Best camera for landscape photography

Best Cameras for Landscape Photography

If you landed on this page it means you have decided landscape is the one for you. Well, if that is the case, congrats for the choice! It is now time to figure out the best camera to use for landscape photography that fits your needs.

We have done this research for you in this post with an eye on the features and one on the budget as well.

When I was beginning with photography, and Landscape photography in particular I have struggled myself with finding the best cameras for the job at a reasonable price level.

We are fully aware this type of suggestion is going to change in time.

The most marvellous camera may be released tomorrow! We will keep this list updated from time to time. So make sure you check it out every now and then.​

Initial Considerations

Before diving in the list of the best cameras for landscape photography we have prepared for you, just a few initial considerations on how this post is structured.

What you need to take into consideration is that there are many features to consider and what might make a great camera for sports or portrait photography does not necessarily make the best landscape camera.

Let’s be honest: photography and cameras have evolved so much that one-camera-fits-all logic is no longer applicable.

In this post we compare the best cameras specifically aimed for landscape photography.

We considered every main feature important to achieve the best results in shooting landscape, such as resolution, live view ability, battery life, weight and resistance to weather.

We have covered each features in depth here.

There are many great cameras out there and narrowing down the list to only a few has not been easy.

In picking what we think are the best cameras for landscape photography we have considered the pricing range as well.

We span from the lowest to the high end of the price points as for some of you budget may be critical criteria whereas for someone else it may be not relevant.

We could have classified the cameras based on several criteria.

The sensor size seemed to be the best choice as it is the main part of the camera that really makes a difference.

A Crop Sensor can hardly provide the same dynamic range and color depth than a medium size: this is pure physics at work. 

Just one last foreword before diving into it: remember the price alone does not make a great camera although you can expect that at a higher price point the gear may offer more options and quality.

Crop Sensor Cameras

Nikon D7200

Photography Ambtion

This semi-professional camera, replacing the Nikon D7100, is equipped with a build-in optical view finder.

It also offers live view – great for landscape, since your camera will be on a tripod 99% of the time.

The 24.7 megapixel crop sensor has a max resolution of 6000 x 4000 and a minimum light sensitivity of 100 ISO.

For landscape photography, the maximum ISO really isn’t as important as it might be for other fields of photography, since you’ll be able to use long exposure times with a steady tripod setup.

The lowest ISO, however, can be crucial when shooting in extremely bright outdoor conditions.

Planning on shooting a snowy landscape in bright sunlight, and no neutral density filter at hand? You might thank your camera’s low ISO capabilities.

Also, in case you are shooting in adverse weather conditions, the Nikon D7200 has a weather coated body, so there’s no need to worry about a few drops when you should be focussing on your composition!

The long battery life (up to 1110 shots) is like the cherry on the cake of one of the best cameras for shooting landscape.

You can add a multi power battery pack available for the Nikon D7200 if you wish to add some more weight to gain more life battery.

Read the in-depth review here.

Sony Alpha a6500

Photography Ambition

A mirrorless camera perfect for the traveling landscape photographer. It is equipped with a 24 megapixels sensor and a max resolution of 6000 x 4000.

With its light weight (453 grams including the battery - 1.00 lb / 15.98 oz) and small, weather sealed, body, this camera is very easy to travel around with.

It also makes for easier hand-held shooting, should the occasion occur.

Thanks to the 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization you’ll have to worry less about getting a clear, hand-held shot when working with a slow shutter speed.

Slightly more expensive than the Nikon, and less lens options (unless of course you wish to use Nikon or Canon lenses with a converter), but equipped with a tilting screen and live view, so you can put your tripod in all sorts of angles without losing sight of what you’re doing.

In case you are going for the hand-held option and prefer to use the viewfinder: it has a 100% coverage to ensure you know exactly what your shooting, always.

Read the in-depth review here.

The Canon 80D

A classic for semi-professional and amateur video-makers, but not bad at all for landscape stills either!

Although this camera has a relatively heavy body (730g - 1.61 lb / 25.75 oz) and a shorter battery life than the Nikon D7200, it does have an amazing screen for live viewing.

The screen is sensitive to touch, which allows you to put the focus exactly where you want it with a tap of your finger.

