The Leading Travel Camera for Hiking the Peaks in 2017

The Leading Travel Camera for Hiking The Peaks In 2017

If you’re an avid hiker or backpacker who wants to capture some great images of your adventures, then you’re probably interested in buying the best hiking camera you can find. But with so many choices out there, from easy-to-use point-and-shoots to mirrorless models to full-frame DLSR cameras, choosing the product that’s right for you can be tough. You also have to consider durability, and whether purchasing a camera that’s weather-sealed or one that offers higher-performance is more important to you.

And that’s before we even get into the vastly different prices that some of these models cost. When you take all of these factors into account, choosing the compact or DSLR that’s best for you can be incredibly confusing. That’s why we did the work for you. In our review of the 10 best cams for backpacking and hiking of 2017, we examine the best cameras out there so you don’t have to. After reading our list of the best camera products on the market for hikers, you’re going to be able to decide which model is right for you. If you are looking for a point and shoot that you can use for YouTube Vlogging, click here.

The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V is one of the best point-and-shoot models on the market today. Compact and easy-to-use, this versatile camera is capable of capturing terrific stills and videos and comes with loaded with some very impressive features. The RX100 V camera comes with a large 20.1 Megapixel CMOS sensor that’s capable of impressive low-light, low-noise performance. With the world’s fastest autofocus speed, an astounding 0.05 seconds, and the world’s fastest continuous shooting speed, 24 frames per second, this high-end point-and-shoot camera offers a best-in-class 315-point phase detection AF.

Pair the exceptional sensor and autofocus features with the ability to record 4K video and an electronic viewfinder and the Sony RX100 V offers everything you need in a camera. Sony even designed this camera to capture high-quality 8MP stills from 4K video and 2MP images from Full HD video during playback so that you can easily extract fantastic photos from any recordings you take while on the trails.

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One of the best premium cameras out there, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR camera is perfect for capturing truly breathtaking images and videos while enjoying the great outdoors. With unrivaled autofocus, shooting speed, 4K video, and one of the highest resolution LCD touchscreens on the market, this feature-packed DSLR camera is one of the best models in its class. With a large 30.4 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor, the 5D Mark IV is incredibly versatile and offers a continuous shooting speed of up to 7 frames per second and is perfect for taking high-resolution, professional landscape, nature, and portrait photography.

With an ISO range of 100 to 3200, expandable to 102400, this camera is capable of achieving terrific low-light, low-noise performance. And its 61-point AF system boasts 41 cross-points for exceptional vertical coverage. And if you want to capture some beautiful video while you’re enjoying nature, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is capable of 4K video recording at 30p or 24p and even offers the ability to extract high-quality 8.8MP still images during video playback. And with built-in Wi-Fi, NPC, and GPS, along with a host of other useful features, this camera is incredibly versatile.

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While it’s often better to focus on purchasing an item that offers high-performance and a large image sensor rather than paying for a model with a small sensor with a rugged weather-sealed housing, the Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera is one of the best weatherproof models on the market today and is a terrific option for anyone planning on taking photos while hiking in bad weather conditions. The point-and-shoot TG-5 camera offers a 12 Megapixel Hi-Speed Image Sensor for improved low-light performance and noise reduction and a Dual Quad Core TruePic VIII Image Processor.

It’s capable of capturing quality images and 4K videos and even offers a 25-100mm zoom range which is much wider than the range offered by other cameras in its class. And its ability to offer a maximum aperture of f/2 makes it capable of tackling both low-light and underwater photography with ease. But where the TG-5 really shines is how it leverages its performance with an incredibly rugged design.

This camera is waterproof to 50 feet, dustproof, shockproof, crushproof to 220 pounds of force, freeze-proof to 14 degrees, and comes with an impressive anti-fog lens. Even the most adventurous outdoor adventure can be captured with amazing detail and clarity. And with a field sensor system offering GPS, compass, temperature, and manometer sensors, it comes with more than enough useful features to keep even semi-pros happy.

