shooting with a crop sensor. It’s also very affordable, priced under $300.
As you can see, there are tons of good options when it comes to travel photography lenses. Often, it comes down to what you plan on photographing most during your trip and selecting the best lens for that particular subject. Capturing landscapes? Wide-angle lenses are best. People and portraits? A great, lightweight, prime lens is the way to go. Wildlife? A telephoto lens will allow you to be far from the scene. For this reason, it would be next to impossible to pick one single best travel lens for Canon.
However, one lens in particular offers a little bit of everything – making it the most versatile for travel photography.
Best Travel Lens for Canon Overall:
- Canon RF 24-105mm F4L IS USM. While I feel the most popular choice is the 24-70mm, I like the additional 35mm focal range that the 24-105mm offers for travel. It’s a lens that I can use in almost every situation.
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July 30, 2022 at 4:42 pm
Itís nearly impossible to find experienced people on this subject, but you sound like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks
October 27, 2022 at 2:46 pm
That’s so nice of you to say! Thank you 🙂
December 5, 2022 at 7:07 pm
What do you think about the Canon RF 24-240mm f/4-6.3 IS USM Lens? Seems like it has great reviews. If I’m going on a trip and have just one lens this one should cover almost any need.
February 17, 2023 at 6:24 pm
Hi Aaron! I apologize for taking so long to reply. I haven’t yet but it seems like an incredible lens!
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10 Best Canon Lenses For Travel Photography
This article has links to products that we may make commission from.
There’s nothing quite like Canon glass…
If you’ve landed on this page looking for the definitive answer as to which are the best Canon lenses for travel photography then you’re in luck.
This is the only article you’re going to need.
So you can stop searching through countless posts all over the internet right now.
Listen up, because these are the 10 Canon lenses you are going to learn all about in the next 10 minutes:
Since minimising size and weight is the goal, choosing the best Canon lenses for travel photography can be tricky…
But luckily we’re here to help.
Canon make some truly amazing lenses.
Quality is a theme that runs throughout their whole range. But is it really necessary to carry around a 85mm f/1.4 L lens for portraits as well as a 100mm f/2.8 macro lens when you could save money and weight by getting a 70-200mm f/2.8 L lens and a good quality macro extension tube?
Or perhaps you’re wondering what lenses would give you the best results for a landscape photography trip without weighing you down?
Well, I’m about to share with you my thoughts on the subject from personal experience. What I like, what I don’t, whether I prefer zooms or primes , and how I save weight, space and money without compromising on the quality of my photography.
But first, a few things to consider
All of the lenses Canon manufacture can be grouped into four categories: EF, EF-S, EF-M and RF.
- EF lenses are designed to be used with BOTH Canon’s full-frame and APS-C DSLR camera bodies without an adapter, and with an adaptor they will also work with full-frame (EOS R) and APS-C (EOS M) mirrorless bodies.
- EF-S lenses are for APS-C DSLR bodies, but will also work on APS-C (EOS M) mirrorless bodies with an adaptor.
- EF-M lenses ONLY work with Canon’s APS-C (EOS M) mirrorless cameras.
- RF lenses ONLY work with Canon’s range of full-frame (EOS R) mirrorless cameras.
Across all of Canon’s lenses there are varying levels of quality, and of course price.
For example, you can pick up an EF 50mm f/1.8 STM for almost a 10th of the price of the same focal length EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM lens.
The difference being a slightly larger max aperture and, of course, that all important letter L.
About Canon L lenses
When you see the letter L in the title of a Canon lens it means it’s part of the exclusive club of L lenses. L lenses are considered to be some of the best currently available not just from Canon, but all manufacturers. You can spot an L lens from the signature red ring that runs around it near the focus ring.
Canon currently only make L lenses for the EF and RF range but since the EF range can be adapted to work on all Canon cameras, it shouldn’t be a problem for anyone wanting some crispy L lens goodness no matter which body you have.
Best Cheap Canon Lens for Street Photography
Ef 50mm f/1.8 stm.
