These Are The 5 Best Hiking Cameras

After testing countless products, I’ve found that the iPhone 15 is the best hiking camera for most people.

As a seasoned hiker, I’ve spent years testing and comparing different cameras. I’m passionate about using technology to enhance my outdoor experiences, and I’ll show you what makes a camera truly great for hiking.

The iPhone 15 is a versatile and powerful camera that delivers stunning photos and videos. It’s compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry on long hikes. And with its advanced features like Night mode and Deep Fusion, you can capture incredible images in even the most challenging lighting conditions.

Of course, there are other great cameras that can be used for hiking.

In this article, I’ll cover some other popular options, such as action cameras, point-and-shoot cameras, mirrorless cameras, and full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Whether you’re a casual hiker or a serious photographer, there’s a camera out there that’s perfect for you. So keep reading to find the best hiking camera for your needs.




iPhone 15

The Best Hiking SmartPhone Camera

Imagine having a camera that slips right into your pocket, ready to snap the vistas and valleys at a moment’s notice.

That’s the magic of having a SmartPhone with a solid camera – it’s like a Swiss Army knife for the modern hiker. 

The iPhone has become a jack-of-all-trades, offering up not just high-quality images and video but you also have a tool for navigation and emergency calls. 

Think about the last time you went hiking; your phone was probably your compass, your map, and your photo album in one. And with today’s tech, battery life and water resistance are just icing on the cake.

Insights

Let me tell you, my cell phone has never missed a hike. 

Sure, I’m not shooting the next blockbuster on it, but those sunsets and wildlife shots? All snapped from my trusty phone. 

While videos are great, there’s something about a still image that captures the essence of a moment – and for that, about 95% of my best shots come from my phone. 

The convenience of snapping a photo, editing on the fly, and sharing it with friends is unbeatable. And with a bevy of editing apps, it’s like having a mini studio in your pocket.

Who is it for

If you’re dipping your toes into the world of hiking photography or you’re all about that ultralight life, the iPhone is your ticket in. 

It’s perfect for those who want to capture the memories without the fuss or the extra weight.




GoPro Hero12 Black

The Best Hiking Action Camera

If you’re the type to push the limits, an Action Camera is your best bud. 

The GoPro Hero12 Black, for example, is a featherweight champ – waterproof and tough as nails for all your epic adventures.

It’s small enough to attach to pretty much anything, and it doesn’t mind getting wet. You can bike, hike, or dive with it, and it just keeps on recording your exploits in all their glory.

Insights

My best adventures were immortalized thanks to the GoPro Hero12 Black. It was like a silent partner, capturing all the highs and lows without any hassle, turning every leap and dive into a story waiting to be told.

Capturing those moments felt as natural as lacing up my hiking boots. It’s the camera I use when I know it will get wet. It’s as great in the ski slopes as in my diving excursions.

Who is it for

Are you the person who doesn’t flinch at the thought of a steep climb or a leap into the unknown? For the adventurers who live for the thrill and want to document it all, the GoPro Hero12 Black is the companion you need.




Canon Powershot G7X Mark II

The Best Hiking Point and Shoot Camera

The likes of Sony RX100 and Canon G7X Mark II are game-changers. These cameras are here to bring a dash of the cinematic to your trail tales, packing 4K videos and image stabilization into their sleek frames. 

It’s the sweet spot for high-quality storytelling without lugging around a camera bag full of lenses.

Insights

Switching to the Canon G7X Mark II was a game-changer for my most scenic adventures. 

It was like having a professional film crew in my pocket – the quality, the ease of use, the flip-up screen for the perfect selfie… It’s perfect for a storyteller on the go.

Who is it for

For those who crave a touch of professional flair without lugging around a suitcase of gear, a Point-and-Shoot Camera is your golden ticket to movie-like memories.




Canon M50 Mark II

The Best Hiking Mirrorless Camera

Venture into the Mirrorless Camera territory, and you’re looking at a world of adaptability. 

Cameras like the Canon M50 Mark II and Sony A6100 are your stepping stones to creative freedom, with interchangeable lenses and top-tier image quality packed into a travel-friendly body.

They offer the flexibility of interchangeable lenses in a package that won’t weigh you down as you scale those peaks.

Insights

My journey with the Canon M50 Mark II was like unlocking a new level of creativity. 

Suddenly, I could play with different lenses and settings, which meant I could capture the trails exactly as I saw them – vibrant, vast, and full of life.

Who is it for

If you’re itching to get more hands-on with your photography and crave that personal touch in your images, Mirrorless Cameras offer a canvas for your creativity.




Sony Alpha 7 C

The Best Hiking Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

The Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera, particularly the Sony A7C, sits atop the camera hierarchy. 

It’s the dream setup for those who leave no detail unturned, combining the might of a full-frame sensor with a design that’s built for the trail. 

This is where unparalleled image quality meets the outdoors.

Insights

Switching to the Sony A7C felt like stepping into a new era of trail storytelling. 

The depth of field, the clarity, the colors – it’s like every frame is a love letter to the great outdoors. The details in the landscape that this camera picks up are simply mesmerizing.

It’s a powerhouse that fits in your pack, ready to capture the grandeur of the outdoors in a way that’s nothing short of breathtaking.

Who is it for

For the professionals or those who are truly passionate about their craft, the Sony A7C is a commitment to capturing the wild in all its glory. 

If your visuals are your voice, let this camera amplify it to the fullest.