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The D810 camera is Nikon’s leading DSLR and is one of the best cameras for hikers who are looking for a premium camera. It offers outstanding high-resolution images and videos, tons of features, a dynamic range, and impressive speed. The D810 DSLR offers a 36.3 Megapixel FX-format full-frame image sensor with the EXPEED 4 processor for capturing amazingly detailed, noise-free images from ISO 64 to 12,800.

Not only does it take jaw-dropping still photos but it’s also capable of recording cinematic-quality videos at Full HD 1080p. A 51-point autofocus system with 3D Color Matrix metering III with a 91,000 RGB sensor means everything you shoot while hiking will be crisp, vivid, and true-to-life. With impressive low-light performance and an ISO Auto Adjust feature, you can quickly move between light and dark scenes without making any iris or frame-rate adjustments.

And if you want to change your shot’s depth of field, the D810 offers power iris control. Capable of capturing images at 5 fps at full resolution and 5:4 crop mode, 6 fps in 1:2 crop mode, and 7 fps at DX-crop mode, this versatile model offers astounding speed and is perfect for capturing awe-inspiring landscape, action, or nature photos while hiking.

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If you’re looking for one of the top cameras for travelling, a mirrorless model might be the right choice for you. These amazing cameras are ideal for outdoor use because they combine large sensors with compact bodies, allowing them to provide better image quality than a point-and-shoot while being less cumbersome than a bulky DSLR model. If this sounds good to you, then the Sony Alpha a6300 is one of the best cameras on the market. With a large 24.2 Megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor with accelerated readout, the a6300 camera delivers consistently colorful, lush, and clear images regardless of setting.

And thanks to the fastest autofocus system on the market, capable of adjustments at 0.05 seconds, you’ll never risk missing the perfect shot. And if you’re interested in taking video while you’re hiking, you’ll be happy to hear that the a6300 is capable of recording amazing 4K video which, from a 20MP area of the sensor, is actually capable of filming at the equivalent of 6K with full pixel readout and no pixel binning.

This translates to true, cinema-quality video with amazing detail and resolution. Sony designed the a6300 camera to be durable as well, making it an even better option for hiking, even in the toughest conditions. With a sturdy magnesium body and a sticky handgrip, you can rest assured that this impressive mirrorless model will withstand even the toughest trail.

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If you’re looking for one of the best mirrorless cameras for hikers on the market today, a great option is the Fujifilm X-T2 camera. Fujifilm mirrorless cameras are noted for their ability to offer exceptional image quality and the truest color rendition on the market. And with the best autofocus system ever developed by Fujifilm, this camera is capable of capturing truly stunning nature, landscape, or portrait photos while you’re hiking, as well as amazingly clear 4K video.

With a 24.3 Megapixel X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor, the X-T2 offers improved image quality, reducing false colors while achieving lower noise and faster AF and response times. And thanks to its Film Simulation modes, you can switch to different color tones and rich gradations as if you were physically swapping out films. This feature offers 15 modes including PROVIA and Velvia for vivid color reproduction as well as ACROS for finely-detailed monochromatic images or videos.

Speaking of video, the X-T2 camera is capable of capturing 4K 30p, 25p, and 24p and Full HD 1080/60p, 50p, and 24p videos for exceptional artifact-free movies. And if you plan on hiking in extreme elements, you’ll be happy to know that this compact mirrorless camera products moisture and dust-resistance body features 63 points of weather sealing as well as a freeze resistance of up to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

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The Sony a7R II camera isn’t only one of the best choices for anyone looking for to capture their hiking adventures, it’s also one of the most impressive mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras available on the market. With a compact size, you might not expect much from this powerhouse but there’s a reason why this kit comes in at over $3,000. It’s because it can take on practically anything and delivers amazing results.

The a7R camera boasts a whopping 42.4 Megapixel full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS image sensor for unparalleled performance. And with built-in 5-axis in-body image stabilization, you can count on stunningly clear, beautiful still photos in any lighting condition. For hiking video enthusiasts, this model also records at 4K with full pixel readout and no pixel binning, delivering cinema-quality movies.