It also rotates in all sorts of angles, in case you are shooting from a more challenging angle.

This camera does require you to use a tripod at all times, since it does not have any image stabilisation.

But, it does have a high resolution sensor, which makes for high quality, clear images with amazing details.

Medium Format

Hasselblad X1D

Hasselblad X1C

One of the best medium format mirrorless cameras out there and certainly great for landscape photographers.

Although this camera also has a heavy body (725 grams, 1.60 lb / 25.57 oz) which makes traveling around a bit more of a workout, the high resolution sensor (51.0MP) and built-in electronic viewfinder definitely make up for it.

The camera has had some negative critiques, about the low maximum shutter speed (1/2000 sec) for example.

This might be terrible if you are shooting Formula 1 events, but for landscape this is absolutely no problem since you won’t be needing any high shutter speeds anyway, your exposure can be fixed by changing your ISO or aperture.

A cons that could be affecting the landscape photographer is the fact that this Hasselblad does not have an articulating screen.

Since this is only needed in rare cases and the LCD display is of very high quality, this camera is still great for landscape.

Check out the full review here

Fujifilm GFX 50S

Fuji gfx 50s

Another great mirrorless camera out there with the Hasselblad X1D amongst the best!

This camera from Fujifilm does have an articulating screen, and the same resolution sensor as the Hasselblad (51.0MP).

Another great feature is the spot metering ability, to make sure you get your exposure exactly right in every circumstance.

It also comes with no less than 117 focus points, if you like to use autofocus, or a great variety of ways to use the manual focus (by using the touch screen for example, like the Canon 80d).

Downsides to this camera are the heavy body (740 grams, 1.63 lb / 26.10 oz), and low battery life of only 400 shots.

Check out the detailed review here

​Pro Tip:

What to pay attention to when purchasing a camera for landscape photography

Sensor size. Generally, when it comes to sensors for landscape photography, bigger is better. A big sensor works with many wide-angle lenses and makes for low noise levels.

Resolution. Make sure your camera has a high resolution sensor. This will allow you to capture all the details in your shot perfectly, and makes for higher quality prints.

ISO Sensitivity. Don’t be tempted by a camera with a higher maximum ISO – you won’t be using it. A low ISO is way more useful for landscape photography, as it allows you to shoot in bright outdoor conditions without having to use a neutral density filter.

Exposure and metering control. Spot metering ability can be very useful if you’re shooting in tricky light and still want to get your exposure just right! Also, if you prefer to shoot in aperture or shutter priority modes, a wide range of exposure compensation values in invaluable.

Full Frame

Nikon D810

Nikon D810 review

A slightly older DSLR camera from Nikon, but still up to today’s quality standards.

Comes with a large sensor (which makes for larger file sizes, but also higher image quality with a better ability to capture details), and 36 megapixel High Resolution.

One of this camera’s greatest features is the very low minimum ISO of 64, perfect for shooting in bright outdoor conditions without a neutral density filter.

It also does time lapse recording and has 2 storage slots to store all those large image files. The only big downside to this great camera is the very heavy body of almost a kilogram (980 g, 2.16 lb / 34.57 oz) and the lack of a touch screen.

What makes up for this is the very long battery life (1200 shots), and extremely high shutter life expectancy of no less than 200,000 cycles. A camera to last you many beautiful shots!

​Check out our detailed review here

Nikon D810A

Nikon D810A

With 880 grams, lightly lighter than its older relative (the Nikon D810), this model is modified for specific types of astrophotography.

Thanks to the improved infrared filter, it allows transmission of the hydrogen alpha spectral line, which means you’ll get four times greater sensitivity of the 656 mn wavelength.

This camera also allows you to put a very long exposure mode of 15 minutes, and the live view can predict your image when shooting with exposures longer than 30 seconds.

So, for every photographer shooting starry nights, this camera was made for you. Add NIKKOR lenses or third party adaptors for telescopes, and you’ll have the ultimate setup to capture the universe.

​Check out our detailed review here

Sony Alpha 7R

Photography Ambition

A very lightweight mirrorless camera with a small body (127 x 94 x 48 mm) and a weight of only 465 grams (1.03 lb / 16.40 oz).

