When we think about hiking, most of us are in for the thrill and wish to capture as many moments as we possibly can. For this, we either use our smartphones or a camera. When it comes to practical choice, people will opt for a smartphone. They will do this plainly because it doesn’t eat space and is more mobile than a camera.
But isn’t that just a dud reason to give? We all know that a camera can give you better results and capture videos and pictures of the highest quality. This isn’t matched by the best smartphonestoo. Moreover, there has been a steady rise in the segment “Hiking cameras”.
Yes, these cameras are made with one purpose: “To be fit enough for hiking”. These cameras are lightweight and also very durable to withstand extreme weather, drops, and scratches. You can capture images from these cameras and capture every moment. Some of these cameras will weigh as low as 8-10 ounces!
We know that finding the best cameras often require quite a bit of research. With multiple brands in the market that provide these cameras, it can get challenging to choose the best hiking camera. So don’t worry. We will curate a list for you that will include eight amazing hiking based cameras. These cameras are fit for backpacking and travelling to any corner of the world!
Best Hiking Camera For Backpacking in 2021
1. Olympus Tough TG-5 – Best Rugged Camera For Hiking
Reason to buy – The Olympus Tough T-5 is one of the best rugged and durable cameras to grace this list. With a 350$-400$ price tag, it also happens to be one of the most expensive cameras on our list. But what makes this unique? Here are some of its main features:
- The Tough TG-5 is known to be waterproof up to 50 feet & is also dustproof.
- TG-5 also sports a 25-100mm zoom range. This is as wide as you can expect from a camera with such a price tag!
- The TG-5 utilizes most of the picture quality with an f/2.0 maximum aperture that helps with low light and underwater photography.
- The TG-5 sports a field sensor system that takes data from different sensors to record information. It’s suitable for photographers for their growth!
- Using this camera, you can record 4K videos and enjoy their movie mode option as well.
- TG-5 is rugged and durable to a level that it can withstand even colder temperatures.
- As compared with other models, the TG-5 has a small image sensor.
- When you compare options in the point and shoot camera list, “TG-5” has a higher price tag than most of the other models.
2. Sony RX-100 V – Best Balance of Quality & Portability
Reason to buy – Sony is not just your regular brand. It’s a pioneer in the camera industry. Over the years they’ve brought out some amazing points and shoot along with DSLR’s that have high image quality. The RX-100 V is in a league of its own. Why do we say so? Here are some of the features that will give you enough reasons to buy:
- You can expect the best quality images courtesy of the Carl Zeiss lens.
- This camera helps you shoot 4k videos, and the quality will suit every class of travellers.
- Using this camera can click images in RAW quality that can help in editing.
- The RX-100 V sports a 20.1-megapixel one-inch CMOS sensor with one of the best designs for a camera.
- This Sony camera includes a fast frame rate that shows how amazing its performance is!
- You can expect crisp quality videos from this camera as it supports 4K video recording.
- Few users have reported that some of their images/videos turned out to be noisy when captured in low-light conditions.
- The RX-100 V, unfortunately, cannot capture time-lapse videos.
- For those who don’t know, this camera carries a price tag that can go above the 1000$ mark.
3. Ricoh GR II – Hiking Camera With Long Lasting Battery
Reason to buy – Ricoh is another notable brand that is considered to be one of the best hiking cameras. There are multiple cameras by Ricoh, and one of their best launches has been the GR II model. We will give you multiple reasons why you must consider purchasing this model:
- For those who don’t know, the GR II sports an APS-C image sensor, that’s almost the same size as a DSLR. Isn’t that great?
- The image quality is supreme, and if you’re outdoors hiking, you can capture incredible images in the highest quality.
- You can click some amazing landscape images through the GR II.
- Users overall have shared that the image quality is high, and you can expect brighter colours.
- The camera has one of the highest ISO performances ever.
- When you opt for the GR II, their APS-C sensor will provide you with the best depth-of-field than competitors
- The GR II is known for its slow autofocus in dim light conditions.
- This camera has a complicated menu system that might confuse new buyers.
