Taking stunning landscape photos requires a good camera, a relevant lens, and a skilful photographer. However, the camera doesn’t have to be an expensive one. Several budget cameras enable you to capture spectacular landscapes without costing a fortune. But – it is a cumbersome task to find the best budget camera for landscape photography, especially if you are a beginner.
Important Aspects of Landscape Photography
You can simplify things for you by keeping a few aspects of landscape photography in mind. Although you need to consider many factors while buying a new camera yet the following are essential for a landscape camera.
DSLR or Mirrorless
Mirrorless cameras offer better video quality in comparatively smaller and lighter bodies. DRLS cameras, on the other hand, are cheaper and thus more affordable. They are also compatible with a wide range of lenses besides having longer battery lives.
You may have to settle for low ISO if you want to buy the best cheap camera for landscape photography. High ISO is crucial for taking good photos in the low light. However, a novice landscape photographer would seldom shoot in the dark. You should rather buy an inexpensive camera along with a tripod. The tripod will enable you to lower your ISO as well as use a longer exposure.
You need a High ISO for shooting moving objects in the dark. You would shoot most of the landscape images in broad daylight with a base ISO of 100 only. ISO plays a pivotal role when it comes to exposure but you shouldn’t be crazy about it while buying an affordable landscape camera.
Whether you need a crop (APS-C) or full-frame sensor for landscape photography largely depends on your budget. Full-frame cameras deliver better ISO performance and better image quality. However, they are more expensive than APS-C cameras that help you save money to buy a good lens. Similarly, you can use the same lens with a full-frame camera if you decide to upgrade in the future.
Best Affordable Camera for Landscape Photography
The following are the most affordable models for shooting landscapes according to our experts. We have chosen these cameras after extensive research and testing against parameters like performance, built quality, water and dust resistance, battery life, ISO range, and price, etc.
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Canon PowerShot SX730
Sony Alpha a6000
Canon EOS Rebel SL3
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Canon EOS Rebel T7i
Nikon D5600 DSLR Camera
Nikon D5300 DSLR Camera
Nikon D3500 Compact DSLR
We will start our list with our number one camera for landscape photography.
1. Canon PowerShot SX730: Best Budget Camera for Landscape Photography
Canon PowerShot SX730 tops our list for its amazing set of features and incredibly low price. It offers a whopping 40x optical zoom for capturing subjects that are near, far, and in between with the utmost ease. Similarly, the advanced image stabilization technology ensures excellent image quality even at the maximum zoom.
You can easily carry the sleek, lightweight, and pocket-size camera everywhere you go. The slip-resistant shape and textured surface make it quite a comfortable camera to hold as well.
SX730 delivers exceptional image performance thanks to the powerful 20.3 megapixel High Sensitivity CMOS sensor. Available only in select models, the sensor captures more light for taking brilliant photos in the dark. Similarly, the DIGIC 6 image processor reduces noise and enhances image quality at full resolution in low light.
The continuous shooting speed of 6fps besides the ability to shoot Full HD 1080P videos are other notable features of the camera.
The 180° tilt screen moves all the way up to keep you in the center of the frame while taking selfies. On the other hand, it can tilt 90° down, giving you a lower angle of view.
The camera does not have a 4K video option but that is the case with most budget cameras.
All in all, Canon PowerShot SX730 is a great camera for shooting all types of photos including landscapes.
2. Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Camera: Best Camera for Landscapes under $500
Sony Alpha a6000 is one of Sony’s finest landscape cameras. It features a 16-50mm wide-angle kit lens, offering you a wide field of view, a basic requirement for landscapes. Similarly, the 24.3 megapixel sensor coupled with an ISO range of 100-25600 results in terrific image and video quality in all conditions.
The 3-inch tilting touchscreen (90° up and 45° down) means you can easily view the subjects and frame the shot. Perhaps the biggest feature of the Sony Alpha a6000 is the 179-point lightning fast autofocus. It produces the best possible images using the face and point detection system.
The continuous shooting speed of 11fps is also higher than all the rival cameras. On top of that, the camera delivers crisp and realistic details using Sony’s BION X system.
Another great feature of the camera is the electronic viewfinder that directly feeds the scene in focus to the Live View. You can also record High Definition 1080 videos at 60p. It is very convenient to transfer files to smartphones and social media owing to the built-in wireless connectivity.
In general, the Sony Alpha a6000 has all the features and functions that you require as a landscape photographer. It delivers exceptional image performance besides being a lightweight and compact camera. Moreover, it is a bang for the bucks considering it is available for less than $500.
3. Canon EOS Rebel SL3: Best Camera for Beginner Nature Photography
Canon EOS Rebel SL3 is a highly popular DSLR. Available for around $700, it is also the best budget camera for landscape photography, especially for newbies. It is an entry-level camera but can serve the professionals equally well because of its rather advanced features.
