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What's Your Go-To Camera On The Trail?

I'm currently using the Sony A6000, small but packs a powerful punch.  Delicate in damp conditions. Fantastic video and pictures.

Looking at upgrading to the A6500 this season, for 4K video, a bit more rain tolerance, and other features.

REI Member Since 1979
32 Replies

@Philreedshikes My Galaxy 6 - I bought it because of the good ratings for its camera.  About as good a camera as I have ever used (much better than the wooden Combat Graphic I employed for a few years during the late 60s.  The Galaxy 6 can also be used to make phone calls, as well - a nice bonus!!

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one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@Philreedshikes Currently a Pixel 3a.   Pictures are great.  Video is great although I haven't go into the habit of taking video.  Reasonable price.  Charges fast (PD) with good battery life (it's still "new" so...)  No glass back to break.  Cons are, not waterproof so need to take a little care with water crossings and heavy rain and no optical zoom.  I did get a clip on macro/wide angle for it which works quite well but so far I can never quite be bothered to get it out on the trail.

@Philreedshikes I've wanted someone to start this topic for a while now! Thanks!

I have a Canon T6 that is my first DSLR camera. I find that it is hard to balance the convenience of my cell phone camera and the ability to take better pictures with the real camera. Do you have advice for learning how to better use the camera I have? Did you purchase accessories? Lenses? Your videos are great, do you use any kind of microphone set up?

I have two younger brothers who went to art school for photography so I always feel like I'm way behind the curve here. Thanks for posting, I'm looking forward to this thread!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Worthwhile accessories...


Pedco UltraPod II Lightweight Camera Tripod

which unfortunately REI doesn't sell

Pedco have a small one for small cameras I also use.  You can strap these to a hiking pole to get a different perspective.

Peak designs also have a shell to protect your camera when kit is on the clip but we haven't tried that...


@REI-JohnJ, I only a 'hobbyist', love to take pictures, because I like looking at them after the hike.  That said, since I've started using a dslr camera on the trail, I've tried to reach beyond point and shoot.  Here are some tips I've learned from others:

shoot on manual,

shoot in RAW mode (vice jpeg), this mode allows you capture all available color and light, which is then available to correct, enhance, in post processing

be able to switch quickly between an automatic focus mode and manual focus mode.

play at home with all the settings.

I used adobe lightroom (@ $80) for post processing

REI Member Since 1979

Get a subscription to Adobe Photoshop. With some practice you can make decent photos out of shots that aren't too good and amazing photos out of good shots. Lots of free, educational videos online and of course at

My problem with the photos from my iPhone is that it doesn't produce photos of high resolution. My Sony A7R shoots at 36 megapixels, way more than my iPhone. Still you can get some decent images, especially with photoshop editing.



@bryndsharp You're pics are pretty amazing, care to chime in on this thread?

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@REI-JohnJ Thanks! I'll definitely get to work writing a full-out response for this post. I currently have 3 cameras that I fluctuate between depending on the setting. I'll write a response that talks about all 3, and their pro's and con's. I do use my iPhone 8 occasionally for images, but those are rarely the images that I publish on my website/get paid for, so I won't comment on the iPhone's quality.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@bryndsharp Great, I can't wait!

I'm sure the community would be really interested to hear about any accessories you use to make your photography easier in the backcountry. I have a really light aluminum (I think) tripod that has been great for my backpacking and hiking outings but is a bit hard to get on my bike. At a certain point you just have to accept that there is only so much room you can save while adventuring with a camera.



At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.