4. Nikon DL 18-50 – Great Camera for Outdoor Photography
Reason to buy – Nikon is a legend in the camera industry, and we know what it can do! The power of their cameras is a lot. This brand’s longevity in this industry has allowed them to bring out some amazing cameras over the years. The DL 18-50 is one such camera that is an outdoor photographer’s delight. Why do you ask? Don’t worry. We will give you three good reasons for it!
- Their processor is one of the best in this industry, and it delivers high performance.
- With f/2.8 maximum aperture, expect the sharp and crisp quality of images.
- It also sports electronic image stabilization that’s rare in this whole list.
- The camera has a 20.8-megapixel 1-inch BSI CMOS sensor that allows you to click high-quality images.
- They also have their optical-electronic stabilization system to ensure high-level performance.
- The DL 18-50 has one of the best hybrid autofocus systems you can ever find in this budget.
- This camera has an average Battery Life that is a dud!
- The DL 18-50 also has a substantial body that might not suit every user.
- The optical zoom provided is just a mere 2.8X.
5. Fujifilm X T3 – Best Mirrorless Camera For Backpacking
Reason to buy – How can we forget this legend of a brand? Fujifilm is one of the reasons people have a career in photography.This is one of those rare companies that have been serving people over eight decades! But today we will discuss more on their X T3 camera. It’s amazing, and we will give you three good reasons why you should consider buying it.
- It sports a 26MP BSI ‘X-Trans CMOS 4’ sensor, which means you have no worries when it comes to image quality.
- The X T3 also sports a 425-point hybrid AF system that has one of the best Auto Focus Tracking.
- Finally, the Face & Eye Detection Auto Focus feature is better than many models in this list.
- This camera sports a whopping 26.1-megapixel sensor, so be ready for some amazing images being captured.
- You can also experience high-speed burst modes that help you get the right shot in any form of action.
- What makes this camera special is its 3-axis tilting touch screen that helps you check your images as you’re capturing them.
- Too much of anything is also not good. This camera sometimes can get extra sensitive to the touch input.
- With so many features it was disappointing to not find an in-body stabilization
- Maybe, the X T3 could have used a bigger buffer.
6. Canon 5DS R – Best Professional Camera For Hiking
Reason to buy – Let’s bring in another major player in the form of Canon 5DS R. Everyone knows about Canon, don’t they? There’s a history behind this old company like Nikon and FujiFilm. Every year, you’ll find exceptional cameras coming out from Canon. Today we will discuss in specific about their highly durable 5DS R model. Here are a few reasons why you must take this model seriously:
- It sports a whopping 50.6 megapixels of resolution. Can you imagine what kind of image quality are we discussing here? It’s a lot!
- This camera is a beast when it comes to performance and is the best for still photography.
- As usual, expect images in the highest resolution with one of the best autofocus available in the market.
- This camera sports a full-frame sensor and has ensured that each image you capture is in great details.
- The 5DS R also is well known for its excellent Auto Focus, exposure and white balance.
- Apart from what we have mentioned above, this camera is also well known for its extensive features. It is also known for the tons of accessories that come along with it.
- High resolution means Higher file sizes. Hence space & storage will always be an issue.
- There is no Wi-Fi built-in which makes your job difficult. This means that at every few intervals, you will have to transfer images to your gadget because of space issues.
- Even after having such amazing features, the camera still lacks from its competitors when it comes to the Dynamic range.
7. Pentax K70
Reason to buy – Pentax is one of those companies that are often touted to offer products that are valued for money. Yes, it is possible that providing such an offering might not give you the best of everything. Even then these guys have held their ground and have given us some beautifully performing cameras. One of them is the Pentax K70. Here are some reasons why you might be interested in buying it:
- Innovative features are one of the best USP of Pentax. You can find their innovative anti-shake technology that gets you the best quality images and videos up to 1080p!
- It is apt for both beginners and even professionals! That’s what makes this camera special.
- Their APS-C CMOS sensor with 24.2MP means getting amazing photography done is possible!
- The K70 is known to be fully compact and rugged, so it is highly durable!
- They also have Wi-Fi facilities for remote control and image data transfers.