While expensive, this fantastic mirrorless camera is one of the best performers out there and is actually cheaper than comparable full-frame DSLRs such as the Canon 5D Mark IV and Nikon D850. Plus, it is weather-sealed for added durability while hiking in any weather condition and comes with a reinforced lens mount that allows you to use a variety of lenses including Nikon and Canon lenses for amazing versatility.

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The Ricoh GR II camera is a compact point-and-shoot hiking camera that weighs less than 8 ounces while offering a huge DSLR-size image sensor. At under $600, these cameras are perfect for hiking because of their light weight, ability to take high-resolution, color-rich pictures, and compact size. The GR II is features a wide-angle lens and a large 16Megapixel APS-C image sensor while being one of the smallest cameras in its class.

Offering high-sensitivity shooting with low noise, the GR II is also able to produce extremely high resolution photos with vivid colors thanks to its anti-aliasing filter-less design. And for hiking video buffs, this device is also capable of shooting Full HD video at 1080p at 30 fps.

Additional features of this camera include the Autofocus system which stays active with movement, constantly focusing on the subjects in the center of its view. And with Wi-Fi and NFC connections, the GR II can easily sync up to your mobile device or tablet for easy image and video sharing and storage.

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This Olympus camera makes our list of the top 10 hiking cameras with the OM-D E-M1 Mark II Mirrorless Camera. This is a very impressive mirrorless model that really takes advantage of the Micro Four Thirds system. With tons of features and the capability of capturing astonishingly detailed, vivid stills and videos, this lightweight model is one of the most popular models out there. With a 20.4 Megapixel Live MOS sensor and TruePic VIII Quad Core Image Processor.

This powerhouse captures 60 frames per second with S-AF tracking and 18 fps with C-AF on silent electronic shutter and 15 fps S-AF, 10 fps C-AF with the mechanical shutter. This Olympus mirrorless model also offers and incredible autofocus system with a 121-point Dual Fast AF with Cross-Type On-Chip Phase detection. Plus, its 5-axis stabilization system allows you to record amazingly smooth cinema-quality 4K video without the use of a tripod.

The E-M1 Mark II features tons of bells and whistles including High Res Shit Mode which captures 8 consecutive shots in a second, compositing the images into an ultra-high resolution shot. Plus, if you’re planning on hiking in rough conditions, this model is built from hermetically-sealed metal that is dustproof, splash proof, and freeze proof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

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The Nikon D7500 camera is one of the smartest options for anyone interested in buying a high-performance DSLR camera. With impressive image and video quality, ISO range, and tons of bells and whistles, it’s a serious camera for anyone looking to capture amazing, high-resolution landscape and nature scenes. With a 20.9 Megapixel DX-format image sensor and EXPEED 5 image processor, the D7500 is capable of tackling virtually any task quickly while delivering exceptionally vivid results.

With its 51-point AF system with 15 cross-type sensors and group-area AF combined with the ability to continuously shoot up to 8 fps of RAW shots, the D7500 locks onto your target and performs incredibly fast so you never miss a shot. And for those of you interested in video, the D7500 is capable of capturing 4K Ultra HD and 1080p Full HD videos with full stereo sound, auto ISO, Time-Lapse, and power aperture control.

Colors and details have never been richer, thanks to the 180,000 pixel RGB sensor that Nikon packed into this powerhouse which detects human faces and offers improved autofocus performance during high-speed shooting. And with the ability to connect to the SnapBridge app, you can easily store your photos and videos to your smartphone or tablet and even operate your camera remotely. Add all this to a monocoque design and superb weather-sealing that’s designed to withstand dust, moisture, and abuse, and you have an incredibly durable camera that’s perfect for taking with you on any hike.

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Buyers Guide Questions

Are All Hiking Cameras Waterproof?

