Best Cameras For Wildlife Photography

The most important camera specs to consider for wildlife photography
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Choosing a camera for wildlife photography used to mean selecting from a small group of professional-level cameras that had both the speed and the telephoto lens options needed to capture close-up views of fast-moving subjects. Today, there’s a much wider range of models that can meet the needs of wildlife photographers, including mirrorless systems that have some advantages over traditional DSLRs.

Many mirrorless cameras offer faster-than-DSLR continuous shooting speeds when using their electronic (as opposed to mechanical) shutters. While some mirrorless cameras also include a mechanical shutter, electronic shutters have the added benefit of totally silent operation, a decided advantage for wildlife photography when you’re trying not to disturb your subject. And as mirrorless camera makers and third-party lens manufacturers continue to expand the lens options available, there are now many choices in the super-tele range, including affordable zooms and premium primes, plus teleconverters that can get you to focal lengths equivalent to 1200mm and beyond.

Battery life remains an advantage for DSLRs, but, overall, the performance gaps between DSLR and mirrorless cameras have closed. What’s important is that the camera you choose has the speed and autofocus precision to keep up with the action and the lens options you need for your favorite subjects. Depending on your photographic style, the end use of your images, and your budget for equipment, there are many terrific cameras—both DSLR and mirrorless—that are up to the challenge of wildlife photography.

Read on to learn about the most important features to consider when choosing a camera for wildlife photography or skip ahead to see our top picks.

Cameras For Wildlife Photography: Full Frame, APS or Micro Four Thirds?

Telephoto lenses are one of the most important requirements for wildlife photography, bringing you close-up views of your subjects while allowing you to remain at a safe and respectful distance.

Though larger full-frame sensors are in some respects superior to smaller APS-C sensors, the magnification factor of a smaller sensor enhances the telephoto reach of your lenses. For example, comparing a 20-megapixel full-frame camera with a 20-megapixel APS-C camera, the APS-C model will give you approximately 1.5x magnification of your lens’ focal length, making a 400mm lens equivalent to a 600mm lens. Keep in mind that this advantage assumes you’re comparing two cameras with the same resolution, as a full-frame image from a higher-resolution camera can be cropped for a similar result.

Micro Four Thirds sensors offer even greater magnification of 2x. This allows Olympus and Panasonic to design lighter, more compact telephoto lenses for their Micro Four Thirds cameras compared to zooms and primes with equivalent focal lengths for larger-sensor cameras. The Olympus M.ZUIKO ED 300mmF4.0 IS PRO is an excellent example. It’s equivalent to a 600mm prime on a full-frame camera—but at 3.7 inches in diameter, 8.9 inches in length and 2.8 pounds, this lens is just a little over half the size and more than 60 percent lighter than the AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR (6.5-inch diameter, 17 inches in length and 8.4 pounds). The Olympus lens is also roughly one-fifth of the price at $2,899 versus the Nikon at $12,299. The point is that smaller-sensor cameras do offer an advantage of lighter, more compact lenses. For many photographers, any tradeoff in overall image quality due to a smaller sensor is acceptable in exchange for the portability—and relative affordability—of these systems.

Learn how to get the best results with your telephoto lenses for wildlife photography.

Autofocus Performance

For wildlife action, AF speed and accuracy are prime considerations. Definitive numerical ratings aren’t available for AF performance, but higher-end cameras typically deliver better AF performance than entry-level bodies, and newer models with the most up-to-date AF technology improve upon earlier models.

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More AF points are potentially an advantage, but evaluate the entire AF system. Cross-type points provide additional information to the AF processor and, therefore, improved accuracy. Algorithms and processor capabilities also play a major role—newer AF systems with fewer AF points and more powerful processors will potentially outperform older systems with more AF points.

