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11 Best Cameras for Hiking and Backpacking in 2024

Last updated: March 13, 2024 - 24 min read
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With the best camera for hiking in hand, you can capture glorious photos while on the trail. But what is the best camera for hiking? Well, you need a camera that produces excellent images. You might want extra features like video or high-res mode. But most importantly, you need a camera that can cope with life outdoors.

We recommend the Olympus OM System OM-5 as the best camera for hiking. It’s a compact and lightweight mirrorless camera. It’s packed with advanced features for breathtaking photos and videos. And it’s ruggedly built for extreme conditions.

Our Top 3 Choices for The Best Camera For Hiking
Olympus OM System OM-5
Olympus OM System OM-5
Olympus OM System OM-5
Nikon Z50
Nikon Z50
Nikon Z50
Olympus Tough TG-6
Olympus Tough TG-6
Olympus Tough TG-6
 

What Is the Best Camera For Hiking?

The best camera for hiking needs to be rugged and perform well outdoors. Exploring areas of outstanding natural beauty is one of the true pleasures of hiking. And it’s best to have a camera that captures the stunning scenery with breathtaking images.

The sensor size and megapixel count are important factors in image quality. But it’s also best to look for good ISO ranges, image stabilization, and special shooting modes. These might include High Dynamic Range or High Resolution Shot modes.

Size and weight are important factors in a hiking camera. Of course, we recommend you use one of the best camera backpacks for hiking. But you still don’t want a camera that’s too big and heavy.

The best camera must be tough and durable, as hiking can be arduous. And you don’t want one that falters as soon as you’ve set off. You should also think about the weather. Blue skies can turn grey in minutes, so hikers need a weather-sealed camera.

Here’s a rundown of the best cameras for hiking and backpacking. This is just an introduction before we look at each camera in more detail below. We also have a FAQ section at the end for more information on cameras for hiking.

Our Top Choice
Olympus OM System OM-5
Olympus OM System OM-5
Olympus OM System OM-5
  • Excellent 20.4 MP Micro Four Thirds sensor
  • Handheld High Res Shot mode for stunning images
  • 1,053 focus points in the autofocus (AF) system
  • Built-in focus stacking and HDR features
  • Weather-sealed for extreme conditions
Best APS-C Mirrorless Camera
Nikon Z50
Nikon Z50
Nikon Z50
  • Powerful image quality in a lightweight design
  • 20.9 MP sensor with 4K Ultra HD video features
  • Large lens mount for high image quality and low-light performance
  • Flip-down touch LCD screen for selfies and vlogging
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for easy files transfers
Best Compact Camera
Olympus Tough TG-6
Olympus Tough TG-6
Olympus Tough TG-6
  • High-resolution lens and back-illuminated CMOS sensor
  • Pro processor, 4x zoom, macro and underwater modes
  • 4K and Full HD 120-fps high-speed recording
  • Long battery life with up to 110 minutes of recording
  • Waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, crushproof, and freezeproof
Best for Beginners
Pentax K-70
Pentax K-70
Pentax K-70
  • Decent 24 MP APS-C sensor for entry-level camera
  • In-body shake reduction (SR) for slower shutter speeds
  • Vari-angle LCD screen
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for easy photo sharing
  • Weather-resistant, works in sub-zero temperatures
Best Fujifilm Camera
Fujifilm X-T5
Fujifilm X-T5
Fujifilm X-T5
  • High-quality 40.2 MP APS-C sensor
  • In-body image stabilization
  • Excellent 6.2K/30p in quality 4:2:2 format and 10-bit color
  • 1.84 million dot, three-way tilting LCD
  • Weather-resistant, compact, lightweight body
Best Hybrid Camera
Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 II
Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 II
Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 II
  • 20.3 MP MFT sensor with excellent dynamic range
  • 5-axis photo and video image stabilization up to 5 stops
  • 4K/60p video and 6K Photo mode with 60 fps burst
  • USB-charging and dual card slots
  • Weather-sealed and functions in below-zero temps
Best APS-C DSLR
Pentax K-3 Mark III
Pentax K-3 Mark III
Pentax K-3 Mark III
  • 25 MP APS-C sensor with excellent low-light performance
  • 5-axis image stabilization for blur-free images
  • High-resolution and HDR modes, plus an Astrotracer
  • Excellent in low light and super-wide ISO range
  • Robust and wether-sealed body
Best Action Camera
GoPro Hero11 Black
GoPro Hero11 Black
GoPro Hero11 Black
  • Wide-angle lens for expansive field of view
  • Unbelievable 5.3K video and 27 MP photos
  • Hyper Smooth stabilization for silky smooth video
  • 8x slow-motion at 2.7K and 60 fps burst mode for stills
  • Waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof
Best Bridge Camera
Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV
Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV
Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV
  • 20.1 MP 1" sensor with vibrant details and colors
  • 24-600mm f/2.4-4 Zeiss lens with 24x zoom
  • Sony's SteadyShot optical stabilization
  • Excellent AF system with fast subject tracking
  • 24 fps continuous shooting—up to 249 frames
Best Full Frame Mirrorless
Nikon Z7 II
Nikon Z7 II
Nikon Z7 II
  • Ultra-high resolution 45.7 MP sensor
  • Built-in vibration reduction system
  • 4K Ultra HD/60p and time-lapse video
  • Dual image processors and dual card slots
  • Weather-sealed and weather-resistance compatible lenses
Best Full Frame DSLR
Pentax K-1 Mark II
Pentax K-1 Mark II
Pentax K-1 Mark II
  • Powerful 36 MP full-frame sensor
  • Engine Accelerometer for fast focus and image sharpness
  • Built-in image stabilization
  • Pixel-Shift Resolution mode for high-resolution images
  • Rugged body with thorough weather sealing

