Top 5 Best Hiking Camera for Your Next Adventure

By Alice Ross | GADGETS & TECH

Jan 17
best hiking camera

There's no doubt that hiking is one of the most rewarding outdoor activities out there. The accomplishment you get when you reach the peak is definitely priceless. The setting you'll get to see while hiking is a million times better than what you can get while we are somewhere else.

However, to make the experience more memorable, it's always important to bring the camera with you while hiking. ​Having a camerais a great way to capture the memories scenery gives you.

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**Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can also click links above to check current prices and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

While you're hiking, stumbling upon the wildlife is a common occurrence – something that you don't get to see every day. Thankfully, with the use of the camera, keeping all the memories we collected while hiking is extremely possible.

How to Choose the Right Camera for Hiking

mountains

Choosing the right camera for you has never been more difficult, the great selections of equipment normally with a small difference from a brand to another may offer nearly infinite selections of specification and tag price but it doesn't do anything to help in the assortment of the perfect camera for your hike.

When hiking, the lightest, most compact camera is in the limelight, but still, there are a lot more things you need to consider. Below are some of the things you need to know to help you choose the right camera for your next hike:

The Type of Camera

cameras

In knowing the best camera for you, the first thing you have to know is the different types of cameras for you to choose from. Basically, there are four types of cameras you can use while you're hiking:

Point-and-Shoot: They are compact, easy to use, and normally affordable. This is an ideal option for snapshots and usually pocket sized.

DSLR: This type of camera is normally large and heavy. This camera is the most common camera for professional photography but that's rapidly changing with the arrival of smaller and more user-friendly cameras.

Mirrorless: This is the hybrid between a DSLR and a point-and-shoot camera. Mirrorless is normally compact but offer high quality because of the fact that it has big sensors and interchangeable lens.

ACTION/SPORT: This type is gaining more and more popularity these days. It is normally small, durable, and waterproof. It is very easy to operate and easy to hold.

Quality of the Photos Produced

hiking camera

Of course, you want to buy a camera for you to capture those awesome moments throughout your hike. The most important factor you have to look at a camera is the quality of the photos it takes.

But how do you check a camera's quality? The most common mistake many people commit is that they rely on the megapixel the camera has. Doesn't mean the camera has a high megapixel, it will deliver you the best photo quality possible.

While point-and-shoot cameras have come a long way when it comes to quality, most of them have a fixed lens and small sensors. The larger the sensor the camera has, the more light it captures and the more lights it has mean less grain.

Handiness and Portability

cameraman

The weight and the size of your camera are two of the biggest factors you need to look at when hiking. Unless you are a professional photographer, you don't want to drag a DSLR and many lenses while you are hiking up the mountain. That's why I said that the compact cameras are the ones that are mostly used when someone is on the go.

Affordability

Not all of us are able to afford to spend a lot of money for a camera. Yeah, there are cameras that are priced for not more than $100 but are they going to meet your needs? Make sure to find one that suits your budget without compromising the quality.

You have to keep in mind that buying a camera is a good investment. It is about finding the balance between the price and the quality.

User-Friendliness

hilltop

How tech-savvy are you when it comes to cameras? If you're not very familiar with how a particular camera is operated, then how much are you willing to learn? It's not worth it to buy the best hiking camera without knowing how to use it.

Both mirrorless and DSLR cameras have automatic modes, but in order to take full advantage of them, understanding the manual thoroughly is a must.

Purpose

The easiest way for you to choose the best hiking camera for you is to know how you're planning to use it most. Are you planning to use it to take pictures of the landscape, the animals, or you're planning to use it to take videos?

If your plan is to take images of your surroundings, then perhaps the better choice for you is to get either of DSLR, mirrorless, or point-and-shoot, but if your plan is to take more videos, then get an action camera that you can put on a monopod easily take videos of surroundings even yourself.

Choosing the Right Focal Length

woman

Let's say your plan is to capture landscape photos during your hiking, you may want to look at cameras that have between 18mm and 24mm as their optimal local length range. The 18mm, 21mm, and 24mm are perfect focal lengths for people who like taking outdoor photos. As you approach narrower trail, you will begin to lose wide space that makes landscape shots more beautiful.

So, selection for your lens could be hard. You'll see that a lot of point-and-shoot cameras are 24mm, 25mm, 28mm, and 35mm and so on. When looking for a lens for hiking, the best lens would be equivalent to 35mm.

Choosing Right Zoom Lenses

lenses

Stopping during your hike and taking off your bag to find the right lens, changing them to take the best shot and repacking them again would be a great hassle. Who would want to do this? Luckily, there are cameras with versatile lens, which will save you time and energy while hiking.

It's ideal to have a mid-range zoom lens which is f/2.8 through the whole range is the main lens you could consider for hiking, which you to have sensible shots of the scenery, but it also punches in to get sharper details of your shots.

But if you don't mind lugging lens and you have extra space in your bag, a big prime lens may be light and compact enough for your consideration. Rather than looking only for more zoom, buying a balanced lens would make sense.

The Best Cameras for Hiking

take a shot

Hiking is not simply a sport or a hobby; it is also about getting to know the nature and exploring astounding landscapes and natural wonders the world has to offer. For you to keep the memories of the remarkable things you'll stumble upon while you're hiking, it's always a good idea for you to have a camera to take photos.

