MPB, the largest platform for used camera gear, makes landscape photography accessible to all.
As a rule, landscape photographers must contend with a unique set of challenges: low light, extreme conditions, and long journeys on foot. Whether you’re hiking through the remote landscapes of the Scottish islands like Jordan Lancaster-Graham or braving icy temperatures while chasing the Northern Lights across the mountains of Norway like Nicholas Römmelt, you need your gear to hold up under pressure.
The cameras featured in this guide are trusted by the pros to work in situations where other cameras fail, from dusty sunbaked deserts to windblown arctic tundras—but they’re not exactly cheap. If you buy them new, they range from $1,549.95 to $5,750; the average price is around $3,400. The good news is that on MPB, these high-quality, workhorse cameras are much more affordable, starting at an average price of just around $1,800, as of this writing.
Here are just a few factors to consider when selecting a used camera for landscape photography:
When you’re hiking in the mountains, every inch of space in your backpack makes a difference, so you want to choose something light and portable. For that reason, many landscape photographers have switched from DSLRs to mirrorless cameras.
At the same time, we’ve included a mix of DSLRs and mirrorless cameras in this guide: As more photographers make the transition to mirrorless, you can find tons of used DSLRs for a fraction of their original cost.
Durability and weather sealing are must-haves for landscape photographers working in difficult conditions.
For better low-light capabilities, consider a larger sensor. Full-frame sensors are usually the gold standard for most pro-level DSLR and mirrorless cameras (unless you’re opting for a medium format camera, like those found at the end of this guide). With that being said, we’ve included just a couple of cameras with APS-C and Micro Four Thirds sensors.
Higher-resolution cameras offer more detail, giving you more flexibility to crop and print your landscape photographs.
When adventuring off-grid, this one can make all the difference. If you’re heading somewhere cold, keep your batteries warm to extend their life.
Sony A7R IV (mirrorless)
Combining a compact body with a full-frame sensor, stunning resolution (61.0MP), and low noise, this camera is durable enough to hold up in dusty, damp environments. Consider this one if you’re keen on capturing wildlife photos as well, as it’s known for its advanced autofocus system, a continuous shooting rate of 10 fps, and silent shooting capabilities. Plus, capture 4K videos from your adventures off the beaten path.
Pro tip: To extend your battery life (even more) in isolated areas, opt for “Airplane Mode.”
Canon EOS R5 (mirrorless)
In 2021, MPB offered the landscape and conceptual photographer Briscoe Park, who was used to shooting with a DSLR, the chance to shoot with a mirrorless kit for the first time. When using the Canon EOS R5, he was struck by its ease of use and the high-quality images it helped to create.
This camera boasts a 45MP full-frame sensor, advanced weather sealing, and continuous capture speeds of up to 20 fps. You can use it to photograph fast-moving wildlife (the Eye Detection AF technology is perfect for birds in flight), create print-ready landscape images, and shoot 8K movies.
Pro tip: When trying out this camera, Briscoe Park paired with the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 l lens for sharpness even in low light conditions.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV (DSLR)
Equipped with a 30.4MP full-frame sensor, this DSLR is also known for its low-light capabilities, so you can shoot during the blue hour and twilight without running the risk of noisy images.
It’s an affordable, all-rounder camera, making it a perfect choice for those working across genres, such as Francesco Romero, who pairs it with different lenses, ranging in focal length from 24mm to 300mm.
For landscape photographers hoping for wildlife photos along the way, it can shoot at 7fps. As a bonus, the 5D Mark IV also has a GPS feature, perfect for photographers traveling to lesser-known locations.
Nikon Z7 II (mirrorless)
The famed landscape photographer Kilian Schönberger pairs this mirrorless camera body with versatile zoom lenses such as the Nikon Nikkor Z 14-30mm f/4 S and Nikon Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S. As he’s often hiking, this combination allows him to stay relatively mobile in difficult terrain.
Known for its impressive dynamic range (think bright whites and deep blacks), this camera features a 45.7MP sensor in a lightweight, compact package. The VR image stabilization means you can even shoot landscapes handheld if needed. Another perk is the fantastic low-light autofocus performance. Plus, you can combine exposures directly in the viewfinder for even more creative possibilities.
Nikon D850 (DSLR)
This 45.7MP DSLR might not offer the focus points or low-light performance associated with the mirrorless Nikon Z7 II, but it’s a great traditional camera for landscape photographers. And it’s no wonder: this camera is extremely durable, exhibits great battery performance, and has solid weather and dust sealing.
Pro tip: The environmental photographer Micheal Schauer, who works in locations at the frontlines of the climate crisis, uses this DSLR with two zoom lenses—the Nikon AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR and the Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S—for plenty of versatility.
Pentax K-1 (DSLR)
With a full-frame 36.4 effective MP sensor, this DSLR delivers when it comes to dynamic range and low light performance. At the same time, its tilting screen empowers photographers to get creative with unusual framing and positioning, while top-notch weather sealing means you can take it anywhere.
Be sure to try the AstroTracer feature to create gorgeous Milky Way shots. This cool feature shifts the camera’s sensor to track stars as they move across the sky—that means you don’t have to crank up your ISO too high, and you can preserve their natural colors.
OM System OM-1 (mirrorless)
Known for its compact size, this used camera for landscape photography is perfect for those looking to cover lots of ground. It’s the only Micro Four Thirds camera on our list, but the smaller sensor might be an easy trade-off for those looking for portability; plus, it delivers on quality, rivaling several full-frame options.
It’s meant to be used outdoors, and offers several perks for wildlife photographers as well, including more than 1053 cross-type AF points and the ability to work at high speeds. Thanks to a much-loved image stabilization system, you can even get away with shooting handheld in low light.
Fujifilm X-T4 (mirrorless)
This camera—the only one on our list with an APS-C sensor—is ideal for pros shooting still images and video. It’s designed for durability, offering large-capacity batteries, protection against moisture and dust, and the ability to shoot in temperatures as low as -10°C. People have taken this camera everywhere, from wet rainforests to chilly mountaintops.
If you’re planning to incorporate wildlife photography into your journey, keep in mind that this camera has the fastest autofocus among APS-C mirrorless cameras. Plus, it’s also known for its incredible colors, which can help you to cut down on post-production time.
Fujifilm GFX 50S II (mirrorless)
The Fujifilm GFX 50S II is surprisingly compact, affordable, and practical for a medium-format camera. With its 51.4MP sensor sized at 43.8mm x 32.9mm, you can say goodbye to noise and hello to amazing dynamic range. In landscape photography, where clarity and detail count for everything, you can’t do much better than this one.
Hasselblad X1D II 50C (mirrorless)
In many ways, this is a traditional landscape photographer’s camera: it’s not built for speed (2.7 fps maximum), but it compensates with portability and superb quality. A medium format camera, the X1D II 50C is equipped with a 50-megapixel sensor and weighs in at just 650 grams, making it even lighter than the Fujifilm GFX 50S II.
Known for its color accuracy and dynamic range (14 stops!), this camera features a high-resolution EVF and rear display screen for analyzing and perfecting your photographs in the field. You can also geotag your images instantly using the camera’s built-in GPS.
When shopping for a camera upgrade, we always recommend buying used for a few reasons: first, it’s better for the environment, and second, it’s better for your wallet.
New photographers tend to pay so much attention to the camera body that they forget about the importance of having a variety of high-quality lenses. Buying used cameras for landscape photography on MPB means having more money left over for all the lenses and accessories (filters, tripods, and so on) that you need to take your images to the next level.
This article was sponsored by MPB.
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