When hiking through different landscapes, taking in all the scenery is a beautiful thing, but capturing it all on camera can make your memory last forever, which is why you need one of the best hiking cameras. What one person may look for in a camera may vary when compared to another. However, when contemplating what camera you may want for a hiking trip, you should look over the kind of sensor, resolution, screen, max frame rate, video type, and weight of each camera before choosing which suits you and your needs best.
Below is a list of the best hiking cameras that can change your hiking trips for the better.
Top 10 Best Hiking Cameras
1. Canon G7 X Mark II
This compact camera is a great option for beginner camera users. The G7 X Mark II provides great image quality at a low price. It offers built-in WiFi and a portable design, perfect for taking on-the-go hiking, or even for vlogging. This camera is great for capturing a special trip in snapshots or in the crisp video and can be thrown right in your pocket or backpack. The G7 X also works in low-light environments and is equipped with high-quality flash.
- 1 lb
- Tilting 3-inch monitor
- 1080p resolution
- 8fps continuous shooting speed
- Built-in WiFi
The quality of the camera’s construction is impressive. Things that stand out include; the metal control knobs are knurled, the grip surfaces have a textured rubber coating. The menus for the many settings, features, and options are accessible on the touch screen using menus that are well organized so that they are easier to navigate and learn.
The low-light performance is very good and actually amazing to me. The bright touch screen tilts down which helps make it more visible in sunlight or visible when the camera is being held over my head. It is a little larger and heavier than the much less expensive point and shoots it replaces but the difference in performance more than makes up for it. The camera was bought as a replacement but it is very fun to use so I’ve experimented under a range of lighting conditions quite a bit in the month that I’ve owned it.
It has performed very well allowing me to concentrate more on composing good shots and less on the camera. The capability of this G7 takes me back to my bachelor days when shooting pictures with a film SLR occupied a lot of my free time.Read more reviews on Amazon.com
2. Canon Rebel SL2
If looking for a basic but quality camera, the Canon Rebel SL2 is a great option for your needs. This camera has great portability, is very light, and has great quality pictures for being a mirrorless lens camera. This camera is designed to be easy to use and navigate. The simplicity is a step up from using a smartphone and even comes with a feature assistant. You may want to consider this camera if you’re a beginner.
The Canon Rebel SL2 is equipped with a 30 inch LCD screen which makes vlogging easy, and also has interchangeable lenses for the camera. If you’re interested in taking clear photos with different zoom capabilities then this camera is a great choice. Another benefit is that you can stream videos on other devices from the camera. When transferring data, this camera has built-in WIFI and Bluetooth technology. Which makes photo transfer a bit easier.
One downside to this camera is that it was not made to be able to withstand different weather. This camera is not waterproof, and should not be used in inclement weather. If you’re hiking in harsh climates, you may want to opt-out of using this one. But the camera is still great for regular day hiking.
- 1 lb
- 3-inch vary-angle touchscreen
- Built-in WiFi
- Max frames of 5fps
Sample customer review…I bought this for taking photos at family events and vacations. Personally, I’m a little tired of cell phone photos. I have an extensive photo background but, have been out of this for 15 to 20 years. This is my first digital camera. WOW! what a difference the digital world makes to modern photography.
There are lots of reviews on the internet. They are all positive for the SL2. This is my first Canon. I now have 4 lenses to go with this camera. These lenses are very fast and quiet when focusing – this is being used by many vloggers these days. The entire system is also very light which is nice for hiking and/or walking around the zoo! When you buy this, be sure to download Canon DPP software for editing your photos. It’s professional software that’s included in the price of your camera.Read more reviews on Amazon.com
3. GoPro Hero 8
Appealing to the most adventurous and active kinds of individuals, the GoPro Hero 8 is an all-around great purchase and wonderful for hiking and outdoor activity. Although this camera may be used for many other activities as well.
