We all look forward to getting away from our daily routines for the holidays or just the weekend to blow off some steam. For hiking lovers, an opportunity to enjoy great nature trails and the beautiful accompanying sceneries is often too good to pass on. However, when all is said and done, all that we have left to remind us of this experience is our memories and thanks to technology, cameras. When selecting the ideal camera for a hiking adventure, it is important to consider factors such as weight and bulkiness of the camera, durability, skill level, and the price. In this article, we look at the best camera models available in the market ideal for different hiking scenarios.
The rugged nature of hiking adventures makes the Olympus TG-5 one of the best cameras for hiking in the market. The greatest feature of the camera is that it is not only weather-sealed to protect against dust and cold temperatures, it is also waterproof to a depth of 15 meters which makes it ideal for the rugged terrain and unpredictability of weather patterns.
The toughness of the camera is also enhanced by crushproof casing which can withstand up to 100 kg and is shockproof for a height up to 7ft. The cameras picture quality is quite commendable as it is fitted with a 12-megapixel camera with a bright high-speed F.2.0 lens capable of capturing 20 frames per second in full resolution RAW capture. The camera is capable of capturing videos in 4K resolution, making it ideal for even professional-level shoots.
- Can take high-quality pictures even from close range thanks to its microscope modes
- Highly durable for hiking due to strong case proofing
- Highly versatile as it can be used on land and in water
- There are other cameras offering better picture quality and resolution than the 12-megapixels provided for by the Olympus TG-5
- The user interface is fairly confusing
This camera is an equally good camera for hiking thanks to its high durability for different conditions. The durability of the camera is characterized by being waterproof up to 100 ft and also shockproof up to a height of 7.9 ft.
Additionally, the camera casing is also dustproof and freezeproof to a maximum of 14 degrees hence its usage is highly versatile for different hiking terrains and weather conditions. The Nikon W300 offers relatively better picture qualities thanks to a 16-megapixel sensor with low-light capabilities. The camera’s lens also offers a 5x zoom allowing it to take pictures from wider angles, and it is also equipped with Hybrid Vibration Reduction to help keep the photos steady. Other standout features of the Nikon W300 is that it records videos in 4K Ultra HD also supported by the Vibration Reduction function. It also supports fast continuous shooting capturing up to 7 frames per second.
- It is extremely durable for hiking due to strong case proofing
- The W300 is highly versatile as it can be used on land and in water
- Easy to operate in challenging situations thanks to its point and shoot feature
- Its maximum aperture is only f/2.8, which is narrow compared to its competitors.
FujiFilm FinePix XP120
This camera offers strong competition to the Olympus TG-5 and Nikon W300 as it is also well-equipped to handle the tough hiking conditions. It’s also waterproof capable of going up to a depth of 65ft making it suitable for use both underwater and on land. It boasts a shockproof casing which can withstand a drop from a height of 5.8ft while it is also dustproof and freezeproof to -10 degrees to protect against extreme weather elements and foreign particles. The camera has a 16.4-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor which allows it to take great photos even in low-light settings supported by its automatic shooting setting adjustment. In uninterrupted shooting mode, the camera is capable of taking 10 frames per second. It also has a 5x zoom power further enhancing image quality of both close-up action shots and distant scenes. The camera supports 1920 x 1080-pixel full HD video recording at 60 frames per second.
- It is relatively cheaper than other available models with similar specifications
- Supports stable one-handed shooting thanks to strategic grip aids
- It is highly versatile thanks to a wide array of shooting modes
- It is quite heavy, mainly due to its 3-inch LCD monitor.
- The LCD monitor offers low resolution, which diminishes experience while shooting looking at the screen.
The small design of the camera makes it convenient for hiking as it weighs a mere 300g and easily fits in the pocket or carried using the wrist strap. The camera boasts a lens of 20,1 Megapixels powered by an 8x zoom with a focal length range of 24-200mm which is the best of any point to shoot camera models in the market. The camera’s Optical SteadyShot provides advanced image stabilization for faster shutter speed to capture high-quality images taken from a distance and in low light settings. The Sony RX100’s autofocus speed is the fastest of its class at 0.03 seconds thanks to a Fast Hybrid AF system which helps with capturing fast-moving objects. The camera also has a slow-mo feature which is captivating for hikers interested in slow-motion videos of animals and different nature scenes such as rain.
- It offers manual control as an alternative to the point to shoot specifications
- It is extremely light to carry
- It is expensive compared to other point to shoot cameras
- It lacks shock or waterproofing
As previously mentioned, there are key factors that influence a hiker’s decision when choosing the ideal camera for them. Key amongst those factors are weight and durability which rank quite highly as a hiker needs a camera that will not weigh them down and can withstand the bump and bruises it may get as one goes up and down hiking trails. Each of the identified camera alternatives above meet the mentioned criteria and offer hikers an experience like no other while meeting their needs.