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Neil Stokes's picture

Landscape Camera

Hi, I'm new to the group.
Not sure if this is the right place for my question. I'm looking to buy a camera more dedicated to landscape photography. I don't need video. I've read so many reviews my head is spinning! I've got a budget of £2500 max, that's to include lens.
Would appreciate your thoughts please.

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9 Comments

Bogdan Domsa's picture

There isn't really a landscape camera per se. Any camera can be used for various types of photography. My advice is to go the used or slightly older model camera because of your budget that must also include a lens. If I were you I would look into full frame mirror-less cameras. Personally I'm into the Sony ecosystem so I would steer you towards a Sony A7R mark 2 that you can fin on einfin for about 1280 euros. Then you still have some budget left for a decentish lens. Also I recommended the A7 R-series for the higher megapixel sensor 42 vs 24 megapixels of the regular line of alpha series full frame cameras(it will allow you to have more resolution for bigger crops ie. digital zoom-ins in post production). That being said you are free to choose anything you like from other camera manufacturers. Just keep in mind the lens you want to pair up with said camera so you don't overspend. Oh and personally I would go for a telephoto lens if I could, it compresses the images much more which I feel is more desirable for landscape photography. Cheers!

John Pless's picture

i concur look to the used market. I would look for for a lens in the 24 to 105 range. I think that your budget is a little tight and if you are going to do landscapes you will want to invest in a tripod

steve henry's picture

My longtime favorite general purpose landscape setup has been a Canon 5D (Mark any #) full frame camera and a Canon 24-105 L series lens. This combination is readily available used. As mentioned before, a good tripod as well. You might also look at Olympus/Panasonic Micro 4/3 mirrorless cameras as they may be less expensive for newer gear. A quick check with KEH in the USA has a used Canon 5DMkIII for USD$1100 and 24-105 lens for about $900. Only add on's I would recommend would be a remote shutter release and a polarizing filter.

Eddie Johnson's picture

Piling on the other comments, I bought a Sony A7ii used, very happy with it. Only issue is that I shoot canon and the lenses don't work well with focus. So whatever you choose, used saves you $1000 or more, the newest have better features but really it's not that much of a block. Just order from a good source and or someone you can meet to make sure it shoots well. Also another advantage of used, usually they are trying to get out of their equipment so they'll either give you or make a great deal on additional lenses and or batteries, so you're getting much more for the money. Digitally speaking, full frame is the most important feature, I love canon still, but sony has the autofocus that I wanted. My 2 cents. :) Good luck. Also if you are trying to do video newer cams work better, but really phones are starting to rival high level cams. Equipment doesn't mean good photos necessarily. Key is use what you have to shoot, then upgrade when you hit a wall with the old equipment.

Chris Jablonski's picture

Well put, Eddie.. Especially the last two sentences.

Chris Jablonski's picture

I'm very surprised that other members on Fstoppers are suggesting used gear, but I agree about that and all the points the others have made, Neil. Your priorities suggest a "full-frame" and high resolution body.

For my part, I've got Nikon lenses which ties me to their bodies for now, and I'm very happy with my D850, which is available new in the UK for under £2500 now, so a good used one should be available with lens within your budget.

I'd also consider what focal lengths have been used for images you've liked before deciding what lens would suit you best to begin with. Often people here use 14mm lenses, for instance for landscape images, but like Bogdan I go the other way. My most-used lens is probably my 80-400, not that I'd recommend one for starters. My widest and least-used lens is 20mm, and I very rarely wish I had a wider one. When I'm travelling light, I'm pretty happy with my 28-105, and if anything would prefer more at the long than the wide end.

The future probably IS mirrorless, but that makes SLRs and their lenses likely to be bargains, and they can still produce the excellent results they have to date.

Have fun with whatever you choose, Neil, and I hope to see you post some images!

Kjell Vikestad's picture

I use Pentax K1 II for landscape photography.
I guess you want get many recommendations for this camera, because this is a relatively small brand. But it is an excellent nature and landscape camera.
The most important qualities for this camera when it comes to landscape photography is:

Very good dynamic range
Image quality
Weather sealed
In camera image stabilization
Heavy duty build quality
Ergonomics are very good
Button customization

I use Photoshop for editing my photos, so I like that the camera can make raw files in the Photoshop format, dng.

There is a lot of buttons on this camera, but for me this is excellent. By customization of the buttons, I seldom have to go into the menus when I’m taking photos. It saves time, and taking photos become more intuitive once you have found the best settings for you.

The build quality of the camera is on a level that I never is afraid to bring the camera in all kind of weather. And bad weather gives often interesting og good motives.

New on B&H you can get the camera with an 28-105mm lens and some accessories for about 2.200$.
With the 24-70mm lens its about 2.900$. This is my most used lens with this camera.

Scott Wardwell's picture

Locate an older D800E for about $800 to $1000 and then research your glass. Spend the bulk of your budget on lenses (look at legacy AF-D Nikkor prime lens reviews by Ken Rockwell), a good tripod, a MC30A cable release plus a set of decent CF and SD cards.

Julian Macedo's picture

Neil, pretty much any digital camera from the last ~10 years can take great landscape photos. More recent cameras with higher resolution can give you more flexibility in processing (both in cropping and dynamic range) BUT to get the most out of that increased MP needs more care with lens pairing and technique (tripod, head, remote release/timer, wind gusts...).

Landscape doesn't need 3D animal eye tracking in real time, or f/2.8 pro zooms, which is why older cameras can be totally suitable... For reference, I'm a keen amateur not a pro. My photos here and Instagram (@powder.pics) are all taken with either an 8 yo 16MP Fuji X-E2 or a Sony RX100 of similar age. You could buy today my entire go-to setup for the Fuji for under £1500. That's a full-frame equivalent focal length range of 15mm-350mm, plus ND/Grad/CPL filters, L bracket, three batteries, and a tripod. Am I pushing the boundaries of what that gear can do? Sometimes, but when I find the restrictions I work around them and get creative. It's not all that often, though. Am I suggesting you buy this kit? Hell no.

What has been more important to my development as a photographer is the investment in my skills. As an artist looking to express a style and knowing the stories I want to tell. As a designer, looking at composition to support the story I'm telling. As a graphic artist, using colour, tonality, contrast, to enhance composition and the story. The cameras and lenses are just tools to achieve those.

What's your level of experience in photography so far, and what equipment do you have already? Knowing that, will guide the answers so we know whether your budget is huge, justabout right, or tiny.