The Best Cameras for Hiking And Backpacking in 2022

The Best Cameras for Hiking And Backpacking in 2022

Choosing the best camera for hiking and backpacking can be a challenging task, especially if you are also on a budget. There are several cameras on the market that claim to give you great shots while out on your hike but only a few of them really deliver. However, even though some people may argue that all digital cameras are designed with hikers in mind, it doesn’t mean that all of them are.

A lot of factors need to be taken into account before choosing the best camera for hiking, including size, weight, lens adaptability, megapixels, and price among other things. So it’s not as simple as showing up with a cheap or expensive camera. You also have to choose the right camera and the right accessories.

This is where this article comes in – we’ve done all the research for you and we’re going to show you some of the best cameras available on the market that we think will be perfect for hikers and backpackers. They are small, lightweight, and durable (can handle dusty and humid conditions), they have high-quality lenses and powerful sensors, they offer full manual support and most of them are not that expensive.

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:

Size and Weight:

The size of the camera should be compact because nowadays people are carrying their mobile phones to take pictures so they don’t carry an extra device with them. Smaller cameras can easily fit in your pocket or backpack without any hassle which makes them perfect for hiking.

The weight of the camera is also a very important factor. You should avoid buying a camera if it’s going to be a burden for you. You will not use a camera that has a massive weight and size as a result you cannot enjoy the journey properly.

Screen:

There are two types of screens available in cameras- one is the fixed screen where all the controls are available through touch screen another one is a rotating screen, this screen can be rotated 360 degrees so you get a different view of your scene which is very useful while taking pictures.

Battery Life:

You have to consider the battery life of your camera before buying it. A camera with good battery backup will help you a lot on the long trails without charging them frequently.

Color:

This might not seem an important factor for the hike, but you should consider buying a color that is bright and easily visible in sunlight because sometimes you can’t get proper visibility on sunny days.

Price:

Price is another important factor while purchasing a camera. You have to compare the features of different models available at different price ranges and choose the best one within your budget. Professional cameras are very costly so if you are not an expert photographer go for a cheaper version.

GPS/ Compass feature

A camera with GPS and compass functionality can be very useful if you are planning a long hike because these features will come in handy for your navigation.

Wi-Fi: 

This feature is available on almost all models nowadays, this helps you transfer images to your mobile devices without the need for any cable or card reader. Using this mode, you can keep your camera safe in your backpack while you enjoy the journey.

Sensor size:

Camera sensors are measured in microns, if the number is large it means that the sensor will capture more light and hence produce better quality images even in low light conditions. A lot of things come into play when choosing a hiking camera but before buying one you must decide what you exactly want from your camera. You can choose a professional camera if you know how to use it but if you are an amateur, go for a lower version with fewer features and functions because it will be also very easy to carry and manage.

Durability:

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. 

How often do you plan to use this camera?

If it is only occasionally, then an affordable DSLR or point-and-shoot camera will do the job. If you are a beginner, then you should go for an entry-level DSLR with a kit lens as this would generally give good quality images.

How long is the trail?

If your hike is going to be longer than a day, then you need at least two batteries or more. If the trail is more than 5 days, then you should look at cameras that have some kind of GPS to enable you to retrace your steps.

How much are you willing to spend?

If you want a professional DSLR camera with high-quality images, expect to pay over $1000. Make sure your budget includes spare batteries and memory cards.

From the cameras under $100, you can’t expect to 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.

Look for good low-light performance

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

While hiking would you like to photograph landmarks, portraits, and events as a memento? Would you just like to take high-quality snapshots? Here are the best cameras for hikers and backpackers to capture every moment in a memorable way.

A closer look at the best cameras for hiking and backpacking

  1. Best Camera for Mountaineering: Sony A6500
  2. Best Budget Camera for Backpacking: Canon SX730HS
  3. Best Camera for Hiking Vloggers: Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III
  4. Best for Fast-Moving Objects: Sony RX100 M5
  5. Best for Low-Light Shots: Canon SL2
  6. Best for Wildlife Photographers: Nikon D850
  7. Best Drone Camera for Hikers: DJI Mavic Air 2
  8. Best Mirrorless Camera for Nature Photography: Sony Alpha a6400
  9. Best Pocketable Hiking Camera: GoPro Hero 9 Black
  10. Best point-and-shoot camera for hiking: Panasonic LUMIX FZ2500
  11. Most Sturdy Waterproof Camera for Hiking: Canon D30

1. Best Camera for Mountaineering: Sony A6500

Sony Alpha a6500

What makes Sony A6500 best for Mountaineering?

