What is the Best Camera for Wildlife Photography? | Wildlife Photography Tips

What is the Best Camera for Wildlife Photography? | Wildlife Photography Tips

– Hey guys, my name is Will Nicholls. This is Sam Rowley, and
today we’re going to be looking at the best camera
for wildlife photography (keyboard music) (camera clicks) We’ve come to a wetland centre in the South West of England because there’s loads of really good
subjects for us to shoot here We’ve got some captive
wildlife, some actual wildlife, and we’re going to be testing out some of the great kit we’ve got today. – So today, I’m going to be
trying out the Nikon brands. We’ve got a number of cameras, and Will is also going to be
trying out the Canon range So I have the D7500, I also
have the D500 and the D850. – I’ve got the Canon 1DX
Mark 2, Canon 5D Mark 4, and then the Canon 80D as well. We’re going to look at
some of the main factors that you’ll want to consider when choosing your next wildlife camera. So that’s your ISO
handling, your megapixels, auto-focus systems, frame rates
and how all of these things are going to affect your images. – Today we’re going to simplify
the marketplace for you. We’re going to make your
decision as easy as possible for your next camera. So I’ve got the Nikon gear,
Will’s got the Canon gear, we’ll see ya later! – [Will] So Sam headed off
to see what he could find around the reserve but found
himself getting held up by some of its more permanent residents. [Sam] Eventually I found
some more lively subjects and some were more flamboyant than others. (camera clicks) This video is supported by photo insurance specialist, PhotoGuard. When disaster strikes and
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for all subscribers to the Nature TTL channel. Now, on with the video. – So I’m currently shooting with a D850. I’ve had an amazing time
with it today so I’m usually a D500 shooter but it’s
really blown me away. I mean, the price budget
is double the D500 but you can really see why. I was using the camera earlier
in some low light situations just mallards underneath a dark
bush but I could really see its performance at high ISOs.
It really really blew me away. (camera clicks) The lack of noise that I
think it was about 4000 I was on was just remarkable. Also helped with the tilt screen feature which meant I didn’t
need to get down low and get my body all muddy. I could just put it on the ground and look down at the tilt screen and that would do the work for me. Which was fantastic. Another element of the D850
that’s really surprised me is the introduction of focus peaking. So this is the first time
that Nikon have used this in their camera range. What it essentially does,
which I’m doing right now, is it tells you exactly
what part of the photo is in focus at any one time. So it highlights certain
elements of the photo. This is obviously very good
for getting a pin sharp image and it’s something you usually expect from high end meritis camera so it’s amazing that they kind of managed to feature this in their portfolio. – [Will] Meanwhile, I found
myself photographing something a little unexpected. I’m currently shooting
with Canon’s 1DX Mark 2 and that’s their flagship DSLR camera and it retails at over 5000 pounds. Now my subject today is
not actually your typical wildlife subject because in this bird hide a load of cows have just turned up. But they’re letting me try
out the crazy frame rate of this camera which you can hear, (fast camera clicking) Is pretty fast! And that’s what this flagship
is actually famous for. Now personally, I don’t really think just that frame rate would
justify such a high cost but one thing I actually really did enjoy using this camera today was it’s insanely good ISO capabilities. Now, I was in a woodland
area in some shade and I was happily firing
off shots at ISO 6400 and I would have even pushed
it higher if I needed to. And as a wildlife
photographer when you’re doing a lot of low light imagery, that is definitely a very
very attractive point. But I got to say that Canon 5D
Mark 4 is a strong favourite at the moment because even
though it’s a bit slower, I mean it’s 7 frames a second, so actually it’s quite a lot slower, but you have 30 megapixels
