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Planning on going on an outdoor adventure? Make sure you have the right gear. Aside from all the hiking and camping necessities, it’s important that you have the best camera for hiking to help cement those memories and preserve those beautiful sights and sounds that might come your way.
Sure, most of us would think that all cameras are suitable for hiking but ask any pro and they will tell you that’s not actually the case. Find out what our experts had to say and which cameras they consider the very best for taking on a trek with this complete review.
The Best Mirrorless Camera for Hiking
The mirrorless camera is probably one of the most popular on the market today. Combining the compact body of a point and shoot and the versatile functionality of a professional DSLR, these hit that sweet middle ground when it comes to imaging devices.
The Panasonic Lumix G7 4K Mirrorless Camera is a top choice among buyers who want the best camera for hiking because it features an array of functions that make it an ideal companion for outdoor shoots. Firstly, the device is capable of 4K Ultra HD video and photo, which gives you superb, crisp detail comparable to high-powered professional cameras.
Another reason is its ultra-fast and precise autofocus, which is particularly ideal if you don’t have a tripod with you while you’re out on the trail. The lenses on the device are also designed to be impressively compact, making them a lot easier to keep in a bag while you hike your way up a steep mountain.
Controls on the camera are a breeze, allowing you to take the perfect shot effortlessly which is very helpful for outdoor conditions where you can’t take too much time with a single shot.
Finally, the device also boasts a high visibility viewfinder which makes it a lot easier to get a better idea of your capture before you take the shot. This can be very helpful for situations when the sun is high and the LCD screen becomes a chore to squint at and make sense out of.
Pros of the Panasonic Lumix G7 4K Mirrorless Camera
- 16 megapixel CMOS sensor and 4K capabilities make it easy to produce high-quality images that truly capture the details of your trail.
- Easy and effortless controls allow effortless use so you don’t have to go through confusing and time-consuming setting tweaks.
- Fast and precise autofocus gets your subjects in crisp clarity within seconds, allowing you to get back on your trail without a moment’s pause.
- High visibility viewfinder guarantees the perfect shot before you even hit the shutter, ideal for bright situations when looking into the LCD screen becomes impractical.
- Reasonably more affordable than other mirrorless cameras on the market.
- Compact camera and lens size make it easy to store and carry around while on a demanding hike.
Cons of the Panasonic Lumix G7 4K Mirrorless Camera
- Wi-Fi connectivity issues are a common complaint among most buyers.
The Best DSLR Camera for Hiking
Probably the best camera for hiking if you want something a little more advanced would be the Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera. This professional device boasts a number of features that make it a great choice on the trail, easing the process of taking professional-grade images minus all the effort and time it would take you to complicated devices.
The D3400 features a 24.3 megapixel CMOS sensor that’s essentially industry standard when it comes to similar devices in the same segment. This allows the camera to take stunning images with superb quality effortlessly, making it a lot easier for hikers to take the best captures of scenery without having to take more shots than one.
Another reason why the D3400 makes a great companion for hiking photography is the fact that it can capture images at 5 frames per second just by holding down the shutter button. The images are captured in precise autofocus, giving great detail of landscapes and scenery. This means you can take those multiples in one go and sift through the results later for fast, easy, and problem-free image capture.
Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that the D3400 is a lot lighter than other DSLR cameras on the market. At just under 1 pound, this device is easy to carry around so it won’t weigh you down as you go hiking through your favorite mountain trail.
Pros of the Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera
- 23.4 megapixel CMOS sensor makes capturing beautiful, crisp, and highly detailed images almost effortless.
- Continuous still capture at 5 frames per second makes it easier to get the perfect shot without having to stop in between takes.
- Relatively lighter than other DSLR cameras on the market, reducing the load on your back while you hike.
- Superb image stabilization lets you take noise-free pictures even while you’re on the move.
Cons of the Nikon D3400 DSLR Camera
- Pairing issues with other devices can make transferring files a little bit of a chore.
The Best Point and Shoot Camera for Hiking
Even with the popularity of DSLR and mirrorless cameras on the rise, a point and shoot camera can still be a great choice if you’re looking for something a little more budget friendly. In fact, many experts would say that the best camera for hiking is could possibly be the compact camera design because it’s lightweight, easy to use, and simple.
For our experts, the best compact camera for hiking would have to be the Sony DSCW800/B Digital Camera. Featuring a 20.1 megapixel HAD CCD sensor, the camera can definitely stand up against other, more powerful devices on the market.
When you’re on a trail, it becomes near impossible to take your time with elaborate settings and controls. That’s why the in-camera guide works so well if you’re going on a hike. The navigation system makes it a lot easier to figure out how to set your shot with minimal effort, ideal for those demanding hiking situations.
Some other features that make it a great companion outdoors are its picture effects, its sweep panorama mode, and its powerful 5x optical zoom that allows you to get up close and personal with distant subjects without having to move from where you’re standing.
