10 Best Cameras for Archaeology: 2021 Buyer’s Guide

This is a guide covering the best cameras for archaeology.

In this all-new guide you’ll learn about:

  • Best overall camera for archaeology
  • Best budget camera for archaeology
  • Pros and cons
  • Price
  • Important features
  • And more

Let’s dive in.

best-camera-for-archaeology

10 Best Cameras for Archaeology

Click/tap on each camera name to jump to that section. At the end of each section, there is also a link to jump back to this table to make it easy for you!

In a hurry? Check out our top pick!

1. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV​
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV​
– Weather sealed
– Fast focus and shoots at 7fps
– 30.4MP full-frame CMOS sensor
– Takes 4K videos

Archeologists working in fields or museums need to have a good camera inside their bag. This can help them document their work and allow them and their colleagues to review the material that they just found.

We’ve come up with 10 of the best cameras for archeology. This list will give you an idea of which options make sense for your budget and your needs.

So make sure to review all the camera options!

1. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
BEST ALL-AROUND
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV​
– Weather sealed
– Fast focus and shoots at 7fps
– 30.4MP full-frame CMOS sensor
– Takes 4K videos
2.Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
BEST BUDGET
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
– Touchscreen LCD
– Comes with a shortcut button
– Easy to use
– 4K video capability
3. Panasonic LUMIX G9
Panasonic Lumix G9
– Freezeproof and splashproof
– 20.3MP
– Takes 4K videos
– With image stabilization
4. Canon EOS 6D Mark II
Canon EOS 6D Mark II
– Takes high-quality shots at 26.2MP resolution
– WiFi connectivity
– Superb AF
5. Nikon D7500
Nikon D7500
– 20.9MP that allows users to enjoy high-quality shots
– Superb AF that precisely targets subjects
– Rugged design
– Tilting screen
6. Nikon D850
Nikon D850
– Sensitive ISO
– 9fps
– 4K video
– 45.7MP resolution
7. Nikon D6 FX-Format
Nikon D6 FX-Format
– Takes 14fps
– Great for low-light conditions
– 20.8MP
– Professional-grade construction
– Powerful AF system
8. Olympus OM-D E-M1X
Olympus OM-D E-M1X
– Weather-sealed
– Accurate AF
– With superb image stabilization
9. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
– Fast shutter speed
– Precise AF
– 20.4MP resolution
10. Sony a7 III
Sony a7 III
– Perfect for low-light conditions
– Lightweight
– Takes superb images with its 24.2MP sensor

1. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV​

Given the list of cameras that we have mentioned, we believe that the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is the best camera for archeologists for many good reasons.

For starters, it is a favorite by many professional photographers.

This camera is mostly known for its ability to shoot fast. Imagine shooting at 7fps.

This is also the reason why a lot of sports photographers prefer to have the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV in their gear bag.

It comes with a 30.4MP full-frame CMOS sensor capable of capturing every detail in your subject.

If you are dealing in a low light environment, the EOS 5D Mark IV has an ISO range from ISO 100 to 32000.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is also a favorite by vloggers because of its ability to take 4K videos.

Also, you can easily take a screengrab from the 4K video and you still get an 8.8MP image out of it.

It is also weather-sealed perfect for those who are spending most of their time in the field dealing with unpredictable weather.

AF feature is something that you can also enjoy with the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. It has a responsive AF for both taking photos and videos.

Is it user-friendly? Not exactly.

Keep in mind that the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is a professional camera. However, Canon did a good job to somehow simplify the setup of this camera.

It has a touchscreen LCD interface that gives users the ability to tweak the setting fast. What’s not to like about the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV?

For one, you don’t get to enjoy a tilt screen from this camera.

Also, the price is usually the reason why a lot of people don’t buy this camera. Unless you have $3,000 to spend, then you might want to buy another camera.

Also, check out the best lenses for the Canon 5D Mark IV if you decide to invest in this camera.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV image – Source
Pros
  • Weather sealed
  • Fast focus and shoots at 7fps
  • 30.4MP full-frame CMOS sensor
  • Takes 4K videos
Cons
  • Bit pricy
  • No tilt screen

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2. Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III

If you are running low on your budget, but you are looking for a good camera that you can bring with you to work, then you might want to consider the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III mirrorless camera.

It’s a lightweight option for those who are tired of carrying a heavy DSLR camera.

