Do you have the curiosity to know about the best affordable camera for wildlife photography to buy in 2021? 🤔 You can easily Find out now in this definitive list with our detailed review.
Without any further delay let’s find out. 👓
Did you recently pick up a passion for wildlife and you would love to document some of the beautiful moments you encounter, or you have a love for photography? Wildlife photography can be either a recreational activity or a career.
Whatever part you fall in, you need a great camera at your side to take your own wildlife photography and make your time outdoors all the more memorable.
Wildlife photography is an amazing pastime for people and more people are growing interest in it because it is a great escape from the bustle of civilization. Time to detox, a time to make amazing discoveries, time to just observe, or time to practice your passion for wildlife photography.
A day with nature is a day to love but definitely a day you want to go prepared for with the right camera for wildlife photography. 🐱🐉
Your regular camera will not be enough, because out there, things are different, the best moments happen to like a snap of your fingers and if you need to document it, you need the camera for the job.
Even though most cameras for outdoor use are generally expensive, we have come up with a list of affordable cameras that can very well serve to be used for wildlife photography.
By sticking to what matters and looking out to the best brands, the best price deals, and the best specs, this article is a list put together that shows finesse plus affordable when it comes to getting the best camera for wildlife photography.
So what, you have been told that to get a good camera for wildlife you need to bend over backward, just read on and get ready to purchase because the cameras in this list will get you excited.
If you are new to the art of buying a camera, the buyer’s guide below is informative enough to guide you through it so that nobody is left in the dark.
Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography
1. Canon EOS 80D
If you are a lover of the canon but you were a bit unsatisfied with the sensor and the autofocus on previous versions like the 70D, then prepare to be impressed by this improved yet affordable 80D version.
This camera is sleek and upholds the Canon standard, or perhaps pushes it a bit higher. With great autofocus and sensor, you can have your wildlife photographs come out amazing.
However, the Canon EOS has a low range of ISO so you may have to shoot only when it is bright outside. Not to worry, there are lots of lovely things to see and photograph during the day.
- Body material is made up of polycarbonate and magnesium alloy
- 7FPS continuous burst shooting with autofocus
- Touchscreen LCD monitor
- 4 numbers of a high ISO setting
- Anti-moisture and anti-dust body material
- Autofocus rating of 45
- 24 MP sensor
- It weighs 1.4 pounds
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Canon EOS 80D that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- An improvement from the 70D version
- The autofocus feature continues to work all through shooting and in live videos
- The lightweight offers convenience when moving around
- It is built to withstand rain and dusty weathers
- It is a convenient option for beginner photographer and professionals
- The ISO range is low, therefore is better to use in the day time
- It doesn’t have the classic intelligent tracking recognition
Note:- this camera is budget-friendly and if you shoot more when it is bright, you will have a great time using it which makes it perfectly fit in our best affordable camera for wildlife photography 2021 lists.
2. Nikon D7200: Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography under 600 $
Nikon is a great camera brand in the market and has released many impressive cameras to soothe your wildlife photography passion. If you weren’t impressed with the cannon because of the ISO settings, then you may love this Nikon D7200 as its major selling point is the ability to perform great with low light.
Below are some of the features of the Nikon D7200 that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- 6FPS feature
- 51 AF point feature
- Long battery run time
- Has an inbuilt Wi-Fi and remote control
- Up to 24MP image resolution
- APS-C sensor
- SLR camera type
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of the Nikon D7200 that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- The camera is affordable
- It is a great buy for both beginners and professional photographers
- Good for use with low light, hence can be used in the evenings
- The battery runtime is impressive, able to last through 1110 photos
- The 51 AF is impressive
- It is not waterproof hence is not very weather friendly
- It doesn’t have inbuilt image stabilization
Notes:- This Nikon camera is a great buy for all levels of photographers and if you love to explore nocturnal animals, you should have yourself a golden buy in your hands.
3. Sony Alpha 99
If your budget is a little on the high side of less than $4000 dollars, then the Sony Alpha 99 camera is particularly the best of this category of the budget.
This camera was made with the intention to appeal to anyone who is already into DSLR type of cameras and with a great autofocus ability that sets is above previous camera models by Sony. The high light sensitivity of the camera and the resulting image quality is one to fall in love with within seconds.
