Today we are going to look at some of the best cameras for cruising.
If you are heading out on the cruise of your lifetime, eager to feel the sea breeze on your face and to enjoy some of the best moments of your life, don’t forget your camera!
When you come back, you might not remember how it felt to have that nice fresh breeze in your face, but those images will remind you forever that you had the best time of your life.
A common question vacationers and travelers have often asked:
What is a good camera to take pictures on a cruise?
✔ 8 Best Cameras for Your Cruising Vacation
Our Picks: Best Cameras for Cruising
The thing is, any camera is a good camera to take pictures with provided you know what you are doing and have complete command over the basics of photography.
If you don’t want to put your head too much into the complexities of photography, balancing the exposures and getting everything right before clicking the shutter, you need something that gives you the same convenience of your smartphone – to point and click.
Except in this case you need a slightly better camera than the one on your smartphone.
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What is a Slightly Better Camera?
The priority is a camera that has a larger sensor. A larger sensor will allow more light to be captured resulting in better performance under low light conditions.
Secondly, a larger sensor will produce a slightly shallower depth of field. Though the difference between a point & shoot camera and a smartphone sensor isn’t that much, there is still a difference.
Let’s look at some of the best cameras for cruising in that sense. Plus, at the end (number 7 & 8), we included shock & waterproof cameras if you plan to go on a cruise which has a swimming pool you intend to use often, or you expect some rough offsides when hitting the shores.
1. Nikon Coolpix P900
- 16MP CMOS sensor; 6 level brightness adjustment
- 24 2000-millimeter 35-millimeter equivalent focal length. Sensor size: 1/2.3 inch
- 83x optical zoom Nikkor super ED VR lens
- Vari angle TFT Lcd screen
- Electronic viewfinder. Highest ISO sensitivity: 6400
The Nikon Coolpix is a point & shoot powered by a 16 megapixel 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor.
It is capable of producing decent large JPEGs of the size 4608 x 3456 pixels.
A major USP of the camera is its 83x optical zoom range. In 35mm format parlance that is the equivalent of a 35 – 2000mm. This is an incredible range that would come in handy when shooting something further away from the ship. It would be quite fun trying to capture something like a whale or a dolphin or a school of flying fish as you skim over deep blue water.
The built-in lens comes with optical image stabilization. To make it more interesting, the camera has a fast continuous shooting speed of 7 fps (for seven frames only at full resolution). With it, you also get full HD video shooting capabilities at a maximum of 60 fps.
A built-in stereo mic ensures good quality audio with the sound recorded.
Another feature of the camera is its tilting flipping screen with 100% frame coverage, ideal for those self-timed selfie shots with some exotic scenes in the background.
The camera comes with full manual controls as well. Just in case you are in the mood to brush up your serious photography skills. It also has a small electronic viewfinder.
Finally, did I mention that the camera comes with built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and GPS? GPS allows you to tag the geolocation of your images. NFC ensures faster and seamless transfer of your images to your smartphone or tablet.
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- 24.2MP APS-C Exmor sensor w/ advanced processing up to ISO 51.200
- Wide 425 phase detection AF points, Fast 0.05 sec. AF acquisition
- 5-axis in-body image stabilization steadies every lens. Silent Shooting. Noise Reduction :Long exposure NR: On/Off, available...
- 11fps continuous shooting to 269 frames at 24.2MP w/ AE/AF tracking
- 4K movie w/ 2.4x oversampling4, full pixel readout, no pixel binning
I started this discussion with the sensor size and the advantages a larger sensor brings to the table. Staying on the same track, I would like to upgrade the sensor size to a step further – APS-C.
I would, however, like to keep the overall complexity of taking pictures down to basic. The Sony Alpha a6500 is a mirrorless and being mirrorless; you can enjoy the relative smaller bulk and the light weight factor that comes into play.
The Sony Alpha a6500 has a 24.2 megapixel APS-C EXMOR CMOS sensor and is capable of producing images of the size 6000 x 4000 pixels which should be large enough for 20” x 13” prints.
