Best Cameras For Bird Photography 2021

By | 21/10/2022

The all-time camera for wildlife photography in 2022

best camera for wildlife photography: Canon EOS 90D



(Image credit: Canon)

Choosing the best camera for wildlife photography is a little unlike from the all-time camera for other genres. Wildlife photography is rather specialist, often requiring both patience and split-second reactions, and you need a camera that tin go along up with the action of capturing fast-moving animals.

While there are skillful wild animals photography cameras to adjust all budgets, you do need to exist a niggling more selective than possibly yous might commonly be. In this guide, we’ve picked out the all-time cameras for getting stunning wildlife shots every time – no matter what your subject.

What to look for in the best camera for wild animals

When you lot’re looking for a good wildlife photography camera, there are several things to consider. Here’s a quick run-through of the most of import features to look for when making your choice.

• A fast flare-up mode.
Being able to shoot a fast burst of continuous images is desirable no matter what kind of wildlife yous’re photographing. Animals rarely stay nonetheless and may exhibit the behaviors you lot want to capture for just fractions of a 2nd. A camera that can capture a lot of frames in quick succession is your best bet.


Fast, efficient autofocus. You need to exist able to focus quickly on a subject that’s moving unpredictably. A sophisticated autofocus arrangement with good coverage of points across the frame is the fundamental to achieving this.

• Decent buffer depth.
Buffer depth refers to how many continuous shots a photographic camera is capable of capturing without stopping. A bigger buffer means more shots, ways a longer burst, ways a greater chance of capturing the moment you want. Exist aware that cameras will generally be able to capture a larger buffer of JPEGs than RAW files The write speed of the memory cards
(opens in new tab)

is as well a factor, so become the fastest card that you can afford.

• Lens or lens range.
Ideally, you want to fill the frame with your wildlife discipline, but near wild animals are pretty tough to get close to. That ways you’ll need some telephoto range. If you choice a compact camera, get ane with a long zoom lens already fastened – probably a bridge camera
(opens in new tab)
. If it’s an interchangeable-lens camera, whether a DSLR
(opens in new tab)

or mirrorless
(opens in new tab)
, then it’s worth checking out the range of lenses available for the relevant mountain, and seeing the options for telephoto lenses within your budget. See the best lenses for bird photography
(opens in new tab)
.

We’ve split our selection of the best cameras for wild fauna into four categories for dissimilar types of users, with sections for beginners, enthusiasts, and professionals. We’ve also included a dedicated section for photographic camera traps, besides chosen trail cameras, which are a special kind of photographic camera designed to be left in the wild for extended periods. Run into our guide to the best trail cameras
(opens in new tab)

for more of these.

The best camera for wildlife photography

Wild fauna cameras for beginners

(Prototype credit: Panasonic)


(opens in new tab)

1. Panasonic Lumix FZ2500 / FZ2000

Versatile all-in-one bridge camera that packs in a 20x zoom

Specifications

Type:

Compact

Sensor:

1-inch

Megapixels:

20.1MP

Lens:

24-480mm f/two.8-four.5

AF points:

49

Outburst rate:

12fps

Buffer:

Not specified

Weight:

996g

Reasons to buy


+

Versatile zoom range



+

Great image quality

Reasons to avoid


Heavy dissonance reduction



Battery life could exist improve

While Panasonic has brought out a few new cameras in this particular wheelhouse, namely the FZ2000 and the FZ1000 Ii, nosotros reckon this is the optimal buy for relatively newbie wildlife shooters. Still widely bachelor, the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 offers an amazing level of functionality for its price, with an impressive 16x optical zoom lens that delivers the goods, even if the maximum aperture does autumn pretty sharply one time you push button the zoom beyond 170mm. With multiple different burst modes to play with and satisfying, DSLR-fashion handling, the FZ1000 offers plenty of functionality for any nature photographer, and its video features are no slouch either, with 4K 30p video that looks great and can besides exist used to extract high-quality stills.

