The 8 Best Beginner Cameras for Wildlife Photography: Capture Nature's Wonders

Discover the 8 best beginner cameras for wildlife photography that offer the perfect balance of performance, affordability price, and user-friendliness for novice photographers.

So, you’ve decided to take a walk on the wild side and venture into the thrilling world of wildlife photography? Well, you’ve come to the right place! This comprehensive guide will dive deep into the 8 best beginner cameras for wildlife photography. These best cameras strike the perfect balance of performance, affordability, and user-friendliness for budding photographers like you.

Whether you’re looking to capture an eagle’s majestic flight or a squirrel’s playful antics, the right camera can make all the difference. But with so many options out there, it can be quite the jungle! Fret not, fellow adventurer, as we’ve got you covered. So, without further ado, let’s set out on our quest to find the ideal camera for your wildlife and nature photography, needs.

Nikon D3500

  • The Classic Choice for Beginners

  • Affordable, User-friendly, and Great Image Quality

  • 24.2 MP DX-format sensor

  • ISO light-sensitivity range of 100–25600

  • Full HD movies at frame rates of up to 60p

  • Razor-sharp autofocus system

Nikon D3500 Benefits

The Nikon D3500 is a classic choice for beginner wildlife photographers. This entry-level DSLR boasts a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, great image quality, and an easy-to-use interface. It’s the perfect tool for capturing nature’s beauty without breaking the bank.

You don’t need to be a photographer to know a great photo when you see one. And you don’t need to be a photographer to take a great photo—you just need the D3500. It’s as easy to use as a point-and-shoot, but it takes beautiful DSLR photos and videos that get noticed. It feels outstanding in your hands, sturdy, and balanced with controls where you want them. It’s compact, durable, and versatile, ideal for travel. And it works seamlessly with compatible smartphones, making it easier than ever to share your great photos. Even if you’ve never picked up a DSLR camera, you can take beautiful pictures with D3500.

Nikon D3500 Customer Reviews

Lewis H
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The Nikon d3500 is simply the best dslr money can buy under 500. If you are on the market for a new camera but are having a hard time choosing, I can guarantee the d3500 will tick every box and for the price you really cant get much better. - Build Quality - As soon as you pick up this camera the first thing you will realise is that it is so lightweight and compact. This makes it perfect for travelling as you can put it in your bag with you and its not hard to carry around wherever you go. But with the sacrifice of weight loss, does not mean that it is lacking in build quality either. The d3500 feels very comfortable to hold with the rubberised grip but feels also quite solid. The material is a hard plastic so dont get me wrong there are more rugged models out there, but for general use and wear like bumps, drops, scrapes and maybe a bit of rain none of that should be a problem.
Marius C.
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We bought this camera for product photography. It's really handy and takes great pictures. I would highly recommend you get a decent sized memory card for it though as the pictures are big and require a lot of memory space. The only downfall I believe is the battery life. It runs our fairly quickly, so probably get a spare one if you're planning to take pictures while on a trip.
Alan Molyneux
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I bought this as an entry level DSLR camera and I have not been disappointed. I have just been to North Norway and the camera performed excellent given the extreme cold conditions. The kit lens performed admirably taking landscapes and low-light, long exposure images of the Northern Lights. An excellent camera to start with.

Canon EOS Rebel T8i

  • 24 1 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor with is 100–6400 (H: 12800)

  • Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC technology

  • 9-Point AF system and AI Servo AF

  • Optical Viewfinder with approx 95percent viewing coverage

  • Use the EOS Utility Webcam Software (Mac and Windows) to turn your compatible Canon camera into a high-quality webcam

Canon EOS Rebel T8i Benefits

A lightweight and easy-to-use DSLR camera that makes the perfect addition for first-time users, or for those looking for an affordable upgrade. Equipped with a 24. 1 Megapixel CMOS (APS-C) sensor, DIGIC 8 image processor, and an ISO range of 100-25600 expandable
to 51200*), the EOS Rebel T8i is our most advanced EOS Rebel yet, delivering the high-quality performance that kicks your photos and videos up a notch.

