The hobby of bird watching and observing them in their natural environment became a trend a few years ago. And for birdwatchers, there is hardly any other activity that will Ignite that sense of thrill and passion within them.
Coming across wild birds, the anticipation of spotting them again, catching the same bird in a new stunning location or encountering a species for the first time which you haven’t seen before- these are some unparalleled experiences.
Whether you are a newbie in bird photography or you have years of experience studying and observing those beautiful creatures, there is one common thing shared between both scenarios. And that is the desire to keep those memories and magical moments treasured.
And there is no denying that a pair of binoculars, a good quality camera, and spotting scopes are three critical elements that can significantly improve the field experience.
But imagine spending a long weekend trying to capture the best shots of stunning birds only to realise at the end that factors like autofocus, bad image quality or insufficient image stabilisation completely ruined the pictures. Quite disappointing, isn’t it?
This is precisely where the importance of choosing the best camera for bird photography comes into play. First, let us make a point clear that bird photography is not just about being able to go extremely near the subject and getting a close-up shot. It’s about composing beautiful pictures by understanding the art of exposure, getting the light accurate, being able to track the fast movements of birds, and more.
A decent point-and-shoot camera will suffice if you are a beginner. You want to choose something that won’t drain your wallet and help you to develop the required set of skills. However, if you are a pro photographer and looking for an option for commercial projects, getting a DSLR or even a mirrorless camera is essential.
There is a wide range of options available in the market today for wildlife photography. And it can be pretty overwhelming to do so much research and finally narrow it down to one choice. No worries, because this list below is here to make everything easy for you.
Here are my top 10 picks for the best camera for bird photography.
- 1 10 best cameras for bird photography.
- 1.1 1. Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera.
- 1.2 2. Minolta Pro Shot 20MP HD Digital Camera.
- 1.3 3. Canon EOS 4000D DSLR Camera
- 1.4 4. Panasonic LUMIX FZ300 Long Zoom Digital Camera.
- 1.5 5. Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera.
- 1.6 6. Canon PowerShot SX420 Digital Camera.
- 1.7 7. Canon PowerShot SX530 Digital Camera.
- 1.8 8. Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ401-BK Digital Camera.
- 1.9 9. Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70K Digital Camera.
- 1.10 10. Nikon Coolpix B500 Digital Camera.
- 2 Things to consider while buying a camera for bird photography.
- 3 FAQs
- 4 Verdict.
10 best cameras for bird photography.
1. Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 4K Digital Camera.
Starting off the list with a budget bridge camera, the Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 is an excellent choice for casual photographers. The zoom range is pretty long with a 20-1200mm equivalent zoom lens.
The camera comes with an 18.1MP MOS sensor with 60X zooms DC Vario lens. It supports 4K QFHD video recording at 30fps, which will help you capture those split-second moments.
The build quality of this model is pretty reasonable, and it gets brownie points for being lightweight, relatively compact, and easy to handle. The body is made of plastic, and even though the buttons give a cheap feeling, they are still nice and do their job well. Like any other Panasonic camera, this one has a curved shape that offers a better grip. The handle, in fact, is textured to provide extra support.
At the back of the camera, there is only a single control dial that controls shutter speed or aperture when you are using the manual mode. You also get a fixed 3 inches LCD, but it would have been better if we could tilt the screen.
Coming to the performance, the optical image stabiliser in the Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 does offer great support to the camera, and you are able to capture exquisite detail even during the low light conditions. The HD video quality is also quite impressive, but there might be a tad bit of instability in the video recording while fully zooming in.
Overall, the Panasonic LUMIX FZ80 offers decent performance at a reasonable price, and you will get almost everything that an Ultra zoom Bridge camera can offer. The viewfinder helps with the extra grip while shooting outdoors.
The only thing that would increase the selling point of this camera is there was a tilting screen. However, if that’s not a priority for you, you can definitely go for this without any doubt.
- 4K UHD video recording.
- Good colour reproduction and image quality.
- Reasonably priced.
- Comfortable to use.
