If not the most popular niche in photography, landscapes are a great subject to shoot. We have all visited a destination that was filled with beautiful scenery. Whether it be a range of snowy mountains, an arid desert, or a dense forest. The landscape before us was so captivating we wanted to make sure we remembered it or told others. That is one of the reasons why people go into landscape photography; to share the joy or scene with others. Whether you wish to take contemporary photos, fine art, or wildlife photos, you need the right camera. We will list some of the best cameras available for you to get out there and start shooting.
What is the current state of contemporary landscape photography?
The very meaning of the word “landscape” is changing. The places we had traditionally taken photos of are no longer the same. Whether it be from climate change, urban sprawl, accessibility or age. The word contemporary means in the now and what is current.
As a photographer interested in shooting landscapes, it is time to abandon traditional values and try to experiment with the knowledge, tools, and environment we have available today. Landscape photography remains as popular as ever, but there is an increasing trend for interlacing the natural and unnatural together.
We are also seeing a move towards a more visual art or expressionism in landscape scenes. Photographers want to challenge the norm and create images that inspire emotion or artistic flair.
What is fine art landscape photography?
What might come as a surprise to some of you, especially new photographers, is that there is more than one way to shoot landscapes. For those interested in fine arts, landscape photography can act as an outlet for producing aesthetically pleasing or beautiful visuals. The big difference between contemporary and fine art is the emphasis on artistry. Essentially, the focus is about how the subject appears, rather than what the subject is. In order to find this “personal flair’ or “artistic moment,” the photographer often travels further or experiments with more extreme environments.
Suggested list of the best cameras for landscape photography
- Canon EOS 250D / Rebel SL3
When it comes to shooting creatively, the Canon EOS 250D gives you the power to view and make edits using the Live View Functionality. In real time, you can review and adjust the images, rather than relying on the viewfinder. This camera has all the benefits that DSLR offers and more. Not only does it have a much lighter and compact body, but it connects to WiFi, Bluetooth, and has a Creative Assist mode. We would argue that this is also the best camera for outdoor photography. However, there are some great mirrorless alternatives available too.
- Nikon Z6
The Nikon Z6 is a great DSLR for both amateurs and professionals. It makes a great addition to your tool kit as it performs well in both speed and resolution. Not only does the Nikon Z6 boast an impressive 45.7mp sensor and takes 4K video, but the ISO range can stretch up to 102400. This means you can capture fine art landscapes at night.
- Sony Alpha A7 III
The Sony Alpha A7 III could be another contender as the best camera for outdoor photography. Equipped with a 24mp full frame sensor and all the features you could ask for, you’ll have no issues capturing stunning visual art with each snap. The ISO range on this full frame camera for landscape is 100 – 51200. Which means whether you are shooting in very low light, or even midday sun, the results will be satisfying. The camera is backed by a 425 point Contrast Detection AF. We would recommend this mirrorless camera for landscape photography.
- Fujifilm X-T30
An incredible imaging capturing device on offer from Fujifilm. This mirrorless camera packs a punch in terms of performance and value for money. What makes it so great for landscape photography is the sensor and processor. Both of these make use of the latest technologies. One can also shoot on burst using the electronic shutter, with no blackouts and up to 30fps. An all-around agreeable mirrorless that can help you capture those magical mountain ranges or distant sunsets.
- Nikon D850
The D850 is one of the most fantastic landscape cameras because of the dynamic range. It has a base ISO of true 64, meaning you can shoot at large apertures and slow shutter speeds. Another great feature is the added resolution (45.7), which is slightly better than the Sony A7R III. This DSLR is aimed at professionals and fairs well in all shooting conditions.
- Fujifilm X-T1
It is as beautiful as it is functional. With the Fujifilm X-T1, you can produce detailed and professional images with ease. It has a 16MP sensor, 3.0-Inch LCD, and a SLR-style body. Owning to its high-speed shutter and AF capabilities, the X-T1 can be described as the best camera for landscape and wildlife. The camera operates very quietly too, which means less shake and less likelihood of scaring away any birds/animals.
- Sony Alpha A7R III
This flagship model by Sony promises “faster bursts, better focusing, and longer battery life”. The big difference between the A7R III and the A7 III is that the former has a 42.4MP sensor. This makes the A7R III an excellent choice for landscape and fine art photographers. Although being slightly more expensive, the A7R III resolution and tilting mechanism on the rear screen is better.
Which is the best landscape camera for me?
Remember, an equally important part of photography is editing. Regardless of whether you have a high-end photography camera or a cheap landscape camera, the images need some touching up. This can be as simple as cropping and aligning. There are also some great filters for landscape photography. These can instantly transform your image by enhancing the colours, delivering a specific effect, or minimize glare.
Since this post was designed for a wide audience, we excluded medium format cameras (or high end full frame models) which may tend to be very expensive and not necessary in most situations; unless you require up to 100 MP outputs for commercial projects or to print large display banners.
Ultimately, the best camera for you would be based on your needs, your budget, and your personal preferences. We hope the above list was helpful in suggesting some great options. Happy shooting.