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Best Hiking Cameras of 2022 (Lightweight & Portable)

best hiking cameras

This might be one of the most favorite articles I’ve written so far. I will get to write about the two things I’m the most passionate about, hiking and outdoor photography combined.

You know, sometimes I wonder if I like photography best or hiking, or do I like them equally! I still haven’t decided but I certainly love hiking. Not because when I hike I am closer to God, no, but because there’s nothing like hiking. It gives you literally everything you need in your life, calmness, freedom, a moment to breathe, it gives you a moment to breathe, and not just any air, but a brand fresh air.

It makes you realize how little and tiny are we compared to the world around us. Looking at the world from up there is an experience that might be hard to be explained. Once you start hiking, you become addicted to it and I’m talking from experience here. You will want more and more, each and every time. You will want to be free looking at everything else that surrounds you with amazing calmness.

If I wouldn’t like photography as much as I like hiking, I would just say, go up there and forget about technology. Just climb that mountain and enjoy those views with the best cameras that God created for your eyes. But then, starting from myself, when I’m back down, and I miss those views, I immediately open my camera to see the landscapes I captured, so yes, you will want to have a camera to capture literally everything up there, but just after you have enjoyed it with your own eyes.

Don’t take the camera out right away, first, take a deep breath of that fresh air, give yourself a minute to rest from the hike, and reflect, and only then you can take out your camera and start using properly the art of nature.

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
The tiniest hiking camera
Insta360 GO 2
Insta360 GO 2
10
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The best hiking video creator
GoPro HERO9
GoPro HERO9
8.6
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The best hike-vlogging camera 
Sony ZV-1
Sony ZV-1
8.5
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The boldest hiking camera
Nikon Z 50
Nikon Z 50
8.8
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Canon PowerShot G7X Mark IIICanon PowerShot G7X Mark III
8.6
Check Price On Amazon

The Top 5 Best Hiking Cameras

Insta360 GO 2 – The tiniest hiking camera

Insta360 GO 2 1

This camera for hiking is proof that we don’t have to judge a book by its cover. Yes, it is the tiniest camera you can take with you on your hiking trip, but that’s nowhere equivalent to not having everything you need in a camera.

On the contrary, Insta360 GO 2 packs a lot of technology despite its size. With insta360 GO 2 the world is your playground, since this camera for hiking offers you perfectly level horizons, and that’s exactly what you need for your hiking trips. This is also a waterproof camera, so theres that too.

I was honestly impressed with both the image quality and video quality of this camera. The image stabilization capabilities of this camera are honestly impressive. What is really weird to me is how some large cameras don’t have image stabilization in them, but they managed to fit the technology in a thumb-sized camera.

Insta360 Go 2 offers a double charging life out of the most action cams. Charge up in just half an hour and shoot for up to 2.5 hours.

You don’t need a selfie stick with it and if you want to record from a distance, just fold out the tripod legs and you are good to go. 

Characteristics of Insta360 GO 2: 

  • Stunning Image Quality
  • FlowState Image Stabilization
  • Hands-Free
  • Mount Anywhere
  • 1440p 50fps
  • Waterproof to 4m (13ft)
  • Auto Editing
  • Hyperlapse
  • Slow Motion
  • Remote Control
  • WiFi Preview

 


GoPro HERO9 – The best hiking video creator

GoPro HERO9 6

I’m sure you all have heard of it and it is not questionable that it is one of the best action cameras out there. But, what’s interesting to know about this backpacking camera is that GoPro HERO9 captures up to 30 seconds before you hit record so you won’t miss a moment, and that’s exactly what you need while hiking since nature can be really unpredictable. 

GoPro HERO9 can also be a timer. It offers you the option to set the timer and wait for the action to happen. You just have to set the timer and the camera does the rest, always catching the action right on time. 

This camera for hiking also owns the option LiveBurst, which makes sure to take a flurry of photos 1.5 seconds before and after your shot.

Not coincidentally I called this camera the best hiking video creator. The duration capture lets you select the length of time you want to record, and that’s how you record the best hiking videos. 

Characteristics of GoPro HERO9: 

  • 5K video + 20MP photos
  • HyperSmooth 3.0
  • Waterproof (33 ft)
  • Cloud Connected
  • 30% more battery life
  • Detachable lens

 


Sony ZV-1 – The best hike-vlogging camera 

Sony ZV 1 4

If you are a person who likes vlogging while hiking, you have just found your most perfect camera.

Sony ZV-1 guarantees vibrant photos and dynamic videos through slow motion. No wonder all the features of this camera for hiking are exquisitely sharp, but why I’m mentioning exactly this feature? 

Let’s say you are hiking and on the way, you encounter this amazing waterfall of which you would like to take a slow-motion video. If you are holding Sony ZV-1 and you are facing it, this camera for hiking will make sure to show your face with the most beautiful and natural skin tones and simultaneously record a dynamic slow-motion video of that waterfall in the background. 

Characteristics of Sony ZV-1: 

  • Large 1.0 – type Exmor RS CMOS image sensor
  • BIONZ XTM image processing engine
  • 4K movie recording
  • Directional 3-capsule mic with windscreen Vari-angle LCD screen, body grip, and recording lamp
  • Fast Hybrid Autofocus and Real-Time Eye Autofocus and Real-time Autofocus tracking
  • Quickly switch between two modes of defocused background bokeh

 


Nikon Z 50 – The boldest hiking camera

Nikon Z 50

This mirrorless camera is worth it in so many ways. You see the letter Z on that camera’s name! Well, that should tell you everything. Nikon Z 50 mirrorless camera has the widest lens mount of any comparable camera system. The widest lens mound means more light, and more light improves every other photography element, starting from sharpness, contrast, color, focusing speed, and most important, image quality.

