12 Best Cameras For Bird Photography 2021 – Reviews & Guide
If you were not able to capture the iconic flight of birds in the magical woods on a beautiful weekend only due to the fact that the camera you own was not so fast and responsive to capture the view then you have reached the sight where you will see the most reliable and best cameras for bird photography.
As a bird photographer you would be looking for an affordable camera but at the same time does not compromise image quality. For a beginner, a camera that has a proper point-and-zoom will be perfectly enough.
However, a professional photographer demands much more from a camera, thus, a DSLR or mirrorless camera would be the best camera for bird photography for professionals.
In this article, we will be discussing some of the basic yet important features that a camera for bird photography must-have. So let’s dive into the article without wasting your precious time.
What equipment do you need for bird photography?
There is some equipment that a photographer must-have for bird photography. All the essential equipment you need are listed below,
- A lightweight, strong tripod is needed for bird photography.
- A good quality gimbal is also important.
- You must never forget the extender or teleconverter that are generally used to increase the focal length of the lens.
- A remote cable gives you access to the camera without touching it so you will be able to capture bird photos.
- A U shaped bean bag is also important in some cases where you are not able to reach the birds.
- A filter will enhance your captured photos and let you race in the competition.
- The rain cover is the most basic equipment to carry while going for photography because the weather is sometimes unpredictable.
- Sensor scope is important for shooting in dusty conditions.
- An extension tube, that will help your camera lens to focus closer than usual.
- Last but not least, a camera bag for keeping your camera safe.
Is 400mm enough for bird photography?
Yes, a 400mm lens is enough for bird photography. In order to capture perfect bird photos, you should purchase a lens of 300mm or higher focal length. Because higher focal length provides a better glance of birds that you capture in the photos. So, a 400mm lens is more than enough for bird photography.
Best budget camera for bird photography
Nikon D3300 has made it possible to capture the best bird photos in the most affordable way. It is the best budget camera for bird photography.
Autofocus: The Expeed-4 permits the camera to shoot 5 frames per second continuously fast autofocus. The results are the same as expected, the photos have high resolution. Fast autofocus makes it the best camera for bird photography as it needs high speed to capture the moving birds in a perfect frame.
Image Stabilization: Stabilization is also very important both for the image and in-body. Further clarifying, the moving subjects (birds) require stability of the camera in all the aspects, if it is not the captured photos will be dull and unclear.
Accuracy: Accuracy is the most important aspect of all fields. Bird photography requires a camera that is highly accurate in its working and results. Nikon d3300 provides the opportunity to purchase the best budget camera for bird photography that gives amazing results and accuracy.
Build Quality And Weight: Nikon d3300 is basically made for all kinds of photography which is why it has the best material used in it that resulted in perfect handling of the camera. Nikon d3300 is very easy to carry due to its lightweight.
The total weight of Nikon d3300 is 460g which is very little for a professional-grade camera. The lightweight, comfortable ergonomics and affordability make it the best budget camera for bird photography.
- It offers limited RAW+JPEG
- No major improvement than the previous Nikon models
- Compact, lightweight and affordable
- High ISO range
- Low battery life
Sony a99 II features new and enhanced characteristics from its predecessors. The camera offers a large range of ISO with it is very good for bird photography.
Autofocus: The high-speed driver in Sony a99 II has taken its autofocus speed to a next level, it is now incredibly accurate and fast. The autofocus works in coordination with the sensor which gives out amazing bird photos.
Image Stabilization: The 5-axis image stabilization is perfectly fit for a high-resolution image sensor. The image stabilization magnificently covers the blurred effect caused by camera movement.
Accuracy: Sony a99 II automatically detects the AF points in the frame. This process is done in a very accurate way. The sensor and new image stabilization make the sony a99 II the best option for bird photography.
Build Quality And Weight: Sony a99 II is a professional grade camera built with precision. The high-quality construction makes it the best camera for bird photography. The material used in it is dust and moisture resistant.
Moreover, the lightweight is an even more compelling reason to purchase Sony a99 II. Its weight is 849g, lightweight and compact design is best for bird photography.
- Battery life remains behind other models
- In-body stabilization is not very impressive
- Magnificent sensor
- 12fps along with dual AF system
- Strong and high-quality construction
- 4k video
- No built-in flash
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 is also a great deal in the affordable range. It gives a good ISO range and sensor size that can shoot the best bird photos.
Autofocus: The ultra-fast AF of about 0.09 seconds results in extremely fast focusing. The new Lumix focusing technology installed in the Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 is beyond good.
Image Stabilization: Image stabilization is a major need of all cameras especially for bird photography. Image stabilization clears the blurred effect in a picture and Lumix FZ1000 does it pretty well.
Accuracy: The best camera for bird photography must be accurate and precise. Lumix FZ1000 offers accurate 4k video and high-resolution photos along with a fast AF system.
