You can spend $200 on binoculars and experience good results, but a camera, not a chance. How about an iPhone 7? It takes wonderful pictures, but for birds, maybe an ostrich or something larger. What I am saying here is this, most birds are small, quick, and hidden in the trees or grass, or far out on a lake, usually in poor lighting conditions.
You have three main choices (as of July 2017) -
- Canon or Nikon DSL
- "Bridge" cameras
Already have a camera? You probably need to upgrade.
With a $600-2000 Canon or Nikon DSL, AND a $300-10,000 lens, you can get, with good technique and conditions, absolutely amazing bird images.
With a $500-1500 "Bridge camera", with good technique and conditions, you can capture very good to excellent bird images.
With a quality scope and cell phone or other digital cameras, and with good technique and conditions, you can take identifiable pictures of most birds. The above is a horrible example, Glossy Ibis at Lake Crabtree.
Choosing a good camera to meet your birding needs is, in my opinion, much more of a challenge than selecting binoculars or a scope. But, for all three, it all comes down to what will satisfy your wants, needs, and desires. I am not going to try to tackle this huge topic. I am not an expert, but I do know where to look for answers.