10 Best Wildlife Photography Camera under $500 - Reviews & Guide
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Best Wildlife Photography Camera Under $500 – Reviews, FAQS & Guide

Best Wildlife Photography Camera Under $500

Best Wildlife Photography Camera Under $500 – Reviews, FAQS & Guide

Are you looking for a wildlife photography camera but are not willing to spend a fortune? Well, you have dropped by the right spot.

We are here to help you find a powerful wildlife photography camera at a budget-friendly rate with powerful specs and performance.

There is rapid progress in camera technology. With the advancement in technology, there is also an increase in the varieties offering excellent specs and features.

Wildlife and capturing wildlife moments attract a lot of people. Many people pursue wildlife photography as their career, while others might just carry it out as their hobby.

If you are a wildlife photography enthusiast, then you need to analyze the reviews, specs, pros, and cons of each camera.

Moreover, it is also essential to focus on your budget, keeping your requirements in mind. For wildlife photography, it is extremely crucial to pick up a powerful camera in terms of speed and performance.

You need to pay attention to the speed and frame rate of the camera so that you can easily capture fast-moving objects and animals around you in the most professional way.

In case you would not like to get closer to the dangerous animals, you also have to focus on a long-range zoom lens. There are a plethora of factors that come into play while selecting the best wildlife photography camera under $500.

So without a further delay, let’s dive straight into the topic and discuss the topmost budget-friendly wildlife photography cameras.

The Best Wildlife Photography Camera under $500- Reviewed

After extensive research and comparative analysis, we have assembled a list of 10 most budget friendly and professional cameras for wildlife photography under $500.

1.Canon EOS Rebel T6

Best Wildlife Photography Camera Under $500

Product Specs:

  • Dimensions: 5.08 x 3.98 x 3.07″
  • Monitor: 920k-Dot LCD Monitor
  • Resolution: 5184 x 3456
  • Lens: 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II
  • Max frame rate: 30 fps
  • Sensor: 180 Megapixel CMOS (APS C) image sensor

Canon EOS comes with a wide range of excellent specifications and performance. It has a 920k-Dot monitor featuring an LCD screen.

It offers a high resolution of 5184 x 3456 to give sharp images and enhance the visuals. The lens has a focal length of 18-55 mm which can capture long-range shots.

The camera has a high frame rate of 30 fps allowing you to capture outstanding visuals. The Sensor of the Canon model includes 180 megapixels CMOS. All these specs make Canon EOS a worthy choice in the list.

Pros
  • Photo and video quality are definitely better than those of a point-and-shoot
  • Raw capture support
  • Wi-Fi and NFC
Cons
  • Slow for a family camera
  • Fixed non-touch-screen
  • Dated image sensor

 2.Sony a5100

Best camera for wildlife photography under $500

Product Specs:

  • Dimensions: 4.33 x 2.48 x 1.42
  • Monitor: 3-Inch Flip Up LCD
  • Resolution: 6000 x 4000
  • Lens: 16-50mm
  • Max frame rate: 60 fps
  • Sensor: 24MP APS-C sensor

Sony a5100 is another impressively specced camera model available in the list. It has a 3 inches Flip up LCD screen. It also offers a very high resolution of 6000 x 4000 to capture highly sharp wildlife visuals.

The lens further facilitates the photographer to capture and shoot the wildlife and nature moments at a focal length ranging from 16 to 50 mm.

The camera model also features a 24 MP APS-C sensor. The refresh rate of the Sony a1500a is an additional outstanding feature one can avail of at a much reasonable and cost-friendly rate.

Pros
  • Built-in Wireless (Wi-fi) available
  • NFC Connectivity available
  • Feature of Articulating Screen
  • Offers Full HD Video
  • Touch Screen
  • Face Detection Focusing
  • 24.0MP – High Resolution Sensor
  • 25.600 Max ISO
  • 179 Focus Points
Cons
  • Image Stabilization absent
  • External Flash Shoe absent
  • Lacks Built-in Viewfinder
  • No External Viewfinder Option
  • Low Battery Life after 400 shots

3.Canon EOS Rebel T7

Best camera for wildlife photography under $500

Product Specs:

  • Dimensions: 5.08 x 3.98 x 3.07″
  • Monitor: 3.0″ 920k-Dot LCD Monitor
  • Resolution: 6000 x 4000
  • Lens: 18-55mm Lens
  • Max frame rate: 3.0 fps (frames per second
  • Sensor: 24.1 MP CMOS Sensor

Canon EOS Rebel T7 has some of the most compelling features and specs for beginners. It offers good performance and excellent specs at an inexpensive cost.

