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Best Travel Cameras With Zoom


There is no doubt that camera technology keeps getting better all the time. Everyone wants their photos to be the best quality and capture those perfect moments while traveling. The photos you take will be with you forever and you want them to be the best. Of course, there will be so many different variables to look at when talking photo quality and will so many different cameras and cell phones on the market today, you have a lot to consider when buying a great camera.

One of those variables that will help you take amazing images is your cameras zoom feature. In this post, I will show you the best travel cameras with zoom allowing you to capture those special moments. Most manufacturers will highlight certain measurements of their models, such as large megapixel amounts, big LCD screen sizes and many other specs to try and impress you with their designs.

When looking at zoom lenses on a digital camera, manufacturers measure zoom capabilities of digital cameras in two configurations: optical zoom or digital zoom. It’s important to understand the zoom lens because both types of zooms are completely different from each other. With most digital cameras, the zoom lens moves outward while in use and extends out from the camera body. Some other digital cameras, however, create the zoom while adjusting the lens only within the camera body.
Zooming on your digital camera will give you a closer view of far-away objects. Optical zoom gets up close and personal by using an actual lens adjustment and digital zoom adjusts the image in the camera itself.


Optical Zoom

Optical zoom measures the actual increase in the focal length of the lens. Focal length is the distance between the center of the lens and the image sensor. If taking a lot of photos from a far away distance, be sure that the camera you buy has an optical zoom. An optical zoom is a true zoom lens, and they produce much better quality images.

Some digital cameras will have a smooth optical zoom, meaning you can stop at any point along the entire length of the zoom. Some digital cameras will use distinctive stops along the length of the zoom, limiting you between partial zoom positions.


Digital Zoom

Some cameras offer a digital zoom, which is basically in-camera image processing. When you use a digital zoom, the camera just enlarges the image area at the center of the frame and trims away the outside edges of the picture. An example would be when you open an image in your photo-editing program, crop away the edges of the picture, and then enlarge the remaining portion of the photo.

Honestly, using the digital zoom measurement on a digital camera is pretty much worthless under most shooting circumstances. When you magnify or remove individual pixels, this will cause image quality degradation.


When looking at specifications for a digital camera, both the optical and digital zoom measurements are listed as a number and an “X,” such as 3X or 10X. A larger number signifies a stronger magnification capability.



Drawbacks Of Zoom Lenses

There are very few drawbacks of using a point-and-shoot camera with a large optical zoom lens. Although they are minor, I wanted to point them out.

  • Noise. Some cheaper beginner-level cameras will suffer from lower image quality because of noise when the lens is extended to the maximum zoom capability.
  • Pincushioning. Another issue normally noticed with the cheaper beginner-level cameras is Pincushioning. This is when using maximum zoom causes a distortion where the left and right edges of the photo appear stretched.
  • Slower shutter response time. When using the maximum zoom magnification, the shutter response time sometimes slows, which may cause blurry photos.


For more of our favorite travel gear recommendations, check out these popular gear guides:




Panasonic Lumix ZS100


Weight: 0.69 Lbs

Dimensions: 1.7 x 4.4 x 2.5 in


  • Large 1″, 20 Megapixel sensor delivers brighter, more colorful photos
  • 3″ screen size
  • Image stabilization
  • 10x (25-250mm) LEICA DC Lens optical zoom
  • Wide F/2.8-5.9 aperture for impressive background defocus effects
  • 4K Ultra HD video recording plus exclusive LUMIX 4K PHOTO and 4K Post Focus photo capture features
  • Eye-level Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) and touch-enabled LCD for a wider viewing experience
  • Lens-mounted control ring brings DSLR-like exposure control to a compact point-and-shoot camera body


Panasonic Lumix digital cameras are perfect for the outdoor adventure traveler or the full-time business traveler. One huge advantage of the Lumix ZS100 is the visual performance of a large 1″ sensor and the legendary optical performance of a bright LEICA DC Lens in a highly compact point-and-shoot camera.