- One of the best cheap Canon lenses
- Great for street photography
One of the most useful and versatile prime lenses any photographer can have in their bag is a 50mm.
With Canon you have two options.
The first option is one of the best cheap Canon lenses you can buy. It’s the EF 50mm f/1.8 STM, otherwise known as the nifty fifty because of its cheap price and general day-to-day usefulness.
You can simply throw this workhorse into your bag, pull it out when you need it and you don’t have to worry about it in between time. It won’t take up any space and it hardly weighs anything.
For budget-conscious travel photographers, this is a great stop-gap lens until you can afford to upgrade. It’s a great first step into the world of prime lenses.
For a full video review of the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM lens (with sample pictures) click here .
Some important specs
Mount Type : EF (but compatible with all other types of Canon cameras with the right adapter)
Prime/Zoom? : Prime
Focal Length : 50mm
Maximum Aperture : f/1.8
Number of Aperture Blades : 7
L Lens? : No
Image Stabilisation? : No
Weather Resistant? : No
Size (LxW) : 2.7″ x 1.6″ / 69.2mm x 39.3mm
Weight : 5.7oz / 160g
Closest Focusing Distance : 1.15 ft. / 0.35m
Filter Thread Size : 49mm
Autofocus/Manual focus? : Yes/Yes
Check Price on Amazon
Best Canon Lens for Street Photography Money Can Buy
Ef 50mm f/1.2 l usm.
- High-end option
- One of the best prime lenses for travel photography
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM is a monster of a lens. Being part of the L series you would expect no less.
Everything about this lens is top drawer. Sharpness, build quality, bokeh and of course price.
This top-of-the-range L lens with its 50mm focal length produces some of the best quality street photography images any lens is capable of producing. For professional or serious hobbyist photographers this lens is a must-have.
For me personally I like to travel with only one prime lens, a 50mm. The rest I take with me are zooms. It took me a few years to get around to splashing out and upgrading my 50mm to this f/1.2 L version but I’m glad I did and I’m sure it will be a lens I carry in my gear bag for many years to come.
Even though the 50mm focal length is covered by the zooms I carry, nothing can beat the sharpness of this prime. And thanks to its small form factor and inconspicuous design it’s my go-to lens when walking the street or around a market trying to capture intimate shots of day-to-day life.
This fast lens with a max aperture of f/1.2 produces some incredible bokeh and makes handheld shooting in low light using a low ISO possible when you would otherwise struggle.
When it comes to my own workflow, I’ve found the EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM to be one of the most indispensable and best Canon lenses for travel photography.
If you’d like to see a video review of this lens, click here .
Mount Type : EF (but compatible with all other types of Canon cameras with the right adapter)
Maximum Aperture : f/1.2
Number of Aperture Blades : 8
L Lens? : Yes
Weather Resistant? : Yes (filter needed for full sealing)
Size (LxW) : 3.4″ x 2.6″ / 85.4mm x 65.5mm
Weight : 20.5oz / 580g
Closest Focusing Distance : 1.48ft. / 0.45m
Filter Thread Size : 72mm
Best All-Round General Purpose Canon Lens
Ef 24-105mm f/4 l is ii usm.
- Good balance between affordability and quality
- Great all-round and versatile lens
The first zoom lens on this list is perhaps one of the most versatile lenses Canon make, the EF 24-105mm f/4 L mark II version. Having every focal length from 24mm right through to 105mm covered in a package that weighs only 28oz / 795g is a weight conscious, travel photographer’s dream.
Not only that, but it’s one of the more reasonably priced L lenses. If you consider the fact that a huge range of focal lengths are covered and that you’re getting the quality that comes with an L lens, the price isn’t unreasonable at all. Especially in comparison to other L lenses.
It doesn’t have the widest max aperture, far from it. But a constant aperture of f/4 is more than enough for me for 3 reasons:
- As I said before, I travel with the 50mm f/1.2 so I have the option of shooting with a fast lens if I need to.
