Best Camera for Landscape Photography
Some of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring photos out there are landscape shots. There is nothing quite like viewing jaw-dropping photos of the wonderful earth that we inhabit. But, have you ever wanted to indulge in the mystique of landscape photography?
If you have, then you will need yourself a high-quality camera that is capable of producing such images. Regarding the style you will need, there are several terrific camera styles for this type of photography. Of course, as you will see, both digital SLR and mirrorless style cameras tend to be preferred.
Of course, choosing the best camera for landscape photography requires a much more in-depth approach. Throughout this comprehensive guide, you will learn what it takes to buy the best camera for landscape photography honestly. So, let’s get started.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 8.25 hrs of research
The build quality is superb
It is designed with a Mirror Vibration Control system
Powered by dual DIGIC 6 Image Processors
- Canon EOS 5DS
- Sony a7R III
- Nikon D850
- Fujifilm GFX 50S
- Canon EOS Mark IV
- Fujifilm X-T3
- Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX1
- Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
- Ricoh GR II
- Nikon D5600
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Expert Interviews & Opinions
- Frequently Asked Questions
Our Top Picks for the Best Camera for Landscape Photography
1. Canon EOS 5DS
The build quality is superb
It is designed with a Mirror Vibration Control system
Powered by dual DIGIC 6 Image Processors
The magnification button could be better placed
Granted you are not limited in your budget; the Canon EOS 5DS is a phenomenal choice. It is just exceptional in nearly every meaning of the word and deserves to be dubbed the best camera for landscape photography.Read more
The Canon EOS 5DS takes some of the unique landscape images that you will ever create. This is thanks to its DIGIC 6 Image Processor, Mirror Vibration Control system and 50.6-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor.
In addition to the advanced autofocus system, this landscape camera is also built with continuous shooting, Wi-Fi connectivity, and several different shooting modes.
Past being one of the best cameras for landscape photography, this sucker can also record elite video (Full HD capable with multiple frame rates). Of course, its advanced processor also helps it perform phenomenally.
Ease of Use
The combination of the LCD, 3.2-inch monitor, and the Intelligent Viewfinder II make shooting and changing through modes quite convenient. Then again, the magnification button is not in the most user-friendly of locations.
Without question, this is built like a beast. In addition to the ultra-solid core, it has also been weather sealed.
You will pay a pretty penny for the EOS 5DS, but if you want professional-quality landscape photos, it will be worth it. The body is also going to hold up to the rigorous nature of the outdoors.
2. Sony a7R III
Built with a back-illuminated CMOS sensor
It comes with many other accessories
It is built like a beast
The touchscreen only works when you are focusing
It does not sport a full-screen tilt
The a7R III from Sony can be found on a plethora of “best camera” lists as it truly is an art form in and of itself. It is a mirrorless camera that is powered by an advanced processing engine.Read more
The reason the a7R III is so relevant is due to the photos it can create. Thanks to the back-illuminated CMOS sensor that captures more light, this creates enhanced resolution and dynamic range.
All sorts of amazing features have been implemented here. This includes continuous shooting at up to 10 frames per second, USB 3.1 compatibility, dual autofocus tracking effectiveness, and the handling of RAW images.
In addition to the fact that this can record 4K video, the upgraded and advanced BIONZ X image processing engine is impressive. This allows the a7R to perform wonderfully.
Ease of Use
The simplicity of the menu system is a nice touch. However, for whatever reason, the touchscreen is only functional when you are focusing (and it will not tilt fully).
With its rock-solid core and extensive weather sealing, there is no reason to worry about this having any durability issues.
Sony has made a ton of great cameras for landscape photography, honestly, but their a7R III takes the cake. It is just in a league of its own, quite frankly.
3. Nikon D850
It can shoot 4K video
Sports continuous shooting at full resolution
The body is built tremendously
The new joystick selector is not the best
The menu system is a bit dated
Nikon, along with Sony and Canon, is an iconic brand in the world of photography. Their D850 works wonderfully for landscape shots thanks to its superb image quality and autofocus system.Read more
Nikon’s back-side illuminated full-frame image sensor makes their D850 tick. It also has no optical low-pass filter. Oh, and for those wondering, the D850 is also equipped with 45.7 megapixels.