Technologies like AI-based subject recognition and machine learning are making their way into autofocus systems, enabling features like intelligent subject tracking. While cameras with focus-tracking capabilities can greatly enhance your chances of success, they’re not infallible, so it’s good to be able to fall back to basic technique and an understanding of your camera’s available settings. Review your camera’s instructions for recommendations on AF mode selection and experiment to see which work best for your style of shooting and favorite subjects.

Your lens choice also has an impact on autofocus performance. The AF system operates with the lens wide open at its maximum aperture. When you activate the shutter, the lens then closes down to your selected aperture immediately before the shutter opens. Most AF systems require a minimum aperture of ƒ/5.6, which usually isn’t a problem. However, if you use a teleconverter to extend your focal length, you’re also reducing the effective maximum aperture of your lens—the stronger the teleconverter’s strength, the greater this reduction—making an AF system that’s compatible with apertures of ƒ/8 or smaller preferable for telephoto work.

Professional telephoto lenses have faster motors and smarter AF algorithms, as well as finer optics than lower-end lenses. They’re more durable, with better sealing against weather and dust. They also cost a lot more and are much larger and heavier—but that’s the price of superior performance.

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Frames Per Second & Max Burst

While ultra-fast continuous capture rates aren’t absolutely critical for all wildlife photography, they’re certainly very beneficial, especially for fast-moving subjects. More frames per second increase your chances of recording the perfect behavior, gesture or wing position for moving wildlife. Pro wildlife photographer and “Wild By Nature” columnist Melissa Groo recommends 8 fps as a minimum continuous shooting rate, a spec that all of the cameras in this article meet or exceed. Keep in mind that the maximum continuous shooting rate of your camera may depend on the AF mode you select. When following moving subjects, you’ll (ideally) want a camera that can capture 8 fps or faster in continuous AF mode, rather than single AF where the focus is locked on the first frame.

In addition to frames per second, the number of frames that can be recorded in a single burst is also important. To take full advantage of your camera’s speed, use the fastest-rated memory cards that your camera supports.

ISO Equivalence

For optimal image quality, it’s always preferable to set lower ISOs, but wildlife photography often means shooting in low-light conditions near dawn and dusk when higher ISOs are needed. Considering the minimum aperture requirements of AF systems, plus the creative flexibility of selecting the right aperture for your desired depth of field, cameras that offer wider ISO ranges provide an advantage for wildlife photography. Though noise increases at higher ISOs, it’s better to compromise with noise than with sharpness—or not getting the shot at all.

More light translates to less noise, and larger sensors collect more light due to their increased surface area. That’s one reason why full-frame cameras are able to offer comparably higher ISO equivalents and provide better image quality at higher ISO settings than smaller sensors.

Following is a selection of DSLRs and mirrorless cameras which we recommend for wildlife photography. While not a definitive list, these models are excellent options from their respective makers. When selecting a camera, also consider the telephoto lenses and teleconverters available for the models you’re evaluating.

Image of the Canon EOS R3

Canon EOS R3

Canon EOS R3: Arriving In 2021

Canon has revealed development of a new flagship model in its EOS R full-frame mirrorless lineup, the Canon EOS R3. A specific release date has not yet been announced, and full specifications are not yet available, but we do know that Canon is positioning this camera between its pro DSLR, the EOS-1D X Mark III and its current top mirrorless camera the Canon EOS R5. The design will be similar to the EOS-1D X Mark III, with an integrated vertical shooting grip and extensive weather sealing that Canon states is comparable to the EOS-1D X Mark III.

 The camera will be able to capture up to 30 fps, the fastest continuous shooting speed yet for a Canon EOS camera. Another noteworthy advancement is eye-activated autofocus. Specific details about its functionality aren’t yet known, but the system will enable the user to select a focus point and activate subject tracking simply by looking at it in the electronic viewfinder.

Along with the camera announcement, Canon also introduced two new super telephoto primes for the EOS R system, the RF400mm F2.8L IS USM and Canon RF600mm F4L IS USM. Until now, EOS R users who wanted premium super telephoto primes had to use an adapter to mount Canon’s DSLR equivalents. With these new lenses, set to be released in July 2021, EOS R users now have native lens options.

