Hiking is not just a sport. It is also exploring nature, observing the amazing scenery and natural phenomena. To keep the memory of the wonderful things you experienced during hiking, it is best to bring a camera.
There are many cameras available, but not all of them are suitable for hiking and backpacking. Hiking cameras should be light and compact so that it won’t increase the weight of the backpack or take up too much space. However, it should also produce high-quality photos. Since hiking is not a walk in the park, the hiking camera should also be strong enough to withstand shock and severe weather conditions.
Here, we review the best hiking cameras currently available to make your buying decision easier.
Part 1: Action Camera for Hiking
1. AKASO V50 Elite
It is the most rugged camera unit, making users always ready for adventure. You can easily carry this camera for underwater adventures and under harsh weather conditions. AKASO V50 Elite aims to provide the best recording through a one-button operation. The automatic noise correction filter on the lens surface is activated to create amazing results for each shot.
2. AKASO Brave 7 LE
The camera unit has WiFi facilities and a waterproof body, so you can install it anywhere you want. It can record videos with 4K resolution, and for images, you will have 20MP resolution.
It’s equipped with remote control, which enables you to take shots without holding the camera. Flexible installation options make it more suitable for your hiking needs. You can easily place it on a tripod, a hat, stationary position, on a vehicle, or on a bicycle. With advanced digital image stabilization, you can easily get stable videos and images while working.
Pros: Compact；WiFi；Image quality
Cons: Battery life；Compact Cameras for Hiking
3. Sony RX100 V
This hiking compact camera can be worn on the wrist when climbing mountains and is also compatible with many commonly used mounting accessories. 4K recording can be done at a speed of 24fps and with super-fast 0.05-sec.2 autofocus speed, you can quickly capture clear details without missing any wonderful moment.
Pros: Compact；Fast autofocus speed；Enhanced image processing capacity
4. Olympus Tough TG-5
The Olympus Tough TG 5 has a wider range of general functions and modes, which means you can capture what you see in hiking in many different ways, including 4k video, 4x zoom, improved image quality, and expanded macro photography.
The highlight of the TG 5 is its macro shooting function, which means you can get very close to the subject and still get a clear depth of field and high-definition image quality! Data, such as latitude/longitude, temperature, and altitude/depth, recorded by the Field Sensor System during your shoot can be imported to your smartphone using the Olympus Image Track app to realistically recreate the experience of shooting. It is a perfect camera for trekking and hiking.
Pros: Rugged: waterproof and shockproof, freeze-proof；RAW photography；Remote shooting
Cons: Complicated user interface
Part 2: Mirrorless Cameras for Hiking
5. Sony Alpha A6300
Almost all reviews you will read in 2020 put the Sony Alpha A6300 at the top of the list. This Sony flagship model provides many essential features, and it isn't easy to find a comparable product.
First of all, the weatherproof magnesium alloy body means you don't have to worry about the rain while hiking. In addition, the sticky grip ensures that you always keep a strong grip on the camera.
This camera is known for its fast autofocus (0.05 seconds), imaging speed, and performance. It uses high-density autofocus technology to provide excellent image quality, and the huge image sensor has a high sensitivity range, so you can take photos in low-light environments without noise.
The A6300 records smooth and clear 4K movies at a shooting speed of 120fps.
Pros: Spectacular image quality；OLED viewfinder；The extremely quick AF system
Cons: Steep price；Smaller lens selection
6. Sony Alpha 6500
The image tracking speed of the Sony Alpha 6500 is twice that of other Alpha series products, which means you can capture more action at high resolution. Although the new E-mount is compatible with a variety of lenses, we still recommend that you use a 24-70mm f/4 lens because it can provide you with a good lens range without adding too much weight.
Pros: Lightweight as a mirrorless camera；Good image quality
Cons: Battery life
Part 3: Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) for Hiking
7. Canon EOS 6D
The Canon EOS 6D is a rugged camera designed for adventurers. The camera can be used under 25 meters underwater and has well-protected housing that can withstand the harsh conditions on hiking trails. It can fall from a height of up to 7 feet (2.1 meters), and it can work even in extremely low temperatures (as low as 14 F). The built-in GPS receiver also adds location data to the image.
Pros: Remote control via Wi-Fi；GPS；Good image quality
Cons: No flash
8. Nikon D3500
The Nikon D3500 is an advanced digital SLR camera that provides incredible image quality. The large 24.2MP CMOS sensor and excellent autofocus system mean that you can capture incredibly clear photos at a blink. It is known for accurately recording colors.
For those aspiring vloggers, this camera can record smooth, clear shots in full HD 1080p movies. It also has built-in WiFi, so you can easily transfer videos and images to mobile devices.
PROS: Stellar image quality；1,550-shot battery life；Compact for a DSLR
CONS: No 4k video
Part 4: What is the best way to carry a camera when hiking?
One of the easiest ways to carry your hiking camera is to use a standard neck strap. This method is great in the sense that the camera can be used conveniently, but you might find it really annoying to let the camera bounce around your body while walking.
You must also be careful when dangling the camera from your neck because if you fall, the camera is likely to hit the ground first.
If you are going on a leisurely day hike, this method may be useful for you, but for more severe and rugged hikes, a safer method of carrying may be required.
Part 5: Tips about carrying a camera when hiking
Check your gear
First, you should check your equipment. This means that you should check if the battery is charged if the camera has a memory card if the battery is empty. You should check if you have a spare memory card.
You should remember that you will carry all the items in your backpack all day long. Therefore, it is important to pack light. If you often hike, you should consider investing in light equipment. This does not mean that you have to buy all light things, but if you need to replace certain parts.
Photo backpack for hiking
If you bring camera equipment, it is best to have a special hiking backpack. Ordinary backpacks are not used to store the camera in it. If you want to change the lens or put the camera down, you may run into trouble. The hiking photo backpack always comes with a camera bag to protect your camera gear.
The best camera for the job is always the one that you have in your hand! All of these features and comparisons don't mean anything if your camera is ultimately going to be stowed away in your backpack. These cameras are of no value if they are not worn around your neck at all times while hiking!