Wildlife photography is an increasingly popular hobby; Its growth has been driven primarily by the proliferation of photographic features previously reserved only for high-end professional cameras. Many cameras are now capable of taking sharp images of wildlife, but some are more suited to this use than others. There are a few factors to consider when choosing a camera for wildlife photography. The fast continuous shooting speed lets you take sharp images of fast-moving wildlife, while the short image buffer clearing time keeps shooting interruptions to a minimum. Silent shooting modes are also important, as you don't scare any moving animals by creating unexpectedly loud sounds. An accurate and responsive autofocus system with a wide coverage area is also important if you are

Keep in mind that the lens you choose can significantly affect a camera's suitability for wildlife photography. Using a telephoto lens with a longer maximum focal length is important in order to capture sharp images of distant animals, but that's not the only thing to consider when choosing a lens for this use. Maximum aperture, autofocus performance, stabilization performance, and image quality all depend on the lens you use, which means camera performance can vary greatly depending on the lens and settings you choose.

We've tested over 70 cameras, and here are our recommendations for the best cameras for wildlife photography based on design, available features, and price. You can also check out our picks for the best cameras for photography, the best digital cameras, and the best cameras for beginners.

Wildlife Photography

Best Mirrorless Camera for Wildlife Photography: Nikon Z 6II

The best mirrorless camera for wildlife photography that we have tested is the Nikon Z 6II. This flagship mirrorless camera uses a full-frame sensor and is a good choice for most wildlife photographers. Its weather-sealed body feels well-built and incredibly comfortable to photograph, thanks to its great grip, high-resolution electronic viewfinder, and customization options.

The camera offers excellent overall image quality when shooting in JPEG, and its high ISO performance is excellent with very little noise when shooting at high ISO settings in low light. For longer shooting sessions, the camera has two memory card slots, including a slot for high-speed CFexpress cards, giving you a virtually unlimited photo buffer.

While the camera can shoot at around 13fps in its extended high-speed continuous shooting mode, the camera will display your previous shot in the viewfinder instead of going back to the live feed when using Extended mode, which you can do lose sight of it. Theme. To avoid this you will need to use the normal high-speed driving mode which is limited to 5.5fps. Still, if you're looking for a complete mirrorless camera for wildlife photography, this is one of the best cameras for wildlife photography that we've tested.

Fujifilm X-T4 Wildlife Photography

If you prefer to shoot with a crop sensor camera, check out the Fujifilm X-T4. This Nikon Z6II. It doesn't do as well in low light as its APS-C sensor, but it's significantly smaller and more portable, and an APS-C lens is generally cheaper. This flagship model offers good overall performance and is more than adequate for everyday nature photography. It has great battery life for long days of filming and is designed to be weather resistant to protect against moisture and dust. It can shoot at a fast burst rate of 12fps for fast motion capture and an even faster 20fps in its silent shooting mode, which is ideal for capturing easily startled animals. Image quality is very good overall, and while noise management isn't that great, it's still excellent. Its autofocus system works well too, keeping subjects in focus on the fly, though it can be a bit inconsistent at times. That said, it does have a small photo buffer and '

If you want a complete camera with For better low-light performance, get the Nikon, but if you prefer the portability and focal range of an APS-C camera, consider Fujifilm.

Nikon D780 Wildlife Photography

The Nikon D780 is the best camera for bird watching or wildlife photography that we have tested in the DSLR category. This robust full-frame camera has a wide range of customizable buttons and settings, including custom shooting modes you can set to your preferences, so you can focus more on your subjects and less on scrolling through menus. Can? Its optical viewfinder is large and comfortable to use, and the camera has a weather-sealed body for harsher weather conditions.

This camera has an incredibly long battery life that is advertised for around 2,260 photos, which is more than adequate for long days of photos, though battery performance also depends on your usage habits. Its full-frame sensor also offers excellent high ISO performance along with excellent handling of raw noise. It can also shoot bursts at 8fps in its high-speed continuous shooting mode, though it's limited to 4fps in silent mode.

Unfortunately, this camera doesn't have in-body image stabilization, so you'll have to optionally use a stabilized lens when shooting handheld. Still, Nikon offers a wide range of DSLR lenses, many of which have effective optical stabilization. For example, the Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G ED VR kit lens that we tested the camera with does an excellent job of reducing camera shake. Overall, this is a well-built, full-featured DSLR that is a great camera for wildlife photography for most people.

Cheaper option: Canon EOS 90D

Nikon D780. Unlike the US, it uses a crop sensor, so it doesn't do well in low light and doesn't feel premium or well-built, though it's still advertised as weather-sealed. And it was especially cheap. It feels very comfortable to use and its menu system is incredibly easy to navigate. It offers good overall image quality, although its raw noise handling capabilities are good at high ISO levels. On the plus side, it has a high-speed continuous shooting rate of 11fps. However, your photo buffer is very small and you have 10 seconds of free buffer time, which can slow down filling. The camera also lacks in-body image stabilization, but it still does an excellent job of reducing handheld camera shake with its kit lens. It has a very good autofocus system that tracks subjects well on the fly.

If image quality and low-light performance are priorities, get the Nikon. However, if you want to save some money on a solid camera and leave more room in your budget for a lens, the Canon is a good option.

Best Bridge Camera for Wildlife Photography: Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II

If you're looking for a bridge camera, the best wildlife camera we tested with a fixed superzoom lens is the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 II. This bridge camera feels well built and very comfortable to shoot thanks to its DSLR-style body, which includes a large textured grip and comfortable viewfinder. Its built-in lens has a 25-400mm equivalent focal length range, so you can easily get up close to distant subjects like birds or small animals.

