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Our Favorite Cameras For Hiking Reviewed

last updated Sep 19, 2019
If you are an avid outdoor enthusiast who loves to hit those beautiful hiking trails and document every moment, you need to check out the best cameras for hiking featured below. Let’s be honest, while we can all use our phone to take decent photos it’s just not the same

So, whether you are a professional photographer or just want to document your adventures with the best pictures possible, a good hiking camera is definitely the way to go here. Hiking cameras are high-tech and deliver beautiful images you will be proud of.

Nowadays, hiking cameras have grown in popularity for professionals and beginners alike because they are incredibly lightweight, durable and easy to use—so you can take it with you wherever you go, no matter how far you are hiking.

Check out our top picks!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 9 hrs of research

icon
Nikon D7200
96.2/100 our score
Features
98
Ease of Use
93
Weight
97
Battery Life
95
Value
98
Nikon D7200
Why is it better?

Great battery life

Good low light capabilities

Works well for night photography and action shots

WiFi Capability

Weather sealed

Competitively priced for DSLR

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Nikon D7200
Test Winner: Nikon D7200
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
6
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1.5K
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
9
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
18
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Giselle Killebrew:

Our most recent update brings a total upgrade to all of our product reviews as well as a lot of new information to our buying guide—with two new sections added to the other factors to consider and more information to the other section added.

Sorting Options
Features Ease of Use Weight Battery Life Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.2
Features
98 %
Ease of Use
93 %
Weight
97 %
Battery Life
95 %
Value
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$996.95
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Features
94 %
Ease of Use
92 %
Weight
96 %
Battery Life
91 %
Value
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$596.95
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Features
90 %
Ease of Use
91 %
Weight
96 %
Battery Life
93 %
Value
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$998.00
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.2
Features
90 %
Ease of Use
92 %
Weight
95 %
Battery Life
89 %
Value
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$998.00
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
Features
93 %
Ease of Use
88 %
Weight
90 %
Battery Life
89 %
Value
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$449.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.2
Features
90 %
Ease of Use
87 %
Weight
85 %
Battery Life
92 %
Value
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$649.00
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Features
85 %
Ease of Use
88 %
Weight
90 %
Battery Life
86 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$3,198.00
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
Features
83 %
Ease of Use
85 %
Weight
88 %
Battery Life
90 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$999.00
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.2
Features
82 %
Ease of Use
89 %
Weight
81 %
Battery Life
85 %
Value
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$899.00
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Features
81 %
Ease of Use
83 %
Weight
79 %
Battery Life
86 %
Value
86 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.11.19)
Amazon Link
$499.99
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Our Favorite Cameras For Hiking Reviewed

1. Nikon D7200

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96.2
Nikon D7200
Amazon Link
Features
98
Ease of Use
93
Weight
97
Battery Life
95
Value
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$996.95
Pros:

Great battery life

Good low light capabilities

Works well for night photography and action shots

WiFi Capability

Weather sealed

Competitively priced for DSLR

Cons:

Heavy

Bulky

This camera has a sturdy build and is weatherproofed making it a great companion for the outdoors. Users find it to be very durable and do not need to worry too much when trying to capture nature pics out in the elements. High ISO settings can handle low light and night photography with ease. Users also find this camera works well for capturing action shots and time-lapses. Durable design, weather sealing, and long battery life make this the perfect companion for outdoor use.

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Features

This DSLR camera has a 24 megapixel CMOS sensor and high ISO settings provide excellent image quality particularly in low light and night settings.

Ease of Use

The body alone is 5.3 x 3 x 4.2 inches and weighs in at 23.8 oz which is significantly higher than point and shoot cameras and mirrorless options. You will need an additional bag when trekking with this body and your lens.

Weight

If you are willing to deal with the extra weight and bulk for a DSLR camera, the Nikon D7200 is an excellent option for hiking. The CMOS Sensor produces beautiful images that compete with more expensive full-frame options.

Battery Life

The newest camera of the D7000 line offers WiFi and NFC capabilities for convenient use and sharing. The high-speed frame rate assists when capturing action shots. Users are also pleased with the long battery life on this camera.

