The Best Camera, Lens, and Gear for Landscape Photography - Justin Katz Photography

The Best Cameras, Lenses, and Equipment for
Taking Professional Landscape Photos

best camera, lens, and photography equipment for landscape photography and recommendations

Any photographer will tell you, one of the most common questions they receive is, “what kind of camera do you have?” People see your work, they see the dynamic range and the vibrant colors of your image, and they assume that this is only possible with top-of-the-line expensive gear. While this base assumption is understandable, especially with high-end camera and equipment companies catering to precisely this notion, the truth is far more simple: The camera and lens do not make the photo - the photographer does.


That being said, having the right equipment for the job can make a photographer’s life exponentially easier, allowing them to be in the right place at the right time, and capture photos in locations and weather that would otherwise prove impossible. So, here is a comprehensive list of all of my favorite photography gear that I use, and resources for where you can get them for yourself at reasonable/affordable cost.


If you want to know what photography equipment gets the job done, this is it. All in one place.

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My Best Cameras for Landscape Photography

Nikon D810 Full-Frame DSLR

  Nikon D810 best camera for landscape photography

This is an amazing landscape camera, it just simply gets the job done. Because I love to shoot landscape photographs at very wide angles, the best cameras for this type of photography are usually full-frame DSLRs. At one point or another, I have taken pictures with almost every Nikon DSLR that has ever been made, and by far the best camera for taking high quality landscape images, is the Nikon D810. That being said, the Nikon D750 and D810 are ergonomically and qualitatively very similar DSLR's. Significantly awesome, and slightly newer, the Nikon D750 only falls short to the D810 in terms of number of autofocus points, megapixels, and ISO sensitivity. Most people don't necessarily need all of that, making the D750 an excellent option as well. These are the best Nikon cameras for landscape photography out there.


Buy from Amazon | Adorama

Sony a6000 Crop-Sensor Mirrorless

  sony a6000 best camera for landscape photography

The Sony a6000 mirrorless digital camera on the other hand is a great travel camera for when I don't feel like lugging around my large DSLR's and lenses, but still want to be able to capture quality landscape photos. Even though it is a crop sensor, this affordable camera is incredible. I carry this on it's own for light travel, as a second camera to cover the mid-range zoom lens, and for shooting timelapses.

Buy from Amazon | Adorama

Sony a7 Full-Frame Mirrorless


  Sony A7 best camera for landscape photography

I don't own this camera, but I have used it a number of times. It's the only thing that comes close to making me want to trade in my DSLR system. It's capabilities in low-light are so incredible, that it was with these cameras that we were able to capture such incredible footage of the fireball / Chinese rocket streaking across the sky in July, 2016. That is why for low-light and astro photography, this camera might just be the best out there.



Buy from Amazon | Adorama


Not ready to buy? You can also rent all of this photography equipment from BorrowLenses which is pretty cool, especially if you just want to try it out for a shoot before making such a big purchase.


Video Manuals


Whatever camera model you have for landscape photography, you aren't getting the most out of it if you don't know how to use it. I mean really know how to use it. This is why CreativeLive has developed a large catalog of short, digestible video courses that are specific to your camera model. They call them "Camera Fast Starts," and you will walk away knowing your camera inside and out. I Highly recommend these.


My Best Lenses for Landscape Photography


For Nikon Full-Frame DSLRs

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8


The sharpest ultra-wide angle available. Perfect for night photography.
  best nikon wide angle lens

Nikon 18-35 f/3.5
A great wide angle. Incredibly sharp, and relatively lightweight.   Nikon 18mm f/3.5

Buy from Amazon | Adorama

Nikon 70-200mm f/4 VRII


Amazing lens. Reach out and grab a landscape like you wouldn't believe.
  best telephoto lens for landscape photography

Buy from Amazon | Adorama

Nikon 60mm f/2.8 Macro


This heavy piece of glass is so much fun,
I almost don't want to tell you about it.


  HTML tutorial

Buy from Amazon | Adorama

Nikon 18-35 f/3.5


A great wide angle. Incredibly sharp, and relatively lightweight.


  best nikon wide angle lens

Buy from Amazon | Adorama

The funny truth about photography that most people don't understand, is that the quality of the lens is so much more important than the camera, no matter how many megapixels. Having the best lens for landscape photography is the most important part of assembling your photography equipment list. The Nikon 60mm f/2.8 for example, is the best macro photography lens that I have ever shot with (that doesn't cost thousands of dollars). With this lens, I have taken the sharpest photographs I have ever been able to achieve, and it allows me to be able to capture the intense details and clarity of subjects at the macro/micro level.


Widely considered to be the best tele-zoom lens for landscape photography ever, the famous Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 is truly a thing of beauty. However, it's weight, size, and considerable cost make it less than ideal lens for many outdoor and landscape photographers. That being the case, the newer Nikon 70-200 f/4 has everything its f/2.8 cousin has, but at less cost and weight, and a more advanced Vibration Reduction. Chosing which one is going to have to be based on your own requirements, but for me personally, my f/4 is the best landscape photography lens I have ever had.