The qualities within this camera are unique to all GoPro models. GoPro has been the image behind outdoor activities since their first product was dropped, and continues to improve over time. This camera enables you to get into hard to reach places while going speeds that most cameras can’t handle. If you’re really a photo enthusiast then you’ll be pleased to know that you can mount the camera to different objects, providing you the most unique and crisp quality photos.
This camera is equipped with a large wide-angle and has options where you can choose different fields of view for the best quality picture possible. The GoPro Hero 8 is waterproof up to 33 feet and has enhanced its video quality to be filmed solely in 4k quality, which is the best of the best. GoPro’s Hero 8’s best quality is its stabilization.
With many different accessories and mounts to use your GoPro with, your video will be sure to remain steady. The GoPro Hero 8, although it is compact and small, has a full touch screen, WIFI and Bluetooth technology, and even voice activation if you are unable to use its screen.
While this camera is unique and offers many benefits, if you are looking for more of a traditional camera, this may not be the best option for you. This camera is known to draw the attention of a more extreme, rough outdoor activity user.
- 4.2 oz.
- 4K video at 60fps
- 40mm touchscreen
Sample customer review…Pretty good video stabilization, better than the hero 7. Even if you shake your hands intentionally, the videos are still insanely smooth. You don’t need a gimbal or anything to stabilize your shots. I’ve been using this for 3 weeks now and I’m very impressed how stabilized my videos are compared to my OnePlus 7 Pro with stabilization on, Hero 7, and iPhone 11 Pro Max with a Zhiyun 3-axis Gimbal. Hero 8’s stabilization is just like Magic!Read more reviews on Amazon.com
4. Sony a7R IV
The Sony a7R IV camera can be recognized as the best camera in general for hiking. The camera has 61 MP of resolution and the capacity to have ceaseless taking shots at high speed. It features a quick and hybrid autofocus and a 15-stop dynamic range.
The Sony camera is known to be one of the lightest and most compact cameras on the market with high resolution. This comes in handy when you need to store your camera in small places like your hiking bag. It won’t weigh you down while you’re hiking either.
If you’re aiming to capture motion pictures and action shots, this camera will not let you down. The buttons on this camera are easy to navigate, even with gloves, and the battery life is excellent. The Sony a7r camera is an all-around great choice for hiking.
- 1lb 7.5 oz.
- 61MP resolution
- Built-in image stabilization
- 3-inch touchscreen
- Max frame rate of 10fps
- Electronic viewfinder
Sample customer review…This is the camera that put my 50 mp Canon 5DS into retirement. It’s not just the additional 10 mp you get with the a7riv, it’s also the superior quality of Sony’s lenses, the superior dynamic range of the sensors, and the amazing Sony focal systems. I’ve shot everything from landscapes to sports to fashion with my iv. It never disappoints and routinely amazes—detail and tonal contrast are better than anything I’ve ever used before.
With the Sony 70-200 mm G lens, the iv does a superlative job at just about everything. My Canon bodies and lenses are now a backup system. There’s a steep learning curve with the iv, and of course, the raw files are huge and cumbersome, but it’s all worth it if image quality is your goal.Read more reviews on Amazon.com
5. SONY Alpha a6000
The SONY Alpha a6000 is a serious camera that you are going to want to take with you when hiking. This camera is equipped with image quality that usually comes with heavier kinds of cameras, however, the Alpha a6000 still remains small in size. This camera offers the ability to attach numerous smaller lenses, enhancing this camera’s photo quality even further, and also contains a wireless remote shutter, which can be a great accessory to help with the stillness of photos or even a selfie!
- 12.2 oz
- Electronic viewfinder
- 179 point autofocus
- Internal stabilization
- 3x zoom
Sample customer review…I have nothing but good things to say about this camera. I have owned my Sony A6000 for just over a year now and it has been nothing short of perfect. I am a beginner photographer and it has taken high-quality, professional photos. The basic lens is limited in terms of the scope of photography but it has taken excellent basic landscape and people photography.
