Best Nikon Dslr For Wildlife Photography

By | 23/10/2022

All-time cameras for wildlife photography

October nineteen, 2022

Looking for a great model for the hide or to take on safari? Andy Westlake and the AP team round up the best cameras for wildlife photography

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll be talking all well-nigh the all-time cameras for wildlife photography. From budget-friendly models for beginners to the accented all-time professional person cameras on the market, these are all the all-time wild animals photography tools – as agreed by our review team.

It wasn’t easily whittling this list downwardly to only a few models, but these are the cameras that stood out in our testing as the best for wildlife photography. If y’all’re wondering how we went about making our choices, below nosotros’ve detailed our criteria for what makes a camera great for capturing images of wildlife.

How to choose the best camera for wild animals photography

When choosing your wildlife camera, you’re looking at a few key specs. Speed is a priority, as wild fauna move quickly, unexpectedly and erratically. This ways you need a
fast burst mode
and a
capable autofocus system
to keep up.

A proficient wild animals camera should also take some
weather sealing, as you’re going to exist outdoors for long periods. Good
battery life
is a plus every bit you won’t be able to stop and charge. Also, it isn’t often talked nigh with regard to wildlife, buta good amount of resolution
(i.due east. megapixels) can be really useful to capture the details of feathers and fur. Of class, if yous practice go a high-resolution photographic camera, you’ll need fast-enough retentiveness cards to proceed up.

Sensor size
is worth thinking about too. Larger full-frame sensors will capture richer images with improve particular and dynamic range, merely smaller APS-C sensors will extend the effective focal length of your lens. Meet our guide to APS-C versus full-frame for a thorough look at how this works.

On that subject, you’ll need a
long telephoto lens
, as wild subjects generally won’t allow you to go close. This might mean using a bridge camera with a long zoom lens, or a DSLR or mirrorless model with a suitable lens attached. Which y’all cull volition depend on your
and how much
you’re willing to conduct. A bridge photographic camera is lighter on both your back and wallet, but will use a smaller sensor. DSLRs and mirrorless cameras both have their ain advantages and disadvantages – see our breakdown of DSLR vs mirrorless for more.

Once you’ve got your camera, don’t miss our guide to the all-time lenses for wildlife. Plus, nosotros have a dedicated guide to the all-time cameras for bird photography. Just for now, stick with the states as we count off the best cameras for wild animals photography y’all can buy…

All-time Panasonic camera for wildlife photography – Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2000

Best cameras for wildlife - Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ2000

Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ2000 compact / bridge camera. Photograph credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • Compact / bridge
  • 20.1 MP 1.0-type CMOS sensor
  • 24-480mm equiv. f/two.8-iv.5 lens
  • 49-point autofocus
  • 12fps continuous shooting
  • Price: £769 / $997

The main describe for the FZ2000 is its congenital-in 20x zoom lens, which is equivalent to a 24-480mm lens on total-frame. That’southward long plenty for all but the most timid of subjects. Yet the aforementioned lens can also zoom out far enough to bear witness big animals in their habitat. It’s paired with a 1-in type sensor that’southward larger, and therefore gives ameliorate image quality, than those in cheaper bridge cameras.

This impressive zoom range is paired with the ability to shoot at upwardly to 12 frames per second for simply over 30 raw files or 100 JPEGs, which means you can grab split-second moments. For unpredictable action, Panasonic’s unique 4K Photograph Mode enables up to lx frames to be shot at 30fps in 4K resolution, or approximately 8MP. You lot too get an OLED viewfinder with two.36m dots and a skillful-sized 0.74x magnification, along with a 3-in 1.04m-dot vari-angle screen that’s useful for shooting from high or low angles.
This photographic camera is a keen choice for those on a budget, every bit a telephoto zoom lens tin can easily cost as much.


