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Best Camera for Wildlife Photography

Capturing wildlife through a lens can conjure up some phenomenal images. Wildlife is never the same from one day to the next.

The moment you step out with your camera, the possibilities of what you will see are endless. With so many scenarios possible, you need to consider a variety of factors when choosing a wildlife camera.

If you’re beginning your journey into wildlife photography, then you will be looking for a reasonably priced camera. This should let you grow into it but be easy enough to use so you can learn the intricacies of photography as you go along.

Even if you’re an experienced photographer, you may be looking for an upgrade. Whichever level you are at, we have you covered.

We have gone into the wilds and captured 5 of the best wildlife cameras for you to consider. We have chosen models that suit a tight budget as well as more up-market products that may suit the more experienced photographer.

For those on a tight budget, we highly recommend opting for a crop sensor. If you’re somewhat more serious about photography, we suggest a full-frame sensor.

We will discuss the specs and features you should consider below as well as the pros and cons of each camera. This is so you can make a blanched decision on which camera suits your needs best.

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Best Camera for Wildlife Photography – Comparison Table

Best Camera for Wildlife Photography – Reviews

Our Pick
Panasonic LUMIX G9 4K Digital Camera, 20.3 Megapixel Mirrorless Camera Plus 80 Megapixel High-Resolution Mode, 5-Axis Dual I.S. 2.0, 3-Inch LCD, DC-G9 (Black)
Our rating:

Our first pick is the phenomenal Panasonic G9. This affordable Micro Four Thirds camera from Panasonic is one of the best value for money models on the market right now.

Although introduced back in 2018, it has remained a popular choice for wildlife photography enthusiasts ever since.

The G9 is also capable of capturing top-quality videos, something that is sometimes needed with the uncertainties of wildlife photography.

It sports a four-thirds-sized sensor and the crop factor is 2.0x. These specs and other features make it ideal for photographing scenes from a great distance away.

Providing a 20.3MP image resolution, the Panasonic G9 is excellent in terms of its dynamic range.

It also boasts a 5-axis in-body image stabilization making it a superb action camera. When using it with a lens that has optical stabilization, you can achieve 6.5 stops of correction.

The G9 also features a continuous focus and a mechanical shutter. This can capture 9 frames per second so you will not miss any action when out in the wilds.

Switch to its electronic shutter and the camera shoots up to 20 frames per second. Ideal for capturing nature doing what it does best.

Pros
  • Affordable – Compared to many with similar specifications, this is great value for money
  • Excellent dynamic range – Provides a 20.3MP image resolution to capture a diverse range of shots
  • Ideal action camera – Has 5-axis in-body image stabilization making it perfect for photographing moving objects with ease 
Cons
  • Various lenses result in a poorer focus – Lenses can suffer with some resulting in a poorer photo 

Nikon D7500 DSLR Camera with 18-140mm VR and 70-300mm Lens Bundle with 420-800mm Preset f/8 Telephoto Lens + 128GB Card, Tripod, Flash, and More (23pc Bundle)
Our rating:

For beginner wildlife photographers with a little more cash to splash, the Nikon D7500 DSLR Camera is one of the best to begin your journey with.

Although not the most expensive on the market, it can certainly compete with some of the most costly options available.

The images this camera produces are very impressive. Its 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor ensures excellent picture quality. Even if you struggle to balance the camera settings at first, you should still achieve great quality photos with the D7500.

The bundle that accompanies this camera is mind-blowing. Some of the extras include 58mm wide-angle and telephoto auxiliary lenses, a 67mm 3 pc filter set (UV, CPL, FLD), a 67mm tulip threaded lens hood, and a deluxe camera gadget bag.

This bundle simply has everything you need to head out into the wilds and start capturing astonishing photos.

While novice photographers will make mistakes as they learn to get to grips with new cameras, the Nikon D7500 is a very forgiving camera and intuitive enough for anyone to learn the basics of photography quite quickly.