You can also rent these Nikon lenses from BorrowLenses.

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Essential Equipment For Night Photography

The Best Lightweight Tripod


The ProMaster XC25C carbon fiber tripod is amazing, lightweight, and sturdy. I love it.

  best lightweight tripod

Buy from Amazon

Tripod Collar


Although the relative light weight of the 70-200mm lens doesn't require a tripod collar, I think it's super helpful.

  tripod collar for the best landscape telephoto lens

Buy from Amazon

Shutter Release Remote / Intervelometer


This is so essential I can't say it enough. Minimize camera shake; maximize sharpness and clarity of your photo.

  shutter remote for the best landscape photos

Buy from Amazon

Having the best tripod for landscape and night photography, and using a solid remote shutter release, are entirely essential to achieve good night photography. You need this professional equipment for anything that requires you to shoot in low light conditions, including sunsets, star trails, and cityscapes.


In addition to night and low-light photography, this equipment is absolutely essential to macro (or micro) photography. In order to be able to get the ultra sharp results with the awesome macro photography lens, the Nikon 60mm f/2.8 listed above, you need to have a stable platform (hence the tripod), as well as a shutter release remote. Minimizing camera shake when photographing super small details is crucial


You can also rent all this photography equipment from BorrowLenses if you only need it for a specific shoot.




Some More Crucial Items for Travel and Outdoor Photography

This Awesome Camera Backpack


This is the best DSLR camera backpack for active outdoor adventure photography.   best backpack for cameras
Buy from Amazon

Extra Memory Cards


I feel so stupid for having gone on fantastic trips in the past where I didn't think it necessary to bring extra memory.

  DSLR memory cards


Buy from Amazon

Nikon EN-EL15 Li-Ion Battery


Always, always carry an additional battery in your new camera backpack. You will hate yourself if you don't.

  additional nikon battery


Buy from Amazon

This Camera Clip


This camera clip allows you to effortlessly keep your camera on-hand at all times.

  camera clip from peak design

Buy from PeakDesign and get a 10% discount

The Everyday Messenger Bag


This is the best photographer's bag I have ever used. Read the full review.

  DSLR memory cards


Buy from PeakDesign and get a 10% discount

The Best Photography Software for Getting the Most Out of Your Photos

Adobe Lightroom 6


This is the best software for post-processing your RAW landscape photos I have ever used. It's powerful and fun.
  Creative Cloud Photography Plan. All-New Photoshop CC Plus Lightroom desktop and mobile. Just $9.99/

Download free trial from Adobe

Adobe Photoshop CS6


A super high powered piece of software. Enables you total control over an image.

  best photoshop software for photography

Download free trial from Adobe

StarStaX Experimental 10.9


This free tool is incredibly cool. It is the best resource for stacking star photos to get star trail photography.
  best software for star trail photography

Download for free from StarStaX

Photomatix Pro by HDRsoft


The best professional HDR software I have found. Use it, love it.



  the best HDR software for photographers




Download free trial from HDRsoft


The Best iPhone and iPad Apps for Outdoor and Night Photography

The Photographer's Ephemeris


This app is amazing. It allows you to plan your expedition for lighting and moon conditions based on location.

  The Photographer's Ephemeris - best outdoor photography app

Pashadelic - An App For Inspiration


I use Pashadelic as a place to discover new places to shoot, as well as to post my shots for other users to view.

  Pashadelic, the app for photographer community

Sky Safari 4


This app is critical if you want to plan for advanced night photography, like star trails and The Milky way. The features of this thing are amazing.

  Sky Safari is a crucial app to plan star photography

You can read a more detailed description of these apps and why they are so useful in the Elevated Photo Tips blog.




The Best Computer for Photography - Working With The Images

MacBook Pro 15" with Retina Display


This is the best computer for photography I have ever used. It's fast and reliable.
  best computer for photography
Buy from Amazon | Adorama

Apple 27-inch Thunderbolt Display


This super HD display really allows me to focus in on every detail.   best computer for photography
Buy from Amazon

Seagate Backup Slim 1TB Portable External Hard Drive


Having tens of thousands of RAW files takes up a lot of space. This external hard drive is reliable and fast.   best computer for photography
Buy from Amazon

The value of quality, fast, and reliable post-processing equipment is not to be taken lightly. Having the best computer for photography enables you to get the most out of your pictures.


I personally really like having the portability of a solid laptop that doesn't sacrifice processing power. I can take it wherever I go, and hook it up to the larger display monitor when I am at home. A solid alternative to the laptop + monitor approach however, is the awe-inspiring Apple iMac with Retina 5K Display.




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Disclosure: We receive some compensation from the companies whose products we review. We do not let that affect the content of this page, and we only recommend products and services that we truly believe in and have had positive experiences with.



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