Best Hiking Action Cameras
In this ranking list we have cameras which could be great for hiking, depending on whether you want to take photos or video there should be something for every hiker here. The best hiking action camera for you is the one that does exactly what you want and you can find cameras with specific features on our table and grid pages.
Below we have filtered for a few things to show cameras which are good for hiking, the first being that they are at least splash proof. If you're in to your fell walking and hiking then you've definitely encountered a downpour or three and having a camera that you know you don't have to worry about if it starts to rain is a good start.
Secondly, we have also filtered to show cameras that take both photos and videos and sorted them all by their cam score. This way you should see cameras that are more in the tough range and are better equipped for photography than the usual video action camera. This also means that you should see cameras with an optical zoom on them, so you can take wide angle or more focused shots during your hikes.
You love the great outdoors and there is nothing more exciting and soul cleansing than going on a hike, we couldn't agree more! We have been going over fells and mountains of Britain since we could be carried, we were stuffed in to waterproof onsies not long after an would follow our parents over the hills and we have continued to hike, scramble and walk over and through some beautiful wild places in many parts of the world, the mountains are always calling us.
If you too are called by the mountains and are looking for a new camera to take with you whilst hiking, you're in the right place. We have a simple ranking list at the top which shows the top 15 action cameras for hiking and walking your favourite routes and peaks.
Other Shooting Modes and Features
The best action cameras for hiking aren't limited to just photos and videos, you'll also find burst mode, time lapse mode and many others on them. There are a mix of point and shoot, 360 and mini cube hand held action cameras to choose from in our top 15 action cameras for hiking, so hopefully there is something for you here.
Taking Photos With An Action Camera
One of the most important parts of a camera when it comes to hiking is that it can take decent photos. Action cameras have come a long long way since their early releases and now you can get cameras that focus on taking good pictures first and then video second. Cameras like the Olympus Tough range and the Ricoh WG range are both point and shoot style cameras but also take fantastic videos. The downside to these cameras is that their FOV is not as wide as some of the action cameras available but their imagery is very good and they also come with optical zooms which means you can take wide and narrow shots without any digital distortion.
This isn't to say that the action camera style cameras aren't great at taking photos, they're coming on leaps and bounds and if you want to take just wide angle shots, they could easily perform well enough for all your hiking photos, just don't expect to be the next Ansel Adams.
Taking Videos With Action Cameras
This is where they come in to their own, action cameras take fantastic videos, you get everything in shot and their video resolutions and framerates usually exceed that of bigger cameras and for usually a lot less money. Here you can expect 4K video recording or higher if you are looking at a 360 camera and really slow frame rates, although you may not require them for hiking, it is nice to have these extras on a camera.
Hiking Photo Tips
Whether you choose a waterproof ready action camera or not, you are always best keeping the camera out of the water or rain when you can. I personally use a mini hard case for my camera which I put in to an accessible pocket on my rucksack or put it in a small soft pouch and place the camera in one of your waterproof jacket pockets. Another thing is that I always take a small microfibre cloth with me when hiking and use it solely for the camera. There have been plenty of times I have taken photos or videos on a summit and the front lens has been covered in droplets of water from the surrounding cloud. Another tip for taking clear photos is to spit on your lens and wipe the spit around. This will stop any droplets from forming on your front lens and means that any photos you take will be clear of water drops or blurriness.
If it gets super cold and you struggle to keep the camera alive, the best thing would be to look in to tough cameras, some here can work in extreme environments and super cold climates. The next best thing to do is to keep the camera in a sock or something tightly packed around it which can insulate it and keep it in an inside pocket of your jacket closer to your body. My jacket has an inside check pocket and my fleeces do too on the check, keeping it in there will help with battery life, especially in winter when it gets much colder.