GearTools & Tech

The Best Cameras and Drones of 2020

Tools for capturing high-energy pursuits

(Photo: Inga Hendrickson)
buyer’s guide

iPhone 11 Pro ($999)

travel photography
(Photo: Courtesy Apple)

Three lenses on the iPhone 11 Pro shoot stunning landscape photos. A 12-megapixel, f/2.4, 12mm ultrawide-angle lens next to 26mm and 52mm lenses capture crisp action and vivid backgrounds at the same time, like a skier ripping down a mountain against vibrant alpine scenery. We’re also fans of the Night Mode feature: the 26mm lens brackets several photos together to produce crisp, accurate low-light photos.

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DJI Mavic Mini Drone ($399)

travel photography
(Photo: Courtesy DJI)

About the size of a ­sandwich, and weighing just over half a pound, the Mavic Mini is ultraportable and perfect for adventurers headed for hard-to-reach spots. Spec-wise, the Mini isn’t quite pro quality, but it shoots attractive 2.7K video that’s stabilized using a three-axis gimbal, and it’s good for a respectable 30 minutes of flight time. An improved app with a simple interface makes the Mini easy to fly for those without much drone experience.

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GoPro Hero8 Black ($400)

travel photography
(Photo: Courtesy GoPro)

The headline here is Hyper­Smooth 2.0: GoPro’s improved image-­stabilization technology, which yields some of the cleanest footage we’ve seen from an action camera. Your videos won’t look as steady as they would if you were shooting on a gimbal, but they’ll be damn close—reason alone to upgrade from the Hero7 Black. Other updates include built-in mounting fingers (the Hero8 doesn’t need a special case to mate with tripods, hand grips, and the like), better audio recording, and new clip-on accessories like a directional microphone and flip-up screen.

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Sony a7R III ($2,800)

travel photography
(Photo: Courtesy Sony)

The a7R III remains one of the most powerful cameras available and a top choice for adventure photographers. It captures action at ten frames per second with a full-frame, 42.4-­megapixel sensor, a silent shutter mode, and great ISO range (up to 102,400). It isn’t new, but it makes our list because Sony recently dropped the price from $3,200. Now you can shoot with a wildly capable camera without draining your wallet (as much).

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Filed To: CamerasTechnologyGoProDronesPhotography
Lead Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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