Whether you’re capturing photos of friends or family, or snapping fast-moving subjects like pets or athletes,
you’ll accurately and quickly remain locked on your subject with the camera’s 45-point all cross-type AF system**, Face and Eye Detection AF and high-speed continuous shooting of up to 7 frames per second. For vloggers or social media users, the EOS Rebel T8i
offers 4K 24p video capability and vertical video support, making it easy to capture high-quality videos that can be uploaded and shared with the built-in Wi-Fi*** and Bluetooth^ technology. You’ll have a must-have tool, no matter your skill level, for bringing your photos and videos to life.

Canon EOS Rebel T8i Customer Reviews

Yodit Bashah
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I absolutely love my camera.I watched a few YouTube tutorials and had a hand on class. Can’t say I am an expert now but definitely learning how to work with it !
James Vidrine
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The camera for the price is great. I have used every Canon Camera that has come out in the last 17 years and this Cam for the price point is Fantastic.
Ronald Williams
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I’ve never owned a camera before so I was a bit skeptical when I saw others in forums and on reviews state that they would skip this one. I understand that if you own the previous version, T7i that the biggest difference is the 4K video capability. From what I can tell, if you want to shoot stationary video, 4K is excellent on the t8i. If you are tracking ppl, you could encounter some instability. I have yet to attempt to edit any of my pics yet because I love the image quality as is. If someone is looking to get into photography as a passionate hobby, this is an amazing entry level camera that I would honestly recommend. Image stabilizing and auto focus are pretty good on this camera too

Sony Alpha a6000

  • A Compact and Powerful Mirrorless Camera

  • Blazing-fast Autofocus and Interchangeable Lenses

  • 20.1MP stacked back-illuminated 1″ Exmor RS CMOS sensor w/ DRAM, large aperture 24-70mm1 F1.8-2.8 ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T lens

  • Enhanced subject capture: wide 425 Phase/ 425 contrast detection points over 84 percent of the sensor

  • Fast and accurate: Up to 11Fps continuous shooting at 24.2 MP raw with crisp, clear natural colors

  • Multiple movie functions: Make time-lapse movies or slow/quick motion videos without post-processing

  • Tiltable LCD screen: customizable for vlogging, still photography, or recording a professional film

Sony Alpha a6000 Benefits

For those looking to go mirrorless, the Sony Alpha a6000 is a top contender. This compact camera boasts a 24.3-megapixel APS-C sensor, interchangeable lenses, and a lightning-fast autofocus system. It’s the perfect companion for on-the-go wildlife photography.

Sony Alpha a6000 Customer Reviews

Gary W.
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While there are a lot of possible settings for this camera, once set it is easy to use. I have not tried the manual settings yet. I have used this mainly for video with good results. I especially like it having a shoe that I can install a mic or wireless go system with the camera.
Patrick Roberts
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I can’t say enough good things about this camera. All of the reviews are out there on YouTube so I won’t waste my time talking about it, but I don’t remotely regret buying a crop sensor camera that’s, like, four or five years old in 2023. This is a great camera that takes fantastic shots and lovely video. HIGHLY recommended!!
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As a former semi-professional photographer, I was looking for a compact camera to use for daily/family life and the occasional photo/video project, so I could get rid of my clunky pro gear (Canon 5d Mark ii). Obviously it's not full frame, so there is a slight compromise in the look/depth of images, but in general this camera produces amazing results. It's actually better in low light than the 5d Mark ii (which is now a few generations old). My only two qualms are: 1.) Lack is in-body IS. It's pretty difficult to take steady video without a gimbal or tripod, and 2.) Poor battery life. I highly recommend buying multiple batteries, and always having a backup charged! Overall, I'd HIGHLY recommend this camera!