Sony A6500 is a great choice for hikers for several reasons. It has all the qualities needed to take great shots on your hike – it’s lightweight, compact, offers full manual support, and comes with powerful features.

The camera features an APS-C sensor with 24.2MP that delivers great-looking images even when you shoot in poor lighting conditions. Another great feature of the Sony A6500 is the fact that it features 425 phase-detection points, which ensures fast and accurate autofocus.

The camera comes with an 11fps continuous shooting mode that makes sure you capture fast-moving objects or difficult shots. You can even shoot 4K videos with this thing, which is a great option to have if you’re planning on making a video of your hike.

However, the best thing about Sony A6500 is the magnified viewfinder that offers the same level of clarity and sharpness as its predecessor – the one found in Sony A6300 and Sony A6000. This makes your shots much clearer and more detailed, which is exactly what you need for thru-hiking.

Sony A6500 is dust and moisture resistant, so it’s perfect for taking shots in dusty or humid conditions. It also has a great battery life of around 290 shots per full charge.

So if you’re looking for the best camera for backpacking that will help you shoot stunning photos of your hikes, Sony A6500 is the best choice.

What are the downsides?

Some people don’t like its small grip, which can be uncomfortable to use when you have big hands. Another downside is that this camera doesn’t have a headphone jack. However, if these are not problems for you, go get this camera as it can deliver everything a hiker expects from a camera.

Best use case:

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

Reasons to Buy

  • Interchangeable lenses
  • 4k video
  • Great image quality
  • Very fast autofocus
  • Lots of manual controls and support for full manual video shooting

Reasons to Avoid

  • Controls aren’t of good quality
  • No GPS
  • LCD is very dim in daylight

2. Best Budget Camera for Backpacking: Canon SX730HS

Canon PowerShot SX730

What makes the Canon SX730HS a budget camera for backpacking? 

If you’re on a tight budget and you’re looking for the best camera for hiking, Canon SX730HS is the right choice. It’s not as advanced as A6500 but still delivers great images and comes with some useful features.

Canon SX730HS has a powerful 40x optical zoom which makes it perfect for taking good photos of animals and birds while hiking. It also features a 24-960mm equivalent f/3.3-6.9 lens that’s perfect for taking wide and close-up shots easily and quickly thanks to its powerful zoom feature.

The camera is made out of quality plastic which ensures durability, even if you drop it during your hike or in any other difficult conditions.

It has a 1/2.3-inch 20.3MP BSI-CMOS sensor that captures clear and sharp images with great color depth. The camera also features Canon’s DIGIC 8 image processor which ensures accurate colors, improved low light performance, and fast autofocus so you can focus on taking your photos quickly and easily. This is a great feature to have if you want to capture fast-moving objects, such as animals or birds that you see on your hike.

Canon SX730HS comes with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC which allows you to share all your photos quickly and easily using the Canon Camera Connect app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices.

The camera also features an electronic viewfinder which allows you to take photos more accurately without losing sight of the object/scene you want to capture.

Canon SX730HS has a powerful battery that will allow you to take around 200 shots on one full charge.

So if what you’re looking for is the best budget camera for backpacking, Canon SX730HS might be exactly what you need.

What are its downsides? 

The grip of this camera isn’t very ergonomic, so it can get uncomfortable for people with big hands while hiking or shooting photos. This is probably the main reason why some people don’t like it. Another downside is that this model doesn’t have 4K video recording capability. However, if you’re a budget-oriented person and these aren’t problems for you, Canon SX730HS is the right camera for you.

Best use case:

The Canon SX730HS is one of the top compact cameras for high altitude mountaineering on Philmont 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 flip screen, making it possible to take pictures from creative angles or take selfies.

Reasons to Buy

  • Ability to manually control exposure
  • Small Pocketable size
  • Excellent price/value ratio
  • Powerful 40x optical zoom
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC

Reasons to Avoid

  • The resolution is not adequate for large sensors.
  • Not suitable for low-light conditions
  • No 4K video recording capabilities  
  • Non-ergonomic grip

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

Canon PowerShot G7X Mark II

What makes Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III Best Camera to Make Hiking Vlogs?

Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III is a small and lightweight camera that can be easily used for hiking and backpacking. The size of this camera is smaller than Nikon Coolpix P900.  The weight is also very less. You can easily carry this camera in your backpack. It has a long battery life that operates up to 290 shots on one full charge. The LCD screen rotates to give you different viewpoints of your subject.