- 60x optical zoom lens with a long zoom range.
- Slight noise at ISO1600 and above.
- Battery life could have been better.
- The LCD screen does not tilt.
2. Minolta Pro Shot 20MP HD Digital Camera.
Even though Minolta is not an extremely popular brand in the field of photography, don’t be fooled by it. This one is packed with powerful features like 67x optical and 4x digital zoom.
Whether you are looking to shoot long-distance shots or even close-ups highlighting every single detail, this one does the job. The optical stabilisation feature makes sure that the images are steady even when there is a slight shake in the camera.
The camera features are pretty user-friendly, and some of them, like a smile, face and blink detection, make it relatively easy for you to get that perfect shot. As soon as a smile is detected on the face of the selected subject, the camera will automatically capture it.
Apart from that, there is a wide range of scene modes like sunset, panorama and night portrait. So no matter which setting you want to shoot in, this one helps you throughout.
The high dynamic range is excellent if you want to take several images at different exposure levels and bring them together to form one single photo. The burst mode is for when you want to capture multiple photos rapidly, one after the other.
Another feature worth mentioning is the precise autofocusing optical zoom supported by optical image stabilisation. You can bring your subject approximately up to 67x closer, which is an excellent feature for wildlife photography.
The Minolta Pro-Shot lets you record crystal clear HD videos at a frame rate of 30fps in a 16:9 a widescreen format. You are getting rich detail, much more vibrant colours, accurate footage, and sharper visuals compared to an average video.
The 20MP sensor works exceedingly well to create high-resolution images that you can enlarge or crop with no compromise in image quality.
You also get a 3 inch LCD with angle adjustment, which lets you play around with different angles so that you can capture the perfect shot. The electronic viewfinder and the adjustable diopter enhance the brightness of the image. The built-in Wi-Fi connectivity lets you quickly transfer your photos and videos to and fro.
- Long zoom is pretty impressive.
- Value for money.
- Lightweight and well built.
- Easy to use.
- There is a slight delay between clicking the shot and the picture being taken.
3. Canon EOS 4000D DSLR Camera
There is hardly anyone who does not want a camera which offers them value for money. And the Canon EOS 4000D does represent that. This one really emphasises easy social media sharing via built-in Wi-Fi and a good quality sensor.
Going over the specifications, the camera comes with an 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor and allows full HD video recording up to 30fps. Furthermore, there is 9 points AF system, 3fps burst mode, pentamirror optical viewfinder, which offers 95% coverage and a 2.7 inches LCD display.
As you can see, it is not really a camera which is packed with competitive features. The specifications seem pretty basic but are enough for beginners who are just starting out in DSLR photography.
However, the current Canon owners might feel a bit confused since there is no separate power switch. Instead, the camera only has an ‘Off’ position on the mode dial. You won’t face any problems once you locate it, but it seems they could have gone the other way with this one.
The lens mounting plate is plastic, and the rear screen seems kind of small. The resolution is okay, but the detail and the smoothness could have been better. This camera will be perfect as an introduction to DSLR photography, but the pro users may not enjoy it a lot.
- Decent quality photos.
- Wide range of compatible lenses.
- Performs well according to the price point.
- Low-resolution LCD display.
- Live view mode has quite a lot of noise and is slow.
- Autofocus and burst rate is average.
4. Panasonic LUMIX FZ300 Long Zoom Digital Camera.
The Panasonic LUMIX FZ300 is a significant improvement over the FZ200 and Has impressed its users thoroughly, including me. It is natural that wildlife photography requires you to venture out into the natural habitat of the creatures, and this is one of the best-rugged cameras you can get your hands on.
It is totally appropriate for bird photography and is waterproof as well. Usually, when you try to get a rugged camera, the chances are that you might not find one that has a very long zoom lens. The same applies to vice versa- if you want high-quality zoom, your camera probably won’t be extremely rugged. However, this one has turned out to be a major surprise as it is the best of both worlds.
