The best wildlife cameras that you can rely on

Prepare yourself for any wildlife that may come your way with eight of the best fast-action cameras currently on the market.

Three of the best wildlife cameras to the left of two lions

by Emily Farquhar |

Taking photographs of wildlife can be challenging. Partly because it requires a lot of patience, persistence, and attention to detail. What can, however, make it extremely worthwhile is not only being in the right place at the right time, but a camera specifically designed for those tough, unpredictable conditions.

Apart from selecting a camera that is quick and reliable, there are many features to look out for. To make things easier, we've shortlisted all the best wildlife cameras, from beginners to advanced photographers. We have also gathered all the underlying specifications your camera should have based on your own style and wildlife motives.

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These are nine crucial factors to consider before purchasing your fast-action wildlife camera:

Fast, responsive, and customisable autofocus: Consistent and accurate, buy a camera that covers enough of the frame, can focus in poor light and has a good AF tracking system.

Burst mode/continuous shooting speed: A fast burst speed will help you get that split-second shot, and the more frames-per-second (FPS), the better.

Good buffer depth: Working alongside burst, a good buffer depth will help you maximise the number of shots you can take in one single burst before your camera needs to pause.

Lens range and selection: If your camera does not already have a built-in zoom lens, go for a camera that has a variety of telephoto lenses to choose from.

Sensor size: Depending on whether you prefer a full-frame camera (cleaner, noise-free images in noise in low-light) or a camera with a smaller sensor (more reach from cropping), make sure you know the differences and which is your preferred choice.

Weight and size: A camera with a larger sensor and lens will be heavier to carry and more expensive but will give you far higher results over a more compact, lighter alternative.

Ergonomics: Choose a camera that you will be comfortable to operate as you will be flicking through different settings (focus modes, exposure, ISO, metering) in the spur of the moment. Make sure these are accessible!

Camera quality and sealing: Ensure the camera will be fit for all uncontrollable and wet conditions.

Battery life: Go for a camera model with longer battery life as fast-action photography in the field tends to eat up your battery quicker than you think.

What to read next:

The Best Wildlife Kit

Best wildlife gear For beginner photographers

Best telephoto zoom lenses

Photography courses that will help you find your niche

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