Wildlife photography can be a fun task as you have a privilege to capture one of the remarkable creatures of nature. It’s also equally challenging because they will not immediately turn to their ‘Selfie’ mode once you go near them. You will have a small window of opportunity to capture them and save it for the rest of your life.
There’s a trend in the market that Wildlife photography is an expensive hobby, especially for beginners as they are limited on supplies. Just because there are BMW and Porsche sports cars in the market doesn’t mean that you can’t ride in a 4-wheels. You will always get the best price to performance ratio when you start a little effort.
Best Beginner Camera for Wildlife Photography
So to help you with the selection process, without throwing an abundance of words. Here’s a comprehensive guide and list of the best beginner cameras for wildlife photography.
1. Nikon D7200 DX-format DSLR Camera
The Nikon D7000 series has provided us with some remarkable camera technology in all significant photography factors. The next in the lineup is the Nikon D7200 DX-format DSLR Camera. It is like a big brother of the previous-gen D71000 camera with some important improvements like low light performance, bigger battery, Auto-focus, and 60p video. It is the only DX-format and APS-C camera in the company’s lineup that supports advanced low-light autofocus on a screw drive lenses.
The D7200 consists of a 24.2 pixels resolution lense combined with Multi-CAM 3500DX 2 AF system. It has no anti-aliasing filter on the front side, making it a practical choice to capture those sharp images with fast rendering speed. The efficient Expeed 4 processor not only helps in the rendering process but also optimizes the battery life as per your usage. You can easily squeeze 160 shots on this with a single recharge. Thanks to the Wi-Fi support, directly import your images to a computer or NFC compatible smartphone without touching the camera.
2. Fujifilm X-T30 Mirrorless Digital Camera
The Fujifilm X-T30 is dubbed as a “Little Giant”, thanks to its powerful image processing technology and a 26 MP PS-C mirrorless camera sensor. You mostly pick T30 for handling the bigger lenses, and high-end 4K video recording. The new sensor in the camera debuted a back-illuminated design which is helpful to bring low-light shots into life. The face and eye detection provide you with precise tracking areas on 100% image coverage. The T30 AF system can now work as low as -3EV.
With this model, it is now possible to capture 30 fps with no viewfinder. The top speed of the mechanical shutter is 8 fps, which is remarkable considering this is not a sports camera. The raw buffer capacity gives you around 18-20 frames. The revised grip shape around the back provides you with better handling and grip while photographing. The rear screen has a tilt action for low and high angle shots even if you hold the camera in a horizontal position. The X-T30 keeps the Fujifilm’s characteristics alive in the camera market, offering everything you can get from beginners to advanced efficiency.
3. Nikon D750 FX-format Digital SLR Camera
The Nikon D750 is an excellent choice for your wildlife adventure. The successor of the previous-gen D700, it offers more resolution, faster processor, and more ergonomic features. The D750 has some sweet spots in several areas and that’s why it is considered as the best full-frame camera in Nikon’s DSLR lineup. The processor and the sensor combined with a native sensitivity range of ISO 100-12800 with extensive settings to ISO 50-51,200.
With the camera lens, it is also possible to shot at 6.5 frames per second, perfect to capture some flying animals. A separate RGB sensor handles the exposure material. There’s also a metering option to optimize the brightest part in the scene and prevent it from being burned. In short, the Nikon D750 is an excellent choice for your daily usage.
4. Panasonic Lumix GH5 4K Digital Camera
If you think that Panasonic is only limited to home appliances, you might have to think again. The Panasonic Lumix GH5 is the fifth generation ‘hybrid’ Digital camera that features a 20MP sensor, deep video-centric options, and dual image stabilization. It perfectly carries on from the previous-gen GH4 model with a slightly lower cost and tons of new improvements. The highlighted improvement include 4K video recording at 60FPS and in-body stabilization. These alone are worthwhile for the upgrade.
The Lumix GH5 offers the Panasonic ‘Depth from Defocus’ system, which creates a depth map of the scene by taking pairs of an image and offering faster decisive focus. The combination of both hardware and software provides more precise and focused images with a correct movement response. Looking at the specs, one can easily confuse it as a video camera, but being part of a mirrorless camera, it takes some remarkable images.
5. Sony a7 III ILCE7M3/B Full-Frame Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera
The Sony a7 III features an entirely new image sensor and processing system for enhanced image quality. The combination of both can achieve up to 1.5-stop of image quality improvement. Though it doesn’t offer the most megapixels, its performance, speed, price point, and efficient results make it an easy recommendation for all kinds of photography.
The software algorithm is also improved compared to the previous model, with 425 contrast-detection and high-density wide-area coverage. The device also features a dedicated AF-On/Off button for shutter-free autofocus experience so you can concentrate better on the moment, rather than adjusting the image capture quality. Plus, the anti-flickering option can automatically detect the time-delay and provide sharp, still images. The overall exposure and color anomalies are also improved in continuous shots. In terms of video quality, it can shoot up to 4K movies at stable 24FPS. The Sony a7 III is refined for extraordinary image quality and camera control for your next-generation processing power
6. Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera
The Canon EOS 7D Mark II is the long-awaited successor of the previous-gen flagship model 7D. Don’t think if it has the least megapixels in a sensor, it doesn’t live up to the hype. The Mark II completely revamped in terms of processor, sensor technology, new algorithms, and an improved autofocus system. The Canon 7D Mark II features a full-frame body with dense features elements that allow it to be rated at 200,000 cycles and 1/8,000-seconds shutter speed. The magnesium alloy body is both water and dust resistant.
The rear LCD is fixed on the panel, which is quite useful for taking videos. Although there’s no Wi-Fi included for direct data transfer, it has a GPS module that adds a location to your images and videos. The company didn’t include a lot of great specs on the physical button, it has a standard mode dial, viewfinder, and other standard P, Tv, M, and AV settings. On the software side, the menu system is vast and there are a lot of options to select from. You will have fun playing with each setting.
7. Nikon COOLPIX P1000 Digital Camera
The Nikon Coolpix P1000 is a niche-based camera that will appeal to outdoor and wildlife photographers who want to capture burst images or distant subjects. It is a successor of the Nikon P900 but has some amazing improvements and tons of menu options. For starters, the telephoto level is 3,000mm f/2.8 to f/8.0 lens. You also get 4K videos, 100 shots on a single recharge, ISO 12,800, and a considerably lower price compared to other cameras in the lineup. The P1000 houses a 125x, 24mm lens, with a wide focal range for capturing distant objects. The lens can also close down to 0.4 inches in case you want a micro shot.
The P1000 offers a 4K UHD video at 30FPS. The video quality is accurate, there’s not much exposure, especially at wider angles. There’s also an external microphone jack which is a nice touch in any DSLR camera. The best part is that you can import your videos to your smartphone via Wi-Fi image transfer. Just download an app, and a 2MB version of the image is ready to upload on your smartphone. The bottom line, it worked way better on distant images thanks to its camera lens and new AF system. It takes beautiful pictures of wildlife considering that’s why we’re here. You’ll appreciate the close-up shots with P9000.