The 10 best compact cameras, according to National Geographic


The OM System (aka Olympus cameras) just released the flagship OM-1 camera, a major upgrade from the beloved Olympus E-M1 series.   

The OM-1 has a similar layout to the E-M1 series but it packs a super fast stacked sensor for high-speed stills shooting at up to 10 FPS mechanical and a blazing 120 FPS electronic. An updated sensor brings better low light performance and subject detection autofocus algorithms that can detect cars, planes, animals, and humans.  

This model also has hand-held high-res shooting (you can take 50 MP images out of a burst of 16 frames) and the Live-ND filter, which simulates a neutral-density filter. In addition, computational photography for handheld shooting emulates some tripod-based long exposure shooting (for example, a blurred waterfall). The pro line lenses have a high-quality build, integrated lens hoods, smooth zoom and focus rings, and round bokeh visualization (background blur). 

The OM-1’s lens options make it ideal for birders and wildlife watchers. The new 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO gives you a lightweight 300-800mm range and an integrated teleconverter up to 1000mm handheld. Tom tested this lens/camera combo and had a blast photographing birds in his neighbourhood without his arms getting too tired. For more: OM Systems  

Tip: The best lenses include the Olympus 12-100mm F/4 IS PRO (24-200mm), 12-24mm f/2.8 II PRO (24-80mm f/2.8 equivalent), 40-150mm F/2.8 PRO (80-300mm pro zoom), 7-14mm PRO (wide-angle zoom), 300mm F/4 IS PRO (600mm F4 equivalent), 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO (300-800mm f/4.5).

Fujifilm X-S10  

The Masterclasses 2022: 10 practical tips to help you succeed as a travel photographer


7. Do your preparation and research to line up the best shots

Our experts agreed that great travel photography normally needs hours of research and preparation ahead of a trip, whether you’re looking for the best locations or trying to secure an all-important interview.

“For magic to happen, most of the time we need to be in the right place at the right time with the right contact,” explained Yulia. “There’s a lot of research that goes into that, as well as logistical elements like setting up interviews,” she said. “That’s where tourism boards can be very helpful, because they’re the people who are most knowledgeable about a given area.”

8. Deliver a well-presented final product

For our panellists, much of the hard work comes at the end of a trip. From editing images to ensuring you’ve met your client’s brief, it’s important to think how you can create a final product that really stands out.

“You want to keep your final board [of images] very tight — think about what will catch the eye and stand out,” said Francesco. “[Aim for] 15 to 20 pictures, up to a maximum of 30, and put these all together in one single file — ideally a PDF. Make sure you start well and finish well, with dynamic presentation that will keep the interest of the editor.”

9. Stay humble and keep learning

A recurring theme across each travel photography session was the need to keep learning and developing your skills. “Be humble,” advised Lauryn. “There’s always someone doing better work than you, and you should always keep learning. The most important thing for me in the past decade is to keep learning on the job.”

Annapurna echoed Lauryn’s advice: “If you are passionate about photography, you naturally look at a lot of other people’s work,” she said. “It’s really nice to get ideas about different ways to use light and different ways to shoot stories.”

10. Be persistent and never give up

Finally, our experts emphasised the need to be persistent and patient as you build your travel photography career.

“This can be a really long game — you have to be patient,” said Yulia. “People often start pitching and stop when they don’t see immediate results. Those of us who are still in the industry are here because we didn’t stop pitching our stories and sharing our pictures. If we can do it, you can, too. If this is your passion, you just have to keep going.”

The Masterclasses by National Geographic Traveller (UK) will return in 2023.

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