Help Me Pick A New Travel Camera!

Filed Under: Travel Technology

I’m someone who is generally not into material possessions. Left to my own devices I’d just use everything until it quite literally falls apart. Maybe it’s just part of having lived in hotels full time for years, because I tend to think material possessions are just clutter. I’d much rather spend money on experiences.

That being said, I need a slight makeover when it comes to my travel gear, including my luggage and camera. In this post I wanted to focus on getting a new camera.

I’m hoping some of you have tips, and I also know that other people will be interested in the answers here, since I’m often asked what travel camera I recommend.

The cameras I’ve used up until now

From 2011 to 2016 I used the same Canon Powershot S95 camera, which served me well at the time.

I asked you guys for feedback at that point, realizing that technology had probably improved greatly over five years. So in 2016 I got the Sony RX100, which was a huge upgrade, and it has served me extremely well.

But I’ve now had this camera for three years, and I think it’s time for an upgrade (again).

Why I’d like to get a new camera

This blog is my livelihood, and a big part of this blog is reviewing travel experiences. So I want to make sure I can capture those experiences as well as possible, within some constraints that I’ll outline below. The reason I’m looking for a new camera now is twofold.

First of all, technology improves at such a fast pace, and I imagine over the past three years there’s something new and awesome on the market. I take tens of thousands of pictures per year, so even if it’s just a moderate improvement, it’s worth it to me.

Second of all, my current camera has taken a beating. I don’t think that’s because it’s a low quality camera, but rather I think it’s because I use my camera so much, and that takes a toll. For example, my lens cover no longer automatically opens the whole way, but rather I have to push it open every time I use it.

So I’m hoping some of you have some suggestions for which camera I should get.

What I’m looking for in a camera

I’m not at all a tech guy, so let me share in simple terms what I’m hoping for out of a camera, and then maybe some of you have some suggestions.

The camera has to be compact

I’m looking for a compact camera simply because it’s important that I can always have it on me when traveling, and also so I can easily fly under the radar. I sometimes fly airlines that have issues with photography, so taking out a huge camera with a bunch of lenses would often arouse suspicions.

The camera has to take crisp pictures without much effort

I know that sounds obvious and it’s something everyone wants, but when I’m boarding a plane I often only have a few seconds to snap pictures before the cabin fills up, so being able to just “point and shoot” and have the pictures turn out okay is the top priority.

So I’m looking for the camera that takes the best pictures with no effort, rather than the camera that takes the best pictures if you pick the right setting and play with it a lot.

The camera has to be good with limited light

This is possibly the most important. I don’t want to disrupt other passengers when flying, so don’t use flash. Light is often limited, so a camera that performs well with limited light is key.

The camera has to take pictures that don’t come out over exposed

This might be too much to ask, because this is actually also my biggest issue with my current camera, and it drives me nuts.

Often when I board a plane and the window shades are open, my picture comes out way over exposed. In these situations my iPhone actually takes better pictures, which seems like it shouldn’t be the case.

For example, here’s a picture I took on WestJet with my Sony RX100:

While here’s a similar picture taken with my iPhone:

I guess I’m finding that the Sony RX100 is great in low light situation but bad in situations with a lot of contrast, while my iPhone is exactly the opposite.

Is there such a thing as a point and shoot camera that doesn’t have this issue without playing around with the settings too much, or is this the point at which I’m asking for too much?

Or am I missing something very obvious with my Sony RX100? I realize if I spend a lot of time playing around with settings I could get it right, but like I said, I literally have less than 30 seconds to photograph the entire cabin, so I don’t have time to switch between settings.

Bottom line

Collectively you guys have answers to just about everything, so I’m hoping you guys might have a good recommendation for a new camera.

I like almost everything about my Sony RX100, so I’m wondering if there’s a camera that’s maybe slightly better all around, and much better when it comes to not taking over exposed pictures? Or is that too much to ask for?

Thanks!

Comments
  1. Go to Asia and get yourself a Huawei P30 Pro. That’ll be compact and powerful enough, not to mention you get to use it as a phone.

  2. My advice is take a trip to NYC, go to B&H electronics and camera store, and repeat what you have said in this post at one of their camera advice stands. Add to it what you are prepared to pay, and Bob’s your uncle. Well at least that’s what I do, and I live in Sydney Australia!

  3. Please post, in a new blog entry, the eventual outcome of what will be many comments and recommendations. Maybe the final three you come down to picking between; pros and cons. And the eventual winner. Thank you.

  4. My spouse has the Fuji XT1 and loves it but There may be a newer version of it with a different model #.

  5. I honestly really like taking pictures with iPhone XS, then using the auto button on Lightroom (free app). It makes every picture look great.

  6. The latest Sony RX models are great for what you’re trying to do. The overexposure part can be solved by putting it in bracketing mode and running it through Google Photos.

    Otherwise, like JW said, there’s some crazy-megapixel camera phones in Asia these days.

  7. “The camera has to take crips pictures without much effort” – Are you going to take Bloods pictures too? Be careful when photographing gangs! 😉

  8. I second the B&H photo suggestion. They are the experts and can help you narrow it down and test them with you. I love going to their store in NYC and just talk with them about cameras. They love talking about them.