A sunset or a sunrise from any top of a mountain would be best captured with Nikon Z 50, because with this camera photos and videos shot in low light look clean and professional. But, not only the best landscapes during a sunrise or a sunset can be taken with this camera for hiking, but thanks to the flip-down touch LCD screen you can also make the most perfect selfies while watching the sunrise or sunset. Definitely one of the most popular mirrorless cameras out there, and there is a strong reason behind that.

Characteristics of Nikon Z 50:

  • Type: Mirrorless Camera
  • Effective Pixels – 20.9 million
  • Sensor Size – 23.5 mm x 15.7 mm
  • Image Sensor Format – DX
  • Image Sensor Type – Stacked CMOS sensor
  • Total Pixels – 21.51 million
  • Approx. Dimensions (Width x Height x Depth) – 5.0 in. (126.5 mm) x 3.7 in. 93.5 mm) x 2.4 in. (60 mm)
  • Approx. Weight – 14.0 oz. (395 g) camera body only

 


Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III – Best Compact Camera

Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III 2

This compact camera guarantees you captivating panoramas because of its 20.1-megapixel sensor which makes sure to deliver superb results.

Offers the ultimate in post-production flexibility, and a fast DIGIC 8 processor lets you capture photos at up to 30fps – even when shooting with RAW files.

Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III is best known for the depth of field that puts your subject center stage, and the amazing detailed photos and ambiance, even when shot in low light. 

Characteristics of Canon PowerShot G7X Mark III: 

  • 4K movies & 3.5mm mic input – Tell your story with video
  • 120fps Full HD movies – Smoother, more detailed slow-motion
  • 24mm 4.2x zoom – f/1.8-2.8 wide-angle zoom in a compact body
  • 20.1 megapixel 1.0-type stacked CMOS sensor – For superb image quality
  • Tilt-up screen – For selfies and low-angle shooting
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi – Always-on link with your smart device
  • USB Charging – Convenient charging wherever you are

 

 

Now that we have gone through 5 of the best hiking cameras, let’s talk a little about what to consider when purchasing a hiking camera. What are the criteria that we have to follow in order to buy the most suitable hiking camera out there?

 

What to look for in a hiking camera?

Weight

Again, talking from experience, take your lightest camera with you when hiking. Just think about it, you will be carrying that backpack throughout your hiking track and you don’t want to make it heavier by taking with you a camera whose weight is heavy. Believe me, if for one second you will feel that your camera is adding to the difficulty of hiking, you will not want to take it out and capture the best views once you are up there.

Now, when we talk about weight, we shouldn’t think only about the weight of the camera, but also the weight of the lenses that come with the camera, the weight of the charger or the batteries, we all know that that camera will not last forever, so keep that in mind. That’s why i never recommend mirrorless cameras, a DSLR camera or a full frame camera to those looking for a hiking and backpacking camera. Compact cameras get the job done well.

It is up to you how much weight would you dare to carry on a hiking trip and it also depends on the trails and the duration of the trip. If you are up to one day trip with simple trails, then a heavy camera shouldn’t present a problem, but if you are taking some hard trails, then consider a lighter camera. In y opinion, the best camera for hiking is lightweight, can record high quality videos and has a great image quality.

Price

Hiking in itself is an expensive activity, there are so many things to be bought before heading on the road, including here the backpack, hiking trousers, the hiking sticks, the most comfortable hiking shoes, so you will definitely be on a budget if you are thinking to get everything new and not borrow it from someone.

There are many types of weather sealed cameras out there, from the most expensive ones to the cheapest ones and everybody would want to get the best camera there is out there, but what you want to take into consideration while hiking is that the chances of that camera to be damaged are high, just bear that in mind. So, you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a camera and then watch it roll down the rock, God forbid. Also, just because the price is higher it doesn’t mean that the image quality will be higher too, keep that in mind.

Endurance

This applies not only to the camera but also to all the other things needed for hiking. Your hiking camera needs to be wather sealed, it just needs to, no other option there. Yes, you can check the weather a day or two before the hiking trip, but mother nature has shown us that it loves surprises. A wather sealed or weatherproof camera will be a good investment. Hence you have to be less careful and more mesmerized by the view up there.

Aperture

One of the things that you have to look out for before purchasing a camera for your upcoming hiking trip, is the aperture of the camera. Aperture makes the camera more useful in a variety of shooting situations, such as indoors, or when you are shooting in a darker environment outdoors. 

Battery life

The blissfulness of hiking is that you are out there in the wild and it’s only you and nature and nothing else, no technology, no wi-fi, no electricity, sounds like a nightmare to some, but to me, it is just dreamy. So, if you are going on a one-day hiking trip, you should be good with just one battery, but if you are having a whole hiking weekend let’s say, make sure you take the spare camera batteries with you. 

 

Final Words

As I mentioned above, as much as I would like to say forget about a camera and everything else and just go up there and have the time of your life once you are there, I know you’ll want to enjoy those views even when you come back, so here you have the best 5 weather sealed cameras that guarantee amazing quality and won’t fail you in any moment.

They all offer different features and different characteristics that you can look up to, but they all have something in common, they are the best hiking cameras out there.

As mentioned above, once you start hiking it will get quickly addictive, so make sure you by your camera from the beginning of your hiking adventures, so you can capture every view from every peak that you reach.

 

Further Reading

If you are a passionate hiker but you also like all sorts of sports that increase your levels of adrenaline, but you are kind off on a budget, check The 5 Best Action Cameras Under $200 with which you can capture the best panoramas and record the most interesting videos while doing what you love and what makes you feel alive. You can also read more about the Best Backpacking Tripods Of 2022 (Top 5 Picks For DSLR & Mirrorless Cameras) in case you want to take them on a hike.