The best mountain adventure cameras

Written by Joe
5th June 2018
Camera, Advice, Best, Top, Olympus, Fujifilm, Sony, Panasonic, mountain

Inspiring images are for many a draw to the mountains. Perfectly captured alpenglow in the Tarentaise, pictures of snowflakes the size of your hand in Hakuba or a shot that perfectly summarises hut-life will get the heart of any mountain enthusiast racing. The mind will drift to that cold fresh mountainside, and pang to return will follow.

Just like any ski, trek or climb expedition, capturing great images is almost entirely down to the individual, but a great piece of kit can really make the difference.

We sat down with the Ski Club of Great Britain’s video and photo guru, Jonny Cass, who picked 5 compact camera systems to perfect for recording your next adventure.

  1. Olympus TOUGH TG-5 Red RRP £419.99

olympusTG5
Olympus have developed a reputation with their TOUGH camera range as the go to for adventurers that demand their kit stands up to the elements and any knocks picked up along the way. For fast access, the robust camera can even be attached externally to a backpack or your harness without the worry of damaging it.

Don’t let the nametag let you think that this camera is a one trick pony though, the TG-5 takes a mean photo thanks to a stacked speck and enough accessories to keep kit nerds satisfied. The compact camera snaps happy at 12megapixels and records 4K video and can capture up to 120frames per second for those moments where only slow motion will do.

Jonny says: “If you are looking for a rugged and bombproof setup, you’ve found it”

Feature highlights:

  • 12 Megapixels backlit sensor
  • 4x F2.0 wide optical zoom
  • 4K Video recording
  • 120fps HS Video
  • Pro-Capture Mode
  • Water, Shock, Crush and Freeze proof
  • Field Sensor System
  • Anti-Fog Dual Pane Protective Glass
  • RAW capture


  1. Sony FDR-X3000r 4K Action Camera RRP £499.00

 sonyx3000r

For years, GoPro have been the clear leader in the wearable camera market, but Sony’s FDR-X3000 action camera has been quietly building up a following in the background. What has impressed us is the camera’s stability when filming in 4K, one of Sony’s flagship features on this model.

The ‘R’ variant comes with a handy watch-sized remote that can be mounted anywhere for convenient previews of what you are shooting as well as controls for all of the cameras features.

Jonny says: “This is the perfect camera to share your trip through your own point of view”

Feature highlights

  • Renown Balanced Optical SteadyShot technology from Handycam lineup makes incredibly stable 4K footage possible even when running or riding on a downhill bike.
  • Vastly improved image quality thanks to the new Exmor R image sensor designed for 4K video, and a newly developed Zeiss Tessar lens with less peripheral distortion.
  • The new Live-view Remote is more compact and now comes with more mounting options to suit a wide range of usages.
  • New 60M underwater housing reached deeper depths with Action Cam than never before.
  • Other features including the easy creation of 4K time lapse, Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth on/off and built-in GPS to track your running/bicycle route and speed.


  1. Fujifilm X100F RRP £1329.00

 


Whilst Fuji’s X100F camera may not have many features that were specifically designed for outdoor use, it’s build quality and features lend it particularly well to travel and adventure photography. The F stands for fourth, and like it’s three predecessors this camera is particularly popular with street photographers and film purists. The analogue style controls lend themselves to those with some prior photography knowledge whilst new features like the electronic viewfinder and improved autofocus make this camera a true joy to use.

The fixed-lens no-frills setup might not be for everyone, but for traveling photographers, particularly landscape and street photographers alike this simplicity can prove liberating.

Jonny says: “For an analogue feel with a hefty DSLR punch”

Feature highlights:

  • 24MP APS-C X-Trans CMOS III Sensor EXR Processor II
  • Fujinon 23mm f/2 Fixed Focal Length Lens
  • Hybrid Optical and Electronic Viewfinder
  • Parallax-Correct Electronic Rangefinder 3.0" 1.04m-Dot LCD Monitor
  • Full HD 1080p Video Recording at 60 fps Intelligent Hybrid AF System
  • And Retro As F***


  1. Sony α6500 RRP £1,500 (body only)

 

sonya6500

Sony have dubbed this camera a “palm-sized all-around all-star” and we are inclined to agree with them. Video or photos, this camera consistently performs to the highest standard contained within a compact chassis, although the not so compact pricepoint may turn some away.

The autofocus on this model sets it apart from the rest, focussing on subjects in 0.05 seconds, the fastest autofocus speed in the world, controlled through touch screen. The autofocus tracks subjects to an exceptionally high level of detail, ensuring that fast moving mountain wildlife and fellow adventurers.

Jonny says: “If you are a budding professional photographer and videographer then look no further than this jack of all trades”

Feature highlights:

  • 24.2MP APS-C Exmor sensor w/ advanced processing up to ISO 51.200
  • Wide 425 phase detection AF points, Fast 0.05 sec. AF acquisition
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization steadies every lens. Silent Shooting
  • 11fps continuous shooting to 269 frames at 24.2MP w/ AE/AF tracking
  • 4K movie w/ 2.4x oversampling4, full pixel readout, no pixel binning


  1. Panasonic LUMIX DC-GX9 RRP £699.99

 panasonicdcgx9

The latest mirrorless camera in Panasonic’s DC series, part of the LUMIX family, picks up where its predecessors left off. The nifty new tilting viewfinder is the main upgrade users will notice (mirroring the tilting LCD screen), it makes shooting a doddle in awkward and cramped conditions – perfect for a mid-climb snap! And to make sure you get the exact shot the 4K Photo feature shoots a rapid burst of 30 frames a second to allow you to capture the perfect moment.

Jonny says: “A true jack of all trades with particularly impressive 4K capabilities”

Feature highlights:

  • superb 4K imaging performance in both video and exclusive 4K PHOTO
  • Unique, in-body stabilization in combination with select optically stabilized lenses work together for class-leading Dual Image Stabilization results
  • Worry-free splash proof / dustproof rugged body. Fast and precise auto focusing tracks the subject
  • New 20.3-megapixel sensor achieves Panasonic’s highest image quality
  • Over 20 Interchangeable lens options available
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