Compared to the Nikon Coolpix P900 that we discussed above, this one is a much bigger sensor, and that means better low light performance, especially when shooting at twilight and or during the blue hour.
Sony uses a slightly different type of image stabilization system than Nikon or Canon. This system moves the sensor. Also known as sensor-shift because of this, the image stabilization system on the Sony Alpha a6500 runs 5-ways to stabilize a shot.
One of the unique features of the camera is its continuous shooting speed. it can shoot at a maximum of 11 fps.
Video mode on the Sony Alpha a6500 is a joy! It shoots at 3840x 2160 (UHD) at a maximum of 30 fps. At a ‘scaled down’ full HD version the Sony Alpha a6500 can shoot at a phenomenal 120 fps.
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Imagine the slow motion effect you could achieve with this. Breathtaking vacation videos at super slow motion when you play back the video in normal 30 or even the cinematic 24 fps on your large 4K screen. A built-in mic records crisp sound. The Sony a6500 can record up to 29mins 59 seconds in a single file.
The other features of the camera include a robust 4D FOCUS system with a 425 phase detection points. It also got built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity. Plus, there is a hot-shoe for mounting an external flash or accessory.
The only disadvantage compared to something like the Nikon Coolpix P900 is that you will need to buy a lens separately before you can use it. That pushes the overall price of the camera a bit high. But image quality is much better compared to the Nikon Coolpix P900. This is a solid candidate for the title of the best camera for cruising.
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- 20.1 MP Exmor APS-C sensor for great images
- Mirror less DSLR - Compact Interchangeable Lens camera system
- Quick Wi-Fi connectivity to smartphones via NFC
- Model: ILCE5000L/B
Built around a 20.1-megapixel EXMOR APS HD APS-C CMOS sensor, and powered by the BIONZ X image processor the Sony Alpha a5000 is a solid camera, a prime candidate to be crowned as the best camera for cruising. It is powered by a 20.1-megapixel EXMOR APS HD APS-C CMOS sensor. Image processing is handled by Sony’s BIONZ X image processing engine.
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The Alpha a5000 is a capable video shooter. It can capture full HD videos (1080i) at 60 fps. At a higher full HD 1080p, it can capture at a frame rate of 24 fps. Clip lengths are 29 mins max and you would be able to record stereo sound with the built-in stereo mic.
A 25-point contrast detection autofocusing mechanism is probably the one area that the Alpha a5000 loses out to some of the other illustrious entries on this list. But it’s not too bad when you understand the shortcomings of the focusing system and use it in a way to bypass the deficiencies.
Native ISO range of the Alpha a5000 is 100 – 16000. The back of the camera is dominated by a 3” rear LCD screen with a resolution of 460,800 dots. While that does not sound too much, what works in the a5000’s favor is that the screen tilts 180 ˚.
Thus, it is the ideal companion if you are looking to take memorable selfie shots on the cruise. Continuous shooting speed of the a5000 isn’t the best in the industry but it can hold its own when shooting cruise photos. The speed is 3.5 fps at full resolution for a maximum 15 frames.
For transferring your images and videos shot on the cruise you can use either the built-in wireless feature of your camera or connect your camera to your smartphone or tablet using NFC.
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- Built-in 5 axis image stabilization for sharper images
- 2.3 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder with 0.62X magnification
- Silent mode (disables all shutter sounds)
- 8.5 frames per second burst shooting
- Focusing points/Focusing points selection mode 81 area multiple AF (Contrast detection AF), 37 area multiple AF (Phase...
The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is a 16.1 megapixel (resolution) micro four thirds interchangeable lens camera. It is powered by a TruePic Vii image processor. It has the same features you would come to expect from a full-fledged DSLR camera but sans the weight that is normally associated with such cameras.
Though the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II is a small camera, there is nothing that should discourage you to take this camera on board. An 81 point contrast detection system make up the auto-focusing system on the mirrorless camera.