The DIGIC 7 Image Processor makes the camera super fast for use and delivers high-quality images. It also provides continuous shots up to 5fps. The zoom of Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III is 24-100mm which is equivalent to 4x optical zoom. This camera is very cheap and can be afforded by everyone.

This small device has a high-resolution 20MP sensor that is capable of capturing great quality images even in low light. The Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III is cost-effective and even beginners can use it with ease. This camera has a built-in Wi-Fi and NFC that lets you transfer images directly to your mobile devices easily while on the go.

Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III has 4K video capabilities which means that you can shoot great videos even in low light. This camera has a high-end feature of Bluetooth connectivity which allows you to pair it with your smartphone easily.

What are the downsides?

The only downside of Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III is that it has a small display screen which means you have to depend on the built-in viewfinder for shooting outdoors. Also, some users have complained of leakage from the battery compartment. In spite of these issues, this camera definitely makes it one of our top picks as a camera best suited for hiking and backpacking.

Reasons to Buy

  • Lightweight and a compact design so it can be carried easily in your backpack.
  • The battery of this camera lasts for 290 shots with one full charge
  • You can shoot great videos even in low light.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC to transfer images
  • DIGIC 7 Image Processor for high-quality images
  • 4K video capabilities

Reasons to Avoid

  • The display screen of this camera is quite small
  • You have to rely on the built-in viewfinder for shooting outdoor scenes.
  • After long use, the leakage from the battery compartment makes it difficult to use the camera at the maximum capacity

4. Best for Fast-Moving Objects: Sony RX100 M5

Best Camera for Hiking

What makes Sony RX100 M5 Best for Hiking and Skiing?

Sony RX100 M5 is a great choice for those of you who want the best camera for hiking and skiing. It delivers stunning photos and has a compact size which makes it easy to carry on your hike or ski trip.

The first thing you’ll see about this camera is its bright Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm F/1.8-2.8 lens that offers solid zoom capabilities for both wide and close-up shots. This lens provides a maximum aperture of ƒ/1.8 at 24 mm, making it easier to take low light photos with high shutter speeds even in dark conditions.

Apart from being perfect for hiking, Sony RX100 M5 features a 20MP 1″ type stacked Exmor RS CMOS sensor that delivers excellent low light performance and great image quality.

The camera also features Sony’s BIONZ X processor which ensures faster processing of the data from the photosensitive surface, thus minimizing noise levels. The images you’ll get from this camera will be detailed and sharp. They will have rich colors and deep blacks thanks to the powerful 24-70mm lens and Exmor RS CMOS sensor.

Sony RX100 M5 has a 3″ tilting LCD screen that allows you to shoot from unique positions. It is perfect for getting creative shots or taking photos from difficult angles, such as high or low angles when hiking up a mountain.

Another great feature you might love about this model is its pop-up electronic viewfinder. It allows you to preview and frame photos exactly as they will appear on your camera’s screen for maximum accuracy when shooting.

This camera comes with Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity which allows you to easily transfer your images onto any device using the Sony PlayMemories app. You can also use this app along with one of many third-party apps (e.g. EOS Remote) to control your camera remotely and get unique perspectives on your images by using different devices.

Sony RX100 M5 has a powerful battery that will allow you to take around 340 shots before running out of charge, which is more than enough if you’re going on a hike or skiing trip for a couple of days, if it goes over that time you can always recharge it.

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.

As you may have understood, Sony RX100 M5 is a great choice if you’re looking for an excellent camera for hiking or skiing that allows you to take sharp photos with high-quality zoom capabilities.

What are its downsides? 

Although this model has many advantages, it also features some downsides. It doesn’t have built-in Wi-Fi connectivity so you’ll need to purchase an additional dedicated wireless dongle in order to transfer your images wirelessly. Also, because of its small size and high price, this camera might be not the best option if you want something more affordable which still takes great pictures for all your outdoor activities.

Best use case:

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°.

Reasons to Buy

  • Amazing photo and video
  • Fast 1″ type stacked Exmor RS CMOS image sensor
  • Large-aperture 24-70mm f/1.8-2.8 lens allowing for lower ISO and increased depth of field
  • Built-in electronic viewfinder allowing you to preview your images with 100% accuracy
  • Good battery life allowing 340 shots before charging is needed

Reasons to Avoid

  • Its 4x zoom may have limited capabilities for wildlife photography
  • A dedicated wireless dongle is needed to get Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Expensive for its size and features

5. Best for Low-Light Shots: Canon SL2

Canon EOS Rebel SL2

What Makes Canon EOS Rebel SL2 Best for Low-Light Shots in hiking photography?