Image of the Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5

Canon EOS R5

Released in mid-2020, the Canon EOS R5 is currently the company’s top-performing full-frame mirrorless camera and is an excellent choice for wildlife photography with generous resolution and fast continuous shooting rates. The 45-megapixel EOS R5 can capture up to 12 fps using its mechanical shutter or 20 fps with its electronic shutter. Both the EOS R5 and the similar, but lower-resolution, EOS R6, are the first cameras to include Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, which covers approximately 100 percent of the frame with 1,053 automatically-selected AF Zones. Along with new AF algorithms, this system is able to identify subjects and track human, dog, cat and bird eyes—a bonus for wildlife photographers following birds in flight.

See our review of the Canon EOS R5 for a hands-on experience with nature photographer George Lepp.

Check the current price and availability of the Canon EOS R5 at Amazon and B&H.

Canon EOS R5
Sensor 45 MP Full-Frame
AF Points 1,053
Max Frame Rate 20 fps
Max Burst 180 RAW
ISO Range (Expanded) 100-51,200 (102,400)
Price $3,899
Image of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III

Canon’s top professional DSLR, updated in 2020 to Mark III, is arguably the best DSLR for wildlife photography, taking into account its speed and the lens options in the Canon system, including super-tele primes and teleconverters. It’s the fastest DSLR currently available, with 16 fps capture using the optical viewfinder, or up to 20 fps when shooting in Live View. The AF system is also impressive, with 191 AF points, 155 of which are cross-type, and a new EOS iTR* AF X tracking technology that enables Face Detection AF and Head Detection AF, plus Eye Detection AF when shooting in Live View or video modes. It’s no wonder why so many pro wildlife photographers shoot with the EOS-1D X series cameras, but the price is steep for the more casual shooter.

Check the current price and availability of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III at Amazon and B&H.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III
Sensor 20.1 MP Full-Frame
AF Points 191
Max Frame Rate 20 fps
Max Burst 1,000 RAW
ISO Range (Expanded) 100-102,400 (819,200)
Price $6,499

Canon EOS 90D

Canon EOS 90D

The top APS-C option from Canon is the Canon EOS 90D introduced in 2019. It can capture up to 10 fps—an improvement of 3 fps over its predecessor—the EOS 80D—and comparable to the EOS 7D Mark II, which was our top APS-sensor Canon camera for wildlife before the introduction of the 90D. The 32.5-megapixel 90D shares much of the same technology as the Canon EOS M6 Mark II mirrorless camera which was introduced at the same time, but our pick between the two is the 90D because of the extensive telephoto lens offerings for Canon DSLRs compared to the much more limited selection available for the company’s APS-sensor mirrorless models.

Read why OP Field Editor George Lepp recommends the Canon EOS 90D for wildlife photography.

Check the current price and availability of the Canon EOS 90D at Amazon and B&H.

Canon EOS 90D
Sensor 32.5 MP APS-C
AF Points 45
Max Frame Rate 10 fps
Max Burst 25 RAW
ISO Range (Expanded) 100–25,600 (51,200)
Price $1,199
Image of the Fujifilm X-T4

Fujifilm X-T4

Fujifilm X-T4

Introduced in 2020, the X-T4 is our top pick from Fujifilm for wildlife work. The camera can capture up to 15 fps with its mechanical shutter and 20 fps using the electronic shutter at the camera’s full resolution of 26.1 megapixels, putting it on par in terms of speed with pro bodies that cost much more. The camera’s AF system can function in low-light conditions down to -6.0 EV, another benefit for wildlife photography. The X-T4 also offers an in-body image stabilization system capable of up to 6.5 stops of correction—a feature that’s not included in the more affordable X-T30, our runner-up from Fujifilm.

Check the current price and availability of the Fujifilm X-T4 at Amazon and B&H.