- A constant aperture is always better than a variable aperture on zoom lenses
- If the max aperture was any wider it would add size and weight to the lens which, for me, would be more of a negative than any positive factors you’d gain from the extra stops.
So, that’s the reason why the EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS II USM is the second lens (along with the 50mm f/1.2) I ALWAYS travel with. There is one more lens that I sometimes travel with depending on where I will be going and what I’ll be doing, but we will get onto that in a minute.
A full video review with sample pictures can be found here .
Prime/Zoom? : Zoom
Focal Length : 24-105mm
Maximum Aperture : f/4
Number of Aperture Blades : 10
Image Stabilisation? : Yes
Weather Resistant? : Yes (filter needed for full sealing)
Size (LxW) : 4.7″ x 3.3″ / 118mm x 83.5mm
Weight : 28oz / 795g
Closest Focusing Distance : 1.5 ft. / 0.45m
Filter Thread Size : 77mm
Canon’s Best Telephoto Lens
Ef 70–200mm f/4 l is ii usm.
- Telephoto lens
- Great for sports, wildlife and landscape photography
Now, Canon make a lot of different telephoto lenses to suit all types of photographers and all budgets. So, depending on your personal needs, you might not agree with me on this one.
You can get the 70-200mm lens with a max aperture of f/2.8 if you feel like you need the extra stop of light, but I use this lens mainly for landscapes and hardly ever wide open anyway. So for me it’s not necessary.
Let me explain exactly why I think this lens is Canon’s best telephoto.
I said before that on an average trip I travel with two, sometimes three, lenses. Well, this is the third lens that I sometimes pack. Because I love it for landscapes believe it or not. If I know I’m going somewhere where I’ll be shooting grand vistas I really like to have the ability to drill down and pick out individual scenes as opposed to always going for the wide angle shot.
There are three main reasons why I think this is the best telephoto lens by Canon:
- Weight. I specifically chose the f/4 version of this lens and not the f/2.8 version because the f/2.8 weighs 1440g compared to the f/4 which comes in at only 780g. That’s a huge difference! The f/2.8 is almost double the weight and since I use it for landscape photography (never shooting wide open) and I also travel with it, that’s just obscene in my point of view.
- Image stabilisation. Having IS is very important in any telephoto lens if you ever want to be able to shoot it handheld especially at the long end. Most of the time it doesn’t matter when I’m shooting landscapes because it’s on a tripod but I do also use this lens for sports and wildlife occasionally and it’s nice to have the option to handhold it.
- Sharpness. This is just simply one of the sharpest pieces of glass Canon makes.
This is one of the most versatile telephoto lenses out there. It can handle everything from portraits to sports to landscapes to wildlife and much more. And coupled with a teleconverter, you have an enormous range of focal lengths to plays with.
An in-depth video review covering more specs with sample images can be found here .
Focal Length : 70-200mm
Number of Aperture Blades : 9
Weather Resistant? : Yes
Size (LxW) : 6.9″ x 3.1″ / 176mm x 80mm
Weight : 27.5oz / 780g
Closest Focusing Distance : 3.94 ft / 1.2m
Best Macro Lens for Canon APS-C Cameras
Ef-s 35mm f/2.8 macro is stm.
- Affordable lens for APS-C bodies
This EF-S mount macro lens is only compatible with APS-C DSLR and mirrorless Canon cameras. So if you’re interested in a full-frame macro lens instead then scroll down, you’ll find what you’re looking for next.
Macro lenses aren’t usually associated with travel photography, but since there are no strict rules on what defines travel photography I thought it best to include a couple of great options.
The EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM is the best macro lens for Canon if price and/or weight is a sticking point for you. Since this lens only works on the more affordable APS-C bodies, it’s fitting that it itself is affordable.
This lens comes with a built-in macro light which helps to light up your subject so you can capture every small detail even in low light. It also comes with image stabilisation. Having these two features packed into a such an affordable lens is the reason it has made it onto this list.
