Deciding on the best camera for landscape photography can be a daunting task. But don’t worry; whether you’re a beginner looking to get your first camera or a more experienced photographer looking for a more dedicated option, we’ve got you covered.
Specifically, we’ll share a list of our top 10 favorite landscape cameras – including options for every budget and brand preference.
Let’s get started.
How to choose the best camera for landscape photography
When looking for the right landscape camera, what characteristics should you take into account?
First, the weight of your camera is considerably important. If you are out walking long distances to your chosen location, you don’t want to be trudging for miles with the burden of a heavy camera and lenses in your backpack.
For landscape photography, the higher the number of megapixels, the better; enhanced resolution will give your camera the ability to record those extra details and tones.
Also, sensor size is key. The larger the sensor size, the better the image quality (generally speaking).
If you are someone who enjoys capturing landscapes in dramatic weather, it is essential that your camera has appropriate weather sealing to keep out the elements and enable you to carry on shooting when it rains.
ISO and IBIS
While a sophisticated autofocus system with quick subject selection and fast shooting modes is not essential, in-camera features such as high-ISO capabilities and in-body image stabilization (IBIS) can certainly make a difference.
Generally speaking, advancements in technology mean that smartphones, compacts, and bridge cameras are all capable of achieving great landscape photos. But while these are cheaper options, these camera systems are less practical and adaptable than other setups. Many professional and enthusiast photographers choose either a full-frame DSLR or mirrorless body as their go-to landscape photography camera.
Which is better, mirrorless or DSLR? Most DSLR cameras are part of well-established lineups and therefore offer great landscape lenses. Mirrorless cameras are newer to the photography arena and have fewer lens choices available.
Medium format is also one of the best camera formats for landscape photographers, as it provides the very best quality images. However, disadvantages include weight, size, and high prices.
As DSLR, mirrorless, and medium format cameras are often out of reach for beginners and amateurs due to price, a cheaper and more preferred option is the APS-C system, which is lighter and has a smaller sensor system.
Ultimately, which system and camera you choose depends entirely on your personal needs and budget. With these factors in mind, here are some of the very best cameras available for landscape photographers in 2021:
1. Canon 5DS R
The Canon 5DS R is a 50.6-megapixel full-frame DSLR and a fantastic choice for landscape lovers, thanks to its superb image quality and impressive camera build. It is a firm favorite, featuring beautifully detailed files – and when coupled with the classy L-series lenses, it can match the very best high-resolution cameras available (even if the dynamic range is less sophisticated than its newer competitors). For added functionality, you get 61 phase-detection points. And the 5DS R costs less than Canon’s top-end mirrorless camera, the EOS R5.
2. Canon EOS R5
Canon arrived late to the mirrorless game, but the company now offers one of the best cameras for landscape photography. The Canon EOS R5 is the ultimate mirrorless camera, one that packs a punch with an excellent 45-megapixel count, plus it provides brilliant image quality and a wide dynamic range.
There is a growing range of RF lenses that mount directly on the EOS R5, plus you get the added advantage of 8K video. While the electronic shutter takes a bit of getting used to, the advanced weather sealing is fantastic. The EOS R5 does come with a hefty price tag, and it’s a huge investment for someone who simply does landscape photography as a hobby, so if you like the sound of the EOS R5 but don’t have the budget for it, I’d also recommend the EOS R6 (which costs significantly less).
3. Nikon D850
The Nikon D850 comes highly recommended for landscape shooters, offering outstanding dynamic range, excellent (45.6-megapixel) resolution, and a touch-sensitive LCD screen that tilts. The extended battery performance, impressive ISO performance, and high-quality images make the D850 a popular choice for shooting in the great outdoors. It can record up to 9 frames per second, it packs 4K video, and it’s one of the best all-around DSLRs on the market.
Theis a stellar camera, and one of the best mirrorless landscape options available in 2021. Specifically, its lightweight build, in-body image stabilization, touchscreen, 45.7-megapixel sensor, impressive dynamic range, and excellent image quality are all beneficial to landscape photographers, assuming you can afford the price.