  • Broad zoom range
  • Deep shot buffer
  • Very reasonable cost


  • Smaller sensor than mirrorless models
  • Large zoom inevitably compromises sharpness

Read our hands on review of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2000

Best Pentax photographic camera for wild fauna photography – Pentax K-iii Mark III

Best cameras for wildlife - Pentax K3 Mark III

Pentax K3 Mark III. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • DSLR
  • 25.7MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Pentax KAF2 mount
  • 101-point autofocus
  • 12 fps shooting
  • Price: £1,899 / $i,996 (body merely)

In some respects, the K-3 Marker Three is the most advanced APS-C DSLR available, with a number of features which make it an intriguing option for wild animals shooters. It offers rapid 12 frames per second shooting, complete with continuous AF. The 101-point autofocus system includes 41 user-selectable points, with the reminder used to assist track moving subjects. Meanwhile the 25.7MP sensor delivers plenty of detail and gives good results at loftier ISO settings up to ISO 51,200.

In typical Pentax fashion, you become a rugged, weather-proofed body with lots of external controls. Notably, information technology boasts
the largest optical viewfinder you lot’ll detect on an APS-C DSLR. The G-3 Mark III is also compatible with a huge assortment of K-mount lenses, including the largest range designed specifically for APS-C DSLRs. Unfortunately, though, few tertiary-party long telephotos are available new. Even so, for existing Pentax users looking to upwards their wildlife game, it’south a fine choice.


  • Excellent weatherproofing
  • Huge optical viewfinder
  • Solid continuous AF


  • Tele lens selection inferior to other brands
  • Tech lags behind mirrorless rivals

Pentax Chiliad-3 Mark Three review

Best Sony compact for wildlife photography – Sony Cyber-shot RX10 Iv

Best cameras for wildlife - Sony Cybershot RX10 IV

Sony Cyber-shot RX10 IV compact/bridge photographic camera. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • Compact / span
  • 20.1MP one.0-type CMOS sensor
  • 24-600mm equiv. f/2.4-iv lens
  • 315-indicate autofocus
  • 24fps continuous shooting
  • Price: £1,715 / $1,698

Sony’s RX10 4 has an even longer lens than the Panasonic FZ2000, which ways you tin tightly frame animals when they are further abroad, but you withal become the landscape-friendly 24mm equivalent option too.

Perhaps the adjacent about bonny feature for wildlife photographers is the extremely capable autofocus organization. This has 315 AF points covering 65% of the prototype sensor and information technology combines both phase and contrast detection for both speed and accuracy.
It does a great chore of getting moving subjects sharp, and what’south more, it tin continue them focused while you shoot at an impressive 24 frames per second in total-resolution 20MP raw.

In improver, for composing your images there’s a ii.36m-dot OLED viewfinder that provides a respectable 0.7x magnification, plus a 3-inch ane.44m-dot tilting screen. There’s also a comprehensive range of external manual controls on offer, which makes this a great choice for enthusiast photographers. As all-in-one cameras go, information technology’s the best you can get.


  • Super-long zoom
  • Comprehensive autofocus system
  • 24fps in full-res Raw


  • Expensive for a span camera
  • No AF-area joystick or AF-on push button

Review: Sony Cyber-shot RX 10 Iv: Best all-in-one you tin can buy

Best Sony mirrorless for wildlife: Sony Alpha A9 II

Sony Alpha A9 II

Sony Alpha A9 II.

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless
  • 24MP total-frame stacked-CMOS sensor
  • Sony E lens mount
  • 693-indicate AF with subject detection
  • 20fps continuous shooting
  • Price: £4,199 / $4,498 (torso only)

Sony started the tendency for center-detection AF, and for a long fourth dimension the firm lead the way with its Real Fourth dimension Eye-AF and Real Time Tracking modes. In the A9 II, this includes the power to detect and track animal eyes when shooting silently at 20fps, with no viewfinder blackout.
The autofocus arrangement does a superb job of spotting birds in flight, even when they are very pocket-sized in the frame, and tracking them as they become closer to the camera. Dissonance is controlled extremely well at the low to mid-range ISO settings, which means the 24MP total-frame sensor captures a skilful amount of detail.

The A9 II uses a similar meaty trunk design to the firm’s popular A7 models, but adds top-plate dials for quick access to autofocus and drive modes. Files are recorded to dual UHS-II SD card slots, so different its higher resolution rivals, in that location’s no need to buy expensive CFexpress media.

