Some of the Most Rugged Cameras Are DSLRs – Here’s 5 To Consider

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Mirrorless cameras are fantastic. They have ushered in new autofocus technologies, IBIS systems, electronics viewfinders, focus peaking, and more. However, one area where they still lag behind DSLRs is in how rugged they are. Mirrorless cameras have come a long way, don’t get me wrong, but many pros who still prefer DSLRs simply because some of the most rugged cameras come from this era. I use both Mirrorless cameras and DSLRs, but I still reach for my trusty DSLR when the going gets tough. If you want ultimate durability, exceptional battery life, and stellar image quality, these are the five rugged cameras (DSLRs) we’ve reviewed that you should reach for.

Nikon D850

Rugged Cameras

In our review, we said:

“At one point during the Nikon press trip, the Nikon D850 took quite a splash from the whitewater river. But it survived with no issues; my shirt, on the other hand… In addition to that, I took the Nikon D850 and the 28mm f1.4 out into a small rainstorm here in NYC. They both survived with no problems. I’m very confident that the Nikon D850 will survive most of what you throw at it as long as it has all the ports closed shut. In the hand, the Nikon D850 feels really great and surprisingly never hurt my wrist at all, carrying it all day long. It’s amazing that Nikon was able to pack this much into a camera like this. Professional photographers looking for a solid DSLR will find it with the Nikon D850 for sure.

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief
Rugged Cameras

Buy now: $2,799

Pentax K1 Mk II

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. The Pentax K1 Mk II is built like a tank. The camera is so tough and well built that if you dropped it, the floor would probably break.” 

Brett Day – Gear Editor
Rugged Cameras

Buy now: $1,796.95

Canon 7D Mk II

Rugged Cameras

In our review, we said:

“The Canon 7D Mk II went out with us during a rainstorm in NYC and it survived with all the durability that Canon DSLRs after 2011 have been well known for. We didn’t expect anything less to be honest. The original Canon 7D was a beast of a camera and after I sold mine, I very much missed just how much sturdier and tougher it felt than my 5D Mk II–which I still own.”

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief
Rugged Cameras

Buy now: $1,620

The rugged cameras we’ve listed in this roundup are all pro-level cameras. In the right hands, they can create stunning images. If you’re unfamiliar with DSLRs and want to improve your skills, there are guides on the market that can help you. Check out the guides, soak up the info, and put into practice what you’ve learned.

Nikon D500

Rugged Cameras

In our review, we said:

“The Nikon D500 is an incredibly capable camera–and I honestly recommend it for both pros and semi-pros. It offers very good image quality, superb battery life, great ergonomics, high reliability in the autofocus department and a load of other cools things like WiFi. It’s a seriously great camera that I’d recommend to sports, photojournalist,s and wildlife shooters. They’re bound to make the most of it.

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief
Rugged Cameras

Buy now: $1,496.95

Canon 5D Mk IV

Rugged Cameras

In our review, we said:

“We tested the Canon 5D Mk IV in a whole variety of situations. It trekked with me many places in a backpack, and overall the camera seriously held up. Something that I noticed, in particular, is how well the finish kept up. With the 5D Mk III, I was rubbing the finish off fairly quickly. That doesn’t happen here. I’ve shot with the camera in the rain, and as long as a weather sealed lens is attached, you shouldn’t have any sort of issues.

Chris Gampat – Editor In Chief
Rugged Cameras

Buy now: $2,299

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.