11 Best Cameras for Hiking

Here’s our selection of the best hiking cameras in detail. There’s a wide range of cameras on the list. These include DSLR, mirrorless, and compact cameras. And we have full-frame, APS-C, and Micro Four Thirds (MFT) cameras.

There’s a wide variety. But they are all well suited to the demands of hiking photographers.

1. Olympus OM System OM-5

Olympus OM System OM-5
Released
Released
2022
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
Micro Four Thirds
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Micro 4/3
Megapixels
Megapixels
20 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
121
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
25600
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
30 fps
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization
1
Video
Video
1
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
High-resolution shot mode, built-in HDR mode, focus stacking, weather-sealing
Best For
Best For
Hikers looking for a compact and robust mirrorless camera

Olympus has now rebranded as “OM Systems.” But they are still producing outstanding Micro Four Thirds cameras. And the OM System OM-5 is the best camera for hiking and backpacking. It’s compact and robust. And it’s packed with features for capturing incredible photos and media.

This camera has a Micro Four Thirds sensor. This sensor is smaller than the APS-C or full-frame sensors, making the camera body more compact and lightweight. That’s why MFT cameras are ideal for hiking, backpacking, and travel photography.

It’s also a tough little camera. It has IP53 protection, meaning it’s thoroughly weather-sealed and splashproof. You can keep shooting in the worst weather conditions. And you can even use it in temperatures as low as -10 degrees C.

The sensor has a 20.3 MP resolution. That’s great for a sensor of this size. You get vibrant colors and sharp details. It’s a big step up even from the most advanced smartphone cameras.

There’s also a more-power option if 20.3 MP isn’t enough. The camera’s high-resolution shot mode gives you stunning 50 MP images. It does this by creating a composite of several images. And you can shoot this handheld. You don’t need a tripod.

The built-in HDR mode is another highlight. Like the High Res Shot mode, it creates a composite of several images. You can use three to seven images with different exposures. And the camera puts them together to make one HDR image. You don’t need any photo editing software.

The OM System OM-5 also has five-axis image stabilization. This counteracts camera shake, allowing you to shoot with slower shutter speeds. It’s ideal if you want to use a large depth of field. You don’t need a tripod to shoot epic landscape photography.

Like all the best Olympus cameras, it has excellent video features, too. You can record fabulous 4K video with a smooth 30-fps (frames per second) frame rate. And you can shoot a vertical video if you need a vlogging camera.

You can also charge the camera using a USB cable. So you can charge it using a portable power bank when hiking!

Check out all the best Olympus lenses for this OM System camera.