Sony’s lens range has too expanded over the years and there are at present plenty of long lenses available for use on its E-mount cameras. This includes some tempting third-party options from Tamron and Sigma, which aren’t bachelor in Canon RF or Nikon Z mounts.


  • Superb bird autofocus
  • Skillful noise control
  • Useful height-plate dials


  • Some users may want more than 24MP…
  • … especially for more than £4K

Sony Alpha ane V Sony Alpha ix II: Head to head

Best professional wildlife camera: Sony Alpha 1

Sony Alpha A1 Review

Sony Alpha A1. Photograph credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless
  • 50.1MP full-frame stacked-CMOS sensor
  • Sony E lens mount
  • 759-bespeak AF with subject field detection
  • 30fps continuous shooting
  • Price: £6,499 / $6,498 (body just)

The Sony Alpha 1 builds on the A9 II, with more than double the resolution and faster 30fps continuous shooting, consummate with AF tracking. Wildlife photographers will also be pleased to hear that it gains Existent-time Eye AF for birds, every bit well as animals and humans. In add-on, there’s AI-based Real-time Tracking, with a subject detection algorithm that looks at color, blueprint, and subject altitude data to continue up with fast-moving situations.

A pixel count of only over 50 million
ways the A1 can capture a huge amount of detail, giving plenty of scope for cropping with distant subjects. Dissonance is still controlled very well upwardly to around ISO 12,800, which is good news if you’re shooting early on in the morning or belatedly into the evening. Hybrid shooters are well served too, with 8K video available at 30fps, or 4K at up to 30fps.

The compact trunk handles well, while the huge, detailed viewfinder combines 9.4m-dot resolution with 0.9x magnification. Overall, the A1 is a phenomenal camera that tin can handle almost any type of photography with aplomb.


  • Exceptional epitome quality
  • Best-ever autofocus system
  • Enormous, high-res viewfinder


  • Very, very expensive
  • Probably overkill for well-nigh people

Read the total Sony Alpha 1 review

All-time Nikon DSLR for wildlife photography – Nikon D7500

Nikon D7500 reviewed, one of the best Nikon DSLRs

The Nikon D7500 sits in the mid-range of the line-up.

At a glance:

  • DSLR
  • 20.9MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Nikon F lens mount
  • 51-signal autofocus
  • 8fps continuous shooting
  • Price: £1,049 / $999 (torso only)

Nikon’s D7500 is aimed at enthusiast photographers and uses the same 20.9MP DX (APS-C) format sensor as the pro-level D500. This means that y’all get groovy noise control within the native sensitivity range of ISO 100-51,200, but but fractionally less detail resolution than its 24MP or 26MP peers.

For viewfinder shooting there’s a 51-point AF organization, with fifteen-cross-type points, which is very fast and accurate. It includes a Dynamic-area AF option which can be set to use 9, 21 or 51 AF points for tracking the subject. While the larger groups can come in handy with larger subjects, the nine-point choice is the most reliable.
We’d circumspection confronting using live view with the tilting rear screen for shooting wildlife, though, as the photographic camera switches to an inferior contrast-observe AF arrangement.

The D7500 employs a carbon fibre monocoque construction that helps to keep its weight down, but information technology’due south still fairly robust and weather-sealed to go along out grit and moisture. With the Nikon F lens mount, it’s compatible with a huge range of lenses designed for both full-frame and APS-C (DX) format.


  • Lightweight just tough
  • Loads of lenses to cull from
  • Solid noise control


  • Poor Live View AF
  • Merely ane menu slot

Nikon D7500 review – A solid all-rounder for enthusiast photographers

All-time 2d-hand DSLR for wild fauna: Nikon D500

The Nikon D500 has an astonishing top ISO value of 1,640,000!

Nikon D500

At a glance:

  • DSLR
  • 20.9MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Nikon F lens mountain
  • 153-bespeak autofocus
  • 10fps continuous shooting
  • £800 / $one,100 (used)

The Nikon D500 is a professional-level DX-format DSLR, and like the D7500 information technology has a resolution of twenty.9MP. However, it’due south much higher specified than its more affordable sibling in near other regards, including autofocus, shooting speed and build quality. Information technology handles superbly, besides, with all the nearly important controls placed at your fingertips.