The autofocus system here is quite impressive thanks to 153 focus points and 99 cross-type sensors. Additionally, this sports continuous shooting at nine frames per second and a tilting touchscreen display.
In addition to the EXPEED 5 processor that ensures lightning-fast processing speeds, the D850 can also shoot crisp 4K video. Then again, it can also shoot outstanding Full HD video at 120 frames per second.
Ease of Use
Overall, the D850 could be improved in this area. While the tilting touchscreen LCD screen is nice and all, the menu system is somewhat dated, and the new joystick selector is not the best.
Good luck finding any cameras for landscape photography that are built better than this bad boy. The build quality is simply that ridiculously good.
You have to give it to Nikon; they sure know how to make outstanding digital cameras. The D850 sets the bar for the esteemed company, which is saying a lot.
4. Fujifilm GFX 50S
The image quality is just terrific
The performance is also utterly great
Made with robust magnesium alloy
The autofocus can be inconsistent at times
Did you choke on your food when seeing the price tag of this camera? Let’s just say that high-quality landscape photography is not cheap. Then again, this may be too much for some of you.Read more
There are multiple reasons why this excels at taking photos. For starters, the processing from the photodiodes and the light-gathering micro-lenses have been both optimized for enhanced dynamic range and sharpness. Of course, the processing engine also gets the best out of the sensor (51.4 megapixels).
In addition to the fact that this landscape photography camera utilizes the G Mount, it is also equipped with an electronic viewfinder. This viewfinder is supplied with over three million dots and offers 100 percent coverage.
One of the primary reasons this stacks up with all other cameras for landscape photography is due to the electronic level system. This ensures the ultimate accuracy of vertical and horizontal lines when you are shooting landscape imagery.
Ease of Use
Here is the good news; the GFX 50S does utilize a smart touchscreen display that can be tilted. However, as this is Fujifilm, the menu system is still pretty complex to operate and navigate through.
Wow, is there any other word that fits here? The body of this stud is made of robust magnesium alloy. And, if that were not enough, it has been weather sealed in 58 different points.
Looking past the obnoxious price tag, this medium format camera is just remarkable. It may be different than what you are used to, but you should end up falling in love with it soon enough.
5. Canon EOS Mark IV
It sports continuous shooting up to seven frames per second
It is extremely versatile
The dual pixel focus system is really nice
The focus is a bit inconsistent when looking into the light
The NFC technology does not work very well
This is another fantastic option from Canon, and their EOS Mark IV is a DSLR camera. It is merely one of the most versatile units out there and is easily one of the best cameras for landscape photography.Read more
The full-frame, high-speed CMOS sensor is what allows the EOS Mark IV to achieve the great imagery that it does. This sensor also sports 30.4 megapixels.
The plethora of features (such as continuous shooting and built-in Wi-Fi and NFC) makes this an incredibly versatile device. At the same time, the NFC connectivity has been criticized by former buyers.
While the battery life is reasonably unspectacular, the DIGIC 6+ Image Processor can quickly and smoothly transition from capturing photos to 4K video. Additionally, this landscape photography camera is built with a dual pixel focus system that allows for real-time focusing while shooting video.
Ease of Use
The combination of the viewfinder and the touchscreen LCD interface makes this rather enjoyable to operate and navigate through.
Let’s say that this landscape camera boasts the build quality you would expect from a top-end model from Canon.
Sure, there are some slight flaws here, but this remains one of the best cameras for landscape photography. Of course, it also excels when recording video, which is a significant bonus.
6. Fujifilm X-T3
Designed with an articulating touchscreen
It can record 4K movies
It is weather-sealed and rugged
The menu settings are unintuitive
Much like many of the other cameras on this list, you will see the X-T3 everywhere. Of course, this is a Fujifilm digital camera, which means it will take some time to get used to the menu system.Read more
The X-Processor 4 image processing engine manages to get the very best out of the equipped 26.1-megapixel CMOS 4 sensor.
The functionality of the X-T3 is just fabulous. This includes 16 different film simulation modes, fantastic autofocus speeds and settings, a headphone jack and also an OLED viewfinder.
Looking past the sure performance of this processing engine and autofocus system, this mirrorless camera can shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second. Not too many cameras for landscape photography can make that claim.
Ease of Use
The X-T3 is the epitome of complicated, both in a good and bad way. The tilting touchscreen panel is sure friendly to have, but the menu system is incredibly non-intuitive, which can be frustrating to deal with.
