Cameras for Birding

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) - 

  1. Canon or Nikon DSL
  2. "Bridge" cameras
  3. Digiscoping

Already have a camera? You probably need to upgrade.

DSL Cameras

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.

"Bridge" Cameras

With a $500-1500 "Bridge camera", with good technique and conditions, you can capture very good to excellent bird images. 

Digiscoping

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.

For beginners

For amateurs

For professionals

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