Canon EOS Rebel SL2, also called EOS 200D, is a great camera for beginners and experienced users looking for a budget-friendly DSLR with excellent image quality capable of capturing outstanding shots even in extremely low light conditions.

Many camera enthusiasts may 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 superior performance in low-light conditions.

This model has an ISO range from 100 to 25600 which can be extended to 51200. This allows you to shoot in various lighting conditions with reduced noise and enhanced clarity of both moving and still objects.

The camera has a DIGIC-7 image processor, which enables it to deliver great photo quality even in extremely low light conditions. The 18 MP APS-C CMOS sensor is also worth mentioning as it captures high-quality images with rich colors and details.

What we like most about this camera is its compact size and lightweight body that makes it perfect for hiking the Appalachian trail, adventure photography, or skiing trips. It’s small enough to fit into your pocket, yet large enough not to be an inconvenience while shooting photos or filming video.

Canon EOS Rebel SL2 features Wi-Fi connectivity allowing you to easily transfer images from your DSLR onto your mobile device. You can also use your smartphone to make the Wi-Fi connection between the camera and your laptop easier. This is especially useful when you find yourself in need of image editing software while on a trip, but don’t have it installed onto your phone or laptop.

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 companion for thru-hiking.

What are its downsides?

The most noticeable drawback of this DSLR is that it lacks 4K video recording capabilities, which would be perfect for skiing or snowboarding trips where many shots are shot in UHD resolution. It might affect your decision when choosing between Nikon D850 and Canon EOS Rebel SL2. Also, there’s no built-in flash on the camera, so if you’re planning to photograph in low light conditions often it’s better to choose Nikon D850 over Canon EOS Rebel SL2.

Best use case:

The EOS Rebel SL2 may not be as great a camera for low light as the Nikon D850, yet this camera is best for long hikes. If you love hiking photography or videography or simply like to take pictures of landscapes, you should consider buying the EOS 200D. 

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent image quality with rich colors and details even in low light conditions
  • Compact size and lightweight allowing you to take it on any outdoor trip
  • Wi-Fi connectivity allows easy transfer of photos
  • 18 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Excellent low light image quality
  • Great value for the price

Reasons to Avoid

  • Its battery life is not good as other available DSLRs
  • Doesn’t have UHD video recording capabilities
  • No built-in flash makes it hard to capture action shots in dark environments

6. Best for Wildlife Photographers: Nikon D850

Best Camera for Hiking

What makes Nikon D850 the Best DSLR for Hiking and Backpacking?

Nikon D850 is a great camera to take on your hiking or skiing trip because of its high ISO performance which keeps your photos sharp even in extreme low light conditions.

This model provides images with rich colors and details thanks to its advanced 45.7 MP image sensor that captures even the finest details. It also makes use of the BSI CMOS technology that further improves image quality.

Nikon D850 also has improved dynamic range over its predecessor, Nikon D810. It’s able to shoot in extreme lighting conditions with ease thanks to the ISO range of 64-25600. This camera is perfect for low-light situations, which can occur often while hiking or skiing.

The back-lit CMOS sensor design of this camera has further improved its high ISO performance. It allows it to use 90K pixels for cleaner images at high ISOs, thus creating sharper and more vivid photos.

Nikon D850 also features a tilting screen that can be used for taking landscapes shots from different angles while hiking or photographing wild animals when skiing. The LCD screen itself is 3.2″ large with touch sensitivity, allowing you to navigate menus with ease.

The camera also features full-frame 4K UHD video recording capabilities which are missing on many other DSLRs for hiking.

It’s important to mention that Nikon D850 has one of the best battery lives you’ll find on any new DSLR model, even though it’s not a DSLR it can take 1230 shots before needing to recharge.

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 powerful features of this camera.

What are its downsides?

You won’t be able to shoot as many photos as with a professional DSLR on one battery charge, but this shouldn’t be a problem on small hiking or ski trips. Another downside of the Nikon D850 is that it doesn’t have a built-in flash, which might affect your ability to photograph in low-light situations.

Best use case:

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. 

