Birding can be a daunting task for many beginner photographers to get into since each situation requires a different type of camera gear. Choosing the best camera for your specific need is the first step to becoming a better birder and this article will help you out with that.
Here is the list of the best beginner camera for bird photography:
- Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Camera.
- Panasonic LUMIX GX85 Camera.
- Nikon COOLPIX P500 Digital Camera.
- Canon PowerShot SX730 Digital Camera.
- Panasonic Lumix FZ80 Camera.
Sony Alpha a6000 Mirrorless Camera
Starting with a versatile mirrorless camera, The Sony Alpha A6000 should be the leading choice for any novice photographer looking to have performance, ease of use, and portability all mixed into one device.
The design is really compact & lightweight, Weighting only 344 grams. The grip feels really nice on the hand and makes carrying it around for longer periods of time a little less of a tedious task.
Controls are easy & intuitive. It features a 3.0″ 921k dot LCD that can swinging up to 90° and down to 45°, a 1.4M dot OLED Viewfinder, and has the option to add personalized camera apps.
The picture quality is also fantastic, The sensor is 24MP APS-C which products incredible details and has a 20% higher sensitivity with an ISO range of ISO range 100 – 25000. This makes low light photos much more crisp & less grainy than most DSLR camera.
Videos can be recorded in full HD at 24fps for the cinematic look, or 60fps for fast bird captures. The autofocus is extremely fast which results in a better object tracking system. This means keeping the shot on the target when birding becomes much easier than expected.
- Compact & Lightweight.
- Super Fast Auto-Focus.
- Wi-Fi with NFC.
- Great EVF.
- No touchscreen
Panasonic LUMIX GX85 Camera
Switching to another top of the line product, The Panasonic Lumix GX85 is a beginner-friendly camera that offers flawless image stabilization, amazing 4k capability, and an extremely rigid build.
The body feels extremely stiff and durable without any creaks or flimsy buttons. It comes with a 3-inch tilting touchscreen LCD, a 2764K dots EVF, and built-in 5-axis Dual IS.
The camera products extremely crisp & detailed pictures. It has a 16 megapixel sensor with no low pass filter, and comes with a 12 32mm F3.5 5.6 lens and a 45 150mm F4.0 5.6 lens included in the package.
Video quality is also amazing, It can record 4K video capture at 30 fps and 6 fps burst with AF. The fast autofocus paired with the burst modes and 5 axis dual image stabilization helps keep the shot clear and result in a smoother and consistent shot.
You’ll get different results depending on the lens you use. with the GX85, you get more than 27 lenses to choose from. Not only does that mean you’ll get the flexibility of a DSLR, but you also get to keep all the advantages a mirrorless camera brings to the table.
- 8.6fps Continuous Shooting.
- 5-Axis Image Stabilization.
- 4K Video Capture.
- Quick Auto-Focus.
- No mic input.
Nikon COOLPIX P500 Digital Camera
Next in the list is the Nikon COOLPIX P500, a super zoom camera designed to appeal to the keen enthusiast bird photographer who want something that can create highly detailed images with minimal noise and distortion.
Weighting at only 1.09 lbs, This camera is extremely lightweight & compact for what it packs inside. The build quality feels very solid and the added rubber grip helps keep the shots steady.
It comes with a 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor with a 36x wide angle optical zoom, making it great for capturing bird at very far distances. The pictures are crisp and high quality in good lighting but tend to struggle a little in lowlight conditions.
The COOLPIX P500 is able to produce Full HD videos, capture 5 shots per second at full resolution, and has a 5 way VR Image Stabilization System to keep everything looking sharp & clean.
The cool thing about this one is that if you are running low on cash or just don’t feel like blowing all your budget on one product, you’ll easily find someone selling his used camera for half the price of what you would pay for a brand-new COOLPIX P500.
- Light & Compact Design.
- Very Fast Auto-Focus.
- USB Charging.
- Wide 36X Zoom Range.
- No RAW file format.
Canon PowerShot SX730 Digital Camera
Next in the line is a pocket friendly super-zoom camera with a 40x optical zoom capability. The Canon PowerShot SX730 is a combination of a long zoom from a point-and-shoot, features from a DSLR, and the compact design from a mirrorless, all into one camera.
The body feels surprisingly sturdy for something that weighs 0.66 lbs. It comes with a 3.0-inch LCD that can be tilted up to 180° up. This option makes it a much more rounded camera overall since you can now use it not only for birding, but also for vlogging & making YouTube videos.
It has a 20.3 Megapixel CMOS Sensor, is able to record at Full HD for 60fps, 30fps and 24fps to match the various situations you may find yourself in. Both The images & videos look sharp, clean, and have a good amount of detail to them.
Since it doesn’t have an automatic HDR, At night is where the camera performs the weakest. losing almost all details on the dark areas of the shot.
- Pocket Friendly Design.
- 40X Optical Zoom.
- 5.9fps Continuous Shooting.
- Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth.
- No viewfinder.
Panasonic Lumix FZ80 Camera
Ending with the Panasonic Lumix FZ80, an excellent point-and-shoot camera that combines affordability with optical performance to try and provide the user with the best possible result per buck spent.
Starting with the build quality, we can immediately see how chunky this camera is. It comes with a 60X zoom lens, a nicely responsive touchscreen, and a 0.2-inch built-in electronic viewfinder with 1,166k dots and approximately 100% coverage.
The FZ80 uses a small 1/2.3-inch 18.1-megapixel CMOS sensor, which is what makes such a long zoom possible at this size and price point. Equivalent to a 20-1200mm lens, The zoom provides a lot of versatility in the shots but tend to struggle on both ends of the lens.
Video is where this camera shines. It is able to records 4K UHD video at up to 30 frames per second continuously for up to 15 minutes. In addition, the FZ80 can record Full HD video at up to 60 fps and can record 720p at 120 fps and 640 x 480 at 240 fps.
Looking at the quality, the Lumix FZ80 provided amazing footage/images and is able to handle dynamic ranges pretty well thanks to its Automatic HDR. Extremely low light conditions is where the camera just flops and start adding a lot of grain to the shots.
- Super Long 60X Optical Zoom.
- Amazing Automatic HDR.
- 4K 30fps Video Capability.
- Great Optical Image Stabilization.
- No mic/headphones input.
Conclusion: Beginner Camera For Bird Photography
Getting the right camera when starting out as a birder is one of the most important decision you will have to make. This little buyer’s guide on the best beginner camera for bird photography will make sure you choose the right one for your needs & budget.
If you enjoyed this article, make sure to leave a comment down below telling us about which one you liked best and what were the reason for your choice.