Introduced in 2017, the D850 is one of the best DSLRs ever made and an excellent choice for wildlife work. The larger sensor area produces better dynamic range, which improves the camera's performance in low light or challenging high-contrast situations. The camera also takes stunning 18-megapixel still images and records HD video in full-1080p. The autofocus system is fast enough to keep up thanks to its 315 AF points, with Sony claiming focus-acquisition times as snappy as 0.03sec. Nikon D5300. The top LCD screen is very handy as a way of checking settings on the fly and the electronic viewfinder is excellent thanks to the high resolution of 3.68M dots, 120fps refresh rate and variable magnification (the highest being 0.83x). Another thing worth mentioning is that while the camera is definitely lighter than a DSLR, the XF 100-400mm isn’t any smaller than the Canon equivalent. Up to 9fps, the G9 shows you a live view with blackouts. This is why we put other cameras in front – their autofocus systems are simply better equipped for the most difficult of moving subjects. With a keeper rate of 96%/99%, its phase detection system with 693 points has made the leap forward we were waiting for. That being said, the E-M1 II remains an excellent choice given that it has the same burst speeds and buffer capabilities as its bigger brother, as well as a similar sensor and an obvious price advantage. So I picked the flagship APS-C Nikon D500 with the recent Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 to see how much better the performance was in comparison to today’s flagship mirrorless cameras. The full-frame workhorse of the Nikon stable will always get the job done, Best for: Enthusiasts/experts | Frames per second: 7 (9 with optional battery grip) | AF points: 153 | Weight: 1005g inc. batteries | Battery life: 1840 shots per charge. I used the FE 70-300mm with good results but it can feel too short in some situations. And I’m thankful for that when I’m hiking long distances or packing for travel. In wildlife photography, just as in other disciplines, a full-frame sensor can confer a lot of advantages. The second aspect is the optical viewfinder. The E-M1X comes with an advanced algorithm that can detect different types of subjects. Their robust design and reliable autofocus system, in addition to the vast lens selection, are just a few of the many characteristics amateurs or experienced photographers require in order to capture animals in their natural habitat. Amongst the negative things to point out, there is the short battery life and the lack of an official battery grip, although some third-party manufacturers such as Meike provide one (check our accessory list to find out more). The E-M1X features excellent continuous shooting speeds. The Canon EOS-1D X Mark II is the current gold standard for professional photographers. Reviews - The Best Wildlife Photography Cameras. You still have the blackout-free advantage in the EVF but note that the performance can vary depending on which lenses and adapters you use. The menu system is much improved over previous Sony cameras as well. Last updated: July 6, 2020 Go to Comments. Nikon offers us a more advanced option, as D850 is the best camera for wildlife photography beginner and professional alike. The cost increases considerably if you want the fastest telephoto lenses available. What concrete benefits do they bring and are there limitations to be aware of? The best option among APS-C lenses is the new 70-350mm. I haven’t tested the camera yet but the sensor and AF are the same as the A6400. Also, remember that you're going to be outside for long periods of time, so a camera with good battery life is critical. The disadvantage is that full-frame cameras cost more than ones with smaller sensors; if you can afford the outlay, we really recommend the Canon EOS R6. Another huge consideration is autofocus. The image quality is similar to the E-M1 II but the Lumix has an excellent JPG engine (better noise reduction and sharpness, warmer colours) if you like straight out-of-camera results. In wildlife photography, just as in other disciplines, a full-frame sensor can confer a lot of... 03. Continuous AF is reliable and once again hand-held shooting makes this camera more interesting. In many ways, I would have loved to see this camera at the top of the list. Its burst modes are seriously impressive, going up to 15fps with the mechanical shutter, or 20fps with the electronic shutter (and a 1.25x crop), and thanks to its generous shooting buffer, you can fill your card up with more than 100 JPEG frames at these speeds before the camera needs to slow down. We