The low-light image quality is also very impressive for Lumix FZ1000 due to the highly sensitive image sensor. Altogether, Panasonic offers a great deal of accuracy, precision and quality in Lumix FZ1000. Moreover, it is an affordable professional-level camera.
Build Quality And Weight: This camera has one of the best quality constructions. Its sealing makes it dust and moisture resistant and thus making it even more favourable for bird photography.
The total weight of Lumix FZ1000 is 831g. It is a lightweight and beautiful camera easy to carry and use. It has a good build and image quality.
- It does not have a touchscreen
- Nice image quality
- Large image sensor
- Good ergonomics
- Limited zoom
- Buttons may confuse beginners
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is the best in image quality and video performance. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV has proved itself to be the best camera for bird photography.
Autofocus: Besides the enhanced image quality you will see an improved and faster AF system in Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. The image processor is also fast and responsive due to the high speed of the image driver.
Image Stabilization: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV provides enough stability to photos that they emphasize the centre subject and remove any blur effect to a higher extent. The in-body image stabilization offered by EOS 5D is very suitable for bird photography.
Accuracy: Canon proved to be highly accurate in the 5D Mark IV which carries a 150, 000 pixels sensor. The high megapixels sensor allows the camera to capture pictures in all conditions, whether bright light or dim light.
Build Quality And Weight: Nonetheless, Canon has the best build quality cameras. All the LCD screens, viewfinder and AF system are perfectly made, and then packed in a small yet sturdy body of Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.
The camera weighs 800g which is the total weight. EOS 5D has the ideal weight for any professional camera and thus it is one of the best cameras for bird photography as well.
- It does not have a very high resolution
- The camera does not offer 4k video
- Excellent AF system
- Responsive touchscreen
- Medium resolution
The updated Exmor R sensor makes Sony a7 III perfect for all sorts of photographic slots. It is also one of the best mirrorless cameras for bird photography.
Autofocus: The fast-reacting hybrid AF system gives the camera 693 phase-detection points and area detection points for better vision. Moreover, the autofocus of the Sony a7 III has been improved to a faster and reliable version best for bird photography.
Image Stabilization: Furthermore, the camera has enhanced its image stabilization to a greater extent. It captures absolutely clear bird photos thus minimizing the blurred effect and reducing noise throughout the ISO range.
Accuracy: The automatically fast and accurate functioning of the Sony a7 III is due to the 24.2MP Exmor R sensor that works in coordination with the BIONZ X image processor. The pair of both the image sensor and processor leads to the shooting of clearly accurate 10 frames per second.
Build Quality And Weight: Sony a7 III features a tilting touchscreen that perfectly fits bird photography from all angles. The magnesium-alloy construction with weather sealing makes it the best mirrorless camera for bird photography.
Its total weight is 650g, which makes it very easy to carry and handle. The overall ergonomics of the Sony a7 III are very suitable for bird photography.
- Sony a7 III gives limited touchscreen control
- Its weather resistance is less than other cameras
- Offers 4k uncropped video
- Improved battery life than previous models
- Excellent AF
- Less control o touchscreen
Canon EOS 7D Mark II has given off an extreme edge to the DSLR cameras. It has an amazing range of upgraded and new features.
Autofocus: The 65 Cross-type AF sensor gives out the fastest autofocus speed to 7D Mark II. Canon has indeed manufactured the best cameras but we must say that Canon EOS 7D Mark II is the best camera for bird photography.
Image Stabilization: 7D Mark II offers highly accurate and stable images. It reduces the blur effect to a greater degree and makes the bird photos prominent and noticeable. Moreover, the camera emphasizes every single detail and even the smallest details.
Accuracy: In addition, a 20MP dual-pixel sensor gives incredible accuracy to the camera. The long battery life, higher resolution, ISO range and fast autofocus sensor is the reason behind the accurate bird photos shot by Canon EOS 7D Mark II.
Build Quality And Weight: After checking the build quality and ergonomics there is no uncertainty in the statement that Canon EOS 7D Mark II is the best camera for bird photography.
Its weight is 910 grams. It is lightweight and thus very comfortable to carry and capture the best flight of birds in the woods.
- It has a fixed touchscreen which is not very sensitive
- No built-in WiFi
- Continuous shooting of 10fps
- Best ergonomics
- Various customization options
- The viewfinder does not show images captured
Looking for the best camera for bird photography beginners? Panasonic Coolpix P1000 is the best option for you.
Autofocus: Panasonic Coolpix P1000 is the best camera for bird photography beginners because it has incredible AF. Moreover, the zoom range of Coolpix P1000 is also very large.
Image Stabilization: Coolpix P1000 offers a splendid zoom range and clear images. The image clarity and stabilization is not at all affected or reduced by the 3000mm zooming capacity. The image stabilization is thus maintained to a very nice peak.
