best dslr for birding

Birds are beautiful, but capturing photos of these flighty creatures can be quite the challenge. Birders who wan’t to capture birds will quickly find out that taking quality photos of birds is not as easy as spying them through a pair of binoculars.  Choosing the best dslr for birding is the first step and this article will help you out with that. You can also check for the best superzoom camera for birding below…

best dslr for birding

#1 Nikon D500 DX-Format Digital SLR

Nikon D500 DX-Format Digital SLR

Our editor’s choice for wildlife photography cameras is the Nikon D500, a DX-format DSLR. This means the camera features a cropped (APS-C) CMOS sensor with 20.9 megapixels, a great balance between high-quality images and the advantages of the smaller and lighter DX lenses in the Nikkor line.

Even with a telephoto lens, you’ll stay agile and are able to capture exquisite details, colors and textures.

In low-light conditions, you can still use every bit of light with a native ISO range of 100-51,200. Down to an exposure value of -4, the Nikon D500 can still bring out rich details in shadows.

Expand To See More

Also comes as a package with a Nikon 16-80mm lens.Nikon D500 DX-Format DSLR at a Glance:


  • Sensor: Cropped 23.5 x 15.7 mm CMOS sensor (APS-C), 20.9 MP
  • Autofocus: 153 AF points
  • Frame Rate & Burst: 10 fps up to 200 frames, 79 RAW
  • ISO Range: Native ISO 51200, extend to ISO 1640000
  • Lens mount: Nikon F mount (AF coupling & contacts)
  • Extras: WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, 4K UHD video recording at 30 fps, time-lapse up to 9999 frames. Includes Li-ion battery, charger, USB & HDMI cable clip, DK-17 eyepiece, USB cable and strap.

#2 Nikon D5  FX-Format Digital SLR Camera

Nikon D5 20.8 MP FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body

The Nikon D5 DSLR camera is the larger sibling of our editor’s choice and features a full frame CMOS sensor with 20.8 megapixels, the equivalent of shooting 35mm film.

The sensor acquires image data with perfect balance of high resolution, rich tonal gradation, and refined signal-to-noise ratio for quality images.

With image stabilization and a new mirror driving mechanism, you can confidently track your subject matter even during high-speed continuous shooting.

Expand To See More

Recommended Lens: Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6GNikon D5 20.8 MP FX-Format DSLR at a Glance:


  • Sensor: Full frame 35.9 x 23.9 mm CMOS sensor, 20.8 MP
  • Autofocus: 153 AF points
  • Frame Rate & Burst: 12 fps up to 200 frames, 200 RAW
  • ISO Range: Native ISO 102400, extend to ISO 3280000
  • Lens mount: Nikon F mount (AF coupling & contacts)
  • Extras: 4K UHD video recording at 30 fps, time-lapse with auto-ISO. Includes Li-ion battery, charger, USB & HDMI cable clip, DK-17F eyepiece, strap, body cap, accessory shoe & battery chamber cover.

#3 Canon EOS-1DX Mark II DSLR Camera

Canon EOS-1DX Mark II DSLR Camera

The Canon EOS-1DX Mark II is among the fastest DSLR cameras available and therefore an excellent choice as the best camera for bird photography.

The full frame CMOS sensor is equipped for high-speed signal reading and features 20.2 megapixels. Canon achieves outstanding performance with dual image processors.

Paired with precise, reliable and fast autofocus features, the camera allows for up to 16 fps or 14 fps in full resolution with a burst rate of 170 shots.

Expand To See More

Recommended Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8LCanon EOS-1DX Mark II DSLR Camera at a Glance:


  • Sensor: Full frame 36 x 24 mm CMOS sensor, 20.2 MP
  • Autofocus: 61 AF points
  • Frame Rate & Burst: 16 fps, 170 RAW
  • ISO Range: Native ISO 51200, extend to ISO 409600
  • Lens mount: Canon EF Mount (excluding EF-S and EF-M lenses)
  • Extras: Built-in GPS for geotagging, 4K UHD video at 60 fps and Full HD at 120 fps for slow motion. Includes battery pack & charger, wide strap, eyecup, cable protector and interface cable.

best superzoom camera for birding

#4 Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame DSLR Camera

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame Digital SLR Camera

The Canon EOS 5D Mark IV is a full frame DSLR at almost entry-level price with comparable specs to the previous model.

However, in a nutshell, for the lower price tag you have to make concessions when it comes to speed and light sensitivity: you get only half the frame rate and an ISO range of up to 32000.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t take amazing pictures with this model: the image sensor is paired with Canon’s DIGIC 6+ image processor and features two photo diodes per pixel and stunning total of 30.4 megapixels.