Value

At around 1000 dollars the D7200 is very competitively priced for a DSLR. It is more expensive than its predecessors but users find better low light performance, WiFi capability and weather sealing are worth the investment.

2. Ricoh GR II

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.8
Ricoh GR II
Amazon Link
Features
94
Ease of Use
92
Weight
96
Battery Life
91
Value
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$596.95
Pros:

Ergonomic design

Easy to operate

DSLR-level sensor for great image quality

Ideal for landscapes

Lightweight

Compact

WiFi compatible

Cons:

Fixed lens length (no zoom)

Limited features

Not the most durable

Difficult to repair

Although Ricoh is not a well-known name, the GR II appears on most lists for hiking and travel cameras. The DSLR-level sensor makes this a popular travel or backup option among professional photographers.

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Features

The APS-C sized sensor is the largest of any point-and-shoot and produces DSLR-level images. The fixed focal length lens is ideal for landscapes and travel photography but does not allow for zooming of far away wildlife.

Ease of Use

Users rave about the ergonomic design of this camera and find that most functions can be accessed while holding the camera in just one hand. This newest version of the GR is WiFi capable and works well with a smartphone.

Weight

Users love the ergonomic design, user-friendly menu and impressive image quality. The fixed length lens makes this camera best suited for landscapes and street photography. If wildlife is your aim, you may require a camera with more zoom.

Battery Life

This camera is excellent in terms of battery life! It will last you up to 2 hours and in still shot mode and if you are recording it will last for 45 minutes.

Value

At around 600 dollars this is an excellent value for outstanding image quality in a small package. It does not offer as many features or customization as some more expensive cameras but can produce beautiful shots of professional quality

3. Sony DSC RX100 V

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.2
Sony DSC RX100 V
Amazon Link
Features
90
Ease of Use
91
Weight
96
Battery Life
93
Value
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$998.00
Pros:

Full Manual Controls

Compact

Lightweight

Durable body

Large sensor

Vivid colors

4K video

Photo capture from video

Cons:

Battery does not last long when taking video

Expensive

Menu is difficult to navigate

Delicate lens

The 5th version of the RX100 from Sony offers the best image quality for a camera of this size. An extra large sensor, rapid autofocus, and quality lens help to capture sharp images with vivid colors. The camera is expensive for a point-and-shoot but seems to be the go-to option for professionals seeking a compact camera.

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Features

Rapid hybrid autofocus finds focus in less than .05 seconds. Full manual controls allow for more customization of your photography. However, some photographers find the controls a bit difficult to navigate with the small buttons and screen. 4K video works very well and you have the ability to easily capture photos from the footage. While the video quality is great, some users note the battery life does not last a very long time when filming for long stretches.

Ease of Use

The 1-inch sensor on RX100 V is one of the largest available for point-and-shoot cameras. Users are impressed with the image quality and vivid color produced by this camera.

Weight

Users find the body of this camera to be very durable but feel the lens, when extended, is quite delicate. The RX100 V should be able to handle being jumbled around in a pocket or pack but take extra care during use when that lens is extended. To top it off, it is also really lightweight!

Battery Life

Although this camera has a great battery life when used for picture taking, it does not last long in video mode.

Value

Just shy of 1000 dollars, this camera is pretty pricey for a point-and-shoot. However, if you are seeking professional quality images in a very small package, the RX100 V is your best bet.

4. Sony Alpha a6300

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.2
Sony Alpha a6300
Amazon Link
Features
90
Ease of Use
92
Weight
95
Battery Life
89
Value
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$998.00
Pros:

DSLR-level APS-C sensor

Half the weight of DSLR cameras

Quick Auto focus

Continuous autofocus and auto exposure

Great for action shots and video

Weather-sealed

WiFi compatibility

Ergonomic grip

Cons:

Expensive

Not ideal for low light photography

The Alpha a6300 provides DSLR quality images at half the weight of a DSLR camera. This newer version of the Alpha offers the same quick auto-focus of the previous model with improved video and WiFi capabilities. It is ideal for capturing action shots and video but falls a bit short in low light settings. The weather-sealed magnesium alloy body and ergonomic grip make this model especially well-suited for hiking.