 

2. Nikon Z50

Nikon Z50
Released
Released
2019
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Nikon Z
Megapixels
Megapixels
21 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
209
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
51200
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
11 fps
Video
Video
1
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
4K time-lapse mode, flip-down LCD screen, built-in flash, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity
Best For
Best For
Hikers looking for a vlogging and social media camera

The Nikon Z50 is a fantastic mirrorless camera from Nikon’s Z series. It’s compact and lightweight. It has a good level of durability. And it produces excellent photo and video media. It’s ideal for hikers wanting to boost their social media strategies.

The APS-C sensor has a 20.9 MP resolution. And paired with the EXPEED 6 processor, the camera delivers fantastic photos.

You get an expanded ISO range to 204,800, which is great for low-light photography. But you also get a low 100 ISO setting, ideal for shooting landscapes and nature.

The video features make this one of the best vlogging cameras. The LCD screen flips down so you can record yourself. And the eye-detection AF makes sure you don’t go out of focus.

You can record 4K videos. And you get a selection of frame rates, including 30 fps in full resolution. You can even shoot Full HD slow-motion videos, so it’s a fantastic feature for shooting breathtaking natural beauty.

This mirrorless also gives you time-lapse video options. And it generates the 4K time-lapse video in-camera. You don’t need extra gear or software!

The Nikon Z50 also has some weatherproofing. It isn’t weather-sealed. But there is some protection against wet weather. This means it will be fine in light showers. But you will have to be careful in heavy rain.

Check out all the best Nikon Z lenses for this mirrorless camera.

 

3. Olympus Tough TG-6

Olympus Tough TG-6
Released
Released
2019
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
1/2.3”
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Fixed
Megapixels
Megapixels
12 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
25
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
1600
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
20 fps
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization
1
Video
Video
1
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
4x zoom, underwater shooting and macro shooting modes, Full HD 120 fps video, fully waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof
Best For
Best For
Adventurous photographers looking for a tough, compact camera

The Olympus Tough TG-6 is the best compact camera for hiking. It’s a durable option for a life in the great outdoors. It can take a beating. But it also has an excellent array of photography modes. So it’s a pocket-sized monster!

The TG-6 is tough by name and by nature. It’s completely waterproof down to 50 ft (15 m). It’s crushproof, dustproof, and shockproof. Plus, it works without issue in temperatures as low as -10 degrees C. That’s one tough, compact camera.

It has a small one-inch image sensor. The 12 MP resolution won’t break any records for image quality. But the camera does have a great set of photography features. There’s also a macro lens setting with four modes for macro photography. And it has five underwater photography modes.

The camera has a fixed lens. Its optical quality is excellent for a point-and-shoot camera. And it has a maximum aperture of f/2. That’s a fast aperture that gives you excellent performance in low light. Plus, it also gives you a 4x optical zoom range.

It’s a great action camera for recording adventure videos. You can record 4K videos. And you can shoot slow-motion videos in Full HD. That’s great for hiking and adventure videos. The battery is also long-lasting, with 110 minutes of recording time.

The Tough TG-6 is a true hiking camera. It isn’t only a media production machine. It also has built-in GPS tracking, a compass, and a thermometer. It even has a barometer! It’s the total package for backpackers, hikers, and adventurers.

 

4. Pentax K-70

Pentax K-70
Released
Released
2016
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Pentax KAF2
Megapixels
Megapixels
24 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
11
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
102400
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
6 fps
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization
1
Video
Video
1
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Shake reduction, vari-angle LCD screen, Wi-Fi connectivity, weather-sealing
Best For
Best For
Beginner photographers who love the outdoors

Pentax has built its reputation on producing hard-working, durable DSLR cameras. That’s even true of their beginner cameras. And the Pentax K-70 is the perfect example. It’s an entry-level camera that’s easy to get to grips with. But it’s tough too.

This DSLR has a 24 MP APS-C sensor. It’s an excellent resolution for a camera at this level. And its high dynamic range gives you even better detail.

The low-light performance is fantastic. The camera has an ISO range from 100 to 204,800. This allows you to capture fabulous images when hiking in the early morning or late evening.

