What’s the Most Affordable Way to Photograph the Outdoors?

I'd like to take better wide landscape shots when I'm traveling, but I'm not interested in investing in a really expensive camera.

Cloudy Mountains

Leave only footprints, bring back only photos.     Photo: linearclassifier/Flickr

A:When you’re out in nature, witnessing gobsmacking and all-encompassing vistas, you’re going to want to cram more vista into a single photo than a typical camera will allow. Compact cameras are great for taking pictures of people and buildings, but you need a wide-angle lens to capture the sweep of a beautiful landscape, or convey the full impact of a summit view.

Pros and serious hobbyists use expensive digital SLR cameras and specialized lenses to increase the field of view. For the rest of us, there are at least three good options, which we’ll run through after the jump.

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