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13 Best Superzoom Cameras for Birding in 2021 – Reviewed
Nature is magnificent. Isn’t it? Of course, it is. While some of us like to have a walk every morning at a nearby park and loves the sounds of birds chirping early in the day, some people go beyond imagination to explore new phenomena because of their extreme passion and love for mother nature.
The perception of nature is different for every individual as per their imagination and devotion towards it. The lush green fields, never-ending forests, animals, beautiful birds, waterfalls, deep oceans, magnificent mountains, and even the smell of the dirt have an impeccable effect on human beings.
- 13 Best Superzoom Cameras for Birding in 2021 – Reviewed
- Difference between Birding and Bird Watching
- BUYERS GUIDE
- Our Recommendation
And as I said earlier it’s different for every individual. And the amount of devotion towards a favorite natural phenomenon also varies from person to person. Some people like to watch it, some love the feel of it while some want to capture the beauty of it.
Honestly speaking I am into birds and that’s why this article is happening in the first place. As I said some people love to capture what they saw and take that feel to their home for future endeavors.
I am that person and I can imagine how it feels if someone like us misses the opportunity to capture a marvelous sighting just because of not having a good camera.
To capture the beauty of these glorious winged species, you need to have a camera with great autofocus, super zooming abilities, outstanding shutter speeds and a large aperture.
Because the most important thing in bird photography is to take still shots in expected moments without disturbing nature. And that’s where the zooming ability of your camera came to the party.
I’ve been into bird photography for a long time now and understand well the hardships one can face while buying a camera for birding.
That’s the reason why I’ve put together some of the best superzoom cameras for birding in this article to help birders capture their endeavors in the best sense possible.
Difference between Birding and Bird Watching
People often misinterpret bird watching into birding, however, there is a clear difference between the two. Though it is difficult to elucidate that difference entirely, I am going to try it anyway.
The easiest way to explain is that if you are not putting any kind of effort and yet seeing birds it’s bird watching. Birding is more like a job or sport in a way that you put your thoughts and efforts into the sole purpose of watching birds.
Bird watching can be accidental as such that you are taking a walk somewhere and happens to see some birds in the way.
But in the case of a birder, there is no room for coincidence. A birder is a person who travels long distances just to see rare species of birds or enjoys watching birds and for that, he makes efforts.
So the point is if you are a bird watcher you don’t belong to this article. Only a birder knows the worth of a camera that’s good for capturing stunning bird pictures.
And if you are into birding and deciding to buy a camera for that, this article is encompassed with exactly what you want I.e. reviews of some of the best superzoom cameras for birding. So if you are interested in that, let’s jump in.
- 20-megapixel image sensor
- 25x ultra optical zoom
- 4k video resolutions
- 3” adjustable touch screen LCD
- Focal length 24-600mm
- Blue tooth, WIFI, NFC
- Built-in image stabilizer
Renowned for their state-of-the-art cameras, Sony is a name that needs no introduction so did this top-notch superzoom camera model of theirs.
RX10 is a popular camera among birders because of its advanced high-efficiency Zeiss Vario Sonnar ultra-zoom lens with a 25x optical zoom.
Its powerful autofocus system and the superzoom lens offer birders crystal clear shots of birds even in flight. You will certainly enjoy capturing stunning photographs of your favorite birds with their raw shooting abilities.
Though it does affect your budget with a fairly expensive price tag, experience birders would still admire the scintillating results it produces.
If you are really in love with birds and can push your budget limit, Sony RX10 is undoubtedly worth the price.
- Leica DC 24X F2.8 Zoom Lens
- 12.1 CMOS image sensor
- 12 fps
- 4k video resolution
- Strong construction
- 5-axis image stabilizer
- Splash and dust resistant
- DFD autofocus technology
- 3” touchscreen LCD
Equipped with a powerful Leica DC 24X F2.8 Zoom Lens, Panasonic LUMIX FZ300 long zoom digital camera is a must look for a birder.
Although the image sensor is merely 12.1 megapixel, which is not great in any standard, the thing which matters the most in birding is the zooming abilities of your camera and it has a pretty strong case in that regard.
With a 24x zoom and a strong autofocus system, you are in for a fantastic photography experience.