(Image credit: Gavin Stoker/Digital Camera World)


(opens in new tab)

A brilliant all-in-one photographic camera though it does come at a price

Specifications

Blazon:

Compact

Sensor:

1-inch

Megapixels:

20.1MP

Lens:

24-600mm f/ii.4-iv

AF points:

315

Flare-up rate:

24fps

Buffer:

112 shots (RAW)

Weight:

1095g

Reasons to buy


+

Excellent and fast 24-600mm lens



+

Superb stills and video quality

Reasons to avoid


Touchscreen control limited



Relatively large and heavy

If yous’re looking to travel relatively lite only still desire to fill the frame with your subject field, so the Cyber-shot RX10 IV from Sony is the all-time span photographic camera
(opens in new tab)

y’all can buy. The RX10 Four packs in a hugely flexible 24-600mm f/2.4-4 zoom lens, an excellent one-inch sensor, an advanced AF organization and 24fps shooting. While Sony’s chucked everything at the RX10 Four and information technology’south an incredibly capable piece of kit, all this tech does come a cost. That said, if you wanted to get this kind of focal range and features in a DSLR or mirrorless combination, you’d exist paying significantly more.

Best wild animals trail cameras

(Image credit: Bushnell)


(opens in new tab)

Featuring dual sensors for great shots day or dark

Specifications

Type:

Trail

Megapixels:

30MP

Video:

1080p

Nighttime vision:

Yes

Sound recording:

Yes

LCD:

Yes

Power:

8x AA batteries

Reasons to buy


+

Dual sensors optimised for twenty-four hour period and night



+

Waterproof structure

Reasons to avoid


Powered past regular AA batteries



No wireless capability

Sometimes it’s not possible to expect for your subject to come to you, which is where a trail camera comes in. These tough cameras are activated by a subject area’due south move (and even body oestrus), allowing you to be tucked upwards in bed and leave the camera to do the hard piece of work for you. Our summit selection is the Bushnell Core DS No Glow. This packs 2 paradigm sensors, with one optimized for daylight capture and other tailored for nighttime photography. With an incredibly tough waterproof construction, yous tin happily leave it outside to battle the elements, while you tin likewise capture 1080p video up to an impressive 60p.

(Prototype credit: Spypoint)


(opens in new tab)

Solar ability ways you lot don’t have to worry about batteries

Specifications

Type:

Trail

Megapixels:

12MP

Video:

720p

Night vision:

Yep

Audio recording:

Yeah

LCD:

Yeah

Power:

Solar, lithium ion or 6x AA batteries

Reasons to buy


+

Solar-powered



+

0.07 sec trigger speed

Reasons to avoid


12MP stills capture



Simply 720p video

Different the Bushnell Core DS No Glow, the Solar Dark from Spypoint doesn’t solely rely on battery ability. As the name suggests, it can be solar powered to extend its life out in the field. Alternatively it can also describe power from either a rechargeable Lithium ion battery or six AA batteries. The 12MP resolution is pocket-sized, but images pretty good equally long as you keep your expectations in check, while there’s plenty of other features here that add to the appeal of the Solar Dark. This includes the ability to detect subjects up to 110ft away, fourth dimension lapse movies and 720P video.

Best wildlife cameras for enthusiasts

(Image credit: Catechism )


(opens in new tab)

Characteristic-packed DSLR with a great sensor and speedy performance

Specifications

Type:

DSLR

Sensor:

APS-C

Megapixels:

32.5MP

Lens mount:

Canon EF-S

AF points:

45

Outburst rate:

10fps

Buffer:

25 shots (RAW)

Weight:

701g

Reasons to buy


+

Vari-angle touchscreen



+

United nations-cropped 4K video

Reasons to avoid


Limited buffer capacity



Aggressive JPEG dissonance reduction

Some were surprised to see the Canon EOS 90D
(opens in new tab)

arrive in 2019, but it is quite a stride forward over the EOS 80D
(opens in new tab)

information technology replaced, with an all-new 32.5MP APS-C sensor that delivers first-class results, while the ability to record un-cropped 4K footage is another bonus. While the traditional 45-point phase-observe AF organisation is good, it’s when yous use the rear screen that it really shines cheers to the inclusion of Canon’s fantabulous Dual Pixel AF technology. Married to this is a polished touchscreen interface that’s really intuitive and has a battery life that’south good for one,300 shots.