The 3 inches screen of the monitor is a 920k-Dot LCD. The lens can capture at a range of focal length 18 mm to 55 mm.

The maximum refresh rate of the product is only 3 fps which might qualify for beginners and amateur photographers.

The model has also attached a 24.1 MP CMOS sensor. All these specs at a reasonable cost make Canon EOS Rebel T7 an irresistible option.

Pros
  • 24MP image sensor.
  • On-screen shooting guide.
  • Raw support.
  • Sharp LCD.
  • Wi-Fi-enabled.
  • Inexpensive.
Cons
  • Fixed rear LCD without touch input.
  • Dated image processor limits high ISO capture.
  • Autofocus is not available when recording video.
  • Slow 3fps burst rate.

4.Canon M200

Best camera for wildlife photography under $500

Product Specs:

  • Dimensions: 4.26 x 2.64 x 1.38
  • Monitor: 3 inches Touch panel LCD
  • Resolution: 6000 x 4000
  • Lens: EF-M 15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM Lens
  • Max frame rate: Up to 6.1 fps
  • Sensor: 24.1MP APS-C CMOS Sensor

Canon M200 is an incredible value-for-money camera model present in the list. The 3 inches monitor has an LCD and touch screen panel.

The screen renders a high resolution of 6000 x 4000 pixels. The high amount of pixels enhances the visualization and images captured.

The lens focal length capability can capture wildlife moments within a range of 15-45 mm. The refresh rate is only 6.1 fps which is adequate for you as a newbie to wildlife photography.

The CMOS Sensor overall increases the dynamic range and image quality. Hence, this model of canon is another great choice.

Pros
  • Articulating Screen
  • 4K (UHD) Video
  • Touch Screen
  • Face Detection Focusing
  • 24.0MP – High Resolution Sensor
  • 25.600 Max ISO
  • 143 Focus Points
  • 1.040k dots LCD Resolution
  • Compatible with fast UHS-I cards
  • Webcam Functionality
Cons
  • x magnification – Small Viewfinder
  • Low Battery Life: 315 shots
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Not so wide AE Bracketing Range: ±2

5.Canon PowerShot SX420

Best camera for wildlife photography under $500

Product Specs:

  • Dimensions: 4.1 x 2.7 x 3.4″
  • Monitor: 3.0″ 230k-Dot LCD Monitor
  • Resolution: 5152 x 3864
  • Lens: 42x Optical Zoom Lens
  • Max frame rate: Up to 2.2 fps at 20 MP
  • Sensor: 20.0MP 1.2.3″ CCD Image Sensor

Canon PowerShot SX240 brings excellent specs and a powerpack of features to the table. It comes with an optical zoom lens that can capture farther ranges.

The Canon model also features a 3 inches monitor that comes with a 230k-Dot and LCD screen. The resolution of the screen is 5152 x 3864 to provide good images. 20.0MP 1.2.3″ CCD Image Sensors ensure that the lighting is good and adequate. Overall, all the features give a smooth wildlife photography experience.

Pros
  • 1/4000s High Shutter Speed
  • 24mm Wide Angle Lens
  • 1008mm Good Tele Lens
  • 42.0X Optical Zoom
  • Face Detection Focusing
  • 20.0MP – High Resolution Sensor
Cons
  • Low Battery Life: 195 shots
  • Heavy Body: 325
  • No Manual Focusing
  • No Manual Exposure
  • No Environmental Sealing
  • Slow Lens at Wide: f3.50
  • Slow Lens at Tele: f6.60

6.Panasonic LUMIX FZ80

Best camera for wildlife photography under $500

Product Specs:

  • Dimensions: 5.1 x 3.7 x 4.7″
  • Monitor: Touch Enabled 3-Inch LCD
  • Resolution: 1,040,000 Dot
  • Lens: 20-1200mm Lens
  • Max frame rate: Up to 10 fps at 18.1 MP, Up to 30 fps at 8 MP
  • Sensor: 18.1MP 1/2.3″ seeMOS Sensor

Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 comes with a powerpack of performance and specs. It has a touch screen enabled monitor screen featuring LCD.