versus the 20 megapixels here. And I’m a bit of a stickler
for being able to shoot at a high resolution. I quite like if I nail a shot to know that I’ve got as many
megapixels as possible. And yeah, okay maybe, it’s
ISO handling isn’t as good, but it is about 3000 pound vs 5000 pound, so it’s something to think about when you’re making that choice. – [Sam] After some more testing, it was time for us to compare our cameras. So we’ve just got back
from a long day shooting with all the kit. It’s been pretty hot actually
and considering between us we’ve got about 60 SLR cameras
and also a video camera, it’s been pretty heavy as well. – Pretty heavy indeed – Yeah, but how have
you found the kits Sam? – Ah mate. I was — – What’s been your favourite today? – I’m very excited about D850 – Yeah? – I really am. So all my life I’ve got
experience with the D7000 range, the D200, D300, D500 range, and
it’s kind of brought together like a perfect storm of all my
favourite features and more. – Yeah? – It’s been absolutely
fantastic, I mean, you know it’s almost strange because
it almost feels like these kind of full frame
cameras in the past that Nikon has released have been
more like studio based, landscape based cameras, and with this they’ve also brought in
high frames per second, great ISO capabilities,
which kind of is like a nature photographer’s dream. So, yeah, it’s just really exciting. I think I’m going to have to rethink my current range of cameras
I’m going to have to pull into the D850 sphere pretty soon. What did you find? – For me, with the Canon kit. I think you’ve kind of
hit the nail on the head that Nikon has brought out
a great camera that is this bridging together all of these
high end, high frame rate, but also high resolution cameras. – Yeah, yeah – I think with Canon, the
D850 is a very new camera but with Canon at the
moment, I feel like I have to compromise between the 1DX
Mark 2 or the 5D Mark 4. For me I shoot day to day
with the Canon 5D Mark 4 – Yeah. – I think having used the 1DX it’s great, it shoots 14 frames a second – Oh – So it blitzes but I don’t
think it’s overly that necessary – Yeah, yeah definitely! – Even though it is great,
I think I would personally still stick to the 5D Mark 4. And the 1DX does have
fantastic ISO capabilities. – Uh huh – And we definitely saw that shooting some stuff in the shade – Yeah – I mean, I said earlier I
was at ISO 6400 and happily and I would probably go
further in low light. And I do tend to do a lot of
low light stuff as well but — – But it’s amazing, that
these ISO capabilities, is why I’ve talked about, it
can open up so many doors. You know, like rainforest shooting. I kind of feel like today I
can now conquer a rainforest in any light and get any shot I wanted. – Yeah – Which is not a rainforest,
also like a normal forest, you know, – And Yeah – It’s opened up so many new
opportunities it’s great. – It’s pretty exciting. – And your shots come out at
40 megapixels at the same time. – Well, Exactly – And 10 of them are seconds – Exactly yeah – The entry level cameras though, I’d be interested to know
what your thoughts were, ’cause there’s going to be
a lot of people watching who maybe don’t want to spend
5000 pound on a high end DSLR – You can save so much
money getting a D7500. – Yeah – It does everything
that you want it to do I mean it doesn’t do it fantastically, it does it all more than good enough. – So if you as a wildlife
photographer had, and you’ve been doing photography
for as many years as me, – Yeah – we’ve known each other for 10 years. – Unfortunately yeah – (laughs) behind the lens. But if you had to swap out
your kit you’ve got now and use the D7500, do you think you would
miss anything massive? In your day to day working? – I mean, I’d miss that
ten frames per second when I’m shooting birds in flight, but that’s not all the time. ISO capabilities would
probably be the main thing. You know you can shoot
stuff in low light even with pretty bad ISO capabilities,
you can just bring it down and you kind of got to hope that the handle doesn’t move too much. Which isn’t ideal. Probably miss that the most. The auto focus track as well,
going back to birds in flight, it’s got fewer focus points,
