Best Camera for Landscape Photography - Complete Guide

Landscape photography is probably my favorite type of photography – and typically one of the most popular around the world. It’s easy to understand why, there is so much beauty in the world!

With hundreds of cameras competing for your attention on the market, all claiming to be the very best, how to be sure you have found the best camera for landscape photography that really tick all the right boxes? Stop browsing and comparing away, here you have the 7 best cameras you can use for landscape photography in 2018.

I will start by presenting you these 7 great cameras one by one, listing their pros and cons. If you still can’t choose, the second part of this article is a guide presenting the different factors to take in consideration before making your choice.

Let’s go!

The 7 Best Cameras for Landscape Photography of 2018

Pentax K-70 DSLR Camera

The Pentax K-70 is a very interesting camera that proves that Canon and Nikon are definitely not the only ones able to build fantastic photo gear! It even won the top pick tag in our best cameras under $800 article.

This camera is a great candidate for high quality landscape photography, with a very good 24 MP image resolution. Lightweight and compact for a DSLR, it’s easy to take it in the field. Another great advantage of the K-70 is its good quality weather sealing, which can prove itself useful when you are shooting landscapes away in the wild!

Of course, it is an APS-C camera, so you will need to take in consideration the crop factor when choosing your wide angle lens (more about that in the FAQ section below), but its image quality is really good and its built-in Shake Reduction system greatly reduces the risk of blurred pictures in challenging light conditions.

All in all, a very good value for money for a camera that does not disappoint.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: DSLR (APS-C)
  • Size: 4.9 x 2.9 x 3.7 in / 12.4 x 7.4 x 9.4 cm
  • Weight: 2 lbs / 907 g
  • Resolution: 24.2 MP
  • ISO range: 100-102,400
  • Video: Full HD & 4K time lapse

Pros

  • Weather sealing
  • Good image quality
  • Very broad ISO range
  • Articulated screen with night vision (red light) mode
  • 4K time lapse mode
  • Built-in Shake Reduction system
  • Excellent value for money

Cons

  • No 4K video
  • Wireless connectivity is limited

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Digital SLR Camera

This professional-class DSLR recently took over the 5D Mark III and won the hearts of a lot of photographers! It’s our top pick in our best Canon cameras for professional photography selection.

A first great point about this camera is its ultra high resolution of 30 megapixels, enabling you to shoot beautiful high-definition images, which is always valuable especially for landscapes.

The 61-point autofocus system is remarkable and will ensure that your pictures are crisp, clear and sharp across the frame. Out of these 61 point, 41 are cross-type points, with significantly better performance at focusing, particularly on vertical elements. The camera is run by the DIGIC 6+ image processor, offering stellar speed and buffering performances.

Its ISO range is very, very broad from 100 to a whopping 102,400 in expanded mode: you can easily shoot in low light conditions or during the golden hour without running the risk to get blurry images because of camera shake. In addition, noise control is excellent and you can really use a high ISO sensibility without compromising the quality of your shots.

If you have the budget, it is definitely an outstanding camera and one of the best you can get this year.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: DSLR (Full Frame)
  • Size: 15 x 7.6 x 11.7 cm / 5.9 x 3 x 4.6 in
  • Weight: 798 g / 1.76 lbs
  • Sensor: 30.4 MP
  • ISO range: 100 – 102,400
  • Continuous shooting: Up to 7 fps
  • Video: 4K

Pros

  • High resolution images
  • Advanced autofocus
  • Wireless connectivity & built-in GPS
  • Very broad ISO range
  • Touch screen

Cons

  • The screen is not articulated
  • The 4K video is cropped (1.74x crop factor)

Canon EOS 6D Digital SLR CameraOur Top Pick

I own this camera and I highly recommend it! This is not the most recent model, as the 6D Mark II is now in the market, but in this list I want to stick with the original 6D for a few reasons:

  • You save $900,
  • The noise control is actually better on the 6D,
  • Landscape photography is less demanding for the camera as you don’t really need to use fast continuous shooting more or autofocus tracking etc. So you can take great landscape pictures without having to pay a high price for the latest high performance.

The Canon EOS 6D is often regarded as the camera that enabled many photographer to access the world of full frame photography without breaking the bank. Since in landscape photography we often need the widest fied of view possible, shooting full frame is an advantage – on APS-C cameras, the image is cropped.

