Which is the best camera for landscape photography? Here are my top 3 recommendations!
This article reflects purely my personal opinion.
What must a camera for landscape photography be able to do?
Wide dynamic range
For me, the dynamic range of a camera has become the number one decision criterion for landscape photography. Dynamic range means which brightest and darkest areas a camera can record in the image without them being pure black or pure white. For landscape photography, it is important to have drawing everywhere in the image.
Compositing multiple exposures can address this limitation. However, it is nicer and less time-consuming if the camera comes with a large dynamic range right out of the box, so you may be able to save this step.
Very good image quality
For landscape photography, you naturally want to achieve the best possible image quality. To put the images on the Internet, a medium image quality is sufficient. However, if you plan to do exhibitions, this point is especially important. Megapixels are relevant if you want to make large prints from your images. Keep in mind, however, that for a camera with many megapixels you also need lenses that can deliver such sharpness. More about this below.
In my opinion, a camera with the smaller APS-C sensor is also perfectly sufficient. It doesn’t always have to be the professional model. It is more important that you as a photographer, know your camera and your equipment well and how it behaves in which situation. This way, you can make just the right settings when taking landscape photos.
It may sound obvious in today’s camera world, but it’s not. The camera should be easy and intuitive to use. The settings should go quickly from the hand, so you can concentrate on the most important thing. Namely, what is happening in front of the camera.
Good range of lenses
Newsletter Lead 2 – Popular PostsThe best camera for landscape photography is worth little if there are no good lenses to go with it. The high-resolution sensors of today’s cameras need to be fueled by good lenses to get the maximum image quality out of them.
Not only sharpness plays a role here, but also aspects such as chromatic aberration, vignetting and the look of the sunstar.
In addition, the lenses should also be affordable. For the current Canon EOS system cameras with RF mount, for example, the wide-angle lens costs 2400 €.
If you also want to take night shots and landscape pictures with the Milky Way, then you might also want to see if there are good and fast fixed focal lengths in the wide-angle range. A starting aperture of 1.4 or at least 2.0 is often unavoidable here.
Are you interested in which is generally the best camera? I wrote an article about that, which you can find here: best camera.
The best cameras for landscape photography
Below you will find the best cameras for landscape photography. I update this list regularly.
The ranking is based on my own and the opinions of my colleagues from the German landscape photography scene.
At the colleagues of DxOMark you can also find an assessment. Just rank them according to the „Landscape“ column.
1st place: Nikon D850
The Nikon D850 is a digital SLR camera with 45.7 megapixels. In terms of dynamic range and operation, this camera is the flagship of the best cameras for landscape photography. Nikon has managed to improve on its already good predecessor. Among other things, the D850 now comes with a folding display, which makes it extremely easy to work with low tripod positions.
2nd place: Sony Alpha 7R III
The Sony Alpha 7R III is a mirrorless camera with 42.4 megapixels… The strongest argument here is the excellent sensor. The original Sony lens park is not particularly large, but delivers very good image quality. In addition, lenses from other manufacturers can be used via adapters. The already excellent quality of the predecessor has been improved even more. For me, it is currently one of the best system cameras on the market.
3rd place: Nikon Z 7II
Nikon has relaunched the Z 7 within a relatively short period of time and improved the previous criticisms. The result is the Nikon Z 7II, a high-end system camera with the same 45.7 megapixel sensor as the Nikon D850.
It has a built-in image stabilizer and has a very good dynamic range suitable for landscape photography. One of the strengths of the Z 7II is its very good ergonomics. The camera is also sealed, making it well equipped for use in demanding conditions.
The lens assortment for the Nikon Z camera is getting bigger and bigger and with the Nikon 14-30 mm you will also find a very good wide-angle lens.
Conclusion: Which is the best camera for landscape photography?
The best camera for landscape photography is currently the Nikon D850. The image quality is fantastic even for large prints. It has the best dynamic range, the handling is well thought out and for landscape tours it is also reasonably robust. It also has a folding display for more comfortable work from a tripod. In addition, the lens range is mature.