also included models we discarded in favour of new ones. It’s certainly true that my Nikon Z 6 weighs a lot less than my D850. Canon EOS R6. It supports a continuous shooting speed of 7fps. They have a fixed f/11 aperture, relying on the high-ISO performance of cameras in the R series to compensate. And then there's price of course! In my personal experience with the G9, I found that the performance mainly decreased for birds in flight, whereas in many other situations, it performed much better. All this comes at a premium price – if it’s too dear for you, consider previous models in the RX10 range, which you should be able to find at a much friendlier price. About other mirrorless cameras10. We don’t consider them the very best for the genre but some of them are less expensive while others have interesting characteristics. If you are a Nikon user looking for a high-end Nikon camera for wildlife photography, then Nikon D5 is the... 2. The AF performance remains good but the continuous shooting speed drops to a maximum of 10fps. The Canon EOS 80D is one of the best affordable cameras for wildlife photography. Also keep in mind that features such as Pro Capture are not compatible. I admit I had an easier time following the birds because of the zero lag between what was happening and what I was seeing. The super fast sensor readout allows you to shoot up to 20fps with AF/AE tracking without any distortion (rolling shutter effect). To know more about our ethics, you can visit our full disclosure page. Sony’s premium bridge compact is a wildlife wonder with a big lens, Best for: Enthusiasts | Frames per second: 24 | AF points: 315 | Weight: 1095g body-only | Battery life: 400 shots per charge. Add in a sophisticated metering system, a rugged body and a host of other useful functions (albeit no Wi-Fi, and an LCD that isn’t touch-sensitive), and you have a seriously competitive DSLR for capturing wildlife. The performance decreases even more if you shoot at 20fps with the electronic shutter, unlike the Olympus. I mainly concentrated on birds in flight, which is perhaps one of the most difficult subjects for your camera. It makes following a fast and unpredictable bird much easier than with the mechanical shutter which only shows the last image taken instead. For now, we have to focus on what’s available, and while the X-T3 is not as comfortable to use as the X-H1 straight out of the box, it offers features that can’t be ignored for wildlife photography. It provides excellent sharpness, autofocus speed and optical stabilisation. The buffer capabilities are not particularly good when shooting at these high bursts, but one alternative is to take advantage of the 6K/4K Photo mode, where you can record 6K/4K videos at 30fps and save any frame you want as an 18MP or 8MP JPG. BEST FOR: NUANCES OF NATURE; Nikon Z6 FX-Format. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer, We check over 130 million products every day for the best prices, How blue is that blue? Which is the best camera for wildlife photography? Fingers crossed! Important note: the article is “dynamic” meaning that it will receive updates after testing new equipment. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Using the E-M1X with the same telephoto lenses I used with the E-M1 II before didn’t force me to upgrade my backpack, so in the end the difference isn’t as big as you might think. The best Canon EOS R6 settings for birds in flight: AF method: Tracking with Animals subject detection. And since the camera is in fact recording a video, there aren’t any buffer limitations besides the usual 30 minute allowance per clip. Speaking of video, the camera can record 4K up to 30p and 102Mbps, or Cinema 4K at 24fps and 237Mbps (variable). At higher speeds, it’s the last image taken that is shown instead. As of now, I’m not sure it is worth spending all that money unless the type of subject you photograph requires more reach than 400mm (equivalent). It’s the best Panasonic has ever designed in the Lumix range and comes close to the performance of the E-M1 II for both stills and video. Similarly, it should be lightweight and easy to carry for long distances (our picks of the best camera bags around would be a good idea to look over as well). 