The Panasonic LUMIX FZ300 has a superb quality 24x f2.8 25-600mm lens while being splashproof and dustproof at the same time. Compared to its predecessor, this one is much more versatile, and the bird photographers are going to love it. The camera is able to stay at f2.8 throughout its zoom range, and you do not have to search for full sunlight or even use higher ISO settings to get that perfect shot.
The built-in Wi-Fi feature means that you can easily connect the camera to an Android or iOS device to transfer pictures and flaunt them on your preferred social media platforms.
The autofocus system is literally lightning quick, and the full-auto mode is fantastic with extra features like HDR to create a balance between the shadows and highlights. There is also a low light and a hand-held night option to minimise blur and noise in case of shaking.
It is honestly incredible how much you are getting at this price range. However, this won’t be great for you if you are looking for an entirely automatic experience with a basic point-and-shoot camera. But if you are someone who loves playing around and experimenting with the latest features, you might fall in love with this baby.
- Fantastic photo and video quality.
- 12.1MP MOS sensor.
- Absolutely packed with features and settings.
- New EVF and the rear display are impressive.
- Lightning-fast autofocus.
- Lens is pretty versatile.
- Camera body is slightly bulky.
- Plethora of controls and settings might seem overwhelming for some.
5. Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera.
If you are looking for the best beginner camera for bird photography, this one is a great option. Even though it is very similar to its predecessor, the Canon EOS Rebel T7 sports a higher 24MP and has significant performance improvements; this one is great to experiment with a little in terms of using manual exposure modes and shooting in RAW.
The price range is quite affordable considering the features you are getting. The camera offers good picture quality, and for those who are new to using DSLRs, this one is pretty easy to catch up on. At the same time, the set of features is expensive enough for you to develop and grow your photography skills.
Talking about the design of the Canon EOS Rebel T7, it falls in the category of smaller DSLRs in the market and is pretty lightweight. The rubber used is textured to create a better and more solid grip.
The body is primarily plastic, and the build quality feels justified for the price range. However, the plastic does not seem cheap and gives you a good feeling when you pick up the camera.
The DIGIC 4+ image processor used in this one might not be the fastest, but it does its job pretty well. The switches and the keys may come across as a little stiff at first, but the dials are well marked, and the external controls offer one-touch access to the essential shooting parameters, including white balance, drive modes, focus and ISO.
A 9 point system is used, which is great for creating stunning compositions and experimenting with negative space. It also makes it easier to keep track of your subject, which will be pretty helpful, especially in the field of bird photography.
The optical viewfinder is excellent, and the LCD offers a bright and clear display, but you do not get the touch screen feature.
The overall performance of the camera will not disappoint you. But it would be best if you kept in mind that it is a budget option and will come with its limitations.
- Excellent image quality.
- Offers full HD video recording at 30p.
- Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Budget-friendly camera.
- Fixed LCD screen makes it difficult for shooting videos.
- Continuous shooting speed is limited to 3fps.
- No touch control offered for the rear LCD screen.
6. Canon PowerShot SX420 Digital Camera.
This one is an excellent superzoom bridge compact camera at an affordable price. The large 42x optical zoom lens is the x-factor of this camera. It also features a 20.5MP CMOS sensor, and the lens offers a focal range of 24-1008mm.
Other primary features include Wi-Fi connectivity, DIGIC 4+ image processor, 3 inches LCD screen, GNE optical image stabilization and 720p HD video recording in MP4 format.
Like most basic cameras, the image quality in Canon PowerShot SX420 is decent in good lighting, but it’s not as good in case of low light. Another thing to notice is that while most other competitors in this price range allow recording up to 1080p, it is limited to 720p HD video recording in this one.
The burst mode is approximately 2fps, which isn’t very suitable for action photos. However, the Wi-Fi is easy to use and acts as an added feature at this price point. With the Canon PowerShot SX420, you do not get many manual controls or mode dial. But the basic features work just as well to capture beautiful shots.
Out of the other Ultra zoom cameras in this price range, you will hardly ever find a 42x optical zoom lens. But this baby has it. The image stabilization feature is also very effective, and you can record shop images without any extra blurring that occurs due to the shaking in the cameras.