Read more

Features

Super quick autofocus system locks focus in as little as .05 seconds making it ideal for action shots. WiFi compatibility and video improvements are where the a6300 outshines the earlier a6000 model. It has continuous autofocus and auto exposure through shooting and is easily controlled and edited with a smartphone.

Ease of Use

A weather-sealed magnesium alloy body makes this camera well-suited for outdoors use. The additional ergonomic grip helps you maintain a good hold on your camera, minimizing the risk of dropping it.

Weight

This camera is definitely a little heavier, so if you need the lightest option this is not the best camera for you.

Battery Life

This camera has a lithium battery that is reliable and a great option for those of you who need something that will last.

Value

Just shy of 1000 dollars, this camera is about as expensive as its DSLR counterparts. If you are looking for DSLR quality at a lower weight, this camera is certainly worth the money.

5. Olympus Tough TG-5

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
Olympus Tough TG-5
Amazon Link
Features
93
Ease of Use
88
Weight
90
Battery Life
89
Value
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$449.00
Pros:

Rugged design

Good for most outdoor activity

Waterproof up to 50 feet

Freezeproof up to 14 F

Crushproof up to 220 lbs

4 K video capabilities

WiFi compatible

GPS location and data collection

Compact

Lightweight

Cons:

Small sensor

Expensive for a point-and-shoot

The TG-5 is a rugged camera built to withstand water, cold temperature, dust, and drops. Additional features such as WiFi compatibility, powerful macro mode, and action track sensors make this a great companion for any outdoorsmen.

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Features

The powerful macro mode allows you to get up to 1 cm from your subject for immaculate detail on flowers and small wildlife. The TG-5 also features 4K video capabilities, action track sensors to track GPS location and elevation as well as wifi connectivity to give you control over your camera from your smartphone.

Ease of Use

The tough design may be overkill if you are just sticking to hiking but for the avid adventurer, this is a great option. Image quality is not on par with more sophisticated cameras but outshines its rugged camera competition particularly when it comes to underwater photography.

Weight

Durability is where this tough camera really shines. It is waterproof up to 50 feet, crushproof under pressure of up 220 lbs, freezeproof up to 14 F and dustproof. Accident-prone hikers and weekend thrill-seekers find this camera to be an excellent companion for a variety of adventures.

Battery Life

The Tough TG-5 outshines its rugged counterparts when it comes to image quality. It does have a small sensor and will not provide close the same image quality of DSLRs or Mirrorless cameras. However, it has a wide-angle lens and ample zoom as well as the ability to take good quality pictures in low light and underwater.

Value

For less than 500 dollars, this is a great option for a durable point-and-shoot. Users find the peace of mind and underwater image quality to be worth the price for this tough camera.

6. Canon Rebel SL2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.2
Canon Rebel SL2
Amazon Link
Features
90
Ease of Use
87
Weight
85
Battery Life
92
Value
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$649.00
Pros:

Smallest DSLR available

Articulating touchscreen LCD

User-friendly menu

Inexpensive

Fast processor

Cons:

Not the most durable

Not weatherproof

Despite the new screen, many still love the viewfinder when there is too much glare in the sunny outdoors. Users love Canon’s DIGIC 7 processor as there is virtually no lag time. This newest version has WiFi, NFC and Bluetooth capabilities as well to keep you connected to all your devices. Full HD 60 pixel movies is an added benefit of this little camera.

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Features

Articulating Touch Screen LCD with easy-to-use menus to help you capture the perfect shot. Despite the new screen, many still love the viewfinder when there is too much glare in the sunny outdoors. Users love Canon’s DIGIC 7 processor as there is virtually no lag time.

Ease of Use

To achieve a lighter weight, the SL2 uses a lightweight plastic. It is not weatherproof and does have some fragile areas. So, while it’s small size and lightweight are excellent for carrying on a hike, this may not be your best bet for more rugged adventures.