Canon Fujifilm X-T4
Sensor 26.1 MP APS-C
AF Points 425
Max Frame Rate 20 fps
Max Burst 36 RAW
ISO Range (Expanded) 160-12,800 (51,200)
Price $1,699
Cameras for wildlife photography Fujifilm X-T30

Fujifilm X-T30

Fujifilm X-T30

New to the list this year is the Fujifilm X-T30. Compared to the X-H1, it’s nearly half the weight and noticeably more compact. It’s an upgrade in other respects, too, with faster continuous shooting and higher resolution. At full resolution, the camera can capture up to 8 fps with its mechanical shutter or 20 fps with its electronic shutter. At a reduced resolution of 16.6 MP, it can capture up to 30 fps with its electronic shutter. One potential advantage of the X-H1 is its in-body image stabilization—the X-T30 relies on stabilization built-in to its lenses—though for wildlife photography, you’ll probably be using the FUJINON XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR which incorporates OIS. The 425-point, sensor-based contrast detection AF system employs 2.16 million pixels that cover 100 percent of the frame and can function in dim conditions down to -3.0 EV.

Check the current price and availability of the Fujifilm X-T30 at Amazon and B&H.

Fujifilm X-T30
Sensor 26.1 MP APS-C
AF Points 425
Max Frame Rate 30 fps
Max Burst 17 RAW
ISO Range (Expanded) 160–12,800 (51,200)
Price $899
Image of the Nikon Z 9

Nikon Z 9

Nikon Z 9: Arriving in 2021

Nikon is working on the new flagship of its Z series mirrorless system which we suspect may be a camera worth waiting for if budget isn’t an issue. When released later this year, the Nikon Z 9 will be the company’s most advanced FX (full-frame) model in the Z line, with an all-new sensor, image processor and 8K video recording.

Nikon disclosed very little on the upcoming camera in the official development announcement but stated that the Z 9 will offer “the best still and video performance in Nikon history” so we can also reasonably expect a high-resolution sensor and faster continuous shooting speeds for still photography than what’s currently possible with the system. For reference, the 24.5-megapixel Z 6II can shoot at up to 14 fps while the 45.7-megapixel Z 7II can capture 10 fps.

From the product photo released by Nikon, it appears that the camera will have an integrated vertical battery grip similar to the company’s flagship DSLR, the D6.

Image of the Nikon Z 6II

Nikon Z 6II

Nikon Z 6II

Both the Nikon Z 6II and Z 7II—the company’s second-generation full-frame mirrorless cameras—are excellent performers for wildlife photography. We lean toward the Z 6II because of its speed. It’s lower in resolution than the Z 7II (24.5 MP versus 45.7) but offers a faster continuous capture rate of 14 fps (10 fps for the Z 7II). Both cameras have excellent low-light AF performance, but the Z 6 is better, able to operate in -4.5 EV conditions. It also has a higher max native ISO of 51,200 compared to the Z 7’s 25,600—not a huge distinction, but when shooting in early morning and late evening when wildlife is active, any improvement in low-light performance is helpful. Both models also feature improved AF capabilities including Eye and Face-Detection with tracking, and are the first Nikon cameras to provide Eye-Detection AF and Animal-Detection AF during video recording.

Check the current price and availability of the Nikon Z 6II at Amazon and B&H.

Nikon Z 6II
Sensor 24.5 MP Full-Frame
AF Points 273
Max Frame Rate 14 fps
Max Burst 87 RAW
ISO Range (Expanded) 100-51,200 (204,800)
Price $1,999
Image of the Nikon D6

Nikon D6

Nikon D6

Nikon updated its flagship pro DSLR in 2020, and it’s among the most capable cameras for wildlife photography. The D6 is faster than its predecessor, with a continuous shooting rate of 14 fps with its mechanical shutter versus the D5’s 12 fps. The D6 also offers a silent shooting mode at 10.5 fps. The resolution of the image sensor is unchanged at 20.8 megapixels. There is a new AF system that has fewer AF points (105 versus 153), but all of them are now cross-type and individually selectable. Low-light AF performance also has been enhanced with the center point capable of operating at -4.5 EV and the remaining points at -4.0 EV. The D6 is noteworthy for its outstanding ISO range, expandable up to 3,280,000—though you won’t likely use the extreme ISO settings for wildlife photography, the range does highlight the capabilities of the sensor in low-light conditions.