    Sony has been coming out with some amazing stuff because of their phenomenal Alpha series (probably any interchangeable lens system camera is out) but they are putting those technologies in their point and shoot camera. The alpha series cameras are amazing in low light and their auto mode is wonderful.

    The Huawei phones have some pretty amazing cameras too and my traveler photography friends couple it with their DSLR.

  9. I’m very interested in the feedback you get from this article. On a recent trip I used my Samsung S8 and the pictures were very disappointing. I didn’t want to buy a separate camera but I think I have reached that point. I’m looking for all the criteria you are, but I would also throw in the ability to zoom in and get clear photos as well.

  10. Will be hard to find a point and shoot that makes the same adjustments as the iPhone. Every time you take a picture the iPhone actually takes three pictures and computationally goes back in and figures out where to use the underexposed picture (the blown out areas) while making it all look like one picture.

    The RX100 are the class of the point and shoot, getting something similar like the G7X II from Canon May get you a little more durability but the blown out stuff will remain the same. Camera makers haven’t caught up to the computational photography of Apple and Google yet, mainly because the sensors are so much larger.

    It’s a trade off. Planes are actually one of the hardest environments to shoot in because the light is all over the place. Wish I had a magic solution for you!

  11. Motivated by your camera upgrade, and also by an arrival of a new baby, I set out a year ago to buy a compact camera and started with your Sony as a starting point. I ended up buying the Panasonic LUMIX ZS200. 15X optical zoom, 4K video, and it handles most lighting situations quite well. When you are worried about lighting contrast such as the Westjet photo, you could point the camera more towards the light. As the picture darkens as the camera adjusts to brighter light, press the camera’s button halfway down which locks in exposure and focus, and then point back to primary purpose. That would help with that issue. Having once taught photography, I was quite happy with this camera. It doesn’t quite have the quality of higher end SLRs, but as you said, carrying a lot of lenses would have discouraged me from frequently having the camera around.

  12. I was wondering when Huawei p30 pek will come up…oh first comment!

    I second that opinion. It takes great photos better than point and shoot and it leaves people less suspicious

  13. Being you’re an iPhone person I doubt you’d consider the Huawei P30 Pro phone but it might fit your bill unless…You’re on Verizon or Sprint as it doesn’t work on those networks.

    I’ve had good luck with Panasonic Lumix series in the past and I have a tiny Sony now in addition to two smartphones (LG V30 and iPhone X) but at the end, it’s all about the lens quality in my experience. Look for high-quality optics paired with good quality firmware. I also prefer cameras that take standard batteries instead of recharging but that is getting to be rare.

    All that being said you might consider the Sony DSC-HX99

  14. A few years ago we realized that the iPhone took just as good photos as our camera. We went iPhone only. One less thing to carry. (And one less thing to worry about losing.) For a point and shoot, it is hard to beat.

  15. I would put it between the Canon G7X Mark iii and the Sony RX100 VI for what you’re describing. It boils down to what operating system you prefer.

    The lighting system can be fixed with bracketing or spot metering. If you put it on a shortcut it can be a very fast adjustment when needed.

  16. frankly there hasn’t been all that much innovation in this space over the last 3 years, just some incremental changes. This market is dying or dead as everyone just uses their phone now.

    If you don’t care about having an EVF, I can recommend the Panasonic LX-10. I’ve had mine for a few years. It has a 1″ sensor like your Sony and the lens has a very fast f1.4 aperture so that aids in low light photography. You have to use the back LCD screen for everything though which took me some time to get used to.

  17. I think the Sony RX100 is still a solid option to this day. It takes great pics given how compact it is. Maybe consider switch to the latest RX100. RX1 is also great but the lens protrudes out quite a bit compare to RX100 so it’s not as compact. Interchangeable-lens cameras will be even more bulkier.

    A quick note regarding Huawei P30 Pro – I’d stick to your old RX100. A phone camera has a much smaller CMOS and lens diameter, which limits the amount of light coming in. Not good for crips photos, especially in low light situations (e.g. not-so-well-lit airplane cabins).

  18. Dont get the huawei. Chinese government will know when you post a bad review and you will disappear…

  19. Would go with the rx100 VI, thing is a beast to travel with if you absolutely need a compact camera. The 24-200mm range will work for most situations.

  20. If you can wait a few more weeks – Zeiss ZX1.
    If you need it right now – Leica Q2

  21. I would second what other people said and especially for plane pictures, the Huawei P30 or even the Google Pixel 3 are doing remarkable jobs – especially in low light. They’re far less suspicious than a bigger camera and literally every setting is automated so you don’t have to fumble around to find the right one.

  22. There is the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VA: It is more or less the same camera that you have but it is faster. The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI is the newest version of your camera with a much better zoom, but it is much weaker in low light situations (2.8 vs. 1.8). As far as I know there haven’t been any big improvements in recent years, if your old camera still works there is no need for an upgrade, the RX100s are still a class of its own (for their size). In low light a phone can never achieve the same quality a good camera can.