Panasonic Lumix FZ300

  • 4K video and 4K photo:

  • Leica DC Vario Elmarit lens: 24x zoom

  • The 12.1 Megapixel high sensitivity MOS sensor

  • Splash Proof/dustproof rugged camera design with tight seals on every joint, dial, and button, so it stands up to harsh weather conditions and challenging

  • 5 Axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilizer Plus: Reduces blur from 1 handed video shooting by compensating for 5 types of movement

Panasonic Lumix FZ300 Benefits

The Panasonic Lumix DMC FZ300K long zoom digital camera offers 4K video features and a Leica DC lens with 24x zoom and a bright F2. 8 aperture across the entire zoom range. Capture moments with superb 4K imaging performance in both video and exclusive 4K photos. The 4K photo function can be used in three different modes, all allowing you to capture that perfect moment at a high burst Rate of 30 frames/photos per second. 4K video delivers a far more intense viewing experience that is four times larger than Full HD, resulting in a much higher level of detail. Built into a splashproof/dustproof rugged camera body The Leica lens offers 5-axis hybrid optical image stabilization that assures steady photos and videos, and a high sensitivity sensor with superb low light image quality.

The Lumix FZ300 digital camera features a snug, hand-fitting grip and an intuitive level of operation. Control remotely by using the Panasonic image app on your Wi-Fi-enabled smartphone or tablet. View The image, set the focus, or release the shutter from a distance, and then transfer images for sharing on social media. The creative panorama function allows you to create Dynamic panoramic photos by simply panning the camera. Panasonic depth from defocus (DFD) autofocus (AF) technology instantly calculates the distance between foreground and bac kilogram round and quickly brings the subject into focus in one fast, continuous movement. Disclaimer: 35 mm camera equivalent: 25 600 mm. 4K photo feature extracts megapixels photo out of a 4K video sequence up to QFHD: 3840 x 2160 Pixels, 30 fps, 100Mbit/s. 4K photo feature extracts megapixels photos out of a 4K video sequence up to QFHD: 3840 x 2160 Pixels, 30 fps, 100Mbit/s. 5 Axis hybrid O. I. S. Works in video recording except for 4K video recording. Zoom Intelligent Zoom 2x, Extra Optical Zoom (EZ) 1.23x, Extra Optical Zoom (EZ) 1.95x.

Panasonic Lumix FZ300 Customer Reviews

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This camera is amazing. Image quality. Auto focus. Zoom. Touch screen. Articulating screen. In-camera features. Raw. Face recognition. 4K video. The ergonomics of the camera grip is excellent in design. Dollar-for-dollar this is well worth the cost. No buyers remorse. Look closely at what the nay sayers are saying. Learn the camera. It will give you many good picture taking times. Highly recommended.
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I work as a photographer and wanted something cheaper, lightweight that I could throw into a bag while hiking and not having to swap lenses all the time. My first time using this I was able to adjust the settings pretty quick without reading a tutorial. I took it to the beach with my dog and took some photos of him running around in the water on high shutter speed. The photos looked like trash, and they were smudgy and blurry. I almost returned it. I reset the camera to manufacture settings and lowered autofocus area, changed the format to RAW, put the noise reduction to -3. The second batch turned out much sharper. This camera does quite well in bright areas, it's not great for low light. It also has trouble focusing beyond 400mm. The 4K video is decent. Overall I've only had it for a couple weeks so I haven't used it a lot. It's a nice beginner friendly camera, or if you are a photographer its a nice back up camera for jobs or lightweight hiking camera for scenery. It's not going to compare to a 5000$ camera but for the price I think it's reasonable. First photo is the blurry shot after opening the camera, second photo is after changing the settings.
Allen D. Reinecke
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I’ve been a hobby photographer pretty much all my life and honed my photography skills on a 35mm Canon EOS 650 in the nineties. I wanted to go back to a decent camera after using my phone most recently. I hated carrying that big camera bag of accessories! Bridge cameras seemed the way to go for a reasonably priced all-in-one camera, but I’d have to accept the low light limitations, greater depth of field, and the lower overall quality from the small 1/2.3 sensors. Low light is not that big a deal when I have a very capable phone for those occasions. I finally decided upon the Panasonic Lumix FZ300. It is a very budget-friendly price and, most importantly, has a 25 to 600mm, 35mm equivalent focal length zoom lens with maximum f2.8 throughout that focal range. I’d have to spend maybe $10k to get the equivalent capability with a DSLR and a constant f2.8 is unheard of with bridge cameras. That’s a great feature. Of course, you have to consider that f2.8 from a cropped sensor camera like the FZ300 is actually a 35mm equivalent of f16. So, getting a shallow depth of field is a challenge, though not impossible with a longer zoom setting and large subject-to-background spacing.