The 35mm focal length is Canon’s widest macro lens but as it’s designed for use on APS-C bodies the crop factor has the effect of increasing the focal length by 1.6x. This means the full-frame equivalent focal length is 56mm.
It might not produce as much bokeh (background blur) as a longer focal length macro lens would, but does that make it the perfect lens for travel/food bloggers? Or maybe just for anyone who likes to take the obligatory photo of their food for Instagram before they tuck in?
Check out this video for a better look at this lens and the images it produces.
Mount Type : EF-S (only for APS-C format cameras)
Focal Length : 35mm
Maximum Aperture : f/2.8
Size (LxW) : 2.7″ x 2.2″ / 69.2mm x 55.8mm
Weight : 6.7oz / 190g
Closest Focusing Distance : 0.43 ft / 0.13m
Best Macro Lens for Canon Full-Frame Cameras
Ef 100mm f/2.8 macro usm.
- Possibly the best Canon macro lens for the price
The reason I chose to include the non-L version of Canon’s 100mm macro lens as opposed to the L-version on this list is that, in terms of image quality, there is very little difference between them.
They are both 100mm f/2.8 macro lenses and unless you like to pixel peep the difference in sharpness is negligible. The main advantages the L-version has is image stabilisation and weather sealing. But for the extra cost, I don’t consider it worth it.
The problem with non-L lenses is that people consider them to be drastically worse than L lenses which is just not the case sometimes, and this is one of those times.
This is a great entry into the world of full-frame macro photography and, if not having weather sealing and image stabilisation isn’t a deal-breaker for you, there’s no reason why it couldn’t remain your primary macro lens for years to come.
Have a look at what this lens can produce by clicking here .
Focal Length : 100mm
Size (LxW) : 4.7″ x 3.1″ / 79mm x 119mm
Weight : 21.1oz / 600g
Closest Focusing Distance : 1 ft. / 0.31m
Filter Thread Size : 58mm
Best Canon Lens for Landscape Photography
Ef 16-35mm f/4 l is usm.
- Wide-angle zoom lens
- Great for landscape photography
- Also great for video shooters
Landscape photographers will love this lens. It’s simply a must-have. It is perhaps Canon’s best lens for landscape photography due to its ultra-wide capabilities on a full-frame camera and it’s ability to produce very sharp images with little chromatic aberration or vignetting.
While there is no perfect lens, this comes close to taking the prize of being Canon’s best wide angle lens or, at the very least, Canon’s best lens for landscape photography.
There is a f/2.8 version of this lens but it is roughly double the price of the f/4 version. And since landscape photographers very rarely shoot at such wide open apertures, I can’t see the advantage of paying so much more for just 1 extra stop of light.
In fact, this cheaper f/4 version comes with image stabilisation whereas the f/2.8 doesn’t. Maybe not such an important factor in terms of landscape photography, but video shooters are bound to find having IS invaluable.
At f/8 – f/11 (a landscape photographers favourite place) this lens performs incredibly well and is hard to beat.
For a very good in-depth review of the EF 16-35mm f/4 L IS USM check out this video .
Focal Length : 16-35mm
Weather Resistant? : Yes (filter needed for full sealing)
Size (LxW) : 4.4″ x 3.3″ / 112.8mm x 82.6mm
Weight : 21.7oz / 615g
Closest Focusing Distance : 0.92 ft. / 0.28m
Best Prime Lens for Canon APS-C Mirrorless Cameras
Ef-m 22mm f/2 stm.
- Pancake lens
While there isn’t a huge selection of prime EF-M lenses to choose from, for me the clear winner is the EF-M 22mm f/2 STM.
Since EF-M lenses are only compatible with Canon’s APS-C format mirrorless cameras which are designed to be smaller, lighter and more compact, it makes perfect sense that a tiny pancake lens such as this 22mm f/2 would be its perfect companion and the best travel lens for a crop sensor camera.
With a 22mm focal length, equivalent to 35mm on a full-frame camera once the 1.6x crop has been taken into account caused by the APS-C sensor, it’s great for street photography and other day-to-day general use.