The thing which I admire is it’s rugged and strong build-up that offers resistance from splash and dust which is great for outdoor shooting because you will have to go through rough terrains quite often if you are truly a passionate birder.
4k video resolution at the rate of 30 fps makes for great video quality. Also, LUMIX FZ300 offers stunning crystal clear shots without blur thanks to its built-in 5-axis image stabilizer.
- Nikkor EV VR lens with 83x optical zoom
- 116-megapixel image sensor
- 1080 FHD video resolution at the rate of 60 frame per second
- 3” flexible touch screen LCD
- 24-2000mm focal length
- Built-in Wifi
- HDMI and USB jack
A great entry-level camera for birders, Nikon Coolpix P900 is a must look if you are just starting out as a bird photographer. It has an exceptional 83x optical Zoom Nikkor lens that offers stunning close-up shots of your favorite winged species.
P900 although offers great zooming capacity, may not provide crisp clear shots at higher magnification like most cameras in this price range. But you can always get clearer shots by backing off a bit as Nikkor super ED lens offers excessive magnification.
A decent viewfinder helps in tracking your favorite birds in flight which is vital for you if you are a bird photographer. Also, its built-in image stabilizer will eliminate haziness and blurring effects from the photos.
All in all, it may not be an extraordinary camera in terms of professional-grade features but will do great for newbies in helping them take scintillating bird shots and nurture their photography skills.
- 20.1 megapixel CMOS image sensor
- 315 phase-detection points
- Slow-motion video recording in 1080P resolution at 120 fps.
- 4k video resolution at 30 frames per second
- Zeiss Vario Sonnar zoom lens
- The optical image stabilization system
- 2.36 m OLED electronic viewfinder
- Built-in blue tooth and Wi-Fi
- Rechargeable battery offers 400 shots in one charge
One of the best superzoom cameras for birding, Sony RX10 is a fantabulous cyber shot camera equally magnificent in capturing stunning bird photos or shooting ultra HD videos of birds in flight.
It has an ultra-fast hybrid autofocus system that offers a whopping 315 phase-detection points. One of the fastest autofocus systems allows you to capture crystal clear still photos of birds even in full flight.
20.1 megapixel CMOS image sensor with an exceptional frame rate of 24 fps delivers startling video recordings. Also, your RX10 is capable of shooting 4k videos at 30 frames per second and offers a massive 120 fps frame rate if you opt to record slow-motion videos at 1080P.
Zeiss Vario Sonnar lens with a 24-600mm focal length speaks the quality of this amazing superzoom camera. An advanced built-in optical image stabilization eliminates camera shivers up to 4.5 stops.
Overall, a true workhouse and a must-have super zoom camera if you can push your limits in terms of budget and want to capture your birding endeavors in the truest of senses.
- 60x digital zoom
- 18.1-megapixel image sensor
- 4k video resolution at 30fps
- 3” touch screen LCD
- Built-in image stabilizer
- 20-1200mm focal length
- Inbuilt Wi-Fi
- USB and HDMI port
At a pretty attractive price range, Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 offers great features which makes this camera a perfect fit for any birder who wants to get his photography thing going.
With an incredible 60x digital zoom lens, you can easily intensify your pictures at any moment. Apart from its tremendous zooming capacity, it can record 4k ultra HD videos to give your birding experience a massive boost.
Its compact design helps you carry it anywhere with ease, although it doesn’t offer any type of resistance from dust and water and you have to be careful while carrying it through rough terrains.
The strong inbuilt image stabilization system offers still photos of your favorite birds even in full flight. The thing it lacks big time is its pretty poor performance in low light conditions but at this price tag, you don’t normally expect anything better than that.
- 25x optical zoom
- 20.2-megapixel image sensor with DIGIC 6 image processor
- 1080P video resolution at 60 frames per second
- 3.2-inch flexible touch screen LCD
- 24-600mm focal length
- Built in Wi-Fi
- Smartphone app support
- Landscape wildlife and portrait shooting modes
A perfect fit for birding, Canon PowerShot G3 X digital camera offers great picture quality with a 20.2-megapixel image sensor.
Great for birders who love to travel long distances for birding, its compact design and lightweight helps them carry it in a backpack easily.