Though it doesn’t have the resolution of your DSLRs since it only has a 16MP resolution, this is usually enough for most archeologists.

It also comes with a 4K video capability. This makes it easy for archeologists to document an entire area on video.

Plus, navigating the menu is also beginner-friendly. You can figure it out even if you haven’t read the user manual.

It comes with 2 dials, an arrow pad, and a shortcut button.

Plus, you also get a touchscreen LCD. Reviewing the photos and the videos is also easy with its 3-inch monitor.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III
Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark III image – Copyright “Graeme Darbyshire”
Pros
  • Touchscreen LCD
  • Comes with a shortcut button
  • Easy to use
  • 4K video capability
Cons
  • Limited resolution compared to a DSLR

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3. Panasonic LUMIX G9

Panasonic Lumix G9

The first camera on our list is the Lumix G9. It is a lighter alternative to your DSLR which is one of the main reasons why a lot of archeologists are using this camera for their line of work.

It is perfect for archeological photography with its 20.3MP micro-four-thirds sensor giving you sharp results.

In terms of construction, the Panasonic Lumix G9 is made of a magnesium alloy body that is designed to withstand rough weather conditions.

It also includes a 5-axis dual image stabilization that helps eliminate shakes and minimize wasted shots.

And because it is a camera that also takes 4K videos, archeologists not only have the ability to take photos but also videos of their work.

Despite being robust and handy, it does have some areas that need improvement.

For one, it’s difficult to see the viewfinder under sunlight.

Panasonic LUMIX G9
Panasonic LUMIX G9 image – Copyright “Rolf Dietrich Brecher”
Pros
  • Freezeproof and splashproof
  • 20.3MP
  • Takes 4K videos
  • With image stabilization
Cons
  • Hard to see the viewfinder during sunlight

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4. Canon EOS 6D Mark II

Canon EOS 6D Mark II

If you will ask experienced archeologists, don’t be surprised if most still prefer to use DSLRs.

Though a bit heavier than the mirrorless counterparts, DSLRs bring high-quality photos plus several great lenses to choose from.

We included the Canon EOS 6D Mark II as one of the best cameras for archeology for its ability to take superb images.

This camera has a 26.2MP resolution plus you can transfer files via WiFi connectivity. The EOS 6D Mark II is a favorite by many sports photographers as well because of its fast shooting ability.

Its AF is also something that can make your archeological photography a bit easy.

It has a 45 point all cross-type AF system that makes it easy to track the subject.

The only downside to this camera is that it costs more than $1,200.

Also, check out the best lenses for the Canon EOS 6D Mark II.

Canon EOS 6D Mark II
Canon EOS 6D Mark II image – Source
Pros
  • Takes high-quality shots at 26.2MP resolution
  • WiFi connectivity
  • Superb AF
Cons
  • Bit on the pricier side

→ Jump Back to Table

5. Nikon D7500

Nikon D7500

The list of best cameras for archeology won’t be complete without a Nikon DSLR. The Nikon D7500 is quite handy for a lot of users.

With its solid and an easy to grip design, not to mention its screen that can be tilted to allow you to shoot awkward angles, it is a good alternative to the more expensive D500.

Though it is a bit cheaper, Nikon didn’t cut corners. With 20.9MP resolution, this allows users to get crisp photos.

The button placements are also easy to figure out as it allows you to easily switch settings.

Also, it is worth mentioning that the AF system allows easy and accurate detection of your subject with its 51 available focus points.

The downside to this camera is that many users have complained about wirelessly transferring the files via WiFi

Also, check out the best lenses for the Nikon D7500.

Nikon D7500
Nikon D7500 image – Source
Pros
  • 20.9MP that allows users to enjoy high-quality shots
  • Superb AF that precisely targets subjects
  • Rugged design
  • Tilting screen
Cons
  • Hard to transfer the files via WiFi

→ Jump Back to Table

6. Nikon D850

Nikon D850

For those Nikon users who are willing to spend more than $2,000 on their camera, then the Nikon D850 should be on top of your list.

This comes with a 45.7 MP resolution, which can provide you with a dynamic range and clear photos for your work.

This feature alone makes it one of the best cameras for archeology, if not the best. It can also shoot at 9fps plus it can take videos in 4K.

It has a superb ISO range too.

In fact, it can go as low as ISO 64 allowing you to capture every detail on your subject.