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Expert Tips for Wildlife Photography

  1. Get to know your camera inside out

  2. Master the art of patience

  3. Learn about your subjects’ behavior and habitat

  4. Practice proper camera handling and stabilization techniques

  5. Use appropriate lenses for different situations

  6. Experiment with various camera settings and modes

  7. Utilize the golden hours for optimal lighting

  8. Respect nature and wildlife

  9. Get creative with your compositions

  10. Join wildlife photography communities and learn from fellow enthusiasts

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV

  • 20 MP Live MOS Sensor

  • Always-on connection and background connection via Bluetooth & OI Share Smartphone app

  • Flip-down monitor and dedicated selfie mode. Selfie mode automatically turns on when the monitor is flipped down.

  • In-Body 5-Axis Image Stabilization is capable of 4.5 shutter speed steps of compensation.

  • 16 Art Filters (31 types). Includes new Instant Film for a nostalgic feel

  • Digital zoom: 2.0 multiplier_x

  • Optical zoom: 1.0 multiplier_x

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV Benefits

If you’re after a stylish and feature-rich camera, the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV is a fantastic option. This mirrorless camera comes with a 20-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor, 5-axis image stabilization, and 4K video capabilities. You’ll be capturing wildlife like a pro in no time.

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV Customer Reviews

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I agonized over what to purchase to replace my old Nikon 5500 DSLR. I decided on the Micro Four Thirds Mirrorless format because of the smaller, lighter lenses and bodies that are available. I wanted something compact and after looking at the Panasonic GX9 and the Olympus E-M10 Mk IV I decided on the Olympus. So far I am very happy. My only complaint would be the Autofocus system which is good but not great as it is contrast based. I am enjoying photography again!
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I sent my OMD EM10 m2, along with the 12-42 pancake lens to a friend in South America, who needed a camera. I loved that camera and lens combination. I replaced both, with an OMD EM10 m4 kit. I was wary of criticisms of the newer model. Too much plastic, feels cheap, some say. I don't agree. This camera feels just as solid to me as the m2. I have no issue with plastic, as metal can scratch and dent in ways that plastic will not, though I'm still concerned with stories about a weaker lens mount and tripod mount. The m4 is somewhat less customizable than the m2, but it is sufficiently customizable for me. Autofocus and capture are faster than the m2. I also have the original OMD EM1, and a couple of primes, and the 12-40 2.8. I prefer the feel of the EM10.
Alex The Animal
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I am not a professional. I wanted a camera that was better than the garbage that comes on a cell phone, but didn't want something as bulking as most DSLR camera. I wanted to be able to take it with me most places I went. This is what I arrived at. Very good camera, take incredible quality pictures! They don't look super great on the screen, but once I brought them over to my laptop they looked INCREDIBLE! Only 2 things I was a little disappointed with. I really wish you could snap pictures faster. it's still MUCH faster than an average cell phone, so I was still okay. Just not as fast as DSLR's. I was also a little disappointed by the app designed to import pictures to your phone wirelessly. I didn't really know it was going to require wifi, so it's difficult to do while you're out an about for the purpose of social media. Just have to stop at a coffee shop or something. This wasn't the whole reason I bought the camera, so not a huge issue. All and all, I would still really recommend this camera for someone who wants good quality photos without lugging around a huge bag with camera parts. I didn't expect to spend this much, but a quality camera, even one designed to be smaller, lighter and more maneuverable, is going to cost you.

Fujifilm X-T200

  • A Compact and Retro-inspired Mirrorless Camera

  • Impressive Image Quality and 4K Video

  • Video Capture Resolution: 4K DCI 2160P

  • equipped with a vari-angle 3.5-inch/ 16:9 Aspect Ratio widescreen LCD touch-screen

Fujifilm X-T200 Benefits

The Fujifilm X-T200 is a fantastic choice for those who appreciate a retro aesthetic. This compact mirrorless camera offers a 24.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, impressive image quality, and 4K video capabilities. With its vintage charm and a range of modern features, you’ll be capturing stunning wildlife moments with style.