Equipped with a DIGIC 6 image processor, Canon G3X digital camera offers stunning performance in low light conditions. 24x optical zoom (24-600mm) lens delivers scintillating magnification making it a perfect option for bird lovers.
A high-speed autofocus system allows you to capture crystal clear still photos of birds in full flight. With an inbuilt image stabilization system, you don’t need to buy a gimbal for handheld shooting.
- 20.4-megapixel image sensor
- 1080P video resolution
- BIONZ image processor
- Built-in image stabilization
- 50x optical zoom
- 4k resolution still images
- Built-in Wi-Fi, NFC
- USB and HDMI port
A super affordable camera for newbies, Sony HX400V delivers top-quality photos thanks to its super amazing features. Equipped with an incredible 50x optical zoom lens, this entry-level camera offers exceptional magnification which is vital in bird photography.
Sony HX400V digital camera is capable of recording 1080P resolution ultra HD videos at 60fps. A deadly combination of 20.4-megapixel image sensor and BIONZ image processor counts for its superb performance in low light conditions.
Its built-in optical steady-shot image stabilization efficiently eliminates camera shakes during handheld shooting.
- 125x optical zoom
- 16-megapixel image sensor
- 4k video resolution at 30fps
- Built in image stabilizer
- 3.2 TFT LCD screen
- 24-3000mm focal length
- Built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- USB and HDMI jack
As we all know that a great zoom is what a bird photographer often looks for and the Nikon Coolpix P1000 offers exactly that.
Equipped with a whopping 125x optical zoom, Nikon Coolpix P1000 is very much capable of capturing stunning bird photos at a distance. Its compact and lightweight construction makes it easy for a birder to carry it through rough terrains with ease.
The fact that it offers a scintillating zoom and often it appears that a camera with that much zooming capacity shakes a bit in the hands while taking distant photographs.
It is advised to use a solid camera stand or tripod with your Nikon Coolpix P1000 digital camera to overcome this problem.
- 65x optical zoom
- 20.3 megapixel CMOS image sensor
- Built in DIGIC 8 image processor
- Additional accessories include a 64GB memory card, reserve battery and a tripod
- 4k video resolution at 10fps
- Built in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Another highly affordable superzoom digital camera, Canon PowerShot SX70 delivers high-quality shots with a 20.3-megapixel image sensor.
Although it doesn’t have any professional-grade features, Canon SX70 makes an impressive entry-level digital camera for newbie birders at a fairly lower price tag.
The Canon PowerShot SX70 comes with a bundle of accessories including a 64 Gb memory card, an adjustable tripod and an extra battery.
It comes with a monopod that helps to stabilize your camera during handheld shooting and thus offers incredible results in both videography and photography.
- 16x optical zoom
- 20.1-megapixel image sensor
- 4k video resolution
- 3” touchscreen LCD
- Most sensor
- 5-axis hybrid optical image stabilization
A powerhouse of photography, Panasonic LUMIX FZ1000 is a perfect camera for birding. The 20.1-megapixel image sensor provides excellent performance in extreme light conditions.
Its electronic viewfinder comes great in capturing still images of flying birds. LUMIX FZ1000 is very much capable of recording 4k videos at 30fps and provides flawless stabilization with an advanced 5-axis image stabilizer.
16x optical zoom lens provides a focal length equals to 35mm and delivers excellent magnification which is vital to bird photography.
- 20 megapixel image sensor
- 4k high resolution videos
- Improved wireless capabilities
- OLED viewfinder
- Touch screen LCD
- 1” wide sensor
A high-end digital camera from Sony, RX100 is a perfect fit for traveling, videography and birding. Its powerful autofocus system helps you track flying birds with ease and even capture still images with a 20-megapixel image sensor.
It’s capable of shooting ultra HD 4k high-resolution videos at 12 fps and provides a frame rate of almost 1000fps in lower resolutions.
It comes with a built-in mic which is a handy thing to have in birding and helps to record different bird sounds. Much improved in wireless capabilities from previous models, Sony RX100 is equipped with a built-in Wi-Fi, blue tooth, and NFC.
