5 Rugged Cameras That Are Hot Performers In the Cold

These Mirrorless cameras can work in extremely cold conditions longer than you can.

There has been a lot of talk about cameras when they get too hot in 2020. Did you know that it’s not just the heat you need to worry about, though? We’re just a short time away from blistering cold temperatures. The cold, just like the heat, can shut your camera down and can put you out of commission in a snap! If you’re a photographer who shoots out in the extremes and you need rugged cameras that can brave the cold, this roundup is for you. After the break, we’ll share five rugged cameras that will still perform flawlessly in the extreme cold this winter.

So, what exactly can happen to your cameras in colder weather? First of all, poor insulation will affect battery life. A cold battery will be a dead battery much quicker. Think about keeping a portable battery pack in your camera bag so you can charge while out and about. I own this one, and it’s a lifesaver when out in the field. Your LCD and EVF can experience lag, color abnormalities and can even cease to function entirely. Of course, if you warm your camera back up, all of these functions will return to normal. Still, their malfunction could cause you to miss shots. Be sure to keep hand warmers with you just in case your camera starts to have issues, and always use these rugged cameras with weather-sealed lenses. We cannot stress this enough.

You’ve Got Plenty Of Rugged Cameras To Choose From

rugged cameras
Cameras like the Sony a9 II can perform down to 32F, but there are better options for more extreme conditions.

While most cameras can perform down to 32F, 0C, the rugged cameras listed below perform even better. We know that cameras like the Canon 5D IV, the Canon EOS R5, and R6, the Nikon D850, the Sony a7 and a9 series, and many others can perform in temperatures lower than 32F. Still, if you’re really serious about shooting in extremes, the rugged cameras below are the ones you should spring for. We have included the environmental conditions the rugged cameras below can operate in. However, from personal experience with several of them, I can tell you they can withstand much more. Check out our top picks for rugged cameras below.

Olympus OMD EM1X (Freeze Proof)

rugged cameras

In our review, we said:

“The Olympus OMD EM1X hands down is the single best damn digital mirrorless camera I’ve held and used thus far. During my testing, I shot with it in the snow, in the dirt, and even after purposely getting dirt on it I ran a hose over it and we’ve got the videos to prove it.

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief

Buy now: $1,999

Fujifilm XT4 (Operates Down to 14F, -10C)

rugged cameras

In our review, we said:

“Fujifilm’s created yet another compact and well-built workhorse with the XT4. Like most of the higher-end offerings from Fujifilm’s X mount camera lineup, the X-T4 is weather sealed. We wouldn’t go dunking the camera into the ocean, but you can keep shooting confidently even if you happen to get caught in a rainstorm.”

Paul Ip – Former Reviews Editor
rugged cameras

Buy now: $1,699

Pentax K1 Mk II (One Tough DSLR)

rugged cameras

In our review, we said:

“This camera is designed to be used out in the wild where the elements can get in its face. I took this camera out into the pouring rain, heavy snow, dense fog, 45 mph winds, and into temperatures that dropped to -3 Fahrenheit and it never missed a beat thanks to the 87 weather sealing points found around the body.”

Brett Day – Gear Editor
rugged cameras
rugged cameras

Buy now: $1,796.95

Get More Out Of These Rugged Cameras

The rugged cameras listed here will help you capture shots that you simply would have missed with other cameras. Now, though, you can make your shots even better with these presets that are designed to make winter images look even better. This preset bundle will really make your images sparkle. The best part? It’s just $19! Grab these winter presets while you can, and make even more images people won’t be able to resist.

Panasonic S1 (Survived Freezing Rain)

rugged cameras

In our review, we said:

A professional photographer can truly rely on the Panasonic S1. It’s a workhorse when it comes to its build quality.”

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief

Buy now: $2,497.99

Olympus OMD EM1 III (Small and Rugged)

rugged cameras

In our review, we said:

“We’re very impressed with the build quality of the camera. It’s also rated to IPx1. If you’re curious about what an IP rating is, then know that this camera can take dripping water vertically, and it’s protected from impact with objects more substantial than 50mm.”

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief
rugged cameras

Buy now: $1,399

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.