The resolution of the camera is 1,040,000 Dots that make sure that high-quality visuals and images are captured. The lens has a focal length ranging from 20-12000 mm to easily capture micro to macro shots.

The refresh rate of the camera is also high. It is up to 10 fps at 18.1 MP and up to 30 fps at 8 MP. This further facilitates the photographer.

Pros
  • 90x optical zoom lens
  • Ultra-wide-angle 22mm equivalent
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • Manual controls
  • AdobeDNG raw files
Cons
  • Large
  • Focus hit and miss at times
  • Colour performance not great
  • Poor noise performance

7.Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ901

Best camera for wildlife photography under $500

Product Specs:

  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 4.1 x 4.7″
  • Monitor: 3.0″ 920k-Dot Articulating LCD Monitor
  • Resolution: 5184 x 3888
  • Lens: 90x Optical Zoom Lens
  • Max frame rate: Up to 5 fps at 20 MP
  • Sensor: 20.68MP 1/2.3″ BSI CMOS Sensor

The KODAK PixPro Astro unveils a powerpack of specs and performance. The KODAK PixPro comes with a 3 inches monitor screen.

The 920k dots LCD monitor screen with a high resolution of 5184 x 3888 gives appealing visuals and high image quality. It boosts the sharpness of the image.

The camera features a 90x optical zoom lens, an excellent choice for wildlife photo shoots. The maximum frame rate is also around 5 fps at 20 MP.

Another feature of the camera includes 20.68MP 1/2.3″ BSI CMOS Sensors. All these features qualify the standard requirements of a wildlife photography camera at an excellent budget.

Pros
  • 90x optical zoom lens
  • Ultra-wide-angle 22mm equivalent
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • Manual controls
  • AdobeDNG raw files
Cons
  • Large
  • Focus hit and miss at times
  • Colour performance not great
  • Poor noise performance

8.EOS Rebel T100

Best camera for wildlife photography under $500

Product Specs:

  • Dimensions: 129.0 x 101.6 x 77.1 mm
  • Monitor: (2.7″) TFT LCD, approx. 230 K dots
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Lens: 18-55mm iii Lens
  • Max frame rate: 3 fps
  • Sensor: 18 Megapixel sensor

EOS Rebel T100 renders excellent specs to functionality ratio for amateur users. It features a 2.7 inches TFT LCD monitor screen of around 230K dots.

The resolution of the camera is 1920 × 1080 pixels which grant great results. The lens can focus within the range of 18 to 55 mm.

Another addition is the camera frame rate, which is a maximum of 3 frame rates per second. It also features 18-megapixel sensors. This is great for beginners or amateur photographers.

Pros
  • Huge 60x zoom range.
  • Fast autofocus.
  • 10fps Raw capture.
  • 30fps 4K Photo capture.
  • Touch LCD.
  • Sharp EVF.
  • Wi-Fi.
Cons
  • No EVF eye sensor.
  • Fixed rear LCD.
  • Limited Raw buffer.
  • Omits 24fps video capture.
  • Telephoto video shows wobble effect.

9.Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ70

Best camera for wildlife photography under $500

Product Specs:

  • Dimensions: 5.1 x 3.8 x 4.7″
  • Monitor: 3.0″ LCD Rear Screen (460,000 Pixels)
  • Resolution: 16 MP: 4608 x 3456
  • Lens: Lumix DC Vario 60x Optical Zoom Lens
  • Max frame rate: Up to 9 fps at 16 MP for up to 3 Frames
  • Sensor: 16.1MP 1/2.3″ BSI MOS Sensor

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ470 offers great features and quality specs for its users. The model Panasonic Lumix comes with a monitor featuring an LCD Rear screen of 460,000 pixels.

The monitor displays appealing photoshoots. The lens has an optical and a massive 60x zoom feature. The resolution of the model is also high that gives sharp visuals.

The frame rate is also as high as a 9 frames rate per second. The camera model also features 16.1MP 1/2.3″ BSI MOS Sensor. All these features make Panasonic Lumix good to go for a wildlife photography shoot.