Make the most of your everyday moments and never miss a chance to have a memory be part of your story. FUJIFILM X-T200 puts professional-level features at the fingertips of creatives, giving them a new light-weight and compact mirrorless camera body that features a high-resolution EVF, quick and accurate face-detection AF, the power to create 24.2MP stills at 8 FPS, and even the ability to record 4K UHD video from almost any angle with its widescreen vari-angle LCD Touch Screen.

Fujifilm X-T200 Customer Reviews

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I've used SLR cameras several years back, but haven't touched a real camera for over a decade, let alone a DSLR or MILC. But I recently started a new project that required a solid camera, and after much research (and considering my budget) I decided on this one: the Fujifilm X-T200! Don't get it twisted: for a sub CDN$ 1K mirrorless camera, this beats everything currently on the market in the same price bracket. It's a feature-rich, fully capable, 4K camera. Canon does have a huge range of inexpensive lenses, and Sony has better real-time auto-focusing capabilities. But aside from that, the X-T200 is extremely comparable if not exceedingly better than similar offerings from other brands. Picture quality is topnotch, video quality is exceptional, and the massive amount of built-in features makes this camera stand above the rest. Granted there are a few caveats: the body, although it feels sturdy enough, is plastic; the battery life is short, with a rating of 270 (the amount of shots you can take at it's highest resolution per battery); the continuous auto-focus mode is far from good; and from personal experience, this bad boy heats up pretty quick while taking 4K 30fps video. Still, for someone new to photography and videography, this camera is a great learning tool with all the bells and whistles I could ask for, and something I can grow with for quite some time. I have no reservations on recommending this camera. For my uses, it's great. And with the money I saved when compared to other brands, I was able to buy much needed equipment, like SD cards, a tripod, and carrying case. Happy shopping!!
Umang M
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Great entry level camera to learn photography. Wanted to buy Sony Alpha but due to the global unavailability in India had to look for alternatives. Out of other cameras I finally settled with Fuji X-T200 due to the Value for money comparison. 50K is a great deal for this camera. Fact - I had lens related issues on my first camera and for which I registered a replacement request. Hassle free experience and got a replacement camera working as expected in 2 days. Kudos to Amazon and seller. In the box - Camera, lens(based on option selected), usb-c cable, Usb-c headphone connector, neck band, Leather shoulder bag, 16gb memory card, battery NP-W126s After almost using a week here's detailed review: CONS - 1) Battery life (replacement batteries are available and along you can use dummy battery to use AC current) 2) 4k Video - Auto Focus not good compare to Sony Alpha 6100/6400 3) Video shooting is limited to 15mins only. 4) 15-45 kit lens is average. You will not notice unless use it professionally PROS 1) Value for Money 2) Webcam function - WFH 3) Articulating display is amazing 4) External Headphone jack 5) Photos can be transferred to mobile phone via Wi-fi (Videos can not be) Overall, buy extra set of batteries and enjoy this camera to start your photography journey.
Old Jedi
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I shoot stills. For video shooting see other reviews. The body is made (or assembled) in Indonesia. The lens is made (or assembled) in the Philippines. My camera had firmware version 1.05 when I received it. Bracketing HD function was not working. I upgraded to version 1.1 and that function became operational. Version 1.1 also installed webcam features. This is usually advertised as a beginner’s camera. It can easily be classified as a professional camera if you learn how to squeeze out those features. I chose this camera for its eye level finder, articulating back, pop-up flash and selection of film effects. It is lightweight. It accepts other lenses designed for the X line of Fujifilm cameras. It has been fast enough for every test I have put it through. I purchased the kit with XC 15-45 lens. Make sure the lens firmware is also updated. The zoom dial is not mechanically linked to the lens groups. It's a two position switch with neutral mid-point. Turn the dial right (clockwise). The camera senses the switch activation and applies power to the zoom motor. Zooming out is the opposite. The zoom dial is spring loaded. It will return to neutral once it is released. The body works with other Fuji lenses the way those lenses were designed. I tested the functionality with two XF lenses and they worked fine. There is a battery in the kit and a 12” USB-C to USB-A cord. NO CHARGER. You use the USB connector on your laptop or an external 5V adapter for charging. I use my 3A phone charger and it works fine. I also bought a Fujifilm wall charger that I slide the battery on for charging. The video port uses micro HDMI. There is 3.5mm stereo jack to the left of the body which can be used for external microphone or handheld shutter release. If attaching RR-100 release, a 3.5mm - 2.5mm adapter is required. The role of the 3.5mm jack is defined in the menu. You can create your own menu if you don’t like what's in the camera. There are two buttons that can be programmed to launch any menu line item. There are 4 dials on top. One is the mode dial where you start to make your selection. The rightmost dial is for exposure compensation. The other 2 change roles depending on the mode dial setting. For darker scenes make sure the focus illumination light is turned on for contrast detection and accurate focusing. The SR+ setting chooses the scene automatically. With the Adv. setting, camera produces special effects. With SP setting scenes with special lighting requirement can be selected. The mode dial has separate settings for night, sports, landscape as well as manual, aperture, or shutter priority. Space is limited here for a description of every feature. I downloaded and read the owner's manual before I decided to purchase. I have not explored the wireless/bluetooth capabilities of the camera. It is entirely possible that all camera settings, plus remote release, might be controllable through fujifilm app on a cellphone. A lot of reviewers compare this to Canon G and M line. This camera is a head and shoulder above the Canon lines. I am writing this from experience. I have owned Canon G11, G15, G5X and the M5. Canon has moved features out of their cameras over the years. I used the color accent, color substitution and panorama shooting in G11 and G15. They were all gone in G5X. The focus illumination in M5 was off to the right. The beam would fire but the camera couldn't focus. JPG images of the M5 were too soft and the Moire fringing was intolerable. Fuji has maintained the features on their cameras and have expanded/improved the features. I recommend this camera without hesitation. If you have film photography background you will be up and running fairly quickly.