Are Hiking Cameras Waterproof?Before you go out and buy your camera, it’s important to know that not every model is waterproof. Just like anything else, hiking cameras come in a variety of styles. Some offer no protection while others offer a waterproof, weather-sealed, or water-resistant design. If you’re looking for a model that does offer some protection from the elements, it’s important to understand that waterproof, weather-sealed, and water-resistant are not the same thing.

Waterproof cameras are sealed in a protective housing that allows them to actually be submerged in water, often up to 30 feet in depth. These are built to prevent any water from seeping into the inner mechanisms of the device, allowing you to capture unique, underwater shots as well as to operate in heavy snow or rain without any fear that you might be damaging your product. Water-resistant models are different. These cameras are built to withstand accidental or minimal exposure to water.

So if you’re worried about having your device out in light rain or snow or that you child might accidentally spill something on your camera, these models are perfect. You won’t be able to actually submerge your water-resistant device and if you are operating in heavy rain, it’s still advised that you take some extra care to prevent water from seeping into any seams in the device. Normally, a simple dry bag is more than enough to protect these models from the harshest of outdoor elements.

Weather-sealed models take the worry out of using your device in even the harshest outdoor elements. These models are sealed to prevent any moisture, dust, or freezing conditions to damage the inner workings of the device. While some of these cameras also offer waterproof protection, it’s important to make sure that the specific model you are using was actually designed to be fully submerged in water for extended periods of time (click here to find a smartwatch to keep track).

This is because, in terms of design, there’s a big difference between a camera being able to withstand a downpour versus being able to operate 30 feet under water. If you’re looking for a compact, and a waterproof product that is weather-sealed and can be operated at depths up to 50 feet, the Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera is a perfect, affordable option that is incredibly versatile and durable, while still being capable of producing very impressive results.

What is a Good Hiking Camera Strap?

what-is-a-good-hiking-camera-strapJust like the lens that originally came with your new hiking camera, the strap that’s included might be good enough to use when you are first getting started but eventually you’ll need an upgrade. A camera strap is essential when you are carrying your compact or DSLR with you during your hike. It’s not practical to carry your device by hand during long hikes and keeping it stowed away in your backpack or pocket means that you’ll have to take it out whenever inspiration strikes. But straps keep cameras accessible, resting comfortably at your side, so you never have to worry about missing the perfect shot.

One of the most popular straps out there today is the BlackRapid Sport Breathe strap. This excellent option offers an impressive combination of ease-of-access, comfort, and security, all at a fairly reasonable price. The BlackRapid Sport Breathe strap offers comfortable cross-body design so that your gear hangs down at your side.  This is the perfect placement for cameras since they’re out of your way when you’re moving but are easily accessible when you want to begin shooting.

The Sport Breathe simply attaches to your device’s tripod-mount, providing a secure grip that is capable of supporting even heavy full-frame DSLRS with large lens attachments. Plus, for added security and stability, this model offers a number of safety mechanisms such as spring-loaded bumpers that stop your camera from sliding up-and-down on the strap and an improved gate mechanism on the carabiner which prevents you from accidentally dropping your device.

With comfort in mind, BlackRapid designed this strap with a moisture-wicking fabric and breathable mesh material. This allows you to stay dry, cool, and comfortable even on the hottest days of the year. With a 4” shoulder pad, it’s very comfortable to rest this strap across your shoulder. And with the optional accessory of a CoupleR strap, you can even secure multiple cameras on your BlackRapid strap. At only $80, this option is a terrific, comfortable, secure alternative to the standard straps that come packaged with most models today.

What is the Best Backpack for a Hiking Camera?

What is the Best Backpack for a Hiking CameraWhen you first bought you’re new hiking camera, you might have thought lugging it around in a single-strap messenger bag or a regular Jansport backpack was going to be practical. But when you consider all of the other items you might want to take along with you during your hikers like alternate lenses, a tripod, water, snacks, and spare batteries, the last thing you want to do is dig around in your bag or hear everything clanking around all day.

