Best Affordable Camera for Wildlife Photography

10 Best Affordable Camera for Wildlife Photography 2022 – Reviews & Guide

When you go out to shoot wildlife, you want a camera that’s going to perform well. That means you need a camera with great speed, high-quality optics and a good sensor. The issue is that all those things come at a cost, and that can mean that the best cameras are out of reach for many photographers.

When I was starting out as a wildlife photographer, I couldn’t afford anything more than the low-cost options available at the time. It took me years to get together enough cash to buy my first pro camera, and when I did it was secondhand. Thankfully today there are much better options available for photographers who don’t have big budgets.

If you’re looking for the best affordable camera for wildlife photography, there are some really good options available at sensible prices — $1,000 or less — so it’s now possible to get a great camera without having to stretch yourself too thin.

The cameras below are all ideal for wildlife photography, whether it’s birds, animals or insects. They have great sensors capable of producing beautiful images and fast autofocus systems that will help you get sharp shots quickly.

Which camera is better for wildlife photography?

Most professional wildlife photographers use DSLRs or mirrorless cameras. The choice of which one to use comes down to personal preference, experience, and other factors such as lens cost and weight.

In general, DSLRs are heavier than mirrorless cameras, but they are also more ruggedly built. This is a major consideration if you plan on using your camera in harsh conditions where moisture or dust may be issued.

Mirrorless cameras tend to be smaller and lighter than DSLRs, making them easier to carry for long periods of time in the field (or the jungle).

A mirrorless camera can give you the same image quality as a DSLR at a lower price. Mirrorless cameras are also more popular with videographers because their LiveView (screen) is better than that of a DSLR for video.

DSLRs have been around for a long time and have had longer to evolve and have more lenses available for them. If you’re starting out as a wildlife photographer, you may want to consider buying used equipment to help keep costs down. A used DSLR can be picked up relatively cheaply, whereas used mirrorless bodies will still be relatively expensive.

Is 300mm enough for wildlife?

The 300mm f/2.8 is probably the most popular lens among wildlife photographers and photojournalists. It is more than enough for most wildlife, but if you work in zoos or safari parks it can be too short. Every wildlife photographer has his favorite focal length, and mine is 400mm. I find the extra reach of the 100mm to be worth the extra weight and bulk of this lens.

Is a full-frame camera good for wildlife photography?

Yes, full-frame cameras are good for wildlife photography. This is mostly because of the wide range of lenses that are available for these cameras.

However, there are other considerations to take into account when choosing a camera. For example, if you feel comfortable with your crop sensor camera and it has the features you need, then sticking with it is probably fine.

1. Canon EOS 80D Digital SLR Camera

Best Affordable Camera for Wildlife Photography
Product Dimensions3.09 x 5.47 x 4.14 inches
Item Weight1.4 pounds
ASINB01BUYK04A
Item model number1263C004
Batteries1 Lithium-ion battery

The EOS 80D camera features Dual Pixel CMOS AF, a revolutionary new AF system that creates the world’s fastest and most accurate AF focusing performance. Able to detect precise phase differences within a scene, advancements in dual pixel CMOS AF enable you to capture video with an impressive degree of sharpness and clarity.

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It also has advanced viewfinder capabilities that display key exposure settings such as AF points and more. Overall, the EOS 80D’s combination of innovative exposure modes, creative Photo Styles like Canon FINE (Full-size), and the ability to shoot at up to 7.0 frames per second make it perfect.

2. Nikon D7200 DSLR Camera

Best Affordable Camera for Wildlife Photography
Product Dimensions5.35 x 2.99 x 4.21 inches
Item Weight1.49 pounds
ASINB00U2W45WA
Item model number1554
Batteries1 Lithium-ion battery

Capture the action with the D7200 DSLR camera. This full-frame camera features a 24.2-megapixel imaging sensor, 51-point autofocus system, and 6 fps shooting capacity to capture outstanding, sharp photos and movies. It uses an EXPEED 4 image-processing and has an ISO range of 100 to 25600 for optimal low-light shots.

The 921k-dot 3.2” tilting LCD screen makes it easy to compose appealing shots at high or low angles or monitor them during video recording. The D7200 also features built-in Wi-Fi and NFC for instant sharing.

3. Sony Alpha SLT-A99V DSLR Camera

Best Affordable Camera for Wildlife Photography
Product Dimensions6.8 x 5.9 x 10.7 inches
Item Weight3.4 pounds
ASINB0096W1P6G
Item model numberSLTA99V
Batteries1 Lithium Metal battery

The Sony Alpha SLT-A99V DSLR Camera is a proven performer with an excellent balance of specs and price. Boasting a full-frame 24.3 MP CMOS sensor, the camera can handle tough shooting conditions and produce outstanding images. With 19-point AF and 6 fps continuous shooting, photographers will capture fast-moving subjects accurately. Its large, 3.0 inch semi-articulated TruBlack LCD makes it possible to compose studio-quality portraits and self-portraits.