I purchased an additional lens to take night photography and this camera has been amazing. If you’re a beginner photographer looking to get into either landscape or portrait photography, this is the camera for you! It’s smaller and lighter than most DSLRs and it’s very intuitive to learn the settings and controls.Read more reviews on Amazon.com
6. Fuji X-T2
The Fuji X-T2 camera is a great choice if you are known to use your camera in a setting in which you will be swimming or outside in the rain. This camera is equipped with buttons and compartments that are completely sealed, making this safe for water use and freeze-resistant through temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Another feature is that it contains a range of high exposure which can benefit wide picture photos in any weather condition regardless of water, rain, snow, or heat.
- 4.2 lbs
- 30-inch tilting monitor
- Electronic viewfinder
Sample customer review…Love love love! Was a bit nervous spending so much money on a camera, especially since it is my first “professional camera”, but after lots of research I kept coming back to this one. I used to work for a photographer several years ago, and I had been wanting to get back into it and to develop my skills/knowledge of photography. So many options these days!! After much debate, I decided Fuji was the system I wanted to get.
-Ease of use gets 10/10, and I love that a lot of the menu and quick buttons can be changed to my preferences. There are so many options and features that it can be overwhelming at times, but I’ve found the more I use it, the more comfortable I get with where things are and what menu items mean (some aren’t as intuitive for their function).
-Colors are stunning and being able to see what you’re getting right there on the screen or in the viewfinder is incredible. Gives me great peace of mind knowing that a lot of times I don’t have to preview my photos and can just shoot and enjoy.
-This was my first introduction to mirrorless, and having a silent shutter is great for discreet shooting and a nice feature to keep things quiet overall.
-Kit lens is very nice and was a good starter lens to learn the camera. No complaints there.
-Software updates are great and I’m glad that they continue to improve and upgrade.
-I do wish the battery charger was updated a bit – USB compatible would be great (especially desired for traveling to use with a portable power pack) as well as an option for a charger that has dual charge ports for more than one battery at a time.Read more reviews on Amazon.com
7. SONY RX100 VII
Sony’s RX100 VII camera is a camera that can be a go-to for its compact size but also for its qualities that will be sure to enhance any photo that you may take on your hiking journey. This camera is equipped with a sensor that can give you a better photo through different lighting like a smartphone can, but also offers many qualities that other larger cameras offer.
The Sony RX100 is known to be one of the lightest cameras on the market. A lightweight camera is useful if you’re carrying many things on your hike. The camera delivers enhanced image quality, autofocus, touch screen, and microphone options as well.
These features can benefit vloggers in particular. As vlogging becomes more and more popular, especially through vacation spots and hiking trips, the features can be sure to make hiking more enjoyable and memorable. This camera’s rear LCD screen is perfect for composing videos where one may not be able to look through the camera to see its field of view or where an individual’s mobility may be small.
- 10.7 oz.
- 3-inch touchscreen
- Max frames of 20fps
Sample customer review… I’ve bought each of the previous RX100 series cameras up to the V and thought I’d stop there, with V being my favorite, especially with the ND filter and fast lens, F1.8 (both of which this new VII does not have:(. And I’ve sold each and everyone except the V. The great thing about the V as well as the previous models, in my opinion, is that they still maintain their relevance today. So why did I buy this model while still keeping my V?
I like the new advanced Real-time Tracking and Real-time Eye AF. I like the almost blackout-free shooting. And I like the 200mm zoom capabilities in a much more powerful camera body that I can still carry in my pocket. All of which I’ve tried during the limited time I’ve now had this camera. As well as the ‘steady shot’ which I used while filming myself walking. I think it works great as I didn’t appear to be bobbing up and down in the video.
I tried the video in F2.8 as a blogger might up close and personal and I saw a slightly pleasing bokeh behind me. I did notice that on a tripod and the further I moved away from the camera, the bokeh became noticeable sharper.
The Sony AG-R2 grip still fits this model as it has in previous models. I plugged in the Saramonic SR-xm1 mic and that delivers great sound for me and a more compact package for video of my grandkids.