Being equipped with high-quality buttons and nobs and being weather sealed, it is safe to say that the X-T3 is as rugged as it gets.
The key factor when operating this digital camera is to be patient. It can shoot fantastic landscape images, but it can also take some time to get used to it.
7. Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-RX1
Designed with an optical variable low pass filter
You can select RAW images
It is built with an electronic viewfinder
The battery life is just plain bad
The menu system takes some time to get used to
Even though there are some problems with this device, it is still highly component for what you will need it for. In specific, you will need some time to get accustomed to the camera settings.Read more
Very few people will criticize the image quality of this camera. It sports a back-illuminated full-frame CMOS sensor, optical variable low pass filter and can shoot RAW still images.
All sorts of great features have been implemented here. This includes continuous shooting at up to five frames per second, an advanced autofocus system, Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, and also a retractable OLED electronic viewfinder.
Even though this is not capable of recording 4K video, it can still shoot a fully capable 1080p video. Of course, battery life is also incredibly disappointing and remains the most significant issue.
Ease of Use
As many users have alluded to, it is clear that the engineers did not design this with photographers in mind, unfortunately. While this does sport a tiltable LCD display, the menu system is laughable, honestly.
While there are some flaws here, you need to marvel at the build quality. The DSC-RX1 merely is top-notch when it comes to durability and quality.
If you can deal with the clunky operation and below-average battery life, then you can get a digital camera that can produce some completely stellar imagery of the outdoors.
8. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
It is weather sealed
Sports in-body image stabilization
The LCD screen can be rotated
The autofocus performance could be better
It is a bit overwhelming for beginners
This is an excellent example of why the megapixel count for cameras can be overrated. In spite of the lower megapixels, this beast delivers fantastic images thanks to its processor and image stabilization.Read more
In addition to the powerful in-body image stabilization, this also boasts a dual quad-core image processor. Oh, and the MOS sensor also sports 20.4 megapixels.
Past the built-in camera features, the biggest talking point here is the autofocus system. There are 121 cross-type points in total. Then again, when shooting wildlife, this tracking system is not quite elite.
Again, the autofocus tracking could be a little better when shooting wildlife. However, looking past that, this can shoot a 4K video for no longer than 30-minute sessions.
Ease of Use
There are plenty of customization options that you can mess around with. However, this does create somewhat of a learning curve. On another note, the LCD screen can be rotated on the left side.
Past the fact that this sports a magnesium alloy housing, it has also been weather sealed. Without question, this is ready for all the adventures you will have.
Performance-wise, this does fall short in certain areas. In spite of that, however, it remains one of the best cameras for landscape photography due to its produced imagery and battery life.
9. Ricoh GR II
You can capture RAW images
It is small and well-built
It is super quiet in operation
The performance is limited in several ways
Sure, Sony, Canon, Nikon, and Fujifilm are the dominant four camera brands, but Ricoh is competent in their own right. Their GR II may not be breathtaking, but it can shoot incredible landscape shots.Read more
The combination of the anti-aliasing filter-less design and the advanced GR Engine V imaging engine allow the GR II to produce some utterly stellar imagery.
Solid from top to bottom, the GR II is equipped with many great features. This includes continuous shooting (albeit at only four frames per second), Wi-Fi functionality and a conventional autofocus system.
In many ways, the performance is limited here. You can only shoot at a maximum of 30 frames per second, there is no viewfinder, and the autofocus speeds can be pretty slow.
Ease of Use
This is probably one of the easer cameras for landscape photography to pick up and use. So, that is a significant plus.
Overall, even though this is small and lightweight, it is built very well. Not too many will complain about this aspect.
The GR II is an excellent starter option for those of you who want to get your feet wet. If you need a professional-end camera, however, look at some of the other options on this list.
10. Nikon D5600
Designed with an EXPEED 4 Image Processor
The build quality is quite good
You can record Full HD video
The Wi-Fi system is seriously flawed
The autofocus could be better
For those of you wondering, Nikon is a camera for landscape photography that does not require you to break your bank. The Nikon D5600 is a great example of one.Read more
For the price range, the image quality of the D5600 is pretty darn good. This is thanks to the EXPEED 4 Image Processor and DX-format CMOS 24.2-megapixel sensor.
