Best Starter Camera For Wildlife Photography

By | 17/11/2022

When y’all’re first getting into nature photography, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel to exist overwhelmed by the variety of cameras available. Should you get a DSLR or opt for something mirrorless? How about a full-frame or a crop sensor? And more than chiefly, what practice those terms fifty-fifty mean? How tin a beginner find the best camera for nature photography?

Nature photography can exist a rich, rewarding feel for any photographer at whatever skill level. The about of import traits of cameras for nature shots include loftier image resolution, a broad dynamic range, good low calorie-free performance, and expert performance when shooting at low ISOs. Well-nigh nature photographers try to shoot at the everyman ISO setting possible, such equally 100 ISO, so you want a camera that performs well at that level. You will also need accessories like a reliable tripod and a sturdy camera backpack to protect your gear while you’re getting to your shooting site.

Rise Above

Rise Above, Max Foster’s limited edition photography print of Bang-up Smoky Mountains National Park from his Autumn gallery collection.

DSLR vs. Mirrorless Cameras for Nature Photography

DSLR or digital single-lens reflex cameras are cameras that apply optical viewfinders and digital sensors to capture images. Mirrorless cameras are purely digital and don’t take the optical viewfinders that DSLRs exercise. Mirrorless cameras are typically smaller, lighter and mechanically simpler than DSLRs.

For beginning nature photographers, either a DSLR or mirrorless camera is a skillful choice— it just depends on what you want the photographic camera to practise and how you typically shoot. If y’all’re planning on taking pictures while hiking or traveling, you might similar the light weight of a mirrorless camera. But DSLRs tend to have a wider lens selection and better battery life, especially if y’all’re not using the live view and rely on your optical viewfinder.

There are many other differences between the two camera types, but both can produce stunning results at whatsoever budget level. The principal thing is focusing on learning the fundamentals and getting comfy with shooting earlier worrying too much about camera specs. However, if you lot want to buy a camera that uses the latest engineering, mirrorless is the mode to go. Nikon just announced they would exist exiting the DSLR market to focus entirely on mirrorless cameras. Mirrorless is the futurity of photographic camera technology, but DSLRs will continue to exist prevalent for many years.

Full-Frame Sensors vs. Crop Sensors for Nature Photography

“Full-frame” and “crop” refer to the size of the camera sensor. A full-frame sensor is a digital sensor that replicates the size of classic 35mm film cameras, while a crop sensor is smaller. Using a native full-frame lens on a crop sensor camera will produce images with a narrower field of view, which is often a benefit for those interested in wild fauna photography. For example, a 70mm lens on a camera with a crop factor of ane.5x volition produce a 105mm equivalent field of view.

If you lot’re just starting out with nature photography, a ingather sensor camera is a great way to start shooting inexpensively. These sensors will still produce big, beautiful images and volition make information technology easier to command your field of view. Every bit y’all advance in landscape photography, you lot may want to upgrade your camera to one with a full-frame sensor.

Panasonic Lumix G9 Crop Sensor Vs. Nikon Z7 Full Frame Sensor
Panasonic Lumix G9 Ingather Sensor Vs. Nikon Z7 Full Frame Sensor

The 3 Best Cameras for Beginning Nature Photographers

While it might exist tempting to jump right in with a professional-level camera like the Nikon D810 or the new Fujifilm GFX100S, it’s better to learn the fundamentals of nature photography on a less expensive camera organisation. Yous don’t need the most expensive camera to take amazing nature photos, and you can always upgrade your camera every bit you go deeper into the hobby. Hither are three of the best cameras for beginner nature photography.

1. All-time Budget Camera for Nature Photography Beginners: Panasonic Lumix FZ80

Type: Mirrorless

Sensor: Crop
Toll: $347 on Amazon

The near affordable camera on the listing, the Panasonic Lumix FZ80 is a lightweight, easy-to-use camera with fast, responsive autofocus, the ability to shoot in a 4K flare-up mode, and 60x optical zoom. It performs well in low calorie-free and has dozens of preset options for various shooting scenarios, which are corking for helping beginners learn about unlike camera modes. With an all-in-i design, y’all can focus on learning photography versus worrying about changing lenses.

2. Best DSLR for Nature Photography Beginners: Nikon D5600

Blazon: DSLR
Sensor: Crop
Price: $799.95 on Nikon’southward website

The Nikon D5600 offers astonishing epitome quality, incredible low-low-cal performance, and intuitive controls that give you lots of room to grow your skills. It’southward a great DSLR for the absolute beginner or the intermediate photographer and is perfect for nature photography. It’southward the only entry or mid-level Nikon with a variable angle screen, which makes it easier to go tricky shots, and even though it’s been around for several years information technology’s still outperforming new entries to the market. For the budget-conscious beginner nature photographer, it’s easy to find this camera used or refurbished.

iii. Best Mirrorless Camera for Nature Photography Beginners: Canon Eos RP

Type: Mirrorless

Sensor: Full Frame
Cost: $1299 on Amazon

The Canon Eos RP has blisteringly fast autofocus with more than 4,700 potential user-selected autofocus points. It’s lightweight and is one of the most affordable options for a full-frame sensor on a beginner-friendly photographic camera. The camera’southward Digital Lens Optimizer is designed to get the well-nigh out of any lens you pair it with, and information technology performs well at even the lowest light levels. The Eos RP is also highly dust and weather-resistant, making information technology ideal for shooting outdoors.

Eager to learn more about the globe of nature photography? Cheque out the blog for more than information.