(Image credit: Nikon )


(opens in new tab)

Nikon’southward ‘baby’ D5 ticks a lot of boxes for the wild animals photographer

Specifications

Type:

DSLR

Sensor:

APS-C

Megapixels:

20.9MP

Lens mountain:

Nikon DX

AF points:

153

Burst rate:

10fps

Buffer:

200 shots (RAW)

Weight:

860g

Reasons to buy


+

Robust, professional build quality



+

200 shot RAW buffer

Reasons to avert


Tiresome AF in alive view



Express touchscreen control

Nikon’s high-terminate APS-C DSLR has been around for a while now, but that shouldn’t ho-hum its entreatment for wildlife photographers out in that location, especially as the price has dropped quite a flake in the final twelvemonth or and so. Borrowing a lot of tech from the then flagship Nikon D5
(opens in new tab)

DSLR, the Nikon D500
(opens in new tab)

is a photographic camera geared towards action. The 20.9MP sensor might not have the resolving power of some other sensors, but information technology delivers clean images even at higher ISOs, while the 153-betoken AF is very sophisticated for the price. A burst shooting speed of 10fps is pretty good, but what actually impresses is the buffer which tin handle a staggering 200 RAW files. Factor in the tough metal trunk and 1.5x ingather of the APS-C sensor and you’ve got a great wildlife photographic camera.

Wildlife cameras for pros

(Paradigm credit: Olympus)


(opens in new tab)

Fast-focusing, 60fps, plenty of wildlife-orientated lenses available

Specifications

Type:

Mirrorless

Sensor:

Micro Four Thirds

Megapixels:

20.4MP

Lens mount:

Micro Four Thirds

AF points:

121 **Burst rate:** 60fps

Buffer:

286 shots (RAW)

Weight:

997g

Reasons to buy


+

Excellent image stabilization



+

Fast focusing and burst shooting

Reasons to avoid


Racket appears early on in ISO range



Clunky menus system

The OM-D Due east-M1 X
(opens in new tab)

ticks a lot of boxes when information technology comes to wildlife photography. First upward is the tough build that sees infrequent atmospheric condition-sealing – perfect for those times when y’all’ll be shooting in harsh conditions. Then there’due south the ability to shoot at up to a staggering 60fps (though this will be a little slower if you desire to take reward of some of the E-M1 X’south advanced AF settings), while the buffer is excellent at 286 shots (and that’s with RAW files). The MFT sensor is physically smaller than APS-C and total-frame rivals which does compromise things a little when it comes to epitome quality. The payoff is though that lenses are much more compact, with fast telephoto lenses considerably smaller than rivals.

(Paradigm credit: Canon)


(opens in new tab)

Getting one-time, but this is a photographic camera loved by wildlife photographers

Specifications

Type:

DSLR

Sensor:

Full-frame

Megapixels:

thirty.4MP

Lens mountain:

Canon EF

AF points:

61 **Outburst rate:** 7fps **Buffer:** 21 shots (RAW)

Weight:

890g

Reasons to buy


+

Solid build and handling



+

Sensor performs well

Reasons to avoid


Moderate frame rate



Heavy 1.64x for 4K video

It might be showing its age a scrap at present and be outgunned by the Canon EOS R5
(opens in new tab)

in many areas, simply the EOS 5D Mark IV deserves its place on the list every bit photos taken with the EOS 5D serial of cameras have probably won more wildlife competitions than any other photographic camera ever. The total-frame 30.4MP sensor delivers a skillful balance betwixt item and high ISO performance, while the Dual Pixel AF system ways that the AF system during alive view is fast and reliable. The buffer could be a bit deeper and we’re not fans of the heavily cropped 4K video, but shoot with the EOS 5D Mark IV and you can see why pros love it.

