The best cameras for hiking and backpacking are much more affordable than you think. From compact and mirrorless to waterproof options, this post covers all the best options for your next hiking and backpacking adventure!
Whether you’re snapping the perfect shot from the summit of a snowy peak, or capturing the action from among the vibrant colors of a European street market, it’s no secret that any trip involving hiking or backpacking is guaranteed to take you places that boast truly breathtaking views.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to the types and sizes of cameras you can take, and what you choose will depend on what kind of trip you’ll be taking, what kind of photographer you are and, most importantly, what kind of scenery you’ll be shooting.
Best Cameras for Hiking and Backpacking in 2021
Below, we’ve listed the best cameras for hiking and backpacking so you can easily pick the perfect one for your next trip!
Best Compact Cameras for Hiking & Backpacking
Canon PowerShot SX720
One of Canon’s most ingenious superzoom travel compact cameras to date, the Powershot SX720 features a 40x optical zoom lens housed within a remarkably compact body that gives you the equivalent range of 24-960mm in DSLR focal length.
Small enough to fit in your pocket but versatile enough to take anywhere, this little camera also has built-in WiFi and 1080p HD video recording for when a still shot just won’t cut it.
Canon PowerShot G9 X
This model by Canon is designed to be simple and easy to use, perfect for budding photographers who want to travel light but also capture pictures with quality far superior to ones they can take on their smartphones.
The PowerShot G9 X offers a 28-84mm zoom lens with an aperture range of f/2-4.9, meaning you might not be able to get a wide depth of field, but your photos are going to be of a much higher quality than the ones from even the market leading smartphone cameras.
Canon G7 X Mark II
With a 24-100mm equivalent focal length combined with a maximum aperture of f/1.8, the Canon G7 X Mark II is hard to beat when working in low-light conditions and with a range of perspectives.
Covering everything from wide-angle to short-telephoto zoom, this camera is for photographers who want the best quality snaps from a compact camera. With superior focusing speeds and enhanced image stabilization, its the perfect tool for fast-paced street photography and sweeping nature shots alike.
Best Waterproof Cameras for Hiking & Backpacking
GoPro Hero 6
The newest addition to the roster of action cameras from household name GoPro, the Hero 6 Model boasts a faster processor than its predecessors meaning you can shoot 4k video at either 60fps or 240fps in slow-motion.
The sharpness and smoothness of video is truly stunning and still shots also come out in remarkably high quality. Added to the rugged durability of the case, which can take hard knocks and function 30ft underwater, it’s an all-round awesome action cam!
Olympus TG 5
The Olympus “Tough” TG 5 has a much wider range of versatile features and modes when comparing to the Go Pro Hero 6 which means that you can capture the action underwater in a myriad of different ways. These include 4k video, bursts of 20fps photos and capturing RAW image files which are the best quality for post-editing.
The highlight of the TG 5 is it’s macro shot ability, meaning you can get extremely close to your subjects and still get a clear depth of field and high definition image quality!
Best Mirrorless and Mid-Range Cameras for Hiking & Backpacking
Sony Alpha a6300
An excellent compact that is reshaping the mirrorless market, the Sony Alpha A6300 is chock-full of features that make it an incredibly intuitive companion for anyone looking to take serious photos on the road. The 4D Focus system allows you to focus on a moving subject in as little as 0.05 seconds and it also comes with reduced image noise even at higher exposures thanks to a refined processing engine.
Sony A7 II + 24-70mm lens
A reassuringly heavier option from Sony, the A7 II has image tracking that is twice as fast as the rest of the Alpha series meaning you can capture even more of the action in high resolution. Though the new E-Mount is compatible with a versatile range of lenses, I recommend a 24-70mm f/4 lens as it gives you a decent amount of range without a ton of extra weight.
Fuji X-T2 + 18-55mm lens
The X-T2 is a great camera for weatherproof photography thanks to its relatively compact design and sealed buttons and compartments. With fast, continuous autofocus, ISO Sensitivity of up to 51,200 and full WiFi connectivity, its a strong contender for an alternative to DSLRs.
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
One of the most versatile mirrorless cameras on the market, the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 boasts not only a 16x zoom (25-400mm equivalent) but also a 20-megapixel MOS sensor, around 4 times larger than most long-zoom compact cameras.
This means you’re looking at incredible image quality and a full range of perspective options from wide-angle to telephoto. It’s not waterproof, but it’ll certainly take amazing photos of any hiking or backpacking destination you can possibly dream of!