Man with a camera hiking by the lake

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What’s the best camera for hiking right now?

Do you even need a special backpacking camera?

In our opinion – no, you don’t – in most situations you don’t need a special camera for hiking. And most of us don’t need a camera at all. If you have a new smartphone, chances are that it’s the only camera you need right now. However, if you know that you need a camera for hiking, and you want to have a good one, we’ve got you covered.

Just scroll down and choose what suits you the best.

Backpacking Cameras

Here they are, some of the best cameras available on the market.

Scroll down to read more about every one of them.

All cameras are sorted by type and price level.

For more photos, detailed description, latest price and user reviews check them out on Amazon – just click on the name or image of the camera!

NAMEIMAGETYPEPRICE LEVEL
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII***Compact, Overall Best$$$
Sony a7R II***Full-Frame Mirrorless, Overall Best$$$
Fujifilm X100VCompact, Overall Best$$$
Panasonic Lumix ZS100Compact, Best Cheap$
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VIBest Compact Camera$$
GoPro Hero 8 BlackBest Action Camera$
Olympus Tough TG-6Compact, Best Waterproof Camera$
Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark IICompact, Best for Vlogging$
*** - our favorites

If you are currently looking for the best camera for hiking for your needs, then by now I’m pretty sure you have at least a tiny bit better understanding of what are the options out there.

Best Camera for Hiking: Reviews

What do all best hiking cameras have in common?

All the cameras you see here in this article.

Most of amateur photographers will be good with a decent compact camera.

All of them are rather compact and will take up very little space in your backpack, except for maybe Sony a7R II. All of them offer great photo/video quality for the price.

Overall Best Cameras For Hiking and Travel

1. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VII (click for more details)

TYPE: Compact Camera

PRICE LEVEL: $$$

A premium class compact camera.

Yes, it’s expensive. But it’s also a camera everyone will know how to operate, and everyone will be pleased with the result. It’s tiny, will easily fit in your pocket, but at the same time it offers quality and features similar to many bigger cameras. It offers a very long zoom, super fast shooting (up to 20 frames per second) and 4K video recording.

If you’re into filming, you’ll love the option to plug in external microphone.

And don’t forget to pack a solar power bank, so you don’t run out of juice.

If you are ready to spend extra, and want a camera that’s very compact, go for the RX100 VII.  It’s one of the best backpacking cameras and also one of the best lightweight cameras you can find now.

WEIGHT: 10.7 oz / 302 g

DIMENSIONS: 4.02” x 2.28” x 1.69” (10.2 x 5.8 x 4.3 cm)

2. Sony a7R II (click for more details)

TYPE: Full-Frame Mirrorless

PRICE LEVEL: $$$

A professional, interchangeable lens camera for advanced users.

Some may say that it’s very big, but it isn’t. For a full-frame camera, for the image quality and features it offers it’s a rather small and compact camera. And it weights only 22 oz / 625 g. Which is also one of the main reasons it’s here. It’s a top class camera, that you can easily go on a hike or travel with.

Superb image quality, 4K movie recording, Wi-Fi connectivity to transfer photos or shoot remotely – these are just some of the features that make this camera awesome. Add to the list the camera’s tough build, and you have the perfect camera for all kind of adventures, including hiking and traveling around.

Speaking of the Wi-Fi connectivity, I like to use this feature to backup my photos while I’m off the grid.

I would just send photos to my phone. So they aren’t only on my camera.

WEIGHT (body): 22 oz / 625 g

DIMENSIONS (body): 5” x 3.8” x 2.4 ” (12.7 x 9.6 x 6.1 cm)

3. Fujifilm X100V (click for more details)

TYPE: Compact Camera

PRICE LEVEL: $$$

A stylish, premium class compact camera.

A great camera for everyday use, and that includes also hiking. When compared to the above mentioned Sony the first thing that stands out is its design. Fujifilm like their classy design, and you see it in many of their cameras. I personally love it, and I really like my own and trusty X30.

The same like the Sony RX100 VII, it also has a lot of professional features packed in a small body, offers great photo and video quality and it’s also a compact camera. It’s as easy to use for every type of users.

But it lacks in zoom and it’s almost twice as heavy (16.8 oz / 476 g).

WEIGHT: 16.8 oz / 476 g

DIMENSIONS: 5.04” x 2.94” x 2.1″ (12.8 x 7.5 x 5.3 cm)

Best Cheap Camera For Hiking

4. Panasonic Lumix ZS100 (click for more details)

TYPE: Compact Camera

PRICE LEVEL: $

A compact and lightweight point-and-shoot camera.

Of course, it’s not a cheap cheap camera, true. But it’s one cheapest between the best cameras. The camera features a 10x zoom, 3” LCD display and 4K QFHD video recording. Same like many cameras nowadays it has a Wi-Fi connectivity, meaning that you can easily transfer your photos and videos wherever you are.

A great choice if you want a small camera.

WEIGHT: 11 oz / 312 g

DIMENSIONS: 4.37” x 2.56” x 1.73″ (11.1 x 6.5 x 4.4 cm)

Best Compact Camera For Hiking

5. Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 VI (click for more details)

TYPE: Compact Camera

PRICE LEVEL: $$

A great medium-range compact camera.