Reasons to Buy

  • Large 45.7 MP image sensor perfect for any outdoor activity
  • Tilting 3.2″ LCD monitor with touch sensitivity allowing accurate focus point selection
  • 4 UHD video recording capabilities 
  • 1230+ shots per full battery charge
  • 90K pixels back-lit CMOS sensor design further improving high ISO performance allowing for better images in low light conditions

Reasons to Avoid

  • It is expensive
  • Its weight can be an issue while traveling
  • No built-in flash, but this shouldn’t be a problem on small trips where you won’t need to photograph in dark environments often.

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. 

What makes DJI Mavic Air 2 the Best Drone Camera for Hikers?

DJI MavicAir 2 takes a prominent place thanks to its incredible features. Even though it’s not the cheapest option out there, you won’t regret investing in a high-quality drone camera like a hiker. With DJI Mavic Air 2 you can enjoy crisp 4K footage with great details and natural colors that will make your video truly come to life. It has 3 axis gimbal stabilization ensuring smooth and stabilized footage what makes it perfect for skiing or hiking trips as you’ll manage to capture unforgettable moments from the sky. The drone is also foldable, which means you can pack it into your backpack without any issues and even fit it into smaller pockets if needed.

DJI Mavic 2 has FlightAutonomy technology with sensors placed on its back, sides, and bottom which allows it to detect obstacles up to 98ft (30m) away. This makes it perfect for skiing or hiking trips as you’ll be able to shoot without the fear of bumping into branches or rocks.

The drone has a flight range of 5 miles (8km), so if you’re looking for an option that will allow you to cover large distances while filming then DJI Mavic Air 2 is undoubtedly one of the best picks. On the other hand, if your budget is tight, even though this drone camera might seem like overkill for a hiking or skiing trip, but keep in mind that once you forget about worrying about how much storage space your smartphone has left after watching stunning videos captured with this drone, you’ll appreciate its features essentially saving your smartphone memory for other important things.

What are its downsides?

It’s a bit expensive than other options on the market which might not be suitable for those who don’t want to spend so much money but still would like to record their skiing or hiking trips.

Low battery life makes it perfect for shorter trips but might be problematic if you’re planning longer hikes and ski sessions.

Best use case:

The DJI Mavic Air 2 is most suitable for including a fresh perspective to the hikes. 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 remote control and fly around. 

Reasons to Buy

  • 4K video recording capabilities ensure crisp and clear footage
  • 5 miles (8km) range allowing you to film large distances without worrying about losing connection
  • 3 axis gimbal stabilization keeps the footage stabilized even in strong winds
  • The foldable design makes it very portable and easy to pack into any backpack or small bag.
  • It can also come in handy to track your way back to your vehicle

Reasons to Avoid

  • Sensor size is small
  • Flight time is limited
  • Low battery life
  • Comparatively expensive camera

8. Best Mirrorless Camera for Nature Photography: Sony Alpha a6400

Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Digital Camera
Sony Alpha a6400 Mirrorless Digital Camera

What makes Sony Alpha a6400 the best mirrorless camera for hiking?

Sony Alpha a6400 is the best pick if you’re looking for the best mirrorless camera to bring with you on your hiking trip.

It has a super-fast autofocus system making it perfect for capturing moving wildlife without losing too much time focusing. It also comes with excellent connectivity allowing you to share captured footage instantly on Instagram or Facebook.

The camera has a great electronic viewfinder that displays real-time information about your footage being able to adjust focus, exposure, white balance, etc. The battery life can last up to 770 shots what makes it perfect for several hours of filming without having to worry that the camera will turn off due to low battery.

What makes this camera perfect for hiking enthusiasts is its APS-C sensor which enables you to capture photos and videos of great quality even when you’re shooting in low light conditions. The autofocus system is also excellent.

What are its downsides?

The biggest disadvantage might be its price tag as this is probably one of the most expensive options in our top. Besides, If traveling with lots of equipment is a challenge for you, the Sony Alpha a6400 might not be the best choice as it’s known for being rather bulky and heavy.

Best use case:

With its latest design, the Sony a6400 camcorder is suitable for mountaineering, backpacking, hiking, and trekking.

Reasons to Buy

  • Superfast autofocus system
  • Excellent connectivity features added
  • Electronic viewfinder helps to adjust focus, exposure, white balance, etc in real time.

Reasons to Avoid

  • Battery life is average so filming for a few hours nonstop might be problematic.
  • Rather a bulky build which can make it hard for some people traveling with lots of equipment

9. Best Pocketable Hiking Camera: GoPro Hero 9 Black

GoPro HERO8 Black

Why GoPro Hero 9 Black is Best for Hiking? 

