Best camera to bring when leaf peeping

Camera & Photo

New England offers some of the best views of fall foliage, making it a great starting spot for leaf peeping.

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Which camera to bring when leaf peeping is best?

Every autumn, the leaves begin to change, and the weather begins to cool. Nature goes from shades of green to bursts of color, resulting in picturesque landscapes that are often gone too soon.

For many, fall foliage means heading out on leaf-peeping excursions to capture the beauty of nature. You can try to capture these photos on your phone, but to truly capture the vibrancy of the fall colors, you will want to bring a functional and adaptable camera. The Canon EOS R5 has a weather-resistant body and is excellent at capturing rich colors.

What to know before you buy a camera to bring when leaf peeping


To achieve high-quality landscape images, you will want to choose a high-resolution camera that can capture the most megapixels. A high-resolution camera will capture the beauty of a fall landscape with fine detail, increasing your chances of taking a high-quality photo that will capture the various tons of fall foliage.


Depending on the time of the day you are taking photos, you will also want a camera with a good dynamic range to adjust to the high contrast views at dawn and dusk. This ensures that no matter when your photo shoot is scheduled, your photos will come out perfect every time.

When out in nature, you must consider the durability of a camera. Weather can be unpredictable, and hiking terrains can be uneven. You’ll want a camera that can handle the elements. Weather-sealing cameras do tend to increase the price, but they are necessary if you plan to capture fall foliage during unpredictable weather.


Once you decide on the best camera for you, the next thing to do is find a suitable travel tripod and search for the best leaf peeping location. You can either plan the trip on your own or look into a fall color photo tour, but be prepared for the tours to sell out quickly. When planning a trip, remember to consider how the time of day might influence your photo and be prepared to adapt to the unpredictability of nature.

What to look for in a quality camera to bring when leaf peeping  

DSLR cameras

Many say that a digital SLR camera is the most popular choice among landscape photographers, as they use a mirror and prism system that allows the photographer to look through the viewfinder and see what they will capture in real-time. What you see is what you shoot.

When trying to capture nature and wildlife during the fall season, you are often out in the wilderness for hours, using a tripod to shoot panoramas and help with stabilization. DSLR cameras have a more comprehensive range of lenses and accessories available, as well as a longer battery life, which are both crucial factors for a landscape photographer.

Mirrorless cameras 

Despite the benefits of a DSLR camera, many landscape photographers are switching to the newer mirrorless cameras. Though they both have their pros and cons, mirrorless cameras are the way of the future because the technology is more advanced, making them easier to manufacture. Also, mirrorless technology is beginning to rival the benefits of a DLSR camera.

DSLR vs. mirrorless cameras 

You may be able to find an older DSLR camera at a more affordable price. Even though the technology will not be as updated, there are still advantages to the older DSLR technology but mirrorless cameras will sooner or later replace them. The technology on mirrorless cameras is more advanced and will only continue to improve. They are more convenient for traveling, since they are smaller and lighter than DSLR cameras.

How much you can expect to spend on a camera to bring when leaf peeping

No matter if you are getting a DLSR or a mirrorless camera, you should expect to spend $2,000-$5,000 for a camera that will capture the best of fall foliage. 

What’s the best camera to bring when leaf peeping?

Top DSLR camera to bring when leaf peeping

 Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body

 Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body

What you need to know: This Nikon DSLR camera is durable, and many say it is the absolute best landscape photography DSLR.

What you’ll love: This camera to bring leap peeping has a powerful sensor with a base ISO of 64, which will help you capture clear and detailed photos. It has a powerful battery and a super high resolution, perfect for capturing fall foliage.

What you should consider: This camera was released some years ago, so it might not have the most up-to-date features. 

 Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Top mirrorless camera to bring when leaf peeping 

Canon EOS R5 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

Canon EOS R5 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

What you need to know: This digital camera is capable of shooting 8K videos—there is nothing else like it on the market. 

What you’ll love: This camera has an impressive 45 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor and accessories like the Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8 L IS that help to push it over the top. It also has a high-speed continuous shooting feature that can capture up to 12 frames per second.

What you should consider: Canon’s mirrorless cameras did not have a great start, but they quickly climbed their way up the ranks with the release of the EOS R5.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top camera to bring when leaf peeping for the money

Canon EOS R6 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera

Canon EOS R6 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera 

What you need to know: For more of a bargain, check out this camera by Canon. It has everything you need to capture professional grade photos at a lower price.

What you’ll love: This mirrorless camera has a full-frame CMOS sensor and a subject tracking feature that uses deep learning technology.  

What you should consider: It captures significantly fewer megapixels than the R5.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

 Nikon Z 7II FX-Format Mirrorless Camera Body

 Nikon Z 7II FX-Format Mirrorless Camera Body

What you need to know: Nikon is known for making great landscape cameras that are nearly indestructible, and the Nikon Z 7II is no exception.

What you’ll love: This mirrorless camera has a sturdy build that is easy to grip and has an ultra-high resolution that will get you an incredibly detailed image. There’s nothing quite like its lightweight full-frame system and lightweight lens options.

What you should consider: Many said that some features did not work as efficiently as they should have. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Bailey Gates writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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