This Pentax camera also has a shake-reduction system. It’s an image stabilization system not often found in beginner cameras. It allows you to shoot with slower shutter speeds. This gives you more control over your exposure settings. And it means you don’t need a tripod in your camera backpack.

The video features are the camera’s weakness. You only get Full HD recordings. But the camera does have Wi-Fi connectivity. That means you can share images with other devices wirelessly.

The Pentax K-70 is a tough camera. It’s fully weather-sealed for all-weather photography. The body has excellent build quality. And you can use it in sub-zero temperatures. That’s good news if you’re hiking in snowy mountains.

Pentax fans should also check out our list of the best Pentax lenses.

 

5. Fujifilm X-T5

Fujifilm X-T5
Released
Released
2022
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Fujifilm X
Megapixels
Megapixels
40 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
425
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
12800
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
15 fps
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization
1
Video
Video
1
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Film simulation modes, vari-angle LCD touchscreen, weather-resistant
Best For
Best For
Hikers looking for state-of-the-art mirrorless with weather-sealing

The Fujifilm X-T5 is the latest model in the Fujifilm X Series. It looks fantastic. It’s packed with top-of-the-range mirrorless features. And it’s tough enough for a life on the hiking trail.

This mirrorless camera has a powerful 40.2 MP sensor. That’s incredible for an APS-C camera. And it isn’t just a number. It translates into images of outstanding quality.

The colors are rich and well-rendered. And the details are sharp in all areas of the images. It also has a low ISO of 125, an improvement from the X-T4.

The in-body image stabilization (IBIS) helps you achieve even better results. It gives you five stops of shutter speed compensation. And that improves photography in low light. This means you can shoot landscapes handheld. And you don’t need a camera tripod or monopod.

The IBIS enables the mirrorless camera’s Pixel Shift Multi Shot mode. It’s a high-resolution mode that composites 20 separate frames to make one image. You don’t need any software or post-processing. And it gives you images with a jaw-dropping 160 MP resolution. That makes this an ultra-high-resolution camera.

The Fujifilm X-T5 also gives you advanced multimedia features. You can record videos in superb 6.2K resolution at 30 fps. You also get a fast 20 fps burst mode with the electronic shutter. And it’s Wi-Fi connected for fast media sharing. 

A robust outer shell protects all the high-tech features. And the camera is fully weather-resistant. So it’s tough enough for even the most testing mountain hikes. It doesn’t matter if the weather turns bad. It delivers sensational results!

Read about the best Fujifilm X-mount lenses to pair with this mirrorless camera.

 

6. Panasonic Lumix GH5 II

Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 II
Released
Released
2021
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
Micro Four Thirds
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Micro 4/3
Megapixels
Megapixels
20.33 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
225
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
25600
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
12 fps
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization
1
Video
Video
1
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Photo and image stabilization, 4K video at 60 fps, 6K Photo mode, USB charging, dual card slots
Best For
Best For
Hikers wanting to create professional photography and video media

The Panasonic Lumix GH5 II is a multimedia machine. It’s a hybrid camera with fantastic features for photo and video production. It’s compact, so it doesn’t take up much room in your camera bag. And it’s weather-sealed for outdoor adventures.

It has a Micro Four Thirds sensor with a 20.3 MP resolution. It captures sharp images with intense colors. Plus, the dynamic range is excellent for an MFT camera. The images can handle enlargement. And they look great when you get them printed.

The video features are just as impressive. You can record videos with a fabulous 4K resolution. And you get a 60-fps frame rate at full resolution. And it has quality 4:2:2 10-bit internal recording. So You can capture incredible video from the mountain trails.

This Panasonic camera also gives you 6K photo mode. This allows you to take frames from video footage and use them as individual images. The images only have an 18 MP resolution. But it provides you with a 60 fps burst mode. That’s fantastic for recording extreme sports like mountain biking or climbing!

Image stabilization is another bonus for photography and videography. It reduces camera shake. And it allows you to shoot with slower shutter speeds. This means you can shoot video handheld without a camera gimbal.

The Lumix GH5 II wouldn’t be much of a hiking camera without weather sealing. Thankfully, it has a durable design with weather-sealing on every joint, dial, and button. It’s dustproof for dry climates. And it works in sub-zero conditions.