Nikon Coolpix P900

  • The Superzoom Champ for Long-Distance Shooting

  • Massive 83x Optical Zoom and Built-in Wi-Fi

Nikon Coolpix P900 Benefits

When it comes to superzoom capabilities, the Nikon Coolpix P900 is the reigning champ. This bridge camera boasts a massive 83x optical zoom, a 16-megapixel sensor, and built-in Wi-Fi for easy sharing. With this camera in hand, you’ll be able to get up close and personal with even the most elusive wildlife.

Nikon Coolpix P900 Customer Reviews

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I purchased a Nikon P900 about two years ago from a local camera shop. I am a birder and limited on how much weight I can handle, so this camera is perfect (2#). The articulating screen quit working and Nikon said it could be $60 to $260 to repair, so I ordered this camera with extended warranty from Square Trader. My experience with the camera over the years is that it is great as long as you understand the weaknesses. Small sensor that works best in good lighting, no raw files (which is not a negative as long as you just share with friends and post online), and even with vibration reduction, needs a real steady hand or mono/tripod at the far end. If you are going for Birds in Flight, this is not your camera, although I get lucky at times. The biggest improvement I would like to see is a larger viewfinder with a cup (I wear glasses), and a larger sensor of course. I would recommend you try it at a camera store (if you are lucky enough to have one within 50 miles) before you buy it. Oh, and it does not come with a paper manual. I downloaded the manual from the Nikon site and took to a local Staples to have printed and bound. That way I could read through it, try the features, makes notes, etc. If you order here, I would suggest adding a cheap 67mm lens cap from Amazon with a hole in the side so you can use fishing line or something to attach to the camera. I lost two lenses (box cap is not attachable) before doing this. Also, get a set of third party batteries with charger. The camera does not come with separate battery charger and charges in the camera. Because of the motorized zoom, uses power. Keep the extras in your pocket so you don't run out.
Pete H
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The Nikon Coolpix bridge camera is no longer being produced, it has been replaced by the P950, which has received as good reviews to limits in stability in focusing at Zoom ranges. My original P900 suffered a failure during to accidently storing it at temperature higher than recommended and it wasn't worth the cost of. My new P900 is a refurbished; you can't the difference from a brand new one. The P900 has an amazing zoom capability of 24 to 2000 mm (equivalent 135) which very good for nature photography. It has feature many bridge cameras do not, such as a viewfinder. It has many adjustable modes, for example modes for photographing the moon, panoramic ,and bird-watching. It doesn't match the image quality of a good DSLR, but regardless, the quality is very good. For it's zoom and other capabilities, it smaller and lighter that a DSLR for example with a 500mm zoom lens. It my not be the camera for the serious photographer, but it certainly is a worthwhile camera for the serious nature watcher.
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Very nice camera but YouBreakIFix managed to repair my faithful P600 which is much lighter and easier to carry and has a lot of the zoom, so returned the P900. When my P600 bites the dust this is a likely replacement but hope there is a version that is smaller and lighter.