This camera, for me, is all about a more powerful camera that can fit in my pocket for extreme portability when I travel, frequently, for 3, 4, and 5 day weekends and I just don’t feel like bringing my heavier cameras. I believe the step up from the V to the VII is worth it to me. If you’re a vlogger or someone that just wants to travel light and wants the best that money can buy in a point and shoot then I don’t think you can go wrong with this camera.Read more reviews on Amazon.com
8. Olympus TG-6
The Olympus TG-6 is a great camera for an outdoors type of person who is rough with their belongings. This camera can be acknowledged as being indestructible as it contains a mirrorless camera. It is fully sealed for any weather conditions and it is known to be very lightweight.
The Olympus TG-6 is shockproof, dustproof, and can be dropped from heights up to 7 feet. These features are helpful when you’re hiking high altitudes or an accident happens. This camera is also very durable as it can withstand up to 220 pounds. For underwater quality, the Olympus TG-6 can be found to be the best in its class. For its indestructible qualities and low price point, this camera is a great fit for hiking.
- 9 oz.
- 3-inch touchscreen
- 25 point autofocus
- 4x zoom
Sample customer review…Wow! I have several point-and-shoots as well as a Canon 50D and I kept running into the same situation: I needed a pocket-sized camera that could handle sand, water, and everyday situations. I have 2 small kids and those are the environments I’m in.
I just put the Olympus T-6 through 3 times in the ocean, 3 times in the pool, and in the actual sand while building a sandcastle in one day…I’m so so so impressed. It’s true, the lack of a manual is pretty dumb but the quick-start guide gave you what you need. I would not have been able to figure out how to even open the battery compartment without that guide though so take your time!
Lastly, I had read another review that lamented the lack of a wall charger, which I assumed meant one of the cartridge case ones that plug in the wall. This camera comes with a USB cord that plugs into the wall. It’s perfectly fine! It was a terrific buy for me and I am so so so so excited to keep using it.Read more reviews on Amazon.com
9. Pentax K-70
The Pentax K-70 camera is a top pick for those who don’t care so much about weight, but more about a large number of benefits that other cameras may not be equipped with. This camera has a large built, weighs in at 2 pounds, but is fully weatherproof and accident-proof.
Unlike any other camera from this list, the Pentax K-70 has a night vision mode that can enhance pictures throughout the night and can synchronize the camera’s sensor with the movement of stars. You can take beautiful photos at night with these features. It also offers a time-lapse option. Some reviews for this camera states that it is good for long-term and the picture quality supersede every other camera in its class.
Pixel Shift technology can be used without a tripod on the Pentax K-70 because of how well the image stabilization functions. You can attach new lenses to this camera which makes it comparable with cameras with built-in lenses.
Although this camera has many benefits, there are still drawbacks. The camera is heavy, it has a short battery life, and it uses an old-style charger that isn’t equipped with a USB cable. If you think these cons outweigh the pros then this may not be the best hiking camera for you.
On the other side, if you’re a lover of night skies and want a camera that is built to last for a long time with many benefits, the Pentax K-70 camera may be a good fit for you. Newer lenses that can be attached to this camera can enable it to be comparable with more modern-day cameras that have those types of lenses built in.
- 2 lbs
- 11 point autofocus
- 1x zoom
- Max frames of 6fps
- Dynamic stabilization
- 3-inch touchscreen
Sample customer review…I was out after a new camera with more megapixels than the 16.9 MP cameras in my current inventory. This camera had 24.24 megapixels at a price point that was not totally expensive. The camera’s build quality is awesome, Pentax heavy, and solid. The camera uses the vaunted Pentax K mount system so your glassworks here. The camera has a fold-out video viewfinder and the standard Pentax through the lens viewer.