It also has the additional benefit of being extremely affordable, not to mention it takes up no room and weighs only 105g. You could put it in your pocket and forget it was even there.
Click here for a video review.
Mount Type : EF-M
Focal Length : 22mm
Maximum Aperture : f/2
Weather Resistant? : No
Size (LxW) : 0.9″ x 2.4″ / 23.7mm x 60.9mm
Weight : 3.7oz / 105g
Closest Focusing Distance : 0.49ft. / 0.15m
Filter Thread Size : 43mm
Best All-round Lens for Canon EOS R Cameras
Rf 24–105mm f/4 l is usm.
- Zoom lens for Canon EOS R bodies
- Great general purpose lens, will probably be most people’s RF kit lens
Canon’s newest line of cameras, the EOS R series, made photographers who have been wanting to make the switch to mirrorless but were waiting for the right time sit up and listen.
For years Canon dragged their heals when it came to full-frame mirrorless cameras but dropped a bombshell in September 2018 by announcing the EOS R and a brand new range of RF lenses. They announced 4 new lenses, the RF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM, RF 50mm f/1.2 L USM and the RF 35mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM.
The only two that are even remotely close to not being ridiculously overpriced are the 24-105mm and the 35mm macro. The other two will make your eyes water.
And the 24-105mm is clearly a better general purpose lens than the 35mm macro is, so that’s why it’s taken the top spot as Canon’s best all-round lens for EOS R cameras.
The EF version of the 24-105mm is a favourite amongst travel photographers for its versatility and image quality yet Canon seems to have done the impossible, they improved on it.
The investment Canon has put into making their new EOS R camera system a series player in the full-frame mirrorless cameras market is huge and they have delivered some of the highest quality glass to go along with it.
The new RF range of lenses come with a new feature not seen before, a dedicated customisable control ring which can be set to control things like aperture, ISO, shutter speed etc…
One of the best video reviews of this lens can be found here .
Mount Type : RF
Size (LxW) : 4.22″ x 3.29″ / 107.3mm x 83.5mm
Weight : 24.7oz / 700g
Closest Focusing Distance : 1.48 ft. / 0.45m
A Great Addition to Your Travel Photography Gear Bag
Ef 2x telephoto extender iii.
- Telephoto converter
- Doubles focal length of certain lenses
The last lens on this list isn’t really a lens in and of itself. But nevertheless, a teleconverter can come in extremely handy especially for travel photography.
If you’re planning a trip somewhere that will involve photographing any type of wildlife then you will want the ability to stay far enough away from your subjects as to not disturb them but still be able to get the shot.
That’s where a teleconverter comes into play.
A teleconverter allows you to increase the focal length of your lens by simply adding this small extender between the camera body and lens.
That means you won’t have to travel with big heavy super-telephoto lenses such as the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L or the enormous and extremely expensive EF 300mm f/2.8 L. Instead you could travel with this 2x teleconverter and the EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM, which I talked about earlier in this article. Saving weight but still covering the same range of focal lengths.
But the benefits of travelling with a teleconverter don’t stop there. If you do travel with the combination I just mentioned (2x teleconverter and the EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM) then you also have the option of shooting without the teleconverter and reverting to your lenses’ native focal length.
Which means you have every focal length from 70mm right through to 400mm covered by a single lens.
Sample pictures and a short video review can be found here .
Mount Type : EF
Prime/Zoom? : N/A
Focal Length : N/A
Maximum Aperture : N/A
Number of Aperture Blades : N/A
L Lens? : Only compatible with L lenses
Image Stabilisation? : N/A
Size (LxW) : 2.8″ x 2.1″ / 72mm x 52.7mm
Weight : 11.5oz / 325g
Closest Focusing Distance : N/A
Filter Thread Size : N/A
Autofocus/Manual focus? : Is compatible with autofocusing lenses
What to consider when choosing the best Canon lenses for travel photography
Obviously, you have to think about things like size and weight. That much goes without saying when it comes to travelling with photography gear .