Canon PowerShot SX70 HS

  • Powerful 65x optical zoom
  • 203 Megapixel CMOS sensor and DIGIC 8 image processor
  • 4K video and 4K time-lapse movie
  • 039-Type Approx 236-million dot, OLED EVF
  • Use the EOS Utility Webcam Beta Software (Mac and Windows) to turn your compatible Canon camera into a high-quality webcam

Canon PowerShot SX70 HS Benefits

Last but not least, the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS is an excellent choice for those seeking a beginner-friendly superzoom camera. This bridge camera features a 65x optical zoom, a 20.3-megapixel sensor, and 4K video capabilities. You’ll be snapping stunning wildlife shots from afar with ease.

Canon PowerShot SX70 HS Customer Reviews

Kenneth M
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I have owned quite a few cameras over the years, including several 35mm film SLRs and am astounded in the increase in quality and features of modern digital cameras. This Canon is no exception. This camera is useful for birding, hiking, and wildlife photography since I try to pack light and prefer not carrying extra lenses. The advance in technology since my previous camera was made is significant, resulting in much sharper images with better characteristics in varying lighting situations. I have made just a little under a thousand photos since purchasing. The sample photos shown here are among the first 200 or so, while essentially just trying it out around in the yard. There are some differences from other major brands in accessing various settings, (and from my previous cameras) and it is taking a while to get used to that. Also, the Canon software for working with RAW files is different from what I've used in the past, but I like that it has the RAW format capability. I would recommend a tripod for long zoom shots except for bright sunny days, although in use the image stabilization seems to be pretty good when I brace with a high quality shoulder strap system. I also purchased a filter adapter and lens shade so I can provide a better level of lens protection, as well as the use of various filters. I already had 67mm filters that work with the adapter. I have only made one video with this camera, of a fundraising event, and I couldn't ask for better quality of the video and sound, which was a live musical performance under less-than-ideal lighting. Battery life is not outstanding, but is certainly reasonable. I purchased extra batteries, so that shouldn't be an issue for me. Another feature I find useful is the tilting screen--I made some crowd shots for an event where I was holding the camera above my head, and it was easy to compose the shot . By tilting the screen up, I can get the camera lower to the ground and compose shots looking up (see the daffodil shown). Without this feature, I would have only been able to guess at the composition.
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The SX70 is a very good camera. I did return the camera and purchased a mirrorless camera instead. I have a used SX40 that I bought recently to learn photography. I discovered that SX70 and SX40 are similar in picture quality. I like taking pictures under low light conditions and would like to capture more detail and depth of focus, which I can get with a mirrorless camera. The thing that I like about a bridge camera is that having a super zoom lens built-in makes it more portable. Other than the small sensor it is a very good camera. It is Wifi and Bluetooth capable and has an app that syncs your photos and a shutter remote that you can use through the app itself. The photo of the moon is from the SX40 as an example of the similarity in quality.
Amy Goebel Padgett
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I wanted to leave a review because I almost didn't buy this camera after reading the other reviews and that would have been a shame. I had the Canon SX60 but during a visit to the swamp it fell in the water and stopped working. I was heartbroken because I loved that camera. I almost bought that model again but thought I would take a chance on the newer SX70. I have been using it for several days now on my birding forays. Like any camera, I had to get used to it, but I made the transition fairly easily from the SX60. Other reviewers mentioned issues with the menus. I didn't have issues, but i was expecting to after reading the other reviews. So I took the precaution of going through all the menus just to get familiar with them after I charged the batteries and before I went into the field. I was able to program the C1 and C2 settings the way I preferred them with very few issues. My biggest stumble was saving the settings because I kept thinking the menu would say Save like the Sx60, but it says Register settings (specifically, you go to the wrench/tools menu, Custom shooting mode, then select Register settings, and whatever settings you have selected will be saved for your choice of C1 or C2). It was not difficult, just different. I do suggsst familiarizing yourself with the menus before doing anything. There are more menus than on the SX60 and they are set up a little differently. The camera itself has been working well for me. I will note that it feels more "plasticky" and less solid than my old SX60, but I am okay with that so far. It also uses different batteries which is too bad as I have a lot of old batteriesfor my other camera. I do like the bluetooth connection to my tablet--it took me a little messing around to set it up, but it works well. I included my first shot as an example. Just a cardinal at our bird feeder, but it does give you an example of a casual photo that is possible without doing anything special at all. I am not a photographer. I just like taking photos of birds and our dogs. Anyway , I wanted to give another viewpoint. I like this camera so far and am glad I took a chance on it.