  23. The Olympus OMD 5 II or the OMD 10 III is compact, 16.1 megapixels, and great autofocus. It is awesome for traveling and cheap.

  24. You guys are all missing this, Huawei P30 PRO, not the p30, this one has IP68 rating with 4 camera, not the 30 with 53+3

  25. Get the upgraded version of your same Sony. All the other models are going to disappoint you for so many reasons.

  26. Wait for the Pixel 4? Or even the Pixel 3 which already has best phone camera quality, especially in low light.

  27. I mean TechRadar.com is a much better platform to get the pros and cons of different types of camera and what each one is good and bad at, their prices etc.

  28. My GS9+ takes amazing pictures so I don’t need a separate camera. That’s what phones are for……except iPhones 😉

  29. Just get a new RX100.

    Set the exposure metering to spot or center weighted.

    Point at a problematic bright spot which usually overexposes.

    Hold the shutter release button (the button you use for taking photos) half way to let the camera do its thing.

    Keep holding the button halfway, point the camera to where you actually want to take the photo.

    Press the shutter fully down.

    This way you probably won’t overexpose your photos.

    Also, you might want to set exposure compensation to -1/3 or -2/3. It’s easier to fix too dark photos. Overexposed photos can’t be fixed.

    Or maybe the newer RX100s have touch display and you can just touch the screen to tell the camera from where to meter the exposure, like on iPhone.

    I’d forget the Huaweis etc. Good cameras but quite clunky as smartphones, their Android skin is an awful iOS clone.

  30. I do not think you need a new camera. I would only get a new one if your current on is falling apart or you want some newer features.

  31. iPhone XS with the correct app. That is all you need. Instead of looking for a new camera look for a more professional app for your iPhone. I use ProCamera app and my pictures are fantastic. BTW, you can take as many pictures you want and get them uploaded to the cloud once on Wi-Fi. Why carry a camera and a phone?

  32. There have been several generations of the RX 100 series and not too many ultra compact cameras that rival it. The RX 100 actually has many of the control settings that interchangeable lens cameras do although I don’t think many people use them.

    The exposure issues you’re having can be dealt with in a number of ways:

    – try the intelligent assistant setting.

    – ensure that any optional HDR setting is turned on.

    – turn in bracketing to get multiple exposures of each shot.

    – point the camera at the part of the scene you want correctly exposed (excluding the troublesome lighting from the frame), push the shutter half way down to “lock” the focus and exposure, reframe the photo, and push the shutter the rest of the way.

    – change the exposure metering setting to expose only in the exact center of the image, or to some other setting that produces the results you want.

    – use the fill-in flash, a lower amount of light intended to even the scene contrast.

    All that said I know some art photographers who work primarily with the iPhone and their results are inexplicably (to me) excellent. It’s true, they’re not low-light photographers but still there’s some magic going on in there that makes the iPhone punch well above what you’d expect from that tiny little sensor.

  33. Huawei P30 Pro.

    I have the P20 Pro and same Sony as you do, and it just sits in the draw. That phone is enough. . .

  34. Currently me and my partner have the cannon G7x mark ii – we like it because it’s good quality photos and videos and we just point and shoot

  35. Pixel 3, I got it last week with a 50% off deal, there is still a $200 off sale right now.

  36. In addition to helping people maximize travel rewards I LOVE helping people decide on what camera to buy!

    A few questions first:

    Do you need/want a new camera with a zoom lens? Or would you be alright without a zoom? For example, do you always take pictures at the widest setting and keep it there? Or do you frequently zoom in/out?

    Do you frequently wish you had a wider angle lens?

    Is high quality video a desirable feature? Or are you just looking for a strictly stills camera?

  37. the Ricoh GRIII doesn’t have a built-in flash so that’s not an issue. to darken the Sony RX100 exposure while shooting, hit the bottom +/- on the back scroll wheel and change it to -1 which it will remember or you can change it back to 0 for less bright normal environments

  38. Check out moment lenses for your phone. They really enhance the quality without adding much weight to your bag. Otherwise just start with any p/s that has a 1″ sensor and go to a camera store to try a bunch.

  39. A newer iPhone with a good camera app and a Moment lens will probably do everything you need. It seems unnecessary to carry two devices, and your phone will take photos much more discretely.

  40. Ben, I respect what you said about “not much effort” – but in WestJet example, moving camera 20 cm to the right (eliminating large part of the brightly lit window) – which you have done (probab;y accidentally) for iphone would have improved Sony results dramatically

  41. You’d probably be well served with a good smartphone camera for most situations. I find that smartphones stuggle in low light conditions, though a point and shoot camera won’t be substantially better here.

    If you need something good in low light conditions, you’ll need a camera with a fast lens (low f-stop). An lens that’s under f1 is considered very fast and will work very well in low light conditions. An iPhone XS rear camera is f1.8. Not bad, but might not be enough for a dark airplane cabin.

    You’ll need a camera with interchangeable lenses to get faster than that. A mirrorless lens camera (e.g. Olympus OMD EM5) body paired with a fast f0.95 lens would be a great combo.