Expand To See More

Also available as a kit with a EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM LensCanon EOS 5D Mark IV Full Frame DSLR at a Glance:


  • Sensor: Full frame 36 x 24 mm CMOS sensor, 30.4 MP
  • Autofocus: 61 AF points
  • Frame Rate & Burst: 7 fps
  • ISO Range: Native ISO 100-32000, 50-102400 extended
  • Lens mount: Canon EF Mount (excluding EF-S and EF-M lenses)
  • Extras: 4K UHD video at 30 fps, WiFi, NFC, GPS for geo-tagging. Includes battery pack & charger, wide strap, eyecup, cable protector and interface cable.

#5 Sony a99 II Digital SLR Camera

Sony a99II 42.4MP Digital SLR Camera

The Sony a99 II DSLR camera breaks up the dominance of Nikon and Canon on our list, and rightfully so. This camera is smaller and more compact than the previous version, the Sony a99.

The more manageable dimensions, refined grip and improved hold are all contained in a strong, rigid magnesium alloy body for reliable shooting and steady handling in the field.

The full frame sensor boast an incredible 42.4 megapixel resolution and features a back-illuminated structure with a wide sensitivity range and extra-low noise performance and uncompromised sharpness.

Expand To See More

Recommended Lens: Sony 24 -70mm f/2.8 Carl Zeiss Vario SonnarSony a99II 42.4MP DSLR at a Glance:


  • Sensor: Full frame 35.9 x 24 mm Exmor CMOS sensor, 42.4 MP
  • Autofocus: 79 AF points
  • Frame Rate & Burst: 12 fps, 54 RAW
  • ISO Range: Native ISO 100-25600, 50-102400 extended
  • Lens mount: Sony A-mount (operation with Minolta/Konica Minolta lenses confirmed)
  • Extras: 4K UHD video at 30 fps, WiFi, NFC, image stabilization. Includes battery pack & charger, shoulder strap, eyepiece & body cap, accessory shoe cap, USB cable.

#6 Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR

Canon EOS 7D Mark II Digital SLR Camera Body Wi-Fi Adapter Kit

The Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR combines a 20.2 MP cropped APS-C sensor with dual DIGIC 6 image processor and Canon’s fast AF system. The high-resolution images are full of detail and clarity.

With a total of 65 AF points and dual pixel CMOS sensor, the camera delivers a frame rate of 10 fps. The burst rate sustains 1090 JPEGs or 31 RAW images in a single burst.

The cameras processors handle lens aberration, variances in peripheral illumination and image distortion in real time for accurate correction.

Expand To See More

Also available as a kit with the EF-S 18-135mm IS USM LensCanon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR at a Glance:


  • Sensor: Cropped 22.4 x 15 mm CMOS sensor (APS-C), 20.2 MP
  • Autofocus: 65 AF points
  • Frame Rate & Burst: 10 fps, 31 RAW
  • ISO Range: Native ISO 100-25600, 50-102400 extended
  • Lens mount: Canon EF mount, incl. EF-S lenses (35mm equivalent focal length is approx. 1.6x the lens focal length due to cropped sensor)
  • Extras: Full HD video at 60 fps, dual memory card slot, built-in GPS. Includes battery pack & charger, wide strap, cable protector and interface cable.

#7 Nikon D7200 DX-format DSLR

The Nikon D7200 is a very affordable DSLR ready for wildlife photography. The cropped APS-C sensor is paired with an EXPEED 4 image processor for finessed shots with less noise even in low-light conditions.

The images are remarkably sharp and pure thanks to the 24.2 MP hardware. The camera can maintain 6 frames per second for a single burst of 100 JPEGs or 18 RAW images.

The 1.3x crop mode will even deliver 7 fps. 51 AF points provide sufficiently satisfactory tracking and focusing of your subject matter.

Expand To See More

Also available as kit with a carry bag and a 18-55mm & 70-300mm lens
Nikon D7200 DX-format DSLR Body at a Glance:


  • Sensor: Cropped 23.5 x 15.6 mm CMOS sensor (APS-C), 24.2 MP
  • Autofocus: 51 AF points
  • Frame Rate & Burst: 6 fps, 18 RAW
  • ISO Range: Native ISO 100-25600, 102,400 expanded (BW only)
  • Lens mount: Nikon F mount (AF coupling & contacts)
  • Extras: Full HD video recording at 60 fps, WiFi, NFC. Includes battery pack & charger, neck strap, USB cable, body cap, eyecup, eyepiece cap.

Leave a Comment