than the D7500’s got, I believe in the 50’s, as
opposed to into the 150’s. Which the D850 and the D500 both have. So, I kind of miss that flexibility when trying to shoot action shots. So what about the 80D? It must be a pretty similar
story with that camera, am I right? – Yeah so the 80D is definitely
the equivalent of the D7500 for Canon. It’s got a pretty solid AF System as well, it’s got 45 cross type AF points. – Cool – I didn’t find any massive
issues tracking, I mean, the 1DX Mark 2 and the 5D
Mark 4 both have 61 points – OK – So they’ve both got much
stronger focus systems but between them there
isn’t really that much. The 80D, it’s a solid little camera And one of the features
actually of the 80D that I know all of the Nikons that
we’ve tried out today have, is that tilting screen on the back. – Mmm, Oh yeah. – And I’ve really missed that in the 5D – Yeah – And the 1DX – So you’ve obviously
experienced both the crop sensor and the full frame sensor as I have today. What were your thoughts on both of them? How did they compare and contrast? – I think I’ve always
sworn by full frame sensors – Oh I know, I can remember – Yeah, that’s all I’ve
shot with for years – Yeah – And I don’t think I’ve actually
really used a crop sensor probably for getting
on for 6, 7 years now. – Yeah okay – But when we were
shooting flamingoes today, and there’s a big crowd of them and I was finding on the full frame, I was using a 100 to 400
millimetre lens from Canon, And I was finding on the full
frame that I just wanted to go that little bit closer
just to try and fill the frame with bodies and
some of the flamingoes heads (camera click) And I found myself
getting rid of the 5D and putting on the 80D, and
that wasn’t just because I was testing it, that was
genuinely me thinking you know, actually this is more
appropriate for this job. – I wouldn’t say that’s a
massive benefit though because with the full frame stuff you
can just do the essentially cropping into the sensor
which you can do in post, you know it saves you a
bit of time not to do that but that is an option – Yeah, although obviously then
you’ve got the consideration that if you’re going to find
yourself cropping in all the time you may as well not spend
the extra 1000, 2000 pounds on a full frame sensor if you’re Just going to get rid of those pixels. – Exactly, no exactly – I think the message today
really and what we found and I think probably already thought? – Yeah – Was that the professional
but mid ground cameras like the 5D Mark 4 and now
the D850 although that is kind of in its own weird class – Yeah – But they are the clear favourites for us and I think that unless you really want that 14 frames a second on the 1DX and you really want to be
shooting in incredibly low light, for me, shooting with the 5D Mark 4 might be a bit of a
compromise in some situations where you find that you
have to slow your shot speed down a little bit ’cause
you can’t push the ISO up as high as the 1DX Mark 2, but I don’t think there’s been more than a couple of
occasions in my whole career as a wildlife photographer, where I’ve really wanted
that 14 frames a second. Because even at 7 frames a
second, that’s a lot of images and what’s the difference
really going to be from a fraction of a bit of
movement in that time period. So my favourite is
definitely the 5D Mark 4. – And for the same reasons,
my favourite is the D850. – Well there you go, I
think we’ve put through some cameras from some very clear
brackets in the industry. – We’ve gone through flamingos,
we’ve gone through cows, What else can we test? That’s a pretty comprehensive job! – So that’s what we think guys! These are our favourite cameras of the day and it would be really good to see what you think in the comments below so drop us a message, let us know what cameras
you’re shooting with, stuff you might be thinking of buying. Sam and I will hop in the comments and give our advice I think. But that’s bye from me. – Bye from me! – And don’t forget to subscribe
to the Nature TTL channel. We’ve got more tutorials,
kit reviews and inspiration behind the scenes features
for you every week. Just hit that subscribe button below and we’ll see you next week! – Bye (Keyboard Music)