While some may wish for college resolution, the noise control and the superb autofocus operation of the D500 have seen it become a popular choice for wild fauna photographers. It’southward also a robustly fabricated camera with weather seals to keep out grit and moisture, which means
information technology can survive the harsh weather that are oft experienced in the pursuit of a wildlife prototype. Dual card slots are on board, with one accepting high-speed XQD or CFexpress cards enabling extended 10fps burst shooting for 200 frames in raw.

The D500 is one of the best APS-C DSLRs ever made, and a great choice for Nikon users who’d like to tackle fast, erratic subjects such as wildlife.


  • Groovy command layout
  • Smart tracking autofocus
  • Comprehensive conditions seals


  • Comparatively low resolution
  • Just bachelor used

Read our v-star review of the Nikon D500

All-time Nikon mirrorless for wild fauna: Nikon Z 9

Best camera for bird photography - Nikon Z9 mirrorless

The Z 9 is possibly the absolute best mirrorless camera for wildlife photography. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless
  • 45.7MP full-frame stacked-CMOS sensor
  • Nikon Z lens mount
  • 493-point AF with subject area detection
  • 20fps continuous shooting
  • Price: £5,299 / $5,496 (body but)

The Z ix sits right at the top of Nikon’s range, higher up even the Nikon D6 pro DSLR. Its specification reads like a dream for wildlife photographers: the 45.7MP full-frame sensor can capture bags of detail, while its 493-bespeak AF system does a groovy chore of getting subjects sharp. Meanwhile
you can shoot at 20fps in raw or 30fps in JPEG, and when using a fast CFexpress card, the photographic camera will continue going almost indefinitely.

Thanks to deep-learning artificial intelligence, the Z ix can also simultaneously discover any of upward to nine different types of subjects including people (eyes, faces, head and upper body), vehicles (cars, motorbikes, ‘planes and trains), and animals (whole bodies and heads and eyes for cats, dogs, birds and ‘other animals’). That’southward a massive bonus for wild animals photographers, specially with many other cameras forcing you to alter modes between animals and birds.

With its rugged build and pro-level handling, the Z 9 will besides continue on shooting in demanding environments. Information technology’southward a bang-up option for professional or serious enthusiast wildlife photographers, as long as they don’t mind its hefty size and weight.


  • Grade-leading continuous shooting
  • Deep-learning AI autofocus
  • High resolution


  • Very expensive
  • And requires expensive memory cards

Read Andy Westlake’s review of the mirrorless Nikon Z nine

Best Canon DSLR for wildlife photography: Catechism EOS 90D

Best camera for bird photography - Canon EOS 90D

Canon EOS 90D. Photo credit: Michael Topham

At a glance:

  • DSLR
  • 32.5MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Canon EF/EF-Due south lens mountain
  • 45-point autofocus
  • 10fps continuous shooting
  • Price: £1,199 / $i,199 (body but)

Catechism has aimed the EOS 90D at enthusiast photographers, with a solid-all-round characteristic gear up and comprehensive external controls. Perhaps its biggest attraction for wild fauna shooters is the
loftier-resolution 32.5MP APS-C format sensor, with lets you capture the maximum amount of detail with distant subjects. It also supports 10fps shooting when using the viewfinder, or 11fps in Live View way. Whichever way y’all choose to compose your images, using either the optical viewfinder or the three-in vari-angle touchscreen, the EOS 90D employs fast and authentic phase detection autofocus.

As it’south built around the Canon EF lens mount, the EOS 90D can be used with a huge range of lenses, including the firm’s EF-S optics that are purpose-designed for the APS-C format. Some swell long telephotos are available from both Catechism and third-party manufacturers. This all makes the EOS 90D a cracking option for enthusiast Canon DSLR photographers.