Even though it’s not as popular as DJI Mavic Air 2 for skiing and hiking, GoPro Hero 9 Black is a great option that comes with significant advantages.

What makes it perfect for hikers? First of all its connectivity allows you to share the footage instantly on Instagram or Facebook. Secondly, it has excellent 45fps (frames per second) video recording capabilities which makes it perfect for capturing higher quality footage without sacrificing too much storage space.

GoPro Hero 9 Black comes with a 12 MP camera and has excellent low light performance allowing you to capture crisp and clear footage even during darker times of the day. The GoPro’s touchscreen enables you to navigate through the menus being able to adjust camera parameters without using your smartphone.

The camera is also waterproof that makes it durable and more resistant allowing you to film underwater or use it in harsh environments.

The lightweight GoPro camera made it possible to shoot in 4K with 60 frames per second. 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. 

What are its downsides? 

There are some reports claiming that the battery life of GoPro Hero 9 Black isn’t very long so if being away from a charger for more than two hours sounds like too much, this option might not be the best pick for you. Low-light performance can also be improved as there have been complaints about noisy videos when light conditions aren’t optimal.

Best use case:

With the GoPro Hero 9 Black, you can easily shoot underwater and above water with your phone. 

Reasons to Buy

  • 4K video at 60 frames per second
  • Excellent connectivity allows you to share footage
  • Very good video recording capabilities at 45fps
  • Waterproof design allows you to film underwater
  • Touchscreen display

Reasons to Avoid

  • Sensor size is small
  • The native lens is extremely wide
  • Short battery life
  • Not good low light performance

10. Best point-and-shoot camera for hiking: Panasonic LUMIX FZ2500

Panasonic LUMIX FZ2500 4K Point and Shoot Camera
Panasonic LUMIX FZ2500 4K Point and Shoot Camera

What makes Panasonic LUMIX FZ2500 the best point-and-shoot camera for hiking?

The first thing that probably will catch your attention is its price tag which makes it perfect for those who are not willing to spend too much money on their point-and-shoot camera. For example, if you’re simply looking for a cheap option to take some pictures of your trip, this might be the best choice.

What are its advantages? First of all Panasonic LUMIX FZ2500 comes with 20X optical zoom what makes capturing wildlife easier than hunting for drones at Amazon. Secondly, it has excellent connectivity allowing you to share captured footage instantly on Instagram or Facebook.

Another advantage is its rubberized handgrip what ensures comfort and easy handling even when you’re holding the camera for several hours filming nonstop. It also has steady shot video stabilization what ensures stable and smooth footage even when you’re walking or running.

What are its downsides?

First of all the low light performance might be problematic if you plan to do any night hiking trips. The battery life can also be improved but is still above average allowing you to film for several hours nonstop.

Reasons to Buy

  • 20X optical zoom which makes capturing wildlife easier than hunting for drones at Amazon
  • Excellent connectivity options
  • Very good handgrip ensuring comfort even after holding it for several hours with no breaks

Reasons to Avoid

  • Low-light performance isn’t great so filming in dark environments can be more challenging.
  • Battery life isn’t very long so filming for more than two hours nonstop can be problematic.

11. Most Sturdy Waterproof Camera for Hiking: Canon D30

Canon PowerShot D30

What makes Canon D30 the Best Camera for Hiking?

Canon D30 is the best pick for hikers who prefer to capture their trips using DSLR cameras. This camera is able to shoot HD photos with great details and color accuracy. It has an excellent autofocus system allowing you to focus on moving objects in a matter of seconds. With thirty-two pre-defined shooting scenarios, you don’t have to worry much about camera settings for a high-quality picture.

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. What makes this camera stand out from other DSLRs is its weatherproof body and its zoom lenses. It can easily survive rain while allowing you to capture more details even when shooting from a great distance.

The fact that it has a waterproof build makes Canon D30 perfect for camping or any other outdoor activity where equipment can be exposed to water. Sharing photos and videos captured with this camera will never be a problem as it features excellent connectivity allowing you to connect your camera with your smartphone and share your best shots with your friends.

Canon D30 is definitely the best choice when you are looking for a cheap but reliable waterproof camera. What makes this camera perfect for hikers is its rugged design which makes it shockproof, dustproof, and splashproof.

What are its downsides?

The main disadvantage of the Canon D30 is its battery life which is rather short so you have to spend more time worrying about your camera instead of enjoying your trip. Besides it isn’t waterproof forever but can stay in water up to 10 meters what makes it excellent for snorkeling, surfing, and diving only.