- This camera also has a large optical viewfinder.
- The K70 is most of the time very reliant on an interactive display.
- Their Auto Focus system is almost on the same level as found in any beginner SLR cameras.
- A microphone jack for video recording would have been the best fit!
8. Sony Alpha a6300 – Mirrorless Camera For Hiking
Reason to buy – We have ensured to give you seven different camera companies to compare from. Now this list will get its 2nd entry from Sony with their 1000$ special, the Alpha a6300. When a camera comes in the market with such a price tag, be ready as there is a lot that it offers. Not convinced? Don’t worry. We will give you three good reasons why you must buy this camera:
- Their APS-C image sensor will outperform many models in this list and give you one of the best image quality that money can buy.
- It is lightweight than a DSLR making this one of the best options while hiking.
- It can shoot 4K video and provide the best output you can imagine.
- The Alpha a6300 provides superb image quality that is satisfying.
- This camera has one of the fastest and most responsive autofocus.
- You can do a lot more with this camera right from capturing fast & continuous shots along with decent motion tracking.
- As the camera is for high-end customers, it does have a menu system that might be confusing to a newbie.
- The pricing of this camera is on the upper scale, and you will see this priced upwards of 1000$+.
- One thing that we were disappointed with is that it still has a smaller lens when compared with most of the competitors.
Is a Hiking camera worth it?
A hiking based camera is worth it for every person that loves travelling and capturing moments. We say this with experience as the majority of travellers visit new places to capture images and videos of it. A hiking camera has been crafted especially for transits.
What we mean to say is that cameras used for hiking are created as per the requirements. These cameras are rugged, durable and can withstand a lot of things like extreme temperatures, drops from heights, scratches, resistance from dust & water. So if you’re a person that loves travelling, trekking or hiking, then you will need a special camera that can suit your needs.
These cameras provide the highest quality performance and try to ensure that it doesn’t become a dead weight for you. Most of the cameras in the above list are lightweight and hence can be easily carried wherever you wish to visit.
Should you purchase a hiking based camera? Or why you should not?
YES – If you love travelling and also capturing images and videos, then you must look for purchasing a hiking based camera. Purchase this camera only if you’re into a profession that requires you to travel more than usual, like vlogging, & blogging.
NO – Hiking based cameras have their own sets of problems. These happen to be a special kind of camera created for travel based purposes. Hence the cost might be more than any normal point and shoot cameras. If you’re looking for regular use, then maybe other regular cameras can suit your needs.
Which Hiking camera should I buy?
If we were to opt for a hiking camera, then this list would make our task more manageable. Why do we say so? It’s simple. Because in one page you get a list of cameras along with their pros and cons! There are different brands, and each of them provides a product that is unique to its core.
We would urge you to read these reviews in detail and shortlist a few that fit your needs and requirements. Once you’re done with that, it is only a matter of time before you choose the right camera!
Best Hiking Camera For Backpacking Buyer’s Guide
We have tried our best to ensure that you get an unbiased review of each camera. We only wish to make your task easier by listing amazing cameras with amazing abilities. But we feel we can make your job easier with a special buyer’s guide. In this guide, we will tell you the ways you can shortlist and find your special camera.
- Features: You can find the difference in cameras through its features. You must find out specific features related to autofocus, sensor, EIS, etc.
- Durable: Now remember that we are looking for a hiking based camera. Hence the camera needs to be rugged and durable. Don’t look for a delicate camera that can’t withstand one drop, extreme weather or isn’t resistant to water and dust.
- Pricing: Of course, the crux of all these posts will end with the costing. At the end of the day, we all run with a budget. Hence not only will you compare cameras based on their features, but you will also have to check if it falls in your budget.
Best Hiking Camera 2021
Overall, we would love to conclude this article by letting you know that each of these ten hiking based cameras is unique. They also are of the highest quality and do their job pretty well. Hence we request you to analyze each feature and camera along with their pricing before you make any decision.
We sincerely hope that through our informative article, you will be in the best position to choose a hiking camera that suits your needs.
Last update on 2021-01-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API