Check the current price and availability of the Nikon D6 at Amazon and B&H.

Nikon D6
Sensor 20.8 MP Full-Frame
AF Points 105
Max Frame Rate 14 fps
Max Burst 200 RAW
ISO Range (Expanded) 100–102,400 (3,280,000)
Price $6,499
cameras for wildlife photography: nikon d500

Nikon D500

Nikon D500

The D500 includes the same AF system as the previous-generation flagship DSLR Nikon D5, as well as its EXPEED 5 processor. Though it’s not quite as fast as the D5, it’s still very speedy at its max rate of 10 fps. It also features the same level of weather sealing as the pro model D810, and though less than the D5’s astronomical ISO max, offers a remarkable ISO range, expandable to 1,640,000.

Check the current price and availability of the Nikon D500 at Amazon and B&H.

Nikon D500
Sensor 20.9 MP APS-C
AF Points 153
Max Frame Rate 10 fps
Max Burst 79 RAW
ISO Range (Expanded) 100–51,200 (1,640,000)
Price $1,999
Image of the Nikon Z 50

Nikon Z 50

Nikon Z 50

Full-frame mirrorless systems understandably get more attention from serious enthusiasts and pros, but Nikon’s first APS-C (DX format) mirrorless Z series model is worth a look for wildlife photography. Though Nikon doesn’t state the max burst capacity of the camera’s buffer, the camera does offer a continuous shooting rate of 11 fps at the camera’s full 20.9-megapixel resolution. Like all smaller-sensor cameras, the magnification factor gets you more telephoto reach from your lenses, and the Z 50 can be used with all of the native lenses available for the Z series, as well as Nikon’s extensive collection of F-mount glass via the optional Mount Adapter FTZ. Nikon is marketing the camera to entry-level photographers, but its speed, very compact size and sub-$1,000 price may make it appealing to even more advanced photographers.

Check the current price and availability of the Nikon Z 50 at Amazon and B&H.

Nikon Z 50
Sensor 20.9 MP APS-C
AF Points 209
Max Frame Rate 11 fps
Max Burst Not stated
ISO Range (Expanded) 100-51200 (204,800)
Price $859
Image of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III

Updated to Mark III in 2020, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III is positioned as a co-flagship model alongside the OM-D E-M1X as the two cameras have similar performance characteristics with different form factors. The E-M1X is a larger body with a built-in vertical grip that some may prefer, while the E-M1 Mark III is decidedly more compact without compromising image quality or speed. Like the E-M1X, the E-M1 Mark III can capture full-resolution 20.4-megapixel images at 15 fps with its mechanical shutter or an incredible 60 fps with its electronic shutter and silent shooting. It also offers an industry-leading image stabilization system that’s capable of up to seven stops of correction with all lenses and up to 7.5 stops with select lenses—one of which is the M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm F4.0 IS PRO (600mm equivalent) for sports and wildlife. Check out our field test of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III.

Check the current price and availability of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III at Amazon and B&H.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III
Sensor 20.4 MP Micro Four Thirds
AF Points 121
Max Frame Rate 60 fps
Max Burst 101 RAW
ISO Range 200-25,600
Price $1,799
Cameras for wildlife photography Olympus E-M1X

Olympus OM-D E-M1X

Olympus OM-D E-M1X

Designed with professional photographers in mind, the newest OM-D system camera from Olympus is an excellent choice for wildlife photography. The OM-D E-M1X features an in-body image stabilization system capable of 7 stops of correction. It can shoot at speeds up to 18 fps with AF/AE tracking and in silent mode, or up to 60 fps with focus and exposure locked. Another feature beneficial for wildlife photography is the Olympus Pro Capture Mode, which when activated, buffers up to 35 frames continuously and, when the shutter is fully depressed, records the preceding 35 frames.