You will love the hands-on manual feel of this camera with a lens-mounted control ring and thumbwheel, plus the familiarity of an eye-level electronic viewfinder. The included Wi-Fi mobile device controllability is a great convenient feature giving you the next-generation flexibility that 4K video and 4K photo modes bring to the table.

This lightweight and compact camera makes the perfect travel camera without breaking the bank.

Canon PowerShot SX730


best travel cameras with zoom


Weight: 0.66 Lbs

Dimensions:1.6 x 4.3 x 2.5 in


  • 40x optical zoom with zoom framing assist
  • 20.3 Megapixel high sensitivity CMOS sensor
  • Digi 6 image processor
  • 180° tilt-type screen
  • Lightweight, compact and durable
  • Built-in Wi-Fi2 technology
  • 1080p Full HD Video
  • 3″ LCD screen


One of Canon’s long zoom cameras, capture subjects near, far and in-between. The PowerShot SX730 HS has a powerful 40x Optical Zoom allowing you to take shots of epic moments with Zoom Framing Assist when using longer focal lengths. There’s even an automatic feature to choose the best composition for your subject. The new 180° tilt-type screen can face all the way forward to put you in the center of the perfect selfie while using the smooth skin effect.

Using the built-in Wi-Fi2 technology and the Canon Camera Connect app, you can transfer photos and videos to and from compatible devices, upload directly to various web services and more. Built-in NFC technology3 means the camera can connect directly to compatible devices.

Overall, the Canon Powershot SX730 HS gives you a great travel camera and amazing value. It’s compact and lightweight which is perfect for all travelers. It has many great options including fantastic zoom quality which everyone loves to have. This camera is becoming very popular as it has many of the features more expensive cameras have, but at a more reasonable price.

Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR



Weight: 0.98 Lbs

Dimensions: 2.99 x 4.88 x 3.86 in


  • Canon EOS Rebel T6 Digital SLR Camera with Manufacturer Supplied Accessories and One Year Canon USA Warranty.
  • 18MP APS-C CMOS Sensor – DIGIC 4+ Image Processor – 3.0″ 920k-Dot LCD Monitor – Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 30 fps – 9-Point AF with Center Cross-Type Point – Extended ISO 12800, 3 fps Shooting – Built-In Wi-Fi with NFC – Scene Intelligent Auto Mode – Basic+ and Creative Auto Modes
  • Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens. Spanning a 28.8-88mm equivalent focal length range, this lens covers wide-angle to portrait-length perspectives + Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Lens + 500mm f/8 Telephoto Preset Lens
  • SanDisk 32GB SDHC Memory Cards, Camera Shoulder Case, Slave Flash, High Definition UV Filters, High-Speed USB Card Reader
  • High-quality accessories like HD filter kit, Monopod, Flexible spider tripod, T-Mount for 500mm Lens and more.


For those interested in a travel DSLR camera, the Canon EOS T6 just might be what you are looking for. I have listed this camera as the best DSLR camera under $600 in another blog post here, make sure to check that out as well.

Impress your friends with the quality your photos deserve. The EOS Rebel T6 can be ideal for smartphone or digital point-and-shoot camera users looking to step up their imaging game. It’s equipped with an 18.0 Megapixel CMOS image sensor and the DIGIC 4+ Image Processor for highly detailed, vibrant photos and videos even in low light. Whether you’re out on an adventure hike or snapping candids of your friends during a late night out, the EOS Rebel T6 can help you take photos you’ll want to show off. Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity make it easy to get your favorite pictures up on select social media sites for your friends, family and the world to see.

This camera is very modern looking and comfortable to use. And just like the other cameras listed here, it is very affordable and won’t break the bank. There is also huge value in this camera kit, as it includes everything you need!

If you enjoyed these camera reviews, have a look at all our travel gear guides here:

We also have another great blog post you will enjoy showing the best compact cameras under $400. It reviews some of the best affordable cameras that are compact and great for travelers. You can read that post here.

if you are interested in learning more about travel photography, have a look at Digital Photography School online. They work with some of the worlds leading photographers and have a huge library of resources from ebooks, digital download, and courses covering beginners to advanced.


Everything you need to know to know about taking amazing photos at night:


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