This is Panasonic’s best camera for hiking! And you can look at our list of the best Olympus lenses that are also compatible with this MFT camera.

 

7. Pentax K-3 Mark III

Pentax K-3 Mark III
Released
Released
2021
Camera Weight
Camera Weight
820
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
APS-C
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Pentax KAF2
Megapixels
Megapixels
26 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
101
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
1600000
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
12 fps
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization
1
Video
Video
1
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Pixel Shift Resolution mode, HDR mode, Astrotracer, weather-sealed
Best For
Best For
Photographers looking for a robust and powerful DSLR

The Pentax K-3 Mark III is the most robust APS-C DSLR on the market. It has a brilliant selection of photography features. And it’s tough enough for even the most adventurous backpackers. That’s why it’s one of the best cameras for hiking.

The APS-C sensor gives you a 25 MP resolution. The image quality is excellent, with a true-to-life color rendition and a high dynamic range.

The low-light camera performance is particularly impressive. The camera has a super-wide ISO range, giving you plenty of flexibility in changing conditions.

This camera is equipped with Pentax’s Shutter Step image stabilization. It’s a five-axis stabilizer that gives you 5.5 stops of shutter speed compensation. It’s ideal for hiking and landscape photographers who don’t want to carry a tripod.

This DSLR camera also has a Pixel Shift Resolution mode. This creates a composite of several shots to give you one high-resolution image. It also has a built-in HDR mode. And it even has an AstroTracer to act as an astrophotography camera.

You won’t find many cameras more robust than the Pentax K-3 Mark III. It has a magnesium alloy skeleton. And the outer body is thoroughly weather-sealed for even the harshest conditions.

It’s a bit on the heavy side. And the video features aren’t great. But it’s a great camera for a hiking photographer.

 

8. GoPro Hero11 Black

GoPro Hero11 Black
Released
Released
2022
Megapixels
Megapixels
27 MP
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization
Electronic Image Stabalization
Max Video Resolution
Max Video Resolution
5.3K
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Award-winning Hyper Smooth stabilization, long-exposure mode, still photos from videos, fully waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof
Best For
Best For
Hikers looking for an action cam for adventure photos and videos

The GoPro Hero11 Black is the best action camera to date. It delivers outstanding photographs and video footage. It’s completely waterproof and durable. And it’s small enough to put in your pocket. A GoPro might not come to your mind when you think of hiking. But its features make this one of the best hiking cameras.

This action camera features a fixed wide-angle lens that gives you a lovely field of view. And it has a small 1/1.9-inch sensor. But despite the small size, it gives you 27 MP images.

That’s a huge jump from smartphone cameras. And a GoPro is even better than many DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. The video footage is even more impressive. You can record with a 5.3K video resolution. That gives you glorious video footage.

And the Hyper Smooth stabilization gives you shake-free footage no matter what you’re filming. Plus, the 60 fps frame rate makes the footage even more glorious.

The GoPro has excellent slow-motion video camera recording. You can shoot at 8x slow-mo with a 2.7K video resolution. You can also use single frames from video footage. Plus, it gives you a 60 fps burst mode with 24.7 MP images.

This is a durable action camera. It’s fully waterproof down to 33 ft (10 m). So you can shoot photos and videos underwater. Plus, it’s also dustproof and shockproof.

The small size also allows you to travel light when hiking. That’s why the Hero11 deserves to be on the list of the best cameras for hiking.

 

9. Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 IV

Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV
Released
Released
2017
Camera Weight
Camera Weight
1095
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
1"
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Fixed
Megapixels
Megapixels
20 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
315
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
12800
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
24 fps
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization
1
Video
Video
1
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Fixed Zeiss lens, 25x optical zoom, SteadyShot stabilization, macro mode
Best For
Best For
Hikers looking for an all-in-one camera that's easy to use

The Sony Cyber-Shot RX10 IV is the best bridge camera for hiking. It gives you the convenience of a point-and-shoot camera. But you also get the photography features of a DSLR camera. It’s one of the toughest bridge cameras on the market. And that makes it a top choice for hiking.

The one-inch sensor gives you a 20 MP image resolution. The colors are vibrant, and the details are sharp.