The 3.01” tilting LCD screen has touch properties and a resolution of 1.04 million dots. Tilting LCD is a must have as it allows you to shoot from an angle. The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II’s LCD screen does not tilt all the way to 180 ˚, which is kind of a shame. Plus, you get full HD video (fps) capabilities. Along with it, you can record stereo quality sound with the built-in stereo mic. You also have a 5-axis in-body image stabilization which makes every compatible lens automatically stabilized.
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Continuous shooting speed of the camera is an impressive 8.5 fps. Fast continuous shooting speed isn’t necessary for shooting portraits. But when you are shooting fast moving subjects this will come in handy. In any case, a series of images shot in a burst is better because it guarantees at least one image that is going to be tack sharp.
For any camera to be even considered for the crown of best camera for cruising it needs to have both built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. All cruise ships provide wireless connectivity which ensures you can back up the images and videos that you shoot over the day onto your laptop.
NFC allows for instant sharing between your camera and your smartphone which means the possibility to update on social media in almost real time.
- 24.2 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor
- High-Speed continuous shooting at up to 7.0 fps (up to 9.0 fps with AF lock)
- Built-in Wi-Fi**, NFC*** and Bluetooth
The EOS M6 is another mirrorless, and this one is from Canon.
The best camera for cruising has to be lightweight and at the same time have all the functions one need to make a good image.
Manual mode isn’t that important as is the ability to have great auto modes, good live-view auto-focusing, and powerful video capabilities. Also important are the connectivity options. The EOS M6 fits the bill as a classic camera for that purpose.
The EOS M6 is built around a 24.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and powered by the DIGIC 7 image processor. The high-resolution sensor is capable of producing frames the size 6000 x 4000 pixels.
Additionally, Auto-focusing on the sensor is powered by a 49 point phase detection system. The camera features Canon’s dual pixel CMOS auto-focusing system. This technology is powerful and is tailor-made for cameras and situations where live-view is used.
Built-in 5-way image stabilization on the camera ensures that your images are sharp. The EOS M6 is a good camera to shoot videos. It can shoot at full HD (1080p) at a frame rate 60 fps.
Clip lengths are 29 mins and 59 seconds. With a built-in stereo mic, you would be able to record high-quality sounds of your immediate surrounding as well as your conversations.
The rear LCD touchscreen with a resolution of 1.04 million dots tilts giving you greater shooting freedom. Finally, an array of connectivity options including built-in Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth ensures that you can transfer your images to your smartphone and tablet or control the camera remotely.
Another interesting feature on the EOS M6 is that it has what Canon refers to as combination IS. Combination IS is a mix of traditional lens-based image stabilization and a body based 5-axis digital image stabilization. This produces a better, more accurate image stabilization performance compared to the just a lens based stabilization system.
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- 18 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
- 4 FPS continuous shooting
- 9 point AF system, center AF point is cross-type
- ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600)
- 1080 (30, 25, 24 fps) and 720 (60, 50 fps) HD video (29min limit, H.264 format)
The Canon EOS Rebel SL1 or the EOS 100D as it is known in Europe is a small entry-level DSLR. It is, in fact, small enough to compete with mirrorless systems that has slowly eaten away into the budget and mid-level DSLR segment. The reason that I have included this camera in this list is that it is small enough to directly compete with the mirrorless segment cameras.
- The EOS 100D features a 18 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor capable of producing images of the size 5184 x 3456 pixels.
- Image processing is powered by Canon’s DIGIC 5 image processor.
- A 9-point auto-focusing mechanism ensures that the camera can lock focus in most situations easily. The 9-point AF system is used on systems like the full-frame EOS 6D.
- Burst rate (continuous shooting speed) on the camera is a reasonable 4fps.
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The EOS 100D has a 3” rear LCD screen, with touch screen functionalities. The resolution on the screen is 1040,000 dots. While the viewfinder gives 95% frame coverage the rear LCD screen gives 100% frame coverage.
The native ISO range of the camera is 100 – 12800. That should be ideal for the purpose of shooting in most lighting situations. There is a built-in flash. It should be perfect for balancing those backlit scenes when you want to capture your significant other against a beautiful sunset on the cruise.