Pros of the Sony DSCW800/B 20.1 Megapixel Digital Camera
- Lightweight and compact, making it one of the easiest devices to bring out on a hike.
- Powerful 20.1-megapixel sensor puts it on par with more powerful devices like DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.
- In-camera guide makes it easy to navigate and set the device to achieve the ideal settings without a fuss.
- 5x optical zoom is particularly handy if you want to take shots of distant subjects on the trail without sacrificing image quality.
- SteadyShot reduces noise and distortion caused by movement and shaking, which is especially helpful on uneven paths and trails.
- Really easy on the pocket, costing a small amount compared to other suitable devices for hiking.
Cos of the Sony DSCW800/B 20.1 Megapixel Digital Camera
- The detail might not be as crisp as other higher-end devices, which makes the camera fall short of being the number one best camera for hiking trips.
The Best Action Camera for Hiking
Action cameras are a mainstay in the market because of their unique functionality that many other cameras fail to replicate. Ultimately, what puts them ahead is the fact that they’re so small – able to clip on to virtually any piece of clothing, a selfie pod, a helmet, or any other gear to let you take impressive POV footage completely hands-free.
The best camera for hiking photography under the action camera category according to our experts is the SEENTRON 4K Ultra HD Waterproof Sports Camera. This tiny device comes with a whole lot of features, setting it apart as one of the best performing sports and action cameras available.
The little device offers 4K ultra HD resolution with a 16 megapixel Sony branded CMOS sensor. That means you can enjoy the quality of a top-rated Sony camera through the lens of this otherwise affordable third-party brand device.
Despite being quite compact, the SEENTRON does offer a lot of power with its 170-degree wide angle Sharkeye lens, its ultra-durable, waterproof construction, and it’s super easy user interface that makes it a dream to handle.
Finally, the device was also designed for the great outdoors. Most of its users are those who enjoy engaging in water sports and extreme outdoor activities. That’s because the body of the device is impressively reinforced against damage, so you can drop the device countless times without worrying about any breakage. Now, if you’re hiking up and down a mountain, that can be a very helpful feature.
Pros of the SEENTRON 4K Ultra HD Waterproof Sports Camera
- Impressive build and construction make it one of the most hard-wearing devices available.
- Compact size allows users to carry the device easily for a reduced hiking load.
- 4K Ultra HD capable via its Sony branded 16 megapixel CMOS sensor for crisp images with each click.
- The easy user interface lets you change settings, take pictures, and adjust functions and features with a single press of a button.
- Compatible with a variety of mounts so you can wear the device or secure it on a pole for an easier filming and photography experience.
Cons of the SEENTRON 4K Ultra HD Waterproof Sports Camera
- Lighting might not be the best as the camera tends to struggle in lower light settings.
The Best Waterproof Camera for Hiking
Some hiking trails give you the opportunity to take a cool refreshing dip in streams and ponds. Others have full sized lakes nestled quaintly at the end of their trail, which is always a great chance to relax and unwind after a demanding hike. Finally, because there’s no way to predict weather conditions, it’s also possible that rain might shower down anytime during your hike.
That said, many hikers often seek out suitable waterproof cameras to take on their hike so they don’t have to be too mindful of water or moisture while they’re traversing treacherous trails. Based on our research, the Fujifilm FinePix XP120 Waterproof Digital Camera is the best camera for hiking pictures if you’re expecting a little rain during your trip.
The device features a reinforced and sealed body that keeps all its internal working safe from moisture. Around the camera is a rubber bumper that also adds some durability to the device, so you don’t need to be too careful about dropping it on the trail.
Aside from having a durable construction, however, the FinePix XP120 Waterproof Digital Camera is also a reliable imaging companion. The device features a 16.4-megapixel sensor that makes it possible to take stunning photographs with the simple device. This, in combination with its superb image stabilization system, makes it one of the best hiking cameras for those who like traveling through demanding trails.
Pros of the Fujifilm FinePix120 Waterproof Digital Camera
- The reinforced body makes it extra durable against all kinds of extreme weather conditions and even occasional dropping.
- Impressive image outcomes with its 16.4-megapixel sensor that competes with other, more powerful devices.
- Can be controlled by the remote app that you can install directly to your smartphone for easier use.
- Cinemagraph mode adds a facet of excitement and uniqueness to your pictures.
Cons of the Fujifilm FinePix120 Waterproof Digital Camera
- Connectivity issues can make file transfers more time to consume and tedious.
Not all cameras make good companions for a hiking trail. Some of them are better than others! If you’re gearing up to take on your next climb, make sure to have the right equipment to help you get the best out of each picture you take by checking out these top rated hiking cameras on the market. Cement those memories, give beautiful sights and scenery justice, and make sure to do it with as little effort as possible with our experts’ top choices.