Like the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, as a Micro Four Thirds sensor camera, the focal length of lenses attached to the OM-D E-M1X are effectively magnified 2x, meaning that the Olympus M.ZUIKO ED 300MM F4.0 IS PRO is equivalent to a 600mm lens, but considerably smaller and lighter than the 600mm primes for full-frame cameras.

Check the current price and availability of the Olympus OM-D E-M1X at Amazon and B&H.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X
Sensor 20.4 MP Micro Four Thirds
AF Points 121
Max Frame Rate 18 fps
Max Burst 74 RAW
ISO Range 200 to 25,600
Price $2,999
cameras for wildlife photography: panasonic lumix gh5

Panasonic LUMIX GH5

Panasonic LUMIX GH5

Another Micro Four Thirds option for wildlife work is the Panasonic LUMIX GH5. The 20.3-megapixel camera can capture full-resolution images at up to 9 fps with continuous AF using its mechanical shutter (12 fps with focus locked), but switch to the 6K PHOTO mode to record 18-megapixel images at up to 30 fps, or 8-megapixel stills at up to 60 fps in 4K PHOTO mode. Up to 5 stops of image stabilization are possible with the camera’s 5-axis Dual I.S. system. The body is built to protect against moisture and dust and can operate in temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Check the current price and availability of the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 at Amazon and B&H.

Panasonic LUMIX GH5
Sensor 20.3 MP Micro Four Thirds
AF Points 225
Max Frame Rate 12 fps
Max Burst 60 RAW
ISO Range (Expanded) 100-25,600
Price $1,399
Cameras for wildlife photography Panasonic S1R

Panasonic LUMIX S1R

Panasonic LUMIX S1R

Panasonic introduced the first models in its new full-frame mirrorless LUMIX S camera system in 2019, working in partnership with Leica and Sigma to develop the system and lenses. The system is relatively young and there aren’t a lot of lenses available yet that will satisfy the needs of wildlife photographers—the longest is the Panasonic Lumix S PRO 70-200mm f/4 O.I.S. But considering the partners involved, we expect the lens options to improve, so we’re including the Panasonic LUMIX S1R here because of its high resolution and ability to capture up to 6 fps with continuous AF, or 9 fps with focus locked on the first shot. Of the three Panasonic S series cameras introduced so far, it’s the best for wildlife.

Check the current price and availability of the Panasonic LUMIX S1R at Amazon and B&H.

Panasonic LUMIX S1R
Sensor 47.3 MP Full-Frame
AF Points 225
Max Frame Rate 9 fps
Max Burst 40 RAW
ISO Range (Expanded) 100 to 25,600 (51,200)
Price $3,699
Image of the Sony a1

Sony a1

Sony a1

The Sony a1, introduced this year, combines the best features of Sony’s Alpha cameras to date and adds some new technologies as well. Its maximum continuous shooting speeds of 30 fps exceeds Sony’s previous flagship, the Sony a9. And at 50.1 megapixels, the a1 also tops the a9’s resolution, approaching the company’s highest resolution full-frame model, the 61-megapixel a7R IV.

This combination of speed and resolution alone makes it one of the very best cameras for wildlife photography, but there’s more. The Sony a1 includes an improved version of the company’s advanced Real-time Eye AF technology for humans and animals that’s 30 percent faster than the previous generation and introduces Real-time Eye AF for birds. The AF system is capable of making up to 120 AF/AE calculations per second—twice as many as the a9.

Also noteworthy is the electronic viewfinder, with its 9.44-million-dot resolution and an industry-leading refresh rate of 240 fps. This translates to black-out free shooting with a display that rivals the experience of a true optical viewfinder.

