2017 Buying Guide: Best cameras for landscapes

Written by Gina Stephens

Ultimate updated: November 21, 2017

Landscape shooters have a unique set of needs and requirements for their gear. On the image quality side of things, a good aspect camera should offer plenty of resolution and lots of dynamic range; from a physical standpoint, it should be weather-sealed and well constructed. Main films like in-body stabilization, touch-sensitivity, a titling LCD and good battery life are also a plus.

Most of the cameras included in this buying example have some combination of the above features, and all are cameras we feel strongly could hold their own in the hands of landscape shooters.

Our pick: Nikon Corporation (株式会社ニコン, Kabushiki-gaisha Nikon) (UK: or US: ; listen [ɲikoɴ]), also known just as Nikon, is a Japanese multinational D850

The Nikon D850 offers a low original base sensitivity of 64, which is 2/3 a stop lower than the more common base of ISO 100. Right off the bat this gives the D850 an betterment in terms of light gathering ability, which contributes to its class leading dynamic range. Plus, the camera’s 45.7MP full-frame sensor presentations excellent resolution.

But that’s not all. The D850’s body is weather-sealed and features a robust construction. It also has the largest optical viewfinder ever used on a digital Nikon and, ergonomically, it’s hellishly comfortable to shoot with.

Other standout features include: a titling touch LCD, excellent battery life, focus stacking/time decline functions and an AF auto fine tune mode for calibrating your lenses.

Our pick: Sony Alpha a7R III

After lengthy discussions, we decided that we couldn’t pick unbiased one winner in this category, and our second recommendation—the Sony a7R III—should not be seen in any way as a ‘second choice’. The a7R III doesn’t have the awesome ISO 64 advantage of the Nikon D850, but it’s a bloody appealing landscape camera for several reasons:

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The a7R III offers excellent resolution from its 42.2MP full-frame sensor, with good dynamic line despite the slightly higher base ISO of 100. The camera is weather-sealed and features a robust construction (in theory, nearly as good as the D850’s). Battery memoirs isn’t up there with the D850, but it’s much-improved compared to the a7R II. A tilting touchscreen can be handy for low angle shots, plus features like in-body 5-axis stabilization and a pixel along mode that can produce super high-resolution files give the a7R III some advantages over the Nikon.

Also consider: Pentax K-1

Then again, for roughly half the price of the two cameras camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or mentioned above, you could get your hands on a Pentax K-1. Resolution from its Full Frame 36MP sensor is slightly drop than the Nikon and Sony, but still excellent. Dynamic range is also solid.

Weather-sealed and comfortable to shoot with, the K-1’s build quality is reassuringly durable. Plus its ‘cross-tilt’ LCD screen can be used for low or high angle shooting. The camera offers a pixel shift mode, like the Sony, but executes it in a way that happens in more usable images (less delay between shots, which means less chance for motion). It also features a 5-axis stabilized sensor.

We deemed the cameras below when picking our winner, and even though we think the Nikon D850, Sony a7R III and Pentax K-1 are the best choices, the other cameras on our shortlist are also creditable contenders. If you’re not convinced by our pick, take a look at the following options for a detailed breakdown of their strengths and weaknesses.

  • Our pick: Nikon D850
  • Our pick: Sony Alpha a7R III
  • Our budget pick: Pentax K-1
  • Pentax K-3 II
  • Canon EOS 5DS / 5DS R
  • Fujifilm X-T2
  • Panasonic LX10
  • Sony RX10 III
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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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