The Best Cameras for Hiking & Backpacking in 2021

The Best Cameras for Hiking & Backpacking in 2021

Looking for the best camera for Hiking and backpacking in 2021? Your search ends right here.

Have you made up your mind to explore the world and share your adventures on YouTube, Instagram, Tik Tok and everywhere else?


I say congratulations as you have taken the step which most people would love to take but few actually do.

Obviously, I can understand why it’s hard to do that. In the real world, filmmaking is tough enough.

A hiking camera is essential to capture those stunning natural landscapes as well as wildlife encounters.

This list of best cameras for hiking has been created to help you along your hiking journey regardless of your skill level and interest level.

What to look for in a Hiking Camera

It’s tough hiking, and the camera you choose needs to be tough too. You can’t just take any camera along while hiking. It’s hard work, that’s why.

Here’s what you’ll need to look for:

It needs to be lightweight

With longer trips, weight is even more important. After all, you’ll be packing your bags for both the shooting and walking.

You’ll have to consider the lenses you’ll be using, if you’ll need extra stabilization it will have to be with you as well.

Therefore, backpack cameras should be as light as possible.

Long battery life will make your life easier

You can shoot more or fewer photos and videos depending on two factors: storage and battery life.

Having an energy-efficient camera is a must when traveling for a long period of time, not just on trips.

Having a dead camera in the middle of nowhere is the very last thing you need. 

Be aware of the size

In terms of the camera’s dimensions, they are extremely important. Since you will be traveling with so much stuff, you wouldn’t want to have to carry another bag just for the camera.

Best Camera for Hiking need to be durable

The importance of durability cannot be overstated!

You are likely to drop your camera at some point, maybe even hit a rock by the way that you move or anything in between.

If your camera’s body isn’t strong enough, you’ll be better off buying a disposable one. 

Look for good low-light performance

You will miss amazing moments in wildlife videos if your camera cannot capture good footage at night.

Write down the goal of you camera

Would you like to photograph landmarks, portraits, and events as a memento? Would you just like to take high-quality snapshots?

How much money do you have to invest on a camera?

For as low as $100 USD, you can get point-and-shoot cameras with advanced features. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a camera that has a better lens or a higher zoom? That would cost you thousands of dollars.

Make sure you choose a camera that fits your budget when you are hiking.

11 Best Camera for Hiking and Backpacking

You know what you’re looking for, or more specifically what I considered when I built this list, so let me display the best camera for hiking I’ve come across so far:

  1. Best Camera for Mountaineering: Sony A6500
  2. Best Budget Camera for Backpacking: Canon SX730HS
  3. Best for Fast-Moving Subjects: Sony RX100 M5
  4. Best for Wildlife Photographers: Nikon D850
  5. Best for Low-Light Shots: Canon SL2
  6. Best Drone Camera for Hikers: DJI Mavic Air 2
  7. Best Pocketable Hiking Camera: GoPro Hero 8 Black
  8. Best for Nature Photography: Sony Alpha A5100
  9. Best High-End Portable Camera for Backpacking: Panasonic DMC-ZS60K LUMIX
  10. Most Sturdy Waterproof Camera for Hiking: Canon D30
  11. Best Overall Camera for Hiking Vloggers: Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II

1. Best Camera for Mountaineering: Sony A6500

Sony Alpha a6500

For your next mirrorless camera, look no further. The Sony a6500 keeps its predecessors’ legacy of fine technology.

Given its small size, this camera is perfect for trekking and hiking since it comes with interchangeable lenses and a big 24 MP APS-C sensor. 

A Sony camera has 425 focus points, can record 4K video up to 11 frames per second, and can take still images. These features are great for taking pictures of wildlife while hiking.

Even in low light, its larger sensor produces a better image due to its increased resolution.

In addition, the camera sports a wide-angle lens, making it a great tool for clicking a breathtaking view of the sky away from the city.

Best use case:

Because of its small size, the Sony a6500 camera is excellent for landscapes, fast-paced wildlife, and general travel photos. 


  • Interchangeable lenses
  • 4k video
  • Incredible autofocus system
  • Fast frame rate


  • Battery life is short, so you might need an external power bank to make the most out of this camera.

2. Best Budget Camera for Backpacking: Canon SX730HS

Canon PowerShot SX730

This Canon SX730HS compact camera is one of the top compact cameras on the market for its entry-level price point.

The 40x zoom on this Canon camera allows hikers to get close to animals without putting their cameras or themselves at risk. It also features a slip screen, making it possible to take pictures from creative angles or take selfies.

