Outdoor photography and videography poses a range of challenges due to the elements, shooting situations and movement. Whether it’s about documenting a vacation adventure or capturing wildlife subjects in their natural habitat, you will need a camera that can keep up with the demands of your project. Several features, like a tough outer construction and image steadying capabilities can help in making every shot come out crisp and clear. Take a look at the top camera selections for capturing the perfect outdoor images.

Semi-Pro

If you are aware of the features to look for, the semi-pro category of cameras can afford you the ability to get some excellent shots when doing wildlife photography, especially for the bird watchers as explained on OutdoorPhotographer.com. For photographers doing wildlife photography of moving subjects; it is essential to have good AF functionality and frame by frame image tracking abilities. Two good semi-pro options that excel in AF functionality are the Canon ESO 7D and the Nikon D3OOS, but these cameras are not the best with regards to overall image quality as their technology is outdated (noted from OutdoorPhotographer.com) but if your budget only allows for a semi-pro purchase, this is a good option.

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Crop  Sensor vs. Full – Frame

Choosing a camera body has as much to do with the type of photography you plan to do as it does with the camera itself. There are two main types of camera bodies to choose from, full – frame bodies and cop sensor bodies. Crop sensor cameras are smaller and lighter than most full – frame options and can be useful for capturing certain types of images. They are particularly useful when doing microphotography on extremely close scales and for telephoto wildlife photography, as explained by Slrlounge.com. The drawback of this body option is that they do not typically have the power to produce high resolution images or clear video shots.

Hallmarks of Professional Quality

There are some distinct differences between amateur and professional cameras. One major difference is that professional cameras are made of metal. This includes every part from the top and bottom casings and buttons to battery and memory card doors. Ken Rockwell notes that the plastic  materials typically used in amateur level cameras tends to break with typical wear and is therefore not good for shooting outdoors. Another hallmark of professional quality, Ken Rockwell notes, is having easy access to features. He explains that a quality camera should offer single function buttons for features such as white balance, shutter speed, and zoom, as opposed to the menu access offered in many cameras. Menus take too much time to scroll through and can be difficult to view in the varying light and shade of the outdoors-meaning you might miss the chance to get your shot. Adrama.com highlights the Leica X-2  as a viable option for a pro-quality durable camera in a compact body. The new model is capable of achieving high quality images, however it is strictly a still frame camera and it has a built in lens, which limits how you can use the device.

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Combining the Best Features Into One Unit

High AF points, image quality, control, and durability are the top requirements for photographers shooting wildlife or landscapes in the outdoors. The Panasonic LUMIX GH4 takes all of the most sought after features and combines them into a single unit. The camera is made of a durable magnesium alloy and includes multiple, single function buttons. Buttons on this camera are also covered with seamless protection that keeps dust particles and water splashes from interfering with the functions of the camera. In addition to a form that is well suited for outdoor use. Lumix GH4 is the first Digital Single Lens Mirrorless (DSLM) camera capable of recording 4k videos, and took the market by storm when it was rolled out last year.

Unlike some of its competitors, the Panasonic Lumix lets you take high resolution still frames and videos with a 49 point AF function, making every shot crystal clear. With this model, you can capture high quality 4K cinematic video (4096×2160) and 4K QFHD video (3840×216, offering versatility in both still shot and video functionality.

There is some debate amongst photographers over the features and their importance and also in deciding as to what style of camera is best suited for outdoor use. However, the differences between professional quality and amateur cameras becomes more distinct when considering the major differences such as durability and image quality. Features important for outdoor use include a metal body, like the magnesium alloy body of the Panasonic LUMIX GH4, and multipoint AF, the higher the better for most shots. The weight, production materials, focus points, and processing power of a camera are the best indicators as to its quality and versatility- which are both necessary for photography fieldwork.

Meet Evan Varsamis

Evan Varsamis is an Entrepreneur, Founder / CEO at Gadget Flow Inc, Investor and Marketing Advisor at Qrator Ltd and Contributor at Forbes, Inc, Huffington Post and American Express Essentials.