Sometimes you don’t want to bring your bulky DSLR or mirrorless camera on vacation or your next trip, but you don’t want to rely on your phone to capture some of those moments. This is precisely when the modern point-and-shoot camera is the perfect solution. The current crop has proven that you can do a lot in very little space, including outstanding optics, the latest sensor tech, and even video that rivals the latest pro cameras. Here are a few pocketable options that will make sure the photos of your next adventure are stunning.
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V
First on the list is my personal favorite in terms of portability and features: the RX100 V from Sony. This camera truly is pocketable, and yet it features a relatively large 20.1MP 1" Exmor RS stacked CMOS sensor that offers phenomenal image quality and speed, including raw shooting at 24 fps and UHD 4K video. If you are a pro who loves your 24-70mm, you are in luck, because the RX100 V features an equivalent zoom range with an f/1.8-2.8 aperture. It also has a brand new Fast Hybrid AF system with 315 phase-detect points, making it great for fast action, and it can record super-slow motion at up to 960 fps using a High Frame Rate mode. That isn’t all for this tiny camera either, because it somehow manages to squeeze a 0.39" 2.36m-dot pop-up OLED EVF into the body and offers a 180° tilting 3.0" 1.23m-dot rear LCD, which is great for selfies. Feel free to check out the rest of the line, as well, if this is a bit too much for you. If you are going diving or snorkeling, you should definitely look at the MPK-URX100A Underwater Housing.
Ricoh GR II
Ricoh has been making capable fixed-lens compacts for a long time, so it is only fitting that the GR II makes this list. It squeezes a 16.2MP APS-C CMOS sensor into its svelte body and provides a 28mm equivalent f/2.8 lens that is perfect for most general-purpose shooting. This combination makes it incredibly slim, considering the power packed inside of it, and this version now incorporates Wi-Fi and NFC for connecting to your smart devices.
Olympus Tough TG-5
If the reason you left your “real” camera at home is because you were worried about it getting damaged or dirty at the beach or while climbing a mountain, a tough camera is in your future. One of the best picks in this field is the Olympus Tough TG-5, with its ability to shoot raw photos and record UHD 4K video. It takes great photos with its 12MP BSI CMOS sensor and 4x optical zoom, which is equivalent to 25-100mm and has a fast f/2 aperture, but the critical features are the waterproofing down to 50', freeze proofing to 14°F, shock proofing to 7' falls, and crush proofing to 220 lbf. Additionally, as befits a camera designed to go almost anywhere, it has a Field Sensor System that includes a GPS module, manometer, compass, and temperature sensor, so you can recall where you were later.
Ricoh Theta S
I know, this isn’t your conventional camera, but the Ricoh Theta S gives you something that you can’t get with the smartphone in your pocket: 360° spherical photos and video. If you got caught up in the VR craze of late, this is the best and easiest way to start creating your own content. It features two 12MP 1/2.3" sensors that output a 14.4MP image and can record Full HD video. Built-in Wi-Fi means you can connect right to your phone too, letting you share these unique images almost right away.
Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70
Announced alongside the flagship GH5, the Lumix DC-ZS70 shouldn’t be overlooked. It has a huge feature set, considering its compact size, including a 20.3MP 1/2.3" MOS sensor and a 24-720mm equivalent 30x Leica DC Vario-Elmar lens. Surprisingly, this camera manages to fit a 1.166m-dot EVF beside the 3.0" 1.04m-dot touchscreen, which can tilt up 180° for selfies. It also offers UHD 4K video recording, a variety of 4K Photo Modes, 10 fps continuous shooting, and more, making it sound more like a top-tier mirrorless than a point-and-shoot camera.
While the X100F gets, and deserves, more attention, Fujifilm’s X70 is also a capable compact that is more likely to fit in your pocket or day bag. The key to the X70’s remarkable quality is the 16.3MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS II sensor and Fujinon 28mm equivalent f/2.8 lens, which offer DSLR/mirrorless-level imaging performance with sensitivities up to ISO 51200 and 8 fps continuous shooting, but in a much slimmer and smaller package. This camera also offers a 3.0" 1.04m-dot touchscreen LCD, which can tilt up 180° for selfies, and Full HD video recording at up to 60 fps. To guarantee sharp shots, it has a 77-point AF system, and as part of Fujifilm’s system, it has numerous Film Simulation Modes.
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II
Last on this list is the PowerShot G7 X Mark II, which should be appreciated for its reliability and smooth operation. It has a 20.1MP 1/" CMOS sensor to capture high-resolution images and features a very versatile, yet still compact, 24-100mm equivalent f/1.8-2.8 lens. It also has a control ring on the lens for those who prefer physical control over their exposures. Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC is present in this model, as well, so that users can connect to their phones or the CS100 Connect Station and transfer their files. Full HD video at up to 60 fps can be recorded for a super-compact video solution.
Do you have your own perfect travel companion? Is your smartphone perfectly fine for you? Let us know in the Comments section, below.