Best use case:

For beginners or for people who want to move away from their smartphone cameras, the Canon SX730HS is the perfect camera. It facilitates easy photo shooting for beginners or for all those users who want to switch from their smartphone cameras. 


  • Ability to manually control exposure
  • Small Pocketable size
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Massive zoom


  • The resolution is not adequate for large sensors.
  • Not suitable for low-light conditions.

3. Best Overall Camera for Hiking Vloggers: Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II

Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II

With a DIGIC processor, 20.2 MP CMOS sensor, full HD videos, and 4.2x optical zoom, the Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II is an incredibly compact and versatile camera.

Among the latest innovations of Canon, the DIGIC 6 processor and the CMOS sensor can create images with great clarity even with poor lighting conditions.

Its optical zoom enables hikers to take clear pictures even from a distance.

With Canon cameras, you also have access to an optical picture stabilizer, which lets you take sharp photos even when zooming.

There is a built-in Wi-Fi modem so that you can share pictures easily.

Your Smartphone will be able to control the camera’s self-timer, shutter, zoom, flash, and shutter in addition to operating the camera.

Best use case:

Despite its compact size and ability to work well in low light conditions, the Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II is a good camera for hiking.


  • High-quality pictures
  • 4k Video
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Compact size


  • Poor battery life

4. Best for Fast-Moving Subjects: Sony RX100M5

Best Camera for Hiking

Sony RX100M5 is a great camera if you are looking for the best compact camera for photos and video.

The camera’s sensor is unbelievable, but it’s true that it has a 20MP 1″ size in such a small form factor and it can shoot 4K video.

This camera’s most important feature is its incredible frame rate. It is capable of 24 frames per second of recording still images, making it an ideal camera to capture fast-moving subjects.

It is an excellent choice if you intend to enhance the quality of your pictures for your upcoming hike with a bright screen that rotates 180°.

Best use case:

A Sony RX100M5 camera is well suited for fast-moving objects, general travel and landscape images.


  • Fast frame rate
  • 4K video
  • Wi-Fi capability
  • Compact body
  • Fast lens


  • Its 4x zoom may have limited capabilities for wildlife photography

5. Best for Low-Light Shots: Canon SL2

Canon EOS Rebel SL2

Many consider the Canon SL2 camera to be the first DSLR designed specifically for entry-level professionals. Its 24-megapixel sensor provides a resolution of excellent quality and a superior performance in low-light conditions.

A main advantage of the SL2 is its top-notch focusing system. It leverages Canon’s extensive lens collection, in particular its inexpensive choices. It is an ideal hiking companion.

Best use case:

This camera is most suitable for low-light settings and long hikes. If you love wildlife photography or videography or simply like to take pictures of landscapes, you should consider buying the Canon SL2. 


  • An array of suitable lenses
  • Lightweight
  • Great resolution and performance


  • Its battery life is not good as other available DSLRs

6. Best for Wildlife Photographers: Nikon D850

Best Camera for Hiking

A high-end cameras like the Nikon D850 are undoubtedly the best on the market.

Due to the D5 battery, it offers an incredible 9 frames per second in high resolution and high pixel count thanks to its 4mp full-frame sensor.

Wildlife photographers and videographers can get some good results with the capabilities.

For photographers who prefer to shoot in 4K, this DSLR camera from Nikon is the ideal choice to pack in your backpack for those mesmerizing hikes. 

Best use case:

Nikon’s D850 is an excellent camera for wildlife photography, travel, and landscape photography. 


  • Excellent low-light capabilities
  • 4K video
  • Fast frame rates
  • It is suitable for all kinds of video capability and photography


  • It is expensive
  • Its weight can be an issue while traveling

7. Best Drone Camera for Hikers: DJI Mavic Air 2

DJI Mavic Air

Drones are becoming increasingly versatile and popular tools for videographers and photographers, allowing for video productions that don’t require being on the ground. The DJI Mavic Pro is one of the best options on the market for hikers. 

With a flight time of 25 minutes, and 4K video capabilities at 60 frames per second, the drone can be used as an alternative hiking camera. Just set up the tiny drone with a remote control and fly around. 

Best use case:

The DJI Mavic Air 2 is most suitable for including a fresh perspective to the hikes.


  • The drone is compact and versatile
  • It offers a unique angle
  • The tool can also come in handy to track your way back to your vehicle


  • Sensor size is small
  • Flight time is limited
  • You cannot take it to some national park

8. Best for Nature Photography: Sony Alpha A5100

Best Camera for Hiking

With its light weight, the Sony camcorder is suitable for mountaineering, backpacking, hiking, and trekking.

Cameras such as this one are perfect for anyone who wants to take outstanding photos but does not care too much about the robustness.