Weight

The Rebel SL2 from Canon is one of the lightest options for a DSLR weighing 14.3 ounces for just the body.

Battery Life

This newest version has WiFi, NFC and Bluetooth capabilities as well to keep you connected to all your devices. Full HD 60 pixel movies is an added benefit of this little camera.

Value

Starting at around 550 dollars, this little DSLR is a great value and an excellent option for anyone considering a DSLR to take on the trail.

7. Sony a7R III

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Sony a7R III
Amazon Link
Features
85
Ease of Use
88
Weight
90
Battery Life
86
Value
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$3,198.00
Pros:

Full-frame resolution sensor

Performs well in low light

Efficient autofocus

Accurate electronic viewfinder

Long Battery Life

Dual SD media slots

Cons:

Heavy for a mirrorless camera

Expensive

Not weatherproofed

For those looking to invest in a versatile full frame camera, the a7R III has an impressive performance and impeccable image quality. It is expensive and not as lightweight or durable as we would like to see for hiking but users rave about its performance and ease of you. If you invest in this camera you will want to take it everywhere.

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Features

A 42.4 MP full-frame resolution Exmor R CMOS sensor is back-illuminated and uses a gapless on-chip lens with anti-reflective coating to improve light collection efficiency. Users find the full-frame resolution does make a difference in their photography and they are shocked it is coming from a mirrorless camera.

Ease of Use

Users love the electronic viewfinder for its accuracy and report that the Autofocus, while not the fasted available, works efficiently in practice and stays pinned to a moving target. The camera is well-built and durable but not weather-proofed or drop-proof. With an investment of this size, you will want to treat this camera with care when you are hiking.

Weight

This camera has a bit more bulk to it than some other mirrorless cameras at 5.0 x 3.8 x 2.9 in and 23.2 ounces. Many users prefer the slightly larger design for how it feels in the hands but it is not the best lightweight option for hiking.

Battery Life

The long battery life and dual SD media slots minimize the time spent fumbling in your bag making changes. Continuous autofocus and auto exposure makes shooting video and taking time lapses a breeze.

Value

Coming in at over 3000 dollars, this is the most expensive camera listed. However, this mirrorless camera is top of the line and professionals and serious hobbyists cannot say enough good things.

8. Fujifilm X-T20

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
Fujifilm X-T20
Amazon Link
Features
83
Ease of Use
85
Weight
88
Battery Life
90
Value
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$999.00
Pros:

Compact

Lightweight

Good image quality

Captures colors well

Cons:

No weatherproofing

Fujifilm cameras are a favorite among nature photographers for their ability to capture images in their true color. It has a wide range of customizable dials and preset filters to tinker with. As well as a tilting touchscreen for easier manipulation of the images. Unfortunately, this less expensive version of the X-T line is not weatherproofed, so some care is needed when hiking in inclement weather.

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Features

The X-T20 features Fujifilm’s X-Trans CMOS III. With 24.3 megapixels, this APS-C sized sensor produces high-quality images. The random pixel array helps to capture colors in their truest form which is ideal for nature photography.

Ease of Use

Users love the tilting touchscreen that allows you to focus similar to your smartphone. While this is convenient for quick shooting, this camera also offers dials for full customization. 4K video, versatile autofocus modes and filters give this camera a lot of extras to play with.

Weight

The X-T20 is our top pick for its lightweight and compact design.

Battery Life

With decent battery life, this is a great option for those of you looking for your first hiking camera.

Value

Coming in at under 1000 dollars, this mirrorless camera provides excellent images in a small package.

9. Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.2
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
Amazon Link
Features
82
Ease of Use
89
Weight
81
Battery Life
85
Value
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$899.00
Pros:

Compact

Lightweight

Image Stabilization

Compatible with a wide variety of lenses

4K video

Weather Sealed

Ergonomic design

WiFi capability

Cons:

Smaller sensor

For great image stabilization, light body and ergonomic design, the E-M5 Mark II cannot be beaten. The image sensor is not the largest but it is compatible with a wide range of lenses. It does produce impressive images and captures 4K video.