    That said, nothing beats a smartphone for stealth and versatility.

  42. Upgrade to the Sony RX100 VI – quantum leap in resolution over your current one, better video and best of all, no learning curve to overcome. Go with what you know.

  43. Lots of the recommendations so far are great values, but if you want the best and are willing to pay for it, the Leica D-LUX or C-LUX can’t be beat. Spending 1200 bucks on a camera might seem insane for most people, but from what I’ve read on this site, it might be totally reasonable.

  44. Ok, I did some quick research for you. This should hopefully replace a trip to NYC to visit B&H, minus the hands-on experience.

    Option #1:
    Sony RX100 VA
    ~$900
    Very similar to what you already have, just updated. Includes a slightly wider lens that does better in low light when zoomed out, more resolution, familiar interface.

    Option #2:
    Sony RX100 IV
    ~$1200
    Very similar to what you already have, just updated. Includes a more powerful zoom lens but won’t be as good in low light, more resolution, familiar interface.

    Option #3/4:
    Panasonic LX100 II (or Leica D-Lux 7)
    ~$900 (~$1200)
    A little larger camera, but it has a larger image sensor which translates to better quality low-light photos and a little more dynamic range (e.g. you get more details in the bright/dark parts of the photo in high contrast), and a better battery. More manual controls if you want to be a more advanced photographer. Slower autofocus compared to the Sony RX100 series. The Panasonic and Leica cameras are nearly identical, but the Leica brand carries more prestige, and I think it looks nicer.

    Option #5:
    Fujifilm X100F
    ~$1200
    A little larger camera, similar in size to options 3 & 4 but it has an even larger image sensor which translates to better quality low-light photos and a little more dynamic range (e.g. you get more details in the bright/dark parts of the photo in high contrast). This is a fixed focal length, so no zoom, but it’s an outstanding lens that’s very sharp. It’s probably not as wide as you’d like, but there’s an additional lens attachment that makes it wider. It’s a proper photographer’s camera well loved by hard core street photographers and enthusiasts alike. Heck, Beyonce even has one.

  45. I recommend a Panasonic LUMIX 30X Travel Zoom Camera with Eye Viewfinder DMC-ZS50K. It is a small point and shoot with super zoom. Good in low light and has an eye view finder for bright light when the back screen is washed out. Also has image stabilization and does motion.

  46. Ben, I would consider Sony RX100 VA or Panasonic DC-LX100 II (Leica D-Lux 7 is almost identical).

    RX100 VA is a newer version of what you have. It should have an in-camera High Dynamic Range mode that would take care of the over-exposed regions in some photos. If you go with the Sony, stick to the VA version for its 1.8 aperture – VI has only 2.8, so it’s not as good in low light.

    Panasonic/Leica are slightly bigger and have no built-in flash at all, but they have a 1.7 max aperture and their sensor is double the size of Sony RX100 – should be even better in low light. They are also supposed to have in-camera HDR mode.

    I agree with others’ suggestion to go to B&H in New York. Would make a nice stopover if you need to connect between EWR and JFK. Maybe you can combine going to B&H with a stay at the TWA Hotel 🙂

  47. There’s no reason to look further than the Ricoh GR III or possibly the older but cheaper GR II.

    The fixed lens is perfect for the type of pictures you take, and the pictures come out great. I own the GR II and its a fantastic travel camera.

  48. The new Ricoh GR III. Excellent lens that’s very good in low light. Very compact. Just buy two batteries.

  49. Adobe photoshop Lightroom app or any of the other millennial popular tools. You just need better photo editing

  50. I also recently decided to upgrade from a point-and-shoot, and I got a Sony ɑ6000 — I couldn’t be happier. It’s going to be a bit more expensive and ever-so-slightly larger than what you’re used to, but it’s definitely worth it. While your current camera seems to be just marginally better than an iPhone, the mirrorless-style ɑ6000 is going to give results that are closer to a good quality DSLR. It’s going to handle light (both dark and bright) more pleasingly because it has not only better detection and auto-software, but also because the image sensor is huge, allowing more light it when you need it.

    I seem to surprisingly be among the only one recommending it on here, and I’m not sure why. Most similar threads seem to have endless recommendations for the ɑ6000.

    At least give it a shot! (no pun intended)

  51. It seems like a new camera is not what you want. You instead want to learn about the concept of dynamic range, exposure compensation, and high dynamic range (which is HDR).

    A good HDR will solve pretty much all problems. Which means… newest iPhone will do a better job actually. Since most of the cameras’ HDR function is inferior.

    That being said, newer cameras with a larger sensor and a single click of auto exposure in Photoshop will help you even further.

    Someone suggested Leica Q and it is actually really good but it is too expensive. I assume you will end up between Panasonic, Sony and Fuji.

  52. Ricoh GR III is perfect for what you need… provided you can deal with cropping the 24 megapixel images instead of having optical zoom.