The buttons at the back of the camera can feel somewhat uncomfortable due to their extremely small size. But since you will be primarily using this one in automatic mode, this does not create any significant issue.
If there had been an added touch screen LCD, it would have made for a major brownie point. However, Canon instead shows to keep the price minimal. But I have to admit that there are still plenty of tricks to try out with the current features included in this camera.
- Fantastic long 42x optical zoom lens.
- Lightweight and easy to handle.
- Affordable considering the features included.
- Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Image quality could have been better in low light conditions.
- HD video recording is limited to 720p.
- Average battery life.
7. Canon PowerShot SX530 Digital Camera.
This brand has really established its name in the field of photography, and it is pretty evident as we have more than two options from the brand in this list. The features of the Canon PowerShot SX530 are quite similar to its predecessor- the SX520. But there have been two significant modifications.
The first one is that as compared to the 42x optical zoom lens on the previous one, this has an even longer 50x optical zoom lens. And the second upgrade is that, unlike its predecessor, this has built-in Wi-Fi.
The grip has a textured coating for better hold and making it secure in your hands. The moulded plastic body might look cheap to some. It would have been better if Canon had included a tiltable LCD, but I am trying to not hold any grudges for it.
Coming to the features, the Canon PowerShot SX530 sports a 16MP CMOS sensor. The ZoomPlus feature enables a user to zoom up to 100x. But the lens seems relatively slow in shooting and has a maximum aperture of f/3.4. The Digic 4+ image processor is used in this one, and you are getting a wide variety of shooting modes.
The image quality is pretty decent, and the colours portray the correct amount of warmth and saturation. But there is some amount of noise and smudging present at higher ISO levels. The built-in Wi-Fi helps in the easy transfer of photos and videos.
Even though I wish Canon would have opted for a sharper screen, but the colours in the 3 inch LCD is almost close to accurate and looks great under sunlight. There was not any significant problem with the viewing angles either.
When you get one excellent feature in a camera, there is usually always a compromise. In this case, on the one hand, you are getting a 50x optical zoom range. You might feel that it is better to choose an entry-level DSLR and kit lens by paying just a little extra. But then you will not get the massive zoom range. Overall, this is a decent option to go for.
- Huge 50x optical zoom lens.
- Built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.
- Great image and video quality.
- Low light performance is average.
8. Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ401-BK Digital Camera.
The first thing you’ll notice immediately is how you are getting a 40x zoom lens at this price range. For those looking for a budget camera, this one will seem like a no-brainer. But does the image quality perform as expected? Let’s find out.
The Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ401 has a plastic body with a metal ring around the lens. It is usually available in a red or black shade and is overall quite lightweight. While you may not be able to stuff it in the pocket of your jacket, it is still easy to carry around. You also get a built-in flash with this one.
As already established above, the x-factor of this camera is its 40x zoom lens, which covers a 24mm angle. Hence there is no denying that it is quite versatile. However, the image stabilization is not at par with some other ultra-zoom models. So if you are working at the most extreme zoom level, it is best to be extremely careful and able to hold your framing.
Considering the price range of this camera, it has a good quantity of manual control capability. You can always use the fully automatic mode and let the camera choose on its own what settings it wants to use. But if you are willing to step into the advanced zone, there is a mode dial, EV adjustment buttons, zoom rocker, shutter release and an off/on switch.
There is a 3 inch LCD screen at the back, but it does not offer touch input. You do not get Wi-Fi support in this one and there is a single memory card slot and two connection ports for micro USB and micro HDMI.
Coming to the performance, the Kodak PIXPRO Astro Zoom AZ401 is somewhat slow, which can get frustrating at times. The autofocus system is simple, and the length overall generates solid results.
Overall the camera is great in terms of the long zoom lens you are getting at this price range. But I have to say that the image quality could have been a tad bit better.
- Great camera according to the price.
- Good zoom quality.
- Easy to use and handle.
