You’re heading out hiking, and this time, you the best camera for hiking to document your experience. You might believe good cameras are delicate, but the best camera for hiking will withstand environmental elements and still produce amazing pictures.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorite hiking cameras. There’s a camera for each skill level, whether you’re a beginner or expert. Let’s take a look.
1. Olympus Touch TG-5
The Olympus Touch TG-5 is made for extreme conditions and is our top choice for best the best camera for hiking. You can drop it about six feet, take it underwater, and it won’t lock up in below freezing conditions. The casing is ergonomic and designed to take a beating.
It has a GPS receiver that automatically adds this info to your photos, plus a digital compass. It connects to other devices, including your smartphone, through wifi, making photo transfer easy. It’s about $400.
- Good for freezing conditions.
- WiFi connectivity.
- Digital compass and GPS location.
2. Pentax K-30
Pentax is known for weatherproofing, and the K-30 is no exception. It’s dust-proof, moisture-proof, cold-proof. It has a 16-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor for low light conditions and can produce bursts of up to six frames per second.
It’s not too heavy and can adapt to take both lithium ion and AA batteries. It doesn’t have a dedicated video button, but it can record video through the menu options. It’s about $700 plus $300 for the basic lens.
- Extremely durable.
- Adaptable batteries.
3. Fujifilm X-T2
The Fujifilm X-T2 is dust and moisture resistant for better weather resistance, plus it works well in below freezing conditions. Though it’s heavier than some cameras on this list, it’s rugged.
The 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor provides excellent photographs in a variety of light including low light. It shoots 4K video and uses both an OLED and real-time viewfinder. It’s about $1900 with the 18-55mm F2.8-4.0 R LM OIS Lens.
- Completely weatherproofed.
- Two viewfinders.
4. Sony Alpha A6300
Sony’s mirrorless Alpha A6300 has the fastest autofocus speed just about anywhere. It features a 24.2 megapixel APS-C Exmor CMOS sensor capable of shooting 11 frames per second. It’s one step above point-and-click cameras. It also shoots 4k video.
It has a tilting three-inch LCD screen, plus wifi capabilities for easy photo sharing. Sony weatherproofed this particular camera, making it a good option for foul weather. It’s about $900 for the body alone.
- Fast autofocus.
- 4k video.
5. Ricoh GR II
Ricoh’s GR II offers a 16-megapixel APS-C size image sensor with good low light capabilities and continuous shooting of up to 4 frames per second. It records 1080p video. The autofocus system remains active throughout shooting, so your subject is never out of focus.
It is wifi capable and compatible with NFC (near field communications) devices. It’s one of the smallest cameras in its class, making it a suitable choice if you want a lot of features but don’t have a lot of space. It’s about $600.
- Small body.
- Active autofocus.
6. Canon 5D Mark IV
The 5D Mark IV is a dream camera. This is the best camera for hiking for photography experts who want to level up photography for marketing or their livelihood. It features an astounding 30.4 megapixel, full-frame CMOS sensor for excellent pictures even in low light. The camera also shoots 4K video.
The 5D Mark IV has a 61 point autofocus with expanded 41 cross points for better vertical coverage. It also has continuous shooting capabilities and anti-flicker options for better light. Built-in GPS tags photos with location information, and it’s fully wifi capable. It’s a significant investment at about $3500 for the body alone, plus another $1700 for our recommended lens, the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM Standard Zoom Lens.
- Unrivaled picture quality.
- 4k video.
- Extreme low light shooting.
7. Nikon D3400
Nikon’s D3400 is an entry-level DSLR for next level shooting. It has a 24.2-megapixel sensor with CMOS sensor for low light. It’s capable of five frames per second shooting, plus it has a bright optical viewfinder for easy composition.
The body is comfortable with a well-placed grip. It’s connected via Bluetooth to Nikon’s Snapbridge system, which automatically uploads photos to connected devices. It also records 1080p HD video. It’s about $500.
- Snapbridge connectivity.
- Excellent entry DSLR.
8. Panasonic DMC-ZS50K Lumix 30x
Panasonic’s DMC-ZS50K Lumix 30x isn’t explicitly designed for outdoor use, but its weight makes it a good option. It has a 30x Leica zoom lens and handles low light conditions well with a MOS sensor.
The camera also has image stabilization, which helps reduce camera shake as you take photos on the move. The DMC-ZS50K Lumix 30x also has a live viewfinder, so you don’t have to squint to see the LED screen in bright conditions. You can control many of the camera’s functions through the control ring. It’s about $270.
- Image stabilization.
- Live viewfinder.
- Good with low light.
9. Canon D30
The D30 has a protective shell designed to make it waterproof and shockproof. You can take this camera roughly 82 feet below the water and drop up to six feet without harming the interior.
It has 32 presets to make shooting easy without digging into a menu, and it has GPS locations for photo information. The downside is there’s no wireless connectivity, and the picture quality isn’t as robust as some of the other cameras. It’s about $450.
- Photo presets.
The Bottom Line
Whether you want a thoroughly professional camera or something that’s a step up from your smartphone, the most valuable piece of advice is to learn your camera and learn it well. As good as all these cameras are, none of them will work if you don’t take the time to become an expert in your chosen camera.
What are your must-haves for the best camera for hiking? Are you a beginner or expert photographer? Let us know in the comments below.