Backpacking can offer you the chance to experience nature. However, it presents unique challenges when you want to record beautiful scenes to memorable videos and pictures.
You need a rugged camera that is lightweight and small enough to get around.
This post puts together a list of leading backpacking cameras that aren't too expensive, compact, lightweight, suitable for backpackers.
They vary from specialist adventure cameras to mirrorless cameras for any sort of photographic scenario.
Best Backpacking Camera: Action Cameras
AKASO Brave 7 LE
The AKASO Brave 7 LE is in many respects a terrific budget backpacking camera. It's lightweight and portable with very few buttons, which make it ready for capturing photos and videos any time during hiking, mountaineering.
With a dual-screen design, Brave 7 LE can not only record the scenes but also include you in the recording. Its 4K videos and 20MP image capabilities can deliver decent image quality. With two small Li-ion batteries rated at 1350mAh, it supports up to 3 hours of recording time in a row when you are backpacking outdoor.
The backpacking camera comes with different kinds of mounts for you to set the camera anywhere, whether it is your hat, backpack, tripod, chest.
GoPro Hero 9
GoPro Hero 9 Black has seen a resolution boost. It can take 20MP still photos and record 5K videos, which is the action camera with the highest resolution. If you need an action camera for backpacking with excellent image quality, GoPro is a good choice.
Hero 9 features HyperSmooth 3.0 stabilization technology, allowing you to get stable footage when hiking or mountaineering. And with the HindSight mode turned on, the camera can capture up to 30 seconds of footage before you press the shutter button, which is useful when you want to record a cute animal that runs across the hiking trail.
It's 10m waterproof and is compatible with dozens of accessories for easy mounting on a backpacking bag.
Best Compact Point-and-shoots Cameras for Backpacking
Sony RX100 VII
The Sony RX-100 is very light and compact for backpacking photography. It has an image quality of 20.1 megapixels and a 24-200mm2 zoom lens. With a fast new image sensor, the backpacking camera can capture moving subjects with AF/AE calculations up to 60 times per second.
All these amazing features are packed in a compact body so that it won't take up much space in your backpacking bag.
Fujifilm's X100 series of cameras has been loved by many backpacking photographers. The X100V comes with several significant improvements. Its 23mmF2.0 lens and X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor enable 4K video recording at up to 30 frames per second and 1080p recording at up to 120 frames per second.
The camera can take about 350-400 frames in one full charge. You don't have to worry that the battery is run down when taking the camera backpacking in the countryside.
And its Focus Limiter Function gives faster AF performance by setting the lens to a specific range of distances.
Panasonic Lumix ZS100
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS100 is a 20MP Wide Sensor compact camera for backpacking. With built-in Image Stabilization, the camera delivers smooth images when you are hiking on a mountain trail.
The Panasonic ZS100 has a 25-250 mm F2.8-5.9 10x zoom lens with an excellent wide-angle capacity to capture the magnificent landscape.
And its integrated-in Electronic viewfinder makes it easier to shoot in direct sunlight outdoor.
The compact camera is small in size. It can perfectly fit in your pocket, saving the extra weight of a bulky camera bag for backpacking.
Best Rugged Cameras for Backpacking
Olympus Tough TG-6
The Olympus Tough TG-6 is the firm's sixth-generation rugged camera. It features a 12 Megapixel camera, a 4X optical zoom lens, and a waterproof, crushproof, shockproof tough body, which ensures that the camera can give great performance even in harsh conditions in hiking.
Its Li-92B lithium-ion battery can support a decent 340 shots per charge, which is enough for a one-day hiking trip. Its resiliency and expandability make it a great choice for a backpacking camera.
Best Backpacking Camera: DSLR
The Nikon D3500 is a 24 Megapixel DSLR that is smaller, lighter, and has a longer battery life than other DSLR. It was designed with a backpacking photographer in mind. Its lightweight can make you forget it's sticking out of your shoulder.
The backpacking camera is good to grip and all its buttons can be easily accessed with comfort. And with its intuitive interface, the DSLR is as easy-to-use as a point-and-shoot-camera.
Moreover, the camera is durable to withstand rough conditions in the backpacking trails.
Canon EOS Rebel SL2
The backpacking camera has a 30.3-megapixel sensor and a DIGIC 8 photo processor for excellent image quality. It's completely compatible with EF / EF-S lenses so that you can shoot beautiful footage as well.
Lighter than the average weight of other DSLR, the camera is great for traveling to create a larger number of beautiful photos of excellent scope and resolution in a trip. It's highly recommended for wanna-be backpacking photographers.
How to Choose the Best Backpacking Cameras
Factors that you should consider choosing the right backpacking camera.
Size: you would most definitely carry a small camera for backpacking; nevertheless, this depends on the length of your backpacking trip. And this implies that you'd have little space.
Weight: Similar to the size, the weight of the cameras can also be important for backpacking; hence a small point and shoot cameras and action camera are good choices.
Battery Life: Except you're going to find a power source in your trip, it is advised to take cameras with excellent battery life. Typically, it would be best if you took cameras that a full battery charge would last up to 200 – 300 photos.
Specification: Distance, megapixels, Wi-Fi, low-light features, and so on; these are the most critical specifications. If you're a beginner, a camera with too many features might be too much. Maybe an easy-to-use point-and-shoot camera is a great fit.
FAQ about Backpacking Cameras
Which is the best backpacking camera?
The best backpacking camera depends on what you need. If you need a camera that you can wear on the hat or backpack, action cameras like the AKASO Brave 7 LE or the GoPro Hero 9 are the best. If you need a camera for backpacking photography, a DSLR is a good choice.
Are all backpacking cameras dustproof?
One of the best suited dustproof cameras is the Panasonic Lumix ZS100; also the Olympus Tough TG-6 is reputed for its rigidity, but not all backpacking cameras are dustproof.
How to backpack with camera gear?
Photography and backpacking have gone together for years and years. Here are five tips to carry cameras through your backpacking trip.
● Have a goal for your trip
● Carry a camera that you are willing to carry
● Ensure that all your gears are complete before leaving the house
● Kit yourself well
● Consider some support options