Pros
  • Massive 60x optical zoom
  • Excellent Power O.I.S
  • Raw mode
  • 400 shot battery life
  • 3 Programmable Fn buttons
  • Awesome LCD visibility
  • Usable video framing overlay mask
  • Good ergonomics
Cons
  • No built-in GPS or Wifi
  • Poor 3-frame burst shooting
  • Poor color accuracy
  • Very slow autofocus in lowlight near telephoto

10.Panasonic Lumix TZ100

Best camera for wildlife photography under $500

Product Specs:

  • Dimensions: 5.13 x 3.82 x 4.65 inch
  • Monitor:  3.0-inch, 1,040,000 dots
  • Resolution: 20.1MP
  • Lens: 25-250mm f/2.8-5.9
  • Max frame rate:  10fps
  • Sensor: 1-inch type CMOS

Panasonic Lumix is one of the specs and performance-worthy cameras for wildlife photography on the list. It renders a high spec to performance ratio.

The 3 inches monitor screen of the camera has 1,040,000 dots. The resolution of the camera is also up to 20.1 megapixels. The lens can focus up to 25 to 250 mm range.

It also offers a maximum frame rate of 10 fps. The high resolution, lens focus, and frame rate prove extremely beneficial for a wildlife photographer. Hence Panasonic qualifies as a great camera under an excellent budget.

Pros
  • 10x zoom
  • Good image quality
  • 4K video
  • Compact design
Cons
  • It’s autofocus speed is just average
  • 3x zoom rivals are better in low light

Buying Guide

Here is a buying guide for all the wildlife photography enthusiasts and professionals.

The buying guide will help you select the best wildlife photography camera for under $500. Users and Buyers should pay attention to certain factors that contribute to the best wildlife photography camera under $500. 

Let’s go through the busying guide to learn the factors that help you select your best wildlife photography camera at an affordable budget.

  • Frame per second:

Wildlife photography involves capturing perfect animal gestures, behavior, and movements. Thus, wildlife photographers especially need to focus on the frame rate of the camera.

The frame rates might give additional benefits to the photographers by increasing the chance to capture the perfect wildlife moments.

According to professional wildlife photographers, the recommended frame rate for wildlife photography would be eight fps.

  • Resolutions:

If you would prefer to capture professional wildlife shots, you should pick up a camera that offers 20-30 megapixels. This is a standard resolution that is adequate for most of the people.

If you are doing wildlife photography at an amateur level and would not like to make large prints, 12- 18 pixels is sufficient for you. It can provide sharp images and good prints.

  • Monitor screen:

The monitor screen of your camera especially while doing wildlife photography is extremely vital. A massive monitor screen is excellent for editing images.

It also renders a huge Adobe RGB color gamut. If you have a good monitor screen in your camera, it also ensures that the colors captured are accurately represented.

Currently, one of the best monitor screens in vogue is LED and OLED.

  • Image Sensors:

While picking out the best camera for wildlife photography, it is extremely important to pay attention to the image Sensors present in the camera.

While considering the camera system, it’s vital to focus on image Sensors since it plays a vital role in the wildlife photography.

An incident light or photons hit the image sensor which is focused through a lens or other optics. CMOS sensors or other sensors present in the system convert the photons into electrons to a voltage.

Further, it turns into a digital value using an on-chip Analog to a Digital converter. The sensors overall improve the lighting.

It gives light image performance and improved dynamic range with less noise. Sensor size also determines the resolution of the image.

The amount of light used to create an image depends on the sensors. Large sensors have the capability to capture more light. More lighting results in capturing detailed and excellent image quality.

FAQS:

What is the best aperture for wildlife photography?

Usually, photographers have a setting for shooting wildlife photos at wide-open apertures.  The usage of the widest aperture that your lens supports often involves f/2.8, f/4, or f/5.6.  Wide apertures with a long-reach zoom lens give great benefits for wildlife photography.

What are the best settings for wildlife photography?

For professional wildlife photography, the preferred setting would be setting the Aperture Priority mode when capturing animals or birds in a static state.

However, you can turn on the Shutter Priority mode for capturing animals that are moving about or running. 

Furthermore, the ISO setting can be switched to the lowest ISO setting available.

Conclusion:

Ultimately, the best camera for wildlife photography is the one that fulfills all your needs and requirements. For example, amateur wildlife photographers may want to invest in something small and light.

This will help them to discreetly and comfortably go for long forest walks to capture their favorite moments. This brings us to our next point that your budget will factor into the wildlife camera you pick up for yourself.

Of course, this will also impact your choice over the variety of cameras, including a full-frame camera, crop sensor, image sensor, and other specifications of the camera.

To choose the best camera, analyze your requirements and budget and make a wise choice. We hope our list helped you in making the right choice.

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