What Makes a Camera Great for Hiking?

✔ How do we review

When reviewing the hiking cameras at Geardventure, we took a careful approach that relied on our deep knowledge and direct involvement in hiking. Our process is based on extensive testing, complete research, and direct communication with experienced hikers.

We carefully assessed each camera’s performance, strength, usability, quality, and suitability for different environments. Our hikers tested these cameras in various conditions, from forests to mountains, to give you the best recommendations.

We also value user feedback and take into account the experiences and insights of hikers all over the Internet. We listen carefully to reviews and experiences from verified users in online stores, forums, YouTube, and real blogs. This approach allows us to provide a complete review that incorporates not only our own insights but also the knowledge of the wider hiking community.

We combined technical expertise with practical know-how to produce these reliable reviews. As a result, you can confidently choose the best hiking camera for your needs and preferences.

Check out or Review Guidelines if you want to know more.

Durability

You should look for a camera with at least IP65 rating. When you’re out on the trail, the last thing you want is a camera that can’t stand up to the elements. 

A durable and weather-resistant camera is your trusty companion that won’t flinch at shocks, drops, or that unexpected rain shower. 

Weather-sealing, shock-resistance, and dust-proofing are your camera’s armor against nature’s unpredictable moods. 

Portability

An action camera can be your nimble friend, while a mirrorless marvel offers a great balance between weight and quality.

Size does matter—when it comes to hiking cameras, that is. 

A bulky camera is the last thing you need when you’re scaling a peak or crossing a stream. 

Portability is key, with size, weight, and battery life being the holy trinity. A light camera makes for a happy hiker.

Image Quality

Let’s be real—those stunning vistas deserve to be captured in all their glory. 

Image quality is paramount; think sensor size, resolution, and low-light chops. You want a camera that can do justice to the fiery hues of a sunset or the intricate details of a butterfly’s wings.

Battery Life

Aim at a battery of at least 2000mAh. Avoid the heartbreak with a camera that boasts a long-lasting battery. 

Imagine this: you’ve reached the summit, the view is epic, and your camera… is dead. 

Also, carrying spare batteries or a power bank can be a lifesaver.

Zoom and Lens

Bridge cameras offer superzoom capabilities, while interchangeable lenses on mirrorless and DSLR cameras let you switch up your perspective.

Sometimes you need to get up close and personal with a distant peak, and sometimes you need the bigger picture. 

A good zoom and a variety of lens options give you the flexibility to capture the landscape’s diverse beauty. 

Features and Functions

Cell phones are the best at this. In the wild, a camera with the right features is like a Swiss Army knife. 

GPS for tracking your journey, connectivity for sharing those brag-worthy shots in real-time, and burst mode for capturing that fleeting moment. 

It’s about having the tools to bring your creative vision to life.

What to Look for Before You Buy a Hiking Camera?

Budget

Your wallet might not be as limitless as the great outdoors. Budget is a biggie. 

Whether you’re after a no-frills compact or a high-end mirrorless, there’s a camera for every price point. 

And hey, there’s no shame in scoring a deal on last season’s model—more money for trail mix, right?

Purpose

Your camera should align with your aims. Lens reach, video quality, and even the weight matter here. 

What’s your call of the wild? Crisp landscapes, elusive wildlife, adrenaline-loaded adventure shots, or maybe you’re the next big thing in vlogging. 

Choose wisely, and your camera will be more than just gear—it’ll be your trailmate.

Best Hiking Camera Tips and Tricks

Carry Your Camera Effectively

Free your hands and ease your mind with a secure carrying method. 

The Capture Clip is a game-changer for hands-free access, but when trekking poles are in play, a camera strap can get in the way. 

A shoulder bag or backpack pouch is perfect for stashing your camera between shots.

Protect Your Camera from the Elements

Mother Nature can be a beast. 

A dedicated rain cover, a sturdy lens cap, and a UV filter are your camera’s best friends. 

And don’t forget—a well-padded, weatherproof camera backpack is worth its weight in gold.

Secure Your Memory Cards and Batteries

Memory cards and batteries are the unsung heroes of your photography kit. 

Keep them organized in a compact wallet or pouch, and consider a dual charger to keep the power flowing. You’ll thank yourself later.

Optimize Your Camera Setup for Lightness

Every ounce counts when you’re miles from nowhere. 

Stick to the essentials, and leave any “just-in-case” gear at home.

A dual charger lightens your load, while high-capacity memory cards mean less swapping and more shooting. 

Protect the Front Element of Your Lens

Scratches and debris are the nemesis of any lens. 

A lens hood and a UV filter are your first line of defense. 

And never underestimate the power of a properly attached lens cap—it’s the simple things that often save the day.

Our Verdict

Whether you’re a newbie looking for simplicity, a thrill-seeker chasing the action, an emerging filmmaker, a versatile artist, or a professional storyteller, there’s a camera out there for your unique hiking narrative.

Craving more camera wisdom or have your own tales to share? We’d love to hear about your experiences with hiking cameras. Drop us a comment below and check out these tips for traveling alone.

And remember, the best camera is the one that’s with you on the trail, capturing moments that’ll last a lifetime. 

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Picture of Daniel Espada

Daniel Espada

Daniel Espada is a passionate adventurer, certified scuba diver, and the mind behind geardventure.com. With a background in Engineering, Daniel combines his technical knowledge and love for the outdoors to create content that not only informs, but inspires action.
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