  • Huge lens option
  • Generous pixel count
  • Long battery life


  • Other cameras accept faster burst
  • Aging autofocus system

Read our full review of the Canon EOS 90D

Best cheap Canon mirrorless for wildlife: Canon EOS R7

Canon EOS R7 with 18-150mm lens in hand, Lifestyle, JW

Canon EOS R7 with 18-150mm lens in manus. Photo credit: Joshua Waller

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless
  • 32.5MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Catechism RF lens mount
  • 5,915-point AF with subject field detection
  • thirty fps shooting
  • Cost: £1,349 / $ane,499 (trunk only)

Catechism’s latest APS-C model uses a similar 32.5MP sensor to the EOS 90D but places it behind the mirrorless RF mount. This enables faster shooting and more sophisticated autofocus in a smaller and lighter body. Notably,
the EOS R7 inherits the subject recognition AF from the high-end full-frame EOS R3, which works with animals as well as humans or vehicles.

The EOS R7 also offers speedy shooting, at 15fps with the mechanical shutter, or 30fps with the silent electronic shutter. Its loftier-resolution sensor and ane.6x crop factor helps record plenty of detail with distant subjects. Canon DSLR users should discover its handling and functioning more often than not familiar, although the combined rear punch/joystick takes some getting used to.

Our biggest reservation lies with the lack of APS-C format RF-S lenses, with just a couple of uninspiring standard zooms initially available. However, wildlife shooters are well-served by telephoto options such as the lightweight RF 100-400mm F5.half dozen-viii. The EOS R7 besides works very well with EF-mount DSLR lenses via a mount adapter.


  • Subject-recognition AF
  • Loftier-resolution APS-C sensor
  • Up to 30fps burst


  • Very few RF-S lenses
  • And they aren’t conditions sealed

Catechism EOS R7 total review

Best Catechism mirrorless for wild animals: Canon EOS R3

Canon EOS R3

Canon EOS R3. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless
  • 24.1MP full-frame stacked-CMOS sensor
  • Canon RF lens mount
  • 1,053-point AF with bailiwick detection
  • 30fps continuous shooting
  • Price: £five,879 / $5,999 (body only)

Catechism’s flagship mirrorless camera sits just below the EOS-1D X Marker III DSLR in the visitor’s line-up. Information technology uses a similar robust, conditions-sealed design, with an integrated vertical grip that includes a duplicate fix of controls for portrait-format shooting and houses a chunky high-capacity battery for extended shooting. It’southward capable of shooting at a pacey 30fps when the electronic shutter is in use, or 12fps with the mechanical shutter. Both rates are with total autofocus and metering adequacy.

Fifty-fifty better news for wildlife photographers is that
the subject area detection system can spot creature eyes, faces and bodies, in hierarchical social club so if the eyes are visible, they will be what information technology focuses on. What’s more, this is combined with Canon’south heart control focus technology, which ways that if there are multiple possible subjects in the frame, you tin can select one simply by looking at in the viewfinder. Information technology works brilliantly, leaving you free to concentrate on the composition and timing of your shots. For well-heeled Canon wild fauna shooters, there’s no better choice.


  • Eye-notice AF
  • Center-control focusing really works
  • Robust, weather-sealed design


  • Very expensive
  • No 3rd-party lens options

Read why we gave the Catechism EOS R3 height marks

Best mid-range Fujifilm camera for wildlife photography: Fujifilm X-T4

Best cameras for wildlife- Fujifilm X-T4

Fujifilm X-T4. Photo credit: Michael Topham

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless
  • 26.1MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • Fujifilm 10 lens mountain
  • 425-betoken autofocus
  • 20fps continuous shooting
  • Price: £ane,549 / $1,699 (body simply)

Robust and compact, the X-T4 has found a place in many enthusiast photographers’ kit bags. Fujifilm offers a broad range of lenses perfectly matched to the APS-C format sensor, including 70-300mm, 100-400mm and 150-600mm telephoto zooms. These brand it an attractive option for wildlife photography.

The 425-point Intelligent Hybrid AF system
is well up to the task for shooting fast-moving subjects, and its subject field-tracking response can be customised via the menu to maximise your hit charge per unit in a diverseness of situations. There’s the ability to shoot at upwards to 15fps with the mechanical shutter, or 20fps with the electronic shutter. Plus, if you’re happy to accept a 1.25x ingather that gives 17MP files, you can shoot at 30fps for up to 60 lossless compressed raw files.