10fps continuous shooting with AE/AF tracking. Lens selection is a factor too; does the camera offer a good selection of long telephoto lenses to bring wildlife into focus? The A9 II is the most expensive camera on this list with a body price of $4500. I hope they will release a new TC 2x f2 as well because it would give photographers better reach for wildlife. (The same thing can be said for Canon users.) It is less noticeable for birds in flight but slightly worse than the sensor readout of the E-M1 II and E-M1X. This means that their camera needs to have a fast frame rate, to make sure they can capture several images in a fraction of a second. On this list, we are going to help you to understand your needs better and provide you with the top mirrorless cameras for any travel photographer in 2020. BIF and wildlife are not my only or main style of photography. Tracking is more precise because the camera analyses data from the images it just took and the live view. Most cameras will offer a … BEST FOR: THE PRO; Fujifilm X-T3. if you can sacrifice the better grip and button design, the original A9 is now less expensive (and uses the same sensor / AF system), Best kit: A9 II, 600mm f4 GM ($16500 / £15400 / €17500), Second choice: A9, 200-600mm ($5500 / £5200 / €5600), Fujinon XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 (150-600mm equivalent, 210-840mm f/7.1-8 with TC 1.4x, 300-1200mm f/10-11 with TC 2.0x), Fujinon XF 200mm f2 (300mm equivalent, 420mm f2.8 with TC 1.4x), Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 (70-200mm equivalent, 105-294mm f/4 with TC 1.4x, 150-420mm f/5.6 with TC 2.0x), excellent image quality and high ISO performance, up to 20fps, or 30fps in crop mode, with live view and no blackouts, easy to use thanks to the various buttons, dials and touch screen LCD, robust build quality, full weather-sealing and dual SD card slot, the flagship X-H1 has better ergonomics but inferior performance in terms of AF and burst speeds, excellent 4K video quality with more generous settings, the lens choice is limited and on the expensive side if you want the best optical quality, Best kit: X-T3, XF 100-400mm ($3400 / £3000 / €3100), Expensive kit: X-T3, XF 200mm f2 with new TC 1.4x ($7500 / £6750 / €7430), Affordable kit to begin with: X-T3 and XF 55-200mm ($2200 / £2000 / €2100), FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G (300-900mm, 420-1260mm f/8-9 with TC 1.4x), excellent autofocus performance and tracking, Eye AF for animals will be available via firmware update, burst speeds up to 11fps with AE/AF Tracking, ergonomics and ease of use are not its strongest point, battery life is short but you can find third-party battery grips, Sony lenses are more expensive in comparison to competitor brands, AF is good with adapted lenses (A-mount, EF-mount) but the combo feels unbalanced with most lenses, the A6600 is more expensive but has a larger grip, better battery life and 5-axis stabilisation, Best kit: a6400, FE 100-400mm GM ($3400 / £3400 / €3600), Affordable kit to begin with: a6400 and E 70-350mm ($1900 /£1700 / €1800), up to 60fps or 20fps with continuous AF, 9fps with live view/blackouts, 6K/4K Photo gives you 30fps/60fps without any buffer limitation, complete weather-sealing, excellent build, good battery life, dual SD card slot and optional battery grip, Micro Four Thirds gives you the best selection of lenses, excellent video quality with slow motion options, the autofocus struggles more for birds in flight or when shooting at 20fps with the electronic shutter, Best kit overall: G9 and Leica DG 200mm + TC 1.4x which is included ($4700 / £4200 / €3580), Versatile kit: G9 and Leica DG 100-400mm ($3500 / £2850 / €2830), Most affordable kit: G9 and 100-300mm II ($2350 / £2070 / €1930). Now that I’ve gathered ample experience, I feel it is a good time to put this article out. That being said, Canon and Nikon have been leaders in this field for many years so I’m curious to see what they will bring to the table for wildlife photographers in the future. Just holding it in your hand immediately gives you a very positive impression about its build quality and strength. The E-M1X is the best choice for advanced users not only because of its improved autofocus, but also thanks to its high end flagship design which was previously missing from the mirrorless segment. Typically, at this price point, camera sensors are quite small which greatly reduces image quality. Choosing a Mirrorless Camera for Travel Photography. This camera is the best Sony mirrorless camera for tracking birds in flight. Plus it doesn’t have the fastest AF motor and lacks weather-sealing. The electronic viewfinder doesn’t offer the best resolution by today’s standards (2.36M dots) but it has a large magnification of 0.83x, a short lag of 5ms and a refresh rate of 120fps with progressive scan rather than interlaced. It’s an absolute beast of a camera, able to keep churning out shots at 16fps with the mirror locked up, or at 14fps with autofocus enabled. If Fujifilm decides to release an X-H1 successor