The high resolution sensor (36.0MP) makes for a very detailed image, great if you’re printing your shots!

This camera also allows panorama shooting, and has a battery life of 340 shots. The body has environmental sealing to protect from most weather conditions, and the articulating screen has a top LCD display that does live viewing too!

Sony Alpha 7R II

Photography Ambition

The follow-up to the Sony Alpha 7R, and in this case definitely worth the thousand dollars extra!

This camera is slightly heavier (625 grams, 1.38 lb / 22.05 oz), but that is more than forgivable since the sensor also has a higher resolution (42MP) to ensure your prints will look even better.

Unlike the 7R, the 7RII also has image stabilization, in case you want to shoot hand-held.

To add to that, the ISO also has a lower minimum – where the 7R only goes as low as an ISO of 100, the 7RII goes down to an ISO of 50.

The shutter life expectancy is also twice as long as the 7R, with 500,000 expected cycles instead of 250,000 cycles. Now, this is how to make a follow-up to a camera!

Read the in-depth review here.

Pentax K1

Pentax K1

Pentax K1

The heaviest camera on the list with a body weight of 1010 grams, but its other great features still make it an excellent candidate for landscape photography.

The full frame SMOS sensor (36MP) and 1.037k dots LCD resolution make for a photography experience in HD all over.

Not to worry about the large file sizes, the camera has two memory slots to safe all you high resolution, perfectly detailed images.

This camera also allows you to remote control with your smart phone, so you don’t have to touch your camera after you’ve set it up in the perfect position on your tripod.

The body is coated against most weather influences, so you could even hide under an umbrella with your smartphone while your camera is taking pictures in the drizzle, without screwing up the light metering with your umbrella shadow.

Read the in-depth review here.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

A camera for a higher budget, with a large ISO range from 50 to 102,400. Like most professional Canons, this camera’s body is heavy (890 grams, 1.96 lb / 31.39 oz) and fairly big (151 x 116 x 76 mm).

But it is weather sealed and holds many great qualities such as a built-in GPS, a canon EF lens mouth that suits around 222 different lenses and a spot metering ability.

This camera also offers a wide range of exposure compensation values, in case you prefer to work in aperture- or shutter-speed priority modes.

There is no image stabilization, but seeing the size and weight of the camera you’ll be better of avoiding hand-held shooting anyway.

Read the in-depth review here.

Canon EOS 5DS R

Canon 5DSR

Another high-end professional camera, with a full frame CMOS sensor with a high resolution of 51MP.

Like its relative mentioned above, this camera is also fairly heavy (930 grams, 2.05 lb / 32.80 oz) and does not have image stabilization.

Another minor issue is the screen, that does not rotate and is not sensitive to touch.

Good thing is that the screen is very big (3.2”) and has a high resolution of 1.040k dots to look at your live view in very high resolution.

The battery will also last you a long time (700 shots), great if you’re on the go longer, hunting for that perfect vantage point.

What’s also great about this particular model is the spot - and partial metering ability, for perfect exposure metering even if one half of our image is a bright sky, and the other half a dark colored mountain in the distance.

Check out here the detailed review

Conclusion

All these cameras have their own great qualities, and your choice will definitely depend on your personal preferences and budget.

However, if we have to recommend one camera, the winner would be the Sony Alpha 7R II.

Even though the sensor resolution is slightly lower than the one of the Canon EOS 5DS R, its lighter weight and lower minimum ISO make it the perfect candidate for landscape photography, especially for the photographer that captures landscapes around the globe.

The price is on the high end but still good compared to the full frame and the medium format cameras price point.

Only major downside is the battery life compared with the DSLR but it can easily worked out with few spare batteries in the bag.

If in your budget, it is definitely a better choice than the lower-priced models because of its long shutter-life expectancy. You pay a little extra, but in return you’ll get a camera to last you almost a lifetime!

Best camera for landscape photography

Check out more Camera Reviews here 

About the Author Luca

Hi, I am Luca, founder and editor in chief at photographyambition.com. I am crazy about photography and I always have a camera with me. When I am not busy with my day job, enjoying my family or taking photos, I am on Photography Ambition to share what I have learnt so far.

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