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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
The camera with the highest Elo: Canon G1 X Mark III

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 Canon G1 X Mark III is currently the top-ranked travel zoom with a Camera Elo of 2865, followed in second place by the Leica D-LUX 7 with a rating of 2635. 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 (as far as these are available), which can be taken as indicators of pure image quality. For both the Camera Elo and the DXO score, higher values represent better performance.

Best Travel Zoom Compacts: The Cameras with the Highest Elo
    Camera
Model
Camera
Elo
DXO
Score
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Video
Format
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
1. Canon G1 X Mark III 2865- APS-C 24.01080/60p Oct 2017 1,299 i i Canon G1 X Mark III
2. Leica D-LUX 7 2635- Four Thirds 16.84K/30p Nov 2018 1,195 i i Leica D-LUX 7
3. Panasonic LX100 II 2565- Four Thirds 16.84K/30p Aug 2018 999 i i Panasonic LX100 II
4. Sony RX10 II 247470 1-inch 20.04K/30p Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
5. Sony RX100 VI 2456- 1-inch 20.04K/30p Jun 2018 1,199 i i Sony RX100 VI
6. Panasonic LX10 2389- 1-inch 20.04K/30p Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX10
7. Panasonic LX15 2389- 1-inch 20.04K/30p Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX15
8. Sony RX100 IV 234170 1-inch 20.04K/30p Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
9. Sony RX100 V 233470 1-inch 20.04K/30p Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V
10. Canon G5 X 2233- 1-inch 20.01080/60p Oct 2015 799 i i Canon G5 X

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.

    Best Travel Zoom Compact: The Cameras with the Highest Resolution
        Camera
    Model
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Lens
    (FF equiv)
    Camera
    Elo
    DXO
    Score
    Sensor
    Class
    Camera
    Launch
    (announced)
    Launch
    Price
    (USD)
    Street
    Price
    (USD)
    Used
    Price
    (USD)
    Camera
    Model
    1. Canon G1 X Mark III 24.0 24-72 mm f/2.8-5.6 2865- APS-C Oct 2017 1,299 i i Canon G1 X Mark III
    2. Panasonic FT7 20.2 28-128 mm f/3.3-5.9 1807- 1/2.3 May 2018 449 i i Panasonic FT7
    3. Panasonic TS7 20.2 28-128 mm f/3.3-5.9 1807- 1/2.3 May 2018 449 i i Panasonic TS7
    4. Ricoh WG-6 20.2 28-140 mm f/3.5-5.5 1529- 1/2.3 Feb 2019 399 i i Ricoh WG-6
    5. Sony RX10 II 20.0 24-200 mm f/2.8-2.8 247470 1-inch Jun 2015 1,299- i Sony RX10 II
    6. Sony RX100 VI 20.0 24-200 mm f/2.8-4.5 2456- 1-inch Jun 2018 1,199 i i Sony RX100 VI
    7. Panasonic LX10 20.0 24-72 mm f/1.4-2.8 2389- 1-inch Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX10
    8. Panasonic LX15 20.0 24-72 mm f/1.4-2.8 2389- 1-inch Sep 2016 699 i i Panasonic LX15
    9. Sony RX100 IV 20.0 24-70 mm f/1.8-2.8 234170 1-inch Jun 2015 999- i Sony RX100 IV
    10. Sony RX100 V 20.0 24-70 mm f/1.8-2.8 233470 1-inch Oct 2016 999 i i Sony RX100 V

    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.

    Best Travel Zoom Compact: The Smallest Models
        Camera
    Model
    Camera
    Weight
    Camera
    Size
    Camera
    Elo
    Sensor
    Class
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Camera
    Launch
    (announced)
    Launch
    Price
    (USD)
    Street
    Price
    (USD)
    Used
    Price
    (USD)
    Camera
    Model
    1. Nikon W150 177 g 110 x 67 x 38 g 1102 1/3.1 13.0 Apr 2019 159 i i Nikon W150
    2. Ricoh WG-60 193 g 123 x 62 x 30 g 1202 1/2.3 15.9 Oct 2018 279 i i Ricoh WG-60
    3. Canon G9 X Mark II 206 g 98 x 58 x 31 g 2140 1-inch 20.0 Jan 2017 529 i i Canon G9 X Mark II
    4. Fujifilm XP130 207 g 110 x 71 x 28 g 1534 1/2.3 15.9 Jan 2018 229- i Fujifilm XP130
    5. Fujifilm XP140 207 g 110 x 71 x 28 g 1520 1/2.3 15.9 Feb 2019 229 i i Fujifilm XP140
    6. Canon G9 X 209 g 98 x 58 x 31 g 1948 1-inch 20.0 Oct 2015 529- i Canon G9 X
    7. Nikon W300 231 g 112 x 66 x 29 g 1721 1/2.3 15.9 May 2017 389 i i Nikon W300
    8. Ricoh WG-6 246 g 118 x 66 x 33 g 1529 1/2.3 20.2 Feb 2019 399 i i Ricoh WG-6
    9. Olympus TG-4 247 g 112 x 66 x 31 g 1635 1/2.3 15.9 Apr 2015 379- i Olympus TG-4
    10. Olympus TG-5 250 g 113 x 66 x 32 g 1633 1/2.3 12.0 May 2017 449 i i Olympus TG-5

    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.

    Best Travel Zoom Compact: The Least Expensive Models
        Camera
    Model
    Launch
    Price (USD)
    Camera
    Elo
    DXO
    Score
    Sensor
    Class
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Video
    Format
    Camera
    Launch
    (announced)
    Street
    Price
    (USD)
    Used
    Price
    (USD)
    Camera
    Model
    1. Nikon W150 159 1102- 1/3.1 13.01080/30p Apr 2019 i i Nikon W150
    2. Fujifilm XP130 229 1534- 1/2.3 15.91080/60p Jan 2018- i Fujifilm XP130
    3. Fujifilm XP140 229 1520- 1/2.3 15.94K/15p Feb 2019 i i Fujifilm XP140
    4. Ricoh WG-60 279 1202- 1/2.3 15.91080/60p Oct 2018 i i Ricoh WG-60
    5. Olympus TG-4 379 1635- 1/2.3 15.91080/30p Apr 2015- i Olympus TG-4
    6. Nikon W300 389 1721- 1/2.3 15.94K/30p May 2017 i i Nikon W300
    7. Ricoh WG-6 399 1529- 1/2.3 20.24K/30p Feb 2019 i i Ricoh WG-6
    8. Panasonic FT7 449 1807- 1/2.3 20.24K/30p May 2018 i i Panasonic FT7
    9. Panasonic TS7 449 1807- 1/2.3 20.24K/30p May 2018 i i Panasonic TS7
    10. Olympus TG-5 449 1633- 1/2.3 12.04K/30p May 2017 i i Olympus TG-5

    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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