While it can be difficult to track faces continuously, the camera's autofocus system does a great job of tracking moving objects. It has some useful features, such as "focus stacking", which allows you to combine images shot at different focus points to get a wider focal range, and "back focus", which allows you to change the focus point of an image. then. to carry Both can be useful for nature photographers. It also shoots at 10fps in its high-speed continuous shooting mode, which means you can take quick bursts of fast-moving photos.

That said, it does have a bit of image buffering, especially when shooting RAW. You also have a lot of free buffer time when shooting in RAW, which can make your shot difficult, but on the plus side, it empties your buffer almost immediately when shooting in JPEG. It also provides excellent overall image quality. Overall, this is a great value option if you are looking for a bridge camera for wildlife photography.

Long maximum zoom: NIKON COOLPIX P1000

If zoom range is your top priority, check out the Nikon COOLPIX P1000. It's also noticeably larger and heavier than the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 II, which makes it a bit cumbersome to carry around. However, it has the longest zoom range of any fixed lens camera, at 125x zoom. Its built-in lens has a full-frame equivalent focal length of 24-3000mm and features good optical stabilization to reduce camera shake, though you'll still need to use a tripod and remote shutter when shooting at extreme focal lengths. It can be necessary. Still, it should allow you to take candid photos or close-ups of animals or birds from afar. However, its autofocus system is slow and unreliable, and while it can shoot burst photos at 7fps to capture fast motion, it only shoots seven images at a time. Still, it offers good overall image quality in bright lighting conditions.

If you want a more practical and versatile bridge camera, then go for the Panasonic, but if you want the longest zoom on the market, go for the Nikon.

Best Compact Camera for Wildlife Photography: Sony RX100 VII

The best camera for outdoor photography that we have tested with a compact design is the Sony RX100 VII. If you need something small and portable for light nature photography, a compact camera is a great option as you can easily take it with you wherever you go. It has a small pop-up EVF if you prefer to shoot through the viewfinder, and its built-in lens can zoom to a maximum focal length of 200mm to capture distant subjects.

Its overall image quality is excellent, with incredible dynamic range, although it's less suited to low-light shooting due to its smaller sensor. Its autofocus system is also excellent, with an advertised 357 detection points and a subject detection mode that lets you choose between people or animals. Take photos to capture quick bursts of fast action at a remarkably fast 20fps in its high-speed continuous shooting mode. There's also a 'single burst' shooting mode that shoots bursts of seven images at 30, 60 or 90fps for split-second action shots.

That said, it does have a relatively small photo buffer, especially when shooting RAW, and its image buffer takes a long time to fill once, meaning shooting can be interrupted. Battery life is also below average, though it can vary depending on settings and usage habits. It supports use while charging via USB, which is useful if you have a portable battery. Overall, this is a good option for wildlife photography if you just want to point and shoot.

Notable Mention

  • Nikon Z 6: The Nikon Z 6 is the predecessor of the Nikon Z 6II. It works similarly in general, but it doesn't have twin processors or a second slot for an SD card.
  • Nikon COOLPIX P950: The Nikon COOLPIX P950 is a bridge camera that is slightly more portable than the Nikon COOLPIX P1000, but has a shorter maximum focal range and doesn't feel as solidly built.
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV: The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is a full-frame DSLR with fairly fast maximum shutter speeds. Its autofocus system gives the Nikon D780 poor tracking performance and its fixed screen slightly limits its ability to shoot from unconventional angles.
  • Canon EOS R6 – The Canon EOS R6 is a highly versatile full-frame mirrorless camera that is even more comfortable to use than the Nikon Z 6II and has a maximum shooting speed of 18fps. However, it is more expensive and lacks a CFexpress card slot, so it takes longer to clear its image buffer.
  • Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II: The Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II is an excellent mirrorless alternative. Its Micro Four Thirds sensor gives you a longer focal range, and there's a neat 4k and 6k photo feature that extracts high-res stills from short 4k or 6k video clips at 60fps or 30fps. That said, its autofocus system isn't the most consistent.
  • Sony α7 III: The Sony a7 III is an excellent full-frame mirrorless camera with an excellent autofocus system. However, it is now a bit outdated and lacks some of the features that the Nikon Z 6II has, such as weather sealing or a CFexpress card slot. Its continuous fire rate is also quite slow.
  • Sony RX10 IV – The Sony RX10 IV has a more robust autofocus system than the Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 II, as well as larger buffer sizes and faster maximum continuous shooting speeds. It's significantly more expensive though, so the Panasonic should represent a better value for most people.

Recent Updates

Jan 05, 2022 - Verified that the selections still represent the best options for their given categories.

November 10, 2021: Options are checked for accuracy and availability; No change in recommendations

October 20, 2021: verification of the accuracy and availability of the selection; No change in recommendations

September 29, 2021 - Panasonic LUMIX GH5 II, Sony a7 III and Sony RX10 IV added to notable mentions.

September 08, 2021: Accuracy of review and choice availability with no change to recommendations.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best wildlife cameras for most people based on their needs. We factor in price, feedback from our visitors, and availability (no hard-to-find or near-sold-out cameras in the US).

If you'd like to pick one for yourself, here's a list of all of our camera reviews, sorted by their suitability for sports and wildlife photography. Be careful not to get bogged down in the details. Nobody is the perfect camera. Personal taste, preference and shooting habits are the most important in your final selection.