Its ISO sensibility can reach an amazing 102,400 in extended mode and as I was saying, it does an excellent job at limiting the noise on image shot at high ISO.

Very lightweight for a full frame DSLR, it can easily be taken with you in the wild, and its very accurate built-in GPS allow you to geotag your pictures.

This camera is a fantastic value for money, and it is my top pick.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: DSLR (Full Frame)
  • Size: 2.8 x 5.71 x 4.37 in / 7.1 x 14.5 x 11.1 cm
  • Weight: 1.7 lb / 771 g
  • Resolution: 20.2 MP
  • ISO range: 100-102,400
  • Video: Full HD 1080p

Pros

  • Most affordable full frame
  • Great image quality
  • Relatively lightweight
  • High ISO performance
  • Very good noise management
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
  • Very good value for money

Cons

  • No 4K video
  • Fixed LCD, no touch screen

Sony Alpha a6500 Mirrorless Camera

The Sony a6500 is an impressive little mirrorless camera that can truly rival a DSLR. Its beautiful image quality and high resolution (24 megapixels) are definitely good points to shoot landscapes, and the good electronic viewfinder is useful when the sun makes it hard to use the touch screen at the back.

This camera has one of the world’s most advanced autofocus systems and an astounding 425 autofocus points are covering 84% of the frame! Focusing can be done through the touch screen which make the process very intuitive and efficient.

Another remarkable feature of the a6500 is its built-in image stabilization system on 5 axes. This means that even if your lens does not have any stabilization, it’s fine! And if it does, the two stabilization systems work together. This is a huge advantage when you are shooting in low light conditions.

This camera definitely has all the necessary features to shoot great landscape pictures, and coupled with the great portability of mirrorless  cameras, it is certainly a very good option.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: Mirrorless Camera (APS-C)
  • Size: 4.7 x 2.6 x 2.1 in / 12 x 6.7 x 5.3 cm
  • Weight: 1 lb / 453 g
  • Resolution: 24.2 MP
  • Sensor size: APS-C
  • ISO range: 100 – 51,200
  • Video: 4K (w/ oversampling, 6K equivalent)

Pros

  • Good image resolution and quality
  • Remarkable autofocus system
  • Instant focusing with touch screen
  • Excellent image stabilization
  • Good quality electronic viewfinder
  • High quality video

Cons

  • The value for money is questionable when you compare with the a6000 and a6300

Canon EOS Rebel T6i Digital SLR Camera

The Rebel T6i is a great option is you want a beginner-friendly, good quality DSLR that is very portable and easy to take with you on a hike. It offers a very good image resolution of 24 megapixels and the DIGIC 6 image processor, resulting in superb image quality and fast operation.

The robust 19-point autofocus system guarantees perfectly sharp and crisp pictures, and focusing can be done at the touch of a finger through the articulated touch screen. If you’re feeling creative, lots of modes and filters are available to make your pictures unique.

Compact and affordable, the Rebel T6i is capable of shooting beautiful landscape pictures and is ideal if you have never owned a DSLR before.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: DSLR (APS-C)
  • Size: 3.07 x 5.2 x 3.98 in / 7.8 x 13.2 x 10.1 cm
  • Weight: 1.22 lbs / 553 g
  • Resolution: 24.2 MP
  • ISO range: 100-25600
  • Video: 1080p Full HD

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Good image quality
  • Excellent autofocus
  • Continuous shooting at 5 fps
  • Good ISO performance
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Articulated touch screen

Cons

  • Wi-Fi can’t connect to a computer, only smartphone

Fujifilm X-T20 Mirrorless Camera

The Fujifilm X-T20 is our favorite mirrorless camera for 2018 and is defintiely capable of shooting outstanding landscape photography.

This camera offers a fantastic image quality along with a recent and powerful image processor, the X-Processor Pro, making it a breeze to use the sophisticated autofocus system using up to 325 AF points!

A wide range of creative filters are included, as well as a good panorama mode – you just have to sweep the landscape around you and the camera automatically creates a panoramic image of 120 or 180 degrees.

An effort has been made on the quality and performance of the electronic viewfinder, and it’s a great plus when you are outside in a sunny place trying to compose the perfect shot.