A superb performance can be achieved by the Sony camera even in conditions requiring low-light shooting.

You can take high-resolution pictures with 24-megapixel resolution. Its size makes it easy to use on trails, and it has a zoom lever that’s convenient.

Also included is a flip-up touch LED screen that allows you to take selfies with accuracy & ease.

You do not need to carry the cables with you when you are backpacking because the Sony camera has inbuilt Wi-Fi connectivity, which enables you to transfer the pictures to your Smartphone.

Whenever you want to pair your camera with a smartphone, you can easily get Near Field Communication (NFC). It’s just as straightforward as that.

Best use case:

For people who prefer picture quality over robustness, the Sony Alpha a5100 is a great camera.


  • Superior picture quality
  • Touch screen
  • NFC
  • Wi-Fi connectivity


  • High price tag

9. Best Pocketable Hiking Camera: GoPro Hero 8 Black

GoPro HERO8 Black

The lightweight GoPro camera made it possible to shoot in 4K with 60 frames per second. Its body is also water-resistant and shock-resistant, so it’s the ideal choice for hiking. 

When you are walking, biking or doing other adventure activities, Hypersmooth lets you get incredible quality stable footage.

Photographers can capture virtually anything with the camera, even below water, since it is so versatile.

Several accessories are available for this camera, making it the perfect camera to capture vacation and hiking memories. 

Best use case:

With the GoPro Hero 8 Black, you can easily shoot underwater and above water with your phone. 


  • 4K video at 60 frames per second
  • 1080p Live Streaming
  • Waterproof, rugged
  • Versatile


  • Sensor size is small
  • The native lens is extremely wide
  • Resolution is limited

10. Best High-End Portable Camera for Backpacking: Panasonic DMC-ZS60K LUMIX

Best Camera for Hiking

For those who like outdoor activities such as mountaineers and hikers, this camera is great.

The camera is also suitable for outdoor activities since it is lightweight and conveniently sized.

Panasonic’s DMC-ZS60K camera makes use of an ultra-precise Leica zoom optic which is capable of zooming 30 times. This enables you to take beautiful pictures from a distance.

Its MOS sensor is highly sensitive, so low-light conditions are not an issue. It optimizes picture quality. It also uses very little energy.

Its optical image stabilization offers great anti-blur. That’s a plus, as constantly keeping your hands steady is not that easy when hiking.

A moving object can be captured sharply and in focus.

As a result of its placement on the lens, the control ring can be used to control exposure, zoom, focus, and focus.

A convenient live viewfinder is also provided in the camera when its LED screen makes a shot particularly challenging in bright weather.

Another feature is the camera’s eye sensor that switches between the live viewfinder and the LED screen automatically.

Best use case:

The Panasonic DMC-ZS60K LUMIX camera is the perfect compact camera for hiking with excellent images and videos.


  • Superior video and picture quality
  • Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Not bulky
  • Compact size


  • High price

11. Most Sturdy Waterproof Camera for Hiking: Canon D30

Canon PowerShot D30

It has a large viewfinder and can fit comfortably in the hands of outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers.

This camera does just as well in the air as it does underwater. It comes with a durable casing that can withstand harsh conditions while you are on a hiking trail. This camera can even work underwater.

With thirty-two pre-defined shooting scenarios, you don’t have to worry much about camera settings for a high quality picture.

While this Canon camera lacks wireless connectivity, which may be its biggest drawback, its built-in GPS receiver can include location details in the pictures.

Best use case:

If you feel the need to have a budget camera to capture your hiking memories, the Canon D30 is a fantastic choice.


  • It is a waterproof camera
  • The camera is ergonomically shaped


  • Lacks wireless connectivity
  • The quality of the image is not as good as other products

Final Thoughts

Exploring nature while hiking isn’t just a matter of just observing stunning natural phenomena.

It makes sense to carry a best camera with you on hiking and backpacking trips to capture the memories of the fantastic places and subjects you encounter.

There are numerous cameras for different occasions, however not every camera can be used outdoors or for hiking activities.

Hiking cameras need to be small, light, and durable enough to resist a harsh environment, so that they won’t require much of your backpack space.

Choose a camera based on your destinations and your needs.

Have a fantastic trip!

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Abdul Rehman
By Abdul Rehman

Hi, I'm Abdul Rehman and I'm the Blog Editor of! Owing to my love and passion for tech gadgets, I started this blog to help others by sharing my knowledge on how to start a successful YouTube channel through blogging about techniques, tips, tricks, tutorials and reviews of relevant products that will help you create awesome videos easily!

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