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Features

Users love the image stabilization on this camera and find it helps significantly when traveling without a tripod. High tech 4K video and WiFi capability elevate this camera above its predecessors.

Ease of Use

This camera is easy to handle and offers weatherproof protection so you can feel secure using outside.

Weight

The 16 megapixel live MOS sensor is a bit smaller than some other mirrorless options. However, the 40 megapixel HD mode does allow for more detailed images as well. Being part of the Micro Four Thirds family means this camera is compatible with a wide variety of lens options to aid customization.

Battery Life

Great battery life, although it is certainly not the best selection on our list of reviews.

Value

Well under the thousand dollar mark, this camera is very competitively priced for a mirrorless camera.

10. Canon Powershot G16

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Canon Powershot G16
Amazon Link
Features
81
Ease of Use
83
Weight
79
Battery Life
86
Value
86
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$499.99
Pros:

Performs well in low light

Compact

Lightweight

Durable

60 pixel HD video

WiFi Compatible

Point-and-shoot that shoots in Raw

Cons:

Not weather proof

Lower pixel sensor

This point-and-shoot camera from Canon offers great performance in a compact and lightweight package. The sensor is large for cameras of this category and the DIGIC 6 processor is great for low light photography. The ability to shoot in raw sets it apart from other point-and-shoots. This camera is not the most advanced on this list but it is WiFi compatible and captures 60 pixel HD video.

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Features

The DIGIC 6 Processor allows for 60 pixel full HD movies. This camera is also WiFi compatible so photos can easily be shared to your smartphone or windows computer.

Ease of Use

The 12.1 megapixel 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor is larger than that of its predecessors. The larger sensor combined with the Canon DIGIC 6 image processor performs well under low-light settings.

Weight

This compact camera measures 4.3 x 1.6 x 3 inches and weighs 12.5 ounces. Reviewers love the easy portability and feel it is a good size for placing in pocket or bag.

Battery Life

This camera has a pretty good battery life but not the best out there.

Value

This camera falls well under 500 dollars but is still not cheap for a point-and-shoot. Users love the ease of use and portability.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Features

Not all hiking cameras are exactly the same, so make sure you take a close look at their individual features to see if they work for you.

Modern cameras allow the user to do a variety of things and boast an incredible level of technology. On this list, we have both DSLR and mirrorless cameras. DSLR stands for Digital Single Lens Reflex. Basically, this means the camera has one single lens that the light travels through and hits a mirror which bounces the image onto a digital sensor that captures the image instead of being captured on film.

A mirrorless camera doesn't have a mirror inside of it meaning that the sensor is constantly exposed to light and your potential image can be seen at all times through the viewfinder, whether it is an optical one or an LCD screen. In a nutshell, DSLR's are the big, fancy looking cameras that we associate with professional photographers while mirrorless cameras are usually smaller, point and shoot type models.

The lines between DSLR and mirrorless are blurring, however, and some professionals are moving over to mirrorless because they are usually smaller and more compact while many serious amateurs prefer DSLR's. Some of the features you will find in cameras on this list include auto and manual exposure options, aperture or shutter speed priority, specific modes for sports, nature, or portrait photography.

As well as self-timers, burst shooting modes, and more. Some options even have wi-fi capability that lets you easily upload your pictures to your computer or directly to the internet.

Ease of Use

Getting to know your camera shouldn't take ours, which is why we prioritized the ease of use of each of our top picks.

This is a really important feature to look at in a hiking camera, especially if you really want to capture some great pictures of wildlife. When that majestic creature shows itself the last thing you want is to be fumbling with the settings on your camera so we looked for products that are simple to operate.

Even though all these cameras have a fairly intuitive design it's important that you practice operating them before you head out on the trail. That's one of the great things about digital cameras; you can take as many pictures as you want to practice without spending money on film and developing. All you have to do is erase any photos that you don't want to keep.

Another feature to look for that will make it easier to take the pictures you want is a camera that has automatic settings for nature, sports, portrait, and macro photos. These settings automatically prioritize certain settings so all you have to do is compose the frame and press the shutter button.