(Paradigm credit: Nikon)


(opens in new tab)

Perhaps the best DSLR always fabricated withal has plenty going it

Specifications

Type:

DSLR

Sensor:

Total-frame

Megapixels:

45.7MP

Lens mount:

Nikon FX

AF points:

153

Burst rate:

7fps

Buffer:

51 shots (RAW)

Weight:

1005g

Reasons to buy


+

Stunning image quality



+

Sophisticated AF organisation

Reasons to avert


Live view focusing is wearisome



Burst rate not as fast as some

While we could have recommended the flagship Nikon D6
(opens in new tab)
, we think the D850
(opens in new tab)

is the better option for the wildlife photographer. Information technology might not have quite the tank-similar build of the D6, but we retrieve this is perhaps the nearly consummate DSLR ever fabricated. The full-frame 45.7MP sensor is excellent and provides plenty of flexibility should yous need to crop in on you subject, while the 153-point AF system is one of the best around (if a little biased to the centre of the frame). The 7fps might seem a little slow compared to some, merely that should be ample for most subjects while the handling is some of the all-time around. Pair it with a quality, fast lens and this is a combination that will really advantage.

Best camera for wildlife: Sony A9 II

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony’due south speedster camera is perfectly suited to wild animals

Specifications

Type:

Mirrorless

Sensor:

Full-frame

Megapixels:

24.2MP

Lens mount:

Sony E

AF points:

693 stage-detect, 425 contrast-detect

Flare-up charge per unit:

20fps

Buffer:

239 shots (RAW)

Weight:

678g

Reasons to buy


+

Top-class burst and AF



+

APS-C ingather characteristic



+

Totally silent shutter

Reasons to avert


Less rugged than DSLRs



And sensor more than vulnerable

Equally sports and wildlife photography share a lot of the same priorities, it makes sense that Sony’s sports flagship is also a bully choice for wildlife. The Sony A9 Two is an absolute speed demon, able to rattle off hundreds of frames at 20fps, and with possibly the best and fastest autofocus system in the business. It’south besides got Sony’s Fauna Eye AF organization, which can lock onto an creature’southward eyes with astonishing speed, making for those perfect wild animals portraits. Having the APS-C crop mode is also super-handy, allowing y’all to give yourself a piddling extra-effective telephoto accomplish whenever you need it. The shutter is totally silent, and the weather condition-sealing of the A9 Two has been upgraded from the original A9. Wild fauna photography is all about nailing the shot in a fraction of a 2d, and the Sony A9 Two is one of the best cameras for achieving that.

You might likewise like to discover out more nearly

the best trail cameras

(opens in new tab)


you can buy to spot elusive wild fauna. And to get closer to your subjects, bank check out the

best 150-600mm lenses

(opens in new tab)


and the

best macro lenses

(opens in new tab)

.


Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Bring together now for unlimited access


Enjoy your first month for merely £1 / $i / €1

*Read v free articles per month without a subscription


Join at present for unlimited access

Try first calendar month for just
£one / $1 / €1

Lauren is the Managing Editor of Digital Camera World, having previously served as Editor of Digital Photographer
(opens in new tab)

magazine, a practical-focused publication that inspires hobbyists and seasoned pros alike to take truly astounding shots and get the best results from their kit.

An experienced photography journalist who has been roofing the industry for over eight years, she has too served as technique editor for both PhotoPlus: The Canon Mag
(opens in new tab)
PhotoPlus: The Canon Mag and DCW’s sister publication, Digital Camera Mag
(opens in new tab)
.

In improver to techniques and tutorials that enable y’all to achieve great results from your cameras, lenses, tripods and other photography equipment, Lauren tin can regularly exist institute interviewing some of the biggest names in the industry, sharing tips and guides on subjects like landscape and wildlife photography, and raising awareness for subjects such as mental wellness and women in photography.

Related manufactures

Source: https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/buying-guides/best-camera-for-wildlife