Struggling to pick the perfect landscape camera? Choosing the best camera for landscape photography can be a daunting task. You have to consider the brand, size, lens options, resolution, and image quality, not to mention price.
But don’t worry; I’ve been there, too. I’ve spent plenty of time researching and purchasing cameras of my own – which is why I’m well-equipped to share my favorite landscape photography model with you.
So whether you’re a beginner looking to get your first camera or an experienced photographer in need of a more dedicated option, we’ve got you covered. Below, we share a list of our top 10 favorite landscape cameras, including options for every budget and brand preference.
Let’s get started.
The Sony a7R IV is a superb-quality camera that’s capable of impressing pretty much any dedicated landscape photographer. Key features include a jaw-dropping 61-megapixel full-frame sensor for optimal image quality, the ability to shoot handheld at slow shutter speeds thanks to a powerful in-body image stabilization system, and an attractive array of lenses to choose from (including extreme wide-angle glass to large telephotos).
Low-light performance is impressive, especially given the megapixel count, so the a7R IV will work great for astrophotography – and thanks to robust weather sealing, you can shoot in all conditions, including rain and snow. The camera is also noticeably cheaper than the Canon EOS R5 (on this list, below).
Theis Nikon’s top landscape photography camera and one of the all-around best landscape options available in 2022. It boasts plenty of great features, including a lightweight build, in-body image stabilization, a touchscreen, a 45.7-megapixel sensor, impressive dynamic range, and excellent image quality, and while the Z7 II isn’t exactly cheap, it’s worth every penny.
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 plenty of customizable features, so you can create an optimal (and enjoyable!) shooting experience. Note that the Z7 II is a welcome refinement of the already impressive Z7; the second iteration features a dual processor and dual card slots, which are hugely useful for the professional working photographer. But if you can’t afford the Z7 II, the Z7 is a great landscape alternative.
The Canon 5DS R isn’t exactly the newest camera around, but if you prefer DSLRs to mirrorless technology, this 50.6-megapixel full-frame model is a fantastic choice. The 5DS R features superb image quality and an impressive build. Files are beautifully detailed, and when coupled with the classy L-series lenses, they match the very best high-resolution cameras available (even if the dynamic range and low-light performance can’t compete with newer models).
For added functionality, you get 61 phase-detection points and outstanding build quality. Another bonus: The 5DS R costs less than Canon’s highest-end landscape camera, the EOS R5 – especially if you’re willing to buy used.
Canon arrived late to the full-frame mirrorless game and the company’s first few models received mixed reviews – but Canon knocked it out of the park with the EOS R5, which is not just an outstanding landscape camera but an all-around photographic (and videographic) beast.
The excellent 45-megapixel sensor packs a punch, providing amazing detail, a wide dynamic range, and superb low-light performance. And the autofocus system is ridiculously snappy – always handy in case you plan to include moving subjects (such as birds or animals) in your landscape scenes.
There’s 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 and does sacrifice some megapixels but still packs plenty of amazing capabilities).
The Nikon D850 is Nikon’s top landscape DSLR; like the Canon 5DS R (above), it’s not the newest camera on the block, but it offers a bevy of features for serious scenic shooters, including outstanding dynamic range, excellent (45.6-megapixel) resolution, and a touch-sensitive LCD screen that tilts.
The D850 is compatible with dozens of pro-level landscape lenses from Nikon, and it’s very solidly built, so you can shoot during inclement weather without issue. The autofocus is surprisingly capable, and the extended battery performance makes it a popular choice for shooting on long nature photo trips. The D850 is still on the pricier side – it only costs a few hundred less than the far newer Z7 II – but if you love the feeling of a DSLR in your hands and you’re a fan of the Nikon lens lineup, then it’s your best option.
If you’re a hobbyist landscape photography and you don’t have thousands to spend on a camera, consider the Canon 6D Mark II, an entry-level full-frame favorite. It’s an older DSLR, but don’t let its age fool you; the image quality is outstanding, and the 26 MP sensor offers plenty of detail for large prints and serious cropping.
The 6D Mark II is relatively portable for a DSLR and works well for hiking trips and travel landscape photography. It also offers excellent ergonomics, including a fully articulating touchscreen for those low- and high-angle scenic shots and a prominent front grip for comfortable handholding. The 6D Mark II is even compatible with Canon’s excellent L-lens lineup; combine it with the excellent (but reasonably priced) 17-40mm f/4L or 24-70mm f/4L, and prepare to be impressed by the results!