EOS Rebel SL3, also called EOS 250D outside the United States, is the worthy successor of EOS 200D. However, minor upgrades make it even a more capable camera. For example, features like 4k video, an extremely responsive 3-inch vari angle touchscreen, and a 24 megapixel sensor are hard to find in such an affordable camera.
The camera delivers satisfactory autofocus performance. The 9-point autofocus system is archaic but sufficient for a beginner. However, the image quality offered by the camera is simply pristine.
The camera itself is lightweight, compact, and easy to hold. The battery life is excellent and SL3 is compatible with a wide range of lenses as well.
4. Panasonic Lumix FZ1000: Most Affordable Photography Camera by Panasonic
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 is the best superzoom camera to date. It was the best camera for landscape photography at the time of its launch in 2018. Still, it is quite capable to capture some of the most beautiful landscape images you would ever see.
The camera produces excellent images even the maximum zoom that is 16x. Similarly, it records an equally great 4K video at 30p. The large 1-inch 20 megapixel CMOS sensor also ensures good low light performance.
The camera’s autofocus is also 275 times faster than other superzoom models because of the new linear motor installed in the autofocus. The continuous shooting speed of 12fps is also higher than most cameras in this price range.
Lumix FZ1000 features a very versatile 25-400mm Leica DC lens. The lower focal length is particularly suitable for landscape photography. Similarly, you can shoot stunning macro photos up to 3cm of focusing distance. The 5-axis hybrid image stabilization technology enables the camera to produce noise-free images even at the maximum focal length.
One of the most exciting features of the camera is the remote Wi-Fi shooting with Panasonic Image App. The app converts your smartphone or tablet into a remote control that can zoom the image, set the focus, and press the shutter remotely.
The camera doesn’t have protection against moisture. The built-in lens can also fend off some users. However, it is still a great option for newcomers and professional photographers alike.
5. Fujifilm X-T200: Best Compact Camera for Landscape Photography
Fujifilm X-T200 is a very nice and simple mirrorless camera for beginner landscape photographers. With impressive built-quality and large 24.2 megapixel sensor, it can take your landscape photo to the next level for only under $800.
The camera has a beautiful retro design besides having a compact and neat design. However, it has still managed to incorporate a large 3.5-inch vari-angle touchscreen to better frame your shots in the field. Similarly, the screen resolution is twice that of rival cameras.
X-T200 also comes with a big 24 megapixel APS-C sensor as well as a decent electronic viewfinder. The colors in the images are sharp and detailed even though the camera does not have Fujifilm’s X-Trans technology.
Apart from great images, you can also shoot 4K videos. The continuous shooting speed of 8fps combines with a 425-point Hybrid Autofocus system to make it a very strong camera. Similarly, it excels in low light thanks to its ISO range of 100-51200.
The camera features a 15-45mm wide-angle kit lens which isn’t for everyone. However, you can use a wide range of terrific X-mount lenses for landscape photography with this camera.
Some people do complain about low battery life and overly simple controls. However, Fujifilm X-T200 is a brilliant budget camera for landscapes.
6. Canon EOS Rebel T7i: Best Camera for Landscapes under $1000
Canon EOS Rebel T7i is a midrange DSLR camera that enjoys huge popularity among landscape photographers. It offers everything both novices and pros dream of such as a large 24.2 megapixel sensor, articulating touchscreen, incredibly fast autofocus, and wireless connectivity.
The camera has excellent built quality with a comfortable and easy grip. It is especially a great camera for newbies for its “Feature Assist” mode that explains all the functions and features of this camera. Therefore, it becomes easier to understand terms like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
Rebel T7i provides an excellent wide-angle view of the scene in the Aperture Priority mode, enabling you to capture spectacular landscape images. Similarly, you won’t miss even a single second of the action thanks to the 45-point autofocus system.
The 24-megapixel APS-C crop sensor delivers exceptionally beautiful and detailed images. You can also shoot High Definition 1080P videos with the same clarity and sharpness.
The camera doesn’t have 4K video which is a glaring omission considering it is a comparatively expensive camera. Furthermore, the viewfinder should have been bigger.
7. Nikon D5600 DSLR Camera: Best Beginner DSLR Camera for Landscape Photography
Nikon D5600 is a lightweight camera weighing just 16 oz. despite being a DSLR model. Therefore, it is a very portable camera for outdoors, landscapes, nature, and travel. It also offers 820 shots for a single charge that is quite rare for a low-cost camera.
The 24 megapixel sensor ensures images of the highest quality. The Expeed image processing engine further improves the photos depending on the situation automatically. The ISO range of 100-25600 results in reasonable low light performance as well.
The 3.2-inch articulating touchscreen helps you focus the subject while framing your perfect shot. The camera also records Full HD 1080 videos at 60p. The continuous shooting speed of 5fps is also acceptable for the price we pay.
One particular feature that makes Nikon D5600 the best affordable camera for landscape photography is the exact Live View. It means you can see the exact scene your camera is focusing on through the touchscreen.
