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Compare the Best Wildlife Photography CamerasJanuary 2020

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The best cameras for capturing high-quality photos of wild animals and birds.
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Rank
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Average Review Rating
Price
Megapixels
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84

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Nikon logo

Nikon D3100

909 Reviews
DP Review - SilverPhotographyBlog.com - Highly RecommendedEphotozine - Highly RecommendedWhat Digital Camera - Recommended

$69.00

14.2MP
Info
Depends on lens
505g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Jun 2012

80

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Canon logo

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

83 Reviews

$400.00

22.3MP
Info
Depends on lens
950g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Mar 2012

76

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Olympus logo

Olympus OM‑D EM1

219 Reviews
Techradar - Editor's ChoiceTrusted Reviews - RecommendedPhotographyBlog.com - Highly RecommendedEphotozine - Highly Recommended

$359.00

16.3MP
Info
Depends on lens
443g
Info
Mirrorless
Info
Info
Sep 2013

84

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Nikon logo

Nikon D610

141 Reviews
Trusted Reviews - RecommendedEphotozine - Highly RecommendedPocket Lint - RecommendedExpert Reviews - Best Buy

$256.95

24.3MP
Info
Depends on lens
760g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Nov 2013

84

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Nikon logo

Nikon D810

560 Reviews
Trusted Reviews - RecommendedPhotographyBlog.com - Highly RecommendedEphotozine - Editor's ChoiceWhat Digital Camera - Gold

$899.00

36MP
Info
Depends on lens
880g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Jun 2014

83

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Nikon D7100

250 Reviews
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$129.95

24.1MP
Info
5.8x
Info
675g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Mar 2013

76

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Olympus Stylus 1

87 Reviews
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$728.99

12MP
Info
10.7x
Info
402g
Info
Bridge
Info
Info
May 2015

83

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Nikon D3300

45 Reviews
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$199.00

24.2MP
Info
Depends on lens
410g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Jan 2016

85

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Sony α Alpha A6000

65 Reviews
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$169.00

24.3MP
Info
3x
Info
285g
Info
Mirrorless
Info
Info
Feb 2014

83

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Panasonic Lumix DMC‑GH4

178 Reviews
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$313.37

16.05MP
Info
Depends on lens
480g
Info
Mirrorless
Info
Info
Mar 2014

79

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Samsung WB1100F

34 Reviews

$160.00

16.2MP
Info
35x
Info
462g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Jan 2014

84

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Nikon D5300

201 Reviews
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$329.00

24.2MP
Info
Depends on lens
480g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Nov 2013

76

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Nikon 1 J4

86 Reviews
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$366.85

18.4MP
Info
Depends on lens
192g
Info
Mirrorless
Info
Info
Dec 2015

80

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Sony α Alpha A7R

101 Reviews
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$699.00

36.3MP
Info
Depends on lens
407g
Info
Mirrorless
Info
Info
Jan 2016

78

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Samsung NX Mini NXF1

$299.00

20.5MP
Info
Depends on lens
158g
Info
Mirrorless
Info
Info
Apr 2014

80

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Canon PowerShot SX400 IS

111 Reviews
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$135.00

16MP
Info
30x
Info
313g
Info
Bridge
Info
Info
Jul 2014

82

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Sony α Alpha A5100

317 Reviews
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$448.00

24.3MP
Info
3x
Info
224g
Info
Mirrorless
Info
Info
Aug 2014

85

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Nikon D750

238 Reviews
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$913.97

24.3MP
Info
3.5x
Info
750g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Oct 2014

78

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Canon Powershot SX60 HS

586 Reviews
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$316.85

16.8MP
Info
65x
Info
649g
Info
Bridge
Info
Info
Sep 2014

80

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Canon EOS 7D Mark II

$999.99

20.2MP
Info
Depends on lens
910g
Info
Slr
Info
Info
Nov 2016

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QWhat is the difference between an SLR, Mirrorless and Compact cameras?
ASLRs and Mirrorless cameras are both powerful cameras with changable lenses for a large amount of flexibility. Mirrorless cameras tend to be smaller and lighter than SLRs (because they don't have to include a mirror to bounce light onto the sensor) but are not quite as powerful.