There are a lot of cameras in the market today, but like I mentioned, not all of them are designed for hiking. As a hiker, it's in your best interest to reduce too much weight and to make as much space as possible in your backpack for more important gears. So, a hiking camera has to be light, compact, and of course, take high-quality images. Since hiking can a hardcore activity, your camera must also be tough enough to endure harsh conditions.

List of the best hiking cameras

best-camera-for-wildlife-photography

Via Amazon.com

This camera is a remarkable mid-range camera ideal for hiking. It's constructed with compact exteriors to guarantee optimum comfort while carrying it to the mountain. It is also a reliable camera for beginners as it is able to capture the best photos with its 16-megapixel low-light sensor. You can take beautiful pictures and videos since the camera comes with lens shift Vibration Reduction.

98
/100

Editor's Rating: 98/100

Price On Amazon: from $256.95


Pros

  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Good battery life
  • 9fps continuous shooting
  • Tilting 3-inch screen
  • Good grip and handling

Cons

  • Video focus struggles at the telephoto end
  • Low-resolution panoramic shots
best-camera-for-wildlife-photography

Via Amazon.com

Canon's PowerShot SX710 HS is a good leading pocket super-zoom camera for hikers. Released in January 2015 it is the next model to the year-old SX700 HS. Both of the models share similar core features, packing a 30x optical zoom into a pocket-sized body with a 3-inches screen, 1080p video and built-in Wi-Fi with NFC. The camera's 3-inch Purecolor II G screen has a resolution of 922,000 dots and a telescopic pop-up flash unit.

97
/100

Editor's Rating: 97/100

Price On Amazon: from $189.58


Pros

  • Huge 30x zoom range
  • 20 Megapixels
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC
  • Smartphone remote control

Cons

  • No viewfinder
  • Can't reposition the auto-focus area
  • Screen is not touch sensitive
best-camera-for-wildlife-photography

Via Amazon.com

Another ideal for hikers, Sony DSC-RX100M camera has a very fast autofocus and very low shutter lag perfect for capturing moving subjects such as animals. It offers rapid 16fps burst shooting and deep buffers.On top of still photos, the video shooting capabilities on this camera are where things really get fascinating and fun. Regardless of its pocket-sized body, it excellently services it purpose and more! Together with high-quality 4K Ultra-HD footage and can also instantaneously record 4K video and output a clean, uncompressed 4K signal through HDMI.

95
/100

Editor's Rating: 95/100

Price On Amazon: from $648.00


Pros

  • Excellent high ISO performance
  • 1-inch image sensor
  • Wide aperture lens
  • Large, tilting LCD
  • Minimal shutter lag
  • Raw image capture
  • Customizable controls
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Hot shot with EVF support

Cons

  • Limited zoom range
  • In-camera battery charging only
  • Could be sharper at the edges
best-camera-for-wildlife-photography

Via Amazon.com

If you are trying to avoid cameras with small sensor and aperture range that limit the kind of photos you are taking, the focus of this camera is clearly on the imposing zoom lens that allows you to shoot tight portraits.It also has Wi-Fi and manual controls that will give it great versatility. This is a solid versatile camera that offers an extraordinary zoom range and a good blend of features. Even though the overall image quality doesn't match the quality offered by more expensive point and shoots digital cameras, it is a great camera for hikers for its compact body.

93
/100

Editor's Rating: 93/100

Price On Amazon: from $159.99


Pros

  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC Connectivity
  • 5-axis Image Stabilization
  • Electronic Built-in Viewfinder
  • RAW Shooting
  • 10.0fps Fast Continuous Shooting
  • Time-lapse Recording
  • 30X Optical Zoom

Cons

  • No articulating screen
  • Slow lens at wide: f3.30
  • Poor low light performance
  • No panorama shooting
best-camera-for-wildlife-photography

Via Amazon.com

Light, versatile, portable, and extremely powerful, the Fujifilm X100T has developed into a photographic powerhouse. The real beauty of this spectacular compact camera is its versatility, from photography to high-quality panoramic landscapes, and videography, the X100T carries remarkable image quality.The retro design, changeable lens, and Wi-Fi is enough for anyone to consider buying this camera, but its small size also and the available protective accessories make it ideal for hiking. This is definitely perfect for capturing mountain photos for when you are hiking.

90
/100

Editor's Rating: 90/100

Price On Amazon: from $800.00


Pros

  • New hybrid EVF-OVF system is neat and works
  • Large and high-resolution back screen1/3 f-stops are a glorious addition
  • A real rear dial
  • Exposure compensation now goes to 3 full stops
  • Hair faster autofocus
  • Better low light performance riding on the coattails of the X-T1
  • Wi-Fi sharing

Cons

  • Autofocus can miss even in well-lit situations

Conclusion

If you are looking for the one with optimum features and you have a budget, there's no doubt that one of the best ones you will find in the market is Fujifilm X100T.

But if budget is an issue for you, then Canon PowerShot SX710 or Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera would be a great option. If the zooming feature is the most important for you Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS50S 30X would be smart.

If your plan, however, is to capture some images of animal, I'd say go for Sony DSC-RX100M III Cyber-shot Digital Still Camera.

Choosing the camera to use is not easy, but by following the guidelines on this article, your search should be easier.
Do you also like hiking? What camera do you use and which features you like the most? Share them in the comment below!

Rating: 4.71 (7 votes)

About the Author

Hi, I’m Alice Ross, a long-term traveler who left the corporate world to travel the world. I chose to live life on my own phase and live day by day while immersing myself in new experiences, new knowledge, and new people in a different walk of life I met along the way.

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