Embarking on the journey of wildlife photography can be a thrilling and rewarding experience. Choosing the right beginner camera for wildlife photography is essential for capturing the beauty of the natural world. With this guide, you now have a solid foundation to start exploring the top cameras available and essential features to consider.

Remember, practice makes perfect, and learning from fellow enthusiasts can help you grow as a wildlife photographer. By mastering your equipment and developing your skills, you’ll be well on your way to capturing stunning images of animals and nature’s wonders. Good luck, and happy shooting!

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I consider when choosing a beginner camera for wildlife photography?

When selecting a beginner camera for wildlife photography, consider factors like image quality, autofocus performance, zoom capabilities, portability, and your budget. The 8 best beginner cameras for wildlife photography listed above cater to a variety of needs and preferences.

Do I need a DSLR or mirrorless camera for wildlife photography?

Both DSLR and mirrorless cameras are suitable for wildlife photography. While DSLRs are often more robust and offer a wider selection of lenses, mirrorless cameras are more compact and offer faster autofocus systems. It ultimately boils down to your personal preferences best camera, and needs.

What kind of lenses should I invest in for wildlife photography?

For wildlife photography, you’ll want to invest in telephoto lenses with focal lengths ranging from 300mm to 600mm. These lenses allow you to capture subjects from a distance while maintaining image quality and sharpness.

What is the best lens for beginner wildlife photographers?

A telephoto zoom lens, such as a 70-300mm or 100-400mm, is a versatile choice for beginner wildlife photographers. These lenses allow you to capture subjects from a distance, providing you with the flexibility to photograph various types of birds and wildlife without disturbing them.

How much should I spend on a beginner camera for wildlife photography?

The price range for a beginner camera for wildlife photography can vary widely, from around $500 to over $1,500. It’s important to consider your budget, but also prioritize the features and capabilities of expensive cameras that will best serve your needs in the field. Remember, investing in quality gear is essential, but so is honing your skills as a photographer.

Can I use a smartphone for wildlife photography?

While smartphones have come a long way in terms of camera capabilities, they still fall short when it comes to wildlife photography. The limited zoom capabilities and smaller sensors found in smartphones can’t match the performance of dedicated cameras, especially when shooting fast-moving subjects or in low-light situations.

Do I need a tripod for wildlife photography?

A tripod can be a reliable and valuable tool for wildlife photographers, providing stability and helping to capture sharp images, particularly in low-light situations or when using telephoto lenses. However, a tripod may not always be necessary, especially when photographing fast-moving subjects or when a monopod or other stabilization techniques can suffice.

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*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.”

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