Below are some of the features of the Sony Alpha 99 that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- SLT camera type
- 24MP resolution
- It has a full-frame sensor
- 6FPS with autofocus all through the shooting time
- ISO rating of 100 to 25600
- SLT mirror design
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Sony Alpha 99 that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- High rating even among other DSLR cameras
- Suitable for use in different weather conditions
- The camera is suitable for the different levels of wildlife photographers
- The high shutter speed and high FPS makes it amazing for shooting wildlife
- It has an inbuilt GPS
- The autofocus is highly effective especially for making videos
- Good quality photographs produced
- It has no wireless connection
- Controls are with buttons
- It is a bit heavy
Notes:- if you love DSLR, you should give this a try as it is rated one of the best out there with very good light sensitivity. Even if the specs are not satisfactory for you, you should try the S-99 II version.
At the time of our research on “Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography”, we found a video about “10 Wildlife Photography Tips You Can’t-Miss” which is worth watching. 🏆
4. Pentax K-3 II: Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography under 650 $
This camera is probably too good to be true as it seems to tick almost all the right boxes. If you are one for adventuring and discovering new things, then the geotag feature which is very accurate should appeal to you greatly.
Not only will you get to take high-quality images, but you also get to make memories with the K-3 II by adding the right tags. The K-3 II is an upgrade from the K-3 and came with impressive specs at an affordable rate.
Below are some of the features of the Pentax K-3 II that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- 24 megapixel
- APS-C sensor type
- The ISO setting is 100-51200
- In-built GPS
- Weather-friendly body built
- Optical viewfinder to improve image quality
- It weighs 800grams
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Pentax K-3 II that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- Image quality can be improved with the optical viewfinder
- It can be used by professional photographers as well
- A highly accurate GPS tracking
- Can take a lot of pictures with high autofocus all through
- High shutter speed to capture moving animals
- Battery life can last to take up to 720 shots
- Astrophotography feature
- Dual storage slots
- It is heavy
- No wireless feature
- Lacks a touchscreen feature
Note: The K-3 II has a lot to live about it, the lack of in-built flash strobe can be corrected by purchasing one at a very affordable price.
5. Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR Camera
The T5i is a beast in Canon’s Rebel series and is especially great for capturing fast-moving objects of interest. You know wildlife photography always happens in a flash and it is easy to miss the best actions within frames, well that kind of reason is why the T5i is an amazing buy.
With 30FPS in videos, you couldn’t ask for more with that price tag. Although the 18MP resolution is considered low for a few, it is still highly rated among others because the image quality is nothing short of impressive.
Below are some of the features of the Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR Camera that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- 5FPS when setting to viewfinder mode
- It has an articulated LCD touchscreen
- 18MP resolutions
- 60FPS for live-view videos
- Three AF settings are available; manual, auto, and phase detection.
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR Camera that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- The image quality you get when used with a low light situation is very good
- It gives great detailed video with live video
- It is affordable
- It is lightweight and easy to carry around for long periods of time
- The fast shutter speed means you hardly miss a thing when you shoot on burst
- It is portable and comfortable to use by both newbies and professionals.
- There is not much improvement from the T4i version
- No inbuilt Wi-Fi
- The battery run time is low.
Notes:- if you are not into the fact that this T5i does not feature so many upgrades, you could opt for the T4i version. Despite that, this camera would still do great when used for wildlife photography that makes it perfectly fit in our best affordable camera for wildlife photography 2021 lists.
6. Sony A7 III
There is a lot to find when you unbox the Sony A7 III camera and of course a great quality image will be the result. From a fast shutter speed and the ability to capture even minute movements, you will have a great time exploring the outdoors with this camera.
Below are some of the features of the Sony A7 III Camera that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- 24MP resolution camera
- It has a full-frame sensor
- Can take full-width 4K video and cropped 6K video
- It has a joystick controller for the autofocus
- Touchscreen is available
- 10FPS with a fast shutter speed
- It is a mirrorless camera
- A battery can last through 710 shots
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of the Sony A7 III Camera that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- High-quality images
- Fast shutter speed for capturing objects in motion
- The 10FPS makes it a top runner in this list as you can capture details of the motion
- Works well with ow light
- Autofocus kicks in quickly
- Easy to handle
- Very good video shoot produced
- Some people find it hard to understand the controls
Notes:- This camera is really a top runner in this category both for daytime and nighttime picture taking, however, you should take some time getting used to the controls especially if you are new to cameras.
7. Olympus OM-D-E-M1 II
If you aren’t specific in DSLR cameras but you need a camera that will take your wildlife with high image quality, then you got yourself a steal with this one.