But versatility and price are factors in the real world.
Price : At the end of the day, if a lens is just simply out of your budget (let’s face it, they can get quite expensive) then it’s not an option. That’s why I want to help you choose the best lens for you .
Versatility : So yes, prime lenses are often small and lightweight in comparison to equivalent zoom lenses. Which might lead you to believe they are best suited to travel photography, but they are also restrictive. If one zoom can do the job of 3 primes, then you’re saving weight and space by going with the zoom.
It might sound obvious but I often see photographers travelling with 4-5 lenses when in reality, with a little bit of foresight, they could make do with 2 without limiting their photography capabilities.
So think about your own needs as a photographer and make a note of your budget. That should help to narrow this list down to a handful of options.
The well-known saying goes: “there’s no such thing as the perfect lens” .
Which is 100% true.
There are always going to be trade-offs between quality, price, weight and size. No lens can be everything all at once. It’s about knowing what you want to get out of your photography and choosing accordingly.
The best thing you can do is experiment and see what works for you, but since you’ve come here looking for the best Canon lenses for travel photography I assume versatility, weight and size are your main priorities.
What good is it having a big, heavy high-quality lens if you end up leaving it in the hotel room most of the time because of its size and weight?
You need something that isn’t going to weigh you down and that will get the job done. After all,
“The best camera is the one that’s with you” – Chase Jarvis
More useful travel photography resources
- Best mirrorless cameras for travel photography
- How to become a successful travel photographer
- Selling stock photography isn’t impossible
- 8 ways to turn your passion for travel photography into a business
- Why it’s crucial for travel photographers to develop a brand
- XF 10-24mm f4: Best Fuji Landscape Lens?
I’m a professional travel photographer, and I’ve been living the digital nomad lifestyle since 2016. I make money by working on client assignments, selling stock photography and helping other photographers by sharing my experiences on this website. I move around at my own pace (I hate fast-paced travel) and like to spend a few months getting to know each place I base myself in.
My writing and photos have been featured on industry leading websites such as Digital Photography School , Atlas Obscura and the world’s leading underwater photography resource The Underwater Photography Guide . I authored an eBook called “ Breaking Into Travel Photography: The complete guide to carving out a career in travel photography ” that has been published on Amazon. My stock images have also appeared in ads promoting destinations and companies that sometimes has been a surprise, even to me. But I guess that’s the nature of stock photography, you never know who will license them!
I’m always happy to connect, so feel free to reach out!
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Best Canon Lens for Travel Photography
photo by martin-dm via iStock
If you have a Canon camera and aren’t sure what Canon lens to bring on your next trip, you’ve come to the right place! I’m here to tell you which are the best canon lenses for travel photography and why.
The main thing to consider when deciding on a Canon travel lens is portability. Other things you will want to consider are focal length, aperture, image stabilization, mount compatibility, weather sealing, and, of course, price.
When traveling, you have limited space and, unfortunately, most of the time, it’s impossible to bring your whole kit. Carrying only one or two lenses is what I recommend for most people. That’s why choosing the right lenses is critical!
Zoom lenses are a popular choice for travel photographers due to their versatility, while new superzoom lenses are also gaining popularity. Prime lenses are less versatile, and telephoto’s are often quite heavy, but depending on the type of travel photography you like to shoot, they can also come in handy.
With all that said, let’s jump into this ultimate guide of the best Canon lenses for travel photography!
Best Canon Zoom Lens for Travel Photography
The Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM is my overall favorite canon travel lens! Speaking plainly, it’s hands down one of the best lenses for travel photography ever built, regardless of brand.
For starters, it weighs in at a very reasonable 1 pound, 8 ounces, and has an incredibly useful 24-105mm focal length. If you’re using it on an APS-C camera, the focal length grows by 1.6x to 38.4-168mm.
Additionally, the constant f/4 aperture helps in low light situations and creates a nice bokeh effect when shooting portraits and street photography.