The camera is easy to use and great for the person who wants to step up to a more professional-grade camera without paying the huge professional-grade money. The camera is not just a poor man’s Nikon or Cannon. This camera has some really nifty entry-level to basic professional-level features. The camera is highly scalable so you can learn real photography using this equipment.
Buy a few good cheap lenses to account for the range of photographic experiences and needs and you would be set. Best of all once you learn the Pentax way of designing its camera’s the process of learning how to use your camera gets to be great fun. This is one of the best values in the Pentax Camera lineup. I just brought a Pentax K1 camera for my best work but, this will be my go-to camera for pure knock-around fun!Read more reviews on Amazon.com
10. Canon PowerShot SX720
The Canon PowerShot SX720 is an all-around great camera for hiking. This camera features a 40x optical zoom which allows for great quality photos as close as you desire and as far in the distance as you may need as well throughout different landscapes. A unique option that the Canon PowerShot SX720 includes is that it groups your photos and events from particular days together, and puts them onto a reel with music and different effects for picture playback.
Although this camera is slim and compact, the zooming capabilities that it offers are very advanced. This camera is equipped with a 6 image processor, allowing for quality image content through pictures regardless of still photos or videos. The Canon PowerShot SX270 has improved their light sensitivity in this camera to allow for better images through the night and compensates for different tilts and movements while capturing a photo to get the most distortion-free image.
- .54 lbs
- 40x zoom
- Image stabilization
Sample customer review…I am very happy with this camera. Its lightweight makes it easy to toss in your purse or pocket. Does a great job of zoom with clarity, especially for the size of this little camera. Scene options are not as user-friendly as I am used to on my old Olympus, but other than that, I wouldn’t trade this camera for anything. Needed a quality compact camera for a once-in-a-lifetime trip through Honor Flight to Washington DC with my dad (one-day flight free to US veterans of wars WWI, WWII, Korean, that now includes Vietnam).
The creative option is pretty fun to use. Never know what the camera will do with your photo. You still get what you want as a photo but the creative options tosses in a handful of other filter adapted shots for you to toy with. I recommend this camera for anyone looking for a reliable, good camera. Also does a nice job with the video! Best camera I have had thus far.Read more on Amazon.com
Buying Guide: What to Look for When Buying a Hiking Camera
Finding the best hiking cameras that will benefit your needs is most important through your selection. Sensors can help to transform different qualities in pictures to enhance the lighting exposure and crisp your image. Choosing a camera with a specific sensor width can be a crucial deciding factor if you do not plan on buying different lenses to adjust your picture.
The resolution of the camera goes hand and hand with the sensor. Resolution refers to the number of megapixels produced by the camera’s sensor, or how detailed the picture is that your camera can capture.
The screen or monitor size can be a deciding factor if you are looking to view your pictures on the spot through the camera, and prefer a larger screen.
The frame rate on a camera controls how many photos you would like to take per second. If you are looking to record photos that may be action shots or a large number of photos at one glance, this may be beneficial.
The video quality of a camera is important when looking closer into the clarity of your video. With 4k becoming more mainstream, if you are interested in the crispest quality picture, you may want to look into what kind of video quality your camera can have.
Lastly, the weight of your camera can have an impact on your buying decision. If you don’t want to lug around a heavy camera while already working up a sweat hiking, you may want the lightest, most compact camera possible. Others may not have a preference in size.
A camera is an accessory that has the ability to improve memories and activities so those moments can live on forever. When discussing the best hiking cameras, specifically, their toughness and durability is the main concern and topic to be discussed. Hiking cameras offer remarkable abilities including great development with the goal that they can confront extreme climate conditions while catching amazing views at the same time.
Every camera presented above has various characteristics and advantages that may meet specific needs various people search for when purchasing a camera specifically for hiking. Regardless of whether a perfectly clear picture, incredible zoom abilities, stillness, size, weight, and so forth is imperative to you, these cameras each offer different options. Hopefully, after reviewing this list of the best hiking cameras, you may find a specific camera tailored to fit the needs that you desire.
Written by Jenn Hauck
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