Pros
  • Amazing bundle – With all the accessories included, you don’t need to shop around or spend extra on anything else
  • Excellent overall quality – The photos produced by the D7500 are crystal clear and of the highest quality
  • Includes a Nikon camera-A versatile lens – Allows you to capture far distant objects with great clarity
Cons
  • Weak tripod stand – The tripod stand could be a bit sturdier, especially when additional lenses are used 

Pentax KP 24.32 Ultra-Compact Weatherproof DSLR with 3' LCD, Black
Our rating:

Pentax may not be as famous as Panasonic or Nikon but they produce gems every now and again. The Pentax KP is a great action DSLR and is ideal for wildlife photography.

Weatherproof by name and weatherproof by nature, this camera has an excellent grip in all conditions and very practical controls.

The features included are top-notch. This KP 24.32 Ultra-Compact DSLR camera boasts Wi-Fi and GPS, the former being very useful when off the beaten track.

It is also capable of sensor shifting resulting in less pixelated photos. It also has an in-body 5-axis image stabilization system to get the stillest photos possible. You are able to choose from 27 autofocus points with 25 being more sensitive cross-type.

And when we consider its ISO performance, it maxes out to an exceptional 819.200. So, whether you’re waiting at dawn or dusk, your photos will be bright and clear at all times.

We are very impressed by this camera’s vertical tilt LCD monitor. It facilitates high and low-angle shooting allowing you to vary your angle with ease and precision. This is something very handy in wildlife photography.

Pros
  • Features Wi-Fi and GPS – Allows you to transfer photos seamlessly onto another device straight away if required and embed geographical data to photos instantly
  • Outstanding ISO performance – Maxing out to 819.200, this camera captures bright photos whatever the conditions are
  • Vertical tilt LCD – You can angle this camera with ease without affecting the quality of the shot
Cons
  • Back focus issues – Some users have reported problems when using Pentax lenses

Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera Body
Our rating:

Next up, we have another top-quality camera from Nikon. The D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera offers a wide range of high-quality and professional features. And, despite its relatively high price tag, once you use the camera, every cent is worth it.

This D750 camera may be better suited to the more experienced or intermediate wildlife photographer. Its array of features and high price tag means it should certainly be considered by someone who has expertise in the area of using cameras.

This camera is compatible with different Nikon lenses such as wide-angle options. This makes wildlife photography a whole lot easier.

Despite not being the best point-and-shoot camera for those unexpected moments in wildlife photography, the D750 is easier to use when taking shots of the great outdoors.

This camera features a 24.3MP sensor resulting in some of the highest quality photos on the market, especially in this price range.

Its CMOS sensor is accompanied by an EXPEED 4 image processor which helps provide a clearer photo with no hint of any blur whatsoever.

Along with its built-in image stabilization system and wireless communication, it is easy to transfer the most epic shots to different devices in an instant.

Pros
  • 1080p video recording – As well as capturing high-quality photos, this camera can also create clear videos of your surroundings
  • Compact build – Lightweight and easy to transport making it ideal for long days out in the wilds
  • Wireless communication – Easy to transfer photos to another device very quickly
Cons
  • No Bluetooth – Doesn’t allow you to connect to certain apps or other devices
  • Lacks 4K video – Although the video quality is very good, it lacks the clarity that a 4K video would offer

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
Our rating:

One of the most recognizable names in the photography industry, Canon is renowned for producing some of the finest cameras on the market and their EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera is no exception.

A great beginner camera or for those who want to take wildlife photography a little more seriously, the EOS 7D Mark II camera offers a range of excellent control options and internal functions that compete with cameras far more expensive.

This Canon EOS 7D Mark II camera offers a very instinctive ISO. This means your photos will rarely be grainy. Along with its autofocus system, it is easy to track movement with this camera.

For wildlife photography alone, this is an exceptional camera. Its shooting speed of 10 fps is simply perfect for capturing animals and other events that move in the blink of an eye.

When you combine this with the camera’s ISO and AF system, you will be sure to achieve some outstanding action shots, even when you’re in low-light settings.

Pros
  • Extremely quiet shutter – This is vital for wildlife photography where even one little sound can scare off animals in an instant 
  • Top-quality weather seal – Great for outdoor use and safe to use when it’s pouring down with rain
  • Performs excellently in low-light situations – Its ISO and AF system help you shoot the clearest action shots, even when the light is relatively poor
Cons
  • Poor battery life – Doesn’t last as long as you would hope so always take a spare for long days out
  • No WiFi connectivity – Can not transfer photos automatically when out and about

Best Camera for Wildlife Photography – Buyers Guide

Now you have seen our top 5 wildlife cameras, you may be itching to get your credit card out and purchase the one you like the look of the most. But, hang on! There are various factors and different criteria that you must consider before purchasing a wildlife camera.