Alright, this is where the D5600 struggles. Yes, the in-camera tools are excellent. But, you need to utilize SnapBridge to access Wi-Fi, and the autofocus speeds are not very impressive.
Looking past the subpar autofocus, this can shoot impressive videos. While it can’t handle 4K, it can shoot Full HD video at a smooth 60 frames per second.
Ease of Use
In case you have not figured it out, this is an entry-level DSLR camera. However, it has some shortcomings in the ergonomics department, such as the lack of many buttons and controls.
Yes, there are other cameras for landscape photography that are built better. With that said, the D5600 is still built well with a high-quality carbon fiber composite body.
Not all of you will be willing to spend four figures on a camera, and that is fair. No worries as the D5600 is proof that high-quality landscape images can be produced from somewhat affordable cameras.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
For this section, the focus is on the image quality, and boy is it every important.
There is a lot to cover here, so buckle in. First and foremost, while you do not need to place too much emphasis on the number of megapixels a sensor has, you should focus on its size. Without question, more prominent is going to be better. The reason for this is larger sensors will allow for lower noise levels, more dynamic range, enhanced image quality and broader compatibility for the best lenses for landscape images.
There are generally three different types of sensors that you will see. The smallest sensor is known as APS-C (or cropped sensor). This type of sensor will yield the least impressive image quality. Meanwhile, the other two styles (full-frame and medium format sensors) are adequate for professional-caliber landscape images.
Sticking on the theme of the importance of the sensor, it should also output high-resolution images. Additionally, look for landscape cameras that remove any low-pass or anti-aliasing filters from the sensor itself. The omission of these types of cleaners will produce sharper and more detailed imagery.
Oh, and one last note, some cameras for landscape photography will also come equipped with in-body image stabilization. While you can find this in a landscape photography lens that you buy, this will minimize the effects of camera shaking regardless.
There are quite a few features to look for here but some are more important than others.
In a way, this is where some popular features of the camera for landscape photography do not matter as much (even though they still can). Let’s start with a great example and talk about autofocus. When shooting moving objects, fast and precise autofocusing is a must.
Clearly, with a camera for landscape photography, this will not be as big of a deal as landscapes are not going to be moving. Still, for versatility’s sake, you still may want to buy a camera that sports above-average autofocusing. The same concept applies to burst mode, quite frankly.
For those unaware, this is a mode that allows you to shoot multiple shots in quick succession. For still objects, though, it will not be that big of a deal. Again, though, you may want to use your camera for landscape photography for other types of photos and such.
Now, many of the best camera for landscape photography will come equipped with Wi-Fi functionality. Granted you have access to a stable internet connection, this can allow you to upload your captured images to any platform you desire.
And, lastly, most models you find will be programmed with many different types of features and programs. Clearly, the more there are the more versatile the specific model can perform.
This all comes down to how well you want your camera to perform.
For sure, how well a specific camera for landscape photography performs will go a long way to determining its effectiveness for you. Now, this all begins with the processing engine of the camera. Often also called the image processor, this is essentially the operating system of the camera.
The processing engine is what the device uses to process the images that it takes. Higher-end models will be built with advanced and upgraded engines to ensure optimal performance. This can make things much more convenient and worthwhile for you, without a doubt.
Of course, let’s also talk about video recording. Admittedly, you may have no interest in shooting video with your landscape photography camera. But, do not think that the camera you buy will not be highly capable as a video recorder.
The two specifications to keep in mind are video resolution and frame rate. For the former, the craze is 4K, and a lot of models will be able to handle it.
Then again, Full HD (also known as 1080p) is highly competent in its rate. As for frame rate, this will dictate how smooth the video will run. Higher frame rates (such as 60p and 120p) will yield much smoother results.
Ease of Use
Most models will be somewhat tricky to use but there are certain features you can look for to make the process easier.
Look, most digital cameras will take some time to get accustomed to. However, key features and design integrations can make things much easier for you. One such example is a touchscreen. While button-only interfaces are excellent and all, the addition of a touchscreen gives you much more control and makes things a bit easier.
Oh, and you may also want to look for screens that can tilt. No matter what type of imagery you are going after, cameras with tilting screens (especially those than angle toward you) can make things more comfortable for you. However, not all cameras for landscape photography will come with such functionality.