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:

As D30 has a large viewfinder and can fit comfortably in the hands of outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers, If you want to have a budget camera to capture your hiking memories, the Canon D30 is a fantastic choice.

Reasons to Buy

  • It is a waterproof camera
  • The camera is ergonomically shaped
  • Weatherproof body and zoom lenses
  • Excellent battery life allowing the users to film for several hours without any breaks

Reasons to Avoid

  • Lacks wireless connectivity
  • Low-light performance isn’t very good so filming in dark places can be a challenge

Best Tips for Using a Camera on Hiking:

  1. Don’t carry a heavy camera as it will be difficult to hike along with your camera and you might drop or damage your gear. So always buy an ultralight and compact camera for hiking.
  2. Always carry backup batteries especially if you are going on a trail for more than one day so that you can take uninterrupted pictures of the journey.
  3. Always keep your camera dry and safe, do not change your settings frequently because it will affect the battery life. Also, don’t shoot in burst mode when you are on a journey this will quickly drain out your batteries.
  4. Carry extra memory cards because they are easy to lose or damage so by keeping an extra card would be useful to store all your images on one card and you can format the other card in your camera when you get back home.
  5. Always keep a proper eye on your gear because you don’t want to lose any of them while climbing or hiking, always carry a strap with you so that it will be tied to your wrist.
  6. Don’t leave your camera unattended because it might be stolen or damaged by some wild animal so always keep an eye on your gear.
  7. If you are planning to take pictures of wildlife then go for a telephoto lens with full-frame sensor cameras.
  8. Always carry some kind of jacket along with you same as you do while hiking, this will protect your camera from dust, rain and snow.
  9. Avoid using your flash as it will affect the colors of your images and it will be difficult to capture a picture with strong backlight because strong sunlight and reflective surfaces may cause some problems during shoot time.
  10. Always plan for two days rest on your journey, one day at least should be spent on trail so that you can shoot some images during night time or else, your images might be blurred.
  11. Don’t overthink about the camera settings just focus on capturing the moments because it is better to have one impressive shot rather than a hundred bad shots.

Once you have considered the size, weight, battery life, color, and price of your camera now it’s time to decide whether you want lens zooming capability in your camera or not because this will determine how well you can capture snapshots of distant objects. If you want to capture distant objects then consider buying a zoom lens camera.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to carry a camera when hiking

Answer: Always use a camera bag when hiking with a camera, and make sure it’s strapped to your shoulder. Hikers often fall, get knocked over the head by branches, or have their hands full while going around narrow ledges and through streams. A dropped or smashed camera can add up to hundreds of dollars in upkeep or replacement costs–not to mention that you’ll be heartbroken. Even if you don’t fall on your hike, rocks can still get into your gear from time to time from being carried on the outside of an open backpack with all sorts of other items crunched together inside it. You may feel safer carrying a more affordable point-and-shoot for this reason rather than investing in an expensive DSLR.

Is Nikon D3500 good for hiking?

Answer: The Nikon D3500 is a great camera for hiking.
It can be strapped to your body or thigh, captures 4K video at 24-30 fps, has wireless compatibility with the SnapBridge app, and ISO sensitivity ranges up to 3200 which makes it perfect for low light conditions. All around this is a wonderful camera for any hiking enthusiast.

Is GoPro a good hiking camera?

Answer: Yes. The durable casing makes it impervious to sweat, shock, vibrations, dirt, and sand. It is built to go where you go without being bulky or having a big impact on your wallet.
It can shoot in different angles using its rotation lens. Pictures are 13MP with an 8x digital zoom capability which still gives great quality shots of animals at far distances.

What type of camera would be best for a hiking trip?

Answer: A lightweight, easy-to-handle camera is best for a hiking trip.
Weight and size are important factors when picking out a good hiking camera. The weight of the lens or camera will not add extra weight to your bag which can make all the difference in how quickly and easily you hike and climb throughout the day. Size also matters because a smaller camera with a shorter lens will not be as bulky and heavy to carry around on your shoulder all day.

What are the best camera settings for hiking?

Answer: Turn off your flash for better results.
For better photos, take photos during the day with enough light to maximize colors and natural lighting. The best settings will depend on the type of camera you are using so be sure to check your manual or do some research online to see what kind of settings will work best for the kind of camera you are using.

What should you bring on a hiking trip?