Below are some of the most important aspects and features to look out for in a wildlife camera. When considering these, you can then make a balanced decision on the right camera for you.

Burst Mode

The burst speed of your camera can depend on your subject. However, in general, a fast burst speed is extremely desirable, especially in wildlife photography.

This allows you to fire off a series of shots in continuous and fast succession. Doing this will help you capture a split-second moment that may never happen in front of your eyes ever again. It can be the difference between a winning shot and something lost forever.

Autofocus

A fast and efficient autofocus mode is high on the list of priorities for wildlife photography. These provide better coverage across the frame so you can capture more of your surroundings.

You should look for a camera that offers a sophisticated AF tracking system with the ability to acquire focus in low or poor lighting conditions.

Buffer Depth

Along with the fast burst mode of a camera, its buffer’s depth is equally important. This is simply the number of continuous shots your camera can make before it has to pause.

Cameras with a better buffer allow you to capture more shots in one single burst. Nonetheless, other factors do come into play. Cameras will usually be able to shoot more JPEGs than raw files and the write speed of the camera’s memory card can also play a key role with the buffer depth too.

Lens Range

Most wildlife photographers will agree that the best wildlife shots tend to have their subject filling the entire screen. This is where the lenses of a camera are concerned.

The majority of bridge cameras include large built-in zoom lenses to help with these huge shots. If you’re considering a more advanced DSLR or mirrorless camera, you may need to consider using a range of telephoto lenses too.

Well known DSLR systems sport extensive lens support that are available with all kinds of budgets. However, this may not always be possible with newer mirrorless systems but the camera market is forever changing.

Low Light Capabilities

Wildlife comes in all shapes and sizes as well as levels of light. Remember, most animals are not very active during the middle of the day. Therefore, you may have to explore the wilderness in the depths of the nighttime to capture the best animal shots.

As a wildlife photographer, you need to be prepared at dawn and dusk. While you can get used to this, your camera also needs to perform well under certain light conditions too.

As the light drops and animals begin to emerge in their habitats, many cameras will struggle to pick anything up in dim lighting. This is when you need to increase the ISO speed to make the sensor of your camera more sensitive to light.

This will, therefore, brighten your exposure. However, this can bring about digital noise which can be removed in post-production. Nevertheless, there is only so much of this noise a photo can withstand before it is ruined.

The best wildlife cameras tend to have very good ISO capabilities. This could mean looking for a full-frame camera but these generally cost a lot more.

You can determine how good a camera is when handling higher ISO speeds by comparing images online. Keep a close eye on the level of digital noise in different images.

The good news is that you can still take excellent photos of wildlife, even if the light is low and your budget isn’t too high. It’s just a matter of comparing and contrasting different models until you find the one that suits your needs best.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best types of cameras for wildlife photography?

Compared to other photographers, wildlife photography requires a little more out of the specifications and features.

A wildlife camera should be able to perform very well in different lighting conditions, be able to capture motion easily, and be tough enough to survive different elements that nature throws at it.

The most popular wildlife cameras include point-and-shoot, DSLR, and mirrorless cameras. Point-and-shoot cameras that include a proper zoom can be perfect for wildlife photography. They are usually very easy to use and are generally a favorite among amateur photographers.

DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras offer more opportunities when controlling different shots. They contain interchangeable lenses as well as a viewfinder so you can see exactly what the lens is seeing.

You can also track images in real-time which is ideal for capturing the ever-changing movements in wildlife.

Mirrorless cameras are a little different as they do not reflect the image from its lens into the viewfinder.

Alternatively, these camera images are sent directly from their lens to an image sensor. The camera then uses an electronic viewfinder (EVF) to project the image into your eye. These tend to be lighter but perform just as well as DSLR models with the choice to change lenses if necessary too.

Mirrorless cameras are best suited to photographers who travel around frequently or for those who are looking to reduce their overall weight of equipment when capturing photos.

Last Updated on 2021-03-20 //Source: Affiliate Affiliates

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