  53. I’ll repeat the vote for considering the Huawei P30 Pro. I tried it out at a Huawei store here in Santiago de Chile, and it was impressive. The unparalleled low light abilities, the zoom, the compact package, and having access to all the Android apps is a pretty unbeatable combo. If you’re visiting Santiago, you can get it here for a very good deal, just shy of USD 1000. Check out these reviews:

    Marques Brownlee on YouTube:
    https://youtu.be/yiyjcXWZ3Qo

    The Verge:
    https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2019/4/10/18285123/huawei-p30-pro-review-periscope-camera-zoom-android-phone

    I also echo the advice to head the B&H store for recommendations. They’ve steered me in the right direction a couple times.

  54. It’s kind of crazy, as a semi-decent photographer, but I took a trip to Malta with nothing but my iPhone and got some really amazing photos. There are some things I’d never substitute my real cameras for, but I leave for the French Riviera on Monday and am bringing nothing but my iPhone XS Max. It’s kind of empowering and upsetting at the same time.

  55. I have done wildlife photography all over the world, but for day to day personal shots I just use my iphone now. I always have it with me, the shots are fine, and i dont need any kind of process to get the photos off another camera. Get a dedicated photography app (I use camera plus) that lets you change more settings, and it’s hard to beat for that small package.

  56. I agree with @2paxfly. We can give you all the recommendations in the world but the people at B & H photo you tell them the exact same specs you told us and they’ll give you your ultimate top class choices. If you are able to, well worth the trip to NYC. I always order camera stuff from them.

  57. I would go with what others have suggested. Stick to your current one unless its falling apart. If its falling apart, then upgrade to rx100VA. It can capture more light due to 1.8-2.8 through it’s range in low light situation.
    RX100 does have HDR, but it will not resolve extreme situations. As other have mentioned, you can target problem areas to help the “on board” computer capture are more middle ground exposure for bright and dark area in the same shot. In extreme cases you will have to bracket, which you can do with rx100.

    The problem you describe is dynamic range, where you want both bright and dark areas to be visible in the same shot, like human eye, without being overblown on bright areas or pitch dark on the dark areas. Computational shots like, from phones, that auto blends, depending of what phone they basically perform same trick with bracketing, that many cameras do, like rx100, although some phone use more shots for bracketing than rx100. Sometime I have to disable HDR on the phone because it just cannot get the exposure right for HDR. The problem though even phones that does good HDR, sometimes will not do it correctly, and you will be forced to do manual bracketing, if it allows, or if not, then you are out cold.
    Both phones and RX100 usually do a go job in auto, but sometimes you have to roll up your sleeves. I think, that is why a camera that can do full auto and full manual with raw, like RX100 is great. Also, you should try to familiarize more with rx100 settings. I’m still rocking my rx100 v1 as my carry camera, it still look like brand new, as I use a sleeve for it. It also rocks the add on hand grip and add on filter mount, yes I have a circular polarizer filter for it. When I travel I lug around my A7II, and carry RX100 as back up. Though I shoot manual/raw.
    Cannot beat how compact rx100 is and what an excellent camera it is, but all camera has settings that can help with different scenarios and you need to familiarize and practice with them, auto will not work every single time, though it works most times.

  58. As others have pointed out, the reason your iPhone is taking better exposed photos is that it’s using HDR (taking several under/over/naturally exposed photos and blending to what a human eye would likely see) the latest model of the RX 100 (version VI released last year) includes HDR and a much better computation engine, so this would likely fix this situation for you, plus there has to be something to be said for keeping with a familiar camera, no learning curve.

  59. I attended a speech/Q&A by Annie Leibowitz about 2 years ago. She was asked, “what is the most frequent question people ask of you?” She replied that many people want to know what kind of camera to get.

    Her answer was simple. “Just use your phone.” The longer answer was, “unless you are getting into photography as a hobby, with at least one camera body, several different lenses and filters, don’t spend your money on a big fancy camera. The technology in our phones today is so superior to what it was, the best, and easiest to use, and most compact camera, is on your phone. “

  60. Just as an addendum, even RX100 V1 has HDR, the one I have.

    It can only be used on A/S/P/M modes. If you are not familiar, the a/s are more like “assisted mode” for A, you are able to select aperture, and the rest is automatic, while S you get to choose shutter speed. I suggest you put A, since in your case inside the plane it will be dark, and chose the aperture 1.8 to take as much light.

    I’ve uploaded photos aiming directly to the bright window with a box on the ledge with my RX100 V1. You can see on full auto, the exposure its not how you want it to be, but at setting DRO HRD 6.0 EV at A mode, you can see both the window and the box.
    https://imgur.com/a/IAZEEFL

  61. Buy the new version of Sony RX100 mark VI: it’s the best of the compact cameras…. no smartphone can overshadow a real camera.

  62. There are a lot of articles on the web found when googling “Huawei privacy concerns”.

    The issue is above my pay grade, but awareness of it is important IMO.

  63. I’ve found that using any high end smartphone – I use Pixel 3XL and iPhone X – plus a Moment lens for wide angle shots (you need this for planes and hotel rooms) is better, easier, more compact, and faster to use than any handheld camera. I brought a micro 4/3 Sony A6000 around the world for 3 weeks and didn’t use it a single time because my Pixel and iPhone combo was just better. I also value always having the correct time stamps, and on the A6000 I always forget to change the timezone and have to do it after (can’t even change the video time stamp).