Accuracy: Accuracy comes with a fast AF system, dynamic range, ISO, Battery life, image stabilization and ergonomics. Coolpix P1000 has all one deal. It offers the best zoom but at the same time ensures the sharpness and stabilization of bird photos.
Build Quality And Weight: Panasonic Coolpix P1000 is made up of high-quality material and dealing. The camera fits very well for bird photography with its amazing bud quality.
It weighs 1415g which makes it lightweight and easy to carry a camera. Altogether, Panasonic Coolpix P1000 is the best camera for bird photography beginners.
- Low light performance is comparatively less accurate
- The maximum aperture reduces as you zoom
- Incredible zoom range
- Good optical performance and max aperture
- Good image quality
- Sharpness decrease a little bit with the zoom
- Expensive and has no touchscreen
Indeed, Panasonic GX850 is the best compact camera for bird photography. The small size makes it very easy to carry.
Autofocus: It is the Panasonic DFD technology that makes it fast and responsive. The improved autofocus speed is due to the same fact. As this Panasonic camera is based on the CDAF system so it is surely very precise and fast.
Image Stabilization: The image and videos of Panasonic Lumix GX850 are stabilized to a higher level. The older Panasonic cameras did not have very stable results to offer which is not the case with Lumix FX850.
I’m addition, Panasonic has manufactured many other cameras in the very recent past but we think it is the best mirrorless camera for bird photography due to its sensor size, weight, ergonomics and ISO.
Accuracy: Accuracy must be provided by cameras designed for bird photography. Because there is very high competition in photography which demands higher accuracy. Panasonic Lumix GX850 is pretty accurate for bird photography.
Build Quality And Weight: The tilting screen of Lumix GX850 is another beautiful addition to its features. The build quality is overall very improved and fit for bird photography.
The camera is strong and stylish at the same time. It weighs 494 grams in total which is very light for a camera to carry around for wildlife bird photography.
- Lumix GX850 has short battery life than its competitors
- It does not have EVF
- Excellent image quality
- Tilting screen
- Nice handling
- 4k video
- 4k video is limited
PowerShot SX70 has some of the most outstanding features. Canon has no doubt made some of the best cameras for bird photography.
Autofocus: Canon Powershot SX70 has the most reliable and fast AF. It distinguishes between the foreground and the background very well. Continuous AF shooting is also available.
Image Stabilization: There is an amazingly fast sensor and processor installed to this camera which removes the dusty and blurred effect from bird photos. Thus, allow photographers to capture the best flying bird photos.
Accuracy: The 20.3MP sensor makes every function of Canon Powershot SX70 accurate and precise. The accuracy can be seen in the bird photos and video captured through it.
Build Quality And Weight: PowerShot SX70 weighs 608 grams. The total weight of SX70 is very less as compared to other cameras. Even in a very small compact size, it offers the best quality bird photos.
Canon does not compromise on the quality and material. PowerShot SX70 is also one of the best Canon cameras for wildlife bird photography. It is built to handle natural conditions and let you capture the best photos.
- Image and video is typically the same as other cameras of the same quality
- Lack accessory shoe
- Best build quality and ergonomics
- Reliable Performance
- Dim light performance is not very impressive
It has incredibly fast AF and reliable performance. Canon EOS 80D is one of the best cameras for bird photography.
Autofocus: The 45-points fast autofocus enables Canon EOS 80D to shoot 7 frames per second. EOS 80D has a fast and reliable autocorrect system that focuses on the centre object and separates it from the background.
Image Stabilization: Great stabilization is offered to photos by EOS 80D. All the unfocused and dim parts of the bird photos are equilibrated with great expertise.
Thus, Canon EOS 80D is the best camera for bird photography because it gives out beautifully stable images which is the basic need of bird photography.
Accuracy: The high ISO range, image sensor and processor combined with the AF sensor makes Canon EOS 80D the most accurate camera. It is a very accurate camera for beginners and professional level.
Build Quality And Weight: Canon EOS 80D has the best quality material construction. Its build quality is incredible and fits all weathers. Moreover, its weight is 650g which is very light and suitable for travelling purposes.
- Difficult to use compared to rivals
- AF loses the centre of focus comparatively easily
- Low light performance is very good
- Custom settings available
- Sturdy and light build quality
- No slot of cards
- 4k video is not available
Nikon never disappoints us when it comes to photography and its obvious example is Nikon D850.
Autofocus: AF Sensor and AF processor of Nikon d850 work in coordination to make the autofocus system of Nikon d850 extremely fast. It very well detects the centre subject and focuses on it very quickly, at the same time, the processor does its job as quickly as possible.