The raw files from the X-T4 are excellent, only it likewise produces some of the nicest JPEGs directly from the camera that you’re likely to see. This is great if you lot don’t desire to fill up your cards lots of raw files from flare-up shooting.


  • Gorgeous JPEG quality
  • Practiced array of outburst options
  • Intelligent autofocus


  • Showing its age a picayune
  • No touchscreen menu navigation

Full review of the Fujifilm X-T4

All-time Fujifilm camera for wild fauna: Fujifilm X-H2S

Best camera for bird photography - Fujifilm X-H2S

Fujifilm X-H2S. Photo credit: Andy Westlake

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless
  • 26.2MP APS-C stacked-CMOS sensor
  • Fujifilm X lens mountain
  • 425-point AF with subject area detection
  • 40fps continuous shooting
  • Price: £two,499 / $2,499 (body only)

Fujifilm’s X-system flagship model is an enticing choice for serious wild fauna photographers who’d like a more affordable alternative to full frame. It combines high performance with portability, with its 26.2MP APS-C stacked CMOS sensor supporting silent shooting at fully xl frames per second for up to 140 frames. Dial down to 15fps, and the camera can keep shooting nigh indefinitely (when using a CFexpress card). The X-H2S also gains the firm’due south kickoff
subject area-recognition autofocus system for animals and birds, along with most types of vehicle.

Fujifilm has too eschewed its signature analogue dials in favour of a highly customisable electronic interface. This allows users to configure up to vi custom shooting setups for different scenarios and recall them using the way dial. Naturally, the body is extensively weather sealed for outdoor shooting, as are about of the firm’s XF lenses. Thanks to the i.5x ‘ingather gene’ of the APS-C sensor, information technology’s possible to get impressive telephoto reach in reasonably portable lenses. This makes it a nifty choice for shooting afar wildlife.


  • Subject-recognition autofocus
  • Upwards to 40fps silent outburst
  • Extensively conditions sealed


  • Pricey for APS-C

Fujifilm X-H2S Review

Best Olympus/OM Organisation camera for wildlife photography: OM System OM-1

Best camera for bird photography - OM System OM-1

OM System OM-1. Photo credit: Joshua Waller

At a glance:

  • Mirrorless
  • xx.47MP Four Thirds stacked-CMOS sensor
  • Micro Iv Thirds lens mount
  • 1053-point AF with subject detection
  • 50fps continuous shooting
  • britain
  • Cost: £1,999 / $2,199 (body only)

The ‘Olympus’ OM-ane is the successor to the Olympus OM-D East-M1 Mark III. Aimed at outdoor, adventure and wildlife photographers, it has an impressive AI Detection AF organization that can spot and focus on cars, motorcycles, airplanes, helicopters, trains, birds and animals. Information technology sometimes needs a little targeting to look in the right office of the frame, but generally the
bird and fauna detection
works very well and will prioritise the optics if they are detected.

The OM-1 is likewise capable of shooting at blisteringly fast speeds. It offers upwardly to 50 frames per second with AF tracking using most Olympus PRO lenses, or 25fps with other lenses, or up to 120fps with stock-still focus. This is complemented by a clever Pro Capture mode that buffers frames from earlier the shutter button is fully depressed, which allows you to capture moments which would otherwise exist practically impossible.

Because the OM-i has a Four Thirds sensor, the lenses produce images with framing equivalent to twice the focal length on a full-frame photographic camera. Hence a 300mm lens gives the same attain as a 600mm lens on full-frame, which benefits wildlife photographers considering the kit can be smaller, lighter and more than affordable.


  • First-class AF system
  • Fast shooting speeds
  • MFT gives yous extra reach


  • But it’s a smaller sensor
  • Some may want more resolution

OM System ‘Olympus’ OM-1 Full Review

Written by Andy Westlake with contributions from Angela Nicholson and Jon Stapley.

At present you’re found the all-time cameras for wild fauna photography, accept a expect at these articles to acquire more:

How to check a second-hand lens for faults
How to capture fast moving birds and animals
Beginners guide to wild fauna photography

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