    For 360 degree shots i am a HUGE fan of the Insta360 One X.

  64. Lucky!

    Another option you may want to consider is investing in some photo editing software. I shoot with the Sony a6000, but I process my pictures with Adobe Lightroom (trust me, you don’t need photoshop). You can install the software on your computer, tablet and/or phone and the process of bringing a lot of life to a picture takes a few minutes at most. I think it could really assist with you are seeking. And a $10/month, it’s a steal. Plus think of the minimum 120 Amex MR you’ll receive over the year.

    Afta

  65. Seriously? there are real normal people believe the Huawei security issue? There are all kind of conspiracy theory but this is one of the dumbest and you are just submitting yourself to be a tool. By the way if you want to know something with solid evidence? Go seeking out Snowden ‘s leak, then talking about government invading your privacy

  66. I would say wait till the latest pixel comes out. The point and shoot capabilities are great and God knows what extra features Google is packing this time. The software won’t be too different to your current iPhone and it works on all us networks but I’d suggest getting an unlocked one. Otherwise the p30 pro from Huawei is good. And will look less suspicious when travelling. Also. Don’t fret too much about the resolution of a photo. Often the website will process the hell out of it and by the time it reaches us it will have lost maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of it’s resolution. And it’s really small on phones too. Which is what most people visit this website on. Contrast and clarity are the ones to focus on though.
    Just my 2 cents but thought I should share

  67. Up until now, I’ve always used a micro 4/3 camera, mostly Olympus with interchangable lens for travel photography. The micro 4/3 system is small and light and records wonderful images.

    However, I recently returned from a 4 month trip to Asia and during that time I had a chance to play with the Huawei P30 pro.

    I’m a convert. The camera and lens array on that phone is nothing short of incredible. Be it in low light, bright light, fast action or almost any point and shoot situation except long zoom, the Huawei P30 pro is as good as my M4/3 cameras.

    Give it a try!

  68. Can’t go wrong with the Leica. Takes amazing photos, extremely durable, and just a great camera overall.

  69. In this day and age, I believe unless you’re a professional, investing in a top of the line smartphone is all you need. I would just use the iPhone XS Max.

    Btw for luggage, I would suggest Rimowa Original Cabin. Lots of cool different models with their collabs with Off White and other designer/companies, or just get the regular one.

  70. Another suggestion for the Pixel 3; I use it exclusively for portrait and distance shots. Should be adequate for blog quality. Great for low-light photos, and the sale doesn’t hurt.

  71. If you are serious about getting a great shot vs something good enough then you need to stay away from the god awful cell phones. No matter what they tout as the newest tech it’s not enough. Don’t think of the camera being good with low light. It’s more of a lens factor. My personal opinion is to give mirror less camera a go. Relatively compact to travel with and an average lens will already give you great shots including very good low light. If you’re willing to learn how all that matters then you can get better lens and maintain the same camera. Right now Sony have displaced all the old guards in the camera world. Canon and Nikko struggling to keep pace. Look at something like an a6400.

  72. I have been researching mirrorless cameras since roughly September. Some of my needs overlap with yours…. certainly the desire for excellent low-light performance and top-notch straight-out-of-the-camera JPEGs as well as having a lower profile camera and and the option of dynamic range and bracketing in a simple and easy to use interface. For my needs, I have settled on the Fujifilm X-T3, but for yours, I would suggest the X-T30. I would probably take it with the 16mm f/1.4 lens in your case, which is not an especially heavy or large lens but does well in low light and captures a slightly wider view than most of your photos to date without distorting the picture to an extent that it would need manual software correction. Realistically, this camera should be able to take the same photos as the X100F if you buy the same lens(es) for it. It also has a labeled and numbered exposure compensation dial to help you play with that setting more regularly and comfortably until you feel you understand its role.

  73. Went through the exact same thing recently. In-camera, east-to-use HDR I decided was absolutely key for me, plus ease-of-transfer via camera/app to phone/tablet.

    Sony “Superior Auto” and “Intelligent auto” — like my current Sony has– I know and like and decided therefor to stick with Sony for that reason alone– I understand the 2 modes and how they work.

    So, I ended up here:
    https://www.amazon.com/Sony-DSCHX80-Point-Shoot-Camera/dp/B01CQEN2U2/ref=pd_ybh_a_6?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=9YCZ3T5FCCJA023PRJ3K

  74. I would say either the Ricoh GR III or the Fujifilm X100F. The X100F isn’t as compact but it takes amazing pictures in low light. The Ricoh is super compact (fits in a pocket!) and works well enough in low light. Plus both of these cameras have wifi capacity where you can move your pictures from the camera to the iPhone with ease. I personally went with the X100F but both are great for street photography (or taking amazing pictures of planes 😉

    Regardless of what camera you get, I strongly second the recommendation to get Lightroom app. It has made editing my pictures so much easier and a lot better. I also like the VSCO app, it has great filters.