The X-T20 is a high performance, very portable device, and if you don’t feel like getting a DSLR, this probably is the camera you should choose.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: Mirrorless Camera (APS-C)
  • Size: 4.7 x 3.3 x 1.6 in / 11.8 x 8.3 x 4.1 cm
  • Weight: 0.68 lbs / 310 g
  • Resolution: 24.3 MP
  • Sensor size: APS-C
  • ISO range: 100-51200
  • Video: 4K

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Beautiful image quality
  • Tilting touch screen
  • Fast and solid autofocus
  • Continuous shooting up to 8 fps
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • 4K video capture
  • External microphone port
  • Panorama & time lapse modes

Cons

  • The wireless connectivity is sometimes unstable
  • The viewfinder and screen are somtimes lagging a little

Nikon D5300 Digital SLR Camera

This is the most affordable camera of our selection and like the Canon Rebel T6i, it’s a great choice for an entry-level, first DSLR. Compact and lightweight, it is easy to carry around with you.

In spite of its affordable price, it offers a great 24 megapixel image resolution and an advanced autofocus system using 39 AF points. The ISO sensibility range is also very broad from 100 to 25400, but the image quality suffers at very high ISO (as expected).

Another interesting feature is the built-in HDR mode. Lansdcapes sometimes give us a headache when the sky is very bright and the scene much darker, it is not always easy to get a satisfying exposure. The D5300 is abe to shoot and process high dynamic range images for better details in the brigher and darker parts of the image.

The wireless connectivity is also good with Wi-Fi to connect the camera to your phone, and built-in GPS to geotag your images.

Overall, the Nikon D5300 is a good, versatile entry-level camera with good performance and if you are a beginner in DSLR photography you should definitely consider this option.

 Quick Specifications

  • Type: DSLR (APS-C)
  • Dimensions: 99 x 4.92 x 3.86 in / 7.6 x 12.5 x 9.8 cm
  • Weight: 1.06 lbs / 480 g
  • Resolution: 24.2 MP
  • ISO: 100-25600
  • Video: 1080p Full HD

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Good image quality
  • Good ISO sensibility
  • Wi-Fi & GPS
  • Articulated screen
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • The GPS can sometimes struggle to connect
  • No 4K video

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes a Camera Good for Landscape Photography?

Each type of photography has its own challenges and landscape photography is no exception. What are the factors you need to pay attention to in order to shoot the best landscape pictures? Let’s try to answer this question.

Image resolution: Landscape photography is one of the types of photography where image quality perfection is the most important, to properly convey the great beauty of a place. High resolution images help fulfill this goal, and I wouldn’t go below 18 to 20 megapixels.

Image processor: We usually pay attention to image processors in wildlife photography or sports photography for example, or any fast-moving scenes. A powerful processor ensures speedy operations and solid autofocus performance. In landscape photography, it’s true that we usually don’t have this issue because landscapes don’t move around and we have all the time to compose and shoot our pictures.

That said, it is still an advantage to get a recent image processor (and the difference from an older version to a newer version of a processor is often huge) for overall increased image quality and better control of the noise that appears on the image at high ISO sensibility.

Autofocus: Landscape photography needs to be super sharp, from foreground to background. While this largely depends on the aperture settings of your lens, it is also important to have a good quality autofocus covering a good portion of the frame. Ideally, many of the AF points would be cross-type points. Cross-type points generally do a better job at focusing the subject precisely, and can focus vertical elements perfectly unlike other AF points.

ISO & noise: Landscape photography sometimes takes place in darker light conditions, such as during the golden hour. Lower light means longer shutter speed. To avoid blurry images and keep a reasonably fast shutter speed, you can increase the aperture, and/or increase the ISO sensibility. It is useful to have a broad ISO range, allowing you to shoot clear, sharp pictures even in low light.

Unfortunately, a side effect of high ISO is grainy, noisy pictures. It is important to choose a camera that is very good at keeping the noise low, even at higher ISO. It is the case of my top pick, the Canon EOS 6D, for example.

Image stabilization: Related to the point above about low light conditions, image stabilization can avoid blurred pictures caused by camera shake when the shutter speed is getting too slow. Some recent cameras offer a really advanced and efficient stabilization, and it’s obviously a very good feature to have.

Sensor size: It makes sense asking yourself if you should buy a full frame camera or a crop camera (with and APS-C sensor). You can read more about full frame vs. APS-C sensors in the next FAQ below.