The price is usually what causes a turnaround for many, but if this falls within your budgeted amount, it is definitely worth the money. The Olympus OM-D_E_MI II mirrorless camera is built to be able to support professionals through their journey.
Below are some of the features of the Olympus OM-D-E-M1 II Camera that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- Mirrorless camera
- It has a 20MP image resolution
- It has 5 axis image stabilization
- Can capture 4k videos
- Supports USB 3
- Built to be used with harsh weather conditions
- It weighs 575 grams
- Battery run time can take 440 shots
- ISO rating range of 200 to 25,600
- CMOS sensor type
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of the Olympus OM-D-E-M1 II Camera that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- It has a fast performance
- Is suitable for taking fast action shots
- Image stabilization is a high level
- Good options for attachments
- Good ISO range for different lighting situations
- The MFT format is not preferred by some professionals.
Notes:- considering that the specs of this camera are suitable to carry out professional shots, it is easier to overlook the price tag, especially when you look at the features.
8. Canon 7D Mark II
If you need a camera to produce sharper images and will work with different light conditions, then you should go for the Canon 7D Mark II. This camera is great for capturing wildlife and any other action-packed events, especially events when you cannot get the focus to pose.
The autofocus feature of the camera as well as highly impressive. However, you have to put up with the noisy photos as that is a compromise to provide sharper images.
Below are some of the features of the Canon 7D Mark II Camera that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- It is a pro SLR format camera
- Weighs 1.3kg when coupled
- 5FPS with a high shutter speed
- MP3 and MP4 video format
- The ISO rating is 100 to 16000 and can get up to 51200
- 20MP resolution
- 10FPS due to high shutter speed
- Weather and dust resistant body materials
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of the Canon 7D Mark II Camera that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- The high shutter speed allows capturing a smooth and high image
- Up to 10 frames can be captured in one second
- It has great accuracy when capturing motion pictures
- Video quality
- The cropped sensor camera allows for sharp image captures
- No Wi-Fi
- No touchscreen option
Notes:- Overall, this camera is worth every cent of the price.
9. Panasonic LUMIX GH5
The LUMIX GH5 is a top contender among cameras and indeed a great one for Panasonic. If you plan to take more pictures than you would be making videos, then you can be sure you would capture even the tiniest moments with this camera. With brilliant FPS and autofocus, getting the slightest movements becomes a breeze.
Below are some of the features of the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 Camera that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- 20MP camera resolution
- Can shoot 4K video quality
- Produces both 4k and 6k image quality
- Inbuilt WiFi
- Dual I.S.2 for image stabilization and clarity
- Joystick for control
- 225 AF
- 30FPS with a high shutter speed
Below are some of the Pros and Cons of the Panasonic LUMIX GH5 Camera that earned it a spot in our list of Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography to get in 2021.
- It can produce a high-quality video (4K video quality
- The burst feature helps to capture actions in details
- High-quality image production
- Joystick control is easy to use
- Weather-resistant so it is perfect for outdoor use
- Can capture details in a scene
- It is not noisy during use
- Getting it to come on and start shooting requires a very short time.
- When switched to video mode, the autofocus slows down.
Notes:- This camera provides high-quality video and image format and although it may not be the best, it is highly impressive. However, it is more impressive with pictures than it is with videos that are the main reason to put in our best affordable camera for wildlife photography 2021 lists.
These 9 cameras are the best you would get within the budget of below $1000 and below $3500, however, for fun, you can check out more high-end cameras; Nikon D5 ($6589) and Canon EOS-1D X II ($5499). If you don’t have budget restrictions, these ones are absolute beasts, even if you are on a budget, there is no reason you cannot know about them.
Best Affordable Camera For Wildlife Photography: What To Consider
Did it get a little confusing reading through all the specs, not really knowing which camera to go with? That is understandable seeing that while the specs are absolutely fantastic, you may not really know which of the camera specs is relevant to your chosen passion for wildlife photography.
Just before you proceed to buy your camera, a quick look at these buying guides will help you make sure that you are making the right choice especially since you are on a budget.
Built For Working at Night:-
If you are shooting wildlife you need a camera that can work well with different light settings. With another type of photography, you get the option of staging a scene and altering different things including the light, but with wildlife, you have to work with what you’ve got.
Because the aim is to shoot the animals without disturbing their natural activities, you cannot necessarily alter the lighting, but rather work with natural light. This means that even for shots at night, you need to be able to take clear pictures.
