Gear Review: Canon EOS 7D DSLR Camera

Best DSLR digital camera for backpacking.

You don’t have to sell your pictures to covet a camera that takes images worth buying. With an ISO (that’s camera speak for high light sensitivity) of up to 12,800 (the average DSLR is about 800), and paired with a versatile 17-85mm lens ($600), the 7D can handle low-level natural light without a flash or a tripod. “It made sunset over the Rockies look like a calendar shot,” says one tester who used the DSLR on dayhikes and overnights in Colorado’s Sangre de Cristo and Gore Ranges.

“And I didn’t have to futz with complicated lighting.” The 18.0 megapixels mean you can print that perfect picture at poster-size without losing a pixel of resolution. The full-HD video is “big-screen quality.” Our tester shot beautiful action footage, too, but, he cautions: “It sucks up a lot of memory and battery power, so plan accordingly.” Bummer: There’s no autofocus in video mode. $1,699 (body only; $1,899 kit with 28-135mm lens); CF card; LP-E6 battery; 3 lbs. 3 oz. (with 17-85mm lens);