  75. For those advocating using a phone instead of a real camera, I suggest you learn something about OPTICAL wide angle/zoom capability, ISO flexibility, and manual aperture control for depth of field control.

    A phone is not a real camera. Not even close.

    The P30 Pro is about as close as you can come to a real camera.

  76. As for software, the goal being usable JPEGs with zero editing indicates that you aren’t looking to invest in that department. The photography bundle is going up in price anyway, from $10 to $20 a month, and for Fujifilm, a lot of people like Capture One instead of Lightroom anyway. But I say that you won’t use any of it as much regardless of how attractive using it seems.

  77. Hi Lucky,

    Best option for light, compact, and good quality are mirrorless cameras – DSLR quality but much smaller. Sony has the alpha line of these, I myself have an a5000 since it was really cheap with a 16-50 mm lens, though if you have the funds, maybe look into the a6000 or a6400. Full frame picture quality, and the auto settings are quite good. If you’re looking for an intern by the way who’s good with tech would love to get in touch.

  78. If you’re looking into lowlight performance and high resolution, you should consider a full-frame compact camera. It is a niche product and there are currently only two (and soon, 3) in the market: the Sony RX1RII, Leica Q2, and the upcoming Zeiss ZX1. Since you’re already familiar with Sony, I suggest the RX1RII. There’s no more an automatic lens cap in the RX1RII and instead you have a detachable cap. If you have additional cash, you can try the Leica Q2 but Leica’s jpeg images are totally crap and you need to shoot RAW or DNG to maximize the quality and potential of your images. The Zeiss ZX1 will soon be launched this year but it’s bulky and specs are not yet fully revealed.

  79. Sony RX100 series is still the camera to beat when it comes to high-end compact camera. I also heard that Richo GR III is very good.

    Maybe you might try flying to Tokyo and make a visit to Yodobashi Camera or Bic Camera and try out cameras on display…

  80. I will be at least the 3rd to say the same thing here, in a one word answer: B&H.

    Next time you head to NYC, make sure to stop in B&H. The employees there are the best around in the industry and they will be able to guide you through the camera purchase and explain all the pro’s and con’s and to see what you are looking for.

  81. Personally I use the Sony A6300 Mirrorless (purchased from B&H). It is a great camera, but I am not sure I would recommend it for you based on 2 reasons.

    1) If shooting on Auto mode (due to time constraints) it may not do very well on exposure levels, and I have had sometimes where the light fill up too much.

    2) It is larger than the RX that you currently have. So it is not so portable. – Though it is a lot smaller than the DSLR’s on the market.

  82. Almost as important as the camera itself, is photo processing software. Adobe Photoshop may seem unfathomable at first, but use of just some specific features can be of great impact. For example, the Sony RX100 WestJet photo can be vastly improved using only the Shadows/Highlight function. (Yes, it’s only halfway to where the iPhone photo is, but still a great improvement.) I also notice a lot of bloggers’ photos could use a healthy dose of color correction, especially in cabins with the LED “mood lighting.” Shooting in a “RAW” format yields better final results from photo processing. I would hope all major brand cameras offer raw-data capture, but if not, pass on any camera that doesn’t.

    I echo the recommendations to go to B&H Photo in New York.

  83. Just one helpful tip if you do decide to go to B&H.

    Make sure not to attempt a visit on Friday afternoon or Saturday at they will be closed. The owner of B&H Photo keeps the Shabbat and the entire store closes. They are open Sunday through Thursday as well as Friday morning.

    The store itself is really cool and has this conveyor belt system overhead. When you order an item is is sent in a basket on the conveyor overhead to the checkout counter.

  84. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI

    DP Review editor choice winner for best travel camera.

    Pricey, but you’ll get you money’s worth in content. Keep the receipt. Take the tax write off.

  85. How important is zoom to you? If not, there are a few mirrorless cameras available that you can fit with a pancake lens. It won’t be as small as a point and shoot, but the image quality is at DSLR level while not being as big.

  86. As you said you want to upgrade your RX-100.So go to the DSC-RX100M6.It’s the excatly upgrade version of RX-100.

  87. You should totally go for the Sony RX100 VI! It’s literally the same camera, but a newer generation! It’s much more improved and portable! It should also feel familiar to your current camera. If you wait a couple more weeks though, the RX100 VII should be coming out as well. If you have time, buy the new one that’s coming out, otherwise buy the VI as it’s a newer model but same familiarity.

  88. I would definitely go with the sony a7 mark 2. Great quality photos with high dynamic range and excellent video quality.

  89. I am also looking to get a new awesome quality camera. I just bought an underwater fuji that was useful for my needs. I totally hated my little experience with gopro a few years ago so it was useless to me. I’m not technically inclined, but I’ve learned a lot more in the past few weeks than I ever knew. Now, I feel like not buying anything at all. It all feels too complicated. I have a good camera phone, but I’m old school and I feel a camera just feels like it’s easier to control.

  90. Lucky:

    Like you I was also the proud owner of a RX100 mk1. Recently I upgraded to a Huawei P30 Pro and it blows the Rx100 out of the water. It’s a better camera, despite being a phone as well.