If you shoot video, this lens works great too! It has image stabilizer technology built into the lens, which helps avoid shaky footage, and if paired with a gimbal, it works even better! It’s a top choice by travel vloggers, wedding videographers, and documentary filmmakers alike.
Other fantastic features of this Canon lens for travel photography include a dust and moisture resistant metal construction, silent and quick autofocus, and a large easy to use focus ring.
Best Canon Superzoom Lens for Travel Photography
Superzooms have been getting extremely popular in the world of travel photography in recent years due to more of them being made as well as the fact that they cover such a wide range of focal lengths.
Without a doubt, the best superzoom lens for travel photography is the Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM ! If you only want to carry one lens when you travel, this is certainly the best Canon lens for travel photography.
At almost half the price of the Canon 24-70mm that we just spoke about, this is a terrific budget lens for travel photography. It weighs in 1 pound, 5 ounces,, which is also less than the 24-70mm and has an unbelievable zoom range of 18-300 (28.8-480 with an APS-C camera).
More travel features I love are the fast autofocus, optical stabilization, a zoom lock switch which helps prevent accidental zoom adjustments, and its compact build.
The biggest faults of this lens are the plastic body and the lack of any sort of weather resistance. When shooting outdoors, you have to be a little more careful with it and try to avoid dust and water. Also, when compared with the Canon 24-70mm, the images aren’t quite as sharp.
- Best Canon Camera for Travel
- Top Photography Travel Bags
Best Canon Prime Lens for Travel Photography
The Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM is the perfect prime lens for travel photography to pair with a traditional zoom lens. This nifty fifty is compact and lightweight (6 ounces) and will take up almost no additional space in your camera bag.
With this lens on, your camera will be much more low key and may even fit in your jacket pocket, depending on which body you pair it with.
The 50mm focal length is the closest to that of the natural eye and is a superb option for street photography. Additionally, the f/1.8 aperture makes this lens great for shooting portraits, sports, and astrophotography!
Further features this lens provides are an 80mm focal length when paired with an APS-C camera, smooth and silent autofocus when shooting video, a metal mount to increase its durability, and the fact that it’s the most compact Canon 50mm lens ever!
Best Canon Telephoto Lens for Travel Photography
The majority of people won’t want to travel with a telephoto lens since they are some of the biggest and heaviest lenses out there, but if you like photographing animals, sports, or super detailed shots (of architecture, for example), you may decide you need to pack one.
My go-to Canon telephoto lens for travel photography is the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM . That’s a whopping 160-640mm when paired with an APS-C crop sensor camera. It’s compact for a lens of its focal length, but at 3 pounds, 7 ounces, it’s definitely not light.
This lens was built for the outdoors and is extremely weather-resistant. You can comfortably take this beast even into the harshest of conditions without a second thought.
Moreover, it has three image stabilization modes that deliver astounding results no matter the situation. There are tons of customization options on this lens, too, so you can set it up and adjust it however it best works for you.
One thing to keep in mind is that this is certainly a professional lens. The performance and the price tag both reinforce that. While the quality of the images is hard to match, unless you are a pro photographer, I’d opt for a superzoom such as the Sigma 18-300mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM .
Final thoughts on the Best Canon Telephoto Lens for Travel Photography
photo by alejomiranda via iStock
Personally, I like to travel with two lenses when I travel. If I’m going to be mostly staying in the city, I’ll go for a setup that includes a zoom lens and a prime lens.
On the other hand, if I’m going to be heading into nature, I like to pack a superzoom and a prime. The extra zoom range is useful for both wide dramatic landscapes shots as well as close-up animal shots.
Want to see more options? Check out these bonus Canon lenses for travel photography:
- Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II
- Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 DC Macro OS HSM
- Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS
- Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC
- Tamron 18-400mm f/3.5-6.3 VC
And if you have a Canon mirrorless camera with the RF mount, these lenses are great choices:
- Canon RF 50mm f/1.8 STM
- Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8 L IS USM
- Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM
- Canon RF70-200mm F4 L is USM
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