The cell phone camera is arguably one of the greatest inventions of all time. This tiny super computer has, for some, replaced the need for a watch, an appointment book, a camera and countless other items. Always in our pockets or purses, our cells phones capture everyday moments that would have otherwise gone undocumented and, possibly, unnoticed. 

While today’s cell phone cameras possess features that rival high-dollar cameras with their software enhancements, optical zooming, multi-frame image processing and increased megapixels, dedicated cameras provide more versatility in terms of lighting, zooming, manual control and battery life.

If an upcoming trip has you considering investing in a dedicated camera, check out the 2017 “best of” reviews from TechRadar. As shooting wildlife photography in Africa requires a different tool than shooting wildlife in the Caribbean sea, we’re highlighting a few of the recommendations on TechRadar’s lists based on their travel appeal.

Versatility: The Panasonic Lumix ZS50 (a best travel compact camera) leads the field in big-zoom cameras and is known as the “Swiss Army Knife of travel cameras” for its convenience, quality and control. It has a 30x zoom, auto and manual controls and the ability to shoot raw files, an unprocessed format that records all image data for maximum editing opportunities. It’s touted as the original travel camera and still “the best yet.”

Waterproof: If your vacation plans have you hiking along the river, building sandcastles or exploring the ocean floor, TechRadar’s list of the best waterproof cameras, which also are lauded as shock-proof and freeze-proof, will appeal to you. The Olympus Tough! TG-4, as indicated by its name, was built to survive pretty much anything you can throw at it, literally. In addition to capturing often uncapturable moments, this camera also supplies handy gadgets for the most adventurous explorer, including a GPS system, electronic compass and depth and pressure gauges. 

Action: This year’s No. 1 action camera is the GoPro Hero5 Black. GoPros were designed for action with their small size, ability to be mounted and dramatic point-of-view footage. While the camera’s still images create vivid snapshots of your travels, consider investing in one of the cameras on this list if you’re an adventure-seeker. In addition to being extremely intuitive to operate, this camera has voice-activation; GPS; a wide-angle, fish-eye perspective; and the ability to shoot still images in raw format.

Now that you’re going to have a collection of great pictures from your travels, make sure they live somewhere other than “the cloud” or on a memory stick. Online photo sites not only print your photos for just pennies, they also enable you to create great keepsakes with your images.

We’d love to see some of those images, too. Consider sharing your favorite vacation snapshots – from beautiful sunsets to whale watching, from 18th-century architecture to sand-castle building – on our Facebook page.