For example, when in the sports setting the camera will prioritize a fast shutter speed over the depth of field so that the motion will be captured without blur.

Weight

Your camera should never weigh you down, especially if you are hiking with it. The best hiking cameras should be light in weight and easy to bring with you wherever you go.

This is a really important feature in a camera that you'll take with you on hikes because when the trail gets long every ounce counts. This is a bit subjective, however. For example, if all you care about is capturing the memories you make and you're not worried about having the best possible pictures or being able to zoom in on faraway objects than we recommend going with a smaller and lighter option.

But if you're a serious photography aficionado and you really want to come back home with some amazing images then opting for a larger, more fully-featured camera will be a better choice. This will mean carrying a much heavier camera, however, so before buying think carefully about what your priorities are and what type of pictures you want to take.

Another thing you should know is that with DSLR cameras you'll have to take into account both the camera body as well as the separate lens or lenses you want to carry. For example, you may want to bring a telephoto lens to help you get close up images of wildlife, as well as a macro lens that will help you capture amazing close up images of flowers.

Battery Life

The last thing you want is to end up with a dead camera--so if you have a battery-operated hiking camera you need to make sure it will make it to the destination so you can get those pictures in.

This is an important factor to consider because you don't want to run out of batteries when you're hiking in the middle of nowhere and you want to get a great shot. Most of the products on this list have nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH) or lithium-ion (Li-Ion) rechargeable batteries, which means you won't be spending money on batteries every time they die out.

These types of batteries are usually used for cameras because not only do they provide a lot of power, but also because they're better for the environment and hold a charge better than AA or AAA batteries, even the rechargeable type. We also recommend that you buy an extra battery and make sure it's fully charged before hitting the trails.

This way if one of the battery dies you'll have an extra so you can make sure you never miss a shot. All in all, just make sure you get a camera that offers the battery life that you know you need. And don't be afraid to look to see if there are any portable chargers you can take with you to charge the batteries out if you are going on a really long trip!

Value

As you can see from our product reviews, hiking cameras are available in a variety of price options--so, make sure you are investing in a model that brings value to your life.

This is a subjective factor because what's important to one person and what they're willing to pay for differs from person to person. We feature cameras that range from a couple of hundred dollars to well over a thousand. The biggest things that will help you make sure you get a good deal is the quality of the lens the camera comes and whether or not it comes with one or if you have to buy one separately.

Lenses can be one of the most expensive, and important, parts of the camera. Even if the other components are top-notch if the lens isn't good, neither will your pictures. This is because the lens is where the rubber meets the road so to speak since this is where the light from your subject travels through to hit the sensor where the image is captured.

It's kind of like the outsole of a pair of running shoes, where even if the midsole and uppers are top-notch if the part of the shoe that hits the road isn't good it won't absorb impact, wear down quickly, and leave you wishing you had bought a different pair. Having said all that, all of the cameras on this list represent a good deal for the consumer based on their image quality, features, and ease of use.

When ranking these products we looked at all of these things as well as the price, while also considering over 1500 user reviews so that we could get a well-rounded view of what people from all walks of life felt about the camera and the cost they paid for it.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

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Don't Forget the Accessories

Many situations may arise in which you want to select different lenses, such as wide-angle or telephoto lenses. A quality camera harness is a must when going on hikes because it will allow you to have free hands while comfortably carrying your camera.

A dry bag or backpack will come in handy in the event you get caught in bad weather.

Shooting Wildlife?

If your main goal is taking amazing pictures of wildlife then you will want to look for a camera and lens combo that allows for zoom and provides good image stabilization. In this case, a good-quality DSLR with a telephoto lens will most likely be your best bet.

Camera's Don't Take Pictures...

People do! At the end of the day you can have the best camera in the world but if you don't have a solid knowledge and understanding of at least the basic aspects of photography: lighting, composition, and apeture and shutter speed control, your pictures won't be as good as they could be. Your local community college should have a photography course or you can sign up for one online through a platfrom such as Skillshare.