with the same technology as the X-T3, it could become a killer camera for this genre. Canon also says that the fixed aperture should improve autofocus. The OM-D E-M1 II was at the top of our list for a long time, but it has been replaced by the more... Sony A7 III. The lens selection has increased but can be pricey if you want the very best gear. The very best of the best, at the premium price you’d expect, Best for: Experts | Frames per second: 16 | AF points: 61, including 41 cross-type | Weight: 1340g body-only | Battery life: 1,210 shots per charge. Although this results in a delay between what you see and what is actually happening, shooting at 20fps does help you to track fast moving subject more effectively because the frame rate is really smooth. Second, we have the continuous shooting speeds. Very similar in many ways to the Z6 (see no.1), Nikon’s new Z5 is the best entry-level full-frame mirrorless camera you can buy right now – depending on how you define ‘entry-level’. Also, more recent cameras tend to have more sophisticated autofocus systems with tracking mechanism that can keep pace with a moving subject. It is half the price of the A9 II and this is why it deserves a mention here. Conclusion. Visit our corporate site. The quality is excellent thanks to the many colour profile improvements. Creative Bloq is supported by its audience. There are also dual SD card slots with UHS-II compatibility, and the battery life is very good. The X-T3 inaugurated the fourth generation of X-series cameras. It's a little expensive for an APS-C camera, but the amount of functionality you get more than justifies the price, in our view. For instance, it gave me a much better keeper rate for birds in flight – around 74%, or 91% if I include the slightly soft images. At 30fps there is a catch: the sensor is cropped by 1.25x and in my tests I found that in crop mode the camera occasionally fails to write the files correctly (a bug that doesn’t seem to be fixed after firmware 3.10). A sublime mirrorless shooting experience, with fast burst and a good buffer, Best for: Enthusiasts | Frames per second: 20 | AF points: 425 | Weight: 607g body-only | Battery life: 500 shots per charge. In fact, in a moment of distraction, you might mistakenly start to record images were it not for the counter in the top left corner of the screen. Though the viewfinder is smaller than those of the other cameras listed here, it compensates for this with good clarity and a fast refresh rate (120fps). The best camera for wildlife photography available now 01. The 80D, featuring a great 24 megapixel imaging sensor, Dual Pixel AF and a host of other technology features, is simply a solid performer with a modest price. There is a rich range of physical controls including 19 function buttons and an AF Joystick on the rear (although I wish the latter weren’t so close to the EVF). First of all, the X-T3 introduces a more advanced autofocus system with 117 points (425 available in certain modes). There is also 5-axis stabilisation which works with OSS lenses too (3 axes on the sensor + OSS) but the performance is inferior to that of the E-M1X. Where mirrorless cameras go head-to-head! It ticks all the boxes but does have one limitation that can’t be overlooked: the autofocus. The camera also needs to have a decent shot buffer, meaning it can take a good number of images before needing to cool off. That is becoming less of an issue and manufacturers like Nikon and Canon offer adapters that enable their DSLR lenses to function well on their mirrorless cameras. Focus points - How many focus points a camera has could determine whether you are able to capture your subject in focus or not. Switching to 3D Tracking raised the result to 80% (95% if I include the slightly soft photos). With a large telephoto lens, you’ll feel the need to add a grip extender, the optional battery pack or at the very least, a thumb rest. They are reaching new heights when it comes to continuous shooting speeds, the electronic viewfinder and the shutter mechanism. The 55-200mm f3.5-4.8 is a decent lens but can feel a little short. A hugely capable camera for a great price, this is our pick for best wildlife camera, Best for: Enthusiasts | Frames per second: 11 | AF points: 209 | Weight: 450g body-only | Battery life: 320 shots per charge. Read our guide to the best cameras with Eye AF. Nikon D5 To give you a few numbers, more than 24 telephoto lenses (300mm or longer) are available for the D500 and that is without counting kit lenses, all-purpose lenses and teleconverter options. BEST FOR: NOT THE FAINT OF HEART; Fujifilm X-H1. The AF of the G9 excels in almost