The quality of the lens enhances the image quality. And it has a fixed Zeiss lens with an impressive 25x zoom range. It’s an optical zoom lens. So you don’t lose any image quality when you zoom in.

It also has Sony’s SteadyShot optical stabilization. This counteracts camera shake, giving you sharper images. Plus, it has a macro photography mode for stunning nature photography.

This Sony camera‘s autofocus is excellent, using 315 phase-detection focus points. It’s quick to detect your subject. And it tracks them as they move. You also get a 24-fps continuous shooting mode. And you can shoot up to 249 images at full speed. That’s perfect for capturing action shots.

It’s a hybrid bridge camera with 4K video recording. You can shoot with a 24- or 30-fps frame rate. And you get a 120 fps option when recording in Full HD.

The Cyber-Shot RX10 IV is perfect for a hiker looking for something simple. It’s easy to use. But it’s still packed with advanced features for photos and video. It delivers excellent results. And it has some environmental sealing for protection against the elements.

 

10. Nikon Z7 II

Nikon Z7 II
Released
Released
2020
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
Full Frame
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Nikon Z
Megapixels
Megapixels
45.75 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
439
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
25600
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
10 fps
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization
1
Video
Video
1
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Vibration reduction, dual image processor, time-lapse video mode, dual card slots, rugged, weather-sealed design
Best For
Best For
Photographers wanting a pro-grade mirrorless camera for hiking

The Nikon Z7 II is a powerful and robust mirrorless camera. It’s a hybrid camera for pro photographers and videographers. It’s more compact and lightweight than a full-frame DSLR. And it’s tough enough for any hiking adventure.

The full-frame sensor gives you a 45.7 MP resolution. That’s incredible image quality. And it’s more than enough for print media and gallery display. The camera also has dual EXPEED 6 processors. These get even more information from each pixel. And the results are sensational.

Hiking videographers will also be impressed. You can record 4K video at 60 fps. And the camera has a built-in vibration reduction system for smoother video. You don’t need a camera stabilizer for smooth walking shots.

It also has time-lapse photography modes. It creates 4K videos from the photos in-camera. That means less time and effort in editing software. And focus shift shooting is another handy feature you don’t see in many cameras.

This Nikon camera is packed with handy features. The dual card slots allow you to shoot longer without changing your memory cards. There’s a 900-second exposure feature. And you can combine multiple exposures for dramatic images.

The Nikon Z7 II is also one of the most rugged mirrorless cameras from any brand. It has a magnesium alloy body with thorough weather-sealing. It can cope with anything you throw at it. And the best Nikon Z lenses also have weather resistance for outdoor use.

 

11. Pentax K-1 Mark II

Pentax K-1 Mark II
Released
Released
2018
Sensor Format
Sensor Format
Full Frame
Lens Mount
Lens Mount
Pentax KAF4
Megapixels
Megapixels
36 MP
Autofocus Points
Autofocus Points
33
Maximum ISO (Native)
Maximum ISO (Native)
819200
Frame Rate
Frame Rate
4.4 fps
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization
1
Video
Video
1
Other Key Features
Other Key Features
Image stabilization, Pixel Shift Resolution mode, Astrotracer, weather-sealed
Best For
Best For
Hikers who need a powerful and robust full frame camera for photography

The Pentax K-1 Mark II is Pantax’s flagship camera. It’s a full-frame DSLR camera with a powerful sensor. It has pro-level photography features. And it performs at the top level even in harsh weather conditions.

The full-frame camera sensor gives you images with a 36 MP resolution. The dynamic range is fantastic. And the wide ISO range gives you excellent options when light is failing. It also has an Engine Accelerometer to reduce noise and improve sharpness.

If a 36 MP resolution isn’t enough, the Pixel Shift Resolution mode gives you more power. It combines four separate exposures to create one high-resolution image. The results are staggering. And you can shoot in this mode without a tripod.

The five-axis shake reduction system also improves quality. It gives you sharper images. And it allows you to use slower shutter speeds with a reduced risk of motion blur. So it’s a great landscape photography camera with a deep depth of field handheld.

You won’t find many cameras more robust than the K-1 Mark II. A magnesium alloy frame protects all the advanced technology on the inside. And the outer body is completely weather-sealed.

