Best cameras for road cycling - Top 10

Welcome to our guide to the best cameras for road cycling. In photography, the best camera is said to be the one you have with you and for many riders that will be a mobile phone. Modern handsets often come with fantastic cameras, take great pictures and sometimes are equipped with multiple sensors and lenses, to cover landscape and portraits. However, for those of us that love photography, sometimes we'll want to bring along something better to create amazing images.

Here's our Top 10 guide to the best cameras for cycling. We've got a separate guide here on the best way to carry a camera on your bike and we'll be covering recommend lenses in more detail in another article.

1) Sony A7RIII

We could have chose any of the latest A7 or A9 cameras, as they're all fantastic options. We chose the A7RIII because of its balance of size, resolution, EVF, battery life and wide range of lenses. It's been super-ceded spec wise by the A7RIV, but most photographers won't have use for its 64Mb resolution, almost certainly not when cycling. . It also means the A7RIII can be found at discounted prices, similar in cost to the A7III.

The 42Mb sensor of the A7RIII can also work in APS-C mode to produce 18Mp images with a 1.5 crop, which for the cyclist keen to consolidate kit on the bike can double the effective use of any lens.

For a simple cycling camera kit we'd recommend the Samyang, 'small and mighty' 18mm or one of the Tamron 20/24/35m 2.8 lenses, depending upon your focal length preference. Or perhaps push to the Zeiss Batis 25mm if you have the budget. In APS-C mode, a 24mm lens will also give you a classic 35mm focal length, and Sony Clear Image Zoom will allow you to digitally zoom to 50mm upwards for Jpeg shooting of portraits and people with barely any loss of quality.This could be complemented with something longer or more flexible if space and your chosen method of carrying permits. The camera is weather sealed, although not to Panasonic G9 levels.

How to carry: Handlebar bag, shoulder sling, camera strap or trunk bag

2) Panasonic GX9

The latest 20Mp MicroFourThirds sensor technology, with top notch IBIS (stabilisation for shaky hands and slow shutter speeds), great 4k video and an awesome selection of lenses, some of which are truly tiny.

We'd recommend the Panasonic 15mm 1.7 or the 20mm pancake lens and to complement it with an equally tiny 25mm or 42.5/45mm lens from either Olympus or Panasonic. All of which can be easily carried, possibly in a jersey pocket for some riders! This camera is not weather sealed, whereas the older GX85 is.

How to carry: Maybe a large jersey pocket, handlebar bag, shoulder sling, camera strap or trunk bag.

3) Fujifilm X-E3

Even smaller than the GX9 but with a superior APS-C 24Mb sensor. Video is not its strongest point, although it will do 4k and Full HD. However, most photographers buy this to use with the fantastic selection of small Fujifilm lenses. It doesn't have IBIS but will provide shots at the same quality as top of the range Fuji cameras such as the X-T3, X-H1 and X-T4, which often can't be said of other brands midrange options.

The camera also has an option to shoot at an effective 2x crop, thus giving the 18mm or 27mm pancake lenses we'd recommend for cycling a longer 36 or 54mm focal length. This camera is not weather-sealed and you'd need to move up to the X-T3 or X-T4 for weather sealing. How to carry: Large jersey pocket, handlebar bag, shoulder sling, camera strap or trunk bag

4) Panasonic GX880 It is a truly tiny mirrorless MicroFour thirds camera, with a slightly smaller 16Mb sensor and no EVF and no sensor IBIS. The image quality is fantastic and it would pair wonderfully with the same lenses we recommended for the GX9 or one of Panasonics tiny Powerzoom lenses.

This is definitely cycling jersey possible with the right lens. Personally we prefer camera's with an EVF and IBIS where possible, which helps with shaky bike hands as well as low light. It's not weather sealed.