- Panorama mode takes stunning pictures.
- Video quality could have been better.
- Battery life is low.
9. Panasonic LUMIX DC-ZS70K Digital Camera.
This camera gained a confusing reputation since its name depends on where it is being sold. Nonetheless, it is one of the best cameras you can have for wildlife photography. It features a 20.3MP sensor, has 4K video quality support, 30x Leica zoom lens and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity as well.
What is special about this camera is its electronic viewfinder. Moreover, the sensor is great for high shooting speeds and offers a focal length of 24-720mm for wide-angle shooting. You get another signature feature of Panasonic known as post focus mode. This feature lets you choose the focus point according to your preference after you have captured the shots.
The LUMIX DC-ZS70 has the typical design of a point and shoot camera and comes in a jet black colour. There are three function buttons that you can customise to switch to different settings and modes. The Leica zoom lens is not interchangeable, but the 30x zoom capacity should mostly be enough for the needs of any ordinary photographer.
The camera even sports an electronic shutter, using which you can click pictures at a very high shutter speed. The touch screen is a definite bonus point, and you can easily position the autofocus frame even during low light conditions.
To make the product even better, Panasonic has added a Silent Operation mode, which helps to reduce the sound effects of the button clicking, which is usually heard in a video. Another feature is the Miniature effect which makes use of selective blur and creates an illusion sort off effect.
Overall, this one is an affordable option, and some of the features do resemble an expensive camera. If you love bird photography, you can get your hands on this as the features are going to be relevant for a long time now.
- 4K Ultra HD video support.
- Camera offers touch screen feature.
- High resolution sensor and great optical zoom lens.
- Built-in electronic viewfinder.
- The body of the camera is slightly bulky and heavy.
- Gets heated up at times.
10. Nikon Coolpix B500 Digital Camera.
When you search options for the best digital cameras on a budget, you don’t find many with high-end features. However, the Nikon Coolpix B500 can be safely called an exception. Dare I say it might be the best Nikon camera for bird photography.
This is an ultra-zoom bridge camera featuring a 40x optical zoom lens, a tilting 3-inch screen, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and an excellent 16MP sensor. Moreover, there are multiple shades to choose from.
Apart from all the amazing features, it has a built-in vibration reduction optical image stabilization. Even if you are shooting in low light or you are using optical zoom, this feature helps to keep the pictures sharp.
There are multiple modes that you can select through the mode dial and you can change tons of settings including white balance and ISO. However, there are no manual controls in this one.
The Nikon Coolpix B500 also has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity to connect to a compatible tablet or smartphone. This is great for easy and hassle-free image transfers as Bluetooth consumes much less power compared to Wi-Fi.
You get full HD video recording support, during which you can even use optical zoom. The rubber grip is decent and there is a textured pattern for further security. The battery life is quite impressive and you can get a solid number of shots without worrying about running out of power.
The speed of the camera is quite reasonable while switching on and shooting but it can take slightly longer to focus when you are using full optical zoom. The continuous shooting feature is impressive as well.
Of course, it is not the perfect camera ever but considering the price point, it is able to generate decent quality videos and photos. It might not be a professional level option but is great if you are traveling and looking for a budget option for wildlife photography.
- Fantastic image quality and optical image stabilization.
- Offers face detection focus.
- Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity.
- 23mm Wide Angle coverage.
- Great optical zoom lens.
- No built-in viewfinder.
- Does not support RAW shooting.
Things to consider while buying a camera for bird photography.
There is no denying that there are way too many options to consider but I am here to give you some information that will be able to act as a guide and give you a sense of clarity.
Overall, there is a lot to know about cameras in general and how each feature can be helpful in the case of bird photography. But before diving into that, it is also essential to know how different bird photography is compared to traditional photography.
Understanding how different bird photography is.
Honestly, bird photography is a different category altogether, and it requires some specific skills. As you already know, Birds do not like to stay in one place for too long, and as a bird photographer, you have to get used to tracking them via the viewfinder of the camera as it is absolutely essential.