That’s not even mentioning that a basic messenger bag or backpack wasn’t designed for grueling hikes. They don’t offer the right support and, after a while, your shoulders and back are going to start aching. But by purchasing a solid camera backpack that was specifically designed to store cam gear while distributing the weight across your waist and shoulders, you’re not only making your life easier, you’re making it more comfortable as well.

If it’s time to upgrade your carrying bag, one of the top hiking backpacks out there to store all of your gear and accessories is the Everyday Backpack by Peak Design. This bag costs around $250 but was built to withstand years of use and is capable of carrying tons of gear and equipment securely and comfortably. Designed with photographers in mind, the Everyday Backpack offers easy-access compartments, hidden pockets, and smart dividers that are perfect for carrying your camera, lenses, tripod, and batteries without everything just being thrown together.

It’s also made from weatherproof materials and sealed zippers that ensure your gear will be protected regardless of the weather. Four configurable external tension straps allow you to carry heavier gear outside of your backpack and, when not in use, they can easily be stowed away into the side pockets of the bag. Available in 20L and 30L sizes, the Everyday Backpack is perfect for any photographer. With comfortable shoulder straps and a waist strap that can be tucked away when not in use, it’s easy on your body and is perfect for even the most grueling hike.

Best Video Camera for Hiking

Best Video Camera for HikingIf you’re looking to take truly breathtaking, cinema-quality video while hiking then you need to purchase a camera with exceptional video capabilities. While there are some more compact alternatives such as models offered by GoPro, it’s hard to match the performance of a high-end full-frame DSLR camera. One of the top picks out there is the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. While a $3,000 model isn’t right for everyone’s budget, the 5D Mark IV is one of the most popular models on the market for a reason.

It’s simply capable of producing incredible results. With an expandable ISO range up to 102,400, the 5D Mark IV is perfect for working in any lighting condition. And with one of the best autofocus systems on the market, with a 61-point AF and 41 cross-points, and an impressive stabilization system, all of your videos will be fluid and smooth. And as far as video-quality goes, this premium option is a powerhouse. Capable of recording crystal clear, highly-detailed 4K video at 30 or 24p.

For people who don’t want to shell out $3,000 for a camera or want a model that is a bit easier to use, you can’t go wrong with the Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera. Simple to use, this point-and-shoot can withstand even the most demanding conditions. Waterproof, freeze proof, crushproof, dustproof, and featuring a lens that resists fog, this camera can be used anywhere. And at less than $500, it’s an affordable option for anyone on a budget.

Compact in size, the TG-5 is lightweight and easy to carry. But where it really shines is in its performance. Capable of recording 4K video with impressive results thanks to its large image sensor, excellent low-light performance, and noise reduction system, this model can stand toe-to-toe with many of its more expensive competitors. Plus, it offers one of the most impressive zooms in its class with a range of 25-100mm.

So if budget is no concern, the Canon 5D Mark IV is simply one of the most impressive filming gear for hiking that you can purchase. But if you are looking for an easy-to-use, compact, and more affordable model that throws in the added benefit of being completely weatherproof, the Olympus TG-5 is a great option for you. Both offer great versatility and high-quality 4K video performance that is perfect for capturing outdoor nature, landscape, and action videos.

Hiking has been shown to improve your wellbeing, and state – as described in this study. Bringing your camera along, to look back at happy memories is a good idea for avid hikers and backpackers – especially if you are travelling in a new country! There are also many other benefits to hiking – read them here.

Best Camera for Backpacking Europe

Best Camera for Backpacking EuropeIf you’re planning on travelling across Europe, the last thing you want to do is take up valuable backpack space with a bulky DSLR, lenses, and other photography gear. That’s why you want a camera that doesn’t only produce stunning images and video, but is also incredibly lightweight and easy to carry. That’s why the Ricoh GR II is one of the best options for anyone planning on backpacking through Europe for an extended period of time.

The GR II is the best point-and-shoot model for street photography. Since street and travel photography are remarkably similar, it’s easy to understand why the GR II is so perfect for taking photos of your travels. This compact offers a huge DSLR-sized APS-C image sensor that’s larger than any rival out there.

