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The Best Travel Zoom Compacts

As the quality of camera-phones has improved substantially over the past years, the market for compact cameras has experienced a strong contraction. Camera manufacturers have reacted by upgrading their products with larger sensors or speciality features, such as rugged, waterproof design, to suit quality-oriented photographers who are looking for a camera with zoom capacity that remains compact and inconspicuous.

Travel zoom
The Sony RX100 III travel zoom

There are a number of options in the travel zoom segment, so that it is not easy to decide which one is best. Indeed, what does it really mean to look for the best travel zoom compact? The camera that offers the best imaging experience? The one with the highest sensor resolution? The one that is most portable? The camera that does not break the bank? The answers to these questions come down to personal preference, but hopefully the listings below will prove to be useful for your camera decision process.

The highest rated Travel Zoom Compacts

Top Elo
Camera with highest Elo: Leica D-LUX 7

The Camera Elo represents a comprehensive rating that takes the body, sensor and feature characteristics of digital cameras into account. It is based on the outcomes of thousands of pair-wise comparisons undertaken via the CAM-parator app.

The Leica D-LUX 7 is currently the top-ranked travel zoom with a Camera Elo of 2604, followed in second place by the Sony RX100 VII with a rating of 2593. The table below lists the 10 highest ranked travel zoom cameras in descending order of their Elo. It also reports the cameras' DXO Mark sensor quality score, which can be taken as indicators of pure image quality. For both the Camera Elo and the DXO score, higher values represent better performance.

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The Cameras with the Highest Elo
    Camera
Model
Lens
(FF equiv)
Camera
Elo
DXO
Score
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Video
Format
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Leica D-LUX 7 24-75 mm f/1.7-2.8 260472 Four Thirds 16.84K/30p Nov 2018 1,195 amazon.com
2.
 
Sony RX100 VII 24-200 mm f/2.8-4.5 259363 1-inch 20.04K/30p Jul 2019 1,199 amazon.com
3.
 
Canon G1 X Mark III 24-72 mm f/2.8-5.6 259081 APS-C 24.01080/60p Oct 2017 1,299 amazon.com
4.
 
Sony ZV-1 24-70 mm f/1.8-2.8 257866 1-inch 20.04K/30p May 2020 799 amazon.com
5.
 
Canon G7 X Mark III 24-100 mm f/1.8-2.8 257865 1-inch 20.04K/30p Jul 2019 749 amazon.com
6.
 
Panasonic LX100 II 24-75 mm f/1.7-2.8 255472 Four Thirds 16.84K/30p Aug 2018 999 amazon.com
7.
 
Canon G5 X Mark II 24-120 mm f/1.8-2.8 254365 1-inch 20.04K/30p Jul 2019 899 amazon.com
8.
 
Sony RX100 VI 24-200 mm f/2.8-4.5 254064 1-inch 20.04K/30p Jun 2018 1,199ebay.com
9.
 
Panasonic LX15 24-72 mm f/1.4-2.8 236362 1-inch 20.04K/30p Sep 2016 699 amazon.com
10.
 
Sony RX100 V 24-70 mm f/1.8-2.8 231870 1-inch 20.04K/30p Oct 2016 999ebay.com
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

You can access more detail on the listed cameras by clicking on the camera's name. Alternatively, you can compare two cameras using the search boxes below. Just enter two model names into the input fields and you will promptly be taken to a respective comparison.

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    The Travel Zoom Compacts with the Highest Resolution

    Perhaps your primary aim is to capture images with great detail, for example in landscape photography, or to have the ability to crop images heavily in post processing while still maintaining good image quality. In this case, the best travel zoom compact might be the one with the highest sensor resolution. The following table lists the 10 cameras in the category with the highest megapixel count. Again, clicking on the camera's name will reveal further detail.

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    The Cameras with the Highest Resolution
        Camera
    Model
    Lens
    (FF equiv)
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Camera
    Elo
    DXO
    Score
    Sensor
    Class
    Video
    Format
    Camera
    Launch
    Launch
    Price (USD)
    Street
    Price
    1.
     
    Canon G1 X Mark III 24-72 mm f/2.8-5.6 24.0 259081 APS-C1080/60p Oct 2017 1,299 amazon.com
    2.
     
    Panasonic FT7 28-128 mm f/3.3-5.9 20.2 213751 1/2.34K/30p May 2018 449ebay.com
    3.
     
    Ricoh WG-6 28-140 mm f/3.5-5.5 20.2 200752 1/2.34K/30p Feb 2019 399 amazon.com
    4.
     
    Sony RX100 VII 24-200 mm f/2.8-4.5 20.0 259363 1-inch4K/30p Jul 2019 1,199 amazon.com
    5.
     
    Sony ZV-1 24-70 mm f/1.8-2.8 20.0 257866 1-inch4K/30p May 2020 799 amazon.com
    6.
     
    Canon G7 X Mark III 24-100 mm f/1.8-2.8 20.0 257865 1-inch4K/30p Jul 2019 749 amazon.com
    7.
     
    Canon G5 X Mark II 24-120 mm f/1.8-2.8 20.0 254365 1-inch4K/30p Jul 2019 899 amazon.com
    8.
     
    Sony RX100 VI 24-200 mm f/2.8-4.5 20.0 254064 1-inch4K/30p Jun 2018 1,199ebay.com
    9.
     
