Landscape photographers have their own unique set of requirements for the equipment they work with, and in particular the camera they shoot with. In terms of image quality, a good landscape camera should have high resolution and good dynamic range. From the point of view of physical characteristics, it must be protected from adverse weather conditions and, in general, have a high-quality assembly. Features like built-in image stabilization, touchscreen display, tilting screen, and a large battery will also be a plus.
Below are the cameras that we think are the most interesting options for landscape photography.
Our pick: Sony a7R IV
Considering only the high resolution and dynamic range, the Sony a7R IV action camera is already an excellent best affordable camera for wildlife photography, and when you add reliable autofocus and much more convenient controls, the latest version of Sony’s top-end mirrorless camera looks almost ideal for landscapes. The weather protection has also been improved over the previous model.
High-Resolution Mode allows you to create 240-megapixel images using Sony proprietary software, and any movement in the frame, such as caused by the wind, can be a problem for the final shot. However, the built-in stabilization system that made this feature possible does its job very well, allowing you to shoot without a tripod.
a7R IV has a deep grip and large buttons that are comfortable to use with gloves. The viewfinder has a very high resolution but does not use it by default. At the same time, the touch interface has not so many possibilities, and the number of different menu items and submenus is simply off-scale, which can lead slightly less experienced users to a stupor. There is a dual-slot for UHS-II cards.
Of course, landscape photography doesn’t really need tracking AF, but it’s worth mentioning that the a7R IV has one of the best, if not the best, on the market.
The picture quality is impressive, with the level of detail being superb and the dynamic range very wide. The colors in JPEGs are also quite pleasing.
When it comes to video (while not landscape photography, it’s always nice to be able to shoot professional video), the camera captures the most detailed 4K video in its class. Full frame width images can be captured, but the most detailed results are obtained with 1.6x and 1.8x crop. The only limitation is the 8-bit output, somewhat limiting the potential for post-processing.
The Sony a7R IV is one of the most advanced cameras on the market and also the best choice for landscape photographers on a budget.
Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R
The Panasonic S1R Point and shoot film camera is a high-end mirrorless camera with a stabilized 47MP full-frame sensor. The model shares the same design as the simpler Panasonic S1 and features a high-resolution 187-megapixel tripod mode.
With lots of direct controls, the S1R feels more like a high-end DSLR compared to other mirrorless competitors. The camera is quite comfortable to hold, and the controls are located quite logically, there is a backlight for working in low light conditions. The camera body is protected from adverse weather conditions. The EVF has a very high resolution, but the level of detail drops when focusing.
The Panasonic S1R is a great camera for photographers in a wide variety of genres, including landscapes.
The model uses the Depth-from-Defocus autofocus system. This provides very fast and accurate single focusing, however, when shooting in continuous mode, the focus is rather unpleasantly shaking in the viewfinder. The rest of the camera is very responsive and fast.
Like other models in our selection, the Panasonic S1R boasts the highest quality footage. In JPEGs, the camera successfully balances detail and noise reduction and produces pleasing colors. And RAW files are very flexible, although not as flexible as some of the competition. The high-resolution mode for tripod photography stands out in particular. In this mode, the camera captures 187-megapixel images with simply stunning detail. The “motion correction” function copes well enough with blur from motion in the frame, but with the risk of artifacts.
It is also one of the most advanced video cameras on our list. The S1R shoots stabilized 4K / 60p with a little crop. Along with the Sony a7R IV, Panasonic’s camera delivers the highest quality video footage, one of the best high-definition full-frame mirrorless cameras.
With excellent build quality, weather-resistant housing, easy-to-use controls. Excellent image quality and high-definition mode. The Panasonic S1R is one of the most exciting landscape cameras on the market. Its Achilles’ heel is the tracking autofocus, which is not so scary when working with landscapes.
Canon EOS 5DS R
The Canon EOS 5DS Action camera and its nearly identical 5DS R model are equipped with one of the highest resolution sensors on the market, which allows you to take 50-megapixel photos. The only difference between the two models is the presence of an optical low pass filter in the 5DS. 5DS will be more suitable for those who are worried about the appearance of the moiré effect in small textures. Which is very difficult to remove during post-processing.
As you would expect from a professional-grade camera. The builds quality is top-notch and the layout of the controls will be familiar to anyone who has ever used a mid to high-end Canon DSLR. The 5DS is equipped with SD and CF card slots, a fixed 3.2-inch LCD display, and a large optical viewfinder.
The autofocus system does a pretty good job of handling low light and low-contrast subjects. but the AF tracking system looks a bit outdated today.
The image quality is of the highest level with excellent detail and Canon’s signature JPEG colors. Image quality in low light conditions is also quite good but lags behind the competition with an upper ISO limit of 12800. Another limitation for landscape photography is the rather small dynamic range in RAW. Working with darkened and overexposed areas in post-production can be difficult due to the increased noise level.
In terms of video shooting, the age of the model also affects – the camera is limited to 1080 / 30p.
The main advantage of the 5DS for Holiday photography is its high resolution. This allows it to capture the finest details, but the camera is not so good in terms of dynamic range and high ISO performance.