And with a solid f/2.8 maximum aperture and one of the best 28mm performances of any digital camera out there, it’s capable of capturing brilliant, high-resolution travel, cityscape, and landscape images. The GR-II also offers video recording at Full HD 1080p for exceptional film performance and thanks to built-in Wi-Fi, you can easily upload and share your latest images and videos from your smartphone while you’re on the go.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V

Top Pick

Our top pick for the best of these cams in 2017 is the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V. The compact, lightweight, easy-to-use model is simply one of the best point-and-shoot camera systems on the market today. Versatile and offering high-performance, the RX100 V is capable of capturing high-quality stills and videos and is one of the best outdoor models around. With a large, DSLR-sized 20.1 Megapixel CMOS image sensor, this small powerhouse offers exceptional low-light performance as well as the world’s fastest autofocus speed at 0.05 seconds.

Incredibly fast, the RX100 V can shoot up to 24 fps so you’ll never miss an opportunity to capture the perfect shot. And further enhancing the AF system is its astounding 315-point phase detection system allowing it to perform better than some of its pricier competitors. For video enthusiasts, this Sony point-and-shoot is capable of recording beautiful 4K video and Full HD video.

And turning a shot of your film into a stunning image is easy thanks to the ability to capture high-quality 8MP stills from 4K video and 2MP images from Full HD. At just under $1,000, this is one of the best buys around, delivering DSLR-like performance in a smaller, more affordable package. With the ability to capture crisp, highly-detailed images and videos with ease, this device is simple to use and can deliver professional-quality results.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Premium Choice

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is our pick for best premium hiking camera on the market in 2017. While shelling out $3,000 for a camera might not be practical for everyone, if you’re looking for the best full-frame DSLR for outdoor photography, the 5D Mark IV is highly recommended. Capable of capturing breathtaking images at a continuous shooting speed of 7 fps, the 5D Mark IV is backed by an impressive 30.4 Megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and has an expandable ISO range of up to 102400, making it a perfect low-light, low-noise option for any outdoor situation.

With its 61-point autofocus system with 41 cross-points, this model offers the best vertical coverage ranges in its class and can take vivid, high-resolution photographs.If you’re planning on shooting video, the 5D Mark IV has you covered. It offers 4K video recording at 30p and 24p as well as the ability to extract high-quality 8.8MP still images from your videos during playback.

Plus, it offers built-in Wi-Fi and NPC connectivity so that you can easily share your images and video to your smartphone or tablet. With all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a premium model, the 5D Mark IV is perfect for a professional or a beginner who is willing to take some time to learn the intricacies of this workhorse. With plenty of automatic settings, as well as the ability to manually work your exposure settings, this is the only camera you’ll ever need.

Olympus TG-5

Great Value

Our choice for the best deal is the Olympus TG-5 Waterproof Camera. At only $449, this high-performance digital camera is one of the most affordable options on the market for anyone looking for a compact model that delivers exceptional results. Plus, with its durable construction, this rugged model works in any condition. With a 12 Megapixel Hi-Speed Image Sensor, the TG-5 offers improved low-light performance and noise reduction while its Dual Quad Core TruePic VIII Image Processor allows it to capture stunning, high-quality images as well as 4K videos.

With a best-in-class zoom range of 25-100mm, the TG-5 is great for capturing any action or landscape scene and, thanks to an impressive maximum aperture of f/2, this model can even take fantastic underwater images. What really sets this one apart from the competition is that it is a high-performance device that is totally weatherproof. Normally, models at this price offer only one of these features but Olympus has managed to make the TG-5 practically indestructible.

It’s waterproof to 50 feet, dustproof, shockproof, crushproof to 220 pounds of force, freeze-proof to 14 degrees, and comes with an impressive anti-fog lens. At only $449, this easy-to-use model can withstand the elements while delivering the high-quality images and videos that you’d expect from the more expensive camera systems on the market.

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