4. Pentax K-3II DSLR Camera

Best Affordable Camera for Wildlife Photography
Product Dimensions5.16 x 3.03 x 3.94 inches
Item Weight1.76 pounds
ASINB00WBIYADC
Item model numberK-3II
Batteries1 Lithium-ion battery

The K-3II combines a high-resolution 24 effective megapixels; a 27-point AF system; high-speed continuous shooting at approximately 8.3 images per second; high-precision exposure control with a newly designed 86,000-pixel RGB light-metering sensor; a new, large, high-resolution LCD monitor and a weather-sealed body with an inbuilt quality glass pentaprism eyepiece. The camera’s latest processing engine shoot in smaller RAW files, permitting higher speed continuous shooting.

5. Canon EOS Rebel T5i Camera

Best Affordable Camera for Wildlife Photography
Product Dimensions5.24 x 3.11 x 3.94 inches
Item Weight3.84 pounds
ASINB00BW6LWO4
Item model number8595B003
BatteriesLithium Metal battery

From snapshots to dazzling HD video and beautiful photo albums, the PowerShot T5i has an incredible array of features that will bring your creative vision to life. The 18MP APS-C CMOS sensor provides high picture quality while the DIGIC 5 Image Processor delivers advanced capabilities like HD video recording, full-resolution continuous shooting at up to 5.0 fps, and full manual control over your photographic exposure settings. The 9-point AF system is fast and accurate, including one center cross-type AF point for enhanced reliability and the EOS Scene Detection System with image processor analyzes the color, brightness.

6. Sony a7 III Mirrorless Camera

Best Affordable Camera for Wildlife Photography
Product Dimensions5 x 3.88 x 3 inches
Item Weight1.44 pounds
ASINB07B43WPVK
Item model numberILCE7M3/B
Batteries1 Lithium-ion battery

The Sony A7 III camera is one of the Best Affordable Camera for Wildlife Photography is so advanced that it sets the bar higher to give you an even more extensive shooting experience. It leverages a 24.2MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS sensor with an accelerated image processor and a high-speed internal UHD 4K movie engine to achieve dramatically improved low-light sensitivity (up to ISO 102400) and dramatically improved overall image quality.

These refinements provide high-resolution images with extraordinary detail, rich tonality, and minimized noise – all from the world’s first back-illuminated full-frame image sensor.

7. OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1 Camera

Best Affordable Camera for Wildlife Photography
Product Dimensions2.7 x 5.3 x 3.6 inches
Item Weight1.1 pounds
ASINB01M4MB3DK
Item model numberV207060BU000
Batteries1 Lithium-ion battery

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 features a Live MOS sensor with no low-pass filter for high resolution and better image quality and an anti-reflective coating on the surface of the sensor. In addition to its “TruePic VIII” 4-core image processor with quad-core TruePic process acceleration, it offers the fastest autofocus in its class (faster than DSLRs); 60 fps S AF and 15 fps S AF and CAF with continuous tracking servo using phase detection. It has 121 points of AF/AE tracking, with 121 cross-type on-chip phase-detection focus points.

8. Canon EOS 7D Digital SLR Camera

Best Affordable Camera for Wildlife Photography
Product Dimensions5.87 x 3.07 x 4.41 inches
Item Weight2.01 pounds
ASINB00NEWZDRG
Item model number9128B002
BatteriesLithium Metal battery

The Canon EOS 7D Mark II camera is the perfect tool for photographers looking to get even more from their still photography. A powerful 20.2 Megapixel APS-C sensor, DIGIC 6 image processor, 65-point all cross-type AF system, Dual Pixel CMOS AF, and up to 10 frames per second are at your disposal when shooting stills. Don’t let slow-focusing stop you from capturing those fleeting special moments… The EOS 7D Mark II is equipped with advanced focusing technology–Dual Pixel CMOS AF–which uses both contrast and phase information to achieve quick, accurate, and smooth.

9. Panasonic LUMIX GH5 Digital Camera

Best Affordable Camera for Wildlife Photography
Product Dimensions5.83 x 7.56 x 6.14 inches
Item Weight1 pound
ASINB01MZ3LQQ5
Item model numberDC-GH5
Batteries1 Lithium Metal battery

The LUMIX S5 combines image quality with performance at an affordable price. Incorporating a fully weatherproofed metal body with dustproof, freezeproof, and splash-proof capabilities the LUMIX S5 ensures reliability in the most extreme conditions.

A 20.3MP sensor works with 5-axis dual image stabilization to produce sharp, clear images even at a fast shutter speed or when using obstructed angles. The camera produces crisp 4K video capture and features exclusive 6K photo capability which captures photos up to 60fps that comes in one of the Best Affordable Camera for Wildlife Photography.

10. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Digital SLR Camera

Best Affordable Camera for Wildlife Photography
Product Dimensions3 x 5.9 x 4.6 inches
Item Weight1.76 pounds
ASINB01KURGS9E
Item model number1483C002
Batteries1 Lithium Metal battery

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Digital SLR Camera is an affordable, full-frame DSLR camera with superb autofocus capabilities for still and video shooting. It utilizes a new 30.4 megapixel Full-Frame CMOS sensor that works with the DIGIC 6 image processor to deliver impressive images that are rich in detail and dynamic range.

The updated AF system features 61 points and 41 cross-type points for enhanced low-light focusing and the benefit is noticeable, especially when shooting stills and video. One of the Best Affordable Camera for Wildlife Photography.