Taking photos can be a fun hobby but it is also a serious profession for others. Whether you are looking for a camera under $200 or something a little more professional-grade, there are a million questions. What is the best camera for landscape photography?
The best camera for landscape photography can depend on just what kind of landscape photos you are looking to take. Do you go with a mirrorless camera? A digital SLR camera? This is your guide to finding the best fit for your needs.
The Main Factors When Choosing the Best Camera for Landscapes
Finding the best camera for landscape photography comes down to a few different factors. The good thing about landscape photography is that generally speaking, you are not getting as much movement as a live target. But there are definitely a few things to consider in order to take the best landscape photography.
1. Sensor Size
Start with the camera sensor size. The sensor size is important for landscape photography because it determines how much light is needed to create that image. Light quality plays into image quality overall.
Depending on the situation and setting, wide-angle lenses may be best. Then again, a full-frame camera or APS-C camera may work. It really depends on how much light you are working within your shot. Light is king and can play havoc if you are going into the situation with one expectation and get something else entirely.
Image resolution is next up. The higher resolution your camera has, the greater clarity and focus that it can give to the image. Landscape photography is tricky because there is so much in the shot that needs to be in focus.
With high-resolution images, a camera can capture all of the finer details and really bring image quality to the next level. Going with a cheaper camera could come with a lower resolution. In some instances, that may work fine, but for broader shots that require more detail, you may see a lower overall quality.
3. Image Stabilization
Who has taken blurred pictures and been infinitely frustrated by the result? Landscape photography doesn’t have quite as much movement as taking pictures of living subjects, but there is still a movement to be seen. A breeze swaying leaves, the movement of water, etc.
That is why image stabilization is so important. Most modern cameras come with a feature that helps to mitigate blurriness when there is motion in the picture. It brings crisp clarity to those moving features, leaving image quality at a high level without a greater level of compensation from the photographer.
4. Image Processor
Just about any modern camera is akin to a small computer. Inside is an image processor which dictates the ability of the camera to process the images that it is seeing. Whether in landscape photography or something else entirely, it plays a major role in image quality.
A faster processer can make sense of the images before the camera far quicker. When it can process the different factors, it can turn out better overall images. Some of the older modern cameras that have slower processors may struggle, which results in poor quality images on the whole.
5. ISO Sensitivity
Remember that light is one of the most important factors in a photo. Blurry images, “noisy pictures”, and overall image quality in landscape photography can be impacted by ISO range. ISO range and ISO sensitivity are the camera’s ability to process the light coming in.
Certain cameras are better at working to increase ISO and increase the aperture to provide a better quality photo. The more light that the camera can process, the more clarity and the better overall quality of the image. Go for a camera that has a better ISO sensitivity.
If you are an amateur or a professional, we all need help with focus sometimes. Even though landscape photography is about taking pictures of settings with little movement, there still may be a problem getting proper focus.
That is where autofocus comes into play. With an autofocus function, your camera will put the shot into proper focus for you. No manual adjustments, no wasting time trying to get the proper shot. This is a great feature for amateurs especially.
7. Weather Sealing
Doing landscape photography means being out in the elements. And as much as we would like for clear skies and sunshine, it doesn’t necessarily work that way all the time. So, it means needing to have the proper equipment to compensate.
A weather-sealed camera means that rain or snow won’t stop you from getting the right shot. Cameras without weather sealing can mean bad things when the weather turns wet. Do yourself a favor and get a camera that has weather sealing to keep protected against the elements.
8. Mirror Up and Vibration Reduction Functions
You might hear the term ‘mirror up’. But what does it mean? Well, in landscape photography, it has to do with the vibration created while taking the picture. There are a number of factors that can create vibrations while you are lining up your shot and pulling the trigger.
With a vibration reduction feature, you don’t have to worry about getting a blurry picture due to vibration. The natural vibration reduction means lining up shots more easily and creating the perfect landscape shot without having to make many manual adjustments. Even better, it means not needing a tripod to get the best shots.
9. Built-in GPS and Wi-Fi
Your processor is not the only thing that makes a camera computer-like. Nowadays, cameras come equipped with so much more. For starters, there is the built-in GPS that can help you navigate even the most unfamiliar of landscapes. No worries about getting lost again when you have GPS to help navigate.
There is also the built-in wifi feature which makes connectivity a breeze. When you can connect to the internet, you can upload photos without having to worry about connecting to your computer. It makes uploading simple and easy no matter where you are.
10. Long Battery Life
Back in the day, when your digital camera would wear out, you would either need to call it quits or hope that you had extra batteries. Keeping extras on you is a hassle and if you didn’t have them that meant the end of your day.
But with a long-life battery or durable batteries, you can get more use out of your camera before it needs to be charged. That means more time spent getting the perfect shot and less time spent hoping you have enough battery life.
Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras
You will hear a few terms are thrown around, one of which is “mirrorless camera”. But what is a full-frame mirrorless camera and how is it any different from a DSLR camera? Well, for landscape photography, mirrorless cameras are less sensitive to light than DSLR.
You can find full-frame mirrorless cameras from some of the top brands. Nikon z7, Sony Alpha, Canon EOS, Sony A7R, and the Panasonic Lumix S1R are some of the best options that you can choose for full-frame mirrorless.
Full-Frame DSLR Cameras
DSLR cameras, meanwhile, have a greater sensitivity to light than mirrorless. That means getting a better overall picture quality and a greater level of versatility in your shot than you would get with mirrorless.
When it comes to choosing a digital SLR camera, you will find options from some of the best names on the market. Nikon D810, Canon 5DS R, Nikon D850, Pentax K-1 Mark II, and more are just a few of the options to choose from among the best in DSLR cameras.
Which Landscape Photography Camera is Right for You?
Not everyone is looking for the very best camera for landscape photography. They want a budget camera for landscape photography. The best budget camera for landscape photography should have a higher ISO rating, autofocus, weather sealing, and vibration reduction so you can get the best shot possible.
The best camera for landscape photography also depends on the photographer. Some value ISO over other features. Others like autofocus. It all depends on your personal preferences and what you are hoping to get out of your image quality. There are more than a few budget options available that are similar in terms of overall performance. Some also trust specific brands over others, so if you have been with one company for a long time, you may want to stick with that manufacturer.
As you can see, there is a multitude of options to choose from. Those who are new to photography or don’t have much in the way of knowledge or experience can find themselves lost in the shuffle pretty quickly.
Weighing in each of these factors is a good place to start. It will give you a better knowledge base for what kind of landscape photography you are looking to take. From there, you are in a better position to take the best pictures possible, furthering your hobby or profession, whichever you choose.
- 10 Tips to Help You Choose the Best Camera for Landscape Photography - October 7, 2021