Moreover, it is crucial to know when to change the manual camera settings while getting it quickly done at the same time. When you are in nature, there is no guarantee about how changes may occur. It’s just a matter of a few seconds when a bird may fly from a shady place to a spot bathed in sunlight. The light conditions keep changing with every step you take in the woods.
Hence it is up to you as the photographer to learn how to quickly adapt and prepare yourself to take that perfect shot. When we talk about bird photography, a fast shutter speed is a primary element which holds a lot of importance, especially when you want to capture a bird in flight.
If you want to capture birds in motion, shutter speeds of approximately 1/1000th of a second or higher can suffice. The key quality to capturing high-quality images is to strike that perfect balance between your ISO and aperture settings along with the shutter speed settings.
Choosing the right style of cameras.
Your choice of camera will create a major impact on how your pictures are going to turn out. If you are a beginner bird photographer who is looking for an easy-to-use camera, bridge cameras would be the best option for you.
If you are a slightly more experienced wildlife photographer who wants to experiment with some sophisticated functions and want to have control over them, a DSLR camera would be the best fit. You will also get the opportunity to try out a variety of lenses.
You can also opt for a mirrorless camera if you are looking for something similar to a DSLR but more compact and lightweight. Also, so it is a great choice if you love to travel and the best photo quality is your priority.
The importance of megapixels.
The megapixels of a camera are evolving with time, and there has been a significant upgrade over the past 10 years. Previously, 8MP was considered incredible. But today, there are many options out there with 40+ MP capabilities. And it’s not just about cameras; even smartphones are becoming incredibly efficient nowadays and can often shoot 16MP+ images.
What exactly is a megapixel though? Each pixel depicts one unit of photosite on the sensor of a camera. That means a 16MP camera equals 16,000,000 photosites!
At this point, the type of sensor comes into play. Let us suppose there are two cameras, both have 16MP sensors. Now, let us assume that one of them has a full-frame sensor while the other one has an APS-C sensor. Comparatively, the full-frame sensor is approximately 2.4 times larger than the APS-C. But in terms of photosites, both of them have the same amount.
Hence, each photosite on the APS-C is significantly smaller than on the full-frame sensor. But what is the consequence of this? This means that you are getting improved dynamic range, fantastic performance in low light conditions and reduced noise in your images.
Now coming to bird photography, the combination of a larger sensor and improved dynamic range results in brighter and more vibrant colours that resemble what you saw even more accurately. So now you know that even though a lot of advertising strategies focus on the word “megapixels”, there are other factors which create an impact as well.
How to choose lenses?
Apart from the sensors, the lenses in a camera will be the most significant factor in your camera setup. It takes a lot of research and, of course, a considerable budget too to find a quality lens that will help you produce fantastic pictures of stunning birds.
Choosing smaller mm lenses will let you take wider shots, and you will be able to showcase more of the scenery in front of you. On the other hand, choosing lenses with a higher mm is excellent for Telescopic pictures and capturing subjects with fine detail even when they are far away. But you know what the best part is? Choosing zoom lenses will give you the best of both worlds, but the aperture will be limited
But if we talk about the more important qualities that you will require for your lens- it should have adequate zoom, the quality of glass should be decent and should be long lasting.
While choosing zoom lenses, always focus on the picture quality at a higher magnification level. There are some inexpensive lenses out there which take fantastic photos in the lowest zoom but when you take it to a higher level, the image quality is not up to the mark. Take the glass quality of the lens into consideration and go through reviews of fellow photographers to help you make the best decision.
Research your compatible lens options.
Before choosing any camera and making a purchase, always make sure that the camera you are going to buy has a compatible zoom lens. And that particular lens should offer you a minimum of 300mm focal length.
Canon and Nikon are great brands to go for if you are looking to purchase a camera compatible with a variety of lenses.
The size of the sensor.
Once again, it’s not just the megapixels that matter. Sensor sizes are equally significant. If every sensor was similar, there would have been no difference between a professional camera and a modern smartphone. And we know for a fact that even if a smartphone has a megapixel rating equal to that of a professional camera, it still cannot perform equally because of one factor- sensor size.