    Panasonic LX15 24-72 mm f/1.4-2.8 20.0 236362 1-inch4K/30p Sep 2016 699 amazon.com
    10.
     
    Sony RX100 V 24-70 mm f/1.8-2.8 20.0 231870 1-inch4K/30p Oct 2016 999ebay.com
    Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

    The most portable Travel Zoom Compacts

    Almost by definition, travel zoom compacts are relatively small. They are designed to be easy to take along and to avoid unwanted attention when in use. Compactness is therefore a desirable characteristic, and the best travel zoom compact might be the one that is most portable. The following ranking lists the lightest cameras in the categroy that have been released since 2015 in ascending order of their weight.

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    The Lightest Models
        Camera
    Model
    Lens
    (FF equiv)
    Camera
    Weight
    Camera
    Size
    Camera
    Elo
    Sensor
    Class
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Camera
    Launch
    Launch
    Price (USD)
    Street
    Price
    1.
     
    Nikon W150 30-90 mm f/3.3-5.9 177 g 110 x 67 x 38 g 1695 1/3.1 13.0 Apr 2019 159 amazon.com
    2.
     
    Ricoh WG-60 28-140 mm f/3.5-5.5 193 g 123 x 62 x 30 g 1633 1/2.3 15.9 Oct 2018 279ebay.com
    3.
     
    Fujifilm XP120 28-140 mm f/3.9-4.9 203 g 110 x 71 x 28 g 1927 1/2.3 15.9 Jan 2017 229ebay.com
    4.
     
    Canon G9 X Mark II 28-84 mm f/2.0-4.9 206 g 98 x 58 x 31 g 2267 1-inch 20.0 Jan 2017 529 amazon.com
    5.
     
    Fujifilm XQ2 25-100 mm f/1.8-4.9 206 g 100 x 59 x 33 g 1754 2/3 12.0 Jan 2015 399ebay.com
    6.
     
    Fujifilm XP140 28-140 mm f/3.9-4.9 207 g 110 x 71 x 28 g 2081 1/2.3 15.9 Feb 2019 229 amazon.com
    7.
     
    Fujifilm XP130 28-140 mm f/3.9-4.9 207 g 110 x 71 x 28 g 1977 1/2.3 15.9 Jan 2018 229ebay.com
    8.
     
    Canon G9 X 28-84 mm f/2.0-4.9 209 g 98 x 58 x 31 g 2078 1-inch 20.0 Oct 2015 529ebay.com
    9.
     
    Nikon W300 24-120 mm f/2.8-4.9 231 g 112 x 66 x 29 g 2095 1/2.3 15.9 May 2017 389 amazon.com
    10.
     
    Ricoh WG-6 28-140 mm f/3.5-5.5 246 g 118 x 66 x 33 g 2007 1/2.3 20.2 Feb 2019 399 amazon.com

    The most affordable Travel Zoom Compacts

    Budgetary considerations are almost always important when deciding on a camera purchase, and the best travel zoom compact might be the one that is available at the lowest price. The following table displays the least expensive travel zoom compacts that have been released since 2015 in ascending order of their launch prices. The latter provide a good idea on the market position of the cameras, but it is often worthwhile to check the current pricing, as all except the most recent models might be available at discounts or as great deals on the pre-owned market.

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    The Least Expensive Models
        Camera
    Model
    Lens
    (FF equiv)
    Launch
    Price (USD)
    Camera
    Elo
    DXO
    Score
    Sensor
    Class
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Video
    Format
    Camera
    Launch
    Street
    Price
    1.
     
    Nikon W150 30-90 mm f/3.3-5.9 159 169565 1/3.1 13.01080/30p Apr 2019 amazon.com
    2.
     
    Fujifilm XP140 28-140 mm f/3.9-4.9 229 208152 1/2.3 15.94K/15p Feb 2019 amazon.com
    3.
     
    Fujifilm XP130 28-140 mm f/3.9-4.9 229 197751 1/2.3 15.91080/60p Jan 2018ebay.com
    4.
     
    Fujifilm XP120 28-140 mm f/3.9-4.9 229 192749 1/2.3 15.91080/60p Jan 2017ebay.com
    5.
     
    Ricoh WG-60 28-140 mm f/3.5-5.5 279 163351 1/2.3 15.91080/60p Oct 2018ebay.com
    6.
     
    Olympus TG-4 25-100 mm f/2.0-4.9 379 189547 1/2.3 15.91080/30p Apr 2015ebay.com
    7.
     
    Nikon W300 24-120 mm f/2.8-4.9 389 209550 1/2.3 15.94K/30p May 2017 amazon.com
    8.
     
    Ricoh WG-6 28-140 mm f/3.5-5.5 399 200752 1/2.3 20.24K/30p Feb 2019 amazon.com
    9.
     
    Fujifilm XQ2 25-100 mm f/1.8-4.9 399 175449 2/3 12.01080/60p Jan 2015ebay.com
    10.
     
    Olympus TG-6 25-100 mm f/2.0-4.9 449 222252 1/2.3 12.04K/30p May 2019 amazon.com
    Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

    Further Reading

    Additional information on the calculation of the Camera Elo can be found on a respective Elo methodology page. Moreover, there are other rankings of cameras by category that might be of interest:

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