Answer: Be sure to pack extra batteries, memory cards, and other essential camera supplies so you do not run out while trying to get the perfect shot. Camera backpacks are also great because they offer custom storage for your different equipment, offer comfort while carrying them around, and have extra support for your back and shoulders.

Which camera would be best to take pictures during a group hike? 


Answer: I would suggest the Sony RX100M5. This is the best outdoor compact camera for photography with a great electronic viewfinder and can shoot excellent quality images in most situations. It also has interchangeable lenses which are convenient for group usage because the lens being used does not need to be changed between photogs. In case of a situation where someone has an issue with their camera, they’ll just switch out theirs so you’re always covered on pictures.

Do you need a phone as well as a camera for hiking or can one suffice?

Answer: If you are on a tight budget you can rely on a phone, but if you already have a good hiking camera it may be worth it to bring that along.
Although phones are lighter, more convenient for carrying around while hiking, and can share your images immediately if you have the SnapBridge app, they will not provide the same quality of the image as a camera.

How much should I expect to spend on a good, reliable backpacker’s camera/phone combo unit if I want quality images from my next adventure?


Answer: The price of a great backpacker’s camera will depend on the features you need and want.
Some common features of a backpacker’s camera include small size, durability, zoom capabilities, waterproofing or dust proofing, wireless compatibility with phones or other devices, and more. Be sure to check what your needs are before buying a camera or phone for your next adventure.

What is the average resolution of your favorite hiking photos taken from a hiking camera?

Answer: Sometimes hikers take pictures of the landscapes when they are hiking through mountain peaks, rivers, and waterfalls, wild animals, or fellow hikers. If the photo was taken with a good camera you can expect it to be high resolution.
Some common resolutions include 16MP, 20 MP, 26MP, 36MP – 48 MP for photos taken with a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera that has interchangeable lenses. For photos taken with a point-and-shoot camera that is not of the DSLR variety, you can expect it to be lower resolution around 5 MP – 10MP depending on the model of the phone.

Do you use a GoPro or DSLR on your hikes and which do you prefer and why?

Answer: I usually prefer using DSLR on hikes since it has an interchangeable lens and better zoom. However, I also like using my phone to take photos on hikes because it is very convenient and easy to use.

What type of lens would you tell me to get for hiking pictures?

Answer: For a lens for hiking pictures I would recommend the Sony E 16-70 mm f/4 OSS. This lens is great because it has a large aperture that lets in more light and helps prevent blurry photos, has a technology called optical steady shot to help with shaky hands when taking pictures, and can focus on subjects from 0.35m away.

What can you do if your hiking camera freezes up while taking pictures?

Answer: One way to help prevent freezing up is to make sure your camera is fully charged or has a backup charger for your batteries.
If you are using SD cards make sure they are in good condition and have enough storage available, as well as are compatible with your camera.
Another option is to take the batteries out of your camera and put them back in after a few minutes. This can help get your camera working again if it is just frozen.

Are backpacking cameras worth the money?

Answer: Yes, most definitely! Backpacking cameras are worth the money because they pack light and small. They are also waterproof, which is great for adventures in the wilderness. 
A backpacking camera may be easier to use than a regular camera without having to worry about carrying lenses with it everywhere. Digital photographic memory can really come in handy when you’re taking photographs on an adventure.

What are the best hiking spots in the UK?

Answer: A number of the best places to hike in the UK are found in Scotland which features some of the world’s oldest mountains. Another treasure trove is Wales, where you can hike along the Welsh coast and hills or through lush valleys. Hike by Lamlash Bay on northwest Arran, listen to Dunaverty breakers thundering far below you, visit Tynemouth Priory on Hadrian’s Wall to see 3rd-century Christian paintings.
There are also other excellent hiking spots in England like Yorkshire Dales National Park, Coniston Lake District National Park, Peak District National Park, and Kielder Water & Forest Park – just pick one that suits your lifestyle

What are the best Hiking places in the USA?

Answer: Some of the best adventurous places for hikers in the USA are:
Mammoth Lakes, California, USA
Elk Mountain National Park and Scenic Byway, Wyoming, USA
Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim), Arizona, USA
Yosemite National Park (North Rim), California, USA
Death Valley National Park (West Facade and Mesquite Flat dunes), CA and NV
Bryce Canyon National Park (rainbow area) Utah

Final Thoughts

Exploring nature while hiking isn’t just a matter of just observing stunning natural phenomena. It makes sense to carry the 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 VloggingBlog.com! 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!



VloggingBlog – Reviews and Guides for Cameras, Lenses, and Vlogging Gears is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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