It’s dustproof for ultra-dry conditions. And it’s freezeproof for adventures in cold weather. It’s a serious camera for serious hikers.

 

FAQs About the Best Cameras for Hiking

Finding the best camera for hiking isn’t easy. There are many things to consider. And hiking and photography aren’t natural bedfellows. That’s why we’ve answered these FAQs. We want to give you all the information necessary to find the best hiking camera.

What Type of Camera Is Good for Hiking?

It’s about finding the right balance that meets your needs. If you want to capture snapshots along the way, a compact or bridge camera will do. But you’ll need a DSLR or mirrorless for more control and advanced features.

The type of camera you choose depends on what you want to achieve. And it depends on how much gear you want to take hiking with you:

  1. DSLR Cameras: They have excellent photography features. But they can be bulky and heavy.
  2. Mirrorless Cameras: These are more lightweight. But you will need a bigger budget.
  3. Compact Cameras: These are small enough to put in your pocket. But you don’t get the manual features of a DSLR or mirrorless camera.
  4. Bridge cameras: These are a good compromise. They are easy to use, like a compact. But you get more advanced manual features.

What Do I Look for in a Hiking Camera?

Image quality is important in any camera. But a hiking camera needs to be able to capture your natural surroundings in all its glory. That means you want a camera with a high megapixel count. Of course, a high MP count is relative to the sensor size. But it’s often a case of the more, the merrier.

Several cameras on this list have a high-resolution shot mode. It uses several images to create one high-res composite. It’s a great way of getting more power from your hiking camera. And you don’t have to lug a heavy medium-format camera around.

The modern hiker might like video features, too. Thankfully, we’ve listed several cameras with excellent hybrid features. You can capture incredible 4K footage along your mountain hike.

High Dynamic Range (HDR) and time-lapse modes are other features to look for. HDR images are fantastic for epic landscapes. And time-lapse videos are perfect for mountain sunsets. Astrotracers are also useful if you like shooting astrophotography.

Lastly, durability is one of the most important factors in a hiking camera. Mountain weather can change at any moment. You want to know your camera won’t break at the first hint of rain. The best cameras for hiking are fully weather-sealed and protected against the elements.

A photographer standing on a desert arch wearing backpack and holding a camera for hiking
Photo by Stephen Leonardi (Unsplash)
 

What Is the Best Way to Carry a Camera When Hiking?

  1. Camera Backpack: No matter what camera you use, we recommend a good-quality camera backpack. Cameras and photography equipment are expensive. And even if you have a robust camera, gear can still get damaged when you’re out and about. And that’s certainly true when hiking. Read our full review of the best camera backpacks for hiking.
  2. Camera Strap: This is also essential. But you don’t want a loose one that leaves the camera danging while you walk.
  3. Camera Sling or Harness: This is better suited for hiking photography. It keeps the camera close to your body, so it’s available at short notice. Plus, it’s safe and doesn’t get in the way.
  4. Hand-Grip Camera Strap: This is another great option for hiking. It keeps the camera secure in your hands. It means you’re ready to shoot at any moment. And there’s little risk of dropping the camera.

Are Action Cameras Good for Hiking?

Yes, action cameras are surprisingly good ones for hiking and backpacking. That’s why we’ve included the wonderful GoPro Hero11 on our list. It’s a compact camera that takes up very little space in your pack. It delivers excellent photos and videos. And it’s a completely waterproof camera!

But you don’t have to go for a GoPro. We’ve compiled a list of the best GoPro alternatives. They give you excellent action camera options at more budget-friendly prices.

 

Conclusion: The Best Camera For Hiking

The best camera for hiking can handle the life of a mountain lover and still deliver outstanding media. We’ve given you a big list of cameras. There’s everything from DSLRs to action cameras.

There’s something for beginner, enthusiast, and professional photographers. And every camera on our list is tough enough for a hike in the wilderness.

But the Olympus OM System OM-5 is the best hiking camera. The MFT body is compact, lightweight, and robust. It’s weather-sealed. And it’s packed with advanced features for photos and video. Beginners to pros can make the most of it!

Olympus OM System OM-5
Olympus OM System OM-5
With advanced features for photography and video all in a compact and robust body, it’s the best camera for hiking.