Weather-sealing: This may or may not be a huge decision factor depending on the kind of environments you shoot in, but if you plan to take your camera to deep jungles and deserts full of fine sand flying around, you should definitely choose a weather-sealer camera.

Built-in GPS and Wi-Fi: I personally LOVE this feature and I am always amazed at how precise and accurate the GPS tagging is. If you enjoy looking at your shooting locations on Google Earth after your get back from the wild, built-in GPS is defintiely a nice feature to have. Some cameras don’t have built-in GPS buy can connect to your smartphone via Wi-Fi and an app, and use your phone’s GPS to tag your pictures.

 

APS-C or Full Frame – Which One is The Best For Landscape?

First of all, I want to say that both APS-C and full frame sensors are capable of taking superb landscape photography. So it’s all a matter of choice, priorities, and budget.

For landscape photography, we often need the widest lenses possible to get the widest field of view. The focal length written on the lens is always in a full frame equivalent, even when this lens is amed at APS-C sensors. Between these two sizes, there is what we call a crop factor, usually about 1.5x.

If you are shooting a landscape at 18 mm with an APS-C sensor, your focal length will actually be about 27 mm (18 x 1.5 crop factor) – which is much less wide, more “zoomed”. This is the typical “telephoto effect” of crop sensors. It’s great in wildlife photography as it takes you closer to your subject, but for landscape it’s kind of a limitation.

Full frame cameras will give you access to wider fields of view, but that’s not the only benefit. Full frame sensors also have larger pixels, resulting in a better image quality and in particular, better low light performance. Remember what we said about low light, high ISO, noisy images… all of these are more in control with a full frame sensor.

For these reason, if your budget allows, I’d suggest you to go for a full frame camera.

 

DSLR or Mirrorless Camera, Which One Should I choose?

The main difference here is definitely size and weight. DSLR camera use a mirror to direct the image coming from the lens into the optical viewfinder so you can see exactly what the camera sees. That’s great, but it results in more bulky and heavy cameras.

Mirrorless cameras, as their name suggests, do not have this mirror. As a result, there is no optical viewfinder but more and more, mirrorless cameras feature a good quality electronic viewfinder instead. The absence of mirror allows to build cameras that are much smaller, more portable.

Just like DSLRs, they function with interchangeable lenses, but there are more lenses available for DSLRs than for mirrorless cameras. Another thing to note is, while it’s true that mirrorless cameras are very portable, if you attach a big, heavy lens to it, it’s not very portable anymore and not very balanced either (lightweight camera body vs. heavy lens).

The image quality of mirrorless can sometimes truly rival the one of DSLRs, but the DSLR technology is much more established. The areas where mirrorless cameras surpass the performance of DSLRs are typicall continuous shooting speed, and video quality. For landscape photography, it’s not extremely relevant (except if you enjoy shooting video).

To conclude, I think that mirrorless cameras are getting really good, but my preference still goes to the DSLR camera – I can’t imagine not having an optical viewfinder and I like the feeling of holding a beautiful DSLR in my hands 🙂

 

Why Don’t You Show Any Prices on This Page?

Prices vary all the time and can change at any moment. If a merchant suddenly decides to discount his cameras or increase the price, the price shown here will be totally outdated. Instead of showing potentially false information, I prefer to give you a convenient direct link for you to check the updated price of the camera you like.

 

How Did You Choose Your Top Pick?

My top pick is not necessarily the obsolute best camera nor the cheapest one, it is one that I consider offers the best value for money. To put it in a different way, it is the camera that I think offers great quality and features, for a price that is justified.

Here, I chose the Canon EOS 6D for its good overlall quality, its great noise control, its built-in GPS and more importantly, for the fact that it’s probably the most affordable full frame DSLR camera on the market.

If you’d rather choose a mirrorless camera, I would go for the Fujifilm X-T20.

Final Thoughts

On this page, we tried to find out what is the best camera for landscape photography you can buy today, in 2018. I hope this guide was useful and the information valuable! I believe that with this list of 7 cameras you have the best options in front of you, and remember that apart from the camera, good landscape photography also comes from a good lens and more importantly, great light!

Disclosure: Exploration Junkie is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

If you purchase an item on Amazon through the affiliate links in this page, this website will earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps us keeping this site ad-free, and it helps you say thank you if our content is useful to you 🙂


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