Top Picks: The Best Cameras for Wildlife Photography in 2021

Wildlife photography is a challenging and exciting field that requires the perfect combination of timing, patience, and equipment. In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss the top picks for the best cameras for wildlife photography in 2021. We have thoroughly evaluated and compared the essential features, pros, and cons of each camera to make it easier for you to find the perfect one for your needs.

Table of Contents

  1. Important Features to Consider
  2. The Best DSLR Cameras for Wildlife Photography
  3. The Best Mirrorless Cameras for Wildlife Photography
  4. The Best Compact Cameras for Wildlife Photography
  5. Conclusion

Important Features to Consider

Before we delve into the best cameras for wildlife photography, it is crucial to understand the essential features that you should consider while refining your choices.

Image Quality

When it comes to wildlife photography, image quality is of utmost importance. The optimal camera should be able to produce sharp, clear, and vibrant images even in challenging lighting conditions. High-resolution cameras are ideal as they allow you to crop the image without losing detail.

Autofocus Performance

Fast and accurate autofocus is vital for capturing moving subjects like animals. Look for a camera with a high number of autofocus points and advanced tracking capabilities to ensure that you don’t miss the perfect shot.

Burst Shooting Speed

The ability to capture multiple images in rapid succession is essential for capturing the perfect moment during fast-paced wildlife action. Look for a camera with a high burst shooting speed, measured in frames per second (FPS).

Weather Sealing

Wildlife photographers often work in extreme weather conditions. A weather-sealed camera can resist dust, moisture, and freezing temperatures, ensuring that you can capture stunning images in any environment.

Battery Life

Long battery life is crucial when photographing in remote locations without access to power sources. Look for cameras with battery life rated for several hundred shots per charge.

The Best DSLR Cameras for Wildlife Photography

DSLR cameras have long been the go-to option for wildlife photography. Their robust build, long battery life, and excellent autofocus capabilities make them ideal for capturing fast-moving subjects.

1. Nikon D850

This full-frame camera offers a high-resolution 45.7-megapixel sensor, an impressive 153-point autofocus system, and 7 FPS burst shooting speed. It has excellent ISO performance and weather sealing, making it an outstanding choice for wildlife photography.


  • High-resolution sensor
  • Excellent autofocus performance
  • Weather sealing


  • Expensive
  • Slower burst speed compared to some competitors

2. Canon EOS 7D Mark II

A popular choice amongst wildlife photographers, the 7D Mark II offers a 20.2-megapixel APS-C sensor, a 65-point autofocus system, and 10 FPS burst shooting speed. The weather-sealed body and long battery life make it a reliable choice for outdoor photography.


  • Fast burst shooting speed
  • Efficient autofocus system
  • Weather sealing and robust build


  • No 4K video
  • Lower resolution compared to competitors

The Best Mirrorless Cameras for Wildlife Photography

Mirrorless cameras have gained popularity due to their compact size and lightweight design. They offer comparable performance to DSLRs and are excellent choices for wildlife photography.

1. Sony A7R IV

With a massive 61-megapixel full-frame sensor, the A7R IV produces stunning, high-resolution images. It offers a 567-point autofocus system, 10 FPS burst shooting, and excellent low-light performance. The weather-sealed body and in-body image stabilization make it a versatile choice for wildlife photography.


  • High-resolution sensor
  • Fast autofocus performance
  • Compact and lightweight


  • Expensive
  • Shorter battery life compared to DSLRs

2. Fujifilm X-T4

Featuring a 26.1-megapixel APS-C sensor, the X-T4 is an excellent choice for wildlife photography. It boasts a 425-point autofocus system, 15 FPS burst shooting, and in-body image stabilization. The camera is also weather-sealed and provides decent battery life.


  • Excellent autofocus performance
  • High burst shooting speed
  • Weather sealing


  • No full-frame sensor
  • Smaller sensor resolution compared to competitors

The Best Compact Cameras for Wildlife Photography

Compact cameras are an attractive option for wildlife photography, especially for those who prioritize portability and ease of use. These cameras offer a built-in lens and impressive image quality in a small package.

1. Sony RX10 IV

This 20.1-megapixel compact camera offers a 24-600mm equivalent lens, perfect for capturing distant wildlife. It features a 315-point autofocus system, 24 FPS burst shooting, and 4K video recording. The weather-sealed design and built-in image stabilization make this an excellent choice for wildlife photography on-the-go.


  • Impressive reach with built-in lens
  • Fast autofocus performance
  • High-speed burst shooting


  • Expensive for a compact camera
  • Smaller sensor size compared to DSLRs and mirrorless cameras

2. Panasonic Lumix FZ300

With a 12.1-megapixel sensor and a 25-600mm equivalent lens, the FZ300 is an affordable option for wildlife photography. It offers a 49-point autofocus system, 12 FPS burst shooting, and 4K video recording. Although it has a smaller sensor than other options, the FZ300 is a great choice for those on a budget.


  • Good reach with built-in lens
  • Weather sealing
  • Affordable price


  • Lower resolution compared to competitors
  • Slower autofocus performance


Finding the best camera for wildlife photography depends on factors such as image quality, autofocus performance, burst shooting speed, and weather resistance. We have covered several outstanding options in our list, ranging from DSLRs, mirrorless, and compact cameras. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which one suits your needs, preferences, and budget. We hope that this detailed guide helps you make an informed decision and fuels your passion for wildlife photography in 2021.

wim arys

Wim Arys is a photographer from Belgium Europe with a passion for mirrorless cameras.

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