  • Tim Nicol

    September 14, 2018

    Thank you for this review Will and Sam. I agree with Sam on the Nikon D850, I have been using that for the past 6 months or so and absolutely love this camera for wildlife photography. I tend to focus on bird, especially hummingbird photography this time of year and I am more than happy with this camera.

  • KeetsBeautifulFlukes

    September 14, 2018

    Obviously The Canon Rebel T5/T6 :))

  • Tony Davis

    September 14, 2018

    just a curious question – why didn't you include the Canon 7D Mk 2 since that is somewhat touted as the professional level sport/wildlife body from them?

  • Ka Ak

    September 15, 2018

    I Am a Nikon shooter, but think that Sony one day can make us wildlife shooters realy happy … (A7 series not that good in focussing yet)
    In our group we see often more Canon shooters switch to the A9 adapting the perfect glass that can not benefit on the low dynamic older sensors, even with the 5DIV , realism is flattened..
    You need low ISO to keep the birds "alive" Sony A9 with the EF500mm f4,0 IS looks like a 2,8 ! totally different quality
    We will test in time the A9 with the new AFS 500mm f5,6PF (perfect optics in MTF ) see if it works… native lens Sony 100-400 20fps RAW !!! , A9 is kept out in this test , Why?
    In our group there are : 2x Nikon D500 (Sigma 150-600 S, the otherAFS 600mm f4), 3xpersonsD850(180-400 f4,0 ,600mm f 4 , 800mm f5,6VR) and 2x Sony adapting Canon 500 now
    No canon body is used any more… they found it a bit flat, less dynamic and harder to edit in software mainly the shadow correcting…
    Lot of the members think the D850 is for now the best, with its build in D500… very powerful image sensor, but the Canon shooters found their way in using SONY to get the max out of the glass.

  • Wild Portrait Artist

    September 15, 2018

    the D850 is my dream camera. Some day….

  • Mark Taylor

    September 15, 2018

    Great real world review guys covering a fair range of kit.I'm a happy 80D user, and love the image quality I get from the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM I use where I'm frquently amazed by the sharpness from such a relatively inexpensive lens. I'd like more reach and I'm thinking of getting the Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS II USM (lucky me I'm due a bonus soon). Do you think this is a good match with the 80D, and should I part ex the 50 -250, or keep it as a very lightweight walkabout alternative lens. Thanks.

  • Michael wilson

    September 15, 2018

    Sony a9 the best

  • pete draper

    September 16, 2018

    Good video. I have moved away from Canon 7D mark II and Nikon D500 to Sony A7III and A7II. I came to the conclusion that I required a full frame sensor to deal more effectively with higher ISO. I only use two lenses for wildlife now, a Sony 100 – 400mm G Master and a Sony 90mm macro. With respect to the Nikon D7500, it has a preset function on the top plate rotary switch which the D500/D850 lack. The presets mean you can switch between settings for stationary subjects to birds in flight at the turn of a dial. This is a feature I use a lot on my A7III/A7II, and doubt I would buy a camera that does not have that feature now. I shoot on manual with auto ISO and generally have my A7III set to 1/500, f5.6. If I suddenly see a BIF I just turn the dial one click and my settings change to 1/2500, f8, -0.3EV. It's so much faster than having to change three individual settings and lessens the chances of missing the shot.

  • Liveston31~

    September 17, 2018

    Hi guys currently I have a Canon 760D/T6s. I’m going to Cape Town soon and visiting Safaris. I’m thinking of getting a 2nd hand 300mm f4 IS lens instead of a 400mm, will it be worth it? 100-400 or 150-600 lenses are out of my budget. Thanks!

  • cii1072

    September 18, 2018

    Did you use Auto ISO and/ or Manual mode with the D850? Or another Mode?


    September 19, 2018

    thanks for this insight, really interesting video 😀
    thanks for sharing this with us, really enjoyed watching this

  • jo ho

    September 19, 2018

    Sponsored by Canon and Nikon? Come on guys!

  • Darryll Benecke

    September 19, 2018

    You have totally ignored the Sony range. The A77ii, the A99ii, the A9 and the Sony mirrorless range all of which should have tested to compare with the Nikon & Canon equivalents. I think you will be very pleasantly surprised and may change your choice of workhorse for the future.

  • Matt Miller

    September 19, 2018

    I enjoyed the video very much. I own a 6D mkii and 100-400mm lens. I'm curious as to what you're thoughts are of the Canon XF series of camcorders. Would this be a good choice for wildlife filmmaking or should I stick with a DSLR?