Learn why pro photographer Brian Smith’s calls the a1 Sony’s first “true flagship” camera.

Check the current price and availability of the Sony a1 at Amazon and B&H.

Sony a1
Sensor 50.1 MP Full-Frame
AF Points 759
Max Frame Rate 30 fps
Max Burst 155 RAW
ISO Range (Expanded) 100-32,000 (102,400)
Price $6,499
cameras for wildlife photography: sony a9

Sony a9

Sony a9

Sony’s previous full-frame mirrorless flagship (prior to the introduction of the a1) features a 24.2-megapixel stacked CMOS sensor combined with a 693-point focal plane phase detection AF system, which covers approximately 93 percent of the frame. The camera is capable of making 60 AF/AE tracking calculations per second and able to shoot at 20 fps continuously for up to 241 RAW or 362 JPG images at the camera’s full resolution in a single burst. Also advantageous for wildlife photography is the camera’s silent shooting mode and a high-resolution Quad-VGA OLED Tru-Finder that’s one of the best EVFs we’ve used—and there’s no blackout during capture. The a9 has built-in 5-Axis image stabilization that provides up to 5 stops of compensation for camera movement when shooting handheld. The NP-FZ100 battery introduced with this camera provides approximately double the life of previous Sony full-frame mirrorless camera batteries, and an optional VG-C3EM Vertical Grip extends shooting time even further. 

For more on the Sony a9, read our review, plus “Wild By Nature” columnist Melissa Groo’s impressions for wildlife photography.

Check the current price and availability of the Sony a9 at Amazon and B&H.

Sony a9
Sensor  24.2 MP Full-Frame
AF Points 693
Max Frame Rate 20 fps
Max Burst 241 RAW
ISO Range (Expanded) 100–51,200 (204,800)
Price $3,999
cameras for wildlife photography: sony a7 III

Sony a7 III

Sony a7 III

Though not as fast as the a9, the 24.2-megapixel full-frame a7 III is still quite capable for wildlife work, with a max continuous shooting rate of 10 fps in both mechanical and electronic shutter modes.The a7 III’s autofocus system has 425 contrast AF points and 693 focal-plane phase detection points that cover 93 percent of the image frame, the same system used in the Sony a9. Compared to the previous a7 II model, the a7 III is nearly twice as fast focusing in low-light and when tracking subjects. Also like the a9, the camera’s 5-Axis image stabilization system provides up to 5 stops of compensation for shooting handheld. One of the most noteworthy aspects of this camera is its price for the performance it offers, now selling at well under $2,000. Here’s how the Sony a7 III redefined full-frame mirrorless cameras at this price.

Check the current price and availability of the Sony a7 III at Amazon and B&H.

Sony a7 III
Sensor 24.2 MP Full-Frame
AF Points 693
Max Frame Rate 10 fps
Max Burst 89 RAW
ISO Range (Expanded) 100–51,200 (204,800)
Price $1,699
Cameras for wildlife photography Sony a6400

Sony a6400

Sony a6400

While the full-frame Sony a9 is in many ways the ultimate wildlife camera, don’t count out the APS-C sensor a6400 introduced this year. It was the first Sony camera to introduce Real-time Eye AF, and recently added Real-time Eye AF for animals via Firmware Update 2 (also available now on the a7 III with Firmware Update 3 for that camera). Pair it with the new Sony FE 200-600mm F5.6-6.3 G OSS for an equivalent focal length range of 300-900mm, and add a 2x teleconverter for a remarkable 600-1800mm telephoto. It can capture at 11 fps with full AF/AE tracking when shooting with the mechanical shutter, or up to 8 fps when shooting in silent mode with the electronic shutter.

Check the current price and availability of the Sony a6400 at Amazon and B&H.

Sony a6400
Sensor 24.2 MP APS-C
AF Points 425
Max Frame Rate 11 fps
Max Burst 46 RAW
ISO Range (Expanded) 100 to 32,000 (102,400)
Price $899