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There’s no arguing that the smartphone has become our favorite camera for everyday casual shooting. But when you’re venturing hundred or thousands of miles to see something new, there’s no beating a traditional camera. Whether it’s a rugged shooter that can withstand the water and sand of the beach, or a high-zoom model that lets you reach a distant landmark without schlepping there, dedicated cameras bring extra tools to the table that can pay dividends on vacation. And, since many of the latest cameras have Wi-Fi built in, you can pair them with smartphones to share your travel pics during the vacation, not after.

The camera you pick depends on the type of travel you’re planning to do this summer. You can go for an all-purpose model that covers the basics, or a niche camera designed for precisely the activity you’re doing. Whether you’re looking to record some action video or capture stunning sunsets, there’s an ideal vacation camera for you to bring along – and most won’t break the bank.

Action camcorders

If you want to add a unique spin (literally), check out some of the new 360-degree action cameras, like the VSN Mobil V.360 and Kodak Pixpro 360. While image and video quality aren’t as strong as the aforementioned products, they can record everything around you, in one shot. You need to use special software to view the full spherical image or video, but it’s an interesting way to remember a vacation.

Rugged cameras

The Nikon 1 AW1 is a mirrorless camera that is waterproof, shockproof, and freeze proof, including its interchangeable lens. The AW1 gives you the performance of a larger sensor that what’s in a point-and-shoot (for improved image quality), as well as different lens options. It’s a niche product and on the pricey side, but there’s no other rugged camera like it. (See below for non-rugged mirrorless options.)

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