  • NatureTTL

    September 19, 2018

    This video is kindly supported by PhotoGuard camera insurance. Get an instant quote and a 10% discount which is applied when using this URL: http://www.photoguard.co.uk/nttl10

  • Neil Sheriff

    September 20, 2018

    Hi guys, I don't think you should have included the Canon 1DX in this review, that camera body is really designed for professional sports photographers. I don't think many amateur photographers will think about buying the 1DX. I use the 80D and think it is a great all purpose camera at an affordable price.

  • Badhan Biswas

    September 20, 2018

    Where is Nikon D5 man? This video is incomplete without this camera if you talking about true wildlife photography?

  • Julie oz

    September 20, 2018

    should have tested the 7DII over the 80D, its more the wildlife camera in apsc than the 80D is, maybe its old but still people will buy it over the 80D if they shoot wildlife with canon. I have a 7DII and cant really fault it for wildlife, its way more suitable to fast moving wildlife. I also use a 5DIII but not so much for wildlife as Id be cropping in and losing too much info for print.

  • Pentaxian

    September 20, 2018

    what about Pentax k1? Is it forbidden to say something about or what?

  • The Animal Enthusiast

    September 20, 2018

    How big is the difference between Nikon D7500 and D500 in terms of high ISO capabilities? I am often shooting in forests so I struggle on low light. I am considering buying the D7500 and in time jumping to D850 but I would also consider D500 if the difference is big even though that would mean postponing the lens upgrade.

  • Mark Harris

    September 22, 2018

    Unfortunately we never saw any shots of wildlife.

  • SundayRacers

    September 23, 2018

    D500 & D750 for me. Love to see you guys do an "affordable" wildlife lens comparison. Usually shoot with the 300mm PF and 200-500mm Nikon lenses, but was blown away by the 100-400 Sigma I picked up recently. So much good glass about these days which you won't need a second mortgage for.

  • Sameer pathan

    September 28, 2018

    What about nikon d7200 ?

  • William Anderson

    September 29, 2018

    It’s conceivable to me that they didn’t include the Nikon D5 in their review.

  • Peter Anderson

    September 30, 2018

    Just because something is released later does not make it even close: Example. I own the 80D and 7D Mark II. I would never use the 80D for wildlife or sports if I have the 7D Mark II with me. Not does the 7D Mark II shoot at a rate of a shot every tenth of second it has a buffer to keep shooting whereas the 80D dies out quickly and only shoots at a shot every 7th of a second. In addition the 80D's focusing system is more primitive and does not offer the wide range of focusing options of the 7D Mark II. Very disappointed that homework was not done before throwing in the 80D without considering the far better for action shots of the 7D Mark II. Simple math will help. A bird, for example, flying at 40mph (a slow bird, Bald Eagles flying speed is 75-99 mph and that is far from the fastest, see https://youtu.be/MMsLVxcKh24 for perspective) is traveling at 58.67 feet per second. If it takes your camera longer to lock on to the bird with a less robust focusing system, shoots with less frames per second, and then dies out because the buffer is small you will lose out on many potentially great images.

  • David Aylsworth

    September 30, 2018

    I use my Canon 70D for wildlife and the 5D Mk III for landscape and portrait work. Enjoyed the video.

  • Magnus Christensson

    September 30, 2018

    Wildlife? Comparing of one shooting Canon and one on Nikon hmm

  • David Schenck

    October 1, 2018

    I use both Canon 7D MK2 and 5D MK4. Due to the image quality and high iso capability, the 5D 4 is my favourite. To be honest, I would prefer a compromise and still have the now discontinued 1.3 crop of the 1D series available. One thing I don't think you mentioned was the touch screen on the 5D4. The one on my mobile phone is terrible, so I was a bit put off when I read this was a feature of the 5D4. When I got the camera, I thought I would try it though and was instantly very impressed. Especially for wildlife, it makes it really easy to change settings without having to make much movement that might scare your subject.