Compact cameras are small fixed-lens cameras meant for casual photography and everyday carry. In previous generations compact cameras were significantly less powerful than other types, but modern variants are almost as powerful as SLRs.
QWhat is the difference between optical and digital zoom?
AOptical zoom uses the hardware of the camera to physically move the lenses, enlarging the captured picture. Digital zoom uses software to further enlarge the picture. This means digital zooms can go far beyond the range of optical zooms, but the quality is much worse, and degrades sharply as the image is zoomed in.
QWhat is an 'image stabiliser'?
AAn image stabiliser detects and compensates for small judders and shakes while filming, meaning the resulting images are far smoother and still.
QWhy is a big sensor size important?
AA larger optical sensor produces better quality images, because more light can be brought into the lens at once, This leads to larger, more highly-detailed photos.
QWhat is GPS function on a camera?
AGPS allows the camera to tag each photo with exactly where it was taken.
QWhat is the difference between 'waterproof' and 'water resistant'?
AThere is a small but important difference between waterPROOF and water RESISTANT - waterproof means that the camera can be submerged underwater for an extended amount of time with no adverse effects. Water resistant means that the camera can suffer limited exposure to water without any problems - normally this is limited to heavy rain or liquid splashes, not total immersion.
QWhat are the benefits of instant cameras?
AInstant cameras have been seeing a revival in recent years - modern versions work similar to the classic Polaroid cameras, but use modern thermal-reactive paper. They allow immediate printing of photos when out and about - perfect for parties! However the paper is expensive to buy, and you can easily blast through a pack of 10 shots very quickly.

Wildlife Photography

Wildlife photography is popular and rewarding hobby, but most wildlife is notoriously shy so getting close up, detailed shots can be difficult. If you can't find a full-size gazelle costume to hide in, a good SLR camera is an excellent fallback.

When ranking cameras for their ability to photograph wildlife, we've concentrated on a number of key attributes. Optical zoom is important to allow you to take clear, detailed photos of animals without having to get physically close to them. A high ISO sensitivity will help take cleaner photos in low-light conditions. Finally, since animals tend to move (and sometimes quite fast), we consider a trio of the camera's shutter speed, auto focus power and whether it has an image stabilisation system or not. All three of these will help you take crisper, cleaner photos of fast moving objects.

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How to Choose a Digital Camera That is Good for Wildlife Photography

Optical Zoom

The optical zoom of a camera is a measure of how much the camera can zoom in to the subject using the camera's lens system. An optical zoom is superior to a digital zoom because the zoom is achieved using the optics of lens which means that the full extent of the digital sensor is always used to capture the image.

A long optical zoom helps you to get closer to distant wildlife, without loss of image quality. Ideally you should look for a lens of 300mm focal length (15x zoom) or more.

Image Stabiliser

Image stabiliser technology detects and corrects slight camera shakes in order to make the final image sharper. There are 2 types of image stabiliser: optical and digital. Optical stabilisers stabilise the image with a moving lens inside the camera that counteracts the camera shake. Optical stabilisers are traditionally considered the best type. Digital stabilisers use a computer algorithm to remove camera shake from the image.

An image stabiliser reduces image blur that can be caused by small hand movements. This is very useful when shooting without a tripod and especially when using long zoom lenses. The best image stabilisers are optical stabilisers which are housed inside the camera lens.

Auto Focus (AF) Points

A higher number of Auto Focus points means that the camera is capable of better tracking and keeping focus on fast-moving targets, meaning cleaner, crisper photos.

Camera Shutter Speed

The minimum time which the camera shutter is open when taking a photo.

A faster shutter speed means that the photo will be taken quicker, meaning you can shoot fast-moving animals without them appearing as a blur.

Maximum ISO Sensitivity

ISO sensitivity denotes the sensitivity of your camera to available light. Modifying the sensitivity causes the camera to gather more or less light when forming an image. Higher sensitivity gathers more light, which means can lead to a sharper image in low-light conditions. However it may also lead to increased 'noise', meaning the ISO level must be carefully modified to get the best shot.

A high ISO sensitivity allows you to take photos in very low light without using flash. This can be very useful for wildlife photography as the flash can be startling for some animals. The high ISO level will also allow you to take faster photos when zoomed in which will reduce blur due to camera shake.