Image Stabilization: The 45.7MP sensor cut off the imbalance of bird photos. Photos captured by Nikon d850 are pretty clear and concise. The overall effect of the image sensor and processor makes bird photos very clear.
Accuracy: High resolution of the Nikon d850 make it highly accurate and sharp. Photos captured by Nikon d850 are very clear, besides the AF system, ISO, dynamic range battery life, mirror drive mechanism and shutter speed there is much more to this Nikon camera. All the features of the Nikon d850 are very accurate and sharp.
Build Quality And Weight: It features a versatile camera design and sturdy quality. Nikon d850 weighs very less but it has a high-quality construction that makes it strong enough to handle various conditions (wind pressure etc).
Nikon d850 has a total weight of 915 grams. For a professional photographer, it is very less weight. There is no extra struggle required to carry the Nikon d850 with you.
- Limited AF coverage and contrast for live view
- No 4k video at 60p
- Amazing resolution and dynamic range
- Excellent image quality
- Nice ergonomics
- In-body flash is absent
EOS-1DX Mark II is a professional-grade camera built with precision and excellent ergonomics.
Autofocus: The CMOS sensor allows EOS-1DX Mark II to capture 61 individual AF points in a photo. The AF is perfect for bird photography as it needs quick and reliable autofocus.
Image Stabilization: Canon EOS-1DX Mark II offers an outstanding balance of foreground over the background. Image quality is very good and clear, moreover, it stabilizes the uneven parts of the bird photos.
Accuracy: EOS-1DX Mark II is an all-rounded camera. It has the best battery life, resolution, video quality, ISO range and much more. All the features of Canon EOS-1DX Mark II are highly accurate and precise.
There is no doubt that Canon EOS-1DX Mark II is the best camera for bird photography with all the features offered by it. Its accuracy takes it to the top of the list.
Build Quality And Weight: Build quality and ergonomics are both very good for EOS-1DX Mark II. It has the best quality construction, besides the weight, it has perfect ergonomics for handling.
The total weight of Canon EOS-1DX Mark II is 3.4 lbs, which is an ideal weight for a professional bird photography camera. So we can say that Canon EOS-1DX Mark II is one of the best cameras for bird photography.
- Limited touchscreen access
- A little heavy
- Excellent AF
- Amazing image and build quality
- Incredible videos
- Full-frame sensor
In this section of the article, we will be discussing with you some of the essential features that a camera specifically for bird photography must have because we know there is a vast variety of cameras out there that may confuse you.
So, here we will be discussing features that you must consider and check in a camera that you want to purchase.
First of all, you should check your budget that you have to buy a camera and look for certain cameras under that price range.
Secondly, go for the quality of the camera. An expensive camera doesn’t mean it’s perfect, a cheaper camera can also give the same results as that of a higher price. You just need to look at the features listed below to choose the best camera based on your demands and requirements.
The most modern mobile phones today have a sensor that is 35 times smaller than a full-frame sensor so never think that mobile can perform the same job as a camera that you purchase after spending many dollars.
For bird photography, a larger sensor is required as it will allow more light to pass and result in a higher dynamic range.
A megapixel is equal to one thousand pixels. It means that a 20 megapixels camera will capture and offer 20,000,000 pixels of photos. At the time, there were cameras that even offered 40+ megapixels which is a very high range.
Another important feature to check is the autofocus. For incredible bird photography, you must check upon the newer models of cameras that offer sufficient autofocus to give you clear photos. More autofocus points will give more clear bird photos.
Low Light Performance
In today’s world, we can capture any moment at any time and for this reason, we can capture birds flying in a perfect frame in the drowning sun or deep forest.
For this purpose, we need a camera that has good low light performance. You should check the ISO range of a camera because it is the artificial brightening of photos within the camera. So, the higher the ISO the brighter and clearer the photos will be in low light.
1) What is needed for bird photography?
An APS-C or DX-format camera is the basic requirement, combined with a telephoto lens of 300mm or higher is more than enough to capture the best photos of birds.
2) Is a 200mm lens enough for bird photography?
Well, if you are a beginner then it will be just fine. For outstanding bird photography, you should look for a lens of 300mm or higher. A 200mm can offer you the best results only if it is very close to the subject and sometimes it does not work for bird photography.
3) What is the best f stop for bird photography?
In many cases, f/8 and f/11 are most likely to opt. The shutter speed determines the light that reaches your camera sensor and the aperture of lens diameter.
4) How many megapixels do I need for wildlife photography?
For shorter prints, you can simply use a 12-18 megapixels camera that will be more than enough to capture perfect frames. However, higher prints and sharp images go for higher megapixels.
This was our article about the best cameras for bird photography. The article carries the best cameras out of all the cameras for bird photography. The basic features are discussed for every camera. Moreover, we hope that the buying guide will clarify your mind and help you in selecting the best camera for bird photography.
We hope this helps!