every way and in our in-depth comparison with the E-M1 II, we found it to be better in most situations except for birds in flight, or more precisely, birds flying against a busy background. Perfect for making sure you nail that subject! If a newly announced camera fits the requirements, we will include useful information about it and update the article once we get our hands on it. Unfortunately you don’t get a blackout-free live view as you do with the Sony A9 or Fuji X-T3. Sony a7R III Mirrorless Camera. Switch to the electronic version and you can increase these speeds to 20fps (with AF/AE Tracking) or 60fps just like the E-M1 II and E-M1X. I haven’t noticed any distortion when photographing birds, so I would say it is quite contained. It comes with a newly designed 1.4x f2 teleconverter. Sony provides the best products when it comes to quality and speed. If your budget is looking slimmer, there are also two interesting prime lenses priced more affordably: the Canon RF 600mm f/11 IS STM and Canon RF 800mm f/11 IS STM. Enter your email and click the blue button below to open the subscription form. The high resolution full-frame sensors of the A7R III and IV not only gives you stunning dynamic range but also more room for cropping (the A7R IV works with 26MP in APS-C mode!). The selection increases with the lenses designed for the Sony full-frame mirrorless system and you can benefit from the 1.5x crop factor. An incredibly feature-packed camera for its size and price point, the a6500 is a superb achievement of imaging technology. Its autofocus system is simply out of this world, with a dedicated Animal AF mode that is basically a cheat code for wildlife photography. For now I’ve decided not to include them because there aren’t any native telephoto lenses to go with them. It doesn’t reach the same level of performance with the electronic shutter but the camera remains an interesting alternative thanks its superior video capabilities. Before we go through our suggestions of the best mirrorless cameras for travel photography, we wanted to do a quick “mirrorless camera 101”, so you understand what a mirrorless camera is, how it differs from other types of cameras, and why you might want to consider this sort of camera for your travel photography needs. When I started to work on this article, I realised that the only way to make it truly fair was to include my experience with one of the best DSLRs designed for this genre. More than any other camera mentioned in this article, it is definitely the one I would choose for wildlife video work. The update I appreciated the most on the E-M1X is the autofocus performance. Note: the code above is invalidwhen the software is on pre-order. There is also a mode called Pre-Shoot, which like Capture Pro on the E-M1 II, allows you to save pictures before fully pressing the shutter release button. Certainly the camera is heavier than the E-M1 II, but the lenses you use for wildlife remain the same size and weight. More important, the phase detection points cover the entire width of the sensor rather than just the central portion. They’re all compatible with the TC 1.4x and TC 2.0x teleconverters. This is why Sony gives you the option to activate a fake shutter sound and a blinking marker on the screen to remind you that the camera is shooting. If you decided to buy something after clicking the link, we will receive a small commission. A snappy 11fps burst rate meets a comprehensive autofocus system with 253 points that cover the majority of the frame, meaning you'll be able to track even fast-moving subjects. 1. Still, you can shoot at 20fps with the full width of the sensor, and even better, all these speeds are available with live view and no blackouts, just like the Sony A9. Huge Cyber Monday Creative Cloud price cut extended! It’s weather-sealed too, so you need have no fear of the elements. It also proved to be an excellent product concerning sharpness and AF motor. Image quality is excellent, and the dynamic range is much better than you might expect from a camera with an APS-C sensor. See More Reviews. The quality is good but dynamic range and high ISO performance is not on par with other systems. Plus, of course, the sheer skill of the photographer in getting a camera’s advanced autofocus system to do what they need it to. The older TC 1.4 and 2x are not designed for lenses faster than f2.8 and Fujifilm warns that the optical quality won’t be as good if you use one of those older versions on the 200mm. It is also the only mirrorless camera that surpasses the performance of an optical viewfinder with a live view system.
2020 best mirrorless camera for wildlife