Other Factors to Consider

Accessories

A lot of the hiking cameras featured in our list of reviews above come with additional accessories or are compatible with additional accessories. If you are serious about taking pictures while you hike, you might want to check out some of the additional accessories you can look into getting to make the picture taking process easier.

Storage options

Although these cameras are really lightweight and easy to take with you wherever you go, you will need to make sure you get some sort of storage bag to carry it in if it doesn't already come with one. More importantly, you need to make sure your camera is protected from other items as well as outdoor elements.

Picture enhancement

A lot of these cameras have additional lenses you can purchase separately if you like to switch up your perspective and really buckle down and get the best picture possible. You don't have to buy additional lenses, but you certainly have the option to do so with several of the hiking cameras featured above.

Additional accessories

Shutter button: If you want to take pictures of yourself or you and your group, you will want to check out a shutter button! These buttons make it easy to get a picture of everyone so no one has to be left out.

Camera tripods: Not everyone needs a tripod, but they are certainly nice to have if you really want to get the perfect shot or if you want to get a picture of everyone--this great to have with the shutter button so you get everyone in the picture!

Camera Strap: a camera strap will allow you to easily hang your camera around your neck, so you can easily take a picture the second something catches your eye while you are out on your hike.

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, you need to make sure you get a hiking camera that fits your every need. Sure, we rated each of our top picks in order based on the criteria we discussed above, but that does not mean that our number one pick is the best hiking camera for everyone--after all, if there was a single hiking camera for everyone then there wouldn't be a top ten list to begin with.

The best hiking cameras for you should be really easy to use and offer all of the features you need to take the pictures you want to take while you are out enjoying the great outdoors. The right hiking camera for you should also not weigh you down, so make sure you get something that is lightweight enough to bring with you.

Before you buy, also make sure to check out the battery life and any additional accessories the camera is compatible with so you can make sure you get something that works for your needs and lifestyles. Last but not least, if you are on a budget stick to it OR save up to get the camera that will bring value to your life and be worth the investment for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What is a kit lens?

a:

A kit lens is the name of the lens that may come standard with your mirrorless or DSLR camera. While the technology of these lenses are advancing, most serious photographers do invest in higher end lenses to match their higher end camera. Having a nicer lens can improve focus, zoom quality and overall performance.

q: Can I use any lens with any type of camera body?

a:

No, all bodies are not compatible with all lenses. For example, Canon lenses are designed to work with Canon cameras and not Nikon or Sony. However, there are a number of third parties that make lenses to work with multiple bodies.

q: What is RAW?

a:

Most cameras save in JPEG format but some have the ability to save raw format. Raw images retain all information saved by the sensor making post-processing easier. JPEGs discard this data to compress the information into a smaller image file. RAW images do take a lot more space to save on your memory card however so keep that in mind when you're choosing what mode to shoot in.

q: How should I pack my camera for a hike or camping?

a:

Use a dry bag to pack and store it: Hiking or camping can be unpredictable when it comes to weather, not to mention, spills in your backpack are a possibility. To ensure that your camera is fully safe, you will want to pack it, so that it is dry and secure – use a dry bag for this.

Pad your camera: To make sure that your camera isn’t moving around and clunking into things, which can damage it, you want to pack your camera so that it won’t move. You also want to make sure that other items in your bag will not bang into your camera. You can do this by creating a padded wall around your camera through a proper case and wrapping extra layers around it.

Keep your camera at the top: When you pack your camera, keep it at the top of your bag to prevent it from being crushed.

Consider whether a tripod is essential: A tripod will add extra weight to your bag. But if you want to bring it, you can usually attach it to the outside of your backpack. Not to mention, some fold up very small.

q: What are some features that my camera should have for hiking?

a:

The best hiking cameras should offer all of the features that YOU need not the most features--so stick to what you know you need!

  • Keep your camera lightweight and small.
  • Image quality should be very good so that you can snap the great outdoors just as you want to.
  • Make sure you have a good viewfinder to zoom in on any landscape that you may want. Nothing is worse than taking a photo of something you can’t see very well.
  • You want a camera that will perform well during the morning, day, or night.