With travel comes an innocent ignorance and curiosity for the places foreign to you—so foreign that you want photographic evidence with which you can brag to all of your pals back home. But as a good traveler knows, a different camera is better suited for photographing your dinner than the one you use for snapping landscapes. Here are some of the best cameras for documenting all aspects of your summer travels.
Canon Rebel T6i for Food (Best Buy, $650): This Canon’s hi-res 24.1-megapixel sensor will make your photos as crisp as the dish itself, and the updated light-metering system means they’ll be well-exposed even in funky restaurant lighting. Plus, the autofocus and crop sensor will keep that calamari the center of attention.
Phantom 4 Drone for Landscapes (Amazon, $889): If you really want to get a bird’s-eye view of the Moroccan Atlas Mountains or a deeper appreciation for the Philippines’ artful terrain chiseled by the erupted Taal Volcano, this tap-and-fly drone will cover more than three miles with maximum speed and agility. Its integrated gimbal stabilizes the camera for smoother footage and it’ll come home to you every time, avoiding all obstacles the natural world will surely throw its way.
Nikon D5 for Wildlife (Nikon, $6,500): Key to photographing wildlife are telephoto reach, autofocus, continuous capture and a wide ISO range for varying light conditions. This Nikon promises quick and precise AF points and can function at apertures as small as f/8, so it’ll work in extremely low-light conditions down to ISO 102,400 and expand to ISO 3,280,000. In other words, it’s got the widest native ISO range ever in a Nikon full-frame DSLR, and can capture 12 fps, so it’s basically built for wildlife photography.
SONY RX100 iv for Underwater (SONY, $850): This camera, which is smaller than most phones, is ideal for underwater shooting in its waterproof housing (sold separately at Jet.com for $550). Its SteadyShot image stabilization and anti-distortion shutter are optimal for rough waters, and if you need more convincing, the guy who won the Nat Geo Travel photo category last year used it, too.
GoPro HERO4 Silver for Adventures (GoPro, $400): Whether you’re ziplining through Jamaican jungles or swimming with sharks off the coast of Belize, this GoPro will be your best bet. It’s waterproof up to 40 meters and you’ll want something strapped to you, or attached to a buoy, so all your footage doesn’t end up on an adventure of its own.
olloclip Smartphone Lens for Crowded Places (olloclip, $50-$120): When you’re traveling in big urban cities congested with foot traffic, you don’t necessarily want to walk around looking like a tourist who’s asking to be pickpocketed. Instead of carrying around a hefty camera bag, consider using one of these lenses for your smartphone. Choose fisheye, wide-angle or macro lenses for all types of professional shots, from architecture to portraits.
Mountainsmith FXpedition Monopod for Steady Still Life (Backcountry Edge, $32): Perhaps you see a deer sipping from a river, backgrounded by a lush forest. Or your lady prancing in a bikini, silhouetted against a beautiful beach. Either way you’ll want a crystal-clear capture. Shoot straight with this handy, collapsible walking stick/camera pod, perfect for stable shots on the go.