However, you can opt to have the expandable version down to ISO 32.

When it comes to its AF, it made use of 153 focus points.

This gives you the ability to focus directly on your subject.

Also, check out the best lenses for the Nikon D850.

Nikon D850
Nikon D850 image – Source
Pros
  • Sensitive ISO
  • 9fps
  • 4K video
  • 45.7MP resolution
Cons
  • Bit on the pricier side but worth the investment

→ Jump Back to Table

7. Nikon D6 FX-Format

Nikon D6 FX-Format

The Nikon D6 is a go-to option by many serious photographers.

The D6 claims to have the most powerful AF to date. It can even take up to 14fps. It is not only one of the best cameras for archeology, but perhaps it is a bit overpowered for the job.

Its ISO sensitivity runs up to 102,400 but you could even have it expanded to 3,280,000. The max resolution is at 20.8MP.

Though we’ve featured higher resolution cameras, it has a pro-grade construction that you don’t see in your average DSLR.

The biggest turn-off for the Nikon D6 is its price tag.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the capacity to spend more than $6,000 on a camera.

Nikon D6 FX-Format
Nikon D6 FX-Format image – Source
Pros
  • Takes 14fps
  • Great for low-light conditions
  • 20.8MP
  • Professional-grade construction
  • Powerful AF system
Cons
  • Priced more than $6,000 if willing to invest in it

→ Jump Back to Table

8. Olympus OM-D E-M1X

Olympus OM-D E-M1X

The Olympus OM-D E-M1X is considered a mirrorless camera but it carries the weight of your typical DSLR.

It comes with superb image stabilization that can compensate for up to 7.5 stops.

It can also take superb images with its 20.4MP live MOP sensor that comes with dual Tropic VIII image processors.

It also comes with a 121 point all-cross-type phase-detection AF system that comes in handy if you want to shoot the subject accurately.

And for those who are looking for one of the best cameras for archeology that they can bring to the field, the Olympus OM-D E-M1X comes with a magnesium alloy weather-sealed construction that can prevent its electronic parts from getting damaged by rain and other changes in the environment.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X
Olympus OM-D E-M1X image – Source
Pros
  • Weather-sealed
  • Accurate AF
  • With superb image stabilization
Cons
  • Heavy for a mirrorless camera

→ Jump Back to Table

9. Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II is a lightweight camera that is perfect for those who are traveling for work.

You will be able to get high-quality shots with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II thanks to its 20.4MP live MOS sensor.

Plus, another reason why many archeologists love this camera is its fast and accurate AF. It comes with a 121 point-dual fast AF perfect for documenting archeological materials.

It is also known for having a fast shutter speed. So what’s not to like?

Low light capability isn’t exactly at par with larger DSLRs in the market. that’s why you might want to have some ring light with you in case you are using this camera.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II image – Copyright “Topslakr”
Pros
  • Fast shutter speed
  • Precise AF
  • 20.4MP resolution
Cons
  • Low light performance could use slight improvement

→ Jump Back to Table

10. Sony a7 III

Sony a7 III

The Sony A7 III is a full-frame mirrorless camera. What this means is that you get to enjoy the best of both DSLRs and mirrorless cameras in one.

Unfortunately, it is a bit expensive for a mirrorless camera. Its price range is somewhere around $1700 (or even higher).

However, it doesn’t exactly disappoint when it comes to its performance.

First, you have the 24.2MP sensor that comes with an outstanding ISO range.

It has an ISO sensitivity from ISO 50 to 204,800 perfect for low-light situations.

As for its AF, it accurately targets the subject especially if you are shooting a non-moving object.

Also, check out the best lenses for the Sony A7 III.

Sony a7 III
Sony a7 III image – Copyright “Noel Feans”
Pros
  • Perfect for low-light conditions
  • Lightweight
  • Takes superb images with its 24.2MP sensor
Cons
  • Expensive for a mirrorless camera

→ Jump Back to Table

Final Remarks

Looking for the best cameras for archeology?

Picking one can be confusing given all the technical details that you need to remember.

With these options, it becomes easier to weigh your options and see which camera perfectly fits your requirements.

But before you decide to buy one, be sure to know your budget and evaluate the downsides to each camera that we’ve featured as well.

Hopefully, you will be able to find the right match for your needs with the list that we’ve provided.

Be sure that you are going to compare a few cameras on this list first before you make up your mind.

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