The Z7 II is highly responsive in the field and has great focusing capabilities in low light. The camera also packs an exceptional electronic viewfinder and superb customizable features.
Note that the Z7 II is a welcome refinement to the already impressive Z7; the second iteration features a dual processor and dual card slots, which are hugely useful for the professional working photographer.
If you are just starting out and do not want to pay for a full-frame camera, you may find the Canon EOS 90D to be a worthwhile choice. Sure, it doesn’t offer that classic full-frame image quality – but the 90D is a very good camera for landscape photography, thanks to a large optical viewfinder, a strong build quality, and a nice 32.5-megapixel APS-C imaging sensor (that will produce some incredibly detailed photographs and video footage). The 90D’s size makes for easy handling and the camera mounts EF/EF-S glass, so there is a huge range of compatible lenses for you to choose from.
6. Nikon D5600
Another great camera choice for those on a budget is the Nikon D5600. For hobbyist landscape photographers, this midrange DSLR has a 24-megapixel resolution and is capable of capturing great images with fine textures and superbly crisp detail. The 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen, 39-point AF system, and new time-lapse movie mode are great additional features, and the ISO range of 100-25600 ensures low-light landscape scenes are handled with ease. The D5600 has a wide range of interchangeable Nikkor lenses at its disposal, and it’s light and extremely portable, ideal for long walks in nature.
7. Sony a7R IV
The Sony a7R IV is a superb quality camera that would carry well inside the backpack of any dedicated landscape photographer. Key features include a jaw-dropping 61-megapixel full-frame sensor for optimal image quality, the ability to shoot handheld in low light thanks to an in-body image stabilization system, and an attractive array of lenses from extreme wide-angle to large telephotos. The camera has very robust weather sealing and is notably cheaper than the Canon EOS R5.
8. Sony a6000
Are you a newbie photographer looking to invest in a camera for landscape shooting? Then check out the Sony a6000, the ultimate compromise between power and portability. It’s well priced, shoots quickly with 11 frames-per-second continuous shooting, packs 24.2 megapixels, has a built-in flash, and delivers great images of landscapes in all conditions – making it a great entry-level landscape camera and a solid introduction to the mirrorless market. Autofocus is good and you get great video. The absence of in-body image stabilization, as well as a lower resolution viewfinder compared to its rivals, are justifiable tradeoffs.
If your budget allows for the extra cost, the Sony a6500 is a newer option.
Looking for a camera with exceptional build quality that doesn’t compromise on color tones and dynamic range? The Fujifilm X-T4 is one of the best all-around options for landscape photographers. The camera looks modern, feels great in the hand, and the lightweight system is a joy to operate. It’s a great choice for buyers needing high megapixels, fast shooting speeds, in-body image stabilization, and 4K video capture. If your budget really is limited, consider its predecessor, the , which houses an identical sensor and comes at a lower price.
10. Fujifilm X-T200
Here’s my final choice for the best landscape camera: the Fujifilm X-T200. It’s one of the best entry-level mirrorless cameras for landscape photographers and comes highly recommended. The retro style and compact size are a nice touch, while the large 3.5-inch vari-angle touchscreen makes the X-T200 extremely versatile for shooting landscapes. It is lightweight, affordable, and excels in low light. Featuring an APS-C 24.2 MP sensor, the X-T200 can create professional-looking images for landscape photography enthusiasts. For those after an even cheaper model, the X-T100 is a great alternative.
Which landscape photography camera is right for you?
With so many great cameras to consider, it can be challenging to decide which is the best camera to invest in.
While it is justifiable to go for the latest mirrorless cameras, a DSLR still handles well and gives great image quality and overall performance (and APS-C cameras are arguably the best value for money). The Fujifilm X-T200 or Sony a6000 are great options for beginners looking to get their first landscape photography camera – or if you’re after a more dedicated and sophisticated camera, a full-frame model like the Canon 5DS R or the packs a lot of features to suit more experienced photographers.
Above all, remember that the best camera for landscape photography is a personal choice and is relative to your budget and needs!
Now over to you:
Which of these landscape photography cameras do you like the most? Do you have a favorite that didn’t make our list? Share your thoughts in the comments below!