1042364520As much as I love DSLR and mirrorless cameras, there’s something to be said for the simplicity of a point-and-shoot camera. They’re compact, lightweight, and practically impenetrable to drop damage, making them perfect for travel.

(Well … Not impenetrable, but let’s just say they’re a little more child-friendly than full-frame cameras with thousand dollar lenses.)

Whether you’re saving your own travel memories or buying the perfect gift for someone else who’s headed to warmer climes this winter, compact cameras are a great option for jet-setters.

Cool cameras in hot seasonal colours

Today’s cameras all have the technical specs to offer sharp, clear images, so for the casual user, it’s not the worst thing if you want to opt for the perfect colour of camera body. While I’d never recommend buying a professional camera based on this principle (and I’m horrified that some professional-quality cameras are offered in different colours), you certainly won’t notice the difference in quality between this year’s PowerShot and last year’s in a 4’x6′ glossy photo.

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS Wi-Fi 20.3MP 40x Optical Zoom Digital Camera is currently offered in a festive red–the ideal shade for a holiday gift. It records up to 1080p HD movies and connects wirelessly to both Android and iOS devices, and its slim design was quite literally designed for those looking to travel light.

If you’re visiting relatives this winter (or if you’re a college student going on vacation), the Canon PowerShot is a great choice. Its bright red body will help you spot it in the guest room sheets to make sure it doesn’t get left behind, too!

Cameras for holiday selfie snaps

One of the perks of taking photos during your vacation is to show off to all of your friends how much fun you’re having–and how better to do that than with a selfie? Today’s cameras allow you to snap a quick, high-quality photo and transfer it wirelessly to your smartphone for instant sharing.

I’m a big Sony fan (as dedicated Plug-in Blog readers likely already know), and their Sony Cyber-shot HX80 18.2MP 30x Optical Zoom Digital Camera is ideally designed for vacation snapping. It combines the best of both worlds, with point-and-shoot size and weight paired with high-quality Zeiss glass.

Image quality is dependent on a camera’s sensor in combination with its lens, and with the non-removable nature of point-and-shoot lenses, the quality of the glass you do have is that much more important. Zeiss produces some of the best glass on the market, and it’s nice to see a company like Sony pay as much attention to component quality as they’re dedicating to sensor sensitivity.

The Sony Cyber-shot can be remotely triggered with your smartphone and features a 180 degree tilt LCD screen, making it perfect for distance shots, solo shooting, and crisp, clear selfies. If you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing with your camera, then this is the right model for you.

Cameras perfect for action-reel vacation shots

I’ve never gone on an action-packed vacation, but I hear that’s a thing that people do. (You know, the kind of people who don’t prefer to live a low-adrenaline life, and who probably don’t aspire to grow old in a house with three cats, two dogs, and no other humans whatsoever.)

For those that do, the GoPro HERO5 Waterproof 4K Sports & Helmet Camera is a vacation must. It can take 4K30 videos with 12MP still images, and if you love blazing through the wilderness in beautiful destinations, there’s no better camera on the market right now to capture it all with.

The GoPro doesn’t just have to be a gift that you buy for yourself, either. It’s a great way for parents to say “I think it’s cool what you’re able to do, and I support you,” without having to say those words verbatim. Just like any other camera in this roundup, it’s an excellent way to capture your vacation memories–and an excellent gift for a loved one who will be vacationing soon, too.

Rae Chen
Rae Chen covers everything from handbags to speakers here on the Best Buy Plug-in Blog. They can also be found at thenotice.net, where they've been writing about beauty & wellness since 2007.