Finally, the EOS 100D is a capable video shooter as well. It shoots full HD videos at a maximum frame rate of 30 fps. Maximum clip length is 29 mins and 59 secs. There’s an option to plug in an external stereo mic for recording better sound quality.
- Waterproof to 50 feet (15 meters), Shockproof to 7 feet (2.1 meters), Crushproof to 220 pounds force, Freeze proof to 14...
- 21mm Ultra-Wide Angle Lens, 5X optical zoom
- Built-in Wi-Fi & GPS (oI Share & OI Track)
- Super Macro mode
- 13 Art filters plus Live Composite
Then again, you can’t keep an all-weather camera like the Olympus Stylus TOUGH TG-870 out of the equation for long. This is the sort of camera every action, sports and adventure seeker would love to carry with him no matter what. The reason? Well, this camera is water, crush, shock, freeze and dustproof. f
If you are not too finicky about sensor sizes, then you would probably not even notice that the Stylus TOUGH TG-870 has a small 1/2.3″ BSI CMOS sensor beating at its heart. BSI stands for back-side illumination. This is what makes the small sensor, with 16-megapixel resolution, perform fantastically, even in low light situations. The TruePic VII image processor is the reason behind the camera’s excellent low light performance.
The Stylus TOUGH TG-870 is a fixed lens camera. What it means is that you are stuck with a single variable focal length lens with an optical zoom of 5x. In 35mm format parlance that is the equivalent of 21-105mm. That should give you more than the average coverage from wide angle to medium telephoto. Exactly what you need from the best camera for cruising. Plus, to sweeten the deal, the lens comes with optical image stabilization.
The camera has built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, the perfect connectivity features for geo-tagging your images and to transfer stills and videos for instant sharing and or backing up. It has a decent 7 fps continuous shooting speed as well. It makes full HD videos with stereo sound quality. However, the stand-out feature is no doubt the weather-sealing of the camera.
At this budget, this is one of the best cameras for cruising. You can take it on a dive 50m under water and it would continue to shoot stills and videos. It will continue to perform even at temperatures of 14 ˚ and take pressures of up to 220 lbf. Plus, in the inadvertent situation, you were to drop the camera it should survive a fall from even 7’.
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- 12MP 1/2.3" BSI-CMOS sensor
- 28-140mm F3.9-4.8 equivalent lens with optical image stabilization (5x optical zoom)
- ISO 100-3200
- 3" fixed LCD with 461,000 dots
- 1080/24p HD video plus super slow motion video at 640x480 (H.264)
Canon’s PowerShot D30 is a shockproof and waterproof point & shoot camera powered by a 12.1 megapixel 1/2.3″ HS CMOS sensor. Backed by the Canon label and powered by a DIGIC 4 image processing engine, the PowerShot D30 is capable of shooting images of the resolution 4000 x 3000.
Small sensors with high-resolution aren’t always the best ingredients for a good camera. Unless special technology like BSI is used to counter the problem of noise that arises when a large number of pixels are packed on a small surface. Thankfully, the PowerShot D30 has only 12.1 megapixels.
This is a fixed lens camera with a 35mm format equivalent focal length of 28 – 140mm. What this means is that you can produce great quality imagery with a single lens covering an essential focal length you are likely to use on a cruise.
The only thing probably not as breathtaking as the other features of the camera is the continuous shooting speed of the camera. It is only 1.9 fps. But then on a cruise, your primary requirements are a camera that is sea-worthy.
The salty sea wind and the moisture that is everywhere can render the best of DSLRs and point & shoots out of order in no time. You need proper weather sealing. This is where the PowerShot D30 comes into the picture.
The camera is capable of working in depths of up to 82’. It is freeze proof up to a temperature of 14 ˚ F and should survive a fall from a height of 6.5’.
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Rajib is an avid travel photographer and an overall shutterbug. He loves to test and review new photography gear. He has been writing about cameras and lenses for over 10 years now. You can consider him as your “master guide” here at PhotoWorkout.
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