All in all this camera is very similar to the more expensive – RX100 VII. And they also look identical. But there are some differences. Some of the most important for most users will be autofocus, speed of continuous shooting and image stabilisation for video. These things are better on the more expensive RX100 VII. And it also lacks a port for microphone.

Overall it’s still a great hiking camera offering very good photo quality for the buck.

But if you plan to shooting a lot of moving objects, take the Sony RX100 VII.

WEIGHT: 10.6 oz / 301 g

DIMENSIONS: 4.02” x 2.28” x 1.69″ (10.2 x 5.8 x 4.3 cm)

Best Action Camera For Hiking

6. GoPro Hero 8 Black (click for more details)

TYPE: Action Camera

PRICE LEVEL: $

An impact-resistant and waterproof action camera.

GoPro is known for making top-class action cameras for years now. If you want the best camera at the moment, here you have it – the latest and greatest member of its action camera family. The HERO8 Black is not only tougher and easier to use, but it also comes with a much better photo and video stabilisation (thanks to HyperSmooth 2.0), and more stabilised time lapses.

The camera is very small and lightweight.

WEIGHT: 4.44 oz / 126 g

DIMENSIONS: 1.91” x 1.12” x 2.61” / 4.86 x 2.84 x 6.63 cm

Best Waterproof Camera For Hiking

7. Olympus Tough TG-6 (click for more details)

TYPE: Waterproof Compact Camera

PRICE LEVEL: $

A very tough camera built to withstand everything.

It’s waterproof (up to 50 ft / 15 meter). It’s dustproof, shockproof (up to 7ft / 2.1 meter) and crushproof (100 kgf). And you can also use it in subzero temperatures (14 F / – 10 C). If these are the features you care the most about in your hiking camera, then here you have it – your future hiking camera.

It features 8x zoom and 4K filming capabilities. The camera has 5 underwater shooting modes, including a mode that allows you to shoot very close objects, and 3 underwater white balance modes.

It’s a lightweight camera,  and it’s compact in size.

WEIGHT: 9 oz / 253 g

DIMENSIONS: 4.45” x 2.6” x 1.26” (11.3 x 6.6 x 3.2 cm)

Best Camera For Vlogging and Hiking

8. Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II (click for more details)

TYPE: Compact Camera

PRICE LEVEL: $

A compact camera with Wi-Fi.

If you are into vlogging or filming not only others and your surroundings, but also yourself, this camera has one feature others don’t – an LCD touchscreen that tilts up 180 degrees. So you can see yourself. Perfect for filming yourself and selfies. Because now you can always see how you look on camera.

It features a 4.2x zoom, 8 fps continuous shooting mode and Wi-Fi.

The camera is very compact and lightweight.

It lacks 4K video filming. If you need 4K, look at the more expensive – Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark III.

WEIGHT: 11.2 oz / 319 g

DIMENSIONS: 4.17” x 2.4” x 1.65″ (10.6 x 6.1 x 4.2 cm)

Me, in New Delhi, India

Choosing the Best Camera for Your Needs

Do I even need a camera?

In my opinion, that’s the first question you should be asking yourself. Do you really need a camera? Maybe all you need is a new phone. Lately I’ve been shooting with iPhone 11 a lot, and it’s doing just great. Also when it comes to filming.

1. If You Aren’t Sure, But You Want to Try

Then go for a compact camera.

Most of amateur photographers will be good with a decent compact camera.

Choose the best camera that fits in your budget.

They are small and you can always take them with you.

2. Pay Attention to the Size and Weight

The best camera is the one you have with you.

If your camera gear is heavy, chances are you will not have it with you at the right moment. Chances are you will soon stop carrying with you at all. Then what’s the point in getting an expensive camera in the first place?

Aim for a small, lightweight camera, that you can always take with you.

Don’t forget about the ease of use and ergonomics.

The lightest camera isn’t necessarily the best choice for everyone. You know yourself the best. Choose the camera that feels the best for you.

Woman shooting in the woods
Woman shooting in the woods | Photo by David Bartus from Pexels

3. Video Filming

How important is it for you?

Because some cameras are better at it, and have special features like 4K recording, external microphone port and tiltable screen, while others don’t.

4. Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi connectivity is a very cool feature to have.

It allows you to transfer photos and videos directly to your phone or tablet without a use of a laptop. It’s very convenient when you’re off the grid and want to backup your footage. And also when you want to share your photos online right away.

5. Waterproof, Shockproof, Sub-Zero Temperatures

Think if you really need these features.

Generally speaking, the more features you want, the smaller is the choice.

If that helps, by far most of people are ok with a regular camera. Partly because that means you are getting better quality and more photography / videography related features for the same money, when compared to choosing a weather-proof camera.

What camera do you use when hiking? What’s your experience? What camera do you think is the best camera for hiking and backpacking?

Featured photo by Andre Furtado from Pexels

Book Your Trip Like a PRO

1. Book Your Flight

Find cheap flights using Kiwi.com, Momondo.com. Or subscribe to Dollar Flight Club, if you don’t want to be searching for the flights yourself. Momondo usually is my first choice.

2. Book Your Accommodation

Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!

3. Buy Your Travel Insurance

World Nomads and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. World Nomads offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities, while SafetyWings is significantly cheaper. SafetyWings is only $9.25 / week.