As photographers, we often have a lot of different horses for different courses, and when it comes to traveling, it often seems really, really hard to choose the right one to take with you. If you're struggling with this dilemma, you're not alone. Photographer and YouTuber Omar Gonzalez is right there with you.
It's good to have options, and Gonzalez examines the pros and cons of taking the big DSLR with you (in this case, his Nikon D700) versus smaller options such as the Fujifilm X-T3 or X-T20 cameras, ultimately settling on a Sony a7C, which if you cruise to the end of his video to look at his photos, seemed to be an excellent choice.
In the stone age of mirrorless cameras, I'd often struggle between half-baked Micro four thirds cameras or pathetic efforts from Canon and Nikon, such as the original EOS M or Nikon 1 series cameras (how things have changed with the R and Z lines). Then, in later years, I'd convince myself that a 1-inch sensor was alright and head out with a Canon PowerShot G9 X or G3X with its insane 600mm-equivalent zoom if I was really feeling adventurous.
Of the choices that Gonzalez takes a look at here, between a Google Pixel smartphone, a GoPro, and various DSLRs and lenses, there is another sensible option these days and one that's experiencing a bit of a renaissance with the new Olympus OM-1 and Panasonic Lumix GH6: Micro Four Thirds.
It's when I got my hands on the 2013-era Panasonic Lumix GM1, a camera that was the same size as a G9 X (roughly a deck of cards), that I realized the sweet spot between sensor size, image quality, and portability. Combined with Panasonic's tiny-but-mighty 12-32mm kit lens that came with the camera, it made a smaller-sensor compact completely irrelevant. It allowed me to travel all through London and shoot stellar photos at a cousin's wedding with ease. I wouldn't be able to do this easily with a point-and-shoot compact camera or my phone:
The GM1 is a bit long in the tooth, but similarly small-size options exist in Micro Four Thirds that pack some more modern tech. The Olympus E-M10 series is a particularly great travel camera that's compact with excellent image quality.
So, while Gonzalez settled on a Sony full frame model, there's plenty to choose from in between that and a cell phone. What are your picks for a travel camera? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.