  • Nikhil Bidwaikar

    October 2, 2018

    Thinking to buy Nikon D7200

  • Dirk Tassaert

    October 3, 2018

    My old Nikon D3s + Nikon 200-500 mm f5.6

  • Bob Bridges

    October 7, 2018

    Hi Lads,
    I own both a Nikon D850 and a D500 and it’s horses for courses. To be honest and at the price I don’t think you gave the D500 a fair crack of the whip for wild life. I photograph dog training on a regular basis and have posted close to 5,000 shots in the last year.

    Please see….
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums

    OK I am only putting them out at 2100×1500 pixels but the RAW files are much bigger if and when required.For this type of sports/animal work the higher frame rate and greater reach of the D500 DX format wins hand down over my D850. Not to mention the smaller and more manageable file size. Yes the D850 is the quality camera and my first choice for commercial work but give me the D500 every time for dog training.
    Bob Bridges


    October 11, 2018

    Ok…so you have the 1DX Mk II but no D5…also D7500 is a baby D500 with 1 card slot

  • Stefan1968ful

    October 12, 2018

    Very clear: Canon 1DX Mark II with Canon 600mm 4.0 II. Or the Nikon D850 with Nikkor 600mm 4.0 FL. I can say that, we use both 🙂

  • edward bueno

    October 14, 2018

    these are dslr fan boys

  • Eddie Harris

    October 14, 2018

    What camera do you think is overall better for wildlife. Nikon d500 or the nikon d810

  • cybertec69

    October 16, 2018

    No issues with the D500, it's a beast, fast, with great dynamic range.

  • Victor De Coen

    October 19, 2018

    Where's Sony, Fuji, Olympus, …?

  • Mark Hume

    October 31, 2018

    Any chance on a review of budget DSLRs for wildlife for those of us who cant afford the high end.


    November 4, 2018

    your whatsapp number pls

  • Vinay Kumar

    November 17, 2018

    Hello i need small help

  • Gruff Tor

    November 30, 2018

    I got the Sony gear Dump the mirror. There’s no going back.

  • me4jas

    December 28, 2018

    ISO comparison is irrelevant unless you have actual incident light measured in absolutely candela. I have D800 and low light is pretty useless after iso 1200

  • Ramon van Bentum

    January 10, 2019

    80d? Why not 7d mk ii

  • Kilo Hotel

    January 28, 2019

    I’m using the Canon 5dsr and 1DX2 for wildlife. The 5dsr is amazing especially for animals that don’t move fast where you need more than 5fps. The 1DX2 frame rate, high ISO capability and never ending buffer are great to use and the build quality is top notch. For me as a Canon shooter they pair up great, but the Nikon 850 with battery grip seems like the perfect mix of both my Canons in one. High megapixel and high frame rate. If I was starting from scratch right now that’s the kit I’d go with.

  • Thomas Hong Kong

    February 6, 2019

    5D is the king!!!

  • Codlot

    March 10, 2019

    So you went to Slimbridge and used the 1DX MKII to photograph static cows ?. Sorry but that is NOT demonstrating the capability of that camera!

  • Brian

    March 17, 2019

    Man this video was a letdown. Really lazy content. Ducks in the pond and cows? Wow!

  • eXplorer

    May 25, 2019

    Very good video!

  • Marek Czaja

    June 3, 2019

    Canons lens selection is much wider with more specialized lenses. Also canon is generally less expensive than nikon. HOWEVER!!!!!!!! for wildlife where you cant get right in front of the animal, canons lenses loose so much MP. For example canons very popular 7D MK ii (20MP camera) with the 100-400mm mkii or 400mm 5.6 only give about 9 to no more than 15 perceived megapixels!! And in my opinion that's just not enough when cropping. I shall be switching to nikon as soon as my current set up sells.

  • PrinceCharming25

    June 5, 2019

    Not even the Canon 7D mark II? What gives, man? It's far more better than the 80D…I Own the 7D Mk II For 2 weeks now it's amazing!

  • eXplorer

    July 4, 2019

    Cool vid!

  • the Godfather _

    October 5, 2019

    What about the Nikon p1000


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