Finally, you can download Nikon’s Snap Bridge application to transfer your files conveniently to smartphones.
The two main issues with Nikon D5600 are the lack of 4K video and snap-shot stabilization method for shooting distant objects.
8. Nikon D5300 DSLR Camera: Best Affordable Camera for Landscape Photography 2021
Nikon D5300 is another entry from Nikon on our list of the best budget camera for landscape photography. Available for just over $400, it packs powerful features like a 24MP DX-Format CMOS sensor, 5fps continuous shooting speed, and an ISO range of 100-12800 that is expandable to 25600.
The 3.2-inch vari angle touchscreen allows you to shoot from all angles. Similarly, you can shoot in both 720P (50p, 60p) and 1080P at (60p, 30p, 24p). D5300 also has quite a fast autofocus system with 39 autofocus points as well as 3D metering and 3D tracking modes.
All the above features combine to deliver astounding image quality. You can also crop or enlarge the images without losing any details.
When it comes to connectivity, the D5300 allows connection through Wi-Fi and GPS. You can even use the smartphone to browse the files on the camera’s memory card. However, the GPS may just refuse to work sometimes without any apparent reason.
9. Fujifilm X-E3 Mirrorless Camera: Best Affordable Camera for Photography
Fujifilm X-E3 is one of the most inexpensive photography cameras, especially for landscapes. It has a lightweight and compact body that packs some really advanced features and functions.
To begin with, the 24.3 megapixel APS-C sensor is hard to beat in this price category. Similarly, the camera offers the X-Processor pro-excessive-velocity photo processing engine as well as the X-Trans III CMOS image sensors. As a result, the final images have matchless quality with extreme details and sharpness.
The continuous shooting speed of 14fps is also quite impressive. Furthermore, the camera truly comes into its own in low light because of its high ISO range of 100-51200. The new autofocus system also locates and tracks the subjects accurately and quickly.
X-E3 is very easy to use due to the new Touch function that allows you to swipe in all four directions to choose your required function.
The beautiful and topnotch exterior of the camera makes using it and shooting landscapes a delight. This is also the only camera in the Fujifilm X series to have Bluetooth connectivity.
The camera lacks an image stabilizer which is disappointing. Otherwise, it is a complete and perfect camera for all kinds of photography including landscapes.
10. Nikon D3500 Compact Camera: Most Inexpensive Landscape Photography Camera
You must consider Nikon D3500 if you are a novice landscape photographer. It is compatible with a wide range of Nikon fit lenses. Similarly, it also comes with an 18-55mm wide-angle kit lens that is great for capturing landscape photos.
Nikon 3500 is a DSLR camera that you can also use as a point and shoot. It is a lightweight and compact camera, perfect for travel, outdoor, and landscape photos. It has a sturdy yet comfortable camera with easily accessible controls.
The 24.7 megapixel sensor is 15 times large than those found in an average smartphone. As a result, the photos are clearer, sharper, and more detailed. On top of that, Nikon’s famous Expeed image processing system enables the camera to take vibrant images in any condition. You can record awesome High Definition 1080P videos using Nikon D3500 as well.
The continuous shooting speed of 5fps is reasonable considering the camera’s price. You get two kit lenses in F-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR and AF-P DX NIKKOR 70-300mm f/4.5-6.3G ED with D3500. The former lens is ideal for landscapes, portraits, and other wide-angle shots. The latter is an excellent and versatile telephoto zoom lens for concerts, nature, and sports.
Finally, the camera is compatible with most smartphones, making it a breeze for you to share your images and videos.
The only problem with the camera is the lack of image stabilization. However, you can always use a tripod to steady your images.
There is no perfect camera for any type of photography and the same is the case with landscapes. You need to test different cameras and lenses to see which one of them works best for you. However, you can try any of the cameras in our list of the best budget camera for landscape photography if you don’t have the resources to buy multiple cameras. These cameras would enable you to learn basic tricks of the trade and get going in the landscape photography without costing you a fortune.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is Canon or Nikon better for landscape photography?
Both Canon and Nikon make excellent cameras for all genres of photography. While Nikon D5600 is a great camera for outdoor and nature, the Canon EOS Rebel T7i offers similar performance and many photographers prefer it over D5600. The choice between Canon and Nikon is a matter of personal preference.
- How many megapixels do I need for landscape photography?
Against common perception, higher megapixels alone cannot produce topnotch images. Other features such as shutter speed, autofocus, lens quality, image processor, and ISO range also play a crucial part in making your image spectacular. However, most experts recommend having a camera with at least 20 megapixels sensor for landscape photography.
- What is a good starter camera for nature photography
The following are the best starter cameras for nature photography.
- Nikon D5600
- Canon PowerShot SX730
- Canon EOS Rebel T7i
- Canon EOS Rebel SL3
- Fujifilm X-E3
- Nikon D3500
- Nikon D5300
- Sony Alpha a600
- Fujifilm X-T200
- Fujifilm FZ1000