I want to go in depth and share with you have I think some of the best urban exploration cameras are. Now there is no camera that is specifically ‘designed’ for urban exploring.
But there are cameras that do exceptionally well in the environments you’d find yourself in while urban exploring.
This guide is assuming you are taking photography somewhat seriously either as a hobby or profession, so there will likely be no $400 dollar camera options.
If you take photos while exploring than chances are your camera is the most expensive piece of exploring gear you have.
We’re going to look at: Size, Durability, Low Light Capability, and Price.
Without further ado. Lets get started.
FX-Format Nikon Z6
The Nikon Z6 takes the place at the top of the list for best urban exploration camera for many different reasons. I shot with a Nikon D7100 for years and made the leap to the Z6. It was like a whole new world was opened up to me.
Arguably the most important factor for urban exploration camera is going to be how it handles in low light. The Z6 is one of the best low light cameras on the market now.
Is has an insane boostable ISO all the way up to 204800 which makes this one of the most light sensitive mid range Nikons on the market.
This ISO range extends into video as you can take up to 4K UHD/2160p video for fantastic time lapses or night time videos.
The Z6 has a low light auto-focus mode which since the 2.0 firmware update can get a focus on objects with an EV as low as -6.
It also shoots in 25MP which means its going to receive less noise than its 48MP counterpart the Z7.
The Nikon Z6 build quality is great. It’s classified as ‘weather resistant’ rather than having a weather proof casing, but that doesn’t make me feel any less confident in using the Z6 in rugged environments.
The body of the Z6 is hardy, and features a deep grip which help you keep hold of your camera even while traversing difficult areas.
It’s hard to describe, but everything from the buttons to the grip just feel like this camera was built to be tossed into a backpack on your way to your next adventure. (Although at it’s price I wouldn’t recommend that.)
My main concern was that it’s pull out display was going to be delicate, however that was not the case. The adjustable screen feel extremely well made and is a sold extension of the camera.
I can confidently say the Z6 is durable enough to be a solid urban exploration camera.
The Z6 is 1.29lbs, making it one of the lightest cameras of in it’s class. The body measures in at 5.3 x 2.7 x 4 inches in diameter so portability and traveling with the Z6 is simple and easy.
The Z6 with a 24-70mm f/4 kit lens will round around $2400 at the time of this article. If you already own some Nikon lens or are planning on using the F to Z mount adapter the body will cost you about $1800.
That might seem like a lot but what this camera brings to the table is seriously hard to beat. I can easily see this camera being a relevant competitive model for the next 6-8 years easily.
- $1800 (body only)
- 5.3 x 2.7 x 4 inches
- 204800 ISO w/ low light auto-focus.
- Durable weather sealed build.
If you’re looking for a camera for urban exploring and you’re already a fairly experienced photographer, the Z6 in my opinion is clearly the best bang for your buck at this time.
At this time there aren’t really any other cameras I can recommend. I have played around with the Sony A7III which was nice. But as a Nikon boy, I really preferred the Z6 over every Sony.
I might cover more urban exploration cameras in the future, but for now the Z6 is the only camera I can fully recommended.