The camera’s ISO rating determines how well it can deal with light situations, high ISO means it is built for bright day times while low ISO means it is built for darker night times.
However, except you are exclusively shooting a species of animal that only comes out either during the day or night, you will need a camera that can work well all day long. This means you will be looking at the ISO range rather than just a figure, the bigger the range, the more options you have with lighting.
High resolution is important when photographing wildlife because there are a lot of details to be captured, a bird in a tree close by, a teeny tiny butterfly finding a home in the fields and many more.
And let us be honest, with wildlife photography you can’t always be close to your target muse, sometimes these picture-perfect details show up in unexpected places and that is what makes it so much fun.
It is important that in every frame, your images are clear that you can see details clearly even if you have to zoom and/or crop. Be sure that to create the best wildlife photos, you are going to be doing a lot of zooming and cropping and you do not want your resulting image to be pixelated and come out blurry. Therefore, the higher the megapixels, the giddier the camera should make you feel.
When you are taking pictures and videos of wildlife, nothing is exactly trying to pose for you or stay still while you get the right angle and focus. Sometimes the best moments in wildlife happen in seconds and you have to be camera-ready in less than that time.
This level of unpredictability in wildlife photography makes capture speed a highly desired feature of cameras. The faster the capture speed, the higher your chances of getting everything in a picture. The capture speed is indicated by the number of frames per second (FPS) a camera has, the higher it is, the more pictures you can take in a second.
The Autofocus of the Camera:-
In wildlife photography, there is always a lot happening in your scene but that doesn’t mean you are trying to capture everything. To get a good image or video, you need to be able to emphasize your intended subject to stand out among everything.
Doing this is easy when shooting other things that are still, but we all know that in the outdoors, things are hardly still motion in the order of the day or night.
Therefore, the autofocus of your camera has to be brilliant enough to maintain focus even with movements of whatever you are trying to capture. Autofocus is important whether you are making a video or a photo but what determines its importance, even more, is how still your subject can be.
Easy to move around with:-
When shooting wildlife, you spend a lot of time outdoors, usually chasing animals in their natural state and sometimes this means you walking through non-motorable paths.
It is important that you go along with gears that will not get you exhausted before you get to your destination seeing that you will be carrying it around with you. Also, lightweight gears are better as they do not tire out the arms even if you have to shoot continuously for minutes at a time.
With increased expertise in wildlife photography, you often find yourself upgrading your gadgets to give you better shots. Often this upgrade isn’t changing the entire camera but just changing the lenses or buying new ones to offer you more options.
If you find yourself sticking to wildlife photography for the long run, you should consider going with a brand that you love in ways of the features they offer. So that it becomes easy to change the lens as you will need lenses of the same brand of camera.
Whether you are starting out or you are a professional just looking to upgrade gadgets, you will be working with a budget. It is important to know firsthand that cameras for shooting wildlife are essentially high-end cameras and are generally more expensive than their counterparts.
However, your budget will determine what you will be able to get. Luckily this list comprises of budget-friendly cameras that will still perform at an amazing level for any stage you are at your photography career, so feel at ease to pick from any one of them listed above.
Your level of expertise:-
With more skill, comes higher demand from your camera. Cameras that will be good enough for beginners will not8 necessarily serve more professional photographers, therefore your level of expertise will indeed guide you to choosing a camera.
The key here is that, since you are working with a budget, you need to buy something that serves you, not the absolute best in the industry as you can always improve as you upgrade.
FAQ’s on Best affordable camera for wildlife photography
Below are a couple of queries that everyone is expecting to answer and I did include the same for my readers.
What is the best camera for a beginner wildlife photographer?
1. Canon EOS 80D 2. Nikon D7200 3. Sony Alpha 99 4. Pentax K-3 II
What is the best focal length for wildlife photography?
The best focal length depends on your subjects and how close you can get to them. It's hard to get close to most wild subjects, so wildlife photographers generally use long lenses: at least 300mm for an APS-C DSLR, or 400mm for a full-frame DSLR or 35mm SLR
What Nikon lens is best for wildlife photography?
Nikon 55-300mm f/4.5 – 5.6 ED VR DX. Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM C.
Wildlife is fun and holds a lot to be explored and discovered, with a great camera by your side you can start capturing all your best moments to go back to at a later time. The list was structured to accommodate different classes of a budget, so feel free to look through it and have the best time outdoors.