Along the same line, you may want to look for models with electronic viewfinders. In essence, these almost work as camcorders as you can hold the camera to your face and brace it. This is used to assist you in getting better shots.
And, of course, never forget that some cameras for landscape photography will be bogged down with complex interfaces and non-intuitive menu systems. While you will eventually get accustomed to these, you may want to opt for something more basic and user-friendly.
Do not overlook this section right here as it is going to be quite crucial.
When you go to buy any camera, quite frankly, you can often get lost in all the specifications (as there are many you need to keep in mind). But, you can’t afford to overlook something incredibly simple. How well is the camera constructed?
The best camera for landscape photography will either be made with magnesium alloy or some carbon fiber composite or polycarbonate material. For the most part, while both can be good, if you want the best, then you better stick with magnesium alloy.
For the record, magnesium alloy is merely magnesium fused with another alloy metal. It is so tremendous for cameras (in specific when shooting outdoors) as it is durable, lightweight, highly resistant to extreme temperatures and corrosion- resistant.
Speaking of corrosion resistance, it may also be in your best interest to buy a model that is weather sealed. When shooting landscape images, the weather outside may not always be ideal. So, if you still want to take photos even while it is raining, you will want to look for a camera for landscape photography that is extensively weather sealed.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Boy, oh boy, is the image quality ever outstanding here? That is what this section is all about, and it is vitally crucial. If you have any intentions of shooting high-quality landscape photos, then you better ensure you buy a camera that can. And, even though you can buy different lenses that can make or break things, cameras themselves still need to have certain features.
Digital cameras have a plethora of different features that can be pretty overwhelming to attack this section. But, do know that certain functionalities will not be as relevant to you concerning landscape photography. Still, just because you buy a camera, for this reason, it does not mean you can’t utilize it for other shots and such.
A camera’s effectiveness or performance mostly comes down to its processing engine. While this can have a positive effect on image quality, it can also make the camera itself faster and more fluid to operate. Of course, even in this section, we will talk about video quality. For landscape images, though, you may or may not care too much (but it should still be a factor).
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What happens if your mirror gets stuck?
If you are using a camera for landscape photography and the mirror gets stuck, you should proceed with caution. Since the mirrors in these devices are fragile, it is not advised to try to remedy the problem yourself. Instead, you should contact a professional and see what they recommend.
q: What are RAW files?
This was glossed over in the section about image quality. Honestly, that goes to show the depth that the best camera for landscape photography has. Anyway, buying an option that can shoot RAW images is essential, and here is why.
The RAW file format is merely an image file format that captures all data when you take a photo. Unlike JPEG files which will compress the images, RAW files will be left unedited. Thus, they are often the preferred choice for professional-quality photos.
q: How do you clean the mirror?
Remember what did people claim about the mirrors inside DSLRs and such? The same idea is going to apply here with the camera for landscape photography as you should never clean them yourself unless you have extensive knowledge and training to do so.
While this sounds over the top, the mirror inside your camera for landscape photography is very fragile and can easily be damaged. Even if you are extremely careful, one wrong move can be a deathblow. To err on the side of caution, contact a professional.
q: What is a refurbished camera for landscape photography?
One of the reasons why refurbished equipment is so enticing is it tends to be much more affordable than new equipment. However, you need to carefully tread when you deal with refurbished equipment (mainly cameras). Mostly, any refurbished product that has been opened from its original packaging is sent back to the manufacturer.
From there, they re-package the item and sell it again. The reason for sending the item back could be due to damage or something else entirely. Now, the landscape photography camera could be as good as new, but there also could be complications. It is a bit of a gamble purchase, let’s say that.
q: Are mirrorless cameras good for this type of imagery?
Even though DSLRs are often the preferred choice for a camera for landscape photography, mirrorless cameras keep getting better and better. Some current models can rival both the quality and versatility that many DSLRs achieve. So, in this sense, they are an excellent choice for shooting this type of imagery.
q: Are mirrorless cameras lighter than DSLRs?
While you may not be too concerned with how heavy the model you pick is, it may be somewhat of a priority for some of you. This is one of the areas where mirrorless cameras have DSLRs beat. As you can tell by their name, mirrorless models do not come equipped with a mirror.
This alone makes them more compact and lighter, as a result. Then again, other factors will play a role in the weight of any given model. So, it is tough to definitively claim that all mirrorless models will be lighter than their DSLR counterparts.