Most of the smartphone cameras today, including the high-end ones use 1/2.3” sensors. This is a very small surface area to cover and compared to a full-frame sensor, it is approximately 35 times smaller. This results in a crop factor of 6x, which means that the larger sensor absorbs 6 times more light compared to the smaller one.
In the field of bird photography, you always want vibrant colours which is a negligible quantity of grain. Hence a larger sensor will be the best bet because it will take in more light and offer a higher dynamic range. This will, in turn, decrease the grain and give you that perfect colour and clarity you want. So it is the best idea to follow your budget and choose a camera with the largest sensor within that budget.
This is a pretty helpful feature for capturing moving objects since getting a clear focus in that scenario is challenging. There are several autofocus points in the cameras today and some of them even have cross focus points that detect the movement of the subject both vertically and horizontally in the same spot.
To go for higher-end cameras for bird photography, always have sufficient autofocus for capturing images clearly. But if you gather still images from 4K videos, find an option which offers the highest number of autofocus points possible.
During bird photography, you will rarely come across scenarios where you get to capture a snap of a bird within a very less distance from you. Most of the time, a lot of us use a telescopic lens instead. And the more you zoom in; the final image will depict the movement of the bird. Honestly, we have to agree that it is not always possible to hold a camera perfectly still. But at the same time, you cannot always carry a tripod around with you.
This is when image stabilization comes into the picture. This feature minimises any shaking or movement of the camera when an image is captured. What’s even more interesting is that this feature is also available for shooting videos. So why not make the most of it?
What about capturing birds mid-flight?
In avian photography, you will notice that some of your favourite pictures were clicked mid-flight. But this is nearly impossible to do if you are trying to capture each picture by pressing the button each time. So what to do?
That’s the beauty of technology. Today modern cameras have come up with a feature known as ‘continuous shooting’, where you can hold down the button to take one photo after the other at an extremely fast pace. This is a great option for clicking a bird mid-flight as will still manage to capture the entire performance through the still images while capturing dozens of photos sequentially.
Of course, there’s another way to do the same thing and that is by obtaining a frame from any 4K video as a still image. You can use either of these techniques according to your convenience and comfort.
These are some of the crucial factors that will guide you in choosing the best camera for bird photography. I agree that there are a lot of things to keep in mind, and it can be confusing. But once you figure out your budget and requirements, it will be much easier to take a note of these factors and go through the recommendations to make your best pick.
1. How many megapixels do I need for bird photography?
A camera with 15 to 20 megapixels should be enough for most photographers, including beginners and professionals. You can definitely go higher than that depending on your budget.
2. Is 400mm long enough for bird photography?
In wildlife photography, including bird photography, 400mm works just fine. Irrespective of the lens or the subject, 400mm focal length is sufficient to capture gorgeous shots.
3. Do I need a tripod for bird photography?
It is a good idea to carry a sturdy, lightweight tripod as it is an essential gear for a bird or wildlife photographer. You will need that extra stability and support when you are using heavy and long lenses like a 600mm one. However, if you are not carrying a tripod during a particular time, it is better to have a camera that offers image stabilization support. This will help to minimise any movement or shakiness while clicking a picture.
Each of the 10 camera recommendations for bird photography is excellent in terms of performance and value. But if I have to pick one out of the list, it would be Panasonic LUMIX FZ300.
It fits the bill in every way possible! You are getting a powerful, quick and quiet 24x optical zoom which is equivalent to a 600mm lens. It performs exceptionally in low light conditions, and there is no risk of getting blurred results. It features Wi-Fi connectivity, high quality 4K video support and a 12.1MP MOS sensor as well.
You can take this perfect companion into the woods to click stunning pictures without any worries because the camera is also splashproof and dustproof. And last but not the least, it is absolutely packed to the brim with features and is affordable too!
It definitely checks off all the requirements and is a worthy winner, in my opinion.