Are you a beginner photographer looking to invest in a camera for landscape shooting? Then check out the Sony a6000, the ultimate compromise between power, price, and portability. It offers surprisingly fast (11 frames-per-second) continuous shooting, packs 24.2 megapixels, 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.
The a6000 is especially impressive thanks to its size and weight; you can slip it in a camera bag or a pocket without difficulty, and you can carry it all day while hiking and hardly even notice the heft. The viewfinder resolution is on the low side, but given the sub-$1000 price, it’s a justifiable tradeoff. (If your budget allows for the extra cost and you want more advanced features, including in-body image stabilization, the Sony a6600 is a higher-level option.)
Need a camera with exceptional build quality that doesn’t compromise on portability and dynamic range? The Fujifilm X-T4 is one of the best all-around options for photographers – and a great landscape camera to boot.
The design looks beautifully retro, and the lightweight system is a joy to operate. One of the biggest perks of the X-T4 is the feel; hold the camera in your hand, and it becomes a (stylish!) extension of your brain as you rotate dials, flick buttons, and make manual adjustments using the lens aperture ring.
The X-T4 is also a great choice for buyers requiring solid image quality in a small body; while the sensor is only APS-C, you wouldn’t know it from the impressive high-ISO performance, which is perfect for low-light shooting. And the X-T4 offers in-body image stabilization, so you can reduce that shutter speed without mounting the camera on a tripod. The X-T4 is also very reasonably priced given its capabilities, but if your budget is limited, consider its predecessor, the X-T3, which offers many of the same features and costs quite a bit less.
The Nikon D5600 is a great budget model for beginners. No, it doesn’t come with flashy features or crazy-high megapixel counts, but it does offer solid low-light performance and beautiful image quality.
The D5600 is a midrange DSLR packing 24 MP of resolution, not to mention a handy 3.2-inch vari-angle touchscreen, which is perfect for elevating your landscape compositions. The build isn’t on par with DSLRs like the Nikon D850, but it’s far from bad – and the 39-point AF system and the time-lapse movie mode are great additional features. The D5600 has a wide range of interchangeable Nikkor lenses at its disposal, and its small and light body is ideal for long walks in nature.
Here’s my final choice for the best landscape camera: the Fujifilm X-T30 II. It’s a top midrange mirrorless camera for landscape photographers, and it’s a model that users absolutely love (and for good reason!). First, there’s that retro style, which includes plenty of prominent dials for a tactile shooting experience. And the compact style ensures you can carry your X-T30 II around with you everywhere, whether you’re going for a short drive or a lengthy hike.
The tilting LCD makes the X-T30 II highly versatile, and the top-notch 26 MP APS-C sensor can handle low-light scenarios like a boss. For those after an even cheaper model, the X-T30 is a great alternative.
How to choose the best camera for landscape photography
When looking for the right landscape camera, what characteristics should you take into account? Here are a handful of key items to consider:
The weight of your landscape 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.
On the other hand, lightweight cameras do tend to sacrifice build quality, so it’s important that you maintain a balance – especially if you want to shoot in tough weather.
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.
For example, impressive high-ISO performance will help you capture more dynamic range in low light – perfect for anyone who likes to shoot the stars, the planets, or the moon.
Generally speaking, advancements in technology mean that smartphones, compacts, and bridge cameras are all capable of achieving great landscape photos. But while these options are cheaper, they’re 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 cameras are another great option for landscape photographers; they provide the very best quality images. However, these cameras are often very heavy, very bulky, and cost thousands upon thousands of dollars – so they’re only used by a fraction of professionals.
If you’re a beginner, full-frame and medium format cameras may be out of budget, and that’s okay. I encourage you to also consider APS-C cameras, which are cheaper, lighter, and smaller (though the image quality isn’t quite as strong).
Remember: The best camera for you depends on your personal needs and budget!
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’s justifiable to go for the latest mirrorless cameras, DSLRs still handle well and give great image quality and overall performance. The Fujifilm X-T30 II, Canon 6D Mark II, and Sony a6000 are great options for beginners looking to get their first landscape photography model. And if you’re after a more dedicated and sophisticated camera, a full-frame unit like the Sony a7R IV or thepacks a lot of features to suit more experienced photographers.
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!