How to carry: Regular jersey pocket, handlebar bag, shoulder sling, camera strap or trunk bag

5) Olympus E-M10 Mark III

This camera probably sits between the GX9 and GX880. It has simple IBIS and a 16Mb and comes with a decent, if old EVF. Olympus have their own range of prime lenses, but we'd still recommend the 15mm Panasonic lens or an Olympus pancake zoom lens. It's not weather sealed.

How to carry: Maybe a large jersey pocket, handlebar bag, shoulder sling, camera strap or trunk bag

6) Panasonic G9

For us, the camera body and shooting experience of the G9 is close to perfect. Taking aside arguments about sensor format and size, this camera makes a compelling option once you've chose to use an Ortlieb handlebar bag or similar.

It takes amazing photos, professional level video and has an array of options including the ability to shoot 80Mp. For many people it's all the camera they'd need and discounts in 2020 has made it a bargain.

It can be still be paired with the fantastic tiny MicroFourThirds lenses like the 15mm Panasonic, but it matches brilliantly with high quality and larger Sigma and Panasonic primes and zooms. For general use, we love using it with the Olympus 40-150 2.8, which when paired with the 15mm makes for an incredible two lens combination. For cycling, we'd probably stick with a smaller lens like the Panasonic 35-100. We'd consider using this camera with strap on the bike. This camera is comprehensively weather sealed. How to carry: Handlebar bag, shoulder sling, camera strap or trunk bag

7) Ricoh GRIII

People who buy this camera already know what they're getting and why they're getting it. It has a cult following and takes amazing pictures with its 24Mb sensor. We like to use an EVF when shooting. which does increase the size and cost of the camera, as it's an optional extra.

It's tiny, has a very sharp, fixed 28mm lens and can work in several crop modes for effectively longer focal lengths. It has no weather sealing. There really is no excuse not to take this camera anywhere with you. How to carry: Regular jersey pocket, handlebar bag, shoulder sling, camera strap or trunk bag

8) Sony RX100 Mk 7

Another tiny camera and one with an amazing autofocus system and focal range. It truly does things your similarly sized mobile cannot. Yes, it takes amazing images, has a reputation for a poor UI, which doesn't bother us on the bike, when we tend to shoot in AFS mode anyway. If you want to take burst action shots of others whilst you ride, this is the camera to get. It's the Swiss Army knife of camera's, with an incredible 24-240 built in zoom, IBIS and a tonne of other features, but you pay handsomely for the privilege, for what is still only a 1” sensor camera. This camera is not weather sealed.

How to carry: Regular jersey pocket, handlebar bag, shoulder sling, camera strap or trunk bag

9) Sony A6400

Perhaps Sonys best value APS-C camera. It gets the amazing AF and high quality sensor of the top Sony models, small form factor and access to a great ranges of lenses as with other FE Sony cameras,. It has been super-ceded by the A6600 which offers IBIS and much better battery life, but is fractionally larger and significantly more expensive.

Unless you're already a Sony APS-C shooter and have compatible lenses, it's difficult to recommend this as a primary camera over and above an A7III, price notwithstanding. Many photographers that already own an A7 or A9 of some sort, may well consider this an excellent second body to use on bike rides and in this regards, you will not find a better option available. They're among the smallest APS-C cameras on the market. This camera is not weather sealed.

How to carry: Handlebar bag, shoulder sling, camera strap or trunk bag

10) Canon EOS RP or Canon EOS R6 We were going to include the RP bus as the R6 only just been released and is available to Pre-Order we'll hold judgment. However, on paper it looks like it would also make a fantastic camera.

The following great camera's didn't make the list for various reasons, but not limited too:

  • Panasonic LX100 Mk II - we prefer M43 cameras with changeable lenses

  • Canon M6 Mark Ii - we've not tested one and lens selection is limited

  • Nikon Z50 - we've not tested and aren't convinced about the Z mount

  • Any Nikon Coolpix - we've never tested one

  • Panasonic S1 - our favourite camera is a behemoth and its not necessary on a bike!


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