- Native ISO up to 51200 and extend ISO up to 1640000
- 20.9-megapixel DX CMOS image sensor
- 153 focus points
- 4k UHD video resolution
- The weight of the camera is 2 pounds
Nikon has managed to put together some of the all-time best superzoom cameras for birding and Nikon D500 is proudly present on that list.
The 20.9 megapixel CMOS image sensor is very much compatible with almost every Nikkor lens, however, you will have to buy the lens separately.
This is not the most lightweight camera at two pounds but Nikon D500 is capable of delivering some very special stuff. It has a strong autofocus system with 153 focus points that allows you to capture crystal clear photos with ease.
The high-performance sensor works efficiently to accommodate a birder in low light conditions. With a 4k UHD video recording feature, you will not miss a single feather of your favorite birds.
- 42.4-megapixel image sensor
- 5 axis built-in image stabilization system
- 12 fps endless shooting
- 79 hybrid autofocus system
- Full frame 4k video recording
- Water and dust resistant construction
Sony a99II is what we birders basically, look for in a camera I.e. lower cost and great features. Its strong autofocus system offers stunning and clear pics free from any haze and blur and that’s not because of its autofocus system only, but backed up by 5-axis built-in image stabilization too.
However, this camera is not cheap as compared to other entry-level cameras because this isn’t one of them. You’ll have to push your budget a little but believe me, you are in for a marvelous ride with Sony a99II’s 42.4-megapixel image sensor. If that’s not good enough to impress you, its water and dust resistant abilities will move you for sure.
Now that we are done reviewing the products, It’s time to get back to the basics again. As you are well aware of the fact now that bird photography is somewhat different from conventional photography and hence you need to analyze what you need from your superzoom camera before locking the deal.
If you already know the stuff, that’s great, and if not, I am going to get you through things quickly.
If you are into birding for a while now, you know that taking a stunning shot of a bird sitting quietly on a tree or a pole is quite a rare event.
Every now and then, you have to take a shot of the birds in flight and that’s where a camera with a strong autofocus system cone handy. If you have options, choose a camera with the highest number of focus points.
Bird photography is different from traditional forms of photography because you can’t make birds sit and do the modeling stuff.
You have to get the shots from a distance and for that, it is imperative to have a camera with the best possible zooming capacity to get the best close-up shots.
As a newbie in bird photography, you won’t always get the most clearer shots and that’s because handheld shooting is difficult and controlling your camera during that needs a lot of practice. But don’t worry, get a camera with a built-in image stabilization system to avoid camera shakes.
Weight & Size
Birding demands traveling. You need to travel long distances and go through rough terrains in search of your favorite birds and carrying your camera through all this can be tiring.
High-end cameras are often bulky and big because of heavy technology. These are not for birding. Choose a reasonable camera that suits your photography style and won’t make a burden on your pocket and body.
Low light performance
In birding, you often get to visit mountains, forests and low-lighted areas in search of your favorite birds. How would you feel if you get to see your favorite bird after a long day and your camera won’t be able to get a decent enough picture because of low light?
It sounds disappointing and I know it is. So, my advice is to always consider a camera that offers great performance in low light conditions.
How to take a good bird photo?
Bird photography is different from normal modes of photography and at the same time, it’s difficult too because a bird won’t pose and you have to do everything on your own to get the best shot.
Consider these elements before taking your shot to master the art of bird photography. I.e. background, sharpness, exposure, lighting, composition, and pose.
What’s the name of a bird lover in the dictionary?
A human being who is in love with birds is called ornithopile according to the modern dictionary.
What’s the secret to taking a sharp picture?
It’s simple. Use the fastest shutter speed your camera offer and you will automatically get the sharpest picture.
What’s the best time to watch birds?
The best time to watch birds in full flow is early morning. And early morning means as early as possible. Birds naturally sleep at night and do their stuff in the day except for noon. So if you are into birding, make a habit to rise as early as possible.
Although every camera in the list is best in one way or the other for birding, the pick of the lot for me is the Nikon COOLPIX P1000 thanks to its unbeatable zooming ability.
You can always prioritize things your way but the zooming abilities of a camera for birding is the most important aspect in my opinion. So sit tight and take stunning bird shots with the best superzoom camera for birding.