  91. There are many posts urging you to stick with the Sony RX100 series and I agree. Sony came out with the RX100 VI not long ago but in my view it is useful only if you need to take telephoto shots. Indeed, the lens in the VI is slower than that of the V (which I have) and is, therefore, far less useful for the kind of photographs you take — wideangle shots and sometimes darkish interiors. The RX100 V also focuses in an instant, a real plus when you need to be discreet. The RX 100 series is probably unique amongst pocket-sized cameras in having an optical viewfinder, a very useful feature when the sun blanks out the view screen. Although I have not used my Sony for video recordings it has a stellar reputation on that score, something you may want to consider now that you have a vlog. And, last, you are very familiar with the way the RX 100 series operates. B&H Photo has good prices for cameras and the RX 100 V goes on sale occasionally. In my view, at <$1000, the RX 100 V is a fantastic bargain. A mere lens with the specs of the RX 100 V will probably cost 3x the cost of this camera!

  92. I have the feeling this will get lost. Kinda when you have someone give you some parameters and ask you for the best credit card. I have been a “serious” photographer for over 50 years.
    Do not overkill. Keep it simple. More than 4 or 5 megapixel is a waste, since your images will be displayed on relatively small screens.
    You want high ISO and good dynamic range.
    Cellphones do truly an adequate job for what you do.
    You are truly a very good photographer.
    But we are, (in this forum) more about documentation and illustration rather than getting something ready to be displayed in a gallery.
    I have historically wasted a ton of money on features I never use in cameras.
    Something like a Canon G9X would be a reasonably priced workhorse.

  93. Take a look at the Nikon P1000 – incredible zoom capabilities, and many of the features of a pro camera in a uni-body format. It’s a little bigger than your current camera, but robust and the reach is really amazing.

  94. I recently got the Huawei P30 Pro smarphone and it’s camera is simply incredible. It has ultra wide, normal and 5x optical zoom all just availabe with a simple tap on the screen. The low light performance is better than ok any proper camera I have come across. And I just love how (since it’s a smarphone) it’s always on and the battery can last a full day.

  95. RX100 series is going to be hard to beat for picture quality, size, and weight. If you’re an iPhone fanboy, you may want to wait for the triple lens version that will most likely be available in late Sept. If you still need a P&S, used dpreview dot com’s camera comparison tool. They even do a lot of stuff on smartphone cameras.

  96. Ricoh GRII or GRIII. Takes amazing photos for such a small and simple looking camera. Great for low light because it has a super fast f2.8 lens. It fits in your pocket and it might be easier for “flying under the radar” on those airlines that don’t like photos as much. It looks like a little point and shoot camera, so it doesn’t intimidate people as much as when you pull out a big DSLR. Best of all, you can get a new GRII for $500-550.

  97. Pixel 3 all the way. Compact (duh), easy to use, great low light quality, very wide (front camera), exceptional portrait mode (background blur), and free, unlimited, full-size uploads to Google Photos until 1/31/2022.

  98. +1 on the idea to post a follow-up discussing what the top 3 finalists ended up being and what you eventually choose.

  99. No brainer: Stay with the Sony RX100 VI. Mine got dropped and now suffers from the same need to open the lens manually. But the photos remain fantastic, and it is very portable. I set the exposure adjustment for the front lens ring, so I just open or close the aperture manually when I get big lighting issues like you described. Also, I’m a big user of fill-in flash…just sayin’

  100. @zapzap – great advice, harking back to the non-digital-SLR world even 🙂

    Time to get my Canon AE-1 back out!

  101. Leica Q or Leica Q2 if you want it weatherproofed and with higher resolution. I used to have the Q and have the Q2 now. Both are fantastic cameras.

  102. I would go with the newest RX100, the RX100 VI, for two reasons. First of all, it’s a newer version of the RX100 you’re used to. The controls are all the same, with some hardware and software upgrades have changed. The second reason is the fact that the VI now has a 24-200mm lens, instead of the III’s 24-70mm lens. I got the RX100VA six months ago, and I found the lens (the same one as the III) to be limiting. I did try the VI, and the zoom was excellent, but I ultimately chose the VA due to it’s lower price. A great alternative to the VI is the Lumix ZS200 (TZ200 internationally), who, like the RX100 series, uses a 1-inch 20MP sensor. It has a Leica 24-360mm lens and is around $400 cheaper than the RX100VI, but lacks the articulating screen and has less focal points.

  103. Sony RX1RII or Fuji X100f. Leica Q models are good, but too bulky and heavy for travel.

  104. RX100 VI is the best option. Not some overpriced Chinese camera phone that artificially adjusts everything in the photo to the point it can’t be edited later. The Auto function on the RX100 VI is far superior to what you’re currently working with — but you should take the time to program the manual functions, so that at a moment’s notice, you can switch over and adjust the settings (quickly and easily) to accommodate whatever lighting situation you find yourself up against.

    FWIW — I had and returned the Leica Q and eventually went with the RX100 VI because it was superior in just about every way.

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